The NBA draft begins at 4:00 Pacific June 22nd. As of now, 10:00 am Pacific the day prior, here’s the current drafting positions 1-10:
- LA Lakers
- New York
Much has happened already foreshadowing what’s sure to be an interesting shake up of the Eastern elites tomorrow and in months ahead. Boston held the first draft slot but then traded it to Philadelphia last week, apparently so the Sixers ensure their pick of Markelle Fultz – the quick all-around PG also one of the best shooters in the draft. However with one day to go, nothing seems certain including Philly’s intentions. Boston and Philly are both armed with stockpiles of picks and $$. Boston has a depth of talent to offer as well, and perhaps the biggest question going into tomorrow’s event is whether Boston is willing to wait another year for a big name free agent, or do they move now to create their Eastern juggernaut poised to challenge the Warriors for the next 5-8 years. Meanwhile Magic Johnson GM of the Lakers awaits Philly’s pick – will they do what’s expected and take Fultz? If not does it matter? They’ve already traded their PG away. Yesterday D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov were shipped to the Brooklyn Nets for Brooks Lopez in a deal that ensures the Lakers will draft one of the outstandingly talented PGs at the top of this draft. The overwhelming consensus is that Magic’s man will be Lonzo Ball, equally as talented as Fultz but in a craftier-passing sort of way. The Lakers, however, have added their own intrigue to the mix hinting that Ball wasn’t impressive in their workouts recently. Atlanta has shed some weight in Dwight Howard’s contract moved to Charlotte just yesterday and the Knicks are entertaining offers for Kristaps Porzingas. Meanwhile, there is talk of the Suns willingness to part with PG Bledsoe – what can they get in return for him plus their fourth overall pick? Is all this movement and talk just posturing for the big event?
Regardless of the answer, it’s clear this is a big moment in Celtics history. GM Danny Ainge has been patiently waiting for 2 years to spend his carefully gathered assets. Players, picks and brilliant salary cap management now seem perfectly positioned to garner interest now and for years to come. There is no question his team is about to get better – enough to likely challenge the Cavs in the East next year. They’ve already established themselves to be a top 2 or 3 defensive team in the league – the players and mindsets are already firmly rooted in this team and therein lies a challenge: how will changes not upset the defensive chemistry and balance that promises more success moving forward? One player moved from the defensive nucleus of Bradley, Smart, Crowder and Olynyk may not disrupt the continuity much, but two might set the team back. Who can the Celtics afford to lose while they assemble the shooting, scoring and ball distributing talent they so badly need? While it seems a tenuous situation, in fact there’s luck mixed in here as well as it seems clear that free agent and all-around iron-man Gordon Hayward has shown interest in Boston. Perhaps this is the only call that is clear for Ainge. The tremendous interest shown league-wide for Hayward’s game means Ainge has another asset here, even before he signs Hayward. Whether he signs Hayward or not, the promise of Hayward means peace of mind for Ainge. Like LeBron, anyone can play with Hayward and it’s likely that everyone wants to. It’s a kind of double-whammy that allows you the freedom to select players for need and hope that it makes the team even that much more attractive to free agents in the years to come. But first some weight must be shed. Ainge can hold as much close to his vest as he likes, but one thing is certain: you’re allowed only 13-14 active players on a team and someone good has got to go. With the impending addition of Hayward the obvious choices are starters Bradley or Smart – two players each available at the peak of their values. Every team in the league knows this, so … does Ainge pull the trigger and move one of these two before he drafts? Will Ainge package one of these guys up with his #3 pick to try and trade for a big name now or will he wait until he’s forced to move someone?
Ainge stated recently that he traded the #1 pick to the Sixers because he knew he was going to get the same player at #3 that he would have at #1. Clear message to the Lakers here: Ainge wants to get across that he does not feel there is much if any separation among the top 3 picks. And yet, not only do the Celtics need a world class ball-handling PG that can shoot, if selected then such a player would preferably be your leader for years to come. Hayward, if he signs, is a wonderful player but he’s not LeBron. Ainge hasn’t been scheming for years just so he can land Hayward-the-great. Is Ainge really hinting that he doesn’t need a leader or is he hinting that D’Aaron Fox is his guy? That’s incredibly hard to believe when there’s no question that Fultz or Lonzo Ball seems ripe for the task of leader and ball handler. If not those two then who now or next year? Chris Paul is available but is too old to bank on for years not to mention just flat out unreliable. Who does Ainge think he can get to fill this role? There is a remote chance Ainge can go after Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, but even with that incredible lineup of Hayward, Butler, Smart-or-Bradley, Horford, Crowder, Olynyk who is your primary ball handler. Danny Ainge has been in the league too long to experiment with Hayward as your championship caliber point forward, and Butler isn’t the guy to rely to make the right decisions with the ball for 40 plus minutes. So who then?
Meanwhile, the Cavs and Pacers are keeping things interesting. Cavs because there is an obvious need for something to happen now, and the word from the Grapevine is that Love’s name is being passed around. Paul George of the Pacers will move on, many feel to the Lakers who can snatch him up in free agency in a year because he’s been clear that he wants to be in LA. Does another team take a chance on George knowing he might leave them in a year? Is that a good bet for the Cavs – to try another go at the Warriors in 2018 with George shoring up the defense some? Hard to see where the rebounding will come from with Love gone and Tristan Thompson fading away. Jimmy Butler could end up as a Cav and would be more likely to stay there. Is Chicago willing to part ways with him?
A lot of talk and speculation going into tomorrow, and yet only about half the teams in the NBA are making noise. Where is everyone else that surely have interest in the big names and the picks and clearing some cap space? Stay tuned …
154 thoughts on “
2017 NBA Draft and Free Agency”
Doesn’t seem to be any scenario where Ainge doesn’t get a world class PG in time for the pre-season. Gots to be one of these guys ending up in Boston this year …
The other players of similar quality are simply not available or too old.
Maybe it’s even more obvious than that…
Love moves off to Boston.
Cavs get Bradley and Olynyk and the 3rd pick.
Does Korver end up in Boston as well?
Cavs can now pick up Crowder since Tatum will take his spot soon in the starting lineup. A Love trade could move Tatum to the 3. But where will Hayward fit? hmmm …
Celts need to shed some weight!
1. 1 & 2 went exactly as everyone predicted. Sixers took Fultz and Lakers took Ball.
2. So Tatum was the guy that Ainge wanted all along? Ainge may still be working on a deal.
3. T-Pups get Jimmy Butler!!! I like that deal on the T-Wolves side. Towns, Wiggins, and Butler make a pretty great trio.
4. Apparently Sacto turned down the Lakers offer of the #2 overall pick for the #5 and #10 picks, then turned the #10 pick into 2 future 1st rounders. while getting De’Aaron Fox, the Kentucky PG with the #5 pick. Looks like Sacto is looking down the road for contending after the Dubs dynasty is done.
Does the Butler trade make any sense at all? Crazy surprise! LaVine is just coming off an ACL tear. How can you trade for a player like that? Dunn is ok, but wow
I have no clue why Ainge thinks Tatum is the answer. You might have pegged it – Tatum as another asset because he’s so heady and dependable and talented enough. But I still think Lonzo was the right guy for them. Or Fultz. Maybe he packages up Thomas and Tatum and sends them off for an awesome PG. Actually … hmmm … Tatum makes no sense if Hayward is coming to Boston. Unless Crowder goes. Yeah, I see a trade coming Arnold. You’re right and Crowder can now be a part of it. Before this I couldn’t see how they would move him.
IMO Suns stole the show (of the draft, not the trade). That’s an incredibly athletic 2-3-4. If Chriss puts on weight they will be tough as hell defensively. And if Booker can learn how to lead the offense – wow.
Danny Ainge on Boston’s 98.5 The Sports Hub: ‘Minnesota gave up too much for Jimmy Butler’
He also said that the Celtics weren’t really close to acquiring Jimmy Butler and that Lavine + Dunn still have high potential and Chicago may have made out good on the deal.
Danny: We were never really close to trading the #3 pick yesterday (06/22/2017)
Danny: NYK were genuinely not trying to move Kristaps Porzingis
Danny: Phil Jackson is a bright guy and knows what he’s doing
Danny: No draft pick the Celtics hold right now is considered ‘untouchable’
Question: Is there a FA or a Trade that you can see yourselves making this offseason?
Danny: with our deep roster and players we will need to be doing some shuffling around. Once Free Agency is done it will be easier for us to do deals
Jackson was apparently asking for a LOT for Porzingis. Probably was never really interested in trading him, just seeing if some team would do a stupid deal to get him. Knicks are still in disarray and are apparently looking into a buyout of Carmelo’s remaining deal (why?). If Carmelo gets out of NY, does he sign for the veteran minimum to play with LeBron in Cleveland (about all the Cavs could afford).
Apparently the Nuggets are the 3rd team involved in the Kevin Love/Paul George 3-way trade talks. Cavs would get George, Nuggets would Love, and Pacers would get Faried and some combo of players/future picks. With George’s known interest in leaving for the Lakers after next season, if the Cavs pull off this deal, it may be with the intent of winning one last title before LeBron walks. Not sure the Cavs are really any better with George and without Love. Their interior defense will take a hit, though their 3-pt defense may be better.
The Dubs continued to think ahead by buying the pick that became Jordan Bell, Oregon power forward and Pac-12 defensive player of the year. Next year, he will get playing time when Draymond Green is on the bench. He doesn’t have Day-Day’s offense, but he can do everything Green can do on defense. I think the Dubs can live with that. Maybe Bell can learn how to be on the receiving end of the Dubs’ lobs and provide a little offense that way like JaVale McGee did this year.
As for Danny Ainge, I’m not clear on what he’s doing yet, but he has to have something in mind, doesn’t he? It can’t just be signing Hayward in free agency, can it? Hayward is a slight upgrade at SF, but Ainge has drafted a SF with the #3 overall pick in the last two drafts (Brown & Tatum) and the current best SF on the roster, Jae Crowder is signed for the next 3 years. If he’s bringing in Hayward, one or more of the current SFs have to go and the Celtics, in giving a big contract to Hayward, would lose some of their salary cap flexibility. Frankly it makes more sense to keep the current SF group at their lower salaries and deal for someone at a more necessary position. They need to do something at PG (Isaiah does not make anybody better other than himself) and could use a PF that can defend while providing some scoring. Would John Wall look good in Boston? Sure. Would the Wiz trade him? Doubtful. Ainge better have a plan, because I can’t figure him out right now. Maybe he’s just stockpiling future assets because he wants to wait out the Dubs/Cavs dynasties before really making a move.
We were wondering what direction the Bulls would head, bring in more stars to compete for a championship immediately or rebuild. Clearly, they chose the rebuild with the Jimmy Butler trade. Are the Bulls looking to rebuild in the image of the Dubs. They drafted arguably the best shooter in the draft in Lauri Markkanen, albeit one who is very soft defensively. The Butler trade netted them another shooter in LaVine and a potential PG of the future in Kris Dunn (who didn’t show much as a rookie, but showed good potential coming out of college). They drafted another shooter in Denzel Valentine last year (who played behind Wade in his rookie year). Butler’s salary is already off the books, Wade and Rondo’s salaries come off the books after next year, at which time the Bulls will have a ton of cap space and some nice young shooters on the roster. I think the Bulls will look to score big in free agency in the next couple of years while building a Dubs style team.
The more I think about it, the more I think that the Celtics will not be signing Hayward in free agency. Why draft Tatum if your plan is to sign Hayward, when you’ve already got Crowder and Brown on your roster? So I think either Ainge has something else up his sleeve (signing Chris Paul or Blake Griffin?) or Ainge is content to let his young team develop and seeing if there are any superstars in the group before going after some finishing pieces in a year or two after the Cavs implode and the East becomes much more winnable.
One other thought on the Dubs. The two Oregon kids they got–one in the draft and one after the draft–are both defensive whizzes with not much offensive game. However, that was pretty much what Draymond was coming out of college, though he was a better passer in college than the Oregon kids (both of whom apparently idolized Green). Everybody else is looking to draft shooters to mimic what the Warriors do, but this year, the Dubs are looking to get young defensive studs and then developing their offense. It is the Dubs’ defense that drives their offense, so the teams drafting offensive players with little defensive ability (Markkanen, Ball, etc.) may not be able to duplicate the Dubs success unless they can teach defense. The Warriors have a great defensive assistant, Ron Adams, who may be as much a reason for their success as any other coach. The Spurs have also always started with defensive studs and developed their offensive games (Kawhi Leonard for example and even Tim Duncan to some extent). The Bulls dynasty always had great defense, as did the Kobe-Shaq Lakers. So these teams trying to copy the Dubs by loading up on shooters are going to fall flat unless they can also install an oppressive defense.
I see Rubio going to Boston, even though I think Phoenix should do everything needed to pick him up – best mentor possible for Booker as Booker and the entire Suns organization considers the best case scenario to have their desert Curry. All Rubio is going to do is bring great work ethic and teamwork wherever he goes.
But he’s only 26 yrs old and seemingly still reaching his peak. Look ahead 2 years and you have Boston in the finals – can you imagine a better back up PG in a finals game?
I have yet to see Ainge make any mistakes. He didn’t mortgage the Celts’ future on Horford – instead that was a calculated risk that has yet to pay off much but there’s time – maybe best to think of it as long term calculated risk and another valuable asset should it come to that. Hayward seems to me more of a risk, because even with an excellent PG by his side should they find him, the only reason any team signs Hayward is to fill their iron-man spot. Their 40 min-a-game steadying influence. The problem with Hayward is that he does everything well but nothing well enough. Grant Hill, Shane Battier, Kawhi Leonard, Dan Majerle, Shawn Marion, LeBron James …can name 20 more here … sometimes intensity is all it takes to be that big minute influence and that’s something Hayward doesn’t have much of. So yes, I agree. Hayward can’t be the guy that Ainge decides to move his pieces around and maybe the Tatum choice was exactly in the hope that he got his guy at a much cheaper cost. BUT!! …
The more obvious explanation is that we don’t know because July 1st isn’t here yet;-) Want your steady big minute guy? He’s available in Paul George and the Celtics are the most able team to rent him for a year without giving up too much. Will George really want to bail on the most exciting team around with the best chance outside of the Bay Area to win a championship sometime in the next 5 years to leave for … the dis-function of Los Angeles?
You said it last month: Ainge is after Anthony Davis. They’re in the drivers seat to get him. Rubio should be a no brainer as well. What better bait to hang on your hook enticing George to settle into the great NorthEast?
Now about that starting PG for the next 10 years to come. Yeah … that. Maybe he’s as confused about who to grab as the rest of us are. Is it possible he doesn’t buy into the “gotta have a shooter at PG in the 2010’s” philosophy? Maybe he just wants to see what comes available and who might be interested. If that’s Wall within the next 2 years the Warriors may have a challenger.
Good points about teams going with shooters, but I don’t agree with some things. I don’t agree the Spurs have always started with defensive studs, though a big part of why they picked them (Duncan ,Parker, Leanard, Green, George Hill) is defense, the common feature for all of them is headiness, ability to listen and willingness to learn, and an understanding that effort needs to be consistent and come at both ends of the court. Same with the old Bulls and present day Celtics. Jordan and Pippen and Kukoc were both two-ways. Horace Grant was not only a defensive player. For the Celtics Smart was seen as a Kawhi-wannabe when drafted. I think that’s exactly what I see in Ball, Tatum, Jackson. I think the only guy in the top of the draft that may be 1 dimensional is Markkanen, but he’s different. A freak that is hard to pass up on at #7.
Ball will be a better defender than Curry so I see him as a way for Magic to get both sides of the court sewn up in his PG. And this notion about Ball being like Kidd makes no sense wrt scoring – Ball is a much better shooter/scorer. Again, no idea why Ainge didn’t take him since that seems like exactly what the Celtics should want to be the face of their franchise. I’m still baffled, but then July 1st is still a few days away.
Back to Josh Jackson who I strongly feel will be the most complete player in the draft – for a running and shooting team to go the direction of the Spurs and Celtics says a lot, and addresses your point that offense often begins with great defense.Can’t wait to see the first Suns-Dubs game when Jackson goes up against Durant. He’ll probably foul out but I’m expecting a few surprises first.
Is Ainge setting the table for a July 1st announcement that he will trade Isaiah Thomas plus at least one player (Bradley?) and assets to … someone? Maybe he doesn’t know yet. But if he puts Thomas out there he’ll need to make sure he has a taker. Thomas will be pissed otherwise.
Sacramento loves Isaiah Thomas. D’Aaron Fox could be available. Look what you have in that case: Paul George and D’Aaron Fox to replace Thomas and Bradley. That makes a lot of sense and would explain the Tatum pick (to get George).
excellent breakdown of Ball’s defense:
and this awesome breakdown of Josh Jackson’s defense:
Good point about the headiness of players. Defense can be learned if a player is willing to do the work and has the coaching to make him better. Certainly Curry was no great defensive player coming out of college, but he has improved markedly, though certainly not in the same league as Green, Thompson, and Iggy. Headiness is a trait of most of the Dubs and Spurs. Ball is smart enough that he can probably be coached into becoming a better defender. Josh Jackson looks to be a pretty good defender already, but we’ll see if that translates to the NBA. Are Earl Watson and his coaching staff in Phoenix good enough coaches to get the most out of their mostly young team? I don’t see them enough to know. Meanwhile, LBJ obviously is one of the most intelligent players in the league, but Kyrie lapses at times, as do some other Cavs. If the Cavs pull off the deal to get Paul George, that will help their on-floor defensive perimeter IQ, but would the loss of Love and his rebounding smarts cancel some of that out?
Speaking of George, I don’t see Ainge renting him for one year. Ainge typically takes the long view and he knows that the Dubs are at their peak and the Cavs will be tough to beat next year, so why rent George for next year. If he signs any free agent or trades for any star this year, it will be with the view that not only can he help next year, but for the next few years down the line. You brought back up one of my earlier comments that I’m increasingly believing. I think Anthony Davis is the end game for Ainge and he knows that won’t happen this off-season. If and when the Pelicans decide they want to rebuild, they will want a boatload of young studs and draft picks for Davis and Ainge will be the one sitting on that boatload.
There was an ESPN report today that 7 teams besides the Warriors plan to make a run at Iguodala…The T-Wolves, Spurs, Clippers, Jazz, Sixers, Magic, and Nets. Local radio seems to think the highest the Dubs will go for Iggy is about $12 million per year, so if one of these team is offering $20 million per year, Iggy will have to strongly consider it. Iggy going back to the Sixers or to the T-Wolves with the young studs those teams have to be the veteran mentor to mold them into a contender is an intriguing thought. I’m sure the Spurs and Clippers are primarily interested in both getting a great player and subtracting Iggy from the Dubs.
Last things first … Iggy!! No way in fracking hell he goes to the Clipps. No frackin way, so that’s out. Dude is just way too classy – Spurs on the other hand, I’d love to see that. Kawhi plays the point anyhow so Iggy can stay at SG-SF and get as many minutes as they need from him. Consider that fearsome 3-some. Maybe the best 1-2-3 lineup + backups that can give the Dubs trouble. I like it! I expect that the Dubs will do two things: 1.) tell Iggy they’ll make it up to him later if he signs and 2.) tell him they want him to do what’s best for him. I guess the only question is whether he wants to move to Mexico (which is really what a good part of S.A. is) or continue the good life in one of the top 10 coolest cities in the world (top 4 Arnold? what you think?).
You’re probably right about Ainge, but I still think he will consider George. If signed with the Celts George will need to consider whether he wants to leave a championship caliber team in order to be beaten down year after year in the West. If he shifts over to Boston he gets to be the man again! He’ll be almost nothing in LA for 3-4 years and then he’ll be … 30-31. Just makes a lot more sense that he can get close to a championship in the next 3-4 years alongside A.D. and then at the ripe old age of 32 still be the man in LA. Consider how much it must SUCK losing in Indianapolis for years. Have you ever been? That city SUCKS!!!
Now onto my favorite subject – Josh Jackson! Did you watch the video? I watched his highlights a week before the draft and was trying to figure out what all the hype was about. And then I realized he’s 6′ 8″ and some say 6′ 9″. One of the really cool things about drafting players these days is you have such a huge pool of 18-19 yr olds to look at statistically over the last 10 years or so. There’s so much information about how certain body types grow and strengthen. And quicken. When I look a bit more closely at Jackson videos I see a boy who almost doesn’t even have to try hard to be a cut above everyone else around him wrt athleticism. In his case there’s much more though – can pass and shoot and sure seems to not only give the effort but follows the game plan. He’s raw, but I think that’s because he hasn’t had to be better and obviously hasn’t grown fully. On top of all this the Phoenix sports franchises (and Phx itself) has made a name as one of the great sports medicine cities. If anyone knows how to bring this kid’s body along it’s the Suns organization. Now regarding whether he’ll be used on the court wisely? I don’t think that even matters with a player like this. They just got rid of PJ Tucker and everyone knows what he brought every night. In the recent past it was Jared Dudley and before that Marion. The quintessential guy fitting that mold for the Suns was Ceballos. The glue-guys. Just give them minutes and let them do what they do. They Suns are well aware of the importance of these players as are the fans All these guys were fan favorites as well. He’s going to be THE MAN in phoenix.
I did watch the video of Jackson and he looks like a raw but talented and athletic player, who could become great with the proper coaching. I don’t know enough about the Suns’ coaching staff to know if he will get that coaching. I’ve seen players like him fail before so I hope the Suns know what to do with him.
Big news today of course, as you indicated in your text, is Chris Paul going to the Rockets for Beverly, Dekker, Williams and a future 1st round pick. The idea of adding another superstar to play with Harden sounds good in theory, but I think this one will fail in the execution. Harden has always been a guy who needed the ball in his hands. So much so that D’Antoni finally gave in and moved Harden from SG to PG…and Harden flourished in the role and made the Rockets a much better team. Now the Rockets want to bring a new PG who will need the ball to do what he does best? Westbrook and Harden couldn’t survive together in OK City. I don’t think Paul and Harden will do much better in Houston. Paul opted in to the last year of his contract to make the deal happen. He will be a free agent next summer. He could be one and done in Houston if he gets frustrated playing next to Harden.
The Clip show meanwhile look like they have decided to break things up and start over. No doubt that is advice given to them by new team guru, Jerry West. Griffin likely opts out and becomes a free agent. With Paul now gone and Griffin likely so, the Clips went from being well over the cap to $30 million under the cap. They could become a player in free agency, but my guess is that West will want to rebuild the team through careful drafting first, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pick up an under the radar free agent, someone solid and young enough to provide some veteran leadership for several years (like the Dubs did when they signed Iggy). Clips will likely be drafting in the lottery next year.
I do agree, BTW, that George would be stupid to not consider staying in Boston if they traded for him, but it has been his long-time stated desire to return to his hometown Lakers. And Magic is suddenly looking a huge amount of salary cap room after next season with Mozgov off the books and Lopez’s contract expiring. the Lakers could potentially bring in two more free agents besides George to team up with Ball, Ingram, Randle, and Clarkson. What if the Lakers signed LBJ (who owns a home and has business interests in LA), George (who wants to be there), and Cousins (who the Lakers tried to trade for in the past) next year. Yes, they could have that kind of cap room, maybe even more if they found a sucker to take Deng’s contract off their hands. Sprinkle in a few low-cost veterans who might join that kind of team for a playoff run and suddenly the Lakers are in business again. Trading Russell to rid himself of Mozgov’s contract while knowing he could draft either Fultz or Ball to replace Russell was a genius move by Magic. Oh yeah, reportedly, Paul George is already trying to recruit Klay Thompson (LA boy whose father played for the Lakers) to come to the Lakers in two years when his contract expires. Whatever happens, I think the Lakers will be contenders sooner than we may think.
At the same time, if the Celtics can add a couple studs (Hayward, Davis, Irving, Wall) this year or next, we could be looking at the next great Celtics-Lakers rivalry.
Some of the rumors floating around.
Apparently I’m not the only one thinking that Ainge is waiting on Davis.
It’s heatin up! I browsed through the article quickly so maybe i missed it, but why wouldn’t Hayward go to Houston? Salary cap? Hayward on Houston is way more valuable to them then George. Hayward can start the run, finish the run, facilitate the run. Best Robin to Harden’s Batman. Much better fit for him than Boston. That offense would rule.
They didn’t mention any rumors of Hayward to Houston. The Boston rumors come from Hayward having played for Brad Stevens at Butler. I think the Rockets do have a salary cap issue now, so they would have to move some salary to sign Hayward, whereas George is not a free agent, so the Rockets would have to move the salary anyway to trade for George.
Did i make it clear that Ainge made a mistake by not picking Ball? The more I think about what he has and where he’s going …
dude screwed up.
re: Jackson. tell me about the other players like him that have failed before, and I’ll show you just as many players that couldn’t pass as well and play with control the way he does. Jackson slows the game down, creates space to work within, thinks pass first and has immense physical talent. Who are the guys you’re thinking about?
maybe there’s a misunderstanding about Jackson’s offense. this guy will be THE MAN in Phoenix.
6′ 8″ and ridiculous at 20 yrs old
The most similar ones to Josh Jackson that didn’t pan out are probably:
1) Joe Alexander, the Josh Jackson of the 2008 draft (taken #8 overall). Also 6’8″ and considered the most athletic guy in the draft. He was a big leaper and had a great jump shot, but lasted just a year with the Bucks, probably due in part because of poor coaching.
2) Marvin Williams, 6’9″ athletic swingman in the 2005 draft (taken #2 overall) out of North Carolina. While he’s managed to stick around since he was drafted, he’s never been the star he was projected to be.
3) Darius Miles, 6’9″ small forward drafted out of high school in 2000 (taken #3 overall), who was projected to be a superstar, but poor attitude doomed him to a mediocre career.
Of course, there are plenty of other highly touted players who got drafted and then failed big time (Thabeet, Bennett, Darko, for example), but these three embody the Josh Jackson mold of a 6’8″ athletic player. I’m not saying Jackson will fail, only that there are other factors, coaching, attitude, health that can derail what otherwise looks like a great prospect. Coaching is a big one, which is why I was asking about Earl Watson and his staff.
Gotcha. Outside of Darko, I don’t think any of those guys were as team-focused and pass-first thinkers as Jackson. With all his athleticism, Jackson seems to really think the game from what I see. It appears to me that he’s been extremely well coached already and that his mistakes are from being young rather than screwing up the game plan.
The guy I keep thinking of similar to Jackson is Josh Howard, who to me was the slightly smaller and more athletic version of Shawn Marion. Howard’s game was awesome end to end and was derailed only because of attitude and drugs I think. In that sense you’re absolutely right but that’s also true with respect to about 70%+ of all players before they’re established all stars.
I do realize I’m getting ahead of things, but mostly wrt Jackson’s quickness and strength. Even though I see a heady and coach-able athlete and end-to-end player who gives a lot of effort, I’m projecting that he gets quicker. That’s just me seeing a boy not fully developed yet physically. Most of the highlights out there are from when he was 19 yrs old.
Back to more immediate matters: George and Hayward. July 1st is Saturday and there really is no hurry for either of these guys. Unless they’re settled on a certain city or lifestyle, it might make more sense for each of them to wait for the other to decide what to do. The problem with George going to Houston is that no matter what that team does, it has around a 10% chance of getting to the finals next year. Why would George want to play with those odds while creating a (short-term) base in … Houston Texas?? That’s just senseless to me when Boston is better in all ways for him, especially wrt how he will be THE MAN determining just how far they will go. Hayward won’t be THE MAN in either place, but he can hang around longer in Houston if he really wants to live there. But same thing there – a 10% chance at getting to the finals in the next 2-3 years. Celtics are probably more like 50% for either of these guys.
Actually, I heard on the radio yesterday, that LA, Houston, and Miami are three of the most desired locations for NBA players. I think LA for being in the thick of the entertainment industry and getting big off-court deals and the lack of a state income tax for Houston and Miami (as well as generally warm weather in all three spots). In any event, if you are George or Hayward, why would you want to go to Houston with 2 ball hogs already there?
With the trade of Chris Paul, it seems unlikely that the Clips would spend big money on Griffin (because of his injury history, past and present, he may not be ready to play until December) and Redick (because of his age), particularly with Jerry West advising them. Griffin is supposedly the back-up plan for Boston if they don’t get George and/or Hayward. As for Redick, you know where he’d be an absolute perfect fit? Coming off the bench for the Warriors. Great 3-pt shooter who moves well without the ball. Some team is likely to give Redick stupid money for his shooting skill, but if he’s willing to take less for a shot at a ring, he makes a lot of sense for the Dubs.
When watching the awards show Monday there was mention about Houston having the hottest chicks. Maybe that’s what’s going on there.
Blake Griffin is meeting with the Phoenix Suns on first day of free agency. Do you want him on your Suns team?
Maybe. Marquis Chriss needs to bulk up and learn a few veteran tricks. Griffin does nothing for the Suns other than that, although my mom will love to know he lives nearby.
But why in the heck would Blake Griffin want to go to the Phoenix Suns?? We’ve seen this before I think – big names (or rather their managers) like to throw there name around just to test the market and prod their current team and others.
What bugs me is that all we’re hearing now wrt Suns is other stuff instead of their biggest need: getting rid of Bledsoe asap. he’s not part of the new club of guys growing together there. he’s more a hindrance and sometimes a distraction.
Now then … let’s get to the “heart” of this Houston matter. Shall we?
I’m an awesome NBA player with a future. I can go almost anywhere, but I want to go somewhere that I feel can contend for a championship. And then I remember the way Harden folded in the playoffs last year. How the hell can I ignore that? Boston and the players are just the opposite of this! Consider all the teams that have won championships or got very close. Did any of them have attitude problems? Let’s look at that list, shall we …
Warriors & Cavs
Heat & Spurs
Heat & Mavs
Heat & Celts
Lakers & Celts
Somewhere as you go down the list you get to the Phx Suns. Suns came close to winning then Stoudemire got benched for a game. Go back further and what were the problems that kept teams from winning?
This list can go on forever. The Sac team that almost beat the Lakers. All about heart. All those Bulls teams. All heart. Phoenix and Seattle before that. What made Denver great in the 90s was 100% heart.
Is there any room for whiners and quitters when it comes to assembling a championship team? Where in the history of the NBA was there a whiner/quitter that was leader of a championship team?
Harden is arguably the best offensive weapon since Kareem. Arguably more so than Michael, Kobe and Iverson. He’ll probably end up in my top 15 all time when all is said and done. But all that does is get him a seat alongside Wilt as another guy who didn’t really want to win badly enough. Why would a great player with a chance to win want to play with him?
I’ve heard not one, but two interviews today, with Houston broadcasters/sportswriters on local sports radio. They seemed to think that Harden’s playoff collapse was a result of him having to do too much and the lack of a second option to set the offense if the ball was not in Harden’s hands. So they theorize that Paul will both take the pressure off Harden and give Houston that second option to set the offense. I still don’t think it is a good fit. Paul has always operated a more deliberate offense rather than the D’Antoni fast paced offense and I think there will be conflict between Paul and Harden over ball-handling. Also, Houston had a lousy defense last year and traded perhaps their best defender in Patrick Beverly to get Paul. How are the Rockets a better team now with a worse defense? The Rockets need to add a Paul George to have any shot at advancing further in the playoffs.
1. T-Pups trade Ricky Rubio to the Jazz for a future 1st round pick (an OKC pick that the Jazz have). On the Jazz side, they apparently don’t believe that George Hill will return. On the T-Wolves side, they are apparently trying to get Kyle Lowry.
2. Andre Iguodala’s first free agency visit will be to the Spurs. All the talk here on sports radio is about what Iggy will do. I don’t see San Antonio happening though. Iggy is very connected business wise to the tech world (he and Steph are hosting a technology summit in August) and San Antonio is not a tech hub.
Paul George to the Thunder for Oladipo and Sabonis??? If true, this came out of nowhere.
Jeff Teague to T-Wolves is the first drop in the free agency chase.
Dubs resign Livingston to a 3-year, $24 million dollar deal and give Curry a supermax deal. I think Livingston could have gotten a bigger contract elsewhere, so I think he made decision that he wanted to stay and would take what the Dubs could give him. Probably figured that a bigger deal elsewhere would come with expectation of playing more minutes that his knee might not be able to handle.
JJ Redick to the Sixers on a 1-year, $23 million dollar deal.
Nice updates! How the heck did Sixers grab Reddick before … Boston, Minnesota, and everybody else?
Not a clue. Sixers also plucked Amir Johnson away from the Celtics, so they now have a starting 5 of PG Fultz, SG Redick, SF Simmons, PF Johnson or Saric, and C Embiid. I don’t get why Redick would sign only a 1-year deal. Surely some other team must have been willing to offer multiple years.
Dubs managed to resign everyone that was important to them after getting Iggy on a 3-year, $48 million deal. Apparently the Rockets also offered him a contract, but I haven’t heard the terms. West also re-upped for another 1-year deal.
T-Pups add Taj Gibson and Cavs resign Korver on 3-yr, $22 million dollar deal. Gibson will be nice veteran, defense-minded mentor to young T-Wolves team. Not sure what the Cavs are doing.
Wolves are ensuring a playoff spot if all stay healthy. Still don’t get the Reddick thing.
How bout that Millsap pickup?
I’m not sure I get what the Nuggets are doing. Millsap is a very good player, but is he a $30 million per year for 3 years player when he’s already 32 years old? He plays the same position as one of the Nuggets best players, Kenneth Faried, who is five years younger and much cheaper. Yes, Millsap is an upgrade on Faried, but not a $17 million per year upgrade. I don’t see that adding Millsap makes the Nuggets a playoff team and even if it does, they are easy 1st round knockouts. Millsap is the kind of guy you add to a team that is in a hunt for the championship, not a team that is years away and should be rebuilding around Jokic. There is talk that the Nuggets are still after some other free agents, but who else is out there that would push the Nuggets into contention (other than Hayward who is even talking to the Nuggets)? I predict the Nuggets will be looking to unload Millsap at the trade deadline next season.
While we’re at it, while I get why the Clips would give a supermax deal to Griffin, I think it was stupid of them to do so. Clips couldn’t afford to lose Paul, Redick, and Griffin all in one off-season. They’d be ceding the LA market back to the Lakers if that happened. But giving that kind of money to a player who has not played more than 67 games in a season in the last 3 years is just bad business. Even with a healthy Griffin, a Griffin-Jordan-Beverly core is not a championship team and they probably don’t even make the playoffs if Griffin gets hurt again. The Clips wanted to give the illusion that they can still contend to keep their visibility high, but I think the Griffin contract bites them in the ass in the end.
Supposedly Gordon Hayward will make his choice between the Jazz, Heat, and Celtics today. I’m thinking there’s a good chance he will return to the Jazz. He reportedly told the Jazz that he’d like them to acquire Rubio and they did. Joe Ingles is his best friend on the Jazz and they resigned him. He’s familiar with the system of which he is the centerpiece and they can pay him the most money. I’d put the Jazz as the betting favorite for Hayward.
He seems like a pretty awesome dude. My guess is that he won’t want to let SLC down, but playing alongside Dragic would catapult his career into the lead-leading-scoring group for the next few years. He won’t find another player like Dragic for the rest of his career, unless he finds a way to play with Lonzo so … there’s that for him to consider.
There’s also this: what is the liklihood that Gobert sticks around for the long haul? I think it’s pretty unlikely because the Jazz aren’t likely to get past the second round anytime soon. Jazz are good, but I don’t see them moving ahead much more with the Rockets, Thunder and Wolves getting better and the strong possibility that the Lakers and Kings get way better within 2-3 years.
Either Boston or Miami gets him a realistic chance to be in the Eastern Conf finals soon.
Hard to believe that between Ainge and Riley something isn’t speaking to him softly saying “there’s a better life out there”. So yeah, we’re about to find out a lot about him today.
What a dumb title for this article: “Money Power or Respect …”. Why did Tim Duncan stick around in SA? Why did Grant Hill do ANYTHING in his career. How about Curry or Westbrook or Lillard or … this list goes on forever. It wasn’t for any of these things, but rather love of the game and a sense of duty to give back to the people who gave you everything. How stupid to assume that any of the above three things will even be involved at all in Hayward’s decision.
ESPN had a report that Hayward would sign with the Celtics, but Hayward’s agent told someone else that no decision had been made yet. We’ll see.
The Kings meanwhile have signed George Hill and Zach Randolph. Randolph fills a need, but the Kings just drafted De’Aaron Fox to be their PG of the future, so not sure where Hill fits in. Is Hill content to start and mentor Fox for a year before letting Fox take over? I really expected both Hill and Randolph to be seeking job with contending teams, but perhaps the Kings were offering a lot more money.
Add those two to the Reddick list. WTF knows? Actually, Randolph – almost time to start thinking about retirement. Hill – yeah. Why Sacramento?? Maybe he believes in something they have going there. Not sure what he can do there anytime soon. Where is Phoenix in all this? God that’s killing me. George Hill in Phoenix instead of Bledsoe. That’s such a no brainer. There’s also Dallas or New Orleans or Denver. Sacramento??
Celtics it is for Hayward. Guess the lure of a championship was the biggest pull for him. Celtics were definitely his best shot at that. And with the drain of stars from the East to West conference, he’ll have a much easier road to the finals in the East.
Great news for Boston fans, the league and old timers who undoubtedly love his unselfish game. I have to believe a big problem Hayward had with Miami is Whiteside’s attitude: better than it was but likely to clash with anyone that might steal his thunder. Unfortunate though – Miami drafted an awesome PF in Bam Adebayo now tearing up the summer league. This team might be better than Boston minus Hayward already. Again, any chance to play with a guy like Dragic you take it. Not sure why this is a secret even to the NBA’s best players.
Anyhow, Adebayo …
Saw some reports this morning that the Celtics may be targeting Marc Gasol in trade talks. Certainly with the addition of Hayward, they need to make some move[s] to relieve the log jam they now have at SF (Hayward, Crowder, Tatum, Brown). Crowder is probably the most likely one to go as the most expensive one after Hayward. Adebayo looks good and can learn from Horford. Celtics should breeze into the Eastern Conference finals next year.
Did you see what KD did when resigning with the Dubs? He took almost $10 million less than he could have gotten and, in fact, he took less than he got in his first year with the Dubs. I think this is designed to delay (by a year) when the Warriors enter the super luxury tax situation. I’m sure that KD has been promised a $40 million multi-year contract next year.
Meanwhile the Dubs are filling in their roster spots. They signed Omri Casspi and Nick “Swaggy P” Young. Both can shoot the 3 and provide some size for the second team defense. They still need a center, but are apparently negotiating with both Pachulia and McGee to return. McGee has been talking with the LA Clippers as well.
Huge Caspi fan. They did it again!
With the addition of Nick Young, the Warriors now have four of the nine most prolific catch and shoot players from last season. Young was second in the league in effective field-goal percentage on catch and shoot plays. The Warriors as a team led the league at 58.5 percent.
The Warriors may be an even better team next year. The second unit will be Livingston, Macaw, Young, Iggy, Casspi, and West (yes I know that is 6 players). That doesn’t even include the still developing Damian Jones, Kevon Looney, and new draft pick Jordan Bell. Having a bench that deep means less wear and tear on the starters in the regular season.
On the flip side of what the Dubs have done this off-season, you’ve got the Cavs, who’ve done absolutely nothing (unless you think inking a 36-year-old Kyle Korver to a 3-yr, $22 million dollar deal is a good thing}. Reportedly, LeBron has not been recruiting any free agents to come join the Cavs, which suggests that he will, in fact, decline his player option next summer and leave the team. Heard someone on the radio this afternoon say that LeBron’s wife wants to live in LA full-time (they currently live there in the off-season). Lakers should have a lot of salary cap room next summer, so they can add some others in addition to LeBron next year. If the Lakers can clean house of their current two biggest contracts (Deng and Clarkson}, they could have a huge amount of salary cap room. Can you say LeBron, George, and Cousins in the purple and gold next season? If they each signed a one-year plus option contract around $25 million like KD did with the Dubs, it would be doable. Maybe the lure of a championship brings Carmelo with them on a lesser contract. Imagine how much fun Lonzo Ball would have playing with that group. Meanwhile, the Cavs will go back to mediocrity without LeBron. Irving and Love will be good enough to get the Cavs into the Eastern Conference playoffs, but that team without LeBron looks like first round knockouts.
Check that. The Cavs have also signed 35-year-old Jose Calderon and resigned 37-year-old Richard Jefferson. Nothing says let’s win another NBA championship like signing 3 guys who should be contemplating retirement.
“Free agency now turns to the restricted free agents. The top free agents left on the board are Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jonathon Simmons, Bojan Bogdanovic, JaMychal Green, Nerlens Noel, Nikola Mirotic, Mason Plumlee and Alex Len. Each of the nine players now must chase an offer sheet, find a compromise with their current team or sign the one-year qualifying offer.”
I’m guessing this is what Cleveland has been waiting for. Hardaway Jr., Noel and Plumlee are huge talents. How the hell is Plumlee available? Better than Tristan Thompson! WTF.
Alex Len could surprise. Cavs need to grab one of these top guys.
Things pushed back into high gear in the last few hours. Rudy Gay signed with the Spurs (2 yrs, $17 million). Vince Carter inked a 1-yr deal with the Kings (for $8 million). And Kelly Olynyk got a 4-yr, $50 million deal from the Heat. Also, Chris Both was waived by the Heat and Rajon Rondo was waived by the Bulls. Meanwhile Jamal Crawford is seeking a buyout from the Hawks after getting traded there.
I like the Rudy Gay signing for the Spurs. He will give them some scoring pop off the bench (unless Spurs intend to move Leonard to SG, Danny Green to the bench, and start Gay at SF). The Spurs bench was definitely a weak link in the playoff series against the Dubs.
Apparently the Kings think they can be a playoff team next year. Why else are they signing old guys like Hill, Randolph, and Carter? Carter expressed interest in playing for the Dubs, but there was never any word that the Dubs were interested in him.
I don’t really understand the Heat signing Olynyk to a such a big deal. Don’t the Heat already have an all-star center in Hassan Whiteside? So are they really going to pay $12.5 a year to Olynyk to be a back-up? Or are they thinking of some kind of twin towers concept? I can’t really see Whiteside and Olynyk playing well together. Whiteside is strictly an inside presence, on both offense and defense. Olynyk has some pop from the outside, but is a defensive liability that will become even worse if forced to chase stronger, faster, and more athletic power forwards.
Apparently Crawford has some interest in coming to the Cavs. Cavs don’t need another one-dimensional player. They need guys who can play both ends of the court if they wish to keep up with the Dubs. Plumlee and Simmons are probably the best two from that list of restricted free agents for that purpose, but since the Cavs can’t offer much because of their cap situation, any offer they make for any of the restricted free agents is likely to be matched by their current teams. So don’t count on the Cavs picking up any of those players. The only way any of them switch teams is if some other team overpays for them so their current team doesn’t match.
Nearly forgot about the Clippers. I may have written them off too soon after the Chris Paul trade. They brought Danilo Gallinari in via trade and signed Euro PG Milos Teodosic, who is generally considered to be the best PG in the world not already playing in the NBA. Here’s a highlight video of him:
He has great vision and can shoot the 3. Of course it remains to be seen if he can do it against better competition in the NBA, but I think he is going to make Griffin and Jordan very happy. Looks like the Clips will be a playoff team next year after all.
I always seem to have the same question: why can’t players and teams restructure contracts in order to sign the right guy(s)? Is it too late for LeBron, Kyrie and Love to consider taking a hit on their pay so they can sign Plumlee?
I’ll go further and wonder why LeBron needs to make more than the league minimum or close to it. Duncan did this didn’t he?
Duncan made team-friendly deals, though still way more than league minimum, and so did Nowitzki. KD just did it, though he will likely get a max contract next year. Of course, it is easy for stars to do this since they make way more from off-court deals. The union hates when players take less than the max they could get because they think it devalues player contracts overall, but I think it would create higher salaries for more players, which should make more players happy.
The stat I look at is how much $$ LeBron was making while Steph won MVP. Huge disparity regardless of why it happened. It was Steph’s small contract that made signing others a possibility there and LeBron et al. contracts which makes signing others an impossibility. I don’t understand why each high $$ player on that team – specifically LeBron and Thompson – can’t each take sizable pay cuts to open things up for at least one more player like Plumlee.
If I had a chance to go down in history as a top 3 player of all time I’d cut my salary in half or more in no time. Playing with better players and with better teamwork is way more fun especially if you win a title. How can the money make any difference relative to those things?
BTW Vegas Summer League has the West teams playing for the first time. Phoenix vs. Sacramento should be fun to watch. 7:30 tonight on ESPN2 I think.
What do you think of the Celtics trading Avery Bradley to the Pistons for Marcus Morris. Celtics saved nearly 4 million in salary which apparently was just enough to allow for the Gordon Hayward contract to be signed. However, Celts lost their starting SG, who was second on the team in scoring last year and who averaged over 6 rebounds a game (nearly the team best) out of the SG position. Morris may become the Celts starting PF by default. Trade did nothing to solve the Celts log jam at SF, so maybe Hayward can play SG instead. Surely some team would have taken Crowder for virtually nothing. I’d like to trust Ainge given his track record, but he’s giving up the wrong players to bring Hayward in.
Hayward is going to play SF/SG and his own version of LeBron. I’m guessing he plays LeBron when Smart is out there and no I.T., SF with I.T. and Smart and SG when Smart sits. I really hate to see Crowder go, but it does seem that Tatum is the real deal and should be starting soon. Possible that Crowder and Morris get packaged up for a more solid PF, or if Horford plays PF then a Center? What’s going on with the Marc Gasol talks?
Memphis just added big time athletic talent in McLemore and Evans. Completely different team now – much faster with Randolph gone. Should be fun for Conley, but I wonder who takes most of the shots this year.
I think Pistons made bank. Great versatile tough minded and heady player. And a team guy. I don’t know why Ainge couldn’t do better.
I haven’t heard anything about the possible Gasol trade since the initial report. Celtics need to trade some of the excess SFs for a PF/C.
Celts would have been better off trading Smart rather than Bradley. Bradley is a better shooter and better defender than Smart. Bradley had the bigger contract though and was the more desirable trade commodity.
I disagree. Smart is showing outstanding improvement. Real growth this year. He has size, the same sense of urgency as Bradley but much more versatile. Smarter than before. But mainly his size allows him to defend more players than Bradley. Smart is the Kawhi of the East, only 4-5 years behind him;-)
“Kawhi of the East”. That’s high praise, but I don’t see it. The couple of inches he has on Bradley may allow him to guard slightly taller players than Bradley, but Bradley is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, which is something I think the Celts would like to have if facing the Cavs or Dubs in the playoffs. Smart did improve as a PG, but with Thomas on the team, he is likely to see more time at SG and as someone who shoots less than 30% from downtown, that doesn’t bode well. But you’ve probably seen more of Smart than I have, so you may have a better sense of what he could become.
FiveThirtyEight thinks the Celts don’t have enough star power to win a championship yet.
Not too surprising, but we think Ainge is gearing up for more moves anyway.
Smart is one of my favorites – I watch the Celtics almost always just to watch him and I see steady improvement. I think he’s a better overall defender than Bradley but he’s also one of these guys that make things happen. He’s got that intangible quality a la Dudley, Tony Allen, Battier, World Peace but he can also score and is getting much better with the ball in his hands. A very poor man’s Kawhi ( I did say 4-5 years ago by the way) but I don’t see other players like him in the East to fit that bill.
Regarding star power – not close yet because Ainge didn’t get one. He needs a PG. Had a chance to get Fultz or Ball or Fox and he passed on all three. From what I saw of Fox last night, Ainge should definitely have picked him up, done the same Hayward trade and then packaged up I.T., Crowder and other assets to get a center or PF. He now has Tatum and Hayward on the same team where they’ll often have the exact same roles. If he makes a deal next year in trade for A.D. then he still doesn’t have a talented PG. Does he think he’s going to get Wall AND A.D.?
He definitely should have picked up an excellent PG this off season. There’s still time I guess.
Funny that after writing that I don’t see another guy like him in the East, I realize I wasn’t thinking about Butler and PJ Tucker but then see that both those guys went to the West;-)
This guy writes a good article here. Biased of course, but still the high praise is backed by stats …
People are right – Lonzo reminds a lot of Jason Kidd. Maybe even quicker in the lane. So many teams could use this guy. I think Magic is pretty happy. When’s the last time you saw anyone complete the pass he makes at 5:06 in?
FF to any part of this vid. As Barkley might say “Dany Ainge is rolling over in his grave.”
Wall signs many year extension with Wizards. Ainge lost his best chance. And he still has no PG. Clearly a mistake to not draft Fultz, Ball, DeAaron Fox or Dennis Smith.
Kyrie Irving has announced he wants to be traded, but only to certain teams none of which can return enough value for him. Boston can however.
Ainge made it clear in comments posted up above that “with our deep roster and players we will need to be doing some shuffling around. Once Free Agency is done it will be easier for us to do deals”.
The door just opened wide for him. Can something like this happen to help both teams while keeping LeBron in Cleveland? Isaiah Thomas + Tatum + Crowder for Irving + whatever-it-takes without trading Love?.I like this for both teams, especially since Tatum looks solid as hell and ready to play in the NBA.
Revisiting the above post/idea …
If there’s going to be a two team trade, the above seems most sensible to me. I doubt this will involve just two teams though, and in that case there’s no way to predict what will happen and no reason to think it will happen quickly. But that makes it even more interesting from a fan’s perspective, because there are so many permutations. A fan seems just as likely to propose a great trade as any set of three GMs in that case. The goal being to move all the pieces around until something works financially for every team. What makes a 3-team trade difficult though is 3 GMs have to be happy instead of just 2. But if one of the teams involved has tons of assets to throw around then a third GM is likely to hear some excellent proposals.
It seems to me that the most difficult “GM” to please will be the 2-headed monster of Cleveland: LeBron+newly appointed Koby Altman. With an Irving trade, Cleveland will be badly in need of a ball-handler/penetrator first, a perimeter defender second and a shooter third. There are rumors that Derrick Rose might sign, but how does this help unless the contract is a VERY small one? You get a distributor and ball-handler and a very average penetrator and defender. This is a backup player at best. Rose getting the bulk of the minutes at PG cannot help toward defeating the Warriors unless there is a massive overhaul to the team that happens quickly. In other words it’s a losing proposition.
If the Cavs want a fighting chance against the Warriors they cannot give Rose a big contract as their starter. They need something else in that position. Someone that can defend Curry. Beverly could do it. Who else?
It seems to me this is going to be the main issue for the Cavs. They don’t have to trade Irving, but if they decide to trade him how can they beat the Warriors without gaining someone that can put pressure on Curry and someone else that can shadow Durant? And even if they find those guys they’ll need a shooter/scorer to replace Irving. How the heck can the Cavs get all that? Some team will need to want Irving badly to make it all happen.
It’s so complicated that the only way to get my head around it is to start at the final result and ask what is the WORST result of an Irving trade that has potential to defeat the Warriors next year? It would need to look something like Beverly at PG, Butler at SG/SF and a great shooter that can also be at least an average defender. That last one seems impossible to me. Who would even be in the discussion? Danny Green? Wesley Matthews?
How badly would Popovich or Cuban want Irving? I wonder what LeBron would think about acquiring both Wes Matthews and Dallas’ awesome draft pick in Dennis Smith. Would Cuban give up those two for Irving?
I was thinking the same thing this morning that Boston would be the best (for Cleveland) trade destination for Kyrie. Irving for Thomas, Crowder, some 3rd player (to make salaries work) and a 1st round pick next year would be the best the Cavs could get from any team for Kyrie. I looked through a number of other trade scenarios on the ESPN trade machine and there is no other possible deal where the Cavs could get close to that return. But would Cavs make a trade with their chief rival in the Eastern Conference? I’m sure Cuban would do a Matthews/Smith for Irving deal, but Boston offers better players and a better draft pick (since they own Brooklyn’s pick).
Irving apparently made the trade request before the draft and asked that it not be made public. That means that either the Cavs or LBJ leaked it. It also makes a lot more sense now that the Cavs signed Rose to a 1-year, $2.1 million deal as he very likely will be the Cavs starting PG next year, which, as you said, will not help them to beat the Dubs (nor the Celtics for that matter). It’s looking a lot like the Cavs are a year away from being irrelevant in the Eastern Conference.
Heard an interesting discussion on the radio this morning about superstar NBA players and which ones can gracefully continue on as a supporting player on their team as they age (a la Duncan) or need to retire because they can’t stomach the thought of not being the main man anymore (a la Kobe). The thinking was that LeBron would be more in the Kobe category, whereas someone like Curry would be more like Duncan.
awoods – good to have you back!
great stuff as usual. let’s pick this apart a bit shall we?
1. Am convinced we now know the reason Ainge traded the #1 draft pick. He already had his PG in Irving. Not even considering Lonzo Ball (much less Fultz) never made sense from a smart and calculating guy in Ainge who simply doesn’t make big mistakes. His wager? That discussions had already begun with Irving and no other team in the league would be able to match what he can offer to the Cavs. Was David Griffin let go for this reason? I know hindsight is 20-20, but sometimes things don’t just fall into place – the shards actually seem to lift off the floor and perfectly re-assemble into the crystal bowl they were meant to be.
2. Why didn’t Irving name the Celtics as a possible destination? Because he didn’t have to! Instead he named a wish list to see if any of those teams could better Ainge’s offer. All those teams have something LeBron would want: Aldridge, Wiggins, Whiteside and Carmelo. Butler even if that’s possible. I think this was Kyrie’s (or rather his VERY SMART AGENT’s???) way of saying “you guys know you will do what you can to get me, and I want to play for you so what are you waiting for?”
3. Derrick Rose for $2.1 million. Awesome deal. A heist! Twice the player of a DWill. That’s a huge win right there. No way he starts though. Or even plays much until the playoffs. $2.1M shouts “bench!”.
4. Curry will last forever. Agreed. But LeBron will be around longer than anyone maybe ever as long as he’s healthy. From day one he changed one significant thing about how GREAT big men play: offensively he conserves his movement and minimizes the pounding on his feet and his energy output. I had never seen any great player do that before him and not since. I think his intent since he was a teenager was to take care of his body – whatever it takes to get through 48 minutes. More importantly, of anyone to ever play the game, what players would have the biggest impact just moseying along and passing and delegating? Here’s my short list …
Those other guys weren’t healthy. I think the argument from the radio is skewed because it leaves out key players due to injury only.
By the way, any radio show that makes any sort of comparison between LeBron and Kobe … maybe not a great radio show! Kobe = one of top 10 most selfish players ever in all of sports for much of his career. LeBron = opposite.
By the way … Kobe quit for health reasons.
LBJ is a great distributor on the court, but we’re talking attitude not style of play. Remember in the finals when LeBron said something to the effect of “I did my job, but my teammates didn’t.” Back when Durant won the MVP, LeBron said he played well enough to win the award, but his teammates didn’t. LeBron for years has made passive-aggressive comments about teammates. Could you ever see Curry, Durant, or Duncan making comments like LeBron has about teammates?
The Cavs are the best team in the East with LBJ and Kyrie, yet Kyrie feels the need to get out now even though LeBron is likely to be gone next season. Apparently, he wanted to leave after the championship last year, but stuck around probably because he realized it wouldn’t look good to demand a trade after winning the championship. Now though, he doesn’t want to spend another day with LeBron. When Love was traded to the Cavs, Chris Bosh noted that Love would have to adapt his game to LeBron because LeBron would do things his way. Every once in awhile, we would see Kyrie become a ball hog on the court and it seems apparent now that he’s been chafing under LeBron’s reins. LeBron is the best player in basketball, so yeah, you would expect the team to revolve around him, but apparently his habit of calling out teammates for not living up to his expectations has left things frosty on his teams.
So LeBron could easily be a good player for a long time yet, but he is willing to be a player on a team that revolves around someone else? That’s where the comparison to Kobe comes in. Yes, Kobe quit for health reasons, but he could have continued playing if he was willing to play less minutes and to be a secondary player. He was not willing to be that kind of player. We’ll see of LeBron can be that type of player.
That being said, I would guess that LeBron sticks around long enough to break the all-time scoring mark. My guess is that is his long-term goal. Only injuries would prevent him from getting there.
If you are right about Ainge passing up Fultz/Ball because he thinks he will get Irving, then Ainge is a genius. I didn’t think he did enough this off-season to get to a championship level, but Irving would definitely put them there.
No disagreements! At all!!
However I wonder if cementing his presence in the top 3 will keep him going . Consider this ..
– prospect of 3 more titles if he plays another 7-9 years
– always the leader. always one of the most intelligent leaders in sports history. won’t matter what age. how does this fact help cement his legacy? how does it help win him titles? how does it force GMs to consider picking up his contract if he’s still cruising at 39 yrs old?
-dude has a LOT of relationships. big difference from the earlier greats. who in the NBA in 4-7 years still won’t want to play with LeBron if it means winning?
Regardless, I think the main point I made will be the deciding factor: even at 41 and if healthy he can mosey through the game, still be a leader, delegator and distributor, and still win games and teach others. I just think it will be so easy for him at that age …
and why wouldn’t he soften up and be easier to play with?
That is the question. Will he soften, be less demanding, and allow someone else to be the focus of the team when he no longer can do so? Or will he remain insufferable as a teammate if the team doesn’t live up to his expectations. When he played on Team USA, he seemed fine with letting others be the BMOC, but NBA salary cap rules prevent him from playing on a team full of superstars (Warriors notwithstanding). I think career goals will keep him going and there will always be GMs willing to sign him. Can he win another championship? If other superstars in their prime will play with him, possibly. But will another superstar do what Durant did and sign for millions under market value to play with him, so that they can fit a bunch of superstars on one team? We’ll see. I expect to see the Lakers try to do just that next summer and maybe having a superstar in charge of the team like Magic will get LBJ to adjust the way he deals with teammates.
I think something happens to players when their skills wane. And to little boys when they mature. I thought I saw some “softening up” of Kobe, but then his team was so horrible that he probably was still the best player on it. I know LeBron is a far cry from Tim Duncan – we can’t make that comparison wrt personalities. But I think it’s very possible LeBron stays and then quits for similar reasons: as long as he can benefit his team he might keep going. I think the guy is smart enough to know his ego will need to step aside if he wants to help a team win.
I listened to Rick Mahorn yesterday on this subject. He didn’t care at all. He said he’d have no issues at all playing with LeBron. Did Wade have issues? I don’t remember Bosh saying anything negative when they were together. I think the worst thing I heard from other players before this week was something Durant said a couple years ago about thinking that he himself was the best player in the world. Something like that. I don’t really see how this Kyrie thing is an issue except for Kyrie. He’s unhappy in Cleveland now and he probably wasn’t that happy before LeBron got there. And he’s a great player approaching his prime! Wade wasn’t that. Nor Bosh. At least they weren’t in the same category that Kyrie is in now.
But of course I don’t know. A deciding factor might be that he has so much success by the age of 38 that there’s no reason for it. He’s a family and community guy – he’ll probably be ready to start a business or get into politics? I’m trying to remember why Battier left the game. There may be some similarities there.
OK. Now for some fun. A different direction that doesn’t even seem improbable to me: A Kyrie+LeBron conspiracy!
I hear all the time about LeBron’s “ulterior motives” wrt tweets and other public comments. And about his social media savvy. And now we’re hearing no animosity at all from Irving towards LeBron. At least I haven’t yet. Just seems to be some crazy speculation about the two of them not getting along. I’m sure they’re not best friends, but how about this scenario instead …
All the speculation about LeBron jumping ship next year is all over the news. One reason: LeBron seems to be dropping hints that he might and offering no assurance that he won’t. Also, both he and Kyrie know how difficult it will be to beat the Warriors again. Even if they do it next year SOMEHOW is there any reason to think they can do it again? In other words, the 2017+ Cleveland Cavs are DONE. At least it looks that way to everyone, and very likely to Kyrie and LeBron as well. So in these years of social media etc, why not use it as a tool to “start” something that could land both players elsewhere and on winning teams?
Maybe the plan goes exactly as seems most obvious: LeBron waits to see what he can get for Kyrie. I think we’re all in agreement that the return will be at LEAST I.T. + Crowder. I’ve heard I.T. + crowder + rozier might work. I think that’s a better team than the current Cavs. I also think Dennis Smith + Wes Matthews is a better team.
LeBron and Kyrie won a title together. I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to have some fun with a scenario which really isn’t bad for them, the Cavs or the league. LeBron has one year (actually probably just a month or two) to put together a Cavs team that can contend. I think he sees this as an opportunity to get better. Maybe it’s the only opportunity. If it doesn’t work and the Cavs don’t show him an excellent reason to stay then he probably leaves next summer for a better chance to win elsewhere. It’s obvious that he likes the Lakers and Ball. So why not?
And the whole thing about LeBron “beating [Kyrie’s] ass” …
If the world thinks LeBron and Kyrie can’t get along then teams might consider it to be inevitable that Kyrie moves on sooner rather than later. So, some urgency to do a deal now for everyone?
I don’t think this scenario is far fetched or even brilliant. Agents can be smart and conniving as can LeBron. It seems to me the likelihood of something like this being at least discussed is very high.
The whole “beating Kyrie’s ass” thing came from Stephen A. Smith, so take it with a huge grain of salt.
I think this is mostly a Cavs ownership issue. I don’t think either LeBron or Kyrie like Dan Gilbert and think he has hamstrung the team from getting better by handing out terrible contracts to Thompson, Smith, and Shumpert (and Frye to a lesser extent). Part of that is LeBron’s fault, for publicly supporting those players when free agency loomed for them. However, Gilbert still should not have overpaid for them.
Could LBJ and Kyrie be colluding to both get out of town? Possibly. I think it is more likely that Kyrie knows that LeBron will be leaving next summer and doesn’t want to get stuck with a crappy team at that point.
The IT, Crowder, & Rozer for Irving trade you mentioned would work and presumably the Cavs would want a draft pick as well. Matthews & Smith also works The new rumor today is that the T-Wolves are looking into a deal where they would trade Wiggins for Irving. Wiggins is a free agent next year so maybe they think he might leave. A deal of Wiggins, Aldrich, and Tyus Jones (and presumably a pick) for Irving would work. Of course, that would mean that the T-Wolves shouldn’t have signed Jeff Teague, but he’d make a good 6th man.
That would leave the Cavs without a PG. Teague would need to be involved, or …
latest I hear is that Phoenix is involved. Bledsoe aint NO championship PG though so maybe a huge mistake for the Cavs. But Bledsoe could be a good 3rd wheel in Minne-land.
Teague as a 6th man. That comment just now sunk in. I think you’re right!
Teague cannot be traded until December 15th (free agents who sign a contract can’t be traded until then), so he wouldn’t be involved if trade happens now. Cleveland has both Rose and Jose Calderon on their roster. Neither is real good anymore, but they could hold down the position. LeBron would be main ball handler anyway.
Hard to see how Phoenix could deal for Kyrie. They’ve already said they won’t trade Josh Jackson. Cavs probably don’t want Bledsoe or Chandler. Cavs might be interested in Booker and Bender, but would the Suns give both up (someone like Dudley would have to be included as well to make the salaries match up)? Maybe a 3-team deal where Booker or Bender goes to the Cavs and Bledsoe goes to the 3rd team with Kyrie coming to the Suns (other players would have to be involved. Let me see if I can find one…
OK, so after some playing around with the Trade Machine, this works:
Cleveland gets Carmelo from Knicks and Booker from Suns
Phoenix gets Kyrie from Cavs and Kyle O’Quinn from Knicks (included to fit salary requirements)
Knicks get Bledsoe from Suns and JR Smith from Cavs
Possibly add some draft picks to make teams happy.
Knicks are in desperate need of a PG to keep the position warm until French rookie Frank Ntilikina is ready. They want to get rid of Carmelo and getting Smith gives them some scoring punch to make up for Carmelo leaving.
Cavs get Carmelo to see if that will keep LeBron happy (Carmelo has to approve any trade, but he and LeBron are buds) and Booker makes for a better SG than Smith or Shumpert.
Suns get the big prize Kyrie and get to see what he can do with young core of Jackson, Bender and Len.
I’m sure one of those teams wouldn’t agree to the deal, probably the Knicks. If they are going to trade Carmelo, I’m sure they’d prefer to get Irving instead.
IF that deal were to happen, the Cavs could run one of these line-ups:
PG – LeBron
SG – Booker
SF – Carmelo
PF – Love
C – Thompson
PG – Rose
SG – Booker
SF – LeBron
PF – Anthony
C – Love
They’d be in the hunt for the Eastern Conference championship with that squad.
Booker is arguably a top 3 shooter in the NBA. Bledsoe and Booker for Irving is a lot, but possibly within reason keeping in mind that Booker will be signing for an enormous contract when it comes up.
If you were Dan Gilbert … how to proceed? Seems that there are only two avenues of thinking. What would be a third?
1. Gilbert should try to please LeBron. in order to keep him from leaving. LeBron seems likely to leave at the end of next season. “Seems likely” as in not stating otherwise and dropping tweeting-hints and sitting right at courtside in Vegas to watch Lonzo when other NBA players were at the NBA awards ceremony that night. According to some it’s more blatant than this – LeBron has stated a desire to play in L.A.
2. Gilbert should do what’s best for the future of the Cavs regardless of LeBron’s presence. He can get young talent as well as draft picks and other assets now.
Hard to know where Gilbert stands. Considering the Warriors look unstoppable for now, and that LeBron could leave the Cavs in shambles, just seems to make sense to start a rebuild asap. Kyrie could always get hurt. Why not trade him now at the top of his game?
Isaiah Thomas is 28 yrs old
Jae Crowder is 27 yrs old
Terry Rozier is 23
Jaylen Brown is 20
Celtics have Nets 1st round pick
How can any other team match all these assets, while at the same time pleasing LeBron now and preparing for the future? That #1 pick seems huge. Doesn’t it?
I absolutely agree. Best thing for the Cavs to do is to plan for their post-LeBron future so trading Kyrie for the best deal they can get is the smart thing. Boston offers the most assets, but not sure Cleveland will want to make the Celtics better when they will have another shot at the finals next year with or without Kyrie. Also, Kyrie reportedly would like to be traded to the Knicks (near his hometown). If the Knicks are interested, the could deal Carmelo and first round pick PG Frank Ntilikina for Kyrie and Smith or Shumpert. Kyrie & Porzingis are nice building block starts for the Knicks and Ntikilina could be the PG of the future for the Cavs.
ESPN is reporting that 6 teams (Spurs, Clips, Suns, T-Wolves, Knicks, and Heat) have made offers for Kyrie and that about 14 others have made inquiries to the Cavs about him. Reportedly, the Heat offered Dragic and Justice Winslow, although the Heat are denying that. While the Cavs might be interested in Winslow as a building block, not sure they would be interested in a 30-year-old Dragic.
As for the other teams who have reportedly made offers…
Assuming the Spurs won’t be trading Leonard, I really don’t see anyone else they could offer that the Cavs would really be interested in as the Spurs lack young studs.
The Clips also don’t really have anyone that they could trade now that the Cavs would be interested in. Clips are restricted from trading Teodosic, Gallinari, or Griffin until December or January, so that leaves only Jordan as a tradeable asset and as good as he is, he’ll turn 30 next year, so not young anymore.
We’ve already talked about potential a Suns deal revolving around Booker and/or Bledsoe and a T-Pups deals that would potentially include Wiggins. The only way a Knicks deal works is if Carmelo comes back to the Cavs in the deal and I’m not sure if the Cavs really want that even if LeBron does.
With potentially 20 teams looking into a potential trade, it would behoove the Cavs to sit back and sift through offers slowly and see if they can get some teams to keep upping the ante. Still painfully clear though that the Cavs can’t get as much from any other team as they could from the Celtics.
More on all this later, but how is it that the Heat are being reported as “involved” and the Celtics are not? Isn’t the absence of the Celtics in all these reports a pretty clear indicator that they must be involved somehow?
Kyrie Irving is a PG
Celtics have no PG every other team in the league does have a PG. Even the Cavs have one in LeBron.
So, is there some consensus that goes like “Ainge doesn’t agree with everyone who thinks that you NEED a shooting PG to compete in today’s game?”
How can Ainge NOT be considering this trade? I don’t see how it’s possible that he’s not thinking hard about making the best offer possible. WHAT ELSE WILL HE DO WITH ALL THOSE FORWARDS?
“So far, these are among the teams who’ve made offers to the Cavaliers for Irving, league sources tell ESPN: The San Antonio Spurs, LA Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and Miami Heat,” Adrian Wojnarowski wrote for the Worldwide Leader on Friday. “There were approximately 20 teams that inquired with Cleveland upon the news of Irving’s trade request, league sources said, but far fewer have registered legitimate proposals. More loom in the shadows, and many simply don’t have the assets to make a deal happen.”
There is some comic relief in this I think. What exactly constitutes a ‘ registered legitimate proposal’ and how is a ‘ registered legitimate proposal’ more relevant than a GM telling Dan Gilbert “get in touch with me when you’re serious about trading Irving”.
What exactly is the story here? …
1. only 6 teams are interested?
2. only 6 teams have assets to trade?
3. only 6 teams feel they will benefit from Irving?
4. The Cavs are having trouble deciding which of the 6 teams to deal with?
Bull. There is no chance other teams aren’t interested A LOT. Boston, Charlotte, Utah, Detroit, Milwaukee, etc etc etc.
So what does this story look like if we assume at least a few other GMs have called to tell Gilbert “get in touch with me when you’re serious about trading Irving”.
Would Gilbert do a trade without making that call?
I’m loving life if I’m Gilbert. I get to be king fantasy player of the year. But for real this time. And I have as much time as I like to make a decision. Almost. Can’t take a chance that Irving gets hurt. So when does Gilbert start returning those phone calls? I think that’s the real story here. That, and whether Phoenix wants to trade Josh Jackson.
Bizarre comment about Sports Illustrated’s Celtics-Cavs trade which is Irving for IT, Crowder and draft pick: “The Earth, no matter what shape it might be, will collapse in on itself if this completely insane but also completely perfect trade happens.”
The article continues to explain how this trade makes nothing but sense. No issues with it whatsoever, and the rest of the article hints that this is clearly the Cav’s best option.
Why is it “insane”?
I just came here to post the link to that SI article. I think the reason it is considered “insane” is that it make the Cavs’ chief Eastern Conference rival better. However, what is more insane to me is not taking the best deal out there as Gilbert has to have pieces to make the team better after LBJ leaves next year. Also, it would be hugely hypocritical of Gilbert not to make the deal after he said that the Pacers would have gotten more for Paul George if the Pacers had made the Cavs deal instead of the Thunder deal, implying that the Pacers did not want to make a division rival better.
The fact that the Celtics were not mentioned as having made an offer for Irving suggests to me that Ainge does a better job at preventing leaks from his office than other GMs. Whether or not a “registered legitimate proposal” has been made, you know Ainge has inquired.
The fragile egos and (apparent) weak-mindedness of people in power. I agree – there are many people in Gilbert’s position who are driven largely by this idea of NOT appearing stupid so they never take chances. And maybe even more who have “advisers” whispering dangers of doing this or that.
Let History and statistical arguments be the guide. The future will almost never be the thing you’re afraid of. If the Celtics don’t get Irving they get someone else: Boogie Cousins or A.D. maybe. Or maybe Kyrie goes to the Suns for 3 years and then winds up in Chicago or Detroit. Or ….
Maybe I.T. absolutely loves playing with LeBron James! Obviously the fans will love him – if he doesn’t have more injuries. He’ll probably score more than last year, and may even lead the league in scoring.
Heck. Ask Ainge for too much. Way too much and see what you get back.
complete bullshit. no way thibs is passing up irving for wiggins. something is afoot!
Which brings the Cavs full circle to how they got into this mess. Remember that they traded Wiggins after drafting him with the top pick 3 years ago for Kevin Love. Cavs would not be in their salary cap hell right now if they had a 22-year-old Wiggins and his $7.5 million salary on the books instead of a 28-year-old Love and his $22.5 million salary. Wiggins has also averaged more PPG than Love since the trade. There was a reason why Wiggins was the top pick. Wiggins will get a huge pay increase after next season, but if the Cavs had held onto him in the first place, they would have his Bird rights and could go over the cap to sign him. And maybe with Wiggins on the roster, the Cavs don’t make the trade with the Knicks that brings in Smith and Shumpert and instead sign or trade for some mid-priced veteran big man. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with have Love on their roster, simply that his salary, along with big salaries being paid to LBJ and Kyrie, has hamstrung the Cavs in what they can do. Having a far cheaper Wiggins would have given them some cap flexibility while still having a really good player on the roster.
Apparently Suns have offered Bledsoe, Bender and the Miami Heat’s 1st round pick next year (which they got in Dragic deal) for Kyrie. Still no rumors on the Celtics being involved in the Kyrie sweepstakes.
or spurs counter;-)
or milwaukee. detroit. dallas. etc.
Suns are playing this very well. I’m surprised at how well. Hard to imagine it’s going on without Ainge and the Colangelos being involved somehow as well.
Detroit is now starting to show interest. Tobias Harris would be a great fit for the Cavs, Avery Bradley + Tobias Harris + whatever for Irving makes a lot of sense.
I hear that Dan Gilbert has many $$ interests in Detroit.
Stanley Johnson should be on the Cavs. Can Bledsoe end up there as well? Three team trade with Irving ending up in Detroit alongside Bradley? Nice combo!
great stuff. love what Elhassan brings. big circle around that guy.
Griffin implies Celtics were on Irving’s list two days ago. Since then lots of talk about a Celtics trade. Seems very interesting that Ainge hasn’t quashed the chatter. As long as that’s out there, you allow I.T. to squirm and maybe go social media. Why allow that?
Just within the last week most of the chatter I read/hear online and on Sirius NBA channel involves a Celtics trade, but for the first time I hear Tatum’s name coming up and again NO refutation from the Celtics. I also hear that “GMs are on vacation” as a reason that we’re not hearing anything at all right now. As if the reason why Ainge isn’t refuting a possible Irving trade is that he’s away and not concerned that some of his players might be wondering where they’ll be at the start of the season.
06/19 – David Griffin “leaves”
06/19 – Celtics trade number 1 pick for what we discover later is Tatum
Same day +/- a very small amount of time. Huh! Possible that Griffin (and LeBron?) “brokered” a deal with Ainge before Griffin was let go? Is Tatum LeBron’s choice? To the chagrin of Gilbert, who may be ultra-sensitive to the idea that Irving and LeBron are confiding in others and not him?
So … if Tatum is available and LeBron likes him as a teammate, it seems possible that there may be no need to trade I.T. – In fact a trade of Smart and Tatum by itself might be enough to sway Gilbert. Throw in a 1st round pick next year and that trade is probably the best return on Irving’s value possible.
What I’ve been hearing/reading is that other teams don’t want to give up their young superstars or potential superstars for Kyrie. So Knicks won’t trade Porzingis. Suns won’t trade Jackson. And Celts won’t trade Tatum. Given the fail rate for rookies, if I were the Suns or Celts, I’d give up Jackson or Tatum in a deal for Kyrie in a heartbeat. Kyrie is a known superstar commodity who is still very young. As good as Jackson or Tatum look, you never know. Take the sure thing.
I don’t buy LeBron and Griffin already having brokered a deal with the Celtics that would include Tatum which Gilbert shut down by firing Griffin (OK, not re-signing Griffin). If LBJ is planning on leaving after next season, why would he care to handpick young talent to bring into the Cavs?
The trade speculation I liked the best and which would be vintage Dan Gilbert is to trade Kyrie to the Lakers as a “cockblock” to LBJ signing there next summer. I could totally see Gilbert doing that. Of course, the question is what would the Cavs get back in that deal. Ingram and Clarkson? Randle? Nance? Nothing seems adequate for Kyrie and Lakers don’t have a 1st round pick next year to give. However, a Ball and Irving backcourt would be deadly. Both can handle the ball and Ball would be all too willing to let Kyrie take the big shots. This won’t happen, but if it did, it would be a big giant F-U to LeBron from Gilbert.
Saw this today and got a good laugh.
I don’t know if you know the source material (Eminem song called “Stan”), but it is a good parody of the Cavs situation.
Interesting point about trading Irving to the Lakers, but why would Lakers do that when the way to nurture Lonzo is to have the ball in his hands 80+% of the time? Agreed it would be a dynamic backcourt offensively. Defensively weak though I think.
I haven’t heard any strong words one way or the other from the Celtics about anything. My comment about Tatum is the result of LeBron’s “hand-picking” of Shabazz Napier for the Heat 2-3 years ago. In this case, if LeBron is trying to build a team worthy of his attention then maybe he’ll stay. If he likes Tatum and Tatum works out then maybe he’ll stay.
With all the LeBron speculation one point seems to be rarely if ever expressed: even if he leaves Cleveland it doesn’t have to be next year. He can sign a 1 year contract with Cleveland next summer. If I was LeBron that’s how I’d be thinking: put together the best team now with or without Kyrie and if there’s promise then stick around through at least 2018-2019. If he goes to Lakers for 18-19 (for example) I see no reason to think that team is more likely to win a championship than Cleveland with or without Kyrie. No matter what, the Lakers will still be 2 years away and LeBron isn’t getting any younger.
To your other point, Jackson is completely unproven. I have no idea why the Suns wouldn’t trade him for Irving. I’m pretty sure they will, but are just taking their time. If they say they’re willing to trade him, and nothing comes of it … maybe not the best way to start things off with him.
But I have no idea how Bledsoe and Jackson make Cleveland a better team than Kyrie plus whatever they’ll need to give up.
this is new. very revealing …
Good insights on what caused the Kyrie situation in Cleveland. There was a suggestion that Griffin may have leaked the original trade to Kyrie. If he did, that was a big slap in the face to the Cavs for letting him go.
Are you implying that Kyrie wants out even more because Griffin was let go?
I’m a little slow on the uptake here. I think it all falls into place now: Kyrie thought LeBron started all this. He thought LeBron was trying to get rid of him behind his back. THAT’S why Kyrie is asking for a trade!
So … maybe this whole thing will end as soon as LeBron apologizes? Or is it too late for that.
Hey, I’m firmly on Kyrie’s side now AS SHOULD BE DAN GILBERT. This makes it much harder for him to decide where to ship Kyrie off to. Will Gilbert feel constrained to trade only with teams listed by Kyrie? Does that mean no Phoenix???
What a mess.
I’m also now more convinced than ever that the Celtics were involved and LeBron asked for Tatum. Furthermore, if LeBron liked the idea of Bledsoe and George then how is I.T. + Tatum + (Smart or Crowder or an awesome draft pick) not equally as enticing?
It’s official, Celtics and Cavs talking an Isaiah for Kyrie deal (with other goodies also involved).
I figure Ainge either was just waiting to strike after the Cavs were underwhelmed by other offers or he told the Cavs early on what he was willing to do and told them go ahead and shop Kyrie around and see if they could get a better offer, knowing that they would be unable to do so.
Well … i’m not really THAT good, but pretty eerie to look at the comments at very top.
So I guess Ainge really DID want Tatum??? I don’t see it, unless it was insurance in case the Kyrie deal didn’t go through. With Hayward on that roster, sure seems that Josh Jackson is a better fit now that you lose Crowder.
Was Ainge really not able to convince Jackson to come in for a workout? Was there really not enough time?
And will Ainge now try to trade with the Suns for Jackson? I like Tatum better on the Suns anyhow, and Jackson on the Celtics.
In any case, I don’t expect LeBron to go anywhere next year. The Cavs will give the Warriors all they can handle. I fully expect I.T. to be the leading scorer this year.
In between the time I posted the link to the story and now, the trade got completed. That’s a pretty nice haul for the Cavs. They get a PG who doesn’t need the ball in his hands, which meshes well with LeBron. Crowder, who’s a top notch defender and can play SG for now and take over for LeBron at SF if he leaves after next year. Zizic hasn’t played in the NBA yet, but was a stud in the Euro leagues and could replace Tristan Thompson at center. And they also get the Nets unprotected #1 pick next year, which could easily be a top 3 pick. That is quite the haul. Of course, we’ve been saying all along that the Celtics could offer the most. Even if IT and LeBron leave next summer, the Cavs will still have some good pieces.
As for the Celtics, with Kyrie at PG, Horford at C, and some combination of Smart, Hayward, Tatum and Brown at SG/SF/PF, they have a great team that is young (except for Horford) and that is signed beyond next year (except for Smart).
Gotta figure that the Cavs are the still the Eastern Conference favorite next year, but Celtics should meet them again in the Eastern Conference finals.
Actually backing this up …. it all makes sense when considering that not only is this trade for LeBron it’s also very likely BY LeBron …
Ainge: OK Bron Bron – you’re on. You got IT. What else you need?
LBJ: Yo Danny. Throw in Tatum with Jae and you got yourself a deal.
Ainge: Aint happening. Choose a player Bron.
LBJ: Well, I want to beat the Dubs THIS year. Tatum isn’t ready. Jae it is!
Ainge: Want some fries (er… Nets draft pick) with that?
LBJ: Hell ya! Jumbo size!
I was reminded on sportsradio while driving home that Kevin Love and Isaiah Thomas have a history together on AAU teams. In high school, Thomas used to come stay at Love’s house on weekends for games. Cavs are certainly more interesting now.
It is being reported today that before the Cavs finalized the deal with the Celtics, they called the Dubs to see if they might be interested in a Kyrie for Klay deal. The Dubs politely declined and then probably exploded in laughs as soon as they hung up the phone.
I’m still thinking about the decision to take Tatum. With such a deep draft. The confidence that Ainge had about him being the guy for his team. Let’s assume he was already “fairly” confident that Irving was on his way to Boston …
He couldn’t have been sure about Hayward yet. OK, so that’s an excellent reason to select Tatum right there. But let’s say he gave it a 50% chance he would sign Hayward. And as far as he knew, Josh Jackson doesn’t want to be in Boston. He needs to pick someone. Someone solid …
Yep. Tatum makes the most sense. Insurance policy in case things don’t work out. Never mind!!
So just seeing now that my last several comments say that they are awaiting moderation. Looks like it is because I started using amwoods instead of awoods.
In any event, heard that Dwyane Wade is looking for a buyout in Chicago so that he can go play with LeBron in Cleveland (where he’d likely be only able to sign for a mid-level exception of around $6 mil per year). While Chicago seems open to buying him out, they don’t want to pay him his contract amount (nearly $24 mil) less what he can get for the mid-level exception. If Wade wants out so bad, they want him to agree to take a good deal less than $18 mil. If they agree to some kind of buy out, expect to see him in a Cavs uniform next year.
There were reports out of Boston today that the Celtics were talking to the Dubs about a deal for Klay Thompson. The Dubs quickly laughed off those reports. I don’t see anyone on the Celtics roster that they would be willing to trade (i.e., not Irving, Hayward, and probably Tatum) that the Dubs would even want. So doubtful that there was any legitimacy to the original reports. Dubs have Klay locked up for 2 more years at reasonable (less than $19 mil per year) money, so even if they think he will bolt when he becomes a free agent, there’s no reason to look to trade him this year.
Hey A. Sorry bout that. Want me to allow the amwoods’ comments?
I’m sure the Dubs considered Hayward if he was offered.No idea why Ainge would offer Hayward for Klay though. And I don’t see why either team would want to risk swapping those two, but no question the idea was taken seriously if it was ever proposed.
I doubt the Dubs would have been interested in a Thompson for Hayward deal. Thompson is a better defender and a better shooter and will cost $12 million less than Hayward over the next 2 years. On Boston’s end, they can’t trade a recently signed free agent until mid-December, so they couldn’t offer him anyway right now. They also can’t trade Kyrie until mid-October, so they couldn’t offer him either, not that the Dubs would have taken Kyrie off the Celts’ hands for Klay after already turning the Cavs down on that deal. So that leaves Horford, who the Dubs would be uninterested in (because of his huge salary and declining skills), or Tatum, Smart, and/or Brown. All of them pale in comparison to Klay. So gotta think the report was false or the Dubs hung up the phone and had a long, hearty laugh.
And sure, go ahead and allow amwoods comments. That’s what I use for most on-line stuff in some form.
On the one hand, I agree these two players are close in terms of their non-monetary value to a team, depending on who that team is. On the other Hayward is way more versatile than Thompson. The experience leading a team alone sets him way way above Thompson in that respect. The question for each team is how to use him. I think he’d be used by the Dubs in a very similar way that Thompson is currently used on OFFENSE. In other words, your offense goes through curry first, Durant second and a group of other guys third. Hayward would be one of those other guys, and has very similar skills to Iggy. Very similar. So there’s no real need there, and of course you lose on the defensive side somewhat. Hayward’s no slouch, so it’s not like he’d be a liability but yes – I don’t see any real need for the Dubs to do that deal but I do think they’d consider it because well … Iggy won’t be around much longer.
Like you I don’t see anyone but Hayward garnering interest from G.S. for Klay.I definitely don’t think Tatum “pales” in any way but he’s completely unproven. I’m guessing that’s what you meant. I could definitely see a Klay for Tatum + Jaylen Brown thing though. But not now. Not while the Dubs are poised for an awesome run for the next 3-5 years.
From the Celtics POV I don’t know. Possible the Hayward choice was for the versatility. Lose him for Klay and you improve your shooting measurably, and replace the on-ball defense lost in the Bradley trade. But with Irving’s not-so-versatile game on BOTH ends, I think you need that Point Forward to not only help get you the best shot on every possession but the leadership that no one else currently has on the Celtics. Irving is no leader. At least not yet.
A. I can’t get into my account right now – laptop issues. I’ll definitely allow those comments later when I can get in. Sorry bout that.
No worries. I’m on the road for much of the next 10 days anyway, so I won’t be keeping up with the news or posting about it for awhile.
So even on the road, I heard that Isaiah Thomas may have failed his physical with the Cavs, so the Kyrie deal is not officially done yet. Apparently they were supposed to talk with the Celts this weekend about additional compensation. Apparently they were going to inquire about getting Tatum or Brown into the deal. Not sure if that is supposed to be in addition to the current players or in place of one or more of the current players in the deal. That’s going to get ugly. If I’m the Celtics, I might say F-U to the Cavs and walk from the deal. None of the other deals were even close to being that good for the Cavs.
So, of course none of us know what’s going on but if reports are correct I think the Cavs are playing this very smartly. Do as much as you can to get what you want. Cavs have the upper hand: if Ainge kills the trade then he’s got a mess on his hands with unhappy Crowder and IT.
I still can’t ignore that Tatum pick. If it was insurance then it was never a guy they wanted at any cost. Why not forget the Brooklyn pick and throw in Tatum? I think this was the plan all along, and maybe things are shaking out this way so Ainge doesn’t look like an idiot by putting Tatum in with the first deal. Doing that makes it look like you drafted Tatum for the Cavs! (which, as you know is exactly what I think they did;-)
So the deal is done. I think I’m understanding the reluctance to part with Tatum and Jaylen Brown: a draft pick doesn’t have an opportunity to prove itself in the NBA. But one of these guys does. So, as tantalizing as that Brooklyn pick seems, there’s a good chance that one of those two youngsters shines this year. A trade including the better of the two has more weight than if it included the Brooklyn draft pick instead.
Unless that pick is #1. But you can’t bet on it being #1.
Yeah, looks like the Celts threw in a 2020 2nd round pick to finalize the deal. A 2nd round pick three years from now isn’t very valuable, so they didn’t give much extra.
Knicks trade Carmelo to the Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a 2nd round pick. That isn’t even close to value for the Knicks, which means they really wanted him off their roster. Now the Thunder have a big 3 of Westbrook, George, and Carmelo and they’ve still got Steven Adams to play center. Its still not good enough to beat the Dubs, but its a formidable group.
Will Westbrook play better defense? I know Melo won’t.
I just don’t see Melo looking healthy for long stretches, much less crashing the boards. I’m pretty excited to see George’s contributions though. And Roberson can stay on the floor longer now with the extra offense.
Adams could benefit greatly – he’s awesome when he’s mixing it up.
I’m going to beat you to this one: Wade signs with Cavs after buyout.
Beat you to it because it hasn’t happened. Yet;-)
Umm, scroll back up to my comment on August 25th about Wade looking for a buyout so he can sign with the Cavs. LOL!
of course! word was out that this was the likely plan since the butler trade. since July.
“ESPN’s Brian Windhorst subsequently said in an NBA on ESPN Radio interview Thursday night that both Anthony and the Bulls’ Dwyane Wade are candidates to sign with the Cavaliers in free agency this summer if they can secure buyouts from Chicago and New York, respectively.” -06/26/2017
I think you missed the point of my post A. It wasn’t “Wade MIGHT sign with Cavs after buyout.”
That part has been clear for quite some time. I was simply trying to jump the gun on YOUR good reporting – not letting you steal more of my thunder as it were.
I think Frank Isola is not only an ass, but a sports guy without much sports knowledge. The least kind of sports guy IMO. And yet somehow today he had me wondering if Wade might sign with OKC. I think he said something like “he’d be the main guy there”.
Of course that’s ridiculous – a clear betrayal of his lack of NBA knowledge, but it got me thinking. If Wade was in OKC who does the team want to take over the game in the last 2 minutes. The whole team. What do they want?
They don’t want Melo. They don’t want Westbrook. So it’s George or Wade. Easy call.
Now in Cleveland who does the team want taking that last shot.
Or none. My guess is no consensus in Cleveland. Will Wade have the confidence of his team to take over in the last 120 secs if he’s feeling it?
Just wondering what the answer is from Wade’s point of view.
Training camp started Monday and Wiggins apparently hasn’t signed the extension.
Clearly the mind of a smart agent or confidant or whoever is helping him.
Wolves are all set with Butler who will always be a much better version of the same player. Whoever is advising Wiggins must realize this. So, as you alluded to, Wiggins should decide on a 3 year deal and expect to be traded. Possibly even before the beginning of the 18-19 season.
Given the off-seasons that the Thunder and Rockets have had, have they moved above the Spurs in the Western Conference? I look at the Spurs and they’ve got Leonard in his prime, but most of their other big names are on the downside of their career. Parker is 35; Aldridge is 34; Gasol is 37; Ginobili is 40. They’re big off-season signing was Rudy Gay, who is 31. Green and Mills are good, but hardly difference makers. I think we are starting to see the beginning of the end of the Spurs dynasty. I think both the Rockets and Thunder finish ahead of them this year.
More than happy to take that bet. And will also wager that Leonard/Durant finish 1-2 in some order as MVP candidates. Injuries withstanding.
Really doubt this thigh injury is much worth talking about.
I think the loss of Beverly will hurt more than the Rockets lead on.
OKC … I’ve never heard so much hype since Barkley and Drexler joined Houston in 95. Unless Melo actively starts crashing the boards and then stays healthy enough to continue crashing the boards I don’t see him adding much outside of several spectacular scoring games.
uhh … maybe i’ll change my mind on this;-) Completely forgot that the Rockets picked up PJ Tucker and am probably not giving Capella the respect he deserves. so hold that bet!
A more fun bet will be who finishes ahead of the other in the standings: OKC or Timberwolves.
BTW – I assume you saw that the Sixers agreed with you and gave Embiid a max contract, albeit one that gives them out should he suffer some specific injuries (likely related to his past foot injuries). I like Embiid, but to me that is too risky for a guy with only 31 NBA games under his belt.
I’ve been listening to some pretty good discussions on the Embiid signing. The one I like is that if they don’t sign him now but give him the opportunity to garner interest from other teams then Sixers will simply match. So why not do that since he clearly loves Philly and his guys? Because even if he plays only 45 games this year due to some other nagging injuries they will still pay him and likely the same amount that his contract provisions allow given his new injury status.
So they take a chance here. If that chance (on paper) is something like $70M vs. $40M over 5 years if they don’t sign him now then you start to ask yourself, “Is it really worth that $6M per year to make the ‘best’ financial decision for our team?”
Obviously a lot of owners and GMs would say no. But IMO Embiid is the best player in since LeBron and Durant. Better than Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Harden, Curry and Kawhi. I like him better than Duncan in fact, not to mention Kobe.
$6M per year risk to ensure you make that guy happy and driven (not that he isn’t already). Won’t say that’s a bargain but sometimes you pay just because you can.
I’m amazed by what I see in this video. To put in perspective, Olajuwon wasn’t close to having such a complete game so early in his career. There are probably 20 moments to freeze-frame this vid and say “wow – among the best ever” but I’ll pick just one. As outstanding as the footwork is, the kid has a knowledge of how to use his body unlike any big man his age except for the greats of the greats. I’m guessing Bill Russell would have been in this category early in his career. I don’t think Duncan was as poised (that’s saying a lot!). I know Shaq wasn’t. Maybe Wilt. Anyhow, check it out 58 seconds in. Very well defended I thought. Uncanny the way he positions his right foot and left shoulder.
I agree that Embiid has the potential to be great. His all-around game (shooting, dribbling, blocking, footwork, defense) may be as good as any center ever. Kareem, Wilt, and David Robinson had similar all-around games, but probably didn’t have the range on their shot like Embiid does. Russell, didn’t have a great offensive game, but his defense, footwork,and blocking may be the best of all time. Olajuwon and Duncan didn’t have the dribbling skills of Embiid nor the range on their shot. Shaq had no offense outside of five feet and could get beat on defense, but inside of five feet, there was no stopping his offense. Is there anyone else that should be a part of that conversation. If, and this is a big IF at this point, Embiid can stay healthy, he will be great and with longevity, could become one of the greatest centers of all time.
That says it all: “is there anyone else?” I guess Bill Walton should at least get a mention since, like Embiid, Kareem, Wilt and Olajuwon he did it all. Very agile as well. Unfortunately everyone coming before Hakeem didn’t know that “ballet” is the way to play the center position.
I watched the game last night and made a new observation about Embiid: smarter than I thought and I knew he was smart. Two things were very clear about his game last night:
1. He was first and foremost all about getting other teammates involved. Zero selfishness.
2. He wasn’t going all out. His movement to and around the basket looked “cautious”. Almost like it was clear that the policy early on this year is “if you want extended minutes then you can’t be mixing it up too much down low. and if you want to drive from the top then do so on a single defender and not into a crowd.”
Regarding that number 2. By the end of December I fully expect Embiid to be penetrating and kicking out. Can’t wait for the first time I see him penetrate, stop on a dime, fake the shot or kickout and then place a perfect mini-bounce pass to a cutting teammate. If both Embiid and Simmons are playing this type of game then Covington, Fultz and Saric could be unstoppable.
Draymond has got his work cut out for him in about 2 years!!
Will move the last few comments to a new thread “2017-2018 Regular Season”. IT HAS BEGUN!
By the way, let me state it now…”With the first pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls (or whoever wins draft lottery) select Marvin Bagley, center from Duke.”
I’ve seen a couple of Duke games and Bagley looks really good. Will be a one and done college player and 1st pick in the NBA draft.
Ha. Right, who are the most likely teams to get that pick? Orlando Memphis and Dallas are plummeting currently. I’m guessing Cuban might be interested.