LeBron becomes a Laker and for many years to come. He is now surrounded with young’ns and vets. Weirdo lineup: Kuzma, Ingram, Ball, Hart, Rondo, Stephenson, Beasley, McGee. Randle went off to Pelcans. IT now a Nugget.
Kawhi is traded to Toronto though we don’t know if he’ll even suit up for certain. DeRozan ends up in San Antonio. Danny Green also to Raptors.
Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Ariza now in Phoenix which still has no top shelf PG.
Doncic to Dallas who also signs DeAndre Jordan.
Warriors sign Boogie for 1 year.
Paul George re-signs with OKC.
Capela still not signed with Rockets by now 07/26
Lots and lots of other news.
433 thoughts on “
2018 NBA Draft and Free Agency”
A preview look at salary cap space for teams this off-season with some notable free agents noted:
Hawks – about $30 million under the cap
Celtics – about $7 million over the cap; FA – Marcus Smart
Nets – about $16 million under the cap; FA – Jalil Okafor
Bulls – almost $40 million under the cap; FA – Zach LaVine
Hornets – almost $20 million over the cap; FA – Michael Carter-Williams
Cavaliers – about $38 million over the cap (but if LeBron leaves, only $3 million over cap); FA – Rodney Hood and likely LeBron
Mavericks – about $30 million under the cap; FA – Nerlens Noel and Seth Curry
Nuggets – about $7 million over the cap; FA – Devin Harris and Will Barton
Pistons – about $18 million over the cap
Warriors – about $28 million over the cap (only $2 million over when Durant opts out, but he will be resigning at a higher amount); FA – Looney, McGee, Young, West, Pachulia
Rockets – about $20 million under the cap; FA – Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, Clint Capela
Pacers – about $7 million under the cap
Clippers – about $12 million over the cap (unless Jordan, Rivers, and Teodosic opt out); FA – Avery Bradley
Lakers – about $60 million under the cap; FA – Brook Lopez, IT, Caldwell-Pope, Julius Randle
Grizzlies – about $3 million over the cap; FA – Tyreke Evans
Heat – about $45 million over the cap; FA – Dwyane Wade
Bucks – about $5 million over the cap; FA – Jabari Parker, Brandon Jennings
Timberwolves – about $17 million over the cap; FA – Derrick Rose
Pelicans – about $4 million under the cap; FA – Boogie, Rondo, Ian Clark, Jordan Crawford
Knicks – basically at the cap; FA – Michael Beasley
Thunder – about $38 million over the cap (unless Carmelo and George opt out in which they case they will be about $10 million under the cap); FA – probably Carmelo and George
Magic – about $16 million under the cap; FA – Aaron Gordon
76ers – about $30 million under the cap; FA – JJ Redick
Suns – about $22 million under the cap; FA – Alex Len and Elfrid Payton
Blazers – about $12 million over the cap; FA – Nurkic
Kings – about $25 million under the cap
Spurs – basically at the cap (unless Green and Gay opt out, which would create about $19 million in cap space; FA – Tony Parker, possibly Green & Gay
Raptors – about $27 million over the cap
Jazz – about $11 million under the cap; FA – Derrick Favors, Dante Exum
Wizards – about $24 million over the cap
Teams have a mid-level exception and a veteran player minimum salary exception that they can use even if they are over the cap.
If the Rockets can manage to unload Ryan Anderson’s $20 million salary without taking much salary back, they could easily sign LeBron and then go over the cap to resign Paul, Ariza, an Capela. Dumping a bench player with a $20 mil/yr salary won’t be easy though. I’m pretty sure the Cavs wouldn’t do a LeBron trade for Anderson, because the Rockets don’t have any real good young talent to add to the deal and don’t have a first round pick in the draft this year to trade. Anderson could be the albatross that prevents the Rockets from getting LeBron.
Here’s a better explanation of what it will take for the Rockets to sign LBJ:
I think it is unlikely.
I rarely disagree with anything from Tim Legler, which is why I’m really surprised by this …
“Sixers the best fit for LeBron”
You’ve repeatedly said in the past that you didn’t think LeBron was a good fit for Philly because both he and Simmons need to have the ball. I don’t disagree (and that is another reason why LBJ would be a bad fit in Houston…3 ball dominant players?), but I could see Philly ownership/management forcing this upon their coaching staff, both because they think it’ll make them a championship team and because LBJ will be big business for Sixer basketball.
I heard someone on the radio today suggest that both LeBron and Chris Paul could end up on the Lakers together. I got a good laugh out of that. No way the Lakers sign Paul when they already have Lonzo at PG and playing Lonzo and Paul and LBJ together gives them the Houston problem of three ball dominant players. I don’t think Magic is that stupid. Lakers signing LeBron and Paul George could very well happen though.
I have two issues with the LeBron to Philly idea. Neither are related to the problem I had with it originally which was that both LeBron and Simmons play the same way. I consider that less of a problem now that I see LeBron shooting so well from outside and I entertain thoughts of two fast and very tall passing brains running up and down the court. That seemed to work exceptionally well with Dwyane Wade in Miami who isn’t really tall at all, but they meshed so well with LeBron playing point. In this case Simmons would need to play point until and unless he can get the jumper to fall. Still, I think the quick feet and ball movement and thinking can make it work if those two match up together. Still, I think the idea stinks for two reasons …
1) LeBron is going to put all his eggs into the Embiid-will-stay-healthy basket? It seems amazing that Embiid got through 17-18 injury free. LeBron would be signing on hoping Embiid stays healthy at least through 2022. That seems like a big gamble to me.
2) Quickness. Or lack of it. The Celtics trounced Philly by out-quicking them every which way possible. What really disappointed me is that there seemed to be no adjustment here. In the 4th game Philly seemed just as slow at everything almost to a man. McConnell was a shining exception here. Redick looked good and sometimes Saric as well. But Simmons and Embiid and Covington seemed like they didn’t want to pick up their energy to where it needed to be. Why would LeBron want to be part of that, even if he thinks that will change eventually. It seems doubtful it will change quickly enough for him to want to be part of that crew next year.
Something that needs to be mentioned at some point so I might as well do it now: Ainge seems to make no mistakes. Ainge has amassed tons of assets, and those assets look more valuable now than ever. Ainge has shown no signs of slowing down his team building ways, but I think it’s really easy to assume that Kyrie and Hayward and Tatum were such awesome acquisitions that this is the team now. I’m not so sure.
This has come up 3 times on NBA radio over the past few days so don’t blame me for the seemingly crazy nature of this thought: why wouldn’t Ainge put his eggs into the LeBron basket? Why stay committed to Kyrie? This Celtics team with LeBron and without Kyrie looks as complete in every way as do the Warriors. Or they will, especially if Kyrie can be replaced with a very solid PG.
I don’t see why this couldn’t happen with Kyrie going to some team he actually wants to play for. There are very few teams in the league that wouldn’t want Kyrie and would be very smart to pay gobs for him. All those Boston assets should be able to make this work if Ainge wants it badly enough.
There is NO WAY Ainge hasn’t considered how this lineup fairs vs. Warriors and Rockets …
There are tons of options for the ?? Is Livingston staying with Warriors? Darren Collison had an awesome year at Indiana. Dragic would be an absolutely perfect fit. Lots of young guys all across the league.
Looking back up to the top at the cap space all those teams have. The numbers are staggering when one considers how much $$ can be moved around league wide. It opens up a lot of 3 team deals. Really hard to believe Ainge couldn’t find his solid PG somehow by making a trade that benefits all parties with Kyrie going elsewhere.
So I just did some playing around with the ESPN Trade Machine to see if I could work a 3-way deal involving LBJ to the Celtics and Kyrie to some other contender that could use a PG. This was a deal that the Trade Machine says would work:
Boston gets: LeBron and Tristan Thompson
Milwaukee gets: Kyrie and JR Smith
Cleveland gets: Horford, Tatum, Bledsoe, Middleton, and Maker
Some draft choices could be tossed into it if one of the teams feels slighted. I’m sure Boston would not want to give up Tatum, but Cleveland would want to get great young talent to do the deal and Tatum and Hayward play the same position. This would also put Cleveland in a position where they could trade Love for further young talent/picks. Starting line-ups after the trade would be:
Celtics: PG-Rozier, SG-Brown, SF-Hayward, PF-LBJ, C-Thompson
Bucks: PG-Kyrie, SG-Smith, SF-Parker, PF-Greek Freak, C-Henson
Cavaliers: PG-Bledsoe, SG-Hood (if they can resign him), SF-Middleton, PF-Horford, C-Love/Maker
This trade would, of course, never happen. Can’t see Ainge giving up Tatum. It would be pretty exciting though to see Kyrie working with the Greek Freak.
Here’s what I’d like to see and am guessing LeBron wouldn’t mind it either …
Consider what the Jazz could look like …
Gobert has a huge contract which is why this might work. Draft picks and cash would need to be involved and maybe even another team. The point is with all that $$ available to spend by all these teams how could there not be a deal that works well for all considered.
And look at the Jazz lineup and consider draft picks thrown in. Is this not a contender in 2 years? I like it better than Houston.
I think Tatum and Horford are Ainge’s bedrocks.
I wrote “maybe another team” for the Utah deal which I think is dumb. Cavs need to be involved, or do they? I’m not clear on how badly LeBron can leave Cleveland in the lurch.
Switching gears to the Suns now since it’s likely the Suns’ moves will precede LeBron’s decision …
I think the Suns should model themselves after the Warriors somewhat, and that means Booker becomes a less defensive but more offensive version of Klay. I like the idea, because the entire league is going in the direction of the Spurs/Warriors … constant movement (player and ball) and quick decision making. Klay has improved so much in the quick decision making dept, I don’t see why Booker can’t get there in 3 years. He’ll never be the defender Klay is, but he can be a much better playmaker. He’s not that yet.
I think this is where the Suns should be headed, and I don’t think Ayton helps in that respect. I think Doncic does however, because this is exactly who Doncic is. I see Doncic as better shooting LeBron in terms of an outside threat that is also a quick decision maker. Like a tall Curry maybe. A poor man’s Curry, meaning outside shooting threat plus a driver-penetrator-passer-thinker. I think this is the best way to develop Booker.
Doncic shouldn’t be drafted as a PG but he should be drafted for the LeBron role offensively IMO. Meaning, you fit pieces around him and let him create. Suns have one of the best pieces possible in Booker, and they have Josh Jackson who showed an ability to move and pass quickly toward the end of the year. Still a kid, but a moldable kid it seems. Also a hard worker. I’d like to see the Suns move in the direction of Warriors/Spurs type of buy-in where the plan is player development to share the ball and the stats and learn quickness at every facet of the game.
DiVincenzo seems to obviously be a guy that will fit perfectly into this kind of plan eventually. This just seems a way to build a team that moves and thinks and shares quickly on both ends which is clearly where the league is going. The speed and quickness of this team could be unmatched in just a few years…
I still think Cauley-Stein could fit in here if Suns trade that first pick to Sac. Maybe another young player as well. Suns have at least one more draft pick to add in here, and that player could be excellent. Right now the Suns 2nd pick is at #16. I’m not sure how they could move up several spots.
Glancing at the draft order Philly picks at #10 which seems to really stand out. There are a lot of teams that would like to have that pick, and Philly could use a veteran of some sort. A Covington replacement I’d think that isn’t some sort of project. Apparently Brett Brown is taking over the GM role for the upcoming draft. I wonder if he’s qualified to do what’s right with this pick.
Meanwhile, the most underated and untold story to be told: Jerry West is still involved with the Clippers. LeBron and Paul George clearly have interest in the LA area. Balmer is deep with cash. Clipps had surprising success last year given turmoil and injuries. And they have talent …
A huge amount of talent, including shooters and defenders which LeBron seems to appreciate. Is this team not ready for prime time with the right pieces added?
Teodosić (underrated as heck)
Galinari and Rivers can go elsewhere. Enter LeBron and George. That team is tough as nails.
OK. Ughhh. I meant to check your list above. Clipps $12 million over the cap. Jordan & Rivers can go, but I guess this means still not enough to do much. Do they have other assets? What can be done with a Jordan and Rivers deal with Cleveland ending with LeBron in LA?
Let me start with where the Suns are positioned. Apparently there are rumors that the Suns would like to package their #16 pick and #33 pick to move up for another pick in the top 13. The Clips, currently with picks #12 and #13 could be one team that might be willing to make that deal, if they don’t make their own deal moving up in the draft by packaging those two picks. Perhaps, the Suns could sweeten a potential deal with a current player to move up into the top 10.
As for Clippers, if Jordan (likely) and Rivers (unlikely) opt out, they’d have enough cap room to sign either LBJ or George, but not both. Without Jordan, I don’t see anyway that LeBron signs there and George has been telling people for over a year that he wants to go to the Lakers. I see Jordan leaving the Clippers and the team going into a rebuild with their draft picks. I could see them trading Gallinari, Harris, and/or Williams to create cap room and rebuild.
As for your Jazz-Celtics trade, the Cavaliers would have to be involved because there is no real way for the Celtics to get LeBron in free agency. Frankly, I don’t see anyway a three-way deal between those teams could be done.
Interesting note of yours on the Jazz-Celtics possibility. What do you consider the main problem with this 3 way possibility? Won’t Gilbert take offers from the highest bidder? Couldn’t Gobert somehow end up in Cleveland?
A Kyrie-Mitchell backcourt is the best in the NBA and probably the best ever seen. Doesn’t Utah have enough assets to get it done, with Rubio ending up in Boston?
I understand your point about the Clippers rebuilding, but unless the Harris contract is outrageous they’d be absolute fools for trading him. Lou Williams is an interesting question. He’ll be 32 at the beginning of the season, but he’s arguably a league scoring champ if on the right team. It seems to me that, as the trio of Williams, Bradley and Harris makes an outstanding core, the only reason to rebuild is … well, it depends on your definition of rebuilding. Those three plus Teodosic are one good PF/C away from comprising the top team in the West with LeBron’s addition. It’s the bench that will be a problem though, but LeBron knows how to fill up a bench.
I think it comes down to what guys LeBron wants around him. What works better for him: Williams, Harris, Bradley, Teodosic or Kuzma, Ingram, Ball, George? I don’t think it’s as easy as it looks. I assume Randle will be gone. If not, Lakers look like an easy choice. The defensive-rebounding-running and ball moving trio of James-George-Ball looks absolutely nasty. How soon can Ingram be ready for prime time though? He looked damn good last year in a starring role. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in discussions between Magic and LeBron as to how they see Ingram getting enough touches. My guess is he’ll be the focus of the offense in much the same way Durant was for the Warriors much of the season.
As for a 3-way Cavs-Celtics-Jazz deal, I did a lot of playing around with the Trade Machine and could not find a way to make it work with the salaries involved and cap implications for each team. Maybe it’ll be easier to do once we know which players opt out or resign before free agency, but I couldn’t make it work now.
On the Clippers end, they’d need both Jordan and Rivers to opt out to have enough money to sign LeBron. Once they did that, they could resign Jordan (and Bradley) because they have their Bird rights. However, is the coach’s son really going to opt out of a $12.6 mil/yr contract that he couldn’t possibly get elsewhere? Also, if you’re LeBron, you’re not only looking at next season, but the seasons to come. Whether or not a LBJ/Jordan/Williams/Harris/Bradley/Teodosic team is good enough to win Western Conference with the Warriors and Rockets is debatable, but too many of those guys will be on the wrong side of 30 next year, so their championship window will be really small. I think LeBron will look at the very young and good Lakers core and see a team that is only going to be getting better for years to come, as well as a salary cap situation that will allow the Lakers to bring in another superstar along with LeBron. To me, that is an easy call for LeBron.
So there was a report today that the Celtics tried to trade for Kawhi back in February. So here’s a what if…
What if the soon to occur Kawhi-Pop sit down goes bad and Kawhi asks out of San Antonio? What if the LBJ to the Celtics rumors piss off Kyrie? What if the Celtics revisit their interest in Kawhi with a proposal of a Kawhi-Kyrie swap? One for one the deal works, but it also works if you add in Jaylen Brown (who is pretty much superfluous if Kawhi comes in) and Dejounte Murray (who is then blocked by Kyrie if he comes in).
Yep. Looks like Ainge might be poised to be the big story again this year. 8 days to the draft and counting.
Time to look at how the Warriors roster might shake up, not just this summer, but in the coming summers.
First, the current free agents and their likelihood of coming back:
Zaza Pachulia – I would say definitely not coming back
Nick Young – I would say definitely not coming back
David West – I would say probably will be retiring and not coming back (and he is someone who should be in line for a coaching job)
JaVale McGee – may come back if he’s willing to play again for a small salary like his $2 million this year, but with 2 championships now, he may go somewhere that offers more money.
Kevin Looney – I think the Warriors will want him back, but having seen his huge improvement this year, some other team may be willing to pay him a lot more than the Warriors may be willing to do. So Looney will have to decide between money and more championships.
Patrick McCaw – he’s a restricted free agent, so Warriors can match any offer. Unfortunately for McCaw, the serious injury he suffered this year, even though he eventually returned from it, may keep teams from offering him big money. I expect he’ll be back.
Both Klay and Draymond are eligible to sign extensions this summer, but both, either directly or indirectly, have stated that they won’t sign extensions this year because they can get more when they get to free agency (Klay next summer, Draymond the year after). KD will opt out this summer and then resign for bigger money and the Warriors have basically said they will give him whatever he wants. The question will be if he wants to sign another 1 year plus option deal or sign a 4 year deal now even though he’s not yet eligible for a super max deal from the Warriors. My guess is that he does another 1 and option year deal for whatever the max is for him (I’m guessing around $35 mil/yr).
For next year’s team, the Warriors top 6 (once Durant resigns) and Bell, Cook, and Jones are under contract. I’m gonna guess that McGee, Looney, and Macaw all return. That leaves three roster spots including the mid-level exception (about $5 mil/yr for the Dubs) for the Warriors. Some free agent names that might be interested in the mid-level exception for the chance to win a championship could be Trevor Ariza, Avery Bradley, and JJ Redick. Other free agents that might fit the Dubs well and be willing to play for a minimum salary are Ian Clark, Seth Curry, Anthony Tolliver, Aaron Brooks, Michael Beasley, Aaron Afflalo, Mo Speights, and Marco Belinelli.
Beyond next year, we get to the real questions of the Dubs future. The salaries of Steph and KD will make up 75% of the salary cap by themselves next summer. Iggy and Livingston will be entering the final years of their contracts (and possibly careers), so we can kind of disregard them. The Dubs can go well beyond the salary cap to sign Klay and Draymond when they hit free agency, but are they willing to go so far beyond the salary cap and its luxury tax implications to keep them both? They are saying all the right things now about keeping their core together, but next summer, it could be costing them somewhere in the neighborhood of $140 million just for those 4 guys, when the salary cap is likely to be around $105-110 million. The higher above the salary cap a team is, the higher the luxury tax is and it is even worse for “repeater” teams like the Warriors are. Simply put, I don’t think the Warriors will want to pay the huge amount of luxury tax that they will have to pay if Steph, KD, Klay and Draymond are all on max contracts. I think at least one of them leaves next summer. Best guess is that it will be Draymond if Jordan Bell keeps improving.
Basically, I think money will soon dictate the dismantling of some of the Warriors championship roster sooner, rather than later. It makes it all the more important that they develop some good, young talent like Bell, Looney, and McCaw.
Somehow I still don’t get it. Everyone knows the money will eventually get in the way if you let it, and everyone knows the contracts are being driven by the agents, while the players really don’t have a clue what the difference will be in their lives between 15 million a year and 35 million a year, especially when endorsements and business ventures afterwards will come heavily into play. So, everyone gets this and everyone knows the agents don’t want the players to think much about it. So … if everyone knows this, just frickin lay it all on the line and ask them “do you guys want 3 more championships or 1?” Is someone afraid to ask that question? Do these players somehow think they’re better than Tim Duncan who figured out a way to do what’s CLEARLY the right thing?
No, I just don’t get it. Why, for instance, would Klay Thompson even spend a second thinking of going elsewhere even if he could double his money? Who gives a shit? Rick Barry was twice the player that Thompson ever was or will be, and adjusting for inflation what would Barry’s salary be today? $400K? Half that? Why do these guys like KD say literally that “it’s all about the game and the rest is ‘blah blah blah'”. Why does he need to sign for anything more than $25 million. Or even $20 million for that matter. I can think of only one reason: if it’s about the game then getting 2 championships is enough. Now THAT’S a frickin cop out and makes me feel sorry for all the players that actually WERE about the game and didn’t get any championships, starting with Barkley.
Why does Curry need so much money? You’ve answered this before but I’ll just keep asking: why did he sign such a huge contract knowing it might hamstring his team’s chances at success? I know the answer is likely something like “his agent drove the process and no one got in the way”. Yeah yeah yeah. I believe that, but here we are talking about summer of 2019 and I have a hard time Curry isn’t thinking about having a good long talk with his agent about restructuring while ensuring the agent is taken care of.
My god. Curry reminds me of all the sports greats that had success follow them everywhere. I just don’t see him sticking by that contract.
Among the Warriors core four, Steph previously took a smaller contract before signing the max contract last year. KD left money on the table each of the past two seasons in order for the Warriors to sign other players. When Green signed his current contract, he left money on the table so that the Warriors would be able to afford KD. Klay is the only one so far that has not taken a lesser contract. I’ve gotten the impression from interviews that KD and Draymond feel that they’ve done their part in leaving money on the table and will not do so again. I don’t know what Klay is feeling regarding his next contract, but he has made some suggestions in the past that he will do what it takes to stay with the Dubs.
Here’s the thing though, even if Klay, KD, and Draymond all leave money on the table (Steph is already signed for the next 4 years), they are still in line for big increases. The Warriors are way above the salary cap already. So even if those guys sign for lesser amounts, the Warriors are still going to be even further above the cap than they already are and still in line for huge luxury tax penalties. So basically the Warriors have to decide how much they are willing to pay in luxury tax penalties. With the way they are making money, it is not inconceivable that they just say screw it and pay whatever is necessary to keep them all. But I think they hit their ceiling before they sign all four to max or nearly max contracts.
Thanks. Excellent. So a question that I really don’t feel is unrealistic …
Early summer 2019 Steph announces he is restructuring his contract at $23 million a year for 4 years. Sure, his agent goes nuts but the agent gets paid. How does this help, assuming that KD is likely to sign NOW for 5 years and well … what’s 34 million times 5? $170 million. I’ll just throw that out there. How does the Steph @ $23 million per help to at least keep Dray around for another 3 for instance?
“So basically the Warriors have to decide how much they are willing to pay in luxury tax penalties. With the way they are making money, it is not inconceivable that they just say screw it and pay whatever is necessary to keep them all.”
I assume none of this tax comes out of Myer’s pocket. This is mostly Lacob and “friends”?
Look. Steph wins NO championships without Dray and Dray wins NO championships without Steph. Come on … no way Steph doesn’t do what’s right for him.
Taking the second question first, the money comes out of the Warriors’ operating accounts. If they are not earning enough to pay their salary commitments, then Lacob, Guber and other minority owners would have to kick in. However, I suspect the Warriors will be earning enough for all salary commitments and luxury tax penalties.
As for Steph’s contract, it cannot be renegotiated until three years after being signed (for contracts longer than 3 years). So the earliest he could restructure his contract is the summer of 2020. Also, Steph’s contract is fully guaranteed, so when it can be restructured, the contract would have to be extended at a lower amount but for a long enough time to pay out everything that is guaranteed now.
That’s all academic though. As you said, agents have their fingers on all of this and would never allow a star player to restructure his deal to be paid less. Players on other teams would hate this as well, as then there would be pressure on those other star players to take less money in order to bring in other stars to their team.
In two years the Celtics and likely the Lakers are just as good as the Warriors are now. I don’t think Houston ever gets this close again, at least not if Harden is still employed there in his out of shape non-defensive way. So … in 2019 the Dubs disband knowing that immediately afterward Golden State will likely not challenge for a title for a decade or more, while the Lakers, Celtics, 76ers and … well teams like Utah and Denver and Phoenix and New Orleans will kill them year after year? I don’t buy this.
“As for Steph’s contract, it cannot be renegotiated until three years after being signed (for contracts longer than 3 years). ”
OK fine. How much in legal fees and in court fees does Steph pay after his mia culpa? I assume his agent will sue him for whatever he does to illegally reneg on the contract. I just don’t see this guy being about the money.
I don’t think the Warriors disband, but retool. They perhaps let Draymond go to possibly be replaced by Jordan Bell and/or Kevin Looney. Or they let Klay go to possibly be replaced by Patrick McCaw. Or maybe in a year or two, KD decides he wants to be the big man on campus and goes elsewhere and the Dubs go back to just a big three that won a championship 3 years ago and/or they sign some other good player for less money than KD costs. Or maybe they end up drafting someone who becomes the next superstar. Any number of things could happen, but the Dubs will be moving into a shiny new arena after next season which will bring in even bigger revenues. So they will find a way to retool because they will have a lot of money to spend, even if they have some limits on how high they will go.
One other thing that could happen that would change everything is that the NBA starts receiving huge amounts of money from legalized gambling, which causes a huge jump in the salary cap, thereby allowing the Dubs to keep everyone…and allow some other teams to bring a bunch of stars together.
This is a huge story. Porter Jr. looks like his stock is about to fall significantly
I want to weigh in on the counter side of a story/opinion I hear expressed often: that superteams and specifically KD-to-the-Warriors was “bad”. Bad as in bad in any way: for the league, for the fans, for the future, for the sport. I imagine there are many other “for the’s”.
I agree it takes some thought to see where this is headed, or rather where and what kind of damage can and will be done to … anything. But IMO it stops there. It stops with requiring some thought. So, OK. I thought about it. I would suggest people who CAN think also think about it. Ex-players like Barkley, who has proven a time or two to be able to think, needs to stop and shut up and think about it. I’m trying to do that.
In 2018 playoffs we had the Warriors dynasty vs. Harden and Paul and Gordon and Capela and Ariza and Tucker. I wouldn’t exactly call Houston a superteam, but it’s damn close. Let’s think about what we might be seeing in the 2019 playoffs …
Lakers (superteam – LeBron, George, Kuzma, Ingram)
Celtics (superteam – Kyrie, Tatum, Hayward, Horford, Brown)
Houston (superteam – Harden, Paul, ?????)
What’s with the ???? The ???? is my way of saying Daryl Morey knows what’s going on and realizes he needs to make a change. I think we’re going to see Houton make a move for someone big. If I was Morey I’d do whatever I could (for instance) to get that number one pick from Phx or one of the top picks from some other team. So let’s say the number four superteam in 2019 is something like Harden, Paul, Ayton/Bagley/Doncic/Jackson. Something like that. I know there are lots of details getting in the way of that scenario, but Morey often works magic somehow.
So we went from 2018 with one superteam to 2019 with four superteams. Now, 2020 …
Pelicans (superteam? Davis, Boogie, ????)
Here’s the point I’m getting at. There is more than enough talent for the Pels to find their ??? by 2020. By 2021 who else gets into the mix while the five from 2020 maintain their superteam status? The Jazz? I wouldn’t be suprised. Because there is so much talent.
I don’t see how this can possibly be a bad thing. Even if by 2020 we only have 3 superteams, how is that not good for the league and the fans? I think it’s great for the sport, because these teams are showing the world how to play the game better than it’s ever been played. Back to the 2020 Pels ???? Why couldn’t it be Devin Booker for instance playing alongside Rondo? That’s crazy and, along with those other 4 teams, would mean a playoffs like nothing any sport has ever seen. How is this all nothing but a good thing?
Back to an earlier topic from another thread: Capela traded to the Suns. What if instead of Ayton or Doncic, the Suns ended up with Capela plus Ariza plus DiVincezo plus… Michael Porter Jr. whose stock is dropping. Maybe Josh Jackson needs to go to Houston as well with Gordon to the Suns.
I could see Morey at least trying to work things in this kind of direction. And in a flash the Suns are a team to watch.
Back to the Dubs disbanding vs. retooling thing. I love this guy Bell and much better than Looney who I really like as well. But I don’t see an ounce of Draymond in him. Not unless he gains 20 lbs, most of it lower body somehow. I see Bell as a player to be groomed to replace Iguodala instead. Yes, he’s got a long way to go there but I see the way he moves and the way he moves the ball and creates space for others. He’s in no way the all-around player that Iggy is, but the Warriors would be stupid to try and replace that all around game with a young player. There isn’t anyone available at a low salary, is there? There isn’t anyone they can assume will have the same skillset, so why not view Bell as a fit for the future Iggy vacancy, albeit twice as athletic and 25% quicker on both ends. Not quite the quick thinker or passer. But a passer nonetheless who can become quicker.
I think something very different is needed for a Dray replacement. What’s most amazing about Dray is what he’s be able to do at let’s say 235 lbs. In the history of the league there’s really no one except for Rodman that can come close to Green at that size, so there’s really no reason to think he can be replaced with someone as light. Certainly not lighter. So who’s available? Looney? Maybe. But I don’t see the passing there. What about Kevin Love? That would work almost perfectly but unlikely as heck. Just seems like there needs to be a lot of work put into this idea of replacing Dray if it comes to that. I really doubt Bell can hold his own in the post even after bulking up, so how to start making moves now to find that guy?
I don’t know, but I bet Myers has some thoughts on it.
Yep, I’m sure Bob Myers has all kinds of contingency plans in place.
Re: Bell vs. Green. Green spent his first two years in the NBA learning to be the player he is now. It wasn’t until his 3rd that he finally began to be the Dray we now know and love. It wasn’t until his 4th year that his passing got to the level it is now. Bell’s stats for year 1 are slightly better than Green’s stats. If he can sculpt his body like Green did and keep improving (which would almost be impossible not to do on this team), He may be able to approach Green’s level. No guarantee of course, but I can see it happening.
Heard Bell interviewed after the Warriors victory parade. He went on and on about a conversation he had with Durant on a plane ride late in the season. In particular, he said: “I love basketball, but KD really loves basketball.” The context was that he understood how much work it would take to get to the upper levels in the league. It is still up to Bell to do that work, but it sounded like he wants to do what it takes.
Definitely like that guy. Idiotic of so many GMs to have missed it, especially Chicago/Hoiberg who apparently had no idea who he was, and even had the ability to stop and wonder why the Warriors were so interested.
No question Bell improves like crazy, but I see him as a budding perimeter defender, and possibly an excellent one eventually. I’m not sure why Kerr would want him confined to the box or just outside of that. Unless, there is no one else to fill Dray’s shoes.
With the way the Warriors play defense, everyone needs to be able to play perimeter defense. Bell definitely needs to improve there, but he flashed some good instincts.
Brings up a question: what has Iguodala said about what he wants to do? Most other teams might consider trading him at this point, as they could get a heck of a lot in return from title contenders. Consider what the Warriors could get from the Celtics for instance. Or from the 76ers or Houston. Iguodala’s presence back in Philadelphia until he retires. That #10 pick looks awfully ripe for a trade for a good veteran. Probably not Iggy, since I doubt the Warriors would do it unless he wanted to go back.
Philly needs to get that GM soon and start working on what to do with that pick. BTW, David Griffin just “happened” to take the day off yesterday from his Sirius broadcast;-)
But maybe Mike Zarren is the man for the Philly job. Check this out from nbsports.com …
Zarren is described as “a top candidate” by The Ringer, but who is he? Well, Zarren is the Celtics’ assistant general manager and reportedly turned down the Sixers’ GM job before they hired Sam Hinkie several years ago.
According to Zarren’s official Celtics bio, he’s a lifelong C’s fan, who actually started as an unpaid intern a decade ago. It seems like Zarren is pretty highly thought of in basketball circles and is apparently a stats genius and a salary cap expert.
While Danny Ainge has gotten a ton of credit for building a Celtics team that’s not just good now but could be good for the next decade, it seems like Zarren has been playing a more hands-on role than most people even realize.
And Zarren is also a smarty-pants. He’s a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago and has served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He was also a management consultant for Fortune 500 firms. Wait a second … he sounds an awful lot like a former Sixers GM.
So we already began this conversation via text, but Kawhi wants out of San Antonio, so where does he end up. Kawhi is reportedly interested in either team in Los Angeles. Lakers have the young talent that Pop would want in return and they could still sign LBJ and probably one other good (but not top of the line) player. Don’t know if the Clippers have what it would take to make a deal.
With Kawhi able to opt out of his contract after next season, any team that trades for him will want to be assured that Kawhi wants to be there and won’t be a one-year rental.
Other teams that clearly have the resources to make such a trade are the Celtics (tons of young talent), and the Sixers (I would make Covington, Saric, and Fultz all available for such a deal).
We clearly have another big off-season talking point.
Pop will want Kuzma. I don’t see that happening. If Kawhi won’t go elsewhere I can really see things getting mucked up.
What’s Kawhi going to say when Pop tells him the best offer is from the Celtics. No, I’m not going? He’d be an idiot. I can absolutely see Hayward and Brown in Spurs unis. I’m sure Pop would love to have those two guys. I’m not sure about Kyrie though.
On the other hand, what kind of player could Kyrie become under Pop’s tutelage?
ESPN has already posted a story about how the Lakers could trade for Kawhi and still sign both LeBron and Paul George.
They’ve got the Lakers trading both Lonzo and Kuzma to do it (Kawhi would clearly have to pass a medical examination before the Lakers complete any trade), which I think is ludicrous. One or the other, but not both. You don’t think they would trade Kuzma, but I think they might if Kawhi checks out with their medical staff.
By the way, did you see LaVar Ball’s recent comments. He said LeBron would sign with the Lakers, but that he couldn’t teach Lonzo anything. Maybe the Lakers should trade Lonzo to the Spurs just to get LaVar out of their lives. LaVar ain’t doing anything but scaring free agents away from the Lakers.
IMO LeBron, Kawhi, Kuzma is a better team than LeBron, Kawhi, George. But let’s say the Lakers offer Ball and Ingram to the Spurs for Kawhi and Paddy Mills. Why would Pop do that when he could get some combination of Hayward, Brown, Kyrie, Rozier, Smart and Sacramento’s 1st round pick owned by Boston?
Unfortunately for Magic, Randle probably isn’t very high on Pop’s list since Aldridge plays in that spot.
No. Assuming Kawhi passes physicals and commits to at least 3 years I think Ainge is going to end up winning this battle, again.
This article was fairly useless except for the one and only mention of Grayson Allen. A potential pick for the Warriors? I’d love to see that – maybe a great way to keep things “interesting” for them next year. For the team and/or the fans. I’d sure tune in to watch more often …
Sports Illustrated’s look at the Kawhi landing spot possibilities.
If the Celtics can convince Kawhi to sign on for a number of years, they’d have to be looked at as one of the favorites. But he is a SoCal kid originally. Maybe he just wants to go back home.
He’s reminding me of the Morris twins (Marcus and Markieff). Socially undeveloped babies who wouldn’t know where to start to make their own mature decisions. My guess is it’s really as simple as his uncle (or whoever) asking him short and direct questions and him giving short answers. Like … “hey Kawhi, just wondering. is there anywhere else you see yourself living 2 years from now than L.A.”? Kawhi: “no”. End of discussion. Something like that. Just seems something like this is happening in his “camp”.
Meanwhile, as this story is already getting a bit boring, how ’bout we shift gears to talk about the 2 ton elephant in the room? That would be the 16 or so teams that will now have no chance in hell to have any success in the next 5 years or more. Two teams that scream “plenty of talent but going nowhere fast” are OKC and Washington. Portland and Toronto might be included if they can’t do something to shake things up fairly quickly. But sticking with Washington, and looking at the number provided above: $24 million over the cap. Come on now. There is no hope in hell of any success unless something big happens, and maybe the sooner the better? And with all the rumbling about how the team record was so much better when Wall was injured last year?
This is where and when you determine shitty ownership and management. Put Wall out there now. Phoenix would love to have him. Maybe the Clippers or Toronto who needs SOMETHING to happen. Maybe even the Lakers. What would Wall look like alongside A.D. and Jrue Holiday? With all this money and all these assets flying around how isn’t it possible for a guy like this to end up in the right place with Washington being better because of it?
Specifically as to the Wizards, the reason they are so far over the cap is that they gave Otto Porter $25 million a year and Ian Mahinmi $15 million a year. Neither is worth anywhere near that kind of money. Wall and Beal are making a lot of money too, but they are earning it. Most teams over the cap are there because of similar bad spending decisions. At least teams like the Dubs and Celtics are over the cap because they are spending big money on players who are well worth the contracts. Magic’s predecessor as Lakers’ boss is out of his job because he spent $16 million a year on Mozgov and $18 million a year on Deng. Magic managed to fob off Mozgov on the Nets for the expiring contract of Lopez. He’s got Deng for two more years unless he can get rid of him somehow.
I’m not so sure Wall is earning it though. He needs to either re-invent himself as a pass first guy or they’ll keep on losing. They played well without him this year over a pretty good time span.
So, I wake up and dig back into media materials and start laughing out loud. There is so much out here, so many scenarios and OPINIONS, so much excitement about the Celtics doing what they do and then there’s this:
1). Woj and at least 2 other pretty established “insiders” think a deal with the Lakers is unlikely.
2). Almost no one is saying much if anything about the Clippers. Yes, there is some talk about it, but the sort of “inability” of sources to go there (meaning to the subject of the Clippers) is laughable.
3). Woj now reports there are ways Kawhi can stay a Spur?
4). Here’s my favorite one: Kawhi and Pop HAVE been in contact regularly throughout this offseason.
Windhorst mentioned with great emphasis that he has no doubt that LeBron is in touch with both Kawhi and Paul George. He seemed certain of it. Even if it hasn’t happened yet, I wouldn’t doubt that he’s right about the chances of it happening and soon.
Back to the “BREAKING NEWS”. And I’m still laughing a bit as I write this… we don’t have an exact quote from a named source of that news, do we? We DO have the Spurs saying they don’t know anything about it, as well as reports that there are still plans for Kawhi to sit down with Pop.
So enter my crazy theories again. Might as well, because the whole Kawhi to the Lakers thing seems like it’s less than just unlikely. One reason cited: The Spurs are NOT going to help build superteams. I assume that includes the Celtics and Rockets as well. And unless there’s some amazing deal the Spurs can strike with the Clippers (DeAndre Jordan, Avery Bradley and a 2018 draft pick maybe?), is this really what Kawhi wants? LA or bust?
I’ll just blurt out what I’m thinking: Spurs are punking us. Stirring up the pot to see who’s willing to let go of big assets. Trying to view this from all angles in order to convince LeBron to come to San Antonio.
A question: when LeBron heard about this breaking news yesterday, what were his thoughts? “LA is going to be really fun!” or “This is too good to be true. I want play alongside Kawhi wherever he lands.”
Crazy conspiracy or not, there’s no question yesterday’s news affected and likely halted LeBron’s decision making process considerably. And get this: assuming the breaking news bears any sort of truth, it’s hard to ignore the detailed statement that Kawhi doesn’t need a supermax and doesn’t care about money.
So now, what’s needed for LeBron to sign with the Spurs while Kawhi stays put? If there’s a way to make it work financially, do they have the shooters needed? I’m not sure.
I’ll give it til Monday mid-day at the latest before the LeBron to the Spurs “strong likelihood” story starts to circulate:-)
Forgot to mention the other important detail from yesterday’s bombshell: kawhi is making “great progress” in his return from the quad injury. so … how soon will he make himself “available” for a health check?
How to make LeBron to the Spurs happen. Both Danny Green and Rudy Gay have player options for the upcoming year. If they both opt out, San Antonio suddenly has $20 mil in cap space. Then they trade Pau Gasol to some team with lots of cap space while taking next to no salary back in the deal. They may have to sweeten the deal with a draft pick to get some team to do it.. Now they have $35-36 mil in cap space which they can use to sign LeBron as a free agent.
Alternatively, they could make a trade with Cleveland where Cleveland gets Gasol, Kyle Anderson and some draft picks. But again, this starts with Green ($10 mil next year) and Gay ($8.8 mil next year) opting out. Will they do so? Only if they think they can get more than their current guarantees. Green maybe, but Gay doubtful. If they don’t opt out, Spurs would have to find a way to get rid of them too in a trade.
Kyle Anderson would be an excellent acquisition for the Cavs, since talented athletic youth is what they’ll need. I’d wonder if the Cavs would do the deal without Murray being included. This leaves 29-30 year old Patty Mills as the starting PG for the Spurs to which I say hell yeah. That absolutely works with LeBron, Kawhi and (health be damned) Parker and Ginobili taking care of 90% of the penetrate and dish.
Your shooters in crunch time are Mills, Parker, Ginobili, Kawhi and Aldridge. And if this past year wasn’t a statistical fluke count LeBron among the shooters on this team.
Note I’ve left off Green. That’s because I’m trying to see how the shooting looks without him. Now assume injuries to Parker and Ginobili. Shooters are still Mills, Kawhi, Aldridge and LeBron (asterisk). Maybe a pickup of someone like Belinelli could work.
I think this works without Green, even though they’re better with him. So assume the Spurs need to give up Green, Anderson and Murray.
Back to the opt outs. I’m not sure how this works. If they don’t opt out can’t they be traded? I’m sure Cleveland would salivate over Anderson, Green and Murray all ending up there if all this is what it’ll take in a trade for LeBron.
Not sure who wants Pau at this stage. Maybe teams like Minnesota or Chicago who could both use his experience to help the young guys.
Looking at all this again, it seems the biggest issue might be losing Green, especially if both Murray and Anderson need to go as well.
OK. First Docic post here. Great ESPN uploaded scouting report here:
I see no surprises and absolutely not a #1 or #2 pick, simply because he’s not fast enough for anyone to think he can be as good with the 25-40% faster NBA hands and feet. I do see a quick thinker though, a rebounder and a surprisingly good defender when he’s paying attention (I assume the mental part will come around pretty rapidly there).
There is no way possible this guy can play PG in the NBA. What he has going for him is shooting, size, court vision and willingness to get extremely physical under the rim. I could see him going to a running team, rather than a team that relies on him in the half court often. Phoenix would be perfect, but not if they take him with a top 4 pick. Philly seems perfect, as I see him fitting in well with Simmons or McConnell.
He’s 19 and could get much stronger and maybe even somewhat quicker soon. If that happens watch out. Before then though, he’s going to have some terrible offensive games his first year.
After watching that Doncic vid it now makes sense for the Suns to pick Ayton with #1 keeping in mind all the teams that are trying to get that #1 from them. Then see where Doncic goes. Assuming he drops to a team like Dallas with that 5th pick, offer a trade that looks like Ayton, Payton and Warren for Doncic and Dennis Smith. The numbers don’t work of course, but worth considering how to make this work.
Yes, if a player opts in on their contract, they can be traded, but not sure what the deadline is for them to make that decision. Not sure if it is before the draft or not.
After watching that video of Doncic, I don’t see him as a top 5 draft pick and Suns should definitely take Ayton. I like Doncic’s court vision and shooting ability, but I question whether he will be as good against more athletic NBA defenders. Doncic is slow gathering the ball and getting his shot up. One reason Curry is so good is that he is lightning quick getting his shot off. Doncic looked slow bringing his shot up and I could see NBA defenders getting to him before he gets his shot off. Also not sure he can stay with NBA players on defense. On offense, he’s is going to need other players to draw defenders before kicking out to him for shots. If I’m the Suns, I’m not looking to trade Ayton to get Doncic.
Update on the opt in question. Just read that LeBron has to make his opt in or out decision by June 29th, which is after the draft.
I didn’t mention the speed on his shots, because he’s only 19 and I imagine that speed getting faster and the carelessness waning. It may simply be a case of him being as fast as he needs to be for that league. Furthermore, it really depends on who we’re comparing him to. He looks like a shooter. Is he? If so he can be a great player in the league, since defenses need to keep him honest. With the court vision etc, he may be more valuable to teams 3-4 years down the line than a player like Iguodala ever was. If he’s a consistent shooting threat from range I mean.
I don’t think trading Ayton for Doncic+ is a bad idea if you get back someone like Dennis Smith in the deal. In fact, I doubt Dallas would even consider that. Regardless, the rub is this: Doncic’s first year will be filled with turnovers and frustration. How will he deal with it? How will his team deal with it?
I hope everyone who sees the scouting vid comes to the same conclusion: not even a top 5 pick. So how far does he drop? I can’t see him falling much further, as the allure of having a big and mobile passing and shooting forward is hard to ignore. We’ll see what kind of self-restraint Mark Cuban has at 5. He may think he and his team are the right ones to figure out how to improve him. After all, Nowitski didn’t look anything like the player he was even 2 years after he was drafted. Completely different players, but Cuban may think of himself as the Euro player God.
If the Suns do end up with Doncic, and Kokoskov is some kind of great communicator making it clear what the expectations are, then so what if the first year sucks and the Suns lose a ton of games again? But I know that’s not the biggest concern. The main concern is that he never gets quick and fast enough.
I bet there’s someone out there that can predict how players like Doncic improve at the age.
I also wonder what Rubio thinks about this guy. That could be a good barometer. I also wonder what Dragic REALLY thinks about the speed issue. If you noticed, Dragic looked like lightning compared to everyone else in that video.
I’m now in the camp of absolutely keeping the number 1 pick and taking Ayton. Here’s the latest reasoning …
Let’s say Doncic goes 5 through 8. And look at the teams in this range at least as they’re ordered on today 06/17 5 days before the draft … Dallas, Orlando, Chicago, Cleveland.
Instead of making a deal with whatever team takes Doncic, how about instead leading up to the draft have conversations with every one of these teams and possibly those 2 through 4 as well regarding who else Phoenix might like in a trade for Ayton. It seems this is the real strength of picking at #1 : all the conversations ahead of time from would-be suitors. It means that depending on circumstances and other players available, Doncic may not look nearly as attractive even if he does look like a great pick. Consider Cleveland’s 8th pick for instance. Let’s say that pick is Trae Young. If Cleveland wants Ayton badly enough what players including Young could be packaged up and headed to Phoenix? Nance? Love? Phoenix has plenty of assets worth taking chances on in Len and Warren. Sure Love will be 30 years old, but no question he’d rather be in Phx and would be a great mentor for Jackson and, as a quick thinker and decent passer could help the passing game.
Orlando, who have proven to be idiots, might be dumb enough to let Aaron Gordon go along with whoever: Trae Young for instance. I’d take that combo for Ayton in a heartbeat.
Just seem like so many combinations of discussions that can happen with several teams that want Ayton badly enough to give up good talent. If you have enough teams and enough discussion, you very well may find one team willing to do something that’s so idiotic you can’t pass on it. Need I mention Oladipo? TWICE??
I think Phoenix may be better off drafting and keeping Ayton and then packaging the #16 and #33 picks, along with a young player (Len, Chriss?) to move back up into the lottery for someone like Trae Young or Collin Sexton if they want a PG or Mikal Bridges if they want a wing player. A deal like this might work best with a team like the Cavs who might go into rebuilding mode if LeBron leaves and the idea of multiple draft picks is appealing. The Suns could even agree to take someone like Love, Hill, or Smith back in the deal as a salary dump for Cleveland.
As for Doncic, his stock seems to be falling as people start looking hard at him. He was the consensus #2 pick in the early mock drafts, but now most mocks have him going #4 now. With the draft happening Thursday, we’ll see if falls any further in the final mock drafts. I’m not sure how much he can increase his speed, both on the court and in getting his shot up, but his court vision is valuable and if opposing teams are not focused on him on defense (as I assume most of the European squads are), he may have enough room to operate even without being the quickest afoot.
Of course, but I don’t think the Suns have the assets to wind up high enough for the players you mention. Warren is their best player after Booker and Jackson. Chriss is a problem “project” still. Len will be welcome most places but not for much.
Bender should thrive on the right team, but that team could be the Suns. I’m not sure they want to let him go. 5 days to go!
Back to Doncic. I keep thinking about Evan Turner and the incredible praise he got not only prior to the draft, but his first years in the league and then even after Portland picked him up. Raving about this and that as if he was going to somehow awaken and become some great piece of the puzzle for some team. When I first saw Turner I couldn’t believe how slow he was compared to all the praise. But the hype was so great I felt there must be some reason for it. Next year and the year after that: no change – I kept seeing an very slow guy relatively speaking who at the very least had no business penetrating into the lane and trying to dish. When he was traded to Portland and I heard the praise (and saw the salary) I figured finally! He’s found his “spot” on the right team. And he kind of has, in the sense that’s he’s like what I imagine Iguodala to be like at age 48. Good and smart and slow.
Turner’s salary is alarming. How could I see the obvious problem with the lack of speed and not even a GM of a good team was willing to think long and hard about it? Granted, the salary was pre-cableTV prices, but still a 4 year deal says “we’re pretty sure about what we’re getting”.
$17 million a year for a guy like Turner is a great way to ensure mediocrity for your franchise. Same thing would be true for drafting Doncic extremely high in this draft. Although I’m sure Doncic will be twice the player that Turner has been, it’s pretty crazy to bet high on a slower player.
Looks like the question is going to be put to Mark Cuban at the # 5 pick. Hopefully he knows what he’s doing, cuz I’d like to see Dallas back in the mix soon.
I mentioned this article months ago. I hope the Suns front office has read this and re-read this.
I’ve watched quite a few videos of these draft prospects. This is an abnormal class. Outrageously athletic relative to what I’ve seen prior. That Mikal Bridges is considered anywhere lower than 6 seems really bizarre, because that guy is more than just outrageously athletic. He’s poised and ready for the big boys. But he’s not even considered a top two physical talent in the draft. Maybe not even a top 4.
I’ve never seen a series of draft rankings vary so much so close to the draft. This one changed dramatically since Friday:
Porter Jr. and Bamba and Trae Young seem to be the guys moving up and down more than anyone. Or rather, Bamba seems to only move up. That’s interesting and I assume significant. But not just those guys. Only Ayton and Bagley seem to stay in the top 4 always.
Now look at this ranking…
Updated today still has Doncic going top 2. Sacramento would be idiotic to do so. Sacramento at #2 is best poised to absolutely TRADE down and asap. All the ups and downs and sideways movement of these “expert” opinions tell me that no one really knows who will emerge as the top 3 or 4 guys from this draft. There’s no way to know that the guy you pick at number 2 is any better than the guy at #8.
I wonder if Divac et al have any idea what they’re doing.
Yeah, I saw that SI still had Doncic rated as the #2 draft prospect, even that the SI and CBSSports.com mock drafts have dropped him to getting picked 4th. Somewhere between 6 and 10 sounds about right to me.
Bamba is a weird one for me. He has a limited offensive game now, but can be a monster on the boards and defense initially. He did show improvement with his shooting skills at Texas this year, so maybe he’ll continue to improve. At worst though, he would seem to be a Ben Wallace type player, which ain’t bad.
Trae Young’s stats trailed off as his college season went on, so you have to wonder if can withstand the longer NBA season. Still he led the NCAA in both scoring and assists. I think he would fit in well with a team running the Spurs/Warriors offense. He apparently wasn’t expected to be a one-and-done player until he had the season he had.
Michael Porter was expected to be a one-and-done player and the extremely early 2018 mock drafts that occurred just after last year’s draft, predicted that he would be the first pick. He’s big, very athletic. and may be the best scorer in the draft. However, he is not known for his passing ability, needs some work on his defense, and, of course, there is concern about his back injury. He would not seem to fit in well with the Spurs/Warriors model, but a lot of teams could use his scoring ability.
Joe Lacob spent an hour on the radio today on the Warriors flagship station. You can listen to it here:
Notably, Lacob said they want to keep the core 4 together, but again reiterated that the league’s salary cap is not designed to allow any team to have 4 max contracts.
Lacob, Myers, Kerr, Curry, etc etc etc
all cool dudes. I’m hoping that another year or two of bay area living grows heavily on KD and Dray. Honestly. Why live anywhere else if you’re a superstar that doesn’t need the limelight or interminable streams of women? And regarding women … how can it be hard for these guys to find what they want anywhere? Wilt seemed to do well in the Bay Area according to first hand reports;-)
I watched a good amount of Mo Bamba vid. Amazing guy, but to say “no ceiling”? These scouts are so full of shit!
Let’s just say some team will do well with him if they have plenty of patience and the right guys around him to develop him. But no way is this a #2 in this draft.
I see Bagley going #2 to whoever drafts at #2. There’s something about this that seems so clear now. Unless Ayton doesn’t go number one. Could be Bagley at #1 I suppose.
I debated including this ESPN scouting vid on Bagley, because it’s so extremely critical – THE DUDE JUST TURNED 19 YEARS OLD!
Almost every criticism I heard about his defensive effort or ability to recognize this or that or .. TO MAKE OTHER TEAMMATES BETTER. Are you kidding me? All these things scream bad coaching (which I doubt), or not enough time coaching or well … BEING 18 YEARS OLD at the time which he was.
I like this guy and can see him as the number 2 for Sac. Definitely not better than Ayton though.
including this Ayton scouting vid simply to round out the top 5. no question this is the number 1 draft pick. Only Doncic and Trae Young seem to have skills that could sway whoever picks 1st. But since it looks like Phoenix … yep. this’ll work:-)
We’ll see what happens with the KD contract this offseason, Klay’s next summer, and Draymond’s the year after that. KD will be eligible to earn something like $35 million per year right now, but next summer could sign a supermax contract like Steph did last summer. Klay and Dray will be eligible for max deals, but not supermax deals, unless they win an MVP or some other top awards. Still max deals would put them in excess of $30 million a year. That’s one hell of a lot of money tied up in 4 contracts. The Iggy and Livingston deals will be done in 2 years (and both may retire then) and there will be no way for the Warriors to add similar deals for similar players then. That means the Warriors will need to grow young players into those roles. Bell, Looney, and McCaw are all candidates on the current roster. If they find the right draft pick this year, that may be another.
I’ve read reports that, with the repeater tax, in the season after next, the Warriors could be spending upwards of $175 million for player salaries and another $225 million in luxury and repeater taxes. That’s about $400 million for the privilege of keeping the core 4 together. They could be rolling in so much money with the new arena then that they decide to pay it, but it would not surprise me to see them decide that perhaps they can get by with Steph, KD, and either Klay or Dray.
By the way, this pretty much all still happens even if Klay, Dray, and KD take some discounts. They would have to take massive discounts to prevent the Dubs from entering the massive luxury tax penalties and I don’t see them all doing that. With lesser discounts, the Dubs tax payments may get lessened, but they’ll still be large.
All the Warriors key players look to be set with girlfriends/wives right now. None of them appear to be Wilt-type players, so I doubt that works either for or against staying here.
At this point I’m just hoping that the Warriors make so much money that they just decide to pay all the big salaries and luxury/repeater taxes.
Here’s the thing about virtually everybody that will get picked in the top 10 of the draft. They are virtually all one-and-done players in college. So they are all 19 years old and they’ve been in college, which means going to classes in addition to their basketball responsibilities. As pros, they will live and breathe basketball full-time. Assuming good coaching on their NBA teams, all of them are likely to improve.
Doncic may be a little different than the rest as he has been playing professionally in Europe for something like 3 or 4 years now. He is likely to get better coaching now, but he has already been able to focus on his game full-time, unlike the college players.
Spurs got one piece of good news in their possible pursuit of LeBron today. Rudy Gay opted out of his $8.8 million contract for next year, which seems like a stupid decision on his part, because I don’t think he will get that much money on the free agent contract. Spurs are now about $12 million under the cap for next year. If Danny Green opts out of his $10 mil/yr contract, which I expect, as I do think he can get more on the free agent market, that will get them even closer.
Sports Illustrated’s final mock before the real draft:
As with other recent mock drafts, they’ve got Doncic going 4th to the Grizzlies. Also, Cuban grabbing Michael Porter, Jr. with the 5th pick.
Hey! Wait! Are you suggesting that the players themselves can pay the taxes? Brilliant, but is it legal?
That SI mock draft has Mikal Bridges to the 76ers. That would be sick, and I like the idea of Cuban taking a chance on Porter. These drafts still have DiVincenzo down around 19. I really doubt it. If he’s available at 16 this is absolutely a Suns no brainer if they keep the #16. Why go for another SG if you can get The Chenz to run your offense with Booker alongside him? Come on – no way they pass on him.
Here’s something I really enjoyed, at first for the silly crap most of it is but then look at the trade proposal at bottom. Umm … wow. Hadn’t ever considered that one.
As I’m doubting Kawhi will head off to Boston, I’m thinking more about a potential Kahwi trade. It makes so much sense to put someone just as solid but not nearly as skilled in his place, while at the same time picking up a young stud. It wouldn’t need to happen pre-draft, or would it?
I just like Boston better without the concern of Kyrie lapses on D while adding, what? How bout another mobile big? How about Mo Bamba? Orlando gives up the number 6 pick along with Augustin and Mack and draft picks. Uhh … maybe no way to work it financially.
I see these guys Bamba and Mikal Bridges and I know teams must want them. I really don’t see Bridges falling to #10. In fact, I don’t see Bamba falling to 6. Makes it more likely to me that Doncic falls out of the top 5, unless Cuban really wants him. But if he can take Bamba or Porter Jr instead? I don’t see Doncic ending up there.
Wow, Suns getting first 2 picks in that trade scenario would really be something. I don’t see that happening, but I wonder if it has ever occurred that one team had the first two picks. You’re right that many of the other trade scenarios in that article are pretty silly.
Here’s another potential trade scenario. The Sixers own picks #10 and #26. Sixers don’t really need two 1st round picks given the wealth of young talent they already have. They could package them in a deal to move up to the Mavs’ pick at #5 or the Magic’s pick at #6. Both the Mavs and Magic have multiple needs, so having two 1st round picks might be good for them. Maybe the Sixers add Robert Covington into the deal and move up to the Kings spot at #2 or the Hawks spot at #3. Could you imagine the Sixers snagging Marvin Bagley to play alongside Embiid in the frontcourt under that scenario or adding Doncic to play in the backcourt with Simmons? And they’d still have plenty of money to make a run at LeBron or some other top free agent.
Here was CBSSports.com’s final mock yesterday:
The top 4 picks are the same as the final SI mock draft. They start diverging with the Mavs at #5, one going for Bamba and the other for Porter. They do have the same 4 players going 5th thru 8th, but in different orders, before matching each other at picks 9 and 10.
That #10 pick is worth a lot, so I can see Orlando at #6, especially if they have little interest in Doncic (since this is where I think he’ll end up going), doing that trade with Philly. And since I think it’s very unlikely Mikal Bridges falls to #10 I can see Philly going that route at #6. Or Porter Jr. if he’s still around.
I also have to wonder how many teams want to pick up DiVincenzo knowing they can probably get him with one of the Clippers picks. There must be interest there, so I’m expecting some moves for that reason alone. But sometimes these trades aren’t announced until time of draft.
The CBS list also has DiVincenzo low at #20. I really doubt it. My guess is that several teams are trying to keep their interest close to the vest so he doesn’t go too high.
My guess as to why DiVincenzo is rated as a mid to low first round pick is that he wasn’t a starter at Villanova. He was their sixth man and won the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award this year. His 31 points in the NCAA Tourney final were his career high. So I think some scouts are skeptical of whether that one game is truly representative of his abilities or if it was just a fluke for someone who couldn’t break into the Wildcats starting line-up. His draft status as a possible mid-1st round pick indicates that most are leaning toward him not being a fluke, but are hedging their bets.
The news from Warriors pre-draft workouts (bringing in certain players for private workouts) is that Draymond Green is all over the process. He is attending the pre-draft workouts and giving his opinion of players to Bob Myers and the Warriors scouting department. This after a year that he spent mentoring Jordan Bell. Draymond seems determined to make sure the Warriors get the right kind of players and then coaching them up to be those kinds of players.
Dray is awesome. I’d still like to see Kerr run the offense through him next year at least 50% of the time. I know Dray won’t develop as a 3pt or even 18 foot shooter, but by pulling his bigger slower man out isn’t he threatening to drive and draw fouls? No, his FT% isn’t great but not terrible. You don’t want him shooting 10 FTs a game, but you DO want him getting opposing big men in foul trouble. Why not try getting him to do dribble penetration like Kawhi does? Why not see how good he can get at making those passing decisions while covered from 16 feet out? I can see him getting a lot of and-ones if he has enough reps doing this. Who cares if he misses 23% of his free throws? Especially when he can pass quickly as he drives to the hole. Consider all the players showing quickly and how well he passes to them already down low.
Back to The Chenz! All of my enthusiasm relates to his emphatic imprint made at the combine. He was the star. And he also ruled the NCAA tourney. And not by a small margin. He destroyed it with that finals performance. Then he follows it up with an amazing combine showing?
This is a #15 draft pick or higher I have little doubt. This vid is hilarious …
Collin Sexton. This is a guy Ainge would love to have. How to dump Kyrie somewhere and gain Sexton? This kid lives for hard nosed D and looks like way more of an offensive talent than a Beverly or a Conley. There is no way Ainge isn’t going to work a deal for this guy if he hasn’t already. Playing alongside Kyrie even? Maybe.
Or … did I mention Bamba alongside Horford? That would be sick. Bagley obviously as well. Or Jaren Jackson, or Wendell Carter.
What are the chances that Ainge isn’t workin his ass off trying to get one of these guys? I say 0%.
Just thought of something. Do the Celtics have a high flyer? Tatum yes, but I see the ball being in his hands so often I’m not sure he’s the fly to the rim lob recipient they want. Brown? Maybe. Maybe I don’t know his game well enough. Is Brown the guy they want for their Above the rimmer?
Man. Consider Bamba or Mikal Bridges on the Celtics and how that changes them. Scary.
Jaylen Brown. It appears this is almost the same player as Tatum after watching the vid below. My gut tells me Tatum is better but I’m not sure. How many NBA teams could use a Jaylen Brown? I’m guessing exactly 30.
Ainge has to be thinking about a Brown for high draft pick deal. Collin Sexton, Bamba, Jaren Jackson, Wendell Carter, Mikal Bridges. That’s a hell of a lot of players, half of which he can probably get by packaging up Brown and say … Rozier who they won’t be able to pay anyhow.
Brown and Rozier to the Grizzlies for the #4 pick? Or to Dallas for the #5? Brown is a fucking PROVEN stud. No one in the 2018 draft has proven anything. I’ll take Brown if I’m Dallas or Memphis.
Meanwhile I see this and I’m wondering if there’s too much weed being vaped around ESPN HQ.
Two days before the draft ESPN has Bagley going #5? The Chenz at #25? No frickin way.
Zhaire Smith. I just watched as much video of him as I could watch in a 6 minute span. All these “expert scouts” have him going to Phoenix at #16? No frickin way. Not only does Phx not need another SG, but I see no way this guy is better than DiVincenzo. No way at all. Assuming this is a racist thing by the mostly white scouts?
Reports are saying Doncic the top prospect for the Hawks. That actually makes a ton of sense for a team starting all over again. I agree a team can build around Doncic. He can help develop talent. he’s young and can take his time. If he ends up being your number 3 scoring option in 4 years that might be a damn good team, as he’ll likely be running the offense with a quick PG to do most of the penetration. He’s going to get stronger and quicker. Absolutely a project, but what better team to take their time with this guy?
Reportedly Pop finally got to sit down with Kawhi today. No word how it went. Pop had to fly out to SoCal to meet with Kawhi. Kawhi supposedly was making it difficult to schedule this meeting. Pop lost his wife two months ago. Gotta figure he doesn’t like jumping through hoops just to calm down the team’s superstar.
Another team that could be very busy on the trade front is the Hawks. They’ve got the #3, #19, #30, and #34 picks. That’s a lot of ammo to make trades. They could package the latter 3 to move up for a second lottery pick. Or they could package some of the picks for an established player. They are $30 million under the cap, so they could take on some salary.
This morning finds the Hornets trading Dwight Howard to the Nets for Mozgov and two future 2nd round draft choices. Not sure what is going on here. Howard’s salary is $7 million more per year than Mozgov, but there is only 1 year left on his deal, while Mozgov’s has 2 years to go. Nets may be looking to become major free agents players next summer when they could have $70-$80 million in space with Howard coming off the books after this year. Hornets will save on the salary cap this year, now only being $10 million over the cap instead of $17 million, but will now have less salary available the year after. I know Howard has lost a step, but he seems to burn out his welcome within a year for every team he plays for now.
Some of the predraft rumors flying around:
The Hawks leveraging their #3 pick for teams that really want Doncic makes a lot of sense.
SGA, another talented top 10-12 er, though I can see him dropping lower to the Suns at #16 as well. Another guy along with DiVincenzo that would be much better for the Suns that Zhaire:
A bit slow and methodical, but some players can be successful that way. Ben Simmons for instance. Andre Miller made a living out of being slow and methodical (and crafty and physical) Imagine this guy at 6′ 6″ getting the ball to Ayton and Jackson up above the rim? Ridiculous.
And about DiVencezo (yep – I’m not giving this up), after watching more vid this guy is absolutely NBA ready. On the offensive side he appears to have no weaknesses, and seems to thrive playing around and shooting above much bigger guys. Smart as heck seeing and moving into passing lanes. Uncanny feel for timing of rebounds. And body control …
This video shows several moments where this kid takes off and lands absolutely perfectly. Like a gymnast. His feet plant just perfectly so his weight is balanced just right for the next move making almost everything he does lightning quick. Check out how he lands and then goes back up after this rebound at 3:48 of this video. How many guys in the NBA can get up this follow-up shot as quickly?
I’m seeing a lot of stuff like this from this kid. If the sixers pick him up at #10 (for example), all their Fultz concerns are over. Though I see Mikal Bridges being the better pick at #10, I think #11 – #16 is closer to where I see him going. If he’s around for the 2 Clipper picks, this is where I expect him to go.
Regarding Hornets … recall that Walker was being shopped around early this year. I assume that decision was all about gauging interest in him around the league. I’m sure there was plenty. Are the Hornets prepping for a massive rebuild, starting with these two 2nd rounders and trying to move Walker for a top 10 pick?
All those teams slotted 6 through 9 need a PG. On the other hand, Charlotte picks 11 and could grab Sexton, SGA or DiVincenzo before letting go of Walker. Or … knowing that a good PG will be available at #11, shop Walker for a 6 through 9 and pick up any one of these athletic bigs.
I’ve read through the SI draft proposal article. Most intriguing was mention of Dallas’ willingness to move down. If true then I’m guessing it will happen, since at least half the league appear to be interested in any one of Bamba, Porter Jr., Young, Jaren Jackson. Apparently Dallas not so interested?
One thing no one mentions: Phoenix willingness to shop Josh Jackson to move way up. Jackson and another player could be very interesting for Cuban to think about. Suns could wind up with both Ayton and Trae Young or … Ayton and Bamba? Though it doesn’t seem like the Suns style to get rid of such a coveted player (Jackson), James Jones may actually be in charge of this Suns draft. Not McDonough. I think the league should be prepared for some creativity coming from the Suns.
Regarding all the Kawhi rumors, I don’t believe anything being reported at all except that Pop met with him in SoCal. Other than that, I’ll wait for Pop to make a move or make a statement before believing anything regarding “bad blood” or “disgruntled this and that”. Kawhi is clearly a different animal, so no reason to think the normal rules apply.
I forgot that Mitch Kupchak is now the Hornets GM. Suddenly the Howard-Mozgov deal makes sense. When he was the Lakers GM, Kupchak was the one who signed Mozgov to the 4 year, $64 million deal in the first place. Now his first move as Hornets GM is to trade for Mozgov. Kupchak loves Mozgov’s game apparently. Hornets are over the cap and have no real stars. Walker is the best they’ve got. They’ve got a lot of bad contracts. Batum has 2 years left at $25 mil/yr. Marvin Williams has another year at $14 mil. Cody Zeller is make $43 million over the next three years. Now they’ve got Mozgov at $32 million for the next two years. Walker has a year left at $12 million, which is a bargain. They should be keeping him, but may be forced to unload him because of bad contracts given to other players. Jordan really needs to get better people in his front office.
The rumor mill is a-churning. Can Popovich really take the chance on getting nothing for Kawhi next year? Walker + Love looks like a damned good return to me. Both Spurs types of guys, though Aldridge + Love down low is a little bit of a logjam. Maybe not …
I like Mills ending up in Cleveland. LeBron gets his Dellavedova back.
And of course the idea is to rent Kawhi for a year and see what he thinks a year from now if they win a title or come damn close. The really nice thing about Cleveland, Kawhi (assuming he passes physicals) can still sit out until after the all-star break and no one will bother him.
The downside being that if Kawhi decides to leave in 2019, so does LeBron leaving the Cavs high and dry. Getting rid of George Hill AND the #8 draft pick ensures they’ll be nothing but a doormat for years to come.
So that isn’t a trade rumor, but simply a suggested trade by a Bleacher Report reporter who was playing around with the ESPN Trade Machine like I sometimes do.
I think you’re right as you suggested sometime ago that this is really about Kawhi’s uncle whispering in Kawhi’s ear that he needs to come back home where he can make a lot more money. San Antonio may be able to offer him the most contract dollars for an extension, but Kawhi would make tons more off-the-court money playing in LA. I think Kawhi’s “people” may be pushing this more than Kawhi and Kawhi won’t stand up to them.
That Bleacher Report report is something that came out of all the rumored Kemba Walker trades. There are quite a few flying around. It makes so much sense that I believe something like this is being considered, and in that sense one of many rumors circulating.
Lonnie Walker. If you haven’t seen the scouting report on him check this out. Another way to judge the depth of this draft. Considering that Josh Jackson went 4th last year and that Walker is expected to go 11-15 … affirmation this may be one of the best draft classes ever at least as far as depth is concerned. Walker seems like another potential Fultz replacement for Philly. I wonder if there’s talk of trading Fultz prior to this draft. It seems Philly will be able to easily replace their need for him.
SI gives the Nets an A and the Hornets a D+ for the Howard-Mozgov trade:
As I noted, SI likes that this will make the Nets major players in free agency next summer. Maybe Jay Z can attract some great players to the team next summer.
I read it first thing this morning. Much ado about nothing. I don’t think it matters what the Nets try to do until ownership changes.
Count me as a Porter Jr. doubter. I don’t see why assume he can do the same things he’s done in the NBA. If he was more focused maybe, but that’s what he seems to lack. I’m not sure why this would be a top 6 pick …
You may be right about the Nets. They’ve got a couple foreign billionaire owners who seem to want to avoid ever having to pay luxury taxes as any competing team would want to do. They probably look upon the Nets as an investment and expect that they’ll be able to sell the team in a few years for triple or more what they paid for it. Because they are foreigners with no ties to the local community, they likely have little invested in making the fans happy. I want to like Sean Marks, the GM, as he is a fellow Cal PoliSci grad, but he has made no moves that lead me to believe that he has a real plan. He traded Lopez and Kuzma away to get Mozgov and didn’t have any other trades/transactions of note until the Howard deal. The Nets are now primed to make a run at big time free agents next summer, but let’s see if they actually do that. If they use that cap room to bring in, say, Kyrie and Butler, then they are perhaps headed in the right direction. If instead, they use the cap space to sign, say, Kemba and Love, then, hey, those are nice players, but they won’t be winning you any championships.
I would not pick Porter in the top 5 and maybe not the top 10 because he is just too big of a question mark and a potential head case. Back issues have a way of lingering and because of the back injury, he did not get enough college coaching that may have remedied some of his inadequacies. You would basically be drafting an incomplete high school player. Granted with a huge amount of upside, but what are the odds on him reaching his full potential? If I’m drafting in the top 10, I’d like more of a sure thing, but there will be some team (Mavs maybe) who fall in love with his size and potential and draft him high.
from Ian Begley (ESPN):
“Members of the Knicks organization met in-person with Texas big man Mohamed Bamba in New York today, team sources told ESPN. The meeting is an indication that the Knicks are considering trading up. They currently have the No. 9 pick. Bamba is projected as the fifth pick in ESPN’s latest mock draft.”
What could it mean other than Hardaway Jr. is being considered in a trade? Do the Knicks have anything else to barter with? As far as Hardaway is concerned, I really like the guy and expect a good team/coach would get the best out of him. Dallas perhaps?
I think whatever team ends up with Porter is going to regret it. That’s because some team after #7 is going to think they HAVE TO pick him or the GM will look like an idiot. And yet I can see him still being available at #8.
Knicks have Kanter for one more year at $18.6 million (if he opts in and why wouldn’t he at that number), Noah at basically $19 mil/yr for next 2 years, Hardaway Jr. at basically $18 million for the next 3 years, and Courtney Lee at $12.5 mil/yr for next 2 years. Those are all contracts that I’m sure they’d like to get rid of. Kanter’s is an expiring contract, so it may be the easiest to dump. Hardaway will be tough to get rid of unless some team really likes him. Not sure who that would be. Hardaway had a career high in PPG last year, but that was primarily because Porzingis was injured for half the year. Was it enough to maybe make the Mavs or Magic want to trade down to get him? Maybe they like the idea of Hardaway and, say, Mikal Bridges, better than Bamba. We’ll see.
Here is The Sporting News’ final predraft mock:
They’ve got Doncic going #3 to the Hawks. Its looking like Ayton and Bagley going 1-2.
I just re-read something I wrote above. Bad typing! I wrote “There is no way Ainge isn’t going to work a deal for this guy”. That’s not what I meant to write! This is what I meant to write …
Collin Sexton. This is a guy Ainge would love to have. How to dump Kyrie somewhere and gain Sexton? This kid lives for hard nosed D and looks like way more of an offensive talent than a Beverly or a Conley. There is no way Ainge isn’t going to TRY to work a deal for this guy if he hasn’t already.
But Celtics really need a high flyer to complete what they have. Same thing for the Warriors and Rockets actually. Aren’t all these teams looking at Mikal Bridges in some way? Now what about this. Something seems clear that this is a pretty good plan …
Celtics move Brown to whatever team picks up Mikal Bridges. With all these passers on the Celtics: Hayward, Kyrie, Tatum, Horford, Smart (sort of), Rozier, why not add an above the rim guy with good hands and can finish. Isn’t that more valuable than a Brown who is really just a more defensive minded Tatum with fewer passing skills? Can they trade Brown to Dallas for the 5th pick? Why not. Who’s better, Bamba or Brown? No one really knows do they?
Just as some GM will likely blow it by picking Porter Jr, I think another GM will get lucky to pick Mikal Bridges.Still can’t get past the idea that Bridges may go as low (or lower) than #10.
Mikal Bridges. This is a better player than Porter Jr. last year and likely any time in the future. This seems like an obvious top 8 pick in this draft.
Whoever ends up with the #5 pick, I’m not sure I’d take Bamba over Bridges.
It’s about time for this, as I doubt I’ll have more time to “research” if that’s what you call what I’ve done…
Most underated player going into the draft: No question Mikal Bridges.
Most overrated player going into the draft: Michael Porter Jr.
Most likely surprise: Celtics make a move by trading Brown for a top #6 pick. No reason for that trade to happen before or during the draft.
Biggest steal: Mikal Bridges
Biggest mistake: not picking DiVincenzo after the #11 pick.
Worst idea: Sac not trading the #2. I think that on draft day everyone from #2 down wants Bagley. After draft day everyone convinces themselves they’re happy with their non-Bagley choice and less willing to trade.
Case in point: the amazing and on-going hype of Jaren Jackson. Another testament as to the depth of this draft, but all of these “experts” so sure he’ll be the BEST of the draft eventually (there are many of these). What is the objective NEED to pick him in the top 3? He’s great. So are a fairly long list of guys … Bamba, Doncic, Sexton and Mikal Bridges. Some will add Trae Young and Porter Jr but I’m not convinced about those two.
If Bridges does fall to the Sixers at #10 as most of the mock drafts are predicting, the Embiid, Simmons, Covington, Saric, Bridges line-up is going to be killer.
The Warriors are rumored to be shopping for a 2nd round pick. Theory is that because they’ll be so far over the cap, they want to stock their bench with players on rookie contracts.
“Per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the Knicks are one of several teams to talk to Memphis about a trade involving its No. 4 pick. The Grizzlies have insisted that any team that acquires its pick take back Chandler Parsons, and the nearly $50 million he’s owed over the next two seasons. The Knicks have told some agents that they are strongly opposed to signing any free agents to long-term contracts this summer. The idea, it appears, is to preserve cap space for 2019. So it wouldn’t make sense for the Knicks to take back Parsons in a trade because his contract would clog their cap for the summer of 2019.”
How are there not at least 5 teams climbing over each other to do this? So what if they need to pick up the $50 M tab, it’s just two years for teams like the Suns, Dallas, Clipps, Sac, etc who have no plans for great things before then. Can’t the Suns figure out a way to unload some talent to Memphis (Len, Warren, Bender) in order to land Bamba, Jaren Jackson or Doncic?
Bamba and Ayton and Booker and Jackson together – that’s insane.
Funny. I’m not sure how I missed this. I’m sure LeBron didn’t …
Cleveland picks up Mikal Bridges at #8? Ha. Grab Kawhi for a year. Damn.
Regarding the Warriors and the 2nd rounder …
A lot of eyes will be on Jalen Brunson expected to go very low 1st or high 2nd. Suns pick first in the second I believe. Maybe … Looney might look good in a Suns uni.
Have Warriors shown any interest in Grayson Allen? If he can be controlled, seems like Iggy would be a great mentor for this guy. They have similar games.
Forget Brunson. If Allen somehow makes it to the second round, easy pick for Suns at #31. What team wouldn’t want this?
According to your list up top here, Bulls are $40 M under? How are they not grabbing this #4 spot?
Warriors have been very tight-lipped about who they are interested in. Nearly every mock draft has someone different for them. What is likely is that they will take a wing player who can shoot and play defense. There are any number of players that could be available when they pick that would fit that role. Iggy will be a great role model for any such player. I personally don’t like Allen because he seems incredibly immature, but he would fit. Brunson needs to work on his defensive skills, but he fits too. So would Okogie, Troy Brown, Bruce Brown, Evans, Frazier, and Trent. If they can pick up a fairly early 2nd round pick and get 2 of these guys, they’ll be happy
Suns wouldn’t necessarily need to trade for Looney and couldn’t before or during the draft anyway. Looney is an unrestricted free agent, so Suns can simply offer him more money than the Warriors can and see if he bites. Having two very mobile guys like Looney and Ayton in their front court would be a good look for the Suns.
If the Grizzlies are requiring any team interested in the #4 pick to take Parsons contract, the Knicks are effectively out of it. Knicks don’t have the cap space to do that and already have a bunch of guys making too much money that they would like to move. Knicks will have some salary cap space next summer, but Porzingis and Mudiay (if they like him) will be due for big raises then, so if they are hoping for a big free agent signing next summer, it will depend on how much over the cap and into the luxury tax they wish to go.
The Bulls pick 6th, two picks after the Grizz. It would depend on how much they like Bamba more than who they would get 2 picks later (which could be Bamba if the Grizz and Mavs are more interested in Jackson, Doncic and Porter). If I’m the Bulls, I’m not sure it would be worth to take on Parsons contract just to ensure that you get Bamba over who else might be available.
I’ve watched quite a bit of Grayson Allen today. Not nearly the bad apple I thought. No more than Draymond Green in my opinion, and he’s obviously going to mature. Can’t see him getting away with crap around the Dubs superstars anyhow. He’s not an idiot – nothing like a JR Smith for instance. I think he would be an awesome pick for the Dubs, but he won’t go that late. Looks like he’s slotted at #24 or earlier.
So I agree with you about Chicago. I can’t understand why not the Suns then for their #16? Especially since, even if they let Parsons go in 2 years he’s a perfect fit for their offense (if healthy which he may not be). He can also help them to tank if they decide on that strategy for 18-19. It’s just way way too intriguing to pass up, isn’t it? Ayton alongside either Bamba or Jaren Jackson?? And all they need to do is pay Parsons $25 M for the next two years. What am I missing?
Heck, why can’t the Suns throw in Josh Jackson as well, while keeping their #16?
Not sure why the Suns would want both Ayton and Bamba. I get the twin towers idea that the Pelicans have been trying out the past couple of years, but wouldn’t the Suns be more interested in a point guard or really good defending wing with their second pick, rather than drafting two players who are essentially the same? The Suns have multiple needs, so I don’t see how drafting two centers helps them as much as filling other needs.
From what I understand Bamba can stretch out to 3Pt. So not the same. But you’d be right if it was Jaren Jackson instead. And it might be. Still, they’d have a chance at Bagley if 2 and 3 screw that up.
Or Doncic. But I definitely like Bamba best. That guy could be huge trouble for Durant, Embiid, Davis … and this way Ayton doesn’t need to worry about going up against him!
Oh. Bamba defends every position anywhere on the court. An amazing perimeter defender.
Looks like the Nets will buy out Dwight Howards contract making him a free agent this summer. Damn. There are some good teams he could play with even if for just a 1 year contract. Celtics for instance. Pacers. Jazz. He’ll need to take a pay cut, but since he’s getting the free money buy out … lucky guy since he’s playing very well these days.
Seems like exactly the player the Thunder would take a chance on, but looks like they won’t be able to afford him.
This has me hopeful, though not exactly optimistic. SI’s rankings you provided show 11-15 going like this …
14. Miles Bridges
15. Zhaire Smith
At various times this week I’ve heard great praise for all these guys, especially Sexton and Lonnie Walker. Zhaire Smith is supposed to be among the best athletes I believe and has heads turning. The Suns seem to be one pick out of the running for the real talent in this draft. I have to believe they’re willing to trade up even if just 3 spots to have a chance at Gilgeous Alexander, because it’s a good bet Sexton and Walker go ahead of him. Clippers have that #13 pick.
According to Woj, as soon as the Kawhi trade request got out, the Lakers contacted the Spurs about Kawhi. Apparently, the Lakers came away from that phone call believing that the Spurs had no real interest in dealing Kawhi. We’ll see if the Spurs stance changes after the Kawhi-Pop meeting. David Robinson was on TV this morning saying that he thought the Spurs and Kawhi could patch up their differences.
Feeling sorry for Pop having to put up with this shit. Whether it’s the medical staff screwing things up or Kawhi just being a child (which I now realize he clearly IS), Pop doesn’t deserve any of it especially since he’s the entire reason Kawhi is a superstar in the first place.
Further re: Bamba: as to him stretching out to 3-pt range. He shot .275 (14 for 51) from the arc at Texas. He shot 68% from the free throw line. While he’s not completely useless from the perimeter and charity stripe, he’ll need to vastly improve in both areas before NBA defenses stop allowing him to take a 3 (as the Cavs did with Green who shoots the 3 much better) or fouling him in the paint.
On defense, Bamba is mostly known for his interior defense, but again was not completely useless against the pick and roll or in perimeter defense. That being said, I still see the Currys, Hardens, and Westbrooks of the world eating him alive if he gets switched on to them on defense.
Ayton has a little better range on his shot than Bamba (.343 from 3-pt line, .733 from Ft line in college), but Bamba is probably the better defender. Both will get eaten alive by quick NBA PGs on switches. Neither showed much passing ability in college. So if you put them together on the court, you really lose your ability to run a motion offense and it gives the opposing offense two guys that they can go after on switches. I just don’t see it working.
I think a huge problem with a lot of analysis (everyone’s including mine and yours) is that these guys are growing up as we speak. I’d love to believe that DiVincenzo (for instance) became a different player starting with the tournament. I could certainly make an outstanding case for that, but as with all these guys you just don’t know. Too young. I think the best you can do is see the attitude and maybe the hunger. Obviously the skillset and the quickness. Regarding Bamba I agree – I don’t know. The scouts do their best, but I see everything there in one package. And from what I understand that includes a 3pt shot that got better over the last year. Regarding perimeter D? oh yeah. that’s easy to see. outstanding. To say “not completely useless”, well … let’s just say that’s really selling him short in that department.
I do agree with potential passing issues between Ayton and Bamba, but from what I’ve seen Bamba has some passing chops as well.
Given that Woj is making it clear he expects a lot of movement, it makes sense to me that we’ve heard nothing yet. That’s usually the way it goes, but this year is so different with this crazy depth on down to #13 or 14. I’m still seeing Sexton going 13 in some mock drafts. It makes sense that, because there maybe be more than just a couple big moves, finalizing them may come right down to the wire. Teams could also simply run out of time to figure em out as well I suppose.
After watching more Bamba footage I’m with you on the passing game between the two. Neither he nor Ayton have any kind of natural passing … “urges” is maybe the best way to put it. Nothing natural like an Embiid or even a Patrick Ewing.
Woj tweeted this as to how he expects the top 6 to go (barring trades of course):
1. Suns – DeAndre Ayton
2. Kings – Marvin Bagley III
3. Hawks – Luka Doncic
4. Grizzlies – Jaren Jackson Jr.
5. Mavericks – Mo Bamba
6. Magic – Trae Young
After Ayton and Bagley go 1-2, I expect there to be a lot of trades discussed throughout the rest of the top 10 picks.
Doncic still seems like the wrong pick for a team that needs him to step in immediately as well … Atlanta will be asking him to be floor general from the get go. At least if he went to Memphis or Dallas he’d learn from awesome PGs.
100% predicted the Mavs-Hawks agreement.
Well, I didn’t know it would be Trae Young, but predicted they’d swap picks and that it would depend on one of two players going at #5.
Cuban. I love this guy. If Memphis picks Young then Cuban gets Jaren Jackson Jr or Bamba. Each magnitudes better than DeAndre Jordan who he went after years ago.
Doncic getting a year being mentored by Dirk will be good. Atlanta getting Trae Young in that deal has to mean that they have plans to get rid of Schroder.
No Porter through first 7 picks. Cavs on the clock. If you are LBJ, who do you pick (just kidding, I mean the Cavs front office)?
Cavs take a PG who is at his best when the ball is in his hands. I think this means they expect LBJ to go.
Awesome. Just awesome to be with Dirk and Dennis Smith. Great great job by Cuban.
Meanwhile, Orlando just started their clock on their reign as the best defensive team in the NBA. They have Bamba alongside Aaron Gordon now. Tough as nails mobile/athletic big dudes. I’m now an Orlando fan if they can just sprinkle something around those guys. There have to be 10 teams looking for a package like Vucevic plus Fournier at the right price.
Cleveland picks Sexton. Awesome choice regardless of LeBron’s choice. They say Doncic is the most NBA ready? Doubtful. I think Bagley and Sexton are. Add Kawhi and stir. That’s a great team.
Mavs now have Dennis Smith, Luka Doncic, and Harrison Barnes, which is 3/5ths of a good motion offense, and a lot of cap room, so maybe they pick up some bigs that would work well with them. If the Dubs let McGee go, they should definitely consider him.
Yep. no need to ask. Pretty damned happy about what went down tonight. The Sixers trade had James Jones written all over it.
Grayson Allen. Great fit in Utah. Tough dudes on that team. If they have everyone healthy in 2019 playoffs, entertaining as heck.
Speculation is that part of the reasoning on the Sixers side of that trade was getting that unprotected 2021 first round pick that belonged to Miami originally. The Sixers are apparently planning on making an effort to trade for Kawhi and that pick could be good trade bait, particularly if Miami falls apart by 2021. If the Sixers don’t get Kawhi though, they have blown it big time.
With Booker, Ayton, and Bridges, Suns got some nice building blocks.
Warriors got the wing player they wanted in Jacob Evans, but weren’t able to pick up a 2nd round pick like they wanted.
Mavs backcourt now is Smith and Doncic with Brunson backing them up. Mavs will be returning to prominence sooner rather than later if they spend their cap space wisely.
Agreed about the Mavs. Also, that’s now a fantastic destination for free agents.
Funny story about how it all went down in Phoenix tonight. Suns were minutes away from selecting, guess who? THE CHENZ! Check it out …
Gotta make this point because it really irks me: one surprising revelation for me as I’ve listened to sports talk the last few years is just how many “reporters” (on air or not) are from Philadelphia. Though they’re typically both knowledgeable and fair, they also don’t hesitate to show their allegiance(s). So I shouldn’t be surprised at how this Bridges-Smith trade is being viewed from most of what I’m reading in the media. An automatic win for the Sixers, as if somehow Phx really blew it. A couple things to say there …
So a bunch of guys from Philly are talking about the value of a 2021 first round Miami pick without dissecting and analyzing Miami’s team over the next THREE years? Are any of these homers stopping to realize that clearly Phoenix mulled this over and over again way prior to this draft? Miami in the 2020-2021 season?? Is it possible Phx looked at numbers and trends and upcoming draft classes and free agent moves and said “well, Miami’s going to get their guy in the next 2 years”. And … “we value that first round pick at somewhere between #12 and #19”.
What’s more remarkable is the idea that paring off a little cap space while at the same time adding a 2021 asset … that somehow that’s more valuable to them then a 6′ 7″ dynamic and awesome 3 pt shooter, defensive oriented hard working teammate? Brett Brown absolutely blew it here in my opinion. If they want to go after Kawhi for instance, seems they have a much better asset in Mikal Bridges than the pairing of Smith and a far off pick.
Everyone, INCLUDING THE SIXERS, viewed Bridges as a sure thing. Why in the heck do you give up your sure-thing-asset for two extremely unsure things when the entire league knows exactly how sure the sure-thing-asset could bring to the table?
I do understand that the Sixers were extremely hi on Smith prior to the draft. And possibly for the exact same reasons that they were high on Fultz last year. But they really seem to have made a mental error thinking that all the planning and analysis of “we want a dynamic SG alongside Simmons for this that and the other reasons” somehow outweighs the REALITY of having a sure thing fall right into their laps. A dynamic 6′ 7″ 3 point shooting and FIERCE defensive team competitor? How does that not fit EXACTLY into the Sixers chemistry now, next year, 2021, 2025, etc etc etc?
Suns took Okobo at #31. I can see why this kid was expected to go in the first round. Quickness, floor vision under control and apparently a nice shot. In this video you see defenses collapse around him which does NOT seem like a good idea when his teammates include Booker, Ayton and Bridges;-)
Seems polished enough to start right out of the gate simply to get the chemistry stirring. It’s really the only way to see what they have – lots of minutes, especially when there’s nothing at all to lose except games and I really doubt the Suns care if they go 45-37 or 37-45 this year. As long as they show dominant stretches later in the season.
This is the kind of drivel I just don’t understand. From The Ringer …
10. Phoenix Suns: Mikal Bridges, G/F, Villanova (from Philadelphia 76ers)
The Suns are going all in now, trading away an unprotected first-round pick in 2021 (which may be one of the best trade assets in the league right now) to move up six picks to grab Bridges. His ability to defend either backcourt position should make him an excellent complement to Devin Booker, who is now flanked by defense-first players Bridges and Josh Jackson on the perimeter. Phoenix clearly wants to end its rebuilding effort, and Bridges should help the Suns shore up the biggest holes in their roster.
I keep seeing this kind of phrasing about the Suns “going all in now” or “ending the rebuilding process” or “choosing a win now mentality”. WTF???
I think some really simple logic + some remedial math is required here. Just what exactly do all these “experts” think that 2021 pick was for? What better way to use it than to get a perfect fit and sure thing on both ends of the court? What seems to be tripping up all this ill-logicians is that it makes NO DIFFERENCE if the Suns get that perfect fit now, or in free agency or next year or the next. Why assume Suns flipped the switch on Bridges because of some plan to win now rather than later? Ridiculous. They simply had the right guy fall into their laps!! Makes no difference when that happens. It happened!
I’m not quite ready to give this up, as I think another point needs to be made: from the OUTSIDE, and especially if one is logically handicapped, it’s easy to think of the Suns using that 2021 to “move up 6 spots” which, in all the recaps I’ve seen so far implies “moving up ONLY 6 spots”. That’s nonsense. Both Phx and Philly may have valued Bridges as a clear top 7 pick. Atlanta surprised most people by going with Young. Given that fact, Chicago was all of a sudden in an interesting spot. Imagine the relief among Philly front office members when neither Chicago, Cleveland or New York took Bridges? Meanwhile, the Suns are weighing all kinds of things and had to be equally stunned (especially by the Knick’s fuckup). That 1,2 or 3 spot drop represents more cap space for the Suns if they could somehow land Bridges.
It didn’t have to be Bridges. We could be having the exact same conversation today regarding Trae Young dropping to #11 and Phoenix going “all in” (or whatever) to try to snag Young. What about SGA? Is there any doubt that while Phoenix was trying to work the deal with Philly they were trying to work the exact same deal with Charlotte for SGA?
They used the pick for its intended use. And that’s because this was a DEEP draft. Somehow it seems all this can be simply summed up with “DUH”.
Btw, reports first indicated that Philly was the one initiating and pushing that trade. Not at all. It was 100% Phx pressing hard trying to shop that 2021 pick.
There is definitely a sports media bias in favor of Philly that doesn’t seem to understand what has happened with them. When the “Process” was going on, they were routinely derided for intentionally losing in order to get good draft picks. Now that the “Process” seems to have worked with Embiid, Simmons, and Saric, they are routinely praised for every action. In fact, the reverse should be happening. Sam Hinkie was the architect of the process. And got fired for his troubles after years of media sniping of what they were doing.
Since Hinkie was fired, what has happened. The Sixers got absolutely fleeced by the Celtics in last year’s draft day trade where they got an as yet unproven Fultz while giving up a budding superstar in Tatum and a 2018 1st rounder that the Celtics turned into Kyrie Irving. This year, the Sixers almost got the draft right picking local boy and 3-and-D stud Bridges and then, THEY CALL the Suns and offer up Bridges for, as you put it, two unproven quantities in Smith at a first round pick 3 years from now that they have no idea how good it will be. The Suns did not come to the Sixers with this trade, the Sixers wanted this. Seems like the Sixers have done nothing right since Hinkie left. The only way they redeem themselves now is if they are able to make the Kawhi trade AND Kawhi signs an extension with them. I don’t think that will happen.
The first news indicated this was the Sixers idea. It wasn’t. This was all about the Suns pressing and not giving up. Suns were shopping the 2021.
Unless Brett Brown is somehow a shameful liar that is. He’s very clear where the idea came from …
Crystal clear answer starting here at 9:36 in. No question this is Phx knowing that the Sixers had interest in Zhaire Smith and Phoenix realizing, no matter how good Smith was or how clear it was that he was the best available, they already have their SG and he’s not going anywhere.
Even if initiated by the Suns, it was a stupid move by the Sixers. At least CBSSports.com got this right. They praise the Suns and call the Sixers losers:
After the draft, the Warriors signed undrafted Kendrick Nunn, out of Oakland College (in Michigan), who was the NCAA’s second-leading scorer this year, to a partially guaranteed deal. On the radio this morning, assistant GM Kirk Lacob said the Dubs contacted every team between pick #31 and pick #45 to try to obtain a 2nd round pick. Don’t know if Nunn was somebody they were looking at with a 2nd round pick or not.
Word out of Houston is that the new ownership is balking at giving Chris Paul a supermax deal, which was *wink, wink* promised to him last year when old ownership made the trade to get him. Frankly, it is a smart move by Houston ownership. You don’t want to be paying upwards of $45 million/yr to a 37-year-old Paul at the end of a supermax contract. Not sure with his injury issues that he would be worth the $35-38 mil/yr he’d be getting at the beginning of the contract. We may see Paul sign elsewhere.
Ha. Yes CBS sports seemed to get it calling the 2021 pick a “decent” return. Exactly. That is exactly what it was, and that should prompt everyone in Philadelphia to ask why abandon a “great” option for a couple of “decent” ones. The more I think about this the more I realize Brown must be sitting around today wondering what he did. Because this IS what he did: he assumed that Zhaire Smith WILL be a valuable asset to them or someone else sometime in the next TWO years, and more than likely more like the next 1.5 years. Whoops!! That doesn’t add up to what he explained in the press conference where he seemed to be allowing quite a bit of time for Smith to develop. That’s almost no time at all. Pressure will be on Smith to be producing significantly by Feb 2020 at the latest. That’s really not very long from now.
Regarding Houston … I think we should all be a bit worried. Just what will they be up to soon here? I keep thinking about this guy Mikal Bridges and how players like that change the game. Same thing when we were picking our greatest teams of all time and you took Dr. J – what does a high flyer with outstanding hands and body control do for a team? More to the point, what if you pair someone like that up with Harden? That’s the kind of thing that scares me. Like a Blake Griffin paired up with Harden, not that this can happen. Just has me wondering if they can find a guy like this without splitting up the entire team. Somehow Daryl Morey always seems to figure out how to do things like this. Even if it doesn’t happen this offseason, still a concern going forward.
Just throwing this out there, as scary thoughts go. Why couldn’t this happen for instance …
Capela and Tucker to the Celtics for Jalen Brown, Baynes and Rozier and whatever else is needed to make this work.
Just throwin it out there. Not sure how to replace what Capela brings around the rim. Maybe they sign Looney as well;-)
Just listened to a few minutes of Zach Lowe podcast with Rachel Nichols and Brian WIndhorst. Only a few as it’s all I can take. Some obvious takeaways …
He’s a bully.
I never understood the whole thing about ESPN’s “Zach Lowe’s : 10 things I like and don’t like about …”. I was sure that must have been a joke, or some sort of tongue in cheek filler. I would read it and come away confused, because it actually came across as a list of someone’s “partially informed opinions”. I assumed that’s exactly what it was supposed to be: a lot of space used on ESPN’s website for someone to vent half-baked opinions. I just figured this was an attempt at social-mediasizing ESPN. I think I get it now. This guy is a full on bullying egomaniac who somehow gets ESPN to give him exposure. And I assume now it’s exactly BECAUSE he’s an opinionated and classless bully.
Loves’ to hear himself talk.
Hey, it’s his podcast. I kind of get Windhorst being on there, since he seems like a bit of a vanilla flavored pushover, but I have no idea why Rachel Nichols agrees to be alongside this tool. Maybe it’s written into her contract?
It’s all about how it makes him feel first. Not about looking at the details.
And this is where I had to stop listening. He more or less just came out and said that he doesn’t like the Suns front office. Not because of anything they did last night. Just the opposite: he didn’t like anything they did last night BECAUSE he just doesn’t like them. So you can guess where it was all going. Everything was about what that 2021 pick COULD be. And because it could be a means to landing a top 3 pick then … that alone makes it DEFINITELY a fantastic move by Philly. It seemed to all be based on this idea that he somehow knows Phx has decided this year has to be all about winning. He knows that because he starts by assuming that Phx must have made a mistake because he doesn’t like Phx.
Remarkable. What a frickin idiot.
Ryan McDonough is coming on Sirius-XM NBA Radio right now. I’ll record this. Can’t wait to hear his answer to “did you make this move because you feel like you need to win right now?”
The “Suns are in a win now mode” as a result of the Bridges deal is an analysis I don’t understand. How does making a trade for a guy just drafted put them in win now mode? They’ve got a young team and added another good young piece to it. This is a team looking to grow these young pieces together over the next few years into a playoff team. If the Suns were in win now mode, they’d be trading young players for established veterans. They ain’t doing that. So what are these arseholes talking about win now mode for?
As I listen to all this amazing commentary/analysis I realize there’s a scenario that could happen but may be improbable. I believe Pop will get a great deal and trade Kawhi somewhere. Knowing there’s almost no way Kawhi hangs around for 19′-20′, Pop absolutely needs to deal prior to the end of the year. But Pop won’t deal to Lakers or Celtics. No way. He’s not going to create a superteam.
What if this happens however? Kawhi dealt to Philly and Pop is done and happy (enough) with the result. Almost immediately after Pop is out of the picture, Philly deals Kawhi to the Lakers for Ingram and Randle, knowing Kawhi won’t stick around.
Just thinking about this scenario. Obvoiusly Pop would be pissed off. But who cares?
Back to Kawhi. Starting with the question “is there any way Pop hasn’t been working on a plan for what the team should look like post-Kawhi?”
Is Pop going to go gently into that good night? what do you think?
Lonnie Walker somehow fell to them which is surprisingly weird. This is a brain. This guy has Pop written all over him, but he’s not a PG. Who to pair him with?
Sexton seems absolutely perfect to me. That pairing alongside Aldridge is golden. Pop wants Sexton I have no doubt. I think Kawhi is on his way to Cleveland if there’s a way to throw in something else. That may have to include Kevin Love.
I’m certain that Pop has many potential plans for post-Kawhi life. Trade him to the Celtics to Kyrie. Trade him to the Cavs for Sexton and Love. Trade him to the Lakers for Ingram and Kuzma. Trade him to the Sixers for some selection of players (Fultz, Covington?) and the Heat’s 2021 1st round pick. I’m sure the Spurs are working all the angles. The Spurs GM said today that they hoped that Kawhi would be a Spurs lifer. Not sure if that is an indication that the Pop-Kawhi meeting went well or if they are trying to drive up the price for Kawhi. If trading Kawhi, they will get as much as possible for him, likely playing 2 or more teams off each other in a bidding war. If they are going after a just drafted rookie like Sexton, they will have to make the trade before the rookie is signed or wait to make the trade. Teams can trade the rights to unsigned rookies, but once signed, the rookie is ineligible to be traded for 30 days.
Carmelo Anthony has decided NOT to opt out of his contract. Although I’m sure OK City is not his kind of town, I think he also realized that nobody else was going to give him $28 million this year, so he might as well opt in to the last year on his contract. This means that even if Paul George opts out, the Thunder will be $15-16 million over the salary cap.
The Nuggets have reportedly resigned Jokic to a 5-year, $146 million deal. So, they will be going from $6-7 million over the cap to something like $30 million over the cap. So they likely won’t be free agent players, though they could possibly look to make some kind of sign-and-trade deal to get a free agent.
Denver got a bargain. That seems too low for him, but I guess he likes Denver.
Question. If the Lakers are going to do everything they can to get LeBron, does that mean they’re currently trying to make trades that land players that LeBron wants to play with? Some examples of those kinds of players: Booker, Lillard, McCollum, Ingles.
Just wondering if they’re even thinking of something like Ingram + Ball to the Suns for Booker. Not that those two would be enough for me to be happy, but could be enough for McDonough. This lineup does seem absurdly entertaining though: LeBron, Kawhi, Kuzma, Booker … ??? with Randle coming off the bench.
Anyhow, just wondering how far Magic will go to set the table soon. I’ve gone back and forth trying to figure out how much sense it makes for LeBron to stay in Cleveland. I’m not sure the problem would be about assembling enough talent to win a Championship next year, because I think they can with Kawhi for instance. But it gets him only one 50% or so chance at a championship, and everything looks uncertain after that. A more logical route really is moving himself now and to the right place. Since Kawhi wants to be in LA, that seems to mean he’s at least 50% likely to be there for the 19-20 season. Maybe all LeBron needs to do is figure out which team … Clipps or Lakers?
Regarding youtube soundclips of draft analysis: I have all the clips, but after putting at least 2 hours into the endeavor Youtube came back with “duration was too long. please shorten the length etc etc”. So I’ll get to it when I can.
Regarding Pop’s plan for Kawhi. I think he will have to move him, but not really until later this year. Or even after the All star game, right? I forget which deadline is which, but what is the latest Pop can trade him before he becomes an FA? Whatever that date is, I think that’s going to be Pop’s deadline. I think that because I’m sure he wants to be able to evaluate the new talent in the league, not to mention the second and third year talent. Case in point, you can be damned sure Ingram and Ball are going to come out en fuego ready to prove to Magic he’ll regret trading them. I assume the same thing with Brown in Boston. Waiting as long as he can gives Pop a chance to really evaluate these guys.
I don’t think that Magic trades any of Ball, Kuzma, or Ingram unless he is absolutely certain that LeBron is coming. I would guess that it’ll be part of his recruiting pitch to ask LeBron who on the current squad he’d like to see stick around and who he’d like to see Magic try to acquire. For the Lakers, LeBron will have to be the first domino that falls as his decision will affect everything else that they may do.
As for Kawhi, the trade deadline is in February. After that, Kawhi can’t be traded as once next season ends, Kawhi will become a free agent unless he were to opt in to the last year of his contract. I imagine that one of the things that Pop said to Kawhi in recent meeting was that the Spurs can’t get the best trade return for him until he proves that he can play like he did before. So he may have asked that Kawhi return to the Spurs to start the season, prove his meddle, and then he would trade Kawhi on or before the trade deadline.
The “play to prove you’re healthy” issue is a good point, but secondary to looking at other young available talent. Regardless, if Pop gets a ridiculous offer now based on say, Kawhi showing Cleveland that he’s ready. No reason for Pop to wait for Kawhi to re-injure himself.
My point regarding Magic relates to discussions that would have already occurred with LeBron: his preferences, timelines, etc.
Magic can’t talk to LeBron until July 1st. Given that the Lakers have been fined for tampering twice already under Magic’s watch and recently warned all their employees not to say or do anything that might be regarded as tampering, I don’t think Magic is talking to LeBron yet.
Last summer, the Lakers gave Kentavius Caldwell-Pope a one year, $18 million dollar contract that seemed a little large. At the time, it was no big deal because it was only one year, the Lakers had plenty of cap space, and KCP is a good defensive guard in a conference with Curry, Thompson, Harden, and Westbrook. Turns out there was a method to the madness though. KCP is repped by the agency owned by LBJ’s agent. Last year’s largess may have been the Lakers currying favor with LeBron’s agent to give them a leg up in this summer’s negotiations. And speaking of “wink, wink”, I have assumed that KCP will be gone from the Lakers, but perhaps the $18 million deal last summer was a “prepayment” on upcoming seasons and KCP will resign for a lot less now.
Pretty damned interesting. Now, let’s say there is someone somewhere (like Pope’s agent??) who Magic has had side-bars with during meeting regarding Pope. Agent passes things along to LeBron I don’t see how that wouldn’t happen.
Kawhi wants to be in LA. LeBron obviously wants to play with Kawhi, but knows it may not happen for some time. What’s the best way for LeBron to get Kawhi on his team for te 19-20 season and later? Since a healthy Kawhi is 50% more a player IMO than George, it seems the best thing for LeBron’s career is to get to the Lakers asap and part the waters for Kawhi’s crossing. I think that means Kuzma needs to stay in LA absolutely. I think it means giving Ball a year to prove just how Kidd-like he can be rebounding, passing and hard-nosed defense wise. And … what’s a better LeBron type team. Just throwing this out but say … Ingram and Randle? Or McCollom and Nurkic? Ingram and Randle? or Brown and Baynes? Ingram and Randle? or Dragic and Whiteside?
Just seems to me that Magic can start having conversations with Portland in particular. That trade looks pretty good for both teams. Unless Blazers still think they have a shot at LeBron as well.
Sorry for all the crazy changes to this site. I hope to have a “theme” chosen by end of day. After that the URL for the blogs will change. I’ll email the new URL to you.
I was wondering about the ever-changing design of the site this week.
The only one of those Lakers trades that I might like for them is Dragic and Whiteside and I’m not sure of that one either since Dragic won’t have the ball with Lonzo set at PG. Plus, Whiteside is one of the biggest ball-stoppers in the league and I doubt LBJ would like to play with him. Also, Randle is a free agent, so Lakers would have to do a sign and trade with him, which gives him a little power in deciding where he wants to go.
McCollum is basically a younger version of JR Smith who has a huge contract for the next 3 years. Bringing him in would hurt the Lakers chances of being able to acquire Kawhi in free agency next year or by trade before then. Nurkic is also a free agent who will be getting a huge raise, so the two salaries would kill any chance of getting Kawhi. Brown would be good, but he becomes a back-up if the Lakers get Kawhi (and Baynes is a 31-year-old free agent).
Frankly, of these options, the Lakers and LeBron are probably better off sticking with Ingram and Randle. Make them the centerpiece of a possible Kawhi trade instead.
Poor Paul George. He was long planning on signing with the Lakers this summer. But if the Lakers have their sights set on LBJ and Kawhi, they may not be able to afford PG. No wonder there are rumors that PG may sign a max deal with the Thunder.
Whoaa. McCollum a version of Smith? The ultimate insult! Bam!
McCollum is a POINT GUARD who is in a shooting guard role in Portland for several reasons. Three times the player the JR never was. One of the smartest guys in the league – unquestionably a guy LeBron would love to play alongside. Forget Nurkic … Magic should absolutely work something out that swaps Ingram for McCollum for the “George Hill” role that sort of worked sometimes.
I get the huge contract problem. The idea is to get LeBron to the Lakers who need to shed Ingram and Randle who each have 3 times the upside of Nurkic. The plan is to do what’s needed for Portland to play ball.
Why is this killing Kawhi’s chances at the Lakers? He already is talking about taking an enormous pay cut with the Spurs. LeBron wants championships and will have to settle on something below his pay grade as well – that seems obvious. If Lakers need to shed more weight they’ll have to do that in Ball’s contract. If it comes down to Ball or CJ or Kurkic for building a champion over the next 2 years … Ball needs to go.
I’m not getting the problem with McCollum at all, especially since there’s been a huge amount of talk about LeBron, Kawhi AND George in L.A.
What did you think the Lakers were going to pay George? Why would they pay him more than McCollum, or rather why would they rather have George than McCollum if they could pair either with LeBron?
They wouldn’t. If the idea is to land Kawhi, the better lineup (much better in my opinion) is LeBron, Kuz, McCollum than LeBron, Kuz, George. That’s because as soon as Kawhi takes the stage he’s setting up slashers and scorers. LeBron becomes a slasher. Both Kuzma and McCollum already ARE slashers.
Everyone mentioned can shoot and finish and move the ball. George is a much better defender than McCollum esp vs. tall guys like Durant. But quick thinking, slashing, driving and passing on the drive .. McCollum beats George and for that reason he fits better with LeBron and Kawhi in my opinion.
The idea of Nurkic down low is too hard to pass up. Portland may actually prefer him to Randle over the long term. But the nice thing about Ingram in Portland is that bandages the huge mess caused by Turner in the lineup. Really no need for that guy at all.
Maybe my comparison of McCollum to JR is a bit harsh, but CJ is basically a scorer who cannot play defense (a la Smith). For someone with a point guard background, CJ does not find assists as often as he should. Ingram provides some defensive capability and will likely continue to get better. If the Lakers have LBJ, Kawhi, Kuzma, and Ball providing offense, they don’t really need CJ’s offense, so that means he’s nothing but a defensive liability on a Laker team where he’ll likely be providing nothing more than 10-12 pts per game. Why would they want that?
Yes, there’s been talk that the Laker could get LBJ, Kawhi and PG, but that will require a lot of financial gymnastics. 2 of 3 is far more realistic.
The Clippers are trading Austin Rivers to the Wizards for Marcin Gortat. Gortat seems extraneous if the Clips were hoping that Jordan would stick around, but reportedly, Jordan will opt in to the last year of his deal to facilitate a trade. The Mavericks are the alleged favorites to land him. Not sure I understand what the Wiz are doing. Rivers is nothing but a backup to Wall and Beal. Maybe they are thinking of dealing one of them.
Why would they want that? Here’s why they’d absolutely want CJ …
I think you made my point about CJ, who is no worse a defender than Ingram and on par offensively. A much more reliable player than both Ball and Ingram in pressure situations and many times the scorer as Ball. But I think you’re back to the JR comparison when you say two things: 1) he doesn’t find assists often enough and 2) 10-12 points a game. Instead, wrt these points he’s a sort of anti-JR vs. good teams like the Warriors.
1) He’s been in a shooting guard role for more than one reason. Lillard is PG that’s one. The other is Portland lacks slashers/scorers that can help out. CJ is being asked to score. Smart guy who often DOES make the right play/pass. I’ll dig up video as it seems you haven’t seen this part of his game. The other reason he scores more and passes less: he’s good at it! Look at Dwyane Wade’s assist numbers across the years. We know he’s a great passer and can play point if needed, but even with much better talent and shooters around him has averaged only 1 assist more per game than CJ while playing about the same number of minutes.
2) While role players like JR or Danny Green etc could be penciled in for 10-12 ppg, that wouldn’t be what CJ’s numbers would look like. Some games absolutely, but a much better guess on a team with LeBron AND Kawhi would be 8-20. So much space being created for other players. Keep in mind that the only guy on the Cavs or Spurs that remotely resembles CJ was Kyrie, and that’s because Ginobili is well past his prime and plays quite a few minutes when Kawhi isn’t on the floor. I don’t think I need to go into how many shots were created for Kyrie when LeBron was making space for him or what Kyrie did with the ball when given it in the right place and time. CJ isn’t THAT great a finisher (few players are), but he is that creative and similar wrt scoring from anywhere on the court.
You make a point about Ingram’s defense that I’m not sure about. I do like the player, but he has a long way to go with respect to being able to fit in well with LeBron as a reliable team defender. In any case, relying on Ingram to become a better defender really isn’t a way to grab LeBron’s attention IMO. How do you beat Houston or the Warriors? If you have an above average defense which you absolutely will with LeBron, Kawhi and Kuzma (who works his ass off and is all over the court), I think the last two seasons prove that you need to outscore these two teams. That’s the main problem I have with George, because I don’t think he can slash and finish like CJ. And while I think Ingram might be able to fill that role, it’s a lot to hope for when he’s really only put together one season as the primary scorer and he did that with relatively little pressure on him.
Regardless, what helps guys like LeBron and Kawhi are smart quick thinkers like Richard Jefferson, Dellavedova, Frye, Manu, Parker, Duncan. That’s really the main reason I think Ingram needs to go. Either George or CJ would be excellent fits I think.
Regarding Ball … I just don’t know. If he can play the Kidd game then obviously he’ll be fine, but jacking up 3s or even 20 footers probably won’t cut it. I’ll leave it up to LeBron to figure that out. Maybe having the deadly fast break threat and excellent defense and rebounding will be enough. I suppose it’s possible that Ball on the fast break is almost as valuable offensively as George, though i doubt it.
I guess I’m just not seeing the need for George on this team, and I’m not sure that I believe what I’m reading about the Lakers having space for only 2 FA signings. That’s assuming $32.5 M each, right? And that’s without moving Deng I believe.This article explains the possibility of waiving Deng and stretching out his remaining salary over the next five years. The article seems to be stating that the Lakers have all kinds of room to get creative:
Mostly I don’t understand why it’s assumed LeBron especially would come on board at or near his supermax numbers if that means a lesser chance at Kawhi. I don’t think he’ll do that, but I’ve been proven wrong before.
In any case, back to CJ. I wouldn’t propose it unless it was something Magic did with LeBron’s approval ahead of time. So I’m not stating Magic should take the chance hoping LeBron would like the move. Maybe LeBron sees something in Ingram in particular that trumps what CJ brings to the table. I doubt it though which is why I bring it up.
By the way, plenty of talk that Portland needs to shake things up to get better. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see CJ on the move somewhere soon.
The difference between trading for Kawhi now and signing him next year is that if you trade for him now, you get him at his $20 mil/yr salary. The Lakers can then go over the salary cap next year to resign Kawhi to a max contract. If the Lakers sign LBJ (likely to sign for about $35 mil/yr) and obtain either George or McCollum this summer, they can only sign Kawhi next summer if they can fit him under the salary cap which they are unlikely to be able to do with 2 large contracts already on the team. There are ways that LBJ or George could structure their contracts to help out the Lakers to get Kawhi next summer (much like KD did last summer to help the Warriors retain Iggy and Livingston), but there’s nothing McCollum can do to help the Lakers as his contract is set for the next three years. Overall though, the Lakers are in a better position if they can trade for Kawhi this year.
Regarding the Wiz, it’s hard to see why they’d make any moves this offseason unless they’re huge ones. There’s no hope for this team at all unless they start down a new road asap. I guess we wait and see what comes next.
I just looked at box scores from a series of 6 games beginning 12/23/2015 where CJ started for the Blazers while Lillard was out. Blazers went 4-2 during that stretch. CJ had approx 6.5 assists and 3 tos per game.
He’s a much better player now – all facets of his game. My guess is that if he’s traded somewhere he becomes the starting PG.
I’m looking through other games where McCollum starts at PG. He’s had some good ones and bad ones. I’m also looking at games where he played alongside Lillard and had 6 or more assists. One thing stands out: regardless of how many assists he gets, it doesn’t seem to make a difference to the outcome. Even when starting at PG and getting 1 assist, his 30+ points tends to be the reason they’d win on those nights.
Regardless, I think the more important question is how would he do on a team as the starting PG from the beginning of the season? How would he have done in the Tony Parker for the role for the Spurs two years ago? I’m guessing very well.
So CJ vs. PG on the Lakers, you’d rather have CJ? They have, for the last 3 years, since CJ became a starter, averaged virtually the same PPG (PG a little bit higher) and almost the same APG (CJ a little bit higher). Beyond that, PG averages a lot more RPG, a lot more SPG, and is a far, far better defensive player. Say what you will about CJ being a better slasher to the basket, PG is a far more effective player on the court and would be a far better compliment to LBJ and Kawhi on the Lakers. Yes, teams have to be able to score to compete with the Warriors and Rockets, but PG scores just as well as CJ and gives them a defensive element that CJ doesn’t have. You also have to defend against the Warriors and teams that do it well, like the Spurs and Pelicans, have had some success against the Dubs.
One other reason why the Lakers won’t go after McCollum…they simply don’t have the assets to trade for both Kawhi and CJ. And if the Lakers sign LeBron, and trade for CJ because they believe that the Spurs won’t let go of Kawhi this off-season, then the Lakers may not have the money to sign Kawhi as a free agent next offseason, unless both LeBron and Kawhi sign team friendly contracts. You seem to think that many NBA players would do this, but with the pressure of the union to sign for as much as possible, I consider that unlikely.
I do think the Trail Blazers need to be broken up. The Pelicans exposed them in the playoffs and showed how a good defense can shut down Lillard and McCollum. The problem is that Turner ($18M/yr over next 2 years), Harkless ($11.2M/yr over next 2 years), and Leonard ($10.8M/yr over next 2 years) have terrible contracts that will be hard to move. So they likely would have to move Damian or CJ (perhaps in a package with one of the bad contracts) or offer up 1st round picks along with bad contracts to get out of the hole they’ve dug for themselves.
The last day for players to opt in or out of contracts if they have that option is June 29th. We’ll need to see what happens there since no player with such an option can be moved in a trade before then.
I absolutely disagree that a better fit alongside LeBron and Kawhi is George. Not fast or creative enough to take advantage of slower players offensively. I won’t however disagree that George is a much better pickup if Kawhi doesn’t get to the Lakers. But that wasn’t the point: the point is what types of players would work best with James and Leonard offensively. I think there’s no question CJ fits much better alongside those two plus Kuzma. I don’t even think it’s close. Defensively … already made that point. If you can’t outscore the Warriors you’re done.
OK. Apparently I’m not getting something critical here, so I might as well just ask. I thought that I’ve been hearing that the Lakers actually have a chance to get LeBron, George AND Kawhi THIS offseason. But from what you’re writing that can’t be possible since you say they have no way of trading for McCollum. Here’s what I don’t get …
Maybe the most important point to reiterate is my belief that there’s no frickin way Pop trades Kawhi to the Lakers before the end of the year and maybe not til Feb. If that happens, I really doubt Pop will get much in return. So either Pop gains a lot in a Kawhi trade soon as a one year rental (or a hopeful 2 or 3 rental perhaps) to a team other than the Lakers, or he gets little by sitting on him for awhile. My guess is he trades him soon to the Clippers who, by the way, got Shai Alexander in the draft.
What I don’t understand is if all these experts are right in saying the Lakers could grab LeBron, Kawhi and George now then why can’t they grab LeBron and McCollum now and wait for Kawhi to come over as a FA next year? Are you saying that McCollums overall contract is too hefty compared to what they’d give to George? Maybe that’s what I don’t understand, because that doesn’t make any sense to me.
I’m trying to repost this in the correct spot.
The difference between trading for Kawhi now and signing him next year is that if you trade for him now, you get him at his $20 mil/yr salary. The Lakers can then go over the salary cap next year to resign Kawhi to a max contract. If the Lakers sign LBJ (likely to sign for about $35 mil/yr) and obtain either George or McCollum this summer, they can only sign Kawhi next summer if they can fit him under the salary cap which they are unlikely to be able to do with 2 large contracts already on the team. There are ways that LBJ or George could structure their contracts to help out the Lakers to get Kawhi next summer (much like KD did last summer to help the Warriors retain Iggy and Livingston), but there’s nothing McCollum can do to help the Lakers as his contract is set for the next three years. Overall though, the Lakers are in a better position if they can trade for Kawhi this year.
Isn’t it a bit disingenuous to only consider who is the best fit offensively? Even if CJ fits a little better offensively with LBJ and Kawhi–which I don’t agree with as George went from being focus of Pacer offense to second banana to Russ in OKC just fine, so I think he could adapt easily to LBJ & Kawhi–you have to look at the total package. So maybe small advantage to CJ offensively, but huge advantage to PG defensively. Which is better overall for the Lakers? You keep harping on the need to outscore the Warriors, but its not as if the offensive difference between CJ and PG is going to be huge. We’re talking about a point or two differential offensively at best (again I don’t agree that to be necessarily true), but we are talking about a likely 5-6 point or more differential defensively. Yes, you have to outscore the Warriors, but you also have to prevent them from scoring as best you can. Between CJ and PG, PG gives you the best opportunity to do both. To me, its not even close as to who is the better fit.
No. Wouldn’t have a strong opinion if I was being disingenuous. I said I don’t think it’s close and I mean it. Right now the Lakers have no one quick who can penetrate and finish. Not a soul that can be relied upon. They absolutely need that. George gives them zero in this department and actually hampers them unless they DO have a penetrator/scorer in the lineup. Kawhi is always going to think pass first and since both he and LeBron get so much attention there’s a need (perhaps even a dire one) for the space they create to be capitalized on by a quick driving passing scorer. This just seems too obvious a point here, especially since there’s no reason to be counting on Thomas. However, it does raise a point as to whether Chris Paul would seriously consider moving back to L.A. You won’t get me to argue about the choice there: Paul in a heartbeat over CJ or George, though I am worried about the injuries.
Defensively. It’s not like I’m ignoring the points you’re making. I see a James/Leonard/Kuzma team as an elite defensive team. And I know Magic will put some other defensive pieces around them. You seem to think that adding George transforms the Lakers into some sort or Warriors Kryptonite. No one can play defense well enough though. It just won’t matter if you put Bradley and Gobert out there as well during a 7 game series.
Mostly I think there’s one point in particular you’re missing, and we saw it last year on OKC: number of shots taken by George. It was an issue until they somehow figured it out (sort of) at the end of the season. I see it being a bigger issue on the Lakers. You think George will maintain his scoring average on THAT team, or that he’ll do it at least relative to CJ on THAT team? This is where I can’t disagree more. The shots George would be taking are the shots LeBron and Kuzma/Ingram will be taking. His offensive influence falls way off with those scorers. I don’t at all see the same thing for a quick penetrator/scorer added to that team. That guy will be dangerous especially if he can shoot free throws and CJ can.
I also have to wonder if maybe you just don’t know his game well enough. Would be great to find some OBJECTIVE scouting vids on both these guys, but you know how it usually goes: some kid puts together a highlight vid for 3 pt shots and dunks and leaves out the great passes, steals, blocks, rebounds etc.
All this discussions may be academic as I could see things easily falling apart for the Lakers. LeBron doesn’t want to be the first domino to fall as he wants to be assured that he goes to a team capable of competing for a title. The Spurs appear to be in no hurry to trade Kawhi, so it looks like he will remain a Spur until after most free agents make their choices. Paul George looks like he may stick with OKC for now considering recent comments he has made. Everybody assumes that LBJ would sign with the Lakers, but apparently the Rockets are planning a big push to get him and LeBron was spotted in Houston this week looking at potential schools for his kids. What if the Lakers get none of these guys?
Yep, I see the arrow.
I’ll give it a 5% chance Kawhi is traded to Lakers from the Spurs. Wish I could set up a betting site on this, what are they called … “prop bets”? The question would be which team do Spurs trade Kawhi to? Your bet has a return based on the % chance. So you bet on the Lakers you win money. I’d love taking all those homers’ cash.
The field 9%
No trade 1%
You wrote, “All these discussions may be academic as I could see things easily falling apart for the Lakers. LeBron doesn’t want to be the first domino to fall” …
This is why I think the Cavs are second in line for making a deal for Kawhi. Is Gilbert willing to give up Sexton and … well, Love would be too much I think but what about Nance Jr. and George Hill in the deal? He’d be insane to do so unless someone convinces him that James, Kawhi, Love, Korver, Clarkson, Smith, Thompson plus at least one more good shooter can get them a championship next year. Belinelli maybe? It would have to be a one and done deal, because both LeBron and Kawhi are most likely off to LA together next year.
Does LeBron want to do this one more time at the age of 34 before making his final move? That might be the hardest thing to predict. I know I’m not an athlete by most standards, but at the age of 34 I was as fast and in the best shape of my life. I was doing all the right things to keep it that way, but within a month after my 35th birthday a lot of things changed. Weird how that happens. It makes me wonder it James is smart enough to make his next move based on this likelihood. Meaning, he needs to set him self up so that he plays second fiddle to a great maestro starting the 2019-20 season.
I think I answered my own question with the last post. That question relates to how LeBron wins championships starting at the age of 35.
I think he does it by assembling the right pieces for the 19-20 season and not the 18-19 season. I think the smartest thing he can do is forget about being a contender next year and priming/prepping his team for the following season. Somehow that makes things more clear. If Kawhi wants to be in LA then LeBron needs to go to LA sooner than later. I’ll leave it up to Jerry West and Magic to figure out which team he ends up on for the 18-19 season.
The problem the Cavs will have trying to trade for Kawhi is that the players they have with matching salaries (Hill, Thompson, Smith, Clarkson, Korver) are not players the Spurs will want and all are locked up for at least the next 2 years. And the players that the Spurs might want (Nance, Sexton) don’t make enough for a trade to work. That means the Spurs will have to take a bad contract back and may not wish to do so. So, for instance, the Trade Machine says this trade works: Cavs get Kawhi, Spurs get JR, Nance, and Sexton (and perhaps a future 1st rounder). Rodney Hood is a free agent though, so perhaps the Cavs could resign him to a hefty enough raise for a Hood, Nance and Sexton (and future 1 rounder) to work. The Cavs also have a number of trade exceptions. Not really sure how those work in trades, but perhaps one of those would help a trade work.
The Clippers, on the other hand could work this deal (which Trade Machine says will work):
Clippers get: Kawhi & Pau Gasol
Spurs get: DeAndre Jordan (he would have to agree to opt in to last year of his contract), Tobias Harris, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (and maybe future 1st rounder).
Both Jordan and Harris would be on expiring contracts, so the Spurs could clear out their salaries for a free agent push next summer if they wanted to. Clips could then have a starting lineup of Teodosic, Lou Williams, Kawhi, Gasol, and Gortat. Still not good enough to win the West, but much improved and Jerry West could talk to Kawhi about improving the team in the future.
Paul George notified the Thunder that he is opting out of his contract. Of course, he is also told them that he is not ruling out resigning with them. LeBron has to make his opt in or out decision by tomorrow.
So many Kawhi rumors flying around today. The Lakers and Spurs are apparently talking again and Lakers are offering Ingram. That’s clearly not enough, but rumors don’t say what else may be on the table. The Celtics are apparently unwilling to offer up Tatum or Brown and would prefer to deal Kyrie and draft picks. Celtics do have either the Sixers or the Kings (whichever is better unless it is #1 overall) pick that they can deal. The Celtics may be hedging their bets because of the uncertainty over Kawhi’s health. If their own doctors give Kawhi a clean bill of health, gotta think they would gladly trade Brown. The Sixers meanwhile may be offering Saric and Covington and does have that 2021 unprotected Heat 1st round pick to add in.
It’s official. LeBron has opted out. Let the games begin!
An interesting take from veteran NBA (and Cavs) reporter Brian Windhorst this morning. He said some star players may not want to play with LeBron, much like Kyrie Irving did not want to do so. Some stars may not want to alter their game as much as necessary to play with LeBron. Chris Bosh was an exception in Miami. Kevin Love did so in Cleveland. I think Kawhi could. Lesser players who can shoot and are chasing rings, like Korver, Mike Miller, etc., will want to play with LeBron because they don’t have to alter their game as much.
By the way, one reason that Kawhi (or his uncle) wants out of San Antonio is apparently his shoe contract. His contract with Nike’s Jordan brand is up and negotiations for a new deal with them are not going as good as Kawhi’s team believes they should. The feeling is that since he doesn’t play in a major market, he cannot command a superstar shoe deal. So Kawhi’s team wants him in a major market to maximize his off-court income.
Ahh, yes I’ve wondered about other players alongside LeBron. Kawhi is entirely different, in that within 2 years he’ll likely be the better player as LeBron changes him game. It begs the question about just what those two might discuss if and when they hash this out. I’d hope LeBron makes it clear that Kawhi shouldn’t change anything at all about his game. Because Kawhi’s game seems perfectly suited to be the floor general as he’s much better able to penetrate and draw in defenders and see the floor, meaning better able to get the ball to LeBron fairly early in the shot clock exactly the way he played the entire 16-17 season. If LeBron thinks there’s something about that game plan that should change I can see Kawhi having less interest.
One thing that really hasn’t been talked about in the LBJ destination discussion is the type of team the Lakers were building. They hired Luke Walton to remake the team in the Warriors image. Their young core was being trained in the motion offense that eventually finds open shooters. The Lakers didn’t have the shooting chops of the Dubs, but were still young and working their way there. Kawhi would fit this mold very well. LeBron is more of an iso player who will kick out if he can’t get his shot. If the Lakers sign LeBron, does he bend to their desired way of play or do the Lakers bend to LeBron’s usual style of play? If they bend to LeBron’s style, are they hurting the development of their young core?
Furthermore, Luke Walton is only 5 years older than LeBron and only has 2 years head coaching experience and only 4 years of coaching experience overall. Is this a head coach that LeBron will respect and listen to? LeBron already forced out one head coach with very limited NBA experience in Cleveland. How long does Walton last if LeBron comes to the Lakers?
Enes Kanter, as expected, opted in to his big contract with the Knicks.
More news from today…
DeAndre Jordan opted out of his deal with the Clippers so is a free agent now. The Mavericks are the favorites to sign him. You’ll recall that when Jordan was last a free agent, he committed to the Mavs, but then changed his mind at the last minute and returned to the Clips.
Lonzo Ball apparently has a torn meniscus, but should be ready for training camp. He missed a bunch of games last season because of a left knee injury. Not sure why they waited until now to announce that it was a torn meniscus.
By the way, some commentators were saying that LeBron opting out of his contract means that it will be harder for the Rockets to get him. Not sure I understand the reasoning, but apparently LeBron opting in and being traded to the Rockets works easier than them signing him as a free agent.
I agree that the best offense for most teams including the Lakers w/ LeBron is a motion offense that finds shooters. And that Kawhi is the best in the game at finding them IMO. And that Walton is the right coach for this. One thing to consider is how LeBron has just recently become a shooter, and a good one at that. But what really stands out for me is how such an enormous person can often drive down the lane untouched. I can see him playing that game, kind of like Ginobili has done when granted the ball at the right place and time. Kawhi is awesome and feeding guys like that.
My take is that LeBron is one of the top brains to have ever played the game. Somehow I don’t see it as possible that he would allow any changes to Kawhi’s game. One example on LeBron’s behalf here: I think it was game 3 of the 16 finals where he often gave up the ball to Kyrie hoping he’d create. I think it was the same thing in Miami wrt Wade. I think LeBron realizes that the best basketball will be played by having other creators, and maybe the biggest challenge relates to when one guy creates vs. the other.
But what will happen at the end of games? That’s a tough call, because Kawhi is a better shooter than LeBron. Does LeBron create trying to get the ball to Kawhi in the perfect spot for a shot or a drive? That might be a tough call for Walton, because the Spurs have played that way as well and been extremely successful at that game. Yeah, so I don’t know if Walton will be an issue. He kind of reminds me of Westphall (but better), who just stood back and let the superstars do what they do. Regardless, I’m sure he’s smart enough to think all these same things we’re mentioning here.
the lonzo meniscal tear is huge. no way Pop takes him in a trade, nor anyone else. especially since it was so hush hush. in other cases, like westbrook and kyrie I think (could be wrong) the news was out there and surgery successful. nothing hidden from what I remember. if it’s a bad tear it’s horrible news for his career.
QQ: is this font too small to read. what do you think?
A little bit bigger would be good for me.
So LeBron is starting off the free agency negotiation period in LA. Surely there is no significance in that. 😉
Free agent chips are starting to fall. At 9 p.m. our time (midnight east coast time), teams could start talking with free agents. They won’t be able to actually sign them till next weekend, but can get commitments.
DeAndre Jordan will sign a one-year, $24 million deal with the Mavericks. And Paul George will sign a 4-year max deal worth $137 million with the Thunder.
And Chris Paul to sign a 4-year, $160 million max contract to stay with the Rockets. Meanwhile, the Suns will ink Trevor Ariza to a one-year $15 million deal.
If I’m understanding this correctly, Durant has early Bird rights, which make him eligible for a four-year max deal starting at $35 million a year. Durant, however, as elected to take a 2-year deal with an opt out after one like he has done the last two years. As such, his max salary for next season would be $30 million. He would be eligible for a full Bird rights extension next summer, which would be a five year deal around $219 million. So the one and one deal that he will take this year will save the Warriors about $5 million on his salary for next year, but could greatly increase it in future years.
LeBron James talked with the Cavaliers earlier today and his reps are meeting with the Sixers today. As I mentioned earlier, all this is taking place in Los Angeles.
NBA.com has a free agency tracker, where you see everything that has happened so far. http://www.nba.com/freeagents/2018/tracker
Lots of huge news. Two things stand out for me after the George and Paul signings: Ariza to Phx and Lonzo Ball meniscus.
Who knows what LeBron is thinking. I assume he’ll sign with Lakers and wait for Kawhi to get there in a year. But Kawhi may sign a multi-year with the Spurs. And no doubt Pop is trying to lure LeBron there.
Regarding Philly and all the talk about them being ripe for LeBron taking. I just think this is more media overload. More caffeine and dopamine laced insanity BECAUSE the chatter is so big. Meanwhile I think about the Spurs (who will sign Belinelli) and the Suns who will sign Ariza, Bridges and Ayton AND employ one of LeBron’s best friends in James Jones.
I realize some of that $22 mil the Suns have under the cap is now spent on Ariza, but I don’t see why that should stop speculation. From where I sit, LeBron’s only plan should be assembling the pieces for several championship runs starting in the 19-20 season. That seems unlikely in San Antonio since, unless the Spurs sign Kawhi to a multi-year deal there’s no reason to trust him to stick around after 18-19. Philly, I just don’t get having so much faith in Embiid’s health long term. I really don’t know how that can be LeBron’s best plan.
Laker’s still make a ton of sense to me, but less so now that Ball has a meniscus tear. Still, the team has pieces.
But the Suns have pieces, albeit less mature ones. But they have Ayton and Bridges. How to compare the Lakers vs. Suns without considering Kawhi’s future there? Bridges and Kuzma may actually be a wash. Ingram and Booker may also be a wash. But look at what’s left. How to compare Ariza, Jackson, Ayton with Ball, Randle and ??? If James Jones is in communication with LeBron, this must be part of the discussion.
It all comes down to Kawhi now, doesn’t it? If LeBron can’t be sure about Kawhi to the Lakers, how can he be more comfortable picking the Lakers when Ayton in particular has such ridiculous upside? I guess the question is this: beyond Kawhi, what other FA can the Lakers sign between now and beginning of the 19-20 season that is as promising as Ayton?
The Suns would be an interesting landing spot for LeBron if they could clear enough cap room to do this year. After this year, Chandler and Dudley’s salaries come off the books (as well as two lesser salaries and Ariza’s deal is only 1 year, so his salary will not be an impediment, so next summer, they would have the cap room (cap also expected to jump by $6-8 million next year) to sign another star like Kawhi.
As unrealistic as the Suns appear, there are only two other teams LeBron could choose that have a player like Ayton or even close to him: Sixers and Pelicans. I wouldn’t even include Denver, because because I don’t see the same off the charts scoring potential in Jokic. I know LeBron hasn’t ever said he prefers to be alongside a player like this, but that would sure seem to be related to the opportunities he’s had to do so. Bosh just doesn’t seem close to me. Hard to believe LeBron wouldn’t have wanted to play alongside Duncan.
On the other hand, if LeBron is considering the advantage to playing alongside Embiid it seems likely that he’s also considered Ayton since Embiid seems like an injury threat and Ayton doesn’t.
Now, regarding teams that are really making moves in the direction of getting ready for the season after this one, there are a few more to consider. The obvious teams are Houston, Philly, Celtics, Lakers, Suns but no way to take your eyes off what’s going on in Utah, Dallas and New Orleans. Dallas in particular looks really intriguing. I have to wonder if LeBron is in discussions with Cuban though I suppose they’re in the same position as the Suns after (apparently) landing Jordan.
I guess the point is back to Kawhi. If Kawhi isn’t in discussions with LeBron and there isn’t a plan to join LeBron there in a year then I don’t see why the Lakers are a better destination than most of these other teams.
I haven’t heard the Suns mentioned as one of the teams that LeBron is even talking to and it may be that they are not even considering it. Both because they don’t think LBJ would be interested and they may be planning long term and looking at competing several years from now. So LeBron doesn’t figure into their plans because they don’t want to impede the progress of their young guys. That makes some sense. Why prematurely get the Suns into contention while we are still in the prime of the Warriors and Rockets? Let the young guys develop and then look to add a free agent piece in a couple of years.
I’ve agreed until recently, and that’s why I haven’t mentioned this. But then, aren’t the Lakers almost just as young, and now with a meniscus injury?
Regarding not hearing about the Suns in the discussions, that sure seems important but then look at what’s happened over the last year: crazy trade sent Butler to Wolves. George ended up in a crazy trade with OKC. Paul surprised by going to the Rockets. All these things were nothing-stories until all of a sudden they became stories. In this case one of LeBron’s best friends works for the Suns (James Jones). Why would there be any need to report on discussions they’re having? Maybe those discussions go something like this “LeBron, just wanted to make sure you know we’re here if you want to talk.” Ok, so if LeBron has responded over the last week or just today even I don’t see why that news would be reported.
David Griffin was pretty wordy yesterday talking about all the hush hush discussions between GMs and agents long before yesterday. He was more verbal about constant discussions players are having all year long doing their own version of wink wink recruiting. We don’t hear any of that, so I guess I don’t see why we would have heard about LeBron’s interest in the Suns or Utah or Dallas all teams that seem to just make sense for him to join now that George is off the table and Kawhi is being Kawhi. I still put Lakers at the forefront but not by much unless Kawhi hints at something soon, like that he actually WANTS to play with LeBron.
I don’t think the idea of developing players is as important as simply asking “can this team win a 19-20 championship with LeBron on their team starting in 18-19?” After all, what group of young guys wouldn’t improve with LeBron feeding them the ball all year long? I suppose if he was with Dallas he might impede Smith’s progress but am guessing he’s the perfect thing for Doncic. In Utah, well only Rubio would be effected much while every single other guy on that team gets better. On the Lakers it’s Kuzma and Ingram benefiting. In Phoenix it would be mostly Jackson improving on top of the amazing improvement he had at the end of last year. Booker is clearly already there and it seems possibly Ayton may be ready from the get go. Maybe not, but I’m not sure how LeBron could impede Ayton’s game especially when the Suns don’t even have a starting PG for him to get accustomed to. In Philly, there’s Simmons and Embiid who could learn a lot from LeBron.
I think any of these teams are too young in 18-19 which is exactly why a year is needed to grow up around one of the greatest of all time. The only guy I’d worry about is Dennis Smith who probably needs the ball most of the time. And for that matter, maybe Simmons isn’t such a good idea either considering how raw he looked in the playoffs. In fact, that seems like an experiment that could backfire for exactly the reason you bring up: LeBron impeding Simmon’s progress and the teams progress that would come with it.
Since it’s no longer LeBron and George on the Lakers, I don’t see any reason think Ingram and Randle in particular are any further along maturity and playing together-wise than will be Booker, Jackson, Bidges and Ayton by the end of 18-19.
LeBron to the Lakers on a 4-yr, $157 million deal. That was pretty damn quick.
As for why the Lakers would sign LBJ despite the young core that may take awhile to develop…LA is a town built on glitz. The Lakers need stars to stay relevant. Magic just said that he would resign next summer if he couldn’t attract a superstar to the Lakers. Guess he’s off the hook now. I know Magic is still working on getting Kawhi to LA now instead of waiting till next summer. If they can’t swing it, I’m guessing Boogie is their backup plan. They might be able to get Boogie cheap enough (because of injury concerns) that they can keep enough salary cap space to sign Kawhi next year.
Sell out? DOUBTFUL
I assume this means that either Lonzo’s meniscus isn’t so bad after all, or that Pop has had no interest in Lonzo regardless. I don’t see why LeBron does this unless a big talent is on his way to join him. Without that, he cannot beat the Warriors or Celtics. So … who’s the big talent?
Gots to be Kawhi for Bron to be so certain as to make this decision quickly with so many other options available. Is he paving a smoother road for Pop/Buford? Just hope Kuzma isn’t already on his way out. Huge mistake otherwise.
expecting a Nerlens Noel signing with Lakers announcement any minute…
Nerlens recent highlights
Sorry, but Boogie as a backup plan totally sucks and can’t believe LeBron would sign thinking that was the plan. Something else is going on here. Someone else if not Kawhi.
this post needs to be updated asap with the TERMS of LeBron’s deal. If there aren’t clauses allowing for massive restructuring I’d be surprised. I assume he has all kind of language stating he can negotiate the annual payout.$38.5M per? WTF .. as if all that cash makes any difference to his future or his families future.
Why Noel? He is strictly a 5-ft or closer shooter who will clog the lane for LeBron, Kuzma, and Ball. If he moves out beyond the 3-pt line, his defender will simply double down on one of the other Lakers with no fear of Noel getting the ball out there. I was assuming Boogie because he shoots the 3, so can take his defender out of the lane and be able to shoot the long ball should his defender peel off to double someone. Also, the Lakers have been connected to Boogie in the past.
Details so far of LeBron’s contract:
4 years, with opt out after 3rd year.
No trade clause NOT included.
Salary by year: $35.6 million; $37.43 million; $39.21 million; and $41 million.
Noel runs the floor, blocks shots, rebounds and takes orders. In other words: does what’s needed for a team that needs him to do those things. Easy call.
Clearly LeBron is in charge now with the Stephenson pickup. Great idea even if it is just one year. I expect that to be extended.
Boogie isn’t going to mix in with that mess. So who next? How bout a scorer like Kemba and a rebounder shot blocker like Noel?
thanks for the LeBron contract details!
so regarding the second year for $37.43 million. What are his options if he needs to restructure that to go lower? take his agent to court? pay off his agent?
i see that number as a placeholder. something on paper, but ridiculous on paper or wherever else it shows up. there’s no need for that if he wants to win a championship in 19-20 which I believe he is going for.
how does that $37.43 change into something that Magic can use to beat the Warriors for at least the 19-20 season?
Not quite getting the McGee signing. Maybe he bothered LeBron enough that he doesn’t want to face him again? Possible I guess. Not a starter though, is he? Who will start at center for Lakers?
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Kawhi Leonard still wants to be a Laker.
LeBron James just agreed to a massive 4-year deal to join the Lakers, so now Magic Johnson will turn his focus back to Kawhi. The Spurs have tried to repair the relationship and they haven’t budged on their asking price, but Leonard is adamant about leaving. He will become a free agent in 2019, so San Antonio is losing leverage by the day. ESPN’s Chris Haynes is reporting that the Clippers are still in play and that Leonard would also be willing to go there, but the Lakers are the clear frontrunners right now.
So why in the hell would Pop/Buford deal to the Lakers when West/Rivers don’t want that either? Leonard is willing to go to the Clippers according to Woj. Seems like a done deal right there, even if it means both Bradley and Harris ending up in San Antonio.
Warriors have lost McGee and Belinelli, Ariza and Casspi have signed elsewhere – all Warriors types of guys. I assume Nick Young isn’t a first choice. What’s the deal with Redick? How long do the Dubs wait to grab some talent?
Your description of Noel fits JaVale as well. I imagine right now, without any further moves by the Lakers, that their starting line-up will be: PG – Ball; SG – KCP; SF – LBJ; PF – Kuzma; C – Ingram. Ingram is only 6’9″, but he has a 7’3″ wingspan, so he can guard some bigger opposing centers. KCP resigned for $12 million, which is $6 million less than last season’s salary. I think it more or less confirms my theory that the Lakers overpaid him last year so they could reduce his salary this year. JaVale apparently got a minimum deal, which is what he was being paid by the Warriors the last few years. That tells me that the Warriors told JaVale that they would not be resigning him because he would have gladly taken the same minimum amount to stay with the Warriors.
Regarding your question on LeBron reducing his salary for next year, I’m pretty sure that it cannot be done. However, next year’s salary cap is expected to rise much higher than the $2 million bump to LBJ’s salary. Besides LeBron, all three of the other Laker signings today (KCP, Stephenson, JaVale) are all one year deals, so they’ll come off the books for free agency next year if the Lakers have to wait that long to get Kawhi. These deals also won’t prevent the Lakers from trading for Kawhi this year.
Since Warriors can’t offer anything more than a mid-level exception deal (about $5 million) or veteran minimum deals, they are probably sitting on the sidelines for free agency while players explore whether they can get more money elsewhere. The dream free agent signing here now that Ariza has signed with the Suns (who can blame him as he got 3 times more than the most the Dubs could offer) is Avery Bradley for the mid-level exception, but some other team is likely to give him double that. Failing that, I don’t know who they use the mid-level exception on. Tyreke Evans? IT on a prove he’s health discount contract? Mbah a Moute? Seems doubtful that Redick would take that big of a discount after making over $20 million last year.
The stupidest thing I read today was that the Dubs were going to talk to Dwight Howard. Unless Dwight is willing to take a lot less money than he can get AND committed to playing Warriors style basketball….no, wait, he couldn’t play Warrior basketball if his life depended on it, so JUST SAY NO Dubs. One player who might take the veteran minimum to come play for the Warriors, is Curry. Seth Curry. He could probably make a little more elsewhere, but the chance to play with his brother and get schooled in Dub basketball may be compelling enough for him to come at the veteran minimum. He shoots the 3 pretty well.
Read this morning that Nerlens Noel is repped by the agency owned by LBJ’s agent, so you might be on to something with him possibly joining the Lakers.
I’m assuming LeBron liked the Moe Wagner draft and maybe even orchestrated it. That kid needs a big body or two to practice against – someone that can follow him out to the 3 pt line. Not saying that’s going to be Noel now that McGee has been signed but somehow McGee and Wagner don’t seem to be enough in that department. Isn’t Alex Len still available as well?
The KCP signing confuses me unless it’s just the cost of doing business with Rich Paul. Or … another player to throw in a Kawhi trade proposal? Not sure that makes sense if it’s just a one year deal.
Back to Kemba Walker … aren’t the Hornets in more or less the same position as the Spurs? I know Kemba hasn’t stated that he wants out, but seems they should be pretty concerned that he leaves next year for one of many teams. Why wouldn’t he? Consider all the good teams would would love to have him: Lakers, Suns, Utah, Spurs, Jazz, Bulls, Wolves, Magic, etc
So isn’t Charlotte ready to entertain some offers now?
KCP signing isn’t surprising even if it is a cost of doing business with LBJ’s agent. He is one of the best defenders against Curry and Thompson, who the Lakers face 5 times a year and possibly in the playoffs.
Kemba is the 6th highest paid player on the Hornets. No wonder he wants out. If Jordan isn’t going to sign him to a big contract, he needs to be looking to move him now.
“ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is reporting that the Lakers have told the Spurs that Kyle Kuzma is “off limits” in a trade for Kawhi Leonard. Los Angeles has several other promising young players in Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Julius Randle and Josh Hart.”
My point about KCP is that he had some really horrible showings last year, although most of that was related to his ill-advised drives into the lane. In many ways he reminds me of Shumpert. Above average defender who all-too-often makes questionable decisions on offense. Doesn’t mean he’s not valuable, but he’s no where near the defensive force that Hart is. I just don’t see many minutes for him unless Hart and Ingram are traded.
Last year, KCP (and Brook Lopez) were the veterans on a really young Laker team, so he may have felt that he had to do more offensively than he should. With LBJ, Stephenson & McGee and the young guns all a year older, I think he will be reined in offensively this year. He is likely to be more of a strictly 3-and-D type player this year. Remember he got $30 million basically for 2 years on the Lakers, which is more than he probably deserved and got so the Lakers could curry favor with LBJ’s agent. So I’m pretty sure that KCP will follow whatever orders are given to him by LBJ. Josh Hart is clearly being groomed to take over KCP’s role and has the potential to be a top defender, but another year learning how to defend the Currys, Hardens, and Westbrooks of the Western Conference from KCP won’t hurt him.
Redick will resign with the Sixers for about half of what he made last year. I think that is a pretty clear sign that the Sixers believe they have no chance of acquiring Kawhi.
Free agent center Nerlens Noel has agreed to a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Yahoo Sports reports. The deal includes a player option in Year 2
Rondo!! Now this will be fun to watch! Or will he be traded along with Ingram and Hart to the Spurs? Can Rondo possibly coexist with Pop?
naaa … nevermind. curious move then. Lakers need to start adding some scorers and shooters in the event Ingram leaves.
LMAO reading ESPN’s and Stephen A’s bewilderment regarding the Rondo choice. What could possibly be the confusion? He’s a winner and one of the NBA’s greatest competitors of all time. Jason Kidd isn’t available to help show Lonzo how it’s done. Nor Stockton nor Payton. Rondo seems like the next best thing. But that’s just Point A. Point B is this: are they forgetting that there may very well be a Spurs trade approaching? And if Lonzo goes in that trade? Ummm …. duh. NEED A PG. Maybe a couple of em.
Some of the Rondo reports are suggesting that he will start over Lonzo. Frankly, it may be better to play them together like Holiday and Rondo did in New Orleans. If I recall correctly, any free agents signed cannot be traded until mid-December, so the Lakers can’t use Rondo in any pre-December trade scenario to get Kawhi. All these one-year free agent signings by the Lakers mean that there will be no other big contract free agent signing by them this year. They could still trade for Kawhi if the salaries going each way are close, but it sounds to me like they are gearing up to sign Kawhi as a free agent next summer.
I’m wondering if the Lakers want to dump Lonzo in a trade because they are sick and tired of LaVar’s antics. Although they brought in LiAngelo for a tryout, they did not draft him or offer him a spot on their summer league team. The way that all came down seemed to be calculated to piss off LaVar. I’m waiting on LaVar to demand that the Lakers trade Lonzo now that the Lakers will no longer be Lonzo’s team (i.e., Lonzo no longer the big man on campus). Then the Lakers can throw their hands up in the air and say “it’s not our fault” that we had to trade him.
Makes sense. I don’t see why LeBron would want the added distraction. On the other hand, Lonzo could be a great running mate for the future. They don’t really lose much of anything by going with Rondo though, do they? Height and reach. So maybe some rebounding but Rondo’s a good rebounder. So I guess this is starting to look like a calculated Lonzo replacement.
Font ok or bigger? I can’t tell anymore. Can easily make it bigger.
This font is fine for reading the comments after their posted, but it still shows up pretty small as I’m writing a comment. Don’t know if there is a way to enlarge it there.
By the way, the Lakers earlier today renounced their right to match any offer for Julius Randle, probably in order to make the Rondo deal. Randle looks like he is heading to the Pelicans on a 2-year, $18 million deal. Not sure if he has an opt out after one year. Pretty sure this means that Boogie is done for in New Orleans. Randle will take over Boogie’s spot. I think the Lakers don’t have a lot more free agent money to spend, though they can still get guys on veteran minimum contracts if some player wants to chase a ring in LA with LeBron.
Although I think signing Redick ends the Sixers attempts to trade for Kawhi, it is an interesting thought that Kawhi is apparently on good terms with Brett Brown from his days as a Pop assistant and Pop may be more willing to help out Brown than the Lakers.
I’m surprised it was that easy for the Pels to pickup Randle. I can think of at least 12 teams that could use him.
Boogie to the Dubs. That is 100% Kerr. Wow. And people were surprised about Stephenson and Rondo alongside LeBron?
Something tells me that Kerr plays poker. Maybe he learned from Pop. LeBron clearly stole McGee because he doesn’t want his team to face McGee again in the playoffs. Funny thing Bron – you might have made things worse!
It’s a gamble. Like Milwaukee trading for Bledsoe was a gamble. The experiment: when you put a guy that has always thought of himself as #1 on a team where it’s CLEAR he’s #3 at best, well … fill in the blank. That’s the gamble. What happens?
Just occurred to me that this is the best thing the Warriors could do to please ME. It’s true, because if Cousins achilles is looking good come Feb 2019 it means he’s not going to be ok with 25 minutes a game. I don’t see that happening at all. A healthy Cousins will need to start from March 19 on, and he’ll need to be in at the end of the game. Why is that good for me?
Because it forces Dray out of the box which is really where I think he belongs. I want Kerr to try running the offense through Dray just above the top of the key. That guy is really good at making quick decisions from that spot, and if he needs to drift after the early-in-the-shot-clock pass he moves to the weak side away from Boogie.
Really seems like Green’s game gets so much easier with a healthy Cousins in there now. Green doesn’t have to be the number one rebounder on every single play anymore.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Pop dealt Kawhi asap. Seems like Magic/LeBron have set the table for Ingram/Ball/Hart for Kawhi. That’s a huge haul for Pop/Buford and certainly better than anything they can get from the Clippers. Why wait Popovich? That’s a good team and maybe better than the Lakers eventually.
I texted you the Boogie news because I got in my car to drive home from work and it was the first thing I heard on the radio. Just astounded me and it couldn’t wait until I got home.
The reports on Boogie is that he won’t be ready to play until Xmas at the earliest and perhaps as late as the All-Star break. ESPN NBA reporter Rob Perez described it as a “petty” signing because Boogie wanted to be a Laker and apparently the Lakers either didn’t want him or were not willing to offer him as much as he wanted. So he took the mid-level exception from the Dubs to say F-U to the Lakers.
So the Dubs, unless they go to the Hampton 5 small ball line-up, have run their offense always having one player, their center, who was not a threat from 3-pt range. Boogie gives them that added dimension of having 5 3-pt threats on the floor even when they don’t go small. However, Boogie may not move around as much as the Warriors motion offense requires and on defense, he can have trouble with the pick-and-roll (Pelicans ate up the Trailblazers pick-and-roll offense without Boogie in the playoffs). And the Achilles injury may have slowed Boogie down even more. I’m thinking that when he’s ready to play, he’s gonna be playing no more than 20-25 minutes. I’m certain the Warriors told him before signing that he is the 4th option at best on offense and likely will not be playing as many minutes, so don’t sign if you can’t handle that. Because he won’t be ready right away though, Boogie will have time to absorb the Dubs’ offensive and defensive sets before he gets on the court in games.
Ha. I just don’t see it at all. He really is THAT good and will want to prove it asap if his achilles is ready to go. If it isn’t – different story, but if it is?
I think the conversations with Kerr (I think it’s all about Kerr here) went like this …
SK: we’d like you to take it slowly in preparation for the playoffs
DC: fine. but what if I’m 100% after the all-star break?
SK: we’ll increase your minutes in that case, but need you to be ready for the playoffs
DC: fine. I want to play as much as I can if I’m healthy
SK: we’ll discuss that
I doubt it went much beyond that. I assume Kerr and Myers are in agreement that this is the gamble. They will need to give way to Cousins somewhat to keep things stable.
I guess my point is this: it’s not true that he’s the 4th best option on offense. He’s the 3rd best. I’m sure he knows this.
After watching late season 2018 Lonzo, I’m convinced there’s no way Pop passes up on this guy. Maybe the delay involves the strategy to deal with his dad, but I find it hard to believe Pop doesn’t want this guy if he’s healthy.
Same with Josh Hart. Pure Pop Player.
Throw in Ingram … that’s crazy. You can’t ignore all that. Unless Lonzo has a bum knee. I’m convinced Pop is waiting for the latest “Medical” on that.
Time to run down the Dubs lineup. Edit where needed ..
I assume all of these guys are still around next season? If so that’s insane.
Right now, you’d have to sub Damani Jones in for Looney. Looney is an unrestricted free agent. Because the Warriors did not make a qualifying offer to Looney, they are limited to giving him only a small raise if he resigns with them. Other teams can pay him whatever they want. Apparently the Clippers have shown some interest in Looney.
Patrick McCaw is a restricted free agent because the Warriors did extend him a qualifying offer. That means the Warriors can match any offer he gets. So, if some team wants McCaw, they may want to offer him something more than the Warriors are willing to pay. I haven’t heard any rumors about McCaw yet, perhaps because of the serious injury he suffered last season.
As for other roster candidate possibilities for the Dubs:
The Warriors were meeting with Tyreke Evans earlier today, but he may be off the table with Boogie taking the mid-level exception. Doubtful he’d agree to a veteran minimum contract. Avery Bradley is probably off the table for the same reason. Don’t know if Michael Beasley would sign a veteran minimum contract, but he and KD are apparently really good friends. Jordan Crawford is another veteran minimum contract possibility and apparently the Warriors players have been recruiting him. Maybe Mbah a Moute would sign if he can’t get more money elsewhere. Or maybe the Dubs bring back Mo Buckets. If he doesn’t retire, David West would probably return for the minimum.
Here’s the lowdown on how the Dubs got Boogie:
Zero offers. Wow. So he calls the Warriors.
There’s a link there by the way. You can’t see it unless you mouse over it for some reason.
Funny how little is being reported regarding Kerr’s role in recruiting/agreeing to the Cousins’ signing. Most mention his friends Dray and Durant as well as Curry’s reaction. Not sure how much of that matters though, as Kerr needs to be the one doing the babysitting or rather monitoring the baby-sitting. Am looking forward to a press conference led by Kerr on this one.
Here’s a good breakdown of what Boogie may or may not bring to the Warriors:
His defensive rebounding and outlet passes will work well with the Warrior offense, but we’ll see if he can fit in the front court during Dub possessions. The article also breaks down how the free agent process went for Boogie.
meh. sorry, but after the last two weeks I don’t bother myself with Lowe anymore. the stuff I believe is obvious or I already know about. the stuff I’m not sure of and that comes across as factual, well … sometimes it’s absolute BS he made up to sound factual. yep – I think Lowe is the absolute worst because people at ESPN believe his BS and then it spreads.
Not saying this article isn’t factual, just that I don’t feel like taking another chance that it isn’t.
Butler may be available…
Hmm, Butler and Kyrie together somewhere. I’m sure the Celtics will weigh in on a possible trade, but they could potentially sign Butler as a free agent next year when they will have plenty of cap room to do so if done before Horford and/or Kyrie are resigned.
Here’s another possibilty. If the Spurs trade Kawhi, they would have plenty of cap room next summer to sign both Kyrie and Butler. Gotta think that Pop would like those guys playing alongside Aldridge.
Interesting. And if the Spurs don’t trade but just let Kawhi go next year?
Capela – Windhorst says talks not going well with Houston. He mentions only 3 other teams that can offer him what he wants, but doesn’t say who. Meanwhile I wondering where he fits in well.
Just occurred to me that although Capela alongside Embiid or Cousins or Ayton … not so good. Alongside Horford or Anthony Davis? There’s something intriguing about Capela on the Celtics. There’s your high flyer right there – a guy that fills one of the only holes they have. So what are the possibilities for Celtics to pick him up and shed some weight elsewhere?
Speaking of high flyers, that’s the one skill Wiggins does better than almost any NBA player. Butler is saying he wants to be alongside Kyrie, with some BS added in regarding the Knicks which seems ridiculous. Butler is such a perfect fit in Boston. More-so than Hayward. There’s your guy to push things over the edge. Would Ainge be willing to take on Wiggins contract and take Butler with it in exchange for Smart, Hayward, Brown? I know the numbers don’t add up, but Hayward isn’t Butler and Brown is pretty far from getting there as well. There’s no guarantee at all that Brown can ever be that kind of leader/winner (though there are signs). Ainge missed out on LeBron and George and seems unlikely to get Kawhi. There aren’t many guys like Butler around, and Kyrie really isn’t a leader.
Don’t Wolves need to act on this now? Butler obviously wants out.
Yes, if the Spurs let Kawhi walk as a free agent next summer, they will also then have plenty of cap space. In fact, that will probably work better for cap space because if they trade Kawhi, they will be getting salaries coming back that might not expire as soon.
As for the Celtics taking on Wiggins contract to get Butler, I gotta think Ainge won’t be wild on taking on Wiggins’ contract (essentially nearly $30 mil/yr for next 5 years). But I don’t see why they would have to take on Wiggins contract if they are getting quality in return like Hayward and Brown. The Trade Machine says that Butler/Gibson for Hayward/Brown deal would work and Taj has an expiring deal, so he would come off the books when the Celtics are looking at new deals for Kyrie, Butler, and Horford next summer.
hmmmm. seems too easy to me. butler seems worth it.
More deals from yesterday and today:
1 Tyreke Evans to the Pacers on a 1-year, $12 million deal. Probably just a backup to Oladipo, though I suppose he could get some play at PG.
2. Avery Bradley resigns with the Clippers on a 2-year, $25 million deal. This is a good move by the Clippers.
3. Nerlens Noel to the Thunder on a 2-year deal for the veteran minimum and opt-out after this year. I’m sure the Dubs or Lakes would have given Noel the veteran minimum, so wonder why he decided on the Thunder.
4 Aron Baynes returned to the Celtics on a 2-year, $11 million deal.
5. Elfrid Payton left the Suns for the Pelicans on a 1-year, $2.7 million deal. This came before Rondo signed with the Lakers, probably an indication that Pelicans knew Rondo was leaving.
6 Seth Curry is headed for the Trailblazers on a 2-year, $5.6 million deal. Probably just a back up for Lillard and McCollum, but also insurance if the Blazers deal one of them.
7. Dwight Howard took the mid-level exception amount of $5.3 million to sign with the Wizards. I guess after Boogie did the same, Dwight saw what the market would be like for him.
Oh, and apparently Kevon Looney just resigned with the Dubs for the veteran minimum. Nicely done by the Warriors.
Good recap. I hadn’t heard about Howard to the Wiz. They’re making some moves this off-season, though nothing big … yet. I’m expecting a Wall or Beal trade any day, since they need to do something big to have any chance vs. Celtics.
Regarding the direction of the Kawhi situation, it seems to be changing in a way we could have expected. As with Paul George, a statement by a 27-28 year old that he wants to be in LA should be taken seriously, but not too seriously. These kids might know what they want, but there’s no reason to think they need to get it soon much less know HOW to get it soon. No reason to think much thought went into their “wants” at all in fact…
I’m convinced Pop is sitting pretty right now, or will be soon. I do think we’ll see a trade before end of summer as more dust settles. First, I think that beyond the Lakers, the Celtics are in a good position to offer quite a bit. Why would they do that for a 1 year rental? If Kawhi is healthy and the team is healthy, the Celtics are in the finals next year and win at least 2 games. If Kawhi still wants to go to LA fine, but what’s the urgent need to get there so soon when it’s MORE likely he ends up in the finals year after year if he stays in Boston?
Back to the discussion regarding whether Kawhi wants to play alongside LeBron. If those two have not discussed almost exactly how the offense would look, then I think it’s quite possible that Kawhi has less interest in the Lakers than he did prior to LeBron signing there. Unless LeBron has explained in detail that Kawhi is floor general on most possessions that is. I have no idea what the chances are that this conversation happened however. My gut tells me that it didn’t.
Kawhi has a much better chance of playing his game with the Celtics or the Clippers than he does with the Lakers. And Pop/Buford should get good talent in return if they can get it. Heck, maybe Ainge or Jerry West can figure out how to wrangle a 2 year contract out of Kawhi vs. a 1 year.
What’s the rush with getting to LA? It seems unlikely that there is a rush. The rush appears to be related to getting out of San Antonio.
They were talking on ESPN this morning that Butler and Irving want their team up to occur in the Eastern Conference, probably because they recognize that is the easier path to the Finals. I think they would be crazy to pass up the chance to have Pop coach them (and Butler is a Texas kid), but if they are staying in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics could have leg up in either trading for Butler this year or signing him as a free agent next year. However, Kyrie is a New Jersey kid and apparently is interested in playing for the Knicks. The Knicks are another team that will have a lot of cap room next summer where they could sign two big name free agents. I don’t think the Knicks have the assets to trade for Butler this year unless the T-Wolves are interested in Hardaway, Jr., Ntilikina, and/or Mudiay, as I assume Porzingis is untouchable (and should be). If their interest is in New York generally and not the Knicks specifically, the Nets will have even more cap space next summer. They could potentially have the money to sign 3 star players. It may explain why the Nets have been quiet in free agency so far even though they have $17-18 million in cap room. They have a bunch of expiring contracts this year, so it looks like they are gearing up to go big in free agency next summer.
It all seems to be screaming that Lakers need to put together a huge package now if they really want Kawhi. I don’t think going in half way gets it done, because I don’t believe that Kawhi’s value is about to lessen (assuming he’s healthy). I don’t think his value will lessen, because I can’t see Pop letting that happen. In other words, a trade seems imminent and may now be all about Pop/Buford weighing the offers.
So how set are the Lakers on Kawhi? I think that’s the main question, because if they’re going Kawhi or bust they can’t wait hoping he’ll feel the same way about LA next year. And yet, do the Lakers really have the best package available if the Spurs don’t want the distraction of Lavar Ball? I wonder if this is a cut and dried decision or if Pop is considering ways he can deal with the Lavar mess. Maybe Pop makes the deal that he thinks is best for the team (eg including Lonzo) and then he quits?
Assuming the Spurs don’t want Lonzo and the circus he brings, that leaves Kuzma, Ingram, and possibly Hart on the Spurs wish list. The Lakers have apparently said Kuzma is untouchable. Ingram and Hart alone probably isn’t enough unless some good draft picks are attached and the Lakers draft picks probably won’t be high enough to entice Pop. So maybe what the Lakers need to do is unload Lonzo on some rebuilding team. Here’s a thought.
Ball to the Knicks for Ntikilina and a 1st round pick. Then they send Ntikilina, Ingram, the Knicks’ 1st round pick, and the Lakers 1st round pick to the Spurs for Kawhi.
Pop has always had an infinity for foreign players, so maybe he can help Ntikilina reach his potential. Ingram playing alongside Aldridge makes for a nice front court and the Spurs end up with two first round picks, one of which should end up being pretty high. Lonzo ends up in another major media market to help keep selling his brand. The Knicks have Ball in place at PG and can sign a couple of major free agents next summer. The Lakers have Kawhi, LeBron, Kuzma, and Hart with Rondo to take over at PG. I think this makes everyone happy.
By the way, it didn’t take long for LaVar to start running his mouth on what’s going on with the Lakers. He thinks it’s great that LeBron came to LA, but thinks that LeBron needs to give up his ball-handling responsibilities to Lonzo. He said that Lonzo will not be playing off the ball. He also said that it didn’t matter that the Warriors signed Boogie because adding LeBron to Lonzo was going to win championships. It will serve him right if the Lakers ship Lonzo out of town.
Ha. File this one under capital WTF?
Way way too soon after the ACL injury. Even if he gets back to where he was, and even if his play-making continues to improve, I think his upside is all about offense without the explosiveness (unless somehow he heals like Adrian Peterson). In other words, he’ll likely always be a weakness defensively. Maybe that’s ok for $19.5M a year?
Tony Parker leaving for the Hornets is big news, but that’s nothing compared to Kyle Anderson leaving the Spurs for Memphis. It’s all but over – Kawhi is about to be traded or, if he’s the biggest ass ever, has announced that he’s sitting out the season. I’m assuming Aldridge is next to go. Why wouldn’t he?
Both LaVine and Anderson are restricted free agents. The Bulls have apparently matched the Kings’ offer for LaVine, so he’s not going anywhere. The Spurs have until Sunday to decide whether to match the Grizzlies offer for Anderson.
The other big news is that the Thunder is buying out Carmelo’s contract, so he will be a free agent and one who can sign for a very small amount since the Thunder have already paid the bulk of his contract for next season. Early word is that the Heat, Rockets, and (of course) Lakers. Local radio was going with the “what if” Carmelo signs for the veteran minimum with the Dubs. No way that happens, although I would have said the same about Boogie, but if he wanted to come here, I think the Dubs would say no, because he doesn’t fit their offense or defense.
I’m watching a bit of the summer league game between the Dubs and Lakers. Steve Kerr is on the sidelines with Boogie. Boogie lives in Vegas, so he didn’t have to go far. I imagine the two of them are talking at length about how the Dubs will be using Boogie next year.
Ahhh … I had no idea it worked that way but makes sense that the player would sign off on the offer without it being a contract. Makes me wonder about all these other “commitments” though. For instance years ago when DeAndre Jordan agreed to sign with the Mavs and then reneged … did he ever sign anything legally binding? I seemed to remember that he didn’t, which seems funny if not backwards as relates to restricted FA offers. So what would happen now if Chicago said “no, we’re not paying that much” and LaVine said “ok, I was just kidding anyhow. i’m happy staying with Chicago and taking less than the Kings are offering”?
I’m sure he’d be unable to play for Chicago at that point legally. So not quite getting how that whole DeAndre Jordan thing could have happened. Or rather how the league could have allowed it to happen. In other words, why doesn’t the league insist there is some sort of binding contract at the time of the verbal agreement? I realize there needs to be some time allowed for medical assessment. So yeah … the more I think about it the less sense it makes logically. Maybe not legally, but … deals like Cuban made with Jordan are potentially way more franchise altering than the LaVine/Anderson deals. But they’re less legally binding? Obviously that needs to change – it really messed up the Mavs and potentially so for several seasons.
Note I made no mention of whether Jordan was a restricted or unrestricted FA in 2015. This is a big part of the point that I think is ridiculous – I see no reason why it should matter.
Pretty sure Jordan was an unrestricted free agent in 2015 when he reneged on the Mavericks. That was a different situation. Basically, the free agency period starts on a certain date (July 1st this year), but the contracts cannot be signed until a later certain date (July 7th this year). They call this the legal tampering period and was designed to stop teams from negotiating with players before they were supposed to. So all the contracts that were agreed to earlier this week could actually be signed until today. Technically, that means any player or team could renege on the verbal agreement before the contract gets signed. I believe that Jordan is the only example of that happening.
With Lavine and Anderson, they have both reached the end of their rookie contracts. If the team extends a qualifying offer to a player at the end of their rookie contract, the player is a restricted free agent giving their team the right to match any offer. This year, both Looney and McCaw reached the end of their rookie contracts. The Dubs extended a qualifying offer to McCaw, but not Looney (this was done early in the year before Looney showed so much improvement), so McCaw is a restricted free agent and Looney was unrestricted. Looney resigned with the Dubs anyway. I believe McCaw is still hunting around for offers.
Some comments by Kerr & Cousins about their talk at the Summer League game last night…
As noted in the story, everybody is saying the right thing right now, but we’ll see how it works out. Apparently, Kerr is always brutally honest with players he is recruiting and Myers finds that funny.
Warriors are signing Jonas Jerebko if he clears waivers on Monday presumably for the veteran minimum. Don’t know much about him, but it looks like he shoots the 3 pretty well and he is 6’10”. I hope he can defend.
Serves me right for not editing my second to last post. The entire point i was making is that it shouldnt be that much different. Certainly not in that respect, regardless how often it happens. Screwing over an entire franchise is a ridiculous thing to allow whether it happens once or 10 times. I dont see how Silver doesnt make it a priority to ensure this cant happen again. Yes, one POV is the buyer beware Cuban made a mistake viewpoint. I consider that horribly weak, especially when there are so many ways to protect HONEST owners from players.
Some more moves today. Brook Lopez to the Bucks. Don’t know the contract details yet. Zaza Pachulia to the Pistons on a 1-year, $2.4 million deal.
There’s also been a 3-team trade between the Magic, Hornets, and Bulls. Details are:
Magic get Timofey Mozgov and Jerian Grant
Hornets get Bismack Biyombo
Bulls get Julyan Stone
Basically, the Magic and Hornets swapped bad big man contracts and the Magic additionally get a back-up guard. The Bulls swapped back-up guards, giving up one with a small guaranteed contract for one with an unguaranteed contract. Expect to see the Bulls release Stone before his contract becomes guaranteed at the end of the month.
Oh yeah, Devin Booker signed a max deal with the Suns. Five year deal worth $158 million.
Milwaukee has become a much more complete team within the last month. IMO, Lopez (if healthy) and DiVincenzo give them many more “angles” from which to attack. This is already my dark horse team of the East, especially if they can get Bledsoe to realize his role relegating him to his 3rd OR 4th best on the team. Better yet, trade the guy now. The idea of Brogdon and Chenzo as the starting backcourt, Middleton and Freak in the front alongside … not sure who starts there. Nice to have Lopez coming off the bench. That’s a tough as nails 4 out of 5 even though I doubt Chenzo will start unless Bledsoe is injured or gets traded. This year that is. Not sure who pointed it out on NBA radio yesterday, but they made it very clear to me what the problem is with Brook Lopez: does not rebound “AT ALL” is what they said. Explains everything about him now, to me at least. On any team that’s a problem, but I think less so on the Bucks if Freak can play PF when Lopez is in. Anyhow, watch out if they get a legit starting center. Can you imagine A.D. on that team?
What’s the story with Biyombo? I have to believe he hasn’t been happy (or possibly injured?). He was touted as one of the great young up-n-comers just 2 years ago. Weird that’s he’s disappeared almost completely. So now Charlotte has him. That’s not a bad pickup as he’s only 25 years old, so if Charlotte trades Walker and starts to rebuild Biyombo is nice presence to have around as they bring good young talent in.
And just what’s going on with Walker? I’m not getting this at all. I hear a lot of chatter about Lillard and the Lakers. I’ve heard this and that about “if lakers wait they can get Butler, or even Irving”. Why is Kemba Walker clearly considered to be in a lesser category than these guys? I don’t think he is. He might be the least of the four, but I don’t think there’s nearly the dropoff as media would have us believe. He’s 28. I have no idea if the Lakers are interested in Lillard, but if they are then I assume they include Walker in that interest for the same reasons. Walker for Ingram plus draft pick (or picks) maybe? I like that swap.
You can probably guess my take on the Booker contract. Or rather the questions that I will always ask after these super-maxes: 1) what provisions allow him to “edit” the contract year after year so that he can flexibly allow his team to sign worthwhile players? 2) I know why the TEAM chose to sign him to such a huge contract. And I know why his AGENT chose to sign him to such a huge contract. But why did HE think this was the best thing for his career when a la Curry, Green, Thompson, Durant the best thing for an NBA career is to take less $$ so you can surround yourself with talent that makes you look even better?
I realize these are kids. And that Agents are much more mature and crafty. But a guy like Booker seems to have above average intelligence to me. So without a way to easily change his contract in order to allow the Suns to sign an all star (e.g picking a name out of the hat … Aldridge), I just don’t get why he would do something that may essentially prevent him from chasing a championship.
Who is telling these kids that $31 million plus per year is any more important to THEM than say $23 million per year? I’d really like to hear some of these BS arguments.
At least for the Suns, Booker’s supermax deal only weighs in at $31 million a year instead of the $40+ million a year that Curry & Westbrook were eligible for and got. I know you want these players to have the flexibility to reduce their salary in order to get other big time players on the team, but that ain’t happening with long-term deals. What KD is doing–two year deals with an opt out after one–gives him the flexibility to take less than he could command and he has done that. But I’m guessing that even he will be signing a five-year supermax deal next summer when he is eligible for it.
We only mentioned Tony Parker leaving the Spurs for the Hornets in passing, but I’ve got some further thoughts on that. Reports are that the Spurs told Parker that if he resigned with them, it would not be for much (I’m guessing the veteran minimum) and would not play much. Parker got a 2-year, $10 million deal from the Hornets, which is a good deal more than what he was likely to get from the Spurs.
On Parker’s end, the Hornets new head coach, James Borrego, was the Spurs top assistant for the last 3 years and I’m sure the Hornets hired him to implement the Spurs’ way. So Parker knows the coach well and will be key in helping him teach the system to Hornets players. In addition, Hornets SG/SF Nicolas Batum is a good friend of his from the French national team. Finally, Jordan is apparently Parker’s idol, so now he gets to play for his idol. So the Hornets are the perfect landing spot for Parker.
On the Spurs end, remember that Parker was the one current Spurs player to criticize Kawhi for not coming back to play last year after the team doctors cleared him. Maybe the Spurs gently pushed Parker out the door to appease Kawhi in the hopes of convincing him to stay in San Antonio. That is totally my speculation. I have not heard or read that theory anywhere yet. I think the Spurs are making a run at keeping Kawhi in San Antonio and if it doesn’t work, they can trade before the deadline next season.
I thought the whole parker “thing” was a non-story, and probably nothing more than an attempt to engage Kawhi if not make it easier for him to re-join the team. Much ado about nothing. I don’t believe a word that apparently Kawhi was bothered by that.
I don’t see why Kawhi would choose to play with the Spurs at this point. He may be forced to, or even sit out the season. But I don’t see the Parker move as something related to Kawhi staying. Just the opposite – Parker has played quite a bit less for years while they had a chance at a title. His play has mostly been limited by his injuries and Pop’s attempts at keeping him fresh for playoffs. Anderson now seems all but gone to the Grizzlies after the Spurs chose to not match the offer.
Pretty sure more moves to come. Regardless of the financial advantages that come with Kawhi staying on for 18-19, it seems too divisive/disruptive for an org that needs to restructure. Two nights ago while watching summer league, Doris Burke couldn’t stop mentioning that it seems clear now that the Clippers are Kawhi’s choice. Not the Lakers. She mentioned it twice because of the source – she seemed pretty confident.
David Griffin keeps saying the same thing: Pop/Buford aren’t doing anything quickly. If there’s going to be a trade it would not have happened yet regardless of circumstances. In other words, that the Spurs aren’t saying anything means nothing at all. But the fact that Parker and Anderson are gone says something about the future direction of the team. To me it says they have no intent to make a push for a title this year.
Regarding the super-maxes, yes I’m talking all deals not just shorter ones. Again, completely understood the pressure put on the players from the team and the agent. And probably relatives as well. And some of the arguments are obvious: “take as much as you can get because you never know about injuries to yourself or other players”. “you might regret it otherwise”. “think about your family and your future after the NBA”. But it’s the other arguments that I want to hear. What BS are these kids hearing about how their contract must be at the same level as other supermax stars in the league “because if not this or that could happen to you in the future”. or maybe this one “no reason to take less now because the team will figure out how to work with other players later”. or “future looks bright for draft picks going forward”.
From the standpoint of the maturity difference alone, I can’t stop thinking that almost every single athlete is being manipulated in at least one way that isn’t good for them. Probably two ways. 1. They’re being told that the extra $5-$9 million is absolutely important for this, that and the other BS reason. 2. After initial discussions the rest will be handled by the agent since “you don’t want to waste time on the details” and “the agent has your best interests in mind”.
After all, any kind of wording in the contract regarding restructuring every year for this or that reason gets extremely complicated and will happen only if the player asks for it. Maybe even demands it. Asking may not get it done. Who besides the player is going to put pressure on him? Not the team, even though it’s what they want him to do. How does the team get the point across to the player in a way that doesn’t annoy him? That’s a hard one. There would have to be a well respected member of the team or coaching staff or front office that is also a friend that has the player’s trust. Without that, these kids just can’t have the foresight to know what IS best for the team and themselves.
I think what amazes me the most is that no one seems to think twice about what Duncan did. He didn’t take just a little less, he took way less. And the result of that was his team flourished and (likely) his career was extended long enough to get another ring. That came later in his career of course. And maybe that’s part of the BS these kids are being handed: “you don’t want to do a Duncan yet – that’s only something to do at the end of your career. you’ll have at least 2 more contracts after this one, so take the money now and later we can discuss how to give back to the team”. Or whatever.
I think its interesting that both you and me have switched sides on the Kawhi thing. During the season, I was saying that Kawhi was done with the Spurs and wouldn’t come back and now I’m speculating that the Spurs may be looking for a way to repair their relationship with him. During the season, you were brushing off the criticisms of Kawhi from inside the Spurs organization and saying that Kawhi and the Spurs would work it out and now you think that their relationship is broken beyond repair. We’ll see how it plays out.
Duncan did take less at the end of his career, but from ages 30-35, he was always in the top 10 of highest salaries. So you’re right, agents will use him as a model of why players should take as much as they can get now and then less at the end of their careers.
As for a possible trade of Kawhi to the Clippers, both teams are over the cap, so the trade would need to have almost even salaries. Trade Machine says this works: Kawhi to Clippers for Tobias Harris, Milos Teodosic, and the rights to Gilgeous-Alexander or Jerome Robinson. Both Harris and Teodosic are on expiring contracts, so Spurs could have significant cap space next summer.
You’re right that at least one significant point has changed for me re Kawhi: during the regular season I wasn’t having any of what the media was saying but now I’m at least willing to believe it’s true that he’s announced it will be LA or bust. Or someone announced it for him. What a joke that he can’t just make a statement in front of a mic saying out loud that he wants to leave the Spurs. Comes across as a scared little child. I guess that’s also changed from my POV – I don’t see him as someone I respect any more. Certainly not someone I admire as a person anyhow.
That Clippers trade really isn’t bad, and if Pop wants to make sure to not create a superteam then Clipps are the way to go.
I am still having a big problem with these huge and franchise stifling contracts. LeBron’s in particular. He must be the worst offender ever, since it’s clear he’ll make a ton of money after basketball. And now here he is without George and possibly Kawhi and no great reason to assume Butler, Kyrie, Kawhi or Thompson will join him next year. He essentially made a trade for an all-star all but impossible now. For instance, would Beal or Wall or Walker or Lillard be much more interested in joining LeBron if he had taken a lot less money?
What in the hell does he need the extra $32 million (or whatever it is) for anyhow? How does it improve his kids lives, etc etc when he’ll have all kinds of stuff going on in LA when he retires? LeBron is the one guy I actually expected to “do a Duncan”, because he must know he has a good chance at beating the Warriors and/or Celtics with the right guys around him *soon*. But is he not smart enough to have realized that he may not get the guy(s) he needs through Free Agency?
This is too funny. Apparently LaVar Ball saw the writing on the wall 8 months ago and raised some money (I’m guessing Lonzo is a big sponsor) to start a league called the Junior Basketball Association. The JBA is supposedly a league for kids who don’t want to go to college and probably for kids not good enough to make it in the NBA. Players must be between 17 and 19 years old. The whole thing is funded by the Big Baller Brand, which I guess makes Lonzo the major owner.
I hadn’t even heard of this league until today. They are apparently charging ridiculous amounts for tickets ($40 for regular tickets, $99 for courtside seats, etc.). Their season is about to begin and 90% of the tickets are unsold. All the team names are “Ballers”, just in different cities (LA, New York, Chicago, Philly, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Seattle). The league contacted 80 top high school players who were getting ready for college and they all declined. I guess LiAngelo and LaMelo will be the big names in the league. The two other biggest “names” are Greg Floyd, Jr., who was academically ineligible for the NCAA and Kezo Brown, a kid with mental health issues.
I’m guessing the Big Baller Brand will lose a lot of money on the JBA, but call it a big success.
Wait. You mean the LOWEST price ticket is $40??? Ha – maybe in New York or Beverly Hills!
Yep, ridiculous prices to see players you’ve never heard now or likely in the future. There’s so many cable networks these days, that I’m assuming they’ve got some kind of TV contract, but I trust no TV executive would pay very much for that product. I’m just imagining the poor broadcasters calling the game. “Ballers with the ball. Pass to the wing, STOLEN by the Ballers. Quick pass down court and layup for the Ballers. The Ballers now lead the Ballers, 57-56.”
Back to free agent matters…
I can’t figure out why Clint Capela is not signed yet. I’m guessing the Rockets don’t want to give him a max deal and because he is a restricted free agent, other teams don’t want to offer a deal that the Rockets would match. So if you’re Capela, why not look into a 1 year deal or a two-year deal with an opt out after one for as much as some team is willing to offer. Even if the Rockets match the deal, Capela could then become an unrestricted free agent next summer when the cap is supposed to jump $7 million or so and a lot of teams will have significant salary space. Surely some team is willing to offer him such a deal for something like $20-25 million. With Jordan, Lopez, and even Howard finding deals, Capela seems to have found himself in a shrinking market this year.
Beyond Capela, Marcus Smart is probably the best free agent available, but like Capela, he is also a restricted FA. I haven’t heard about him talking to other teams. Not sure what he is looking for, but I’d suggest the same thing for him (1 yr or 2 yr with opt out), so that he can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
From what I understand, Capela is actually thinking about other teams but they don’t want to pay him. Smart does not want to go anywhere, but a lot of teams are interested.
I think a lot of GM’s are making a huge mistake by not understanding what Capela can bring them. For instance, it’s not clear to me that the Jazz wouldn’t be better with Capela starting and Gobert brought in only for certain situations. I think the Lakers would be great with Capela running and high-flying. Celtics, Cavs, Bucks, Indiana. So I’m not sure why someone isn’t taking a chance on him, given the value placed on other guys we’ve seen. I’m sure there’s this idea that not being a stretch 4 limits him. Sure, but being a stretch 4 can be limiting as well. Consider Love for instance. If you have Love on your team and you can’t get an Ayton, Embiid or Anthony Davis why not a Capela?
Above you wrote …
“So if you’re Capela, why not look into a 1 year deal or a two-year deal with an opt out after one for as much as some team is willing to offer. Even if the Rockets match the deal, Capela could then become an unrestricted free agent next summer when the cap is supposed to jump $7 million or so and a lot of teams will have significant salary space.”
I’m assuming that’s one of the deals his agent put on the table but the Rockets are trying to avoid? In other words, the idea you propose above is replaced by the Rockets with another idea: maybe a 3 year $65 or something. And Capela still isn’t ok with that perhaps?
Well, we don’t know what Capela or the Rockets have offered. If the Rockets have offered something like 3 years and $65 million, Capela should be accepting that. I’m certain the Rockets don’t want to sign Capela to a one-year deal, but my suggestion was that Capela sign a one-year offer sheet with another team (or two year with opt out after one, effectively a one-year deal), thus forcing the Rockets to either let him walk or match it. The downside to Capela is if he were to get injured this year and thus not command as much in free agency next year (or worse, end his career). The upside is that he commands much more as a free agent next summer. With Capela’s energy, defense, and offense around the basket, there ought to be a dozen team lining up for his services. Hell, even with Ayton in the fold, the Suns should consider him and let him play center and Ayton play the stretch 4. With Ariza and Booker, that has the makings of a good team.
A lot of news today about Toronto being the frontrunner in the Kawhi sweepstakes. A head scratcher at first, but maybe not if Pop likes their deal vs. Clipps (which I assume is actually still the frontrunner, just not leaking the news like these other teams). The Raptors have something most teams don’t: a LOT of good players. So assume that Raptors’ GM is saying “let’s go all in and get to the finals in 2019. THEN we’ll see if Kawhi will stay a bit longer”. I think most teams aren’t being “reckless” like this because they have no reason to be reckless. The Raptors however are just inches away from starting over on a full rebuild. So instead of doing that this summer, maybe next if Kawhi takes off. Essentially the question Toronto’s GM might be asking is, why not?
I think Lakers are out because Pop has no interest in creating a superteam. I think Philly is out because, regardless of what the press keeps saying, I just don’t see the same kind of talent available there. I see future draft picks, but Pop has Aldridge NOW, and a damn good team built around him even without Kawhi.
Tobias Harris is a damned good player and I have no doubt Pop likes him. Avery Bradley is obviously a Pop kind of guy. But maybe Shai Alexander isn’t, and maybe Harris can’t play D the way Pop wants. If Pop goes the Clipper rout he gets a few guys, only one of which he knows will fit well in Bradley. But maybe the bigger question regards whether the Clipps want to let go of even two of those mentioned. Maybe not? They’re good players after all. Do the Clippers really want Kawhi if two of those guys are gone when he gets there? I’m not sure this is the Balmer plan. It’s certainly not a conservative bet.
Toronto, however, has no time nor reason to be thinking conservatively. Something big needs to happen even if it means they end up with nothing but some good talent to go with good cap space next year. It’s a frickin hockey town – it’s not like there will be massive protests if the Raptors aren’t in the conference finals next year. They’ve been talking about dealing Valenciunus for years. DeRozan would look great in a Spurs uni. One or two other players thrown in matches or even betters what the Clippers have to offer. Van Vleet for instance.
It’s a lot to give up, but what options does Toronto have. If was Brooklyn, that’s different because all that ownership cares about is … well what do they care about besides keeping their investment. Toronto is known for mixing things up roster wise and personell wise. Obviously that group wants a great product. Is it really such a horrible gamble even if for just one year?
Toronto has serious cap problems both this year and next, so there is no real way to improve but by trade. I played with the Trade Machine and got this trade to work:
Raptors receive: Kawhi Leonard and Pau Gasol
Spurs receive: DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and Delon Wright.
Some draft picks could be added to the deal if necessary. Kawhi and DeRozan essentially switch places, while Gasol becomes good veteran back-up big man for Toronto. Spurs get to develop Poeltl and Wright and see if Pop can help DeRozan reach his potential.
If the rumor is true, I like the fact that Toronto is going for it. They had the best record in the East last year and LeBron is in the West now. So Raptors have an opportunity, while the Celtics and Sixers are still young, to potentially get to the finals this year.
Today’s trade deals, both involving the Nets.
Nets send Jeremy Lin to Hawks.
Nets get rights to 2016 2nd round pick Isaia Cordinier (I assume he’s overseas somewhere), a 2025 2nd round pick and the right to switch 2023 2nd round picks with the Hawks.
Nets send Isaiah Whitehead to the Nuggets
Nets get Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, a 2019 protected 1st round pick, and a future 2nd round pick.
So it looks like the Nets dumped Lin’s salary on the Hawks, then took on Faried’s salary from the Nuggets. The Nuggets must have really wanted to unload Faried’s salary (and Arthur’s), because a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick is a lot to give up for Whitehead, a former 2nd round pick who has spent a lot of time in the G-League. Faried and Arthur both have expiring contracts, so they won’t affect the large amount of cap room the Nets will have next summer.
The Nuggets also signed IT today to a 1-year, $2 million contract. That gives IT the chance to prove he is healthy again while being little risk to the Nuggets.
The Nuggets are hella scary with even a 90% healthy IT. Wow.
I must not be understanding this story about the extension offered to Butler …
The wolves offered him $25 million per year? TWENTY FIVE??
Butler is arguably (and easily so) a top 14 player in the entire league. Maybe top 12. How can the Wolves even consider offering him less than $29 M? Didn’t Booker just get $31 M?
So, is this the Wolves way of saying so long nice to know ya? If I was J.B. I’d be demanding a trade now. That’s absurd.
The Butler thing is a non-story. The T-Wolves offered him the max contract (4 years, $110 million) that he is eligible for right now. They knew he would turn it down, but made the offer anyway to show that they want to keep him when he becomes a free agent next year. Next summer, Butler will be eligible to sign a 5-year, $188 million contract with the T-Wolves or a 4-year, $141 million contract with another team. There are stories suggesting that Butler is upset about being low-balled, but he knows this is the most the T-Wolves can offer now. I’m certain there are no issues between Butler and the T-Wolves concerning this offer. We’ll see if the T-Wolves offer the full max next summer.
Thanks. Funny how bad reporting can be on these contracts. Not sure why that info (and other info about signing offer sheets etc etc) isn’t in the FIRST paragraph of these articles. Maybe I need to remove all my ESPN bookmarks so I don’t blindly click and read from there.
So, are you saying the most the Wolves could offer for 2 years is $50 M?
I would assume that a max contract for less than maximum years runs by the same rules. Here’s a fairly good explanation of the max contract rules:
The article was written back when Paul and Griffin were still on the Clippers and uses them as examples of how the rules work. If I understand it all correctly, because of injuries, Butler does not fall into the player with 7-9 years rules, so he’s not yet eligible to get a contract that is worth 30% of the salary cap, but he will next year.
Fascinating to me that Billups announces his desire to “run” an NBA team while Philly continues to look for a GM. Philly has had ample time to grab Griffin or Zarren but hasn’t done so. Why the heck are they waiting?
revisiting some older tweets and playoff columns …
this idea that if Chris Paul hadn’t been injured then Rockets WOULD HAVE WON and gone onto the finals…
This bugs the heck out of me. There’s a reason why the Warriors are and have been so good. It’s easy to look to the past and say they have weaknesses shown in this or that series. Yep – that’s how you get better. Because you went through it!
Warriors in those last games v. Rockets with a healthy Paul are a completely different animal than what Houstonites assumed. Warriors would have been a team way way more experienced and ready to deal with the circumstances than the Rockets. Does that mean they would have won without a doubt? No. It means that if they scored 13-15 points in the final quarter of any game then they would have lost. What are the odds that would have happened again?
The 76ers were going after Rockets GM Daryl Morey, but have failed in that pursuit, so maybe they’ll turn to Billups.
Latest on Kawhi is that he is thinking about participating in the Team USA mini-camp in Vegas next week as a way to show that he is healthy. Pop is the Team USA coach, but there may be as many as 35 players there with nine coaches, so Kawhi and Pop wouldn’t necessarily interact much.
Somehow I’m guessing more than 9 coaches and/or GMs show up. Any idea if any of it will be televised? Or open to the public? I’d consider buying a ticket if so.
No idea if the mini-camp (July 25-27) is open to the public. It’s taking place at the Mendenhall Center at UNLV.
probably my opinion only, but this is huge news …
Here we go. The Kawhi deal is finally done. You called it, he’s going to Toronto and I nearly got the deal right. Kawhi and Danny Green are going to Toronto, while DeRozan, Jakob Poetl, and a protected 2019 1st round draft pick are going to San Antonio. Assuming Kawhi is healthy, this should make Toronto the favorite in the East. Kawhi is probably a one-year rental though as I doubt he resigns with Toronto when he becomes a free agent next summer.
ESPN is reporting that an anonymous league source says Kawhi has no interest in playing for Toronto. Meanwhile, DeRozan posted some cryptic message to his Instagram account that seems to indicate his displeasure with the deal. Kawhi will need to prove he can play this year if he wants the big free agent deal next year, so like it or not, he’ll need to go to the Raptors. I think DeRozan will change his tune once he get to San Antonio.
Getting the feeling that Pop knew Kawhi wouldn’t like it, and that was probably a big part of the decision. Parting with Green right after Parker and Anderson … I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Pop is about to walk away as well.
Pop just elevated Becky Hammon to his top assistant after James Borrego took the Hornets job. My guess is that Pop coaches another year or two and then makes Hammon the first female head coach in the NBA. I wonder if Ginobili sticks around for the last year of his contract with everybody he played with for so long gone now.
I’m pretty surprised by the Raptors trade, if only because after losing Parker the Spurs are pretty weak in the PG spot. Kawhi played PG for half the games in 16-17, so it’s like losing two of the leagues top PGs within a month. I assume that means Pop et al have tons of faith in Mills and Murray and a couple other PGs they have. Understandable if Murray’s jump shot is starting to fall.
On the other hand, with the additions of Lonnie Walker, DeRozen and Belinelli, a scoring PG is really all they need isn’t it? That is a VERY well rounded team still.
What’s really crazy now that I look at the entire Spurs lineup …
All that team needs to win a title is Kawhi Leonard!
Ha! Wouldn’t that be frickin hilarious if Spurs were somehow able to put him alongside DeRozen next year? Maybe he’ll get homesick and come back for chump change:-)
Anyhow, why in the HELL would the Raptors do this trade? It’s not like their team has amazing pieces to put around Kawhi, although they have depth. But do they have shooters? I don’t think so. And though they now have arguably a top 2 defender in the league, can the rest of the team help him out?
Do they not understand the what’s going on with the Giant Green monster out of Boston? There is no frickin way they can beat that team even once in a playoff series if everyone’s healthy. Hell, I doubt the Warriors, Lakers or Rockets will beat them.
Not that it needs to be stated, but clearly the point is that Kawhi is NOT GOING TO STAY!!!!
What a frickin joke of a thought process by those guys. Considering what they could have received in return for DeRozen. Stupid!
Whoops. Forgot about Boogie, so … change that to “Lakers or Rockets”. No Dubs included there.
The speculation is that Toronto was looking to dump DeRozan’s salary and is looking to retool around a young core. It is likely that they would have preferred to have traded the older Lowry, who has two years left on his contract, but they might believe that they can trade Lowry next summer when his contract will be an expiring one. They could also potentially trade Ibaka next summer under the same theory. Then they rebuild with a nucleus of Wright, Anunoby, Powell and Van Vleet, while possibly having enough salary cap room to make some big free agent pick-ups. The Raptors were likely looking at the Celtics and Sixers and realizing that their window to win the East had evaporated.
DeRozan is upset because he claims that Raptors brass had told him earlier this summer that he would not be traded and he wanted to be a Raptor for life. If team management did tell him that, he has a right to be upset, but there is nothing he can do about it. It would not be the first time that a team lied to a player.
There are some reports that Kawhi might sit out the season. I don’t see that happening. It would make him look like a bigger selfish jerk than he has already shown himself to be and it might lower the market for signing him next summer. I know there is no rule that if a player sits out a season, his team is allowed to keep him until he plays out the contract, but maybe there should be. I know such a rule would invite abuse where a player would claim an injury, but that seems to already happen.
Kawhi would be met with such intense backlash I can’t imagine it happening. Nothing. Absolutely nothing he can do about any of it now. People are involved and good people for that matter. No way he can fuck with that many people’s lives not to mention their families. If it happens, Silver needs to step in and do something.
Going away from DeRozen is an immense mistake. He WANTS to be in Toronto! He is a rare breed with that midrange game and athleticism. Every team wants that guy. Imagine if Klay or KD left the Dubs and DeRozen was available – EASY call. In fact, I can’t see any team not wanting him and his contract.
Off topic, but fun. Recently I was thinking about where the NBA is at and how it would compare to Dream Team years. It puts a lot into perspective when thinking about those guys either in their primes or just out of them. Even Magic was still playing well. But that lineup: Jordan, Barkley, Bird, Magic, Stockton, Malone. A crazy list even without the bench and without Hakeem and Isaiah. Suffice it to say the easy call on the actual dream team top 6 back then was Jordan, Magic, Bird, Hakeem, Barkley, Isaiah (over Stockton, Malone and Drexler IMO)
FF to today and I’m thinking about something similar and how it would compare. What’s interesting to me is that it took me no time at all to put Donovan Mitchell on the present day team. Before Curry even. And it makes me wonder if Curry would even make my Dream Team top 6 today. Let’s see …
LeBron, Durant, Davis, Kawhi, Mitchell, Curry. Yep. Just made it. And with Harden, Westbrook, Embiid, Paul, Thompson, Butler/George off the bench. Would be a hell of a game.
I realize this and the previous 1 or 2 entries should be part of 2018-19 NBA as opposed to the offseason. Fine – I’ll move them over soon …
Kuzma is tricky in that you think he’s not an athlete. Exactly. He is NOT an athlete. But even though he’s 2 or 3 inches less than Durant, he’s a better rebounder already, he shoots just as well from distance, and he does this over and over again. It seems like this isn’t “a move”. But it is because he does it almost at will when receiving the ball on the run on the baseline.
I’m going to call this “The Kuz Manoov” from now on …
I’m reading “expert” commentary on the Kawhi trade and couldn’t disagree more with most of them. Bottom line: if you’re going to trade DeRozan get the best young player you can get. Instead they got Danny Green who is 31.
Again, most teams in the league could find a spot for DeRozan on their roster. I don’t understand how these experts could possibly think this was a great (not just good) move for the Raptors.
Again, absolutely couldn’t disagree more with these guys thinking this was a great move for Toronto. Celtics are too good, Raptors supporting cast isn’t good enough, Kawhi WILL leave in a year and they could have gotten a lot more for DeRozan than Danny Green (which is all they’re left with after this year). Sure, they wanted to dump the salary. GOOD! Put him on the trade block and get ready for a LOT of offers.
Next question: do the Raptors want Kawhi to play on the USA team? Now THAT could get interesting if they advise against it and he tells them to fuck off.
I don’t know that I would categorize the trade as good or bad for the Raptors. I think they saw their current team as not being able to win the East, not being able to improve the team because of their terrible salary cap situation, and were looking at tearing it down and starting over. However, they saw the opportunity to get Kawhi and figured he may be able to put them over the top this year. If they do win the title with Kawhi this year, maybe Kawhi stays. If not, they begin their rebuild next year by unloading the Lowry and Ibaka expiring contracts.
Winning the title. I doubt that’s the goal for trying to retain Kawhi. Getting to the finals maybe.
Unless 2 Celtics get injured again, almost impossible. There are multiple logical issues with that thinking (not yours but theirs). 1) no reason whatsoever to think Kawhi’s supporting cast W/O DeRozan is anywhere near as good as Kawhi’s supporting cast PLUS COACH w/ Spurs. 2) beating a full-strength Celtics team isn’t out of the question, but it’s just so unlikely that why make this one of your top reasons for getting Kawhi? 3) If Celtics do have injury issues, how about the Raptors? what are the odds that Celtics have injuries and Raptors don’t? 4) What is the likelihood that Kawhi is at full strength all the way through the playoffs up til the final game?
If I’m the Raptors money man I look at the likelihood for all of the above (and more) and say … with Kawhi and without DeRozan we have a 40% shot at BEST of getting to the finals next year.
That’s why I say it’s not a great decision. The articles are saying it’s “great”. In no way is 40% great, and that’s the max number i give it. 20% is more like it IMO.
Boston finally resigned Marcus Smart for 4 years and $52 million, so $13 mil/yr. Sounds about right for him. I’m guessing it took this long because Smart was hoping for a bigger offer somewhere and wasn’t getting it.
Don’t know if you saw Magic’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel last night. He described his meeting with LeBron on the night that free agency opened.
Apparently, LeBron is looking forward to playing the uptempo Warrior/Spurs style.
You may be right about Smart. I forget what I heard a few months ago, but I assumed it was more a matter of convincing Ainge that Smart could be fit into the payroll at even less than the $13 per. I thought Smart was making it clear to other teams he didn’t want to leave, but that could have changed.
I think Smart is one of those guys that’s about the game way more than the money. $13M is probably the bottom dollar for him. I’m guessing he had offers for more from other teams. Maybe not.
good interview. yeah, I can see them running like Miami ran.
one thing that missing from that interview (I think) is that all those guys will get better just for having that last year under their belt as teammates winning some pretty impressive games. so, although it’s a pretty inexperienced now and will be through december, having LeBron and Rondo as on-the-floor coaches could bring all those young guys to another level come April.
Defensively – LeBron, Rondo, Stephenson, Hart, Kuzma and maybe even Ingram and McGee … that’s a very good lineup.
Moved this comment down the list – not sure it was visible so repeating it here…
Winning the title. I doubt that’s the goal for trying to retain Kawhi. Getting to the finals maybe.
Unless 2 Celtics get injured again, almost impossible. There are multiple logical issues with that thinking (not yours but theirs). 1) no reason whatsoever to think Kawhi’s supporting cast W/O DeRozan is anywhere near as good as Kawhi’s supporting cast PLUS COACH w/ Spurs. 2) beating a full-strength Celtics team isn’t out of the question, but it’s just so unlikely that why make this one of your top reasons for getting Kawhi? 3) If Celtics do have injury issues, how about the Raptors? what are the odds that Celtics have injuries and Raptors don’t? 4) What is the likelihood that Kawhi is at full strength all the way through the playoffs up til the final game?
If I’m the Raptors money man I look at the likelihood for all of the above (and more) and say … with Kawhi and without DeRozan we have a 40% shot at BEST of getting to the finals next year.
That’s why I say it’s not a great decision. The articles are saying it’s “great”. In no way is 40% great, and that’s the max number i give it. 20% is more like it IMO.
I would not say the Kawhi trade is great for the Raptors. I think Kawhi leaves after this season regardless of how far they go in the playoffs next year. However, this is a 60+ win team last year that upgraded from DeRozan to Kawhi. If Kawhi is healthy and plays hard, they should be a better team this year. Maybe not as good as the Celtics, but a team that can be legitimate competition for the Celtics as the best team in the East. If both teams are fully healthy, I think the Celtics probably win, but the Raptors won’t be a pushover and you never know who may be missing come playoff time or who else a team may pick-up before the trade deadline.
Exactly, you never know. That’s such an enormous point to make when weighing all the possibilities and permutations. You can’t know, but you make an enormous decision based on what … hope?
What you do know for certain is that DeRozan won’t be there. Best way for me to put this: Raptors GM and ownership should stay away from Vegas and any other investments which involve risk.
So the Thunder unloaded Carmelo today. It’s a 3-way deal involving the Hawks and Sixers.
Hawks get: Carmelo & lottery-protected 2022 1st round pick from the Thunder and Justin Anderson from Sixers
Thunder get: Dennis Schroder from Hawks and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from the Sixers
Sixers get: Mike Muscala from the Hawks
Apparently the Hawks will simply buy Carmelo out of his contract for the full amount so that he can go sign with anyone. The Rockets are thought to be the likely destination. Since the Hawks will be paying his salary, Carmelo can sign for the veteran minimum with Houston.
I don’t see how Schroder fits in with the Thunder. Seems unlikely that he and Russ can play together, so maybe Schroder will just be the back-up PG. Or maybe the Thunder have further trade plans. It appears that the Thunder gifted a 1st round pick and agreed to take on Schroder’s $15 million/yr salary for the next 3 years in order to have the Hawks buy out Carmelo instead of them. That’s a steep price.
Meanwhile the Hawks are shedding salary and could have enough for two major free agent signings next summer.
I heard some really harsh words about Schroder the other day. David Griffin and someone else just blasting him. Apparently a horrible teammate. Not sure what his future looks like, but doubtful to be on OKC for long.
Here’s Boogie’s introductory press conference as a Warrior today.
There’s some funny stuff in the beginning before the journalists start asking him questions and some good stuff about Klay Thompson, both at the beginning and then later in the questioning.
Excellent article here written by Lowry on the subject of trust. Assuming he gets over the DeRozan trade, I have to assume this is exactly the kind of story and person to help Kawhi move forward …
more lowry here …
I’m not sure why Cris Carter’s coverage of Kawhi is/was reported much less than all the rest of the press B.S. on the subject. Maybe the NBA press “usuals” don’t like that someone besides Woj is getting the real scoop, and that since they chose Woj as the Oracle, then … I’m not sure how to finish this thought. They’re defensive because they chose the wrong guy to believe perhaps?
What Carter says here is THE most detailed info behind Kawhi’s thought process that we’ve ever heard. Carter is explaining THE issue here, or at least a very big part of it. I know this article says Kawhi doesn’t have an issue with Pop, but these statements sure make it sound like he does have issues with Pop …
“It’s been told to me that they want a bunch of yes people, a lot like the New England Patriots – that’s the only comparison that I would have in pro sports.
“Kawhi, he’s a guy who doesn’t mind doing exactly what the organisation wants but he’s also a guy that he would like to be learned and have more information.
“He would like for them to be able to explain a lot of the simple things they want the players to do. He might do them, but he would like an explanation as to why they would have that approach.”
I really don’t see anything being said by Carter that hasn’t already been reported elsewhere. I doubt Carter has any inside source in the Kawhi camp and was simply repeating what he has read elsewhere. Frankly that stuff about Kawhi wanting an explanation of why they are doing certain things sounds like bull to me. Kawhi has been there a long time now. He knows why the Spurs do things they way they do. He’s not some newbie learning the system.
apparently he does and is not repeating anything. that’s the point. no bull!!
this is exactly why i doubt the rest of “the press”. they’re making assumptions based on the simplest of prefaces. but simple doesn’t mean more likely to be true than not simple. hence my point and many others as well. carter is getting something inside – that seems very logical and reasonable. not to mention he also happened to be correct!
what you think was reported before was apparently reported before by Carter. that’s my understanding.
what seems clear to me from a much larger mass of reporters is nothing other than jealousy and defensiveness. carter, who is not a reporter and who does not come across as polished. doesn’t speak well, somehow has information. specifically info that Doris Burke broke on a live broadcast because she was confident in Carter.
Carter has some inside track, that’s clear by now and has been for weeks. Who cares how he has it. He has it. Woj does not apparently, and many seem reluctant to admit this.
The Lakers added Michael Beasley today. This has the earmarks of a LeBron move. They played together a bit in Miami, so Beasley knows his role in the LeBron offense. He can do the stretch 4 thing and possibly school Ingram on how to play with LBJ.
The Kings somehow managed to scoop up Yogi Farrell. He’ll be a good back-up to Hield and Fox.
Beasley is a 1 yr contract for scoring off the bench. I assume this means LeBron and Magic are fine with the floor generalship.
Carter and Kawhi have the same agent. Not that it needed to be stated, but if it needs to be there’s at least one reason why this inside track/inside info that he’s clearly established for over 2 weeks now.
Jabari Parker. I figured it was worthwhile to lookup highlights last year, because it really isn’t fair to be completely writing off his career, which is exactly what I’ve done. So here’s a good vid exhibition of his recovery …
Not everyone can be Adrian Peterson whose recovery seemed like magic to me. I was certain no one could come back the way Peterson did. I was sure no one could be close without injuring it again. So with respect to other guys like LaVine and Parker and Derrick Rose, it makes no sense to put them into the same category so I don’t. The video of Parker above looks excellent – he now takes quick short steps instead of longer steps that would put too much lateral pressure on the joint and require quick action by the reconstructed ACL. He’s doing exactly what I decided that I had to do (after surgery for the exact same injury) if I wanted to keep playing basketball or soccer: 2 steps instead of the previous one with the reconstructed knee. And also trying to prevent situations that straighten that leg up when force is on it, specifically when landing on it or slowing down.
He looks great to me. And since his game isn’t all about quickness but rather good shooting, strong position and shot selection I think he has a chance at learning how to play effectively off that left leg.
I see similar things from Rose. On the other hand, I’ve seen LaVine from last year and don’t see quite the cautious approach.
He’s not exploding toward the rim like before, which is good but he still ends up in many situations where he’s landing on the bad leg with it mostly extended. It may not matter much yet, but the longer he goes without an injury the more chances he’ll take playing this way and landing from higher/longer distances. Would be great to see him do “A Peterson” though. And if he can play another 2 seasons before the same injury, then another 3/4 season off then another 2 seasons without the same injury. Maybe that’s ok!
Yes, Carter shares an agent with Kawhi, which is why his “revelations” seem to be more about serving a particular narrative that Kawhi’s people want out there instead of the truth. What he says seem to have a mess of contradictions. You pointed out one. Carter said Kawhi was not unhappy with Pop, but apparently is unhappy with Pop’s coaching methods, a claim that I still would assert is bogus. Kawhi is an extremely smart player and has been in the Spurs system for a long time. He knows the Spurs system and coaching methods as well as anybody and knows exactly why the Spurs do the things they do.
Carter also asserts that Kawhi’s wish to be out of San Antonio is not about money, but we’ve heard plenty before about how Kawhi’s uncle believes that Kawhi can’t maximize his off-court income (which typically dwarfs on-court income) in San Antonio, but would be able to do so in LA. Carter also claimed that Kawhi and Pop had a talk and that Pop promised Kawhi that he would make him happy in a trade, which Carter interpreted as meaning that Pop would not trade Kawhi to the Eastern Conference. We see how right Carter was about that. Carter is also the source of the rumors that Kawhi would not go to Toronto. We’ll see if he’s right about that. I doubt he is.
What Carter is probably right about is that Kawhi would be happier in LA. Of course, that had been reported long before Carter said it. Kawhi is a SoCal guy and would be happier going home.
So frankly, it looks like the shared agent is feeding info to Carter that meets the narrative that they want out in the public. Carter has already been proved wrong on his “inside” info that Pop was going to make Kawhi happy with a trade. So I really don’t trust anything else he has said.
Prior to hearing news from Carter, I hadn’t heard anything but reports from the Kawhi camp. And really only two things that I could rely on: 1) Kawhi got second med opinion and went to New York to rehab 2) Kawhi wanted out of Spurs and wanted to go to EITHER team in LA
Nothing else, not the Parker comment from back in March-April nor the thing about Pop saying “ask Kawhi’s camp” meant anything at all to me. As I’ve stated multiple times these things can have different meanings. I still put no meaning at all on any of those things. What DID seem to be striking was that Kawhi wasn’t sitting next to his teammates during the playoffs. That certainly meant something was up, and was the first hard piece of evidence I was willing to try and digest from a guy that doesn’t even seem to know how to talk. But that wasn’t reported. I saw that with my own eyes.
It wasn’t until Carter recently reported that Kawhi preferred to be a Clipper than a Laker that I heard something new coming directly from a reporter. That report got widely circulated as coming from Carter, and it still is today in SOME circles. Why not all? Because I believe that guys want to stay loyal to their sources (i.e. Woj), and since Woj didn’t drop that bomb people aren’t running with it. Others did however. As to the decision to suit up with Toronto, Kawhi will do what he wants. It’s absurd to say that if Kawhi states he doesn’t want to play with Toronto, but then does in fact suit up and play, that the report of him not wanting to play there is incorrect or without merit. In fact that story is like a broken record. Many players have been there and done that. Maybe he will maybe he won’t, but REPORTING that he doesn’t want to play there (or even that he won’t play there) has nothing at all to do with whether he actually does. On the other hand, reporting some specifics about Kawhi’s *personal* issues with the policing of the Spurs? That’s a much more specific story that I absolutely believe. Doesn’t seem watered down, and would be a bizarre thing to make up. I’ve never heard it before, so here you have something newly reported by Carter.
Obviously Kawhi is going to make it clear that he has no problem with Pop specifically. Why would he want to say otherwise? That would look REALLY bad, and even if true I doubt things are that bad. On the other hand, saying you have an issue with policing and keeping players in the dark doesn’t look bad at all, and it only *infers* that he might have a problem with Pop. That was MY inference however, and not Carter’s.
If Kawhi continues to keep quiet but news comes out as to exactly what the issue is with the quad injury and what the misdiagnosis was, I’m going to believe Carter first above everyone (except for Pop) simply because he has been providing news that is more believable to me. Most of everything else I come across is wasted time reading – almost always filtered down fluff meant to get out to some broad range of reporters which I assume includes Woj. These latest reports from Carter seem more specific to me and more believable. Again, I’m not the only one who finds Carter’s info to be more believable.
Regarding the thing about Pop making Kawhi happy … how would Carter know what Pop meant? Why would anyone assume it meant doing exactly what Kawhi wants? Maybe it means there are other promises Pop made to Kawhi that will never be reported. Maybe it simply means Pop did his best to send Kawhi to a contender rather than to … Charlotte for instance. Maybe Pop was being sarcastic. How does it change anything about the report that Pop said it?
Why assume Carter or anyone like him would fabricate such things? I can name a bunch of so-called sports reporters/personalities that really really suck. Don’t understand the sports they discuss and are among the worst at what they do. I’m certain at least one of them has once fabricated something to make themselves look good, but I’d have to do a lot of research to discover what it was. It would be so rare and so risky. That kind of thing would be limited to some really bad reporters/personalities though. I don’t see Carter resembling anybody like this at all. In fact, he’s proven and is proving that he’s way above all of this and has no need to fabricate anything. He’s doing quite well doing what he does!
I’ve made a lot of edits to my entry above because it was poorly written. I didn’t change any of the meaning though, but did add some new info/commentary at the end.
I don’t assume Carter is fabricating anything. In fact, I doubt he is. I think Carter is being used by the agent for the narrative that they wish to put out in public. They are trying to spin Kawhi’s exit from San Antonio in a way that is positive for Kawhi by creating a reason that sounds bogus. Have you heard any other Spur or former Spur claim that they can’t get an explanation from the coaches of why they are doing things the way they are doing them? Have you ever heard any player who has been in the same system for his entire 7-year career, with a huge amount of success by that player I might add, claim that he doesn’t understand why the coaching staff is having them do things they way they do them? None of that makes any sense to me. Ergo, I think Carter is being fed a false narrative.
I’m sure there are some horrid sport reporters out there, but there are even more good ones. If any one of them confirmed what Carter was saying about the reason for Kawhi wanting out, they would not withhold that information simply because Carter beat them to it. Reporters routinely confirm what other reporters have already reported all the time. The lack of confirmation by any other reporter or by any Spur or former Spur ought to be telling us something.
YES! I HAVE IN FACT! And forgot to mention a really strange/unexpected interview recently with ex-spur Antonio Daniels speaking directly to the “policing” that goes on in San Antonio. Meaning the firm expectation that players fall in line in some way that is quite different from other teams. The implication is “system or bust” and implies the system is not chosen by the players. Infer what you like – to me it means “this is our system and we do it this way regardless of your input”.
That interview was in response to the Aldridge-Pop “interaction” which happened last year. Yes – although not directly stated there was an implication of Aldridge being held in the dark. I take that to mean his input wasn’t valued until he threatened to leave.
There was an issue with Aldridge where the Spurs tried to fit him into their system and it didn’t go well. After Aldridge asked for a trade, Pop sat down and talked with him about the reasons for it. Afterwards, Pop admitted he had been trying to have Aldridge do things that didn’t fit with his game and vowed to change that. Aldridge seems to be happy now. That fits what Daniels said about a “system or bust” (though I haven’t found the interview you were talking about).
That doesn’t really fit the Kawhi situation though, since the Spurs have built their team around what Kawhi does. Carter’s comment was that Kawhi would like explanations of the simple things that the Spurs do. Again, this makes no sense to me since Kawhi has been in the system for seven years and it was designed around him. Furthermore, if there was some issue that Kawhi had about understanding why things were done in a certain way, wouldn’t he take a page out of Aldridge’s book and sit down and talk to Pop about it? Aldridge did and Pop fixed things for him. Wouldn’t Pop do absolutely the same if Kawhi, one of the top five players in the league, came to him about some issue?
Not following your response. The Aldridge issue/resolution aligns extremely well for a few reasons.The connection with Kawhi was THE subject of the discussion with Daniels who talks daily on Sirius XM (they will NOT provide soundclips for these things or I’d be posting thse things, especially the David Griffin discussions at least 3 times weekly). Although I’m not sure where the disconnect could be here and don’t have time to go back over the various points, one point worth stating with emphasis is that within other organizations (e.g. Golden State?), Aldridge would be consulted first to make sure such a miscommunication disconnect never occurs. Clearly that must be the case even more-so with Kawhi as well since he makes it difficult to know anything about his opinions. These guys’ opinions aren’t being valued well at a high enough level in that organization is the short-version takeaway from our discussion, the Daniels interview, the Carter comment and the Aldridge issue/resolution.
This should probably be taken to another forum. Email perhaps. A crucial point I would make relates to how organizational structure can cultivate better communication (however one defines that). There should be no surprise that organizations such as the modern day Warriors have been built upon efficient and innovative structures which promote and encourage personal buy-in, ownership and responsibility toward some larger organizational goals.
The Raptors tweeted a picture over the weekend of a sort of smiling Kawhi with the Raptors president and their general manager captioned “Welcome to the North.” Perhaps a good sign that Kawhi will play in Toronto this year. One other possibility we haven’t discussed yet. If Kawhi tells the Raptors that he won’t be resigning with them, they could look to trade him to LA at the trading deadline. Pop may not have wanted to trade him within the conference, but Toronto will have no qualms doing so.
Shit. You’re right – HA. For some reason hadn’t even considered that and now am thinking this makes the Raptors decision a brilliant one. How come you came up with that but no one is reporting this? Or, they aren’t making this the primary feature of the decision.
And maybe Pop knows this and is what is meant when he said “he’ll make Kawhi happy”?
I’m sure it isn’t really talked about because that is not a narrative that Toronto wants out there right now. The Raptors will say how happy they are about getting Kawhi and how they hope to entice him to stay there. Nobody in the organization will publicly admit that Kawhi is a great trade chip right now. But if they can turn Kawhi into, say, Ball and Ingram at the trade deadline (particularly if the Lakers are worried that Kawhi might sign with the Clippers in free agency), then Toronto is well on it’s way to remaking their team, especially if they can unload Lowry and/or Ibaka in the deal as well. Although they wouldn’t ever admit it, Toronto may have told Kawhi when he visited that if didn’t like it there, they would make their best efforts to trade him to LA before the trade deadline.
I didn’t mean to imply the discussion relates to the Raptors or any organization specifically. My point regards media awareness of NBA regulations. It hadn’t occurred to me at all that what you suggest is even possible. If it is possible (I’m convinced it is because … how could it not be?) I’m surprised this topic isn’t being discussed/circulated widely. Somehow I’ve heard the possibility from one source only: you. I realize that you may be hearing discussions on this topic elsewhere, but how it could NEVER ONCE come up on Sirius XM radio after hours of listening to the Kawhi trade discussion, or in ESPN. com columns (not sure why I bother anymore).
From the moment I heard about this trade I thought “idiotic business decision made by idiots”. And was surprised that such a thing could happen. The fact that Kawhi can be traded prior to the trade deadline however? Just stupid that I never considered it, because obviously the guys with the millions of Canadian dollars at stake have!
As dumb as I feel for never once thinking about this possibility, it’s not close to how dumb the media looks for not mentioning the possibility often or at least once since the trade.
Kevin Love signed a 4-year, $120 million extension with the Cavs. I don’t really understand that at all. With LBJ gone, this is a team that should be rebuilding. Maybe they will still look to trade him, but do other teams want a 30-year-old player on the downside of his career with a $30 mil/yr contract?
A lot of discussion on this topic today. Tim Legler, David Griffin, Justin Termine, Eddie Johnson. All in complete agreement that this is a good signing for two reasons: 1) Love really likes Cleveland and 2) It’s a great contract to trade in 1 or 2 years which they all feel will happen.
Two of these guys pointed out Lue’s statement that the Cavs will take care of Love if he wants to stay, and they feel Love is an excellent vet to have around the young guys.
Not sure why they think Love’s contract will be a great contract to trade in a few years. Who will want to trade for a 32 year old with declining skills who they have to pay $30 mil/yr for another 3 years? I see it as a desperation move by Cavs management. LBJ left so they wanted to be sure that the second biggest name on the team didn’t leave next year. I don’t think its bad that they kept Love, but not at that price and not for that long of a contract, where he will be 35-years-old at the end of it.
I’m with you. Eddie Johnson said two years. Justin Termine thinks one, likely for the reasons you state.
David Griffin’s take actually made the least sense to me. I think Griffin tends to be crafty-deflective. Just an assumption, but since he may still be looking for that next big job then maybe he’s doing his best at toeing the line between showing allegiance to XM Sirius and other NBA orgs at the same time? Anyhow, he says Love really wants to be in Cleveland. As in, to stay in Cleveland for the rest of his career. His point was that he got to know Love “really well”. I don’t believe it, and who cares anyhow. Cavs can get a lot by trading him sooner rather than later. I think his game could be awesome with the right team. Philly for instance. Lakers. Suns. The list is a long one, but none of these teams should wait beyond next season in my opinion.
Love could help the Lakers, Philly, or the Suns right now, but will any of those teams want to trade for him knowing that he will be clogging up their salary cap space to the tune of $30 mil/yr in years 3-4-5 of this contract? If I am any of those teams, I’m not paying a superstar salary to an aging, non-superstar, but only good player.
Another point to be made regarding the Cavs: Tim Legler is almost always an easy going low blood pressure guy, but when a caller called into Sirius NBA radio and likened Sexton to a second rate no-scoring-threat PG who is now out of the league (I’ll come up with the name later) Legler went off on him. Legler sees a monster talent in Sexton, and although he didn’t say so I got Beverly + Conley out of what he was saying. If true that’s a great floor general to build around.
Legler also went off on Kawhi’s character. He can’t believe anyone would dis David Robinson as Robinson claimed. Legler loves the player but has big problems with the guy that blows off Robinson and doesn’t sit alongside his teammates during the playoffs. He all but said Kawhi won’t be able to handle the completely different and more exposed Toronto existence unless Lowry protects him somehow. Then he made it clear that this is unlikely to happen, at least not to the extent that Kawhi will need.
The wait on Clint Capela is finally over. The Rockets are signing him to a 5-year, $90 million deal, which works out to $18 mil/yr. A max salary for Capela would have been around $25-26 mil/yr, so it seems the Rockets made out well. The length of time it took to get this done is an indication that Capela was shopping around for more money, but no one was biting and the Rockets bided their time until Capela’s expectations came back down to what they were willing to offer. I’m a little surprised that Capela signed for the max five years. He’s young enough that he could have signed a one or two year deal and then tried to get a bigger deal when that one expired.
Puzzling as to why Capela’s agent is ok with this. Makes no sense to me – he’s just getting started and what if he develops a jump shot in 3 years? Why wouldn’t he?
I don’t know how much airplay the KD stuff the past few days is getting on national or satellite radio, but it is, of course, talked a lot about here. I tend to believe that the “feud” between KD and McCollum is nothing more than those two having some fun at the media’s expense. The original podcast comments between the two seemed clearly in jest (and the two are supposedly good friends which is why KD was on McCollum’s podcast to begin with) and KD clearly seems to be mocking the media members when they ask about it.
Buried in the “feud” hype however, is some other comments that might give Warriors fans some pause. In an interview yesterday with Yahoo Sports, after KD was asked all about the “feud,” he was asked about his decision to sign another essentially one-year deal. His response was:
“I just want to take it a day at a time, and I don’t want to look at my future now.” The [one-plus-one] was the perfect thing for me to do, to keep things open for me — financially and what I want to do. It’s just one of those things.”
That comment comes on the heels of KD saying he liked what LeBron did this off-season, specifically, that he did in Cleveland what he set out to do (i.e., win a championship) and then moved on. Naturally, this had local sports radio today wondering if KD had accomplished what he had set out to accomplish here and may move on next year. KD’s comments were vague enough that “keeping things open” for him financially, could refer to the fact that he can get even more from the Dubs next season, but the addition of “what I want to do” to that statement has people wondering what exactly he wants to do. Does he want to stay with Golden State, but is looking to make sure that the Dubs keep Klay and Dray first? Does he want to play with LeBron in LA? Does he want to return home to DC? Does he want to return to OK City and bring them a championship, a la, LBJ in Cleveland? There is going to be a ton of speculation about this between now and when KD signs next summer.
Kyrie, KD and the Zinger in NYC or bust!
Butler can take KD’s place in the Bay. That’d be fun to watch.
Back to the Love discussion … at least one of the guys liking the contract pointed out that although Love has had some injury issues, they aren’t the kind that will shorten his career and most importantly the way he plays should allow him to play for quite some time.
He pushes a lot of weight around with power for a much smaller guy. When he’s on the block that is. So I worry about his back in particular. Regardless, I can see Love being effective until age 40 even if he’s not banging inside. Maybe he gets 5 rebounds in 30 minutes at age 36. Not good but the rest of his game could be an excellent jolt off the bench for good or great teams.
I’ll leave it up to the GMs to decide if he fits in with teams like the Suns in 2 years for now. I could see it working well although at a price. But only if Suns are playing outstanding team defense by then so his presence doesn’t move them backwards. But agreed, a lot of money and for what?
The “for what” is why I’m writing this comment. The overwhelming sentiment among the guys mentioned who like this contract is that everyone is now going to see what kevin love is all about. None of these guys came out and said they expect 20 & 12 again, but it wasn’t hard at all to read into what they were saying to know that’s exactly what they’re hoping for. That’s what they want to see, and what they apparently hope to see alongside Sexton.
So if Love is getting those kinds of numbers and 4.5 assists per game at the end of this year … I think that’s the idea behind this being a good contract with trade value.
That’s what I get from what those guys are saying. I have no opinion other than that he can be a starter on a great team somewhere. I think he’d look great as a Laker or a Sixer or Pelican or a Jazzman.
I’d be surprised if Love was ever a 20 and 12 player again. Maybe 18 and 10 and likely only for the next year or two. But like you, I’d be concerned about his ability to play a full season again. He’s played 60 and 59 games the past two seasons because of back problems and he apparently has a migrane issue as well. He’s also clearly a defensive liability these days. In no way, do I consider him worth a superstar salary.
no argument here, though I could see 20 and 8 for the next 3 years. i’m wondering if Griffin is Love’s agent. some of what he said was a bit too glowing.
great stuff suffering no fools
I didn’t see this earlier this month…
538 looked at every player who had signed a mid-level exception contract in the past 10 years and basically determined that Boogie is the best player ever signed for that deal. I think other teams have to realize that you have to both draft wisely and plan your salary cap spending years in advance in order to do what the Warriors have done.
I can’t wait for the Ernie Johnson sit down interview with Kerr/Myers & Stevens/Ainge 10 years from now as they discuss the arms race of the late 2000-teens and how each team learned and reacted to the other’s preemptive strikes. I have to believe that Ainge’s crazy-conservative calculation has prepared him for a lot, but not knowing exactly WHAT to prepare for …
Way too soon to tell if Ainge will have done things too conservatively instead of gone for broke trying to get Kawhi (as an example) or if he’ll put all his eggs in the Anthony Davis basket when he’s able. But I look forward to hearing about how he had to change his asset-grubbing ways just to keep up with Bay Area ways.
Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see what Ainge does. Next summer, Horford and Kyrie will have player options to decide upon. I suspect Horford will opt in because he’s unlikely to get $30/mil from anyone else at his age. Kyrie will likely opt out, because he will surely get a new contract for much higher than the $21/mil in his option (unless he proves to be unhealthy much of this year). If Kyrie opts out, I imagine that, in addition to money, he’ll be looking at which team gives him a really good title chance. Boston will be right up there, but will look even better if they can swing an AD deal. Of course, the only reason the Pelicans would trade AD is if they believe they’ll be unable to resign him when he hits free agency in 2020 (he’ll assuredly opt out of current contract then). With Holiday, Randle, and Mirotic, the Pelicans have the making of a contender. I expect to see them make further moves before this season’s trade deadline to get even better (and they have a lot of expiring contracts that some other team may be willing to take). Pelican’s also can offer AD more years and money than anyone else, so AD may decide to stay there. If so, what is Ainge’s back-up plan?
One possibility, though I wouldn’t call it a backup plan: wait to see if KD leaves the Warriors next year. If so I assume it’s easier to put together a lineup with a great chance to beat the Dubs. Could be a lot of great players available in 2 years in particular after we see how all these new towers pan out. If AD can’t be alongside Horford, maybe one of these many young tall kids can do well enough.
Staying with this thought for a moment, how does a team like Memphis get better in 3 years from now? How can they get good young talent when they’re still good enough to make the playoffs year after year? Makes me wonder if/when they’d be willing to trade Jaren Jackson away for multiple young players + draft picks.
Re: how a team like Memphis gets better in 3 years. First, not sure they are good enough to make the playoffs in the Western Conference right now. They certainly weren’t last year when they had one of the worst records in the league. But the Grizzlies need to transition from the past playoff teams to the young players they want to build around like Jackson and Anderson. So that likely means trading Conley and Gasol for packages of young talent and draft picks. Given the strength of the Western Conference right now, they shouldn’t even bother to try to contend. Just adopt the Philly losing strategy, draft wisely, and look to have a good team in 3 years when some of the current Western Conference powers may be fading.
I disagree and can see them in the #7 spot this year, but conley and gasol need to stay healthy. Big “if”, I know.
A veteran team that knows how to win when able. But you make THE point I agree. That point is that in the unbelievably deep Western Conference, only 8 teams will make the playoffs. Let’s see how wrong I am at the end of the year. Here’s what I expect to be the 2019 Western Conference playoff seeding:
6, 7, 8 TBD between Grizz, Lakers, Blazers, Pels, OKC
If AD stays healthy Pels at #6.
OKC looks to me like a team looking in from the outside.
Lakers getting in depends on how many they lose early in the season. No question they’ll get hot after the all star break if healthy.
Grizz and Blazers seem like the steadiest of the bunch to me. But Grizzlies are the better team, albeit without a superstar. I won’t rule out Lillard being an MVP candidate sometime soon.
Two WTF situations from the past few days…
1. Shaq, ever the fool, says he thinks Kobe will come out of retirement to play with LeBron. Kobe was really broken down at the end of his career, so unless he thinks that he’s fully healed up and healthy after a few years off, I don’t see it. In fact, I don’t see it even if he’s fully healthy.
2. Allegedly, at a post-ESPYs Lebron-sponsored party, Tristan Thompson hit Draymond Green in the face and LBJ and KD had to step in to break it up. It was described by witnesses as a sucker punch. This comes on the heels of Thompson appearing to shove Draymond in the face after getting ejected in a finals game and Green refusing to shake hands with Thompson at the end of the series and then saying that he and Thompson weren’t “cut the same” at the Warriors victory parade. It seems that Green has really gotten into Thompson’s head.
Never gave much thought to this, but a comment you made just forced me to consider an Anthony Davis Al Horford tandem. I’ve been listening to a lot of people more convinced than ever that you beat the Warriors by going in a different direction than wing shooting. That duo is a good of an idea as any I’ve heard. Even if Rozier becomes the PG when Kyrie leaves…
I think Dubs can’t beat this without a Healthy Boogie.
I just listened again to the SiriusXM NBA Radio talk about Kevin Love, specifically with Ty Lue, David Griffin and Eddie Johnson this time. I was off apparently. It’s not that the hope is 20 & 10 for a good part of this next contract. Rather, the hopeful expectation is 26 & 12. These guys didn’t hesitate to say they think he’s that good still. Not that he WILL do that, but they don’t see why he wouldn’t at least for the next couple years.
I think its wishful thinking on their part, but maybe Love will prove me wrong.
This was in SI today…
The writer is predicting that KD won’t leave the Dubs next summer, but that the Warriors may trade Draymond Green then. While this prediction is all just conjecture on the writer’s part, I’ve been saying for some time that the Warriors really can’t do four max contracts (something their owner has also indirectly said). I’ve also previously mentioned that Draymond was the most likely one of the big 4 that the Dubs would jettison and that I think they are prepping Jordan Bell to take over Draymond’s role. Not that Jordan will ever be as good as Green, but Bell at 75% of Green at a much reduced price is more economically feasible and still makes for a possible championship squad. While the SI writer seems to think the Warriors might trade Draymond next summer, a year before his contract is up, I doubt that. The Warriors new arena will be opening for the 2019-20 season. I think the Warriors will keep Draymond through the last year of his contract in order to try to win a championship in the first year at the new arena. Then I think they’ll offer Draymond a new deal at something less than a max deal and see if he takes it to stay with the Dubs or goes elsewhere for the max contract. It is entirely possible that Dray would choose to stick with the Dubs to keep winning championships. But with 4 or 5 championships by that point, he may choose to go elsewhere, particularly if his boyhood local team, the Pistons, come calling.
As much as I’d hate to see Dray go, if he didn’t I think more-so than any other player (honorable mention to Rambis) he’ll be pigeonholed as a by product of his claim-to-fame team’s (i.e. Dubs) system and greatness. I’m so sure that’s BS that I’d actually enjoy seeing him do exactly the same things on another team or teams. The funny thing about Detroit is that Griffin is already there doing some similar things. I’m sure a lot of people would say those two can’t play together. Yeah, like Rodman and Mahorn? I think that would be a hell of a fearsome front court alongside Drummond. Maybe you need to try Dray or Griffin at the 3 just to see what works. Still, fun to watch.
I don’t know what Durant’s going to do, but if there’s anyone that I can see being the second all time great vagabond in his prime (the first being LeBron), it would be KD. One of the biggest reasons I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave next year: NYC has two teams with cap space, and for whatever reason a surprising % of professionals have this idea that New York is where it’s at. Surprising to me I mean. Whatever it is it hasn’t changed – there’s always talk of NYC being THE place to be in the U.S. even from people I know in San Francisco.
It’s a powerful thing to consider in the KD discussion. Case in point: I’m nowhere near the “professional” KD is according to any definition, but I do recognize that within the next year or three I will consider working from NYC simply because I can. I don’t want to live there. The Bay Area is where I’d much rather be when living in a big city in the US. Living in NYC would be a tremendous hassle at times (noise and weather and personal space to name my big 3). It has been a hassle almost every time I’ve been there, but there’s still something or things about it driving me to want to live there for some period of time.
KD has become the NBA poster child for the argument “it’s a business and it’s his life he can do what he wants”. Regardless of what you thought about his decision to join the Warriors, at some point that phrase becomes part of the context. I think he’s the 7th best player of all time and if he can go to another team or teams and win more championships I think that would be entertaining as hell.
By the way I stopped reading that article when I read the words “Enter the Draymond trade.” Good write up prior to that.
It’s the difference between living and working as a professional in the Bay Area vs. NOT. Dray won’t be traded unless he requests it or he gets injured or … if he’s somehow still on the roster 5 years from now. No frickin way. It’s a culture thing. LMK (Lacob Myers Kerr) will not do that to a guy who along with Curry has been THE stud of the franchise. Respect comes first.
Is it any surprise that San Antonio is probably the only other NBA franchise I can say that about?
If there was any question about Embiid’s health going into the season ….
just noticed that video didn’t include a pretty crazy bicycle kick he attempted during that same recording. made me wonder about the Sixers lack of GM and whether anyone is keeping track of what their franchise player is up to. it looked like the perfect way to get injured.
LeBron, Kawhi, and KD working out together in LA is sure to generate a lot of speculation.
Of course it means nothing other than they are friendly and working out together. The photo also includes a couple of Raptors assistant coaches and a friend of Kawhi’s who was recently hired by the Raptors. So, if anything, it proves that the Raptors are going all out to make Kawhi happy.
You may have seen that David West announced his retirement today. Every team in the league should be lining up to get him on their coaching staff. He was a huge presence in the Warriors locker room helping to keep all the egos in check and was the first player that Kerr turned the team over to for the “players get to coach” day that the Dubs had last year. I also remember a timeout last year during the playoffs that Kerr called because on of the Dubs (I forget who) did something stupid. Before Kerr could take the player who made the error aside, West basically told him “I got this,” and then talked to the player himself. I think he’ll be a great coach, if that’s what he wants to do. I could also see him as a broadcaster. The Warriors are good enough that they will be able to get by without him, but his presence will be missed.
What the frak are the Suns doing trading for Ryan Anderson?
I get why the Rockets made the trade. They get rid of Anderson’s big contract and declining stats. They took back a bad contract in Brandon Knight, but not nearly as bad as Anderson’s, and they get to see if they can help Chriss live up to the potential that the Suns never got out of him. On the Suns side, they waste cap room on Anderson, who can’t defend and doesn’t shoot as well as he used to. They also leave themselves without a real viable PG. The article above even mentions that they will look to trade for a PG. So I don’t really see what the Suns are doing here other than helping the Rockets.