Is the 2020 draft pool weaker than years past or stronger? Why are people so sure there aren’t several gems at the top of this class?
With COVID shortening the college season and killing the tourney, and with sports and travel being shut down for months how can even the best talent scouts be sure about what this draft will bring? Specifically, where is the objective thinking that places LaMelo Ball above guys like Advija or other international prospects. How can anyone be so sure Anthony Edwards is a better #1 than say Obi Toppin? Same question even if a GM is trying to choose best player instead of choosing based solely on need.
So many unknowns, but it’s probably a good guess that the guys who know how to find talent are going to succeed even if picking out of the lottery. How will that influence Minnesota and Golden State with their #1 & 2 picks respectively? If everyone agrees those teams should trade their picks then why would a team (like Phoenix just as an example) trade their #10 pick for #2 if there’s a good chance they can get someone similar to an Obi Toppin at #10?
Would be great to know which teams have scouts that defied their respective lockdowns and traveled around meeting with players anyhow. And those players having plenty of time to meet and workout etc etc ..
Unpredictable may be the best word to describe what comes out of this draft. We may not know for a couple years.
323 thoughts on “
2020 NBA Draft and Free Agency”
I was re-reading comments from earlier in this forum, and I’m reminded of how well the Nuggets are positioned to turn their assets into either a draft pick or a vet. They just need to decide on who will make up their core and what style they want to play going forward. Without Millsap at some point eventually.
So what is their optimal style of play with Jokic, Murray, MPJ and Grant likely being the core? What were they missing vs. the Lakers besides experience? Is there a certain type of player that could have stepped in to throw the much more experienced and probably heady Lakers off their game?
I don’t have answers but I can classify what Denver is good or great at and then see how to complement those things. They have a top tier penetrator-scorer in Murray who thrives in a sped up half court set. He draws defenders and opens up passing lanes as well as anyone in the league. In Jokic they can make plays from anywhere on the court regardless of pace. He demands double teams and a taller defender pulled away from the basket. Because of him they can play outside in or inside out or around the horn and/or whatever combination is possible within a 24 second interval. MPJ has shown, in addition to the potentially outstanding all around offense, an ability to rebound and defend already at a high level with the pressure on. Grant has shown extreme quickness and athleticism with size at both ends as well as the ability to score at a high level. These guys are young and they’ll come together well if not exceptionally well. All of them will learn to defend as well as they can.
What strategy does the front office adopt by putting other pieces around them to take advantage of the excellent speed and spacing and scoring potential? How to get them to look like the kinds of teams that work together on both ends to play championship basketball? If Millsap was younger and could make the kinds of quick decisions that Dray Green makes – that’s one way to keep defenses on their heels. If Morris and/or Harris were top tier and-one magnets going to the rim while taking advantage of the open passing lanes …
they’re both close to that sort of player but maybe not tall / big enough? Or if MPJ becomes that player then how to give him the space and timing he needs to be the consistent scorer and foul drawing threat they could use? What player could complement all this while facilitating quick/smart passing in the lane and setting up plays at the rim? All while the ball continues to be primarily in Murray’s and Jokic’s hands for most of the shot clock …
I don’t know the answer because Murray needs to have the ball in his hands so often. And Malone won’t be suggesting he handles it less. That seems pretty unlikely anyhow.
I’m convinced there’s a piece that would work but don’t come up with anybody or any specific type of player. Would need to be a smart and very unselfish mid-sized player who can pass I think. Like a Battier, Dray, Odom or Diaw. Could they get Horford at a discount right now maybe? Is 34-35 too old for that kind of guy?
All of this making me realize how few players fit the bill. For instance, while PJ Tucker would be a nice addition he’s not quite the heady player as those other guys are.
Can the Warriors trade Dray Green to the Nuggets maybe? Green might be exactly what they need and a couple pieces like Millsap and Plumlee and ??? could be exactly what gets the Dubs another championship next year. So many possibilities.
more names that would make sense for the type of player needed … Iguodala, Stith
hey, Jrue Holiday or any of the Holiday bros for that matter. Marcus Smart obviously but he’s not going anywhere.
Would the Nuggets trade MPJ and Will Barton for Green? Both Millsap and Plumlee are free agents so can’t be traded unless as part of a sign and trade deal. Millsap was making $30 million a year. His next contract won’t be nearly that high. Even if Millsap and Plumlee were resigned and traded, they are on the wrong side of 30 for the Warriors. They would not trade Draymond to get older. They might do it to get younger for a player with big upside, hence MPJ (Barton added to the deal to make salaries work). If the Warriors draft Deni Avdija, as some rumors are suggesting, that could make Draymond available. Avdija’s playmaking skills and size make him a good replacement for Green. If Green was traded for MPJ, Porter would likely play center for the Warriors instead of PF. A line-up of Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Avdija, and Porter would put five great or good outside shooters on the floor together.
Another superhuman effort by Jimmy Buckets kept the Heat alive tonight. It was necessary because Adebayo didn’t look right, Herro was kept in check, and Crowder was taking too many 3s (surely Spoelstra should be telling Crowder to cool it from deep). Robinson had a good game, but really, it was the will of Butler that got them the win. Midway through the 4th, the Lakers made a comeback and took the lead. I thought for sure that the Heat would be folding down the stretch, but they showed fortitude while trading the lead in the waning minutes. Butler played 47 minutes and looked tired in the 4th, but continually hit big shots. Butler has the Jordan-like ability to hang in the air and wait to shoot until the defender is heading back down to the ground.
On the Lakers side, LBJ was phenomenal. AD had a good game, but got hurt several times and was not the dominant force he was in the 1st two games of the series. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the bench group of Rondo, Caruso, Morris, and Kuzma were practically invisible. Maybe you jinxed them with your earlier praise for their work.
It would be something to see the Heat come back from a 3-1 deficit. This is certainly the postseason for it.
The last time LeBron had a game like that and lost it was because JR threw it away by not knowing the score. This time he has no such excuse.
I can almost hear it from here…
LeBron: “What the hell just happened?”
Jimmy: “You guys are weak!”
Such a close one it could have gone either way, but what I saw doesn’t bode well for the Lakers going into game 6. Heat played very well in the first half getting to the rim with excellent energy, poise and skill. Extreme aggression rewarded over and over again with shots right there. I saw at least 5 shots simply not fall. Miami should have been up by 10 at the half.
It was a horrible game to watch. IMO neither team looked Champ-worthy – likely because they ran each other out of the gym. And yet LeBron and Jimmy put together one of the great Mano y Manos games of any finals series ever. LeBron was Jordan like. Jimmy just kept moving forward as if his strategy was to use up all the oxygen in the arena. Outstanding efforts by both.
Robinson and Herro surprised. Or I suppose “surprised again” makes more sense. They seemed to have the same strategy: keep moving staying one step ahead. Last game that’s what the Lakers did. It’s how they won with Caruso and Rondo never pulling up off the gas. Nunn kept running and gunning as well.
Even without Dragic Lakers need to admit they’re up against an extremely potent offensive force. I’m not sure that was well understood before the series. I’d guess their thinking was closer to “we know what the young kids can do but this is the finals. Kids don’t play well this deep into the series. Not unless they’re named Jordan or Magic or Bird or LeBron.”
BTW – I thought Adebayo was outstanding wrt. how he changed things at the rim defensively even with only the 4 rebs in 38 minutes?? He did more than just negate Howard’s presence. And I’d have to watch again, but somehow Morris played 23 minutes without seeming to do anything on either end. No doubt Bam had some influence there.
This was a crappy knock down drag out clunker of a finals game 5. Even before Brow went down it was headed in that direction. Obviously his energy around the rim would have kept some of the Heat shots from happening, but didn’t LeBron step forward to effectively replace what was lost there?
LeBron wasn’t supposed to lose that one, and now the series is a toss up. AD will have to prove he’s at full strength for it to be otherwise.
Your mention of the JR Smith game is apt because I thought of that at the end, with Morris playing the Smith role. After Green front-rimmed his attempt to win the game, Morris got the rebound. Does he: A) attempt a high floater pass to AD who has 2 defenders hanging on him under the basket; or B) fire over to a wide-open LBJ at the 3-pt line? B should have been the correct answer, but Morris chose option A and the rest is history.
You may be right that Adebayo was a big factor on defense. Offensively, he was having issues. Clanking dunks, missing floaters, it was very un-Bam like.
A bet is being placed on today’s game, specifically wrt how butler’s performance influences the heat’s performance. the heat don’t need to win for the bet to be valid, but butler needs to be healthy enough
to finish the game.
The bet will be based on a score measuring the following metric …
1.) Butler must have a good game. My baseline for his worst CUMULATIVE score goes something like this (just an example to get the total score right) 17 pts, 7 rebs, 6 assts, 2 stls, 3 TOs. That’s not a good game just a baseline for worst score I can imagine. I predict he’ll have a good game with cumulative score BETTER than … 19 pts, 8 rebs, 7 assts, 3 stls, 1 blk, 3 TOs. Giving 2 pts for steals and 1.5 for assists and blocks and 1 point for everything else is 1pt that adds up to : 19 + 8 + 10.5 + 6 + 1.5 – 3 = 42 pts
2). The Heat must play well enough to win. I say that if Butler plays well Lakers won’t be up more than 4 pts with 1:00 to go in the game. If the Lakers are up more than 4 it counts 3 point for every point. So if Lakers are up by 7 with 1:00 to go that’s 9 points.
I bet you that score #1 – score #2 is equal to or greater than 42 POINTS
Winner buys the best Mexican food in Portland.
What’s the name of that restaurant? I didn’t even try to tally my score. How bout them Lakers!
I assume the bet comments were intended for someone else. I did not see most of the game last night because I was attending a funeral via Zoom. When I finally turned it on, it was midway through the 4th quarter and the game was out of hand. If you saw it, I’d be interested in learning what happened.
synopsis on it’s way. (and yes … pretty much got clobbered on that bet. good excuse for seeing a friend in portland where I hope to be as election returns trickle in on election week).
Last night I was pretty impressed by everything Lakers. Miami simply wasn’t ready for what began midway through the first quarter: a excellent NBA team doing everything the right way and not letting up for 3 quarters straight.
The talk earlier in the season was whether Kuzma was good enough to be #3, because without a good #3 the team was both old and without enough talent. Rondo and Caruso and sometimes Howard, Pope and Morris didn’t just step up but dominated at times.
Rondo was better than Chris Paul for 2 games this series and especially so last night. Caruso was a fuckin pain in the ass like Dellavedova was against warriors about 4 years ago. What really impresses me is that instead of needing the sharpshooters that everyone said LeBron needed alongside him, LeBron did it all including that. He played as well for a couple games in this series as any of the greats did in any finals series before.
He was amazing as was the Lakers game plan which got back to constant movement on both ends never relenting. AD was huge and everywhere it seemed. A truly great game from him. Same thing with Rondo. An absolutely excellent performance when needed most. The Lakers rode that 3-headed monster without stop, meaning controlled aggression on both ends together with super efficient basketball where at times it almost seemed like the goal was to waste no energy towards the end goal of “we score and you don’t”.
That’s what the Warriors were great at. Last nights game is going to be a must watch for the Dubs for some time. Warriors haven’t dealt with guys like Davis and Rondo working at that pace and control. Lakers need to do whatever they can to hold onto Rondo and make sure he’s healthy and happy. Just excellent.
I think this should be said about the Lakers: last night’s game was the best I’ve seen from them. They’ve played well in other games, but after seeing that one has to wonder how much better they can be.
I don’t think Kuzma is right for them. I do think Howard is. And Green. And Morris. Maybe KCP.
Absolutely Rondo and Caruso. But if LeBron et al are serious about doing this “the right way” in 2021 I think Kuzma complicates the possibilities. But what can they do about that?
I’m hoping nothing which is also what I expect. Clippers, Nuggets and Warriors have amazing leeway to prep for this version of Championship Lakers. Celtics with their guys healthy plus a shooter will contend. Heat with Herro, Bam and Robinson a year older are contenders. Bucks … I don’t see it. Something needs to blowup there it seems. I won’t even speculate.
As much as I hate the phrase “give em credit”, that’s the way I look at Jenny Buss, Pelinka, Vogel and his staff. They went all out for this one and got it. They can do it again I think, but only because the Warriors (with healthy Klay), Nuggets and Clippers may still be a year behind them. That’s how good the Lakers looked last night. Good enough that in next years finals they should be ready for whatever is coming for them. After that however, I don’t see Kuzma being good enough nor the Lakers having any assets to prepare for 2022 which I’m guessing will be all about shooting the lights out in SF, Denver, Phoenix …
Looking ahead to 2021 for the Lakers…
AD, KCP, and Rondo can all opt out of their contracts. AD surely will and, more than likely, sign a max deal with the Lakers. Not sure if KCP ($8.5 million) and Rondo ($2.6 million) will opt out or not, though after Rondo’s playoff showing, I’m thinking he can get a bigger deal.
Most of the rest of the Lakers are signed for next year. The only free agents of note are Howard and Morris. The Lakers are sitting at $119.5 million in salary next year before possible opt outs. The salary cap is expected to be $115 million. They can remain over the cap to resign AD to a max, but they may be limited in bringing in free agents. Of course, they will be an attractive destination for vets willing to sign for the mid-level exception or veteran minimum for a chance at a championship. They’ll be drafting near the end of the 1st round, so unlikely they’ll pick up anyone who can immediately contribute. Ultimately though, next season’s Lakers will look a lot like this year’s Lakers.
Might be time to start the offseason blog.
More changes happening. Daryl Morey is stepping down as GM of the Rockets, so they are now looking for both a GM and head coach. The new head coach won’t be Ty Lue because he is signing a five-year deal to be the next Clippers coach.
wouldn’t be surprised to see Jeff Van Gundy back in Houston as coach or GM
After D’Antoni parted ways with Houston, the stories were that Morey wanted to keep the small ball game believing that to be the best way to maximize the talents of Harden and Westbrook. I wonder if the Houston coaching interviews resulted in Morey’s departure. If candidates like Van Gundy don’t want to play the same style of offense, perhaps management decided to get rid of Morey in order to get the coach they wanted. The Rockets’ offense is not terribly efficient. Can a new head coach get Harden and Westbrook to play a more efficient game?
It also appears that Jeff Van Gundy’s brother Stan is the leading contender for the Pelicans job.
This won’t happen but it could. This wouldn’t be ideal but in the best of all worlds it might be (assuming that makes any sense at all) …
Harden and Curry together in S.F. with Harden changing his mindset in the following ways …
1. Kerr puts a cap (i.e. a STRONG suggestion) on how much the ball can be in his hands per possession
2. Kerr has a long talk with Harden about all those 3s. Harden’s a smart guy and I have no doubt he’d understand that curry and klay are at least as good as he is at the long ball
3. Kerr continually reminds Harden that he’s one of the best penetrate and finish guys to ever play the game.
It could work if Kerr and Curry want it to, meaning they have some great talks with Harden convincing him of the plan which might include fewer minutes so he can rest more. He averaged around 36.5 minutes last year. That could be 34 if he agreed to it.
Warriors seem to get everyone else on board with their style anyhow. Swaggy. Boogie. McGee. Wiggins. Chriss. Just seems to me that if they can’t land Giannis then why not package up that #2 along with Wiggins and others? worth a discussion anyhow IMO.
So, the Pacers hire, um (checks notes)…Nate Bjorkgren as their new head coach? The fact that I’ve never heard of him before doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but his resume shows 3 years as a high school head coach, 4 years as an assistant D-League coach, 4 years as a D-League head coach, and 5 years as an NBA assistant coach, most recently on Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto. I know NBA assistant coaches get head coaching gigs all the time, but Bjorkgren’s resume seems a little light for an NBA head coaching job. Further, it won’t go unnoticed that a white guy with little NBA experience is getting promoted to a top job while numerous black candidates with more experience and better credentials are being passed over. I’m not sure what this means for the Pacers going forward. Basically, all but the last two years of Bjorkgren’s experience has been in developmental work. Are the Pacers going to trade away their bigger names and rebuild with a younger team? I thought they were looking at contending and this doesn’t seem like the right hire for that.
Sabonis, Warren and Brogdon might be the most $$ valuable trio in the league. You don’t trade them you build on them. In Turner and Oladipo they have outstanding trade chips, AND they have some talent on the bench. The team is likely two players away from contending IMO. They could use a better scorer at Turner’s PF and they could use a happier/healthier slasher/scorer at SG. They have one glaring weakness and that’s Warren’s defense. I don’t think you trade him though. You make sure the other guys can surround him with defense, and that means if they do trade Turner it’s got to be someone who can cover both SF and PF positions. Turner can do that so maybe you hold onto him then and try to get something for a package with Oladipo and one of the Holiday bros.
But Oladipo needs to pass some pretty tough physicals. He’s obviously no good if he can’t cut like he used to.
Am I seeing correctly that Pacers have only the 54th pick in the upcoming draft? That’s a problem. Oladipo better be healthy and soon!
That is correct. They traded their 1st round pick to the Bucks last year to get Brogdon.
Do you know anything about this guy Bjorkgren? He spent a few years with the Suns as an assistant. Just seems like a hugely underwhelming hire for a team that’s got a good young core that are contenders in the weak East.
I don’t, but it’s hard to doubt Pacers’ front office. They seem to know what they’re doing and it’s only because of a few injuries that they haven’t done extremely well year after year. I don’t fault them for holding onto Bird as long as they did either. How do you fire a legend?
Brad Stevens, while his record was pretty damn impressive before the Boston hire, wasn’t by any means the most obvious choice for them but it must have been clear that he was the right fit. Maybe there’s a certain style of play they’re going after. Maybe he mentioned something in an interview that was exactly what they wanted to hear.
I’d like to think the Pacers front office knows what they’re doing, but it still seems like a head scratcher to me. Stevens had 12 years at a major and very successful college program, six as assistant, six as head coach, including taking Butler to the NCAA championship game two years in a row, so his resume was far more impressive than Bjorkgren’s. Like I said though, Bjorkgren’s background is mostly in player development, so I won’t be surprised to see the Pacers try to trade Oladipo for younger players and/or draft picks.
I don’t disagree. Seems like there are a lot of qualified coaches out there. Jeff Van Gundy for instance. Here’s my favorite choice for Indiana: Nate McMillian. There was nothing wrong with that team. They were tough and developing and headed upward in all ways before the Oladipo injury. They have leapfrogged many teams they were supposed to be behind starting 2 years ago. How does any coach do any better when the style of play was well balanced and tough and smart. Like Spurs, Celtics and Grizzlies used to be.
What’s a new direction that works better? I hope it’s not 3 pt shooting.
By the way, in this case I do agree there’s “something there” wrt another white coaching hire. This is nothing at all like the Nash hire which had nothing at all to do with white privilege.
NBA MVP-legend-brainiac-among-the-smartest-to-ever-play-the-game privilege maybe, but in that category color/creed/sex has nothing to do with making the right decision for your team. There simply is no one else in that category available, so Nash was one in a pool of one.
I do think Indiana needs to explain it some. At least come out at explain which other candidates were interviewed and why Bjorkgren was *clearly* the best. I think this last point is critical.
As mentioned, Stan Van Gundy was the leading contender for the Pelicans job and that is now official. Van Gundy coached Blake Griffin in Detroit, who was supposed to be the type of player that Zion is supposed to be. However, Van Gundy had Griffin after the initial knee injury and Griffin kept getting injured in Detroit. Hopefully, Van Gundy has better luck with Zion.
In the Pels case a decision on a coach has some interesting variables. Needs to be right guy to handle Zions minutes. Needs to be the right guy to help develop Lonzo. Needs to be the right guy to hold onto Ingram. Needs to get along well with Griffin.
Looks like experience was what they went with. Hard to argue with.
Just heard that Billups ended up on the Clippers coaching staff. Even as an assistant I think it’s an excellent choice and team alongside Lue. This team is likely to play very differently next year.
That is a great move by Billups. He lacks coaching experience though, like Nash, he was a great on-floor general, so this will put him in line for some head coaching over the next few years. Apparently Lue & Billups are close friends and Lue spent a couple months at Billups’ home in Colorado during the pandemic, during which Lue was basically giving coaching lessons to Billups.
was a clipper fan already. much more of one now.
A couple guys on NBA Sirius radio just made a pretty convincing case for why Warriors should heavily consider Wiseman for that 2nd pick. In particular Sam Mitchell especially doesn’t buy this idea that Wiseman is limited offensively. If that’s true and since Wolves don’t need him … could be an easy call?
What I left out above is that the same guys made a great case for why the Wolves should also pick Wiseman. Starting to become clear to me that Wolves will try and trade that pick to a team that’s strongly interested in a specific player at the top. Possible that LaMelo Ball will be the one driving this draft’s movement. With Wiseman and Ball you have two players who can immediately step in to fill a team’s needs, so I’d expect one of those teams to make the Wolves a nice offer for that #1 pick.
The consensus seems to be that if the Timberwolves make their pick, they will take Anthony Edwards. However, there is a lot of chatter about other teams trading up to the #1 spot to take Wiseman, such as the Hornets leapfrogging the Warriors from the third spot. There also seems to be a consensus that if Wiseman is available, the Warriors will take him at #2 since he fits a need for an athletic big man who can run the court and provide great defense. However, I think the Warriors would be just as happy to trade down to the 4-7 pick range and draft either Toppin or Avdija, both of whom the Warriors are reportedly high on.
Was the consensus in Minnesota but no longer. This is why I’m starting the conversation. I think the chances of Wolves taking Edwards vs. following some other action is less than 50% and that’s because interest in many other players is on the rise.
Look for Wolves to trade the pick, as a veteran shooter or others in the top 10 of this draft or both would fit nicely with the Wolves. Also, don’t forget that Wolves hope to find someone they think will stick around. I think better for Wolves would be drop down and select Toppin, Avdija or Okoro while adding another player from the trading team.
If they decide to keep the pick I’d guess it’s because either Edwards or Wiseman has shown some excitement about being in Minnesota.
More coaching/front office chips falling…
Houston’s new GM Rafael Stone (basically moved up a spot in the front office after being with Rockets for a decade) has hired Mavericks assistant Stephen (son of Paul) Silas as the new head coach. While I hadn’t heard Silas’ name mentioned in rumors before, he’s been an assistant coach for 20 years and apparently gets a lot of credit for designing the Doncic-centric offense in Dallas. So he seems like a really good fit for Houston as someone who might be able to adapt his Doncic-style offense to James Harden. Unfortunately, the Rockets mortgaged their draft future to bring in Westbrook and are way over the salary cap, so it will be difficult for them to bring in complimentary talent by either draft or free agency. Maybe they can get someone via trade if another team is willing to take on one of their albatross contracts.
Meanwhile, former Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey has been hired by the 76ers as president of basketball operations. This one is harder to see how it works. While Morey is coming in, he gets to hire neither a GM or a coach, as Elton Brand and Doc Rivers will be staying on/coming in. Further, he’s known for building a fast-paced, 3-point shooting team, which is not what the 76ers are. So what exactly is Morey bringing to this situation? Perhaps the 76ers owner is looking at this as thinking longer term. If the Sixers disappoint again next year, Morey will have had a year to evaluate the situation and figure out if he needs to tear the team down or find a way to bring in some players to change the locker room, but still build around Embiid/Simmons. It’ll be interesting to see how this works out. If I’m Elton Brand, I’m concerned about my long-term future with the 76ers.
I like both moves. Great idea to try out a guard-centric coach on Harden. Might be beating a dead horse (again), but someone needs to get his attention and insist that drive and draw fouls as a rule rather than as the exception. That part of his game together with passing ability in the lane is better than anyone in history, and if he wants to win a championship he needs to change heavily in that direction.
Morey to Sixers or any other front office for that matter: awesome. I had actually wondered if he might have interest in the Suns not that they need him. Morey will do what’s necessary with the assets they have there. I suppose the only question I have is if allowed Harden to be so … lazy for so long will he do the same with Embiid? Not that he had a choice in Houston. Or did he?
I’m not so sure Brand ever thought this was a lifetime job anyhow. They tried it. He probably had some fun, but no reason for anyone to think he’ll be there much longer.
Not really true of Morey as the “fast-paced” guy. Rather, Morey has been known as someone who via analytics is able to work with what he has, primarily by orchestrating trades. That Houston almost beat the Warriors (while missing how many 3s in a row??) is a testament to how close he got.
Morey knows how to find players that complement others. Battier years ago: that was a coup and it was brilliant. PJ Tucker was brilliant. Eric Gordon has been an outstanding player off the bench. He did what he could after that infamous implosion vs. Warriors. Not sure what other direction would have worked better.
Hilarious. Complete coincidence that I just saw this article posted … yesterday? Had no idea Battier was still in NBA circles. Always assumed he was in govt somewhere.
Not surprised that Battier is working in an NBA front office. He’s been director of player development and analytics for the Heat for the past few years. I expect he’ll be a GM some day.
Morey is a smart guy and you may be right that he can adapt to a different type of personnel. He tried to follow the Warriors blueprint, but never had shooters who were as good and D’Antoni never got Harden to buy in completely on the defensive end. I don’t think we’ll see much change in the Sixers this off-season, but if Doc can’t get them over the hump this year, the Sixers may see real change next off-season.
Speaking of D’Antoni (in my other post this morning), he’s joining Steve Nash’s staff in Brooklyn. A little surprised he could only get an assistant coach job, but good hire for Nash. He’ll bring the experience to Nash, kind of like Alvin Gentry, and later Mike Brown, did for Steve Kerr. Obviously, they know each other well from their time together in Phoenix. Nash is also bringing in Ime Udoka, the long-time Spurs assistant who was on Brett Brown’s staff in Philly last year. Since Nash also managed to keep Jacques Vaughn around, he has put together a really good coaching staff.
Can’t stop thinking about Herro and his progression. And how similar he is to Booker, swapping out a bit of shooting % for intestinal fortitude. And leadership which I’ll take any day.
I think Riley should plan the next two years around “Herro the leader and finisher”. He might be wrong to do so, but this is a bet worth taking IMO. Pair him up with guys that respond well to that kind of presence. Bam works perfectly. Jimmy doesn’t want that role anyhow. Giannis????
A friend proposed that, but I don’t see how Freak ends up in Miami. I love the idea and the chemistry, but is it even possible?
Riley has a good track record of being able to bring in the biggest names and Miami is a destination that a lot of players love, so I don’t put anything past him. That being said, I have a hard time seeing him pull that off.
To coalesce the coaching changes mentioned above, here’s a list of the coaching changes.
Rockets: Stephen Silas hired replacing Mike D’Antoni
Pelicans: Stan Van Gundy hired replacing Alvin Gentry
Pacers: Nate Bjorkgren hired replacing Nate McMillan
Clippers: Ty Lue hired replacing Doc Rivers
76ers: Doc Rivers hired replacing Brett Brown
Bulls: Billy Donovan hired replacing Jim Boylen
Nets: Steve Nash (with Mike D’Antoni as assistant) hired replacing Kenny Atkinson
Knicks: Tom Thibodeau hired replacing Mike Miller who replaced David Fizdale mid-season
Cavaliers: J.B. Bickerstaff replaced John Beilein close to end of season and is apparently staying
The only unfilled coaching spot now is the Thunder. I’ve seen stories about who they should consider (mostly recently fired head coaches like Brown, McMillan, and Atkinson), but little about who they’ve been interviewing or are interested in. The suspicion is that they are looking to trade Chris Paul to add to the huge number of first round picks they have over the next few years. So the Thunder should be looking for a head coach with a good track record of developing young talent.
Jeff Van Gundy maybe? Nate McMillan might be an option. He develops defenses and has a systematic approach to the game. A bit like Popovich in some smaller way. Can’t be a bad thing for young talent, at least I wouldn’t think so.
There’s only two weeks until the draft, so there are presumably some trade discussions happening every day. It may be unlikely though that any trade gets consummated before Draft Day. The T-Wolves trading the 1st pick could happen before then, but other trades will wait to see if the players they wish to draft are available. With this in mind, here’s the first round draft order:
2. Golden State
8. New York
11. San Antonio
13. New Orleans
14. Boston (from Memphis)
17. Minnesota (from Brooklyn via Atlanta)
19. Brooklyn (from Philadelphia via LA Clippers)
21. Philadelphia (from Oklahoma City via Orlando and Philadelphia)
22. Denver (from Houston)
24. Milwaukee (from Indiana)
25. Oklahoma City (from Denver)
27. New York (from LA Clippers)
28. Los Angeles Lakers
30. Boston (from Milwaukee via Phoenix)
With regard to the Warriors, they seem to be putting a lot of misinformation out about their intentions. They’ll trade the pick. They won’t trade the pick. They’ll draft Wiseman. They won’t draft Wiseman. They like Toppin and Avidja. They don’t like the defense of Toppin and Avidja.
My best guess is that the Dubs’ preference is to trade down for someone like a Toppin or Avidja (or perhaps someone they haven’t mentioned intentionally). One possibility is trading down 3 spots with Cleveland, picking up Kevin Love and dumping Andrew Wiggins and swapping draft spots. Love gives them a better rebounding presence and is a center who can shoot from the arc. Paschall would take over as the starting SF for Wiggins. The Dubs should be able to get either Toppin or Avidja in the 5th spot. On Cleveland’s side, they get younger and can draft Wiseman to replace Love. They’d have a really young and athletic core of Sexton, Garland, Wiggins, and Wiseman.
I have no inside info that the Warriors are considering this and they may be less inclined to take on the remaining 4 years of Love’s contract at his age than they are to keep the remaining 4 years of Wiggins’ contract at this age. But if the Dubs are looking for another championship in the next couple of years, I think this would give them a good shot at it.
Here’s a pretty good look at the Warriors’ draft options:
I’m guessing the most likely option is simply drafting Wiseman or Edwards, depending on which is available at number 2. However, if they truly like Toppin or Avdija a lot, trading down for future assets isn’t a bad idea. They drop a few spots and pick up another 2021 1st round draft pick from a team that is likely to land in the lottery next year, like the Celtics did a few years ago in trading the #1 pick for the #3 pick and future draft picks. The Celtics got Tatum at #3 this way. The Dubs could get Toppin or Avdija and have two likely high picks for next year’s draft (which is supposed to be a really good class). The Warriors could then use those two high 2021 draft picks to begin getting players for their future transition away from the Splash Brothers or package them in a deal for a superstar.
I read the article and having a hard time believing the Wiggins + #2 for Holiday works out financially. If it does, and if the Warriors can grab another player from them (they have a ton of young talent), that’s like adding a Livingston+ in his prime.
There’s no reason to be certain that Edwards will ever be as good or better than Jrue Holiday. It’s possible, and some would say likely but no certainty to it. What I like most about the idea is that Griffin can swing it because the Wiggins contract makes no impact to the Pels timeline. If Wiggins is a bust (again) then he sits on the bench and they let him go once the contract is up. Or buy him out. Meanwhile if Wiseman goes #1 the Pels have numerous directions they can go. LaMelo may work best for them since he gives them what Lonzo gives them but more, and now Lonzo is on the market where I’m guessing multiple teams would have interest.
And then there are so many 3 team possibilities. Suns would love to get on that action I’m sure. They went on their 8 game bubble-streak without Oubre in the lineup. I’m sure every GM in the league noticed. How many of those have interest? If Pels are concerned about losing Ingram maybe Oubre gives them some wing insurance?? Staying on the topic of the Suns, there have to be several GMs that have 10-20 versions of their mock draft and every one of them results in a quality player at #10. Question is, just my opinion, what can the Suns get for Oubre + the #10 in a multi team deal?
OK. I like this for the Warriors more than the Holiday plan. Needs to be a 3-way …
#2 pick goes to Detroit
#7 pick goes to Suns
#10 pick goes to Warriors
Rubio, Baynes and Oubre to Warriors
Wiggins to Phx
Or Blake Griffin in Phoenix somehow. Hmmm …. Ideal would be for Suns to land Griffin and Toppin somehow. Oooh. I like that idea even with Griffin’s age and injuries. damn.
So maybe Wiggins in Detroit?
While that deal would certainly help the Warriors depth, what I think they really need to do is to bring in another superstar-type player. Rubio, Baynes, and Oubre are nice and useful, but with the Curry-Thompson-Green triumvirate all getting to the wrong side of 30 and likely to have their games declining, I’m not sure that picking up useful pieces are going to be enough. So I come down on the side of finding a way to get a superstar, be it by trade or draft. It does not appear that any superstars will be made available this off-season regardless of what the Warriors might offer. So the Warriors should either draft Wiseman/Edwards and hope they become a superstar or trade down no further than the 5th or 6th spot and pick up a future likely lottery pick.
This is where Atlanta could come into play. Would the Hawks trade Capela, the #6 pick and their #1 pick next year (lightly protected) for, say, Kevon Looney and the the #2 pick assuming Wiseman is available. With their $17 million trade exception, the Dubs can absorb the Capela contract. Capela then becomes the new alley oop dunk man in the Dubs offense and they can use the #6 pick on Toppin, Avdija, Hayes, or Halliburton, two of which are likely to be available. Plus they now have two likely lottery picks in next year’s far better draft class in which they could either draft two potential superstars or package them with Wiggins in a deal for the Greek Freak or Embiid/Simmons.
You’re right of course. I was just going with the Holiday flow. Because what I proposed gets the Warriors as much or more than Jrue Holiday does, and they can unload the Wiggins contract.
In any case, I agree Capela on the Warriors is pretty daunting. On the other hand, isn’t the smartest thing going to be all about trying to defend A.D. in the playoffs next year? Maybe the Warriors should trade up to #1 to make sure that happens.
I am not convinced enough on Wiseman to pay the price it would take to trade up the one spot. I prefer to wait to see if he falls to the Dubs at #2 or to trade down and pick up extra picks next year. If they trade down, they could also look at drafting USC’s Okongwu, who is rated higher defensively than Wiseman
Because there was no March Madness this year, I don’t have a feel for who the best players in the draft are. So here’s a look at how some major websites rank the top 10 prospects.
ESPN: 1. PG LaMelo Ball; 2. SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia); 3. C James Wiseman (Memphis-briefly); 4. PF Deni Avdija (Israel); 5. C Onyeka Okongwu (USC); 6. PF Obi Toppin (Dayton); 7. SG Isaac Okoro (Auburn); 8. PG Tyrese Halliburton (Iowa St); 9. PF Patrick Williams (Florida St); 10. PG Killian Hayes (France)
SI: 1. SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia); 2. PG LaMelo Ball; 3. C James Wiseman (Memphis-briefly); 4. PG Tyrese Halliburton (Iowa St); 5. PF Obi Toppin (Dayton); 6. SG Isaac Okoro (Auburn); 7. PG Killian Hayes (France); 8. C Onyeka Okongwu (USC); 9. PF Deni Avdija (Israel); 10. SG Devin Vassell (Florida St)
CBSSports: 1. PG LaMelo Ball; 2. PG Killian Hayes (France); 3. PG Tyrese Halliburton (Iowa St); 4. C James Wiseman (Memphis-briefly); 5. SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia); 6. C Onyeka Okongwu (USC); 7. PF Obi Toppin (Dayton); 8. Deni Avdija (Israel); 9. PF Patrick Williams (Florida St); 10. PG Kira Lewis, Jr. (Alabama)
Sporting News: 1. PF Obi Toppin (Dayton); 2. SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia); 3. C James Wiseman (Memphis-briefly); 4. PG LaMelo Ball; 5. SF Saddiq Bey (Villanova); C Onyeka Okongwu (USC); 7. PF Deni Avdija (Israel); 8. SG Devin Vassell (Florida St); 9. SG Isaac Okoro (Auburn); 10. PG Tyrese Halliburton (Iowa St)
Basketball Insiders: 1. SG Anthony Edwards (Georgia); 2. PG LaMelo Ball; 3. C James Wiseman (Memphis-briefly); 4. PF Obi Toppin (Dayton); 5. PF Deni Avdija (Israel); 6. C Onyeka Okongwu (USC); 7. SG Isaac Okoro (Auburn); 8. PG Tyrese Halliburton (Iowa St); 9. PG Killian Hayes (France); 10. SF Precious Achiuwa (Memphis)
From these five lists, there is a solid 7 or 8 names that are on pretty much every list. Edwards, Ball, and Wiseman seem to be the consensus top 3 for the most part with Toppin typically falling into the 4-6 range (though the Sporting News surprisingly has him #1). After that, the rankings begin to diverge quite a lot.
Ball makes no sense to me. Neither Wolves or Warriors will pick him and what team will trade up to get him? That leaves Charlotte and they would need to be in great need for him but they aren’t.
Really doubt he goes in the top 3, especially with the volatility of halliburton, toppin, advija and hayes jumping all over the place on those lists.
what’s interesting about the variations is related to what i wrote earlier. for those between 5 & 10 any of these guys except edwards and wiseman could end up there. phoenix as an example could do well staying at #10 or trading oubre to jump up just 3 or 4 spots.
Why wouldn’t the Timberwolves consider picking Ball? Russell is the only real PG on their roster and he is more of a shoot-first PG anyway. Wouldn’t be a bad idea to pair Ball with Russell in their backcourt, which not only gives you two ball handlers, but also creates a big backcourt that can switch off onto forwards on defense on screens. Yes, Ball’s shooting leaves a lot to be desired, but you could use him in a Ben Simmons-like way given his size (6’8″) and defensive abilities. Of course, the T-Wolves picking Edwards and pairing him with Russell in the backcourt isn’t a bad idea either. If the T-Wolves don’t pick Ball and, assuming no one trades up to get Ball, the first team really in need of a PG thereafter is the Pistons at Pick 7.
i know it sounds superstitious but no matter, Wolves fans #1 complaint about management’s track record relates to past guards. my friend who lives there says this is mentioned in papers all the time: choosing flynn and rubio ahead of curry in the 2009 draft. there’s too much of a risk in taking lamelo, just like there has proven to be too much risk in choosing ….
Fultz and Lonzo in other drafts. I don’t think they’ll do it because LaMelo is even more of an unknown than Lonzo or Fultz or Rubio. At least, Fultz was thought to be known which is very similar to Ball IMO.
It would definitely piss off a LOT of fans. This is know as my friend there has made it extremely clear. All the more reason to trade the pick? I don’t see why they wouldn’t. And I doubt they’d trade to a team that was interested in only LaMelo.
Not a good sign if a team is letting fan anger affect its evaluations on who to pick. I’m not saying that the T-Wolves should pick Ball, just that he is a justifiable choice for them if they believe he is the best player or best fit for them. I think the T-Wolves are far more likely to pick Edwards, although I think he is a poorer fit for the team, as it would give them three players (KAT, Russell & Edwards) who all want the ball on offense. T-Wolves either need to learn to be more selfless on offense or get a ball-handler who is focused on distribution before shooting.
Both the T-Wolves and the Warriors have shown some interest in Ball, but I think that is to prime the pump for some other team to trade up to get him. T-Wolves can get away with this since they have a need for someone like Ball. Not sure anyone is buying that the Warriors might draft Ball. Someone may trade up with the Warriors though to pick Wiseman.
I mentioned earlier today that after the T-Wolves, the first team in the draft that needs a PG is the Piston at Pick 7. Lo and behold, tonight I see a report that the Pistons are indeed interested in Ball. That being said, I don’t see any real good trade possibilities for the Pistons to trade up unless they can convince some team to take Blake Griffin’s bloated contract off their hands. Beyond Griffin, the Pistons have one of the worst collections of talent in the league. So the Pistons may have to hope that the T-Wolves don’t draft Ball and no team behind them leapfrogs them with a trade to get Ball.
yeah. when I wrote guards I meant a highly touted PG/leader type. I do agree Edwards is still a likely choice. Guessing they either pick Edwards or they trade to a team that really wants Edwards or Wiseman, but then this is all obvious by now.
Looks like there is agreement between management and players to begin a 72-game season on December 22nd, the Tuesday before Christmas. I believe the games will be back at each team’s arena with or without fans per each state’s guidelines for gatherings. There are still other details to work out, but this is a good sign that neither side will use the pandemic to back out of the collective bargaining agreement as they are permitted to do.
After listening a little more closely to a draft preview hosted by Fran Frascilla and Amin Alhassen I’m considering that Wolves may very well select Wiseman after all. The consensus there is that Wiseman didn’t really make that statement un-coerced, and instead it was the advice of his to-be-agent to posture his way into a more marketable position (likely Golden State). The idea that Wiseman might become more of a star outside of Minnesota now seems a bit ridiculous even if he were to become an immediate winner with the Warriors.
Having said all that and after looking at this draft and teams and needs, I think Atlanta should do everything possible to trade up to the #1 and select Wiseman. Including swapping picks and some players including Hunter and Capela.
After reading this, I’m also thinking that the T-Wolves are considering Wiseman:
A modern-day twin towers approach seems to go against the grain, but maybe the T-Wolves could make it work. What the article notes about Wiseman adding weight/muscle and working hard to improve his shot from longer distances would make him more of a better fit for the Warriors than i thought. So if the T-Wolves do go with Edwards, I think the Dubs will take Wiseman if they can’t trade down. If Hawks want Wiseman, perhaps Capela, Hunter and #6 pick for Wiggins and #2 pick? ESPN Trade Machine says that trade works.
NBA.com has a “consensus” mock draft, which it derives from 10 mock drafts that it considers significant. You can find it here:
I don’t know how much value the consensus mock draft has because it isn’t looking specifically at each team’s needs, but if you scroll down, you can see the mock drafts that it is derived from. Here’s the top 3 from each of those mock drafts:
ESPN: 1. Ball; 2. Edwards; 3. Wiseman (the NBA.com page mistakenly lists Ball as both the #1 and #3 pick, but I saw elsewhere that they had Ball #1 and Wiseman isn’t listed, so I’m sure he is their #3).
The Ringer: 1. Edwards; 2. Avdija; 3. Ball
The Athletic: 1. Ball; 2. Wiseman; 3. Edwards
SI: 1. Edwards; 2. Wiseman; 3. Ball
Yahoo: 1. Ball; 2. Wiseman; 3. Edwards
Bleacher Report: 1. Ball; 2. Wiseman; 3. Edwards
NetScouts: 1. Ball; 2. Wiseman; 3. Edwards
CBSSports (Parrish): 1. Ball; 2. Edwards; 3. Wiseman
CBSSports (Boone): 1. Ball; 2. Edwards; 3. Wiseman
SB Nation: 1. Edwards; 2. Ball; 3. Okongwu
There’s seems to be a lot of so-called draft experts who are thinking Ball will go #1. I don’t see it.
obviously this is because wiseman says he doesn’t want to go to the wolves. statistically this is dumb, because if wolves don’t pick him odds are that wolves trade the pick to a team that wants him. AND wolves have never claimed to be high on Edwards or Ball. Seems like these “experts” don’t know math.
Apparently the Hornets (picking 3rd) really want Wiseman and may seek to trade up to the #1 spot if they think the Warriors might draft him. T-Wolves would then drop to the #3 spot where they could pick Ball or Edwards depending on what happens with the Dubs pick.
where is atlanta in all this? isn’t wiseman perfect for them in every way, especially because they have assets to trade?
that whole ball thing … going first … it’s just NOT going to happen. it screams insanity as in doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. fultz, flynn, lonzo. and mudiay comes to mind as well – assume you remember
how high he was expected to go in 2015 when no one really knew how he stacked up to nba players.
the fultz thing though – that was Brian Colangelo if memory serves. if a team really takes him first it would have to be because someone with serious problems pushed all his scouts and advisors out of the way and insisted on it. seriously hope that’s not the Suns’ owner, although I like the idea of suns moving up to #4 or #5 and picking him if available and toppin is not.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of move Suns can make, because any team trading with them, especially in the western conf, should be extremely careful not to allow Toppin to pair up with Booker and Ayton. Suns certainly have the assets to move up to get him. Pick #10, Oubre, Rubio, Baynes. Both Rubio and Baynes …
Warriors could use both for instance.
If the Suns want Toppin, they’ll need to trade up to the 4th or 5th spot to ensure they get him. Would either the Bulls or Cavs want a Rubio/Oubre combo (Baynes is a free agent)? Just running some trade scenarios here:
1. Suns trade Rubio/Oubre and #10 pick to Bulls for Otto Porter and #4 pick. The Bulls are very likely going to want dump Porter’s $27 mil/yr contract. Trade Machine says the deal works. However, Bulls have LaVine, Dunn, & White on their roster, so may not want Rubio. So maybe this:
2. Suns trade Oubre and #10 pick to Bulls for Thad Young and #4 pick. Oubre definitely fills a need for the Bulls at SF and is 6 years younger than Young. Is it enough to move up 6 spots though?
With Cleveland, you get some of the same issues of not needing a PG with Sexton and Garland on the roster, but if the Suns are willing to eat a contract, perhaps this would fly:
3. Suns trade Rubio/Oubre and #10 pick to Cavs for Drummond and #5 pick. Drummond has one more year on his deal (assuming he exercises his option, which he will), so Phoenix only has to pay his $28 mil salary for one year. The Cavs could then run a 3-headed PG rotation through the PG and SG spots. Rubio is a much better passer than either Sexton or Garland anyway and perhaps could teach them a thing or two about being a PG. Drummond operates as Ayton’s back-up for a year and then he’s gone which would give the Suns a good deal of cap space next summer and perhaps add someone to the Booker/Ayton/Toppin trio.
I like all the options, but I agree Oubre won’t be enough to jump higher than 6. In particular I can see Advija being exactly the guy Chicago wants and needs. And who knows wtf is going on in cleveland? Seems like they always do the obvious thing meaning putting little effort into planning. To me that says they’ll try to see if Love and Drummond can work together and then keep the pick hoping something magical happens with either Advija or Toppin. I’m sure they think they have a great team (lmao).
In this draft I think that’ll be “the thing” with the 3,4 and 5 picks which is you know you get a quality player at those spots and so you’re happy staying there or moving up to 1 or 2.
Maybe Suns just hold onto #10 where there is likely to be a quality player still: Okongwu, Hayes and Vassell for instance all fill a need.
The real unknown about possible trades and the free agency market will be whether the reduced revenues last year and the coming year will affect team’s decisions. Teams that own their arenas, like the Warriors, have lost not only the income from fans at games, but also the income from all the other events that were supposed to be held at their arenas. I am not so worried about that where the Warriors are concerned, their ownership has deep pockets, like the Rockets, Lakers, Rockets, and a bunch of others, plus the Warriors’ arena will be a cash cow once we get past the pandemic. There are other owners though that may go into savings mode because of the reduced revenues.
One part of the deal for the new season that will help high payroll teams is a new pandemic luxury tax rule. Next year, the luxury tax will be reduced by the same percentage that revenues are reduced. So, for instance, a team like the Warriors, who may be looking at a $160 million luxury tax bill, could save $50+ million in their luxury tax bill if revenues are reduced by one-third as some suspect. This will also help other high payroll teams like the Rockets and Lakers.
Bringing free agency into the mix, here’s a list of the top free agents:
1. Anthony Davis – he will surely opt out and then re-sign a max deal with the Lakers.
2. Brandon Ingram – he is a restricted free agent, so more than likely to re-sign with Pelicans.
3. Fred VanVleet – unrestricted free agent, should be popular.
4. Danilo Gallinari – unrestricted free agent, apparently more interested in a contender than highest contract he can get.
5. Gordon Hayward – probably unlikely to opt out of last year on his $34 million contract.
6. DeMar DeRozan – might be unlikely to opt out of last year on his $27 million contract.
7. Andre Drummond – extremely unlikely to opt out of last year on his $28 million contract.
8. Mike Conley – very unlikely to opt out of last year on his $34 million contract.
9. Davis Bertans – unrestricted free agent and picked great time to have career year this year.
10. Montrezl Harrell – unrestricted free agent, but would Clippers let him get away? He’s a defensive liability and doesn’t shoot the deep ball, so how much will others pay for someone better suited to the 2nd team?
11. Jeremi Grant – unrestricted free agent. Nuggets will want him back, but he is a role player for them. Will another team pay him more for a bigger role?
12. Evan Fournier – probably 50/50 on whether he declines his $17 million option. If he does, Orlando will surely look to re-sign him, but good wings are usually a hot commodity.
13. Bodgan Bogdanovich – restricted free agent. Hard to see Sacto not matching any offer for him, but could sign and trade for someone else.
14. Joe Harris – unrestricted free agent. One of best shooters in league, but a liability elsewhere. Nets will want to keep him, but shooters are gold.
15. Christian Wood – unrestricted free agent. He’s been a nomad in his short career, but still just 24 yrs old. Some team will probably overpay him.
16. Otto Porter, Jr. – not a chance in hell that he declines his $28 million option.
17. Malik Beasley – restricted free agent. If T-Wolves pick Wiseman, they may match offers for Beasley. If they pick Edwards, maybe not, particularly given his off-season arrest.
18. Goran Dragic – unrestricted free agent. His performance in playoffs will likely make him desirable to many teams despite his age. Miami is looking to create cap space to make a run at the Freak next summer, so they probably won’t give Dragic more than a 1-yr deal to stay. If some other team gives more years, he could leave.
19. Serge Ibaka – unrestricted free agent. Like Dragic, because of his age, he can likely get bigger deal on a one-year contract or more years for less money.
20. Marcus Morris – unrestricted free agent. Clippers will want to retain him, but can they keep both Morris and Harrell?
21. Tim Hardaway, Jr. – probably unlikely to decline his $19 million option for next year.
22. Jordan Clarkson – unrestricted free agent. Seemed to fit well with Jazz, so they’ll likely seek to re-sign him.
23. Jae Crowder – unrestricted free agent. Like Dragic, Miami unlikely to give him more than a one-year deal, so if other teams want him, multi-year contract offers will be the way.
24. Hassan Whiteside – unrestricted free agent. If Nurkic is healthy, Portland may not push to re-sign him, but some team will want him for his defensive abilities.
25. Derrick Favors – unrestricted free agent. Pels will want him back, but it will depend on what offers he gets for his good defense, limited offense game.
26. Marc Gasol – unrestricted free agent. Probably won’t get a big offer at age 35, but may take a small offer to play on a contender (hello Dubs!).
27. Tristan Thompson – unrestricted free agent. Cavs are currently on hook for Drummond’s big deal, so unless they can unload it, they may let Thompson walk. Not sure how big the interest will be in him.
28. Paul Millsap – unrestricted free agent. At age 35, appeared to have declined last year. Probably still a good bench piece for a contender and perhaps the Nuggets will look to keep him at a reduced price.
29. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – will surely decline his $8.5 million option after his Finals performance. A good 3-and-D player like him will probably command more than $10 million, but few teams have lots of cap space this off-season.
30. Derrick Jones, Jr. – unrestricted free agent. Still only 23 yrs old and might still prove to be a good shooter, but Heat probably won’t give him more than a one-year deal to come back.
Other names: Dario Saric (restricted); Aron Baynes (unrestricted); Rajon Rondo (player option); DeMarcus Cousins (unrestricted); Rodney Hood (player option); Justin Holiday (unrestricted); Chris Boucher (unrestricted); Markieff Morris (unrestricted); Jeff Teague (unrestricted); Carmelo Anthony (unrestricted); Jakob Poeltl (restricted); Kriss Dunn (restricted); Dwight Howard (unrestricted); Nerlens Noel (unrestricted); and Avery Bradley (player option).
Quite the list – thanks!!
Several names pop out as strong possibilities for big moves shaking things up and driving other moves. Ingram to the Heat – it just makes too much sense to me if Ingram wants to win now, getting back at the Lakers. Van Vleet fits incredibly well on the Suns. I hear there are talks for CP3 to the Suns. I get it, but obviously not in line with the Suns timeline *unless* CP3 brings interest from other big names. Regardless, Suns need a PF badly and unless that huge CP3 contract helps to bring in one … but then why mess around with CP3 when you should be doing *everything* to move up to select Toppin? Is a CP3 signing part of a bargaining chip with some other team in order for the Suns to move up into the Bulls and Cavs spot?
I know this is Suns centric, but they are one of the big stories coming out of the bubble. These names scream some change at PF for them and a likely trade of Oubre: Gallinari, Favors, Millsap, Ibaka, one of the Morris twins.
Saric and Baynes are free agents. Didn’t know that about Saric even though he’s restricted.
I’ve seen the CP3 to the Suns rumors as well. It would have to include Oubre and Rubio going back to the Thunder and, I’m assuming, the #10 pick. Given Paul’s age though, they should be looking to add pieces that will be around for Booker’s and Ayton’s prime. I cooked up this 3-team deal that works per the Trade Machine:
Suns get: Thad Young and #4 pick from the Bulls
Bulls get: Chris Paul from Thunder
Thunder get: Kelly Oubre and #10 pick from Suns and Zach LaVine from Bulls
Don’t know if the Bulls are interested in Chris Paul, but after a couple of years without a big name on the roster, they may want a name to draw interest from fans and free agents. Young provide some temporary PF help for the Suns and they can draft Toppin at #4. Thunder continue to get younger with LaVine replacing Paul at PG. If necessary, the Thunder could juice the deal by throwing one of their many future 1st round picks to the Bulls.
One name I don’t see is Willy Cauley-Stein who is a name that comes up fairly often as a need for many teams (i.e. running the floor and defending and rebounding). I just read this “Cauley-Stein has a $2.29 million player option for next season. There has been no definitive word, but he sounded eager to return to the Mavericks in a recent interview. Dallas has a strong cast of big men, so it will be interesting to see what role WCS plays next season.”
He’s meant as a sort of insurance policy for Dwight Powell after his achilles tear. Possible the Mavs will need him as much as anyone and may pay him as such, because Powell isn’t likely to ever be the same after that injury.
Still, I’m guessing a lot of teams are interested.
Cauley-Stein is a terrible shooter outside of about 2 feet and can’t be on the court at the end of close games because he would get fouled every time he touched the ball. He can provide some rim defense and rebounding off the bench, but is a liability defending the pick and roll. I’m guessing that he exercises his option as I doubt he gets a bigger contract elsewhere. He is an anachronism in today’s NBA that favors bigs who can be a threat from the 3-pt line. He is a somewhat useful bench player at best these days.
And yet teams not only have interest in such ‘anachronisms’, but willfully employ them and sometime with great success. Hence the reason I bring him up;-) I can rattle off quite a few names but it’s easy to do it yourself.
Boston, Philly, etc … word through the grapevine that is so you can take with grain of salt if you like. A guy like that for such a small contract can help in many ways, and especially depending on matchups on any given night.
More importantly, and since this is within the context of your FA list, I can think of many guys on that list I wouldn’t touch because of their contracts and especially if I’d be able to pick up a guy like Cauley-Stein.
You’re right that his contract demands may make him attractive. Maybe some team would pick him to give them 15 minutes a night guarding an Anthony Davis or Joel Embiid. The Warriors have been picking up such guys over the championship years. Zaza and McGee for instance. They thought Cauley-Stein could be another such player, but were disappointed in his abilities and were all too happy to unload him for a 2nd round draft pick. Some team will sign him if he opts out, but not sure he will get much more than he is getting now.
I was surprised he didn’t work out there. Maybe some personal issues, because I saw him play for the Kings early on in his career and at times he was a force the way he’d sprint the floor on both ends.
With the pandemic this year, teams have been forced to interview potential draft choices through Zoom instead of in person. I’ve been hearing all kinds of reports that LaMelo Ball has been flunking these team Zoom interviews. Don’t quite know the specifics of that, i.e., what is he saying that is turning teams off. Warriors beat writers were among the many to report this, saying the Dubs were unimpressed by Ball in the interview. Unless this is absolute misinformation designed to throw other teams off the track, this could be a reason for Ball to fall a bit in the draft. I don’t think this is misinformation though given the number of such reports.
On the flip side, reports are that everyone is being wowed by James Wiseman in these Zoom interviews. I heard an interview with Marcus Spears this morning saying that in 10 years of interviewing potential draft choices (for the news, not for a team), Wiseman was the most impressive person he’s talked to. By all accounts, Wiseman is a genuinely good person beyond his basketball abilities. As noted in the article I posted a few days ago, he had a 4.0 GPA in his short time at Memphis and is learning Mandarin. Scouts believe that he will be quite comfortable being a 3rd or 4th option on offense. Kind of sounds like a really good fit with Steph and Klay, doesn’t it? However, the more I hear about him, the more I think it is likely he will go #1. Best thing for the Warriors to hope for is that the T-Wolves don’t trade down and use the #1 pick on Edwards because he is a bigger need than Wiseman on their team.
“in 10 years of interviewing potential draft choices (for the news, not for a team), Wiseman was the most impressive person he’s talked to”
That’s something when considering how well spoken Aaron Gordon and Jaren Jackson Jr. were in their pre-draft interviews. Towns also if memory serves.
Agree that this says a lot about Wiseman. Is it enough to cause either the T-Wolves to draft him (despite having KAT) or another team trading up to the T-Wolves spot to draft him? At this point, I want the Dubs to either draft Wiseman without trading up to get him or, if he’s gone with the #1 pick, to trade down a few spots and pick up another first round pick next year.
Yesterday there were reports that Harden and Westbrook went to Rockets management and expressed concerns about the direction of the team. Today, Westbrook announced that he wants out of Houston. Russ has 3 years left on his contract and will be getting $41 million, $43.8 million, and $46.7 million for those years. I imagine he will be very hard to trade. There won’t be many teams willing to take on that contract. Given that the Rockets gave up a ton of draft picks to get him, I imagine they will want a bunch of picks back in any deal besides whatever contracts they have to take back.
So what teams may want him? The Knicks come to mind since they are exactly the type of team that would want a superstar. A deal featuring Julius Randle, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton and a bunch of picks could work.
The Bulls are another team that may be interested in bringing in a superstar. A deal for Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter, Tomas Satoransky, and a bunch of pick works. If one of those picks is the Bulls first rounder this year, that #4 pick could net the Rockets a Toppin, Avdija, Okongwu, or Halliburton. Even possibly LaMelo Ball if he drops.
I’m sure that Russ would love to come home and play for the Lakers and Clippers, but I can’t find any trade that works without the Lakers or Clippers signing and trading one of their free agents to be a part of a deal. Would one or more of those free agents be willing to do so? Sure if the money and years are right, but this would likely stick the Rockets with burdensome contracts that they are stuck with for 3-4 years.
Here’s an interesting thought. Westbrook to the Bucks for Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, George Hill and picks. Bucks show the Freak that they are all in in an effort to keep him beyond this year. Meanwhile, Rockets get a good PG back in the deal. However, the picks that the Rockets get are all likely to be bottom of the round picks.
One other trade possibility. Westbrook to the Pacers for Brogdon, Turner, and picks. This would be the Pacers going all in on trying to win a championship. I think they are too conservative to consider it though.
The Bucks deal is the only one I see being reasonable, but then who knows what the Knicks will do. No idea how those three players help the Rockets though.
Bucks need to do something, but giving up Brook Lopez … not sure how you replace everything he gives you.
I don’t think any of the deals would really help the Rockets next season. The key would be the draft picks added to any deal since Houston gave up a lot of draft capital to get Russ.
BTW, one rumor reported by local Warriors beat writers is that Chicago has offered Wendell Carter, Jr. and the #4 pick for the #2 pick. This would probably only happen if Wiseman is available when the Warriors pick.
Wolves need bodies. They should take that deal and pick toppin or Advija at #4. Easy call.
It was the Warriors that the Bulls reportedly made that offer to, not the T-Wolves. I like the deal too. Carter may not be quite as athletic as Wiseman, but he looks like he will be a solid double-double guy each night in the future and he has really long arms to block shots and disrupt passing lanes. He hasn’t had much opportunity to show off his passing in the Bulls’ offense, but he was a pretty good passer at Duke.
Again, Wolves should take that deal. Seriously doubt Bulls would have any problem with moving up to #1;-)
I don’t like Carter on the Warriors at all. Not the right pairing with Green IMO, as both are undersized and lacking offense. Not in the Western Conf.
Reportedly the Hornets are very interested in acquiring Westbrook. So here’s another possible deal that the Trade Machine says works.
Hornets get: Russell Westbrook
Rockets get: Terry Rozier, Bismack Biyombo, and draft picks including 3rd pick in this year’s draft.
According to the Trade Machine, this trade would reduce Charlotte’s projected win total by 4 games AND reduce Houston’s projected win total by 6 games. So apparently a lose-lose proposition.
Lots of excitement this morning on NBA sirius radio (Isola and Scalibrini) about the possibility of both Westbrook and Oladipo ending up in Charlotte. Not that it makes sense to give up the #3, but those guys were excited that they were about to make the financials work. Not sure they were right though, but why go after Westbrook if it’s only a one man show?
The funny part they didn’t address though: will fans even be able to see them up close during a possible season long lock-down?
Did they think this pairing would happen this year? I don’t see how Charlotte has enough assets to trade for them both. However, if they trade for Russ now, they will have plenty of cap space next summer to sign Oladipo as a free agent. Unless the Pacers have concerns about Oladipo’s health, would they let him get away when they can pay him more than anyone else. Indiana is well set up to stay very competitive over the next few years since their core is basically signed for awhile at very reasonable deals.
Maybe Tim Duncan isn’t going to be the next coach of the Spurs whenever Pop retires.
He’s headed back to an off-court player development role. Sounds like he doesn’t want the coaching role. Perhaps this puts Becky Hammon back in the driver’s seat as next Spurs coach.
Only thing that makes sense to me is that he’s moving up and into a front office position in addition to his previous role.
Wondering about what the Wolves would do can make your head spin. For me it keeps coming back to “does the GM have any clue at all how to build a winner?”. I assume winning is his goal, but if that’s the case did you pair Russell and Towns hoping one of them becomes your leader? That’s incredibly stupid if that’s the case. If not, will picking Wiseman get you closer to your goal of finding a leader to help shape this team into something more serious than it is?
Maybe that’s not the question though, hence the extra head spin. Maybe the question is which players if any are available AND would be able to lead this team? I could see the pipe dream of Booker which would be awesome for them. No way he’ll take that step backwards though. Who else?? CP3 would never be interested. Who else? Beal? Is Beal a leader though?
Makes me realize how few guys there are out there that could fill that role. Jrue Holiday MAYBE. Not sure those other guys would respect him enough.
Here’s a guy that would work for the Wolves extremely well in that regard, but he’d be miserable having given up his future: Dray Green. Of course Warriors would never do that to him, but I bring it up only to point out how few players are available to the Wolves that might really help.
I could be wrong but that guy just seems to be itching to put a team on his shoulders.
of course, you’ll need to remind me how an unrestricted FA could get involved with something like this. let’s assume wolves are already talking to him regardless of the impropriety. so if wolves know they might have their guy …
how do you pay him enough? you trade your #1 by moving $$ off the books somehow I guess. How much $$ do they have to sign Van Vleet if they keep the pick?
Depends on how much VanVleet is looking for. He made $9 mil last season. Assuming the cap stays about the same as last year, the T-Wolves will have about $14 million in cap space without making any moves to create more space. I don’t think that will be enough to get VanVleet. If James Johnson were to turn down his $16 million player option, the T-Wolves could have $30 million in cap space. That might be enough to get VanVleet, though Raptors will always be able to offer him more. Seems unlikely though that James Johnson would decline that option because he’s not getting anything near that as a free agent.
So, if you’re VanVleet and the T-Wolves have convinced you of their future pairing you with KAT, D’Angelo and, say, Anthony Edwards as the first pick in the draft, but the T-Wolves don’t have the cap room to sign you, perhaps you can get the Raptors to do a sign and trade. VanVleet gets a contract in the $25-30 million range. Raptors take back James Johnson’s expiring contract, Josh Okogie, and the T-Wolves #1 pick in 2022 and 2020 2nd round pick (3rd pick in 2nd round). I doubt the Raptors would be willing to do this, but if VanVleet were to force their hand, who knows.
If the T-Wolves are thinking of drafting someone who could be a leader, perhaps they trade down (that Bulls trade you mentioned perhaps) and they draft Tyrese Halliburton. He is being compared to Shaun Livingston in his leadership capabilities. Some local beat writers think the Warriors are very interested in him for that reason.
ahhh … good intel as they (apparently) say in the biz. seems like that could be a big deal for a few teams picking in the top 10.
Teams can officially begin to make trades tomorrow, but one trade has been announced already (it won’t be official till tomorrow):
Lakers get: Dennis Schroeder
Thunder get: Danny Green & 28th pick in 2020 draft
The salaries of Schroeder and Green are basically the same ($15.5 and $15.3 million respectively) and there is only a year left on both contracts. Schroeder is 26 years old and Green is 33. Schroeder scored 18.9 ppg vs. Green’s 8 ppg last year and Schroeder actually shoots the 3 better than Green. So it is obvious why the Lakers are making the deal. They have a limited championship window and were not going to get anyone at the 28th pick that could immediately contribute. On the Thunder end, this just adds to the treasure trove of draft picks they have and Green will be gone after next season.
Thunder now have 2 first round this year; 2 first round picks in 2021; probably 2 first round picks in 2022 (they lose their own if it falls outside the top 14); probably 2 first round picks in 2023 (they get Miami’s if it falls outside the top 14); 3 or 4 first round picks in 2024 (Miami’s if they didn’t get in 2023 and it falls outside the top 14 and Houston’s if it falls outside the top 4 and if it doesn’t they get Houston’s second round pick); 1 or 2 first round picks in 2025 (Miami’s if they didn’t get in 2023 or 2024 and it falls outside the top 14); 1 to 3 first round picks in 2026 (Miami’s if they didn’t get it in 2023, 2024 or 2025 and Houston’s if it falls outside the top 4 and if it doesn’t they get Houston’s second round pick). The Thunder also have their 2nd round pick each of the next 4 years and various scenarios to get extra 2nd round picks in the years 2024-2026. So the Thunder will have a lot of opportunities to hit upon draft choices that turn into stars. And, if they turn a few into stars in the next couple of years, they can start trading some of the later picks into helpful pieces. All of this is what they have now before they trade Chris Paul as they are expected to do.
why not trade adams and their two this year to move up in the draft? can’t think of many teams in the lottery that would relish adams. except warriors maybe.
I imagine the Thunder are just beginning with their wheeling and dealing. Would not be surprised to see them deal Adams and Paul.
Just occurred to me that since Ayton’s biggest weakness (maybe his only big weakness) is getting in foul trouble and staying on the court … how much can the Suns improve maturity-wise with Paul & Adams moving to Phoenix and Saric and Oubre headed to OKC? Obviously need to match salaries somehow, but if the Suns want to show they can beat any team in the West on any given night …. that would do it for at least a couple years until they can land a big and younger FA. That seems pretty likely to me, especially a top PG who wants to win. No telling who that might be in two years though.
great example of why it might be impossible for warriors to decide on best course of action until the last minute. assume they’re ok with either Wiseman or Advija or … just picking a name … “Halliburton” as a placeholder. They can trade up to #1. They can trade down to #4 or lower depending on where they think their “Halliburton” might go. They may have their sites on Adams, but if they want Advija they need another team involved (ex. Bulls) to make it work.
But if they like Adams how much do they like him? You could go all day with this exercise. Obviously every team in the league is on the phone with them. You don’t hear anything about Clippers or Denver, but those teams have players and needs and they need to do something this year. Maybe OKC wants one of the Nuggets players and Denver wants the OKC picks. Or Denver wants Adams and Warriors need to wait to see what OKC decides.
I can see a Warriors decision coming down to the very last literal minute, unless they find their “Bryan Colangelo” who makes them a Fultz like offer they can’t turn down for fear of losing it.
Clock is ticking. Only about 60 hours to go!
OK. Prediction time. After you mentioned Haliburton I’ve been researching him and team needs. I predict he’ll be the Tatum of 2020. Wolves should be all over that since it’s exactly what they need. If they’re too dumb or incapable of trading down to make it work then Warriors should do it if Wolves take Wiseman.
I think the T-Wolves are too dumb to realize that. Further, other teams think their interest in Wiseman or Ball is a bluff, so apparently the T-Wolves are not getting good enough trade offers to trade down as other teams are content to let them draft Edwards. Teams that want Wiseman or Ball are looking at the 2nd to 4th picks as where they need to trade up to.
I’m on a Haliburton roll today I guess …
If Oubre isn’t needed to make the Chris Paul trade work, he should be enough for the Suns to trade up into Haliburton/Advija/Toppin/Okoro/Okongwu range. Like 5 through 8. Before this I was thinking the Suns don’t get much by moving up just two spots to #8. I think that’s wrong, and this draft’s top 8 are solid (assuming you pick the right top 8).
I like having Haliburton learning alongside Chris Paul. Talk about ways of advertising the Suns as a free agent destination. If Haliburton develops into that kind of player they should be all set for some time. Without Oubre that is. Need to shed that weight.
By the way, I think this Haliburton idea is almost exactly what the Suns were hoping for from Ty Jerome. It still might be, and maybe having Jerome and Haliburton learn from Paul is the reasoning behind the plan.
The problem the Suns have is that not only do they need to include Oubre in a deal (along with Rubio), but the Thunder will insist on that #10 pick this year. Future 1st round picks won’t be as valuable to the Thunder as they are likely to be a lot lower in the 1st round than this year. I think the Suns are better off using, as you suggested, Oubre to move up in the draft. Here’s a deal that works:
Suns get: Clint Capela and #6 pick
Hawks get: Kelly Oubre, Ty Jerome, and #10 pick
I have no idea if the Hawks would go for this, but they are one team that is apparently willing to move down if they can get some young talent and Capela has been mentioned as a trade piece.
Guess I forgot, or more likely didn’t believe the Suns could be that stupid in this draft where #10 might be way more important to their future than an aging injury prone Chris Paul. In fact, James Jones has been the complete opposite of that kind of move. He hasn’t done a single impulsive thing yet, and giving up their pick to get Paul … not even sure what to call that other than impulsive and stupid when there are so many good things that could happen for them before the season starts.
Plus, I’m not getting why Oubre and Rubio wouldn’t be enough to get Paul. Maybe the Suns are in 3 way conversation and trying to move up.
In addition to Westbrook wanting out, apparently Harden has expressed interest in joining KD and Kyrie in Brooklyn. Such a deal would be nearly impossible to do without one of two things:
1. Brooklyn trading away nearly all of their young talent (I was able to make a 6-for-1 deal work because the Nets have no one other than KD and Kyrie making big money); or
2. Brooklyn signing and trading Joe Harris to a decent-sized contract as part of the deal. This, of course, would require Harris to cooperate. Don’t know if he would be interested in going to a team undergoing a major rebuild, but if the money is good enough, who knows.
I think it is very unlikely that the Nets and Rockets could pull off such a deal, so likely Harden stays put.
I’d love to watch that fucked up implosion until it becomes unwatchable. No way Irving works alongside Harden. That’s the worst idea possible!
Absolutely agree. I wonder if KD and Kyrie would even be interested. The public statements about interest in this are only coming from Harden’s camp so far. Frankly, as talented as Harden is, I have a hard time seeing any team being interested in someone who is the biggest ball hog in the league. Other than the Knicks of course.
I could see harden and durant together or at least trying it out, because harden is less likely to hog it (as much). But I don’t see that to be a winning combination – harden would stand around watching KD operate when he should be moving without the ball. If he did that then … depending on teammates that could be unstoppable. But Irving can’t be part of that. I don’t like Irving and KD together as it is. Irving just seems too … dumb I guess. I’ll take Harden’s selfishness over Irving’s stupid stuff. Of course, both can be lazy as well.
Suns traded Oubre & Rubio to OKC for Paul. Was panicking when I heard Suns traded a draft pick. Then I saw “2022”.
There’s definitely more to this story. Either Suns are targeting a specific player in free agency that wants to play with Paul, or they plan to pickup a PG in this draft. Hayes, Haliburton or Lewis should be available at #10.
Just came here to report the same thing. Full details of the “agreement in principle” (so I assume not a done deal yet) are:
Suns get: Chris Paul and Abdel Nader
Thunder get: Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and 2022 1st round pick.
I think the inclusion of Jerome was designed to allow the Suns to keep this year’s 1st round pick. Thunder want young talent and Oubre and Jerome fit the bill. Unless the Suns are prepared to deal either Bridges or Johnson, I don’t think they’ll be able to move up in the draft. But you’re right, one of Hayes, Halliburton, or Lewis should be available at #10.
I just read scouting report on Kira Lewis. Doesn’t seem like the right guy for the Suns at all. I wonder what they’re playing at, since they need to replace Oubre. Saric isn’t exactly what they want playing big minutes every game.
Let’s see. Eight of these nine guys are probably gone before Knicks pick at #9 …
Wiseman, Edwards, Ball, Advija, Haliburton, Hayes, Toppin, Okongwu, Okoro
After that Knicks (if they keep their #9) are likely to pick one of those, Lewis or Vassell. Suns really don’t need either of those last two.
Maybe the Suns have some other guy in mind. This is a name I’m looking at now: Saddiq Bey. Looks big and strong enough to play PF. So if Suns feel they’re certain to get one of these players maybe they’re all set for the draft? Okongwu, Okoro, Bey
Worth pointing out that Mikal Bridges should know quite a bit about Saddiq Bey from Villanova even though they didn’t play together there. We’ll see what happens.
They may talk to Bridges, but won’t need to. Jay Wright has a reputation for being upfront and truthful when talking to NBA coaches/front office about his players. The Dubs got the complete lowdown from Wright about Eric Paschall last year and Paschall was everything they hoped for after talking to Wright.
Taking a quick look at each of the top 10 teams needs. Of course, teams may draft the best player regardless of need and trades can change needs, but if teams are looking to fill needs, here’s what we got.
1. Minnesota: they’re set a C and the guards with KAT, Russell, and Malik Beasley. Need help at PF and SF.
2. Golden State: Set at the guards, Steph & Klay, and PF, Dray, and are probably ok at SF with Paschall. Need a run the floor center.
3. Charlotte: Got PGs in Graham & Rozier and probably ok at SF with Miles Bridges. Need a C and PF.
4. Chicago: Probably ok at PG (LaVine, Dunn & White) and PF with Markkanen. Need help everywhere else.
5. Cleveland: Probably ok at PG (Garland, Sexton) and PF with Love. Need help everywhere else.
6. Atlanta: they’ve got good players at all positions (PG Young, SG Huerter, SF Reddish, PF Collins, and C Capela), so will probably take the best available player at any position.
7. Detroit: maybe ok at PF with Griffin and Wood, but crying needs everywhere else, particularly PG. If Ball, Halliburton, and/or Hayes is available at this spot, pretty sure the Pistons will pounce on one of them.
8. New York: They seem happy with Randle at PF and Barrett at SG. Jury is still out on Knox at SF. Definite need for PG or C.
9. Washington: If Wall is healthy, they are good at PG and SG with Beal. Hachimora was a pleasant surprise at PF and if they can keep Bertans, they are well set at PF. Bryant is useful at C. Biggest need is SF, but could see them taking a PG in case Wall is competely back.
10. Phoenix: Assuming Chris Paul deal goes through, they are set at PG, SG (Booker), and C (Ayton). They are probably ok with Bridges and Johnson at SF, so PF is the biggest need, followed by a back-up PG given Paul’s age.
I’m guessing the Suns take best player available unless he’s a SG or a C. Hayes clearly won’t be available and there’s only a slim chance Haliburton will be at #10 but if he is Suns definitely have a need after Paul moves on or even before.
I wrote “Knicks pick at #9” but that’s Washington.
Unfortunately for the Suns, I think it’s likely Ball, Hayes and Haliburton are picked up before #10. Even if there’s no movement, Charlotte, Knicks and Detroit are likely to pick one of these 3. I was really hoping Suns would swap places with #8 (who I now realize are the Knicks) in order to have a great chance at either Hayes or Haliburton. That ship has sailed.
No way Suns part with Bridges. Cam Johnson maybe if they want to move up to #5 and get Toppin, but not Bridges.
I’m not certain Charlotte takes a PG unless they thing Ball is the best player available and/or they pick him as part of some deal sending Rozier, Ball and other pieces to Houston for Westbrook. Not sure Houston would want Ball unless they are trading Harden as well because a Ball/Harden pairing is terrible. So if the Hornets get a Westbrook deal in place or are using their own pick to beef up their needs, I don’t think it is a slam dunk that they take Ball (if he’s available). That being said, I would say the chances aren’t good for the Suns to pick a PG, so I’m sure they are vetting top PFs in the draft as well as taking a look at simply who they believe is the best available when they pick.
it’ll be pretty damned interesting to see how this shakes out. after reviewing your top-ten-rankings-by-sports-news-pubs list, it’s not unlikely that Hayes is available at #10 for the Suns. if it’s a question of taking Bey, Patrick Williams, Okoro or Hayes they’ll need to do some deep soul searching. the chris paul trade would be idiotic if both Suns and Paul have said “CP3 is our PG going forward” when two things contradict that hope: 1) Suns are going to push hard for a 5-8 playoff spot this year 2) CP3 may or may not be injured when the playoffs start
I think the discussions Paul had with the Suns involved the realization they may draft a PG and that CP3 will be heavily load managed. So if it’s Hayes, Ball or Haliburton at #10 I think you take him and play him 20-24 mins a night to Paul’s 20-24.
One reason I can see Hayes available at #10 is the last time the Knicks drafted a PG it was Ntlilikina-the-not-so-great from France. Can you see them doing it again? Will Dolan allow it?
BTW, Suns have another very good PG in Jevon Carter. Very good but undersized. Scorer, so possible Suns could play him at SG when Booker sits.
A couple of Warriors rumors I heard on local sportstalk radio on the drive home:
1. If Avery Bradley declines his player option (about $5 mil), the Warriors would be interested in using their mid-level exception (about $5.7 mil) on him. The question would be whether some other team would offer him more as the Dubs cannot offer him more than that. Bradley just changed agents, so it seems likely that he will decline his option.
2. The Dubs are also apparently interested in flipping their $17.2 million trade exception to the Thuder for Oubre. The Dubs would probably have to drop a young player with a small contract into the deal to satisfy the Thunder, who would be mainly looking to dump Oubre’s contract. The Dubs throwing Jordan Poole into the deal might do it.
I like Wiggins on the Warriors better than Oubre, but Oubre’s fine there as well (and should mature greatly). But I don’t see how Wiggins and Oubre play together. Seems like a potential mess as they both tend to lose focus.
Presumably having both Wiggins and Oubre on the roster is simply a prelude to trading one or both down the line for a superstar. If I’m the Warriors, Oubre comes off the bench early for Wiggins and Wiggins gets significant time with the 2nd unit as the primary scoring option when Steph and Klay are off the floor.
Just seems … unwarrior like. They’ll have so many options over the next month or so. I don’t see those two ever on the team at the same time when the season starts. Too many other ways they can go. In particular Advija would fit so well with them if Wiseman goes #1.
Of course, Wiseman fits pretty damn well too:-) We’ll just have to wait this out!
With the trade of Chris Paul, some discussion of where OKC is headed is merited. They’ll be about $20 million under the salary cap this year before they start filling out their roster. If they move Oubre elsewhere, they could get further below the cap. More importantly, assuming they don’t add any multi-year contracts, which I doubt they’ll do, they will be looking at being around $90 million under the cap next summer and still have a boatload of draft picks. This will put them in a position to score at least 2 and possibly 3 stars through free agency and/or trade, while still building a young core to keep them competitive for many years. I wonder what their plan is. Will they be using that cap space to bring in stars? Are they planning on strictly building through their motherlode of draft picks? Some combo of both? They still don’t have a head coach, so one wonders if they’ve got a plan in place yet.
… moving back to Seattle …
tongue in cheek, but what a great way to return.
The next trade to drop, according to Woj:
Trail Blazers get: Robert Covington
Rockets get: Trevor Ariza, Portland’s 2020 1st round pick (#16) and Portland’s 2021 1st round pick protected
This signals to me that the Rockets are taking the deep dive into a rebuild. Ariza only has a year left on his contract and is 35 years old. Covington has 2 years left on his contract and is 29 years old. The question is whether the Rockets keep one of Westbrook or Harden while they go through this rebuild.
On Portland’s side, this is a great pick-up. Covington looks to fit in well with Dame, CJ, and Nurkic. They’ve also got some developing young talent in Zach Collins, Gary Trent, and Anfernee Simons, as well as a solid back-up like Rodney Hood. They could be a contender next season if they can stay healthy.
agree with all that and more: Covington is nice insurance in case Collins has more trouble with his ankle. they don’t play the same position and Covington would be undersized of course, but if either Nurkic or Collins go down or if they just want to load manage one or both of them Covington is a great help in that regard as he can man up on PFs in the paint. nice job Portland.
And now this:
Bucks get Jrue Holiday
Pelicans get: Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, 3 future 1st round picks and 2 future pick swaps.
This seems like a huge overpay for Holiday. Bledsoe is not chopped liver, so the draft picks seem excessive, similar to what OKC got when trading Westbrook. While I’m sure there are some protections on the draft picks, that’s just far too much. I’m not sure if this means that the Bucks are or are not convinced that the Freak will sign the supermax deal that he can sign before the season starts. If they are convinced he will resign, unloading the draft picks isn’t such a big deal since they will always be late in the 1st round. On the flip side, it they are not convinced he will resign, perhaps the deal is an effort to convince him that they are all in with him.
On the Pelicans side, this makes complete sense. They can keep rebuilding with all the draft picks they get from this deal and the AD deal last year. Or they can use some of these draft picks to trade for additional pieces if it looks like the Ingram-Zion-Ball-Hart young core is developing into contenders.
Milwaukee’s not done!
Bucks get: Bogdan Bogdanovich; Justin James
Kings get: Donte DiVencenzo, Ersan Ilyasova, and DJ Wilson
Since Bogdanovich is a free agent, this is a sign-and-trade deal. Losing DiVencenzo hurts the defense for the Bucks 2nd unit, but Bogdanovich puts another shooter on the 3 pt line for the Freak to pass out to when teams double and triple team him.
Bucks are now incredibly thin. I don’t know how you replace DiVincenzo. Strange move unless they’re in talks with someone that can replace him. Not sure who that would be.
Can Bucks afford Van Vleet??
BTW, what’s going on in Sac town. That’s a strange trade for them, or rather … once again they appear to be running in place unless this leads to something. Half the teams in the league must want the Chenz. Is he really going to be stuck with the Kings??
On the Kings side of this deal, this was simply getting something for Bogdanovich rather than losing him for nothing since he was a free agent. Bucks couldn’t sign Bogdanovich given their lack of cap room, so getting him as part of a sign-and-trade was the only way they could do it.
WTF??? No way Griffin is that high on Bledsoe. They’re prepping to make some kind of draft or FA move.
Holiday is a VERY nice piece for the Bucks – this makes them a lot better, but their bench is messed up without Hill. He needs to be replaced by another heady G or wing. Or …
Imagine a lineup of Holiday, Van Vleet, Middleton, Freak and Lopez. Damn.
kind of a nutty idea, but considering that the Knicks are nutty and that Detroit has needs everywhere on their roster …
Pels deal any combination of Hart, Lonzo, Bledsoe, Ball & draft pick(s) to one of those teams in order to grab a PG in this draft.
The NBA trade rules are kind of nutty, but I believe that unless the Bucks-Pelicans deal is expanded to include a 3rd team before it is finalized, the Pelicans will be unable to trade Bledsoe for 60 days unless he is the only thing they are giving up (i.e., they can’t package him with other players or picks in a separate deal). In any event, I doubt the Pelicans were making this deal to get Bledsoe. His salary was needed to make the trade work. The Pelicans were more interested in all the draft picks they were getting. Bledsoe and Hill are probably short-termers to make them decently competitive while they continue to build.
What needs to happen to get Harden to the Pels?
Why would you do that to Zion? In any event, the Pelicans have no one making more than $13.5 mil, so without a sign and trade (Favors?), they’d have to trade half their signed roster–including Redick, Ball, and Hart and 3 more players–to make the salaries work.
I know I know. Someone out there must think that on the right team with the right superstar(s) Harden will change his ways. Regarding Zion I don’t think that’s an issue at all – imagine Zion in place of Capela on the Rockets. They definitely tried to engage Capela offensively and it only worked part of the time. I think that would be an outstanding pairing, but it’s the rest of the guys and their development that would suffer. Maybe Ingram the most unless Ingram is the one calling for it and threatens to leave otherwise.
What’s incredible about how the league has changed is that all these things are more than just possible. They all need to be considered and I’m certain Griffin is or already has.
The other part of this is whether Harden, at 32 years of age, is willing to go to New Orleans. The only teams he has mentioned so far are Brooklyn (where D’Antoni now is) and Philly (where Morey now is), both of which are already championship contenders. The Pelicans are a little further away from contention, so Harden may not want to go there at his age.
Uhh … Patrick Williams blew right past me. PF that can shoot, pass and put the ball on the floor?
Looks like Suns will have some great options at #10.
Yeah, I think the Suns can pick up a very useful piece at 10 as I think the top 10-12 players in the draft are all potentially good, although only a few look like they could be great.
OK. I think I know how this shakes up tomorrow. (of course it’s impossible to know, but fun as heck to guess especially with coffee flowing). This just makes way too much sense …
I’ll explain in detail, but essentially it boils down to “Wolves have upper hand and Warriors need to trade up to #1”. Here’s why …
Most coveted player in the draft is Wiseman because he fills so many lottery teams’ needs. Therefore Wolves pick Wiseman at #1 and wait to see what others do. Since about 6 teams will throw their hat into the ring with players and other picks for wiseman, not only do Wolves have a great chance at landing either Advija or Haliburton (the two players I think they need the most), they also get to test the field for the best offer. It’s the most solid strategy going for Wolves IMO, and therefore Warriors are in the position today of considering a draft where they have essentially no chance at Wiseman unless they do one of two things …
1. Move up to #1 by offering something very nice to the Wolves in addition to the #2
2. Move down by adding a piece from say … chicago, selecting Haliburton or Advija and then trading the pick & the new piece (let’s say Wendell Carter) to the Wolves for Wiseman.
The problem with #2 is that, again, the Wolves will have many other offers for Wiseman. The nice thing about #1 is that Warriors can play the same game as outlined above: pick Wiseman and field offers. If they end up with Wiseman then great, but a team like Atlanta ends up with Haliburton (for example) but really wants Wiseman they can deal Haliburton and Deandre Hunter to Warriors for Wiseman and something. All kinds of mixing and matching can happen here. Bottom line is I think the Warriors should move up to #1 even if it means parting with someone like Oubre. Minnesota has another 1st round pick they can package in as well.
I highly doubt the Warriors trade up to get Wiseman. They don’t want to give up any picks from next year’s far better draft class and really can’t afford to give up players on their already thin roster, not a player that the T-Wolves would accept to make such a deal anyway (they don’t have Oubre yet, those are just rumors so far). I believe the Dubs are content to see if Wiseman falls to them at #2 or to trade down for a useful player and a pick that can still net them an Avdija or Halliburton or Toppin.
You would know better than me. I just think if they don’t get Wiseman then they get Advija or Haliburton plus whatever benefit they get from trading down. And I think they need to understand they almost certainly won’t get Wiseman at #2.
We’ll see what happens. I wonder how much each team’s own internal draft rankings vary this year because of the lack of a complete college season and tournament to scout. I have a feeling how each team views the draft class are wildly different.
One reason I’m starting the party on time (or early tomorrow) is because my Minneapolis friend and I will probably Zoom or Skype it and laugh our asses off while LaMelo drops from 1 to 4 to 5 to … of course Detroit will take him if he’s still around but the whole thing should be funny because of where all the “experts” have slotted him. Wouldn’t be surprised to see both Hayes and Haliburton go before Ball.
I could see Ball going as low as 4th or 5th, but there’s too many people who think that he is the best prospect in the draft that I doubt he’ll past the third pick because some team will trade up to get him.
I think the Hawks will be in an excellent position should Halliburton be available when they pick especially if neither the Pistons or Knicks has gotten their PG yet through a trade up in front of the Hawks. With Trae Young, the Hawks don’t really need Halliburton, but could still pair him with Young in all-PG backcourt that can shoot and pass really well. So they could call up the Pistons and Knicks and say, we’re thinking of taking Halliburton here, but we’re willing to trade the pick to whichever of you gives us the best deal. They could net a big haul in the bidding war and still get a great player a pick or two later.
I’m not buying the Ball hype. Chicago has better players to select and Cleveland adding Ball to Sexton and Garland when there are guys like either Toppin or Advija or Okwongu available. I don’t see it.
Back to Patrick Williams … I’m extremely impressed. I’m sure GMs picking from 6 on know all about him. If he goes before #10 then Suns have excellent options including Okoro and Okwangu. Maybe Hayes.
I’m also wondering if Boston is workin the phones trying to get Phoenix’s or Washington’s to land one of those same guys.
There doesn’t seem to be a real consensus on where Williams will go in the draft. I’ve seen mocks with him as high as 6th (Hawks) or as low as 18th. He’s not much of a deep shooter so teams that need shooters may pass him by.
He fits so well on the Suns though. He’d be the only one in the starting lineup that isn’t an oustanding shooter (Ayton is for his position anyhow) but he seems to do just about everything else you want from a PF. I’m starting to wonder if he’d be a better fit than Toppin given that he’s likely a better defender with a higher ceiling since he’s so young.
That’s why I said teams that need shooters might pass him by. Suns have less need for a shooter than, say, the Pistons, Knicks, and Wizards. Williams fits in well with a team like the Suns where he can help improve their defense and rebounding while Ayton (from the inside) and Booker, Paul, Johnson, and Bridges (from the outside) do the bulk of the shooting. And because Williams is young, there is still a lot of potential to improve his shooting and game overall. Toppin is more of a finished product at this point with less upside, but a solid game that could immediately help some teams. That makes Toppin a useful pick for a team like the Warriors if they trade down.
Ahh yes. Got it.
Have you looked into Williams’ running mate at Florida State, Devin Vassell? Better shooter than Williams and a good defender, but not much inside game or handles. Perhaps he is too much like Johnson and Bridges for the Suns’ taste though.
Yes. I think it’s time to start filling out the respective positions and asking how they can defend Davis, Jokic, Harrell, Wiseman, Nurkic, Embiid, Freak, Adebayo, etc
Suns have nothing at all in that department right now.
There may be an ownership reason for the Rockets’ implosion. Apparently a lot of people within the organization were upset with Tilman Fertitta’s open and vocal support for the president. In a league that is majority African-American, that didn’t go over well and even D’Antoni and Morey were not happy with it and may be the reason behind the hiring of an inexperienced GM and head coach (i.e., they couldn’t get anyone better due to nobody wanting to work for Fertitta). I would not be surprised to learn that Adam Silver is working behind the scenes to get Fertitta to sell the team.
Outrageously stupid judgement! That’s reason enough to want to leave, but throw in BLM and all the lying and lack of integrity bullshit …
I have been surprised at how vocal Harden is about wanting out. Now I get it.
On the heels of Harden and Westbrook asking out and Harden recently turning down a $50/mil per year extension, Fertitta has announced that he wants to cut his payroll and get out of the luxury tax. Some other team may be able to get a relative bargain on one or both of Harden and Westbrook if Fertitta is pushing basketball operations hard on getting rid of those contracts. Not saying the price will be cheap, just that Houston may not get full value.
Heard an interview with Ryan McDonough on the drive home. His thoughts:
1. Thinks Edwards and Ball have very high upsides, but also very low floors, i.e., could be big busts. He thought Wiseman and Okongwu were safer picks as a result.
2. Assumes that the Bucks have good reason to believe the Freak will sign the 5-year, $250 mil extension before the season begins (if he doesn’t, he cannot do so until next off-season), otherwise they were stupid to make those deal without that assurance.
3. Loved the Chris Paul deal for the Suns because they didn’t give up any of their top 4 players and kept their pick this year.
4. If Wiseman is gone before the Warriors pick, he liked Halliburton for them.
I’ve been watching Ball highlights/scouting reports. I see a Lonzo+Jason Williams combo.
How that’s a top #4 pick in this draft confuses me. If Wolves take Ball they better be trading him or they’re idiots.
Saw Sportscenter footage of Booker and Paul already working out together. Get the feeling that CP3 is looking forward to this partnership.
OK. Prediction time inspired by this hint from The Woj : he envisions a lot of movement today because trades were possible just days before the draft …
Teams with moveable talent will make trades for picks. (“moveable” meaning that teams are willing to part with talent in order to improve or restructure). That means Denver, Clippers, Boston, Philly, Toronto, Nets, Bucks.
The prediction is that Wolves and Warriors will be so flooded with propositions that I don’t see either one keeping their pick if they hold onto their spot. This takes me back to an earlier point which was that I consider Wiseman to be the most sought after prospect. I was considering among the lottery teams, but i’m not so sure that’s right. What teams with talent would love Edwards? I could see Clippers, Philly, Bucks, Raptors doing what’s within reason in order to get him. But among those listed I can see only Boston and Denver wanting Wiseman.
So my case for Wiseman not being available for the Warriors falls apart. I’m guessing at Edwards if Wolves keep their spot, but I don’t see either team keeping their pick if they hold onto their spot.
I left out Pelicans! That was a mistake. That team might go with either Wiseman or Edwards. Which one might come down to what Ingram wants. And I have no idea which one of those two Ingram would want, but if you want to become an even better running team Edwards makes the most sense there.
This all just makes too much sense. Wolves need bodies and some sort of culture. Here’s just one idea that works perfectly for them if there’s a way to budget it correctly …
#1 pick goes to Boston for Hayward and Boston’s #14 pick where there will be a LOT of good players available still. Pick at #14 should be someone that entices Van Vleet to sign. Bey, Nesmith or Achiuwa will likely be available at #14.
The general consensus is that there are no sure-fire superstar in this draft, so the offers to move up to #1 or #2 may be underwhelming the T-Wolves and Dubs. The Dubs are still talking with the Bulls about swapping their pick to the Bulls for the #4 pick and Wendell Carter, but presumably that deal waits to see if Wiseman is available at #2. The Dubs would likely take Avdija at #4 in that situation unless their stated interest in him is a misdirect.
There’s a lot of talk generally about a lot of draft day deals being made, but I’m going to guess that the T-Wolves end up making their pick and take Edwards. He fits their needs too well and has one of the highest upsides of any player in the draft. Of course, Edwards landing in Minnesota may hurt his ability to reach his max since the T-Wolves seem to not be able to get the best out of their players.
Speaking of Hayward, he had a deadline yesterday to exercise his option, but he and the Celtics mutually agreed to push that deadline to tomorrow after the draft. There are rumors that Atlanta is trying to acquire Hayward. This would be a tough deal to make as the Hawks would have to give up both Capela and Dedmon to make the salaries work (or sign and trade Teague to a decent-sized deal to replace one of them). Unclear what draft picks would be involved . Celtics have 3 first round picks this year at #14, #26, and #30. Whether as part of a Hayward trade or not, I’m guessing they’d like to package those to move up.
Edwards isn’t a good fit in Minnesota unless the culture changes somehow. From what I hear management understands this point very well.
Edwards does fit elsewhere very well (I’ve mentioned a few teams). More importantly, regardless of what anyone means when they say there is no consensus superstar in this draft there doesn’t seem to be another player that’s on Edwards level at the same position. Vassell or so I hear, but the fact that he’ll probably go later than #10 tells you that Edwards is unique to this draft.
Regarding the lack of stars in this draft, no one really knows for obvious reasons so I think it’s time to get away from that whole thing – it’s all relative. Besides, as all of us (including the ‘experts’) learn more about the talent certain guys appear to be changing people’s minds. Okoro and P. Williams in particular – I’m hearing these guys have as much upside as anyone and there simply isn’t enough info on them (again, for obvious reasons not worth stating).
Okongwu – how good could he be for instance? No one can know. Advija? Haliburton? No one knows.
It reminds me of Tatum a couple years back where no one was thinking potential future MVP. But if he keeps improving and Boston keeps winning he will be one day.
Hold on now. Stop the presses and check out this guy. Doesn’t shoot very well but then …
THIS DUDE IS 7′ 0″ tall and he’s 18 years old!! He’s slotted to go later in the draft. I really doubt that he drops lower than #15
The Serbian sensation is a project because he needs to put on a lot of weight so he doesn’t get pushed around, but has a lot of mobility for a 7-footer. My guess is he plays in the G-League in year 1 while they try to get his weight up.
Some writer for a website I’ve never heard of (Front Office Sports) says there is a verbal agreement for a Rockets-Nets trade involving Harden. No word on other details of such a deal. My guess is that this is just some lowly basketball writer inventing this so he can claim to be first if a deal actually goes down. After the Pelicans got 3 first round picks and 2 first round pick swaps for Holiday, I would guess that the Rockets are asking for at least that kind of draft compensation in addition to whatever combo of players is necessary to get the deal done. Nets GM Sean Marks came out of the Spurs organization, so I doubt he would give up that much.
This is a pretty convincing argument for why the Nets shouldn’t trade for Harden:
It was written a couple of days ago before the Holiday trade, so ignore the bit at the end about the Nets instead targeting Holiday.
The last pre-draft mock by Sports Illustrated…
…has the Suns getting Halliburton at #10. Gotta think the Suns would be thrilled if that happened. Of course, the mock assumes no trades and you can be relatively certain there will be some trades, so that will change things up.
That would be SICK. What I really like about that list is that it’s not only more realistic than almost all the others I’ve seen, but if Haliburton isn’t available at #10 then Okoro will be.
That Okoro would fall out of the top #10 tells you this is going to go down as a very deep draft.
The Knicks traded the #28 and #38 picks to move up to the Jazz’s spot at #23. It is hard to believe that there was one specific player that they think they can get at #23 and not #28, so guessing they are now packaging the #8 and #23 picks to move up into the top 5 or perhaps a part of a package to get Westbrook.
The next trade drop…
76ers get: Danny Green
Thunder get: Al Horford and 1st and 2nd round picks
I guess the Sixers are doing this to shed Horford’s contract ($27 mil per year for next 3 years) and getting a 3-pt shooter is something the Sixers need, even a 32-year-old one with declining shooting perrcentages. But I don’t see this as necessarily improving the Sixers. On the Thunder side, they’ve got the salary flexibility to absorb Horford’s contract, but they get two more draft picks to add to the huge draft pick basket. I imagine that they will try to unload Horford’s contract in the future, but not necessarily right away.
Frascilla hinted that they moved money off the books in order to afford Harden.
OK. So, if Warriors don’t keep the #2 then what will they go after today? Let’s say they trade down for a veteran and then take a lower pick. Or trade the pick away as part of a package for a star.
Assuming that star isn’t Harden, what position do they need to shore up. Don’t they need an excellent rim protector for instance?If they do, can they get that off the market at good value?
Just thinking out loud now. If you think you can afford rim protection off the market (for proven NBA players),
what do they do with this pick? Trade down to Chicago, take Wendell Carter, and pick who?
Avdija is taller and bigger than Haliburton. I think they should take the offer and Avdija.
Whatever the Warriors draft plan was, it just got thrown into chaos. The breaking news here is that Klay Thompson hurt his leg during a private workout in SoCal today. He couldn’t put weight on the leg (haven’t heard which leg). Reports are that it looked bad, though perhaps not catastrophic. The real problem for the Dubs is that they probably can’t find out how bad the injury is before they have to draft.
So do the Dubs go ahead and draft Wiseman if available? Or do they take the potential Bulls deal and draft someone at #4 who can potentially fill in for Klay if he’s going to miss substantial time. Halliburton or Okoro are looking a little more appealing.
If the Warriors go the route of picking up Carter and the #4 pick, one potential off the market rim protector that they could go after is Marc Gasol. Gasol would have to be willing to sign for the mid-level exception. I’m unclear whether the market could get him something more.
It’s now being reported that this is a right lower leg injury. The ACL injury that kept him out last season was in the left knee.
T-Wolves take Edwards. Guess they didn’t get a deal they liked. Wiseman is there for the Warriors if they want him. Do they take him or trade down. I’m leaning toward them keeping the pick and drafting Wiseman.
Dubs take Wiseman. Of course, neither of these first two picks means that a trade still isn’t in the works. Either the T-Wolves or the Dubs could have a deal in place if a certain player is available at a later pick.
This is awkward. Haliburton in Sacramento? Not really the way they were going. At all.
Hield wants out of Sacto. So Kings may be looking at trading Hield and going with a Fox/Halliburton backcourt.
So it looks like the Suns made the classic mistake of filling a position need instead of taking the best available player. Jalen Smith looks like he can be a decent stretch 4–which was the Suns biggest positional need–who can hit 3s and FTs and is a good shot blocker. The scouting report weaknesses however say that he gets beat off the dribble, is a poor passer and needs to gain strength. Even though a guard like Halliburton was as big a need, you just don’t pass him up when he falls to you.
What puzzles me most is that both Monty Williams and Chris Paul must have approved, or rather not objected to passing on Haliburton. Another puzzler is that they willingly went down the road again of passing on a guard with huge upside only to see the Kings make out like bandits. Considering what a huge mistake it was last time …
… don’t they care how they look to the rest of the league? If this doesn’t work out well in 20-21 then they’re right back to where they were with big time free agents passing on them.
In any case, here’s how I’m going to look at this for now: likely an upgrade over Oubre (for Suns’ needs) and satisfies the need of giving Ayton help so he doesn’t need to foul as much. And there’s this as well: I’m not the only one who assumes the Paul trade was intended to lure other veterans to phoenix. There may be someone in mind, but I can’t begin to guess who that is. The obvious answer would be Van Vleet. Will have to wait and see.
after reading up on Smith a bit more I need to give the Suns benefit of the doubt that they looked at potential PFs available in trades and free agency and see nothing they can get.
still, how you pass on Haliburton … maybe in the 6 minutes or so before the pick they started panicking having no plan that assumed Haliburton would still be available? Hard to believe that would even be possible.
I really like what the Warriors got in the draft. Obviously Wiseman fills a big need and could end up being the best player in the draft. Beyond that, they got Arizona PG Nico Mannion with the 48th pick, who ESPN had rated as the 25th best player in the draft. More importantly, Mannion looks to be one of those heady players, who passes well and is a decent spot-up shooter. He’s probably a defensive liability though, but will likely be playing against 2nd units initially (if not in the G-league).
With the 51st pick, the Dubs picked Boise State SG Justinian Jessup, who is both a really good shooter and a really good defender. So why was Jessup not drafted higher? He apparently didn’t think he’d be drafted, so he signed a contract with an Aussie league team, so he won’t be available until the end of February. The Warriors will basically be stashing him overseas (the old Spurs draft trick) and then will probably bring him stateside to the G-League. He won’t be a factor until the 2021-22 season at earliest and apparently doesn’t have a lot of hops, but it looks like great value for mid-to-late 2nd round.
With Klay’s (likely very serious) injury the Warriors need to rethink their timeline. 20-21 is no longer a championship year for them most likely. So you proceed with the hope that Wiseman can turn into someone that’s as good as Klay wrt team success. It’s possible.
You also need to seriously consider signing Harden now.
We’ll probably know more by the end of the day, but the fear is that Klay suffered an Achilles injury.
As for Harden, I don’t see that happening. Dubs are already over the luxury tax threshold. So even if they can make the salaries work, Harden’s escalating contract over the next few years will just make their luxury tax situation even worse. The far more likely thing to happen is that the Dubs will use their trade exception, a young player, and maybe a draft pick to get Oubre or Bogdanovich (now that the Bucks deal is off) or Eric Gordon (if Houston is giving up). Alternatively, they could seek to sign Avery Bradley or Wes Matthews to the mid-level exception or veteran minimum contract. Warriors could also do nothing and play Wiggins at SG with Paschall at SF.
It’s official. Torn right Achilles for Klay. He will not play at all this year. However, doctors apparently told him that he will make a full recovery.
The Dubs can apply for a $9.3 mil cap injury exemption to use toward replacing him. Bogdanovich made $8.5 mil last year. I wonder what kind of offers he is getting. If they can sign him for the injury exemption amount and use their $17.2 mil trade exemption to bring in Oubre, then they’ve gone a long way toward mitigating Klay’s loss. Add in maybe Marc Gasol for the mid-level exemption and you’ve still got a top 4 team in the West.
Looks like the first part of this is about to happen. Woj is reporting that the Dubs are nearing a deal to acquire Oubre. Haven’t heard yet what they will be sending back to the Thunder. It might just be draft picks.
I don’t get the move. Kerr must think he can mold Oubre into something he isn’t. That, or they’re going to ask Oubre to be a lock down defender bringing it 40 minutes a night. He can do that, but seems to me that’s not how he views himself.
That is definitely part of what they will ask of Oubre. They’ve lost KD and Klay from their championship years, both of whom were top defenders. The Dubs’ defense last year was atrocious without them. Oubre and Wiseman should shore up that defense a bit.
The price for Oubre was a 2021 first round pick that is protected 1-20. If that fails to convey, the Thunder get two 2022 second round picks.
Here’s why I really question the Suns pick – very high value to Haliburton as an asset. very low value to Smith as an asset. Here are all the teams that would love to have Haliburton for the 20-21 season. Better is to list all the teams that don’t really want or need him. I come up with only 3 …
Now here are some teams on which Haliburton would be a perfect fit …
Celtics (assuming Kemba is traded – it’s possible especially if they want Haliburton)
There are more. It’s just so obvious that this is a textbook case where you take the best available. My guess is that the Suns were blown away when they had Smith work out for them. Meaning, the scouting report said he was a bad lateral mover and he showed them he wasn’t that at all. During a work out. Not in a game. And so they got all excited and completely forgot they have a 3-6 year window to make a push to contention?
How the hell do you not take Haliburton knowing that there’s a strong likelihood you’ll end up with a player like Smith anyhow plus more if you play the phone game over the next week?? You just chucked all the possibilities out the window because NO TEAM is interested in giving up something good for Jalen Smith!!
And now let me tell you how I really feel …
there are some really good young PFs in the league. not a lot, but some that I’m certain the Suns have had in their sites. prime case in point:
by the time the #10 pick rolled around last night Suns had more than 10 minutes to consider the consequences of Atlanta having chosen Onyeka Okongwu. Consequence #1: While John Collins is a keeper he’s no longer as valuable to the Hawks as he was. But he’s exactly the player the Suns need. Consequence #2: It was widely known that Atlanta was considering Haliburton at their #7 spot.
there are a lot of cases like the above. I realize I left out Pelicans & Pacers as two teams where Haliburton would be an excellent fit. How would the Pelicans not seriously consider a Haliburton for Jaxson Hayes swap of some sort? Hayes isn’t a 3nD kind of PF but he brings so many excellent qualities that would work well on the Suns. What about Myles Turner on the Pacers? Not a shooter but takes care of all sorts of Suns’ needs.
Seems like we can keep going down the list. With this Jalen Smith pick all you have is … Smith. Maybe he’s more laterally agile than projected, but you’ll need to wait a year while crossing your fingers to see what his value is as an asset. With Haliburton you have tremendous asset value NOW.
This is just stupid.
Here’s what makes it even stupider to me. Let’s say that, for whatever reason, the Suns wanted Smith more than Halliburton. There were a number of teams looking to trade up, notably the Celtics, who have a couple of more 1st round picks. So you work a deal with a team like the Celtics where the Suns draft Halliburton and then when the Celtics draft 4 picks later, they take Smith and package him with one or both of those later 1st round picks for Halliburton. The Magic drafted Cole Anthony at 15. Wanna bet they would have preferred Halliburton. Perhaps a similar deal with the Magic could have been had. The Suns were sitting in a great trade spot there and failed to take advantage of it.
How could Monty Williams and Chris Paul not have understood these things? And how could they not be involved with the decision??
Could this really have been another case of ONCE AGAIN Sarver butting in and demanding they pick the needed position off their board at #10? (he apparently did this same thing when they fucked up and went all in on Bledsoe) Seems way more likely than James Jones doing this all by himself. I’m wondering what Booker thinks and if he’ll speak up.
Here’s a comparison which sums up my opinion of the stupidity of the Suns’ decision. Consider Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a moment …
She’s not going to do the popular thing unless it’s popular among those she represents. Even if she sees the merits in going the nation-wide popular route, she’s still going to be true to herself, her base and her constituents. However, AOC knows that she’ll never win the presidency by ignoring the merits of doing or being associated with decisions and ideas that are popular.
AOC isn’t running for president and knows it will take some time before her followers become loud and numerous enough to get her to the nomination should she want it. But she’s not a congresswoman running for president.
In contrast James Jones is chief representative of a team trying to win a championship. He cannot afford to ignore the many merits that come with acknowledging and pursuing the league-wide popular route. It’s part of his job to acknowledge that going that route makes all other routes easier en route toward your goal. So sometimes you *must* do the popular thing if only to keep lines of communication open when you *need* them to stay open.
It’s one thing to be tunnel-visioned and quite another to hold up your middle finger to everyone that you need help from to reach your goal.
I’d like to think Sarver was the only one insisting on the Smith pick, but Jones has come out to explain the pick and back up the decision. This is bad news for the Suns. Looks really bad.
Here’s James Jones’ post-draft press conference.
The first words out of his mouth when asked about Smith at the beginning of the press conference was that Smith was the “best fit.” Later on, I think he got to the crux of it when he noted that the Lakers and Nuggets were big teams and that the Suns need size to compete with them. However, nobody asked Jones about whether they tried or even thought about trading down since Smith was likely to available further down.
Have to wonder “perfect fit” for what – Suns in 20-21? Shouldn’t he be making the perfect fit for Suns in 3-6 years from now, when even if Smith helps then get a playoff spot would Haliburton help them do the same thing in coming years AND get them a guy like Smith next year or the year after?
And worst case if they don’t want to wait … pick Haliburton and get on the phone with every team out there for the same or other “perfect fit”?
For what it’s worth, most basketball pundits agree with you. I’ve seen the Suns listed as a “Loser” in several of the usual post-draft Winners & Losers columns. SI basketball writer Jeremy Woo (he did the SI mock draft) called the Smith pick “by far the most puzzling thing that happened on draft night.”
Further, while Smith is described as a good shooter, he is also described as “stiff” and with limited mobility, such that several writers don’t think he is a good fit for a running Suns offense.
Well, they’re completely wrong about that. Smith is an excellent match for the suns in the same ways that Patrick Williams would have been. Williams was the perfect match and also an outstanding all around player and athlete though. Jalen Smith isn’t that, but that’s ok for the #10 pick. Smith fills that need in a way that I’m not sure Toppin would have filled since the shot blocking and movement around the rim may be all the suns need against many opponents.
Here’s my thinking which could be a little off, but I’ll state it anyhow. While I’m not making a comparison with Dwight Howard, it’s pretty clear that they look similar in some ways. If there’s one way they’re similar it’s that Howard can’t cover the quicker PFs on the perimeter either even if he does have (slightly) better lateral quickness. Which leads to the question of what % of 6′ 10″ – 6′ 11″ rebounder/shot-blockers in the NBA can cover the quicker PFs away from the basket? There’s a handful or more, but what % overall? Does it matter if, as some will argue, Smith is more of a center? That’s probably right. And very possible he’ll be backing up Ayton for most of his time with the Suns once they land a better power forward. which is still their biggest need by the way.
I really like Jaxson Hayes with the Pels and Jarrett Allen with the Nets. Both effective and valuable players, but would they be more valuable than Smith on the Suns? Defensively probably, but overall? I have no idea. What about Myles Turner? I’d have to say yes – Turner would be the guy Suns want at the PF spot, but then Smith is likely a better shot blocker and scorer and sure looks like he has great hands.
And there it is coming full circle. Myles Turner is a guy that Suns might have had a reasonable chance of landing this year or next if they had only selected Haliburton instead. Same thing with jaxson hayes and jarrett allen and the list goes on and on. By selecting Smith they basically lowered their chances of landing any of these guys 10 fold.
And back to the “perfect fit” conversation started by James Jones. Sean Livingston was arguably the perfect fit in Oakland because he led the second unit and was reliable in every way you needed him to be both in that role and when called on to start and play big minutes. How is Haliburton not the perfect fit for the Suns second unit whatever it will be once they become a playoff team which could be this year?
There’s one way all this might make sense, but I doubt it will happen: Suns may already have a free agent in mind who can fill the kind of role Haliburton would fill. Maybe they’re waiting for Gordon Hayward to become available or maybe they’re going to do a Kawhi and CP3 has already convinced a guy to sign with the Suns in the coming days.
It all sounds great if there was a guy like that. Yeah. Right.
Well, Gordon Haywood is now available. He has opted out of his contract. Seems pretty stupid to me. His option for this year was for $34 mil. Given his injury history, it seems unlikely that anyone will pay him that much. Furthermore, most teams are over the cap this year, so it will be difficult for him to land a new deal without a sign-and-trade. If, on the other hand, he had opted in, he would get his $34 mil this year and, next summer, a lot of teams will have cap space as many teams have been gearing up for the Greek Freak sweepstakes by ensuring that contracts are ending after this year.
Stupid if he wants $34 M. If it was me I wouldn’t care at all and would be fine at $22 M+. I’m not him or his agent, but I have no problem with the opt out. He could go to the Wolves for less money and be the leader if he wants. Maybe that’s what he wants.
One way that the Suns’ pick of Jalen Smith makes a little more sense (even though passing on Haliburton is unforgiveable), is that Suns saw something during the workout that other teams might have seen as well. And therefore Suns were concerned that he’d be picked and not available for trade after they passed on him.
Maybe Smith was an inch taller and had added 10lbs of muscle to his lower body when he worked out. Maybe he drained 60% of his 3s and most off the dribble. Maybe he showed something they hadn’t seen on video with respect to being backed down by bigger guys or moving his feet.
I’d like to hope this is the case, but still … passing on Haliburton requires explanation. So far we have no explanation.
Question of the Day:
If you’re Brandon Ingram, which team do you sign with?
The joke answer is “any team you want”. He’s that good. Every team wants him, but not every team needs him. which gets to the point: if you’re Ingram what are the priorities and people guiding you?
I think this is the most important question inn 2020 free agency, because I think the field has an advantage over the Pels wrt re-signing Ingram.
Ingram can do whatever he wants. Kid is in an awesome position. Surprising since he had some rockiness early on in L.A. His trajectory is skyrocketing impressively now. Everything about him and his game is impressing more, so I think you bet on this kid. And that means he can go almost anywhere he wants.
Teams w/ interest that contend for conf finals w/ Ingram signing:
Warriors, Suns, Jazz, Mavs, Spurs, Pels
Sixers, Bucks, Heat
There’s something surprising about that list. That’s a lot of teams. Ingram can sign with the Pels but it will be a longer road than say … the Sixers, Warriors or Heat.
If Ingram is serious (seems like he is to me) and wants to win a championship then Heat, Bucks and Warriors seem to be the most obvious. I don’t think Bucks can afford him though.
Dubs can’t afford Ingram either. Only way to do it would be a sign-and-trade with Wiggins going to the Pelicans. That ain’t gonna happen. Very few teams have cap room to sign him at his going rate. So either he re-signs with Pels or maybe he likes the idea of turning the Hawks into contenders. Hawks have a lot of cap room and with Young, Collins, Reddish, Huerter, Hunter, and Capela, Ingram could put them over the edge into an Eastern Conference contender.
I was getting at something a little different than you thought. The point was that IF he surprised some of the teams above by stating he wanted to play there, then even the Warriors could do what’s needed (possibly with a third team) to go all in. Again, this is Griffin’s point I keep harping on that you explore all possibilities all the time right now.
A lot of my posts here aren’t about what’s likely for a given team, but rather when considering all the possibilities for all the teams league wide there’s a point at which a move becomes probable.
Some teams would require sign and trade. Others not. In this case no way to know since Ingram hasn’t made it public if he has another team in his sites.
Regarding Hawks, I didn’t put them on the list because that’s a different conversation. I was listing teams that become contenders. If Ingram wants to go to the Hawks fine, but I was making the point that he has an opportunity to start winning at the highest level. How it happens well … you’d have to be on the phones right now to figure that out.
Not sure why you think Warriors couldn’t afford him. Teams seem to have a little more interest in Wiggins now. It wouldn’t need to be the Pels. I’m sure teams have interest in Wiseman. There must be 100 permutations of trade scenarios that could work without Wiggins ending up in New Orleans which I wasn’t considering at all.
I mentioned Bucks not being able to afford Ingram because what assets do they have that they could move? Middleton I guess but that wouldn’t be enough for Ingram, but they still go on my list because you don’t know what Ingram is thinking. If he says he wants to play for the Bucks I’m certain the Bucks would explore all possible ways of getting him within reason.
If the Hawks are a contender even with Ingram they’ve got a ton of work to do, or rather Young has a ton of work to do. He’s proven nothing at all wrt winning at the NBA level. The pieces look great, and especially with Okongwu added but there’s no reason for Ingram to think he would move them to contender status. Top 4 in the East maybe but that might be where he gets stuck if he was to decide on the Hawks.
Wolves should trade Edwards to Kings for Haliburton plus whatever they need to sign Hield as well.
Haliburton can play SF even though he’s 6′ 5″. He’ll figure it out. Sign Myles Turner.
Rubio & Culver coming off the bench.
This team wins a lot of games.
Free agency opened today. Here’s the signings so far:
The big one: Montrezl Harrell signed a 2-year deal with the Lakers. Lakers also got Wes Matthews on a 1-year deal. The Harrell signing basically forced Dwight Howard out of LA. He signed a 1-year deal with the 76ers, after initially tweeting that he was returning to the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Dragic re-signed with the Heat, who also got Meyers Leonard. The Wizards are re-signing Davis Bertans.to a 5-yr, $80 mil deal. Derrick Favors is returning to the Jazz on a 3-year deal, who also re-signed Jordan Clarkson. The Trail Blazers re-signed Rodney Hood to a 2-yr, $21 mil deal.
The Pistons got busy and signed ex-Sun & Grizz player Josh Jackson and Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor. The Hawks are signing Danilo Gallinari to a 3-yr, $61.5 million dollar deal. Christian Wood is also signing a 3-year deal, but with the Rockets. The Knicks gave Alec Burks a 1-yr, $6 mil deal.
Joe Harris returning to the Nets on a 4-yr, $75 mil deal. Clippers re-sign Marcus Morris to a 4-yr, $64 mil deal. Malik Beasley stays with Spurs on 4-yr, $60 mil deal. Jakob Poeltl sticks with Spurs on 3-yr, $27 mil deal. Pacers keep Justin Holiday on 3-yr, $18 mil deal. Pat Connaughton remained with the Bucks for 2-yrs, $8.3 mil.
The Trail Blazers stole Derrick Jones, Jr. from the Heat for 2-yrs and $19 mil. JaMychal Green leaves the Clippers and heads to Denver for 2-yrs and $15 mil. Trey Burke took a 3-yr deal from the Mavs to leave the 76ers. The Bulls gave Garret Temple a 1-yr, $5 mil deal to leave the Nets. Robin Lopez left the Bucks for the Wiz on a 1-yr deal.
Finally, the Jrue Holiday to the Bucks deal is getting expanded with the Thunder jumping into the deal to send Stephen Adams to the Pelicans as part of it. This is still being worked on and the rumors are that a 4th team is being brought into the trade. I imagine that some of the draft picks that the Pelicans were getting from the Bucks would be heading to the Thunder, who already have 16 picks over the next 6 years.
Great stuff. Thanks – must have gone to be really early and missed all of it. Quick comments …
The Favors resigning surprises me, but it probably shouldn’t. I suppose Favors brings a lot to the development of Zion and Hayes and now that Okafor is gone … they need another big so might as well be Favors I guess. The Jordan Clarkson signing is going to make some heads turn. The Pels have a ridiculous # of valuable guards and some need to be moved. I consider Hart to be a SG as long as Ingram is with the Pels.
Great news for the Hawks to get Gallinari, if not a bit surprising. Great fit I think, but Cam Reddish … I wonder what their plans are with him going forward. Gallo will use up a lot of Reddish’s minutes. hmmm
I see you left the best for last:-) If Adams really is meant to be with the Pels that’s an impressive front line of Zion, Favors, Adams and Hayes. I wonder if all this movement and these assets are meant as ways to show Ingram they’re doing whatever it takes to keep him. There’s a lot of activity there.
I think you misread what I wrote. Favors is returning to Utah where he played before last season with the Pels. And Utah is re-signing Clarkson who got traded there last year.
A ha – makes way way more sense now! Of course, I was getting mixed of with the New Orleans Jazz. Must have forgotten what year it was 🙂
Looks like the Adams deal is done with the Thunder getting future 1st and 2nd round picks (other teams are also involved and I’m not going to try to figure out/restate what the rest of the deal is). If the Pelicans can manage to keep Ingram, they’re looking at a starting line-up of Bledsoe, Ball, Ingram, Zion, and Adams. That is an impressive group defensively. It is perhaps not the best deep shooting group, but an improving group.
What’s going on in Detroit I have to wonder. I see Jerami Grant signed there now. He could have signed with many teams, but maybe he liked the draft picks? We’ll have to wait and see how things shake out I guess – that roster seems to be in flux at the moment.
I feel I need to point out the laughable foolery of Austin Rivers dissing the Suns 2 years ago when he wouldn’t even show up or otherwise acknowledge the trade there (along with Oubre I believe). Somehow he thought Houston was the place for him. All of a sudden his future looks much dimmer. He’s opted out of his contract there and is now a UFA – probably waiting for the phone to ring to see which contender wants him. Philly I suppose.
Doc already got Daryl Morey to bring in his son-in-law (Seth Curry), so might as well talk to him about his son.
Veteran forward Trevor Ariza is headed to his fourth team this week as part of a three-team trade involving the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Ariza will be rerouted from Detroit to Oklahoma City in a deal that sends forward Justin Jackson to Oklahoma City, power forward James Johnson to the Mavericks and guard Delon Wright to the Pistons, sources said.
I know Mark Cuban liked Delon Wright. He must really like James Johnson.
I assume a lot of teams are waiting to see how the league rules the Bogdanovic mess before moving on with their FA offers. Hopefully the league will decide soon if they haven’t already.
I don’t think the rest of the league has to wait. The deal is dead and what the league is investigating is whether the Bucks made illegal contact with Bogdanovich before yesterday’s opening of free agency. Ramona Shelbourne reported yesterday that the league notified all teams and agents that they would be cracking down this year on teams illegally negotiating with players and their agents prior to the opening of free agency. So Bucks probably shouldn’t be talking contract with Bogdanovich right now, but other teams can freely do so. Bogie is a restricted free agent, so the Kings remain in contention to get him even if another team preliminarily signs him.
Pretty effin dumb. So DiVincenzo is now known to be available I guess.
Boston and Indiana are talking about a sign-and-trade of Gordon Haywood. Apparently the Pacers are Hayward’s preference because he is from there and owns a home there. The teams have agreed on Miles Turner going to Boston, but more salary is needed to make the deal work. Indy is offering Doug McDermott, but Celts want Oladipo or Warren.(if Oladipo, Boston would then need to add more salary to deal). Only teams with sufficient cap room to sign Hayward may be the Knicks and Hawks, so a sign-and-trade is probably most likely.
Here’s the unexpected twist…Woj is reporting that Hayward is signing a 4-yr, $120 mil deal with the Charlotte Hornets. I wonder what this means for the Hornets’ reported pursuit of a trade for Westbrook.
Hard to understand that move, unless no other team came close to 4 year $120M. Possible.
I’m impressed that he got that much. Basically his entire time in Boston was marred by injuries. I was certain he wouldn’t get anywhere close to the $34.5 option that he declined, but he got closer than I thought he would. With so few teams having cap room this summer, his choices were likely limited, but it’s beginning to look like he just really wanted to get out of Boston. He may have been better served though by opting in, proving he’s healthy this year and then entering free agency next summer when a lot more teams would have cap room.
Hornets are waiving Batum, who had opted in to his $27 mil option. I think that still means they are on the hook for his salary, but it can be spread out for a number of years. Batum’s numbers took a dive last season, probably due to the injuries he has dealt with. Some team can probably snap him up cheap to be a back-up 3-and-D guy.
Does Charlotte even have a strategy, or do they just take what comes to them? I understand wanting to sign Hayward, but after the Batum contract why are doing another huge and risky long term contract for a player who’s not even top 30 in the league?
Yeah, I don’t the Hornets know what they’re doing. Batum’s contract gets spread over 3 years, so counting $9 mil a year against the cap. So effectively, Charlotte is paying $39 mil per year for Hayward to be there. Apparently no other team was close to offering the $30 mil per year that the Hornets offered to Hayward. As CBSSports noted, when even the Knicks, who were also hot for Hayward, won’t offer that much, then you know its a bad contract.
And when neither you nor I nor CBSSports etc etc … when none of us have a clue what’s going on …
If it was Westbrook or some other high flyer flashy dude, or even Wiggins I can see it to put fans in the seats (eventually)
One thing I’ve noted about Hayward is steady eddie no frills and kind of just boring. He might have been a great player and still could be, but he’ll always be boring especially as your top (or in the case #2) player. So … why would Jordan do this? It means he has no more $$ for another top player, right?
Given that the Hornets had to waive Batum and stretch his contract over 3 years in order to fit Hayward in under the cap, that is exactly right. Jordan has no money for another top player. They would have to match salaries in a trade, which is more difficult now because they can no longer send Batum’s expiring $27 mil contract back in a trade. Of course, the Hornets also drafted LaMelo, so one wonders about their ability to evaluate talent.
VanVleet gets a 4-yr, $85 mil deal to come back to the Raptors. Apparently it is the largest deal ever for a player who originally went undrafted.
Your Suns now getting involved. They’ve signed Jae Crowder to a 3-yr, $30 mil deal. Meanwhile, the Heat have nabbed Avery Bradley. The Bucks have picked up Bobby Portis and DJ Augustin. And Jeff Green is leaving the Rockets and heading to the Nets.
Good pickup, but apparently Favors was cheaper (3 yrs 27M$). I guess the Suns decide every position on shooting range.
With the Hawks signing Danilo Gallinari and now Rajon Rondo, I’m thinking they feel like they can be contenders sooner rather than later with their young core that the grizzled veterans will now be mentoring.
Atl seems to be on an accelerated plan of getting the youngsters to winning ways – hoping they don’t get used to losing. Seems like a good group of guys for that. Phoenix is doing something similar I guess … hoping that after the vets move on they’ll have others to replace them. With so much talent in the league, maybe not a bad strategy.
The latest free agent signings:
Players joining new teams:
Jeff Teague and Tristan Thompson sign with Celtics.
Nerlens Noel heads to the Knicks.
Brad Wannamaker leaves Celts for Warriors.
The biggie…the Clippers add Serge Ibaka.
Players re-signing with their teams:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope returns to the Lakers.
Carmelo Anthony re-signing with Trail Blazers.
Elfrid Payton back with the Knicks.
Paul Millsap heads back to Denver on a reasonable 1-yr, $10 mil deal.
Jevon Carter, the back-up Suns PG, re-signs on a 3-yr, $11.5 mil deal.
from 3 days ago: The San Antonio Spurs announced that SF DeMar DeRozan has exercised his player option for the 2020-21 season. DeRozan has been with the Spurs since 2018, and he averaged more than 20 points per game for a seventh straight season in 2019-20.
I wonder what’s up with Torrey Craig. 6′ 7″ guard that plays pretty damn well at times. Must be some story behind Nugget’s chucking him.
I see he can’t shoot the 3. And they ran out of spots. Probably because he can’t shoot the 3.
assume you saw this draft night – there must have been a million people doing the same thing at the same time.
and just as many people laughing and celebrating when Suns took Jalen Smith.
I think I saw that the following day. Knicks, Hornets don’t know what they’re doing.
OK, well now Hawks are playin with the Big Boys. Wow. What an offseason …
Bogdanovic 4 yr @ $72M
Gallinari, Rondo, and now Bogdanovich. I’m telling you the Hawks think they are contenders.
Can’t blame em for trying this out. Miami seems to be the only other team in the East with their shit together. Boston impossible to know how their moves will shake out, and Siakam isn’t who everyone said he was. At this point no reason to believe Atl won’t be a top 2 or 3 seed.
Actually, have to remember to slow our roll on this one. Bogdanovich signed an offer sheet with the Hawks, but he is a restricted free agent. So the Kings have an opportunity to match it. If they do so, I’m not sure what trade rights they have for him. Can they sign-and-trade him to the Hawks? To some other team? Or are they unable to trade him until some period of time has elapsed?
While we await the Kings decision to match or not, the Hawks have remained busy, signing guard Kris Dunn to a 2-yr, $10 mil deal and forward Solomon Hill. Hawks now have two back-up point guards in Rondo and Dunn. I’m guessing we see two point guards on the floor for them a fair amount.
The Kings have declined to match the Hawks’ offer for Bogdanovich, so he’s headed to the Hawks.
I’ve had time to decompress and step away and think about draft night. No one’s going to know how it all shakes out for a year or maybe more, but to be objective about it I’ll follow with this …
– my benefit of the doubt goes to the Wolves, hoping that their pick followed by very little trade activity is a sign that they’re thinking longer term as in a 3-8 year window at which point they’ll have added a leader to their team. there’s a lot of talent in the league. maybe one of them will lead the wolves in a few years.
– the bulls drafted Patrick Williams. likely a big game changer for every team picking after that. it left Cleveland with some unexpected options. Okoro was a good a pick as any, but I wonder how they valued Patrick Williams. Atlanta next who drafted Okongwu – they had Avdija, Toppin, Haliburton all available. With John Collins they didn’t have a need for Toppin. They could have gone with any of Okongwu, Avdija or Haliburton. Nice spot to be in.
– Knicks up next and there’s really no way to go wrong with Toppin, Avdija, Haliburton. For that team I say you take your pick because any one of them would fit well with RJ Barrett.
– Washington had it easy. Haliburton just doesn’t fit with Beal and Wall. Avdija was the best choice.
– Suns next. I still don’t get it for so many reasons. when considering Haliburton and Smith
who has the greatest ceiling: haliburton
who is a better leader: haliburton
who is a better passer: haliburton
who is a better shooter: haliburton
who is a better defender: toss up
who is a better on ball defender: haliburton
who is a better shot blocker: smith
who is a better rebounder: smith
who is likely to be the better scorer: haliburton
what position will the suns need most when they’re in the conference finals in 3-4 years …
a leader and a point guard that can shoot.
The Bulls drafting Patrick Williams was hardly a surprise to anyone. He was being mocked to the Bulls by many people because of leaks from the Bulls camp. That being the case, I think the Cavs got exactly who they wanted in their spot. Don’t know if Okoro being gone was a surprise to the Hawks, but Okongwu was a good pick for their needs.
You skipped Detroit. They clearly internally rated Hayes above Halliburton and picked a PG to fill a huge need. I don’t agree with ranking Hayes above Halliburton, but I can understand some team may have viewed it that way.
I’m not as forgiving of the Knicks pick as you. The best player on the Knicks last year was Julius Randle, who players PF. Toppin is also a PF, so either he will be backing up Randle or playing SF, a position that he is not as suited for. Halliburton could have stepped right in as their starting PG. As I noted before, Toppin’s agent is Knicks’ exec Leon Rose’s brother and Toppin is from the Big Apple. I think those two things took precedence over the best player on the board who happened to fill a position of bigger need for the Knicks. Much like Stephen A., I like Toppin as a player, but he was the wrong pick at that spot for the Knicks.
After the Knicks, the Wiz probably couldn’t believe their good luck that Avdija was still on the board. You correctly noted that they didn’t need Halliburton with Wall and Beal in their backcourt.
Thus we get to the Suns and you have very well elucidated the reason why they screwed up. Jalen Smith must have done something to impress the Suns’ talent evaluators and I hope, for the Suns’ sake, that he proves me wrong. I think they would have been better served taking Halliburton or exacting a nice trade haul for some other team to trade up to get Halliburton.
Funny. I was fading as I was writing all that. Of course I didn’t mean Cleveland had “unexpected” options, as I was well aware as were many that Williams could go that high. But “could” doesn’t mean likely, especially considering that the Bulls wouldn’t have known what Charlotte would do for certain. I’m sure Cleveland had considered the exact scenario that resulted, and even if they had Williams on their list I doubt he would have been their pick. Still, a nice position to be in at #5 with Avdija, Toppin and Okoro all available.
I didn’t forget Detroit. I think I had another window open and wrote about their pick there. I probably fell asleep a couple times while writing what I wrote. In any case, Detroit did what they needed to do. Hayes or Halburton. They obviously know more about Hayes than I do (and maybe more than anyone) so fine that they passed on Haliburton.
No way to argue with your Knicks comment. While Haliburton was the safe pick I can see Toppin being a matchup nightmare for most teams. I’m sure the Knicks are hoping to attract free agents again. Eventually. Maybe they think Toppin makes them more exciting for that purpose. We’ll see how he does.
More off-season moves:
The Lakers signed Marc Gasol to a 2-yr deal. They had to trade JaVale McGee to the Cavaliers to create cap room to do so. Having lost both Ibaka and Gasol, the Raptors have added Aron Baynes.
The T-Wolves are trading former Warriors Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans, and a 2nd round pick to the Knicks for Ed Davis. The Knicks also signed Austin Rivers to a 3-yr deal. Speaking of the Dubs, they’ve signed Kent Bazemore, who apparently turned down a bunch of other teams to return to the Warriors.
Two big, non-free agent, super-max signings. Jayson Tatum gets a 5-yr, $195 mil deal from the Celtics. Donovan Mitchell basically got the same deal from the Jazz.
The Suns are bringing back Saric on a 3-yr, $27 mil deal. Sounds reasonable to me. The Suns also brought in E’Twaun Moore to back up their guards.
I’ve been reading a lot and listening to a lot of media coverage about the Suns. No one seems to understand the team very well and therefore they undervalue the Jalen Smith pick. Or ignore it. Although I think Haliburton is the better pick, I don’t think the Suns screwed up with Smith. And I don’t think they should have picked Saddiq Bey instead. Here’s how I break down the Suns …
The Good Stuff:
Devin Booker is approaching Steph Curry wrt almost everything. Exceptions are craftiness around the rim and ability to see the floor. He is getting better at everything else and, like Steph, could lead the league in scoring next year if he wanted to.
Ayton is right there with Anthony Davis as bigs who score and can get up and down the court. Ayton is better than Davis as a shooter anywhere around the rim.
CP3 if he averages 22-26 mins a game brings shooting, defense and quick/smart passing everywhere on the court. One issue with Rubio is that though his passing in the lane and in pick n roll is as good or better than Paul’s, he’s not as good in the fast break or in the midrange game. Especially the midrange, where CP3 is one of the league’s top triple threats.
Mikal Bridges is improving every year. Great on ball defender and decision maker at both ends and can shoot.
Cam Johnson can shoot, put it in on the floor, take it to the hole with speed, pass and rebound.
Jalen Smith is a shot blocker. Suns now have an elite shot blocker.
Jevon Carter is a heady PG who can score and defend and plays with speed under control.
Every player knows how to move the ball with speed and purpose.
The Bad Stuff:
Ayton gets into foul trouble and cannot stay on the floor long.
Ayton gets into foul trouble and is afraid to defend other bigs for that reason.
Bridges appears to lack the ability and/or willingness to put the ball on the floor to create space, score or pass.
Bigger wings / PFs cannot defend the top PFs
Needs to happen in 20-21:
Bridges learns how to put the ball on the floor and take it to the rim more often
One of the bigs including Ayton needs to step out further to defend on one end and shoot on the other more often.
Jalen Smith needs to help Ayton step out more on both ends by protecting the middle on both ends. Suns haven’t had anyone that could do that until now. That should explain the Smith pick and why it’s good for the Suns.
Suns also picked up ex-Warrior Damian Jones to back up Ayton. If he stays healthy, that’s a good pick-up.
The Rockets are signing Sterling Brown and DeMarcus Cousins. Don’t really have a clue what they are up to. The Mavericks added Willie Cauley-Stein.
OK. Now it’s easy to see the plan. Yeah, the Jones signing is pretty good in my opinion and now you can see why the Suns weren’t valuing Baynes highly enough to re-sign him: all the new forwards are going to beat up Ayton in practice:-) I’m sure that’s what James Jones is up to – getting Ayton to toughen up and prep for stronger quicker guys in the lane. And I suppose Crowder and Jones will do the same with Jalen Smith who has a horrible weakness: being backed down easily by bigger or even same sized guys.
Regarding that Austin Rivers signing by Knicks, why am I not sorry for the guy? He had Jevon Carter’s spot on the Suns all but wrapped up. The Suns were moving in the right direction when he gave them the finger – stupid kid. Or dad. Maybe Doc just wasn’t paying attention and told him some B.S.
It really was an easy call for Austin. He blew it.
Suns signed E’twann Moore. Jones is really checking off all the boxes now. This gives them someone that threatens where Bridges does not: a midrange game. Reports I’m reading says he’s for the second unit, but I wouldn’t be so sure of that. He won’t start, but you now have a super small ball game where with CP3, Booker, Cam Johnson, pick-your-big-here and Moore in for Bridges … that team spaces the floor as well as any and probably better. Should leave big holes in the midrange for Moore to do some damage. Will be interesting to see what minutes he gets, and if Booker will play some PG with Moore in at SG and CP3 out. Apparently he can defend as well, but not very quick or athletic. But at $2.4M why not.
I think, outside of the draft pick, the Suns have been having a very good off-season. Chris Paul, E’Twuan Moore, and Damian Jones coming in. Resigning Saric and Carter. If the Suns are right about Jalen Smith, they could be a real threat in the West.
If you were wondering why Anthony Davis has not yet signed the supermax deal that awaits him, the answer, apparently, is the Greek Freak. Like every other team, the Lakers have hopes of adding Antetokounmpo to their team next year. If AD signs a supermax deal now, the Lakers basically would be unable to afford the Freak next summer. However, if AD were to sign a one-year plus option deal (similar to what KD did during his years with the Warriors), then he could opt out next summer with LeBron (who has a year + option year remaining on his deal. With both AD and LBJ’s salaries “off the books”, the Lakers could sign the Freak and then go over the salary cap to resign AD and LBJ.
So AD is apparently waiting to see if Giannis signs the supermax deal the Bucks have on the table for him. I believe the deadline for him to do so is a few days before the season begins. If he signs his supermax deal, then AD would go ahead and do the same with his. If the Freak doesn’t sign his supermax deal, then AD will sign a one-year plus option deal and the Lakers will try to sign the Freak next summer. If the Freak ends up in LA with LBJ and AD, every other team should give up.
Agreed every team should give up, but I can think of 10 teams Giannis would rather go to than the Lakers where he’s honestly not needed as much. My guess is that Giannis signs a one-year deal to keep pressure on the Bucks who need to do WAY more than Jrue Holiday + a botched Bogdanovic trade. The Bucks are very thin, especially now with George Hill gone ( seemed like a mistake to me ). They need bodies if Giannis is going to win.
On the same topic Miami has apparently checked out as a Giannis hopeful, since Adebayo signed a 5yr $160 (163?) contract with the heat.
What’s going on with Ingram? Same thing there – waiting on Giannis?
Giannis doesn’t need to sign a one-year deal. He is already under contract for next season. He simply is entitled to sign a supermax deal now if he wants or become an unrestricted free agent next summer (when he can still sign a supermax deal to stay with Bucks if he wants).
As for Ingram, he just signed a 5-yr, $158 million max deal to remain with the Pelicans today.
Thanks. I didn’t get that part. So I assume Giannis does nothing
not sure why the Ingram signing surprises me but it does. i think he’s better off with other teams, but maybe he just likes New Orleans (and the money;-). Or maybe he was talking with some teams (like Miami) and they just couldn’t afford him. I’m doubting the latter.
I would guess that the Freak declines to sign the supermax by this year’s deadline given that it will still be available to him next summer, but I suppose he could decide to sign it to give him security in case of an injury next season.
As for Ingram, I’m guessing it was mostly about the money, but the Pelicans are building a good team, so maybe he wants to be a [big] part of it.
I’m always of the same opinion about this: if it’s about the money for a 23 year old athlete, then that’s coming from his agent or someone in his family or both. What the heck would he know about the difference between what’s he’s getting and $10M less over 5 years? I get that he wants to be up there with the big boys, but I just can’t see that as being a primary motivation for someone like him. I’d assume it’s more about trusting what people tell him and not having the motivation and/or ability to research what a change to say … Philly (just a random example) would mean to him. Maybe most important, if he wanted to change to another team it would be him riding on that decision alone. His agent and family would want to do the safe thing.
In any case, it’s a great sign for the Pels that Ingram feels comfortable there. Griffin is clearly headed toward signing a third star sometime in the next 2 years.
One of the biggest money pressure points comes from the union (this is true in all the major sports). Unions don’t like players to take less than their market value because they believe that depresses the market value for other players. Unions will not publicly apply pressure to players to take the most money they can get, but they do so behind the scenes. Agents, of course, also want their clients to take the biggest offer because that means more money for them.
Despite these pressures, some players do take less than max market value to help a team build a winner. KD did that with the Warriors. For years, Tom Brady did so with the New England Patriots. One doesn’t have to feel sorry for them, because they still made a boatload of money. Given Ingram’s age and this being his first “big” contract, I think taking the most money means more to him right now than it might in a few years. If New Orleans can’t shake itself out of the hole it’s been in for awhile now, we’ll see if Ingram feels different in a year or two.
A lot of NBA players have chosen to move on from their teams knowing the risk of less money, and they did so knowing how the union might feel. Maybe there was extra pressure, but I doubt it affected them much. (BTW – not worth an entire post here yet, but the John Wall situation may get interesting in this regard). It often works out for them despite the pressures, but I’m sure some have lost millions because of the choice. The difference here is primarily Ingram’s youth and (likely) complacency – he’s in a great spot and likely not feeling any pressure to move on. If he was entertaining thoughts of being with another team (I’ll pick the pre-Bam signing Miami this time) there’s not any rush. I’m sure he’s been reminded of that point often: his next contract comes when he’s in his prime (assuming no significant injuries) which is also when he’ll likely have his best shot at a championship.
So the Gordon Hayward to the Hornets deal gets weirder. The Celtics and Hornets have made it into a trade where the Celtics trade Hayward and two future 2nd round picks to the Hornets for a conditional future 2nd round pick. Why would the Celitcs do this? Because the deal also creates a $30 million trade exception which the Celts can use in the next year to bring in a major player regardless of the salary cap. I wonder if Ainge his eye on someone already.
LeBron signed a two-year, $85 million extension on his deal with the Lakers that goes through the 2022-23 season. That means his salary is now locked in next summer when Giannis becomes a free agent (if he doesn’t sign the supermax deal with the Bucks before the season begins). It looks like that as long as AD signs a one year with option deal, the Lakers could still have enough cap room to sign the Freak if that’s what they wish to try to do. That’s because, besides LBJ, they really don’t have any commitments beyond this year except for KCP ($13 mil). Montrezl Harrell ($9.7 mil), and Marc Gasol ($2.7 mil).
There are now reports that AD is finalizing a 5-yr, $190 million max contract. Unless there is a big cap increase next summer, which seems highly doubtful since much or all of this season will be played without fans in the stands, this will take the Lakers out of the running in the Freak sweepstakes. Don’t know if this means the Lakers have received inside information that Giannis will re-sign with the Bucks or that he is not interested in the Lakers.
There are multiple reports that the Rockets and Wizards have agreed to a swap of Westbrook for Wall with the Rockets also getting a protected 1st round pick.
As noted in the article, this doesn’t help or hurt the cap of either team since their contracts have about the same amount of time (two years plus player option year) and same amount of money. I’m wondering if this says anything about Harden. First the Rockets trade for Chris Paul and he’s gone after one year. Paul gets traded for Russ Westbrook and he’s also gone after one year. Now Westbrook gets traded for John Wall. Will Wall be gone after one year (assuming Harden doesn’t get traded himself)?
Say what you/we want about Harden, but if he hasn’t demanded a trade yet then he’s a better man than we might realize. If there was ever the right time for a modern day superstar to move on this is it.
The thing about the Nets is just silly. I’d like to see his list of other choices.
I think Harden has demanded a trade. His interest in the Nets basically confirms that to me. The trade demand may not be public out of respect for the huge amount of money that the Rockets have committed to him. I don’t know how much interest there is in his style of play though. Then there is the issue of making the salaries work in a trade. Another team has to send a star with a big salary back (like the Wiz did with Wall for Westbrook) or send a lot of smaller contracts back. It can’t be easy to find a trade partner.
Maybe. We’ll see. My point was that since all signs are that he IS demanding a trade I’d expect to hear a lot more on the topic and in particular which teams are on his list. Now that Westbrook is gone maybe we’ll start hearing a list of preferred destinations.
Houston/Morey and maybe even D’Antoni were designing things around Harden. Harden’s style is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but it’s the isolation at the 3pt line that they’ve not only put pieces around but encouraged. That’s not who he was when he came into the league or even after he was traded to the Rockets. He’s one of the great penetrate & finishers ever. That’s certainly at least 50% of his style, and I don’t know which team wouldn’t want that part. Especially with the outstanding passing ability and some signs of good (and sometimes great) defense last year.
If a team wants him and tells him “we’re not doing the 3pt line isolation thing”, and he has a problem with it … no one should have any interest in him. I just don’t see him being stupid. He’s never indicated he’s stupid. Lazy and sometimes selfish, but it’s time for him to move on and not sure why he wouldn’t.
I can list several teams that would love to have him should he agree to dramatically taper off the 3pt line isolation, and they’d likely make it well into the playoffs.
I think all the silence surrounding Harden is pretty funny now that it’s gone on so long. Obviously the Warriors are throwing out what they can to see what will stick. Several combinations including trading Wiseman to Houston are unquestionably in the works.
Rockets don’t benefit at all by holding onto him much longer. Time to take the better offer guys! Just wish I knew who else was involved and what the offers are!
I guess we’re about to see how highly Houston values Ben Simmons. They gave away Westbrook for pennies on the dollar. Why not go full fire sale with Simmons + Thybulle + Curry for Harden?
Well, Morey is in charge in Philly. Maybe he values Harden’s ability to score more than Simmons’ defense and creation. I would imagine that the Rockets would want some draft picks as well. 76ers could play Harden at the point with Danny Green, Tobias Harris, and Mike Scott floating on the perimeter (all shoot better than .350 from the arc) and have Embiid to do some pick-and-roll with. I honestly don’t know if it would work and if I was Philly, I think I’d take Simmons in his prime at $30 mil a year over Harden getting to end of his prime at $41 mil a year.
Suppose Houston doesn’t value Simmons and his 5-year contract. I wonder if they would take Andrew Wiggins and more draft picks instead. Take the deal you suggested and add Golden State as a 3rd team in the deal with them getting Simmons and giving up Wiggins and picks to Houston. I’d love to have Simmons with his ball movement and defense in the Dubs’ system.
Whether it is Philly or some other team, it seems apparent that Houston has to unload Harden now with him staying away from training camp and partying in Vegas while saying he like to get traded to Philly or another contender.
It would be an interesting look with both Simmons and Green together. Not sure who else besides Curry in the Dubs starting lineup can shoot though, but I guess that’s already a problem if Wiggins and Oubre and Green are going to start together. Incredible how Warriors are starting to look like one of the worst shooting teams in the league now, at least wrt starters.
Has me wondering if Tobias Harris might be the better acquisition?
Harden has added the Bucks and Heat (to the Nets and 76ers) as destinations he would prefer. If the Bucks were interested, they’d have to send back Middleton, Antetokounmpo or Holiday back in the deal along with lesser players to make the money work. I don’t see the Bucks doing that. I don’t see a way for the Heat to make a deal worth without including Butler, so also unlikely. Meanwhile, Houston apparently won’t trade Harden to the Nets without getting either Durant or Irving in the deal. Presumably any talks with the 76ers have the Rockets asking for either Embiid or Simmons. Harden may have to expand his list.
LMAO. The plot thickens!!
First, from what you wrote I’m now sure Harden will be traded soon. Second, if he hasn’t mentioned the Warriors he almost certainly won’t end up there for several reasons starting with he’s 4-0 East teams vs. West on his list.
I definitely see the Bucks going all in. Middleton or Holiday. When’s the last time any superstar chose Milwaukee as a destination? Now they can have two if this helps Giannis sign long term.
Is Holiday able to be traded so soon after his recent trade?
One question: won’t Houston need a PG in any trade? No way they’re relying on Wall to be healthy. Seems like there’s all kinds of opportunity for a 3 way here with guys like Dragic, Duncan Robinson, Holiday, draft picks etc getting into the mix. I know it’s so complicated that not likely to get done, but if Bucks do everything possible to land Harden I see Holiday being a great fit in Miami, Dragic a great fit in Philly, Simmons in Houston.
Meanwhile Danny Ainge and David Griffin must be trying to wheel and deal. Boston needs to get rid of Walker. Griffin has too many assets to just be sitting on his hands through all this.
And Warriors have Oubre, Wiggins and Wiseman and not enough shooting.
In Warriors, Sixers, Heat, Celtics and Bucks you have 5 contenders right there in need of improving in one or two positions to put them into the finals. Crazy.
Well … semi-finals.
Another thing I like about Harden to the Bucks is that it would be impossible for him to ignore what everyone is saying (including, I hope, a little voice in his own head): Giannis is the reigning two time MVP and it’s because he doesn’t stand around for anyone. There are 3 ways Harden could initiate plays for Giannis: 1) pass along the perimeter allowing him to drive 2) pass to Giannis as he slashes or posts up 3) alley-oops
That screams “instead of dribbling look for Giannis to abuse the defense!”
I have a feeling that the bigger question for the Bucks would be the money one. If they trade for Harden and sign the Freak to a supermax, they’ll be committing $90+ to just two players. That doesn’t leave a lot of money for anyone else. While they can go over the cap to sign their own players, are the Bucks willing to spend huge amounts in luxury tax like the Warriors have shown they are willing to do? I don’t know that they are willing to spend that much.
That should be $90+ MILLION to just two players.
You may be familiar with Steph Curry’s pregame ritual of taking a shot from just outside the tunnel to the locker room. Well, he put a new spin on it before Saturday’s preseason game against the Nuggets.
I only saw about three minutes of the Nuggets-Warriors game. It was early in the 4th quarter and the scrubs were playing. The Nuggets have a rookie, Zeke Nnaji, out of Arizona, who they drafted with the 22nd pick, who looked really good in the few minutes I watched. He’s a 6’11” PF/C and looks like a solid presence in the paint. But it was only against the Dubs’ scrubs, so he may not look as good against the A-team.
Thinking its time for the 2020-21 Regular Season post.
It appears all the speculation is over. Giannis Antetokounmpo announced that he will sign the 5-year, $228.2 supermax extension with the Bucks. Maybe the acquisition of Holiday was enough to satisfy him that the team will put enough good players around him to compete for a championship. But, for now, we can say goodbye to the Freak to the Dubs, Lakers, etc. rumors. I wonder if Giannis had told some other players like LeBron and AD that he would be doing this and perhaps they went ahead and signed their extensions with the Lakers.
So in the end it’s what everyone suspected: he’s just a really cool dude and won’t screw up a good thing including relationships with a good community. nice!
In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s ESPN’s detailed article about the Houston Rockets/James Harden situation:
Some of the key points that come out of the article:
1. Houston let Harden do whatever he wanted. He was habitually late for everything, would book a private jet to take him to private parties when the team had multiple days off, and Harden basically had final say on coaching and player changes.
2. Both Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook got frustrated with Harden’s attitude both on and off the court. On the court, Harden would barely participate if plays were being run through Paul or Westbrook. Off the court, they got upset with they way Harden would do whatever he wanted, whether or not it affected the rest of the team.
I don’t see many people speaking on the record in this article. Some of these things have been reported before, but one can wonder if some people are speaking off the record about this as a means of getting Houston to reduce their price for Harden.
While on the subject of Harden’s laissez-faire attitude when others have the ball, see the sequence that begins around the 32-second mark of this ESPN report of Harden’s first preseason game against the Spurs the other day:
Yeah, he may not have expected the pass, but you gotta be alert when you’re near the basket.
I don’t know. I take it to simply mean the out of shape prima donna wants out . Not reading into it beyond that. But I’m super puzzled as to what’s taking so long. It’s bad for everyone to keep dragging this out. Stinks of shitty owners caring only about getting the best deal, when a big part of that will involve wrapping this up quickly before offers start coming off the table.
Meanwhile Ben Simmons, Holiday or Middleton, Duncan Robinson, etc etc can’t be happy knowing they’re on the block. Just get the deal done for christ’s sake.
So I’ll wait to hear from Westbrook and Paul. I don’t believe the extremity of this otherwise.
Kind of doubt that we will ever hear publicly from Westbrook or Paul about this, at least not before their retirements. Much of the ESPN article however is stuff we’ve been hearing bandied about for a long time now.
I see Oubre took 6 3pts in yesterday’s pre-season. If that’s kerr’s plan he’s in for a long season. It’s exactly what he shouldn’t be doing.
Apparently Kerr has encouraged the new “shooters” like Wiggins and Oubre to take open 3s within the flow of the offense, as they are essentially replacing Klay and KD who used to do that. If they start taking a lot of bad 3s, Kerr may put some restrictions on it. Oubre did hit 4 of those 6 3s last night (Wiggins hit 3 of 7). So perhaps with some discipline about the best time to shoot from the arc, Oubre (and Wiggins) will become a better 3-pt shooter.
Warriors have signed Jeremy Lin! Now they’ll make the NBA finals for sure! LOL! They are signing him to their G-League team. I think he has played in a Chinese league the past several years. Don’t know how likely it is that he might get called up to the Dubs. The Warriors don’t have a true point guard behind Curry, so he may prove useful at some point.
I could see his mid-range shot being effective like Livingstons. Not sure about the interior passing though.
is your car radio able to get sirius xm? i know you don’t have a subscription, but wondering if you can even get it.
I doubt my car radio has the ability to get Sirius XM.
Just noticed the Lakers are extremely deep. Some older talent, but still one of the deeper teams in the league.
By the way, why is Rondo gone? I didn’t understand why he left. Clearly an enormous part of their championship. The 3rd most important piece IMO.
As with almost any championship team, they got veteran players signed because they want a shot at a ring. Marc Gasol ($2.5 mil), Wes Matthews ($3.6 mil), and Montrezl Harrell ($9.2 mil) all probably could have gotten more money elsewhere. Jared Dudley ($2.5 mil) and Markieff Morris ($2.3 mil) re-signed with the Lakers for lesser amounts as well, even though they already got a ring.
As for why Rondo is gone, I’m guessing it is the opposite reason. He had a $2.5 mil deal with the Lakers last year and after being a big reason for their success–and already having a couple of rings now–he likely wanted to get paid. When the Lakers saw their negotiations with him going nowhere, they traded for Dennis Schroder to replace him. Rondo then signed a 2-year, $15 mil deal with the Hawks. Probably a much bigger deal than the Lakers would have given him. Lakers also may have been unwilling to sign him for longer than a 1-year deal.
BTW, the Lakers are finalizing a 3-year, $40 mil extension of Kyle Kuzma’s contract.
Smart kid. Listened to his agent I’m guessing. After he gets another ring or two he doubles that salary.
lol. funny answer – obviously players want a shot at the ring:-) not sure how that explains the depth compared to other champions recently. Warriors weren’t this deep. Toronto was but not because of the championship. Cleveland not deep at all. Miami no. Dallas wasn’t after the championship. Spurs were before it. Maybe you think Warriors were this deep. They weren’t.
A quick glance at the roster shows you that (except for Harrell) it’s a circumstance of being in the right market at the right time: more players are undervalued at the right time for the Lakers. Undervalued by quite a margin in my opinion, but that’s all. Not sure what the will of those players wanting to get a championship has to do with it. A small factor at best.
Regarding Rondo, exactly my point and why I asked the question. How is it possible that negotiations went nowhere? That’s ridiculous unless it’s a personality issue. Which I suspect, but it would have to be one hell of an issue to let that guy go. No reason to think they have anyone who can replace what he brought during the finals. I get the feeling there’s an untold story here.
I’ll get the reg season blog started soon.