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  #51  
Old 07-02-2019, 10:22 AM
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What is Wall's problem? I mean, before the Achilles injury. Was he fat, a head case, coke head, unable to get along with anyone? I had thought he was a talented point guard, albeit not the second coming of Magic or early Chris Paul?
Honestly I think it's just ego. He aspires to be a player that he's not. He could be a great pure point guard, he's shown he can do it, but he wants to be a scorer like Paul and Westbrook too, and that's just not his game. It never has been and at this point probably never will. When he uses his speed to go to the basket then kick out, he's great, but he can't help himself and tries to score on every other touch, when he should just be passing.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:05 AM
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Honestly I think it's just ego. He aspires to be a player that he's not. He could be a great pure point guard, he's shown he can do it, but he wants to be a scorer like Paul and Westbrook too, and that's just not his game. It never has been and at this point probably never will. When he uses his speed to go to the basket then kick out, he's great, but he can't help himself and tries to score on every other touch, when he should just be passing.
That's too bad, albeit it shouldn't make him as disliked as reading various rumors and commentary would have you think. I mean James Harden is a ball hog qua ball hog---not as bad as Westbrook, but he's in the conversation---and Austin Rivers just took 2/3 less money to resign with Houston. Being a shoot first PG coming off an injury shouldn't make him the worst contract in the NBA, but he is.

I just didn't know if there was something else going on.
  #53  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:08 AM
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This whole Kawhi thing is like the Psychic industry. Throw enough shit at the wall and one prediction sticks. The one that guesses right looks like an Oracle.
He's going to Oracle Arena to join the Warriors for a cool $1 million( or whatever crumbs are left in the hard cap )? Awesome!


Last edited by Tamerlane; 07-02-2019 at 11:11 AM.
  #54  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:21 AM
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I'm glad to see that, so far, they seem to have not been true. The NBA, contra Stern and Silver's past comments, is better IMHO when the talent is spread out, rather than re-enacting the Showtime Lakers, Michael's Bulls, or this last Warriors team.
The Bulls were not anything close to those "super teams"....they just had Michael and Scottie. That was enough. Even Rodman was really just a role player who was overrated and made to look good cleaning up MJ and Scottie's scraps.

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That's too bad, albeit it shouldn't make him as disliked as reading various rumors and commentary would have you think. I mean James Harden is a ball hog qua ball hog---not as bad as Westbrook, but he's in the conversation---and Austin Rivers just took 2/3 less money to resign with Houston. Being a shoot first PG coming off an injury shouldn't make him the worst contract in the NBA, but he is.

I just didn't know if there was something else going on.
He's one of the highest paid players in the league, but is lazy, injured, doesn't play defense, and doesn't score half as well as those other ball hogs. Harden and Westbrook are great iso players. Wall isn't. His distinguishing characteristic was speed, and then he got fat, lazy and hurt. Also, he's on a terrible team with no leadership and no culture, pretty much the perfect recipe for the worst contract in the league.
  #55  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:31 AM
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The Bulls were not anything close to those "super teams"....they just had Michael and Scottie. That was enough. Even Rodman was really just a role player who was overrated and made to look good cleaning up MJ and Scottie's scraps....
Rodman's one of the best rebounders and defenders of all time. Horace Grant was incredibly underrated as a force down low. Kerr was one of the best 3pt shooters at the time. And so on, and so on.

The Bulls definitely qualify as a Super Team, though winning a ring w/o Jordan would've helped.
  #56  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:53 AM
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Rodman's one of the best rebounders and defenders of all time. Horace Grant was incredibly underrated as a force down low. Kerr was one of the best 3pt shooters at the time. And so on, and so on.

The Bulls definitely qualify as a Super Team, though winning a ring w/o Jordan would've helped.
They were a super team because the won more than anyone else. Not because they were able to add any elite superstar they wanted to an already stacked team. They never drew "ring chasers".

And Rodman was one of the worst offensive players to ever lace them up. His rebounding was elite and his defense was above average, but the advanced stats are pretty decisive on this. Rodman was an average player taken as a whole, pretty much the definition of a role player whose persona elevated his stature.

I love Kerr, but no one would say he was anything but a 3 point specialist....not a "star" by any stretch. He was basically Craig Hodges 2.0 and had he not had that run on the Spurs and weren't still in the news with the Warriors, he would have been almost totally forgotten.

Horace was probably the best complimentary player they had but he LEFT for more money. Pretty much the exact opposite of what happens with these super teams where guys are taking pay cuts to stick around. The Bulls were nothing at all like the Showtime Lakers, Shaq/Kobe Lakers, Heatles or Warriors.
  #57  
Old 07-02-2019, 12:14 PM
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They were a super team because the won more than anyone else. Not because they were able to add any elite superstar they wanted to an already stacked team. They never drew "ring chasers".

And Rodman was one of the worst offensive players to ever lace them up. His rebounding was elite and his defense was above average, but the advanced stats are pretty decisive on this. Rodman was an average player taken as a whole, pretty much the definition of a role player whose persona elevated his stature.

I love Kerr, but no one would say he was anything but a 3 point specialist....not a "star" by any stretch. He was basically Craig Hodges 2.0 and had he not had that run on the Spurs and weren't still in the news with the Warriors, he would have been almost totally forgotten.

Horace was probably the best complimentary player they had but he LEFT for more money. Pretty much the exact opposite of what happens with these super teams where guys are taking pay cuts to stick around. The Bulls were nothing at all like the Showtime Lakers, Shaq/Kobe Lakers, Heatles or Warriors.
Oh, with that definition of Super Team, I agree with you. The idea of Jordan-era star players joining forces with their competitors would have been anathema. Though there always were players on their last legs seeking to hire on with a good team, for not much money.

Agree with you on Grant. Slightly different era, but IMHO he really deserved some of the acclaim that players like Worthy were getting.

Rodman didn't need offensive skills, as many SDs beyond the mean as he was as a rebounder. His DPBM and Drtg were also solidly near the top, only behind players like Mutombo, David Robinson, etc... It helps when Jordan, Pippen and others can do the scoring for you. Agree that Kerr wasn't a star, but he was among the very best in the league at what he did.

But agreed: definitely not a case of, "Let's all play together on the same team in a year or two."
  #58  
Old 07-02-2019, 12:25 PM
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Forgot this part. I did go back and look and Rodman had a much worse WS/48 than I would have guessed, given his rebounding skill. I think its due to his FG percentage being down almost 10 points from his time with the Pistons. So you've convinced me about Rodman's elite status as a player for his 3 years on the Bulls. Still an elite rebounder and good defender.
  #59  
Old 07-02-2019, 03:01 PM
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Portland is scrapping several players: Mo Harkless and Al Farouq Aminu will leave a big hole in the defense. Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard are gone, which is no big loss. And Enes Kanter is leaving, which surprises me. He basically helped save the Blazers' season after The Injury.
  #60  
Old 07-02-2019, 03:43 PM
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Forgot this part. I did go back and look and Rodman had a much worse WS/48 than I would have guessed, given his rebounding skill. I think its due to his FG percentage being down almost 10 points from his time with the Pistons. So you've convinced me about Rodman's elite status as a player for his 3 years on the Bulls. Still an elite rebounder and good defender.
He did exactly what the Bulls wanted him to do and was essential to those titles, no doubt. I just rejected the idea that him going to the Bulls was in any way comparable to Durant joining Curry and Klay in Oakland or LeBron, Wade and Bosh joining forces in Miami or the threat of LeBron, AD and Kawhi teaming up in LA. Heck, I don't even think he was comparable to KG going to Boston to play with Pierce and Allen/Rondo (via trade, so a bit different that the current trend I suppose, but KG had a no-trade and was very involved in that deal).
  #61  
Old 07-02-2019, 03:52 PM
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The Celtics got Enes Kanter at a good price, too. What, 2 years, $10 million? Not bad for 13.7/9.8!
  #62  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:18 PM
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Sources: 76ers offer Simmons $170M max deal

Can someone explain this whole Ben Simmons thing to me? Are we being gaslit here? It seems like the world collectively decided that he's a elite player, a generational talent, results be damned.

The Sixers locking up close to $650M in 4 players, Embiid, Simmons, Harris and Horford, seems like the most insane thing that's happened this decade. Embiid is great when he plays, but doesn't play a full season. Simmons can't shoot and doesn't try to. Horford is 33 years old. Harris is in his 8th year with a career scoring average of 15 points, bubbling up to a high water mark of 20 points last year.

What. The. Fuck.
  #63  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:19 PM
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#TrustTheProcess ?
  #64  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:47 PM
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#FuckTheProcess maybe.
  #65  
Old 07-02-2019, 05:53 PM
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Fun piece about Kawhi that I think is instructional.

Where in the World Is Kawhi Leonard?

Quote:
On Saturday, a Woj-in-training seemingly spotted Kawhi in San Diego at an establishment called Trujillo’s Taco Shop. An unverified Twitter account that claimed to represent the shop jumped at the tweet and gave some details about Leonard’s supposed visit. “Fun Fact,” the Trujillo’s Twitter account replied to young Woj, “We tried to give [Kawhi] his Sigma Chi crunchwraps for free, but he insisted on paying. A true class act! (He did, however, accept a free large horchata).” A fun fact, indeed. Revealing. If Trujillo’s Tacos can prove that this blurry footage is indeed of the 2019 Finals MVP, then they’ve given the biggest Kawhi scoop yet.

Last edited by Omniscient; 07-02-2019 at 05:54 PM.
  #66  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:14 PM
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Fun piece about Kawhi that I think is instructional.

Where in the World Is Kawhi Leonard?
Dear Lord. What a difference a year and a ring make. A year and a half ago, he was being hated in San Antonio for having a mysterious, likely mythical injury and quitting on his team. Now, a sports talk nation huddles over their phones for a hint of his thoughts or desires.

Crazy, isn't it?
  #67  
Old 07-02-2019, 06:29 PM
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Dear Lord. What a difference a year and a ring make. A year and a half ago, he was being hated in San Antonio for having a mysterious, likely mythical injury and quitting on his team. Now, a sports talk nation huddles over their phones for a hint of his thoughts or desires.

Crazy, isn't it?
Indeed. Though, if I were the Clips/Lakers I'd try to keep that whole Spurs debacle front of mind. Maybe it was all media created due to the information vacuum that surrounds Kawhi, but I don't think that's entirely it. He got pissed and basically quit on them, that's somewhat indisputable, he was healed up at end of last season. Why he got so pissed we have no idea....it's probably not a sign that he's a head case....but without anything to go on we can't be sure. It worked in Toronto for 1 season, but maybe he's a guy that simply needs constant change. Maybe he's a guy that doesn't handle conflict well. Maybe he's a self-motivated guy that doesn't like having Pop in his ear about shit. Who the fuck knows. I just know that the data from 2017-18 is every bit as important as the data from 2018-19.
  #68  
Old 07-02-2019, 08:07 PM
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He's going to Oracle Arena to join the Warriors for a cool $1 million( or whatever crumbs are left in the hard cap )? Awesome!

Lol

Thatís as good a guess as any.

(Although now, it appears Lakers...gag)
  #69  
Old 07-03-2019, 01:03 PM
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Sources: 76ers offer Simmons $170M max deal

Can someone explain this whole Ben Simmons thing to me? Are we being gaslit here? It seems like the world collectively decided that he's a elite player, a generational talent, results be damned.
Simmons is one of the 20 or 30 best players in the NBA and he's only 23 (not quite, but he will be in a few weeks.) That is a massively valuable basketball player.

Can he shoot from distance? Not really, but he's still a very efficient scorer, he gets boards, and he moves the ball really well for a big man. I'll take him anyday.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:52 PM
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Indeed. Though, if I were the Clips/Lakers I'd try to keep that whole Spurs debacle front of mind. Maybe it was all media created due to the information vacuum that surrounds Kawhi, but I don't think that's entirely it. He got pissed and basically quit on them, that's somewhat indisputable, he was healed up at end of last season. Why he got so pissed we have no idea....it's probably not a sign that he's a head case....but without anything to go on we can't be sure. It worked in Toronto for 1 season, but maybe he's a guy that simply needs constant change. Maybe he's a guy that doesn't handle conflict well. Maybe he's a self-motivated guy that doesn't like having Pop in his ear about shit. Who the fuck knows. I just know that the data from 2017-18 is every bit as important as the data from 2018-19.
That's possible.

It's also possible that Kawhi didn't trust that the Spurs weren't going to Durant him and he valued his health.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:07 PM
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That's possible.

It's also possible that Kawhi didn't trust that the Spurs weren't going to Durant him and he valued his health.
Even if thatís the case, I wouldnít say he handled the situation well.
  #72  
Old 07-03-2019, 02:23 PM
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Simmons is one of the 20 or 30 best players in the NBA and he's only 23 (not quite, but he will be in a few weeks.) That is a massively valuable basketball player.

Can he shoot from distance? Not really, but he's still a very efficient scorer, he gets boards, and he moves the ball really well for a big man. I'll take him anyday.
He wouldn’t be in my top 30. Does a “top 20-30” player deserve a max deal? This Simmons hype feels an awful lot like the Tatum last year except Tatum was way more effective in the playoffs. They paid Harris (and grabbed Jimmy last year) because Simmons can’t fill it up. If Ben Simmons is your best player you’re probably not even a .500 team, this will fail spectacularly.

Last edited by Omniscient; 07-03-2019 at 02:24 PM.
  #73  
Old 07-03-2019, 02:24 PM
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Simmons is one of the 20 or 30 best players in the NBA and he's only 23 (not quite, but he will be in a few weeks.) That is a massively valuable basketball player.

Can he shoot from distance? Not really, but he's still a very efficient scorer, he gets boards, and he moves the ball really well for a big man. I'll take him anyday.
Iíll take him as well.

He does need to at least be a midrange threat though, or he is too easy to defend in the playoffs. You can learn how to shoot if you are committed to it.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:39 PM
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He wouldn’t be in my top 30. Does a “top 20-30” player deserve a max deal?
In the 2018-2019 season there were 32 players on max contracts. Granted some may have been bad contracts for one reason or another( Wall ). But there are 30 NBA teams - would it be crazy if each had one max player?

Does a top 20 player deserve a max contract? Probably, in my estimation. Top 30? Hmmm...maybe.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 07-03-2019 at 02:41 PM.
  #75  
Old 07-03-2019, 04:54 PM
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In the 2018-2019 season there were 32 players on max contracts. Granted some may have been bad contracts for one reason or another( Wall ). But there are 30 NBA teams - would it be crazy if each had one max player?

Does a top 20 player deserve a max contract? Probably, in my estimation. Top 30? Hmmm...maybe.
Here's the list as of the start of last season. There's several guys who aren't technically "max" contracts but are close enough missing from the list. I'd say at a glance, 2/3rds of that list qualify as regretful contracts and maybe 1/3rd are basically team crippling.

Certainly the NBA system is such that there will usually be at least 1 max guy per team and often 2 or 3 on elite teams who have doled them out in sequential seasons. But should there be? Hell no.

The Sixers are heading towards a situation where they have 3 max or near max guys and none of them are top 5 (10?) guys, and only 1 is in the top 20. We'll look back at them and say they look a heck of a lot more like the Wizards with Wall, Beal and Porter than they look like the Warriors with Steph, Lay and KD.
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Old 07-03-2019, 06:14 PM
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The Sixers are heading towards a situation where they have 3 max or near max guys and none of them are top 5 (10?) guys, and only 1 is in the top 20. We'll look back at them and say they look a heck of a lot more like the Wizards with Wall, Beal and Porter than they look like the Warriors with Steph, Lay and KD.
Yeah, that part is hard to argue with. I think a max contract per team is a pretty reasonable expectation( via market pressure if nothing else ). But if you're carrying three+ you should be pretty certain you've got a championship contender on your hands. Overpaying because you feel you have to lock up a player despite already being on the hook for a couple others is risky business if the return is highly uncertain.

Unfortunately I suspect a lot of GM's feel backed into a corner. Do nothing and their very good( but not great )player gets overpaid by someone else and you're left with nothing. Then you get fired for not locking down that talent.
  #77  
Old 07-05-2019, 09:10 AM
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Simmons is one of the 20 or 30 best players in the NBA and he's only 23 (not quite, but he will be in a few weeks.) That is a massively valuable basketball player.

Can he shoot from distance? Not really, but he's still a very efficient scorer, he gets boards, and he moves the ball really well for a big man. I'll take him anyday.
I'm not sure I agree with you, or at least, I don't think it's as much of a slam dunk as you're making it here. It's really hard to figure out comps for Simmons because he has a very unusual profile. However good he is or isn't, he's pretty close to unique. But let's see.

Simmons isn't really a "very efficient scorer" by any statistical measure; in 2019 he was outside the Top 40 in terms of eFG%, TS%, OBPM, and PER. His rebounding and defensive contributions help make him more valuable, but Top 20? Absolutely no way. Top 30? Maybe. But only maybe. VORP likes him a lot, PER thinks he's about as valuable as present-day Chris Paul, and win shares per 48 minutes put him tied with... D.J. Augustin. So opinions vary.

Also a problem: Simmons did not get better in his second season. By way of contrast, Giannis Antetokounmpo was a much less valuable player in his first and second seasons than Simmons was in his. But Antetokounmpo also posted substantial gains each season (and, of course, he came into the league as a 19-year-old with more room to grow). If Simmons' 2020 is basically the same as his 2019, then there's a very real chance that the player he is now is the player he will always be... and that player is definitely not worth a max contract.

Now, given the situation in the East, keeping Simmons means the Sixers should be real contenders for a title. But he wasn't going anywhere for 2 more years anyway, and I'm not really sure I understand why they extended him now. They could have picked up his option for 2020 and seen if he was showing improvement, and offered him the same max extension after the season if he was. That's the part of the move that makes no sense to me.
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:12 AM
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Kawhi and Paul George to the Clippers. Ha-ha-HOLY SHIT.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:11 AM
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Old 07-06-2019, 11:56 AM
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Kawhi and Paul George to the Clippers. Ha-ha-HOLY SHIT.
I have to wonder if OKC and TOR will even be contenders next year.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:01 PM
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Toronto is not, unless Siakam and Anunoby take massive strides this year. In all honesty the best move would likely be to trade their expiring contracts (Lowry, Gasol and Ibaka) for futures and try to rebuild but thatís a tough thing to do right after winning a championship.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:15 PM
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I have to wonder if OKC and TOR will even be contenders next year.
I can see both winning near 45 games as is, which almost always does not a contender make. That's if Toronto's point guard play doesn't decline too much and if OKC gets a good healthy year out of Gallinari. I would be shocked if the Thunder ever make another deep playoff run with Westbrook at the helm.
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Old 07-06-2019, 12:24 PM
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So, how do we predict how the Clippers will do? SI.com is calling them, on paper, the best team in the NBA.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:09 PM
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Clips will be great on the perimeter and wings w Leonard, George, Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, ands few other solid bench players. IMO certainly worthy, right now, to be considered at it near the top of the West.

Lakers recent additions include Danny Green and Boogie Cousins, who should each help immensely. They will definitely be a top tier team, but not sure theyíll be deep enough to hang w Clips; but will the Clips be able to handle the Lakers advantage in the front court?
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Old 07-06-2019, 06:49 PM
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Clips will be great on the perimeter and wings w Leonard, George, Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams, ands few other solid bench players. IMO certainly worthy, right now, to be considered at it near the top of the West.

Lakers recent additions include Danny Green and Boogie Cousins, who should each help immensely. They will definitely be a top tier team, but not sure theyíll be deep enough to hang w Clips; but will the Clips be able to handle the Lakers advantage in the front court?
So you're basically saying that the west coast will be dominated by California teams for the foreseeable future? Big yawn.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:00 AM
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I didn't exactly say that, but it certainly is possible. The Lakers have very little depth, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see them catch an injury bug and be derailed. Other teams to watch would likely be Portland, Denver and Utah, who each have quality teams capable of winning 50-55 games. And that team formerly of Oakland, of course.
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Old 07-07-2019, 06:14 AM
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Lakers just finalized Anthony Davis deal, sending Ball, Ingraham, and draft picks to New Orleans. Probably a good deal for both teams. Ball is still a good player, just part of a made-to-order shit show in celeb-obsessed L.A., his pop having too much influence, and Magic Johnson not running the team well. Meanwhile LeBron gets his superstar sidekick.

I still think the Clips are more well-rounded -- and I had absolutely no idea that Paul George once dated Doc Rivers' daughter...and cheated on her. Holy crap, get the popcorn!

ETA: Actually, though, if any coach can kinda coach past something like that, I'm guessing it's Doc.

Last edited by asahi; 07-07-2019 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:02 PM
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So the entire world decided to get flipped on it's head over the holiday weekend. I was travelling and wasn't really able to jump in here until now, which is a bit of a bummer since I started the thread. Damn you Kawhi!

Few thoughts after having a couple days to process this.

First, I was totally right earlier in the thread when I said not to believe any rumors where Kawhi is involved. The guy ran this process like he was auditioning for an episode of The Americans. Both impressive and kinda nuts. Also, I can only assume that the delay in announcing a decision had far less to do with him making up his mind and more with working out who was coming with him. I hate the "super team" thing and this feels too much like the behind the scenes LeBron/Wade/Bosh coordination for my tastes, but since it's essentially re-balancing the power structure in such a way that both the Lakers and Warriors are no longer the clear favorites, I am sorta okay with it.

One of the big rumors hints that KD was Kawhi's first choice of partners. Would have been interesting to see that combo work. I wonder why KD was so determined to team up with Kyrie in Brooklyn? Had he basically made up his mind before Kawhi came calling? Was he afraid to become an even greater villain after the last decision? Did Kawhi call him out of the blue or did he know about before his own process started? Did KD even seriously consider it? Is this entire rumor bogus?

Which twosome do you like best for the next 2-3 years?
  • LeBron + AD
  • Kawhi + PG13
  • KD + Kyrie
  • Kemba + Tatum
  • Embiid + Simmons
  • Curry + Klay
  • Harden + CP3
  • Giannis + Middleton
  • Doncic + KP
  • Dame + CJ

There's a handful of other really good teams without a clear 1-2 like Utah, Indiana, Denver, New Orleans and there's certainly some things left to shake out with Butler & Miami and Westbrook & OKC. Also, no idea what's going to happen with Russell in GS when December comes around or Klay comes back. Whatever happens, this is probably about the most balanced the NBA has been in a long long time.

One last quick thought for now, the Clippers got absolutely roasted by OKC in that deal. Giving up that many picks plus SGA is just nuts. Certainly they figured that it was the only way Kawhi was coming and that if Kawhi and PG work out as expected, none of those picks will be better than maybe the 20th pick, but most championship teams end up making a couple mid-season moves to secure a title and ate first rounders tend to be that currency. Kawhi may end up regretting forcing that as much as the Clippers do.
  #89  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:33 PM
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There's rumored to be 4 potential destinations for Westbrook.

1. The Magic. They seem likely to be able to put together the best package of players and picks to make a deal happen. They also probably need him the most to salvage a degree of relevancy. It's the landing spot that would probably piss Westbrook off the most too.

2. The Heat. I don't quite understand how they were able to make the Butler trade happen and yet people seem to think they still have the assets and can somehow clear the space to make this massive deal happen. It makes the most sense from a media standpoint I think, the Heat would be must-see-tv. Westbroook and Butler together would either be a great pairing because of their similar intensity and no-bullshit attitudes or be a disaster for the same reasons. What would a Butler-Westbrook backcourt look like? I can't even.

3. The Knicks. Probably the one that seems the most logical. Westbrook seems like a great fit in NYC culturally. He hates the media, so that may be tough, but he seems to love attention and fashion and a lots of the off court stuff that comes with playing in NY. The Knicks could salvage their embarrassing free agency this way. They'd certainly reclaim the backpages for at least a season before KD comes back. But, the Knicks blew a ton of money on middle-range talent and don't have nearly the cap space they should. They also have a long history of mortgaging the future to add declining superstars and Knicks fans would probably be pretty pissed, at least until he laces them up in MSG for the first time.

4. The Rockets. I call bullshit. The pattern seems to be that the Rockets GM basically wants them mentioned in every single discussion about a big name talent so he leaks that to his cadre of lap dogs. None of these rumors ever pan out and they just don't make any sense on the court or financially. File this with the rest of the fake news. I have no idea what the benefit to the Rockets is having this shit floating out there.
  #90  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:16 PM
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Toronto is not, unless Siakam and Anunoby take massive strides this year. In all honesty the best move would likely be to trade their expiring contracts (Lowry, Gasol and Ibaka) for futures and try to rebuild but thatís a tough thing to do right after winning a championship.
Toronto with their current roster is absolutely a playoff team. Kawhi Leonard only played sixty games, and they were 17-5 when he wasn't playing.

Of course they're not as good and would be a huge longshot to win the title again, but this is a 49-33 team as constituted. Not fabulous, but a good team with playoff experience that could win some playoff series. It's not like the East is all that strong.

Dumping everyone is really not a good idea. It would move up the future championship window a little, maybe. It would DEFINITELY, however, sever a lot of faith with the fans. Ujiri would be turning the 2019-2020 Raptors into the 1998 Florida Marlins, who were a total disaster one year after winning it all. It's often forgotten now but the Marlins, who now are a dumpster fire of a sports franchise, really didn't have bad attendance prior to the 1998 tank; they did well in the inaugural season of course, but from 1994-1996 weren't too shabby at all for a bad team in a football stadium coming out of a strike, and then were fine in the World Series year. The 1998 tank absolutely wrecked them; their attendance has NEVER come back, even when the team was good, even when winning another World Series in 2003. The Raptors have a lot of fan goodwill even having lost the bidding war for Kawhi. That goodwill is worth a FORTUNE, as much as one or two Grade A free agency signings.

Taking another shot at it in 2019-2020 is worth it. Sure, they probably won't win it all, but let's be honest, the odds are against you even if you have Kawhi Leonard.
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  #91  
Old 07-08-2019, 05:19 PM
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There's rumored to be 4 potential destinations for Westbrook....

4. The Rockets. I call bullshit. The pattern seems to be that the Rockets GM basically wants them mentioned in every single discussion about a big name talent so he leaks that to his cadre of lap dogs. None of these rumors ever pan out and they just don't make any sense on the court or financially. File this with the rest of the fake news. I have no idea what the benefit to the Rockets is having this shit floating out there.
Neither do I, or most other Rockets fans. Most of us are tired of the bullshit and puffery. Do a deal, then talk.

The Rockets need rebounding, defense, and 3pt shooting. Westbrook sucks at all of those. (Most of his boards, I think, are simply taken from other players on his team. I don't think he increases the number of boards your team gets. I could be wrong.)

Another destination I'd heard is the Pistons, to pair with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. Lots of expirings and picks that Detroit could use, and OKC would want. Would probably piss Russ off too.

Last edited by Gray Ghost; 07-08-2019 at 05:20 PM. Reason: What is a "Pisron", Auto-Correct?
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Old 07-08-2019, 06:01 PM
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RickJay, this topic came up on the Simmons podcast over the weekend. To paraphrase, they believe that Ujiri has been chomping at the bit to do a ground-up rebuild basically since he got the job. That he'd been wanting to fire Casey for years but he kept winning too many games. The implication being that Kawhi leaving after winning a title gives him all the air-cover he needs to part out the organization in preparation for a Sixers style reboot.

Your point about the Marlins situation is worth considering for sure, but I don't think the Raptors are really in the same boat. MLB rebuilds back then almost never happened as a result of a to-the-studs tear down, today we've seen it and fans are accepting usually, but back then it simply wasn't done. Teams spent their way into contention. Also, the Marlins ownership was a dumpster fire for lots and lots of reasons at the time all of which played a large role in the fan attrition. I think it's unreasonable to attribute the entire decline to their firesale. The Cubs and Astros cratered (not after a WS admittedly) and their fans tolerated it fine. The Sixers fans seem to be happy with the dividends of the Process. I give Raptors fans the benefit of the doubt here.

Last edited by Omniscient; 07-08-2019 at 06:02 PM.
  #93  
Old 07-09-2019, 07:54 AM
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There's rumored to be 4 potential destinations for Westbrook.

2. The Heat. I don't quite understand how they were able to make the Butler trade happen and yet people seem to think they still have the assets and can somehow clear the space to make this massive deal happen. It makes the most sense from a media standpoint I think, the Heat would be must-see-tv. Westbroook and Butler together would either be a great pairing because of their similar intensity and no-bullshit attitudes or be a disaster for the same reasons. What would a Butler-Westbrook backcourt look like? I can't even.
I am still scratching my head as to why Butler opted to leave a team that will contend for the Eastern Conference for a considerably lesser team for less money. Butler did say (essentially) that "$140mil is plenty" but also that "he wanted to win" and Miami is not going to win anything despite his presence. Getting Westbrook is one way this team can move up in the standings, but not sure they could share the ball enough for Jimmy to be "the man"...
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:44 PM
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Your point about the Marlins situation is worth considering for sure, but I don't think the Raptors are really in the same boat. MLB rebuilds back then almost never happened as a result of a to-the-studs tear down, today we've seen it and fans are accepting usually, but back then it simply wasn't done.
It's never been done, ever, immediately after winning the championship. There is no example of anyone else doing that except the '98 Marlins. Teams have torn themselves apart to start over, like the Sixers did not long ago, but the Sixers weren't coming off a title.

Toronto is a better basketball market than Miami is a baseball market, but there would still be an enormous long term loss of revenue. Certainly the fans in Toronto seem extremely disinterested in paying to see a rebuilding baseball team (not Miami disinterested, but still.)

It's also weirdly unnecessary. Most of the money is off the books after 2019-2020, so you may as well take a crack at it and then start over. They aren't going to get a king's ransom trading away the likes of Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka.

That said, I do not know offhand what's available on the free agent market after 2019-2020, which alters (or not) the rebuild plans. If Gasol, Lowry and Ibaka can be partially replaced with quality free agents (Demar is available!) and the team's getting development out of Spicy P, OG and Fred, trying to ramp a 48-34 team into a 55-win team might be possible. If the FA cupboard is bare, a longer term approach may be necessary.
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Old 07-09-2019, 03:14 PM
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Upon the retirement of Nowitzki and assuming Udonis Haslem retires from being a Heat player, Russell Westbrook (draft class of '08) will be the player with the longest tenure on the same team in the league, according to my research.

If Westbrook is traded, then it will be Stephen Curry (class of '09).
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:37 PM
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It's never been done, ever, immediately after winning the championship. There is no example of anyone else doing that except the '98 Marlins. Teams have torn themselves apart to start over, like the Sixers did not long ago, but the Sixers weren't coming off a title.
'98 Bulls.

Quote:
That said, I do not know offhand what's available on the free agent market after 2019-2020, which alters (or not) the rebuild plans. If Gasol, Lowry and Ibaka can be partially replaced with quality free agents (Demar is available!) and the team's getting development out of Spicy P, OG and Fred, trying to ramp a 48-34 team into a 55-win team might be possible. If the FA cupboard is bare, a longer term approach may be necessary.
There's little worse than being in NBA limbo. Winning 40-50 games year after year is a great way to become the Knicks or Wizards. This is what most GMs have learned: try and win it all or rebuild, there is no middle path. There isn't a scenario where this Kawhi-less Raptors team can legitimately compete for a title. The West is loaded, again, and they aren't getting past a healthy Nets, Sixers, Bucks or Celtics. As a Bulls fan, I really hope the Raptors try and reload. Best thing in the world for the up and comers in the East.
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:48 PM
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'98 Bulls.
And how has that turned out for the Bulls, long term?
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:17 PM
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There's little worse than being in NBA limbo. Winning 40-50 games year after year is a great way to become the Knicks or Wizards. This is what most GMs have learned: try and win it all or rebuild, there is no middle path.
Eh, everyone says that - the Gospel of Hinkie has been widely spread in the media and fandom - but I don't think the facts bear this out. The Raptors were a thoroughly middle class team for a half dozen years. Per the conventional wisdom quoted above, they were doing the wrong thing, and should have broken down their team (which could never have won a title as it was constructed). But instead, they kept retooling, kept their team competitive, and were therefore in a position to grab Kawhi when he became available and immediately become a title contender. The Clippers never did a total breakdown - their record has been above .500 every season since 2011 - and therefore were well equipped to jump from a middle-class non-contender to a title favorite.

Meanwhile, the teams that have really bottomed out have struggled, because in the modern NBA the best players are going to go where they want to go, and mostly they don't want to go to garbage teams. How did bottoming out and clearing a ton of cap space work out for the Knicks? The new path to success, I think, is to plant yourself firmly IN NBA limbo, where you can convince a top player or two that you have the infrastructure to support an immediate title run.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:41 AM
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'98 Bulls.
I forgot about the Bulls, but in fairness that wasn't really on purpose.

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There's little worse than being in NBA limbo. Winning 40-50 games year after year is a great way to become the Knicks or Wizards.
Well, as Storyteller points out, you are precisely describing the Raptors prior to this year, who BECAUSE they remained a very good but not quite good enough team were positioned to strike. Had they retooled a few years ago, we wouldn't have had a parade in Toronto. Now the Clippers have done exactly the same thing; they maintained a pretty good team for years, and now they have some serious firepower and have to be considered a threat to win it all. One could argue the 2011 Mavs are a similar case, though they did make the Finals in 2006. The LeBron Heat were already a mid-40s-win team when they grabbed him; it is rather unlikely he'd have joined them if they stank.

It is objectively hard to prove what the right approach is when we're in a superteam era; every got crushed by either the Warriors or Lebron for years, so it's hard to gauge whether a team was "Successful" in their approach or not.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:48 PM
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Eh, everyone says that - the Gospel of Hinkie has been widely spread in the media and fandom - but I don't think the facts bear this out. The Raptors were a thoroughly middle class team for a half dozen years. Per the conventional wisdom quoted above, they were doing the wrong thing, and should have broken down their team (which could never have won a title as it was constructed). But instead, they kept retooling, kept their team competitive, and were therefore in a position to grab Kawhi when he became available and immediately become a title contender. The Clippers never did a total breakdown - their record has been above .500 every season since 2011 - and therefore were well equipped to jump from a middle-class non-contender to a title favorite.

Meanwhile, the teams that have really bottomed out have struggled, because in the modern NBA the best players are going to go where they want to go, and mostly they don't want to go to garbage teams. How did bottoming out and clearing a ton of cap space work out for the Knicks? The new path to success, I think, is to plant yourself firmly IN NBA limbo, where you can convince a top player or two that you have the infrastructure to support an immediate title run.
I'm not sure what the answer is either. The Rockets under Daryl Morey weren't allowed to tank by ownership. Accordingly, ever since he showed up before the 2007 season, they too never dipped below .500, though they did miss the playoffs for the 2009-2011 seasons. Probably would still be in limbo without the Harden trade. Lots of good, undervalued, complementary players, but no stars until Harden. Though I guess you can make an argument for 2007 being the last hurrah for the Yao-McGrady duo, and Yao gutting it out a full season in 2008.

I imagine they'll go the Hinkie route once the Chris Paul contract plays out, and Harden is traded to a contender. May happen after this year, depending.
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