2018 NBA Offseason

I think all the big free agents are signed. LeBron to the Lakers, of course. Boogie Cousins goes to Golden State, will be interesting to see how that plays out. DeAndre Jordan signs with Dallas - they get their revenge just a couple years after the Clippers held Jordan hostage to avoid losing him to the Mavs.

All this means the West will be even more dominant than it already was. The Celtics should sleepwalk to the Finals. I do think Toronto got the better of the Kawhi for DeRozen trade, but still think they’re a step behind Boston.

Anything else noteworthy happening this offseason?

I think Milwaukee should have been more active and aggressive. The East is wide open, more so than maybe ever before, and they have a transcendent, legit superstar in Giannis, but their second best player is-- I have no idea. Eric Bledsoe?

Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets. Which isn’t really here or there, except that about two weeks after 'Melo’s official signing, the Rocket’s defensive-minded assistant coach, Jeff Bzedlik, announced his retirement. Bzedlik coached 'Melo in Denver for his first year and a half, before 'Melo assisted (allegedly) in getting Bzedlik canned. IIRC, Bzedlik also coached Anthony in New York while D’Antoni was the head coach. And both of them got canned there too.

I think Bzedlik tried to reach out and coach up Carmelo in this work-up to the official start of the NBA pre-season, and after trying decided to say, “Fuck It,” to the idea of getting Anthony to buy into playing defense. Guess the third time was not the charm.

Which doesn’t bode well for the Rockets this upcoming season. To recap, they lost two decent defenders in Luc Mbah a Moute’ and Trevor Ariza, and replaced them with Carmelo Anthony, James Ennis, and a head case in Marquese Chriss. Though I think P.J. Tucker is going to get a lot of minutes playing next to Capela, which leaves 'Melo to play the 3, I guess.

Oh well, I guess they can still try to trade for Jimmy Butler (LOL) or the gigantic contract of Otto Porter, Jr. Though I drool at the idea of Porter shooting threes in this offense.

Sacramento has a weird depth chart. I’ve noticed the last few years they seem to have an excess of bigs on their roster. At the moment it’s really something. They have 3 of their very recent 1st round draft picks who are bigs, all of whom more or less have untapped potential they will aim to develop, and their lotto pick from 2015. They have a center who has been in the league 2 years they acquired from Memphis; he’s a former 2nd round pick who showed improvement last season. They have Randolph and Koufos, 2 veteran bigs who have always been rotation players. That’s 7 players who are limited to playing power forward and/or center. Then they signed Nemanja Bjelica, who was going to sign with the Sixers and that fell through, his return to Europe was aborted, and Vlade corralled him on a 3 year contract. I suppose they’ll play Bjelica as a SF on the perimeter and he may have been passable there 15 or 20 years ago with the relative athletic abilities of the time but he’s probably not a good fit there in the modern NBA since Minnesota used him as a PF. It won’t happen but I could envision a rotation where these 8 guys were each allotted 12 minutes per game.

Oooh yeah, Harden and Melo on the floor together could lead to 300 total point games. I always thought Melo deserved a little more credit for getting the Nuggets to the '09 Western Conference Finals and playing a pretty good series against the Lakers. Too bad that losing effort was his best NBA accomplishment.

I don’t much follow Milwaukee, did they try to resign Jabari Parker? He had a hard time staying healthy, but was productive when on the floor. Chicago probably overspent for him at $20M a year.

If 'Melo can’t succeed here, in this offense, with the looks Harden and Paul will give him, he can’t do it anywhere. Hopefully he’ll be serviceable defensively. It’ll force teams to defend the Rockets in places other than the “3-point line and near the basket” that good teams have used to slow down the Rockets defense. I think 'Melo is still a decent mid-range shooter

Milwaukee is interesting. Still the Greek Freak and Khris Middleton, but let’s see if Brook Lopez has anything in the tank either defensively or offensively. Or if Brogdon can combine his '16-'17 AST/TO form with the following year’s scoring form. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make the Conference Semis, to be honest. It’s the East, after all.

Don’t know. I don’t follow Milwaukee either, but the few times I get to see the Bucks play, I see Giannis flying around the court, and his teammates just sort of standing around watching him (not that I necessarily blame them; he really is a freak). The kid is completely unguardable, and he needs more help.

I think Boston should be the favorites, but I don’t know about “sleepwalk.” The Raptors and 76ers should be contenders as well, in fact it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Celtics weren’t the East champion this year.

Unlike the Warriors.

That’s true, I kinda forgot that Philly is good now.

Kawhi forced his way out of San Antonio and now Jimmy Butler has requested to be traded by Minnesota. Wow, just wow.

The fucking Blazers let Ed Davis go. He’s been their primary 2nd half defense, the muscle under the basket, and the driving force late in the games. But at least they still have fucking Myers Leonard warming the bench and doing almost nothing else for his millions. Idiots. I don’t look for them to even win 40 this season.

Mark Cuban must donate $10 mil to women’s charities due to the culture of the Mavericks


I am really puzzled by Butler’s decision-making here, and in particular his apparent enthusiasm for being traded to the Clippers. What’s the long-term plan? I mean, the Clippers are a lottery team right now; adding Butler to their roster makes them, in the West, a somewhat better lottery team - and that’s without accounting for whatever talent goes to Minnesota in a possible deal. I can’t see how they compete for the playoffs even with Butler, but since their first-round pick would surely be a component of any deal the losing won’t even benefit them.

So now Butler is signed to a long term contract with a lottery team that has no lottery picks. The idea seems to be that either Kawhi Leonard or Kyrie Irving will join him after the season, but that’s a pretty big risk for Butler to take. Leonard and Irving will both be playing in the LeBron-less East for the first time in their careers, and they may like it an awful lot. If the Celtic coast to the Finals or even win (longshot, yes, but you never know), Kyrie may decide to stay put. As for Leonard, why would he go to Los Angeles to play with Jimmy Butler and a bunch of chaff instead of taking the same max contract to play in the same city with LeBron and Brandon Ingram?

He picked three teams( that don’t have LeBron on them, who he apparently doesn’t want to play with )that can afford to give him a max contract next year and just happen to be in Los Angeles or in and around NYC. It looks like it is mostly a matter of $$$ with a little bit of big market location thrown in for good measure.

I… guess? Maybe it’s just that in the current era most players seem to be chasing positive basketball situations first, and to see a guy pursuing a move to what would almost surely be a significantly worse team with much less chance of ever winning is unusual.

Does it seem like the NBA preseason lasts a long time? Regular season starts October 16.

I’m also confused by the Jimmy Butler situation. Not sure what he gains, he might be sitting out for a while if teams aren’t all that interested in trading for him. And if I’m the T-wolves I would just let him sit rather than trade him for nothing.

Portland lost it’s preseason opener. This doesn’t bode well for their bench players. When Meyers Leonard is the high scorer, the rest must really suck. Hey, but at least they now have Seth Curry, Steph’s younger, less talented brother to inspire the bench out of their usual torpor. Who knows, perhaps a star will rise. I had hoped that Zach Collins would put on some muscle over the summer. He’s still a 7’ rail with a lot of heart, but that doesn’t really help when you’re banging under the basket with the big boys.

Last year, my Indiana Pacers had only one nationally-televised regular-season game: A home game against Oklahoma City, in which Paul George returned to Indy for the first time as an opponent. We weren’t expected to be any good at all; even the most optimistic Pacers fan probably wouldn’t have dreamed we’d win 48 games and take Cleveland to Game 7 in the first round.

This year, with heightened expectations, we get 14 nationally-televised games, so this Pacers fan living in Virginia can see roughly one Pacers game in five, and that ain’t bad.

Incidentally: A few years ago, I went to a sports-apparel store looking for Pacers gear, and the guy blinked at me and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever met a Pacers fan before.”

As the only Nuggets fan in the Midwest, I feel you. The Nuggs, by the way, have a pretty nice young core of players, but I have no illusions of anything close to competing for a championship. Like the past few years, their best case outcome is to compete for the 8th seed in the West.