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Time to Shave the Beard — Are James Harden’s Days in Houston Numbered?

2020.10.23 00:38 TheTipOff Time to Shave the Beard — Are James Harden’s Days in Houston Numbered?

James Harden will go down as one of the greatest scorers in NBA history, maybe even the best. But with the departure of both Coach Mike D’Antoni and General Manager Daryl Morey, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Rockets begin to rebuild without the help from one of the franchise’s all time bests.
For years, the Rockets under GM Daryl Morey have gone all in into trying to win a championship. From trading for James Harden in 2012, to signing Dwight Howard in 2013, trading for Chris Paul in 2017, and finally Russell Westbrook in 2019, Houston has never backed down from a challenge. This was never more apparent than during Golden State’s complete domination of the NBA landscape from 2015–2019. Outside of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston seemed to be the only team willing to challenge the Warriors, and they pushed them to their brink; culminating in a 3–2 series lead over them in the Western Conference Finals in 2018. If it wasn’t for a Chris Paul hamstring injury and a historic choke job in Game 7, the Rockets may have advanced and taken down (a very weak) Lebron James and Cleveland Cavaliers to win a title. But here in 2020, on the bank of a 4–1 second round loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, those days could not be further away.
Now the Rockets have a huge decision to make, just one summer after trading for superstar Russell Westbrook and half a season into going all in on “micro-ball”, it could be argued the Rockets should tear it all down. Do they finally cave in and commit to a rebuild — leading to them (most likely) parting ways with both Russell Westbrook and James Harden? Or do they give it another try? Or is it a combination of the two
How can the Rockets stay competitive?
Rocket's Depth Chart
The biggest trademark of this Rockets group is the fact that they push the idea of “pace and space” to the extreme. With the second fastest pace, the highest three point attempted percentage (half of their shots being threes), and with no traditional center in their rotation, they looked to offset the lack of size by overwhelming teams with their shooting. And in the beginning, it was working. Clint Capela was traded from the Rockets to the Hawks on February 5th 2020, and between then and the restart, they went a respectable 8–5. That period included impressive wins over the top seeded Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz and the Celtics again (this time in overtime). However, things changed in the bubble and the Rockets only went 4–4 in the seeding games, before being pushed to the brink by an over performing Thunder team, and then eventually losing to the Lakers in 5. It is important to note it was rumored that both Russell Westbrook and James Harden had COVID-19 during the hiatus, potentially leading to them not being as fit as possible for the playoffs.
During that Lakers series, it became more and more apparent that the Rockets advantage in shooting was not going to offset the humongous size differential. For context, the Rockets lined up with 6'5" PJ Tucker at center, while the Lakers lined up with 7'0" JaVale McGee. Even when the Lakers “went small” by benching both McGee and Dwight Howard later on into the series, the height between Markieff Morris (6'8"), Anthony Davis (6'10") and LeBron James (6'8") just tortured the Rockets. If the Rockets want to stay competitive, they’re going to need at least a competent center.
Houston doesn’t need to break the bank for a big guy, they just need a big who can, simply put, be big. Looking at the Boston Celtics for example, they’re also a team hinged on the play from their guards and forwards. But what sets them apart from the Rockets is that they have an adequate enough big man rotation between Daniel Thies, Enes Kanter, Grant Williams and Robert Williams. They all provide them with enough size so that the Celtics do not get battered inside every night. Even taking a look at the Rockets biggest enemy, the Golden State Warriors, where even during their dominant rule over the NBA, they never had a true dominant big man. There are a plethora of big options on the free agency market that can all come in and play 15–20 minutes a night and do their job.
Is trading Russell Westbrook possible?
Going back to that semi-dominant run the Rockets had at the beginning of their small ball era, Russell Westbrook was at the heart of it, playing the best basketball of his career. In the month of February, Westbrook played in 8 games and averaged 33.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, while shooting a staggering 55% from the field — a level of efficiency almost unheard of in Westbrook’s career. This was due to the increased amount of space he had to attack without Clint Capela on the floor. With Capela on the floor, the Rockets had two non shooters (him and Westbrook), making it easier for opponents to help on Harden. Without Capela however, Westbrook saw more spread pick and rolls and had more space to attack than ever before in his career — and the results were positive.
Big Man Russ
However, all of that went out the window the moment the playoffs started. Westbrook missed the first 4 games of the playoffs as he nursed a quad injury, and he never looked the same once he came back, averaging only 17 points on 42% shooting in 8 games. At this moment in time, the Westbrook on display pre lockdown seems like a distant memory, and his value is dropping lower and lower. Westbrook will be owed as much as $46 million a year under his current contract (assuming he picks up his player option in 2022–23), which ends when he turns 34.
All of this is coupled with the fact that the Rockets have zero tradable assets to package alongside Westbrook and that it seems more and more likely he will be sticking around for at least next season. However, that may not be a bad outcome for the Rockets, because if any team is equipped with the shooting to space the floor for Westbrook, it’s them. They’ve proved they can build a team that gets the most out of him, it’s just a matter of developing it in the right way, and before his eventual decline (which depending on who you ask, may have already started).
The Big Question: Where does that leave James Harden?
James Harden is the life that drives this Houston Rockets team. From the moment he became a Rocket in 2012, he has exploded onto the scene, winning 3 scoring titles, the 2018 NBA MVP, the 2017 assist title and 7 All Star nods. He’s accomplished almost everything you can ask of a player from an individual standpoint. When it comes to putting the ball in the basket, Harden is among the NBA’s all time best. Harden is one of only 4 players to win 3 straight scoring titles since the NBA-ABA merger in 1979, the others being George Gervin, former teammate Kevin Durant, and arguably the greatest ever, Michael Jordan. And there’s no reason to think Harden can’t rack up another couple before he eventually retires. With that being said, and for as good of a scorer Harden is, he does have a couple big flaws in his game.
One big criticism of Harden in the past has been his defense. There are countless clips on the Internet of Harden in his days with the Thunder and early Rockets days of him not moving on defense at all, suggesting he’s a poor and lazy defender. But to his credit, he has stepped up in a big way the past couple seasons. Ironically enough, this is most highlighted most in (what used to be) the one game where no one played defense — the All Star game.
DPOY Sequence by James Harden
Another big criticism of Harden is that he stands around on offense if he doesn’t have the ball, making it easier for the defense to zone up the weak side. However, the Rockets do have a fair share of plays that get Harden coming off screens and running into a catch, but it is a fair criticism of him to say he doesn’t help his teammates if he doesn’t have the ball. This is even more pressing of an issue when Westbrook also needs the ball in his hands to be more effective, due to his low three point percentage (career 31% and 26% in 2019–20). This begs the question; How good could the Rockets be if Westbrook had the keys to the offense? Building further on that, how good could the Rockets be if they had Westbrook and another All Star level piece who compliments his game as opposed to Harden?
The last time Westbrook had full control over an offense, he won MVP in 2017, while averaging a 31.6 points, 10.7 assists and 10.4 rebounds per game, breaking the single season record for triple doubles (42). However, the Thunder did get bounced in the first round of those playoffs, funnily enough to the Rockets, and on top of that, it may be too much to assume Westbrook will play to that capability three years later. However, what that Thunder team didn’t have was another All-Star caliber piece to give Westbrook some help, and that’s the type of player the Rockets would demand back in any potential Harden trade.
What could a James Harden trade look like?
Harden for quality phili role players
Star swap with Phili
One potential rumored destination for James Harden are the Philadelphia 76ers. In this scenario, a trade package would either be formed around All NBA center Joel Embiid, or around former All Star Al Horford and any combination of Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle. In either case, the Rockets would be reloading rather than rebuilding, giving Westbrook a big who can play off his strengths better than the ball dominant James Harden. It’s important to note all of these suggested trades are not set in stone, but rather mere estimations of potentially the value the Rockets could get out of Harden.
Another interesting trade partner for the Rockets could be the Indiana Pacers. With a log jam in the front court with Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis plus the rumored exit of Victor Oladipo, the Pacers could send one of those bigs plus Oladipo (and potentially another piece) to the Rockets for Harden. No matter the trade, it would seem likely the Rockets would be getting a talented big man, assuming they would want to move away from the micro ball experiment.
Big Balls Pacers Trade
On the flip side, if the Rockets wanted to continue to play small ball while also shopping James Harden, an interesting trade partner could be the Los Angeles Clippers, in order to potentially reunite Westbrook with former teammate Paul George. George, who also had his struggles in the playoffs this year, played his best basketball alongside Westbrook in Oklahoma City, finishing third in MVP voting in 2019. Of course, the Clippers would need to give up a couple more pieces in order to obtain James Harden, but having the defensive minded George playing alongside Westbrook again could spark the Rockets into a new era.
Harden for every Clipper except Kawhi
However, a trade like this would have it’s issues. For one, Paul George and Russell Westbrook never made it past the first round in either of the two season they played together, losing to Utah and Portland in 2018 and 2019. And as previously mentioned, both players are coming off poor showing in the playoffs, suggesting they may not be the best fit alongside one another if the Rockets hope to make it deep in the playoffs. But that still doesn’t change the fact that it could be a very interesting trade that could give the fans in Houston something new to cheer about. On top of that, the additions of Zubac and Shamet give the Rockets some young pieces that can grow in the future. This is desperately needed in Houston considering their youngest player is 23 year old Chris Clemons, who played 9 minutes in 33 games this year.
The Verdict: Will James Harden be traded?
The short answer: probably not.
The long answer: it depends on the direction the Rockets choose. With inexperienced Rafael Stone being promoted into Morey’s job, it may suggest the Rockets want to start anew, but it will probably come down to who they hire as a head coach. If they go with a more experienced coach (either Van Gundy brother), it may signal their decision to run it back. But on the flip side, if they go with former player Sam Cassell, it may signal the beginning of the rebuild.
At the end of the day, James Harden will go down as one of the greatest Rockets of all time — with or without a title to his name. It would seem silly for the Rockets to just give up on him when he wasn’t the issue for the Rockets in the playoffs (averaging almost 30 a game in the playoffs just passed). However, with almost no assets and 0 young pieces on the roster, if the Rockets do choose to rebuild, pawning off Westbrook and Harden might become necessary in order to avoid becoming one of the worst franchises in the NBA in the foreseeable future.
In any case, changes will be coming to the Houston Rockets. Whether that be geared towards tearing the foundation of this team down, or making slight tweaks, keep an eye out for what a new front office could do to the Rockets. As for James Harden, he should feel relatively safe about his position in Houston, but in the NBA, you just never know.
*all stats were found on unless stated otherwise
*game footage and photos used are not owned by me, they are property of the NBA is used for educational purposes
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2020.10.16 18:06 mattman456 Game theory podcast on sixers offseason

Starts at 25 min mark.
-Starts at making fun of our roster. Says that they don’t wanna resign any of our FAs but might have to just to field enough players.
-Don’t see Zhaire doing anything this year. Says missing on him is cancelled out by Thybulle and shake. “Hitting on Shake saved the franchise”. Need someone better than shake to be the ball handler and needs to be able to create shots for themselves.
-Needs to trade one of Horford or Harris at least. Part tax bill part doesn’t fit. Harris is the worse contract so will probably move Horford and picks.
-Shitting on Tobias. Sixers were begging him to create in the first round and he just couldn’t or wouldn’t. Is that who he is or will he add that? They seem to agree that he is who he is and he won’t be able to be a creator. They think he will be a good fit in a Rivers system. He’s a play finisher, not a creator and because of that he is in no way worth the contract. They guess that it would take 5 picks to move off of the contract.
-Horford is a negative contract but they say that if he was a free agent he would get 2years 30-40 million. He would look better literally anywhere else. Philly made him look so much worse. Would NO swap Jrue for horford + picks? Probably not since it doesn’t make sense for NO.
-would Charlotte trade for horford so they don’t have to draft a center at 3? Rozier for horford 21 36 is proposed. They say it’s not enough for Charlotte to do it. Doesn’t really make sense unless they wanna add a veteran to grow the young players but believe there is more upside to Rozier, but if philly can pull it off they love Roziers fit in Philly. Another theory is that Charlotte takes LaMelo at 3 and horford is a great PnR partner for him.
-draft talk not involving us...
-buddy hield talk. Horford 21 for hield is realistic. LaRoux thinks hield contract is disastrous but that doesn’t matter to philly. More valuable to replace horford. Rozier should be the first choice though.
-is there a way to bring Corey Joseph over with hield? Would you play Joseph over Milton? They believe Milton is the better player for Philly. Hield being out there would make Ben being the lead ball handler better.
-problems with Philly are more about Ben and Joel than anything else. No flexibility and the team doesn’t make sense around them. They’re locked in financially to a bad roster. They’re going to have to give up long term assests to fix it.
-they will have the MLE and can look to get Augustin, Teague, or others that may be able to get them a competent guard and help slightly. They’re going to need to work the margins expertly to fix this. Reggie Jackson is another name brought up.
-“they’re in a really really bad spot right now and it’s a bummer because of how much potential this team had the last few years”
-If the sixers are able to draft the correct players they can fix the roster without trading and possibly reshape the roster. They are most likely going to HAVE to lose picks to get rid of money. Suggest holding on to picks in case you want to move up and get a player in the draft you love and figure the rest out later. They really want the sixers to move up and get Terry.
-Them being in win now mode through Ben Simmons rookie contract and that is unfair to ben. Can they handle another year of this being a bridge year to them being able to compete? Because of money and rushing the process, it will be tough. They need to show growth. They need to be higher than the 6th seed at minimum. Bringing in a new coach may be enough to do that. Turn Joel into more of a high post face up attacker.
-“fans may turn on ownership to the point that they are rioting in the streets”. -final word on Philly.
YEEESH. If Rozier is your savior and there is talk of riots it’s not looking good. See y’all in the finals!
Edit: so to clarify a few things I did a poor job of explaining. 1. The hosts are split on if Charlotte would even want to get horford, but believe he is the better option here than buddy. They do think it’s possible for Philly to pull off, but it’s gonna be a hard sell and cards need to fall in their favor.
  1. Both hosts believe that holding on to and using the draft picks is the best option for the future of the team, but because of the tax bill they just don’t believe it’s gonna happen. They think the owners will force a trade with at least one of al or tobi.
  2. Sam has always been high on the sixers and is very upset with the FO so a little bit of this may be personal bias lol. He is a very good draft guy though, anything he says about the draft you should listen to. He knows his shit and has a really good track record. If you’re unfamiliar with him, he will sometimes track players in high school and give you stats on them and stuff. Dude is very good at that.
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2020.09.29 14:41 eduvina Joel Embiid for Paul George trade?

Obviously this is hypothetical and I’ll breakdown on why both teams may agree to this trade. There are only two contingencies in this deal which are obviously needed for this deal to push through
  1. Kawhi throws PG under the bus and wants new partner in crime
  2. Sixers fully commits on building around Simmons
Now, if you won’t buy into this contingency, I’m pretty sure you’ll disagree and it’s okay. Even ESPN experts look stupid when things already play out anyway.
Now going back, assuming the 2 contigencies are established, this will be beneficial for both teams. I believe a fair deal would be
Clippers gives Paul George and Landry Shamet for Sixers’ Joel Embiid
Why Clippers will do it?
  1. Aside from the contigency that Kawhi wants to move on with PG, it makes sense to have a big man as his partner to win another championship. As this playoff tells us, teams with 2 players playing the same role didn’t reach that far. The farthest one was Celtics’ Tatum and Brown. As much as having 2 two-way players in the wing, it’s not as efficient as having all facets covered.
  2. Embiid fits their timeline. As opposed to what PG said, it’s championship or bust for a player like Kawhi. They are riped and ready to win. They’re not like the Nuggets whose stars are still figuring it out. With Embiid being in his peak, he and Kawhi can dominate the playoffs. This also gives the Clippers a few more years to contend. Remember they gave all their picks to the wizard Presti. Another reason is they can load manage Embiid as well together with Kawhi. The Clippers had been willing to give Kawhi the luxury of resting regular season games and they still managed to be fine. With Lou and Morris on the team, they can win some games with either Kawhi or Embiid. Their regular season record may not be promising but this squad in the playoffs will be scary first round opponent.
  3. Everyone knows their role. Assuming they let go of Harrell, I think their next priority is bagging Marcus Morris. Their lineup will be Beverley-Mann-Kawhi-Morris-Embiid with Lou as their 6th man. Mann may raise a lot of eyebrows but they gotta give Shamet back to the Sixers. Besides, Mann has shown potential during his time with the Clippers last season. Lou will still get the majority of the minutes while Jackson is a steady point guard off the bench as well. Keeping Green and Jackson will complete the squad. This is a more complete team rather than they fielded this year. They can easily attract cheap veterans to complete the holes anyway. Matthews and Bradley will be their ideal signing this offseason.
Why Sixers will do it?
  1. Aside from the contigency that Sixers will wanna build around Simmons, he’s a better player to build around with. I know you may be raising your eyebrows with this. But with the current situation the Sixers fell into, it’s just hard to build around Embiid. The Horford deal pretty much ties them up with flexibility during Embiid’s peak. With an option to have PG, I think they’ll consider this seriously. Going back, it’s hard to build around Simmons and Embiid because they’re gonna need shooters. Unfortunately, their 2 next highest paid players are lane cloggers. Harris and Horford are both talented and will win games but it’s proven they can’t be a serious contender with this lineup. Even with Simmons healthy, I doubt they’ll win against Celtics. With Embiid gone, they can maximize Horford as well at the 5. The market has an abundance of bigs this season anyway so they can easily fill their bench with a decent big.
  2. More responsibility for Simmons. I believe he is ready to take on the next step especially if he gets a little boost from the management and build around him to complement his skillset. He’s a legit 2 way player and having an all star wing with him will make his job easier. Let’s say the lineup will be Simmons-Richardson-PG13-Harris-Horford with Melton, Matisse, Korkmaz, and Shamet on the bench. The starting lineup is more balanced and everyone can shoot. The spacing for Simmons to operate will be easier and they will also able to maximize Horford and Harris. Horford as the screener and Tobias as their secondary shot creator. Everyone is talented in the lineup and they can complement each other better. Their bench is filled mostly with guards but it’s okay since Simmons will gladly accept the 4 position now. They can field a lineup of Melton-Shamet-PG-Simmons-Horford and they’ll be fine. As I’ve said earlier, big is the last of their problem. There’s Noel, Baynes, Poetl, Gasol, Millsap, Ibaka, Whitside to name a few. Really depends on their budget.
  3. MVPG13 season for PG. It’s not a coincidence that PG’s best season was with the Thunder with Russ. The offense is built around him and Russ and he is able to play off ball with Russ handling and creating plays. This can be replicated with Simmons around this time. Westbrook may have more usage but Simmons is far more effective than Russ. It’s also a good thing that he’ll have Harris as their 3rd scorer as opposed to Adams. Also, PG13 will have more offensive options as well without a big clogging up the lane. Horford is as smart as Adams as well so that’s a plus. This team is also filled with shooters and great role players to complement HIS game. It’s gonna be Simmons AND PG’s team.
Overall, both teams fail this season despite having an all star lineup because of how their team is built. Remember that 19-20 Celtics outperformed 18-19 Celtics despite them literally having an additional Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, Al Horford, Aaron Baynes in their roster. Won’t do much research but I’m pretty sure that will sum up to close to 50 ppg from these 5. It’s because guys like Smart and Brown were utilized more this season and know their role. I believe it will have the same effect on both of this teams next conference.
It’s a blockbuster trade and is pretty much not gonna happen but it’s fun to create scenarios like this. Who knows. One scout reading this may give them an idea to do it. Or maybe Kawhi sees the upside of this trade. Who knows haha. What do you guys think?
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2020.09.15 00:29 RFFF1996 The strawhat crew as a basketball team

So mixing one piece and other thinghs i like in my head is one of my favorite time killers and one of my prefered picks for this is basketball which prompted me to maje this semiserious analysis and share it with you guys.
In this thread i will use real life player examples and use basketball concepts but will do what i can for it to not sound like martian language
i will subjectively consider amd weight many thinghs about the character for this comparisions
height: a charactert like luffy will be a short guard, a character like kaido will be a big center, and everythingh in between
body composition/body mass. one piece proportions are all over the place and making Franky a "3"/or wing perimeter player (in basketball players are roughly divided by size between a small "1" up to a big "5") and katakuri a "5"/center makes sense for their actual relative height but not for their body composition so i wont be conpletely literal with heights but try to look for players that fit that character body as much as i can with real humans and one piece characters
talent level=power level (roughly). i will try to keep some relation between the strongest one piece characters, next tier of characters to next tier of players, people like ussopp to role players etc
personality and kind of power or fighting style, character intelligemce etc will be equated as much as possible to the characteristics of a player
when possible i will try to keep age difference to an extent, so whitebeard will conpared to older players versus shanks to a younger generation and luffy to the next one etc
part 1 of this: the strawhat crew
Monkey D luffy: isaiah thomas (2017)/derrick rose(2011) combo. this was hard and i also thought about kirye irving
luffy is 5'9 which is around the smaller height someone has made an all star and a big weakness in basketball. so i decided to tweak him a bit
isaiah thomas in 2017 is the best player at luffy height ever, but i want luffy "power level" to go a steo higher than mr clutch (and if possible not to have career ruining injuries too)
this luffy was supposed to join the league at 19 (like real life nba players usually do) but did it at 21 instead and grows a bit more through these two years to, lets say, 5'11 to 6'0 in shoes (d rose height)
this version of luffy has longer arms and legs than usual for his size (fits with luffy rubber powers of stretching) which lets him olay against taller and heavier players (think rajon rondo for counterintuitively long arm players who are pretty short)
luffy is fast, high jumping and strong as hell desite being small which fits both isaiah and derrick rose
i imagine basketball luffy to be the guy who plays basketball all dah for fun and develops increible skill but also a very tunnel vision game that makes too many crazy decisions or takes too many hard shots (canonical to pirate luffy lol) amd that along with size being his weakness
he would be a good shooter like isaiah, have the ridiculous ball driblling of kirye irving amd the athletism and power to finish at the rim of derrick rose as well as rose recklessness to put his body at risk to attack the rim despite the hits he will get by doing so
overall an agressive, athletic and uber talented pointguard who gets tunnel vision dor 1 vs 1 pmay and take hard shots and is too unworried about taking physical hits so he can score. also being nearly always the smaller player on the court
background: he grew up idolizing shanks (who is kobe-like in this universe, rip kobe), and decided he would surpass him, an accident who may or mot have involved his brother caused him to need open hearth surgery in college hence his scar. and meant he delayed joining the league two years until he was 21
stats: 27 points in good efficiency/8-9 assists/5 rebounds hit and miss defense. plays very hard and gets lots of steal but also overplays too much causing breaks in team defense by being reckless and his size doesnt help
roronoa zoro: mix of jimmy butler with some kawhi
zoro is 5'11, for the purpose of this thread he wil be around 6'3 with shoes here
stats: 11 points in average efficiency, great team defense/ 7 rebounds in limited minutes (would be 11-12 as a starter), 3 assists (would be 5 as a starter)
he will play the 3 in a small roster where every rival wing is at least 3 inches taller than him
zoro is a tough guy with the toughness and strenght/bulk to play all day agsinst bigger players and still put in work on all facets of the game like jimmy butler
i imagine him in background as someone who back in high school was a kendo practiciones or somethingh and luffy got into basketball and he trained his ass nonstop to become good
his weakness is partially size but also growing up in a 1 vs 1 duels environment with kendo and struggling to get out of that mind frame for 5 vs basketball
he ia very good at developing his skill set to score on anyone, or to stop anyone 1 vs 1 but less so to make plays for teammates or playing the less visible but more important and unlauded help/off ball defense because he is too geared towards "duel" basketball
tends to get "lost" in defensive rotations or even in offensive team plays when he doesnt have the ball
he is athletic in a different way to exolosive luffy. by being strong, in great control of his body and using quick and short distance burts.of speed to beat his defender
he is also a tough rebounder despite size amd gets lots of free throws attacking the rim, is a so-so shooter but is very good at creating his own shot in 1 vs 1 isolation play
like if jimmy butler was not as good at passing and play making but was even stronger, more tough, and was better at creating his own shot and with a lot of room to grow, or if jimmy butler style of play was more like kawhi or jason tatum
stats: 23 points/ 6 rebounds/ 3 assists. above average efficiency thanks to free throws. mediocre 3 point shooting great individual defense, average help defense. workhorse
vinsmoke sanji. a smaller robert convington om defense. malcolm brogdon on offense
same size as zoro (6'3) but not as undersized for his position (shooting guard or 2), incredibly fast amd high jumping as sanji is fast and can fly in one piece
his style of play is less obvious and more team oriented sometimes to a fault
in defense he wont shut down a rival star like zoro but he will fly through the court to plug holes and help his team mates all across the court while in offense he will take a back seat and contribute with his strong shooting off ball snd becoming a secondary playmaker to luffy when needed, arguably taking too much of a backseat for his skillset
he is not as strong as zoro and capable of attacking the rim or fighting rebounds but his leg strenght still lets him guard bigger players im the post (think james harden or marcus smart) his mentality for good or bad is less oriented to taking over as a star compared to zoro and sanji and more on being a super compliment player who is a jack of all trades
background: bad relationship with his rich family that once owned a great franchise (germa 66)that failed to win titles thanks to sora and the marines leaving them trophy-less like bill russel used to do with the lakers. lost most of their fortune and team and are bitter about that
stats: 18 points in great efficiency/ 5-6 assists/4 rebounds. excelent shooting all around on smaller volume than zoro but less free throws. elite team defense and average 1vs1 defense
Jimbe: best comparision. Al Horford
bih enough and strong to be a small center or a power forward. smart just like horford is a great passer, good shooting just like jimbe has his great water projectiles, great defenses
basically, not a superstar but a perfect compliment star. experienced in a younger team line horford was for kirye, tatum amd brown in celtics (actually i made all this thinking om 2018 celtics as a base lol)
Background: career long all star that joined a new young project at his early thirties after being in way too many teams before
stats: 16 points on great efficiency, 9 rebounds, 4 assists (great for an interior player). great team and rim defense but struggles a bit against the bigger centers or faster small guards. uses a varied skill set with 1 vs 1 against big slower centers, passing and smart play all around. a perfect dance partner for luffy in the pick and roll
basically a team like 2018 celtics. small ball, great dynamic offense with many players contributing, mostly young talent with a veteran, lots of movement. luffy being the engine (kirye/isaiah or even kemba). zoro the scorer (tatum), sanji the discret do it all (brown) and jimbe the perfect team compliment all star center (Al horford)
Tony Tony Chopper: power forward, 6'9 who plays like second year domantas sabonis. a not particularly fast 4-5 who compensates relative slowness with intelligent movement, is a thick guy who fights bigger players for rebounds and his wide frame + timing (lol defense point) lets him make brutal screens that help create open shots contributing to the team "all hands involved offense", shares the position with brook
background: the second youngest okayer in the team, brilliant and talented but with avwrage athletism, great passer amd average shooter. learning a similar skillset to jinbe
stats: 10 points in average efficiency, great team defense/ 7 rebounds in limited minutes (would be 11-12 as a starter), 3 assists (would be 5 as a starter
Brook: comparision a older tall, lanky wing that is used as a interior player now for small ball
someone like danilo gallinary body wise but even lankier
6-10, very light, long limbs. came back from "death" aka injuries in his youth amd resucitated his career in his 30's
is a very fast player for his height who uses speed and and arm reach to guard even small fast players. offensively his straignt line speed is great and lets him be used against slower interior player when there is space for a straight line drive to the rim, his 3 point shoting helps the team the rest of the time
weaknesses: his body makes him be tossed around for rebound amd in tje paint all game long
stats: 10 points in solid efficiency, good shooting, few rebounds, grest defending small players, not so great against big centers
Franky: Huge brute ish offensive center with both great skill set and geeat size and power but his speed limits him in defense. like enes kanter or bobam marjanovic
also just like boban he would be the kind of player who is beloved by alll teammates amd appears im john wick movies
a 1 vs 1 powerhouse to be used in burst like, lets say, dallas.mavericks use marjanovic in dallas, a real glass cannon player
stats 11 points in absurd efficiency and ridiculous rebounding and blocking in back up minutes. strugles defending when forced to take on small players
Ussopp: unathletic and small player with a knack for crazy brilliant plays, sneakily being in the right place when the rival is not putting attention (off ball movement/cuts to the rim) and shootimg
comparision: jj reddick. offensively a offball piece that everyone would love but defensively has some limitations
shoots excelent percentages in free throws/ three pointers and in general. despite physical limitations knows where to be on defense
background: son of another great shooter who played with shanks
Nami: role back up point guard to luffy, and no nonsense locker room voice
like ussops is not particularly athletic or big (5'10) but is smart and talented. less of a shooter thsn ussop or off ball weapon but more of a playmaker who can run plays intelligently when luffy is in the bench
uses above average skill, solid shooting, discipline amd intelligent play to lead bench units or back up luffy in stretches
is on of the best players in the whole league at knowing when and where to be to steal the ball giving her some defensive value in spite of physical limitations
rest of the rotation
Carrot: rookie player and incredibly young. short (6'0) but incredibly athletic and high jumping, fan favorite despite how inexperienced and impolished skill wise she yet is
doesnt have too big of a role but fans joke that every full moon she will become gold roger and take over a game
Pedro:veteran player picked up to give bech depth, solid sixth men caliber player, 6'5 size
a moral leader in the team that provides experience alongside jimbe
Coach: Buggy a failed player who is obsessed with his ex college teammate shanks sucess, failed upwards a coach role somehow
usually incompetent but once in a while will come with a idea to help the team
Assistant coach: nico robin. former team personnel member who managed to join the coaching staff (think eric spoeltra as heat coach) who is the real brain behind the team brilliant and off the wall tactics but ia fine letting buggy hold the spotlight
instead of random creepy thoughts she comes with random crazy plays and strategies that often work
full team:
Chopper or brook
Head coach: buggy
real coach: nico robin
style of team: high powered and creative offemse that plays very hard in defense despite lack of size (underdog aspect) amd youth (inexperience) best team comparision : 2018 boston celtics
submitted by RFFF1996 to OnePiece [link] [comments]

2020.09.14 16:05 ZandrickEllison Offseason Blueprint: It may feel like the sky is falling for the Milwaukee Bucks, but they're still in rare air right now

The playoffs continue to rage on, but there are 25 teams sitting at home with nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs, tinker with their fantasy football teams, and wait for next season to start.
For their sake, we wanted to look ahead with the next edition of the OFFSEASON BLUEPRINT series. In each, we'll preview some big decisions and make some recommendations for plans of attack along the way. Today, we're looking at the Milwaukee Bucks.
step one: plug your ears and get back to work
There's no getting around it: the 2019-20 playoffs were a disaster for the Milwaukee Bucks. This was a team that had been # 1 all year in terms of win record, SRS, defensive rating, etc. Consider this. Their +10.1 point differential in the regular season was the best in the entire NBA by a margin of 3.7 (next best was +6.4). That means their point differential was 58% better than the next closest team. Based on all that, losing 4-1 in the second round feels like an abject failure, regardless of whether Giannis Antetokounmpo was hobbled or not, and regardless of whether the Miami Heat were a "tough matchup" or not. Championship teams need to leap past those hurdles on their way to the finish line.
What's more concerning from Bucks' fans perspective is how familiar this all must feel. Forget Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who won the title before his exit), because younger fans won't remember that period anyway. However, all of us can look around at recent history and feel some sense of deja vu.
Primarily, I'm thinking about LeBron James' first stint in Cleveland. The superstar landed on a small market, and lifted them into high-profile and contender status. In 2006-07, 22-year-old James led the Cavs all the way to the Finals, only to get swept 4-0 by the veteran San Antonio Spurs. After that, we naturally presumed that James and the Cavs would get better and better and eventually reach the promised land. And they did -- in the regular season. By 2008-09, LeBron James had become the league MVP, leading the Cavs to finish with a 66-16 record (best in the NBA.) That season, they lost a tough Conference Finals. The next season, James won MVP again, and the Cavs finished with the best record in the league again. Only this time, they got bounced in round TWO.
The Bucks are on that exact same trend. Giannis has won two MVPs in a row -- the Bucks have grabbed the # 1 seed two years in a row -- and they've disappointed in the playoffs two years in a row.
We all remember what happened after the Cavs' hit that roadblock -- LeBron James left the following year. Giannis isn't a free agent yet, but he theoretically could push for a trade, or he could simply wait until next offseason to fly the coop. We've already started to hear the whispers. Miami. Toronto. Golden State. If he wants to mimic LeBron James' career arc, he may be eyeing the Dallas Mavericks, their cap space, and their young international stars. It can be their own version of a super team: the Big III.
If you're a Bucks fan or executive, that fear should keep you up at night. That paranoia may be real.
But still, you can't live in the fear. You need to keep pushing forward, ignoring all the gossip, all the media rumors, all the instagram tea leaves. Even if some of it's real, you need to block it out. You have a job to do. Win. Championship-caliber teams and title chances don't come along very often in a league with 30 teams. Even if they just run it back, the Bucks have a chance to win the championship. Even if it's just for one more year, even if it's your own Last Dance, you strap on your dancing shoes and go for it.
After all, there's no Giannis trade that's going to make sense from a basketball perspective. If you lose Giannis (via trade or via free agency), you may never be in this position ever again. This is it. This is your chance. Be grateful that you even get one, because most front offices and coaching staffs don't.
step two: build a title machine, not a title team
When you're scared that your superstar may leave, there's a tendency to get desperate with "win now!" moves. The Cleveland Cavaliers did the same with LeBron James, adding players like old Ben Wallace and old Shaq. Didn't work.
There may be some temptation to do the same here, with names like Chris Paul already being thrown around. Presumably, the logic goes that if the Bucks win in 2021, then Giannis won't leave.
But we also have recent history to suggest that's not true either. The Toronto Raptors acquired Kawhi Leonard, won the championship, and still lost him in free agency. Players don't base their decisions around the past; they base decisions about what's best for their FUTURE.
By those standards, the Bucks need to be concerned. They've built the roster around Giannis, but it's a fairly old roster. Khris Middleton is still in his prime, but Eric Bledsoe is already 30 (and under contract for 3 more years.) Brook Lopez is 32 (and under contract for 3 more years.) Wes Matthews is 33, and George Hill is 34. This is a supporting cast that may have peaked, and may get worse and worse over time. Would Giannis want to sign a long-term contract with a team with diminishing returns around him?
With that in mind, the Bucks should only make a major trade if it yields a star in his 20s. No Chris Paul, no Al Horford. The ideal acquisitions for this team would be players like Bradley Beal (27 years old) or C.J. McCollum (28). Both of them can space the floor for Giannis, but also create their own scoring as well. Better yet, their skill sets should age well and keep them valuable for the next 4-5 years. If Giannis gave the greenlight (and signed on the dotted line), the Bucks could make a Clippers-PG3 esque move and mortgage their future drafts to acquire a star like that.
Realistically, that may be too high of a bar. They're the template, but they're likely out of the Bucks' price range in terms of assets. Other candidates that have been floated on the market include Buddy Hield (a super fit as a shooter), and Otto Porter (injury prone and expensive, but still effective as a 3+D player when healthy.) Jrue Holiday may be an intriguing option, although he'd technically break our rule because he just turned "30" in June. Still, Holiday is a great guy and a versatile defender, so he may be worth betraying our bolded mandate.
step three: no weak links allowed in the machine
We've been taught through history lessons and Michael Jordan mythology that the best player in the NBA is supposed to win the title, no matter what. Alas, it's nearly impossible in today's climate for a superstar to win a championship without a great supporting cast. Either you need a superstar teammate, or an incredibly balanced roster around you.
The Bucks have a very good supporting cast, but it's probably a little shy of title worthy. The shooting guard position is a potential weak link.
Current starter Wes Matthews is a tough dude who fits the 3+D profile, but his 3 and his D ain't quite what it used to be. He still fights admirably, but he's approaching 34 and saddled with a lot of mileage and injury history. This season, he struggled to find his rhythm offensively, registering a 54.7% true shooting. That's actually not a bad number on its own, but it was the lowest among the Bucks' top 10 rotation players.
With Matthews aging, the hope is that 23-year-old Donte DiVicenzo can step up and grab hold of that mantle. That's still up in the air. DiVicenzo has virtues: good athleticism, good energy, solid defense, but he's still developing his shot and learning to play under control. It may be a leap of faith to presume that he'd be ready to start for a title team next season. Meanwhile, Pat Connaughton is OK, but he's a free agent and wouldn't be any great shakes himself.
Presuming we don't land a great trade, what do we do here? The options may be limited, given the lack of cap space and movable trade assets.
The Bucks may need to find a place-holder again until they're confident that DiVicenzo can play 25-30 minutes a night. You may be able to find a decent stopgap in the trade market: someone like Terrence Ross (ORL), or Reggie Bullock (NYK), or Jeremy Lamb (IND).
The New Orleans Pelicans would intrigue me as potential trade partner, given their abundance of riches (and question marks) at the guard position. They'll have Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball under contract, as well as promising combo guards like Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Josh Hart. Those latter two may be great options for the Bucks' long-term approach. If "short term" is the goal, then you'd have to consider J.J. Redick as well. The defense and age are issues, but Redick still lit it up to the tune of 45% shooting from 3 this year. Platooning Redick and DiVincenzo isn't a terrible option. And hell, let's throw one more Pelican into the mix. If I ran the Bucks, I'd try to sign free agent E'Twaun Moore, an underrated 3+D player who got lost in the shuffle this season. Moore has enough length to play the 2 or 3, and could soak up 25 minutes for the team. Adding more competent wings would also give the team some flexibility in their lineups and rotations to go big or small as they please.
step four: if all else fails, embrace organic farming
Let's say the Milwaukee Bucks don't acquire a third star. Let's say they don't land an upgrade on the margins either. Let's say they have to enter 2020-21 with this exact same roster. If that's the case, they're still likely going to win 50+ games, still likely going to be a threat to make the Finals. It's not the end of the world by any stretch.
However, if the Bucks can't shake up or tweak their roster, then they're going to have to rely more on internal improvements. We already mentioned Donte DiVincenzo as a major piece of the future and a potential starter down the road. It'd be great if we could see that trajectory for PF D.J. Wilson as well. After doing nothing as a rookie, he started to find some footing as a sophomore (playing 18.4 minutes a night.) But instead of improve again, he took a sizable step back.
If Wilson can shake it off and get back on schedule, it would be very helpful for the team. PF Marvin Williams is retiring, and PF Ersan Ilyasova is 33 years old himself. It's imperative that the Bucks find a capable stretch PF for the future, not only to back up Giannis at the 4 but also to play alongside him when he slides over to the 5.
This draft may also represent an opportunity to add a rotation player. The Bucks will have Indiana's draft pick -- # 24 overall. It's not likely to yield a star, but they should be able to find a contributor.
Let's take a look at some names to file away. Tyrell Terry (Stanford) is a smaller guard, but he's an elite shooter (41% from 3, 89% from the FT line.) Perhaps he can be our C.J. McCollum -- or at least, our Seth (not Steph) Curry off the bench. Terry's ranked in the 20s, but some sites like The Ringer have him a lot higher (# 9 for them.) Speaking of potential sleepers, I'd be intrigued by PF/C Killian Tillie (Gonzaga). He's also a top notch shooter for his position. He's limited in terms of defense and durability, but playing next to Giannis can cure a lot of problems. I also like SF Robert Woodard II (Mississippi State), a 6'7" wing with 3+D potential.
Regardless of who the Bucks take, they need to show that they can develop him well. As we've mentioned numerous times, this is an older supporting cast that will slowly decay. Replacing those talents with competent rotational players will be key to sustaining the team's success.
step five: have a Plan B, C, D and E in your back pocket
Coach Mike Budenholzer has gotten a lot of flak for his playoff performance, and there's validity to that criticism. Throughout his career, Bud has done a lot better in the regular season than the postseason. He's gotten spanked too many times, losing 3-4 games in a row in a fashion that shouldn't happen for a high-level coach. At times, he appears to be a step slow to adjust, freezes, and watches the train roll over him.
In some ways, I wonder if the Bucks were a victim of their own success here. They've been SO GOOD in the regular season that they've never seemed to need a Plan B. They can lock you down on D, use those transition opportunities to score at will, and dominate the game so easily that Giannis can check out and eat gyros by the 4th quarter.
However, we can see the pitfalls of that when teams slow down their typical gameplan, and cause the Bucks to scramble for new looks. Does this team have the ability to counter-punch?
One potential wrinkle I'd be curious to see is whether they'd be more effective in playoff games with Eric Bledsoe coming off the bench. While George Hill is old, he's still a good 3+D player who can hold the fort at PG. In fact, he's a better shooter and spacer than Bledsoe. For his part, Bledsoe is more of a playmaker and wrecking ball who could theoretically have more freedom and more impact in leading a second unit.
Is that the answer? Is going small the answer? Is playing Giannis closer to 40 minutes (in the playoffs) the answer?
I dunno. But I'm not paid to know. And I'm not expecting Coach Bud to have all the answers right now. But from what we've seen, the team needs to be more willing to throw some potential solutions at the wall and see what sticks rather than allowing themselves to get stomped out of another playoff series. Because if this happens again, they may as well call up United Airlines and get the blond flight attendants ready, because Giannis will be flying out of here.
previous offseason blueprints
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2020.08.23 03:43 FranciscoDelFuego How delusional is this potential trade and does it help us get better?

Oklahoma City has some talented players, but many of them are older and will obviously not be a part of the talented future Thunder. The franchise is stocked with valuable picks as part of the Paul George trade with LAC, and they are apparently after even more assets. While they probably don't want to go full Process and win ten games a year for the next three years, they are looking for ways to make the 2024 Thunder better. That could involve taking on salary for assets, which could make them a trade partner for our ill-fitting roster.
Here is my proposed trade for OKC (this does not violate the CBA according to
PHI sends Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Furkan Korkmaz, PHI 1st 2022, PHI 1st 2024, PHI 2nd 2024
OKC sends Chris Paul, Dennis Schröder.
What this accomplishes for us is obvious--it gives us a true point guard and a true backup point guard, both of whom can shoot threes pretty well. This allows Ben to move to PF and Shake to SG (that turnover at the end of game three is seared into my mind), and allows us to run a Paul/Shake/Richardson/Simmons/Embiid starting five. Much more spacing for our big bois while not sacrificing a ton on defense. Obviously Paul's injury history is concerning, but these moves aren't devoid of risk. Plus we dump both Al and Tobi which seems like a huge win.
But why would the Thunder ever do this? Well, it first gives them two more 1st rounders that may be valuable (especially the 2024 one if everything goes to hell) down the line. Second, it allows them to remain semi-competitive to not totally alienate their fanbase. While Horford and Harris have huge holes in their game, they're both above average-to-good players who are simply way overpaid (and a horrible fit on our roster). They are not remotely awful and executives know that. While they would part with two PGs in this deal, they can experiment with running SGA at point (and Furkan at least is a decent shooter to kick to, which helps offset their outgoing talent at least a little). The third part may be the most critical--based on their apparent timeline (where they may want to seriously compete for a title in 2024 or so), they can use the Horford and Harris contracts in a couple of years as expirings to package with their plethora of first-rounders to land a veteran star to pair with SGA and their other developing talent. Paul's deal obviously doesn't last long enough to use for that purpose, and OKC isn't star-hunting quite yet. Now is the time for a team like OKC to overpay veterans in exchange for draft assets and (what will be) expiring contracts to move down the line.
Is this utterly delusional to think OKC would consider this? I would think that these are the deals they would want to make as of now--collecting potentially useful assets in exchange for salary that they can later flip for established players. There's no real downside, as they know they can't seriously compete for a title right now, they don't get much worse (the trade machine actually estimates a net change of zero for both teams), and they will have useful salary on the books in a few years. Thoughts??
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2020.08.12 00:37 artemis3234 You are now Elton Brand. Do you trade one or both of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, do nothing, or find another way to improve the team?

Personally I would try to trade Al Horford first to try and get more shooters around the two (JJ Redick reunion? Buddy Hield?) but if there are no suitable offers I would want to find a trade partner to get Joel out for another star that can play more complimentary to Ben. What are your thoughts?
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2020.06.17 05:48 dvelasco-1397 The Harry Pottee style Houses fight

Just like in the books, this would match up the three hotels were NBA teams will be staying. Each of them would have a 12 player roster. For the purpose of fun, this would involve evey player fully healthy, so dust up your KDs.
Grand Destino: Bucks, Lakers, Raptors, Clippers, Celtics, Nuggets, Jazz, Heat.
Players to keep in mind:
Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis, Middleton,
LA Lakers: AD, Lebron
Toronto Raptors: Siakam, Lowry
LA Clippers: Kawhi, PG
Boston Celtics: Tatum, Kemba
Denver Nuggets: Jokic
Utah Jazz: Mitchell, Gobert
Miami Heat: Butler, Bam
The cut:
Everyones team would have Giannis, Lebron, AD, Kawhi and Jokic, which could be a possible starting line up. After that, the growth into superstars of Tatum and Siakam, the steady hands of Lowry and Kemba and the best version of PG would make them locks IMO. So that leaves 2 spots up for grab, involving: Middleton, Mitchell, Gobert, Butler and Bam. Middleton has had his usual impact, but he isn't carrying a team like the other so he is out. Bam is having a better seasok than Gobert, but we know what the Stifle Tower is capable of, DPOY and such. Mitchell and Butler can carry the load, with Butler providing more in defense, maybe playmaking and for sure pettiness, while Mitchell is the flashier and more explosive scorer and more likely to kill Gobert in the process. So what does this team need? Nothing really, it could be Ryan Gomes and Scal and it wouldn t really make a difference. So let's be democratic and pick one big, one guard.
Final cut: Butler, Gobert.
It's literally a toss up and I am not going to explain myself lmao
Apologies to the best versions of Rondo and Dwight.
Grand Floridian: Thunder, 76ers, Rockets, Pacers, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies, Magic
Players to keep in mind:
OKC Thunder: CP3, Shai
Philadelphia 76ers: Embiid, Simmons, Harris, Horford
Houston Rockets: Harden, Russ
Pacers: Oladipo, Sabonis
Dallas Mavericks: Luka, KP
Brooklyn Nets: KD, Kyrie
Memphis Grizzlies: Ja
Orlando Magic: Vooch
The cut:
It hurt to leave some players out. Gallinari is a crafty scorer, Adams is still a brickwall, Turner provides so much but has somewhat stagnated contrary to Sabonis, JJJ and Jonas have helped get the Grizz in that 8 seed, and none of them have been as dissappointing as Horford. But I'm being idealistic and pretend that a non-washed up version of Horford is available.
So, obvious picks are: CP3, Embiid, Simmons, Harden, Russ, the healthy and round earth-destroying versions of Kyrie and KD, and Luka. Making a starting lineup out of that, is really anyone's guess. But a stupid post is a stupid post and I am doing it. Harden-KD-Embiid provides a robust core that would terrify us all, which leaves, CP3, Simmons, Russ, Luka and Kyrie. Again you could go either way, although picking Simmons and Russ is not something I would advise, unless you want to clutter the spacing to almost unfixable. Simmons is an amazing playmaker, and with shooting around him he can really flossom into a superstar, as well as being a versatile defender, know what, I'm not gonna even say it. Get it together, Ben, you're not starting. CP3 is still an amazing point guard, leading OKC to a playoff appearence that barely anyone could have foreseen. But Russ is still a triple double threat and luka is already an almost unstoppabble superstar. Kyrie and CP3 is a toss up for many, but in 2020 Kyrie is more worthy of starting in an unprobable House(Hotel) Battle. So, picking 2 of Russ, Kyrie and Luka is not really a difficult choice because in reality you're not gonna go wrong. There's enough shooting for Westbrook to be a bulldozer and Luka to dance all over, but not enough defense to hide Kyrie.
So eight players, four to go. SGA, Tobi, a non washed Al, Oladipo, Sabonis, KP, Ja and Vooch. Again, democracy orders it to be two bigs and two guards, because Joel is going to need a breather. So Al, Saboner, Vooch and KP. Here, Al would actually be a back up and not the most expensive mistake in the league. This team is in need of someone who can anchor a defense and Horford has been the best at that. KP brings the shooting and rim protection, Saboner and Vooch the post play and rebounding. Again, anyone's guess so I'm keeping a wild card here. On to Guards. A healthy Oladipo is a Wade lite version that can rip your defense, and hopefully we get to see that again. Tobi brings size and consistent threat at the wings, SGA brings the maturity, versatility and playmaking, and Ja brings everyones jaws to the floor.
Final cuts: KP, Ja. Reasoning: none.
Yacht Club: Blazers, Kings, Pelicans, Spurs, Suns, Wizards
The underdogs! Fighting for pride but really hoping not to get slaughtered, this Yacht would be happy to not sink.
Portland Trail Blazers: Dame, CJ, Nurk
Sacramento Kings: De'Aaron Fox
NOLA: Zion, Jrue, BI
San Antonio Spurs: LMA, Demar
Phoenix Suns: Book, Ayton
Washington Wizards: Beal, Wall
Some players are going to have arguments to belong here. But I'm tired and this group leaves me at 13 to only pick one thing. So apologies to the best version so far of Zach Collins, Non-G7 Harrison Barnes, Bogi and Hield, the solid seasons of Oubre and Bertans and whatever Spurs player development i wasn't paying attention to this season.
From top to bottom, and assuming health for all, it could go like this: Dame, Beal, Book, Wall, BI, Zion, LMA, Demar, Jrue are, I hope, eveyone's locks. CJ, Nurk, Fox and Ayton are left in the bubble. Nurk was according to many the second best player until that nasty injury for the Blazers, CJ is a midrange master, and Fox and Ayton are really looking like the future for the SunKings. This team needs bigs, so Ayton and Nurk are in, leaving CJ vs Fox. Playmaking is not an issue here, defense is. But neither of these two are really going to fix that, so I'm picking CJ because of the playoff experience, since Fox playmaking abbilities aren't needed here.
Picking the starting lineup here is not easy, because most of these players are in the same echelon. Dame is the only surefire starter, and the lone big looks like a toss up, but I'm taking LMA's all stars here. I really wanted to pick a healthy Nurk, and Ayton brings the stats even tho he is still developing. Beal, Book, Wall, BI, CJ, Jrue, Zion. This team is not going to survive without size, and Ayton could even grab that four spot, but Zion and BI take it awarding Ingram for his improvement and including Zion for the show. The other guard spot is really tough. Beal is now a monster, but the healthy Wall we know is no joke. Book is scary, CJ is a baller and Jrue brings the versatilty and defense. Any choice makes sense, but the best of them all last season in my eyes was Beal
My starting 5s:
It would be fun if, for example, the Yacht Club vould have the right to trade for two non-starting players, one from esah rival, while Grand Floridian can do the same against Grand Destino, to even things out.
I'm going to do that because I'm too high to stop TLDr
Final teams:
Jokic AD Giannis Kawhi Bron Siakam Lowry Tatum Kemba PG Butler Gobert
Floridian: Embiid KD Luka Harden Russ Kyrie CP3 Simmons Oladipo Horford KP Ja
Yacht: LMA Zion BI Beal Dame Wall Book CJ Jrue Demar Nurk Ayton
After weird trade: The most versatile player from Destino for the Club is PG13, and maybe Simmons likewise from the Floridian. Both are an improvement over Zion and BI. Could keeping one of them be worth improving at center? Gobert KP or Horford don't really seem worth it, and I'm betting on good defense scheme, LMA holding his own and swarming if needed. There's enough shooting for Simmons to flourish and partnering with PG13 actually gives them a chance to put up a fight at the wings. DeMar and CJ traded.
Meanwhile, Floridian makes their move. Does their starting lineup have a hole that can be covered with the reserves from Destino? Not really, Tatum or Siakam for Luka for size/matchup, and Lowry and Kemba to provide a steadier hand than Westbrook don't make me crazy. Their bench looks fine, and the moves that could make sense is stealing Gobert as the backup big, or one of Butler, Tatum or Siakam to provide depth at the wings. Im trading Horford because it was about time he stopped getting preferential treatment, and bringing Siakam slightly edging the other two
Destino: Jokic AD Giannis Kawhi Bron Horford Lowry Tatum Kemba Butler Gobert DeMar
Floridian: Embiid KD Luka Harden Russ Kyrie CP3 Oladipo KP Ja CJ Siakam
Yacht Club: LMA PG Simmons Beal Dame Wall Book Jrue Nurk Ayton BI Zion
The trade didn't make that much fairer really LMAO
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2020.05.14 01:39 alhorfordisanallstar What’s Hassan Whiteside’s market?

COVID-19 has changed the outlook for every (possible) free agent in this year’s class - how much they’ll make, how much money teams will have to spend, etc. Despite the circumstances, I’ve been passing some of the time thinking about the markets for some of the (possible) free agents in this year’s class. The one name I keep circling back to: Hassan Whiteside.
Whiteside has long been a polarizing player in the league. Is he a good defender, or does he put up empty stats? Do the large amount of blocks he totals season after season mean anything? He’s already 30 and will be 31 by the time the season resumes, or next season starts. What you have with Whiteside is likely what you’ll get for the rest of his career. But does that translate to value? (I ask these questions to be answered, but also just for food for thought).
I went through every team and made a quick summary of whether or not a team would a) be interested in Whiteside in FA, b) could realistically afford him (basing his next contract off of recent contracts), c) would the team be a good fit and d) does it make sense? Feel free to disagree with me! I always welcome feedback and discussion. I’ll be doing more of a ‘in a vacuum’ rather than ‘if x happens, then maybe’.
Atlanta Hawks: Unlikely. The Hawks traded for Clint Capela this season to (presumably) be their franchise center and pick-and-roll partner with Young. Barring them moving Capela in the offseason, it doesn’t make sense to pay $10+ million for a backup big who has starting experience.
Boston Celtics: More likely than people think, but not a guarantee. As a Celtics fan I wouldn’t mind Whiteside on a higher AAV one-year deal (with a team option), or even a two-year deal. My bias aside, the Celtics are set to enter next season with Vincent Poirier and Robert Williams officially under contract. Kanter could opt-in and Theis has exceeded any expectations I had for him entering the season, but his contract is non-guaranteed and with Tatum becoming contract extension eligible, they’ll need every penny if Hayward opts-in. Whiteside could provide the shot-blocking presence and rebounder the Celtics still need.
Brooklyn Nets: Unlikely. Even though Allen has been linked in trade rumors to land a third star next to Irving and Durant, I think they should roll into next season with what they have currently to evaluate before they break up existing chemistry. Granted, Allen has come off the bench more in favor of Durant and Irving’s BFF Jordan, but Allen is still developing and already a great young player. Whiteside here doesn’t make sense.
Charlotte Hornets: Possibly. The Hornets only have Cody Zeller under contract at the 5 spot for next season. Zeller has been remarkably consistent and is a starting center in this league; but has battled injuries over the past few seasons. Whiteside could sign a short-term deal to recoup value and possibly earn a better deal next year. This landing spot makes the most sense so far.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls finally saw (some) of the errors of their ways and made changes in the front office, but until the offseason begins, we won’t really have an idea of what the Bulls’ direction is. Currently the Bulls seem committed to the Markannen/Carter Jr. combo, which I think is a smart move. The Bulls won’t be championship contenders next season and Whiteside wouldn’t make much of an impact.
Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavaliers’ offseason really starts and ends with Andre Drummond. If Drummond opts in, then they’re essentially locked into their young core + Love. If Drummond signs a long-term extension, the same story. If Drummond opts out... I expect both he and Thompson to leave, leaving a huge hole in the front court for a young team. Whiteside seems to want to win, but the Cavaliers’ defense would drastically get worse if both bigs left. There’s a slim chance here.
Dallas Mavericks: This landing spot is interesting to me. After the Mitchell-Gobert saga, Gobert was and still is heavily being linked to Dallas and the infatuation they have with European players. Aside from that connection, the fit does make sense for Dallas and Gobert, but not Utah. Who would Utah acquire that would help them stay competitive and/or replicate what Gobert does for them? Gobert’s long term fit was a long-winded discussion prior to COVID-19, but I just don’t see a trade package where Utah benefits. I digress.
If Powell comes back healthy next season and Dallas brings back THJ, then the Mavericks could make some noise next postseason. They were playing at a historic offensive pace with Powell and still a historic pace without him. Whiteside’s play style is nearly the exact opposite of Dallas’ bigs, but that doesn’t mean Whiteside couldn’t work in Dallas. The question that needs to be answered first is what is Porzingis’ position?
Denver Nuggets: Probably not happening. Jokic is Denver’s center of the future, but Denver has a lot of impending free agents of their own. I doubt Whiteside would consider being a backup unless most/all of Denver’s bigs leave in free agency.
Detroit Pistons: After trading Drummond the Pistons have a glaring need at center, but would likely try to target a younger big they could build around; either in the draft or in free agency. Whiteside could be a stopgap option if they go the draft route, but otherwise I just don't see it happening on yet another rebuilding Detroit team.
Golden State Warriors: Maybe? The Warriors have been linked to James Wiseman, wanting to trade for Giannis, being willing to trade whatever pick they land in the lottery (presumably a top-3 selection) for an established big man... but what if they trade the pick to fill out their depth and sign Whiteside as a rim-running, shot-blocker? McGee thrived in that role and that’s all Whiteside would have to do playing next to a healthy Curry, Thompson and Draymond. The cap space would be tight, but Boogie signed a way lower value deal than anyone expected to play in Golden State.
Houston Rockets: Unless the Rockets have a change of heart (were linked to bigs like Al Horford and Rudy Gobert after they traded Capela) and/or realize playing a 35 yo P.J. Tucker into the ground is a horrible idea, Whiteside’s play style is fairly similar to Capela’s. He’s better than playing Tyson Chandler at this point in his career.
Indiana Pacers: Until the Pacers figure out if they want to play Turner and Sabonis together, this destination doesn’t make any sense with Goga in the wings.
Los Angeles Clippers: My first reaction was to say ‘yes! Whiteside would be perfect for the Clippers!’... and then I remembered that the Clippers play Zubac under 20 MPG. Why would Whiteside get any more, especially if they re-sign Harrell?
Los Angeles Lakers: This landing spot only makes sense if at least two of Dwight, McGee or AD leaves. If AD leaves I don’t think that means LeBron does, but the Lakers would be left in quite the predicament if he does. Whiteside landing on a championship-caliber team would really hinge on the aforementioned players.
Memphis Grizzlies: Highly unlikely. The Grizzlies already has a rotation of Clarke, JJJ and Dieng with no real path to moving any unless they were trying to get a star. Whiteside would get zero playing time.
Miami Heat: No way he goes back to the franchise he’s publicly bashed.
Milwaukee Bucks: Whiteside would flourish as a backup big in Milwaukee, but unless Robin Lopez signs elsewhere (which I don’t think he will, he’s playing on a championship-caliber team with his brother), this isn’t happening.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Towns’ shooting ability would allow Whiteside to play as a center, but Towns is best at the 5 spot and the Timberwolves have too many young, impending free agents to worry about first. Whiteside wouldn’t accelerate their chances of title contention.
New Orleans Pelicans: This would be the second most likely destination to me. Favors has been great in New Orleans, but I just have a gut feeling he seeks a reunion with Utah. Obviously that doesn’t mean Whiteside goes to New Orleans, but he would be a great lob threat with Lonzo and Co. as Hayes continues to develop.
New York Knicks: It would be a Knicks move to sign another big, but if Leon Rose and Co. are truly committed to making the Knicks relevant again, they shouldn’t sign a big that would block playing time for Robinson. With that being said, Whiteside will probably sign in New York.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Adams is the Thunder’s starting center of the future, so unless Noel goes elsewhere in free agency there really isn’t an avenue to major playing time.
Orlando Magic: Despite the Magic making improvements in recent years, they still haven’t figured out their big rotation. Trying to sort it out always gives me a headache. They need to figure out the direction they’re heading in before considering adding Whiteside to a rotation of Bamba, Vucevic, Birch, Isaac and Gordon.
Philadelphia 76ers: The Sixers have needed bench help for the past few seasons and it’s been exposed in the postseason. With that being said, barring a season-ending injury for Embiid, they can continue to scrape by with the Mike Scott types as a backup. They need shooting more than they need a backup big.
Phoenix Suns: For better or worse the Suns are committed to Ayton. Despite his ineptitude at times, the Suns’ owner recognizes how bad it would look if the Suns moved Ayton now; especially if the return was draft picks/minimal. Baynes was excellent while Ayton was suspended and I wouldn’t be surprised if he re-signed.
Portland Trail Blazers: On the surface it would make sense for Portland to re-sign its starting center from this season, but with Nurkic reportedly being close to 100% and the jury still out on if Collins’ best position is at the 4 or 5, Whiteside wouldn’t have much playing time if both are on the court next season. He has seemed to really enjoy Portland and has played well for them, but Portland is already committed to paying ~ $75 million to Lillard, McCollum and Nurkic already. It just doesn’t seem feasible.
Sacramento Kings: Whiteside started his career in Sacramento, but averaged very little playing time. Lineups with Bjelica at the 5 have crushed opponents this season, but Bjelica is better used as a stretch-4 on offense. If the Kings want to try a Bagley-Bjelica frontcourt I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but they would be better off with a more traditional center and lob threat for Fox (and Bogdanovic and/or Hield, depending if one leaves this offseason via trade or free agency) in Whiteside. It’s not out of the realm of possibility IMO.
San Antonio Spurs: I have a gut feeling Popovich retires this offseason, but regardless if he does or not the Spurs value discipline in their players. Whiteside has a tendency to gamble too much defensively which would likely make Pop or whoever the next head coach tear their hair out. I don’t think San Antonio is suddenly going to become a perpetual lottery team, but Whiteside just seems too counter-cultural to fit.
Toronto Raptors: This moves really hinges on what Ibaka and Gasol do in free agency. If one or both leave then Whiteside has a fantastic opportunity for playing time and the opportunity to win (assuming Toronto wants him). A Siakam-Whiteside front court is intriguing at the very least, and wouldn’t be asked to do much in Toronto. (Think Valanciunas + shot blocking).
Utah Jazz: I don’t see this happening, especially if my prediction about Favors returning comes true. Even if Mitchell and Gobert are still at odds despite a public declaration they were good, Whiteside would barely play off the bench. Utah has finally started to embrace a more modern offense, Whiteside could reverse that.
Washington Wizards: I think this is the most likely destination. Washington has done a nice job of collecting ‘scraps’ from other teams and uncovering some nice gems in Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner, Davis Bertans, etc. Even if all return next season, the Wizards could use a more physical presence at the 5, which is exactly what Whiteside is. I could see him signing a deal a la Dwight Howard a few years ago and see where things go for a season or two with a (reportedly) healthy John Wall and (hopefully) Bradley Beal. Hachimura may become a 5 as he continues to bulk up, but a Wall-Beal-Brown-Hachimura-Whiteside starting five isn’t bad at all.
Again, feel free to critique any of my thoughts/predictions! I know this is a long post, but I tried to keep the analysis for each team relatively short. If you guys like this, I may make this a short series.
submitted by alhorfordisanallstar to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]

2020.04.09 20:48 Limelashed Hornets withdrawal trade bait {The Finale}

Trade number 1 was definitely a salary dump for assets, trade 2 was more focused on fit (apparently a pretty poor fit from what I read) and trade 3 is a three way trade which is kind of a combo of the two. Anywho, yadayadayada:
Copy and paste from before Skip to trade link
A few points to clarify before going forward.(I tend to waffle, skip this shite if you want to get to the meat of the trade). * None of the 3 trades mentioned are trades I believe we should make. A lot of these are lateral moves and no clear slam dunks. However sometimes medium/minor trades can result in more efficient usage of assets or gambles that may lead to our long term goal of achieving success in the playoffs. * Draft is up in the air. We have a 26.2% chance of drafting 1-4, 34.5% of 8th, 32.1% of 9th and 7.2% of 10th or 11th. IMO there is no supreme franchise altering talent readily apparent at the top. BPA is best policy, however drafting a true PF would likely result in us trading PJ or Bridges which would be regrettable. A centre is likely our biggest need, however they are also easiest position to obtain via free agency/ later in the draft compared to using a good lottery pick. Not saying we shouldn’t draft a centre with our pick, just that biggest need doesn’t necessarily equate to top priority draft pick. * With Marv, MKG and potentially Biyombo gone, we are starved of reliable vets which is an important factor in a young team. Obtaining vets via a trade or free agency is a factor to be considered but not necessarily prioritised. * 2021’s draft class is heavy on guards & wings at the top. * We are unlikely to obtain top tier free agents on good value deals given we are a smaller market and our current incapability to complete for playoff glory. We likely have to overpay top tier free agents until we are more competitive. * IMO there are no franchise players within the current organisation that you would be able to shoulder going deep into the playoffs. One such talent would likely have to be drafted. * Rozier is a terrific catch and shoot threat. He currently does not possess the talent/skills to be the primary ball handler and ideally would be paired with another lead guard at all times. * For the ease of hypothetical strain, I’ve said in all trades not involving trading for a starting centre or drafting Wiseman/Okungwu that we will draft a back up in the 2nd and a free agent. To put a face to the position I’ve put Harry Giles as the back up centre free agent in most of my hypotheticals because I think he is a reasonable get but there are plenty of other options available (though none as young, affordable and Carolina proud as he). * Most of these trades are silly because my knowledge is incomplete. If you think a 2nd or a couple of 2nds either side is required to make something happen, you probably know better. This is mostly the bare bones of a trade.
TLDR, big 3 way trade between us, the 76ers and the Warriors. Richardson, Wiggins and the Timberwolves First to us for Rozier and Zeller.
Hornets, Warriors and 76ers Trade
Hypothetical line up: Graham, Richardson, Wiggins, Washington, Draft/FA Centre.
Monk, Martins, Bridges, McDaniels/Kulbolka, Draft/FA Centre.
I love Cody Zeller. I promise I do. But his size of contract is one of the most advantageous to move for mid-large sized trades hence him being in two of these trades. Copy and pasted from Wall trade ‘As mentioned in the points. Main aim of the game is to obtain a franchise altering player on a rookie scale contract whilst maintaining a good system to develop our current younger players. Obtaining a first in a good draft by a probable lottery team would go some way to obtaining such a franchise player. Either having two bites at the apple or having trade material to move up in the draft. Losing Zeller hurts when we already have a weak centre rotation. Although in this case, there are many options we could target in the draft and free agency. E.g. Harell, Whiteside, Giles, Baynes, Noel, Poeltl, Wiseman, Okongwu, Oturu, Nnaji, Tillman, Azubuike etc’.
If we’re talking opinion islands. I’m on Scary Terry Island. It’s not too popular a place due to the timing of his coming to the franchise with Kembas depressing departure, his large reach of a contract as a relatively unproven NBA starting calibre guard and his incapability to be a high level floor general in which he was specifically brought into to do. But this team was flexible in its makeup and when Graham played out of his little cotton socks and Rozier wasn’t playing well as a primary ball handler, he moved predominantly to playing shooting guard. Forget what he was brought into to do. What he does right now is he is a terrific catch and shoot player. Top 10 EFG% on catch and shoot in the league (20 games minimum and over 0.5FG attempted per game). This catch and shoot number doesn’t include dribble relocation shooting opportunities which he also appeared to have considerable aptitude for. He may not ever be as adept as Walker was in creating his own shot but he was encouraged to seek it by his coaches as to compensate his teams general lack of scoring. It seemed a well reasoned move, see if the player you signed for big bucks can improve at scoring/facilitating out the pick and roll and in isolation. He did improve as the season went on, but not to the extent to be an ideal primary ball handle isolation scorer. He may not have had as jaw dropping panty wetting memorable clutch moments this year like Graham and Monk. But his numbers are favourable this year down the stretch and his Boston repertoire backs these up. Due to the debacle with the Celtics last year, much was made of the lack of maturity of Rozier. But from all accounts he has seemed to have matured, be well liked and has throughly invested in the current Hornets culture and ideology. Minutes fluctuation and role change hasn’t fazed him and has proven his willingness to adapt. As to do with his defence, I don’t have the acumen to tell you precisely what’s going on. The effort is there. He draws the hardest guard to match up with between him and Graham. His steal rate is respectable. He cheats off perimeter players too much and is not great in defending larger wings. Altogether not as great as we might have hoped with the good defensive stretches he exhibited with his tenure at the Celtics. 3 part point here; largest offensive role he has had in his pro career has limited the focus he expends on the defensive end (common occurrence for budding lead scorers), his DFG% would be greater if he was put on the weaker guard assignment and he would cheat less on perimeter players if he has better rim protection. But still, average at best for a guard defender. Overall, a quite promising first year as a starting guard. If you haven’t been swayed from the ‘Terry Rozier is cancer’ narrative, I encourage you to compare his per 36 numbers to guards of a similar build this year. Dennis Schroeder is a shade older than Terry is and playing off the bench for the Thunder at a contract of 15.5million. He is neck and neck with Montrezl for 6th man of the year and his incredibly similar numbers to Rozier. Schroeder is considered a valuable player and potential trade piece. Another example is CJ McCollum. He is over two years older than Terry and is the starting shooting guard for the Trailblazers and will be averaging over 30 million for each of the next 5 seasons. He has always been considered a valuable player even if his contract extension seemed imprudent and was met with raised eyebrows. His numbers are again very similar to Schroeder and Rozier. Anywho I digress, Rozier is more valuable than many give him credit for. His value to us is not as high as he doesn’t have an ideal fit next to Graham or Monk. Not that they can’t function together, just the talent they all posses can’t be utilised to its fullest. His value to other teams can be higher given their structure or personnel.
Richardson (26) is an unexpected delight delivered from the grind heavy Heat system. Drafted in the 2nd round, has that proverbial ‘chip on his shoulder’. He has consistently been a terrific defender, particularly at the point of attack and defends 1-3 vehemently. He has got NBA defence votes the past 3 years and arguably would be the best point of attack defender we would have had since? I don’t know. I genuinely don’t. No where near as impressive offensive game as his defence. As a Heat member he had 36.8 3P% with a good volume but that dropped to 32.7% this year. He has a solid mid range and is in my estimation an above average wing. He did have some injury issues this year and in previous seasons but nothing you would consider being chronic issues going forward (e.g. concussions and hamstring strains).
Mentioned I was on Scary Terry Island, Wiggins island fluctuates in size and population every season. From people saying he is on the cusp of stardom and those saying he is and always will be a net negative on the court. My position is that, it doesn’t matter if your not on the island. The crux of this trade is the first from the Timberwolves via the Warriors. Although every team in the West could claim they have a legitimately good shot at making the playoffs next year, I find the Timberwolves argument the weakest. Although they have their ideal pick and roll pairing and a bunch of budding wings I struggle seeing them getting out of being one of the 10 worst teams in the league. The potential value of that picks is large (Top 3 protected). Wiggins, Richardson, Rozier, Zeller and Horford are good players with value but none of them will be the main driving force of a contender; that pick however has a small chance to do so. Though Wiggins is an important factor of his trade. He has a mammoth contract of 94 Million Dollars over the next 3 years. I’m of the opinion to obtain good proven players in free agency, we would have to overpay, why not overpay now for a project for additional assets. Wiggins as a player is effectively a better more apathetic Miles Bridges. He has tantalising high athleticism and all the tools to be an all star. But from what I can gather he doesn’t have that ‘dog’ mentality. Which is a shame, but he seems like a wonderful chap and has improved his defensive rotations, finishing at the rim and taking less midrange shots over the past 2 years which is promising. Maybe we strike lucky and the recently turned 25 year old blossoms into a fringe all star but the more likely scenario of him steadily improving and becoming around the 15th best small forward in the league would be still be a win.
What’s in it for Philadelphia? Al Horford, their 4 year 109Million acquisition this year has not planned out they way they hoped for a multitude of reasons. Here are a few for the offence: having Embiid be 1 of the 2 most effective post up players in the league limits Horfords versatility in post up scenarios and especially in the low post. The 76ers due to Simmons being the primary ball handler are not a pick and roll reliant team, a lot of the offence Horford has manufactured in his career in Atlanta and Boston have been pick and pops and mismatches created via screens. With Embiid spending a significant amount of time in the paint, Simmons having no range (NONE) alongside Harris and Richardson having below average 3P% this year led to too much emphasis on Horford to attempting long range jumpers to encourage spacing. Despite being 33 years old, Al Horford is an especially agile big man. He can move his feet to guard forwards but one of his main advantages is he is a terrific pick and roll defender but is relegated to predominantly bring a perimeter defender when he is in the starting 5. With Horfords large contract, advanced age and poor season, he is considered a bad contract. Richardson was put in a similar scenario with so many non shooters and suffered for it. He was also initially expected to be the primary ball handler when Simmons was not on the floor but it transpired this was not his forte. Cody Zeller would be a wonderful back up centre. He proved with maintenance of minutes he could remain healthy through a season. He would unlikely share any minuted with Embiid but would provide valuable relief when he’s not on the court and is a low maintenance high character human whom I severely doubt would cause any friction in the locker room. This is Terry Roziers wet dream scenario in terms of fit. Being able to play shooting guard as a secondary/tertiary ball handler while being fed (less contested) catch and shoot opportunities from Simmons. Rozier IMO has exhibited the clutch gene (especially in the Celtics playoff trips) and could provide valuable late game scoring alternatives. Fulfilling a slightly more advanced role than Reddick did in years previous. With Horfords contract off the books, the team is considerably more financially flexible moving forward especially in year 3. Decreasing over 4 million off salary coming back in the trade is very valuable to a team that is so heavily in the tax with such a staggeringly disastrous year for the league. The starting lineup would need another wing present which they do have a lot of depth with. Whether they decide to promote Thybulle, Korkmaz, Milton, Smith(outside shot), re-sign Burks, Robinson III or even use their Tax payer MLE (6 Million) on a free agent, they have many viable options. The 22nd pick and early 2nd rounder could provide further depth at a variety of positions.
Golden State Warriors took a little gamble with trading Russell for Wiggins, what would be the benefit from moving on from him so quick? With the return of Curry and Thompson to the starting line up next season they will be in contention at the top of the West and aiming to claim another title. Wiggins has played a grand total of 5 playoff games and has underperformed in all. The window of championship success with Curry (32), Thompson and Green (30) is quite small and waiting for Wiggins to blossom into a key component for them is risky. Al Horford fits their system like a glove. He is a savvy multi positional defender, good screener for the facets of his game (rolling, popping and dishing). He has plenty of playoff experience and would benefit from having more shooters around him. Were this trade to go through, I would expect their high draft pick to be used on a wing e.g. Avdija, Edwards or Okoro and/or free agency (6M). The 34th pick included in the trade could provide additional depth for the title run. Personally I believe the Warriors will seek out trade partners for their two firsts and Wiggins in exchange for a superstar replacement. If nothing appears worthwhile a trade for an established vet that fits their system may be their next best alternative. *Proofreading this, Warriors may require an additional asset from us/Philly but no clue what the asset would be or who from.
Overall. Do I think this deal gets done? Absolutely not. Do I think it would benefit each party involved? Possibly maybe. Although through countless trade proposals I’ve deliberated (medium-large scale) this is the closest I’ve come to achieving mutual parity. Either I didn’t look in the right places or there isn’t much out there.
Thank goodness, the trilogy is over. We have 10 whole days until ESPN drops the MJ documentary and we can be exposed to legitimate basketball content. In the meantime if any of you have trades you have whizzed up, I throughly encourage you to post them. I found it remarkably cathartic, Ta-ra!
submitted by Limelashed to CharlotteHornets [link] [comments]

2020.04.06 18:59 bzimcosk Rewind Sports Charity Drive - ESPN and Jimmy V Foundation

I think I thought of a really great idea for a charity drive to benefit the Jimmy V Foundation and other sports or medicine related charities during these times of Coronavirus and I'd love to try to bring it to the attention of people at the V Foundation or ESPN because they certainly have the power and the connections to make it happen.

We all see the classic games being broadcast nightly on ESPN, FS1, CBSSports, etc. What if a few lucky fans per night got the chance to video chat with the players and coaches while everyone rewatches the replay on TV? Imagine how cool it would be if a lifelong Cubs fan got to talk to Joe Maddon or Anthony Rizzo or Kris Bryant while watching Game 7 of the 2016 World Series? Or if a Maryland Basketball fan could talk with Juan Dixon or Steve Blake while everyone gets to relive the 2002 Final Four?

Here's how I see it working:

1) Set up a two-week slate of primetime broadcasts on either the ESPN Family of Networks, or ESPN plus other broadcast partners who have different rights to classic broadcasts so we can include as many sports as possible.

2) Get multiple players or coaches from each winning team of those games to agree to be available for video conferences with the winning fans while the broadcasts play.

3) Open the raffle for each night and allow people to buy tickets and enter those tickets in each game's raffle

4) Pick winners 24 hours in advance, make sure that both the players/coaches, and the winning fans have adequate internet connection, will follow rules and be nice and cordial with each other, etc.

5) Set up Zoom or other Video Conference between players/coaches and fans 30 minutes before broadcast starts

6) Players/coaches and fans get to interact during the game replay on TV

7) Collect all $$ from tickets bought and donate it to some combination of V Foundation and other medical charities that are doing the most good during this Pandemic

An example schedule would be something like this:

Monday night (All 8 Eastern)

ESPN - LSU Football - 2019 CFB National Championship Game - Coach O, Joe Burrow, Patrick Queen
ESPN2 - Duke Basketball - 2019 Regular Season vs. Virginia - Zion Williamson, Coach K, Trey Jones
ESPNU - Wisconsin Football - 2011 Big Ten Championship Game - Russell Wilson, Montee Ball, Chris Borland
FS1 - Chicago Cubs - 2016 World Series Game 7 - Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Joe Maddon
CBSSports - Florida Basketball - Corey Brewer, Al Horford, Joakim Noah

I'm trying to get some groundswell of support for this idea and the people who actually know the athletes and their agents and such can try to set something like this up. I'm posting it in CollegeBasketball because that's my favorite sport on the year-round calendar and the first thing that came to mind with sports and charities was the incredible work done by the V Foundation and ESPN. Please give it an upvote if you like the idea and maybe we can get some powerful people to take notice and put this into action!
submitted by bzimcosk to CollegeBasketball [link] [comments]

2020.02.07 21:14 FNYKNYJR2 DeRozan and/or Aldridge gone in the offseason?

No one expected the Spurs to move DeRozan or Aldridge midseason, but if the season continues to trend in the direction its trending to, it seems VERY likely that DeRozan and/or Aldridge will be on the trade block.
In my opinion, the chances of DeRozan being traded seems to be more likely, but I'm curious to hear what your thoughts are on where they can be traded to and who they can be traded for.
Trade Partners/Targets for DeRozan and/or Aldridge
Orlando Magic - deal centered around Aaron Gordon, or Aaron Gordon and Bamba?
Atlanta Hawks - John Collins?
Dallas Mavericks - ?
Indiana Pacers - Myles Turner
LA Lakers - KCP and Danny Green?
Philadelphia 76ers - Al Horford and Josh Richardson
Portland Trail Blazers - Hassan Whiteside (sign-and-trade)
Washington Wizards - ?
submitted by FNYKNYJR2 to NBASpurs [link] [comments]

2020.01.07 20:05 The_L1st The Great Gamble: Jazz/Sixers

Hey guys, I just thought up the possibility of this trade this morning, and the more I thought about it the more I liked it for both teams. I highly doubt it happens, but it's just an idea. I just posted the article up on my site but wanted to share it here and get your feedback!
Al Horford from the 76ers to Utah for Mike Conley Jr
The money works

Why the Jazz make this Trade

Mike Conley has been out with injury since early December, and prior to that he was struggling greatly to integrate into Utah’s offense. While it would seem logical to continue to roll with this team and try to make things work with Conley once he returns, I would strongly look at moving Conley if I’m Utah.
Since December 4th (Conley’s initial injury), the Jazz have gone 12-3 and crafted a 113.9 offensive rating, the fourth best mark in the league during that span. With Conley in the lineup Utah owns a bottom ten offense in the league.
To be fair, Utah has played an easier schedule since Conley has gone down, but the sample size and on court product provide overwhelming evidence that the Jazz may be better off moving on from Conley. With the current run they are on, they could negatively impact their playoff seeding trying to make the offense work with Conley. With Conley out, Donovan Mitchell has been given much more on-ball opportunity and the offense has run primarily through him. He’s a capable shooting guard, but it’s become clear during his young career that he best projects as a lead ballhandler.
Conley there minimizes the amount of control that Mitchell has over the offense, and I think with the results we’ve gotten from the past month, I’d roll the dice and keep moving with this format. For reference, Mitchell has been much more efficient and expanded his playmaking abilities since starting at the point (24.5/4.8/3.6 on 43.5%FG/36.9%3pFG/83%FT with Conley to now 25.6/4.1/5.5 on 50.2%/34.8%/85.7%). Mitchell’s Assist/Turnover ratio has actually improved which is great considering that he’s gone from a secondary to primary creator. These numbers, as well as watching Utah, shows that Mitchell has been able to get his shot and finish inside with much better efficiency now that he has more room to operate.
Joe Ingles has slid back into the starting lineup and quietly been a primary reason for Utah’s run, as he’s slashing 14.9ppg/4.5rbs/6asts on 51.9%FG/51.6%3pFG/89%FT. Prior he’d been one of the worst offensive players in the league (7.3pts/4.3rbs/3.5 asts on 36.4%FG/30.9% 3pFG/75% FT), and looked like his shot and game was broken.
So why does Horford make sense? The Jazz don’t have a four. They currently deploy Royce O’Neale, Georges Niang, and Bojan Bogdanovic at the second forward spot. While that has been great for their spacing and offensive game, it limits their defensive potential. O’Neale and Bogdanovic are plus defenders but both are much too small to capably defend the premier forwards of the West. Horford provides the defensive versatility that this team gave up when they moved on from Derrick Favors, without clogging up the offense in the same way. There is no one on this roster who can capably defend Anthony Davis (Gobert is not mobile enough, he makes his living at the rim not fifteen feet out) and having Horford gives you a player who can matchup against him.
Horford could also slot in as Utah’s backup center behind Gobert. If their minutes are staggered there are still a great deal of opportunities to go small and play 4 or 5 out.
Yes Horford is older and on a longer contract, but I believe in Quin Snyder to integrate him into the offense in a way that utilizes him as more than just a spot up shooter like has been in Philly. Just imagine the elbow playmaking/two man game that Horford and Mitchell could craft. I dream of offense like that. Horford’s game has never relied on athleticism and while his deal is large, I don’t think his play will fall off dramatically. Even if he greatly declines he’s one of the best vets in the league and could be moved in the future.

Why the Sixers make this Trade

The Sixers currently run the second least pick n roll in the league. Their halfcourt offense is one of the least watchable things on national television and I cringe everytime the game hits the final three minutes in the fourth quarter. This is what a Philly offensive set looks like in the fourth quarter of a close game; Ben Simmons brings the ball up, passes off to Josh Richardson, J-Rich dribbles for 5 seconds drives in passes out to Harris, Harris drives in has no look and passes out to Embiid in the high post, he gets doubled, passes out to Korkmaz who swings it to Harris who dribbles 6 times and shoots a 19-footer that hits the backboard.
I’m not trying to be harsh, just honest. Ben Simmons is not a point guard. A point guard can run pick and rolls, or some semblance of offense. For whatever reason, he cannot or does not do that. He often brings up the ball and fades away for the possesion, maybe he comes in for a putback or will cut back door, but often he just hangs out in the dunker spot.
Simmons needs to stop being looked at as a guard, and more as a high energy forward with good handles. He’s more like Larry Nance than any kind of guard I can think of. Brett Brown, or maybe a different coach, needs to craft an offense that utilizes Simmons as a screener, cutter, and abuser of mismatches against smaller players. And I think the best way to do that is to bring an a great passer and ball mover like Conley.
By moving on from Horford, Harris can play the four (where he should be/actually fits), Simmons can play up to the three, and Richardson is allowed to slot back as a secondary ballhandler, as he has been the primary creator for this team late in games. Conley who has played with another incredible post finisher in Marc Gasol, would immediately be the best passer that Joel Embiid has ever played with.
He would be able to find Embiid more readily in the post and I believe he would make this offense flow much more smoothly. Embiid is a force and the best weapon this team has. Right now, he’s not being used like it the majority of the time. This team needs to be Embiidcentric, and this is a step towards that. Simmons is incredible as a talent and has loads of potential, but this is a better trajectory for the team to try and win a title now.
Part of the issue for Conley this year has been the awkward fit with Gobert. Gobert is a great pick and roll threat but that’s really it. Embiid is phenomenal as a pick and roll partner and provides more spacing for Conley just with his gravity (defenders will be much less willing to drop off Embiid to cover Conley than they would be to drop off Gobert). Gobert operates within a 5 foot are, Embiid can operate anywhere on the court and while it may not seem like a big difference, this could mean the world for Conley’s at rim finishing.
Horford just has not fit in Philly and has voiced his displeasure with his role on offense. Even if the Conley trade were to not workout, Conley’s deal ends 2 years prior to Horford’s and will be an expiring next year which would be much easier for Elton Brand to stomach.

The Point

Both of these teams don’t want to make this trade and admit that their big offseason splashes didn’t pan out. But, I think this is one of the rare trades that benefits both teams. Philly and the Jazz have both largely disappointed after being seemingly primed for deep runs in the preseason by the media and their own front office’s. Winning a title requires calculated risks, and gambling with your assets to achieve something greater. It’s ballsy, but I fully believe that this trade is worth it. (Full post here)
Thanks for the read guys! Hope ya'll are having a great new year!
submitted by The_L1st to UtahJazz [link] [comments]

2020.01.07 20:02 The_L1st The Great Gamble: Sixers/Jazz

Hey guys, I just thought up the possibility of this trade this morning, and the more I thought about it the more I liked it for both teams. I highly doubt it happens, but it's just an idea. I just posted the article up on my site but wanted to share it here and get your feedback!
Al Horford from the 76ers to Utah for Mike Conley Jr
The money works

Why the Jazz make this Trade

Mike Conley has been out with injury since early December, and prior to that he was struggling greatly to integrate into Utah’s offense. While it would seem logical to continue to roll with this team and try to make things work with Conley once he returns, I would strongly look at moving Conley if I’m Utah.
Since December 4th (Conley’s initial injury), the Jazz have gone 12-3 and crafted a 113.9 offensive rating, the fourth best mark in the league during that span. With Conley in the lineup Utah owns a bottom ten offense in the league.
To be fair, Utah has played an easier schedule since Conley has gone down, but the sample size and on court product provide overwhelming evidence that the Jazz may be better off moving on from Conley. With the current run they are on, they could negatively impact their playoff seeding trying to make the offense work with Conley. With Conley out, Donovan Mitchell has been given much more on-ball opportunity and the offense has run primarily through him. He’s a capable shooting guard, but it’s become clear during his young career that he best projects as a lead ballhandler.
Conley there minimizes the amount of control that Mitchell has over the offense, and I think with the results we’ve gotten from the past month, I’d roll the dice and keep moving with this format. For reference, Mitchell has been much more efficient and expanded his playmaking abilities since starting at the point (24.5/4.8/3.6 on 43.5%FG/36.9%3pFG/83%FT with Conley to now 25.6/4.1/5.5 on 50.2%/34.8%/85.7%). Mitchell’s Assist/Turnover ratio has actually improved which is great considering that he’s gone from a secondary to primary creator. These numbers, as well as watching Utah, shows that Mitchell has been able to get his shot and finish inside with much better efficiency now that he has more room to operate.
Joe Ingles has slid back into the starting lineup and quietly been a primary reason for Utah’s run, as he’s slashing 14.9ppg/4.5rbs/6asts on 51.9%FG/51.6%3pFG/89%FT. Prior he’d been one of the worst offensive players in the league (7.3pts/4.3rbs/3.5 asts on 36.4%FG/30.9% 3pFG/75% FT), and looked like his shot and game was broken.
So why does Horford make sense? The Jazz don’t have a four. They currently deploy Royce O’Neale, Georges Niang, and Bojan Bogdanovic at the second forward spot. While that has been great for their spacing and offensive game, it limits their defensive potential. O’Neale and Bogdanovic are plus defenders but both are much too small to capably defend the premier forwards of the West. Horford provides the defensive versatility that this team gave up when they moved on from Derrick Favors, without clogging up the offense in the same way. There is no one on this roster who can capably defend Anthony Davis (Gobert is not mobile enough, he makes his living at the rim not fifteen feet out) and having Horford gives you a player who can matchup against him.
Horford could also slot in as Utah’s backup center behind Gobert. If their minutes are staggered there are still a great deal of opportunities to go small and play 4 or 5 out.
Yes Horford is older and on a longer contract, but I believe in Quin Snyder to integrate him into the offense in a way that utilizes him as more than just a spot up shooter like has been in Philly. Just imagine the elbow playmaking/two man game that Horford and Mitchell could craft. I dream of offense like that. Horford’s game has never relied on athleticism and while his deal is large, I don’t think his play will fall off dramatically. Even if he greatly declines he’s one of the best vets in the league and could be moved in the future.

Why the Sixers make this Trade

The Sixers currently run the second least pick n roll in the league. Their halfcourt offense is one of the least watchable things on national television and I cringe everytime the game hits the final three minutes in the fourth quarter. This is what a Philly offensive set looks like in the fourth quarter of a close game; Ben Simmons brings the ball up, passes off to Josh Richardson, J-Rich dribbles for 5 seconds drives in passes out to Harris, Harris drives in has no look and passes out to Embiid in the high post, he gets doubled, passes out to Korkmaz who swings it to Harris who dribbles 6 times and shoots a 19-footer that hits the backboard.
I’m not trying to be harsh, just honest. Ben Simmons is not a point guard. A point guard can run pick and rolls, or some semblance of offense. For whatever reason, he cannot or does not do that. He often brings up the ball and fades away for the possesion, maybe he comes in for a putback or will cut back door, but often he just hangs out in the dunker spot.
Simmons needs to stop being looked at as a guard, and more as a high energy forward with good handles. He’s more like Larry Nance than any kind of guard I can think of. Brett Brown, or maybe a different coach, needs to craft an offense that utilizes Simmons as a screener, cutter, and abuser of mismatches against smaller players. And I think the best way to do that is to bring an a great passer and ball mover like Conley.
By moving on from Horford, Harris can play the four (where he should be/actually fits), Simmons can play up to the three, and Richardson is allowed to slot back as a secondary ballhandler, as he has been the primary creator for this team late in games. Conley who has played with another incredible post finisher in Marc Gasol, would immediately be the best passer that Joel Embiid has ever played with.
He would be able to find Embiid more readily in the post and I believe he would make this offense flow much more smoothly. Embiid is a force and the best weapon this team has. Right now, he’s not being used like it the majority of the time. This team needs to be Embiidcentric, and this is a step towards that. Simmons is incredible as a talent and has loads of potential, but this is a better trajectory for the team to try and win a title now.
Part of the issue for Conley this year has been the awkward fit with Gobert. Gobert is a great pick and roll threat but that’s really it. Embiid is phenomenal as a pick and roll partner and provides more spacing for Conley just with his gravity (defenders will be much less willing to drop off Embiid to cover Conley than they would be to drop off Gobert). Gobert operates within a 5 foot are, Embiid can operate anywhere on the court and while it may not seem like a big difference, this could mean the world for Conley’s at rim finishing.
Horford just has not fit in Philly and has voiced his displeasure with his role on offense. Even if the Conley trade were to not workout, Conley’s deal ends 2 years prior to Horford’s and will be an expiring next year which would be much easier for Elton Brand to stomach.

The Point

Both of these teams don’t want to make this trade and admit that their big offseason splashes didn’t pan out. But, I think this is one of the rare trades that benefits both teams. Philly and the Jazz have both largely disappointed after being seemingly primed for deep runs in the preseason by the media and their own front office’s. Winning a title requires calculated risks, and gambling with your assets to achieve something greater. It’s ballsy, but I fully believe that this trade is worth it. (Full post here)
Thanks for the read guys! Hope ya'll are having a great new year and your teams are doing well!
submitted by The_L1st to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]

2020.01.05 18:07 ZandrickEllison [OC] Dr. Zan's Cure for What Ails Ya: the flailing Philadelphia 76ers

The NBA is about a third of the way through the long race of the regular season. Some teams have galloped out to great starts -- some teams have stumbled out of the gates -- and some teams look like a horse who broke his leg and needs to get sent to the glue factory.
Our intention with this new series to focus on some of those ailing squads and offer some possible remedies for their long-term health. We already took a look at one team in dire need of help with the New York Knicks, and now we're going to examine a team that's not living up to their potential yet.
Misdiagnosis: Rotten Core
To be clear, the Philadelphia 76ers are a good basketball team. They're coming off two 50-win seasons, and are on pace for yet another 50-win season this year (currently at 23-14.)
However, this isn't a franchise or fan base that will be content with 50-win seasons forever. The end goal of this "Process" was always a championship ring, or at the very least a Finals appearance or two. And at the moment, that trip to the Finals is no guarantee. The Sixers have lost 4 in a row and have stumbled to the 6th seed. There's a tight pack in that 2-6 range, but all five of those teams appear to be a notch below the Milwaukee Bucks.
More and more, we're hearing grumblings about the roster construction. About the fit of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as the core duo. Does this team need to -- gasp -- blow it up???
Personally, I'm not as much of a pyromaniac as others who love to see that dynamite and those smoldering flames. Consider me a pacifist. Someone who favors tweaks and adjustments rather than starting from scratch.
Because, I would submit, this foundation is NOT fundamentally flawed. Sure, Ben Simmons is not the type of player who can fit seamlessly on any roster (in the same way a shooting wing like a Kevin Durant or Paul George might.) Sure, there's some clunkiness to the halfcourt offense with both stars in the lineup. But at the end of the day, there are more positives than negatives here. They're both young. They both have great size for their position. They both play tough D. Together, that gives the Sixers an edge and identity over most teams.
However, to take that next step from good to great, the team is going to have to take a hard look in the mirror. When I look at this team myself, here are the flaws and possible fixes that I see.
Actual Diagnosis: Rotten Rotation
The pairing between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid can work. However, because they're such unique and specific talents, it becomes paramount that the rest of the roster fit together like a glove around them. That's a challenge for Elton Brand and any GM. In theory, it's easy to say -- "add a bunch of 3+D wings!" -- then it is to actually find those wings.
This summer, the Philadelphia 76ers lost forward Jimmy Butler to free agency, but replaced him with another star: Al Horford. Although Horford is now 33, he's still a very good addition to any roster. He's a high-IQ player who's still a good defender, a good ball mover (3.7 assists per game this season), and a capable stretch big.
However, you can quibble about the "fit" on this specific Sixers team. Horford fancies himself a power forward (which was possibly part of the draw to Philly), but sliding over to that spot negates some of his advantages. For a center, he's a good shooter. For a power forward? He's about average. He's been below average this year, hitting just 33.8% of his threes and netting a true shooting of only 52.2%.
Horford's shooting will likely bounce back to some degree this season, but in the long term, he's going to be in decline. And that's a big concern. Horford is good at 33 years old, but will he still be good at 34? At 35? Brand and the Sixers took a sizable gamble on him, locking him in for a 4-year deal at near $25M a season. It's looking more and more likely that contract will get ugly in the back half of its life.
In the meantime, and in the future, the Sixers should think about possibly staggering Horford and Embiid as much as possible. Their offense isn't on track right now, grading as only the 16th best in the NBA according to basketball reference. Perhaps sliding Horford to a 6th man role (and still playing him 30 minutes a night) would work, presuming you can slot in a good wing in the starting lineup in his place.
And that brings us to the second (and bigger) problem on the team. There simply aren't a lot of options. The top 5 is strong, but the bench is woefully thin. Furkan Korkmaz is OK, but nothing special. Mattise Thybulle is promising, but still a rookie. Second-year players like Zhaire Smith, Shake Milton, and Jonah Bolden haven't broken out yet. Veterans Mike Scott and James Ennis are aging more like Chris Tucker than P.J. Tucker.
Not only does the limited options hurt the Sixers in terms of their offensive firepower, but it hurts in terms of their flexibility as well. Coach Brett Brown can't tinker with too many lineups or strategies because he's got limited cards in his hand. If we can give him some more weapons, then perhaps this team can be more dangerous in turn.
Prescription: A new 6th man
The Philadelphia 76ers will make the playoffs. And as long as Joel Embiid is 100% healthy, then it won't matter much who their 9th or 10th man will be. Rotations will shrink, and their lack of depth will become less of an issue than usual. They'll only need a strong 8 man rotation to make some real noise out East.
The Sixers aren't too far away from that. As mentioned, Furkan Korkmaz is playable. Backup PG Trey Burke is decent, and Matisse Thybulle has some real upside as a 3+D player. But still, you'd like to see an upgrade here. You'd like a real difference maker who can either anchor the second unit as a scorer, or a plug-in 5th pseudo-starter who would allow them to stagger their current stars more often (whether that results in Al Horford coming off the bench or not.)
The hard part of this prescription is that the Sixers don't have many means to purchase it. Their salary cap is bloated, slotted to pay out over $130M over the next few years. Their cupboard of trade assets is also limited, with no R1 pick this year. They're also lacking mid-range contracts that can work as fillers -- with no one in the $6-10M range that they can toss into a deal.
If the Sixers do make a trade for a better 6th-7th man, they'll have to be creative. They don't have a R1 pick, but they own Atlanta and New York's R2 pick. And as luck would have it, those are two of the worst teams in the NBA right now. Those picks should be in the 30-35 range, which gives them moderate value. Those picks, along with Zhaire Smith, represent their best chance at cobbling together a compelling trade package.
What's out there for that modest price? Let's take a look.
Meds On the Market
SG J.J. REDICK, New Orleans Pelicans
as a player
Philadelphia 76ers fans are more than familiar with Mr. Jonathan Clay Redick, who must have added the extra "J" in his name because of his shooting stroke. In his first season with Philadelphia (at age 33), Redick set a career high with 17.1 points per game. He followed that up by setting another career high with 18.1 PPG last season. Still, Redick’s performance in the playoffs left the team wanting more from the position, which resulted in a parting of the ways in free agency.
Now in New Orleans, Redick has kept on chugging. The Pelicans' season hasn't gone according to plan, but Redick is giving the team exactly what you'd expect. He hasn't lost his shooting touch at all; in fact, he's blazing at 46.0% from three this season.
Bringing Redick back to Philadelphia wouldn't be admitting to a mistake; it made sense to try and find a better defensive player in the starting lineup. Rather, Redick would contribute to the team in a different way. If he returns to Philly, he'd come off the bench and play about 25 minutes a night. In that role, he could give the second unit some pop and prevent any prolonged scoring/shooting slumps. There's very little risk of growing pains or adjustment either because he'd obviously be familiar with the system.
as an asset
The biggest issue with Redick right now is his age (35) and his sagging defensive performance. He's not cheap either, scheduled to get paid $13.5M this season and $13.5M the next. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, the team isn't likely to make waves in the Western Conference by the time that contract expires.
Despite that, I doubt that the Pelicans would dump Redick for nothing. He serves as a good mentor for them, and will make their young stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson more effective with his spacing. However, if a team came to David Griffin with a genuine asset (let's say Zhaire Smith + contract filler), he'd have to listen. The Sixers would have to add up a bunch of contracts to make the math work (Zhaire + Mike Scott + Kyle O'Quinn + James Ennis, etc). That could be a risk because it'd test their already-tenuous depth. However, the goal isn't to have a strong 12-man depth chart; you want a strong 7-8 man rotation to make your playoff push.
SG E'TWAUN MOORE, New Orleans Pelicans
as a player
When the New Orleans Pelicans signed E'Twaun Moore to a sizable contract a few years ago, the reaction of most fans was... who? And even now, that's still the consensus take on Moore.
However, savvy NBA fans know that Moore has been an effective player for New Orleans. In a sense, he's what teams want in a "3+D" wing. He's shot over 42% from three in each of the past three seasons. Defensively, he's a little undersized in terms of his height (6'4"), but he's aided by a 6'9" wingspan that allows him to guard SGs and SFs effectively.
E'Twaun Moore's minutes are down this season (from 30 to 20, basically), due to increased depth and some injuries. However, when he's back to 100%, he can be an effective 5th starter or a high-level backup. Philadelphia could debate starting Moore (and sliding Horford to a 6th man role), or simply use him as a SG/SF backup to soak up minutes.
as an asset
If the New Orleans Pelicans decide to hold a garage sale, the Sixers and all contenders should be eyeing E'Twaun Moore. He's on the final year of a contract that will pay him $8.5M over the course of this season. It doesn't appear like Moore (age 30) will be a big part of the Pelicans' future, so they should theoretically be open to dealing him for future assets.
A deal here could be as simple as contract filler (like Kyle O'Quinn, Raul Neto, James Ennis, etc) plus one of those high R2 picks. Again, the Sixers' R2 picks will be at the top of the round, so they're not much different from a late first rounder.
PF MARVIN WILLIAMS, Charlotte Hornets
as a player
Historically, Marvin Williams may be best known as the hyped-up freshman who came off the bench for UNC and somehow managed to get drafted at # 2 ahead of the likes of Chris Paul. However, he's quietly hung around the league for years and years, becoming a solid starter in the process. He's played in 1046 games and started 827 of them.
The key for Williams' longevity has been his increased range and his effectiveness as a stretch four. Last season, he would have averaged 12.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per 36 minutes, hitting 36.6% of his threes in the process. That may not be anything to write home about, but it's enough to be a serviceable starter. Williams is also known as a good teammate, adding to his credibility as a reliable veteran.
Unfortunately for Williams, "reliable veteran" is not what the rebuilding Charlotte Hornets are looking for right now. His minutes have dropped from 28 to 20 this season, and he hasn't started a game all year (after starting 75/75 last season.) Now 33, Williams is past his prime, but he can still be a contributor for most teams. Philadelphia could debate starting Williams over Al Horford for extra spacing, or simply using him as an upgrade on Mike Scott.
as an asset
Presumably, the Charlotte Hornets would be willing to move Marvin Williams for future assets. He's a free agent this summer, and is not going to be a huge part of their future. I imagine they've already tried to shop him to contenders already.
However, one of the reasons that's hard to do is because of a fat salary that's going to pay him $15M this season. That's not an easy contract to match, especially for a team like Philadelphia that doesn't have a lot of mid-range contracts. They'd need to package together a lot of pieces (Mike Scott + James Ennis + Kyle O'Quinn + Raul Neto + more) to make the math work. And certainly, the Hornets would need something more than expiring contracts to make a deal like this worth it on their end. Could they get Zhaire Smith as a throw-in? Unlikely. Would a R2 pick be enough? Maybe. Two R2s? Probably. But hey, Elton Brand, Mitch Kupchak, you figure out the details here; my job is to be a matchmaker, not a negotiator.
The Sixers should look around the league for similar templates to these. That is: solid veterans who are playing for teams that may be tanking soon. To that end, PG Langston Galloway (DET) is another good option. Galloway (on a $8M expiring) is more of a spacer than a traditional point guard, but that would work well on a team with Ben Simmons. For the Sixers, he'd be a nice option off the bench.
The Knicks' SG Wayne Ellington (owed $8M + $8M) is also a good shooter, although he carries sizable risk coming off an Achilles injury. If he's healthy and 100%, he can be a bootleg J.J. Redick for you. If he's not healthy and able to contribute, then he'd be an albatross contract. On the bright side, he should be more than "available" given the Knicks' situation.
If you want to dumpster dive and look at the free agent pile, there are some other risks to consider. SG J.R. Smith was a complete disaster towards the end of his run in Cleveland, but perhaps he'd be more motivated on a competitive team. Fellow vet SG Iman Shumpert will be a more reliable source of effort/defense, although his shot was inconsistent even in his prime.
I'd be remiss not to mention two "big names" as well. Memphis SF Andre Iguodala will likely get bought out eventually (it'll be hard to find a trade partner to match his contract.) Would he fit in a return to Philly? Eh. Kinda sorta. He'd be another capable defender, but it's hard to envision how an aging Iguodala is a notable upgrade over an improving Mattise Thybulle.
Of course, the splashiest move would be to bring in Cleveland PF Kevin Love. Love and Al Horford would be a near 1:1 match in terms of contract salary and contract length. From Philly's perspective, you can argue that Love would fit better into the offense given his superior shooting and that the team can afford to take the subsequent hit on D. He's also "available" (especially after the Sham Charania's reports about his tirade.) The rebuilding Cleveland Cavs wouldn't have much interest in a 33-year-old Al Horford, but maybe there's some version of a 3-way trade to be had here. Overall, this type of semi-blockbuster would probably be too risky on all sides, but it's a fun hypothetical to consider nonetheless.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

2019.12.17 23:18 TheHiveMindSpeaketh The Nuggets trading for Jrue Holiday makes too much sense not to happen

First of all let's get this out of the way: the Nuggets are my favorite team and Jrue Holiday is my favorite player so I am obviously biased.
That said, I have said this multiple times last offseason. Here was my reasoning:
The Pelicans have said they're committed to keeping Jrue. To me this sounds like thinking with the heart rather than the head. Jrue is a secondary star not a primary star and it seems like it would be better to load up on some young talent. This trade gives them a young potential star in Beasley, a good established vet in Harris who can start at the 3 (by far their weakest position) and some extra draft capital. In return the Nuggets get an elite defender, a guy who's comfortable playing off-ball with Jokic but can take over and make his own shot in crunch time. A true secondary star who with the continued development of Murray gives them the firepower to be real championship contenders in my opinion.
But the case goes further than that. Look at the Nuggets salaries (or watch the games) and you quickly realize their problem: they have too many good players. That sounds silly but it's true: they currently have a bunch of guys who are good players on good contract but not elite. Gary Harris, Jerami Grant, Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Torrey Craig, and MPJ are all good pieces on reasonable contracts. But there's not enough room in the rotation for all of them to play and when their contracts are up, most of them are going to want significant raises and the Nuggets will not be able to retain them all. The Nuggets need to make a consolidation move where they package multiple of these good assets for a single elite player, or they will continue underutilizing them before seeing many leave in free agency.
The obvious move is to make a deal for a floundering team's star. A bottom-dwelling team could collect these assets and flip them for a high pick, develop them, etc. The Pelicans are finding themselves in this situation with Jrue Holiday. I know that they publicly wanted Jrue to lead this revamped team, that he's a great locker room presence, a dependable vet, the fans like him, I know. But as I said this is thinking more with their hearts than their heads. Jrue is not the kind of guy who is going to be a team's primary star, he is an elite complementary piece (like a Klay Thompson or Al Horford). And his timeline simply doesn't line up with the Ball/Ingram/Zion core that the Pelicans are now building around.
Going for a deal centered around Beasley + Harris just makes too much sense for the Pelicans. Beasley would be a much better backcourt partner with Lonzo, who would add needed 3P shooting instead of doubling down on slashing and defense. Gary Harris offers the ability to be basically Jrue-light as a veteran lockerroom presence who can play good defense at the 2 or 3 and chip in with a reasonable amount of offensive production.
Meanwhile Jrue is a near-perfect fit with the Nuggets. With the Nuggets committed to Jamal Murray, Jrue will be free to slide into his preferred position at 2-guard. Meanwhile the Nuggets are in a unique situation where the offense flows through Jokic and Murray is not the perfect playmaker. But Jrue wants to be the secondary ballhander and playmaker and is an outstanding cutter and finisher at the rim, which makes him a great offensive partner for Jokic. He also offers the ability to create his own shot in clutch situations which the Nuggets arguably could use in the playoffs and bigger games. And of course he is (in my opinion) the best non-big-man defender in the NBA.
Assume the trade is something like Harris + Beasley + Hernangomez + a first for Jrue, possibly with some salary filler on the margins. This gives the Nuggets a starting lineup of Murray/Holiday/Barton/Millsap/Jokic with a still-strong bench of Morris/Craig/Grant/PortePlumlee. Meanwhile the Pelicans can shift to Ball/Redick/Harris/Ingram/Favors and have Beasley as their primary option off the bench, with the goal of moving him into Redick's starting role after further development or a trade.
I just don't see how this doesn't happen. It makes too much sense.
submitted by TheHiveMindSpeaketh to nba [link] [comments]

2019.09.13 15:11 ZandrickEllison [OC] we always ask "what lineup would you use to beat the aliens?" but we never ask "WHICH aliens?" And with that in mind, I present the proper alien-fighting lineup for all scenarios

During the offseason, we tend to float silly hypotheticals around here. One of the most common for redditors and real writers like Bill Simmons alike is: "What lineup would you use to beat the aliens?" Essentially, we're trying to suggest the BEST LINEUP on Earth, using the conceit of an alien invasion as a mere prop for that discussion.
But aliens deserve more respect than that. We can't just lump "aliens" all together, because no two alien invaders are exactly alike. So rather than suggest a lineup against "the aliens," I'm going to suggest specific lineups against 10 specific alien species.
So welcome, my friends and fellow bored fans, to --
PG: Russell Westbrook (HOU)
SG: Jimmy Butler (MIA)
SF: Aaron Gordon (ORL)
PF: Zion Williamson (NO)
C: Joel Embiid (PHI)
the game plan
We start the tournament against our traditional rival, the classic "Little Green Men" (of Area 51 and Roswell fame.) And since these are little green men, our intention is to beat them with a big lineup and a "bully ball" approach. Spacing? Who needs spacing? Our plan is to live in the paint and dominate on the glass. We want a blowout victory to set the tone for the rest of the tournament, with some Zion Williamson dunking and some Joel Embiid cackling to hammer the point home.
PG: Mike Conley (UTA)
SG: J.J. Redick (NO)
SF: Andre Iguodala (MEM)
PF: Kevin Love (CLE)
C: Al Horford (PHI)
the game plan
While we wanted to humiliate the Little Green Men, we don't have the same type of animosity against the lovable aliens from E.T.'s planet. In fact, we want as respectful and diplomatic of a lineup as possible. Mike Conley would set the friendly tone with his tech-free approach, while media darlings J.J. Redick, Andre Iguodala, and Kevin Love could handle the clean communication. Even our center Al Horford will refuse to take advantage and pad his stats.
PG: Ben Simmons (PHI)
SG: Manu Ginobili (SA)
SF: Robert Covington (MIN)
PF: Pascal Siakam (TOR)
C: Rudy Gobert (UTA)
the game plan
The cold-hearted Independence Day aliens (similar to War of the World aliens) are our toughest opponent yet. They're not here to mess around -- they want to come down, fuck shit up, and conquer. Their patented style of play is an aggressive offense that will attack at a moment's notice. Given that, building a strong defensive wall will be critical for us. Like a young Will Smith, Ben Simmons be the rising superstar to lead our team into battle, drawing in an alliance from all over the world (with 5 separate continents represented in the lineup.) Is it a mistake to give the over-the-hill Manu Ginobili one of those spots? Maybe. But you can't beat these Harvesters with brawn alone; the crafty Ginobili can be our Jeff Goldblum and figure out the hole in the aliens' defense.
PG: J.J. Barea (DAL)
SG: Isaiah Thomas (WAS)
SF: Joe Ingles (UTA)
PF: Nemanja Bjelica (SAC)
C: Nikola Jokic (DEN)
the game plan
Once again, we have to utilize our craftiness to beat an opponent. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers would surely try to swap some bodies, so we will give them the worst "bodies" we can find. Either limited by height (J.J. Barea and I.T.), or athleticism (like Nikola Jokic), the Body Snatchers would be befuddled by their physical limitations. Meanwhile, our high-IQ and highly-skilled players could still thrive no matter what physical vessel they may inhabit.
PG: De'Aaron Fox (SAC)
SG: Luka Doncic (DAL)
SF: Jayson Tatum (BOS)
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr. (MEM)
C: Draymond Green (GS)
the game plan
The Demogorgon from Strangers Things isn't necessarily an alien from outer space, but it comes from a different plane in the Upside-Down and is hence an "alien" to our world. And while it's quite dangerous (kinda?), these monsters clearly have trouble keeping up with young legs. To that end, we wanted a youthful team featuring players like Jayson Tatum and Jaren Jackson Jr. Meanwhile, Slovenian wunderkind Luka Doncic has the "Eleven"-like magic touch, while Draymond Green will fulfill our Hopper role of being the veteran punchekicker who will get wildly angry from time to time for no apparent reason.
PG: Lonzo Ball (NO)
SG: Markelle Fultz (ORL)
SF: Andre Roberson (OKC)
PF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)
C: Bismack Biyombo (CHA)
the game plan
(Spoiler alert!) but the "prawns" from District 9 turn out to be far less aggressive and threatening than their appearance may lead you to believe. Sure, we need a sensible and respectful defense, but we don't need to aggravate tension. Our instructions to our team are clear: "don't shoot!" As long as we keep a roster of reluctant shooters in tow, the prawns should ultimately realize that their hearts are not in this tournament and start their retreat.
PG: Matthew Dellavedova (CLE)
SG: James Harden (HOU)
SF: Rui Hachimura (WAS)
PF: Yi Jianlian (CHINA)
C: Steven Adams (OKC)
the game plan
As we get deeper into the tournament, the level of competition steps up a few notches. Combating the alien monsters from Pacific Rim represents a tall task: literally. We're talking about kaiju who may run over 300 feet. You're not going to overwhelm this team physically, so we need intangibles. We need soldiers who are going to display teamwork, grit, and the determination to protect their Pacific Ocean home turf. How are we actually going to win, though? How will this particular team score? Good question. James Harden will have to do the lion's share of the work by drawing and exaggerating contact (which should be frequent.) And for all we criticize Harden, he is the rare player with Jaeger-like body armor to take those hits and keep on chugging. If we can get him 40+ free throws, this game may be winnable after all.
XENOMORPH ALIENS (from the Aliens franchise)
PG: Marcus Smart (BOS)
SG: Elena Delle Donne (WAS)
SF: Kawhi Leonard (LAC)
PF: James Johnson (MIA)
C: Marshall Plumlee (USA)
the game plan
On paper, the xenomorphs appear to be one of the fiercest and scariest matchups in the field. Fortunately, there's been a clear template to combat them. You start with a group of tough and rugged soldiers – Marcus Smart, James Johnson, and Marshall Plumlee (who had literally signed up for the Marine Corps already) – and add one wildcard cyborg to the mix (in Kawhi Leonard.) And of course, the key is anchoring the lineup with a strong female leader like Elena Delle Donne. In fact, she may be an even deadlier shot than Ripley. This past season for the Mystics, Delle Donne registered a 50/40/90 season, including 97% from the free throw line.
PG: Stephen Curry (GS)
SG: Klay Thompson (GS)
SF: Paul George (LAC)
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)
C: Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)
the game plan
One of the most difficult opponents in the field and a betting favorite in Vegas, the Predators are going to be tough to beat. Not only are they fierce and ruthless killers who hunt for sport, they also possess superior intelligence, advanced technology/analytics, and unlike some others in the field: opposable thumbs. So how in the world can we beat a team like that? More wily tricks, of course. The Predators have heat vision, so our approach will be to surround the perimeter with great shooters who can get red "hot," draw the defense out, and allow the Greek Freak Giannis to sneak in and deliver the knockout blow.
PG: Damian Lillard (POR)
SG: Bradley Beal (WAS)
SF: Kevin Durant (BKN)
PF: LeBron James (LAL)
C: Anthony Davis (LAL)
the game plan
Yes, Superman is an alien, despite all appearances -- so maybe you should take a step back and consider your own biases regarding space lifeforms, huh. In fact, our intergalactic television partners are hyping up this contest as the marquee matchup in the entire field. They're blasting thousands of comet and asteroid advertisements across space with a simple marketing pitch: LeBron James vs. Superman!!
Does LeBron James have a chance in that individual matchup? Of course not, you silly goose. LeBron is a great basketball player, but Superman is a virtual god. He has superhuman strength, X-ray vision, ice cold breath, and the literal ability to fly. In some ways, he is SO powerful and invulnerable that he's actually a little boring of a character.
And therein lies our secret strategy. We'll sic LeBron's BFF Rich Paul (our Lex Luthor evil genius) to spread that message around the star system. Superman is boring. He's old news. His "Superman" franchise been stalling out. Meanwhile, the popularity of LeBron James and the NBA continues to soar. That's where the money is! Paul needs to convince the league, the refs, and those TV partners of ours to give Team Earth a little edge and some favorable calls. Because if we can rattle the Kryptonians early on, they're likely to start turning on each other and self-destructing. Just ask Jor-El.
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

2019.08.30 02:47 JD20shoots3s BSPN: 2014 Playoff Preview

Hello everyone and welcome to the official BSPN playoff preview. This is going to be a in-depth analysis of the 1st round match-ups followed by a less intensive analysis of the predicted match-ups, written by me on behalf of BSPN. This year we will be including other moderator's predictions as well as my own.

Match-up 1: New York Knicks vs. Detroit Pistons

For the 3rd year in a row the New York Knicks hold the number 1 seed in the East. For the 3rd year in a row they should skate through this round fairly easily. They are led by back-to-back Finals MVP Danilo Gallinari and he will surely want to secure his team the three-peat. They return far more than just their star, they are actually returning their top 9 players from their championship team of last year. This season has seen Cole Aldrich finally take over for David Lee in the starting lineup, however David Lee has settled into his role quite nicely as the go-to player on offense off the bench. I expect the Knicks to go very far this post season once again.
The Detroit Pistons have taken a step back from last season, but that is largely due to losing their starting point guard, and only primary ball handler to a season ending ACL tear. The rest of the team is built well, they have reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Greg Monroe, leading the way surrounded with a bunch of long, athletic defenders. They will keep this series low scoring but they lack the star power and fire power to overtake the Knicks in my opinion.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Knicks in 5 Knicks in 6 Knicks in 6 Knicks in 6 Knicks in 5

Match-up 2: Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards

The Boston Celtics are one of the deepest teams in the history of this league, and this depth has led them to their first playoff appearance since 2010. They don't have a true star but they have 8 players who would be solid starters on just about any team. Team legend Paul Pierce is also still on the roster and he looks to end his career on a high note. This team may pose the Knicks an issue as they will be one of the first times they face a team deeper than themselves.
The Wizards have made the conference finals three times. THREE times. That is every time they have made the playoffs. I do not see them doing that this year, however they do have a slight shot. They run a unique lineup that features two PGs and two Cs with a hybrid forward in Michael Beasley. They are led however by Al Horford they are going to need Horford to have the series of a lifetime to take down the depth of the Celtics. I think this is the end of the Wizards deep playoff runs.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Celtics in 6 Celtics in 7 Wizards in 7 Celtics in 7 Celtics in 6

Match-up 3: Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls

The Miami Heat have always felt like they were just off the pace of being contenders. Even when they went to the finals they weren't really ready. I think this year may be their best year. You know what you are going to get from Carmelo Anthony, one of this leagues true elite stars. They also made moves to get a bit deeper and they have gotten significantly better at Center while retaining their former starter as a backup. Yao Ming is the X-factor for this team as his distribution from the post has been essential to this team's offensive revolution. If they can get a good level of production from Melo's very solid supporting cast they could prove very difficult to beat. This is a re-match of the first round match-up last year that saw the Heat win in 7.
The Chicago Bulls will be missing their star point guard Derrick Rose for the first two games of the season. I expect this to have a huge effect on the series and assuming the Bulls don't steal a game without him, they will need him to step up in what would feel like a must win Game 3. Outside of the Rose injury this team is very good. The GM and coach have been oddly silent all year and have been starting Kyle Singler every game even though he has not played up to a starter quality. Terrence Jones should probably start and he has a bright future. If they can steal a game without Rose the Bulls will have a great chance in this series, however I don't see that happening.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Heat in 5 Bulls in 7 Bulls in 7 Heat in 7 Heat in 5

Match-up 4: Toronto Raptors vs. New Jersey Nets

The Raptors have had an incredible season. They have two superstar point guards and they have led this team to the 2 seed for the 2nd time in three years. They do have one flaw however. The starting lineup is very short. They don't have anyone taller than 6'9" in the starting lineup. David West and Marvin Williams will have to play bigger than they are for this team to get further than the 2nd round. This should give everyone big time deja vu, as this exact match-up happened in the 2011 playoffs in which the Nets upset the Raptors in 5 games.
The New Jersey Nets have a love affair with the 7 seed. This is their 3rd time as the 7 seed and they have never been knocked out of the first round when making the playoffs. I can honestly see history repeating itself. They have good enough perimeter defenders and very solid bigs who are TALL. It will be tight but I expect the star backcourt should carry the Raptors through to the 2nd round.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Raptors in 7 Raptors in 6 Nets in 7 Raptors in 4 Raptors in 5

Match-up 5: San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The San Antonio Spurs have finally gotten the number 1 seed in the Western Conference. Oddly enough this has been their worst season (record wise) since 2010, which saw them get to the conference finals. They have never been knocked out of the 1st round and no one expects them to lose here. This perfectly well balanced roster is once again the favorite to take the West.
For back-to-back seasons the Thunder are the 8 seed. This young team is slowly improving and will likely be a force in the years to come, however this will be another quick exit for the Thunder. The upside of their 4 starters that are younger than 25 is incredible, Anthony Davis is only 21 years old and will only continue to get better.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Spurs in 4 Spurs in 5 Spurs in 4 Spurs in 4 Spurs in 4

Match-up 6: Phoenix Suns vs. Denver Nuggets

The Suns have the analytics boys favorite player in the league, DeMarcus Cousins he is a legit force in the paint and he has seen his defensive production improve this season. With a strong partner in crime in Al-Farouq Aminu, and veteran leader Dirk Nowitzki as help for Cousins they are looking poised for a good run. The issue is they have a VERY weak backcourt. They start two very unproven and honestly not very good players in Goran Dragic and Sergey Karasev.
The Nuggets made some big moves to shoot themselves right up the standings and make the playoffs. Mike Conley on his 6th team in 5 years has led a team to the playoffs yet again. The rest of the team is solid however I would love to see Mo Harkless start over Devin Harris at least in this series. Javale McGee will have the biggest assignment of the series and if he can contain Cousins as he did in the regular season, in which the Nuggets split the season series, I see the Nuggets taking this one. However only ClevelandFan agreed with me.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Nuggets in 6 Nuggets in 7 Suns in 6 Suns in 7 Suns in 6

Match-up 7: Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trailblazers

After an off-season that saw drama about Anthony Randolph's age the reining MIP and MVP has had a better season offensively however his defensive numbers have taken a hit. The Warriors have taken a step back due to the trade of Chris Paul which did allow them to get significantly younger, but take a severe hit in point guard play as the highly anticipated Spaniard, Ricky Rubio, has yet to hit his once seen potential. The Warriors may be able to get far on the back of Randolph, but I don't see them as better than the Spurs anymore.
Last year's NBA finalists from the West saw a huge decrease in their record, however they came alive near the end of the season and Brandon Roy is still one of the best guards in the league. They also have a very deep team and have seen many bench players step up to new levels this season. They will give the Warriors everything they have but they don't have anyone to handle Anthony Randolph.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Warriors in 6 Trailblazers in 7 Warriors in 7 Warriors in 7 Warriors in 6

Match-up 8: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Grizzlies were in this game last year, however it was as the 7 seed. The Grizzlies are the most improved team in the league and that is largely due to the acquisition of Ersan Ilyasova from Miami. He has been the main man, while Ekpe Udoh has settled into his Robin role well. Their main distributor is point forward Landry Fields, he has been a great player this season replacing Rudy Gay incredibly, and O.J. Mayo while not making the All-Star team this year saw a slight improvement in his production. They could very well see themselves on a trip to the finals if they can make it past Golden State.
Minnesota has a legit star in Kevin Love, a very solid 2nd option in Gordon Hayward, and the best passer in the league in Chris Paul but after that, they are very lackluster. Also with the rumors of Kevin Love being traded I am sure his mind may be elsewhere. If Love can put his head down and play to his ability the Timberwolves have an outside shot but I see the Grizzlies dominating this series.
JDshoots3s ClevelandFan sbarros21 Daniel Po
Grizzlies in 5 Grizzlies in 6 Grizzlies in 6 Grizzlies in 6 Grizzlies in 7
That concludes the in-depth first round previews I will now do short write-ups for the Conference Semi-Finals, Conference Finals, and the RBL Finals. These match-ups will be done based on the most voted for result by the moderators.

Eastern Conference Semi-Finals

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics
This will be a huge series, Boston will give New York everything they can handle but this Knicks dynasty has just enough star power to see themselves through to the Conference Finals.
New York Knicks in 7
Toronto Raptors vs. Miami Heat
Miami has the best player who loves to play against these Raptors, however the Raptors are much improved over last season. Ty Lawson and Kyrie Irving the Tobacco Road duo in the backcourt will take these Heat down in another very tight series.
Toronto Raptors in 7

Western Conference Semi-Finals

San Antonio Spurs vs. Phoenix Suns
DeMarcus Cousins is the best player in this series, but the Spurs are the much better overall team. I expect the Spurs to easily move forward again. It will be a gentleman's sweep as Cousins will take a game on his own.
San Antonio Spurs in 5
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors
This is a crazy good match-up. The Warriors have the best player but the Grizzlies are a well-rounded team. The Grizzlies also went 3-1 in the regular season against the Warriors. I expect the same to ring true in the playoffs.
Memphis Grizzlies in 6

Eastern Conference Finals

New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors
The Knicks get lucky here and their deep frontcourt heavily out match the Raptors. A rematch of last years 1-8 seed match-up in the East, will end in a largely similar result.
New York Knicks in 5

Western Conference Finals

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies
The Spurs stop the massively improved Grizzlies and return to the finals. LaMarcus Aldridge will get another chance to bring San Antonio a championship in his time in Texas.
San Antonio Spurs in 6

RBL Finals

New York Knicks vs. San Antonio Spurs
The two best teams in the league. It is just that simple. Will the Knicks get the three-peat? Will Aldridge deliver the Spurs fans their first ring since the Tim Duncan era? I think the Knicks get their three-peat. The Knicks are still the best team in the league and they will still reign supreme in the finals.
New York Knicks in 6
Thank you to all you RBL fans out there and I look forward to many great playoff match-ups!
submitted by JD20shoots3s to RBL_bbgm [link] [comments]

2019.07.03 03:09 Timmy_Bucketsss Underrated aspect of Horford signing: practice

It just hit me - Embiid is going to be able to practice against Al Horford's defense every day. That is bound to accelerate his development, no?
Horford has been one of the toughest defenders for Joel in his career to date... from my dumb, non-ball-playing perspective, it seems as though Al just has very solid fundamentals. It also seems reasonable to claim that Joel's fundamentals are lacking for a player of his caliber - simply because the game is far newer to him than most professionals.
So is it reasonable for me to assume that Embiid's fundamentals will sharpen up faster with Horford on the team? Is it reasonable to think that having each other as sparring partners will be great for both of them (but especially JoJo)?
submitted by Timmy_Bucketsss to sixers [link] [comments]

2019.07.01 16:20 NoCampaign7 Five Team Sign and Trade Idea

With a trade between the Heat and 76ers needing a salary dump partner, including the Celtics in a sign and trade may make sense. The problem? The Celtics are already involved in a sign and trade with the Hornets. So I'd like to propose a 5 team sign and trade adding the 76ers, Heat, and Nets to the original Celtics-Hornets sign and trade. Quick Reminder, for all the cap values below a player being signed in a sign and trade only counts for half the salary they are signing for for the team trading them away.
76ers Send Jimmy Butler (16.4M in Cap)
76ers Acquire Josh Richardson (10.1M) , Al Horford (~22M), Kendrick Nunn (1.4M), Duncan Robinson (1.4M), Yante Maten (1.4M)
The 76ers currently have about 38-39M in cap space, and can complete this trade absorbing the above contracts into cap space

Heat Send Josh Richardson (10.1M), Kelly Olynyk (11.7M), Kendrick Nunn (1.4M), Duncan Robinson (1.4M), Yante Maten (1.4M), Derrick Jones Jr. (1.6M)
Heat Acquire Jimmy Butler (32.7M)
To acquire Jimmy Butler, the Heat must sent out at least 26.2M in cap space. The above reaches that requirement. One of the 1.4M guys may not be needed, but I do not believe there is any way to complete this trade without including Derrick Jones Jr.

Celtics Send Terry Rozier (9M), Kyrie Irving (16.4M), Al Horford (~11M)
Celtics Acquire Kemba Walker (32.7M), Kelly Olynyk (11.7M)
The Celtics can acquire 125% of the salary that they send out, and participating in this trade let's the Celtics re-acquire Kelly Olynyk to be their starting Center. Now if Kyrie took the full max, the Celtic's could acquire around 13M to go with Kemba, but depending on how much of a paycut Kyrie Irving took this could cause issues.

Hornets Send Kemba Walker (16.4M)
Hornets Acquire Terry Rozier (18M), 2nd Round Pick from Heat, Whatever Compensation Celtic's are Already Giving
This part of the trade with the Hornets will remain unchanged from whatever the Celtics already have set-up.

Nets Send 2nd Round Pick to 76ers
Nets Acquire Kyrie Irving (30M???), Derrick Jones Jr., Some Compensation from Heat/Celtics
Nets are already under the hard cap given their trade with the Warriors, and giving them some compensation could incentive them to help.

Now I'm sure there is some problem with this sign and trade idea that I'm not thinking of, but this is the best I could do.
submitted by NoCampaign7 to nba [link] [comments]

2019.06.28 21:15 VeganKingsFan My case for Al Horford

I know he just turned 33, so he will play his next four seasons at 33, 34, 35 and 36. Hear me out though.
-Horford, possibly more than any other player in the NBA, has a game that ages very well.
-He is very high character and a hard worker, so he isn't going to take his last big contract and fall off a cliff.
-His passing and shooting will make the perfect pick and roll partner with De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.
-He is the perfect secondary playmaker in the starting lineup who can get Fox, Hield, Barnes and Bagley easy 3's and cuts to the rim.
-He's one of the best defensive big men in the NBA and great at boxing out, so Bagley and Barnes can pick up a good amount of rebounds.
-He's a great veteran presence who knows how to win and would be a great mentor and influence for all the young players. A veteran's presence is even more valuable when the player is very good.
-He can be a trailing 3 point shooter and secondary point guard after the defense is broken down.
-He creates great spacing for Bagley and would be a perfect pairing with him.
-He has always had great advanced numbers when it comes to winning.
-The $28M per year reported isn't as much as it seems in today's NBA for an All-Star. We could have 5 Al Horford level talents at that price if we were going over the cap to compete. We have a lot of players on good contracts, but we need high level talent to push us over the top.
-We still would have room to fill out our roster. Imagine Fox/Hield/Barnes/Bagley/Horford with something like Patrick Beverly/Bogdanovic/DeMarre Carrol/Bjelica/Giles off the bench. That's a great team for years to come.

In the end, I'm really not that worried about his age. He is durable, in good shape, high character, hard working, and has a game that ages extremely well.
submitted by VeganKingsFan to kings [link] [comments]

2019.05.10 17:33 devilmaskrascal Free Agent 4/5s, graded by perimeter defense & defensive rebounding

I found this fun site called which grades NBA players on a variety of measures.
Since we need a frontcourt partner with KP who is good at both perimeter defense and defensive rebounding, I made the following chart based on the scores of various frontcourt free agents.
Free Agent Perimeter Defense Defensive Rebounding
Nikola Mirotic C- A-
Julius Randle D- A
Marc Gasol C- A
Thaddeus Young A C-
Nikola Vucevic C+ A
DeMarcus Cousins B+ A
Al Horford F A-
Paul Millsap B D+
Brook Lopez D C
DeAndre Jordan F A
Ed Davis D A-
Marcus Morris D- B+
Al-Farouq Aminu B A-
Jonas Valanciunas F A
Enes Kanter D A
Bobby Portis C+ A-
Thomas Bryant F D
DeWayne Dedmon C- A
Hassan Whiteside D A
Robin Lopez F D+
Taj Gibson D C
Kenneth Faried C A
Markieff Morris C- A-
Aron Baynes F A-
JaMychal Green D- A
Ivica Zubac D- B
Dwight Powell A- A-
Maxi Kleber D+ B+
Kevin Durant F B+
EDIT: So Dwight Powell is the best fitting free agent in the entire league. How do y'all feel about starting him?
It looks like based on these grades our best options are AFA or...DeMarcus Cousins? Was pretty surprised by the second one myself. And surprisingly Nikola Vucevic actually ranks third in average score, followed by Bobby Portis and Kenneth Faried (might be a nice reclamation project for cheap?) If the priority is perimeter defense, Thaddeus Young was the only A here, by the way.
I'm not sure how they came up with these grades, but it's interesting that Vucevic and Cousins rate higher as perimeter defenders than I expected...may have to reassess my opinions of those two if they are relatively effective there.
submitted by devilmaskrascal to Mavericks [link] [comments]