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Friday, December 02, 2011

NBA THREAD DECEMBER: POST-LOCKOUT

With the lockout over, I estimate that there may be more than 10-12 Primates who want to talk about the NBA, and with our own thread, we won’t detract from what this site is really about: fractional reserve banking, and Tim Tebow.

robinred Posted: December 02, 2011 at 12:26 AM | 3254 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. smileyy Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:52 AM (#4005640)
Rondo is a product of (1) his battle with Derrick Rose a couple years ago and (2) having some really good players to pass to.

I never thought it was in dispute that he wasn't as good as Rose or Westbrook or CP3 or Deron Williams.
   102. robinred Posted: December 03, 2011 at 08:19 AM (#4005642)
All of that would be fine if he was just a fan, but he's one of the biggest sportswriters in the world, and possibly the most-read NBA writer. For him to put no more effort into understanding the issues than he appears to have done is just inexcusable.


This mirrors my view, with a couple of adds: One reason I don't give Simmons much slack on his NBA writing is TBOB. This is a guy who wrote a 700-page book on the entire history of the league. Conceding that he is a mini-mogul now, and is undoubtedly insanely busy between his various media ventures, all the time he spends watching sports (which in his case is part of his job) and his family/personal life, he still should ISTM be pretty educated on NBA matters. When he is not, I think it is right to call him on it.

The other thing is that the owners are basing a lot of their public rhetoric on these issues on the idea of competitive balance, which, as you correctly suggest, strikes a very deep chord with a lot of fans. In backing the owners, Simmons is, at least indirectly, backing that. But at the same time, he has pushed for contraction of small market teams, and has always focused on the dramatic and narrative value of big markets (Simmons wrote a lot about all the great drama that would ensue if James signed in New York).

And the core of TBOB, in Simmons' own words, was trying to understand basketball greatness--and true greatness means that you don't have competitive balance. Dynasties. Superstars. Legends. Multiple championships. 72-10. The 1986 Celtics going 50-1 at home.

Obviously, writing a history is different than talking about right now, but one would think that Simmons would be aware that the things the owners want to do, very openly and specifically, are designed in ways that are supposed to make it much harder to put an awesome 65-win team in a bling market--and in any market.

It's OK if people want that. I don't agree with it, but if I were a Wolves or a Raptors fan a hard-cap league with a gaggle of 52-30 teams clawing it out every year might sound great to me.* But one would think that Simmons might be aware of the contradiction in his own work.

* I am not at all sure that a hard cap league with severe FA restrictions on stars would lead to that, but it does seem to be the basic goal.
   103. Bitter Mouse Posted: December 03, 2011 at 04:33 PM (#4005682)
It's OK if people want that. I don't agree with it, but if I were a Wolves or a Raptors fan a hard-cap league with a gaggle of 52-30 teams clawing it out every year might sound great to me.* But one would think that Simmons might be aware of the contradiction in his own work.


As a Wolves fan (sad but true) it sounds a little better than living in Dynasty land, but really what every fan wants is a dynasty for their home team. Being a 49er fan in the '80s and '90s was wonderful, but I am sure Patriot fans prefer the most recent decade.

What I really want is basketball and my team to have hope (OK I want my team to not be historically bad, but that is a result of their own incompetence and not really the CBA).
   104. tshipman Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#4005686)
What I really want is basketball and my team to have hope (OK I want my team to not be historically bad, but that is a result of their own incompetence and not really the CBA).


I think the problem with basketball's competitive balance is that small market teams are so dependent on the draft. There really isn't any other way around it. Dwight Howard is never, ever, ever going to go to Minnesota, for example. This is partly a function of the max deal limiting what Minnesota can offer, and partly a function of Minnesota having absolutely terrible weather. Once you get the stud franchise guy, people are willing to accept trades, take less in FA, etc, but it has to start with drafting the stud player.

Also, we should stop talking about Simmons on basketball for a while. He's not worth discussing as a punching bag.
   105. Norcan Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#4005703)
Rondo slipped definitively behind Rose last year, obviously, but behind Westbrook? I disagree. I mean when did he become an elite player. As much progress he made with his scoring and efficieny, he was working from a pretty miserable standard. His efficiency was still only league average last season while his efg remained dismal. He was more efficient than Rondo last season but that was with Rondo going through a long and strange stretch of missing gimme layups fire whatever reason. For their careers, Rondo's had two more efficient scoring seasons than Westbrook and he's been far better at making field goals. Rondo's not technically a scorer but he can.

I'd rate their defense and rebounding as equal and Rondo is a better passer like Westbrook is a more prolific scorer. They're at the same tier, below Deron, Paul, Rose and Nash.
   106. robinred Posted: December 03, 2011 at 05:54 PM (#4005704)
What I really want is basketball and my team to have hope


I think the Wolves have plenty of hope right now. They have Adelman, Rubio, Williams, Love and a few other guys who have some ability. There is the possibility of a quality team there. Also, the Wolves had a franchise guy for a decade.

All teams are heavily dependent on the draft; but yes, the the bling markets have a clear advantage in FA. But again, I think a lot of it goes back to feeling like the pieces are in place for a title. James, Bosh, Paul, Williams and Howard didn't/don't appear to feel that way. Duncan did, and Durant does, so they stayed. Anthony was an exception in a sense, but I also think he believed that if was on the same team with STAT, they would get CP3 and that would put them in the mix.
   107. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:20 PM (#4005713)

Rondo slipped definitively behind Rose last year, obviously, but behind Westbrook? I disagree.


FT%
rondo--57%
westbrook--84%


the combination of westbrook's ability to drive into the lane at will and to make teams pay for fouling him by converting FTs puts westbrook significantly ahead of rondo, in terms of value.

**edited to add:
FTs made:
rondo--75
westbrook--531
   108. Ignatius J. Reilly Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#4005730)
Kentucky v. UNC right now. Both squads have better frontcourts than multiple NBA teams.
   109. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 03, 2011 at 06:43 PM (#4005735)
Kentucky v. UNC right now. Both squads have better frontcourts than multiple NBA teams.
it's a really awesome atmosphere they have there.
   110. Norcan Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#4005763)
It's very nice that Westbrook makes many more free throws than Rondo but he also takes and misses a lot of shots as well, enough that despite his very nice free throw making ability, his efficiency remains only average.

Westbrook's TS% was 53.8 last season, much better than Rondo's abysmal 49.5 but Rondo's two prior seasons were 54.3 and 54. If he doesn't go through another prolonged stretch of blowing easy layups, I'd suspect it'll be around 54 percent again. With Westbrook, unless he improves his outside shot or starts taking better shots, I think his percentage will be around the same. If Westbrook was a better or equal playmaker to Rondo, he'd be the better player. But he's not, so his advantage in the scoring department doesn't trump, much less resoundly trump, Rondo's value as a player. From their build to athleticism, to their rebounding abililty, they're nearly carbon copies, except Westbrook is the aggressive scoring version and Rondo the playmaking one.
   111. smileyy Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#4005772)
I think the problem with basketball's competitive balance is that small market teams everyone but the Lakers are so dependent on the draft.


FTFY. You could flip that around and say that the problem with large-market teams is that the public won't let you be bad enough to get the high draft picks you need.

I don't think basketball has a competitive balance problem so much as an overall talent distribution problem.

Edit: And sometimes you win the lottery, and its the 2006 lottery.
   112. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:29 PM (#4005785)
here's the thing, if westbrook replaced rondo on the celtics and played most of his minutes with ray allen (49% from the field), paul pierce (50%), and kevin garnett (53%), i'd have to think he'd rack up a hell of a lot of assists, too. admittedly, probably not as many as rondo, but it'd be close.

on the other hand, there is absolutely no way that rondo could replace the value that westbrook contributes at the FT line, if he were moved to the thunder.


i know that people sometimes get a hard-on for efficiency ratings, but i think westbrook very clearly surpassed rondo with last season's performance.


also, westbrook is 30 months younger than rondo.
   113. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 03, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#4005797)
When the lockout started, he made a list of bad NBA contracts (Rashard Lewis, Eddy Curry, Andris Biedrins) etc--that totalled over 300M. Someone here--maybe it was you, actually--pointed out then that Simmons seemingly doesn't grasp BRI.

Sounds like something I wrote once upon a time. Now I'm just so excited and relieved that everyone can get back to discussing on-court issues and fantastical trade ideas instead.

Speaking of fantastical trade ideas, it seems to me that both the Knicks and the Hornets should very much want to include Okafor in any CP3 trade. He's better than any center the Knicks could likely ever get with the MLE or through the draft, and while money is no object to the Knicks, the Hornets surely don't want to spend 3/$40M on a center with limited offense and who won't attract fans on a rebuilding team. In order to include Okafor without also including Amare or Melo, the Knicks need to sign another player or two with their exceptions for future salary matching purposes.

Here's an idea for the trade deadline that I think might actually be justifiable for each team: the Knicks trade Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields, Iman Shumpert, and their MLE guy to Atlanta, plus Ronny Turiaf (expiring) and cash to New Orleans; the Hawks trade Josh Smith, Jeff Teague, their 2012 1st round pick, and Kirk Hinrich (expiring) to New Orleans; and the Hornets trade Chris Paul and Emeka Okafor to the Knicks.

Why each team does it:

Knicks -- This one's obvious. They get CP3, and Okafor has positive value for them. He's the type of defensive-minded, rebounding interior presence that they need around Amare and Melo in order to have a real shot against Miami.

Hornets -- They certainly don't want to lose Paul for nothing. The Knicks may not have anything to offer that's better than the best rental offer, but that's why the Hawks are involved. In this deal the Hawks provide an exciting and effective player at his peak, a cheap young point guard with potential, and a first round pick in a supposedly good draft, along with a big expiring contract. Also, a guy nicknamed J-Smoove seems like he belongs in New Orleans. By waiting until the trade deadline, the Hornets only miss a couple months of the value they would get from retaining Paul all season.

Hawks -- There's yet another rumor this morning that Josh Smith would like to be traded. The Hawks seem to think of him as an undisciplined and overpaid enigma rather than fully appreciating his value. If the Hawks seem to be in a rut as the trade deadline approaches, there's a good chance that they'll look to make major changes, most likely including sending Smith elsewhere. Their Big 3 is clearly inferior to Miami's, so if they're ever going to win they need a more complete roster and an offense that doesn't consistently degenerate into 1-on-1 matchups. Each year they seem to suffer from a lack of depth, and this trade would improve the team in that area considerably (with Hinrich's injury, they'd likely be trading 2 rotation players for 4). Billups knows how to run an offense efficiently, and Fields demonstrated pre-Melo that he can be a highly efficient player as well. Shumpert is a local guy with outstanding athleticism and 4 years of cheap team control.
   114. robinred Posted: December 03, 2011 at 09:35 PM (#4005903)
FTFY.


To an extent, yeah, but most people dramatically oversimplify it. You did here.

Magic, Worthy, West, Baylor--drafted.
Kobe--draft day trade for Vlade Divac, who was drafted.

Chamberlain they got because Jack Kent Cooke was willing to pay him, and had the money flowing in after building The Forum. Kareem wanted to go to LA or NY; Cooke got that one done as well. Those guys are actually the best cases for Laker location/money buying titles.

And as I have pointed out a few times, one reason Shaq wanted to come to LA back in the 1990s was that West had put together a 53-29 team with mostly low 1st, high 2nds, and a trade:

Vlade Divac, Eddie Jones, Nick Van Exel, Elden Campbell, Anthony Peeler, George Lynch--drafted.
Cedric Ceballos--acquired in a trade.

Would Shaq have wanted to be here if the team had gone 24-58 the previous year? Was the brand and the market that big of a deal to him? We will never know, but I tend to doubt that he signs with a truly bad Lakers team. The Clippers are in play for these guys now because they have Griffin and Gordon and some other young athletes. I think if you put Toronto's roster in LA in Clippers uniforms, Williams, Howard and Paul don't have the Clippers on their radar.

As to the current team, the Lakers have had one lottery pick in the last 15 years, and they used it on Bynum. Marc Gasol was taken with a low 2nd, and was used as one of the main pieces to acquire his brother. They got Odom in the Shaq deal. Artest was a typical MLE signing, signed a long deal for the full MLE, no different than a guy like Ariza is now. Blake has a long deal for more than he is worth. Fisher was drafted. Barnes gave them a little bit of an LA discount, but I doubt that small-market fans are envious of the Lakers' old second-line talent. If you line the NBA teams up 1-30, from most structurally advantaged to least, the Lakers are #1 and I think Toronto is #30. But structural advantages don't mean shitt without management making good moves. You can ask Knicks and Clippers fans if you don't believe me.
   115. robinred Posted: December 03, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#4005912)
I don't think basketball has a competitive balance problem so much as an overall talent distribution problem.


A lot of people would, from a purely emotional standpoint, like the league more if James had stayed in Cleveland, and if the Lakers had one fewer good big playing with Kobe.

But OTOH, neither Miami nor the Lakers won the title last year, and I don't think that Dallas' title (although they had a much higher payroll than Miami did) made many NBA fans fulminate with rage. Additionally, there are no truly great teams in the NBA at the moment, the Heat made for a great story and moved a lot of product/drew a lot of eyeballs, and most of the bad teams have at least a couple of guys on the roster to pin hopes on/be worth watching. In the West, I think that is true all the way down to Sacramento and Minnesota. Evans/Cousins/Fredette and Rubio/Love/Williams are worth checking out and could be the core of quality teams.
   116. smileyy Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:04 PM (#4005924)
I was really just thinking of Shaq as the last major game-changing FA signing, before LeBron James. And nobody thought of Miami as a major-market team with inherent advantages besides sunlight and scantily-covered breasts.

The NBA may have a competitive balance problem, but its not a large-market competitive balance problem.
   117. robinred Posted: December 03, 2011 at 10:21 PM (#4005933)
And nobody thought of Miami as a major-market team with inherent advantages besides sunlight and scantily-covered breasts.


Indeed. The Marlins and Dolphins do not seem to be marquee teams.

I think that a lot of this, as time passes, will be shown to revolve around Wade and his relationship with James. Dan LeBatard is old-school, but pretty smart old-school, and he hangs around the Heat all the time as a beat guy. He says that James often acts like "Wade's little brother" and while James is the better player, Wade is an elite player in his own right and appears to be the more intelligent, and more sophisticated, of the two men. I get the impression that this Heat thing started there. I assume someone will write, or is writing, a detailed book about it.

I would need to take several hits off the objective pipe before I talk about Rondo vs. Westbrook, but it is an interesting topic.
   118. smileyy Posted: December 04, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#4006051)
I would need to take several hits off the objective pipe before I talk about Rondo vs. Westbrook, but it is an interesting topic.


Wasn't it the Greeks who said that everything should be considered once while drunk and once while sober?
   119. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 04, 2011 at 12:24 AM (#4006054)
I would need to take several hits off the objective pipe before I talk about Rondo vs. Westbrook, but it is an interesting topic.
i don't think it's that close.

PPG
16.0
16.5
RPG
4.4
4.6
APG
11.2
8.2
FG%
.475
.442
3FG%
.233
.330

those are rondo's and westbrook's lines, with the exception being that rondo was credited with westbrook's FTs and westbrook was handicapped with rondo's. that's the difference between these two players--this one skill--but the chasm between them w/r/t this one skill is so massive that there is nothing else that can bridge the gap.


but that's a static analysis. if you go back to 09-10, rondo shot 62% from the FT line, with westbrook shooting 78%. if that's a more accurate reflection of their true talent level, there's a stronger argument to be made in rondo's favor, but i think westbrook is at a level where he's one of the best in the league at getting to the line, and he's pretty damn good about converting once he's there. that's a very dangerous combination.
   120. Norcan Posted: December 04, 2011 at 08:24 AM (#4006385)
Dandy, I don't think Atlanta would make that deal. Getting all those players wouldn't help them this season and it might actually make them worse. In the end, all that they'll be with in return for their starting PF, projected starting point and first round pick is some but insufficient cap space and two role players. Josh Smith might be the definition of mercurial, of bullheaded, of believing in yourself too much in the face of repeated failure (in terms of his jumper anyway), but he has more trade value than that. For example, I think Atlanta could get Monta Ellis for him, which would allow Johnson to move over to SF where some numbers indicate has positive results, and help to make up for the lost of Crawford's scoring. That's just one example. To be honest, I really don't have any more. But the point remains, for the cost of two young starters and their first round pick, Atlanta should get more than cap space and role players regardless of how much they are fed up with Smith or not.
   121. robinred Posted: December 04, 2011 at 09:10 AM (#4006402)
I read the full Simmons column. Here is a part that I mostly agree with:

If this lockout was happening partly because we were trying to protect small-market teams from being unable to compete, mission unaccomplished.

On the other hand, I always thought this point was overrated. The two-year "Where are LeBron/Wade/Carmelo going?" storyline helped give the NBA its best momentum since MJ's second Bulls run; looking back, The Decision was one of the most important moments in the history of the league. Yeah, it's a little tougher for small markets to keep their best guys, but it's not impossible: Either you build something meaningful that makes them want to stay (see: San Antonio and Oklahoma City), or you fail to build a good enough foundation and they leave (see: Cleveland and Orlando). It's really that simple.

Besides, it's not a bad thing for basketball fans and media members to obsessively wonder about the next destinations for Howard, Paul, Deron Williams and everyone else — it only sucks for their current teams (and their fans),


As an aside, as someone told me the other day, if you Google image "Dwight Howard" and then put a team name, you can see him photoshopped as a Hawk, a Net, a Celtic, a Laker, a Clipper etc. It would be sort of cool if the Hawks could get him.
   122. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 04, 2011 at 06:48 PM (#4006570)
starting on monday, teams will be allowed to contact the agents of prospective free agents.
on tuesday, the entire 66 game schedule will be released.


hoopshype have been running down the top 10 free agents at each position. so far, they've gotten to center, power forward, and small forward.


aside from any shoot-for-the-moon scenario, i think the name on those lists that intrigues me the most is kurt thomas. with all of the young forwards on the sixers, i think he'd set a pretty good example of how to defend in the post. with him, vucevic, hawes, brand, and young (not to mention speights, brackins, and allen), the team would have a pretty versatile corps at the 4/5. they'd still be lacking a true shotblocker, but with those 5, they could go big (vucevic-hawes), small (brand/thomas-young), offense (brand-young), defense (thomas-brand).

i'd really be pretty happy with that situation.
   123. Tripon Posted: December 04, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#4006592)
We know that Rondo is on the second tier list of point guards. No reason to argue obsessively about it.
   124. robinred Posted: December 04, 2011 at 07:31 PM (#4006611)
No reason to argue obsessively about it.


I think the argument is more about where Westbrook fits in--is he closer to the top, or is he closer to Rondo?

Also, while I respect the fact that people like to keep this thread civil/non-meta, etc., I also think that we should take a "room-for-all-topics" approach, as opposed to telling people what and what not to discuss here, as we have seen twice on this page and at some other times. I might make an exception for college ball, since there is now a college ball thread.
   125. nick swisher hygiene Posted: December 04, 2011 at 07:44 PM (#4006618)
the college thread is basically dead, imo: it featured a grand total of zero posts about the UNC-Kentucky game. given the traditions of those two teams and the fact that it was a tight and pretty well-played* game--bury the college hoops thread. keep it all right here.

*(would have been better played if Tyler ####### Zeller could hold onto the ####### basketball, but never mind that)
   126. tshipman Posted: December 04, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#4006633)
I also think that we should take a "room-for-all-topics" approach, as opposed to telling people what and what not to discuss here


I hope the Wilt vs. Russell stuff is also an exception for covered ground.

We know that Rondo is on the second tier list of point guards


Part of this is the incredible talent at the PG position right now. CP3 has a decent shot to be the best of all time (and I say this as a Magic fanboy).

I think that Rose and Deron Williams are great, but Rondo/Westbrook are closer to those guys than the next tier like Devin Harris, John Wall (for now), Stephen Curry, etc.
   127. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: December 04, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#4006661)
According to ESPN, the Rockets are seriously pursuing Tyson Chandler and Nene. If one of those guys goes to Houston, Chuck Hayes (who reportedly would prefer to stay there) could be a really good pickup for someone else.

Dandy, I don't think Atlanta would make that deal.

Yeah, I agree. For all the talk of the Hawks and Josh Smith not getting along and all the seemingly poor returns rumored, they haven't been willing to trade him so far. I was just trying to come up with something that I could envision happening to get Chris Paul to the Knicks through trade. Though it's not a particularly good return for the Hawks talent-wise, I could envision them once again treading water among the lower half of playoff teams, getting frustrated with a lack of consistency and execution from Smith and Teague, and pulling the trigger to restructure the roster. It's certainly a longshot and would require some other pieces falling into place, but I'd think that the Knicks need to involve a third team to beat the best rent-a-Paul offer, and it's the most plausible scenario that I could imagine along those lines.
   128. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 04, 2011 at 09:33 PM (#4006669)
For all the talk of the Hawks and Josh Smith not getting along and all the seemingly poor returns rumored, they haven't been willing to trade him so far.
here's the thing about josh smith, was there any team in contention last year that would have been better off trading its third best player for him?

chicago would be noah or deng--that's a loss for them
miami would be bosh--as maligned as he was, i think that's a loss for them, too
boston would be rondo--that's a loss.
dallas would be chandler--again, a loss.
OKC would be harden or ibaka--i guess that would at least be arguable.
LA would be odom--i'd guess that LA would make that trade, but they'd be worse off for it.


so, really, if smith wouldn't be the third best player on a contending team, why would a worse team offer him a larger role?

i mean, he's a good player, but he's really tough to build around if you're expecting any offensive contributions from him at all.
   129. smileyy Posted: December 04, 2011 at 10:17 PM (#4006699)
A conference tournament/NCAA tournament basketball thread will probably get more traffic, but for now, there seems to be no point.
   130. andrewberg Posted: December 04, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#4006710)
What about Smith and horford for d12 and Turk? Atlanta is his home and has better guards to help him.
   131. robinred Posted: December 04, 2011 at 10:49 PM (#4006721)
From BaskPro SIM (Happy Holidays, Maxwn):

MEMPHIS 4, L.A. LAKERS 2

The Grizzlies became just the fourth eight-seed to knock off a top seed when they eliminated the Spurs in last year's first round. Could they possible duplicate the feat against those old dogs from L.A.? You betcha, and the upset played out in a remarkably similar fashion to Memphis' franchise-changing victory over San Antonio. The Grizzlies served notice with a Game One win at the Staples Center. Memphis got 28 points from Rudy Gay, 24 off the bench from O.J. Mayo and ran the veteran Lakers off the court to the tune of a 28-8 edge in transition points. The Lakers drew even with a dramatic win in Game Two. Gay scored with two minutes left to put Memphis up two, but L.A. held them scoreless the rest of the way. The Laker tied the game on Pau Gasol's free throws and also got the winning points at the line from Kobe Bryant. The third game was a Memphis runaway, the Grizzlies using a 28-4 edge in fastbreak points and 56 points in the paint to forge the rout. But in doing so, Memphis lost Gay to an injury, declaring that he would miss five games, should the Grizzlies last that long. So Memphis was going to have to win without its best perimeter player, just as it did last year.

Game Four was the series' watershed game. The Lakers, needing to win to avoid falling into a 3-1 hole, lost Bryant to injury during the first half. So L.A. went to Gasol again and again. Gasol scored 28 of his 42 points after halftime during a nip-and-tuck game, which Memphis' Mike Conley sent into overtime with two free throws. Memphis started the extra session with an 11-2 run, then held on for the win. Derek Fisher hit a three with two seconds left to pull the Lakers within two, but that was as close as they got. L.A. stayed alive in an easy Game Five win, but Memphis won handily in Game Six to close out the series behind Zach Randolph's 31 points and 17 rebounds. Memphis did it again


http://www.basketballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=1949
   132. robinred Posted: December 04, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#4006725)
Atlanta is his home and has better guards to help him.


I would like to see it, if he does not come to LA. I think it would

a) Be good for the small-market rhetoric etc.
b) Get the Hawks more on the sports fan's cognitive map down there. Between college football, the Falcons, and the Braves, I get the impression that the Hawks are something of an afterthought in GA. Howard could change that.
   133. Norcan Posted: December 04, 2011 at 11:20 PM (#4006737)
What about Smith and horford for d12 and Turk? Atlanta is his home and has better guards to help him.


If Orlando is compelled to trade Howard, I think that deal would work for them but I don't think Howard would sign with Atlanta though. Between his, Johnson's and Turkoglu's contracts, they won't have any cap room to significantly improve their team for a while. And they wouldn't be contenders. It wouldn't be an attractive situation for him.
   134. NJ in DC Posted: December 05, 2011 at 02:53 AM (#4006895)
At present, the Top 4 News stories on espn's NBA site have titles beginning "Sources:..." I just find that amusing.

EDIT: It is 5/6 and 6/8 as well.
   135. JC in DC Posted: December 05, 2011 at 03:40 AM (#4006944)
CP3 has a decent shot to be the best of all time (and I say this as a Magic fanboy).

Really? Is this a consensus view? I find it staggering to think that CP3 is better than Magic, for instance.
   136. JC in DC Posted: December 05, 2011 at 03:41 AM (#4006946)
CP3 has a decent shot to be the best of all time (and I say this as a Magic fanboy).


I have not been drinking!
   137. robinred Posted: December 05, 2011 at 07:44 AM (#4007080)
I don't really think of Magic as a "point guard." Like Bird and James, and I assume Robertson as well, Magic was a basketball player who could do just about everything (on O). Jordan was more of a straight-up 2, but he obviously could have easily played the 1 or the 3. Wade is like that to an extent as well--he is a guard who can create or initiate and defend the 1 or the 2, sort of like Walt Frazier and Jerry West apparently were back before my time.

So, I don't think it is really fair to compare Paul mid-career to a 6'9" 240-lb guy who had the handle and vision to play the 1. One way to look at it this: if you could start a team with the 22- year-old Magic or the 22-year-old Paul, I think there is no question you take Magic because of the options/flexibility his uniqueness gives you.

Among contemporary straight-up 1s, Paul is right up there. He is about as good as you can be in the NBA at his size.
   138. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 05, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#4007112)
Paul gets compared to Isiah Thomas a lot. Thomas was about the same size, and has similar stats; Paul has a bit more steals, and a bit more assists; Thomas averages an extra point per game. Paul's FG% is higher, but I think part of that is 3 point shooting; the line was longer in Isiah's day, and 8.6% of Isiah's attempts were from range, while Paul only takes 6.3% from beyond the arc.

Isiah retired at age 32 coming off a season in which he averaged 14.9 ppg/6.9 apg.
   139. JC in DC Posted: December 05, 2011 at 03:16 PM (#4007123)
Among contemporary straight-up 1s, Paul is right up there. He is about as good as you can be in the NBA at his size.


I don't disagree with this at all. But if you're going to list the NBA's best PGs, you will include Magic, and I can't imagine placing Magic beneath Paul.
   140. robinred Posted: December 05, 2011 at 04:39 PM (#4007169)
if you're going to list the NBA's best PGs, you will include Magic,


I would make a distinction between "pure PGs" and Magic, in the same way that I wouldn't call Bird a "small forward" per se, or Robertson a "shooting guard." I think of players in general with these divisions, like I think a lot of people now do:

bigs
wings
combo guards (not that many around anymore)
1s

Magic Johnson was some of all four; that's part of the reason he was Magic Johnson. Someone (maybe it was Hollinger)said that truly great players who aren't bigs don't really have one position--they just technically play one position. In last year's BaskPro preview of Miami, Pelton wrote a bit about how the Heat should bail on traditional positions to an extent, and we talked about that some here.

But, yeah, if you want to rank strictly on a positional basis, I think Magic is the most valuable PG ever.
   141. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 05, 2011 at 05:46 PM (#4007253)
Isiah Thomas and Chris Paul:

Isiah, career (979 games): 19.2 ppg, 9.3 apg, 1.9 spg, .452 on 16 FGA/ggame; 76% on 5.9 FTA/game
Paul, career (425 games): 18.7 ppg, 9.9 apg, 2.4 spg; .471 on 14 FGA/game; 85% on 5.4 FTA/game
   142. jmurph Posted: December 05, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#4007261)
Isiah, career (979 games): 19.2 ppg, 9.3 apg, 1.9 spg, .452 on 16 FGA/ggame; 76% on 5.9 FTA/game
Paul, career (425 games): 18.7 ppg, 9.9 apg, 2.4 spg; .471 on 14 FGA/game; 85% on 5.4 FTA/game


I think you also have to factor in their post-playing careers, which I'm comfortable calling for Paul now.
   143. andrewberg Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#4007304)
I wrote a long post with lots of math that gotten eaten by the server. The short version is that Thomas's era had about 8.6% more ppg than Paul's, and if you factor that environment into Paul's stat line, he looks like a pretty solidly superior player. You may point out that he hasn't had any decline yet, but Thomas's stats are buoyed by big averages in his first few years when scoring was up around 110 ppg, and his stats were clearly inferior to Paul's in his mid-late 20s when league scoring came down to the 105-107 range.
   144. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#4007329)
grant hill has been linked to the bulls, knicks, and clippers, in addition to the suns.

he could do some damage with that clippers team. williams-gordon-hill-griffin-jordan could be deadly. the bench is a little shitty, but if bledsoe and aminu take a step or two forward in development, and if kaman doesn't completely erode after missing most of the last 4 years, that's an 8 deep rotation.
   145. tshipman Posted: December 05, 2011 at 08:31 PM (#4007338)
I wrote a long post with lots of math that gotten eaten by the server. The short version is that Thomas's era had about 8.6% more ppg than Paul's, and if you factor that environment into Paul's stat line, he looks like a pretty solidly superior player. You may point out that he hasn't had any decline yet, but Thomas's stats are buoyed by big averages in his first few years when scoring was up around 110 ppg, and his stats were clearly inferior to Paul's in his mid-late 20s when league scoring came down to the 105-107 range.


This is the crux of the argument for Paul for GPGOAT. That, and that Magic didn't really play any defense (sorry childhood).
   146. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:16 PM (#4007385)
aside from any shoot-for-the-moon scenario, i think the name on those lists that intrigues me the most is kurt thomas.

I think Thomas is expected to re-sign with the Bulls, or at least that's the word around here currently. It's nice to have that depth, and his experience. I don't know how useful he'll be this regular season on days with 3 straights games or game 5 in 6 nights; but he really didn't play that much except for when he was starting due to a Boozer or Noah injury (which the Bulls have to be prepared for again).
   147. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#4007391)
Sounds like someone else hates Brian Scalabrine as much as I do:

"A disappointment on the human side, I didn't expect that. This is my personal opinion. [Scalabrine] was the first NBA player in Europe to go back to the USA without a contract, without playing the latest games and help the team and greet the fans, all at 33 years ago only for going on his knees to his wife that wanted him back.

He hasn't a team and an NBA contract yet. I was counting on his professionalism, respect for the club and especially for his young teammates. He could help us at least until tomorrow, the team needed it, but Scalabrine had a very negative attitude, as already shown in recent weeks, which gave us not so much on the field and beyond, indeed he has also negatively influenced other Americans. We're thrown off by this, thinking of a serious professional, but caused problems with teammates and club.'"


Wait, what? He's upset because he's *not* playing for his team anymore? Nevermind.
   148. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#4007412)
I think Thomas is expected to re-sign with the Bulls, or at least that's the word around here currently. It's nice to have that depth, and his experience. I don't know how useful he'll be this regular season on days with 3 straights games or game 5 in 6 nights; but he really didn't play that much except for when he was starting due to a Boozer or Noah injury (which the Bulls have to be prepared for again).
that would make sense since he seems to be at that point in his career where chasing rings is more important to him than being a 20-minute-a-night contributor to a team that's likely out of real contention.


i think he's got something left, though. not 20-minutes-a-night, but spot usage as a defensive specialist seems to be within his capability.
   149. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 05, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#4007430)
that would make sense since he seems to be at that point in his career where chasing rings is more important to him than being a 20-minute-a-night contributor to a team that's likely out of real contention.

I would say so, too, but then again he did sign on to that plan last year with the Bulls - I don't think anyone had them pegged as title contenders last year going into the season. I didn't mean to imply he wouldn't be useful; he's just not going to be useful every night.
   150. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 05, 2011 at 10:31 PM (#4007478)
I would say so, too, but then again he did sign on to that plan last year with the Bulls - I don't think anyone had them pegged as title contenders last year going into the season. I didn't mean to imply he wouldn't be useful; he's just not going to be useful every night.
different year, different circumstances.


i think it's very likely he stays in chicago, but on the off chance that he actually wants more of a workload, i really hope the sixers would be in on the negotiations.


the sixers situation (in the front court, anyway) isn't all that different from chicago's (at least in terms of the minutes that thomas would be expected to eat), but the major difference, and the reason i think thomas would be more valuable for "us" as opposed to "you" is that, with chicago, he's only the third best interior defender--both asik and noah are among the elite in that area--but with philly, he'd immediately be the best.

he wouldn't really fill the need for a shotblocker, but as a positional defender who can muscle up against other centers, and as a big man who actually knows where to be when things are happening in the defensive zone, he'd add something to the sixers that chicago really isn't in need of.
   151. madvillain Posted: December 05, 2011 at 11:01 PM (#4007535)
he wouldn't really fill the need for a shotblocker, but as a positional defender who can muscle up against other centers, and as a big man who actually knows where to be when things are happening in the defensive zone, he'd add something to the sixers that chicago really isn't in need of.


He does those things well, he's also prone to fouls and doesn't hit the 15 foot jumper with the same regularity he did when he was younger. He's a guy I'd be happy to have back on the Bulls, but if you're expecting anything more than a solid 9th man, you're in for a let down.
   152. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 05, 2011 at 11:31 PM (#4007586)
He does those things well, he's also prone to fouls and doesn't hit the 15 foot jumper with the same regularity he did when he was younger. He's a guy I'd be happy to have back on the Bulls, but if you're expecting anything more than a solid 9th man, you're in for a let down.
as i said above, i'd look at him as the 5th forward on the team behind hawes, vucevic, brand, and young. plus, if any of those 4 was put down for a stretch of games, their minutes could easily be soaked up by speights (who really needs to get traded before the season), brackins, and lavoy allen.

a solid 9th man is really exactly what i'd see him as being.



anyway, the nuggets have been apparently been in contact with thad young. they have the money to make a really strong offer, and him, nene, galinari, afflalo and lawson would be a really fun team to watch.

that would suck.
   153. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 05, 2011 at 11:42 PM (#4007605)
Sounds like the Nuggets might be after Young because they have more money to spend after losing out on Nene. Not sure they can sign them both, plus Afflalo.

---

I guess Deron Williams is talking about wanting to stay in NJ, and wanting Howard to join him. Makes a lot of sense, and if Howard isn't going to stay in Orlando (and I bet he won't), NJ is the next best non-Chicago place I'd like to see him play.
   154. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:30 AM (#4007660)
the sixers are allowing fans to vote on a new mascot.


they're getting rid of the old one because it was too much of a cartoon, so in the vote for the new one, the choices are bullwinkle, poochy, and ben franklin. considering this is the first major change by the new owners, it does not exactly inspire confidence in their ability to make smart decisions.
   155. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:36 AM (#4007666)
This is the crux of the argument for Paul for GPGOAT. That, and that Magic didn't really play any defense (sorry childhood).


Paul's career ORTGs and DRTGs are exactly identical to Magic's--both were/are 121-104. Magic of course played his early decline phase; Paul has not.

Magic obviously helped you a lot more on the glass; Paul gets more steals. Magic had a higher TOV; part of that is probably pace/system.

Paul's last two years have not matched what he in 07-09. His PER hit 30 in 08-09; Magic's peaked at 27.

I would still take Magic over Paul to start a team without thinking twice about it. I still think Paul is a bit better than the MSM/general public get, however.
   156. smileyy Posted: December 06, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#4007681)
Ben Franklin looks disturbingly naked in his basketball uniform. Bullwinkle is Hefner-esque in his robe.
   157. JJ1986 Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:39 AM (#4007710)
they're getting rid of the old one because it was too much of a cartoon, so in the vote for the new one, the choices are bullwinkle, poochy, and ben franklin. considering this is the first major change by the new owners, it does not exactly inspire confidence in their ability to make smart decisions.


Where's Green Man?
   158. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 01:54 AM (#4007718)
Ben Franklin looks disturbingly naked in his basketball uniform. Bullwinkle is Hefner-esque in his robe.
did you notice poochie's hat?

Where's Green Man?
vancouver
   159. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 02:33 AM (#4007744)
Joe Freeman: Btw ... coach Mac let slip at the presser that the Blazers will play 19 back-to-backs and three back-to-back-to-backs this season. Ouch. about 11 minutes ago


that sounds like a pretty tough schedule. i guess 6 of the back-to-backs are of the back-to-back-to-back variety, but still, it doesn't seem like this will be a good year to have a veteran roster.
   160. andrewberg Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:14 AM (#4007755)
Just for kicks, my WAGs on Chad Ford's top free agents. I'm not checking cap space or CBA restrictions, just going from memory, so excuse some foibles.

1. Nene- den, matches 4 yr $52 m
2. Chandler- gs, 4 yr, $48m (kinda guessing nj shies way going for Dwight)
3. M gasol- mem. 5 yr, $60m
4. D Jordan- lac 4 yr $36m
5. Stuckey- det, 3 yr $21m (no idea)
6. West- ind, 4 yr $44m
7. Prince- Lac 4 yr $24 m
8. Oden- por 1 yr $8m
9. T young- phi 4 yr $20m
10. Dalembert- hou 4 yr $28m

Den keeps afflalo, Chicago gets crawford
   161. tshipman Posted: December 06, 2011 at 03:54 AM (#4007766)
1. Nene- den, matches 4 yr $52 m


This is pretty close to a max deal, yeah?
   162. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:22 AM (#4007782)
9. T young- phi 4 yr $20m
the sixers will match anything up to, and above, twice that figure. 4 years at $5mm per is absolute larceny.
   163. Tripon Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:25 AM (#4007783)
The fact that the owners won overwhelmingly in the current CBA to provide 'cost certainty' and then proceed to screw it up by giving players like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Dwight Howard to Super Max deals just shows that the NBA owners should just stuff it.
   164. andrewberg Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:34 AM (#4007793)
Maybe I'm letting hollinger's capsule on young negatively influence me too much.
   165. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:52 AM (#4007803)
Maybe I'm letting hollinger's capsule on young negatively influence me too much.


Hmmm. I thought it was a little snarky in spots but positive overall. Maybe I will read it again.

Simmons did a piece on the FA centers today. He has Nene signing a 100M deal and then getting traded to the Nets. Has Gasol at 5/78 and Chandler at 4/69 staying where they are. Those numbers seem really high to me.

Dalembert: Denver 4/40
Jordan: LAC 5/46
Kaman: traded to SAC for Jason Thompson

___________________

I think we can infer from this that Simmons may be fatalistically putting Howard in purple and gold. Still don't see it going down that way.

Demps met with Paul today. The buzz is that Paul will be gone before the season starts.

One thing on Howard I haven't seen mentioned much: ORL has a new building and the ASG. Don't know if that will be a factor.

If Grant Hill bails PHX, I think Otis Smith needs to try to set up a three-way to get Nash. If Hill bails, I think Nash will want out immediately.

There is a large number of used-to-be-stars or near-stars wings in FA:

Butler
Battier
Hill
Prince
McGrady
_____

Probably/maybe

Miller
Carter
Hamilton
Jefferson
   166. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 04:58 AM (#4007807)
The fact that the owners won overwhelmingly in the current CBA to provide 'cost certainty' and then proceed to screw it up by giving players like Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Dwight Howard to Super Max deals just shows that the NBA owners should just stuff it.
with the givebacks in BRI split, the owners didn't lose, but they completely folded w/r/t system issues once the union filed their lawsuits.
Maybe I'm letting hollinger's capsule on young negatively influence me too much.
i've read articles calling him the prototypical SF, but i think he's unguardable when he's at the 4. the tweeners--lamar odom, for example--can give him fits, but when he's matched up against prototypical PFs--think boozer and amare--he's too quick for them to even sniff him. in the paint. he'll chain together 2, 3, 4 moves in a row, and just glide to the net unchallenged after his defender overcommits to guarding one of them.

he's not a great ballhandler, and he's not a great shooter, so if you're looking at him as a SF, i completely get how someone could think he's nothing special, but he is an absolute artist in the post.
   167. NJ in DC Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:23 AM (#4007818)
but when he's matched up against prototypical PFs--think boozer and amare--he's too quick for them to even sniff him

You know you just named two of the worst defenders in the NBA, right?
   168. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:53 AM (#4007835)
You know you just named two of the worst defenders in the NBA, right?
i actually went to b-ref to find a better example, but none of the other options were that. i mean, who's the PF on washington? or in new jersey? or toronto? or milwaukee? or detroit? or cleveland?

that's basically the entire eastern conference, minus bosh, josh smith, and garnett. boozer and amare were just the only names left standing.


young had 10 games where he shot better than 80%, all with at least 4 made FGs. there were 33 games where he shot 60% or better.* this isn't peak shaq; he's not physically dominating smaller players, he's just really, really good about exploiting mismatches in the paint.


*to compare against the 2 names i brought up earlier, boozer had 0 games above 80% and 15 above 60. amare had 3 games over 80% and 13 over 60. there are differences in volume, and that is notably significant, but there really is something special about young.
   169. King Mekong Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:57 AM (#4007837)
There are rumors that the spurs are going to be trading Jefferson for a big at the start of FA, they then would sign a veteran SF in Free Agency. I can't think of who they would be going after as a trade partner or who would want Jefferson.
   170. andrewberg Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:10 AM (#4007863)
Broussard: Sources say Lakers have plans to go after Dwight Howard AND CP3. Everyone not named Kobe is available.

Ugh. Hopefully not enough there.
   171. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:27 AM (#4007865)
Ugh. Hopefully not enough there.


A couple of funny things about that. In his post linked here making up various Howard/Paul scenarios, Hollinger made fun of Laker fans who have been coming up with silly proposals over the last few months that land both Howard and Paul and posting them in various places on the net. Then, 48 hours later, Broussard is writing about it.

Also, you left something out: the same article quotes a Western Conference exec as saying the Clippers are trying to do the exact same thing. I assume that would be OK with everybody: Donald Sterling with a Big 3 of Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul.

Sterling (and the Simmons I-have-Clippers-season-tix smugfest we would get) would be the only things that would really bug me about the Clippers suddenly becoming a league power. Other that that, I think it would be pretty cool.
   172. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:17 AM (#4007881)
Ugh. Hopefully not enough there.


There's not, unless some bizarre, massive four-or-five-way deal occurs. Kurt Helin and Brian Kamenetzky have both already said they don't think it's possible.

From a Laker blog:

___________________

The Lakers will open the season with three games in three nights: at home against the Bulls on Christmas Day, then at Sacramento, then back home against Utah.

_________________________

Bynum will be serving his suspension.
   173. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:11 PM (#4008072)
Just for kicks, my WAGs on Chad Ford's top free agents. I'm not checking cap space or CBA restrictions, just going from memory, so excuse some foibles.

I take the over on every single one of those predictions, including Oden (I think the QO he's going to take is $8.8mil, so you're close on that one). Also, I know there's talk of Crawford on the Bulls, but I bet they pass on him. I think they're leaning Butler or Richardson (with another rumor saying they're waiting for VC to be released).

Simmons did a piece on the FA centers today. He has Nene signing a 100M deal and then getting traded to the Nets. Has Gasol at 5/78 and Chandler at 4/69 staying where they are. Those numbers seem really high to me.

I think he's closer than berg, but he maybe went a bit too far on most of those predictions. He's probably right on for Gasol and Chandler.

Broussard: Sources say Lakers have plans to go after Dwight Howard AND CP3. Everyone not named Kobe is available.

He's really doing his best since the CBA to be the most unreliable reporter on ESPN. He used to be pretty right on, but he appears to be spouting off whatever his sources want him to and he's not running those through his common sense detector.

Also, you left something out: the same article quotes a Western Conference exec as saying the Clippers are trying to do the exact same thing. I assume that would be OK with everybody: Donald Sterling with a Big 3 of Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, and Chris Paul.

There isn't a team in the league with enough assets to get both Paul and Howard right now; I guess the Clippers could, but that would include trading Griffin. There might be a couple of teams with close to enough cap space to sign 2 max guys next offseason; that's the only way I see them ending up on the same team.

---

Bulls schedule notes - They might open up with 3 on the road out West - 12/25@LA, 12/26@SG, 12/28@SAC. That was on the original schedule, and KC Johnson expects it to be on the new one. They'll also play the Heat 4 times.

Thinking about did get me wondering about long road trips. We know the games are compressed - will we see a team with an 8 or 9 game road trip? For instance, the Bulls have their annual circus trip (thankfully it's passed) and the Disney trip in January, the Lakers have the Grammy trip, the Spurs have the rodeo trip, etc. They're still not going to have their home arenas available during those stretches, how many games does the NBA jam in there?
   174. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#4008086)
4. D Jordan- lac 4 yr $36m

Primer retweet:

WojYahooNBA: Clippers offer 5 years, $40M to keep RFA DeAndre Jordan, sources tell Y! Still, he's destined to sign offer sheet and force them to match.
   175. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#4008091)
More Wojoyahoo:

The NBA is considering pushing back the start of training camps until Monday, multiple league executives told Yahoo! Sports.

The league office was polling team executives over the past 48 hours about the possibility, sources said. Despite the discussions, no final decision has been made.

Friday is the first day that teams are allowed to sign free agents and make trades. Training camps, scheduled to start the same day, could be pre-empted to allow teams to assemble fuller and more complete rosters for the beginning of camp.

“Teams with just a handful of guys under contract have been complaining that it’s going to be too difficult to start on Friday,” one league executive said.


Plus, the "B list issues" in the CBA aren't finalized yet.
   176. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:27 PM (#4008094)
so, this happened.
Broussard: Sources say Lakers have plans to go after Dwight Howard AND CP3. Everyone not named Kobe is available.

i think this depends on bynum and odom being sent to new orleans and orlando being so infatuated with pau gasol that they pull something with him as the main (and maybe only) centerpiece.

There isn't a team in the league with enough assets to get both Paul and Howard right now; I guess the Clippers could, but that would include trading Griffin. There might be a couple of teams with close to enough cap space to sign 2 max guys next offseason; that's the only way I see them ending up on the same team.
well, if you think about it, would it really be so unthinkable to trade blake griffin for dwight howard? is there any doubt that howard is the better player? and is there any doubt that, because of the difference in their relative defensive prowess, griffin isn't likely to pass him anytime soon?


i guess there'd have to be an extension for howard, and even then, there'd be a difference in salary, but the team would be closer to contention with howard than it would be with griffin.
   177. andrewberg Posted: December 06, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#4008118)
Damn, it looks like the ownership really suckered me with all that talk about financial austerity over the last 6 months. Like the late, great Jerry Orbach said, when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong, and it looks like I was way low on most or all of those guesses.

Also, it's going to be hard to get any sort of real practice in and then hit the ground running on Xmas. There is going to be some extremely sloppy basketball, especially for teams running new sets or with new coaches.
   178. FatBoy Lever Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:31 PM (#4008177)
In reading many of the "Trade" posts, a fairly reasonable conclusion is that most people believe you need to have at least 1, if not 2 superstars to contend for a title. If this is the case, why would Orlando ever consider trading Howard (who with his skill set and age might be the #1 player in the game)?

Why not trade all of their picks and spare parts to get a 2nd superstar to team with Howard (read: Chris Paul)? Useful role players are meaningless if you don't have a superstar. If Orlando can't add to their team, I say let Dwight leave via free agency and try your luck in the draft. If you add role players under the philosophy of "getting something" for Howard, you will condemn the franchise to years of mediocrity.

In the right year, a top 3 pick could become the next franchise player. All of the players mentioned in trade talks so far are devoid of the ability to become superstars.
   179. andrewberg Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:38 PM (#4008187)
Why not trade all of their picks and spare parts to get a 2nd superstar to team with Howard


Would if they could. There just aren't enough assets there to get anyone good enough to pair with him.

Also, they're not trying to get role players in exchange for Howard. Most of these deals are for lottery ticket type players (I think that's how many see Gallinari, and it certainly applies to Favors) or draft picks. The trouble is that the draft picks generally become way less valuable when you trade a superstar to get them.

The only guys I have seen mentioned in connection with Paul or Howard who have all-star potential are Bynum, Eric Gordon, and Brook Lopez.
   180. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 06:51 PM (#4008213)
There isn't a team in the league with enough assets to get both Paul and Howard right now; I guess the Clippers could, but that would include trading Griffin.


It would have to be a four-way deal. There is almost no chance it will happen.

The only guys I have seen mentioned in connection with Paul or Howard who have all-star potential are Bynum, Eric Gordon, and Brook Lopez


Bulls, with some grouping of Noah, Boozer, Deng have been mentioned as well.

If Orlando can't add to their team, I say let Dwight leave via free agency and try your luck in the draft.


They can, I am sure, get Bynum, Lopez, or Gordon (plus some other stuff)for him. Maybe Noah or Horford as well. That is better than a draft pick in all likelihood.

But, again: I think Smith should be thinking about a three-way that gets him Steve Nash.
   181. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#4008230)
He's really doing his best since the CBA to be the most unreliable reporter on ESPN.


All he really said is that they would like to do it, and would make anybody except Kobe available, which, I am sure, is true. It would be sort of like if he posted, "Sources say the Bulls want Dwight Howard, and would consider trading anyone on the roster except Derrick Rose to make it happen." That is, I am sure, true. Kurt Helin actually already posted more or less just that (about the Bulls and Howard) at PBT.

It would be "unreliable" if Broussard wrote "Sources say the Lakers are on the verge of completing multiple deals to acquire Dwight Howard and Chris Paul."

What the story actually says is that the Lakers have had "cursory" discussions with NO about Paul and that they have not even talked to Orlando about Howard.

But, of course, Broussard ran with it for a simple reason: he knew people would react to it.
   182. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#4008265)
But, of course, Broussard ran with it for a simple reason: he knew people would react to it.

And that's my point, even if the better example was his CP3 to NYK article from last week. It gets attention, viewers, page hits, whatever.
   183. robinred Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#4008283)
And that's my point, even if the better example was his CP3 to NYK article from last week. It gets attention, viewers, page hits, whatever.


Sure. That's Broussard's job, but I wouldn't call it being "unreliable" since it isn't false per se. And Hollinger's job is to be right there at the same site to say, "No, no, no, that isn't going to happen." That way, you satisfy both the Lakers fans and Knicks fans who are daydreaming about the big hauls and the irritated/mocking fans of the other teams who can snicker and say, "What BS."
   184. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: December 06, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#4008294)
Repeating...

BBTF fantasy basketball league. 16 teams max (we had 12 last season; now at 10); 14-man rosters; scoring based on Hollinger's Game Score:
(Points x 1.0) + (FGM x 0.4) + (FGA x -0.7) + ((FTA-FTM) x -0.4) + (OREB x 0.7) + (DREB x 0.3) + (STL x 1.0) + (AST x 0.7) + (BLK x 0.7) + (PF x -0.4) + (TO x -1.0)
League is #28232; PW is albright
   185. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 09:57 PM (#4008495)
The NBA is considering pushing back the start of training camps until Monday, multiple league executives told Yahoo! Sports.

UPDATE: All systems are a go for Friday.
   186. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:08 PM (#4008509)
[Lang Greene] Lang Greene: Stephen A. Smith is reporting T-Mac is likely headed to Atlanta ... #Hawks nation do you want the cagey vet? Thoughts please ... about 10 minutes ago
   187. nick swisher hygiene Posted: December 06, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#4008538)
If only Vander Weide had had Don't Dial on his phone!
   188. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:04 PM (#4008567)
Uh, Stephen A, you told us before the lockout ended that McGrady was definitely signing with the Bulls. Quite frankly, I don't know if I can trust you or not.
   189. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:06 PM (#4008572)
   190. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:13 PM (#4008580)
If T-Mac ever again significantly contributes to a playoff team, I'll be surprised.
   191. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:43 PM (#4008614)
Bulls schedule notes - They might open up with 3 on the road out West - 12/25@LA, 12/26@SG, 12/28@SAC. That was on the original schedule, and KC Johnson expects it to be on the new one. They'll also play the Heat 4 times.

Game 4 is @LAC. Not sure date. Home opener supposedly NYD. I'm going to buy tickets for that...
   192. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:50 PM (#4008622)
Must read on amnesty details
i like that teams can't amnesty players they've traded for, but i think there should be an option for teams to trade their right to amnesty a player to a team that has multiple players worthy of being cut.

it's also interesting that the salaries of amnestied players, while not counting against the cap and tax, do factor in to the salary floor. that should make it easier to keep a clean balance sheet.
   193. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 06, 2011 at 11:56 PM (#4008627)
FatBoy Lever, welcome. Did you join BBTF just to post on this thread?
   194. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 07, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#4008647)
i think there should be an option for teams to trade their right to amnesty a player to a team that has multiple players worthy of being cut.

I think that's a crazy idea. Especially since those players don't count against the salary floor. I'm sure there's plenty of team that would be against something like that - team that don't have an amnesty player would hate to see Orlando be able to clean out their books by just dumping all of their mistakes.
   195. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 07, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#4008658)
I think that's a crazy idea. Especially since those players don't count against the salary floor. I'm sure there's plenty of team that would be against something like that - team that don't have an amnesty player would hate to see Orlando be able to clean out their books by just dumping all of their mistakes.
but that's a good thing, for multiple reasons.

firstly, that's exactly what the owners want--the ability to get completely out of cap hell
secondly, by getting out of cap hell, orlando would then be in a better position to keep dwight howard--again, something the owners want.
third, the players get paid anyway. the money they're owed still comes paid in full.
fourth, and most important, if this rule was in play, orlando would have to pay turkoglu's contract in full, instead of foisting him on another team as the price of acquiring dwight howard.


the genius in it is that orlando would still have to pay what they owe to their shitty players, but, instead of shifting the cost to other teams in the form of trades, the cost would come due to them, and them alone. that's a good thing.
   196. STEAGLES is all out of bubblegum Posted: December 07, 2011 at 01:35 AM (#4008703)
Tim Kawakami: NBA source: Celtics contacted Warriors about Rondo-for-Curry & were turned down. Presumably, Boston wanted to flip Curry to NO for Paul. about 18 minutes ago

Kate Fagan: From Jan. 5 to Feb. 3, the Sixers play 15 of 18 games @ Wells Fargo Center & two of those away games are local (NY & DC). #homestand now

Kate Fagan: #Sixers will have 6 games on ESPN: vs. Warriors, vs. Bulls, vs. Heat, vs. Knix, vs. Celts, and vs. Magic. Believe they only had 1 last year. 2 minutes ago

Kate Fagan: 76ers will play 9 of their last 11 games on the road, including the final five games of the season, ending on April 26. about 16 minutes ago

Kate Fagan: 76ers will have two sets of back-to-back-to-backs (if my scanning of the schedule is correct). Sixers start season with five road games. about 17 minutes ago
7 games in 9 days from jan 6-14.

they start the season at portland, phoenix, and utah, and then don't go west of san antonio for the rest of the season.



i'd say this is a pretty favorable schedule.
   197. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:01 AM (#4008731)
tomhaberstroh
Using 2010-11 win pct -- which is admittedly far from perfect -- toughest skeds: SAC, MIN, DAL, PHO, NOH. Easiest: CHI, ATL, CHA, NJN, DET.


Combine this with the Bulls being young and deep, might they be considered to have the best record again this year? I say yes.
   198. madvillain Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:17 AM (#4008744)
Combine this with the Bulls being young and deep, might they be considered to have the best record again this year? I say yes.


Depending on what happens with the SG and Big Sexy situation, Chicago is basically plugging in the same 10 guys as last year into the same system. That should be good for a slight leg up on the competition as far as early season cohesion and familiarity.

Chicago is a team that needs HCA if it wants to make the Finals, so I bet they go hard for it again.
   199. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: December 07, 2011 at 02:40 AM (#4008752)
How are we having a discussion of the greatest point guards of all time and John Stockton's name hasn't come up?
   200. Famous Original Joe C Posted: December 07, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#4008760)
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