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Monday, July 02, 2012

OT: NBA basketball July Thread 2012

I estimate that only 10-12 Primates care about the NBA, but with our own thread, we won’t detract from what the site is really about: Jim Furtado trolling his own site when he’s bored.

Tripon Posted: July 02, 2012 at 04:21 PM | 2487 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: basketball

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   1501. andrewberg Posted: July 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4189748)
Philly, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Orlando (if Howard is there all year, they make it; if not, they don't, so it's just easier to put them on the bubble) are maybes.


I'm sure we'll talk about all of these more as the season approaches, but I think the only thing that keeps Atlanta out of the playoffs altogether is a major injury/trade to Smith or Horford. I also think Devin Harris will have a little (dead cat?) bounce back season there.

We'll see how Philly gels with Wright and Young, but I think they're more likely to make it than not if they keep Iguodala. I could also imagine a world in which Toronto takes a leap forward. Lowry is a big upgrade in the backcourt, and if Valanciunas pans out quickly, they could push for a low playoff seed.
   1502. AROM Posted: July 23, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4189770)
At work so I don't want to take the time to look it up, but did Memphis have any draft picks that year before Marc was taken at #48? If not, then I might concede that this could've been the case. But if they did and took inferior players instead, then I find the above defense hard to believe. If they knew M.Gasol was going to be what he is, then why not draft him themselves and trade Pau for someone else?


Memphis did not have a second rounder that year. They took Conley #4 overall in the first round. I agree with you that the odds at the time of the trade didn't look very good for Memphis. While they couldn't have known Marc would be as good as he's been (since nobody can see the future), they probably valued getting Marc Gasol at that point more than they would have valued a random mid 2nd round pick.
   1503. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: July 23, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4189773)
I agree about Philly and Atlanta, berg. They're definitely "likely in", but not locks; it's not unimaginable to see them miss the playoffs.
   1504. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 23, 2012 at 01:36 PM (#4189781)
Gasol's stock shot up in the intervening year, as he not only sustain but built on the gains he'd demonstrated w/ Girona ... how the media portrayed his value at the time of deal really irritated me. He surpassed my expectations w/ Memphis - but I was sure he'd be at least a solid rotation guy from day one.
(To be clear - this is not about me, this is about how people dismissed Gasol.)
   1505. Maxwn Posted: July 23, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4189803)
I've been out this weekend, but since the Gasol trade seems to have come up again, I will just point that if all you do is say things like
A scrub and a 2nd round pick for a superstar in his prime?

while ignoring the financial flexibility that the deal got them, you are completely missing the point.

Additionally, while the other players and picks that they got besides M. Gasol didn't turn out to be much themselves, they turned them into Darrell Arthur and Mo Speights, who were the primary reserve big men on the two playoff teams they've had.

I agree with you that the odds at the time of the trade didn't look very good for Memphis.

I agree with this, the odds that they become a playoff team as quickly as they did after the trade were not great. However, I would also like to ask: Compared to what? They were 13-33 when they made the trade. They finished the season 22-60. They were 22-60 the year before. Their previous playoff team had come and gone, they were paying Pau a lot of money, they sucked, and he was their most marketable asset. They got some flexibility in the cap and bottom line, they collected a bunch of players, one of whom really panned out, and the others they were able to turn into some other useful players. Acting like this is the biggest travesty of a trade ever is pretty much just whining about the fact that the Lakers were the ones who got Pau.
   1506. Booey Posted: July 23, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4189821)
Acting like this is the biggest travesty of a trade ever is pretty much just whining about the fact that the Lakers were the ones who got Pau.


Complaining about Stern vetoing the Paul trade is pretty much just whining too. Complaining about the Rose/Noah injuries is pretty much just whining. Hell, complaining about pretty much any "what if" scenario is mainly just whining. We're fans; it's what we do. :)

Edit: And personally, it had nothing to do with the Lakers. I'd have been just as upset if some other team that was already a contender got another star while seemingly giving up little in return.
   1507. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 23, 2012 at 02:55 PM (#4189853)
Childress, and it was the right call.
Indeed.

Phoenix's roster:
PG - Dragic, Telfair, Marshall
SG - Dudley, Brown
SF - Beasley
PF - Scola, Ma. Morris, Warrick
C - Gortat, Frye

Meanwhile, Robin Lopez is in RFA-land. Also, the Suns have made noises about bringing back Michael Redd.
   1508. robinred Posted: July 23, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4189863)
I see the point about Memphis, but at the same time, the moves are tied together. They traded Love for Mayo in 2008, so they thought they had their SG and then wanted a big man, so they took Thabeet instead of Harden in 2009.

Drafting is a very inexact science and unless you have the #1 pick and Shaquille O'Neal or LeBron James is in the draft, there is always a chance to get it wrong, and all teams make mistakes. But it will be hard for Memphis to get by those decisions and take their team to the next step.
   1509. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 23, 2012 at 07:09 PM (#4190213)
Complaining about Stern vetoing the Paul trade is pretty much just whining too. Complaining about the Rose/Noah injuries is pretty much just whining. Hell, complaining about pretty much any "what if" scenario is mainly just whining.
The difference is that the Gasol trade was between consenting teams, and the Rose/Noah injuries are a part of the game. The Stern veto was about as ex machina as you can possibly imagine, a wholly different issue than the other ones being discussed.
   1510. robinred Posted: July 23, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4190422)
Far less surprising than Ichiro to the Yankees:

The Orlando Magic have told rival executives that they might not trade Dwight Howard after all, according to league sources.

An executive who has had discussions with the Magic regarding Howard said Orlando only will trade the star center in a deal that is great for the franchise. The executive said this has been Orlando's stance for the past "week or so."


Another executive who has talked with Orlando said he thinks the Magic may start the season with Howard and wait until the February trade deadline to move him
   1511. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 23, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4190518)
rumors!
foye to utah on a 1 yr deal
suns to sign pj tucker (!)
chi can't match asik, by virtue of belinelli signing (bae); will likely pay tax for 1st time in club history
   1512. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:49 AM (#4190614)
The difference is that the Gasol trade was between consenting teams, and the Rose/Noah injuries are a part of the game. The Stern veto was about as ex machina as you can possibly imagine, a wholly different issue than the other ones being discussed.


If he had vetoed the Pau trade, it would have been about as deus ex machina as you could possibly imagine, which is why I think he shouldn't have done it, even though the trade stank. But he was acting as the owner of the friggin team, and in every major deal, the owner has to be part of the "consenting teams". If Marc Cuban killed a deal tomorrow, people would just call that business as usual.

Your argument is basically that while under the ownership of the league, the team should de facto act without anybody filling the role of an owner. I think that's unfair towards the people in that organization, and the fans of the team, and I think it's ethically wrong. Once the league accepts the ownership, it to attempt to fill that role as best as it can for the franchise.
   1513. Maxwn Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4190712)
Your argument is basically that while under the ownership of the league, the team should de facto act without anybody filling the role of an owner. I think that's unfair towards the people in that organization, and the fans of the team, and I think it's ethically wrong. Once the league accepts the ownership, it to attempt to fill that role as best as it can for the franchise.

No, the argument would be that the league shouldn't buy teams because it creates these situations. And if they do buy the team, they should appoint a head of basketball operations, give him a budget, and let him make the decisions independently of league interference to avoid the conflicts of interest that league ownership. I'll point out that all the stories from around the time that deal was vetoed indicated that pretty much everyone thought that the second scenario I mentioned was in fact the case up until Stern stepped in.
   1514. robinred Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4190742)
Maxwn put it well. I would add that as I and others (here, elsewhere, and in the media) have said, the conflict of interest is inherent in the structure of the situation. In this particular case, Dan Gilbert's email, which focused almost entirely on the Lakers (and on Howard who was not part of the trade) and barely mentioned the Hornets, and Mark Cuban's publicly opposing the trade while he was and still is trying to get the same guys on his team, just drew a line under the problem in a very public way.
   1515. robinred Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:10 AM (#4190745)
   1516. PJ Martinez Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4190766)
The Heat will open the 2012-2013 NBA season on October 30 at home against the Celtics.
   1517. andrewberg Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4190779)
Rumor! Knicks sign Ronnie Brewer. That's a better solution than I thought they would find for a bench wing. I was secretly hoping the Wolves might snag him, but I think they are pushing their chips in on Roy with the Roy/Shved Williams/Johnson wing positions

Rumor! Hornets pursuing Robin Lopez. If affordable enough, he's probably a good guy to have next to Davis. He's solid, but can play a supporting role as Davis emerges.
   1518. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4190782)
suns to sign pj tucker (!)
Phoenix newspaper confirming that the signing will happen.

The time and experiences gave Tucker a greater maturity that led to a return to the NBA with the Suns, who will sign the burly, versatile forward to a two-year contract with partial guarantees on the first year
   1519. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4190792)
How much for brewer? If he can arrest his fg% decline, he's a mighty fine scrub
Rumor is ak is coming back to the states - surprising given how late in the FA season it is and his 4m (tax free) deal w cska. Dude still has it - euro league MVP - I'd take him on my team 8 days out of 7.
   1520. andrewberg Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4190797)
How much for brewer? If he can arrest his fg% decline, he's a mighty fine scrub


Has to be vet min doesn't it?

I'd take him on my team 8 days out of 7.


Agree, is there a contender he wouldn't help? I guess the russkies have the inside track on getting him.
   1521. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 24, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4190809)
Brewer: I'd think so, yeah

AK: Supposedly, he won't take the min w/ Brooklyn (understandably).
   1522. JC in DC Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4190937)
Which starting combo is better:

Lin+Fields or

Felton+Brewer?
   1523. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4190993)
Brewer's congenital inability to shoot (career low 46.5 TS% last year) makes him a dangerous pairing (from the NYK perspective) with Felton (who's so-so in that regard).

I go Lin-Fields, but the difference isn't necessarily super huge. The allure of Lin for me (apart from marketing whatsits) is variance - if he improves his d, cuts down on turnovers, etc...
   1524. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4190995)
JC: The former, without question. Not that Fields was worth his contract...

AK: Supposedly, he won't take the min w/ Brooklyn (understandably).

The Rockets have cap space, and I'm not sure if they have enough PFs on their roster.

chi can't match asik, by virtue of belinelli signing (bae); will likely pay tax for 1st time in club history

I still don't think they handled the cap that creatively, so they're hard capped out at this point. The Asik offer made it tough. And Zach Lowe had an article about how the Bulls have downgraded this year.
   1525. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 24, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4190996)
Which starting combo is better:
Lin+Fields or
Felton+Brewer?


That depends on how Felton's going to be used. Felton and STAT were a good pick-and-roll duo in the D'Antoni, but it doesn't seem as if the Knicks are going to be running anything like that. If Felton's just going to be feeding Carmelo and spotting up, that's not going to be good. They'll probably play better defense (Felton - 20 pounds sounds good on paper) and turn the ball over less, but I don't think they'll pass as well, they won't be as good at putting the ball in the basket, and they stretch the defense even less than Lin-Fields. The win here may be that they stayed the same, but are playing less for it. The thing is, Lin and Fields had upside. With Felton and Brewer, you know you're getting what you paid for, and you very well might get less.
   1526. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4191053)
The is very Dwyery, as all his post are, but it does capture the feeling I have about the Bulls offseason quite well.
   1527. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 03:58 PM (#4191061)
Hornets want Robin Lopez, but they're having a tough time working out a sign-and-trade with the Suns.
   1528. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM (#4191073)
It appears that now the shoe is on the other foot. A big, doofus, Robin Lopez foot.

rumors!
Tom Penn might be the new Sixers GM.
Dooling to stay with Boston.
AJ Price to WAS (not a rumor, fact. also, snore.)
   1529. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4191077)
It appears that now the shoe is on the other foot. A big, doofus, Robin Lopez foot.
Phoenix could still use a starting-caliber SG. Might the Hornets have one to spare?

I'm very OK with RoLo not returning. For one, it would mean the backup C is Frye - and he's much better as a center than at PF.
   1530. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 24, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4191080)
   1531. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4191084)
Phoenix could still use a starting-caliber SG. Might the Hornets have one to spare?
2012 draft pick Austin Rivers or 3rd year Xavier Henry. I doubt they'd trade their pick from this year. So how about Henry and a 2013 1st rounder for Lopez.
   1532. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: July 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4191140)
[1530] LOL at the SJax one.
   1533. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4191155)
So how about Henry and a 2013 1st rounder for Lopez.
Sold! I like the idea of the Suns stockpiling picks. As for Henry, eh, why not.
   1534. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4191157)
   1535. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM (#4191160)
1530: That was nicely done.
   1536. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4191161)
I thought the tabs and google ads were good as well.
   1537. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4191168)
Sheshefski. Tee-hee!

It's the little things that make it funny. The 87 emails between him and Lindelof about "Lost" was precious.
   1538. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: July 24, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4191186)
Heh:

"I'm a type of player like him," Belinelli said. "Maybe I can create something more than him. I think he's just a shooter, but I think I can do more than him. I don't know. I'm going to try to do my best."

Belinelli shot 39 percent from three-point range last season.

"I think I'm a shooter," Belineilli said. "I'm a 3-point shooter and I try to be better in every part of my game. I just want to play pick-and-roll game and I want to go in and create something for my teammates."

"Defensive play is not my best," he said. "I think that I can play defense and it's one thing that can be better. I can be better, but if I play and I got confidence from other guys, I think I can do better stuff than other guys."


He's comparing himself to Korver in the first part there.
   1539. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: July 24, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4191246)
Felton and STAT were a good pick-and-roll duo in the D'antoni before Amar'e broke down

FTFY. Not sure why people keep attributing so much of Felton and Amare's old success to Felton, ignoring that a.) Lin was really good in the PnR with Chandler and b.) STAT sucked last year because of physical problems, which he may or may not have recovered from, not because of Lin/Melo.
   1540. Fourth True Outcome Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4191306)
Rumor: Delonte back with the Mavs.
   1541. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 07:51 PM (#4191314)
Oh, wow. If the Suns can turn Lopez and Warrick into Wes Johnson and a No. 1 from MIN, that'll cap a great offseason in Phoenix.
   1542. tshipman Posted: July 24, 2012 at 09:31 PM (#4191460)
Oh, wow. If the Suns can turn Lopez and Warrick into Wes Johnson and a No. 1 from MIN, that'll cap a great offseason in Phoenix.


Here's what's beautiful about the NBA: I have no idea if this is sarcastic or not.
   1543. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM (#4191487)
It is not sarcastic. I've never liked Warrick, player or contract; Lopez is expendable and I'm intrigued to hear the Hornets' offer; Johnson is a lottery ticket; and in the Suns' current position in the success cycle, it's very nice to have picks.
   1544. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM (#4191493)
Johnson is a lottery ticket

LOL.
   1545. andrewberg Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:31 PM (#4191498)
I hope the first would be protected, and I hope the ak rumor has some assurances. If so, it would early help for the next couple of years up at cska west. Would also be the whitest team since bill sharman retired.

Der k, I've started introducing texts with "rumor!" Nice work.
   1546. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:34 PM (#4191500)
LOL
Yeah, upon further review that statement needed clarification.
   1547. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4191503)
What is happening to the posting system? I've lost two and had a duplicate in the last five minutes.
   1548. tshipman Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4191504)
Johnson is a lottery ticket


Well yeah, a used up and discarded scratcher is also a lottery ticket.

Don't mean to kill you on this. I disagree with your assessment of the Suns' offseason. They lost a guy who is likely to go into the HOF and replaced him with a guy who had a somewhat fluky good half-season. They picked up Beasley, who probably isn't very good, and Scola, who is on the downside of his career.

They won 33 games last year (41 in a full season), and they look to be worse next year. They're in the worst place in the NBA, in my opinion, the 30-40 win purgatory without cap space, flexibility or valuable assets. I would have blown it up as soon as it was clear that you weren't keeping Nash.
   1549. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:40 PM (#4191507)
Trying again: Johnson's real value is cheap bench filler, defense on the wings and an expiring contract*. The "lottery ticket" part is the slim chance a No. 4 overall pick will suddenly get it. Hasheem Thabeet probably will get it before Wesley, but youneverknow.

* - Team option in 12-13.
   1550. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4191512)
They lost a guy who is likely to go into the HOF and replaced him with a guy who had a somewhat fluky good half-season.
We were losing Nash anyway; getting four picks out of it was the best of a no-leverage situation.

They picked up Beasley, who probably isn't very good, and Scola, who is on the downside of his career.
Beasley probably is the lottery ticket of the Suns' offseason. And at $18MM over 3, one that won't cripple the team if it doesn't work out. Scola, I'll agree, is on the downside of his career - but the Suns still got a low-post threat for practically nothing! $13.5MM over 3; $9MM over 2 (player option in the third year). That's fantastic value.

They're in the worst place in the NBA, in my opinion, the 30-40 win purgatory without cap space, flexibility or valuable assets.
You need to look at Phoenix's cap and draft situation, not to mention where they are in the rebuilding cycle (just starting), and rethink this statement. Next summer, they'll be $16MM under the cap with three first-round picks.

I would have blown it up as soon as it was clear that you weren't keeping Nash.
Nash, because of his kids, wanted to stay in Phoenix as long as possible. Sarver obliged him, so there never was going to be a trade.
   1551. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4191519)
Beasley probably is the lottery ticket of the Suns' offseason

You have a very strange definition of lottery ticket. I do agree with you, generally, that the Suns offseason was effective though.
   1552. tshipman Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4191522)
You need to look at Phoenix's cap and draft situation, not to mention where they are in the rebuilding cycle (just starting), and rethink this statement. Next summer, they'll be $16MM under the cap with three first-round picks.


That is not enough to make a max offer. That is not a good cap situation. A good cap situation is when you can make two max offers. If you're not in the playoffs (or going to be there within a year), you should be trying to get to a good cap situation. I think this is pretty close to a truism.

Nash, because of his kids, wanted to stay in Phoenix as long as possible. Sarver obliged him, so there never was going to be a trade.


No, I mean, trade Gortat, don't sign Dragic, don't sign Beasley, bottom out and try for high picks.

Phoenix might have 3 first rounders, but are any of them going to be below #10?

   1553. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4191542)
That is not enough to make a max offer. That is not a good cap situation. A good cap situation is when you can make two max offers. If you're not in the playoffs (or going to be there within a year), you should be trying to get to a good cap situation. I think this is pretty close to a truism.
Yes, they are trying to get into a good cap situation - and they advanced toward that goal this offseason. Collected picks and cheap talent while keeping their powder dry for the '13 and '14 offseasons.

Phoenix might have 3 first rounders, but are any of them going to be below #10?
Probably not, but that doesn't mean they lack value.
   1554. robinred Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4191544)
Rumor: Delonte back with the Mavs.


It doesn't seem to work for me without the exclamation point:

Rumor:
Rumor!

Yeah, I like the second one better.

Foye to Utah; Brewer to New York
   1555. robinred Posted: July 24, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4191546)
USA 100, Spain 78. Last exhibition before Olympics.
   1556. PJ Martinez Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4191581)
I think it's reasonable to call Johnson and (especially) Beasley lottery tickets (though Beasley is a pretty expensive one). Most lottery tickets are just lost money. Every so often something unlikely happens. Chauncey Billups didn't turn in his first really good season until he was 25 and on his fourth NBA team.* An unlikely career trajectory, but it has happened. Darko Milicic used to be a lottery ticket. He is not anymore.

* Neither Wesley Johnson nor Michael Beasley will be as good as Chauncey Billups, obviously.
   1557. JJ1986 Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:26 AM (#4191689)
Rumor!
Warriors sign Kent Bazemore. I never saw him play in college, but he looked very good in the summer league.
   1558. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 25, 2012 at 09:32 AM (#4191691)
Rumor Wolves! clear space for: Andrei Kirilenko pending! departure of W. Johnson in 3-team R. Lopez trade:
   1559. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4191757)
[1558] was highly enjoyable.

Rumor Wolves!
   1560. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM (#4191761)
Rumor Wolves - great band name.
   1561. Mark S. is bored Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4191768)
Proposed Wolves/Suns/Hornets Trade:

Forward Hakim Warrick would join Lopez in New Orleans and Minnesota would move forward Wesley Johnson and a first-round pick to Phoenix. Minnesota would get center Brad Miller (who has said he will retire), guard Jerome Dyson and draft picks. The Wolves’ interest in the deal is purely to clear cap space as the team pursues forward Andrei Kirilenko, according to Yahoo! Sports.
   1562. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4191777)
Minnesota would get center Brad Miller (who has said he will retire)

This can't be right. His contract is already on the Wolves. It was non-guaranteed, but the guarantee date has passed, so I'm not sure how his retirement impacts that payment/cap accounting in this deal.
   1563. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: July 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4191780)
You dudes flatter me.

1. I think Miller would go to Phoenix, not Minnesota.
2. Miller could, if I understand correctly, have agreed to postpone that date (if the team agrees, which they would). This presumably would've already happened, if necessary.

   1564. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4191827)
I didn't realize how much I've missed AK-47 (possibly the best NBA nickname of all time, BTW) until I started seeing his name pop up here in rumors(!). I'd like to see him back on the Jazz, but the rumors(!) don't make it sound like that's even being considered. :(

Too bad. He was a fun player to watch when he wasn't sulking and he was a nice guy when I ran into him at the mall a few years back.
   1565. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:45 AM (#4191836)
What was the story behind the Kirilenko/Sloan clash? I love both guys but that was just weird.
   1566. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM (#4191838)
Wolves beat writer posed the question on twitter last night, how many games does this rotation win?

PG- Ricky!, Ridnour, Barea
SG- Roy, Shved
SF- Kirilenko, Williams
PF- Love, Cunningham (but really Williams)
C- Pekovic, Stiemsma

My speculation was that there is a lot of variability in the back court. An average return by Ricky and getting 2010 Brandon Roy would probably get into the low 40s. If one of those guys exceeds expectations- and they are doing a good job getting my hopes on unrealistically on Roy- then there is probably upside to get into the high 40s, or even low 50s if they both play well.
   1567. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4191840)
What was the story behind the Kirilenko/Sloan clash? I love both guys but that was just weird.


It was probably over a girl. Kirilenko wanted to cash in his annual golden ticket, but then she saw the Sloan Hands.
   1568. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: July 25, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4191846)
Budinger, too.
   1569. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4191858)
Budinger, too.


Oh yeah! It's an embarrassment of average players. It's like the Wolves rented out a giant garage to park 12 Honda Accords in it.
   1570. JJ1986 Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4191862)
So, excluding Cunningham, 8 of those 10 are white guys.
   1571. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4191880)
What was the story behind the Kirilenko/Sloan clash? I love both guys but that was just weird.


From what I remember, AK was upset that he wasn't getting enough touches; he was the highest paid player on the team and he'd been probably their best player from 2004-2006, but in 2007 the Jazz were having their best season in years and they didn't really need Andrei to be as big a part of their offense as he'd been in the past. Williams had come into his own, Boozer was finally healthy and made the All Star team, Okur made the team as well, and Sloan wanted AK to focus more on D and stop worrying about his role on O. I remember quotes in the local papers where Kirilenko (who always struck me as a pretty sensitive guy) said something along the lines of how he didn't want to just be a robot in Sloan's system and he wanted to be traded to a team like Phoenix or LAL that would let him run. From personal observation, he seemed to start sulking after this and just standing around on offense rather than even trying to make cuts or getting himself involved, and thus his role in the offense diminished even further (I think he was down to a career low 8 ppg or something that season).

And while he was never more than a 4th option or so on the Jazz ever again, things did blow over and he started getting more involved and was back up to 11 ppg or something for the rest of his Jazz tenure.

I hope the Jazz retire his number; from the Ivan Drago flat top, to the fo-hawk, to the weird euro-mullet, the hair alone warrants it. All the blocked shots and boxscore filling was just gravy.
   1572. Jimmy P Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4191883)
Oh yeah! It's an embarrassment of average players. It's like the Wolves rented out a giant garage to park 12 Honda Accords in it.


Better than the embarrassment of below-average players they had last year.
   1573. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4191894)
Better than the embarrassment of below-average players they had last year.


Absolutely. I am excited.
   1574. Joel W Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4191953)
7 league average players and Kevin Love is a 50 win team, no?
   1575. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 01:40 PM (#4191974)
7 league average players and Kevin Love is a 50 win team, no?


I'd say no. My guess would be around 45ish and a 7th or 8th seed.
   1576. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4192022)
I'd say no. My guess would be around 45ish and a 7th or 8th seed.

Do you disagree that they have 7 league average players or are you low on Love?
   1577. Bitter Mouse Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4192054)
I think some of you are underselling how terrible some of the players on the wolves were last year. Moving them up to just average is a huge change. How well & soon Ricky comes back is the big question. If he had not been injured I think 50 wins is a fair prediction, but of course he was injured, so who the heck knows.
   1578. Spivey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4192058)
Roy's the big question mark. I think he's more likely to be one of the worst shooting guards in the league than he is to be an above average player.
   1579. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4192076)
Roy's the big question mark. I think he's more likely to be one of the worst shooting guards in the league than he is to be an above average player.


Even when Roy was playing hurt in a system that froze him out, he was only a little below average. To me, he could range from below average to quite good, but with the significant caveat of health at every point along the way.
   1580. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4192086)
Do you disagree that they have 7 league average players or are you low on Love?


Maybe a little of both. I think I agree with Spivey about Roy; I'm a bit skeptical that Roy is even average at this point, but I totally think it was worth it for the Wolves to take the gamble.

I'm actually a big fan of Love, but his shooting percentage is already a bit low for what you'd want from a superstar big man, so part of me fears his numbers may have been boosted a bit by the "best player on a bad team" factor.

I think 50 wins is also assuming Rubio develops really quickly, so I'm sticking with 45 for the first year of the new look Wolves. Seems like a safer bet. Maybe 50 the following season.

Edit: And I wouldn't mind at all being wrong. I'd like to see the Wolves successful again.
   1581. Maxwn Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4192118)
I'm actually a big fan of Love, but his shooting percentage is already a bit low for what you'd want from a superstar big man, so part of me fears his numbers may have been boosted a bit by the "best player on a bad team" factor.

This seems inaccurate to me. His vanilla shooting percentage is lower than a lot of big men because he takes (and makes) a lot more threes. For example, his true shooting percentage was essentially the same as Dwight Howard's last year on slightly higher usage despite Dwight's normal shooting percentage being 125 pts higher because Love makes threes and is actually a good free throw shooter rather than the total clown at the line that Dwight is.
   1582. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4192133)
#1581 - Yeah, I thought about that. And I hope he really is as good as his numbers look (though he was really bad in the two games I saw him play against Utah last year). He's one of my favorite non Jazz players.

But part of that may be because I never liked Luis Scola. :)
   1583. Maxwn Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4192136)
If I'm reading the chart on Hoopdata correctly, the only players who had a higher usage and a higher true shooting percentage than Kevin Love last year were Durant and Lebron. Not sure why we would care what his regular shooting percentage was.

D-Wade and Dirk had higher usage and slightly lower TS% than Love. A handful of guys like Pierce, Griffin, Kyrie and Dwight were lower but pretty close on both. Actually, Dwight's TS% was 0.1% higher.
   1584. Maxwn Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4192140)
Traditionally, as I've understood it, the "best player on a bad team" concern was always centered on guys who put up gaudy PPG numbers very inefficiently due to super-high usage. It doesn't really make sense to me to apply it to a guy who is scoring as efficiently as anyone in the league while eating up super-high usage on a crappy team. If anything, that's more impressive.
   1585. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM (#4192150)
If I'm reading the chart on Hoopdata correctly, the only players who had a higher usage and a higher true shooting percentage than Kevin Love last year were Durant and Lebron. Not sure why we would care what his regular shooting percentage was.


Cuz I'm lazy and rarely bother looking up numbers beyond the basic basketball ref ones. :)

Like I said, I really do hope Love is as good as others seem to think and that my doubts are primarily a function of my own laziness.
   1586. Joel W Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4192186)
The nice thing with Roy, and I think in general with signing high risk/high reward basketball players is that, unlike in baseball, you'll know almost instantly if they have it. The numbers will tell you within 5-10 games, and combine that with scouting, and you'll know very quickly. In baseball, it could always just be a fluke. With Roy, they won't get stuck playing the bad version for way too many minutes.
   1587. robinred Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4192191)
I agree with Mouse here. Love will be excellent; most of the other guys will be OK. Adelman can coach. The issue is simple: what do they get out of Roy and Rubio? I don't think anyone knows that for sure right now. Also, the West is still tough and deep. As I said last year, even the lotto teams can hurt you, and the top as of today still probably:

1. Thunder
2. Spurs

3. Lakers (probably improved in spite of age issue)
4. Clippers (probably somewhat improved)
5. Grizzlies
6. Nuggets

Utah, Dallas, and Minnesota are probably the next three. It is hard for me to see Minnesota above 5th, barring stuff like major injuries to Chris Paul and Andrew Bynum and a big comeback from Roy. (certainly possible).
   1588. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4192194)
The nice thing with Roy, and I think in general with signing high risk/high reward basketball players is that, unlike in baseball, you'll know almost instantly if they have it. The numbers will tell you within 5-10 games, and combine that with scouting, and you'll know very quickly.

Good point, but the caveat I'd add is that, especially with someone like Roy, you never know when the other shoe might drop healthwise.
   1589. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 04:57 PM (#4192196)
With Roy, they won't get stuck playing the bad version for way too many minutes.


Are you familiar with the work of one Wes Johnson?

The issue is simple: what do they get out of Roy and Rubio?


Yup. Very different knee problems and trajectories, but we're looking at Love and a bunch of average guys, Love + borderline star and a bunch of average guys, or Love + 2 borderline stars and a bunch of average guys.

I would remove the gap between SA and LA, but I agree with the presumption that those are the 6 best teams.
   1590. Joel W Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4192201)
Obviously sometimes team spend a lot of minutes playing really bad players because they don't have other competent players. I'm just saying I think it's much easier to take a flyer on a guy in basketball.
   1591. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4192202)
Also, I think rr's West outlook is spot on at the moment. I'll try the East:

Rank. Team (range of possible rank)

1. Miami (1)

2. Boston (2-6)
3. Indiana (2-5)
(half gap)
4. Brooklyn (2-6)
5. New York (3-8)
6. Chicago?? (2-9; no idea what to do with them)
7. Atlanta (4-9)
8. Philadelphia (5-9; got worse, IMO, though maybe the youngsters improve some)
9. Orlando (4-12; #9 assumes Howard gets traded between now and February)

I could see Milwaukee making a run at the playoffs, along with maybe Washington (they seem like they could go 38-44 with their upgraded roster and a stepforward from Wall) or Cleveland (big year 2 for Irving?).

The only thing I'm sure of on that list is #1.
   1592. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4192204)
Utah, Dallas, and Minnesota are probably the next three. It is hard for me to see Minnesota above 5th, barring stuff like major injuries to Chris Paul and Andrew Bynum and a big comeback from Roy. (certainly possible).


I agree with all that; it just seems to me that the west's days of 2008-2010 when even the 8th seed won 50 games (k, 48 in 2009) and there wasn't much difference between seeds 2-8 are in the past (at least for now). I'm seeing a pretty big gap between the top 5 and the bottom 3 (or 4, since there could easily be a >.500 team left on the sidelines).

I'd guess it goes down something like this:

1) Thunder: 60-22
2) Lakers: 57-25 (should be improved with the addition of Nash)
3) Spurs: 55-27 (concerns about the severity of Parker's eye injury?)
4) Clips: 52-30
5) Grizz: 51-31
6) Mavs: 46-36
7) Nuggs: 46-36
8) Jazz: 45-37
9) Wolves: 45-37 (can't pick against my boys, sorry)

Obviously all this changes if Lakers or Rockets get Howard, or if Dallas gets someone, or if there's major injuries, etc, etc.
   1593. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4192207)
I'd put the gap after the 5th seed rather than the 6th.

What does everyone see in the Nuggets that I'm not seeing? I'm not really seeing why they should appear to be clearly better than the Jazz/Mavs/Wolves group...
   1594. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4192215)
Continuity, coaching, youth, improvement, balance.
   1595. Fourth True Outcome Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4192217)
The nice thing with Roy, and I think in general with signing high risk/high reward basketball players is that, unlike in baseball, you'll know almost instantly if they have it. The numbers will tell you within 5-10 games, and combine that with scouting, and you'll know very quickly. In baseball, it could always just be a fluke. With Roy, they won't get stuck playing the bad version for way too many minutes.


In general that's totally true, but I'm not sure it will be with BRoy. In his last season in Portland, some nights his knees were good enough for him to play at a level close to his peak, but a lot of other nights they weren't. I don't see any reason to think his basketball skills have eroded, so it's just a question of how well his knees will hold up to the day-in-and-day-out of the season. I'm pretty pessimistic about the signing, though I hope I'm wrong, but I think the danger here is that he shows glimpses some nights, but more often doesn't have it, and continues to struggle with living with a diminished role. It'll be harder for the TWolves to decide what to do with a guy who's great say 20% of the time and sucks 80% than what to do with someone who does or doesn't have what they're looking for from him.
   1596. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:38 PM (#4192218)
Continuity, coaching, youth, improvement, balance.


Jazz and Wolves have youth, and also a good possibility of improvement from some key players.
   1597. andrewberg Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4192226)
It'll be harder for the TWolves to decide what to do with a guy who's great say 20% of the time and sucks 80% than what to do with someone who does or doesn't have what they're looking for from him.


If there's an upside here, it's that Adelman has extensive experience coaching former stars who suffered career-altering injuries. He had to help T-Mac, Yao, Webber, Mullin, and Mark Price reintegrate themselves as lesser players after severe injuries.
   1598. robinred Posted: July 25, 2012 at 05:49 PM (#4192229)
I don't know that Denver will improve much or any, but I think they have a pretty solid 45-50 win team. Utah and Minnesota might have teams like that, but I am not sure about that yet. Minnesota has more variance than Utah does.

Utah has some very young guys, and that excites stat analysts and fans and may pay off long-term, but in terms of next year, I will take Denver as the better team.

Dallas, cleverly run as usual, has a done a nice job of spackling with older vets + Mayo and setting themselves up to try to snake their way in and get Paul and Howard one year from now, but they are still relying on many older players and their ceiling is lower than it has been. Denver lacks a superstar, but they have a group of guys who are still in their primes or around it, and have proven they can play some. Ditto Memphis.
   1599. Booey Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4192241)
I don't know that Denver will improve much or any

Denver lacks a superstar, but they have a group of guys who are still in their primes or around it, and have proven they can play some.


That's pretty much what I think about them, and also why I don't see them as being clearly better than the Jazz, for example. They have some nice pieces, but like the Jazz, teams without a true superstar generally have a ceiling as to how good they can be, and that ceiling is usually less than 50 wins. I see Memphis as a bit of an exception - I don't see them as being a true championship contender without a top 10 type player, but the Gay/Randolph/Gasol trio is pretty damn good and should easily lift them above the Utah's and Denver's.

I think the Jazz will pretty much stay where they were last season cuz their two best players are what they are - Millsap and Jefferson have been the same players for a few years now and I think they've pretty much hit their ceiling and aren't likely to take another leap forward. But the Jazz CAN improve if Hayward and especially Favors develop quickly. I could even see Kanter, Burks, and Evans becoming productive regulars rather than just the end of the bench filler players Corbin used them as last season. The "loss" of Howard, Miles, and Bell should be a case of addition by subtraction.

I haven't followed their team too closely, but do any of Denver's youngens have the upside of Favors, or even Hayward?

With Love as the centerpiece, I see Minny as having a higher ceiling than either the Jazz or Nuggs, but I don't think they'll make that leap in a single season.
   1600. Jimmy P Posted: July 25, 2012 at 06:13 PM (#4192245)
I haven't followed their team too closely, but do any of Denver's youngens have the upside of Favors, or even Hayward?


An argument can be made for McGee, and possibly Lawson. I think most of Denver's guys have topped out, though. What you see is what you're going to get, and it's just not good enough to jump into that contender group.
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