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Friday, December 18, 2020

NBA 2020 Season kick-off thread

I estimate it would take 10-12 Primates to beat James Harden in a wing eating contest.

Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 18, 2020 at 02:28 PM | 2729 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: best shape of his life, nba, off-topic

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   1801. Mike A Posted: March 01, 2021 at 05:56 PM (#6007178)
Flip and mixed emotions here, like many Hawks fans.

Pierce was an outspoken voice who wanted to make the world a better place. He was hard not to like. But as a coach...he just seemed a bit over his head. I get that many are blaming personnel choices, and yes, that was certainly a factor. But 11 blown 4th quarter leads and questionable rotation choices was wearing thin for many Hawk fans.

As for the offseason which raised expectations...Rondo was obviously just an awful signing, I get that they wanted 'veteran presence' to take the place of Vince, but like Vince last year, Rondo can't really play basketball anymore. Gallinari was brought in as a scoring 6th man, but he's looked cooked as well, possibly due to injury. Pierce putting Collins and Gallinari on the court at the same time was a defensive nightmare. Bogdonovich, well, we don't know much yet. He's supposedly back soon.

Capela I think has been quite good. The Hawks needed someone to anchor the defense, and Capela has done just that. The only issue with Capela is he can't spread the floor on offense and that limits Collins in the paint. But when the Hawks have been healthy, their starting defense has been solid even with Trae. But the 2nd team defense is awful.

Okongwu looks like a bust, but it's just so early. Everyone knew he was raw, and because of the strange season, he's had almost no practice time. Yeah, Halliburton is the choice in retrospect, but remember he did not want to come to Atlanta because of the presence of Trae. Which sucks, because the biggest weak spot on the Hawks is the lack of a second ball handler to take pressure off Trae.

All in all, it adds up to a bit of a mess and Pierce was the fall guy. But Lloyd is not blameless either. I just wish I knew where the Hawks go from here.
   1802. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: March 01, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#6007180)
Every time something like Pierce happens, my immediate reaction is, how the hell is Scott Brooks still employed?
   1803. Mike A Posted: March 01, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6007181)
And to add to the pain, a Luka Doncic card just sold for 4.6 million, the 2nd highest of any sports card in history.

The market is really strange. Don't get me started on NBA Top Shots, which I may figure out some day. Maybe.
   1804. tshipman Posted: March 01, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6007183)
Lloyd Pierce being fired is kind of a joke. How good did the Hawks expect that they were? Their point differential is that of a .500 team, and the team has a bunch of young guys. Is it a surprise that they struggled late in games, when the team is so dependent on Trae?

Firing Lloyd Pierce because your team is 14-20 instead of 17-17 is kind of silly. Lloyd Pierce didn't sign Gallo and Rondo for a combined 28 million.
   1805. . . . . . . Posted: March 01, 2021 at 06:30 PM (#6007185)
It would be fun to do the "Best player never to be the best player on a Championship team" list. You add some of the late-career ring chasers to the obvious list of guys who never won. Kidd, Robertson, Payton, Robinson (not a chaser, but gets on the list). Maybe Paul Pierce (I know he won finals MVP, but KG was the best player on that team)


It's kind of an awkward list if you include guys who won as a "1A" like Robinson or Pierce.
   1806. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 01, 2021 at 07:48 PM (#6007193)
fun fact:

the sixers are last in the NBA in fast break points against.


bonus fun fact:

it seems like they're pathologically opposed to taking that european foul on fast breaks.


bonus bonus fun fact:

this one is a hoot and a half.
   1807. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 01, 2021 at 08:33 PM (#6007199)
there's a tooth on the floor of the WFC.


oh god. it was ben simmons in the conservatory with the elbow rip through.
Tony East @TEastNBA
I did not need a slow motion replay of Doug McDermott spitting out his own tooth
Trill Withers @TylerIAm
Whatever it is i'm doing, if i lose a tooth while doing it i'm going home
John Clark @JClarkNBCS
Hockey game broke out at the Wells Fargo Center tonight

@spittinchiclets
https://twitter.com/JClarkNBCS/status/1366562717348290562



i have to admit, i am morbidly curious as to whether that would have been ruled a flagrant foul if reviewed.
   1808. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 01, 2021 at 09:10 PM (#6007201)
Best player never to win a title: NJ has the right four. You could argue all day about the order.

Does Elgin Baylor get credit for a ring? He was technically on the 1972 Lakers but he only played in 9 games after playing 2 the year before.

I think Schroder is a solid starter on a team that doesn't really have a lot of assets that's in win now mode. The Lakers can't really fill that role all that well if he did leave.

   1809. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: March 01, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6007205)
I would put Baylor 5th, but he was a huge star in his time, so yeah, you could make a case for him although the 72 Lakers ofc did give him a ring. I also kind of mentally divide NBA history in 1977--the merger. Baylor is still alive and is 86 years old. His career, as great as it was, has an element of sadness to it, given the end to his NBA career and his long, unsuccessful tenure with the Clippers, which ended with an unsuccessful lawsuit against Sterling.
   1810. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 02, 2021 at 01:10 PM (#6007260)
Robin Lopez, Washington Wizards: I generally will not order a salad. I guess I haven't tried an extremely pro-salad diet, but just glancing at it from the outside, it doesn't seem like it would do a lot for me. It almost seems like egregiously healthy, arrogantly healthy. I'm ordering a salad, look at me, look how healthy I'm being.
...
Robin Lopez, Washington Wizards: I shouldn't, but whenever they offer fresh fruit vs. french fries, I always go for the french fries.
...
Robin Lopez, Washington Wizards: One thing that's hard for me, even as an athlete, is any kind of brown rice or whole grain pasta I just can't do. I think it's more of a texture thing. If I have to, I'll do it, but—it's funny to say that I try to avoid the healthy option, but I try to avoid it. I try to judiciously avoid it.
...
Robin Lopez, Washington Wizards: Usually, the big challenge for me is whether or not I'll eat that Snickers bar in the minibar. That's my challenge to see how mentally strong I am that night. Sometimes when I'm leaving the plane, I'll grab a PB and J or two. I'll be like, This is gonna be my meal. I'm gonna have a pasta and that's gonna be my meal. Then it'll be a challenge as the hours and the minutes tick away. I don't need that bar. Do I need that bar? It's an interesting little dilemma for me at times.
   1811. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: March 02, 2021 at 01:29 PM (#6007266)
You are seen, Robin Lopez.
   1812. asinwreck Posted: March 02, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6007276)
   1813. aberg Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6007296)
I'm out of ideas and a little tired of reading "the Wolves are screwed" analyses. What would you guys do if you were running the franchise for this year and over the next few years?
   1814. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:43 PM (#6007298)
I would give me an ironclad 30-year contract that pays millions of dollars a year for doing nothing.
   1815. aberg Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6007299)
I would give me an ironclad 30-year contract that pays millions of dollars a year for doing nothing.


Sounds like a good fit for the Glen Taylor organization.
   1816. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 02, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6007300)
I'm by no means a Wolves expert, or even particularly informed onlooker, but the things the Wolves have going for them are:
- KAT is under contract for the next few years
- Anthony Edwards is young and can dunk the hell out of the basketball
- Once their pick conveys to the Warriors they control all of their upcoming first round picks.

The good news is that they're already tanking, so that works. I've never really been a fan of D'Angelo Russell, so if I ran the Wolves I'd start by trading him for whatever I can get, figuring out what I have in Edwards and the other young guys, and see about building a better defensive identity while drafting more talent.

That's all a more verbose way of saying they should be bad on purpose to get better, which may well lead to a trade demand from KAT in short order; that's not the worst, as they should still be able to get a lot of assets for him. If it gets to that point, I think trading him is fine as long as the return is good.

Basically I think the Wolves are screwed for this year and likely the next couple, but that just means they need to decide how they're trying to build to being a good team (and execute). If that means aiming to compete in 2 years with KAT as your offensive keystone and someone else anchoring the defense, great; if that means trading KAT and going full on rebuild a la OKC, that's also fine. The nice thing is that they don't really need to decide on KAT now, or in the next few years unless he forces their hand, and no one else is untouchable.
   1817. tshipman Posted: March 02, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6007306)
I'm out of ideas and a little tired of reading "the Wolves are screwed" analyses. What would you guys do if you were running the franchise for this year and over the next few years?


I wrote out a bunch of stuff, but I actually didn't believe any of it, so I deleted it.

I think you have to go full on process with the Wolves. Maybe you keep Edwards. I think you trade Towns now. You're just too far away from contention.
   1818. spivey 2 Posted: March 02, 2021 at 05:58 PM (#6007308)
You won't get the packages you could have gotten a couple of years ago, but you could still probably get a lot for Towns. They should try to trade him, and just completely rebuild. Of course, they should also all get fired so the rebuild is done by someone else. In fact, that should probably happen before you trade Towns, so you get the best deal and target the right prospects.

If you can get assets for Russell, trade him too. If not, let him score 26 points/game and then some offseason or trade deadline someone will get an itchy trigger finger and give you assets for him.
   1819. NJ in NJ Posted: March 02, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6007309)
I think trading Towns is the first move I would make. And the Knicks are absolutely a team I would target for a Towns move. Come to think of it...maybe this is what Windhorst was referring to today when he mentioned that there's a star he thinks will demand to go to the Knicks in the next year.
   1820. tshipman Posted: March 02, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#6007311)
I don't think you can get anything for Russell. Obviously your cap space is worthless, so there's no point in trading him unless you can get assets.

Fire Rosas, give the godfather offer to Masai or just actually go full Hinkie. You're like 5 years away from contention.

The key with trading Towns is getting the right guys back. That's what OKC did right that was so hard. They identified Shai as being the right guy to get. I'm not sure who the equivalent would be ... I think LaMelo is worth more than Towns right now. Halliburton doesn't seem to have as much room in his game as Shai did, but maybe I'm wrong about that.
   1821. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 02, 2021 at 09:19 PM (#6007328)
I'm out of ideas and a little tired of reading "the Wolves are screwed" analyses. What would you guys do if you were running the franchise for this year and over the next few years?
hibernate? collect a plumlee, a zeller, a ball and a holiday. FREE JIMMER!


the responsible answer is to steadily accumulate future assets while waiting until karl towns forces you to trade him.

the fun answer is to trade for russell westbrook and play him at center because #### it, cut em up*.




*this is still very unlikely to be fun for anyone.
   1822. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 02, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6007332)
fun fact:

there are 7 teams in the eastern conference that are .500 or above. 5 of them are in the atlantic division. 10 teams will make the playoffs.
   1823. aberg Posted: March 02, 2021 at 11:03 PM (#6007347)
Mitch Hedberg jokes about the timberwolves are extremely my brand.

Yeah, I think you all are probably right about Towns, which is depressing, but so is everything else about this franchise.
   1824. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 02, 2021 at 11:05 PM (#6007348)
The Clippers and Celtics shot a combined 34/70 from 3-point range today.
   1825. asinwreck Posted: March 02, 2021 at 11:14 PM (#6007351)
We used to lose games. We still do, but we used to, too.
   1826. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: March 03, 2021 at 12:14 AM (#6007354)
Dudley really shouldn't get any meaningful minutes.
   1827. NJ in NJ Posted: March 03, 2021 at 12:48 AM (#6007360)
Dudley really shouldn't get any meaningful minutes.

Team high +9 in 11 minutes tonight.
   1828. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:40 AM (#6007363)
The 80s Bill James Abstracts remain among my favorite sports books; in addition to being fun to read, they also taught me some basic ideas about analyzing sports that I think are useful now. One was "bad teams tend to blame their problems on their best players." I get that:

a) No one here is blaming Towns.
b) Basketball and baseball are very different.

But I am going to push back a little on the idea that Minnesota should move him:

1) Going "full process" is no guarantee that they get a better franchise fulcrum than Towns.
2) I never much liked Russell and was kind of glad that the Lakers got rid of him, but I have defended his on-court value here a few times. It looks now like shipman was right about that and I was wrong, but if I were Minnesota I would consider framing the team as "We have Towns, Russell and Edwards. Let's try to build a competitive team around that." Maybe they can't, but I am not sure that they shouldn't try over the next couple of years partly because of
3) Human factors. As I mentioned, Towns has suffered devastating losses in his family due to COVID, and he is supposedly buddies with Russell. I think Minnesota might be better off getting behind Towns, saying he is our guy, we'll ride this out, we will make things better, rather than moving him.

But I may be wrong, especially if the Russell connection is overblown and Towns really, really wants out a la AD in NO.

Still, I do not think that I would be looking to move him if I ran Minnesota.
   1829. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:48 AM (#6007364)
James is having his first "load management" sit-out tomorrow in Sacramento. It is kind of funny in that the vibe is that Walton will get fired after the game if the Kings lose. So the joke is that James got Walton fired once but is passing on the chance to do it again.
   1830. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 07:37 AM (#6007365)
It occurred to me last night that it's really weird that we've allowed the last minute+ of close games to be turned into a series of sideline out of bounds plays out of timeouts (using the timeout to advance the ball). It's like we're going for winning the night on twitter with a buzzer beater highlight rather than just letting the teams continue to play basketball for the full 48 minutes.

1. My children have destroyed my longterm memory: how long have teams been able to do this? Forever?
2. Would anyone here object to limiting this by rule? You get to advance the ball once in the final minute, or something like that?
   1831. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: March 03, 2021 at 07:56 AM (#6007366)
The Towns thing is very tough because I think it's just very hard to build a team around a player that's a no-defense big. I mean anything's possible if you nail a lot of other decisions but obviously the Timberwolves haven't.

Then when I get to the "do you trade him?" question I'm sure the answer is "depends." Like if some team wanted to give you a Godfather offer for him, I think you do it. But maybe other teams have similar views about no-defense bigs and the offers you get are nice but not overwhelming. I'd imagine the math at that point is still in favor of trading him because it's such a mess at the current juncture, but it's probably a hard thing to do in reality.
   1832. Thok Posted: March 03, 2021 at 08:26 AM (#6007367)
I think that list is definitively Barkley, Paul, Malone and Stockton in some order.


It's probably worth thinking about Harden's place in this list, assuming the Nets don't win a title soonish.
   1833. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:01 AM (#6007369)
Any plan that starts with getting rid of your best player is a bad plan. If any of us were the owner we would automatically be in a better situation. Ownership is the biggest competitive differentiator in the NBA and is the fundamental reason the Wolves have been terrible for so long. By changing ownership you have taken the first and biggest step.

Next up, basketball operations. Meet with Rosas and see what his vision sans Taylor is, if it is not right then dump him, otherwise give him and his staff (It is finally his with Finch) a chance. Between being stuck with a coach that was not his and stupid injury and Covid luck Rosas has been kind of screwed. I don't love all his moves, which is why I would be willing to dump him, but I also don't pretend he has had many opportunities to succeed with the moves he has done.

Keep Towns. Keep Edwards. Probably keep DLo, since I don't think you get much back for him. Absolutely trade Beasley and anyone else you can get anything for. Clear the decks. Ignore the draft pick since it is gone this year or next, what you have to be focused on is to stop making moves that limit you for years at a time because you feel like you have to do something. Focus on a three or four-year plan to be better.

The reason you keep Towns and Edwards is you can't afford to take it all the way down to the studs, and why would you when they are already young and are very much the sort of pieces you want to acquire after a teardown.

And while you are waiting for the Wolves to get really good you cheer for the Nets. :)
   1834. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6007373)
Butler should get some MVP votes just based on last night: without him, the Heat scored 80(!) points against the Hawks, one of the worst defensive teams in the league.
   1835. spivey 2 Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:53 AM (#6007374)
I normally agree with the "don't trade your best player" line of thinking. Not here though.

First, I'm not sure how good Towns actually is. I would expect a true all-NBA level player to rise the team's collective fortunes a bit more than this. The only year they were good was when they had Butler, and they were only good when Butler played. The games he missed, they weren't good, as I recall.

Second, every asset has value, even the best asset. I am inclined to think the value of the assets they get back could or would very likely more worth more than Towns. Usually this hasn't been true in star trades, but some of the huge trades recently has me changing my mind (Holiday, George, Harden).

Third, I think Towns is such a unique player that to have a truly competitive team you need pretty specific pieces around him, and I think that can be an impediment when they should be drafting on talent rather than fit.

Towns does seem like a solid guy, and my sense is the city likes him. And he's been through a lot of mourning and catastrophe, so maybe that enters their mindset.

But I think Towns' value is only going to decrease as he gets older, further along on his contract, and continues to play for a bottom dwelling team where he gets used to losing and not playing defense. In fact, I think that's exactly what's happened the last 1-2 years.
   1836. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: March 03, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6007386)
Come to think of it...maybe this is what Windhorst was referring to today when he mentioned that there's a star he thinks will demand to go to the Knicks in the next year.

Definitely.
   1837. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6007394)
I agree with spivey's take pretty much entirely. Tons of mitigating circumstances, bad coaching, etc., but they just haven't been good enough when he's been healthy and their best player.
   1838. NJ in NJ Posted: March 03, 2021 at 11:55 AM (#6007400)
[1837] Same.

[1836] My agreement with spivey is why I think Towns is actually a stereotypical Knicks acquisition as opposed to the guys they usually miss on.
   1839. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 03, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6007410)
I think you guys are underrating Towns upside. I get why, but I think everyone looks worse in a situation like the wolves have had the last few years. Time will tell though I suppose.
   1840. aberg Posted: March 03, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6007413)
The question of whether Towns is actually great (like, top 15-20 player) or overrated based on impressive stats is extremely complicated. There are too many unknown variables for me to answer it confidently in either direction. Emotionally, I am more open to the idea that he's not as good as his stats than I was for either KG or Love in similar situations.

Given that uncertainty, I think they will at least ride it out around DLo, KAT, and Edwards unless and until Rosas gets canned. We really have no idea how that group will look together. Trading Beasley is probably smart because he's quite good but is yet another poor defender around three building blocks who need help there.

If the Knicks backed up the proverbial Brinks Truck, it would be hard not to listen. I saw some blog post an offer that didn't include either Barrett or Quickley, so that's probably out, but those two plus a couple draft picks (or one of them and Robinson) at least makes it interesting.
   1841. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 03, 2021 at 12:48 PM (#6007417)
It is all hypothetical, of course, because I don't think there is any chance Towns gets traded unless he requests it. Not this year and not next year.

As an aside, if I was told trading Towns was the only way to get rid of Taylor as the owner, then sign me up.
   1842. PJ Martinez Posted: March 03, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6007421)
Emotionally, I am more open to the idea that he's not as good as his stats than I was for either KG or Love in similar situations.
Just a gut-check here: time has told us that KG was just as good as his stats suggested (maybe better), but that Love was, in fact, worse than his stats, at the time, suggested, yes? (Or at least some stats -- certain catch-alls seem to overvalue players who gobble up rebounds, many of which could just as easily be collected by their teammates, is my understanding. Edit: and of course defense is often under-appreciated statistically, which is the big difference between KG and Love.)
   1843. tshipman Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:00 PM (#6007422)
The thing with Towns is that he's hard to build around.

So if you go with Towns, you have about 5 years to build a contender. You have the big advantage that you already have Towns. But now you have to figure out how to build a winner around him. In the best year of his career, Towns was the second banana, with Jimmy Butler as the main guy.

Around that core of Butler/Towns, they filled in with a PF who could serve as a defensive anchor (Taj), an athletic wing (Wiggins), and a spacing PG (Teague). That team was decent (48 wins), but not a true contender, and lost in the first round.

So you need to find a guy around as good as Butler, find a PF who works as a defensive anchor, and find a spacing PG. The last two are easy, but the first one is really hard.

Which Jimmy Butler types are available? You're never going to get someone in FA, so you need someone who's available by trade. And when you get here, you realize how hard it is to find someone you can fit in around Towns, and you decide that it's much easier to just blow it up.
   1844. Laser Man Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:17 PM (#6007429)
[1843] To me, That 2017-18 Timberwolves team shows that a team with KAT does have potential. Sure, Butler is great and very difficult to replace. But Wiggins was not good, and Teague/Gibson were nothing special. And the bench, with Jamal Crawford, Gorgui Dieng, and Shabazz Muhammad was also bad.
   1845. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6007433)
That was also a team coached by Thibs and where Jimmy Butler was pretty publicly feuding with/bullying KAT and Wiggins. I think it's a decent blueprint for how to use KAT, but I don't think it's fair to say it shows what the ceiling is for it.
   1846. tshipman Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6007435)
[1843] To me, That 2017-18 Timberwolves team shows that a team with KAT does have potential. Sure, Butler is great and very difficult to replace. But Wiggins was not good, and Teague/Gibson were nothing special. And the bench, with Jamal Crawford, Gorgui Dieng, and Shabazz Muhammad was also bad.


Yes. The Butler + Towns pair was +10.5.

That compares favorably to pairs like
LeBron/AD 2020: +8.3 reg season, +14.4 playoffs.
Kawhi/Lowry 2019: +9.5 reg season, +11.0 playoffs

So who's out there that's as good as Jimmy Butler? How do you swing a trade given that you're missing your 1st this year, and you have to get rid of Wiggins Russell.
   1847. Laser Man Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6007441)
So who's out there that's as good as Jimmy Butler? How do you swing a trade given that you're missing your 1st this year, and you have to get rid of Wiggins Russell.
Well, maybe no one. But if you can't get one player as good as Butler, perhaps making sure that players 3-8 are not below average could achieve a similar or even better result.

Even with this year's disastrous 7-28 team, the Wolves' starting five of Rubio, Edwards, Beasley, Vanderbilt, and Towns is +8.7 in 111 minutes.
   1848. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:48 PM (#6007442)
So who's out there that's as good as Jimmy Butler?

I get the point of this but it feels a little too specific. Like I think a real point guard who can actually create for himself and others would be wildly successful next to Towns. He's instead had just a passer in Rubio, or a lesser player in Teague, or just a scorer in Russell. He's never really had quality 3/D guys, I guess Covington comes closest to that (they were +2.9 together two years ago, tied for his highest 2 man rating). But yeah I think you're definitely right that an elite wing like Butler is the easiest to imagine way to build around Towns.

I'm almost halfway with the Wolves fans here who think having better teammates would show a more successful version of Towns, it's just hard to see it actually happening.
   1849. tshipman Posted: March 03, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6007446)
I totally agree with people that you can improve the team around Towns. However, I don't think Towns is good enough to lead a team to contention on his own, and frankly, we have a lot of evidence to say that. You need to find someone better than Towns, which is really hard with the assets (and Liabilities) you have.

Keeping Towns puts you closer to possible contention, but also puts you closer to being a shitty team for the next five years with no assets at the end of that.
   1850. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6007453)
I don't think contention is really the wolves goal right now. They need to become relevant. Relevant in the NBA and relevant here in MN. Any success at all in the regular season and playoffs would be a huge step forward. The team has not been relevant for a long time, and the Twins, Vikings, and now Wild are all relevant.
   1851. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:28 PM (#6007459)
Second, every asset has value, even the best asset. I am inclined to think the value of the assets they get back could or would very likely more worth more than Towns. Usually this hasn't been true in star trades, but some of the huge trades recently has me changing my mind (Holiday, George, Harden).


So how high a pick would you need to get so that the average value of the pick is better than KAT?
   1852. aberg Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6007465)
Just a gut-check here: time has told us that KG was just as good as his stats suggested (maybe better), but that Love was, in fact, worse than his stats, at the time, suggested, yes? (Or at least some stats -- certain catch-alls seem to overvalue players who gobble up rebounds, many of which could just as easily be collected by their teammates, is my understanding. Edit: and of course defense is often under-appreciated statistically, which is the big difference between KG and Love.)


Yeah, I didn't mean to say that the three of them were all the same, just that they all lost a lot in MN and it started to erode their reputations. I actually think KG and Love's reps were both enhanced after leaving. Love was never a top-10is player in Cleveland, but he was a key part of a multi-year contender and champion.

I totally agree with people that you can improve the team around Towns. However, I don't think Towns is good enough to lead a team to contention on his own, and frankly, we have a lot of evidence to say that. You need to find someone better than Towns, which is really hard with the assets (and Liabilities) you have.


Yes, I agree with that. He's probably something like the 18th best player in the NBA and guys in that tier generally need another great player next to them to be good. Booker's teams mostly sucked until they got Paul. Beal has mostly sucked in Washington without help. Davis's Pelicans weren't very good. Boogie's Kangz weren't very good. The list of guys who can carry a team without a second star (call that top 30 player) is super short, like maybe 5 guys.
   1853. tshipman Posted: March 03, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6007466)
I don't think contention is really the wolves goal right now. They need to become relevant. Relevant in the NBA and relevant here in MN. Any success at all in the regular season and playoffs would be a huge step forward. The team has not been relevant for a long time, and the Twins, Vikings, and now Wild are all relevant.


If your goal every year is the 8th seed ("relevance") you will quickly find yourself mortgaging the future to end up worse than you started (see: Wiggins for Russell).

Which team is more relevant, the 2019 Pelicans or the 2021 Pelicans?
   1854. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 03, 2021 at 03:13 PM (#6007471)
If your goal every year is the 8th seed ("relevance") you will quickly find yourself mortgaging the future to end up worse than you started (see: Wiggins for Russell).


Who said anything about every year? I am talking about right now in 2021. You can't just ignore history, the market the team is in, it is still a business and the Wolves have slid further into irrelevance locally than any time in their history.

I am not suggesting aim for the 8th seed (don't be ridiculous, that is not relevant), but I am saying that "tear it down completely yet again, because the goal is only and ever a Championship or bust, and if Towns might not be the lead dog on a Championship team then he must go" is the absolutely wrong goal. Going for a CHampionship right now is laughable.

Just try to not be terrible and expensive. Stop trying to pretend there is a short-term fix. It will be two or three years before relevance. It would be great if you had more time than that, but I don't think you do. And once you become relevant, once you are not both incredibly expensive and the worst team in the league, then you evaluate what you need to get to the next step.

But getting to a championship is way too far from where they are now. The 76ers did the full process for a couple of years and there was a backlash. When the 76ers did that they were in much much much better position in their market and in the NBA than the Wolves are right now.

Edit: And without Towns to provide hope/interest for the locals during the next few years what do you have? Basically nothing.
   1855. spivey 2 Posted: March 03, 2021 at 03:52 PM (#6007479)
A few different thoughts:

- Towns+Butler 2-man on-court rating: Butler's personal on-court rating was 8.8 that year, and had similar 2-man ratings with most of the other starters. Butler was also even better than than he is now, I think he was like the ~5th best player in the NBA. Also looks like ~50% of Butler's minutes were with the starting 5 which from what I can see is quite high, and a decent amount of the other minutes were the starting 5 but Tyus Jones instead of Teague. I think that probably elevates all of the on/off's for the starters that year.

- Not sure that Towns is the 18th best player. I'm not sure he's worth the max contract he's on, and if he is, he's just a guy on one, imo.

- Think a rebuild with Towns is likely longer than 2-3 years before relevance. They will be without a first rounder this year or next, they're also missing their second rounder this year. They're also capped out next year.

I totally get the concept of the team/fans want some hope, or some reason to tune in. I dunno. They're the worst team in the NBA this year, and I don't see any likely paths for them to get better than bad this year or next, and that is likely heavily dependent on Edwards improving. I also agree that a team probably could, in theory, but built around Towns and be good, though he may only be the 2nd or 3rd best player on a good to very good team. They probably only have 3 valuable assets to most teams - Towns, Beasley, and Edwards. The first two are their two best players, so trading them gets them worse in the short term. But I don't think you can make a move that's meaningful in the next 2 years that doesn't involve one of them, unless you get lucky that someone thinks Russell is the missing piece at the deadline or strikes out in FA.
   1856. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: March 03, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6007488)
What does building a lineup around Towns look like? Do you get a lockdown wing defender and then a big bruiser type at the 4 and just let Towns do his thing on offense, or is a poor defender at center just something you can't really work around?
   1857. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 04:34 PM (#6007492)
Do you get a lockdown wing defender and then a big bruiser type at the 4 and just let Towns do his thing on offense, or is a poor defender at center just something you can't really work around?

Look at Denver/Jokic, I guess. I mean I know they're frequently fine on defense when he's on the court, but I don't think anyone thinks Jokic is a great defender.

I think there are other paths to protecting your bad defensive center, but I think it requires having 3-4 other plus defenders on the court most of the time, and I think the center has to be contributing to the team defensive scheme even if he isn't an elite defender, and not just constantly getting lost on switches/assignments the way Towns does.

EDIT: Not entirely fair because he's a lower minutes bench guy, but Enes Kanter has been a net plus player on the court several times throughout his career, and he's a horrendous defensive center (though a good rebounder). Again I know the minutes thing makes this not a 1:1 comparison, but I'm just using him as an example of a team concept making it work with a bad individual.
   1858. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 03, 2021 at 04:44 PM (#6007499)
What does building a lineup around Towns look like? Do you get a lockdown wing defender and then a big bruiser type at the 4 and just let Towns do his thing on offense, or is a poor defender at center just something you can't really work around?

Something like this would be lots of fun. Warriors' lineup would have 2 historically elite shooters for their position (Steph, KAT) -- plus Klay next year -- along with a couple guys who can't score to save their lives but play top-notch D (Draymond, Okogie).

Wolves could build around the top 2 selections in the 2020 draft plus presumptive high picks in the next couple drafts by getting their own pick back. And Wiggins would return to where his journey started: the team he helped bring a title and a few Finals appearances based on his value as a prospect.
   1859. asinwreck Posted: March 03, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6007508)
How much would it take to lure Jerry West from the Clippers to the Wolves? Having faith in him to a) recognize what players would fit the roster and b) finding ways to secure those players would be a better strategy than anything the franchise has done to date.
   1860. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: March 03, 2021 at 05:22 PM (#6007516)
I think you can build a pretty good team with Towns, but the clock is ticking -- you needed to do that, or at least have a plan to do that, before he signed his max. Look at the organizational dysfunction that's surrounded Towns since day one. Like, Covington was a good match, but was being played out of position. Coaching has been awful since he was drafted -- with the nadir being the Thibs era.

ISTM they're never going to be a "contender" with Towns, not because of any particular fault of KAT's but rather, because they've lost all their flexibility to build a complimentary team around him. You can see a Denver-ish sort of good team with KAT as the sub-Jokić, but assembling the pieces around him would require them not to be paying Russell 30MM/year, at the very least.

God, what a drag.

If I were the owner, I guess I would do what Mouse says; interview Rosas, and see if he has any plan that makes any kind of sense; if so, I'd give him a two year mandate to execute on the plan. I do not believe in Russell as a piece, and I'm not married to Edwards, and everybody else is either fairly paid or so cheap that they're not a burden.

If Rosas doesn't have anything like a plan, fire everybody and back the Brinks up for Ujiri.
   1861. aberg Posted: March 03, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6007523)
Coaching has been awful since he was drafted -- with the nadir being the Thibs era.


I actually think the coaching was worst during the Ryan Saunders tenure and the GM/POBO function was worst under Thibs. Still, both functions have been bad pretty much across the board since Flip died.

I doubt there is enough room on a check to fit the number zeroes it would take to get Ujiri or West.
   1862. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: March 03, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#6007528)
I actually think the coaching was worst during the Ryan Saunders tenure and the GM/POBO function was worst under Thibs. Still, both functions have been bad pretty much across the board since Flip died.

ToMAto, toMAHto, I guess. Barf.
   1863. tshipman Posted: March 03, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6007531)
I doubt there is enough room on a check to fit the number zeroes it would take to get Ujiri or West.


I am quite sure that if you tripled Masai's salary, he's available.
   1864. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: March 03, 2021 at 06:42 PM (#6007532)
Raptors have five players out tonight for COVID and/or contact tracing, but still have more active players available than the Pistons, who have six players hurt and one on sabbatical.
   1865. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: March 03, 2021 at 06:49 PM (#6007533)
Raptors have five players out tonight for COVID and/or contact tracing, but still have more active players available than the Pistons, who have six players hurt and one on sabbatical.

I guess I'm glad my VPN isn't working, so I couldn't watch this even if I wanted to.
   1866. asinwreck Posted: March 03, 2021 at 08:32 PM (#6007545)
The story in James Harden's return to Houston so far is that Nic Claxton has 10 points in 6 minutes.

EDIT: 12 points in 7 minutes. Harden keeps feeding him at the rim.
   1867. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: March 03, 2021 at 08:50 PM (#6007546)
As Nic Claxton's biggest fan and the guy who selected him at #24 in the BBTF mock draft, this makes me happy.
   1868. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:23 PM (#6007551)
Raptors have five players out tonight for COVID and/or contact tracing, but still have more active players available than the Pistons, who have six players hurt and one on sabbatical.


Mason Plumlee and Dennis Smith Jr each got a triple double! What a night!
   1869. PJ Martinez Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:30 PM (#6007554)
1485. PJ Martinez Posted: February 15, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#6005189)

Sixers-Jazz should be fun tonight.

Finals preview!
   1870. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:34 PM (#6007555)
Starting with like two minutes left in regulation of Jazz-Sixers the refs just swallowed the whistles. Tons of no calls both ways.
   1871. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:45 PM (#6007557)
Starting with like two minutes left in regulation of Jazz-Sixers the refs just swallowed the whistles. Tons of no calls both ways.
and yet, they still found room for one of the weakest "3P shooter jumps into a defender to draw a foul" whistles imaginable.
   1872. tshipman Posted: March 03, 2021 at 09:50 PM (#6007559)
TJ McConnell with what has to be the least common triple double: Points/Assists/Steals
   1873. Your favorite TFTIO, me! Posted: March 03, 2021 at 10:07 PM (#6007563)
Good lord the Wolves could lose by 50.
   1874. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: March 03, 2021 at 10:36 PM (#6007565)
If you had "Mason Plumlee and Dennis Smith Jr." in the "who will be the first pair of teammates to record triple doubles in the same game" pool, congrats on your early retirement.


edit: coke to C+P
   1875. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 04, 2021 at 06:37 PM (#6007692)
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Last 2 minute report from Sixers-Jazz admits to six errors: 3 incorrect no calls on Utah (another Gobert foul on Embiid, missed travel on Bogdanovic, missed 3 sec for Gobert) 3 incorrect no calls on Philadelphia (kicked ball by Simmons, Embiid fouling Mitchell, travel by Harris)
   1876. PJ Martinez Posted: March 04, 2021 at 07:52 PM (#6007696)
1870 aged well.
   1877. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 04, 2021 at 08:51 PM (#6007702)
Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
I have to imagine Utah’s two All Stars being picked last after last night will amuse a few Sixers fans
Bill Oram @billoram
Catching up on the All-Star draft. My only analysis: If KD really wanted to play with Julius Randle he should have signed with the Lakers in 2016.
Chris Fedor @ChrisFedor
I love how LeBron says he needs some size on his second unit during the All-Star draft and gigantic Rudy Gobert is on the board. Then LeBron picks Sabonis haha.

Eric Walden @tribjazz
TNT crew: KD, I bet you always got picked first your whole life, right?
KD: First or second.
TNT crew: OMG! We need to find out who ever got picked ahead of KD!!!
Me (screaming at the TV): How about Greg f***ing Oden, you morons?!?!

Neil Dalal @NeilDalal96
Russell Westbrook yelling #### multiple times a game truly is startling

   1878. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 04, 2021 at 09:00 PM (#6007703)
starting lineups:

curry
doncic
lebron
giannis
jokic

v.

kyrie
beal
kawhi
durant (tatoom)
embiid

bench:

lebron: lillard, simmons, paul, george, brown, sabonis, gobbert
durant: harden, booker, zion, lavin, randle, eurogoon, mithcell



Rob Perez @WorldWideWob
LeBron explains why he didn’t draft the Utah Jazz players until last
pic.twitter.com/0MMJ20Pkps
Chris Grenham @chrisgrenham
Tough two-night stretch for Utah Jazz fans.

   1879. asinwreck Posted: March 04, 2021 at 09:13 PM (#6007704)
Jokic and Doncic starting together ought to be fun.
   1880. tshipman Posted: March 04, 2021 at 09:33 PM (#6007706)
Wait, so Durant pulls out with an injury and he still gets to pick the team? How the hell does that work?
   1881. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: March 04, 2021 at 10:18 PM (#6007710)
Kamenetzky Brothers Retweeted
Ben Golliver
@BenGolliver
·
1h
Lakers' LeBron James on Jazz as last two all-star picks: "There’s no slander to the Utah Jazz. You’ve got to understand, just like in video games growing up, we never played with Utah. As great as Karl Malone and John Stockton was, we would never pick those guys in video games."
   1882. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 08:45 AM (#6007721)
"That's no slander to the Utah Jazz" (audible slander to the Utah Jazz follows).
   1883. sardonic Posted: March 05, 2021 at 09:22 AM (#6007725)
FWIW Booey I'm rooting for you. I mean, Beat LA and all, right? Would be nice to get some fresh blood in the latter stages of the playoffs.
   1884. tshipman Posted: March 05, 2021 at 11:53 AM (#6007741)
The Jazz guys going last: who would you take them over, though?
   1885. spivey 2 Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6007744)
I mean Donovan Mitchell is better than Julius Randle (and LaVine, and others). Gobert going last, whatever, but I can't help but think there was some intentionality to this.

Edit: Lavine is shooting out of his mind this year, so maybe you give some credit for that, though I don't think 30-35 games should be weighted that heavily. While I'm here, it annoys me that Middleton didn't make the team.
   1886. asinwreck Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6007747)
@wojespn
Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin has agreed to a contract buyout with the Detroit Pistons and will become an unrestricted free agent, sources tell ESPN.
   1887. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:11 PM (#6007748)
Am I crazy, or is LeBron's team just way better?
   1888. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6007750)
Am I crazy, or is LeBron's team just way better?

Waaaaay better.
   1889. Fourth True Outcome Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:18 PM (#6007751)
Does 2021 Blake Griffin help anyone? He's looked completely toasty in the little I've seen of him this year. Is he likely to be useful in a smaller role for anyone, or has his physical deterioration reached the point where his days as a useful NBA player are over?
   1890. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:19 PM (#6007752)
Why not both? :)
   1891. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6007753)
The Jazz guys going last: who would you take them over, though?

Just looking at his own AS team, in addition to LaVine, as spivey mentioned, Mitchell is also better than Booker.

EDIT: Brown (on the other team)? He's probably a better player than Brown.
   1892. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6007755)
Does 2021 Blake Griffin help anyone? He's looked completely toasty in the little I've seen of him this year. Is he likely to be useful in a smaller role for anyone, or has his physical deterioration reached the point where his days as a useful NBA player are over?

Assuming he's going to play for the minimum salary now that Detroit has paid him, he's absolutely worth a shot. He was still very good two years ago. I assume he's had several injuries since then, but still, there's no risk if you're not committing real money to him.
   1893. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6007757)
player A: 19 PER, .545 TS%, 33% usage, +1.7 BPM
player B: 22 PER, .627 TS%, 28% usage, +4.4 BPM
   1894. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:36 PM (#6007758)
i don't know about anyone else, but when i pick the rosters for all-star games, i always prioritize inefficient volume scoring and defensive intensity.
   1895. jmurph Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:36 PM (#6007759)
Is that Mitchell and LaVine?
   1896. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6007760)
Beat LA and all, right? Would be nice to get some fresh blood in the latter stages of the playoffs


Clippers fans concur.
   1897. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6007762)
Is that Mitchell and LaVine?
nope. mitchell and shai gilgeous alexander.
   1898. rr: cosmopolitan elite Posted: March 05, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#6007764)
Guess not.

LaVine's PER is closer to 23.
   1899. asinwreck Posted: March 05, 2021 at 01:05 PM (#6007767)
@ShamsCharania
The Brooklyn Nets are believed to be leaders to sign six-time All-Star Blake Griffin, sources tell me and @JLEdwardsIII. Rival teams with interest are expecting Griffin to choose Nets as a title favorite for chance to win a championship.
   1900. aberg Posted: March 05, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6007768)
Any word on the money in Blake's buyout? Is Detroit just saving any offset he gets from another team?
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