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Author Topic: National Basketball Association ('14-'15)  (Read 93711 times)
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the captain
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« on: July 13, 2014, 07:03:16 AM »

Pasted from the Record Room, where there was once a semi-thriving NBA discussion. Alas, it has gone quiet. Anybody?

Lebron has gone home to lead a talented young nucleus, and the star of my hometown Wolves, Kevin Love, is almost sure to join him soon if Minnesota can convince the Cavs to make #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins the centerpiece of the trade package. (With all due respect to Anthony Bennett, whom I watched last night in his summer league debut and who looks far improved, you don't trade a top-10 player for a package centered on Anthony Bennett...) That is, unless Penick's Warriors let go of Klay Thompson. (Because Harrison Barnes, like Bennett, just isn't the centerpiece of a realistic Love trade.)

Chris Bosh is the new centerpiece for a retooling Miami team that is going to have to try to scare people with him, a breaking-down Dwyane Wade, Josh McRoberts, Shabazz Napier, a broken-down Danny Granger, and maybe Luol Deng if they can work it out. Ouch.

Houston, Boshless, is sad. The Lakers struck out on everyone of import. The Bulls are getting Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol, and hopefully a healthy Derrick Rose to compete for that #1 seed out east.

Summer league is underway and fun for, well, me. I love it. Where else can the likes of Nikoloz Tskitishvili be named MVP only to go on to as unremarkable an NBA career as one can possibly have? (I've seen more than half the teams, I'd say, and have plenty to say about plenty of prospects.)

The draft gave us our second consecutive Canadian #1 overall pick to Cleveland. Weird.
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 08:17:02 AM »

Interesting that LeBron signed a 2 year contract, although that's because (I guess) the cap is supposed to go up due to TV money, so he can resign for even more money in 2 years.

The Love situation has been entertaining. One week he's going here, the next there. I'd like to see him play somewhere where it really matters (sorry, Cap). One thing's for sure, they have to move him. I'd give up Wiggins and some pieces for him.

If I was Pau, I'd have signed in San Antonio. The East is a lot weaker though; IF Rose comes back like old Rose, than I'd dare say Chicago is the team to beat, with either Washington (WTF!) and Indiana right below them.

I almost totally forgive LeBron for acting like an idiot 4 years ago.
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the captain
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 08:32:03 AM »

I'm ready for Love to be traded: once a player flat-out doesn't want to be somewhere, it's never for the best to keep him. A team can't succeed that way, as has been proven many times through the years. And actually, Love's occasional petulance has been a problem for me going back three seasons now, whether calling out teammates publicly only to try to take the high ground when called out on it, whining to refs, failing to get back on defense, etc. I love him as a player--he's not a complete player, but he is a great player--and can comfortably say he's the second-best Wolf ever. But he isn't the kind of guy who can lead a team to the playoffs anyway, so what's the harm at this point?

My main hope is that we don't get fleeced in a trade. I was OK with the idea of a Klay Thompson/David Lee centered trade (ideally with Harrison Barnes and a pick in the mix as well, and Kevin Martin joining Love for G.S.). I am OK with a Wiggins-Thompson centered deal, and could substitute out Thompson for Waiters and/or Bennett but would want picks, too. I haven't yet seen a tolerable Boston trade because all they have are picks, and we need somebody to contribute now and at least one potential star.

As for Chicago, they could be very, very interesting. Whether they are a title contender depends on Rose, of course. But they have not only added Gasol, either (who provides some much-needed Noah insurance). Doug McDermott is an almost historic scorer at the college level and should be able to contribute to that team offensively immediately, especially if Rose is explosive enough to draw defenses (and thus get him open). Nikola Mirotic is a 6-10 Montenegren (with Spanish passport) "stretch four" who can also step in and play right away. He's an NBA starting caliber player. And Tony Snell, last year's first-rounder, looked much improved last night in summer league. So it's a pretty strong team that has added the requisite offensive firepower. But you can't stress enough, DJ Augustin won't cut it if they want to contend. They make the playoffs without Rose, but they have no shot at winning it.
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 12:30:45 PM »

Now, the Heat have signed Deng. In the East, I'd put Chicago, Indiana, Washington, Toronto, Cleveland, (not necessarily in that order), and then Miami. The East is horrible. Brooklyn isn't doing anything. Atlanta? Charlotte? And my Pistons. Ugh. Joe D is my favorite Piston of all time, but that doesn't mean he gets a pass for the last couple of years. Just ridiculous. I was hopeful at the beginning of last year, and then it took about a month to see that Josh Smith was a terrible signing. If they could get rid of him and sign Monroe, we'd be in good shape, I think. Oh, and if we would have actually had a first round pick this year.
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the captain
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 12:45:31 PM »

Detroit: the biggest issue there is that Josh Smith and Greg Monroe are the starting forwards, and neither can really space the floor. I mean, Smith can play out on the wing, but he doesn't shoot especially well from there--a problem compounded by his love for trying to show that he can shoot from there. Without three truly perimeter-oriented guys on the court, it's hard playing Monroe and Drummond together, and obviously to do well, that's what this Detroit roster has to do.

On the positive side, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope looks absolutely spectacular right now. In Orlando, he was really good. And I don't just mean in a statistics way, which summer league often often helps people do. I mean for real. He said in an interview his goal was to perform well while playing fundamentally sound basketball and the several games I watched, he did just that. Nothing fancy, he looked like he was following middle-school coaches' instructions: when going left, use your left; stay between your man and the ball; hold the ball in triple threat position; etc. He shot well, his handle is much improved ... I think he's a solid starting SG right now, and has star potential in a league currently lacking many good shooting guards.

I'm less optimistic about the point guard spot for Detroit, though. I just hate Brandon Jennings' game.
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 03:09:18 PM »

I was sort of hoping that they were going to get Isaiah Thomas from Sacramento. Didn't work out, I guess.
I trust Van Gundy, though. At least with him being the coach and the president, there isn't going to be any differences in opinion between the 2 positions. He'll get who he wants to coach. And the East is so terrible, I don't think that an 8 seed is out of the question. He'll turn things around.
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the captain
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 05:10:40 PM »

I can't imagine a team winning with Isaiah Thomas (as opposed to Isiah Thomas) as its primary PG. He scores, for sure, but he's not what I'd call a real floor general.
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2014, 02:04:26 PM »

Rubio wants a 5 year max deal? You've gotta be kidding me.
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the captain
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2014, 02:13:01 PM »

Rubio wants a 5 year max deal? You've gotta be kidding me.

Well so does everybody else on earth, don't they?  Grin But I don't think that's where he'll end up because nobody in the league will give him that. That said, while much of the press at least was down on him last year, I think he's fabulous and far, far more valuable than the average fan or writer might think. Yes, advanced metrics weren't kind to him, but I think those are just a part of any picture. I'm not so old-school as to discount them, but also not so caught up in The Big New Thing as to abandon my basketball eyes. There aren't five PGs in the league I'd rather have than Rubio, and I'm not saying that from an entertainment value standpoint. (If I were there might not be three.) His leadership skills, his work ethic, his size, his comprehension of basketball, all fabulous. His shooting is coming along, but more importantly, his understanding of how and when he can score has really grown, especially the latter half of last year.

If you said the Wolves could keep Love or keep Rubio, but not both, I'd keep Rubio. No question.
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2014, 06:00:22 AM »

Yesterday reports started coming out that the Cavs were willing to include Andrew Wiggins in a trade for Kevin Love after all. (Seems like it had to have been a ploy from the beginning: nobody could have believed the could get Love for the likes of a Bennett-Waiters package.) What is being reported now is Wiggins, Bennett, and a future first rounder. (I've heard a 2015 first rounder, but that doesn't meet league rules, as the Cavs dealt away their 2016 first rounder in the Tyler Zeller/Sergei Karasev deal that cleared their Lebron-cap space: teams are forbidden from dealing away consecutive first rounders. It's the "Ted Stepien" rule.)

Because I don't think Klay Thompson is available, this may be the best the Wolves can get. I'd like to see it expanded so we could unload Kevin Martin, but even as-is, I'd take it. Risky, but it's something.
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2014, 03:18:40 AM »

The Timberwolves have the advantage here (right now). Try and get Golden State and Cleveland to keep upping the ante. They *should* make out pretty good. Although it's another rebuilding phase, which it seems they're constantly in anyway.
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the captain
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2014, 06:40:40 AM »

I'm not sure it will be a real rebuild, though obviously the eventual trade plays into how far we slip. But Pekovic is arguably the best offensive center in basketball, and Rubio is among the best floor generals and a good defender. Guys like Kevin Martin (if we keep him), Corey Brewer, and Chase Budinger are legitimate contributing wings. Gorgui Dieng really came on strong late last year and looks good this summer as the defensive complement to Pek. Muhammad is an unabashed gunner. And rookie Zach LaVine, we'll see... Talented and looking good this summer.

So what are we? A talented team lacking the real star at the top. With the exception of Detroit in '04, that means you aren't a championship contender ... but you can be a winning team. Charlotte, Atlanta, or (two years ago) Denver have been playoff teams in that situation. It isn't ideal, but it could be a LOT worse.

I'll put it this way: I'd take Minnesota's roster and situation over Detroit's (aside from your luck of being in the garbage conference, I'm jealous of that).
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2014, 12:45:30 PM »

A little testy about your team, eh? I'd much rather take Detroit's history over Minnesota's Timberwolves history  Wink
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2014, 12:58:29 PM »

I'm a Philadelphia 76ers fan so needless to say it has been an interesting several months. GM Sam Hinkie has a plan, and I support it. As a fan you just have to be patient. Lately I've been watching the summer league games to see if Nerlens Noel can make it through a game without getting hurt. police
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the captain
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2014, 03:13:42 PM »

Mr. Verlander: Obviously Detroit's history is worlds beyond the Wolves'. I'm just saying in this particular case, there is a way to success.

SJS: Philly is a team I am so, so curious about. The concept of hoarding assets makes sense for a while, but at some point you have to cash in your chips and win some games, right? Noel is interesting, but still so, so thin, and so, so raw (offensively). I'm curious what he can do. Embiid is brilliant, but a year out and risky for his injuries. I LOVE Saric, but he's one, two, three years away from even joining the team, much less adjusting to American basketball. I wonder how a market like Philadephia will embrace the "be patient, we've got a plan" philosophy!
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2014, 05:24:32 AM »

The word on the street is that Josh Smith is going to remain a Piston. Which really is not surprising, because his contract is terrible. I was hoping that some poor GM would think 'you know, I bet WE could change him into our kind of player', and trade for him. So that's the writing on the wall for Greg Monroe I think, they can't keep both of those guys. I wish this mess would play out, so I can get an idea of what this team is going to look like.
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the captain
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2014, 05:29:26 AM »

Smith ... such a tease. Almost everything about him is good individually, but somehow it doesn't ever fully come together.

I wonder what will happen with Monroe. His options are disappearing, assuming he truly wants a max deal (as has been reported). He's not what I'd call a max player, but obviously that means squat (especially in a summer when Gordon Hayward gets a max contract...).

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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2014, 11:39:18 AM »

That has to be what's blocking Monroe signing anywhere-he wants too much. I'm surprised that there hasn't been much chatter about him; even around these parts, you aren't hearing a lot from 'teams that are interested'.  Although that's probably going to change, because he's the top remaining free agent.

I just saw something about Chicago entering the Love sweepstakes. I didn't see the details on it, but I'd be interested to see exactly what they have to offer. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything better than Wiggins; then again, I haven't paid close attention to them lately, except that they signed Gasol, and put the amnesty on Boozer.
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the captain
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2014, 12:37:25 PM »

I've heard Phoenix is interested in Monroe. But no offer yet...

Yahoo has a story that the Cleveland deal is nearing completion, with the
Biggest sticking point is apparently either Cleveland acquiring expiring contracts to flesh out the deal (after Wiggins) and whether to expand the deal to include Barea and/or Martin.

Chicago seems like a long shot. A Gibson/Butler centered deal doesn't excite me, though Mirotic would help.
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2014, 04:24:43 AM »

Everybody knows that it's going to be Cleveland. I think that they're (Minnesota) trying to see if Cleveland will up their offer a bit by getting Chicago's name out there as another suitor. If you were Minnesota, there's no way you'd take what Chicago is offering over what Cleveland is. The only way Love doesn't end up in Cleveland is if suddenly GS gives up Thompson, which doesn't appear likely.

I've occasionally wondered; has Kevin Love ever listened to SMiLE?
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the captain
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2014, 06:57:34 AM »

Cleveland has, as anticipated, acquired three non-guaranteed contracts--er, players  Grin--presumably to facilitate the Love trade. (John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy) Seems the most likely course is Wiggins, Bennett, those three players, and one or more future 1st round picks for Love. Once Wiggins signs, the salaries work under the cap (though that would delay the actual trade a month--it could still be agreed to).

Minnesota is reportedly working hard to move Barea and Martin but Cleveland can't make that work and would require a third team for it. Not clear whether that can happen. At some point, you just pull the trigger.

As for Love and Smile, I don't know. I do recall while he was a high schooler playing in a showcase in Minnesota he was asked his favorite Beach Boys song and he named a Brian song that didn't include Mike, then made some comment like "Uncle Mike won't like that."
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 07:04:56 AM »


Minnesota is reportedly working hard to move Barea and Martin but Cleveland can't make that work and would require a third team for it. Not clear whether that can happen. At some point, you just pull the trigger.


Maybe I spoke too soon. This morning I've come across some rumors of Philadelphia--the ultimate broker with all their cap space--being interested in acquiring Cleveland's Dion Waiters. Philly also wants to move Thaddeus Young to shed his salary, knowing he is young enough to command a legit extension but not necessarily seeing him as part of their future, him being from the old regime. So a Barea (expiring) - Waiters - Young sequel to the Love trade could work once the Wolves waive the three aforementioned nonguaranteed contracts. I think.
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« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2014, 01:06:11 PM »

I've just read all sorts of scenarios; now the Nuggets are trying to get involved, which is news to me.
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the captain
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2014, 01:16:31 PM »

And the Bulls' offer is said to include at least Gibson, McDermott, and Mirotic. The lattermost is the most interesting to me. I need to watch recent video: he has gotten some rave reviews ("best European since Nowitzki") and some harsh criticisms (disappears in big games, no killer spirit, just another skilled Euro).

Anything could happen, and I assume actual finalization is a month out regardless if we're going Cleveland or Chicago due to the rookies involved. Golden State could be immediate. Denver, unless they have some wild new idea in mind, seems inconceivable to me. Nothing they can offer is sufficient, so I assume recent mentions of them are as facilitators in a 3-way. (Afflalo, whom they indeed did acquire on draft day, had been mentioned as a key piece of the initial rumor with them along with their two picks.)
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2014, 02:50:36 PM »

The thing is, they just signed Gasol; so you'd have Gasol, Love and Noah. That's a lot of minutes to split up. And Chicago is a big defensive team, and Love ain't the best defender.
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