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Mr. Verlander
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« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2014, 11:54:45 AM »

Everybody falls into that trap, too. Even basketball people who've done the job for years feel like they have to make a 'big' move, although I suppose that also has something to do with making the fan base happy. Another Pistons example is when Joe Dumars (GM) went out and spent an insane amount of money on Charlie V and Ben Gordon. They were the 2 of the biggest names of that free agent class, and he had just gotten rid of Billups. He had to make a splashy move. People were pissed of course, because those guys weren't worth the money; however, they probably would've been more upset if Joe D hadn't spent any money at all.

It seems though, that usually when teams make a move for a big name, a lot of the time it doesn't work out. Look at that Lakers team that the Pistons beat; they added Malone and Payton. It didn't help their case that The Lakers were imploding, but still, they didn't do much for that team in terms of taking them over the top. The Lakers with Howard, also. If I was a Minnesota fan, I'd be more inclined to pay money to watch a team with Wiggins, Rubio and Young (if that's the case), than to pay money to watch everyone stand around while Love shoots it.
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the captain
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« Reply #51 on: August 06, 2014, 02:47:55 PM »

This is not a widely held position even in Minnesota, but I'm fine being an outsider: the biggest benefit will be that our team leader will undoubtedly be Ricky Rubio. He is the best man for that job.

Rubio became something of a whipping boy for the national media last year. He won them over early in his career by working his ball-handling and passing magic, but eventually his poor shooting--and maybe especially poor finishing percentage at the rim--led to the barrage of hate. I understand how bad his shooting is (though it got a lot better later in the season, and his 3-point shooting actually isn't bad), and agree it has to get better.

However, he is a competitor and a leader. While Love would pout through fourth quarters in which he was still the featured player (leading us to losses), Rubio would cheer on his own backup, JJ Barea, who sometimes replaced him on the court when coach Adelman lost faith in Rubio's scoring ability. Imagine what Love would do if he were pulled during crunch time! The guy whines after every perceived no-call or slight to his superstardom. Rubio cheers on everybody, including the guy in his rightful spot. I love Rubio's demeanor on the court.

Further, he's a really good defender. He works hard at that end, which is inspiring. And obviously everybody knows about his passing. If the team can defend, rebound defensively, and outlet, Rubio will reward guys like Brewer, Wiggins, LaVine, etc, with easy baskets.

I don't want to pile on Love too much, because he is the second-best player in franchise history and was fun to watch. But Rubio leading a balanced, young team might really be a break-even in short-term wins, an improvement in longer-term wins, and a LOT of fun to watch.
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« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2014, 09:12:11 AM »

Love trade details. (I swear I care about the whole league, not just Wolves ... Bear with me, this is big for us!)

 https://sports.yahoo.com/news/sources--cavaliers-have-agreement-to-acquire-kevin-love--who-commits-to-staying-in-cleveland-054657392.html
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« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2014, 01:14:55 PM »

Are you happy with that? I would've felt a little bit better if you would've ended up with Young. Although, I suppose they could still trade Bennett and whomever for Young. Of course, all of this is a roll of the dice; Bennett hasn't shown much, and Wiggins is up in the air at this point. Still, he could go on to be a beast. I bet Minnesota isn't done dealing yet.
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« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2014, 01:25:49 PM »

Are you happy with that? I would've felt a little bit better if you would've ended up with Young. Although, I suppose they could still trade Bennett and whomever for Young.

I hope you're right. As a 76ers fan, I really had my hopes up for Bennett and a No. 1 pick. And again, I like Thaddeus Young....but now I feel disappointed.
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the captain
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« Reply #55 on: August 07, 2014, 03:39:03 PM »

Are you happy with that? I would've felt a little bit better if you would've ended up with Young. Although, I suppose they could still trade Bennett and whomever for Young.

I hope you're right. As a 76ers fan, I really had my hopes up for Bennett and a No. 1 pick. And again, I like Thaddeus Young....but now I feel disappointed.

Bennett cannot be dealt for a while if he is sent to Minnesota as part of this deal. It sounds like if Minnesota does a Thaddeus Young deal now, it would likely be for one or two of the guys we're trying to move (JJ Barea, Alexey Shved, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, each of which is expiring) as well as second-year wing Shabazz Muhammad and probably picks or cash to sweeten it.

Mr. Verlander, I am happy with the deal, yes. I would like more, of course. And statistically we're unlikely to match Love's production with his replacements, at least this year. But we weren't winning with him here, he didn't want to be here, he didn't get along with people, and he impeded our potential for improvement. I think this makes us more flexible while bringing in some legit young talent AND improving the culture tenfold. I like it.
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« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2014, 05:41:28 AM »

Philly Inquirer says a Young for Bennett/1st is indeed forthcoming. If so I think it must be part of main trade or I think (not positive) it is against rules.

Meanwhile CLE trying to get Denver 7-footer Timofey Mozgov. He'd be great for them, just what they need: adequate athlete but big guy, defends the post/rim, has a little post game too.
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« Reply #57 on: August 08, 2014, 04:15:31 PM »

Rubio/Wiggins/Young is a pretty good 'young 3' to build around. I think.
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the captain
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« Reply #58 on: August 08, 2014, 07:19:30 PM »

You could do worse. Don't forget a 18-and-10 Pekovic, either.
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« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2014, 05:47:44 AM »

Sounds like the Wolves will a be an interesting team this year. How many wins, captain? Wink
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #60 on: August 09, 2014, 07:45:25 AM »

Sounds like the Wolves will a be an interesting team this year. How many wins, captain? Wink

It really depends on whether they go full-on rebuilding: do they feature the young guys like LaVine, Wiggins, etc., by trading or benching those serviceable vets like Brewer, Budinger, Martin? Or do they ease into it, splitting time?

Last year's team went 40-42, with the following issues:
 - Love drama (clashes with teammates, constant trade/unhappiness grumbling, etc.)
 - Pekovic, who averaged about 17 ppg and 9 rpg, missed 28 games from injury.
 - Budinger missed half the season (41 games) and was clearly not at peak condition when he played, coming off meniscus and ligament surgeries.
 - Martin--19 ppg--missed 14 games to injury.
 - Backup center Ronny Turiaf missed all but 31 games to injury.
 - Rubio, especially before the all-star break, shot inexplicably badly (even for him).

That is a long way of setting the stage. I'd say that if Rubio leads and shoots even mediocre (40 FG%, 35 3pt%), especially finishing at the tim, and we don't have substantial injury problems, the range is 41 wins if we really try to win games this year and make the rookies earn it, to 30 games if we lean on the young guys or have substantial injuries. So let's say 36 wins.
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« Reply #61 on: August 09, 2014, 01:02:17 PM »

I don't buy that this makes Cleveland the odds on favorite, either. IF Derrick Rose is healthy, I think they're the team to beat in the East. I think next year may be the year the Cavs are the best in the East; and even if Cleveland wins the East, I'm not sure that they could beat a team like San Antonio in 6 or 7 games.

And something else; I think Kevin Durant is going to end up leaving OKC when his contract is up.
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the captain
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« Reply #62 on: August 09, 2014, 01:35:11 PM »

I think both Cleveland and Chicago, assuming a healthy and confident Rose, are the clear top two seeds out East. After that I'd say Indiana, then it's a crap shoot. Without a rim protector, I can't imagine Cleveland winning a title though.

Regarding Durant, I agree. I think he'll return to Washington, his hometown.
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« Reply #63 on: August 09, 2014, 04:52:19 PM »

He just signed that deal with Under Armour for something like 100 mill a year, and they're out of Maryland, I believe. Add that to the fact that I guess he makes no bones about the fact that he's a Wizards fan, it sort of adds up. He's gonna make 100 mil a year from UA. Not bad, eh?

I think Indiana's going in the tank, unless Hibert can be The Man. After the way he looked at the end of the year, I dont' know if he's able to do that.
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the captain
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« Reply #64 on: August 09, 2014, 05:05:44 PM »

Durant's Under Armour deal is only about $30 million a year: 10 years, up to $325 million total. But yeah, crazy money.

As for Indiana, I must say ... DOH![/i]. I was just about to start typing how I felt they may have some nice addition by subtraction, losing rumored chemistry problems Stephenson, Turner, and Bynum. Then I remembered Paul George... So yeah, I take that back. There is a good chance they are at the low end of the playoffs or maybe even miss them in the unpredictable (and not that great) East.

Washington, on the other hand, is a team I forgot to mention. They have as good a chance as anyone as being in that 3-4 seed range, right along with Toronto. Though I'll say this now regarding Toronto: Kyle Lowry, having signed his contract, may not be the Lowry of last season. Still they do have a nice roster: Lowry and Vasquez at point, DeRozan and Ross on the wings, Johnson and Valanciunis inside, with some other nice backups and young talent to develop.
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« Reply #65 on: August 10, 2014, 07:08:08 AM »

Anybody have thoughts--Mr. Verlander, I suspect you will--on either of the two big-name restricted free agents who are still out there? Phoenix point guard Eric Bledsoe and Detroit power forward/center Greg Monroe are both still awaiting resolution. Both have refused their own teams' offers, reportedly wanting max deals. Neither has been made an offer by other teams, as teams reportedly widely believe Phoenix and Detroit would match any offers.

Bledsoe in particular seems like an insane situation. His team was already uniquely constructed, a two-point guard experiment with Bledsoe (until he got hurt) running alongside Goran Dragic. This offseason, the Suns signed Sacramento's point guard Isaiah Thomas and drafted Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis. Neither of those guys can play off the ball, either. So we have four point guards, three of whom are already proven, rotation-to-starter-to-star level contributors at the NBA level. Bledsoe was also reportedly offended and angry at Phoenix's offer, a 4-year, $48 million deal. (I believe a max deal for Bledsoe would be nearer 5 years, $80 million.) But with most teams capped out, it seems like the only options are the qualifying tender from Phoenix ($3.7 million) that would leave him an unrestricted free agent next year, a sign-and-trade elsewhere, or taking that 4-year Phoenix offer.

How good to you think Bledsoe is, and what might happen? I know the Phoenix management has explained how they can keep all four PGs happy on that roster, but I can't imagine it working. And the fact it, there is no point in having an embarrassment of riches at one spot unless you're also well-covered in your other positions. This team started Channing Frye at PF and lost him; they started Gerald Green half the time and PJ Tucker every game. '86 Celtics they ain't.

Monroe is in an unusual situation, too. At first glance one could say he hasn't improved much since his second season (last year was his fourth), but in reality he has been awkwardly jammed into a lineup that first included fellow big Andre Drummond, then last year added Josh Smith, an awfully power-forwardish small forward. The reality is, especially without a good ball-movement culture or system, the team just couldn't space the floor and use its talented big trio to much success. (Can't stress enough, Brandon Jennings is a big part of that problem.)

So what does Monroe do? He seems settled in as a 16-and-9 guy on bad teams, reputation-wise. Those aren't max numbers, but his agents are smart enough to know that moderately productive bigs get paid, and he's only 24 years old. The agents aren't dumb for seeking max. This league's history is littered with Jon Koncaks, Jim McIlvaines, Ike Austins, and Travis Knights, to name just a few. Still, he has his flaws. In an era of stretch fours, he's a pretty traditional post player, capable at the high post, but certainly not as a face-up jump-shooter from deep. He doesn't defend the rim very well.

So at this late stage, who is looking to pay big money to a big who neither blocks shots nor hits 3s, the two most sought skills in a big these days? It might be too late. Teams that had the cash were either chasing major FAs (Houston, Cleveland, LAL), weren't good fits (Charlotte, with the similar Al Jefferson), or don't want to spend their money for tanking reasons (Philly). Atlanta has been mentioned occasionally but there certainly doesn't seem to be movement on that front.

Will we see Monroe and Bledsoe on 1-year tenders, pissed at their current teams and playing selfishly for big paydays next year? Will they accept their multiyear offers from their current teams?
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« Reply #66 on: August 10, 2014, 10:16:36 AM »

I read this morning that Indiana offered Phoenix Roy Hibbert, Chris Copeland, and cash for Goran Dragic. With Indiana down two playmaking wings (Stephenson and George), I can see why they'd covet Dragic. Plus, he would be a really good fit beside George Hill, as both can play either guard spot. Dragic is the far more dynamic playmaker and would energize the perimeter game. He would surely also thrive playing pick and roll / pick and pop with David West and Luis Scola.

Further, one can see why they'd be ready to unload Hibbert (or at least his contract). If you're paying max money for your Hibbert, you need him to show up and rebound and block shots. Sadly, he was woefully inconsistent in that respect last year.

However, the Pacers were apparently rebuffed. So it's all for naught.
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« Reply #67 on: August 10, 2014, 02:41:58 PM »

I guess it was reported that Detroit offered Monroe a 5 year, 60 million dollar deal. However, Monroe took the time-honored route of Twitter to deny that he was even offered that. Frankly, I'm baffled by the whole thing. I do think he would already be signed right now by Detroit if they would've been able to dump Josh Smith. Early on, it was rumored that Monroe wouldn't come back if Smith was still on the team; of course he denied it, but I'm starting to think that that indeed is the case. Why wouldn't he have just signed a one-year deal already, and try to make a splash next year? He isn't getting a multi-year deal from anyone, and I assume that his agent realizes that. I can only think that he doesn't want back because of Smith. And at this point, I don't see Detroit offering him max money. Unless you sign him and bring Smith off of the bench. How do you think he'd handle that? Probably not very well.
I think Bledsoe ends up signing a one year deal, and trying again next year.  I tell you, the NBA has really gotten out of control this year. Stan Van Gundy didn't help matters by giving Jody Meeks a 3 year, 19 million dollar contract, setting the tone. Unreal.
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« Reply #68 on: August 10, 2014, 02:44:07 PM »

I had forgotten, until today, about that Minnesota deal back in the day-the one where they had agreed to a deal with Joe Smith before they were legally allowed to. What were the specifics on that? They were talking about it on the radio, and it had slipped my mind.
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« Reply #69 on: August 10, 2014, 04:52:46 PM »

I had forgotten, until today, about that Minnesota deal back in the day-the one where they had agreed to a deal with Joe Smith before they were legally allowed to. What were the specifics on that? They were talking about it on the radio, and it had slipped my mind.

That's going back quite a ways, but this is what I recall. The Wolves wanted to sign Smith, but couldn't sign him to what both parties agreed was his market value due to cap restrictions. However, the "Bird rule" as it existed in those days only said you could pay your own free agents whatever amount you wanted, regardless of your cap position. So they agreed to a small-dollar, one-year deal with the (written!) verbal agreement that they would use the Bird rule to sign him to a bigger contract after that year. That was an old trick I recall Phoenix using quite a bit, guys signing small one-year deals, then extensions. Now the Bird rule has been changed to tie the amount you can pay your free agents to their experience and their time with your team.
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« Reply #70 on: August 10, 2014, 05:20:58 PM »

The Bulls resigned my favorite player on the team, Kirk Hinrich... Grin
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And production aside, Id so much rather hear a 14 year old David Marks shred some guitar on Chug-a-lug than hear a 51 year old Mike Love sing about bangin some chick in a swimming pool.-rab2591
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« Reply #71 on: August 11, 2014, 05:28:27 AM »

A fine minor move, call it Rose insurance.
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« Reply #72 on: August 11, 2014, 01:04:42 PM »

Nothing like a written verbal agreement to mess things up!
Supposedly, the Pacers called Detroit and floated around the idea of a Monroe for Hibbert swap. Which makes absolutely no sense for Detroit, as it wouldn't solve their dilemma of having 3 big guys who can't space the floor. The bigger picture here is that obviously, the Pacers are looking at this year as a lost year, if they're looking to get rid of their (arguably) best player, who's a free agent after next year anyway.  Supposedly, they also called the Suns about Dragic.
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« Reply #73 on: August 11, 2014, 02:55:47 PM »

Wow, you're right that Hibbert on the Pistons makes even less sense than Monroe. At least the latter can play PF. Hibbert and Drummond are both pure centers.

I heard about--and liked, from their point of view--Dragic to Indiana. I think he's a really good player. Nobody was ever as high on him as me, but my reputation is sketchy because I have an inexplicably love for Euros in general, so my opinions get taken at like 65% by my friends... But he's really good! But while I can totally imagine Phoenix moving Dragic or Bledsoe, I can't imagine them doing it for Hibbert...

You know what, if I were Detroit, I'd be trying to do Monroe for Bledsoe or Dragic. That's what I'd be doing...
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« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2014, 08:07:57 AM »

Today, the rumor is Monroe is willing to take a one-year offer from Detroit.
I'm tired of the whole thing, really. Every day it's a new story. My guess is that they'll get him to sign a one year deal, and then spend the next year desperately trying to unload Smith. Probably not going to happen, although there's always the team that says 'Hey, maybe if WE get him, we can change him'. Which usually never works. My solution would be bring Smith off the bench, and tell him 'If you take a 3, your ass is gonna get pulled, and you're gonna sit on the bench'. I suppose that wouldn't go over well in a players league such as the NBA.
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