OT: NBA Offseason

The playoff thread was getting a little long and jumbled, so figured I'd start a fresh offseason thread.

Just some quick observations:

Jimmy Butler - love this for Minnesota. Not sure if they're good enough to crack top 4 in West. Gotta think GSW, SAS and Houston are solid at the top. Then where do we go in the west? Clippers look to lose Blake and CP3 possibly. Utah will not be good without Hayward. OKC still has Russ (adding Blake????). Think Minnesota comes in somewhere between 5-8. Interesting team to watch for future. Studs are there.

What happens in LA? Will they give up young assets for Paul George just to be a 7 or 8 seed and get swept (or a gentleman's sweep) in the first round when they can wait a year and get him for free? Is that where LeBron ends up too? Is Lonzo any good?

Does Boston get Hayward or Blake after missing on Butler? Do they just keep biding their time until LeBron is gone? What does Cleveland do to keep pace with GSW? Are they imploding in front of us?

Lastly, and least importantly, my Hornets have had an exceptional week. Love getting Dwight Howard. Just get rebounds and block shots. What we've been crying out for for the past 5 years from our center. Pick and roll with Kemba will be fun to watch. Surrounded with shooters in Batum and Monk and now Bacon. Not like it matters since LeBron is still in the east, but finally resembling something of a competitive team to get by the first round.

I know there is a good group of NBA fans here. Love the offseason.

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!

This is huge if it's true, but something tells me it's some sort of press "leak" to generate some shred of leverage for the Pacers/incentive for the Lakers to make the trade now. The Hayward signing would necessarily be first, though. Boston would sign Hayward and then trade for George and be able to exceed the cap to sign him to the extension.

Chem PhD '16

Good call starting a new thread. Thought about doing it myself.

The NBA has the most fun offseason in sports, imo

That Jimmy Butler trade baffles me. Minnesota is definitely going to be a fun team to watch next year. The Celtics could not have been that interested if they couldn't put a more enticing offer on the table than Zach Levine fresh off ACL surgery, unimpressive Kris Dunn, AND a pick swap instead of what was first reported. The Cs must be all-in on Gordon Hayward (or maybe Kristaps???). Edit:OR MAYBE PAUL GEORGE AND HAYWARD??? That would be a team that could take LeBron and the Cavs to 7 and could conceivably beat them.

Charlotte is having probably the most impressive offseason they've had since MJ took over. They got a straight up STEAL with Monk falling as far as he did. I'll be pulling for them to make an impact this year.

Agree with it all except the Hornets. Somehow, someway, MJ is gonna turn them into hot garbage by the beginning of the season.

"Welcome to the Terror Dome." -- Corey Moore

PG: Walker/ ????
SG: Monk/Lamb/Bacon
SF: Batum/MKG
PF: Williams/Kaminsky
C: Howard/Zeller

That's a competitive rotation. Honestly, a lot of versatility and bench wise, it's a decent team. Two BIG problems exist: 1) No backup PG; 2) Cap space is tied up forever.

Not sure if Monk starts right away, but I think he was a top 5 player in this draft. Don't think he'll ever be a #1 option for a team, but he can be a really good pseudo-stud in a few years.

Always choose joy.

So far the offseason has been more entertaining than the playoffs. And god I hope like hell Magic is smart and does not sign another overpriced diva next summer. We just got rid of Kobe, just say no to bron-bron!

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

I dunno man, LeBron is coming off of the best 5 game stretch of his career, statistically. I don't know that there's a price for him that I would consider to be too high. Hard to compare his situation with Kobe. LeBron has a lot of miles, but he hasn't had the countless surgeries Kobe had by the time they re-signed him in 2014.

Yes but he cannot keep it up for ever and besides I don't want all our young players learning that you have to whine and cry after every play or game that does not go your way. On top of that I do not see anyone topping the warriors for 2 or 3 years so I would rather build our young core up and have them ready to compete when the current superteam gets to old and/or expensive to maintain.

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
“I served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

As long as he just signs as a FA, and they don't trade for him, I think LA could get his last years of productivity without leveraging the future. Lonzo and Ingram are going to be really cheap until at least 2020. There's a lot that can change between now and then across the whole landscape of the NBA. Everyone's resigned to the Dubs being this unstoppable force for years to come, but if Steph's ankles flare up again, Klay could leave, who knows what could actually happen. Everyone felt the same way about the Heat once they started winning (i know, i know, no one thinks that now because everyone expected Bosh to get blood clots and Wade to completely fall apart physically within the first two years of LeBron getting there)

You don't think there's anything else they could learn from LeBron? Dude is probably the most hyped player of all time, been in the league since he was 18 and has never had any off the court issues. None of his ex-teammates ever have anything bad to say about him and generally seems to be respected by everyone throughout the league. If I had a bunch of young guys on my team and needed a vet to show them the ropes I don't see how having LeBron could ever be a bad thing.

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!

This.

I've said it a thousand times, I'm no LeBron fan, but there's no denying he's the quintessential example of how to handle pressure and criticism in the NBA

Yeah, I don't get it. Listen to every guy that has played with LeBron. I can't think of a bad word uttered about the dude other than by opponents, and even then its few and far between unless its coming from an actual punk like Draymond. Just after the Finals Kyrie basically said he would be doing himself a disservice if he wasn't learning everything he possibly could about the game and being a professional while he had the chance to play with LeBron.

I don't get the whining complaint either. Jordan used to beg for calls constantly. Perhaps time has made people forget that. Kobe was all about that too. It's what the superstars do to an extent.

But you said it, the guy could have been crushed by expectations as an 18 year old, and he has multiple rings, multiple MVPs, will finish career as a top 3 all time regular season and playoff scorer, has never had any off the court issues except for his one ill conceived "Decision", seems like an all around decent human being, and opponents and teammates respect the hell out of him.

Yeah what an awful guy for young players to learn from...

So far the offseason has been more entertaining than the playoffs. And god I hope like hell Magic is smart and does not sign another overpriced diva next summer. We just got rid of Kobe, just say no to bron-bron!

Smoking hot take.

Lebron is completely professional. He's thoughtful. He plays hard. He makes his teammates better. The only reason to not sign him is that he's kinda/sorta getting old. Otherwise, he's proven that he will take a team deep into the playoffs year after year. Magic would be smart to sign him.

And god I hope like hell Magic is smart and does not sign another overpriced diva next summer

Nah, he just drafts the diva's son.

Seriously, watching Lavar the next few years is going to be entertaining. He's going to quickly write checks neither Lonzo nor the Lakers can cash. And when they're inevitably not a winning team next year, he's going to run his mouth too much, piss off Lonzo's teammates, and create a toxic environment within the lockerroom. Which is a shame, because Lonzo seems like a good kid.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

This sounds like a #shitnobodysays. You're nuts if you don't actually want LeBron, he would instantly change that team to a top 3 seed in the West just by himself.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

Not a huge NBA guy in general, but I will admit I am back on the Sixers wagon a bit.

If Embiid continues his development, Simmons stays healthy and is anywhere close to his potential in a couple years, and Fultz gels with those 2 guys, they are well placed to be the dominant team in the East when/if Lebron hangs em up or heads West. That's not to mention Saric, who is pretty damn good too and exactly the type of complementary piece you need.

Everything I have read is that Fultz has a pretty high floor just given his frame and athletic ability. He really was the perfect fit for what they already had considering he can play on and off the ball equally well, and Simmons and he should take a lot of pressure off each other.

Really though, as long as Embiid can stay on the court, that team is going to be a force. Gonna be really entertaining to see them and the Celtics battle it out.

The Sixers worry me for those four terrible words: If He Stays Healthy.

As you mentioned, two pieces key to their success are dependent on health. The Sixers will be my League Pass team next season, and I hope they can stay healthy. They have a chance to be a lot of fun.

I've heard that Embiid only shut it down last year because it wasn't worth keeping him playing after they made the decision to improve draft positioning. Had they been in the hunt late in the year, he would have played down the stretch. Yes, there is reason for concern, but I don't think its as bad as people think.

Embiid-Simmons-Fultz is a downright scary core if they all reach potential. Throw in Saric, and that's a team whose ceiling is a legitimate dynasty. Of course, there's a lot of time between now and then, but you have to like what they've created. When you're biggest worry is "can they stay healthy", you know the talent is there. And don't forget that they still have protections on potential lottery picks in 2018 and 2019.

For all the crap they got for "The Process", this was always the end game. It was about stockpiling pieces to have a multi-year run on top picks to maximize the chances of developing an elite core. Its a tried and true process that has happened in essentially every sport, but they were just way more blatant about it than had ever been tried before.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

We are about to start seeing "the Process" in the NFL too. Great article today that I read about 5 NFL teams that are so bad they are already tanking, haha.

You are right, Hinkie was just the most honest about the approach, which is why he was also fired before it went through to the next step, because people just wern't "quite" ready to go there yet.

If these 3 win a ring or two down the line (and I am defenitely not saying they will, but the talent is there and the East will be winnable again in a few years), Philly fans will put a statue of Hinkie up next to Kate Smith.

Gotta point out that Seth Allen got a pre-draft workout with the Kings and LeDay got the same from the Pacers. Two teams that are definitely not set with all-stars at pretty much any position. Hopefully they can get on a summer league squad somewhere. Obviously, that rarely translates to a job in the NBA, but who knows.

Anyone know when Summer League rosters officially come out? I saw Charlotte has unveiled their's, hoping to see LeDay show up on the Pacers' roster whenever they announce. Games for the Orlando League start Saturday

As a Rockets fan I would caution you to temper your enthusiasm about Dwight Howard. I was really sorry when he signed with the Rockets, and I was thrilled when he left. Maybe 5 years ago you could at least say he was a supreme athlete, but losing a step has exposed the fact that he's a really bad basketball player.

Not saying he won't be worth a few more wins for you, but he's not a franchise-changing player at this point.

The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me.

He's just a dinosaur in today's NBA. Guys like him, Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, etc playing with their back to the basket just don't have a role in this era of the League. I think teams in the 80s/90s would have killed for those guys

I would actually argue that there still is a place for back to the basket guys in the NBA it's just that those guys really don't exist anymore. The guys you mentioned (Dwight, Drummond, Deandre) don't have actual offensive moves like the bigs of years past. Their whole game is basically centered on catching lobs and bullying their way to the basket

I'm not expecting him to be Superman Dwight that led the Magic to a Finals. I just want him to play his position, grab rebounds and block shots. Protect the rim, get me 10 boards a game, and pick and roll with Kemba and I'm thrilled.

Always choose joy.

As a former owner the Celtics (they were a publicly traded stock back in the 80's before the owner bought back all shares) I have been excited for them.

TIL. Do you remember how much the owner bought the shares for?

stick it in, stick it in, stick it in!

To be honest, it was over 20 years ago when he bought them back. It was a little more than the share value so the people didn't really lose money on the deal.

As a Wizards fan, I would appreciate if Ernie would trade Iam Mahinmi for a bag of basketballs... throw in a nice cold coke if you need to. 3 years at 16 million left is killing this team

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

The problem with the Wizards is that they have little to no depth as it is and not really any future assets to get out from the bad contract aside from Kelly Oubre. If I'm Sean Marks on the Nets I am 100% kicking the tires on "we will take Ian Mahinmi and his bad contract off your hands but you will have to give us Kelly Oubre". Trade Machine says that Mahinmi + Oubre for Trevor Booker works.

If I'm Sean Marks I am 100% kicking the tires on collecting as many assets as possible and taking as many short term bad contracts as possible to make it work.

Chem PhD '16

Yea thats why I mentioned Mahinmi.... Swinging and missing on Horford and then getting desperate with Mahinmi. His his atrocious contract is preventing the Wiz to building depth and/or signing a legit 3rd star which in today's NBA world is a necessity.

Bleeding burnt orange and chicago maroon

Bulls begin their rebuild by taking Lauri Markkanen?? Wow. They had a lot of leverage and still gave up #16? Usually you'd see a much more one sided deal. I like it a LOT for the T'Wolves. They should make the playoffs. Bulls topped their terrible trade by selling a second rounder to the Warriors. Nothing says "rebuild" like punting on cheap lottery tickets in the second round.

Charlotte and Sacramento had great drafts. Really like Monk at 11. It's really hard to project Kentucky players in the NBA because they aren't in a great team setting and Calipari essentially asks each of them to do their role and not much else. Look at Towns's college stats vs what he's capable of in the NBA. Monk can make it rain and I'm really surprised Knicks didn't bite on him at 8.

I don't like the Dwight Howard trade at all... the big win for Hornets is getting out of that terrible Plumlee contract. Howard's back is made out of raw spaghetti and he doesn't move well anymore. Should be fun watching Dwight/Kemba pick and roll with Monk spotted up weak side though.

Chem PhD '16

I will admit Howard's age was the first thing I thought of when I heard about the trade.

He's not even that old, only 31. But he's been around since 04 and hasn't been the same since the Lakers rushed him back from back surgery five years ago.

Chem PhD '16

I think the pick and the Butler trade make sense to the Bulls if you think about "rebuild" in the manner that the 76'ers "rebuilt" by tanking. Get players the fans will still show up to see occasionally, but are only capable of so few wins to keep the Bulls well placed in the lottery for the next few years.

Though it looks like the Bulls front office is NYK level inept, the point of tanking is to acquire more valuable assets. The Bulls appear to be tanking for the sake of tanking, giving up the 16 pick and selling the second rounder for cash (to the warriors of all teams) is hustlin' backwards.

The sixers rebuilt by tanking and by hoarding and collecting as many assets as they could. They did not leave assets on the table in making deals. See: the nerlens noel/jrue holliday trade that netted a future first, the Stauskas deal with the kings that netted the pick swap this year (moved up from 5 to 3, which they used to move up to 1) and also a future first, the MCW trade that netted the lakers pick next year, etc....

Race to the bottom, sure. But race to the bottom without punting on assets to help rebuild -- ie, you can't evaluate every single trade in a perfect vacuum without accounting for opportunity cost. If I'm trading Jimmy Butler to the Wolves, I'm not also giving up #16. I'm asking for a 2019 lottery protected first. I'm asking for a second rounder. If I keep #16 and still feel like I want to race to the bottom, I'll look to trade back.

Chem PhD '16

Miami Heat fan checking in for discussion. Bosh's cap space has been freed up, but Josh McRoberts accepted his player option of 6 mill for this season, so we have a net space of roughly 31 million from those two. I imagine we re-sign Haslem for the vet minimum, and we could re-sign Babbit because we have his Bird Rights. Willie Reed is probably gone, especially after Bam getting drafted.

This is where things get tricky. Free agency starts in a week. James Johnson and Dion Waiters both showed that they were worth more than 4 mill and 3 mill respectively. If we want to re-sign them, we'll almost certainly have to give both 10 mill each at least, probably more, if we don't want them going somewhere else. Dion Waiters has said he is open to taking a hometown discount. James Johnson hasn't.

When we went 30-11 the second half of the season, Waiters and Johnson were two critical parts of that run. Had Waiters not gotten hurt, we would have been in the playoffs. They are both clearly important. What Pat Riley needs to decide is if pursuing Blake Griffin or Gordon Hayward is worth it. Those are the two hot names in free agency right now for the Heat. Of course there will always be the possibility Wade decides to come back after Chicago traded Jimmy, but we shall see.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

I'm not sure how interested Riley is, but Rudy Gay would come to South Beach in a heart beat. Sounds like he could be a backup option though.

In Sam Rogers we trust.

That rumor has been going around for a couple years now. I just think the value we would be getting out of Gay would be so bad. I'm not a fan of that at all.

Marshall University student.
Virginia Tech fanatic.

That Jimmy Butler trade pissed me off on several levels. One, I went to high school with him and really wanted to see him go home to the Rockets. Two, the trade made zero sense for the Bulls. Three, Chicago was apparently not very transparent with him, and seems to have done him rather dirty after calling him the "face of the franchise." Four, it's Minnesota. Gross.

NBA Awards Show starts in 15 minutes. While he deserves it, nothing would make me happier than seeing Brogdon not get ROTY because le sabre may drown themselves in Zima if that happens. Bias aside, he should win.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Honestly, I know he has that stupid little V with the swords on his jersey, but I don't know how anyone could have any ill will to that guy. Love his game. True professional in every sense of the world. I'd want kids to watch that guy.

Always choose joy.

Pure class on and off the court, couldn't agree more. I think he will stick around the league for a long time. He is a quality role player!

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

And Phil Jackson has been fired by the Knicks. Of course, they're labeling as a mutual agreement....

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Haha anyone that has followed the NBA for the past 2 seasons knows that's some BS. Phil should never get anywhere near the front office of another team ever again. The Knicks are lucky he didn't ship off Kristaps before he got canned

In this case I could actually see it being a mutual agreement. With the way Phil has anchored that ship ever since he got there, I wouldn't be surprised if he was glad to hang it up. And obviously most NYK fans have to be ecstatic at the news

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

Chris Paul gets traded to the Rockets. That should make things a little more interesting.

Paul and Harden should make a pretty good combo. I could see the Rockets being the primary competition to the Warriors in the West at this point.

I think the fit is actually an awkward one - both CP3 and Harden are used to having the ball in their hands a lot. They're certainly good enough to make it work, but I have a feeling there's going to be some early struggles to this pairing (similar to how Miami struggled in season one with LeBron and Wade).

Seems odd to me as well. Wasn't last season spent transitioning Harden to point guard?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinsku, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I think that was more because they didn't have an offensive PG on the roster. Patrick Beverly is great on D, but can't handle the ball that well. CP3 is still one of the best passers in the game, and has never struck me as a me-first kind of guy. I think they're a great fit together.

And if they can manage to get Paul George as Ralphie May Brian Windhorst reported they're trying to do, they're going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Trade machine says this works. who says no?

Rockets get: Paul George
Timberwolves get: Eric Gordon, Patrick Beverley
Pacers get: Clint Capela, Ricky Rubio, MIN top-10 protected first rounder, HOU two 2018 second rounders
Clippers get: Justin Patton, MIN 2018 and 2019 second rounders

Chem PhD '16

Disagree with this part:

CP3... has never struck me as a me-first kind of guy.

I'm not a sportswriter but only a casual fan of the league, so I'll let Zach Lowe's latest column handle this one:

There is some risk for Houston. If they really re-sign Paul to his five-year max after this season, the back-end of that deal will be painful. It will take time for Harden and Paul to mesh, and there is always the possibility it doesn't work as well as the Rockets hope -- that they won't be more than the sum of their parts. Paul is a domineering personality who has always wanted to play his way. He must adapt.

http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/19758988

Trade itself is:

HOU gets: Chris Paul
LAC gets: Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Kyle Wiltjer, and top-3 protected 2018 first rounder

Chris Paul opts into contract as part of the trade; because he is traded and did not opt out of his contract, he would still be eligible for the supermax deal next offseason.

Edited to update trade considerations

Chem PhD '16

Portland Traded Tim Quarterman (played in only 16 games last year) for Cash Considerations

which lead to what will be two of the best tweets of the offseason

This is great social media.

Evidently Houston made a flurry of these Cash Considerations deals to include in the CP3 trade so they don't go under the cap this year. If they do, they won't be able to add any other free agents and exceed the cap. If they stay above the cap line, they'll be able to add someone with the full midlevel exception.

Chem PhD '16

PG13 to OKC. Hayward to Boston. Swaggy P to Golden State.

Still a lot of pieces left to fall into place and plenty of trade rumors floating around.

Redick to Philly is interesting, to say the least. A very good 3 and D player with the core they have can be a sneaky good addition. Fultz is already looking pretty good in the Summer League, and if Simmons is able to play like he showed before he was shut down last year, that could be a real good team in very short order.

People are all focused on Boston in the East as Cleveland's big challenge, but I just have the feeling that Philly is going to open eyes this year. And I firmly believe that people are putting way too much stock in the West vs East dominance. GSW is the dominant team, not the West in general. If it weren't for GSW, the NBA title would legitimately be up for grabs among about 6 teams, East and West combined.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

The Redick add is really intriguing. He's a smart, veteran player and could really pay dividends both on the floor and in the heads of all the young guys they have. I don't know if they're a true title contender this year, but they certainly should be a playoff team and championship caliber in the next 2-3. I desperately want to see Embiid and Simmons on the floor together for a full season.

Yeah, I agree they're probably 2-3 years away from legitimate contention, but I really see them being solidly in the playoffs this year. The thought of Embiid and Simmons out there together was already enticing, but to throw Fultz into that mix as well, and you have the possibility of the same kind of core the Thunder had before Harden bolted. I also find it hilarious that one of the biggest knocks on them from the media was that they'll never attract free agents because of their recent unwillingness to win, and then they go out and hand pick the one guy that best fit their needs. And its not like they won't be willing to spend once the team matures, they have deeeep pockets up there and a city desperate for a championship that has already rallied around an 'us vs the world' mentality with the whole Process. That core in that location with that fanbase is set up for a long run at and near the top.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Oh yeah, I just worded my comment poorly. I also think they're definitely a playoff team this year. I really want to pull for that team, so I hope they don't take on the Us vs The World mentality so much that they make themselves difficult cheer for. Embiid is such a great character that I think it'll be hard for that to happen though.

Going back up thread: As far as East vs West, there was pretty clear dominance this past season. The West had the top 3 MVP candidates along with the top 3 overall records. That said, I expect that, with the buffing of Boston and Philly and with the way Miami was playing at the end of the season (now +Waiters), the difference next season won't be nearly what it was in 16-17. Toronto managed to re-sign Ibaka and Lowry. The Eastern conference drops pretty hard after that though. The West has GSW and Houston who should be absolute powers. The Spurs still have Pop. The TWolves should be in the playoffs with the big moves they made. The Thunder should be pretty dangerous.

The Redick addition was a GREAT move for the Sixers. Not only the wide open 3 opportunities he will be getting (and he will get a lot, as Philly's young core 3 are all excellent passers), but you are talking about putting a veteran plus defender on the floor to go along with Embiid who has elite defensive skills, who can help the other 2 young stars to develop that part of their game. He also can play the style the Sixers will be looking for, which will be up and down the court, even at this stage in his career.

The Amir Johnson signing was a lowkey good move also, and the when you think that Daario is 6th Man coming off the bench with this lineup, talk about a team that can make some noise starting this season.

And I firmly believe that people are putting way too much stock in the West vs East dominance. GSW is the dominant team, not the West in general. If it weren't for GSW, the NBA title would legitimately be up for grabs among about 6 teams, East and West combined.

via GIPHY

Always choose joy.

Yes, GS is the truly dominant team, but you could make a case that any and all of the West's top 3 teams would be top in the East.

GSW, SAS, HOU, OKC, LAC, MIN, DEN, POR, UTA, NOP, MEM --- 11 solid teams in the west and 3 won't make the playoffs but would (easily) in the east. Especially when you look at Millsap, Butler, George heading west and only Hayward heading back east in the offseason. Heck even the Kings might make some noise. It's just such a cutthroat conference.

Chem PhD '16

I mean possibly, but the playoffs do become more open for anyone to make a run with GSW removed. Without the Warriors in the way (and to a lesser extent, without the Cavs in the way, because I think both those 2 teams are playing at a higher level than anyone else) any one of SA, Hou, OKC, Bos and Wash could have won it last year. I just think the opinion on the West is swayed a little too much by the dominance of the Warriors rather than the actual greatness of the conference as a whole. Yes, they are better, but its not the penthouse vs outhouse its being described as now.

And this is ignoring the monster that is awakening in Philly.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Dude Minnesota was like 20 games under .500 and Sacramento pre-draft easily had the least talented roster in the whole league. The east ain't great but to just assume a team made up of Cauley-Stein and Buddy Hield would contend with the 8 seed Bulls with Jimmy Buckets, Rondo, and D Wade is crazy to me.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

I meant it looking ahead to this year, not talking about last year. The west is talked about as being dominant because it has more stars than the east does, and because it has better teams than the east does. You could name two All-Star quality players on each of those eleven west teams I listed except for Utah and the Clippers, and both of those teams have pretty good complementary pieces now. Three of those teams will be staying home come playoff time. That isn't happening in the East.

Chem PhD '16

As a Wizards fan, it's pretty disheartening to watch both Swaggy P and Javale contend for titles now in Golden State while Grunfeld is busy throwing our money away for useless veteran talent like Tim Frazier, Jodie Meeks and Mike Scott. Why get better when you and Toronto can have a race to see who gets swept quicker by Cleveland in the second round every year?

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

Yeah the Wiz have such a solid core, but they just can't seem to make smart decisions regarding the players around Wall, Beal, and Porter. Oubre looks to be a future stud though. Hopefully they don't ship him off somewhere

I am one of the few Wiz fans who would be totally fine shipping Porter. Paying him $26.5 million a year is nuts. I'm fine waiting a year and signing another SF instead of paying that guy a max. We'd be locked into Wall, Beal, and Porter for the next 5 years if we do that and as much as I love those guys, we're not any closer to the ECF finals being locked into only those 3.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

Agreed on Porter. There's absolutely no reason he should ever be getting paid more than KD. They would be smart to let him take the Nets offer and move on with Oubre at the 3 for a few years at a muuuuuuch cheaper price.

Or even re-signing Bogdonavic. His price has gone up but not nearly as high as Porter's has.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

I'm here to dump cold water on your Porter takes.

He was one of the most efficient offensive players in the league last year, which is actually perfect for the Wizards because Wall and Beal are ball-dominant guards. On top of being a great third offensive option, he's a solid defender with a great wingspan who's capable of switching on D (a must in today's NBA).

While I'm not sure many players in the NBA are worth what Porter will be making, that's not his fault. The way the salary cap ballooned a year ago once the new rights deal kicked in is what's making all this possible. That's just a matter of circumstance in when he was drafted and subsequently hit restricted free agency in a year where the wing crop wasn't great once you got past Gordon Hayward. While Bogdonavic may be cheaper, you're losing a lot more on the defensive end if you let Porter walk.

Oubre has shown he's a capable defender, but he hasn't shown the ability to space the floor yet. That's a crucial piece for this Wizards team.

The bigger deal that has seemingly gone under the radar is that John Wall turned down the max extension he was eligible for last year. Next summer, the Wizards are staring at his free agency. If you say "Nah, we'll let Otto walk now cause he's too expensive," what kinda message are you sending Wall? In my opinion, one that says winning now isn't important.

Finally, I don't really see the issue with the Frazier, Meeks & Scott contracts. If those guys are healthy (and that's a big if with Meeks and Scott), they're an upgrade over the guys who were getting minutes off the bench last year. Frazier actually started games for the Pelicans while Holiday was out and held his own. Meeks is a better shooter than most guys they brought off the bench last year, and if Scott can find his form again he's not a bad replacement for Bogdonavic.

Appreciate the thought-out post.

You can say that Meeks and Scott are upgrades to what we have right now, but neither of them finished off the season in the NBA last year. Not exactly what you would call great deals. I'll be honest, I had never heard of Frazier until 2 weeks ago or whenever we signed him. But maybe he'll be an upgrade to Jennings, who was basically unplayable in the playoffs.

Your Porter comments make sense. I just don't think the Wizards need to pay that much for a guy who does one thing really well and that's shoot a 3 ball. His defense is alright but it seemed like we made Tim Hardaway and Jae Crowder look better than they really were in the postseason.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

I understand the sentiment about Meeks and Scott. I think it's ok to be skeptical and wonder if either can stay healthy enough to really be contributors, but from a financial standpoint they're good deals. If they can stay healthy though, they are clear upgrades and provide needed depth. The starters were just playing far too many minutes by the end of the playoff run.

I also think you're overrating Hardaway & Crowder's contributions too. Hardaway was ATL's starting SG, so Otto wasn't usually matched up on him. Plus, he only shot better than 36% from the field in one game during that playoff series.

In the Boston series, the Wizards sold out trying to stop IT, often hedging to the extreme, sending two guys and basically daring someone else to beat them. Crowder played well in Games 1 & 7, but wasn't very efficient in Games 2-6.

Boston is such a tough sports city to be in. If they truly think that Hayward will save them for LBJ, I feel bad for him, as that's a lot of pressure. Golden State picking up Swaggy P and Cassipi is an example of the rich getting richer. Two great knockdown shooters! I am very excited to see the 76ers play, almost as excited to see my Hornets play. The NBA has the best off-season in sports.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

Since you said you're a Hornets fan, I gotta ask. Do Hornets fans get pissed that Kemba is never in the discussion as best PG in the east? IT, Wall, Lowry, and Kyrie get all the love I feel like but Kemba is such a stud. I was so glad he finally made the all star team this year.

"It might be dark outside, but it's LeDay in here." -Jay Bilas

Yes. His game is universally disrespected. Pretty sure it's 100% because he plays in Charlotte.

Always choose joy.

There is obviously a crowd at the top PG spot in the East with 3 great players as you pointed out in IT, John Wall, and Kyrie. I can only be so upset because if anything, Kemba embraces the underdog/underrated player role very well. As Wythe stated, I think being a part of the hornets does have something to do with it as the Hornets/Bobcats don't have the best reputation. With Steph signed now, I think Kemba is one of the biggest steals in the league as he is only making 12mil and the 6th highest paid player on the hornets which is mind-blowing.

Another white bronco? The first one didn't go too far.

So it's old news at this point but uhhhh, Kyrie wants out of the Land?

Get out before LeBron jumps ship and they hold him hostage.

Always choose joy.

That certainly makes sense now that all the LeBron isn't staying rumors have grown legs.

I read an article that contrasts the outrage over Kyrie wanting to leave to that of KD wanting to join the Warriors last year. Kyrie is doing what everyone seems to think they wanted KD to do, but so many people are hating on him for trying to leave LeBron.

Still don't think that is enough to dethrone the King... of the East.

Yes,that's the Hokie Bird riding a camel. Why'd you ask?

Holy cow. That's very interesting

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinsku, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

The Cs finally found somewhere to send that Brooklyn pick. This sets Cleveland up to survive as a playoff team post LeBron

Does Cleveland try to resign IT or let him walk after this season?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinsku, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Go all in this year and see what LeBron does. If he opts out and leaves, you let IT walk and begin the hard rebuild. Shump is expiring, so let him walk. Flip Kevin Love for assets. Jae Crowder is on a fantastic deal for the next two years, so next summer they could flip him for a pick (or use him as a vehicle to try to dump JR Smith or Tristan Thompson).

Chem PhD '16

The Celtics/Cavs ECF this season is gonna be nuts

opening night too

Chem PhD '16

I think this might help the Cavs during the regular season - so much of the offense can run through IT when Lebron isn't playing which the team struggled doing with Kyrie. But it definitely makes them weaker in the playoffs. I still don't see anybody beating the Cavs in the east at this point.

I can't seen any scenario in which Lebron stays in Cleveland after this year - Gilbert firing Griffin sealed the deal.

Celtics overhauled their entire roster. I think they're good enough to beat the Cavs in seven games.

Chem PhD '16

I was surprised the Celtics were willing to let IT go.

$$$. IT is on an expiring deal and has been very clear he is seeking max money. No way Danny Ainge was going to pay a 5'8" point guard that literally can't even be a warm body on D. Offensively, he flourished in Boston, nobody else on the 16'-17' Celtics could score consistently, his stock will never be higher.

We weren't going to compete for NBA championship with IT. Chances are he would have left in free agency next season anyways, feeling slighted that Boston wouldn't pay him. So personally, I am happy Danny dealt him. Crowder has so much value due to his contract. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Cleveland move him for assets if they aren't NBA champs and Lebron leaves next season. He is a great 6th man for a championship caliber team.

IT was a real fan favorite in Boston though, folks around here really love him. Many are dissapointed to see him traded for a guy who thinks the earth is flat. Those folks don't know much about basketball though. We finally have a bonafide superstar, our first since the KG.

Personally, I'm more surprised that Ainge was willing to part with that Brooklyn pick than IT

Same. I get IT for Kyrie and even that you have to sweeten the pot. But Crowder and Zizic AND Brookyln's unprotected 1st round that you've been holding on to for dear life? Seems like too much for a guy who publicly wanted out of Cleveland.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinsku, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

That is my only contest. Seems like a high price for a guy who was almost certainly to be moved following Irving's trade request to force Cleveland's hand.

Were there any other teams that could have more to offer for Kyrie than Boston? Realistically no..

They seemed to be high on Zizic, but we had too many players for the roster spots available anyways. Somebody like Zizic or Yabousele were guaranteed to be included. I'm sure Danny could have held out longer. If you were to remove Crowder or swap the Nets pick for the Lakers pick, that would have been more palatable.

Very good possibility that Brooklyn repeats as the NBA dumpster dweller. I can envision Dan Gilbert's son at the NBA draft lottery, yet again getting the #1 pick.

I don't think the Nets will be nearly as bad as people are thinking....They should be a 30-32 win team if their current roster is healthy. There's a reason the Celtics traded the 2018 Brooklyn pick and not the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly.

Chem PhD '16

Consensus around Boston was that it was Jayson Tatum or the Net's first rounder. Ainge must think he has something special in Tatum, the kid can definitely score in heaps.

Any recent updates on IT's hip? Also like it for the Cavs since the Nets will most likely give them a top 2 pick. A few really really good prospects heading into college for their one year.