Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 Draft week trades

After yesterday's big moves, more trades came early and often with the NBA draft today, so I attempted to track them all down here. I'll update this post as more details come out and add some thoughts on them, as well, but for now, here is a list of all the action. The salaries start with the '16-'17 season, with yellow indicating team option, blue for player options, and red meaning non-guaranteed money.


To Indiana:
Jeff Teague$8,000,000
10% trade bonus. Renegotiate and extend?

To Utah:
George Hill$8,000,000

To Atlanta:
#12 pick (Taurean Prince)


To New York:
Derrick Rose$21,323,252
Justin Holiday$1,015,696
2017 2nd round pick

To Chicago:
Robin Lopez$13,219,250$13,788,500$14,357,750
Jerian Grant$1,643,040$1,713,840$2,639,314
Jose Calderon$7,708,427


To Brooklyn:
#20 pick (Caris LeVert)
Future 2nd rounder

To Indiana:
Thaddeus Young$12,078,652$12,921,348$13,764,045

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ben Simmons and Building Around a Point Forward

We just finished an incredible Finals series that featured the preeminent player of his generation complete a historic comeback against a team that set the record for regular season wins with 73. And while LeBron James became the first player to lead both teams in a playoff series in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks to win a well-deserved third Finals MVP trophy, something only four other players can claim, it could not have been done without the incredible shot making of Kyrie Irving. On that record breaking team they somehow beat, Stephen Curry led the league in scoring despite playing the traditionally pass first position of point guard, while his power forward, Draymond Green, ranked 7th in the entire league in assists, with James joining him as the only non guards in the top 20. Tomorrow, Ben Simmons will become the #1 pick in the draft, and with James and Green in mind, I'm going to take a look at ways to build around my favorite type of player: a point forward.

Let's start with the basics: Ben Simmons is 6' 10.25", 240 lbs with a 7' 0.5" wingspan according to the most recent pre-draft measurables, and he averaged 19.2 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 3.1 turnovers, 2.0 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 34.9 minutes as a 19 year old freshman on an unimpressive LSU team. The first thing that stands out when I watch him play is that he appears to have great basketball instincts, and he has a flare for incredible passes thanks to extraordinary vision. He knows where to go to inhale rebounds, and he has the ball handling ability of a smaller player to run with it, thriving in transition. He may not have the transcendent quick-twitch athleticism like LeBron to chase down blocks (few humans do), but he does have very good physical traits, especially with straightforward actions. In other words, he has the skills to either lead the break and drop a dime for a teammate's bucket or finish the play with a viscous alley-oop.
The Tiger from the Land Down Under can definitely throw it down.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

3 Questions Ahead of the 2016 NBA Finals

There were some critics last summer who didn't feel that the Golden State Warriors were truly worthy champions because they faced injured opponents in the postseason. If the resulting 73 win warpath hasn't silenced those critics yet, a Finals rematch with a fully healthy Cleveland Cavaliers team could provide a definitive answer. However, this Cavs team is quite different from a year ago, which brings me to three intriguing questions about this series:

How will Cleveland defend Golden State's backcourt?
Uncle Drew will have to have more surprises like this.

Masked by all the firepower new head coach Tyronn Lue has put on display during this dominant playoff run through the lesser Eastern Conference is the fact that the Cavs don't have as tough of a defense as they did a year ago. They ended up finishing 10th in the league by allowing just 102.3 points per 100 possessions overall for the year, but that number increased to 104.8 in the 41 games after David Blatt was fired, which is what the 18th best defense averaged. That's a problem when you're facing the #1 offense in the league, especially since you don't match up well with their All-NBA backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.