The Dog Days of August Thread - now with 100% more team previews

What is your favourite part of the off-season?

  • The Draft

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Free Agency

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not having to watch my team suck

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • New Uniforms (/peternorth)

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Spending time with my significant other (inc. Tinder dates)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Laughing at the Knicks

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Watching the *stars* flock to play international tournaments

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Robust discussion on Bigfooty

    Votes: 3 37.5%

  • Total voters
    8

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peternorth

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May 6, 2005
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View attachment 735550



2018/19 Record: 19-63 (14th in East)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 107.7 (25th), Def Rating 117.6 (30th)


Rode In: Sindarius Thornwell (1/min), Jarrell Martin (1/min)

Cut Away: David Nwaba (Nets), J.R. Smith (Space Cadet Program)

Drafted: Darius Garland (#5), Dylan Windler (#26), Kevin Porter (#30)


Guards: Sexton, Garland, Clarkson, Knight, Dellavedova

Wings: Osman, Porter, Windler, Thornwell

Bigs: Love, Thompson, Nance, Henson, Zizic


Team salary 2019/20: $131 million ($1 million below luxury line)

Est. salary 2020/21: $68 million ($50 million cap space)



Cavaliers Mailbag





It's not often we get letters from the tundra wastelands, so I appreciate your writing in Mr. Kahn.

To answer your question, it is quite unusual for a team to invest successive lottery picks in point guards with overlapping strengths. While the Cavs will be hoping that Garland is more of a pure playmaker than Sexton, it's fair to say that scoring and shooting is the strong suit of the two Cleveland guards. Guarding people going the other way will be interesting to say the least though. Ability to learn to play off the ball will also be crucial.

It has been pointed out that the Portland Lillard/McCollum tandem is the example that the Cavaliers have in mind to follow. Of course the Blazers have made that situation work by surrounding their guards with strong defensive role players, so Cleveland's future roster construction will play a major role in whether their experiment works or not. It also helps if you don't draft Johnny Flynn, Wes Johnson and Derrick Williams with high lottery picks.


View attachment 735578

The Cavs had three first round picks this year. Rumour has it that Danny Ainge is hoping to smash that record soon.





Hi Mr.H, good to have interested readers from across sporting platforms and intellectual horizons.

To start to answer your question, yes it is true that the Cavs are sailing perilously close to the luxury tax line this season, which seems astounding for a 20 win team. On the other hand, they have five big contracts totaling roughly $67 million in salary coming off the books at the end of this season, leaving them in much clearer air. Some of those contracts (Henson, Dellavedova, Knight) were taken on for draft picks, so the Cavs are doing some things right.

The second part of your question, and the more interesting dilemma revolves around Kevin Love, who is now entering the first year of a $120 million extension he penned a year ago. Given he was injured for most of last season, sometimes you can't hurry Love's trade, you just have to wait. Also, given that he is a five-time All-star signed through four years, it's good to exercise caution and allow suitors to inflate the market - to try and ensure that the competition to sign Love is a battlefield. Sure you might get the odd GM who strings you along and promises a good deal, only to ring days later and say "I'm not into Love, so just forget it - it's just a silly phase I was going through'. It happens, and the Cavs should just continue to be patient: all teams need shooters, and that's the power of Love.





Thanks for your question, Mr. Czar.

In many ways you are right: Cleveland could do with a decent defender or two from somewhere, anywhere. The Cavs gave up a eye-watering 117.6 points per 100 last season, despite playing at one of the league's slowest paces (something tells me you'd approve). They also blocked 195 shots as a team, which was less than Myles Turner managed on his own.

On the other hand, they're young and they're rebuilding, so what does it matter really? As a general principle, I have no problem in drafting based on talent now, and filling in the gaps later. But yeah, a Garland/Sexton/Osman/Love/Thompson line-up ain't stopping anyone, even with noted former college coach John Beilein working to teach the young 'uns the ropes.


View attachment 735612

Giving up 114 points per game? It didn't used to be like this.






That's one of the finest questions we've had yet. Cutting insight and wonderfully phrased too.

And to answer your question, if the Garland/Sexton combo clicks early and Love rediscovers his A-game, then... ah, stuff it, no use sugar-coating this.

No. Chance. In. Hell.






Um... thanks Dan.

Technically that's not a question, just a really weird manifesto that reads like it was written by a hormonal teenager... but we wish you luck in your quest.
One question that needs to be answered is, what will the impact of Dellys lack of off season be in the grinding 82 game upcoming season, given that he and his national team expect to go deep into the world cup?

Also, rejoice! It's back!

 

Son of Skeletor

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2018/19 Record: 32-50 (11th in East)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 111.1 (14th), Def Rating 113.9 (28th)


Elected: Ish Smith (2/12), Isaiah Thomas (1/min), Davis Bertans (Spurs), CJ Miles (Grizzlies), Mo Wagner (Lakers), Isaac Bonga (Lakers)

Dismissed: Trevor Ariza (Kings), Tomas Satoransky (Bulls), Jeff Green (Jazz), Jabari Parker (Hawks), Bobby Portis (Knicks), Dwight Howard (Lakers)

Drafted: Rui Hachimura (#9), Admiral Schofield (#42)


Guards: Wall, Beal, Thomas, Smith

Wings: Hachimura, Brown, Bertans, Miles

Bigs: Bryant, Mahinmi, Wagner


Team Salary 2019/20: $129 million ($3 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $100 million ($18 million cap space)



Wizards Mailbag


Hello,

We noticed that the Wizards fired Ernie Grunfeld after 16 years as GM. Was this fair, or was it discrimination against old timers?

Yours,

B. King, B. Colangelo & E. Baylor c/o NBA retirement homes Pty Ltd.

Thanks for your question, guys.

To put in a case for Grunfeld, you could say that Washington enjoyed their two most successful eras (2004-08 & 2013-18) in the last 40 years under his direction. On the other hand, you might say that's damning the poor fella with faint praise, because it's the Wizards.

Grunfeld's drafting and trading record are sound enough, if not spectacular, but really his free agent shopping spree of 2016 sealed his fate. Surrounding the Wiz's (then) talented young core with mediocre talent like Ian Mahinmi, Jason Smith and Andrew Nicholson on big money proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Giving Wall and Porter massive extensions was defensible, but those moves were not - it was time for a change.


736866

Introducing the Wizards' big off-season acquisition - uh, this thing.



Hi everyone.

Are you as excited for the groundbreaking new direction in Washington basketball as we are?

Regards,

Ted L. & T. Sheppard, Washington D.C.

Thanks for writing in guys, love the enthusiasm.

I have a confession to make at this point: I have spent hours now researching the birth of Monumental Basketball, and I still can't make heads nor tails of it.

In short, a change was definitely needed in the Washington front office after the Grunfeld era passed its expiration date. That much was obvious. But after months of soul-searching and an allegedly exhaustive search, the Wizards decided to promote acting GM Tommy Sheppard to actual GM. Maybe it's just me, but the AFL Comission's "deliberation" on whether to give the Gold Coast a priority pick sounds thorough by comparison to this schmozzle.

So far the Wizards have cut costs (Otto Porter for a 2nd round pick) and taken a flyer on some youngsters. That's all well and good, but I'm not sure how the corporate gobbledygook that is Monumental Basketball really fits into that. Cute name though.



Hey there,

Scott Brooks won a reputation as a coach who develops young players after his stint with the Thunder. Is he the perfect man to lead this exciting new era?

Cheers,

Brook Scotts, The Hot Seat

Interesting question Scott, sorry Brook.

The Thunder certainly had some fine young players in the Brooks era, players who went on to forge formidable NBA legacies. How much of this is down to Brooks' grasp of X's & O's and how much was down to Sam Presti's larger vision is down to the eye of the beholder.

Injuries aside, it's fair to say that Washington has under-achieved in years 2 & 3 of Brooks's tenure. More to the point, many Wizards' fans had a bone to pick with the former OKC coach after he buried young hopes like Thomas Bryant and Troy Brown on the bench early last season, in favour of giving minutes to the likes of Ian Mahinmi and Wes Johnson.

This will be a massive test of both Brooks' legacy and the larger direction of Washington basketball. Guys like Bryant, Brown, Rui Hachmura and Mo Wagner will need minutes, while guys playing for one last contract (hello CJ Miles & Isaiah Thomas) will need to be managed carefully. Then there is the question of whether to 'tank' the season (they almost certainly should), and how that affects their relationship with their last star standing - one Bradley Beal...



736897


Yes Brad, that was our exact reaction when we heard some of those silly Heat and ridiculous Laker fantasy trades.



*Cough* Yeah, hi

Given that the grim spectre of mortality hangs over us all, and that life is short and greed is good... don't you think Brad Beal should get out of Washington?

Preferably some place warm?

Salud,

Don Riley, South Beach

Interesting question, Mr. Riley.

The situation at present stands thus: the Wizards have offered Beal a three year, $111 million extension, which is still on the table. Beal also has two years and $56 million to run on his current deal.

However if Beal makes an All-NBA team this season - a definite possibility given he averaged 25/5/5 last season - he will be eligible for one of those super-duper max contract things, the type that go for roughly five years and $240 million. Now Beal is definitely worth the $37 million the Wiz are offering him now (hey, that's what Tobias Harris is making now), but nearly $50 million per for five years is enough to give any team pause for thought... particularly one that has just been burned by a similar extension for John Wall. There's lots to think about, from both Washington and Beal's perspectives.

Rumours have persistently linked the Heat with a potential trade for Beal. I'm not seeing it myself - the Heat already owe two future firsts courtesy of the Butler and Dragic deals, and have also traded away their next SEVEN second round picks - so the asset cupboard is pretty threadbare. Justice Winslow and Bam Adebayo are nice players, but they're nowhere near top-25 stars like Beal. Never count out the Heat front office, but getting Beal would take a miracle.



Hey MF, come pick one

They're saying John Wall is now a zero. That he's washed up, a liability.

I say that impossible is nothing. Wall should come back with all guns blazing and prove everybody wrong. Game is for life, keep shooting John.

I play with guns,

Agent Z. Ero, Witness Protection Program

Uh... thanks Agent Z for your baffling contribution.

My lawyers instruct me to tell you that we hope Wall's situation ends up rather better than the last time an injured point guard on an albatross contract attempted to re-integrate himself into the team. Those wacky Wizards, hey?
 

Son of Skeletor

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SOS starting with the powerhouses.
Haha, I'm actually starting with the teams who are probably least likely to pull a trade or signing of significance before the season starts.

Which of course will be mostly teams with little to play for this season. Next up, the Lakers.
 

Son of Skeletor

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2018/19 Record: 19-63 (15th in West)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 105.9 (28th), Def Rating 115.1 (29th)


Sunny Signed-Up: Ricky Rubio (3/51), Frank Kaminsky (2/10), Cheick Diallo (2/min), Dario Saric (Wolves), Aaron Baynes (Celtics)

Phoe-nixed: T.J. Warren (Pacers), Josh Jackson (Grizzlies), Richaun Holmes (Kings), Troy Daniels (Lakers), Dragan Bender (Bucks)

Drafted: Cameron Johnson (#11), Ty Jerome (#24), Jalen Lecque (n/a)


Guards: Rubio, Booker, Jerome, T. Johnson

Wings: Oubre, Bridges, C. Johnson, Okobo

Bigs: Ayton, Saric, Baynes, Kaminsky, Diallo


Team Salary 2019/20: $121 million ($11 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $90 million ($28 million cap space)



Suns Mailbag


G'day mate

I was looking over some of the Suns' new players the other day. It seems to me that there is some serious cult potential there - what do ya reckon?

With 100% effort,

Matty D, Cleveland

Hi Matt, thanks for your question.

It would be fair to say that the Suns have taken on a veritable United Nations of newcomers this off season. Between Rubio (Spain), Saric (Croatia), Diallo (Mali), Kaminsky (Polish Wisconsin) and Baynes (Australasia, see Russell Crowe and Crowded House), Phoenix will be swimming in bandwagon fanboys anxious to know why their respective favourite sons aren't receiving more playing time or getting more shots.

Add these to Ayton (Bahamas) and Okobo (France) and it's clear than there will be more languages and dialects being spoken at The Talking Stick Arena than you could poke a... *cough* stick... at. Only time will tell whether this new international flavour will revive the Suns' fortunes, but in the short term at least cult fanatic djrossie will be on board, and that's always a good thing.


738454


Present: the Suns' 2019 draftees. Not present: legal problems, pouting, bone-headed basketball.



Hello there,

What do you make of Phoenix's selections in the 2019 Draft? Asking for a friend.

Regards,

John Smith, Head of Public Relations, Legal Liaison Officer and part-time Janitor, Talking Stick Arena

Great question, John.

The first part of my answer is that the 2019 Draft for the Suns marked a vast departure from the 2016-17 Ryan McDonough era efforts. While Cameron Johnson and Ty Jerome aren't going to have their games labelled with adjectives such as 'X-factor' and 'untapped athletic potential', they are pretty good at what they do - namely outside shooting (Johnson) and directing an offence (Jerome).

From Phoenix's perspective, that may mean a little less 'star potential' from their draftees, but it also means less of this on the court, as well as much less of this off the court. Cam Johnson and Ty Jerome may not be 'sexy' picks, but after the last five years can you blame Suns fans for breathing easier?

The other important thing to note is that the Suns appear to have drafted for need. In trading down from the 6th pick in order to take on two stretch fours in Saric and Johnson, James Jones and Monty Williams seem to have given a clear indicator about their preference to embrace the new NBA style. Meanwhile after forgetting to employ a point guard last year in a slight tactical oversight, the Suns signed Rubio and drafted Jerome... one would guess with the primary aim of lessening the immense playmaking burden that lies on the young shoulders of Devin Booker. These are not fancy moves, but they are functional ones.



Greetings, peasant.

Did the Suns make a catastrophic, egregious, unforgivable error of Biblical proportions in taking DeAndre Ayton over Luka Doncic?

Yours in interminable outrage,

S. A. Smith, ESPN Studios

Well that's the most inane question we've had yet Mr. Smith, but I'll do my best to answer it anyway.

In short, Ayton is a machine when receiving the ball in the paint. He has good hands, great dexterity and a variety of moves that help make him a potential monster interior scorer. The only two issues with regards to his game revolve around his lack of a reliable outside shot, and his ability to anchor a defence.

Trying to address both those issues simultaneously will be difficult, so for the short term the Suns appear to have focused on surrounding Ayton with enough shooting so as to unlock his inner Amare Stoudemire - this is where new additions Saric, Kaminsky and Cam Johnson come in. Add some capable wings in Booker, Oubre and Bridges, and a couple of capable playmakers to deliver Ayton the ball in Rubio and Jerome, and the Suns have the potential to be a potent offensive team.

The downside in the short term is that the Suns' interior defence may struggle. It will be incumbent upon Ayton to make strides there if Phoenix is to make significant inroads on the path back towards respectability. And for the record, after ONE whole season it's too soon to declare any draft choice a home run or a mistake, ya pompous buffoon.



738474


Phoenix GM James Jones, pictured here at the opening night performance of Zach Lowe's Comedy Tour, points out the fire exits to fleeing audience members.



Baaaaah! Baaa!

*Mashes keyboard* Didn't you hate the Suns' off season? What was the funniest part for you?

Baaaah!

Z. Lowe, ESPN

Um, allrighty then.

Look, perhaps the Suns didn't need to give away three second round picks this off-season. Maybe their cap-a-nomics was not all that it should be, although they'd hardly be on their lonesome there (see Lakers, Los Angeles). Perhaps they could've found a more willing taker for T.J. Warren, in time.

Having said that, the Suns needed to find two point guards, a couple of stretch fours to partner Ayton, some solid senior vets to mentor the young uns, and to avoid adding to and/or getting rid of the locker room headcases. By my tally they got their point guards (Rubio & Jerome), got their stretch bigs (Saric, Kaminsky & Johnson), added their solid vets (Rubio & Baynes) and got rid of their biggest locker room cancer (Jackson).

So perhaps Rubio, Baynes & Kamkinsky aren't the sexiest signings, and perhaps Cam Johnson and Ty Jerome will more likely be role players than stars. But at least the Suns now have a balanced and functional roster. There are no Marquese Chriss's or Josh Jacksons in the locker room or on the court, and ditto no egregious overpays for over-the-hill veterans like Tyson Chandler or Trevor Ariza. It seems like the roster is finally being built around Booker and Ayton - perhaps that's damning the Phoenix front office with faint praise, but after a decade from hell it's a start.



Hi,

As one of many long-suffering Phoenix fans, what are our realistic options for finally getting rid of Robert Sarver?

Thanks in advance.

Senior Guidance Counselor, Head of Humour Department, Bigfooty Institute

Thanks for writing in Mr. Guidance Counselor, I'll be sure to look to you for guidance in all my future humour needs.

Unfortunately the Official History of Horrible Owners in the NBA makes for pretty grim reading. As far as I can see, your only options follow thus:


1) Wait for his shady business and/or personal life practices to finally catch up to him - we call this the Donald Sterling clause.

2) Wait for him to commit sexual crimes, move the team, then cry broke and finally sell the team at a profit - we call this the George Shinn clause.

3) Wait for him to go broke, then attempt to sell the team to out-of-towners out of spite - we call this the Maloof brothers clause.

4) Wait for him to become so loathed that he actually does cry poor and sell the team to out-of-towners out of spite - we call this the Howard Schultz clause.

5) Insert a large talking stick into various Sarver orifices and wait for someone to answer the phone... or for nature to take its course.


I hope this helps.
 

Son of Skeletor

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djrossie

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Hi Matt, thanks for your question.

It would be fair to say that the Suns have taken on a veritable United Nations of newcomers this off season. Between Rubio (Spain), Saric (Croatia), Diallo (Mali), Kaminsky (Polish Wisconsin) and Baynes (Australasia, see Russell Crowe and Crowded House), Phoenix will be swimming in bandwagon fanboys anxious to know why their respective favourite sons aren't receiving more playing time or getting more shots.

Add these to Ayton (Bahamas) and Okobo (France) and it's clear than there will be more languages and dialects being spoken at The Talking Stick Arena than you could poke a... *cough* stick... at. Only time will tell whether this new international flavour will revive the Suns' fortunes, but in the short term at least cult fanatic djrossie will be on board, and that's always a good thing.
Must say I did a double take at this and for a second thought Delly had joined the Suns and secured their tradition and line of great pallid complexion point guards.
Don't think the body could take him and rubio on the same squad
 

Look2Me4Guidance

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Must say I did a double take at this and for a second thought Delly had joined the Suns and secured their tradition and line of great pallid complexion point guards.
Don't think the body could take him and rubio on the same squad
Just need a touch of perennial steak knives Luke Ridnour to complete the set
 

Son of Skeletor

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Must say I did a double take at this and for a second thought Delly had joined the Suns and secured their tradition and line of great pallid complexion point guards.
Don't think the body could take him and rubio on the same squad
There's still time!

Cavs obviously waiting for someone to offer two first round picks, as they should.
 

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Son of Skeletor

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2018/19 Record: 48-34 (7th in West)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 112.9 (7th), Def Rating 111.2 (19th)


'Allo-mo: DeMarre Carroll (3/21), Trey Lyles (2/11)

Spurned: Davis Bertans (Wizards), Dante Cunningham (free agent)

Drafted: Luka Samanic (#19), Keldon Johnson (#29), Quinndary Weatherspoon (#49)


Guards: White, Murray, Mills, Forbes, Belinelli

Wings: DeRozan, Gay, Carroll, Walker, Johnson

Bigs: Aldridge, Poeltl, Lyles, Samanic


Team Salary 2019/20: $124 million ($8 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $106 million ($12 million cap space)



Spurs Mailbag


*ear splitting whistle*

I think this is finally the year when the Spurs go down. Do you agree?

Technical foul on you if you don't,

J. Crawford, Apartment 1A, The Tommy Heinsohn Home for Cantankerous Old Gits

Interesting question Mr. Crawford, although your people skills could use some work.

To give you a blunt answer... no, I don't think the Spurs are going anywhere for the time being. For starters they've still got at least three veterans that they can throw the ball to when they need a bucket in the half court (Aldridge, DeRozan, Gay), which is a nice luxury, especially during the playoffs.

Above all though, San Antonio is doing an admirable job in building a two-speed team. On one hand there are the vets (DDR, Aldridge, Mills. Gay, Carroll, Belinelli) who ensure that the Spurs remain tough to beat. Underneath them is where the really interesting story is developing - Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, Jakob Poeltl and the two first round picks from this draft (Samanic & Johnson) may not be household names yet, but they've shown enough in glimpses to give Spurs fans high hopes of a bright future. In fact, the Spurs could conceivably improve this season with Murray and Walker healthy again after missing the majority of last season. Anyone hoping for a San Antonio implosion may be left waiting a while yet.



739579



Some Spurs guys whom you've probably never heard of, but who will become All-stars within three years, because Spurs.



Hi.

Do you think there's still a place for the long two in a modern NBA offence?

Yours,

K. Bryant, Los Angeles

Well Mr. Bryant, if the Spurs have anything to say then the answer is a resounding 'yes'.

In a wider sense their offence still functions at an above-average level, even if they currently play a somewhat anachronistic style - two iso-guys who favour long twos - DeRozan, for whom 51% of his shots are from midrange, and Aldridge (45%) - are their main bucket getters (and that doesn't even account for Rudy Gay), while they compensate for shooting the fewest threes (25 per game) by making the highest percentage (39%). Obviously their best shooters are still getting good looks in this scheme, which is important.

This careful game style is also conducive to keeping turnovers to a minimum (the fewest in the league to be exact), and saving the old legs of the Spurs' elder statesmen from having to fly up and down the court. They don't crash the offensive boards either, for just this reason. If their defence can return to an above-average level - the addition of Carroll, the return of Murray and the integration of Walker will help here - then San Antonio's old-school style may just confound the sceptics again.



Hey amigo,

Is Pop going to retire soon? This would make me very sad.

Gracias,

P. Sanchez, Idaho

Thanks for taking the time to write in all the way from Idaho.

To be honest it has seemed like 'Pop's last year' for at least the last five years now. Winning a fifth championship in 2014 almost seemed like the perfect end of an era... but Pop soldiered on. Then he survived Tim Duncan's retirement, Manu and Tony Parker's loss to Father Time, and even Kawhi's bizarre soap opera exit. Now he's even coaching the US national team for crying out loud.

Who knows what Pop's plans are? Perhaps he'll give it two more years with this veteran core and then call it quits. On the other hand, perhaps he can take the new wave of San Antonio youth and turn them into championship no. 6? Have mercy Pop, some of us will die before we even see ONE championship. Jeez.

I think we all hope he sticks around though - the league would be much more boring without him.



739619


Spurs fans hope that Pop will continue to make all their wildest dreams come true.



Yo,

Have you seen that Morris twin? I can't remember his first name, I think it starts with an 'M'? He used to be the bad Morris, but now he's the better Morris. Anyway I can't find him anywhere, and San Antonio was the last known address I have for him.

If you see him, tell him I've found a perfect new job for him on LeBron's current team... sorry, I'm just looking up the name... ah yes, the Lakers. So yeah, tell him that LeBron I think that his best career move would be to join the Lakers, post haste.

Wealthy Paul, Klutch Enterprises

Well Mr. Paul, I'm afraid I have some bad news.

Two days ago Chris Broussard quoted multiple sources as saying that Marcus Morris has actually joined the forward-deprived New York Knicks. Of course Chris was about six weeks late with his 'exclusive', but the gist of his message was indeed true - Morris is officially a Knick.

Worse still, Shams Charania has also tweeted that Morris has changed representation. Marc Stein later tweeted that Shams had taken credit for his exclusive again, which made everyone happy as there's nothing better to enliven an off-season than an NBA insider sh1tfight.

Accordingly, it doesn't take a college degree to deduce that Morris is no longer interested in your representation. Nevertheless, we all here at Bigfooty wish you luck in your continued quest to create an entire NBA team of Klutch clients, while simultaneously helping the Rich get richer. It can only be a good thing.
 

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Son of Skeletor

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2018/19 Record: 48-34 (5th in East), lost 4-0 to Celtics in first round

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 109.9 (18th), Def Rating 106.5 (3rd)


In-diana: Malcolm Brogdon (4/85), Jeremy Lamb (3/32), T.J. McConnell (2/7), Justin Holiday (1/5), T.J. Warren (Suns)

Out-diana: Bojan Bogdanovic (Jazz), Thad Young (Bulls), Darren Collison (ret.), Cory Joseph (Kings), Tyreke Evans (susp.), Wes Matthews (Bucks)

Drafted: Goga Bitadze (#18)


Guards: Brogdon, Oladipo, McConnell, A. Holiday

Wings: Lamb, Warren, J. Holiday, McDermott

Bigs: Turner, Sabonis, Bitadze, Leaf


Team Salary 2019/20: $116 million ($16 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $97 million ($21 million cap space)




Pacers Mailbag


How's it going?

The Pacers appear to have undergone quite a transformation this off-season. I remember once upon a time my Sonics traded in our classic green and gold threads for some disgusting moss green and browny red uniforms... I'm still scarred to this day.

Anyway, is change a good thing?

N. McMillan, Banker's Life Fieldhouse

Thanks for writing in from a Banker's Life Fieldhouse... whatever the hell that is. That's a very existential question.

It's very hard to judge the Pacers on last season alone. Their stellar defence held them in good stead during a very credible regular season, but Oladipo's absence was cruelly exposed in the playoffs when Indy seriously struggled to score the ball. Adding to the team's firepower has accordingly been the off-season motto, whereby defensive savants like Thad Young and Cory Joseph have been replaced with the more offensive minded Brogdon, Lamb & Warren.

The biggest change will come with roster balance, because it appears all but certain that young bigs Turner and Sabonis will be starting together this season, in the absence of any direct replacement for Young. The other notable change will of course be team chemistry, as the Pacers have been a pretty stable group for the last couple of years. Incorporating several new starters (including the returning Oladipo), finding a balance between offence and defence in both the starting and reserve units while also adjusting to playing much 'bigger' will all be challenges coach Nate McMillan will be charged with navigating.

A needed overhaul, or change for change's sake? Time will tell.



741020


Don't cry, Coach - these duds still aren't as bad as Indy's hideous Hickory uniforms.



Hi idiots,

I hear that some people are doubting Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis' ability to play together as Twin Towers. Do they even basketball?

Gotta go now, as my bus is late again - I really hope the bus driver's family is part of the holiday road toll.

S. Mead, via Twitter

Hi Meady, good to hear from you buddy.

The answer to this question is both complex and, above all, incomplete. The Turner/Sabonis pairing hasn't worked terrifically well at times during their two years together, but then again practice makes perfect. A very different supporting cast could also make or break the experiment.

Offensively it would appear on paper that the Pacers could make it work, as Turner and Sabonis are not exactly Dwight & Asik - Turner's outside shooting touch and Sabonis' instinctive passing game demonstrate that these are hardly two old-school 7-foot stiffs we're talking about here. Surround them with enough shooting and creativity off the dribble (hello Oladipo and Brogdon), and the theoretical pieces are there.

Defensively... it's a different kettle of fish. Turner is by far the better rim protector, but he's also far more capable guarding stretch fours on the perimeter than Sabonis - which could spell problems. With Thad Young's departure there is no obvious candidate to play 'small-ball' four - T.J. Warren's defensive inadequacies precede him, while 2017 first round pick T. J. Leaf (yes, the Pacers somehow have THREE T.J.'s) hasn't quite shown enough yet to suggest that he could be an answer to the conundrum.

Further adding to the intrigue is the fact that the Pacers used their first round pick on Euro big Goga Bitadze. The Georgian is reputed to have a semblance of an outside game, so Indy have some interesting future roster decisions on their hands. If we're lucky someone might even send in a question about this.




741033


Not sure if this pic reminds me more of White Men Can't Jump, or 90s kiddie rappers Kris Kross. Either way it makes me want to jump.



'Sup?

I've been told that Indiana might need to make some big decisions regarding their roster and future salary cap situation soon.

Do you think careful budgeting and preparing for the future is important in life? Or is it better to splash the cash now, and worry about tomorrow later?

Regards,

A. Walker, Boston

Thanks for your question Mr. Walker, what a wonderful segue.

You are indeed correct, the Pacers have some big decisions to make over the next 18 months, particularly with regards to contract extensions.

The biggest and most immediate dilemma lies with Sabonis, who as a member of the 2016 Draft class is now eligible for an extension. The Pacers have only about six weeks to decide whether to commit to Sabonis, if indeed the latter is amenable to it. If the Pacers and Sabonis do come to an agreement, that means the Turner/Sabonis combo is locked in for the foreseeable future - a big risk considering that Indiana still aren't sure whether the duo can actually work together. Of course Sabonis could continue his role as a super sub, but how likely is he to be happy, or indeed agree to a salary commensurate with this role? And that's before we factor Indy's new big man project in Bitadze into the picture. In short, it'd be silly to give a back-up centre big money.

Slightly further down the timeline, Victor Oladipo's contract expires in 2021. Injuries willing, it's safe to say that he too will be looking for a jump in salary in line with his breakout performances as a Pacer. It's quite likely that the Pacers will want to commit to Oladipo... but this likely future pay rise only raises further pressure on their negotiations with Sabonis. Of course it's also possible that the Pacers may choose Sabonis OVER Myles Turner, but given the latter is already locked in to a reasonable long term contract it's probably more likely that Indy will choose Turner over Sabonis, if it comes to it.

All of the above means that the Pacers could become a coveted trade partner over the coming months... hello, Kevin Love?



741040


Handing out Jesus pamphlets is kinda like handing out dimes, but be on your guard for some tough man to man defence and in-your-face slams.



Good morning, brother.

I heard a rumour that Indiana's erstwhile point guard has retired at the tender age of 31 to focus on missionary work - is this true?

Peace be with you,

A. Rance, Richmond

Hi Rancey,

Believe it or not, the rumours are true: Darren Collison has retired from the NBA in order to focus upon being a Jehovah's witness.

Walking away from a certified playoff team and tens of millions of dollars in future earnings just to chat to folks about God and stuff seems about as likely as an Oklahoman basketballer giving an All-Australian defender a bath in front of 100,000 people at an AFL preliminary final, but here we are.

Can't quite work out the motivation myself - I'm probably the least holy person this side of George Pell - but hey, to each their own. Luckily we here at Bigfooty would certainly never stoop to making fun of spiritual choices, or even serving up gratuitous reminders of painful footy memories.
 

peternorth

Moderator
May 6, 2005
87,560
43,319
AFL Club
Richmond
Hi Rancey,

Believe it or not, the rumours are true: Darren Collison has retired from the NBA in order to focus upon being a Jehovah's witness.

Walking away from a certified playoff team and tens of millions of dollars in future earnings just to chat to folks about God and stuff seems about as likely as an Oklahoman basketballer giving an All-Australian defender a bath in front of 100,000 people at an AFL preliminary final, but here we are.

Can't quite work out the motivation myself - I'm probably the least holy person this side of George Pell - but hey, to each their own. Luckily we here at Bigfooty would certainly never stoop to making fun of spiritual choices, or even serving up gratuitous reminders of painful footy memories.
You may want to make some changes to this part.
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
12,149
10,906
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
742991




2018/19 Record: 36-46 (11th in West)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 111.4 (11th), Def Rating 112.9 (24th)


'Inny Minny: Jake Layman (3/11), Noah Vonleh (1/2), Jordan Bell (1/min), Shabazz Napier (Nets), Treveon Graham (Nets), Tyrone Wallace (Clippers)

Packed Off: Dario Saric (Suns), Taj Gibson (Knicks), Derrick Rose (Pistons), Tyus Jones (Grizzlies), Anthony Tolliver (Blazers)

Drafted: Jarrett Culver (#6), Jaylen Nowell (#43)


Guards: Teague, Napier, Wallace

Wings: Covington, Wiggins, Culver, Okogie, Layman, Bates-Diop, Graham

Bigs: Towns, Vonleh, Dieng, Bell


Team Salary 2019/20: $126 million ($6 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $106 million ($12 million cap space)




Wolves Mailbag


G'day.

Sometimes after I've laid a few too many surreptitious bets, I hide the shortfall make it up to my beloved by shopping exclusively at Aldi for months on end.

Anyway, last week I was trying to find if Aldi's stocks frozen vegan meals when I bumped into several Timberwolves front office types in dark glasses with a shopping trolley and a calculator - any idea what that could be about?

P. Pricey, Adelaide

Thanks for writing in all the way from exotic Adelaide.

Preliminary research suggests that Minny's front office may well have been shopping for discount free agents. Investing heavily in superstars like Towns and non-superstars like Wiggins and Dieng has left the Wolves with precious little cap space to play with.

Accordingly cost-cutting seems to have been the order of the day in the Twin Lakes. Instead of paying Taj Gibson $9 million, they've given Noah Vonleh $2m. Rather than committing three years and $26 million to Tyus Jones, Shabazz Napier has been brought in instead on a minimum deal. Say goodbye to recognisable names such as Rose and Saric, say hello to Jake Layman and Tyrone Wallace.

Slightly depressing? Sure, probably... but there was precious little evidence that committing to the previous core and to the luxury tax for the foreseeable future was a sensible idea. Better to swallow the pride and shop thrifty for a while than to double down and throw good money after bad... *cough*


743018


The Timberwolves have denied allegations that they rounded up this season's new recruits at the local bus station.



Um... yeah, hi.

I noticed that Minny drafted two wings in the 2019 Draft. Then I remembered that the Wolves drafted two wings in last year's draft too. They also traded for Robert Covington last year. Oh, and they just signed Jake Layman as a free agent.

There's a theme there, but I just can't quite put my finger on it. I mean I tried, but I kept missing... can you help me out?

Andrew W, Minneapolis

No problem Andrew, happy to help you try and get a handle on this. A good handle is so important.

Using my powers of deduction, I've come to the conclusion that Minnesota, after drafting 4 wings, trading for a couple more and signing yet another as a free agent, is not altogether happy with the quality of its play from the team's incumbent wings. Primarily I'm talking about a former celebrated #1 draft pick with a massive long-term contract.

If the use of successive first round picks on Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver doesn't serve as a wake up call to Wiggins, then nothing will. The former duo don't project as lights-out shooters yet, but each offers a more well-rounded skill-set, for example with regards to defence (Okogie) and playmaking (Culver).

Covington meanwhile is an example of everything Wiggins isn't - a player who plays to his strengths and makes a positive difference to his team as a result.

Wiggins enters year six of his pro career with the same problems with his dribble, and the same problems on defence. And then there's that shot selection - when you shoot 33% from mid range, it's probably not a good idea to shoot 30% of your shots from there.



What's better than being cool? Being ICE COLD!



Hey there,

The old adage about ex-girlfriends is that you should never go back. However at the moment I'm all out of love.

Is it possible for someone to love me two times?

Kevin L, Ohio

Now there's an interesting question, Kevin.

There's a certain sweet shooting big man in Cleveland who probably doesn't fancy playing baby sitter to a bunch of kids for the next couple of years. Meanwhile there's an overpaid wing with untapped athleticism who is currently in danger of being left out in the cold in Minnesota. They're both locked into nearly identical large contracts for the next four years... and oh yes, they were traded for each other precisely five years ago.

So, is Kevin Love back to Minny something worth thinking about? On the plus side, even with their recent cost cutting it's fair to say that the Wolves will remain more relevant than the Cavs for the next couple of years, which matters as Love enters the autumn years of his career. Meanwhile Cleveland is probably one of the few teams who could afford to take a flyer on Wiggins, as their only long term money is locked up in Larry Nance and players still on rookie deals. If the Wolves threw in a pick, the Cavs' interest might be piqued.

On the other hand there's some serious overlap in game between KAT and Love, and that pairing probably wouldn't help arrest Minny's already porous defence. Tying up long term money (and a future pick, presumably) in Love would also make it very difficult for the Wolves to address their problematic point guard position - Jeff Teague is the very definition of a placeholder at present. Still, one gets the feeling that Minnesota would love to move Wiggins if possible, and a remarriage to Kevin Love is at least a plausible option.


743041


The Wolves may decide that Love is all they need, but would the Cavs be ready to get Wiggy with it?



Greetings,

How long do the Timberwolves have left to build around Karl Anthony Towns? Can you see some media pressure or a trade demand in the future?

Thanks,

M. Johnson, R. Pelinka & R. Paul, Los Angeles

Thanks for your question guys - your names sound familiar, have we met before?

Unfortunately for Wolves fans, a media-driven countdown clock on KAT's time in Minneapolis is as inevitable as ESPN tweeting about Kobe Bryant roughly ten times per day. Big men as offensively skilled as Towns don't come around very often, and the Great White North has seldom been perceived as one of the NBA's sexiest markets.

The Wolves should be fine for the short term, as Towns is safely under contract for another five years. Come 2021 or so though, the media glare will come ever more intense... particularly if the Wolves are not back in playoff contention, at the very least.

With a new coach in Ryan Saunders and new GM in Gersson Rosas, there's a real sense that Minny is 'starting again'. Having Convington healthy will help the Wolves on court, while the team evidently have great hopes for draftee Jarrett Culver having traded up the first round in order to land him.

But with nearly $50 million in salary tied up in Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng, the Timberwolves' avenues to further improvement on the court are relatively limited for the time being. Barring a mid-career breakthrough from Wiggins or a miracle trade, Rosas has his work cut out in building a contender around Towns.

In the meantime folks in locations such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami will continue to gaze at Towns the same way peternorth looks at Taylor Swift.
 
Last edited:

nahnah

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 26, 2012
20,608
27,224
AFL Club
Collingwood
I don’t want Wiggins anywhere near our rookies, especially Porter. I’m fine with cavs holding onto Love, at the deadline a team like Portland may become a little more desperate.

Timberwolves are not doing a good job of putting a team around Towns, I’m not a fan of what they did this offseason.
Covington is a nice piece and I can see why they wanted Culver given his defense and offensive ability (even tho I am convinced his jump shot needs a complete overhaul) makes him a nice wing defensive pairing with Covington. The rest of the team though.. they need another guard and another Covington
 

Son of Skeletor

Brownlow Medallist
May 23, 2012
12,149
10,906
Smoothie King Central
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur, New Orleans Pels
743805





2018/19 Record: 53-29 (3rd in West), lost 4-0 to Warriors in WCF

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 114.7 (3rd), Def Rating 110.5 (16th)


Port-landed: Mario Hezonja (2/min), Pau Gasol (1/min), Anthony Tolliver (1/min), Hassan Whiteside (Heat), Kent Bazemore (Hawks)

Ore-gone: Al-Farouq Aminu (Magic), Seth Curry (Mavs), Moe Harkless (Clippers), Meyers Leonard (Heat), Enes Kanter (Celtics), Evan Turner (Hawks)

Drafted: Nassir Little (#25)


Guards: Lillard, McCollum, Simons

Wings: Bazemore, Hood, Hezonja, Little, Trent

Bigs: Nurkic, Collins, Whiteside, Tolliver, Gasol


Team Salary 2019/20: $145 million ($13 million over luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $97 million ($21 million cap space)



Blazers Mailbag


Hey, how ya doing over there? You're alright.

I tell ya, the Portland Trail Blazers got it pretty rough. Every year they make the playoffs, but still they don't get no respect. No regard either.

I keep telling them they should move to the Eastern Conference - they treat ya real good over there. Win 53 games in the East and LeBron will be begging to join YOU. When are the Blazers going to get a break? I mean apart from the one in Jusuf Nurkic's leg.

R. Dangerfield, Vegas

You raise an interesting point, Mr. Dangerfield.

Portland has indeed reached the playoffs in each of the last six seasons. Granted, it's not quite as impressive as their 1982-2003 playoff streak, but it's nothing to sneeze at either... especially considering they lost their star big (LaMarcus Aldridge) for nothing in the interim.

While the Blazers have been perceived as a team who may win 50 games and reach the second round of the playoffs if things fall their way. there has always been the substantial caveat that they do not seem true title contenders. In fact, last season's run to the Western Conference Finals may have been Terry Stotts' most impressive coaching effort to date, especially considering Nurkic's devastating injury.

Meanwhile the undersized backcourt of Lillard and McCollum has demonstrated time and again the value of having multiple players who can create off the dribble and shoot with accuracy from the perimeter. Whether two small guards can ever dominate the playoffs in the manner of a Jordan or a LeBron will continue to be a question oft-debated, but we'd like to see what the Blazers could do with a healthy Nurkic first.



743848


The Blazers' defensive scheme revolves around drop coverage and a lot of ice. Gambling on help arriving is not recommended.


Hello there,

I note with approval that Portland's defence has improved from awful to slightly-above-average in the last two years, despite forcing the least turnovers in the league during that time.

Could it be said that the Blazers are proving that there is no need to gamble with regards to the NBA?

Mrs. Stewie Griffen, Auckland

Thanks for your totally non-loaded question.

Under David Vanterpool - newly transferred to the Minnesota Timberwolves's bench - the Blazers have employed a very conservative defensive scheme that has gotten results, despite boasting a starting backcourt whom will never be confused with All-Defensive candidates.

This has meant that Portland will frequently ice instead of switching, fight through screens and religiously employ a drop coverage with their bigs. The Blazers have also made a point of staying with the shooters, meaning that double teaming and trapping are rarely seen. Portland may have finished 29th and 30th for turnovers forced since 2017, but they allow less open threes than the average team and have done an excellent job on the defensive boards.

Of course without the departed Aminu and Harkless at the wings, and without Nurkic until Feburary at the earliest, Portland will rely heavily on newcomers such as Bazemore and Whiteside buying into the scheme in the meantime. If Zach Collins gets the starting job alongside Whiteside this season - something that has been rumoured - the Blazers' defensive scheme will be tested to its limit.



743859


Raise a meaty paw and pour one out for poor Jusuf Nurkic - his contract is practically a five finger discount for Portland.



Hello puny writer,

Why Nurkic paid so little? I need to come investigate, yes?

Hariz N, Bosnia

Thanks for writing in all the way from Bosnia. To show our appreciation we've done an investigation of our own, just to save you making the journey.

Just over a year ago, Nurkic signed a 4 year, $48 million extension with the Blazers. By our estimation, this means that Timofey Mozgov, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Gorgui Dieng, Bismack Biyombo, Cody Zeller, Enes Kanter, Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard, Kenneth Faried, Omer Asik, Robin Lopez, Tristan Thompson, Hassan Whiteside, Ryan Anderson, Kelly Olynyk, Ian Mahinmi, Tyson Chandler, Marcin Gortat, Jonas Valanciunas, Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol all made more money than the Bosnian Beast's $11 million last season... and that's just from among his fellow bigs. Ouch.

Nurkic was in the midst of a gargantuan season before his untimely leg fracture in March, anchoring Portland's D, scoring more efficiently than ever and even expanding his role as a secondary playmaker. Portland will be hoping that the burly big man will soon be back to his best - they might be looking at a post-All-Star break return - because on his play last year Nurkic's contract was shaping as a bargain along Steph Curry 2013-17 or Mike Conley 2011-16 lines.



743870


The Blazers' secret weapon is ready to strut his stuff.



'Sup?

I hear that Portland have an exciting kid with a familiar name ready to bust out this season.

Penny for your thoughts?

A. Hardaway, Orlando

Always happy to give my thoughts Mr. Hardaway, although peternorth has promised me a lot more than mere pennies. Plus I know Nurkic's Dad's number.

Anyway, there has been hype - actually, considerable hype - about young Anfernee Simons, which is sorta amazing considering half his rookie year's production came in one game!

While we can only speculate whether the hype is justified based off one meaningless regular season game and a few summer league highlights, what's not debatable is that the Blazers' off-season turnover has cleared the path for Simons to play regular minutes this season. A couple of Portland's wings can handle the ball a little, but as far as guard depth goes, after Lillard and McCollum... Simons is pretty much it.

In fact Portland's three young hopes - Zach Collins, Simons and 2019 draftee Nassir Little - will probably all get a chance to contribute this season, as the Blazers juggle injuries, roster turnover and a bloated salary cap. Whether these three sink or swim will go a long way to defining Portland's season.
 

peternorth

Moderator
May 6, 2005
87,560
43,319
AFL Club
Richmond
View attachment 743805




2018/19 Record: 53-29 (3rd in West), lost 4-0 to Warriors in WCF

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 114.7 (3rd), Def Rating 110.5 (16th)


Port-landed: Mario Hezonja (2/min), Pau Gasol (1/min), Anthony Tolliver (1/min), Hassan Whiteside (Heat), Kent Bazemore (Hawks)

Ore-gone: Al-Farouq Aminu (Magic), Seth Curry (Mavs), Moe Harkless (Clippers), Meyers Leonard (Heat), Enes Kanter (Celtics), Evan Turner (Hawks)

Drafted: Nassir Little (#25)


Guards: Lillard, McCollum, Simons

Wings: Bazemore, Hood, Hezonja, Little, Trent

Bigs: Nurkic, Collins, Whiteside, Tolliver, Gasol


Team Salary 2019/20: $145 million ($13 million over luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $97 million ($21 million cap space)



Blazers Mailbag





You raise an interesting point, Mr. Dangerfield.

Portland has indeed reached the playoffs in each of the last six seasons. Granted, it's not quite as impressive as their 1982-2003 playoff streak, but it's nothing to sneeze at either... especially considering they lost their star big (LaMarcus Aldridge) for nothing in the interim.

While the Blazers have been perceived as a team who may win 50 games and reach the second round of the playoffs if things fall their way. there has always been the substantial caveat that they do not seem true title contenders. In fact, last season's run to the Western Conference Finals may have been Terry Stotts' most impressive coaching effort to date, especially considering Nurkic's devastating injury.

Meanwhile the undersized backcourt of Lillard and McCollum has demonstrated time and again the value of having multiple players who can create off the dribble and shoot with accuracy from the perimeter. Whether two small guards can ever dominate the playoffs in the manner of a Jordan or a LeBron will continue to be a question oft-debated, but we'd like to see what the Blazers could do with a healthy Nurkic first.



View attachment 743848

The Blazers' defensive scheme revolves around drop coverage and a lot of ice. Gambling on help arriving is not recommended.





Thanks for your totally non-loaded question.

Under David Vanterpool - newly transferred to the Minnesota Timberwolves's bench - the Blazers have employed a very conservative defensive scheme that has gotten results, despite boasting a starting backcourt whom will never be confused with All-Defensive candidates.

This has meant that Portland will frequently ice instead of switching, fight through screens and religiously employ a drop coverage with their bigs. The Blazers have also made a point of staying with the shooters, meaning that double teaming and trapping are rarely seen. Portland may have finished 29th and 30th for turnovers forced since 2017, but they allow less open threes than the average team and have done an excellent job on the defensive boards.

Of course without the departed Aminu and Harkless at the wings, and without Nurkic until Feburary at the earliest, Portland will rely heavily on newcomers such as Bazemore and Whiteside buying into the scheme in the meantime. If Zach Collins gets the starting job alongside Whiteside this season - something that has been rumoured - the Blazers' defensive scheme will be tested to its limit.



View attachment 743859

Raise a meaty paw and pour one out for poor Jusuf Nurkic - his contract is practically a five finger discount for Portland.






Thanks for writing in all the way from Bosnia. To show our appreciation we've done an investigation of our own, just to save you making the journey.

Just over a year ago, Nurkic signed a 4 year, $48 million extension with the Blazers. By our estimation, this means that Timofey Mozgov, Miles Plumlee, Mason Plumlee, Gorgui Dieng, Bismack Biyombo, Cody Zeller, Enes Kanter, Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard, Kenneth Faried, Omer Asik, Robin Lopez, Tristan Thompson, Hassan Whiteside, Ryan Anderson, Kelly Olynyk, Ian Mahinmi, Tyson Chandler, Marcin Gortat, Jonas Valanciunas, Zach Randolph and Pau Gasol all made more money than the Bosnian Beast's $11 million last season... and that's just from among his fellow bigs. Ouch.

Nurkic was in the midst of a gargantuan season before his untimely leg fracture in March, anchoring Portland's D, scoring more efficiently than ever and even expanding his role as a secondary playmaker. Portland will be hoping that the burly big man will soon be back to his best - they might be looking at a post-All-Star break return - because on his play last year Nurkic's contract was shaping as a bargain along Steph Curry 2013-17 or Mike Conley 2011-16 lines.



View attachment 743870

The Blazers' secret weapon is ready to strut his stuff.






Always happy to give my thoughts Mr. Hardaway, although peternorth has promised me a lot more than mere pennies. Plus I know Nurkic's Dad's number.

Anyway, there has been hype - actually, considerable hype - about young Anfernee Simons, which is sorta amazing considering half his rookie year's production came in one game!

While we can only speculate whether the hype is justified based off one meaningless regular season game and a few summer league highlights, what's not debatable is that the Blazers' off-season turnover has cleared the path for Simons to play regular minutes this season. A couple of Portland's wings can handle the ball a little, but as far as guard depth goes, after Lillard and McCollum... Simons is pretty much it.

In fact Portland's three young hopes - Zach Collins, Simons and 2019 draftee Nassir Little - will probably all get a chance to contribute this season, as the Blazers juggle injuries, roster turnover and a bloated salary cap. Whether these three sink or swim will go a long way to defining Portland's season.
Cash considerations coming your way
 

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