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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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
744921





2018/19 Record: 42-40 (7th in East), lost 4-1 to Raptors in first round

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 108.9 (22nd), Def Rating 108.1 (8th)


Conjured: Al-Farouq Aminu (3/29),

Disappeared: Jarell Martin (Cavs), Jerian Grant (n/a), Timofey Mozgov (stretched)

Drafted: Chuma Okeke (#16)


Guards: Augustin, Fournier, Fultz. Carter-Williams

Wings: Issac, Ross, Aminu, Iwundu, Okeke

Bigs: Vucevic, Gordon, Bamba, Birch,


Team Salary 2019/20: $130 million ($2 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $120 million ($2 million over cap limit)



Magic Mailbag


Hi,

Yeah look, I noticed that the Magic have basically kept the same team this season - is that right? I must say that I personally approve of keeping things exactly the same and never changing a damn thing out of sheer bloody mindedness.

Regards,

R. Lyon, Fremantle TBA

Zzzzzz... wait, what? Oh sorry, I must have dozed off as you were implementing your brand there.

To answer your question, Orlando have indeed decided to 'run it back' this season, perhaps flush with success after their first playoff appearance since 2013. There are two schools of thought as to whether this is a good thing.

On the one hand, the Magic finished the season strongly, going 22-9 down the stretch to sneak into the playoffs. Momentum is a thing, and it can be important to harness it when the opportunity arises. The core of the team are mostly either entering on in their primes - D.J. Augustin at 31 is the veteran of the group - while the two main pieces that the Magic retained (Vucevic and Ross) are both coming off career best years. Orlando even managed to give Vucevic a front loaded deal, meaning that by 2022 his $22 million salary probably won't seem that large at all.

On the other hand, Orlando's fellow Eastern Conference first round playoff exit team, the Detroit Pistons, offer a cautionary tale when it comes to throwing too much money at a middling team after a long barren stretch. Barring trades, the Magic are basically stuck with this team now for the next two years - they're likely much too good to bottom out and get a good draft pick, but is there enough talent here to plausibly escape the first round of the playoffs?



744967


Holy wingspan, Batman!



Hey baby,

Quite a few people have noticed that the Magic are quite big. And long. In fact they're HUGE.

In my experience being a little bigger never hurts your performance - what do you say?

P. North, California

Appreciate the wholesome question. Also appreciate the fact that it got straight to the point and finished quick.

Indeed, one look at the Magic's roster confirms that they have most teams comfortably covered in the size department.

They've really built this team around Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, who are a modern enough front court pairing. Then they've spent their last three first round picks on Jonathan Issac, Mo Bamba and Chuma Okeke, adding size, size and yet more size. They re-signed reserve centre Khem Birch (who did pretty well for them last year), and spent their last remaining dollars on bringing in Al-Farouq Aminu from the Blazers. Even their guards, Augustin aside, are pretty tall.

And while Vucevic's ability to play as a face-up five gives Orlando the flexibility to play a littler bigger than most, one wonders how all these huge pieces are going to fit together. By my count the Magic have three true centres and four nominal power forwards among the 13 players who will receive most of the minutes this season... that's kind of a lot. How Steve Cilfford plans to juggle seven bigs is anyone's guess... I'm sure there's a porn joke in there somewhere.

There's just enough diversification of skill sets among Orlando's stable of bigs - eg shooting, playmaking, speed and defence - to make a season-long super-sized Magic team plausibly viable. However one suspects that a trade will need to happen at some point... too much size can sometimes be a bad thing.

Also it's worth noting that the Magic currently employ former Bucks GM John Hammond, who once drafted Giannis, Maker and Henson among others.



745006


Markelle Fultz is just a little injured - he's still good! He's still good!



Yello,

Uh, once I had this big juicy delicious pig. Then it went of kind of a trip. At first I thought it was just a little dirty, a little slimy, a little airborne - he could still be salvaged. Then I finally realised he was gone forever.

What's the point of this story? I like stories.

Homer S, Springfield

Um, thanks Homer. Since I can't make heads nor tails of your question, I'm going to talk about Markelle Fultz instead.

Markelle Fultz has thorasic outlet syndrome (sounds kinda like a wholesale discount store for dinosaurs). Here ends the list of things we know.

When he due back? Dunno. Will he fit to start the season? Who knows. How much of his shooting woes can we put down to his bizarre injury? Conjecture rules. Is he mentally shot already? We can only guess.

The usual Loch Ness Monster Sighting videos have been proffered again this off-season. They're hardly worth breaking down at this point, in all honesty.

What we do know is that the Magic's front court squeeze means that they're kinda light on in the guard department. D.J. Augustin performed minor miracles to help the Magic reach the postseason a year ago, but how much can Orlando reasonably hope to put on his shoulders again? If Fultz is unable to go, that leaves Michael Carter-Williams as Orlando's Plan B... and there is no Plan C.

The day that a team's offence runs satisfactorily with MCW running the point will be the day that pigs fly. Over to you, Markelle...



745041


When it comes to awkward introductions, the Magic and Chuma Okeke really take the cake.



Hello,

Someone told me that the Magic still haven't signed the guy they drafted this year... something about a red shirt. Is this true?

Also, is this a legal way to save on salary? Asking for a friend.

R. Sarver, Phoenix

Happy to help alleviate your fiscal confusion here.

It is true: the Magic's first round pick, Chuma Okeke, remains unsigned with only six weeks remaining before the season tip-off. While the Magic haven't made their intentions explicit yet, it appears that they probably intend to give Okeke a 'red-shirt' year. This is perfectly legal, and there may be several factors at play that have influenced this decision.

First and most obviously, Okeke is recovering from an ACL injury suffered earlier in the year. Secondly, with the Magic currently just below the luxury tax line, it makes sense for Orlando to give Okeke the season off to rehabilitate, with a stint in the G-league to follow when he's ready to return. Okeke's $3 million first year salary would put the Magic over the luxury line, while delaying his signing a year means that the team will theoretically retain the forward on a rookie contract through to his fifth year (ie. delay his first extension by one year). Win-win.

Finally, as we have noted the Magic are currently waaaay over-represented when it comes to combo forwards - think Aaron Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Jonathan Issac - meaning that even were he to be healthy and under contract, Okeke would conceivably find it extremely hard to find meaningful minutes given the logjam at his position. Taken together then, Orlando's unorthodox approach to integrating its 2019 pick makes a lot of sense.

It certainly makes a lot more sense than simply selling a first round pick for cash considerations anyway... *cough*.
 

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
746677



2018/19 Record: 29-53 (12th in East)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 108.1 (23rd), Def Rating 113.9 (27th)


Swooped: Jabari Parker (2/13), Allen Crabbe (Nets), Evan Turner (Blazers), Chandler Parsons (Grizzlies), Damain Jones (Warriors)

Hawked: Dewayne Dedmon (Kings), Taurean Prince (Nets), Kent Bazemore (Blazers), Miles Plumlee (Grizzlies), Omari Spellman (Warriors)

Drafted: DeAndre Hunter (#4), Cam Reddish (#10), Bruno Fernando (#34)


Guards: Young, Huerter, Turner

Wings: Hunter, Parker, Reddish, Crabbe, Bembry, Carter, Parsons

Bigs: Collins, Len, Jones, Fernando


Team Salary 2019/20: $106 million ($3 million below cap line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $41 million ($77 million cap space)



Hawks Mailbag


Hey yo,

Lots of analysts are bullish about the direction of this Hawks team. They say that ATL has nice young pieces, and the potential to put up a lot of points. You've got to love a team that's not afraid to shoot on sight.

I also noted that former Hawk Joe Johnson has recently been plucked from the 3-on-3 comp. Reckon Atlanta might take a chance on another 3-on-3 member who is also not afraid to let it fly?

Smoove J, formerly a resident of Atlanta

Thanks for letting that question fly, Mr. Smoove.

The Hawks are indeed building a nice stable of talented youngsters. It starts with Trae Young and John Collins, who perhaps project more as the new Nash/Stoudamire as opposed to Stockton/Malone or Payton/Kemp... it doesn't matter really who you compare them to really, so long as you're aware that they're really good. Young already understands how to direct an offence, while Collins is a walking bucket machine.

Around them Atlanta seem to have prioritised stockpiling shooters, which seems a sensible way to go: Kevin Huerter and DeAndre Hunter look very likely types to man the '2' and '3' positions for the foreseeable future, while Cam Reddish could be the wildcard, depending on whether his unremarkable lone college season was an aberration or a forewarning. Whether the Hawks see Reddish as a future small ball four, or more of a Kukoc/Odom type 6th man will be something to keep an eye on. The Hawks also have high hopes for 2nd round pick Bruno Afonso David Fernandes Fernando - and with a name like that, who can blame them? In short if the Hawks were a stock, then hamG would be buying right now.

The onion in the ointment at present is at the other end of the floor... at present the Hawks don't exactly project as a defensive powerhouse. Hunter may help here - his fit with the Hawks' core really is perfect - but still, one suspects that Atlanta may struggle to stop teams for a little while yet. Despite the rosy forecasts for the young Hawks, the playoffs will probably remain out of reach for a little while yet for just this reason. But that's OK.

And just for the record, Atlanta's resident senior citizen role is currently filled, Mr. Smoove... no shooting for you.


746701


Before most of the current Hawks had even learned to walk, VC had already mastered the art of flying.



Howdy folks,

Do you remember the days when self-absorbed show ponies would retire without dignity? A simpler time, when Allen Iverson would be shunted off to the Grizzlies, or Gilbert Arenas spent more time dueling with guns in the locker room than with guys on the court. A time when Black Mambas could spend an entire season chucking up bricks and still be applauded for it?

A time when one-time athletic freaks didn't undergo a strange metamorphosis and somehow become respected locker room veterans? We remember.

Pepperidge Farm Enterprises

Thanks for the trip down memory lane... and yes, we certainly do remember.

Given that when Vince Carter started in the NBA most of his teammates were still in nappies, or in their mother's wombs, mobile phones were still a novelty, some movies didn't even feature a single comic book hero, the Raptors still sported cartoon dinosaurs on their jerseys, the Knicks and Lakers were still feared and well-run organisations and Bigfooty wasn't even a thing yet... then it really does make you stop and think.

The fact that at age 42 Vinsanity is still able to shoot 39% from three and log over 1,300 minutes at a perfectly functional level is frankly mind-boggling. For us old timers, it's bittersweet knowing that Carter is the last 90s guy left standing... sadly time stops for no junkie fans.

As for Vince, it may be that he's not so much 'Half man, half amazing' as 'Half man, half indestructible cyborg'.


746717
-

Hands up if you like these uniforms...


Hello, who wants to sex Mutombo?

I don't like these Hawks uniforms - the fluro lettering, the 3D pattern that makes players look fat. Sh1t like this does not fly in the house of Mutombo.

We change these uniforms after we sex Mutmobo, OK?

Dikembe M, Democratic Republic of Congo

OK, um, well... let's start with the uniforms and go from there, alright?

I must say that I agree with the thrust of your letter. The uniform parts I mean, not the other thrust. The Hawks seem to change their jerseys more than they announce paltry crowds as 'sellouts', and that's a lot.

None of their post-millennium jerseys have been all that inspiring, from the bland one Rasheed Wallace wore during his epic Atlanta career to the drab blue and red ones iso-Joe used to dribble and dribble and dribble in. These 3D fluro messes definitely take the cake as the biggest disasters though - the persons responsible for auditioning these should have had as much chance of scoring a hit as a man who walks into a bar and asks the patrons aloud whether they would like to sex him.

We here at Bigfooty like to think of ourselves as circuit breakers, so we'll save the Hawks the trouble of inviting in yet another corporate design team and state that the team should simply go back to their 1980s 'Nique era jerseys. Same colour scheme, just a far better design... it's not hard.



Number of people watching Jabari Parker = 0



Oh hey, love your work

I remember when the Bucks won the #2 pick in 2014, people got all excited on the internet. We even drafted Jabari Parker.

Why aren't people as excited now that the Hawks have won the chance to sign Jabari this off-season?

Love and kisses,

Mallory E, Milwaukee

Hi Mallory, love your work too.

It's funny how things work out - many people remember the Bucks' 2014 lottery drawing fondly, despite the fact that Jabari didn't really pan out.

On the surface Atlanta signing Jabari is almost as confusing as Chicago signing him last off-season (although at least the Hawks didn't offer him $20 million). Jabari gets buckets, but he's a ball-stopper with only a moderately efficient offensive game at the best of times. And his defence stinks to high hell.

What makes Atlanta's dalliance with Parker so confusing is that the team already boasts a ton of players competing for minutes at the 3/4 position. Moreover, scoring the ball shouldn't really be Atlanta's problem this season - it's the aforementioned defensive issues that will likely hold them back from playoff contention, and Jabari ain't going to help there. It's an odd signing.

In the bigger picture the signing hardly holds the Hawks back, as they're scheduled to be a whopping $77 million or so below the cap in 2020. Whether they take that opportunity to add a notable free agent to the young core remains to be seen - there's not expected to be a large class of quality free agents in 2020, but then again there are not many teams expected to have the requisite cap room to compete for those quality players that are up for grabs.

On the other hand, Atlanta may just choose to rent out their plentiful room to tax-ridden teams desperate to unload players - with future draft compensation the incentive on offer. Given that the Hawks under Travis Schlenk have been creative in acquiring draft assets and trading both up and down the draft in order to take targeted players, this might be the route Atlanta goes.

And btw, if the Hawks want to rent out their empty floor seats at home games to statuesque blondes, I'm sure Atlanta fans would be on board with this too.
 

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
747282





2018/19 Record: 22-60 (13th in East)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 104.8 (29th), Def Rating 113.2 (25th)


Add-a-Bulls: Thad Young (3/41), Tomas Satoransky (3/30), Luke Kornet (2/5)

Deduct-a-Bulls: Robin Lopez (Bucks), Antonio Blakeney (FA)

Drafted: Coby White (#7), Daniel Gafford (#38)


Guards: Satoransky, LaVine, White, Arcidiacono, Dunn

Wings: Porter, Young, Valentine, Hutchinson

Bigs: Markkanen, Carter, Kornet, Felicio


Team Salary 2019/20: $114 million ($5 million over cap)

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



Bulls Mailbag


Hey y'all,

Have the Bulls found their frontcourt of the future? Our feeling is that you can never have too many big young men.

Love,

The Kardashian Family, Los Angeles

Nice to get a question from an entire family. Just goes to show what a good, wholesome game NBA hoops can be for everyone.

There's no doubt that the Bulls have a lot to work with up front in Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter. Injuries limited their time together last season to a minimum, but the theoretical fit is there - a sweet shooting unicorn paired with a traditional defensive fulcrum.

As with any case where you're starting two seven footers together, Chicago will have to work diligently on their spacing at the offensive end, as well as finding a way to mask Markkanen's deficiencies at the other end. Whether Jim Boylen is the man for the task very much remains to be seen.

After adding Otto Porter and Thad Young (hey, they're still biggish men), the Bulls will have the option to go smaller this season should circumstances dictate - although playing Markkanen at the five could leave Chicago exposed defensively, while a potential Young/Carter frontline would cramp spacing on offence. It's not a perfect mix, and there remains a lot to prove... but still, it's definitely up front where the Bulls look most potent in the short to medium term.


747373


Jim Boylen and coaching staff (pictured left) receive some friendly feedback from players at a recent practice session.


G'day

Being born in Illinois, and having some personal experience in coaching, I was disturbed to hear reports of a player mutiny coming from within the Chicago organisation. What was going on in their collective minds?

Is now the time for Jim Boylen to get tough and show the players who's boss? Perhaps start with a nice boot camp... I hear good things.

D. Pyke, Adelaide

Interesting question there, Pykie.

Jim Boylen certainly had a memorable introduction to NBA coaching last season. Replacing Fred Hoiberg in the Chicago hotseat, Boylen impressed even the most ardent naysayers by provoking a full blown player mutiny inside one week. And people say caretaker coaches are a waste of time, hey?

Boylen presents less as a player-driven, analytics-versed 21st century coach and more as a 9th grade PE teacher after half a dozen coffees and a Rocky marathon. His tactical innovations for this season appear to consist of "putting in a running game" and having players "play their balls off". Rick Pitino circa 1998 would like his playbook back, but we'll see how Boylen goes.

It's fair to say that Boylen and his enabler, John Paxson, are already on pretty thin ice with Bulls fans. In the interests of political correctness, we'll simply state that Boylen may be the man to make men of prodigious basketball boys... but it's hard to see him leading the team anywhere special in the long run.


747352


Official 2018 Chicago Bulls team photo.


Hey tiger,

Since the Bulls signed Thad Young and Tomas Satoransky in free agency, does that mean their rebuild is already over? Because there was a lot of dead wood on that roster last year!

If so, that whole rebuild thing finished quicker than @stewie griffen after a visit to my website.

Ms M. Malkova, California

Thanks for your question, Ms. Malkova. You obviously have some professional experience in the disposal of wood.

To be honest I too was surprised that the Bulls got their chequebook out this off-season, especially to sign a veteran like Thad Young. While Young should prove to be a far better investment than the Wades and Rondos of this world, it definitely points to a desire to return to the playoffs ASAP.

Chicago didn't get a lot of luck with the lottery balls, but after three successive no. 7 picks perhaps GarPax feel they have all they need to return to contention. We can probably add Otto Porter (26) and Zach LaVine (24) to the Bulls' presumed core for the next few years, giving them at least five young pieces to build around... but still, when two of those pieces (Carter and Coby White) have next to no exposed form at pro level, this is a major vote of confidence from the Bulls' front office.

A tidy two-year rebuild, or a bad case of premature escalation? The proof will be in the puddings... the sweet, sweet, milky puddings. Ahem.


747358


Gar Forman, pictured here after he managed to outsmart another GM. We're stunned too, Gar.


Hello,

There are whispers on the grapevine that Gar Forman has actually made several competent moves of late - do you agree with this summation?

It's a pity, as he seemed poised to take the mantle as the most despised Bulls GM in history.

J. Krause, c/o The Afterlife

Nice to have your input, Mr. Krause.

After what might be charitably described as a shaky few years, Gar Forman has indeed made a few moves of late to help rectify what was largely a mess of his own making.

Markkanen and Carter look like solid enough hits from the last two drafts, but Forman's rebuilding piece de resistance came in stealing Otto Porter away from hapless Washington for a second round pick. This was essentially the GM form of a cripplefight in which Forman ended Ernie Grunfeld's career by TKO.

As for this off-season, Young, Satoransky and Kornet may not be the sexiest signings, but they all appeared to actually help their teams last season... which already represents an improvement for a team which started last season with Jabari Parker and Cameron Payne on their roster.

Saying the Bulls have improved from the days of signing Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo as their backcourt of the future is damning them with pretty faint praise, but we here at Bigfooty believe in giving credit where credit is due. We also believe in avoiding cheap shots aimed at low hanging fruit... *cough*.



Hi there,

While browsing the names of the Chicago Bulls cheerleader player squad, I noticed that they drafted Coby White and re-signed Shaquille Harrison.

Does this remind you of anything?

Peter N, Bigfooty Mod HQ

Yes, it reminds me of terrible rap albums and the glorious 2004 NBA Finals. Thanks for writing in!
 

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
748442



2018/19 Record: 48-34 (8th in West), lost 4-2 to Warriors in first round

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 112.4 (9th), Def Rating 111.5 (21st)


Welcome aboard: Kawhi Leonard (3/103), Rodney McGruder (3/15), Patrick Patterson (1/min), Paul George (Thunder), Moe Harkless (Blazers)

Shipped off: Danilo Gallinari (Thunder), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder), Wilson Chandler (Nets), Garrett Temple (Nets), Sindarius Thornwell (Cavs)

Drafted: Mfiondu Kabengele (#27), Terance Mann (#48)


Guards: Beverley, Shamet, Williams, Robinson

Wings: Leonard, George, Harkless, McGruder,

Bigs: Zubac, Harrell, Green, Patterson, Kabengele


Team Salary 2019/20: $131.5 million ($500,000 below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $118 million (no cap space)



Clippers Mailbag


Hi, do you even mailbag?

Someone told me that the Clippers are going to have a lot of 'point forward' play this season. Of course being absolute imbeciles they don't realise that there's no such thing as a point forward - it's made up, just like Christmas. I'm pretty sure pro wrestling isn't made up though.

Don't tag me.

S. Mead, via Twitter

Your name sounds familiar... do you play fantasy basketball or something?

To answer your question, from afar it appears as if the Clippers will adopt a page from the Phil Jackson playbook and run everything through their two newly acquired stars... the nominal point guard (presumably Pat Beverley) will play that position in name only.

One suspects that Lou Williams will run the second unit again, and although he's far more creative off the dribble than Beverley he's hardly a point guard of the classical type either. It didn't hurt the Clippers last year (their bench was great), and they'll be just fine again this year.

Instead of worrying about 'positions', the Clippers have instead wisely invested in surrounding their new star duo with enough shooting and defence so as to have most bases covered. Shamet, Green and Patterson will provide the shooting, and Harkless, McGruder and Zubac the defence. Beverley is obviously important as he provides both, while Williams and Harrell should again provide enough scoring punch from the bench to allow LA's superstar duo enough rest over the course of the season.

There's zero doubt that when playoff series are on the line, the ball will be in the hands of Kawhi and PG13 - call them what you will, but take it to the bank that the Clippers won't be entrusting the ball to any damn 'point guard'.


748483


What about the headlines?


Hi, now I'm writing in to the Clippers' mailbag.

The Los Angles Clippers have signed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are good players, so it is a good thing that the Clippers signed them. The Clippers should be quite good now.

Anyway, the Clippers should not have signed Ivica Zubac for four years. Ivica Zubac only averaged 9 points per game last season - that's less than 10 points per game, and if you average less than 10 points per game then you can't be a good player. Another great move by Laker Nation to dump Zubac.

Magic J, Los Angeles

Hi Mr. Magic, thanks for writing in. I will now answer your question by also writing, and then you can read it.

The Lakers' former GM (you may be aware of him) rationalised trading away young Zubac by stating that the Lakers needed the shooting of Mike Muscala more, while also adding that Zubac didn't post monster stats and would take up precious cap room to re-sign. Oh, and he also stated that LONZO BALL made Zubac look better than he really is, which was 'proved' by the fact that Zubac played only 39 minutes against the Warriors in the playoffs. Interesting take.

Unfortunately the Lakers' former GM didn't quite grasp the concept of production-per-minute or even simple +/- stats, both of which paint Zubac in a quite favourable light... but we can't expect a GM to be on top of everything, especially given this particular GM described his commitment to the job as consisting of 'popping in and out from time to time'.

Grasping the 'ins and outs' of the salary cap obviously proved a bridge too far as well, as the Clippers retained Zubac for the princely sum of $7 million per season. Still, why re-sign a promising young big man when you can spend that $7 million on JaVale McGee and Jared Dudley instead?

So again, I appreciate your writing in Mr. Magic, but when it comes to talent evaluation I think I'm going to side with Jerry West over this guy.


748507


The Clippers have access to the brilliant mind of the second-greatest West of all time.


How ya doin?

Many years ago now, the Lakers decided to throw their lot in with Phil Jackson and his beautiful then-fiancee over an aging GM and talent scout.

There's no way this could have possibly backfired, right?

Jeannie B, Staples Center

Hi Jeannie, may the Zen be with you.

Yesteryear's rumour was that Jerry West fell out with the Lakers and Phil Jackson in part over the latter's relationship with then-owner Jerry Buss's daughter.

After freelancing with a team that has been moderately successful of late, the Golden State Warriors, West found his way back to LA in 2017 - the only catch was that it was with LA's 'other' team this time.

And while the Lakers still hope to be laughing all the way to the bank with LeBron James and Anthony Davis this season, it's fair to say that their crosstown rivals and a certain Mr. West foiled their greatest plans by snatching away prized superstar duo Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Meanwhile, where once it was the Clippers that suffered from volatile ownership and an unstable front office, nowadays that description seems more apt for their fellow Staples Center tenant. Oh, and Phil Jackson and his proteges burned what was left of the New York Knicks into the ground too.

They say the greatest revenge is living well... and right now, Jerry West and the Clippers are living very, very well.


748527


Negotiations between Kawhi and the Clippers went smoothly.


Hey yo,

Some friends of mine in Toronto wanted to know how free agency negotiations between Los Angeles and Kawhi Leonard went down.

Was there much to-ing and fro-ing? Was there a qualified Doc in the house? Was Kawhi's house decor critiqued? Inquiring minds need to know.

D. Jordan, Brooklyn

Thanks for your tenuously Clippers-related question.

As far as we can tell, negotiations between Kawhi and the Clippers were fairly cordial and straightforward - in fact the deal seemed to hinge upon LA successfully trading for Paul George. OKC certainly extracted their pound of flesh, but given George is from LA and Leonard also from California the Clippers had the inside running over say, Toronto. Of course Leonard also had other options (oh hai, Lakers), but I guess the Staples Center is the Staples Center.

We didn't hear too much from Kawhi's infamous Uncle Dennis during the process, and as yet we have no confirmation whether Doc Rivers and friends barricaded themselves inside Kawhi's house as a form of encouragement. That fact that Kawhi bailed on Pop and the Spurs only to flee into the arms of one of Pop's many coaching proteges in Doc carries a certain amount of mirthful irony.

As for home decor, sources have been quiet about the placement of furniture, but it's fair to say that most of us could care less about dubiously placed chairs if we got to live here.


748544


Windows needs to install an update - please shut down now.


Hi,

I hear that good things are in store for the Clippers, that people are excited. I also hear that the owner Steve Ballmer likes developers. I mean he really, really, REALLY likes developers.

As luck has it, I have quite a history of developing real estate. Do you reckon I'm a chance of scoring an invite?

Donald S, c/o Sterling International Towers

Sorry to have to broadcast this to you Donny, but you're about as needed as one of those interminable Microsoft updates that insist they need to be installed every other day, and about half as popular. Plus your involvement in basketball made about as much sense as a Clipper ship in LA anyway.
 
Last edited:

peternorth

Moderator
May 6, 2005
87,560
43,319
AFL Club
Richmond
View attachment 747282




2018/19 Record: 22-60 (13th in East)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 104.8 (29th), Def Rating 113.2 (25th)


Add-a-Bulls: Thad Young (3/41), Tomas Satoransky (3/30), Luke Kornet (2/5)

Deduct-a-Bulls: Robin Lopez (Bucks), Antonio Blakeney (FA)

Drafted: Coby White (#7), Daniel Gafford (#38)


Guards: Satoransky, LaVine, White, Arcidiacono, Dunn

Wings: Porter, Young, Valentine, Hutchinson

Bigs: Markkanen, Carter, Kornet, Felicio


Team Salary 2019/20: $114 million ($5 million over cap)

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



Bulls Mailbag





Nice to get a question from an entire family. Just goes to show what a good, wholesome game NBA hoops can be for everyone.

There's no doubt that the Bulls have a lot to work with up front in Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter. Injuries limited their time together last season to a minimum, but the theoretical fit is there - a sweet shooting unicorn paired with a traditional defensive fulcrum.

As with any case where you're starting two seven footers together, Chicago will have to work diligently on their spacing at the offensive end, as well as finding a way to mask Markkanen's deficiencies at the other end. Whether Jim Boylen is the man for the task very much remains to be seen.

After adding Otto Porter and Thad Young (hey, they're still biggish men), the Bulls will have the option to go smaller this season should circumstances dictate - although playing Markkanen at the five could leave Chicago exposed defensively, while a potential Young/Carter frontline would cramp spacing on offence. It's not a perfect mix, and there remains a lot to prove... but still, it's definitely up front where the Bulls look most potent in the short to medium term.


View attachment 747373

Jim Boylen and coaching staff (pictured left) receive some friendly feedback from players at a recent practice session.





Interesting question there, Pykie.

Jim Boylen certainly had a memorable introduction to NBA coaching last season. Replacing Fred Hoiberg in the Chicago hotseat, Boylen impressed even the most ardent naysayers by provoking a full blown player mutiny inside one week. And people say caretaker coaches are a waste of time, hey?

Boylen presents less as a player-driven, analytics-versed 21st century coach and more as a 9th grade PE teacher after half a dozen coffees and a Rocky marathon. His tactical innovations for this season appear to consist of "putting in a running game" and having players "play their balls off". Rick Pitino circa 1998 would like his playbook back, but we'll see how Boylen goes.

It's fair to say that Boylen and his enabler, John Paxson, are already on pretty thin ice with Bulls fans. In the interests of political correctness, we'll simply state that Boylen may be the man to make men of prodigious basketball boys... but it's hard to see him leading the team anywhere special in the long run.


View attachment 747352

Official 2018 Chicago Bulls team photo.





Thanks for your question, Ms. Malkova. You obviously have some professional experience in the disposal of wood.

To be honest I too was surprised that the Bulls got their chequebook out this off-season, especially to sign a veteran like Thad Young. While Young should prove to be a far better investment than the Wades and Rondos of this world, it definitely points to a desire to return to the playoffs ASAP.

Chicago didn't get a lot of luck with the lottery balls, but after three successive no. 7 picks perhaps GarPax feel they have all they need to return to contention. We can probably add Otto Porter (26) and Zach LaVine (24) to the Bulls' presumed core for the next few years, giving them at least five young pieces to build around... but still, when two of those pieces (Carter and Coby White) have next to no exposed form at pro level, this is a major vote of confidence from the Bulls' front office.

A tidy two-year rebuild, or a bad case of premature escalation? The proof will be in the puddings... the sweet, sweet, milky puddings. Ahem.


View attachment 747358

Gar Forman, pictured here after he managed to outsmart another GM. We're stunned too, Gar.





Nice to have your input, Mr. Krause.

After what might be charitably described as a shaky few years, Gar Forman has indeed made a few moves of late to help rectify what was largely a mess of his own making.

Markkanen and Carter look like solid enough hits from the last two drafts, but Forman's rebuilding piece de resistance came in stealing Otto Porter away from hapless Washington for a second round pick. This was essentially the GM form of a cripplefight in which Forman ended Ernie Grunfeld's career by TKO.

As for this off-season, Young, Satoransky and Kornet may not be the sexiest signings, but they all appeared to actually help their teams last season... which already represents an improvement for a team which started last season with Jabari Parker and Cameron Payne on their roster.

Saying the Bulls have improved from the days of signing Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo as their backcourt of the future is damning them with pretty faint praise, but we here at Bigfooty believe in giving credit where credit is due. We also believe in avoiding cheap shots aimed at low hanging fruit... *cough*.






Yes, it reminds me of terrible rap albums and the glorious 2004 NBA Finals. Thanks for writing in!


The robot is having sexy time with a crab
 

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
749484



2018/19 Record: 39-43 (9th in West)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 110.4 (16th), Def Rating 111.5 (20th)


Crowned: Dewayne Dedmon (3/40), Cory Joseph (3/37), Trevor Ariza (2/25), Richaun Holmes (2/10)

Dethroned: Willie Cauley-Stein (Warriors), Alec Burks (Warriors), Frank Mason (Bucks), Kosta Koufos (Europe), Corey Brewer (TBD)

Drafted: Justin James (#40), Kyle Guy (#55), Vanja Marinkovic (#60)


Guards: Fox, Hield, Joseph, Ferrell

Wings: Barnes, Bogdanovic, Ariza, James

Bigs: Bagley, Dedmon, Bjelica, Giles, Holmes


Team Salary 2019/20: $114 million ($5 million over cap)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $93 million ($25 million cap space)



Kings Mailbag


1,2,3... Bigfooty Rocks!

When I was hanging ten with my skateboard buddies the other day - I'm a little older than them, but I like to remind people that I'm still cool - one of them happened to mention that he thought that the Sacramento Kings change coaches more often than rich men change wives.

I have to say I disagree - Luke Walton is the perfect coach to bring a family friendly vibe back to Sactown - what do you say?

V. Ranadive, Sacramento

Thanks for your letter, especially the part about Bigfooty rocking... it was a totally cool and not cringe-worthy in the slightest.

For anyone living under a rock, or perhaps anyone tuned in to ESPN's daily New York/LA wankathon, the Kings have indeed changed their coach, marking the fifth coaching change in six years under new owner Vivek. Dave Joerger is out, and Luke 'Son of Bill' Walton is in.

Given this coaching change was mandated by the same man who voluntarily chose to swap Mike Malone for Ty Corbin, Kings fans might well be filled with a sense of dread, as well as deja vu. Walton's subsequent embroilment in a sex scandal was possibly the most Kangz thing ever, and that's saying something.

However beneath all the tabloid scandal the was definitely a case for bringing Joerger's tenure with the team to a close. While Joerger released the handbrake last season (the Kings went from dead last in pace to 5th), leading to improved results, his offence still maintained many dated elements. The Kings ranked in the bottom 10 in three point rate and free throw rate for a second successive season - this meant that while they were potent in the open court, the team often struggled through prolonged scoring droughts in a half-court game. Meanwhile there were also plenty of whispers that Joerger did not see eye to eye with several key players, as well as management.

Now whether Luke Walton is the right hire to meld this talented young roster into a bona-fide playoff team is another question altogether. Some may say that he failed in a similar task in Los Angeles, although others might also point to the major upheaval the recruitment of LeBron brought with it, essentially changing Walton's job-description mid-term. After his off-season scandal, it's fair to say that Walton has it all to prove.

And as for Vivek... they often say the best owners are seldom seen or heard from. We won't hold our breath.


749570


When it comes to budgeting and responsible spending, they say that PRACTICE makes perfect.


What's happening, playa?

Someone needs to tell them Kings to slow down with the spending, dawg. Tell them that if they ain't thinking straight then they may wake up one day and find that all their money is gone. After that comes the ultimate humiliation - selling yourself out to make ads for sh1tty betting companies. So what's the ANSWER?

Keep it real,

A. Iverson, Philadelphia

Nice to see a man so concerned for his brothers in sporting uniform. The City of Brotherly Love living up to its name once again.

Broadly speaking, Sacramento has copped some criticism for its off-season spending. Paying Dedmon, Joseph, Ariza and Holmes over $40 million per season combined doesn't seem ideal, while giving Harrison Barnes a four year, $85 million extension also raised many an eyebrow. Same ol' Kangz, huh?

A more detailed look at Sactown's roster though permits a different interpretation of their off-season moves. First, most of the Kings' hopes are invested in their young core - Fox, Hield, Bagley, Bogdanovic and Giles - who are all still on their rookie deals at present. Given that it's almost impossible for the Kings to land a star in free agency, if ever there was a time to splurge on role players to surround their young core, this year was it. It's also worth pointing out that (as with much of the NBA), contracts are getting shorter and shorter - in Sacramento's case, Dedmon and Joseph have two guaranteed years on their deals, and Ariza only one. Even Barnes - the most costly long-term investment - has his contract front-loaded, making it more team-friendly.

It's an inescapable fact that teams like the Kings have to pay the 'Sacramento tax' to land free agents at all, and while Barnes, Dedmon, Joseph, Ariza and Holmes aren't blowing anyone away, they do fill positions of need in Sactown. The Kings needed a big who can shoot (Dedmon), a lot of help at the wings (Barnes & Ariza) and a competent back-up for Fox (Joseph) - their signings were pricey, but they were certainly in positions of need. Sactown's depth chart actually looks quite solid now, whereas their bench struggled mightily last season - a major reason why they missed the playoffs for the 13th year running.

Harrison Barnes remains the litmus test for this iteration of the Kings. In Dallas he was asked to do too much as a primary offensive option, and his scoring efficiency plummeted. Next to Fox, Hield & Bagley however, Barnes should theoretically be able to get back to doing what he did at Golden State - namely knocking down the outside shot with consistency and defending the 3/4 position at a reasonably high level. The cost is high, but the fit MAY be snug here.


749567


Sometimes you need to upgrade the centre position if you are to compete in the Wild, Wild West... not here though.


Boom!

As a longtime fan of the Kings (hey, they sometimes dress in black), I liked that Big Willie's style - why did the Kings let him leave? I'm not sure that I have a lot of faith in his replacement, Dewayne Dedmon - wasn't he that dorky guy with bad teeth on Red Dwarf?

Get jiggy wit it,

Fresh Prince, Bel Air

Good question, Your Majesty.

After four years in Sactown, the Kings had obviously decided that big Cauley-Stein had too often flattered to deceive. Big Willie has all the physical tools to be an extremely effective modern defensive stopper, but the facts say that he just isn't. He doesn't protect the rim nearly as well as a player with his talent should, while his limited motor prevents him from using his athleticism to greater advantage. Add the fact that his limited shooting range made him a bad fit with Marvin Bagley, and it's little wonder that the Kings balked at paying him the major money that he wanted.

Unlike WCS, Dewayne Dedmon wasn't a coveted high lottery pick with outstanding athletic potential... in fact Dedmon wasn't even drafted at all.

However after eking out a career as a competent big in Orlando and San Antonio, Dedmon proved a revelation in Atlanta when he defied expectations and learned to shoot. Knocking down 83 triples at 38% accuracy suddenly made DD a coveted man, and the Kings swooped. Dedmon is a solid rebounder and a reasonable paint defender, but above all it is his fit with the rest of the team that makes him a pivotal newcomer in Sacramento.

The major staple of the Kings' offence for the next few years figures to be the Fox/Bagley pick and roll - and for this to work, the Kings need shooting. Having a 'five' who can space the floor while also serving as a competent defensive fulcrum at the other end thus makes a lot of sense. Of course what works on paper does not necessarily work in practice, but with Bjelica, Giles and Holmes also on staff at least the Kings now have plenty of options in the frontcourt.


749644


Mo buckets, mo money... and there's a lot of scoring going on around here.


Hey, these previews are the best thing I've ever read. You deserve a Walkley award, a Pulitzer Prize and a pay rise.

Anyway, Buddy Hield is coming off a career season and is due a big fat extension. Meanwhile Bogdan Bogdanovic has just finished tearing up the FIBA tournament and is also out of contract at the end of this season.

Can the Kings afford to pay them both, you handsome devil?

Nephew of Skeletor, Snake Mountain

Thanks for your question - you sound like an astute individual.

There's a certain irony that after years of starting plebs like Ben McLemore and Marcus Thornton at the two guard spot, the Kings suddenly find themselves with the luxury of two quality sharpshooters on the roster. It's like the proverbial London bus really, or a dilemma along the lines of a charismatic faux bball-preview writer suddenly finding himself swarmed by nubile young babes after years of being a virgin concentrating on work. Yes, that's the analogy...

Having ousted his erstwhile sparring partner Dave Joerger, it seems a lay down misere that the Kings will pony up to keep Buddy and his buckets in purple. Hield makes an excellent foil for the emerging Fox in the backcourt, and with shooting at a premium in today's NBA keeping a guy who knocked down 280 threes at 43% is a no-brainer.

Bogdanovic is a more interesting case. Due to Sacramento's lack of quality wings and capable back-ups for Fox, the Serbian shooter has found himself playing more '3' and 'emergency 1' than he would have ideally liked. With the Kings' roster having addressed some of these glaring issues and fresh off a fantastic performance with the national team, the scene would seem ideally set for Bogdanovic to stake his case for a big payday - in Sactown, or elsewhere.

Whether the Kings can afford to pay for a guy who will effectively be consigned to a 6th man role as long as Hield resigns in Sacramento is the multi million dollar question. One suspects that Vlade Divac would ideally love to keep his compatriot around, not least as Bogdanovic represents a reminder of the day that Vlade actually made a good trade - oh those poor Suns - but neither nostalgia nor nepotism does not a good business decision make. Still, Bogdanovic is a highly skilled offensive player who will undoubtedly get offers - it's up to him to give the Kings a difficult decision to make.
 

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
751018




2018/19 Record: 33-49 (14th in West)

2018/19 Stats: Off Rating 109.4 (20th), Def Rating 110.7 (18th)


Maver-nicked: Delon Wright (3/27), Seth Curry (4/32), Boban Marjanovic (2/7)

Grassy Nulled: Trey Burke (Sixers), Dirk Nowitzki (ret.), Devin Harris (TBD).

Drafted: Isaiah Roby (#45)


Guards: Wright, Curry, Brunson, Barea

Wings: Doncic, Hardaway, Finney-Smith, Jackson, Broekhoff

Bigs: Porzingis, Kleber, Powell, Marjanovic


Team Salary 2019/20: $119.5 million ($12.5 million below luxury line)

Est. Salary 2020/21: $110 million ($8 million cap space)



Mavericks Mailbag


Dear Heartless Bastards,

I was excited in anticipation of attending my very first Melbourne Cup this year. Then I find out that my Khaleesi, Taylor Swift, has PULLED OUT!

What is the point of attending these marquee events if the star attraction pulls out? What am I going to do, become a degenerate and bet on a horsey race? Let me say that if I had a date with Taylor, I would never pull out.

P North, Northy Residence

Gee, sorry to hear that Northy. Sounds like you're carrying a heavy load there... unlike Ms. Swift, who has instead insisted on the pull out.

Tangentially, this reminds me of the FIBA World Cup, where lots of stars were pulling out. It also reminds me of the fact that Slovenia and Luka Doncic were not invited, despite becoming European champions last year. Ah well, I'm sure the basketball stars from Jordan and Angola made up for that shortfall...

As it happens one party who may benefit from all this are the Mavs, who would like to see their reigning rookie of the year avoid burn out. Much like a certain esteemed moderator left hanging after his favourite pop star reneged on a Melbourne appearance, Doncic was left carrying a very heavy load last season.

The (presumed) return to health of Kristaps Porzingis should lighten Doncic's scoring load, while the off-season signings of Delon Wright and Seth Curry should release the Slovenian teenager from some ball-handling duties. With a little more help from his supporting cast, Doncic should see his scoring efficiency rise and his turnovers drop.

Of course Dallas ideally was hoping for Kemba Walker or D'Angelo Russell to don the silver & blue this season, but sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and go with the fallback option. In which case, it might be time to buy some flowers and be really nice to Mrs. North again.


751062


People forget that Dirk v 1.0 didn't work properly and quickly became obsolete.


Greetings,

Did you know that Ramesses II died at the age of 90, after reigning as Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt for at least 66 years? Since almost all his subjects to a man had never known another king in their lifetimes, they feared that his death would bring about the end of the world and bedlam ensued.

Regards,

H. Carter, London

How serendipitous that you should bring this up, because I was just about to talk about Dirk Nowitzki.

Let me take you back to a time before Dirk, a time when the Mavs would also frequently win 50 games (it just took them about three seasons to do it). A time when the Mavs were owned by a guy who wasn't even really interested in basketball, a time when the Mavericks thought that building a front line around Shawn Bradley, Chris Anstey and Samaki Walker was the way forward, and a time when the thing which Dallas basketball was most famous for pretty much revolved around Toni Braxton.

No wonder Dallas fans might be tempted to feel the same way the average Egyptian did in 1213 BCE. Or possibly the same way most of us were supposed to feel about the millennium bug. Dirk didn't quite Do Dallas the same way Debbie did, but it's fair to say that he Made the Mavericks. And the fact that he Moved like a Mummy for most of his swansong season in the big D doesn't diminish the size of the hole his absence with leave in Maverick hearts.

On the other hand, much like the post-Kobe Lakers or the post Big 3/Kawhi Spurs, it's eminently possible that Dirk's retirement may give the Mavs some clear air to rebuild. Fortunately having Doncic and (knock on wood) Porzingis around to lead the new-era Mavericks should stave off any apocalyptic panics for now, although having spent multiple future picks in order to acquire Doncic and Porzingis it's clear that Mark Cuban and friends have no wish to return the the bad old 1990s days of a long, painful rebuild. The German King is dead, long live the Slovenian and Latvian Princes.


751126


Your 2019 Dallas Sweathogs.


Dear Mr. Kotter,

Oh my God, the Dallas Man-chicks are totally bringing back a bunch of guys I've never heard of to play off Doncic. It reminds me of me in the 1970s.

Up your nose with a rubber hose,

Vinnie Barbarino, Brooklyn

Jeez, that's pretty harsh there Vinnie. You need to relax more, get in touch with your spiritual side - why not give the church of Scientology a go?

However it's not untrue to say that the Mavs slightly underwhelmed their fans with their off-season splurge. And by this I mean that Delon Wright and Seth Curry are not quite Kemba and D-Lo, even though both have shown signs of becoming valuable players over the past couple of years.

Meanwhile it's welcome back Dwight Powell for four years (hey, that's longer than some TV shows run) and $44 million, and welcome back Maxi Kleber, also for four years and $34 million. Welcome back Dorian Finney-Smith and his most toffee-nosed British aristocrat name ever for three years and $12 million.

Welcome back JJ Barea, who evidently has some kind of an Eric Piatkowski style hold over the Mavs. And of course welcome back Rick Carlisle, who will spend his 12th season in Dallas trying to make this collection of odds and ends function as a coherent basketball team... welcome back Mr Carlisle indeed.

Welcome back Donnie Nelson, welcome back Mark Cuban, welcome back Dallas basketball, welcome back everyone... except possibly if you're a woman.


751153


For one giant Latvian, 2019 has been a little... unorthodox.


Hi, am I on camera?

As a die-hard fan of the Knicks whenever TV cameras are involved, I'd just like to know if Porzingis is coming back soon?

Booooo!

Name and Address Withheld by Parents

Hmmm... sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but big Kristaps is no longer doing his funky unicorn thing for the Knicks. As one of his parting gifts to the franchise Phil Jackson managed to alienate his star youngster, thus cancelling out the only good move he ever made as GM.

Pork's subsequent trade to the big D was just one part of what has quickly become his annus horribilis. After tearing his ACL in 2018, the big Latvian has missed the better part of 20 months of basketball while rehabbing. Given he has previously suffered a left quad and a left hip injury prior to tearing his left ACL, there are real concerns with Pork's basic bio-mechanics. Dallas evidently are aware of all this, and are working hard to alleviate future concerns - and for nearly $160 million worth of investment, you'd bloody want to be prudent. If Pork is OK, the Mavs are set. If not, then...

Oh, and in the meantime Porzingis has spent his spare downtime dealing with a bizarre rape allegation. To help get his mind off that, poor ol' Kristaps traveled back to Latvia this off-season for some R & R, only to be promptly attacked by a gang of Russian-speaking Knicks fans in a Latvian nightclub.

Just read that last sentence a few more times. This league man, this freaking league.
 

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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
Jesus SOS I dont know how you get better and better each preview. Like a good wine....
Like most NBA stars, I have performance-related clauses written into my contract.

If I don't perform, I'll probably be banished to cover the Chinese Basketball League.
 

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