The Week 8 NBA Thread - where we should all congratulate the Lakers. Salt and vinegar optional.

Who are the NBA's truest terrible traders?

  • Your 2023 In-season tournament champion LA Lakers

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Everyone's favourite duffers, your New Orleans Pelicans

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Danny 'I once robbed Billy King' Ainge and your Utah Jazz

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Ghost of Joe Dumars and your Detroit '2-20' Pistons

    Votes: 1 33.3%
  • The 'let's build around Jordan Poole' Washington Wizards

    Votes: 2 66.7%
  • Some other plebs

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3
  • Poll closed .

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May 23, 2012
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Hello hoops honchos, and welcome to another thrilling week in the NBA.

First thing's first, and a heartfelt congratulations to one of the league's perennial hard-luck stories, the Los Angeles Lakers, on winning the inaugural NBA in-season-contributes-to-your-regular-season-record-and-your-wallet-but-not-towards-the-championship-that-matters Cup.

It has been a dry three years since our overworked overlord peternorth 's beloved Lakers, Tigers and Liverpool won everything in 2020, so we can only hope this is a sign of better times to come. For those that like to tread the fine line between subtle trolling and suspension-worthy sh1tposting, this might be your week to make hay while the sun shines. Just don't make fun of Taylor Swift - trust me, I still have the bruises.





Above: the Lakers win in Vegas. Truly a black day for basketball.


While the rest of us try to make some sense of the last week - the crazy court designs, the random schedules, playing games in Vegas that don't involve a slot machine, and the richest franchise in basketball featuring some of the wealthiest players in basketball taking home another freaking wad of cash - I thought this might be a good opportunity to delve into some other head-scratching phenomena. Namely, five 'make it make sense' trades from the past couple of years that continue to baffle folks to this day.

Please note: these are not necessarily the five 'worst' trades in recent memory. A trade can conceivably make sense at the time, but turn out horribly. A trade can also make little sense on paper, but a lot more sense in the context of managing your salary cap - e.g. the Hawks giving away John Collins to the Jazz for effectively nothing. Rather, these are the five trades for which I still can't see what the respective GMs were trying to achieve.

So without further ado, I give you -


Five Trades That Make Less Sense Than Giving LeBron James and Anthony Davis Another Million Dollars


1. LA Lakers give: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and #22 pick (Isaiah Jackson)
LA Lakers receive: Russell Westbrook

We'll start with the quintessential less-is-more trade - the Lakers' 2021 acquisition of Westbrook. A trade that was advertised as blockbuster, but predictably ended up as more of a chemistry-buster. Given the team were champions just 12 months prior, it was a perplexing change of direction that took a fairly settled line-up and instead created chemistry problems, ego bruises and several significant roster holes.

NBA fans aren't stupid. From the moment this trade was reported, it's fair to say that the majority voiced concerned about the on-court fit of LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. The 2017 MVP is ball dominant, a defensive non-entity, and most crucially a famously poor outside shooter and off-ball player.

While the Lakers didn't give up any 'stars' to make the trade, KCP and Kuzma both had not insignificant trade value by themselves. And the cost of first acquiring, then dumping Westbrook cost LA both their 2021 and their 2027 first round picks. The sum effect has left the Lakers short on trade assets should they wish to make future moves.

On the other hand, they're the Lakers and they just won the in-season cup, so I doubt anyone's shedding any tears.


2. New Orleans give: Lonzo Ball (sign and trade)
New Orleans receive: Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple (sign and trade), 2nd round pick

Perhaps my Pels didn't want or value Lonzo. Perhaps they even had an inkling of future injury problems, which have entered lore at this point in Chicago.

However it is still baffling that New Orleans chose to let an asset walk rather than even attempting to trade him first. It's even more astounding that they decided to help the Bulls out with cutting salary costs by agreeing one of the weirdest sign-and-trades in recent memory though.

There is a certain 'value' to acquiring pieces in a sign and trade - if nothing else, it gives a team already over the cap pieces they can use as trade ballast later down the track, as the Pels did with Satoransky's expiring contract in the CJ MCollum trade. But signing Garrett Temple, a journeyman in his mid-30s, to a THREE year contract as part of the deal was inexplicable.

Note also the draft compensation of a mere 2nd round pick. This is notable because New Orleans signed Devonte Graham away from Charlotte in identical circumstances that same off-season, only they agreed to pay a first round pick to the Hornets for the privilege. That first round pick became Mark Williams, who is currently putting up 13 & 10 for the Hornets. Meanwhile Graham was so poor for the Pels that they paid the Spurs several second round picks to take him off their hands. Bizarre decision making all round.


3. Utah give: Bojan Bogdanovic
Utah receive: Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee

I didn't understand this trade then, and I still don't understand it now.

The Jazz were in the middle of a fire-sale, trading the likes of Gobert, Mitchell and O'Neale for a cache of young players and first round picks. Danny Ainge had a plan, and he was ruthless in executing it. So far, so good.

It's fair to say that Bogdanovic was valued around the league as an asset, and still is despite his age. Olynyk, meanwhile, is a competent reserve at best.

Trading Bogdaovic was indisputably the right decision, in the context of both Utah's rebuild and also Lauri Markkanen's breakout in Salt Lake City. But why trade him for a guy whose main value is that he's an expiring contract? Cap room in Utah shouldn't be an issue for a while, so it remains puzzling. Surely the Jazz could have extracted at least one first rounder for Bogdanovic? The Pistons still might this February. All very odd.


4. Detroit give: Saddiq Bey and Kevin Knox
Detroit receive: James Wiseman

If you needed an illustration of the unorthodox and at times bewildering approach to a long-term rebuild in Detroit, this is it.

Wiseman and Bey were both drafted in the first round in 2020, meaning both are up for contract extensions this year. Bey, a shooter who lacks physicality as a forward, ran hot and cold in Detroit, and was re-routed to Atlanta in this deal. In return, the Pistons took a flyer on the formerly hyped Wiseman.

In a vacuum there's nothing wrong with trading out a young player if you're not sure you want to pay him in the future. There's also nothing wrong with wanting to take a look at a highly rated college big man who was available to relative peanuts, on the face of it.

The problem lies with the fact that the Pistons had already taken a similarly cut-cost look at fellow #2 pick Marvin Bagley 12 months prior. And drafted fellow big men Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren in the first round in the meantime. Quite where this left room for Detroit to find minutes to evaluate Wiseman is beyond me.

Meanwhile the Pistons' roster is full of small guards and big guys, but absolutely bereft of shooting at the wings, a position Bey was capable of contributing in. In Atlanta, Bey has actually been quite solid and contributing substantially off the bench while shooting nearly 40% from three. All while Wiseman, as expected, is struggling to even get on the court for a team which has started the season 2-20.

With decision making like this, you can't help but feel for Pistons fans.


5. Washington give: Kristaps Porzingis
Washington receive: Tyus Jones, Danilo Gallinari, Mike Muscala, two second round picks

Washington give: Chris Paul
Washington receive: Jordan Poole, 2030 first round pick (top 20 protected, turns into second round picks)

I couldn't split this pair of trades from Washington, which like Detroit's above, serve perfectly to illustrate why the Wizards are in the position they are.

One large disclaimer on the Porzingis trade - Pork had the option of opting out this offseason, which obviously set Washington's new GM at a disadvantage when it came to extracting value for one of their few assets. It's still hard to be anything but underwhelmed with the return though.

Washington might be able to land a couple of further second round picks for Jones and Gallinari at the trade deadline. Four second round picks is hardly cause for celebration though, especially when the Celtics not only landed the best player in that three-team trade, but also somehow wrangled two first round picks as well. They used one of those to facilitate a trade for Jrue Holiday, and turned the other into five second round picks of their own. Talk about the rich getting richer. The ultimate root of this evil of course was the Wizards waiting far too long to blow up a mediocre team, and this sad return was the result.

Meanwhile flipping Chris Paul's large contract was not only reasonable, but prudent. Nothing wrong with getting a future first in the deal too, even if it is only guaranteed to either be a pick in the 20s or a second rounder.

However trading for Jordan Poole's hefty contract in the hopes of turning him into either a foundational piece or a future trade asset, depending on what you hear and who you believe, was, let's say, optimistic at best. The former Dub championship player and personal punching bag of Draymond Green has some undoubted skills, but has never given the appearance of ever being more than a Jamal Crawford/Lou Williams type 6th man, at best.

Poole's showboating, shot selection and ability to provide NBA-lovers with more meme-worthy highlights in six weeks than entire teams generate in six years has left the Wiz with a contract millstone, far from the asset they bizarrely hoped they were getting. Having just dumped Brad Beal's contract, it appears they're now stuck with Poole for the immediate future. But hey, at least they finally decided to embrace the tank... for reportedly the weakest draft in a while.

Anyone want some second round picks?









Finally, let's pick the eyes out of the schedule for the next week.


Tues Dec 12 - Dannnnnnnnnn 's Timberpups take on my Pels in the battle of the emerging superpowers. One team is consistent. The other is consistently inconsistent. Nickeil Alexander-Walker couldn't shoot a lick during his Nawlins days, so expect him to make about eight threes.

Also of interest: the road warrior Cavs visit the high-flying Magic, and the Kings and Nets will play a defence-optional game in Sacramento.


Wed Dec 13 - the Dubs visit the Suns, with both sides having recently found ways to lose the un-lose-able. They both have to get going at some point.

Additionally, Cleveland and Boston will renew their on/off rivalry, while they suddenly buoyant Lakers visit Luka in Dallas. Free throws anyone?


Thu Dec 14 - the Indiana 'maybe we should put these guys on TV more' Pacers' have a rematch with Giannis, Lillard and the flaky Bucks. I'm not expecting a 91-83 game, put it that way.

Meanwhile the Suns and Nets meet to settle the question of who got the better of the Durant trade, while the Raptors and Hawks face off to answer the ultimate question of whether a dysfunctional offence can beat a non-existent defence.


Fri Dec 15 - SGA and De'Aaron Fox are both averaging a lazy 30 & 6, and both are as slippery as eels. Could be a fun one in Sactown.

Elsewhere the Cavs visit the (checks notes)... Celtics again? OK NBA schedule, you do you. Also a Cali derby in LA between the Clips and Dubs - expect threes. Lots of threes.


Sat Dec 16 - the home-heavy Celtics have a further chance to put space between themselves and the pack, against the upstart Magic this time. Theis and Schroeder no longer play in Boston, so the number of present Germans will remain at two. Sam Hauser sounds like an honorary German though.

Elsewhere the former Hornets play the current Hornets in Charlotte. Given the Pels have lost to the Bulls and Jazz (twice) recently, my advice would be to stay away on the punt - never bet the Pels. The Knicks and Suns square off in Phoenix, where neither have arguably recovered from the Jordan-inflicted trauma of 1993.


Sun Dec 17 - The Nuggets host the Thunder in Denver, suddenly looking no certs for top billing in the West. Expect free throws for OKC, and about 25 rebounds for the Joker - the undersized Thunder are routinely smashed on the boards.

Also featured will be the battle between Indy's electric offence and Minny's miserly defence. In LA, the no-star Knicks travel to meet the star-heavy Clips.


If you have any baffling trades to add, please feel free to add them to the discussion. Enjoy your week, folks.
 
Hello hoops honchos, and welcome to another thrilling week in the NBA.

First thing's first, and a heartfelt congratulations to one of the league's perennial hard-luck stories, the Los Angeles Lakers, on winning the inaugural NBA in-season-contributes-to-your-regular-season-record-and-your-wallet-but-not-towards-the-championship-that-matters Cup.

It has been a dry three years since our overworked overlord peternorth 's beloved Lakers, Tigers and Liverpool won everything in 2020, so we can only hope this is a sign of better times to come. For those that like to tread the fine line between subtle trolling and suspension-worthy sh1tposting, this might be your week to make hay while the sun shines. Just don't make fun of Taylor Swift - trust me, I still have the bruises.





Above: the Lakers win in Vegas. Truly a black day for basketball.


While the rest of us try to make some sense of the last week - the crazy court designs, the random schedules, playing games in Vegas that don't involve a slot machine, and the richest franchise in basketball featuring some of the wealthiest players in basketball taking home another freaking wad of cash - I thought this might be a good opportunity to delve into some other head-scratching phenomena. Namely, five 'make it make sense' trades from the past couple of years that continue to baffle folks to this day.

Please note: these are not necessarily the five 'worst' trades in recent memory. A trade can conceivably make sense at the time, but turn out horribly. A trade can also make little sense on paper, but a lot more sense in the context of managing your salary cap - e.g. the Hawks giving away John Collins to the Jazz for effectively nothing. Rather, these are the five trades for which I still can't see what the respective GMs were trying to achieve.

So without further ado, I give you -


Five Trades That Make Less Sense Than Giving LeBron James and Anthony Davis Another Million Dollars


1. LA Lakers give: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and #22 pick (Isaiah Jackson)
LA Lakers receive: Russell Westbrook

We'll start with the quintessential less-is-more trade - the Lakers' 2021 acquisition of Westbrook. A trade that was advertised as blockbuster, but predictably ended up as more of a chemistry-buster. Given the team were champions just 12 months prior, it was a perplexing change of direction that took a fairly settled line-up and instead created chemistry problems, ego bruises and several significant roster holes.

NBA fans aren't stupid. From the moment this trade was reported, it's fair to say that the majority voiced concerned about the on-court fit of LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. The 2017 MVP is ball dominant, a defensive non-entity, and most crucially a famously poor outside shooter and off-ball player.

While the Lakers didn't give up any 'stars' to make the trade, KCP and Kuzma both had not insignificant trade value by themselves. And the cost of first acquiring, then dumping Westbrook cost LA both their 2021 and their 2027 first round picks. The sum effect has left the Lakers short on trade assets should they wish to make future moves.

On the other hand, they're the Lakers and they just won the in-season cup, so I doubt anyone's shedding any tears.


Again, we give thanks to SOS for yet another exemplary opening post. It's certainly polar opposite to the Lakers notorious slow starts.

Thank you for reminding lakers fans of this ill fated trade. Gonna stab my eyes out with a fork now. Thanks.

Also fun fact. Wiki says Trez Harrell:
received the Karl Malone Award in 2015 as a junior, being the top power forward in the nation.

giphy.gif
 

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May 23, 2012
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The pistons traded Bruce Brown for some random Bosnian guy who never played a few years ago

Yeah, Dzanan Musa. Was technically part of a three team trade, they also shipped Luke Kennard to the Clippers, and got the draft rights to Bey.

Out of all that, they ended up with Wiseman. Welp.
 
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Yeah, Dzanan Musa. Was technically part of a three team trade, they also shipped Luke Kennard to the Clippers, and got the draft rights to Bey.

Out of all that, they ended up with Wiseman. Welp.
Wiseman’s championship pedigree/experience will be invaluable one day
 
Sep 26, 2012
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Yeah, Dzanan Musa. Was technically part of a three team trade, they also shipped Luke Kennard to the Clippers, and got the draft rights to Bey.

Out of all that, they ended up with Wiseman. Welp.
If only the pistons listened to my scouting report on Wiseman instead of listening to my scouting report on Killian Hayes
 
Jul 25, 2019
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Some Celtics fans were mad AF we traded for Derrick White for a 2029 future swap pick with the Spurs.

I can live with trading Cacass Smart and Gallo for Zinger.

Brad Stevens is sneakily a much better GM
than coach. Although he kind of is living and dying by the appointment of Joe Mazzula has coach (who whilst still a bit frustrating, is definitely coach better this season imo)
 
May 23, 2012
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Some Celtics fans were mad AF we traded for Derrick White for a 2029 future swap pick with the Spurs.

Traded him for a pick in the 20s and a pick swap that may never eventuate. Doesn't reflect well on the fanbase if they thought that was a dud deal.

I can live with trading Cacass Smart and Gallo for Zinger.

Of course you can live with it - Smart for Porzingis + two first round picks. Probably couldn't have done the Holiday trade w/o it.

Also White made Smart expendable.

You are much more vulnerable to injuries now though.
 
Jul 25, 2019
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Traded him for a pick in the 20s and a pick swap that may never eventuate. Doesn't reflect well on the fanbase if they thought that was a dud deal.



Of course you can live with it - Smart for Porzingis + two first round picks. Probably couldn't have done the Holiday trade w/o it.

Also White made Smart expendable.

You are much more vulnerable to injuries now though.

The Jays and White thankfully are pretty durable, Horford too (despite his age)

Only games White have missed for Boston are for personal reasons (birth of his children)

Porzingis obviously is the massive one/key for us. Brad Stevens is talking about us making another significant trade or move soon, getting James Wiseman or another reliable big man back up is the move I am thinking Brad will do.

Glad the ownership is happy to go over the luxury tax/second apron (whatever that means) to try give us the best chance of a chip.
 

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May 23, 2012
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Porzingis obviously is the massive one/key for us. Brad Stevens is talking about us making another significant trade or move soon, getting James Wiseman or another reliable big man back up is the move I am thinking Brad will do.

Wiseman is not the droid you are looking for. Besides which, beyond him being bought out you wouldn't have the requisite salaries to trade for him anyway.

I'd be looking at Drummond, Achiuwa, Len, Biymobo depending on what happens in Memphis, or possibly Olynyk if the Jazz buy him out of the last few months of his contract.
 
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Wiseman is not the droid you are looking for. Besides which, beyond him being bought out you wouldn't have the requisite salaries to trade for him anyway.

I'd be looking at Drummond, Achiuwa, Len, Biymobo depending on what happens in Memphis, or possibly Olynyk if the Jazz buy him out of the last few months of his contract.

Olynyk is probably the best suited for The Celtics of all the options you mentioned, esp as he is a fairly good perimeter shooter for a big man.
 
May 23, 2012
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Olynyk is probably the best suited for The Celtics of all the options you mentioned, esp as he is a fairly good perimeter shooter for a big man.

Probably, but he also may be the least attainable.

Getting him would be entirely dependent on the Jazz's goodwill, as like Wiseman you don't have the salaries to trade for him. The others you can all easily trade for. No perfect options, but as third string insurance you wouldn't expect there to be.
 
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Probably, but he also may be the least attainable.

Getting him would be entirely dependent on the Jazz's goodwill, as like Wiseman you don't have the salaries to trade for him. The others you can all easily trade for. No perfect options, but as third string insurance you wouldn't expect there to be.

Depends if Ainge wants to blow things up and wants the Jazz to tank the rest of the season, which is probably unlikely given this year's draft class is apparently the weakest in years.

A lot of Celtics fans seem to be quite bullish on Neemias Queta and prefer him to get more back up minutes over Luke Kornet (who has been surprisingly good lately)
 
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