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Top Ten Greatest Male Players in Challenge History - No. 4 - C.T. Tamburello

Honorable Mentions - Abram, Dan S., Jamie, Mike M., Theo V., Turbo, Wes
No. 10 - Alton Williams (Real World: Las Vegas)
No. 9 - Mark Long (Road Rules: USA - The First Adventure)
No. 8 - Darrell Taylor (Road Rules: Campus Crawl)
No. 7 - Derrick Kosinski (Road Rules: X-Treme)
No. 6 - Kenny Santucci (Fresh Meat)
No. 5 - Evan Starkman (Fresh Meat)
No. 4 - C.T. Tamburello (Real World: Paris)
 
C.T. carrying the Johnny Bananas backpack is the greatest highlight ever recorded in Challenge history.
 
Before the backpack moment, we hadn’t seen C.T. in three years. He was rumored to be forever banned after almost killing Adam King on the Duel II. On Cutthroat, when T.J. announced the heavy hitters twist and C.T. came walking out the dark, challenge fans all around the world were not prepared for what they were about to witness. C.T. was finally let out of his cage and Johnny Bananas became absolute prey.
 
If there were ever to be a logo for the Challenge, a visual image of the C.T.-Bananas backpack moment would be it. Picture this: Replace the Jerry West silhouette in the red and blue NBA logo with a white silhouette of C.T. mid power-walk and Bananas in the back of him imitating a backpack. Then, replace “NBA” with “MTV”. Now, you got your MTV Challenge logo. C.T. being at the front and center of a hypothetical challenge sports logo makes perfect sense considering C.T.’s athletic performances changed the landscape of the Challenge from a regular game show to the series becoming known as America’s Fifth Sport.
 
C.T. is the Peyton Manning of the Challenge.
 
Peyton Manning is the greatest regular-season quarterback in the history of the NFL. C.T. is the greatest regular-season competitor in the history of the Challenge.
 
Peyton Manning only has two Superbowls (and won his second one in his final season in the NFL, while being a shell of his former self). C.T. has three championships (and won his final one while being in his worst physical shape ever).
 
Both, Peyton Manning and C.T.’s regular-season career numbers lead you to believe that they should have had twice as much championships than what they currently have. However, their own blunders (C.T.’s boneheaded mistakes and gassing out right before the finish line on the Exes 2 final = Peyton’s choking) throughout their careers hold them back from reaching extreme success in the post-season.
 
To continue this comparison, Johnny Bananas is Tom Brady (6 championships). C.T. is the more natural athlete and talented challenger between him and Bananas, but Bananas has had the better legacy (Peyton’s the more talented QB between him and Brady, but Brady accomplished a greater legacy).
 
C.T. has seven of the greatest regular season competitive performances that didn’t result in championships.
 
The Inferno: In C.T.’s rookie debut, the higher end competition consisted of Abram, Darrell, Mike Mizanin, Shane and Timmy. C.T. won 4 life shields. C.T. led all the males in life shields and actually won more life shields than the higher end competition as one whole collective (Darrell, Mike Mizanin, and Timmy each won one life shield, totaling up to 3). C.T. was the best performer of the season as a rookie. He made the final challenge, but his Real World team lost to Road Rules in a close race.
 
Inferno II: C.T. was the life shield king. He racked up 6 life shields this season in one of the most competitive male casts to ever be assembled in Challenge history. C.T. led the season in life shields again, Landon came in 2nd with four, Mike in 3rd with three, and Derrick came in 4th with two. C.T. made the final, but he and the final remaining Bad Asses got blown out the water in a triathlon.
 
The Duel: C.T. won three missions and landed in the top 2 seven times. In C.T.’s third season, he was the second best competitor behind Evan, who won six missions (but half of them were due to having the superior partner in Jodi in comparison to C.T. having Diem). Despite being a top 2 performer, C.T. got disqualified against Brad in the final male duel and didn’t make it into the post-season.
 
Gauntlet III: C.T. was co-captain of one of the most dominant regular season teams ever, the G3 Veterans. C.T. was either the best or second best athlete on the team (along with Evan, the other team captain). C.T.’s performance in Piñata Pit (which I delve into later) proved what a freak of nature of a competitor C.T. was.
 
Rivals: C.T. managed to win two missions and landed in the top three overall six times with an average partner (Adam). Rivals C.T. was the scariest. The whole season was based around J.E.K. and friends trying to take him out, because he was such a force to be reckoned with. C.T. lost right before the final because of Adam’s performance in the T-Bone elimination.
 
Exes: C.T. and Diem won two out of eight missions, only second to Bananas and Camila’s three. C.T. and Diem made the final, but got second place. C.T. and Diem had the lead the whole final, but C.T. collapsed moments before the finish line.
 
Dirty Thirty: C.T. was competing in his 11th season and still putting up the best scoring numbers in one of the toughest male casts ever assembled. C.T. won 6 missions. That’s the most out of all males on Dirty Thirty (Not a single other player won 5, Hunter won 4, Nelson and Leroy won 3, and the rest have 2 or less). C.T. made the final on D30, but got third place because his gas tank can’t keep up with the other two finalists.
 
C.T.’s ATG Physical Strength, Aggression, and Athleticism is the most lethal combination in Challenge history.
 
If the Challenge were to ever have a Madden-esque video game, C.T.’s player rating regarding his athleticism and strength would look something like: STR: 99. SPE: 99. AGI: 99. A prime C.T. was a cheat code. The Bananas Backpack moment attests to this. Below are some other missions and eliminations where C.T.’s strength and athleticism proved to us he was of a different breed.
 
In Piñata Pit (G3), players from both teams had to jump in a mud pit, retrieve a ball, and return it to the starting line. The mission was played in rounds. Each round, there were fewer balls than there were players. Players were getting eliminated round-by-round. The game of Piñata Pit came down to the two best players on each team, Veteran C.T. and Rookie Derek McCray. You’re probably reading this wondering who Derek McCray is. I don’t blame you. Let me give you some background information on him. The moment Derek M. first stepped into the Challenge, he was immediately viewed as a competition threat, even with no performance log to back for it. Derek M. came into the Gauntlet 3 with instant respect, based off the fact that he had been recruited by more than 200 colleges for his football talent. Considering Piñata Pit contained all the aspects of a game of football: running, tackling, stripping a ball away from an opponent, and taking it to the end zone, the average betting man would’ve bet on Derek to score and win it for the Rookies. Challenge fans, however, knew to bet differently. When the final round went underway, Derek reached the ball first, but C.T. was inches behind Derek as he gained possession of the ball. C.T. then proceeded to slam him to the ground effortlessly and Derek literally yelped as he was getting manhandled. C.T, with what looks like half an effort, popped the ball out of Derek’s arms and took it back to the end zone to win it for the Veterans. In Piñata Pit, C.T. basically took the manhood out of a Division 1 athlete.
 
In the T-Bone elimination (Rivals), C.T.’s “Choo! Choo!” train almost killed Johnny and Tyler. It’s the biggest near death experience in Challenge history. I have a theory: We haven’t seen C.T. in a physical combat elimination ever since for good reason. I’m positive that’s a calculated decision by the Challenge Gods, not one that’s left up to chance.
 
C.T. faced off against Leroy in Wrecking Wall (FA), an elimination where both players had to punch through a 30-foot dry wall to make holes to climb up until they were able to reach the bell at the top. First player to ring the bell won. Leroy is an elimination beast; he’s won 8 career eliminations because of his physical strength and athleticism alone. He was no match for C.T. though. Anyone who watched the Duel 2, knows C.T.’s punching power is nothing to be played with. His punching power knocked out a whole wall on that season.
 
In the Flying Leap mission (Duel), players, one at a time, had to jump back and forth from one end of a platform to another that was suspended from a crane 20 feet above water. Numerous flags were hanging from poles located on both sides of the platform. Players had to grab as many flags as possible within a three-minute time limit; Whoever collected the most flags won. C.T. won Flying Leap with flying colors. He was the only male to not land on his body when jumping or not use any running momentum to assist his jumping sequences. C.T. instead showed us his athletic prowess, by setting his feet, loading his hips, exploding and jumping across, landing on his feet every time. Everyone on the sidelines watched in awe. C.T. made it look like a walk in the park.
 
C.T.’s All-Time Great Intelligence.
 
C.T. is the perfect two-way player. He not only has the brawn, but he has the brain as well. His long history of solving puzzles makes him an ATG intelligent male player. Below are some of C.T.’s greatest moments in which he had to put his brain to work.
 
C.T. eliminated Evan in Ascender (Duel), an elimination game in which players had to climb up a rope, pull a handle at the top of the rope, to release a basket containing puzzle pieces. The players then had to climb back down the rope to assemble a tiling puzzle similar to a tangram. C.T versus Evan was the second last male elimination on the original Duel. Up to that point, Evan was the clear #1 best competitor of the season and C.T. was the second. The two best players were going mano a mano. Evan got raddled under the stage lights (got caught trying to cheat), and the brain of the cold blooded killer, C.T. solved the tangram with ease.
 
In the Rivals 2 final, C.T. completed the puzzle checkpoint in a flash that Johnny/Frank fell behind in. Upon seeing the puzzle, C.T. straightaway figured it out because the puzzle was one that he played when he was hungover at a breakfast country club.
 
In the Final Redemption Challenge on D30, players had to read a code that provided a combination to a lock that contained puzzle pieces. The first two players to retrieve and complete their puzzle would return to the game, while the rest were eliminated. C.T.’s competition in this challenge was Dario, Jordan, Leroy, and Bananas. C.T. was the first male to successfully figure out the code and complete his puzzle, and re-entered the game as a result.
 
C.T. eliminated Darrell in Knot So Fast (Invasion). It was the last champions elimination of the season. The grandest stage of them all was set and the two all-time great champions had to rely on their strategical intelligence to win this one. Darrell put up a good fighting effort in trying to undo C.T.’s knot, but it looked like a physically impossible task. It actually was. According to Darrell on Challenge Mania, C.T.’s knots were so tight that production had to cut them off with machetes after the elimination was over. C.T. broke the Knot So Fast elimination. That’s how intelligent C.T.’s strategy was. The elimination win versus Darrell gave C.T. a spot in the finals, where he faced off against underdogs Cory and Nelson, who were fifteen years younger and in the athletic prime of their lives. In the final challenge, C.T. still managed to acquire his second season win and proved to the rest of the Challenge world that the underdogs were no match for the champion of champions.
 
C.T. has the All-Time Greatest Eating Abilities.
 
Eating is such an important trait to have in the challenge. It’s often identified as the most difficult portion of the final challenge each season. Players hate it. We’ve actually seen players quit in the final before because they couldn’t stomach eating disgusting things. We’ve seen C.T. devour all types of disgusting things without looking fazed in the slightest, that makes you question whether or not he has taste buds.
 
Remember the pickled fish soup in the Rivals 2 final? C.T. drank his like he was chugging a beer, while everyone around him was vomiting all over the place. Wes couldn’t bother to even taste his drink, so C.T. chugged it down for him.
 
In the Exes 2 final, C.T. ate the deer head and sheep blood as if it was everyday dinner. When he finished his plate, C.T. decided to go for seconds and helped Diem finish up her plate as well.
 
C.T.’s eating abilities are inhumane. Not only is C.T. known for downing disgusting foods in final challenges as if it were nothing, but he’s also known for winning regular season competitions where you had to eat a ridiculous amount of food (Toss Your Cookies v. Shane, eating the entire birthday cake on Race to the Altar in Exes).
 
C.T.’s first championship and third championships (Rivals II and WOTWII) were social-political clinics.
 
C.T. played his first eight seasons without winning the big one. It wasn’t until Rivals II, his ninth season, where he finally got his first challenge gold medal. As usual, C.T. crushed it on the field, but off the field, in the Challenge house, he played one of the best political-social games I had ever seen. On Rivals II, the opposite sex had control over the votes on male elimination days. C.T. was wooing all the girls, and they thought they were going to be apart of the next love big story on the Challenge. C.T. was never voted in because at least one player within four of the female teams had a fling with C.T. or were falling heads over heel for him on Rivals 2 (Anastasia, Cooke, Diem, and Nany).
 
On War of the Worlds II, C.T. was a member of the U.K. Team. He was apart of Cara’s Cult/The Royal Family. The physical shape C.T. was in this season was his worst ever, so him not ever being considered for elimination by his own team is mind blogging. C.T.’s social game was on a whole another level this season. My favorite C.T. moment on WOTWII is when he turncoats on Cara’s Cult right before the final and saves Tori from elimination to strengthen U.K.’s team for the final. C.T.’s political-social finesse on WOTWII rightfully earned him his third championship.
 
C.T.’s social-political skill, in general, deserves more recognition. Every time I hear people talk about C.T.’s eliteness, people only bring up the competition juggernaut and not the social-political mightiness he’s established over the course of his sixteen season career.
 
C.T. has only done three less seasons than Johnny Bananas, but he’s been in 11 less eliminations. Other than the first Rivals, I don’t recall there being a time where he wasn’t at the top of social structures. He has a whole catalogue of seasons where he was either pulling strings from the top or aligning with the biggest playmakers that were ones doing the pulling (i.e: Inferno 2 – CT was in a four person alliance with Derrick/Brad/Darrell where there duties were to not nominate each other in the inferno selections; The Duel – CT/Evan/Derrick/Brad each were paired with the best athletic girls and controlled the chain selections; Exes 2 – in an alliance with Mark/Robin, Johnny/Camila, and DunbaPaula that ran the game till the very end).
 
C.T. made history twice on Invasion and War of the Worlds II.
 
C.T. won his second championship 22 seasons after his rookie season. He debuted on the original Inferno, which took place in 2004, and won Invasion of the Champions in 2017. That’s a span of 13 years. C.T.’s Invasion win broke the previous record of the longest span between a rookie debut and championship win, that was held by Johnny Bananas. J.B. won his sixth championship 16 seasons after his rookie season. He debuted on the original Duel, which aired in 2006, and won Rivals 3 in 2016 (a 10 year span).
 
C.T.’s new breaking record was broken again by none other than C.T, just a few seasons later. C.T. won War of the Worlds 2, which took place 27 seasons after the Inferno, and 15 years later.
 
C.T.’s Overall Assessment.
 
If you read up until this point, I’m guessing a lot of you probably refuse to agree with my opinion of C.T. being the fourth greatest male challenger ever. Here’s my argument: C.T. is the greatest Challenge talent ever, but he doesn’t have the greatest legacy. Like mentioned earlier, he’s the Peyton Manning of the Challenge and I don’t consider Peyton Manning the #1 G.O.A.T. of Football (Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, and Tom Brady fit that bill better). In my eyes, Bananas, Jordan, and Landon are those three guys. The combination of their talent, winning percentage, and accomplishments fair just slightly better than C.T’s.
 
C.T. has just three championships in a sixteen season career. The rest of my top three have won just as much in a lot lesser time (Jordan, Landon) or doubled his wins in the same type of lengthy career (Bananas). C.T.’s temper and poor decision making tossed three years of his absolute prime down the drain (Inferno III, Gauntlet III, Duel II) and his inability to perform in the clutch tossed another year (Exes). That’s five seasons where the ultimate competitor, C.T., missed out on championships.
 
On the Inferno III, C.T. is cast on the Bad Asses; He was the best player on the cast, but he gets sent home the first night in South Africa because he punches Davis. C.T. would’ve been a lock for the final this season, he threw another potential championship out the window.
 
In the Gauntlet 3 final challenge, Big Easy cost C.T. and all the other final remaining veterans a championship win. You’re probably confused as to how this is C.T.’s fault, but he actually had a major hand in letting Big Easy ride to the final. If you go back to the first gauntlet deliberation where Johnny got sent in against Evan, Johnny plead to the rest of the Veteran males that Big Easy should have to go in, because he was going to lose them a final. C.T., who was the leader of the team, didn’t buy into Johnny’s plea; He had personal dislike towards Johnny and his reason for not throwing Big Easy in was because he loved partying with him. What’s the logic in that? C.T., the whole season was preaching about “trimming the fat” (getting rid of the girls on their team) and never worrying about Easy once was a horrific example of how to play a winning game. Prime C.T. was always finding a way to be the author of his own demise.
 
On the Duel 2, C.T. went into cannibalism mode. C.T. would’ve legitimately smashed Adam’s head and ate Adam’s head if it wasn’t for like thirty cast and production crew members successfully capturing him (and then tranquilizing him and putting him in his cage). There’s no guaranteeing C.T. would’ve won the D2, since the top crop of males this season was stacked. But this is an absolute peak C.T. we’re talking about, who’s in contention for the best men’s competitor all-time, so a championship victory is never out of the question.
 
In the Exes final, C.T./Diem lead the whole way until the final run up the mountain. Right before the finish line, C.T.’s tank ran out of gas (mirroring Peyton’s ability to choke in the playoffs) and he delayed winning his first championship for even longer.
 
C.T.’s competitive abilities (ATG physical strength, aggression, athleticism, intelligence, and eating) and his championship success in his career’s second half are sufficient enough to get him into the Challenge Mount Rushmore, but the four seasons he tossed down the drain in the first half of his career are a little too detrimental to have him in the top trinity. I think about it like this: Would I consider drafting Prime C.T. (Inferno - Free Agents) as my first pick when constructing a team in an-all time draft? Nope. He, was easily #1 in terms of competitive talent, but he was a complete hothead with bad decision making and only won one championship in ten seasons. Would I consider drafting Dadbod C.T. (Invasion - Total Madness) number one? Not at all. He’s won two championships in six seasons, with a phenomenal social-political game, but his competitive abilities are half of what they were before. Every version of C.T. comes with a small albatross that keeps him from having top three legacy.
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Portland, Blazing A Path Towards A Promising Future

Over the last 6 years, Portland has been nothing but consistent, it’s been in the playoffs year after year with little signs of slowing down till this year. In a season following a Western Conference Finals appearance many people, me included, had high expectations for this Blazers squad. With Dame at the helm and CJ, Nurk, and the rest of the squad to back him up a top-three finish in the wild western conference didn’t seem outrageous. Hell, maybe they’d catch a break with another team suffering an injury and make a run at the Finals. Instead, this season, the Blazers were the ones getting injured. Nurkic missed the whole season due to a gruesome leg injury that he experienced towards the end of last season. C.J. struggled to stay on the court consistently. Similarly, Collins missed extended time due to a shoulder injury that required him to have surgery, said surgery would sideline him for four months. These injuries, along with the loss of defensive stalwarts Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu decimated any hopes Portland had of being a contender this season. Instead, Dame was forced to spend a majority of the season backpacking the whole team, in an attempt to blaze his way towards the playoff (see what I did there). Despite Dame going demigod mode and dropping averages of 28.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 8.9 assists on 45.7/39.4/88.8 splits it’s not looking like the Blazers will be making their seventh consecutive trip to the playoffs. But it’s not all bad for Blazers fans. Dame is signed through the 2024-2025 season, C.J. is locked up through the 2023-2024 season, and Nurkic is on a team-friendly deal for the next two years. But what I wanted to talk about is the young blazers. The youngsters that will shape this franchise's future and ultimately decide whether Portland will be in the race for the title in the coming years. So without further delay let's talk some Blazers!
Anfernee Simons:
Simons is perhaps the most hyped up of the young blazers. The 21-year olds game is reminiscent, funnily enough, of C.j.’s. He projects to be a three-level scorer, who can get you a bucket from anywhere. He uses his speed and crafty ball handling to break down defenders, creating separation so he can get his shots off. Simons, in limited minutes, has shown to be able to get to the basket with relative ease, his shots don’t always fall when he gets there but he shoots solidly enough at the hoop. He’s shown glimpses of an ability to finish through contact, giving Blazers fans hope that he could one day be something more as an interior scorer. His shooting from both the midrange is impressive for his age. He’s shooting 45.2% from 15-19 feet away from the basket. To get these buckets he uses his arsenal of stepbacks and fakes to create separation and get his shot off. Can’t get to the midrange, no problem. Simons has shown the ability to be a high-end three-point shooter despite his career 33.9% shooting from behind the arc, he just needs to be more consistent. There are nights like April 10, 2019, where Simons shot 7-11 from downtown, scoring 37 points when it was all said and done. But there are also nights like December 3, 2019, where he will 1-5 from three. His shot looks good and he looks confident taking them which gives me hope that he will figure it out. He is a career 78.7% free-throw shooter as well, which points to him being able to one day knock down threes at a high clip. If Simons can improve upon his finishing at the basket and improve from deep I could easily see him being a three-level scorer who puts up 20+ points a night at his peak.
How’s the passing? Well, his 1.5 assists a game this season may not stand out but in his limited minutes, he has shown to be at least an adequate passer. Similarly to his shooting he just needs to be more consistent. For every full course pass or perfectly placed lob pass, he makes there will be another moment where he misses the open cutter or shooter in the corner. It’s more of his pass perception that needs some work, not as much his passing fundamentals. Despite the stats, I have faith that Simons will develop into a 4-5 assist guy in his prime.
What about his defense? For now, it’s pretty poor, but I do have hope for Simons on the less glamorous end of the court. Simons is an elite athlete which points to defensive upside. He has the lateral quickness to guard the perimeter while still having the hops to get up and contest shots around the rim. He lacks the strength to be an effective interior defender but with some NBA weight lifting training, that problem could be solved in no time. Simons is yet to fully understand how to defend opposing offenses and isn’t too great and reading passing lanes which limits his ability to disrupt the other team's offense and come away with steals. If Simons can figure out how to read other team's offense and get more steals it could be huge for the Blazers as Simons is an absolute menace in transition. If he can get on a fast break with the ball few players can stop him as he uses his speed blow by defenders and throws down some rim rocking dunks. His biggest fault on defense is his inability to be reliable on that end. He lacks awareness on that end, often losing his man and forgetting to provide help defense for his teammates. In the long run, I think Simons could be a strong perimeter defender and a blah interior one. His strength will likely always hold him back on the inside but if he can figure it out on the perimeter he will at least be serviceable on that end.
So the Blazers have a potential star on their hands. If Simons realizes his potential I could see him putting up 20+ points, 4-5 assists, and 4-5 rebounds on strong efficiency. All while being a solid defender. Of course, there are a lot of questions with Simons, but if it all works out I believe the Blazers have a star on their hands.
Nassir Little:
Coming out of high school Nassir Little was one of the nation's top-rated prospects (#2 overall). He had an underwhelming season at UNC which led him to fall to the 25th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft where the Blazers snagged him up. His first season in the big leagues was a mixed bag. His stats were rather underwhelming and if you didn’t watch the games you’d think this guy is a bonafide scrub. After all, he did put up just 3.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.5 assists on some garbage efficiency (23% from three). But where some see a dumpster fire I see potential. So what does he have going for him? Let's talk about it!
Little's biggest draw as a prospect is his freakish athleticism. We're talking about a 6’5, 220lb small forward with some serious bounce. I mean pretty much every highlight of this guy is either a dunk or a put-back. He’s got the ability to quickly accelerate and then just like that, stop on a dime. That same acceleration allows him to rapidly reach top speeds, making him a potential force in transition. He’s also pretty strong considering his 6’5 frame, however, a few extra pounds may not hurt.
His athleticism alone has allowed Nassir to be an average defender thus far in his career but it’s clear he has room to improve. He’ll use his speed to keep up with most players on the perimeter and use his strength, agility, and bounce to get up to contest shots at the hoop. He’s even shown to be able to get up multiple times in short succession, allowing him to block multiple shots in quick succession. He’s adept at covering for his teammates and being in the right position to assist his teammates on defense. Like many rookies Little struggles to consistently give 100% on defense all the time but on most nights he manages to stay locked in for the most part. He will hustle for open balls and try to make plays on defense, even if it doesn’t always work out. He’s also not too great at reading opposing offenses. He’ll miss out on steal opportunities because he’s unable to predict what the offense will do next. Similar to Simons, it would be huge if Little could improve upon his defensive awareness as it would lead to more steals which would result in more transition buckets for Little. Little could be a really good defender given some time, he has all the physical tools to effectively guard other forwards, he just needs to learn the mental part of the game.
Offensively Little is pretty limited. He’s proven to be an effective lob and put back threat, he’s shooting 59% at the rim. He’s also been able to use his athleticism to help him burst past defenders and get shots up 5ft-9ft away from the basket where he shoots 66.7%. That's it, there's not much to his offensive game. His playmaking in both College and thus far in the NBA is non-existent. His shooting has been poor from three-point range and from the line. His handle is okay, but not good enough to reliably create space and get shots off. I see some potential with Little as a shooter simply because his form looks solid enough, but it’s not assuring that he’s shooting 63.6% at the charity stripe. Still, I wouldn’t be shocked if he managed to shoot something like 33% from three in his prime (he’s 20, he has time). I see Little as a player that will need his offense made for him, whether it’s through lobs, cuts to the basket, or put backs off the rim.
I seriously doubt Little is ever going to be a star. He’s got all the physical tools to be a proficient offensive player but it’s his skills that are keeping him back. I think Little, at his peak, will be a 10-12 point scorer who operates mostly down low for his points. As I said previously I don’t think his shot can’t improve, I'm just not sure it will ever be even average. I have faith in his ability to become an above-average defender due to his physical prowess however it’s the mental aspect of the game that will decide if he will be a good or great defender. Ultimately I think Little’s best-case scenario is a fourth or fifth starter on a good team. If the Blazers can turn this athlete into a basketball player, they could have a very solid player under their wings.
Zach Collins:
Coming out of college Collins was seen as a perfect player for where the league was going. His crazy 47.6% from three in College to go along with his high-end blocking ability had scouts drooling over the possibilities with this near 7-footer. But thus far in his career, only one of those skills has come to fruition. That would be his shot-blocking. In his two full seasons as the Blazers center Collins has routinely shown the ability to keep up with ball handlers on the interior and swat away their shots at the basket. This has been his hallmark skill so far in his career but if he ever wants to be the player people projected him as coming out of college he’s gotta start hitting from outside. Between his rookie and sophomore season Collins has shot just 32.1% from three, not bad for your average center but a far cry from his 47.6% in college. So his shooting isn’t there yet but is he likely to improve. Hell yeah, he is. For one his shot looks clean and he seems to be fairly comfortable taking them (both of which are good signs). His free throw percentage, while not great at 72%, is still solid enough to make you think that he just hasn’t hit his shooting stride yet. He’s also improved all his shooting percentages from his rookie year to his sophomore year, giving further hope that he will figure his shot out.
Collins scores most of his buckets on the interior. He’s very skilled at using fakes, turns, hook shots, and even the occasional fade away to score within ten feet of the basket. Collins also uses his 6’11 stature to his advantage, always cutting to the basket or positioning himself to throw down a well-placed lob pass. Collins doesn’t have a go-to move, rather he uses a wide variety of post moves to get his shot up around the rim. Despite not being the fastest player on the court Collins still manages to be a threat in transition as he uses his size and length to his advantage, throwing down dunks with little regard for the defenders in front of him.
As a ball-handler Collins is subpar. He lacks the acceleration/burst to blow by defenders and he doesn’t have a crafty enough handle to make up for it. I don’t think being a shot creator will ever be one of Collin's main skills. But I do see some hope for him being a playmaker out of the post. In games, Collins has shown the ability to see cutters and get them the ball for an easy bucket. He hasn’t shown to be a good outlet pass to the perimeter but any sort of playmaking from the center position is a positive (even if he’s never anything special as a playmaker).
Collins isn’t a great rebounder for a center. He has the length and athleticism to be a solid rebounder however it’s his strength that has held him up to this point. He’s not weak, he’s just not as large as many other centers. Like if it’s between Collins or Karl-Anthony Towns to grab a rebound you can bet nine times out of ten Towns is getting that rebound simply because of his size and strength. This leads me to my main concern with Collins. I’m not sure that he’s ever going to be big enough to hang defensively with the upper tier of bigs in this league. He gets bodied by the larger bigs in the post and it makes me wonder if he can play the five long term. Ideally, Collins puts on some muscle to address this problem (hopefully he does) but even then I’m skeptical that he will be able to hold his own against the Embiid’s, Jokic’s, and Giannis’s of the league (then again few big men can). On the perimeter, Collins can hold his own against most other bigs but I would by no means call him a lockdown perimeter defender at this point in the league.
So what do the Blazers have with Collins? Well if he figures it out I believe they will have an ideal modern NBA big man who can score from both the interior and stretch the floor while playing plus defense. He could be the type of player that any team could want, not because he’s a star, but because he does everything you want your center to do. If he doesn’t figure it out he has at least shown to be a solid bench big who can score a bit and play some solid defense in limited minutes. Collin’s future is in question, his potential is not.
Gary Trent Jr.:
Gary Trent Jr. showed out this season. He emerged as a bench scoring option when the Blazers needed it. With McCollum missing time in the middle of the season, Trent showed what he could do to the tune of 7.7 points on 38.8% three-point shooting on 3.8 threes a game. This shooting ability along with some semi-respectable defense made him an attractive option off the bench for the crippled Blazers squad. His shooting from the rest of the court also impressed, shooting 45.8% from 10-14ft and 56% at the basket and 83.3% at the line. His handles are nothing to brag about but it was good enough to occasionally break down his defender and get an open shot off. He’s also a threat in transition as his speed allows him to cruise down the floor and get open for attacks at the basket or transition threes. Other than his shooting, transition scoring, and occasional shot creation Trent didn’t bring much more to the offense. But I mean our boy was selected in the second round (37th overall) so let's cut him some slack. Him being a contributor at all is a dub. He lacks the passing vision and accuracy to be an effective playmaker and isn’t much of an offensive rebounder (or rebounder, in general, to be honest).
Defensively Trent is just okay. His perimeter defense is better than his interior defense, which is not surprising considering his 6’5 stature and 210lb weight. He’s light on his feet which allows him to keep up with most guards. The problem comes when bigs get switched onto him as he’s not exceptionally strong or lengthy, leading him to being pushed to the side like Will Smith in his relationship with Jada (poor Will). He seems to have a solid idea of how to read opposing offenses as he’s been pretty good at identifying where passes are going and accumulating steals.
Of all the young Blazers we’ve talked about Trent is probably the least interesting in terms of long term potential. I don’t know that he will be anything better than a solid bench shooter who provides a bit of defense but that's alright. Considering his draft position (37th overall) the Blazers getting Trent was absolutely a win. I think Trent will be a 9-10 point scorer on good efficiency for years to come. That’s not bad for a second-round pick.
The Young Blazers:
If we look at all the young Blazers it’s pretty impressive what Portland has been able to do with their late lottery and non-lottery picks. Simons is a young, athletic guard who has all the potential in the world as a scorer. Collins has the makings of the perfect modern NBA big man. Little has starter potential with his interior scoring and high-end defensive upside. Trent was a nice pick up in the second round a couple of years ago. The Blazers have done an impressive job not only competing in the present but setting themselves up for a promising future. Maybe one day these young players could blaze Portland towards their second championship.
submitted by SundaeSports to nba [link] [comments]

My Way Too Early 2021 NBA Draft Wishlist

Just wanted to be the first to expose you guys to one of the most anticipated draft classes I've followed. I'm very glad Ja forced the Celtics to end up with our 2020 draft pick. This year's class sucks as many of you have already heard and I would way rather have next year's 20th pick, than this year's 12th pick. Why? Well let me introduce you to my favorite prospects for the Grizzlies.
I'm gonna go ahead and assume our next year's record will be marginally different and that would disqualify us from the biggest prizes in the draft. Whether it be Jonathan Kuminga, Jalen Green, or BJ Boston these guys are absolute locks as top 10 picks and I doubt the roster will be that bad. This leaves us with the 'bubble' lottery talents that are projected as first round locks with potential to rise or drop. The way I've assessed our core, the only thing we need to cement our future core is an elite wing/forward talent that can supplement Ja and Jaren while also possessing some creation upside.
So without further ado, here are my favorite 2021 Grizzlies draft fits:
Moses Moody
Arkansas | 17.9 Years Old | 6’6” | 185 lbs
A likely top-20 lock. Moses is an elite 3nD prospect who played alongside Cade Cunningham and Scottie Barnes at Montverde. He's got an excellent frame and skill set to play the 2 alongside Ja, an enormous wingspan for a wing (reportedly 7'+). Smooth athlete with a good feel for the game. His shooting prowess is his greatest asset. Elite shooter off the catch. Showcased rapidly developing on-ball skills and playmaking in AAU going into his senior year. Has the size, length, and anticipation to be a really good defender as a pro. Young as fuck for his class with underrated upside at the moment, he's awesome.
Keon Johnson
Tennessee | 18.1 Years Old | 6’5” | 226 lbs
An uber-athletic wing whose stock has been rising among draft enthusiast for good reason. Keon's had an impressive growth curve late in his high school career as he's also one of the younger guys in the class. At a minimum, he's a transition weapon and slasher through defenses with flexible finishing ability. Keon plays with an aggressive mix of quickness, bounce and energy to put pressure on both ends. He's a developmental bet but Johnson's shooting and passing skills are on the rise. Great balance. Jumper mechanics greatly improving with a touch that comes and goes. Mediocre passing and stock numbers make his feel for the game the biggest question mark regarding his upside. A potential steal if he can develop polished perimeter skills and feel to pair along with his elite athleticism.
Roko Prkačin
Cibona Zagreb | 17.4 Years Old | 6’9” | 210 lbs
A Croatian combo forward who will undoubtedly attract Luka comparisons. For those that loved the idea of Deni Advija, this kid translates even better as a 'point forward'. His very young age contrasts with how smooth and skilled his game is. High feel for the game and consistently displays excellent vision. Scoring upside is legit despite being vertically challenged, able to beat his man off the dribble and flashes impressive shot-making. Defense is a question but size and length create room for optimism. Roko led Croatia to the gold medal at the U16 Euro Championships in 2018, winning MVP at the tournament. He averaged 22.8 points and 13.4 rebounds to go with 2.9 assists and 2.0 steals per 40 minutes during the competition.
Terrence Clarke
Kentucky | 18.6 Years Old | 6’6” | 185 lbs
Terrence has a long, wiry physique for a shooting guard with bouncy athleticism. Explosive but also has tremendous body control. Has exceptional passing and court vision for his size and has a knack for making unselfish plays. A good ball handler who loves to change pace when driving. Will probably struggle with contact when driving due to lack of strength as he's quite skinny for his height. Biggest liability however is his general efficiency, and most importantly, his inconsistency shooting from deep. Has a quick shot with a low release but has never been considered much of a threat. In 18 AAU games from April to July, he shot 40.9 percent, 26.4 percent from three and 67.9 percent from the free-throw line. Rather old for this high school class as he turns 19 this September. Strong Josh Jackson vibes personally.
Ziaire Williams
Stanford | 18.3 Years Old | 6’8" | 195 lbs
For those who vaguely followed Sierra Canyon's stacked team this season, Ziaire is a familiar face as he was BJ Boston's sidekick. He's personally the prospect I have highest on my big board and I expect his stock to rise, so he's a bit of a long-shot but I love his theoretical fit. He's an elite shotmaker with ridiculous touch, and with the height of his shot release it makes for a potent weapon. Has great size and length for a wing prospect, will invite comparisons to MPJ due to the pedigree of shotmaking/release point intersection. An above-average finisher near the rim, who settles too much around the perimeter and has yet to prove he's a knockdown shooter imo. The Stepien’s Ross Homan (a high school guru) does however believe that Williams can develop into the best shooter in this class. Ziaire needs to gain strength and burst to help his physicality when driving to the hoop, alongside refining his ball-handling which can be a bit loose at times. On defense, he can guard multiple positions with a 6’11” wingspan and plays passing lanes well. Does a great job being active. Long strides in transition, can finish strong above rim. Off-ball activity is optimistic as constantly moving in the flow of the offense, not a ball-watcher. Good bones as far as off-ball offense. Comfortable pulling up in the high post or on the wings. Developing slasher, plenty of potential with handles for his size, a potential All-NBA scorer mold.
Thanks for reading my impromptu write-up! I'm clearly hyped for this class and looking forward to seeing them develop over the year. If you're interested in joining fellow draft nerds, give NBA_Draft a peek!
submitted by AltChronic to memphisgrizzlies [link] [comments]

PSSST...HEY...THE NBA IS BACK!

PSSST...HEY...THE NBA IS BACK!

PSSST...HEY...THE NBA IS BACK!

NBA IS BACK
MAC has been anticipating the return of the NBA, and he is looking forward to cashing in winning slips at the end of the season as well! Be sure to take advantage of the incredible deposit bonuses at MyBookie - $1000 First Time Deposit Bonus or $500 Reload Bonus for existing customers!! MyBookie has been the industry standard for US sports betting odds because they supply the very best lines possible!
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2019/2020 NBA CHAMPIONSHIP - ODDS TO WIN

Wager cut off: 2020 31st July 6:00 PM
LOS ANGELES LAKERS +185 - (MAC's #3 PICK , The Lakers will most likely be a huge disappointment this year, too much ego in the locker room, not enough energy to tip the scale towards the competitive collaboration needed too get a chip, but you have to play the odds, and the Lakers at +185 still has some value)
MILWAUKEE BUCKS +275
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS +300
BOSTON CELTICS +1200
TORONTO RAPTORS +1400
HOUSTON ROCKETS +1500 - (MAC's #1 Pick, the most underrated team this year, with the squad being led by head coach Mike D’Antoni, all you have to do is watch James Harden & Westbrook make YouTube highlight videos out of teams this year, especially the Lakers)
DENVER NUGGETS +2400
PHILADEPHIA 76ERS +2400
MIAMI HEAT +3300
DALLAS MAVERICKS +3000
UTAH JAZZ +4000
BROOKLYN NETS +5000
INDIANA PACERS +8000
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS +8000
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER +9000
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS +15000
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES +17500
ORLANDO MAGIC +17500
SAN ANTONIO SPURS +17500
PHOENIX SUNS +20000 - (MAC's #2 - The MAC will be attentively watching the lines coming out for the Suns this year, the money moving on this from key betting syndicates is a bit suspicious. Look for double digit covers from the Suns, long dog wins, and back door bucket shots to blow the cover in the last 2 minutes of their games)
SACRAMENTO KINGS +25000
WASHINGTON WIZARDS +30000
MAC's is anticipating a horrible season for teams like the Nuggets and the Magic so bad that the NBA might even disband the teams and consolidate the NBA if the money starts showing that it's the thing to do, but MAC is making elevator assumptions. The NBA season odds are a start, the NFL and MLB and NHL are all going to be relying on the outcome and handling of these games.
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submitted by TheMACSPicks to SportsReport [link] [comments]

(OC Megapost) the 2020 NBA Draft, Free Agency, and How the Warriors Can Play Their Cards to Set up Another Decade of Contention

(OC Megapost) the 2020 NBA Draft, Free Agency, and How the Warriors Can Play Their Cards to Set up Another Decade of Contention
Media members and the NBA subreddit will tell you our dynasty is over, however if you take a closer look, this franchise has one of the brightest futures in the NBA. I’ve had some free time on my hands so I decided to do some investigation on what moves Bob Myers & Co might make to keep us in contention. After all, they have been vocal about keeping our championship window open as long as possible.

This post is long so feel free to jump around. I broke it up into three sections with a TLDR at the end
  1. Current Roster Construction
  2. How we should use our 2020 draft pick
  3. Free Agency and the TPE

First, Roster Construction: Looking Ahead


G: Stephen Curry- Age 31 (Almost 32)
Curry is our franchise linchpin and until proven otherwise, the best point guard in the league. With that being said….......fuck…….... Steph is getting older. Injuries, wear and tear, and playoff minutes will all be factors in his eventual decline. Curry is under contract for two more years and the front office will probably extend him with another max deal.
The Future: There is a good chance these next two seasons are Curry’s last as a superstar, although his skill set will translate well into his mid 30’s. I’m praying we get 3-4 more years of MVP level Steph. We probably see regular season load management for the rest of his career.

G: Klay Thompson- Age 30
  • Max Contract Through 2024 (will be 34)
  • Bird Rights
  • 2020 Minutes Prediction: 75 games @ 32 mpg
Klay is locked up under contract and in the middle/late stage of his prime. He is in the sweet spot of mental & physical development and we should see peak Klay for at least a couple more seasons. ACL tears are almost always 100% recoverable with current medical technology, so I’m not worried about a production decrease until the 2022-23 season.
The Future: Standard Klay for the next 2-3 years.
F: Andrew Wiggins, Age 24 (almost 25)
  • Max Contract Through 2023 (will be 28)
  • Bird Rights
  • 78 Games @ 34 mpg
Andrew has been a hot and controversial topic since he was traded last week. Take a look at our official trade thread.Emotions have now settled, and it looks like he can be a contributing factor on a championship team. He is durable, unselfish, our best athlete, a great on-ball defender, and a much more natural scorer compared to someone like Barnes. He’s also just entering his “prime”. Most NBA players have their best seasons age 26-31 so there is potential (the magic word!) we see Wiggins improve here.
There are, however, negatives to Andrew’s game. He is not a great facilitator (although he is getting better), PnR ball handler, iso player, leader, and lacks the “dog” of a superstar #1 pick. I wouldn’t call him malaise, but he is an emotionless player. Luckily for us we will play to his strengths and through three games we can already see how he fits our system: cutting, hard drives, moving the ball, smart threes, and running the floor. Andrew is taking less shots & scoring more efficiently than he did with the Wolves, and I see this continuing as the third option.
Luckily we have leadership and emotional players so Wiggins can just come out and ball. Check out Athletic Alchemy's video on winning culture and accountability
The Future: Being incredibly conservative, I have him averaging 18/5/3 shooting 48/36/75 next year with good defense. This production is almost twice what Barnes averaged in the Bay and would solidify Andrew as a top 7-10 SF. His ceiling however is higher, and star potential is still there.

F: Draymond Green, Age 29 (almost 30)
  • Contract Through 2024, Player Option (will be 34)
  • Bird Rights
  • 70 Games @ 33mpg
Draymond might be the worst scorer in the league, but our fanbase know he does everything else at a good-to-elite level. He’s our general, our defensive anchor, and the father figure of this G-league roster.
Offensively he orchestrates the team, handles the ball, and is our best facilitator. Defensively he's top a help/PnR defender, and when he locks-in he is still elite on-ball. With Dlo gone he can run more of the offense and won't get as frustrated on the other end. Physically we aren’t in 2015 anymore, but Dray can still turn on the burners and push it when he needs to. He is the vocal leader of this team, a great motivator, and keeps everyone accountable while being one of the winning-est players of this generation.
The Future: With a rejuvenated and well rested Green I think we see at least another 2 seasons of high level production. I’m curious to see how his declining athleticism impacts his game, although I don’t think we notice a big difference for a few years.

C: Kevon Looney, Age 24
  • Contract Through 2022, Player Option (will be 26)
  • Bird Rights
  • 68 games @ 14 minutes a night
Looney was a key piece to our finals roster last year and has a role when this team is healthy. This year's production has been a wash with injuries and I hope he can get his mojo back for next season.
At his best Looney is a small center who has good lateral quickness and can switch 1-5 competently. He has decent offensive IQ and can finish around the rim. Hopefully he can continue to develop and be a rotation piece in the future. He’s only 24 years old.
Next Year: We probably see Looney with similar effectiveness to the 2018-2019 season, playing in match-up dependent stretches.

PG/SG: Jordan Poole, Age 20 (Rookie)
  • Contract Through 2023, Team Option (will be 23)
  • Bird Rights
  • 75 games @ 12 minutes a night
Jordan has been one of our most polarizing players. He almost played himself out of the league in December putting up 10 points on 29/26/84 efficiency. Thankfully his production has picked up since moving to point guard averaging 11/3/3 on 42/27/100 in February. He has a crafty handle and flashes of vision with a decent jump shot. His ceiling is a scoring 6th man, we just need to see continued improvement into the future.
Next Year: Poole shares the backup PG spot with Bowman and is inserted based on who’s hot.

PF/SF: Eric Paschall, Age 23 (Rookie)
  • Contract through 2022, Team Option (will be 25)
  • Bird Rights
  • 75 Games @ 24 minutes a night
Eric is a strong, physically imposing forward who has good bounce for his build. He had an incredible start in November and looked like a starting caliber player, but his production has since dropped off. Teams are learning his tendencies as our best scorer and have exploited him accordingly. Hopefully he has a strong end of the year to get a head start on improving this off-season. He needs to work on his jump shot, ball handling, defense, and overall IQ if he wants heavy minutes on our contending roster. Once again, the potential is there.
Next Year: I think Paschall improves and logs time at the 3 and 4 next season. Spacing will be much better and Eric will be able to play to his strengths on the offensive end. If he develops an average jumper + defense he is a league starter.

SG/SF: Damion Lee, Age 27
  • Contract through 2022 (will be 29)
  • Bird Rights
  • 75 games at 12 minutes a night
I don't have too much to say about Damion Lee. He is a decent scoreshooter who has had a good February. He moves without the ball and has bought into our system. He hustles and usually applies good effort. That being said he lacks the bball iq to be a good player on either end. He is who he is as a player.
Next Year: In a dry forward free agency/draft class Lee will still get playing time. Some nights he will make shots and others he will get played off the floor.

C: Marquese Chriss, Age 22
  • Contract through 2021 (will be 23)
  • No Bird Rights :’(
  • 80 Games at 26 minutes a night
I fucking love Marquese Chriss. He is an emotional player with good finishing, size, and a great vertical. He has shown some playmaking ability and can move the ball within the flow of the offense. Chriss is already a more cerebral player over centers like Javale, Dwight, and Capela. February has been a great month for him: he's averaging 15/8/1 with 2.5 bpg in 27 minutes. He’s also 22 years old.
Chriss can be a starter in this league if he improves in a few areas. Defensively his PnR game needs work: he has moments where he loses focus and can end up in the wrong spot, although his shot blocking has been excellent. Offensively he needs to polish his game and develop his jumper. If he shows even a 10% improvement overall we should be ecstatic. The Warriors will end up having to use our MLE in 2021 to keep him, although he might be offered more by other teams.
The Future: I see Chriss continuing to improve and being a solid piece, if not a starter, on this roster.

PG: Ky Bowman, Age 22
  • Contract Through 2022 (will be 24)
  • Bird Rights
  • 75 Games at 12 minutes a night
Bowman is a hustle player and our only facilitator other than Draymond. He has good chemistry with Chriss and is our “best” ball handler. He’s not someone you can count on to give you a bucket which lowers his value on this talent-dry team. He might have more success next year when we are healthy and he can focus on passing and defense. Speaking of defense, he’s good on that end.
Next Year: Ky will probably be competing with Poole next year for backup PG minutes on a game-by-game basis.

G-League + 10 Day’ers
Alen Smailagic
  • Probably the only player who is on the team next year. He is a pure project, but has shown signs he might make it in the league.
JTA
  • A good defender and that's about it. We might keep him,


The 2020 NBA Draft


The Warriors have two high draft picks, our own in 2020, and a top three protected in 2021 from Minnesota.

Why We Should Keep our (High) Draft Picks
  • Our core is heading into next year at 32 (Steph), 30 (Klay), 30 (Draymond), and 25 (Wiggins). Bringing in young players to develop and take regular season minutes from our stars makes sense.
  • High level rookies are on cheap, 4 year contracts w/ bird rights and turn into restricted free agents. We can also extend our core players while they develop.
  • It is financially impossible for this team to bring in free agents outside our MLE, TPE, and minimum contracts.
  • Drafting high-level rookies into the best culture, system, and team in the league??? Sign me up.
  • It is the only way to keep our championship window open in the short and long-term. We can still field an elite roster next year, the year after, and 5-6 years down the line if we get good development from our players.
  • That being said we shouldn’t be opposed to trading down into the 6-10 range this year if able.

Who We Should Draft

1) James Wiseman, C, Memphis, Freshman

https://preview.redd.it/w3rkm8r1rdh41.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=31d4771979ae6e0da2e6be03d5940702eb15b3a0
  • 7’1” 235, 7’5” Wingspan
  • Age 18 (3/31/01)
  • 20/10/3 blocks on 77/NA/70 splits
  • Pick Prediction: We take him if he is on the board
  • James is arguably the best center prospect since Karl Anthony-Towns. But the changing NBA landscape and his shortened season might give us an opportunity to draft him as high as 5. He's an athlete, has a build that will allow him to add muscle, and was already an elite shot blocker in Memphis. He’s a physical specimen with measurables only matched by Rudy Gobert. He has shown the potential to build a jump shot and has good awareness around the rim. He shot 70% on 9FTA per game this season. It will take him time to develop into a star but he should produce at least Javale-like numbers year one. Historically we have never had a great center so it’s hard to imagine this team with a dominant big. The league is trending smaller but I still think Wiseman is a must-draft prospect with superstar potential

2) Anthony Edwards, G Georgia, Freshman

https://preview.redd.it/abdqcx92rdh41.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a15508e980af81e1f5e19a7f4b362cd9a545baa1
  • 6’5” 225, 6’10” Wingspan
  • Age 18 (8/05/01)
  • 20/5/3 on 41/30/76 splits (7.5 3PA/G)
  • Pick Prediction: We take him if Wiseman is off the board
  • I’m not as high on Edwards as others but once again he has potential we can't pass up on. He’s one of the youngest players in the draft and already has an incredible NBA body. He can score and get his shot off anywhere plus has the makeup to be a lockdown defender. He already does everything on both ends of the floor well. He’s the most complete player in the draft and a top 2 pick.
  • Edwards’ biggest negative is his shot selection: Step back twos, contested jumpers, isolation fade-aways, etc. Luckily It seems it's more a product of his system/green light rather than an attitude issue (see Carmelo Anthony). It's still the biggest knock on him as a prospect and his ego would take a hit on this Warriors team.
After Wiseman & Edwards are selected I could see us trading down into the 5-11 range as star potential drops-off (except for LaMelo, who I’m not high on). Other teams will try to trade down as well, so we might end up having to keep the pick.

3a) Tyrese Haliburton, G, Iowa State, Sophomore

https://preview.redd.it/y8nozj03rdh41.jpg?width=1024&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1ff238425ee79d6844c8c58d5aedae0339faf1e4
  • 6’5” 185, Good Wingspan
  • Age 19 (2/29/00)
  • 15/6/7 on 50/42/82 splits (3 3PA/G)
  • Pick Prediction: 4-8
  • Tyrese is my favorite player in this draft. I’m arguably higher on Haliburton than Edwards, especially fit-wise for this team. Tyrese is a natural passer, team player, and a more efficient scorer as a sophomore at Iowa State. He acts as the floor general in a pass-and-move system and is already an elite facilitator. He's a great shooter with a funky jumpshot (KAT and Kevin Martin mixed), but I don’t think it will be an issue in the league. He has NBA range ++ and Tyrese will space the floor immediately as a catch-and-shoot player. Defensively he needs work on-ball, but his team defense is excellent. He is a vocal defender with crisp rotations, and frequently blocks shots & attacks the passing lanes. He’s out for the season with a broken wrist so he could fall to us in the 7-10 range.

3b) Isaac Okoro, F, Auburn, Freshman

https://preview.redd.it/r8sd4bo3rdh41.jpg?width=927&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=8eaf22fb9135d4df2124784b84ab772ddb56af7b
  • 6’6”, 225, 6”9” Wingspan
  • Age 19 (1/26/01)
  • 13/5/2 on 51/27/66 (2.5 3PA/G)
  • Pick Prediction: 4-6
  • Okoro is rising up big-boards as one of this draft’s most intriguing prospects. He has great athleticism and will make an immediate impact on an NBA defense: switching 1-5, locking-up the opponents best scorer, harassing off-ball, and demoralizing teams on a nightly basis. Offensively he's very raw but has come into his own since the start of the year, playing his most consistent stretch of basketball in February. He isn’t your typical 3&D wing: he's at his best when he can use his body and physicality to score. He racks up second chance points as a great offensive rebounder and thrives in transition. In the halfcourt he’s most effective when attacking the basket or cutting backdoor. His 3 ball is also improving: shooting 32% in his last 8 games (with decent form). Okoro makes us an elite defense right away and has a good ceiling offensively.

3c) Obi Toppin, F, Dayton, Sophomore

https://preview.redd.it/wddx69o4rdh41.jpg?width=1920&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a8a909292256014bfc78d7a8e5b77fe85f6db3d3
  • 6’9”, 220, Good Wingspan
  • Age 21 (3/4/1998)
  • 20/8/2 on 63/36/72 splits (3 3PA/G)
  • Pick Prediction: Trade down, 6-10
  • Obi is a physically developed 6’9” athlete who is an incredibly powerful dunker. He can play the post, set screens, run the floor, block shots, and is a great fit in today’s game. He’s also shown NBA range with good form in his sophomore season. Being almost 22 years old he doesn’t have the ceiling of other prospects, but he's a sure bet to be a productive player. Toppin will work as a small ball centePF and can play 3-5. His on-ball defense is a question mark against playmaking forwards but he still should be an asset on that end.

6) Deni Avdija, F, Maccabi Tel Aviv

https://preview.redd.it/lb9635b5rdh41.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=9c476ba21e612da2ba2120bb5e37007612000a50
  • 6’8”, 200
  • Age 19
  • 4/3/1 on 47/33/58 (14 mpg)
  • Pick Prediction: Trade down, 7-11
  • Deni is a prospect who hasn’t played many minutes this year. He is a point-forward who can score, pass, dribble and play within the offense. In the minutes he's actually received he's been a pretty impressive player! (Think of a better facilitating Gallinari as his ceiling). He’s a decent finisher at the rim and has NBA size.
  • He does have some clear negatives: He’s limited athletically, so there is a ceiling on his defense and physical abilities. He has also been a terrible free throw shooter and his jump shot is inconsistent. That being said he is a great plug and play guy in our system with good offensive upside. He’s the last player I would be excited to draft.

Players that Don’t Make Sense


1) LaMelo Ball, G , Illawarra

https://preview.redd.it/56d3j286rdh41.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=4a9918eb5a2ea7363bf8e5ac8342ad851abe1897
  • 6’7”, 180
  • Age 18 (8/22/2001)
  • 17/8/7 on 37/25/72 (Seven 3PA/G)
  • The Good: Melo is a tall point forward and a triple double threat every night. He is a smoother overall player than Lonzo, has a MUCH better handle, and has some crazy finishes at the rim (high-level 2k layup package). He has a star ceiling and is the youngest out of all the prospects.
  • The Bad: Melo is a reality TV and Instagram star. I question if he has the drive & desire to compete with guys like Jimmy Butler or Russel Westbrook on a nightly basis. I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s cocky but he celebrates and stares people down more than he should on the worst team in the NBL (5-22 record this year). He’s a bad on-ball defender and doesn’t put in effort off-ball. What will be most detrimental to his NBA career, however, is his efficiency. Melo has the dream combo of bad mechanics + poor shot selection and it translates to his shooting percentages. He’ll have to make some drastic changes to be a high-level starter. I don’t abhor him as a prospect, I just hate his fit on this team and want nothing to do with the Lavar circus.

2) Onyeka Okongwu, C, USC, Freshman

https://preview.redd.it/x9nbye47rdh41.jpg?width=620&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b297ef311e2e5c475231763d27832aec0a6c46af
  • 6’8”, 235
  • Age 19 (12/11/2000)
  • 16/9/3 blocks on 61/NA/75
  • Onyeka and LaMelo will be the second and third lottery picks from Chino Hills’ 2016 roster, joining Lonzo Ball in this year's draft. Okongwu is an imposing player that fills the lob threat/rim protector role better than anyone this class sans Wiseman. His ceiling will fluctuate based on the development of his jumpshot. I don’t see him as a fit- Chriss already takes up our undersized center role.

3) Everyone Else
  • There are an abundance of decent point guard prospects and none of them fit the roster (except Haliburton). RJ Hampton is too much of a project, Killian Hayes plays like Dlo, Cole Anthony is inefficient, and other guards will land outside of the lottery.


Free Agency and the TPE

This team has a few big holes and Warriors only have the Mid-Level Exception and Minimum contract options to use at our disposal: our biggest need is a bruising center, followed by wing depth, a backup point guard, and shooting. I’ve organized an MLE tier list and focused on our obtainable options. There are also minimum contract ideas to round out our roster. You can find current and future free agents here.

MLE Targets

First Tier, Pipe Dreams: Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic, Serge Ibaka , Danillo Gallinari
Second Tier, Realistic Options: Tristan Thompson, Aron Baynes, Dwight Howard, Paul Milsap, Jae Crowder, Jeff Teague

1) Tristan Thompson, C, Cleveland Cavs, Age 28
  • $18.6 mil current salary
  • 12/10/2 and 1 block on 51/NA/64, 30mpg
  • Full MLE
  • Tristan has the best mixture of age, physicality, defense, and rebounding out of our center options. He is also the youngest on this list at 28 years old. He can bang with other bruisers and switch 1-5 when locked in (as we have experienced first hand). He’s going to be a commodity with other contenders this summer.
2) Aron Baynes, C, Phoenix Suns, Age 33
  • $5.3 mil
  • 11/6/2 with 2 blocks on 49/33/72 (4 3PA/G), 22mpg
  • Partial MLE
  • Aron Baynes is a big center who can shoot and stretch the floor. He’s a fantastic pairing with our starters and might be signable for a portion of the MLE. He will match up against centers like Gobert, Jokic, and Adams. He fills a role this team has never had before as a stretch 5 who can hit free throws.
3) Dwight Howard, C, Los Angeles Lakers, Age 34
  • $2.6 mil current salary
  • 8/8/1 and 1.4 blocks on 74/NA/60, 20mpg
  • Partial MLE
  • Dwight finally let go of his ego and has been excellent this year in a clogged rotation. At 34 he’s still an elite athlete on the court and the best rebounder on the Lakers. He would immediately give our team size and power and brings good energy to the locker room.
4) Paul Milsap, PF, Denver Nuggets, Age 35
  • $30.1 mil
  • 12/6/2 on 48/44/85 (2.4 3PA/G), 24mpg
  • Full MLE
  • Paul has been playing at an effective level for 14 years. He’s a strong, versatile defender who can score efficiently in the flow of the offense. He’s arguably the best player on this list but he doesn’t fill our biggest needs. He will, however, be an incredible backup to Draymond and can play the 4 or small ball 5. Paul will be a highly desired asset.
5) Jae Crowder, SF, Miami Heat, Age 29
  • $7.8 mil
  • 10/6/3 on 37/29/79 (6 3PA/G) 27mpg
  • Partial MLE target
  • Crowder is our best wing option in 2020. I have him over the Morris twins because of his attitude and bball IQ. Watching Jae he’s a great teammate, hustle player, and willing passer. His efficiency is horrible this season, but it seems to be more of an outlier than normal: his career shooting splits are 42/34/78 (although fg% has been down after his stint in Boston). He’s a strong, physical defender who can guard 1-4 and always plays with effort.
6) Jeff Teague, PG, Atlanta, Age 31
  • $19.0 Mil
  • 13/6/3 on 45/38/87 splits (2.5 3PA/G) 28mpg
  • Partial MLE
  • Jeff hasn’t been a starting caliber pg since his Atlanta days, but he could be decent as a backup for Steph. I’m not a huge fan of his game, as he just edges out the Morris brothers for my last pick.

Third Tier, Honorable Mentions: Mason Plumlee, Nerlens Noel, Enes Kanter, Alex Len, Javale McGee, Robin Lopez, Morris Twins, Derrick Favors

Minimum Contract Ideas

Top 5: Wes Matthews, DJ Augustin, GR3, Marvin Williams, Patrick Patterson

Wes Mathews, G, 33
  • 8/3/1 on 41/37/77 splits (4 3PA/G), 25mpg
  • Wes is still producing on a Bucks team on pace to win 70 games. He is a good defender, spaces the floor, and can start if we need him too. He has a player option this year so we will have to offer him more than the vet minimum to pull him out of Milwaukee.
DJ Augustin, G, 32
  • 11/2/5 on 39/35/88 splits (3.5 3PA/G) 26mpg
  • DJ is not an exciting pickup by any means but he adds shooting and playmaking to the bench. As of right now he's a better overall PG than Poole and Bowman. He’s in the midst of a down year statistically and might be a good buy-low option.
Glen Robinson III, G, 26
  • 12/4/2 on 48/40/85 splits (3.5 3PA/G), 30mpg
  • GR3 got great experience on our team and developed into an efficient scorer. He understands our system and would be ideal as a backup wing. Unfortunately teams will offer him the full MLE, and I’m not sure it makes sense to pay him that on our roster.
Marvin Williams, F, 33
  • 7/3/1 on 45/37/86 splits (3 3PA/G), 20mpg
  • Marvin is not the stretch 4 he used to be but could still be a piece in our rotation.
Patrick Patterson
  • 5/3/0 on 40/37/79
  • Literally just a body at this point.

The Traded Player Exception

The warriors have a TPE valued at $17.1 mil from the Igoudala trade. I only see us trading down this year or using our personal 2021 pick as assets, so the players we can get back in return are limited. Here are three players we should consider.

Terrence Ross, G, 29
  • 13/3/1 on 39/32/83 Splits (7 3PA/G), 27mpg
  • $13.5 mil/year through 2023
  • Terrence is a decent wing player who’s having a bit of a down year percentage wise. He makes less than our full TPE and gives us more cap flexibility than someone like Evan Fornier. He is a scorer who’s best as a catch-and-shoot 2 guard and is a match in our system.
Jonas Valanciunas, C, 27
  • 15/11/2 and 1 block on 59/37/72 splits (1.5 3PA/G), 26mpg
  • $15.0 mil/year through 2022
  • Jonas fits our center rotation like a glove with his size and strength. He dominates in matchup dependent stretches against weaker bigs. The Grizzlies will want a better asset than our 2021 pick so he might be an unrealistic target.
Thaddeus Young, F, 31
  • 10/4/1 on 44/34/59 splits (3 3PA/G), 24mpg
  • $14.5 mil/year through 2022
  • Thad is highly coveted by this sub and could be a decent rotation forward, however his athleticism is declining. This year he’s been an average bench player on a bad Bulls team. His only assets are defense, hustle, and instincts. He ‘s an old option and will be 33 at the end of his contract.

Summary/TLDR:
The Warriors are in hibernation mode but have done a great job pooling assets together for another 5 year ++ run. It was a blessing in disguise that everyone got injured at the same time. Our stars are aging, so it's logical to draft rookies that will grow into our system. The talent pool isn’t elite this year, but there are a few prospects we can’t pass up on. In free agency we have the MLE, TPE, and Minimum contract options to sign players. We have a wide-variety of ways to fill out our roster. I think we maintain championship contention for at least 3 more years.
Statistics, Sources, and Salary Cap Information
https://www.basketball-reference.com/
https://www.espn.com/
https://www.spotrac.com/
submitted by Alwaysmovingup to warriors [link] [comments]

With this season on hold, let’s look ahead to next. Here’s a breakdown of top draft prospect Anthony Edwards (Georgia). How he plays, how he projects, and how he fits on every team.

Thanks to the coronavirus, this NBA season may be a disjointed mess, and the NBA offseason may be as well. There’s no telling how much information teams will have to work with in regards to the prospects (their medicals, their workouts, their interviews, etc.) In a sense, it’s going to make an already-dicy draft class even riskier than ever.
That said, there are some things that we know about the new crop, so I thought I’d break them down for those NBA fans who don’t follow the NCAA and have run out of Tiger King episodes already.
Today, we’re going to start with the player listed at the top of the charts (on most sites.)
SG ANTHONY EDWARDS, GEORGIA
his resume
After a successful stint as an E.R. doctor, Anthony Edwards turned his attention to basketball full time. Best known as an explosive scorer, the guard became a five-star recruit that was ranked top 5 by all major sites. The Atlanta product decided to stay local, and attend Georgia for college. At the time, it was seen as a major coup for coach Tom Crean and a redefining moment for the Bulldogs program.
As we all know, snagging "one and done" superstars is a great way to stay relevant in college basketball. If you can load up with 2-3 of them at once, you can be a true title contender. However, as we've seen many times recently, landing ONE superstar recruit doesn't necessarily lead to glory. Solo stars like Ben Simmons and Dennis Smith Jr. didn't have loads of team success (and saw their coaches get fired soon after). Future # 1 pick Markelle Fultz's Washington team went 9-22 in his lone season there.
Some of those same problems plagued Anthony Edwards at Georgia. As a one-man band, he could rack up good raw stats (19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds per game), but struggled with his efficiency. He shot only 40.2% from the field, and only 29.4% from three (on 7+ attempts per game.) His playmaking also left something to be desired (2.8 assists, 2.7 turnovers.) Coach Tom Crean will survive, but this 16-16 team wasn't a year to remember after all.
Despite those mixed results, Edwards is still ranked as the # 1 overall prospect on ESPN. Other sites have him a little lower (with tankathon's # 6 slot the lowest), but he's generally considered a heavy favorite for a top 3 pick along with PG LaMelo Ball and C James Wiseman.
his game
When you watch Anthony Edwards play, the first thing that comes to mind is his explosion and power for the position. He's listed anywhere from 6'3" to 6'5" (so we'll settle on 6'4") but he has a long 6'9" wingspan. More than that, he's a sturdy 225 pounds. He’s going to be a handful to match up with, even in the NBA.
Offensively, Edwards utilizes his athleticism well, pressing the issue and (at times) forcing his will. The 19.1 PPG may not jump off the page, but Edwards has all the tools to be a big-time scorer. He can get buckets anywhere on the court. And while his 29.4% three-point percentage may jump out as an immediate red flag, his actual shooting form looks fine. His FT% (77.2%) also indicates as much. He's also clearly not shy about taking shots either, illustrating his confidence in that part of his game. With better teammates and better shot selection, he should be an average to above-average three-point shooter (maybe 36%.)
Defensively, Edwards should be better than he’s shown so far. He’s a natural SG, but his size and length should enable him to guard some 1s and 3s as well. However, the effort and attitude isn’t always there on that end at this stage.
his comps
Because Anthony Edwards played for Tom Crean, there's a natural tendency to compare him to other shooting guards that Crean has coached -- including Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo. Presuming any prospect will be as good as Dwyane Wade is setting yourself up for disappointment, but as far as best case scenario, that's not ridiculous at all. Like Wade, Edwards is a long-armed power guard with All-Star potential. I'd even say that he's farther ahead than Wade was offensively at this stage of their careers (Wade stayed two years at Marquette.) In order for Edwards to unlock that upside, he'll need to continue to hammer his way to the line. He averaged 5.3 free throw attempts per game -- which is "good" but not "great." Wade himself improved from 4.8 FTA to 7.5 FTA in his second year in college, and I'd encourage Edwards to make that a point of emphasis as well.
In terms of "worst case scenario," a few come to mind as well. If Edwards doesn't get to the line much in the NBA, then his scoring efficiency will become very dependent on his shot making, which is no sure thing right now. I've heard some people here on reddit throw out a Dion Waiters comparison, and that's not a ridiculous suggestion either when considering Edwards' floor. If he doesn't improve his efficiency and he doesn't improve his defensive intensity, then perhaps a life as a mediocre empty-calorie scorer is in the cards for him.
If I had to bet on a most likely outcome, the truth would be somewhere in between. Utah SG Donovan Mitchell immediately comes to mind for me. Like Edwards, Mitchell is a little undersized (in terms of height) but has good length and a powerful frame. He thrives best as a multi-level scorer, although his efficiency will also hinge on how often he's getting to the line. Right now, in Year 3, Mitchell averaged 24-4-4 for the Jazz, and that seems like a realistic expectation for Edwards down the road as well.
how he fits on every team (listed by current lottery order)
(1) GOLDEN STATE. chances of # 1 pick: 14%, chances of a top 4 pick: 52%
Based on some rumors, Anthony Edwards is the top player on the Warriors' board, although you could wonder about the immediate fit. Presumably, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson will be locked into the backcourt, and Andrew Wiggins (flaws and all) will still be further ahead than a 19-year-old rookie. There's some chance that the Warriors may decide to go SUPER small and play all four together with Draymond Green, but it's more likely that they'd bring Edwards off the bench to begin his career. That would serve as a nice boost for their shaky depth, but may not be the best use of an asset like this.
I'm more bullish on Edwards' fit on Golden State from a long-term perspective. Steph Curry is 32 now, so by the time that Edwards hits his prime, Curry will likely be 35+ and best used as a complementary scorer anyway. Edwards would inherit the kingdom, so to speak. And if you're worried about his habits and playing style, then you're unlikely to find a better home to develop him than a top-flight organization like Golden State. overall fit: 3 (out of 5).
(2) CLEVELAND. chances of # 1 pick: 14%, chances of a top 4 pick: 52%
Last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised many by taking a scoring guard like Darius Garland only one year after taking a scoring guard in Collin Sexton. Presumably, Anthony Edwards could fit with either one of the two because of his size/length, but it'd be hard to imagine all THREE playing together. To add even more murkiness to the equation, the Cavs also have an explosive young scoredevelopmental project at SG in Kevin Porter Jr.
If the Cavs do get a chance to draft Anthony Edwards, they'd likely go ahead and hand him the keys to the kingdom (and throw the other babies out with the bath water) if need be. He can be the type of signature star that they've lacked since LeBron James. That said, it's one of the clunkiest fits on the board. overall fit: 1.5 (out of 5).
(3) MINNESOTA. chances of # 1 pick: 14%, chances of a top 4 pick: 52%
Karl-Anthony Towns and GM Gersson Rosas finally landed their man in D'Angelo Russell, another high-volume scoring guard that theoretically would clash with Anthony Edwards. However, I actually think Russell and Edwards could play in the same backcourt. They're both long (Russell has a 6'10" wingspan, Edwards 6'9"), and project as decent shooters from range. Aside from some back and forth battles for the basketball, they should play well together.
The bigger domino effect of Edwards landing in Minnesota may be the fate of mid-season acquisition Malik Beasley. Beasley has some similarities to Edwards, with an underrated scoring touch. You could play Beasley as a 6th man scorer, but he's a free agent right now and may have higher aspirations than that. That hanging question will dock us a half point in this score. overall fit: 3 (out of 5.)
(4) ATLANTA. chances of # 1 pick: 12.5%, chances of a top 4 pick: 48%
The Atlanta Hawks already have their signature star in tow in Trae Young. They've (wisely) endeavored to build the supporting cast in a way that covers for him on defense, selecting D'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish in the draft, and trading for Clint Capela in midseason. On the surface, Anthony Edwards doesn't fit int that mold. He has the tools to be a good defender, but like a lot of young scorers, doesn't always lock in (advanced stats list him as a modest +0.8 in defensive box plus/minus.)
All that said, the fit still isn't bad. If the Hawks want to make the playoffs, they need to improve their defense. But if they want to win championships down the road, then grabbing another potential All-Star to pair with Trae Young is a good recipe too. Young's ability to spread the court would also help Edwards as he attacks inside. Offensively, they'd be a bad-ass duo. overall fit: 4 (out of 5.)
(5) DETROIT. chances of # 1 pick: 10.5%, chances of a top 4 pick: 42%
The strength of this year's draft is the point guard position, and that works out well for the Detroit Pistons. They could use a young guard who can develop behind Derrick Rose for a season or two, and ultimately take the reins of the offense and become the star of the franchise down the road.
That said, the Pistons could also use a star small forward. Or a star shooting guard. Basically: any star at all. Certainly, Anthony Edwards has star potential. That makes him a good organizational fit, even if the roster fit isn't cookie cutter (SG Luke Kennard is pretty good; let the Pistons know that.) overall fit: 3.5 (out of 5.)
(6) NEW YORK. chances of # 1 pick: 9%, chances of a top 4 pick: 37%
Like the Detroit Pistons, the New York Knicks aren't going to get too picky with their needs. Sure, they'd like a superstar PG, but any superstar would add a much-needed jolt of electricity to the building.
Would Anthony Edwards be the best type of superstar to provide that? Eh. Kinda-sorta. There's definitely some overlap here with R.J. Barrett in terms of a young wing with All-Star potential but some inefficiency issues to iron out. In an ideal world, they could be a superstar duo (LeBron James + Dwyane Wade worked out okay), but there's too much murkiness and projection involved there to give you confidence in that fit. overall fit: 2.5 (out of 5).
(7) CHICAGO. chances of # 1 pick: 7.5%, chances of a top 4 pick: 32%
Wait, an athletic scorer with defensive lapses? Would Chicago Bulls fans be seeing double here when Anthony Edwards shows up to play alongside Zach LaVine?
Again, as with Minnesota, I don't think it's a total duplication to pair the two together, because Edwards and LaVine both have size and the ability to shoot it. You could play the two together and put the pressure on defenses. That said, it's not a perfect marriage by any means, unless the Bulls can change their culture and get their kids to lock in on both ends. overall fit: 2 (out of 5.)
(8) CHARLOTTE. chances of # 1 pick: 6%, chances of a top 4 pick: 26%
The Charlotte Hornets' top two scorers this year were both guards -- Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham -- but neither one of them are good enough or efficient enough to make you change from a "best player available" approach to the draft.
More than anything -- and dare I say, more than any other NBA team -- the Charlotte Hornets need a SUPERSTAR. With all due respect to Kemba Walker, they haven't had one since their expansion. I don't know if Anthony Edwards will necessary be that superstar, but he'll have every opportunity here on a team that would feature him heavily. And while the Hornets get a lot of flak for their organization, their coaching staff isn't half bad at all. Candidly, I hope they win the lottery, because they deserve some good karma for not egregiously tanking despite their obvious rebuild here. overall fit: 4.5 (out of 5.)
(9) WASHINGTON. chances of # 1 pick: 4.5%, chances of a top 4 pick: 20%
Conversely, the Washington Wizards don't need a superstar to slap on the marquee as much as other lottery teams like Charlotte. They have Bradley Beal, and John Wall returning next year. Moreover, both of those stars are guards who thrive with the ball in their hands. Anthony Edwards would represent quite a bit of duplication here.
To repeat, the Wizards (and every team) should take Edwards if he's the clear best player available, but it's just not the best marriage for both parties in this particular case. Edwards could be a great 6th man for them or perhaps play as a small SF, but it's not the ideal remedy for what ails them. More than anything, the Wizards need frontcourt help, and defensive help, and Edwards' talents lie elsewhere. overall fit: 1 (out of 5.)
(10) PHOENIX. chances of # 1 pick: 3%, chances of a top 4 pick: 14%
At a certain point, years and years of lottery picks are going to give the Phoenix Suns so much talent that the scales will tip over and turn them into a winner. Probably. Maybe.
Anthony Edwards would help with that, even if there's some natural duplication here with scoring guard Devin Booker that will dock them a point or two in our metrics. That said, Booker has the ability to play PG if need be, and is one of the better spacers in the league. If coach Monty Williams can get Booker and Anthony Edwards to be a two-headed monster on the perimeter and unleash Deandre Ayton's potential as well, this could be a sleeping giant. overall fit: 3 (out of 5.)
(11) SAN ANTONIO. chances of # 1 pick: 2%, chances of a top 4 pick: 9%
It feels awfully strange to say, but the San Antonio Spurs are actually one of those teams like Charlotte (gasp) that needs a future star to build their team around. DeMar DeRozan is 30 (and a potential free agent), LaMarcus Aldridge is 34. The young kids like Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl are solid, but limited. Anthony Edwards would immediately come in and become the centerpiece of a rebuild. (Lonnie Walker IV may bristle at that, but our eyes will have wandered past him in this scenario.)
What works best in this hypothetical is the fit from a developmental standpoint. Edwards has star potential, but isn't a sure thing. There's no organization better at maximizing talent than the San Antonio Spurs, from a shooting perspective to a basketball IQ perspective to a long-term load management perspective. overall fit: 4.5 (out of 5.)
(12) SACRAMENTO. chances of # 1 pick: 1%, chances of a top 4 pick: 6%
Do the Sacramento Kings have a big need at SG? I don't know. They may not know. The team found some success toward the end of the year by starting Bogdan Bogdanovic and bringing Buddy Hield off the bench, but that may not be a sustainable scenario. Bogdanovic is a restricted free agent, and may cost upwards of $15M a season. Adding another wing to the mix would be an expensive proposition; the team would either need to bring either Hield, Boggy, or Anthony Edwards off the bench for a while.
At the end of the day, talent wins out, so you wouldn't complain to add even more to this young core; still, it doesn't appear to be the best fit on our board. overall fit: 2.5 (out of 5).
(13) NEW ORLEANS. chances of # 1 pick: 1%, chances of a top 4 pick: 6%
Young talent definitely isn't a problem in New Orleans. Along with Zion Williamson, they also have Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram (a restricted free agent that they're intent on re-signing.)
The current presence of Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick may not leave a lot of minutes available in the backcourt right now, but the true upside of this team isn't going to be in 2020 or 2021. If the Pelicans can develop a starting lineup of Lonzo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Jaxson Hayes, they could have the making of a true title contender in 3-4 years time. Zion + Edwards would be an especially wicked brand of bully ball on poor opposition. overall fit: 4 (out of 5).
(14) PORTLAND. chances of # 1 pick: 0.5%, chances of a top 4 pick: 2%
Like Golden State, the Portland Trail Blazers already have two stars in their backcourt with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. As mentioned with the Warriors blurb, Anthony Edwards' best fit with the Blazers may be in the long term. As Lillard and McCollum age, Edwards can take on more of the mantle as the star of the team.
But still, that's not an ideal marriage for all parties involved. What makes this even less seamless than the Warriors situation is that the Blazers already have a promising young combo guard in Anfernee Simons. If the Blazers move up into the top 3 and take Edwards, I would expect a trade (of either Simons or McCollum) to follow. fit: 1 (out of 5.)
submitted by ZandrickEllison to nba [link] [comments]

/r/nba 2015 flashback: ‘Who is going to be the better player in 5 years?'

Link: https://np.reddit.com/nba/comments/3goo39/lets_play_whos_is_going_to_be_the_better_playe?limit=500
As a 2015 thread asking who will be the better player in 2020, I thought it’s about time to revisit this thread. Let’s see who people thought would be the better player in 2020, and actually discuss who the better player is now.
This post from the 2015 offseason said:
Basically list two young players and people will respond with who they think will be better in 5 years.
The format for this thread will contain a context section so you can get a sense of what was going on at the time the OP was posted.
Afterwards, I’ll highlight certain comparisons that I thought were interesting, post their 2015 counting stats to give an idea of what they were producing at at the time and quote some of the more articulate responses from the thread below.
Context for August 2015:
Warriors won their first ring vs Lebron’s Cavs. Steph had an MVP. Kawhi won his first DPOY. Draymond was DPOY-runner-up. Wiggins was ROY
Russ had won the scoring title but wasn’t a serious MVP candidate due to team record and missing too many games.
Durant and PG had missed a lot of time during the 2015 season due to injury.
AD was in his third season, Gobert and Noel were sophomores while Nurkic was a rookie.
Kyrie had just finished his first year playing with Lebron. Lillard and Aldridge got knocked out in the first round by Memphis.
2015 draft happened recently. The top 4 picks were KAT, Russell, Okafor and Porzingis.

Comparisons

PG vs Kawhi
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Paul George 24 6 .492 3.7 1.0 0.8 0.2 8.8
Kawhi Leonard 23 64 .567 7.2 2.5 2.3 0.8 16.5
Someone said:
Before this past season I would have said George, but looking at the way Kawhi improved this past season, It's probably him now.
Look, I know people want to say that George is a better and more complete offensive player, but you're not looking at the context of PG's breakout season. Vogel gave him and Stephenson almost complete control of the offense. Put Kawhi in the same role, and I suspect his contribution on offense would be similar.
Look at Kawhi this past season. Pull up threes, turnaround jumpers, eurosteps, and a back-to-the-basket game. That's more than what I could say for PG. He's one of my favorite players, but his offense is literally straight line drives, pull-up jumpers, and transition buckets.
It's hard to compare the two on defense because PG just missed a season, and a big part of defense is experience, and maybe PG might have been a better defender if he played. All I'll say is that Leonard is a DPOY while only playing 64 games, and PG was 7th place in his best defensive season.
And sharksfanabroad said
They're not that hard to compare; similar experience (Kawhi has 252 regular season games to PG's 292) and similar position.
Kawhi has the better career TS% (.583 to PG's .545), but has benefited from the lower usage rate (18.3% to PG's 23.4%). Also, with Kawhi's increasing role, we're seeing a decline in his TS%; can't be as efficient when becoming more of an offensive focal point.
The win shares are even, but WS/48 favors Kawhi. Despite some counting stats benefiting PG (since his offensive output is high; usage rate), the advanced stats suggest that Kawhi is better defensively while PG gets more assists.
I guess my answer is "don't bet against the Spurs". They seem to know what they're doing with their talent; not exhausting them, and doing the best to prove that longevity as a top-tier player is better than a couple of seasons as a top-5 player.
AD vs KD
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Anthony Davis 21 68 .591 10.2 2.2 1.5 2.9 24.4
Kevin Durant 26 27 .633 6.6 4.1 0.9 0.9 25.4
Someone said
I think it will be AD. He is a better defender who can be a 28p/124a/3b/2s guy and dominate the league with his inside and developing outside game. If he really adds the corner 3 or spotup 3 to his game I think he won’t be much worse on O but will be much better on D because he can guard 1-5 for a possession and has DPOY potential. Also he is the man everybody thinks LeBron will pass the torch to as being the best player in the league.
Another said
Anthony Davis. Kevin Durant will be 32 and his athleticism will begin to decline, but still is a top 10, maybe top 5 player in the league. Davis will be the best player in the league (unless Wiggins is Kobe/Jordan 2.0, but we can't tell yet).
Anthony Davis to me will become Karl Malone who's an even better defender... god damn. Hope he gets a point guard to feed him like Stock fed the Mailman. I will be very disappointed if I have to watch Davis get mid 2000s Kobe'd and have a shit team around him.
ztejas rebutted that
Durant is a generational talent and 32 is not that old. Especially for a 6'10" player that is one of the best shooters in NBA history. Go look at any all-time-great's stats at 32. Jordan, Kobe, Bird, Hakeem, Magic, Malone. They were all still great and still top 5 players at 32. Some of them were the best player in the league. LeBron is going to be 31 next year, and he will still either be the best or 2nd best to KD. Davis is the only young gun that is probably a safe bet to be on the same level as Durant at some point in his career. Thinking that there will be 5 players that have surpassed KD in 5 years is pretty empty speculation.
Steph vs KD
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Stephen Curry 26 80 .638 4.3 7.7 2.0 0.2 23.8
Kevin Durant 26 27 .633 6.6 4.1 0.9 0.9 25.4
This is the season after Steph’s 1st MVP but before his 2016 MVP. Below is a quickfire of different one-liners from that comment thread.
Durant, younger (by a few months) and already better.
KD’s not much younger, but still, KD's already the better player by far. Shit man, people really have forgotten about him
Durant is the second best player in the NBA when he’s playing.
Curry won't improve anymore aside from perhaps better assist stats.
Curry. I don't think we've seen his final form yet.
Steph vs Russ
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Stephen Curry 26 80 .638 4.3 7.7 2.0 0.2 23.8
Russell Westbrook 26 67 .536 7.3 8.6 2.1 0.2 28.1
Someone said
In 5 years they will both be 32 (Westbrook will actually be 31 and 10 months). Westbrook won't be nearly as athletic as he is now which his game relies heavily on. Steph is at an advantage there as he relies on his athleticism much, much less.
Another person said
One player's game is meant for 32 years of age while the other's most definitely isn't. Lebron is the greatest athlete possibly ever in the NBA and even he looks like he lost a step this year. That's at 30, imagine two extra years on a player who isn't super durable like bron
And this person said.
In 5 years they will both be 32 (Westbrook will actually be 31 and 10 months). Westbrook won't be nearly as athletic as he is now which his game relies heavily on. Steph is at an advantage there as he relies on his athleticism much, much less.
Kyrie vs Dame
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Kyrie Irving 22 75 .583 3.2 5.2 1.5 0.3 21.7
Damian Lillard 24 82 .460 4.6 6.2 1.2 0.3 21.0
Someone said
In 5 years, they'll both be #1 options, but Kyrie will have 5 years of running a top-5 offense under his belt alongside great support and probably the best mentor anyone in the league right now could ask for. If I had to invest in one player to cash in 5 years from now, it would definitely be Kyrie.
Another said
Dame's two years older. He got to play with one of the best floor spacing bigs in Aldridge and had decent 3pt shooting on the wings.
Kyrie played with verajo, Thompson, Bennett and Tyler zeller as his bigs. He had dion waiters, Alonzo gee, Jarrett jack and cj miles as his wings. There is not much shooting there, Bennett never developed, zeller just started hitting mid range in Boston, Andy was always hurt, jack had a terrible year, and well dion...
Still they averaged similar ppg and FG %. Dames a good player, but Irving is just better. He has all the tools, sweet 3pt stroke, ability to score in the paint (he finishes near the top FG % inside 6 feet for PG's) and some say the best handles in the league. He has the size, 6'3, and the athleticism to become a good defensive player and showed improvement last year.
While irelli replied to the above with
Nope, Lillard definitely doesn't have a sweet 3pt stroke. No way he's led the league in deep 3s (30+ feet) since he came in the league.
Lillard finished better from inside 5 feet this year than Kyrie did, and on a higher volume too. Lillard: 59.9 % / Kyrie: 56.7 %. Lillard is six three too. We have set plays that end in a Lillard alley oop so I’d say Lillards a bit more athletic. Anyway, Kyries real advantage is that he's a much better ball handler and a more acrobatic finisher. I would just take all those other things over his handles.
Gobert vs Nurkic
Player Age G MP TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Rudy Gobert 22 82 26.3 .627 9.5 1.3 0.8 2.3 8.4
Jusuf Nurkic 20 62 17.8 .484 6.2 0.8 0.8 1.1 6.9
Someone said
It's like comparing Vlade Divac to Ben Wallace. One's a solid two way starter, but the other can completely anchor your defense. Got to go with the guy who is elite at something rather than good at two things.
Another said
Its Gobert. I will take elite defense, at an already young age, and still improving offense. Gobert is already maybe the best defensive center in the NBA, and he's still getting better. Nurkic is raw as hell, and could be a very good player, but give me Gobert 7 days a week, and twice on Sunday.
Finally, someone said
Nurkic may be more skilled but IMO Gobert is more effective because of his athleticism and length. But sure, I'll concede the offense to Nurkic. However Gobert's effect on the D side is just so great that it destroys Nurkic's advantage on O. The Jazz went from no. 21 defence to top 3 after they traded Kanter.
Gobert vs Noel
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Rudy Gobert 22 82 .627 9.5 1.3 0.8 2.3 8.4
Nerlens Noel 20 75 .493 8.1 1.7 1.8 1.9 9.9
A lot of people commented on how close they found this comparison at the time.
Someone said
This is the hardest one in here for me... Gobert's 9'9 standing reach is ridiculous and 7 inches higher than Noel's. Gobert has already proven that he can make a huge improvement from one year to another, which we have yet to see if Noel can. I think Noel has a higher ceiling but Gobert is more likely to be better of the two in 5 year
Another said
Noel. I think he's a actually a better defender, he was top 10 in both bpg and spg. Also, while he has not shown much improvement on the offensive side, it is something that he has said he is working hard at. I think Gobert will just be a slightly better Tyson Chandler
deknegt1990 replied to the above with
Chandler was a DPOTY candidate in most of his years, player with phenomenal heart, grit, and determination.
Remember that Chandler had the potential to be one of the best centers in the league barring DH, the only thing that derailed that was his injuries. Once he got to a team where he was healthy and happy, he was a beast. Mavs won a ring partly due to the ridiculous defensive load he carried.
I'd love to see Gobert reach Chandler levels, minus the injuries he'll be a beast.
Someone mentioned that
Numbers show that Gobert is the better defender. He allowed the lowest % at the rim as a starter and was third in blocks. He's faster, longer and now stronger than Noel. I have no doubt Noel with be the better Offense/Defensive combo
And finally someone said
Noel because Gobert pretty much reached his ceiling already. He was the best rim protector and overall defensive terror last year, he cannot improve on that. On offense and perimeter defense he is who he is. All in all pretty good package but looking forward five years Noel might be better. He has the potential for much more versatility on both sides.
KAT vs Okafor
Rk Player G GS MP TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
1 Jahlil Okafor 211 113 20.6 .561 5.1 1.0 0.3 0.9 11.1
2 Karl-Anthony Towns 346 346 34.4 .622 11.8 2.7 0.8 1.5 22.5
Towns and Okafor were the 1st and 3rd pick in the 2015 draft and haven’t played an NBA game yet so I thought it’d be more interesting if I posted their career statlines above.
Someone said
Towns. From watching them in college, I feel like KAT has more to grow. Something about Okafor just smells of "he's at his potential". I don't know why, maybe it's his stoic nature, but he just seems to be there already.
And another said
Towns. I think he will be a great second peice to a championship team and can play a lot of ways.
Okafor will be a player who gets 23ppg on a shitty team and cant be the go to guy on a 50 win team and has a playstyle that makes teams now want him
I see him as Al Jefferson reincarnated
Draymond vs Ibaka
Player Age G GS TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Draymond Green 24 79 79 .540 8.2 3.7 1.6 1.3 11.7
Serge Ibaka 25 64 64 .549 7.8 0.9 0.5 2.4 14.3
Ibaka, who is only 7 months older than Draymond, was still a year away from getting drafted to the Magic for Dipo, Ilyasova and Sabonis. Draymond was a DPOY runner-up and had just won his first ring.
Here are some one liners.
Anyone debating this just imagine Ibaka on the Warriors instead of Draymond. They are literally just as good and would likely be better.
Ibaka is way better
Ibaka is better right now than Dray could ever even hope to be
Wait... So like an elite player or near elite player vs. a a guy that fits well in a championship team? Hmmmmm. Hard one
Goddamn Dray is so overrated now
Someone replied to the above with
Well one of them was a DPOY runner up and integral cog in a finals winning offense and the other didn't make the playoffs
Someone said
Comparable defense yeah but Ibaka is nowhere near as useful offensively as Green. Ibaka is supposed to help carry the water for his team as a third option but I've seen many a Thunder game where he couldn't get that 20-10.
Draymond on the other hand was actively engaged in one of the best offenses and defenses of last season.
Ibaka is a better fit for the Thunder and Green is a better fit for the Warriors. Chemistry matters Another poster said
I'd take Draymond as a top-20 player in the league, and probably closer to top-15. I think his ability to defend centers and truly guard positions 2-5 makes him one of the most versatile and most useful players in the NBA. He completely changes your offense and defense and is the prototype for new the ideal NBA big. I think Ibaka is an excellent player, but Draymond's skillset is so much more rare that I'll take him any day of the week.

Bonus question: Pick an above comparison that you think is still close. Who do you think will be better in 5 years?

submitted by hedonistolid to nba [link] [comments]

/r/nba 2015 flashback: ‘Who is going to be the better player in 5 years?'

Link: https://np.reddit.com/nba/comments/3goo39/lets_play_whos_is_going_to_be_the_better_playe?limit=500
As a 2015 thread asking who will be the better player in 2020, I thought it’s about time to revisit this thread. Let’s see who people thought would be the better player in 2020, and actually discuss who the better player is now.
This post from the 2015 offseason said:
Basically list two young players and people will respond with who they think will be better in 5 years.
The format for this thread will contain a context section so you can get a sense of what was going on at the time the OP was posted.
Afterwards, I’ll highlight certain comparisons that I thought were interesting, post their 2015 counting stats to give an idea of what they were producing at at the time and quote some of the more articulate responses from the thread below.
Context for August 2015:
Warriors won their first ring vs Lebron’s Cavs. Steph had an MVP. Kawhi won his first DPOY. Draymond was DPOY-runner-up. Wiggins was ROY
Russ had won the scoring title but wasn’t a serious MVP candidate due to team record and missing too many games.
Durant and PG had missed a lot of time during the 2015 season due to injury.
AD was in his third season, Gobert and Noel were sophomores while Nurkic was a rookie.
Kyrie had just finished his first year playing with Lebron. Lillard and Aldridge got knocked out in the first round by Memphis.
2015 draft happened recently. The top 4 picks were KAT, Russell, Okafor and Porzingis.

Comparisons

PG vs Kawhi
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Paul George 24 6 .492 3.7 1.0 0.8 0.2 8.8
Kawhi Leonard 23 64 .567 7.2 2.5 2.3 0.8 16.5
Someone said:
Before this past season I would have said George, but looking at the way Kawhi improved this past season, It's probably him now.
Look, I know people want to say that George is a better and more complete offensive player, but you're not looking at the context of PG's breakout season. Vogel gave him and Stephenson almost complete control of the offense. Put Kawhi in the same role, and I suspect his contribution on offense would be similar.
Look at Kawhi this past season. Pull up threes, turnaround jumpers, eurosteps, and a back-to-the-basket game. That's more than what I could say for PG. He's one of my favorite players, but his offense is literally straight line drives, pull-up jumpers, and transition buckets.
It's hard to compare the two on defense because PG just missed a season, and a big part of defense is experience, and maybe PG might have been a better defender if he played. All I'll say is that Leonard is a DPOY while only playing 64 games, and PG was 7th place in his best defensive season.
And sharksfanabroad said
They're not that hard to compare; similar experience (Kawhi has 252 regular season games to PG's 292) and similar position.
Kawhi has the better career TS% (.583 to PG's .545), but has benefited from the lower usage rate (18.3% to PG's 23.4%). Also, with Kawhi's increasing role, we're seeing a decline in his TS%; can't be as efficient when becoming more of an offensive focal point.
The win shares are even, but WS/48 favors Kawhi. Despite some counting stats benefiting PG (since his offensive output is high; usage rate), the advanced stats suggest that Kawhi is better defensively while PG gets more assists.
I guess my answer is "don't bet against the Spurs". They seem to know what they're doing with their talent; not exhausting them, and doing the best to prove that longevity as a top-tier player is better than a couple of seasons as a top-5 player.
AD vs KD
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Anthony Davis 21 68 .591 10.2 2.2 1.5 2.9 24.4
Kevin Durant 26 27 .633 6.6 4.1 0.9 0.9 25.4
Someone said
I think it will be AD. He is a better defender who can be a 28p/124a/3b/2s guy and dominate the league with his inside and developing outside game. If he really adds the corner 3 or spotup 3 to his game I think he won’t be much worse on O but will be much better on D because he can guard 1-5 for a possession and has DPOY potential. Also he is the man everybody thinks LeBron will pass the torch to as being the best player in the league.
Another said
Anthony Davis. Kevin Durant will be 32 and his athleticism will begin to decline, but still is a top 10, maybe top 5 player in the league. Davis will be the best player in the league (unless Wiggins is Kobe/Jordan 2.0, but we can't tell yet).
Anthony Davis to me will become Karl Malone who's an even better defender... god damn. Hope he gets a point guard to feed him like Stock fed the Mailman. I will be very disappointed if I have to watch Davis get mid 2000s Kobe'd and have a shit team around him.
ztejas rebutted that
Durant is a generational talent and 32 is not that old. Especially for a 6'10" player that is one of the best shooters in NBA history. Go look at any all-time-great's stats at 32. Jordan, Kobe, Bird, Hakeem, Magic, Malone. They were all still great and still top 5 players at 32. Some of them were the best player in the league. LeBron is going to be 31 next year, and he will still either be the best or 2nd best to KD. Davis is the only young gun that is probably a safe bet to be on the same level as Durant at some point in his career. Thinking that there will be 5 players that have surpassed KD in 5 years is pretty empty speculation.
Steph vs KD
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Stephen Curry 26 80 .638 4.3 7.7 2.0 0.2 23.8
Kevin Durant 26 27 .633 6.6 4.1 0.9 0.9 25.4
This is the season after Steph’s 1st MVP but before his 2016 MVP. Below is a quickfire of different one-liners from that comment thread.
Durant, younger (by a few months) and already better.
KD’s not much younger, but still, KD's already the better player by far. Shit man, people really have forgotten about him
Durant is the second best player in the NBA when he’s playing.
Curry won't improve anymore aside from perhaps better assist stats.
Curry. I don't think we've seen his final form yet.
Steph vs Russ
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Stephen Curry 26 80 .638 4.3 7.7 2.0 0.2 23.8
Russell Westbrook 26 67 .536 7.3 8.6 2.1 0.2 28.1
Someone said
In 5 years they will both be 32 (Westbrook will actually be 31 and 10 months). Westbrook won't be nearly as athletic as he is now which his game relies heavily on. Steph is at an advantage there as he relies on his athleticism much, much less.
Another person said
One player's game is meant for 32 years of age while the other's most definitely isn't. Lebron is the greatest athlete possibly ever in the NBA and even he looks like he lost a step this year. That's at 30, imagine two extra years on a player who isn't super durable like bron
And this person said.
In 5 years they will both be 32 (Westbrook will actually be 31 and 10 months). Westbrook won't be nearly as athletic as he is now which his game relies heavily on. Steph is at an advantage there as he relies on his athleticism much, much less.
Kyrie vs Dame
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Kyrie Irving 22 75 .583 3.2 5.2 1.5 0.3 21.7
Damian Lillard 24 82 .460 4.6 6.2 1.2 0.3 21.0
Someone said
In 5 years, they'll both be #1 options, but Kyrie will have 5 years of running a top-5 offense under his belt alongside great support and probably the best mentor anyone in the league right now could ask for. If I had to invest in one player to cash in 5 years from now, it would definitely be Kyrie.
Another said
Dame's two years older. He got to play with one of the best floor spacing bigs in Aldridge and had decent 3pt shooting on the wings.
Kyrie played with verajo, Thompson, Bennett and Tyler zeller as his bigs. He had dion waiters, Alonzo gee, Jarrett jack and cj miles as his wings. There is not much shooting there, Bennett never developed, zeller just started hitting mid range in Boston, Andy was always hurt, jack had a terrible year, and well dion...
Still they averaged similar ppg and FG %. Dames a good player, but Irving is just better. He has all the tools, sweet 3pt stroke, ability to score in the paint (he finishes near the top FG % inside 6 feet for PG's) and some say the best handles in the league. He has the size, 6'3, and the athleticism to become a good defensive player and showed improvement last year.
While irelli replied to the above with
Nope, Lillard definitely doesn't have a sweet 3pt stroke. No way he's led the league in deep 3s (30+ feet) since he came in the league.
Lillard finished better from inside 5 feet this year than Kyrie did, and on a higher volume too. Lillard: 59.9 % / Kyrie: 56.7 %. Lillard is six three too. We have set plays that end in a Lillard alley oop so I’d say Lillards a bit more athletic. Anyway, Kyries real advantage is that he's a much better ball handler and a more acrobatic finisher. I would just take all those other things over his handles.
Gobert vs Nurkic
Player Age G MP TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Rudy Gobert 22 82 26.3 .627 9.5 1.3 0.8 2.3 8.4
Jusuf Nurkic 20 62 17.8 .484 6.2 0.8 0.8 1.1 6.9
Someone said
It's like comparing Vlade Divac to Ben Wallace. One's a solid two way starter, but the other can completely anchor your defense. Got to go with the guy who is elite at something rather than good at two things.
Another said
Its Gobert. I will take elite defense, at an already young age, and still improving offense. Gobert is already maybe the best defensive center in the NBA, and he's still getting better. Nurkic is raw as hell, and could be a very good player, but give me Gobert 7 days a week, and twice on Sunday.
Finally, someone said
Nurkic may be more skilled but IMO Gobert is more effective because of his athleticism and length. But sure, I'll concede the offense to Nurkic. However Gobert's effect on the D side is just so great that it destroys Nurkic's advantage on O. The Jazz went from no. 21 defence to top 3 after they traded Kanter.
Gobert vs Noel
Player Age G TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Rudy Gobert 22 82 .627 9.5 1.3 0.8 2.3 8.4
Nerlens Noel 20 75 .493 8.1 1.7 1.8 1.9 9.9
A lot of people commented on how close they found this comparison at the time.
Someone said
This is the hardest one in here for me... Gobert's 9'9 standing reach is ridiculous and 7 inches higher than Noel's. Gobert has already proven that he can make a huge improvement from one year to another, which we have yet to see if Noel can. I think Noel has a higher ceiling but Gobert is more likely to be better of the two in 5 year
Another said
Noel. I think he's a actually a better defender, he was top 10 in both bpg and spg. Also, while he has not shown much improvement on the offensive side, it is something that he has said he is working hard at. I think Gobert will just be a slightly better Tyson Chandler
deknegt1990 replied to the above with
Chandler was a DPOTY candidate in most of his years, player with phenomenal heart, grit, and determination.
Remember that Chandler had the potential to be one of the best centers in the league barring DH, the only thing that derailed that was his injuries. Once he got to a team where he was healthy and happy, he was a beast. Mavs won a ring partly due to the ridiculous defensive load he carried.
I'd love to see Gobert reach Chandler levels, minus the injuries he'll be a beast.
Someone mentioned that
Numbers show that Gobert is the better defender. He allowed the lowest % at the rim as a starter and was third in blocks. He's faster, longer and now stronger than Noel. I have no doubt Noel with be the better Offense/Defensive combo
And finally someone said
Noel because Gobert pretty much reached his ceiling already. He was the best rim protector and overall defensive terror last year, he cannot improve on that. On offense and perimeter defense he is who he is. All in all pretty good package but looking forward five years Noel might be better. He has the potential for much more versatility on both sides.
KAT vs Okafor
Rk Player G GS MP TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
1 Jahlil Okafor 211 113 20.6 .561 5.1 1.0 0.3 0.9 11.1
2 Karl-Anthony Towns 346 346 34.4 .622 11.8 2.7 0.8 1.5 22.5
Towns and Okafor were the 1st and 3rd pick in the 2015 draft and haven’t played an NBA game yet so I thought it’d be more interesting if I posted their career statlines above.
Someone said
Towns. From watching them in college, I feel like KAT has more to grow. Something about Okafor just smells of "he's at his potential". I don't know why, maybe it's his stoic nature, but he just seems to be there already.
And another said
Towns. I think he will be a great second peice to a championship team and can play a lot of ways.
Okafor will be a player who gets 23ppg on a shitty team and cant be the go to guy on a 50 win team and has a playstyle that makes teams now want him
I see him as Al Jefferson reincarnated
Draymond vs Ibaka
Player Age G GS TS% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
Draymond Green 24 79 79 .540 8.2 3.7 1.6 1.3 11.7
Serge Ibaka 25 64 64 .549 7.8 0.9 0.5 2.4 14.3
Ibaka, who is only 7 months older than Draymond, was still a year away from getting drafted to the Magic for Dipo, Ilyasova and Sabonis. Draymond was a DPOY runner-up and had just won his first ring.
Here are some one liners.
Anyone debating this just imagine Ibaka on the Warriors instead of Draymond. They are literally just as good and would likely be better.
Ibaka is way better
Ibaka is better right now than Dray could ever even hope to be
Wait... So like an elite player or near elite player vs. a a guy that fits well in a championship team? Hmmmmm. Hard one
Goddamn Dray is so overrated now
Someone replied to the above with
Well one of them was a DPOY runner up and integral cog in a finals winning offense and the other didn't make the playoffs
Someone said
Comparable defense yeah but Ibaka is nowhere near as useful offensively as Green. Ibaka is supposed to help carry the water for his team as a third option but I've seen many a Thunder game where he couldn't get that 20-10.
Draymond on the other hand was actively engaged in one of the best offenses and defenses of last season.
Ibaka is a better fit for the Thunder and Green is a better fit for the Warriors. Chemistry matters Another poster said
I'd take Draymond as a top-20 player in the league, and probably closer to top-15. I think his ability to defend centers and truly guard positions 2-5 makes him one of the most versatile and most useful players in the NBA. He completely changes your offense and defense and is the prototype for new the ideal NBA big. I think Ibaka is an excellent player, but Draymond's skillset is so much more rare that I'll take him any day of the week.

Bonus question: Pick an above comparison that you think is still close. Who do you think will be better in 5 years?

submitted by hedonistolid to nbadiscussion [link] [comments]

“Hello, Jews out there! Your boy is here!”: Quotes and Stories from “Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association” (Non Hall of Famers Edition)

Over the weekend, I really engrossed myself in Terry Pluto’s fantastic book “Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association”. There were so many good stories that I decided to keep a document and share with y’all! First up is the Non-Hall-of-Fame Player section, hope y’all enjoy! (If you’re skimming for Marvin Barnes stories, I decided he deserved his own post.)

Charlie Williams (ABA guard)

It was an adventure every night. I was with Pittsburgh, and our first exhibition game was against the New Jersey Americans. New Jersey’s uniforms never showed up and they played in white T-shirts with numbers written on the back in Magic Marker. They also wore shorts or sweat pants that didn’t match. Never in my life was I so grateful to have my own uniform.
Later, we played a game in New Orleans that was held up for a half hour because something happened to the electricity. (A possum got into the wiring.)

Les Selvage (Anaheim Amigos guard)

But Les Selvage was a legend in the first year of the ABA. He was a 6-foot-3 guard who was in love with the 3-point line. He acted like if he stepped over it, he was going to get killed or something. He didn’t just shoot 25-footers—he took 30-footers. I am not exaggerating. And he did it at any time in the game. He’d be on the wing on a fast break, stop a good step behind the 3-point line and cut loose. And the guy had strong arms and wrists—he didn’t take a set shot from 30 feet, he took a normal jumper.
During the ABA’s first season, Selvage fired away from 3-point range 461 times, not just more than any other ABA player but more than any other ABA team but Pittsburgh.[...] After the first third of the season, Selvage was shooting much better from 3-point range (42 percent) than on 2-pointers (32 percent).

Art Heyman (ABA forward)

After that game, a crazy thing happened with Art Heyman. This fan had spit on Art and he punched the guy. Art was in our locker room changing his clothes when the New Orleans police came in and arrested him. We were all staring at Art, wondering how could this guy get in trouble with the cops in the middle of a championship playoff. It turned out that the fan had some sort of physical problem and he didn’t intentionally spit on Art, and when Art decked him a complaint was filed. Art apologized and patched things up, so the charges were dropped.

One of the owners decided to trade for Art Heyman from Pittsburgh without telling anyone else. Heyman showed up in Miami without half the people in the front office knowing he was coming. Bob Halloran from TV-4 in Miami spotted Heyman and interviewed him. Heyman asked Bob, “Does this go out to Miami Beach?” Bob said it did.
Heyman said, “Hello, Jews out there! Your boy is here!”

Larry Brown (ABA player and coach)

When you went on the road, your trainer didn’t go with you. So when you got to a place like Denver, it was up to Denver to supply a trainer you could use that night. In Denver, the trainer they gave us taped my ankle so tight that it ended up bleeding. I went into the shower and cut the tape off and I saw other guys doing the same thing. So I went up to the trainer and asked him what he did in real life—I couldn’t imagine that he did this for a living. The guy hesitated for a moment and said, “Well, I’m a poultry farmer.”

Doug and I flew to New Orleans to meet with somebody about a contract. We expected to go into an office building with a big marquee that said, “New Orleans Buccaneers,” but it was just a regular office building, no sign about the basketball team.
We were led into an office and there was Morton Downey, or Sean Downey Jr. as he was known back then. He had one of those signs on his desk that you can flip over. On one side it said, “American Can Corp., Vice President of Sales.” But when he saw us in the office, he flipped it to the side that said, “Sean Downey Jr., President New Orleans Buccaneers.”

Most ABA coaches were into leisure suits with ridiculous shirts and those collars you could land an airplane on. Larry liked to wear Oshkosh B’Gosh farmer’s overalls. Once in a while, he’d wear leather pants.

Bob Netolicky (Pacers forward)

Ability was only one of the reasons we won. The rest was character. We didn’t have all the white guys hanging out in one place and the black guys in another. We didn’t have guys always whining about money, guys playing out their options and jumping to other teams or even to the other league. 􀀺e didn’t have a coach who sat in the ivory tower and wouldn’t associate with the players. If you wanted to find Slick on the road, you just went to the hotel bar and there he was. He’d sit there, buy you a few drinks and if you and he got blasted once in a while, then you got blasted. It was no big deal.
In Indiana, basketball almost comes before church and family. You see more rims and basketball goals hanging up in some towns than there are people. When I signed with the Pacers back when they were just forming the ABA, (Pacer legal counsel) Dick Tinkham told me, “If you guys win, you’ll be like gods in Indianapolis. This still is a small town. These people have been waiting for something like you guys to come along.”

Neto established himself as a character even before he joined the Pacers, when he flew his own plane to town to sign his contract. He always had exotic pets. He had a wildcat, and the damn thing got out of his house and was running all over his neighborhood. It was on the radio and everything. The police were looking for Neto’s wildcat.

After McGinnis joined the team, you had a big five who hung out together—Brown, Daniels, Neto, Lewis and George. There was a trip to Dallas where we had a break in the schedule and were there for three days. I never saw those guys except at practice. Then I had to go to Neto’s room, and these guys had a three-day card game going. They loved Kentucky Fried Chicken and that was all they ate for three days—I could tell because all the boxes were piled in one corner and Neto’s clothes were in the other corner of the room.

Reggie Harding (Pacers center)

We contacted Reggie and we were supposed to meet him at the Indianapolis airport at 5 A.M. Dick Tinkham and I were waiting for him and when he got off the plane, Reggie was wearing a long black coat that was about six sizes too small. He had a pair of tennis shoes slung over his shoulder, tied together by the laces. Tinkham and I were sitting there in our coats and ties, all proper, and Reggie was looking like a guy who just got out of jail.

Rayl told me, “It was midnight and I was in bed and the lights were out. I heard Reggie come in and I heard him going around the room. It was still dark. Then I heard him close to me. He turned on the light and there was Reggie standing by my bed, holding a gun to my head. He said, ’Tweetie Bird, I hear you hate n*****s.’ ”
Rayl said he didn’t and he kept talking to Reggie and finally got Reggie to hand over the gun. When Reggie did, Rayl took all of the bullets out of the gun and said, “Reggie, let’s go to bed now. We’ve got a game tomorrow.”
Rayl turned out the lights and then he heard Reggie getting up and moving around the room. Rayl turned the lights back on and there was Reggie, again pointing the gun at Rayl. Reggie said, “You didn’t think I only had six shells, did you?”
Rayl grabbed some clothes, walked out of the room and spent the rest of the night sitting up in the hotel lobby.

Dave Twardzik (Virginia Squires guard)

When a player like [Rick] Mount becomes a pro, he discovers that he is put on a pedestal, just as he was in college, but the fans don’t understand the difference between college and pro ball. Some guys are just destined to be great college players but ordinary pros, and Mount was one of them. But the fans who love the player so much have a tough time dealing with his failure. Instead of saying, “Well, he just reached his level,” they blame the coach for not playing him more or using him right. Or they say the other guys on the team are jealous of him. That goes on for a while, then the fans begin to realize—our college star just isn’t that good. That’s when they turn on the player and it can be ugly. I’ve seen guys in that situation get crucified by the fans.

Willie Wise (Utah Stars forward)

A lot of people thought Willie was strange, and I think that was why he wasn’t drafted higher. He was with Drake during the 1969 Final Four and he said that he really didn’t want to play pro basketball, he wanted to drive a truck for a living. He was a reborn Seventh-Day Adventist and people thought he might not play pro ball because of his religious convictions. I roomed with him on the road for one trip. He would turn the heat up to 85, 90 degrees for a few hours, then he’d open all the windows. I don’t know why he did it, but we’d joke that he was having hot flashes like a lady in menopause. A year later, when the team moved to Utah, Willie bought a motorcycle, which was considered a big deal and very antiestablishment back then.

John Brisker (ABA forward)

The legendary Brisker story was that in one of its training camps, Pittsburgh brought in an ex-football player who was supposed to control Brisker. The football player was supposed to get into a scrimmage with Brisker and the first time Brisker stepped out of line, the football player was supposed to flatten him. Well, the two guys started going at it. Then the football player said, “The hell with you, I’m gonna get my gun.” And Brisker said, “If you’re getting a gun, then I’m gonna get my gun.” Then the two guys ran off the court in different directions, presumably to get their guns. The coaches took one look at all that and called off practice before someone really did get killed.

One time I was officiating a Pittsburgh game and Brisker was late coming onto the floor for the second half. Turned out that he had a fight in the dressing room with one of his own players.

From that point on, there was a $500 bounty on Brisker’s head. If he ever started up talking or shoving somebody, the first player on my team to deck him would get $500. We never had any more trouble with Brisker.

Warren Jabali (ABA forward)

We were in the dressing room once and we had a black rookie on our team, I can’t remember the kid’s name. Anyway, Warren noticed that the kid was wearing cotton underwear. Jabali reached over and literally ripped the shorts right off the kid. Warren said, “Don’t you know that our ancestors had to pick this cotton? Get yourself some slick drawers.”

[In 1968-1969] Oakland’s Warren Jabali was suspended for 15 days and fined $250 for stomping the Stars’ Jim Jarvis in the face.

A week later, we were playing Jabali’s team and he was shoving our guys around. He pushed Neil Johnson and Neil went down. He sat on the floor staring at Jabali. Then Neil got up and walked over to Jabali and belted him. I mean, boom, Jabali went down like a tree. He just coldcocked Jabali. It wasn’t a suckerpunch because Jabali had to see it coming. Then Johnson stood over him and screamed, “Get up, you son-of-a-bitching racist, so I can really kick your ass.”

In the [1972-1973] All-Star Game, the West beat the East 123-111 in Salt Lake before 12,556. The players on the winning team received $500 each, the losers received $300. Warren Jabali was the MVP as he scored all 16 of his points in the second half. Jabali won a free airline ticket to anywhere in Europe, but the Muslim forward said, “I want to go to Africa instead. If they won’t send me to Africa, I want the money instead of the ticket. Why should I go to Europe? I don’t know anyone there”

Johnny Neumann (ABA guard)

One of his favorite phrases was, “Paper (cash) means nothing to me.” He bought a sports car in Indianapolis while the Memphis team was in town for a night game, then had to find someone to drive the car home. He said things such as, “To be honest, I was the biggest thing to ever come out of Memphis other than Elvis.”

I had Johnny in his second year and he owned seven cars. He also had a stock car with his name on it. He had blown nearly all of his money. Charlie Finley and I worked with him and got him down to three cars by the end of the season.

The legendary Johnny Neumann story was that one night he was sitting on the bench and the coach called his name. Neumann stood up, tore off his warm-up pants, and all he was wearing underneath was his jockstrap.

The guy was the best practice passer I’ve ever seen. He really could see the floor and make the right pass to the right guy at the right time. It was amazing how well he handled the ball in our practices in Virginia. Then the striped shirts and whistles would come out and forget it —Johnny had tunnel vision on the court.

He was going through a divorce and he had this girlfriend in Salt Lake City. He was continually flying out to see her; that was his champagne taste. So he was going through a lot of money between the divorce and the trips to Salt Lake. His wife in Memphis was going to keep his Jaguar and the house in Memphis, so Johnny needed some cash. One day he walked into the dressing room and was sort of auctioning off the Ferrari and Harley, seeing what anybody on the team might be willing to pay.

Doug Moe (ABA player and coach)

One of the biggest disappointments in my life was going into the NBA after the merger. The NBA was a rinky-dink league—listen, I’m very serious about this. The league was run like garbage. There was no camaraderie; a lot of the NBA guys were aloof and thought they were too good to practice or play hard. The NBA All-Star Games were nothing— guys didn’t even want to play in them and the fans could care less about the games. It wasn’t until the 1980s, when David Stern became commissioner, that the NBA figured out what the hell they were doing, and what they did was a lot of the stuff we had in the ABA—from the 3-point shot to All-Star weekend to the show biz stuff. Now the NBA is like the old ABA. Guys play hard, they show their enthusiasm and there is a closeness in the league. Hell, the ABA might have lost the battle, but we won the war. The NBA now plays our kind of basketball.

When Doug Moe first came into the league, he wore a white T-shirt, jeans and tennis shoes everywhere. When Doug became a coach, the only change was that sometimes he wore a different color Tshirt.

Wendell Ladner (ABA forward)

Wendell was forever diving for loose balls and he chased one down in front of our bench. He went after it headfirst and came smack down into the water cooler, a glass water cooler, and he had to get 100-some stitches. The thing was that Wendell wanted to come back and play in the second half.

Once we were flying into Washington, D.C., and from the window of the plane, Wendell looked out, saw the Washington Monument and said, “I bet that’s the Washington Post.”

Ladner was running after someone and he ran right out of his shoe. Freddie Lewis was dribbling the ball away from Wendell, who was hobbling around in one shoe. Wendell was so frustrated that he threw his shoe right at Lewis, hitting Freddie in the back. Freddie was a little guy, but he was a fighter and his initial instinct was to take a swing at whoever had hit him with the shoe. But when he turned and saw it was Wendell, he just smiled.

Fly Williams (Spirits of St. Louis forward)

Fly was a legend long before he got to St. Louis. The story that went around with the Fly, and I always thought it had to be apocryphal but it still makes the point, was that when Fly was recruited by Austin Peay, he got on a plane in New York and flew to Austin, Texas. That was where he figured Austin Peay had to be. When he got off the plane, he said to the first guy he saw, “Hey, where’s The Peay, man?” Heaven only knows what the man thought Fly was asking. Anyway, Fly then called his coach and said he was in Austin, Texas, and “There’s no Peay here, man.” The coach was telling him that Austin Peay was in Clarksville, Tennessee, and he started routing him from Austin to Clarksville. Fly became confused and said, “No, man, I’m going home.” Then he flew to New York and called the coach from LaGuardia Airport, and from there he flew to Clarksville.

Fly did things in college such as dribbling the ball off the court during a game to get a drink from a fountain in that old gym of theirs.

In our first game, Fly Williams had a wide-open layup. He was going 100 miles per hour on a breakaway. All he had to do was just lay the ball over the rim or dunk it. Instead, he went for a 360-degree layup. He turned himself completely around and nearly spun himself into the floor and threw the ball right over the rim and the backboard.

The famous Fly Williams story was that Fly had no teeth and Harry Weltman wanted to send Fly to the dentist. The team would pay for everything. The dentist told Fly what he needed to do and pulled out a big needle for a Novocain shot. Fly took one look at that needle and he was out of the chair and ran out of the dentist’s office. The dentist called Harry and told him what happened. Then Harry called Fly and said, “What’s going on? You’ve got to have some teeth.” Fly was always so skinny, and part of the reason was that he didn’t eat right as a kid, and when he got older he couldn’t eat right because of his missing teeth. But all Fly would say was, “Man, I wouldn’t be the Fly if I had teeth.”

Maurice Lucas (Spirits of St. Louis power forward)

Early in his rookie year, he was coming off the bench. One night the Spirits were playing Kentucky in Freedom Hall and Lucas was trading elbows with Artis Gilmore. At 7-foot-2 and 240 pounds, Gilmore just towered over Maurice. Lucas’s only chance was to beat Gilmore to a spot on the floor and then try to hold off Artis. Despite his enormous size and strength, Gilmore was never known as a ferocious player and he seldom was in a fight. But all of a sudden, Artis just got sick of Lucas’s bodying him and you could see that the big guy was really hot. Gilmore took a swipe at Lucas and missed. Lucas put up his fists, but he was backpedaling like any sane man would when confronted by Gilmore. It started at the foul line, and Lucas was backing up toward the corner. It was almost slow motion— Gilmore would take a step, then Lucas would take a step back. It was obvious that Lucas didn’t want to fight and was trying to figure out where he could go. Finally, he was trapped in the corner; he had run out of court. He didn’t know what else to do, so he planted his feet and threw this tremendous punch at Gilmore, and it caught Artis square on the jaw. It was a frightening sight. Artis hit the deck. Lucas was going crazy. Now he really did want a piece of Artis. Guys were holding Lucas back and Artis was still down. For whatever reason, from that point on Lucas developed into a helluva player.

Dave Robisch (ABA forward)

When Baltimore folded, a dispersal draft was held for the players and I was taken by San Diego, where Bill Musselman had just been named coach. I went to San Diego and played 11 games. We weren’t drawing well, but I figured the team would make the season. I guess I just didn’t think I could be with two teams that folded in one year. I picked out a condominium and moved my family out there. This is the honest truth: the day the moving van arrived with our stuff, the Sails announced that they had folded. I told the guys just to keep the stuff on the truck and I’d tell them where to take it in a few days. There was another dispersal draft, and this time I went to Indiana. I called the movers and sent them to Indianapolis.

David Vaughn (Virginia Squires center)

Virginia Squires center David Vaughn was shot by a Chesapeake policewoman after a high-speed chase. It began when Vaughn filled up his rented Mark IV at a Shell station in Great Bridge, Virginia, then pulled away without paying for $14 worth of gasoline. Three police cars ended up chasing Vaughn, who refused to pull over. Police said that the upper part of Vaughn’s body could be seen through the sunroof during much of the chase. During the chase, Vaughn rammed into three police cars and the automobile of a woman. When police finally blocked Vaughn’s car, there was a struggle to get him out, and in the process Vaughn was shot by a policewoman who had been on the force for only a month. Vaughn was charged with four counts of “attempted murder with an automobile,” one charge of felonious hit-and-run and reckless driving. The day before this incident, he was arrested for indecent exposure in Virginia Beach while walking outside his home wearing only a T-shirt. Vaughn told arresting officers, “God is naked, too.”

Rich Jones (ABA forward)

Rich Jones’s nickname was “House,” and he had had some financial problems when he played for the Spurs. When he came back to San Antonio for the playoffs, someone had leaked word of House’s troubles to the local press and it ended up in the newspapers. House saw the stories and was so distraught that he wouldn’t even leave his hotel room.

Others

[In 1967-1968] Denver’s Larry Jones became the first ABA player to score 50 points in a game (52, to be exact) as he shot 20-for-28 against Oakland. The prior ABA scoring record was 49, held by Levern Tart. Asked why he had such a hot night, Jones first said he was lucky, then credited eating oatmeal for breakfast.
ABA PR Director Lee Meade created the Bialosuknia Line. Oakland’s Wes Bialosuknia had the longest last name in the league—11 letters. So Meade made the league stats sheets long enough to accommodate players with 11-letter last names. At the University of Connecticut, Wes was known as “The Typographical Terror.” He also had a 3.0 GPA in economics.
Carolina rookie Dennis Wuycik played eight minutes in his first ABA game—and fouled out.
The NBA and ABA players had a summer All-Star Game [in 1971-1972], with the NBA winning 125–120, despite the fact that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t play. He was married that morning. New York’s Walt Frazier was the MVP.
Backup center Garfield Smith asked San Diego for a guaranteed $100,000 contract. The Qs responded by putting him on waivers.
[Virginia Squires player] Ticky Burden forgot his uniform [in a game against the Spirits of St. Louis] and had to wear a road Spirits jersey, inside out to hide the St. Louis name.
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