NBA

The Beard Gets a Partner!

Wow! What an off-season for the NBA. Big trades and rumors with some of the biggest stars in the league. If you haven’t heard already, Chris Paul has been traded to the Houston Rockets for Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, and a 2018 First Round Pick. Rockets clearly got a steal for this trade. They got a massive upgrade in CP3 at the point guard position while really only suffering some bench scoring, but CP3 is by far a better playmaker and scorer than Beverley. Not trying to bash on Beverley because he is still a good player in our league, but you can never go wrong when you bring in a player of Chris Paul’s caliber onto the roster. As you may have saw Monday night, Beverley was awarded first-team all defense this past season. There is no doubt, he competes and plays hard. At least the Clippers received something in return, right? Would have been nice for them to at least get some young players with potential, but they got some expiring contracts at least. This means they could be preparing to free up cap space for next summer or future summers’ free agency periods.

Here’s the breakdown for their salaries:

payroll(http://www.basketball-reference.com/contracts/HOU.html)

Note: Patrick Beverley’s last year of his contract is not guaranteed (2018-19) and Dekker’s last 2018-2019 contract year is a team option.

The 4 expiring contracts that the Clippers have acquired provide tremendous flexibility for the organization to trade or keep for them to expire in the next off-season. Expiring contracts are a great trade asset as it helps any team with cap flexibility. On top of that, they receive 2 young players in Dekker and Harrell and this upcoming season can serve as an experimental season to see whether they like the basketball abilities or potential that they can provide.

Definitely will be interesting to see how Coach Mike D’Antoni  organizes the offense next season with Chris Paul and Harden in the back court together. Will Harden still average a near triple-double? Personally, I still think it is possible. His usage rate is still crazy high and will most likely remain high. We may see his points or field goal percentages bump up a little bit due to the better looks he will probably get with CP3 at the one.

One thing is for sure: D’Antoni, Harden, and Chris Paul all believe they can do it. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

The Rockets next order of business is to bolster their front court and bench versatility. There are rumors that the Rockets GM, Morey, is preparing to send cash considerations for Ryan Kelly, a stretch four from the Hawks. The Rockets have a squad full of 3 point shooters which is good for the offensive schemes that D’Antoni runs, but in order to compete with the Warriors in the West, they are going to need versatile and excellent 3 & D players. I think they should target some role players in free agency like Tony Snell, JaMychal Green, Patrick Patterson, CJ Miles, Vince Carter, Omri Casspi, Andrew Bogut, Tim Hardaway Jr., and a serviceable big man who will play defense and grab rebounds. Just naming a few potential fits for them.

The Rockets huge off-season still has not ended yet. Paul George is in their sights…

Imagine Chris Paul, James Harden, and Paul George in Houston… We’ll just have to wait and see for the rest of the off-season to play out to see what happens.

NBA · Orlando Magic · Other Sports

New Beginnings

I have to say I am pretty excited. The NBA Draft is definitely one of the most exciting events for me as an Orlando Magic fan. I hate to say it, but my interest really began shortly after Dwight Howard departed from Orlando in 2012. We have tanked for years and finally with John Hammond and Jeff Weltman in place now, Magic fans can look for a fresh start. Their first big move was selecting Jonathan Isaac with the 6th pick in this year’s draft. To be honest, I really wanted us to get Jayson Tatum, but I definitely foresaw us taking Isaac instead. When Hammond was in Milwaukee, he took chances on players like Giannis Antetokounmpo (Most Improved Player of the year 16-17), Khris Middleton, Tony Snell, Malcom Brogdon (Rookie of the year 16-17), and Thon Maker. What do all of these players have in common? They are all lengthy players with a ton of potential. Isaac and our second round pick, Wesley Iwundu are both players that fit the mold as well.

Providing more offensive superpower is definitely the route I had wish the Magic had taken; however, I am starting to like the picks. There are some fit issues with Isaac and Aaron Gordon together on the court, but if Isaac is able to develop a better handle and shooting ability, I really think Isaac can slide in at the 3 while Gordon slides into the 4.

I recently read an article by Luke Duffy on the FanSided (https://hoopshabit.com/2017/06/20/orlando-magic-jonathan-isaac-their-draymond-green/) and he compared Isaac to Draymond Green. Having the ability the stretch the floor while being able to defend multiple positions and possibly even create opportunities for teammates. He can be the versatile “glue guy.” “Stick him anywhere on the court, and watch the quirky combinations become unlocked.” I love these types of players. The Andre Iguodalas. Draymond Greens, Evan Turners, Shaun Livingstons, the swiss army knife kind of players, etc. They can find a niche on almost any team because of their fabulous all-around ability as a role player/starter/star. They make a tremendous impact on the floor especially during the playoffs. I’d hope for Isaac to develop into a Andrei Kirilenko (AK47), Kevin Durant (cross my fingers & pray), taller Shawn Marion, or even Draymond. Worst case scenario, I’d be happy with a player like Al-Farouq Aminu. Let’s hope for the best! Excited for what’s in store for the future.