What Exactly Are the Lakers Getting in Jeremy Lin?

Darius Soriano —  July 29, 2014

Unless you’re a major proponent of the Byron Scott hiring — which I have my questions about — Jeremy Lin’s acquisition will go down as the team’s best move of the off-season. Using only cap space and the rights to a European player none of us had ever heard of, the Lakers acquired Lin and a first round pick from the cap space hoarding Houston Rockets. The deal was, at its essence, the epitome of getting something for nothing.

Just what did the Lakers get in Lin, though?

From a name recognition standpoint, the Lakers acquired someone fans can really get behind. From the time he burst onto the scenes with the Knicks, thrust into a starting role via a decimated backcourt rotation, Lin turned heads via his game and his backstory. A Taiwanese-American player with the Ivy League education playing phenomenal point guard for the home team in the Big Apple? It was captivating. The Lakers saw this first hand when he buried them with countless big shots.

Since, then, though, Lin hasn’t quite lived up what he showed in that 35 game stretch with the Knicks. That player posted a near 20 PER, showing off a combination of scoring and playmaking skills that only some of the top guards in the league possess. He hit jumpers, got into the lane, and picked out teammates with passes both on time and target. Linsanity was quite real. In Houston, though, it was a bit of a different story.

Lin was still a very good player, but much like his time in New York when Carmelo Anthony was healthy, Lin ultimately found himself paired with another ball dominant player who took the ball out of the point guard’s hands. Lin was still effective, but he was not the guy he was with the Knicks. Still, though, he was probably better than we give him credit for. I’ll let Rafael Uehara of HOOP365 explain:

His role in Houston required him to be a threat off the ball and Lin took a significant step forward in that area. He posted a 60.8% effective field goal percentage on approximately 177 catch-and-shoot attempts in the regular season, hitting 40.5% of his catch-and-shoots from three-point range. Only 17.5% of his three-point attempts were from the corner but Lin hit them at a 45% clip.

These numbers paint Lin as a player who can work off the ball and still be a nice contributor. His work as a spot up shooter will be crucial whenever he’s paired with Kobe and/or Boozer as both will likely do their best work as post up players. Kobe can also play out of the pick and roll and Lin’s ability to space the floor either in the ball-side corner or roaming the weak side as a release valve when the defense collapses will be key in greasing the Lakers’ offense when Kobe (or Randle, Boozer, etc) draw too much attention.

Of course, if all Lin is doing is spacing the floor off the ball, he will be wasted. While he himself said that “Linsanity” is over, that shouldn’t be mistaken for him not being at his best with the ball in his hands. More Uehara:

Lin continues to excel the most out of the pick-and-roll…He has good speed off the bounce, both on straight line drives and when forced to change directions. 28.7% of his attempts were at the rim and Lin finished them at a 63.7% clip, with only a third of his two-point field goals assisted. He does not play above the rim but has great balance in the air and touch to score at basket level, even against length as only 45 of his 293 shots in the restricted area were blocked. Lin also possesses great instincts passing out of dribble penetration, with the Rockets averaging over 10 points per game off his assists last season.

As Lin also stated in his introductory presser, he wants to be a player who is “on the attack” and the numbers above show the Lakers should want that too. While Lin can still be turnover prone, his mishaps are mistakes of aggression and in trying to make plays for others — the types of errors most coaches can live with rather than ones based off indecision or passivity. If Lin is attacking, he can be the type of on-ball threat who makes plays for himself while also ensuring that those who share the floor with him see less defensive pressure. If that can be turned into easier offensive opportunities, Lin will, by definition, be doing a major part of his job as a point guard.

The key in all this, however, is that Lin maintains his aggression even when sharing the floor with Kobe. It’s a given that when Kobe is on the bench and Lin is in the game that he should take it upon himself to be the main creator. But he must also maintain a similar mindset even when #24 is on the court. In order to form a true partnership in the backcourt, Lin must understand that he must use Kobe as a decoy as much as he uses him as an outlet. Both will relieve him of offensive pressure and allow him to be a more effective creator. There will be times where he’ll have to take the heat of making a mistake or of looking off Kobe in a key situation, but that comes with the territory of being a teammate of Kobe Bryant’s. History says he’ll respect you more for belief in yourself than for simply giving him the ball and passively standing in the corner.

Of course there are two sides of the ball and Lin will need to play both. Coming from Houston where he was moved the bench not just because of how he was meshing with Harden, but to also accommodate Patrick Beverly and his stifling defense, Lin comes to the Lakers with a lackluster defensive reputation. And while that reputation probably isn’t fully deserved (the Harden and Chandler Parsons combo was probably one of the weaker defensive wing pairings in the league, so Beverly playing in front of Lin likely had as much to do with the composition of the team’s defense as it did with any Beverly/Lin comparison), Lin will need to be able to hold his own on that end of the floor if the Lakers aren’t going to be a total disaster defensively next season (which, you know, could still happen even if Lin does defend well). Lin offers good size, decent quickness, and is smart enough to be in the right place more often than not. If he can bring good effort and Byron Scott can build a solid scheme, he has a chance to be a net positive on that end.

All of this should add up to a very good contributor for the Lakers this season. Yes there are a lot of ifs. And proving he can operate as a two way player will be a major part of his individual success (as well as whatever success the Lakers have). But, at his core, Lin has shown he can be a good player in this league. I have high hopes that he will remind folks of that again this season.

Darius Soriano

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118 responses to What Exactly Are the Lakers Getting in Jeremy Lin?

  1. hitting 40.5% of his catch-and-shoots from three-point range. Only 17.5% of his three-point attempts were from the corner but Lin hit them at a 45% clip.

    Those are encouraging numbers.

  2. Lin can play defense , please you have to check some of his games. Lakers starting lineup at 5 hill 4 boozer 3 wesley 2 kobe 1 lin. Nash can come in and round the young guys tell me what you think.

  3. Warren Wee Lim July 30, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Gonna be interesting for sure. I like the move that counted as something for nothing, its essentially signing him to a 1-yr deal. I wouldnt be surprised if he returned next season on a more tempered deal.

  4. Warren Wee Lim July 30, 2014 at 12:26 am

    I wouldnt say the move to acquire him was “jackpot” but from the need, skill, marketing standpoint its a huge deal that Mitch swung.

  5. Should Mitch sign Beasley?

  6. The defense narrative on JLin has been passed around so much and no one seems interested in looking into the stats.

    By no means is JLin the best defender in the league but he is not a liability either. Beverley is a great 1on1 defender and this looks great in highlights but at the end of the day the point of defense is to reduce the scoring of the opponent. So what do the stats say:

    Opponent FG% at rim
    vs Lin: 47.7 % (23rd overall among players that played above 25 mins/game)
    vs Beverley: 52.2% (68th overall)

    How do his Opp Plyr Shooting %s at mid-range or deep stack up against peers? They look fairly decent too.
    Lin: 37.5% from 15-19 ft range, 34.7% from 20-24 ft, 32.5 % from 25-29 ft.
    Beverley:, 55.0%, 41.7%, 39.4% respectively.

    Opponent Point Guard 48-Minute Production
    vs Bev: effectiveFG% 48.0%, PER 14.3
    vs Lin: effectiveFG% 44.1%, PER 13.3

    So why was jlin a bench player last year? Yeah well that is the big question and it comes down to egos. Jharden can score with the best of them but for whatever reason has no interest in defense. I feel they gave into Harden’s ego and Jlin being a team player went with what he was told was for the better of the team.

    So they let PBev ‘help’ Harden with defense and allowed Harden to attempt to score at will. Also PBev was not a productive enough PG to be left running the second unit alone. So JLin was the bench production ( to the tune of nearly half the bench points)

    Instead of forcing Harden to play defense and keeping Brooks for a bench production they went with PBev and allowed Jharden to go one more year without playing defense.

  7. The Lin- Kobe connection will be a key to the offense. Still need another PG with NBA experience.

  8. No on Beasley! The last thing the Lakers need in their locker-room with young players and reclamation projects is a guy known for off the floor activities.

    Well stated, wukong.

    Re: lineup

    Allow Young to be a candidate for the 6th man of the year.

  9. My issue with jlin has been his tendency to either pound the ball and go nowhere or pass the ball and stand behind the 3 point line. I don’t have access to stats right now but I did watch a lot of rockets games. Idk if anybody saw the same things I saw.

  10. Very true. Can you imagine Hill, Beasley and Young after game activities? Might as well sign Lamar and Metta and get them the TMZ Party Bus to drive them around!

  11. Great stuff, Darius. Here are some interesting stats to consider:

    (2 seasons with Rockets)

    With Harden:
    3759 Min, 53.0 TS%, 20.0 USG

    Without Harden:
    935 Min, 58.0 TS%, 23.6 USG

    Essentially, with Harden, Lin used possessions at a league average pace (20.0 lg avg), while shooting at a slightly below league average rate (54.0 lg avg).

    Without Harden, Lin scored both frequently and efficiently. In fact, out of all the PGs in the NBA, here’s who he compares with best:

    Lin (without Harden):
    58.0 TS%, 26.7 AST, 14.1 TO, 23.6 USG

    Eric Bledsoe:
    57.8 TS%, 22.6 AST, 13.8 TO, 24.4 USG

    With those numbers, Bledsoe posted a 19.62 PER. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that Lin’s PER, without Harden, would be awful close to that number.

    I’m not saying Lin is as good as Bledsoe. Truthfully, Bledsoe is an elite defensive PG. PER doesn’t come close to capturing Bledsoe’s worth on defense.

    My point is that Lin, who was once overrated, has now become underrated.

    From one Fil-Am to another, I have really enjoy your breakdowns over the past few seasons and I look forward to more next season.

  12. KO…

    The TMZ party bus…!!
    Funny stuff, man!

  13. I say get Beasley anyway, he seemed like he matured up last year. He could really help the team offensively.

  14. I used to live in NY so I saw Linsanity first hand. At first teams didn’t know how to handle him. It later became apparent he drives well only to 1 side and if you trap him he tends to cough up the ball. He was worth the money given to him in his first 2 years in Houston but not this years balloon price. Hes going sell a lot of jerseys though.

    I think having guys on the floor who can handle the ball at the same time as Lin will help Lin be more productive. Perhaps this is the one shining brightspot I can see having Randle this year.

  15. 1 Lin 2 Kobe 3 Young 4 Boozer 5 Hill (if no Greg Monroe)

  16. Bryon Scott always had super-star PG on his previous teams, it is interesting to see how he is going to use Lin because Lin is not Jason Kidd or CP3. The reason Lakers hired Bryon, i think because Bryon likes to run up and down on the offense ( Dr. Buss and Lakers FO likes it too), and he cares about the defense more than MDA, but the problem is still there, can your players play defense or not ( because old players can’t do it) ?

  17. A reminder that market size doesn’t dictate endorsements RT @darrenrovell: Kevin Durant endorses 10 brands, no NBA player has more. – Aldridge via Twitter.

    Further reminder as to why LA/NY aren’t the destinations they once were – if you’re good you can stay in market where you don’t have to deal w all the negative pressure/attwntion etc.. and still make all the money you want. Travel is too easy for these guys, no need to have to live full time somewhere nice

  18. I think a line up of Kobe, Booze, and Young will be a little porous on D and doesn’t allow us to exploit our new youth and athleticism.

    I’m worried about our centers being undersized and the expectation that Clarkeson will be able to contribute quality minutes at the point. I sure hope he does. Though, last year we had point guards up the wazoo and they still managed to all get knocked out of commission…so, who knows.

    Hopefully, Byron has a vision of what to do and will show he’s a couple cuts or more above MB or Pringles. I know a lot of posters were concerned about how long it took for the Lakes to sign Byron. But, maybe it’s the other way around, and it took Mitch a month of begging and pleading w/ Byron before he accepted the job. Joking…I hope….

  19. Nice post.

  20. Young is going to be the Lakers 6th man. The Starting 3 is gonna be Wesley Johnson (defense). Jeremy Lin better come prepared cos Clarkson is going to give him a run for his money. If Boozer is starting 4 then good chance Ed Davis wins the Starting Center job. That sets up nicely for a solid 2nd unit of Young, Randle Hill, Kelly, Xavier and Beasley. And yes I expect the Lakers to play 10-11 deep this season.

  21. Lakers worked out Beasley today.

  22. Huh? Lin’s advanced defensive metrics have all been pretty good, and he has a pretty reasonable defensive rep. He gets into a good stance and usually is in the top third of steals and blocks by position, on top of that, with good size. It’s likely just commentator garbage-spew that people believe that Lin’s a subpar defender.

  23. Reading Darius’ breakdown of Lin I get the impression he’s a little like that other guy MDA used to coach. Whats his name? Oh yeah, Steve Nash. Of course, JLin is no Nash in his prime. But at this point it seems to me they’ve got pretty identical skill sets, except on D where according to Darius, Lin is not so bad. Anyways, having Nash around to sub in for 15-20 min/game at the point might be OK. Lets see how Clarkson does.

    I’m actually feeling not too bad about the crew we’ve got lined up now. I say its 50/50 on making the playoffs.

  24. The question about Lin is a great one. When Lin played for a pg guru, he was one of the best in the league. He was average when he played for Lurch. If reality is somewhere between the two, then the Lakers got themselves a deal. He is motivated and a high character player which will make Scott’s job a little easier.

    Speaking of character, please no Beasley. If the Lakers wanted someone who moves to his own drummer, they should have signed Stephenson. As desperate for shooters as Miami was in the playoffs, they still could not find time for Beasley.

  25. One thing I don’t see on this blog…anyone putting down the deal bringing Lin to the Lakers. Ok, now with Lin, Nash, and Clarkson the Lakers should be set at PG. They should be set at the 2G spot, and have Johnson/Henry or Young at SG. We have plenty of 4’s and our weak spot is at center, where the game is moving to smaller, but mobile players anyway.

    I think Scott has been given a club that can function. I am really curious to see what difference he makes. I think most of us can agree…it’s going to be an interesting year.

  26. By Ira Winderman South Florida Sun Sentinel:
    “However Beasley’s inability to pick up the Heat’s defensive nuances, which also had been an issue during his initial two-year tenure, proved problematic during his limited minutes.”

    Please, no to Beasley. Might as well play Randle at both the 3 and 4 positions to test which one he shows an NBA aptitude to play.

    I can’t wait for LinSanity! He should gain the most from playing with and against Nash. Hopefully, he’ll absorb everything Nashty has to offer.

  27. I see no reason to bring in Beasley. The Lakers have Young, Henry, Johnson, Randle, Hill, Boozer, Kelly and Kobe to cover the 3 and the 4. If the FO wants to take a flyer on a guy, I would suggest a 5 with rim protection skills, such as Okafor or Stiemsma (if they are still unsigned). The caveat is the usual one–if it is leading to something else.

  28. Ok, now with Lin, Nash, and Clarkson the Lakers should be set at PG.

    Lin is fine, but this is a reach. Look at the other PGs on lottery teams:

    PHX: Dragic, Thomas, Bledsoe
    MIN: Rubio, Barea
    DEN:Lawson, Robinson
    NO: Holiday
    UTA: Exum, Burke
    SAC: Collison

    I would rather have Lin than some of those guys, and there are some of them whom I would rather have than Lin. Competent PGs are not that tough to get.

    Given Nash’s age and recent injury history, and Clarkson’s inexperience and college numbers, calling the Lakers “set” at PG relative to the competition is kind of misleading, and a good example of why people talking about 45-50 wins are probably being too optimistic. And Lin, while he has some plusses, has been just average or slightly above overall.

    There are of course variables: Nash may help Lin, although he is coming to a worse team, my guess is that Lin, being from LA, is happy to be here. This is Lin’s age-26 season and it is a contract year, so he should do well by his own standards.

    But the Lakers’ roster, while it is interesting in some respects, comes into clearer focus when you compare it to those of other Western Conference lottery teams.

  29. Plenty of cap for Greg Monroe no interest shown yet but don’t be surprised

  30. One thing I don’t see on this blog…anyone putting down the deal bringing Lin to the Lakers.
    ———
    I like the deal more for the first round pick it netted, more so than Lin. Whatever he gives on the floor is just an added bonus.

    I would suggest a 5 with rim protection skills, such as Okafor or Stiemsma…
    ———-
    Yes. Center, especially on D, is still the glaring hole.

  31. If healthy this team will be really interesting to watch. Not a world beater by any means but if Byron is able ti impose his defense first mindset on this team, they are going to surprise a lot of people, could be good enough for a lower seed which is the way this team should be moving. Let’s just hope the injury curse from last season doesn’t repeat. Interesting and intriguing roster,lots of plotlines to follow . I think we will be better than advertised…

  32. JC

    Thinking if having a monthly contest. Before start of month each player picks number of wins. Winner gets choice of wine or beer.

    Thoughts?

  33. @ Chris J July 30, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    Yes. Center, especially on D, is still the glaring hole.

    ———–
    good thing the Lakers gave away three centers in a row for absolutely nothing.

    Re: Nash, BTW, I’ll be pleasantly surprised f he contributes anything other than towel waving form the bench this season.

  34. Ko im in for the contest …. was so close last year but we need to set up a rule where it is first come first serve in regards to whp gets what guess

    Would anyone on the site be interested in setting up a fantasy bball league for the board?

    Im actually in on beasly – I still think we need a big 3 and hes still young

    If we dont get oden I dont see us getting another center – hill,davis, sacre will get mins there – the paint will be a team defense effort but all of our guys are athletic and with beasly we could have 3 6″10 guys on the floor at all times + lin,clarkson,kobe give us a big back court

    I wonder where marion will sign … he still plays great

  35. Anon

    Hearing Ass’t semi-playing coach

  36. good thing the Lakers gave away three centers in a row for absolutely nothing.
    ——-
    If the three you cite are Pau, Howard and Kaman, they didn’t give Howard away; he left on his own, and it’s my belief he never wanted to be a Laker anyway.

    And while I would have preferred the Lakers had dealt Pau and/or Kaman at the deadline last season to get something back, had either or both stayed, I would still see a glaring hole at center on D.

    If Okafor is healthy and can be had…

  37. JLin Deal” This was a good deal for the Lakers. That said – it was a salary dump. The Rockets needed to dump the salary of an overpaid player and we had room. In exchange for accepting the overpaid player, we receive a pick. It is nothing more than that. As Anonymous above states, we let 3 big men walk out for nothing when trades probably could have been made. I think the 3 big men walking out are a lot more significant than accepting a salary dump. And by the way – I actually like Lin and think he will be OK with KB – that does not change what this was.

  38. Nash won’t be towel waving, he might hurt his back….

    Always been a Beasley fan offensively. Defense…..not so much. He could work because if we match him on the bench with Nick Young, Clarkson, Randle and Davis we would have the makings of a new Bench Mob. Attitudes galore, but still they can all score and Davis would be the defensive anchor. I see nothing wrong with the signing. Too bad we didn’t hire Scott before Mike B. and Mike D. (Dr. Buss told Magic that was what he wanted to do but Byron signed with Cleveland – per Max and Marcelus) and too bad we didn’t trade Pau for Asik and Lin when we had a chance or starting five and bench would have been a playoff contender. Lin, Kobe, Wesley, Hill and Asik make for a nice five. Dream sequence…..There would be no need for Boozer!!!

  39. Man, Laker fans please be rational. The Lakers traded Pau away. They traded him for a top 5 PG. After that trade was vetoed and Pau’s subsequent drastic drop in production no team wanted Pau for anything worth trading for. This offseason the Bulls offered Boozer for Pau. The Lakers passed but still got Boozer for $13 million less. There wasn’t any other offer in the past 2 seasons for Pau as good as Boozer. The Lakers smartly got Boozer without wasting money and people are complaining? Howard left by himself and Kaman wasn’t gonna fetch anything worth trading for. So once again, what is all this talk about letting 3 centers go for nothing? Let me also add that the Jeremy Lin deal was a stroke of genius because Mitch anticipated that Houston wasn’t going to come away with any of their primary off season targets and with only a small window to operate in, talked them into parting with a 1st pick. If the Spurs or OKC or Miami or Houston did that everyone would be saying genius move. Jeremy Lin counts as $8 Mill against the Cap. Not a bad number. Lakers have an elite GM, unfortunately many don’t want to give Mitch his due.

  40. @busboys4me well said. Beasley adds scoring off the bench and is only 25….wow. Being in LA and kobe might be good for him. Look at Ron Artest, Matt Barnes, sf with “character issues”, he’s a great talent and we might as well take a chance, that’s what the rest of the roster is. Ladies and gentlemen we could have a full on NBA squad this year. Another aspect of potentially getting scott would have been the potential of getting kyrie Irving earlier haha.

    Now: Kyrie, Lebron, Love….teaming up again I see Lebron. Great motivation for Wiggins. If I was the Cavs, I would have tried to keep wiggins and packaged waiters, bennet, with verajao for Asik and Lin. Or something like that. I think wiggins is going to be nice. Love has never played a playoff game…..lets see what he does. Would you have traded a 19 year old Kobe Bryant for….Gary Payton…just an…all star? Plus Bennet was going to give them a lot more this year and between Kyrie, Bennet, Wiggins, it would have been cool to see them grow and win one, but now it’s like Lebron is just making the heatless again. Not with it.

    Anyway, this Lakers team can sneak up on teams. Very young and athletic, very balanced. We have shooters, we have defenders, we have post players, we have a solid roster. we also have a lot of nice young pieces that can be used for sign and trades. Until I see Jim buss with his hat off I won’t give him credit. Good Job Mitch!

  41. I got Lakers at 43-39 next season. Not good enough to make the playoffs but good enough to watch on a nightly basis.
    Kobe will be ok, averaging 18-20 a night.
    Randle will be fighting for rookie of the year. If he comes off the bench at the start of the season I expect that to change a couple of months into the season.
    Boozer will be Boozaaaah.
    Jeremy Lin will be good for us at 18 and 7.
    Nash will be Nash.
    And Idk about Clarkson. I hope he does well.
    Byron will be ok, to many people’s surprise here.

    And those are my optimistic predictions for the 2014-15 season. I hope I didn’t jinx it.

  42. Well, Jeremy Lin turns out to be better than Farmar or Blake but not that fantastic PG. After Melo’s decline, I anticipated going for the mid level to replace Pau and Melo. I mean Ariza, Monroe, Bledsoe or Thomas, these are the players that will put us back to contention. However, I also know the objective of Mitch to go under cap and shorter terms therefore, we put ourselves out ot those market. We went with players who are 1 year only namely: Lin, Davis, Hill, Boozer, Xavier, Kelly, Johnson and of course Nash. Lakers wanted to go for the “biggie” again on next summer. The problem that will occur again, that these players wanted to win now and max their contract as well. That’s where the Kobe contract becomes a hindrance in getting a marquee superstar.

    Having said that, we broke this year the cycle of luxury taxes, therefore Lakers could spend more next season to load their roster. Supposing this roster pans out, well there will be a lot of re-signing to do as well. I heard Beasley is getting into the mix, do Lakers still have money? Will he accept Vet/Min? I wish we spend that money on Center like D’League – Malcolm Thomas. I don’t know if Jerome James will be invited back in the preseason. Well, our Centers are undersized at 6’10” whether it is Hill or Davis. Our 7 footer Sacre is way, way behind in the third unit, the other lanky 7 footer, Ryan Kelly is a stretch 4, too soft to man the low post.

  43. The Lakers don’t need a HOF coach for the crew they’ll be fielding the next several seasons.

    They are at least three seasons away from making any serious post season noise. The next two years will be about selling jerseys in China.

    Byron’s a good enough coach for that.

  44. The Cavs trading away Wiggins for Kevin Live is so ironic. Obtaining older overated veterans to put around LeBron is the reason he left in the first place and the reason he will leave again. Wiggins is a two way superstar player within two years.

  45. @Aaron I completely agree. Not only would they get rid of wiggins they would be getting rid of Bennet too, who they kept and who looked like he was actually ready to give them something. Between Wiggins and Bennet, you were going to get a lot of the skill set in Love and they are so young, it would have been cool to see Irving, Wiggins, and Bennet grow around Lebron, but this stinks like heatless 2.0. You can’t just keep teaming up with other perennial all stars, have a losing record in the finals, and then expect me to hold you to the same light as Kobe.

  46. Ko
    I’ll be happy to dominate a wins contest every month.
    Re Lin
    I’m excited to see what he brings to the table. Young, enthusiastic, bright, talented.
    Re K Love / Lebron
    The pairing/ grouping of superstars in the NBA is an interesting trend. But it makes me wonder: what if guys like Magic and Bird had teamed up? You never saw that sort of thing back then.
    And this will be Lebron’s second go-around with “superstarring”.
    I understand Cleveland has the right to go after Love.
    But I can’t help but feel a bit cheated somehow.
    The times they are a-changin’.

  47. The Cavs trading away Wiggins for Kevin Live is so ironic .. is the reason he left in the first place and the reason he will leave again.

    It probably would be ironic, if not for the fact that ‘Bron is the individual that’s pushing most for the acquisition of Love.

    While I’m not the biggest fan of his game – although he puts up phenomenal numbers – I can see why ‘Bron wants him as his running-mate in Cleveland’s front court. He’s still young, and while being so, has already competed against the best that the world has to offer. While he’s undersized for a PF – 6’10, really? – and lacks supreme athleticism, the fact of the matter is that he’s one of the best rebounders in the league. His ability to spread the floor with his shooting is obviously what ‘Bron needs to maximize his effectiveness. But, in my opinion, the main reason why Kevin Love will begin the season as the starting PF for the Cavs is because ‘Bron recognizes that he doesn’t have the time to wait on the development of youngins such as Wiggins and Bennett. He’s in the prime of his career (won’t turn 30 ’til the end of the year) but is smart enough to recognize that his window for winning several more championships is shrinking. He’s trying to win now and Love – along with ‘Bron’s recruits such as Miller and, more then likely, Ray Allen – accelerates the process. Definitely more so than waiting on the aforementioned Wiggins and Bennett.

    * With that being said, even with Love, if this Chicago roster remains intact – they’re loaded from top to bottom – and can remain relatively injury free – eyes on you D. Rose – I have the Bulls coming out of the East.

  48. @Tra: Love is consider small for the position because despite he has short arms compare to most NBA PF’s. This was one of the reasons I had been so down on drafting Randle. Coming into the league Randle would have the worst Height/Wingsapn combination among all starting PF’s. Guys like Love are the exception not the norm.

    I had dreams at the beginning of the offseason of the Lakers getting Asik, Lin, & Boozer. Getting some future picks and having a decent if not championship level roster with cap space next year when they would have more reasonable expectations of signing a big fish with Nash off the books. As things worked out the Lakers have a glaring hole at Center.

    I’ve been a big fan of getting Beasely in the past, I think his height at SF might help on a otherwise short team, but, I wouldn’t bend over to get him either at his point.

  49. yea exactly, I have Chicago coming out of the East as well. It’s wide open right now, regardless of the how good Irvine and Love are if they team up with Lebron they have never even played a playoff game. Even Miami took a year, so you might as well wait a year to see what you have in Wiggins haha, Love isn’t going anywhere and there are plenty of players that would line up to play with Lebron next summer too, I think it’s an overrated option for Cleveland, especially because Bennett does look legit in summer league so it’s not just wiggins for love.

    Chicago boasts the two best passing big men in the game in gasol and noah, mcbuckets and Mirotic is underrated and will grow under Pau and Noah. They also brought in Aaron brooks and still have taj Gibson and jimmy butler. With their continuity I can see them having an edge on the east. If rose is healthy which I pray he is.

    I think Houston will be overrated this year, can’t win with two stars who can’t play one side of the ball. Dwight really was past his prime and they didn’t upgrade this summer. I also feel like Den isn’t going to be as good and Phoenix with it’s issues with Bledsoe right now won’t be in the mix and can’t surprise teams. I think the Lakers have a really good shot to make the playoffs if kobe is anywhere near himself. Very balanced roster, especially if we sign Beasley. I have to say I’m looking forward to this year a lot. Lot of root for.

  50. @J C

    are you kidding me?
    what if Magic and Bird teamed up? hahahah

    Magic played with Kareem and Worthy two top 50 players of all time and hall of famers his whole career.

    Bird played with Robert Parish and Kevin McHale also top 50s of all time

    I don’t like Lebron trying to heatle 2.0 it either, but Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had plenty of help. Also had excellent roll players. coop, scott, …dennis Johnson, Bill Walton.

    It’s nothing new that players want help, but that’s why Jordan, never played with a dominant big man, is always up there. I would compare Dirk’s run a few years back to that level, Kobe with Gasol in beating the Celtics. Those to me hold truer than the heatles. Dirk beat Lebron, Kobe beat the first version of the healtes in pierce garnett and allen. it was the Celtics too. None of the rings that Lebron has won feel epic to me. The spurs have beat him down 2x in the finals now. Kobe torches the spurs in the playoffs popavich has never had an answer for him. That’s why Lebron can’t be on my mt. Rushmore.

    Jordan, Kobe, Shaq, Magic, Bird. 6,5,4,5,3 rings respectively. You can substitute Kareem for Shaq if you prefer skill to dominance because Kareem was equally dominant 6 rings all time leading scorer, but could he guard shaq? haha I dunno. That’s why I also give the nod to the Lakers dynasty over the bulls….Shaq would have been too dominant in those series Chicago didn’t have much of a front line and Kobe while he wasn’t as good as Jordan then, would have nullified his production enough. But which team does Phil Jackson coach? hahaha

  51. Aaron and chris y,

    K Love aint old. He’s barely turning 26 in september. He’s a little more than 3 years younger than Lebron and that’s all that matters in terms of age as Lebron enters the downside of his peak. He’s ready to go now. If the cavs stick with wiggins there is a chance he wont develop into the player some think he can become. Moreover, if they keep him they wont be able to contend right away. An aging Lebron needs to contend right now.

  52. Love as a 2nd option to LeBron w/ Irving as #3 will be quite formible in the East.

  53. Vasheed: Love is consider small for the position because despite he has short arms compare to most NBA PF’s. This was one of the reasons I had been so down on drafting Randle. Coming into the league Randle would have the worst Height/Wingsapn combination among all starting PF’s. Guys like Love are the exception not the norm.
    ___

    This is exactly the reason why I am hoping the Lakers give a long look at Randle as a small forward. I was shocked that team, when announcing the acquisition of Boozer, said that Carlos would be the starting small forward with Randle at the Four. Comments like this make me wonder who is running the show. Boozer has virtually zero speed or quickness and we expect him to play a perimeter oriented position?

    If Randle can handle the Three, then it opens up the possibility of a young Ed Davis at the Four or the potential of making runs at unrestricted FA power forwards next Summer (Monroe or the remote possibility that Love hits the market).

  54. then why didn’t he stay in Miami dwade and bosh were willing to take a pay cut to bring Pau….. or someone similar….my point is, you can’t keep just making super teams, it really diminishes it when you actually do win, I have a comment in approval stage talking about it.

  55. @ J C July 31, 2014 at 8:05 am
    The pairing/ grouping of superstars in the NBA is an interesting trend. But it makes me wonder: what if guys like Magic and Bird had teamed up? You never saw that sort of thing back then.
    ——
    I’ve heard this time and again, even from Magic, and I’d call it revisionism. What about KAJ, Magic, and Worthy? Not to mention that with Mychal Thompson the Lakers had four #1 picks on the roster at one time.

    One could argue that Worthy wasn’t a superstar. Feel free to make that argument.

    What about McHale, Bird and DJ? Not too shabby. Not too far off “big three” quality, if at all.

  56. Again with the “Randle is small for his position” stuff? He has the exact same size/length measurements as Love and Blake Griffin. His height/length measurements are 3/4’s of an inch shorter than Al Horfords. Randle is not small for a PF. He’s just not incredibly tall/long for one either.

  57. “One could argue that Worthy wasn’t a superstar. Feel free to make that argument.”

    But first, please review footage of him destroying people one on one on the baseline and on the break. Not destroying just anyone, but doing it to the Celtics. In the Finals.

  58. Chris y,

    I dont know if you were responding to my comment, but i’d just like to point out that d. wade will be 33 before the all star break and is clearly a shell of himself with his knee issues. Thats a 7 year difference between him and Love. It was clear that the Heat had run out of steam. Also, in cleveland lebron will play with kyrie, who can help him lower his usage rate since kyrie is a pg. If lebron had stayed with the heat he not only would not win, he would age a lot faster because of his usage rate. And thats why lbj did not stay in miami.

  59. With all this talk about Kevin Wesley Love we also have to look back to his namesake, Wes Unseld. He was certainly too small for his position, but boy was he a beast. This is the background Love comes from. Randle also has a very high motor and a big butt, like Wes Unseld. I don’t mind our chances.

    Oh, I forgot – Charles Barkley – another ‘too small’ player with a motor and big backside. Seems these people carve out their own space in the NBA.

  60. Rubenowski is right. In addition to the “coming home” angle, James can play with Irving (22) and Love (26) during the tail end of his (James’) prime (James turns 30 in December) and the beginning of his decline phase. Bosh is 30, and Wade, as noted, will soon be 33.

    As to the Wiggins/Love stuff, that will just be a wait-and-see thing. People who think Love is overrated by the stats will mostly probably also project Wiggins as a big star, so given Aaron’s view of Love, I am not surprised that Aaron is also telling us how awesome Wiggins is going to be. But even if Aaron is right about Wiggins, it will probably take a couple of years (or longer) for Wiggins to hit his stride, by which time James will be 32 or 33 years old. Although a team with Love and Irving will have defensive questions, if Cleveland gets Love, they will immediately be the co-favorites in the East along with Chicago.

  61. Hi, sorry, I think I cut off part of what I wrote.

    I’m just concerned that someone is conditioned to look at our starting point guard and maybe all they see is his ethnicity, (and I don’t mean R here at all)– sales to China, silly stereotypes …or whatever.

    J Lin is our starting point because of his b’ball skills…

  62. Thats right. Randle has a big butt. Good for boxing out. This plus his strentgth (he’s strong!) will give Parker a real scare for rookie of the year honors.

  63. R
    Magic was drafted by the Lakers.
    Worthy was drafted by the Lakers.

    Bird was drafted by the Celtics.

    I meant guys like Lebron and Wade and Bosh getting together and picking what team they want to play for, together.

    I realize Love is gonna be traded by Minnesota and that’s different. But Lebron seems to be deciding for Cleveland whether Wiggins is expendable.

    It’s not a knock on players who have earned the right to exercise their influence on their careers.

    Just an observation on the evolution of the league and the power players currently wield, and the effect that has on the competitive landscape.

  64. @VI Guy July 31, 2014 at 11:55 am
    I’m just concerned that someone is conditioned to look at our starting point guard and maybe all they see is his ethnicity, (and I don’t mean R here at all)– sales to China, silly stereotypes …or whatever.

    Maybe — however Kobe isn’t of Chinese descent yet he’s big in China … I’m anticipating cash flow synergy there with the new Lakers back court.

    J Lin is our starting point because of his b’ball skills

    OK, if he flashes those skills so much the better. But I doubt its the primary focus of Jimmie and Jeanie. Cash flow is where its at for them, I think. Wins? Oh, maybe not so important as in the past.

  65. I watched the Clippers-TWolves repeat on NBA TV last night. Blake and Love ,two “undersized “PF`s,very entertaining. A good lesson for Randle;skill and athleticism, which Randle has can make up for size. Randle is a PF,not a SF.

  66. Regarding Love, he’s played 76% of all possible games since he broke into the league. The most was 81 games his rookie year. (Yes, the %age of games played accounts for the lock-out shortened season of 66 games; he played 55 games that year).

    He’s about to turn 26 … think he’ll become more durable with age?

  67. JC – right you are, and I understand your point now.

    Yes, it does seem that league superstars are self directing their destiny to a much greater extent than in the past.

    Of course, KAJ got himself traded out of Milwaukee , but in the main what we are seeing now appears to be new. I’m not enough of a historian of the game to understand why, would anyone care to explain why this is so?

  68. He’s about to turn 26 … think he’ll become more durable with age?

    You should learn more about the nature of his injuries before asking a gotcha question like that.

    If Love gets traded to Cleveland, the season will be a referendum of sorts on him. Opinionated stats guys at the big sites see him as a Top-10 player; in-your-face eye test and ring-counting types see him as an overrated accumulator who gives too much back on D.

  69. “he has short arms compare to most NBA PF’s. This was one of the reasons I had been so down on drafting Randle. Coming into the league Randle would have the worst Height/Wingsapn combination among all starting PF’s. Guys like Love are the exception not the norm”

    ….is this real life?

    @rr my point about that was that bosh and wade were ready to take pay cuts and Miami would have been able to re sign another legitimate player like Gasol, Stephenson, etc. they could have….but LeBron wanted to go home, now LeBron wants love….even tho Cleveland have gotten 3 number one picks….in 5 years, they want to trade two of them now? what was the point of that. It just really diminishes it for me when all you’re doing is jumping from convenient situation to convenient situation and teaming up with players in their prime haha, and you still have a losing record in the finals.

  70. wait for the last dunk vasheed…..

    http://ballislife.com/julius-randle-nasty-dunks-to-finish-lebron-james-academy-in-style-reverse-eastbay-more/

    …..yea I’m really worried about Randle’s wingspan….if Mitch is smart he would pick up the phone and see if we can still trade for Vonleh. haha

  71. what was the point of that.

    To try to win the championship as soon as possible.

    Even if Bennett gets better, and he will, there is virtually no chance that he will be a really good player. As to Wiggins, he may be great, or he may just be good. There is evidence on both sides of the question, and in any case, he is going to have a learning curve.

    ===

    It just really diminishes it for me when all you’re doing is jumping from convenient situation to convenient situation and teaming up with players in their prime haha

    I don’t think either James or the people of Cleveland, who have not seen a championship in any major sport since 1964, will be too worried about how random Lakers fans evaluate the aesthetics of their title, if they get one. Kobe never won an NBA title without an elite big in his prime, either.

  72. R,
    “But I doubt its the primary focus of Jimmie and Jeanie. Cash flow is where its at for them, I think. Wins? Oh, maybe not so important as in the past.”

    I am curious how you know the motivations of the Buss family. IMO, you are trying to postulate facts from your opinion of the children. This doesn’t, however, make anything a fact.

    “…but in the main what we are seeing now appears to be new. I’m not enough of a historian of the game to understand why, would anyone care to explain why this is so?”

    Free agency! Curt Flood had an impact far beyond baseball. Now the owners have to be careful not to get caught colluding to keep players in place, or place a lid on salaries. Of course, the recent CBA has done the ‘lid on salaries’ job for them. The money involved in all this has risen exponentially since Kareem’s move to L.A. Basketball is a game where a really dominant player can take a team from doormat to contender.

    That’s the best explanation I can give you.

  73. “Love as a 2nd option to LeBron w/ Irving as #3 will be quite formible in the East.”

    I keep seeing this sentiment across the web. My question is would they beat the team coming out of the West? A lot of the talk about keeping Wiggins vs trading for Love is centered around Cleveland winning the East. Well Miami won the East rather easily. And they got trounced in the Finals. I don’t see Kyrie, LeBron, and Love being able to defeat San Antonio or OKC. And they may be a toss up against the Clippers.

    I’m not big on Cleveland trading for Love because they need the depth they will be giving away. The Spurs showed you can’t beat them with a “big three” and not much else. I get Cleveland wants to swing for the fences now. But Miami did the same thing. The difference is 2012 LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are loads better than 2014 LeBron, Kyrie, and Love.

    Lastly, Cleveland will lose its roster flexibility the moment they sign Love to a max deal. They would have three players at about $20 million a year each. And two of those three (Irving and Love) are not the most durable guys around. That’s the wall Miami hit after last season.

  74. As a Laker fan, I would much rather see Love in Cleveland than in either Chicago or Golden State. Chicago has the bigs to reek havoc on the NBA and with Kevin Love spreading the floor for Rose to drive…ouch!!! Same with Golden State how are you going to switch with everyone one the team besides Bogut hitting 20 footers. No thank you. Go to Cleveland where they are weak in the middle (I love me some Varejao but he’s not a true rim protector) and fall prey to the San Antonio game plan. No different than in Miami. The lesser of three evils.

  75. My question is would they beat the team coming out of the West?

    Probably not in 2015, but I think the point is to get to the Finals, then you take your chances. Also, Cleveland doesn’t have depth now. Waiters and Bennett are not particularly valuable in spite of where they were drafted. If your biggest worries are filling out your roster around James, Love, and Irving, and how you would do against Chicago, San Antonio or OKC in a best-of-7, that is sort of the NBA definition of “rich people’s problems.” Also, Miami won two titles in three tries before the big loss last year.

    The buzz overwhelmingly indicates that the Love deal is going to happen. Whether one thinks it is a good idea depends on how good one thinks Love is and how good one thinks Wiggins will be. The rest is mostly noise.

    The difference is 2012 LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are loads better than 2014 LeBron, Kyrie, and Love.

    On D, probably. On O, no way, and guys who play D can usually be had cheaply. Cleveland will need to find 2 or 3 guys like that.

  76. “If Love gets traded to Cleveland, the season will be a referendum of sorts on him. Opinionated stats guys at the big sites see him as a Top-10 player; in-your-face eye test and ring-counting types see him as an overrated accumulator who gives too much back on D.” Exactly my thoughts i add that he is been the big fish in a small pond for his entire career, in a good team his stats would dip all across the board and add his horrid defense and how brittle he is? I see an avg starter on a good team. I think most of us here agreed that even if he were to come to the Lakers he would not be more than a second fiddle to Kobe and whoever comes after him. Gasol at 26 was a better player than him.

  77. I dont think the cavs would be better than the team that makes it out of the west but one thing to keep in mind is that whatever team makes it out of the west will most probably have played more games than the cavs and may have more injuries. That’s big in a 7 game series. Also, the cavs will have the best player in the world and, depending on how Blatt adapts to the nba, the better coach. I wouldnt bet against that unless the spurs make it to the finals again and they are all healthy.

  78. On D, probably. On O, no way, and guys who play D can usually be had cheaply. Cleveland will need to find 2 or 3 guys like that.

    Shouldn’t their main guys excel defensively though? I’d rank Wade and Bosh higher defensively than Irving and Love. At least the 2011-2013 versions of Wade and Bosh. Both Wade and Bosh had the tools to dig in defensively. Bosh’s game 6 block on Danny Green in 2013 is a great example. Few players his size could move as fast as he did on that play at the angle he did.

    Irving and Love are young guys. They can still learn I guess.

  79. Of course, this assumes the Pacers will not be as good as last season and the Bulls lose to the cavs. I think the bulls will be first in the east if rose gets back to elite status though.

  80. Craig W – thanks for the input on why the superstars seem to have so much more leverage these days.

    “I am curious how you know the motivations of the Buss family. IMO, you are trying to postulate facts from your opinion of the children. This doesn’t, however, make anything a fact.”

    ——-

    Not stating my opinion as fact. Note the words “maybe”; “doubt”; “I think”. My opinion is just that, an opinion. Everybody has one, right?

  81. >>in a good team his stats would dip all across the board

    Unlikely, but we will see. His counting stats will drop off some since his USG will go down, but I doubt that his rate stats will go down much, and I doubt that his overall value will change. Bosh’s value didn’t change much going from Toronto to Miami; it was just allocated differently.

    >>I see an avg starter on a good team.

    That’s fine, but I don’t think that many people in the NBA would agree with you. The other side of the accumulator argument is that Love has never played with anybody as good as Irving, much less with a guy like James. You are assuming that it will hurt Love, while it may actually help to cover his weaknesses and accentuate his strengths (outlet passing, floor spacing, offensive versatility).

    >>Shouldn’t their main guys excel defensively though?

    Sure, but there are very, very few awesome two-way players. If they get Love, CLE will need a low-usage rim protector (Udoh, Stiemsma, Okafor) and a low-usage wing who can D up some (Wesley Johnson would have been an OK add for CLE).

  82. Some guy named Fromal on Yesm Stream put the Lakers at 32 wins . Love to place a bet with that guy.

    Team and coach is much better then 5 more wins . Kobe,Lin and Boozer alone with Scott is 10 games better then last year.

    I promise.

  83. I’m not enough of a historian of the game to understand why, would anyone care to explain why this is so?

    I think it is a combination of:

    Free agency
    max salary
    the cap
    digital media
    Team USA and social media changing the relationships among star players from what they were in the past
    selective memory

    What I mean by the last one is that with Top 10-20 guys, it just depends on the guy and what he wants. KAJ grew up in NY, went to college in LA, and for personal and cultural reasons, wanted to be in NY or LA. KAJ had won big at every level, so the Lakers’ weak roster then didn’t bother him much. Shaq wanted to be in the movies, the Lakers had some decent talent on board, and the salary rules were very different then, so Jerry West could keep cutting guys until the offer was high enough.

    James wanted to be back in Northeast Ohio, and he wanted to play with young All-Stars. It seems weird to many of us that he would walk away from South Beach and Riley for Lake Erie and Gilbert, but he controls his own fate, that is what he wanted to do. And the Heat couldn’t fight back by offering 200M or whatever.

    And IMO Durant will probably either stay in OKC or go home to DC.

  84. here’s how you stir up controversy using the truth, when there is no controversy.

    Julius Randle said in an interview with Mike Trudell that Kobe was “getting no shots” and that he was taking them all. no response yet from Kobe, who has always claimed the he “eats first”…

  85. JC – Thanks for setting people straight on the Showtime teams. It wasn’t guys manipulating things to play together like it is now.

    It’s what these teams look like with their multiple stars via “teaming up” that makes the veto continue to sting.

  86. Craig, Ausphil, rr and R, great thread and very interesting points all.

    I’d agree w Craig that fee agency has had the biggest impact on player leverage.

    R your history is correct, KAJ forced his way out of Milwaukee to return to liberal LA in a day and age where he just wasn’t comfortable residing in Wisconsin. I believe this predated free agency, and was perhaps a precursor of it.

    To rr’s list, I’d add/expand by saying that David Stern’s vision of the NBA was to make the player the star — to market the player. That vision has come to full fruition — and now commensurate power has accompanied stardom.

    Now add the power of social media and the advent of the internet, and stars that were once hometown heroes become global icons and household names. Lebron’s initial, historic shoe contract, signed before he even played an NBA game, now looks prophetic.

    A few weeks ago this site hosted a lively discussion about how NBA ownership had taken advantage of the players in the last CBA agreement. While this may be true, star power such as Lebron’s reflects the opposite side of that coin.

    If owners are reaping huge profits and players are wielding greater power and control than ever over their careers, both sides have won — the NBA is alive and well.

  87. I’m a stats guy who only goes by my eye test. I see which stats go along with what I’m seeing and I then know which are the best stats. But I am a gifted observer of the game. The Love stats alcktually backed up what I was seeing. I can’t remember who pointed this (I think it was TrueHoop) but Love is a guy who gets his stats in meaningless games and times. He has never played against teams who are playing hard. Nobody gets up to play the Wolves. So what do the stats say? He is efficient on offense except in the last three minutes of close games he is a horrible offensive player. His shooting goes down into the low 30 percentages. His PER goes down to Derek Fisher levels. And he can’t get a rebound. This means when teams are playing hard K Love is what he looks like. A guy who hustles when nobody is hustling to get his numbers. But when NBA players actually try he becomes a bad NBA player.

    Good NBA franchises don’t trade away a Wiggins type talent no matter at what age for a limited player like Kevin Love. And it will cost them many NBA championships.

  88. But I am a gifted observer of the game.

    Good to see that the LeBron/Carmelo thing hasn’t sapped your self-confidence.

  89. wukong – I’ve never seen those type of stats… so very interesting insight.

    I’ve seen him play a lot and he gives A TON of effort to make sure he stays in front of his man. He’s pretty sound defensively and doesn’t give his mark an easy time.

    He absolutely is not a shut-down defender as he doesn’t have the athleticism. But he is a very good team defender. I don’t think he’s a liabilty.

    My knock on him is he doesn’t have the “irrational confidence” that the elite players have. If he doesn’t come out hitting shots… expect to see a more passive and tentative JLin the rest of the game. Not sure if coaching can help with that, but hopefully a more p-n-r system will help play to his strengths.

  90. Rusty Shackleford August 1, 2014 at 6:14 am

    K Love will get his numbers. Even if it means getting himself out of defensive position for a chance at another rebound.

  91. @rr,

    who says they are going to the finals? Love and Kyrie Irving have never played a playoff game. Even the heatless took a year, so my question is in that year while love would still be available why not wait to see what you have in wiggins. Does getting Love make the Cavs better than Indiana, Chicago, Miami, Not in My opinion. That team is not formidable. But a version of wade LeBron wiggins LeBron 2.0 dominating the wings…..that’s enticing. Bennet is only 21 he could end up being a 15 10 guy this year too. If you’re going to be about going home and trying to build something, then be about it, if you’re about moving around the nba and building super teams, I don’t think this one will be as good as Miami, but I guess we’ll see…..I I have Chicago coming out of the East if drose is healthy.

  92. @rr

    I’m sorry I didn’t know you knew the future. How again do you know that Bennett will not be a really good player? Because he’s 20? Because he just tore up summer league? How?

  93. Warren Wee Lim August 1, 2014 at 7:17 am

    One thing the Jeremy Lin deal brought to the Lakers is flexibility. For one, you don’t normally get a good player AND a pick along with it, but in this case, his balloon payment made him a less-desirable get for other teams. For us, it doesn’t matter because we print money.

    The Rockets 15 1st can be valued between 14 to 24. Normally they are not sought-after picks but they are picks of decent value. This along with our increased ability to trade due to the Stepien rule. If you argue that the Rockets are a top 6 team in the league then I would contend: Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Cavs, Bulls and Heat would be in their way. So somewhere between outside looking in and an implosion of sorts that makes them miss the playoffs by 1 game is where I put them.

    Considering we took 8.3M of cap on a 1-yr deal, it signifies that same amount more or less will be available next season. I do believe, however, that Mitch also took Lin the player and not just his 1-yr deal. I sense we’re on a buy-low situation and we exploited the Rockets’ interest at landing a big time free agent (which blew up on their faces btw) … So a great deal for a team that lacks/needs assets to contend moving forward.

    Jeremy Lin, the player, is a feisty player that is intelligent. He is not very good at anything but he also has a good enough game to be a decent rotation quasi-starter in the league. With his fresh start in LA, on a contract year, he could surprise alot of people. I would be interested at signing him long-term on a more tempered deal next season, something along the lines of Nick Young contract, slightly above maybe, depending on his play this season.

  94. @ko I predict it will be 35 wins. The coach is worse and the players are only slightly better.

  95. G
    Coach is worse?
    Beg to differ.
    Nobody could possibly be worse than the coach we just had.
    Players slightly better?
    Recall that we didn’t have Kobe last year. Yes he’s older and coming off injury but we will definitely be better than 35 wins.
    38!

  96. chris y,

    I guess I know the same way that you know that Julius Randle is going to be a lot better than Noah Vonleh, and that Kobe is going to come back strong, and is worth every penny of his deal.

    You are taking your own predictions–and other people’s–too seriously. And you are definitely taking summer league too seriously. Everybody here is just a fan, trading opinions. If Love bombs and Wiggins is awesome, I will cheerfully say, “Hey, Aaron was right”, and move on. Aaron has been right before.

    As to Bennett, he is 21, and it would be pretty unusual for a guy who was as bad as he was as a rookie to suddenly turn it around completely. I also saw him play several times last year, and I didn’t like what I saw at all.

  97. Speaking of K-Love i don’t think is a bad player, he is a very good player on a bad team. I really doubt he is going to post 26 and 12 on a team with Lebron and Irving, he will be the third wheel there. Just like Chris Bosh. He is a good offensive and rebounding player thats it, cant guard his own shadow and he is been a stat stuffer his entire career. Btw i just read somewhere that even if he is traded he is not signing an extension if i were the Cavs FO i would not put the trigger on that trade unlesss there is a guarantee he signs an extension, trading Wiggins for Love and them losing him would be a disaster for them, but then again, its the Cavs lol.. We might get him yet next summer but he is a nice piece a second or third fiddle, not the next face of the franchise.

  98. Love has supposedly already said that he would sign long-term in Cleveland if James is there. I am sure that there will be an opt-out, but I don’t think the CLE would be talking about the deal if no extension were the case.

    All the people here bagging on Love and his game should, IMO, frame Love in Cleveland, if he ends up there, as another version of Pau’s joining the Lakers and a 29-year-old Kobe in 2008. When Pau came here, Gregg Popovich and Steve Nash complained about the deal, because they knew what it might mean, but there were a bunch of knocks on Pau as being soft, weak, lousy on D, having never won a playoff game, etc. How did that work out for the people who were saying that?

    There are obvious differences: the Lakers didn’t give up a guy like Wiggins, Cleveland doesn’t have a guy like Lamar Odom, the Lakers had Phil, Dan Gilbert is no Jerry Buss, etc. But OTOH, Cleveland is in a much weaker conference, and the Lakers didn’t have another backcourt player as good as Kyrie Irving. And for all we know, Blatt may be a really fine coach.

  99. Been gone too long . . . lots of good commentary here.

    Cleveland will rue the day they gave away Wiggins to get Love. But they ‘have to’ to keep LeBron–and I don’t see Cleveland winning any titles with Kyrie and Love as the new super friends. So yeah, karma will bite Dan Gilbert hard.

    Aaron: I poke fun at your predictions, but I am in total agreement about Love. Bill Simmons poked fun at the analytics guys by rhetorically asking himself: “Why do you think Blake Griffin is better than Love?” And then answering himself this way “Ugh, because I watch the games…” Yep.

    mud: I watched that fluff interview with Randle, and the only thing that made it worthwhile was again seeing the young fella’s unshakable self-confidence. He is going to be a stud.

    Warren: Nice assessment of the Lin deal. I think you are underselling him a bit however. He is a very good to excellent pick and roll guard, and can drive, score and get to the line with efficiency. More importantly, I don’t think he has peaked either. He has the intelligence and drive to improve and is only 24. I think he makes the biggest impact of any new players this season.

    Beasley? : There is no real downside to signing him on the cheap. Training camp will shape who plays and who doesn’t. Competition for minutes is a good problem. If he can play at the level that he is capable of, it’s a great move–duh. What I’d like to see is Beasley and Randle playing together, blurring the 3 and 4 for positions, with Beasley’s ability to stretch the floor, post up smaller guys, and Randle’s play making, and attacking off the dribble.

    Do the pieces fit? : Not exactly. But there is enough flexibility to utilize a deep roster, and they will need to do so in order to play effective team defense. To me the biggest question is Kobe; is he willing to move the ball unselfishly to the open man, and is he willing to move his feet defensively? (He still can, he just can’t play as many minutes as he’d like to). Those are two big ifs.

  100. Love isn’t comparable to Pau cir 2008 in any way, shape, or form, regardless of numbers.
    he’s a still very good player that will help Cleveland, i’m sure.

    Randle isn’t giving any shots to Kobe.

  101. I said the sam thinge mud, Pau when he came to the Lakers was a much better player, with the bonus that he didnt miss at least 20 games a season because of injuries at that point. Abd about all his “softness” back then specifically that Celtics Finals, it was basically him against KG,Perk and the entire Celtics front line, let’s not forget that in 2010 he took KG to school, when Bynum was there. At his prime Pau wasnt a great defensive player but he was a better defender that K-Love and you know what? Even past his prime he is still is, thats how bad K-Love is at defense.

  102. rr: “Good to see that the LeBron/Carmelo thing hasn’t sapped your self-confidence” Hilarious. Your statement will not phase him either.
    Fern: So Pau averaged 17 ppg, 10 rpg, and is a better defender than one of the most sought after guys in the league. Sounds pretty good. Perhaps we should have been able to get something for him?
    J C: “Nobody could possibly be worse than the coach we just had.” Agreed. Well maybe Del Harris could have been worse. No – then again – you are right – lets stick with nobody.
    Jeanie +Jim: Nobody knows for sure what they are thinking and nobody knows for sure how good they are at their jobs. We do have the team results since 2012 (when Jim took over) or if you prefer 02/2013 when we lost Jerry. Either way the results are horrible and the results are facts. Statements that simply say “give Jim a chance” are no more scientific than those that say “Jim sucks”. However as years go by, we will have more evidence which one is correct. Then again I know some guys who have lost for 10 straight years at Poker and still consider themselves a good player.

  103. Love isn’t comparable to Pau cir 2008 in any way, shape, or form, regardless of numbers.

    Kind of hard to argue with a statement like that.

    Fern,

    You need to learn to use this website:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/g/gasolpa01.html

    To check your facts. Pau played 56, 59 and 66 games in the years in and around his trade here. He also missed 17 games in 2010.

    Love only played 18 games in 2013, but he was back up to 77 last year. He has played 81, 60, 73 and 55 of 66 in the other years.

    Pau’s health record is good, but given how Love hurt his hand, it seems unlikely that the injury will recur. It didn’t last year.

  104. There is no earthly way Byron will be a worse coach than MDA. If he simply has competent rotations and players know their role, he will instantly be better. And if players don’t go 25min, 4min, DNP-CD x 10, 35min………

    I think most of us would agree that it will be nice to see someone make adjustments and use the roster in a way that makes sense.

  105. and is only 24

    Lin turns 26 on August 23rd.

    He is trying out his acting chops already:

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/nba/sad-jeremy-lin-goes-to-hollywood/

  106. Lin turns 26

    My bad. But he *still* can and *will* improve.

  107. RR,

    You’re my guy and everything. But invoking 2008 Pau when discussing Love shows just how much Love doesn’t measure up.

  108. You’re my guy and everything. But invoking 2008 Pau when discussing Love shows just how much Love doesn’t measure up.

    Measure up to what?

  109. Yikes, Paul George injured in a scrimmage for USA.

  110. Warren Wee Lim August 1, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    Jeremy Lin improving is not impossible. He is going to just be 26 after all. Its safe to assume he won’t decline, unless a big injury hits him, God forbid.

    He does attack well and he brings quite an aura of youth/athleticism in the PG spot which we’ve never had for the longest time. The team might experiment with Nash starting early on but Lin is and will be the team’s starting PG. My guess even beyond this year. The jersey sales and marketing implications is just too great. If you think we print money, then we s#it money with Lin as a Laker as well. I for one would be getting a jersey of his.

    Maybe because Lin and Lim are the same thing/character in chinese.

  111. Terrible…

  112. Warren Wee Lim August 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    The Paul George injury is just terrible. No NBA fan can be happy about it, Pacers or other team. Its really terrifying to look at, like Kevin Ware territory.

  113. This Paul George thing seems terrible. People already saying potentially career ending. So sad, regardless of the team you support.

  114. Good Lord!!! I just saw it, that’s just a nasty nasty injury just terrible i feel really bad for Paul George, im no medical expert but i would venture to say he is not playing this season. If ever…

  115. Oh man, that Paul George injury is heartbreaking. Poor guy.

  116. here is why all the predictions are just predictions and not reality.
    the reality is, no one knows what can happen to change the landscape between now and the NBA finals.

    the world is not safe, things sometimes go awry and bad things that are unexpected can happen.

    all we can do about it is to do our best and say our prayers. nothing is a lock. not the Pacer’s season, Paul George’s leg or any other player(s) or organization(s).

    life! it’s interesting! is kinda scary! it’s awesome!

    just as unexpected bad things can happen, unexpected good things can happen too. that’s why it’s ok to have hope, until the very last breath.

  117. That stanchion at that venue was precariously close to the floor. The design is similar to backyard basketball hoops and not at all appropriate for the billion dollars worth of players on the court. Team USA players turned the color of the Grinch, after that injury the energy dissipated from the arena and the players themselves were entirely deflated. It’s going to be difficult for Coach K to get the team refocused on the mission.

    @Warren-That’s awesome, you have to buy several jerseys.

    Lebron’s path to the eastern finals is reduced by one. My prayers are with George and his family.

  118. Warren Wee Lim August 2, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Lebron’s path to ECF will go through Miami (still) and Chicago. Indy lost alot by losing Stepehenson, idk why they wouldnt atleast match 9m x 3, their offer was valued at 8.8M. Stephenson with PG out would be a 20-ppg scorer.

    I still feel bad for PG. His 90M contract wouldnt be as sweet now but he’s still lucky thats inked. Thats why players should take the max money wherever they can.