A couple of things Bill Simmons said in his podcast today moved me to reply:
The Jimmy Butler Conspiracy Theory
Is Butler more available than the press has reported? And are the top traders hoarding assets to make their best offer? And that’s why the Kings got so little for Boogie?
This is fun theory. We’ll find out how true it is in a few days…
Pelicans put the Kings on the clock?
Simmons, as usual, preached patience. Why, he asked, take the Pels offer now? Surely, it will still be there on Thursday? Meanwhile, maybe another team warms to the idea of having Boogie.
Simmons then answered his own question: The Pels put a deadline on their offer. Case closed.
Er… really? Again, this is a sweetheart deal for the Pels. They’d do this over and over if they could, right? I don’t doubt that they announced a deadline, I just can’t believe the Kings took it seriously.
But then, why trade now? Hmmm….
Give me a 1st-round pick, or give me death!
Simmons strongly implied that any trade that lacked a near-term 1st-round pick was not acceptable. He’s probably right. That seems to be right out the current league manual for rebuilds. And yet…
You’ve got to be self-aware. If you are the Lakers, with a rich history of drafting well, hoard picks. If you are the Kings… maybe not. Get proven assets with multiple years left under contract.
A few years ago, the Warriors were talking to the Wolves about Kevin Love. The Wolves rebuffed the Warriors offer of David Lee, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green (as yet unknown). Instead, they ended up with Andrew Wiggins, and parts of no impact. (Admittedly, this turned out great for both teams – the Wolves tanked into the bottom of the lottery and grabbed Karl Anthony Towns. The Warriors won a title with a steady Barnes and un-earthed Green.)
But… Think about how it might have been… Forget KAT. The Wolves needed lottery luck. If they missed, they might have Jalil Okafor. Meanwhile, Lee/Barnes/Green would have contributed immediately, making the Wolves a contender for the bottom of the playoffs. Instead, it’s 3 years later, and the Wolves still aren’t contending for anything.
I think the Wolves could have enjoyed 3 relevant years, retained the rights to Barnes and Green (and Lee, really, if they wanted him). And still be a player or two away from making the leap. Just like today.
You know who I admire? The Grizzlies. They know who they are. They aren’t playing by the league handbook, and they aren’t trying to be clever.
No better offers?
This may be true, coming down to the aforementioned draft picks. But I found Simmons analysis too hasty:
- He discards WAS and POR because the Kings “would insist on” Beal and McCollum. Really? Would they?
- He discounts MIN and BKN for reasons I forget, while failing to mention they already have centers.
- He throws aside the whole playoff field without comment. Why? Daryl Morey is suddenly not taking calls? Popovich needs to win now or else?
A thoughtful consideration the field would be interesting.
The Laker Angle
As always, I have to wonder how my beloved Lakers missed a juicy trade.
Was the lack of a draft pick the deal breaker?
Did the Lakers make their best offer (Randle, Clarkson, Nance)?