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Comment 1 rec
76ers might have down year with the Ben Simmons drama.
Probably a slow start at the very least. They just have too many issues right now.
On the other hand, I would expect the Raptors to bounce back. Their best players were hit hard by Covid and they are going to be allowed to play in Canada again. That whole Tampa Bay Raptors thing was like a season full of road games for them. Kind of ridiculous when you think about it. I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about this. They should be one of the teams that is expected to turn it around. It’s almost like people forgot they existed.
If I had to guess, the top 4 will be the Bucks, Nets, Celtics, and Raptors in some order, with the top 2 likely being the Bucks and Nets. Heat will likely be 5th, though that team could go either really good or pretty bad. I’m going to bet on the Hornets for 6th actually. This might be a mistake. I just don’t buy the Hawks and I fully expect the 76ers to have problems. At the same time, I do like the Hornets if they can stay healthy. So after the top 6, it would probably be some combination of Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, and maybe Indiana. I’m inclined to just go Hawks, 76ers, Bulls, and Pacers in that order.
So if I would rank them in a top 10 by seeding…
The East is honestly a lot tougher to figure out at the moment. A lot of competition for spots 3-6. No real premier teams besides the Bucks and Nets, though. The Celtics and Raptors should have turnaround so I would expect them both to at least look pretty decent in the regular season again. 76ers and Hawks should have down years. Everything else is just my gut at the moment. I know I didn’t mention the Knicks or anything. I don’t know how to take them until I see how their roster functions. Maybe I should have put them on this list instead of the Pacers?
Comment 1 rec
It seems to me that you are only considering offense when it comes to gauging a team's championship capabilities.
And not even complete offensive skills like driving or passing. Just scoring. If all you are about is scoring, you simply aren’t beating what the Nets have. Period.
However, the game of basketball is bigger than just that. You can have your third best scorer not also be your third best player. These aren’t mutually inclusive things. If you have Simmons, you don’t need a third scorer who is an all star because Ben is the third best player in the big 3. You only need a guy good enough to supplement the offense enough to make up for Ben’s shortcomings.
Even of the list of names you mention from championship teams, Bosh, Love, and Green were not top 2 scorers on those teams. They more fit a role like that of a high end role player in those situations. If you have the right player for the situation, like a defense and passing specialist or a shooting big, this can work. And if you count KCP, that’s literally half your given examples that weren’t exactly go to scorers since Bosh was twice.
Literally all of the players I just mentioned averaged well less than 20 ppg in those championship years. And that’s half your list. You also stopped just a season short of the 2011 Mavs team, who had Jason Terry and Caron Butler averaging 15.8 ppg and 15 pgg respectively as the second and third scorers on that team. The evidence suggests a different conclusion than the one you seem to be making from it.
Are you saying you just think Morey is content to retire after this?
If he did, his legacy won’t exactly be compatible with a big "ego" like you were talking about. I just don’t think what you’re saying makes much sense. If if it turns out he ultimately failed in Houston and Philadelphia, and that’s the end of his career as a GM, is that really satisfactory to him?
Sure, he is probably wealthy enough to retire. He was that way before he took the 76ers job, though. It’s obviously not what he was looking for.
Comment 1 reply
As I said before, you can find scorers for cheaper if you don't need a top 2 option type.
And you only really need one who can be a 3rd option type. You just need one player like post prime Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, or Rudy Gay who aren’t that expensive. Heck, we got Schroder for cheap. You can find 3rd option scorers for a lot easier than you are saying if you don’t need them to be Lillard.
You only need one 3rd option type scorer, not a whole roster full. Then it’s just 3 and D and maybe bigs like every other team.
And one such guy isn’t really enough. I mean, BKN has their big three and Joe Harris. Given that Simmons is mostly a nothingburger on offense you’re going to need two more guys to carry the scoring load beyond JT and JB.
You aren’t going to outpace Brooklyn no matter what you do. As I already said, Durant > Tatum, Harden > Brown, and Kyrie is > or = to nearly any third scoring star we could realistically get. At least that is the case from a purely offensive standpoint. So in this sense, it really doesn’t make much difference whether that third scorer is Schroder or Beal. You aren’t outpacing the Nets that way. You can only beat them by playing a different game.
Simmons is also not a nothing burger on offense if he is being utilized properly. He’s a playmaker and transition threat. I’ll spare you the long rant I havre on 76ers coaching. However, he could also be utilized in the halfcourt better with low screens that allows him to get rolling to the basket better. He would also do better with a big that doesn’t clog the paint on offense and/or Simmons playing as a small ball big.
My point is you don’t need two third option type scorers. You just need to add one third option type scorer with Simmons. And for all the hoopla you made about Joe Harris, it’s really not that difficult to find an elite shooter these days. Ideally, your 3rd option type scorer can also shoot the 3 very well. If not, you can find an elite shooter to come off the bench or whatever.
Comment 1 reply
Well he can certainly try...
That doesn’t mean it will work. I highly doubt either man will escape a ton of ridicule if this blows up. No one will care that Morey is trying to deflect if he also handles the situation really poorly. He’ll still get killed publicly.
Maybe Morey gets another job anyway. I don’t know what some of these teams are thinking at times. However, it seems unlikely that Morey would get to pick and choose his ideal situation again even if that happens. He would have to take whatever team he could get or retire.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
I don't know about that.
The 76ers with worse GMs completely ruined their opportunities to get trade value out of Noel and Okafor before their respective values plummeted. I don’t recall anyone praising them for that. Now the same might be happening with Simmons and Morey will be judged based on how he handles this.
Like I agree that he should wait to a point for reasons I’ve already discussed. However, I don’t think it would be very good for his "ego" if this blows up in his face because he waited too long. He’ll get killed for it if this happens. And while I can understand him maybe not wanting to give into Simmons out of principal, Morey can’t do it forever. Only to a point. It’s basically like a game of chicken. You might outlast your opponent, but that isn’t very helpful if you did so by jumping off the cliff.
Not in spite of him.
Simmons was an important part of that team as a defender and their acting PG. Butler and Embiid aren’t even good fits with Simmons and they made that work. There are still issues with him in Philly. A team that’s a better fit could probably benefit even more from him.
Maybe if you put him with specifically KAT – the greatest shooting big ever, it could work. But put him on the team with the Jays and then you’re taking the ball out of their hands and putting it into Simmons. I just do not want that.
That’s a strange concern considering Ben is a playmaker and not a primary scorer. If he has the ball, he’s going to pass it a lot. Arguably too much even. Ime Udoka said ball movement was a problem last season and is looking to improve that with the current Celtics team. I doubt our new coach wants the ball to be in the hands of Tatum or Brown without it moving much. He wants better ball movement.
Spacing might be a concern. However, it’s not like the Jays don’t shoot the 3. You just have to figure out the roster around them. And personally, I do think Simmons could play with Timelord because that is a different sort of spacing. Though this is an entirely different discussion.
Comment 1 reply
Well the needs of a core with Tatum/Brown/Simmons are different.
The Nets have 3 players who are elite scorers. So they just need defense and spare parts, at least in theory. With the Celtics, you would have 3 athletic 6’7 or larger players that can defend. What the Celtics would primarily need under those circumstances are spacing and a third scorer type. Though that third scorer could probably be on the level of Fournier, Rose, or Gay or somebody like that. It’s actually not too hard to find offensive 6th man types. And while the Celtics wouldn’t have the raw firepower of the Nets building it like this, they would have amazing defensive versatility and probably enough offense.
I prefer that to getting another smallish scoring guard like Beal or Lillard, where you are basically just a worse version of the Nets. Because from a pure offensive firepower standpoint, Durant > Tatum, Harden > Brown, and it’s likely Kyrie > Beal. Certainly no better for us than Kyrie = Beal, at least roughly speaking. The firepower gap is just too great to overcome like that. Even if you somehow got a better scoring guard like Lillard, and you had a Lillard > Kyrie as the third matchup, you still don’t have the firepower of the Nets doing it like that. You also create a defensive weakness and rely on a player on the wrong side of 30 for a more limited window.
Basically, I don’t think being the Nets-lite gets us much of anywhere unless you are just hoping the Nets fall apart or get injured before they play us every year. I believe we need the team to be something different to have a better shot. Someone like Simmons allow the Celtics to become different in a way at least I suspect is better. I would personally much rather go after that sort of opportunity than trying to get the 4th score first guard who can’t switch since Ainge’s Nets trade.
So if we are debating about money and whether or not that’s worth it, getting a defensive star as the third player might go further with this team than an offensive one. Though this obviously depends on the players. Like Doncic would be better than Simmons and he isn’t available. Anyway, I don’t think building around the Jays and Simmons would actually be that difficult even with his price.
Comment 1 reply
Sort of? It's not unlimited time by any means.
I’ve said in other comments that Morey is better off waiting than settling for a bad deal. However, Simmons isn’t an ascending asset while he’s sitting out for the 76ers. And he’s not really an ascending asset even if he plays unless he starts shooting a little or at least making FTs better. The problem is he that even if you get him to play, he just doesn’t fit that 76ers team well. Ben’s value likely couldn’t rise until he is out of that situation in Philadelphia. The longer this goes on, the worse it will get for Ben’s value. Not better.
So why wait? Because Morey is between a rock and a hard place as the team has already mishandled the situation. Morey’s only hope is that something changes in the trade market that allows him to make a better deal in spite of Ben’s depreciating value. However, that won’t be because Ben’s value is better. It’s because circumstances changed. That’s not a guarantee to happen, either. It’s just that this particular gamble is his only potential way out.
Make no mistake, though. It is a gamble to wait. Because if circumstances in the trade market don’t become more favorable or at least to a level that offsets Ben’s decreased value enough, Morey is just left with the circus that comes with Ben still being on the team after all this and no upside. That wouldn’t be a good place to be at.
Morey doesn’t have unlimited time to wait for things to improve, either. Ben may have 4 years left on his deal, but they won’t want to wait until he has like 2 years and then more leverage. And more than that, the 76ers won’t want to waste prime years of Embiid with this Simmons drama dragging on for seasons. Even one full season would be bad. Morey’s best bet is probably the trade deadline. Waiting until next offseason would be pushing it, but maybe doable under the right circumstances. Anything more than that and there is zero chance it doesn’t blow up in Morey’s face.
Comment 1 rec
Comment 1 reply
What do you mean by "is he a championship calibre player in his role/contract"?
If you are talking about the top 5-8ish superstar that leads a team to a championship, he isn’t that. Though neither are Beal or Lillard or pretty much anyone else who would be available to us. Our only solution to that is to hope one of our own stars, likely Tatum, becomes that.
If you are talking about a top 15ish star who can be a legit #2 on a championship team, Simmons isn’t that either. But again, he doesn’t have to be if he’s one the Celtics. The Jays are fine as the top two options. Probably.
If you are talking about a #3 in a big 3, that’s a bit more debatable. Though the 76ers were fairly close when they had Embiid and Butler as top two options. Of course, Tobias was also on that team so maybe you argue he was the #3 offensive option and Ben isn’t a #3.
I don’t understand the notion you have that Simmons somehow can’t start on a championship team. How so? That team with Embiid and Butler was close to going to the Finals with Simmons as a starter. Even if you want to argue he wasn’t a top 3 guy because he wasn’t the third scorer, Simmons as a starter absolutely worked during that playoff run even though he isn’t even a good fit with Embiid and Butler doesn’t shoot the 3 well.
To me, Ben Simmons could be the third best player on a championship team if it was the right environment. You just need someone else to rely on as a third scorer and proper spacing. He’s better than just a starter. He just wouldn’t work as a #3 everywhere because the fit wouldn’t be right everywhere.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
The thing is you aren't just building a team around Simmons if you are the Celtics.
It would be the Jays first and then maybe Simmons. It’s a different thing if you already have a dynamic duo versus if Simmons is supposed to be the #2 guy in that duo like he is in Philadelphia. An evaluation of a potential Simmons trade should be how he fits with the Jays and company, not about if he can lead a championship team. We already know he can’t do the latter. That’s never been the appeal of it anyway.
Since the Celtics are over the cap anyway, there isn’t much of a difference if your third best player is making 20 million or 30+ million. The real issue would be what you have to give up to get him and if that’s worth it or not.
Comment 1 reply
I don't think that's actually their biggest concern, though.
The 76ers #1 priority is the championship window with Embiid. If they miss that window because they deal Simmons for a worse offer than they could have gotten, that’s worse than the potential PR hit of Simmons working out in Boston. At this point the 76ers know that he won’t work out for them anyway, even if he does work out somewhere else. Morey literally just got to Philly and he’s been trying to straighten out the mess they have. I think he’s far more likely to ultimately get fired for getting bad return for Ben than he is for if Ben thrives somewhere else, even if that somewhere else is Boston. Morey just doesn’t have the luxury right now to worry about how other teams fair after the deal over his own.
Now I don’t know if the Celtics even have a realistic offer that could actually help the 76ers championship window around Embiid. At least not without giving up the Jays, which we shouldn’t do. So it’s probably a moot point either way. If there was something we could do, I think Morrey would almost have to go for it if our offer was more than just slightly better than everything else. The Ben Simmons market is just so bad right now.