Gordon Hayward is an NBA All-Star. That’s great! I don’t think we quite know what to do with that because he’s going to be a free agent this off-season after opting out of his contract. I really think the LHM Group of companies needs to bring a dump truck full of money to his house at the stroke of midnight on July 1st and dump it on his front yard and drive-way. Kind of like this. (But without all the debauchery in Mexico.)
Of course, not everyone is cool with Hayward being an All-Star, take Juliet Litman of The Ringer in this hit-piece:
Regardless of the opinions of people who somehow think selling the NBA needs to be handled beyond the confines of selling players who are good at playing the game the league is built around, G-Time is an All-Star. And Hayward being an All-Star is nice.
But I’m not so crazy about the All-Star Game and weekend. On the other hand, I just can’t get enough of Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo. Of course, I’ve known that’s his name since the 90s because I was a crazy basketball fan who is now getting close to his 40s. (Of course, there’s always that Pete Holmes interview where he beat-boxes to it . . . which is surreal.) But because I can’t get enough of Dikembe I wanted to share our collective reaction to the NBA All-Star Weekend:
Maybe I’m just an old man, but it’s not fun anymore. The Three point contest is fine - it’s a testable skill with little you can do to alter the variables. The Skills contest is coming into it’s own. The Rookie/Soph Game isn’t going to go away because the player agents and sponsors would riot. But I didn’t really enjoy this All-Star Weekend. Nothing against New Orleans. You guys have a fun product. But it’s not you, I guess it’s me.
Also, just because I’m still not ever going to be over Mutombo . . . did you know that in order to get into Georgetown he had to have an SAT score, and he was offended by the concept of a standardized test that he took it in French, and got a ridiculously high score?
Okay, we all know that the Sacramento Kings did something really dumb a few days ago. That just means that the Trade Deadline must be around the corner. (Wow, the set up to that joke was as ill prepared and poorly executed as Vlade Divac’ actual trade that he signed off on.) Anyway, the deadline is on Thursday, and all of the trade talk around the league is heating up. And that includes talk about our Utah Jazz.
I can understand why. The team is the ‘it team’ out West right now like the Boston Celtics out East. A chance to improve already solid squads and move from being ‘tough outs’ to ‘possible conference contenders’ isn’t something a General Manager would turn down. And for the Jazz there are a number of situations they can take a look at.
But we only need to really look at recent history to see that Dennis Lindsey isn’t afraid to pull that trigger.
Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune makes sure we don’t forget what the team has done, as a prelude to perhaps something the team will do this year. To wit:
“Lindsey has proven to be aggressive at the deadline in past seasons. Two years ago, he traded Enes Kanter, after the rise of Rudy Gobert made the big man expendable. The Jazz will likely receive Oklahoma City's 2018 first-round pick as compensation.
“Last February, Utah needed help at the point guard spot and traded a second-round pick for Shelvin Mack. Because they are under the salary cap, the Jazz have the ability to take on a player without matching contracts. And that greatly enhances their ability to maneuver in the trade market.”
If there’s a trade out there to help the team, I don’t think Lindsey will hesitate to do it. And we need to keep in mind that Lindsey is at that stage where he’s playing three dimensional chess. A trade that will ‘help the team’ may be a trade that helps the team in the next season or season after that. Not now. And of course, I am totally talking about the Jazz’ future cap situation.
Clearing space right now makes little sense, but that could end up being space desperately needed two years from now — you know, when guys like Gordon Hayward, George Hill, Joe Ingles, Rodney Hood, Dante Exum and others will all be on new contracts.
How do their All-Star seasons compare? Andrei was an All-Star in this third season (age 22); Gordon in his seventh (age 26). The season isn’t over yet, so expect more WS, BPM, and VORP from G-Time as the season goes on.
- MPG: 37.1 (Kirilenko) - 34.6 (Hayward)
- PPG: 16.5 - 22.2
- RPG: 8.1 - 5.6
- APG: 3.1 - 3.5
- SPG: 1.9 - 1.0
- BPG: 2.8 - 0.3
- ORTG: 111 - 120
- DRTG: 97 - 105
- PER: 22.6 - 22.9
- WS: 11.6 - 7.9
- BPM: 8.2 - 4.9
- VORP: 7.5 - 3.0
- USG%: .219 - .276
- TRB%: .135 - .094
- AST%: .157 - .183
- STL%: .029 - .015
- BLK%: .063 - .007
Also, if this was Game of Thrones, they would be arranging the marriage of their kids right now to create the next generation of super Jazz small forwards.
Did you know the Utah Jazz has a little BuzzFeed-y style game you can play? I got Andrei Kirilenko, which is no surprise because I . . . I think I clicked on the ‘chick pea’ healthy salad thingy when I did this? I don’t really know. But you should play it!
Hopefully that works. I’ve seen people get John Stockton, Karl Malone, and Adrian Dantley. I haven’t seen anyone get Rickey Green, Pistol Pete Maravich, or Gordon Hayward yet.
Former Utah Jazz draft pick, and current Salt Lake City Stars sharpshooter Marcus Paige had his number retired at the University of North Carolina.
I think that’s cool. And deserved, after all he is the school’s All-Time leading three point marksman. That wasn’t just a product of the NCAA distance either.
- NCAA (141 games, 5.66 3PTA/G): .375
- NBA Summer League (9 games, 3.22 3PTA/G): .379
- NBA Preseason (2 games, 1.00 3PTA/G): .500
- NBA DL (32 games, 6.03 3PTA/G): .383
I don’t think it’s fair to call Paige a one trick pony. After all, he sets his guys up, runs the plays, tries on defense, and hustles. But it’s very, very clear that if he continues to develop and works his ways onto the Jazz roster that he’s going to be a stone cold shooter.
As an aside, I kind of wish that there was better co-operation between the NBA and NBA D-League. NBA Rosters should be 20 players, with still 13 being active. And you can freely assign your guys to the D-League to get back into game shape, or rehab, or whatever. I guess my feelings are colored by the fact that the Jazz under Lindsey are excellent at scouting and drafting. And there just isn’t enough room on an NBA roster for all of their talent to develop. (I don’t even think we’ve talked about Tyrone Wallace at all this year at SLC Dunk. SERIOUSLY!)
It remains to be seen how much Duke alum Quin Snyder would actually play Paige, but still tho!