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Re-evaluando los movimientos de la off-season

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Re-Evaluating NBA Offseason Moves We Judged Too Quickly

Intro

Everyone loves a good knee-jerk reaction.

Conviction is soothing. Certainty feels like safety. In an otherwise gray-shaded world, snap judgments are comfortably affirming.

So, about the 2017 NBA offseason...

You know, the one unusually riddled with face-palmingly one-sided trades and "what were they thinking?" signings? The one where we buried teams such as the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers for selling prime assets at cut-rate prices and scoffed at free-agent whiffs?

Just as it was too early to say we were right about these moves three months ago, it's also too soon to admit we were wrong. It's just that some developments in the first two weeks of the season suggest we should pump the brakes.

Some of the moves we lambasted might not be so bad.

In lieu of formal apologies to the general managers we all pilloried, the least we can do is admit we were a little too conclusory in some of our evaluations of the summer's big transactions.

More Like 'Sa-Bonus!'

Everybody knew the Indiana Pacers lacked leverage following the telegraphed (and sanction-worthy) mutual interest between Paul George and the Los Angeles Lakers, but Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis still felt like an inexcusably weak return from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Sabonis was a contact-averse big man with one underwhelming year of experience, an exploitably left-hand-dominant inside game and few prospects as a floor-stretcher. Oladipo, entering the first season of a four-year, $84-million deal graded out as below average per some metrics and above average per others. At that dollar value, "pretty good" wasn't good enough, though.

Flash forward, and both Sabonis and Oladipo seem to have improved enough to warrant a second look.

Sabonis is an interior player again, having reprised his collegiate role. He's no longer standing around waiting for Russell Westbrook to toss him three or four passes per game. Scrapping stand-still triples and going to work inside has juiced Sabonis' efficiency, gotten him involved on the glass and generally revealed an extremely useful 21-year-old big man. His defensive impact is minimal, but Sabonis already looks like much more than a throw-in.

Oladipo is posting career highs in virtually every meaningful stat while thriving in the Pacers' unexpectedly uptempo scheme and leveraging his athletic gifts with far more freedom than he enjoyed in OKC. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week recently. Justifying $21 million per season is hard work, but this version of Oladipo is making the price tag easier to stomach.

Perhaps we should have looked more carefully at the way Oladipo improved his field-goal and three-point percentages in every season of his four-plus-year career. They're both at personal highs in Indiana, and Oladipo is drawing shooting fouls more frequently than ever. If he's not a star, he's playing like one. And that may be enough to help Indy shed the "sucker" label.

Lauding Sabonis and Oladipo's improvement is different than saying OKC lost the trade. Paul George is still a borderline top-10 player who'll cost the Thunder less this season ($19.5 million) than they would have paid the guys they traded ($23.5 million).

But it may no longer be correct to say Indiana got fleecedparticularly if George walks as a free agent like so many expect.

The Markkanen Salvation

Even if Oladipo and Sabonis had flopped, the Pacers had an excuse: George was heading into the final year of his deal. He would've been gone regardless.

The Chicago Bulls, though, had Jimmy Butler under team control for two more seasons on a below-market contract at roughly $20 million per year. They didn't have to do this.

But they did, sending Butler and the No. 16 pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick, which turned into Lauri Markkanen.

Sports Illustrated's Rob Mahoney proffered an opinion almost everyone shared:

"Chicago surrendered the best player in this deal by a mile and returned: an athletic scorer coming off a torn ACL, a 23-year-old sophomore who couldnt even hold down backup point guard minutes last season for a team that needed them filled, and a 7-foot shooter plucked out of the mid-lottery. All three might be useful players in time, but none compare at all favorably to a two-way star like Butler."

LaVine was an athletic marvel who could shoot from distance, but even if we assume a full return to health from his ACL tear, his defensive failings figured to make him a net-neutral contributor at best. Dunn was already a bust.

But Markkanen may help save this trade from being catastrophic.

The 7'0" floor-stretcher set an NBA record by hitting a dozen triples in his first four NBA games, and through his first five contests, he averaged 15.6 points and 9.6 boards while hitting 41.7 percent of his long-range attempts.

We can all agree it's possible Markkanen won't be this effective when the league adjusts to him and realizes there's nobody else on the Bulls worth guarding. He's exclusively a left-hand driver whenever he puts the ball on the floor, and opponents are going to force him away from that sooner or later. But even if we cut our expectations and say Markkanen will finish the year averaging something like 12 points and eight rebounds while hitting, conservatively, 100 threes on the year...he'll still be the first rookie to ever post those numbers.

Markkanen will need to be a franchise cornerstone to justify the Butler deal from Chicago's perspective. Nothing's guaranteed, but there's reason to believe he'll reach that status eventually.

Rudy Gay Is the Best You Can Do?

After failing to land Chris Paul or any free agent of consequenceleaving the 26-year-old Kawhi Leonard without a true second-star sidekick in his age rangethe San Antonio Spurs settled on Rudy Gay, 31. Only "settled" looks like the wrong word now.

Gay has returned from a torn Achilles looking like his pre-injury self, which is basically unheard of for that particular ailment. And now that he's in San Antonio's system, he's naturally more committed to defending and filling his role than ever.

With a player option on the second season of his two-year, $17 million deal, Gay is technically playing for a better contract. But there have been no signs of selfishness. The guy who started his career as a prototypical 3 is now occasionally logging key minutes at center for the Spurs.

"He's done a wonderful job," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told Chris Barnewall of CBSSports.com. "He could always score. We're just trying to get him into the system defensively and understand how we play. That'll take him a little bit more time, but he's willing, and that's good."

Gay scored in double figures in his first four games with the Spurs, topping out with 22 points in a win over the Miami Heat on Oct. 25.

If you had to devise a scenario even the Spurs' perfect culture and coaching couldn't fix, it would have looked something like this. But Gay is thriving. Which, I guess, proves there's nothing San Antonio can't do.

Oh, and it proves Gay is a rehab savant for beating the Achilles monster.

We should have known

Net Gain, Net Loss

So, about that Brooklyn Nets pick...

"It might not even be that good of a pick," LeBron James told Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon after his Cavaliers fell to the Nets on Oct. 25.

The Cavs got Brooklyn's unprotected first-rounder alongside Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas and Ante Zizic (plus an extra 2020 second-rounder in light of Thomas' hip injury) for Kyrie Irving in August. Thomas outplayed Irving in 2016-17, and Crowder profiled as a perfect wing defender for a team that needed one. A lottery ticket with a good chance of winding up as the No. 1 overall pick felt like an unmitigated coupeven for an All-Star such as Irving.

The Cavs had done well just by getting Crowder and the pick for a player, Irving, who wanted out.

And now, as the Nets ride an uptempo style to a strong start, the value of that selection might not be what many thought it was.

"We're running around here worrying about getting the Brooklyn pick; they might want our pick," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue added.

Brooklyn may struggle to make the playoffs. Jeremy Lin is done for the season with a ruptured patellar tendon and new offensive catalyst D'Angelo Russell has already missed time due to a tweaked knee. But with so many other teams positioned to bottom outChicago, Phoenix, New York and Atlanta all come to mindit's difficult to imagine the 3-4 Nets will finish with anything close to the league's worst record.

Cleveland can still win this trade if the pick it gets is in the Nos. 5-10 range, especially if Crowder and Thomas make a difference in June. But the exchange won't seem nearly as one-sided if that selection loses value throughout the season.

Glass Half-Fultz

There is no positive spin to put on the Markelle Fultz mess. Not for the Philadelphia 76ers anyway.

They've botched the messaging on this by contradicting the explanation coming from their top pick's representation and doing a bad job of covering for a guy, Fultz, in whom they've already invested a great deal.

If Fultz changed his shooting form because he was hurt, as his trainer contends, that's bad. Because, duh, it's bad if a top overall pick is hurt. It's worse, though, if his organization allows him to tweak shooting form that was so successful in college.

If Fultz incurred the injury because he tried to change his shooting form, guess what? Bad again. Because, why fix something that wasn't broken?

And further, even if that odd scenario is true, it's a tough look for the Sixers to blame him for hurting himself, which is essentially what team president Bryan Colangelo did, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic: "Sometime during the month of August, I think, he might have worked on his shot a little bit. It could even be the cause of the irritation and inflammation in the shoulder. New shooting mechanics sometimes puts your shoulder in a different position."

Point is: Fultz's shoulder hurts, his shot's broken, there's real evidence of sloppy organizational communication and now he's out indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum looks like an NBA-ready wing with better defensive potential than anyone expected. If you're the Sixers, having gone through all this with Fultz already, do you still give the Boston Celtics the No. 3 overall selection and either the Lakers' 2018 first-rounder or the Sacramento Kings' 2019 first-rounder for the right to draft Fultz?

Maybe. But maybe not.

Even before that shoulder sidelined him, and even without any threat of a jumper, Fultz flashed ball-handling-burst, great cutting and excellent feel. He may still turn into a superstar. But the picture is far hazier now than it was when everyone buried the Celtics for punting on the top overall pick.

Fuente

+3

2

1) Basta. Basta con "Indiana gano el trade". Perdieron a un jugador franquicia y les dieron cambio de 20 pesos. Estan todos jugando sin Turner aparte.
2) Basta 2.0. Entregaron a un jugador franquicia por un roto, un bust y 1 pick. Pinta lindo a futuro, lindo siendo llegar al .500, Markkanen esta encendido, pero los Bulls estan rotos. Recien vuelve Dunn, no volvio LaVine.
3) Gay esta jugando como siempre, compraron algo, tuvieron eso. No veo lo grandioso.
4) Primero, Kyrie rompio relaciones, asi que fue algo forzado. Segundo, IT2 esta lesionado asi que imposible saber quien gano. Tercero, Rose acaba de volver. TT ahora esta roto. Es imposible saber quien gano un trade donde la mitad de cosas aun estan por suceder. Lo mismo corre por si Hayward se rompia y Boston era horrible, "Gano el trade CLE". Na.
5) No tiene sentido. Invertidas las picks, las personas elegidas las siguen eligiendo las franquicias. Tatum hubiese sido 1, Lonzo 2 y Fultz 3.

+1

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Gritoni wrote:

Basta

Just as it was too early to say we were right about these moves three months ago, it's also too soon to admit we were wrong. It's just that some developments in the first two weeks of the season suggest we should pump the brakes.

Gritoni wrote:

Basta con "Indiana gano el trade"

Lauding Sabonis and Oladipo's improvement is different than saying OKC lost the trade. Paul George is still a borderline top-10 player who'll cost the Thunder less this season ($19.5 million) than they would have paid the guys they traded ($23.5 million).
But it may no longer be correct to say Indiana got fleecedparticularly if George walks as a free agent like so many expect.

Gritoni wrote:

Gay esta jugando como siempre, compraron algo, tuvieron eso. No veo lo grandioso

Acá más que nada, estan elogiando la buena recuperación de Rudy de la lesión (eso y estar adaptándose bien)

Gritoni wrote:

No tiene sentido. Invertidas las picks, las personas elegidas las siguen eligiendo las franquicias. Tatum hubiese sido 1, Lonzo 2 y Fultz 3.

Con la diferencia que por el cambio, BOS se lleva un pick first round 2018.

+1

4

Inge wrote:

Just as it was too early to say we were right about these moves three months ago, it's also too soon to admit we were wrong. It's just that some developments in the first two weeks of the season suggest we should pump the brakes.

Es fraseo super usado para justificar articulos: "Dejemoslo en claro: Las papas fritas son una cagada.... pero las McCain...." Es a proposito para ser inmune a lo que dije yo pero a la vez decirlo. Si yo te digo que las papas fritas son una cagada, vos decis "te dije", si digo que no lo son porque las McCain son ricas, vos decis "te dije". Win-Win

Inge wrote:

Lauding Sabonis and Oladipo's improvement is different than saying OKC lost the trade. Paul George is still a borderline top-10 player who'll cost the Thunder less this season ($19.5 million) than they would have paid the guys they traded ($23.5 million).
But it may no longer be correct to say Indiana got fleecedparticularly if George walks as a free agent like so many expect.

Insisto:
A) Esta basado en datos de 2 semanas con un tipo llenando el lugar de la estrella de la franquicia.
B) No conforme con esa data superficialmente analizada, tira al final una magia futurologística como fundamento.

Basicamente, Indiana no fue asaltado a mano armada en el trade porque hay un par de jugadores que estan teniendo lindas temporadas en un inicio completamente atipico sin contar con el mejor Pacer disponible, y porque PG13 tal vez se vaya en Abril.

Weak.

Inge wrote:

Con la diferencia que por el cambio, BOS se lleva un pick first round 2018.

Con el diario del lunes.
Con el draft encima, Fultz era numero 1 puesto, y Philly quería a Fultz. Boston jugó con eso para palanquear. No hay manera que Philly supiera.

+1

5

Gritoni wrote:

tira al final una magia futurologística como fundamento

Futurología en base a un antecedente

Gritoni wrote:

Con el diario del lunes. No hay manera que Philly supiera

Todas las expresiones del tipo "Danny Ainge did it again" son con el diario del lunes.
Si Boston antes del trade, quería a Tatum, y se las arregló para conseguir a Tatum y "algo más", es una gran jugada de Boston. Sobre todo, con el diario del lunes que dice que Tatum está rindiendo.

0

6

Inge wrote:

Futurología en base a un antecedente

Pero eso era si se iba a LAL.
Desde que llegó a OKC, cambio bastante el tono de las declaraciones, ahora dijo que quiere ganar, no que quiere caprichosamente ir a los Lakers.
Desde que llegó a OKC llegó Melo.
Desde que llego a OKC Westbrook extendió contrato.

La situacion, si vamos a analizarla, apunta para el lado diametralmente opuesto al que indica.

Inge wrote:

Todas las expresiones del tipo "Danny Ainge did it again" son con el diario del lunes.
Si Boston antes del trade, quería a Tatum, y se las arregló para conseguir a Tatum y "algo más", es una gran jugada de Boston. Sobre todo, con el diario del lunes que dice que Tatum está rindiendo.

Gran jugada de Boston =/= Mala jugada de Philly.
En un trade por defecto no hay un perdedor.

0

7

Si Indiana se llega a meter en PO, firmo.
Tengo mis dudas si Boston con la 1 hubiese drafteado a Tatum.
Lo de Gay es tal cual dijo Gritoni, hace lo que se espera de el.

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