Basketball Wiretap

Danny Ainge Suggests Celtics' Asset Depth Has Caused Teams To Ask For Too Much

Jun 23, 2017 10:46 AM

Danny Ainge was asked whether he feels the Boston Celtics are being asked for more in trade discussions than they are of other teams due to the depth of assets the team holds in terms of future picks and affordable role players.

"I think there's some truth in that," said Ainge. "I think you're spot on a little bit. I know when I try to do deals with teams, I'm lookin at: 'I'm going to call that team because they have something I'm really excited about.'

"Yeah, people around the league know the things we have and I think they are asking for some of our prime real estate."

Ainge was asked whether their strong position has actually been an impediment. 

"I think over the last few trading periods I think it's been a little bit of a hurdle. Bottom line is we have to do the deals we really believe in. I think our team is on board with the ones we've turned down and the ones we've pursued longer and think more about it. We'll just continue to find the right deals."

Boston reportedly declined to offer either the No. 3 pick or Brooklyn's 2018 pick to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler. 

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Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ

Warriors To Avoid Middle Tier Of NBA Contracts To Keep Big 4 Together

Jun 20, 2017 1:20 PM

During Tim Kawakami's conversation on RealGM Radio with Danny Leroux, he spoke about how the Golden State Warriors will attempt to make it work financially while having potentially four players on maximum contracts.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant will sign max contracts this summer while Green and Thompson are likely to sign max deals in future seasons if they continue their current trajectory of play.

"Where do teams usually screw up in these long-term contracts? It's for these middling players that they hope are great players and you pay them at middling players," said Kawakami.

"The Warriors have made a clear call that they're going to have four great players. Four players who may not be paid the maximum, though Curry and Durant are going to be, but those are it. Everyone else, we'll see what happens with (Andre) Iguodala and (Shaun) Livingston, those are the two middling players.

"Everything else is replaceable. Everything. Iguodala is less replaceable but as he gets older he will be more and more replaceable in their minds."

Kawakami referenced the types of contracts that teams sign players to and quickly regret such as Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng and Meyers Leonard.

The free agencies of Iguodala and Livingston will be intriguing to watch as the Warriors attempt to keep their roster together while adhering to that principle. Golden State will likely attempt to offer shorter term deals that expire when Green and Thompson get new deals.

"They've just kind of cleared that out. They're not going to overpay everybody because they have the four guys who are all worth (the) max.

"It's really a clarification. In this league where you're not sure about free agents and how they're going to work.

"I don't know that economic sense has really registered with people yet.

"It's an interesting economic way to set this up where they will be uninvolved in the middle tier of the NBA economics."

Tim Kawakami/San Jose Mercury News

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Pacers Considering Using Lance Stephenson As Point Guard During Rebuild

Jun 19, 2017 1:54 PM

If the Indiana Pacers trade away Paul George, they could also let Jeff Teague leave in free agency as they begin a rebuild.

According to a source, Kevin Pritchard is considering using Lance Stephenson as the Pacers' point guard during their rebuild.

Stephenson has lost more than 10 pounds since the end of the season.

The Pacers signed Stephenson to a three-year, $12 million deal in March.

Since leaving the Pacers in 2014, Stephenson has played for the Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Gregg Doyel/Indianapolis Star

Tags: Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Kevin Durant: Warriors 'Work Extremely Well Together', Not Superteam

Jun 15, 2017 12:58 PM

Similar to LeBron James, Kevin Durant has dismissed the notion that the Golden State Warriors are a superteam. Durant credited the way the Warriors were constructed with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all being draft picks.

"First of all, if everybody wanted Steph, he would have been the No. 1 pick," Durant said. "A lot of people passed on him. A lot of people doubted Steph, saying he wasn't going to be this good. Klay Thompson, he was just supposed to be this OK shooter in the league, like that's what you thought of Klay Thompson when he came in. Draymond, nobody wanted him. He was a 6-5 power forward. [They said] he couldn't play in the league, he couldn't start in the NBA. Shaun Livingston had a crazy knee injury.

"Nobody wanted him. Nobody thought that he would get back to being Shaun Livingston. Andre Iguodala, he got traded a couple of times. Nobody wanted him. A lot of people didn't expect these guys to be where they are today. Superteam? No, we just work extremely well together. Coach puts us in position to maximize our strengths."

Durant said the Warriors' selflessness stands out to him.

"We make each other better and it's not about who gets the credit," Durant said. "It's like, really just about having fun playing ball and let's see how we can win together and that alone just helps the ego. So, sorry I went on a little rant, but that's how I feel about the team. A lot of these guys beat the odds and came out and played a great brand of basketball and put the team first. That should be rewarded, and it did get rewarded with a championship."

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Warriors' 15-17 Playoff Winning Percentage Short Of 90s Bulls, 00s Lakers

Jun 13, 2017 1:45 PM

The Golden State Warriors now have a 47-15 record (.758 winning percentage) in the playoffs over the past three seasons, winning two titles and coming one victory short in 2016. 

While they were unable to threepeat as the early 2000s Los Angeles Lakers did or the Chicago Bulls did twice in the 1990s, it remains an impressive three-year run. The Warriors lost just one game in the 2017 playoffs.

The Lakers went 45-13 (.776 winning percentage) from 2000 until 2002 in the playoffs, while the Bulls 45-13 between 1991 and 1993, and 45-13. 

The first round of the NBA playoffs were best of five until 2003.

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Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

Warriors Had Just Two Instances Where They Had To Clear Air During 16-17

Jun 13, 2017 1:06 PM

The Golden State Warriors only had two serious instances where they had to have a clearing of the air during Kevin Durant's first season with the team.

When the Warriors lost at the Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day, Curry had just 11 shots and he began to agitate for more pick-and-rolls. The other instance came when Draymond Green yelled at Durant for freezing their offense during a home loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Warriors were still 31-6 at that time.

"Those were basically the only two times we had anything to talk about as a team," Kerr said.

"What makes our team dynamic is Steph using high screens," Kerr said. "We should have been doing more of that around Christmas. We basically told Steph, 'Just be you again. KD is going to get 25 no matter what.'"

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Warriors Enter Game 4 With Best Net Rating In Playoff History

Jun 8, 2017 12:23 PM

The Golden State Warriors will enter Game 4 of The Finals in which they can close out a 16-0 run in the playoffs with a Net Rating of +16.0.

The Los Angeles Lakers in 2001 had a Net Rating in the playoffs of +13.6, the 1991 Chicago Bulls had a Net Rating of +13.3, while the 1996 Bulls had a Net Rating of +12.2.

The Lakers of 2001 went 15-1 during those playoffs, only losing in Game 1 of The Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 1991 Bulls had a playoff record of 15-2 and the 1996 Bulls went 15-3.

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Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

Luke Walton: It Will Take Way More Than One Superstar To Dethrone Golden State

Jun 7, 2017 11:49 AM

Luke Walton alluded to the presence of the Golden State Warriors as a potential reason why the Los Angeles Lakers may take their time during their rebuilding process.

"I joke a lot. I said 'if there's a time to be rebuilding, this is the time to do it.' The Warriors don't look like they're going anywhere for a while. They're pretty darn good right now," said Walton on "The Full 48" podcast.

Walton spent two seasons with the Warriors as an assistant coach before leaving for the Lakers.

"Obviously there's players in this league that if you can get, it's really tough to say no to because the superstars in this league are good enough to make you a contender or not. It's the difference between having a very good team with lots of role players or having a team that can actually, legitimately win an NBA championship," Walton said.

"My only caution," he continued, "would be let's not give up too much of our young core for one superstar because, like we just talked about before, let's not forget that those Golden State Warriors are just a little bit north of us and it's going to take a lot more than one superstar to dethrone them from the West. There's that fine line in trying to get there quicker rather than developing our own guys. I think Rob (Pelinka) and Magic (Johnson) are very aware of that. They're constantly looking at the best way to get us to be a true contender, not just on paper."

Bleacher Report (via Kyle Boone/CBS Sports)

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Channing Frye Credited With Helping Kevin Love Buy Into Role With Cavs

Jun 7, 2017 10:40 AM

Channing Frye played a big role in bringing the Cleveland Cavaliers together and also helping Kevin Love embrace his role on the team.

"Kevin used to say, 'Man, all I do is shoot 3s,'" Richard Jefferson said. "Then Channing comes in and says, 'This is awesome! All we do is shoot 3s!' So now Kevin stops and realizes, 'Yeah, I guess we do get a lot of open 3s.'"

"Channing didn't hesitate to tell LeBron and Kevin, 'We need you guys on the same page. We need that trust,'" said Cavaliers' assistant coach James Posey. "Their relationship improved so much after that. They stopped taking everything so personally. It became: How can we win together?"

Love insists his relationship with James was never as bad as it has been portrayed, but acknowledges the team's chemistry "is so much better now because of Channing."

Jackie MacMullan/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Love, Channing Frye, Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Dwight Howard Working On Three-Pointer In Offseason

Jun 6, 2017 8:28 PM

Dwight Howard said he's working on his three-point shot despite making just five in his entire career on 56 attempts.

Howard is also a career 53 percent shooter on the line.

“I have this guy in Atlanta I’ve been working with,” Howard said on ESPN’s The Jump. “I’ve been working on my threes, really trying to add some range to my game, which is gonna be weird for people to see, I guess, because they’re used to seeing me in the paint, battling, but in order for me to play longer, I have to expand my game.”

Jamie Cooper/Uproxx

Tags: Dwight Howard, Atlanta Hawks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Stephen Curry Has Warriors' Highest On/Off Net Rating In Playoffs
Draymond Green ranks second behind Stephen Curry at +16.8, followed by Kevin Durant at +9.6 and Klay Thompson at +9.5.

NBA Math

Steve Kerr Credits Mark Jackson For Transforming Warriors' Defense
The Warriors jumped from 14th in defensive rating in 12-13 to fourth in 13-14, which was Mark Jackson's final season with the franchise.

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NBA's New Isolation Is Getting Worst Defender Switched Onto Ball
Because defenses utilize the switch now more than ever, it becomes expected for the screen to instantly create the expected and preferred matchup.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Regular Season Net Rating Comparisons Of Finals Teams (Infographic)
The Warriors have the biggest advantage in regular season Net Rating over their Finals opponent in history.

RealGM Staff Report

Warriors Have Largest Regular Season Net Rating Edge In Finals History
The Warriors had a Net Rating of +11.6 during the regular season compared to +3.3 for the Cavaliers, a difference of 8.3.

RealGM Staff Report