2:53 PM EDT, Mon October 23, 2017
8 hours ago
Injury to underrated Jeremy Lin is a bummer for Brooklyn

Injury to underrated Jeremy Lin is a bummer for Brooklyn

It took merely 25 minutes for Jeremy Lin’s comeback attempt to reach its brutal culmination. With 4:53 left in the fourth quarter of the Brooklyn Nets’ year-opening loss against the Indiana Pacers, Lin drove towards the basket after declining a screen from Trevor Booker. He went up untouched, landed awkwardly on his left knee and wound up tearing his patella tendon – an injury that will keep him out for the rest of 2017-18. Lin’s reaction to the situation – the way he landed, monetarily laid there in stunned silence before mouthing I’m done, I’m done – was tough to stomach,...
Oct 17, 2017
Restricted free agent: If you don't sign quickly, you're probably in trouble

Restricted free agent: If you don't sign quickly, you're probably in trouble

Over the past five offseasons, numerous contracts have been dolled out to restricted free agents. Per our research, 89 in total, to be exact. After taking a close look at each of those deals, and various variables – such as time waited until the contract was agreed upon, as well as average length and size of said deals – a few things stood out. For one, the players who waited longer than 10 days before signing their new contracts saw a massive drop in worth of their deals. From the 2013 offseason through 2017’s free-agency period, 17 of the 34 contracts agreed to after July 10 (or, 10...
Oct 14, 2017
What are the Philadelphia 76ers gambling on with Joel Embiid?

What are the Philadelphia 76ers gambling on with Joel Embiid?

Joel Embiid’s issues are well-documented. Two surgeries on the navicular bone in his right foot in two years, followed by a partially torn meniscus last season all forced the talented big man to suit up in merely 31 games over his first three seasons as a professional. And yet, the Philadelphia 76ers handed him a five-year, $148 million contract extension anyway. The deal was received with a ton of questions: Why sign Embiid to a deal of that size? He’s clearly proven an inability to stay healthy. Wouldn’t Philadelphia have been better served waiting another year to see if the injuries...
Oct 10, 2017
Kristaps Porzingis: Power forward or center?

Kristaps Porzingis: Power forward or center?

With the tumultuous Carmelo Anthony era finally over, the future of the New York Knicks is now in the hands of a 22-year-old. A somewhat frightening proposition, though we should note Kristaps Porzingis isn’t just any 22-year-old. The 7-foot-3 big man is coming off a season in which he averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.7 three-pointers per contest, on decent 45.0/35.7/78.6 shooting splits. Over the course of his first two campaigns, Porzingis became the first player in league history to nail at least 175 threes and swat away 175 shots in fewer than 140 games. And if it...
Oct 8, 2017

Who was better: Dikembe Mutombo or Ben Wallace?

Picking between historical NBA figures is a thrilling exercise. Today, we take a look at the cases of Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace.  Dikembe Mutombo hit the ground running, earning an All-Star spot in his rookie year. It took Ben Wallace longer to find his footing. He failed to find consistent playing time until his third season. Both players dominated on the glass, and each led the league in rebounding twice in their careers. Two legendary defeners, both Mutombo and Wallace won Defensive Player of the Year four times. Infamous for his finger wag, Mutombo is one of the best shot blockers...
Oct 6, 2017
The Thunder re-tooled... But do the pieces fit together?

The Thunder re-tooled... But do the pieces fit together?

The unquestioned winners of the offseason were the Oklahoma City Thunder. A year removed from losing the best player in franchise history, trading for Victor Oladipo and then (somewhat inexplicably) handing him a four-year, $85 million extension, general manager Sam Presti has brought his team back to basketball prominence. First, on June 30, just before the opening salvos of the 2017 free-agency period, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Oklahoma City had acquired disgruntled All-NBA wing Paul George from the Indiana Pacers. The package they sent back consisted of Oladipo and rookie...
Oct 5, 2017

Extension candidate watch: Aaron Gordon

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Aaron Gordon Why would Orlando extend Aaron Gordon? Aaron Gordon is known best for the show he put on during the 2016...
Oct 3, 2017

Extension candidate watch: Zach LaVine

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Zach LaVine Why would Chicago extend LaVine? Zach LaVine is known for his high-flying dunks, but he’s become more of...
Oct 3, 2017
Revamped Cavs may be better equipped to challenge Warriors this time

Revamped Cavs may be better equipped to challenge Warriors this time

In the modern NBA landscape, one near-absolute truth exists: It’s the Golden State Warriors’ world, and every other team is merely trying to compete in it. The Bay Area franchise outscored opponents by 13.6 points per 100 possessions last postseason – dropping merely one game en route to hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. Oh, and that was after winning 67 regular-season games (20 of which Kevin Durant sat out with injury), boasting the league’s second-stingiest defense and posting the second-best offensive rating in NBA history, per Basketball Reference. Utter dominance...
Sep 30, 2017

Extension candidate watch: Jusuf Nurkic

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Jusuf Nurkic Why would Portland extend Nurkic? After struggling to find a niche for the Nuggets, Jusuf Nurkic blew up...
Sep 29, 2017
The All-NBA version of Kevin Love may return in 2017-18

The All-NBA version of Kevin Love may return in 2017-18

It’s difficult to surmise how a player who features on one of the two biggest teams in the league – coming off an All-Star season – can be forgotten. But we’ve inexplicably arrived at that point with Kevin Love. The UCLA product had his best campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016-17 – one that saw him average 19.0 points and 11.1 rebounds per contest. His on/off impact was a plus-9.0 points per 100 possessions (the highest mark of his three years in northwest Ohio), he contributed more win shares than Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Serge Ibaka, and he was the only player in...
Sep 29, 2017

Extension candidate watch: Rodney Hood

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Rodney Hood Why would Utah extend Hood? Rodney Hood is about to have a far bigger role with the Jazz. The departure...
Sep 27, 2017

Extension candidate watch: Jabari Parker

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Jabari Parker Why would Milwaukee extend Parker? Jabari Parker can do one thing exceptionally well: get...
Sep 27, 2017

Extension candidate watch: Andrew Wiggins

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Andrew Wiggins Why would Minnesota extend Wiggins? Andrew Wiggins has upped his scoring average every season of his...
Sep 26, 2017
Extension Candidate Look: Joel Embiid

Extension Candidate Look: Joel Embiid

Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.  Today: Joel Embiid Why would Philadelphia extend Embiid? Joel Embiid is a legit seven-footer who can do a bit of...

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