LeBron’s Q score is better, but still not very good

2 Comments

According to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com, LeBron James’ Q score is higher than it was shortly after the infamous “decision,” but it still isn’t anything to write home about:

A poll of the general population [last September] by The Q Scores Company revealed that only 14 percent of people thought of James positively, while 39 percent of people thought of him negatively. Five months later, the Q Scores show that James has slowly bounced back, though not as much as we might have thought.

As of last month, 17 percent of people see him in a positive light (a 21% jump), while the number of people who view him as a negative character dropped six percentage (33 percent).

“There was a good drop in the negative number, but it’s clearly not a quick fix,” said Henry Schafer, executive vice president of the company. “I don’t think he’ll get back to the numbers that he was at before this year, although winning a NBA title would obviously help.”

James is less associated with “The Decision” than he was a few months ago, and Cleveland’s struggles without LeBron may have provided some justification for his departure to fans outside of Ohio. However, James’ image rehabilitation hasn’t gone all that smoothly this season. There was the “Karma” incident on twitter, there was the contraction statement, there was the clumsy retraction of the contraction statement, and a host of other incidents that have failed to endear him to the viewing public.

While James is still playing at an extremely high level on the court, the Heat’s struggles in close games have probably cost him a shot at his third consecutive MVP award, and the soft-spoken, low-key Derrick Rose will likely receive his first MVP award in James’ place.

However, none of this means all that much: as Rovell mentioned, James’ only real chance to get the public back on his side will be to win the NBA title that has eluded him for the first seven seasons of his career.

PBT Extra: Rockets, with Chris Paul trade, show fearlessness in face of Warriors’ dominance

Leave a comment

The Rockets and Clippers both turned aggressive with today’s Chris Paul trade.

Houston is making a bold attempt to overtake the Warriors (a plan that could include other big moves). The Clippers are launching into rebuilding.

Kurt Helin breaks down what it means for both teams.

PBT Extra: With Phil Jackson discarded, Knicks face next challenge

Leave a comment

The Knicks did well to part ways with Phil Jackson, but where does New York go from here?

Masai Ujiri? David Griffin? Someone else?

Kurt Helin breaks down Jim Dolan’s options – and the approach the Knicks owner should take.

Report: Kings to sign Bogdan Bogdanovic to three-year, $36 million contract

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Kings have a decent crop of low-paid young players: Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis and Malachi Richardson.

Soon, Sacramento will add a highly paid young player to the group: Bogdan Bogdanovic, whose rights the Kings acquired when trading down from No. 8 with the Suns in last year’s draft.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

Because Bogdanovic was drafted three years ago (No. 27 by Phoenix in 2014), the Kings can exceed the rookie scale to sign him.

Bogdanovic is a talented 24-year-old, but this deal removes much of the value usually tied to rookies on cost-controlled scale contracts. It’s hard to see Bogdanovic’s production exceeding his salary over the next four years.

Still, what else was Sacramento supposed to do with its cap space? Just getting Bogdanovic to jump from Europe might be worth it. The Kings already have more cap flexibility than they know what to do with – especially after letting Ben McLemore become an unrestricted free agent.

Chris Haynes of ESPN:

Sacramento took McLemore No. 7 in the 2013 draft then spent the next four years watching his value depreciate.

Teams will line up to take a flier on him. Will someone pay him as if he’ll pan out even a little? That question will drive his unrestricted free agency.

Report: In wake of Chris Paul trade, Clippers focus on re-signing Blake Griffin

4 Comments

Chris Paul is on his way to Houston in an attempt to form a superteam to challenge Golden State.

Now what for the Clippers?

They have two options: One, tear it all the way down and rebuild.

The other: Re-sign Blake Griffin, run the offense through him and put his underrated passing skills to the test while surrounded by shooters.

The Clippers are opting for door No. 2, at least for now, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The fundamental question is: Does Griffin want to stay? The Clippers can offer more money and a larger contract, five -years starting just shy of $30 million a year. However, he will have good teams from the East calling. Miami is interested, and they have a strong point guard in Goran Dragic, a good wing defender in Justise Winslow, and a guy inside who can defend, rebound, and finish dunks in Hassan Whiteside. Plus, no state taxes on all that new money. Also, Boston (if they strike out with Gordon Hayward) and other teams will come calling. Griffin will have options.

If Griffin does stay, this could be interesting if the team is built right. Griffin is an underrated passer and playmaker — he averaged more than five assists per game last season, and that was with Chris Paul on the team. The Clippers would need to use him sort of like Denver uses Nikola Jokic, running the offense through him out high where he is a threat to score from with a midrange jumper, put the ball on the floor, or make a pass. Griffin would need to be surrounded by shooters and guys willing to work off the ball, such as J.J. Redick. Who is almost certainly gone.

If Griffin leaves, the Clippers don’t have much a choice and will have to start shopping DeAndre Jordan around and rebuilding the team (they got a fairly good haul for CP3 for that, considering the situation, Sam Decker and Montrezl Harrell are good young players who can be part of a rotation). Then Los Angeles will have two rebuilding teams, and that always makes for a great rivalry.