There are some things you can just easily picture in your mind. Like J.J. Barea coming off the bench for the New York Knicks to run Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
We’re not saying it’s going to happen — smart money says he stays a Maverick — but the Puerto Rican point guard told the New York Daily News he would consider playing at Madison Square Garden.
“I always said the Knicks would be a great second option (after Dallas). I love the city. I love the way they’re playing now, their style of play with D’Antoni, the players over there,” said Barea, who was in Punta Cana to support slugger David Ortiz’s annual charity golf tournament. “We’ll see. I know Carmelo more than Amar’e. I think after (D’Antoni became coach), I said, ‘That would be a great fit for me.’”
It would. Just don’t pay too much.
Barea tops my list of “free agents most likely to get overpaid based off a playoff performance.”
Barea is not a bad point guard, he’s average. He looked great driving the wide-open lanes in the playoffs because the Mavericks had shooters around him to space the floor. Andrew Bynum got frustrated having to rotate off Tyson Chandler to try and stop Barea, only to have Barea pass to a diving Chandler or kick out to a shooter (not that Bynum’s reaction should be tolerated). But do the Knicks have those kind of guys to go around Barea?
Barea can be a nice little spark but he’s an undersized defender, not a great midrange shooter, can turn the ball over a little too much. He’s not bad, but he’s not a star. Just don’t pay him like a starter and he’ll work out well.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.