The Sixers became a part of the three-team deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cavaliers not because the players they landed were going to be all that important to their chances next season, but because doing so would net them a future first round draft pick for their troubles.
The players Philadelphia received in the deal — Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved — were underwhelming in their previous seasons, at best. But with the Sixers unabashedly playing for tomorrow, and with so little talent currently in place on the roster, there is value to be had in keeping these players, even if for only one season.
From Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times:
Shved, a third-year pro from Russia, is set to make $3.2 million next season while Mbah a Moute is on the books for $4.4 million.
Neither player averaged more than four points last year, though the Sixers could try to determine if the 6-foot-6 Shved could help beyond 2014-15 in the rebuilding of a franchise.
Regarded as a good defender, Mbah a Moute’s biggest value might be continuing as a mentor to fellow Cameroon native Joel Embiid, who is likely to miss his rookie season as he recovers from foot surgery. The 7-foot Embiid was the No. 3 choice in June’s draft.
An NBA source said Shved has a chance for some minutes and that Mbah a Moute is also expected to stay, as opposed to being waived or bought out.
Shved showed decent ability in his first NBA season, but a reduction in minutes a year ago saw his production decline, as well. Mbah a Moute can defend as was mentioned, but his value as a veteran presence to help usher Embiid into maturity might be what keeps him in Philadelphia for as long as the team deems necessary.
For the Sixers, it’s all about filling roster spots with reliable NBA bodies for next season. The team is below the minimum salary level, to the point where trading for Amar’e Stoudemire at the deadline could be a consideration, provided the Knicks don’t need him at that point and there’s some compensation involved for Philadelphia taking on the last few months of his uninsurable contract. Keeping Shved and Mbah a Moute would solidify at least two spots on the bench, and avoid having the revolving door of sorts that existed on the roster for much of last season.
New Orleans Pelicans DeMarcus Cousins has been known to carry a bit of weight on his frame. He is currently listed at 6-foot-11 and 270 pounds.
It appears that last bit has significantly changed over the off-season.
Cousins has reportedly dropped quite a bit of weight during his off-season regimen, eating right and even hiring the personal trainer who made Julius Randle look so good in just a short amount of time for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Speaking to WDSU, Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry Said cousins was primed to take a new role for the pelicans next season, taking on a bit of a ball handler role as a point center. That should be easily done now that cousins has gained a little bit of mobility by shedding some weight.
When I saw DeMarcus, his body looked great. He invited us to his house for lunch; he’s eating really healthy — he’s got a chef that he’s hired. I was really, really excited about what he’s taken from the standpoint of trying to get himself ready for the season and obviously he feels like this is a very important season for him.
Looking at Cousins’ Instagram, you can clearly see the results of his eating and training regimen. He looks damn near svelte.
The newly-formed Pelicans had a disappointing end to the season, but with more time together they will certainly be one of the teams to watch in the Western Conference.
Don’t count the Cleveland Cavaliers out of the Paul George sweepstakes just yet.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes, the Cavaliers are still working on a way to get George with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Ohio.
The latest rumor involves a three way deal being discussed between the Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, and Denver Nuggets. According to Hayes, the deal would send George and Kenenth Faried to Cleveland and Kevin Love to Denver.
Presumably, Indiana would end up with good picks and a few young assets.
There is a lot to think about here given the potential for this trade. The first is how the Cavaliers would be able to complete a deal without a general manager in place. Owner Dan Gilbert fired David Griffin just last week. The Cavaliers are still talking to former NBA player Chauncey Billups about a chance to run the front office, but nothing has been decided just yet.
As good as George is, with the way that Kevin Love played in the 2017 NBA playoffs, it’s a wonder that the Cavaliers would want to let him go. The Golden State Warriors ate up Tristan Thompson in several of their Finals games, and Love was often the best player outside of LeBron on the floor for Cleveland.
Rumors also have George as being adamant that he is a one year rental only. His preferred landing place is still Los Angeles with the Lakers.
How a one year rental would work in exchange for one of Cleveland’s best players is sort of confusing. Even if the Cavaliers landed George and Faried, they would need to add yet another piece in order to get over the hump as the Eastern Conference strengthens and as they try to face off against the Warriors yet again.
This NBA off-season has been particularly crazy, and I don’t expected to calm down anytime soon.
Lonzo Ball Is finally a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. Magic Johnson & Co. took him with the second overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday.
Despite a few issues with his draft workouts with the Lakers, Ball was still the top choice for Los Angeles when they came to select after Markelle Fultz was off the board. The Lakers have already given Ball more control of the team after trading D'Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets last week.
Before the draft, Ball took some time out to work in his back yard and on his home court with NBA legend Isiah Thomas.
Check out the interaction between the two and see where Ball grew up learning to shoot his oddly-formed but highly-accurate jumper.
Harrison Barnes is set to be a foundational piece for the Dallas Mavericks for years to come. He is trying to learn all he can from one of the greatest Mavericks of all time in Dirk Nowitzki.
So what has Barnes learned under Nowitzki’s tutelage?
Well, for one thing, he’s going to need to learn an elite-level skill if he wants to lead when Nowitzki is gone.
Speaking with the Dallas News, Barnes said that Nowitzki sarcastic but tough when it comes to gym habits and player development.
Via Dallas News:
“Honestly, I’ve just been trying to work as hard as I can and spend as much time as I can with him in the gym. I remember one day at practice we’re standing on the sidelines on the gym and said, ‘Oh man, Dirk, you’re about to get to 20 years. That’s impressive. Do you think I can get to 20 years?’ He’s like, ‘No way man. You need major skill to get to 20 years.’ So that’s kind of the nature of our relationship. I just want to try to become the best basketball player that I can and follow the mold that he’s set here in Dallas for years and years of just constantly getting better every single year.”
Knowing Dirk’s personality, there is a fair bit of tongue-in-cheek happening here but he’s not entirely wrong.Barnes was a jack of all trades for the Golden State Warriors before he signed his contract with the Mavericks. Nowitzki is one of the greatest scores in NBA history, and he obviously has more than one major skill under his belt.
Even still, it’s good advice for Barnes moving forward.