How good will the Warriors be this season?
They went an NBA-record 73-9 last season then added Kevin Durant.
Could they go 74-8? 75-7? 82-0?!
How about one better than that?
Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
One NBA front office ran simulations, based on player values, for the upcoming season. Cleveland came out with 64 wins, second best in the league. Golden State came out with 83, better than undefeated. They broke the system.
I have major questions about this team’s methodology.
For what it’s worth, I doubt the Warriors hit 73 wins again. They’re probably not interested in the grind of breaking their own record after such a grueling year, and I believe they’ll face greater challenges adjusting to Durant than they expect.
Draymond Green‘s Snapchat snafu could turn from a laughing matter to a big windfall.
Vivid Entertainment honcho Steve Hirsch fired off a letter to DG saying he saw the dong selfie Green accidentally posted on Snapchat over the weekend … and believes it’s the perfect centerpiece for a new celeb sex tape.
“Here’s the deal: We will give you $100k to star in a porn called ‘Drayzilla,'” Hirsch wrote.
“You call all the shots. You pick your co-stars and set up the scene however you want.”
This is a cheap publicity stunt. It’s up to Green whether he wants to participate in it and get paid.
Here’s guessing he’ll pass.
LeBron James just beat the best team he ever faced, the 73-9 Warriors, to bring Cleveland – Cleveland! – a championship. Golden State responded by getting even better, adding Kevin Durant to a core that already included Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
Think LeBron wants to beat that team? Of course he does.
But he’s also driven by something bigger.
LeBron, via Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated:
“My motivation,” James says, “is this ghost I’m chasing. The ghost played in Chicago.”
Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time.
LeBron James could pass him.
It won’t be easy. Jordan played longer than LeBron has so far and still holds big leads in every counting stat but 3-pointers, including six championships to LeBron’s three. But LeBron isn’t done, and the GOAT title is within his reach.
And, clearly, he wants it.
Ron Baker will have competition for the Knicks’ 15th regular-season roster spot – J.P. Tokoto.
Know why Tokoto could get this deal? He accepted the 76ers’ required tender after they drafted him in the second-round last year following indications he initially pledged to reject it.
Teams must extend the tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the minimum – to retain exclusive negotiating rights on a second-round pick. If a player rejects the tender, the team retains those rights for a year.
Tokoto forced the 76ers’ hand by accepting the tender, going to training camp and getting waived to become an unrestricted free agent last year. Had he allowed the 76ers to stash him last season, they’d be the only team he could bargain with now. Philadelphia already has 20 players – five more than the regular-season roster limit – and reportedly plans to sign undrafted North Carolina State guard Cat Barber at some point.
New York presents a much better opportunity for Tokoto.
Tokoto’s D-League rights are already held by the Thunder’s affiliate – which suggests the Knicks like him for their NBA roster (or could have the Westchester Knicks trade for him). This differs from Baker, whose D-League rights the Knicks could simply assign to Westchester by waiving him.
More second-rounders should follow Tokoto’s lead and not allow the drafting team to maintain exclusive negotiating rights while not paying them. This is where his strategy pays off.
The Magic just traded for Serge Ibaka, and best-case scenario, he’ll play well for them this season. Then, Orlando will have to fight off outside suitors when Ibaka becomes an unrestricted free agent — and there will be outside suitors.
Start with Toronto.
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star on the Raptors (hat tip: Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors):
Rest assured, at this moment – and all know how things can change – I know a free agent Serge Ibaka is very much on their minds
This is reminiscent of Nicolas Batum. The Hornets traded for Batum on an expiring contract last summer, and rumors quickly linked him to the Raptors. In the end, Batum re-signed with Charlotte.
Ibaka would fit well in Toronto. The Raptors still have no clear answer at power forward, even after signing Jared Sullinger and retaining Patrick Patterson. Ibaka would also complement center Jonas Valanciunas by spacing the floor offensively and protecting the rim defensively. Valanciunas would have more space to score in the post, and Toronto could facilitate the room without compromising defensively.
2017 free agency is a long way off, and a lot can change between now and then. For now, this is just insight into Toronto’s thinking and little more.