Kurt Helin

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Five

J.J. Redick: Clippers deserve “F” for free agency after losing DeAndre Jordan

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Once again, it’s Doc Rivers the GM setting the team back and making life difficult for Doc Rivers the coach.

The Clippers have to be on the list of biggest losers in free agency (they were at the top of the discussion in the PBT Podcast) because not only did they lose DeAndre Jordan to the Dallas Mavericks but also they had no good way to replace him.

It’s not just me saying that, here is what Clippers’ starting two-guard J.J. Redick said on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius XM to Nicole Zaloumis and Ric Bucher, when he was asked to grade their offseason.

“F. Is there an F-minus?

Listen, we had one priority this summer, and that was to re-sign DJ, and we missed out on that. Barring some miracle, the makeup of our team is completely different now.

“He was such an integral part of what we did, not just defensively, but offensively with the screening, his rolling, his offensive rebounds. His presence down low essentially made teams either commit to the three-point line when Blake [Griffin] or Chris [Paul] penetrated, or commit to him, and that either opened up lobs to him or threes for guys like me and Jamal [Crawford] and Matt [Barnes].

“So he was a huge part of what we did and missing out and having him leave for Dallas gives us a failing grade.”

It’s rare to see a player be honest like that. Good on Redick.

The Clippers are still going to be a good team. They had the best offense in the NBA last season, and they likely will often play smaller and faster now. Expect to see some Blake Griffin at the five, Chris Paul may put up numbers fantasy players will love. The Clippers will be entertaining, they will put up a lot of points.

But they have been knocked down a tier or two from contender status. They will still be a playoff team in the West, likely a 4-7 seed, but unless they find a new defensive anchor it’s hard to imagine them challenging San Antonio, Golden State or Oklahoma City. That’s what the summer “F” gets them.

Report: Aaron Brooks reaches one-year deal to remain with Bulls

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat
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He was a guy Tom Thibodeau trusted, now he’s going to have to earn the confidence of Fred Hoiberg.

He’ll get the chance because Aaron Brooks will be back with the Chicago Bulls, something first reported by Marc Stein of ESPN and now confirmed by Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com.

Brooks averaged 11.6 points and 3.2 assists in playing all 82 games for the Bulls last season, starting 21 games due to various injury absences. Brooks made the veteran’s minimum last season but he’ll earn more than that in 2015-16.

There was speculation the Bulls would go for a bigger guard who could possess the ability to play both guard spots as opposed to just one, but when the market dried up after a few targets signed above-average deals, it didn’t leave the luxury-tax paying Bulls with many options, and a return engagement with Brooks was an easy choice.

This gives the Bulls essentially the same backcourt as last season, with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler (who re-signed with the team) as the starters and Brooks with Kirk Hinrich and Tony Snell behind them.

Overall the Bulls roster is largely the same as last year, they are simply counting on health and a more modern offense under Hoiberg to make them more serious challengers to Chicago.

PBT Podcast: Free agency’s winners and losers

LaMarcus Aldridge
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The Winners seem to be mostly located in the state of Texas.

The losers seem to be on the coasts.

All the free agency dust has not settled, but it’s becoming clear who some of the big winners and losers are in free agency. On the plus side of the ledger, you start with the Spurs. On the negative side, the Clippers have dropped from contender status with DeAndre Jordan leaving for Dallas.

But those teams are just the tip of the free agent iceberg, and we get into a lot more teams and players with  PBT’s Kurt Helin and Brett Pollakoff, plus NBCSports’ Dominic Ridgard.

Listen to the podcast below or you can listen and subscribe via iTunes.

Report: Boston Celtics agree to trade for David Lee for Gerald Wallace

davidlee
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David Lee played an important role for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, but he was not part of their long-term plans and spent much of the season on the bench. After they had hoisted the trophy, Warriors management appreciated Lee’s taking of a lesser role, and agreed with Lee that they would try to find him a new home for next season .

Like Boston.

The Celtics and Warriors agreed to a deal that sends Lee east and brings Gerald Wallace West. Tommy Dee was first to report this, and it has since been confirmed by CSNBayArea.com’s Monte Poole.

Boston needs to send another player west to make the money work; that player has not been finalized but he will not be on a guaranteed deal.

For Boston, this is a good fit. They can play David Lee this year sort of in the Brandon Bass role (Bass signed with the Lakers). Lee is better offensively, even at this point in career, but a step back on defense from Bass. Maybe a couple steps back. Still he can put up points and should mesh well with their young talent.

The Warriors can keep Wallace and save some money, or trade him, but look for Golden State to use the stretch provision to buy Wallace out of his deal. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks laid out why that would help Golden State against the luxury tax (which with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s deal was going to get expensive).

Lee took to Instagram to thank the Golden State fans.

Report: Players union to set up fund to help retired, destitute players medical expenses

Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association
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When you read about NBA players of the 1950s and ’60s, one familiar theme comes up: A lot of them had to have other jobs in the off-season to pay their bills. There were not millions of dollars and cushy lifestyles. And while the stories of NBA players who blew ridiculous fortunes are out there, more common is the player who was in and out of the league for a couple seasons and never made that kind of life-changing money.

The NBA players union wants to set up a fund to help those players with their medical expenses.

Adrian Wojnarowski has the story at Yahoo Sports.

The National Basketball Players Association is proposing to use millions of dollars of its share of the NBA’s impending television revenue windfall to cover health-care insurance costs for its former players, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The plan is estimated to cost between $10 million-$15 million a year and a vote on passage of the union’s initiative is set for the NBPA’s July 20 membership meeting in Las Vegas. The union’s 30 team player representatives are expected to pass the plan with ease and start the process of covering the retired players quickly, league sources said.

This is a good move. This is what a union should do — help take care of its members, past and present. These are the guys who helped build the foundation that the very lucrative NBA was built upon; there should be a fund to help those that need it with medical expenses. Good on Michele Roberts for pushing the union this direction.

This is the kind of thing that all that new television revenue should go to, not just to further line the owners’ and players’ pockets.