Author: Matt Moore

Josh Smith

Report: Josh Smith won’t sign an extension, Hawks can thank the new CBA


From the New York Daily News:

Josh Smith has told the Hawks that he isnt going to sign an extension during the season. Hed rather wait to become a free agent, when he can get a five-year deal. An extension would limit him to a three-year deal, according to the new CBA rules. New GM Danny Ferry has upwards of 10 players who could be free agents at seasons end

via Failure to launch … Knee injury aside, Jeremy Lin may not be what Houston Rockets bargained for – NY Daily News.

This is pretty much the inherent flaw in the new CBA. The conceptual design was to enable teams to retain their players. But instead, it’s created an environment where there’s no incentive for veteran stars to sign extensions which are limited by at least one year over what they can get in free agency, and two over what they can get by re-signing once their contracts expire.

This doesn’t mean he won’t return to the Hawks, but it definitely leaves the door open to a departure, especially when you consider that Smith has been pushing for a trade for multiple seasons. There’s been no indication from Ferry whether he considers Smith to be the focus of the Hawks’ future or whether he’d rather move him for a rebuilding package.

So, like usual, the Hawks’ situation remains in flux.

Sessions says he was worried the Lakers would trade him if he re-signed

Ramon Sessions

The Lakers didn’t want Ramon Sessions back as a free agent, at least not for what he was asking. That’s a rough thing to deal with, but they wanted to land a difference maker, they were gearing up for one more run with Kobe and Pau, and Sessions had a rough playoffs. They got Steve Nash. Not bad. But Sessions says he was reluctant to re-sign with the Lakers anyway, because of the instability of the situation and the possibility he might get traded.

“It was one of those situations I looked at like, ‘If I do come back what if they trade me?’ ” Sessions said. “There were talks about getting Deron. They always wanted the bigger-named guy. What if I get traded to a team and it’s my contract year? It was one of those things that I can’t say if I opted in, [Nash] wouldn’t have come. They still might have tried to get him. You just never know.”

via Escape from L.A.: Ramon Sessions gets fresh start with Bobcats – Yahoo! Sports.

Oh, hey there, random reference to the Lakers talking about getting Deron Williams. There were sporadic rumors in the spring, but then again, any player that is any way available, and most that aren’t, are always discussed in the context of joining the Lakers. But it’s nice to know the Lakers were aiming that high. And, honestly, it’s nice to know that they didn’t land one superstar they angled for this summer.

Sessions wants stability and he may have it in Charlotte. But they’re a rebuilding franchise. What if the pick they get next year, which will inevitably be top-five, is a point guard? There’s no getting away from it. Even now, he’s battling with Kemba Walker for the starting gig and Walker didn’t exactly set the world on fire last year. For whatever reason, there never seems to be a team willing to just commit to Sessions. He’s the NBA version of “Single Ladies.”

The Celtics may bench Brandon Bass for Jared Sullinger. Quick question: Why?

Brandon Bass

From the Boston Herald:

“I have no comment on that question. No comment,” Bass responded when asked if he cared whether he started. “We have to keep getting better as a team. I think (coach Doc Rivers) will make the best decision for the team.”

Rivers raised eyebrows earlier in the week when he speculated about employing different starting lineups. The variations could send Bass to the bench in favor of rookie power forward Jared Sullinger or free agent center Darko Milicic.

“We may go to a transitional starting lineup, you know, have three different lineups,” Rivers said Wednesday. “We put a lot of thought into it. We just will figure it out.”

via If he’s upset about role, Bass isn’t saying –

Now, I’m a pretty big fan of getting outside the box when it comes to lineups. Take two to three players of near equal value, even if one is a better scorer, and make some changes. Find what works best. Consider chemistry, and play style, and the balance of bench scoring. These are all worthy ideas.

But this is overthinking things.

Look, I get that Sullinger has looked good in preseason and maybe his knack for getting that right-side-righty layup high off the glass over a defender will maintain when he’s given the attention of starting fours. Maybe his natural physical liabilities in rebounding won’t be a problem and his hustle will simply overcome all.

It doesn’t change the fact that Brandon Bass is much, much, much better than Jared Sullinger and in particular, is at his best when Garnett is on the floor.

According to, Bass and Garnett were 9 points better than their opponent per 100 possessions last season. Now, almost everyone was +5 or better with Garnett because he was incredible last season. But Garnett and Bass provided a killer combination for Rajon Rondo. He’d run the pick and pop with one, and the other would spread out for a jumper. The could crash the boards, negating their problems with boxing out over bigger defenders, but that was largely unnecessary, because Bass and KG lead the league in unguarded jumpshot field goal percentage last year according to Synergy Sports.

With Garnett on the court last year, lineups with Bass were +176. When Bass was on the floor and KG sat, they were -18.

A 194 point differential.

I get that the Celtics need a bench scorer, particularly in the frontcourt, but they’ll have Jeff Green (don’t laugh, they believe in him) who can slide to the four if necessary. If they’re playing KG as a five in the starters, they can play Green as a four for stretches with the reserves. And the second unit provides a softer set for Sullinger to thrive in.

It’s not that Darko and Sullinger are bad players… OK, it’s not that Sullinger is a bad player, but it’s that Bass is that much better. He finally found a place in Boston where he felt he was supported and appreciated, and he re-signed with them for less money than he’d make elsewhere on shorter-term deals. The move just doesn’t seem, on surface, to make sense for anyone.