Tag: Harrison Barnes

Miami Heat v Detroit Pistons

Erik Spoelstra: Heat’s starting lineup needs time before it’ll succeed


Who has the NBA’s best starting lineup?

The Warriors (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut)?

The Cavaliers (Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov)?

The Spurs (Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan)?

The Clippers (Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan)?

Take your pick between those four or other contenders like the Thunder, Rockets or Bulls.

But there’s one team that belongs in the discussion despite two oddities:

  • All five projected starters played for the team last season, but its projected starting lineup didn’t log a single minute together.
  • The team missed the playoffs.

Yup, the Heat with Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside.

Bosh was sidelined for the rest of the season with blood clots just after Miami traded for Dragic. So, the lineup’s debut was postponed to this season.

On paper, the Heat have it all – offense and defense inside and out. They’re balanced, and nobody is playing out of position.

But Miami coach Erik Spoelstra cautions against expecting instant gratification.

Spoelstra, via Zach Lowe of Grantland:

“It’s not the kind of lineup where you can just throw it out there, and you know it will work,” Spoelstra says. “It’s going to take practice.”

The biggest question with the Heat’s top lineup is health, especially Wade. He’s 33 and has a history of knee problems. There are also questions about Whiteside’s ability to perform over a full season, Bosh’s rust and Deng’s longevity.

But those are all individual concerns.

Like I said, there’s a lot to like about this unit as a whole. The one area for caution is probably Dragic and Wade sharing ball-handling duties. Though they play different positions – Dragic point guard and Wade shooting guard – both are used to being the lead guard. That could take more time to sort out.

Mostly, though, I think Spoelstra is just trying to lower expectations. The less people think of a team, the more opportunity the coach has to impress (and the less blame he’ll take if the team falters).

Warriors GM says team “focused and motivated” to get Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli extensions done

Team USA Basketball Showcase

It’s the cost of winning titles — the players on your team come up for free agency and want to get paid.

The Warriors locked up Klay Thompson last summer, Draymond Green this summer, and now they are focused on keeping next year’s free agents, too: Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli.

With the salary cap about to spike and at least two-thirds of the NBA expected to have room for at least one max deal, the Warriors could be better just locking guys up at a fair deal now. Warriors GM Bob Myers was on KNBR Radio in the Bay Area and talked extensions a little bit. From Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:

In the case of Barnes, the question is can the two sides find a number that works for them? If Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just got four-years, $52 million Barnes will want at least that and probably more. The Warriors already have five players making eight digits in salary for the 2016-17 season (Thompson, Green, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry). They are going to be bumping up against the new cap already. If you’re Barnes, do you want to see what the market will bring you next summer than ask the Warriors to match it? That might be the better option for Barnes.

With Bogut nearing the end of his deal (two seasons left), Ezeli has the ability to show the Warriors he can step into that role (guys around the team are high on him) and get paid like it. Right now, the Warriors would love to lock him down at a discount, Ezeli may want to get through the season and let the market set his price.

It’s something to watch. All summer long guys have taken discounts for security, can the Warriors get Barnes and Ezeli to do the same?

Report: Warriors signing Jarell Eddie in their quest to find a shooter

Indiana Pacers v Orlando Magic-Blue

Stephen Curry is one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooters (maybe ever). Klay Thompson is an incredible second option from behind the arc. Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes also made more than a 3-pointer per game last season, providing nice support from the frontcourt.

But – with all due respect for the streaky Andre Iguodala and Leandro Barbosa, who has distributing responsibilities – the Warriors could use another spot-up outside shooter off the bench.

That’s why they signed Ian Clark.

It’s also why they’re signing Jarell Eddie.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

Eddie shot 37% on 3-pointers in four seasons in Virginia Tech, but he went undrafted last year. So, he went to the D-League and make 43% of his 3-pointers.

The Warriors have 13 players with guaranteed contracts plus James McAdoo ($100,000 guaranteed), Chris Babb (unguaranteed), Clark and Eddie. I doubt Clark or Eddie got much, if any, of a guarantee, though that’s still unclear. Facing the luxury tax, Golden State probably doesn’t want much dead money on the books. Though most teams use a partial guarantee, the Warriors can entice quality players in this free agent tier by offering the chance of a role on an excellent team with a good record of player development. That can pay off with more money down the road.

McAdoo’s guarantee gives him a leg up for making the regular-season roster. That leaves Eddie, Clark and Babb competing for one – maybe two if McAdoo falters – roster spot(s). That’s a lot of pressure on each shot during training camp and the preseason, but that’s what the Warriors want. If all goes well, they’ll be in more high-pressure situations about eight months later.

Warriors rookie Kevon Looney out 4-6 months after hip surgery

Kevon Looney, Bob Myers

Once upon a time, UCLA forward Kevon Looney was considered a surefire lottery pick, but concerns about his hip raised red flags around the league. The Warriors took him 30th overall in June, the final pick of the first round of the draft, and they’ve announced that he’ll be out four to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Here’s the team’s press release:

Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney underwent a successful right hip arthroscopy this morning to repair a torn labrum, the team announced today.  The procedure was performed by renowned Steadman Clinic orthopaedic surgeon and hip specialist Dr. Marc Philippon at the Vail Valley Surgery Center in Vail, Colorado.

Looney will begin rehabilitation from the surgery immediately and is expected to be out a minimum of four-to-six months before returning to basketball activity.

“Kevon has his entire NBA career ahead of him and we felt that, in consultation with our medical staff, Kevon and his representatives, it was best to address the issue now,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “He will have our complete support throughout the rehabilitation process and we are confident he will make a full recovery.”

The Warriors are in a fortunate position with Looney because they didn’t need much out of him in his rookie season. They’re coming off a historically great season that included 67 regular-season wins and the franchise’s first NBA title in 40 years. Other than trading David Lee and picking up Jason Thompson, their roster is essentially the same as it was last season, which means it’s going to be virtually impossible for a rookie to compete for minutes with the likes of Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala. They drafted Looney because they saw him as more talented than the 30th pick and they could afford to take a long-term, proactive approach with his health. Nipping this issue now, while he’s not needed on the court, makes sense.

Austin Rivers tweets he’s ‘straight up better than a lot of those dudes playing’ in Team USA scrimmage

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

As a reminder, here were the rosters for last night’s Team USA scrimmage:

Blue Team (Monty Williams, coach):

Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, DeMar DeRozan, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Victor Oladipo, and Elfrid Payton.

White Team (Tom Thibodeau, coach):

Arron Afflalo, Michael Carter-Williams, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green, Blake Griffin, Terrence Jones, Kawhi Leonard, Mason Plumlee, Klay Thompson, C.J. Watson.

Austin Rivers’ takeaway?

Rivers certainly doesn’t lack confidence – which is his biggest problem as a player. He too often takes bad shots or dribbles into trouble, because he believes he’s good enough to handle it.

This tweet gives little hope he better grasps his limitations.

To be fair, Rivers has improved each of his three NBA seasons. How dreadful he was as a rookie certainly plays a part, but Rivers has made nice progress. Most Improved Player is a good goal for him.

The rest is nonsense.

Maybe – maybe – Rivers is better than Watson, a non-Team USA minicamper invited to fill out the roster. But a lot of those dudes? It’s just insulting to them, which Rivers seemed to realize before he went further: