Stability and continuity matter in the NBA.
No team is ever static, but there can be continuity of vision and a player core, and that matters. That’s what wins. It has mattered for the San Antonio Spurs for pushing two decades, and that stability has turned them into the model franchise in the league. More recently, Atlanta finally has some stability of system under Mike Budenholzer and they jumped to the top of the East with 60 wins (even while we debate if they can sustain that).
Then there are the Golden State Warriors. Since new ownership came in they have stuck with their vision and it paid off with a ring and a parade.
After seven seasons in Sacramento, Jason Thompson was traded to the Warriors (via Philadelphia) this summer and is excited by the idea of stability, he told the Associated Press.
“I haven’t been around much winning this past seven years,” said Thompson, sitting in the Warriors downtown practice facility Thursday. “A lot of instability with seven coaches in seven years, 180 teammates and things like that. That doesn’t ever lead to winning. To come to an organization that has and coming off a championship, that’s great for myself.”
The other thing stable organizations do is create competition for playing time — Thompson is going to have to earn minutes that could go to Festus Ezeli or Marreese Speights.
The obvious take away from what Thompson said is another insult piled on the Sacramento Kings. And it is that. But he’s also not wrong or alone. DeMarcus Cousins’ frustrations with the Kings have been over this same issue of instability of system (and players).
I don’t know that the Vlade Divac/George Karl combination is the answer in Sacramento — and I’ve got plenty of questions about their lineup, too — but Vivek Ranadive, stick with one combo and style for a while. Give this plan a chance to take root and work before you decide to rip it out and start over. This isn’t fantasy basketball, stability and continuity matter. A lot.
Players have been traded, but it was all about the money.
The Golden State Warriors agreed to send Gerald Wallace to Philadelphia in exchange for Jason Thompson (Wallace had come to the Bay Area in the David Lee trade with Boston). The Sixers also get some cash and the right to swap the lower of Miami or Oklahoma City’s 2016 picks (the Sixers have the rights to both) for the Warriors’ pick. (That pick swap borders on meaningless, Golden State likely has a top three — top five at worst — record next year.)
Why did the defending champion Warriors make this move? To save money at the end of the bench without hurting their rotation. Former Nets executive and now Twitter star Bobby Marks breaks it down, n0ting you need to consider this move in tandem with the David Lee trade.
Thompson, who has spent his entire career in Sacramento not living up to his potential, is not going to see a lot of playing time behind Marreese Speights and Festus Ezeli on the bench. Thompson provides some inconsistent but at times solid defense, and he doesn’t take a lot of shots on offense.
Why do the Sixers make this move? To add some money to the payroll this season — they want to try to get to 90 percent of the salary cap number, which is the salary floor — plus save some money next summer. Wallace will get $10.5 million in this last season of his contract. Thompson makes “only” $6.4 million this season but has a $2.8 million guarantee next season (on a $6.8 million contract). Don’t be shocked if the Sixers just waive Wallace.
Neither guy is going to make a difference on the court for these teams. This was just moving some money around.
I don’t know what’s more surprising – that the Warriors extended Ognjen Kuzmic a $1,147,276 qualifying offer or that he didn’t immediately accept it.
Now, it’s too late for Kuzmic.
Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:
This is the last day teams can unilaterally rescind qualifying offers.
Kuzmic now becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Warriors still hold his Early Bird Rights, which allow them to exceed the cap to sign him. Given their luxury-tax issues, I wouldn’t expect them to offer more than a minimum salary ($947,276). Then again, I didn’t expect them to extend a qualifying offer.
Kuzmic can pursue a deal with other NBA teams, who might be more willing to offer now that Golden State doesn’t have a right to match. Still, it’s tough to see much of a market for Kuzmic.
The No. 52 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, has played just 164 minutes in two NBA seasons. He’s 7-foot-1 and fairly athletic, but there just isn’t much to go on.
If the Warriors don’t re-sign him, they could look for another big man to play behind Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights. They have the minimum-salary exception and a portion of the taxpayer mid-level exception about equal to a minimum salary.