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.
J.P. Tokoto is apparently weighing it now – whether to sign with the 76ers or not after they drafted him with the No. 58 pick.
Last year, Jordan McRae went to Philadelphia late in the second-round. He rejected his required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed and at the minimum – the 76ers had to offer to keep his rights. Instead, he signed in Australia, and he played for Philadelphia’s D-League affiliate after the Australian season ended.
Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers:
The only way for a player to attend training camp is with an NBA contract.
Like last year, Philadelphia had to offer another tender to keep McRae’s rights. Perhaps, he’ll get more as a result of his loyalty. He did the 76ers a big favor by going overseas – spending a year developing without taking up an NBA roster spot or making NBA money.
Because he rejected the required tender last year, McRae can negotiate only with Philadelphia now for an NBA contract. Had he accepted the tender, he would have either forced his way onto the team last season or gotten waived. If he had gotten waived and then gone the overseas/D-League route, he could have now negotiated with any NBA team. The only apparent potential downside would have been if the 76ers – coached by Brett Brown, who previously worked in Australia – helped secure McRae a better overseas job than he could have gotten anyway.
Surely, Tokoto is watching how Philadelphia treats McRae. This situation will be telling about whether it’s worth it for second-round picks to allow the 76ers to stash them.
Jahlil Okafor looked in Las Vegas like a guy who could be in the mix for Rookie of the Year — he has an NBA body that he knows how to use to create a little space to operate, and when he does he has an array of moves to score. In Las Vegas he averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, he shot 43.8 percent, and while he’s still a rookie who is going to have a steep learning curve, you can see the potential.
He wants to win Rookie of the Year, he told Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com during the Sixers annual Beach Bash event (video above).
“For myself, before the season I just need to make sure I’m prepared. I don’t know what to expect, I’ve never played in the NBA, but Rookie of the Year is one of my goals I’ve set for myself, my personal achievements. As for the team, I want to get better. We’re a rebuilding team right now, but (we should) go out there every day and compete.”
After seeing guys in Summer League and thinking about touches and opportunities they will get in the season, I would say Okafor and Denver’s Emmanuel Mudiay should be the preseason favorites for the award, with Karl-Anthony Towns and Stanley Johnson lurking in the background. That said, they’re rookies, which makes them inconsistent and this award very difficult to predict preseason.
What we do know: Okafor is having fun with the fans and making friends in Philly already.