Alright, it’s time for the fifth edition of our Four-Thought round-table discussion. Basically an excuse for us to catch up over a beer and burger and discuss some of the hot button topics affecting our team roster’s and the state of the league.
Given the ratification of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (yeeew), we’ve taken a slight CBA twist to these questions…but not too in-depth, we don’t want to put you guys to sleep! Here we go:
The amnesty provision didn’t make the new CBA, however if there was – whose getting the chop from your roster?
DAVID: Joakim Noah without a doubt. Porzingis should be playing more 5, and they have 2 capable, lower paid C’s in Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O’Quinn that deserve minutes…and have been more effective than Noah anyway. Especially playing for Hornacek, Porzingis should be a permanent 5. At 4yrs for $17M per…they would’ve been better off going for a C for a 1yr rental like Zaza to lessen the wear and tear on Kristaps.
XANDER: Ian Mahinmi got signed to a 4yr/$64M deal in the off-season after a solid season in Indiana. It looked kinda gross at the time, looks worse now. Mahinmi is yet to make his season debut and just had PRP treatment on his knee (that’s bad). That Wizards team needs a do-over. Washington badly needs help in the backcourt off the bench, as Beal can’t sustain 40 minutes of PT without breaking something.
LINTON: I said it at the time, but it has to be Rajon Rondo #releaserondo. Suspended for conduct detrimental to the team a month into the season. They are a better team without him on the floor. He’s a disaster. Chandler Parsons is another potential candidate if his knee doesn’t heal up, as he has had more Instagram posts than points so far in his Memphis tenure.
SAM: Miles Plumlee – I have no idea why Milwaukee decided to give him $12.5M per to sit on the bench. Four years too! Just a horrendous deal, especially when they already had a better (and younger) player in John Henson on a similar, slightly less deal. Henson is a solid player and has clearly beaten out Plumlee for the starting gig.
Which Restricted Free Agent does one of your roster teams need to approach, and why?
DAVID: Timberwolves should offer Kentavious Caldwell-Pope the max. He’d be such a nice fit next to Wiggins and KAT, and provides the 3 and D that this team badly needs. I like LaVine, but feel he’d be better served as an instant offence type sixth man on this team. If there was a decent PF on the RFA list I’d say that’s a bigger need, as I’m not sold on KAT and Dieng as a 4/5 combo. A smokey might be Nikola Mirotic – given the Thibs connection.
XANDER: Philly need to get Otto Porter Jr. He’s gonna cost a lot, but he would be the perfect 3 and D guy next to Simmons. Most importantly, he doesn’t need the ball to be effective. In fact, every team needs Otto!
LINTON: Toronto’s biggest weakness is their PF play. Siakam and Patterson have been alright, but I’d like to see the Raptors make a run at JaMychal Green. Memphis might match, but he’d be really nice on this Toronto team as a floor spacer and hustle guy. He does a bit of everything.
SAM: I think Dallas should go after Nerlens Noel. They have no young talent on this roster and are badly in need of a rebuild. Fortunately for them, it is a Point Guard heavy draft in 2017, so that’s one position likely filled. They now have Barnes as their wing scorer, so grabbing a guy like Noel as their defensive clean up and DeAndre-esque (too soon?) oop man would be a nice fit.
We’re getting closer to the deadline and buyout season – whose heading to the buyout scrapheap?
DAVID: Leandro Barbosa would be my option at the deadline – and he could also head back to GSW. Not bad by Leandro – takes a $2M buyout and signs for minimum with the Dubs, already makes more than just signing for the minimum with GSW like he could have last off-season! Other option could be Tiago Splitter (ATL) if he can ever get healthy.
XANDER: Jeff Green – 1yr, $15M, you could probably buy him out for $10M and you just know Doc wants to take another swing at him! Particularly as Blake insurance now that he’s gone down. Dubs would love Green too – has that KD connection (RIP Sonics). Other options could be Marcus Thornton (Wiz) or Jose Calderon (Lakers).
LINTON: Brooklyn has Scola that should be bought out, and he’s a handy enough vet that a contender could use as a floor spacer. They’ve already eaten Vasquez’s $5M given his injuries. Sacramento is where veterans go to die, but Matt Barnes or Anthony Tolliver would be other potential buyout options.
SAM: A more probable one could be Derrick Williams for Miami – getting DNP-CD’s, well behind James Johnson and Winslow plays the 4 a lot for the Heat. Josh McRoberts is starting and Babbitt is even ahead of him on the depth chart. Despite this, he may get burn on a thinner second unit in OKC or GSW. Moose Monroe might be another option, but he may not go for a buy out given he is still playing minutes (albeit reduced) and he has an opt out after this year.
On your roster, who is your early prediction for a first time All-NBA player?
Can be 1st, 2nd or 3rd team
NASH: My roster is kinda thin for first timers, but KAT or Porzingis would be close. Both would be considered long shots at this stage, but you could make an argument for them. No doubt they’ll make several All-NBA teams during their careers – beasts!
XANDER: John Wall. He has only ever made 2nd Team All Defence and the 1st Team All-Rookie. Washington will need to make a march up the standings to give him a greater chance, but he’s in the midst of a career year.
LINTON: Jimmy Butler or DeMar DeRozan. Two of the top G/F’s in the East will likely be battling it out for the same position. Early edge is probably DeRozan given Toronto’s record, but Jimmy is the leader of this Bulls team who have outperformed expectations so far.
SAM: Giannis Antetokounmpo or Gordon Hayward. Tough positions to fill, but I could see one of these guys making a 3rd team this year based on performances to date. Both have been outstanding for their under-the-radar franchises.
These Four-Thought articles are round-table discussions that we get together and discuss in person. One of us has to bring the topic and curate the discussion. That same person then creates the article. Each one is done over dinner. Dinner must be a burger place. Results so far:
Edition 1: Grand Trailer Park Taverna, 87 Bourke St, MEL… DN:#3, LD:#1, SE:#2, XH:#1.
Edition 2: Burger Project, 260 Collins St, MEL… DN:#4, LD:#4, SE:#4, XH:#3
Edition 3: Royal Stacks, 470 Collins St, MEL.. DN:#2, LD:#3, SE:#1, XH:#4
Edition 4: Merrywell, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank MEL… DN:#5, LD:#5, SE:#5, XH:#5
Edition 5: On It Burgers, 349-351 Victoria St, Abbotsford DN:#1, LD:#2, SE:#3, XH:#2