Around The League 2023-2024 Season

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Post by bobheckler Thu Aug 24, 2023 9:25 am

The new salary cap is in effect with its effect on trades, the free agency period has come, so we're in the new season already even if there isn't any hoop yet.



https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/james-harden-nbpa-daryl-morey/



James Harden Just the First of Many Perils Facing Sixers & Daryl Morey


By Steve Bulpett

Updated Aug 23, 2023 at 2:23pm



The 76ers may have dodged one bullet with the NBA announcing it has fined James Harden $100,000 for publicly stating he would fulfil his contract and play this season only if traded.

But another piece of ammunition could be aimed at the club if things are not worked out. A very tall one.

The Players Association said Tuesday it will file a grievance and have an appeal of the ruling heard by an arbitrator, charging that Harden’s statement about the team’s head of basketball operations — “Daryl Morey is a liar, and I will never be a part of an organization that he’s a part of” — did not violate the rule against public trade demands.


The good news for the Sixers in all of this SO FAR is that the league, in its ruling, stated that its investigation determined that Harden’s comments referred to his “belief that the 76ers would not accommodate his request to be traded.”


The positive there is that the NBA seems to be leaving alone or has answered the question of whether there was some type of handshake/wink agreement of future benefit when Harden opted out of his contract before last season and accepted some $14.4 million less for 2022-23.

“I don’t know what was done last year with his contract when he took less money and if anything was promised,” a Sixers source told Heavy Sports. “I’m pretty sure that’s something that’s being looked into now. If there was some kind of agreement that wasn’t met, then this could get messy.”


Joel Embiid Could Be the Next Domino

In any case, as long as these issues are festering, a hoops hazmat team may be needed in Philly at some point in the not too distant future.

“I think there’s another domino that might fall here before long if this stuff keeps going,” the source said.

Asked to elaborate, he said, “Well, the big fella. Eventually he’s gonna get fed up with this.”

Reigning league MVP Joel Embiid has never made it past the Eastern Conference semifinals in his seven active years with the 76ers, and after living through the Ben Simmons drama, he may not be excited about a Harden-Morey reality show.


A number of sources with ties to the club have said Embiid’s motivation leans more toward personal than team goals, and the Sixers source said, “There’s a lot of truth to that. But the guy is a legit major force in this league, and there ain’t too many of those. And now that he’s got his MVP, the next thing a guy looks at is legacy — and legacy is all about winning.”

Harden, meanwhile, has made it as far as the NBA Finals, coming off the bench for Oklahoma City in a 4-1 series loss to Miami in 2012. His scoring and shooting numbers fell off in those meetings with the Heat, and the narrative hasn’t been great for the 6-5 guard when it comes to the postseasons since.


“There may be a team that goes for him at some point,” one Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports. “But he costs you a lot of money, and he can obviously be a major headache when he’s not happy. This is the third team he’s demanded a traded from.

“And if you’re looking to build a team to win everything, you have to have questions. The bottom line is you’d rather be playing against him in the playoffs than have him on your team. No question he can get you numbers, and the averages in the playoffs can make it look not that bad. But the playoffs are different, and that’s when he can cost you a lot on defense and, in general, how he wants to play with the ball in his hands.”


Once Upon a Time, the Sixers Were a Happy Lot

Yet things appeared to be going well for the Sixers last season when they had the third-best record in the league and were ready to advance to the East finals after rolling up a 3-2 lead against Boston.

As for Harden’s temperament during the year, a source said, “He had his moments, but I thought for the most part he was fine … at least he put on the good teammate hat. I mean, he had a good regular season. He led the league in assists and was over 20 points a game.”

And Harden had 45 points as the Embiid-less Sixers won the series opener in Boston.


“Obviously he was really good in Game 1 against Boston, but things changed after that,” said the club source.

What was different in Game 2 is that Joe Mazzulla had Jaylen Brown pick up Harden full court, forcing him to take a long time to get the Sixers into their offense or making him give the ball up.

“That was the difference in the series, the whole difference,” he said. “As soon Jaylen started guarding him in the backcourt, that changed everything. A lot of people don’t talk about that, but that was a huge part of that series. And Jaylen, to his credit, he took on that challenge. He was clapping his hands and he was into it. And then that allowed (Marcus) Smart to roam around and do other things, which was important because Embiid was back.


“And James is one of those guys who, as soon as he gives the ball up, he’s not going to work very hard to get it back. That’s why he doesn’t want to give it up.”

The pressing question for the 76ers now is whether Harden will give up his fight to be traded and allow the team some measure of harmony as it makes its 2023-24 journey.


Bob
MY NOTE:  Embiid has 3 more years on his contract, the 4th is a Player Option and doesn't become a UFA until 2027.  He is guaranteed $47.6M this year, $51.4M next year and $59M in his last guaranteed contract year.  His Player Option is for $59M. Is he a force?  Hell yeah, he's the reigning MVP, but no player wins alone and it's hard to build a quality team around a player who sucks down that much of the team's salary cap.  Embiid wants to win, but he makes it tough for any team who has him to win because of that.

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Post by bobheckler Mon Oct 16, 2023 10:56 am

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/d-angelo-russell-want-derrick-043129568.html



D’Angelo Russell: ‘I want to be Derrick White’


Robert Marvi

Sun, October 15, 2023 at 9:31 PM PDT·2 min read



For years, D’Angelo Russell has been a potent player, but his shooting accuracy has fluctuated from season to season, and he has had issues playing up to his ability during the playoffs. In addition, he has been criticized for his lackluster defense, especially after Jamal Murray lit him up in last season’s Western Conference Finals.

But so far in the exhibition season for the Los Angeles Lakers, Russell has played very well. He isn’t just shooting the ball very efficiently, but he is also showing more effort on the defensive end. He had a blocked shot against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, and on Wednesday versus the Sacramento Kings, he blocked a shot attempt by All-Star De’Aaron Fox. Sunday was actually the third straight game in which the guard has had a block.

After the game, Russell cited Boston Celtics guard Derrick White as his inspiration.

“I’m not using preseason as preseason, I’m using it as the first few games of the season,” said Russell. “That’s just my approach. If I look crazy doing it or picking up guys full-court, diving and doing all that, that what I’m gonna be. My inspiration has been Derrick White. I wanna be Derrick White. He doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does, makes all the winning plays, and that’s who I wanna be.”

White is a key member of a Celtics team that some are picking to win this season’s NBA championship. Russell may be more talented than him, but he made last season’s All-Defensive Second Team while averaging 12.4 points and 3.9 assists a game and hitting 38.1 percent of his 3-point attempts.

Russell has previously talked about wanting to improve his defense this season to the point where he, at the very least, isn’t a liability. So far, he has been doing a pretty good job of walking the walk.


Bob
MY NOTE: It's not just the pundits who think our back court is the best in the league. It's interesting, though, that DLo wants to be Derrick White and not All-Star Jrue. That's professional respect.


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Post by bobheckler Thu Oct 19, 2023 7:57 am

Romeo Langford has just been waived by the Utah Jazz.

When Danny gives up on his own draft pick, especially when he brought him to his new organization, you know he's struggling.

Good luck,  Romeo.


Bob


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Post by gyso Thu Oct 19, 2023 9:05 am

Romeo should look to play in Europe, maybe for Scaligera Basket Verona. My advice to him:

Once there, watch out for those Capulets. If he gets involved with them, it could be the death of him!

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Post by bobheckler Thu Oct 19, 2023 9:15 am

The Nutmeg to end all Nutmegs.  Jeez.  And Dame ran into him and he just shrugged it off like a fleabite.  And then the pass to finish.

Wow.  Please stay healthy.  Between Jokic, Luka and him (all international players, btw) this could be a decade of entertainment.

https://twitter.com/WorldWideWob/status/1714802189229838575


Bob


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Post by gyso Thu Oct 19, 2023 10:38 am

Bob,

I can't wait to see him in action.

We had a nutmeg of our own this week:

Holiday also pulled off an unreal nutmeg on Evan Fournier and dished an assist to Payton Pritchard for a 3 on the other end.


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Post by bobc33 Thu Oct 19, 2023 2:09 pm

Both Victor and Chet Holmgren should be great to watch this season! They both are well over 7’ and act like guards!!

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Post by bobheckler Sat Oct 21, 2023 9:22 pm

37 year old Rudy Gay has been released by GSW.


Bob


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Post by dbrown4 Sun Oct 22, 2023 7:59 am

I saw that. Wow! Time flies. He used to be the talk of the town. Always wondered what happened to him. Does he still want to play?

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Post by bobheckler Sun Oct 22, 2023 2:37 pm

Around The League 2023-2024 Season F9DrhcjWgAA8c0t?format=jpg


Bob
MY NOTE:  A season ending injury for Steven Adams.  Man, that sucks. What a HUGE loss for Memphis!  They are in desperate needs for a big, or two, now. Too bad we don't have a surplus. I wish we were as flushed at big now as we were last year, we could pick up someone good for Luke, better than we could expect otherwise, but now we need Luke and probably one more big after him. We have none to spare.


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Post by bobheckler Mon Oct 23, 2023 8:07 pm

Former Celtic Aaron Nesmith signs 3 year $33M extension with Indy.

Former Celtic SL star Matt Ryan was just picked up off the waiver wire by the Pelicans.


Bob


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Post by gyso Mon Oct 23, 2023 9:03 pm

We will always compare the careers of Romeo and Nesmith, but fans from other teams will say, "Who?".

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Post by NYCelt Tue Oct 24, 2023 8:56 am

gyso wrote:We will always compare the careers of Romeo and Nesmith, but fans from other teams will say, "Who?".

There’s a great, and amusing point.

As members of the Popeye Jones and Mark Blount fan clubs will attest, irrelevant players only live on in the dashed hopes of fans of the teams that thought they found a sleeper. Remember when, in some minds, for a day or two, Mikki Moore was going to be the savior center we longed for ever since Russ?

We might need a tribute page for these guys.
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Post by bobheckler Wed Oct 25, 2023 10:09 am

Steve Bulpett @SteveBHoop
about 16 minutes ago
League source: “Daryl’s trying to steal people in trades, and nobody’s going for it. First thing, Harden’s not the same guy he was three or four years ago, so his market’s not that great. And Morey’s trying to get so much, but he’s not going to get it.”


Bob
MY NOTE:  Morey is completely screwed.  Nobody is going to give him what he wants, Harden has made so much money it's not important to him anymore and, if he doesn't get some real talent back in this, Embiid will leave and then the Sixers will have nothing.  9 years of "The Process", years of unapologetic tanking to get Embiid, Simmons and Fultz, and nothing to show for it.

Thank God I'm not a Sixer fan.



Bob


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Post by gyso Thu Oct 26, 2023 11:32 am

How Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, ex-Celtics fared in new team debuts

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/marcus-smart-robert-williams-ex-144106689.html

Darren Hartwell
Thu, October 26, 2023 at 10:44 AM EDT·4 min read

How Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, ex-Celtics fared in new team debuts originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday both made strong first impressions in their first game with the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. But the same can be said for the players the Celtics lost this offseason.

While Porzingis set a franchise record and Holiday played lockdown defense in Boston's 108-104 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, a quartet of former Celtics made their debuts for their new NBA teams Wednesday night after being traded by Boston this offseason.

All four of those players -- Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon and Grant Williams -- scored in double digits while shooting 50 percent or better from the floor. Here's a quick rundown of their performances.

Marcus Smart, Memphis Grizzlies

Stat line: 17 points, 6 for 11 FG (54.5 percent), 2 for 6 3PT (33.3 percent), three assists, two steals, five turnovers

Smart didn't wait around in his Memphis debut, burying a 3-pointer from one of his favorite spots less than two minutes into the Grizzlies' matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans.



Smart only made one other deep ball but excelled inside the arc, going 4 for 5 from 2-point range.



Smart played second fiddle to Desmond Bane, who racked up 31 points, five rebounds and five assists in Memphis' 111-104 loss. His 17 points were tied for second-most on the team, however, and with Ja Morant sidelined due to suspension, the Grizzlies will be relying on Smart for significant offensive production early in the season.

Robert Williams, Portland Trail Blazers

Stat line: 10 points, 5 for 7 FG (71.4 percent), seven rebounds, three steals, one block

If you're like our Chris Forsberg and will miss Williams' athletic finishes at the rim, at least you can watch him do the same for Portland. Here's Time Lord throwing down an alley-oop and a contested slam off pick-and-roll feeds in the Blazers' loss to the Los Angeles Clippers:





Perhaps the biggest development for Williams, however, was that he successfully made a mid-range shot. The former Celtics big man essentially had no offensive game outside the paint in Boston, so if he can add this to his repertoire, that's great news for Portland.

Malcolm Brogdon, Portland Trail Blazers

Stat line: 20 points, 8 for 16 FG (50 percent) 3 of 5 3PT (60 percent), two rebounds, five assists

After winning Sixth Man of the Year in Boston last season, Brogdon picked up right where he left off as a super sub behind rookie Blazers guard Scoot Henderson. The 30-year-old led Portland in scoring despite playing just 22 minutes off the bench.



Brogdon probably isn't thrilled about being on the lottery-bound Blazers after a deep playoff run with the Celtics last season. But if he continues to produce, he should catch the eye of a contender seeking to acquire him in a trade.

Grant Williams, Dallas Mavericks

Stat line: 17 points, 6 for 11 FG (54.5 percent), 4 for 8 3PT (50 percent), six rebounds, one block

Williams played the "3 and D" role to a tee in his Mavs debut. The sturdy 24-year-old hit four 3-pointers (including one from his "corner office") and guarded multiple positions on defense, even matching up on San Antonio Spurs rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama.



Grant is still Grant, however, and cameras caught Mavs star Luka Doncic telling Williams to stop complaining to the officials after a third-quarter timeout. Some things never change.

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Post by bobc33 Thu Oct 26, 2023 10:22 pm

Mr. Lillard says “Kristaps you want an arms race? I’ll give you an arms race!”

Dude was absolutely brilliant down the stretch as he took over the game and the Bucks hung on to win.

Has the makings of a great season!!!

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Post by bobheckler Fri Oct 27, 2023 6:00 am

The Lakers beat Phoenix by 5 points, 100-95.  Phoenix played without Trevor Booker and Bradley Beal.

A 5 point win over a team missing two of some of the most unstoppable scorers in the NBA.  I would NOT be feeling real great this morning if I was a Laker fan.


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Post by cowens/oldschool Fri Oct 27, 2023 8:32 am

It’s way early, coaches and teams are figuring everything out. Takes at least 20 games for teams to find their identity and rotation. If I was a Suns fan I’d be concerned Beal can’t even get healthy for opening night and Booker, a young player has a take a game off so soon…???

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Post by bobheckler Sun Oct 29, 2023 7:56 am

Smart's Griz lost. To be expected. No Ja, no Adams.

1-2 Cleveland lost to the 2-0 Pacers. The Cavs are 0-2 at home to start the season. They were projected to be good. The Pacers are playing well.

TWolves beat Miami. All that smack the Heat fans were talking? They're now 1-2, 0-2 on the road. Losing to us is understandable, but losing to the Timberpups? I wish I could get a Comments From The Other Side thread for that game for the Heat fans for this one.

The Pelicans beat the Knicks. I wish I could get a Comments From The Other Side thread for that game for the Knick fans too. How can Knick fans ever feel good about themselves?

There are 7 2-0 teams left.


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Post by gyso Sun Oct 29, 2023 8:46 am

Sunday Morning Standings:

Around The League 2023-2024 Season Standi10

Around The League 2023-2024 Season Standi11

https://www.espn.com/nba/standings

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Post by bobheckler Sun Oct 29, 2023 10:05 am

The Memphis Grizzlies have just signed BISmack BiiiYOMMMMMMMMMBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!


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Post by gyso Sun Oct 29, 2023 9:08 pm

Hawks spanking the Bucks.  

113-87, 8:37 in the fourth.

Bucks just took their second time out in the 4th.

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Post by gyso Sun Oct 29, 2023 9:30 pm

gyso wrote:Hawks spanking the Bucks.  

113-87, 8:37 in the fourth.

Bucks just took their second time out in the 4th.

Final, Hawks win, 127-110. Garbage time catchup. It wasn't that close.

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Post by cowens/oldschool Sun Oct 29, 2023 11:07 pm

Ayton and Timelord powerless to stop Embid in Sixer rout

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Post by dbrown4 Mon Oct 30, 2023 5:52 am

Nor were the Bucks able to stop the oncoming train of ATL??!!!!

Dame with a paltry 6/4/5 line in 29 minutes. Might be some buyer's remorse going on in MIL this. Even JT gets double digit points and or rebounds on his occasional 3-82 nights. Haven't watched/scanned the game yet to see who shut him down or if it was fouls. I'll let you know!

Sixers/Nurse have clearly indicated "See yah, wouldn't wanna be yah" to Mr. James "Man On His Own Sinking Island" Hardhead.

Come on Charlotte, I know you just payed Michael $3 Bil, but James would be such a lovely addition to your long list horrific choices. Wait long enough and he'll work for peanuts. "What a maroon!"

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