• One Big Thing: Schrödinger’s Shot

    Stuck three. The clock reads 2.5 seconds. The inbounds pass is tipped on the way, but it lands in your hands with the clock ticking. Two dribbles and you rise up with Matt Barnes uncomfortably close. It’s a shot, yes, but not a true shot. Something between a jumper and a heave. It falls, and we’ve got overtime on tap.

    Unless, of course, we don’t.

    Have you heard of Erwin Schrödinger?

    Born in 1887, Schrödinger was a Nobel Prize winning physicist who specialized in quantum mechanics. He’s most famous for his thought experiment involving a cat in a box which he used to illustrate his issues with the idea of quantum superposition that supposes two quantum states can be added together and form a valid state.

    Essentially, our boy Erwin theoretically placed a cat in a box with some radioactive material and poison to show that superposition will have to succumb to one reality or another. If the idea of superposition holds, at one point the cat will be simultaneously alive and dead. Whether it’s either state depends on when you look in the box, but it doesn’t make sense that the cat can be both alive and dead at once.

    If that doesn’t make sense to you (especially the quantum stuff), don’t worry. In essence, the cat can’t be some weird in-between state of okay-ness. We won’t know what the true result is until we see for ourselves.

    Unless you’re in Secaucus. You can go back and declare a made shot as too late, despite all indications to the parties involved. The shot was both good and not good until we got final word from the replay center. Then we knew for sure, and it didn’t really jive with what we know about how the rules work.

    The ruling to simply deny Terrence Ross a game tying bucket and consider the game over is insane. For the sake of full disclosure, I am a Raptors fan. It doesn’t change the fact that the way the officials handled the final 2.4 seconds of action makes absolutely no sense.

    It’s deeply inconsistent with the rules as they’re administered throughout the rest of the game and calls into question a host of other practices that we often take for granted.

    At any other point in the game, when the clock doesn’t start on time the officials stop play and reset. The team with the ball simply throws it back in play with the correct time on the clock. Why is it that in this instance the Raptors were not afforded that reset? At bare minimum, they should be given those 2.4 seconds to operate.

    The replay center figured that the play took 2.5 seconds to complete and that the timekeeper error allowed it to unfold within the 2.4 that showed on the game clock. That’s totally fair and it seems nigh impossible that the league would somehow come up with and report an incorrect timeline of events. I have no doubts that the play took 2.5 seconds, and it speaks to the capabilities of the replay center that they can get the exact time on these kind of events.

    Though the fact that they could does beg the question- Why are the final two minutes more important than the rest of the game? I understand it’s about game flow, but there are probably a handful of seconds lost to similar errors throughout every game. When games can come down to a few tenths on the clock, that can add up in a big way. Clearly the game’s closing moments are considered “crunch time” and whatnot, but two points at the buzzer are worth the same as two points in the first quarter.

    Again, scrutinizing a semi-arbitrary time frame with far more intensity then the other 46 minutes of action is an issue of practicality; it just serves to underscore how odd the practices are in these situations, particularly when they’re bungled as badly as they were in Sacramento.

    Circling back, it also seems deeply unfair that Ross is penalized for the timekeeper’s mistake. While he may have seen the ball get tipped, he can only operate based on the clock he sees. To expect him to account for the errors of arena staff is unfair and to punish him for it only compounds the issue.

    There’s also the optics of a home team’s arena staff making errors that happen to result in the road team getting the short end of the stick. I absolutely do not believe that this was anything more than an honest mistake, though the precedent set by this call is a potentially dangerous one.

    Some conspiracy theories are floating around, but spare me the “NBA is anti-Canada” line of thinking. The idea that the league would actively try to hamper a team in one of its five largest markets, a conference finalist whose success has pushed basketball’s popularity to new heights in a whole separate country, to the benefit of one of its most dysfunctional franchises is completely asinine. Most conspiracy theories are.

    The Raptors will appeal, of course, but it won’t work. The idea of opening up an arena for 2.4 seconds is good for a chuckle but it really does seem like Toronto will have to accept a loss on this one. That’s suboptimal for their standings, obviously, but it’s bigger than that.

    It’s not about whether he makes or misses on another attempt. It’s about the inconsistent and curious process that the NBA chose to follow.

    Ross made the shot. The cat was alright. The clock started late. The cat was not alright. It can’t be both, and it wasn’t. Everything was fine until they went to the headsets and we closed the box.

Fantasy News

  • Anthony Davis
    PF, Los Angeles Lakers

    When asked by Chicago Tribune reporter K.C Johnson on how he'd feel about wearing a Bulls jersey someday, Anthony Davis said that "If the opportunity ever presents itself and when that time comes, I’d definitely consider it.”

    The chances of that time coming is more likely for 2025 than 2020, but still, until Davis is firmly committed to the Lakers long-term speculation of his future will remain. It's nice to know if you're a Bulls fan that he imagines playing for his home town at some point, but don't expect him bolting LA for them after one season.

    Source: Chicago Tribune

  • Kenny Wooten
    PF, New York Knicks

    The Knicks have signed Kenny Wooten to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Wooten posted 10 blocks in only 52 minutes during Summer League and possesses some serious leaping ability. He will spend most of his time in the G-League and should not be on the radar in drafts.

    Source: Marc Berman of The New York Post

  • Oshae Brissett
    SG-SF, Toronto Raptors

    The Raptors have signed Oshae Brissett to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Brissett, a Toronto native, went undrafted after two seasons at Syracuse and played with the Clippers at Summer League, where he averaged 6.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals in 17.6 minutes a night across five games. This puts Toronto's roster at 20 for the time being, so barring any further transactions the Raptors have their camp group set.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Jordan McLaughlin
    G, Minnesota Timberwolves

    The Wolves have inked point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.

    McLaughlin went undrafted in 2018 after a four-year USC career where he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals in his senior season. After his strong play for the G-League's Long Island Nets last season, he earned a spot on this years Wolves summer league roster where he continued to impress, leading his team to a 6-1 record. He is unlikely to get many NBA minutes this season with Jeff Teague, Shabazz Napier and Tyrone Wallace on the roster.

    Source: Jon Krawczynski on Twitter

  • Emmanuel Mudiay
    PG, Utah Jazz

    The Jazz have officially announced the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay, Jeff Green and Ed Davis.

    All three project to come off the bench this season with Green and Davis part of the frontcourt second string while it is unclear if Mudiay or Dante Exum will assume the backup point guard duties. Davis is coming off a career-high 8.6 rebounds per game in only 17.9 minutes last season while Mudiay enjoyed his best year as a pro with the Knicks but all three players can be left undrafted in standard leagues for the time being.

    Source: NBA.com

  • CJ McCollum
    SG, Trail Blazers

    C.J. McCollum has withdrawn his name from the Team USA training camp and 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Following the trend, McCollumn is the fourth player to withdraw his name this week in order to focus on the upcoming season. The original 20 invites are now down to 16 with the final 12-man roster expected to be announced on August 17.

    Source: Chris Haynes on Twitter

  • Frank Mason
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks have agreed on a two-way contract with Frank Mason III.

    Mason did not get much opportunity with the Kings last year and sat out all of Summer League with a sore hip. He projects to spend most of his time in the G-League and called up only if Eric Bledsoe or George Hill need to miss time. The Bucks recently signed Cameron Reynolds to a two-way deal and still have Bonzie Colson on one from last season so they are one over the limit. They still have an empty roster spot even after signing Kyle Korver so maybe one of their two-ways gets a standard deal instead. Otherwise, one of them will need to be waived.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Kyle Korver
    SF, Milwaukee Bucks

    Kyle Korver has agreed to a one-year deal with the Bucks per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

    This is not the worst landing spot for Korver but he will strictly be a backup and entering his 17th season, he should not be relevant in standard leagues. He was able to knock down 2.1 triples per game in only 20.1 minutes last season so he may have value as a specialist in super-deep leagues however.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Chris Paul has reportedly settled on the idea of starting the season for the Thunder.

    Although Oklahoma City and Miami did not have formal discussions regarding a Chris Paul trade according to Brian Windhorst, the Thunder were willing to discuss giving back the Heat some picks but the Heat would have also wanted Paul to decline his $44 million player option in 2021-2022, which is not going to happen. The Heat want to remain flexible in the next big free agent class of 2021 and adding Paul on his current deal would take that away. Paul's usage rate will likely increase on the Thunder but keep in mind that he has missed at least 21 games in each of the three seasons before drafting him as the 9-time All-Star enters his 15th season in the league.

    Source: ESPN.com

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon withdraws from Team USA training camp for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

    Gordon is the third player to withdraw this week after James Harden and Anthony Davis. The original training camp list of 20 is now down to 17 and the official 12-team roster will be announced on August 17.

    Source: Shams Charanis on Twitter