July 31, 2019, 12:42 am
Sometimes the offseason is more exciting than the actual season. In the midst of signings, it’s easy to jump to Basketball Reference and look at the stats of the added players and cherry-pick good ones to conform to a positive narrative.
It’s the honeymoon stage, and in the honeymoon stage, new players (typically) haven’t been a locker room issue for your team, nor have you watched any of them airmail a bad pass to your favorite team’s opponent in crunch time during a big game.
If you asked each team’s fans to estimate its record relative to Vegas, I bet the fans of most franchises would take the over.
But beyond synergy, beyond age curves, and beyond skill sets, there are other considerations that will impact the immediate performance of a team. Of these, perhaps one of the biggest ones is continuity. Even if a new lineup unit is a match made in heaven, that doesn’t mean that the unit will skyrocket to great performances right away. Players need time to get acclimated to one another and to the systems in which they play.
The Pelicans will have a new defensive coach and will also get major minutes from a number of players who haven’t played together. But in the NBA, particularly this year, this seems to be the rule and not the exception. With that in mind, I sought to find out the answer to this question: how much continuity do the Pelicans have relative to other teams?
I sought to answer this question with a quick skim of how many remaining minutes and points each team has from last season. A big thanks to Jeff Siegel for the rosters (I took them from his great site, Early Bird Rights), and a big thanks to Basketball Reference as well. Players who are free agents were not included in these results and teams with more than 15 players were not edited for the sums of minutes/points.
The results are pretty clear. The Pelicans ranked 24th in remaining minutes and 27th in remaining points. To be clear, this is not meant to be “perfect” analysis: what I am looking for is how different the Pelicans roster is versus those of other teams. The Pelicans rank near the very bottom of the league in these metrics.
Teams like Denver, Milwaukee, and Houston may have an edge early in the season with their excellent rosters and their continuity.
April 9, 2020, 11:55 amZach LaVineSG, Chicago Bulls
The Bulls will hire Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas as their new VP of Basketball Operations, per Adrian Wojnarowski.
A deal between parties is being finalized but Karnisovas has been considered the frontrunner since his name emerged as one of the candidates. Karnisovas is replacing John Paxson and will be tasked with hiring a GM and a number of lower level staff to help reshape Chicago's entire basketball hierarchy. It's a much-needed move for a franchise that's looked listless despite having some talented young players.
April 8, 2020, 7:45 pmZach LaVinePG, Chicago Bulls
Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Denver's GM Arturas Karnisovas completed a "second lengthy interview" for the Bulls' top basketball executive position on Wednesday.
The interview was with owner Jerry Reinsdorf and COO Michael Reinsdorf. Karnisovas is the "clear frontrunner" for the job, and a change in the front office can only be positive for the Bulls franchise and their players' fantasy values. Karnisovas joined the Nuggets as assistant GM in 2013 and was promoted to GM in 2017. During his time in the front office Denver has steadily improved and was headed for a second straight 50-win season. Hopefully he can bring in a coach that can reproduce Denver's offense, as the Bulls currently rank 29th in offensive rating this season.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
April 8, 2020, 4:12 pmTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the NBA and ESPN are close to finalizing a televised Horse competition that expects to feature Trae Young, Chris Paul, Zach LaVine and others.
It is also believed that there will be some participants from the WNBA as well as recent NBA alumni. The NBA has been trying to find any way to get their product back on television and this seems like the easiest way to make that happen in the current environment. The NBA might still be a ways away but NBA fans will be able to watch some of their favorite athletes in a good old fashioned Horse competition.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
April 7, 2020, 11:18 pmLauri MarkkanenPF, Chicago Bulls
Report: Nuggets' General Manager Arturas Karnisovas is the early frontrunner for the Bulls' top exec spot.
The Bulls are finally planning to move on from the Gar Foreman and John Paxson-led front office, though both may stay with the organization. Karnisovas has the draft and development track record that the Bulls are seeking. The search is in the early stages, though the Bulls do plan to have someone hired prior to the resumption of the season.
April 7, 2020, 11:07 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Report: NBA players that received advanced payments or regular payments on a six-month cycle instead of a 12-month cycle could return significant amounts to owners as part of a compensation deal.
Owners may already get back a pro-rated amount of their players' salaries for each game that is not made up this season. And these players that have been paid some of their salary early would need to return the advanced portion, as well. The takeaway here is that both sides would clearly benefit by playing as many regular season games as possible, but the painful talks about how to handle the missing revenue from the inevitable missed games are moving along.
April 7, 2020, 8:39 pmCassius StanleySG, College
Duke freshman shooting guard Cassius Stanley (6-foot-6, 193 pounds) has announced his plans to enter the 2020 NBA draft, after racking up averages of 12.6 PTS, 2.9 REB and 1.1 3-pointers per game, while setting averages of 47.4 percent FG, 36.0 percent from long range and 73.3 percent from the free throw line in his only season with the Blue Devils.
Stanley had a solid shortened (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) freshman year at Duke and has decided to follow the ever-popular one-and-done route for college players coming out of perennial powerhouse programs. While his numbers don't jump off the stat sheet, he is immensely talented and can put the ball in the bucket. At this point, whenever the 2020 draft happens, Stanley projects as a second-round selection.
Source: Adam Zagoria on Twitter
April 7, 2020, 8:29 pmBoth GachSG, College
Sophomore Both Gach, a 6-foot-3 ,183 pound guard out of Utah, announced his plans on Tuesday to enter the 2020 NBA draft after concluding his second (shortened; due to COVID-19 pandemic) season with the Utes, averaging 10.7 PTS, 3.6 REB and 2.9 AST in 2019-20.
Unlike Nico Mannion, who also declared for the draft Tuesday, this announcement was less expected. Gach is likely looking to gauge interest from NBA teams and may not hire an agent, at least not initially. He caught some eyes with his play early in the season, but currently does not project as a selection in either round of the upcoming draft. There's a chance we see Gach back with Utah next season.
Source: Evan Daniels on Twitter
April 7, 2020, 8:13 pmNico MannionPG, College
Nico Mannion, a highly-touted freshman guard out of Arizona, has entered his name into the 2020 NBA draft pool on Tuesday.
Mannion has garnered national attention since his high school days, largely due to his impressive video clips on social media and YouTube. He has been projected as a lottery pick in the 2020 draft for some time now, so it's safe to say this isn't surprising in the least. Mannion has incredible skill as a distributor and despite his low shooting percentages in his lone season at Arizona (39.2 percent FG and 32.7 percent from deep), he should not be on the board beyond the lottery picks, whenever the 2020 draft occurs.
April 7, 2020, 5:48 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
The NBA "would like to have a champion crowned by Labor Day weekend," per Adrian Wojnarowski.
Wojnarowski was on "Get Up" on Tuesday morning with host Mike Greenberg when he gave the latest timeline that he is hearing. Woj made it a point of emphasis that this is the ideal timeline that the NBA is hoping to complete this season by, and added that if this comes to fruition there is no question that the start of next season would be delayed. This is the latest timeline that we are hearing about, and we will have to see how realistic this is as time passes.
April 6, 2020, 9:11 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
NBA teams will not be allowed to conduct in-person or live video workouts for NBA Draft prospects but will be allowed up to four hours of virtual meetings per prospect.
Whenever the draft happens, it will be with the least amount of research in quite a while. Teams will be without tournament game tape for college prospects and without the ability to watch live workouts. Combined with a lack of consensus on who the best players are, this could lead to a wild draft with the eventual best players going much later than usual.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter