Kemba 2021: The Jour-knee Begins

Jimbodandy

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Alright, maybe I'm being a contrarian for contrarians sake, but...

If KW plays well against mediocre teams and poorly against top teams...its his knee.

If KW plays good in the first half and poor in the second half (despite making important shots late)...its his knee.

If KW has good lateral mobility, but isnt getting to the hoop...its his knee.

I'm sure his knee is bothering him. And if it IS the core issue, then all of this makes sense. But I'd assume with a knee issue, youd see it hamper him in more direct/specific ways then, "against good teams", "late in games (unless hes making shots)", etc. He looks spry, hes getting his step backs off the dribble, and his open looks at the arc. Why is everyone here so positive it's the knee and not just Kemba?
Because of the knee surgeries, Synvisc injections in his knee, and Platelet/Stem cell injections in his knee. It's probably his knee.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Why is everyone here so positive it's the knee and not just Kemba?
I'm pretty sure everyone here would be fine if Kemba was just Kemba. Maybe Kemba can't play against good teams but unless that's something that is true to this year only, it shouldn't effect his "box score" performance so much.
 

BigSoxFan

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I would guess Dallas thinks Kemba would give them similar shooting to Hardaway. Hardaway has hit 45% from three with Luka on the court, 31% with him off. I'd expect Luka would lift Kemba up as well.

Dallas may not do it, for a variety of reasons, I was more interested in would the Celtics fans on this board do it.

Are they so low on him they'd just move Kemba for expirings to dump his contract.
I would trade Kemba for just about anything (i.e., expirings, mediocre future picks) to get out from under that contract. I don't think this version of him is good enough to get this team over the hump and I would rather create the flexibility under the luxury tax and hard cap limits to find a better fit and also to have more room for Smart/TL extensions. I'm also bullish on PP, which factors into my opinion.

Kemba's offense is going to continue to be hit or miss but his poor defense will always be a constant. My only concern is really having depth issues since we just lost PP/Smart.
 

mcpickl

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Why? Even if you removed Kemba and took back only expiring salary, the organization would only be about $10 million under the cap next year. About the only difference created by doing that is you’d create the option of using the TPE for a sign and trade player, which we currently cannot really do because of the hard cap. That makes no sense given that all evidence indicates Kemba is still a good player.
Because eventually, the tax man is going to come calling.

The Celtics are already over next years projected tax, assuming Thompson opts in and Tatum makes all-NBA, with only 11 guys under contract with Theis being a UFA.

Then the following year, when Kemba has a 37.6M option that he'll be picking up, Marcus Smart is a free agent.

It's just unrealistic, in my opinion, to have Kemba/Jaylen/Tatum making 100Mish total and be able to afford to fill out a championship roster around them. If Kemba was still an all star level player going forward it might be doable filling out the roster cheaper.

I just have serious doubts he gets back to that level.
 

radsoxfan

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This might go without saying but we are reaching a pretty critical month or two for Kemba. I think Danny was right on when he said "this season will tell us a lot".

Many NBA players have knee issues, meniscus surgery, arthritis, etc and still are able to compete at a high level..... sometimes. The docs know what his knee looks like but still probably don't know exactly how he will respond to the injections, time off, and rehab.

Unfortunately, the longer you go without being particularly good, the higher the chances we are reaching the end of the road for a return to something close All-Star level play. We have to account for the rust factor and trying to get back up to speed, but now that those first few weeks are out the way, we should get a good picture where he really is over the next month or two.

Once you start getting into 1+ year of poor play and sitting out due to arthritis on the wrong wide of 30, then it starts to really look dire (see: Blake Griffin).
 

benhogan

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I agree with this but I'm curious, knowing what we know now about what Brown and Tatum are capable of in 2021, who would the ideal 3rd "all-star caliber" player be? Regardless of position, who would you pick to be their complement? Not thinking about best in the NBA types, but the tiers below.

Malcom Brogdon has been mentioned as a great fit and Kemba alternative that many here wanted. Maybe Jrue Holiday?
Gordon Hayward...just joking.

The Celtics will have options at the trade deadline and plenty of opportunities this Summer. Danny has a $28.5MM TPE + younguns + draft picks his options are limitless. But he'll need to quickly address the Kemba situation

How far has Kembas stock fallen on this board? If you could just get out from his contract for expirings, would you want to?

Say Kemba for Tim Hardaway Jr. and James Johnson?

Has his stock fallen that far, or no?
Yes, he's AMC without the Reddit mob... No-brainer, in a heartbeat, for all the reasons @BigSoxFan stated above

and if they want to go nuts with the CAP next year Danny still has the Hayward $28.5MM TPE that he can use in the Summer. (Collins sign & trade please, probably getting the max, so not happening)

Doubt you'll get many replies. KW's upside is so limited (esp playing with JayCrew) and his downside is Cavs IT4 by seasons end



.
 
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Imbricus

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This might go without saying but we are reaching a pretty critical month or two for Kemba. I think Danny was right on when he said "this season will tell us a lot".
Yeah, I struggled with chronic knee pain once, and I've known people who had operations to fix their knee pain, and Kemba's first week back feeling spry and quick doesn't mean anything.

I know someone who had arthroscopy and immediately afterwards bragged about how great his knee felt. A couple of months later, he was dragging his leg behind him, like he had been shot. So I think this is spot on: I'd wait to pass a verdict on the success of Kemba's procedure until two months after his return.

Speaking of which: Hope I'm wrong but I think the Celtics brought him back too early. I would've left him to rehab for an extra month at least. We don't need him early in the season and every extra week of rehab improves the chances of success.
 

jmcc5400

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He sure did. And he’s really competing on defense. His play was probably the most encouraging thing about last night.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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He had a nice 4th Q against a good team last night. Maybe hold off on the fork in him for just now.
I've been told repeatedly in several threads that his poor play can only be attributed to his knee. If he plays well, it's only because hes playing shitters.

Follow the script, bro.
 

Jimbodandy

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Kamba had a good game. He'll need a lot more of those before anyone would take that contract
Yeah if he does this for a month straight, the Knicks will pick up the phone maybe. I'd love to be wrong about him, really love it.

But I'm 52 and have a desk job. And if I already had Synvisc and they since moved on to platelets/stem cells, I'd be thinking about adding a bathroom on the first floor.
 
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radsoxfan

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Ugly stat line today for Kemba. 4-11 on 3s. 0-9 on 2s. The best defense against the Celtics is strangely enough when Kemba beats his man and gets into the paint, nothing good happens for the Celtics at that point.

In the "good column":
-at least managed to beat his man a handful of times, lateral quickness is at least partially intact
-good separation on a few step back jumpers

In the "bad column":
-cannot elevate or finish at all, vertical athleticism clearly not good right now
-not shooting well even when he gets to his spots, limited elevation might be throwing him off


I still think the next month or two are crucial, and we can't make too much of any single game. But he stringing together more bad than good right now.
 

Euclis20

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When your starting backcourt is under 12 feet combined and shoots 5-26 with just 2 assists and 3 turnovers, you're not going to win much. I'm all for letting him continue to work back into shape, just because that's the only option with upside right now. To move his contract they'd have to attach positive assets in any trade, hurting the team both now and in the near future.
 

benhogan

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Ugly stat line today for Kemba. 4-11 on 3s. 0-9 on 2s. The best defense against the Celtics is strangely enough when Kemba beats his man and gets into the paint, nothing good happens for the Celtics at that point.

In the "good column":
-at least managed to beat his man a handful of times, lateral quickness is at least partially intact
-good separation on a few step back jumpers

In the "bad column":
-cannot elevate or finish at all, vertical athleticism clearly not good right now
-not shooting well even when he gets to his spots, limited elevation might be throwing him off


I still think the next month or two are crucial, and we can't make too much of any single game. But he stringing together more bad than good right now.
even if his shot comes back, his defense, style of play, and contract are the real problem here
 

BigSoxFan

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even if his shot comes back, his defense, style of play, and contract are the real problem here
He really needs to move to the bench. Kemba taking shots away from the Jay’s is bad business. Put PP in there and move Kemba to the 6th man role that many have talked about.

His ball dominance is less of an issue when one of the Jay’s goes to the bench. There really aren’t any realistic trade landing spots for Kemba now that NY went Rose so we need to focus on maximizing his effectiveness.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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Anyone know of a place to get shooting stats by zone? I'd really like to see Kemba's shots in the paint. Bonus points if it shows how many get blocked. It feels like he hasn't hit more than a couple layups, so I want to see if the numbers bear that out.
 

benhogan

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Anyone know of a place to get shooting stats by zone? I'd really like to see Kemba's shots in the paint. Bonus points if it shows how many get blocked. It feels like he hasn't hit more than a couple layups, so I want to see if the numbers bear that out.
it ain't pretty. layups .419...not including today's massacre

 

HowBoutDemSox

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I’d be in favor of playing Pritchard with Kemba, with Pritchard taking primary ballhandling duties while Kemba can move off ball and shoot catch and shoot 3s as the offense creates openings.
 

benhogan

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I’d be in favor of playing Pritchard with Kemba, with Pritchard taking primary ballhandling duties while Kemba can move off ball and shoot catch and shoot 3s as the offense creates openings.
still not hiding his defense and just taking shots away from JayCrew & PP

we all know the answer, just don't want to ask the question
 

Euclis20

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Anyone know of a place to get shooting stats by zone? I'd really like to see Kemba's shots in the paint. Bonus points if it shows how many get blocked. It feels like he hasn't hit more than a couple layups, so I want to see if the numbers bear that out.
Bref shows shooting percentage by distance (by feet: 0-3, 3-10, 10-16, 16-3p and 3p), which is close. It's a super small sample, but from 0-3 feet (we'll call that shots at the rim) he's hitting .556, right about at his career average (although it's been higher in his all star seasons). From 10-16 and 16-3p, he's well above his career averages (his shooting % on deep 2s is a career high). From 3-10 he's hitting a brutal .250, but he's never really been great at those (.327 for his career, .273 last year). His 2p% is actually slightly above his career average, the real problem is that he's shooting under 30% from 3 (although I believe today will bring him above that mark).

Really too small of a sample to draw any useful conclusions from his shot chart.
 

ifmanis5

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It's a disaster. He can't even rack up assists.
He's like a fastball pitcher who lost his fastball and now has to re-learn to pitch with change-ups and location. Hitting his wide open 3s would be a good place to start.
 

Cesar Crespo

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still not hiding his defense and just taking shots away from JayCrew & PP

we all know the answer, just don't want to ask the question
We are stuck with him so I'm not sure what the question is? Unless you mean the obvious should he be moved to the bench question. Or do you mean the "Does he have a fork in him?" question? Still stuck with him.
 

128

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It's a disaster. He can't even rack up assists.
He's like a fastball pitcher who lost his fastball and now has to re-learn to pitch with change-ups and location. Hitting his wide open 3s would be a good place to start.
Kemba was 4 for 11 on 3s today. That's not great, but it's not terrible either. Much more concerning were his inability to finish on drives and his sloppy passing/ballhandling.

His defense stunk, but he's never been good at that end.
 

radsoxfan

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I think the models are probably slow to react in the situation of injury/arthritis and past prime age meeting together, but interesting to see where Kemba is right now on DARKO model. I put Kyrie and IT in there for comparison.

It's very clear at this minute Kemba is not close to as good as the model suggests, but I think his semi-recent past is probably better than some are giving him credit for. His 3rd team All-NBA season and All-Star appearance seem so long ago.

Again, next couple of months will be critical to see how much of a sunk cost the rest of the contract is.
 

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benhogan

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We are stuck with him so I'm not sure what the question is? Unless you mean the obvious should he be moved to the bench question. Or do you mean the "Does he have a fork in him?" question? Still stuck with him.
I was half-joking...but I liked @mcpickl fake trade idea a couple of days ago.

it was something like Hardaway/James Johnson (Dallas) expirings for Kemba.

If there is anyway Brad can figure out rotations/matchups/days off that can build up any kind of Kemba value, he should do it.
 

lovegtm

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I was half-joking...but I liked @mcpickl fake trade idea a couple of days ago.

it was something like Hardaway/James Johnson (Dallas) expirings for Kemba.

If there is anyway Brad can figure out rotations/matchups/days off that can build up any kind of Kemba value, he should do it.
Why would Dallas do that?
 

BigSoxFan

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Why would Dallas do that?
They wouldn’t unless we attached real value to Kemba. Other teams can see the same exact thing we’re seeing. We’re stuck with this guy, for better or worse (likely for worse).
 

benhogan

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Why would Dallas do that?
Like all fake trades around here, it was more of an exercise.

Need to try and build Kemba's value. If that means every other game, 25mpg, majority of his minutes against the opponents 2nd units Brad has to do it.

Right now PP gives the Celtics a better chance of winning on defense alone + there is always the Jays timeline argument.

I'm sure I'll get pushback from others, not you, but I'm moving on from Kemba as quickley as possible

The team I would have targeted if the Celtics were to try and move Kemba is Dallas.

They had interest in him before he signed here, are floundering right now, and don't own their own pick this year. And unless the cap somehow jumps up significantly, or Josh Richardson opts out, won't have an easy path to max cap space this offseason in their last shot at free agency for a while because Lukas new deal will kick in the following summer. The pool of players available has already dried up for this offseason FA anyway, assuming Kawhi stays in LA, maybe the best UFA is Victor Oladipo?

How far has Kembas stock fallen on this board? If you could just get out from his contract for expirings, would you want to?

Say Kemba for Tim Hardaway Jr. and James Johnson?

Has his stock fallen that far, or no?
I would guess Dallas thinks Kemba would give them similar shooting to Hardaway. Hardaway has hit 45% from three with Luka on the court, 31% with him off. I'd expect Luka would lift Kemba up as well.

Dallas may not do it, for a variety of reasons, I was more interested in would the Celtics fans on this board do it.

Are they so low on him they'd just move Kemba for expirings to dump his contract.
 
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benhogan

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They wouldn’t unless we attached real value to Kemba. Other teams can see the same exact thing we’re seeing. We’re stuck with this guy, for better or worse (likely for worse).
what's real value?

I guess, what's the cost of unloading $70MM for 2 seasons of Kemba this Summer
 

BigSoxFan

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The Horford-to-OKC deal is probably a good starting point.
Yeah, I was thinking something like that but maybe even more since Horford is less cooked than Kemba. And it basically cost Philly Theo Maledon and a 2025 1st to get rid of him. Maybe Romeo and a future pick gets it done?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Yeah, I was thinking something like that but maybe even more since Horford is less cooked than Kemba. And it basically cost Philly Theo Maledon and a 2025 1st to get rid of him. Maybe Romeo and a future pick gets it done?
Al had one more year too though.
 

osori

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Hypothetically assuming he doesn't get much better (hope that doesn't happen), where does he rank among the worst contracts right now in the NBA?

Just below Griffin and Westbrook?
 

BigSoxFan

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Hypothetically assuming he doesn't get much better (hope that doesn't happen), where does he rank among the worst contracts right now in the NBA?

Just below Griffin and Westbrook?
Definitely a bottom 5 contract and probably bottom 3. I think Kemba's contract is even worse than Griffin's because it is a year longer. Here are the balances after this year of some bad contracts:

Kemba (2/73)
Griffin (1/39)
Love (2/60)
Westbrook (2/91)
Wall (2/92)
Wiggins (2/65)
Horford (2/54)
Hield (3/60)

If his poor performance persists, I think you can make an argument that Kemba has the worst contract in the NBA. Wall and Westbrook are overpaid and make more but they are currently better players.
 

chilidawg

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Some excerpts from the Athletic:

"But the frustration leaked out on the first play of the second quarter, when the defender grabbed Walker’s waist coming over a dribble handoff directly in front of the official and Walker tried to quickly go up out of control to get a three-shot foul, only to hear no whistle.

"On the next play, Walker attacked the lane and put a finger roll off the glass that was spiked away without a goaltending call.

"It’s clear that Walker has not found his rhythm yet and is sometimes forcing up shots that are out of his natural game. But had he gotten the two fouls and goal tend calls on those plays, he would’ve had at least a dozen total points created in that one stretch. That looks a lot better than the 14 points and two assists that ended up on his stat line, though it’s apparent that he needs more room to operate if he is going to make a full bounce-back."

After a good game against the Clippers, last nights numbers might not be as bad as they looked (I didn't see the game, so maybe not).

 

Light-Tower-Power

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7 points on 2/12 shooting last night while once again getting completely destroyed on the defensive end. They’re 3-7 when Kemba plays (yes, I know that coincides with other guys being out), and he has pretty clearly become a net negative on both ends of the floor. When do we reach the breaking point where Brad is forced to do something other than trot him out there for 30 minutes a night?
 

lovegtm

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7 points on 2/12 shooting last night while once again getting completely destroyed on the defensive end. They’re 3-7 when Kemba plays (yes, I know that coincides with other guys being out), and he has pretty clearly become a net negative on both ends of the floor. When do we reach the breaking point where Brad is forced to do something other than trot him out there for 30 minutes a night?
Probably not until they're convinced that he can't work himself back into shape and find a rhythm. The upside of getting that to happen is too high, both for on-court and trade options.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Probably not until they're convinced that he can't work himself back into shape and find a rhythm. The upside of getting that to happen is too high, both for on-court and trade options.
Probably, yes, but I think we're on a wing and a prayer at this point. He hasn't improved one iota since he came back.

Of course, there isn't much that can be done if he's truly IT level cooked. We're kind of screwed.
 

BigSoxFan

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I know he's trying to work his way back but the guy is taking almost 16 shots / game in roughly 27 mpg. He simply needs to shoot less, especially when the Jay's are both in the lineup. He's now hit only 31% (60 for 194) of his 3's from the bubble playoffs to now. He's only hitting 40% of his 2pt shots.

As we all can see clearly with our own eyes, this guy is a huge problem for this team. Nobody is trading for this contract without significant assets being sent with him so I don't really care about trying to build up any trade value. Compete sunk cost. Once Smart is back, Kemba needs to play a lot less. Would much rather try to see if Pritchard can get it going again.
 

the moops

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Probably not until they're convinced that he can't work himself back into shape and find a rhythm. The upside of getting that to happen is too high, both for on-court and trade options.
Also, what are the other options with Smart out and Pritchard just coming back from injury. Walker has been bad, but he is no worse than Teague or Edwards or Waters.
 

Light-Tower-Power

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Also, what are the other options with Smart out and Pritchard just coming back from injury. Walker has been bad, but he is no worse than Teague or Edwards or Waters.
I'd argue that Teague is a bit better on the defensive end, but yeah. It's unfortunate that this is a true statement.
 

Devizier

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I’ve been more patient with Kemba than most of you all, but he looks like burnt toast out there. The Celtics have been much better with him off the floor.
 

radsoxfan

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9 games into the season for Kemba and it doesn't look good. Certainly looks like a different player than the start of last year.

I was suprised to see he is averaging 21 points/36 min but he is definitely taking too many shots and the efficiency isn't there. Nothing good happens when he gets into the paint right now.

As I said last week, I think you have to give him a little time to get the rust off but we are getting beyond that now. Would be great to see him string a few good games together in the next month. I haven't given up all hope, but if he can't do that relatively soon, it could be curtains.
 

NomarsFool

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It may be ugly, but I wonder if having him play the role that Tatum played last year as the single starter on the floor with the bench guys (or coming in with the bench guys), might be the best solution? That second unit is pretty much full of guys who can't or couldn't shoot, so letting Kemba bomb away and hopefully find his stroke might not be that bad. At least it isn't taking shots away from JB/JT.

His game is crap right now, completely agree. The question is, what's the best path to getting something useful out of him? Is it to have him switch to a reduced role or to have him try and shoot through it?
 

128

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It may be ugly, but I wonder if having him play the role that Tatum played last year as the single starter on the floor with the bench guys (or coming in with the bench guys), might be the best solution? That second unit is pretty much full of guys who can't or couldn't shoot, so letting Kemba bomb away and hopefully find his stroke might not be that bad.
That statement is as sad as it is true.