Mavs give up

HomeRunBaker

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OK, so not Lebron. You are calling KG, Kareem, and Pettit overrated?
Being some old dude who remembers Kareem’s playing days I can confidently say that any discussion about him being a Top-5 All-Timer would mean he is overrated. He was criticized by a wide range of people for many years for being a dog (the lazy kind, not the MMA kind) to the point that it was a running joke in the movie Airplane. Magic extended his career by many years.

As others have said, that doesn’t mean he sucks. It simply means he wasn’t as good as some make him out to be. He was still a great player especially in his prime.
 

Jimbodandy

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I jumped in to point out that an argument against Luka that is based on "well he hasn't dragged a team to a championship yet and he's 24, he's no spring chicken!" is nonsense, because even a lot of the all-time greats hadn't won a championship by age 24, nevermind dragged a subpar team to one. So that's a pretty silly way to try and argue against the merits of an all-NBA level player.

Nobody was comparing Luka Doncic to an all-time great.
I'm tired of arguing, but I do see where we disconnected and how you interpreted what I wrote.

When Luka was 18, everyone was justifiably starry-eyed at his ceiling. At 24, with no real growth in any area since 19, we know what Luka probably is (absent Damascus moment). That's still a great player. But I don't see any reason to forecast improvement for him. That's all I was saying, not that his resume at 24 means that he'll never win a ring. I think that it's way more likely than not that he wins a ring or two in his career.
 

Smokey Joe

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I don't really care about the fake trade since I've said a few times that other teams would bid multiples of what Boston would.

I suspect other teams would trip over themselves for a 3x All NBA player while Brad may feel that's not the best metric to measure players.
I agree with you but, who has a player they would put in the offer that’s better then JB. Someone mentioned that OKC would jump in, But would they offer SGA? I doubt it.
 

The Social Chair

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Since 98, approx. 30% of players selected at 10 made an all star team. That doesn't include 6th man of the year Jason Terry or future all star Mikal Bridges
 

benhogan

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I agree with you but, who has a player they would put in the offer that’s better then JB. Someone mentioned that OKC would jump in, But would they offer SGA? I doubt it.
If Dallas was forced to deal Luka I'd expect they'd go into a full-blown "process type" rebuild which means they'd want tons & tons of draft capital from a .500ish team, not a team that is the favorite to win the Championship.

The Celtic picks will be late 1sts for the foreseeable future (as long as Tatum is here) which makes them not very valuable. For example, one (1) Toronto, or Orlando, or OKC First Round pick is worth more than two (2) Celtic Firsts IMO.
I guess Dallas could take (in the proposed fake trade) all of the Celtics draft capital + Marcus Smart (local kid) + then use Brown to get themselves even more picks.

Luka is great, a TOP15 talent (All NBA player), but don't see him being the perfect fit here, don't see him demanding a trade to Boston, and don't see Celtic draft capital making them salivate.

I've posted thoughts on "fake trades" for Jaylen before (if he forces his way out). Here's a short list of players that would also need lots of picks attached to make a Luka/Dallas deal work

1. JJJ + Desmond Bane
2. Anthony Edwards
3. Mikal Bridges + Nic Claxton+
4. Pascal Siakam + OG Anunoby+
5. Devin Booker
6. Bam Adebayo++
7. Julius Randle+
8. Brandon Ingram++
9. Zach LaVine++
 
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InstaFace

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I'm tired of arguing, but I do see where we disconnected and how you interpreted what I wrote.

When Luka was 18, everyone was justifiably starry-eyed at his ceiling. At 24, with no real growth in any area since 19, we know what Luka probably is (absent Damascus moment). That's still a great player. But I don't see any reason to forecast improvement for him. That's all I was saying, not that his resume at 24 means that he'll never win a ring. I think that it's way more likely than not that he wins a ring or two in his career.
Well now that's much more of a reasonable thing to say. I'm not sure I agree, but it's totally fair. I do wonder what the aging curves look like for all-NBA players, whether they still get better from 24 onward or not. While I imagine we can think of exceptions on either side, I'd be interested if someone knows the odds.
 

nighthob

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I mean Luka’s faults are effort ones, so he really does need a Damascus moment. And yes, guys that regularly show up in training camp out of shape and can’t even be bothered to play D are guys that do the things they like on the floor and little else. Boston had one of those guys once (Al Jefferson) and luckily converted him into a DPoY level player.

Dallas is fortunate that theirs has a much broader offensive game. But building around guys like that is still tough. I suppose Brooklyn could do it with their collection of 3&D guys. Unfortunately they’d have to send some of them to Dallas to make a deal work. And then they’d find themselves in the same situation.
 

the moops

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The Celtic picks will be late 1sts for the foreseeable future (as long as Tatum is here) which makes them not very valuable. For example, one (1) Toronto, or Orlando, or OKC First Round pick is worth more than two (2) Celtic Firsts IMO.
But if those teams trade for Luka, and all they are giving up is future picks, those teams will be as good as Boston, or at least close enough that the picks are pretty much even.
 

benhogan

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But if those teams trade for Luka, and all they are giving up is future picks, those teams will be as good as Boston, or at least close enough that the picks are pretty much even.
The road to LUKA getting dealt is long & circuitous. He's the face of that franchise and Dallas will fight that tooth/nail.
I'm really just guessing at what Dallas would want in a "blow it up situation" (since I think that's where Dallas is headed).

The team that has the matching salaries, young players, draft assets, cap space, and no way to attract free agents is UTAH. Two to three future Celtic draft picks/swaps pale in comparison to Danny's bazooka (Utah picks, 5 seasons of the CAVs, 5 seasons of the Wolves, Nets '23, Lakers '27). Put it this way, I believe Utah's 2023 First round pick alone is more valuable than the Celtic's next 2 First round picks. That's how much Utah dwarfs Boston's draft capital.

I'd expect DAR to be involved in every disgruntled NBA All-Star PG/WING that wants to be moved or is "on a blow it up situation" (while retaining cost-controlled players: Markkanen/Kessler). A quick rebuild would be right in Ainge's wheelhouse since they could easily add two All-Stars to Lauri/Walker with a young, up-and-coming HC.

https://kslsports.com/491763/utah-jazz-draft-pick-asset-tracker/
 
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bosockboy

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The road to LUKA getting dealt is long & circuitous. He's the face of that franchise and Dallas will fight that tooth/nail.
I'm really just guessing at what Dallas would want in a "blow it up situation" (since I think that's where Dallas is headed).

The team that has the matching salaries, young players, draft assets, cap space, and no way to attract free agents is UTAH. Two to three future Celtic draft picks/swaps pale in comparison to Danny's bazooka (Utah picks, 5 seasons of the CAVs, 5 seasons of the Wolves, Nets '23, Lakers '27). Put it this way, I believe Utah's 2023 First round pick alone is more valuable than the Celtic's next 2 First round picks. That's how much Utah dwarfs Boston's draft capital.

I'd expect DAR to be involved in every disgruntled NBA All-Star PG/WING that wants to be moved or is "on a blow it up situation" (while retaining cost-controlled players: Markkanen/Kessler). A quick rebuild would be right in Ainge's wheelhouse since they could easily add two All-Stars to Lauri/Walker with a young, up-and-coming HC.

https://kslsports.com/491763/utah-jazz-draft-pick-asset-tracker/
Be a massive bet on him being happy playing in SLC.
 

benhogan

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Be a massive bet on him being happy playing in SLC.
Is Dallas all that much better than SLC? I've been to both and probably like SLC more (skiing & all)

Obviously, most players want to play in Miami/Los Angeles. BUT winning solves all...adding Luka + another All-Star in a weaker WC would lead to winning in Utah.

Most NBA players live out of a suitcase during the season. A lot of them keep pads in South Beach or Malibu if that's what they pine for.
 

PedroKsBambino

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I would say being a 20-something non-mormon in SLC is a lot harder than being in any other NBA city, and even moreso than a top-10 city for activity like Dallas.

I like SLC, personally, but in terms of religion, social activity, and racial diversity it is a really unique place which does not fit many in NBA all that well.
 

joe dokes

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Too bad there's no coherent way to weight losses in some way to distinguish between sucking and whatever the Mavs are doing.
 

benhogan

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I would say being a 20-something non-mormon in SLC is a lot harder than being in any other NBA city, and even moreso than a top-10 city for activity like Dallas.

I like SLC, personally, but in terms of religion, social activity, and racial diversity it is a really unique place which does not fit many in NBA all that well.
SLC probably leads to Danny aggressively playing (overpaying?) in the trade market for All-Stars since Free Agency isn't even an option.

I don't expect Utah to be making all those draft selections. Danny collected them to go get players he can Super MAX in Utah.
 

Deathofthebambino

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If Dallas was forced to deal Luka I'd expect they'd go into a full-blown "process type" rebuild which means they'd want tons & tons of draft capital from a .500ish team, not a team that is the favorite to win the Championship.

The Celtic picks will be late 1sts for the foreseeable future (as long as Tatum is here) which makes them not very valuable. For example, one (1) Toronto, or Orlando, or OKC First Round pick is worth more than two (2) Celtic Firsts IMO.
I guess Dallas could take (in the proposed fake trade) all of the Celtics draft capital + Marcus Smart (local kid) + then use Brown to get themselves even more picks.

Luka is great, a TOP15 talent (All NBA player), but don't see him being the perfect fit here, don't see him demanding a trade to Boston, and don't see Celtic draft capital making them salivate.

I've posted thoughts on "fake trades" for Jaylen before (if he forces his way out). Here's a short list of players that would also need lots of picks attached to make a Luka/Dallas deal work
I agree with every post you've made in this thread, and a lot of what @Jimbodandy has been saying.

Luka is a great, all world, offensive player with the ball in his hands. Full stop.

And that's it. Great, he's averaged 32.5ppg in 28 playoff games. But he's done that on a ridiculous 39.8% usage. He's a crazy high usage guy that doesn't shoot well from outside, which IMO, is about the worst possible for Tatum we could find. Personally, and I'm not even a Dame fan, I think I'd rather have him paired with Tatum than Luka.

I think folks continually underestimate how good a fit guys like Smart and Brown are around Tatum. If folks don't like how loose Brown can get with the ball at times, Luka is right there with him in that respect. And again, if Brown got to the line at the rates that Luka does, there would be virtually no difference between their Pointz totals. Folks here don't trust Jaylen at the free throw line in crunch time. well.....

Obviously, if Luka somehow ended up here, I'd enjoy the hell out of watching him with the ball in his hands, but I'd be tearing my hair out watching every other part of his game and I think it would be a brutal, brutal fit for Tatum personally.
 

Royal Reader

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I would say being a 20-something non-mormon in SLC is a lot harder than being in any other NBA city, and even moreso than a top-10 city for activity like Dallas.

I like SLC, personally, but in terms of religion, social activity, and racial diversity it is a really unique place which does not fit many in NBA all that well.
Sure, but Luka is white and not American. I remember reading a while back about Toronto being a good fit for Euro guys because to them it's no more foreign that the States. Maybe he likes beaches.
Maybe he's all about the low taxes, maybe he's an outdoorsy type, maybe he sits in his house playing video games between games.

I have no idea. Slovenia is mountainous. Has anything been published about his lifestyle?
 

HomeRunBaker

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Sure, but Luka is white and not American. I remember reading a while back about Toronto being a good fit for Euro guys because to them it's no more foreign that the States. Maybe he likes beaches.
Maybe he's all about the low taxes, maybe he's an outdoorsy type, maybe he sits in his house playing video games between games.

I have no idea. Slovenia is mountainous. Has anything been published about his lifestyle?
He is in the front row of an awful lot of big events and always with a huge smile on his face. Kid seems to be living his best life.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Sure, but Luka is white and not American. I remember reading a while back about Toronto being a good fit for Euro guys because to them it's no more foreign that the States. Maybe he likes beaches.
Maybe he's all about the low taxes, maybe he's an outdoorsy type, maybe he sits in his house playing video games between games.

I have no idea. Slovenia is mountainous. Has anything been published about his lifestyle?
All true. And....Toronto is a world-class city in terms of activities, SLC is not remotely close to being one.

Look, there's plenty of players who have liked being in SLC and stayed there. It is not a binary thing. He's in media a lot at events, so he is not a homebody (IIRC, one thing Karl Malone liked is he was basically just a homebody and SLC let him be that comfortably without any pressure). He also is a basketball player, so he may care more about the fit and team than the city - KG had reservations about Boston as a city but his wife or friends said "it's a great basketball fit and that's what you care about" which turned out to be true. For me, Jazz are the single toughest "will he stay?" city in the NBA and that matters for Luka given his contract status...but I don't know the answer. And, as others noted, Utah has to take some chances on these things
 

Auger34

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I agree with every post you've made in this thread, and a lot of what @Jimbodandy has been saying.

Luka is a great, all world, offensive player with the ball in his hands. Full stop.

And that's it. Great, he's averaged 32.5ppg in 28 playoff games. But he's done that on a ridiculous 39.8% usage. He's a crazy high usage guy that doesn't shoot well from outside, which IMO, is about the worst possible for Tatum we could find. Personally, and I'm not even a Dame fan, I think I'd rather have him paired with Tatum than Luka.

I think folks continually underestimate how good a fit guys like Smart and Brown are around Tatum. If folks don't like how loose Brown can get with the ball at times, Luka is right there with him in that respect. And again, if Brown got to the line at the rates that Luka does, there would be virtually no difference between their Pointz totals. Folks here don't trust Jaylen at the free throw line in crunch time. well.....

Obviously, if Luka somehow ended up here, I'd enjoy the hell out of watching him with the ball in his hands, but I'd be tearing my hair out watching every other part of his game and I think it would be a brutal, brutal fit for Tatum personally.
Agree with all of this. Completely transcendent with the ball in his hands but there’s more to the game than that….especially when you’ve got another great young player on the team.

There’s no way to quantify this and I am diving into Bill Simmons territory here…but if you’re at the level of Tatum (or even just a good offensive player), why the fuck would you want to play with Luka? The guy pounds the air out of the ball and when he doesn’t have the ball he stands still behind the arc like he’s not even a part of the play.

@nighthob brought it up earlier but players like that require a very specific type of roster and player to thrive. You basically need 3 and D wings, who are either before their prime or after their prime so they don’t demand the ball more and are comfortable standing in the corners not doing much, plus a center who is willing to set picks and rim run all day.

I like what Boston has built with their offensive identity with passing and movement. Getting Luka all but assures that identity is destroyed….and that’s without mentioning defense
 

benhogan

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I agree with every post you've made in this thread, and a lot of what @Jimbodandy has been saying.

Luka is a great, all world, offensive player with the ball in his hands. Full stop.

And that's it. Great, he's averaged 32.5ppg in 28 playoff games. But he's done that on a ridiculous 39.8% usage. He's a crazy high usage guy that doesn't shoot well from outside, which IMO, is about the worst possible for Tatum we could find. Personally, and I'm not even a Dame fan, I think I'd rather have him paired with Tatum than Luka.

I think folks continually underestimate how good a fit guys like Smart and Brown are around Tatum. If folks don't like how loose Brown can get with the ball at times, Luka is right there with him in that respect. And again, if Brown got to the line at the rates that Luka does, there would be virtually no difference between their Pointz totals. Folks here don't trust Jaylen at the free throw line in crunch time. well.....

Obviously, if Luka somehow ended up here, I'd enjoy the hell out of watching him with the ball in his hands, but I'd be tearing my hair out watching every other part of his game and I think it would be a brutal, brutal fit for Tatum personally.
Welcome the waters warm, I guess you're part of the few that has Luka all wrong ;)

All Boston needs to do is sign the JAYs to Super MAX deals, let them continue to work their asses off every summer, watch the rest of the NBA superstars age out (Milwaukee is the oldest NBA team BTW), and collect multiple Championships over the next 5 seasons.

Just add a defense-first, springy Center to back-up TimeLord this summer and call it a day.

Brad has all the chips, he doesn't need to bet big, just lean on the desperate/small pile teams
 

Royal Reader

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All true. And....Toronto is a world-class city in terms of activities, SLC is not remotely close to being one.

Look, there's plenty of players who have liked being in SLC and stayed there. It is not a binary thing. He's in media a lot at events, so he is not a homebody (IIRC, one thing Karl Malone liked is he was basically just a homebody and SLC let him be that comfortably without any pressure). He also is a basketball player, so he may care more about the fit and team than the city - KG had reservations about Boston as a city but his wife or friends said "it's a great basketball fit and that's what you care about" which turned out to be true. For me, Jazz are the single toughest "will he stay?" city in the NBA and that matters for Luka given his contract status...but I don't know the answer. And, as others noted, Utah has to take some chances on these things
All fair. The "At Events" thing was a part I've not seen covered anywhere which supports the argument. I guess I'm still thinking he's probably less likely to be put off by the downside than the average NBA star. Ultimately it doesn't seem like Danny acquired all those picks to make all of them, and the "But SLC" issue applies across the board.
 

ManicCompression

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@nighthob brought it up earlier but players like that require a very specific type of roster and player to thrive. You basically need 3 and D wings, who are either before their prime or after their prime so they don’t demand the ball more and are comfortable standing in the corners not doing much, plus a center who is willing to set picks and rim run all day.
Agree with you. It seems like two things can be true simultaneously:

- Luka is a generationally skilled player who can do a lot with very little. He can raise the floor of a shitty team pretty reliably because he alone can drive a top offense without much help.

- Luka caps the ceiling of teams because his style of play is so heliocentric and he doesn't put the team in a position to succeed when he's not touching the ball. Like Harden, he doesn't even feign effort when another player is running the offense, he sucks on D, he's horrifically out of shape for just a normal 24 year old let alone an NBA player, and he has a bad attitude. The Mavs are currently designed to get Luka stats and accolades, not to win games. Until he changes the aforementioned shortcomings, that will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

This year could be a wake up call and shows up for training camp finally looking like he didn't just sit around and drink beer for a summer, but it doesn't seem likely. Like other great players before him, he's got to take some ownership of the situation there and see that he's contributing to their crappy record.
 

lovegtm

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People really don't seem to be able to acknowledge how good Luka is when discussing his flaws. "Horrifically out of shape for a 24 year-old", "best player on an 8 seed".....completely ridiculous.

And I'm someone who has always thought that Tatum should be rated higher than Luka due to his all-around game, even when Luka was getting all the consensus accolades!

Take the hypothetical Jazz trade above: Luka+Lauri+Kessler+role players is instantly one of the better teams in the west. Depending on how good the role players are and how long it takes to collect them, they'd have a shot at making the Finals within a season or two.

People are acting like Luka is Trae, and he's a couple clear notches above that.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Agreed---Luka has some blemishes and is also a historically spectacular offensive player who at least contributes something on rebounding and a bit of defense. He is not Trae---who is more limited offensively and a huge negative in every part of the game which doesn't involve him having the ball.

The concern about Luka not evolving is a fair one; his post game has improved, and he is starting from such a high place offensively there's only so much growth one can expect, but the defense, elite conditioning, and team fit don't look better today than they did a few years ago which is disappointing. And, that's all up against being one of the ten best players in the league in his early 20s too.

I don't know how we can tell whether his ball-dominance would be an issue with a better supporting cast because his entire career the team has been better with him having the ball than any teammates. The Kyrie fit is so awkward, including the post-trade deadline little practice transition, I don't judge that one yet.

What's the list of guys you WOULDN'T trade for Luka straight up, factoring in age, game, etc? Giannis. Potentially Tatum. Maybe Jokic (maybe). That's it, isn't it? I guess someone might say Ja (not me---talk about concerns); someone might say Ant (not yet for me). Wembanyama I suppose some might argue already (again, not quite me yet).
 

Cellar-Door

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Agreed---Luka has some blemishes and is also a historically spectacular offensive player who at least contributes something on rebounding and a bit of defense. He is not Trae---who is more limited offensively and a huge negative in every part of the game which doesn't involve him having the ball.

The concern about Luka not evolving is a fair one; his post game has improved, and he is starting from such a high place offensively there's only so much growth one can expect, but the defense, elite conditioning, and team fit don't look better today than they did a few years ago which is disappointing. And, that's all up against being one of the ten best players in the league in his early 20s too.

I don't know how we can tell whether his ball-dominance would be an issue with a better supporting cast because his entire career the team has been better with him having the ball than any teammates. The Kyrie fit is so awkward, including the post-trade deadline little practice transition, I don't judge that one yet.

What's the list of guys you WOULDN'T trade for Luka straight up, factoring in age, game, etc? Giannis. Potentially Tatum. Maybe Jokic (maybe). That's it, isn't it? I guess someone might say Ja (not me---talk about concerns); someone might say Ant (not yet for me). Wembanyama I suppose some might argue already (again, not quite me yet).
I think it depends where your team is. Like KD is better than Luka if I want to win this year, so is Embiid, Jokic, Tatum, Giannis, Steph. One year you could also make cases for: Harden, Davis, LeBron, Kawhi and maybe a few more.

Long term.... probably just tatum, Giannis, Embiid and Jokic.

Luka has some fit/attitude concerns, but those could maybe be fixed. Harden his closest comp upped his effort on D later in his career, and upped his off ball offense a little. Luka could probably do that. Even if he doesn't do it all year, you really just need him to lock in a bit on D in the playoffs and you're a title contender.
 

Auger34

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Trae is actually a pretty interesting comparison because they have a few of the same warts (attitude, off ball offense, defense). They both have the ability to be very good table setters and off ball players but for whatever reason shown no inclination to even try.
However, Luka has the size and ability to actually become at least a decent defensive player whereas Trae is pretty much always going to be terrible.
 

Cellar-Door

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There are definitely not a few more, and the only guy on this list that would even give me pause would be Kawhi.

Harden? James Harden? What the hell
if I wanted to win this year... probably. He's just Luka with better D right now.

I'm a big Luka fan long-term, but his D right now is a mess, and he hasn't fully realized how to run offense when a team goes into "make it tough to get yours" mode. He just gets a tough 33-36 as his team loses because nobody else is involved and he wears down, much like early HOU Harden.
Somewhat dependent on team composition of course, but I think Harden fits more easily into your average playoff team, and he's shown in PHI a willingness to let somebody else be the guy if need be.
 

Van Everyman

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Holy shit dude. He is in better shape than about 99.99% of "normal" 24 year olds. What a horrible take
But he looks plobby.

All the reporting I saw this weekend was that the Mavs were worried Luka would request a trade. Unless that happens, I don’t remotely see Cuban moving Luka The whole point of the Kyrie experiment was to see if he could be a 1B to Luka – obviously that didn’t work out too well but Cuban’s whole messy PR blitz this last week was clearly designed to show that the team wasn’t satisfied with the results this year and was prioritizing building a contender for the future.
 

ManicCompression

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Holy shit dude. He is in better shape than about 99.99% of "normal" 24 year olds. What a horrible take
You don't have to have to bite on every sarcastic comment and pretend it's real commentary. I'm using this rhetorical device called "hyperbole" to make a point that he looks terrible for a 24 year old NBA player. He looks like a taller Raymond Felton.
 

the moops

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You don't have to have to bite on every sarcastic comment and pretend it's real commentary. I'm using this rhetorical device called "hyperbole" to make a point that he looks terrible for a 24 year old NBA player. He looks like a taller Raymond Felton.
Sorry, it's hard to know who is serious in here considering we have people shitting on Luka at every turn
 

ManicCompression

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Sorry, it's hard to know who is serious in here considering we have people shitting on Luka at every turn
Well, he kind of deserves to be shat on! Do you sense that he has the same commitment to his body and game as Jayson Tatum? He has a world of talent that he's kind of taking for granted, much like other frustrating stars (Zion, Harden, etc.). It's frustrating to see potential wasted because an in-shape, defensively motivated Luka would be fucking awesome to watch.
 

Cellar-Door

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This is crazy. Harden gets to play basketball with the MVP of the league and a great defender and rim protector in Embiid. Luka gets to play with Kyrie and Christian Wood
i mean, I've also seen Harden play with garbage around him. And Luka not being able to fit with guys is it's own concern. If I needed to win a title this year and had a mediocre team (say... NYK?) Luka probably doesn't give me as much of a chance to win as some of the vet stars like Kawhi, Harden, etc. It's about fits and timeline when you're talking about stars short term.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Prime Harden I would take over today's Luka, but there is not even a credible case for today's Harden over today's Luka...he's worse at everything on the court with the possible exception of perimeter defense. And he's in worse shape with a much worse injury track record to boot!
 

Deathofthebambino

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Agreed---Luka has some blemishes and is also a historically spectacular offensive player who at least contributes something on rebounding and a bit of defense. He is not Trae---who is more limited offensively and a huge negative in every part of the game which doesn't involve him having the ball.

Let's be clear though. Luka's defense and off ball offense are not blemishes. They are downright fucking terrible, and I think it's ok to point that out.

If i were guaranteed to get the Trae Young that shot 38.2% from 3 last year, and not the Trae Young who shot 33.5% this year, I'd rather put Young alongside Tatum than Luka (who shoots 33.8% for his career on more attempts per game than Trae Young, who will shoot from anywhere at any time). They're both bad defensively, but a team with Tatum, TL, Smart, White, etc. can really clean up issues on the back end if there's one weak link up top.

Edit: I just believe Young will be happy to be a second fiddle, distributor, and off ball shooter when Tatum, etc. kick out, whereas I just think Luka is a guy that needs the ball in his hands, slow it down and everything else we've hated about the Celtics offense when it stagnates, and all of that means less looks for Tatum and rest of the really good offensive team that Brad has put together.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Let's be clear though. Luka's defense and off ball offense are not blemishes. They are downright fucking terrible, and I think it's ok to point that out.

If i were guaranteed to get the Trae Young that shot 38.2% from 3 last year, and not the Trae Young who shot 33.5% this year, I'd rather put Young alongside Tatum than Luka (who shoots 33.8% for his career on more attempts per game than Trae Young, who will shoot from anywhere at any time). They're both bad defensively, but a team with Tatum, TL, Smart, White, etc. can really clean up issues on the back end if there's one weak link up top.
I agree---his defense is bad. There is no question, and it also hasn't gotten better which is concerning.

His off-ball offense is tougher for me to assess, mostly because the roster has sucked and when he had somewhat credible guys with him last year it worked. So I'm not sure how much is him and how much is the team. His defense..that's him.

I have a ton less faith in Trae, who is every bit as ball-dominant without being as good at it. And is even worse defensively, and in a way he can't fix....he's small and passive. Luka at least sometimes is able to defend size a bit, so maybe he can be hid/schemed around...if he tries. Trae is a lot of fun, but I suspect he's destined to be a good stats/bad team the rest of his career.
 

Cellar-Door

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Prime Harden I would take over today's Luka, but there is not even a credible case for today's Harden over today's Luka...he's worse at everything on the court with the possible exception of perimeter defense. And he's in worse shape with a much worse injury track record to boot!
he's also a clearly better shooter (3pt and FT), particularly off ball catch and shoot
 

PedroKsBambino

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This year's Harden, agreed, is a better catch and shoot guy. But that's a recent thing too...
 

Cellar-Door

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This year's Harden, agreed, is a better catch and shoot guy. But that's a recent thing too...
yeah, but that's why I was saying the list of guys you'd rather have for 1 year than Luka is longer. He needs to learn how to play on both ends differently if you want to fit him into a title team. Harden used to be Luka, and even though he's starting to get washed, he's made adjustments. Like on-court Kyrie and Harden actually worked much better than Kyrie and Luka (with and without KD), it was the locker room that was the problem. Luka really struggled this year (and previous years) with what he does when other guys have the ball. He's never going to win a title like that. I think he'll adjust over time, but right now.. you want to win, you can take less individual offensive talent for better team fit. in a vaccuum of course, since in the NBA everything in terms of value is on multi-year windows.

edit- also amusing that I'm out here defending Harden whose game I hate, at the expense of Luka (whose game i also kind hate since it's the same game) who I am high on long-term.
 

Euclis20

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yeah, but that's why I was saying the list of guys you'd rather have for 1 year than Luka is longer. He needs to learn how to play on both ends differently if you want to fit him into a title team. Harden used to be Luka, and even though he's starting to get washed, he's made adjustments. Like on-court Kyrie and Harden actually worked much better than Kyrie and Luka (with and without KD), it was the locker room that was the problem. Luka really struggled this year (and previous years) with what he does when other guys have the ball. He's never going to win a title like that. I think he'll adjust over time, but right now.. you want to win, you can take less individual offensive talent for better team fit. in a vaccuum of course, since in the NBA everything in terms of value is on multi-year windows.

edit- also amusing that I'm out here defending Harden whose game I hate, at the expense of Luka (whose game i also kind hate since it's the same game) who I am high on long-term.
Man, I really feel like the improvement's in Harden's game relative to Luka are like 90% due to the fact that he's playing next to Embiid. That's a major help for him on both ends of the court that Luka has never had. Maybe he's mentally able to step back and be just a distributor in a way that Luka can't, but we don't have any evidence for that one way or another just yet.
 

Cellar-Door

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Man, I really feel like the improvement's in Harden's game relative to Luka are like 90% due to the fact that he's playing next to Embiid. That's a major help for him on both ends of the court that Luka has never had. Maybe he's mentally able to step back and be just a distributor in a way that Luka can't, but we don't have any evidence for that one way or another just yet.
He was better in BRK too despite it being a disaster all the way around, and that was with the exact same weirdo PG that Luka can't seem to work with.
 

benhogan

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People really don't seem to be able to acknowledge how good Luka is when discussing his flaws. "Horrifically out of shape for a 24 year-old", "best player on an 8 seed".....completely ridiculous.

And I'm someone who has always thought that Tatum should be rated higher than Luka due to his all-around game, even when Luka was getting all the consensus accolades!

Take the hypothetical Jazz trade above: Luka+Lauri+Kessler+role players is instantly one of the better teams in the west. Depending on how good the role players are and how long it takes to collect them, they'd have a shot at making the Finals within a season or two.

People are acting like Luka is Trae, and he's a couple clear notches above that.
Luka is better than the empty-calorie POINTZ cohort (Trae, Beal, LaVine, DeMar).

Just don't want Boston to go ALL in on a bad defender that could upset the Tatum apple cart. Liking the ball movement offense. And again I don't see Boston having the draft capital for a team heading into "Process territory"

He's clearly not in good shape relative to NBA players under the age of 25, and that's the only thing that is relevant here.

Yep, Utah is my odds-on favorite for any team moving an All-Star and going into blow-up mode.
 

Euclis20

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He was better in BRK too despite it being a disaster all the way around, and that was with the exact same weirdo PG that Luka can't seem to work with.
I don't have the breakdown of how Brooklyn actually did when both Harden and Kyrie played, but Durant didn't. Even if it's favorable to Harden relative to Luka, if we include recent history (i.e. last year), Luka is several miles ahead of Harden based on what happened last postseason.
 

Deathofthebambino

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edit- also amusing that I'm out here defending Harden whose game I hate, at the expense of Luka (whose game i also kind hate since it's the same game) who I am high on long-term.
I completely agree with this sentence. I fucking despise Harden's game, and dislike Luka's.

Harden, IMO, is an example of what Luka can be if he focused on conditioning, and was able to put in more on the defensive end, and moving around for open shots on the offensive end. We all noted when we saw Harden show up clearly slimmed down, and the results have been pretty evident this year. If Luka just put that much effort into it, he'd be light years better than Harden.

But Luka can't even be asked to apparently improve his free throw shooting.
 

Auger34

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Two things to add here…

- I posted this up thread about how the year they acquired Porzingis, Kevin O’Connor asked Luka how he felt about playing more off ball and Luka showed 0 interest. This was early in his career. I think it’s mostly a Luka thing (although the team sucking does have a part in it)

- A lot of the National media, who are pretty up Lukas ass for the most part, have noted that he’s not a very fun player to watch. Whining to the refs, playing incredibly slow and pounding the air out of the ball. I am guessing people that play with him feel like that too….