NBA 20/21 season thread

JCizzle

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Honestly, I think it's a great move for the Warriors to push in their chips. Steph and Draymond aren't getting any younger - this is the time to take another swing at a ring or two.
 

BigSoxFan

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Like most of the Port Cellar, I was initially somewhat conflicted on the “do I want Harden on my team?” question. Unlike a lot of Warrior fans, I did not hate Harden; and I was intrigued by the idea of an unguardable Steph-Harden-Klay trio (and by the anecdote about Harden approaching Steph at the all-star game and telling him he wanted to play a better brand of ball). But the Klay injury cooled me on the idea, and Harden’s recent behavior has 100% turned me off. I thought Harden was a pretty chill and likable dude outside of his flopping and ball-hoggery; now I just think he’s a tool. I would not flip Wiseman for Harden straight up (assuming + Wiggins as salary ballast). Being fun to root for matters, and Wiseman/Harden are at the opposite end of that spectrum for me.

Curious to hear Apsith’s take on the situation...
Fair given the recent success of your team although I would still be tempted. I think Curry/Harden/Green could absolutely win a title.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Fair given the recent success of your team although I would still be tempted. I think Curry/Harden/Green could absolutely win a title.
Well, now that LeBron got his 4th (grrr) I do badly want Steph to catch him. Can I at least watch tonight’s game to see whether Wiseman looks more like the second coming of Hassan Whiteside or more like David Robinson meets KG meets AD?

Alternatively, we keep Wiseman — Wiggins plus Looney plus Minnesota’s pick and a couple of our own first rounders works in the trade machine. That gives an intriguing and very-lefty starting five of Curry-Harden-Oubre-Green-Wiseman. But that’s even less realistic than you guys thinking Houston might want Kemba, lol.

In any case, I’d still feel dirty getting Harden. Dirtiest of all would of course be trading Klay plus the assets for him, but I think there’s zero chance of that, from either team’s perspective.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I think it would be bthat package PLUS Wiseman, but who knows.
Yeah, I think that’s definitely Houston’s ask, and I think that probably gets it done. But the way Lacob and Kerr have been talking up Wiseman lately (well beyond normal “maximizing his trade value” chatter) I get the sense he’s pretty much off the table, unless we’re talking a Giannis-level return, in terms of age and production. I doubt they’d do Wiseman + Minny pick + Wiggins for Embiid, for example.
 

JCizzle

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Yeah, I think that’s definitely Houston’s ask, and I think that probably gets it done. But the way Lacob and Kerr have been talking up Wiseman lately (well beyond normal “maximizing his trade value” chatter) I get the sense he’s pretty much off the table, unless we’re talking a Giannis-level return, in terms of age and production. I doubt they’d do Wiseman + Minny pick + Wiggins for Embiid, for example.
The kid better actually be the real deal because turning down Embiid or Harden for that package from the Warriors perspective is batshit insanity to me. As a Celtics fan I'm well acquainted with talking myself into rookies so I'm certainly not above it though.
 

Sam Ray Not

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The kid better actually be the real deal because turning down Embiid or Harden for that package from the Warriors perspective is batshit insanity to me. As a Celtics fan I'm well acquainted with talking myself into rookies so I'm certainly not above it though.
That’s why I wanna see tonight’s game, lol. Embiid seems like a great get for the Ws in some ways ... but then I think about what an awkward fit Cousins was in Kerrball. Embiid is better than Boogie, but shares some of issues with conditioning, long-term health, dominating the ball, slowing the team’s pace, and not sprinting the floor. Wiseman has none of those. Seems like Morey wants to stand pat with what he has for a while, anyway.
 

Kliq

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That’s why I wanna see tonight’s game, lol. Embiid seems like a great get for the Ws in some ways ... but then I think about what an awkward fit Cousins was in Kerrball. Embiid is better than Boogie, but shares some of issues with conditioning, long-term health, dominating the ball, slowing the team’s pace, and not sprinting the floor. Wiseman has none of those. Seems like Morey wants to stand pat with what he has for a while, anyway.
If I was a Warriors' fan, I think my head would explode the first time Embiid takes a three with Curry to his right and Klay to his left.
 

BigSoxFan

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That’s why I wanna see tonight’s game, lol. Embiid seems like a great get for the Ws in some ways ... but then I think about what an awkward fit Cousins was in Kerrball. Embiid is better than Boogie, but shares some of issues with conditioning, long-term health, dominating the ball, slowing the team’s pace, and not sprinting the floor. Wiseman has none of those. Seems like Morey wants to stand pat with what he has for a while, anyway.
Why would Philly trade Embiid for Wiseman and picks? They're built to win now and would have no interest in that deal. Or, are you suggesting a 3-way where Embiid goes to GS, Harden to Philly, Wiseman/picks/filler goes to Houston?
 

Euclis20

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Like most of the Port Cellar, I was initially somewhat conflicted on the “do I want Harden on my team?” question. Unlike a lot of Warrior fans, I did not hate Harden; and I was intrigued by the idea of an unguardable Steph-Harden-Klay trio (and by the anecdote about Harden approaching Steph at the all-star game and telling him he wanted to play a better brand of ball). But the Klay injury cooled me on the idea, and Harden’s recent behavior has 100% turned me off. I thought Harden was a pretty chill and likable dude outside of his flopping and ball-hoggery; now I just think he’s a tool. I would not flip Wiseman for Harden straight up (assuming + Wiggins as salary ballast). Being fun to root for matters, and Wiseman/Harden are at the opposite end of that spectrum for me.

Curious to hear Apsith’s take on the situation...
Already addressed that this is a Warrior's type of problem, but I'm getting a pretty heavy Belichick vibe on this one. Nothing wrong with that, but the calculus is different for teams that haven't won 3 titles in the last 6 years.
 

Sam Ray Not

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Why would Philly trade Embiid for Wiseman and picks? They're built to win now and would have no interest in that deal. Or, are you suggesting a 3-way where Embiid goes to GS, Harden to Philly, Wiseman/picks/filler goes to Houston?
Yeah, as I noted, I doubt Morey is at all motivated to make that move. Embiid was more a hypothetical “less than Giannis” target who I don’t think Myers/Lacob would move Wiseman and the Minnesota pick for. That three way does make some sense for all parties, though...

That is a garbage haul for a top 5 player in the league.
Agreed. Though I do think Minny’s top 3 protected in next year’s putatively stacked draft (or unprotected the year after) is a pretty valuable asset. The Wolves looked awful in preseason, and will be trying to groom two new shot-chucking babies in Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. If it weren’t for the stabilizing addition of Ricky Rubio I might peg them as the #15 seed in the West (and if they do bottom out and end up the worst team in the league, there’s still a 60% chance the pick conveys at #4 or #5).
 
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Tony C

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Fair given the recent success of your team although I would still be tempted. I think Curry/Harden/Green could absolutely win a title.
I agree -- that's absolutely a title contender, no way the Warriors hold back due to Wiseman, but am sure the Rockets want much more.
 

BigSoxFan

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I agree -- that's absolutely a title contender, no way the Warriors hold back due to Wiseman, but am sure the Rockets want much more.
Warriors do have the Wolves pick to sweeten any deal. Believe it’s only top 3 protected in 2021 and completely unprotected in 2022 so that’s a serious potential trade chip.

Getting Wiseman/Wolves pick/filler would be a solid return for Harden if they can’t get an established star like Simmons, Jaylen, etc.
 

lovegtm

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If the Warriors totally mortgage the future AD-style, that's actually a pretty attractive package even without Wiseman. Of course, at that point you sort of wonder what the point of keeping Wiseman is in that scenario.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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There are very few situations where you dont pull the trigger on a player like Harden. He can turn a shit team into a playoff team and a playoff team into a contender. The only teams that should pass are teams like LAL where he could break the system.

If you could somehow pull off a Brown+Kemba+DPs+pupu platter of young guys for a top 5 player, you do it in a cocaine heartbeat. Does it change the dynamic of the team? Yes. Does it create vulnerability for Tatums development? Yes. But an explosive Harden/Tatum offense is too good to pass up. And a Tatum/Smart defense can do things the Rockets havent been able to.

You can add complimentary pieces to patch up that roster. A chance to add a player of Hardens abilities doesnt happen often.
 

kelpapa

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Houston is hard capped and close to the apron. If you want to send him kemba and jaylen for harden you have to take back money. That's not difficult to maneuver, but should be pointed out.

I have no desire to break up this current team for Harden. He's like 200th all time in minutes played not including playoffs. He has a ton of mileage, and is out of shape while fighting with teammates. He's gotten multiple teammates traded, and according to skip bayless once got upset when a teammate said he had manboobs.* I don't know if he'll get along with tatum, but it sounds like tatum gets along well with the current roster. I'm not risking that for a player with red flags when that already failed once.

*Yea, I know, whatever, it was funny.
 
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Sam Ray Not

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Is there a 2020-21 Game Thread yet? First bit of news: James Wiseman is starting for the Warriors tonight in Brooklyn, after all of two NBA practices. Good luck, Big Ticket!
 

DannyDarwinism

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Is there a 2020-21 Game Thread yet? First bit of news: James Wiseman is starting for the Warriors tonight in Brooklyn, after all of two NBA practices. Good luck, Big Ticket!
I’m legitimately bummed that we don’t get Draymond vs KD tonight. That would’ve been fun.
 

Sam Ray Not

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I’m legitimately bummed that we don’t get Draymond vs KD tonight. That would’ve been fun.
Yeah, me too. Or Klay v Joe Harris. :,-(

The Steph v Kyrie show should still be wicked fun, tho. Though I imagine they’ll often cross-match with Dinwiddie on Steph and Oubre on Kyrie. Which leaves (ugh) some combo of Paschall, Wiggins, and Wiseman to guard KD...

I expect the Warriors to get waxed, of course, but will settle for a big night from Steph and Wiseman opening some eyes.
 

DJnVa

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Marc Stein reporting the Celtics, Raptors, and Nuggets all had exploratory talks with Houston.
 

BigSoxFan

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Marc Stein reporting the Celtics, Raptors, and Nuggets all had exploratory talks with Houston.
Definitely seems to be a little smoke here.

Raptors: Siakam +

Nuggets: Murray or Porter Jr.+

Celtics: Jaylen+

All 3 teams have the talent, necessary salaries, and potential motivation to risk it for a top 5 guy in Harden. Seems like Philly has fallen off a bit. Nets are still in limbo.
 

JCizzle

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I think the Nets are going to be really, really good.

As for the Harden talks, I think it's all posturing to get Simmons plus something else from Philly. It makes the most sense for everyone.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think the Nets are going to be really, really good.

As for the Harden talks, I think it's all posturing to get Simmons plus something else from Philly. It makes the most sense for everyone.
Hard to know. It’s quite possible Philly wants to see what Doc can do with Simmons/Embiid combo before deciding on anything. Denver would be an interesting fit. Harden/Jokic/Murray or Porter Jr. would be a sick trio.
 

the moops

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Definitely seems to be a little smoke here.

Raptors: Siakam +

Nuggets: Murray or Porter Jr.+

Celtics: Jaylen+

All 3 teams have the talent, necessary salaries, and potential motivation to risk it for a top 5 guy in Harden. Seems like Philly has fallen off a bit. Nets are still in limbo.
And I think add in PHI with Simmons +

Not sure who I would want if I was HOU. Probably Simmoms I guess. Followed by Murray, then Siakam/Brown
 

DeadlySplitter

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selfish opinion: I love Jaylen Brown as a person and no way Harden has that intangible. would rather win it all with Brown than Harden
 

nighthob

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And I think add in PHI with Simmons +

Not sure who I would want if I was HOU. Probably Simmoms I guess. Followed by Murray, then Siakam/Brown
Siakam/VanVleet/picks (for Harden and Gordon) might be my sneaky top choice if I'm Houston. Wall can defend the 2 spot, and the resulting team might still be good enough to make the playoffs. And you'd still have some attractive teardown options after the season was over.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Siakam/VanVleet/picks (for Harden and Gordon) might be my sneaky top choice if I'm Houston. Wall can defend the 2 spot, and the resulting team might still be good enough to make the playoffs. And you'd still have some attractive teardown options after the season was over.
If you are Toronto, though, putting aside timing issues with Van Vleet what is your team? Baynes, Anunoby, Lowry, Harden? I know Toronto bets on its own guys developing but I just don’t think that will fly for Harden...and thus,isn’t worth it.
 

Euclis20

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Jaylen has been one of my all-time favorite Boston athletes off the court (and it's been amazing watching him improve year by year on the court), but if the package is centered around Brown, that's a move I'd be in favor of. It's still talent that wins in the NBA, and a Harden/Tatum duo matches up with anyone in the league outside of the Lakers. Harden's age and contract situation are obviously less favorable than Brown's and almost definitely makes the Celtics weaker 3-4 years from now, but for the next 2-3 years the Celtics would absolutely be one of the top 3-4 title favorites. Maybe that's not too far from where they are right now, but that last step is the hardest to take. Harden can be the difference between a title team and one that keeps losing in the conference finals.
 

ragnarok725

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selfish opinion: I love Jaylen Brown as a person and no way Harden has that intangible. would rather win it all with Brown than Harden
I think I feel the same way. The Kyrie era really taught me how much I hate having to root for guys I don't like. I dislike Harden less than Kyrie, but not by a ton. I'd rather take my chances rooting for Brown and maybe a lesser chance of a title.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think I feel the same way. The Kyrie era really taught me how much I hate having to root for guys I don't like. I dislike Harden less than Kyrie, but not by a ton. I'd rather take my chances rooting for Brown and maybe a lesser chance of a title.
Nothing wrong with this sentiment. If your options are watching the Jay's or watching Tatum/Harden, you're in a pretty good position. Making the ECF 3 out of the last 4 years and losing all 3 times kind of overshadows the fact that our core group of guys are still 22, 24, and 26. There is absolutely a path to #18 where Ainge does nothing but wait for Tatum/Jaylen to mature, get some Kemba health luck, and G Will/Time Lord/Romeo/Nesmith/Gritty White Boy development. But there is also the risk that Jaylen and Smart are relatively close to their ceilings, Kemba is cooked, and the recent draft picks all fail to develop.

Danny has to take a look around the league and figure out what he's dealing with. In the Eastern Conference, you have Miami set up well with Butler/Bam/Herro core. They are going to be a handful for a while. In Milwaukee, you have the Freak/Middleton/Jrue. In Brooklyn, you have Kyrie/KD and a really deep supporting cast. In Philly, you have Embiid/Simmons/Harris. In Toronto, Lowry/Siakam/VanVleet. Out West, you have LeBron/AD, Kawhi/George, Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr., Luka/Porzingis, etc.

Point of all this is that the NBA is incredibly deep for the next several years and Harden may very well have a say on the balance of power. For me, I love Jaylen and won't ever be disappointed having to root for him but...I can't get over just how good a Tatum/Harden pairing could potentially be, especially down the stretch where we really struggled because Kemba was cooked and Jaylen isn't really a creator at this point.

If I can get Harden AND remove Kemba's contract off the books, I pull the trigger. Losing Jaylen would be a tough pill to swallow but the upside would be worth it for me. Losing Jaylen/Smart for Harden would make me think a lot harder.
 

Swedgin

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Nothing wrong with this sentiment. If your options are watching the Jay's or watching Tatum/Harden, you're in a pretty good position. Making the ECF 3 out of the last 4 years and losing all 3 times kind of overshadows the fact that our core group of guys are still 22, 24, and 26. There is absolutely a path to #18 where Ainge does nothing but wait for Tatum/Jaylen to mature, get some Kemba health luck, and G Will/Time Lord/Romeo/Nesmith/Gritty White Boy development. But there is also the risk that Jaylen and Smart are relatively close to their ceilings, Kemba is cooked, and the recent draft picks all fail to develop.

Danny has to take a look around the league and figure out what he's dealing with. In the Eastern Conference, you have Miami set up well with Butler/Bam/Herro core. They are going to be a handful for a while. In Milwaukee, you have the Freak/Middleton/Jrue. In Brooklyn, you have Kyrie/KD and a really deep supporting cast. In Philly, you have Embiid/Simmons/Harris. In Toronto, Lowry/Siakam/VanVleet. Out West, you have LeBron/AD, Kawhi/George, Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr., Luka/Porzingis, etc.

Point of all this is that the NBA is incredibly deep for the next several years and Harden may very well have a say on the balance of power. For me, I love Jaylen and won't ever be disappointed having to root for him but...I can't get over just how good a Tatum/Harden pairing could potentially be, especially down the stretch where we really struggled because Kemba was cooked and Jaylen isn't really a creator at this point.

If I can get Harden AND remove Kemba's contract off the books, I pull the trigger. Losing Jaylen would be a tough pill to swallow but the upside would be worth it for me. Losing Jaylen/Smart for Harden would make me think a lot harder.
A great post, but one that is has been missing in much of the Celtics/Harden discussion are the picks. Houston, reportedly, wants a Jrue/Davis haul of draft picks. Are folks comfortable giving away control of 4-5 drafts to acquire Harden?
 

128

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Nothing wrong with this sentiment. If your options are watching the Jay's or watching Tatum/Harden, you're in a pretty good position. Making the ECF 3 out of the last 4 years and losing all 3 times kind of overshadows the fact that our core group of guys are still 22, 24, and 26. There is absolutely a path to #18 where Ainge does nothing but wait for Tatum/Jaylen to mature, get some Kemba health luck, and G Will/Time Lord/Romeo/Nesmith/Gritty White Boy development. But there is also the risk that Jaylen and Smart are relatively close to their ceilings, Kemba is cooked, and the recent draft picks all fail to develop.

Danny has to take a look around the league and figure out what he's dealing with. In the Eastern Conference, you have Miami set up well with Butler/Bam/Herro core. They are going to be a handful for a while. In Milwaukee, you have the Freak/Middleton/Jrue. In Brooklyn, you have Kyrie/KD and a really deep supporting cast. In Philly, you have Embiid/Simmons/Harris. In Toronto, Lowry/Siakam/VanVleet. Out West, you have LeBron/AD, Kawhi/George, Jokic/Murray/Porter Jr., Luka/Porzingis, etc.

Point of all this is that the NBA is incredibly deep for the next several years and Harden may very well have a say on the balance of power. For me, I love Jaylen and won't ever be disappointed having to root for him but...I can't get over just how good a Tatum/Harden pairing could potentially be, especially down the stretch where we really struggled because Kemba was cooked and Jaylen isn't really a creator at this point.

If I can get Harden AND remove Kemba's contract off the books, I pull the trigger. Losing Jaylen would be a tough pill to swallow but the upside would be worth it for me. Losing Jaylen/Smart for Harden would make me think a lot harder.
Well said.
 

BigSoxFan

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A great post, but one that is has been missing in much of the Celtics/Harden discussion are the picks. Houston, reportedly, wants a Jrue/Davis haul of draft picks. Are folks comfortable giving away control of 4-5 drafts to acquire Harden?
I think it depends. If the core of the package is Jaylen/Kemba, I would certainly be willing to attach a couple picks since removing Kemba's contract would be really helpful for our cap situation. If the package is Jaylen/Smart, I would not give more than 1 pick as that is already a very good return for a superstar who is shooting his way out of town. This is why I think Ainge is in a good spot here. He is perfectly content sticking with Jaylen/Smart but if the Harden price drops just enough because other contenders, like Philly, Denver, etc. are pulling out, then he can pounce if he so chooses. I also expect Jaylen's trade value to appreciate in the coming months as he solidifies his first all-star season with greater usage now that Hayward/Kemba are out.
 

Pollard's Spartan Beard

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At the end of the day, I can't get past the idea that injecting James Harden into this Celtics roster - given his age/mileage, cultural impact, ball dominant style, and track record of forcing other stars off his team's roster - makes it less likely to me that Tatum is playing for Boston at the end of his new contract.

Even if it boosts the C's chances of winning a title this year, I don't think exposing Tatum and the other young players to Harden's way of doing things is worth the upside. The stories out of Houston are pretty damning.

Also, we'd have to immediately deal Marcus Smart if he's not part of the deal, because he'll fucking murder Harden. I can't see a world in which they coexist on the court or in the locker room.
 

the moops

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Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook had as much to do with the not working out as Harden. Those two dudes are not the easiest to get along with. So while yes, Harden has forced two stars to be traded, but that had more to do with the fact that Harden is a far better player than those guys - thus HOU would want to keep the better player and build around him
 

Cesar Crespo

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I don't want Harden if it involves moving Brown. Brown is already pretty good, still has upside, and should have plenty left in the tank.

I'd pretty much always jump at a top 5 player but I'm just not convinced Harden ages well and that the trade will leave the Celtics without enough talent to win the title in the Harden window. If I knew he was good for another 4+ seasons and was staying in Boston, my opinion would change. Trading for Harden probably also means moving a few of Langford, Grant, Nesmith, TL, etc. So not only would the C's lose current rotation players, they'd lose future rotation players. The team would go from young to old very fast.

I would just let Tatum and Brown continue to develop, see what else may come available with the TPE and/or Kemba, and hope one of the young guys develops into a 25+ minute rotation player/very valuable trading chip.

Trading Jaylen Brown is an all in move and Harden isn't a guy I go all in with. Brown is really the C's last big trade chip and if they choose to go that route, they better get it right. Atm, I don't think there are any realistic targets I would trade Jaylen Brown for. Most of the top 15 guys are locked into their current teams for multiple years. I'd gladly move Brown+ for KAT, but why would Minnesota? That could be more reason to acquire Harden though, because having the chance to acquire these types of players doesn't happen often.


I still think Minnesota makes too much sense as a Harden landing spot but that would require Harden forcing his way to Minnesota because DLo + Edwards + Picks wouldn't be the best offer Houston receives. I think that Wolves team would be very good but I'm also very high on Beasley and think he'll be a very efficient 20 point scorer. I've been wanting the Celtics to acquire him or Monte Morris for awhile. I've been a Nuggets fanboy for the last 4-5 years and they are my 2nd most watched NBA team.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Harden is a renowned nightlife guy to the extent that he stands out among NBA players who have a proclivity to party. While hard work and partying can co-exist through your 20s, I don't know how well this ages as your career continues. As an example of two other guys with great longevity, LeBron's wild antics now include taco Tuesdays and fine wines, and Chris Paul's spare time is spent filming State Farm commercials.

Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook had as much to do with the not working out as Harden. Those two dudes are not the easiest to get along with. So while yes, Harden has forced two stars to be traded, but that had more to do with the fact that Harden is a far better player than those guys - thus HOU would want to keep the better player and build around him
Harden has scoreboard over Russ as far as on-court efficiency, I can't deny that. But I also don't like taking the side of the more casual/less hard working player, which by all accounts is why Russ wanted out of Houston (the casual culture mainly driven by Harden).

 

Swedgin

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I think it depends. If the core of the package is Jaylen/Kemba, I would certainly be willing to attach a couple picks since removing Kemba's contract would be really helpful for our cap situation. If the package is Jaylen/Smart, I would not give more than 1 pick as that is already a very good return for a superstar who is shooting his way out of town. This is why I think Ainge is in a good spot here. He is perfectly content sticking with Jaylen/Smart but if the Harden price drops just enough because other contenders, like Philly, Denver, etc. are pulling out, then he can pounce if he so chooses. I also expect Jaylen's trade value to appreciate in the coming months as he solidifies his first all-star season with greater usage now that Hayward/Kemba are out.
A lot will depend on Harden's behavior/the League's response and Houston's willingness to be uncomfortable. Assuming Houston can weather the short term storm, I think they are going to get the most at the deadline.

Any team that is acquiring Harden should be doing so with the purpose of having him on their roster for the next two playoffs. That is what matters - not extending him or resigning him. His next contract will not be a giant net negative asset within a year of the ink being dry. If you get Harden you do so because you think he helps you wing a championship this year or next.

Waiting to the deadline, should increase the pressure on contenders to add Harden. The haul the Bucks gave up for Jrue, the Clippers for PG and the Lakers for Davis has become the benchmark. My guess is somebody meets gets close to that kind of package at the deadline. If you Houston is getting an All-NBA player back in Simmons maybe there are few picks. But as much as I love Brown and his potential growth - he is not an All NBA talent. He is not even an All Star (yet).

Looking at the Bucks deal for context. The gap between Bled and Jrue is much smaller than that between Harden and Brown, and NO got a trove of picks.
 

BigSoxFan

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A lot will depend on Harden's behavior/the League's response and Houston's willingness to be uncomfortable. Assuming Houston can weather the short term storm, I think they are going to get the most at the deadline.

Any team that is acquiring Harden should be doing so with the purpose of having him on their roster for the next two playoffs. That is what matters - not extending him or resigning him. His next contract will not be a giant net negative asset within a year of the ink being dry. If you get Harden you do so because you think he helps you wing a championship this year or next.

Waiting to the deadline, should increase the pressure on contenders to add Harden. The haul the Bucks gave up for Jrue, the Clippers for PG and the Lakers for Davis has become the benchmark. My guess is somebody meets gets close to that kind of package at the deadline. If you Houston is getting an All-NBA player back in Simmons maybe there are few picks. But as much as I love Brown and his potential growth - he is not an All NBA talent. He is not even an All Star (yet).

Looking at the Bucks deal for context. The gap between Bled and Jrue is much smaller than that between Harden and Brown, and NO got a trove of picks.
I feel like the Bucks deal is a little different since they almost had to overpay to keep Giannis happy. And New Orleans knew that. IMO, the Harden return should be somewhere in between the Jrue return and the previous superstar deals from a pick standpoint.

I will say this - if Houston is insistent on a pick bonanza on top of Jaylen, then Ainge will and should pass. If Harden were 27-28, I'd feel differently but he's 31 and has likely already teed up on the back 9. The real question is who is truly available. Sounds like if Philly had really made Simmons available, this deal would already be done. I think they're holding off and Houston is now searching for other options, which is why we heard about Boston, Toronto, Denver, etc.

Jaylen may not be an all-star (yet) but a smart GM won't care about that. He's a 24 year-old 20/6/3 guy with good %'s, good defense, and a high character guy. His ceiling is as a #2 option on a title team but Houston can't reasonably expect a Tatum type for Harden given his age and other issues. Would anyone really prefer Siakam, who's 2.5 years old, to Jaylen? Is Denver making Murray/Porter Jr. available? I think there is a very realistic scenario where Houston is deciding between Caris LeVert and a bunch of potentially mediocre or worse picks or Jaylen +. Philly really is the x-factor here. They can trump any realistic offer with Simmons.
 

Jimbodandy

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Looking at the Bucks deal for context. The gap between Bled and Jrue is much smaller than that between Harden and Brown, and NO got a trove of picks.
I couldn't disagree more with this part. Milwaukee would have offered the owner's firstborn and two randomly selected front office kidneys in order to close any GFIN deal that would convince Giannis to sign on the dotted line. And he did. The situations couldn't be more different. Danny is sitting on two under 25, top-30ish players.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I feel like the Bucks deal is a little different since they almost had to overpay to keep Giannis happy. And New Orleans knew that. IMO, the Harden return should be somewhere in between the Jrue return and the previous superstar deals from a pick standpoint.

I will say this - if Houston is insistent on a pick bonanza on top of Jaylen, then Ainge will and should pass. If Harden were 27-28, I'd feel differently but he's 31 and has likely already teed up on the back 9. The real question is who is truly available. Sounds like if Philly had really made Simmons available, this deal would already be done. I think they're holding off and Houston is now searching for other options, which is why we heard about Boston, Toronto, Denver, etc.

Jaylen may not be an all-star (yet) but a smart GM won't care about that. He's a 24 year-old 20/6/3 guy with good %'s, good defense, and a high character guy. His ceiling is as a #2 option on a title team but Houston can't reasonably expect a Tatum type for Harden given his age and other issues. Would anyone really prefer Siakam, who's 2.5 years old, to Jaylen? Is Denver making Murray/Porter Jr. available? I think there is a very realistic scenario where Houston is deciding between Caris LeVert and a bunch of potentially mediocre or worse picks or Jaylen +. Philly really is the x-factor here. They can trump any realistic offer with Simmons.
He's not a 3 apg guy, or at least isn't yet. He hasn't really shown any signs of being that guy either as his assist rates are mostly static. I know it sounds like semantics but there is a huge difference between 2 assists/36 and 3 assists/36. I think the one thing holding Jaylen back from being a top 20 player/true number 2 is the lack of playmaking. It's the one reason I never liked the Jimmy Butler comparison. Hopefully Jaylen gets to an adequate level.

His assist rates since joining the league: 7.2%, 8.5%, 7.7%, 9.7%. Career: 8.7%. For reference; Tatum: 8.3%, 10.0%, 14.5% and he averaged 5.0 assists over 17 playoff games.
 

BigSoxFan

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He's not a 3 apg guy, or at least isn't yet. He hasn't really shown any signs of being that guy either as his assist rates are mostly static. I know it sounds like semantics but there is a huge difference between 2 assists/36 and 3 assists/36. I think the one thing holding Jaylen back from being a top 20 player/true number 2 is the lack of playmaking. It's the one reason I never liked the Jimmy Butler comparison. Hopefully Jaylen gets to an adequate level.

His assist rates since joining the league: 7.2%, 8.5%, 7.7%, 9.7%. Career: 8.7%. For reference; Tatum: 8.3%, 10.0%, 14.5% and he averaged 5.0 assists over 17 playoff games.
He was 2.3 in the playoffs so it was creeping upwards with a reduced Kemba/Hayward, albeit in a small sample size. I think 3 APG is probably his ceiling so agree that the Butler comparisons don’t really work. I think his tunnel vision when he drives to the hoop prevent him from expanding this part of his game. But he’s a smart guy who works hard so not ruling it out completely.
 

djbayko

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I think it depends. If the core of the package is Jaylen/Kemba, I would certainly be willing to attach a couple picks since removing Kemba's contract would be really helpful for our cap situation. If the package is Jaylen/Smart, I would not give more than 1 pick as that is already a very good return for a superstar who is shooting his way out of town. This is why I think Ainge is in a good spot here. He is perfectly content sticking with Jaylen/Smart but if the Harden price drops just enough because other contenders, like Philly, Denver, etc. are pulling out, then he can pounce if he so chooses. I also expect Jaylen's trade value to appreciate in the coming months as he solidifies his first all-star season with greater usage now that Hayward/Kemba are out.
If Smart is involved, I’m out. Brown + Smart is giving up far too much future for right now. And a ton of heart and soul for great uncertainty. Needs to be an expanded trade with Kemba and other Houston filler.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He was 2.3 in the playoffs so it was creeping upwards with a reduced Kemba/Hayward, albeit in a small sample size. I think 3 APG is probably his ceiling so agree that the Butler comparisons don’t really work. I think his tunnel vision when he drives to the hoop prevent him from expanding this part of his game. But he’s a smart guy who works hard so not ruling it out completely.
He averaged 39.1 minutes in the playoffs. His assist numbers actually got worse in the playoffs. HIs Assists per 36 was 2.1. For the regular season it was 2.2.