Westbrook traded to Houston

#31
Houston still has midseason blow up written all over it. Morey is a carnival barker who has cultivated close relationships with the most influential national guys—and I suspect his seat is getting lukewarm. This is a silly, Hail Mary move that indicates the owner is running out of patience.
 
#32
The market said so
Ainge sat on those picks and failed because 1. He thought he was going to be able to replicate what he did with KG/Allen and 2. Because, like you mentioned, he overvalued his picks just like he does with all his assets . I personally think Presti is playing the long game. Build through the draft then once you get to a point where you need an experienced piece, make a trade. These picks, especially the MIA and LAC unprotected/swaps could be crazy (and run up to ‘26) , especially in light of Leonard’s short deal. Could also blow up in his face, but the fact of the matter is that that team was not going anywhere and they didn’t really have the means to improve it enough to do so. This was their only, and best, option imo
They could be crazy, and then they could be nothing. Until then if he sits there's a chance those values of those picks lose more and more steam. Ainge held onto the picks partly because he thought he could draw big names in free agency but he could have traded for Kawhi and potentially a few others and didn't want to give up that extra one or two. Whoops. That's why I think Presti is best served to learn from those mistakes. The long game is one thing, 6 years down the line is too long. Obviously he has more work to do because in the interim their best asset is their own pick. Depending on how they proceed they're still probably too good and experienced to be bad enough to get into that higher tier of the lottery.

We don't know for sure what that market was for Westbrook but for reference, this is also why you don't wait until after the draft and after teams have already spent their money in free agency to make franchise altering moves. It just totally smacks of whim. The other positive about trading on draft night is you come home with something tangible to build with while building value on two fronts via some possible future draft assets and players. SGA and Diallo are decent young players but we're talking about two MVP level players. There should be totally different expectations here.
 
#33
Houston still has midseason blow up written all over it. Morey is a carnival barker who has cultivated close relationships with the most influential national guys—and I suspect his seat is getting lukewarm. This is a silly, Hail Mary move that indicates the owner is running out of patience.

It's going to be entertaining either way. D'Antonti is the key. This could either be really bad or really good for him. On the surface Westbrook is the anti-D'Antoni. This could be worse than what happened in NY if D'Antoni power trips again.
 
#35
Westbrook will love the D’Antoni green-light from three.
If he's loose it will work but remember though, he HATES ball pounders. He had to swallow a truckload of you know what to let it go and finally let Harden do his thing. Oh boy, he probably still wakes up at night in a cold sweat at the thought of Carmelo. Now he's got Westbrook AND Harden hahaha.
 
#38
The rest of the Rockets roster will be lucky if they can get a shot off between Harden isos and Russ greedily trying to accumulate triple doubles
For sure. The good thing is they are already built to handle it. They already have a team build of a bunch of last resort role player types. Gordon will still get his off the bench too. Westbrook is going to have to cut out the triple dub chasing. And now he has a big man and a PJ Tucker that might finally challenge him for some of those defensive boards. D'Antoni certainly won't want him playing PG/C if his style preferences hold.
 
#39
They could be crazy, and then they could be nothing. Until then if he sits there's a chance those values of those picks lose more and more steam. Ainge held onto the picks partly because he thought he could draw big names in free agency but he could have traded for Kawhi and potentially a few others and didn't want to give up that extra one or two. Whoops. That's why I think Presti is best served to learn from those mistakes. The long game is one thing, 6 years down the line is too long. Obviously he has more work to do because in the interim their best asset is their own pick. Depending on how they proceed they're still probably too good and experienced to be bad enough to get into that higher tier of the lottery.

We don't know for sure what that market was for Westbrook but for reference, this is also why you don't wait until after the draft and after teams have already spent their money in free agency to make franchise altering moves. It just totally smacks of whim. The other positive about trading on draft night is you come home with something tangible to build with while building value on two fronts via some possible future draft assets and players. SGA and Diallo are decent young players but we're talking about two MVP level players. There should be totally different expectations here.
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#44
Both Harden and Westbrook have led the league in usage at different times. Harden did so last season in fact. So one big question is whether he'll be more willing to share the ball with Russ than he was with CP3. I'd actually guess that he would be as Chris Paul and Harden didn't really mesh on or off the court apparently.

The bigger issue to me than sharing the ball is that Westbrook is a significantly worse outside shooter and defender than Paul. I actually think this trade makes OKC better in the short term, assuming the plan isn't to find a way to buy out CP3.

Above all else, I'm impressed with how Presti has started this rebuild. He used the Clippers' desperation to land Kawhi to get a haul. And to get two first rounders for Westbrook was impressive given his contract and the fact that the Heat were balking at including Adebayo or Herro in any deal.

The Thunder will likely be a middling team this season and not have a very high draft pick, and the pick from Denver will likely be from the back of the first round. But in 2024 and 2026 they will have three first-rounders both years. If Presti can land a centerpiece (or two) from any of the 2021, 2022, or 2023 drafts then he has a bunch of picks to either draft young guys to surround his young star(s) with OR a bunch of picks to trade for veterans to fill out the roster. And considering Presti built the Thunder through the draft before with picks like Durant, Westbrook, Harden, Ibaka, Adams etc I wouldn't bet against him building another contending OKC team through the draft.

He and David Griffin have had very impressive offseasons given the positions they were forced into.
 
#45
The interesting thing, all yuks aside, is that at least Westbrook wanted to play with Harden again. Wonder if it's mutual?

The most impressive thing about Presti managing to make the most of all these moves is he somehow managed to get returns while sending the players to their desired destinations which would build good will if there is still any to be had for a small market GM.
 
#47
The interesting thing, all yuks aside, is that at least Westbrook wanted to play with Harden again. Wonder if it's mutual?

The most impressive thing about Presti managing to make the most of all these moves is he somehow managed to get returns while sending the players to their desired destinations which would build good will if there is still any to be had for a small market GM.
My understanding is that Harden is the one that pushed for the move. How much of that was wanting to play with Westbrook vs not wanting to play with Paul I don't know, but the report is that he was in favor of the trade.

That's a good point about goodwill. Presti did right by both of his stars while laying the groundwork for a rebuild in one of the only ways a small market team really can - through the draft. Another is gambling on risky trades (Sacramento with Webber, OKC with George etc)

In some ways I think Presti is probably relieved. The Thunder as constituted weren't going to compete in the Western Conference and they were way over the salary cap. Now instead of possibly being on the hot seat for having an overpriced, underperforming team, he's likely bought a few years to see how he can rebuild and cut costs.

Their capsheet is still nasty for next season, but Gallinari comes off next offseason and Adams (if not traded) comes off in two. Chris Paul's contract is an albatross (anyone think he won't exercise his player option for $44 million for the 2021-2022 season) but even if he isn't bought out, he comes off the books in three seasons when the rebuild will be in full swing and most of the roster is low cost rookies.

The only three players who right now would be under contract for that season (assuming OKC picked up the option on their rookie deals) woud be Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Darius Bazley along with Chris Paul who would account for $44 million of the $52 million in salary.

CP3 is going to be a bitter pill that last season but OKC is still in a position to have a decent cap situation with it improving dramatically the next season. He has to hit on some draft picks of course but so far Presti is masterfully executing the early steps of a rebuild.
 
#48
Also if Presti is able to turn around and trade Chris Paul to Miami and get more assets back he maybe deserves exec of the year but won't get it because the Thunder are going to stink.
It's a shortsighted deal by Miami (they will have no draft picks and a 36 year old CP3 making $44 million) but Pat Riley tends to make those.

But I think the most likely scenario in that case is that the Thunder actually send one or more draft picks to Miami to get a deal done. And that the return would just be contracts that expire earlier than Paul's. I'd think CP3 and minor draft considerations for something like Dragic, Meyers Leonard and Kelly Olynyk.
 
#49
My understanding is that Harden is the one that pushed for the move. How much of that was wanting to play with Westbrook vs not wanting to play with Paul I don't know, but the report is that he was in favor of the trade.
Apparently they go back to high school or earlier so who knows, but I do imagine that not wanting to play with CP3 after last season was a higher priority than who could actually be traded for him.
 
#51
Reality is if you can win one championship I think it's worth trading the farm for. Imagine how much better our lives would be if we hadn't been completely cheated in 2002. I don't really love the stunt Kawhi pulled but if I was a Raps fan I'd be content that they gambled and won, before they lost.

Most of these teams won't be winning though lol. but hey...
 
#53
OKC confirmed they are out of the playoff race. (In a separate transaction, they also traded away Grant, a valuable defensive player, imo). At 34 years old, with a history of injury problems, I doubt CP3 plays 50% of the games next year, especially because they aren't going to the playoffs and he's not going to kill himself for a non-playoff team. OKC and Golden State are falling off the cliff for the 2019-20 season. Good news for the Kings.

I'm searching for what exactly Westbrook is going to add to Houston. It ain't outside shooting, that's for sure. How exactly is he going to work with the 3-point-shooting-analytics D'Antoni? Defense? He just doesn't play it like he used to, especially in the regular season. He does not add BBIQ; Paul is Einstein compared to an average-joe Westbrook in that regard. He does add rebounding; I'll give him that. And he can still push the ball up the floor, creating shots for his teammates. He did show a willingness to play less hoggishly when he played with George. But is he going to defer to Harden like he did with George??? Both he and Harden seem like old dogs at this point who are going to be resistant to changing their games to a large degree. I can see the "You take your turn, I'll take mine" offense to the 9th degree. Overall, I see Houston being worse than last year. How much worse is the question.
 
#54
OKC confirmed they are out of the playoff race. (In a separate transaction, they also traded away Grant, a valuable defensive player, imo). At 34 years old, with a history of injury problems, I doubt CP3 plays 50% of the games next year, especially because they aren't going to the playoffs and he's not going to kill himself for a non-playoff team.
All indications are OKC has no intentions of him ever suiting up for the Thunder.
 
#57
The rumors of Warrior's demise have probably been greatly exaggarated imo. they will make the playoffs easily.
I think it's more likely than not that they make the playoffs but I don't know that I'd go so far to say "easily".

PG Curry
SG Russell
SF McKinnie or Robinson III
PF Green
C Looney

That lineup is not going to strike fear in opponents. Off the bench would be Burks, WCS, whoever doesn't start out of McKinnie and Robinson and a collection of very young and unproven guys like Smailagic, Paschall, Spellman, Evans, & Poole.

Klay Thompson is very tough and I wouldn't be surprised to see him return early. But until he does the defense is going to suffer, since outside of Draymond (and maybe Looney) they are not a good defensive team with an unproven/weak bench.

Curry will likely have another MVP caliber season (maybe even the best of his career in terms of stats) but if he misses any significant time the Warriors will likely struggle mightily. If they stay healthy the Curry/Russell backcourt should put up a ton of points. But while I'd say that pairing has an edge over Lillard and McCollum, I'm not sure that overall that team (without Klay at least) is better than Portland, who I think are far from a lock to make the playoffs again after they lost some pieces. In my mind it really comes back to when Klay returns and how effective he is once he's back on the court.
 
#58
I
I think it's more likely than not that they make the playoffs but I don't know that I'd go so far to say "easily".

PG Curry
SG Russell
SF McKinnie or Robinson III
PF Green
C Looney

That lineup is not going to strike fear in opponents. Off the bench would be Burks, WCS, whoever doesn't start out of McKinnie and Robinson and a collection of very young and unproven guys like Smailagic, Paschall, Spellman, Evans, & Poole.

Klay Thompson is very tough and I wouldn't be surprised to see him return early. But until he does the defense is going to suffer, since outside of Draymond (and maybe Looney) they are not a good defensive team with an unproven/weak bench.

Curry will likely have another MVP caliber season (maybe even the best of his career in terms of stats) but if he misses any significant time the Warriors will likely struggle mightily. If they stay healthy the Curry/Russell backcourt should put up a ton of points. But while I'd say that pairing has an edge over Lillard and McCollum, I'm not sure that overall that team (without Klay at least) is better than Portland, who I think are far from a lock to make the playoffs again after they lost some pieces. In my mind it really comes back to when Klay returns and how effective he is once he's back on the court.

I did pause a bit before I typed easily. My reasoning is along the lines of your post. I expect Curry and Green to really step it up and Klay to return early. Warriors are a good organization and they will make Russell fit. They also will get the best out of their role players. That is the key. I'm also higher on WCS than most on this site, so I also think he will do much better on the Warriors. If they dont' trade Russell I think they play the second half of the season in the following lineup:

PG Curry
SG Russell
SF Thompson
PF Green
C WCS
 
#59
Ok, so all this goes down and now 22 percent of the franchise is up for sale. It makes a little more sense now. Presti might have been somewhat handicapped in the moves he made. Kings fans know the feeling. The pitch is obviously a salary cap they are trying to get under control and an undetermined future that a new owner can play a part in. So I wouldn't be surprised if this all was legit on a whim. The trades could end up great, but the timing was garbage and they seemed woefully underprepped. That's probably because they were.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...s-thunder-stake-is-said-to-be-put-up-for-sale
 
#60
Ok, so all this goes down and now 22 percent of the franchise is up for sale. It makes a little more sense now. Presti might have been somewhat handicapped in the moves he made. Kings fans know the feeling. The pitch is obviously a salary cap they are trying to get under control and an undetermined future that a new owner can play a part in. So I wouldn't be surprised if this all was legit on a whim. The trades could end up great, but the timing was garbage and they seemed woefully underprepped. That's probably because they were.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...s-thunder-stake-is-said-to-be-put-up-for-sale
I wonder if it's actually the opposite. That Presti had his hand forced in the PG trade and that a rebuild was inevitable and THEN the part owner decided it was time to cut bait since the Thunder would be struggling for a few down years.