Russell Westbrook Traded to Houston; Other Signings and News


Well those quick time to record again. This was not something that anyone remotely succumbing especially after Gel Maury assured us all that Chris Paul would start the season on the Houston Rockets but I'm sure he would point to a material cereal changing circumstances there. What are we got? Danny Russell Westbrook for the first time in his career is no longer member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is being traded to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul and two first round picks in twenty four and twenty twenty six each of those is protected one through four and then pick swaps in twenty twenty one and twenty twenty five yeah the the swap in twenty twenty one is lottery protected one through four the twenty twenty five. I've wanted is more interesting seems less likely convey because it's protected one through twenty so really the only circumstances in which that convey as if both okay see and Houston are both picking between twenty one to thirty and okay see has a slightly worse record than Houston who knows twenty-five they could be pretty darn good not so sure Houston's going to be any good in twenty twenty-five but in any event this is definitely more from standpoint than it seemed like they could get for rest book somewhere saying it was an inevitability habitability that he would get moved to Miami but with Miami out to future first round picks Miami having their own salary that's bad but shorter that they could send back and also the hard cap issues as well where they couldn't offer to save okay so much money at least in the short term where they're trying to get out of the repeater tax this year and you know seem Miami is like well. You don't have anything else why we're GONNA offer so much Westbrook as a bad contract one hundred seventy million over the next four years who else gonNA treat them to well. The answer was the Houston Rockets and the place to start with here. We can talk about okay see a little bit more later on is the basketball fit of Westbrook in Houston because they are trading for a contract that is not great. They are getting off of a contract that is equally not great westbrook. Maybe that's the place to start. Danny is just so maybe not the best fit is just would you consider Russell Westbrook a better asset than Chris Paul certainly the league does <hes> but would use consider it with them. Having identical medical contracts except Westbrook has one more year at a player option. He's likely to pick up at forty. Seven billion whereas Paul has three more years left on his deal with a player option in the last year his deal overall and there are differences in circumstance here here for different teams but I would. I would say that Westbrook is a more negative asset to me than Chris. Paul is because of that extra year Westbrook had a better eighteen nineteen season in Chris Paul. He is also younger than Chris Paul but having a player option worth forty eighty seven point one million dollars for twenty twenty two twenty three is pretty daunting and the other reason why I would rather have pollen his contract than Westbrook on his is because of the versatility of them as basketball players and this will bridge bridge into the other part of it because Russell Westbrook makes teams Russell Westbrook e you know he he is a definitive player. It is almost impossible to imagine him being anything other than that because he is bald dominant and be <unk> as a largely non shooter he cannot thrive honestly genuinely unsure how he will function at this stage in his career playing more off ball whereas Chris Paul he can shoot he. Is You know he the way he approaches. The game is fundamentally different and so there are teams. I would prefer Russell Westbrook. You know a team that needs a floor raised whereas Chris Paul. I think he's a better fit around elite talent. Which makes this trade so fascinating yeah? I think it's really interesting question of whether this is an upgrade in Houston when it's all said and done and I do think that part of why Westbrook obviously despite being younger has more value even despite that ugly looking extra year and despite the fact that he's a tough it's just there are more teams that in theory sorry could use him as that floor razor type of player to have a star former M._v._p.. Is Only two years ago that you won M._v._p.. But we talked about this on was that two days ago that we recorded the but the product came out today that Westbrook doesn't make much percents because those limitations you mentioned for team trying to win at the highest levels and that of course is the Houston Rockets but you'd say with West Ripping Thirties back into decline as quickly as well and also he just plays a lot more as well. That's another reason why westbrook probably has more value value than politics. Paul is probably GonNa play fifty or sixty games. He has recurring hamstring issues but I do think that and we'll have to see how it plays out. I'm not at all hundred percent sure of this Ed. Perhaps Paul just you know it's going to continue to decline it and this will seem completely silly question but they might at least for this season. The rockets have had a higher ceiling with Chris Paul out there. I think Chris Paul even in his old age is a better defender than Westbrook. He's just smarter. He's still pretty tough Westbrook Brooke. If you had to say who's WHO's better guard someone one on one when they're really locked in okay me beauty westbrook but Westbrook doesn't get over a screen. He loses guys off the ball. At times he just puts his hands on his knees and rests right crucial possessions at the end of Games is whether he because he's tired is doesn't have the discipline or has been held accountable or or whatever it is and you mentioned the fit issues with hardened thou when Westbrook's in the game we already saw this starting to happen when Paul George was trying to operate okay see teams just didn't guard Russell Westbrook Brooker when he didn't have the ball on the border and West not known for his cutting. I don't expect that the current offense of Ethos in Houston is going to change that because James Harden has the exact same issue when he's not actually involved in the play he's just standing out near a half court hardened last two years. Maybe the most efficient regular season Eyeso- player that we've seen with that step back three with his ability to get to the basket now with Westbrook a guy that you don't need to guard maybe he'll improve as spot up shooter in a different ecosystem the system in Houston but certainly the track record is not support that so now harden is not going to have that space they've always put one center and then three guys after respect to the three point line around hard almost exclusively since Dantonio got there and so I don't don't think hardened can be quite as efficient with Westbrook out there the week poker westbrook kicks. It takes a lot spot of threes but you know he k._p.. At this speech shoots thirty three percent on those and Chris Paul shot forty five percent on spot up three pointers so this might be it's a talent upgrade. It may just be that Chris Biologists GonNa totally deteriorate by the end of the year and certainly two years from now or three years from now but I don't necessarily think this makes them better and make the regular season team. Just westbrook's brooks more likely to play more games than Paul and more minutes but I don't think necessarily makes them better at the end of the season when Chris Paul was healthy if he were in fact healthy yeah I agree with you. There and I like the way that you talked about Westbrook when harden has the ball but I'm actually more concerned about the flip side of that coin which is James Harden is either the single best or in the conversation for the best offensive player in in the world right now and any reduction of possessions for him with the ball in his hands is largely going to make the rockets it gets worse offensive team so not only are you potentially weakening the hardened possessions by having Westberg on the floor affecting their spacing that kind of stuff. You're also potentially reducing it now. There could be ancillary benefits there of just hard and having more tread on his tires later later in the season because he will have to do the work. I also expect that this will significantly weaken hardens m._v._p.. Chances because not only does he have the perception of an M._v._p.. Caliber player but I think he's going. I think he's usage rate is going to drop. Not maybe not a ton but a little bit and so all of that kind of fits into this a little bit and I I'm worried that just because the idea of whether tire can change his stripes is just that there will be times when not that Westbrook is freezing harden out but he just wants on his hands and Westbrook initiating obsession possession is generally meaningfully worse than James Harden doing the same thing yeah well. We've got lots more to say about this. You'll says a lot more to say about. This is the athletic back as the sponsor. They are Danny the employer your to write something about this piece or about this trade right absolutely absolutely and <hes> Semeida is going to have something as well Kelly echoes really plugged in with a the rockettes especially taking the temperatures of the guys on that team. He's going to have a piece out shortly as well. 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Laterano that you came from us so we can get some credit I didn't there is certainly a flip side to this coin though and ways that this could workout Oklahoma City for years has had the stagnant offense Russell Westbrook has been the one most blamed for or that on the other hand. They always always always don't have enough shooting on that team. They really have never given Russell Westbrook a chance to just run spread pick and roll and I mean I would love to see him. In this Houston system like three four years ago I think it would be unbelievable but westward didn't have as much ability to get to the rim last year. That's waiting for him for sure and has mid-range jumper as enemy had to go to that mid range or more often in Houston. He's probably going to not take that mid range or any longer unless let's see ended the clock type thing or or hitting it really well but with his finishing ability declining a little bit. Maybe you could say well. He's still can get to the basket and we're going to have space for him to do that now so he could really put pressure there and he's going to actually be able to be much more efficient. That's the case for the other case is well now. He actually gives Houston a transition element. They've always been one of the slowest teams leaked but they have all these three point shooters space afford Capella can run the floor and Russell Westbrook with all of his rebounding is a one man fast-break. Let let them get some easy points. In transition. He'll help their defensive rebounding problems a lot as well and you could very easily see him. Having the most efficient true shooting percentage of scurvy basically up until the last two years has always been since he got in his the prime you know right around league average chewing percentage and you might say and those with Giddy without kitty whatever and so you say always just he generates a ton of shots. They're not that efficient but he's still generates the shots and he's going to be around the average. I'm very interested to see whether in Houston that that can finally changing he can grow more efficient or whether he's GonNa be the same level of efficiency that he was in okay see he's GonNa have way more offense of tools at his disposal to succeed at. Maybe we will find out. I don't know if I buy this but maybe we will find out out that it was the okay see offense and more importantly just the lack of spacing around him that led to some of these issues within efficiency along those lines. I'm really excited to see if the change in scenery effects. Let's Westbrook's mentality at all I mean he he has been able we wondered after the durant departure where where the team would go where the rockets philosophy would go and it became this rough central team in the nit shifted a little bit with Paul George and and some of that I think is due to to to West physical adjustments you know getting older and everything like that. It is entirely possible that Russ you know that he can't change that much but if westbrook can embrace at least some of what Dantonio the the changes that Dantonio is going to want to implement into his shot selection election as you said I think that could could be transformational and also the rockets were really effective last year when Chris Paul played and James Harden did not actually had a plus using cleaning the glosses filters that a plus eight point one net rating but that was on the defense event they were about a league average offense with nuts. There's no shame in being a league average offense with with Chris Paul and nobody else on the floor. I mean that's pretty good for when you're M._V._p.. Candidate is not on the floor but maybe Ruskin can elevate those lineups or at least maybe give Dantonio enough cover to use them a little bit more often. I talked about workload before when those guys shared the four but I also think maybe hardened plug and play a little bit fewer minutes that will depend on what harden wants to do and everything like that and I also think that the rockets are not going to be in as much trouble if let's say harden has one of those as you know like five to ten game injuries that takes him out a rusty Hardin team or not the same thing but I do think that he is more capable of being that dominant figure than Chris Paul was or more accurately is yeah. Maybe they'll feel more able to reduce hardens minutes now. Even maybe reduced hardens game plate now Russ turning thirty one and coming off another knee procedure <hes> with that troublesome. Neither I injured a back in that Patrick Beverley dust up in two thousand thirteen. Maybe they'll want to keep him on that plane as well but they also have Eric Gordon as another guy who can create so they'll they'll have plenty of creation. Gordon is a good transition player. I think he could thrive pretty well with Russ pushing the ball also defensively. It's going to be interesting. I mean I Chris Paul. It was a very important part of Houston's defense when they really were at their nate year last year he was not playing so I think that's a was a big part of it. You and you think a six foot thirty three thirty four year old point guard like what effect yet but he's just always statistically it has been very good in terms of the on-off fact of when he's on the floor good seals Guy Westbrook massively over eighty he comically called himself the best defender at his position at one point a year ago and that is not the case. He's totally inattentive. She doesn't get over a screen now. You would imagine that they're going to go back to doing a lot of switching. They already pretty much switch every screen that hardens involved in. Maybe they do that with Westbrook as well two three years ago. Westbrook was really like a fire breather in the post and I just refuse to be posted up and now he's kind of he'll kind of go for the steel more easily and he's not the same guy in the post. Maybe he can get back to that type of level with his strengthen athleticism and the intensity that he can bring at times but you imagine they'll probably just be getting back doing more switching part why they didn't do that as much less your number one was the rebounding but number two is just to save Paul's legs for the postseason and they did get back to switching pretty much everything again a against golden state so it'd be interesting to see what effect he has defensively. I do think he's GonNa help the rebounding even if he does certainly rebound chase and that brings me into another point here personality wise obviously rust and harden have changed quite a bit since twenty twelve russets well known Kinda just has his way of the place place in okay see whether it's the media stuff whether it's all you guys box out and I'm the one going to get the rebound which again I think had some competitive advantages because he could get the rebound in push the ball afterwards but definitely him averaging triple double was part of the the deal there <hes> and the organization revolved around him and I don't know if that happened supposedly rust and harden wanted to get together of course <hes> Hardin recruited Chris Paul and brought him in that ended in ignominious fashion here so I don't know I think I I definitely think the rockets are better two and three years from now and especially in the regular season me I think they're median. Outcome is much higher over the next three seasons. I not sure if it increases their chances of hitting a championship K._p.. Noted voted. What do you think of this idea that this is kind of just money laundering the Chris Paul contract that if they wanted to just trade Chris Paul into space that it would have taken more than what they gave up to do that and that if they need to move Westbrook westbrook again he'll still have positive? I'm not sure if he flames out in Houston to the point where they need to move them that it will have positive value anymore but that clearly west breath portrayed by Paul I. I don't know if I buy that notion. But what do you think of it. It's interesting concept. This is definitely the easiest away for Maury or for any G._M.. That wants its trade Chris Paul to get away with it without not taking the hit of trading Chris Paul despite everything that was said earlier you know so whether it's money wandering you think about it from the financial perspective or from the P._R.. Perspective that you know Chris Paul a long term part three mobile we can get Russell Westbrook keys a recent M._v._p.. That connection with with harden in Oklahoma City and everything else so yeah. I think that there's there's some merit to it. There's also the upside potential here I mean both of us are lower on on Westbrook and especially whereas games go than the average person but we both acknowledged the upside of this that it's you know that that they could defy conventions. They're hardening westbrook or both immensely talented players. This could work out. Maybe dantonio revitalizes his WESTBROOK's career so yeah I think that this is an arguable enough thing and it seems pretty clear that even though you and I feel a certain way about Russell Westbrook's contract that that is not as true and I firmly believe that as you said absent the the downside risk like an injury or it just totally flaming out that Westbrook will probably probably still have higher value than Chris Paul ear for now it is worth noting Oklahoma City gave up a lot on that bet you know they they gave up those for trump picks and then the pickups and everything else that's involved so just saying it's a distinct possibility or even a likelihood that Westbrook has more value. He has to have a lot were value in order to make that part of it worth it and I think that gets into another wrinkle of this that might end up leading to US having to record again which is now Chris. Paul is returning to Oklahoma City actually where he started his career because those I whoa I can. I have one more point in Houston of course into okay so let's go through the these obligations again the protected one through four pick swap twenty twenty one if James Harden is on Houston at that point and not injured third pretty unlikely you'd think with o'casey in a rebuilding mode and especially if Chris Paul is still on their books either by buyout or just still on the team the ladder seeming rather unlikely at this point but pretty unlikely that swap happen we already talked about the twenty twenty five basically not going the happen unless they're both picking twenty to thirty and Oh Casey's pick is better than Houston pretty unlikely there so you kind of throw out. Those swap never know what could happen twenty twenty one but that's that's only two drops away. That's not so far beyond the horizon. The other two picks here a twenty twenty four protected one through four twenty twenty six protected one through four the one through four of course is because those are the four slot said at least as of now you draw in the lottery and also worth noting. What's the other thing that Houston took on here? They took on forty. Seven million dollars worth of salary for Four Seasons from now Daryl Morey has always been about maximizing championship being very aggressive bringing stars together. He's largely had success with that approach. Although there has been certainly with James Harden in in his prime it's the best player they've had since the new gradient holidays and Arden's better than either of those guys were ever in Houston so there's been an effort really since twenty fifteen or so to push the chips all in and wins the last time they drafted someone in in the first round of the same decker with the trade he was gone pretty quickly and I in that Chris Paul -til could Capello's basically the last draft pick they've had is made any kind of impact. They've had some finds like house and stuff on the margins so this is kind of a continuation of that trend the Chris Paul Trade to Chris. Paul contract was also a condition that Trent but I also can't help but wonder if Daryl morey thinks he's going to be around to pay the negative consequences of the trade whether it's the additional year of Westbrook salary or whether it's a those two picks going out because with the way tillman pretend has taken over he hasn't had the commitment to spending that Allen say that let's Alexander did because he didn't pay the luxury tax that much who knows me less Alexander within the same way but for Judas not necessarily been spending ending at a level commensurate with a championship contender in the one year really these Kinda had full control things where they ducked the tax last year didn't use a lot of billing to regurgitate all that and just some of the weird comments that fertility makes and like even just the the public accounts like oh well if we're not making the playoffs. I got to find a new G._M.. You know like that kind of thing. His long rambling press conference about not having made the western conference finals at how unacceptable it was the loss to golden state and then this whole deal back and forth with Warren the Gary Mark Dantonio agent and whether that's Daryl or whether it's pretended seems like pretty clueless fertility yet another weird press conference about that so it wouldn't shock me if Daryl's just like you know what I want to try and win a championship now we got James Harden and hey you know what what's James. Harden is out of his prime. I'm not going to work for this. Damn Guy Anyway so <hes> and I've got enough resume that I'm going to get hired. Even if I kinda screw the franchise over going forward with these picks it's not gonNa Affect my marketability going forward and I'll just leave you with this someone for to enjoy it and I think that's the parallel with the potential of Chris Paul Trade because the team that Sam Amick has has done a little bit on this already. Is that the team that might be most interested in crispell is Miami and Pat Riley for a very different reason is in that same boat and you know the the Jimmy Butler trade we talked about our skepticism of that and whether that makes the heat better and I think Chris Paul is a better fit with the heat then Butler the same concerns that were there with Miami being hard capture there because Westbrook and Paul make the same money but but Oklahoma City is in a very different place you know to to make maybe make this sort of move than they would have been with Russell Westbrook franchise cornerstone everything else so maybe that doesn't happen tomorrow. Maybe maybe it's mid season or something else. Maybe it does happen tomorrow. This is the N._B._A.. Now it's just the way it works and I think that the thunder could benefit from Chris Paul being a name and being a player who can fit and so they can continue to overhaul this and so the difference between Pollen Westbrook's contracts rex going all the way out into twenty two twenty three. Maybe that won't matter as much but maybe the we talked about P._R.. With Trading Westbrook for Paul maybe there's some with Paul as well yeah. I'm really interested to see Sami saying Oh. It's Okay A._C.'s idea to keep Paul Iran. You know you've got the same issues Shakeel just Alexander already that you did with Westbrook where he is the future at point guard Lou easier for those two guys to play together L. C. like a pulp buyout happening to you. I mean there's there's too much money left as much money left right I I don't know how much do you think he would give back. I mean if he's willing to give enough back. Maybe they would do it but that would be a straight financial sacrifice in all likelihood for him because it's hard to see especially with the teams that are interested just in Paul them having the financial capacity to spend a ton of money on him at least I I mean I mean maybe he just wants to win a championship. Maybe just wants to get to L._A.. I mean L._A.. Shirts could use the Lakers. I should say not the clippers but they desperately desperately need he would fit in really well. There wouldn't have to be the number one option would have to do that much in the regular season but I mean him with Anthony. Davis would be an unbelievable fit. They got shooting around if they could figure out a way to get him that would be fantastic and you know maybe it might be possible. The Lakers actually matched the salary but it seems more likely that there'd be a buy out so I mean who knows a lot of money in his career of you know and if you were okay see and he's got three years left at basically forty million a year we'll call right so how much of that haircut. How much of a haircut would he have to take off of that for you? Just be like all right. We'll buy them out. We're going to have this dead charge on our cap for the next three years or if they wanted to stretch it for basically eternity for seven years sir doing that. I think it would have to be significant under ten million a year. I think that would probably be enough because remember that dead. Money is really the only thing that's still movable in the N._B._A.. And so I don't know how I you know that kind of thing would also get okay see out of the tax which is pretty amazing but at least in the immediate probably in the long term as well but also because Paul I think his contract is going to look more negative as time goes on so then that just getting out of that ten million looks a little bit better and it makes them harder it would have made it harder trade so then the difference between being technically tradable and being actually untradable is less material. I guess you could say so yeah I it does seem like he'll at least stick around until December fifteenth when you know more all these free agents who have signed our L. driver right yeah that that that does open up more doorways and also by that point I think we'll have a pretty good idea of where the thunder are and everything and correspondent Ivan understanding of of where the other potential options are in everything so it's it's definitely interesting and the thunder technically typically speaking this move doesn't get them closer to under the tax though I think as a practical consideration does because clarifies where they are and where they're going if the public Paul George Strait did not end if the Jeremy Grant Trade did not which actually think was in some ways it was it was very clarifying in its own right so I think the thunder can can do what they need to have this insane war chest of future assets if if they WANNA use some of those deduct that they can I would so much rather them do it another way but they're pretty well. Well positioned to pivot hard if they want to. If that's if that's what San Prestia ownership wants to do and I think now the runway as far more clear than it was a week ago I mean they have so many picks going forward if they wanted to and they've got a lot of salaries still too. If there is a disgruntled star who who becomes available who might potentially WanNa say that or maybe just the price is low enough the way it was with Paul George that if they wanted to just trade Stephen Adams or they got Gallo they got Schreuder all these big contracts that they could move Roberson who's expiring. There's still going to want to try and get out of the taxes here. Obviously the group will see that happen in some form or fashion but it I'm not taking it as just like Absolute Gospel that they're just totally rebuilding and you know they're gonNA tanking. Just get rid of everything. That's not tied down. I mean they've they've got like what nine extra picks hours of me <hes> so that's probably enough assets going forward where you don't necessarily need to take part of the reason that you tank is because you just need to get shots at great graphics or something. Maybe none of these picks you know. These are good teams that were trading specs Denver L. A. and Houston at least for the moment are good teams. Maybe you feel like we need a tank a little bit at least get a few more bites to the epilogue high in the lottery for sure so I'm not ruling that out but they still have some pretty good players on the team and maybe they move some of these guys and useless personal assets to pick some up and try to still be in it in the West. I mean I don't see a path to get into championship contention again but you know it depends whether they feel like they WANNA be a solid playoff team again. They certainly have the assets to go. After someone maybe Bradley beal he'll type depending on what the market is for him. Maybe at the trade deadline he becomes available that he would have basically a year and a half left on his contract so that could in theory be so when they go after and you pair him with Chris Paul and Shakeel just Alexander's developing so you can have a real team there if they hold onto Gallo as well. I mean there were probably won't even be that terrible this year. I mean I think they kinda look like a five hundred team right now as you look at them so again to think about this way way more really go through these rousers before it come up with the official prediction so I I don't know I think there's a bus they actually make the playoffs with this group at making the playoffs seems seems a little bit strong especially. There's a lot of Cup there in the Western Conference. You know if they were in these yeah. Maybe they could get into regrets. See some wells have injuries. You brought art injuries. That's the reason why wouldn't expect it is because Chris Miss Time and they don't have any shea is is a talented player. He's he's going to continue growing. I I'm not as a few sive about him. As some others are but they're I think they're going to need more than what they have and and especially if like Roberson isn't one hundred percent and some of these other things then it seems like that's a little bit much but also I think the the gravity is kind of pulling them the other direction it basically any team the way that they make the playoffs is just staying way healthier than everybody else. I generally don't like putting putting them in that conversation but I do agree with you that both because I mean I could see prestige in ownership being taking this sort of approach but also as you said the war chest like I don't think it's this inevitable inexorable decline into the bottom five six seven the league. It is a reasonable and possible outcome but I don't think it's an inevitable yeah and I mean so there could be some moves around. The margin shooter is someone who could be very available his contract I mean I still think he's not even necessarily a great backup for for for a team that needs creation. The point guard market is kind of caught up to that fifteen million dollar a year contract that he has a if team evaluates him as a lower and starter and backup. That's not too bad of a contract and it anymore. I don't know if they can get something for him necessarily but he could be eh in demand to some degree where they at least get off salaries something along those lines so I really I mean this is quite the and you know okay see other than Roberson just has nobody at the three right now and they're still when they got Gallo but they're still going to be pretty light on. On shooting with this group Chris Paul trying to run spread pick and roll isn't GonNa work that well with some of the guys they have so. I'm not sure what the fall out to I mean they might end up especially with Paul since missing time as you noted maybe not making the playoffs or I'm sorry not being five hundred eighty. I wouldn't say that they're going to make the playoffs so this is really an interesting group and Sam Trustee. I appreciate his commitment again. I think that their future looked pretty bright. Now we'll see what happens with all these draft picks. They could miss out awful. I joked today that any wing who is athletic and longing can't shoot it all should just declare for the draft right now no matter how old he is or or whatever because the thunder just have so many picks and that's always the kind of guys that draft but it's not pretty terrible team on the floor. It's too bad the WESTBROOK era is over in okay see I mean it really when's the next time we're going to see a Dirk Nowitzki or Kobe Bryant who just spends his whole career team is at the point now where you sign these big contracts contracts for a designated player veteran extension and unless you are a top and superstar throughout the entirety of that which very few guys are going to be because most of those contracts will take you to thirty four thirty five and some of these cases that you get to where you kind of doesn't make sense for the guy I to finish his career. They're making that much as team falls out of contention so it could interestingly enough this these designated player veteran extension could lead to even fewer guys finishing their careers with teams than before but that's a is kind of a bar that you won't get to see Westbrook Israel have his number retired there but it would have been cool if he could have just stayed there as entire career but then we wouldn't have anything to podcast about yeah and there is something sad about that. I mean I if memory serves Westbrook was the first player drafted by the thunder once they formally moved. He didn't play in Seattle Seattle. Unlike Kevin Durant memory does serve in fact yeah and so yeah he won M._v._p.. There a definitive player of this era playing with and without durant and harden so it's unfortunate and the N._b._a.'s the whole premise of having a soft cap is that it allows teams to retain players but as you said there is a gravity in reality that sets in in some of these situations just because the players making so much and because this ties in with the whole granted Westberg hardened were younger than basically any players that signed thirty five percent Max contracts because of the supermax coming in coming in when they were grandfathered into eligibility for it but it's still generally is going to is going to age out poorly and depending on how a team's going to go could lead in that direction we could see the same thing eventually which on wall though that is a different question due to his injuries and everything else so we've got a bunch of other news to get to since we last recorded but I want to tell you I about helixsleep which I've been doing a lot of traveling recording this for my last night here in my Biggest Hotel Room Teaching Sports Business Costume today tomorrow I'm heading home and I have one night on my helixsleep mattress at home tomorrow and then my wife and I are going on a month and a half long road trip OBI recording from the road of course but I'm going to have one night at home. I mean helixsleep Tetris and all these hotels. I've stayed at the mattresses very nice. I'm sure they spend a lot of money on them when I travel but it's just not as good as the helixsleep veterans because it's made for me it's customized based on their two minute sleep quiz that they've actually been expensive since twenty twenty fifteen. I tried another mattress delivery company. It was one size fits. All they weren't any good so my wife found helixsleep. We tried it. They do have a hundred night return policy but we didn't even think about using that because it was made for us with that two two minute sleep quiz and if you and your significant other don't actually have similar enough sleep preferences they can even split the mattress down the middle providing individual support needs for each size. They also have a ten year warranty in addition to that hundred nights risk free trial and they'll pick it up for you. If you don't love it they're the number one best overall mattress pick of twenty nine thousand by G. Q. and wired magazine but Hey I do about helixsleep four years before G.. Q. And wired magazine did so you should take my word for it. Instead helixsleep dot com slash cap space is the U._R._l.. To get started with them and also get up to one hundred twenty five dollars off of all mattress orders at helixsleep dot com slash cap space once again helixsleep dot com slash kept streets to get up to one hundred twenty five dollars off your mattress order and adopt the /capspace. You're all let him know that came from us. So what <hes> peaks your fancy here on the news any I think we should start with the change of heart for Marcus Morris. This is a fascinating and important thing not necessarily I mean the most part of it is important important but because it's unusual to see a change of heart that had other things attached to it that cannot be undone and in this case that was San Antonio and something we broke down in last episode they ended up instead of using the mid level exception on Moore carrol they entreated office bretons then structured it as a sign and trade to get Carol that way which opened up their mid-level exception which then went to Marcus Morris on a two year twenty million dollar deal now marcus hadn't actually signed yet. Daddy hadn't actually signed yet and now Morris is is going to go to the New York Knicks for reportedly one year fifteen million dollars and San Antonio is going to respond by signing trey lyles. We don't have the terms of that as of when were recording us at least not that I've seen and to me as somebody who's not the biggest trey lyles believer I think this is a pretty significant hit for San Antonio especially because batons you know he I think he made more sense in their four rotation and even though it was a little bit overstuffed I kinda see where it was going now with Trey lyles. I'm less enthused yeah. The reason I mean they traded a good player in protest. Protons was one of the best way been depressed net rating on the team was bombing it forty three percent for dot tiny did fall out of favor in that series against Denver. We actually thought he should've played a little bit more. Maybe perhaps but you got into Greg Publishers Doghouse a little bit certainly a valuable player. Probably someone you might say is better than lies. We'll see how long this lyles contract is. Ill lyles has more ball skills out probably like batons more defensively where I thought allows pretty atrocious and when protons who has the better record as shooter obviously has plenty of equity now having been I think three years in San Antonio System so Marcus Morris enrich apologised fucked spurs basically is what happened here and certainly in some of the conversations that I ah been having at Summer League. There was incredulity that this is going to happen. I mean and it's one thing if you're doing it. The Andre Jordan I mean this to me is even more egregious with that yeah okay it's Andre Jordan but who was much beer player than Marcus Morris at the time but they made a trade so they could get you as you noted. They were just GonNa Take Demari Carol into that mid level and instead they maneuver things around and do the sign and trade with Brooklyn and then they can open up the mid level and bring in more than they also traded protests so it was really Dak- moved heaven and earth to get this guy who by the way didn't have any other offers at that kind of level anywhere right. I mean rich Paul I mean I think that might be a lot of where this came from too. Is that <unk> I'm guessing Marcus Morris at some point had bigger offer than twenty million on one plus one and rich Paul as he has been want to do. Sometimes I agree with them like Casey PIA but ended up being wrong about that other times. I haven't Nerlens Noel who with Happy Walter. It's at the time but it's probably no coincidence that Nerlens Noel change agents to rich Paul immediately after turning down happy walters advice to take a five year seventy million dollars tension and obviously act didn't look too good there for Netherlands who is never going to recoup group that seventy million almost certainly so there's been a lot of these issues here at enemy and this is rich. Paul swales got got Lebron Got Eric bledsoe. He's got a lot of these clients but to do this to a team. I mean is not good for your reputation. Maybe wanted a battery. Sorry maybe just has too much power and you can just do it every once in this you know he's part of player empowerment. I mean I think just in terms of it's rare that I'm GonNa get my moral high horse but yeah I think he really what he did was unfair to the spurs here. Generally I have more of a realpolitik attitude dude where you negotiate. You are what you can do debate. You know this isn't like life or death situation. It's just basketball business so we'll see whether this ends up hurting in the end but yeah I mean if rich Paul and Marcus Morris word I mean and this isn't like Oh you know Derek Fisher like I want to get out of my contract because the like my daughter's illness or something like that I mean this is just Oh. There's a better offer and it's not even like it's a better offer but it's actually less money guaranteed in the spurs offered yellow for one year instead of do but you know it's five million bucks more with the Knicks in the first year essentially so I think a lot of this has to do with Morris may be having had some other offers early in free agency that he turned down and then ended up having to settle for the spurs thing which he wasn't ultimately that happy with an away for rich Paul to save some face with his client but leaves a sour taste in your mouth here this whole thing I would say <hes>. Should we get to why it is that the Knicks had the space all of a sudden to begin with yeah. It's a bizarre situation. It has happened before instantly a believe. It's happened with the Knicks ex- before with that whole J._r.. Smith thing years and years ago Devon Harris is the last one I can remember where it was like. I think he agreed to like a three year nine million dollar contract and then it found out that he had I wanna say it was a tow issue and they ended up just having to reduce them down the minimum after the physical but was the bears with what I don't remember. I seem to remember it was like there was loose reporting out there that he was getting a lot more money in that it turned down. I don't remember rigidly enough to to be sure but the Devon Harrison is a great example so let's get back to the story. We don't need to lose that Threat Reggie look it appears that there is something more significant we have. We don't know exactly what it is yet which is interesting but yeah all it's been said is there's skepticism about his ability to play a full season right so basically he signed one of those one plus one sorry there would be. I guess we using terminology that would be a to minus one because the second year was a team option and the amount of that is it looks like he's going to re-sign with the next but it will be for a reduced amount another benefit of you know agreeing to. Things and then not having it formally signed so then that is what created because bullock is presumably if he returns go in return for significantly less money that is what opened the door for them to have money to give to get another power for I mean Marcus Morris those maybe provide a little more defense than they had it some of these positions but yeah another kind of like ice. Oh loving gunning power forward. I maybe he'll end up playing some three for them but yeah I mean it's really I don't really see a great fit here once again you would I think the Knicks would be in better shape just going into the season with some cap space and you know even Bulaq signing him to reduce. The ambiance sounds like maybe he's just going to get some of the room exception depending on you know what actually this issue is. Maybe he just needs to have surgery or something like that. Ah I mean I'm guessing he probably just field. Physical is what ended up happening here but this doesn't make a ton of sense to me. I mean Marcus Morris you know Bobby Portis Julius randle at least those guys are young enough where you say oh. There's some untapped potential here like they might outperform. This hand guessed. The Knicks won a be a little bit better. Marcus Morris is a good player but you're only getting the one year deal here during this doesn't make sense other than just add more from philly. I guess he wanted to be a New York. That's part of it but I don't see this chemistry. Experience experiment make going that well with the Knicks and especially you're supposed to be developing Kevin Knox and like now this is a knocked as kind of a couple for two and it just thought of the sales of make a ton of sense also worth noting that the knicks have increased their cap space and move first popularized popularized by the Miami Heat in the summer of twenty seventeen the nets also did this to some extent where basic and we'll talk more about that in a second but they use unlikely incentives and I think the Lakers did this to the exact numbers for realized contracts haven't yet but they used unlikely incentives to basically boost the amount of cap room that they could use. There's a couple of rules and player one unlikely incentive can be up to fifteen percent of your contract and basically the rule is it's considered unlikely if you didn't reach it last year or the team didn't reach it last year. If it's a team based incentive and if you're creative you can the knicks only won seventeen games last year so you could just say hey they are unlikely win eighteen games and then that is considered unlikely why haven't unlikely incentive here because of what you're doing when you're signing these players and the effect that it has once someone is actually in their book so the rule is that you have to have enough cap room to include all of the unlikely incentives in a contract at the moment the player is signed right so if I have twenty million in Kappa Room and I have a contract that has three million dollars unlikely incentives and seventeen million be salary. I said it's not quickly 'cause point fifteen percent but but anyway the eight hundred million in in bay salary at two billion in unlikely incentives I gotTa have twenty million in space psychiatric however once I have signed that contract it goes down to the amount of the base salary minus the unlikely and stuff and it includes any likely incentives so you'll need twenty million dollars in Cameroon to sign the guy to this contract but once he actually signs than the number goes down to eighteen million and now you can fit more guys than it gets. That's what the Knicks have been doing. That's what the nets did did with Kyrie. Irving specifically got a bunch of interesting incentives and looks like what the Lakers were doing as well so when you're signing multiple guys into your Cap Speights. This is a way to act effectively. Get yourself to three million dollars more in space. I mean basically up to fifteen fifteen percent of the amount of space that you have so. It's a good tool that the heat came up with the in two thousand seventeen by a little bit controversial based on the reading of the C._B._A.. But as of now it's legal out expect them to close that loophole in the neck see U._B._A.. But for now any team that has kept assigning multiple players would be smart to take advantage of this if in fact the player an agent cooperate. Do you WanNa go to Brooklyn and talk about the Kyri just crazy the crazy amount of incentives in his contract yeah I I mean we don't have to list all of them but there are quite a few of them N. K. D. who didn't need to actually take any incentives did have as a million dollar per year as well. I think the best explanation I can come up with for why that was done is just for solidarity career because he was the one who had to do it to fit into the space that they could also sign deandre Jordan and de Ngelo Russell before they did the double sided trade <hes> with Russell and Katie. Durant's are a little bit more straightforward making the playoffs winning forty three more games teams playing in at least fifty regular season Games are making the all star team so he'll probably get that even if he doesn't play at all because it's if any one of those four things occurred it but it doesn't matter that his are considered likely which because the nets made the playoffs last year and courageous has a ton interesting interesting ones the ones. I probably like the best out of these. I haven't ever really sat down okay if I were doing some incentives. What are the ones that I would do to make it so that player and team incentives align the most? I'm probably what I would base it on is just playoff off stuff like winning winning runs in the playoffs but then also there's like points per one hundred possessions when you're on the floor offensively and defensively I think those are about as close as you can get to really aligning incentives with the because even if you have like regular season wins it might be better for the team if the guy takes a couple of games off if you're trying to get into the playoffs but he would hurt his incentive. There's there's there's a lot of unintended consequences with those also of note here reporting from Brian Windhorst that it was actually Kevin Durant and his camp that demanded that the warriors include a pick as part of that scientific he was not interested in number one in being traded straight up for de Ngelo Russell who we justifiably thinks he might be a little bit better than and number two why not just get your new team S._F.. But with that Ping top twenty protected and then become a twenty twenty six second rounder it's not going to hurt the warriors to valley's only one year a top twenty production so it's not gonNA hurt. 'em really for stepping in rule reasons either end the warriors is still I think the other pick that they show is twenty twenty four four so that they will be able to trade some other first round picks here in the future that the Oh that other pick from April dolla and shamming window has had a great column today and we've talked about it too of don't get in a situation where you have these deals that get public and you have to unload space right then right we saw the kings back in two thousand fifteen that crazy trade were they unloaded the Space Rondo Marco Belletti like those that trade you're making it clear space on July one usually doesn't work out that well and we saw ah that become an issue here with the warriors as well trying to clear space with the sons as well the Jews even clear like two million bucks get off Josh Jackson they did give up what may become two second round picks there as well mean. The heartless trade is another great example that Oh yeah yeah yeah I mean yeah so three of those that were just they were over a barrel and yet Butler at already agreed that everyone knew the he'd had to do it and so that's that's a great point there. We couldn't briefly run through a couple other things following up on something we talked about in the last episode it appears the Dallas has chosen what to Mc band called door number two which is basically that they signed their players to contracts and will keep the remaining part of the state over the cap to sign their guys curry with the mid level part of the mid level Autobahn Mariana Vich with part of the biannual and the lose the flexibility of cap space you know in structuring the moves that way but they retain flexibility by still having a portion of the Harrison Barnes trade exception the portion that was not used in the zero rate trade and the benefit there is just that they get a longer time to use it basically they can run through that until let's call it next year's trade deadline and that's nice you know they could they could get somebody without through a trade theoretically through another sign and trade and it makes sense considering not only the amount of time but also the Iraq of really suitable talent on the market I mean the the market is pretty dry now. In terms of free agents that they might as well just do that get your guys paid settle everything up. Mark Cuban also noting that the mavericks will certainly load manage kristaps Porzingis in his first year back from an A._C._l.. Tear and it does seem to be trending especially with the perhaps an underwhelming off season that may not be quite ready to make the push into playoff position quite yet. We'll see how good Chris APPS and Luca are but it's is looking like they may need to just get more internal improvement over these next couple of years yet there because they're not really slated to have significant space next year either. There's also talk that they're trying to trade courtney Lee and a second rounder for Andrea Guatemala that might help them get a little better but under dollars not known for his effort in the regular season at this age and I don't blame him so I'm sure he would Al will be reading for a buyout from Memphis but there may in fact be a chance to recoup the some assets set for a dollar which again would throw into stark relief the pressure that the warriors put themselves under by with that Russell Trade and maybe it'll he'll work out and these kind of smaller asset Mussa margin will matter also the warriors gave up three point five million dollars to get off of Trivia on Graham and Chesney both of whom I thought were actually like value contracts but they still had to pay that money to move to the wolves the now napier's actually going to be their backup point guard in Minnesota and the warriors are out of cast because they also had to give up two million to Memphis in the trade they were not able to get off Shaun Livingston. They had to stretch him as well so they're going in now. I haven't run the new numbers here the if I get those for you right now depending on where Willie Cauley Stein comes in he was reported as a two year four point four million dollar deal with a second year player option they are so close to the hard cap probably less than one hundred thousand dollars though the hard cap and Ahah fourteen players on the roster and they've no cash to get off the guys they've given up a bunch of second rounders as well so yeah. They've and they've got five players at the start of the year who contributed an N._B._A.. Rotation last year and they've got three rookies drafted twenty eight or later. It's it's a lot of depth for the worse this year talking like No. It's not going to be and I want to pivot to another really genuinely fascinating contract and that's we wondered where things were going with Kelly oubre because the sun's made the moves in order to retain. His cap hold and Uber talented player who had really found maximize access but done well with the opportunity presented in Phoenix didn't really have that much of a market because of the wear that went he is having a more traditional restricted free agency the story and he ended up signing with Phoenix on a two year thirty million dollar deal so it is more money than I expected per season but also a significantly shorter contract so that means uber he'll have full bird rights and all that but he will have a big cap hold but but he's also going to hit unrestricted free agency at a very young age at age twenty five. John Bamadoro was talking on twitter in a Q._N._A.. Last night that the sons were kind of more thinking in the twelve to fourteen million dollar range for a longer term deal and this appears to be a compromise there are and the sons weren't looking at significant space next summer anyway if they retained UBE right there down probably run fifteen million or so including the capital Dario Charlotte as a restricted free agent they could get up to twenty five million if they were to renounce him so that might be enough for them to make one relatively significant signing there in Orlando Khem Birch using the room below the tax that was opened up when Orlando stretched to a famous Gov is returning and a two year six million billion dollar deal Birch at each twenty six this off season restricted free agent most of the space that had dried up dickey's a good player things turn around when he got in the rotation last year's. That's a good piece of business for the Magic to get him especially for more Athletic Lettuce Type Center Twenty Six to twenty eight. That's pretty close to purchase prime so good job by the magic their restricted region game. That's totally fair contract for backup center who is a quality player but again. That's the lesson there you know you can get that backup center that type of arrange especially as a restricted free agent where you wanna go nuts Minnesota elected not to match on Thomas Jones which means that Memphis has their backup point. Guard feature doesn't look like he's as their starting booker the future 'cause that's jam rent obviously but Jones will be an interesting fit. We talked a lot about that because you and I both expected Minnesota not to match would mentioned twenty twenty Max base as being a part of the reason for it that is entirely possibility. It's also they just is how well no just the just the idea of having flexibility more so than Max base they don't you know with wiggins. I mean the trade to Andrew Wiggins and expiring contract but more the idea that flexibility that's the way I interpreted wasn't Max Space. It was just having the ability to not just be Hamstrung Ron as severely as they would yeah and to have chaz Napier at one point eight million for this year as totally fine backup point guard option allowed them to not match that on judges for the record next summer they project to have only ten million in space if they're able to get off a gorge Jiang his seventeen million maybe it could get pretty close to that zero two six year Max but with Carl towns at Andrew Wiggins both making a cool twenty nine million tough to get a ton of flexibility there. I misspoke the other day when I said that there is still in New Orleans. BASILIC actually will be replacing him. Ermanno was not retained by New Orleans in Milwaukee a John Lewer as we said was basically GonNa Happen back on July first he was waived at and stretched stretched that enabled Milwaukee to fit in George Hill but they were unable to acquire a trade exception for Malcolm Brogden because they couldn't figure out a way to keep his cap hold on the books and still bring back Georgia'll a little disappointing because all they would have needed to keep on the books was one point six million the minimum basically <hes> assuming brogden agreed which he would have because it was a scientist and so if they could have just reduced the payout by George Hill and Brook Lopez by seven hundred twenty eight thousand that would have enabled them navy ten million dollar trade player exception for Brogden going out Brogden was base years. They wouldn't only would have gotten half of what is starting salary was but I'm guessing Milwaukee not necessarily looking to take on salary anyway during the season Nice to have the trade exception but paying the guys more now means that they can't take on that salary but they probably wouldn't have been looking to do that anyway what else we got here. Detroit directors are signing run a Hollis Jefferson and his on a one year deal with them. I'm not exactly sure how he's going to fit into their rotation. Because part of what we what's been coming up from the Josh Bloomberg that Messiah Jury that the intention at least as right now is to keep all those vets for this year a Bacha Kyle lowry in the Marca so who opted in to to his player option those guys will all expire at the end of the nineteen twenty season so harder to see a clear path for Sunday but a talented player and somebody who could potentially I expect to be part of the rotation with Stanley Johnson. They're loading up on some lottery. Sorry tickets on the wing that got there of course as well and the caveat there that they're not necessarily going to move them before the season. I think they're going to take a look at what this could be. You know you could make an argument that they could be as high as the third seed in the East depending on how things turn out in Washington <hes> John Simmons finally was actually moved his guarantee date back to July eighth. Maybe just to facilitate some potential machinations in which you would have had more of a salary guaranteed but that I don't believe ended up being the case thinking. You've just got his one million dollar guaranteed Eden since he projects as a minimum anyway I think he gave up a ton by waiting. The clippers in addition to tie wallace being waved to was claimed by MINNESOTA. They wasted areas stonewall. I actually liked thornwell a lot. I think he struggled as a defender early early in his rookie season when he actually had to play a lot but came around. I thought he was really a when he had the chance to play on a deep clippers team really was a positive asset defensively and has some pretty good to me is not a great athlete offensively but if he could hit some shots and he's physical <hes> a he has a shot at incredibly well but a guy who I think would have been worth a lottery ticket the clippers bill that they could just could've done better with that roster spot but I I would have claimed thornwell if I had the ability to do so. I think he's another one of these lottery tickets on the wing who has has some chance of working out league-wide news memoir the Celtics got the worst of the nets and Knicks second rounders in the Kemba Walker Terry Rozier sign and Trade Celtics physics didn't really get anything out of getting Walker in the trade. They're kind of just doing a solid for terriers here. The Celtics head to use cap space to acquire Walker. Anyway and silver had to wait wait for that we did. We talk about Kyrie Guy. Sorry getting the two plus one because that's somewhat important Oh yeah no. I forgot to write that down. Yes Solarte coup. Why does contract the preliminary expectation was that it was going to be a three plus one meaning three years with a fourth year player option instead it is a two plus one in the reason this make sense? It was something that you and I had talked talked about going back to what the contract he could have signed with the Toronto Raptors. The reason why it's a two plus one is because then Kawai will be able to sign the thirty five percent Max instead of the smaller thirty percent Max by virtue of having ten seasons of experience. This is the analogue to Kevin Durant signing structure and there've been a few other players. I think that have done this to make sure that they were free agent when they could get the ten year Max and choir famously gave up the possibility of getting that thirty five percent Max ahead of time by making his way out of San Antonio oneal because they were the only team that could have offered it before he completed his tendencies that supermax extension and this also matches up with Paul Georgia's time when they become free agents at the same time so yeah the clippers gave up a lot to get these guys and there's a the possibility they could only have control them for two years. If things go awry a little bit who knows I mean that's that's the N._B._A.. And they will be championship contenders most likely in these next two years so to put that team together. You got to go forward especially because <hes> there's the worry that might've ended up in L.. A. M silver with the press conference talking about some changes to free agency most of what he was talking about was changes with the moratorium and tampering without basically everything was announced like before free agency even officially opened and as far as meetings and whatnot <hes> I think that window has talked about on a pod with words that I think it would make sense to allow tampering quote unquote or just talking about a new contract with a player once his his own season has concluded that to me would make the most sense to allow those legal discussions once you're not interfering with the a team season. That's in progress on the guy is guaranteed to be a free agent. Now you might say if a guy is under contract entrapped with like a player option or something that maybe there's a gray area there but I think that's probably the simplest way to do it because obviously they're arguing. These discussions people talk about how these are all done at the combine and I think we could just we can talk more about these rule rule changes social if we find out whether the take follow is going to be implemented as well on tomorrow's program because <hes> you have to go. What are your travel plans the next week or so here? Let's get awesome so I'm actually in Aspen right now and I'm going to be here for another couple of days then taking the train to Salt Lake City then driving to Yellowstone Grand Teton Dinosaur National Monument so it's GonNa be that's the next boo we can half. The yellowstone is awesome been there in a one time actually but it's that's that's a must get to and I will be sorry my roadshow with my wife is we're GONNA be leaving Saturday morning. Driving up the coast to <hes> Portland and Vancouver spent some time on Vancouver island than Banff and Lake Louise Across Canada back to Chicago for a little bit then back back into Canada. I will of course keep you guys updated at the end so the people who report by my personal life and just want to hear about basketball could just turn it off and if you're interested be posted some photos instagram Nate Duncan there if you care to follow me not much basketball spoke content there but <hes> if you WANNA see some cat photos and some vacation photos <hes> it's a lot better than when the your relatives sit you down and force you to watch like a two hour slide show their vacation. It's totally voluntary but if you're interested in that stuff Gimme a foul at Nate Duncan and that is it i WanNa remind I ju to subscribe to the athletic where you can read Danny's forthcoming piece about the westward trade and you can read a ton of awesome writers. They also have a great podcast as well that are subscription only with the count. The dings crew Ethan's.

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