Mark Evans of Mid-Level Exceptional on sign-and-trades: “Let’s think about a team like the Miami Heat, who have dedicated much of their payroll to three players. Rosters like this are typically top heavy, and often don’t have a whole lot of value to offer in a sign-and-trade outside of their stars. Or, let’s think about a team that is interested in trading for Kevin Love. They will likely have to dish out plenty of young players and picks to acquire him in a trade; then, when it comes to adding pieces around Love, what will they have left to offer in a sign-and-trade? Now, let’s also consider what a star in free agency thinks about when a sign-and-trade is brought up. By facilitating this, he’s making his team worse, because they are giving up a player or draft pick of value in order to bring him to town. If there’s any way to make it work under the cap, it should be done, as you don’t want your new team to be a bit weaker by the time you get there.”
Tom Westerholm for TrueHoop on Jeremy Lamb: “If Oklahoma City’s goal was to build up Lamb’s confidence by having him play his third consecutive Summer League, things could not have gone worse to this point. The lanky guard is averaging 17.3 points per game, but he’s shooting an abysmal 32 percent from the field, including 4-for-23 from 3-point range. He’s very smooth off the dribble, but he hasn’t been able to finish at the rim, and he rarely looks confident when he rises for a jumper. All of the physical tools remain, of course, but his skill set does not appear to translate to being handed the reins of an offense. He was 4-for-17 Wednesday.”
There was a theory for a while that Gregg Popovich might one day pull a Phil Jackson and sign on with the Thunder after Tim Duncan retired. Nope.
Rob Mahoney of SI.com explains Gordon Hayward’s max: “If allowed to fulfill a more level, natural role, Hayward will thrive. He has a great feel for where to be and when, adding to an offense even when not in control. These are valuable skills, and dual-threat wings who also rebound, cut and defend competitively are a rare breed. Add in Hayward’s size and positional flexibility and those ranks grow even smaller. This is why Hayward will earn the maximum possible salary (almost $15 million) next season – not for the player he was last season or even the year before, but for the amalgamation of both. That’s a player worth chasing for the Hornets and one worth matching for the Jazz, overpayment be damned.”
Greivis Vasquez re-signed for two years in Toronto, meaning his deal will be up in 2016. Hmm.
Ben Golliver of SI.com gives OKC a C- for signing Telfair: “Telfair wasn’t in the NBA last season and played to its margins for the Suns and Raptors the year before. His role with the Thunder, though, will be one of low stakes aided by playing alongside superstar talent. There are certainly worse ways to make a comeback.”
Semaj Christon on his game: “Physical guard. Like to get in the paint. Try to kick out most of the time for my players to hit open shots. And (I) can guard, can defend.”
Fran Blinebury of NBA.com: “It was a rookie season in which Steven Adams’ crunching elbows and physical play around the basket became well known. Turns out he’s got a sharp tongue for trash talk as well. When Willie Reed of the Pacers used two hands on his back to try to keep him from burrowing down into the lane, the Thunder big man turned with the best zinger so far in the Orlando Pro Summer League. “Hey, you won’t be able to do that in the D-League,” Adams said.”