Monday Bolts: 9.9.19

On the Rich Eison Show, Doc Rivers said that the Paul George trade between OKC and the Clippers almost fell through several times: “Getting Paul is what was going to get us Kawhi (Leonard)…At 10 that morning we thought the deal was over… At 2 we thought it was back on. At 5 Lawrence (Frank) said ‘Hey, it’s over, we can all just go to dinner.'” (H/T Bleacher Report)

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Germany didn’t make it to the second stage and Italy was eliminated by Spain on Friday. Consolation play continues for both. Dennis Schröder (19.3 points, 9.5 asssists, 42.1/50/80%) and Danilo Gallinari (17.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 53.1/0/78.6%) continue to be the standout performers for their respective teams in the tournament.

Team USA is in play this morning, and as long as they don’t get blown out by 22 points or more by Brazil, they’ll be playing in the Quarter-Finals on Wednesday.

Mike Bossetti (Nylon Calculus) put together some defense-adjusted numbers on 3-point shooting. Gallinari cracked the top-10, and a familiar name is at the bottom: “Finding the difference between a player’s 3-point percentage and their defense-adjusted 3-Point Percentage can help us determine how much a player’s 3-point percentage is aided by their teammates, how much a defense respects the opposing shooters, and how well a player/team is able to generate open looks from behind the arc. Comparing the differences between raw and defense-adjusted 3-point percentage may be more insightful than using the statistic on its own. Defense-adjusted 3-point percentage doesn’t account for shots off the dribble or shots from varying distances behind the arc. However, it does give us a metric that is more representative of a player’s true shooting ability than raw 3-point percentage; it gives an idea of how defenses cover opposing shooters and it tells us which players provide the most value relative to league-average shooting.”

You might want to sit down for this, but Brett Dawson (The Athletic) says in his mailbag that Schröder could get traded: “My guess is Schröder will open camp in OKC. Of course, it’s only a guess. I think if there were trade options, the Thunder would have made one by now. But there were timing issues. I think the Thunder were going to keep Schröder on a roster built around Westbrook and Paul George. By the time OKC traded those guys, I don’t think there were any trade partners left for Schröder. Maybe that changes as teams get a better look at what they have — or after Dec. 15, when free agents who changed teams this summer become trade eligible.”

Bryan Kalbrosky (HoopsHype) adjusts for inflation to rank the highest-paid NBA players in history. The Thunder have rostered two of them at their most expensive: “Last season, [Chris Paul] made more money than everyone in the league except Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. He is going to make $38.5 million in 2019 with $41.3 million in 2020 and $44.2 in 2021 (assuming he opts into the final year of his deal).”

Alex Cramer (The Hollywood Reporter) covers the red-carpet premier of The Game Changers, a vegan-sports documentary from Paul: “The film was executive produced by Paul, as well as James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan and was directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Louie Psihoyos. Paul has recently adapted to a plant-based diet and he shared with reporters what it was like to share it with his fellow NBA players. “I went to dinner with LeBron [James] and Russell Westbrook and we went to Carbone in Vegas and obviously that’s a huge steak restaurant… they didn’t know at the time that I was vegan. I’m out with my friends and I got a cauliflower dish…they gave me hell. They gave me hell,” he said, laughing. The film follows James Wilks, a former MMA fighter and winner of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter, as he travels the world speaking with doctors and researchers about the medical benefits of a plant-based diet, as well as professional athletes who have seen their careers prolonged by adapting to a vegan diet.”

Chad Smith (Basketball Insiders) thinks Paul is the ideal captain for a reset Thunder roster this season: “He has been named to the All-Defensive team nine times and led the league in assists four times, but he is a different player now. Paul has the highest assist to turnover ratio (4.1) in regular season history. He has the highest offensive rating (122) in the history of the league. He ranks at the top of so many statistical categories, yet it has never translated to success in the postseason. That might have mattered in Houston and LA, but not in Oklahoma City.”

Between John’s demands for an opening-night standing ovation and these bolts, I think we are now the #1 Chris Paul fan club on the internet. Here’s a summer workout vid to top it off:

Chris Crouse (SLAM) gives a helpful refresher on those virtually-unsalaried summer contracts in the NBA: “Teams cannot sign players using Exhibit 9 unless they have 14 players on their roster (not including summer contracts)… Teams have access to up to six summer contracts and a deal can contain both an Exhibit 9 and Exhibit 10.”

Jimmy Golen (AP) runs down the 2019 class of Basketball Hall of Fame enductees, who were enshrined on Friday: “(Jack) Sikma had a large contingent to support him, and they broke into laughter when the video screens showed a picture of him with a blonde bowl cut shortly after he was drafted in 1977. A seven-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Sonics, he also played five years with the Milwaukee Bucks and remains the only center in league history to lead the league in free throw percentage for a season (.922 in 1987-88).”

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