Thursday Bolts: 10.3.19

Sean Deveney (heavy.) has sources saying that Steven Adams has plenty of interest around the league, but the Thunder’s asking price has been too steep for other executives thus far: “If there is a team that is a favorite to move for Adams, sources said, it would be Sacramento. The Kings had interest in Adams before free agency began and discussed a potential deal with the Thunder. The talks did not get very far, however. Oklahoma City had eyed one of Sacramento’s young shooting guards, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Sacramento also has forward Harry Giles, who could blossom with more playing time.”

ESPN has the Thunder at #22 for their opening power rankings, and Royce Young is leading the charge on Terrance Ferguson’s potential to breakout this season: “It has gone somewhat unnoticed, but at just 21 years old, Ferguson already has 86 NBA starts to his name. And last season, he quietly emerged as a quality 3-and-D player, hitting nearly 37% from deep on almost four attempts a game. He is an elite athlete with sneaky size (6-foot-7), but he has obvious areas to improve, specifically in attacking the paint off the dribble. OKC wants him to have the ball in his hands more, and there will be an opportunity to see where his game can go during the Thunder’s transition.”

USA TODAY puts OKC 23rd.

And Frank Urbina (HoopsHype) puts Chris Paul #9 in his player rankings for the century: “He may get knocked down a peg due to lack of playoff success (to this point in his career, at least), but there’s no question Chris Paul is one of the greatest point guards of all time, and a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. Since he reached the NBA back in 2005-06, no player can come close to matching Paul’s 9,181 career assists, with second place on that list, LeBron James, trailing by over 1,500 helpers. And it’s not just his vision that makes Paul special.”

Listen to Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux discuss the Thunder’s over/under win-total (@53:50) to see if they side with our writers:

Listen to “Western Conference Over/Unders 2019-20 and Best Bets” on Spreaker.

Bradley Beal is speaking to Fred Katz (The Athletic) in the third person about his fluid commitment to the Wizards: “We know that this is probably gonna be a development year. It’s gonna be one of those types of years. So, does Bradley Beal wanna be a part of that ultimately? And that’s something I have to ask myself and something I’m probably still not done asking myself. So, I’m gonna use all my time until I can.” Beal insists he’s barely thought about the three-year extension the Wizards offered on July 26, the first day they were eligible to put the contract in front of him.”

(He gone.)

Prompted by a question from our very own Dom Flaim, Seth Partnow (The Athletic) drops a lot of helpful perspective on how some common analytics like adjusted plus-minus numbers are often misused: “These are measures not of how “good” a player is but of how “effective” he has been. The difference is not just semantics. Players deployed to best use their skillsets will be more effective and thus show up better on these measures of impact. A player being forced out of position or comfort either by poor coaching or the necessities of an undermanned roster can easily appear “worse” than his true ability. The same player with the same underlying skills might look very different from one environment to the next. The thing is, we already know this when expressed in more conventional terms. We make allowances for players playing “out of position,” while remaining appropriately skeptical that effective role players will see similar levels of success thrust into starting or starring roles. That these numbers are measures of “effectiveness in specific role” is what leads to the common situations where a complimentary player shows up as one of the most impactful players in the league, ahead of many quite evidently more skilled players. For example, Danny Green was 13th in RPM for 2018-19. Green quite clearly wasn’t the 13th best player in the league (while Leonard was 31st…). But given his role with Toronto, Green was the 13th most impactful, according to RPM. Those are substantially diverging claims, but the difference often gets ignored or compressed.”

The NBA put out a video explaining how the coach’s challenge will work this season (H/T Liberty Ballers):

We’ll be using some of Marc Streeter’s illustrations on DT this season. Give his feed and website a look for some nice comic-style NBA artwork.

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