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The Board Man Cometh!! Kawhi Leonard Signs 3 Year (2+1), $103 Million Deal

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The Board Man Cometh!! Kawhi Leonard Signs 3 Year (2+1), $103 Million Deal 

Post#1 » by Quake Griffin » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:53 pm

Sam Amick says we are interested should he be made available.

Is anybody interested in Kawhi given the drama surrounding his 2018 campaign and the fact that he could be a rental looking for the max?

What are you willing to give up?

Oh to have assets that weren’t burned chasing some stupid unproductive vet.


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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#2 » by Clemenza » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:46 pm

Gotta vet the situation and his injury thoroughly before pulling the trigger. Also we have to keep at least one of our first rounders in the deal.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#3 » by Dunken Dave » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:40 pm

Quake Griffin wrote:Sam Amick says we are interested should he be made available.

Is anybody interested in Kawhi given the drama surrounding his 2018 campaign and the fact that he could be a rental looking for the max?

What are you willing to give up?

Oh to have assets that weren’t burned chasing some stupid unproductive vet.


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Would be nice to get an injury free Kawhi; I'd give up Gallo + 12, 13 for Kawhi and Spurs FRP----that could get it done. Spurs pick is in the late teens I think.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#4 » by MartinToVaught » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:24 pm

I'm not willing to give up both our picks like Amick is suggesting, that's for sure. We don't need to risk giving the Spurs two productive, cheap young players while Kawhi sits on the bench for us with an injury. We definitely shouldn't give up Tobias either.
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Packaging Picks for Kawhi 

Post#5 » by Ranma » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:03 pm

Dunken Dave wrote:Would be nice to get an injury free Kawhi; I'd give up Gallo + 12, 13 for Kawhi and Spurs FRP----that could get it done. Spurs pick is in the late teens I think.


I made that very same proposal in the 2018 NBA Draft thread. If the Spurs were to keep all three picks, they'd have 3 top-20 picks in this deep draft class including 2 late lottery picks. That's a pretty good haul for a guy who doesn't look like he wants to stay in San Antonio beyond another season, especially if they can somehow acquire Mikal Bridges with 1 or 2 of those picks.

Bridges is a solid facsimile of Leonard as a prospect with the same height (6'7") and even longer length (reportedly 2 more inches for a 7'2' wingspan). What Mikal lacks is Kawhi's big hands, strength and polished well-rounded game, particularly with regards to ball-handling. Not to mention that we also have to factor in Kawhi's long-term health and impending free agency as well as his contract demands compared to the benefit of rookie-scale wages for draft picks.

Of course, if Kawhi fully checks out, he's an MVP-caliber player who plays a 2-way game and will turn 27 around the upcoming draft, which would make him an invaluable addition to any team.
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Assembling an Ensemble Cast 

Post#6 » by Ranma » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:15 pm

MartinToVaught wrote:I'm not willing to give up both our picks like Amick is suggesting, that's for sure. We don't need to risk giving the Spurs two productive, cheap young players while Kawhi sits on the bench for us with an injury. We definitely shouldn't give up Tobias either.


I'm conflicted about giving up both draft picks as well, but a healthy and engaged Leonard entering the prime of his career would be well worth both picks, but I'd still like to explore getting San Antonio's 18th overall selection as an offset as well by expanding the trade. However, this all also assumes that he'd be signing an extension with us upon a completed trade.

Justin Russo agrees with your sentiment about pairing Harris along with Kawhi, which I also agree with. However, while I see why we would want to retain DJ and Bradley to go along with Beverley for an impressive supporting cast to surround Leonard for a lockdown defensive unit, I'm inclined to pass on DJ to open up salary to attract bigger fish in free agency since securing Leonard would be a key piece in making us a destination team again. Getting rid of Doc would be another move towards this.


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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#7 » by MartinToVaught » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:24 pm

I would trade DJ without hesitation. He wants too much money, didn't play hard for most of the season and is an outdated player in today's league.
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Not Yet Entirely Sold 

Post#8 » by Ranma » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:47 pm

At the same time, I also share in the misgivings of surrendering too much in assets in order to acquire Kawhi Leonard given the drama and uncertainty of his situation in San Antonio. On one hand, I understand Kawhi's precaution in returning back to full health for the sake of his career long-term, especially given how teams have abused their players in the past. The Detroit Pistons' handling of their superstar Grant Hill at the time springs to mine mind as well as the continued incompetence and lack of forthrightness by the Clippers with the amount of man-games lost over the years as well as the handling of Blake Griffin and Jared Dudley's respective injuries. However, I don't recall the Spurs to be one of those teams who have been unreasonable in their expectations and demands for players to return back from injury with the possible exception of Tony Parker.

Leonard will be an impending free agent with only one more year left on his contract and, given his extended absence this season, his long-term health has to be a concern if we're going to commit to signing him to a max contract. Also, there's talk of him wanting to return to Southern California in order to elevate his professional profile off the court with regards to endorsement deals. Have his priorities changed now or is winning still his ultimate goal? Because before all of this turmoil with him, he was a noted favorite of Jerry West's and someone every GM in the league would be happy to build around.

I agree with Clemenza that this deal would have to be thoroughly vetted since we don't want the Spurs to do to us what we did to the Pistons in the Blake Griffin trade. In fact, given the seemingly increasing animosity between Kawhi and Pop & the Spurs, we shouldn't have to give up both picks since Leonard will be expected to play out the string before heading back "home", which further limits the amount of assets teams would be willing to give up for a possible and likely rental if you're a team outside of So. Cal.

At the same time, if the handling of his health and desire to increase his profile are the primary priorities for him to return back to the Los Angeles area, you'd have to think that the Lakers present a better opportunity for both given our inept medical and training staff as well as the Lakers' storied history and place among Angelenos' hearts. Still, I wouldn't discount Jerry West's involvement in getting it done with regards to acquiring a player he particularly likes and outdoing his former organization.


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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#9 » by esqtvd » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:29 pm

Can't know what if a trade's worth it until you know what you're trading for. Are we trading for the Kawhi who's a free agent next summer or one we've signed to a max contract?

Kawhi's a free agent in 2019-20. Trading the farm [and emptying the cupboard] for what might be a one-year rental like OKC did? If we were genuine contenders like OKC, it would make some sense, but we are not contenders even if Kawhi comes.

It certainly looks like the Clippers will make a play, but I don't see the Spurs taking anything less than 1-2 FRPs and a player as promising as Oladipo, of which Tobias is the only one we have. You can only consider that deal if you can lock up Kawhi long term. As it's turning out, OKC took a big chance on PG and may end up on the short end of it.

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nba/pacers/2018/01/23/pacers-fans-amused-victor-oladipo-nba-all-star-and-paul-george-isnt/1059693001/


But assuming you can get Kawhi locked up, well, Tobias is a nice player, but Kawhi is not just an All-Star, but an All-NBA talent. It's fairly proven that you can't seriously contend without All-NBA caliber talent, and we ain't got none.



But is Kawhi the only fish in the sea? DJ, Austin, WeJo and Milos come off the books next summer, leaving us with $22M to Gallo and $8M for Lou in contract commitments, plus hopefully Tobias and Trezz at reasonable rates. That could leave as much as $60M in cap space. If not Kawhi, somebody will be happy to take Ballmer's filthy lucre. The important thing is to have a team worth joining.


If the price is less than Tobias and 2 FRPs, maybe you take a chance. But if you can't get Kawhi locked up long-term, that price is too high. We might be able to get him for nothing next summer. And since he's from LA, I wouldn't bet against him preferring the Lakers' money over Ballmer's come next summer. He could very well not be interested in the Clippers at any price, making this all moot.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#10 » by esqtvd » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:46 pm

As far as FRPs go, thought I'd make this a separate post. What are #12 and/or #13 picks really worth? Let's look at the record:

Number 12

Year Player School/Country – Team

2017 Luke Kennard, Duke – Detroit Pistons
2016 Taurean Prince, Baylor – Utah Jazz
2015 Trey Lyles, Kentucky – Utah Jazz
2014 Dario Saric, Croatia – Orlando Magic
2013 Steven Adams, Pittsburgh – Oklahoma City Thunder
2012 Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut – Houston Rockets
2011 Alec Burks, Colorado – Utah Jazz
2010 Xavier Henry, Kansas – Memphis Grizzlies


2009 Gerald Henderson, Duke – Charlotte Bobcats
2008 Jason Thompson, Rider – Sacramento Kings
2007 Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech – New Orleans Hornets
2006 Hilton Armstrong, Connecticut – New Orleans Hornets
2005 Yaroslav Korolev, CSKA Moscow – L.A. Clippers
2004 Robert Swift, Bakersfield HS (Calif.) – Seattle Supersonics
2003 Nick Collison, Kansas – Seattle Supersonics
2002 Melvin Ely, Fresno State – L.A. Clippers
2001 Vladimir Radmanovic, Serbia & Montenegro – Seattle Supersonics
2000 Etan Thomas, Syracuse – Dallas Mavericks

__________________________________________________

Number 13

Year Player School/Country – Team

2017 Donovan Mitchell, Louisville – Denver Nuggets
2016 Georgios Papagiannis, Greece – Phoenix Suns
2015 Devin Booker, Kentucky – Phoenix Suns
2014 Zach LaVine, UCLA – Minnesota Timberwolves
2013 Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga – Dallas Mavericks
2012 Kendall Marshall, UNC – Phoenix Suns
2011 Markieff Morris, Kansas – Phoenix Suns
2010 Ed Davis, UNC – Toronto Raptors

2009 Tyler Hansbrough, UNC – Indiana Pacers
2008 Brandon Rush, Kansas – Portland Trail Blazers
2007 Julian Wright, Kansas – New Orleans Hornets
2006 Thabo Sefolosha, Switzerland – Philadelphia 76ers
2005 Sean May, North Carolina – Charlotte Bobcats
2004 Sebastian Telfair, Lincoln HS (New York) – Portland Trail Blazers
2003 Marcus Banks, UNLV – Memphis Grizzlies
2002 Marcus Haislip, Tennessee – Milwaukee Bucks
2001 Richard Jefferson, Arizona – Houston Rockets
2000 Courtney Alexander, Fresno State – Orlando Magic




Out of 36 picks, 4 move the meter; there are a few OK players like LaVine, plenty of mehs and not a few busts. Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker peg the meter, admittedly, and I'm going to call Saric and Adams needle-movers. But the odds are still long.

I don't think The Logo will shy away from spending them for proven commodities.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#11 » by MartinToVaught » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:40 pm

Jerry West once threatened to quit the Warriors if they traded an "unproven" Klay Thompson for "proven" Kevin Love. Sorry, but he's not on board with your anti-draft, anti-player-development agenda.

It also makes no sense to use the players selected at 12 and 13 in the past to judge what we can get with those picks now. Every draft isn't the same, and not every team has a genius like West making the picks.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#12 » by og15 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:59 pm

Of course we're interested, who isn't, the two lottery picks (assuming the Clippers one doesn't move into the top 3) would be a very nice offer, but not for a non signed Leonard, that's the problem. If the Clippers one does move up, then you have to determine if the prospect there is a better option than Kawhi and you only trade that pick.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#13 » by esqtvd » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:04 am

MartinToVaught wrote:Jerry West once threatened to quit the Warriors if they traded an "unproven" Klay Thompson for "proven" Kevin Love. Sorry, but he's not on board with your anti-draft, anti-player-development agenda.

It also makes no sense to use the players selected at 12 and 13 in the past to judge what we can get with those picks now. Every draft isn't the same, and not every team has a genius like West making the picks.



Some drafts are deeper than others, true. But if it's true the Clips are going to make a run at Kawhi, one or both of these picks are involved, so that's the end of that argument.

The point is that at 12-13, there are no sure things and surprisingly few needle movers. I'm not "anti-draft," I just think draftnik types consider FRPs sacred, but we've just shown they're clearly not.

As for Kevin Love, meh. He was always rapped for not being a winner and for putting up empty numbers. Klay was far from "unproven"--he was only 23 and already averaging 18.4 ppg in the NBA, including 41.7% from distance. As a 6'7" SG, what's not to like? Even a subgenius like myself wouldn't make that trade either. :wink:
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#14 » by Quake Griffin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:05 am

Both picks is a no.

The Spurs don’t have much leverage if the relationship is fractured enough for them to want to deal him. Lose him for nothing or get a lottery pick? Their choice.


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Discount or Dismissing the Draft is Truly Dangerous Flawed Thinking 

Post#15 » by Ranma » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:04 am

MartinToVaught wrote:Jerry West once threatened to quit the Warriors if they traded an "unproven" Klay Thompson for "proven" Kevin Love. Sorry, but he's not on board with your anti-draft, anti-player-development agenda.

It also makes no sense to use the players selected at 12 and 13 in the past to judge what we can get with those picks now. Every draft isn't the same, and not every team has a genius like West making the picks.


Well said. I don't even know what you're discussing specifically, but anyone who continues to discount the value of the draft and is ignorant of how it fluctuates from year to year is either a simpleton incapable of seeing the big picture or backwards thinker whose mindset is stuck in an irrelevant past.

I mean let's go ahead and discount Kawhi Leonard who was the 15th overall pick in the 2011 draft or Paul George who was 10th overall in 2010. Kobe Bryant was the 13th overall selection in the 1996 draft and, even recently, Donovan Mitchell was the 13th overall pick in last year's draft.

There's a reason why the terms "deep" and "weak" are used to describe certain draft classes. Still, it is a bit of a crapshoot, which adds an element of unpredictability, but that's the point. It's an opportunity to find gold in the form of a rookie-scale contract in a salary cap era, which is absolutely vital. Just look at the NFL and how teams have benefited from having a franchise QB on a rookie contract while applying the rest of the resources to fill out and strengthen the roster for serious contention. It's the simplest of concepts and one employed by every personnel executive across all four major North American professional sports leagues, which even includes MLB where there is no hard cap. I can't believe there are still people stuck in the Stone Ages who think otherwise.

In any case, this is why we have and should go after more proven talent evaluators to mitigate the risk like I've been advocating for recently. We've seen how Doc's cavalier and dismissive attitude towards the draft has squandered our prime window for contention during his reign. Having someone like Jerry West onboard is a valuable resource, but he can no longer handle the day-to-day grind and travel required for more in-depth scouting. I mean an executive at his level is not going to go out and constantly make scouting trips, but he should whenever his trusted scouts turn him onto particular players to their liking.

Executives and scouts with an eye for talent are underrated by the general public but key to reading the nuances of determining whether "unproven" potential trumps "proven" productive commodities.

The consensus favorite prospect on this board is Mikal Bridges and he aspires to follow in the footsteps of both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard where he's cited how both were not initially seen as sure-fire impact players, but worked hard and developed (with the help of competent organizations) themselves to be among the elite players in the league.
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Re: this is now a joke 

Post#16 » by esqtvd » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:00 am

Ranma wrote:
MartinToVaught wrote:Jerry West once threatened to quit the Warriors if they traded an "unproven" Klay Thompson for "proven" Kevin Love. Sorry, but he's not on board with your anti-draft, anti-player-development agenda.

It also makes no sense to use the players selected at 12 and 13 in the past to judge what we can get with those picks now. Every draft isn't the same, and not every team has a genius like West making the picks.


Well said. I don't even know what you're discussing specifically, but anyone who continues to discount the value of the draft and is ignorant of how it fluctuates from year to year is either a simpleton incapable of seeing the big picture or backwards thinker whose mindset is stuck in an irrelevant past.


Well, that's a straw man, so this thread has gone seriously in the ditch. Nobody discounts the value of the draft. But many people hold picks inordinately sacred. I'd much rather trade one or both picks for Kawhi to keep Tobias unless I were convinced the guy I want [Mikal Bridges?] is a) going to be better than Tobias and b) going to be available when we draft.

The Spurs didn't trade George Hill for the #15 pick, they traded him for the #15 on draft night, on the clock, when Kawhi Leonard was still on the board. They regarded Hill highly and wouldn't have traded him for just "a pick" in the abstract.

"The toughest [decision] in whatever, 20, whatever years I've been coaching here as a head coach. It's not even close. We were scared to death sitting in the room. I think it was the 15th pick, if I remember, and when we got to 11, 12, 13. Danny Ferry, our CEO, and I were looking at each other saying, 'Are we really going to do this?'

"[Hill] was one of my favorite players. He was important to us, but we needed to get bigger. … So in the end, we said we're going to roll the bones and we're going to do it, but I can't tell that at that point we knew that Kawhi was going to be what he is today. That would be an exaggeration."

"We were all looking at each other like, Are we really going to do this?. We were scared s---less. We don't know this kid. He's not a shooter. He's not a scorer. He's not a perimeter player. He's a big guy who can rebound."

To hear Popovich describe Leonard as "a big guy who can rebound" further illustrates how grand Leonard's rise has become.

Leonard's transformation into a top-10 NBA talent has revitalized the Spurs.


But the Spurs did not know what they were getting and didn't expect he'd become All-NBA and MVP material. They liked Kawhi a lot, but only traded George Hill because they already had Tony Parker at PG. Likewise, the Pacers liked Kawhi a lot, but already had Paul George at SF. There was a lot of luck involved. If the Spurs didn't already have an ace PG in Parker, this deal-for-the-ages never gets done.

Romanticizing draft picks in the abstract is nonsense, as we see here, cherry-picking the few hits and ignoring the many misses.

Number 12

Year Player School/Country – Team

2017 Luke Kennard, Duke – Detroit Pistons
2016 Taurean Prince, Baylor – Utah Jazz
2015 Trey Lyles, Kentucky – Utah Jazz
2014 Dario Saric, Croatia – Orlando Magic
2013 Steven Adams, Pittsburgh – Oklahoma City Thunder
2012 Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut – Houston Rockets
2011 Alec Burks, Colorado – Utah Jazz
2010 Xavier Henry, Kansas – Memphis Grizzlies


2009 Gerald Henderson, Duke – Charlotte Bobcats
2008 Jason Thompson, Rider – Sacramento Kings
2007 Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech – New Orleans Hornets
2006 Hilton Armstrong, Connecticut – New Orleans Hornets
2005 Yaroslav Korolev, CSKA Moscow – L.A. Clippers
2004 Robert Swift, Bakersfield HS (Calif.) – Seattle Supersonics
2003 Nick Collison, Kansas – Seattle Supersonics
2002 Melvin Ely, Fresno State – L.A. Clippers
2001 Vladimir Radmanovic, Serbia & Montenegro – Seattle Supersonics
2000 Etan Thomas, Syracuse – Dallas Mavericks

__________________________________________________

Number 13

Year Player School/Country – Team

2017 Donovan Mitchell, Louisville – Denver Nuggets
2016 Georgios Papagiannis, Greece – Phoenix Suns
2015 Devin Booker, Kentucky – Phoenix Suns
2014 Zach LaVine, UCLA – Minnesota Timberwolves
2013 Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga – Dallas Mavericks
2012 Kendall Marshall, UNC – Phoenix Suns
2011 Markieff Morris, Kansas – Phoenix Suns
2010 Ed Davis, UNC – Toronto Raptors

2009 Tyler Hansbrough, UNC – Indiana Pacers
2008 Brandon Rush, Kansas – Portland Trail Blazers
2007 Julian Wright, Kansas – New Orleans Hornets
2006 Thabo Sefolosha, Switzerland – Philadelphia 76ers
2005 Sean May, North Carolina – Charlotte Bobcats
2004 Sebastian Telfair, Lincoln HS (New York) – Portland Trail Blazers
2003 Marcus Banks, UNLV – Memphis Grizzlies
2002 Marcus Haislip, Tennessee – Milwaukee Bucks
2001 Richard Jefferson, Arizona – Houston Rockets
2000 Courtney Alexander, Fresno State – Orlando Magic


Who went before Kawhi that year? LOL. Kyrie at #1, Kemba at #9, Klay at #11, and the rest was varying shades of crap.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#17 » by Quake Griffin » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:30 am

Ranma wrote:
MartinToVaught wrote:Jerry West once threatened to quit the Warriors if they traded an "unproven" Klay Thompson for "proven" Kevin Love. Sorry, but he's not on board with your anti-draft, anti-player-development agenda.

It also makes no sense to use the players selected at 12 and 13 in the past to judge what we can get with those picks now. Every draft isn't the same, and not every team has a genius like West making the picks.


Well said. I don't even know what you're discussing specifically, but anyone who continues to discount the value of the draft and is ignorant of how it fluctuates from year to year is either a simpleton incapable of seeing the big picture or backwards thinker whose mindset is stuck in an irrelevant past.

I mean let's go ahead and discount Kawhi Leonard who was the 15th overall pick in the 2011 draft or Paul George who was 10th overall in 2010. Kobe Bryant was the 13th overall selection in the 1996 draft and, even recently, Donovan Mitchell was the 13th overall pick in last year's draft.

There's a reason why the terms "deep" and "weak" are used to describe certain draft classes. Still, it is a bit of a crapshoot, which adds an element of unpredictability, but that's the point. It's an opportunity to find gold in the form of a rookie-scale contract in a salary cap era, which is absolutely vital. Just look at the NFL and how teams have benefited from having a franchise QB on a rookie contract while applying the rest of the resources to fill out and strengthen the roster for serious contention. It's the simplest of concepts and one employed by every personnel executive across all four major North American professional sports leagues, which even includes MLB where there is no hard cap. I can't believe there are still people stuck in the Stone Ages who think otherwise.

In any case, this is why we have and should go after more proven talent evaluators to mitigate the risk like I've been advocating for recently. We've seen how Doc's cavalier and dismissive attitude towards the draft has squandered our prime window for contention during his reign. Having someone like Jerry West onboard is a valuable resource, but he can no longer handle the day-to-day grind and travel required for more in-depth scouting. I mean an executive at his level is not going to go out and constantly make scouting trips, but he should whenever his trusted scouts turn him onto particular players to their liking.

Executives and scouts with an eye for talent are underrated by the general public but key to reading the nuances of determining whether "unproven" potential trumps "proven" productive commodities.

The consensus favorite prospect on this board is Mikal Bridges and he aspires to follow in the footsteps of both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard where he's cited how both were not initially seen as sure-fire impact players, but worked hard and developed (with the help of competent organizations) themselves to be among the elite players in the league.

Or a guy like Giannis at 15. D

Both posts are well said tbh.

I swear with some of these guys you’d think each roster 1-15 in the NBA is a nothing but top 5 picks sprinkled with trades for “proven talent.”

The point is to beef up the talent evaluation and coaching up the talent to develop it. In that way, you approach the draft with confidence and conviction. It’s almost a non starter that it’s a “crapshoot” because....duh....hurr durr...nobody wins without drafting and developing their own talent in any of the North American sports.

If our front office pulled out a list of #12 or #13 picks when considering this deal AND NOT their draft board for the 2018 draft, I’d hope they were all fired on the spot.


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Re: this is now a joke 

Post#18 » by Lwcasu » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:41 am

esqtvd wrote:
Ranma wrote:
MartinToVaught wrote:Jerry West once threatened to quit the Warriors if they traded an "unproven" Klay Thompson for "proven" Kevin Love. Sorry, but he's not on board with your anti-draft, anti-player-development agenda.

It also makes no sense to use the players selected at 12 and 13 in the past to judge what we can get with those picks now. Every draft isn't the same, and not every team has a genius like West making the picks.


Well said. I don't even know what you're discussing specifically, but anyone who continues to discount the value of the draft and is ignorant of how it fluctuates from year to year is either a simpleton incapable of seeing the big picture or backwards thinker whose mindset is stuck in an irrelevant past.


Well, that's a straw man, so this thread has gone seriously in the ditch. Nobody discounts the value of the draft. But many people hold picks inordinately sacred. I'd much rather trade one or both picks for Kawhi to keep Tobias unless I were convinced the guy I want [Mikal Bridges?] is a) going to be better than Tobias and b) going to be available when we draft.

The Spurs didn't trade George Hill for the #15 pick, they traded him for the #15 on draft night, on the clock, when Kawhi Leonard was still on the board. They regarded Hill highly and wouldn't have traded him for just "a pick" in the abstract.

"The toughest [decision] in whatever, 20, whatever years I've been coaching here as a head coach. It's not even close. We were scared to death sitting in the room. I think it was the 15th pick, if I remember, and when we got to 11, 12, 13. Danny Ferry, our CEO, and I were looking at each other saying, 'Are we really going to do this?'

"[Hill] was one of my favorite players. He was important to us, but we needed to get bigger. … So in the end, we said we're going to roll the bones and we're going to do it, but I can't tell that at that point we knew that Kawhi was going to be what he is today. That would be an exaggeration."

"We were all looking at each other like, Are we really going to do this?. We were scared s---less. We don't know this kid. He's not a shooter. He's not a scorer. He's not a perimeter player. He's a big guy who can rebound."

To hear Popovich describe Leonard as "a big guy who can rebound" further illustrates how grand Leonard's rise has become.

Leonard's transformation into a top-10 NBA talent has revitalized the Spurs.


But the Spurs did not know what they were getting and didn't expect he'd become All-NBA and MVP material. They liked Kawhi a lot, but only traded George Hill because they already had Tony Parker at PG. Likewise, the Pacers liked Kawhi a lot, but already had Paul George at SF. There was a lot of luck involved. If the Spurs didn't already have an ace PG in Parker, this deal-for-the-ages never gets done.

Romanticizing draft picks in the abstract is nonsense, as we see here, cherry-picking the few hits and ignoring the many misses.

Number 12

Year Player School/Country – Team

2017 Luke Kennard, Duke – Detroit Pistons
2016 Taurean Prince, Baylor – Utah Jazz
2015 Trey Lyles, Kentucky – Utah Jazz
2014 Dario Saric, Croatia – Orlando Magic
2013 Steven Adams, Pittsburgh – Oklahoma City Thunder
2012 Jeremy Lamb, Connecticut – Houston Rockets
2011 Alec Burks, Colorado – Utah Jazz
2010 Xavier Henry, Kansas – Memphis Grizzlies


2009 Gerald Henderson, Duke – Charlotte Bobcats
2008 Jason Thompson, Rider – Sacramento Kings
2007 Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech – New Orleans Hornets
2006 Hilton Armstrong, Connecticut – New Orleans Hornets
2005 Yaroslav Korolev, CSKA Moscow – L.A. Clippers
2004 Robert Swift, Bakersfield HS (Calif.) – Seattle Supersonics
2003 Nick Collison, Kansas – Seattle Supersonics
2002 Melvin Ely, Fresno State – L.A. Clippers
2001 Vladimir Radmanovic, Serbia & Montenegro – Seattle Supersonics
2000 Etan Thomas, Syracuse – Dallas Mavericks

__________________________________________________

Number 13

Year Player School/Country – Team

2017 Donovan Mitchell, Louisville – Denver Nuggets
2016 Georgios Papagiannis, Greece – Phoenix Suns
2015 Devin Booker, Kentucky – Phoenix Suns
2014 Zach LaVine, UCLA – Minnesota Timberwolves
2013 Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga – Dallas Mavericks
2012 Kendall Marshall, UNC – Phoenix Suns
2011 Markieff Morris, Kansas – Phoenix Suns
2010 Ed Davis, UNC – Toronto Raptors

2009 Tyler Hansbrough, UNC – Indiana Pacers
2008 Brandon Rush, Kansas – Portland Trail Blazers
2007 Julian Wright, Kansas – New Orleans Hornets
2006 Thabo Sefolosha, Switzerland – Philadelphia 76ers
2005 Sean May, North Carolina – Charlotte Bobcats
2004 Sebastian Telfair, Lincoln HS (New York) – Portland Trail Blazers
2003 Marcus Banks, UNLV – Memphis Grizzlies
2002 Marcus Haislip, Tennessee – Milwaukee Bucks
2001 Richard Jefferson, Arizona – Houston Rockets
2000 Courtney Alexander, Fresno State – Orlando Magic


Who went before Kawhi that year? LOL. Kyrie at #1, Kemba at #9, Klay at #11, and the rest was varying shades of crap.
https://www.basketball-reference.com/draft/NBA_2011.html


Not only that, Jimmy Butler went at the end of the 1st and IT went at the end of the 2nd. This draft is a good example of how much the whole thing is a crapshoot.
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Re: Kawhi Leonard? 

Post#19 » by MartinToVaught » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:08 pm

The MLB draft is by far a bigger "crapshoot" than the NBA draft, and yet we've seen the Cubs and Astros have major success by patiently rebuilding through the draft.

"The draft is a crapshoot" is just a thought-terminating cliché that impatient fans use to downplay the importance of the draft. Truth is, the most valuable commodity in pro sports is young talent on team-friendly contracts. The draft is vitally important to winning.
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Worthwhile Investment Doesn't Mean 100% Success Rate 

Post#20 » by Ranma » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:25 pm

Lwcasu wrote:Not only that, Jimmy Butler went at the end of the 1st and IT went at the end of the 2nd. This draft is a good example of how much the whole thing is a crapshoot.


Yes, it is a crap shoot but it illustrates that talent can be found at any spot at any given time and, as I've mentioned, you can mitigate the risk by employing topnotch talent evaluators since certain personnel executives have better track records than others and as Quake Griffin adeptly pointed out below, identifying and acquiring talent are only components of a complete draft strategy. A neglected component is developing that talent. It's the most obvious thing not to expect underdeveloped kids to be ready to play a man's game in the NBA, but surprisingly there are still teams that don't devote the proper resources into making this worthwhile investment. The cost is so relatively little compared to the pay-off that it boggles the mind why not every team does this, though more are catching on.

Just compare the dichotomy of Doc's approach to that of our new front office advised by Jerry West. Doc dismissed draft picks by either making the selections without input from seasoned scouts or traded those assets altogether for beans, which led to him being maligned as an irresponsible and incompetent GM who squandered a golden opportunity to take "Lob City" to the next level. Furthermore, he was uninterested in developing talent outside of his own son and it is arguable whether Austin's development was even worth the trouble given the trade-offs in lost opportunities for other players and resentment from players who have since left the team.

Meanwhile, in its first season together, the new front office was able to draft 2 rookies in the second round of this past draft who are already more successful than all of Doc's draft picks combined during his time here. It also unearthed 3 G-League players who've contributed significantly this past season in keeping our postseason hopes alive despite limited playing time.

As MartinToVaught also concisely illustrated below, successful organizations won championships built on successful drafting. It is the lifeblood of capable organizations, after all. That is not even open for debate as it is a widely accepted axiom in modern-day sports.


Quake Griffin wrote:Or a guy like Giannis at 15. D

Both posts are well said tbh.

I swear with some of these guys you’d think each roster 1-15 in the NBA is a nothing but top 5 picks sprinkled with trades for “proven talent.”

The point is to beef up the talent evaluation and coaching up the talent to develop it. In that way, you approach the draft with confidence and conviction. It’s almost a non starter that it’s a “crapshoot” because....duh....hurr durr...nobody wins without drafting and developing their own talent in any of the North American sports.

If our front office pulled out a list of #12 or #13 picks when considering this deal AND NOT their draft board for the 2018 draft, I’d hope they were all fired on the spot.

MartinToVaught wrote:The MLB draft is by far a bigger "crapshoot" than the NBA draft, and yet we've seen the Cubs and Astros have major success by patiently rebuilding through the draft.

"The draft is a crapshoot" is just a thought-terminating cliché that impatient fans use to downplay the importance of the draft. Truth is, the most valuable commodity in pro sports is young talent on team-friendly contracts. The draft is vitally important to winning.


Well stated, gentlemen. The other overly simplistic and unconvincing argument against the draft would state that since the success rate in hitting on draft picks is low that this "crap shoot" is not a worthwhile endeavor. That's the beauty of the draft. You don't have to hit on every pick, which is unreasonable to begin with. If you do hit, you get a quality contributor on a rookie-scale contract that allows freed up salary cap space to be devoted to other areas on the roster.

It's about the only way to get a superstar on a bargain contract and, as Travis Schlenk has noted, you can afford to miss on the draft because the monetary commitment is negligible while missing on veteran free agents saddles you with an albatross contracts that are difficult to dump. I mean Doc made the absolutely worst decisions in prioritizing free agency and basically sitting out of the draft, where he further compounded the problem with his misses on player signings by throwing in cash and draft picks to compensate for those blunders.

Even hitting on 1 out of every 5 draft picks affords you a player who will be on a cheap contract for at least 5 years while possibly retaining them for about 10 years and beyond. This might be why teams outside of Doc-led ones generally want more draft picks than less. I mean look at how Sam Hinkie's "Process" allowed for the Philadelphia Sixers to quickly turn around a franchise that was the worst in the league to now a postseason contender who is even arguably a free-agent destination now.

As we've pointed out, there are ways to mitigate the risks even further and increase he odds of success by devoting the proper resources to address them. It is an absolute no-brainer and yet people with supposedly functioning brains still don't get this?! Come on.
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