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Starting center next year? Options are limited...

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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#421 » by Los Soles » Tue Jun 1, 2021 1:19 pm

Ell Curry wrote:Yeah, haven't really seen anything like the 2014 Spurs since, and looking around, I don't really see anything on the horizon. Seems like ISO ball is largely back, even for teams with tons of skill at multiple positions like the Hawks.

WaltFrazier wrote:When that Spurs team won, I thought that passing style of offense was going to take over and become the new trend. It was so nice to watch, ball movement like the Lakers and Celtics of the 80s.

tecumseh18 wrote:Spurs in that Finals was the greatest passing team I've ever seen. They cut the Heat defence to pieces, and showed how the whole idea of having a point guard - like Russ - dominate the ball and rack up the assists is completely outmoded. I'm not sure the league has caught up to it yet.

Los_29 wrote:The Spurs beat Miami based on playing team ball. Sure they had good players but you can argue that none of their players at the time were better than Lebron or Wade.

There are two axes at play when we're talking about the uniqueness of the Spurs:

  1. Ball movement (vs isolation)
  2. Egalitarian scoring
Spurs were extreme on both: their offense was built on ball movement, and zero 20 ppg scorers. At the other extreme is the Harden Rockets: heavy on isolation, and one guy dominates the scoring.

I don't think the Rockets way has won the day, though. I think most teams have been and continue to be in between these two extremes. And I think most of the best offensive teams have offensive talent and move the ball well. The pre-Durant Warriors weren't as egalitarian with scoring as the Spurs, but the offense was definitely built on ball-movement more than isolation -- they just had their best shooters take a higher % of the shots. The Rockets hit as high as 20.4% of plays were isolation in '18-19, but, e.g., the '15-16 Warriors played isolation only 6.3% of the time.

League median by year for % of plays isolation for the last 6 years:

  • 6.9
  • 7.2
  • 6.6
  • 6.6
  • 5.8
  • 5.6
So most of the league is playing isolation well under 10% of the time. The NBA champion has been under 10% isolation every year in the regular season.

One important reality is the uniqueness of the defense the Spurs faced in the Finals: the Heat played an incredibly aggressive trapping defense. The counter was ball movement. Since then, the defensive trend has been toward more switching on defense -- the natural counter is attacking mismatches one-v-one. I think having the ability to attack mismatches after a switch is essential now, but that's a very different thing than building the whole offense around a Kobe/Harden/Westbrook-style ball-stopper.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#422 » by Ell Curry » Tue Jun 1, 2021 8:18 pm

Los Soles wrote:
One important reality is the uniqueness of the defense the Spurs faced in the Finals: the Heat played an incredibly aggressive trapping defense. The counter was ball movement. Since then, the defensive trend has been toward more switching on defense -- the natural counter is attacking mismatches one-v-one. I think having the ability to attack mismatches after a switch is essential now, but that's a very different thing than building the whole offense around a Kobe/Harden/Westbrook-style ball-stopper.


Good post. It does seem to me like the defences this playoffs have been quite conservative apart from Clippers coming out to deal with Luka (though I didn't watch much Bucks-Heat or Wiz-Philly). Not a lot of teams flying around desperately trying to create turnovers. Even an aggressive team personnel-wise like Memphis doesn't strike me as trapping aggressively really.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#423 » by Indeed » Thu Jun 3, 2021 12:58 pm

WaltFrazier wrote:
tecumseh18 wrote:
Los_29 wrote:
You're right. He did average 12.8ppg that year. I got the years mixed up. And there is no doubt Kawhi played really well in the finals but people seem to forget how he was getting his points. Most of his points were a result of players like Parker, Diaw, Duncan and Manu setting him up. He had a lot of wide open shots. The Spurs beat Miami based on playing team ball. Sure they had good players but you can argue that none of their players at the time were better than Lebron or Wade.


Spurs in that Finals was the greatest passing team I've ever seen. They cut the Heat defence to pieces, and showed how the whole idea of having a point guard - like Russ - dominate the ball and rack up the assists is completely outmoded. I'm not sure the league has caught up to it yet.


When that Spurs team won, I thought that passing style of offense was going to take over and become the new trend. It was so nice to watch, ball movement like the Lakers and Celtics of the 80s. But they only lasted one year, and the Warriors took over with the high volume 3 point style. I feel like now looking back those 2014 Spurs and the '04 Pistons were anomalies, with their balanced depth and lack of a single star scorer. Far more championships are won by teams with 1 or 2 "superstars".


It requires talent, development and player "buy-in" to do that.
There are not many forward who can make the right reads, while not many team has that type of development, furthermore, the salary structure of highest point being paid may differ with player buy-in.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#424 » by tecumseh18 » Mon Jun 7, 2021 4:12 pm

Unless you're a homeless person, you should subscribe to The Athletic, if only for Blake's deep dive articles. I think their $1/mo promotion is still in effect

But Eric Koreen just upped his game massively with this article on the Raptors situation at C going into next season.

https://theathletic.com/2635313/2021/06/07/what-can-the-raptors-learn-from-their-experiments-at-centre-this-season-a-lot/?source=dailyemail

The main takeaway might be, to create functional depth up front, [Raptors] might not have to lean heavily on [cap space or MLE] methods of expenditure, especially since using a frontcourt of Siakam and Anunoby should remain an option in certain situations. A long-term answer would require one of those things, or the use of a draft pick or trade, but you can make a case that they have more pressing needs from a skill perspective, such as a rim-pressuring playmaker, than a positional perspective.

More than anything, the Raptors have to ask themselves a stylistic question. Are NBA offences becoming too good to combat with the pairing of an aggressive scheme paired with a slower, drop-back-dependent centre? Can the Raptors make it work offensively with a centre who doesn’t give them shooting, so long as he can dive and finish at the rim effectively?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#425 » by dalton749 » Tue Jun 8, 2021 2:48 pm

We need to turn the Lowry sign and trade into horford and a few small assets and then throw the mle at oladipo as a prove it deal since he likely won’t get more. Then bring back gtjr and birch, draft where we land and see what happens.

Fvv/Flynn
Oladipo/Trent jr
OG/draft pick
Siakam/Boucher
Horford/birch

That’s back to a solid playoff team and has some upside to improve but really it’s just waiting to make that kawhi move.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#426 » by Ell Curry » Tue Jun 8, 2021 10:23 pm

Are we sleeping on Tony Bradley? Young, cheap, big body, very productive. Might make sense for us in a platoon with Birch if they get 20 minutes a night and the other 8 or so smallball.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#427 » by islandboy53 » Tue Jun 8, 2021 10:58 pm

Ell Curry wrote:Are we sleeping on Tony Bradley? Young, cheap, big body, very productive. Might make sense for us in a platoon with Birch if they get 20 minutes a night and the other 8 or so smallball.


There might be some potential there, even though he doesn't shoot the three. However, he's an RFA this year, and I don't see us shopping in that market. I might be interested in looking at Giles or Hernangomez for young, cheap, big bodies to potentially platoon with Birch.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#428 » by Ell Curry » Tue Jun 8, 2021 11:37 pm

islandboy53 wrote:
Ell Curry wrote:Are we sleeping on Tony Bradley? Young, cheap, big body, very productive. Might make sense for us in a platoon with Birch if they get 20 minutes a night and the other 8 or so smallball.


There might be some potential there, even though he doesn't shoot the three. However, he's an RFA this year, and I don't see us shopping in that market. I might be interested in looking at Giles or Hernangomez for young, cheap, big bodies to potentially platoon with Birch.


Yeah, OKC might just match a decent offer. But Bradley is 23 and Hernangomez is 27, and they had similar production last year, so Bradley might actually be a meh starting 5 while Hernangomez is probably at his peak now as a decent backup.

We missed out on Richaun Holmes and Christian Wood in the last couple years, would be nice if we can get one of the next batch of bigs who will blossom into a starter for cheap. Gafford might have been one, but he's gone. Based on age and production, seems like the likeliest guys are Bradley, Jaxson Hayes, Moses Brown, Naz Reid and I guess Eubanks on the Spurs.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#429 » by Raps1103 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 1:20 am

dalton749 wrote:We need to turn the Lowry sign and trade into horford and a few small assets and then throw the mle at oladipo as a prove it deal since he likely won’t get more. Then bring back gtjr and birch, draft where we land and see what happens.

Fvv/Flynn
Oladipo/Trent jr
OG/draft pick
Siakam/Boucher
Horford/birch

That’s back to a solid playoff team and has some upside to improve but really it’s just waiting to make that kawhi move.


Why would Lowry agree to sign n trade to OKC?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#430 » by Ivan Drago » Wed Jun 9, 2021 1:32 am

Although we might not get lucky and draft Evan Mobley, I still see us acquiring our future starting center in this year's draft. There's a lot of quality 5's in the later part of the draft, and I see one of them falling to us in the 2nd round, whether its Queta, Petrusev, Ariel, or another typical left-field player we haven't heard about our FO selects.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#431 » by DelAbbot » Wed Jun 9, 2021 2:33 am

What's he saying? We should forgo C position and spend on playmaker guard or get a rim runner C?
tecumseh18 wrote:Unless you're a homeless person, you should subscribe to The Athletic, if only for Blake's deep dive articles. I think their $1/mo promotion is still in effect

But Eric Koreen just upped his game massively with this article on the Raptors situation at C going into next season.

https://theathletic.com/2635313/2021/06/07/what-can-the-raptors-learn-from-their-experiments-at-centre-this-season-a-lot/?source=dailyemail

The main takeaway might be, to create functional depth up front, [Raptors] might not have to lean heavily on [cap space or MLE] methods of expenditure, especially since using a frontcourt of Siakam and Anunoby should remain an option in certain situations. A long-term answer would require one of those things, or the use of a draft pick or trade, but you can make a case that they have more pressing needs from a skill perspective, such as a rim-pressuring playmaker, than a positional perspective.

More than anything, the Raptors have to ask themselves a stylistic question. Are NBA offences becoming too good to combat with the pairing of an aggressive scheme paired with a slower, drop-back-dependent centre? Can the Raptors make it work offensively with a centre who doesn’t give them shooting, so long as he can dive and finish at the rim effectively?
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#432 » by dalton749 » Wed Jun 9, 2021 6:35 am

Raps1103 wrote:
dalton749 wrote:We need to turn the Lowry sign and trade into horford and a few small assets and then throw the mle at oladipo as a prove it deal since he likely won’t get more. Then bring back gtjr and birch, draft where we land and see what happens.

Fvv/Flynn
Oladipo/Trent jr
OG/draft pick
Siakam/Boucher
Horford/birch

That’s back to a solid playoff team and has some upside to improve but really it’s just waiting to make that kawhi move.


Why would Lowry agree to sign n trade to OKC?


He wouldn’t, he would go elsewhere with the return contacts going to okc
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#433 » by Rapsalot » Wed Jun 9, 2021 10:43 am

I have looked at this lots of ways.

I would start Khem the first 20 games and then go with E Mobley after. Let him play off bench until he sees speed and strength as you have training staff work with him on strength. No need for him to play Summer league.

Not sure if MU is waiting on lottery to sign or what?
To me we have to trade up to get Evan! Say we get 4th pick we trade that and one other future first top 5 protected. If we get 8th pick we likely trade 2021, 2023, 2025 with the second 2 top 6 protected.
EM makes the Raps so much better, balances the team ( no more well we could try OG at 5 crap) even if you give up 3 first picks to get him. There would be some point where we would stop but this to me is a hell or high water moment. Add a second pick this year, trade Freddie G contract. We would need to be creative and smart.
We are good to great every position but C. We saw impact of Marc and Serge on this team. We don’t have the money to get a proper C short or long term. We can get him on rookie scale 3-4 years and then move down some of Pascals overpriced contract to help re-sign.

This also helps you with KLow you can sign if the math works or sign and trade as for best package that helps him. You then match or sign GTJ and use $6 Mil of MLE on Khem.

21/22 Raps. PG FVV, MF, ? SG GTJ, JH, DB, SF OG, DB, PW, Yuta PF PS, CB, Yuta C Mobley, Khem, CB (Freddie or Vet Min)

Maybe we find a way for KLow or FVV to still play 28 MPG but not start??? There are several good options to deal with PG and wings but finding a way to Mobley helps us in the next 5-15 year window. Even if you offered the package above to get KAT from Minny you still have to deal with Salary. If GTJ develops some we are back in contention in East and maybe beyond next 4 years for sure.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#434 » by Indeed » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:31 pm

Regardless who we draft, I don't think they will get many minutes off the bench, let along starting.

With Boucher being an expiring and not being part of the core, I think it is better for us to trade him for a starting C.
I still believe we need someone like Steven Adams who is big and tough to protect the paint, and avoid back problems when Birch or Siakam are going against elite size bigs.

To NO: Boucher (Hood filler) and 47th pick - 17m
To TO: Adams and 10th pick (or may endup being 11th/12th) - 18m (including trade bonus)

Adams is being overpaid and expandable with Hayes, furthermore, for them to re-sign Ball, trading Adams for expiring will allow them to go under the tax.

Boucher is an expiring, and we are unlikely to afford him (much like Powell). Getting back a lottery pick will compensate the big salary of Adams.

During the summer, we can re-sign Birch to be the backup C who shares minutes with Adams.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#435 » by Saciid11 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 3:54 pm

We are not contending, so I would just sign a young athletic big who can move his feet and protect that paint. The other option is to get lucky and draft big second round. I just don't want to see Raptors waste money signing any of these bigs commending 20+ million for **** production.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#436 » by FreshyFlames » Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:27 pm

dalton749 wrote:We need to turn the Lowry sign and trade into horford and a few small assets and then throw the mle at oladipo as a prove it deal since he likely won’t get more. Then bring back gtjr and birch, draft where we land and see what happens.

Fvv/Flynn
Oladipo/Trent jr
OG/draft pick
Siakam/Boucher
Horford/birch

That’s back to a solid playoff team and has some upside to improve but really it’s just waiting to make that kawhi move.


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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#437 » by PhilBlackson » Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:31 pm

It's intentional...the fix is already in n we don't need anyone getting in Mobley's way.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#438 » by OAKLEY_2 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:50 pm

Actually our best move would be to put KL on the Clips for 20 mil and take Zubac and Paddy Bever back.
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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#439 » by S.W.A.N » Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:48 am

OAKLEY_2 wrote:Actually our best move would be to put KL on the Clips for 20 mil and take Zubac and Paddy Bever back.


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Re: Starting center next year? Options are limited... 

Post#440 » by hyper316 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:32 am

I'll roll with either Birch/Theis/Portis

FA or player option, won't lose assets picking them up

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