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Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard

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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#541 » by dlts20 » Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:19 pm

One thing about Bryant that we haven't considered is the unseld effect. I could see him making Bryant's defense Atleast respectable. If that happens combined with his offense, he could be a game changer
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#542 » by mhd » Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:27 pm

dlts20 wrote:One thing about Bryant that we haven't considered is the unseld effect. I could see him making Bryant Atleast respectable. If that happens combined with his offense, he could be a game changer



Yeah, but how is he going to get PT? He'll never be near the defender Gafford is. No way is Trez going to get benched. It'll be garbage time PT. Its not fair to Bryant. Trade him for an equivalent expiring and two future 2nds (to restock our non-existent 2nds).

Bryant to Toronto for Boucher (expiring and makes less than Bryant)+Toronto's 2023+2025 2nds works for me.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#543 » by nate33 » Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:34 pm

mhd wrote:
dlts20 wrote:One thing about Bryant that we haven't considered is the unseld effect. I could see him making Bryant Atleast respectable. If that happens combined with his offense, he could be a game changer



Yeah, but how is he going to get PT? He'll never be near the defender Gafford is. No way is Trez going to get benched. It'll be garbage time PT. Its not fair to Bryant. Trade him for an equivalent expiring and two future 2nds (to restock our non-existent 2nds).

Bryant to Toronto for Boucher (expiring and makes less than Bryant)+Toronto's 2023+2025 2nds works for me.

It's not a problem we need to worry about until the Trade Deadline. I figure there will be some injuries, foul trouble, or garbage time that will get us a glimpse of how Bryant looks under Unseld. We can make the decision after seeing him play a bit.

As I've said, I do think we must trade either Bryant or Harrell at the Trade Deadline. I just want to make sure we make the right choice.

One other factor: neither guy will have any real trade value if they project to make less than the MLE next year. Their only enduring value beyond this summer is Bird Rights. And Bird Rights really only help if the player in question costs more than the MLE.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#544 » by mhd » Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:40 pm

nate33 wrote:
mhd wrote:
dlts20 wrote:One thing about Bryant that we haven't considered is the unseld effect. I could see him making Bryant Atleast respectable. If that happens combined with his offense, he could be a game changer



Yeah, but how is he going to get PT? He'll never be near the defender Gafford is. No way is Trez going to get benched. It'll be garbage time PT. Its not fair to Bryant. Trade him for an equivalent expiring and two future 2nds (to restock our non-existent 2nds).

Bryant to Toronto for Boucher (expiring and makes less than Bryant)+Toronto's 2023+2025 2nds works for me.

It's not a problem we need to worry about until the Trade Deadline. I figure there will be some injuries, foul trouble, or garbage time that will get us a glimpse of how Bryant looks under Unseld. We can make the decision after seeing him play a bit.

As I've said, I do think we must trade either Bryant or Harrell at the Trade Deadline. I just want to make sure we make the right choice.

One other factor: neither guy will have any real trade value if they project to make less than the MLE next year. Their only enduring value beyond this summer is Bird Rights. And Bird Rights really only help if the player in question costs more than the MLE.


That's certainly true. However, we've already seen that Kuzma and Deni can play small-ball center (they are certainly tall enough to do so). Rui even played some of it last year. All we need is a big vet as a break-the-glass emergency type (ala the Alex Len, RLO types). Maybe Bryant improves defensively. His outside shooting would help, but I don't think he has the lateral quickness to be a good defender. I'd rather use him to get back our utter lack of 2nds. He's the only relatively positive trade asset we have (that we can give away).
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#545 » by nate33 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 12:07 am

mhd wrote:
nate33 wrote:
mhd wrote:

Yeah, but how is he going to get PT? He'll never be near the defender Gafford is. No way is Trez going to get benched. It'll be garbage time PT. Its not fair to Bryant. Trade him for an equivalent expiring and two future 2nds (to restock our non-existent 2nds).

Bryant to Toronto for Boucher (expiring and makes less than Bryant)+Toronto's 2023+2025 2nds works for me.

It's not a problem we need to worry about until the Trade Deadline. I figure there will be some injuries, foul trouble, or garbage time that will get us a glimpse of how Bryant looks under Unseld. We can make the decision after seeing him play a bit.

As I've said, I do think we must trade either Bryant or Harrell at the Trade Deadline. I just want to make sure we make the right choice.

One other factor: neither guy will have any real trade value if they project to make less than the MLE next year. Their only enduring value beyond this summer is Bird Rights. And Bird Rights really only help if the player in question costs more than the MLE.


That's certainly true. However, we've already seen that Kuzma and Deni can play small-ball center (they are certainly tall enough to do so). Rui even played some of it last year. All we need is a big vet as a break-the-glass emergency type (ala the Alex Len, RLO types). Maybe Bryant improves defensively. His outside shooting would help, but I don't think he has the lateral quickness to be a good defender. I'd rather use him to get back our utter lack of 2nds. He's the only relatively positive trade asset we have (that we can give away).

I agree. I'm not suggesting that we keep both Bryant and Harrell. 2 centers is enough (plus a 3rd guy on a vet minimum contract). All I'm saying is that let's not decide Bryant is the guy to trade. Maybe the guy to trade is Harrell. It depends on how good Bryant looks after coming back from injury (and also on what value either guy would get in a trade).

Given how well Harrell has played, I'd say the odds are stacked against Bryant.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#546 » by penbeast0 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:30 am

It also matters which of Harrell or Bryant we think we can resign on a value contract. Both are free agents in the offseason. I think that's pretty important because I don't want to lose both; two of my favorite Wizards (though I agree we need Gafford for the defense).

Also if someone wants to make us a good offer for Harrell, that could play into it as well.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#547 » by payitforward » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:21 am

I don't think this 3 Center Problem is quite so straightforward to solve; in fact, it may not even be a problem. & that's partly, maybe mostly, b/c both Harrell & Bryant are expiring contracts.

Only a week or so ago, nate was describing Harrell as, potentially, a "rent a player" for this season. Unfortunately, that makes some sense, & nate might be right. The guy is playing his ass off! He may get a big-time offer. I.e. one that we can't afford to match (esp. given the likelihood of top dollar going to Brad).

Meanwhile, Gafford is only playing 20 minutes a game. He's playing well, to be sure -- though, so far at least, not quite as well as last year -- but we shouldn't overlook how few minutes he seems to be able to handle.

Do you really want to entertain the possibility that having traded Bryant we lose Harrell in the off-season & go into 2022-23 with Gafford as our only Center? I don't.

Doesn't mean we can't trade Bryant -- we can trade anyone, including Harrell and/or Gafford, if the deal is right. But, I'd be a lot more comfortable with moving Bryant if we had Harrell locked up for a few years.

Of course, we could try to extend Harrell now, & that would definitely clarify things. But... I don't think that's real likely.

It's a real problem. & is one reason why I keep wondering whether Bryant & Harrell can be on the floor together -- because, if they could, the logical candidate to be traded would be either Rui or Deni.

But... neither Bryant nor Rui is at his highest trade value right now for obvious reasons. So... unless an unexpected terrific offer comes along, I'm not sure I want to trade any of these guys!
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#548 » by gambitx777 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:33 pm

payitforward wrote:I don't think this 3 Center Problem is quite so straightforward to solve; in fact, it may not even be a problem. & that's partly, maybe mostly, b/c both Harrell & Bryant are expiring contracts.

Only a week or so ago, nate was describing Harrell as, potentially, a "rent a player" for this season. Unfortunately, that makes some sense, & nate might be right. The guy is playing his ass off! He may get a big-time offer. I.e. one that we can't afford to match (esp. given the likelihood of top dollar going to Brad).

Meanwhile, Gafford is only playing 20 minutes a game. He's playing well, to be sure -- though, so far at least, not quite as well as last year -- but we shouldn't overlook how few minutes he seems to be able to handle.

Do you really want to entertain the possibility that having traded Bryant we lose Harrell in the off-season & go into 2022-23 with Gafford as our only Center? I don't.

Doesn't mean we can't trade Bryant -- we can trade anyone, including Harrell and/or Gafford, if the deal is right. But, I'd be a lot more comfortable with moving Bryant if we had Harrell locked up for a few years.

Of course, we could try to extend Harrell now, & that would definitely clarify things. But... I don't think that's real likely.

It's a real problem. & is one reason why I keep wondering whether Bryant & Harrell can be on the floor together -- because, if they could, the logical candidate to be traded would be either Rui or Deni.

But... neither Bryant nor Rui is at his highest trade value right now for obvious reasons. So... unless an unexpected terrific offer comes along, I'm not sure I want to trade any of these guys!
I agree with piff. I don't have a strong desire at this point to move any of them right now. I did but this teams playing so well and Harrell seems to really be coming into his own. If Ted gives the gree light to hot the tax then no reason not to keep both and worry about it later. That being said before we explore getting rid of Bryant or Harrell or gafford or Kuz or Rui or Deni. We should explore any and all ways possibly to move bertans. I still ldont have an issue with signing him to the deal he is on, the injury and covid issues are just bad luck. But right now I look to do that if you can move him then I say resign both if you can! And deal with it later.

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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#549 » by nate33 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 2:24 pm

payitforward wrote:I don't think this 3 Center Problem is quite so straightforward to solve; in fact, it may not even be a problem. & that's partly, maybe mostly, b/c both Harrell & Bryant are expiring contracts.

Only a week or so ago, nate was describing Harrell as, potentially, a "rent a player" for this season. Unfortunately, that makes some sense, & nate might be right. The guy is playing his ass off! He may get a big-time offer. I.e. one that we can't afford to match (esp. given the likelihood of top dollar going to Brad).

Meanwhile, Gafford is only playing 20 minutes a game. He's playing well, to be sure -- though, so far at least, not quite as well as last year -- but we shouldn't overlook how few minutes he seems to be able to handle.

Do you really want to entertain the possibility that having traded Bryant we lose Harrell in the off-season & go into 2022-23 with Gafford as our only Center? I don't.

Doesn't mean we can't trade Bryant -- we can trade anyone, including Harrell and/or Gafford, if the deal is right. But, I'd be a lot more comfortable with moving Bryant if we had Harrell locked up for a few years.

Of course, we could try to extend Harrell now, & that would definitely clarify things. But... I don't think that's real likely.

It's a real problem. & is one reason why I keep wondering whether Bryant & Harrell can be on the floor together -- because, if they could, the logical candidate to be traded would be either Rui or Deni.

But... neither Bryant nor Rui is at his highest trade value right now for obvious reasons. So... unless an unexpected terrific offer comes along, I'm not sure I want to trade any of these guys!

It's an interesting point.

I'm all but certain that one of Harrell or Bryant will not be on the team next year, but getting from here to there has several plausible pathways.

The most straightforward solution is to trade one of them by the Trade Deadline, so that we get assets in return for their departure. But the problem with that idea is that it leaves us in much poorer negotiating position in the offseason. If Bryant is traded now, Harrell's agent is going to know that we REALLY need Harrell going forward.

So the alternative is to keep them both for the remainder of the season. The downside is that we get no trade assets in return. But the upside is that we get more time to assess Bryant's recovery from injury and overall improvement. And we get the ability to play them off each other in offseason contract negotiations so that maybe we can sign one of them to a bargain deal. We also get superior depth for the remainder of the season in case one of our 3 centers gets hurt.

Knowing the conservative nature of this organization, I suspect they will go with Option B and keep them both all season. The team doesn't really value 2nd round picks anyhow, and that's probably all we would get if we traded one of them now.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#550 » by bsilver » Mon Nov 15, 2021 4:38 pm

We may have jumped the gun in signing Gafford to a long term deal. There didn't seem to be a good reason to be in a hurry. Gafford is in a bit of a slump, which he hopefully get outs of, but we may find our two best centers are Bryant and Harrell. There's no way we have the money to have all three next year, unless Beal gets traded.

If we continue to play well, we should keep all three through the end of the season. We need the depth of a 3rd center. If we trade one, then we need a replacement. Someone like an Alex Len who doesn't need much playing time.

It would be a disappointment to have Harrell for only this year. He's probably our MVP.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#551 » by nate33 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 5:17 pm

bsilver wrote:We may have jumped the gun in signing Gafford to a long term deal.

I don't think so. I'm content with the signing and the contract. Rim protectors are pretty rare, and Gafford is a good one. I like him as a starter, even if our backup center will often get more minutes. And he is young enough that he is likely to improve going forward. He has only played 1600 total minutes - not even a full season.

I think the dilemma is between Harrell and Bryant. I'm not blind to how well Harrell has played, but I don't want to dismiss Bryant yet either. One thing Bryant brings that Harrell lacks is the ability to stick the 3-point shot. That's going to add a dimension that we lack now by giving us out a 5-out configuration on offense when needed.

Ultimately, I think Bryant brings close to as much offense as Harrell provides, but in a younger package with more potential to improve. The question to me is whether or not Bryant can rebound and defend within the context of Wes Jr.'s system. Can he rebound and defend at least as well as Harrell?
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#552 » by tontoz » Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:44 pm

Gafford misses Westbrook setting him up for easy looks.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#553 » by nate33 » Mon Nov 15, 2021 7:44 pm

tontoz wrote:Gafford misses Westbrook setting him up for easy looks.

Maybe, but I think there are other factors at play.

Last season was the peak of "smallball". There were a ton of teams playing undersized centers and power forwards, leaving nobody on the court with the size to stop lobs to Gafford. So far this season, we've played frontcourts with a lot more size (Toronto with Birch and multiple rangy forwards (twice), Indy with Sabonis and Turner, Boston with Theus and Williams, Atlanta with Capela and Collins (twice), Cleveland with Jafro and Mobley.

We've got a bunch of smaller teams ahead of us on the schedule (New Orleans without Zion twice, Charlotte twice, Miami twice, OKC, Dallas, San Antonio). It'll be interesting to see if Gafford's production picks up.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#554 » by Illuminaire » Mon Nov 15, 2021 8:22 pm

nate33 wrote:We've got a bunch of smaller teams ahead of us on the schedule (New Orleans without Zion twice).


Hey now! Uncalled for!

... but yes, we're smaller without Zion's mighty girth. Though he's more of a CCJ "explosive thicc" type than a tall alley-hoop denier.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#555 » by doclinkin » Tue Nov 16, 2021 3:46 am

nate33 wrote:
tontoz wrote:Gafford misses Westbrook setting him up for easy looks.

Maybe, but I think there are other factors at play.

Last season was the peak of "smallball". There were a ton of teams playing undersized centers and power forwards, leaving nobody on the court with the size to stop lobs to Gafford. So far this season, we've played frontcourts with a lot more size (Toronto with Birch and multiple rangy forwards (twice), Indy with Sabonis and Turner, Boston with Theus and Williams, Atlanta with Capela and Collins (twice), Cleveland with Jafro and Mobley.

We've got a bunch of smaller teams ahead of us on the schedule (New Orleans without Zion twice, Charlotte twice, Miami twice, OKC, Dallas, San Antonio). It'll be interesting to see if Gafford's production picks up.


Telling you. It's a big man resurgence. Teams have to have high percentage low post scorers nowadays because the easy points from outside, and dribble drive guards are not there anymore.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#556 » by FAH1223 » Tue Nov 16, 2021 4:40 am

TB being hype on the bench is fun to see especially when I was at the game
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#557 » by payitforward » Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:32 pm

doclinkin wrote:
nate33 wrote:
tontoz wrote:Gafford misses Westbrook setting him up for easy looks.

Maybe, but I think there are other factors at play.

Last season was the peak of "smallball". There were a ton of teams playing undersized centers and power forwards, leaving nobody on the court with the size to stop lobs to Gafford. So far this season, we've played frontcourts with a lot more size (Toronto with Birch and multiple rangy forwards (twice), Indy with Sabonis and Turner, Boston with Theus and Williams, Atlanta with Capela and Collins (twice), Cleveland with Jafro and Mobley.

We've got a bunch of smaller teams ahead of us on the schedule (New Orleans without Zion twice, Charlotte twice, Miami twice, OKC, Dallas, San Antonio). It'll be interesting to see if Gafford's production picks up.

Telling you. It's a big man resurgence. Teams have to have high percentage low post scorers nowadays because the easy points from outside, and dribble drive guards are not there anymore.

I'm convinced. & this may be another reason why we should keep all three of Gaff/Trez/TB -- & an argument for experimenting w/ 2 of the 3 on the floor together.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#558 » by nate33 » Tue Nov 16, 2021 1:36 pm

payitforward wrote:
doclinkin wrote:
nate33 wrote:Maybe, but I think there are other factors at play.

Last season was the peak of "smallball". There were a ton of teams playing undersized centers and power forwards, leaving nobody on the court with the size to stop lobs to Gafford. So far this season, we've played frontcourts with a lot more size (Toronto with Birch and multiple rangy forwards (twice), Indy with Sabonis and Turner, Boston with Theus and Williams, Atlanta with Capela and Collins (twice), Cleveland with Jafro and Mobley.

We've got a bunch of smaller teams ahead of us on the schedule (New Orleans without Zion twice, Charlotte twice, Miami twice, OKC, Dallas, San Antonio). It'll be interesting to see if Gafford's production picks up.

Telling you. It's a big man resurgence. Teams have to have high percentage low post scorers nowadays because the easy points from outside, and dribble drive guards are not there anymore.

I'm convinced. & this may be another reason why we should keep all three of Gaff/Trez/TB -- & an argument for experimenting w/ 2 of the 3 on the floor together.

I'm still not in favor of that. I think people overlook the fact that statistical production that guys have at the center is rarely recreated at the PF position. Centers produce so much thanks to the spacing afforded by other players. The other players sacrifice their own touches and stats to make room for the center. And it's not just in points per game. It applies to rebounds too.

If Harrell and Bryant played together, one or both of them would put up far worse numbers than when they play alongside a guy like Kuzma or Avdija.
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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#559 » by gambitx777 » Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:27 pm

nate33 wrote:
payitforward wrote:
doclinkin wrote:Telling you. It's a big man resurgence. Teams have to have high percentage low post scorers nowadays because the easy points from outside, and dribble drive guards are not there anymore.

I'm convinced. & this may be another reason why we should keep all three of Gaff/Trez/TB -- & an argument for experimenting w/ 2 of the 3 on the floor together.

I'm still not in favor of that. I think people overlook the fact that statistical production that guys have at the center is rarely recreated at the PF position. Centers produce so much thanks to the spacing afforded by other players. The other players sacrifice their own touches and stats to make room for the center. And it's not just in points per game. It applies to rebounds too.

If Harrell and Bryant played together, one or both of them would put up far worse numbers than when they play alongside a guy like Kuzma or Avdija.
I understand where your coming from. But, I also in see Bryant as someone who can maybe stretch the floor in more than a traditional center. So maybe, playing him on the floor with gafford or Trez isn't the worst idea in the world I mean if Rui comes back and fits in more in the sf role with deni maybe there might be plenty of of minutes for Bryant ???

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Re: Seismic Shift in the East: Thomas Bryant a Wizard 

Post#560 » by doclinkin » Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:33 pm

payitforward wrote:
doclinkin wrote:
nate33 wrote:Maybe, but I think there are other factors at play.

Last season was the peak of "smallball". There were a ton of teams playing undersized centers and power forwards, leaving nobody on the court with the size to stop lobs to Gafford. So far this season, we've played frontcourts with a lot more size (Toronto with Birch and multiple rangy forwards (twice), Indy with Sabonis and Turner, Boston with Theus and Williams, Atlanta with Capela and Collins (twice), Cleveland with Jafro and Mobley.

We've got a bunch of smaller teams ahead of us on the schedule (New Orleans without Zion twice, Charlotte twice, Miami twice, OKC, Dallas, San Antonio). It'll be interesting to see if Gafford's production picks up.

Telling you. It's a big man resurgence. Teams have to have high percentage low post scorers nowadays because the easy points from outside, and dribble drive guards are not there anymore.

I'm convinced. & this may be another reason why we should keep all three of Gaff/Trez/TB -- & an argument for experimenting w/ 2 of the 3 on the floor together.


Another hopeful sign though is that players who score well in the mid-range or in traffic are still earning their points. Guys like DeRozan can eat in this new rule set. Brad makes adjustments, it is part of what has made him successful. Mid-range and scoring contested shots are in his toolkit. he is not getting easy points anymore, and won't until he can both shoot outside and score through contact --refs like to do their jobs, if you score despite the foul you are more likely to get the call-- but still I expect him to adjust and score the way playoff Brad used to.

I still don't see that a TB/Trez or TB/Gafford combo works except in rare situations. TB hits outside shots but only rarely and when he is wide open, it's not something that happens consistently enough to provide space for the ballhandlers to work. And we have been doing well defensively with Deni/Kuz' mobility at PF. A guy like Bertans still provides more utility by forcing bigs to chase him outside. Nobody needs to chase Bryant, he hits a standstill 3 if at all. I trust Wes though, if he sees something I don't then I bet he would try it at least in practice.

Can we keep all 3? Do we have the minutes for it? Do we have the roster room and cap room? I guess I'm like this. At every position it is useful to have quality depth. Players go down. Pick up fouls. If Gafford or Trez simply needed a day of rest on a back to back, who is our center? We are winning in part from quality depth, waves of reserves, a dynamic bench, fresh legs for defense. Brad goes out and we have 2-3 guys step up as ballhandlers and wing scorers. And on any given night a player is hot. We have a different player of the game every other night it seems. The squad is low-ego about it, and best of all both the players and the coach seem to recognize who is hot, who has a mismatch. Plays are designed to find them. I full expect Wes would find a good use for 3 high energy Bigs, would know which one to feed the ball on a Tuesday night in Cleveland or whatever.

In my daydream TB comes back, gives a few high energy quality minutes a game, he finds chemistry with players here and there. With minutes siphoned from either big, giving rest days or when fouls stack up. Advanced numbers look good, while counting stats are suppressed, and of course the contracts lag a few years behind the metagame, bigs are not yet the commodity they should be, so the market is not as robust as it may be. Teams don't offer a huge deal for a recuperating traditional Big who doesn't defend in space.
So given the chemistry and camaraderie of the team TB decides, all things being equal, he will re-ink here on a reasonable and fair contract with options and incentives. Likewise Trez who looks like he has found a home here, though he has surely earned his next contract. Once under contract, I have no doubt opportunity would arise for each of these players to have a spotlight. To have the upgraded version of last year's 3 headed mosnter in the middle.

To me though Center is like PG. If you have a good one you can ride them, but if that guy goes down you are sunk. And it is a vulnerable position when they play heavy minutes. Makes sense to me to not treat the back-ups as an afterthought, but to use every guy on your roster. Keep them fresh. Seems like there is a formula for success there, and it will become increasingly important to have all 3 in the chamber ready to go. And will become a coveted asset for teams who are dangling trades.

But yeah: if you can afford it.

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