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June 30, 2014

Is Luol Deng more 'free' than Hornets' other free-agent options?

SIrjm.St.138If there’s a lesson in the successful recruitment of center Al Jefferson last summer, it might be this;

It’s seldom a top 50-type NBA player hits free agency and is truly “free” – and by free I mean the team he last played for isn’t intent on retaining him.

Jefferson played well in three seasons for the Utah Jazz and had plenty left to offer. But the Jazz, having acquired young big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, chose to start over. They let Jefferson and power forward Paul Millsap hit the open market, signing with the Charlotte Bobcats and Atlanta Hawks, respectively.

I bring that up because the now-Charlotte Hornets might want to build on the Jefferson signing by pursuing small forward Luol Deng. Like Jefferson then, former Duke star Deng appears truly “free.”

He was traded last season from the Chicago Bulls to the Cleveland Cavaliers. His productivity dropped a little in points, rebounds and assists in 40 games with the Cavs. Since then the Cavs used the No. 1 overall pick on Andrew Wiggins at Deng’s small-forward position.

It seems unlikely the Cavs will be intent on bringing back Deng to Cleveland. So when free-agency begins at midnight, doesn’t it make sense for Hornets management to inquire about the 29-year-old, 6-foot-8 Deng?

A disclaimer: This is an educated guess, not inside information. Hornets general manager Rich Cho is pretty circumspect about his strategies.

But the Hornets, armed with about $15 million in space under the salary-cap, might have a more realistic chance at signing Deng than restricted free agents such as Houston’s Chandler Parsons or Utah’s Gordon Hayward.

Deng averaged 16 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists last season. He wouldn’t help the Hornets’ 3-point shooting (30 percent last season), but he’s effective both offensively and defensively. He’s a two-time All-Star. And he’s the sort of good guy/grownup that would enhance an already-strong Hornets locker room atmosphere.

Certainly the Hornets would have competition for Deng regardless of whether the Cavs want him back. The Atlanta Hawks reportedly have a strong interest and cap room comparable to that of the Hornets.

Deng would probably cost about $10 million a season. The Hornets can afford that. And he’s truly available; last summer illustrated that should be appealing to the Hornets.   

Photo: Nov. 2013 file photo, Getty Images

Posted by Observer Sports on June 30, 2014 at 12:35 PM | Permalink


Deng will help at sf . He won't sit at the end of games . He can play defense and offense which the sf position lacks . He would allow Mkg to grow . But bc he would split time w Mkg and Taylor , why would he come ? And why would you pay him to split time at that cost of 10 m ? Or close . He would have a better situation in Atlanta . A center , sg , pf and pt gd who pass willingly . Where he would play more if he chose to at his option . He knows there's no pass first pt gd here who's close to being the player Teague is . He knows the overuse age of Jefferson who doesn't pass out of doubles , plays below league average help n on ball defense . And he knows there's no shot blocker in the lineup . Deng will pass if left up to him if it's between here and Atlanta . At some point , people here will see the ways of the Spurs is not close to a culture here w Kemba ( Jacker n no facilitator) and Jefferson ( refuses to pass n huge ball hog to the detriment of team play ) . Until it changes , the team will hover around 8 th seed only to lose in the first round . Lowry is on the move . The Hornets are losers bc he wasn't obtained over two yrs ago . Then Lilliard . Then Bledsoe . Then Carter Williams . Smdh .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 30, 2014 1:09:13 PM


we could have had deng for the MKG pick 2 years ago and it MIGHT have made sense back then. now? no effing way. that would be exactly like GSW taking igoudala and marginalizing barnes. when barnes is a better talent than igoudala. MKG is probably a better talent than deng. or at the very least he's close. and won't get overpaid because of how ugly the jumper is. there's more value in continuing the development of mkg than there is bringing in deng. and he's not cheap enough to be a 20 minute per game guy either. and he's not good enough to play him alongside MKG like you would in the situation you landed an elite scorer who played the 3 (such as carmello or even a gallinari type).

I like deng a lot, I just don't like the fit. It's another half-step when we need a full-step. We will not build a contender around jefferson, walker and deng. So why do it? deng is a great 3rd option........we don't need 3rd, 4th, and 5th guys.......we need better 1st and 2nd guys. and wasting cap flexibility on that guy would lower the probability of landing a top level guy.

26 year old deng would be completely different than 29 year old deng (in the context of this team's situation).

if we're going to bring in a 3 to start, it should be in a trade where we're sending MKG out in a package for an elite guy in his prime. just like sending zeller or vonleh out for kevin love or someone similar makes sense. signing greg monroe or pau gasol or even josh mcroberts (paying him starter money) into cap space just marginalizes the young talent we have and kills flexibility simultaneously.

bledsoe, stephenson, hayward, waiters (via trade), rondo (same), etc are the best targets available for us but I think we should be going all in on kevin love (sending jefferson out) along with bringing one of those 5 guys in. maybe 2 of the 5.

rondo or bledsoe/waiters/mkg/love/zeller or biyombo is a realistic possibility. so is walker/stephenson or hayward/mkg/love/zeller or biyombo

and either one of those scenarios blows the pants off of walker/henderson/deng/mcroberts/jefferson.

and they can't build around jefferson because he's basically on a one year deal going on 30. he's going to look for his last big contract next summer and we would be stupid to give him anything more than a 2 year deal at that point which probably isn't going to be the dumbest offer he gets. and he'll take the money (he proved that last summer).

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 30, 2014 1:19:22 PM

I believe we now have more than 15mm in cap due to draft trades.

Posted by: Jordan | Jun 30, 2014 1:23:33 PM

No thanks. Just don't see this guy fitting into what the Hornets are trying to do. And he does not come cheap either.

Posted by: Smitty | Jun 30, 2014 1:40:16 PM

I don't like Deng either that much but the Hornets need a two way player badly at sf . ESP bc Clifford has no use for Mkg in the 4 th and sits him behind anyone he can .( Neal , Cdr and before Taylor ) . The play is for Parsons as I've said before . The play is to swap out Henderson for Stpehenson too . Bird thought he had Henderson a few yrs ago . This would help both teams . Henderson would benefit from the passing system w the Pacers off cuts , back doors and in transition . He would reduce the friction between Stephensn and Hibbert who stops playing when Stephenson dominates the ball . Hill will be upgraded w a pass first ball handling pt gd who will take a lot of the ball handling duties of Stephensn who will get pissed . Here , he can continue and finally help run the pick n roll which Kemba can't run . Mkg can run it but wo t speak up as Stepheson will do . Stephenson will throw lobs too . It will work out for both teams . It will go against what I've been saying that he won't end up here but Cho should abandon the high character stuff ESP if Henderson is walking after this yr . He wll easily start for the Clippers , Memphis , The Heat , and Okc by default alone .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 30, 2014 1:42:57 PM

Deng is a fine player, but only if you have a true, established three point shooter at the 2-guard spot, or a power forward that can hit threes. Preferably both.

On a roster whose biggest weakness is three shooting, Deng is a "no" until that's addressed.

Posted by: BullCityDog | Jun 30, 2014 1:45:38 PM


Deng has proven that he's a reliable threat from the three point line. He can also drive from there if you close out on his shot too hard and is a good one on one scorer.

There is a reason why one of the best run franchises in the NBA was sick to lose him. There are really no flaws in Deng's game at this point. The issues with him are health. He's not 29, he's an OLD 29. But so is Jefferson and both (when fully healthy) are among a handful of elite groups in the NBA.

Jefferson is in the impossible to guard one on one main offensive target with only about 10-12 players in the league. Deng is in the player who does everything well and has no real flaws category with about 20 players in the NBA (and Butler couldn't replace his ability to score the basketball in Chicago). It's a tremendous advantage to have two players like that.

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 30, 2014 2:13:36 PM

I like Deng but to me, Trevor Ariza would be a better option because he does shoot it well from deep, has a nice mid-range game and is also a very good defender with good size and athleticism, he would be a perfect fit and a fan favorite. Go get him Mr.Cho!

Posted by: Shane | Jun 30, 2014 2:16:39 PM

This would be completely foolish. He would want too much money and for what? To split time with MKG and Jeff Taylor? HARD PASS.

Posted by: Bobcat Bucks | Jun 30, 2014 2:51:02 PM

In reference to an above comment referring to Deng not wanting to come to Charlotte because of depth at the positiong (ala Taylor and MKG).

I actually believe the opposite to be true. Deng at 29 is due for one more big pay day before he becomes an MLE sort of vet. Coming to Charlotte could prolong the productivity of his career.

It's the same reason why Lebron doesn't want to play 40mins mpg. That gets really tough on your body especially over 82 games.

I just think scouts are smart enough to look at the mpg/ppg ratio.

Posted by: Scott | Jun 30, 2014 2:54:31 PM

he'll go to the highest bidder. no other factor will matter except maybe avoiding the clippers.

as for saying "we need a 2 way player at SF" this is the kind of fallacy that gets regurgitated all around town. MKG isn't a shooter, but he is definitely an offensive skilled player. he absolutely is a 2 way player, we just marginalized him in the offense last year and told him to sit in the corner and wait his turn.

deng is a FAR better shooter and that arguably makes him a better fit to play with jefferson. but that's short sighted. that's for next season. so you would marginalize a guy with a ceiling higher than deng to be slightly better for this year only. jefferson isn't under contract for 15-16 until he opts in. you just don't make those kind of short sited decisions when dealing with a 20 year old talent on the level of MKG. a full-step for an elite talent in his prime would be different. but deng? no. he just doesn't move the needle for this team enough to marginalize MKG that way. like i said, it's igoudala to the warriors. except in our case, we already have great defense. deng can score, but he's not an elite scorer. he's not a go-to guy on an elite team.

aaaaaaaaaand....he's only a 33% 3 point shooter for his career. it's not like he's knocking down 40 plus or something.

i think there would be more value in holding chicago hostage with a proposition to take boozer off their hands. not only would we surely be getting picks and young talent, but we would then have a 20 million expiring to grab just about any max contract player who demands a trade between now and the deadline.

We already have a mediocre team. we don't need to give up flexibility to become good. we need to remain flexible unless it is going to make us great. deng just doesn't make us great. MKG in 3 years, might.

Posted by: charlottean | Jun 30, 2014 3:29:16 PM

Mkg averages 7 points a game . In the strickest or most liberal sense of the word, he's not a two way player . It's not his defense that keeps him out of games in the 4 th . I agree that his use by Clifford is pathetic and shows Clifford's ineptness respecting creativity on the offensive end . But as Mkg sits on this team , he's not a two way player and the defender often leaves him caring less what he's about to do resulting in a double team . Deng can help a lot . It's not like the Hornets have many options . Melo and James are not coming . Parsons , Hayward and Stephenson are not coming if they have better options which they do . Mj wants to assure butts in the seats first . He knows returning to the playoffs is not a given .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 30, 2014 6:41:25 PM

If you sign Deug or Parsans, You need to trade MKG or Gerald Henderson period. When this Golden State trade with Minnesota Love trade happens, be prepared to be that 3rd wheel. Maybe we can get David Lee and Klay Thompson out of the deal.

Posted by: Rahshon Gamble | Jun 30, 2014 6:54:32 PM

Let Josh McRob walk, resign PG Jannero Pargo, a undrafted PG to devopled.Keep your Cap space flexibility, wait for the Love trade to happen. as long as you got cap space any trade is possible. At the deadline.

Posted by: Rahshon Gamble | Jun 30, 2014 7:04:42 PM

Neither Parsons or Deng can play sg . Thompson is slow , can't pass , low bb iq, horrible finisher , has zero mid range game , gets run off the arc and is on the block . If he comes East , his stats will drop . He can shoot but you must realize what you're getting . The Spurs had shooters all over . But these same shooters could and did put the ball on the floor and take you off the dribble . Even Danny Green some who had his production cut some this yr bc of options and a healthy Ginobli and big play Loenard who could only guard James ( DIAW guarded him some ) . David Lee would be a horrible fit defensively next to Jefferson . No better than McRoberts .

Posted by: Iron man | Jun 30, 2014 8:24:06 PM

Who says we can't play Deng and MKG can't play together...especially if teams go small in the closing minutes or have a stretch 4 that doesn't punish us in the post?

Deng won't have much to do with MKG seeing the floor and if MKG beats Deng out, isn't that a good problem to have?

Posted by: cornchip | Jun 30, 2014 8:35:21 PM

Deng and Parsons would both be good- but how do you blend them in with MKG? Absolutely no to Stephenson- he is a selfish immature player who would kill locker room chemistry. No to Kevin Love. Enough of going after expensive established superstars for short term gain. The Hornets should follow the OKC and San Antonio plans for long term success- developing young talent. Thing is, they have the proper coaching now and are accumulating the talent.

Posted by: PanthersD | Jun 30, 2014 8:41:31 PM

I'd rather go for the younger top SF free agents: Chandler Parsons or Gordon Hayward.
But, it's not realistic; their chances to end up in Charlotte are very slim to none.

I'd also like Ariza, for his long range shooting (plus defense and rebounding), which is a need at SF.
I guess that's why the Wizards (plus I don't know how many more teams) like him too. They're actually working on keeping him.

Luol Deng was, and still is, one of the very good small forwards in this league.
Age and mileage are a concern, for sure.
But he can still be a high level player for the next three seasons, at least, especially if his minutes are limited to a few less than his 36 mpg career average.

Getting him will be a serious upgrade of the roster, it also has a more realistic chance to happen than the others above mentioned - which was Rick's main point - and will definitely be worth about 10 mil per year (as compared to over 14 mil he was paid last season).

Posted by: Sandy | Jun 30, 2014 9:30:53 PM

Depending on free agency, the following teams are good to strong competitors in the east: Miami, Indiana, Chicago (depending on acquisitions), Toronto, Washington, and possibly Atlanta.

If Charlotte wants to be a destination for free agents, it starts by spending money and building a culture of winning. I know it may be difficult to acquire both Parsons and Hayward, but that needs to be the play. Or at least acquire one of the two. If that includes trading MKG (who has overhype value now) and Gerald Henderson, then so be it.

Getting SG's and SF's who can stretch the offensive will extend Big Al's game and possibly tenure as he will not be relied upon to shoulder the load.

Show the league, this is where you come to flourish, market your skills, and compete for championships. To do that, we must start now. This game is about scoring, rebounding, and limiting turnovers. Recruit THAT! No more projects and using words like "upside", "motor", "passion", etc. If they cant compete on both sides of the ball with the numbers to show, let them go.

Parsons, Monroe, Hayward, Ariza, Deng, Sessions, and even Evan Turner (a younger Diaw pretty much that needs sports counseling to accept his reality).

Lets win. Lets build the Hive with what it use to be, two way players who can ball.

Posted by: Hmm | Jun 30, 2014 10:00:42 PM

Gordon Hayward = Utah will match all offers
Chandler Parsons = Houston will not let him leave unless they know for a fact that Carmelo will sign with them. So scratch that off.
Greg Monroe = Don't need him. We have too much depth at the 4 and 5 anyways.
Lance Stevenson = Indiana will not let him leave to a eastern conference foe. They will match all offers as well.
Evan Turner - A possibility
Aria = A possibility as well.
Deng = Has 4 more good years in him. I think it's Deng or bust.

Big Al, Deng, McRoberts and Neal are exactly the leadership and experience we need for our youth to learn from.

Hendo, Kemba, MKG, Taylor, Zeller, Biz, Vonleh, and Hairston can still get playing time and learn from these guys at the same time. That is a perfect mix of experience and youth. And we can limit Deng and Jeffersons minutes to save them come playoff time. While at the same time giving our young guys the minutes they need to get better.

Bring back Sessions, resign McRoberts and sign Deng and we can be a top 4 team in the east with serious potential and cause problems with our depth and matchup issues.

Big Al, Zeller, Biz
McRoberts, Vonleh
Deng, MKG, Taylor
Hendo, Neal, Hairston
Kemba, Sessions

That's 13 deep and a roster ready to make noise !

Posted by: bb1130 | Jun 30, 2014 10:20:52 PM

Utah could do a sign and trade for Hendo/MKG for 11 mil. I believe that could do it for Hayward which would be an upgrade. Sign for 4yrs-$40.

I love to have Parsons as well, but I think he is living that Model life and needs the big city life to fit his tastes. If so, go after Deng with a 3-yr contract and sign Sessions.

I understand that all of us are just pitching numbers to the wind, but ultimately, we want to see a winning culture. We are on the brink.

Posted by: Hmm | Jun 30, 2014 11:10:23 PM

Today's NBA is such that you can't have too many wing players. Deng would be a great asset to have, assuming there no lingering ills from injuries.

He's a class act who knows how to play and a very willing defender. He has no ego issues and can still score 15 per game.

Parsons is enticing and we need a pg, but if we can get Deng ...

Posted by: qdog112 | Jun 30, 2014 11:12:28 PM

Exatly QDog.

Cant have many wings in todays league. As long as they can provide on both sides of the court, I say lets go after them.

Deng would be great, especially in tutoring Taylor (not MKG as Taylor has more tools an better skillset to stretch the court offensively and play defense). If we can get Deng for a 3yr-$10 mil, that would be awesome.

We could then go after another PG (Sessions) and other needs. Deng and Big Al are great veterans to keep this team in tact.

Posted by: Hmm | Jun 30, 2014 11:27:40 PM

"When it comes time for the playoffs and you need to get tough buckets, we think he's a guy who can get tough buckets."

Guess who they said that about?

Hint: it wasn't MKG but they do play the same position.

Vonleh signals doubt about Zeller, sure looks like there's now a lot of smoke around the SF position. You know what they say, where there's smoke there's. ...

Will the Boobs sign the best point guard available and allow him to compete for the starting job? If not, why not?

Posted by: NASTAR99 | Jul 1, 2014 10:23:50 AM

I'd rather sign a pure shooter, a young scorer with upside, or a combo guard, all of which would better fit the vision.

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 1, 2014 10:56:30 AM

parsons is absolutely obtainable if you overpay him. he's probably worth 7-9 a year, but I highly doubt houston gives him max money.

giving up henderson AND MKG for hayward would be horrible. hayward is good. he's not that good. MKG will be better if given the same opps hayward has gotten. i don't see hayward going anywhere. utah is too bad with too much to lose by letting him go and i doubt there is an attractive trade.

our best bets are overpaying stephenson, bledsoe, or parsons. but as I mentioned previously.....I don't think there's a free agent that's going to move the needle for us at all. We get better when MKG and zeller get better.

I would prefer we recognize this much and start taking on salary dumps from western conference teams (or a team like chicago) and gathering MORE assets to make a bigger play for someone like love.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 1, 2014 11:15:23 AM

I would obviously prefer Chandler Parson, but Luol Deng would be great too. I like the idea of MKG playing at the SG spot as a defensive stopper, he would be much better at that than both Tony Allen and Sefolosha. But you need to have a decent scoring punch right next to him, which both Parson or Deng will provide.

I also like the fact that Deng would be a 3 year contract at best, for around $10M per year. That would allow MKG & Taylor to develop and learn from one of the best two-way SF in the league and MKG will only be 23 or 24 when Deng's contract is over.

Such a contract will allow the Hornets to get a pretty good back-up PG such as: R-Sessions, J-Nelson or S-Livingston. Plus go after a change of pace Center such as Jordan Hill or Greg Stiemsma.

Unfortunately I don't think we have a realistic chance at any of the top SF/SG free agents. My best bet is we will end up with someone like: Trevor Ariza or Evan Turner, Danny Granger or Caron Butler could be a possibility if they welcome the extra cash (but they may be willing to sign with a contender for less money).

Posted by: RobC | Jul 1, 2014 12:31:52 PM

Is Emeka Okafor good enough to be our back-up Center. He might teach Biyombo a thing or two. Would he be willing to sign with Charlotte again? (I don't think he has many options.) how much will he cost? Would MJ/Cho consider him as an option.

Posted by: RobC | Jul 1, 2014 12:36:26 PM

Rick or Someone,

Do the Hornets have both the Bi-Annual and the Full Mid-Level Exceptions to use this summer? Can someone answer that question?

Posted by: RobC | Jul 1, 2014 12:39:11 PM

why on earth would we want jordan hill or greg stiemmsma?

we have both exceptions available. we have 10 guys on the roster already. we only need 3 players and realistically, probably only 1 guy in the rotation.

you don't spend on mediocre veteran talent unless you are already contending and have a hole that needs filling. we need upgrades at the top, not the middle. our middle is stacked.

we have an entire starting 5 intact, plus 5 bench guys. the only NEED is backup pg and that's an easy fill with plenty of options that are "good enough". better would be adding a starting pg and knowing that we have the best backup pg in the league to torture 2nd teams and when hot, play the 4th and when not, watch.

we don't need to compromise our ability to resign guys in order to bring in a mediocre free agent like a lot of the names being tossed around. we're already average and young. average and young can easily become good and old with good coaching and time. we don't need to become more mediocre.

and you sign deng to a 3 year deal, mkg is probably not staying to see the end of it. you don't do that to 20 year old studs and expect good things to happen. that's not how you develop talent 2 years into their career.

and for all this talk about MKG not being a 2 way player (even though he is), when did al jefferson become a 2 way player?

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 1, 2014 1:42:48 PM

The Hornats need an upgrade at the backup Center spot. Biyombo is a solid shot blocker, that is not the same as being a solid defender. Out of all the rookies in this team in the last 3 years, he has had the most minutes played (besides Kemba) and he has not improved in anything. His FG% (this season) are driven by the fact that he hardly ever plays again starters and he doesn't shoot much because he can't catch the ball in the first place. So yes, whenever he catches the ball, he is normally close enough to the basket and wide open (no one in the other team cares to guard him) that he gets to score, but by the time he does that, he already fumbled 3 posessions.

I really had big hopes for Bismack, but he is looking more and more like a bust. He will begin his 4th season, he should show at least some consistency in anything other than his inability to catch the ball. Crap, at least that he should have learn in 3 seasons!!! His defense is not as big of an impact to hide his horrible offense. All he does is block shots from the weak side and grab defensive rebounds. He is no Howard, Hibbert or Noah. And don't come back with the "he needs more playing time" excuse. He was the starting center for most of his first two seasons by default and there have been no major improvements. Not one team out there have asked about him, eventhough everyone knew the Bobcats hesitated big time to pick his option last summer. Not one team inquired about him.

Posted by: RobC | Jul 1, 2014 2:04:53 PM

you disregard a nearly 20% jump in fg% as being a sample size issue when it was over half has many attempts as his rookie season? his usage rate was 9.6% last year and 10.2% this year. the numbers don't back up that argument.

his rebound rate went from 14.5 to 15.2 to 19.3%. you must not remember those 20 rebound games he had last pre season while al was out. or the 5-4 record we posted without al in reg season. or how game 4 looked just like game 1-3, if not more competitive against miami.

his block rate went from 5.9 to 5.3 to 6.3. 2 time top 10 in shot blocking at age 19 and 20.

those 3 figures constitute top 10 in the league and you want to upgrade over him. when he's 21 years old. and you want to replace him with 26 year old jordan hill, or 28 year old greg stiemsma who couldn't cut it in new orleans last year (they went with ajinca over him). brilliant idea.

he hasn't gotten better? oh, sorry. he's only had 4 coaches in the last 4 years.

and he absolutely is a good defender above and beyond shot blocking. al in the game = teams eating us up in 1-5 PnR and getting in the paint with ease. that doesn't happen with biz in the game. and offensively? he sets screens, gets offensive boards, and finishes more than he doesn't.

PPP doesn't include offensive rebounds. he's already way above everybody else on the roster without it, but truthfully it should be included in PPP because it offsets any turnovers he gives away.

if guys aren't getting better, sounds like we should be replacing coaches. so quick to bail on a 21 year old big man like there are so many of them laying around.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 1, 2014 2:56:52 PM

MKG was given the opportunity. Dont confuse his lack of ability to shoot with not getting the opportunity. In fact, opposing team give him his fair share of chances to shoot but he just swings the ball to the next guy available.

His inability shows that we have to HIRE a coach to help learn how to shoot, not learn how to improve his scoring but SHOOT. Sorry, but the Miami Heat just informed the world that if all five guys on the opposing team can shoot, everyone is live. Since MKG is unable to shoot, then he can not stretch the defense or warrant a defender covering him.

As for Parson, I would love him here but Charlotte does not fit his lifestyle. He is all about model life now.

Hayward and Parsons are young enough to establish a position as they have and had the ability to handle the ball and shoot (mid and long range). If MKG had some of that game, then I would be for him to stay. Rather trade him now and get value today versus realizing that we have to pay for an asset with limited use.

G-Hen is a good player. Only a mid range jumper (similar to the way Dwade is now) and unable to create his own shot. Again, he has value and if we can improve our wing position with scoring, then lets do it.

We have enough youth on the team with Kemba, Zeller, Biz, Vonleh, and Taylor. Make the moves before our competitors do.

7th/8th seed... No more.

Posted by: Hmm | Jul 1, 2014 5:18:07 PM

"in fact" oh if we're talking facts let's try MKG was 273rd in the league in front court touches per game. tons of opportunities, right? .8 minutes of possessions per game and he turned that into 7.2 ppg.

the guy needs more touches. he can absolutely score.

"don't confuse" not being able to shoot from 3 to not being able to score on offense. he's a great post up threat, great slasher, yet in clifford's world only jefferson gets post up opps.

you don't give up on a 20 year old who is one of the only guys in the league that can defend the lebron's, carmelo's, durant's and what not. he held lebron to 5 points in over 25 minutes of playoff action while scoring 22 and grabbing 10 boards. there are NOT a ton of 20 year olds who have EVER done anything comparable to that.

the kid has EVERY tool imaginable besides deep shooting. you don't give up on 20 year olds like that, you develop the 1 skill they lack and in the meantime play toward their strength. it's just like biz......everybody wants him to be demarcus cousins instead of asking him to be ben wallace on steroids (which he is).

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 1, 2014 6:40:25 PM

Pacers offer to Lance looks weak, especially compared to what the Celtics just gave Bradley. Based on contribution to a winning club, stats, and talent, Lance deserves alot, not a touch, more tha Bradley. Either we wait till free agency runs its course and get mediocre seconds, which keep us in the 6th to 8th seed range and a first round playoff out, or we pay for talent and take a chance. I think Lance is worth 10 a year easy, and it may take 11 or 12 to get it done. I'd go for it, then unload one of our reserves for a future second round pick and sign some budget bench warmers to save money. I'm not over paying for a backup point or spot up three point shooter when I can get an all star who led the league in triple doubles.

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 2, 2014 10:43:36 AM

i would say that i agree completely.....but bradley also contributed on winning teams prior to this past season. bradley is a VERY good player and VERY slept on.

that said, I too would put a big number in front of lance. knowing that he might be overpaid and knowing that he might be worth every penny and then some. and there's no way of knowing until you try.

ultimate high risk, high reward move.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 2, 2014 1:32:08 PM

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