Tuesday, August 19, 2014

How The Restricted Free Agent Class Spent Their Summers

What happened to the restricted free agent class of 2014?  The market definitely bottomed out for this core of players who were looking for their first BIG paycheck. With Lebron opting out and changing the NBA landscape, these 4th and 5th year players were put on the back burner in some cases.  Let’s take a look at how each restricted free agent fared during the offseason:

Gordon Hayward – Utah Jazz

One of the more polarizing players, in terms of what the fans think of him, saw one of the bigger paydays from the restricted free agent class this summer. With speculation that the Celtics (and ex-Baylor coach Brad Stevens) were going to pony up to bring Hayward to Boston, many expected Hayward to receive decent offers.  No one thought the 4 years, $63 million offer sheet from the  Bobcats Hornets was even an option. 
The Jazz wisely let the let the market determine his value and matched that offer.  Some still think it is an over payment. It’s not like the Jazz have free agents lining up to sign with them.  Some cities have to keep the stars they draft, as was the case with Gordon Hayward.

I happen to really like the signing.  Gordon is getting quality experience while participating in USA basketball camp with the elite players around the league.  He reported to USA camp weighing 10 pounds more than the end of the season. This is usually a bad sign, if you are Raymond Felton, but this is a good sign for a wing player who has to go up against the likes of Lebron and Durant.

Hayward has been a pleasant surprise in the NBA.  Nobody plays harder on defense than him and he always asks for the tough assignments.  Most people will discredit him because he doesn’t jump out as a terrific athlete but when push comes to show, you want a guy like Hayward on your team who has excelled at every level of basketball to date. 

Eric Bledsoe – Phoenix Suns (?)

The Bledsoe situation this summer is one his camp hopes to soon forget.  Primed to be a big dollar young star in the making, Bledsoe suffered a meniscus tear causing him to miss over two months of basketball, which dropped his value.  The Suns continued to play great during this stretch which minimized the value Eric brought to that roster, which were running a duo point guard system.

Even with all this bad luck for Bledsoe, the injury and the market, Rich Paul and his “team” butchered this situation badly.  Hoping and holding out for a max deal is two different things, something I think Rich Paul and Bledsoe learned the hard way.  Not only did Bledsoe not receive any max offers but no other team signed him to an offer sheet.  This was poor management from his agent on understanding the market and the situation.  It’s hard to really know what an Agent goes through if you’re one and only client at the time is Lebron James.

To quote a RealGM commenter:  “This dude was selling jerseys out of the back of a van and Eric Bledsoe is wondering why he doesn't have a contract.”

The Suns and Bledsoe will eventually hammer something out. Eric has not signed the qualifying offer yet (more dumb moves by his inexperienced agent) in hopes of signing a longer term contract. If Eric and his camp truly believe he deserves a max deal, the wise move would be to sign the qualifying offer and proving to the league he is worth that much. His play has got him this far. Now time to go out and earn that max deal.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

NBA Summer League Is Working, Financially

The NBA Summer League is working. The participation of fans has increased and more money into the league.  Not much to this blog but thought I'd share the numbers from the press release.

Record Attendance:
· 71,942 total attendees -- an increase of 16% from last year’s previous record -- and a new all-time single-day mark of 8,013 attendees on Monday, July 14.

NBA TV Viewership:
· 2014 was the most-watched Summer League ever on NBA TV, averaging 103,000 household impressions and 116,000 total viewers, increases of 40% and 28%, respectively, over last year.
· The network delivered six of its Top 10 most-viewed NBA Summer League telecasts ever.
· NBA TV's opening night Summer League game from Las Vegas – the Milwaukee Bucks and Jabari Parker facing the Cleveland Cavaliers and Andrew Wiggins – netted an average of 220,000 total viewers, becoming the second-most viewed NBA Summer League telecast of all time.

NBA Summer League Live:
· The NBA Summer League Live subscription package, which delivered televised and online access to all live games from Orlando and Las Vegas, received a record number of subscriptions, up 73% from the previous season.

NBA Digital:
· NBA.com and NBA Mobile set new records, with visits up 80% and videos viewed up more than 70% from the previous season.

Merchandise Sales:
· Samsung NBA Summer League merchandise sales were the highest on record.
· Overall, sales were up a double-digit percentage from 2013 and a triple-digit percentage from 2012.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

USA Basketball - Press Release

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 22, 2014) - Featuring eight players owning USA Basketball experience, including four members of the 2013-14 NBA All-Rookie first team, USA Basketball today announced 13 players for the 2014 USA Men's Select Team that will train July 28-31 with the 2014 USA Basketball Men's National Team during its training camp in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 Named to the 2014 USA Basketball Select squad were: Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors); Trey Burke (Utah Jazz); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls);  Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), Tim Hardaway Jr. (New York Knicks); Tobias Harris(Orlando Magic); Doug McDermott (Chicago Bulls); Victor Oladipo (Orlando Magic);Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets); Miles Plumlee (Phoenix Suns); Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics); Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers); and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets).

"USA Basketball's Select Teams are critical for getting some of the game's brightest and most promising young players experience at the USA National Team level, and getting them into our pipeline," said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball National Team managing director.  "Again this summer, as was done in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012, the members of the USA Select Team will play an important role in helping prepare the USA National Team for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.

"Being chosen for the Select Team is an honor and an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball's National Team program in the future. In the past, current national team players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, as well as many other outstanding players got their USA National Team start through the Select Team."
Friday, June 13, 2014

Summing Up The Finals So Far Without Words

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Who Said The Spurs Lack Personality?

There is a myth buzzing around the league that the San Antonio Spurs are boring.  That they lack personality. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Well luckily for you, I live to break and debunk myths.  Fun fact, I actually turned down a starring role in Myth Busters because I do it for fun anyways.  Maybe that was a lie. Who really knows. Anyway,  below are my five favorite Spurs commercials from their HEB endorsements.  If you don't live in San Antonio, this will come as a treat for you.  If you already live in the great state of Texas this will just be a reminder on how well these commercials are made.  Cue the laughter.

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