July 03, 2017

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 15 comments

The Nuggets sign Paul Millsap who might be their biggest free agent signing ever.

posted by tron7 at 02:56 PM on July 03, 2017

That is not a good track record.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:55 PM on July 04, 2017

On the subject of NBA free agent signings, ESPN has done it again. Earlier today they posted a report that Gordon Hayward would sign with the Boston Celtics. "Nay, not so", say all concerned. Hayward's agent says there has been no decision as yet, and Celtics management and Jazz management have not heard anything from Hayward. There was no mention of whether or not Miami has heard anything, but one must assume not.

posted by Howard_T at 05:09 PM on July 04, 2017

Excitable media covfefe there.

posted by beaverboard at 06:50 PM on July 04, 2017

Nice parting thoughts and Utah love from Hayward at the Players' Tribune.

posted by beaverboard at 08:51 PM on July 04, 2017

Hayward at the Players' Tribune

Some were downplaying the relationship between Hayward and Coach Brad Stevens, Boston's head coach and Hayward's former college coach at Butler. It was said that their relationship was not all that important in Hayward's choice. In his Players' Tribune post, Hayward made it clear that one of the main factors in his choice was the trust he placed in Brad Stevens to "do the right thing" (not a direct quote) and support him in whatever decision he made.

posted by Howard_T at 10:25 PM on July 04, 2017

There has been a lot of Ainge bashing going around lately, after he didn't do anything dramatic on draft night and missed out on Butler and George.

Then the Ainge defenders appear to clarify the record and balance the discussion out a bit. Talking points include the fleecing of other GM's, the stockpiling of valuable assets, etc.

What neither side ever mentions is Ainge's hiring of Stevens. A move so sound and inspired that it apparently doesn't require much discussion.

posted by beaverboard at 10:42 PM on July 04, 2017

Ainge has done a good job of stockpiling draft picks and Stevens appears to have been able to make the college to pro jump successfully. Good on Ainge for not wasting assets needlessly. What he needs to do now is tone down a bit and let the team sell itself as a good situation for free agents and future draft picks.

posted by cixelsyd at 03:52 PM on July 05, 2017

Kind of disappointing. Utah were one of the more interesting teams and I was hoping to see how they would grow over the next couple of seasons, find out how far that defense could take them. Celtics look very good but don't excite me and it's one more nail in the coffin of small market teams.

posted by deflated at 05:23 PM on July 05, 2017

Agree with your take on Utah. One of maybe 3 NBA young teams on the rise that will be devastated by Hayward's departure and wish he would have stayed. Good young player but I think he brought more value to Utah than he will the Celtics.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:44 PM on July 05, 2017

The latest product of the rumor mills is a possible sign-and-trade deal between Utah and Boston. On the face of it, this is not necessary, since Hayward has already agreed to the deal with the Celtics. The idea is for Utah to sign Hayward and then receive Jay Crowder in trade. This gives Boston the ability to move Crowder's $7 million (with 3 years remaining) in order to fit Hayward under the salary cap. A trade with Utah eliminates the need to balance salaries as would be required when executing a trade in ordinary circumstances.

If a deal of Crowder to Utah cannot be done, then one of the trio of Crowder, Avery Bradley, or Marcus Smart must be traded. While any of those 3 would help any team in the NBA, the return to Boston (in draft picks preferably) would be less than market value. The sign-and-trade makes a lot of sense.

posted by Howard_T at 02:03 PM on July 06, 2017

Crowder, Bradley, and Smart are all quality pieces but essentially bring the same game to a team. And if they stick around will hamper Tatum's development.

If only Ainge had an idea Hayward was on his way he could have moved a few of those pieces and maybe Jackson shows for his workout and is a Celtic today.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:51 PM on July 06, 2017

The sign-and-trades I'm seeing are Crowder doing the S&T and going to Utah for Hood/Exum/Favors. That would be insane from Utah; taking Crowder for Hayward would be a crappy deal for them, trading a different useful piece would be bizarre at best.

posted by deflated at 11:22 PM on July 06, 2017

First of all, there's no possibility of Utah keeping Hayward. He is a free agent who has agreed to a deal with Boston. The deal cannot be consummated until Boston is able to do it without exceeding the salary cap. Reports say that the difference right now is something like 300K. So the question is why do you have to get rid of a 4 - 7 Million contract. Simply enough, Ainge needs another piece for this year in order to have a chance at beating Cleveland in the playoffs. Marc Gasol is supposedly available for the right price, and one that is not exorbitant.

A couple of things are coming into play here. First of all, a trade of Crowder, Smart, or Bradley will not bring enough of a return. The biggest reason for this is that the other GMs around the league think they have Ainge over a barrel, and they will take every advantage. Another thing is that Boston wants something else from Utah for Crowder. It would not be a major piece, more like a draft pick, but it would be something useful in making another deal down the road for a Gasol or his ilk.

posted by Howard_T at 08:31 AM on July 07, 2017

Well how about that? News has just come that the Celtics have traded Avery Bradley and a 2nd round pick to Detroit for Marquis Morris. The salary differential saves Boston about 3.5 million, more than enough to put Hayward on the roster. Morris is a 6'9" forward who can score (averaged about 14 per game last season) and can rebound a bit. Considering what went on in the summer league last night, the plan might be to move Jaylen to the 2 position. It still looks like Jae Crowder is going too, but the sign-and-trade is no longer necessary.

posted by Howard_T at 12:09 PM on July 07, 2017

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