The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet
1. “Sticker Shock On the 2015 Free Agent Models” — Seth Partnow of BBALLBREAKDOWN
If you’re like pretty much everybody following the NBA free agency, most of the contracts that players agreed to on Day 1 seemed outrageously massive.
But please, please resist the urge to call every deal an overpay.
Partnow’s piece looks at Al-Farouq Aminu‘s four-year, $30 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers as a case study for how contracts are inflating with the huge salary cap increase coming in the next few years. Ultimately, he calculates that Aminu will be earning the 2014-15 equivalent of $4.7 million in the 2017-18 season.
Doesn’t seem so bad anymore, does it?
2. “NBA Free Agency Live Blog” — Steve Alexander of Rotoworld
You’ve probably already found many sites around the Interwebs that deliver you the latest rumors and signings in free agency, but few of those sites also feature concise, yet informative reactions to everything that’s going on.
Alexander followed all the action yesterday in a live-blog style, giving his opinions about the deals. He also looked at the implications the deals would have on certain players’ fantasy values, as he’s an expert in that realm.
3. “Adding 3-Point Shot Would Make Anthony Davis’ Game Impossible to Stop” — Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report
As if Anthony Davis wasn’t going to dominate the league for the next 10 years anyway.
Hughes looks into the chances at the $145 million man developing a consistent three-point shot, which recently hired Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry has asked the superstar to work on. There’s plenty of precedent for big men randomly adding long-distance acumen to the game between seasons, including a player coached by Gentry.
With Davis’s pretty shooting stroke and all-around awesomeness, why can’t he be the next guy to do it?
4. “Traveling Man: Will free agency lead Thomas Robinson to his NBA home?” — Jonathan Abrams of Grantland
At this time of the NBA season, you rarely ever hear about players’ thoughts firsthand. It’s always “Player X feels such-and-such about Team X, according to sources.”
Which is why Abrams’s piece on 2015 free agent Thomas Robinson‘s early life and difficult experiences in college and NBA career was such a breath of fresh air.
The No. 5 overall pick in 2012 has had a disappointing tenure in the league so far, playing with four teams in three years and compiling just 980 total points. However, he’s still hopeful he can become an All-Star.
5. “Tracking the Philadelphia 76ers Rebuild” — Ian Levy of Nylon Calculus
Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie has gotten mixed reviews from the NBA sphere for his obvious tanking efforts and insistence on hoarding prized big man in the draft. One of the biggest criticisms against his method is the lack of continuity his players are building, since he’s been filling out his roster with a revolving door of D-League call-ups over the past couple of seasons.
But have other squads in NBA history ever tried similar tactics?
Levy uses Basketball-Reference’s roster-continuity data to look at the 76ers’ unique methods of rebuilding, and finds out just how common Hinkie’s strategy is.