The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the Internet
1. “Second thoughts? DeAndre Jordan to meet with Clippers” — Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today
If you’ve been living anywhere that’s not under a rock, you know about DeAndre Jordan going back on his contract agreement with the Dallas Mavericks to meet with his original team, the Los Angeles Clippers, and ultimately agreeing to re-sign there.
How this all played out is simply pretty wacky. It’s certainly not a common occurrence, and it doesn’t reflect well on Jordan:
Like baseball there are certain "unwritten rules" and this is a big violation of it. Once a player commits to another team you move on.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 8, 2015
Amick and Zillgitt have in-depth details on the situation leading up to Jordan putting pen to paper and re-signing in Los Angeles.
2. “Just Embrace the Youth Movement, Lakers” — Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders
Poor Los Angeles Lakers. You can’t help but feel sorry for them and their inability to lure big-name free agents to the City of Angels this summer.
Actually, that’s a lie — no one should be feeling sorry for a franchise with 16 NBA championships.
But the Lakers are on the right track. They have a solid young core in D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle that should grow together, plus playing in LA always gives them the upper hand in free agency, regardless of what happened this summer.
Lakers fans aren’t used to rebuilds, but they need to be patient with this one — it’ll take some time, but it could turn into something special.
3. “The Spurs Are Going to Be Really Good — Like, Golden State Warriors Good” — Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight
I am an unabashed Spurs fan, and I approve of their offseason so far, especially the signing of LaMarcus Aldridge.
Yes, San Antonio lost some of its depth, but if you have the chance to go from solid starting lineup/great bench to impossible-to-game plan-against starting lineup/decent bench, you take it. And “decent” may be even underselling the 2015-16 reserves, as well — David West, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw is an excellent first four off the bench.
Paine came up with some projections for next season based on ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus data, and he had the Spurs just a tick below the Golden State Warriors for the best team in the NBA.
Considering my early prediction for next year’s Western Conference Finals is an exciting, close series between the Warriors and Spurs, that projection seems fair to me.
4. “Monta Ellis Signing Allows Indiana Pacers to Move Into Future” — Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report
Indiana Pacers fans, you might not recognize your team next season.
The Pacers lost starting power forward David West in free agency and starting center Roy Hibbert via trade, and gained Monta Ellis and get a hopefully 100 percent Paul George back in the lineup for 2015-16. Stylistically, you can guess what sort of change means for the team’s play style: a lot faster pace on offense.
Ellis, along with George and point guard George Hill, make Indiana a dangerous team in transition. I wrote about the trio’s fit here, as well, if you have a few minutes.
Don’t count on great big-man production from Indiana (although rookie center Myles Turner has looked great in Summer League), but the team will remain competitive thanks to its perimeter players.
5. “‘Toronto Sold Me the Most’: New Raptor DeMarre Carroll Talks About Life as an NBA Free Agent” — Martin Rickman of Dime Magazine
You don’t have to like DeMarre Carroll‘s four-year, $60 million contract with the Toronto Raptors (I know I don’t).
But it’s pretty impossible to dislike him as a person.
Rickman sat down and asked Carroll some questions this week about his college career, his tenure in Atlanta and what made him choose Toronto. And the Junkyard Dog was more than willing to give honest, enlightening answers.
With Carroll’s work ethic, he’ll end up being a positive contributor for the Raptors, whether he proves he deserves the contract or not.