Writings Around the Web
If decisions on public financing could be boiled down to asking fans of a team, “How much is it worth to you to keep this team here,” that would make the public financing decision far more transparent. Because even though the economic benefits of a new stadium might be questionable, those interests in civic pride and public enjoyment are legitimate. Framing the discussion in terms of how much those intangible benefits cost would be a more honest look at the situation.
Stats and Analysis
But is Aldridge worth the money? Barring injury or a large-scale drop in play, absolutely. First of all, the Blazers might be hard-pressed to replace Aldridge’s talent if he left. They project to have sizable cap space in the 2015 offseason with only Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard and likely C.J. McCollum making guaranteed money, as Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez will be up for extensions in addition to Aldridge. Presumably the Blazers will also have made some moves to strengthen their depth in t he interim, and these additions will likely carry salary guarantees into 2015-16 and beyond.
The ability to avoid turnovers is an often overlooked component of productivity which makes a player like Aldridge much more valuable offensively than might be suggested by only looking at his shooting stats.
With the 24 second shot clock in play, simply getting a shot at the basket on every possession has value. Even the worst shot has some (small) chance of going in. Moreover, missed shots can lead to high value offensive rebounds. Around one in every four misses is rebounded by the shooting team, and offensive rebounds frequently lead to easy baskets. For example,Portland scored around 10 points per 100 shots more on plays beginning with an offensive rebound than they did overall. These opportunities would have been foregone if there was no shot to begin with.
The NBA Draft is often described in gambling terms. It’s a crap shoot, the order determined by a lottery. Teams might be better off throwing darts or flipping coins to make their selections. And while these are obviously exaggerations, there is a degree of truth. Drafting is an inexact science. Especially later in the night, misses far outnumber hits. The potential value of nailing a second round pick more than justifies the effort, though. Unfortunately, more than a few teams every year decide to not even try. These teams fold before the cards are even dealt, costing themselves and their fans the chance to win big.
While the practice of selling late first round picks has thankfully fallen out of favor (though not before the tactic hamstrung the Seven Seconds or Less Suns to a degree by costing them inexpensive sources of quality depth those squads lacked), second rounders are still fair game. On draft night, four teams purchased a total of six second round picks for cash considerations. Ranging from the 44th to 60th and last overall selection, selling NBA draft picks continued to be a long standing NBA tradition.
Two days into NBA free agency many of the biggest names are in a holding pattern as both players and teams wait for the big free agent dominoes to fall. The wooing of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony (as well as Golden State’s continued pursuit of a trade for Kevin Love) are commanding most of the attention.
In the meantime, there have been a number of early moves as teams either lock in their own free agents or have reached agreements with incoming players. Though new signings can’t be made official until July 10, and smarter teams will order the formal submission of deals to the league office so as to maximize flexibility, these deals are as good as done.
So, who are the winners and losers so far? The following is a list of deals for which details have been credibly reported.
Some eyebrows were raised when Marcin Gortat agree to re-sign with the Washington Wizards for $60 million over 5 seasons. Certainly $12 million per season is a reasonable price for a big man of Gortat’s ability. However, he’s 30, and big men tend to age in dog years. What looks like a decent deal now could look decidedly uglier if Gortat is dragging up and down the court in February 2018 with another season-and-a-half guaranteed.
Thankfully from the Wizards’ perspective, the 2011 CBA gives them a method to soften the blow. Instead of the prior system under which a team could only get out from under an onerous contract for less than the full amount owed was by negotiating a buyout with the player, teams may now unilaterally waive players and “stretch” the salary and cap hit over a number of subsequent years.