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Thompson - Love : The trade that wasn't and the implications for the NBA

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by JayZ750, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    Recall that it certainly appeared Minnesota preferred or would have strongly entertained a Klay Thompson centered package for Kevin Love than the Andrew Wiggins one.

    But the Warriors weren't having any of that.

    At the time a lot of people, myself included, thought the Warriors HAD to make that trade. But Warriors management smartly declined.

    And while I definitely still like Kevin Love as a player, I think there are some interesting take-aways as far as team building goes for the NBA. These are obvious by now, but clearly weren't so obvious last year to everyone, since most would have seen the Warriors trade for Kevin Love and I think that wouldn't have turned out so well for them.

    #1 - It's a guards league. this was obvious before, but is more obvious now. You can't touch or breathe on guards. And bigs generally are incapable of controlling the offense down the stretch.

    #2 - It's an offense league. More than anytime I can remember in maybe 30 years since the mid 80's. Defense is still enormously important, no doubt (see below), but the role of offense is more important than it's historically been. We saw the Spurs adapt this strategy. We saw the Clippers run through the NBA with offense. We saw the Rockets at their best when the offense was clicking. We saw the Hawks get a #1 seed out East because of pristine offense. And we see the Warriors being able to go on 15-0 runs in 3 minutes repeatedly and run through the league offensively.

    #3 - Defensively, VERSATILITY is key. The best defenders are versatile ones. With the decline of the dominant offensive big man, we've seen the rise of the versatile defensive frontcourt player. Draymond Green - as much a reason why the Warriors passing on Love makes sense as Thompson's skills. Boris Diaw - not an all world defender, but a capable one who if necessary can guard 3 through 5. Even on your defensive centers, versatility matters more than ever. Bogut is great at protecting the paint, AND on pick and roll defense, and smartly contesting when he is on guards. This is true of backcourt defenders as well. Leonard. Thompson. CP3 - who is great at guarding PGs and SGs. Tony Allen. Jimmy Butler. Anthony Davis. All these guys can guard multiple positions. All these guys are just that much more effective if they have to switch pick and rolls.

    #4 - Efficient scoring. Shooting, shooting, shooting. Chuck can cry all he wants, but the analytics that point to efficient offense are all right. Goes along with #1/#2 above. THREE POINT SHOOTING!!! Kyle Korver was an all-star this year.

    #5 - VERSATILITY. Mentioned above with defense, but needs to be mentioned just generally. I think the modern times version of this started with the run-n-gun Suns with Marion as a power-forward and continued to Lebron's Heat which excelled with Lebron as PF and is seen now with the Warriors and Draymond Green.

    Why'd the Warriors pass on the Thompson for Love deal? They correctly identified that the comibnation of scoring from the Splash Brothers would be deadly. The correctly recognized that the combined defensive versatility of Green, Thompson and Bogut would help hide their MVPs defensive weaknesses.

    -------------------------

    Implications for the Rockets:

    1. They need more backcourt shooting. The Rockets were one of the lesser 3P % teams in the playoffs. They just used analytics to the extreme, so made up for it with extreme volume. They so so so need a knock-down 40% three point shooter. Ray Allen, even at his age, would have been PERFECT for this team.

    2. PBev is not needed. This doesn't mean the loss of him didn't hurt. It clearly did. But I think the loss of DMo hurt much more. The issue with PBev is he provides NO versatility. He's not an amazing shooter. Ok, but not amazing. He's not a creator. And while he is a pesky on the ball defender, he is often over-aggressive in that area AND more importantly, that's the only area he can defend. How many times did we see Jones, Dwight or Smith on Curry on the perimeter? How many times did we see Terry posted up by Livingston or Barnes? How does getting PBev back stop that? It doesn't. He will be stuck guarding the pick-man or being posted up because of switches just like Terry was. And that's not a position you want him in. A guy like CP3, defensively, is just that much better at guarding the 2's, or the 3's when he is forced to switch defensively. PBev isn't. There aren't many CP3 type PG defenders out there... so that means don't focus on your PG being a great defender. In almost all cases he won't be, and that's ok. Curry, Irving, Lillard, Parker, Westbrook... none of those guys are great defenders either.

    3. PF focus should be principally on versatile defense and rebounding, and secondarily on a guy that can space the floor or create offensively. The "feel" is DMo fixes a lot of these issues. He's the reason the team was able to absorb both Howard and TJones injuries. He's a solid interior defender and pick and roll defender. Respectable enough 3 point shoot. Can create offense for himself and others. I don't care if Jones and Smith are both off the team.

    4. You want your PFs to be able to defensively guard 3-5, and your SFs to be able to defensively guard 1-4. Rockets seem to have this with Ariza and DMo.

    Backcourt targets area easier. Ty Lawson - not great defensively, but who cares... great scorer and creator. Llull - versatile. Can play one or two. Depth guys I'd be interested in would include CJ Watson, Gerald Green.

    Frontcourt targets are harder. Obviously if you can get a Love, LMA than you do that. Ilyasova might finally be on the move, and is slowly working his way towards being that surprise solid PF player he used to be, but he still gets paid $8.4 million in 16/17. I'd love Tristan Thompson but no way the Cavs let him go, or the Rockets can afford him.. rumor was he already turned down a $13 million per year extension - which I think is rich for him, but he's become such a sold defender, excellent rebounder, smarter offensive player. Amir Johnson? Ed Davis?
     
    3 people like this.
  2. BugOnAHarley

    BugOnAHarley Contributing Member

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    Nice take on things.

    I think the absence of Beverly and D'Mo was huge in the WCF series.

    To your point ... we needed more offense ... and we need versatile defenders; Terry and Prigioni were run ragged having to defend GS guards and therefore had tired legs early on in games which I believe effected their shooting (especially Terry who you count on for timely 3s). Beverly taking the brunt of that defensive energy could have kept the other two guards fresh to make timely shots. D'Mo is not a great defender but brings pretty consistent offense and was great in combination with Dwight. I think Dwight missed D'Mo's high percentage points at the rim. Rockets were terrible at finishing at the rim with T'Jones and Josh Smith. Too many missed opportunities.

    I believe with Bev and D'Mo in the game Rockets Win games 1 and 2. Then it would have been a whole different series.
     
  3. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    DMO is underrated defensively. Probably because he is always seen falling down.
     
  4. LabMouse

    LabMouse Member

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    Not real, it was due to Curry who did not want to his friend to go. Warriors wanted to make the deal, Curry did not.

     
  5. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    Makes you wonder how much more valuable a Chuck Hayes would be in today's NBA. Guy was incredibly versatile defensive big man.
     
  6. roslolian

    roslolian Member

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    While the OP has a nice take I don't really think those were the reasons GSW didn't do the trade:

    1) Curry didn't want Klay Steph to get traded. This is probably the biggest reason why the trade didn't happen. LOL.

    2) GSW wasn't on Love's "I'm staying" list, IIRC that list only includes NYC, Boston, Cleveland and LA. Not everyone is willing to take such a big risk as trading for a dude who keeps saying he will walk after a season. This is also one of the reasons I didn't want the Rox to trade for Love because he doesn't want to stay in Houston either.

    3) Kevin Love wasn't universally perceived as a superstar in his prime like KG or Pau Gasol when he was traded, dude has been accused of soft, not playing defense, injury prone and not being good enough to reach the playoffs by himself, something that not only superstars but stars have done repeatedly like Melo, Tmac, Carter, Iverson etc. Even Bill Simmons wrote an article talking about since in a lot of people's eyes a star should be able to go to the playoffs at the very least.

    4) Thompson is younger, cheaper and has no history of health issues.

    Also, your point #3 has nothing to do with this trade, defensive versatility dawned in the league when KG, James Posey, (a younger and more spry) Perkins, Tony Allen, Rajon Rondo and Thibs all got together and designed a defense centered around defending the paint and 3 pt line with switches and leaving the mid range area open. Then Bosh, Lebron and Wade teamed up in Miami and drove the point home.

    #4 has also existed even before Thompson, trends has shown 3 pt % has been increasing the last decade or so. 3 pt % has been increasing so not sure why this trade is suddenly the originator for it especially since one of Kevin Love's biggest come ons is he is actually a pretty good 3 pt shooter himself. In terms of value a 3 pt shooting PF (aka Stretch 4) should be more valuable than a 3 pt shooting SG who is standard in the league.

    And while I'm at it I'll also argue against #1 because while it may be a "guards" league, bigs are still worth more than guards simply because the bigs can develop guard skills to compensate whereas the guards will always be smaller than the bigs and can't do the big men skills like paint defense and rebounding. In the 80's for example, Kevin Love spotting for 3 would be heresy but in today's league he is coveted because of that skillset. LBJ and Kevin Durant are technically big men at 6'8+ tall but they out guard the guards in terms of skillset. I mean who'd you rather have, Harden, Curry and Thompson or Lebron, Durant and Anthony Davis?
     
  7. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

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    I always thought it would have been a bad trade for the Warriors. I was happen when the deal was proposed. It hurt both teams
     
  8. mollamar

    mollamar Contributing Member

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    Good call. Situationally I totally agree. That was supposed to be the idea with Dorsey rev.2.

    As a regular rotation guy (esp in a fluid read and react system), his mediocre offense would probably keep him out of the rotation.
     
  9. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    Valid points, though I'd note Kevin Love was universally perceived as a top 3 PF. He was universally perceived as the best player being discussed. And the consensus was the Warriors should include Thompson for Love.

    Yes, true. The point wasn't so much that the Warriors figured something out... just pointing to the trends.

    That said, the Warriors version of this style of defense rests on having the least obvious defensive players of the ones you've mentioned... partly because of the shift in offense to guards. Draymond Green would not have been a great defender 15 years ago. Would have been above average, but the great PFs of those days would have gone to work on him.

    Agree and disagree. Of course it's been increasing. But the Warriors have taken it to another level.

    Green frankly isn't that great of a stretch 4... Channing Frye, Ibaka, DMo, Millsap, Patterson, Millsap... all better 3 point shooters. Green is just good enough to keep the defense honest.

    The power of the Warriors offense is more the fact that both Thompson and Curry shot 45% or so or better from three, both on like 500+ attempts. AND THEN, Harrison Barnes shoots 41% on 215 attempts.

    The Warriors have the best 3 point shooters in the league at the 1,2 and 3 position. It's a trend... that the Warriors basically blew out of the water.

    I don't necessarily think the value is in being a "stretch 4". It's in being a versatile 4, with good defensive instincts. Take Faried... he's the farthest thing from a stretch 4 you'll find. Still a solid player. If he could shoot three's better, he'd clearly be a better PF. But he'd be best of becoming a better defender, and a better passer... not focusing on 3's.

    This is where it gets tricky...

    Aside from Davis, all of the above guys play more "guard-like" than anything. Even when Lebron is "on the block" more... he is a creator, not a bruiser. Their hybrids, and it's their hybrid nature and versatility that makes them amazing. Absolutely, that will always be the #1 coveted type player... but there aren't a lot of those out there, which speaks to what the league is...

    For two, the fact that a guy like Thompson is even in the conversation points to the increased value of what he brings. Improved, but not a prime creator. Ok, but not great rebounder.

    If we're going to compare "true" bigs, then it's more like:
    Harden, Curry, Thompson vs. Davis, Marc Gasol, Howard?
    or vs. Davis, LMA, Love?
    or vs. Davis, Jordan, Paul Gasol
    or vs. Davis, Cousins, Griffin

    Basically, any 3 man combination of Davis, Griffin, the 2 Gasols, Dwight, LMA, Love, DJ, Cousins, and Duncan...
    And basically, YES, I'd take Curry, Harden, Thompson over those 3 men combinations.

    Or how about just creating 5 man teams, where you have Lebron and Durant on both teams, because they are the ultimate hybrid when healthy.
    Lebron, Durant and Curry, Harden, Thompson vs. Lebron, Durant and Davis, and 2 more of the bigs noted above.
    Give me the guard version in today's NBA.
     
  10. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    I think the #1 thing is that Draymond Green turned out to be A LOT better than people thought he could be. Dude was useful but I do nOT remember anyone thought he'd finish 2nd place in DPOY.

    People projected that the guy who would play most of the PF minutes in place of Love if GS didn't make the trade would be David Lee-- who is not bad but nowhere as good as Draymond turned out to be.

    Love was also a lot better (or was used a lot more frequently and effectively) in MIN than he was in CLE
     
  11. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
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    I was wrong about the Thompson-Love trade, I must admit.
     
  12. J Sizzle

    J Sizzle Member

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    Wow. Great post and great read!
     
  13. basketballholic

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    Great thread, OP.

    In my mind,



    Gotta have three good to great 3-point shooters on the floor together and the 4th guy has to be able to line up and knock down the 3 when needed. I don't think it necessary has to be the 1,2,3 shooting the 3-ball. It could be the 2,3,4 being the primary shooters with the 1 being a creator or the 4th guy that can line one up when needed.

    Defensively, gotta have an anchor and gotta have perimeter defenders who run the opponent off the high-percentage spots on the 3-point line. Can't let guys throw it up from the corner without contest. Gotta scramble at the 3-point line and force opponents into 17-23 footers or to go all the way inside against a paint/rim defender.

    I also agree with OP that we shouldn't be stuck on PBev. Love the guy. Love what he brought. But to pay him on a long-term deal right now.....nope. Wouldn't do it. The best I would do is to overpay him for 1 season with a second non-guaranteed season attached to the first one that makes him trade-able or simply releasable.

    Aaron Craft is a better defender than Pat Bev a this stage of their respective careers and Craft can be had for the minimum. I'd take Craft on a 2-year minimum deal over re-signing and keeping Bev at any amount. I'd rather sign Craft and then look to sign-and-trade Bev or let Bev walk.

    You get Craft in Bev's roster spot. Then look for a young, shooting PG that can knock down the 3-ball at 42-45%. Say Seth Curry, or Corey Hawkins, or possibly CJ Watson at the minimum. Craft and Curry or Hawkins/Watson would be a nice upgrade to Bev/Pablo/Jet....and you've still got a roster spot and more salary space to add a player either through S&T of Bev or through outright space.

    I still believe that if we trade Trevor and combine the assets from Trevor with #18 and Capela that we may be able to get up to top 8 in this draft. That would be a nice spot to get the best shooter in this draft (Hezonja) if he's still on the board or possibly a great, young playmaker/defender in Winslow while simultaneously carving out max cap space for a player like LaMarcus to sign outright as opposed to having to trade assets for him.

    With a nucleus of Harden/LaMarcus/Dwight/HezonjaorWinslow/DMo/Smith, you've got your 3 shooters and your defensive stoppers. With Craft and a scoring/shooting PG, you've got another defender and another shooter. Go sign a guy like Alonzo Gee for more versatile defense.

    Going about the off season this way gives us a lot more flexibility on court for 2015-16 and it sets us up to add another max free agent in 2016 without trading away any assets.
     
  14. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    While I don't think it necessarily matters, but if I'm the Rockets, and know I need to improve PG and PF, I'd prioritize offense for the PG and defense for the PF.

    Because it's a "guard" league, and a PnR league.
    Having a PBev type offensively run a pick and roll with a Terrence Jones type accomplishes nothing. Bev isn't capable enough offensively to create for himself or Jones. Jones isn't capable enough offensively to be the ball handler on the outside to be the creator. Meanwhile PBev isn't versatile enough defensively to guard the likes of a semi-competent offensive SF or SG, because he's just not tall enough or strong enough.

    You've been pimping this trade on the GARM.... and pretty much nobody likes it. I think it's for two reasons.

    Primarily, the ONLY reason you do this given the current stage of the team is if you are 100% confident in LMA coming.

    Secondarily, Trevor is that versatile defender you ABSOLUTELY need. And no, the rookies you mentioned, or KJ McDaniel don't give you that. Trevor can and did guard 1-4 in the playoffs. I value Trevor right with Dwight at this point, because Dwight gets paid too much, and Trevor gets $8 million a year and is a bargain.

    And finally, the upside of Capela is too tempting.

    So no, you don't pull that off, unless it is the ONLY way to clear the cap room you need.
     
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  15. Deuce

    Deuce Context & Nuance

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    JayZ750, great post!

    No question that versatility is the KEY. And shooting. :)

    Today's NBA is: 1 PG, 1 Low Post guy that can block shots, and 3 Swingmen that can shoot and switch on defense.

    3pt shooting, attacking the basket to get to the FT line -- all signs to a guard's league.
     
  16. J Hard

    J Hard Member

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    Not true. He is avg.
     
  17. DreamShook

    DreamShook Member

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    Like I said, underrated.
     
  18. plutoblue11

    plutoblue11 Member

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    I agree with this. The Warriors would not have been the same team. It would've been nearly as bad as the Cleveland trade, which looks worse with each passing day.

    With everything else being unchanged, you would've had a lineup of

    Lebron, Irving, Wiggins and Thompson paired with Smith, Shumpert, and Mozgov. You got a championship contender until 2020+.
     
  19. saleem

    saleem Contributing Member

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    It is a great well thought out post, but I don't agree with the suggestion of dropping Josh Smith. He is inefficient, and unfortunately a poor free throw shooter, but it was his versatility that brought us this far. I wish he had played better defense, and scored more on the low block, but we needed his playmaking too.

    D-Mo is pretty versatile, his main problem is his poor rebounding. He is always going to be a finesse player, but he needs to get stronger, so he can go up against the elite 4-5's on offense.

    D-Mo's last showing against Anthony Davis was encouraging. It's a pity we missed him and Bev in the playoffs.
     
  20. Madmanmetz

    Madmanmetz Member
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    Not true he is above average.

    I remember Bullard quoting a few weeks after the all-star game that D-mo's stats for opponents points per possesion were at the top of the league. He was 5th in drawing the charges in the league. Actually he started drawing the charges regularly the previous season when he finished 4th in the league despite only averaging 15 minutes per game.

    Now I know Howard is a better defender because rebounding is a big part of defense. But regardless the stigma that D-Mo is below average or even average is dead wrong. He is at the top of the league at defending his man, and drawing charges. He is below average rebounding and shot blocking for a 7 footer. So in all above average. At 24 years old he can get continue to add size and learn the art of boxing out to securing rebounds better.

    A comparision of Howard/D-Mo opponents FG% by distance is near identical.

    D-Mo less than 5ft 59.6% DH 58.4%
    D-Mo 5-9ft 39.6% DH 39.5%
    D-Mo 10-14ft 35.7% DH 36.8%
    D-Mo 15-19ft 40.1% DH 39.8%
    D-Mo 20-24ft 36% DH 37.8%
    D-Mo 25-29ft 32.9% DH 24.2%

    Link to stats above. (side note Capela's stats were top of the charts but limited sample size)

    http://stats.nba.com/league/player/#!/oppshooting/?Season=2014-15&SeasonType=Regular%20Season&sort=TEAM_ABBREVIATION&dir=-1

    Charges drawn link.

    http://hoopsmanifesto.com/articles/nba-stats/nba-charges-drawn-total-201415.html

    Given his offensive improvement from the post and 3 point line I don't see Morey parting with D-Mo unless it gives he a 3rd star. He is a perfect fit with our 5's. We need a point guard as the OP stated.
     

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