10/26 Mavericks vs Raptors Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Dallas 107, Toronto 116

Toronto Raptors

  • Pascal Siakam is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. The big man can take you outside and knock it down as well as put it on the floor. Siakam relentlessly runs the floor and is a quality passer for a big.
  • Danny Green is just a good basketball player. He is exactly what you want in a wing for today’s brand of basketball. Perfect fit next to Lowry.
  • When Jonas Valančiūnas took off for that sky hook in the 2nd quarter and put it in I stood up and yelled. I love that man so much.
  • I didn’t like the all-bench lineups for the extended amount of time they played. Nurse might be able to get away with it in short stretches but shouldn’t look to it often.
  • Kyle Lowry is the BEST Point Guard in the East right now. This man is playing incredible basketball. The command he has of the offense and the leadership that is clearly on display is second to none in the conference right now at the position.
  • Lowry had two passes in the first quarter that were just stellar. The bounce pass to Siakam and then the touch pass to Valančiūnas.
  • This Raptors team does everything well. They shot 48% from the field, 40% from three and hit 85% of their free throws. They don’t have a weakness offensively.

Who’s Up: Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam

Who’s Down: Serge Ibaka

Next Up: Monday @ Bucks

Dallas Mavericks

  • You can never count out a Rick Carlisle led basketball team. They always play with great energy on both ends, are fundamentally sound, and don’t beat themselves. Whenever Toronto would pull ahead Dallas would grit their teeth and get back in it.
  • Luka doesn’t have elite quickness or athleticism, but this guy has poise beyond his years and his patience with the ball in his hands is already elite.
  • Harrison Barnes made his season debut tonight. He definitely looked a bit rusty shooting just 5-17, but he will provide a much-needed scoring presence for this team.
  • Wes Matthews looked like an actual all-around player again in this game. Until tonight, I wasn’t sure if he could do anything inside the three-point line anymore.
  • Jalen Brunson is definitely a guy. He didn’t shoot well tonight, but make no mistake about it, this 2nd round pick can play in this league.
  • Deandre Jordan is the ever consistent 7-foot monster. You know exactly what you are going to get from him. Tonight, he gave 18 and 15 on 50% shooting.
  • Dallas really played a decent game, but just could never overcome the slow start. Dennis Smith didn’t play tonight, might have been a different outcome with his electric game in the Dallas backcourt.

Who’s Up: Wesley Matthews, Maximillian Kleber

Who’s Down: Harrison Barnes(rusty)

Next Up: Sunday vs Jazz

(I had to put this. I loved this play so much)

 

10/24 Timberwolves @ Raptors Rapid Reactions

Timberwolves and Raptors

Final Score: Raptors: 112, Timberwolves: 105

Timberwolves:

  • Confusing game all-around for Minnesota. In some ways, the Wolves stood in with Toronto on their own court, but in this league, it’s not about hanging with teams. It was a game of runs, and in the end, the Timberwolves didn’t have a big enough fourth quarter run in them.
  • The Timberwolves shot very well from deep. Minnesota was 15-30 from three. The entire team was hot from downtown. Butler led the way by going 4-7 from three, and Tolliver connected on 3-5 triples from deep. In the end, the three-point barrage wasn’t enough to get Minnesota the win, but it’s something to build on.
  • Jimmy Butler was brutal from the free-throw line. What happens in this game if Butler knocks down his foul shots? Butler was 5-10 from the line, where he is a career 83.4% shooter. Butler has recorded 20 points in each game he’s played in this season, but he could’ve done a lot more damage tonight.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns looked like he didn’t want to be on the court tonight. Towns has been very active so far this season, but tonight was a different story. KAT was a no-show on offense and wasn’t in the flow of the game. Towns’ offensive start to the season has to be a major concern going forward.
  • Josh Okogie had an interesting game. There is no doubting Okogie’s ability on the defensive end of the court. He is already an elite player on that end of the court. It’s the offensive end where Okogie is a huge question mark. Okogie started the game by shooting 0-9 from the field, forcing too many shots up. Then, Okogie caught fire, by hitting two straight threes and throwing down a massive putback. Okogie finished 4-14 from the field. If Okogie can learn when to shoot the ball and when to give it up, it will make him much more valuable to Minnesota.

Raptors:

  • This Toronto team is legit. I know, it’s been said before, but this year is truly different. With Kawhi Leonard in, and LeBron and out of the East, the Raptors have as good of a shot at going to the NBA Finals as any Eastern Conference team.
  • Kawhi Leonard is back. After missing almost a full year of basketball, Leonard looks like he hasn’t missed a step. Leonard recorded 35 points on 15-23 shooting from the field tonight, ridiculous efficiency. If Leonard continues to perform at this high of a level, he will definitely be in the MVP conversation at the end of the season.
  • Jonas Valanciunas provided a huge punch off the bench. Valanciunas recorded 16 points and 9 rebounds off the bench to lead Toronto’s bench scoring. Playing in just 20 minutes, 5 of the 9 rebounds Valanciunas grabbed were offensive rebounds.
  • The Raptors are the Spurs of the East. Their ball movement is unmatched. Almost everyone on their team is willing to make the extra pass. This team-centered basketball can take them very far, just ask San Antonio.

10/20 Raptors @ Wizards Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Raptors 117, Wizards 113

Toronto Raptors:

  • Kawhi Leonard rested tonight with the Raptors playing the second night of their back-to-back. Head coach Nick Nurse did a good job of preparing for nights without the former All-Star. In this game, Toronto went with a back-court heavy approach, relying on the likes of Kyle Lowry and Fred VanFleet. The team evidently wanted to run a portion of the offense through Serge Ibaka after his last performance, who was mostly placed into the Leonard role. The forward seemed to do well in spots, with 16 points and 9 rebounds, but also created good mismatches with well-timed switches.
  • Speaking of the backcourt, Fred VanFleet once again showed up greatly for the Raptors on a night they needed it. While he won’t pop out on the stat sheet, he took the ball down the court on many possessions, allowing Kyle Lowry to play off-the-ball and set up the offense in some favorable positions. The loss of Demar Derozan, who could handle both guard positions when called upon, opens the door for VanFleet to be more active as a passer and play-maker.
  • Another ripple effect of resting Leonard this evening was greater minutes to young players. Four of the five other forwards on the roster played above 24 minutes, and scored above 10 points. However, on the downside, the Raptors had 17 turnovers total. Many of these were untimely, resulting in 30 points off turnovers for the home team. This is expected when playing younger players, but is something Toronto will look to clean up as they plan to have additional rest nights for Kawhi Leonard.

Play of the Game: With less than 2 seconds left on the shot clock, and 14.6 left in the game, Fred VanFleet hit a incredibly tough midrange shot to essentially put the Wizards away. This pushed the Raptor lead to 4 and made it a two possession game, sealing the win.

Washington Wizards:

  • Rebounding issues were still evident, a problem carrying over from their first game against the Heat. This can be attributed to both the loss of Dwight Howard and Ian Mahimi finding himself in foul trouble once again. In the first half, the Wizards were giving up easy points inside the paint on top of a extra handful of offensive rebounds. The team seemed to have a better grip on the issue in the second half, but there a few plays late in the 4th quarter that swung momentum in Toronto’s direction with second chance points. Washington finished with 15 less rebounds than the Raptors, but they hope that issue will naturally resolve itself with the return of Howard.
  • Bradley Beal passed Gilbert Arenas as the all-time franchise leader in 3 point shots made tonight. After four years of injuries hampering a promising career, Beal stepped up for the Wizards last year playing all 82 games, plus 6 in the playoffs. Gilbert Arena set the record in his 8th season, but shooting guard broke this record in his 7th season. The incredible part is, Beal could have broken it in his sixth season, had the Wizards won their series against Toronto or even extended it to game 7. Congrats to Bradley Beal! 
  • The Wizards have found themselves ultimately snake-bitten by crazy plays with seconds left to go in both their games. After a back-breaking Kelly Olynyk putback in their last one, Washington watched Fred VanFleet crush them with a fantastic shot that gave Toronto a 4 point lead with seconds left. The team is all too familiar with these kinds of loses from last year, but the good news is- it’s only the second game of the season. The Wizards have plenty of time to learn and defend better in these crucial late game situations.

Play of the Game: With the Wizards down 12 after a poor run from their bench unit, John Wall came off the bench looking to ignite a spark on the team with only eight minutes left. The point guard drove to the basket for a contested layup, missing his shot, but Kelly Oubre Jr. flew in over Pascal Siakam for the slam and got fouled in the process. The play ignited the crowd and the team, fueling their late game run.

One play all non-Celtic fans should be scared of

Boston Celtics

If you didn’t watch the Celtics/Raptors game last night then you are a fartface who deserves to be grounded for a week.

Sorry. That was my adrenaline from last night’s game talking, not the two cups of coffee I had this morning.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a Boston Celtics fan. But, I sincerely try my hardest to be unbiased when observing the game I love. The only thing worse than a partisan basketball writer is a partisan basketball writer who is a #casualfan (which is my new favorite NBATwitter hashtag, by the way.)

The Cs looked great in the first half of last night’s game, but waned in the second half. They missed the same midrange jumpers they were hitting in the first two quarters. Their effort on the glass fell back to Earth and they should not have gotten so switch-happy when defending Kawhi (Jaylen Brown did a great job, let that man do his thing!)

Yet, one tiny nugget of NBA goodness stood out to me. One play. One brief moment that makes you say, “Oh, if they nail down this set, then they could have something dangerous here.”

So, what is the set I’m talking about?

Play – Horns Give

The Actors:

1. Al Horford: Passing big man extraordinaire who can roll for lobs or pop for treys.

2. Kyrie Irving: Goes by “Uncle Drew,” one of the best at-rim finishers in the game, sniper.

3. Gordon Hayward: Underrated wing who can beat you multiples ways one-on-one.

The Play:

The Breakdown:

Brad Stevens waited until the second quarter to break out this bad boy. But do not be fooled, the Celtics have been working variations of this play for a while now. So, what happened?

1. The pass: In most horns sets, the ballhandler uses the high screener for a pick and roll. Not today. Kyrie places a nice, high pass to Horford on the right elbow.

2. The movement: After the pass, Kyrie cuts left to use another high screen from Hayward, this time on the left elbow.

3. The fake: Except, Kyrie does not really use this screen, because Hayward never sets it. Hayward feigns the screen and cuts to the right block instead.

4. The result: The tall Horford simply passes over his defender to get Hayward the ball down low. Hayward makes a quick pivot and spins away for an 8-foot jumper over Kawhi. Boom.

 Why is this so special?

This trio of personnel is more than incredibly talented, they are incredibly multifaceted.

Horford can pop to shoot threes, or roll for a lob to the hoop. Either way, Serge Ibaka must stay draped over him. This opens up the floor. Horford is also one of, if not the best, passing big man in the game. In this play, he can be used as the screener, scorer, or passer, making him a triple threat.

Irving is one of the most underrated players in the League when moving off the ball. Last season, Irving finished in the 81st percentile for off-ball movement, scoring 1.15 Points Per Possession (PPP.) Given his deep range, Irving must be stuck to defensively as well.

Hayward is the key, however. In his last full season (2016-17) Hayward finished better than both Lebron and KD in field goal percentage in the post. During that same year he shot 39 percent on catch and shoot 3-pointers, making his popability a threat. What is most special, though is Hayward’s ability to cut.

During the 2016-17 season, Hayward finished in the 84th percentile on cuts. He scored a stupidly efficient 1.44 PPP during that time as well. The dude can kill you in several ways when involved in these types of sets.

What will we see going forward?

During last year’s preseason, we saw some of this action being tested out. This horns set started the same way. Irving begins by passing to Horford at the elbow. Then he cuts left, but this time Hayward does not fake a screen. Instead, he comes to get a dribble handoff (DHO) from Horford.

Hayward drives then kicks the ball back out to Horford, who popped. Horford, being the brilliant facilitator he is, finds Kyrie in a gap down low, and Kyrie drains the jumper. Watch below.

In this next clip, the trio involved is Hayward, Terry Rozier and Aron Baynes. Use your imagination to swap Irving for Rozier and Horford for Baynes.

This time, Hayward gets the give. Rozier, in the role of Irving, cuts to the hoop after he makes the pass to Hayward. Next, Baynes screens for Hayward and rolls to the hoop. By doing this, Baynes sucks the defense towards the rim, and allows Hayward to drain an easy pull up J.

We’re only two games into the season, but Hayward has looked lethal on his pull ups. And guess what? Last season, Irving scored a wild 1.58 PPP on cuts, which placed him in the 95th percentile. Oh, and Horford shot 41 percent on catch and shoot triples last year.

So, what’s the ultimate point I am trying to get across? The Celtics will use this play to peak effectiveness because each variety of it results in a high percentage shot. Maybe it will be Hayward taking a pull up. Or Kyrie cutting to the hoop. Or Horford pops for a 3-pointer.

Regardless, NBA defenses should start planning for this play now, because it will only get better with practice.

10/19 Celtics @ Raptors Rapid Reactions

Final Score: Celtics 101, Raptors 113

Boston Celtics:

  • The starting lineup does not seem to be hitting their stride- quite yet. By both the starters and bench alike, there is some hesitation and some unnecessary passing done by both units. Kyrie is not known for his facilitation and setting others up. A score-first point guard is an asset when he is hitting his shots, but when cold, can bring an offense down tremendously. However, it is only the second game of the season and the chemistry presumably will be drastically better come late in the year.
  • Throughout the game, and especially in the second half, it seemed the Celtics struggled with how to defend the Leonard-led offense. This comes with the aforementioned chemistry issues, but both placing Tatum on him and double-teams did not seem to slow him down considerably. Leonard makes opportunities for everyone on the court, instead of previous Raptors teams where it was a back-court heavy approach, and this may be a problem for the Celtics.
  • Boston brought themselves very close in the end but ultimately was the reason for their demise. Jayson Tatum picked up two charging fouls against Kyle Lowry, and the Celtics offense began to miss shots late. The Raptors took advantage of the momentum created as a result, and made key shots that kept both Boston out of it and the crowd into it.

Play of the Game: With 2:53 left in the game, Kyrie Irving weaved through the defense towards the paint only to pass it behind him to a wide-open Al Horford. The center, at the top of the key, drained the clutch three to bring the team within two.

Toronto Raptors:

  • Serge Ibaka had one of his best games in recent memory. He seems to gel well with his new role with the team, looking very comfortable on the court. Ibaka scored 21 tonight, but provided a presence defensively and remained active on the boards. Leonard missed a two-pointer late that Ibaka rose up for a putback to keep the Raptors ahead.
  • The Raptors lack a real center on the roster, splitting time between
    Jonas Valanciunas and Pascal Siakam. It seems to still be working well for Toronto, as they still remain active on the boards and do not allow an excessive amount of points in the paint. This is especially true against a team like Boston, who lacks a strong, physical center- with Horford being known more as a scorer.
  • The acquisitions of both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green have already proven to be great for this Raptors team. Leonard, obviously, allows for the team to run a more efficient style then they have ran in previous years. He makes his teammates better, and that includes the other former San Antonio player. Danny Green thrives off the opportunities given to him within the offense, and both bring a championship mentality to the Toronto locker room.

Play of the Game: With 1:14 left in the game, Jayson Tatum drove hard to the basket being pursued by both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Tatum threw hit shot up, only to be blocked hard by both Raptors players, to kill any momentum Boston was creating late.

Toronto. Seriously? Yes, Toronto

Kawhi Leonard

Get your jokes in now and laugh while you can because the fiery curse surrounding the Toronto Raptors is about to be extinguished. In recent years they have been a laughingstock and the butt of many jokes because of their routine postseason collapses, but for the 2018-19 season the Toronto Raptors will reign supreme at the top of the food chain in the Eastern Conference.  The acquisitions made by the Raptors this off-season have made them more versatile, athletic and most importantly, more talented.

Many of you are thinking Boston is the clear favorite in the East or maybe even Philly, but it should be Toronto.  They are coming off a 59 win season while being the only team in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating.  Philly and Boston were both in the top five for defensive rating as well, but neither of these teams finished in the top 10 in offense. Toronto was the most balanced team in the NBA last regular season and upgraded into an even stronger monster this off-season.  

The acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green will transform what is already an elite defense into an impregnable fortress. Adding the best perimeter defender in basketball to a team already 5th in defensive rating is incredible and Danny Green is a great defender in his own right. Wings like Leonard, Green, OG, Miles, and Powell, can guard multiple positions on the perimeter allowing the Raptors defense to be able to switch with ease.

DeRozan was a great player for this franchise, but if Kawhi Leonard buys in this season no one would deny he is a vast upgrade over DeRozan. He is a two time DPOY and Finals MVP that brings a tremendous level of playoff success to a team in desperate need of it.  A culture change was needed in Toronto and they went all in on that change this summer with the Kawhi trade and parting ways with long time head coach Dwane Casey. Next postseason, Toronto enters with three things they didn’t have last year. Their kryptonite is gone now that LeBron has moved to LA. No longer will we see the Raptors melt when that particular man walks into the room.  Second, the Raptors have a new culture. With a new head coach and new players being brought in, this Raptors team won’t have quite the same baggage as the teams of the past. And lastly, they will enter every series with that particular series’ best player. Having the best player in the series can make up for many deficiencies elsewhere and Toronto will already be the most efficient and well balanced team in their conference. With the move of LeBron, a culture change, and the best player, this is a team ready to ascend as the team to beat next year in the Eastern Conference.

 

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The most untouchable player for every Western Conference team

The most untouchable player for every Eastern Conference team

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons

This is it. We can do this, ladies and gentlemen. Free agency is winding down, the NBA draft has been done for what seems like ages, and summer league is wrapping up as well.

Now more than ever, we need thought provoking NBA content. Well, say no more fam.

 

1. Atlanta Hawks – Trae Young

When I first glanced at this roster, I threw up a little in my mouth. But then I took a deep breath, dry heaved some more and decided to look again. Things aren’t as bleak as they seem.

Trae Young, John Collins, Taurean Prince, Kevin Huerter. The Hawks have the start of something promising or at the very least, intriguing. Is anyone on this roster truly untouchable? Probably not. Still, with management trading back and still drafting Trae Young, all signs point to him as being the least likely to be traded.

 

2. Boston Celtics – Jayson Tatum

The rookie standout is the obvious answer here. Do the Celtics want to trade any of their core? Nope. Still, I cannot imagine Danny Ainge trading Tatum for any realistic option out there right now. (Anthony Davis cannot come to the Cs via a DPE rule.)

Tatum’s duel with LeBron in the game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final is something we could see in a 30 for 30 one day. The kid is that special.

 

3. Brooklyn Nets – Jarrett Allen

Just when I thought I was done throwing up…

All jokes aside, the Nets are finally headed in the right direction. They own their future picks and have acquired then developed some good prospects. Spencer Dinwiddie revived his career in Brooklyn, and other reclamation projects await.

Jarrett Allen has looked like a good gamble so far. There is a reason he only played 20 minutes per game last year but, his per-36 minutes suggest a bright future lies ahead.

Per 36 Minutes Table
Season Age Tm G FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
2017-18 19 BRK 72 5.8 9.9 .589 0.1 0.4 .333 2.8 3.7 .776 9.7 1.2 0.7 2.2 14.7
Career 72 5.8 9.9 .589 0.1 0.4 .333 2.8 3.7 .776 9.7 1.2 0.7 2.2 14.7
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2018.

4. Charlotte Hornets – Miles Bridges

So this is the question: What makes Miles Bridges more untradable than Malik Monk?

Monk had a disappointing rookie season. Sure, he showed flashes during the last month or so of the season. Yet, Monk proved to be more of a project than what scouts originally thought.

Bridges may not project as the safer long term prospect however, he has a two-way ceiling higher than Monk’s. Offensively, Bridges looks to be equally as dynamic as Monk, despite these two having different skill sets. It is on the defensive side of the ball where Bridges separates himself, as he has the potential to defend four positions on the court.

 

5. Chicago Bulls – Wendell Carter Jr.

I struggled with this selection as well. Lauri Markkanen set rookie records for three-pointers last year. Plus, Coach Hoiberg ran a bunch of the offense through him, something that displayed Markkanen’s playmaking ability. So why did I side with Carter Jr here?

Lauri Markkanen may learn NBA defensive spacing but, he simply lacks to physical tools to be an effective two-way player. With the game getting quicker, I can imagine future playoff scenarios where Markkanen gets played off of the court. Who does Markkanen guard when a team like the Sixers trots out Embiid, Simmons, Redick, Fultz and Covington. Carter Jr won’t ever get played off of the court. His three-point stroke and playmaking look to be just as good as Markkanen’s as well.

 

6. Cleveland Cavaliers – Collin Sexton

Has anyone made an “I wanna Sexton you up” meme yet? No? Great.

Cleveland has players that are the opposite of untouchable. They should be looking to gain value for Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson and others. Yet, Sexton remains untouchable. The former Alabama guard is a locker room blessing. Sexton can reset the culture in Cleveland while becoming their point guard of the future. Cedi Osman was in contention here as well.

 

7. Detroit Pistons – Andre Drummond

If I were the GM of the Detroit Pistons, Andre Drummond would not be untouchable. That does mean I would be looking to unload him however, I prefer my centers to be able to switch pick and rolls, as well as space the court. Yet, Drummond is probably the most unlikely player Detroit is willing to part with.

Blake Griffin was a Stan Van Gundy guy, not someone new management particularly wanted. I am not suggesting his trade value is high enough to warrant a move but, crazier things have happened. This summer, Drummond has posted videos on his Instagram account draining threes. Perhaps he will bring this skill to the Pistons this year, and truly earn this hypothetical untouchable title.

 

8. Indiana Pacers – Victor Oladipo

I won’t get into too much detail about this because Josh Eberly of HOOPmag already did it for me:

9. Miami Heat – Josh Richardson

Why not first time All-Star and former All-NBAer Goran Dragic? Dragic can opt out of his contract after next season and will be a 33-year-old point guard. If anything, Miami should be tryingto ship Dragic off to a fringe contender looking for that next piece.

Bam Adebayo came to mind here but, paint protecting rim runners are becoming easier and easier to find nowadays. 24-year-old defensive wings who drain 37% of their threes and hit 45% from the field are not easy to find, however. Throw in Richardson’s cheap contract and Miami has a piece they should hold onto.

 

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Giannia Antetokounmpo

Ask Tim Hardaway Jr to explain this one.

11. New York Knicks – Kristaps Porzingis

Want to know how many NBA players shot 39% from deep last year while also blocking 2.4 shots per game? One. Don’t overthink this one, people. Kevin Knox will be an awesome player and is on a cheap deal. Frankie Smokes is already an elite perimeter defender with promising offensive development. Still, KP is the way to go here.

 

12. Orlando Magic – Mo Bamba

Rookies seem to be dominating this list, and I do not know if I am comfortable with that.

Aaron Gordon took a step forward with his three-point shooting ability last season yet, he still has so much more to develop if he wants to truly take advantage of his elite athleticism. With both Bamba and Jonathan Isaac looking great in summer league, I would move off of Gordon for a top-20 pick.

Jonathan Isaac has shown promise lately however, he does not have the ceiling that Bamba has. Bamba is the most boom or bust player of this bunch, but Orlando needs a star and Bamba is worth making untouchable.

 

13. Philadelphia 76ers – Ben Simmons

Let the debate begin!

I love Embiid’s game and potential. In my opinion, he has a higher ceiling than Simmons. Embiid could be an MVP and  DPOY winner. Yet, I like my untouchable players to be on the court. Out of 328 possible regular season games, Embiid has played 94 of them. Folks, he has only played in 28 percent of his games. Unfortunately, 7’1″, 260 lbs centers tend to progress towards injuries, not away from them.

Ben Simmons has an MVP ceiling as well. At one point during his career he will be the best passer in the game. Defensively, he can be elite too. Simmons has all the tools to be transcendent and a gambling man will bet that Simmons will find a way to fix that jumper. Factor in his health, and Simmons is my pick here, although I would not trade either.

 

14. Toronto Raptors – No one

Why should anyone on this roster be untouchable? Toronto is at a crossroads. With LeBron out of the East, they need to take a risk and go all in.

I have been a fan of the “DeMar for Kawhi” fake trades. Kawhi is simply a better player than DeMar DeRozan and would raise Toronto’s chances of winning. If the team can package Lowry and other assets for an upgrade, do it. Could they need to sell off OG and other young prospects for an experienced difference maker? Go for it.

If not now, when? Toronto has a very small window to win. If there is a move out there that makes them better for even one season, they must do it.

 

15. Washington Wizards – Bradley Beal

Surprised you, right?

Bradley Beal had a better year than John Wall last year, straight up.

Per Game Table
Rk Player Season Age GS FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% eFG% FT% TRB AST STL BLK PTS
1 Bradley Beal 2017-18 24 82 8.3 18.1 .460 2.4 6.5 .375 .527 .793 4.4 4.5 1.2 0.4 22.6
2 John Wall 2017-18 27 41 6.8 16.3 .420 1.5 4.1 .371 .466 .726 3.7 9.6 1.4 1.1 19.4
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2018.

 

I will take Beal’s numbers here over Wall’s any day of the week. Plus, Washington should be looking to move off of Wall’s contract. John Wall will be paid $37 million dollars in 2019-2020. Compare that to Beal who will be making $10 million less! Remember when I was throwing up earlier…

…John Wall will be making $43 million when he is 31-years-old! That type of money cripples franchises from making other important acquisitions. The point guard position is the saturated one in the game today, making Wall expendable in the long term. Bradley Beal is the guy to hang onto.