- Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders provides some housekeeping details on a few offseason trades, reporting that the Clippers paid the Magic $230K in their C.J. Wilcox trade, the Jazz paid the Sixers $1.6MM in their Tibor Pleiss deal, and the Cavaliers paid the Sixers $1.8MM in their Sasha Kaun swap (all Twitter links).
The Jazz have gotten one step closer to finalizing their regular-season roster, announcing today in a press release that they’ve waived center Henry Sims. The deal Sims signed with Utah included a partial guarantee of $75K, which will remain on the team’s cap. The rest of his salary was non-guaranteed.
Sims is the fourth player cut within the last week by the Jazz, who have reduced their roster from 20 players to 16. Having waived Sims, Eric Dawson, Quincy Ford, and Marcus Paige, Utah now has to remove one more player from its roster before opening night in order to reach the regular-season limit of 15 players.
Although there are two players left on the Jazz’s roster with non-guaranteed salaries, one of those two, Jeff Withey, has long appeared to be a good bet to make the team. That leaves Chris Johnson as the most likely candidate to be the odd man out in Utah.
As for Sims, he saw a little NBA action in 2015/16 with the Nets, but spent most of the season with the D-League’s Grand Rapids Drive, recording 15.7 PPG and 8.9 RPG in 40 games. As Chris Reichert of Upside and Motor tweets, Sims’ D-League rights are currently held by Utah’s affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, so he’ll probably land with that squad, assuming he clears waivers.
- Gordon Hayward can opt out of his current deal after the season, but Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey said during an interview on Sirius XM Radio today that he is confident the team will re-sign the forward. “For us I think, as much as anything, we need to be ourselves with Gordon, need to be authentic and real and then he’s going to have a decision to make. But fundamentally, if we do the right things here… Let’s just be honest, we have an advantage by having his Bird rights. There’s a lot of money associated with the fifth year and higher raises,” Lindsey said. Hayward’s player option for 2017/18 is worth $16,736,710, but he’ll almost assuredly command well over that amount on the open market.
NBA.com has completed its annual survey of NBA general managers, asking each of the league’s 30 GMs an array of questions about the league’s top teams, players, and coaches. As John Schuhmann of NBA.com details in his piece announcing the results, it comes as little surprise that NBA GMs are just as bullish on the Cavaliers‘ and Warriors‘ chances in 2016/17 as the rest of us are — those are the only two teams GMs predicted to become this season’s NBA champion, with Golden State getting 69% of the vote and Cleveland getting 31%.
While there are many responses in the GM survey worth checking out, we’ll focus on rounding up some of the more interesting ones related to rosters and player movement. Let’s dive in…
- LeBron James led the way in votes for 2016/17’s MVP award, but Karl-Anthony Towns was the clear choice for the player most GMs would want to start a franchise with today.
- The Warriors were the only team to receive more than two votes for which team made the best offseason moves — Golden State was the runaway winner at 83.3%, largely due to the signing of Kevin Durant. The addition of Durant was easily voted the move most likely to make the biggest impact this season, and it was also viewed as the most surprising move of the summer, just ahead of Dwyane Wade joining the Bulls.
- The Jazz‘s trade for George Hill received at least one vote for the move likely to have the biggest impact, and it was the winner for the most underrated player acquisition of the offseason.
- Dejounte Murray (Spurs), Kris Dunn (Timberwolves), and Patrick McCaw (Warriors) were considered the biggest steals of the draft by GMs, who voted Milos Teodosic and Sergio Llull as the top international players not currently in the NBA.
- NBA general managers view Tom Thibodeau as the new coach most likely to make an immediate positive impact on his new team, and think Chris Paul is the player most likely to become a future NBA head coach.
- The rules that GMs wants to see changed or modified include the draft lottery system, the number of timeouts per game, and intentional fouling.
The 2016/17 NBA regular season will get underway in just over a week, which means it’s time to start getting serious about predictions for the upcoming campaign. With the help of the lines from offshore betting site Bovada.lv, we’re going to run through the predicted win totals for each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division, and have you weigh in on whether you think those forecasts are too optimistic or too pessimistic. Having looked at the Atlantic division last Friday, we’re moving on to the Northwest today…
- 2015/16 record: 40-42
- Over/under for 2016/17: 49 wins
- Offseason in review: Added George Hill, Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw. Lost Trevor Booker, Trey Burke, Tibor Pleiss.
(App users, click here for Jazz poll)
Portland Trail Blazers
- 2015/16 record: 44-38
- Over/under for 2016/17: 45.5 wins
- Offseason in review: Added Evan Turner, Festus Ezeli. Lost Gerald Henderson, Brian Roberts, Chris Kaman.
(App users, click here for Trail Blazers poll)
Oklahoma City Thunder
- 2015/16 record: 55-27
- Over/under for 2016/17: 43.5 wins
- Offseason in review: Added Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova, Alex Abrines, Ronnie Price, Joffrey Lauvergne. Lost Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Dion Waiters, Randy Foye.
(App users, click here for Thunder poll)
- 2015/16 record: 29-53
- Over/under for 2016/17: 40.5 wins
- Offseason in review: Added Kris Dunn, Cole Aldrich, Jordan Hill, Brandon Rush. Lost Kevin Garnett, Tayshaun Prince, Greg Smith.
(App users, click here for Timberwolves poll)
- 2015/16 record: 33-49
- Over/under for 2016/17: 37 wins
- Offseason in review: Added Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, Malik Beasley. Lost D.J. Augustin, Joffrey Lauvergne.
(App users, click here for Nuggets poll)
Previous voting results:
- Boston Celtics (52.5 wins): Under (54.59%)
- Toronto Raptors (50.5 wins): Over (54.63%)
- New York Knicks (38.5 wins): Over (71.41%)
- Philadelphia 76ers (23.5 wins): Under (54.62%)
- Brooklyn Nets (20.5 wins): Under (60.74%)
At a time when most NBA teams are waiving players from their roster, the Pelicans have announced a signing. According to a team release, New Orleans has signed Quincy Ford, who recently cleared waivers after being cut loose by the Jazz. The Pelicans are now back up to the maximum 20 players.
Ford, 23, signed his first NBA contract with the Jazz out of Northeastern back in September, receiving a $75K guarantee on a three-year pact with the team. Having played Summer League ball with Utah and spent training camp with them as well, the young forward appeared ticketed for the Salt Lake City Stars, the Jazz’s D-League affiliate. However, the Pelicans may have thrown a wrench in that plan.
Still, the Pelicans don’t have a D-League affiliate of their own, so if they want to keep Ford under team control, they’ll have to include him on their 15-man regular season roster. New Orleans already has 15 guaranteed salaries on its books for 2016/17, and that doesn’t even include Lance Stephenson, who has a partial guarantee — it would be a surprise if Ford makes the cut.
The TrailBlazers are the favorites to win the Northwest division this season, but it’s far from a certain outcome. Just a year ago, Portland was expected to be a lottery team after losing four starters, but the team overachieved, winning 44 games and beating an injury-riddled Clippers squad in the playoffs en route to a second round playoff series loss to the Warriors. Portland aggressively pursued high-priced, impact players in free agency and ended up adding Evan Turner on an expensive, four year, $70MM deal. Turner is a perplexing addition for a team that already had wing depth, but his presence should provide insurance of sorts in case of an injury. Turner will also give the team more flexibility with its line-up decisions, as Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors writes in the team’s Offseason In Review. The Blazers’ depth should keep them from sliding too far down the standings, but they remain a strong candidate to regress.
The Thunder had the worst offseason of any team, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors details in the team’s Offseason In Review. Losing Kevin Durant hurts, but Oklahoma City’s roster is not barren. This team can easily go 10-12 players deep on most nights and Russell Westbrook shifting from running-mate to Commander In Chief with a solid supporting cast should be not only fun to watch, but also enough to keep the team in contention for the division crown.
The Wolves arguably have the best young core in all of basketball. They appear to be a year or two away from making major noise in the conference, as I discussed in the team’s Offseason In Review. However, coach/executive Tom Thibodeau is going to get the most out of this roster and if Kris Dunn is able to hit the ground running, Minnesota could exceed expectations.
Denver lurks as a potential playoff team this season. The Nuggets’ success hinges on Emmanuel Mudiay taking the next step and proving he can be a franchise point guard. The franchise is likely a season away from reaching its playoff goal, as Scarito writes in the team’s Offseason In Review. Nevertheless, this team will be frisky on a nightly basis with its depth giving opposing teams trouble.
The Jazz are in position to take a major step forward. The addition of George Hill is an underrated move and his presence, along with 35-year-old Joe Johnson and 34-year-old Boris Diaw, will provide this team with veteran leadership, as Dana Gauruder of Hoops Rumors notes in the team’s Offseason in Review. The Jazz have the talent to compete with any team in the league and they are my personal pick to win this division. Despite the injury to Gordon Hayward, I envision this team winning over 50 games and earning a top-4 seed in the Western Conference.
Do you think the Jazz will be atop this division at the end of the season or will another team take home the crown? Don’t limit yourself to a simple button click. Take to the comments section below and share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say!
- The Jazz may need time to adjust to roster changes and the return of Dante Exum from injury, warns Dustin Jensen of The Deseret News. Utah traded for George Hill and Boris Diaw, signed free agent Joe Johnson and welcomed back Dante Exum after a year away with a torn ACL. Add in the emergence of second-year forward Trey Lyles and the Jazz may need time to develop chemistry.
According to Stein, Jazz center Rudy Gobert is viewed as the most likely candidate to be extended this month — Utah wants to lock up both Gobert and Derrick Favors to long-term deals, recognizing that securing those players could help convince Gordon Hayward to re-sign next summer. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Pistons), Gorgui Dieng (Timberwolves), and Shabazz Muhammad (Timberwolves) are also in play for potential extensions, says Stein.
- The Jazz don’t appear inclined to add anyone to their roster as a temporary fill-in while Gordon Hayward’s broken finger heals, Stein writes.