And-Ones: Superteams, Cook, Williams

With the 2018 NBA Finals now officially wrapped, the offseason has begun. Now, Ken Berger of Bleacher Report writes, players and teams around the league will waste no time scraping away for ways to conquer one of the sport’s greatest rosters. One of those options? Find a way to form an even more powerful superteam.

Berger writes about the rise of the modern superteam era, one that he says traces back over a decade to when the Celtics brought All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen aboard to team up with Paul Pierce and win a title. A feeling of futility matched up against those Hall of Famers, Cavaliers forward LeBron James says, contributed to his decision to in turn team up with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with the Heat.

More recently, it was what Berger calls a flaw in the salary cap system that allowed the Warriors to add Kevin Durant mere months after setting the all-time record for regular season wins. A boost in broadcasting revenue after the 2011 lockout precipitated a massive spike in the salary cap.

At the time, Berger writes, league commissioner Adam Silver pushed to spread the increase out over several seasons but the player’s union fought to keep the increase in one lump sum. The result? A $24MM salary cap increase that allowed the Warriors to sign a fourth superstar without giving up any major roster pieces.

There’s more from around the league:

  • Former Heat swingman Daequan Cook has signed an extension to return to Ironi Ness Ziona in Israel, international basketball reporter David Pick tweets. Cook last saw NBA action in 2012/13.
  • Though it’s only been seven years since he was drafted with the No. 2 pick, Derrick Williams has seen the NBA landscape around him do an about-face with regard to how it values the hybridization of player positions. Keith Langlois of Detroit’s official team site writes about how the journeyman forward auditioning for the Pistons is hoping that being a “tweener” can help him land another gig in the league.
  • Legendary hoops analyst Hubie Brown suffered a knee injury prior to Game 4 of the NBA Finals and wasn’t able to broadcast over the radio, an ESPN report says. There’s no indication that the 84-year-old’s injury was self-inflicted after letting his emotions get the best of him.
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21 thoughts on “And-Ones: Superteams, Cook, Williams

  1. Z-A

    You’ve gotta have at least 2 top 30 players to even be competitive in this league. Or have LeBron. If you don’t have that guy plus a side kick you’re 1st round and out.

  2. supercollider

    The Celtics put their 2008 title team together with trades. The Warriors did it by signing Durant, who took the easy road.

    • JrodFunk5

      Warriors won a title, then 73 games before signing KD. Celtics won 24 games before bringing in 2 mercenaries for their single championship.

  3. afsooner02

    The nba screwed up and will admit so in letting the warriors sign Durant with the cap increase…..unfortunately the rest of us non GS fans (since 2014) will have to suffer for a while.

    • Why not strive to be like the best, or to beat the best?

      Why you got a knock the best down and say it’s not fair. Life isn’t fair. Become better.

      It’s like the Little League team that has the best player at 9 years old. But they make him play left-handed because he’s too good. Why not trying to improve and beat him even if you don’t you’re going to be that much better.

      Everyone complains that the Great are great. Why not become great yourself? Instead of reducing what they have try adding to what you have. Working improving Etc

      This is Durant’s job. He went from a crummy working environment with a ball hog and fourth quarter knucklehead, to choosing a place to work that he would enjoy everyday. He loves his job now. Leave the man alone.

      • afsooner02

        It’s great if you’re a warriors fan (record numbers since 2014 for some strange reason). I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

        My opinion is this is boring. I didn’t watch 5 min of the finals cause we all knew the outcome. Unless LBJ or Kawai picks houston/philly or an injury hits one of the big 3 (they could still win without draymond) I expect at least 2 more warriors titles.

        Durant’s legacy is a whole other topic.

        • Hopefully each team gets their turn. Draft picks free agents rebuilding whatever.

          Now is a great time to be a warrior fan because the 80s and the 90s were very very tough. Took a lot of crap from my Laker fan friends.

          From 1995 to 2012, the Warriors made the playoffs one time (the 2007 “We Believe” team). The Warriors now win their third title in the last four years. That is pretty astounding…

  4. rsalas70

    The Dubs became a “super team” the right way, through the draft, unlike the other teams mentioned. In fact, they shouldn’t be called a super team because all they did is add one more player. Remember, this team also drafted Harrison Barnes before losing him via free agency.

    • JrodFunk5

      Well said. One big free agent is nothing to complain about. It’s becoming increasingly clear why Durant wanted away from Westbrook

    • Michael Chaney

      They started their superteam through the draft, and they did a great job drafting those guys when they never had a pick at the top of the draft. So in that regard, kudos to them.

      But to say they did it the right way is wrong. They had a core that had already won a title and been to consecutive Finals, THEN added Durant to it. Also, saying they “only added one player” is misleading because in the NBA that makes a huge difference. The Warriors without Durant were elite already, but now with him they’re literally unbeatable. That’s why you can’t say they did it the right way.

      • Yes they did do it the right way.

        They created an environment whetee guys want to work. They created an atmosphere where players wanted to sign.

        That’s doing it the right way. Not a crap hole organization that’s falling apart like the Sterling Clippers.

      • They’re not literally unbeatable. In fact, the Rockets had the Warriors beat, but were undone by a single injury.

        Some fans have short memories when they are riding a narrative.

        • Exactly. Each team, any team, is one or two injuries away from collapsing. Writing the season off.

    • ajetergiftbasket

      If the Celtics had stayed healthy and won this year, would people give them as much grief as the Warriors are getting? At least three of the Warriors stars are home grown while three of Boston’s top three (Horford, Irving and Hayward) were all brought in from the outside.

  5. All I can say is that prior to joining Golden State KD was the reason Oklahoma collapsed against the Warriors when they were 3-1 up, Westbrook was absolutely brilliant in the last 3 games, as he always is, but KD started shooting way too much, way too bad & handed the finals to his “friends to be” from Golden State, so KD is a superstar, absolutely amazing player a top 10 in the league, but by himself I don’t think he is a winner, was carried by Westbrook in Oklahoma & by the 3 amigos in Golden State, happy days for him collecting rings.

    • zdrroth

      Ummmm….what? Westbrook shot 39.3/37/33.3 % from the field in games 5/6/7…he averaged: -11.33 +/- during those 3 games that they only lost by 8 on avg…Durant was as bad if not worse shooting but had a better +/-…what mystical series were you watching that Russ was good?? because a player fills his stat sheets with assits/rebounds with high usage rates does not make him good with shooting like that or a +/- so horrific

    • ajetergiftbasket

      It was a collective collapse in OKC as well as stellar play by the Warriors. At the end of the day, being up 3-1 is no guarantee. Give credit to the Warriors for coming back and to Cleveland as well.

      And KD was carried by the Warriors other stars! Did you even watch the Finals the last two years?

      • zdrroth

        Ajeter I’m a diehard warriors fan…the OP went on about how amazing Russ was and is and I just know that series so well I couldn’t let that go without giving him the stats…Russ barely shot 40% the whole playoffs…and plus/minus is an indicator of success on the court vs off…his claim was in informed or incorrect…I can see from your post you agree with me that his durant statement is crazy town banana pants…the warriors played great to come back so did Cleveland…but hopefully you can agree with me that saying Russ played “absolutely brilliant like he always does” as the OP said is just slightly behind his crazy kd comment

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