Central Notes: Carter Jr., Casey, Irving

The Bulls ought to bet on big man Wendell Carter Jr. if he’s still available when the No. 7 pick rolls around, Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago writes. The Duke product presents eerily similar to three-time All-Star Al Horford.

Strotman dives deep into the two players’ numbers during their NCAA careers since they were in similar situations. Carter Jr. shared a frontcourt with Marvin Bagley III while Horford lined up alongside rim protector Joakim Noah at Florida. In 2018/19, Strotman writes, Carter Jr. would be a perfect complement to Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • After a series of media appearances, there’s reason to believe that Dwane Casey is the frontrunner to land the Pistons‘ head coaching gig. The man himself pumped the brakes in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols (h/t MLive’s Ansar Khan), saying that nothing has been finalized.
  • The Cavaliers sorely missed ex-point guard Kyrie Irving this season, not that it was their decision to exile him. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe writes that team will now need to make particularly good use out of the 2018 first-round pick they received in the trade that sent Irving to the Celtics for the deal to appear respectable.
  • Speaking of LeBron James‘ supporting cast, Jordan Clarkson – acquired by the Cavaliers in the Isaiah Thomas deal – set an all-time record for fewest win shares in an NBA postseason (h/t r/NBA). The 25-year-old averaged 4.7 points per game on .301 shooting in 15.1 minutes per contest.
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13 thoughts on “Central Notes: Carter Jr., Casey, Irving

  1. Z-A

    I think the Cavs and the Hornets could line up in a trade. The Hornets desperately want out of Batums contract, I think they could do TT + Hill for Batum + Walker, and swap 1sts. It saves them 15.6M over 2019-20 and 20-21. Cleveland could extend Walker and draft Robert William’s to pair with Love. Just a thought in the Bronapocalypse years. Hills contract is 1M guaranteed in 19-20 so treat it like an expiring contract. That or something semi ridiculous…. Howard, Walker, and William’s for Hill, TT, and Clarkson and pick swap. The problem is they do not save money in 2018-19 and they will be over the tax with draft picks. Tossing Jeremy Lamb into a deal solves that, and it works out $ wise.

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    • southbeachbully

      Curious…are you a fan of either the Cavs or Hornets?

      If a fan of the Hornets, do you think Jordan would want to help the Cavs at all without trying to fleece them?

      If LBJ were willing to stay I might be willing to acquire Walker and Howard.

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      • Z-A

        Neither team. I don’t think Jordan has fleeced any team to-date. If anything he’s been a part of poor draft decisions and FA signings.

        TT > Zeller. If acquiring TT would attempt to move Zeller. You would run Clarkson & Monk together – poor defense, but it is what it is.

        The trade also puts Hornets in a position to draft Michael Porter Jr, Wendell Carter Jr, or Mikal Bridges. All 3 have higher ceilings than Sexton, Walker, SGA, or Knox – which are mocked to them at 11. Much better position cap-wise and talent wise than they would be standing pat.

        If LBJ leaves the Cavs can’t sign anyone for 2 years. They have no cap space. So it’s either make a trade to improve the roster or unload Kevin Love and break it all down, be bad for a few seasons and wait until 2020-21 when they have 1 guaranteed contract + their draft picks.

        Walker – JR – Batum – Love – Robeter Williams
        or
        Walker – JR – Marvin Williams – Love – Howard/Robert Williams

        They would still be competitive, keeping the fan base at least involved. And if they extend Kemba, he’s your only contract in 2020-21. The majority of the league is a FA in 2020-21. Outside of Rookies, there’s like 15-20 guys signed LT.

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        • x%sure

          That last point is amazing. I was stunned by how the Cavs had their roster cleared for 2020, but EVERYONE does! There’s going to be a mad dash for players that summer.

          A CLE-CHA trade is as likely as any if James stays. The Cavs need a Walker, and Batum and Williams are trade bait for CHA but fit with James.

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  2. FromTheCheapSeats

    The Hornets DO desperately want out from under Batum’s deal… but even “desperate” shouldn’t include giving away their best player and taking on two other bad deals.

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    • southbeachbully

      Question. What do you think possessed the Hornets to offer that much money to Batum coming off of an ok year? 40%/33%/85% 15 pts and 5 assists.

      Do you think it was poor talent evaluation or a casualty of being unable/unwilling to lure premium FA so you spend to meet the salary floor?

      Also, why is it we always here about Magic’s ability to draw FA to LA but never about Jordan/Charlotte never being linked significantly to the top tier FA?

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      • To answer your last point, I think it has more to do with the market. If the contracts being offered were the same, I imagine 9/10 players would choose to go to LA over Charlotte. Not trying to knock Charlotte but lifestyle, marketability, and spotlight wise not many other places can match LA.

        To add to that, Magic hasn’t really brought in any significant FA at this point. Granted he’s basically been there for only a year but his biggest FA signing so far was Caldwell-Pope who took a large one year salary when a market for him didn’t really present himself. If PG or LeBron chose to go to the Lakers, I still wouldn’t say Magic was the architect of that. Sure he’ll get a ton of credit, but its not like he has to completely sell either on LA the way Golden State sold KD on going there or Boston sold Hayward on going there. PG has had a well-known fondness for Los Angeles while LeBron has likely had his mind set for a while now (if not down to 2-3 teams) and a Magic Johnson sales pitch probably isn’t going to do much to move that needle either.

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    • Z-A

      Their best player needs a new contract to the tune of 5 years 188M. 1st year value 32.4M as outlined earlier this year by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.

      That pust them at 107.8 not including their 2018 and 2019 draft picks. So add 10M – 117.8M without improving the roster outside of the draft. Basically they won’t be able to improve the roster with FAs until 2020-21 and at that time….

      They can certainly go that route. But they probably won’t be bad enough to draft in the Top-3. So they’ll be in NBA purgatory aka fringe Lottery. Not making the playoffs, not bad enough to improve significantly. They’re likely to be worse without Walker and Howard etc… and improve their draft position naturally by making this trade, improving their team LT. They are where the Sixers were with Iggy, Holiday, ET, and Thad Young.

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  3. moazetongue

    Cleveland not having a good team “behind”
    James is an over stated bs comment. Simply bc some talking head said it makes it so and most agree. Why else did the Cavs lose to the lakers? Could it be bc James’ broken hand. I’d remind those with a false and short memory that the Cavs were in the finals again. Along with all those Cavs players not named James.

    Funny how Livingston was regarded as a trash player when he played for the cavs a few years ago but now he is hailed as the unsung hero of the warriors. Would anyone like to step forward to say the Cavs players are not trash now? For wasn’t it just two years ago JR, TT Love were instrumental in the Cavs ship? Yet you all would love to have players like these guys that come in a land do their jobs everyday. Work hard at what they do and get to the finals every year.

    So we’re back to the moronic rhetoric that somehow James wants out of Cleveland bc it’s cold there in the winter. As if nba basketball were played outside at anytime.

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    • donopolis

      Cavs = LBJ ÷ Dumpster Fire

      Team is garbage. Any quick look at the stats will tell you the only reliable player on that team was Lebron in the playoffs. Stack that on top of an east whose only competition consisted of a mentally soft Raptors Squad and a Mash unit in Boston. The fact the Cavs made the finals isnt because they are good, it’s because they play in garbage conference in league that has absolutely no parity whatsoever. They made the conference finals because Lebron is the best damn player in the League. Period. In a league so devoid of talent, they pay guys like Batum absurd contracts.

      He leaves, this team may not win double digit victories.

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  4. It was very disappointing to see Clarkson, really bad. I don’t think TT is better than Zeller, anyway is hard to tell, both are pretty bad, Willy is better anyway. I cannot see how this trade would be good for Charlotte, is excellent for Cleveland but really bad for Charlotte, I hope they don’t let themselves be fleeced.

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    • Comparing TT and Zeller are moot points imo because their roles are different. Zeller has a little more offensive game but his defense isn’t as solid (or at least isn’t as ideal as TT’s ability to switch onto shorter and quicker players). TT fills his role perfectly as a high-energy rebounder (on both sides of the court) and a scrappy defender. I don’t see Zeller playing that role well nor do I see TT having the ability to play Zeller’s role all that well either.

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