Hollinger’s Latest: Blazers, Warriors, Load Management

There hasn’t been an NBA trade since mid-July but the Trail Blazers appear to be a prime candidate to make a deal, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic. Zach Collins‘ shoulder injury, which is expected to cost him most of the season, creates an even bigger need at an already thin position. Journeyman Anthony Tolliver is the only true power forward remaining on the roster, Hollinger notes. The Blazers could also use another small forward in their rotation.

Portland has some desirable assets, including expiring contracts, young players and draft picks, in order to upgrade its forward spots. One offshoot of the Collins injury that the Blazers are playing with smaller, faster lineups and that could prove beneficial.

There’s more from Hollinger:

  • The Warriors may trade one of their free agent additions on expiring contracts in order to add one of their two-way players to the 15-man roster. Golden State is pushed up against the hard cap and could free some money by dealing center Willie Cauley-Stein or guard Alec Burks. Any potential deal involving a free agent signed this summer can’t happen until mid-December.
  • Waiving Marquese Chriss‘ non-guaranteed deal is also a strong possibility for Golden State, considering Chriss has already had his role reduced after a strong preseason. The Warriors have already used up eight of the 45 days on the service clock of two-way players Damion Lee and Ky Bowman and can’t convert either to a standard contract unless they make another move.
  • People who criticize load management fail to realize that the modern game is much more taxing on players’ bodies than in past decades, Hollinger writes. The goal is to maximize the number of high-quality games the player can play and that makes it a sound strategy.
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28 thoughts on “Hollinger’s Latest: Blazers, Warriors, Load Management

  1. Jason Lancaster

    I think the Knicks have an extra power forward. I think his name is Morris, or Randle, or Portis, or Gibson maybe?

    But they probably need all those guys to play point guard at some point this season, just so Fizdale has a way to crush the self esteem of their young guards.

    • phils phanatic

      i love this post! i cant imagine how much it must suck to be a knicks fan

  2. amk3510

    Load management itself is not the issue. Its that tickets to good teams are extremely expensive and the fans get screwed when teams decide to sit the stars.

    • Yes !! And sometimes people travel a great distance to watch the Stars. People in Idaho or Seattle might drive over to see a Blazer game against the Clippers or whoever.

      • takeitback

        Then don’t buy tickets to the second night of back to back games. That may not guarantee the star you want to see is playing, but that’s where I would start.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Eh. I get that some fans pay to see the stars play, but a) the tickets are already overpriced and b) the game is still entertaining.

  3. qbert1996

    How exactly is the game more taxing on player’s bodies now Dana? I’d argue players have much more amenities and ways to stay healthy than any era in basketball history. Not to mention the rule changes protecting the players now.

    • phils phanatic

      and im not sure on the numbers exactly but in the press at least the league has worked pretty hard over the last 10 years or so to cut down on the number of back-to-backs

      • takeitback

        And players are allowed to foul the crap out of each other. Seems like an odd statement to make without some type of proof to back it up.

  4. harden-westbrook-mvps

    If/when the Warriors cut Chriss, his NBA career should be over.

    • hiflew

      That was my thought. It said they were already 8 days into the 45 day period. That means there is over a month left before a decision needs to be made.

  5. x%sure

    Load management being a “sound strategy” for a team does nothing for their broader customers, the sports fans.

    What is good for one team is negated by being bad for another… It is the sport that sells.

    The NBA whips the NHL because fans follow other teams or players besides their home favorites.

    Soccer has never gotten over the reputation it has for the dramatics of their (so-called) injuries, even though only some nations go in for it (Italy, Brazil).

    • hiflew

      Exactly. Winning is not the main priority of any team. Making money is. If teams don’t make money, they won’t exist for long.

      A lot of fans today are too young to remember when pro basketball was not as big a business as it is now, but there have been championship teams that have had to move because they didn’t make enough money. Google Pittsburgh Pipers. First ABA champion, Minnesota Pipers the next year.

    • Jason Lancaster

      But it’s not like the game hasn’t been about making money this whole time, right? And load management might make the regular season a little less exciting, but it might also make the playoffs better.

      I get that people are irritated. I’m just not clear on why this is so big a deal. The NBA’s recalcitrance re: China and human rights is a much bigger scandal in my view.

      • paladin

        We have our own problems with ”Restricted voter rights”. Texas and other “”Red”” states have made laws denying voting rights….In many states it is easier to get an AR15 than it is to vote. We should clean up our own mess before telling others how to live! Morey should speak up about the laws denying voter rights in Texas, then maybe I would listen to his rant about China.

      • x%sure

        Money issues are necessary “evils” and for most fans a side story. They should not be what drives the sport.

        I admit if I liked Kawhi L, I would complain less. He’s not worth setting up as a role model though.

        Two years ago it was Lebron taking off two nationally televised games with Cleveland in 2017. There was a fuss, and he played 2017/18 straight through Dec25 2018, no misses, 136 games incl.playoffs, 35’pg, about 27-8-8.
        On the other hand, Kawhi would just laughs at the “load” fuss.

  6. paladin

    So Hollinger says….”People who criticize load management fail to realize that the modern game is much more taxing on players’ bodies than in past decades. The goal is to maximize the number of high-quality games the player can play and that makes it a sound strategy.” I call total B.S. on that written statement…..Players now all have their own private aircraft, catered meals, training staffs are much more elaborate. Massage therapists, nutritionists, just to start. There used to be back to back games in the playoffs. I remember when games were on tape in the 70’s and were not even live and it really seems like players are taking advantage and don’t realize how good they have it. Kawhi got lucky last year because of injury to Klay & Durant. If these guys stay healthy Kawhi and his ”load management” is just a load of doggie dung……Maybe the Networks should ”load manage” their $$$ contracts based on minutes played by the star players? Is it fair to fellow team mates to dump extra minutes onto their backs and maybe shorten their careers?

    • IslandFlava

      Man you do know what you talking about, I mean this guys get paid $500K a week to play 2-3 games, come on surely it ain’t that hard with how well are they looked after with all the entourage they have as you mention.
      Also what is this about prolonging their careers, they play until they are 33-36 & that is fine, no need for them to go to 40 on a downward spiral taking the place of a young kid.
      Can’t stand load management at all, it is the perfect excuse for guys that are soft.

  7. Buckman

    Without data…load management is a dubious idea. It will be interesting to see if players on load management suffer fewer injuries, play more and better playoff basketball. Contracts should reflect load management and be incentized for minutes/games played in the regular season and post season. This could make it (more of) a nightmare for coaches but they helped create the load management idea.

    • oaktown power

      One take I haven’t heard is that the stats tend to rest against the other conferences contenders. Y rested vs the Bucks. Why? So the Bucks can’t get any tape on him if they meet in the Finals. Those 2 teams only play twice a year. It’ll be interesting to see if Y and PG13 rest against the major Eastern Conference Contenders – Philly and Milwaukee imo. It’s presented as a strategy to keep the players healthy but a side benefit, at least to me, is the ability to reduce game tape and the ability to game plan.

      • x%sure

        Good point, but it can also keep your own team from building momentum and team style with existing players. (Toronto was pretty lucky to be #1.)

        An exception would be a “hired gun” player like Kawhi last year who is assumed to operate independently and perhaps temporarily. Decades ago, such a player used to be called a ringer.

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