Court Vision: Warriors nearly missed out on Andre Iguodala
• Warriors general manager Bob Myers offers a glimpse into the roller-coaster ride that goes into engineering cap-clearing trades and the signing of a big-time free agent (via Sporting News):
“Andre [Iguodala] was still a longshot, too,” Myers told Sporting News. “And it looked like more of a longshot as we were going through the process. I remember walking into my house late at night, just about every night that week, and telling my wife, ‘This is disappointing because no one cares about the work you put in, they just care about the result.’ We were ready to not get the result. You can say you tried really hard, but no one wants to hear that. Many times it looked futile. I killed it, five, 10, 20 different times. I said, ‘We’re not getting him, we can’t do it.’”
• This pass? Bananas.
• Let this stand as a reminder that even team executives can get hung up on a young player’s flaws.
• Tom Ziller considers the case of Dante Exum, as the Australian point guard (who is slated to go in the top three of the 2014 draft) may skip out on the NCAA experience and could pass completely on organized, high-level basketball next season:
What if Exum sits out basketball entirely this season? He graduates high school in N.Z. in December, so he won’t be playing past that. If he doesn’t join a college for the spring semester, could he reasonably catch on with a European, Australian or, dare I say, D-League team? Is it even worth it, to show his talent and skills in organized, high(ish)-level competition?
… The thing is, for most players, the college season isn’t going to end well. Only one team wins the national championship. There are typically bad games along the way — in conference play, conference tournaments or the big dance. Some top prospects can’t even get their teams that far because of a lack of surrounding talent or acumen. It doesn’t impact every top player — remember how Texas wasn’t great under Kevin Durant, yet he remained above it all? — but it’s an interesting conceit. Not subjecting yourself to that can be better than playing and, at some point, failing.
I’m not sure being totally absent from the Wiggins-Parker-Randle college basketball cataclysm is a bad thing for Exum, as badly as I want to see him play.
• Alex Boeder ruminates on the three-pointer as a weapon of modern offenses and a thread to examine this year’s Milwaukee Bucks.
• From Jamal Salmon comes an interesting, easy-to-understand way to measure a players’ offensive responsibility: “Burden,” as measured by how much of a team’s production stems from a particular player’s half-court points and assists. The top 20, unsurprisingly, are perimeter players, though a few of the inclusions might surprise you. (H/T: Jared Dubin)
• A sound examination of Jonas Valanciunas’ work in the low post, which, at the moment, is almost entirely dependent on a pretty basic hook shot.
• Watch DeAndre Jordan get punched in the face in slow motion, because this is the internet (via TBJ):
• That Matt Bonner is a real jerk.
• Former Sacramento assistant Bobby Jackson was on the ropes after new Kings head coach Mike Malone elected to bring in his own staff, but seems to have landed on his feet.
• In which Avery Bradley loses to some teenage girls in knockout.
• Much has been made of Pau Gasol’s offensive incompatibility with Dwight Howard, which traces the intuitive logic of Howard occupying the spaces on the floor from which Gasol is most efficient. But Gasol should be expected to bounce back this season in other regards as well, as D.J. Foster explains in a piece for ESPN Los Angeles:
Here’s a big reason why. When Howard was off the floor last year, Gasol posted a solid defensive rebounding rate of 22.6 – the same number as Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah and a better number than mammoth centers like Nikola Pekovic, Roy Hibbert and Kaman. Gasol may look a little soft, but he can more than handle his own on the glass. Truth be told, his post defense (only .75 PPP allowed last year) was pretty good as well, even though his declining athleticism and foot speed and didn’t help much in the way of rim protection.