The champagne is barely dry from the Golden State Warriors NBA Championship celebrations and the wheeling and dealing ahead of the Draft is already on in earnest. The Sportress’ very own Dan sat down with The Pinch Hitters team to discuss the off-season trade discussions in the NBA.
The most interesting discussion point was the breaking news that the New York Knicks were open to the idea of trading Kristaps Porzingis. On US television Knicks President, Phil Jackson confused many with his assertion that moving Porzingis could be good for the teams’ “future”.
Dan challenged the opinion of the Knicks’ executive. “KP is the perfect person for the future,” The Sportress editor stated, “he is young and he is really good in a range of ways.” The stats back the Knicks fan up too, on Dan’s measure last season at only 21 Prozingis, outscored LaMarcus Aldridge, averaged more blocks than defensive first teamer DeAndre Jordan, shot better from three than J.R. Smith.
It’s been a strange stint in the front office for the former Bulls and Lakers Championship winning coach. In short time he has brought in aging and injured stars on large contracts all the while seeming hell bent on alienating the best players on his roster. It’s been an approach that has caused many to question his motives including The Sportress editor. “I always had a theory that he was trying to get fired,” Dan shared. “There’s no other logic to describe how he is behaving.”
This week the NBA was shocked by the news that despite having qualified for the last 3 NBA Finals and claiming the 2016 Championship, the Cleveland Cavaliers had decided not to renew the contract of their GM David Griffen. So while everyone seems to be asking what does Phil Jackson need to do to get fired by the Knicks, conversely the question of the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be what does their GM need to do to keep theirs? Dan was impressed by some of the moves that Griffen made in his time at the Cavs. “He made some smart pickups over the last couple of years,” Dan suggested, which wasn’t always easy with a superstar happy to share a differing view of how the team should be run. Ultimately the presence of LeBron James weighs heavily over any measure of his achievements in Cleveland but Dan was happy with what he saw. “I would have kept him on.”
The other big move of the off-season so far was the trade between Boston and Philadelphia which saw the 76ers acquire the number one draft pick. Dan and The Pinch Hitters were excited by this news and how it affected “Aussies” Brett Brown and Ben Simmons. With Philadelphia nominating Marquelle Fultz as their selection with the number one pick, it is an exciting proposition to see how the University of Washington star combines with Simmons and Joel Embiid. “They are going to be a playoff team in the East if everybody is healthy.” Which is a big if, but should Brett Brown begin to get ready to compare his 1994 NBL Championship victory with one in the NBA? “I don’t think you can rate anything as highly as the North Melbourne Giants” Dan suggested. “They’ve got to be fond memories”.
You can check out this, Dan’s thoughts on the Celtics decision to trade the Number 1 pick, whether an AFL team would be brave enough to do likewise and much more on The Pinch Hitters Podcast via the link below or via Soundcloud or I-Tunes.