On Pro Bball Report recently: Restricted Free Agents getting max deals, Jonas Valanciunas fishing, Ed Davis moving, trading Kelly Olynyk, affording Draymond Green, targeting Bismack Biyombo, Raptors keep Coach Casey and more.
It’s A Max Summer For NBA Restricted Free Agents
It isn’t going to be much fun for NBA GMs with a budget or owners that can’t afford the NBA luxury tax costs for even just one season, but it should be a blast for the players, their agents and teams with resources and creative management. Let the mayhem begin.
A very happy looking Jonas Valanciunas enjoyed a little fishing in Lake Huron before heading home to Lithuania and unlike his fishing trip during the All-Star break, this time he caught his share of fish.
Trevor Lane: He is a fantastic player but his shortcomings limit his usefulness. His slim frame kills his effectiveness as a center by making it tough for him to stand his ground defensively against bigger players, while his complete lack of a jump shot makes it difficult to play him at power forward.
At his best, the second-year Gonzaga product is a valuable offensive weapon — a 7-footer with 3-point range and an unusually silky shot for a big man. Olynyk isn’t a rim protector or a post-up threat, and he’s nothing special on the defensive end, but when he asserts himself, he has the ability to be a truly dangerous scorer.
Head coach Steve Kerr, “What I quickly realized was Draymond is kind of the heart and soul of the team. He’s a passionate and emotional player. He is incredibly competitive.”
“The game has kind of slowed down for me,” Biyombo told Pro Bball Report. “I understand the game better. I know how I can help the team on defense. Help different guys on the floor to cover weaknesses and help them play to their strengths on offense.”
In a move that shouldn’t have surprised anybody, the Toronto Raptors are keeping their (under contract and) back-to-back Atlantic Division winning head coach. Despite the lack of postseason success, Dwane Casey earned the respect of his players and the team’s management by taking a failing lottery-mired franchise to consecutive record setting regular season win totals with a consistent message.
• Big Stories From The Previous Week
The end of the Toronto Raptors season was in a word – deflating. After a promising 24-8 start, Toronto went 25-25 the rest of the way and played like a .500 team in the playoffs, falling four straight to the Wizards. So what should the Raptors do this summer?
“I feel good about (standing pat at the trade deadline), Ujiri said. “We made it based on just throwing these guys out there and really seeing, giving them that opportunity because the questions you guys would be asking me now if you got a veteran or some kind of player (would be) well – Jonas did not play so much or this person (Ross?) did not play so much and so we don’t know him.”
The Atlanta Hawks have cruised to a 60 win season in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Unchallenged, they’ve been resting starters for over a month now, so why all the blatant disrespect about their chances to come out of the East? It isn’t hard to find an answer. LeBron James has led the Cavaliers back to respectability, but is everyone overrating the thrown together Cavaliers chances versus the experienced and cohesive Hawks?
“I always play the game the same way,” Hansbrough said right before the game. “If there is another gear, we’ll find out. I guess for me it’s more mental preparation, trying to know the (opposition) a lot better. I go out there and play the way I play and I can tell sometimes guys play different, it’s chippy and things like that, (but) nothing changes for me.”
“This offseason will be more special because I got hurt again, so I have to figure out what I will do with my body, but it’s nothing secret,” Nogueira said. “I am a rookie so there are a lot of places like LA, Vegas, Houston, New York City, Vancouver to do workouts, a lot of camps, a lot of individual workouts. It’s not a secret.”