The Resurrection of the Traditional Rebuild

The Resurrection of the Traditional Rebuild

The Philadelphia 76ers and their swashbuckling General Manager Sam Hinkie are engaging in a rebuild that is more scheme than project at this stage. They’ve yanked the tanking loophole wide open, so much so that they’ve made it a gateway with their multiple year bottoming out and perpetual kicking the can down the road. Hinkie may still prove to be some kind of twisted genius before all is said and done, but at this stage he’s not spawning some type of revolution. There is enough concern at high levels in the NBA that some type of lottery reform in one way or another is imminent, although not immediate. NBA Vice President of Operations Rod Thorn confirmed that to me in an interview this past February. However, there is one irrefutable truth about the Sixers plan: It hasn’t spawned any copycats yet. There are three teams who were in the same boat as the Sixers last season and they’ve all made significant progress year over year. What do the Boston Celtics, the Utah Jazz, and the Milwaukee Bucks have in common? They’re all using a traditional rebuilding formula. This begs the question, what is a traditional rebuild? I interviewed Houston Rocket GM Daryl Morey last year and asked him this question. He made it clear that most teams would have to bottom out for one year (and he commented that he was lucky not to have bottomed out because of the James Harden trade). In examining the Celtics, Jazz, and Bucks; they have all done the one year bottom and have bounced back significantly. Those who favor the Sixer approach...
Hoopscritic: NBA Draft Live Blog

Hoopscritic: NBA Draft Live Blog

  Welcome to the first ever Hoopscritic live blog.  Tonight, we will be updating you with everything related to the NBA Draft. It is twelve o’clock eastern standard time and we can not wait for the draft to get under way.   I will be updating throughout the day and night as we kick off this very exciting 2015 NBA Draft.  Don’t forget to follow the team on twitter too! 12:51 pm – Jacob Noble Just had my lunch. Returned to more trade rumors than before. Windhorst saying Boston will offer MONSTER PACKAGE for Okafor if he falls to 3. Utah Jazz entertaining a return of Millsap by trying to move Derrick Favors. Luke Ridnour has now been traded 15 times in the past three days. Can it be 7pm yet? 1:01 pm – Jacob Noble With so much time to kill, SB Nation was kind enough to help us pass the time with this amazing Generate Your Own Silly NBA Draft Scouting Report. Here is my very accurate scouting report:   2:32 pm Jacob Noble Okay folks, I go into a meeting and come out to more RUMORS! This day is getting bananas. I will need to start taking this day off from work in the future to hang out on twitter all day. We have entered the age of adding and de-friending people on twitter sparking rumors. No one with credibility has confirmed this report but Jared Sullinger followed the Charlotte Hornets today. Could the Celtics be looking to move Sullinger and the 16th pick for the 9th overall pick in the draft? NO ONE KNOWS! 2:49PM...
Seven Questions Heading into the 2015 NBA Draft

Seven Questions Heading into the 2015 NBA Draft

Which of Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles most needs a home run in the draft? Why? Philadelphia and it isn’t close. We are heading into year 3 of the most drastic tanking plan in NBA history set into motion by Sam Hinkie and the only positive result we’ve seen from it is Nerlens Noel. Now, with Embiid seemingly having a major setback and possibly missing another season, Hinkie’s job will depend on this pick being a franchise player. No matter how committed the Philadelphia front office may be to this plan, they simply cannot spend or justify 3-5 seasons passing before even attempting to put a winning team on the floor. This isn’t to say that New York and Los Angeles don’t need a home run pick, but we are talking about two of the biggest market franchises in the NBA that will always be competitive for top free agents. For both of these teams, I think the top pick is more about supplementing a star (Melo in NYK, FA in L.A) rather than building around it. Which projected top 10 player has the biggest “Boom/Bust” potential? The answer here has to be Kristaps Porzingis. This is a kid no one has seen a ton of, but absolutely everyone is bringing in for a workout. The Lakers, Sixers, Knicks, and Magic are all allegedly interested. Every European player with some height and shooting touch is the next, “Dirk Nowitzki”, we’ve seen that prediction over and over. However, the hype for Porzingis is real. CBS writers Sam Vecenie, Gary Parrish, and Zach Harper have Porzingis slotted to go at...
Brian Geltzeiler’s Annual Mock Draft: 2015 Edition

Brian Geltzeiler’s Annual Mock Draft: 2015 Edition

It’s that time of year again.  The Finals have ended with some fresh blood sitting atop the championship throne.  And just like that, the race to get back there begins.  With draft night approaching, it’s time to do a  mock draft…or in some cases, mock the draft.  Keep in mind, this mock draft is a little different than others.  It’s an amalgam of what I think should happen, what I think will happen, and who I think will screw it up.  Let’s get down to business…. 1) Minnesota Timberwolves- Karl Anthony Towns (Kentucky) – Even though Towns has become the consensus number one, in a lot of ways, his potential for stardom is being completely undersold.  He is a uniquely good athlete for his size.  He is a strong post defender, and a decent help defender and rim protector.  His defense in the pick and roll needs some work but he’s certainly not a liability there.  His biggest strength is his ability to score inside.  He’s also a very skilled passer.    His post moves are simple, but effective.  He also has the ability to step out and hit a perimeter jumper.  The potential is certainly there to expand his range and did I mention he shoots 80% from the free throw line?  Only a moron would pass on Towns and Minnesota President Flip Saunders is anything but. 2)Los Angeles Lakers- Jahlil Okafor (Duke)- This is where the intrigue licks in.  Okafor spent the better part of this past season as the consensus #1 pick in this draft.  Then, the NCAA tournament happened.  Okafor got exposed for being a poor...
The Failures that Crafted the Legends

The Failures that Crafted the Legends

Winning defines all athletes, especially the superstars. But, what about losing? Most have to fall down before they can climb up. Many stars have had to get their clocks cleaned before they win the big one. Currently, LeBron James is setting the world on fire with a generational Finals performance. Prior to winning a Championship in 2012 however, it was his playoff failures that defined him. LeBron isn’t the exception he is the rule. The pain of stumbling at the summit is motivation to push harder, as we’ve seen with many a legend over the years. Whether it’s fair or not, the world of sport will always be filled with winners and losers. Scoring titles, All-Star games, and even the MVP trophy all dim in the gleam of the Larry O’Brien’s shadow. Many stumbled on their last, best shot, others rallied and went on to win the big one. But when were these occasions? Who dug deeper and replaced gut wrenching defeat, with sweet, sweet victory? The following are 10 examples of players who stumbled in the playoffs. We investigate on how the shortcomings of one series shaped the remainder of the players’ career. Star: Derrick Rose Year: 2012; Eastern Conference First Round Series Stat Line: 23 PPG, 9 RPG, 9 APG, 5 TOV, 39.1 FG%, 50% 3PT%, 100 FT% What happened? The Chicago Bulls won 62 games in 2011.  They swept the Pacers in the first round of the playoffs, then beat the Hawks relatively easily.  But they fell to the newly formed Miami Heat big 3, despite sweeping them in the regular season and having home court.  Still, the Heat had...