Share this postOpen threaddubnationhq.comCopy linkTwitterFacebookEmailOpen threadUse your powers for good not for illEric ApricotAug 4, 202212220Share this postOpen threaddubnationhq.comCopy linkTwitterFacebookEmail220Share this postOpen threaddubnationhq.comCopy linkTwitterFacebookEmail
Offseason grades are starting to come out. ESPN had one behind a paywall. Zach Harper @ theAthletic has this one: https://theathletic.com/3447356/2022/08/03/nba-power-rankings-2022-offseason/
1. Golden State Warriors, defending champs
Major additions: JaMychal Green (free agent), Donte DiVincenzo (free agent), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (draft)
Major subtractions: Gary Payton II (Portland), Nemanja Bjelica (Europe), Otto Porter Jr. (Toronto), Juan Toscano-Anderson (Lakers)
Did this team get better? On the surface? Absolutely not. The Golden State Warriors saw three — maybe four — good role players leave in free agency this offseason. For a defending champion, that’s not exactly rare, but it was kind of odd to feel like the Warriors had finally hit a breaking point with doling out luxury-tax penalties. If DiVincenzo’s knee is healthy, he’ll be a nice replacement for Payton as a very different role player. Green should be a solid rotation option for them. This team is banking on Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson being great in title defense form, and on the young guys (Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, James Wiseman) growing up in bigger roles next season. The biggest key is a full offseason for Thompson … and maybe how Green handles extension talks.
Do we like what they did? 🏆
But Harper's article is really weird. He has the following teams getting better:
Celtics, Bucks, 76ers, Mavs, Nuggets, Hawks, Clipps, Raptors, Bulls, Wolves, Pels, Cavs, Blazers, Knicks, Wizards(?), Kings, OKC, Magic.
That's 18 teams getting better. There are 9 teams he listed as getting worse and 3 as treading water/no grade. That's a 2:1 ratio of improved teams to worsening teams, which is weird in this salary cap era. I'd expect it to be about even. I guess tanking teams bias it towards teams getting better, but that's still a majorly skewed ratio.
Given our upcoming salary cap situation in 2024 where Dray/Klay will be 34 years old finishing their contracts, I took a quick glance at all the 34+ players in the league. What I found was quite concerning!
Max Worthy: LBJ/Chris Paul
Starter Worthy: PJ Tucker/Mike Conley Jr./Kyle Lowry/Al Horford
Bench Worthy: JaVale McGee/Jeff Green/Rudy Gay/Ingles/Dwight Howard/Carmelo Anthony
Firstly, the fact that there are only 13 players who are 34+ in the league is an indictment on its own! Secondly, with only LBJ/CP as max worthy players (and CP is debatable because of health), the outlook for older players productivity is quite bleak! It certainly makes me think betting on the Golden Core to still be max worthy players past their current contract is a huge stretch.
With that being said, let’s look at our young core to see who we can/should retain! Poole can be a replacement for either Steph/Klay and is already playing at an All Star Level so we’re definitely keeping him to slot into whichever of Steph/Klay falters first! By 2024, Kuminga/Moody will be in year 4 so hopefully we’ll know if either of them can serve as replacements for Dray/Klay! Wiseman is so uncertain I’ll just leave him as is!
So long as just one other young talent explodes like Poole, we’ll have two young players to take us into the future!