Celtics

30 teams in 30 days: Don't call it a rebuild for Clippers (but it is)

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30 teams in 30 days: Don't call it a rebuild for Clippers (but it is)

When Doc Rivers left Boston in 2013 for Los Angeles, he did so in part because he didn’t want to go through another rebuild.
 
You won’t hear the word "rebuilding" when it comes to describing what he’s doing now with the Clippers.
 
But when you lose an All-Star (Chris Paul), one of the most accurate 3-point shooters in the league (J.J. Redick) and one of the best sixth man (Jamal Crawford) of this era – in one offseason, mind you – that is what we refer to as a team that’s rebuilding.
 
Regardless of the semantics, there’s little doubt that the Clippers are no longer among the favorites to contend for a title out West.
 
With so many new faces on the roster, developing chemistry trumps chasing titles at this point for Rivers whose GM duties will now be handled by longtime friend Lawrence Frank.
 
The Clippers are now a team that will be built in part around the talents of Blake Griffin and new addition Danilo Gallinari.
 
And like most teams, Rivers is looking to field lineups that are high on talent and versatility, even if it at times means playing smaller lineups.
 
“I also believe in size but it has to be versatile,” Rivers said. “If you’re gonna beat some of these other teams you’re going to have to stand out some other way.”

Leading Rivers’ versatility movement will be the 1-2 frontcourt punch of Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari.
 
Griffin, a five-time All-Star, will be at the epicenter of the Clippers’ efforts to remain among the better teams in the Western Conference while Gallinari arrives from Denver, where the 6-foot-10 forward has established himself as one of the better inside-outside bigs. He was pursued by a number of teams, including the Celtics, this summer in free agency.
 
Whether you use the term rebuilding or reshaping in describing the Clippers, the bottom line is they will play a different brand of basketball that relies more on the collective sums of their parts rather than a handful of superstars, which has been the case in recent years.
 
“The fact that we have versatility plus size, I feel we’ll create mismatches that way,” Rivers said.
 
Key free agent/draft/trade additions: Danilo Gallinari (Denver); Patrick Beverley (Houston); Lou Williams (Houston); Milos Teodosic (Serbia); Montrezl Harrell (Houston); Sam Dekker (Houston).
 
Key losses: Chris Paul (Houston); J.J. Redick (Philadelphia); Mo Speights (Orlando); Jamal Crawford (Minnesota); Raymond Felton (Oklahoma City); Paul Pierce (retired).
 
Rookies of note: Sindarius Thornwell
 
Expectations:
42-40 (second in the Pacific Division, eighth in the West)
 
 

Bleacher Report puts Jayson Tatum on 'overhyped' list

Bleacher Report puts Jayson Tatum on 'overhyped' list

Bleacher Report ran a piece Tuesday listing the NBA's five "most overhyped players" entering the coming season. Jayson Tatum leads the list. Hold me back. 

These pieces are obviously subjective as hell, as they rely on "people probably think X," which may or may not be the reality of the situation. In the case of Tatum, writer Grant Hughes acknowledges that he feels Tatum is a franchise player, but that he could be a victim of the team for which he plays. 

Writes Hughes

Kyrie Irving has never been one to take a backseat, and with him back on the floor, it'll be much harder for Tatum to build on his postseason takeover. Throw Gordon Hayward into the mix, and there will be even fewer touches for the 20-year-old wing. And that's to say nothing of Jaylen Brown, who's a superior defender at the moment and averaged 18 points per game in the playoffs on more efficient shooting than Tatum managed. He's due for an increased role as well.

C's fans can first breathe at the fact that Hughes most certainly is not calling Tatum overrated. Then, if they're rational, they can wonder whether Hughes has a point. 

Tatum's five best scoring games of the regular season came with Kyrie out of the lineup, one of which was prior to Irving being shut down for the season. He obviously went on to average over four and a half points more in the postseason without Irving (18.5) than he did in the regular season (13.9). 

No, Tatum is not going to be the Celtics' top scorer this season. He also won't be a rookie again. Dude looked like he tacked on like 80 pounds of muscle like a month after the season ended. He's been in gyms destroying everyone from Joel Embiid to a hilarious assortment of camp-going children. He's out here mentoring Kobe

Even if Brad Stevens wants to get creative and have Tatum come off the bench (that doesn't need to happen; he can start the five best players), Tatum is a lethal enough offensive player to put up 20 a night. 

But back to the idea of him being overhyped. I don't think anyone's putting the kid in the MVP conversation. They probably just saw the third overall pick have a really good rookie year and figure that he'll continue to blossom into a star, if he isn't one already. 

The other players listed in the piece were DeMarcus Cousins, Zach LaVine, Josh Jackson and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard falls into the rule of thumb that if you're one of the five best players in the league, as Kawhi is, it's really easy for people to overhype you. That's not Leonard's fault. 

But the other guys? Who the heck is hyping -- let alone overhyping -- Zach LaVine? The only time Zach LaVine made headlines this summer was when he was given an offersheet by the Kings that most felt was too much and the Bulls matched it. Everyone thinks he's a stinky defensive player who's coming off an ACL injury. Unless there's some expectation that he's going to start averaging six or seven more points a night than he ever has, he isn't being overhyped. He's just overpaid. 

The Cousins pick could very well be fair. As Hughes writes, Boogie is a "luxury, not a game-changer for the Warriors." It's very possible that his impact on the Warriors won't be as significant as the league fears. Maybe he takes longer than expected to come back. Maybe when he does come back, he proves to be a divisive player with that group. Then again, maybe he gives them 25 and 12 a night and the Warriors go undefeated in the postseason. 

Selling Jackson as overhyped is tough. He's a second-year player who finished his rookie year on fire, including a 36-point performance against the Warriors. He sure as hell won't average 22.6 points like he did over his last 10 games as a rookie, but does anyone think he will? Nobody thinks he's a great shooter, but it's reasonable to expect something approaching the 18.7 he averaged post All-Star break, plus his usual strong defending.

Anyway, this Hughes fellow should have put Ben Simmons on the list. Guy never shoots threes. 

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Knicks, Nets reportedly in mix for Kyrie-Butler combo in '19

Knicks, Nets reportedly in mix for Kyrie-Butler combo in '19

Remember those rumors of Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler teaming up in free agency next year? Well, that buzz is back and Boston isn't the rumored destination.

Two league sources told Business Insider that the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets could be well-positioned to land the two players, with one source saying the chatter is "substantial."

"It wouldn't surprise me if either New York team or potentially both New York teams hit it big next summer," one source said.

That echoes a Chicago Sun-Times report from July which said the Celtics and Timberwolves stars had been talking about how they could team up. Each player can opt out after this season and Irving has made it known he'll be heading to free agency. The Kyrie-to-the-Knicks rumors have been around for a while. 

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