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What the NBA is talking about at the end of the summer league



July is installed and the league is still as wild as at the beginning of the month. The summer league in Las Vegas has begun to dissipate, but the discussions are still very hot.

On Sunday morning, only four active teams remain in the tournament – and the countdown to the 2019-20 season continues.

What leaders, scouts and coaches have said about the most intriguing information about transactions and prospects? Here are the most recent and relevant messages from the MGM Resorts summer league.

More: scores / calendars of the summer league | News from free agencies | crafts

OKC Wins Star Point Keeper Exchange

At one point in a match between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon, a crowd went through the crowd – and especially among the executives sitting watching the game. This was not however for all that was happening on the ground.

It was about the amazing exchange of future Hall of Fame Guards, with Chris Paul, two first-round picks and two exchanges exchanged in Oklahoma City in exchange for Russell Westbrook. After the initial shock, the speech immediately focused on the Thunder's impressive movement.

"A huge victory for Oklahoma City," said one leader.

While another leader described it as a "clear victory" for the Thunder, the deal also caused a lot of confusion over exactly what the Houston Rockets would look like with Westbrook playing alongside James Harden. The price of securing Westbrook was reasonable in the eyes of many leaders, even though they preferred the deal for Oklahoma City, as it would probably have taken a first or two round choice to get Paul into the ceiling of someone else. 39, one this summer.

In this case, of course, the Rockets also have a star in Westbrook who remains a polarizing player around the league.

"Are they better? Worse? The same? I do not know ,? said a scout. "They're going to be powerful on the offensive, they're going to be a factor, but now they have probably the two most dominant players in the league in the league playing on the same team."

One executive summed it up simply: "I like the Houston trade as well.The two existing types will kill each other, and this one is much more durable."

– Tim Bontemps


Polarizing season of Golden State

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One of the biggest topics of debate in the Thomas & Mack Center team section was the way in which the The Golden State Warriors reacted to the departure of Kevin Durant in freedom. Instead of a more conventional attempt to replace Durant and Klay Thompson, injured, in a situation of free will and creating a trade exception in a sign and exchange system agreement. By referring to Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors have rather boldly developed a system of signing exchanges. Brooklyn Free Agent D & # 39; Angelo Russell. Golden State was thus subjected to a strict ceiling of 138.9 million dollars, which forced them to abandon the former player of the final, Andre Iguodala.

Some of the staff on the team I talked to thought that Golden State had rushed into the Russell panel, which cost him a slightly protected first choice choice to send Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies. Another thought that the Warriors had a good off season and that people were sleeping on them during the playoffs. The general feeling turned more towards the previous position.

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Marc J. Spears says that Dr. Angelo Russell is perfectly suited to the Warriors, in light of reports that the Warriors are planning to trade D-Lo.

As far as Golden State's moves are polarized, it's largely because Russell is such a polarizing player. Some scouts are skeptical, he's really as good as his appearance in the Nets star category last season has made him appear, especially in a situation in which he will no longer be featured in attack.

The moderate position suggests waiting to see what are the next steps for the Warriors, who might possibly seek to overthrow Russell into a trade that brings them new talents and depth that will help them replace what they have lost this season. One possible explanation for the Russell movement is that Golden State simply did not want to lose Durant without getting anything in return, even though the move potentially cost a pair of first-round picks to the Warriors because – as reported by our Brian Windhorst on Thursday – Durant felt that the Nets should have a first-round pick in the trade.

– Kevin Pelton


No moratorium

With the reversal of Marcus Morris's commitment to the San Antonio Spurs and his eventual deal on a $ 15 million one-year contract with the New York Knicks, this marks now three times in two years that players have waived a verbal agreement. (Nemanja Bjelica and Yogi Ferrell retiring last summer with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks, respectively, to sign with the Sacramento Kings were the other two.)

The league leaders in Las Vegas have been talking a lot about withdrawing player agreements – and whether it will become a trend.

Some said that it was unacceptable to back down on his word, regardless of the situation – especially when San Antonio authorized the signing of the contract with Morris by agreeing to sign commercial agreements with the Brooklyn Nets and the Wizards from Washington to acquire DeMarre Carroll, sending Davis Bertans to Washington. San Antonio recovered on Thursday by signing Trey Lyles a two-year contract, but the situation remained unfortunate for the Spurs.

Others have seen it differently, though. People are allowed to change their minds, as Morris did in this case. And as long as the agreement is not formalized, there is still a chance for someone to do it and withdraw from an agreement (as DeAndre Jordan had done it). with the Mavericks in 2015 after the famous sit-in of his teammates of the time with the LA Clippers from his home in Houston).

Just about everyone interviewed was in agreement that this could give a new impetus to the shortening of the league's annual moratorium in July – something that almost all league leaders do not want to see. do not like it.

Yes, it allows a more creative sequence of movements. But as one executive said, "a five-day window is a long time for s — to disappear".

Another one said even more simply: "It's too long."

And as long as it exists, players still have the opportunity to have an idea back on the decision made.

– Tim Bontemps


Russell Westbrook reportedly headed for the Houston Rockets in an exchange that would send Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Troy Taormina / USA TODAY & # 39; HUI

Teams outside of Oklahoma no longer hold their project selections

Over the last six months, we have seen a dramatic shift in the way teams evaluate first-round choices. When the Mavericks exchanged Kristaps Porzingis before the expiry of the exchanges, I noted that it was the first time that a team exchanged two choices of the first round without having to get one in return since the 2015 deadline.

The Porzingis business opened the floodgates. We then saw four other deals of this type: the 76ers sold a pair of primers to Tobias Harris; the Los Angeles Lakers giving up three first-round picks and an exchange against Anthony Davis; and more recently, the Clippers surrendered five first-round players and two exchanges in their contract with Paul George on July 5, and the Rockets gave up two first-round players and two trades in their contract with Westbrook on Thursday night.

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The staff of the team certainly noticed a change. One of them pointed out that before the end of this year, the teams were still trying to negotiate important protection for their choices. The Lakers and Clippers were ready to include unprotected choices – three of them owned by the Clippers and another acquired in the Harris case.

One scout noted that it is possible that we were witnessing an overcorrection after teams were too reluctant to part with first-round picks in recent years. Others, however, pointed out that the value of "bird in hand" would often outweigh the uncertainty of draft picks – especially for teams from major markets who wish build through free competition rather than the repechage. With a championship representing a more realistic goal than when Golden State's dynastic core was intact, teams could continue to use future choices to improve their current alignment.

– Kevin Pelton



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