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Thread: Raps' pick from the Lowry trade, plus two rooks Raps fans loved are now with OKC

  1. #21
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote Mediumcore wrote: View Post
    Do you feel they are a better team with K-Mart than Harden though? To me Harden was the hands down best player involved in the trade, and while they have lessened their luxury tax burden they may have just handed the Western Conference crown to the Lakers. Presti may have made a good decision in the sense that OKC will still be an excellent team, but when you reach the NBA finals one year and then down grade the team the next year what does it say for their chances to make it to the finals again much less challenge the Heat should they match up again?

    Just playing devils advocate here, but also interested if anyone else see's a downside for OKC in this trade.
    I feel they are a better team for the long term. This season may suffer for this upcoming season but beyond this season they are definitely stronger. Time will tell.

    Martin is a damn good player too it should be noted. I don't think it is a given the Thunder are worse for this.

  2. #22
    Raptors Republic Icon mcHAPPY's Avatar
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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    That was part of the reason .. but lets be clear .. hes not nearly as good as Durant and Westbrook .. and even if those guys would have been drafted in a different order, the pecking order would still be Durant, Westbrook, then Harden. Ill buy that Westbrook (who can clearly be a #1 guy) might look like a #2 option on his team, but is really a #1 guy. But Harden?

    I just dont see him being a lead option. Even on the Raps .. if we got him, I think the offense would still go through Lowry and AB before him (assuming we still had those two guys). Thats not to say those guys are better all around players than Harden (Lowry might be) - just better offensive options.
    I don't think Harden can be judged as to what his potential or ceiling is. There is no question he was playing behind 2 franchise players in OKC.

    Joe Johnson comes immediately to mind. On the bench in Boston to very capable starter in Phoenix to All-Star in Atlanta.

    Not saying Harden is going to be an all-star but he was an Olympian and he is still just 23. He has never had the opportunity to be the man. Is he going to succeed? I don't know but we'll all certainly find out soon enough.

  3. #23
    Raptors Republic Superstar planetmars's Avatar
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    Presti has balls.. and I wish he was our GM.. however I see two immediate issues with that trade from OKC In my opinion, RW is more of a SG than a PG. Harden played the point position for them off the bench. Martin/Lamb are shooters but can't play point. Maynor can pass, but is he reliable?? They also got thinner in their front court by trading away Aldrich. PJ3 appears to be too much of a tweener to play PF (and I'm not sure if Durant would want to switch positions either).

    From a Raptors perspective, what I love most about this transaction is that Houston is now out of the running for Gay (if Memphis ever decides to trade him). Houston won't have the cap space to take on Gay's salary without trading one of Lin/Asik or now Harden.. and they won't do that. That still leaves Cleveland with cap space/draft picks and a need for a SF.

  4. #24
    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    Of course there is downside. OKC is almost for sure worse this year because of the deal. Harden - while not a max player in my mind (and certainly not a #1 option), fits in great with that team and is an excellent glue guy. He for sure has more value in that setting than he does trying to lead his own team. But, when you consider that someone was going to max him out this year (whether hes worth it or not) - and thus OKC had to either match it (and see their flexibility hampered not to mention their tax position) or let him go .. then all things considered, this is a very good deal. As it likely makes them better every year except this year .. and considering how young Westbrook/ Durant are and how old the Lakers (and even the Heat a little bit) are - maybe they are better to play for a dynasty starting 2-3 years from now??
    I agree with much of what you and others are saying in that Presti did a great job in getting back some real value for Harden whom they must have felt was going to walk at the end of the season if he didn't get his max contract, but I'm not sure if I agree with putting off a championship window for another year when you're there now. Who knows what the future will bring because a key player could get injured or Lamb could be a bust or the flexibility which they were trying to preserve doesn't guarantee they wil be able to pick up another key player to help them contend. Mean while other teams around the leage will continue to get better and the super teams will continue to add to their rosters.

    Again he did a great job in giving up the best player and getting back good value for it, but as far as contending for a championship he imo has seemingly taken a step back. Time shall tell I suppose.

  5. #25
    Raptors Republic Veteran Bendit's Avatar
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    I believe this was also a money reason deal. There was apparently only a 4-5 mill. separation between the 2 parties before Presti made the deal. I suppose Harden did not want to give OKC a discount over the 4 year period. My own view is that he should have considering the champ. team he was already with. Apparently if he had stayed their big four (Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka and Harden) would have accounted for near 60 mill. Isnt 70 the luxury tax ceiling? They were going to have to screw up their bench cause they are not a big market team to afford a tax. Also I think KMart may have been forced on Presti to do the deal but he has just 1 year left....so he comes off the books. Good deal for OKC.

  6. #26
    Raptors Republic All-Star Mediumcore's Avatar
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    Quote Matt52 wrote: View Post
    I feel they are a better team for the long term. This season may suffer for this upcoming season but beyond this season they are definitely stronger. Time will tell.

    Martin is a damn good player too it should be noted. I don't think it is a given the Thunder are worse for this.
    I think they have put themselves in a great position to be better in the long term, but I wouldn't say they will definitely be stronger beyond this season. We know with Harden they are contenders, but we don't know what Lamb will turn into, what the flexibility they are retaining will get them or if Martin will be able to give them the spark off the bench which Harden gave them (if they bring him off the bench), injuries could happen etc....just pointing out the unknown as opposed to the known.

  7. #27
    Raptors Republic All-Star Jclaw's Avatar
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    Anyone adhere to the old idea of whoever got the best player in the deal wins the trade? Initially I thought it was a landslide at first but no matter how many mid to late (raptors hopefully) or very late (lakers) first round picks you get, they have to turn into something. In the end, if lamb and pj3 just wind up as rotation players, i think most people would take harden locked in at a similar price to Martin (who i think is expiring this year or next). That said, since he felt he had to make the trade with a deadline, Presti did quite well. Not sure what it says about Harden though. Go for 10% more but leave a championship core. I guess he wanted to be a starter.

  8. #28
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    Quote Miekenstien wrote: View Post
    means okc really needs a back up pg. jose to okc for our pick back. harden was their bench distributor
    So basically, in this alternate dimension we basically traded Jose for Lowry straight up.

  9. #29
    Raptors Republic All-Star wallz's Avatar
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    Quote Tesla wrote: View Post
    So basically, in this alternate dimension we basically traded Jose for Lowry straight up.
    Haha great way to look at it.. hopefully it happens, or at least something similar

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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    Ive gotta agree - good on Presti for this one. Think about it from the Raps perspective. Would you rather have James Harden (overpaid at the max) or Jose, DD (sort of equivilent to Martin put together), Ross (Lamb), our first round pick next year (ie Lowry now), and another two 2nd rounders picks (the other first rounder was a top 20 protected Mavs pick.. so almost like a 2nd rounder). This is the closest that I can approximate from the Raps.

    Seems like a hell of a steep price to pay for Harden. For Westbrook? Id do that in a split second. But, to me, if Harden is your best player .. you are in BIG trouble.

    You sometimes gotta have assets to get assets .. but I gotta say, good on Presti for this one (especially since its going be unpopular and took some real balls .. )
    I am not so certain Houston overpaid for Harden, nor do I believe that Westbrook will remain a better player than Harden is a foregone conclusion.

    Harden has taken giant steps forward the past - his TS% was out of this world last season - and that with a ~20% usage rate. It remains to be seen what he will do in Houston. If he averages 35 minutes and 25-28% usage rate, he could average 23-25 PPG. As his TS% was so high last year, it's unclear to me where it will be with defenses focusing on him.

    It will be interesting to see how he plays with Lin.

    My opinion is that Houston is gambling on players whose ceiling is very uncertain. Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik (who I think of as much better defender than Noah), and now Harden. I doubt all three gambles will pay off but it's certainly an intriguing attempt at becoming relevant very quickly. I do hope it pays off for Houston.

  11. #31
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    Harden wants to be a star player not the third choice. He'll make way more dinero as the best player in a large market team, thinking of shoe contracts and endorsement deals as well salary in the long term. The Joe Johnson analogy is an good one.

  12. #32
    Raptors Republic Starter mountio's Avatar
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    Quote Hugmenot wrote: View Post
    I am not so certain Houston overpaid for Harden, nor do I believe that Westbrook will remain a better player than Harden is a foregone conclusion.

    Harden has taken giant steps forward the past - his TS% was out of this world last season - and that with a ~20% usage rate. It remains to be seen what he will do in Houston. If he averages 35 minutes and 25-28% usage rate, he could average 23-25 PPG. As his TS% was so high last year, it's unclear to me where it will be with defenses focusing on him.

    It will be interesting to see how he plays with Lin.

    My opinion is that Houston is gambling on players whose ceiling is very uncertain. Jeremy Lin, Omer Asik (who I think of as much better defender than Noah), and now Harden. I doubt all three gambles will pay off but it's certainly an intriguing attempt at becoming relevant very quickly. I do hope it pays off for Houston.
    I agree - Harden had some very very good stats, especially on a per minute basis. However, you have to think that a) coming off the bench and b) playing with Durant / Westbrook helped those stats a lot. He regularily played against other teams bench players .. and even then often had at least one of D/W playing beside him. He wont have either luxury playing for Houston .. and defenses will be gunning for him. Will be interesting to see what happens. I think this is a great example of how advanced stats dont tell it all. On a larger level its a similar argument to the Amir / AB argument .. where Amir appears to be efficient .. but thats based much more on his role and what he is / isnt asked to do that his skillset.

    As Ive said on here, its not that I think hes a bad player. In fact, I think hes a very good player. I would even stretch as far as top 30 in the league (ESPN ranks says #58).

    As for him vs Westrbook, ya, I guess nothing is a foregone conclusion .. but you are talking a top 10 for sure, arguably top 5 player in the league in Westbrook. A guy who can play PG, but also score at will and is a top 3 athlete beside Rose & Lebron (and DH12). He plays hard as hell and plays great D. I would build a franchise around him in a split second. I cant say the same for Harden.
    Is it possible Harden improves and Westbrook is too much of a headcase to ever fully "get it"? Ya, thats possible. But the odds are much better that Westbrook has a way better career than Harden.

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    Raptors Republic Starter mountio's Avatar
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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    My bad .. had somehow got linked to last years. 26 seems about right to me

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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    My bad .. had somehow got linked to last years. 26 seems about right to me
    I would rank JH higher. I like his game, one of the most creative.

  16. #36
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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    I agree - Harden had some very very good stats, especially on a per minute basis. However, you have to think that a) coming off the bench and b) playing with Durant / Westbrook helped those stats a lot. He regularily played against other teams bench players .. and even then often had at least one of D/W playing beside him. He wont have either luxury playing for Houston .. and defenses will be gunning for him.
    Each of the last two years, Harden played significantly better when he was on the court without Durant/Westbrook.


  17. #37
    Raptors Republic Starter mountio's Avatar
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    Quote tkfu wrote: View Post
    Each of the last two years, Harden played significantly better when he was on the court without Durant/Westbrook.

    thanks - very interesting. The PP36 is not suprising, but the increased FG% is a very promising stat. I still think coming off the bench has a lot to do with this .. but I certainly stand corrected (at least with respect to Durant / Westbrook getting him easier hoops) according to these stats.

    Will be interesting to see if it translates being the first option in Houston ..

  18. #38
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    Quote mountio wrote: View Post
    The PP36 is not suprising
    I don't find it surprising that his point production went up, but I do find it surprising just how much it went up by. KD led the league in per-36 scoring last year at 26.2 PP36. Harden scored 31.2 without KD and 29.0 without Westbrook. That's frigging amazing.

    (It's also why I reached a lot to grab Harden at #4 in my fantasy league.)

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    Quote stretch wrote: View Post
    Harden wants to be a star player not the third choice. He'll make way more dinero as the best player in a large market team, thinking of shoe contracts and endorsement deals as well salary in the long term. The Joe Johnson analogy is an good one.
    1. You really think he can make more money as a star (probably) on a lottery team (Houston) than a KEY contributor on a championship team for many years (OKC)?
    2. I was under impression players want to be on contenders even if it means less money?
    3. Am I missing something or did I miss Harden "disappearing" when it counted (in the finals)?
    4. Hungry K Mart with less pressure to be the man (because of Westbrook & Durant) will be deadly. So, he is not a great defender - that's why you have Perkins & Ibaka. Also, K Mart in contract year. Could be interesting.
    All in all IMHO incredible deal for OKC (and good for us I suppose -much less competition for Gay).

  20. #40
    Super Moderator CalgaryRapsFan's Avatar
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    Quote Mapko wrote: View Post
    1. You really think he can make more money as a star (probably) on a lottery team (Houston) than a KEY contributor on a championship team for many years (OKC)?
    2. I was under impression players want to be on contenders even if it means less money?
    3. Am I missing something or did I miss Harden "disappearing" when it counted (in the finals)?
    4. Hungry K Mart with less pressure to be the man (because of Westbrook & Durant) will be deadly. So, he is not a great defender - that's why you have Perkins & Ibaka. Also, K Mart in contract year. Could be interesting.
    All in all IMHO incredible deal for OKC (and good for us I suppose -much less competition for Gay).
    I agree that KMart will be great for OKC. If he's playing the bulk of his time with OKC's 2nd unit, he won't have to defend the elite stars anyway, so his greatest weakness is minimized.

    I'd much rather be an OKC fan today than a Rockets fan...
    1. OKC much better in the long-term, both in terms of players (Lamb & 2 additional 1st round picks) and financial flexibility
    2. After Rockets sign Harden to max contract, they'll have more than $30M per season (1/2 cap space) tied up in a 3-player core: Harden, Asik and Lin (yikes!)

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