Tag Archives: Enes Kanter

BULLet Points: Merry Christmas! Bulls complete sweep of Thunder

  • The Bulls headed into rockin’ Oklahoma City and delivered a delightful Christmas gift in the form of a 105-96 victory. The Bulls led the entire 48 minutes. After a few demoralizing losses to inferior teams, Fred Hoiberg and co. needed this one.
  • Jimmy Butler was the man from start to finish. He pulled off highlight plays the entire game, with this buzzer beater worth watching a few more times:

  • Butler finished with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists, and four steals. He also did a great job containing Kevin Durant as much as humanly possible, consistently making him work to get his 29 points. Derrick Rose had a moderately encouraging day as well, finishing with 19 points and four rebounds on 7/18 shooting. He struggled to distribute the ball, finishing with just one assist.
  • In the absence of Joakim Noah (shoulder), the rest of the frontcourt stepped up in a big way. Nikola Mirotic started at small forward once again, and it actually worked out very nicely for Fred Hoiberg and the Bulls. Mirotic was a team-high +20 in only 16 minutes, adding seven rebounds and two blocks.
  • Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol were beasts. Gibson had 13 points and 10 boards in 34 minutes while Gasol was everywhere, tallying 21 points, 13 rebounds, and six dimes. The Thunder just don’t have anyone capable of stopping Gasol consistently inside, especially with Steven Adams in foul trouble early on. It was a great game for the duo, and hopefully a sign of more to come. The Bulls badly need more offensive production out of the frontcourt. With Joakim Noah out, the continued scoring of Gasol in particular will be critical.
  • Bobby Portis got another chance to shine with Noah out for a few weeks. His energy and offensive skill set are obviously exciting (the three point stroke!), but Portis is still raw. He has trouble guarding his man and still hasn’t learned the difference between an available shot and a good one. I’m looking forward to him getting more rotation minutes and improving. He had seven points, five rebounds, and three assists in 20 minutes.
  • The problem for the Thunder was a void of scoring from anyone besides Durant and Russell Westbrook, who tallied 26 points along with seven rebounds, eight assists, and six (!) steals. Serge Ibaka struggled mightily to hit anything and aside from Enes Kanter (a legitimately useful 14 and 12), none of Oklahoma City’s secondary options were able to provide a big enough boost.
  • Coming up: the Bulls head to Dallas tomorrow night for a 7:30 matchup with Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.

Making Sense of Trade Deadline MADNESS

This past Thursday was the most amazing trade deadline in years for us basketball junkies. So much occurred in the 11th hour before the clock hit 3:00 PM EST. Twitter was a tweeting as deals were being reported left and right and everything was coming at us at once. All of this was really hard to digest right away, and still a few days later it’s not entirely clear what every team was thinking. So here’s your guide through what actually went down, and why.

Before we get to the “nitty-gritty” and the game of “point guard roulette” that was played, lets quickly recap all the minor trades that transpired. I’m going to skip over the really inconsequential moves because nobody wants to hear my rambling thoughts on Pablo Prigioni going from New York to Houston, or why Ramon Sessions was traded for the 147th time. Here we go…

Celtics acquire Isaiah Thomas from Suns for Marcus Thornton and a 2016 first-round pick from the Cavaliers

Why did it happen?

The Celtics have been pretty fond of Isaiah Thomas dating back to last off-season. Danny Ainge saw an opening to get him and in exchange gave away one of their many future 1st round picks. The Celtics are the most “un-tanky” of all the “tankiest” teams in the league (those are words now). Boston is really not helping themselves only being bad enough to secure the somewhere around 11th pick in lottery. Suns pick up a future asset and cut their losses with the ill-fated Thomas signing.

76ers trade K.J. McDaniels to Rockets for Isaiah Canaan and 2015 second-round pick

Why did it happen?

K.J. McDaniels is on a goofy one year deal and because of his play this year some team is likely to give him an offer sheet that the Sixers aren’t interested in paying. Further, many in Philadelphia are saying that Sam Hinkie doesn’t really want to deal with K.J.’s agent after botching the initial contract negotiations. Plus the Sixers really like Isaiah Canaan and have tracked him since last year’s draft, and now have an obvious void at PG. Houston grabs another wing player who can defend really well and could see minutes in the playoffs.

KG minny

Brooklyn sends Kevin Garnett to Minnesota for Thaddeus Young

Why did it happen?

Flip Saunders is a genius, and when I say genius, I mean he makes other GM’s look like geniuses. T’Wolves traded a first round pick for 50 games of Thad Young, and then traded Thad so they could have a family reunion with the corpse of KG. Now they may want to extend the contract of said corpse. Flip you continue to amaze us all.

Trail Blazers acquire Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee from Nuggets in exchange for Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson and a lottery-protected 2016 first round draft pick

Why did it happen?

Blazers get a key pickup in Afflalo who can provide scoring off the bench, something Portland needs desperately. Only costs them a future first rounder, and likely a pick that will land between 22-30. Nuggets who are now in a rebuild, acquire an asset.

All of this brings us to one of the biggest trade deadline clusterf&*%s we’ve ever seen…let’s dive into it.

In three-team trade, the Thunder acquire Enes Kanter and Steve Novak from the Jazz for Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett and two draft picks (one from the Pistons); Oklahoma City also receives D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from Detroit for Reggie Jackson.

Why did it happen?

Let’s start with the Jazz. Kanter publicly announced he wanted out, Utah obliged and picked up some future draft picks. The Jazz are eager to start the Rudy Gobert era, and losing Kanter probably won’t haunt them. Detroit upgraded the PG position in hopes to squeeze into one of the final playoff spots in the East this season and prepare for the future. Reggie is for sure an upgrade from Augustin, and they could choose to resign him this off-season as an insurance policy if Brandon Jennings recovery is stunted. But that is something Stan Van Gundy will have to attend to later. They desperately want to make the playoffs, that’s why the deal went down.

Which brings us to OKC, who is a clear winner in this trade. They discarded an unhappy Reggie Jackson for a low post threat in Kanter, as well as some solid bench pieces in Augustin, Singler, and Novak. This gives OKC a really deep roster which could spur them to a title run this year. Augustin can definitely hold his own as a backup PG; Kanter at times is a very gifted low post scorer and may command double teams on some nights. They also acquire two lights-out three point shooters that could hit some big shots during the playoffs with so much defensive attention constantly going towards Durant and Westbrook.

goran dragic fox sports

In three-team trade, Suns send Goran and Zoran Dragic to Heat in exchange for Danny Granger and two draft picks, while also acquiring John Salmons from Pelicans; New Orleans gets Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton and Shawne Williams from Miami.

Why did it happen?

Dragic was emphatic over the displeasure he had with the Suns front office, and basically forced Phoenix’s hand to deal him before the deadline passed. Pat Riley savvily stole Dragic for essentially nothing: some fringe NBA players and future first round picks that Riley himself will probably never be in office to select. Miami’s league-worst stable of point guards was their one true weakness now that Hassan Whiteside has emerged as the reincarnation of Alonzo Mourning.

Acquiring Dragic, who was second team All-NBA last season, was such a huge acquisition for Miami that for a short 24 hours they perhaps were a dark horse title contender before Chris Bosh’s scary blood clot issue was discovered. But Miami will likely be able to resign Goran during the offseason and could potentially compete in 2016. More importantly, Bosh will be okay. So the Suns acquire more future picks and rid themselves of an unhappy Dragic. They also receive Danny Granger and John Salmons, who both could be waived or just wither away on the bench for the rest of the season. New Orleans get a warm-blooded backup PG in Norris Cole, which is something they need if they are to beat out OKC for the eight spot, though it is highly unlikely. Jrue Holiday’s injury is taking a turn for the worse, and you really can’t have Tyreke Evans playing 40 minutes a night at the point.

In three-team deal, Bucks send Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall to Suns in exchange for Tyler Ennis and Miles Plumlee; Additionally, Phoenix sends their protected 2015 first-round pick from the Lakers to 76ers, and Philadelphia sends Michael Carter-Willams to Milwaukee

Why did it happen?

This was clearly the most shocking trade of the whole deadline. The Bucks imploding their frontcourt and trading their leading scorer during a playoff run is not a strategy many teams subscribe to. The Bucks must have felt that impending restricted free agent Brandon Knight was worth more to the open market this summer than he was to their organization. Milwaukee is not interested in paying a dollar figure potentially between $12-15 million that Knight will command this summer. So instead they swap in Michael Carter-Williams who is at least under team control for two more years.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.34.25 AM

The problem is they’re swapping Knight for possibly the worst shooter in the entire league. They do gain a 6’6″ point guard and now have a stable of players who are extremely long and can defend multiple positions. Jason Kidd likely sees a lot of himself in MCW and must feel that he can work with him to fix his woeful jump shot.

The Bucks definitely improve on defense, but will now really struggle to score the ball in the halfcourt and don’t really have someone to go to in crunch time. That will really hinder them this season, but going forward with Jabari Parker and the Greek Freak, they will surely be an interesting team to watch. They also acquire Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis to add more bodies to an already deep bench.

The Suns get a pretty good replacement for Goran Dragic in Brandon Knight. Dragic is much better than Knight, but Knight may fit better into the Suns guard dominated offense. Knight is much more a combo guard than Dragic was and can be a prolific scorer. The duo of Bledsoe and Knight seems like a more natural fit than the Bledsoe and Dragic duo, because Knight can easily transition into the 2 spot. They painted themselves in a corner when they alienated Dragic and were forced to deal him and try and get some value before he became a free agent this summer. Phoenix really screwed this up, but Brandon Knight could pay dividends for the Suns eventually.

What won’t pay dividends is the idiotic move to trade the Lakers top five protected pick to Philadelphia. It’s just insane to let that pick go. They must have proposed multiple deals not involving the Lakers pick before they eventually caved to Milwaukee and Philadelphia’s demands. Losing the pick is bad, but losing Dragic and getting nothing return is worse. So they downgraded from Dragic to Knight and let go of an asset that had the potential to land them a future star this summer. Wow. That’s some Flip Saunders-like ineptitude.

So here’s what the Sixers and Sam Hinkie were thinking when they dealt away the “current” face of the franchise. The Sixers are not in the business of trying to become average; they’re trying to reach greatness. To the Sixers, MCW was just an average prospect who may have hit his ceiling. They did not view him as a future cog going forward; he plays the deepest position in the entire league and is 100% replaceable in their eyes.

Another reason for ditching MCW is that his numbers are inflated because of the run ‘n’ gun style the Sixers play, they have more offensive possessions than most teams. He also constantly has the ball in his hands and only shoots 38% from the field, and 26% from three (I just threw up in my mouth reading those numbers). His numbers are just awful by any standards for a starting guard in this league.

The Sixers want to develop a team around stars and MCW is never going to be one. By acquiring the Lakers’ protected pick, they are just giving themselves another opportunity to hit the lottery and draft a potential building block. They don’t really feel like they are taking a huge step back by shedding MCW either. By draft, trade, or free agency, the Sixers are constantly seeking the right opportunity to nab a superstar. Hinkie himself is one of the guys who orchestrated the James Harden trade. That is a type of scenario that they will be looking for moving forward, besides just drafting talent. Remaining flexible by staying way under the salary cap and gathering tons of valuable assets is what will make the Sixers a desired trade partner when a star from another team becomes available.

It’s not often those types of draft picks like the Lakers’ become available. It has the potential to be great, and the Sixers were selling high on MCW. Especially considering he’s a PG who can’t shoot and whose only viable trait is his height. All of this trying to acquire and develop around stars is easier said than done, I realize. But what the Sixers want to do is build something that will last not just a few years, but possibly for a decade or longer. The Sixers management is dedicated to building something special and you can begin to see through the mist if you squint really hard. The Hinkie strategy may seem outrageous to many and logical to few, but on Thursday they made the easy decision.

This Week’s Ridiculous Stories Featuring NBA Players

This could be the start of something great, or just some Thirsty Thursday fun. While brainstorming something to write about for you all, I realized there had been quite a few absurd headlines this week involving hoopers. So, whether this is a one-and-done or becomes a running bit, here are This Week’s Ridiculous Stories Featuring NBA Players.

  • Michael Beasley: Shocking news out of Scottsdale, AZ turned the basketball world upside-down when law-abiding, rule-following, generally-great-citizen Michael Beasley was arrested for possession of marijuana. I need to get something off my chest here, you guys. Back when the Bulls somehow landed the top pick and took Derrick Rose, I wanted Beasley. For a while the knock on the Bulls had been that they needed low post scoring. I was wooed by Beasley’s season at K-State and failed to recognize the importance of a franchise point guard, regardless of the makeup of your roster. I guess that’s why the GMs make the decisions and me and Beas just cruise with the windows down. And, now a phenomenal GIF:Image and video hosting by HilariousGIFs.com
  • Jereme Richmond: Jereme never technically made it to the NBA, but a lot of our readers hail from the suburban Chicagoland area and probably remember Richmond dominating in the state tournament in 2010 and going to the University of Illinois in Champaign for one season. He clashed with coaches and declared for the draft, but didn’t come close to sniffing an NBA roster. And now, an update on his life: Threatened Probation Officer Takes the Stand at Jereme Richmond trial. Let’s hope the judge accepts the defense’s “group madness” argument (yeah, right!).
  • Andrea Bargnani: This one’s a little less serious, and potentially made up. NBA sources! Anyway, because the Knicks locked up 31-year-old Slovenian Beno Udrih, Marc Berman at esteemed news publication The New York Post is certain that Andrea Bargnani will play better in New York BECAUSE HE’LL HAVE A FRIEND. You can’t make this stuff up.
  • Shabazz Muhammad got in trouble for fucking! Or at least trying to. Yep, following in the footsteps of esteemed Heat veteran Mario Chalmers and the aforementioned Michael Blazley, Shabazz got the boot from the NBA’s rookie transition program. As many have pointed out, an NBA rookie transition program that prohibits a player from bringing women back to his room is really no transition program at all. On the bright side, now Shabazz knows what it would be like to play at BYU. Just kidding. They would’ve suspended him for a season and publicly shamed him.
  • Enes Kanter and Karl Malone went fishing. Here’s an Instagram: Karl Malone and Enes Kanter fishing. Photo from Kay Malone's Instagram. (Instagram photo)
  • Goran Dragic got ejected from a friendly match between Turkey and Slovenia. Goran takin’ swings! Sounds like someone’s a little upset his team traded for Eric Bledsoe….

Well, that’s about it for today’s edition of This Week’s Ridiculous Stories Featuring NBA Players. I hope you guys enjoyed it, and maybe we’ll do it again. Remember, no women at the rookie transition program–and don’t talk to Bargs unless you’re white and Euro!