JR Smith

Takes From the Last Week in Free Agency

Takes From the Last Week in Free Agency

I haven’t had a chance to get on here and blog about some of the recent happenings in the last few days of free agency. Here are my takes on some of the most interesting developments from around the league:

  • JJ Redick, Jared Dudley to the Clippers, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler to the Suns, picks to Milwaukee. I love this trade for the Clippers and Suns. LA gets back two of the league’s better perimeter shooters, on good contracts, to put around Chris Paul in a new Doc Rivers/Alvin Gentry run offense. Both guys are good team defenders as well, making them both upgrades over the severely one-dimensional Jamal Crawford. Crawford’s ball handling abilities will still have value, but Redick and Dudley are both better fits (and players) next to Chris Paul. From Phoenix’s standpoint, they acquire one of the prized young assets in the league right now. Just about every team with a need at point guard was rumored to be going after Bledsoe at one point or another, but Phoenix is the team that gets him – and they didn’t give up that much. Jared Dudley is a good player, but at age 27 he’s not an ideal player for a rebuilding team. The question now for Phoenix is if they move Goran Dragic or play him and Bledsoe together. In 185 minutes last season, the Clippers were a +11.1 NET-RTG with Bledsoe and Paul on the court together, so it’s clear that Bledsoe can succeed in a 2 point guard alignment. The issue will be with Dragic, who is a much better player with the ball in his hands and who has struggled to play shooting guard in two point guard sets. Milwaukee was the loser of this trade, but not for the trade itself. Losing JJ Redick for second round picks isn’t ideal, but they were going to lose him anyways and did well to at least get minor assets for him. The problem was acquiring Redick in the first place. They parted ways with Tobias Harris, who was impressive late in the season, to get Redick for their meaningless playoff run that ended with a first round shellacking at the hands of the Miami Heat. I hated the trade then, and I don’t like it now. More

Meloship of the Ring Podcast Episode 3, Featuring Chris Herring

Dan (@TheDanstein) and I sat down with the esteemed Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) of the Wall Street Journal to discuss Tim Hardaway Jr, the Andrea Bargnani trade, JR Smith’s situation, and the rest of the Knicks free agency affairs.

Follow Taylor on Twitter @tarmosino

The Knicks Draft Tim Hardaway Jr 24th Overall

The Knicks Draft Tim Hardaway Jr 24th Overall

I don’t love this pick. I don’t love this pick because a) I don’t like the player and b) there were players I liked who were still on the board. The Knicks should’ve taken Reggie Bullock from North Carolina, who went 25th to the Clippers, but I digress.

When the pick was announced, my first thought was “WHAT THE F***!?!”. My second thought was that this is probably insurance in the event that JR Smith walks in free agency. Alan Hahn shared this thought as well:

Screen Shot 2013-06-27 at 7.34.38 PM

Hardaway Jr. is in no way as good or better than JR Smith, so it’s not like the Knicks can just let Smith go. Hardaway is athletic and does have some ability, but he’s incredibly inconsistent and doesn’t have the ball handling ability that Smith has. He’s far from a finished product at this point. More

JR Smith Wins Sixth Man of the Year

Hey! JR Smith won Sixth Man of the Year!

JR

I have no issues with JR winning this award as I would’ve voted for him if I had a ballot. My mock ballot looked like this:

1. JR Smith

2. Ryan Anderson

3. Matt Barnes

4. Jarrett Jack

5. Jamal Crawford.

Winning 6MOY has become an award about wing scorers, and JR certainly would fit into that category, but that isn’t why I think he’s deserving of winning. If you looked at the majority of this season, he was largely inefficient shooting the ball (remember the ridiculous JR for all-star campaign?). Over the last month and a half, he’s been fantastic, but the season isn’t comprised of just it’s last month and a half. If this was an award about efficient scoring, Ryan Anderson is my runaway winner. But it’s not. More