Good morning friends. This and that.
The NBA awards were presented last night in the first ever “awards show.” When I hear the phrase “awards show” I run as fast as I can the other way, so I didn’t watch. But, the results:
Russell Westbrook took home the MVP. This is not a surprise, as the triple-double machine was the biggest individual story in the league this season, responding to the departure of Kevin Durant by dominating in ways we rarely see. I think I would have voted for Kawhi Leonard, who finished third, but no shade, Westbrook was incredible. James Harden was a deserved second.
Draymond Green took home the Defensive Player of the Year award ahead of Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard. Green is a defensive Swiss Army knife, who can guard anywhere and anyone on the court, making him an invaluable part of the championship Warriors.
Most Improved was Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, who emerged as a do-everything monster this season and is still very young. The next decade of the Greek Freak is going to be fun.
Eric Gordon of the Rockets was sixth man of the year; he had a terrific season shooting it for a Houston team that never met a three it didn’t like. Another Rocket, Lou Williams, actually finished third in the voting.
The All-Defensive teams went like this:
Jimmy Butler received 18 points in the voting, Ricky Rubio got three, and Karl-Anthony Towns (bizarrely) received one first team vote, for two points.
The rookie will be introduced at a press conference this afternoon. He’s been a bit lost in the storm of Jimmy Butler news, but will have his spotlight today, and then starts the work of becoming an NBA player.
We’ve obviously discussed this ad nauseum for a year, and here we still are with rumors swirling. It’s getting difficult to write about.
I just wanted to say this: There are two guys, who, if the Wolves get, would make sense to me in lieu of just keeping the guy, which is what I would do.
The expensive option: Kyle Lowry. He was the subject of a long debate in yesterday’s thread. This would require some significant cap gymnastics, and has its downsides: age, future cap crunch, fit. Kyle Lowry is probably looking at upwards of $30M a year, and would leave the Wolves woefully thin in other areas.
But if you can get him...it’s Kyle Freaking Lowry. He’s a fantastic player. Great at both ends of the floor. Probably a top 20 player in the NBA, which would give you two guys on that list, and a potential third if Towns takes steps forward defensively. I’ve always said: Get good players, and while I think Rubio is a good player, I would not complain if they somehow wind up with Lowry.
The other option I would be OK with is Patrick Beverly. He’s the opposite option in terms of compensation; under contract for two more seasons at a mere $5M per. Somehow moving Rubio and getting Beverly would give the Wolves even more flexibility in filling other holes, which would be a benefit, and a three-and-D guard who’s good at both sides of that? Yes please. Of course, I don’t see how they get him. The Rockets only consider moving him if they can a) clear enough other salary to make a run at a max player, and b) can get that max player. Furthermore, even then, I doubt they just give him away; Beverly should fetch at least a first rounder, something the Wolves can’t offer until at least 2020. They can do better.
Anything other than those two guys feels like either a downgrade or a lateral move that will cost more money than Rubio is making. I suppose you could talk me into Patty Mills as a decent option, but I wouldn’t be enthusiastic at the contract he’ll require.