NBA Fact or Fiction: Draymond Green’s double commonplace, the struggling Celtics and NBA Top Shot

Each week throughout the 2020-21 NBA season, we’ll take a deeper dive into three of the league’s greatest storylines in an try to find out whether or not the traits are based mostly extra in reality or fiction shifting ahead.

[Last week: LeBron James‘ MVP case, a LaMelo Ball mea culpa and the death of tanking]

The NBA is constructed on a double commonplace

Golden State Warriors ahead Draymond Green took concern with what he felt was a double commonplace within the NBA relating to the therapy of gamers and groups in search of trades. He equated James Harden quitting on the Houston Rockets to the Cleveland Cavaliers quitting on Andre Drummond, noting the narrative hooked up to each.

“To watch Andre Drummond, earlier than the sport, sit on the sidelines, then go to the again, and to return out in road garments as a result of a group goes to commerce him, it is bulls***,” Green told reporters. “Because when James Harden asks for a commerce and primarily dogged it — … nobody goes to struggle again that James was dogging it his final days in Houston — however he was castrated for desirous to go to a unique group. And all people destroyed that man.

“And but a group can come and say, ‘Oh, we wish to commerce a man.’ And then that man is to go sit. And if he does not keep skilled, then he is a most cancers. And he isn’t good in somebody’s locker room, and he is the difficulty.”

It just isn’t an incredible analogy. Harden wasn’t essentially “castrated” for requesting a commerce. He was “castrated” for his conduct on and off the court docket after the commerce request, which was completely unprofessional. Are we to imagine that what the Cavaliers have achieved — working in coordination with Drummond and his agent — is as unprofessional?

Green’s bigger level is a good one. The NBA empowers its franchises greater than its gamers. The gamers are the precise product consumed by followers, so should not they’ve equal say within the matter? Teams can be nothing with out their gamers, however gamers might be something with out their groups. It sounds proper till you bear in mind how enterprise works.

James Harden did not simply request a commerce from the Rockets. He give up on Houston. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Let’s say Jaden Harmes works for Frito-Lay. He is so good at making Cheetos, he indicators a four-year, $171 million deal to make Cheetos. A pair years in, Cheetos are now not doing it for Jaden. He needs to make some Doritos.

He asks his boss, “Hey, do you suppose you would transfer my contract from Cheetos to Doritos?”

“Well,” his boss says, “we actually such as you with Cheetos. How about we get you some assist making Cheetos?”

A displeased Jaden stops making Cheetos. He events in Las Vegas, reveals up days late to work and calls out his co-workers for not being good at making Cheetos. People who love Cheetos surprise why he is sabotaging Cheetos.

But the boss over at Doritos is aware of how good Jaden is at making Cheetos. She nonetheless needs Jaden making Doritos. She presents to avoid wasting Cheetos some cash. She offers Cheetos the higher choose on the subsequent nice maker of snack meals by means of 2027. She presents a few of her greatest younger Doritos makers, even flips one for somebody higher at Tostitos.

They comply with the swap. Doritos get higher. Cheetos worsen. Does everybody who works for Cheetos have to love Jaden? Do the individuals who love Cheetos have to love him? Is Jaden’s conduct a optimistic reflection on Frito-Lay?    

Now, for instance D’Andre Rummond and Allen Jarrett additionally work for Frito-Lay. They are at the moment making Fritos.

D’Andre is owed $28.Eight million to make Fritos this 12 months. He’s good, however he is not making Fritos any higher, and his deal is up on the finish of the 12 months. Ruffles felt the identical means about D’Andre. They virtually gave him to Fritos for nothing.

Allen is making Fritos for $3.9 million this 12 months. He does the identical job as D’Andre. Allen carried out effectively for Doritos, and Fritos acquired him for a discount when Doritos made room for Jaden. Fritos likes Allen higher. Fritos thinks he’ll make them higher. Fritos is keen to provide Allen a hefty increase on the finish of his present contract, when D’Andre’s wage comes off the books, and Fritos thinks they’d be higher served giving Allen the reps D’Andre was getting now.

“D’Andre,” his boss says, “we predict you are good at making snack meals, however Allen is the long run at Fritos. We are going to rent him when your contracts are up. We nonetheless suppose you’ll be able to assist Frito-Lay, and we’re in search of a spot for you. In the meantime, it is foolish so that you can work underneath Allen. You would possibly even get harm on the job, and then you definately would not be capable of assist anybody — Lay’s, Rold Gold, Cracker Jacks, wherever. So, we’re really going to pay you to not work. If we won’t discover a spot for you, not solely will we pay what we owe you, Doritos can even pay you to assist them.”

“Oh, man,” D’Andre says. “It’s type of embarrassing to lose my job to Allen, since I used to be a star for Ruffles and put up numbers for Fritos, however I wasn’t all that completely satisfied working for both. I nonetheless like Frito-Lay. I might in all probability assist Doritos.”

Then, Deen Graymond over at Rold Gold asks, “Aren’t Jaden and Fritos the identical? Both need what’s greatest for them. So, why does Fritos get a go for quitting on D’Andre when everybody was killing Jaden for quitting on Cheetos? Why does Frito-Lay function this fashion? Shouldn’t Jaden be capable of make the identical enterprise choice as Fritos?”

In a perfect world, certain. Everyone is completely satisfied. We don’t dwell in a perfect world.

Frito-Lay is within the enterprise of doing what’s greatest for Frito-Lay. The enterprise thrives when Cheetos, Doritos and Fritos all make individuals who like Cheetos, Doritos and Fritos completely satisfied. If every can accomplish that whereas additionally accommodating each worker’s choice, all the higher, as long as everybody stays skilled. But what occurs when all one of the best individuals at Frito-Lay wish to work for Doritos? That can be nice for Doritos and their followers. It’s not so good for Cheetos or Fritos or Frito-Lay as a complete. Jaden and Fritos aren’t equals, even when each are working for Frito-Lay.

Only when James Harden or Jaden Harmes can earn $171 million taking part in basketball or making snack meals on his personal will he render the NBA or Frito-Lay powerless. Even then, Rockets and Cheetos followers do not need to observe them.

So, yeah, the NBA is constructed on a double commonplace. It’s a enterprise.

Determination: Fact

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum can't do it alone on the Celtics.  (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum cannot do it alone on the Celtics. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

It’s panic time for the Celtics

The Celtics improved to a league-best 7-Three report by means of 10 video games on Jan. 9, the identical day Marcus Smart suffered a calf harm and Jayson Tatum was identified with COVID-19. Without Smart and with Tatum still feeling side effects from coronavirus, Boston has gone 7-11 since, dropping to .500 and fifth place within the Eastern Conference standings.

Logic ought to inform us the Celtics shall be positive when they’re at full energy. But what is ok, and what’s full energy?

Tatum’s scoring effectivity has fallen significantly since returning. Likewise, Boston’s protection was 8.1 factors per 100 possessions higher with Tatum on the ground previous to his prognosis. It has been 3.four factors per 100 possessions worse with him on court docket since his return. He just isn’t carrying lineups on his personal the best way he did final season, when his items outscored opponents by 7.6 factors per 100 possessions with Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker on the bench.

Smart’s absence solely compounds this concern. Not solely is he a First Team All-Defensive expertise who can run the offense, he’s the one non-big able to constantly contributing behind Boston’s three highest-paid gamers. Jeff Teague has been dreadful. Late first-round choose Payton Pritchard has been a revelation, however it says lots about these Celtics that he’s their most dependable role-playing guard or wing proper now. Celtics coach Brad Stevens has no concept what he’s getting from Semi Ojeleye, Grant Williams, Javonte Green and rookie Aaron Nesmith on any given evening.

You know who can be excellent for this group? Gordon Hayward. The Celtics dedicated the mid-level exception created by Hayward’s free-agency departure to Tristan Thompson. In principle, he’s a giant physique who can do battle within the publish with Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid, solely Embiid has outscored Thompson 80-6 of their two conferences. In follow, the Celtics dedicated $9 million to a middle little to no higher than Daniel Theis or Robert Williams III.

Then, there may be Walker, the max-salaried four-time All-Star level guard who has been a shell of himself since his knee began bothering him a pair months into his Boston tenure. His well being, together with Smart’s harm, Hayward’s exit and Boston’s failure to draft and develop high quality depth, has left Stevens with few choices past praying Tatum and Brown can carry this burden. In his quest to unlock any semblance of a rotation, the Celtics coach has even resorted to taking part in Theis at energy ahead alongside Thompson, one thing he by no means would do final season for good motive. 

Fine for the Celtics has been making the Eastern Conference finals, which they did final season with out Hayward or Walker at full energy. Maybe they’ll discuss themselves into that as a ceiling once more if Tatum and Brown play at an All-NBA degree, Smart returns and Walker offers them something, however the emergence of a super-team in Brooklyn makes it harder to realistically persuade anybody that Boston at its greatest is something however second-round fodder this 12 months.

The Celtics do have an enormous commerce exception, however with out a bona fide star on the commerce market — and with out the property to amass him — they are going to be left making an attempt to enhance on the margins. It could also be well worth the danger of shedding the exception to hold it into free company for the potential of a extra impactful acquisition on the sign-and-trade market.

And none of it might matter if Walker by no means regains his All-Star kind. His well being has considerably lowered Boston’s ceiling and will proceed to for the lifetime of his contract. Walker’s deal doesn’t expire till 2024, when Brown can change into an unrestricted free agent and Tatum shall be getting into the ultimate 12 months of his four-year most extension.

The Celtics needs to be higher. The Celtics shall be higher, when has that ever stopped Bostonians from panicking?

Determination: Fact

NBA Top Shot is cool

If you haven’t heard of NBA Top Shot by now, you haven’t been studying in regards to the league this week. At least three tales on the topic dropped in a two-day interval — through ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin and The Action Network’s Darren Rovell — bringing my consideration to this $2 billion firm that includes 50,000 customers.

As greatest as anybody can clarify, NBA Top Shot is a digital model of the buying and selling card business during which seconds-long spotlight clips are traded moderately than tangible playing cards. That’s it. A Zion Williamson block offered for $100,000. A LeBron James dunk offered for $47,500. A Ja Morant dunk offered for $35,000. A freaking Kyle Lowry bounce shot offered for $2,175.

All of these highlights are available on YouTube without cost. This is completely insane.

As Windhorst famous, Dallas Mavericks proprietor Mark Cuban wrote on his blog, “Some individuals would possibly complain that I can get the identical video on the web wherever anytime and watch it. Well guess what, I can get the identical image on any conventional, bodily card on the web and print it out, and that does not change the worth of the cardboard.”

Jack Settleman, the 24-year-old who purchased James’ dunk for $47,500, echoed the identical sentiment to Highkin: “With bodily playing cards, it is only a photograph. Your LeBron rookie card that is value hundreds of {dollars}, it is only a random image of him in a Cavs jersey. These moments provide the skill to really watch and have extra which means behind it.”

What are we even speaking about right here? It’s not that I do not perceive their argument. It’s that it’s completely ridiculous.

If I have been to point out my associates a reputable Michael Jordan rookie card, they’d suppose it is cool. If I confirmed them a printed-out model of a Michael Jordan rookie card, they’d suppose it is extraordinarily not cool. If I have been to point out them two variations of the identical Michael Jordan spotlight — one on YouTube and the opposite on NBA Top Shot — they’d suppose they have been equally cool. If I advised them to pay me $1 million to look at one in all them, that might by no means be cool.

You weren’t on the recreation when Williamson acquired his first block. You weren’t even watching it dwell on TV. Maybe you noticed it on SportsMiddle the following morning. Are you paying $100,000 for a spotlight you skilled third- or fourth-hand? Tell me one other factor: Would you moderately have a signed Kobe Bryant jersey or video of Bryant signing a jersey for another person? These really feel nearer to the equal of NBA Top Shot than any comparability I’ve heard to buying and selling playing cards.

I’ve an concept, too. I used to be on the recreation Ray Allen handed Reggie Miller to interrupt the profession report for 3-pointers. It in all probability price lower than $40 to get within the constructing. I’ll inform you and your folks about it for $1 million. Is that cool?

Determination: Fiction

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