NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part V: Southwest Division

Welcome to Part 5 of our 6-part series taking a look at every contract in the NBA—except for rookies and two-way contracts, plus anyone who didn’t play in the league last season due to injury or having been overseas or something—and quantifying the ratio of minute-weighted dollars paid to Win Shares produced. To remind folks who haven’t read previous entries in this series: As a quick reminder, a rookie, veteran minimum, or midlevel exception contract should produce a Wiggins Factor below 100, a rotation player with a rotation salary should be under 200, and ideally you want your superstar-level contracts …

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Does Trae Young Really Have a Rookie of the Year Case?

Trae Young has been picking up a ton of Rookie of the Year momentum in the giant kangaroo court that is NBA Twitter. Especially among the hey-look-at-the-highlights crowd, the Barkley and Scott-Hollins Syndrome and “eye test” people, who if you’re reading hi welcome to Pace and Space we don’t do that here, Young is the rallying cry for the backlash against a season of people anointing Luka Doncic as Rookie of the Year and treating the debate as settled. Now granted, there’s some merit to the idea that Young should get the benefit of the doubt if you believe that …

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Breakfast Special: Ben Simmons Does the Unthinkable

Ben Simmons went 0-of-1 from the three-point arc in Sunday’s 143-120 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, as his Philadelphia 76ers finally saw their cowardly lion of a guard shoot a three in the run of play. Sure, he missed, but the shot rimmed out, looking at least as good as any horror show of a three-pointer that Russell Westbrook‘s attempted this season. Simmons had a terrible game—he hit just 3-of-13 overall for eight points, seven assists, and just three rebounds—but we may be seeing the beginnings of Simmons actually turning into a post-1979 NBA perimeter player. Take away Simmons’ …

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Breakfast Special: Milwaukee’s Unstoppable Attack

Giannis Antetokounmpo shot 17-of-21, the Milwaukee Bucks scored 50 points in the first quarter, and the Bucks went on to beat the Washington Wizards 148-129. In an NBA landscape where there have been a few too many lower-scoring games in recent weeks (thanks, Memphis and Indiana, who seem to be at the center of most of them), that 277-point combined outburst is the modern basketball we all know and love, a world where you can race out to nearly 150 points and still have to keep one eye on the scoreboard because your opponents might pop a few threes and …

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Could an All-Euro Roster Compete in the NBA?

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly moving to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from the Knicks, on the presumed belief that if one transcendent Euro white dude is good, two must be even better. But if one Euro white dude—whether it’s Dirk Nowitzki or Luka Doncic—can be a franchise cornerstone, why not just go whole hog and put a whole roster together of nothing but European white dudes? And what’s more, let’s limit this to white people, since the commonly held refrain around the NBA is that it’s a “black league” and also so this doesn’t just turn into a World Team kind …

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Breakfast Special: 16 Threes Does Not a Barrage Make, Toronto

The Toronto Raptors beat the Sacramento Kings 120-105 in a dollar-store game where the Raps didn’t have Kawhi Leonard and the Kings didn’t have De’Aaron Fox. Toronto also crowed that they had a “3-point barrage tonight.” They hit 16-of-40. 3-pt barrage tonight @TangerineHoops Game Highlights 📹: https://t.co/gT67vmyo9e pic.twitter.com/UpChVnzNUZ — Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) January 23, 2019 Now, is it really a “barrage” if you hit two more triples as a team than Klay Thompson hit in a game by himself earlier this year? Come back when you make 20 in a game and we’ll talk about a barrage. This was a …

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Is Luka Doncic Really an All-Star Candidate?

Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic is currently second in the fan vote, behind only LeBron James, for the Western Conference All-Star starting forwards. Lukamania has seized the nation, as he has seized the mantle from Goran Dragic as America’s Best Slovenian. But what do NBA fans know? These are the same dingbats who have Derrick Rose second among guards in the same balloting. At least Dwyane Wade‘s vote total in the East is understandable given a lot of fans don’t care about his stats, they just want to see a Farewell Tour stop that involves sharing a court (albeit as …

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Breakfast Special: Russell Westbrook, Guitar Hero

Since their improbable win over the Warriors on Christmas Day, the Los Angeles Lakers have looked like the G-League team they are without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, both of whom are out with injury. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat them 107-100 at Staples Center Wednesday night on national television, powered by Paul George‘s 37 points on 15-of-29 shooting and Russell Westbrook‘s 14-point, 16-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. Plus, there was this brilliant razz of Lance Stephenson after PG13 drew an and-one: Westbrook so petty 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/E9MhNJ8jd8 — Sports ReUp (@SportsReUp) January 3, 2019 Never mind that Russ shot 3-of-20 from the …

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Breakfast Special: The Increasingly Implausible Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks are 17-18 after beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-103 in Dallas Sunday. The win brought the Mavs to 15-3 at home. They are 2-15 on the road. The team is absurd and nothing makes sense in this world and also you have to wonder just what the hell happened to Russell Westbrook, who shot 4-of-22 from the field and 0-of-8 from three and put up one of the ugliest performances in a professional basketball game in recent memory. Even Paul George‘s explosion for 36 points on 12-of-24 (and 3-of-11 from three…whoops) couldn’t save the Thunder. Dallas played …

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Breakfast Special: Welcome Home, Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose, take me home, to the court where I belong, West Chicago, United Center, welcome home, Derrick Rose. Now that you’ve got that earworm kicking around your brain, it was a fantastic homecoming for Rose and the Timberwolves, who smashed the Bulls 119-94 to keep the never-ending curious case of the Western Conference lottery teams going. Minnesota’s now won two in a row, moved their point differential to even and their record to 16-18, bounced off the 14 spot (although New Orleans, at 15-20, risks sinking into the inky abyss of a team that’s actually going to fail to …

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