Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Iguodala, Brown, Biyombo and Brogdon replace several stars. LeBron James was previously the executive vice president, while Stephen Curry and Carmelo Anthony were both vice presidents as well.
The new group of players could make for an interesting dynamic in negotiations. Previously, the league was represented by superstars, and superstars got some nice perks in the collective bargaining stage. The new group is much more eclectic — a veteran role player in Iguodala who used to be a star, a couple of rising prospects in Brown and Brogdon, and a bench big man in Biyombo. The current CBA runs through 2023-24.
One cool thing to note: Brown, who is very thoughtful, has said before that becoming the president of the players union is one of his career goals. He’s certainly on track.
I’m not entirely sure what role the vice presidents of the NBPA play in setting the players’ agenda for the league’s collective bargaining negotiations.
It’s possible these offices are intended to be just so much window-dressing, but it’s hard to imagine Jaylen Brown doing anything other than taking this job seriously.
At the same time, the NBA and NBPA negotiate six to seven year CBAs, and the current CBA isn’t due to expire until 2023 at the earliest. The tenures of Brown, Iguodala, Brogdon and Biyombo will end at the 2022 All-Star break, some time before the next contract negotiations get serious.
I expect the next CBA negotiations to be particularly contentious. The current CBA was negotiated shortly after the league sold a generous TV rights package to Disney and Turner. Since then cord-cutting has taken off, and while paid alternatives to cable are growing just as rapidly–most people who drop ESPN are not replacing it with pirated streams from shady websites–revenue from online streaming is considerably less than traditional cable (especially advertising revenue).
In short, the NBA’s TV current contract is quite possibly a high-water mark, which means both teams and players are going to be looking at reduced revenue under the next TV contract.
Page 2: Where there’s still a lot of this season left
Listen, we get it. The possibility of Boston adding a bonafide top-5 NBA talent this summer is undeniably tantalizing. But sometimes it simply feels like, because of Boston’s rocky season, we’ve lost sight of what’s still possible this season, all while daydreaming of what’s ahead.
Maybe more importantly: How the next three months play out could be vital in how exactly the future of this franchise looks. The next 24 games, and what follows in the postseason, might ultimately dictate the direction that these Celtics take.
Which is to say that, while it’s undeniably more fun to dream of what might be, let’s remember to savor the experience. Celtics coach Brad Stevens so frequently reminds his player of that message because it’s so easy to get distracted from the next game, the next quarter, the next play.
Ok. First of all, you need to click on that link because someone put together a cartoon of the Celtics season in roller-coaster form.
And, at any rate, I can’t get too excited about the Anthony Davis sweepstakes because I remember the Boogie Cousins sweepstakes. And the Paul George sweepstakes. And the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes.
I also remember that in the middle of all those crazy rumors, the Celtics did something even crazier–trading IT, Crowder, Zizic, and a Nets pick for Kyrie Irving.
Bottom line: These superstar-on-the-move stories rarely play out the way guys like Max Kellerman predict. There’s no point in listening to them, because they’re seldom right, nor is there any point in arguing with them, because, again, they’re seldom right.
I, for one, am looking forward to the playoffs, because–among other things–the Celtics have graduated from playoff neophytes to playoff veterans.
Look at the top of the NBA East: The Celtics and Raptors are the only teams that have made it to the conference finals over the last five years. And the Raptors’ last two playoff campaigns have ended disastrously. Granted, the team’s been significantly overhauled since last season’s embarrassment against the Cavs, however, I can’t help but think that this season’s team is another bunch of regular season warriors that will have trouble delivering when the games really matter.
Finally: John’s got grades
Typically, players have career years before signing a big free agent contract. For whatever reason, Marcus Smart has taking it to a new level post-signing by adding somewhat reliable shooting to his typical Smart production.
Hit true shooting, which had never crossed the 50 percent mark, is now at 55.1 percent. His 3-point shooting is at a career-best 35.9 percent, just above this year’s league average. All this while Smart sacrifices minutes to accommodate the team’s depth.
His minutes and usage rate are both at career-lows, as are his overall field goal attempts per game. According to NBA statistics, Smart has cut mid-range shots almost entirely from his game, taking just .49 mid-range shots per game this year versus 1.29 per game last season. He’s also cut his shots in the paint by nearly half and is instead focusing on more evenly distributing his 3-point attempts between the corners and above the break.
Guys, it’s Tuesday, and it’s right about 10:00 in the morning Eastern time.
In other words, you’re due for your morning break, and why not spend it with John Karalis? He’s got grades for every Celtic from Baynes to Yabusele, as well as grades for the overall team and Brad Stevens. A paragraph or two or three of justification accompanies each grade.
The rest of the links:
Boston.com: Jaylen Brown elected vice president of NBPA
NBC Sports: Five burning post-break questions for C’s