The Starting 5: A look at some of the best hoops content around the internet
1. Remaining (familiar) free agents face new roster reality on open market – David Aldridge
The NBA is constantly changing, and as David Aldridge articulately points out here, a lot of familiar faces are unemployed because of it. Last summer, the NBA went on a spending spree with players getting paid almost whatever they wanted. This year’s free agents might have been watching that and licking their chops. But there would be no soup for them, so to speak. Who is left on the market and why?
2. Facing an uncertain future, Carmelo Anthony slides in #NBArank – Chris Herring
A lot of fans lost their minds when they found out that Carmelo Anthony wasn’t ranked in the top 50 on #NBARanks, the annual rankings that come out based on the votes from ESPN’s writers. If we’re talking about the 50 best careers of active players, ‘Melo would obviously be included, but Herring argues why Anthony isn’t in the top 50 of these rankings. He doesn’t play defense. He’s not that efficient. He’s not playing winning basketball anymore and is not contributing to winning. Before you yell about his absence, read Herring’s explanation. It’s sound reasoning.
3. The Most Interesting Rookie-Scale Extension Candidates, Kevin O’Connor, The Ring
We’re getting to that time of year when rookie extensions happen (or more often don’t happen). Some deals will probably get done without much fanfare, such as Andrew Wiggins. He’s getting the max, and everyone knows it. However, some players — either because of injury history or being on the verge of breaking out — present a more intriguing question. O’Connor looks at some of the borderline cases and which way the teams should go.
4. Tony Allen Can Only Do So Much for the Pelicans – Rohan Nadkarni, Sports Illustrated
Tony Allen is an elite perimeter defender the Pelicans inked for the minimum. How can there be anything wrong with this deal? Maybe it’s not what’s “wrong” with it, but what’s not right with it. With the Anthony Davis clock ticking, the Pelicans are under pressure to win. They are in dire need of shooting, and Allen doesn’t bring that. In fact, he shrinks the court more than he stretches it. That’s problematic.
5. One overlooked strength Kelly Olynyk brings to the Miami Heat – Leonard Kreicas, Hot, Hot Hoops
No one will say that Kelly Olynyk is a world-changer, but he’s not without his benefits. One overlooked strength is his pick-and-roll defense, whether against the ballhandler or the roll man. Kreicas looks at the Synergy numbers and breaks down the combinations the Heat can throw out on defense.
Thanks as always to Basketball Intelligence, which has been an invaluable resource to me in putting together this article. Follow and subscribe and you’ll be glad you did.