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Season Review: Jalen Slawson

Slawson plays some exciting basketball, but has a hard road ahead to find a role in the NBA.
By | 79 Comments | May 17, 2024

Nov 20, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Jalen Slawson (18) drives to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans center Cody Zeller (40) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings selected Jalen Slawson with the 54th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and signed Slawson to a Two-Way contract. The Two-Way contract allows teams to have players develop with heavy minutes in the G League, while also playing opportunistic minutes with the parent NBA club. For Slawson, that ended up being heavily skewed towards G League minutes. Although Slawson appeared in 12 games for the Sacramento Kings, he totaled just 37 minutes, for an average of 3.1 minutes per game.

In his brief appearances with Sacramento, Slawson averaged 0.7 points, 0.6 rebounds, and 0.2 assists. Its unsurprising that Slawson didn’t put up much in the stats department in such limited runs in Sacramento. A more telling indicator is his time with the Stockton Kings.

With Stockton, Slawson averaged 34.4 minutes per game, averaging 13 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals. Slawson’s highlights are filled with dazzling displays of athleticism:

But for all his physical gifts, Slawson struggles as a shooter. In the G League, he shot 26.4% from 3 on 3 attempts per game, and shot 47.8% overall.

At 24 years old, despite his size and athleticism, it’s hard to see a path for Slawson to find NBA success in the Kings organization. Mike Brown desperately needed options at the wing this past season, and yet Slawson still didn’t warrant extended run. Slawson performed well enough in the G League, especially for a late 2nd round pick, but I’m not getting my hopes up for him as a piece for Sacramento’s future.

 

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Hobby916
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May 17, 2024 10:51 am

He will make for nice depth in Stockton.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 17, 2024 10:55 am
Reply to  Hobby916

G league bench players make the difference for this team.

Hobby916
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May 17, 2024 11:03 am

Is this the part where the Keon Ellis HOFer conversation begins?

AnybodyButBagley
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May 17, 2024 11:41 am
Reply to  Hobby916

No…some will definitely see the jersey and assume he is the key to championships and the franchise will die if he gets cut. Or think we can trade him for the 1989 version of Michael Jordan.

TheGrantNapear
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May 17, 2024 12:03 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

He will make for nice depth in Stockton China.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 17, 2024 11:52 am

I prefer my corn flakes with milk, thank you very much.

TheGrantNapear
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May 17, 2024 12:02 pm

Another MM special.
An unathletic older player.

eddie41
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May 17, 2024 2:42 pm
Reply to  Greg

I was still dunking like that when I was 40.

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 7:24 am
Reply to  Greg

Yeah. The obvious issue with this roster is a lack of length and elite atheticism. Perhaps I should have stated JS isn’t an elite athlete. Just my opinion, but that’s that’s the kind of players MM needs to target. Just look at the teams that are left playing right now, they have size and athletes.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
May 18, 2024 8:37 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The Nuggets have been one of the most unathletic teams in the NBA for years. The Warriors weren’t especially athletic either during their dynasty either.

This sounds like a new requirement that you just made up.

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 11:21 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

This sounds like a new requirement that you just made up.

There’s no requirements, it’s just my opinion, and you have yours, as we all do.

The Nuggets 2 stars are unathletic type players but they made it a point to balance that with Gordon and KCP. Which is why many of us here have been pushing for MM to get a 4 that fits and makes sense next to Domas and KM.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 18, 2024 12:43 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Nobody here ever makes up requirements.

Have you seen the last 15 minutes?

AnybodyButBagley
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May 17, 2024 12:58 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I don’t remember ever seeing him. Sounds like you have seen him.

Is he not capable of running?

Who are the old unathletic guys MM has brought us?

Last edited 1 month ago by AnybodyButBagley
TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 7:25 am

23 to 24 is old for a rookie.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 18, 2024 12:34 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

That is an odd metric.

Kfan
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May 17, 2024 1:38 pm

slaWson and slaMson are the yin to each other’s yang

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 17, 2024 2:58 pm

The Kings have only 1 second round pick this year so keeping Slawson around for another year on a two-way seems like an ok idea. I doubt Jordan Ford returns and Mason Jones is a possibility, so that definitely leaves one spot open. It may come down to who the Kings take in the second round and if he sticks.

On a side note, who as the last 2nd round pick the Kings drafted that stuck around and had an impact? IT? It seems to me the recent ones that were solid were traded away on draft night. Gary Trent Jr and Xavier Tillmen both went to other teams and have made a career for themselves. It’s been quite a dry spell for 2nd round picks in Sac. It’s kind of a bummer when you see so many 2nd round players making impacts on teams elsewhere.

To name a few the Kings could have had in recent years: Aaron Wiggins, Isaiah Joe, Paul Reed, Sam Merrill, Terrance Mann, Jarred Vanderbilt, Bruce Brown, De’Anthony Melton, Isaiah Hartenstein, and Dillon Brooks. In many cases the Kings had multiple opportunities to get some of those guys.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 17, 2024 3:23 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The 2014 NBA Draft.
Sacramento had the 8th pick and greedily snatched up a Michigan Wolverine who hailed from Canada. A saucy good selection, who some thought was the size of Klay with the shot of Curry. The who even recruited crowd source and local non-scouts to verify his masterful opinion. Good Times!
In that same draft, Sac had the 37th pick and traded it to the Toronto Raptors for James Johnson. Toronto chose DeAndre Daniels.

The 41st pick presently occupies the 5 spot for the Denver Nuggets and was born in Serbia, not Joking.

You hit some, you miss some. As you point out – Sac has many more misses than hits.

Jman1949
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May 17, 2024 5:15 pm

comment image&ct=g

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 17, 2024 9:32 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

you know, we look back and can guffaw and curse at the unbridled audacity of The Little Chap – it’s called chutzpah by some – but just imagine if the luck of the player picked actually worked out!

We’d have to deal with the fallout of positive reinforcement and we’d likely be discussing a record 18th season of playoff drought.

Silver lining!

Hobby916
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May 17, 2024 4:20 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Jaden Hardy was drafted by the Kings and traded to the Mavs in draft night. He had some decent games for Dallas. But he essentially was picked by Dallas.

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 7:26 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Seems like a lot of teams find rotational players in the 2nd round, the Kings are not one of them.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 18, 2024 12:36 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Undrafted players start for this team. We don’t need the draft.

murraytant
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May 17, 2024 3:34 pm

Kings passed on Trace Jackson Davis to pick Slawson but TJD would not have signed due to desire for a full contract.JS is a reach. Doubt he makes the NBA, but his highlights look good.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 17, 2024 4:27 pm
Reply to  murraytant

I’d like more details on that. Can a player say “I won’t play for you unless you sign me to a regular contract,” especially when 2nd round picks don’t get guaranteed deals? I thought that was forbidden in the NBA draft. Maybe it’s time to have 2nd round picks to have fixed salary scales like the first round players do?

eddie41
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May 17, 2024 4:36 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I was reading online something like that also. wanted to go lottery and at some point in the 1st round was telling teams not to draft him. it’s all hearsay. but I think that happens more frequently than we realize.

will be interesting to see how the draft goes this year with the 2nd round occurring the day after the 1st round.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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May 17, 2024 5:44 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Didn’t Austin Reeves to something similar? I hope this doesn’t mean that two-way deals and the G-league kill the second round because players don’t want their rights tied up to a team that may not sign them to a regular deal.

eddie41
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May 18, 2024 8:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

not sure. Austin Reeves was not on my radar so I wasn’t google searching him. no-one mentioned him on this site either.

I think the 2nd round has always been tricky like that. without the guaranteed contract, either side can walk away. so, actually, having a day between the 1st and 2nd round might help them figure it out, without compounding the chaos in the 1st round. I like the change.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 17, 2024 5:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Agents rule the draft
(to a large extent) IMO

Last edited 1 month ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
AnybodyButBagley
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May 17, 2024 8:12 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Didn’t Sasha basically do that?

When he was originally drafted.

SuperShaka
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May 18, 2024 10:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Last year was the first time 2nd round picks could sign guaranteed contacts similar to 1st round picks (like Colby Jones did). Agents negotiating with teams on contract specifics before drafting players in the 2nd round has happened for years. Hinkie drafted college players who were willing to agree to be domestic draft and stashes.

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 2:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

can they say that? yes, his agent, Mike Dunleavey’s brother, did exactly that. Said- I want the new second round sign option- sign a full contract with my drafting team and that’s what the duds did brother to brother.
Kings’ perspective- had 4 centers- DS, Quetta, Len and JaVale. This guy should have gone to G League as a two way but nope. He had connections’, while he rebounds, he can’t shoot away from the hoop. That said, I had him on my second-round list- at least in the Slawson slot.
Second round picks CAN sign full contracts with the mother team. C. Jones did that. I wonder if you can only do that once a year or something.

eddie41
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May 17, 2024 4:43 pm

here’s a prospect to consider: Baylor Scheierman. questions about athleticism, sure. but in a weak draft, it’s a 6’7″ sniper who can dribble, pass, make plays, rebound, and run the pick n roll. he might seem kind of dorky, but it’s kind of cool to idolize Pistol Pete.

eddie41
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May 17, 2024 5:20 pm
Reply to  eddie41

I mean, would anyone be surprised if he went out on an nba court surrounded by good teammates and dropped 20, 5 and 5 with good shooting percentages and a 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio? I wouldn’t

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 17, 2024 6:02 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Could be a tall Jimmer Freddete or Nick Stauskas 2.0 or the second coming of Jason Kapono

Could be Duncan Robinson 2.0 or the second coming of Joe Ingles

He’s 23 1/2 years old. He’s into the second round on “The Big Board”.

He’d likely get a higher billing if he was a EuroLeague player.

Who the heck knows? In the right system, he’s a win as a bench stalwart… or … he’s a Stockton King filler.

I have to believe that in the grand crapshoot GMs and their system (scouts, analytics) just don’t want to gamble too early or too late on any of these players.

I just know that my job or my reputation are unsullied by these picks.

Now- let’s see how this Knicks v Pacers game plays out…

Last edited 1 month ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
eddie41
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May 17, 2024 6:35 pm

the Pod-man at Golden State did okay. it’s a really weak draft.

the thing is, the Kings need a long switchable PF or a rim-protecting stretch 5 to play next to Sabonis. Is that player in this draft and available at #13? probably not.

Fox says every good team builds around 2 to 4 players and the rest is length and shooting. check. Sabonis says he needs to be surrounded by shooters at every position. check. team needs another playmaker in the bench unit if Monk leaves. check. team has to figure out how to continue scoring after the all-star break when the game gets more physical. check. Coach Brown wants more sprays. check.

Only issue is defense. He might need to play with a shot blocker. every team seems to have one. at least in the second unit, there will be one.

Jack
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May 17, 2024 7:01 pm
Reply to  eddie41

For the PW I like Jalen Smith. Kings can get him in FA. 6’10” can shoot the 3, can protect the weak side rim rebound and is a good shot blocker. Only 24 and rising.

eddie41
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May 17, 2024 11:12 pm
Reply to  Jack

yeah, that has been mentioned a lot here, and I think it is a good idea.

RikSmits
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May 18, 2024 2:45 am
Reply to  eddie41

Yeah, mainly by Jack.

Jack
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May 18, 2024 6:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Give me your idea. Might be better. If so I’ll take it.

Hobby916
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May 18, 2024 7:01 am
Reply to  Jack

What price do you think for Jalen Smith? Would it take the BAE, or the full/partial MLE?

I don’t see the full MLE, so maybe they can use part of it on him and then another depth guy?

Jack
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May 18, 2024 11:15 am
Reply to  Hobby916

IMO it would take at least part of the mle. He makes about 5 mil. now and will opt out to go as a FA. What’s great he can play PW or center and is switchable.

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 3:19 pm
Reply to  Jack

here is the problem: “he can play PF or center” Problem is he does not play, he sits. Why? I would take Toppin or Siakem if he would sign.

Jack
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May 18, 2024 3:40 pm
Reply to  murraytant

We would never get Siakin without breaking the bank. I’d take Smith over Toppin. Smith can play different positions is younger and cheaper. In the middle of last years season Siakim went down and Smith filled in really well. Check out is 36 minutes stat. Will be surprised.

RikSmits
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May 18, 2024 7:05 am
Reply to  Jack

My idea would be not to mention him in every single thread. We got it after the first 20 mentions. Really.

But feel free to ignore.

Jack
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May 18, 2024 11:18 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Sorry but some commentators don’t use the thread everyday so when they ask I would like to mention him so they can look him up. If it bothers you then I can stop mentioning him. Your choice.

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 3:01 pm
Reply to  Jack

I know every player has a fit but Jalen Smith sits behind Turner, Siakem, I. Jackson and Toppin. He got benched.
Will he fit better in Sac?

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 2:58 pm
Reply to  eddie41

At #13, there are possibilities for tall guys: Filipowski- 7 foot, some blocks and can shoot at 3 levels. Thin and weak. Ke’el Ware – 7 foot or above, some shooting skill, blocks shots. Thin and weak, DaSilva- shorter at 6/10 maybe can shoot, D is questionable. and Kidjane Saluan- 6/10 and can shoot, does not rebound, is, like 18 so needs time.
All except Ware could play next to DS. Kings are missing this skill set.
I fear that if MM does not sign they try to draft his replacement at #13. but it took MM 5 years to become good Monk

Monte Morris is a good second unit play-maker if MM goes and some of the redundant guard aster traded for big name.

Jack
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May 18, 2024 3:42 pm
Reply to  murraytant

IMO an established player would be better for someone you are going to get at #13.

49taylaners
May 18, 2024 9:43 am
Reply to  eddie41

Scheierman is Sasha 2.0, hopefully without the injury bug. I think a good get in the second round

eddie41
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May 18, 2024 11:34 am
Reply to  49taylaners

I’m thinking as a possibility at #13 actually.

Although one can compare Scheierman and Sasha in their shooting, rebounding, processing, and athleticism, what Scheierman also can provide is ball handling, passing, playmaking, and a pick n roll game in the manner of a Pistol Pete disciple. It would be a nice ingredient to add to the team.

He is Monk insurance for playmaking off the bench.

Hobby916
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May 18, 2024 12:45 pm
Reply to  eddie41

You come up with some random players that are projected to be mid 2nd round picks or possibly undrafted and want to take them at #13.

eddie41
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May 18, 2024 1:54 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Haha. I changed my mind on Harrison Ingram. I would not consider him at 13, but he might be a late first with a Royce O’Neale outcome if he can shoot set threes at a good percentage. Total bust if he doesn’t.

It’s not absurd to look at players projected in the 2nd. Jalen Williams was a 2nd rounder until the combine and then got drafted 12. Jaime Jaquez 18. Christian Braun was a late riser on the draft board. Happens every year.

We know Scheireman is a shooter and a playmaker at 6’7″. that is fact.

Hobby916
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May 18, 2024 2:14 pm
Reply to  eddie41

I still like Ja’Kobe Walter, McCain, Da Silva, and maybe Kel’el Ware if the shot seems legit.

We will see in the next few weeks, post-combine and when individual workouts happen. Some of the “higher” ranked guys will drop, and some others will get more consideration.

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 3:09 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

agree with Hobby. and add Filipowski and Saluan but he is rising and IMO will be gone by 13, despite the tender age of 18.
Edey is rising !
Ware probably can’t play with DS but adds lob threat and shot blocking.
Kings have 6-7 guards and unless MM leaves and some of the others are traded, why add another guard even if BPA?

Hobby916
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May 18, 2024 3:15 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Regarding the guards, even if Monk returns, Huerter, Jones, and Davion need to be upgraded and/or the team needs find guard that can combine their size and skill.

McCain can handle the ball, shoot, and plays solid defense. So I like him over Davion, who has been disappointing.

Walter is a shooter with playmaker potential, and a solid worker defensively (albeit he isn’t great on that end). He also has length, with room to grow his skills.

BPA is subjective, and I hope McNair gets a good one at #13.

Jack
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May 18, 2024 3:46 pm
Reply to  murraytant

IMO most of those guards will be traded along with #13 to secure more established players.

eddie41
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May 19, 2024 6:28 am
Reply to  murraytant

I like Salaun also. Physically he looks like Sochan while at Baylor. Maybe even more athletic and could still be growing. promising shooter. fixable issues on D like ball watching.

eddie41
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May 19, 2024 6:47 am
Reply to  murraytant

regarding your question of why to draft a guard, I think the two priorities this offseason are (1) resigning Monk and/or adding another playmaker who can shoot and run the pick n roll, (2) upgrading PF, and (3) adding more talent. I’m not sure an upgrade at PF will be available at #13. So that might have to be accomplished through free agency or trade. I think Scheierman would solve #1 as Monk insurance, and if Monk stays, he’s still a talented player.

eddie41
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May 19, 2024 6:09 am
Reply to  Hobby916

McCain is a shooter and that has to be considered. But if you’re looking at a 6’2″ shooter who mostly plays off the ball and does not move like Curry, why not look at a 6’7″ shooter who is a better playmaker and can also run the pick n roll.

I like Da Silva as a 1st rounder, but I don’t think he adds anything that the team does not already have in Huerter and HB.

Ware seems like he’ll be a headache for whoever drafts him. highlights look great, but watching him play is another story. I don’t get the appeal for Walter.

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 3:03 pm
Reply to  eddie41

at 13????? gosh no, way too high. Get size at 13.

eddie41
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May 19, 2024 6:32 am
Reply to  murraytant

yeah, he and Salaun are in my top 13. After looking at the players projected to go in the top 11, I bet they’ll be in my top 10.

RikSmits
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May 18, 2024 2:49 am

Love the intensity of the Knicks – Pacers series. Every attempt to get a shot up is a struggle to get a sliver of space. Every rebound is an actual battle. Just going nonstop at it for 48 minutes.

Like having 10 Domases on the court every damn possession.

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 7:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

There’s a reason why those teams are still playing, in the Knicks case, injuries be damned. They got dogs!
Even the Mavs, tanking for the pick that landed Lively and then trading for Gafford and PJ got them some dogs. Dogs turn non-dogs into dogs with their relentlessness. Kyrie and Luka are actually playing good D, especially Kyrie. It’s wild how a few shrewd moves can change a team so quickly.
MM take notes.

Dan Houlder
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May 18, 2024 8:40 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

LOL

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 11:23 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Mature.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 18, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

The clarity and depth of detail in your comments sets a new standard.

Jman1949
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May 18, 2024 9:43 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

And we’d probably improve our free-throw shooting!

comment image&ct=g

UpgradedToQuestionable
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May 18, 2024 10:38 am
Reply to  Jman1949

I thought Air Bud was headed to Phoenix

Jman1949
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May 18, 2024 10:57 am

I’m just hoping the L****s commit “malpractice” by hiring JJ Redick as their HC!

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 11:24 am
Reply to  Jman1949

That would be epic. One can only hope.

AnybodyButBagley
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May 18, 2024 12:40 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

They already have a head coach. That hasn’t changed in a long time.

Last edited 1 month ago by AnybodyButBagley
TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 12:58 pm

“I’ll give the Lakers coaching search committee free advice today – LeBron isn’t a superstar anymore and AD will never be one. Now be sure to use those Truths when evaluating candidates and u might select someone u keep for longer than two szns!”
-George Karl

Jack
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May 18, 2024 3:49 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

How about Walton? He was a Laker.

Jack
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May 18, 2024 3:48 pm

2 years is a long time? Probably not in the Lakers case.

murraytant
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May 18, 2024 3:11 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Moves ?? Siakem to Pacers. OG to Knicks and the new Mavs. Does make a difference

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May 18, 2024 10:42 am

These second round playoffs series have been so Trick or Treat – I feel like Forrest Gump should be on the pundit shows
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It certainly makes for a wonderful attraction-
unless it’s another blow out!

TheGrantNapear
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May 18, 2024 11:25 am

Two maybe three game 7’s, I’ll take it.

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