With the NBA season officially tipping off last night, there was a ton of stuff to read and watch and absorb and engage with. Unfortunately the day job kept me super-busy so I barely consumed any of it! Alas. Here are a few things I did manage to catch up on:
1. NBA 75 (25 of them, anyway)
I don’t think I can muster the energy to debate who should or should not be on this list (there are many, many great basketball players!) but it is damn cool to see Steve Nash on. there:
First 25 members from the NBA's official Top 75 list: pic.twitter.com/HUnerRqjkE— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 19, 2021
2. Ben Simmons in exile
On the one hand, I’m completely tired and over the Ben Simmons/Philadelphia 76ers standoff.
On the other hand, if this is the comedy gold we’re gonna get from it... keep it coming, I guess!
Sixers coach Doc Rivers threw Ben Simmons out of practice today and the suspension came shortly thereafter, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
3. The Kings stay the Kings
It wouldn’t be a new NBA season if you couldn’t ask, “What the heck is going on down there in Sacramento??”
Excel Sports’ Jeff Schwartz — the agent for Sacramento’s Marvin Bagley — weighs in on Kings’ handling of former No. 2 overall pick: https://t.co/YJ1aDxMnCO— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 19, 2021
“Informed he was not in the rotation” is just a plain weird thing for any franchise to do, with any player, but why would Sacramento do this to Bagley? He’s not a great player, but he’s fine; it’s not his fault he was drafted ahead of Luke Doncic and Trae Young by an inept front office, and it’s not his fault that his draft position means he’s overpaid for his role.
I guess I get the Kings’ desire to move him, if he doesn't fit with their plans and they don’t want to pay him... but he’s there! Why not continue his development and get as much value as you can? I don’t know.
Time to put him in a Ben Simmons trade, I guess.
4. Isn’t this a Toronto Raptors website?
Um, yes, and there was a brief sprinkling of news coming out of the final day of practice!
First, we found out that Sam Dekker and Isaac Bonga’s respective contract guarantees have been moved back a couple weeks...
FYI on Toronto— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) October 19, 2021
The contracts for Sam Dekker and Isaac Bonga were set to become guaranteed on the first day of the regular season.
Both players moved their guaranteed date to Nov. 6.
I would expect Toronto to be under the tax at the end of the season. https://t.co/njp7qpmESH
... which basically means one of them is likely to be waived once Chris Boucher and Yuta Watanabe return from their preseason injuries, as it’ll help the Raptors stay under the luxury tax. Kind of a bummer for those guys to make the team only to become a cap casualty!
Meanwhile, the team also picked up the third-year options on Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn.
The Raptors have picked up their third year player options for 2022-23 on Malachi Flynn and Precious Achiuwa, a formality.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) October 19, 2021
Pretty much business as usual for players going into their second years!
5. Oh yeah, the games!
As happens far too often, the offcourt drama nearly overshadowed last night’s games. Thankfully we got to watch four all-time greats deliver great performances. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant both had 32-point double-doubles. Steph Curry had a triple-double. And Old Man LeBron dropped 34/11/5. It’s year 19!!
Naturally, some players are still shaking off the rust...
Enjoy tonight, everyone!