And we’re back! This actually takes a lot longer to go through than expected, but I’ll kee them coming throughout this and next week. I can’ really say these guys are better than those, but the players on this list are all contributors to their teams. Some of these guys are paid, and some are looking to cash in at the end of the season. With that, let’s run through the list.
First it was Tony Parker, now it’s Kyle Lowry. Every game Joseph waits for Lowry to twist an ankle or tear an ACL. Joseph is the king of “self-check”. He shoots a lot, but not the best shooter, takes tough jumper and doesn’t assist well. Perfect fit for the Raptors.
Joakim watches himself as the Ghost of Chicago Bulls past. Injuries have slowed him down, his at-the-rim field goal percentage is the lowest it’s ever been. Without a jumper, scoring, or putback ability, his diminished skills will continue to keep his minutes limited and his name on the trade block.
That Cavaliers loss to the Warriors continue to bless the players not named Lebron James. With MCW gone to the Bulls and Kris Middleton gone for most of the season, Delli-Meat is taking advantage of the time. 50% FG, 45% 3pt, and 100% FT. Not bad for a bench guy.
Ten years ago, Olynyk would be on the end of the bench getting no minutes. In this day and age, he’ll be getting a 15 million a year contract this offseason. Offseason shoulder surgery is keeping him out of the lineup, but when he returns he’ll stretch the floor for the Celtics. He reminds me of Brad Miller, but more athletic.
I don’t know why they hate this guy. Okafor has all the moves and post prescene you need from a big man, but with the new NBA, he’ll be lost in the shuffle. With Embid showing promise, he can’t get on the floor with his lack of defensive ability. He’ll be traded to someone, eventually, and he’ll score in the post.
Finally he’s here, but how is he ranked above Okafor? He’s a stretch four, but doesn’t shoot a good percentage from inside the three. Without Simmons and Noel, he’ll get some shine and a chance to show himself with the uptempo pace for the Sixers.
Last year he took 8 shots per game, this year, 2 shots this year. His minutes and his production is down, but his defense is the reason he was a high draft pick last year.
T.J. Warren has really stepped up his game the past two seasons. His midrange jumper has improved and his energy has lifted his starting role. With these contracts being given out, Warren could easily be a third scorer in Phoenix or the next team that goes after him. He’s averaging 23 ppg in 36 minutes a game, so i’m sure Phoenix will keep he and Devin Booker together.
No defense, tough shots, pats the rock, and still going hard in the league. For some players, you have to find the right team, situation and offensive structure to shine. With the Clippers, they need him to be who he is. His points, minutes, and production is down across the board, but it’s early. He was picked in the 2000 Draft, so that’s respect in my eyes. The fact that he and Austin Rivers both got paid and Rivers still can’t take his minutes is a testament to Doc the GM.
I can’t tell which twin this is, but he is producing. He’s averaging 18 ppg, which is needed with Reggie Jackson out of the lineup. He’s the perfect stretch four with an inside game. Are these empty stats or important stats for the Pistons? We’ll see if he’s a viable option when Jackson returns from injury.
He’s 30, he’s paid, he’s big, and the Lakers don’t have anyone else to fill the center position. I don’t know why he’s on the Lakers, and by the time he’s 32, David Blatt will take him.
With the new uptempo pace for the Kings, Cauley-Stein is on the outskirts of the rotation while the Kings go small. He and Cousins don’t fit well on the floor with Cauley-Stein not having an offensive game yet. He’ll be a trade chip soon, and he will flourish.
Last year he was a novelty, this year he has staked his claim early for the Heat. Johnson is averaging 15.3 ppg, and 50/50/90 for his percentages. People hate he got paid, but he may turn into a gem for the Heat in the long run.
We were all surprised he was extended for 64 million, and so was he. He can clean up on the boards, score sometimes in the post. He’s getting Al Jefferson’s leftovers in minutes and money.
He’s average. He’ll still be on rosters, but hasn’t been the same since the injury and the Knicks trade.