Welcome back folks! A lot to discuss I wasn’t able to post a blog last week but that won’t happen often. A lot has happened, let us get right into it!
Trade Deadline Deals with Dukies
Jabari Parker – Washington Wizards
Jabari’s run with his hometown Chicago Bulls is over after playing 39 games for the Bulls. Parker signed a 2-yr/$20 million deal with the Bulls before the season that now gets passed on to the Wizards, though the second year of the deal is a team option. That means the Wizards could decide this offseason to not pick up the second year and let him become a free agent.
Parker’s NBA career has been unfortunate so far. 2 ACL tears on the same knee is enough to set back any player no matter how talented, but oddly it has not stopped him from getting buckets. In 41 games this season, Jabari is averaging 14.2 PPG which is pretty good, however it is hard to see the Wizards wanting to pay $20 million for that next season. Jabari will in all likelihood be a free agent next summer and the future is very uncertain for him. I believe he will end up with a team, but cannot see him making more than $10 million.
Jabari made a really stupid comment in the offseason when he said that guys get paid to score the ball in the NBA and only 2 people in NBA history have been paid to play defense. To a certain degree there was an accurate point that could be made, good offense beats good defense so you’ll pay someone for the offense, but coming from Jabari who has been a bad defender in the NBA was a bad look. He is not a good defender in the NBA and not a great 3 point shooter, which leaves him in a weird in between place.
Wishing for the best for Jabari in Washington and we will see what happens with his contract and free agency in the summer on a team that is not going to the playoffs.
Rodney Hood – Portland Trailblazers
Rodney Hood will now be a member of the playoff bound Portland Trailblazers, who now become the NBA team with the most Duke players, joining Seth Curry and Gary Trent Jr. To me this trade could not have been better for Rodney Hood. Once LeBron left Cleveland who in their right mind would want to be at that franchise, and Hood goes to a team that has needed help at the SF position for years now. Hood was traded for former lottery pick Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin IV and two future second round picks.
Hood’s stock is down after his trade from the Utah Jazz the the Cavaliers. Portland will give him another opportunity to show what a promising and dynamic wing shooter and scorer he is. This is a guy who LeBron wanted to join him in Cleveland as they went after titles. Things didn’t go great for Hood in Cleveland but a strong end to this season and a some good playoff exposure for him could be exactly what his career needs as he enters free agency this offseason.
Hood averages 12 PPG this season, just 2 behind Parker, yet is on just over $3 million this year while Parker is on $20 million. A bit of a head scratcher, but hopefully a new organization and opportunity will be the best for these 2 who are still only in their 5th seasons in the league.
Big performances last week
JJ Redick – 34 points vs Denver Nuggets
JJ Redick is still that dude. And that dude is averaging a career-best 18.7 PPG thanks to nights like Friday night when he went off for a season-high and team-high 34 points in a home win against the second best team in the West. The 34 points were all important points in a 7 point win for the Sixers against another team battling for top playoff position. In the era of one-and-done Duke basketball players it is easy to almost forget about Redick who has been in the league for so long and rarely makes headlines behind Simmons and Embiid.
But Redick is having his best season as a pro!
Redick has been remarkably consistent this season, scoring between 15-25 points in seemingly every game. Redick is getting the most shots per game in any season in his career, at 13.8 per game and producing well. This is exactly why Redick wanted to re-sign with the Sixers. It is a team that desperately has needed perimeter scoring and has plenty of length and defense around him to cover. The addition of Tobias Harris makes this team even scarier and adds more length around Redick’s shooting. As much as I love watching the guys in Boston it would be incredible to see Redick possibly in the finals with Philly this season.
Marvin Bagley III – 32 points vs Phoenix Suns
Marvin Bagley is really starting to turn up for the Sacremento Kings. The Kings have been very slow to turn the keys over to Marvin Bagley, preferring the rookie come off the bench and earn his time in the league rather than starting him right away. Since the new year, Bagley has had a 22, 24 and now 32 point game, earning the trust of the team and getting more minutes as the season has progressed. His shot is still coming along and the percentages are not great, but Marvin even against NBA guys looks like a freak out there.
Now with Zion this year and RJ breaking all of Bagley’s scoring records and with Duke failing to win anything of significance last year, some will forget how dominant Bagley was. The guy is an absolute freak, a 6’11 pogo stick with a high motor and a desire to dominate on the offensive end. His hook shot looks great and he is beating slower big men to the hole who have to step out with him as his jump shot becomes more and more respectable in the league. And also…..he is doing this on a winning team, possibly a playoff team. Sacremento looks like they have a promising future and Bagley is going to be a major part of that!