Everybody Should Love Draymond

While everybody has been talking about Klay Thompson’s recent max extension, the Warriors have another contract concern looming: Draymond Green’s impending free agency next summer.

Green is restricted, so the Warriors will be able to match any offer sheet he signs with another team. However, Draymond’s market value has been skyrocketing; with Andrew Bogut going down before last year’s playoffs and David Lee sidelined to begin this year, Green has had a chance to show the world what he’s got in extended minutes, and he hasn’t disappointed at all.

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Drafting Like a Champ

Although there is no blueprint for winning an NBA championship, we have encountered only a few strategies that have resulted in league success. For example, Danny Ainge revitalized the 'Big Three' Strategy by adding Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to Paul Pierce's Celtics. This blueprint was famously followed in the 2010 by the Heat, when Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade teamed up in Miami.  While these triumvirates dominated the media's attention, they depended upon a strong group of role players to complete a championship roster--Ainge's Celtics would not have defeated Kobe and Pau's Lakers without stringy point guard Rajon Rondo or even Glen "Big Baby" Davis, and Miami’s “Big Three” could not have won consecutive titles without timely contributions from the likes of Mike Miller, Shane Battier, and Udonis Haslem.

But signing superstars leaves little money to fill out the rest of the roster. Teams have met this challenge by completing their rosters with efficient role players who demand lesser contracts. Teams like the Heat have achieved this by adding veterans like Ray Allen who have been willing to play for less than market value to play for a contender. While well-known veterans taking pay cuts grab the headlines, the contributions of young players on rookie contracts have proven invaluable to teams looking for contributions at a bargain. This article focuses on the latter group, one that is often overlooked when discussing team building.

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2013-14 Spurs: Breaking All the Rules

Earlier this month, the San Antonio Spurs shocked the world by beating the two-time champion Miami Heat to take home the 2013-14 NBA title.  The result was not entirely surprising—all anticipated a closely contested series—but few predicted the way the Spurs would manhandle the Heat, wrestling them down in five games with three road wins, all while shooting a torrid 52.8% and posting an average point differential of 14.0 (both Finals records in the shot-clock era).

Tim Duncan-led teams have been perennial contenders, so few eyebrows were raised when San Antonio was still playing in June. 

But they should have been. 

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