I had my boys over a couple of nights ago and we had another debate about players. Who'd you rather have and why?
David West or David Lee?
Chris Bosh or Al Horford?
Rudy Gay or Kawhi Leonard?
Serge Ibaka or Taj Gibson?
Kevin Martin or JR Smith?
This just for one yr or for your franchise going forward?
No, change that to right now, but you can state who you'd take going forward.
These are my picks going forward:
David West or David Lee? David Lee. He's a little younger than David West, and a pretty underrated NBA player. He has a very developed NBA post game and is a top-notch rebounder in the league. He's also a very underrated passer for a big man. If this were for this year only, I would have probably taken David West, as he had a very solid season, but as far as going forward, I think David Lee should be the consensus pick.
Chris Bosh or Al Horford? Al Horford. There is just something about Bosh that irritates me. Probably the fact that he is very soft on the block, and that is why I would choose Horford. Horford still has a lot of good years of basketball left in him, and he is already a dominate post player in the league already. He can bang down low, and can also step out and hit an open jumper. Even though Bosh can spread the floor, I will take the more consistent player in Al Horford.
Rudy Gay or Kawhi Leonard? Definitely Kawhi Leonard. I don't like Rudy Gay much. Sure, he is freakishly athletic and can score pretty well, his inconsistent play and questionable shot selection makes me shy away almost instantly. The fact that you add Kawhi Leonard to the mix guarantees my reluctance. Kawhi Leonard is a great defensive player and can guard almost every position. He is also developing a nice offensive game which I think will explode in a few years for the Spurs.
Serge Ibaka or Taj Gibson? I like Ibaka here, simply because of his potential offensively. Every season he has improved, and he has added a nice perimeter jumper throughout the years, occasionally hitting threes this season. Whenever I think about Ibaka, I think of a raw defensive player who is transitioning into one of the better power forwards in the NBA, especially on the defensive end, averaging 3 blocks per game. I do like Taj Gibson and I think he will play very well once Boozer leaves town, however I just think Ibaka is a better player to build around.
Kevin Martin or JR Smith? This was the toughest one, but as far as building for the future, I'd take J.R. Smith because he is much younger than K-Mart, and when he is on, he can knock down shots over anybody in the entire NBA. He's a bit of a chucker, which scares me as an NBA GM, but whenever he plays under control, he is a very forceful player that should be feared as one of the top offensive talents in the entire NBA.
Can we take financial reasons into account?
David West- He's a legit post presence with toughness and defense. Lee has improved defensively, especially his team defense, but individually he can still get abused
Long term, it's a tough call West is 32 y/o and Lee will be making ~15mill for 3 more yrs. Lee could end up looking like a Boozer contract.
Horford- better toughness and defensive ability. Bosh is an elite mid-range jump shooter, probably the best in the league now, but Horford's not too shabby from the same distance. Going forward? Horford for the same reasons. Plus he's 2 yrs younger on a brand new "bargain" contract.
Leonard- This would strictly be for financial reasons. I think Gay is the better player now and will be for the foreseeable future. He's just not worth the max. I'd rather spend that money elsewhere. With no financial reason taken into consideration, I'd take Gay pretty easily. Even if he is inefficient, he's the more dynamic offensive player who can be a factor defensively as well because of his ranginess.
Ibaka- Gibson's a better defender overall. He doesn't just block shots like Ibaka does. In fact, he lead the entire league in defensive adjusted +/-. But his offense is sporadic. At least Ibaka can space the floor and hit the open jumper consistently. If Ibaka doesn't at least get tougher and become a better man defender, I'd be very wary of his contract though going forward.
Kevin Martin- If they're both gonna disappear in the playoffs, at least Martin will do that while being unobtrusive and taking good shots. He's taking good shots, ones that normally go in at a high rate, they're just not falling. Plus there's the whole knucklehead aspect. I wouldn't want JR Smith on my team regardless of the veteran presence on my team. He's just an idiot through and through and I don't see him changing any time soon.
David West or David Lee? David West - I feel like West is a bit better offensively and more of a leader/team-guy. As for Lee I think he's the better rebounder and hustler of the two but I'd take West by a slight edge.
Chris Bosh or Al Horford? Chris Bosh - Bosh has been there and done that, he's been the go-to guy(Raptors) and been a solid starter for a championship team(Heat). Horford on the other hand, seems to be stuck in mediocrity.
Rudy Gay or Kawhi Leonard? Kawhi Leonard - This one is tough, but Leonard is younger and I feel like he's already on Rudy's level or at the least very close. They're pretty dang similar though, so I'm just giving it to the younger guy.
Serge Ibaka or Taj Gibson? Serge Ibaka - This is the only one I didn't really struggle with. Serge is younger and just better overall. I'm not saying Gibson is bad because he's not, he's one of the best bench players in the league, but in this case I don't think it's that close of a comparison.
Kevin Martin or JR Smith? Kevin Martin - This was probably the hardest one, one is a saavy sharpshooter and the other is a complete wild card that can play like an All-Star one night and a Rookie the next. I think J.R. is hands down the more skilled player, but it's the inconsistency that makes me shy away.
Agree on all of these, except that I'd probably go David Lee for the reasons that you mentioned. I just like the motor that he plays with.
This debate was easy.
West - I love what Lee brings (other than defense), but West brings a lot of the same things and some toughness and leadership.
Horford - horribly under rated player. Put him in Bosh's place in Miami and I think he gives you the same offensive numbers (though not the automatic from midrange game), with much better defense and more consistent and improved rebounding numbers.
Leonard - I don't like inefficient guys. I do like guys that I feel play hard on both sides of the ball. I think Leonard is making a nice progression. Not sure if he will be the star that Pop says, but he can be a very valuable role player. I do think you will see him do a lot more once his role gets expanded. Unlike Gay he is willing to play within the offense.
Ibaka - Gibson is the better defender, but Ibaka has a better combination of defense and offense. The fact that he can hit a jump shot with consistency helps too because you can pair him up with different kind of bigs without guys getting in the way of each other. Not trying to rag on Westbrook, but I think if he would look for his shot a little less and get Ibaka more involved that he would evolve much more quickly.
Martin - as much as I would love to say Smith, he scares me. The same reason that the Hornets shipped him out so quick, Karl didn't want to deal with him, why Chicago got rid of him for nothing and why he made under 2 mil a year last year.
David West or David Lee? Lee. He's more active around the basket.
Chris Bosh or Al Horford? Bosh. He's still really talented, but gets lost in the shuffle with Wade and James.
Rudy Gay or Kawhi Leonard? Gay. He's just better.
Serge Ibaka or Taj Gibson? Ibaka. Younger, more athletic, and still improving.
Kevin Martin or JR Smith? Smith, although I wouldn't want either.
First I'd take David Lee because I know what I'll get out of him night in and night out. That's a double-double. He chases the board consistently and that's what I need. David West is tougher and a much better shooter IMO but it doesnt translate to better stats than Lee.
I'd take Chris Bosh over Al Horford because Bosh is a better scorer and not too far behind on defensive end. He's money from the midrange is always a threat on offense. Horford is versatile also and has more of a mean-streak but I would think Bosh would be the best option to throw the ball to and expect a bucket.
Rudy Gay over Kawhi Leonard because he Rudy is a much better player. I think Kawhi's niche in the NBA will always be a defensive player and an opportunist on Offense. I couldnt see him being a 1st nor 2nd option ever. IMO Rudy Gay, only 26yrs old, is next line after KD, Melo, and Lebron. some people have Paul George before him, but I'm not ready to do that yet. Rudy is a proven clutch player and a problem for anybody 1-on-1. He has isnt as efficient as I would like him to be, but I still he has that Superstar capability in him. Hopefully a full season with Toronto will be his breakout year.
JR Smith over Kevin Martin because I think JR Smith is more of a complete player. Martin is very reliable, however I dont think he can be a second scoring option on a Championship Caliber team. I think he can be one of the best 3rd options in the league. For me, JR can be the Go-to- scorer on a team. Plus he's a superior athlete and more versatile on on Offense and defense. He can get his shot off from anywhere and is athletic enough to finish plays at the rim. He's also capable of guarding the 1-3. His only criticism is his shot selection which has improved and should continue to.