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Thread: General Offseason News

  1. #76
    If these were chess pieces, then yes, BI vs Zion is an easy win for Zion. But they're not just chess pieces. There's a gigantic human element to it and that element makes it to where the franchise can't trade BI....especially for a rookie.

    Griff gets the human element. He has made his entire brand the human element. Pushing the FF for family mindset and saying they're trying to change the culture in NOLA. And he's been super successful doing it. Free agents actually want to come here, now. Players are happy getting traded here and devastated getting traded away. The first to buy into that culture was BI. It's a mistake to not see how much of that family culture he is. If they trade him away, the entire family element brand falls apart. So they just can't.

    Zion on the other hand has been the biggest threat to that culture/family atmosphere. Any time that element is in doubt, it's because of something involving Zion. He's a great chess piece but as a person, he has been a constant thorn in the franchise's side.

    I think Griff trades Zion way before BI to protect his brand.
    Good positive energy.

    But also, yo mama's fat.

  2. #77
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    If these were chess pieces, then yes, BI vs Zion is an easy win for Zion. But they're not just chess pieces. There's a gigantic human element to it and that element makes it to where the franchise can't trade BI....especially for a rookie.

    Griff gets the human element. He has made his entire brand the human element. Pushing the FF for family mindset and saying they're trying to change the culture in NOLA. And he's been super successful doing it. Free agents actually want to come here, now. Players are happy getting traded here and devastated getting traded away. The first to buy into that culture was BI. It's a mistake to not see how much of that family culture he is. If they trade him away, the entire family element brand falls apart. So they just can't.

    Zion on the other hand has been the biggest threat to that culture/family atmosphere. Any time that element is in doubt, it's because of something involving Zion. He's a great chess piece but as a person, he has been a constant thorn in the franchise's side.
    Tell me how much that culture - which has featured veteran only meetings where JV was excluded, constant coach V training staff complaints, reports of teammates being frustrated with BI for refusing to play through minor injuries, etc - has helped us win games.

    Look, if your argument is that you care more about culture than winning, that's fine and I think - from a fan's perspective - that makes complete sense and I'll never argue that you're wrong for valuing that over the win percentage. We come to sports for different things, and I also care about the culture to some extent - not a huge extent, but I wouldn't want to support a team filled with straight up horrible people. I totally get that emotional outlook.

    But that's just not the outlook I have on this move - my value set is different here. I want this team to win games. That's my priority.

    Some might argue that that still means we should trade Zion - after all, transcendent talent he may be, but he doesn't win us game in street clothes does he? That's a fair point, and I've conceded a bunch of times that for Zion the injury concern is THE concern with him. But the reality is that Ingram is just not on his level as a player, and he ALSO has injury concerns, even if they're not quite as dramatic.

    So if we're going to have to gamble on health either way, I'm picking the guy who was in the MVP conversation early this season on the positive contract, over the guy who wasn't that's about to hit with a horrible contract.
    Basketball.

  3. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    I think Griff trades Zion way before BI to protect his brand.
    If Griff is making trades based on what protects his ego, he needs to get fired too.

  4. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post

    So if we're going to have to gamble on health either way, I'm picking the guy who was in the MVP conversation early this season on the positive contract, over the guy who wasn't that's about to hit with a horrible contract.
    Positive Contract???

    The horrible contract begins this year. It doesn't get any worse than 'max-paying' a guy who rarely plays AND who doesn't make it a priority to play.
    The most important ABILITY that a player must demonstrate in order to claim "Superstar Status" is AVAILABILITY!!

  5. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    If these were chess pieces, then yes, BI vs Zion is an easy win for Zion. But they're not just chess pieces. There's a gigantic human element to it and that element makes it to where the franchise can't trade BI....especially for a rookie.

    Griff gets the human element. He has made his entire brand the human element. Pushing the FF for family mindset and saying they're trying to change the culture in NOLA. And he's been super successful doing it. Free agents actually want to come here, now. Players are happy getting traded here and devastated getting traded away. The first to buy into that culture was BI. It's a mistake to not see how much of that family culture he is. If they trade him away, the entire family element brand falls apart. So they just can't.

    Zion on the other hand has been the biggest threat to that culture/family atmosphere. Any time that element is in doubt, it's because of something involving Zion. He's a great chess piece but as a person, he has been a constant thorn in the franchise's side.

    I think Griff trades Zion way before BI to protect his brand.
    If it were an easy win for Zion (even when healthy) no GM would hesitate making that move and they wouldn't use "culture" as an excuse.

    The fact is its not an easy win even healthy. Some can legitimately argue BI is the better player having proven it over more games, at the highest game intensity, surrounded by lesser/younger talent. He'll never get the same press unless he posts a 30/10/10 for two weeks straight. And he certainly still has his closet haters still on this website and local media.

    Zion has had his troubles with teams that are strong and long up front. He still needs to add to his game if this team had to rely on him in the playoffs. BI has already shown to have turned that corner even if he isn't scoring 30. If he only misses 30 games they remain a top 6 seed at minimum with no Zion.

    If he trades Zion it won't be because "culture".
    Last edited by luckyman; 06-13-2023 at 04:13 PM.

  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by As I See It View Post
    Positive Contract???

    The horrible contract begins this year. It doesn't get any worse than 'max-paying' a guy who rarely plays AND who doesn't make it a priority to play.
    Negatives of Zion's contract:
    - It's big
    - He has health issues

    Positives of Zion's contract:
    - It's 5 years
    - It kicks in under the current CBA so the annual raises are lower than they would be if it kicked in on the new one
    - It has built in insurance for if he's not playing, in the form of unguaranteed money
    - Because he didn't play much this year, it's going to be a smaller max than it could have been
    - He has no options whatsoever

    This is why I describe it as a positive asset; long term, it's easy to either trade or even cut him given the unguaranteed money situation, and if his health does look up, it's long term and relatively cheap compared to other deals for comparable players.

    By comparison, BI's new contract will almost certainly not be signed until next summer if it happens at all - so the threat of him walking for nothing will loom over any negotiations. Even if you think BI is committed to the team, you have to admit that it would be silly for him and his agent not to use that threat to push for the best contract they can get. Therefore not only will it likely be the largest contract for which he's eligible (the MAX max, I mean), it also won't kick in until the new CBA and so his annual rises will be higher, and there's no universe in which he accepts a Team Option or unguaranteed money imo.

    And here's the thing: even if you trade Zion for Scoot, or for anything else, you still have that contract situation incoming with BI to deal with. Given the restrictions of the new CBA, are you comfortable giving that deal to someone who is not a #1 option on a contender? I'm sceptical of it.

    Basically, BI's value is at it's highest now, because a team gets two full seasons to evaluate him before they have to commit to an extension, or they could flip him again themselves, and obviously they get all his rights et cetera. Next Summer, that value is going to crater, and you're going to have to bite the bullet on that contract. That is true whether Zion is on the team or not so bringing up Zion in regards to BI's contract is a complete non sequitur.

  7. #82
    I never said culture is more important than winning. Strawmen won't get us anywhere and it's just a disingenuous way to debate. The belief is that culture leads to winning.

    The points being made for Zion over BI are all robotic. Like kids playing 2K. They just take stats and draft profiles from years ago into account.

    Looking at things from a more humanistic approach shows that BI is more valuable to this franchise and city. In the end, I doubt either get traded but I think BI will be in NOLA longer than Zion.

  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    I never said culture is more important than winning. Strawmen won't get us anywhere and it's just a disingenuous way to debate. The belief is that culture leads to winning.

    The points being made for Zion over BI are all robotic. Like kids playing 2K. They just take stats and draft profiles from years ago into account.

    Looking at things from a more humanistic approach shows that BI is more valuable to this franchise and city. In the end, I doubt either get traded but I think BI will be in NOLA longer than Zion.
    And that belief leads me to the question I have asked time and again, but that nobody will answer.

    Where is the winning? I keep getting told that we've built this super valuable culture, that BI is the core of, and that this is valuable because culture leads to winning. Where's the winning? When did it happen? Was there a phantom season I missed?

    Also, as a side note, if you're going to argue that other people aren't contributing towards quality debate, referring to people who disagree with you as ''like kids playing 2k'' is probably not the best way to go about things.

    ''Looking at things from a more humanistic approach shows that BI is more valuable'' - in what way? Where is that value?

  9. #84
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    He has health issues
    Quite an understatement, huh. Let's see:

    2017-18: He had health issues
    2018-19: He had health issues
    2019-20: He had health issues
    2020-21: He had health issues
    2021-22: He had health issues
    2022-23: He had health issues

    There, that's better.

    His body is a biomechanical mess. While the Pelicans are instructing other players on how to function as a team, both, on and off the court. In his case, though, the team has to teach him how to walk.

    If you go back to last year, the injured hamstring (the injury that cost him the rest of the season) was a non-contact injury, Remember? Earlier in the pre-season he injured his ankle on a non-contact injury.

    Sir, the true measure of your "he has health issues" comment cannot be overstated.

  10. #85
    Charter Member PELICANSFAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by new city champ View Post
    Assuming the trade only could happen if Brandon or Zion go out, then Hayward's incoming salary for next season is actually a bit of a discount on either of their contracts. So we would be in a slightly better position than we are today. Hayward would be a fine all around veteran and bench shooter for next year if we chose to hold on to him and then let his deal just go off the books...
    Not when you consider the salary of the #2 pick.

  11. #86
    BI has played his best ball at the end of the past two seasons. He was clutch in the playoffs two years ago, and he was western conference player of the month at the end of this past year. He should be nearly untouchable, as opposed to zion who id love to trade for the 2nd or 3rd pick

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by fullcourtpress View Post
    BI has played his best ball at the end of the past two seasons. He was clutch in the playoffs two years ago, and he was western conference player of the month at the end of this past year. He should be nearly untouchable, as opposed to zion who id love to trade for the 2nd or 3rd pick

    Over the last 2 years, with BI and no Zion, they are *45-42 (including play-ins 47-43) plus a 6-game playoff berth. In which BI rose to another level.

    Half of that was also done with a banged up, poorly playing CJ. Then with mostly 1st and 2nd year role players still figuring things out. And even among them-- you miss a crucial role player in Jose down the stretch.

    That might not be championship contending basketball, but given the circumstances, it's not something a GM would be willing to trade away for a rookie that's expected to be very good, but not generational.

    Then also in favor of a one-level player that hardly plays at all, and hasn't proven he can carry a team and adjust his game when the stakes get higher.


    It would really take some serious crystal balls by Griff to move BI and keep Zion around. I just can't see it.
    Last edited by luckyman; 06-13-2023 at 07:20 PM.

  13. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    Tell me how much that culture - which has featured veteran only meetings where JV was excluded, constant coach V training staff complaints, reports of teammates being frustrated with BI for refusing to play through minor injuries, etc - has helped us win games.

    Look, if your argument is that you care more about culture than winning, that's fine and I think - from a fan's perspective - that makes complete sense and I'll never argue that you're wrong for valuing that over the win percentage. We come to sports for different things, and I also care about the culture to some extent - not a huge extent, but I wouldn't want to support a team filled with straight up horrible people. I totally get that emotional outlook.

    But that's just not the outlook I have on this move - my value set is different here. I want this team to win games. That's my priority.

    Some might argue that that still means we should trade Zion - after all, transcendent talent he may be, but he doesn't win us game in street clothes does he? That's a fair point, and I've conceded a bunch of times that for Zion the injury concern is THE concern with him. But the reality is that Ingram is just not on his level as a player, and he ALSO has injury concerns, even if they're not quite as dramatic.

    So if we're going to have to gamble on health either way, I'm picking the guy who was in the MVP conversation early this season on the positive contract, over the guy who wasn't that's about to hit with a horrible contract.
    I for one would like to know if the culture and comradery on this team is so good why was JV excluded from a vet-only meeting?
    While it may be true that Zion moves the needle more than BI talent wise. Bi has avg 56 games a yr played while Zion has avg only 29. When and if does Griff decide that Zion is going to be career injury prone to the tune of missing 40% or more of the season? Along with the DRAMA that he seems to bring every yr. Would we get more of a return trading Zion than BI? I think so. Do you roll the dice and pray that Zion FINALLY plays 60% plus of the season? Or is it time we get as much as we can for player/players that can stay on the court?

  14. #89
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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    Griff was miserable building a championship around LeBron in Cleveland. If he was miserable then, he can't be enjoying the Zion experience and zero playoff wins.

    Griff wants to win a certain way. He's already won a championship. He knows he can do it, but doing it his way is important to him. None of this can be dismissed when it comes to how he approaches the next 10 days. Zion is unprofessional and always hurt and those two things are related.

  15. #90
    Quote Originally Posted by djrnno View Post
    I for one would like to know if the culture and comradery on this team is so good why was JV excluded from a vet-only meeting?
    While it may be true that Zion moves the needle more than BI talent wise. Bi has avg 56 games a yr played while Zion has avg only 29. When and if does Griff decide that Zion is going to be career injury prone to the tune of missing 40% or more of the season? Along with the DRAMA that he seems to bring every yr. Would we get more of a return trading Zion than BI? I think so. Do you roll the dice and pray that Zion FINALLY plays 60% plus of the season? Or is it time we get as much as we can for player/players that can stay on the court?
    That's the question I'm asking - if the culture is so amazing, why are we constantly hearing discontent from among the team and why isn't it translating into winning?

    In terms of whether we would get more of a return for Zion, I'm not sure - his contract situation is more appealing, but in terms of his overall value I think it's as low as it's ever been, for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, BI's value is peaking - he's played his best basketball in the last few years, and his contract situation is only going to get worse if you leave it. If you want BI, the time to try and get him is now, I think. Those things together might make BI a more attractive get for some teams than Zion is, especially if they are as concerned about Zion's injury history as many Pels fans are.

  16. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    That's the question I'm asking - if the culture is so amazing, why are we constantly hearing discontent from among the team and why isn't it translating into winning?

    In terms of whether we would get more of a return for Zion, I'm not sure - his contract situation is more appealing, but in terms of his overall value I think it's as low as it's ever been, for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, BI's value is peaking - he's played his best basketball in the last few years, and his contract situation is only going to get worse if you leave it. If you want BI, the time to try and get him is now, I think. Those things together might make BI a more attractive get for some teams than Zion is, especially if they are as concerned about Zion's injury history as many Pels fans are.
    In all fairness the "discontent" we have is a joke. Sure there will always be a tad at any job; but overall we got a good group who gets along well with one another. That Ingram crap is bull********. If you go and ask players specifically about it im sure they will express frustraiton, but they were asked- its not like they were bringing it up and venting about it to the media,
    All the drama with zion.... may just be cause of zion for all we know. It's possible he is a creep.... but i hope not

  17. #92


    Love this - ''if they decide to reset the roster, they will work with him''

    He has a no trade clause, of COURSE you'd have to work with him IF you wanted to move him.

  18. #93

  19. #94
    Zion also had a meeting with Griff (or has one coming up) at the Saints facility today.




  20. #95

  21. #96
    Dang. I liked her.

    I also saw someone make a good argument comparing keeping BI to the Wizards building around Beal....essentially in that he's a star but not an all-pro level star....and saying that if we move Zion and keep BI, it would turn us into the Wizards....perennially not ascending to the next level and talking about a rebuild. I guess that would all depend on if Scoot would turn into that all-pro or not but an interesting take.

    Now that I've had a few days, I'm hoping we pass on Scoot and move forward with what we have. The cap hell everyone is claiming we're heading towards is easier avoidable if we keep nailing the draft like we have been.

  22. #97
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    Dang. I liked her.

    I also saw someone make a good argument comparing keeping BI to the Wizards building around Beal....essentially in that he's a star but not an all-pro level star....and saying that if we move Zion and keep BI, it would turn us into the Wizards....perennially not ascending to the next level and talking about a rebuild. I guess that would all depend on if Scoot would turn into that all-pro or not but an interesting take.

    Now that I've had a few days, I'm hoping we pass on Scoot and move forward with what we have. The cap hell everyone is claiming we're heading towards is easier avoidable if we keep nailing the draft like we have been.
    If you keep everything identical and keep running it back, the cap hell is here regardless of what you do in the draft.

    $35m a year to Zion
    $33m a year to CJ
    $40m a year to Ingram
    $20m a year to Trey

    that's your cap gone. $128m in four players. That's before you get to Herb, who's probably getting $15m a year, the salaries of any drafted players, guys like Naji or Jose. We're a second apron team in 2 years at this rate.

    Also, I made the Beal comparison the other day as well, and I think it's a good comparison. If you think BI has an MVP ceiling, I get it, but if you don't, paying him that 30% max is going to be hell if Zion's not playing.

    Edit: said all-star instead of MVP; I meant MVP. Obviously Ingram has all-star in him, he's already been one once.
    Last edited by Pelicanidae; 06-15-2023 at 06:22 PM.

  23. #98


    Full transcript of Woj's answer:

    'Listen, it's hard to trade a player when maybe his value is at a little bit of a low. He played what, 29 games last year? Unless you're getting 2 or 3 in the draft, and I don't think they're getting that, I would be surprised, I would be really really surprised if they moved off of him. Now, teams can quietly test the value of what a player is, Team GM, president, who's close with another GM and doesn't think it'll get out, can make the call one-on-one, hey would you do player X for player Y? And I think that happens more than people know. I'm not saying that the Pelicans have done any of that, I don't know that they have with Zion, but it does happen. But that doesn't mean you're looking to trade a guy, you just want to know what he's worth. That happens all the time. I would say outside of 6, 7, 8 players in the league it probably happens with almost everybody else at some point. He's too talented, he's still too young, you saw in that brief period last year they had the best record in the league right when he went down, or close to it. He's unstoppable - when he's on the floor. So I think you give it at least another year, or two.

    I won't rule anything out, you can't in this league, but I would still be really really surprised if Zion Williamson is not on New Orleans' opening night roster.''

  24. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Pelicanidae View Post
    If you keep everything identical and keep running it back, the cap hell is here regardless of what you do in the draft.

    $35m a year to Zion
    $33m a year to CJ
    $40m a year to Ingram
    $20m a year to Trey

    that's your cap gone. $128m in four players. That's before you get to Herb, who's probably getting $15m a year, the salaries of any drafted players, guys like Naji or Jose. We're a second apron team in 2 years at this rate.

    Also, I made the Beal comparison the other day as well, and I think it's a good comparison. If you think BI has an MVP ceiling, I get it, but if you don't, paying him that 30% max is going to be hell if Zion's not playing.

    Edit: said all-star instead of MVP; I meant MVP. Obviously Ingram has all-star in him, he's already been one once.
    Yeah but what I mean is, we have our picks, the laker picks, and even the Bucks. We have been having some solid drafts getting Jose, Trey, Herb, and I'm digging Dyson's potential, maybe EJ shows out this season. If we keep doing drafting like that, then you let CJ walk for a younger cheaper replacement. You don't sign Trey and Herb to long deals but you trade them before they get the giant deals or also let them walk. So it's not about keeping the entire team together, just the stars, and we keep drafting solidly to support them.

    So one scenario, you trade a star for a young replacement to save from cap hell, the other option you keep drafting young surrounding talent to avoid it. The Saints have stayed competitive for over a decade doing the 2nd option so I could easily see the Pels looking to do similar. Maybe you keep a couple of solid support guys on decent deals and maybe someone like Herb takes a little less to stay here.....but I think that's the type of system they're going for. It's also why we have a history of trading back. In order to do this, there needs to be a multitude of picks.

    And my mind was probably not ready for your Beal comparison. I mean, if Scoot BECOMES the all-pro then a Beal type player is the perfect 2nd. But yeah, the team is only going to be 5th or 6th at best with BI as the star. Now that I've gotten to wrap my head around Henderson some more and can see the option out of.luxury tax nightmare, I'm for keeping Zion.
    Last edited by msusousaphone; 06-15-2023 at 07:11 PM.

  25. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by msusousaphone View Post
    Yeah but what I mean is, we have our picks, the laker picks, and even the Bucks. We have been having some solid drafts getting Jose, Trey, Herb, and I'm digging Dyson's potential, maybe EJ shows out this season. If we keep doing drafting like that, then you let CJ walk for a younger cheaper replacement. You don't sign Trey and Herb to long deals but you trade them before they get the giant deals or also let them walk. So it's not about keeping the entire team together, just the stars, and we keep drafting solidly to support them.

    So one scenario, you trade a star for a young replacement to save from cap hell, the other option you keep drafting young surrounding talent to avoid it. The Saints have stayed competitive for over a decade doing the 2nd option so I could easily see the Pels looking to do similar. Maybe you keep a couple of solid support guys on decent deals and maybe someone like Herb takes a little less to stay here.....but I think that's the type of system they're going for. It's also why we have a history of trading back. In order to do this, there needs to be a multitude of picks.
    You situation involves us shifting the very same high end roleplayer talent that you propose drafting (Trey and Herb) to avoid the cap hell. So you end up with either a team with very top end roster construction where everyone outside of your top 3 is on the minimum or a rookie deal because you can't afford more, or you bite the tax bullet.

    If you bite the tax bullet, the second apron becomes the killer because it ruins your other options (Taxpayer MLE vanishes as an option, draft picks become untradable as far out as they are now).

    You're basically saying that we should let CJ walk for nothing which is terrible asset management, and then just try and surround the top guys with rookie-scale contracts but the issue there is that as soon as they become impactful enough to actually support the stars in winning, they're due their extension and you either have to pay them (in which case, you should have just paid Trey and Herb in the first place) or you trade them to start again and you're stuck in a continual loop where you're just funnelling rookies through a filter without keeping any of them once they're good enough to be impactful because you can't afford it.

    And that's assuming you keep drafting Trey Murphy and Herb Jones when you could just as easily be drafting Jaxson Hayes and Kira Lewis.

    I don't watch the NFL so I'm not going to discuss the Saints comparison, I have no idea how similar the situations are, but within the confines of the NBA your situation doesn't seem to make sense imo.

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