Danny Ainge needed a big win. After amassing as big a pool of assets as anyone’s ever produced, he let both Paul George and Jimmy Butler get traded for pennies on the dollar. He didn’t even offer anything for Butler and was only going to take George after signing Hayward, which the Pacers didn’t want. Had he also failed to land Hayward in free agency, the inevitable rumbling of his managerial ineptitude would surely have gotten louder.
But Ainge got the deal done. He signed the biggest fish in the pond to a four-year, $128 million max contract, creating a legitimate Big 3 of Hayward, Isaiah Thomas, and Al Horford. In an Eastern Conference that watched two perennial all-stars get traded to the West, Boston’s all but solidified itself as second place in the East.
Now, Ainge could be considering the idea of flipping some of those assets in a trade for Marc Gasol. Man, it must be good to be a Celtics fan right now.
Of the 31 players to receive votes for an All-NBA team, only nine were from the Eastern Conference. Every Western Conference All-Star received an All-NBA vote, including Butler and George, who were traded to the West this summer.
East All-Stars Kemba Walker, Kevin Love, and Anthony failed to garner any All-NBA consideration.
Instead, Western Conference snubs like LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Karl-Anthony Towns, Damian Lillard, and Nikola Jokic stole votes across the board.
Now, only one of ESPN’s Top 14 players to enter last season remain in the East (you can probably guess who that is.) According to FiveThirtyEight, 22 of the top 30 players — ranked by a slew of advanced metrics, including a three-year rolling average of Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares per Cheap MLB Jerseys Free Shipping 48 minutes and Player Efficiency Rating — reside in the West.
Even Brook Lopez, whose numbers were hidden Cheap Nike Eagles Jerseys beneath a paltry Nets record, was shipped to Los Angeles for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.