By: Adam Pasternak
NBA Chatter is SportsNak’s new weekly NBA feature, discussing the past week’s hottest topics in the association. Look for new editions every Sunday/Monday to get your basketball fix!
This week in the NBA has been exciting, especially with the Bucks beating the Cavs in double-overtime last night. Rondo is dropping triple-doubles, Kobe is declining, and James Harden is lighting it up again. While those are all exciting topics to talk about, this week I want to focus on three things: Dion Waiters claiming he should get a max deal this summer, Jamal Crawford showing the Clippers why they were smart to keep him, and rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis taking over the internet with his monstrous put back slams.
Dion Waiters is a Man With a Plan:
I woke up this morning to the news that Dion Waiters declined extension offers from the Thunder because he thinks he can play at home in Philly next year, on a max deal. HA! I’m sorry Dion, I don’t think anyone (even the crazy Sixers GM, Sam Hinkie) would ever give you a max deal. Not now, not ever. He’s averaging 11.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game this year. That is nowhere near max money production. I understand he still has some potential and that playing on a young, inexperienced team at home in Philly could be good for Waiters’ career, but even in that situation he will never be a max player. He will get paid by someone this coming summer, probably somewhere near Jeremy Lamb’s 3 year, $21 million extension with Charlotte. Coming out of college, some compared Dion Waiters to Dwayne Wade. At the time, it did not sound as ridiculous as it does now. He was a good player for Syracuse and showed flashes of greatness. He struggled in Cleveland and honestly, is struggling still with the Thunder. If he can play with extra motivation this season, knowing his play will dictate his contract this summer, he could still get a good deal somewhere.
Jamal Crawford Drops 37 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds in Win Vs. Pistons:
Jamal Crawford is only averaging 13.6 points per game coming off the revamped Clippers bench this season. He has been pretty quiet this year, and his name was all over the rumour mill this past offseason. I’m here to tell you that the Clippers management was right in keeping him with the team. He’s been overshadowed by new bench additions Paul Pierce and Josh Smith, but Crawford truly is the spark off the bench every team needs. L.A has benefited from his play off the bench in the past, and if he gets the minutes, I guarantee they will again. I can’t even count the amount of times he’s come in off the bench and brought the team back from behind and lead them to a win. He’s won a Six Man of the Year award and is a professional scorer that as shown last night, can pass the rock too. He takes over the game when he comes in and when CP3 is banged up or tired, he can take over the point guard spot as well. He’s a very good weapon to have, and clearly the Clippers were right to keep him.
Kristap Porzingis is Taking The League By Storm:
Kristaps Porzingis has taken the NBA by storm early on this season. He’s had multiple monster dunks and is actually playing pretty well, having notched 5 double-doubles already this year. He’s started every game this season, and is averaging 11.5 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game on 39% shooting. He’s got a nice stroke, but it just isn’t falling yet. People have compared him to a more athletic Dirk Nowitzki, which if true is plain scary. If he can get those threes to fall, it will make his life a lot easier. His pump fake will be effective and he’ll be able to get more open looks. He’s in a good situation in New York, in my opinion. He’s got a great passer in Jose Calderon and it looks like he’s already created some chemistry with Carmelo Anthony. He doesn’t look uncomfortable out there either. For most rookies, it takes them a few games to really get comfortable playing, but with Porzingis it looked like he was comfortable right away. Playing professional overseas for the last few years has definitely prepared him well. I can’t wait to see how he pans out over the next few years. I think he really could meet those Dirk comparisons, but we’ll have to wait and see!
That wraps things up for this weeks NBA Chatter. Thanks for reading and be sure to comment your thoughts below and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!