In his sixth season, Davis has shown more polish on his game than ever before, averaging 27.4 points and 10.7 rebounds, but finally extending his game to the 3-point line with some effectiveness (he is making 36.7 percent of his 3s after making 29.0 percent in his first five seasons).
He has had to pick up considerable slack following the injury to DeMarcus Cousins, and in the last seven games, he has done that well, topping 40 points three times and averaging 33.4 points. The Pels are in a tough fight for a West playoff spot, and it will be up to Davis to carry them through.
Redick has embodied the phrase If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it during a successful career as a sharpshooter. During his four seasons in Los Angeles, his off-ball speed made him a reliable target for Chris Paul behind the 3-point line.
The tradeoff was Redick’s defensive ability. He never finished with a positive defensive box plus/minus rating, and he ended his final Clippers season with a negative net box plus/minus. He was also LA’s fourth scoring option among its starters, and that was because the Clippers never fielded an adequate small forward during the Lob City era.
The goal with any trade in the NBA is for both teams to get better. Sometimes, one team wants to win now, while the other wants to shed salary and collect future picks. Other times, two teams have players that fit each other’s needs better than their own. The 2011 George Hill-Kawhi Leonard trade worked out well for both the Pacers and Spurs, for example. But most times, one team gets the better end of a deal, to varying degrees. Some are a complete disaster for one team and alter the balance of power around the league.
He stuck with it, though, and was pretty good doing so. During Lopez’s Nets tenure, only LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Blake Griffin had more win shares among players who averaged at least 18 points and seven rebounds and shot 50 percent from the field. Lopez also left the Nets as the franchise leader in points and blocks. Given all of that, he doesn’t just deserve a tribute video; he might also deserve a jersey retirement.
It’s not often a player defines an entire era of a franchise. It’s even more rare when that era is the first true one in the franchise’s history. That’s Randolph’s legacy in Memphis. He and Tony Allen helped take a team of no-name underdogs to relatively lofty postseason heights. The Grizzlies never made an NBA Finals and only made one conference final with Randolph, but they knocked off higher-seeded teams such as the Spurs, Thunder and Clippers.