At long last.

Before you embark on our final 10 picks (and our bonus reflection at the end), catch up on Part I and Part II if you haven’t yet.

21. Brandon Ingram (JS): I think it’s time to stop thinking about who Ingram was in LA as opposed to who he is now with New Orleans. He has dramatically changed as a player. He went from an inefficient long 2 guy in LA, to high-usage/high-efficiency centerpiece of the Pelicans 14th-ranked offense last season. How did he make this change? If you look at his shot profile, he took over 3x as many…

Where it always gets good.

Just pretend that the NBA didn’t explode yesterday and enjoy! (but first, if you haven’t, read Part I).

11. Trae Young (JS): As I wrote in Part 1, the two things I prioritized above all else when making my board were youth and ability to be a #1 on a very good offense. This Trae pick is the epitome of that philosophy. Box score stats show him averaging 29.6 ppg and 9.3 apg last season. Dig a little deeper and you notice two important things. One is that he was extremely efficient with those points, finishing in the 86th percentile…

We Back.

Not counting the 10,000 tweets I sent, both for work and for play, I wrote exactly three things in 2020: A piece about Kobe Bryant (my favorite thing I’ve ever written), a piece about Vince Carter, and a series on the 30 most important songs in my life. All three were, in different ways, about the past, and its connection to the present through memory.

Justin and I did not do a Franchise Player Re-Draft last winter, and I think that was for the best. …

20 years after the honey dip, the longest-tenured player in NBA History lets go.

I first fell in love with basketball playing NBA Live 2004. It was during the game’s intro (featuring a basketball-themed remix of Chingy’s “Right Thurr”) that I learned about Vince Carter’s iconic dunk contest performance, which he delivered 3 ½ years earlier at The Arena In Oakland. Two years before that, Carter was drafted fifth overall by the Warriors, and was immediately traded to Toronto for Antwan Jamison. My first Warriors memory is of Jamison scoring 51 points on back-to-back nights, defeating Kobe Bryant in a 51-point duel during the latter leg.

In the first basketball game I ever attended…

Kobe Bryant’s death makes many things feel trivial. Basketball is not one of them.

The day that Kobe died, it was my job to stay up all night and monitor Twitter in case the Lakers, LeBron, or another party made a statement. An all-nighter normally represents a chance to write, but my emotions were too raw. So, in an out-of-character move, I posted a photo on Instagram and wrote a caption.

The first comment I received was from Wynter Turner. Wynter attended Sports Business Classroom last summer, where I worked as a social media manager. As the week was moving along and students were becoming more and more immersed in Summer League, my friend…

How the second round of the NBA playoffs brought me back after a strange six months

Shirt: New York Forever. Hat: KC Monarchs. Location: Utah. Sunglasses: Never made it to LA.

As the ball bounced off the front of the rim, my thoughts turned to overtime. Who was in foul trouble? Who was the most fatigued? Which team had the momentum?

The second bounce made me realize that such things were silly to consider. If the Basketball Gods didn’t think Toronto had been tormented enough in recent postseasons, and really thought it necessary to torment them further by dangling this ball on the rim forever, then they certainly were not going to let them win in overtime.

By the next bounce, I had started to warm up to the idea that…

Welcome to the conclusion of the 2019 Franchise Player Re-Draft! If you missed Parts I and II you can check them out here and here. Today, things really open up as Justin Savaso and I take a look at picks 21–30. Enjoy!

21. Paul George (Justin Savaso): Every year we do this re-draft, one specific clump of players- George, Klay Thompson, and Damian Lillard- seem to land in the same vicinity. In 2016, PG and Dame were picked at №12 and 13 respectively, while Klay was the №22 pick. In 2017, we saw Klay rise up to №16 while George…

Welcome to Part II of the 2019 Franchise Player Re-Draft! If you missed Part I, you can check it out here. Today, Justin Savaso and I take a look at picks 11–20 — usually the most contentious part of the exercise. Enjoy!

Note: The re-draft was completed shortly before Victor Oladipo suffered a serious, potentially career-altering injury. Given that this is not a real draft but rather an exercise, we decided it was more interesting to honor the original thought process on why Oladipo was selected where he was.

In other words, we know he’s hurt, but we pretend he…

Welcome to the 2019 Franchise Player Re-Draft! For the third straight year, The Restricted Area podcast hosts Simon Cherin-Gordon and Justin Savaso are wiping clean every NBA roster, acting as GM of all 30 teams and choosing one player with whom to start each franchise.

It may not seem like it, but I promise you this is the only exercise of its kind on the internet. This is not Bill Simmons’ Trade Value Rankings, Nate Duncan and Danny Leroux’s Top 10 Prospects in the NBA, ESPN’s NBArank or a YouTube video you dig up of someone’s 2K19 fantasy draft (though…

Another superstar is potentially on the move. Here’s what makes the Jimmy Butler situation unique, and not so unique.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Another NBA offseason, another All-NBA player requests a trade. What was once a biennial occurrence is now a biannual one, though some guys (Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard) are more direct with their requests than others (Paul George).

Butler attempted the Georgian route, rejecting a contract extension earlier this summer and voicing his displeasure with the Minnesota TImberwolves’ culture and direction. When nothing appeared to be changing, Butler chose the blunter path, as reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jon Krawczynski.

Here are some scattered thoughts on how Butler’s request fits into this growing trend, and what it means…

Simon Cherin-Gordon

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