One of the elements of the NBA’s super team phenomena that I find equally interesting and frustrating is the amount of veteran players that want to join a team for less money than they’re worth to go chase a ring. This happens in the MLB and NFL too, but it’s far less common because the “super team” concept isn’t as tangible. Yes, you have a better shot at winning a Super Bowl with Patrick Mahomes than you do with Gardner Minshew, but it’s no guarantee that the Chiefs are going to win the Super Bowl or even make the AFC Championship game every year.
In the NBA it’s different. When you can put together a team with three of the best talents in the world, that Conference Finals trip is all but guaranteed. The Brooklyn Nets are experiencing that right now after signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant last offseason and trading for James Harden in the middle of this season. Even with a less-than-stellar record of 24-13, it’s basically a lock at this point that the Nets are going to have a chance at winning a seven game series to advance to the NBA Finals. And it’s at this point in the year where big name free agent signings and trades are going to start flocking to Brooklyn.
The first domino fell last week when the Pistons bought out the rest of Blake Griffin’s contract and he almost immediately signed for a minimum value price tag with the Nets. After being screwed over by the Clippers, I don’t blame Griffin at all for wanting to go to a team that gives him the best chance to win, but it’s still funny to watch him take far less money than he is worth to go be a sixth man on a super team. Then, today we got this tweet.
Of course, this came from Chicago Bears All-Pro receiver Allen Robinson and not an actual NBA news source, so the “scoop” has to be taken with a grain of salt. But let’s be honest, there is some likelihood that this could happen right? Why have just DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin when you could have DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, and Andre Drummond?
That’s the thing with these super teams. They never can have enough players. Remember LeBron’s Heat teams? Ray Allen was basically a seventh or eighth man and ended up hitting arguably the biggest shot of Bron’s tenure in Miami.
Stars can’t get to these locations quickly enough because they know that they’re going to be given a great chance to win when they do. Even if they don’t find themselves immediately cracking the starting rotation, Griffin or Drummond or whoever else they bring in is going to have a chance to make a name for themselves in the NBA Finals. And if they want to run it back next year, then great. And if they don’t? Well, at that point, they can just take their ring and go get paid somewhere else.
I can’t wait to see where the rest of these guys land. I’d have to assume both LA teams and maybe Milwaukee will be signing some big name free agents for small time roles. It’ll set up some good “All-Star” teams for this year’s playoffs.
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