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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/13/20 1:29 pm    ::: New York Liberty 2021 Reply Reply with quote

Well, what needs to happen?



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J-Spoon



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PostPosted: 09/13/20 1:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Welcome to the Thuderdome!

survival of the fittest

Ionescu/Clarendon/Kea
Durr/Johannes/Jones
Nurse/Odom/Willoughby/Talbot
Zahaui B/Allen/Walker/Holmes
Stokes/Han/Shook

lottery pick, pick 16 (Washington), 2 3rd round picks

Free agents

"20 women enter, 12 women leave."


Randy



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PostPosted: 09/13/20 8:18 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Good one J-Spoon!



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myrtle



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PostPosted: 09/13/20 9:12 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

One hellava training camp, (if there is one), and they still aren't likely to be very good.



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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/13/20 11:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

bluedevilaztecfan5 wrote:
[Stokes is] a solid rebounder and defender. Expanded yet inconsistent range. Roughly 1/4 is not ideal for post players.

An overpay, but like Bob said, for one season. We have the space.
I don’t mind having Stokes as a bench backup option.

The problem is, the team doesn't as of yet have a post option that would allow Stokes to come off the bench. Especially if Zahui B. doesn't come back.



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bluedevilaztecfan5



Joined: 16 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: 09/13/20 11:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Who are y’alls free agent targets and hopes? Who do you want to re-sign?

Under contract:
Ionescu/Clarendon (protected)
Durr/Johannes/Jones
Nurse/Willoughby/Walker
Odom
Stokes/Han/Shook

2021 Draft picks:
Lottery Top 4, 16th (WAS), 25th, 29th (WAS)

RFA:
Kea, Holmes, Talbot?

UFA:
Zahui B, Allen

Reserved:
Raincock-Ekunwe?


bluedevilaztecfan5



Joined: 16 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: 09/13/20 11:56 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Stormeo wrote:
bluedevilaztecfan5 wrote:
[Stokes is] a solid rebounder and defender. Expanded yet inconsistent range. Roughly 1/4 is not ideal for post players.

An overpay, but like Bob said, for one season. We have the space.
I don’t mind having Stokes as a bench backup option.

The problem is, the team doesn't as of yet have a post option that would allow Stokes to come off the bench. Especially if Zahui B. doesn't come back.


I do hope we target a big free agent this offseason or next, specifically post options.
Otherwise I suppose I’m happy with her starting one more season Laughing
Okay maybe not happy, but okay with.

I’m excited to have hopefully both Ionescu and Durr back fully healthy 🙏🏽
Adding two playmakers who can get buckets off the bounce helps a lot, Kia Nurse just isn’t that go to player.
So even if it’s AZB and Kiah in the post again, I want to see what we can do with better scorers and shooters.


root_thing



Joined: 28 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: 09/14/20 1:28 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

On the one hand, I'm not surprised that Stokes received a contract extension. As I've emphasized in previous posts, she plays the most minutes. The best way to see who a coach trusts is to look at playing time. However, the timing of this extension bothers me. Did management have to do this just hours after Stokes made 5 of 8 3pt baskets? I can't help but wonder if they reacted like over-exuberant fans, handing out money while feeling giddy. What's wrong with waiting until after the season? Hold some organizational meetings to discuss next steps, make a master plan, then start re-signing your players if necessary. Since we've seen these end of season contracts before, maybe there is some kind of deadline related to extensions. Still, is there such great demand for Stokes's services that this couldn't wait? I can only hope that the rush was because the Liberty got a nice hometown discount.

The Liberty's fortunes will not only depend on who is on the roster next year. How Hopkins decides to approach the season and use his players is equally important. I thought he bit off more than he could chew this year. I like people who think outside the box, but Walt (Kolb too) intentionally chose a difficult path on several fronts simultaneously:

-- 10 new players
-- 7 rookies
-- implementation of a hard-to-learn read and react offense
-- unconventional SFs as PFs alignment (not fully implemented but occasionally tested)
-- starting two players (Odom and Stokes) with team-low scoring rates (measured by minutes or possessions)
-- sink or swim approach to learning during real games (eg, Stokes shooting 3s, Jones playing PG, Willoughby defending at PF)
-- frequent experimentation with line-ups that disrupted continuity

Some of Hopkins's actions were made necessary by the compressed schedule, lack of practice time, and lack of practice bodies. However, a lot of this was by choice. I just think management needs to be a little more conventional next year and less wedded to theory. They should achieve some success first to boost confidence and provide a foundation. Once that's done, then they can test the next new idea.



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J-Spoon



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PostPosted: 09/14/20 9:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Zahui B is apparently an UFA

Should NY core Zahui B? discuss


J-Spoon



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PostPosted: 09/14/20 10:09 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

While I am asking questions

Does Megan Walker have any trade value?

Maybe a little if other teams view her potential from Conn and basically see this season as a throw away?

Why I ask

I do not see all three of Walker, Willoughby and Odom making next years team. therefor to keep Walker it is likely at the expense of one of those other players so follow up

if you can keep only two of

Walker, Odom and Willoughby which two do you keep?

(I feel like Jones has done enough to not be on the list but who knows).


Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/14/20 10:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

J-Spoon wrote:
Should NY core Zahui B?

Does Megan Walker have any trade value?

If you can keep only two of Walker, Odom and Willoughby which two do you keep?

(I feel like Jones has done enough to not be on the list but who knows).


No to coring Zahui B., she'll never be worth a max imo. Take your chances with her in negotiations. Though I already don't like how they brought back Stokes before Zahui B.; I wish it could've been the other way around.

Walker only has trade value if combined with someone else. She absolutely will not have as bad of a season next year as she did this year, her first - the question is, how good will she be?

Odom showed the most out of the three, and Hopkins kept her as a starter most of the season, so she's in. Between Walker and Willoughby, I like Willoughby better at this point - she seems more energetic and still has a 3PT shot like Walker. I don't see that intensity coming from Walker. Although I must say, I don't really like any of these players playing the 4, so I hope with whoever Hop keeps, he keeps them away from the post like that. Confused



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J-Spoon



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PostPosted: 09/14/20 10:32 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I also think we will pursue Allen in her free agency since she was talked up preseason but since she in unrestricted I could see teams like PX, Seattle or even LV if Laimbeer liked her making an offer. Allen is definitely at the point in her career where being on a contender might be more appealing then being part of a rebuild even if she is offered a decent sized role.


root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/14/20 10:48 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Walker was easily the worst player on the team this season. However, to be fair, no one other than Courtney Williams had a good season among players who tested positive and missed training camp. Asia Durr and Erica Wheeler never made it on to the court. Megan Walker, Lauren Cox, Kalani Brown, Glory Johnson, Briann January, Sydney Colson, and Natisha Hiedeman -- their seasons ranged from subpar to terrible. Then, throw in the fact that Walker was the Liberty's top draft pick and considered by management to be a steal. It's a weird situation. She may have some trade value, but if management believes in their original assessment then they'd be selling low. NY could probably get better value for Jones, who performed surprisingly well. With Jaz, they'd be selling high -- but again it depends on their long-term assessment. For what it's worth, Jones is the oldest rookie (24 next month), so she has the shortest runway for development.

Unless they are traded, Jones and Odom will be here. I think Willoughby will make it too because she's been the guinea pig/sacrificial lamb for Hopkins in his limited SF for PF defensive experiments. Jocelyn is also considered their second-best perimeter defender after Odom. On offense, she led the team in 3-pt shooting pct (40.5%). Where she was horrible was finishing around the rim. However, I actually got to speak with Jocelyn for a minute during the Liberty virtual autograph sessions. Being the asshole that I am, I had to bring up the topic of her struggles in the paint. Jocelyn assured me that she's working on it with the Liberty coaches. Also, she'll be playing in Israel this winter so maybe the coaches there can help her too.



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J-Spoon



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PostPosted: 09/14/20 11:02 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Does your assessment mean that you believe all 4 of Jones, Odom, Walker and Willoughby will be on the team next season?

it is possible

Ionescu/Clarendon
Durr/Jones
Nurse/Willoughby/Walker
Zahui B/Odom
Lottery pick (Ch. Collier please)/Stokes

Which leaves one spot for Johannes if she is in for the season and we are done, or re-signing Allen and we are done, if neither of those things happen

we are looking at Kea, Shook, Talbot, Holmes, pick 16 or a different free agent


What makes me less sure about the four rookies above making it are where Kea stands and where Shook stands as well as how fast managements want to improve which would lead to pursuing some free agents I assume selling point get to be a vet on a possibly fast up and coming team if all falls in place with Ionescu, Durr, Nurse returning to form and another strong draft pick.


jmvcity



Joined: 21 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: 09/14/20 11:26 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I hope they keep Kea.


root_thing



Joined: 28 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: 09/15/20 1:17 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

J-Spoon wrote:
Does your assessment mean that you believe all 4 of Jones, Odom, Walker and Willoughby will be on the team next season?

it is possible

Ionescu/Clarendon
Durr/Jones
Nurse/Willoughby/Walker
Zahui B/Odom
Lottery pick (Ch. Collier please)/Stokes

Which leaves one spot for Johannes if she is in for the season and we are done, or re-signing Allen and we are done, if neither of those things happen

we are looking at Kea, Shook, Talbot, Holmes, pick 16 or a different free agent


What makes me less sure about the four rookies above making it are where Kea stands and where Shook stands as well as how fast managements want to improve which would lead to pursuing some free agents I assume selling point get to be a vet on a possibly fast up and coming team if all falls in place with Ionescu, Durr, Nurse returning to form and another strong draft pick.


Honestly, other than Ionescu and Stokes returning, I have no confidence predicting what will happen. Your suggested roster and assessment seem pretty reasonable.

For some reason, Hopkins played Nurse heavy minutes in the last four games (37,33,33,34), and she ended up edging out Stokes for most minutes played. Was that a show of confidence or did the staff want a good look at Kia before deciding what to do with her? Obviously, if Nurse is moved that could open-up another wing spot. Alternatively, does Walt intend to revive the small ball idea next season? If so, the Liberty might go with 3 real posts, then use Allen and Willoughby at PF. Personally, I think that would be a disaster, but no one is asking me.



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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 12:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

root_thing wrote:
Honestly, other than Ionescu and Stokes returning, I have no confidence predicting what will happen.

...does Walt intend to revive the small ball idea next season? If so, the Liberty might go with 3 real posts, then use Allen and Willoughby at PF. Personally, I think that would be a disaster, but no one is asking me.


The team could really go in a couple directions.
A) Make 2021 a reboot of 2020 (just presumably with a healthy Ionescu) as it relates to schemes and rotations - starting conventional post players at both the 4 & the 5. We really only saw small ball when the bench came in, and even then, Hop was content to sub in both Holmes and Shook for Zahui B. and Stokes at times. Although, it seemed that he went away from that more as the season went on and he got a little more experimental with the rotations.
B) 2021 can truly be about the full embrace of small-ball, with true perimeter players used at the 4. He should have enough shooters to do it, and I still don't think he'll have talent in the post. I say he may as well attempt this approach as it would play better to his projected team's strengths. It might be a disaster, but then, I don't think it could get any worse than 2020 in terms of wins & losses. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ At least then, Hop should know if that direction is the right one (assuming he remains the coach through 2022).



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Richyyy



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 12:52 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Assuming they at least give it a try, the path could be dependent on who they can attract in free agency. Being terrible usually hurts your chances, but they're still in New York and have plenty of cap space to throw around. If they managed to add, say, Nneka Ogwumike and Natasha Howard, then screw small ball.



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 1:49 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richyyy wrote:
Assuming they at least give it a try, the path could be dependent on who they can attract in free agency. Being terrible usually hurts your chances, but they're still in New York and have plenty of cap space to throw around. If they managed to add, say, Nneka Ogwumike and Natasha Howard, then screw small ball.


Having a player like Ionescu probably wouldn't hurt in attracting FAs. Howard could be very interesting, as you have to think she would like the starring role she proved she could handle a year ago.


root_thing



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 2:24 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

LA does have a lot of people to sign next year: Candace Parker, both Ogwumikes, Gray, Sykes, and Riquna Williams. I don't see Nneka leaving, but Chiney could be the odd woman out. However, with her TV contract, Chiney doesn’t seem to care about money. It wouldn’t surprise me if she stays in LA at a big discount. Howard had a drop-off in performance this year. The official excuse is that Natasha had nowhere to work-out so she came to camp out of shape. I’m not totally buying it, but still, I assume Seattle will find a way to keep her. Realistically, I think the best post NY can sign this winter is Cheyenne Parker. Chicago has some cap issues – if not in 2021, then certainly in 2022 (DeShields and Stevens). Since contracts are multi-year, teams need to adjust a year or two ahead of time. Cheyenne is originally from Queens, so that may also help the Liberty. She’s no All-Star, but Parker has steadily improved each year, and I think she’s better than Zahui or Stokes. Cheyenne even made 15 of 32 3pt attempts for a gaudy 46.9%.

As far as small ball goes, the experiments on defense mostly involved Willoughby. Hopkins tried Odom for a little bit early on, but Leonna got pushed around. Willoughby has the strength to body-up. However, she’s still giving away anywhere from 2 to 5 inches. The true posts are able to simply shoot over her. Candace Parker, DuPree, Meesseman, Alyssa Thomas, Sabally, Hines-Allen – they all looked like mismatches to me. Bec Allen would give NY more length in that role, but she’s 15 lbs lighter than Willoughby. Walker is taller than Willoughby on paper, but I’m not convinced that’s true. She certainly isn’t as strong, and so far Megan looks like a much worse defender. So, who else do they have? Talbot? Strong enough, but she still gives away height. Also, does Talbot have enough upside to keep over the younger players? Forget Nurse or Jones, who are both too short and not strong enough.

In the past, people like Moore and McCoughtry could function as PFs in small-ball offenses because their teams counted on them to outscore their opponents. It's a simple case of superior offense. No one on the Liberty roster is at that level. Note also that many of the best offensive players in the league play PF at least part of the time: Stewart, Wilson, Delle Donne, Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike, Alyssa Thomas, etc. Do you really want to intentionally guard them with an undersized player? We saw over the last few games, as Hopkins increasingly tested Willoughby against these players, that opposing coaches were happy to oblige by running plays for their star posts. Walt said before the season that he had some ideas about how NY could adjust and compensate. But from what I’ve seen so far, Willoughby was mostly left to fend for herself. Very rarely did teammates rotate over to help.



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johnjohnW



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 2:36 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Both PHX and LV overachieved without their star centers this year. Maybe NY could make a play for either of them? Very unlikely but this last off-season had some wild trades we never saw coming.


WNBA 09



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 3:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Id use Stokes as trade bait , not sure why she was resigned. That final play in the final regular season game against Dallas summed up her ability/court awareness & potential for me . #Puzzled



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PUmatty



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 3:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

WNBA 09 wrote:
Id use Stokes as trade bait , not sure why she was resigned. That final play in the final regular season game against Dallas summed up her ability/court awareness & potential for me . #Puzzled


Who would give up anything to trade for Stokes?


WNBA 09



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 3:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

PUmatty wrote:
WNBA 09 wrote:
Id use Stokes as trade bait , not sure why she was resigned. That final play in the final regular season game against Dallas summed up her ability/court awareness & potential for me . #Puzzled


Who would give up anything to trade for Stokes?


In a weak post draft year i think Stokes could have some value .



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Stormeo



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PostPosted: 09/15/20 4:14 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

WNBA 09 wrote:
PUmatty wrote:
WNBA 09 wrote:
Id use Stokes as trade bait , not sure why she was resigned. That final play in the final regular season game against Dallas summed up her ability/court awareness & potential for me . #Puzzled


Who would give up anything to trade for Stokes?


In a weak post draft year i think Stokes could have some value .


I'd do Stokes + Talbot for Dolson, but that's just me...



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