Money Matters – ESPN Insider took a look at how superstars’ salaries compared to their WARP (wins above replacement player). Predictably, LeBron and Durant play at a level that is nearly double their contract value. The next six guys whose value rates as higher than their contract are:
Russell Westbrook ($25.5 million on-court value)
Chris Paul ($24.8 million on-court value)
James Harden ($22.6 million on-court value)
Stephen Curry ($21.5 million on-court value)
Blake Griffin ($20.7 million on-court value)
Tim Duncan ($20.3 million on-court value)
That’s another way of saying Harden is a top-five player. Long live the Beard.
Rivals – The fact that the Rockets passed on Kawhi Leonard to draft Marcus Morris will always be a sore subject for me. But the fact that Morey later picked Parsons in the same draft (almost) makes up for it. 5-on-5 debates Kawhi v. Chandler, and here’s one of the pro-Parsons takes:
Frankel: Parsons. He might be the most underrated dunker in the NBA this side of Alonzo Gee. Hopefully we can get a few “Chandler Bang!” calls on Friday night.
Still, the writers took Leonard in a 3-2 decision. Anyone else seeing parallels to Rocky here?
Morality – The Basketball Jones debates whether Mark Jackson was right to tell his guys to foul to prevent the Rockets from breaking the 3-point record on Tuesday. Skip to the 15-minute mark. (Note: the TBJ guys aren’t always family-friendly).
Jawjackin’ – After nailing a three in the face of the greatest three-point shooter of all time, Harden proceeded to get in that future HOFer’s grill to remind him, presumably, about the value of personal space.
James Harden looks in the mirror, and sees pride.
Dunkface – Had enough of James Harden? Me neither. Kevin Zimmerman of Valley of the Suns would like to see him in the dunk contest:
Probably known for his Euro step more than for his dunking, the Houston Rockets guard is one of the more underrated athletes in the NBA. Creativity is part of Harden’s game, and that always bodes well in the dunk contest. And beard props are worth brownie points.
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