Steph’s GOAT status — NBA Draft — John Wall 🤑

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

  The Opening Tip

  • We revisit our all-time rankings equation
  • NBA Draft prep
  • John Wall is richer and more well-rested than all of us
 

Tonight's NBA Draft

1. Steph’s climbing up our all-time ranking

A few years ago, we rolled out our equation for deciphering the short list of greatest NBA players of all-time. Surely, you remember.

If not, it’s … 

  • Total number of MVPs + Titles + Finals MVPs. 

At the time, it was simple but effective with one big flaw: Steph Curry didn’t qualify because he’d never won a Finals MVP. Well, that outlier is gone.

Here’s our updated list of most MFTs (MVPs + FMVPs + Titles), which now includes the four-time champ and GOAT shooter: 

  1. Michael Jordan, 17 (5 + 6 + 6)
  2. Bill Russell*, 16 (5 + 11 + 0) 
  3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 14 (6 + 6 + 2)
  4. Magic Johnson, 11 (3 + 5 + 3)
  5. LeBron James, 11 (4 + 4 + 3)
  6. Tim Duncan, 10 (2 + 5 + 3)
  7. Larry Bird, 8 (3 + 3 + 2)
  8. Kobe Bryant, 8 (1 + 5 + 2)
  9. Shaquille O’Neal, 8 (1 + 4 + 3)
  10. Steph Curry, 7 (2 + 4 + 1)
  11. Wilt Chamberlain, 7 (4 + 2 + 1)
  12. Moses Malone/Hakeem Olajuwon/Kevin Durant, 5 

Pretty good, right?

In graph form:

You can argue about the order, but Curry is now undeniably among the 10-15 best players ever, and our MFT scale agrees.

*Another flaw = Even though the award is named after him, Russell has no FMVPs because it wasn’t handed out until 1969, which is the year of his final title, in which the press gave the award to Jerry West.

[READ: The Warriors want more]

2. Daily GIFFuture No. 1 pick

Auburn’s Jabari Smith is presumed to be the Magic’s No. 1 overall pick tonight. Here he is destroying some poor soul in this past NCAA Tournament.  

And here are his freshman year highlights. 

3. Trivia time

Who is the last No. 1 overall pick to win MVP? 

Answer at the bottom.

4. The Kings are about to screw up again

The NBA draft is tonight, which means it’s time for the Kings to do something stupid, like draft Marvin Bagley ahead of Luka Doncic; hit on Tyrese Haliburton then trade him; or use five single-digit picks in a five-year stretch to draft Thomas Robinson, Ben McLemore, Marquese Chriss, Willie Cauley-Stein and Nik Stauskus.

This year’s set up: The first three picks are pretty much a lock: It'll be Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Branchero in some order. 

  • The fourth pick is pretty much consensus, too, in Purdue’s Jaden Ivey, but the Kings appear to not want him, which has left the door open for half-a-dozen teams to try and trade up to get No. 4. 
  • Ivey hasn’t even worked out for SAC, and SAC reportedly is uninterested because it already has two guards in De’Aaron Fox and Davion Mitchell. 

Which means … the Kings will trade the No. 4 pick to a smart team, and Ivey will go on to become the type of player the Kings have tried to draft for the last 20 years.

More draft stuff: 

5. John Wall is a paid king

On Tuesday, the easiest decision in the history of the NBA was made: John Wall let the Rockets know he plans to opt into the final year of his contract, which will pay him $47.3 million. 

  • Wall didn’t play a single game last year (and made $44.3 million)
  • Played 40 games in 2020-21 (and made $41.2 million)
  • Didn’t play a single game in 2019-20 (and made $38.2 million)
  • And played 32 games in 2018-19 (and made $18.9 million)

Quick math: That’s roughly $142.6 million to play 72 games in four years, or almost $2 million per game played.

Here you go John, you dropped this 👑

6.  Quick Hits

7.  Reads

  • Chet Holmgren plays too big on defense to fail [The Ringer]
  • 10 Burning NBA Questions [Bill Simmons Podcast]
  • The Rockets are loaded with picks, projects and patience [ESPN]

Trivia answer:  LeBron


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