A couple of years ago. I proclaimed that we were entering the “Golden Age of the Big Man”. I had a feeling that the players that were blessed with the skills and the height from the basketball God’s would own the NBA once again. I thought players like Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and other young, hungry Big Men would take their talents and dominate the league.
I know when I say these things I’m up against the game itself which is more preferred to the point guard rather than the big man. But if these Playoffs told me anything, is that big men are still valued. Oklahoma City have gone big against the Golden State Warriors and well will you look at that, they’re going 7 games. Bismack Biyombo was essential to the Toronto Raptors grabbing two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers. They’re worth something.
One NBA Scout talked to Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman about the upcoming free agency which features a few notable big men. He analyses a few and compares the worth of big men to everyone else.
“I would say it’s moved up the scale,” he said of rim protection as he completes his latest season-ending scouting reports for his Eastern Conference team. “But I’d still rather have a versatile wing defender.
“I mean, take [Celtics guard] Avery Bradley, someone who can actually defend a pick-and-roll at the point of attack. More than 35 times a game the point guard is going to run the pick-and-roll. Having someone who can impact that is just as important, or more so, than allowing the play to get to the rim.”
That’s fair enough, understandable. If you can’t defend the pick n roll you might as well just end the season. But the big man is always part of the PnR whether it’s the screener or the hedge.
Focus moved onto Bismack Biyombo who is testing free agency waters, the Scout has seen values north of $14 Million and he finds that a little steep.
“To me,” the scout said, “that is a total reach. I’d say $12 million, and a good portion of that is the bump up from there’s a lot of money available. There’s an over-priced factor. But $17 million? $18 million? That’s absurd.”
“From what people told me, yes,” the scout said. “But he is more than that. He is a much better version than Biyombo. He can score. You’re not playing four on five.“
But he didn’t totally take in what Hassan Whiteside is selling. The league is a scorers league, all 5 players need the ability to get buckets. Playing good D and that’s it won’t get you the big money.
“I just think the rim-protecting stuff is overrated,” the scout said. “Look, Whiteside led the league with what, three [actually 3.68 blocks per game]? So figure even four or five more he impacted. But out of how many total shots? Defense is more than that. There is the scheme. It’s rotations and a five-man deal.”
Now I would still give Hassan Whiteside the max and Bismack Biyombo will get paid, there are many teams that could do with a young player like him, he’ll get offers.
I still believe big men are important, otherwise the NBA would be 4-on-4.