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Experts Analysis

3 Things: Rubio in Cleveland, Trade Tickets & Wall sitting out

by Jared Johnson
Updated On: September 28, 2021, 8:26 pm ET

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Ricky Rubio expected to get a “ton” of minutes


In one of his first interviews as a member of the Cavs, Ricky Rubio said that he’s looking forward to filling a mentorship role in Cleveland, but he expects to do so with significant minutes on the court.

“They expect me to come in and be the veteran, but not just veteran, with minutes on the court,” Rubio explained. “I think one of my main things is I lead by example. I’m not going to be just talking, talking, talking and sitting on the side saying you have to do that or this. I’m going to be the first one over there in practice, diving on the floor, whatever it takes to really get it going.”

A source of Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, confirmed Rubio’s statement, saying he’s anticipating the 30-year-old PG to earn a “ton” of minutes operating as the team’s secondary ball-handler, which is bad news for pretty much everyone in Cleveland’s backcourt. To make matters worse, Rubio feels that he’s in his NBA prime and the best shape of his career after an impressive Olympic run, so he’s not talking like a guy who doesn’t expect to be a sizeable portion of the rotation.

“I think I’m back on track. And I feel like I’m in my prime with my career,” Rubio said. “I can bring a lot to the table. I feel the best I’ve ever felt.”

Both Darius Garland and Collin Sexton impressed me with their growth last season, but they were also the top-2 minutes-getters on the team with playing time in the mid-30s, and it’s tough to see that playing out the same way with Rubio on the roster. This team essentially has three, starting-caliber, point guards on the squad now, so I could certainly see this situation devolving into a three-way timeshare in which no one truly emerges with elite value. For that reason, unless Garland falls outside the top-75 – something I don’t anticipate happening – I’ll probably be avoiding this situation entirely this upcoming season.


Trade Tickets!


On Thursday, Sept. 16, NBA Top Shot finally announced the introduction of their trade ticket system, something they initially teased way back in May. If you’d like a refresher on exactly what these trade tickets are, you can refer to the original column I wrote on it back then, but here are some of the key takeaways from last Thursday’s announcement.


1 Moment (regardless of tier) = 1 Trade Ticket


The Moments that are traded in are sent to an account that Top Shot created called, The Locker Room, and then those Moments are bundled up and spit out in sets of three in the form of a Locker Room pack. So, essentially, a Locker Room pack is a random assortment of recycled Moments.


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On Tuesday, Sept 21 at 10 AM PDT, NBA Top Shot will hold their first Stress Test using the Trade Ticket system, in which you will be able to exchange three Trade Tickets for a Locker Room pack that will include 3, Series 2, Base Set Moments. Based on the wording in Top Shot’s blog post, with them specifically saying the Stress Test will only include “Series 2, Base Set Moments,” then I’m guessing the WNBA Moments, the Christian Wood Holo Icon and the handful of MGLE’s that people have traded into the Locker Room will not be available. However, there are some decent serials and Top Shot debuts amongst the Series 2, Base Set Moments currently in The Locker Room, so I think it’s worth it to show up for that first Stress Test and hope for the best. Worst case, you’ll trade in three crap Moments and get three crap Moments back; even trade.

Top Shot also announced that they will have another Trade Ticket Stress Test just before Series 3 is released, but they did not provide any details beyond what it will cost: 3 Trade Tickets for 1 Locker Room pack.

However, perhaps the most important caveat that came with the announcement of the Trade Ticket system was that Top Shot revealed Series 3 Moments will have significantly larger circulation counts than anything in Series 2, and Series 3 Base Set Moments will only count for 2 points towards your Collector Score. That info is huge because it essentially guarantees that non-star, Series 3, Base Set Moments will be borderline worthless, whereas the value of Series 2 Commons (that come with a Collector Score of 12) will be exponentially more valuable – regardless of the player. For this reason, I have been scooping up as many cheap, Series 2 Moments as possible, because I think these Moments will explode in value once folks start trying to juice their Collector Score in the cheapest way possible ahead of the first Legendary, Series 3 pack drop. If you’d like to see the Moments I grabbed, you can check my work here at Moment Ranks.

Lastly, the final stage of the Trade Ticket system will involve the first release of their Series 1 Reserve Packs, but these Series 1 packs are expected to cost 300-500 Trade Tickets, and they will not be doing their first release until they have a lot of Series 3 Moments in circulation. I’m certainly not interested in trading in 300-500 of any of my Series 2 Moments for a shot at a Series 1 Reserve Pack, but I might think about doing so if I’m able to acquire 300 Series 3 Moments at $1 a pop. Most likely, I’ll be sitting that one out, though.


John Wall will not play for Houston


Shams Charania of The Athletic broke news that the Rockets will look to find a new home for John Wall and that he won’t even suit up for the team while they try to trade him. That’s excellent news for both Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green, as it’s now much easier to see how the minutes will be distributed in Houston’s backcourt. KPJ and Green will start, and both those guys should be headed for big seasons, so I have both on my draft day radar. Porter Jr. might not cost you much more than an eighth-round selection, but I’ll be reaching for Green in the 60-70 range because he looks like a special talent to me.

Jared Johnson

A hoops fanatic, Jared Johnson has been a member of the NBC Sports Edge team since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Jae_Tha_Truth, and feel free to send him your questions regarding trades, draft strategies and all things fantasy basketball.