As we highlighted in our NBA preview last fall, the Los Angeles Lakers have built a substantial amount of their considerable success as a franchise on the backs of Hall of Famers — Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the like.But recently, the Lakers have been in the midst of a Hall of Famer shortage. In 2015, Kobe Bryant’s 2.0 wins above replacement (WAR) were the only L.A. victories generated by players likely to make the Hall (according to Basketball-Reference.com’s Hall of Fame probability metric), this coming on the heels of a 2014 season that saw only 1.5 WAR come from Hall hopefuls. The past two years represent the fourth- and fifth-fewest WAR the Lakers have ever gotten out of probable Hall of Famers in a single season.Los Angeles general manager Mitch Kupchak has been working hard this week to end the drought. With the Lakers owning the second overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft, rumors were flying about whether L.A. would cast its future in the hands of a rookie or trade the pick for a promising veteran.Regarding the latter strategy, L.A. was reportedly in trade talks with the Sacramento Kings over mercurial center DeMarcus Cousins, one of the best big men in the league. But it’s unclear whether he’s the future Hall of Famer the Lakers so covet. If we zero in on the Hall of Fame odds for a player with a specific WAR total at a given age,1Using a logistic regression model there’s a 34.2 percent probability that Cousins will be Hall of Fame-worthy based on his output thus far. He’d need to beat his previous career high by more than 2.5 WAR next season just to give himself a coin flip’s chance at the Hall going forward.Perhaps that’s partly why L.A. ultimately turned to the draft instead — and selected guard D’Angelo Russell, to whom our model assigns the highest probability of superstardom in the 2015 draft class.2The “superstar” designation isn’t completely synonymous with a Hall of Famer, since each draft contains about twice as many future Hall of Famers as superstars.According to our model, Russell is a boom-or-bust prospect. On top of his class-leading superstar potential, he also has the highest “bust” probability of any player ranked among our top 25 college prospects. Russell’s usage rate and shooting efficiency were off the charts as a freshman, implying that he has the potential to be an elite NBA scorer if his skills translate, but he might not have as much to fall back on as other prospects if not.In other words, drafting Russell was a gamble. But it was a good one for a franchise traditionally fueled by a pipeline running directly to Springfield. Los Angeles has always been a dream destination for free agents, trade targets and rookies alike, but snagging a future Hall of Famer is still a lot harder than L.A. has made it look over the years. And sometimes it requires taking a chance on a high-risk/high-reward player to keep the talent flowing.
You may experience mixed emotions before getting your first tattoo. Think hard before you take the plunge so that it’s not an impulsive decision, say experts. Tattoo artists have rounded up some important points you must consider before getting inked: Choice of tattoo design: Tattoos are forever. It is a permanent piece of art on the skin. One should go in for a personalised, meaningful design and take suggestions from the tattoo artist as well. It should never be done in a hurry. One should never regret getting any of their tattoos. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfChoosing the artist: Just because a tattoo shop is in your neighbourhood, doesn’t mean you have to get it done there itself. Make sure you’ve done enough research about the place before you get the tattoo done. It is important to check the reviews, authenticity and work of tattoo artist/studio. Once you find a reputed artist, visit the studio for a consultation. Inspecting the studio: The most important thing about getting a tattoo done is to get it done at a safe and hygienic shop to avoid catching any infection or other diseases. The shop should be clutter-free and may smell good. But, one needs to make sure that all tools are sanitised.
The gold shares opened down a hair at the open of the New York equity markets yesterday morning…but they didn’t stay there long…and by shortly after 10:00 a.m. they were in positive territory…and remained there for the rest of the day. The small rally that gold had in early electronic trading lit a bit of a fire under its associated stocks…and the HUI rallied right into the close…finishing almost on its high, up 2.94%. Despite silver’s rather sluggish price performance yesterday, the silver shares did pretty well for themselves, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up a respectable 2.87%. I note that gold has now broken above its 50-day moving average Gold traded flat until about lunchtime Hong Kong time on their Tuesday morning…and from there developed a negative bias that lasted until shortly after 12:00 o’clock noon in London. From there it rallied back to unchanged by the close of Comex trading in New York. But in the electronic market that followed, the gold price added another ten bucks or so going into the 5:15 p.m. EDT electronic close. But after Monday’s big run-up in price, it was a surprisingly uneventful day. Gold closed the New York trading session at $1,347.70 spot…up $12.50 from Monday. Volume, net of roll-overs out of the August delivery month, were pretty light…around 103,000 contracts. Both platinum and palladium ran into selling pressure in late Far East and early London trading yesterday…but both rallied back as the Tuesday trading session wore on. Platinum finished up a few bucks…and palladium finished down a few bucks. (Click on image to enlarge) Yesterday was the cut-off for Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report…and I’ll be more than interested in what the numbers show when the CFTC posts them on its website at 3:30 p.m. EDT on that day. In overnight trading, most of the gains that gold and silver chalked up in the Tuesday afternoon electronic trading session in New York, were quickly dispatched during Far East trading on their Wednesday…and nothing much has happened since. Volumes are nothing special…and the dollar index isn’t doing much, either. I have no idea what to expect during the New York trading session today. Will prices continue to rally, or will JPMorgan et al engineer a ‘failure’ at the 50-day moving average? Or will it be another quiet day? Who knows. Not me, that’s for sure. JPMorgan may have an idea, but whatever they have planned, they certainly won’t be letting anyone know in advance. See you here tomorrow. Bron says that “This, is backwardation!!! (Click on image to enlarge) With the July delivery month winding down, there shouldn’t be too much in the way of surprises between now and next Monday. But, for whatever reason, the CME didn’t update their Daily Delivery Report with yesterday’s activity, so there is no Issuers and Stoppers Report for Tuesday. I must admit that I was surprised to see that there was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday. This time it was 48,307 troy ounces…and as of 9:26 p.m. EDT, there were no reported changes in SLV. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. There was more big moment in silver inventories over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. They reported receiving 605,399 troy ounces…almost all of it into JPMorgan’s warehouse…and they shipped out 1,144,722 troy ounces. The link to that action is here. In gold, these same depositories reported receiving a smallish 9,920 troy ounces…and all of it was received by Scotia Mocatta. The link to that activity is here. Bron Suchecki from ‘down under’ at The Perth Mint, lays the backwardation issue to rest with these two charts that Nick Laird…also from ‘down under’…provided. Bron posted the current gold chart that everyone says shows backwardation in gold…and as Nick Laird said in this column last night…”That’s not backwardation.”