Kyrie Irving Traded to Boston Celtics in Blockbuster Trade, Does This Make Them Favorites to Win the Eastern Conference?
Kyrie Irving has been traded to the Boston Celtics in quite possibly the biggest trade since the Celtics acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen back in 2007. This deal came as a shock to many, one moment the rumors hit, and then minutes later the deal was finalized. It was done so quickly no one even had a second to even process it before a deal was made. Cavaliers trading their star point guard to their biggest foe was quite the shock to NBA fans, I mean how could it not be. This kinda stuff never happens. Did the Cavaliers just give their biggest threat the ammunition they need to finally slay the beast of the east that is Lebron James? Well, I don't know about all that.
The Cavaliers are clearly preparing for life after Lebron James. The Cavs acquired star point guard Isaiah Thomas, who is one of the NBA's most prolific scorers, they also received Jae Crowder, a solid all around player, and the Nets 2018 draft pick. This gives them the opportunity to rebuild on the fly after Lebron James takes his talents elsewhere this offseason. They'll have Isaiah Thomas to lean on while in this transition period and they'll end up with a top 5 pick since the Nets are going to be god awful once again this season. They're hoping that pick will turn into the franchise player of the future and at least this time when Lebron leaves the franchise won't completely be in shambles. As for this season the Cavaliers will still be the team to beat in the east. They replaced their scoring point guard with another scoring point guard, they added a top notch defender in Crowder, and they really shouldn't be all that much worse without Kyrie this year. Yes, they have no shot at beating Golden State, although they didn't really have a shot with him, but they'll still be either the 1 or 2 seed in the east. Eventually, they'll meet the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals, which is when we'll really see if the Celtics are ready to take that next step.
I'm still ruling the Cavs as favorites to win the East. Until the greatest player since Michael Jordan is dethroned of his ability to make the NBA Finals, he'll favorite be the favorite to win the East. The Celtics added Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving this offseason, however they gave up a lot of players that contributed to the core values of the team that made them so good. Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder were easily the two best defenders on the team, so there's no chance the Celtics are as good defensively this season, which is what made them so great last year. Yes, the offense will be more prolific when it comes to scoring, but let's not forget it's going to take some time for this new group of Celtics player to learn how to play together and really gel. Kyrie is an isolation player, so will he really be able to elevate the play of the guys around him. He wanted to be the head honcho, now he gets that opportunity, let's see what he can do with it. Can the student become the master, or will Lebron show Kyrie that he's not ready to leave the throne. I cannot wait for the NBA season to start, at least one conference finals will be competitive this season.
NBA Investigating the Los Angeles Lakers for Tampering in Regards to Their Communication with Paul George
The Indiana Pacers are so upset that they were fleeced by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Paul George trade, that they are now blaming the Lakers for the incompetence of their own front office. This story is actually hilarious, there's no merit or facts behind these claims, but it's the dog days of summer, no news in sports has been breaking whatsoever, so the desperate sports media has spun this non-story into something much bigger than it ever should've been. Apparently, the Lakers broke NBA tampering rules by having contact with Paul George while he was still under contract with the Pacers. Meanwhile, what really happened was the Pacers front office wasn't able to bring in another all star caliber player to match with Paul George, so he decided to voice his displeasure with the team, and ultimately say he'd like to play for his hometown Lakers. This decreased his value on the trade market since every other team viewed him as a rental since Paul George said he wanted to go home and play for the Lakers. Now, the Pacers are salty that they basically got fucked over, even though this could've been easily avoided if they were just able to grant George's wishes by putting a competitive team together, so they are taking their frustration out on the Lakers. Trying to sabotage the Lakers future/chances of landing Paul George is just a sad move by the Pacers. When it ends up completely failing, it'll just be the latest embarrassment in a stretch of awful moves made by their piss poor front office.
This whole tampering thing is total bullshit. The Warriors essentially did the same thing with Kevin Durant, didn't they? Throughout the 2015-16 season players on the Warriors were recruiting Durant to the Warriors and that was one of their only threats at the time. The Pacers and Lakers have no history, meanwhile the Warriors only threat in the western conference was Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Not even a mention of tampering in that situation, though. Now, the Lakers get called out for tampering months after the Pacers traded Paul George. Supposedly, Magic Johnson is to blame for this whole debacle. He's the one under fire, but if I know one thing, it's that everyone loves Magic. He'll be able to sway the investigators that'll be interrogating him with ease, so I'm not worried whatsoever. Also, it's nearly impossible to prove a team was tampering, so unless the Lakers left a paper trail, they should be fine.
If by some miracle the Lakers are convicted of tampering they'll certainly have to pay a costly price. They could lose first round picks, they could lose the ability to sign or trade for Paul George, and then the Lakers could lose a potential piece towards the dynasty team they plan of building. It'd be quite the blow for the organization. I mean the Lakers still have Lebron James coming in 2018, but without Paul George joining as well it'll be tough to take down the Warriors. Still, no evidence has pointed to these tampering claims being true, so like I've been saying this is a bunch of bullshit. Sad the Pacers brought it to this point, embarrassing because regardless the outcome of the investigation they'll get nothing out of it. The new president of basketball operations for the Pacers is just mad he got burnt in his first major objective with the team, so now he's trying to cover his ass. Too bad for him that it's just not going to work. So far there's been no proof of tampering and I expect that to remain the same, so fuck the Pacers and their sad sack of an attempt to sabotage the only franchise in the NBA with a shot to dethrone the Warriors in the next couple years.
The Lakers have their starting lineup set for the 2017-18 season after the signing of shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Lakers signed KCP to a 1 year $18 million contract. Before you freak out about that inordinate amount of money it's a one year deal and they had cap space to spend, so it's not a big deal whatsoever, especially with the nature of today's NBA contracts. I don't know if KCP really has a future with the Lakers beyond this year, we'll have to wait and see about that, as for his role with the team this year I believe he's a big acquisition. He gives us a real starting 2 guard, he's only 24 years old on a contract year so you know he's got a lot to prove, and he plays hard on both ends of the floor, something the Lakers really needed after the terrible display of defense they showed last year. Overall, this was a great signing for the Lakers, a lot of potential in this deal, and not a lot of risk.
As for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope he seems like a man on a mission. The Detroit Pistons, the team he was drafted by, offered Pope a 5 year $80 million deal. Pretty nice chunk of change for a guy averaging around 14 ppg. Instead, Pope decided to turn that down, take a one year deal worth a bunch of money, and bet on himself in hopes of getting an even bigger deal after showing just how good he is this season. Hopefully the Lakers don't give him that big deal after he does good for us this season because I just don't think he'll be worth it. However, it will be nice having a player trying to prove his worth to the rest of the league playing on our team. KCP is going to ball out and the Lakers are going to reap the benefits of it this season. A risky move on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's side, however a sure fire move on the Lakers part to lockdown a solid shooting guard for this year. The Lake Show 2.0 is gearining up for what should be a surprisingly solid season.
Carmelo Anthony flat out said he's confident he'll be playing for the Houston Rockets next season. Melo joining forces with Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston would be the NBA's latest super team and a super team filled with half of the famous banana boat. The Rockets have a very deep and great scoring bench, I'm sure they'd have to sacrifice some of those players to bring in Melo for financial reasons, but still they'll have more talent than the Warriors do coming off the bench. In today's NBA everything should be compared to the Warriors because they're the ones with the target on their backs. They're the team you need to take down if you want to be a champion in this league, no on else is gonna do it for them, so every teams goal right now when building their roster is how can we beat the Warriors. It's no an easy task either.
Golden State has 4 superstars compared to the typical 3 superstar model that has been going on for generations, giving Golden State that extra edge that is so hard to overcome. The fact that they also have 2 top 5 players in the league also gives them an unfair advantage. Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and James Harden sounds like it could give Golden State a lot of trouble, but would they really. Maybe 3 years ago when Melo and CP3 were at the height of their careers, but now I really can't see it happening. These guys all love having the ball in their possession on offense whereas Golden State loves to move the ball. That's my biggest problem with what the Rockets are doing, ball movement is key, and a team with Harden, Melo, and CP3 doesn't sound like a ton of ball movement. Who knows, maybe CP3 will be able to mesh it all together and make it work, he'd be the guy if anyone could do it to do that, so there is still some hope for Houston having success against the Warriors even if its slim.
The No. 3 pick from this year's NBA draft, Jayson Tatum, has been beyond impressive in the NBA Summer League thus far. Last night, he faced off against Lonzo Ball and the Lakers, leading the Celtics to a clean win, exploding in the win.
Tatum was regarded as the most NBA-ready scorer, and my oh my has he shown that in his first few games in the Celtic green.
Starting in the Utah Summer League games, in his first game, against the 76ers, Tatum went off for 21 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists, in an 89-88 win. In his second game, Tatum recored a double-double, dropping 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, in a tough loss to the Spurs, who were led by 31 points from Bryn Forbes. Game three was the first game we found Jayson Tatum fall short of 20 points, but he still balled out. He scored 12 points, and recorded 12 rebounds, in a 3-point loss to the Jazz.
Last night, in their first game for the Vegas Summer League games, Tatum had his best game yet, when he lead the Celtics to a 86-81 victory over Lonzo Ball and the Lakers, dropping 27 points, and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Jayson Tatum is going to be a danger to the NBA, and honestly between him, Lonzo Ball, and Markelle Fultz, I see genuine star potential written all over them.
Let'ssssssss goooooooo T-Wolves baby.
Another day, another huge piece added to this young, budding playoff team.
The Timberwolves first made waves when they pulled off the incredible trade of acquiring Jimmy Butler, giving up Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn, and swapping first-round draft picks.
That however, was just the beginning. Last week they signed both Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson, after trading away Ricky Rubio, so they filled that starting PG role with Teague, and added a huge addition at PF, giving Gorgui Deng some much needed help at the 4.
Now, by signing Jamal Crawford yesterday, the Wolves added possibly the biggest piece they needed. They were desperate for help at the SG position, and Jimmy Butler has found himself the perfect back-up, in the 3-time Sixth Man of the Year winner Crawford. Jamal Crawford not only adds the veteran leadership this team continues to strive for, but some huge outside shooting that has been their biggest weakness thus far.
I am beyond excited for this season, the way things have been coming together for the Timberwolves are incredible. The Wolves have had a young, awesome core, but there were no where near close to the level that they needed to compete.
However, now, with the addition of a genuine superstar in Jimmy Butler, a strong PG in Jeff Teague, one of the best Sixth Men in the NBA, and a great PF in Taj Gibson, things have gone perfectly this offseason for the Wolves. And if Rookie PF/C Justin Patton can produce and grow as the Timberwolves hope, things can only get better.
I love the look of this lineup, but I do believe Deng should be the starting PF, because while Gibson is a known veteran, his numbers are just about equal to Deng's, both offensively and defensively, Deng has the advantage in rebounds, and for the past two seasons has played all 82 games for the T-Wolves.
The Celtics finally got their superstar. The signing of Gordon Hayward finally solidifies the Celtics as a future contender. They'll still need to add some pieces or have some of these draft picks turn into superstar players if they wanna take down the Cavs and Warriors, but still it's a step in that direction. The credit of this signing goes to Brad Stevens, due to his history with Gordon Hayward, it's almost unfair. They have history that's deeper rooted than Hayward's ties with Utah, so I'm sure the "it's home" factor didn't play as much in this particular scenario. Stevens and Hayward go back to their days at Butler where they fell short of a National Championship on a Hayward half court heave that just rimmed out. Now, they'll have a chance at redemption on the greatest stage in basketball. Will they be able to accomplish this feat? Well, a lot of factors come into play when determining if Hayward and Stevens will ever reach the mountain top together.
Celtics still have no shot this season. Let's get that out of the way right now. This is a lost season for essentially everyone in the NBA, unless major injuries occur to Durant, Lebron, Curry, or Kyrie. If all those guys stay healthy then nothing other than the expected will happen. Warriors vs Cavs part 4 and the Warriors win without much struggle. The Boston Celtics don't really have a shot at the Finals until Lebron is out of the East. That could happen at the end of this season, if not, they'll just have to wait until he's old or they'll have to recruit more superstar talent. Still, even if they can get past the Cavs by some minor miracle they'll still have to take down the Warriors, and they aren't getting old anytime soon.
Celtics in other words need to add another big time star or they have no shot at winning a title. A guy they could use is DeMarcus Cousins, who will be looking for a home next offseason. What a coincidence, it's almost like it was meant to be. Bring in Boogie who has the ability to dominate the inside all the while adjusting to the new style of the NBA by having a great perimeter game. He'd be the boost they need to truly compete. The Cavs and Warriors kryptonite is they have no inside presence anywhere near the caliber of elite. Celtics would have that with Boogie and that'll give them at least one advantage to build off. To make that happen they need to dump Hortford somehow, someway, let's be honest he won't really be missed either. What a bad signing that turned out to be.
The next order of business is dumping Isaiah Thomas and it's not going to be easy. His teammates love him, the city loves him, and the front office probably loves him, but the Celtics can't afford to pay Isaiah Thomas big money even if he might be worth it. The guy is a defensive liability and when you're trying to take down the greatest team ever assembled you can't have weaknesses like that. The Celtics need to move on from Thomas and either sign a good two way point guard or draft a guy that can come in and do the job on both ends of the floor. I'd love for them to keep Thomas around to just be a scorer, but if he's their starting point guard with a max contract I can't see the scenario that the Boston Celtics win a NBA title.
Lastly, Danny Ainge needs to turn these assets into something great. Sign Boogie, sign Hayward that'll be great, but it won't be enough. Tatum seems like he'll be a good player in this league, although they just signed a guy at the same position to be the face of the franchise and they drafted a guy last year at that same position. Okay, doesn't really seem to fit, however they could always be used as trade bait. They might not fit in Boston, so just trade they and turn them into something you do need, if that turns out to be the case. Nets should be awful again next season, so expect the Celtics to get another top 5 pick. That pick could either be used to draft a future point guard, or maybe a stretch 4 type player, if anything the pick can be traded for an already established player. This is a promising future for the Celtics because there's so many options for what they could do. It's almost impossible to imagine they won't be able to win at least one championship with the amount of assets and talent they have right now. With that being said I don't believe the Hayward-Stevens Era will deliver a championship to Boston.
The 30 for 30 would be great, but fuck that, and fuck Boston. Somehow, someway, the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge, and whoever else is involved will manage to fuck this up. The Celtics will have a ton of success, they might even claw their way to an NBA Finals, but they'll never win one in the Stevens-Hayward Era. The reason is because the West is too strong. They have the Golden State Warriors, who are in the midst of dynasty, dominating the entire league, so there will be no beating them until Klay Thompson leaves or Durant gets tired of being a coward. Well, why not after you might ask. Well, that's because the next great NBA dynasty will finally come to fruition by then and the Celtics will fall victim to their dynasty reign. Kinda like what's happened to Lebron throughout his career. Oh, who is that future dynasty, well that's what I call a tease, and I'll be dropping that blog soon to discuss who that future dynasty is....
The Boston Celtics are clearly the most loaded team in terms of assets, yet mastermind GM Danny Ainge was unable to land Jimmy Butler or Paul George. The team was the #1 seed in the Eastern conference without either of these players, but in order to begin to become a serious threat to the Cavs they'd need to add superstar talent. Jimmy Butler or Paul George were very much availiable and willing to fill that void. After the acquisition of one of them it'd be easier to lure superstars to their franchise to help build a super team capable of beating the Cavs. Well, many thought the asking price from the Pacers and Bulls would be too high, leaving the Celtics with the choice of mortgaging too many or their assets for just one player. As it turns out the T-Wolves and the Thunder proved this theory to be completely wrong since they both fleeced their respective trading partner.
Before I totally begin to rip into the overly conservative Danny Ainge, let me defend him. I don't think he should've made the Paul George trade. Giving up anything for a one year rental isn't worth it. Paul George wants to go to the Lakers and is going to go to the Lakers after this season. That's why it's still smart of the Thunder to acquire him since they gave up two starters that really had no future with the organization. Celtics would either be giving up valuable players that consistently contribute to this organization or draft picks that would eventually contribute all for a guy to come their to maybe win one or two more playoff games than last year and then leave to your arch nemesis at seasons end. Therefore, trading for Paul George should've never been in the cards for the Celtics, just not worth it for them.
The fact that they didn't trade for Jimmy Butler on draft night boggles my mind. Here's a guy that's under contract, a pretty reasonable contract for that matter, that can help elevate your team immediately, and will help attract valuable free agents. Ainge could've easily offered up one if not two draft picks and a player like Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, or Avery Bradley, and they would've ended up with Jimmy Butler and the 15th overall pick. I'm sure Celtics fans would feel a lot more confident with that than the outlook they have on the team right now. Yeah they have a ton of draft picks, but they also have Danny Ainge a notorious bad drafter making these selections. It's going to take awhile for all these picks to develop into formidable NBA players, so the Celtics are looking at a 5 year process. Not really trying to wait that long for my team to develop into something if I'm a Celtics fan, especially after just taking the #1 seed in the East. The only good part about the plan is by the time all the draft picks blossom the Cavs and Warriors super teams will be long gone, so the competition should be a lot easier. You can't build for your future thinking like that, though, look at the T-Wolves right now, they got a new super team in the making, so other teams are making the right moves in attacking this new way of rebuilding. Unfortunately for Celtic fans, Danny Ainge is not, and it's going to be real tough to look back and see how badly he butchered such a great situation. Stop holding onto the assets Danny and actually get something out of them.
Who knows, maybe the Celtics can land some big name free agents, although I really think Danny Ainge is just going to head into this season with the same exact team, except they'll have Jayson Tatum and maybe a new role player. A lot to be excited about in the 2017-18 season if you're a Celtics fans, and by that I mean you have getting knocked out in the Eastern Conference Finals in 5 games if you're lucky enough to make it that far to look forward to.
Are the Celtics wasting a golden opportunity? Am I being to critical of Danny Ainge's performance? Let me know in the comment section what you think.
Yesterday, out for left field came a blockbuster trade deal that almost nobody anticipated. It looked as if the Clippers were going to lose Chris Paul to free agency for absolutely nothing, when at the final hour they were able to pull off a deal to get something in return for him. The trade included sending Chris Paul to the Rockets for Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, and a 2018 first round pick. The Clippers didn't get much value in return for Paul, Beverley and Williams are good players, but they aren't anything you can build your future around. As for Sam Dekker, he's a solid wing that can maybe contribute towards the future of this Clipper organization, although I see him more as a role player than anything else. The first round pick they got will end up being anywhere from the 27th to the 30th pick in the draft, so that's not all that valuable either. At the end of the day the Clippers were going to lose Paul regardless, so the fact they were able to trade him is a win for them regardless of the return.
The Rockets come out of this trade looking like the obvious winner, which is definitely the case, you can't look bad after adding one of the leagues most elite point guards. The real question is can James Harden and Chris Paul work together. That is the part where this trade gets a little fuzzy to me because their games don't compliment each other. In fact, their games are pretty identical and pretty ball oriented, so how is this going to work.
If anyone can figure out how to get these guys enough shots and enough time with the ball it's Mike D'Antoni. The guy is offensive genius, give him two guys that can be playmakers with the ball and I'm sure he'll find a way to put huge points on the scoreboard. Still, the fact remains that CP3 likes to dominate the ball, either creating shots for other or himself, and Harden essentially does the same, so who will be the central part of this new Rockets team. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
In no way do I think this move really makes the Rockets a threat to Golden State. Essentially meaning they'll end up in the same position as last year just maybe losing a couple weeks later, but the result will be the same. Although, Chris Paul might not be the guy you want to add to carry you past the second round since he's never done it before. Anyways, unless the Rockets add another big piece this move doesn't impress me because they're still miles behind Golden State talent wise, leading me to believe this will only end badly in Houston because there's no chance of winning anything major and a great chance that Harden and Chris Paul clash heads over who deserves the ball more. Well, at least it'll give us another interesting storyline to watch next regular season since the actual competition isn't ever entertaining. This is today's NBA, love it or hate it, that's the reality of the situation.
The toxic relationship between the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson has finally come to a close. Early this morning it was announced that the parties would be parting ways after 3 seasons. In other words, Phil said you can fire me just don't say you fired me. I don't understand why this would happen weeks after they decided to pick up his extension on the contract, but either way what's done is done. After all it is Dolan's money, so who gives a rats ass what he does with it. Knick fans finally get what they wanted after begging for months, which was get Phil Jackson fired, and James Dolan finally manned up and pulled the trigger on this decision.
Still I don't believe this will at all change the outcome of how the Knicks franchise progresses over the next few years. Phil Jackson clearly wasn't the guy to turn this franchise around, but they still don't have that guy, and all they have now is the ashes that remain from Phil burning this organization to the ground. Yes, the Knicks have a couple building blocks for the future with Porzingis, Hernangomez, and now the French kid, besides from that there's nothing positive about what Phil has left behind.
The Knicks are left with Jeff Hornachek, will he go with Phil, I don't know, but he should. The Knicks need to start fresh and wash almost every Phil memory clean of their organization. As for the Melo situation, well it looks like Melo won the waiting game, and will return to being the focal point of this team for the remainder of his contract since he seems to be adamant about staying in NY. As long as Melo is in New York this franchise will make no progress, especially with him eating up as much cap space that he is, so Phil is far from the only problem with this organization, although he did create many of the ongoing problems here in NY.
This was the first step in the right direction for the Knicks. Only thing is they need about 50 more of these type of steps to finally be where they want to be and that's at the pinnacle of basketball. People will continue to blame James Dolan for turning the Knicks into this horrendous basketball franchise, although the New York Rangers seem to be doing just fine under his watch. That's what makes it hard to tell if it's really his fault because the other team that plays at MSG has been pretty fucking good the last 15 years. Knicks are just an organization of dysfunction, always have been, always will be. Get used to it Knick fans, just because Jackson is gone doesn't mean all your problems are solved.