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.
Alright, so for any of you who know me, you know I'm a huge Timberwolves fan, and have been since they acquired Andrew Wiggins in 2014. I said before that year's NBA draft, wherever Wiggins goes, that team will wholeheartedly become my second favorite team behind the Miami Heat (who have now slid into second behind the Wolves since D-Wade's departure).
When the Wolves drafted Karl-Anthony Towns, I knew we got a bonafide superstar, and someone who would take the pressure and weight off of A-Wiggin's shoulders. Now I'll admit, I jumped the gun last year and completely over estimated Kris Dunn's ability, and thought he would contribute tenfold more than he did, but that is now in the past, because the Wolves made a move on draft night that will send this franchise to the next level.
For the past two seasons I have been saying this team needs a veteran leader, and not someone like KG in his final years with Minnesota, but someone who can lead on and off the court. Now, never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that the player the Wolves would get would be someone of Jimmy Butler's caliber.
It is still being rumored that the Wolves are looking to move PG Ricky Rubio, and for who, I don't know, but I have to assume they would look for another point guard, but for the time being, lets just assume Rubio stays.
A starting-five of Rubio, Butler, Wiggins, Deng, and Towns, is a lineup that I absolutely love. Rubio is a pass first PG, and a good one too, and with him feeding Jimmy Buckets, Wiggins, and KAT all day, the Wolves offense will be able to explode. The biggest key in my opinion is that Butler is the perfect player to take some pressure off of Wiggins, and allow him to play to his strengths.
My rational prediction for how this season will turn out, has the Wolves finishing in the 7th or 8th seed in the West. The Wolves were 10 games out of a playoff spot last season, and with their stars all still being young last year, (and this year), plus it being head coach Tom Thibodeau's first season with the franchise, there is obviously room for improvement as these guys continue to grow as individuals and a team.
I genuinely believe that if things stay on course for Minnesota, they will find themselves in a top 4 seed in the West within the next 2 or 3 seasons, and I for one, can't wait.
Thursday is a huge night in the rebuilding process of the Los Angeles Lakers. Draft night is always one of the biggest days of the NBA offseason, however this year it's that much more exciting with the Paul George being shopped by the Pacers rumors going around. The Lakers have a huge opportunity in front of them to finally start putting this historic franchise back on the winning track. Since the 2012-13 season they haven't made the playoffs, as a mater of fact they haven't even been close. Now, after 3 straight seasons of being God awful, Lakers finally seem to have some good young pieces and more on the way. This gives them some assets to finally sell off, so they can bring in established players, and start returning to the usual Laker glory days. Draft night will answer a lot of the questions for the upcoming season.
Here's how the Lakers need draft night and the events leading up to it to play out in order for this to be the perfect job by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka. First order of business draft Lonzo Ball with the #2 overall pick. I don't care what you say about his Dad or his defense/athleticism, I saw the kid play in college, and he's a helluva of a baller. He's a pass first guy which is exactly what this team needs, mix in that with his ability to hit long threes, and I believe he's a perfect point guard for the modern NBA.
Second order of business is bring in Paul George, if we can for the right price. The last thing we want to do is overpay for a guy that would most likely sign with us next offseason regardless. Give up one player and maybe our later first round pick. Whether it's Russell or Randle the sacrifice of their game will be worth it to bring in Paul George for certain. I know he said he wants to come to LA after next season regardless, but a lot can change, and these players words mean next to nothing to me. Plus, having PG here now to build chemistry with the guys we have will only help us in the long run.
If the Lakers are unable to land Paul George via trade, I'd look to trade back into the lottery by either trading Russell or Randle and adding another nice young player such as, Malik Monk, Zach Collins, or Jayson Tatum. It'll be tough to get a high enough pick to land one of those guys, although I believe it'll be worth it. This class is special, getting another one of these young studs on a fresh rookie contract will be a lot better than having to pay Russell or Randle a shit ton of money when their deals expire this year or next. This is more of a financial move, but it's also a move where we might end up with a better player as well.
If the Lakers can manage to get 2 of these 3 things done I'll be more than satisfied with the way the NBA draft unfolded for us. If not it'll leave me very worried about the job Pelinka and Magic are capable of doing here in LA. Guess we'll find out soon enough the fate of the Lakers upcoming season this week. We might be playoff contenders, or it might be another long year of the rebuilding process, just going to have to wait and see.
What do you think the Lakers should do? Who do you think they should draft? Tell me in the comment section.
The hype around Markelle Fultz grew immensely within the last few days. The Lakers were willing to trade up to select him they were so impressed with him during his workout and the 76ers felt the same way. The Sixers had more picks to cough up than the Lakers and that's how they ended up winning the sweepstakes to receive the #1 overall pick. The Sixers gave up the #3 overall pick this year and two future first round picks that they had acquired from other teams in the past. Basically, the Sixers gave the Celtics two future first round picks to move up two spots. Those two spots are the difference between getting and not getting Markelle Fultz, so it was a move they had to make if they wanted to acquire the final piece to the process.
The Celtics should be happy, obviously they weren't too high on Fultz, and now they'll get to add a stud still like Josh Jackson or Jayson Tatum, the cherry on top was adding the two future first rounders. Seems like Danny Ainge deserves some serious recognition. Well, let's not jump the gun on this too quickly, yeah it's awesome to have all these draft picks, but unless they are put to good use this trade doesn't help this team get any closer to a championship. What are the Celtics going to wait until 2020 to make a championship run now because that's certainly what it looks like they're doing. They'll stay relevant now, but obviously they aren't taking down the Cavaliers or the Warriors. By the time they use all these draft picks and the players develop it'll be like 2021 and the Warriors and Cavs will hopefully no longer run the entire NBA by then. Meaning, the Celtics rebuild will blossom at the perfect time, but is that what Celtic fans really want? It's going to be a long 4 years of being good but not great if that's the case. Honestly, I believe Danny Ainge is just continuing to stock pile picks and is hoping this will all just work itself out because it seems like he has no tangible plan.
This trade made me happy however, I thought the Lakers were going to trade Julius Randle and draft picks to move up to get Fultz, and that would've killed me. First reason is Julius Randle is going to be an absolute monster this upcoming season(Don't believe me just watch) and the second thing is I want Lonzo Ball. Yeah, Fultz might be the more ready NBA player, but there's just something about Lonzo Ball that makes me think this kid is going to be a great one. That and the fact he has proven he makes the players around him better is why I'd be much happier with Ball than Fultz.
At the end of the day, I believe all parties should be happy with this trade. I'm sure down the road if Fultz doesn't pan out or if Danny Ainge butchers these draft picks one fan base is going to be really pissed off, but no one can predict the future, so they can't be mad at this deal. Based of the facts in front of our faces right now this is a good deal for both sides. Regardless, I'm sure whichever franchise ends up "losing" this trade will be killing their GM a few years from now, but that's just how sports work. At least this news helps get us excited for the future of the NBA since the NBA Finals we just had was the worst in years. The NBA offseason has been going on for what, 3 days, and it's already far more exciting than the past NBA season was. Couldn't be more hyped for the NBA draft on Thursday.
Do you think this was a good trade? Do you think Markelle Fultz is a future superstar? Will Danny Ainge's abundance of draft picks eventually pan out? Let me know what you think in the comment section.
Lebron James was laughed at in his postgame press conference when he said he never played for a super team and I couldn't agree with him more. Draymond continued to fuel the fire yesterday at the parade talking trash about Lebron, so I've decided to defend the man that shouldn't even need to defend himself. If Lebron started the Super Team Era, then what's the definition of a super team? Having 3 star players on a team, but that had already been done for decades before Lebron was even in the league. The Boston Celtics with Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce assembled before the King decided to link up in Miami with Bosh and Wade. Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman were a god damn super team and I don't hear nobody bitching about that. They had 3 hall of gamers on that team, but nah it was all MJ apparently. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, and Bill Walton were 4 hall of famers on the 1985-86 Boston Celtics team, so how are you going to tell me Lebron started super teams when they existed since the beginning of the NBA. The real problem people have with Lebron is they fear his greatness and that's why they try to diminish it by spewing nonsense out like Draymond did yesterday.
Lebron is far from the creator of the super team, he's just a smart guy that knows you need talent around you to win championships. Look at any team ever that has won a championship, it wasn't just one superstar leading the way. It's a team sport for a reason.
Kevin Durant joined a 73-9 team that had already won a championship, so yes he's an uncompetitive little dweeb that hopped on the bandwagon of his biggest foe. Lebron joined up with buddy's and made an irrelevant team great again. Without Lebron that team would've been alright, but not championship caliber. However, the Warriors without Durant were still arguably the best team in the league and almost were statistically the best team ever. That's the difference. The team Lebron has now in Cleveland is not even close to a super team because Kevin Love is barely a superstar. How is a man supposed to take out a team with 4 future hall of famers, I don't think anybody could do that.
Let's put to rest the Lebron super team talk because without Lebron on the team there's no super team in Miami or Cleveland. He made the super team, Kevin Durant, joined a super team, so let's not get it fucked up. Lebron goes anywhere in this league that team instantly becomes a super team and I believe that speaks volumes to the type of player that he is. Stop hating the greatest small forward of all time, just enjoy him while he's still active because who really knows how much longer Lebron has left. He finally shaved his head, so we may be approaching the end, lord knows he wouldn't let go of his hair that easily after trying to keep it afloat for almost 15 seasons.
June 11th, 1997, Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, will forever be known as one of the greatest displays of heart and will, in not only NBA history, but all of sports.
With the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz tied up 2-2 going into Game 5, Michael Jordan, battling flu-like symptoms, produced one of the most incredible Finals performances ever. Playing 44 minutes, scoring 38 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and dishing out 5 assists.
MJ left every single thing he had inside of him on that court, giving the Bulls a 3-2 lead in the series, and the following game, closing the series out and earning his 5th Championship ring.
The picture of Michael Jordan and teammate Scottie Pippen above, taken as soon as the game ended, is iconic, because Pippen said that when MJ came up to him and leaned on him, he felt MJ literally collapse from exhaustion, as Pippen helped walk him into the locker room.
Jordan was not only the leading scorer for the Bulls, but for the entire game, and was the only person to score over 20 points that night, let alone scoring nearly 40 points with the flu.
The Bulls 90-88 victory will forever go down as one of the greatest games ever, and Michael Jordan once again proved that he is the greatest basketball player in NBA history.
Last night, the Warriors proved to the world that they're the greatest basketball team of this generation. 15-0 soon to be 16-0 in the playoffs is an unfathomable achievement. Granted the addition of KD, the spineless coward that had to ride the coattails of one of the greatest teams ever to win a championship, has made them an early unbeatable team, but regardless it is what it is, and there's no changing the outcome now. The Warriors as long as this core four group of guys stays together will win championship after championship for probably the next 5 years. Everyone said a Bill Russell esque Celtics team was impossible to accomplish in this day an age, however the Warriors could prove that wrong. The Cavaliers have the greatest player of all time and two other all stars playing with him and they still can't manage to beat the Warriors even one time in this series. Maybe the Cavs will be able to finally get a victory in game 4, although they're probably quite deflated after that heartbreaking loss last night. Anyways, the Warriors are winning this series, quite possibly without losing a game in the postseason, so is it time to finally say the NBA is a one team show.
I refuse to say the NBA is dead because that's just not true. Last night was an awesome game and everything I could've ever wanted from a basketball game, but there will reach a point where enough is enough. That might be after Golden State repeats next year or three peats, whenever it may be that's when the NBA will start to feel the pain of ratings dropping. Until then, the league will stay out of panic mode, right now they're just hoping the other teams can catch up, even though it's going to be extremely tough when almost no team can get four 5 star players like Golden State. I'll tell you right now I'll only be watching the Lakers next year and maybe the NBA Finals if the Cavs improve because we already know what the outcome is going to be.
As for the Warriors appreciators that just enjoy watching how beautifully the Warriors play basketball, please shut the fuck up. Yeah, put together an all star lineup they should be playing really good basketball together, why do you think the USA Dream Team is impossible to beat. The Warriors are going to turn into the Harlem Globetrotters, which in turns means the NBA is essentially a joke. You can't have a professional sports league where the games and season as a whole just aren't competitive. Without parity in the league the NBA sucks, what happened to the super hero and sidekick days, now it's just the avengers vs the justice league.
In regards to Lebron James, in terms of the Michael Jordan comparison, last night shed light on a very interesting point for the Jordan side of the argument. In terms of who the better overall player is, it's obviously Lebron, if you don't admit that you're just biter and dumb. However, Jordan was able to build his impeccable legacy because in the big games, in the big moments is when he shined the brightest. Whereas Lebron tends to almost shy away. Lebron doesn't have that 6th gear that Kobe and MJ had, that's why he couldn't take over at the end of game 3. He was completely drained, for good reason, he put up numbers like no one else could in a NBA Finals game, but he couldn't reach that 6th gear. When the game was on the line Kyrie took the shot as Lebron was a complete spectator. That's something Jordan would've never let happen in the big moment of a NBA Finals game. The reason we all love Jordan is because we see those highlights of him hitting the big shots in the big games. Meanwhile, it was Kyrie that hit the big shot last year, and it was Kyrie that took the big shot this year. Jordan controlled his legacy and I commend him for that, whereas Lebron let someone else determine his fate.
All in all, disappointing year for basketball. The entire postseason sucked and now everyone just has to accept the fact it's a two team league and one of those teams is way better than the other. Tough reality to grasp as an NBA fan, but it's just something we'll have to get used to. Hopefully something goes wrong and the Warriors end up splitting up. Even better, the Cavs miraculously come back from 3-0 to win the series crushing the Warriors in ultimate comeback fashion. Only in my little dream world will that happen, though. Until next year NBA fans, where we get to watch the same shit happen all over again.