Super Team Update: Melo to OKC, Wade to Cavs

Written by :
Published on : October 2, 2017

 

 

The biggest story in basketball right now is that Dwyane Wade has opted out of his contract with the Chicago Bulls and will be joining his former teammate and best friend, LeBron James, on the new look Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are stocking up talent with the hopes that they have enough firepower to beat the Golden State Warriors.

 

This isn’t anything new. Seems like every owner/GM these days is trying to build a “super team” to stop the Warriors. Speaking of, Carmelo Anthony has been traded from the New York Knicks to the Oklahoma City Thunder. These are both huge moves that dramatically reshape the world of the NBA. Let’s dive into the mantle of this earth shaking news and see what it means for everyone else. Without any ranking, these are our super teams as they currently stand:

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

Warriors: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

 

Cavaliers: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Kevin Love,  Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose.

 

Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams.

 

Rockets: James Harden, Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza, Nene, and 7’2″ Chinese star Zhou Qi.   

 

Celtics: Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris.

 

Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford.

 

That’s a lot of firepower on a small number of teams. Despite OKC’s big addition, it still looks like the Cavs added the most since last year. Right now, it’s on the rest of the league to stop a fourth installment of Warriors vs Cavs in the NBA Finals. Because they still look like the two best teams on paper. But who knows what the next season holds? I think many folks would love to see some new faces in the championship. Rockets vs Celtics anyone?

 

Embed from Getty Images

 

The world of the NBA is seriously changing. Being good isn’t good enough anymore. The money is too big for all of that. The stars are aligning, literally. Basketball stars are picking sides and gutting the middle class of the league. The new normal is you either have 2 or 3 superstars or you are looking to draft one. The only thing that’s clear in 2017 NBA ball is that one star can’t win a trophy alone. Best to team up.

 

Also, playing total dick-devil’s advocate, Golden State still was the edge because their roster has played together. All these other squads have just been pieced together. Those crews are going to need to time to gel. Just like the LeBron Heat didn’t win their first year. We shall see.

 

Deals.

 

 


The NBA Free Agency Mambo

Written by :
Published on : July 5, 2017

 

Welcome to the arms race that is NBA free agency mambo. Since the Chris Paul trade, many other big names have signed new deals. Time to review all the big action so far. This is not every transaction but all the important ones.

 

Paul George to Thunder via trade

George was one of the most sought after talents this offseason. Him joining Oklahoma was a bit of a shock but he adds a much needed second weapon to Russell Westbrook. If this keeps the Thunder will be in the hunt in the West.

 

Blake Griffin re-signs with Clippers

Many thought Blake was gone after Chris Paul left but instead he stays in town and signs a max deal for 5 years/$173 million. This is officially Blake’s team.

 

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Clippers

 

Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson to Timberwolves

3 year/$57 million for Teague and 2 year/$28 million for Gibson. This Wolves team should be pretty fun to watch since they already added Jimmy Butler to the young roster.

 

Warriors keep everybody

Many thought some of the role players would leave the championship team to go get paid but this was not the case. David West, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala all re-signed. Plus Kevin Durant inks a 2 year/$53 million extension and Steph Curry gets a max deal of 5 year/$200 million. These moves keeps almost the whole crew together for another run. Scary.

 

Jrue Holiday gets paid by the Pelicans

5 year/$126 million. The deal could be worth up to $150 million if certain incentives are met. That’s big cash.

 

jrue-holiday

 

Chinese star Zhou Qi joins Rockets

He is 7’2″ and Chinese. Where else would he play? The Rockets love tall Chinese dudes. That’s their type. Let’s see if Qi is the next Yao Ming.

 

JJ Reddick to 76ers

1 year/$23 million. No, that isn’t a typo. Straight up, top 10 NFL quarterback level money. The NBA deals are off the charts these days.

 

Raptors keep Kyle Lowry

3 year/$100 million for the rising star. This ends rumors of him going to a new squad. Makes sense from Toronto’s point of view. They must keep Lowry and build around him.

 

lowry

 

Paul Millsap to Nuggets

3 year/$90 million to bring Millsap from Atlanta to Denver. $30 mil a year to bounce a ball? God damn I should have never quit playing basketball after 8th grade.

 

Kings add George Hill and Zach Randolph

Sacramento is in a tough spot in the West but these signings will make an impact day 1. Another two names off the free agency big board.

 

Nets offer Otto Porter Jr max deal

Brooklyn has a 4 year/$106 million contract on the table. It’s now up to the Washington Wizards to match or pass. Expect a resolution in the next few days.

 

Otto-Porter-Jr

 

Danilo Gallinari to Clippers after 3-way trade

Danilo will get 3 year/$65 million in Los Angeles. Atlanta gets Jamal Crawford, Diamond Stone plus a 2018 first round pick. Denver gets Atlanta’s ’19 second round pick. Complicated but interesting.

 

Gordon Hayward to Celtics

The last big name that many were waiting on. Hayward looked like he wanted to stay in Utah but the call to join a solid Boston squad was too great. He also doesn’t have to deal the Warriors in the playoffs anymore. The future is bright in Boston right now.

 

That’s all the action so far. There is sure to be some big moves on the horizon. Especially when you hear humors like the Cavs or Rockets are trying to trade for Carmelo Anthony. That’s just nuts. But who knows? Anything can happen in this new super cash era of the NBA.

 

Signing bonus.

 

 


Chris Paul joins the Houston Rockets

Written by :
Published on : June 29, 2017

 

The breaking news out of the NBA is that Clippers guard, Chris Paul, has been traded to the Houston Rockets. This is huge. CP3 is a big name and makes any team he joins instantly better. Let’s take a closer look at this league shake up and see exactly what this all means.

 

The deal

These are the terms: the Rockets get Chris Paul in exchange for a top 3 protected 1st round draft pick in 2018, plus the contract rights to Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Wiltjer. Wow, that’s a lot of names for just one guy. Oh yeah, there is also the $661,000. You know, to sweeten the pot. Because, why the hell not. Chris Paul is dope and still has many years of great basketball left in his career. Most franchises would move huge assets to get a player of his caliber. Talents like Paul’s don’t come around that often.

 

chris-paul-james-harden

 

What now?

Well, the first and most important thing to note is that Chris Paul is joining James Harden’s team. On paper, that seems like a killer backcourt. Those two are some of the best in the game and it seems like you need to be building a super team if you want to compete against the likes of Golden State or Cleveland. The real question is, will these two be able to play together? Only time will tell. But there will be some sort of learning curve because both like to handle the ball. A lot. But both also know that they have no chance of winning a championship alone. Are they a super team? Not yet. But maybe if they add Blake Griffen or Carmelo Anthony or Paul George. Then they would definitely be in the conservation.

 

Who gets Paul George?

His name is attached to any team looking to make a big move. Already we’ve seen interest from the likes of the Cavs, Lakers, Celtics, Rockets, Knicks and many others. Rumor has it that the Dallas Cowboys made a call too to see if he wanted to play wideout. The two big factors in landing PG13 are: does the team in question have enough to offer to make a competitive deal? And second: where does George think he has the best chance to win? The best place for Paul George, if he wants to win, is the Golden State Warriors. If that’s not an option then the Cleveland Cavaliers. After that, Celtics, then Rockets, then Lakers and everyone else.

 

Paul George

 

Quick note. At one point, Chris Paul was rumored to be headed to the Spurs. Which seemed like a great fit but we know now that he is a Rocket. But maybe that opens a weird door for Paul George to join San Antonio. Just think, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul George. Now that might be a super team.

 

Chris Paul is a Rocket. That’s the headline but the story is far from being over. The world is waiting to see what will happen next in the wild world of professional basketball. As of now, the future is bright in Houston.

 

Take off.

 

 


The NBA has a problem

Written by :
Published on : June 17, 2017

 

The NBA has been nibbling at its own tail for some time now and it has finally caught up to the league. During the playoffs, while entertaining at certain points, the debate began as to if the league was conceding to one team (the Golden State Warriors). Over the past several years, the NBA has implemented many measures to the CBA to ensure all the teams have a fair chance at acquiring, and more importantly, keeping superior talent. There have been teams that intentionally tanked to get the players they want. The NBA has even intervened to keep star players from forming a “Super Team” (i.e., the NBA nixed the Chris Paul to Los Angeles Laker trade).

 

By putting so much effort into spreading the wealth of talent around the league, the NBA has caused the one problem it looked to avoid. The owners of the teams are crafty. Beyond analytics and cap crunching they are also in the business of making as much money as possible. Professional sports teams are a club of the elite. There are 30 to 32 teams per league and there’s not for sale signs in front of those stadiums and arenas that often.

 

 Super Team?

 

In the case of the NBA, almost every team has a franchise player. You could say “well, every team has the best player that the team can build around!” I would counter that statement by listing the Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Sacramento Kings, and the Denver Nuggets as a few teams that do not have a franchise player or one that projects to become one. Yet, these teams have consistently picked in the upper half of the draft and had cap room to lure a top free agent.

 

The talent is at an all-time high. Most fans think of eras chronologically. I tend to think of eras in terms of the most dominant player(s) during an extended period. So in my lifetime, I’ve been through the Magic/Bird, Jordan, Kobe/Duncan/Shaq, and now the LeBron eras. The transition from the Kobe to LeBron is when the league changed language and incentives in the CBA that helped teams keep their homegrown players. Moreover, the new TV contracts produced such an enormous cash flow that it has increased the cap significantly each year. This created a dilemma that while teams have been able to offer their players (with Bird rights) up to $75 million more over the course of a contract than other teams can offer, it also drove the market price of players up to stay above the cap floor. There’s a lot of teams acquiring players that they do not need at salaries that, under past conditions, they would not warrant.

 

So, how does the league fix this?

 

That’s harder than one would think. This past summer, players received such high salaries that in the upcoming years it will be hard to trade them and receive equal value. To actually trade player for player will be even harder. No one is trading Luol Deng straight up for Paul George. The salaries match up though and these are the kind of salary trades that would have worked in the past but this scenario is such a drop off in talent.

 

If I was in NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s ear this is what I would suggest:

 

Change the one and done rule: I would allow EXCEPTIONAL players to enter straight from high school. When I say exceptional I am talking about for sure first round selections. I would have a committee of non-partisan members (Rivals.com, NBAdraft.net, college recruiting services, etc.) that give all potential high school prospects a grade. If the grade is that they would be a first round pick then it would be passed to NBA GMs and scouting departments. They would grade the select few that passed the first process. If the player passes through the second phase then he can submit his name for the draft.

 

 Listen up Adam.

 

The team has done its due diligence and the player is almost ensured of being selected first round. However, the players that did not make the cut must do the following. A) Attend a public university or college for 2 years. Two years is important because it gives the player more time to develop and it increases the chances that the player can graduate from college. Instead of taking a year of classes, it gets the player at least closer to major level courses if he chooses to stay in school or go back when he goes pro. B) If a team really wants to sign a player out of high school, the player must be signed to a 2 year guaranteed minimum contract and the player has to spend at least 90% of contract duration with NBDL affiliate. C) International players must be 19 before they can enter NBA draft. The International players have more opportunities to play professionally than US players. So a starting age of 19 is more than fair and would put them on par to enter the league with the 2-year players previously mentioned.

 

I think the NBA has done well in growing the sport. The issue now is that the league has too much talent spread around. The league should want three or four “Super Teams.” I fully anticipate the Cleveland Cavaliers to make a move to keep them in contention for the championship. The San Antonio Spurs are rumored to have an interest in Chris Paul to pair with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard. What about the other teams though? Could Kyle Lowry take Paul’s spot on the Los Angeles Clippers and form a super team with Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan? Maybe a year from now could Paul George and DeMarcus Cousins link with the Lakers to create a team with Brandon Ingram and possibly Lonzo Ball? More super teams is the solution not no super teams!

 

 


Impact of Curry and Clippers injuries

Written by :
Published on : April 27, 2016

 

 

It has quickly turned into the talk of the NBA playoffs: Golden State Warriors megastar point guard, and soon-to-be back-to-back NBA MVP, Steph Curry, exited Sunday’s game in Houston with a knee injury. On Monday, the Warriors revealed that he sprained his MCL and the team ruled him out for at least two weeks, at which point he will be reevaluated.

 

The fallout from Curry’s knee injury likely won’t take affect in the first round, as Golden State went on to destroy the Rockets 121-94 without him on Sunday and took a 3-1 lead in the series. The Warriors should have no problem finishing off Houston without their best player. In all likelihood, the Warriors could bench their entire starting lineup and still beat the embarrassingly underachieving Rockets.

 

I was in the process of writing an article explaining why the Warriors would need Curry to return at some point in the second round in order to beat the Clippers. But when Chris Paul broke his hand on Monday night in Portland, likely ending his season, the tone of this article changed significantly. Then on Tuesday, in more shocking news, the Clippers announced that all-star forward Blake Griffin would miss the remainder of the playoffs after reaggravating a left quadriceps injury. Now the tone of this article has changed drastically.

 

chris-paul-hand

 

Not only are Chris Paul and Blake Griffin the two most awkwardly funny pitchmen in the NBA, they’re also the two best players on the Clippers. Without Paul and Griffin, and with the series knotted at two games each, the Clippers will probably drop the next two games against the Blazers and see yet another season end disappointingly early.

 

The Warriors may be breathing a slight sigh of relief since the Blazers are a much more beatable foe than the Clippers would be at full strength. Still, this is no gimme for Golden State. I’m not discrediting the Warriors sans Curry, they obviously have a great team. But if you take the best player off of any NBA team, their chances of winning a championship are close to zero, and their chances of winning any playoff series drop significantly (as supported by my prediction of the Clippers crumbling). Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are very good players. But if you remove Steph Curry from that roster, the Warriors go from a team that just set the NBA record for wins in a season, to a team that would probably be the fourth or fifth seed in the Western Conference right now.

 

When Kevin Durant missed most of last season with a foot injury, the Thunder failed to even make the playoffs, despite an MVP-caliber year from Russell Westbrook. This year, Durant stayed healthy and got back to elite form, and Oklahoma City is one of the top four teams in the NBA. It’s a team game, but it’s also a star driven league.

 

KevinDurant hurt

 

It’s hard to predict how this is going to play out for the Warriors, because of how the team is handling Steph Curry’s injury. He was diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, which is the least severe type of sprain, and seemed like the best news possible for Warriors fans. But declaring him out for at least two weeks before being reevaluated is a reaction fit for a more severe injury.

 

Houston-based orthopedic surgeon Mark Adickes joined SportsCenter on Monday to discuss the injury. Adickes was surprised the Warriors were ruling Curry out for so long. He explained that typically a player can return within days from a Grade 1 MCL sprain and might not even need to miss a game. Adickes then speculated that Curry may be dealing with a bone bruise, or a more serious injury. And his speculating got me speculating…

 

The second round is scheduled to start May 2, at which point Steph Curry will still be a week away from his reevaluation. If Curry is ready to return as soon as he hits his two week mark, he will likely only miss the first three games of that series. Factoring in the recent bad news from Los Angeles, Golden State should be fine without him for the for the first three or four games against Portland, but they will probably need some help from the Baby-Faced Assassin to finish off the Blazers. And they will definitely need him to be close to 100% to beat the San Antonio Spurs, or the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.

 

Portland Trail Blazers v Sacramento Kings

 

The NBA Playoffs typically come down the best team that stays healthy. The fact that the Warriors are taking such a cautious approach with Steph Curry tells me there is reason to be concerned. When players suffer serious (or even semi-serious) injuries in the playoffs, they’re rarely able to recover quickly enough to perform at their best. I have a bad feeling that Curry’s injury will linger, forcing him off the court sporadically. There’s also the fear of Curry reaggravating the injury and missing more games, or being shut down for the season.

 

The uncertainty surrounding Steph Curry is enough for me to switch my Western Conference Champion pick from the Warriors to the Spurs. It might seem like I’m overreacting, and sure, I might alter this prediction if Curry shockingly returns in game one of the second round, scores 45 points and shows no sign of being affected by his knee injury. But in the NBA Playoffs, you only go as far as your star players take you. And when the biggest star in the league gets injured, it changes the whole picture.

 

 


DeMarcus Cousins Needs to Chill

Written by :
Published on : March 1, 2016

 

 

 

It’s been pretty common knowledge for quite a few years now that DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most dominant and physically talented big men in basketball. He is in his sixth NBA season and has averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in that time. The Sacramento Kings have made him the centerpiece of their franchise, despite the knocks on him coming out of college. The main knock being that he is a little bit of a hothead.

 

I’m sure the Kings figured he would cool off with age, that most people tend to chill out as they get older. Well, it’s becoming increasingly clear that DeMarcus Cousins is not one of those people. In the last few days, NBA fans have a had a chance to see some vintage DeMarcus Cousins antics and let’s just say that he is not the kind of guy you want to mess with. The first exhibit is from last Saturday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

   

 

Let’s start by making it clear that this is pretty much a clean play, technically speaking. When you’re falling out of bounds in basketball, you do your best to throw it off of an opposing player. That’s something they teach you when you’re a kid. But when you see this video you’ve got to admit that it looks kind of nasty. He is obviously going for the back of Chris Paul’s head with the ball.  Okay, so maybe that was just a little bit of frustration and bad aim on Boogie’ part, no big deal. Then the Kings played the Thunder yesterday, and Angry Boogie returned for a second showing.

 

 

The first incident occurred when the teams’ two biggest stars got into a little bit of a confrontation. Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins exchanged a few words and then briefly got into some light shoving before teammates rushed in to break it up. This type of thing happens pretty often between players in every sport, so it’s understandable if you think I’m reading too much into it. But let’s check out his highlight from later in the game and see what we think about it.


 

Now this one really takes the cake. DeMarcus Cousins gets tangled up with Thunder center, Steven Adams and comes alarmingly close to punching him in the back of the head. Sure, he restrains himself and I suppose he deserves a bit of credit for that, but the fact that he was even considering delivering that haymaker to an opposing player on the ground is pretty scary. And pretty indicative of the anger management problem that Cousins has. If he doesn’t pull up and actually connects with that punch then he has a chance to do some serious damage to Adams, and is probably looking at a very, very long suspension.

 

So I think it’s time that the Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins seriously address his anger issues before something really bad happens on the court. It’s been well known that the issues are there and in the last week it seems as though they have risen to the surface.  He should chill out and remember that it is just a game. A game that he is getting paid millions of dollars to play. For most people that is an opportunity that they never get. So he should appreciate it and make sure he doesn’t mess it up by doing something stupid out of anger.

 

 

 


15 NBA Headlines To Keep Fans Engaged In August

Written by :
Published on : August 25, 2015

 
 

The NBA wants to be a year-round league but once free agency is over in late July, interest in basketball hits a lull. The NBA depends on hype and these (fictional) story lines to keep fans engaged.
 
 
 

Lebron Demands Bigger Contract So He Can Afford CGI On His Hairline For Every National Broadcast

Lebron has already worked a little magic on his hair. Time to go all the way.
Lebron has already worked a little magic on his hair. Time to go all the way.

 

Brian Scalabrine To Be Contestant On The Bachelorette

 

Rihanna To Hold Training Camp For Remaining NBA Free Agents

 

Dennis Rodman Inks Deal To Star In Reality Show Based On Juwanna Man

Juwanna (rod)Man
Juwanna (rod)Man

 

Mark Cuban Apologizes For “Indian Giver” Comment

 

Nick Young Buys Paintball Gun So He Can Shoot More

 

Donald Sterling Enters Police Academy

He certainly looks the part. How many donuts do you think he had at this game?
He certainly looks the part. How many donuts do you think he had at this game?

 

Rockets Explore Cloning James Harden

 

Harlem Globetrotters Hoarding Cap Space In Hopes To Sign Kevin Durant in ’16

Join the squad Kevin!
Join the squad Kevin!

 

Kawhi Leonard Predicted To Lead League In Retweets

 

Skip Bayless Suspended After He Calls Magic Johnson “The AIDS Monkey”

It's only a matter of time before Skip says something so ignorant that he can't come back.
It’s only a matter of time before Skip says something so ignorant that he can’t come back.

 

Greg Oden Signs In China Due To Promise Of Bionic Legs

 

Chris Paul Cited In Hit-And-Run, Ironically Isn’t Insured

C'mon Chris! We know your twin Cliff can hook you up on some insurance.
C’mon Chris! We know Cliff can hook you up on some insurance.

 

JR Smith To Launch His Own Music Festival

 

Charles Barkley Mistakes Stan Van Gundy For Fat Jew

Don't worry Sir Charles, it could happen to anyone.
Don’t worry Sir Charles, it could happen to anyone.

 


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