I will get this out of the way quickly – no one has a clue what will happen with Kawhi.
having said that, there is lots of other news that will affect teams going forward
- the Rockets have lost two major role players in Ariz and a Moute. That may just kill their chances for beating the Warriors next year
- the Kings are chasing the Celtics’ Marcus Smart. He is a restricted free agent – so the Celtics might match the Kings offer. But losing Smart or having to pay a boatload to keep him will hurt the Celtics
- the Spurs have lost Kyle Anderson to the Grizzlies and re-signed Davis Bertans. We will see if Bertrans blooms with more minutes
- the Warriors lost Zaza Pachulia to the Pistons. No biggie here.
- The Lakers lost Brook Lopez to the Bucks. Ouch! Less floor spacing for LeBron. And the moves that the Lakers did make mean that they will suck next year
The off-season moves are not done yet. Stay tuned!
We should make one thing clear. While Kawhi Leonard has demanded to be traded this off-season, he has no right to be traded. Making it happen depends totally on the Spurs management. And the Spurs management has to get as much out of this deal as they can.
Right. So, there was a moment when that might have been locking in the trade to entice LeBron to follow. That game — if it ever got started — is now over. LeBron is headed to the Lakers. That means less leverage for the Spurs. They cannot auction off Kawhi as part of the LeBron sweepstakes.
So if you were the Spurs GM, what would you do? First, you would not panic. There is time to figure out how much Kawhi is worth on the open market. And the Spurs management knows that while Kawhi has threatened to sit out next season, the odds of him actually doing that are very small. Kawhi needs to play. They might have force him to play for the Spurs for one more season.
With that in mind, the main Kawhi suitors – the Lakers and the Sixers are in no hurry either. They will set up their teams as if Kawhi didn’t exist. And that is precisely what both teams are doing. But, don’t be fooled. Both the Lakers and the Sixers want Kawhi. They are still open to a Kawhi deal. They just know that the deal probably won’t happen until the last minute. And neither team is in a hurry to commit too much now to make it happen.
That, I think, is the logic behind the Lakers seemingly crazy deals that they just made.
Full Disclosure: I was never a big Bryan Colangelo fan. I didn’t like the way his father got him the GM job, and I thought Bryan had a chip on his shoulder in dealing with the press. He was not a likeable guy.
So Colangelo gets the heave-ho just before the draft and free agency starts. Coach Brett Brown is called in to handle the responsibilities. How has he done so far?
I can find no room to complain. Here is the argument for taking that view. The key thing is that Brett is taking the long view of things. That means keeping Markelle Fultz, and not giving away the store to get Kawhi for one year,and doing some house cleaning (re-signing JJ and Amir), as well as picking up a back up wing player (Chandler).
So far so good! I like it!
The Sixers season in 2017 – 2018 might be divided into two segments. Before Belinelli and Ilysova arrived and after. Before, the Sixers bench basically sucked. After, the Sixers had options. It is true that Belinelli’s defense was a big minus. And it is true that Ilysova is not the most mobile of big men. But both contributed enough in their own ways to transform the Sixers bench from doormat to threat status.
But both are gone in free agency.
The Sixers have re-signed Amir Johnson to back up Joel. And that will help replace Ilysova. But they still need more scoring from the outside. A Fultz come back would be a major plus. But still more is needed.
Here are 3 free agent options that the Sixers might pursue
- Wayne Ellington (Heat)
- Dante Exum (Jazz)
- Jabari Parker (Bucks)
Of these three, I would argue that Ellington is the one to go for. He plays off ball and shoots very well. And he plays better defense than Belinelli.
What do you think?
Conventional wisdom has it that the acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins by the Warriors guarantees them an extension of their dynasty. Other teams and their fans grumble and gnash their teeth. Like Fred Wilson, a devoted Knicks fan. Fred scribbles
It doesn’t feel fair. And it isn’t. Life isn’t fair. That’s how it is.
That is true. Life is not fair. But on the other hand, life also has a way of biting those who bask in the sunlight of their perfection hard in the arse. The empire crumbles. The cradle falls. The romance fades. Humans descend sooner or later back to reality.
There is an argument that the Cousins acquisition is the beginning of the end for the Warriors. How so? Recall that while the Warriors won the title again last year, they nearly got beat by the Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. In fact, an injury to a key Rocket player may have been necessary for the Warriors to pull that series out of the hopper.
It was a surprising lapse, and one might argue, a sign of fatigue by the great Warriors players. Adding Cousins to that mix may turn fatigue into discontent. Why? Because Cousins is the consummate NBA ball hog and egomaniac. And when he steps onto the floor for the Warriors, he will be out to prove to the league that he is the number one center int he league . that his achilles heel is mended. This will not go down well with the other Warrior studs.
The season may not be so much fun in San Fransisco. And we might remember that both Klay Thomson and Kevin Durant are free agents next summer.
So, yes, the Warriors must be heavily favored to repeat as NBA champs. But … this may be the last season that we say this so early in the summer.
Sports Illustrated takes a more positive view of what Cousins will accomplish with the Warriors next season.
DeMarcus Cousins was one of the NBA’s top big men before suffering an Achilles heel injury last season. He went out and may not be able to return next season. Moreover, we do not know if Cousins will be able to regain his prior form.
But he might come back next season, and he might be able to play at a high level. That is the thinking of the NBA champion Warriors who just signed Cousins for a one year deal for $5 million.
Hmmm … for a player like Cousins, that is pocket change. And it is the only way the Warriors could afford to bring Cousins in as they are already overloaded with talent and huge salaries.
We shall see how this works out. But it is a shocker!
First a disclaimer. I have my doubts about Kawhi. They are injury, attitude and his stated desire to be in LA. With those doubts, my view has been that the Sixers should not “over offer” to bring him tho Philly. That caution was reinforced after LeBron decided to head to LA. Bringing Kawhi to Philly was not going to entice LeBron to come too.
On the other hand, you can’t deny that Kawhi is one of the best players in the league. And there are good arguments for trying to bring him to Philly. Most important – a lineup with Kawhi in the starting five will be one of the most dominant in the league.
So could the Sixers make this happen. Blindloyalty 76 offers the best argument that I have seen for how the Sixers make swing the deal.
Would I give up 3 draft picks? No. But what do you think?