Not surprisingly, the Cavs could not keep up with the Warriors, and got swept. The Warriors are just a better team. So are the Rockets (with Chris Paul). And I do not think that there is much the Cavs can do about that going into next year. So what? That means LeBron will likely part ways with the Cavs and enter free agency. to win a few more rings before he retires.
So where will LeBron go? If the Lakers can also pick up Paul George from the Thunder, LeBron might be tempted to hang his hat there. George apparently wants to head to Los Angeles, so this is a real possibility. On the other hand, the Sixers look pretty attractive as well. That is pretty exciting for Sixer fans, and we are likely to find out pretty soon — just after the draft.
Why would LeBron pick the Sixers over the Lakers? As you can see below, I think the Sixers offer a more intriguing cast of players even if George goes to the Lakers.
Meanwhile, things have hardly been dull in Sixers land. Their GM, Bryan Colangelo got caught up in one of the most peculiar scandals I have heard about. It came out that Colangelo had opened at least 6 twitter accounts under phony names and was trashing his own players on them in regular tweets. Colangelo claimed his wife was the actual tweeter. Then, Colangelo’s father — whom the Sixers had been forced to hire as team “president” by NBA Commissioner -Silver — said he would bad mouth the Sixers if they fired his son. The Sixers fired his son. I would guess that good old dad will be out the door soon as well. Brett Brown steps in as temporary GM to handle the draft and off season trades.
Will losing Colangelo be a problem? I don’t think so. In my view Bryan screwed up several important issues and did not do any amazing deals. Looking back, for example, he didn’t even try to keep Nerlens as a Joel backup, and instead he kept Jahlil Okafor dangling for an entire season for no reason. The Fultz trade? I like Markelle, but as it turns out, the Sixers most likely could have gotten him with their 3 pick. Instead, they traded away their next year’s Sacramento pick to the Celtics. True, he did bring in Ilyasova and Belinelli midway through the season and those two gave the Sixers a major lift. But he did not initiate those deals. So, I am not unhappy to see the end of the Colangelo era in Philly.
BTW the most important offseason news so far has not been on the front page. Remember Markelle Fultz? Fultz bombed out in his first year due to a shoulder condition that ruined his shot. Fultz is now training with one of the best shot trainers in the league — Drew Hanlen. Awesome!
I am an eternal optimist. I admit that. But if Fultz gets back to his college form and LeBron comes to Philly? And Ben Simmons learns how to shoot a 3 and finish with his left hand? And the Sixers pick up a decent player at 10 in the draft like Mikal Bridges? And Jonah Bolden comes over from European play? And the Sixers re-sign JJ Redick?
Consider this starting five
- Ben Simmons
- Joel Embiid
- Markelle Fultz
- LeBron James
- Dario Saric
And coming off the bench?
- JJ Redick
- Esan Ilyasova
- Robert Covington
- Jonah Bolden
- TJ McConnell
- Mikal Bridges (as the ten pick)
- Richaun Holmes
- Justin Anderson
- Marco Belinelli (perhaps)
And of course, TLC and Furkan if they can make a step up in the off season. I like it! LeBron moves off ball and beomes the Sixers first option on offense. The Sixers get outside shooting from all five starters! LeBron, Joel, and Markelle can create their own offense (a major weakness of last year’s team). Joel and Saric and LeBron dominate the boards. And the above plays monster defense (no JJ weak link).
You can go small ball with Ilyasova and Roco in for Joel and Dario. And you have lots of talent on the bench.
I am getting excited already!