NBA D-Day: 2017 Trade Deadline Talk
The time is upon us real basketball fans. For the casual association watcher who only know big names, this isn't for you. If the name Otto Porter Jr. doesn't ring any bells in your mind, this isn't for you. This is it. The NBA trade deadline is on its final 24-hour countdown. This is a time for everyone to see how their team’s front office actually views its on team. Whose looking to tank the last half of the season and stock up on draft picks? Will LeBron get the backup point guard that he “needs”? What the hell is going to happen the New York Knickerbockers? Let me take a moment to present some of this year’s trade storylines all wrapped up in my opinion. Grab a craft beer and take the load off. Up first my big 3: Cavs, Celtics, Lakers.
Let’s start with the top dogs in the West, the Warriors and the Kawhi’s, they’re confident in their current rosters and haven’t been reaching out to anyone for anybody as far as we can tell. Now to the first two spots in the East that is a different story. Anyone with a cable subscription that includes ESPN should’ve at least heard about the complaining LeBron was seemingly displaying when it came to talks of his Cavaliers not having a backup point guard. The Cavs just acquired Kyle Korver not even two months ago, a knock down shooter who moves well without the ball and can increasingly stretch the floor and make even more room for LeBron and Kyrie. On the other hand LeBron knows he’s going to meet a group of four all stars in the NBA finals and he simply wants to have some solid play at the 1 when Kyrie is resting. Houston Rockets has shown some interest in being open to accepting offers for Patrick Beverley, which could work for the Cavs. Beverley is a defensive-minded veteran who won’t get you 20 points but will bring a toughness and experience to a backup position that would be an upgrade to their current roster. Even if you had to give up a guy like Shumpert or a Kay Felder and a pick I think it would be worth it for this team whose time to win again is NOW.
The Celtics have been reportedly trying to make some type of move. They are currently the 2nd best team in the east and realistically would need one more big time talent added to their roster to challenge LeBron for the title of the Eastern Conference Champions. Most basketball watchers have heard of the Jimmy Butler talks, let me address this as a Chicago Bulls fan. First off if we as an organization do that I will exclusively only publicly be a fan of Russell Westbrook and I will throw all of the Bulls tees I got from the Nike clearance store away. Secondly, if the Celtics were to acquire Butler, I don't believe that would push them into contention with the Cavs. Butler on the Celtics would be adding more of the same that you already have, which is not a detriment to the team but I don't think it’s enough to beat the Cavs. The only trade I see Danny Ainge doing that could threaten LeBron is if they were to get Melo and not give any of their core players up for him. That would give Thomas and Smart a field day with being able to run pick n rolls with Anthony, Horford, and Olynk ALL of whom have the ability to knock down the 3 and Carmelo also being a premier post presence.
It’s hard to write an NBA and not include the Lakers in some fashion. I’ve done it three times and now I’m accepting that it’s time, especially with Magic Johnson getting promoted to run basketball operations. In the first 48 hours Magic traded arguably the best player on the team to the Houston Hardens and in return they get a terrible terrible hairline and a 1st round pick. Magic’s strategy makes sense to me. Stock up on all the 1st and 2nd round picks you can now, and spend the rest of the year seeing if your core 3 players can actually be franchise players to build around or build with. Russell, Clarkson, and Randle are basically on audition with Magic for the rest of the year as he moves forward with the rebuilding phase.
Up last, my interesting 4: Knicks, T-Wolves, Pistons, 76ers.
Ahhh, the Knicks, in the words of my pops, they are “stuck like chuck.” You have the ego of Phil Jackson versus the ego of Lala’s husband. Phil clearly doesn't want Melo in a Knicks uniform anymore and Melo clearly wants to stay. Neither wants to give the other any satisfaction. Personally I believe it’s time to start building around Porzingis, and that’s where the T-Wolves come in. There has been some reports that the king of yelling Thomas Thibodeau has interest in bringing back his old MVP Derrick Rose, of course for Rubio, who has seemingly been shopped by Minnesota for the last couple of seasons. If this trade were to happen it would be a win win situation in my opinion. For the Knicks, you get rid of Rose’s contract and get an arguably better point guard, who is definitely a better distributor on the floor to run with Porzingis who would have another international player to relate to along with Hernangomez. For the Wolves, This would get his old point guard back that was the focal point of the team that produced his best year as a coach. If Rose doesn't workout his contract is up at the end of next season and you could get rid of him and simply use the next year and a half to get Kris Dunn up to speed to take over the 1. Low Risk for both teams in my estimation.
Lastly, the 76ers and Pistons; Philly has been trying to ship Okafor out since halfway through his rookie year and now with the emergence of Embiid there is definitely no reason to keep him. You can easily build a team around Simmons, Joel, and Nerlens and if you can garner two picks or a solid wing scorer for Okafor in return that would be ideal for them. The Pistons who are run by Van Gundy are in an interesting situation. They gave Reggie Jackson a huge contract and haven't gotten huge results. Granted injuries have played a major role in this but Reggie has never been a consistent enough player to lead a playoff team. There have been reports that Stan is taking offers for not only Reggie but also Caldwell- Pope and Drummond who I think are the Pistons two best players. That tells me that Stan maybe entertaining a blow up of the team because the Pistons are stuck in a world similar to my Bulls. Good enough to make the playoffs but bad enough to lose in the 1st round every year. For a team like the Pistons who not terribly long ago were buying tickets to see Chauncey, Rip, and Rasheed challenge for ECF titles every year, some deem this current team as unacceptable.
Honorable mention for the Pelicans who just got Boogie, but as Twitter has told me Applebee’s has better wings than New Orleans. And their bench is non-existent, excellent move; still need pieces to contend in that loaded ass west.
There are a lot more teams trying to make a lot more moves but these were the ones I’ve spent most of my time watching and reading about. At the end of the day the elite teams are trying to get the Finals, and the average teams are trying to get to the Conference championships while the bad teams just want to make the playoffs. Their is a lot of uncertainty around this time in the association but one thing is certain, THIS year, our Finals are already set; Warriors vs. Cavs 3
Stay Thirsty My Friends!