Tag: Los Angeles Lakers

The Celtics win the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes

When Anthony Davis’ representative, Rich Paul, decided to announce that his client (Davis) was not going to sign the super-max extension New Orleans was going to offer him this summer and requested a trade, the announcement had a seismic feel around the league. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks began to clear house and free up cap space to go after the Davis via trade or for the summer.

As the trade deadline approached the Lakers desperately tried to get their hands on the superstar, but never succeeded. As a result, with Davis still in New Orleans the Boston Celtics are now in the driver seat to acquire Davis this summer.

The Anthony Davis Circus

The Lakers offered a package of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo and two first round picks for Davis and Solomon Hill. Six players and two first rounders was still not enough for the Pelicans to part ways with Davis.

The Knicks on the other hand traded away Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr and Cortney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks for DeAndre Jordan, Wes Mathews, Denis Smith Jr and two first round picks. After buying out Mathews on Thursday, the Knicks now have enough cap space to sign two superstar free agents in the summer. They currently have the worst record in the league at 10-43, and if awarded the number one pick in draft, the Knicks can built a package around it in exchange for Davis, while at the same time having the ability to sign two max players this summer.

Before the trade deadline, the Clippers traded away Tobiris Harris to Philadelphia, who will be looking for a max contract this summer. They also traded Avery Bradley to Memphis, who had a $2 million partial guarantee in his contract. As a result of these moves the Clippers have also created enough cap space to sign two max players this summer.

They still have interesting pieces to flirt with New Orleans in a Davis deal this summer such as Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Shia Gilgeous-Alexander, a 2020 first-round pick and Miami’s 2021 first-round pick.

The Celtics pot of Gold

Somewhere in Boston Danny Ainge had a big grin on his face once the clock hit 3:00 p.m. on Thursday. New Orleans and The Lakers never agreed on a Davis deal, which means Ainge can open up his treasure chest to the Pelicans front office. Boston can offer New Orleans a number of interesting packages such as Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Robert Williams, Al Horford and two or three first round picks for Davis.

The toughest choice on Boston’s side will be if they’re willing to put Jayson Tatum into the mix. In his rookie season Tatum displayed his basketball excellence in the regular season and playoffs, helping Boston come one game shy of a trip to the Finals with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Irving and C’s still on board with Contract Talks

On Friday, Ainge silenced all the talk about Irving and his pending free agency by saying he still believes the superstar point guard will resign with Boston. “The way I viewed the situation is that I think a lot of people, because of Kyrie’s announcement at the beginning of the year, thought that it was a marriage,” Ainge said on Boston sports radio 98.5 The Sports Hub.

“And I think that it’s more like an engagement. And we’re going to get married on July 1st. I think that engagement is still on, as far as I know.”

“In my individual conversations with Kyrie, we’re still engaged but we really can’t make those vows, sign that contract until July 1st.”

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New York Knicks and Anthony Davis Should Stay Far Away From Each Other

With recent news of Anthony Davis wanting out of New Orleans, many fans and analysts have put out trade destinations such as Davis going to the Lakers, Raptors, Celtics and even the forever struggling New York Knicks.

The Knicks should not look to entertain a trade for Anthony Davis as this would mean sacrificing talents such as Kevin Knox, Allonzo Trier, Kristaps Porzingis and even potentially the #1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft which can turn into Zion Williamson or even R.J. Barrett. Two players who can elevate your franchise.

A core of Zion/Barrett, Porzingis and Knox would be a great core to build off of for the Knicks. It’s a core that could potentially be a big-time threat in a couple of years.

If you are the Knicks you have to ask yourself is Anthony Davis really worth giving up your future for?

The Knicks necessarily hasn’t been a winning situation for anyone and this should raise concerns on Anthony Davis’ end. What is the difference between the situation in New Orleans and the Knicks?

Trading for Davis would be a risk for the Knicks end as you would have to give up a lot of young assets for him. Davis would be paired up with no one once he gets there. The Knicks would have to pray to the basketball gods that a top free agent will come there in the summer.

The Knicks haven’t been serious contenders for a long time and is looked to be one of the laughing stock franchises in the NBA.

If a trade does go down and the Knicks land Davis, you are going to have to be 100% certain Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard will come to the Big Apple. If there are any uncertainties that with these players not coming, you are setting Anthony Davis up to fail.

Ultimately, the Knicks shouldn’t throw away the years they are rebuilding for Davis. From the history books, winning championships come from building through the draft and the Knicks have plenty of young players with upside. Don’t throw those years away.

Are the Boston Celtics Finally Ready to Steamroll through the East?

Last night’s showdown between two red-hot Eastern Conference teams seemed to be no problem for the Boston Celtics as they rolling through the Indiana Pacers 135-108.

The four game home stand was something the Celtics needed after winning one out of four games on their West coast road trip two weeks ago. Boston have now won four straight and are 15-5 at TD Garden. They play a back-to-back today as they take their talents to South Beach and play the Miami Heat.

Boston’s Depth on Full Display

At the start of the season the talk around the league was the amount of talent the Celtics have, they have eight legit starting caliber players and last night’s victory showed that. The Pacers were out gunned yesterday, even with their talented duo of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Boston had seven players that reached double figures, which now makes it four consecutive games where at least five players have scored in double figures.

The team was led by Marcus Morris and Jaylen Brown, who each scored 22 points to go along with eight and seven rebounds. Jayson Tatum showed out offensively as he scored 20 points while shooting 60 percent from the field on 9-of-15 shots. Another positive takeaway was the performance of Gordon Hayward, who has been more consistent on the offensive end over the last couple of games. He finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 from the field.

Brooklyn Nets v Boston Celtics
Starters, Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart celebrate with teammates as they cruise by the Indiana Pacers. (Photo credit: NBA.com)

It was one of those games that allowed Kyrie Irving to take a break offensively, he played only 24 minutes and scored only 12 points. Al Horford also had a laid-back night, playing only 18 minutes and chipped in with six points and eight assists.

The True Test for Boston Begins in the Coming Weeks

Since airing out their frustrations after the loss to Milwaukee back in December, the Celtics are now 7-2 over their last nine games with their only losses coming to the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs. The home stretch provided an extra boost of confidence for the Celtics, but in the upcoming weeks they will play legit championship contenders like the Toronto Raptors, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Celtics and Raptors will square-off on Wednesday at TD Garden. Their even at 1-1 over their last two meetings with Boston taking the second game in overtime when Irving exploded for 43 points.

A potential NBA Finals match-up with the Warriors will take place on Saturday the 26th, as both teams continue to get back to playing championship level basketball. Although the Celtics could be one of the first teams to face a returning DeMarcus Cousins with Golden State, as he’s scheduled to return from an Achilles tear in mid-to-late January.

Early Top 5 NBA MVP Candidates

The NBA season has been full of surprises, we have seen the rise of the Denver Nuggets and the fall of the Houston Rockets. Questions remain with all the surprises in the NBA, who will be the MVP this season?

The NBA MVP race has been interesting this season. We have seen remarkable plays and emergence of many players. Here are the 5 players who are the top candidates to win MVP this season:

5. Anthony Davis

Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Record: 14-15
Stats: 27.4 Points 12.2 Rebounds 4.8 Assists 2.8 Blocks

Anthony Davis has been an MVP caliber player for the past four seasons, but his team hasn’t produced the wins for Davis to be a serious candidate. Davis is doing it all for the Pelicans this season. He is producing on both sides of the court, offense, and defense.

The Pelicans are 4-6 in their last 10 games falling to the 10th seed in the Western Conference. For Davis to win MVP this season, his team has to start winning. Davis has MVP caliber stats but unfortunately is not winning games to back up his case for MVP.

Davis does have a decent supporting cast to pull out wins but the Pels haven’t found a way to win games consistently. The Pelicans as a team rank 2nd in both points per game and assists per game. The offense is there for the Pelicans but they must be consistent on this end and also on the defensive end.

4. Stephen Curry

Team: Golden State Warriors
Record: 19-9
Stats: 30.1 Points 5.8 Assists 5.2 Rebounds 1.1 Steals

Stephen Curry is always an MVP candidate every year since 2015. His tremendous shooting ability, playmaking, and overall offensive abilities have helped lead the Warriors to a winning culture.

Curry is currently having a 50/50/90 season. The last person to achieve this historic stat for a season is his coach Steve Kerr in the 1995-1996 season with the Chicago Bulls. Curry is shooting 51% from the field, 50% from the 3, and 93% from the free throw line. These historic shooting numbers from Curry will help elevate his case for MVP this season.

Curry’s MVP case might be tarnished due to early season injuries as well as being on a super team with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Curry is having a historic season and is easily the best player on the Warriors. He will have plenty of nods to be in the MVP conversation this year.

3. Kawhi Leonard

Team: Toronto Raptors
Record: 22-7
Stats: 26.1 Points 3 Assists 8.3 Rebounds 1.9 Steals

The Toronto Raptors are currently the best team in the NBA, holding the best record in the league. This is in large part due to the remarkable play by Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard is the best player on the raptors and affects the floor both on offense and defense. With the help of Kyle Lowry, Danny Green and Serge Ibaka, the Raptors may find themselves in the NBA Finals in June.

After his dramatic departure from San Antonio during the offseason, Leonard is reminding everyone that he is a Top 5 player in the league.

With the Raptors rolling this season, Leonard is a top MVP candidate this year.

2. Lebron James

Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Record: 17-10
Stats: 28.3 Points 7.1 Assists 7 Rebounds 1.3 Steals

A 33-year-old Lebron James is leading the Lakers to a 5th seed in the Brutal Western Conference. James is averaging close to a triple-double and producing wins for this Lakers roster whose next best player is Kyle Kuzma.

James is on a tear this season and has been the sole reason this Laker team is winning games. He has the best chance to take the MVP trophy home this season if he continues to produce more wins for his team. He has played in every single game this season and it seems like he is getting better with age.

The Lakers have won 7 games in their last 10 games. James continues to exceed expectations year in and year out as he is leading this team who has struggled the past 5 years to the playoffs. The Lakers are 1.5 games behind from being the number one seed in the conference. With how the Lakers are playing, they might be the first seed by Christmas.

James is leading the Lakers in Points, Rebounds and assists for the Lakers. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is the highest on the team at 27.4. Next highest is Kyle Kuzma at 16.1 PER.

1. Giannis Antentokoumpo

Team: Milwaukee Bucks
Record: 18-8
Stats: 26.5 Points 13.3 Rebounds 6 Assists 1.3 Blocks

Giannis Antentokoumpo is doing everything for the Bucks, scoring, grabbing rebounds, playing defense, dishing out assists. 2019 is the year of the Greek Freak as he has lifted the Bucks to the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference.

Giannis is the best player in the Eastern Conference. He is a nightmare for any team. Giannis hasn’t quite figured out his shooting ability in the NBA yet, only shooting 11% but is still finding a way to score buckets and be a force in the league.

The Bucks are a scary team to face as they currently rank 1st as a team in points per game and rebound per game. They also rank 4th in assists per game being one of the more unselfish teams in the league.

Giannis is leading the team in Points, Rebounds, assists and steals basically every statistical category other than blocks which Brook Lopez currently leads the team in.

Giannis is 4th in PER, ranking only behind Steph Curry, Boban Marjanovic and Anthony Davis.

The Bucks are a difficult and scary team to face this season and that is due to the rise of Giannis Antentokoumpo. Giannis has the best chance to win MVP this year as he doing everything and winning with the Bucks.

NBA: Where will Kevin Durant land in the 2019 NBA Free Agency?

On July 5th 2016, Kevin Durant shocked the NBA world when he opted to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors. Immediately after it was reported, sports journalists, NBA executives, and fans alike, all began to ridicule Durant. “How can he go to the team that he was up against 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals?” How many times have we all heard that?

Well, eventually, Durant’s decision would pay off and the ridicule would turn into praise as Durant ended up leading the Warriors to back-to-back championships, earning both Finals MVPs in the process. With this being Durant’s final year of his contract, the question of where Durant is going begins to loom over us all. With that in mind, what are the top destinations for Kevin Durant?

Well, there are certainly plenty of teams who would love to have Kevin Durant in their lineup and if we take an objective look at the field, a lot of teams can be in play. But, the biggest factor in determining where Durant will land has to be Durant’s reasoning. Does Kevin Durant want to win more championships, or does he value having his own team more? Questions like these will lessen the playing field for Kevin Durant. Regardless, here’s a list with the top teams that Kevin Durant could be playing for in October of 2019.

#11 Portland Trailblazers 

If Kevin Durant is tired of the Warriors and wants to join a team that’s looking exactly for a player of his caliber, the Portland Trailblazers are the perfect fit. Every season, the Trailblazers continue to dominate, but they falter in the playoffs. For the last five years, the Blazers have made the playoffs, but have failed to make any noise, at best reaching the 2nd round. Kevin Durant will be welcomed with open arms by the by CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard and certainly by the fans. It’s a very interesting team to think about, but it seems very unlikely and that’s why it’s #11.

#10 New Orleans Pelicans 

Just like the Blazers, the Pelicans are a talented team with two all-stars in Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. If KD wants to join a team that’s in need of his exact skill set, this is another perfect fit. It’s very unlikely that it will happen because it’s the Pelicans. No one goes to the Pelicans and ultimately, that’s why it’s #10. But, can you imagine KD with Anthony Davis?

#9 Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks are a team on the rise with a talented group of players including the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. Right now, the Bucks are sitting as the #2 seed in the Easter Conference with a record of 14-6. After LeBron’s departure from the East, it’s anyone’s Conference and KD joining the Bucks will be more than enough to make it to the Finals. What will it take to land KD and how many pieces must be moved? That’s not known.

#8 Philadelphia 76ers 

It’s unclear how this can be done and that’s why it’s low on the list, but if it can be done, watch out. Can you imagine Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant on one team? This will be the new and improved Golden State Warriors. To make matters worse for other teams, who is going to compete with them in the East? The 76ers are 3 rd in the East right now with a 14-8 record. Adding KD to the mix will obviously lead to Finals appearances over and over and over again.

#7 Toronto Raptors 

The Toronto Raptors are currently 1 st in the East with a 17-4 record. If KD comes over to Toronto and Kahwi Leonard resigns, who will stop this team? Let’s not forget about all the other talented players they have including Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka, and others. If it’s possible, this will be the new King of the East.

#6 Oklahoma City Thunder 

If Durant wants to bring back a championship to his home team after learning how to win elsewhere, this is the time. Westbrook is still in his prime and Paul George is no scrub. The team is tied for 4th in the West with a 12-7 record. Adding in KD will make the West much more interesting and who doesn’t love a homecoming story?

#5 New York Knicks 

The New York Knicks haven’t been relevant ever since Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. Fortunately for them, they have a talented young group of players and an All-Star caliber player in Kristaps Porzingis. Furthermore, rumors have been circulating that Kyrie Irving is looking at the New York Knicks. If the Knicks are able to land KD and Kyrie while keeping Porzingis, this will be a major contender in the East. If KD wants to be “the man” in a big city, this is the perfect team.

#4 Boston Celtics 

The Boston Celtics are in a weird place right now, with a mixture of veteran players and a nice young core. Unfortunately, they can’t seem to find the right mixture of the two. If some pieces move around and KD is able to sign, this could not just be a winning team, but this could be KD’s team. With Kyrie, Horford, Hayward, Tatum, Morris, Smart, Brown, and Rozier, the Celtics can definitely make some moves to not only land Durant but give him a talented group of players to work with. Not to mention, do we not want to see the Lebron led Lakers rival the Durant led Celtics? How would that Finals go?

3 Los Angeles Clippers 

The Los Angeles Clippers have been surprising everyone this year as they sit atop the Western Conference with a 13-6 record. If KD really wants to win championship and have his own team, this would be the perfect fit. The Clippers are already talented enough to win games in the regular season, but they need KD for the playoffs. KD will definitely be “the man” on this team and wouldn’t he just love to ruin LeBron’s Lakers by being the better team in LA?

#2 Golden State Warriors 

That’s right, the Golden State Warriors are 2nd on this list. The Warriors are still an amazing group of players when they work together, but with Green’s attitude and drama, the beginning of the end seems near. Thompson is up for free agency and Green will be in the final year of his contract. Furthermore, they’re all aging, and Green’s negativity seems to be starting to outweigh his productivity. The “fun” play is quickly getting boring and we witnessed that first hand between Durant and Green. Simply, what happened between Durant and Green can never be forgotten or forgiven and that’s why this team not #1.

#1 Los Angeles Lakers 

Come on down to LA if you want to win. Wherever LeBron goes, the chance of success increases significantly. The Lakers are young, talented, have the money, and have LeBron James. Without KD, this team will be making significant playoff runs, possibly upending the Warriors. With KD, the Warriors will be forgotten about as this Lakers team will demolish everyone. I mean, who can mess with a team that has both KD and LeBron?

Is Kevin Durant-OKC Reunion Possible in the 2019 NBA Free Agency

In the 2016 NBA Offseason, 9x All-Star Kevin Durant shocked the entire world when he signed with the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors were just coming off two finals appearances and the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green already achieved a championship back in the 2015 Finals and was out for revenge after losing to a Cleveland Cavaliers team led by Lebron James back in the 2016 Finals. 

Durant’s decision sparked disappointment and anger from the fans of Oklahoma City and general fans around the league. Fans labeled him as a “snake”, “cupcake” and a “coward”. With recent videos of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook showing friendly gestures such as hugging and shaking hands, all might be forgiven in OKC. The question rises could a possible reunion between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant happen come this year’s free agency?

 

Durant, in his time with the Golden State Warriors, went on to captured 2 NBA Championships as well as 2 NBA Finals MVP’s in back to back years. Durant finally captured the championship he has been chasing his whole career. At this point, it seems highly unlikely he leaves the Warriors.

With the recent clash of Durant and teammate Draymond Green, it seems that Durant may have his foot out the door in Golden State. Draymond, in an interview with ESPN, expressed uncertainty but support in the future of his teammates Durant and Klay Thompson’s decision in free agency:

“You know, at the end of the day, as I’ve said before, whatever Kevin decides to do, whatever Klay decides to do, whatever who decides to do, we had great years together and I support everybody wholeheartedly, 100 percent,” Green Stated. “Because as a man, as a human being, you got the right to do what you want with your life. So I will never question that.”

In a scenario that Durant joins OKC in free agency, the team would be complete and the Thunder would have everything to be championship contenders. The core of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams, and Kevin Durant sounds like a dream come true for Thunder fans.

Ultimately, this scenario does not seem likely to happen and this is due to OKC not having the cap space to make this happen. Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Steven Adams are the top paid players on the team and with Westbrook and George earning over 30 million a year, there is no flexibility that the team has to bring in Kevin Durant unless they trade one of those three guys.

Durant is looking for a big payday come free agency and teams such as the Lakers, Nets, Knicks, Mavericks, and Clippers have the cap to give Durant big time money. Durant’s decision comes down to how satisfied and happy he is. It doesn’t make sense leaving a situation where he is winning championships in Golden State unless he is unhappy with the team.

Durant may possibly be interested in rejoining the team that drafted and molded him at some point in his career but the odds seem low due to OKC’s lack of cap flexibility. But from history, we have learned that the NBA is unpredictable and a scenario such as this doesn’t sound too far-fetched.

Is Zion Williamson The Next Lebron James?

Duke freshman Zion Williamson has garnered plenty of attention around the NCAA as potentially the second coming of Lebron James. The 6-7 285lb forward has dominated competition so far through three games into the college season.

The one thing that distinguishes Zion from everyone else is his crazy athleticism and his muscular frame for a college player. Zion is a force similar to Lebron in which they are both freight trains going at people. Zion has filled up the stat sheets with high flying dunks, stellar rebounding and even showing some shooting touch.

“This might be the most athleticism we’ve seen since Vince Carter,” said NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett.

Zion for the season is averaging 25.3 Points, 10.7 Rebounds and 2.7 assists. With these numbers, he is making a case that he is the best college basketball player right now as well as the potential number one overall pick come the 2019 NBA Draft.

Zion has drawn comparisons to that of Lakers star Lebron James. This is a huge comparison that Zion will be looked upon to live up to in the NBA. Lebron, at the age of 18, was scrutinized heavily but lived up to and exceeded expectations. Lebron came into the NBA straight out of high school and also being a player who was not only extremely athletic but having a high IQ for the game of basketball.

Zion is a freak of nature and someone who is going to be an instant star and high energy player for any team he is on and the truth is we have not seen anything like Zion in terms of his athleticism and skills at his frame and stature. This is a great thing as he is a new breed of basketball talent that we haven’t seen before with these abilities.

Zion Williamson isn’t a Lebron just yet and it is kind of unfair to compare the two. Nevertheless, with Zion’s abilities, he can very well put pressure on being better than Lebron if he exceeds past expectations.

Right now, Zion is his own animal with unlimited upside in his game. Only time will tell if he can live up to all the hype that is surrounding him.