Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

Breaking News: The LA Lakers win the Anthony Davis Sweetstakes   Leave a comment

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News broke in the last hour the New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to trade All Star Forward/Center Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here are the details of the trade:

  • Lakers Receive: Anthony Davis
  • Pelicans Receive: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, The Lakers’ #4 Pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and 2 additional 1st Round Picks

…As a reminder: The Pelicans already have the #1 Draft Pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and they are presumed to pick top draft and former Duke superstar prospect Zion Williams. So…yeah.

In terms of who won the trade, the Lakers did short term but the Pelicans did longterm. The Lakers are guaranteed to make the playoffs next year and possibly get to the Western Conference Finals with LeBron and AD. The Pelicans should also make the playoffs next year between the the new young talent they’re getting via trade and the draft as well.

This will mark the second time in two years AD will be paired with another All Star. DeMarcus Cousins played with AD two years ago before suffering a season-ending injury. Cousins elected to sign with the Warriors during the last offseason. He came in big during the NBA Finals and more so after Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both went down to injuries. The Raptors went on to beat the Warriors in 6 games but the Warriors are still favorites to return to the NBA Finals again because of the depth of the talent on their team.

This will also be the third time LeBron James has paired with another All Star level talent. He won a title the last two instances he paired with at least one other All Star. He won two titles with Dwayne Wade (and Chris Bosh) in Miami before winning a title alongside Kyrie Irving (and Kevin Love) in Cleveland. It would be fair to assume LeBron will win a title with the Lakers in the next two or three years or at least play for one in the NBA Finals.

According to reports, the Lakers are looking to get Kemba Walker from the Charlotte Hornets. Easier said than done given he has indicated he plans to stay on with the Hornets.

 

Note: Anthony Davis’ Lakers’ Jersey number not yet known. He rocked #23 with the Pelicans but since LeBron James is using that number, presumably his will be different.

 

 

Image result for Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving

 

Speaking of Kyrie Irving.

According to multiple reports, Irving plans to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in Free Agency. Irving came to the Celtics via trade two years ago in a deal that saw the departure of Isaiah Thomas, who reached All Star status with the Celtics. Irving had season-ending knee surgery near the end of last season and saw the Celtics nearly reach the playoffs without him and fellow former All Star Gordon Hayward, who suffered a nasty leg injury in last season’s opening game.

The Celtics started this past season with everyone healthy but despite having what everyone considered the best starting lineup to challenge the Golden State Warriors–Irving, Jaylen Brown, Hayward, Al Horford and Jayson Tatum–the team struggled out of the gate. It wasn’t a lack of skill but they were unable to figure out playing together to win games. Ultimately, Brown and Hayward were swapped with Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris and things started to improve. The team finished the season 4th in the East, swept the Pacers out of playoffs and lost to the Bucks in the Second Round of the playoffs.

Shortly after the AD Trade was announced, the Celtics revealed they were not willing to include Tatum in a deal for Davis. With Irving also on his way out, it would be fair to say Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will now be the face of the Celtics. No doubt one or both could make the All Star team next season. Attention is now on veteran big man Al Horford, who could opt out of playing the final year of his contract with the Celtics this offseason. It’s a question of weather or not he would be willing to give the young talent one more chance at a playoff run. Horford was pivotal in the Celtics nearly making the NBA Finals two years ago vs. LeBron and the Cavs. I think he would weather the Celtics could get a big Free Agent or not. Next year will be a question of weather or not he agrees to sign a new contract with the Celtics or not to me personally.

All that said, Free Agency is sure to be real interesting this year!

 

 

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Anthony Davis firmly rules out the Celtics as a longterm destination but the Pelicans clearly feel otherwise   Leave a comment

Image result for Isaiah Thomas traded to Cavs

 

The trade involving Kyrie Irving and former All Star Isaiah Thomas from two years ago pissed off Anthony Davis’ father (also named Anthony Davis) so much, he put out a public statement last week saying it’s the reason why he does not want his son to play for the Celtics. It wasn’t the trade itself but the way the trade went down that shocked the sports world and pissed off a lot of NBA Players as well as fans of Isaiah Thomas. As a reminder, Isaiah Thomas’ sister died suddenly during the Celtics playoff run two years back. He was also forced to have season-ending hip surgery during the Eastern Conference Finals, which the Celtics lost to the Cavs 5-1 (their one victory coming after IT was forced out of the lineup ironically).

Two months later and a week after the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward, the trade involving him (as well as Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic) for Kyrie Irving went down. Thomas (and the other two players involved) never saw it coming and found out the same way everyone else did: From the news. He didn’t hear it from the Celtics in advance and after what happened with him during the playoffs…well, he wasn’t wrong to feel disrespected. As everyone knows, Kyrie Irving was the one who demanded the Cavs trade him ASAP right after the Cavs lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. The Celtics made the Cavs an offer and the trade went down.

The problem wasn’t the trade itself. Isaiah Thomas is well aware it was business decision but and no one is untouchable. Given what happened to him two months earlier, to then be traded a little over a week after the Celtics signed Gordon Hayward without advance notice would understandably make anyone feel disposable. More so given he was a fan favorite. Isaiah Thomas and Danny Ainge eventually sat down and hashed things out.

The man once known as the King of the Fourth only played a handful of games with the Cavs last January before he was traded to the Lakers and was released at the end of the season (The Lakers didn’t make the playoffs last season). He was signed to the Denver Nuggets during the offseason at the Veteran minimum. Just the season before, he was in the All Star game. Isaiah’s public criticism of the Cavs and referencing his experiences with the Celtics during press conferences during his tenure with the team is pointed to as the main reasons he was traded mid-season last year.

On that note, I do think IT4 will return to the Celtics in the next few years. Most likely as a Free Agent in my book. I don’t see the Celtics trading for him personally. I think Kyrie Irving would want it since the trade came during a very low point in IT4’s life and it’s obvious he wants to return to the Celtics. At the same time, the undeniable fact is IT4 was a defensive liability. No one doubts his explosive offense but off the ball, the Celtics had to have him switch off with another defender or otherwise “hide” him.

Case example:

Image result for Lebron James Dunks on Isaiah Thomas

 

The obvious size difference aside…yeah. LBJ literally mopped the floor with him during that playoff series. THIS is why Danny Ainge pulled the trigger and traded him. IT4 is useless on defense against (much) bigger players like Lebron James, Giannis, Durant, Simmons, Westbrook and so on. Until he figures it out like Nate Robinson did, I don’t think the Celtics should take him back.

Isaiah Thomas aside. Anthony Davis himself said he would only consider playing with the Lakers, Knicks, Clippers or Bucks longterm and everywhere else would be a one-year deal. So, there is little to no point in the Celtics pursuing him knowing that. The Pelicans and AD’s agent both announced yesterday he will not be traded before the deadline. Given the Celtics just moved a player to open up a slot, that automatically makes them the frontrunner for AD come July 1. The big problem is the knowledge that he will be a 1-year rental so…yeah.

 

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Anthony Davis announces he wants out of New Orleans and wants to be traded to a Championship Contender   Leave a comment

Image result for Anthony Davis Trade

 

Let the Anthony Davis Sweepstakes begin!

At the beginning of the season, only two teams were looked at as top contenders should AD end up on the trade block: The Celtics and the Lakers. On that note. Jayson Tatum said during the offseason he would trade himself for AD if it came down to it. We already know Terry Rozier will be leaving after this season (and offseason) is done. Tatum + Rozier for AD would be a pretty hard offer to resist and more so given everyone else wants Tatum or Jaylen Brown (or both).

Of course, AD and LeBron James have the same agent. Based on that, most experts believe the Lakers are the most likely landing spot for The Brow. At the same time, it’s certainly possible AD could go with another contender such as the Rockets, Bucks or Nuggets. Besides, if the playoffs started tomorrow the Lakers would be out of the playoffs.

The problem for the Celtics is The Rose Rule prevents them from trading for AD until after the season (and post-season) is over. The reason: They got Kyrie Irving via Trade and thus, The Rose Rule is in effect. How it works is a team with a player that basically gained All Star-level status within their first four seasons in the NBA that is due for a contract extension–in this case, Irving–can’t sign another player who has also met the same criteria–in this case, AD–until the first player signs a new contract or leaves the team. The rule is named for Derrick Rose, who has done a tour of duty around the NBA during his career more or less.

Irving announced during the Preseason he intends to re-sign with the Celtics after this season. What this means is the Celtics will need to wait until the off season to make a deal for Davis. Of course, this is assuming New Orleans can convince Davis and his agent to wait until the offseason and not trade him before the February 7 trade deadline like we’ve all been assuming. Everyone knows the Celtics can offer New Orleans the best deal for Davis period. It’s just a question of weather or not New Orleans is willing to wait until July 1 to entertain an offer from Trader Danny. That’s the one advantage the other 28 yeams have over the Celtics.

As a reminder, AD will not become a free agent after this season. Irving will though he’s opted to sign a new contract with Boston. It’s certainly possible the Celtics and Pelicans could agree to a trade for Davis in advance and then wait until July 1 to make it official. So, everything I said in the first paragraph is certainly possible.

Taking another look at the Celtics Roster, these players could be packaged for Davis:

 

  • Jayson Tatum (Forward)
  • Terry Rozier (Guard)
  • PJ Dozier (Guard/Forward)
  • Jabari Bird (Guard)

 

Tatum and Rozier would obviously be the centerpieces of the trade. The Celtics have a lot of Guards they could offload but Tatum or Brown alone is enough for any team to say “HELL YEAH”! Both are franchise players as well. Because of the Rose Rule, they would both finish the season (and post-season) with the Celtics. The Celtics would also need to sign Irving to a new contract after the season (and post-season) before they can officially pull the trigger on a trade for AD. They could agree to a trade before the deadline, then wait until July to make it official though.

The talking heads on ESPN say AD will likely go to the Lakers but again, we all could be assuming the trade will happen before the deadline. We’ll have to wait and see if AD changes uniforms before February 7 or not.

 

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The Philadephia 76ers win The Jimmy Butler Sweetstakes in Blockbuster Trade   Leave a comment

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All Star Vet Jimmy Butler is heading back to the Eastern Conference.

The trade involving The Minnesota Timberwolves (4-9) and The Philadephia 76ers (8-5) was announced an hour ago. Here are the details:

 

  • Philadelphia receives Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton.
  • Minnesota receives Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and 2022 second-round pick.

 

The Butler trade was inevitable given Butler himself demanded to be traded during the offseason. The All Star was reportedly unhappy with the team and didn’t get along with fellow All Star Karl Anthony Towns. During the team’s training camp, Butler challenged the whole team on the court and destroyed everyone including the coach, screaming “You guys need me to win!” Prior to the trade, Bulter was sitting out game reasons most presumed to be related to his desire to be traded off the team.

…Now with the Philadephia 76ers, the Eastern Conference just got interesting. Prior to the trade, the Boston Celtics (7-5) were clear the favorites to run through the Eastern Conference to the NBA Finals. Now we can expect to see a thrilling rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinals in which the Celtics won 4-1 before falling to Lebron and the Cavs 4-3 in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics beat the 76ers in the season opener, which took place in Boston.

The 76ers and Celtics will play each other again on Christmas Day in Boston. Assuming both teams get there, the Eastern Conference Finals are sure to be alot more interesting! Jimmy Butler will get his first chance at revenge against his now former team January 15 in Philly. The teams will clash once more in Minnesota on my birthday, March 30. I would not be surprised at all if TNT or ABC pick up one or both games at this point.

 

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Kyrie Irving announces he will re-sign with the Boston Celtics   Leave a comment

Image result for Boston Celtics All Stars

 

 

This took place yesterday afternoon at the TD Garden in Boston.

Obviously the details will be ironed out after the 2018-19 season but there you have it it: Kyrie Irving pulled a Paul George and announced in advance he’s not leaving anytime soon. This definitive announcement from Irving comes admid speculation he would leave after this season to play for the New York Knicks.

I’m not even sure why folks would believe those rumors given he said early last month he would like to see #11 hang from the rafters one day. So, Uncle Drew himself made it known to all he plans to play in Boston for a while. Possibly for the rest of his career. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will both tell you: Win a title and you’re royalty in Boston.

The Eastern Conference runs through Boston now. It’s hard not to think that given how much media coverage the NBA PRE-SEASON–4 games total–has been getting. Of course, much of that has to do with Gordon Hayward making his return after missing the previous season + post-season after breaking his ankle in last season’s opener in Cleveland.

The Celtics’ 2018-19 season begins on October 16.

Image result for Boston Celtics Anthony Davis

Before I forget, it’s been reported Kyrie Irving has been talking to New Orleans Pelicans All Star Anthony Davis (Forward/Center) about coming to Boston. The Celtics had been eyeing him for a while but ended up getting Gordon Hayward and Al Horford via Free Agency instead along the way as well as the trade that dealt Isaiah Thomas to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving.

If Kyrie and Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge can convince Davis to ship up to Boston, the obvious question is who do you give up for him? It would have to be either a midseason trade or a free agent signing and the Celtics blew up the team just to sign Hayward last year. I can only assume Irving plans to re-sign with Boston for less than his value so the Celtics can get Davis. That’s the first problem. The second problem is who do you give up to get him?

Weather it’s a trade or a sign and trade, you’re looking at giving up at least 3 players. The other 29 NBA teams want Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum or both BUT they know the Celtics will not give them up for any reason. For Davis, the Celtics would have to trade at least one of them. The Celtics just gave Marcus Smart a new contract so you know he’s off the table more or less.

If I had to draw up a trade for Davis, this is how I’d package it:

  • Terry Rozier (Guard)
  • Guerschon Yabusele (Forward)
  • Semi Ojeleye (Forward)
  • Future Draft Pick

 

That makes the most sense to me personally. The Celtics would likely have to add Terry Rozier (Guard) to sweeten the deal. They’d lose a core part of their reserve backcourt but now that we know Kyrie Irving is committing to be with the Celtics longterm, he’s the logical piece to move. The Pelicans can rebuild around Rozier or use him in a trade to get someone else. He proved his value last season so…yeah.

So, the Celtics’ starting lineup with AD would prettymuch guarantee a trip to the NBA Finals for several years in a tow. Brad Stevens would find a way to make the lineup work with four All Stars just like Doc Rivers did with Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rondo. Even without Davis, the Celtics are guaranteed to go to the NBA Finals barring the unforseeable. If the Pelicans aren’t doing good by the trade deadline–and the West is already overloaded as it is right now–I wouldn’t be surprised if the Celtics come knocking!

The Boston Celtics report for Media Day poised to dominate the Eastern Conference in the 2018-19 Season   Leave a comment

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…Forget the Golden State Warriors: Imagine being one of the other 14 Eastern Conference NBA teams and seeing THIS lineup waiting for you on the court. Nevermind the bench:


B.W.A = Bench With Attitude

The Eastern Conference runs through Boston.

The Era of Big 3 started by the Celtics 30 years ago is dead: Now it’s about building a team that can make multiple championship runs like the Cavs and Warriors have been up to now. The Warriors sent 4 All Stars to the All Star game two years in a row (Curry, Durant, Thompson and Green). The Celtics last did it in 2010 (Pierce, Garnett, Allen and Rondo). This year both the Warriors and the Warriors could send at least 5. The Warriors signed DeMarcus Cousins over the summer and now have 5 All Stars in their starting lineup. Tatum and Brown could make the All Star game alongside Irving, Hayward and Horford.

The 2018-19 Celtics are here and this time, they are at full strength. A few games of interest this season:

  • October 16 vs, 76ers (Opening Night, on TNT)
  • Christmas Day @ 76ers (on ABC)
  • January 26 vs. Warriors (on ABC)
  • February 7 vs. Lakers (on TNT)
  • March 5 @ Warriors (on TNT)
  • March 9 @ Lakers (on ABC)
  • March 30 @ Nets (My Birthday)
  • April 9 @ Wizards (Season Finale)

All but the last two on the list are nationally televised games. There will be four preseason games. They will play the Cavs and the Hornets twice on the Road and at Home.

 

Update: LeBron James Signs with the Los Angeles Lakers   Leave a comment

Image result for Lebron James Free Agent

 

Given Paul George announced he will be staying in OKC two minutes before NBA Free Agency officially began, the LeBron James Sweepstakes just got more interesting. PG-13 will sign a 4-year deal with OKC, closing the door on potentially signing with the Lakers. Many speculated he might head to his hometown since he is a native of Los Angeles and expressed a desire to play for the Lakers at some point. Clearly it won’t be for at least the next four years.

Chris Paul (Rockets), Kevin Durant (Warriors) and DeMarcus Cousins (Pelicans) also got a new contract with the teams they currently play for. The last member of Lob City–DeAndre Jordan–became a Free Agent and quickly signed a 1-year deal with the Mavs. Blake Griffin was traded to the Pistons at the trade deadline midseason so…yeah.

According to the latest reports, LBJ has decided where he will play and will announce who won the LBJ Sweepstakes on Tuesday. The team everyone is assuming he’ll sign with is the Lakers even though it would mean he his NBA Finals Streak will end at 8. Let’s be honest, that will happen no matter who he signs with if it’s not the Rockets, Celtics or Warriors.

LBJ going West automatically means the Eastern Conference will go through the Boston Celtics. This would remain true even if he signs with the 76ers as some think he might. We will know for sure come this Tuesday, July 3. As a Celtics Fan, I don’t care personally though it would be fun to see the Celtics sweep the 76ers next year in the playoffs ^_^

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Breaking News:

It was just announced that LeBron James has agreed to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal is for $154 Million and for four years. Now that LBJ has made it official, let the speculation commence on which other NBA Superstar may join him in the Purple and Gold.

What this means is by default, the Boston Celtics owns the Eastern Conference now.

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