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Breaking NBA Free Agency News: The Brooklyn Nets win the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes and other News   Leave a comment

Image result for Kevin Durant Brooklyn Nets

 

….I may be up until midnight today LOL.

1 hour before Free Agency officially begins, All Star forward and 2-time NBA Champion Kevin Durant announced he will sign a 4 year, $164 Million contract with the Brooklyn Nets. He will miss his first year as a member of the Nets due to the injury he suffered during the 2018-19 NBA Finals. He will be joined by Kyrie Irving (Free Agent, played last 2 seasons with the Boston Celtics), who will sign a 4 year $142 Million contract with the Nets as well as DeAndre Jordan (Free Agent, played with the Dallas Mavericks and ended the season with the New York Knicks last season).

The Nets had the cap space to sign 3 Max Contract Players but the caviat is they would automatically have to renounce the rights to D’Angelo Russell who is now an Unrestricted Free Agent. D-Lo’s looking to sign with the T-Wolves next which is cool since Derrick Rose–remember him?–intends to sign with the Detroit Pistons. Actually wait forget I said that. Looks like D-Lo’s gonna be a Warrior this coming season. Se below for more on that.

Thus, the Nets’ 6 year oddyssey of having their draft picks held hostage by the Celtics is finally over. The Nets sold their future to Boston as per the terms of the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from Boston to Brooklyn 6 years ago. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are three of the many players drafted with the Nets’ picks. It’s considered the most lopsided trade in sports history for a reason!

It would be more than fair to say the balance of power has shifted.

The Warriors are basically the NBA’s version of the New England Patriots right now in which it’s assumed they’ll contend if not return to the NBA Finals next year. They did it 3 times in a row without Durant so…yeah. Klay Thompson, who was injured in what ended up being the final game of the NBA Finals may return for the second half half of the coming season. We’ll see.

The next biggest domino is easily Kawhi Leonard. He is reportedly only looking at either the Raptors, who he just won his second NBA Championship with or the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers just got Anthony Davis. With Irving and Durant now commited to the Nets, they’ll likely be looking to fill their roster. As of right now they only have 3 signed players: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma (!). No, really.

 

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It would be more than fair to say the New York Knicks are the biggest losers in this blockbuster announcement. The failed to get Irving, Durant, Zion Williamson and just lost DeAndre Jordan. The Knicks last made the playoffs in 2013 (first round exit) and and last won an NBA title back in 1976. A shame that bad luck didn’t rub off on the Yankees, who swept the Red Sox in the London series this weekend.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith had an emotional meltdown likely shared by countless other Knicks fans. He was so emotionally devastated, Knicks officials put out a statement to the effect of “trust the process”. LOL.

 

Image result for Terry Rozier and Kemba Walker

 

News broke this morning the Celtics were looking to execute a Sign and Trade involving the Nets and the Charlotte Hornets (which seems to have fallen through). Irving’s obviously gone to Brooklyn and with Kemba Walker coming in, the Celtics threw Michael Jordan an assist to avoid becoming the Nets 2.0 or the 76ers 2.0 (Tanking on purpose). It will be a changing of the guard as Terry Rozier will be going to Charlotte while Kemba Walker, who is in Boston will finalize his 4-year, $141 Million contract with the Celtics. Rozier will sign a 3-year, $58 Million Contract with the Hornets. Rozier showed flashes of how good he could be when he damn-near led the Celtics to the NBA Finals the season before.

Veteran Center Enes Kanter (traded to the Blazers from the Knicks mid-season) is reportedly very interested in the Celtics as well as his current team so we’ll see.

 

Image result for Kristaps Porzingis Mavs

 

Rising star Kristaps Porzingis, who was traded from the Knicks mid-season to Dallas has reportedly signed a new 5-year $158 Million Contract with the Mavericks. Porzingis, who was looked at as the protege of now retired NBA Legend Dirk Nowinski (played entire career with the Mavs) appears to be their new franchise superstar.

 

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Minutes after news broke Jimmy Butler is going to sign with the Miami Heat, news broke regarding Veteran Center/Forward Al Horford electing to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers. Joel Embiid always said the only player who gives him problems was Al Horford. Now they’re team mates. Horford joining Embiid, Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons makes them instant contenders and makes up for Butler’s departure. Enough to get past the Celtics, Bucks and Heat (with Butler) next year and all 3 teams plus the Nets the year after? I doubt it personally.

 

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D-Lo is now a Warrior.

In exchange for Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors have signed D’Angelo Russel to a 4 year, $117 Million Contract via the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors essentially exchanged Durant forRussell, who made waves last season after the Lakers, who gave up on him sent him to Brooklyn two years ago to make room to sign LeBron James.

There was talk of the Lakers possibly interested in taking him back but the Warriors called the Nets and made the deal on the spot. The Warriors will start the coming season with 3 All Stars in Steph Curry, Draymond Green and now D-Lo. Thompson is projected to return mid-season while the status of DeMarcus Cousins, who is a UFA is currently unknown. He may be signed on with the Warriors longterm given they just pulled the trigger on a trade involving veteran Center Andre Iguodala going to the Memphis Grizzlies. With this move, the Warriors retain their standing as title contenders.

….Whew.

Ok I think I’ll call it a night now. The second-biggest domino that still has yet to fall is of course Kawhi Leonard. Will he stay in Canada or will he go home to Los Angeles and play with the Clippers?  We’ll have to wait and see.

I do agree with analysts who’ve been saying since Free Agency began that for the first time in a while, there is no one team you can look at and say “They’re definitely going to the NBA Finals next season”. That’s how wide open it is. I’ll provide another update once the next round of big moves takes place. It helps most of them happened in the first 6 hours!

 

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As the Boston Celtics introduce their newly drafted players, Free Agency is just around the corner [UPDATED]   Leave a comment

Left to Right: Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters.

 

With the Celtics losing two of their 3 All Stars to Free Agency–Kyrie Irving and Al Horford–it’s hard to disagree with many who’ve said the Celtics missed the mark in not drafting Bol Bol, who was ultimately drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 44th Pick in the NBA Draft. The Celtics made up for it the next day by signing Tacko Fall, who shockingly went undrafted. At the same time they traded away backup Center Aaron Baines, presumably to make cap space ahead of the start of Free Agency (June 30th at 6PM EST).

Celtics GM Danny Ainge defiantly defended the decisions made on Draft Night and even pulling the trigger on the trade that brought Kyrie Irving in Boston from Cleveland in exchange for Isaiah Thomas (now with the Denver Nuggets) as well as Jae Crowder (now with the Memphis Grizzlies) and Ante Zizic (still with the Cavs). It was a trade that shocked the NBA World because of what Isaiah Thomas went through just a few months earlier between a season-ending injury and the sudden death of his sister. Then to be traded just like that…yeah. New Lakers All Star Anthony Davis’ father pointed to that trade as why his son would never sign with the Celtics long term.

When the Lakers and Pelicans finalized the trade for Davis, the Celics revealed they would not agree to include Jayson Tatum in a potential trade for Davis. Even with Irving and Horford gone, it would be fair to say this isn’t a rebuild but a reshuffle. Marcus Morris has notified the Celtics he is going to test Free Agency but plans to sign a new contract with the Celtics. We’ll have to wait and see.

We know Irving will be gone and plans to sign with the Nets. We also know he’s trying to recruit Kevin Durant to join him in Brooklyn. Given the way he left Cleveland and now Boston, one can’t help but wonder if “being worried Durant won’t come with him” is the only reason the Nets are reconsidering signing him. Nevermind all the reports about his not being happy living in Boston or not liking Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge. Irving being Irving and trying to force Hayward as a starter led to what we saw this past season. Brad Stevens took the blame for how the season and playoff run ended though at the time, everyone outside the locker room probably didn’t know all of the reasons he blamed himself. I do agree with some who’ve said the decision to push Hayward as a starter at the beginning of the season may not have entirely been Stevens’ decision though.

…As for Horford, his reason for leaving is purely for money. The Celtics weren’t going to pay him what he was looking for. The timing with everything else is a coincidence. The Mavs, Clippers and Lakers have all expressed interest in him. We will have to wait at least until this Sunday evening at 6PM for Free Agency to begin and see who the Celtics may be looking to sign.

 

All that said, here is one noteworthy Free Agent signing that is all but official:

Image result for Boston Celtics Kemba Walker

 

Multiple outlets reported all week Charlotte Hornets Guard and 3-time All Star Kemba Walker is Shipping Up to Boston. As of this afternoon, Walker will sign a 4 year, $141 Million Max contract with the Celtics. Analists view him as a slight downgrade from the outgoing Kyrie Irving statistically. He is also a team player and won’t be a PR problem like Irving turned out to be on his way in and now on his way out of Boston. He could certainly be the missing piece Hayward, Brown and Tatum need to come together. The latest news states Walker wants to make it official ASAP.

That still leaves the Celtics in need of a big Center or two to replace Horford and Baines. DeAndre Jordan (Played with the Clippers but was delt to the Mavs as part of the 3-Team trade that sent Blake Griffin to Detroit, then traded to New York for Kristaps Porzingis), Tyler Zeller (Played in Boston for 3 years, released to free cap space to sign Gordon Hayward), Bismark Biyombo (would have to waive his Player Option but would join his teammate Kemba Walker in Boston if he does), Robin Lopez or even Greg Monroe (signed a 1-year contract with the Celtics after Hayward missed the previous season due to injury).

We’ll surely find out where the chips will fall as soon as Free Agency begins Sunday at 6PM EST!

 

Update 6/29/2019:

Image result for Boston Celtics Terry Rozier

 

The Celtics have renounced the rights to Restricted Free Agent Guard Terry Rozier, making him an Unrestricted Free Agent. The move was done to clear cap space ahead of the signing of Kemba Walker. Rozier, 29 was drafted by the Celtics and proved during the previous playoff run he can be a primary ball handler. Several teams have expressed interest in him and is now free to sign with whoever he wants.

You can’t help but feel for him–and dread the next time he faces the Celtics on the court. He’ll have vengeance on his mind for sure!

 

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The New England Patriots acquires Michael Bennett via Trade and his brother Martellus could join him   Leave a comment

Image result for The Bennett Brothers NFL

 

At one time the Bennett brothers were adamant about always wanting to play on separate teams. Above are the brothers pictured after the Patriots won Super Bowl 51 back in 2016 (the game was in 2017).

Michael Bennett candidly said this during an interview with Sports Illustrated in 2017:

 

 

Then with the Seattle Seahawks, Michael Bennett’s team lost to the Patriots a few years back. The Elder Bennett left the Seahawks for the Miami Dolphins until he was traded to New England today. His brother became a free agent after Super Bowl 51 and played a year with the Green Bay Packers before he retired. Marty B teased in a video he posted on Instagram after the Patriots won their 6th Super Bowl last month he might unretire and rejoin the Patriots to play with Tom Brady again. Now that his brother is going to be a Patriot, it should come as no surprise he is very interested in playing for another Super Bowl title. Michael’s a Defensive End and Martellus is a Tight End. So…yeah. They would join twin brothers Jason and Devin McCourty as the second pair of brothers to play on the same team at the same time. I mean all four playing together on the same team. Rob Gronkowski and his brother Eric both played together on the Patriots for a season a few years ago.

It would be fair–or unfair if you hate the Patriots–to say New England is already favored to repeat next season before today. The addition of both Bennett brothers could see the Patriots make a serious run at trying for an undefeated season again. Even as a Patriots fan, I understand all too well how…demoralizing everyone outside New England feels knowing the Patriots will be in the Super Bowl again next year. LOL.

 

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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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New England Patriots win Super Bowl LIII 13-3; Julian Edelman named MVP   Leave a comment

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Having just won their sixth Super Bowl after 9 attempts in 17 years, it might be (un)fair to say the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl runs through The Patriots. When the Patriots win their next Super Bowl, they will break the tie they now have with the Pittsburgh Steelers in terms of total Super Bowl wins (6).

After the AFC game, Tom Brady went all in with what Pats Fans have been saying since 2007: “They hate us cause they ain’t us!”

ESPN’s Max Kellerman famously said a few years ago that Tom Brady “was about to fall off a cliff” as an athlete. I watched the full segment. Like Pats Nation and most of Sports Media, I LOL’d HARD. It just so happened Brady served a 4-game suspension the incoming season. In response, Brady got his revenge on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and not only let the Patriots to victory at Super Bowl 51 but completed what I called The Revenge Tour by winning the MVP that year. After winning the AFC game, TB12 had just one thing to say to all Haters: “We’re Still Here!”

As a reminder Tom Brady is 41 years old and has ZERO plans on retiring anytime soon. When asked last Sunday, he walked back his earlier declaration of playing until he’s 45: “I’ll play until I suck!” Basically, a giant middle finger to all the Haters. Do a Google image search of the phrase “THE GOAT” and the first person you will see in the results is Tom Brady. This was true before Sunday by the way.

…The thing the Haters know all too well is the Patriots have a real shot at winning two in a row next year or if they feel like it, give another shot at having an undefeated season. Now that TB12 has decided to go all-in on legit trying to hold the AFC and the Super Bowl hostage for the rest of his career…yeah. All anyone else can do is wait until he feels like retiring!

 

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…As a reminder, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series 3 months ago. Realistically speaking, BOTH teams could repeat in the next (Patriots) or upcoming (Red Sox) season. And yes, both teams did this before back in 2004. Both teams will have prettymuch the same roster going into the next season so…yeah. The Red Sox made a statement going into the postseason and swept the Yankees out of the ALCS. The Patriots beat LA twice on their way to their 6th Super Bowl in 17 years. Both the Red Sox and the Patriots are heavily favored to repeat next season!

 

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It would be more than fair to call Boston Title Town, USA. The Patriots are America’s Football Team. This chart proves it and it was a long time coming!

 

 

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

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people playing sports

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!

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