The Basketball Thread
They can't. That's one of the things people talk about, but they can't.
They also said Vegas wouldn't contend for the Stanley Cup.
After the fleecing the Kings got by the Celtics I don't see anyone trading first-round picks unless they are pretty damn sure they know what they're doing. Teams keep finding gems - look at Kuzma, the guy was picked 27th. Or Donovan Mitchell at... I think 12th?
Teams have come to realize the last couple of years rookie contracts are gold. You simply get great return for the value, and that's before you get super lucky.
Kevin Love's a great player but his stock right now is low - no team wants a power forward who can't play good defense badly enough to send serious pieces back.
Then don't ask for serious pieces. Ask for cash or picks.
Sure, but consider LeBron's timeline. The guy isn't 22 any more, he wants to win now. He doesn't have time to teach some 19 year olds how to play the game and wait for them to get their shit together through the playoffs; sure, some are just too good and too mentally tough (Jason Tatum... wow, that kid) but most will take 2-3 years to pan out. He doesn't have 2-3 years.
LeBron got Tristan Thomson and J.R. Smith paid, and they have two and one years left on their contracts IIRC; would you trade anyone good for these guys if you were a GM?
No, so don't ask for it. Ask for cash or picks.
No one giving jack shit for these guys. TT is way, way overpaid - his contract is poison. Teams will want sweeteners just to take that contract off their hands on at all (say, future picks of Cleveland's plus TT for an expiring), and J.R. Smith... yeah, you know. :P
Korver's out. Hood? Serviceable. Nance? Workable. But they work, can contribute 8-10 PPG, which is just fine and higher than what Thompson brings on a consistent basis.
Yeah, true, those are roleplayers though. To beat Golden State (hell, to go through next year's Celtics or Sixers since they are going to both be way stronger) LeBron will need stars around him. We just saw what happened when he played with basically the equivalent of a WoW random group.
That said, LBJ on Toronto? Very possible, and they have the sort of lineup that caters to him. You'd make an instant 3-star team, with a potential fourth star in Ibaka.
Sure, the option is appealing... but come on, you're making me say it again. Salary cap :( Toronto doesn't have nearly enough room for a max contract without getting rid of at least either of Demar or Lowry or most of their pretty good bench plus Ibaka.
IMHO the options are these:
Houston. They'd need to take paycuts though, for sure, and get rid of some players. Capela is a restricted free agent this summer too, and the guy's gonna get paid.
San Antonio. A Pop-led team of Kawhi and LeBron is super appealing so... maybe that's the sleeper hit.
Los Angeles. With Paul George and maybe Boogie? That's not a bad roster.
Sixers. Sure, and they have the salary cap space, but can he and Simmons fit on the same team since both need the ball in their hands and neither can shoot?
Dark horse candidates. Pelicans?
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All my vitriol for James aside, I think he should land in LA. Even if they don't win they can afford to build a team for him. One last hurrah before he's too old to play at the same level.
They were too close to victory to mess around with their line-up. Re-upping Paul and tweaking is the way to go.
- San Antonio. A Pop-led team of Kawhi and LeBron is super appealing so... maybe that's the sleeper hit.
It's also the most likely hit. LeBron purportedly gets along just fine with Pop.
- Los Angeles. With Paul George and maybe Boogie? That's not a bad roster.
It's not a bad roster, but it's a terrible place to play. Plus, you'd have to deal with Ball.
- Sixers. Sure, and they have the salary cap space, but can he and Simmons fit on the same team since both need the ball in their hands and neither can shoot?
Putting LeBron here would seriously hamper the development of everyone else. I don't see this happening.
- Dark horse candidates. Pelicans?
As I said, Toronto.
Ibaka makes $21.7 million next year. He's a PF.
CJ Miles makes $8.3 million. He's a SF.
That's $30 million. Convince Lowry and DeRozan to a cap-favorable extensions.
And you could end up with Lowry, DeRozan, James, and Valanciunas.
Multiple sources are reporting Kawhi asked to be traded from San Antonio after today's meeting.
This is huge. There's zero way the Spurs will not honor that and risk him just walking next summer for nothing.
This summer's trades, between him and LeBron, can reshape the league depending on how they fall.