The East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers just fired their head coach, and now could be looking to trade one of their Big 3. While the latter will be hard to do, changes are definitely coming in Cleveland. Continue reading
As the 2015-16 NBA season approaches its halfway point, three teams are on winning streaks of at least eight games. Which of these streaks are a result of an easy schedule, and which say something more about the team’s chances at winning a title? Continue reading
The best team in basketball knocked out the best player in basketball Tuesday night to win the 2015 NBA Finals, four games to two. Stephen Curry had many moments that screamed “best shooter in the world” and LeBron James played his tail off to keep his team in the series. Continue reading
After 7 nights without basketball on television, the NBA Finals are set to kick off Thursday night as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors look take home the Larry O’Brien trophy. Saying the team’s paths to the Finals were different would be an understatement. Continue reading
The Atlanta Hawks were one of the best stories and teams from the 2014-15 NBA regular season, winning 60 games and claiming the top seed in the Eastern Conference by seven games. The Hawks sent four players to the 2015 NBA All-Star game and their coach Mike Budenholzer was deservedly named Coach of the Year. Continue reading
The best time of the year is finally here for professional basketball fans: the NBA Playoffs. This year brings some intriguing first round matchups, but not as many the NBA could have had if they took some of my advice.
This is going to be a great couple months of competitive basketball, and now that I all of the matchups are set its time for me to stop hiding and make some picks. Remember, these playoffs are as much about who’s playing who as any. A 7-game series format ensures the team playing the best come April, May and June usually win. Enjoy!
LeBron James dominated (and continues to dominate) the headlines of the 2014 NBA Offseason just as he did four short years ago, but this time around his dominance is being perceived in a very different way. The one-hour televised special is a thing of the past; this year a letter announced where James would play along with Instagram posts asking and deciding what number The King should wear in his second stint with the Cavaliers.
James, along with the other big names who were free agents this offseason, made decisions on where to play in 2014-15 that would not be considered the norm in 2010. The “Big 3” craze started in the summer of 2010 when James decided to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach, and has tried to be duplicated on other teams ever since.
There wasn’t a television special or even a press conference, but the entire world was made aware of LeBron James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers 11 days into the new NBA calendar year, and just like that it felt like NBA free agency had official started. Sure, players agreed with teams before “The King” made his decision, but the big free agents and what felt like every team in the league were put on hold until James made up his mind.
With the NBA calendar turning over and free agency in the NBA still in its early stages, there are four teams that keep flirting in trade talks with each other. The free agency landscape could change drastically if either or both of these deals go down any time over the offseason.
Kyrie Irving was the first player to get a new deal when free agency started on July 1 and found a unique way to celebrate. Irving will sign a 5-year, $90 million extension that will start once his current rookie contract runs out after the 2014-15 season. Players cannot make these contracts official until the league moratorium is lifted on July 10.
The Wizards struck a deal to keep their free agent big man around for the next five seasons as well. Marcin Gortat has agreed to a 5-year, $60 million contract that is fully garenteed: no player or team options are part of the contract.
The Pistons were also busy as they have agreed to a 3-year, $20 million contract with shooting guard Jodie Meeks. Former Cleveland Cavalier has agreed to change teams and will sign a 4-year, $18 million deal with the Pacers.
Besides these early agreements, the players changing teams and free agent frenzy has yet to really begin. That being said two trades (one is a lot closer to happening than the other) can amp up the offseason madness and really shape what free agents end up where.
With the NBA Draft just two days away, here is my final mock draft (with trades once again). Be sure to let me know what you think by commenting below or tweeting at me. And I hope you are not looking for mock drafts 1-81 because you will be looking for a long time (they do not exist).
*NY/OKC Trade: Thunder get Iman Shumpert, Knicks get No. 21 pick
OTHER MOVES TO LOOK OUT FOR:
-Phoenix has three first round picks (14, 18, 27) and does not want to add three rookies to an already young roster. Either a trade or the Suns will draft a player and stash them overseas.
-Sacramento is now actively shopping the No. 8 pick. Bleacher Report talked about a trade sending to Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson to Detroit for Josh Smith. This might then line up a trade involving Rajon Rondo (Smith’s close friend) for Sacramento’s No. 8 pick and other pieces.
-There is so many solid players in this draft that even as I was doing this mock draft Marcus Smart started to fall simply because of the team picking did not need a point guard. Look for teams to move up if a player like this actually does fall out of the top ten.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
Now with the injury to Joel Embiid everything gets shaken up. The Cavs could still trade the pick here, but right now they are not getting good enough offers to make a trade worth it. I am starting to think they stay put, take a player in Wiggins who owner Dan Gilbert likes, and go from there in trying to make the playoffs this season.