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cameroncrazies02
Anthony Davis to LAL?

This is probably one of the wildest, most public trade scenarios I can remember in recent history.  Every LAL pitch has been publicized.  It started with NOP not even answering LAL's phone calls.  Then they listened, and got a bad trade offer and declined, LAL upped the offer significantly and NOP continues to balk where LAL may be in the position now so let it lie as NOP still isn't moving.

LAL's current offer, as rumored, is Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, and a load of picks in the range of 4-6 total picks, likely two 1st rounders and two 2nd rounders, for Anthony Davis and Solomon Hill.

Not only would NOP acquire a host of players, but they'd get off the Hill contract next season.

This is by far the best offer NOP is likely going to see for Davis.  But NOP wants a potential all-star and it's hard to see any of the three big names in that deal being just that.  To create a bigger issue, LaVar Ball said Lonzo wants no part of NOP.  So a 3-team is possible.  But the big issue is finding the requisite salary to fill the trade.  KCP would have to be involved unless LAL sent Rondo and Beasley too, but a 7 for 2 trade is about as impossible as it gets.  And KCP has to approve any trade because he has a no-trade clause based on his 1 year contract.  KCP could block the trade if he didn't want to be jettisoned to NOP.

Here's my prediction-

NOP incoming-Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Ryan Anderson, 2019, 2021 1st (from LAL), 2020 and 2022 1st rd swaps (from LAL), 2020 and 2022 2nd rd picks (from LAL), MIL 2020 1st (from PHX)
NOP outgoing-Anthony Davis, Solomon Hill

LAL incoming-Anthony Davis, Solomon Hill
LAL outgoing-Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac, Kentavious Caldwell Pope, 2019, 2021 1st, 2020 and 2022 pick swap, and 2020 and 2022 2nd rd picks (all to NOP)

PHX incoming-Lonzo Ball, Brandon Knight
PHX outgoing-Ryan Anderson, MIL 2020 1st

HOU incoming-Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
HOU outgoing-Brandon Knight

For NOP-they'd get three 1sts, two 2nds and two potential pick swaps, plus four guys on rookie contracts, three of which are starting caliber players.  They also get off the Hill contract.  At this point, I'm not sure how they say no outside of that they don't want to send Davis to LAL.  But they hold the cards.  They can wait for this godfather offer from LAL which may not be entirely offered yet, because LAL isn't going to want to wait for Davis to sign in LAL in 2020 when Lebron is 36.  But waiting means this package isn't their this summer from LAL.  And waiting also means they're going to test BOS to see if they give up Jayson Tatum which isn't likely.

For LAL-it is a complete cupboard clearing.  The biggest trade I can ever imagine and I don't know how they'd fill their roster the rest of the season.  At this point, they're almost stumbling over themselves to get it done AND they're sacrificing cap space by taking back Hill.

For PHX-a pretty big no brainer for them.  They lose out on MIL's draft pick, but the way things are going, it's going to be an end of the 1st round pick.  They essentially are eating a year of Knight's contract and a late 1st for Lonzo which is a risk worth gambling on considering their need for a PG.

For HOU-they make out like bandits.  They cut a year off of Knight's contract while getting back a serviceable player.  However, if they jumped the gun already on the Burks for Knight deal, this isn't there.
------------------------------
DET trades Reggie Bullock to LAL for Svi Mykhailiuk, future 2nd round pick

For DET-they're in a weird position.  DET is 1 game back of the 8th seed, and has a roster with pieces like Griffin, Drummond and Reggie Jackson, that shouldn't be on teams that are in the lottery, but the supporting cast and fit of everyone together is horrific.  So while they could make a late push for the playoffs, they've faced some serious reality getting trounced by the Bucks every time, giving them a sneak peek of what a 1st round playoff matchup would look like.  Bullock is on a 1 year deal and DET would probably like to go younger next year, so they sold him off for a future asset in the 2nd round pick.  Svi is a very young sharpshooter, but on a team desperate for shooting in LA, he never got off the bench in favor of the vets.  With Luke Kennard in front of him, it's not likely Svi sees a lot of PT for DET.

For LAL-this is both a now and future trade.  Bullock has been a sharpshooter all season long and will provide that spark for LAL, whether they get Anthony Davis or not.  Bullock is also expiring entirely whereas Svi had a partial $1.6M guaranteed contract next season, so it frees LAL up of even more cap space.
--------------------------------
HOU trades Brandon Knight, 2019 1st to CLE for Alec Burks.

For HOU-HOU continues to off load draft picks like they're going out of style and they couldn't care less.  And after a rather mediocre 31-22 start to the season, they need a spark as they are 6-4 in their last 10 and looking a bit lost.  They need depth in the backcourt which is what I suppose Burks gets them.  But the real win here is freeing up some cap space this summer.  They'll need every penny considering the CP3 contract.  Burks has been pretty good, efficiency wise, for CLE this season, all things considered.  In any trade where a team wants to get off a year of a contract in the range of $12-$17M, its going to cost the team at least a 1st round pick.  So HOU salary dumped Knight's contract next season and got a useful player for the rest of the year.

For CLE-more draft picks.  They continue to work on the fringes, much like the Rodney Hood deal.  They've now turned all of their veteran guards and wings this season into draft picks.  As I said in the Hood deal, they have a long way to go especially without any real building blocks, but it looks like they're going to be patient and are making the right moves.  It's too bad for them Kevin Love has been hurt the whole year, he would've been enticing for a lot of teams at the deadline.  CLE is also going to have HUGE amount of expiring contracts next season and as long as they are patient with likely another poor year next season, they'll capitalize on those expirings.
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cameroncrazies02
MEM about to go full tank-

Marc Gasol was held out a game last night which likely means he's on the move today.  The Hornets are alleged to be the team atop the trade possibilities.  And while that's going on, both DET and UTA are in the conversation as well for Mike Conley.  I'm hard pressed to believe DET is in entirely anymore after trading Reggie Bullock.  If they were going to make a push this year, I would've thought they'd have kept Bullock, but here's a combination of rumored deals and what I think is possible.

MEM trades Malik Monk, Willy Hernangomez, Bismack Biyombo to CHA for Marc Gasol
-It's possible MEM could swindle a pick from CHA as well.  It'd probably be either two 2nds or a protected 1st.  MEM would have to eat the final year of Biyombo's contract, but considering the potential for a Conley trade, they're eating contracts next year anyway.  Monk is super young and has shown flashes as a microwave scorer.  And Hernangomez is a serviceable big man, swallowing up rebounds and scoring on the interior while also moving to the 3P line as well.  Gasol gives Kemba a partner to run the pick and roll with, someone who can shoot from the outside, clog the lane on defense and is an avid passer.  It's possible though, that Gasol would decline his player option this summer for one last big contract which would leave CHA with their current roster of bad contracts, needing to re-sign Kemba and without a future draft pick and Monk.

Utah trades Rick Rubio, Dante Exum, Thabo Sefolosha, 2019 1st to MEM for Mike Conley

or

MEM trades Mike Conley to DET for Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Jon Leuer, 2019 1st

In those scenarios, there's positives and negatives for both.  In the UTA deal, MEM would be getting back a pick in the range of 17-23, not the greatest of picks, but Rubio and Sefolosha combined for $20M in expiring contracts.  In the DET deal, they'd eat both Jackson and Leuer's contracts for 2019-2020 (combined $30M), but get back Kennard, a blue chip shooter, and an earlier pick depending on how DET finishes the year, likely around 16-19.  

If I'm MEM, I'm eating contracts next year to maximize assets because Parsons is still under contract for next season around $26M.  Then in the summer of 2020, they've freed up almost all of their cap space building around JJJ, Kennard and whatever they get with their picks.  So they'd get Kennard, Monk, two 2019 picks in the teen's/early 20's and it'd clear the way for them to tank the rest of the season, stay in the bottom 8 and keep their pick which could slide them into the top 5.
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cameroncrazies02
I don't think anyone told NBA teams the trade deadline is tomorrow.  What a flurry of moves today.

PHI trades Wilson Chandler, Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, 2020 PHI 1st (lotto protected), 2021 PHI 1st, 2021 2nd and 2023 2nd to LAC for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott

For PHI-well, they're certainly going for it and they gave up the absolute farm to do so.  The report is the Sixers are going to try to sign both Butler and Harris to extensions this summer to create a big 4.  But boy, they gave up all their assets to do so and really have compiled a confusing roster.  Their lineup is going to be Simmons, Redick, Butler, Harris and Embiid, which looks scary on paper, but their serious lack of depth is an issue with only TJ McConnell, Furkan Korkmaz, Marjanovic, Scott on their bench.  They're going to be hunting the buyout guard candidates hard to fill out their roster.  The question for me is they really lack shooting.  And Harris is a good shooter, but tends to be more of a slasher, finesse scorer than straight up shooter.  I thought they should've went hard after Jrue Holiday, they certainly could've gotten him for a similar deal.  

For LAC-what a haul, after all, they got for Blake Griffin.  They landed three 1st round picks, two 2nds, Shamet and a bunch of expiring contracts after all that.  LAC sees the writing on the wall, they're not going to win anything this year and their 1st rounder goes to BOS this year (top 14 protected), so they may get into that top 14 after all.  LAC is going to be major players this summer, clearly going after max contract guys or trying to put together a package for Anthony Davis.  Don't sleep on them being a player for him tomorrow.

Bucks trade Thon Maker to DET for Stanley Johnson-

For MIL-this was a salary dump, no two ways about it.  Thon was owed his contract yet next season while Johnson is not.  The Bucks are making crude moves on the fringes to maintain what they have while gaining cap flexibility this summer.  Jon Horst must be applauded for all of this.  Johnson likely won't see much playing time, he's a terrible shooter and Brown and Snell are cemented into roles in front of him.  But he's a terrific defender and if an injury came along, or they wanted to get weird with their rotations, he may get spot minutes here and there.

For DET-DET was throwing Pachulia and Leuer out their way too oftenwhich provided zero spark.  Thon is a spark bench player who can shoot and play off of Griffin pretty well.  He'll see an uptick in minutes, but certainly not starting caliber minutes unless a late Drummond trade comes about.  DET has now traded Stanley Johnson and Reggie Bullock, two staples to their wing rotation in the last two days, and are now left without much depth at all there.

PHI trades (???) to TOR for Malachi Richardson, 2022 2nd rd pick

For PHI-a crewd move for them.  Richardson probably won't play much, but PHI has some roster holes to fill on the perimeter and gained a future pick for it.

For TOR-they open up a roster spot for buyout candidates.

Suns trade Ryan Anderson to MIA for Tyler Johnson, Wayne Ellington

For PHX-a terrible move IMO for them.  They're so desperate for a PG they bought into Johnson, more of a combo guard than a true PG and his $19M contract next season.  This cuts well into their cap space they would've had next summer for a guy who is a bench player at best.  Ellington may fetch them a 2nd round pick if they flip him, but Ellington was already thought to be a buyout candidate.  With Ellington and Jamal Crawford on their bench, I'd expect teams to call their bluff and just buy them out instead of offering up 2nd rd picks.

For MIA-a really nice move for them getting off of the Johnson contract next season without giving up picks.  MIA is right at the 8th seed, 1 game ahead of DET, but makes no hesitation in this trade considering they're heavy at the guard spot.  MIA has a long way to go to clean up their cap sheet, but to get off their biggest contract not named Hassan Whiteside without giving up picks is a nice move.

HOU incoming-Iman Shumpert
HOU outgoing-Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, 2019 1st rd pick

SAC incoming-Alec Burks
SAC outgoing-Iman Shumpert

CLE incoming-Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, HOU 2019 1st rd pick
CLE outgoing-Alec Burks

For HOU-HOU has been targeting guys on expiring deals to rid themselves of Knight.  They included Chriss, who has played sparingly for them and their 1st, which was the asking price all along to get off the Knight contract.  Shumpert will provide them some useable depth on the perimeter for the remainder of the season and gets them under the luxury tax line thus far for next season.

For SAC-SAC does this deal as a slight upgrade from Shumpert to Burks.  Both are somewhat similar players, but Burks is a better scorer.  Both are on expiring deals so no harm no foul for SAC.

For CLE-more draft picks.  Again, CLE makes another move, buying more contracts for next season for draft picks.  They've now picked up two 1sts and four 2nds this season for guys on the fringes of their roster.  But boy CLE is going to be an absolute dumpster fire next season as well.

Bulls trade Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis to WAS for Otto Porter

For CHI-all things considered, I thought this was a great move for CHI.  They've searched high and low for a starting caliber SF signing Parker, drafting Valentine a few years ago then Chandler Hutchison this year and even plugging Justin Holiday in.  Porter has been stuck behind Beal and Wall for a few years now.  He really broke out 2 years ago before he got paid that huge contract, and hasn't lived up to it since, but his touches are so sporadic.  Porter isn't a huge game changer, but he's a solid starter.  And CHI still has a lot of cap room this summer even after taking on the extended contract of Porter.

For WAS-I think they finally see the writing on the wall and are waving the white flag a bit.  They're said to be really high on Ariza who has been terrific for them and want to re-sign him this summer and trading Porter opens up that option.  WAS has a lot of free agents this summer-Ariza, Thomas Bryant, Sam Dekker, Tomas Satoransky and Jeff Green.  To get off of Porter's contract gets them under the salary cap line this summer and gives them some flexibility.

DAL trades Harrison Barnes to SAC for Zach Randolph, Justin Jackson

For DAL-this was all about opening up cap space this summer.  They're going to have to make a huge pitch to Porzingis this summer that they're building a solid foundation around him and Doncic, especially after Porzingis was reported to only be interested in signing the qualifying offer this summer.  That accelerates the need for DAL to build an entire team around those two.  They will enter this summer with only Doncic, Porzingis, Hardaway Jr, Courtney Lee, Dwight Powell, and Jalen Brunson under contract, but suddenly have room for a max contract.  They will have to be smart and savvy with their money, but also do enough to entice Porzingis this is the team to stick around.

For SAC-they have been searching high and low for a SF for awhile and Barnes has been rumored to SAC for over a year now.  It's a decent move for them, SAC was going to have max cap space this summer, but weren't a high end target for anybody.  Barnes contract is also expiring after next season, so the hit isn't too long.  SAC has been really fun this year.  They're desperate to make the playoffs.  They're two games back of the 8th seed right now but with LAC falling off and trading Harris, there's room for SAC.  But is it really worth it to enter as the 8th seed and get absolutely trounced by GS 4-0 in round 1?
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Hornets claim Shelvin Mack off waivers-

Mack was traded from the Grizzlies to the Hawks for Tyler Dorsey and was subsequently released by the Hawks only to be claimed by the Hornets.  The Grizzlies acquired combo guard Delon Wright at the trade deadline and have Jevon Carter as their 3rd PG leaving open the ability to release Mack.  Mack's a good defender and distributor, his percentages weren't great, but was serviceable as a shooter.  It's confusing to see the Hornets claim Mack, they have Tony Parker as their backup and Devonte Graham was an early 2nd round pick for them, but Graham has only seen spot minutes.  This has to signify they have concerns about Kemba's lingering injuries and needed a more proven backup PG.  I'd expect Dwayne Bacon to be released.

Buyout season is only beginning.  When the trade deadline was after the all-star break, it caused a flurry of released players within a week because the deadline to be signed by another team and be eligible for the playoffs was about a week.  Now it'll be almost three weeks before then.  The deadline is March 1st.  So we may see some surprise moves.

Wes Matthews has already signed with the Pacers and Wayne Ellington with the Pistons as buyout guys.  PHI and TOR are both in need of depth on the perimeter.  A list of potential buyouts....

SG-Jamal Crawford-Crawford is 38 and his percentages are awful this year shooting 27% from 3.  But someone may talk themselves into him as a free roaming perimeter shooter for a playoff team.

PG-Jeremy Lin/C-Dewayne Dedmon-I'm a little hard pressed to think ATL would buyout either guy, but they've done good by their veterans in the past (Ersan Ilyasova last year) by buying them out to allow them to find a home with a playoff team.  Ilyasova went to PHI, rejuvenated himself and got him a big contract from MIL.  That good will tends to pay off for teams.  Lin and Dedmon are both in that scenario where they're fine for ATL, but would be really useful showing out with a good team.

C-Robin Lopez-it's only a matter of time before Lopez is bought out by CHI.  He's long been rumored to head right to GS for their stretch run.  Jordan Bell, Kevon Looney and Damian Jones got a bit of bright light syndrome in the playoffs last year, Lopez is a proven vet with a skillset as a big body who can defend without fouling and rebound like Brook does.  I wouldn't be surprised to see MIL chase after him too as their only true center is Brook right now and a Brook injury would mean a constant rotation of small lineups with Giannis/Mirotic, Giannis/Wilson, Mirotic/Wilson which would be bad for any long stretch.  

SG-JR Smith-I don't think CLE would buyout Smith, he has this year at $13.5M plus a $3.5M guarantee on his contract next season so JR would have to give back a decent chunk for CLE to consider it.
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Blazers sign Enes Kanter-
Kanter was released by the Knicks a few days ago after being pulled from the rotation a month ago and being very public about his lack of playing time.  After the acquisition of DeAndre Jordan and relative usefuleness of Luke Kornet, Kanter became very expendable and he was released.  POR is very weak in the front court outside of Jusuf Nurkic.  Nurkic has had a career year, but having Kanter as his backup will give very little rest to opposing bigs in the paint.  Kanter's terrible defensively, but can score and rebound with the best of them.  It's a decent add for POR who's pushing for a top 4 seed the rest of the season.

TOR signs Jeremy Lin-
After not being able to find a trade partner for Lin at the deadline, the Hawks released him clearing the way for him to sign with a contender.  After TOR traded away Norman Powell and CJ Miles in the Gasol trade, TOR was weak in the front court.  Lin can play both guard positions and makes it relatively easy to go small with a myriad of defensive front court players behind him.  Lin can be a devastating bench player which makes TOR that much more dangerous.

DET signs Wayne Ellington-after Ellington was traded, he was an easy buyout candidate and quickly swooped up by the Pistons who are gunning hard for a playoff appearance.  Ellington will give them a perimeter, veteran threat something they desperately needed after making a few trades, gutting their wing depth.

IND signs Wes Matthews-
With Oladipo going down, the Pacers needed to add a shooting guard and got probably the best of the group.  Matthews is a veteran guard that can play both sides of the court.  He should see a good chunk of minutes, if not as a starter by the end of the season to help in their continued pursuit as a playoff team
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Looking ahead to the summer, here's the teams with the most cap room.

1-New York Knicks-$74.5M-this one's obvious, the Knicks traded Porzingis, attaching Hardaway Jr to clear all their cap space next summer to open up two max salary slots.  They went into full tank mode and many have crapped on the Knicks for trading their "star" for cap space, but Porzingis is leaning heavily even towards taking the qualifying offer this summer with DAL to make himself unrestricted in the summer of 2020.  And that's after being traded to a team with a promising future.  The Knicks are enroute to a top 3 pick and have two max salary slots.  They are targeting Kyrie and Durant this summer which, while lethal, will be quite the soap opera between those two.  

2-LA Clippers-$62M-the Clippers were hot early in the season and began to come back to reality which led them to trade Tobias Harris, acquiring assets like Landry Shamet, a bunch of expirings and two future 1st round picks.  They have a solid core of Gilgeous-Alexander and Montrezl Harrell.  They will owe BOS their 2019 1st rd pick if it's not top 14, but they're slotted for 18th right now and would have to hit a major slide to do so.  Regardless, they'll easily have max cap space, likely targeting Kawhi and Durant, but if they strike out, it'll be interesting to see if they overpay for someone like Jimmy Butler or roll with what they have and move on to the summer of 2020.

3-Brooklyn Nets-$54.8M-the Nets are a red hot name right now which nobody wants to face in the first round and could give TOR, BOS or PHI a run for their money depending on matchups.  And while that plus a load of cap space sounds great, they have some monster free agents this summer-D'Angelo Russell and Caris LaVert not too mention Hollis-Jefferson.  It's likely they'll have to use all of that cap space to re-sign their own players considering Russell is going to get a max or near-max deal.

4-Atlanta Hawks-$53.4M-it's amazing that even with some bad contracts-Kent Bazemore and Miles Plumlee, the Hawks still have major cap space.  Don't expect them to be big time free agent players-their draw from top flight players isn't great enough, but they could overpay for someone like Jimmy Butler.  But the Hawks have a bunch of draft picks coming up that they owe from other teams, if they put together a good draft, they could draw in someone to be apart of their young core.

5-Indiana Pacers-$48.8M-While it seems dangerous that IND has cap space considering they are overachieving even with Oladipo out, IND has most of their roster coming due.  Most notably, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thad Young, Tyreke Evans, Darren Collison are all free agents.  It's entirely possible none of them are back, but that order of players seems right with Bogdanovic the only real threat to draw in money.  IND has three young solid core pieces in Oladipo, Turner and Sabonis.  Turner and Sabonis aren't a great pairing and they could trade Sabonis this summer if the re-tool appropriately.  IND isn't a draw for free agents, but they've long been attached to Khris Middleton, someone who could be a real threat to MIL to sign him to a max offer sheet to really give Jon Horst pause about what to do.  Tobias Harris would also be a great fit in the, "not a max player, but have to pay a premium to get him."
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Race to the bottom-

With the Zion Williamson sweepstakes in full effect, we are going to see some massive resting and "injuries" to bigger name players to end the season for the bottom 5 teams.  As of right now the order would go...

1-Phoenix-12-50
2-New York-13-49
3-Cleveland-15-47
4-Chicago-17-45
5-Atlanta-21-41

All of those teams own their own pick, CLE being the only outlier as their pick is top 10 protected to ATL.  There's a clear pecking order right now in the draft and it goes Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Ja Morant.  PHX would be happy with any one of those three as all three could help them in some way.  New York too, has needs all over the place.  Cleveland selected Collin Sexton 8th last year and while he started the season really rough, he's bounced back a bit.  I think they'd be put in a tough spot if they got to 3rd.  Ja Morant looks to be a Russell Westbrook-type PG with star potential and would have a tough selection on their hand.  Chicago has pieces at every position-Dunn, LaVine, Porter, Markkanen and Carter Jr.  They too, will take anyone that falls to them and have them fit.  Atlanta has two main cogs-John Collins and Trae Young, ATL isn't likely to bottom out harder than anyone above them, so unless they jumped up in the lottery, they're likely picking outside of the top 5.

PHX has been an absolute trainwreck losing something like 17 of their last 18 while the Cavs have won 4-6 in their last 10 which has pushed NY to the second worst record.  Those three teams in particular are going to be the teams to watch.  CHI is still playing hard and winning some games by surprising teams with an offensive output, so they too, in my mind, aren't jumping anybody.
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2018-2019 NBA Awards Predictions-

With the ballots officially handed out to the voters, votes will have to be in within a few days.  Here's how I see the awards being handed out.

MVP-
1-Giannis Antetokounmpo
2-James Harden
3-Paul George

A Bucks fan has been keeping a spreadsheet of voters and the picks they've said they'd likely make over the course of the last few weeks and Giannis is running away with MVP.  There's a whole lot of discussion points on this and HOU fans are absolutely beside themselves that Harden's 37 PPG isn't getting him MVP.  I'm tired of the discussion and breakdown, let's just say Giannis is the best player in the league, he's impactful at every spot on the floor, the most dominant and the best player on the best team.  Case closed.  George gets the third nod over the likes of Durant, Curry and Jokic.  

DPOY-
1-Rudy Gobert
2-Giannis Antetokounmpo
3-Paul George

Gobert and Giannis affect games similarly.  They are transcendent space defenders.  Gobert locks up the center of the floor and creates fits for opposing coaches trying to game plan around him.  This is a close race IMO, but I just don't see voters giving Giannis both MVP and DPOY.  George is a lock down defender who can defend spots 1-4 effectively, gets his hands on tons of steals and deflections.  Kawhi is also in this discussion, but he only played 60-some games this season which affects his ability to nab an award.

6th Man of the Year-
1-Lou Williams
2-Montrezl Harrell
3-Domantas Sabonis

This is a tired award.  A 6th man means almost nothing now considering most 6th man candidates play about 30 MPG anyway.  But Lou is a reigning champ and is probably the best player on that Clippers team.  He's small for a SG which causes problems getting him into a regular starting spot defensively and he's effective as a microwave scorer off the bench.  For the first time I can ever remember, the Clippers also have the second best 6th man of the year as well in Harrell.  He comes off the bench as an energy defender and rebounder and absolutely fills the stat sheet.  Sabonis is a 6th man strictly because he and Myles Turner are not an effective pairing together, but he is similar to Lou in that he comes in and has an immediate impact scoring everywhere and rebounding everything in sight.

Rookie of the Year-
1-Luka Doncic
2-Trae Young
3-DeAndre Ayton

This race was a runaway half way through the season before Trae Young started torching the league and really figuring it out making it a closer race.  But for the first 40 or so games, Young was absolutely horrendous shooting the ball and he's a bad defender.  Luka was steady throughout the season.  Both are phenomenal players with bright futures.  Coming in third is Ayton.  It's too bad he had to play on such a terrible PHX team.  He is a man-child in the paint scoring and rebounding.  His defense was a major question coming into the NBA and he doesn't block shots, but he's become a very effective defender using his big body.

Coach of the Year-
1-Mike Budenholzer
2-Doc Rivers
3-Nate McMillan

This race might be closer than I expect.  But Bud has this for one reason-without adding a star player, he added 16 wins to this Bucks team from a season ago by putting together the perfect scheme for this team.  Doc did a fantastic job.  In the span of a year, the Clippers traded Blake Griffin AND Tobias Harris, they don't have any one bonafide star, or even one player that comes close to an all-star and he drug them to the playoffs.  Similarly, the Pacers seemed just destined for 40-45 wins and kind of lost for their future.  And it got even worse when Victor Oladipo went down with a knee injury, but the Pacers managed to hang strong, win 48 games without any truly effective guards and made a playoff run.

Exec of the Year-
1-Jon Horst
2-Masai Ujiri
3-Sean Marks

After reading some predictions, I think Ujiri is going to win this.  But I'll start with Horst.  He got the bargain of the decade in Brook Lopez on a bi-annual exception deal, traded for Mirotic and Hill, got out from under some bad salary giving up very minimal, signed Bledsoe to a below-market extension, let Jabari walk, hired Budenholzer and made a bunch of smaller signings that were crucial to the depth of this team.  Ujiri gets a lot of credit for the Kawhi trade which got the Raptors to 58 wins and also traded for Marc Gasol.  Those two much bigger named deals may likely get him this award.  Part of that too, is that Ujiri is a very popular name around the NBA and is well known whereas Horst is not.  Marks from the BKN Nets gets my third nod.  And that is in part to his long term process where the Nets were completely decimated of all their draft picks and salary cap space to put together a really fun team with a bright future.  
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cameroncrazies02
Playoff matchups, breakdowns and predictions-

Eastern Conference-

1-Milwaukee Bucks v 8-Detroit Pistons
-Bucks in 4
I broke this down in the Bucks discussion thread.  Detroit just has nothing for Milwaukee.  They'd need a ridiculous shooting night coupled with a throw back Blake night on top of a bad Bucks shooting night.  All of those things are possible, I just think Blake hobbling into the playoffs is going to hurt them too much and if Milwaukee takes it to them the first two games, it's going to be too much for them to try to overcome even at home.  DET has been pretty terrible recently too.

2-Toronto Raptors v 7-Orlando Magic
-Toronto in 5
Orlando has actually been very good lately.  They have the third best record since something like Januaryish.  They have some really good shooters and their defense has been pesky.  But Toronto is such a lock down defensive team, they have nobody to guard Siakam let alone Kawhi and those two guys are going to swallow up Terrence Ross and Aaron Gordon.  TOR is susceptible to let down games and a bad offensive game which is why I think ORL can steal a game, maybe even two, but conservative me says TOR takes it in 5.

3-Philadelphia 76ers v 6-Brooklyn Nets
-PHI in 5
This is a tale of two polar opposite teams.  PHI runs out four guys at a time that are 6'9" or taller while BKN will trot out four guys that are 6'6" and under.  PHI can score a ton of points, but also can engulf a team on defense.  BKN has to out shoot a team to win games.  BKN has that ability though and the question will be, can their big players stay with BKN's guards.  D'Angelo Russell can fill up a stat sheet, albeit inefficiently at times and I'm curious how they're going to guard him.  I'd imagine they're going to put Jimmy Butler and TJ McConnell on him, but he's shifty and fast.  BKN will definitely steal a game.  The narrative to watch though is Embiid is limping into the playoffs.  PHI has been really mum about his injury status with Brett Brown deflecting to management which is a very odd thing to see heading into the playoffs.  Embiid doesn't look right, he's been slower and is fatiguing fast the same way he did in the playoffs last year.  But 70% Embiid can't be covered by anybody the Nets can put out there in front of him.

4-Boston Celtics v 5-Indiana Pacers
-BOS in 5
To top off the 1st round of the playoffs, BOS SHOULD run IND off the floor.  They're far more talented at every position except for maybe center where Turner v Horford is going to be a great matchup.  But IND has been AWFUL lately.  They benefited from a cupcake schedule after the Oladipo injury, but once their schedule got tough, they were bad late in the season.  They're 8-14 in their last 22 games.  The one chance IND has is that Marcus Smart is out and BOS has bad chemistry which could push this series to 6.

Western Conference-

1-Golden State Warriors v 8-LA Clippers
GSW in 4
The Clippers had a really nice run this season, they were a team destined for a tank after they traded Tobias Harris but built themselves around their chemistry and team oriented play.  But they're going to run into a buzz saw in GS.  They really don't have a chance and matchup very poorly.  Gilgeous Alexander is going to have to chase Klay Thompson for 30 minutes a night, Beverley is going to have to try to defend Steph Curry for the same amount of time and who guards Durant?  Nonetheless, Lou Williams is going to have to play 35 minutes a game and can't gurd anybody, let alone anybody the Warriors trot out.

2-Denver Nuggets v 7-San Antonio Spurs
DEN in 6
I have very little feel for this series.  DEN puts out a ton of offense, SA wants to slow everyone down and take mid range jumpers.  That will be the battle.  I'm going to go conservative and say SA could steal a game or two simply by DEN having off shooting nights and San Antonio having a bunch of guys that are battle tested.

3-Portland Trailblazers v 6-Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC in 6
This is a series riddled with injuries.  For POR, they lost Jusuf Nurkic, their heart beat of their team due to an ugly leg injury.  POR also has CJ McCollum who missed 2-3 weeks with an injury and just came back for two games, shot terribly before resting in the regular season finale.  On the other end, Paul George has a shoulder injury that has kept him out of some games and he hasn't been his MVP-caliber self in a little while now.  It would take a herculean effort from Damian Lillard to take this series.  

4-Houston Rockets v 5-Utah Jazz
UTA in 7
I want so badly for UTA to take this series and if there is one team that could take down Harden, it's UTA.  They have a ton of defenders to throw at him and pester him.  And behind all those defenders is Rudy Gobert.  Home court is going to mean a lot here which is why I'm leaning towards HOU, but the pick from my heart is UTA.
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db11
Sixers go down to Brooklyn with a very shoddy performance, 111-102.

To say nothing of Joel Embiid and a teammate checking a phone on the bench with plenty of time left.
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db11
Raptors also go down today to Orlando as both East contests go the road team.

Should serve as a warning to Milwaukee that they will have to show up on Sunday.
https://twitter.com/barwickipedia - Follow me. Because we all need a bit of sports snark in our lives.

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