Kawhi Leonard, the Lakers, and Another Damn Super Team

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About a week back I wrote that I hoped Kawhi Leonard would stay a Spur. Well, that has all blown up in my face, and the Spurs face. It appears that he is going to be in a different uniform next season. There are new reports everyday, but don't get it twisted, he is going to end up a Laker, one way or another.

What a mess.

I read a report that he was going to meet with Greg Poppovich, they met, and the people who were present said it was a good meeting. It seemed that maybe they had squashed their beef. Then, the other day I read that Kawhi was saying he never wanted to step foot in the Spurs facility again, unless he was on a different team, and he was playing there. Then, after that report, I read that the Spurs were now willing to trade him to a team, but no one in the West. That one, if they were to trade him, made sense to me. Why would they want to trade him in the conference and have to face him multiple times a year. This made even more sense when I heard that the 76ers were trying to get RC Buford, the current Spurs GM, to be their new GM. It all started to come together. And, I thought, of any team he could go to, the 76ers made the most sense.

Today there are a ton of new reports that the Spurs and Lakers have "intensified" their trade talks, that the Spurs were now willing to trade him to a West team if the return was proper and that LeBron said, if the Lakers were to acquire him, he would be very willing to sign with the Lakers. Oh, and Paul George opted out of the final year of his contract in OKC, thus making these rumors seem even more real. After all the recent news, I have thrown my hands up, and given in to the fact that,  not only will the Lakers get Kawhi, but they will most likely sign LeBron and Paul George. Sure, they will have to trade some of their young talent, but who cares when you can get three perennial All Stars, one of which is the current best player in the world. I don't think that Rob Pelinka or Magic Johnson truly care if they have to add a Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle or Brandon Ingram in a deal. I don't think they care if they have to add all four to get these three guys, or even 2 of them.

I got a report on my phone from Bleacher Report today that said that the Lakers were willing to add Brandon Ingram in any trade talks in fact. I thought he was one of the untouchable guys too. He actually improved a ton in his second season. He seemed like the guy that the Lakers should keep, and add these stars around him. They should trade Ball, or Kuzma, or, especially Randle before dealing Ingram. Ingram is the real deal. I fully believe that he is going to have a long, and fruitful, NBA career. Lonzo Ball has potential, his vision is amazing, but he has a garbage shot, and you have to deal with his family, and, most importantly, his dad. You think Lavar Ball will really expect his son to play second fiddle to Kawhi or Paul George? Hell, he will shit talk LeBron the moment he signs with the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma has the makings of being a good to great scorer, but he plays no defense, and he is considered "old" in the modern NBA. The kid can shoot, but he is no Brandon Ingram. And Julius Randle has had one foot out the door for the past 2 seasons. He doesn't fit in in LA. He comes and goes as he pleases, and he doesn't seem like he will live up to the hype. He also broke his leg his rookie year, and he missed an entire season. He still has a done of room to grow.

But, the Lakers seem to be desperate, so they are now willing to trade their best young guy, to get only Kawhi. That seems crazy to me. And, if the Spurs are to trade Kawhi, they better damn well get Ingram, and some high, high picks in upcoming drafts. I feel like Ingram, in that Spurs system, would thrive. And if they have to give up Kawhi, so be it. He clearly wants out, and to get a super young, hyper athletic player, that is really starting to come into his own, they'd be crazy not to do it. I don't think losing Kawhi and adding Ingram would be a death blow to them either.

What all of this talk boils down to, at least for me, the Lakers are going to get Kawhi. Then, they will get LeBron. Then, Paul George will announce he is going to sign there. It is going to happen. There are far too many signs that they will get these guys. Magic wants them. Kawhi wants to go there. LeBron has said that he would love to play with Kawhi. And Paul George would make a fine third option on that team, I guess. As much as I don't want this to happen, I'm about 99 percent sure it will. I still think adding these three guys, along with whomever the Lakers can keep, this makes them no better than third in the West. The Warriors are still, far and away, the best team in the West, and all of basketball, and I still like the Rockets, as long as they keep Chris Paul, just a bit more. So, at least there is that.

Oh well, lets get this all over with so I can bitch more about "super teams" on this website.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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Let's Talk About the Future of the Disappointing OKC Thunder

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With the Thunder officially out of the playoffs, and their season done, I want to reflect on what happened.

I was extremely high on this team coming into this season. I thought that they were finally giving in and teaming up stars and paying money to put out one of the best teams in the league. They lost KD and James Harden because they were too frugal, but Sam Presti finally decided that enough was enough. He traded, shockingly, for Paul George and went out and got Carmelo Anthony. They lost what they, and me, considered dead weight in players like Victor Oladipo, Damontas Sabonis and Enes Kanter. They finally addressed what was so glaring last season, and they got 2 bona fide super stars to team up with Russell Westbrook. How could this go wrong? I fully bought in, and so did many other people.

Then the season started. The Thunder came out of the gates sluggish. I figured, it takes time to get these 3 stars acclimated to playing with one another, and they would steady the ship. Meanwhile, Victor Oladipo was playing the best basketball of his life in Indiana, Enes Kanter was putting up solid number with the Knicks and Sabonis was contributing to a surprisingly good Pacers team. But, like I said, I figured it would all even out soon. But, the Thunder still struggled and the 3 "dead weight" players I mentioned continued to play well, especially Oladipo. There were occasional runs by the Thunder. They would go on 4 or 5 game win streaks, but those would be immediately followed by losses to teams like the Magic and Suns. The Thunder played great against the best teams, the Thunder and Rockets, but terrible against the bad ones. It was frustrating to watch because this team had so much talent, but they just weren't figuring it out.

Eventually the Thunder got enough wins to push themselves into a decent playoff spot, but, by all accounts, the regular season was a big time disappointment. And no, I do not blame this all on Westbrook. I feel like he tried and tried to change his game to fit with Carmelo and George, it just never worked. When they were entrenched in that 4 seed, I assumed that this was their time to shine. I picked them to beat the Jazz and to give the Thunder a tough series. And after game one, I looked right. Paul George was locked in. Westbrook was playing great, and Carmelo had been relegated to his proper role as a floor spacer and three point shooter. Then games 2-6 happened. The Thunder lost any kind of rhythm they had in game one so fast, I felt like I got whiplash watching them play. It was a sloppy mess. They just couldn't figure it out, and that was what plagued them all season. And letting Donovan Mitchell go off like he did was so unlike the Thunder. Mitchell is great, I have written as much, but the Thunder should have been able to, at the very least, slow down a rookie. Game 6 was an absolute nightmare scenario for the Thunder. Carmelo Anthony looked like he wanted to be anywhere else, and he only took 7 shots all game. Paul George scored 7 total points on 2-16 shooting. And while Westbrook had 46 points, he needed 43 shots to do it. He turned into the Westbrook from last season, and that was not what the Thunder needed in an elimination game. I know he has taken the brunt of the heat from the media, but I say again, I don't singularly blame him. Game 6 was tough to watch, but he was pretty good for the rest of the series. I know he got roasted one game by Ricky Rubio, but that was a flash in the pan. He was solid and he was a good distributor until game 6. Paul George had that magical game one, but after that, he turned into the playoff Paul George we have all come to know. He was inconsistent on offense and didn't play his normal hard nosed defense. He was one of the guys that let Mitchell go nuts. And Anthony, my god was he just dreadful all around. This might be the worst that I have seen him ever play basketball. He was so, so, so bad.

Now that the season is done, the questions have become, what will this team look like next year? Westbrook will be there. He signed a massive extension, and he will, most likely, be a Thunder for his entire professional career. He is the guy there, and they will build around him. They will get their best defender back next year, Andre Roberson, but how good will he be coming of a torn ACL? He is also a horrid offensive player. Steven Adams will look incredibly dominant at times, then disappear or get hurt. He has the potential to be one of the better centers in the league, he just has to fully commit. Then there are the younger guys and the role players that no one knows what they will do for the rest of their careers.

And then we have Carmelo and Paul George. Carmelo Anthony is done. He is not even a viable bench option, even if he thinks he isn't a bench player. He has fallen, and he has fallen hard. If I were a team, a contending team, and I needed shooting, Anthony wouldn't even be on my list. He wasn't just awful in the playoffs, he was terrible all year. He seems to have lost it on offense, and he was never a defensive player. I used to love watching him, especially when he was in Denver, but man has he gotten bad, and what makes it even worse, he doesn't seem to realize it. He is destined, if he thinks he is only a starter level player in the NBA, to be on very bad teams that just need to sell tickets. I'm talking about teams like the Nets, Mavericks and the Magic. He is just not good anymore.

What about Paul George? 

Paul George is awesome. Paul George can play really well at both ends. Paul George has moments. But, I feel like he isn't a guy you can build around. He will never be a "best player on a title contending team". They tried it in Indiana and they couldn't get any further than the East Finals. Then, he was teamed up with Westbrook this year, and he deflected more often than take over. He has the ability to be a star, I just don't think he has the instinct. He is so much more suited as a Robin to someone else's Batman. Unfortunately, Westbrook wants to be Robin, Batman, the Joker and the Butler. That is what I love about Westbrook. So, you look at some places he is mentioned to go, and I only see it if he teams up with a true star player. Say he goes to the Lakers, he better hope they get LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard. I've seen the 76ers mentioned. I hope that doesn't happen for 2 reasons, I like what the 76ers are doing now, and he would be the best player by ability and seniority, and that won't work. Besides those 2 teams, I don't know where he could go to be second fiddle to another star. Maybe he and LaMarcus Aldridge could team up, but they both are playoff chokers. Maybe teaming him up with Damian Lillard would work, but probably not. That would make the Blazers exactly what they are now, a middling Western Conference playoff team. Maybe put him with Giannis in Milwaukee, but I think he would think he is better than Giannis, and the Bucks should be his team. I honestly don't know what George will do, and it kind of bothers me. He has all the tools to be a star, but where is that killer instinct I mentioned before? It comes and goes far too often.

When I look back at this particular Thunder team, I will always see what I considered the biggest disappointment of the 2017-18 NBA season. They were so much better than a mid 40 win team and a first round playoff out. They had 2 of the 15 best players in the league on their team, and they never figured it out. Billy Donovan proved he is a bad NBA coach. Sam Presti made an awful decision to trade for Carmelo. The Thunder took a big swing, a homerun swing, and they whiffed big time. This was the worst case for this team, and next year, they will look totally different. At least they still have Westbrook. He will always keep them in the conversation.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on all the internet.

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It is Now Time for Some Thunder Panic in Oklahoma City

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Usually I am not one to worry about a NBA team only 20 games into a season. I said as much a couple weeks ago in a piece detailing the "hot" starts of teams like the Magic, Bucks and Clippers. I also said that people shouldn't be worried about some teams off to a "slow" start, like the Jazz, Grizzlies and Spurs. And, while some of those teams have fallen into place, the Clippers are trash and the Spurs are righting the ship, still without Kawhi Leonard, I do have to say that, if I am/was a Thunder fan, I'd be worried.

The Thunder have not seemed to figure it out, and they have 3 of the top 30 players in the NBA on their team. Where we stand today they are 8-12, and they could be much, much worse than that. I was extremely high on this team going into the season. I figured they could challenge for the second or third seed in the West. I was willing to put them in the Western Conference Finals. I assumed Russell Westbrook was only going to get better coming off an MVP season. Adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were both home run moves by the front office. Getting Westbrook to sign that massive extension was icing on the cake. But, a quarter of the way into the season, they have not even come close to playing how I envisioned them playing.

What is wrong in Oklahoma City? They play great defense. That all comes with Paul George. That dude is a solid defender. Probably one of the top defenders in the league. But, their offense is very lackluster, and they cannot close out games. Every time I check their box score on my phone, they seem to hold a decent lead going into the second half, and when I check it later to see the final score, they are always on the wrong end. I think their "big three" are having trouble meshing right now.

Right off the bat I have to say that I do not think this is all on Westbrook. I know that he is an easy target, and a lot of other writers seem to like to attack the way he plays. But, he is not the sole reason this team cannot close games out. He isn't playing the way he played last year, but he isn't playing like trash either. He is second in the league in assists. He is still scoring 20 plus points a game. And, he has put in effort on defense this year. So no, I will not put full blame on him because that is way too easy, and kind of hacky if you ask me. I will say about Westbrook though, he is not being as explosive as he should/can be. He is deferring to his new teammates to a fault. He is trying to hard at times to get Anthony, George and Steven Adams involved. He is the alpha on this team, and late in games, he needs to take over.

I think Paul George has fit in okay, but he is struggling with his shot right now. I've heard some people say that the Thunder are just stashing him in a corner and letting Westbrook dictate what to do, but I do not buy that. George isn't the type of player that would just be happy with sitting back and waiting for open shots. He is a rim attacker, and that allows his jumper to become open. Like I said, the problem with him is that his shot is not dropping right now. That is something that can be fixed, but it needs to happen now. They cannot get much further back in the standings before it becomes a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.

I don't know what in the hell Carmelo Anthony is doing. He is shooting nearly as much as he did in New York. He is not making many of those shots though. I have not seen him pass the ball once whenever I tune into a Thunder game. And his defense, well it is Carmelo Anthony, so defense is not really an option. I wanted him so badly to be Olympic Carmelo. He is the player of the "big three" that should be standing in the corner waiting for the pass for the open three. He is so deadly when he has time to set and shoot. He can also be hidden on defense on this team. He is literally there just to make open shots. He is not the first or second option anymore, and until he realizes that, the Thunder will continue to struggle.

The rest of the team, I think, is still trying it adjust to having these 2 new all stars. Steven Adams has not really lived up to the hype from a few years back when he looked like one of the best up and coming centers. He still gets rebounds and throws down some alley oops, but they need more from him. Alex Abrines is too young and too green for the NBA right now. Patrick Paterson, another free agent signing, is hurt. The rookie Terrance Ferguson, he is playing like a rookie. Their best bench player is Ray Felton, and that stinks. I like Felton, but he cannot be your best guy off the bench. That hasn't worked for any other team that has tried to do that.

What also irks me about their very slow start is some of the losses they have taken. If they were 8-12 with losses to the likes of the Rockets, Warriors, Spurs and Cavs, that would kind of be justified. But, they have losses to the Kings, Mavericks and just last night, the Magic. That should not happen with three players as talented as Anthony, George and Westbrook. That makes absolutely no sense to me.

I'm already preparing to eat crow for thinking this team would be great. Billy Donovan has proven to be a very low rent pro coach. He has been handed some of the best players in the world, yet he can't seem to draw up anything of value late in games. Westbrook needs to be more alpha dog and less, let me get the new guys involved. George, while killing it on defense, needs to start hitting his shots and being way more aggressive. And Anthony, he needs to be that lethal outside threat that this team lacked last year. They still have time, we are only 20 game in, but the Thunder have absolutely been the biggest bust of the first quarter of the season. Lets se if they can turn it around.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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How Good will Oklahoma City be Next Year Now that they Added Carmelo Anthony?

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Carmelo Anthony finally, mercifully, got traded this past Saturday. This was a long time coming. I was at work, and the news buzzed that Melo had been traded. Naturally I assumed it was to the Rockets. That was all the talk for the entire summer, so I figured both teams finally pulled the trigger.

Well, it wasn't the Rockets. My next thought was the Trailblazers. I knew they were a long shot, but at the "eleventh hour", it seemed like a deal was in the works. If this was the destination, I was actually on board. I didn't think it would make them a title contender, but I loved the idea of a McCollum, Lillard and Anthony backcourt. There wouldn't have been much defense, but they would have scored a ton.

Well, it wasn't the Trailblazers. The next team I assumed was the Cavs. I read that he had opened up to being traded to a few new teams, and the one team that was number one on that list was the Cavs. He could finally unite with is buddy LeBron, and he would add some much needed scoring now that Kyrie Irving is gone. He could also make that team a little bit harder to defend. They would have been horrendous on defense, but they could have scored 120 a night.

It wasn't the Cavs though either. Much to mine, and almost everyone else's surprise, Melo was traded to the Thunder. The OKC Thunder pulled off two of the most unexpected, crazy moves of the summer. I was floored when they traded Victor Oladipo and Domantis Sabonis for George. I was SHOCKED when they got Melo for Doug McDermott and Enes Kanter! Absolutely shocked. I didn't see this coming at all. The Thunder were never, ever in the mix for Melo. No one mentioned their name, especially after they pulled off the Paul George trade. My hat goes off to Sam Presti and the Thunder organization for what they did this summer. They may only have this "big 3" for one season, but in the process they were able to unload terrible contracts, Oladipo and Kanter, an unproven rookie, Sabonis and a poor man's JJ Redick in Dougie McBuckets. If they do lose all three of these guys after one lone season, they will have a ton of money to spend on free agents.

But, lets deal with that topic next summer. I want to look at this current lineup that the Thunder will trot out there this season. There assumed starting 5 will be Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Paul George, Carmelo and Steven Adams. That is a pretty damn good starting 5, if they can mesh. That will be the biggest problem they will face early on. I read a stat a few days back that said that George, Westbrook and Carmelo were numbers 1, 2 and 3 in isolation plays last year. This is a classic case of, "there is only one ball" talk. They will have to learn to share the ball. I'm pretty confident that they will figure it out, but Westbrook will have the toughest transition. He is coming of an incredible season where we won the MVP and averaged a triple double. But, he did those things because he had too. He didn't have many weapons at his disposal. He has those weapons now, and he will have to learn to share the ball. I think that Paul George is a perfect guy to play next to Westbrook. George is an awesome defender. He is one of the better ones in the league. He is also a good scorer, and I think he will thrive playing off the ball. He had to do too much while in Indiana. Now, with Westbrook running the point, he can roam and find open spots. He will eventually score in bunches. I'm very curious to see how Melo fits in. He has been "the man" in both Denver and New York. Now, he is the third option. He is older, a poor defender, but he can fill it up. He can score and score and score again. He will get a TON of open shots on this team. With Westbrook and George being more of the driving type player, he will get a lot of catch and shoot chances. That is when he is at his best. That is what he does on Team USA, and he always shows out at the Olympics. He is old though, at least in the NBA. He will be a liability on defense. He may get mad at the lack of touches he will get. But, he is a top 20 NBA player, don't buy that stupid ranking that ESPN, or whoever did prior to this season.

As far as the other starters, Steven Adams will be needed for toughness and rebounding, which is what he does already. And Andre Roberson won't have to worry about shooting and can strictly focus on defending one of the better players on the other team, which he is best at. They both benefit from these 2 trades. As far as their bench, the Patrick Paterson signing is great, but he will lose some minutes to Carmelo. It's not a big deal, but they will need Paterson in the playoffs. Jerami Grant will get a chance at being the backup point and 2, and he should do well in short bursts here and there. Alex Abrines will be a minor scoring threat off the bench. Semaji Christon was awesome in Summer League. I'd like to see that translate to the NBA. And who knows with Terrance Ferguson, their first round draft pick. He is a great scorer, but no one really knows all that much about his overall game.

This Thunder team will be all about Westbrook, George and Carmelo, as it should be. I think this team, once they figure it out, will be very good. I could see them winning 50-55 games. I think they could be the 2 or 3 seed in the West. That all depends on how well James Harden and Chris Paul mesh. But, the Thunder will be better than the Rockets.

With all this being said though, it does not matter. They are still nowhere near the level of the Warriors. The Warriors are the best team, by a wide, wide margin, in the NBA. I love that teams are trying to pull in stars and band together to try and beat the Warriors, but all their best players are some of the best at their positions, and they are all in their primes. The Warriors are too good. But, I love this trade and I'm super excited to watch the Thunder again. I'm still sticking with the Timberwolves and Spurs as my new teams, but these 2 trades make the Thunder must watch basketball for me this year.

I'm still shocked they got Carmelo Anthony.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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The Insane NBA Off-Season is Looking for it's Dramatic Gordon Hayward Conclusion

We are now firmly entrenched in NBA free agency, and it has been wild.

First off, more things happened before midnight eastern time on July 1st, the "official" start of free agency. In fact, most of the big stuff happened before free agency started. It all began on draft night when the Bulls inexplicably traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves for nothing. The Bulls got fleeced, and I thought it wasn't going to get any crazier from there. And, for awhile, that was the case. Nothing too major happened prior to July 1st. Small things like Ricky Rubio being traded to the Jazz, which I think is a very good move by the Jazz, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Henderson being released, John Wall got offered a mega extension, he has yet to sign and Blake Griffin got the max from the Clippers after they traded Chris Paul, the other big move.

Then at about 8:30pm on June 30th my phone blew up. I thought the Chris Paul and Jimmy Butler trades were going to be the biggest deals, but the Thunder, you read that right, acquired Paul George for Victor Oladipo and Domantos Sabonis. I mean, WOW! The Thunder got Paul George for a second year player and a guy that hasn't lived up to the hype yet. They didn't even have to trade any future picks for Paul George! I don't care if it is just a one year thing, this is crazy.

I like this trade so much more than the Chris Paul to the Rockets trade. This is a much, much better pairing than Paul and Harden. Paul George is an excellent sidekick to Russell Westbrook. He plays excellent defense, can hit the open shot and he will take a ton of offensive pressure off Westbrook for one season. This could catapult the Thunder to the same level as the Spurs and Rockets. This doesn't make them a true threat to the Warriors, but no one in the NBA is a threat to them. I love this trade for the Thunder so very much. This makes them instantly better. I'm pretty sure it will only be for one season, I think that both George and Westbrook may bolt for LA next season, but for one year, they will make OKC almost as good as they were with KD. This trade shocked me. Especially for what Indiana got in return. They had to have had better offers, but they pulled the trigger on the trade to the Thunder. I'm sure Boston, Philadelphia or even the Rockets could have made a better offer, but we may never know. The fact that the Celtics, once again, did not do anything keeps me thinking that Danny Ainge is the boy who cried wolf, and he will continue to sit on assets forever. I'll get to more of that later.

After the shockwave of the Paul George trade, I did not know what to expect next. I woke up the next day and saw that Steph Curry got the super max from Golden State. This was well deserved and he is finally being paid like the super star that he is. The Warriors also got Shaun Livingston on a cheaper deal. David West resigned for the veterans minimum for his last season and after "flirting" with free agency, Andre Iguodala signed a three year deal to stay with the Warriors. The Warriors pretty much stayed put, as they should. They are the best team in all of basketball, and as soon as KD re signs, they are set.

I have a few thoughts on some "minor" moves. I was a little surprised to see Patty Mills re up with San Antonio, but then I saw the deal pays him almost 15 million a year for the next 4 years, and he will be a much bigger part of that team next season. Jeff Teague left Indiana after one disastrous season, and he is now a Timberwolf. The T'Wolves are making some really good moves, and I think they are preparing to be a playoff team next year. They also went out and got a veteran leader, who previously played for Thibodeau, in Taj Gibson. That is another solid signing. Taj Gibson was the only guy that helped Westbrook in the playoffs for the Thunder last year. He is not afraid of big time games. Some smaller named guys like Tony Snell, Cristiano Felicio, Nene and Kyle Korver all re signed with their current teams for average deals. Jrue Holiday signed an enormous deal to stay with the Pelicans, but I was not a fan of the move. The Pelicans need so much more help. I know they were much better with him on the floor last year, but is he really going to put this team over teams like the Spurs, Thunder, Rockets, Timberwolves and Warriors? No way. I don't even think this move makes them a lock playoff team. They are fringe at best, even with Holiday. Langston Galloway got overpaid by Detroit. They must have serious buyers remorse in the deal they gave Reggie Jackson last year, because of they are giving Galloway 7 million dollars a year to back him up, yeesh. That shows no faith in their point guard if you ask me. JJ Redick joined "The Process" on a 1 year 23 million dollar deal. That is an insane amount of money for one year for a guy that only shoots threes. I do not think JJ Redick puts the 76ers over the top. Sure, it will be nice for the young guys to have a vet around, but I'd rather have Taj Gibson than JJ Redick. Especially at the deal each was given. Amir Johnson also signed a one year deal with Philly. Ho hum. Michael Carter-Williams is on the move again. This dude can't seem to get it right after winning rookie of the year awhile back. He was a disaster in Milwaukee, and he was even worse in Chicago. He seems to be the 8th or 9th guy off the bench for Charlotte as long as he is there. Joe Ingles got overpaid by Utah, but they seem to keep doing anything they can to keep Gordon Hayward. Ingles had a decent playoff run, but almost 9 million a year is way too much money for him. Houston did get a good, tough vet to team up with Nene in the front court in PJ Tucker. I like what Tucker brings to this team as far as toughness goes, but I don't know how he will fit into their offensive scheme. He's a good rebounder and defender, but he may not have the skill set to run like the Rockets, and Harden, like to.

One of the biggest surprises, especially when I saw the deals, was when Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry both re upped with Toronto. Both signed three year deals, and the contracts seem to be easy to get rid of if it doesn't work out for Toronto. I thought that Lowry was going to go to Philly, but they drafted Fultz, so then I thought Minnesota was his next stop, but they signed Teague. No one else really needed a point guard, so he chose to stay. He got a great big contract, which was deserved, now lets see if he can help put the Raptors over the top. Ibaka got the same years but 35 million dollars less. I think the market was very thin for him and he took the best deal he got. This is perfect for him and the Raptors. He needs to be surrounded by great offensive guys, which he has in Lowry and DeRozan, and he can flourish. I watched him do it for about 4 years in OKC. Serge Ibaka will be just fine in Toronto.

A hidden gem of a move is the Ben McLemore deal. McLemore is finally out of the hell hole that is Sacramento, and he is now a member of the Grizzlies. I love this fit. He gives them much needed scoring from the perimeter, and it always seems when a high draft pick leaves Sacramento lately, they do much better on their new teams.

The biggest news of today, July 3rd, so far, is Paul Milsap signing with Denver for 90 million over 3 years, with a team option for the third year. That means, to the layman, that Denver can release him after the second year there if they don't like what they have seen out of him. This deal is great for both Milsap and Denver. Milsap and Nikola Jokic will make a very good front court, and Denver has basically nothing at stake. This is a win win.

The only big names really left on the market are Rondo, if you still think he is a big name, George Hill, who I hope goes to San Antonio and finally get to play for the team that drafted him, Leandro Barbosa, who is 35, and Gordon Hayward, the white whale. I personally think, and hope, that he will stay in Utah. That is a very good, up and coming team. They won a playoff series last year, they have a great young, modern NBA center in Rudy Gobert, they traded for a pass first point guard and they have a very good bench and a very good coach.

Take Utah out of the Hayward picture, there are only two other teams that seem like viable options. Does he go to Miami or Boston? If he goes to Miami, he will be "the man", and I don't think Hayward is ready for that. He is a good basketball player, but he doesn't seem like the kind of player you build around. Also, I like what the Heat are doing with youth, and taking on guys like Dion Waiters and letting them play as freely as they want. Gordon Hayward should not be the focal point of a team, and I do not think he will ever be the best player on a title contender. He needs to be part of a group of great players. He can't be THE player.

This brings up to Boston. The Celtics, and Danny Ainge, seem to think he is coming to them wrapped in a bow. His college coach is the coach there now. They have a good group of role players that are all very good at their specific set of skills. They have a good amount of money/assets to throw around. They were the one seed in the East in the most recent playoffs. Everything seems to be written in stone.

But, this is where I go back to Danny Ainge being the boy who cried wolf. Every year the Celtics are going to get some big time player. Every year they are just on the precipice of signing one of the hot free agents. Every year is the year they get guy or guys that will help them dethrone whatever team LeBron is on. And every year, they do nothing. I cannot take that team seriously anymore. This year they were going to get either Paul George, he is on the Thunder now, Jimmy Butler, he's a T'Wolve and Blake Griffin, who chose to stay in LA. So why now would they get Hayward? Nothing they have done the past three years proves to me that they can sign a big time free agent. I also think that Hayward would be better off staying put in Utah. I will believe it when I see it with Boston, but for now, I do not see Boston signing Hayward. They keep saying they are going to do things like this, they had "deals" for George, Butler and Griffin and nothing happened. They had deals in place for Kevin Love and others before him and nothing happened. So why would anything happen now?

Now that free agency has officially started,Gordon Hayward is the last big name left. Unfortunately for Boston and their fans, I think he will stay put in Utah. Now lets get a decision Mr. Hayward.

Oh, and keep on bringing the surprises NBA off-season.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet. 

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Ty Tells You How each NBA Team can Win the Title: Pistons, Grizzlies, and Pacers

We are on day 8 of my NBA countdown. We are on the final 9 teams. These teams are all pretty good, each of them coming off a decent season last year. These teams will make noise, especially in the playoffs. One thing before I continue my countdown, I know that Michael Carter Williams and Tony Snell got traded for each other. After some thought, I still like where I have the Bulls and Bucks. I don't see this trade causing any kind of shift for either team, either positive or negative. Anyway, on with the countdown.

At number 9, I have the Detroit Pistons. Now, I am fully aware that Reggie Jackson got hurt, and will miss extended time, but I am not as worried about this injury as some other people are. I watched Reggie Jackson squander chance after chance while he was in OKC, and last year, that dreadful air ball to end the Pistons season in round one, shows me what kind of player he really is. He is a very good guard, but he is often selfish, clashes with coaches and teammates and thinks he is the best player on the court. He is not. He's a good starter, but he will never be an all star, and until he realizes that he has better players around him and starts to distribute more than shoot, I will always look at him as an overrated player. On the other hand, I love Andre Drummond. The dude can do everything, except shoot free throws. He is a TERRIBLE free throw shooter, but he is a world class rebounder, he's an incredibly good rim protector, and he is basically unstoppable in the low post. Drummond has gotten better every year he's been in the league, and I see that continuing for most of his career. The dude is awesome. Brandon Jennings is gone, which is kind of a bummer, but they do have Reggie Jackson, but until he gets back, the point guard duties will be in the hands of Ish Smith. This may be disconcerting. Smith is not a good scorer, so hopefully he will be a good distributor, which Jackson is not. Stanley Johnson is on his way to becoming a very good small forward. He has the confidence, calling out LeBron in their first round series last year, now he just needs the game to be at the same level. He is getting better, and that should scare the NBA. He is a tank, he is getting a better jumper, and he is a pretty good, young defensive player. Kentavious Caldwell Pope should be a much better shooter, but he hasn't been able to put it all together in the NBA. Tobias Harris is a good swiss army guy for this team. He does almost everything pretty well. He isn't dominant on one single thing, but he can give you some scoring, play a little defense and get the team going when need be. Marcus Morris is a good inside out forward, and he is not a head case like his brother. Win win. Aron Baynes is a fine back up center. He will mix it up with opponents. They signed Boban away from the Spurs, and I think, with some playing time, he could actually be a pretty good bench guy. This Pistons team should take the next step this year. I know Jackson is out, but that doesn't worry me. They will win about 46 or 47 games and be firmly in the playoffs.

So Ty, how will the Pistons win the title? The Pistons will win the title if Drummond becomes as dominant as Shaq. That isn't happening yet, but it could happen in the next few seasons. Also, they need Stanley Johnson to become a major offensive threat. Detroit is still a few seasons away from being a legitimate contender.

At number 8, I have the Memphis Grizzlies. This is a team where health, above all else, will determine how they finish. I think they will stay relatively healthy, so that is why I have them this high. Mike Conley is a very good point guard. He knows exactly how to run this team. He gets his big guys the ball when they need it. He feeds the wings at the right time and he gets his when he knows the team needs him to. He just needs to stay healthy. Z Bo and Marc Gasol are 2 great big men. Z Bo may be getting older, but he has figured out a way for his game to work every year he has been in the league. He may not be a good jumper at all, but he has a good shot, he gets crucial rebounds and he plays aggressively every night. He is the epitome of this team's toughness. Gasol, coming off a major injury, is one of the better big men in the league. He is a great inside out player, he ruffles opponents when it's needed, he is a good rebounder and a serviceable defender. He, much like Conley, just needs to stay healthy. Tony Allen may be the best defensive guard in the league. He guards the best player every night, and those players will say that he gives them the toughest times. He's a tough dude. He's not much on offense, but he more than makes up for it on the defense. Giving Chandler Parsons a max deal was kind of a head scratcher, but if he can stay healthy, which is a big if, he is exactly what this team needs. He's a good slasher, can shoot the three, plays good defense and knows his role. Jaymychael Green is a good back up center. He was asked to play too much last year because of injury, but in the right circumstance, he is a serviceable guy. Vince Carter is still plugging away. He doesn't leap like he used to, but he has found a jump shot, and can still score 20 on any given night. The rest of the team is very ho hum. This team needs their main guys to stay healthy. They will be a very good team, perhaps even a 50 win team if their core plays most of the 82 game season. I think Gasol and Conley are all stars and Z Bo and Allen do the best things they can do for this team.

So Ty, how will the Grizzlies win the title? The Grizzlies best chance at a title is to make every game a slug fest. The NBA has become a bit soft, but not the Grizzlies. They remind me of a not as good version of the "Bad Boy" Pistons teams. They will beat some dudes up, and that may be the only way they win a championship.

At number 7, I have the Indiana Pacers. I think the Pacers might be one of the most overlooked teams going into this season. Sure, they fired Frank Vogel, a good coach, but I think Nate McMillan will do just fine with this roster. Paul George is back. He was back last year. He looked like he never had that gruesome injury from two years ago. He was flying around the court on offense and defense. He was filling up stat sheets. He looked great at the Olympics. George is one of the top 10 players, easily, in the league right now. On any given night, he is the best player on the floor. They did lose George Hill, but they got Jeff Teague. Teague and George will make for a deadly back court. Teague is quick, can make shots and find the open man. He is going to thrive in Indiana. Monta Ellis is another guy that can score a ton of points. He is not the best defender, and he sometimes takes too many shots, but the older he has gotten, the better of a teammate he has become. And, as I just said, he is capable of going for 50 any night. Myles Turner is going to be a handful for opposing teams. He got so much better as his rookie season carried on, and I see no signs of his improvement slowing down. He is a great big man. They also went out and got Al Jefferson this offseason. Hardly anyone has talked about this, and that is crazy to me. Jefferson is a very good, dependable NBA player. He is great in the low post, and he can score a ton, if need be. Aaron brooks coming over is going to be a good deal for the Pacers too. He is instant offense off the bench, and you could pair him with any of the other guards on this team and not miss a beat. Thad Young is also a very athletic, yet inconsistent player. I really like this Pacers team, even with the signing of Ty Lawson. They will score a lot of points, but unlike the Rockets, they will also play some good defense. The Pacers are the first team on my list that I truly think will win 50 plus games. They are really good.

So Ty, how will the Pacers win the title? The Pacers can win the title if George can lock down LeBron for a full series. I know I haven't gotten to the Cavs yet, but they are a shoe in for the East Finals, spoiler alert, and if the Pacers have any shot at a title, they need George to shut him down. They will score and score and score, but they will need to beat a few teams that a tad better than them. The Pacers could do it though. They are the first team on my list where it wouldn't shock me if they made the finals.

That's it for today, come back tomorrow for the next three teams.

Ty 

Ty is the Pop Culture Editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He loves to talk about basketball, his favorite sport. The one where they dribble the ball up and down the court. Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

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Let Me Respectfully Explain Why Your Team Stinks: Ty has a Few Words for Reggie Jackson's Thunder Criticisms

The not basketball court where Jackson forms his opinions

The not basketball court where Jackson forms his opinions

To continue my trend this week of talking about the NBA, I need to give my take on Reggie Jackson calling out his former team on Twitter after the Thunder got beat in game 7.

Shut your god damn mouth Reggie Jackson. You are a very, very average NBA player at your very best. The Thunder dumped you because they had enough of your whiny, crybaby, ball hogging ways. The Thunder were fed up and they traded you for peanuts. That's how much they wanted to rid themselves of you. If they didn't have to pay the money, they probably would have cut you just to get you off the team. Yeah, you got a huge deal from the Pistons last offseason, but I think they may have a touch of buyers remorse right now. Two years ago, when you had your shot to lead the Thunder, both Durant and Westbrook were out with injuries, you "led" them to a 5-13 start. That is pathetic. You became such a ball hog and a prima donna and a wannabe all star your teammates were icing you out and wouldn't pass you the ball after rebounds. You are a point guard and Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins decided they would rather run the offense than you because they knew that you were going to come down, hold the ball for 20 seconds, and shoot some piss poor jumper or do some lame ass drive, trying to draw a foul and get nothing from it. After you were iced out and leading the Thunder to 8 games below .500, you started to complain that you weren't getting your fair shot to lead. Bull shit! You had every opportunity to show your worth and you blew it big time. You are a poor mans James Harden. You are not the scorer, nor will you ever be, that James Harden is, and your defense is just as bad.

I mentioned it before and I am going to say again, you were traded to the Pistons for next to nothing, and you have been average at best. Yeah, you got a big deal, but everyone is going to get huge deals in 2 years when the cap explodes. Your 20 million a year will look miniscule next to what real superstars will be making very soon. And, how well have the Pistons been since you went there? Your first season there, you were splitting minutes with Brandon Jennings until he tore his ACL. Then you were the starter on a very bad Pistons team. Even on a bad team, you weren't the main scoring threat. Guys like Tobias Harris, Kentavious Caldwell Pope and Andre Drummond are all much better options than you. The Pistons stunk your first season there, but this last season your team barely made the playoffs, and spoiler alert Reggie Jackson, it had little to nothing to do with your play. Yeah, you had moments, but so did guys like Darko Milic, Hedo Turkoglu, Kwame Brown, Korleone Young and many more players that are out of the league, or irrelevant. But, you continued to run your mouth as if you are the best player on your team. Even after trading Tobias Harris, you are still the third best option on a mediocre Pistons team. Durant and Westbrook, who are bona fide mega stars in the league, are one hundred percent correct when stating that Caldwell Pope and Drummond are much better options. First off, Drummond is the second best center in the league, behind only Boogie Cousins, and he is an all star and a nightmare on the low post, both offensively and defensively. Then, Caldwell Pope is such a better shooter than you, he is younger and a much better defender than you have been your whole career.

Also, how did the Pistons do in the playoffs this year? You have the nerve and gall to call out the Thunder after a game 7 loss to the greatest regular season team in the history of the NBA, and your team, the team you are the supposed "leader" of got their asses swept out of the first round by the Cavs, who are atrocious defensively. Two of the games weren't even close either. Game one, you and Drummond blew. Games 2 and 3, you guys had no chance. And then game 4. You guys had a chance, specifically, you, Reggie Jackson, had the chance to win the game and extend the series. But, you threw up some garbage three point double clutch nonsense, then complained to the refs when it air balled that your were fouled, you were not fouled, then didn't own up that you stunk that entire series.

Shut your stupid mouth Reggie Jackson. The Thunder have gotten so much better since they traded your punk ass away. No matter how many times you celebrate regular season wins against the Thunder, even though you did nothing note worthy in the game, the Thunder are so much better without you on the team. They don't have to worry about some backup point guard that thinks he is way better than he truly is. The Thunder one hundred percent made the correct decision to rid the team of your nonsense.

Another thing, don't act like you are some big time star now because you hang out with Paul George in the offseason. Paul George is just being nice to you to be nice. He looks at you like a charity case. You are a blip on his radar. You are not a star Reggie Jackson, no matter what you think, say and tweet. That is also such a punk move to call them out on Twitter. It is downright cowardly. You also must have been watching the game, opining that you were still on a team that plays late into May. Reggie Jackson, you are a bum and a child. This Twitter nonsense is prime evidence that you are childish. I am so happy, being a Thunder fan, that they got rid of your punk ass. That was a great day in Sonics/Thunder history, and when you are out of the league in 3 or 4 years and Durant and Westbrook are still playing deep into May and June, I hope you look back at this time and feel shame for how ridiculous this beef and how average of an NBA player you were. Screw you Reggie Jackson, you are lame.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He does not appreciate it when twitter is used for childish purposes. With that said, go follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

DeAndre Jordan Does Not Belong on the NBA First Team

DeAndre Jordan should not even be warming the first team's bench

DeAndre Jordan should not even be warming the first team's bench

Yesterday the NBA released their all NBA teams. The teams were pretty much what we all expected. The first team had LeBron, Russell Westbrook, Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard and DeAndre Jordan. The second team had Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Damien Lillard, Boogie Cousins and Chris Paul. The third, and final team, had Klay Thompson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul George, Andre Drummond and Kyle Lowry.

They got it right for the most part.

As far as snubs go, maybe flip Durant and Westbrook, but I don't think it really matters, they are both great and they both deserve a spot. Anthony Davis was hurt, but when he was in there, he was great, and he lost 24 million dollars by not making the team. If Kyle Lowry made all NBA, I think DeMar DeRozan deserved equal consideration. Other than that, they got everything right except for one humongous, glaring, gaping hole on that first team.

How on Earth does a player like DeAndre Jordan make first team all NBA? He shouldn't be on any of these all NBA teams. All he is good for is rebounding and dunking. His defense isn't anywhere near elite. His offense is a joke. His free throw shooting is even worse. His demeanor on the court is garbage. He carries himself so poorly. He isn't even the best player on his team. He isn't even the second best player on his team. When you look at the other first team players, those players were the best players on their team this year, and yes, Westbrook was better all year than Durant, that is a fact. DeAndre Jordan is way behind Chris Paul, and even though he is an abusive man child that whines and complains and blames everything on everyone else and never comes up big when the Clippers need him most, Blake Griffin is still better than DeAndre Jordan. Hell, guys like Paul Pierce, Jamal Crawford, and at times, even Jeff Green were more crucial to the Clippers than DeAndre Jordan.

DeAndre Jordan is a problem for this Clippers team. He cannot be counted on late in games because his low post game is non existent and his free throw shooting is the worst that I have ever seen. He is worse than Drummond. Hell, he is a worse free throw shooter than Rajon Rando, and Rajon Rando is a garbage free throw shooter. His defense is not nearly as threatening as it was a year or two ago. People attacked him way more this year and would score or draw fouls on him more often than him getting a block or altering the shot. And on offense, unless it is a lob from Chris Paul for an alley oop, he is completely useless. He is a poor screener. He rolls away from the rim way too often on pick and rolls. He cannot move in the low post. He can't shoot free throws, so he obviously is no threat to shoot jumpers. When he gets the ball in the high post, he is so quick to give it up for fear of getting fouled, or having the ball stolen from him. He is a problem on this Clippers team when they have to run half court offense.

With all those problems, the people that vote on all NBA put DeAndre Jordan on the first team. What a joke. Why was he even considered? Is it the LA thing? Since the Lakers are a dumpster fire, do the writers, most of whom live in LA, feel like they need to have someone, no matter how crappy they are, from an LA team be on the all NBA first team? That's not fair. With DeAndre Jordan being first team all NBA, I'm surprised these dip shit voters didn't put Kobe Bryant on any of the all NBA teams. Then, to vote DeAndre Jordan over guys like Boogie Cousins, LMA, Andre Drummond, what a crock and slap in their faces. LaMarcus Aldridge completely overhauled his game to fit in with the Spurs, and they were a great regular season team, due to him and Kawhi Leonard. LMA definitely deserved that spot more than Jordan. While Andre Drummond is an equally terrible free throw shooter, he is a much better rebounder, defender, low post threat and teammate than Jordan will ever be. I'd take Andre Drummond 10 times out of 10 before I'd take Jordan if I were starting a team and I had to pic between the two of them for my center spot. Then there's Boogie Cousins. While he may be uncoachable and a very tough player to play with, Cousins is the best center in the NBA. He has all the tools that the old time centers had and he can also run and shoot the way the newer bigs can. Boogie Cousins is a tremendous talent that deserves that first team spot so much more than DeAndre Jordan. Cousins is a better rebounder, defender, and is so far ahead of Jordan on offense, it is almost laughable that he didn't get the first team spot. If I were Boogie Cousins I'd take this very personal and go at DeAndre Jordan every shot I get for the rest of my NBA career. Then there are guys that didn't make any all NBA teams that I would take well before I take Jordan. I'd take Anthony Davis, Steven Adams, Serge Ibaka, Bismak Biyombo, Al Horford, Paul Millsap and many more centers and power forwards before I'd even consider DeAndre Jordan.

The love for Jordan needs to stop and stop now. He is a very marginal NBA center. If he did not have Chris Paul throwing him passes, he may be out of the league, that is how overrated I truly think DeAndre Jordan is. The voters got this one terribly wrong. I don't think anyone could pose an argument that would sway me on this. This is a joke and this proves how useless and pointless all these all NBA teams are. Who in the hell cares, all the fans know who are the best players in the league, and Deandre Jordan is not one of the top five. He isn't even one of the top 25 players in the league. What a crock is truly is that he made first team all NBA. He should be getting rewarded for his mediocre play all season. This was a huge mistake.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He looks forward to the day when NBA writers value the players skill more than their geographical location. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.

Ty tells you how each NBA team can win the title: Magic, Pacers, & Hornets

I love basketball.

Continuing my NBA countdown, today you'll be getting my number 21, 20 and 19 teams. We are just on the outside of the playoffs. These teams are okay, have been good recently but are in a downswing or they are rising, but there just not a playoff team yet. I like these teams, but they're a year or two away, or past their prime. On with the countdown.

My number 21 team is the Orlando Magic. I really like what they are doing in Orlando right now. They are building a strong, youthful team that's full of potential. They drafted my favorite player from last years draft, Elfrid Payton. First of all, he has the best hairdo in the league, but aside from that, he's a really good, really young point guard. He's going to be a star in this league and he will continue to get better and better. Victor Oladipo is a fantastic defender and he's one of the most athletic players I've seen in a long time. He may have been the best overall player in his draft class from three years ago. Nikola Vucevic looks like a really strong player. He made a huge leap last season and he should continue to get better each season. Aaron Gordon is extremely athletic, but he needs to stay healthy if he wants to become a consistent starter in the NBA. They resigned Tobias Harris last season after many, many teams tried to get him. I think he's one of the most underrated players in basketball. He's an all around great player. He's more than just a scorer now. They drafted foreign prospect Mario Herzonja, and while I don't know how good of a player he is, he's extremely confident in himself and his abilities. That's half the battle. The problem with the Magic is their bench. It's pretty thin, filled with unproven players. Guys like Shabazz Napier and CJ Watson and Evan Fournier have shown me very little in their early careers. Everyone else on the bench is average at best. They have a decent, but very young roster. They remind me a lot of the Timberwolves. They'll struggle to win 30 games this year, but if they stay together, this team will be really good in three years.

How the Magic will win it all.

The Magic will win the title if every single player takes a huge step forward and become All NBA caliber players. That won't happen this season, but Oladipo and Payton are destined to be stars. Give them three years.

My number 20 team is the Indiana Pacers. Yes, the same team that was in the east finals two years ago. They really struggled without Paul George for almost all of last season. Their roster is pretty thin as well, with a lot of cast offs from other NBA teams. George Hill is s good point guard, but he's not an All Star and he's only getting older. Paul George is back and he's a top 20 NBA player. The only problem, they'll regret playing him at the four this season, and that won't work for him on defense. Fours are too big and strong for him to guard. They'll beat him up. He'll get his on offense, but defense will punish him. They signed Monta Ellis, but I feel like his best days are behind him. He doesn't really care to play defense. Usually a rookie wouldn't be an upgrade, but Myles Turner, right now, is a better player than Roy Hibbert. That sentiment would have been crazy two years ago, but Hibbert is pretty rough to watch now a days. I think Turner can be a competent center in about three or four years. He does run awkwardly, but he has decent post skills and can rebound and be a rim protector. Their bench, with the exceptions of Jordan Hill and Rodney Stuckey, is either rookies or second and third year players, aka, my buzzword, unproven. I do like Stuckey and Hill though. Stuckey is instant offense and Hill is a good player that got out of LA(he was a Laker) so he can blossom. The Pacers are destined to take a step back. I see 34 or 35 wins this season and they will win ugly.

How the Pacers will win it all.

The Pacers will win the title if George is somehow, some way, able to handle fours on defense, George Hill plays the best basketball of his life, Myles Turner becomes all NBA defense and averages double figures, Monta Ellis contributes on both ends and Stuckey and Hill become starter quality players. I like their roster, but all that stuff isn't happening. Sorry Pacer fans. How they handle this season and offseason will say a lot about the direction the Pacers are going in.

My number 19 team is the Charlotte Hornets. With the injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist you may think 19 is too high, but that injury, in my opinion, doesn't change too much about this team. MKG will be hard to replace though, that's for sure. He was definitely coming into his own and his injury will be a tough pill to swallow for the Hornets. The rest of the roster is decent, but not great. They also drafted Frank Kaminsky way too early. He has bust written all over him. Another poor GM decision by Michael Jordan. Kemba Walker is an All Star in waiting. I love the intensity and passion he plays with. He's a really good basketball player. Walker is almost good enough to make the MKG injury a moot point. Almost. Al Jefferson is a good big man that's finally getting the credit he deserves. He plays the game with a mix of old and new school moves. He's an awesome basketball player. He should be a perennial All Star. They traded for Nic Batum before the draft, but I don't know how he fits. He's a good shooter, but there's no Damien Lillard to help take the pressure off. Kemba Walker is good, like I said before, but he's not on Lillard's level yet. They also traded for Jeremy Lamb, who couldn't get off the bench in Oklahoma City and signed Jeremy Lin. I think it's fair and reasonable to stop the hype on Jeremy Lin. He hasn't been very good since he left the Knicks, and he was only good for about 25 games with the Knicks. I like Jeremy Lin the person, I love the pranks he plays on people, but I don't like Jeremy Lin the basketball player. He's not that good. PJ Hairston has a lot of promise, but he can't seem to stay out of trouble. His problems will doom his career. The rest of the roster is not very good. You're grasping for straws if your ninth player off the bench is Tyler Hansborough and your tenth player is rookie Aaron Harrison. Hansborough was a college star, but his game doesn't translate to the NBA and he's an extremely dirty player. Harrison regressed in his sophomore year of college and I don't see him getting much better in the pros. The Hornets may flirt with a .500 record, but are more likely to win 35 games.

How the Hornets will win it all.

The Hornets will win the title if MKG has a miraculous recovery, Walker scores 40 points a game, Jeremy Lin finds the form he had during "Linsanity" and plays like that all season and Nic Batum becomes an All Star. Al Jefferson will be great because he's a great player, but he's in a similar situation as Boogie Cousins. At least Jefferson has a teammate almost as good as him in Kemba Walker.

So, there you have it, teams 21, 20 and 19. Come back tomorrow for teams 18, 17 and 16. We get our first playoff team tomorrow.

Ty 

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man podcast. He enjoys writing about basketball, but is looking forward to writing about good basketball. Follow Ty on twitter @tykulik.