Ty's 2019-2020 NBA Preview: Raptors, Pacers, Trailblazers, Warriors

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Getting right into it on day 5 of my NBA countdown, I have the defending champs at number 14, the Toronto Raptors. I know they just won the title, and did it in pretty convincing fashion, but they lost the one guy that truly did it all for them. Kawhi Leonard was truly a one year rental, and he more than lived up to the price they paid to acquire him, and he brought them a title. Outside of Leonard, they have a good amount of talent, but it is only older, or won't be able to do what they did without Leonard there. I really, really like Pascal Siakim, and I think he can be an All Star, but it will be tougher for him with no Leonard. Yes, he will score and rebound and play solid defense, it will just be tougher because teams will now be targeting him solely on scouting reports. Fred Van Vleet was great in the conference and NBA finals, and he is a solid point guard. Kyle Lowry got a humongous one year deal, but it was smart for him and the team. Also, he is on the wrong side of 30, and without Leonard, he may go back to being the player he was before, which was good, but a playoff choker. Marc Gasol was great for them in the finals, but he is very old, and if stuff goes bad quick, he will want out. He only has a few years left. Serge Ibaka is okay, but he has kind of turned himself into strictly a mid range shooter, and the defense isn't what it used to be. OG Anounoby is going to come back, and while he was starting to come on, he missed more than half the season, and all of the playoffs. He has work to do. Norman Powell is a good three point shooter, but he is streaky. They acquired Stanley Johnson, but for a guy I thought was going to be good, he has been kind of a bust. They also signed Rondae Hollis Jefferson, and while he is okay, he was going to be pushed aside from Brooklyn regardless of who they signed this offseason. The Raptors will still be a playoff team, maybe even a 4 seed, but they will not find the same success as last year. It's tough to repeat anyway, and when you lose your main dude, it is made that much tougher.

At number 13 I have the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers are a solid playoff team, and they will win in the mid to high 40 games this year. But, I feel like that is all they will be as long as they keep this roster together. We still don't know when Victor Oladipo will be back, and they need him to be a true threat. Oladipo is great, and he can be the difference in a 6 seed or a 3 seed. The Pacers do still have solid players around him. Myles Turner is a great rim protector and rebounder and solid on switching defense. He is even getting better on offense. Domantas Sabonis is a good throwback big, but I feel like he is going to be trade bait all year long. That can mess with a player. Doug McDermott is an okay three point shooter, but he does literally nothing else. TJ Leaf showed zero in his rookie year. What the Pacers did do was go out and sign some quality vets. TJ Warren is a scoring machine, and I think he will fit in very well. The fact that they pulled off the Malcolm Brogdon deal is a big, big deal. Brogdon is such a solid pro, a good shooter and the Bucks will miss him. He was a great get for the Pacers. And Jeremy Lamb, while incredibly streaky and inconsistent, when he catches fire, he can light it up. The Pacers are a very solid team, but their success lies with Oladipo and when he will be back. They need him.

At number 12 I have the Portland Trailblazers. The Trailblazers have one of the best offensive back courts in the NBA. Damien Lillard is a killer, and he proved that in the playoffs until he ran out of steam. That dude is amazing. CJ McCollum proved that he can coexist with Lillard and had a monster year last year. He is a scoring machine as well. But, they don't play much defense at all. But they can, legit, average 50 to 60 points combined this year. No one knows when Jusuf Murkic will be back, and Portland needs him. For the time being, they took a flyer on Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside is a total wild card, but when he is locked in, he is one of the better defenders in the league, and a total beast on the block. Pau Gasol is there, but he is so old now, I feel like he is more there to help coach than to play. Who knows what they will get from Zach Collins, besides stupid fouls. He is a good player, but he needs to learn to control his temper. Rodney Hood is back, and I think he is in a perfect place for himself. He is free to create and score in Portland, and can destroy second units. As I wrote awhile back, I love the Nassir Little pick. I think he is going to be great, and will be out to prove 24 other teams wrong. Every wroter I read now is obsessed with Anfernee Simons, and right now in the preseason, he is showing out. I just don't know where he will find solid minutes. They also signed Kent Bazemore, and he is solid all around. I am probably too low on the Trailblazers, I always am, but their roster is weird and outside of McCollum and Lillard I just don't know yet.

My final team of the day, at number 11, I have the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have been an easy number 1 for the past 5 years, but now, things are up in the air for them. Steph Curry is great and will be even greater this year. He is going to have so much offensive freedom, and I feel like he will put up historic numbers. D'Angelo Russell was an odd pickup for them, but I think he will be a good scorer next to Steph. He won't ease the loss of Klay Thompson, but he will do his best to fill the scoring void. Speaking of Thompson, he tore his ACL in the finals, and will not be back until after the All Star break. But, he got a huge contract and will be given ample time to recover from his injury. And when he comes back, there is no better catch and shoot player in the league, and he is an all NBA defender. Draymond Green might be the best overall defender in the league. And if he stays in shape all year, and brings it for 82 games, he could easily be an All Star. They drafted Jordan Poole in the first round, and I watched him for 2 years at Michigan. When he is hitting shots, he is great. But, that didn't happen as much his sophomore year as it did his freshman year. They signed Willie Cauley Stein, and while I like his pick and roll ability and his defense, how is he not JaVale McGee 2.0? Kevon Looney is back after having a very good playoffs, and I think that he is the definite starting center, he could get even better. Outside of that, the Warriors are a big time question mark for the first time in the past half decade. Steph is Steph, and he is great and will score tons, but they have a lot of questions after that. I'm very curious to see how they respond when they aren't the clear favorites. They don't have KD anymore, and Klay is going to miss a good chunk of the year. It is time to see how good the Warriors, and their staff, really are.

That is it for today. Come back next week when we break into the top 10.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty's 2019-2020 NBA Preview: Timberwolves, Kings, Spurs, Magic

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Day 4 of my NBA countdown gives us, in my opinion, the best 18 teams. We will get into my top 16, or playoff teams if you will, but that doesn't mean that I have 8 teams from the West and East. I simply put who I thought wee the best 16 teams in that order. I am all for the playoff being conference less, and that is how I looked at my countdown when I took all my notes. So, with that being said, lets get into it.

At number 18 I have the Minnesota Timberwolves. The T'Wolves are kind of in a no man's land. If they were in the East, they would be a playoff team easily. But, the West is a whole different animal, and Minnesota just doesn't have quite enough to break through. What they do have is a bona fide star on their team. Karl Anthony Towns is legit. He is so good on the offensive side of the ball. He is a great scorer, and now that he has extended his range, he is a matchup nightmare. He is also an excellent rebounder and a solid passer. But, he needs to get better defensively. When he is engaged on that end he is good, he just needs to be engaged always. Then he will become a top 10 player in the league. But, outside od Towns, the T'Wolves are a mystery. I think I was the last person on the Andrew Wiggins hype train, and even I have jumped off. He just isn't consistent, disappears far too much and isn't the defender I thought he could be coming out of college. Jeff Teague is old, and ready to be replaced. Josh Okogie looks like he will be the guy, but he needs to become more consistent in every phase. I like Jarret Culver, and think he could be a good player for a decade, but he still has a ways to go on offense. Robert Covington is a solid veteran, and a good role player, but he is a starter in Minnesota. He is so much better off the bench. They took some flyers on free agents like Jake Layman and Jordan Bell, and I just don't know with those guys. Layman barely saw the floor in Portland, and Bell regressed last year in Golden State. Minnesota will win close to 40 games, but I fear that Towns is getting into Kevin Love territory, and that is not where you want to be if you want to win titles.

At number 17, and I really, really wanted to put this team in the top 16, but they play in the West, and they're too young, I have the Sacramento Kings. The Kings have totally remade themselves, and they are no longer the laughingstock that they have been for the past decade plus. The Kings have a cohesive, and fun team. I love DeAron Fox. He is so fast, good with the ball, finds the open guy, plays hard, plays tough and has only gotten better since he has been in the league. He is one of my favorite young guys in the league. Marvin Bagley played far better than I thought he would last year. He looked to be stronger, played smarter and got better in his rookie year. That is a great sign. Buddy Hield, as you all know I love, has found a proper NBA home. The Kings allow him the freedom to shoot and be a playmaker, and that is what he needed coming out of college. He is quietly one of the better three point shooters in the NBA. I think Bogdan Bogdanovic is going to be this version of the Kings Peja Stojakivic. He is a solid outside shooter, and he is fun to watch. Harrison Barnes, who I think gets unfairly criticized, is a solid veteran that this team needs. He knows what it takes to win in the NBA, and he does the little things fairly well. Harry Giles, who has been hurt seemingly forever, looked good in limited minutes last year. He looked athletic and rebounded and ran the floor well. The Trevor Ariza signing here could be what I expected it to be in Phoenix. Ariza is also one of the better defenders in the league. Dwayne Dedmon is a solid center, and a rim protector they need. I find the Kings to be very fun, and I think they will be at, or above ,500 this year, which is huge for them. They just need one more year before they are a playoff team.

At number 16, my first "playoff" team, I have the San Antonio Spurs. I know, this team plays old style dinosaur basketball, they have no real super stars and they may seem boring. But, they still have Greg Poppovich as their head coach, and as long as he is there, the Spurs will always be a playoff team in my eyes. And, without having stars, they do have LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan. Sure, those guys may not pop, but they are really good, really solid NBA players. Aldridge had a very good year last year, and he is finally finding his groove as a Spur. And DeRozan is a proven scorer and shooter, even if he doesn't take a million threes. He is still a really good player. Outside those 2, this team is relatively young. Yes, Patty Mills is still there, and he is their best shooter. But, after that, this team is young. Derrick White had a great playoff run last season. He really showed out, and I think that is a sign of things to come. Lonnie Walker had to do some time in the G League last year, but I think it helped him. He looked unstoppable in summer league, and he has been solid in the preseason. Dejounte Murray, who is going to be awesome, is back after missing last year with a knee injury. Murray was on his way to being "the guy" there, and I think that will come true this season. Jakob Poeltl is a big lumbering center, but he is what this team needs under and around the hoop. Rudy Gay is still there, and he was super efficient and really good last season. He is the epitome of a consummate pro. I also like the addition of Trey Lyles, I think he helps them. And even if he isn't the defender he was in Toronto, DeMarre Carroll still offers value on that end of the floor. The Spurs dynasty of the past is over, but they still have a solid roster and the best coach in the history of the NBA. They are still a playoff team to me.

My final team for the day, at number 15, I have the Orlando Magic. The Magic are back. Well, not back to being a title contender, but they will be a perennial playoff team in the East. This roster is stacked with talent, but it is raw and it is young. Aaron Gordon has really turned himself into so much more than a dunker. He is a great defender, he has a shot that you have to respect and he is becoming the team leader, and he is only 24 years old. Mo Bamba has been really good in the preseason, and if he can put on some weight, and continue to improve around the rim, he will be worth way more than the sixth overall pick that he was two years ago. Johnathan Issac had a solid year last year, and has the look of an improved jumper. He, like Bamba, is rail thin, but he can be a problem for opponents on defense. He is also super long, and plays hard defense. Nikola Vucecvic got his big deal after an All Star season, and now I think he will play with freedom. He is also the prototypical modern big. He heled me make the finals in my fantasy league last year because he stuffs the stat sheet. I see more of that. Markelle Fultz, knock on wood, has looked okay. His jumper looks better, not fixed, but better and he is attacking the rim so far in the preseason. If he can give them a tenth of what was expected from him coming out of college, that would be great. Evan Fournier was awesome in FIBA this summer, and the dude knows how to get bucket. Terrance Ross is s solid all around guy. They signed Al Faroq Aminu, and that guy has been a playoff player forever. And DJ Augustin is back, and even though he has been around forever, he won their only playoff game for them last season. The Magic have a glut of players at power forward, and no real point guard, but they play defense and they spread the ball around. I see them easily making the playoffs again, and maybe this time they will win a series. Also, they could pull a big trade with all the assets they have, and that would be big time.

That is it for today. Come back for the next 4 teams tomorrow.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty's 2019-2020 NBA Preview: Hawks, Pistons, Knicks, Pelicans

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Day 3 of my NBA countdown is here. We are almost at my top 18, or which teams I would put in the playoffs if they didn't have to do East and West teams. Also, if any of the 4 teams I have today make the playoffs, it wouldn't shock me at all.

Anyway, coming in at number 22 I have the Atlanta Hawks. I love the way this team is being built, and I love the young talent they have. Trae Young totally changed my view of him with the way he improved all season long. He started slow, but he didn't let that bother him, and by the end of the year, it wasn't a far gone conclusion that Doncic was the runaway rookie of the year. Young made it a real race. He is already a very solid shooter, but the way he passed the ball and his handles, man did he have a real solid year. Now he needs to grow off that. I am a big time fan of John Collins. I like his old school game, he is strong, he can rebound and is a nice dunker. I like the pick of Deandre Hunter. He was a great defender in college, and hopefully that will translate to the pros for him. He also shot the lights out in the NCAA title game, and maybe that was a sign of things to come. They also took a "flyer" on Cam Reddish with the 10th pick. I don't see big things from him, he was a ghost at Duke last year. But, for the 10th overall pick, why not take a shot. If he becomes a sixth man, I feel like that is a win. Vince Carter is back for his 10 millionth season. I know this is his last, and he has been so much fun tot watch. I have nothing but respect for Carter. Kevin Huerter is another lethal shooter right next to Trae Young. Jabari Parker is there, and while he has not been great at much, the dude can score. The Hawks are not ready yet, but neither were the Thunder when they first made the playoffs. I could see that happening with the Hawks, especially in the East. But still, I think 35 wins is best case scenario for them.

At number 21 I have the Detroit Pistons. I just don't really know what they're trying to do. They have a few big names. Blake Griffin is a perennial All Star and a solid player. But, I still feel like he is wildly overrated, he is older, not as athletic and still gets hurt too much. Andre Drummond is a massive, throwback center, and I love watching him play. He plays hard and tough, but he isn't a top of the line center. Also, he needs to stop shooting threes. That is not his game at all. Reggie Jackson is a waste of a roster spot. He has only gotten worse since demanding his way out of OKC. He makes far too much money, and thinks he is better than he truly is. Luke Kennard is a nothing player. He isn't that good of a shooter, he cannot defend and he just takes up space. Derrick Rose is here, and while he played way better last year, he just isn't the guy he used to be. I hope for good things for him, but he seems past his time. They signed Joe Johnson after he won the MVP in the Big 3, but come on, he isn't "Big Shot Joe" anymore. Other than that, it's a cobbled together group of basketball players. What helps them is their coach, Dwayne Casey, who I like, and the fact they play in the East. But still, I do not know what to make of this team.

At number 20 I have the New York Knicks. Now this roster, this is the most cobbled together piece of junk I have seen in some time. This team totally whiffed on any big name free agents this past summer, and then they were left digging for scraps, and scraps they got. Julius Randle is a fine NBA player, but he is not a cornerstone player. You cannot build a title contender, or even a playoff contender, when Randle is your guy, and like I said, I like Randle. They got Marcus Morris to fleece the Spurs and sign with them, but I feel like the Spurs dodged a bullet. They signed Elfrid Payton, and he is the point guard version of Jabari Parker minus the scoring prowess. Bobby Portis is better known for punching a teammate than anything he has done on the court. Taj Gibson is a billion years old. And Wayne Ellington is here for some reason. The young guys are still very unproven. Frank Ntilikina has never gotten a real shot, and they need to trade him so he can try and reinvigorate his career. I love Mitchell Robinson, and I think he is the dude they need to build around. Kevin Knox was dreadful last year, and has not looked good in preseason. Dennis Smith Jr is hyper athletic, but still struggles to shoot the ball. And they took RJ Barrett, who I have zero faith in as a future All Star. The Knicks roster is so weird and seems incompatible. Randle will score in bunches and Mitchell Robison is awesome, but outside of that, I just don't know what to make of this team. I have them higher than I thought I would, but I wouldn't be shocked if they win 25 games this year. Who knows.

My final team for the day, coming in at number 19, is the New Orleans Pelicans. No team, that lost a great, top 5 player, could have had a better offseason than the Pelicans. Yes, they lost Anthony Davis, and while that is a real bummer, they got such a great return. They got Lonzo Ball, who has a much improved shooting form, and can still play D and find the open shooter. They got Josh Hart who is a consummate pro. He does all the little things. They got Brandon Ingram, and he was really starting to come along late last season. He played so much better when LeBron was out, and in New Orleans, I feel like he could shine. And they got the number one overall pick, Zion Williamson. While I want to see more than just dunking from him, he is going to ease the loss of Davis so much smoother. He will get people to come out and watch the Pelicans. They still have Jrue Holiday, who might be the most underrated player in the NBA. He is so good in every phase of the game. They drafted Jaxson Hayes, who is incredibly raw, but incredibly talented. When/if he starts to figure it out, he is going to be a great modern big. I also love the pick of Nickeil Alexander Walker. He was an under the radar choice, and he had an excellent summer league and has looked solid in preseason. They signed Derrick Favors and JJ Redick too. Those guys have been in the playoffs a ton, and they have great veteran experience to help out this young squad. The Pelicans did something great after losing such a star. They rebuilt on the fly, and they did it so much better than anyone could have expected. The one problem, they play in the West, and the West is super duper tough. I could see them winning 42, 43 games and missing out on the playoffs. But my hat is off to New Orleans. They did an excellent job, and they will be a playoff team much sooner than expected.

That is it for today. Come back tomorrow for the next 4 teams. We are in playoff team territory now.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty's 2019-2020 NBA Preview: Suns, Bulls, Thunder, Mavericks

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Day 2 of my NBA countdown has done usual suspects that fall low on my list, but also a new team that is trying to rank it seems.

Coming in at number 26 I have the Phoenix Suns. I proclaimed them as my new favorite team, but after this offseason, I may have to jump ship. I don’t get some of the moves they made. Why did they sign Frank Kaminsky? Couldn’t they get more fit Josh Jackson? What is going on with that front office? The Suns have a good amount of problems right now. That being said, they still have Devin Booker, and that dude can score. He is a walking bucket. But isn’t he just a poor man’s Brad Beal? He could go for 30 a night, but will it really matter? I still have high hopes for Deandre Ayton. I think he can be really good if he fully buys in. Yes he was a rookie, but he looked lost and preoccupied at times last year. He also got eaten up by bigger centers. I still have faith in him though. I think Ricky Rubio was a solid signing, they just gave him too much money. Booker could thrive with a point guard like Rubio, but Rubio has never really lived up to the hype. He’s been solid, but never great. I also am not a fan of them letting TJ Warren leave as a free agent. They need guys like him. Guys like Kelly Oubre are good and well for a solid game here and there. But, he’s not consistent like Warren. The Suns have 2 really solid building blocks, but they have a ton of work to do. And they need to win if they want to keep Booker.

At number 25 I have the Chicago Bulls. This may seem far too low for some, I’ve heard some people say they can push for the playoffs, but i think that says more about the East than the Bulls. They have okay players, but that’s it, they’re just okay. Zach Lavine is not a guy you want to build around. He’s an average scorer, an excellent leaper and a so so defender. That’s it. Lauri Markanen can shoot, but he’s soft. Kris Dunn is a bust. I love Coby White, and I want him to be good, but it will take time. Wendell Carter was playing okay, but he got hurt. I just feel like the Bulls have far more questions than answers. And, if they do make the playoffs, I’d be stunned. They still seem a ways off.

At number 25 I have the OKC Thunder. This is another team that I don’t know what they’re doing, but smart people, smarter than me about the NBA, seem to think they could push for the playoffs. I say no way, especially in the West. The Thunder need to fully embrace the rebuild. Their stars are gone. All of them. They’ve moved on. And I know they acquired Chris Paul in the Westbrook trade, but he’s old and has been on the decline for the past couple years. And, I don’t think he’ll be on the team come All Star break. Same goes for Steven Adams. I don’t think he’s going to want to be around on a team that’s rebuilding. He’s getting to the back end if his career, and for a player that’s been in the playoffs every season, I think he will want to keep that streak alive. What this team needs to do is give the keys to Shai Gilgeous Alexander. Build around him. He’s young, he’s good and looks like a team leader. He had big moments last year in LA, and looks ready to take the next step. You can pair any number of the other young guys, like Terrance Ferguson for example, with SGA, and start a rebuild from there. They also have about a million draft picks in the next couple drafts. The Thunder are in a perfect position for a good rebuild. Take that route, use picks, trade old vets for more picks and younger players and be ready to be a threat in 3 or 4 years. That’s what I would do anyway.

My final team for today, coming in at number 23, I have the Dallas Mavericks. Here’s another team that will win 35-40 games, but are just not ready to compete in the West. Not yet anyway. Luka Doncic was every bit as good as advertised. Now he just needs to keep it up. Keep getting better, stay in shape and improve the little things. The Mavs traded for Kristaps Porzingis last year, of which he played zero games, and they seem to think he will come out on fire this year. I think it’s going to take time for him to get back to his good days with the Knicks, and don’t forget, he was accused of sexual assault this past offseason. Some people may have forgotten that, I didn’t. Outside those 2 guys, this team is cobbled with an odd mixture. Tim Hardaway Jr is still there, and he will have a 25 point game here and there, but he’s much more prone to scoring 12 points on 3 of 15 shooting. JJ Barea is somehow still in the league even though he seems like he’s 60 years old. Boban is on the team, but he’s more of a spectacle than a player of circumstance. They have the less talented Curry. Courtney Lee is there to shoot threes and be trade bait. Jalen Brunson is fine, but he’s a bench player at best. And Justin Jackson left Sacramento, where he was a non factor, to come ride the bench here. The Mavs will win games, and Luka is legit, but I don’t but them as a playoff team. They have work to do, but they’re on the right track.

That’s it for today. Come back tomorrow for the next 4 teams.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Ty's 2019-2020 NBA Preview: Hornets, Wizards, Cavaliers, Grizzlies

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We are mere weeks away from the NBA starting, so that means, you guessed it, I’ll be counting down the teams from 30 to 1 for the next 8 days. The 2 days after that I’ll do predictions and a men’s college basketball preview. And not to worry, I’ll sprinkle it some smaller blogs not pertaining to basketball over the next 2 week. I mean, I have to still do my NFL quick hits and concert, TV and movie reviews. Anyway, let’s start with the bottom of the barrel NBA teams.

At number 30 I have the Charlotte Hornets. I think pretty much every NBA person thinks they’ll be the worst team in the league by a wide margin. They lost their best, and most reliable player, Kemba Walker, and even with him, they couldn’t make the playoffs, in the East. And they replaced him with nothing. The Hornets are a weird mix of youth and veterans, but it doesn’t fit. They are the square peg, round hole team of the NBA. They guys they’ve drafted haven’t really panned our yet. Miles Bridges looked more lost than good last year. Malik Monk has been a disaster. Marvin Williams has never lived up to the hype. And they finally got rid of Frank Kaminsky. The vets are well past their prime, or overrated. Nic Batum is toast. I will never understand why they gave Terry Rozier so much money. The Hornets are, quite simply, a mess. I would be stunned, stunned I tell you, if they win 20 games this year. They’re going to stink.

At 29 I have a team that might be as bad as the Hornets, if they trade their star player. That team is the Washington Wizards. Oof, this team has fallen on hard times. I picked them to make the Finals just 2 years ago, and now, they’re one of the worst teams in the league. And it’s not like they traded all their good guys, it’s just that the good guys got old, hurt or want out. John Wall was a supernova, one of my favorite players in the league and a blast to watch 2 years ago. Now, he missed most of last year, and will miss all of this year. And his contract is an albatross. I can’t see anyone, right now, trying to trade for him. That’s a shame. Bradley Beal is so, so good offensively. He’s also gotten much better on D. He just has zero help. He could score 40 a game this year, and the Wizards would still lose by 20 points on any given night. They were lucky enough to get off Jeff Green and Dwight Howard, but those guys don’t make a difference. And they have replaced them with G League level guys. I was puzzled by them taking Rui Hachimura in the lottery. While he may prove me wrong, he still has some work to do to get better. And he will not demand defenders to open up space for Beal. Then we have Scotty Brooks. I didn’t think this was a good hire to begin with, and it’s coming to fruition. He is not a very good coach, and he’s proven that twice now.

At number 28 I have the Cleveland Cavaliers. Man has this team fallen flat again after losing LeBron. Kevin Love barely played last year, and seems marginal now. Tristan Thompson is more focused on cheating on girlfriends. Colin Sexton started off poorly, and only leveled out. Cedi Osman looks like a role player at best. I don’t get why they took Darius Garland a season after taking Sexton, and by the way, he hasn’t played meaningful basketball since high school. And they took John Beilen from Michigan. I mean, he chose to leave, but still. Also, why the Cleveland job, I’ll never know. I’ve even written about how puzzling this choice was for me. The Cavs are a lottery team, and will be for awhile. Beilen may make them more fundamentally sound, but this is the NBA, not college basketball. If he tries to coach like he’s still at Michigan, he will get eaten alive. The Cavs may be good one day again soon. But, for the time being, they’re no more than a 22 or 23 win team.

My final team today is a team I actually like, but they’re going through a total revamped youth movement, and while they’ll be fun to watch, the Memphis Grizzlies will not win a ton of games, and they are my 27th ranked team. I love the young dudes on the team. Ja Morant was my number one prospect in the most recent draft. He is super athletic, and when he gets a jumper, he can be as good as Russell Westbrook. Brandon Clarke was a great late first round pick. He’s big and athletic, can protect the rim, get rebounds and shoot from outside. He’s a steal. Jaren Jackson Jr was having a solid year before he got hurt. With Morant, they could be a deadly puck and roll duo. It’s just going to take time. I feel like those three guys are a solid building block for a future contender. But they’re all under 22 years old. Also, the Grizzlies play in the West. That’s tough when you have a good veteran team. So, while I like what the Grizzlies are doing right now, they need time to gel and learn to play in the NBA. They won’t win many games this year, or the next. But, in 3 years, if they stay together and improve each year, I could see Memphis in my top 10-15. Just not yet.

That’s it did today. Come back tomorrow for the next 4 teams.

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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Should We Worry About Team USA Basketball?

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It was bound to happen one way or another, and probably sooner rather than later, and this team felt like the one it would happen to, but Team USA got beat very early this morning by France, and they will not medal in the 2019 FIBA games.

This is the first time in a very long time that USA will not win gold, let alone any medal. I believe I heard that this was their first loss in 58 games. Even when they didn't have that good of a team, well, good but not cohesive, they got bronze. This team though, they won't even come home with that. They will get zero medals of any kind.

This is sad, but not all that surprising. I did think, even though every great American player decided to skip the FIBA games this year, that Team USA had more than enough talent to win out. I mean, Kemba Walker is an All Star. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have the potential to be stars in the league. Myles Turner is one of the better bigs in the modern NBA. Harrison Barnes has played in these games before. He has the experience. Joe Harris can shoot threes. Marcus Smart is one of the best defenders in the NBA. Derrick White had a great playoffs last year, and looks like he can become a viable starter in the league. I mean, the team was filled with NBA players, and they have some talent. But, when they had to go to overtime to beat Turkey, and Australia beat them in a scrimmage and they didn't really hammer teams like other USA squads did, this loss felt almost inevitable.

I thought, if anyone was going to beat them it was going to be Serbia. But, they blew their semifinal game a day earlier. Don't get me wrong, France has some good guys, guys that have legitimate NBA talent, but Team USA should have won. Yes, France has Nic Batum, Frank Nkilitina and Rudy Gobert, but not much else. I thought this game would have been close for a half, then the talent USA has would win out, but it didn't. They got beat, and they got beat pretty soundly. It didn't help that Kemba missed 2 big time free throws, and players were late on switches and France knows each other so much better. But still, USA should have won, and they should have won gold.

Again, I know that this was like the G squad. If this team had just one of LeBron, AD, KD, Kyrie, Damien Lillard, CJ McCollum, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, DeAaron Fox, I could go on and on and on, they would have coasted. But they didn't, and they were scrambling just to keep guys on the final roster that they settled with. This was a poorly constructed team, but a lot of that is due to players dropping out. But you know what, I don't blame the super stars for pulling out. We are talking about FIBA. This isn't the Olympics, and when the 2020 games come around, I would be shocked if Team USA is in a similar bind trying to get guys to stay. LeBron will most likely play, I'd imagine, if healthy, KD would come aboard. I'm sure Kyrie will want to play. Same with James Harden. Team USA in the 2020 Olympics will look so much different, and better. But, this if definitely an upset, and should shock a lot of casual basketball fans.

Bottom line, with the caliber player they had, USA should have won, and should have won easily. But they didn't, and they won't win anything of note at the FIBA games. What a bummer.

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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Carmelo Anthony on the Nets is a Really Bad Idea

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Reading the news, and then watching sports last night, I saw that KD and Kyrie want the Nets to sign Carmelo Anthony.

I mean, come on with this nonsense man.

Yes, Carmelo won't be the distraction that Dwight Howard will be in LA, and he can still shoot the ball fairly well , and he is better than a lot of dudes currently in the NBA, but his time is done. While he won't be a distraction, we have seen the past 2 years how he has acted, and played, when he isn't the first option. He was a dud in OKC. He never put it together, and when asked if he would come off the bench, to be instant offense, which is what the Thunder needed at the time, he scoffed and said he "wasn't a bench player". And in Houston last year he was a total disaster. He did not shoot the three well, something he has never really been that good at, he was horrific defensively, even worse than usual for him, and he was released from the team, I think, less than 20 games into the season.

Carmelo would not opt to be a bench guy, or the third, fourth or fifth option on Brooklyn this year, and KD isn't even playing this year. Guys like Kyrie and Caris Levert and Jarrett Allen, and hell, even Joe Harris, I'd want them all to shoot before Carmelo would. And next season, they have KD coming back. He would have to opt for the bench, and if you listen to former players, guys I really respect like Chauncey Billups, Carmelo won't go for that because he has a "I need to get mine" mentality. He would rather score 30 and lose than come off the bench, play 15 minutes, score 10-12 points and win, and possibly even compete for a title. He wants to get buckets first and foremost, and the Nets already have enough established guys, and young up and coming guys, that can do that better than he can right now.

This isn't to say that he can't still shoot though. I have watched so many offseason videos of NBA players playing pickup basketball games, and Carmelo has been heavily featured in said videos. And he is putting the ball in the basket, and even dunking with relative ease. What I don't see him doing much in these very loose games, shooting the three. He has always been a great mid range shooter. Hell, he is one of the better mid range shooters the league has ever had. But that is such a non entity in the modern NBA. Other teams will let him shoot all the mid range jumpers he wants, and then they will come down, find the man he is guarding, give him the ball, and that guy will shoot a pull up three on him, or take him to the basket with ease. What the people watching these offseason work out videos, myself included, don't fully realize is, there is little to no defense being played. Like at all. I play rec basketball, and I play a ton of pickup basketball, and those games are strictly exercise for some, and a chance to shoot a ton of open jumpers for others. There is no real emphasis put into playing defense. Just look at what Devin Booker said when a few guys tried to double team him in one of his pickup games. So Carmelo is facing pretty much zero defense. These videos are ostensibly a highlight reel. They are made to make him look good. When, or if, the Nets sign him, he will have to try and do this stuff against real NBA players, playing real defense. We saw how that went in OKC and Houston.

Finally, he is better, or has been better, than a good amount of players in the NBA right now. If I had to choose, I'd rather have Carmelo over guys like Dwight Howard, Luke Kennard, Reggie Jackson, Kyle Singler, Richaun Holmes, Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, Nik Stauskas(is he still in the league?), JJ Barea or Markelle Fultz, to name a few. But, all those guys are busts, or on their way out. Instead of going after Carmelo, I'd look in the G League or overseas for a younger, and more willing to play a bench role, player.

Carmelo was once great. In Denver, he was awesome, and his first few years as a Knick were solid. But, he totally fell off a cliff, and now, he just isn't what he used to be. Also, the Nets have this great young core, and they just added KD, Kyrie and Deandre Jordan. I don't want them to bring in Carmelo because he is buddies with Kyrie and KD and have him take away valuable playing time from the younger guys that played really well last year, and will continue to get better with more playing time. It's not fair to them. Also, the Nets have a younger, and better defensively, version of Carmelo already in Spencer Dinwiddie.

I hope the Nets don't sign him, and if I really look at it rationally, I don't think they will. If they do, it will be a headache for them. I say one more time, just ask OKC and Houston. I'm sorry Carmelo, you used to be one of my favorite players to watch, but you are washed now. That's the truth.

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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I So Want to See the Lakers Fail With Dwight Howard

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Last week I wrote about Boogie Cousins injury, and how much it upset me.

Well, the Lakers might be doing the unthinkable now, because they are considering bringing back Dwight Howard, and not the Dwight Howard they brought in when they also signed Steve Nash. This is the Dwight Howard that can’t stay healthy, has been on, and then traded from, I think 4 teams since then, has become an even bigger distraction and, by all accounts, wears out his welcome very, very fast. Also, I don't think the dude can really play that well anymore.

He was great once, especially in Orlando, but since he left there, it has been a real shit show for Howard. I will admit that he had moments in Houston, and maybe even a good game or 2 while in Charlotte, but nothing close to what he was when he was a star in the league. He quickly become too much of a headache for the Rockets to deal with, and they offloaded him, the emergence of Clint Capela was a big help too, for next to nothing. He then signed with Charlotte, but like I said, he didn't do too much, and he only spent a season there. He then went to Washington, and I think he played, maybe, 20 games last season. Since then he was dealt to Memphis, again for nothing, and was expected to be released. And now we have this story with his possibility of a reunion with the Lakers.

The hater part of me, the one that loathes the Lakers, wants to see them sign him because it would be a disaster on and off the court. Howard is at a point in his career where he doesn't really offer much of anything in a solid role player. He isn't the defender or rebounder he once was, he can’t shoot from anywhere outside of 3 feet, he gets hurt far too often and he whines and complains when he doesn't get touches. On a team with LeBron, AD and Kyle Kuzma, how many touches would he, or should he, get? Very little I would say. Add on the fact that he is well past his prime, and the Lakers already have too much of that as the roster is currently constructed.

After missing out on Kawhi, the Lakers cobbled together your typical LeBron roster, bringing in vets that used to be good, but now aren't so hot. I like Danny Green, but he is a shell of himself. At times last season, Avery Bradley was one of the worst professional basketball players. Alex Caruso is a scrub, and he is the Lakers new Matthew Dellavedova. Javale McGee has turned into a much better rim runner, but he still can’t shoot, and he gets into foul trouble far too often. Now add Dwight Howard to that mix, and I think it could be catastrophic. LeBron and AD are enough to make a playoff push. I don't think the Lakers are going to win 59 games and be the 2 seed like Bleacher Report says. I don't think they are title contender like The Ringer says. I don't even think they are the best team in their own city. So why would they add Howard? It is mind boggling. LeBron already has 2 big men, one in AD who, when healthy, is a top 3 player in the league. Why do they need to add a guy that will give them absolutely nothing whatsoever? They would be better off, I can't believe I am saying this, using that money on Carmelo Anthony. At least he is still a threat from outside.

If the Lakers were to add Howard I would laugh and laugh and laugh. Everyone seems to think they are instantly a contender because of LeBron and AD, but just think of what Howard would do to them, and that locker room. It would be exactly like his first run with them. Remember, when they barely finished over .500, and got smoked in the playoffs. That was rough, and that was over 5 years ago. Howard is only older, slower and cannot do the things that modern bigs need to do to be helpful in the NBA today.

Please, for my hater side, sign Dwight Howard because that would be hilarious. But, if you wan to be taken seriously, as a real threat in the West, stay far, far away from him. It hasn't worked once, and it surely will not work this time.

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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This Boogie Cousins Injury Sucks, Again

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I was out mowing my grass today, and I got the news via my watch that Boogie Cousins had suffered a "leg injury" during a recent workout. I thought nothing of it really, he was coming off a torn ACL and torn quad, so I just assumed it was attached to one of those injuries.

Well, when I got inside, I saw that he actually tore his ACL again. I don't know if it was the same one he tore before, but, it is not good news. I do know that much. Regardless of where the tear is, this is devastating news for one of my favorite NBA players. Sure, I wasn't happy that he signed with the Lakers, but I also wasn't happy that he signed with the Warriors last offseason. He did essentially the same thing this season, a one year prove it deal to hopefully get paid next summer, but now, he is gong to miss another full season in his prime.

This stinks. I really dislike horrible injuries like this to players I am not a big fan of, so when it happens to a guy I actually like, a guy I enjoy watching play, a guy I actively root for, it makes me very unhappy. People are now going to forget how dominate, and good and agile and explosive on and off the court Boogie was a few years back. He is in Isaiah Thomas territory. Thomas came out and exploded while with the Celtics a few years back, and since getting hurt, in the playoffs, of which he shouldn't have been playing, but Danny Ainge used him anyway, and now he has been on 4 teams in three years now, just trying to get back to a fraction of his old self. When he was with the Celtics, he was an excellent scorer and a fourth quarter killer. He was that dude, and he was looking at a big time payday. Then Kyrie Irving came calling, and like I said, Thomas had a nagging hip injury, and he was relegated to being a sidekick on a LeBron Cavs team. The Celtics traded him for Irving, and since then, Thomas has never been the same. He will never get his payday, most likely. He seems destined to be a one year deal kind of guy for the next 5 or 6 years, then, he will end up overseas, or become a coach. I can see it so clearly now. I fear that is what will happen to Boogie.

Now don't get it twisted, Boogie is a much better, and much bigger star than Thomas, but he is coming off three horrid leg injuries, and he is a big man. The cards are stacked against him for a variety of reasons now. For one, the modern NBA is drifting away from a player like Boogie. He is a back to the basket big that likes to play a low post game. Sure, he can shoot threes a bit, but he is not a real threat from deep. The modern NBA doesn't want that. They want bigs like Brook Lopez or Anthony Davis. Both those guys can shoot from deep, and Davis is one of the best defenders in the league. Hell, a guy like Giannis, who isn't a good shooter yet, can still glide his way to the hoop and has some handles. Boogie doesn't have that anymore. Second, he was on this Lakers teams as a backup and a spark off the bench. That is not his game. Boogie needs to be in the flow of the game to get going. He needs to start for his ego. He needs to get touches, as all bigs do. He needs to be included to stay involved. Point blank. If Boogie doesn't get the touches, or the accolades, he loses interest. Look how poor he played in the Finals last year. Again, I love the dude, but he was awful in the Finals. That is because he wasn't looked upon as a real option. The Raptors didn't fear him, and it showed. That was going to be his role on this Lakers team. He wasn't going to start. He wasn't going to get touches in the post. He was not going to be a focal point. And now, he tore his ACL. Third, he has three leg injuries, and that is doom for a big man. Just look at Bill Walton or Yao Ming. Those guys can barely walk now, and when they got hurt, especially leg injuries, they were never the same. They suffered major setbacks. I don't see how that doesn't happen to Boogie now. Finally, he is losing such an important year for his career. I felt like he was really going to pop off this year, and blow up. I genuinely believed he was going to get a good deal from some team at the end of the season. Now, that is not happening. He is not going to get the big deal. He is not going to get even close to max money. He is never going to get the years that he wants. It is not going to happen now, and maybe not ever. It is the brutal truth. The NBA is a business, and Boogie is now getting into damaged goods territory. Signing him to a max deal now would be like if Coca Cola brought back "New Coke". That stuff was awful, and they got rid of it ASAP. I feel like that is how teams will now look at Boogie. He may get a few one year deals here and there, hell, he may even get a 2 year deal if he plays, and plays well in 2020, but that is his best case scenario.

This really bums me out. I want what is best for Boogie, and another torn ACL is very, very far off from anything good at all. This stinks. I wish top guys would stop getting hurt. It hurts the game when All Stars are missing half, or full years. And make no mistake, Boogie is a star. That is though is looking more and more like a was now.

Oof

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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Maybe Chris Paul is Just an OK Player Now

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The fallout from this whole Russell Westbrook trade has been the sudden, and not so surprising, downfall of Chris Paul.

I have talked about Paul on this site and on the pod before. I think he is a great player. He is gritty, grimy, plays defense, can score and can run a team. He is everything you could want from a point guard. But, he is also the dirtiest player since John Stockton, he is whiny, he burns bridges incredibly fast, and leaves them scorched and he has never won anything of importance. He has only been to one conference finals, of which he missed the last 2 games of due to injury. Other than that, he has flamed out in round one or 2, and he has had bad, bad close out games. He is great, but to me, he is unimportant. He is a super star, but he is not on the level of guys that never won a ring like Charles Barkley, Stockton or Karl Malone, Russell Westbrook or James Harden. And he can't even sniff players like Magic, Jordan, Steph, Allen Iverson or Clyde Drexler. Those guys, at the very least, made the Finals, some won in epic fashion, and played their best when it mattered most.

But the news I read today, that the Thunder cannot find a trade partner for Paul, did take me back a bit. The Thunder are clearly in reload mode, and they have about a thousand draft picks that go all the way through 2026. I really feel like all they wanted for Paul was picks, or young guys they could cut, or try to help build around Shai Gilgeous Alexander. But, apparently the teams that Paul wanted to go to, and the teams the Thunder engaged with, said thanks but no thanks.

I feel like this speaks volumes to his personality, and his tendency to come up short in big games. I know that the Heat were the first team mentioned, but I don't think he and Jimmy Butler could coexist, and the Thunder already have a ton of their picks. The Clippers were another team mentioned, but again, the Thunder have all of their picks for the next 5 years, and they gave Pat Beverly a much deserved raise, and he is clearly the point guard they want to ride with. Other possible teams that may have been on the market, or a preferred destination, either have a point guard already, or play position less basketball.

So where does this leave Chris Paul now? I think it would be foolish for the Thunder to keep him. They, as I said, are clearly in rebuild and they have a great young point guard in Gilgeous Alexander. I feel like Paul would either be poison to him, or he would take away much needed minutes from him. Either way, it is not good for the Thunder. And the fact that any other contender just said no speaks volumes.

Chris Paul, like I said, is a great player. He is probably a top 250 player of all time. But, I feel like he is overrated a ton, he has never done anything of importance other than fight with teammates, shrinks in the big games and should be looked as a top 50 point guard, not top 10. He isn't that great, and this end of his career is showing his true colors. He forced his way out of New Orleans, then LA and now Houston. Yet no one else seems to want him. Not even the team that traded for him. Maybe Chris Paul is just an okay NBA player, not an all time great.

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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Bad Basketball Bloggers and their Bad Russell Westbrook Takes

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I written a good amount about Russell Westbrook recently. After the Paul George trade I talked about how, if he wanted out of OKC, they should let him go. Then, I wrote about the stunning trade to Houston the following Monday, and how much I disagreed with it, and how I do not think it will work out. I still do not think it will work, both Westbrook and Harden are so ball dominant, but I am sick and tired of the slander that is always thrown Westbrook's way.

This all comes about because I was listening to "The Mismatch" on The Ringer Podcast today. This is one of my favorite pods because I enjoy Chris Vernon. He is fun, has a good time, is right around my age and I usually agree with his takes. But, it is getting harder and harder for me to continue to listen to because of the other host, Kevin O'Connor. O'Connor is the prototypical "blog boy" for the modern NBA. All he cares about is analytics and drafting based on projected talent. He said on the show that I listened to today that Brandon Clarke slipped in the draft because he was "old". Clarke is 22 years old. That whole draft for projection thing is so stupid, and so is tanking, but that seems to be, when it comes to the draft, all that O'Connor cares about. And he did go on to say that he thought that Clarke was the steal of the draft, but I cannot get over him calling Clarke old. That is asinine.

When they got off the Summer League stuff, Vernon transitioned into the Westbrook trade. Vernon is a big time believer in Westbrook just like I am. He defends Westbrook and gives him all the accolades he has earned. But, whenever O'Connor talked about him, all he would say is "he is the worst elite point guard", and "he has easily fixable mistakes, if he would just put in the time to fix them".

First of all, I have never seen Kevin O'Connor play basketball. But, if I had to guess, the dude is a scrub. You can watch, and write and read all you want about the game, it does not make you a player. So, for a blogger to call out Westbrook's game, get the hell out of here. Westbrook is so much better than any single player that is on his beloved Boston Celtics team. I feel like he would kill to have a player as good as Westbrook in Boston right now. But, what makes his takes even worse, his takes that put him on a Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd level, is how hard he goes to bat for Harden. James Harden is an elite, elite scorer. He is one of the best. No doubt about that. But, if you want to talk about easy to fix mistakes, Harden is a horrendous defender, he is a ball stopper and he is usually out of shape. Just because he scores 40 points on 30 shots, that doesn't make him the best player in the league. But the way O'Connor talks about him, you'd think he was the greatest ever. And what was so hilarious to me today, Vernon pulled up their playoff stats, because O'Connor inevitably went there with Westbrook, and they are nearly identical between the 2 guys. They both have nearly the same shooting percentage. They both have similar assists numbers. Westbrook is a far superior rebounder. And, they both have went exactly the same distance in the playoffs. They have both reached the Finals, when they were on OKC. Since Harden was traded, each have been to a conference finals. Last year, Houston lasted one more round than OKC. But if you only heard O'Connor talk, you would assume that Harden has been to the Finals multiple times, and was a champion and MVP.

Here is the truth on James Harden, and Vernon also brought this up, Harden is a known choker. He choked away a series to the Kawhi less Spurs, in Houston. He choked away game 7 of the West Finals last year, leading the charge in the 27 straight missed three point attempts. And this past season, after KD went down, Harden and Paul both choked away their best chance at a Finals appearance. So, don't give me the whole, all of OKC's problems are because of the way Westbrook plays Kevin O'Connor. And, he was insistent on Westbrook changing the way he plays to fit in with Harden. I wonder if he remembers that Harden was the sixth man on that OKC team that went to the Finals, and his job was to be the third option behind KD and Westbrook. I know things have changed since then, but I do not want to hear O'Connor talk about how "bad" of a player Westbrook is when O'Connor couldn't carry my jock on a basketball court.

This dude is just here to make shitty takes on a website that is the sports equivalent of Buzzfeed. The dude is a good writer, but I'm going to start referring to Kevin O'Connor as the "worst basketball blogger that gets paid to do it". That seems fair since he is always shit talking Russell Westbrook. His takes are god awful, and it makes it hard for me to listen to him and not yell at my phone. I feel for him for what he is going through with his dad, I too have a parent that had cancer, she is fine and clear now, and that sucks. But that cannot excuse his horrendous takes on professional basketball players.

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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Russell Westbrook Should Have Waited for a Better Team

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Yesterday I wrote a whole thing about why I thought Russell Westbrook deserves to play where he wants next season, and I even gave a list of teams that I thought fit his style of play. Well, he got traded, but it was to none of the teams I picked, or to any team that most thought was even a contender. I was at my rec league basketball game when I got the news that Russ was headed to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, 2 first round picks and 2 pick swaps.

This is insane. I thought it was a joke. I did not think it was true. I could not believe that the Thunder added 2 more first round picks, and by all accounts, they are going to offload Chris Paul as soon as they can, probably for more picks, or tradable assets. The Thunder, once again, got a great deal for a super star. And yes, Russ is a bona fide super star.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of what I dislike about this trade, I want to touch on CP3. Man has he fallen off a cliff this past season, and offseason. He was once a darling of the league. He was the diminutive point guard that could run an offense, shoot and play great defense. He was the building block for the "Lob City" Clippers. He was the man while in New Orleans. He was even considered a great get when he signed with the Rockets 2 years ago. Now he is an added on trade, who is soon to be offloaded for picks. Age always wins, and we are currently seeing a Hall of Fame player age, and age badly, right before our eyes. He may end up on a solid team, but at what capacity? Is he a starter anymore? Is he a legit defender anymore? Will he really help a contender in the modern NBA? I'd say no, no and no. He would be best fitted playing in Miami alongside Jimmy Butler, or just retiring and get into coaching. How the mighty have fallen.

Now, why I dislike this trade so very much for everyone involved. I understand that Russ and Harden both wanted this. I know they are still good friends. I know that Westbrook is a younger and much more explosive version of Chris Paul. But, this back court is going to be rough to watch. Westbrook has been the guy in OKC ever since KD left. Even when they acquired Paul George, he deferred to Russ. In Houston, that is James Harden's team. That much was made wildly clear after they offloaded CP3 last night. Also, both guys need the ball in their hands to be most effective, and Harden, as he has done since he has been in Houston, likes to pound the ball for 20 seconds and shoot a three or try to draw a foul. How will that work with Russ? It won't. Russ, as much as I adore him, is not a good outside shooter, and with Harden pounding out the clock, he won't have time to get t the rim like he can if he is running the offense. Also, he and Harden are going to make guys like PJ Tucker and Eric Gordon just sit there and wait to try and get a rebound, or shoot a three. That is definitely not Tucker's game, and while Gordon is a solid three point shooter, just asking him to sit and wait would bother any player. Clint Capela should have fun with these guys, but now he is simply a pick and roll player on offense. Nothing more, nothing less. All they will want him to do is come up and screen for either Russ or Harden, and roll if he has it, or get ready to crash the glass. That may be what he is best at doing, but this will totally stunt his growth as a player.

Then there is Mike D'Antoni's offense, of which he has tailored to a player of Harden's skill. Now he is going to have to find a way to get Westbrook into the flow of the game. That will be asking a lot of a guy that has averaged a triple double the last three seasons. Also, they will have to get him to take a step back if they want to be as good as they can be.

On defense, the Rockets backcourt is going to be one of the worst in the NBA. We all know Harden's problems on defense. It has been well documented. Well, Russ isn't much better. Sure, he will grab a steal here or there, and get a few chase down blocks a season. But, more times than not, he takes plays off and relies on the help. Teams with a good to great back court could match them evenly. For all that is wrong with his game now, at least CP3 was a threat on defense. Russ, who is a much, much, much better player than CP3, has never played defense like him.

Finally, we have Daryl Morey. The star chaser. The guy that wants big names no matter how mismatched they are with his current roster. He tried this with Carmelo last year. That was a disaster. He tried this with CP3, and while they had a shot to beat Golden State, they didn't, twice, and haven't sniffed the Finals under his direction. And now he is bringing in Russ.

I dislike this pairing so very much. This is the cliché of "there is only one basketball" come to life. No matter how much these 2 like each other off the court, they are going to have to learn to share the ball if they want to be a contender. Neither has shown they can do that since they took over their respective teams. The Rockets will still be a good playoff team. But, I am not as on board as some other people are with Russ and Harden teaming up. I think it is going to be a super clash, and it will not end well for someone, or possibly both guys and the coaching staff. We will see. At least this has made this offseason even more crazy. I'm down for that anytime. But, I am not a fan of this trade. Not one bit.

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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Now We are Waiting on Russell Westbrook's New Team

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On Monday I talked about Kawhi's decision, and my opinion of the current state of the NBA. I talked a bit about the Clippers not only getting Kawhi, but also getting Paul George. I mentioned that I had heard rumors that the Thunder were now exploring trades for Russell Westbrook. Today I want to talk about my feelings on that, and which team, or teams, I think would be a good fit for him.

First off, my thoughts on the idea of trading Russ away from OKC. I think the time has come for both parties to move on. Russ has done all he can do for that team and that city. He ran the show when it was him, KD and Harden. When Harden left, he changed his game to play with KD. Some people don't agree with this, they are wrong. KD is an iso guy, and the fact that Russ was so important to watch while on defense, he made it easier for KD to get his. Then KD left, and all Russ did was lead a terrible cast of players, with a new coach, to the playoffs, won the MVP and averaged a triple double. Again, idiots will say he was a stat hunter and only cared about himself. I say, he absolutely had to do this in order for that particular Thunder team to win.

Then they acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. That did not work out, but they still made the playoffs, and Russ and PG seemed to like one another. They liked one another so much, Russ convinced PG to sign a deal with OKC that offseason. Last season, one of Russ' worst, as far as stats go, the Thunder made the playoffs again, Russ averaged a triple double for the third straight year, and helped PG become an MVP candidate, before he got hurt. But, they lost in the first round again, and it was all blamed on Westbrook.

Then the Kawhi stuff happened. I mean, what else, sans winning a title, can Russ do for the Thunder? He has really given them his all, has played through injury, willed this team back to the playoffs constantly, kept them afloat when KD left and is a blast to watch play. So, I think, if he wants one final chance to be on a competitive team, he has earned that right.

This leads me to which teams I think would be good fits for him. One, I would love, LOVE, to see him go to Phoenix. Sure, they aren't a title contender, but to replace Ricky Rubio with Russ, and put him next to Devin Booker, and an athletic big like Deandre Ayton, that would push them to a possible playoff team, even in the West. He would sell tickets there as well. Also, Phoenix could take on the last 2 years of his contract because they have so much young talent that is clogging spots for other players. They could make this deal happen, and I wish they would.

I like the fit with Chicago. He could go there, be a stop gap for Coby White, who I think is going to be really good, and help a team with Zach Lavine, Lauri Markenan and Wendell Carter definitely get into the playoffs in the East. The Bulls also have guys with easy contracts to trade, and they have picks.

Detroit was odd for me at first, but I think sending him there for Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard, plus picks, would make the Pistons fun. Russ and Blake Griffin, along with Andre Drummond could be a devastating pick and roll combo. And put him next to Derrick Rose, while not a great shooting back court, it would be explosive. I also think he would love to play for Dwayne Casey.

Then, my final team, the Miami Heat. I know the Thunder already have some of their picks, and trading Russ there would possibly take the picks out of the lottery, but they could get a good return of players, that they can turn into picks, and teaming Russ with Jimmy Butler could be a match made in heaven. Those 2 are cut from the same cloth, they will rip your will out of you, they would look cool as hell in those Miami vice jerseys, and Erik Spolestra has already shown he can coach mega stars to titles. Jimmy Butler and Russ may not be the duo you need to win a title, but in the East, who knows. I would love to see them playing against the Celtics or 76ers or Bucks. They would throw the hell down. This is what I hope, and want, to happen for Russ. I think it is almost too perfect.

Anyway, whatever what happens to Russ, I hope he gets a chance to compete, and that people stop blaming him for everything that has happened in OKC. It is not his fault. He has stayed tried and true to that team, and he can now do what he wants. He has earned that. I am fully team Russ.

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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Done Waiting on Kawhi

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So, last Friday I wrote about how I, like pretty much everyone else, was awaiting Kawhi's free agency decision. Well, he made it at 4 am the next morning, and he made it loudly. I was absolutely stunned, not by the fact that he joined the Clippers, but that Paul George was a part of this all along, and that Kawhi pretty much knew where he wanted to go from the start.

This is a monumental move by an enormous free agent, and the NBA finally, mercifully, has parity again. There is a big number of teams I could see competing for the title in this upcoming season now. The Clippers are the prohibitive favorites in mine, and pretty much everyone else's eyes. They have 2 of the best 2 way players in the game, Patrick Beverly is the perfect point guard for this team, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell make for one hell of a duo coming off the bench and Mo Harkless was a solid trade pickup. They did mortgage their future, but they got Kawhi and Paul George. That is a move I would make 10 out of 10 times. The other LA team was left to scramble, much to my delight. I have loved hearing columnists say that "they are making out okay" with the signings of Boogie Cousins and Avery Bradley and Danny Green. Oh, they also brought back Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. Hilarious. They do have LeBron and AD though, and that is enough for me the make them a playoff team, but they are now the second team in LA. The Clippers have the better, more well rounded and younger dynamic duo. They also have a far superior head coach.

Also, these journalists trying to say the Lakers did fine, stop. They waited for Kawhi and he shunned them. They blew it, just like the Knicks did with KD. I love that Kawhi chose the Clippers because this means Rich Paul doesn't have as much pull as he thinks he does, and it proves how stupid Rob Pelinka is.

The Thunder are going to be an absolute mess next year, and for awhile. I hope for his sake they trade Russ. He deserves to go somewhere that wants him, and won't trade away super star players all the time. I would love to see him go to Miami, but time will tell. I will say, the Thunder made out like bandits in the trade. They got SEVEN future draft picks, 5 first rounders and Shai Gilgeous Alexander and Danilo Gallinari. Gilgeous Alexander is a guy they can rebuild around, and Gallinari is a great trade asset. But, they are going to be bad for awhile, especially if they trade Russ.

Back to the other contenders besides the Lakers and Clippers. In the West, we cannot just push aside teams like the Trailblazers, Nuggets, Rockets and Warriors. The Trailblazers did some weird stuff this offseason, but they still have Dame and CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic should be back at some point this year. The Nuggets have everyone back from a team that earned the 2 seed last season. The Rockets, even though they are totally dysfunctional, are still one of the better small ball teams in the league, and they can shoot the lights out. The Warriors have Steph, managed to somehow trade for D'Angelo Russell, get Klay back at some point, still have Draymond and they resigned Kevon Looney. While they won't be as dominant, they are still a playoff team. I can't forget the Jazz. Man did they did so much better this offseason. They are going to be real, real good. The Kings are up and coming too. New Orleans is going to be my favorite League Pass team. The West is going to be so much fun to watch this year.

The East is, in my opinion, Philly's to lose. They are so big, will eat teams up in defense and on the boards and will score just enough to win 55 or so games. They need to stay healthy, but if they do, they are legit. Milwaukee has the reigning MVP, they brought almost everyone back and they were the one seed last year. Giannis will only get better, and the shooting around him is key. The loss of Malcolm Brogdon will hurt more than they think, but they will still be good to great. Miami, especially if they acquire Westbrook, will be solid. They already have Jimmy Butler too. And they play hard and rough and solid defense. They want to take your will away, and I think they have the guys to do it. Boston should be thrilled that they don't have to deal with Kyrie anymore, and Kemba is a good replacement. They also have solid young guys like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But, Brad Stevens loyalty to Gordon Hayward is a concern, and losing Al Horford is going to sting. The Pacers got some solid pickups in Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb, and when Victor Oladipo gets back, they will be a top 4 seed. The Nets will be a playoff team again this year with the addition of Kyrie. But, next year, even if he is only 70 to 80 percent of his former self, the Nets will be the Clippers biggest threat out East.

I cannot wait to watch the regular season again. This time it will actually count. A game in the middle of the year that features Orlando and Milwaukee, or the Clippers and Nuggets will be fun, and important. This offseason has been wild, and when Kawhi made his choice it was epic. It makes the NBA so much more fun. I can't wait.

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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Waiting on Kawhi

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As we approach the weekend we still have no decision from Kawhi Leonard as to where he will be playing basketball next year.

It is starting to get a bit frustrating for me. I'm obsessed with basketball, especially the NBA, and this free agency period has been absolutely wild, with Kawhi being the lone exception. Pretty much every other big name free agent has signed, or will officially sign tomorrow. KD and Kyrie are on the Nets. Jimmy Butler is going to Miami. Al Horford is going to Philly. Philly re upped Tobias Harris. Kemba Walker is a Celtic. Utah got Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdonavic. Indiana signed Jeremy Lamb and traded for Malcolm Brogdon. I mean, I'm sure I'm missing someone, but for the most part, the big names, and small names, are off the market. Danny Green and Boogie are still out there, but Kawhi is the biggest of the free agents, and he is taking his sweet time. I mean, I guess I shouldn't be as annoyed as I am. I mean, this is his choice, his decision, and he can do whatever in the hell he wants. He can go anywhere he chooses.

In my lifetime every other big time free agent made their choice fairly quick. LeBron signed with Miami, Cleveland the second time and with the Lakers last year before the Fourth. KD announced on the Fourth that he was leaving OKC for Golden State. When Dwayne Wade left Miami for Chicago, it was done before free agency started. Boogie signed with the Warriors before the Fourth last year. The big guys usually do not take this long to make up their minds.

It actually makes me wonder why he is taking so long. Is it because he is so much different than your average star athlete today? Does he not care about the limelight enough that he really wants to think this thing out? Has he really not made up his mind yet? Has he already made up his mind, and he is just toying with the NBA? Has Adam Silver made a call telling him he really needs to consider the Lakers to make them relevant again? Does Uncle Dennis want him to play somewhere he doesn't want to play next year? Is he going to sign with a surprise team?

I do think all of these are legitimate questions, and with a guy like Kawhi, I don't know that they will ever be truly answered. I think he is taking so long because he is a different dude. I like to believe that he is truly split between the Lakers and Raptors. Hell, I would even go as far to say that the Clippers still have an outside shot. I think he is legit writing a pros and cons list for each team, and pouring over it every night. I think he likes the idea of the Clippers because they are essentially the West's version of the Raptors. Also, it is his home and if he could bring a first title there, like he did for the Raptors, think of the legacy. But, the Clippers, to some, not me because they are currently more relevant, are the second LA team, behind the Lakers.

I think he is considering the Lakers because, again, it is home. But also, it is history and legacy and the ability to play with LeBron and AD. He doesn't seem like the "super team" type guy, but who in the hell knows with him. Maybe he has always wanted to play with LeBron, and AD is just icing on the cake. But, if he does go there, he is third in line behind LeBron and AD. Everyone will talk about him third. Also, it would seem so out of character. I've looked at him as the dynasty killer. The guy that avoids the "super team". He is the guy that wants to beat the best, not join them. And he has done that twice.

And then there is Toronto. Many said he didn't want to play there, that he wouldn't even show up after being traded there. Well, not only did he show up, he won them a title. He hit the crucial buzzer beater against the 76ers. He locked down Giannis in the East Finals. And he put that team on his back and dethroned the Warriors. Pretty much everyone returns from that team, they get OG Anounoby back, Masai Ujiri is staying and he is "the man" on that team. Also, a star player from a title team has never left the year after winning it all. Kawhi could, and would, be the one to change that, but I don't understand why he would. He has it made there, the team is good and he makes them the favorite. But, Toronto is not home, and he already won them a title. He may be looking for the next challenge for him in his career. I simply don't know.

I fear he is going to sign with the Lakers, but I hope he does a one and one deal with the Raptors, and tries to win back to back titles. If he stays in Toronto, they are the favorites. If he goes to the Clippers, they will be one of the favorites. And if he chooses the Lakers, they will be the Vegas favorite, but they will have to scrounge up the rest of that lineup. I'll be anxiously awaiting his decision, but I'm done checking #NBAtwitter and Bleacher Report obsessively. Kawhi is taking his time, so I am not going to wait with bated breath. He could choose today, or it could be another week. We shall see, and wait.

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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So Far NBA Free Agency has Been Predictably Insane

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NBA free agency started yesterday at around 5pm Saint Louis time, and it has been wild ever since. Yes, today has been a little less hectic, but yesterday was just a flurry of player movement, and big time contracts being handed out. I couldn't go a few minutes without my phone or watch buzzing with another player signing with a new team, or getting the max from their current team. It was nuts.

It all really started well before 5pm, as free agency always does now. But, right at 5:01, we got the big news that KD ad Kyrie Irving were both signing max spots with the Brooklyn Nets. This took me by surprise. I predicted on our pod 2 weeks ago that Kyrie would go to Brooklyn, but I thought KD was going to stay in Golden State. I even went as far to say that if KD were to leave, it would be for the Knicks. I was wrong. KD did go to New York, but he went to Brooklyn. I'm still trying to wrap my head around this a bit. I know that he wants to play with Kyrie, and the Nets are signing his good buddy Deandre Jordan, but still, the Nets? I wonder how much of this has to do with Jay-Z, how much it has to do with not being on the Knicks because James Dolan is a train wreck of an owner, more on him in a few, or how much it has to do with the years, and money, the Nets offered him? I think, given the report, it has to do mostly with Dolan being a humongous dip shit, and not offering him the max because he is apparently afraid of the risk in KD's injury. That is so god damn stupid. If you have a chance to get KD, you get him. Yes, he will not be playing this year at all, and it may take another 6-8 months after that for him to fully be back. But still, KD at 70-80 percent is still one of the top players in the NBA. The Nets, even though I am not a Kyrie fan at all, did get a whole lot better yesterday. But, be patient Nets fans, the payoff won't come for another year and a half, basically until KD is near full recovery. My hat goes off to the Nets though. They are relevant again.

This does mean they had to let go of D'Angelo Russell, who the Golden State Warriors somehow managed to get in a sign and trade. Just when you think the Warriors might have a bit of a down year, at least for them, they go out and find a way to get Russell, and today they maxed out Klay, who will miss most of this year too. But, the fact that they were able to get a player of Russell's caliber in a sign and trade proves how much this team wants to stay relevant. I know they had to offload Andre Iguodala to do this, but, as much as I respect Iggy, he is pretty much done. This was a tremendous, and highly unexpected move on day one of free agency. And Russell has gotten so much better since Magic traded him a few years back to the Nets. He is going to fit in just fine with Steph and Draymond and Klay, when he comes back.

The Heat, while it isn't a done deal yet, went out and got their star, hopefully, in Jimmy Butler. I like this move for both teams. Butler will be "the guy" in Miami, Erik Spoelstra has coached, at a very, very high level, the best of the best, Pat Riley is a great front office guy and there is no sales tax in Miami. Jimmy Butler, if he wasn't going to stay in Philly, made the second best choice in joining the Heat. They just need to get it done.

Butler's old team, the 76ers, gave Tobias Harris a huge deal, but I think he was the better of the 2 guys they traded for on that team. He is a better shooter, and a solid defender. He struggled a bit in the playoffs, but I think he will bounce back. They also resigned Mike Scott, an underrated signing if you ask me, and they got Al Horford to somehow sign there. I don't like that they gave him 4 years. But, with Horford, Embiid and Simmons, that is going to be a monster front court, especially on defense. I mean, good luck getting to the hoop on those guys.

They did lose JJ Redick to the Pelicans, and let me tell you, the Pelicans are crushing this offseason. They got Zion. They got a boat load in return for AD. They are about to sign Derrick Favors. I mean, this is about as fast, and as good, a rebuild as I have ever seen after a team trades a franchise player. I questioned RD saying they could push for the playoffs in the pod I already mentioned, but after yesterday, it wouldn't shock me to see them hang around all year in the standings. They are going to be a boat load of fun to watch as well.

The Bucks gave Khris Middleton the max, as expected, and earned. They also got Brook Lopez and George Hill back. They went out and nabbed Robin Lopez as well. They are, pretty much, running it back. And why not when they won 60 games last year and made the conference finals. But, they did trade Malcom Brogdon. I don't think this is as huge a loss as some do, but it will still hurt. They need to find another shooter.

Brogdon got traded to the Pacers, and the Pacers are going for it. They traded for Brogdon and signed Jeremy Lamb. They could still be in the mix for some trades as well, but I loved their moves so far. They get Oladipo back, they now have a solid scorer in Brogdon, Lamb can be a knock down shooter, and Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner is a very good, very young front court.

The Celtics lost out on Kyrie and Horford, and settled for Kemba Walker. I love Kemba Walker. I've loved him since he was at UCONN. But I fear that the Celtics will try and turn him into Isaish Thomas 2.0. That should not be his place in the NBA. I wished MJ would have paid up to keep him there because Walker was the only reason to even watch the Hornets. Now I have to watch him lose shots to guys like Gordon Hayward, that is a bummer. But, I don't blame him for taking that contract. That was some big money.

Orlando re upped Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross. They also went out and got Al Farouq Aminu. These moves are fine, but it doesn't really move the needle as far as them being a higher seed in the playoffs next year.

Portland has made some trades, but most importantly, they gave Dame his much deserved max extension. That alone will keep them in contention.

Remember when I said I'd talk more about James Dolan? Well, here it is. He didn't offer KD the max, which is stupid. He took a shoot first guard at number three in this draft. He didn't even try to sign Kemba. He completely whiffed on Kyrie. He traded Kristaps Porzingis last year. And his solution you ask? To give guys like Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson and Julius Randle two and three year deals. I mean, what the hell. I do like Julius Randle, just not as a first or second option, which he will be with the Knicks. Bobby Portis is more known for punching out a teammate in Chicago, and I think Taj Gibson is older than me. And, along with drafting RJ Barrett, who you all know I am not high on, they took Ignas Brazdeikes in the second round, and I watched him all last year at Michigan and think, this guy is not ready for the NBA. The Knicks are a joke, and that is sad. James Dolan is awful, and he needs to sell the team.

There was a bunch of other movement yesterday, and a little more so far today. But, the biggest name, after KD, is still left, and that is Kawhi Leonard. I don't have a single clue as to what he will do, and I am getting a bit frustrated at all the reports saying the Lakers are the front runners to sign him now. I have looked at Kawhi as his own entity. As a guy that wants to be "the guy" on his team. The guy that ends dynasties, doesn't join them. I was personally hoping he'd stay in Toronto, and he very well might, or go to the Clippers, and try and make them a better draw than the Lakers in the same building, and that can still happen too. But, if he sings with the Lakers, I will have a whole blog about how much of a bigger cop out that would be than when KD joined the 73 win Warriors. That would be completely out of character for him, and I don't know how well he would adjust to being the third guy on the Lakers. Also, he would be being coached by LeBron. Sure, Frank Vogel and Jason Kidd are "figureheads" there, but after last season, and this offseason, it is very clear who runs that team now. It is LeBron and Rich Paul. I don't see Kawhi taking too well to that environment. But, if he wants to be in LA, and he chooses the Lakers, so be it. It would be a punk move, but who am I to tell a guy to turn down that much money to go play in his home city. It would only make my hatred for the Lakers that much more intense. But, after all the big stars that signed yesterday, Kawhi is the biggest name left, and he will dictate the course of action in the league next year. Wherever he goes, or if he stays in Toronto, that team will be the favorite because he is there. We just have to wait and see.

I love NBA free agency, and yesterday felt like my birthday. It was a joy to see all the movement and big contracts being signed left and right. I cannot wait to watch the NBA this coming season. It is truly becoming the best sport in the world.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Jimmy Butler to the Rockets is a Terrible Idea

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With NBA free agency on the cusp, it starts on Sunday, I have heard a ton of rumors about a ton of players. I don't know what is real, what is a smoke screen, and where these guys are going, but I'm excited to see all the player movement that is going to happen this summer. RD and I just did a pod about this, and I feel like you can hear my excitement.

One story that I read last night left me shaking my head. I wanted to believe that it wasn't real because it is so asinine that I couldn't believe it. Then a bunch of other reputable reporters came out and confirmed the news too. That news you ask, the Houston Rockets are going to actively pursue Jimmy Butler in a sign and trade as soon as free agency starts.

The whole sign and trade is now a big part of the free agency period, and some big moves have come this way. But, I am at a loss as to why a team like the Rockets, what with all the offseason turmoil, be that true or false, would want to pursue another ball dominant, head strong player. Butler also plays a totally different style of basketball than Mike D'Antoni coaches, and the Rockets have built a roster around.

As I read the story even further, I looked at some of the players that have been named as to who the 76ers would want for Butler, if this were to happen. Names like Eric Gordon, PJ Tucker, and most shockingly to me, Clint Capela, have come up as the names that the 76ers want, and who the Rockets would be willing to give up to get him. I know that earlier this summer Daryl Morey, who is a blowhard and wildly, wildly overrated in my opinion, said that every player on the team is on the trading block. But, to give up on guys like Gordon, Tucker and Capela is nuts. These three guys fit perfectly with what the Rockets do, but they are willing to offload them for a guy, while being a really, really, really good basketball player, may think a little to high of himself. Sure, he torched the Timberwolves other starters while he was there, but come on. Butler is good, but he is not worth completely changing your style, and giving up players that fit with James Harden so well. I mean, Eric Gordon is an elite knock down three point shooter. Without him, the Rockets would have lost the Warriors series in a sweep. He seemed to hit the big shots that they needed to keep leads, or build leads, in the 2 games they won. PJ Tucker is the best defensive player they have, and he is a better three point shooter than Jimmy Butler right now. Yes, Butler is a better defender, but he can't guard big guys like Tucker can. And Tucker, like I just said, can hit the corner three with great precision. I don't think he missed during the series against the Warriors. And Capela, while free throw shooting is a problem, and he was kind of played off the floor in the most recent playoffs, he is still so young and so talented. He is one of the better rim runners in the league, and he can be, if he is locked in, a defensive force against modern centers. Also, he still has time to develop a three point shot. I am a big, big fan of Capela's.

So, to give up on 1, 2 or all 3 of these guys for Butler makes no sense, as far as the Rockets are concerned, to me. Adding Butler to a roster that has James Harden and Chris Paul is only going to cause more problems. If you believe the reports, Paul and Harden despise one another. Paul doesn't think Harden has the drive of a champion, and Harden thinks Paul is old and not as good anymore. Both are right, but they need each other to win, or even compete, for a title. Add Butler to this mix. and I just don't know, or think, that this works out at all. Butler for one is not a three point shooter. He attacks the rim, but he is a mid range guy. The Rockets don't want anyone shooting mid range shots. They want threes, layups and free throws. That is not Butler's game. He would also be the only guy willing and capable to play defense on this roster after the trade, where it to occur. I also think he would get fed up with standing in the corner and watching Harden pound the ball for 20 seconds and shoot a three, or try to draw a foul. That is miserable to watch, and I feel like it would be even worse to be a player relegated to watching one guy run the offense. I also think he and Paul would gang up on Harden by the midway point of the year, and that would be awful. Harden is younger, and much more talented on the offensive end, than both of them combined. But I feel like they would try and ice him out. That is the worst case scenario for the Rockets.

This move makes zero sense to me. I don't like the Rockets, and I think it would be hilarious to see them self implode. But, they have a real shot with the current roster construct to win the title this upcoming season because of the Warriors injuries. I'd love the move for Philadelphia, but I think the Rockets should look in the mirror, I'm talking mainly to you Daryl Morey, and realize they don't need to add another toxic, alpha male to a roster that already has 2 of them. That would be a mistake.

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's 2019 Mock NBA Draft

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Tonight is the NBA draft. I love the NBA draft. I used to watch all the picks when I was a kid, and even through my first few years of college. I still, to this day, follow every pick on my phone on one of my sports apps. I, for some unknown reason, am enamored by where the top players get drafted.

For example, I  was a stunned as everyone oelse when the Cavs took Anthony Bennett first overall. I was rooting hard for guys like Hasheem Thabeet and Brandon Jennings were lottery picks. I'll never forget that I fought hard that the Bucks won the trade that sent Dirk Nowitzki to the Mavericks for Robert "Tractor" Traylor. I vividly remember thinking the Vancouver Grizzlies totally blew it when they selected Bryant Reeves in the top three. My exact words were, "don't take that country fed white boy". Needless to say, the NBA draft, and only the NBA draft, has played a big part in ,y sports fandom. I also love the pageantry that goes into the whole night. I also like how fast paced it is. It is fun. For something so ridiculous, I love it. So, much like I did with the NFL draft in April, I will be ranking my top 10 prospects, and give you 5 guys that I think will not live up to the hype. I'm not going to do a mock draft because that is an exercise in futility. It is like picking the perfect March Madness bracket. No one has ever gotten even close to 90 percent of the draft correct. I like doing the top 10 and not so top 5 instead. I will also do in descending order. Alright, lets get started.

My number 10 player is PJ Washington from Kentucky. He is big, physical, can shoot, and will get better in the NBA, and he is one of the few Kentucky guys that benefited from coming back for another season. That made his draft stock soar. I feel like he will be a better version of David West, who was a multiple All Star. Washington is legit.

At number 9 I have Darius Garland. I know a ton of people have him much higher, and I am falling in that "potential" trap, but this kid was amazing in high school, and his 4 games at Vanderbilt were pretty good. He reminds me so much of Damian Lillard. He can shoot from anywhere on the floor. You have to guard him. He is also a good passer with a high IQ. The only knock, and why I have him at 9 and not 4, is the fact that he tore an Achilles, and only played 4 games. He has so much potential, but he will have to prove that he was not just a high school wunderkind. He has a whole lot to prove.

At number 8 I have Brandon Clarke from Gonzaga. I think I might be higher on him than any of the other "draft experts". You all know I love older college players. I pushed for Buddy Hield to be the number one pick in his draft. Well Clarke was a transfer from SDSU, refined his jumper and became a solid all around player while at Gonzaga. He was the best player on a team that spent a good amount at the top of the rankings last year. He will also understand that he has a role to play. He doesn't need the ball all the time. He doesn't have to score. He doesn't need to be flashy. He is the exact player that every team should want. He is going to be so good, and I think, because I believe he will slide past the lottery, that we will all look back in 3 or 4 years and think, damn Brandon Clarke is a good professional basketball player.

At number 7 I have Coby White. This kid is a flash of lightening, can shoot the three and plays like a traditional point guard. He is like Russell Westbrook, except his is a much more willing passer. He had a great ACC and NCAA tournament, and has been apparently lights out in private workouts. I also love his afro. Coby White is going to be good, but he has potential to be great. If he could land with Phoenix or Chicago, that would be best. Coby White is good.

At number 6 I have Jaxson Hayes from Texas. You cannot teach height, and this kid has a ton of it. He also proved to be a solid rim protector and rebounder in his one year in college. He can also score in the post, and shoot a little from the outside. But, he is very raw and young. It will take time, but I see him as being a better pro than John Collins, who I think is already pretty good. Hayes willingness to defend will keep him on the court as a rookie, and from there on out, he will only get better with coaching. I feel like he is the best traditional big in the draft.

At number 5 I have Nassir Little from UNC. Hear me out. I know he did not live up to the recruiting hype in college, but this kid is freakishly athletic, and if you want to take a chance, and hit a grand slam in the mid to late lottery, I wouldn't hesitate for one second in taking Little. He is the type of player, given the proper coaching, could turn out to be a star. Remember when Dwayne Wade went 10th overall? Or when Rashard Lewis didn't get picked until round 2? I feel like Little has that type of star potential if he is put in the right position.

At number 4 I have Little's teammate, Cam Johnson. Again, I know this is much higher than most have him, but the kid can shoot threes at a high clip, and isn't that what you want from a 6'7 guard in the modern NBA? He could very well be the next Klay. He has the ability to be that good of a shooter. He was lights out in college, and I can see that easily projecting to the NBA. If he gets picked by a team like Sacramento or Cleveland, I think they'd be delighted to have a knock down shooter from outside.

At number 3 I have a tie between Jarrett Culver and Deandre Hunter. Maybe this is unfair, or I should have done a top 11, but I don't care. After watching these 2 face off in the title game, I loved both of their games. Culver may not have had the best shooting game, but he can get to the rim, and he can shoot the jumper. He can also get to the line. And his defense is legit. He is such a good defender. Again, if you can defend, you can stay on the floor and learn the rest of the game. Culver will be  longtime pro. Hunter is almost as good a defender, and he can hit the open shot. He made so many big time threes in the biggest game of his college career. He was the reason Virginia won the title. That game, even though I already loved him before, put him over the edge for me. I have so much faith in Hunter and his ability to become not just a good pro, but an All Star.

At number 2 I have Zion Williamson. Again, here me out. Zion is one of the best athletic talents I have ever watched in the college game. He has thunderous dunks, which I love, and he plays hard defense. He is going to single handily going to save the New Orleans franchise. My only questions are, will he get into better shape because he will not be able to over power pros, and can he develop a shot. I think he can do both, but I keep going back to these 2 things when I think about the draft. I know he will be the top pick, and he will sell tickets, and I think he will be good, I just don't see him as the top player in this draft.

My top player, coming in at number one, is Ja Morant. I love this kid. I love his motor. I love his dunking ability. I love his relentless will to get to the rim. I love that he made his jumper more consistently this year. I love that he is a willing passer. I love that we got to see him, the national we that is, in the tournament this year. I love that he is a small school kid. I do not dislike anything about Morant. I have zero doubts that he will be an absolute star, and I love that Memphis is going to take him because they are the closest professional basketball team to me, and I can watch him play a ton next year. Morant is my guy. He is legit.

Now lets get to the guys that I don't think will be as good as projected.

At number 5 I have Rui Hachimura. Now, I like Hachimura, I just think he should have gone back to school for one more year to really hone his skills. He tested the waters last year, but came back to improve. But, he didn't really improve on the things I was hoping he would improve on. Sure, he is an okay rebounder, and can score in the post. But, his jumper is weak, he got exposed on defense, and the fact that Clarke surpassed him as the guy shows me that he needs more work. I hope I'm wrong on Hachimura, but I don't see it with him.

At number 4 I have Bol Bol. I know he has plummeted down draft boards, but I feel like that is for dumb reasons like, he has outside hobbies. So what? That shouldn't matter. But what worries me about him is the injury he sustained this year, and his frail upper body. He is so tall, but he is rail thin. Guys like Draymond Green or Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol are going to destroy him when he is defending them, and they aren't even the best of the best. Bol is about as raw as they get in this draft.

At number 3 I have Romeo Langford. This kid was supposed to be the savior in Indiana, and they stunk this year. I watched him get bullied by Michigan this year. He couldn't do anything until the game was already decided. He needs a ton of work and time. He is not a lottery pick, and at time during the college season, he looked a step slow and confused. I think whoever takes him, especially if he goes in the lottery, is going to be upset when they trade or cut him in two years.

At number 2 I have Cam Reddish. If Little didn't live up to the hype, Reddish was a total "one and one" bust. He flat out disappeared at times during this past season. I forgot he was on Duke. I then forgot that he was the top recruit on that team. He is nothing more than potential. He didn't show me anything that jumped off the screen when I watched him play last year. He was non existent during the season, and in the tournament, when he could've really made a name for himself, he did nothing. I cannot believe this kid is a surefire lottery pick.

And my number one guy that I have no faith in is RJ Barrett. Yes, I understand he will be a very high lottery pick, but come on, how is he not a very, very, very poor man's Kobe Bryant? He has serious tunnel vision and only looks to score. There were times, and I loathe Duke basketball, where I would yell at him to pass the ball to Zion. He just puts his head down and tries to score. His jumper is also wack as hell. It is broken. He may have averaged 4 assists a game, but that was pure luck, or leak out passes to Zion for a dunk. It was a very hollow 4 assists. Barrett is going to go to New York, and he and Dennis Smith Jr will be fighting over shots all season, and the Knicks will win 15 games again. I just cannot get on the bandwagon for this kid. He is too self focused for me. I don't see it.

Okay, there is my "expert" opinion on 15 players that will get picked tonight. We will have to wait a couple of years to see if I was right. But, I am very excited to see where everyone gets picked, and I will have my eyes on the three Wolverines in the draft tonight. Yeah, the NBA draft is here. Get pumped people.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Do Not Fear, the Warriors Will Still Be Good Next Year

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Last week I heaped praise on the Raptors, which was much deserved and expected. Then yesterday I talked about my feelings involving the Anthony Davis trade. Today I want to take a little bit of a deep dive into what I think the Warriors will look like next year and beyond.

What the Warriors definitely have is Steph Curry, and he is a very, very good basketball player. They also have Steve Kerr who has proven to be a very good coach. Sure, he has been gifted with some of the best NBA players ever, but you still have to coach those guys, and he has won three titles with them. They also have Draymond back for one more season, at least, and when engaged, he is a great defender, the key to running their offense, and plays super hard. By all accounts, Klay Thompson, especially if you listen to his dad, is coming back, although he is going to miss a solid portion of next season after tearing his ACL.

After that, it gets kind of murky. Kevon Looney made himself look like a solid free agent this offseason after his playoff performance. He may opt to leave for more money and playing time. Both Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala are near, if not already there, the end of their careers. Livingston more so than Iguodala. Jordan Bell is still there, and on a rookie contract, but he really regressed this season. Andrew Bogut will most likely retire again and head back to Australia. Alfonzo McKinnie showed flashes, but he needs some work before he is a solid starter. Quinn Cook is an okay shooter, and he has been in the Warriors system since getting in the NBA, but he is not the type of player that will be a starter on a title contending team.

And then we have the whole KD situation.

Who knows what is going to happen with that. First off, he will not play at all in 2020, and not until later in 2021. He ruptured his Achilles. That is going to take awhile before he is even ready to get back on the court to even shoot a ball. Then, all the rehab after that and then he has to get back into playing shape. He has a long recovery ahead of him. Also, he may not, I don't think he will, resign with the Warriors. I still believe he is going to the Knicks. (Sorry if that gets your hopes up RD) I think they do not care that he will miss a year because they can get another high pick next year which they can flip, or take a top prospect to pair with KD. I also think the Warriors have mentally moved on from KD. All year they have heard he was leaving, he hasn't said otherwise, and I think his time is done in Oakland. I believe he will sign with the Knicks, and this will open up some cap space for Golden State to help build around Steph, Draymond and Klay, when he comes back.

This is where it gets interesting for me. I don't think any top free agents will come there for awhile now. I feel like the top guys want to pull a Kawhi and beat them. So I think guys like Jimmy Butler, the aforementioned Kwahi, Chris Paul, basically any top guy on the market is off limits to them. But, I think they can get "lower" tier guys. I wouldn't be shocked if Kemba Walker at least thinks about signing there. I think Tobias Harris would be an ideal fit next to Steph and Draymond next season. I think they could lure shooters like JJ Redick to come play for them. I'd love to see them try and sign a point guard like Patrick Beverly, to help take the load off Steph on defense. I think they can go out and get guys like that, and still be competitive.

The Warriors will not be the top team in the West next season. That much is certain. The Lakers, as much as it pains me, will be good. Denver will be better. Portland is always good. OKC has something to prove. Utah, while having trash fans, will be much better. The West is still loaded, and the Warriors will finally be on the other side, struggling for playoff position. But, for the people saying that they won't be in the playoffs, and that they're done, I disagree. This franchise is too well run, even though they completely screwed over KD, to fall off a cliff. Also, as I have mentioned many times, they still have Steph, Draymond and Kerr. There is still a very solid foundation there. While all looks lost to those on the outside, I think the Warriors will still manage to win 48-52 games, and when Klay gets back to full health, I think they will be back to being a top 4 seed.

The point is that the Warriors will still be good, just not as good as they have been for the past 5 years.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

There Are A Lot of Winners in the Anthony Davis Trade

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The Lakers finally landed Anthony Davis. After a trade demand midway through this past season, an openly flirtation with the Lakers, tampering beyond belief, Rich Paul basically getting 2 guys fired, and the Lakers offering up the majority of their young talent, the trade finally happened. Well, technically it isn't official yet, we have to wait until early July. But, both parties have an agreement that Davis will be a Laker, and the Pelicans will get Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and 3 future first round picks, including the number 4 pick in this Thursday's draft.

To me, I feel like both teams got what they wanted. If you were to tell me I had to pick a "winner" of this trade though, I would say New Orleans won, and they won it by a mile. Yes, they have to give up Davis, who when healthy is a top 3 player in the league, and pairing him with LeBron, albeit at age 35, they will make a very formidable front court. But, the Lakers had to mortgage their future for what may only be 2 years of top notch basketball. LeBron is getting older, that is just a fact. He also missed the most time of his career due to injury last year. He also looked a step slower, and his jumper, while never good, was not effective at all last year. But Davis is awesome and young. He is a force on defense, he can rebound with the best of them, his jump shot is much improved, and when engaged, or not hurt, he is nearly unstoppable. He will also be out to prove something next year.

But, unless the Lakers can get another top level guy to come over on a deal worth much less than they expect, their roster is decimated. I saw a snapshot of the roster now, and outside of LeBron and Davis, it is bleak. They were able to keep Kyle Kuzma, who was, for some unknown reason, almost the guy who was the make or break player in this deal. Sure, he is a good scorer, and he can kind of hit threes, but he is a big minus on defense, and he will now have to be the third or fourth option. I don't know if he will like that. All the guys he came in the league with too, and had befriended, they are gone. He is the lone young player on the Lakers now. They we have guys like Mo Wagner, who can't rebound or play defense, Rajon Rondo, who is about a million years old, Lance Stephenson. who should have been out of the league 2 years ago, Issac Bonga, who I know zero about, Tyson Chandler, who is older than Rondo and Alex Caruso, who looks like the dude you hate to play in your local rec league. Dare I say, the Lakers bench is worse than the Warriors bench right now. Again, this can change if they get a Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker or Jimmy Butler, but I don't see that happening. But, kudos to LeBron, Rich Paul and Anthony Davis, you whined your way to a trade to the Lakers, even if it meant destroying your future. It is now more clear than ever who runs the Lakers.

On the other hand, the Pelicans absolutely crushed this deal. They traded away a disgruntled player for 3 young guys that have certain skills they need, and first round picks for three years. They have the number one and number 4 pick in the upcoming draft. And lets say the Lakers have solid seasons the next 2 years, they will still get their pick, plus a second first rounder in the next 2 drafts. That is some Danny Ainge dealing KG and Paul Pierce to the Nets type shit. This is a homerun of a deal. I know Jrue Holiday was upset when Davis asked out, but if I were him now, I would be very excited for the future of the team. He is still there, and he is an underrated guy, plus he has all this young talent coming to play on his team. The Pelicans don't have to immediately blow it up and rebuild now. Holiday can slide over to the 2, and Ball can be the point. While I have been very tough on Ball as a player, he is a good point guard. He has great court vision, is a willing passer and plays solid defense. His shot is pure trash, but he won't need to shoot too much on this team. This may be the best thing for him too, getting himself and his dad out of LA. I still think very highly of Brandon Ingram. He is one Duke guy that I actually like. He also started to show flashes last season of what he can do. He is a long and lanky shooter. He can also get to the rim very quickly. His long stride is very good for the fast break. I bet of all the players traded yesterday he is the happiest. He looked miserable playing next to LeBron last year. Now he has a fresh start, and he will be one of the go to guys in New Orleans. Josh Hart was one of the few young guys that LeBron counted on last year. That shows maturity to me. The fact that he was willing to do what was best for the team is a trait I love in professional players. By the way, he can shoot and play defense as well. Hart will step in right away and be a solid contributor, do the little things asked of him, and I bet he will become an instant fan favorite. The Pelicans, who own the first pick, are going to take Zion on Thursday. That is the type of star power they need to replace Davis. Zion is not Davis, not yet at least, but he might be the best prospect since Davis. This kid is an amazing leaper with good passing skills and a willingness to play defense and be coached. He may not have been happy when New Orleans won the draft lottery, but if I were him now, I'd be stoked looking at this current team he's about to be on. The combo of him and Ball, especially on fast breaks, is going to be awesome. Zion will also get Ingram and Hart plenty of open looks. He will help out Holiday a ton. This is as about a perfect situation as a rookie can get. And with the fourth pick, they can go strictly based on need, and get a pretty talented player. I don't think they will get Ja Morant or RJ Barrett, and I don't see them taking a point guard like Darius Garland or Coby White due to who they acquired in the trade. But that means they can look at a guy like Jaxson Hayes, the big center from Texas. Or they can check in on DeAndre Hunter, a solid shooting 3 or 4 who plays defense. Jarrett Culver could be another option for them as a solid backup to Holiday. Brandon Clarke could be on their radar now. They can look at some overseas talent. They have, pretty much, endless options for the upcoming draft.

This was the homerun the Pelicans wanted to get with this Davis deal, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. The Lakers should also be happy in this deal. They all got what they wanted. I will just say, I am more pumped to watch the Pelicans than the Lakers next year after this trade. They should be the more fun team to watch on League Pass.

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. 

Follow Ty on instagram and twitter.

SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.