Latest Saga With the Cavaliers

Written By: Conner Pack

Since losing to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals it has been complete dysfunction in Cleveland. Week after week it seems to be one thing after another. It started when former general manager David Griffin and the Cavaliers decided to part ways, just a couple of days before the NBA Draft. From that point on all we’ve heard out of Cleveland is negativity. Then last Friday the dysfunction in my opinion reached its peak when news broke that Kyrie Irving had asked to be traded.

Once the news broke, rumors and best trade options began to swirl. Then Monday night, Stephen A. Smith put out a quote that he had gotten from someone in LeBron’s camp “if Kyrie Irving was in front of LeBron James right now, LeBron James would be tempted to beat his ass“. Whether you believe it or not, it’s out there now and all we can do is speculate. If you ask me it’s a bit harsh. I can understand LeBron being a little pissed, but beating someone’s ass… I don’t know about all that.

But I’m not here to harp on who’s going to beat whose ass, because in reality no one is going to beat anyone’s ass. LeBron and Kyrie aren’t stupid. All this does is solidify that the marriage between Kyrie and LeBron is over. And that they don’t care to play on the same team. That’s it.

Now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way let’s think about what the best case scenario would be for all parties involved.

– Best Case Scenario for Kyrie

The best thing for Kyrie is to be traded as soon as possible. That way he can get to know his new team and create some chemistry before the season starts. What team would be the best fit? In my opinion it would be the Boston Celtics. But for this article we’ll stick to the four teams he told the Cavaliers management. Those teams were the Spurs, Knicks, Heat, and Timberwolves.

Kyrie has made it known that he wants to be the star or focal point of what ever team he ends up playing on. Knowing that, I think it’s safe to say he won’t end up with the Spurs. Because Kawhi Leonard is the star down there and Popovich doesn’t deal with divas. As for the Knicks, Heat, and Timberwolves I think he would be a solid fit for any of those teams.

If the Timberwolves could find a way to make a trade and not lose much I think the Timberwolves would be the best destination. They just added Jimmy Butler and they’re loaded with a ton of young talent. They’ve also got a really good head coach. But it’s highly unlikely the Timberwolves would be able to make that trade without giving up a lot. So let’s mark the Timberwolves off the list.

The Heat or Knicks will probably be where he’ll end up if the Cavaliers decide to trade him. I’m not sure who the Heat would trade in order to get Kyrie. As for the Knicks, it’s pretty obvious the Knicks could send Carmelo to the Cavaliers in exchange for Kyrie. Porzingis and Kyrie? It might work.

– Best Case Scenario for LeBron

The best thing for LeBron is to just ride it out. I will say though the negative publicity that’s came from all this isn’t good but it’ll blow over like most incidents in the NBA. By next week there will be a new story and we’ll have something else to talk about.

Back to what’s best for LeBron, he’s got one year left on his contract in Cleveland and then he’ll be free to make his next move. Which I think will be leaving Cleveland and heading out west. So I think the best thing for him is to just lay low (which probably won’t happen) and play ball this season. If he and Kyrie can come to some sort of agreement than that would be great. But it doesn’t seem like that will happen anytime soon.

– Best Case Scenario for Cleveland

The Cavaliers are between a rock and a hard place. They have the rising super star in Kyrie Irving who is the future. Then on the other side they have the home town guy and king of Cleveland in LeBron James. On one hand, if you trade Kyrie you could be giving away the future if LeBron indeed does leave after next season. On the other hand, if you trade away LeBron James you risk major backlash from the city of Cleveland.

I say that because look at LeBron’s track record, he’s been known to up and leave leaving teams high and dry. First he did it to Cleveland back in 2010, but for good reason the Cavaliers did not help in building a team around him. Then he did it to Miami back in 2014 after losing to the Spurs in the finals 4-1. So what’s not to say he won’t do it again? The only offseason move the Cavaliers have made is signing Derrick Rose and that just happened this week. And we all know this isn’t the same Derrick Rose that won the MVP a couple of years ago.

– Final Thoughts

All I’m saying is the Cavaliers as a whole are in a sticky situation all around. I think it’s about time they blow it up and start over. The team they have right now is a team that LeBron constructed. Kyrie is pulling a LeBron on LeBron. He doesn’t want to be left with a team that LeBron constructed and that isn’t capable of contending for a championship. It’s just a dysfunctional mess that no one has the answer to.

Paul George to the Celtics is the Best OptionĀ 

Written By: Conner Pack 

We’re only a couple weeks into the NBA offseason and we’ve already seen multiple trades. On draft night we saw a major trade between the Bulls and Timberwolves that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota. Then there was the Chris Paul trade that sent him to the Rockets. Those are just a couple, I’m sure there will be more to come but those so far in my opinion have been the two most impactful. But the biggest name in this years offseason talks has been Indiana Pacers forward Paul George. 

Now, he’s still under contract for one more season but he’s made it very clear that he plans on leaving after next season, if he isn’t traded. He’s been open about wanting to play for the Lakers, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to make a trade to get him a year sooner, since he plans on going there after next season. Which makes since. 

So, if the Lakers don’t make a trade offer, that then leaves the window open for other teams to possibly make a move and trade for him. The only problem with that is you might only be renting him for one season, if he’s that dead set on going to the Lakers. But what if the team that trades for him is already a quality team that is in the mix and is on the verge of being a championship contender? Could that team possibly trade for him and talk him into resigning? 

That leads me to why I think Paul George being traded to the Celtics makes the most sense, for both the Pacers and Celtics. 

Let’s start with why it makes sense for the Celtics, last season the Celtics finished first in the east but no one really considered them a “real” championship contender. However, the Celtics have a solid core group of guys, a great head coach, and they play in the east. If Paul George ended up being traded to the Celtics it would be a major game changer and give George a great opportunity to contend for an NBA Championship. 

One, the Celtics have a group of experienced guys lead by Isaiah Thomas. Adding George to the mix would give the Celtics another guy who can create his own shot and take over games if needed. Something the Celtics have lacked. 

Two, Brad Stevens might be the second best head coach in the NBA, behind Popovich. In four seasons he took the Celtics from out of the playoffs to the top seed in the east. Also, he hasn’t had the superstar names that other teams have had. Just imagine what he could do with a star like George. 

Three, the eastern conference for the past several years has been very weak. Since the LeBron James Miami Heat days, LeBron has dominated the eastern conference. Mainly because the other teams haven’t had enough talent. Paul George on the Celtics would put the Celtics right up there with the Cavaliers. 

Why would this be good for the Pacers, because the Celtics have a lot to offer. The Celtics have stock piled draft picks for years now, so they’d have several they could offer up. Also, the Celtics have a multitude of solid role players that can be impactful if traded away. I just feel that Indiana would get the best return from the Celtics if they decided to pull the trigger and trade him there. 

– Final Thoughts

If Paul George wants to play in the NBA Finals and win a championship his best chance of doing that is in Boston. In the west, the Warriors aren’t going anywhere. In the east, things looks be opening up depending on what LeBron decides to do after next season. Also, the Celtics are the front runners to sign Gordon Hayward, another all star caliber player. 

I just think the situation would be much better and he wouldn’t have as much pressure on him. Because the Celtics already have a great foundation, they just need one or two more pieces to get them to that next level. 

Finally, since the Celtics already have their foundation Paul George would just have come in and find his rhythm. He would already be surrounded be good talent with an identity. Unlike going to another team where he would have to carry the team on his shoulders. 

We’ll see what happens. 

Friday Hot TakeĀ 

Written By: Conner Pack 

The Minnesota Timberwolves will make the NBA playoffs next season. Here’s why, Thursday night the Chicago Bulls made a trade that nobody saw coming. This is what they did, the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and seventh pick Lauri Markkanen. Now, the Bulls received some solid young talent, but it’s evident that they’re dismantling their team and starting over. With that being said, the Timberwolves were the clear winner in this deal. 

The Timberwolves for years now have been a team full of potential, loaded with incredibly young and exciting talent, but unable to put it all together and establish an identity. Last year, hiring Tom Thibedou to be head coach was a step in the right direction, however they still lacked leadership and had yet again another mediocre season, finishing 31-51. But at times there where flashes of what the future could be.  

Adding Jimmy Butler to this Timberwolves team is the best thing that could’ve happened for them. Butler brings veteran experience to a team that needs some leadership, if they want to take the next step. Right now, the Timberwolves already have two big time players in Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Two guys that have really came into their own over the past couple of seasons. 

– Final Thoughts 

I see the Timberwolves taking a major step forward this coming up season. As of right now, you could say they’re possibly the fourth or fifth best team in the west at the moment, behind the Warriors, Spurs, and Rockets. Thibedou’s always been a defense first coach, he’ll still hammer home his defensive philosophy but this team has the potential to be a great offensive team. Three guys Wiggins, Anthony-Towns, and now Butler who all can score 20 plus points each night. And if Rubio can stay health a point guard who loves to pass and create. They have the potential to be very explosive on offense. 

Overall, the Timberwolves in my opinion where the winners of draft night. They got an experienced player who can bring some guidance and leadership to a young exciting team. I’m very interested to see how this team will come together next season. 

Butler, Anthony-Towns, Wiggins (from sportscenter Facebook)

Boston Celtics Draft Talk

Written By: Conner Pack

– Trading the Number 1 Pick? 

After what for the most part was a very boring NBA season, the offseason has been quite the opposite. One of the biggest headlines so far has came out of Boston, with the Celtics deciding to trade the first overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Some would say it’s shocking, I know I was. But in exchange the Celtics received the third pick in this years draft as well as a future first round pick, which I liked. 

Since Brad Stevens has been the head coach, the Celtics have taken major strides and have gotten better each year. The rebuilding process has been quicker than expected, in large part because of the moves general manager Danny Ainge has made. The trade he made over the weekend is a prime example. Over the last couple years the Celtics have accumulated a lot of draft picks, several of which have been first round lottery picks. 

By trading away the number one pick, the Celtics have decided to stick with Isaiah Thomas as their leader. I say that because, if the Celtics would’ve kept the first pick I’m 99.9% sure they would’ve drafted Markelle Fultz. I liked Fultz and felt like he would’ve been great for the team, but then there would’ve been a controversy or some disfunction with Isaiah Thomas and his future. 

– Why I Like the Trade

This trade long term is very beneficial for the Celtics. One, it gives them a solid draft pick to barter/trade, which I hope they do.  

Two, if you keep the pick you’ll still be able to draft a really good player. More than likely Fultz will go one and Ball will go two. So that leaves you with Tatum or Jackson, either one I think would fit in good with the Celtics. 

Three, they’ll more than likely have another lottery pick next year. So overall, the Celtics are in a great position moving forward. 

The last reason why I like the trade is, the Celtics didn’t really need another young guard. Would Fultz help? No doubt he would. But the Celtics have a solid four guard rotation with Thomas, Bradley, Smart, and Rozier. Throughout the playoffs all four of those guys really stepped up, understood their role, and made impacts. Especially second year player Terry Rozier. 

– Final Thoughts 

Come Thursday we’ll have a better idea of which direction the Celtics are trying to go. Do they want to win a championship now? Or are they planning on being the team to beat two to three years down the road? Last season, the Celtics finished first in the eastern conference and made it to the eastern conference finals. But we all knew the Celtics weren’t the best team in the east, that they’re still a player, maybe two players away. 

Finally, the Celtics are in a great position with some great young talent and one of the best coaches in the NBA. 

– Scenarios (Moves I would Like to See) 

I think, if the Celtics can make a play and trade the third pick to the Bulls for Jimmy Butler. That would show they’re trying to win now and contend for a championship. Because, it seems as though the Celtics are the front runners to sign Gordon Hayward. By adding those two guys that would elevate this Celtics team to another level. 

However though, the Celtics still lack a big man presence down low. You can say what you want about Al Horford, but he doesn’t give you that presence inside. So maybe they try and target a big man either through free agency or trade the third pick for big man instead of Butler. 

Reaction to LeBron’s Press ConferenceĀ 

Written by: Conner Pack

Last night after all the games had ended, I was flipping through the channels trying to find something to watch. I checked the usual movie channels, then the sports stations, and nothing was really on that I cared to watch. So I go to ESPN and check out Sportscenter. Luckily, they were showing the Cavs post game press conferences, I typically enjoy watching them during the finals. It’s always interesting what they say and some of the questions. 

Since there wasn’t anything on last night I decided to leave it on ESPN and watch LeBron’s presser. For the most part I’m over LeBron and some of the stuff he does on and off the court. For example, the flopping and complaining about calls on the court. Then off the court, he’s been easily triggered this year and has been very vocal in regards of needing more help etc. So I’m just over all the BS. 

Putting all that aside, there’s no doubt LeBron’s the best basketball player in the world. His stats speak for them-self, he’s won three NBA championships, and he’s dominated the Eastern conference for the past seven years. This will be his seventh consecutive NBA finals appearance, eighth total going back to his first stint with the Cavs. What he’s been able to do is crazy. To still be playing at a high level at age 32 is remarkable. 

Now, while I was watching the press conference, a reporter asked a question talking about LeBron’s accomplishment of passing Michael Jordan and becoming the leader in points scored in the playoffs. LeBron’s response in my opinion was great. 

Click to see the interview

What I liked so much was the humble and genuine answer he gave. I grew up watching LeBron play and I’ve heard all the hype and everything surrounding him. Because of the hype and the talking heads comparing him and Jordan, as a regular guy watching from a far you wonder how LeBron feels about the comparisons. His response made it clear to me that LeBron doesn’t care about the comparisons. He knows what he’s done and he is playing the game how he wants to play it and that’s all that matters. 

Obviously he wants to be known as one of the greats, which he will be when it’s said and done. But with all the talking heads comparing and going on and on hearing this from LeBron last night was really good.