Here we are again with another edition of the NBA Roundtable. This week, Is Kevin Durant destined to become a Washington Wizard? Who will be the first coach ousted before the end of the season.
Here are the questions for this week.
The Washington Wizards faithful publicly made mention that they wanted Kevin Durant on their team next season. Durant was quoted by saying that was a little disrespectful. First, do you agree that it was disrespectful, and do you think the Wizards have a snowballs chance to get Durant next season?
Joao- I would not say it is disrespectful but I do think the Wizards are being too pushy. The season has just started and they seem to be more focused on Durant than anything else. If anything, it is the Wizards players who should feel disrespected.
I do think they have a chance of getting Durant in free agency but that will have to be a combination of the Wizards having a strong playoff push this year plus the Thunder bowing out early in the playoffs (or even, gasp, not making it to the postseason). But Durant has to see that Russell Westbrook is as a good a player as he could ever have on side side. So, Wizards fans, you do have a shot but just don’t bet the house on it.
Steve- I don’t think it was disrespectful, but I do think its a little bit of wishful thinking on the part of the Washington fans. I don’t think Durant is going to leave Oklahoma City. He is their franchise player, and they will pay to keep him. If they can keep both Durant and Westbrook long term, this team will win an NBA Championship.
Chad: I don’t think it was disrespectful of the Wizards to state that they want Durant at the same time I don’t see Durant going to Washington in the offseason.
Bill: I don’t see the fans desiring one of the best players in the league on their team as even remotely disrespectful. Would I, as a Suns fan, like to see him on my team? Of course I would, and that’s not in the least bit close to being “disrespectful.” As for the Wizards’ chances of landing him? I’d say they definitely have a decent shot at it given his connection to the area, their solidly constructed roster, and their being in the far easier Eastern Conference. Durant would be a fool to not even consider the idea or dismiss it entirely.
Rey: He has a right to his opinion. No chance at all with other teams who are in better position shape to win now
Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks is off to an impressive start so far in this young season. Do you think the New York fans are feeling guilty on how they reacted to his draft pick?
Joao- Definitely! Porzingis has been a great surprise thus far, even for Knicks management. Coming out of the draft the official position of New York management was that he is a young player with tremendous upside but that would need time to develop and adapt to the rigorous NBA game and lifestyle. Plus everyone regarded him has someone who needs to develop extra muscle to have a more effective presence inside.
Through 10 games Porzingis’ contribution is very solid: 11.5 PPG and especially 8.8 RPG and 1.1 BLKPG. He does need to improve his shooting percentage but the upside for the young Latvian is tremendous and Knicks fans should feel both guilty and excited. Plus the (very) early candidates for Rookie of the Year were selected before Porzingis in the draft. Finally New York does something right, it seems.
Steve- I don’t think New York fans have any guilt what so ever. The fans are just going to jump on the bandwagon of this kid, and will probably say I told you this guy was great! If the Knicks do shock the world and make the playoffs. He is off to a great start, and will probably be a finalist for Rookie of the Year barring a collapse. The fans just need to understand that maybe Phil Jackson really does know what the hell he is talking about.
Chad: I would think so I can understand their frustration at the time of the pick; wanting a big time college guy; but this guy looks legit and can help the Knicks moving forward.
Bill: No shame whatsoever in openly admitting they were wrong. The guy has been a stud since the opening tip and the doubters all look pretty foolish seeing how they questioned his abilities and just tabbed him as another soft Euro export. The kid is an easy favorite for Rookie of the Year. One can only imagine how much crow those Knicks fans would have to eat should he actually win it.
Rey: Heck I feel guilty because this dude can flat out play.
LeBron James recently bought a home, well “vacation home” in Los Angeles. Do you see LeBron heading out West to either the Lakers or Clippers in the next couple years?
Joao- I would like to think LeBron will not walk out on Cleveland a second time, at least not while he is at the top of his game. It is yet to be seen if James can win a title with the Cavaliers (or multiple titles, for that matter) but his team is stacked right now, Cleveland are one of the main title contenders and arguably set to at least win the lowly East. So I do not see LeBron walking out any time soon.
Steve- Let’s not get to crazy here people. The media is blowing this way out of proportion. I cannot see James leaving Cleveland again after the first incident. He wants to win a championship in Cleveland for himself, and for the city and fans of Cleveland.
Chad: I don’t see Lebron leaving the east coast and specifically Cleveland again. LA is a great place to have a second home especially being close to the water in Hollywood.
Bill: No. I think that James learned a somewhat painful lesson in how fickle fans can be, especially those in your home town. While the storied Lakers could certainly use a new standard bearer to take on the face of the franchise once Kobe Bryant finally retires, I just don’t see James taking on that role. He is his own man and follows no one. The players follow him. Despite his draw power, it’s just no happening.
Rey: Lakers have a long way to go and that is coming from a Laker fan
Russell Westbrook had his second consecutive triple-double on Friday night, making it his 21st in his career. He had multiple triple-doubles last year. How many will be have this season?
Joao- For the sake of the Thunder I hope he does not have a record season in terms of triple-doubles because that would mean that Kevin Durant is out for important stretches of the season. So I think that Westbrook might finish the season with 7 or 8 triple doubles if Durant is mostly healthy. And that would be a good sign for both Russell and the Thunder.
Steve- This is a pretty impressive stat for Westbrook. He has two already, so he will probably end up with 9 maybe 10 triple doubles for the year. With he and Durant healthy, this team can make a run to the Western Conference Finals.
Chad: Russell Westbrook is a great all around talent he has some already. I believe that he ends up with 8 or 9 once the season is over.
Bill: I’ll say… six. I don’t see Durant being out as long as he was last season and that changes things significantly seeing that Durant’s presence makes Westbrook’s play more about focus and less about “hero” ball. While Westbrook’s talent and athleticism are unquestioned, he doesn’t need to do it all. He’s got a highly capable team of players to help carry the load.
Is this Kobe Bryant’s last season, and if so, will this season hurt his legacy?
Joao- All signs are pointing to this being Kobe’s last season indeed, as each trip and game is being treated like a farewell tour (well, at least by reporters, analysts and fans). Grinding injuries have taken their toll on the 37-year-old and Kobe is shooting the lowest percentage of his career.
That having been said, a farewell season with low stats and without participating in the playoffs will not taint Kobe’s legacy as one of the all-time greats. He is not the first superstar to go out like this and he will certainly not be the last one.
Steve- It should be his last season. Kobe is looking like a tier 2 NBA player right now, and probably is not among the top 150 players in the NBA. As for his legacy, no he will be remembered for all the great things he has done as an NBA superstar. Look at Jordan, his return when he played for the Wizards has not gone down to haunt him.
Chad: It is Kobe’s last year and still think Kobe is a great all-time player and as a 5 time NBA champion. Even with this season you cannot take away his accomplishments on the court with the Lakers and in the annals of the NBA history
Bill: I’d like to think this is Bryant’s last season… but only he knows for sure. His last season should have been three seasons ago, to be honest. The Lakers certainly appreciate their aging superstar, but he’s no longer the player he once was and the team needs him to retire. The youth can’t develop if Bryant is there nor can the team attract any measurable replacement talent so long as his asinine contract strangles the team. His legacy is undoubtedly cemented as one of the all time greats, but his reluctance and outright stubbornness to hang it up when he was still near the top of his game says plenty about his arrogance and foolish pride.
Rey: Absolutely yes this should be it for my guy it’s time to walk away 5 rings and 19 seasons. It will not hurt his legacy one bit.
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