Welcome to The Blog About Nothing. Incredibly I have managed to post two blog entries in a row. I have no clue how I am doing this, but I hope to make it a trend. It’s unbelievable, really. Welcome to the 7th of July, and this brand new edition where I plan on recapping all that I got wrong from last week’s entry.
If you remember last week’s blog, it was my previewing the things I was expecting as the NBA began its free agency. I gave a quick overview of a few topics, and for the most part I avoided any big name predictions.
Well, except one. Paul George kind of shocked me. Last Friday night as I was enjoying a family outing at Brooklyn’s own Coney Island amusement park, I got word that the Oklahoma City Thunder traded for George. In last week’s blog I mentioned, the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, or the Houston Rockets as potential suitors.
So, yes, I did not see the Thunder as part of the equation. I also did not see that all it took to obtain a perennial All-Star was to trade Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Indiana kind of dropped the ball on this deal since there were no future draft picks in the equation. I do like Oladipo as a player. I think he’s a great athlete and scorer, and the fact that he played college ball at Indiana University will be a good box office draw, but I still don’t think he and Sabonis were enough for Paul George.
However, I like the deal for the Thunder. Paul George and reigning MVP Russell Westbrook can both score in bunches. Westbrook will have help next season so it’s not all on his shoulders, and if George still opts to leave, both he and Westbrook will both be free agents after the season. So, even if it all goes wrong and both men flee OKC, the Thunder can be in position to rebuild with plenty of cap room.
I don’t expect both men to leave however. Paul George may still have his sights on Los Angeles, and playing with a top player in Westbrook likely won’t change that. However, I won’t completely discount the fact that he might like playing with Westbrook and in Oklahoma City. I don’t expect Russell to leave at all, so who knows: maybe OKC is the next team to watch in the Western Conference.
Over the past few seasons it seems like all of the talent is in the West, and that fact has never been truer than it is right now. The Golden State Warriors are the defending champions and they bring back their core, plus new additions in Omri Casspi and Nick Young. The Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul. The San Antonio Spurs added Rudy Gay. The Minnesota Timberwolves added Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague.
The Denver Nuggets added a four time All Star in Paul Milsapp. Even the Sacramento Kings have gotten in on the action and made some solid signings in George Hill, Zach Randolph, and Vince Carter. The Kings are not a playoff team in such a stacked conference but I love the additions of Hill, Randolph, and Carter. All three men will go a long way in adding veteran leadership to some of the young and exciting players in their organization.
The West is simply loaded. It’s loaded to the point that teams like the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks, and Portland Trailblazers, three teams that seem to make the playoffs frequently should all struggle just to get back their this season. Another team that should struggle this season is the Utah Jazz.
Losing Gordon Hayward will be too much for the Jazz to overcome. I love the trade for Ricky Rubio but without a scorer to catch those passes, the Jazz are definitely taking a step back from their 50 win season from last year.
Hayward coming out East to the Boston Celtics was a great move for the Celtics. They add an All-Star, and they add a player familiar to their head coach, Brad Stevens, who coached Hayward in college at Butler. With that said, adding Hayward still leaves the Celtics behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There might be some turmoil in Cleveland but on the court they are still the talented team that has played in the last three NBA Finals. With that said, they need to get their front office situation fixed. Lowballing executives is not the way to go. I understand Dan Gilbert would like to save a few dollars, because of the Cavaliers luxury tax bill, but the man is rich enough to throw some coins at his executives. If he wants to keep LeBron happy, he’s going to have no other choice.
Speaking of the aforementioned Celtics, I was a bit sad to see them part with Kelly Olynyk this week. They needed to part with Olynyk to add cap space to add Hayward, and Olynyk did well to sign with the Miami Heat. As a floor spacing big man, he will do well playing alongside Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Goran Dragic. The Heat came pretty close to making the playoffs last season, and adding Olynyk might make them more of a sure bet to make it next season.
Finally, I would like to say something to the New York Knicks. You all got rid of Phil Jackson and you’re still idiots. Throwing 4 years and $71 million at Tim Hardaway Jr. is just insanity. Paying that much for a guy that you have already traded away, and a player that is likely no better than a second string shooting guard is just stupid.
That money must have been burning a hole in Jim Dolan’s pockets. It’s a silly offer, and just another example of how the Knicks will never get their act together. Never.
With that: I’m done. Thanks for reading.
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