Welcome to another edition of NBA RoundTable. As pre-season is under way Im sure just me everyone is excited to finally see this new rookie class play some real basketball. The talking is over. This week we will discuss Dwyane Wade joining the Cavaliers, Westbrook finally signing his mega deal contract that, and so much more on NBA Round Table.
About a week and half ago Dwyane Wade was bought out by the Chicago Bulls. Last week He signed a 1 year 2.3 million dollar contract with the Cleveland contract with the Cavaliers. With a healthy Thomas, is this the best Cavaliers team ever?
Todd: Yes probably. They have at least two starting lineups. There should be no excuse for LeBron James this year. Even with and aging Wade, and injury prone Rose, and with Thomas coming off a major injury this Cavalier team has to be the best ever.
Dan: I think so. With the past couple of seasons, they haven’t had as strong of a team even with Kyrie & LeBron leading the team. Before LeBron went to Miami, this current roster blows those teams out of the water. I can’t think of a team that’s better, on paper.
Chad: I don’t know if I can say the best because 3 of your “key pieces” Thomas, Wade, and Rose have durability whether it be based on injury history or age in general.
Steve: Dwayne Wade? Isnt he like 100 years old now? No this is not the best Cavs team ever, I think the NBA Championship team from two years ago is. How can you have a best ever team, if you may not even be the best team in your Conference?
Russell Westbrook finally signed his 5/yr 205 million dollar contract which has been on the table for a couple months now. Why do you think he signed it now? and with all the recent super stars switching teams why do you think he signed it at all?
Todd: Actually I was surprised he resigned at this point. I figure he would wait until the end of the year to see where everyone goes but it shows the Loyalty that Westbrook has to OKC. He is not like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Finally someone who shows some kind of loyalty to their team. This has to mean that their is a possibility that George might stay after this year. I don’t believe he signs and ends up their by himself because OKC is not going to be in the lottery this year.
Dan: I think he signed it to get it over with as training camp is started and he doesn’t want to deal with that distraction when the season is beginning. I recall, I could be wrong, but I do recall hearing him say something to the effect that he wants to enjoy his off-season and will deal with the contract, etc near the start of training camp and pre-season? But I think this move does show dedication to the OKC organization that he’s dedicated to staying. He also received two very good players to help make a push towards the number one seed in the West and a Finals appearance.
Chad: I think OKC getting pieces in George and Anthony showed him they are committed to try and win a Championship. Even George has said that the resigning has him thinking.
Steve: They are committed to win that is for sure. After Anthony signed, OKC was dubbed one of the favorites to unseat the Warriors. Along with Golden State and the Rockets, and Spurs, the West is going to be near impossible to beat. Anthony signed because he thinks this is his best chance at winning a title without signing with Golden State.
Will Derrick Rose bounce back to his MVP form playing along side LeBron James?
Todd: I think he could possibly be his old self if he stays healthy. Think about it. Last year with the knicks he avg. 18ppg 4.4 assist on 47% shooting from the field 21% from 3 point. Playing with James is going to get him easier shots. I can see his assists going up because he is playing with better players.
Dan: I think D-Rose will bounce back and have a solid season, but I think his MVP-like playing days are past. He’ll definitely be more of a contributor than Deron Williams has been, and I definitely foresee D-Rose starting and maintaining a flowing offense without injury until Thomas gets back. I don’t expect any hiccups to be caused from D-Rose this season.
Chad: At this point in his career I think Rose is more of a role scorer. I think he going to be a key piece for the Cavs, but I don’t think he will be his former MVP self.
Steve: Is this a joke? If he can even make it a full season without getting hurt, then he will be maybe the fourth best player on this team.
We all know that San Antonio has never been a super team but they have always been one of the top teams in the West. They made little impact in free agency with Rudy Gay being their biggest free agency pick up. Will they be able to compete with the likes of Golden State, OKC, or Houston this year?
Todd: Yes, I think they can because unlike the Thunder and the Rockets, The Spurs have a bench. Although the Thunder and Rockets have all these super stars on their teams they lack bench depth. The Spurs undoubtedly would have beaten the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals if Leonard would not have gotten injured last year. Plus The Spurs are always one of the top defensive teams in the NBA. Who even knows if Chris Paul and James Harden or Westbrook, George, and Carmelo can even play together. What happens if they can’t? To me the Spurs are already a well oiled machine only adding a few pieces and same with the Warriors. The Thunder and Rockets are a mystery.
Dan: Yes, I believe so. They competed with Golden State last season. The other teams were trying to catch up to Golden State. They are almost at their level. And the nice thing about San Antonio? With the style they play, and with how their organization is ran, they can compete with all of these top Western teams. And they don’t need a crop of superstars to do it. They have an elite defense, a slow-paced offense, and know how to orchestrate each possession and each game in an efficient manner.
Chad: I think they will certainly be in the conversation but I just don’t see them having done enough to beat the mentioned teams; maybe Houston.
Steve: Not at all, at this point they are number four in the West, I think. You can never count out a Gregg Popavich led team, but age is going to catch up with them, and there is no way they can compete with these other three teams in the West.
LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony all have outs on their contract at the end of the this season. Could we see these 4 guys team up on the same team in 2018?
Todd: Who really cares just as long it is not in Los Angeles.
Dan: I think that it can very much happen, and I think if it does happen, that it will be in Los Angeles at home with the Lakers. The only player who we might see stay where they are at is either CP3 or Melo. I think it definitely is relied upon how the team finishes in order to see who stays. But I definitely think three of them team up and definitely have the feeling Melo won’t join up.
Chad: I definitely think it could happen the question would be were to go team up if they wanted to.
Steve: At this point how could you not predict it? Whatever LeBron wants, he will get. I don’t think we will see Wade as I honestly feel this is his last season. I cant see anyone paying Wade the money he will demand. Carmelo may be in that same boat. However I can see James teaming up with Paul for a shot at a championship.
What are your thoughts on the Louisville and Rick Pitino situation?
Dan: I think, with how Louisville got rid of their head coach almost immediately means that Pitino was doing something he shouldn’t have been doing and the university knew about it. It definitely makes you wonder what exactly was going on and what kind of punishments will happen to Louisville both from the FBI and from the NCAA. It’s not good, though.
Chad: It’s definitely an unprecedented situation where there may be things that need to be looked at such as the AAU circuit and who is seen running around those events; it could even create the unprecedented step of stripping Louisville of a National Championship or even a “Death Penalty
Steve: Honestly I don’t know too much about it, but I have a hard time believing that Rick Pitino knowingly did anything wrong. While he is the head coach and will ultimately pay the price for this, he has been a decent human being who has always played by the rules. I think as far as Louisville goes, this program is going to be dead on arrival for the next four or five years.
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