A World Cup Roster of NBA Players

Ever imagine how good the United States would be at soccer if the country’s best athletes decided to focus on soccer, instead of soccer or basketball? I know, it’s a popular talking point for Americans, who try to defend their country’s relatively weak soccer team. Don’t get me wrong: US soccer has made great strides. We’ve gotten out of three of the last four group stages, but imagine how good we could be if our best athletes were soccer players. Without even considering the NFL, let’s construct a World Cup roster from the current players in the NBA, who are American.

Goalie: LeBron James
LeBron would be the idea goalie, center defender, center-mid, and center striker. He would be perfect no matter where you put him. In goal though, he would never lose a ball in the air, and he’d be stronger than any striker he encountered on corner kicks. He’s also agile enough to dive and make quick stops. You can count on clean sheets with LeBron in goal. Continue reading

Top 75 NBA Trade Value (Part 4)

Here’s Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the series.

Group H: “He’s Young, Puts Up Great Stats, And Isn’t A Winner. We Hate Ourselves For Listening To Your Deal”

24. DeMarcus Cousins
Cousins should be in the top 10. He has that much talent. How many 23 year old centers averaged 23 and 12, with a PER over 26? If only Cousins could be surrounded by well-respected vets. The Kings made the poor decision of building their entire team around Cousins. He’s good enough to build around, but at this stage in his career, he needs other All-Star caliber vets to show him the ropes. Despite Cousins’ attitude problems, he’s still one of the best players in the league. Cousins needs to be on a good team with good players. Liken him to Zach Randolph. Cousins is more talented and a little crazier than Randolph. Remember though: Randolph had his share of issues when he was on the JailBlazers. It wasn’t until he joined the Grizzlies that he really turned his career around. Cousins could do the same if in the right situation. Continue reading

Let the LeBron Speculation Begin

As you’ve heard by now, LeBron opted out of his final year with the Miami Heat. So every team desperate and deluded enough is clearing cap space with the hope that they’ll be able to convince LeBron to join their team. The thing is, there are only really five teams with legitimate chances to get LeBron. Zach Lowe mentioned the Hawks and Suns as other unlikely candidates, but all he is saying is that they have the requisite cap space to get LeBron. He’d never go to either of those teams, even if they’re not that bad. Who really has a chance at getting LeBron?

1) Miami Heat
They’re still the most likely scenario for LeBron. He knows their management, respects Pat Riley’s judgement, and still made the Finals last season with its weak roster. LeBron opting out is merely a ploy to motivate the Heat and get Micky Arison to spend more money. It’s a move to push Wade and Bosh to restructure their deals and take much less money. This is the least exciting move LeBron could make. The Heat would need to show LeBron they’re going to completely alter the bench and add some real contributors and fresh legs. Let’s all hope he leaves Miami so that the bandwagons fans in Miami can disappear again. They don’t deserve a good team. Continue reading

Possible Destinations for Chris Paul

Chris Paul needs to get out of LA. With the recent firing of Vinny Del Negro, and subsequent blame put on CP3 for the firing, it seems more likely that Paul will leave the Clippers, sending them back to square one. Most analysts think Paul should and will re-sign with the Clippers, pointing to the fact that they can offer him $28 million more than any other team and won 56 games this year, a franchise record. I’m not convinced though that the Clippers are set up for a chance at a title, unless Blake Griffin takes a giant leap. Griffin may have already peaked. Simple as that. Look at his career stats and you’ll see his production from 22 points and 13 rebounds in his first season to 18 points and 8 rebounds last season. There’s no reason for someone so freakishly athletic as Griffin to only average 8 rebounds per game. Griffin is one of the worst post defenders inthe league. Griffin holds the keys to the Clippers future, and without massive improvement, the Clippers are only a first or second round playoff team. deairdreMeanwhile, the Clippers other big man DeAndre Jordan is young and way overpaid. He’s a highlight reel dunker who plays no defense and makes Dwight Howard look like Steve Nash from the free throw line. To make matters worse, it’s been well-documented that Jordan and Griffin don’t like Chris Paul. Chris Paul doesn’t have time for these kinds of issues at this stage in his career. Two overrated post players who won’t bring CP3 a title anytime soon and are more concerned with making viral Youtube clips are not what Paul needs. Luckily for Paul, he’s a free agent and there are a few destinations with a brighter future than the Clips. Let’s look at where Paul may end up playing next season.

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Which Lottery team in the West has the brightest future?

7. Phoenix Suns
As much as I wanted to put the Kings in the cellar, I just couldn’t do it. The Suns are that bad. Take a look at the Suns roster and you won’t find any egregiously bad contracts, but you also won’t find a single player worth building around. Goran Dragic has quietly had a very solid season, ranking 15th out of point guards who play at least 30 minutes per game in PER. Notably he’s ahead of players like Damian Lillard and Ricky Rubio this year in PER. Past the 26 year old point guard though, the Suns are stuck with mediocre perimeter players like Shannon Brown, Mike Beasley, and Jared Dudley, and Wes Johnson.

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