Dominos to Fall From LeBron’s Signing with Cleveland

Over the next 24 or 48 hours, there will be a flurry of moves in the NBA as a result of the LeBron signing. LeBron altered the landscape of the NBA in one day, and there will be ripple effects felt for a long time throughout the league. Here are just some of the things that could happen over the next few days:

Chris Bosh signs a max deal with Houston.
This is almost sure to happen. The Rockets were Bosh’s backup plan all along, and they offer him the best combination of winning and money. The Rockets have to first move Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin to make the requisite space, so that they can sign Bosh, and then match the Mavs’ 3 year/$45 million offer sheet on Chandler Parsons. Everyone will rush to anoint the Rockets as one of the title favorites, but a Big 3 of Howard, Harden, and Bosh is still far away from a title. Where’s the toughness in that trio?

parsons_lhuofKevin Love trade rumors EXPLODE and he probably winds up in Cleveland somehow.
Of course Kevin Love is ‘intrigued’ by joining the Cavs, and then signing there long-term. The Cavs will probably try to offer Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, and some 1st round picks for Love. And the T’Wolves will say no to that. The Cavs will have to think long and hard whether they want to give up top pick Andrew Wiggins to create a Big 3 of LeBron, Kyrie, and Love. Continue reading

Joel Embiid’s Twitter Recruitment of LeBron Is The Most Exciting Thing In The NBA Right Now

Someone needs to make things interesting this free agency, and it sure isn’t LeBron or Carmelo. The most we hear from LeBron comes indirectly from his lapdog source Brian Windhorst. Will he stay, or will he go? We can only listen to all of the ramifications so many times. And Carmelo is no better. Do I really care if Mitch Kupchak opened the door to Carmelo’s limo? Or if Carmelo sat up attentively? It’s all much ado about nothing. For Carmelo, he’ll probably do the least fulfilling thing possible: just take the money and stay in New York. As for LeBron, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen.

So leave it to Joel Embiid to provide us our free agency entertainment. Who knew Embiid was such a funny personality? In the past week, Embiid has decided to accelerate the Sixers rebuilding process. What incredible leadership skills! Unlike Derrick Rose’s ‘too cool for school’ approach to attracting free agents, Embiid is a more persistent charmer, it seems. Continue reading

NBA Draft: Who has the Most Bust Potential?

The NBA draft is a crapshoot. Everyone knows it. Look at the top five or ten picks from any given draft, and you’re bound to find players you either: A) have never heard of or B) forgot existed. For every superstar in a draft, there are going to be at least five guys in the first round that don’t make it more than a few seasons. That’s why there’s a couple approaches you can take to the draft. Maybe you only go for the safest players that you know will make your rotation. Or maybe you figure you can sign those types of guys in free agency and swing for the fences in the draft. That second approach seems more like something a real NBA GM would do. You know, kind of just say ‘Fuck it’ in the draft, and go for the tantalizing freakishly-athletic player who’s never come close to sniffing his potential, but you’re sure he’ll fulfill that potential on your team. Regardless of your approach, there are some guys who seem much more likely to be busts than others, and those are the guys you want to avoid. If you really question a guy’s ability, and are almost always left wishing he had shown just a bit more, but can’t stop thinking of how good he could be, then you’re probably looking at a bust. Let’s take a look at some of the first round prospects in tonight’s draft, rating them, on a scale of 1-10 (1 being a very safe prospect and 10 being Kwame Brown) on their chances of becoming busts.

Andrew Wiggins: 4
If you’re rating Wiggins on the chances that he comes a superstar in the NBA, then sure, he could definitely be a bust by that unrealistic standard. Almost everyone would be a bust by the standard that has been set for Wiggins. He probably won’t be a superstar. But he probably won’t fail either. He’s too athletic to completely flame out. He should at least be a starter in the league for a very long time and be a lockdown defender for many years in the NBA. Whether he’s ever a 20+ scorer, Wiggins should be a big contributor to whatever team drafts him. Continue reading

The Trade for the #1 Pick The Cavs Need to Make

Yesterday, the rumor was Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and the 5th overall pick for the #1 pick and Jarrett Jack. That is enticing, but pales in comparison to what the Magic supposedly offered. The Magic are offering Arron Afflalo, the 4th pick, and the 12th pick just for the #1 pick. If the Cavs are as desperate as we think–doing anything and everything they can to get LeBron’s attention–then this is the trade for them. This trade helps immediately and is also a move for the future. Pair Afflalo with Kyrie in the backcourt, and they have one of the best set of guards in the NBA. Then the #4 and #12 pick provide flexibility. The Cavs could do a couple things here. They could use the picks and a combination that could yield Julius Randle and Doug McDermott, for example. Or, they could trade both picks to move up, and try to get Joel Embiid, the prospect most experts think has the highest ceiling.Or they could use the two picks to make a trade for a veteran. Could they make a package around Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson, the 4th, and 12 pick for Kevin Love. Continue reading

What does Joel Embiid’s injury mean for the Cavs?

Suddenly, nothing seems given in the 2014 NBA Draft. First, we thought Wiggins was a superstar. Then, Parker was the can’t-miss prospect of the class. And then it was Embiid, the younger ahead-of-schedule Hakeem Olajuwon. Now, we’re left with a disappointing Wiggins, offense-only Parker, and hobbled Embiid. Embiid’s injury changes the entire complexion of the draft. He was the surefire top pick before he fractured the navicular bone in his foot. I guess there’s still Dante Exum. But who am I kidding? It’s not like anyone has really seen him play!

The injury to Embiid leaves the Cavs with a few options. It basically boils down to drafting Wiggins, Parker, or trading the pick. Hell, the Cavs could even go with Exum. He’s the prospect we know the least about, and that actually works to his advantage. We haven’t had the chance to pick apart his game yet. It’s worth mentioning that the Cavs could still take Embiid, even the chances of that are pretty slim at this point. Continue reading

Evaluating Two Kevin Love Trade Scenarios

Kevin Love will inevitably be wearing a different uniform at the start of next season. Having suffered through six seasons of mediocrity and harsh cold in Minnesota, Kevin Love is ready to move on. The top priority for Love is to make the playoffs. See, for one of the supposedly ten best players in the NBA, Love has never reached the playoffs. His skill set is undeniable. How many power forwards can consistently put up 25 and 12, and win a 3-point contest? The list begins and ends with Kevin Love. So, that’s why the Bulls, Knicks, Lakers, Celtics, and Warriors are scrambling to put together an offer for Minnesota. Notice that Love’s suitors are all the biggest, most successful franchises in the league. Coincidence? Hardly. Love has one year remaining on his deal, so teams aren’t going to mortgage their future for a one-year rental. Teams want some assurance that Love will re-sign with them after next season. So, it makes sense that the best franchises the NBA has to offer are offering for Love. Of course Love would re-sign with any of those teams. Two of those teams, the Celtics and Warriors, have recently surged ahead of the competition in the Love Sweepstakes. It’s never easy to get full value back for a superstar, so let’s see which deal the Timberwolves should take. Continue reading

Joel Embiid’s Mysterious Foot Injury

This year’s NBA draft class took a big with the news that Joel Embiid suffered an injury yet to be identified to his foot. There’s a chance he may have a broken foot, after recovering from a spinal stress fracture that forced Embiid to miss the NCAA tournament. During Embiid’s lone season at Kansas, he struggled with injuries to his knee and back, the two most serious parts of the body an athlete can injure. Embiid was the likely top overall pick, but that could change once the severity of his injury is revealed.

Continue reading