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NBA 2017-18: A Tale of Two Conferences


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42 minutes ago, Bucfan56 said:

I've heard this whole "cheated the system" argument about the Warriors before, yet I've never heard a good explanation for exactly HOW they cheated the system. Incredibly good luck and timing really isn't the same thing as "cheating" the system. 

I don't think they cheated anything.  Pre-KD they built themselves very organically.  Got some luck with how some players, turned out, of course, but that's part of the game.

 

I don't see "cheating" with KD but it still broke the league.  They exploited a broken system.  If there's any way to fix it, I hope it's done.

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LeBron going to the Warriors would cause two likely scenarios:

 

1) It becomes the big three part two and Kaly Thompson and Draymond Green get moved out. Especially if LeBron insists he get a max deal. Green goes to the Lakers and beats up on the Warriors every chance he gets. Cleveland becomes a middle of the pack team in the East. 

 

2) LeBron plays ball and everyone on the Warriors stays. NBA refs will let LeBron, KD and Green get hacked to ribbons before calling fouls, just to make things somewhat even for the other teams. Cleveland is still a middle of the pack team because the Nets pick is still a rookie, not a superstar. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, kimball said:

If LeBron wants to beloved and win more titles go for the minimum on any team besides GSW, LAL, Boston or SA with a core that's on the verge and win them a championship. 

 

LAC?

OKC?

MILW?

MIN?

PHIL?

 

Well, Embiid "recruited" him a couple of years ago, and he is BFF with Simmons, and the Sixers supposedly have unlimited money, so...

 

Of course, if I was him, I'd demand that I had my own personal training staff and doctors, separate from the team's.

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The line between fans and the field/court of play has been too blurred.  When you think about Monica Seles or the Royals first base coach at that White Sox game, I think any player, coach or official is within their rights to deck a fan on the field.  The leagues are hesitant to take that approach, as they want fans to feel that they are part of the game.  I don't think Westbrook's going to be disciplined for this.  But if it were up to me, he could have knocked that fan out with no discipline as well.

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Just now, OnWis97 said:

The line between fans and the field/court of play has been too blurred.  When you think about Monica Seles or the Royals first base coach at that White Sox game, I think any player, coach or official is within their rights to deck a fan on the field.  The leagues are hesitant to take that approach, as they want fans to feel that they are part of the game.  I don't think Westbrook's going to be disciplined for this.  But if it were up to me, he could have knocked that fan out with no discipline as well.

 

I don't think we're there yet.  99.99999998% of fans know better than to breach the players' domain.  Anytime something like the above video occurs, I can't help but believe that alcohol was involved.  I would hope most players understand that, and considering that the Malice in the Palace is something modern stars grew up watching, the lessons from that event's fallout should be imbued across the league's collective roster, both formally and unconsciously.

 

 

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If you had asked me a year ago, I would say that Lebron stays in Cleveland. Now, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he's gone. 

 

I think if he wants to compete, the Lakers are out of the question. They're just too far away, plus they have to run directly into the Houston and Golden State gauntlet. 

 

Although he's still in his prime, I think he's too old to jump on a team where he would have to start from the ground up, even if other star players would join him. 

This rules out teams like:

Atlanta

Orlando

Memphis

Detroit

Chicago

Brooklyn

Dallas

Indiana

LA Clippers

Phoenix

Sacramento

Utah

 

Other teams worth considering:

 

New York (big market, desperate for success, star player in Porzingis)

 

Charlotte: it's a long shot, bu they've got a star in Kemba Walker, plus the MJ connection.

 

OKC: What if they George walk and then bring in Lebron?

 

New Orleans: I'm not sure how it would get done money wise or if it's even possible, but he, Boogie and Davis? Wow.

 

Minnesota: Too much money tied up. I'm sure it could be worked, but I don't see it.

 

Portland: Already boast one of the league's best back-courts. 

 

Toronto: Would instantly make them the team to beat in the East, but similar to Minnesota, some shuffling would be needed. Impossible? No, but would be way out of left field. 

 

Washington: Like Toronto, this would vault them into elite team status.

 

Milwaukee: Like Toronto and Washington, but would be easier to get done financially. 

 

Denver: Close to contention, and adding Lebron would do it. But again, he'd have to run directly through the GS/HOU/SA buzzsaw.

 

And then there's the usual suspects: 

San Antonio

Houston

Miami- Solid core, but I think Lebron wants something different.

 

I just don't see Golden State happening.  

 

I have a very strong feeling about Philly. Young team, rising very quickly. Tons of cap space, already with 2 of the East's best players. 

 

 

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There’s no chance he goes to most of those teams. Charlotte? MJ is enough of a competitive psycho that if he somehow managed to make  LeBron sign on the dotted line he’d  then gut the team just to make sure LeBron wouldn’t reach him. Plus he wouldn’t sign someone so outspokenly pro-player considering how pro-owners he is.    I think he’ll go Lakers or Rockets

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59 minutes ago, Kaz said:

Celtics will sign Greg Monroe for 1 year, 5 mil

 

Pretty good signing by the Celtics; I thought he was gonna go to the Pels

Nice!

 

He was at the top of my list for guys I was hoping Celtics could pick up with that DPE. 

Should be a good enough replacement for Hayward, that takes some pressure off Kyrie.  

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3 hours ago, anythinglogos said:

There’s no chance he goes to most of those teams. Charlotte? MJ is enough of a competitive psycho that if he somehow managed to make  LeBron sign on the dotted line he’d  then gut the team just to make sure LeBron wouldn’t reach him. Plus he wouldn’t sign someone so outspokenly pro-player considering how pro-owners he is.    I think he’ll go Lakers or Rockets

 

Agreed, they just didn't fall into the 'super far away from contention' category because of Kemba Walker and some other pieces, but yeah there's no way he goes there. 

 

How will the Rockets afford him though?

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4 hours ago, tigerslionspistonshabs said:

If you had asked me a year ago, I would say that Lebron stays in Cleveland. Now, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he's gone. 

 

I think if he wants to compete, the Lakers are out of the question. They're just too far away, plus they have to run directly into the Houston and Golden State gauntlet. 

 

Although he's still in his prime, I think he's too old to jump on a team where he would have to start from the ground up, even if other star players would join him. 

This rules out teams like:

Atlanta

Orlando

Memphis

Detroit

Chicago

Brooklyn

Dallas

Indiana

LA Clippers

Phoenix

Sacramento

Utah

 

Other teams worth considering:

 

New York (big market, desperate for success, star player in Porzingis)

 

Charlotte: it's a long shot, bu they've got a star in Kemba Walker, plus the MJ connection.

 

OKC: What if they George walk and then bring in Lebron?

 

New Orleans: I'm not sure how it would get done money wise or if it's even possible, but he, Boogie and Davis? Wow.

 

Minnesota: Too much money tied up. I'm sure it could be worked, but I don't see it.

 

Portland: Already boast one of the league's best back-courts. 

 

Toronto: Would instantly make them the team to beat in the East, but similar to Minnesota, some shuffling would be needed. Impossible? No, but would be way out of left field. 

 

Washington: Like Toronto, this would vault them into elite team status.

 

Milwaukee: Like Toronto and Washington, but would be easier to get done financially. 

 

Denver: Close to contention, and adding Lebron would do it. But again, he'd have to run directly through the GS/HOU/SA buzzsaw.

 

And then there's the usual suspects: 

San Antonio

Houston

Miami- Solid core, but I think Lebron wants something different.

 

I just don't see Golden State happening.  

 

I have a very strong feeling about Philly. Young team, rising very quickly. Tons of cap space, already with 2 of the East's best players. 

 

 

Regardless of the trades within the next week before the deadline, half the league will be over the cap going into free agency.

http://www.spotrac.com/nba/cap/2018/

 

On your list of "considerations":

Portland: They have 30% of their cap space on Evan Turner, Mo Harkless, and Meyers Leonard.  Plus Nurkic is a RFA.

Charlotte:  The Batum and Marvin Williams contract put them in jeopardy of them in the luxury tax. MJ cannot afford to pay the tax.

Washington: May have a luxury tax bill of $24M w/o doing a thing

Denver: Jokic has just a #1.6M team option, but they're set to pay the tax too.

New Orleans: Even if the do not resign Boogie, their next max contract puts them in the tax pool

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LeBron will be a Laker. There's just too many reasons for it to happen.

 

> $52 million in salary coming off the Lakers' books this summer, plus any additional room they can create by unloading Clarkson's contract (~$11 million) in the trade market. Enough to give LeBron his max of $35 million (10+ year vet) plus Paul George or somebody (7-9 year vet) close to their max of $30 million. Or LeBron takes the paycut and star #2 gets their full max. Or they both take less money. However they get it done, after adding their two stars and shedding the needed salary (probably having to package Ingram or one of their other C-list prospects to make it worthwhile for the other guy), the Lakers become LeBron, star #2, Lonzo Ball, Kuzma (I guess), and a bare cabinet - plenty of room for LeBron to get his guys in there on ring-chaser contracts. And they would still have Deng's contract to balance salary in a trade for another player later on, assuming they have the assets left to make that happen.

 

> Gets to etch his name in Lakers lore before he's done, especially so if he's able to win a championship there, a la Wilt Chamberlain. The Lakers are *the* NBA franchise. Same reason 33-year-old star baseball players love signing with the Yankees.

 

> The networks and entertainment outlets would sell their souls to make it happen. ESPN has been scrapping for something, anything to report about Lakerland the past few seasons. LaVar Ball, LaVar Ball's son, LeBron, LeBron's hand-picked star free agent buddy, and LeBron's hired guns all under the same roof, with Magic Johnson running the show and Los Angeles being the setting? ESPN would get so hard that they wouldn't even want to play with themselves, for fear of snapping it off like a twig. LeBron's all about the narrative and entertainment angle. See 'The Decision' and that pandering bull**** 'I'm Coming Home To Cleveland' thing.

 

> Still on the entertainment/drama aspect, this gives the west a second superteam come playoff time, and a potentially worthy challenger for Golden State. LeBron's not going to catch Jordan's six titles, and he's *never* had the kind of season that matches up with prime Jordan individually (from '88 until his first retirement Jordan was both THE BEST offensive player and THE BEST defensive player in the league). The Jordan comparisons are a dead topic at this point. LeBron almost certainly knows that, even if he doesn't say as much. The best he can do at this point is spoil Golden State and maybe get another title for himself.

 

> While we're on the subject, LeBron has a major Spike Lee complex and wants to segue into a film/showbiz career after he's done playing. No better place to get that going than LA and the situation I just described.

 

> He already owns a home there, by the way.

 

The only reason for him to Golden State is to ring-chase to try and catch Jordan, even though he's never had as good of a year and he would be absolutely reviled by non-Warrior fans. The league and media as a whole might turn on him, probably throwing asterisks on those titles. Can't see him pulling that.

 

I can't think of any good reason for him to go to Houston, assuming Houston could even find a way to bring him in. Houston with LeBron makes things closer but the Warriors are still the favorite. Off the court, LA is by far the best option. If LeBron only cares about farming championships, Golden State is the best option. If he wants control, LA is a better option. If he wants to challenge Golden State, putting his own thing together in LA might well be the better option, since they're starting with much less committed salary and aren't jammed up the ass with Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, and P.J. Tucker's contracts, plus their two existing stars, one of which doesn't play any defense.

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I’m not sure why he’d want to go to the lakers where he’d immediately be in Kobe’s shadow, even though he’s retired. Their rivalry (whether real or just media created) was so fierce that it wouldn’t make sense for him to go there, despite it making sense for every other reason. 

 

I dont know if Phila would want him (would it hurt the development of their 2 stars and 2 or 3 other promising players?) but if he wanted to go there, how do you say no? Don’t underestimate the relationship he has with Ben Simmons. 

 

If I’m him, I’m steering far away from here, but crazier things have happened. New York is an interesting one, because being the guy to return the knicks to the top after decades of irrelevance (save for the starks / Ewing era) would be a million times bigger than wining it for Cleveland. 

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1 hour ago, BringBackTheVet said:

I’m not sure why he’d want to go to the lakers where he’d immediately be in Kobe’s shadow, even though he’s retired. Their rivalry (whether real or just media created) was so fierce that it wouldn’t make sense for him to go there, despite it making sense for every other reason. 

 

I dont know if Phila would want him (would it hurt the development of their 2 stars and 2 or 3 other promising players?) but if he wanted to go there, how do you say no? Don’t underestimate the relationship he has with Ben Simmons. 

 

If I’m him, I’m steering far away from here, but crazier things have happened. New York is an interesting one, because being the guy to return the knicks to the top after decades of irrelevance (save for the starks / Ewing era) would be a million times bigger than wining it for Cleveland. 

 

Right. That Lakers roster makes the Cavs look like the '91 Bulls, plus the Cavs are in the weaker conference. Lonzo? Come on. At least in the East, he can run through the playoffs and only have to face the Warriors or Rockets in the Finals. The Warriors are going to be the league's juggernaut for the next decade. He's going to have to build the Lakers from the ground up. 

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What rivalry? They never saw each other in the playoffs or had any ill will that I can recall. Come next fall Kobe will be two years removed from the Lakers and it will have been half a decade since the Lakers sniffed any kind of success with him. Nobody is casting a shadow in LA right now.

 

Philly is probably in 2nd place to LA, but what can they offer that LA can't? Better prospects? Maybe, but LeBron's not playing for a bright future, he needs a franchise capable of putting something together that can contend immediately. LA is in a better position to do that - the Lakers name has cachet and LA is an easier sell for pretty much everybody. Lonzo may have a wonky outside shot but Ben Simmons has no outside shot so he'll have a hell of a time transitioning to an off-ball role with LeBron on the team.

 

Barring a miraculous firesale over the next few days (or unless I'm missing something important), New York doesn't have room for LeBron. And even they did, LA can offer everything that New York can, with the added bonus of the franchise not being a toilet for the past two decades.

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