Another week of NBA basketball is in the books. Outside of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals and the Draft Lottery not much happened this week. So, I decided to take the role of GM for 10 NBA teams and decided who on that team I would trade…….let me know how I did!!!
The NBA Draft Order is Set
After much anticipation, we now know who is drafting where June 21st at the Barclay Center. Now be prepared for the endless stream of mock drafts and draft chatter for the next month and a half. Except from me as this is the last time I will be mentioning it.
Mike Budenholzer is the new Milwaukee Bucks Head Coach
Mike Budenholzer is probably the happiest guy on the planet. He was able to leave the Atlanta Hawks dumpster fire he was partially responsible for and now gets to coach one of the best young players in the NBA. That’s pretty good for a guy who led the Hawks to the lottery. Despite all that he did have a terrific 2014-2015 season leading the Hawks to a 60-22 record and an Eastern Conference Final. Forget about the Hawks going on the downward trend for the rest of his tenure. This is the NBA and experience matters. Besides Giannis Antetokoumnpo he also inherits Kris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Malcolm Brogdon so he will have a great young nucleus to work with. Now Budenholzer gets to demonstrate whether all the hype surrounding his coaching skills is legit or merely being in the right place at the right time.
Ten Players Phil would trade if he were the GM
The Charlotte Hornets underachieved in 2018 and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. As the GM I must rid the Hornets of this problem AND get something in return. I already fired Head Coach Steve Clifford and around the deadline I had Walker on the block. Where oh where has the 2016 Walker gone? I have to let him find himself elsewhere and I have to do it fast otherwise he walks for free and I get fired for having three missed playoffs in a row.
Have you seen the way Terry Rozier has stepped up in a big way in Irving’s absence?. There really isn’t that much of a difference with healthy Kyrie running the show and Kryie watching Rozier run the show. What I do know is I have one more season of Irving and if he decides to opt out in 2019 I am out of luck. On the other hand, I can match any offer Rozier receives and he will be locked in at a considerably cheaper price AND hopefully much healthier than Irving.
Whiteside resurrected his career in Miami and at times this past season appeared to be heading back to the grave. In fairness, he did have some health issues but more often than not looked disinterested in playing basketball for the Miami Heat. That includes the playoff loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Whiteside still had career numbers in just about every category and maybe this might attract someone enough to look past the negatives and get a deal done.
Wiggins was the third youngest to score 3000 points for his NBA career and with the acquisition of Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague went from the first option to the fourth option. Everything about his game suffered and that isn’t good. Especially when he is under contract until 2023. Actually, that is a bad thing. Wiggins tried to concentrate on his defense and doing things like set screens, drop dimes and so forth but I ain’t paying a guy 25 million plus to do those things. So he has to go and his contract and ceiling will bring me a freaking haul.
Kevin Love is a very good basketball player. He also has one more season remaining on his contract before the player option he will certainly say no to kicks in. That means he has to go because for as good as he is and was is how bad he can be alongside LeBron James. Actually, it’s because my coach doesn’t use him correctly and how do I tell James this without him firing me because he is also my boss? So, I need to do Love a solid and send him somewhere else so he can return to the days of being a star on an awful team.
Portland Trail Blazers fans won’t like this very much but I have to bust up their backcourt. I know I have been trying to do this for a few seasons now but after watching the squad get swept out of the first round for two consecutive seasons maybe it’s time Blazers fans realize this Damian Lillard/C.J. McCollum thing just ain’t gonna work. I really don’t want to pay 25 million next season to watch them get swept again and while I should be blaming myself for this I will make McCollum and his worst offensive box/plus-minus as a starter my scapegoat. He will have three seasons somewhere else to chuck as many shots as he would like and good luck to him!
Klay has one more season left on his contract and I am going to offer him an extension that will be less than what he could get as a free agent. He should refuse because he isn’t a third option but a second or maybe number one scoring option in the NBA. Now I will have to trade him because I can’t keep all these guys together and pay them what they deserve. It sucks because Thompson plays defense also and a guard like that is hard to find. Someone like say Philadelphia or Boston is going to fleece me but what can I do?
I really don’t want to trade a 24-year-old coming off a career year with three more seasons under team control but these knucklehead online fans want him gone. They say he is inconsistent but he had the least amount of turnovers of his career during a season he had trouble with the coach as well as nagging injuries that never quite healed. His shooting numbers are very good but he doesn’t shoot triples very well. Neither does Ben Simmons but at least he attempts them and does try to improve. It’s tough being 24 years old and having to be the “veteran” while learning the most difficult position to play not to mention playing for an organization trying to lose. Trade him? HELL NO I WON’T lol.
Orlando hasn’t reached the playoffs since 2012. That’s a long time. The truth is the organization is a dumpster fire of epic proportions and I don’t see it getting fixed any time soon. What is coming soon, however, is the end of Nikola’s contract that will make him an unrestricted free agent. What are the chances he wants to stay? I’d say about as good as the Magic’s chances of winning a Championship within the next millennium. So I have to move him and his no defense playing butt. He is coming off his best season in a while so maybe someone will toss me a protected first and maybe a second round pick!!
Gallinari hasn’t played more than 63 games in a season in like forever and I was amazed the Nuggets signed him for as long and for as much as they did. The Dude can shoot when healthy but how often is that? Not enough to justify paying him the 44 million and change I still owe him if he remains with the Clippers. In 2018 he missed a 13 game stretch, then 25 games and finally missing 23 of the final 25 games of the season. The chances of him being healthy in 2019 are the same as Orlando winning a Championship in this millennium. Even if I have to pay most of his salary I must say adios to Danillo.
The Phil Naessens Show
I shared my thoughts about the very real possibility that sports betting will be coming to your state very soon, how that might affect Daily Fantasy Sports and then takes a closer look at the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. If you would like to listen to the program I will leave the mp3 link below.
Enjoy the NBA this week!!