2018 NBA Draft Preview

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It’s that time of year again. The first day of summer, yes, but more importantly, it’s NBA Draft night. I think my favorite thing about the NBA Draft is how it happens a week after the season ends. What a novel concept! If only the NFL could learn from that. I guess they couldn’t keep up the illusion that there’s no off-season, then. Anyway, the NBA Draft is great television. There’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s some great suits and some bad suits, there’s lots of fun to be had on Twitter, and there’s terrible Kings decisions. What’s not to love? Unfortunately, a long streak is about to be broken, as this will be the first time in at least ten years where I will be unable to watch the draft live. I won’t even have access to my phone for the majority of it. :(. Local pizza places are lucky that they get the night off. But before you weep for me too much, you should know that my extensive network of NBA sources have already informed me of everything that will happen, so nothing will surprise me. Still, even without the typical drama, there’s still plenty to talk about.

Worst Things the Kings Will Do

  • Draft Michael Porter, Jr. 2nd overall- Back injuries always heal perfectly, especially when they start so young.
  • Drafting Marvin Bagley 2nd overall- Offensive savant, rebounding beast, doesn’t play a lick of D. Man, the Kings definitely haven’t had anyone like that in a while. And if they theoretically did have someone like that, they obviously had a long and healthy relationship with them.
  • Drafting Mo Bamba 2nd overall- Exclusive video of Mo Bamba’s explosive private workout.
  • Not drafting Luka Doncic 2nd overall- Hold this thought.
  • Doing anything- Let’s be honest. The Kings should be either be seized by the league or just contracted.

Players I Like

  • Luka Doncic, Slovenia- Having watched precisely 3 highlight videos, I’m all-in on Luka. By all-in I think he’ll be a very good NBA player, make a couple All Star teams, and be really fun to watch. I don’t want him ruined.
  • Deandre Ayton, Arizona- Strong take, I know.
  • Marvin Bagley, Duke- As long as it’s not Sacramento.
  • Kevin Knox, Kentucky- Fat face aside, he’s a really good modern scorer.
  • Mo Bamba, Texas- I’m always hesitant to buy into workout-hype, but it seems like, if nothing else, it’ll be impossible for him not to be a defensive force.
  • Mikal Bridges, Villanova- Won’t be a star, but is a perfect role player.
  • Trae Young, Oklahoma- Count me among those who think shooting will be easier when he has good teammates.
  • Lonnie Walker IV, Miami- Could be a steal, could be out of the league in four years. In the late lottery I’ll gladly take that chance.

Trades That Could Happen

  • Kawhi to the Sixers
  • Kawhi to the Celtics
  • Kawhi to the Lakers
  • Kawhi to the Suns?
  • Celtics move up to take Bamba or Luka
  • Kings trade 2nd overall for Nene
  • Mavs trade down because they think they’re one piece away
  • Kemba traded to Cavs or Sixers (please not Cavs. LeBron already screwed over one of my college heroes, don’t need him to abandon the other one, too)

Places I Want Doncic to Go

  • Not Sacramento
  • Any NBA franchise no located in NoCal
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Any team that doesn’t have purple as a primary color
  • Not Sacramento
  • Not Dallas

Players I Like Less

  • Michael Porter, Jr., Mizzou- That back, man.
  • Jerome Robinson, BC- Anytime a Boston College basketball player is an unexpected late riser, I’m out 100% of the time.
  • Collin Sexton, Alabama- He’s just like Russell Westbrook, only four inches shorter, way less athletic, and a worse shooter! Sign me up!
  • Miles Bridges, Michigan State- What is he actually good at?
  • Mo Bamba, Texas- If he goes to Sacramento might as well just make him retire tomorrow.

Who Will Be Best Dressed (Could Backfire Since I Have No Idea Who’s Wearing What)

  • Luka Doncic- You know he’ll have that Euro style.
  • Collin Sexton- Purely because he won’t want anyone to say someone was better dressed than him.
  • Wendell Carter, Jr.- Just feel like he’ll have some heat.
  • Any Puma guy- I think I’m on-board the Puma hype train. I, too, am declaring my eligibility for a Puma sponsorship. Don’t know how they haven’t given Doncic a 51% controlling stake in the company to try and sign him, yet. I’m pretty sure every Eastern European baby is born into a Puma swaddling blanket.

Who Will Be Worst Dressed

  • Trae Young- Unless he shaves his head that hair eliminates him from contention.
  • Michael Porter, Jr.- If anyone’s going to try something crazy and not pull it off, it’s MPJ.
  • Donte DiVincenzo- It’s not his fault. It’s just his role as the token white guy.
  • Robert Williams- I’m probably 100% wrong but I don’t see him as fashionable.
  • Jerome Robinson- Just do yourself a favor and don’t draft Jerome Robinson.

Since I Haven’t Mentioned Him Yet

  • Jaren Jackson, Jr., Michigan State- Pretty lukewarm on him.

Teams Guaranteed to Make Smart Moves

  • Golden State
  • Boston
  • Miami

Teams Guaranteed to Make Dumb Moves

  • Sacramento
  • Dallas
  • Kings
  • Orlando
  • Vlade Divac

Late First Round/ Second Round Guys I Like

  • Jalen Brunson, Villanova
  • Bruce Brown, Miami
  • Malik Newman, Kansas
  • Devonte’ Graham, Kansas
  • Gary Trent, Jr., Duke
  • Landry Shamet, Wichita State

Most Perfect Player Fits

  • Luka Doncic to Phoenix Suns
  • Mikal Bridges to Philadelphia 76ers
  • Trae Young to Atlanta Hawks
  • Wendell Carter to Chicago Bulls
  • Kevin Knox to Denver Nuggets
  • Mo Bamba to Boston Celtics
  • Michael Porter, Jr. to Sacramento Kings
  • Jaren Jackson, Jr. to Memphis Grizzlies

Think that’s about all I got. Could be a huge night that shakes up the balance of (second-place) power in the NBA, could be a regular draft without any big moves. Either way, there’s one thing that’s certain: whoever the Kings take is going to be a bust.

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Should the Celtics Trade for Kawhi Leonard?

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Guys, have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Kawhi Leonard, Finals MVP, two time Defensive Player of the Year, two time All Star, four time All-Defense, and top five player in the NBA, is officially up for grabs. He wants out of San Antonio, and the Spurs essentially have zero leverage. And, by saying they won’t trade him to a Western Conference team, there’s really only like three teams with the means to trade for him. As always, one of them is the Celtics.

Would trading for Kawhi be a good idea? Yes, it would be nice to add a top five guy. In a vacuum, if a two-time runner-up for MVP is available in his prime, you pull the trigger a million times out of a million. But we don’t live in a vacuum. There are lots of other variables at play, the biggest being Kawhi’s impending free agency. He can opt out after next season, meaning any deal without a signed extension a massive risk. If you’re okay with renting one of the best players in the league for one year to see what happens, that’s fine, but Kawhi seems pretty dead-set on going to L.A. where he can finally let his “personality” shine. Injuries were obviously a factor, but he just showed he has no qualms in throwing an entire season away. Who’s to say he doesn’t just say he’s still hurt if he gets traded somewhere other than Los Angeles? Or what if he just doesn’t try? It seems preposterous to be talking about Kawhi Leonard, basketball robot, like he’s some petulant child, but that’s what happens when you spend an entire season acting like Dwight Howard when he doesn’t get enough sugar.

But let’s assume he plays 100% and is at least open to re-signing. What would the Spurs actually want from the Celtics? Celtics could have four first round picks next season, including the Kings’, so you would have to assume multiple would be involved. Having lived the lottery-drama life for a few years, now, I think I’d be more than happy giving that up. But the Spurs aren’t some rinky-dink organization, so players would have to be involved, as well. Kyrie Irving is probably the easiest one-for-one trade candidate, but I don’t know if that would really work for either team. It would leave the Celtics without a backup point guard besides Shane Larkin (yes, I know that’s something you can figure out if you acquire Kawhi Leonard), and I’m not sure how well Kyrie would really fit in with the Spurs heavily structured system. Pop has said he’s likely to retire soon. Would he really want to spend the last of his legendary career trying to get an award winning piano soloist to fit in with a symphony? I’m guessing not. Gordon Hayward’s name has been thrown out, too, but I also doubt the validity of that. People will say it would set a bad precedent to trade someone after he played five minutes for your team, but I think players would forget about that if the Celtics wind up winning titles. I really just don’t think the Spurs would want him. The front office has to think past the Pop era. Trading Kawhi for an older, worse version seems like an odd move for a team likely to enter into a rebuilding process. Aside from the various role players that would be added to make the contracts work, that leaves Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Terry Rozier as the most likely Spurs targets. Terry would be the easiest to part with, but who’s to say he won’t be one of the most valuable sixth men in the league next season? Who’s to say Tatum won’t average 18-20 points a game as a 20-year-old? Jaylen took a massive jump from year one to year two. The very player he would be traded for made numerous leaps even when everyone said he was capped out. Why are we just assuming Jaylen can’t do the same? Not to mention both Tatum and Brown are under control for three or four more seasons, as opposed to the likely one year of Kawhi. I know I’m a homer and I know the microwave approach works way more often when it comes to NBA contenders than going low and slow, but this team made it to game 7 of the conference finals and is adding Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Do they really need to shake things up when it’s still unclear what the East landscape will look like in three weeks? Sure, trading for Kawhi immediately establishes you as the top dog in the East, but what about when he leaves and you’re left with no draft picks and young stars? I’m not convinced a lineup of Kyrie-Hayward-Kawhi-Tatum/Brown-Horford beats the Warriors, either.

So, I guess what I’m saying is I’m officially out on a Celtics-Kawhi trade. I don’t want to deal with the headaches that come along with trying to sign a disgruntled star who has a set destination in mind, I don’t want to sell the farm for a rental, and I definitely don’t want to sell the farm when it’s not for a guaranteed championship. So let the Sixers build their SuperTeam. I’m content with going the old fashioned route.

How Ruined is the NBA?

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So the Warriors won the title. Quite possibly the least climactic championship game/series in my lifetime. Total domination. Makes me sick. Sick league, guys. God, the NBA is such a joke. Why should any team ever play another game if they know the Warriors are just going to win in the end. I think I’m speaking for everyone when I demand the NBA put an asterisk next to these last two Warriors titles because they’re too much better than everyone. This would never happen in hockey.

Hey, Kevin Durant. Congrats, guy. You just became the first person to ever win two championships while also winning zero. Must feel great. Imagine a grown man deciding to take autonomy of his professional career? Imagine choosing not to play with Russell Westbrook anymore? God, this sham league was ruined the second he chose to use his legal right as a free agent to sign with whatever team he chose. Can you imagine a hockey player deciding his own personal happiness and quality of life was more important than some bullshit idea of “loyalty,” even though the Thunder would have just kicked him to the curb the second he wasn’t bringing a satisfying ROI? Just makes my blood boil. And signing with a 73 win team? Or any team that had previously won a championship, regardless of how long ago? Couldn’t be me. There’s no such thing as a viable free agency destination because real men stay with the teams that drafted them for their entire careers regardless of if they like it or not, but if there were viable free agency destinations, the only legitimate ones would be Brooklyn, Memphis, Toronto, Indiana, Charlotte, Orlando, Atlanta, Utah, Denver, Minnesota, Phoenix, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, or the Clippers. It’s called making your own legacy, not riding the backs of other, less talented players. Can’t believe a star would leave in free agency. Guys like LeBron or Shaq would never do such a thing.

Don’t get it twisted, though. This isn’t all on KD. The rest of the Warriors are to blamed for ruining the league, too. First of all, Larry Riley needs to be executed. He’s the guy that drafted Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Two guys who like 3s more than layups. While I think all three deserve the death penalty, Riley really needs to go. He’s singlehandedly responsible for ruining this game I love by bringing in the two guys who sparked the 3 point revolution. Every time I see a 3 point attempt, I want to claw my eyes out. THIS GAME IS ABOUT LOW POST BASKETBALL AND PHYSICAL DEFENSE GODDAMMIT!!!!!!!!!!! NOT 3s! What happened to the good old days of 74-61 games where there were no 3s made, no layups allowed, and no fouls called. Everyone’s is so soft these days. Only thinking about 3s. How about you run some team basketball? Maybe a little triangle action? Try having your big guy post up and attempt a bad fadeaway or ugly running hook instead of hunting 3s, playing fast, visually appealing basketball, and taking efficient shots? God, I just hate teams that try new styles to try and maximize their offensive output and take advantage of current defensive strategies. Just bang in the post like MEN and stop worrying about peacocking around after you hit your tenth 3 of the game. Love those Suns teams, though. Nash to Matrix? Couldn’t beat it.

I’m not done with the front office, either. You make smart salary decisions so you have the ability to sign Kevin Durant without gutting your roster? Are you kidding? What are all the bad GMs around the league supposed to do if you’re actually allowed to manage the cap correctly? Old school guys didn’t have this problem, mostly because the players these days are so overpaid. God, if Oscar was making all that money, had access to modern medicine and training techniques, was able to play in today’s game where there’s no hand-checking and you need actual basketball ability, played against this generation of soft, more-talented-than-any-crop-of-players-in-NBA-history-because-people-get-better-at-stuff-the-longer-we-do-them-so-it’s-not-an-insult-it’s-the-natural-progression-of-time players, and was 40 years younger, he’d still be playing today. And what’s up with the core of the roster? Three Hall of Famers through the draft???? What the hell? In my day you had to trade with all the stupid teams to form your SuperTeams. Imagine the Celtics or Lakers having the gall to draft incredibly talented players in non-premium draft positions? Hah. They would never. Red would just fleece some novice GM if he wanted a new star. Real dynasties take advantage of being smarter than anyone else to win.

And don’t get me started on Draymond. The game used to be played with honor and integrity. There were no loudmouthed, right-on-the-edge-of-dirty players when the NBA was great. Guys like Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, Karl Malone, Bruce Bowen, Charles Oakley, Rick Mahorn, Kevin McHale, Isiah Thomas, Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, and Kevin Garnett would never do something so heinous as kicking someone in the balls. Unlike today’s generation that only cares about their own brands, the real legends were so focused on basketball to even know what the human anatomy was. Today’s players have everything handed to them, and they still want to act dirty. SMH.

LeBron’s not off the hook, either. People forget he started all this SuperTeam nonsense when he joined the Heat. Before that, no one in NBA history had ever had three All Stars on the same team. Him and his Banana Boat Boyz are the driving force behind today’s buddy-buddy NBA culture. Imagine being friends with people in the same line of work as you? Or, even worse, imagine being friends with someone despite the fact that someone you’ll never meet or talk to hates it because, for some bullshit nostalgia-driven reason, thinks that you being friends with that person will make it less entertaining for him to watch you? Who would do that? Michael didn’t need friends. He made other people think they were friends, only to betray their trust and shatter them mentally when it was most convenient for them. That’s the kind of emotional manipulation I want out of my G.O.A.T., not seemingly legitimate friendship that, despite the fact that I find him annoying much of the time, actually makes me think I could get along with him if I met him in real life. Your G.O.A.T. is approachable? Please. You clearly know nothing about basketball. Next you’re going to tell me the greatest player of all time passed the ball to an open man underneath the basket instead of forcing up a contested fadeaway with less than five seconds left in a Finals game or something.

Lastly, if you legitimately agree with any of these takes, please jump off a bridge. The Warriors are probably the greatest team of all time. Deal with it. If you’re so upset, go pretend you hadn’t spent the last ten years crushing Ovechkin for never winning so you can feel better about yourself and leave the NBA to the people that still enjoy it. The Finals stunk, but the league has never been better. If you’re under 35 and disagree, I honestly don’t know if you know what a basketball looks like.

Are the NBA Finals Actually Still Going On?

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Remember when there were NBA Finals games on? I don’t! No, seriously, I don’t remember. Someone needs to remind me what happened. How many games have there been? Is the league still ruined or has it been so long since the last game that the h8trs have a new anti-NBA narrative? Is LeBron Jr. in the league yet?

Look, I get it. I wasted my college years learning about media and TV, so I understand the league wants to optimize ratings and put out a quality, fatigue-unaffected product. But three days in between every game? Really? Who does that benefit? I guess J.R. is happy, but that has to be it. I mean it’s not like they need to let this series marinate and build drama. I think we all know what the end result is going to be. It’s honestly cruel and unusual punishment for LeBron, at this point. Every added off-day is another day he has to spend employed by the Cleveland Cavaliers and pretend to enjoy Jordan Clarkson’s company. The NBA should be able to flex these games. The day after each game Adam Silver should call up Steph, Klay, Draymond, and KD and ask them if they feel like trying next game, and if the answer is yes, just move the game up a day. I’m sure LeBron would love to just get this thing over with. You can only be Sisyphus so many times before you break. If the Warriors feel like winning, just let LeBron know beforehand so he can kind of take it easy and leave all these bums out to dry a little bit. Let them know how he feels. Adding all these off-days only lets him build hope, which leads to another 48-minute night, which means his body will break down in 2048 instead of 2050, robbing everyone. Do the humane thing, Adam Silver, and stop putting three months in between Finals games.

Boban Marjanovic Added to the Cast of John Wick 3

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source– Los Angeles Clippers center Boban Marjanović has joined the cast of John Wick: Chapter 3, multiple sources have told Collider.

Representatives for Lionsgate and Marjanović did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chad Stahelski returns to direct the sure-to-be action-packed sequel, which will feature the Serbian basketball star as an assassin, according to sources. His gigantic hands could end up posing a problem for our badass hero. Marjanović stands an imposing 7 feet, 3 inches, and he previously played for the San Antonio Spurs and the Detroit Pistons.

Alright, I’m trying not to overreact, here. I really am. But John Wick 3 is going to be the greatest movie ever made. It literally can’t fail. They already added Halle Berry, Jason Mantzoukas, and beast Hiroyuki Sanada to the star-studded Wickverse. But now the spiritual successor to Andre the Giant? Dear lord.

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I’m a known Wick stan. Before I saw John Wick 2, I ranked John Wick as the third best action movie character of all time. I never updated my list on here, but believe me, I’ve got a running list. And J-Wick is making a run at the McClane crown, which I thought was impossible. And if he can take down Boban? We might have to start a serious dialogue about who the GOAT is.

Boban was born for this. I honestly can’t believe this hasn’t happened sooner. He’s got the look, he’s got the personality, he’s got the star power. He was destined to be a lead henchman/bodyguard/intimidating assassin/giant with a heart of gold. This is a potential film goldmine, and it’s really no surprise that the John Wick team is who discovered it. It doesn’t even matter if he’s a good actor or not. Just stand there and be Boban and it’s a home run. The only concern would be that he’s too nice, but if you just show him some footage of kittens and puppies being abused and tell him John Wick did it, I think it’ll work out fine.

So now the question is how is Boban used, here? We know John’s on the run from the Continental and the entire assassin world, so is Boban friend or foe? I think the easy reaction is to assume he’ll be a bit character used to show the diverse assassin pool and he’ll get quickly eliminated, but I think that’d be a waste. I think Boban starts off coming for John’s head, but after chasing him through some presumably Eastern European backstreets, develops a level of respect and the two form a deep bond. We’ve seen One-Man-Army John Wick before (and it always plays), but how about buddy cop John Wick? Wick and Boban going back-to-back, facing down an army of assassins, then taking out the trash (I’m not worldly enough to know the state of European streets, but I’m going to assume they’re a little cleaner than New York City streets, which are filthy. Yes, I do live in New York City, how did you know? Why yes, that does make me better than you) (Sorry, I’m trying to develop my superiority complex now that I’ve been here a couple months) (The streets are bad, though. I’ve already been desensitized to seeing used condoms on the sidewalk). That’s what I want to see. Then when Keanu wants to hang up the black suit? Boban’s there to assume the mantle and keep the franchise going. Sure, he’d use a more physical, less poetic fighting style, but you can work with that. Maybe ratchet up the comedy and somehow increase the absurdity. Boban Wick makes at least $500 million, you can’t tell me otherwise. I can see the vision, here, and I pity anyone who can’t. Now someone go out and get a extra large shipment of No. 2 Ticonderogas.

NBA Finals Preview

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Finally, some new blood in the NBA Finals. Been a long time since there were two more shocking conference champions, but somehow, some way, the Cavs and Warriors are meeting in the Finals. While leagues like the NHL have to deal with yet another Golden Knights-Capitals matchup, the NBA shows it’s finally captured that fool’s gold known as parity. I, for one, am thrilled to see it.

I’ve done my rant on this before, but to all the mouthbreathers out there who are complaining about Cavs-Warriors IV, what else did you want? If you say Raptors, stop reading this right now and never watch basketball again. If you’re not a Celtics fan (☹️) you can’t be that upset their depleted roster, which was clearly at the end of its rope and flat out choked in game 7, didn’t make it since they would have been obliterated (since we somehow view Finals/Super Bowl/World Series losses as worse than not getting there at all, maybe not a bad thing for the Celtics’ long term reputation??? Always knew Brad had a plan). And don’t hit me with the Rockets if you were someone who was bashing their style of play all year. I seriously can’t understand the hockey guy/90s basketball guy’s mindset when it comes to the Rockets. You hate them because all they do is shoot 3s and manipulate the refs, but then you’re upset when they get eliminated because they were the best chance for a new champion? Huh? And, of course, the Super Team crowd, who apparently just started watching basketball in 2016 and have no idea what the NBA was like in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90, or 00s. But hey, Kevin Durant ruined the NBA, right? The Warriors are the best team in the league, and LeBron is the best player in the league. If you’re unhappy that that’s the NBA FINALS matchup, please die.

Anyway, as for the series itself. Kind of lazy on my part, but there’s really no point in pulling out any numbers or anything, because the Cavs can’t be summed up by simple metrics. They’re terrible, don’t try, hate each other, and are massive underdogs. They also have LeBron James, who, already mind-meltingly great, continues to improve at age 33. It’s not completely far fetched to say LeBron wins two games singlehandedly then the role players show up for one home game and force a game 7. In all honesty, though, that would require the good Jeff Green game, the good J.R. game, the huge Kevin Love (cleared to play in game 1) game, the good George Hill game, and the game where Tristan Thompson can actually stay on the floor against the Warriors to happen at the same time. I think the last time the planets aligned that perfectly Hades released the Titans from their underwater prison to stage an attack on Mt. Olympus (a little Hercules reference, folks). The odds are overwhelmingly slim.

Here’s what we know about the Cavs- LeBron will be LeBron and Kyle Korver will make 45% of his 3s. Everything else is a total crapshoot. Here’s what we know about the Warriors- they have four Hall of Famers in their primes, who, despite not looking as dominant as usual this year, can reach a collective level no team (maybe ever) can match. The Cavs were way better last year and got absolutely demolished. Apathy is the Cavs only hope at making this a series, if we’re being honest. I hesitate to count out LeBron, but I think this will be quick and painless for all parties involved.

Prediction: Warriors in 5