NBA Coffee Table Talks: Rookies

NBA Coffee Table Talks: Rookies

For this edition of NBA Coffee Table Talks, the staff writers at C&B will give their takes on some of the rookies around the league. We will talk about players like Kristpas Porzingis, Cameron Payne, Jarell Martin (maybe not), and much more!

2015 NBA Draft Towns

Is the NBA ROY race already over?

Timmy: It sure is. Can you even call Karl-Anthony Towns a rookie?  I mean… It’s his first year in the NBA, but it doesn’t even seem fair. Towns just had his 12th game with 25+ points and 10+ rebounds, which is the fourth most in the NBA. Just 2/3 of the way through his rookie campaign he is drawing comparisons to Tim “Old Man Riverwalk” Duncan–one of the all time greats. The only stat that really favors Porzingis is PER–but watch one game, or look at one stat line, and you will see that KAT is the undisputed rookie of the year.

Connor: Timmy pretty much summed it all up. KAT has been heads and shoulders above the rest of the rookie class. Sure Porzingis has had his impressive performance and his stretches where he has looked like ROY candidate, but KAT has been the most consistently productive. I think a lot of people *cough, Timmy, cough* overlooked KAT because he wasn’t able to show his entire skill set at Kentucky. We saw the defense and the post game but we barely ever saw the shooting touch or the play-making ability (thanks a lot Calipari). It’s a no-brainer at this point for me and I don’t think any other rookie can do anything over the remainder of the season to change my mind.

Chris: Can’t argue with the fact that Towns is an absolute beast and has proved that he’s going to be a double-double machine for a long time. If the season ended now then yes, Towns is the ROY without a doubt. Unfortunately for him Kristaps Porzingis a.k.a The Latvian Lion, Godzingis, KP, Zinger is right behind Towns in PPG, Rebounds and leads all rooks with 1.90 blocks per game. So while Towns’ play has been stellar I still have faith in my man KP to make a late season run and further contend for the coveted ROY title. There’s not much else a Knicks fan can hope for this season…

Eric: Kat Kat Kat!!!! He is a monster and has been a monster all year. Kristaps is certainly in the discussion as well and maybe you could convince me that Devin Booker is in the conversation as well. Booker has been awesome, even though the Phoenix Suns might be the worst team in the NBA.

  1. Towns
  2. Gawddzingis
  3. Booker

 

What rookie has really impressed from the get-go?

Timmy: I will use this question to show some love for the Zinger. He walked on to a flawed New York Knicks team and is averaging 14 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. While Porzingis still needs to put on some weight and work on his defense, he immediately made himself one of the NBA’s most exciting players to watch. If you don’t love a good ol’ fashioned Porzingis putback dunk, then you don’t love basketball. To top it all off, he got Melo to share not only the spotlight–but also the ball!

Connor: I’m going to have to go with Devin Booker on this one. He is stuck in a terrible Phoenix organization that has no direction whatsoever, but he has really proved to be a brilliant shooter. Not to mention he is the youngest player in the NBA this season. He has proven to be a capable defender and has even shown flashes of play-making and ball handling. I didn’t think coming out of the draft that he would be able to contribute so quickly.

Chris: Clearly my bias lays with Porzingis as he (as promised) turned the draft day boos into cheers with excellent play over the course of the season. I have run into many Knicks fans that have claimed they knew Porzingis would end up being a stud from the beginning of the season, ironically those were the same people who sent me “fire everybody” texts after New York took KP 4th overall. Interesting.

Eric: I know Justise Winslow does not have great numbers like Towns, Porzingis, or even Booker, but he has been terrific as well from the start. Sometimes it is hard for rookies to come off the bench right away, but he has really adapted to his role in Miami. He is an excellent defender and pretty good on offense, especially when he is taking it to the rack.

He must improve his three-point shooting, but other than that, he has looked really sharp.

Most disappointing rookie?

Timmy: I’ll just admit that I went through the list of rookies and didn’t see a single one that I would classify strictly as a disappointment. They’ve basically all shown promise, which is really the most you can ask in a guys first year. This rookie class has been deceptively great and I think a LOT of these players have potential not only to be in the league for many years–but to develop into legit starting players and All-Stars.

Connor: This might not be a fair assessment but I had pretty high hopes for Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky this year. After Michael Jordan and the Hornets organization refused to take up to six draft picks from the C’s just so that they could grab Kaminsky made me think that he might be a hidden gem. While he has certainly had some good moments throughout the season, shooting 40 percent from the field doesn’t get me too excited about what he has to offer. Sure he can has time to grow, but with Al Jefferson out for almost two months, Kaminsky had a chance to solidify himself as a mainstay in the rotation and, in my opinion, he did nothing to make himself stand out.

Chris: This has been a stacked rookie class from top to bottom and as most of these guys are still teenagers it’s impossible to predict where their play will be at a few years down the line. With that being said I expected a little more out of Emmanuel Mudiay. He slipped a little bit on draft day after playing a year professionally in China. Mudiay is averaging a solid 11.3 PPG and leading rooks in the assist per game with 5.7. With his professional experience I thought he would have been a top 4 scorer for rookies heading into the season, solid play but it just goes to show how talented the rookie pool really is this year.

Eric: Kelly Oubre Jr. only play 11.3 MPG because he has not been very good this season for the Washington Wizards. The team definitely had high hopes for Oubre on the wing to help the team with scoring but he has disappointed big time. He averages 3.7 PPG, but he does shot 35 percent from deep, which is not bad. In the month of February, he is averaging 4.4 MPG and 1.9 PPG because people have came back from injury and because there is no need for Oubre in the lineup.

I thought Oubre was a steal for the Wizards in the draft because it filled a need on the wing to back up Otto Porter Jr., but he has been a huge disappointment so far.

Which rookie is in the worst situation?

Timmy: Uhm, can I pick the Celtics rookies? Sure they are in a great, team-oriented locker room with one of the best coaches in the NBA on a team currently sitting in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference… but they can’t BUY minutes on the floor unless it’s a blow out in one direction or the other. Towards the beginning of the season R.J. Hunter was getting some nice first-half minutes–but despite some promising outings, Coach Brad Stevens has all but cut him out of the roster in the interest of shortening the bench.

Connor: As much of a Celtics homer as I am, I have to agree with Timmy on this one. Now I’m not advocating for all of them to be playing 20 minutes per game, but I think there are spots where their skill set could be helpful. When fellow rookie KAT was putting a hurting on the C’s on Monday night, would it have hurt to throw Jordan Mickey in there and see if he has any chance of slowing him down? Certainly nobody else had been able to stop him, so why not throw him in? If I had one qualm with the way Brad Stevens coaches is that he sometimes gets a little to trusting in his veteran players. Granted, Evan Turner has been playing really well lately, but sometimes the match ups call for different things and the Celtics’ three rookies have something to offer.

Chris: Maybe a better question  would have been what rookie is in the best situation? Philly, LAL and Minnesota all have young talent and presumably solid draft picks in 2016. The young players on these teams are growing and developing together to one day get out of the gutter and contend in the playoffs. Towns and Okafor are averaging 30 minutes per game which is great for their development into All-Stars down the line. I don’t understand why D’Angelo Russell isn’t getting more time in L.A. on such a weak team. Might be time to start playing your draft pick so he has time to grow rather than focus on the Kobe Farewell Tour, just a thought.

Eric: Mario Hezonja should be playing a lot more than he is. He is a very talented young player, that has the ability to put on a show on any given night. He reminds me of a smarter J.R. Smith because they both are really good deep shooters and they also have a lot of confidence in themselves. It is not his fault that there really is not much room for him to play, he is a shooting guard on the Orlando Magic, which is a team full of guard and they just added another guard in Brandon Jennings. The Magic need to play him much more.

My second pick for worst situation would be Bobby Portis. People see now that Portis is starting to play a lot more, but the only reason he is starting to play a lot more is because Joakim Noah and Nikola Mirotic are sidelined with injuries. He is a very good player that could be playing a lot of quality minutes on plenty of teams, but the Bulls need to make some moves this offseason to clear up their heavily crowded frontcourt, so Portis can play more.

Last question, do you think Timmy should apologize to Karl-Anthony Towns?

Timmy: Hey, hey, hey. See question 1.

The short answer is yes.

Connor: If there isn’t a thank you card sent out by the end of the day I’m going to be furious. So many apologies need to be made.

Eric: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSM3w1v-A_Y

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Towns’s Stats As A Rookie

 

Coffee Table Talks: Midseason Takeaways

Coffee Table Talks: Midseason Takeaways

For this edition of Coffee Table Talks, the writers at C&B will talk about some of the biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season now that we are heading into all-star weekend.

What NBA team has exceeded expectations?

Timmy: I absolutely have to go with the Toronto Raptors. I want to give honorable mention to the Portland Trailblazers, but strictly in terms of wins and performance the Raptors have blown my expectations out of the water. I thought they would regress while the rest of the East got better, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

DeRozan and Lowry just keep on taking bigger and bigger leaps every year, and now they are probably the second-best starting backcourt in the whole league. The Raps have the 5th best point differential in the league and the 6th most efficient offense. As it stands right now, I could easily see a Cleveland-Toronto ECF going to 6 or 7 games. I wouldn’t even be shocked to see Toronto make their way in to the finals if they keep playing the way they have been.

The only thing to watch out for is another post-All Star break collapse like last year.

Eric: I will admit, I thought Portland Trailblazers were going to be one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, but they have been pretty awesome this season, plus they are very fun to watch. They have one of the best backcourts in the NBA and they are currently projected to make the NBA playoffs. They got rid of every player in their starting lineup from last season other than Damian Lillard.

No one would have been surprised if the Blazers tanked and became a lottery team, but no one would have predicted that the team would make the playoffs, which could happen.

Connor: Man you guys took all the good answers before I got here. Since you two already took my first two answers I will have to go with the Dallas Mavericks. While I know they have been a perennial playoff team in the Western Conference, I didn’t think they had it in them after they got worked in the “DeAndre Jordan Saga.” After thinking they had one of the most dynamic shot blockers in the NBA, they quickly had to turn face and fill the void with Zaza Pachulia. They acquired Wesley Matthews, but he was coming off a major knee injury. They had a lot of point guards, but Derron Williams was seen as washed up and Raymond Felton was never more than a backup.

The odds seemed to be stacked against them but somehow they have been able to stave off tanking and remain relevant. Pachulia was a borderline All-Star, Williams has, thus far, avoided the mark injury that has plagued him in so many previous season, and Dirk has turned back the clock and been very productive. While they don’t have a chance against the Warriors or the other Western Conference elites, I definitely didn’t see them competing for a possible home court advantage in the playoffs.

 

What NBA team has disappointed?

Timmy: There is a few teams that deserve this title, but none more than the Houston Rockets. Houston came out of the gates playing like garbage, and not a whole lot has changed since then excluding a few decent stretches of basketball. The centerpiece of their team, James Harden, seems to have taken a step back since last year. He has mostly returned to form at this point in the year, but it took him a month or two after living the life of a Kardashian this offseason.

The Rockets have the 5th worst defense in the league, and it’s a known fact that those teams simply do not last in the playoffs. As it stands today, the Rockets are outside of the playoff picture. Even if they do bump the Jazz or the Trail Blazers out, they are looking at a ridiculously tough first round matchup against any one of Golden State, San Antonio, or Oklahoma City.

Eric: A combination of the New Orleans Pelicans and the Atlanta Hawks have been the most disappointing teams this season. It is hard to blame the Pelicans for being bad this season because of the amount of injuries the team has suffered. The most disappointing thing about this team is that I really thought they were going to make the leap this season behind superstar play from Anthony Davis, but both the team and Davis have not made the leap due to injures for the most part.

For the record, I never thought the Hawks would come even close to the 60 win season that they had last season, but I thought they would be the second best team in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks are still a top five Eastern Conference squad, but I just think they have not been very good this year and they have struggled against many teams. I still do not think the team should blow it up, like many rumors have suggested, but they have been disappointing.

Connor: Once again I will go outside the box a little bit with my answer. This may be more of a personal disappointment than anything, but I think the Miami Heat have severely underperformed so far. Coming into the year a healthy Chris Bosh, and impactful rookie in Justise Winslow, and an improved bench made Miami an immediate contender in the Eastern Conference. NBA pundits around the country were saying that they thought Miami would have the best chance to knock off the reigning Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. I thought that their starting lineup was excellent and as long as everyone could stay relatively healthy, they would have a shot.

While Miami is certainly still in the mix in the East, currently holding the fifth seed right now, they have not truly fulfilled their potential. Dwayne Wade and Bosh have done their part, but Goran Dragic has been a disappointment and their bench has been very inconsistent.

What NBA player other than Stephen Curry is making a strong MVP case?

Timmy: I’m going to totally contradict my last answer here and say James Harden–but let me explain myself. This is following a strict definition of MVP as the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER, not the BEST player. All of the other elite players in the league are paired up with better talent than Harden is. My first thought was to say Russel Westbrook, but OKC would still be a solid team because of Kevin Durant. LeBron James, Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Lowry– all of these guys have AT LEAST one other all-star playing with them. Harden is basically alone, and he carries the Houston Rockets on a nightly basis.

Eric: Has to be Draymond Green or Kawhi Leonard. Green is Golden State’s most valuable player and Curry is the team’s best player. I know Green does not have the numbers to try and make a strong MVP case, but he is certainly playing like an MVP on both ends of the floor.

Kawhi has made the leap that everyone wanted him to make this season. He can finally takeover on offense, and he is still one of the best defenders in the NBA.

Connor: I’m going to have to go with Kevin Durant on this one. After an injury-filled season last year, KD has burst back onto the scene and returned to his MVP form. He has the third highest scoring average in the league, the second highest PER behind Curry and he is a borderline 50-40-90 guy. He is crashing the boards at an almost career-high level and has stepped up his defense.

Simply put he can do things that not many other people in the league can do. People may have forgot the sheer greatness of KD because of his injury, but no longer.

Who are your NBA stealth title contenders?

Timmy: Refer back to answer 1; Toronto Raptors. I don’t really think that the Raps are built for a championship run just yet, but it’s not stealthy enough to say Oklahoma City. I think most hoop fans know that, no matter how good Golden State is, San Antonio or OKC could end up knocking them out in a Western Conference Final. If that happens, I think Cleveland or Toronto would have a change at winning in a 7-game series.

Eric: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a stealth title contender, which is crazy to think about seeing that they have two of the best five players in the NBA on their squad. The Thunder have been awesome this year, but they are being overshadowed by the Warriors and the Spurs. If Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are healthy for the playoffs, boy are they going to be tough to beat.

Connor: It’s hard to think of a stealth title contender because the Warriors, Spurs, Thunder and Cavaliers have separated themselves so much from the rest of the pack. If I had to pick one sleeper for a playoff run it would have to be the Clippers. I know that they are the Clippers and will find a way to screw things up in the playoffs, but outside of the top four teams in the league I think the Clippers have the most talent. Their bench needs work and they could get better with a few trades at the deadline, but they could cause some problems.

What is your biggest NBA midseason takeaway?

Timmy: Every time I think the NBA can’t get any better, it does. This season has been fantastic so far, and it is only getting better. I think the overall watch-ability of the NBA has never been higher. Just about every team in the league has SOME reason to tune in and watch them play on any given night of the week. Even in the doldrums of February, the league is turning out exciting game after exciting game.

Eric: This is a popular opinion, but my biggest takeaway is that Stephen Curry is ridiculously amazing. I thought the reigning MVP was incredible last season, but he is even having a better season this year. Along with Curry being amazing, my other midseason takeaway is that the Warriors are probably going to win the title and only end the season with less then 10 losses, which is crazy to think about.

Connor: My biggest takeaway from the first half of the season is that the 2016 NBA Champion is going to come from the Western Conference. Without and pretty big upset, the Cavs are going to come out of the East. While the Cavs  could muck up some games and take a game or two in the Finals, they aren’t beating the Spurs, Warriors or Thunder in a seven-game series. I’m not sure anyone is beating the Warriors at all, but even the Spurs and Thunder have a better team than the Cavs. And while everyone knows I’m not the biggest Cavs fan, this is not me being a hater. The three top teams in the West are better overall teams than the Cavs and that is just a fact.

THE NBA IS AMAZING

Coffee Table Talks: Dwight Howard Trade Rumors

Coffee Table Talks: Dwight Howard Trade Rumors

Dwight_Howard_Chandler_Parsons

 

Connor: Listen, I know Howard gets a lot of crap from the national media. He gets trashed for being soft, taking games off and not having a great work ethic, all of which could be very true. And I know his skills have declined since his days in Orlando. Now in no way am I advocating for the Celtics–yes I am taking the homer angle, deal with it and accept it–to throw the house at the Rockets in order to bring Howard to Boston, but if the price is right, it’s worth a shot.

Why not take a shot at a once-elite post player how can still defend the paint and rebound the ball with the best of them? He can’t do t on a nightly basis anymore like he used to, but Howard can still throw up 36 points and 26 rebound performance, like he did against the Clippers on Jan. 18, on any given night. It all depends on the price tag.

If we can toss the Rockets, lets say, our own 2016 first round pick, the Mavs 2016 first rounder, and maybe a combo of David Lee’s expiring contract and James Young, I would take a flier on that for sure. Give Howard a chance to make an impact in the second half of the season and you are only giving up Lee, who is on his way out of Boston anyways, and an unproven Young. I know people will complain that Dwight will cause problems in the locker room, but I think that the media has overblown how much he brings down a team.

By no means do I think making this move will make the C’s a contender, but it does address some of their most glaring needs; rebounding and rim protection. If the price is low enough, take a shot and see how it works for a few months. If the price is too steep, then back out and find a better option. Danny Ainge has been adamant that he will not waste our treasure trove of assets on a trade that isn’t worth it just to make a splash, and he will have to stick to his word if he is actually talking with Houston.

Eric: Here is my thing with Dwight Howard, I still think he can turn it on some nights and display his premier center skills, but I also think he is poison for a locker room. The interesting thing about Howard to Boston would be that Dwight is going to be the star in Boston, he might not be the leading scorer on the team but he would be the closest thing that Boston has to a star. Dwight has not really worked out well in Houston because he is not the star, and obviously things went horribly wrong in Los Angeles, but he thrived in Orlando when he was the only star.

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.56.24 PM

Timmy: I am definitely interested in the idea of Dwight Howard coming to Boston FOR THE RIGHT PRICE. If the Houston Rockets expect the Celtics–or any team–to overpay for a past-his-prime diva, they are sorely mistaken. The fact that Houston initiated the conversation on Howard instantly suggests that they are only looking to sell him for a return that they deem worthy.

If Howard could be had for a deal like the one that Connor suggested above, I think it would absolutely be worth the Celtics while. Howard has proven again and again that when he is willing to put in the effort, he can be a dominant player in the post. Howard is significantly more efficient at scoring than other Celtics big-men. On 10 shots per game, as opposed to Sullinger’s 15, Howard outscores Sully by 1.5 points per 36 minutes. He also has a better FG% than both Amir Johnson and Sullinger.

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 5.49.51 PM.pngLastly, I’m actually not worried at all about him being a cancer in the locker room. I also think he has gotten a bad reputation due to being placed in SEMI dysfunctional locker rooms and front offices. In Orlando, Howard went through a DeAndre Jordan-like saga, and in Houston he has to play second fiddle to James Harden. I get the impression (based on literally no evidence) that Dwight is a FAIRLY well-liked guy among his teammates.

Howard could be a piece that helps the Celtics make some noise in the playoffs. That could help to make Boston an appealing destination for upcoming free agents and trade targets.

Coffee Table Talks: NBA Trade Rumors

Coffee Table Talks: NBA Trade Rumors

For this edition of Coffee Table Talks, the staff writers of C&B will give their insight on some of the hot NBA trade rumors around the league.

Should the Sacramento Kings trade of Rudy Gay?

Eric Laboissonniere: Honestly, the Kings are not that bad at all and they are in the position to fight for a playoff spot. Yes, it is hard for both DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay to thrive at the same time, especially this year when Cousins has been a legit monster. Cousins is averaging 27.0 PPG and he is shooting 33.8 percent from deep, which is better than Gay.

The Kings probably will not trade Gay just because the team is fighting for that eight spot, and trading Gay would definitely hurt their chances of making of the playoffs. Unless, you roll back the clocks a little bit to when the Toronto Raptors traded Gay and actually got better.

So….. Who says no?!?!? Add a first-round pick from the Thunder in there.

ESPN Trade Machine

Timmy Sclafani: I’ll gladly admit that I don’t find Rudy Gay even half as valuable as you both do. I’ve always thought of him as a SLIGHTLY better–though equally inconsistent– version of Jeff Green. Sure, Gay had a great year last year IN A CONTRACT YEAR. In various categories, including points per game, 3-point percentage, and assists, his numbers have declined this season.

I don’t think Gay is capable of being anything better than a third best option on a legitimate conference final-threatening team. Ideally he should be a fourth option outside of an already-existing big three. Even thinking about his role in Sacramento; Gay is in a pretty ideal situation where he has Boogie, who can dominate the paint AND space the floor, and Rondo, one of the best passers in the game.

I just have a hard time finding where else Gay could thrive. With that said, if the Kings can get a decent value for him I think they should get rid of him. If SAC is serious about making a playoff run–and they should be, for Boogie’s sake–they will need to make some changes before April.

Connor Casey: To Eric’s point, would OCK be an ideal fit if you only think that Gay is a third or fourth option? He could even take on the sixth man role and be the go-to option for the bench unit. Durant and Westbrook can do their thing, while Gay gets his 20-25 bench minutes to pick up the slack while one or both of them rest.

And, if I’m not getting to far ahead of myself here, think about the small-ball lineup that they could throw out to counter the “Lineup of Death” from Golden State. OCK could trot out a lineup of Westbrook-Waiters (or Cam Payne if you’re into that kind of thing)-Gay-Durant-Ibaka. That, in my opinion, is a mean looking lineup right there.

If we are talking about if the Kings will trade Gay, I don’t think they will pull the trigger unless they get some kind of Godfather offer that blows them away. This is the closest the Kings have been to a playoff spot in years and I don’t think they are going to make a major move to trade away their second-leading scorer.

 

 Should the Atlanta Hawks trade Jeff Teague?

Eric Laboissonniere: If the Hawks want to trade Jeff Teague and hand the keys over to Dennis Schroder then this is the trade that makes the most sense to me.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.30.51 AM

The New York Knicks could send Jerian Grant instead of Langston Galloway if they wanted, both players have bright futures, which is why this trade would make sense for the Hawks if they really wanted to get rid of Teague. I do not think the Hawks really need to panic with all this trade talk about Teague and even Al Horford, the team has chance to go far in the playoffs, but they will certainly have no shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers if they face off again in the playoffs.

Timmy Sclafani: I like Shroder, and I’m not blown away by Jeff Teague, so I feel that if the Hawks can get value for Teague they should go ahead and do it. I agree that the Knicks seem like the most likely candidate to go through with this move– I don’t think the loss of Teague will be a huge hit on the Hawks, but I think he would make a big impact in New York.

I will say, I think the team has to choose whether they want to trade Teague OR Horford. I don’t think the Atlanta fans, who were treated to 60 wins and a conference final appearance, would take too kindly to the departure of THREE of their 2014-15 starters (if you include Demarre Carroll). Out of the two remaining, I think Horford is more likely to go than Teague.

Connor Casey: I honestly don’t get why the Hawks are shopping Teague and Horford. Sure they can’t contend with the Cavs right now where they to see them again in the playoffs, but does that justify blowing up their team? Teague is an All-Star caliber point guard who can seriously improve a team who is lacking talent at the guard positions. I agree with Timmy here and think that Horford is more likely to go than Teague. Honestly trade rumor surrounding these two players make me mad (unless Horford is coming to Boston, then I am all about it), so I won’t say any more.

What team really needs to make a move before the trade deadline?

Eric Laboissonniere: The Oklahoma City Thunder, The Boston Celtics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers all should try and make a move for similar players. Each team needs a dynamic scoring wing that can shoot from outside. The Thunder have been searching for a small forward for a long time, the Celtics have Jae Crowder, who has been terrrifc, but the team still needs to add a scorer on the wing that can create for himself. The Cavs need a another shooter on the wing, who needs to be able to play pretty good defense.

Honestly, a Crowder and Avery Bradley trade for Kevin Love would probably make sense for the Celtics and the Cavs.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.50.09 AM

Timmy Sclafani: The Boston Celtics. The Celtics have such a log-jam in their front AND back court, it’s really time to make a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 trade. It’s so hard in any professional sports league to trade a bunch of average players for one really good one, but this is exactly what the Celtics have to do. It helps that they have a ridiculous assortment of draft picks to send in addition to their young, developing players.

Even though I hate the trade that Eric posted above, I think Kevin Love would be the best guy to go after. And I think Love can be had too, despite the denials coming from Cleveland. It’s no secret that Love has not been a perfect in Cleveland, though he’s had his moments, and it seems like it might be time for a change. If he could return to being a first (or even second) scoring option, I think we would see his numbers surge back towards his Minnesota days.

I just don’t want to give up Bradley AND Crowder in a trade though. I think you could get away with just sending one of those guys (preferably Bradley, likely Crowder) along with Evan Turner to help handle the ball, and any combination of Zeller, Olynyk, and Jerebko. Obviously you would need to throw a couple of picks their way too, but they are in win-now mode and really want serviceable players more than anything.

Connor Casey: The Boston Celtics. First and foremost, that trade makes my stomach hurt, so thanks for that Eric. As both Timmy and Eric know, I am not a huge fan of K-Love coming to Boston. I think he destroys our defensive mindset and I just think he is a soft player. If I’m Danny Ainge, which I often pretend I am when I am playing with the ESPN Trade Machine for hours at a time, I would look into Horford before I look at love. The price take would be much less and Horford can be your second-best scorer while also not really decreasing your team defense.

Although Love is the better offensive player, I would take Horford over him 9-out-of-10 times and twice on Sundays. I think you could pry Horford away from Atlanta for Evan Turner, Lee’s expiring and the team’s two non-Brooklyn first rounders. Make the deal Danny!

 

Would Ryan Anderson be a good fit on the Detroit Pistons?

Eric Laboissonniere: Ryan Anderson is a terrific shooter and he could be a good fit on a few teams. Coach Stan Van Gundy would love Anderson’s offense to go along with a pretty good starting lineup.

Timmy Sclafani: Ryan Anderson is one of the guys who seems most likely to be on the move at this deadline, and I think Detroit would be a good fit for him. Detroit could use a little more high-percentage shooting, and Anderson could provide that for them on a consistent basis. It comes down to what Detroit would be willing to give up, but they seem to have some fairly dispensable pieces.

Connor Casey: While I love Anderson’s game so a lot of teams, isn’t he redundant with Ersan Ilyasova already there? No doubt Anderson is a better player, but it seems like Detroit already made a trade to grab a stretch four. Would it be an upgrade? Yes. But does it make the most sense? No.

 

What should the Los Angeles Clippers do with Blake Griffin?

Eric Laboissonniere: The Clippers are not going to win a title with or without Blake Griffin. One big reason is because they are playing in such an tough time due to how good the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are. If they trade Griffin, they need to get back a formidable star who can play on the wing and shoot the basketball well from deep.

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This is the only trade that should be done by the Clippers if they really want to win now. Trading Griffin would not be a good move unless you are getting someone like Carmelo Anthony.

Timmy Sclafani: Do I want the Clippers to trade Blake Griffin? Yes. Should they? Absolutely not. It’s always fun when a blockbuster trade comes down in the NBA, but this would be ridiculous by the Clippers. Griffin has been in absolutely top form between last season and this season, both times being a fringe MVP contender. Players like Griffin don’t grow on trees, and it could be decades before the Clippers find another talent like Griffin.

I agree that Melo could be a good fit if the Clippers are trying to win THIS SEASON, but beyond that I don’t think that trade is good for LA. If I played in the Western Conference, I wouldn’t put too much stock in to a “win-now” scenario with the goliath Spurs and Warriors both seemingly restocked and set to win for years to come.

I think the Blake drama was over-played and I think the Clippers will be just fine. They will be better when Blake is back, but I can’t seem them making it past the second round of the playoffs.

Connor Casey: How about a Jae Crowder-Blake Griffin swap straight up? Who says no?! Alright quiet down everyone it was a joke, leave me alone.

Anyway, I can’t imagine the Clippers trading Griffin unless they are going to blow the team up entirely and start going for draft picks. Chris Paul is still an elite point guard, DeAndre Jordan is a top-five center and, like Timmy said, they aren’t winning a title with or without Blake. If you know you aren’t going to win, why not keep Griffin around and try and bring in a second-tier star during free-agency to try and put them over the top.