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OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

For discussion of Vanderbilt Commodores men's basketball games and recruiting.

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OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Wed Jun 19, 2019 2:32 pm

What can I say? I'm a Boston Celtics fan needing to put pieces back together and surrounded in real life by people that aren't sports fans.

So, a few NBA thoughts (not all Celtics...)

1) As a sports fan, feel gut punched that Horford is apparently leaving the Celtics. I had talked myself into a scenario where it was OK Kyrie would leave, because it could well be addition by subtraction. Now though... ugh. Horford was likely the most important player on the team the last two years and I'm left trying to figure out how the last 10 months as a Celtics fan could possibly have gone this badly. So is there any hope for my Celtics? With no Kyrie, Terry Rozier and (less importantly) Marcus Morris might have more interest in returning. I do think that Tatum and Jaylen Brown regressed this past year largely because of Kyrie. I might be dreaming, but I am insisting that Hayward was needing all last year to 'get right' and should have a huge bounce back year. Can Hayward return to all star form, Tatum make the leap and have a Hayward-Tatum-Brown core become a contending one? That's pretty much my hope at this point. On a Vandy related note, I have heard the Celtics are trying hard to move up to #4 in the draft to take Garland. Unfortunately for me as a Celtics fan, I've heard that might require putting Jaylen Brown in the deal, which limits my excitement for it. I could definitely get behind a core of Brown-Tatum-Garland. If that happened, I might even start to be able to see the Hayward trade rumors as an investment instead of dumpster fire.

Good Lord, a year ago I thought my Celtics were the best positioned team in the league to win a title after the Warriors' window closed. Now I have to talk myself into whether or not they will even have a title window.


2) Speaking of the Warriors' window closing ... dang ... closing and slamming shut. I can actually see a version of things where Durant stays to delay his free agency until he's healthy, then Durant and Thompson come back in April/May for a miracle playoff run ... but that would be awfully rose colored glasses from GSW's point of view. A core of Green, Curry, and Thompson (if fully healthy) can actually still win titles ... if Thompson stayed compromised instead of torn ACL out I think we would have had a game 7 ... but Thompson is about to get very expensive, which limits what GS can do around that core ... assuming Durant does leave.


3) I do have to chuckle that the Knicks have maybe had an even worse start to the offseason than my Celtics. Kyrie no longer seems to have them as his preferred destination. Even if they do sign Durant it is for a murky return. They don't get Zion ... and losing that lost them any chance they might have had to trade for Anthony Davis. They remain pretty mired in blah.


4) For the record, if I *had* to put money on. team, right now, to win the title next year I'd reluctantly put it on Houston, trusting that they will fail to tear apart their team, though they seem to be trying. But it is shocking that *EVERY* contender has major questions marks for next year. Houston has no bench, bad chemistry, and an owner that's put a for sale sign on everyone but Harden. GS' hopes mostly died with the combo of Durant's achilles and Klay's ACL. Toronto is probably the favorite if Kawhi comes back ... and is at best a 2nd round team if he doesn't. MIlwaukee could win it all ... but their team too is about to get expensive, and they suddenly seem almost as likely to take a step back as take a step forward. Even the Lakers, despite that LeBron-AD combo, have no bench right now and are desperately hoping that LeBron's injuries last year were aberrations, and not the first signs of his age and number of minutes catching up to his body. Maybe that Tatum-Brown-Hayward core isn't so bad after all...
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by EllistonVU » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:45 pm

Memphis just traded Conley to Utah for Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, the 23rd pick this draft and a future other first round pick.

Crowder and Korver are both 10ppg career guys. Allen will probably be glued to the bench or sent to the "G" or be cut or traded.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:06 pm

EllistonVU wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:45 pm
Memphis just traded Conley to Utah for Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder, Kyle Korver, the 23rd pick this draft and a future other first round pick.

Crowder and Korver are both 10ppg career guys. Allen will probably be glued to the bench or sent to the "G" or be cut or traded.
Saw that. Memphis got a good haul for Conley. Two good players plus two picks for a small point guard on the wrong side of 30.

Memphis' recent good fortune (winning the draft lottery) is just more of how disastrous this year was for the Celtics. Next year's Memphis pick and this year's Kings pick were supposed to be some of their best draft assets. Now, Memphis looks on the verge of turning a corner and the Kings pick that was expected to land in the top 5 ended up at 14.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by TwoSaints » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:44 am

Interesting stuff. A few thoughts:

1. Things are going to change a lot in a short period of time. Remember, ten days ago the Celtics were still potentially looking at a team built around Davis, Horford, and Irving, everybody assumed that when Durant got back on court the Warriors would get their fourth title in five years, and nobody thought anything about Utah at all. Now suddenly people are talking about the Lakers as contenders (although I'm extremely sceptical about that), the Pelicans as the franchise with the biggest future, Boston and Golden State as fringe playoff teams without some sort of move, and Utah as a possible Western Conference champ. Crazy. But by July 6th a whole lot more will change.

2. I'm kind of astonished at how quickly people have forgotten about Toronto, the Clippers, and, to a lesser extent, Milwaukee.

3. Houston is a dumpster fire. It's a dumpster full of talent, but still: They fired all of D'Antoni's assistants and low-balled him on his contract, the owner was heard complaining about Chris Paul's contract and there are reports that Paul and Harden seriously dislike each other, and they've been shopping everyone on their roster--especially Clint Capela (they'd jump on it if they could find someone willing to pay Chris Paul $120 million for the next three years, but unfortunately for them Billy King is no longer running the Nets). They just don't feel like a team that can win 16 games in the playoffs.

4. Watch Atlanta and the Celtics today and the Clippers next week. Big things are brewing with those franchises. Atlanta has five draft picks and Boston has four--with three in the first round for each team. I doubt that will last. And if the Clippers can sign Leonard, he won't be alone. If I were them, I'd go after Al Horford to start beside him. Man, would that team have a lot of intelligence, character, and versatility. (On a related note, if the Clippers do sign Leonard I wonder where Danilo Gallinari, who is still a heck of a player, will end up? The answers everyone should be afraid of are San Antonio, Dallas, and Milwaukee. But I'm not sure how that could happen in terms of salary. Dallas is the most realistic, but I hear they're going all in for Horford.)

5. Man, LA really bungled the Davis situation. They weren't really bidding against anybody, yet threw in all sorts of sweeteners that New Orleans didn't need. Ask Nets fans about giving up the right to swap picks--you'll get a more passionate answer than you could ever imagine! And they at least should've held onto Hart, because they have no shooting at all. LA did get the prime-aged superstar in the deal, and you can't win titles without one. But still... The worst part to me is that it seemed like they only realised after the trade that they needed to make it go through on July 6th rather than before the draft. Certainly New Orleans wanted that date, so that they could move the draft pick before it becomes a player. But now the Lakers are having to waive even more players to free up the cap space to sign a max free agent. It's entirely possible that on July 6th they'll only have three players. Idiots!

6. I think it's fascinating that Darius Garland has become the fulcrum of the draft and a whole slew of potential trades. I can see why, but I can also see why some teams are so sceptical: he's got a lot of similarities to Stephen Curry, but he also has a lot of similarities to Seth Curry. Both are real possibilities.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by TwoSaints » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:59 am

Also... I'd be a little more patient with both Boston and Golden State. People overreacted to Boston's potential because they always overreact to potential. But Ainge is a good exec and a patient man. He's still got a good hand and knows it. Boston could easily make a big trade or two and be very tough next year. Or they could easily rebuild around Tatum and Brown and be very good for a long time. Either is plausible. Boston collapsing, though, seems unlikely to me. There's still too much coaching and talent.

As for Golden State... I think Durant's injury and the lost title means it's a lot more likely that they bring everyone back. Yes, they'll need to restock their bench. But they've always been good at finding value among cheap players. But if they do, they'll bounce around all year as a fairly good but thin team and whoever joins them will get a lot of playing time. Then, sometime around April you'll see Durant and Thompson return. While neither will be 100% at that point, I pity the highly seeded team that draws them in the first round of the playoffs. Also... If he develops the ability to stay on the floor (big if), this year could be a good opportunity for Damian Jones to develop. It's hard to see the Warriors keeping Cousins, since they're severely limited in their ability to pay him and will need that money for a wing and a forward. So they're really going to need Damian to play a lot and to play well this year.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by Doreknox » Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:49 am

The Celtics are in flux but they still have a lot of talent and one of the best coaches in the East. Kyrie is gone and I think it will be addition by subtraction. Ainge will find a way to replace Horford via trades/free agency. Hayward did not mix with Kyrie last year but I look for a return to form for him. Boston will be a playoff team in 2020.

Toronto will lose Leonard to the Clippers. They will make the playoffs next year but will not repeat as champs.

Houston will underachieve next season, too. D'Antoni will get the blame but they have roster problems, too. An top coach might push them over the top (Pop, Rivers) but none are available right now.

Contrary to opinion here, a lot of NBA reporters think Memphis did not get enough for Conley.

Golden State will retain Thompson. I think Durant is gone but stranger things have happened and he could return.

Can the Lakers win playing 2 on 5? LeBron is getting old and his body seems to be breaking down. Davis, as great as he is, has never been able to carry a team by himself. The roster is a disaster and Jerry West is not there anymore to rebuild it.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:04 am

Doreknox wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:49 am
The Celtics are in flux but they still have a lot of talent and one of the best coaches in the East. Kyrie is gone and I think it will be addition by subtraction. Ainge will find a way to replace Horford via trades/free agency. Hayward did not mix with Kyrie last year but I look for a return to form for him. Boston will be a playoff team in 2020.
I don't doubt they will be a playoff team ... but I'm adjusting to the idea that they probably are not a title contender, which was supposed to be the case. Replacing Horford is tough. He really was the key to that team. Any success they had against teams like Toronto and Philly last year were largely due to Horford's defense.

TwoSaints wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:59 am
Also... I'd be a little more patient with both Boston and Golden State. People overreacted to Boston's potential because they always overreact to potential. But Ainge is a good exec and a patient man. He's still got a good hand and knows it. Boston could easily make a big trade or two and be very tough next year. Or they could easily rebuild around Tatum and Brown and be very good for a long time. Either is plausible. Boston collapsing, though, seems unlikely to me. There's still too much coaching and talent.
Like above, I know the Celtics won't collapse - anyone saying they are a fringe playoff team or worse is woefully underestimating Tatum, Brown, and Brad Stevens - but the outlook has changed.

Last year people were saying things like "Celtics titles in the next decade: over or under 1.5" ... now that might be the over under for "Years the Celtics are legit title contenders". And not to place to much pressure on a 21 year old, but right now it is hard to see a path for the Celtics making the finals in the future that doesn't involve Jayson Tatum developing into a 1st team all-NBA guy. And while that is certainly not out of the question, it doesn't feel like a sure thing either...
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:16 am

TwoSaints wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:44 am

5. Man, LA really bungled the Davis situation. They weren't really bidding against anybody, yet threw in all sorts of sweeteners that New Orleans didn't need. Ask Nets fans about giving up the right to swap picks--you'll get a more passionate answer than you could ever imagine! And they at least should've held onto Hart, because they have no shooting at all. LA did get the prime-aged superstar in the deal, and you can't win titles without one. But still... The worst part to me is that it seemed like they only realised after the trade that they needed to make it go through on July 6th rather than before the draft. Certainly New Orleans wanted that date, so that they could move the draft pick before it becomes a player. But now the Lakers are having to waive even more players to free up the cap space to sign a max free agent. It's entirely possible that on July 6th they'll only have three players. Idiots!
I don't know what happened in the negotiations and what New Orleans was saying. I think it was a good deal for both teams. Clearly New Orleans got a haul. The Lakers got what they wanted, and kept Kuzma.

Playing next to LeBron and AD will make a lot of mediocre role players look really really good, so I'm not that worried about them being able to fill their roster in a way that works (as long as they do it intelligently, as opposed to doing things like last year when they signed Rondo).

*BUT* the Lakers are going all-in on the idea that they can squeeze 2 or 3 more years of peak performance out of LeBron James. Sometimes in sports, when things go bad for athletes they go bad really fast (Exhibit A: Derek Jeter ... Exhibit B: Kobe Bryant ... Exhibit C: Peyton Manning who went from record setting to borderline pro bowl to downright ghastly in his last three years). If last season was a sign of decline instead of a blip on the radar for LeBron, the Lakers are screwed for a long time. But with all deference to the possibility of the Clippers AD, peak LeBron, and 10 league average guys can go to the conference finals or beyond.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:22 am

TwoSaints wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:59 am
As for Golden State... I think Durant's injury and the lost title means it's a lot more likely that they bring everyone back. Yes, they'll need to restock their bench. But they've always been good at finding value among cheap players. But if they do, they'll bounce around all year as a fairly good but thin team and whoever joins them will get a lot of playing time. Then, sometime around April you'll see Durant and Thompson return. While neither will be 100% at that point, I pity the highly seeded team that draws them in the first round of the playoffs. Also... If he develops the ability to stay on the floor (big if), this year could be a good opportunity for Damian Jones to develop. It's hard to see the Warriors keeping Cousins, since they're severely limited in their ability to pay him and will need that money for a wing and a forward. So they're really going to need Damian to play a lot and to play well this year.
OK. Last one. It will be interesting, especially to see what happens with Durant. Rehabbing that injury, I think the *optimistic* time table for Durant's return is: Returns rusty in the 2020 playoffs. Is 70-80% of his pre-injury self in 20-21. Is back to full strength in 21-22 ... the season where he turns 33 years old. I think KD has several good years left in him, but the achilles is devastating. It is very realistic that KD never makes another all-NBA team. The idea of GS being a tough out in the playoffs next year is real ... but it's just hard for me to see them as a true contender next year. And while the Curry-Thompson-Green core is obviously good enough to win a title, I don't know if its good enough to win a title now that those guys have to be paid max deals and the team has less roster flexibility.

You mentioned Damian Jones. Let's just be honest. We all got a close look at Jones as Vandy fans. If GS is relying on him to be an important player ... they're in deep trouble.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by AuricGoldfinger » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:31 am

Mathguy, where do you see Kyrie going?
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by Doreknox » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:22 am

mathguy wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:16 am
I don't know what happened in the negotiations and what New Orleans was saying. I think it was a good deal for both teams. Clearly New Orleans got a haul. The Lakers got what they wanted, and kept Kuzma,
What happened is New Orleans got a new GM who wasn't afraid to pull the trigger. He has the time to build the roster as he sees fit. I've heard it twice that LA offered the same deal last spring to the Pelicans but they bit on it this time.

Auric, I know you did not ask me, but I think Irving will end up with the Nets or Knicks. He might go west to play with the LAC or the LAL (supposedly, there is a way for the Lakers to be able to pay him.)
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:33 am

AuricGoldfinger wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:31 am
Mathguy, where do you see Kyrie going?
I don't know. Most articles I read seem to think the Nets are the frontrunners. Pretty much everyone seems to agree he's gone from Boston.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by EllistonVU » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 am

Paul + Hardin = no chemistry on the court. You can see it like a sore thumb sticking out. Certain combinations of star players work well. Not that one.

The mock draft updates are all over the map on what is going on with Garland. I noticed that Romeo could go as low as the late-teens or even in the 20's.

The Nets want both Kyrie and Durant? How exactly does THAT work with the salary cap? Are they going to pay the rest of team minimum wage?
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by Doreknox » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:55 am

EllistonVU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 am
The Nets want both Kyrie and Durant? How exactly does THAT work with the salary cap? Are they going to pay the rest of team minimum wage?
The luxury tax kicked in at $119 million last season. For the Nets, Durant and Irving at $30 million each and $50 million left for everyone else. That is very doable and the rest of the team would fit nicely under the cap. It's the same principle that allows LeBron, AD and Kyrie to be Lakers in 2019-20. LAL would still have $10-$20 million for the rest of the team.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by EllistonVU » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:06 am

Doreknox wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:55 am
EllistonVU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 am
The Nets want both Kyrie and Durant? How exactly does THAT work with the salary cap? Are they going to pay the rest of team minimum wage?
The luxury tax kicked in at $119 million last season. For the Nets, Durant and Irving at $30 million each and $50 million left for everyone else. That is very doable and the rest of the team would fit nicely under the cap. It's the same principle that allows LeBron, AD and Kyrie to be Lakers in 2019-20. LAL would still have $10-$20 million for the rest of the team.
10 mil for the entire rest of the roster in the NBA is chicken feed. They would have the worst bench in history. The Lakers bench wouldn't be able to beat the Washington Generals and that is even if Bryce Drew was coaching the Generals.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by AuricGoldfinger » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:27 am

I think the most fascinating story of the next few weeks will be what Daryl Morey does in Houston if this schism between Harden and Paul really is as bad as reported.
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Golden State the year after next

Post by DeefromAtlanta » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:24 am

Say they re-sign Thompson and Durant. Both sit out next year. Golden State tanks and gets in the draft lottery. Golden State gets those two back with Curry and adds another valuable piece. New run starts.
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Re: Golden State the year after next

Post by mathguy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:32 am

DeefromAtlanta wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:24 am
Say they re-sign Thompson and Durant. Both sit out next year. Golden State tanks and gets in the draft lottery. Golden State gets those two back with Curry and adds another valuable piece. New run starts.
I don't think Stephen Curry or (especially) Draymond Green are physically capable of tanking.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by mathguy » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:33 am

EllistonVU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:06 am
Doreknox wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:55 am
EllistonVU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 am
The Nets want both Kyrie and Durant? How exactly does THAT work with the salary cap? Are they going to pay the rest of team minimum wage?
The luxury tax kicked in at $119 million last season. For the Nets, Durant and Irving at $30 million each and $50 million left for everyone else. That is very doable and the rest of the team would fit nicely under the cap. It's the same principle that allows LeBron, AD and Kyrie to be Lakers in 2019-20. LAL would still have $10-$20 million for the rest of the team.
10 mil for the entire rest of the roster in the NBA is chicken feed. They would have the worst bench in history. The Lakers bench wouldn't be able to beat the Washington Generals and that is even if Bryce Drew was coaching the Generals.
On the one hand, you're entirely right. On the other hand, every team with multiple max guys has been doing it for years now, so clearly there are ways to make it work.
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Re: OT: Anyone Care to Chat NBA?

Post by Doreknox » Thu Jun 20, 2019 1:02 pm

EllistonVU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:06 am
Doreknox wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:55 am
EllistonVU wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 am
The Nets want both Kyrie and Durant? How exactly does THAT work with the salary cap? Are they going to pay the rest of team minimum wage?
The luxury tax kicked in at $119 million last season. For the Nets, Durant and Irving at $30 million each and $50 million left for everyone else. That is very doable and the rest of the team would fit nicely under the cap. It's the same principle that allows LeBron, AD and Kyrie to be Lakers in 2019-20. LAL would still have $10-$20 million for the rest of the team.
10 mil for the entire rest of the roster in the NBA is chicken feed. They would have the worst bench in history. The Lakers bench wouldn't be able to beat the Washington Generals and that is even if Bryce Drew was coaching the Generals.
Go tell that to all the NBA writers who are discussing the LAL offering Kyrie a max deal and using what's left for the rest of the roster. Also, you can go over the salary cap and pay a luxury tax, which I am sure a team like the Lakers can afford. Personally, I hope the Lakers stay bad and broke forever.
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