NBA Mock Draft 3.0

nba draft

With the NBA Draft hours away, New York City is jamming with photographers, limos and young men in suits waiting to hear their name called and their lives change forever. Good luck and best wishes to them all. Back in 1993 after winning the 9-10 year old championship I just knew this would be me one day but then I saw Arthur Agee and William Gates and thought nah they can have the hoop dreams, I’ll just play football or become a genius. Fast forward 21 years later we are almost ready for the 2014 NBA Draft. As in my previous mock drafts, I will only be doing the lottery picks so why not one more mock before we hear commentators and fans cheering for their favorite teams.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

I think Dan Gilbert will pull a Jerry Jones and go with his guy Andrew Wiggins even though his management team wants Parker. Either way you will get a centerpiece for your organization. I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade this pick but if they don’t, Andrew Wiggins’ upside on both ends of the floor may be too good to pass up. Furthermore if Anthony Bennett comes back in better shape and not as nervous he could be another addition because let’s be real he still a rookie.

2. Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, Duke

Jabari has already stated that he would love to play for the Bucks which probably made the owner’s ears ring like the Liberty Bell. He wouldn’t be far from home which is Chicago and he will be teamed up with the Greek Freak which could become a nice frontcourt with a healthy Larry Sanders.

3. Philadelphia 76ers- Dante Exum, Australia

Philly gets their 1B prospect in Exum. Pairing him up with Michael Carter-Williams will provide tremendous amounts of length on the wing and can give backcourts nightmares. However, this could be the pick that seals the fate for Michael Carter-Williams. I wouldn’t trade him at all. I would keep him and build a backcourt teams should be afraid of.

4. Orlando Magic- Noah Vunleh, Indiana

Now that the first three picks are over let’s begin with the other prospects. What’s interesting is that if Noah stayed in school and Exum went to college they could have been teammates. But that was then and this now and Orlando adds a big man to help out Vucevic. Affalo has been traded so they could in other directions such as Marcus Smart or Joel Embiid. This pick could cause a domino effect that only the sugar company can package up. Other options could be Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid, Elfrid Payton or trade.

5. Utah Jazz- Joel Embiid, Kansas

What was once the potential number one pick has slipped in the draft and maybe even further after reports from Chad Ford of ESPN stating that there may be more problems with Embiid besides his back and foot. Is this just a stunt to push teams away or is this facts only? We don’t know as of right now but when healthy he can be one of the better rim protector and can create a formidable frontcourt with Kanter and Favors.  Other options could be Vunleh and Julius Randle.

6. Boston Celtics- Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

I know they said there were in love with Aaron Gordon but Danny Ainge was a point guard who loves point guards so why not draft a point guard. He could play alongside Rondo now or he can be the insurance policy in the event that Rondo leaves next year. Nevertheless you are getting a combo guard that can play both ends of the floor and has the tenacity of a bull chasing a matador.  Other options are Aaron Gordon, Joel Embiid, Noah Vunleh or trade.

7. Los Angeles Lakers- Elfrid Payton, Louisiana-Lafayette

This will be the first of many shockers in this draft, I presume but Elfrid Payton has skyrocketed up the charts like a female pockets after she wins a child support case with a rich person. He has impressed in all of his workouts. He was third in NCAA in free throws attempts so he gets to the basket. At 6’4 with excellent hands, acceleration, quickness and athleticism he could be a great pick and cheap replacement for Steve Nash who is stealing by the way. Other options are Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon, Joel Embiid or trade.

8. Sacramento Kings- Julius Randle, Kentucky

Julius has had the NBA body since high school and now he will get the chance to show it as he joins a frontcourt of Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. He provides a low post presence and can create offense for others. Sure his foot may have caused him to drop a couple of spots but Sacramento with good coaching and a cohesive environment can shock the NBA this year. Elfrid Payton would be an awesome pick here as well but with resigning Isaiah Thomas maybe they go in other directions like a trade.

9. Charlotte Hornets- Doug McDermott, Creighton

Dougie McBuckets gets his chance to continue his reign of a wicked jumpshot that only Biggie could imagine with young talent such as Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Al Jefferson. If McDermott can teach Michael how to shoot, holy toledo. He’s a great 2 guard that can shoot from anywhere in the gym and can create instant offense in the event they try to double team Al Jefferson.

10. Philadelphia 76ers- Aaron Gordon, Arizona

With the second pick in the 1st round, Philly selects versatile big man in Gordon. He fills the need at 4 and can pose a defensive force with Nerlens Noel. He may be 6’9 but he has excellent foot speed and ability of a wing player.  In my personal opinion if Philly messes this trade everyone should be fired. 7 picks in total now I know they won’t use them off they can easily be put as trade bait for future 1st rounders in the years to come but the addition of Exum, Gordon and Noel could be the jumpstart that Philly fans need to see.

11.  Denver Nuggets- Zach Levine, UCLA

This may be the second shocker of the first round but Zach Levine has seen his portfolio rise in the past couple of weeks. He’s 6’6 with handles and has crazy bounce. He could even come off the bench as a 6th man playing PG. With the recent trade for Arron Affalo, Levine might be able to see time quicker than anticipated. Other options could be Dario Saric, Adrien Payne, Nik Stauskas or another trade.

12.  Orlando Magic- Tyler Ennis, Syracuse

After bypassing a PG with the 4th pick, they couldn’t afford to do that with the 12th pick so they select freshman sensation Tyler Ennis. Tyler Ennis may not be the fastest guy on the court but he possesses intangibles that are essential for the development of a point guard. This could very well change if Orlando goes with a PG like Smart or Exum with the 4th pick in the event that happens look for names like Adrien Payne and Dario Saric, Rodney Hood or James Young.

13. Minnesota Timberwolves- Dario Saric, Croatia

We all know Minnesota loves to draft international prospects such as Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and others so why not add another one in Dario Saric. He just signed a new deal with his team overseas which will prohibit from playing in the NBA for at least 2 years but at 6’10 with a jumpshot and handles he could be another Danilo Ganillari or Tskitivili(what a mistake Denver made that year). Nevertheless he provides great upside to a team that will need all the help it can get once Kevin Love is gone.

14. Phoenix Suns- Nik Stauskas, Michigan

What does a young team like Phoenix need? Point Guards.. Check. Big men that can shoot..check how about a shooting guard that can shoot. Enter door number one we have Nik Stausakas, 6’6 sniper that hails from Michigan but is ready to shoot the lights out of the gym. I can envision a young Petrovic (RIP) with this guy and if that happens lock up the women and children because Phoenix is making a run for it. Other options could be James Young, Zach Levine, trade or Gary Harris.

For the last pick of the draft, whoever that team is shall select Isaiah Austin. I know he can’t play competitive basketball anymore but what a gut-wrenching story. I know it’s not the end because it is the beginning of something new. We see this happen all the time like Eric LeGrand getting drafted and many others so why not end the night with a moral boost.

On that note, Cleveland Cavs you are on the clock….

I’m taking my talents to………..

lebron james

It was all good just a year ago. Lebron wins his 2nd ring. Lebron is king of the basketball world. He is in discussion as the greatest small forward of all-time. He was on the verge of a three peat but the San Antonio Spurs said ‘I’m gonna protect this house’   As of this morning, LeBron James told the Miami Heat upper management that he is opting of his contract and will become a free agent.

Free agency went from 0 to 100 nigga real quick. Real quick whole NBA on some real shit.  LeBron was due $20.6 million this year as part of the 6 year/ $109.83 million deal he signed with the Heat.  I mean they have been talking about this all year but it was just barbershop talk; you know the drunk talk or high talk you have with your friends. But now social media has gone wild with the LeBron memes, GroupMe chats were on fire as the discussion began like we were on the set of ESPN.  The running joke is that I work for ESPN but what if i told you (morhpeus voice) that I had a phone interview back in 2009. Of course nothing turned from that but back to the man of the hour, LeBron James or as Mark Jackson would say “mama there goes that man”.  Almost half of the league as of right now will have cap space with some intriguing teams like the Lakers, Cavs, Bulls and others. Now LeBron is once again the prize fish of free agency like he was in 2010.

Before everyone starts to play GM and say that he’s coming to their team just know even though LeBron will be a free agent doesn’t mean that his career with the Heat is over. In my opinion, this is the ultimatum to GM Pat Riley either you improve the team or I’m out. The thing about ultimatums is if they don’t do anything will LeBron really leave. For the other teams in the NBA they hope he does.  Under the new bargaining agreement, Miami can offer him a 5 year deal worth about 115 million while a new team can only offer a 4 year/ 85 million deal. So that’s a difference of about 30 million, is that enough incentive for LeBron to leave or nah? If it he does leave then he’s back to rebuild a legacy mode like he was playing 2K. LeBron opting out is just allowing him to weigh his options. The media was in a frenzy when his wife sent a tweet, “We are coming home” regarding his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

Let’s face it, Dwyane Wade’s prime is coming to a close and Chris Bosh at times pulls a David Blaine and disappears from games. What’s interesting is that they both have the options to become a free agent as well. Maybe this is a scheme to opt out of their current contracts so they can sign new contracts at a discount rate so they can bring in new talent. Because if they stay with their current salaries, then Miami will be strapped for cash and won’t be able to help out the team. Other factors to consider is that Ray Allen will be 39 in a few weeks, Shane Battier retired, Mario Chalmers can leave as could Udonis Haslem and Birdman. There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle and only person can put this together; the slick hair back man known as Pat Riley.

Even though their roster is a little older the fact remains that they went to 4 straight NBA Finals and successfully won 2. That’s not a small feat by any means but teams are getting younger, teams are becoming more financially savvy and scouts are really becoming the eyes and ears of an operation. It would be a shame to see LeBron leave at such a critical time, but if Pat Riley doesn’t deliver on his word then why should he.

If LeBron does resign with the Heat it will be a 5 year deal worth about $123 million but he would be 35 when that contract is up. Would he retire after this or keep playing? Would he earn another big payday at 35? If Kobe can do it, why not LeBron. Whatever LeBron decides to do it will the first story on every news channel in the world.  Will he leave 30 million on the table or is another 5 years with the Heatles.

So where could he go?????? According to Spotrac, only five teams beside the Heat will have the cap space to offer James the maximum without making any other roster moves: Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. They are other teams that could get involved like the Rockets, Wizards, Cavaliers and the rest of the whole NBA but they will have to make roster cuts some tougher that others but for LeBron James anything is up for grabs.

Philadelphia won only 19 games last year but Thursday could speak volumes of what the future holds for them. They have 7 picks in Thursday’s draft including the 3rd and 10th pick which could turn into 2 instant starters like Dante Exum, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and don’t forget they also will have Nerlens Noel.  After Thursday night, Philly can be a team on the come up and could even be enticing for the King to begin a new reign of terror.

I was speaking the Steven Cook, the East Coast spokesperson for the Dallas Mavericks (just joking) and he said, why would we want him we beat him the Finals then he said, sike i’m bullshitting hell yeah bring him on so he can learn how to shoot a jumper like Dirk and with Monta Ellis and company and an underrated coach in Rick Carlisle they could be instant contenders. LeBron has stated that the Mavericks are ‘probably the reason why I am who I am today’ which  would be an instant boost to the Mavs, but it’s the task of getting out of the daunting Western Conference that poses the tougher challenge then winning the chip with all the improvements the conference plans to make. Would Cook wear a LeBron James Mavs jersey? So about those Utah Jazz…. next.

Then comes the Tinseltown Lakers with recruitment from the Laker greats starting with Magic Johnson, Jack Nicholson, Diahann Carroll and others that will try their damnest to get LeBron to come to the city that Magic built. Would Kobe be second fiddle to LeBron? Is there enough room in the stadium for both of their egos?  Will Kobe still be Kobe? Can he remain healthy after 2 major injuries? Is 35 really 35 or did he go back into the DeLorean to 2002 and bring his fro and rap album with him. Even with LeBron, I don’t see them rising above the Pacific Division especially with the improving Clippers and Warriors( with or without Kevin Love).

There is always the Houston Rockets and that crafty GM Daryl Morey who has already stated that he has deals for Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik to generate cap space for LeBron. A Houston Big 3 of LeBron, Harden and Howard would definitely bring Hakeem, Drexler and Sam Cassell out of the tunnel.

One of the most intriguing teams that could land LeBron is the Phoenix Suns. They were just one game from making the playoffs with a rookie coach in Jeff Hornacek and the emergence of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic made for one of the best backcourts in the league.  They can actually offer LeBron the max with no roster moves and bring a style and flair that would make Charles Barkley say, ‘The Phoenix Suns are back’ They would be one of the most exciting teams in the league especially if they can keep Eric Bledsoe. Even if they can’t they have 3 first round picks on Thursday and 3 more the following year so this team will definitely be on the come up.  Money, money…money moneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey…money is what the Suns have. They have enough to sign someone for the max this year and in 2015 and with those extra picks they can land another star player.  There is so much potential in this pairing but will the media hype be too much for them? Will their expectations be so high that only method man and redman can reach it?

Of course I would love for him to come to the Wizards where the backcourt of Wall and Beal would bring all types of shine to the city or maybe they are waiting on Durant in 2016.  But if LeBron did go to the Wizards the time would be now. For some it would be best if he stayed in Miami for others it would be poetic justice to come back to the place that he calls home; the Cleveland Cavaliers. I know you are supposed to be a forgiving man but after all the backlash he received especially from the owner Dan Gilbert unless I get the chance to put them paws on him, I am not  going back to Cleveland.

This is a rendition of the Should, Could,  Dream tour. Because he SHOULD stay in Miami, he COULD go to another team and now the GM’s must DREAM on how they can get the best player in all of basketball to their team.

Until then (cues the Sportscenter theme song)..da-da-da…. da-da-da

One Father to another from the Ultimate Father

sonny kidssonny and the kids

What does the bible say about Fathers? A father is a giver of his time, talents, treasures; he is a teacher of the Word to his family, a good example of Christ to others, and a servant to the Most High. A father is instrumental in the growth of his children’s life spiritually, emotionally and physically. A father acknowledges his responsibility and commitment to his family by providing things to his family, just like our Heavenly Father provides for us. His job is to leave behind a legacy & inheritance to his children and wife. A father serves in many capacities for example we are warriors. The warriors that we are, think that most of the battles are won through hand to hand combat but most of the battles are going to be won on our knees. It is us getting on bended knee that unveils the truth as we continue to place our confidence in Him. As fathers, we must be trustworthy and truthful. Our Heavenly Father loves to spend time with His children. As fathers, we must make the time to spend with our families. It is a time we convey God’s Word to keep the family healthy and in sync. Our Heavenly Father is our source for help. (NKJV) Psalm 121 2 ‘My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth’. God has the answer! Our Heavenly Father is an encourager. God is in our corner shouting “you can do it”, “I got you covered”. Each father needs to be the greatest cheerleader for his children. We need to be the biggest encourager in our family’s lives. Rejoice in every achievement.  Our Heavenly Father is our source of strength; He is our defender in times of need. As father we need to be that source of strength to our family and a protector in times of need.  As fathers, we must always be teachable to the will of God. We should teach our children to have respect for God, womanhood, life, and morality. We are all fathers but are we godly fathers.

 

Many men desire to be good fathers, but there is a criterion that helps fathers become godly fathers. Here are four Biblical principles that, by God’s grace, will lay a sound foundation in helping fathers become godly fathers.

First, godly fathers are first godly men. It doesn’t make sense for fathers to do wrong then say to their children, “Do as I say, not as I do” (Matthew 23:3). Children must be able to see an example of Christ in their fathers. Paul says to his spiritual children in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” Those who imitate Christ in thoughts, attitudes, and actions are those who have the right and Biblical ability to properly train and disciple their own children.

Second, godly fathers love their children unconditionally. Unconditionally is the key word. It implies that love is not earned based on the potential gain that the child may receive. In other words, their focus is on themselves and upon what they can gain rather than upon unconditional love for their children. We’ve seen with child actors and most recently in the NFL. Tyron Smith a 22 year old offensive tackle recently filed a restraining order on his parents based off physical threats to himself and his girlfriend. Currently he is in his 2nd year of a 4yr, 12.5 million contract which by his parents’ standards isn’t enough. He received a text from his coach stating that he would be moved to left tackle which could generate more money on his contract. Instead of congratulations from his family they were already talking about their next purchases with this new surplus of cash. His family felt like they should live the same lifestyle as him and when he refused family members traveled from California to Dallas to beat up his girlfriend. When that was unsuccessful, his parents threatened his life. They stole over a million dollars from him so far after using the financial adviser that his parents recommended. Despite all of this, Tyron is willing to reconcile with his parents which shows that even though his parents may not love him unconditionally, he does. His many mentors have been counseling him which is in my opinion an application of Psalm 68 verse 5, ‘A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation’. Even though they aren’t his biological parents, these people are having a fatherly impact on this man in way that his parents are refusing to do.  Before I became a father, I was fathered as well. My grandfather and my father had an influential impact on my life and then when I went to college my older cousin mentored me in ways that only a father could.  It was these lessons that gave me the foundation for when I had my own kids. It’s imperative to establish a foundation with your kids where there are rules and regulations and consequences if they are not met. Because these streets have some a mystique that it can lure your child in the wrong way and once the streets gets hold of them it’s very hard to get them back…unless they have the Lord on their side. This reminds me of the story in Luke chapter 15 verses 20-24 where a father waits for the return of his son to return to him. Instead of scolding him, judging him or disowning him, he threw him a party to celebrate his return.  Godly fathers don’t make their children earn their approval, and they don’t use their children’s behavior or potential gain as a condition for their love. I challenge us men to do the same thing for these kids.

Third, godly fathers train their children how to love and honor God. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” To take it another step further Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The issue as a father is teaching a child to love the Lord as they model their own love for Him. Always remember kids aren’t stupid. In fact, they are a lot smarter than most parents give them credit for. For example I was having a conversation with Quianna when I said something that prompted Morgan to say ‘Daddy, that’s a bad choice. Thumbs down’. My face frowned up and I said “who are you talking too, bad choice man spell it’. I didn’t think she would respond with C-H-O…go to your room. She was upset but in my mind I had to flex my authority over her even though I may have been wrong. The real lesson is that in order to be a godly father, I must model submission to authority and welcome correction if I have sinned. I know this won’t be the last time this will happen especially as my kids get older and think they know more than I do. Training requires learning the Scripture but how that Scripture is applied must correlate with true righteousness. Otherwise, the child will be left confused and may even grow resentment for the Word because they couldn’t full grasp it. But let us not forget the role of discipline in the training process. Even our heavenly father disciplines those sons whom He loves (Hebrews 12:6), and the fact that a father is willing to discipline his children demonstrates love. Young children need to know their boundaries as it makes them feel secure. For example, every child at one point has been told not to touch the stove when it’s hot but if you did then you were in trouble. As kids grow older, they must see that they don’t run the household and that Biblical principles will be followed in the home. Discipline reinforces what will happen if you decide to break these rules. But it must be evident to the children when they are being disciplined that the father’s love for them has not changed. Discipline is never aligned with wrath because it is kindness that leads to repentance (Romans 2:4). Discipline is simply another expression of love (Deuteronomy 8:1-6, Hebrews 12:6). In Proverbs 3:11–12 the father says, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”  Before any father disciplines his children, he must spent time enjoying his children, encouraging his children, laughing with his children, being affectionate with his children so that a deep bond of love and joy can be formed between the children and their dad.

Fourth, a godly father seeks to give his children good gifts such that his children are blessed through him. Of course, love and discipline and the training of the Lord are blessings of eternal value, but godly fathers go beyond just spiritual gifts they aspires to provide good gifts to their family for their benefit and will being. If you need an example look no further than our heavenly Father.  James 1:7 says, “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Our Father is the giver of every good and perfect gift because He knows when, how, and what to give us. He knows what we desire and ask for because He knows and cares for what we really want and need. Gifts a father can pass on to their kids are: protecting them by fearing God, working hard, being a man for your kids by living righteously and creating a legacy. Protecting them by fearing God shows the ultimate respect for God and his teachings. Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. It creates confidence because man knows that if God is watching over them then everything will be ok. In today’s world our children aren’t safe and it’s up to us to use God’s teaching and our masculine physique to create a force field that will protect and create provisions over the welfare of our loved ones. For example make sure that you really trust the people that you leave your kids with. I know you may want to be at your friends’ house having fun but I rather be cautious then take the law into my own hands. I know forgiveness is between man and God but I have no problem setting that meeting up. You must be willing to go thru great lengths even sacrificing it all to maintain a safe environment. One of the most important things a father can do for their children is to be a man. Being a man by taking care of responsibility and not expecting any more praise than a thank you and continue to keep moving. Proverbs 20:7 says, “The righteous who walks in his integrity—blessed are his children after him!” Paul echoed these words when he said ‘when I was a boy I acted as a boy but when I became a man I let go of my childish ways’. These childish ways can have a damaging effect if not eradicated in the beginning stages. Another factor of being a man is being a hard worker. When kids see people working hard they want to imitate those actions. Watching my father work numerous jobs working all hours of the night made me realize that I was a priority even if for him he was sacrificing sleep and other things. Being able to provide for your children holds no bounds and every avenue should be taken in order to do so. God isn’t pleased by lazy men because it sends the wrong idea to kids who are very impressionable and will duplicate actions good or bad. Proverbs 26:7 reiterates this by saying “Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.” This creates hypocrisy between man and son and eventually establishes a mockery of authority as the child will grow up with the notion that because my father did it then it must be cool but in all actuality it wasn’t… It can sway them to make the wrong decisions as they get older which can have grave consequences. Creating a legacy for your kids is very important because it shows how God’s teachings have been utilized since the beginning of time and still going strong. Before my son was born, I was the last male Grayson in my family so it is my honor and duty to make him a better man than me so when he has kids they can be better than him and so on and on. Being a father is the starting point but being a godly father is the finish line? Will you meet me there?

 

NBA Mock Draft 2.0

nba draft

With the draft a few weeks away why not do another mock draft:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- Joel Embiid, Kansas- I know you’re thinking come on man are you serious there’s Wiggins, Parker and maybe even Exum if you aren’t a fan of Kyrie Irving but Joel Embiid barring any back problems fills the need of interior rebounding and interior defense. Now if Anthony Bennett comes to form and Cleveland spends some money in free agency then who knows, but first things first who is going coach…not Calipari

2. Milwaukee Bucks- Jabari Parker, Duke- He has already said that he doesn’t mind playing here so why not Milwaukee. Under new ownership, you need a marquee player to sell seats and it isn’t that far from his hometown of Chicago. This should be a win for both teams

3. Philadelphia 76ers-Andrew Wiggins, Kansas- Philly with 7 picks in this draft and money to spend has the opportunity to rebuild into a contender in the East. They have the potential to trade some of those picks for another first rounder even though they technically have 3 first rounders anyway with Nerlens Noel coming back. Picture Michael Carter-Williams passing the ball to Andrew Wiggins on a fast break. Good grief-Charlie Brown voice

4. Orlando Magic- Dante Exum, Australian Institute of Sports- This could be an ill backcourt with him and Oladipo not to mention the 12th pick in the draft as well. I like this pairing for the near future but Orlando is also looking at other prospects such as Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.

5. Utah Jazz- Noah Vonleh, Indiana-Utah needs help even though they have Kanter and Favors in the frontcourt, he adds more of an inside presence since rebounding has been an issue as of late.

6. Boston Celtics- Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State-  I don’t believe all the hype that they are giving towards Aaron Gordon not because he isn’t a good player but I just think they could do better with the pick. Who knows they could trade it to Minnesota? (You see what happens last time a superstar from Minnesota was traded to Boston; 5 words: Kevin Garnett, “Anything is POSSIIIBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBLLE”. I like Marcus Smart here because he kind of reminds me of a Tony Allen and that complimentary piece with Rondo could be nice. It is also an insurance policy in the event Rondo leaves next year.

7. Los Angeles Lakers- Aaron Gordon, Arizona- A freakishly gifted athlete on both ends of the floor had an impressive week in workouts. Lakers need everything and with the possibility of Gasol leaving this could be a good starting piece. If Gasol stays he and Gordon could form a nice tandem. But with the Cavs, who is going to coach??? Other candidates could be Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart

8. Sacramento Kings- Julius Randle, Kentucky- He’s a bruiser in the post and can wreak havoc on the offensive end. Sure he has some things to work on such as mid range jumper and going to his right but him with Cousins and Gay could form an intriguing frontcourt. Kings need a true point guard but you can’t pass this guy up plus this is why too early for Tyler Ennis.

9. Charlotte Hornets- Nik Stauskas, Michigan- He can shoot the lights off the gym, he can break the AC in the Spurs gymansium. He is arguably the best shooter in the draft and three point shooting needs to be addressed quickly. Imagine Kemba Walker penetrating and dishing to this kid. As Mark Jackson would say, “Mama there goes that man”

10. Philadephia 76ers- James Young, Kentucky- With the 2nd first round pick of this draft, Philly selects James Young. Now with the addition of Andrew Wiggins 7 picks earlier, Philadelphia adds another wing player who could play both ends of the court. Possible starting 5 for 76ers: Carter-Williams, Young, Wiggins, Thaddeus Young, Noel. Not to mention 5 second round picks and money to spend this team could elevate very quickly.

11. Denver Nuggets- Gary Harris, Michigan State- At 6’4 he may be undersized to play the 2 guard but he plays both ends of the court well and could be a nice piece to add in the backcourt with Ty Lawson.  Randy Foye is just a filler while Evan Fourier has yet to develop into a NBA starter. Expect a trade here for a veteran or more picks.

12. Orlando Magic- Dario Saric, Croatia- At 6’10 about 225, Saric could be the versatile play maker that Orlando needs in the front court. With Vuceic, Exum and Oladipo this could be a nice complimentary piece to the puzzle

13. Minnesota Timberwolves- Adrien Payne, Michigan State- With the looming trade of Kevin Love hanging over the heads of Minnesota like a sword ready to behead someone, Minnesota may be left to pick based off of need rather than best player available. He provides rebounding, can score on the low post or shoot the three. Hopefully Shabazz Muhammad shows up this season and makes it easier on Rubio who will really be running the show if Love leaves.

14. Phoenix Suns- Doug McDermott, Creighton- Arguably the 2nd best shooter in the draft, Doug could create a three point threat that Phoenix desperately needs. With the possible addition of Kevin Love, Phoenix could be a dark horse for the Western Conference, even though it could cost them Eric Bledsoe, Dragic, picks or maybe all 3.

*These picks are liable to change at any given time because there can be trades or I can be just dead ass wrong. Either way thanks for reading*

 

 

Lannisters vs. Whitewalkers: NBA Game of Thrones

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You ever played a video game against your friend and it’s a close game all the way to the end but then one mistake gets made and the other person capitalizes and wins the match. What are your first words after that game? It isn’t good game I can tell you that. It normally goes like this, “Fuck..That was some bullshit. You ain’t even that nice fa real. Man run that shit back”. Well Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Gregg Popovich told LeBron and the Heatles, ‘run that shit back’. Starting tonight and hopefully for the next 7 games these two teams will be battling for a place in history, a banner to rise in their stadium and the right to call themselves NBA Champions. Some say San Antonio was robbed by Jesus Shuttlesworth and his game 6 heroics but guess what the series went 7 so San Antonio had another opportunity a few days later to win the title. As Uncle Joey from Full House would say, CUT…IT…OUT.  There is nothing more exciting than a rematch between two very great teams but this has the makings of a classic. This series could have an ESPN 30 for 30 Documentary, a NBA TV documentary, an Outside the Lines special and straight to DVD collection after game 7. This series could be a war that only the strong will win. If I had to compare this series to anything, I would choose something from my favorite show right now, Game of Thrones and call this the Lannisters vs. Whitewalkers.

The NBA Game of Thrones has come down to the Lannisters vs. Whitewalkers. The Heat is the Lannisters simply because they are the current kings of basketball. The Whitewalkers remind me of the Spurs because they are old yet a force to be reckoned and led by a man that has been through every trench in the books and comes out clean every time. If this was back in that time, I can imagine LeBron in a meeting with Pat Lannister (Riley) saying, Your Grace we disposed of all competition in such a wicked fashion time to celebrate with a royal party when Lord Wade and the Bosh Dragon come roaring through the chambers yelling they’re coming…they’re coming. LeBron looks at them and says who Lord Wade and in a somber voice he says ‘the Spurs’.

June 5,2014 marks the beginning of war between these two teams that just had an instant classic the year before. If it wasn’t for Raymie Lannister(Ray Allen) the Spurs slayer, this could be a different article as many assumptions could be made if the Big 3 went to the title 3 times and lost twice. While the Heat have triumphed through small battles including the Starks aka the Pacers because they fell off so hard and quick as one would say, ‘the North was stolen from them’, the Spurs have been tested through the likes of Yunaki aka the Mavericks in 7 games and Lord Stannis aka the Thunder because they are coming for the throne but just can’t get it.  This has already been a postseason for the record books so what would make this even more memorable: The Heat vs Spurs.

The Spurs led by the Fantastic Four of Leonard, Parker, Ginobili and Duncan hope that their team approach will defeat the best player in the world LeBron James. Last year didn’t work out as well as San Antonio dared LeBron to shoot which would have made Skip Bayless happy but one thing happened; LeBron made his jump shots and scored 69 points in Game 6 and 7 of the series.  We all know what’s on the line but let me remind you: LeBron has a chance to three-peat for the first time since Kobe and the Lakers while Duncan is going for his fifth ring since 99. 5 rings would make Duncan arguably the most accomplished player beside Kobe since Michal Jordan decided to leave (Sidebar: in my opinion the NBA logo needs to be changed to Michael Jordan and not Jerry West) Either accomplishment would create a new debate for each player, for example if LeBron 3 peats is he the greatest SF ever or if Duncan wins 5 rings is he the greatest PF ever. These conversations will be held in a few weeks at a cookout filled with food, liquor and the opinions that make First Take look like Fourth Try. Even though some people don’t view the Spurs as a dynasty, this is a chance for both teams to solidify themselves in the conversation of what a dynasty really is.

We all remember the press conference unveiling this new unit in which LeBron said he’s winning not 1…not 2…not 3 and so on well after this year he could possibly say not 2 because he would have 3 now.  I think the key player for the Miami Heat is Dwyane Wade. With all the LeBron James hoopla, Dwyane Wade sometimes gets lost in the mix but If he wins another title then he has 4 and could enter the ranks of Top 5 SG of all time even though some already have him but this ring would only stamp that thought. Dwyane Wade is healthy and has been a contributor throughout the playoffs averaging about 19 points a game. In the Pacers series he averaged 20 points a game and remained a threat with his ability to weave in and out the lane. Sure, Wade has had his knee troubles but right now he has been healed by Mr. Miyuagi and ready for battle. Is Wade as explosive as 2006 of course not but can he be as effective…of course. With a healthy Wade and LeBron there’s no room for as Mark Jackson would say ‘hand down man down’ for the Heatles will make you pay every time.

The key matchup in my opinion for this series is LeBron James vs. Kawhi Leonard. If you are basing purely on skill then LeBron wins hands down but Kawhi Leonard at 22 is an exceptional defender. Who would of thought trading George Hill for the 15th pick in the draft would result in Kawhi Leonard? I wonder if the Pacers are regretting that decision. Kudos to RC Buford, San Antonio Spurs GM for that move. He gave Ellis and Durant fits in the previous rounds and what better way to become a household name than to stifle Akron’s finest. He’s the one player the Spurs have that can contain LeBron but make no mistake no one is stopping LeBron. Since we always like to compare players, will this be the 2014 version of the Jordan Rules (Look up ESPN 30 for 30 Bad Boys if you don’t know what I mean). Leonard main goal is to make LeBron’s day a living hell offensively and defensively. This will be no small task but this is where champions are made. Let’s be real if LeBron goes ham then pass the bread and cheese because Miami will feast on the Spurs.  But we all know Pop will adjust accordingly with defenders on LeBron such as Danny Green and others.

One area that can determine this series is the bench play of both teams. The Spurs have Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw and Marco Bellineli like this team can run 10 deep.  Miami has Norris Cole, Ray Allen, Birdman, Birdman, Birdman you see my point. Last series, Rashard Lewis came back into Orlando Magic form but will be as effective this round. Will we see Michael Beasley, Greg Oden, Udonis Haslem, James Jones or Shane Battier in this series? Clearly, San Antonio has the better bench but when the game is close guess where they will be…the bench.  San Antonio has unprecedented depth with a bunch of players that can shoot like Larry Bird in the 3 point contest and it’s a beautiful thing to watch if you are a basketball purist. This is the classic example of what’s better: an all-around team or a team with superstars. This will not be an easy series for either team as coaching, bench play, rebounding, referees will all play a part in who carrying the throne for another year.

I will be enjoying each game on someone’s couch but my prediction is that Miami Heat will three peat in 7 games and if there is one player who will have a difference in all areas maybe not the stat sheet, I predict that player will be Shane Battier.  I expect a clean fight, I expect for you to obey my rules and commands at all times shake hands and let’s get it on.