We’re 56 days away from the Return of the King and the rest of the NBA townspeople. As the first tip off draws closer, the pot is starting to stir. The (most boring) Olympics basketball games are over with another US Gold. Here’s some fun/interesting headlines and how I think it may impact the 2016-2017 season.
Chris Bosh: “I’m Back”
It’s good to see Chris back on the court. I know he’s not the most game changing elite player in the NBA, but he is a fun elite player in the NBA. The Miami Heat Big 3 has been whittled down to one lonely dinosaur. You kind of have to feel sorry for Chris in a way. Not only have health reasons kept him off the court, but it turns out, after all this time, he is the most loyal to the Miami Heat franchise. He left Toronto, bought himself League Pass as soon as he was back in the states, went to 4 finals with 2 championship, was highly criticized as not being able to pull his weight for 2 years, and has been denied the 2 additional years playing with his good friend Dwyane Wade for health reasons. He had the opportunity 2 years ago to sign a max deal with teams like the Houston Rockets, but decided to stay. He was the only one who decided to stay.
Still, what if with the time off, we get a Bosh resurgence. Sure, the Heat won’t be title contenders this year, but they could make a playoff run. Goran Dragic, Bosh, and Whiteside make for a lovable Little 3.
Lance Stephenson And JR Smith Still Don’t Have A Home
Lance Stephenson has been, how you say, doo-doo butter since he left the Pacers. Jalen Rose predicted this, speaking from first hand experience after he was detached from the legend Larry Bird. He has since bounced around from Charlotte, to LA, to Memphis, and hasn’t mirrored the success he had in Indiana. News reports are coming out today that he’s working out with the New Orleans Pelicans. Do I think it’s going to be a good fit? No, no I do not. I do however expect a contract to get signed after the workouts. New Orleans really has nothing to lose (you know, until they lose Anthony Davis in his prime in 2021.)
JR Smith still hasn’t reached a deal with the Cavs, but I’m still confident they get it done before the jump against the Knicks on 10/25/16. The man has had an amazing summer, having won an NBA championship and getting married and whatnot. Just because he hasn’t resigned with the Cavs family yet doesn’t mean he’s not expanding his family. Take a look at his newest child.
Move over Moon Dog! The Cavs have a new mascot and it’s fucking adorable.
Mo Williams Leaning Towards Retirement
This one hits close to home. I’ve followed Mo Williams since his first tenure as a Cav. He’s gone from an All Star/2nd best player in Cleveland, to the best player on the worst team in NBA/sports history, to a championship winning role player. It looks like he has until next Wednesday to announce whether or not he’s returning to the Cavs, who recently parted ways with the other backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova. If Mo does retire, the Cavs can spread out the 2.2 million dollars he’s owed over the next 3 seasons, helping them with the luxury tax and wiggling up some room to sign the aforementioned JR Smith. If he does return, great, another veteran in the locker room to help keep things cool/mentor Kyrie Irving. If he retires it opens up a spot for 2nd round pick Kay Felder, the point guard from Oakland University who has serious score-ability.
Joel Embiid is “100%”
I read an article a couple days ago that predicted the next 5 championship match ups and their supposed victors. Good news, Cavs/Warriors fans, it predicted that we’re going to get two more years of Cavs v. Warriors, with the two teams splitting and getting an additional championship each. Then, the article took a turn towards crazy town, and had the Los Angeles Lakers vs. The Philadelphia 76ers in 3 years, and then having it happen again in 4 years, splitting the 2 year series.
While I don’t believe that nonsense, I do believe that the 76ers will be a force/Top 5 team in the East within the next 2 years, potentially going as high as 3rd in the East. Why? Because something has got to give. I think Embiid and Simmons will fight it out for Rookie of the Year this year (bold take, I know) and the 76ers are my sneaky-but-not-really-sneaky fun team to watch this year. Call me crazy, but besides watching Lebron and Co. set out to defend their title, my most highly anticipate match up for the year is…drum roll please….the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. The Philadelphia 76ers. If Embiid has half as much personality on the court as he does off, I think the Philly Phaithful are in for quite the season.
Doug Collins To Leave the Studio and Announce 25+ Games for ESPN
An early Christmas gift to the NBA, Doug Collins will be calling the games from the sidelines for ESPN viewers. ESPN, with the new bargaining agreement, has the rights to more NBA games this season than they ever have had. Doug has proven during the Rio Olympics that although his chemistry with Sage Steele and Jalen Rose (wow 2 Jalen Rose shoutouts in one blog, what year is it?) is strong, he’s vastly underutilized. It looks like he’ll be doing some games with Mike Breen one on one, as well as some other ESPN analysts. Give me as much Collins, Breen, Van Gundy, and Doris Burke as you can ESPN. Don’t want it, I NEED IT.
Kevin Garnett to Set NBA Record for Most Seasons Played
Kevin Garnett has to play 1 game. Step on the court for 1 minute in the upcoming season for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and he will be the player with the most seasons under his belt. This year marks season 22 for KG, and although my sources say that he will most likely retire before the end of the season, I think it would be fitting for KG to have the longest tenure in NBA history. The guy has been a staple/relevant in the NBA my entire life. The last time the NBA did not have KG laces up his (usually amazingly awesome) sneakers, is when I was 4 years old. Crazy. Even crazier, the man was able to sneak a championship in between the reigns of Michael Jordan, Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and now the Warriors super team. I hated him on the Celtics, but I’m happy for him. He is the Honda Accord of NBA players, and nobody can hate the Honda Accord.