Why Calipari to the NBA makes so much sense.

John Calipari has become one of the most recognizable coaches in college basketball.  Bringing the Kentucky Wildcats storied program back to the prestige it was held. Calipari revolutionized the one and done rule to the point that other coaches were forced to adjust their mentality to compete.

Calipari is kind of a turd. He’s cocky, loud, conceded and a winner.  These traits, are the traits of a coach that can make it in the league now.  His confidence makes him relatable to players.  He has the confidence that is the way society is, most recently shown by the comments of the “GOAT” Lebron James.

Let’s look at the potential for Cal in the NBA.  The Washington Wizards will most likely move on from Scott Brooks at the end of the season.  Why not make a call to coach Cal and see if he would be interested in working with his old buddy John Wall again? Wall has shown immaturity throughout his career, but he has a respect for his old college coach. If the Wizards are committed to making it work with Wall bringing in a coach of his choosing like Calipari would be a smart move. They can move Bradley Beal for a mid-level player and clear some cap space for impending free agent DeMarcus Cousins in 2019 or potentially wait for the big piece in two years with Anthony Davis. Both former Calipari guys and both would show interest in matching up with their former coach.

Let’s not act like bringing Calipari to the LA Lakers wouldn’t be completely crazy.  Luke Walton has not made himself indispensable.  Adding Cal would work to help them recruiting Anthony Davis as well as make huge headlines for an organization

Ok, maybe that idea is farfetched.  Why would those guys want to go to Washington?  Well why would Paul George stay in Oklahoma?  Why did Lebron go back to Cleveland?  What is the deal with Kawhi Leonard?  There are a lot of things that are hard to explain, the NBA continuously has players, coaches and teams that make questionable decisions.  Is it so crazy to think that these players aren’t drawn to Calipari and his loose style and demeanor?

Why would Calipari leave Kentucky?  Being one of the most successful college coaches of my generation is no joke.  He was able to take UMass and Memphis to heights that they have never been.  Now he is at one the most prestigious universities of all time.  The reason he may leave is that the one and done rule is on its way out.  New developmental leagues are going to attract players that want to make money instead of spending a year being forced to go to classes that they do not care about.  This change will have an impact on the way Calipari has been building his teams.

While the changes in the NCAA can have an impact, I think it is the past failures in the NBA that will drive Calipari to the NBA.  During his time in New Jersey he was the definition of inconsistency finishing with a career record of 72-112.  This has to sit in his mind.  His personality will drive him to make an impact in the NBA before he calls it quits.  If Calipari was going to the NBA it should happen now.

NBA DFS Picks- December 27

Unlike most in the DFS world I really enjoy a smaller slate. Five gamers allow you go play a stars and scrubs lineup and have a great chance to win. You can highlight a few players you want to watch. Here are the picks for tonights slate.

PG: Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors ($8,900)

I am drawn to a Warriors stack after the embarasment from Christmas night. The Blazers have been underwhelming to say the least and have a serious issues guarding the three. Damian Lillard on the other end seems like a solid play but I am going heavy Warriors tonight.

SG: Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,800)

No Lebron, this becomes Ingrams team again whether the fans want it or not.

SF: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors ($9,300)

I reference my Steph Curry reasoning.

PF: Noah Vonleh, New York Knicks ($5,600)

Vonleh seems to be the only matchup the Knicks have against Giannis. He has played like the player people thought he would be coming out of Indiana. Vonleh also just put up 36 points on Christmas day against the same Bucks team he is playing tonight. Low cost for a solid matchup.

C: Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,400)

This pick could change depending on the health of Javale McGee, no matter what Zubac has been very impressive when given time to play. Centers versus Kings are also always a solid play.

G: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,500)

Ball is a similar play to Zubac. With Rondo out he will be the primary point guard. Again PG’s versus Kings is also a solid play on most nights.

F: Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics ($4,700)

Not gonna lie this one is a wildcard pick against a poor Houston defense. Hayward has been streaky all season, but brings multiple potential options for points. Hayward has been consistent with 25 minutes per game and could have a couple of nice matchups in this one.

UTL: Nemanja Bjelica, Sacramento Kings ($4,800)

Bjelica is a solid player and the Kings will need to use their bench playing back to back games.

I will look to make changes based on injuries. Also may look to stack more Kings/Lakers players. Want to stick with Durant and Curry as my star plays.

NBA Trade Candidates

Hassan Whiteside is a talented player at a position that has become devalued with the emergence of the run and gun offense.  Heat GM Pat Riley gave Whiteside a lot of money giving him a 4-year/ $98 million in 2016 placing him as a franchise player.  Clashes with Coach Eric Spoelstra, “injuries”, and further emergence of Bam Adebayo have put Whiteside on the outside of the future plans for the Heat.  Who would take and him? 

Unlikely but interesting: Cleveland Cavaliers.

I know the Cavaliers have a player named Tristan Thompson that is very similar.  Thompson though doesn’t bring the star power or the offense that Whiteside can bring.  2018-19 is a lost season for the Cavaliers but a trade for Whiteside would give the a core that would be very formidable in the East.  Kevin Love, Colin Sexton, Cedi Osman and Whiteside would give the Cavaliers a starting lineup that could be bottom tier of playoff eligibility.  Not to mention the Cavaliers will be looking at potential top five pick next summer.

Moving George Hill and releasing JR Smith can be a bit of a problem for the potential of moving money.  But if the Cavaliers put up Thompson and another piece they can realistically move money that would make it acceptable for the Heat.  Would Spoelstra and Riley be willing to move one locker room problem for another potential problem?  Unlikely but why not.

Makes sense: Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers jumped out to a nice start during the 2018 season.  The illusion of their ability is starting to show after a couple lopsided losses to the Raptors w/o Kawhi and the rebuilding San Antonio Spurs. Adding a player like Whiteside can make them a real threat in the West.  Pairing him with the rising star of Tobias Harris and multiple ancilary players can make them a tough matchup at multiple positions.

The Clippers appear set on not giving Montrez Harrell full starter minutes so its safe to say they don’t believe he is the answer at the center position.  Whiteside can not only help them of offense but can handle the paint allowing the guards to move the ball out after a defensive stop. The Clippers have a ragtag group of players, adding a potential star like Whiteside could be just the boost they need for the remainder of the season. 

Picking up Whitesides remaining contract could make it tough to add two players in the offseason, but if their target is going to be Kawhi Leonard they could add to his interest by having one of the best two way big men in the league.  

Should do it: Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are at a crossroads. They are good enough to make the playoffs but are not good enough to win anything.  They have a built in star with Kemba Walker as well as a strong set of role players.  They are missing a piece to pair with their star.  Enter Hassan Whiteside. Charlotte may be turned off at the idea of adding another troubled center after the Dwight Howard experiment did not pay off, but with the veteran presence of Tony Parker on the bench and the leadership of MJ this move could be the ticket to the next level for a Charlotte franchise that has seen limited success.  

Cody Zeller and Bismarck Biyombo have filled in the role of center during the 2018 season, clearly Whiteside would make for a upgrade on multiple levels.  His presence on the offensive end would open up opportunities for Kemba Walker and allow Zeller to move to the bench, which can strengthen the second unit.  Unlike the previous teams listed it would be tough for the Hornets to make an offer that would be intriguing for the Heat.  Charlotte does not have the expiring contracts potentially needed to make the move. They do however have their first round picks for the next two seasons.  Moving one of those picks and two expiring contracts could be all it takes to get the Heat to move on from a player they do not see a future with. Whiteside has his negatives but the potential for stardom is their.  Charlotte will have to make the first move.

Draftkings Picks December 10

December 10 2018- DFS Draftkings pick.

11 game slates make for multiple options, there are three games on the slate that have caught my attention. Let’s make some decisions.

PG: DeAron Fox, Sacramento Kings ($7,600)

Fox has seen an increase in salary over the last few weeks.  But with the lowly Bulls on the slate this game should be full of offense. Fox will have a great opportunity for high upside.  The Bulls rank bottom ten against point guards this season.  Fox can go off for 50 any night, tonight could be one of those.

SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Sacramento Kings ($6,300)

Let’s continue the stack of Kings against the Bulls.  Bogdanovic has hit above 25 for six straight games.  He is also blow out prove as he doesn’t sit usually start.

SF: Trey Lyles, Denver Nuggets ($3,700)

With the injury to Millsap, Lyles saw a huge up in minutes.  This play is mainly a price play for a guy that looks to play at least 30 minutes tonight.  The matchup with Memphis is not ideal, but a player playing a that many minutes at $3,700 is always worth a shot.

PF: Marvin Bagley, Sacramento Kings ($4,700)

Bagley is questionable tonight but if he plays he can be another asset at an affordable cost. Bagley is a double double machine in a pace up spot. Play him if he is able to play.

C: Karl Anthony-Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves ($9,200)

The return of Draymond green could make for a fun matchup for Towns.  Towns will bring a large amount of offense to this game.  With the questionable status of Anthony Davis, Towns seems like an easy play.

G: Colin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,900)

No George Hill means more time for Sexton.  Lots of minutes against coming for a point guard with few options behind him.

F: Otto Porter Jr., Washington Wizards ($6,100)

No John Wall tonight opens up more points for secondary players. Otto Porter will be the recipient of those points against a Pacers team that seem like a bad matchup.  Porter will bring multiple value spots.

UTL: Zach Lavine, Chicago Bulls ($7,400)

Potentially the play of the night.  Lavine has a chance to flourish in potentially the biggest game stack of the night.  Lavine has more options to work with after the return of Lauri Markkanen.  Lavine will not have a player to match him on the defensive end.  Lavine should net close to 50 tonight while his price continues to drop.

Good luck tonight!

NBA Trade Candidates

The Washington Wizards have announced that everyone is on the market.  John Wall stands out to most as the big-ticket pick up but I see it differently.  Bradley Beal seems like the better fit for most teams.  He will bring shooting, defense and he is not as big a jerk as John Wall.  Where would he be the best fit? He has a big salary but can be worth the risk for a team looking to compete.

Unlikely but intriguing: Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks are on the cusp of being great.  Eric Bledsoe has stepped up in a leadership role to go along with Giannis and Khris Middleton.  Adding a guard the caliber of Bradley Beal would put them over the top.  Beal would give them a guard that they can rely upon to handle the scoring load if Giannis is off the court.  A lineup featuring multiple All- Stars would be too much to handle.

Bucks give up: Malcom Brogdon, Tony Snell, future first rounder this trade is unlikely because Washington would want more young talent but its worth a shot.

Makes sense: Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets are in desperate need for a second star.  That star could be Bradley Beal, along side Kemba Walker they could have debatably the best backcourt in the NBA. Beal would be a much better fit along side Kemba when compared to Wall. He’s a better shooter and just generally more active when not controlling possessions. Micheal Jordan wants to make a contender out of Charlotte, refusing to move Kemba Walker.  This move could be a way to help Kemba stay at the end of the season.

Hornets give up: Malik Monk, MKG, 2019 first-rounder.  Monk would be a nice center piece for a team trying to rebuild as well as a 2019 first rounder.

Makes too much sense: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons made a splash last season adding Blake Griffin to play along side team cornerstone Andre Drummond.  This season they should make another bold move by adding Bradley Beal to the mix.  Detroit has had an ever turning ferris wheel of two guards flow through their rotation, names like Reggie Bullock, Langston Galloway, Ish Smith, Glen Robinson, and Luke Kennard have all had time playing the role of starter. These are not the cream of the crop for a team looking to contend.

Detroit currently ranks 29th in the league in three point % at just 31.6% on the season.  In todays shooter friendly NBA that is going to hold you back.  Adding Beal will force the defense to the outside and limit the double teams on the the two star bigs Griffin and Drummond.

Pistons give up: 2019 first round pick, Reggie Bullock,Stanley Johnson, and take on the full contract.

Should do it: Los Angeles Lakers

You should always place shooters around Lebron James.  Adding Bradley Beal would not only give you a shooter but a player that can be perfect as your third star after the summer. Los Angeles will likely be looking to add a big contract in the summer, many have looked at Klay Thompson as an additional piece to the puzzle, but maybe the piece could be Bradley Beal.  He is a similar player skill wise, (Klay is probably better) and you can get him for a cheap price of bench players.

The Lakers are looking to contend next year, why not make your moves now.

Lakers give up: Josh Hart, KCP, 2019 first round pick

 

 

NBA Trade Candidates- Where should Terry Rozier go?

Jimmy Butler is finally out of Minnesota, as he heads to the Sixers to create perhaps the biggest 3 the NBA has seen since Lebron and Bosh took their talents to South Beach what is going to happen to the other big names on the trade market. Terry Rozier has been rumored to be on the move as the Celtics don’t seem to have a place for him . Kyrie is cemented as the starter, as he enters free agency the Celtics will be forced to open up the check book, Marcus Smart just signed a 4-year, $52 million contract.  With no money for Rozier they Celtics and Danny Ainge will look to try get what he can for the talented point guard.

Unlikely but intriguing: Indiana Pacers

The Celtics wouldn’t likely be in the business of making a fellow Eastern Conference contender better but if the shoe fits sometimes you have to put it on.  The Pacers have a lot of young talent a well as role players they could move in order to make this work.  If the Pacers were to send Cory Joseph and either Thaddeus Young or Dom Sabonis to the Celtics for Rozier both teams would win.

The Celtics would have veteran backup that doesn’t need to play big minutes in Joseph and provide better depth in the front court.  Both Young and Sabonis would be able to fill a need that the Celtics have, which is established depth behind Al Horford.

The Pacers would be able to pair Oladipo with Rozier and create a dynamic guard tandom that can play on both end of the floor.  This deal would be great for both parties but unlikely with both of them contending.

Makes Sense: Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic are pretty set on big men.  Mo Bamba, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Johnathon Isaac are the cornerstones of the organization.  With a litany of bigs to build around the Magic have a need for points and leadership at the guard position. DJ Augustin has been a solid NBA player for a number of years but is simply a ball control point guard that will limit mistakes but not make the big plays.  Rozier would walk into Orlando and immediately be the best guard on the roster.  He can initiate offense at a high level and be a perfect fit to work along side Aaron Gordon.

Rozier could be in attack mode the entire game, fitting the perfect style of new Head Coach Steve Clifford.  The Magic have young pieces as well as vets that could intrigue Ainge to make a move.

Makes to much sense: Phoenix Suns

The Suns have been in rebuild mode since Steve Nash parted ways with the organization. Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton are the pieces to build around, adding a hard noised defender with the ability to run a proficient offense could be just the ticket that the Suns need.  Booker has been working the point a lot during the 2018 season which is not ideal for a shotmaker of his caliber.

Bringing in Rozier would give them two guards that can compete every night forcing opposing defenses to utilize their best defender on one while the other can be freed up. Rozier running the pick-and-roll with the explosive Deandre Ayton would also be an exciting form of offense for Phoenix, were they to acquire the Celtic guard.

The Suns are not afraid to take on big contracts so signing Rozier long term wouldn’t be a problem for the rebuilding franchise. A piece like Trevor Ariza could be intriguing to move.  Ariza on the Celtics could can add toughness on both ends of the floor as well.  Win/win for both teams.

Should do it: San Antonio Spurs

Losing Dejounte Murray was a big deal to begin the season. The third year guard was set to take the place of long time great Tony Parker. A torn ACL ended his season and put the Spurs guard options behind DeMar DeRozan very limited. Young guards Derrick White and Bryn Forbes have filled the role admirably but are not difference makers.  Both would be served better playing a bench role or spot start during rest days.

The Spurs are not a team that likes to make changes in season.  Adding a player like Rozier along with the veterans and rising stars can make a huge impact on a team that has played above expectations so far.  Rozier is a grinder that would be worth a flyer for the right cost.

Rozier is a star in the making if given the chance.  With the leadership in place for San Antonio the transition from Boston to San Antonio would be seamless.  This move would put the Spurs in a better place, making them a legit playoff contender.

 

 

I Talk Sports DFS Picks Oct. 29

The NBA has a nine game slate tonight marred by injury.  No Giannis, Kawhi, potentially no AD makes this slate a little tougher to pick.  It’s up to us to find the mid- level players that can make up for the loss of the bigger studs.  Who is going to step up for these teams and put up the big points.  This is the lineup I am looking into.

*all DFS games are played on Draftkings

PG: Goran Dragic, Miami Heat ($6,200)

Dragic and the Heat have a matchup with the hapless Sacramento Kings.  Dragic brings multiple skills into this game with the injuries that the Heat continue to have Dragic is the one consistent player the Heat can rely on.

SG: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors ($5,600)

When Klay is this low you have to buy in, especially against the Bulls.

SF: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks ($6,900)

No Giannis and no Kawhi in this game.  Middleton will be the go to scorer for the Bucks, while also not having to deal the the Leonard defense.

PF: Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat ($4,900)

Olynyk is a boom or bust player.  Kings defense stinks so tonight should be a better chance of a boom.

C: Jarrett Allen, Brooklyn Nets ($5,400)

Very big chance of a double double tonight.

G: Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors ($8,000)

Lowry without Kawhi becomes the best option on offense for the Raptors.

F: Demar Derozan, San Antonio Spurs ($9,100)

Demar Derozan has been great early in his tenure with the Spurs.  A matchup with the Mavericks is great for any player with skills like Derozan.  Rim protector Deandre Jordan will be busy dealing with Lamarcus Aldridge.

UTIL: Zach Collins, Portland Trailblazers ($3,900)

Zach Collins seems to play better on the road averaging 15PPG on the road compared to just 8 at home.  The Blazers have a tough matchup with the Pacers but Collins should get some run in this game.

Good Luck Tonight!

 

 

 

 

NBA DFS- October 22

October 22 2018- DFS Plays Draftkings

PG: Malcom Brogdon, Milwaukee Bucks ($5,200)

SG: Josh Hart, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,100)

SF: Demar Derozan, San Antonio Spurs ($7,400)

PF: Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies ($5,200)

C: Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers ($6,000)

G: Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves ($8,000)

F: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics ($7,500)

UTL: Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors ($5,600)

Good luck tonight!

Devin Booker- The League’s Next Star

The Phoenix Suns have been the definition of disfunction over the last decade.  Nine seasons in a row with zero playoff appearances.  They haven’t won more then 24 games in the last three seasons. The years of Charles Barley, Kevin Johnson and Steve Nash have become a distant memory, a mirage of greatness in the the Phoenix desert.  But suddenly you see civilization, water, food and air conditioning!  Brought to you by the leagues newest star Devin Booker.

Over their first three NBA seasons:

Steph Curry Devin Booker
PPG 16.3 PPG 19.8
RPG 3.93 RPG 3.3
APG 5.6 APG 3.5

Devin Booker was drafted by the Suns out of Kentucky in 2015.  There was small fanfare to his pick at number 13.  Booker seemed like a solid role player that could be a piece to help an NBA team.  Booker quickly proved to be more then just a role player. Shooting 40% and averaging over 20 points a game in his sophomore season Booker became the quiet leader of a Suns team that had been lacking a star.  Not since Steve Nash’s final season in 2012 has there been a player that was putting Phoenix on the map. Booker took the role and ran with it during troubling times.

2017 was a season to forget for the Suns. Eric Bledsoe took to twitter proclaiming he no longer wanted to play in Phoenix last season causing issues in the locker room.  The problems in the locker room continued into the front office as the Suns fired Earl Watson just three games into the season.  With Watson gone the Suns decided to move on from their troubled guard Bledsoe.  Moving Bledsoe to the Bucks weakened the roster but signaled a change in the culture.  The Suns went into tank mode.  But losing sometimes has its advantages in professional sports.

Phoenix selected Deandre Ayton out of the University of Arizona with the first overall pick in the 2018 draft. Adding Ayton has given the Suns a player to build along side Booker.  The presence of an inside force will allow freedom for Booker to work against one-on-one matchups. Adding sharpshooting veterans Jamal Crawford, Ryan Anderson and Trevor Ariza will provide the leadership for the team and guidance for a young emerging star.  The addition also puts Josh Jackson and TJ Warren to move to the bench creating tough matchups for second units.

Phoenix showed their commitment to Booker in the offseason signing him to a five-year, $158 million maximum contract extension over the summer.  Booker is now locked up for the future.  The pieces are being put into place around him with with Deandre Ayton, Josh Jackson, TJ Warren and Mikal Bridges.  The Suns will not be great this season but people will see the greatness of the next big star in the league.  Booker opened up the season showing the ability of an elite player, finishing with 35 points and 19 in the fourth quarter with the game still on the line. Booker’s 35 was the most by a Suns player in an opening day night game since Kevin Johnson put up 35 in 1993.

Phoenix got the win on opening night against a fellow rebuilding team in the Dallas Mavericks.  If Booker can avoid injury and play a full season the league will see a rise in every statistic.  Booker will take the next step in his career, remember he is just turning 22 at the end of October.  The next great star is in Phoenix and his name is Devin Booker.

 

Don’t Blame Boogie

Unless you live under a rock you probably saw that DeMarcus Cousins has signed with the Golden State Warriors.  The 4-time All-Star joins the two time defending champions creating arguably the best lineup in the history of the NBA.  In the eyes of most fans the NBA title was wrapped up before the end of most teams first summer league games.  Outrage broke out in the social media community ridiculing the Warriors and especially Boogie Cousins for his choice to join the dynasty that has ruled the NBA for the last four years. The world can be as mad as they choose at DeMarcus Cousins but he is not to blame for this situation, NBA GM’s have to be given the blame for the way this situation worked out.  Don’t blame Boogie for making the best choice for himself.  Look at you team’s front office.

One of my greatest pet peeves is when I am drafting a fantasy team whether it is football, baseball or any other sport.  You hear another person yell “I was gonna take him” after you make a pick.  I always say the same thing to that person, if you were going to take him then you should have with your first pick.  DeMarcus Cousins was a free agent, 29 other teams had the chance to make their offers to the skilled big man but they didn’t want to commit their money to him.  Whether it was his injury or his locker room history, Cousins was not looked at as a cornerstone piece deserving of a mutli-year contract.  Cousins, one of two players ever to average 25 PPG, 10RPG, 5APG, 1.5BPG, 1.5SPG, the other  being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, thought he was a high level player that deserved a max contract.  But when teams thought they could low ball him he decided to turn the table on them.  Instead of allowing front offices to have control he took it upon himself to control the outcome.

The Warriors are the lucky recipients of a market that undervalued a great asset.  Cousins achillies injury could hold him out of the start of the season, by signing with the Warriors he will not need to rush back. He will be able to make sure he is fully healthy before returning and for once not watch his team fall out of a playoff hunt.  Those who question whether Cousins is hurting his chances of getting a max deal because his numbers will most likely take a dive during the 2018 season are not taking into account that this move is more of a public relations decision rather then a professional one.  The former Kentucky big man skills have never been questioned, his ability in the block is second to none, but teams worry about his ability to keep his head straight, front office personal have labeled him as a “cancer”.  Playing with the personalities that the Warriors have will be a great test to see what kind of a person he is.

Adding a fifth All-Star to an already dominate team is scary for the NBA.  I argue that watching greatness is what I look for when I watch the NBA. The only thing better than greatness is seeing David conquer Goliath.  Now the entire NBA is David, the ratings to watch the potential upset will be earth shattering.  There is always the chance that the mix of talents doesn’t work.  Just ask Karl Malone and Gary Payton what happens when you try and make a super team and it doesn’t work out.  There will be more pressure then ever on this Warriors team.  If they don’t win a championship their legacy will be forever tarnished.  This will make blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals look like losing an AAU season game.

I will admit that seeing DeMarcus Cousins signed a 1-year 5.3Million dollar deal with the best team in the world was deflating as an NBA fan.  Blaming Cousins for this is not fair to him.  If he signed with Boston would they not be the clear favorites in the East making that conference all but pointless?  Everyone can have their own opinion but this was a mistake made front offices that they will regret for the upcoming season.  It will be a nice learning experience for everyone.