Tag Archives: ESPN

MoNeYBaLL 51 NBA Podcast: Big Man Reign

Featuring Opinionated MJ

The Biggest Blundering Of a Deal In Recent NBA History

By Opinionated Reezy (Ronald Stovall Jr)

Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers!! Stop the presses there is collusion, LeBron is tampering, OMG!!! He needs to be stopped!!

S L O W D O W N!

Let’s be clear, I am a LeBron James fan, often called Reezy Sharpe, a play on Shannon Sharpe, LeBron’s starch defender, but I am aware of business and I do think there is fishy business here, but not where we think it might be. Strap in and let’s walk through the real problems with this deal.

Where did this start?

This is the question and shout out to deadspin.com for helping with the answer. On a December interview on ESPN Woj said the following:

“They’re not going to give away picks and their top young players in some deal that makes them incrementally better this season because they’ve got to save all those assets for Anthony Davis, a big trade this summer pre- or post-free agency. That’s why they’ve looked at players who are on one-year deals who don’t have money going forward.”

That is very specific. Why would Woj say that? We all know he is reliable, but by all accounts, this is the moment that world knew what the Lakers intentions were. This is the problematic moment.

From that LeBron James said the following to Dave McMenamin during pre-game activities regarding Anthony Davis possibly coming to the Lakers that same evening:

“That would be amazing, that would be amazing, like, duh. That would be incredible.”

Why did he say that? Was he asked either directly about Anthony Davis being traded or about Woj’s interview? Did he find Dave McMenamin to issue an unprovoked statement? The ESPN articles are interestingly vague on the matter, but the intended response was not.

Instant “Outrage” for $200 Alex

Media ran with the juicy take and let it flow out to the world, On cue General Managers are accusing Lebron of tampering and prohibiting the smaller markets from keeping talent. Charles Barkley has requested that Adam Silver intervene and veto any deal. All of the attention is set on this deal which makes any negotiation that much more complicated. That is rather intriguing to me, so I ask why?

Sometimes where this smoke, there is simply smoke.

The Lakers have been fined for tampering before, so they deserve a scrutiny in the eye of the public as it is public record that the Lakers are looking to add talent to their roster but is this collusion. The very short answer is no, the longer answer is its complicated. Let’s break it down.

Did LeBron James signal the Lakers to do something? No, Absolutely not! According to Woj, Anthony Davis was already on the Lakers list, which would imply that the Lakers were already planning something. With LeBron James locked into a 4-year deal and no signs of requesting to be traded himself (Twitter would have exploded if he did), at best LeBron James is being coy about not knowing it was in the plans, at worst he is merely reacting to what he heard.

Did the Lakers signal LeBron to say something? Possibly, but it depends on a lot of things happening. Woj would have needed to have been fed information that he would of course report on, which would have aired at the time LeBron was set to play, which in turn would require ESPN to give LeBron the opportunity to say what he said. In other words, ESPN would either be the co-conspirator or the unwitting pawn.

What about Rich Paul? Complicated as hell but let’s navigate through it. Antony Davis did sign with Rich Paul over the summer who is also LeBron James’ agent along with numerous other players. If LeBron James had ownership in Klutch Sports we can then talk about conflict of interest, and higher degrees of ethical violations, but he does not, so LeBron is merely a client and advocate. Yes! LeBron and Rich Paul are friends, but there are no legal implications about clients being friends with each other or their agents.

But LeBron James went to dinner with Anthony Davis? They also played together on the Olympics, which the NBA sanctioned. Im sure they established a friendship. Here is where the gray area comes in. Could Lebron James be coaching Anthony Davis? I have absolutely no clue and will not speculate. If LeBron James provided information to Anthony Davis that would indicate the opportune time to make a move, that would be where the fire is! There are no reports about that happening so we shouldn’t feed the flames with fake information.

In short, I have never been a fan of business seeping into the game of the NBA during the season, but that is the reality as we have seen it with the Pistons, regarding Coach Larry Brown, the Cavaliers on multiple occasions regarding LeBron and Kyrie, Carmelo Anthony during whatever year pops in your head, Kyrie with Boston, etc, etc. If I put my tin foil hat on, I suspect that there is a push to repopulate the superstar map to normalize and rebalance the team structure and this is the first attempt. There is a high chance that this deal won’t happen as everyone is on high alert and to be clear on where the fault lies, I would list in order:

ESPN – Notorious for mishandling information, this one is completely botched by them. It is their norm to attempt to own both sides of the argument and they are not disappointing here. The entire preface of this situation feels orchestrated

LA Lakers – You simply cannot be fined for tampering and then allow information to leak that you are seeking specific talent. Poor management here! You must have multiple strategies in place and the front office is single minded right now. They must do better.

LeBron James – His reputation for understanding the business and being steadfast in doing it his way will always precede him. Because he has and uses his influence folks are apprehensive of all actions surrounding him.

Foresight: L.A. Kings

By: Opinionated MJ

Today I had a hunch after seeing that the Roy Hibbert trade was made official. Take careful note of what I’m saying here, remember where you heard it first. July 10th, 2015 at 11:31pm Eastern Time as I write this. Ha! The Lakers only gave up a 2nd round pick while also getting Roy Hibbert to agree to waiving his trade kicker which leaves the Lakers with money. I also paid special attention to the Lou Williams signing, the Brandon Bass signing, the Larry Nance sighting (yeah I watched the Lakers 5 on 5) and the fact that the Lakers still have Nick Young. I thought about the Sacramento Kings and wondered why do they have so many centers on their roster. Cousins, Cauley-Stein, Arturas Gudaitis, Kosta Koufos, and they are also entertaining the idea of Sim Bhullar. Karl also likes Javale McGee. 5 centers to be exact. This also stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend about the George Karl, DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo triangle. Knowing that Rondo & Cousins will either get along very well or won’t get along at all. Rondo will probably get along with Karl because Karl likes point guards. Then again, Rondo’s attitude may also prove to be problematic for him too. Which leaves me wondering why would they build a nuclear bomb to only shoot it directly up and target it to fall directly where it came from.

This is going to blow up. I don’t see it any other way. I don’t see DeMarcus actually trying to be buddies with George Karl after what happened. It’s quiet now. I believe that quiet is only attributed to the learning process the new front office is going through. Vlade Divac doesn’t see eye to eye with Karl on this matter. Excuse me Jalen, Bill, but Boogie doesn’t trust the Kings as an organization. So with all of this pretty much up in the air, there’s only one solution: See what this team can do from opening day through the trade deadline and make a move for the future of the franchise. By then they will know whether they are retaining Rondo. They will know whether Karl will have truly been right or wrong, and I believe they want to fire him BUT they don’t and they won’t. How would it look to hire a coach and not get anything out of him? They’re going to get their money’s worth. Rondo is on a 1 year deal. You have a lot of new faces at the center position incoming and this could ultimately spell the end of the Cousins Era in Sacramento.

Here’s where it gets tricky. What would you expect in return for your center? A center to replace him right? Well exactly. Enter, again, the Los Angeles Lakers. They’ve shored up their 4 position for ultimate decision: trading Randle. Adding Bass, Williams, drafting Nance, and keeping Nick Young throughout this time, and in the now-term according to Mitch Kupchak, only sets them up to have the assets to pull this deal off. George Karl honestly wants coachable players, so Rondo is the scapegoat in this one. They may even try to find a way to pit Rondo against Cousins and side with Rondo to find a reason outside of themselves being the blame for trading away Cousins, once they do. This will also be the action speaking pitch to Rondo to stay on board and that they keys to the franchise belong to him, at least throughout this time. The Lakers have the contract to match with Roy Hibbert, the assets to woo them with Nick and Julius and the Kings have the available big men to shuffle around once Cousins is gone, not to mention they’ll end up with Hibbert.

The Lakers are smart, or maybe it’s just me, but lets take a look at what I’ve come across:

LakersKingsCousinsHibbertTradeFull

This is the trade that I assume will be proposed, give or take a few draft picks, although in the trade machine it doesn’t work because they’re trying to spread the Jason Terry exception across both Nick Young and Julius Randle. Thats where you take another gander here:

KingsExceptions

We end up having to use every exception the Kings have but why wouldn’t they when Roy Hibbert has an expiring contract along with Rondo’s contract? There’s more than $25 millions soon to come off the books. The trade exceptions they hold is less than half of what they could possibly have free to lure free agents who could end up playing With Rondo & Rudy or taking over altogether. Here were my successes although they were not the complete trade:

LakersKingsCousinsHibbertRandleTrade

and of course this one here:

LakersKingsCousinsHibbertTrade

If you are a GM in the league, what deal do you think the Kings will get that is better than what the Lakers may be willing to give up? There’s maybe only a #1 pick that they could receive from elsewhere that would be potentially better but that could take anywhere from 2-5 years of player development to reach where they want to be: contention. Plus there are rumors that teams do not want to deal with DeMarcus Cousins but the Lakers are NOT one of those teams. They are willing to take the risk. Why not? They took the risk for Dwight Howard and he left as soon as he could while they were practically on their knees begging him to stay.

The Kings have been trash since C-Webb and Company left them and the entire run was over. They have to find a way back to relevance or they wasted their time fighting to keep the team in Sacramento. They will have successfully failed their fanbase. So why not shoot themselves in the arm with a steriod to jumpstart another possible rebuild period by trading Cousins to the Lakers, freeing up cap in the very near future, having veterans on board in Rondo and Rudy, bringing in Hibbert who is a good rim protector and seeking to retain him, and having to only fill in the blanks? No one wants to start from Stage 1 Rebuilding in the Western Conference. You will not have the same luck the Celtics have. This isn’t the “Least-ern” Conference.

Have fun with the ESPN NBA Trade Machine yourself.