Tag Archives: Sacramento Kings

Twin Towers!?!?!! DeMarcus Cousins & Anthony Davis

By: Opinionated MJ
Cousins and Anthony Davis Will Make Big Men Relevant Again


The return of the big man is on the horizon. The respect for Big Men will return along with it. Once DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis hit the floor together, we’ll begin to see what a twin tower tandem can do together. The first true big man duo since David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Unless you want to count Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol or Zach Randolph & Marc Gasol. There will be huge differences, including the fact they both are averaging 20 plus points a game and 10 plus rebounds a game individually. They can also both stretch the floor from mid range and from 3. I can imagine that if Alvin Gentry can adjust his playbook to benefit having both players on the floor at the same time, we’ll begin to see immediate results.

We know they need more roster moves, of course. I am one who believes they’ll be ready out of the gate, from the interior at least. How much more were the players the Pelicans traded away doing that DeMarcus Cousins can’t do? Nothing! Who do you prefer? Grinding always resulted in success, as recently as the finals, we’ve seen that. LeBron and the Cleveland Cavs worked inside out and dismantled the Warriors that way. So maybe there’s another kryptonite being constructed to take on the “invincible” (not) Warriors. They can be defeated. The Pelicans greatest strength is their greatest weakness, having two bigs that can get it done and definitely needing the supporting cast to play their roles to perfection. It’s the Spurs that they need to worry about. They don’t have an answer for Kawhi Leonard. That’s a fact.

I know you all probably think I’m getting ahead of myself in excitement, hell, they could lose all of the rest of their games and I’ll still be a newly minted bandwagon fan. I’m here for the long haul as long as this duo is together. I’m sick of the Warriors and Cavs, and the finals match-up everyone predicts between the two. I’m ready for someone to disrupt them both. Put them on notice. I think this will be the greatest threat to the entire Western Conference and to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the future. Funny how there’s no other east teams mentioned. Even the Rockets just got stronger. It’s time that another potentially strong team came up from the ashes in the entire NBA.

Bash this move while you can but the New Orleans Pelicans were not in any better shape going forward if they stood pat. They’ve been struggling for years and made the playoffs two years ago only to be ousted by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. They’ve had no success other than that, not since Chris Paul. It’s been even worse that they’ve lost a key player in nearly every season since Davis became a Pelican.

Cut them some slack. Give them a chance and congratulate the New Orleans  Pelicans as an organization. Give DeMarcus Cousins a chance to grow fit those who don’t see the progress he’s already made in the maturation process. Kudos to the front office! No other GM’s decided to go in another direction entirely. A few deals at this deadline were made but the majority all opted to play it safe. I’ll even give the Kings organization credit for finally letting him go and allowing both the organization and Cousins to find other ways to succeed instead of accepting being stuck. Playing it safe though is fine, it’s job stability. For those who desire to win? It’s win or go home.

King of the Ring: LeBron, the Cavs, and a Look Around the League

 

By: Opinionated MJ
Congratulations to LeBron and the Cavaliers! Cleveland, embrace this moment! You’ve been waiting for this. To finally see one of the best players ever, fulfill his promise to bring Cleveland a ring has got to be a breath of fresh air. I remember the feeling of living through a championship with my Pistons in 2004. The Red Wings were also prosperous. The Tigers were doing well as well if I’m not mistaken, I think we may have made the World Series that year. We had the Super Bowl here as well and I think a WrestleMania or something like that. Final Four NCAA basketball around this time as well. Great Year! Enjoy it!

 

LeBron has been preparing for season’s opening since Kevin Durant decided to become a part of the Golden State Warriors. They seem to be the only team that stands in the way of a repeat for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’d like to add that, if I were Carmelo Anthony seeing this ring ceremony tonight, I’d probably cringe and play with nothing but anger and hunger in my heart. Knowing I had the chance to be a part of the Miami team that won a ring and to be able to finally experience that level of success. It must be fulfilling for LeBron for sure. He has one ring by himself now as well. Kyrie pitched in BIG! I even thought Kyrie would win finals MVP after closing out Steph Curry and the Warriors in crunch time of those last few games.

 

I’m not big on picking another team except the current reigning Champions as the favorites to win it all. I’m going with the Cavs but I will admit I want my Pistons to win and if they can’t then I would love to see the Warriors win one for KD while he’s on a LeBron-esque mission to obtain a ring and put that on his resume. That would solidify him with other future Hall of Famers. I’d also like to see if they Bulls could somehow someway pull a rabbit out of a hat. Although, I think Chris Bosh is the only way they could achieve such success. I would also like to see the Spurs acquire DeMarcus Cousins for LaMarcus Aldridge. You heard it first. Chris Bosh to the Bulls, Cousins to the Spurs.

 

LeBron wants to win the MVP this year and that is making waves throughout the league. I think Paul George may have mentioned MVP first but he’s driven to do so as well, Damian Lillard wants to, and I’m very certain that Russell Westbrook wants to as well without saying it. Westbrook was chasing Magic Johnson’s triple-double record last year and didn’t admit it until someone asked him. I think LeBron should relax and let Kyrie and Kevin prove themselves and let them man the battleship until it absolutely requires LeBron to come in and take over. I know things used to fall apart fast when he exited the game last season and they would struggle to extend their lead over other teams at times. Let’s not forget their struggles en route to their triumph. Up and down season with LeBron thinking of his Banana Boat squad being teammates one day, social media jabs at some of his teammates, and a few other things. Maybe he also took a few pointers from Kobe about challenging your teammates. You do have to PUSH others to get something done more times than not. He successfully pulled that off and led his team to a Championship after being down 3-1. Congrats again to the Cavaliers! Good luck to the Cleveland Indians!

Rambling Thought: Homing In On the Playoffs

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By: Opinionated MJ

The lay of the land currently has Detroit down 0-2. We’ve got heart and we will beat Cleveland. Home cooking is ours next! LeBron’s team showing life. I know what LeBron can do but what can his team do going forward?

I see Dwayne Wade is transforming into his old self. I predicted the Heat would meet and beat the Cavs in this playoff. I thought Charlotte would serve up better competition but the Heat are home. I believe in home court. It’s a reason why they play for it. Losing game 1 on your floor is the only possible problem.

Toronto has given me reason to believe that they can’t make it from just being in the playoffs, early rounds. I guess Stephen A. Smith is saying that DeRozan is gone to the Lakers. So who will follow? That could lead to all types of deals or maybe the Lakers then go draft a big man or Ben Simmons. I’ll go with my cousin on Simmons. I also think the Lakers will land the #1 pick. The league loves them and that’ll be their reward for themselves to find a way to keep relevance in L.A. post-Kobe. How else would they? Are the trio enough going into next year? I believe Randle, Russell, and Clarkson could have a future together.

Paul George has been playing big for the Pacers. Literally. I don’t think anyone has given any real attention to his ascension since Larry Bird wanted him to play the 4. Results for sure.

Boston is one player away. When will Danny Ainge trade some of his picks away to lure in a player? Carmelo to Boston by any chance? Could that be what Boston is missing or do they need more defensive wings to couple with Isiah Thomas?

Tom Thibodeau has become the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Look out league. KG ties into the defensive philosophy from the Boston Championship team. Could provide even more boosts to the grow of their young core. Expect them to make noise in the league next year and be like Utah from this season. Except, I actually expect PLAYOFFS from them. I’m a big fan of Thibs. Wonder if D-Rose for Ricky Rubio would work for both teams? They’re playing a good Atlanta team with some experience.

Does Mark Jackson actually land in Sacramento? Would that be a good fit? You’d think he’d need some shooters or change their philosophy to such. Wait, Seth Curry & Mark Jackson! STORY TO WATCH!

I’m a Lillard fan and I believe he will perform as always. He probably needs another option in case someone else deflates in some games. I see him making a huge push in the future with another piece. Durant? Dwight? DeRozan? Maybe not. Doesn’t have a ring to it. Maybe a rookie big man whose two-way abilities are already with him. Chris Paul is a monster and with Blake having had to watch while he was hurt, we all got to see who needs to dictate the Clippers offense. They need Blake just the same too. I’d like to see Portland’s home-stand.

The Spurs have an easy series. They will sweep. Nor am I worried about the Warriors. Sweep with or without Stephen Curry. The prospect of that is dangerous, if you see it how I do.

What exactly are KD & Russ going to do? It’s Russ’ team due to him being healthy with this new group of players acquired last year all while Kevin Durant was out with injury. Notched triple-doubles, massive scoring nights, facilitating, MVP consideration, almost a playoff berth, and learning his teammates and their spots. He’s racking assists cause he finds them in their hotspots directly from an offensive attack. KD must fit in more and become the Assassin always or we should begin to want Russell to take those big shots equally as well. This series is crazy. Dallas with a win going back home. This will definitely be some fun basketball. Quiet rivalry, in my opinion. I won’t be able to call this series til the 5th game. It’ll go 6.

Early Prediction: Warriors Vs Heat in Finals. Warriors in 6. Would be an amazing story for their team if they beat LeBron then Dwayne Wade for their back to back titles.

 

Season of Kevin & Carmelo




By: Opinionated MJ

With the 2015-16 season on the horizon, I wanted to put the focus on free-agent-to-be, Kevin Durant, and the player everyone thinks is most likely you be traded this season, Carmelo Anthony. These two players are arguably the two most prolific scorers in the game. The major differences reside in their respective teams position before and after the season. Oklahoma City is expecting to compete for a championship, New York is expecting to compete for a playoff spot and grow on the go en route to their goal.

There is chatter about both players being potentially traded with the most likely being Anthony. He is the offensive crust for a Knicks team looking to implement new players, proceed with the heralded triangle offense, and hang their hat on an inexperienced coach in Derek Fisher. This has all boiled down to Anthony, who many has said is selfish for taking his money, selfish for not sharing the ball more, not a bonafide star cause he doesn’t play on both sides of the ball (unless being motivated to defend a superstar on the opposing team), and basically a waste to have with the Knicks in rebuilding mode. Despite who they selected in the draft, who they selected for a coach, the offense they selected that takes 2-3 years to understand routinely, the murky off-season they’ve had, they end up aiming all of their collective frustration guns at Anthony. He’s the only one that could save them.

I actually expect Carmelo to come out with some fire in him with all the criticism he’s been receiving as of late. Fans questioning him, people making rumors about his wife, people having things to say to him through different media forms, you would think it’s going to give him a huge chip on his shoulder. Not to mention the criticism in comparison to his peers. No MVP awards, no championships, no significant playoff push since his Denver days, this all has to be boiling him. Or maybe he’s just coasting and isn’t taking any of this seriously nor using it as a tool for motivation. We’ll find out soon enough.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see Carmelo moved to Chicago, Dallas or (SURPRISE) Sacramento since there’s loads of chatter about him going to be shipped away. Depending on the season the Knicks have early on throughout the first half of the season, this all could turn out to be true. We’ll begin to feel the pulse in about two weeks.

On the other side of things, there’s good ol Kevin. Setting an early goal to be on Russell Westbrook’s good side and not get cussed out, saying the right things although Scott Brooks was fired and replaced, and coming off a season where he sat cause of foot issues and watched Westbrook rise to another level that may be impossible to coexist with. You have the Washington Wizards maneuvering to lure Durant to their team with them hiring people close to him into the organization. You have the chance of he and Russell suddenly not getting along. You have the chance that they’ll be intact but will lose in an early round to a stacked Spurs or Clippers team, although any team in the west is capable to be honest.

Kevin is seen as a potential next in line torch bearer from LeBron’s dominance to his overdue arrival by finally winning a championship. Should he fail at this during this season, would it drive him from the team he’s been with since day 1? OKC would be crazy to trade Durant knowing it can retain him but possibly crazier to let him potentially walk, so what do they do?

Durant just proclaimed himself the best in the game and didn’t flinch in saying so. That’s loud and clear enough to get the attention of the likes of LeBron, Russell, Anthony Davis, and Stephen Curry. He was clearly the game’s best player during his lone MVP season but can he regain the same magic (and possession of the ball) in order to carry himself to that mountaintop again? If so, would it be at the expense of the growth of not only his teammates but specifically, Russell Westbrook?

I expect to see both of these players of interest succeed this year. Oklahoma City may be the only team that could stop a Spurs team that could become an unbeatable machine with its parts once they all mesh. The Knicks could be a playoff team IF Carmelo is able to will them to a plus-.500 record. I don’t expect the east to become any easier with many teams having longevity and teams making decent off-season moves and drafts that should lunge them further into routine competitiveness amongst the rest of the conference. This may be one of the best seasons this era has seen thus far.

If LeBron wins the 2015-16 Championship for Cleveland, would he leave?

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By: Opinionated MJ

I know you think I’m causing an outrage, but let’s actually seriously take a look at this. I caught Stephen A. Smith during the aftermath of the finals saying something to the tune of, “Cleveland is lucky LeBron didn’t win this championship cause it would’ve given him the opportunity to leave.” Basically, story would be complete for Cleveland. LeBron leaves and leaves Cleveland heartbroken. LeBron comes back and everyone is happy again. LeBron wins a championship in his first year back. It can’t get any better. I doubt it could get better than that. Then he could go west and try to conquer getting out of the western conference which would cement his legacy in my opinion.

So how true was that statement? I believe a decent amount that Steven A. Smith says. He predicted alot of things that have come to pass and apparently has personal relationships with these players. Enough about him though, my point in making this a big deal is the fact that there IS something LeBron hasn’t done: Dominate the Western Conference.

How beautiful would it be if LeBron went to Phoenix last year? Los Angeles Lakers next season? Dallas? Maybe San Antonio? Memphis? Any west team would work. Could you imagine the dog fights he would have with the Warriors, Clippers, Spurs of the future, Grizzlies, Rockets, Thunder (if they keep both KD & Russell), Pelicans???!? I mean I could go on. It’s exciting. It’s also the only thing he hasn’t done.

LeBron hasn’t had competition in the east since my Detroit Pistons and ESPECIALLY the big 3 & Rondo Boston Celtics. Let’s be honest. The Bulls were supposed to be threats but have they actually come close to finally beating a LeBron led team? No. I like the Bulls so it’s no hate. Did the Pacers truly threaten the Heat? Maybe, but they never got the job done. Almost doesn’t count.

It was Boston legitimately and Indiana that (somewhat) make this list as the only true competitors over the last 5-7 years for LeBron. I mean, LeBron has been to the last 5 finals, so you can’t argue my point. Before that, it was Orlando and Boston twice. But wait… Cleveland before that. So he’s been to 6 of the last 9 finals. That’s 66%. Not even San Antonio has been to the finals that many times in that short of a span, 3 of 9. So let’s not say LeBron needs teammates of gold. He’s dragged two Cavs teams to the finals. They said lightening doesn’t strike in the same place twice. There’s a reason he made it that far even with team deficiencies and it’s because of HIS efficiency.

Watch the 2015 NBA Finals again and dare tell me LeBron couldn’t man a western team to the finals. The first “no-no” with this Tristan Thompson thing has come up. The beginning of building a way out. Something LeBron does rather discreetly when he’s going to make a move. If he does win and decide to go west, why not be a Sacramento “King”?

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.