• We never learn do we?

    There is no dull moment in today’s NBA.

    Much of the media was on vacation (even the famous “Woj” was in Rome) with quiet weeks leading up to the preseason. And then it happened:

    Wow. A swap of the first pick in the 2011 draft for the last pick in the 2011 draft.

    It’s hard to remember a time when two obvious conference contenders swapped superstars. Let’s take a look at what all of this means.

    WHAT IT MEANS FOR CLEVELAND

    Acquiring Isiah Thomas and losing Kyrie Irving has the potential to be a wash on the offensive side of the floor. Thomas played AAU basketball with Kevin Love, which should keep chemistry in check and perhaps elongate their tenure with the team. However, Cleveland’s defense on the point guard depth chart is now awful with Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon to stand in the way. Yikes.

    Jae Crowder fills a major need of the “3-and-D” nature that the Cavs have severely lacked in the finals. J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver were too one-dimensional. Crowder can help on both ends of the floor, which is pivotal against a potential re-re-re-rematch with the Warriors.

    Unfortunately, the dark cloud of LeBron James‘ probable 2018 departure casts a strong shadow on any future beyond this season. If LeBron bolts, it will leave a bleak future that will make his other Cavs teammates also want to go elsewhere.

    That is why it was smart for the Cavs to receive Brooklyn’s first round pick. They now have an attractive asset if they want to go all-in for this final LeBron season. If they keep the pick, the Nets will be in the #TeamTank sweepstakes so a LeBron departure will at least leave them with a possible high pick to start a new era. Regardless, anyone that loses LeBron loses a top all-time player. They will never recover, but they have to try. The pick will help.

    WHAT IT MEANS FOR BOSTON

    The Celtics went all-in for Kyrie Irving, a player deserving of top-dog status in a conference starving for stars. In various moments throughout the NBA Finals, Irving displayed MVP potential even under LeBron’s shadow. He now has the permission to spread his wings, which should be a beauty to see.

    The Celtics will start a lineup that looks something like this: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen BrownGordon Hayward, Marcus Morris and Al Horford. Under coach Brad Stevens, a player with the untapped ceiling as Kyrie Irving could take them to new heights.

    Another subtle reason why the Celtics made this trade was to effectively end the Cavs dynasty. If there was any doubt that LeBron would leave, it’s all gone with this swap. The era is over and the Celtics are built for the future.

    BOTTOM LINE

    This move bodes well for both teams. The Cavs got much needed defense with Jae Crowder while swapping Kyrie for another offensive juggernaut. In 2017-18, they got a great deal. Meanwhile, the Celtics set themselves up with a young nucleus with a potential franchise guy in Kyrie Irving.

    As far as the NBA goes, all loyalty is officially lost on both sides. If you blame players like LeBron and KD leaving for better teams, look no further than Danny Ainge‘s treatment of Isaiah Thomas after an amazing and emotional season. Sports can be a cruel business.

    That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, offseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Enjoy the last days of summer!!

Fantasy News

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Knicks president Steve Mills claimed that Kristaps Porzingis threatened to return to Europe had the Knicks not completed a trade elsewhere according to Kurt Heln of NBC Sports

    The tense history between Porzingis and the Knicks front office has been well documented, which makes a startling headline like this one not all that surprising. It's safe to assume that Dallas' front office will not be hearing such requests, as they represent an opportunity for optimism for both Porzingis and their franchise as a whole.

    Source: NBC Sports

  • Tacko Fall - C - College

    Tacko Fall of UCF, Marques Bolden of Duke, Nick Weiler-Babb of Iowa State, Jalen Hudson of Florida, Amir Hinton of Shaw University and Myles Powell of Seton Hall will all be participants of the Kings pre-draft workout.

    All of the players that will be working out for the Kings are not projected to be drafted next month. The Kings are looking at guys for their second round selections as they have three picks in that round. Unfortunately, those are the only picks they have this year as their first round selection is owned by the Celtics. Expect the Kings to continue to look at players with high ceilings like Tacko Fall. Fall, a 7’7″ center has a 10’2″ standing reach and an 8’2″ wingspan. These measurements are why Fall will get to the NBA at some point. The question of how big of an impact he will make remains to be seen. Perhaps the Kings will draft the large center with one of their three second round picks.

    Source: Deuce Mason on Twitter

  • Patrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors

    Patrick McCaw (personal reasons) will remain sidelined for Thursday's Game 5 vs. the Bucks.

    McCaw has missed the entire ECF thus far due to personal reasons. The basketball community hopes the best for the youngster. Even if he were to come back, he wouldn't be in line for many minutes as Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet have established themselves as part of the team's shortened eight man rotation.

    Source: NBA Injury Report

  • OG Anunoby - F - Toronto Raptors

    Head coach Nick Nurse told the media that OG Anunoby (appendectomy) is still without a timetable to return but said that he's doing more every day.

    Anunoby has missed the entire playoffs after suffering an emergency appendectomy. Now that Game 6 is necessary and there is a greater likelihood that there will be a Game 7, the chances improve that we see Anunoby return to the court to face the Bucks. The Raptors could use another long versatile defender to throw at the Greek Freak and his teammates. Continue to stay tuned to how Anunoby continues to progress on the court to see if he will be able to return this series.

    Source: Michael Grange on Twitter

  • Kawhi Leonard - F - Toronto Raptors

    Danny Green never believed Kawhi Leonard was anything but legitimately hurt last year and back-to-back brilliant performances the last two games reinforces how serious the injury was.

    “He’s playing through pain,” Danny Green said to a handful of reporters, long after Leonard left the locker room. “He can’t even celebrate baskets because of how painful it is.” For the last couple games Kawhi has dragged around his right leg like there was a nail hammered into it while the Raptors won’t admit there is a problem. Toronto’s bench was brilliant yesterday carrying the team to a victory and with Game 5 set to take place on Thursday Leonard won’t have much time to rest.

    Source: Sports Illustrated

  • Pau Gasol - C/F - Milwaukee Bucks

    Pau Gasol made it official by confirming that he won’t be playing for Spain at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup due to his foot fracture.

    “I would have loved playing with Spain, with my teammates. It has been always important playing for my National Team”, Gasol said. The big man added that he would love to end his international career by playing in the Olympics in Tokyo but after finishing the worst statistical season of his NBA career we have to wonder whether injuries will allow him to continue competing at the highest level.

    Source: ACB

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Brian Windhorst of ESPN is reporting that Kyrie Irving is open to joining the Lakers but they aren’t as high on his list as a few other teams.

    Irving will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st and he has the Celtics, the Knicks and the Nets all ahead of the Lakers as potential destinations. Joining the Lakers would mean reuniting with LeBron James, his former teammate with the Cavs. Kyrie and LeBron overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Warriors to win the championship in 2016 but their relationship went south leading to Irving’s trade to the Celtics last year.

    Source: ESPN

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Warriors star Kevin Durant has not made a decision on where he’s taking his talents next season, according to his manager Rich Kleiman.

    “Kevin is 100 percent undecided,” Kleiman told the Wall Street Journal. “He really doesn’t know, and I really don’t know.” KD has strongly been linked to the Knicks, while the Clippers and the Nets seem to have increased their odds as well, but it’s hard to know what Durant really has in his mind.

    Source: Wall Street Journal

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    FS1’s Chris Broussard suggested that the Nets could be a dark horse when it comes to landing Anthony Davis.

    Brooklyn could offer the Pelicans a package that includes D’Angelo Russell (as part of a sign-and-trade), big man Jarrett Allen and their two first-round picks in the June 20 NBA Draft, the No. 17 and No. 27 overall selections. The Nets’ hope is to bring both AD and free agent-to-be Kyrie Irving to Brooklyn as Sean Marks seems determined to build a contender. AD and his agent Rich Paul are expected to meet with David Griffin in Los Angeles soon, so we should know more about the All-Star’s’ future once this meeting finally takes place.

    Source: FOX Sports

  • Tobias Harris - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Keith Pompey of the Phily Inquirer is reporting that Tobias Harris will be on the radar of at least five teams, including the Kings, the Mavs, the Jazz, the Nets and the Pacers, all of which have room to add a maximum-salary free agent.

    The Sixers will have a full plate this offseason as they have three starters headed toward unrestricted free agency this summer in Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick. Philadelphia owns Harris’ Bird rights, meaning they can offer him the most-lucrative deal, a five-year, $188 million pact while the most another team could offer would be a four-year deal at $141 million. Harris will soon be turning 27 and entering his prime and his services will absolutely be in demand even thought he averaged just 15.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 12 playoff games this year.

    Source: Phily Inquirer