Mike Dupar puts in earplugs during Stephen A.
To Trade and Die in LA
With the trade deadline looming and a general quiet in the air, Stan Van Gundy pulled his 65 inch waist Jynco Jeans down to his ankles, laid down on a purple exercise ball (a gift from Pat Riley), and picked up his phone. On the other end was the man that other men call when they want to get fucked.
Sitting in a finely preserved throne dating back to the Xing dynasty sat Jerry West, a man who as Cube said, “Ain’t the one to get played like a pooh butt.” Like many before him, Van Gundy had turned to West with his frigid ass in hand and asked for salvation. Desperate to preserve his role in Detroit as both coach and GM, Van Gundy made a deal with the basketball devil. Merely by entertaining the thought of calling up West, Van Gundy had sealed his fate. Like the other now nameless and forgotten victims of West’s wizardry, Van Gundy probably thought he could out maneuver the immortal GM. Van Gundy thought wrong. For those unfamiliar with the dark lord’s work, Jerry West was the essential piece in constructing three of the greatest dynasties in basketball history: Showtime Lakers, Shaq/Kobe Lakers, and the current iteration of the Golden State Warriors.
In the end the trade ironed out as follows:
Detroit got LA’s favorite angry and marginally funny son Blake Griffin and two of West’s dead souls (Reed and Johnson) for cap matching purposes. The Clippers got Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban, a Top 4 Protected 1st Round Pick and a 2019 2nd Round Pick.
To truly appreciate the way West handled this all we must look back to last year when Blake beat the shit out of a team trainer and then blew out his knee for the 1600th time just before the playoffs. At the conclusion of the ’16-’17 season West was hired as a consultant (shadow GM)—June 19th to be exact. Only two weeks later and after Chris Paul’s departure, Griffin re-signed with the Clippers for $173 million. At the time the move reflected an organization with a win-lusting owner and a general resignation to mediocrity. No reasonable person thought that the Clippers would be capable of a deep playoff run with Griffin as the focal point of the team and anyone with half a brain would’ve thought it insane to pay that much money to a half-kneed Kia model with anger issues, except for Jerry West.
By re-signing Blake, the Clippers were banking on one of two outcomes: Either the Clippers were going to be unexpectedly good and Griffin would rejuvenate his career without narc-ass Chris Paul riding him every day, or that there would be a team stupid enough to give up something in return for Blake despite his contract. (I’d like to remind you all that at the time of Griffin’s signing Jason Kidd still had sway in the Bucks front office.) Had the Clippers been unable or unwilling to re-sign Griffin then there would have been no future return from some desperate, sweaty, meatball of a man.
Jerry West bet on the stupidity of his peers (if you can even call them that), and as always, he came out on top. By shedding Griffin’s salary, the Clips have now paved the way to have $80 million or more in cap space in 2019 when LeBron (player option), Durant, Kawhi Leonard (player), Kyrie Irving (player option), Paul George, Klay Thompson, Khris Middleton (beaver option), and Jimmy Butler (player) could all be unrestricted free agents. If West can swindle another desperate and shortsighted GM to take DeAndre Jordan off their hands this month then the Clips may even find themselves attracting new star talent as soon as this summer.
For now it’s impossible to know what the Clips are going to do next, but whether it be a continued fire sale or staying competitive enough to appease Ballmer for one more year, you better bet on Jerry West, the dark lord of the league.
The Davis Dilemma
Remember last week when I said the Wizards were fucked? Well now they’re really fucked. GM’s take heed and do as I say or else bad shit will inevitably happen.
This brings me to Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. With the loss of Boogie Cousins to an Achilles tendon tear, the Pels are in a bad place. Despite my professed love for Boogie, I have absolutely no faith in his ability to recover from this injury and to reclaim his big ass throne. My justification for feeling this way stems from the track record of players who have had this injury before and Boogie’s disposition in relation to such an injury. Admittedly, the science for these injuries has improved a lot over the years but while the likes of Wes Matthews and Rudy Gay have sustained decent careers after the injury, Kobe, Chauncy Billups, and numerous other less glamorous players had the injury to blame for the decline in their basketball abilities.
The thing about Boogie is that despite being an elite athlete and talent, he’s never really shown that he’s willing to give it his all to win. Going all the way back to a Rockets and Pelicans game in December, I made a mental note of Boogie’s lack of effort down the stretch.
Here, Boogie is doing Boogie. He’s the last man in the picture on the offensive end and after cutting to the basket with the vigor of a deflated testicle, he sits back and remains out of picture for the entirety of the Rockets next possession.
Again, Boogie is nowhere to be found on a crucial possession. The Rockets know that Boogie won’t be there after a poor offensive possession and sure enough, Capela walks down the lane for the easiest basket of his career. I’m not sure what is worse, Alvin Gentry’s decision to play Boogie huge minutes all year or his decision to leave him in at times like these. I suppose it’s all just one in the same.
Looking back now in light of his injury, it’s hard to see the same man, that’s barely dragging his ass to half-court against the best team in the league (at the time), transcending history, and recovering fully. Without a doubt, Cousins will return in some capacity but we may have seen the last of the Boogie we all came to love.
But this brings me to my next point: Trade Anthony Davis NOW!
(wheels in trade machine)
All right folks time for America’s favorite pastime!
Trade Machine Fuckery!
This was a tough one to put together and killed a large part of my soul, as the only team that makes any sense is Boston. Frankly speaking, no other team has stock piled assets and attractive young talent quite like Boston.
In addition to the pieces above, the Celtics would give the Pels the 2018 Lakers pick and the 2019 Memphis pick.
The Celtics would be prepared to compete for championships for the foreseeable future with a healthy starting five of Irving, Cunningham, Hayward, Davis, and Horford, and a bench of Morris, Rozier, Ojeleye, and whatever postal workers Brad Stevens can transform into NBA players.
The Pels would get a restock of assets and get younger in a market that has to remain exciting by selling the future. Their starting five without Boogie would be Holiday, Moore, Brown, Tatum, and Baynes and a solid bench of Mirotic, Smart, and Miller. The Pels could get an incredible return on a deal the Celtics would have to take and could avoid the eventual departure of Davis from a small market and mismanaged franchise. Jerry West would do it.
Baptism of the Week
It was another fantastic week of dunks, but it should come as no surprise that the Baptism of the Week came from the Philly-Thunder barnburner last Sunday.
With just less than two minutes remaining in the first half, there were three consecutive dunks that set the tone for the second half.
All three we’re spectacular in their own right, but none were Baptisms and none quite as amazing as this from Joel Embiid.
Here ,Ubermensch Westbrook is looking to take a charge but fortunately for us the refs hold their whistles and allow Embiid to bury Westbrook in the purifying waters. Russell, your fashion sins have been forgiven.
It’s not often that the ball gets to do the Baptizing.