ITS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
NBA free agency has been on fire in 2018, as it typically is. Power is shifting, trades are looming, and the Eastern Conference is now just a little kid with an oversized hat and a shirt hanging down to his knees that gets to play because he’s Western Conference’s brother. The East is Smalls from The Sandlot, and The West is Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez.
A QUICK GAME FOR ALL AGES!
Through all the action since free agency opened, two moves stand out above the rest. We’re here to take a closer look at them and how they alter the power structure of the league going forward. But let’s play a little game first.
Here were their numbers for 2017-2018:
Nearly identical without a magnifying glass, and impressive no doubt. Player B, led in some of the ancillary stats like nine rebounds and nine assists vs. Player A’s three and one, while Player A’s star shown brighter in the turnovers, three-point percentage, and free throw percentage buckets. And for those who like to factor in the impact of “points scored” into their sabermetrics, Player B had the edge of player A marginally (27 and 7, respectively).
Any idea who we are talking about? Of course, you do. It doesn’t take a genius.
PLAYER A: Doug McDermott
PLAYER B: LeBron James
Doug McDermott moves from the Dallas Mavericks to the Indiana Pacers. Last season, he led a gritty Mavericks team that battled down the stretch of the season only to lose out on the last playoff spot by 23 games.
Combining a lethal duo of making the fundamental play and “being a great locker room presence”, McDermott not only brings an instant formidability to the Pacers that the team desperately needs, but he also fills the Pacers annual quota for signing a minimum of one tweener white fella that will hit some threes and struggle on defense.
LeBron James, of course, will be taking his talents (formerly of Cleveland of Miami of Cleveland) to Los Angeles, where he will be tasked with being the Pippen to Lonzo Ball’s Jordan. James will bring his usual dirty work with him, not afraid to mix it up and do things the other guys won’t, like lead every game he plays in scoring, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, efficiency, and minutes played.
SOCIAL MEDIA REJOICES
NBA Free Agency is the show, and Twitter is the Coliseum. There is no better place for getting instant information and reactions during this fast-moving time period. A signing of players of this magnitude always yield similar excitement and optimism from fan bases.
The reactions were similar in nature:
NEW STARS, NEW HOPES
The Pacers look to build on an impressive 2017-2018 campaign. Last season saw Victor Oladipo become a star and a strong supporting cast provide solid play all season that led to an unexpected playoff berth. This would all eventually end thanks to a Cavaliers team led by Kevin Love. That team would lose to the Warriors in the NBA Finals.
As for the Lakers, it’s nice to see them finally get a little luck and success that has eluded them for so many decades in the NBA. In LeBron, they get a heady second-option to second-year superstar Lonzo Ball, known best for being some loud guy’s son. Sporting a gorgeous jump shot and a dazzling array of facial expressions, Ball is in prime position to lead the James to his elusive 4th NBA title.
Which team won this acquisitional battle is a coin flip at best right now. Both teams have to be unchallenged favorites by any measure going into the start of the season. I’m not a betting man, but if I were I wouldn’t be scared to pencil in this finals matchup for every cent I’m worth.
I supposed we’ll just have to see how it plays out Cotton.
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