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Coming up, The Return to Rosillo. Lots of trades. Lots of fake trades. Next. We're also brought to you by the Ringer podcast network. I put up a new Rewatchables last night. We did National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Me, Sean, Ciar, Van. Super fun. Check out all the ringer. Com, end-of-the-year stuff that we've been doing. We have had some good basketball pieces, too. We have really good basketball stuff. We've done a lot of end-of-the-year stuff both on the website and on the podcast network. So if you're Jones in for some end-of-the-year stuff, we have it. Coming up on this podcast, Ryan Rosella, has been on in a while. We'll talk about that. We usually wait until the second half of the year. We couldn't this year. Too much going on. We're going to make up a lot of trades. I hope you're ready. Hope we're sitting down. First, our friends from ProJet.


All right.


Taking this Tuesday morning Pacific Time. I'm from Ryan Rosilewis here. We're going to make up a bunch of trades, try to fix some teams. Before we do that, we're going to talk about the Timberwolves because they are the store of the year right now. They had a great win against Miami last night. I was coming up from Nicks and we talked on the phone and you were like, You've got to watch the fourth quarter. You've got to watch it. You've got to see what happened in that game. Minnesota looks like a team that can make the finals, Rosillo. I don't think this is fluky. They're 20 and five. They played defense better than everyone else in the league. They have a guy who believes he's the best player in the league, Anthony Edwards. Whether that's true or not, he believes it. And they've gotten the towns go bare thing going. They have a bench. Can this team make the finals?


Yeah, I think they can. It still feels like, is it because you're more open-minded about what the West really is in comparison to those other years where it's like, How is anybody beating Golden State? So when you look at the West, you go, Is Denver this insurmountable thing? Or is Oklahoma City going to add a piece, which we'll mess around with today a little bit? Are you completely writing off Phoenix? That's how we're talking about the other three teams. I think it would be dismissive to say Minnesota can't win the West. I'm not going to say that. I think the towns go bear thing, whenever go-bear is in the middle of the paint, you're like, Okay, well, how is that going to impact a guy like Anthony Edwards getting in the hoop? Is that actually going to get in the way? The way that he stepped up defensively, the way he made Bam think about his decisions, and the fact that they can interchange towns and Naz Reed as these huge spacing bigs and go bear covering for towns defensively. Then I think one of the credits to all this is like towns probably reluctantly at some point maybe last year going like, Oh, I guess this Anthony Edwards guy is better than me.


And Anne having the right personality to make it work because I'm not sure the towns. I would have bet the towns would be totally cool with that. Then you throwing Jaden back defensively, what we saw them do against the wings for Boston. I even think Alexander Walker stepped up his defense where when Daniels was out, it was like, Hey, that's not a total loss either. Connolly, who's a diminished version of himself, was huge last night with a couple of big shots. So yeah, I'm open to it. I'm ready for it. I'm not sure that I'm predicting it, but I think writing them off would be dismissive after what? Twenty-five games?


You look at them and you go, I don't even really know what they need. I guess they could use point guard insurance with Connolly. Yeah, definitely. Reed and Alexander Walker come in and they're really good. Kyle Anderson is a fun change of pace guy for them. Hes the biggest thing is what you said with Towns that Edwards not only is the force of personality of that team, but I think he really gets Towns going. I've had a couple of people tell me he's alpha with Towns getting him focused and centered. This is probably my favorite version of Towns that I've seen all year. There was a play in the fourth quarter yesterday when he had Butler on him, and he just bullyballed him in the corner and got a 12-footer. But the Go Bear piece, the fact that they figured out how to play him and Towns together, it seemed inconceivable a year ago. We were talking about that as being one of the worst trades in the history of the League. I still think they badly overpaid. I don't know who else they're bidding against. I still think last summer, if they wanted to trade Go Bear, they would have had to attach Picks to it.


That's how bad last year was. But it's been this miraculous turnaround. And I got to say, I haven't loved what I've seen from Denver. If it was at gunpoint, I think I would still pick Yokeage in the west. But this Minnesota team is built to beat Denver. Whether they can do it or not, I don't know. But they have just bigs to throw at him for four quarters. They have a guy in Edwards who I think will really attack them and think he's better than them. And they might have homecourt, too. They're 20 and five right now. They have a three-game lead in the west, and they're 11 and one at home. And when you watch their home games, they have a real home crowd thing going out, too. Now that they're healthy, now that Mcdanos is back, I just think this keeps going. That's my take.


Yeah, because that's... Is Denver somebody that can Coast? Remember how bad they played towards the end of the regular season when it looked like didn't want the MVP. Last five weeks. Yeah. And then Malone even got on their case. I think there's always a benefit of the doubt thing that we should do with them. But at least Minnesota has size to disrupt whatever it is that Yokitch is going to do. He's probably going to have to set up a little bit differently. Some of those times where Yokech is like, All right, enough of this, and gets a deep catch and just works you in the post, and the other team has no chance against it, Minnesota has a chance against it like few other teams do. What I love about it, I watched some of these teams and go, like Oklahoma City is a lot of fun. Then maybe they're the second best team in the west, but they need another big. You need to be able to... As much as everybody's in love with like, Hey, here's our seven or eight man rotation, and this is who we are in the place, and this is all we're going to do.


Sacramento is too small for Denver. Oklahoma City is probably too small for Denver.


Dallas is too small for Denver.


Yeah, right. I think Anthony Davis, if he's healthy, like I've seen games in the west where I go, All right, well, whatever the score was, was one thing. But how are you going to handle it? Golden State should still have nightmares about not having any other matchup option against Anthony Davis and LeBron getting into the restricted area at will throughout that series last year. So when you watch Minnesota and you watch even the Bam stuff, that catch and Bam's like, Oh, what do I do? And Bam even got a couple to roll in, or he would have had a disastrous fourth quarter. So I'm with you. I don't know the headline of the pod is Minnesota is winning the whole thing, but you have to put them up there with every other team in the west. I don't know if it's an even chance. Again, I don't know what the odds would be, but at least I can visualize what it would look like even if it feels newer than some of the other teams you would say, Hey, they're absolutely a contender to win the title.


I feel comfortable saying this, at least if they stay healthy, they're going to get the one seating the West. I think that's going to happen. I mean, their first net rating with the... I'm sorry, with the defensive rating. And I think that's going to stay that way. I mean, they're 106.6 per 100 possessions. One interesting thing with them, when Edwards and McDanielials, they have those on mba. Com with the two-man, three-man, all the different lineups. Just the two-man lineup of Edwards and McDaniels is plus 13.8. And it feels that way when you watch them against good teams. The thing that scared me as a Celtic fan watching them lose that OT gain to the T-Wolves was that Tatom and Brown just weren't getting the shots that they were happy with. Everything was contested with those guys because McDaniels and Edwards together when Edwards wants to play defense is so scary. But man, it's the story of the year. Okc, when we're going to make up some trades, I do think OKC, if they really cashed in those picks and went after a couple of guys could go after them, I'm not giving up on Denver.


But to me, as I look at both conferences, I can't take any contender seriously that doesn't have size because the size is back in such a big way. You look at the East, Boston, Philly, Milwaukee, and then Miami is going to be there. And then you look at the West, and it's Minnesota, and it's Denver. And probably OKC if they can add somebody other than that. Is the Lakers would be the other team. And I don't know what their trade is going to be. And then after that, it depends on whether this Clipper thing is for real, which is the other thing we have to talk about quick before we make up trades. Clipper have looked fantastic. They're just blowing teams out. And I think it's a honeymoon phase with Harden. I'm not buying it. Paul, George, and Kauai are healthy. They've been healthy the whole year. If you have all these guys together and you're telling me this is going to be the way it goes for seven months and everybody's happy, maybe I'll take that seriously for the playoffs. But we've been here with these guys in all these different ways. And no matter what they're doing, I'm just grain of salting it.


Where are you right now with it?


Which part of it? What are you asking me?


Well, neither of us like the hard to trade.




And now they look really good.


The reason I ask it that way is because, yeah, right now it looks awesome, but I'm never going to get that part of the back of my head to be like, okay, what's going to look like once we actually get to the playoffs? Let's be fair to Harden here. I take Harden's side on the contract thing. I do. I don't know why a guy would give himself a $13 million haircut, which was weird because then he wanted credit for it three different times. Then it was like, Yeah, but you never actually extended based on your argument, your position is that you were promised that you were... And whatever, the suits are going to say they never promised anything, that he's out of his mind and there was a miscommunication with the whole thing. All right. So the other part that I think is fair to.


Harden is that- Did you just say the words I'd take hard and side? I just wanted to make sure I heard that correctly.


Okay. On the contract thing with this, I don't... Look, we've watched the NBA. We've talked about it for a really long time. I don't think guys give up 13 million for no reason.


Yeah. Okay.


Okay. So then when he first gets with the Clippers and basketball team seemed to do this for whatever reason, they'll do something dumb because of feelings, knowing that it's a dumb thing. And to have Harden come off the bench because you can't have Westbrook play off the ball where it's like, All right, how long are you guys going to do this? So the plus-minus fest for Harden in the beginning was a disaster. And everybody's pointed out, I referenced it, but I know even when I referenced it, it's like, Yeah, but if you watch this, Harden's out there with the second unit because they don't really want to disrupt Russ. But at the same time, Louis wasn't going to do that. Now guess what? Look at the Harden plus-minus stuff that he's playing with the better players and now Westbrook. Because Westbrook has to have the ball in his hands, which the Lakers are like, Okay, this isn't going to work. He didn't want to come off the bench and all that stuff. Now that he's playing with the better players, and I think the more important thing, look at Kauai's numbers in December. They're absurd.


If that's all clicking, and it was funny, too, because I was watching the Lakers in the Dallas game and I went, Man, if the Clippers have all three of their dudes with George and Kauai and hard and healthy, will they have enough if they're in a playoff series to hang up on the perimeter defensively? Granted Van Doe's back and all that stuff. I was like, I don't know. I don't know if they'll have enough options there defensively for those perimeter stuff and maybe AD cancels it all out. So yeah, it looks awesome. They figured out the Harden piece of it. He's finishing at the rim far better than he was the first two weeks when he was there that showed this massive amount of decline. But it's all irrelevant to me unless they're healthy. They may end up with a great seed, but it's just a really hard team to buy. I mean, hell, Kauai against Phoenix last year in the couple of playoff games he played, you're like, Whoa, dude. This is starting to look like 2019 Toronto Kauai.


Yeah. I went on Thursday night and I was stunned by how much better he looked and how he looked two weeks earlier when I saw him in person. He looked like fast and explosive and just five years ago Kauai. So that was more interesting to me than the Harden piece because Harden is going to come and go. Right now, he's in shape. He's happy. He's looking good. But we just know the roller coaster ride that that guy's this version of him, the post-Houston version of him. I just don't trust it. We've never seen him happy for more than two months. They also they lucked out with that Daniel Tice just being able to get another big body who at least knows where to go and what to do. They just stole him as a buyout guy. We're tortured by the Tice minutes when he was in Boston. But he's at least competent and they just needed somebody who could at least just be competent. And they didn't have that once Plumbley went down. So the big thing, though, is they've had Kauai and George healthy now for two months, and we haven't seen that in how many years.


Is it okay if I don't trust it? It's like, Bradley- That's my point. -could make it one day before he got hurt. The track history of if you just get hurt every year to just think, Oh, it's not going to happen. The sugar will be out there. I just don't trust it.


I think they could use another big. And Tice is funny because it's just nice to be able to watch him get worked again. I just wanted to see Tice like, I know now with Jerry Mon Green, we're in a different level sensitivity of players assaulting other players. But how many times are you going to get hit in the face? Like watching him with Boston, how many times he just would be on the baseline with his face all red, turning to the ref being like, Did you.


Not see that? Did you see Chris Paul? Chris Paul annihilated him last week, got a flagrant. Chris would never do that. He can't... Tice just takes more abuse than any player in the history of the league. It's hilarious.


Yeah. And I'm just glad that West Coast gets to experience. So just a heads up to Clipper's fans, you're going to see it the entire time. Okay, the whole point of me going like, What are you actually asking me? It's awesome right now. It's awesome. And nothing helps your scoring output more than facing the Pacers. I mean, my God, I'm looking at that score and be like, Wait, they have 103 and there's five minutes left in the third quarter. So it looks really good. All the good players are playing. It looks really good. Talk to me in May.


The Pacers are like one of those inside edition commercials, commercials where it's like the dark side of making the in-season tournament. Indiana thought that their whole season was ahead of them after they made the finals, and then they never won again. The Lakers, it seems like it broke them in some ways. And that's a team that is on my fake trade list. Most likely trade guy for you. Let's go back and forth. We'll swap trade guys because it's trade season. It's mid-December. Some trade have come off the table.


It's technically. But Bobby Marks had a great tweet of like, Here's the number of December trades. It was a lot?


Yeah, not really. I mean, I can find it again, but I think the number, I forget if it was zero last year or one. But yeah. So you want to do what? You want to go back and forth on most likely traded guys and then throw some trades at each other.


And then we'll do some trades and some teams that we think. But I thought we'll just go back and forth with the most likely guys will end up with a top six. But I'll let you go first. Who do you think is the single most likely good player to get traded over the next two months?


I think it's Donovan, Mitchell.




Is in a... For a young team, we're sitting here talking about the Clippers as a health bet. The Cavs aren't supposed to be a bad health bet. Mobly is going to be out two months. Garland has a broken jaw. Mitchell is always good to miss a few games. This is a team in the regular season last year that put up some really impressive numbers. The best defense, you're like, Okay, what are they going to look like in the playoffs? I'd already mentioned sometimes when I watch them in that nick series, I think bigger picture like, Are they going to be able to play the two biggs? There seems like there's a bit of a power struggle here with what Mitchell wants, but it seems like no one around the league actually thinks he wants to stay in Cleveland. He's under contract next year. He's going to player option the year after that. It feels like with the way the Knicks are, the Knicks are pretty good. I want you to talk more because you saw them in person last night. But the tea leaves on this one seemed to be pointing the direction that maybe Cleveland hits the reset button to try to get some assets before it getsuglier.


And this is something that's been brewing before this season. We had Garrett Bush on this podcast who's from Cleveland who does a show there. And he was saying, this was in August that nobody thinks he's staying there. I think that's what we've heard. I haven't heard anybody like, No, you guys are wrong. He's staying. Everybody seems to think he's out at some point. And this year was going to be the test year, couldn't have gone worse. Mobley, I don't know how long he was hurt, but the six to eight weeks for the knee surgery, as you know, I'm always on the record. I never believe it's going to be... Oh, he'll be back in six to eight weeks. I always feel like it's going to be worse than that. They weren't playing well anyway. And I think maybe what happens first if they think they have a chance to keep Mitchell is they change the coach. And if they don't think they have a chance to keep Mitchell, then they move on the Mitchell trade. But I'm with you. I had three Mitchell trades. It's going to be Miami or Brooklyn. And I think everybody feels pretty confident.


Wait, Miami or Brooklyn or New York?


Well, we'll talk about New York. I would vote that Miami or Brooklyn as my favorites, because especially after watching The Nicks last night, I don't know if that's a great move to use all their assets to get another small guard who needs the ball all the time. That team is pretty Brunson dominant, and Brunson has been excellent this year, but he has the ball a lot. And to me, I would want to big if I were them, or I would want like a shooter with versus just another small guard that needs the ball all the time. Now, if you get them at a 50 % discount, I'm fine with that. But if I were them, that's not how I'd use my resources. Now, the Knicks are a little screwed because they were headed. This summer, there was a point where it's like, We make it, Yanes. We make it in Bid. Those guys have a chance to be super unhappy. Yanes doesn't want to sign an extension. And Bid's got this hard in saga. Now, Harden is the happiest he's been in his entire career. And Yanes, they made the dame trade. He signed the extension.


So the question for the next is, is there a better asset coming down the road? And if we get down to Mitchell, is that really going to change our destiny? I think they're still too small. Robinson is out for a while. But even if Robinson comes back, I just don't think they have the size to compete against some of these big contenders. So how does Mitchell change that? I don't see how it would.


Well, it doesn't. Granted, the Robinson injury hurts. I think, Tim, it's pretty clear. I don't know how great the organization feels about Hardenstein. And then they had Jerico Simstart again the other day who may be only a rotational guy.


He's like a 12th man. I mean, Taj Gibson was playing fourth quarter minutes for them yesterday.


Yeah, once they signed Taj, I was like, Okay, this is security. This is bad. I get back. So whenever we're talking about the ball dominant guys, I admit that you go, Man, I'd love this awesome offensive player to also want to play with the other guys. So you're going, Okay.


Wait- Like Hale Burns, though. Hale Burns can have the ball, but he also doesn't need the ball.


Right. The Warriors spoiled us because you had all these terrific players that wanted to play with each other. I would say that's probably the exception in the NBA. There's two things like, Okay, so you're taking it away from Brunson. That's probably bad, because even though his ball dominant, I mean, he was so good in the fourth quarter last night, reading the screens. The Lakers couldn't quite figure it out. He rejects another screen, hits a floater. He played the screens and the switches perfectly every single time. I'm like, All right, you want to.


Take that away from me? You can make a case. He's the hardest guard to guard in the league other than Shay right now. This herky-jerky shit that he does, nobody seems to be able to get a feel for it. He gets the shot he wants every single time. I don't know how having Mitchell would help him. I don't count Luca as a guard. You know that.


Okay. All right. Just making sure. I have a... Sometimes it feels like mini Luca when you're watching Brunson. Because it's not necessarily fast. It's just that he changes his speeds all the time and then just finds a way. He finds a way. Do you.


See his stats this year?


For Brunson? I mean, which ones?


He's 48, 46, 80 or splits. He's 46 % from three this year. That's nuts. And at the end of these games, he's just doing getting whatever shot he wants. Anyway, God, I interrupted.


No. So I think when you look at it, you go, Well, wait a minute. If you plug Mitchell in here and by the way, it's another small guard. The teams, when it comes to the playoffs, they'll be like, Okay, well, let's see how well this Brunson stuff works. The Lakers even tried to blitz him at one point that I thought was a little bit too late in the game because we were just letting him dictate everything. You're like, Maybe Mitchell isn't the perfect fit. Mitchell can go off, but he also can get a little single-minded at times. You even saw that with Utah and stuff. Hey, does that really fit? I don't think that's what teams do. I think teams go, Hey, we have R. J. Barrett, who is now seventh and fourth quarter minutes for the Nicks. I looked it up this morning. Last year, no one spent more time tracking R. J. Barrett fourth quarter minutes than I did in the world last year.


You had one of those walls where you're just writing a magic marker.


Right. I'm like, Why do you keep doing this? I mean, that's a significant drop. He was at eight minutes in the fourth quarter, even though tibs would sub them out strategically because defensively, he clearly doesn't trust him. Well, now he's seventh, and you have to pay R. J. All this money. It's 24, 26, 28, 28, 29, 30. So it's this massive extension that kicks in. And so if you added a piece with R. J, which is going to be one of my fake trades, you go, All right, fine. He's not perfect. And maybe there's not a perfect overlap of usage because they're both high usage iso players and all this stuff. And then you have to make sure you still have the Randall possessions because he's fixed some things since the disaster started the season. I think teams just.


Go- You had a good last time.


I think teams just go, Okay, cool. Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's better. It's better, and we're... We're better. Now we're better because we have Mitchell instead of this. You talk about waiting around for the next Mad Star, which will happen, and we will be surprised. But I don't know, that's a tough way to build a team. We're like, Hey, he's not perfect, so let's wait for the perfect guy. Are you sure about that?


So the case for the Nicks trying to make a move in the next two months is they have these three 2024 Dallas, Detroit, Washington picks. All of them are protected. The Dallas Pick is top 10 protected, so that's going to activate. The Detroit PIC is protected all the way through 27. Probably you're not seeing that for a couple of years. Then the Washington Pick is basically you're probably not seeing it until two years from now. But they have this window to try to trade those picks because the protections, who knows? I think there's better moves for them, not to just turn this into a NIC segment, but Andy Noby is a free agent, right? If you're Toronto, why wouldn't you just flip Andy Noby for Barrett and grab one of those protected picks and just call it a day? Because I actually like Barrett. I think it's a weird... This isn't maybe the perfect team for him. But when I look at a team like Toronto, I actually think he'd play better for them. Plus, he's Canadian. They're going to lose Dan and at the end of the year. They lost Van Blie for nothing, which I still don't really understand that strategy.


And to me, that's a trade that made the salaries match up. And if I were the next, I would rather do that and see what it looks like before I then made the Mitchell trade.


Who do you think is better, OG or Mitchell?


Oh, Mitchell is better than OG. But I just think Mitchell is going to cost a shitload of stuff. What Cleveland gave up for Mitchell is three first and two swaps. And then Mark and was in that trade. Sexton was in that trade.


But nobody liked Mark and everybody was off of.


Sexton- I'm just saying you then can't just give him away for two first and a player. They're going to be trying to get picks back. That's why I actually thinklet's take a break because I think there's better Mitchell trades for them. All right, coming back. We're talking about Donovan Mitchell. And I was saying I thought Miami and Brooklyn were the two candidates. You felt that last night in that Miami-Minnesota game, Hero is a good score. He's a 22, 23 points to game guy. He's not as good as Donovan Mitchell is. And if they had Mitchell in that game last night, that's a different Miami-Minnesota game. They have multiple places they could go. And it's basically the same stuff they were offering in the Dame rumors, whatever was true or not. But if it was Mitchell for Tyler Hero, Jovitch, who's lighting up the G League, I don't even know. I just know he's played G League games. And then you got here, '24, '28, and '31st. Maybe there's some swap in there. That's a pretty good outcome for the Cavs because Hero would be able to replace a lot of that offense and it's probably a better fit with Garland.


And I think you and I are both way more invested in the Garland piece of this. I've never loved the Garland-Mitchell combo. I think that's as good as Miami would do. I would not put Hawkez in the trade if I was Miami. To me, I'm just not trading him.


No, I don't think you have to. You also have to figure out. The whole reason for the Nicks and the first pass-through with the Mitchell thing was they didn't really believe that there was a threat. They were like, Okay, fine, whatever. And then Cleveland comes out of there and then hands him a couple of pieces that look even better now and then all the picks. But with Hawkes, he's not the guy that gets included in this stuff. He just does, unless you think that Brooklyn, New York, and Miami are all bidding and then it has to happen. But is Hero better than R-J?


They're different players. I think what I like about the R-J is that little spin move, driving to the basket stuff. If you have a team of guys who are outside the perimeter and then you have him pounding, it makes sense. With him and Brunson, it's a tiny bit redundant. And Randall. Randall and Barrett have similar, like that spin, put your shoulder into them. I like Hero a little bit more.


Yeah, I think Hero is the better player. There's some numbers that would tell you this is the best bear that's played for a while, but yet he's playing less minutes. He was around 35 minutes of game for about three years, and now he's at under 30, technically.


I think the fact that quickly, last night, I mean, Quickly was great last night. That's the other thing with Mitchell to the next. Quickly does some of the stuff you'd expect Mitchell to do. He's not as good as Mitchell is, but I just don't think that's what they need. The Brooklyn trade is the one that I think makes the most sense to me because Brooklyn is in a weird spot where they don't have any of their picks. So if they're doing any trade, it makes sense for them to improve, not go backwards. And they have a shitload of stuff. So they have the 27 and 29 Phoenix-firsts. They have the 29 Phoenix first. They have the 29 Dallas first. They have a Philly pick. They have Cam Johnson who's eligible to be trade in a couple of weeks. So they could put together like, Cam Johnson, Cam Thomas to Phoenix first, the 29 Unprotected Dallas first, and take Mitchell down. I think they have the most to offer. And then he gets to stay in New York, him and Bridges together. And that's not nothing. And then they sign him to an extension. He went to school in Connecticut.


I think he wants to be in New York, and they just have more to offer than the next two.


Well, they have the picks, and they don't feel like they're disrupting anything either, right? Right. It doesn't feel like with the next conversation that we just had, you're going, Okay, how does it fit? And I still think it's important to keep hammering this point. I think front-off is go, Hey, it makes us better. It makes us better. We know that Mitchell, his ceiling scoring in the playoffs is beyond a ton of players in this league. Where if you're the Nets, last year was a little fluky because remember they had had, I think, 11 games over 500 head start when then they tore it down.


Yeah, and went backwards.


You kept looking at the seating being like, Hey, they're still around. They're still around. It's like, Yeah, they'd actually built up a bunch of wins, and that's why they're going to be in the playoffs. And then Bridges goes off. I think Bridges has been better after a start of like, Wait, was that a little fluky? Like him being the number one option? I mean, it certainly was like, nobody's going to build their team and say, Hey, Bridges needs to be the number one overall option. But they have, I would say, Finney Smith's available, Royce O'Neal is clearly available, Dinwitty is clearly available. Do any of those things get you more excited than R. J. Barrett or Tyler Hero? Of course, not.


Right? Right. So you're saying if you're going in, you're going in for Mitchell if you're Brooklyn. Also, I feel like after the top, after Boston, Philly, Milwaukee, the four states is available right now, and it could be the Nicks, it could be whoever. But the east isn't as good as the west. I don't know. If I were Brooklyn, I would do it because I don't really care about the picks down the road. I feel like they've lost all of their relevance. They were going toe to toe a little bit with the Knicks. And now, when's the last Nets conversation you have? They're probably in the top five teams I've watched at least on League Pass. I just don't care. I'm just not that interested in them. See, put Mitchell out there. I'm a little more interested. I have a dark horse for you, though. You might have written this down, too. What about New Orleans for him? What if I offered you C. J. Mccleom and Dyson Daniels in my 24 first, and I gave you that Lakers pick they have that you can take it this year or next year. You know what? I'll even throw in my 27 bucks first, and I'll take Donovan Mitchell back.


And now I'm ready to go. I got hopefully fingers crossed with Zion that he might be in shape in two months. I got Brandon Ingram, and I got Donovan Mitchell and I got Link all over the place. I can spare Daniels because I have other swing men who can defend. I got to keep Jordan Hawkins. And I kept- And Murphy. -i kept Valentin. And Murphy. I kept Nance. And I'm actually ready to contend now. I have options at the end. I have three guys I can go to at the end of the game that can score. Why wouldn't they get in this? I guess because maybe because we can't resign them in two years.


Yeah. I mean, that's going to be the fun part of the marketing conversation is that all of these deals, like at least Brooklyn, Mitchell would stay. New York, Mitchell would stay. And look, he's got the player option a third year from now. So sometimes we talk about Mitchell, like he's just expiring. And maybe Cleveland is like, You guys are making too big of a deal out of this. We still have him under contract for next year. Miami, he would likely stay. It seems to be that he would be into that. New Orleans always has to worry about this stuff. Like, CJ is fine in New Orleans. He likes it there. Yeah. Tyson Daniels is probably fine in New Orleans. If I'm giving you Dyson and CJ, and I would be tempted to say yes, because to the original Nick's point, even if it's not a perfect fit, does it raise our offensive ceiling in a playout series? Well, with Mitchell, it does. Beyond CJ, beyond Daniels at this point. But if I'm giving you Daniels and CJ, you're not getting three picks from me. No way.


What if it was CJ and Daniels, and I'll give you my 24 first, and I'll give you that Lakers pick?


I feel like I personally have too much invested in Daniels, but this is the whole point. If you have all this depth, you have all these players, you've drafted so well, you still have Hawkins- Go in on somebody. -you still have Nagey, you still have Herb Jones, you have the wings that can cover... The wings have had to cover defensively for CJ, so they can certainly cover for Donovan Mitchell. I'd be really tempted to do it. But I'd have to hear from Mitchell and be like, Hey, can you be into this for this year and next? Can you be into it?


Can I tell you something else even beyond that? I like the calves more with CJ and Dysendados than with Mitchell.


I don't know that I love the CJ-Garland thing. You just got smaller and they were already pretty small.


Well, you and I both love Daniels. I would love to see him... Ultimately, your team down the road is Garland and Daniels as your backcourt, which makes way more sense in my head. But I want to see Daniels play and-.


Here's another thing to add to that, too. This isn't necessarily a knock on Mitchell at all. It's more about who CJ is as a guy and the fact that he's bought into New Orleans and it's been so inconsistent. Other than that stretch last year when they were healthy and everything looked really good, you're like, Dude, this team. I thought they were the deepest team in the League at one point. I feel like there's a real value to CJ that maybe we don't understand as much from the outside with all this bullshit. This is an awesome guy. Yeah. There's a lot of bullshit that you deal with. It's important to have that adult. It's like the Connolly thing from Minnesota. All right, we've got all these other personalities a couple of young dudes, Go Bars own battles. You've got just a very calming presence who's been through a lot of stuff, who understands what it's like to be a veteran. Would Mitchell be that? Even though head to head, there's no conversation about CJ versus Donovan Mitchell. I don't think that's breaking news.


I just became enamored in my head about a crunch time with Mitchell and Zion and Shape and Brandon Ingram all out there at the same time, just what that would look like. I do have an announcement, though. This is now the eighth straight season that I've made up a fake trade with C. J. Mcclellum in it, which broke my own personal record. Congratulations to me. Congratulations to him. We really have something special. I've just figured out every year how to work them into a trade. So there you go. All right. So out of all those teams, what's your favorite? What's your favorite, MitchellFit? Brooklyn?


No, because it's just him there with nothing necessarily. Look, I know Bridges is better. They have a class and decision to make. You're like, Okay, what do we really want to pay this guy?


So you want to run the next then, it sounds like you're ready for the next to just say, Fuck it.


I am. And I know it's not perfect, and I know it means sacrifice from players that are usually at their best, not necessarily sacrificing a ton. But having one guy initiate that pick and roll over and over and over again at that size for Brunson, as great as he is against more intense defense and in the playoffs is a bit of a concern. But look, I thought Cleveland, because they had these two on-ball guys in Garland and Mitchell would work against New York, and then that didn't work. But I also think it gets back to the stuff that we were... At least it's a theory with the Mobly-Allen stuff being like, Well, that work in today's game.


I would just- So we're thinking like, like, Four nays expiring, R. J. Barrett. And then the Knicks have all their own firsts, 24 through 30. So what about three of those?


I would build it around R. J.


R. J? Because you.


Have to make a quickly... Look, they have to make a Heartinstein decision. They have- No they haven't. Right. But they've got to pay him. Quickly is a restricted free agent.


They'll match whatever with Quickly.


Right. But the Knicks have done a really good job here as far as especially picking a little bit later and just finding guys. And it's times with Grimes and even McBride, and even Hart and DiVincenzo, they're just guarding you to death, but it's a bunch of smaller players. I would be like, You know what? We've done a really good job. Let's just start moving some of these pieces. If it means it's two picks, I don't think it's three picks. I think the price has gone from three to two picks. But it also depends on these picks. All of these picks have been moving around, Bill. When you start looking at them and you're bringing up the protection, a lot of times you're like, Oh, wait. I'm going to end up with a 22, a 25, and a 27. Wait, what happened? Oh, this one now became two second rounders. I liked it better when it just said I had seven firsts coming in. I didn't realize that six of them were going to be in the 20s.




I think that's what we discover as we actually get closer to these picks being carried over. So yeah, I'm more on the next thing. It sounds like you like the Brooklyn thing starting over with Bridges and Mitchell because they have no buzz. So you would say, Hey, if you're... What's the piece, though, that matches R. J. Barrett? Even if it's flawed or, Hey, R. J. Maybe isn't the guy. I like him still a little bit, too. I'm with you. I did, too. I don't know what player piece matches R. J, and then it becomes a dueling pick thing. And is the third first with protections Trump the two firsts with a worse player?


So it would be a Cam Johnson, Cam Thomas combo for you plus picks?


I'm not in the Cam Thomas business. I get in the Cam Johnson business. I'm not in the Cam Thomas business. So your.


Number one guy that you thought was going to get traded was Mitchell. Mine is Dejante Murray.


I think that happens. Okay.


I think they keep tray Young. I just think they're too far. Tray Young is like the house that they've been rehabbing for five years, and now they just can't sell it. They just got to like, This house might be nice someday. We can't get out of this. We just got to do it. This Murray Young thing doesn't work. They gave it a whirl. I was in on it this year. I thought I liked the Atlanta Over, which I think was 42. I thought Quinn Snyder was going to unlock some stuff and you watch it. And they're just defensively, it's just a no-go. And Murray is a point guard. I don't think he can play off the ball. And I think they have to move him. So my favorite Murray trade, buckle up. I like the Rockets. And I think they're too young at the Jalen Green Jabari spots. But they're in these games, and they're just either too inexperienced. And I just kept thinking, if I'm Atlanta and I can get Jalen Green and I can get Old Depots expiring and throw me the Brooklyn 2024 first that you have, and I'll give you Dejante Murray.


And now you're putting Dejante Murray in that Jalen Green spot. Now you're going to say, Well, they're too small again. He was just too small in Atlanta. Now you have Van Vleet and Dejante Murray is your backcourt. I just like the fit more than what they have now. And I still really like him. I like the idea of having two ball handlers with Shingoon, and they've got some size on the wings. And I just think they'd be better. And if I'm at Atlanta, Jalen Green is 21 years old. And if I could turn Murray into him and a pick, like a really good high end first round pick, that Brooklyn pick will be top 15 unless they trade for Mitchell. I like it.


Is this about getting Jalen Green out of Houston's closing group?


Yeah, which the other move they could make is just not have Jalen Green in the closing group. I wonder if he may- And try to tie me in and just say, You know what? Tariah is better for this closing group than Jaylen Green is, and we just have to admit it.


Because Jaylen Green, I'll look at it. I was going through the D'Angelo Russell stuff because he's going to come up at some point today where you're like, Man, D'Angelo Russell took like 20 shots a game for the Warriors when he was there. In what world would any team be like, Hey, we want you taking 20 shots. For as bad as Houston was, it wasn't the end of the world that Jaylen Green took 18. But I don't know if he's going to be an 18 or 19 shot a game guy. The best versions of Green are these insane drives. He gets by everybody. He hangs in the air. He does this thing where he likes to float to his left and then try to scoop it underneath you. When it works, it looks like one of the best drives in the league. When it doesn't, you're like, What did you think was going to happen when you took off? I still hold out some hope for Jabari. Maybe he's never going to initiate enough stuff on the ball, but I know he competes. I know he defends. The shooting numbers have been better.


This year. Yeah, I like Jabari.


But Shingoon's development and then all of green shots, not all of, but a chunk of green shots going to Vanvleet, going to Brooks, where the ball isn't in J. L. And Green's hands, where it's he and Kevin Porter is going back and forth the whole time, and everybody just watches. Jabari Smith's like, Am I ever going to get the ball? I think it was cool that Shingoon, I've seen times this year where he gets the ball deep. Last year, he would have thrown it back out to the guards. And now he's like, No, I might actually be the best player on the team. So I'm going to keep going with it. And to your point with Tarasin, if you already have the on-ball stuff with Vanvleet and Brooks, I think Green gets lost because he just doesn't have the keys the way he did last year. Sogoal?


All his stats are down. I mean, he's 40 % field goal, he's 33 % three-point. He'll have a two for 12, a three for 14. The ball seems to find him in these crunch time moments. And I just think he needs to be on a not that good team where he can make his mistakes and figure out who he is. This team is almost like too good for him. He's 21 years old. That's why I was thinking, could it be Charlotte? Could it be a trade like this? But where he goes to Atlanta, he's next to Trey and maybe figures it out there. But I like the idea of Murray on that team. Is there a better Murray on that you have?


I don't know if the Lakers... The Lakers aren't going to have anything.


Yeah, it's like they're 29-first. They try to talk.


You into the max. The 29-first. Say that again out loud.


Yeah. Hood, Schifino. I mean.


Unless you wanted to get to- It's not that far. -unless you wanted to get to some Reeves conversation. But I think Murray, now that would eliminate the D'Angelo Russell part of it. Gabe Vincent hasn't played a ton of this season, which I think was probably part of the hope of having Gabe Vincent take some of that responsibility away from Russell when these games start to matter a little bit. But I think Murray is able to defer enough. He's had to figure it out with Trey, even though they stagger them still. I always thought, I just don't know that the Lakers are going to have the assets, but I think he's somebody there that his overall game is solid enough that he would find a way to fit in as opposed to getting in the way of guys where I think Russell gets in the way.


Would you think Nicks at a cheaper Mitchell price and you just go and you get the Jantimir instead?


I'd be open to it, but I don't know that Atlanta is going to do that with a team that's in front of them in the east. What are you going to get back that makes you think you're better than if you're Atlanta? I like how you're even discussing the Jaylen Green thing, and I know you're going to get a ton of shit for it. Like, as if, okay, you just pick Huston and this guy that goes top three in the draft, you're just moving on.


From this- I think Huston is good. I think if they improve that spot, I think they have a chance to be a top six team in the west. They can't win on the road, but they're in these close games where it seems like their games come down at two, three plays sometimes.


I can't believe how good they are defensively. This stuff is incredible. And EMA is probably the perfect group for this guy for this group. But this is why you overpay Vanvleet. This is why you overpay VanVleet and this is why you overpay Brooks because nobody's taking your free agency money anyway.


Brooks has been really good. I think this is the best version we've seen of him.


It's still a massive contract, but that's what you have to pay if you're Houston and you're not any good. And you're like, All right, we'll overpay you because we need to overpay you to get you to say yes to us. I'm so impressed with Houston, and I'm impressed with like, Oh, wait, they've got that guy. We haven't even brought up Amen Thompson yet, and there's times where physically he looks like the most gifted player on the floor the whole time. So does that open up something for him? Houston probably needs some stretch power forward more so than they need a Dejante Murray. But Dejante would be somebody where you go, Okay, well, I know exactly what I'm getting. But I have a Cade one that's stupid because the default rule is that no teams are ever trading these guys. The Pistons can't actually trade Cade Cunningham. Houston, it's maybe not as much because they've turned things around and they're not the nightly disaster the Pistons are. But I think front offices are scared to death to be like, Yeah, we already moved on- We.


Had to get the guy in on them.


Right, from a top three pick that was this young and we just moved on. But yeah, I think the green stuff would be nicer if it looked a little bit better. The same could be said for Cade despite his career high.


Houston's 11 and one at home and two and ten on the road, which is really bizarre. That's a stat out of theout of the 1980s. I think Murray goes somewhere. It's an Orlando conversation we could probably have here where Orlando has got some picks, they have some stuff, they have contracts that are pretty easy to trade. They could take a contract back. But Orlando is 16 and 9. I'm not sure I'd mess with them yet. I think they're in a bad situation with Faultz, who just seems like his knee is just not getting better. And Black's a rookie, and it's going to be a while for him. So over and over again, they have to close with these Anthony and Sugs, basically, as their Crunch time lineup. So you put Murray in there and he fits with the identity of the team that they have. But I don't know if that would be the move of me. If I'm Orlando, I'm not really... I mean, would you do anything if you're Orlando? I'm just enjoying this season and then I'm going to figure it out this summer.


No, I would actually be more motivated to do something now because I'm going to have to start paying Palo- Really? Yeah. Because I'm going to have to pay Palo and Wagner. This is what you want to do, is you want to look at your schedule payments here and be like, Okay, let's go out and sign somebody after this. There are two most expensive players for the Magic are Isaac and Fultz, and they're not even ridiculous contracts. It's absurd when you look at their salary sheet, the top two guys are at $17 million. There's some teams you're like, How many guys do I have to go through before I get to $17 million a year?


Right. And they can match a lot of different trades. But if you're trying to get somebody for Orlando, who would it be?


Clay Thompson. What position? I'm just kidding.


Clay Thompson. What position is that? Like a shooter? Yeah.


Anthony Blacks look nice, but you're right. If they're the fourth best team in the East and expect to play in the playoffs, that can't be what it is. Fultz is really good for them. I think so few people actually were watching Magic Games last year. They didn't notice like, This guy's actually pretty good. But Sucks has been awesome for him, but he's not a point guard. But I don't know that they need a point guard because Palo should have the ball in his hands a ton. Frans should be initiating his own stuff off the screens because he's so good at it. Keep going. I jumped you.


I just thought that was a pretty sobering back to back in Boston. I know they're fourth in the East, but we've seen teams overachieve in the first 25, 30 games, whether it's schedule or whether they just start off well or some other teams were slow starters, but they lost by 17 and 17 in Boston. And it just looked like teams that were on different levels. In a playoff series, they'd have no chance. Whether they care or not. I don't know.


I like OG for them, but I think message is really tough to deal with. I mean, that's just the scattering for him. I mean, if he wants to be tough, that's great. I'm not criticizing it at all. But to your VanVleep point earlier, if you know you're not going to resign them, doesn't it make sense? Like, who are you? Like, who is Toronto? Other than they're not any good.


I have multiple Toronto traits. You have- message is the guy who dated a sports illustrated cover model seven years ago. And now when he goes to bars, he just thinks-.


Oh, that's not true? Because I was going to say shout out.


No, no. That Raptors 2019 title win, he's now like a rational confidence GM guy. He's like, You know what we're going to do? We're not even going to trade Fred Vanvie. We're just going to lose him. We're not going to get anything for him because I'm a side. I won a title four years ago. This team, they've been unhappy for three years. They changed the coach. They ended up... They lose nick Nurse, who has been amazing in and C. O. K. M. Both of them are free agents at the end of the year. It doesn't seem like they have a plan for anything. And then in everyone else in the league is like, Yeah, I'm a Psi. He just he does his own thing. I mean, I respect it, which is why I brought it up. But it just feels like he feels no pressure at all because of that title.


That's what it feels like. Everybody's got a scouring report on how this GM likes to do this and this GM likes to do that. And OG and an OB, I don't know when he'll be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the number of trade rumors that he's like, Well, when you first were offered up for Durant, that's when we knew this guy could be special. Then we turned down this trade for OG. If they know that he likes Toronto and wants to stay there and the agents have gotten on the same page as far as like, Hey, this is how much it's going to cost. But I don't know what you'd be breaking up. It'd be one thing if Toronto were competitive. There's certain Toronto nights where I go, Are they up 15 or down 15?


I mean, Barnes has been great.


It's Barnes team. Whatever the slippage was in his second year, he's back and beyond. I loved him coming in. And then his second year, I was like, Maybe he's just going to be a glue guy who's really skilled and does all these great things and plays defense against all these different players. He's awesome. So you think you'd want to keep something around him? I would rather invest in OG, despite some of the health stuff in the beginning than I would see Akam. Because Akam is such a diminished version of who he's been. If you go over his numbers, there's some stuff that'll tell you this is the worst he's been in five years. Now, granted, that's because a handful of his shots are going to Barnes as he takes off and OG gets more comfortable. But even with Vanvleet gone, Akam's attempts have gone down. I could have this totally wrong. I don't have any info on it at all. Does he want to be there? I know he seemed to get like, there was moments where he was unhappy with Nurse.




I don't know what you're hanging on to by just going to free agency with this group and then wondering if you're going to resign your own guys. Or maybe nobody wants to pay Siaakam the amount of money that he's going to have to make. Despite the fact that I think if I had two years, we were doing our All-NBA, and it's like, Man, Siyakam is like the 16th or 17th guy. So that's pretty.


Crazy territory. It was always like between the sixth and ninth best forward. That three-point shooting got worse every year. Now he's a liability. And if you're trying to train him to a contender, that's the first thing they're going to look at. I had a Warriors train a couple of weeks ago where it was Wiggins and Camingo for Siakam, which I thought made sense because I think the Warriors need to get bigger. But then you can't have Siakam and Draymond.




Two of your five guys when neither of them can make a three. I just want to point out Aninoby, 15 points a game, four rebounds a game, 2.5 assists a game, and shoots 37 % from three. You have to be the greatest defender of all time to command some of the prices that we've heard from these guys. Because basically, our theory has always been pretty much anyone can score 15 points a game if they play 35 minutes and they're on a mediocre team. So defensively, he's certainly really good. I don't think he's life altering. It's not like their defense. I watch a team like Minnesota and could he play defense on the McDaniels-Edwards level with Gobert and towns behind him? Sure. But I don't know. That's why I thought OG for R. J. Barrett seems like a fair trade to me because I don't know if I'd want to pay him $35 million a year.


Yeah. The perception value on that is that OG is way better than R. J.


He's not.


Just in our world of how he gets talked about.


Let's take another break. So we did most likely trade guys. My top two were Murray, Nane, and Anne and OB. Your number one was Mitchell. Who's your number two?


Gigi, Russell. I mean, this isn't going to be sexy and creative. I know you love the crazy ones, but when we saw the contract extension for Gijangelo was $17.3 million this year with a player option at 18.7. I don't know what the market was. It just felt like, Hey, we'll maybe overpay you, but make that second year a player option. But with the understanding that you're going to be making enough money that could be traded, right?


They almost.


Needed it.


We said that in the moment when it happened. When it happened. It was a cap figure contract extension.


Yeah. It's pretty simple, but I know in the past, I don't know what the updated latest of it is that LeBron really likes Zach LaVine. Then you add the clutch thing into it. I know people are saying, Okay, there's no market for LaVine whatsoever. Never underestimate the power of an agent to find a way to get this done. I know Rich Paul has even said like, Hey, I have clients on all these teams. It doesn't mean that this is going to happen. I can't imagine that LeBron, with his basketball IQ, has enjoyed the D'Angelo Russell experiment. I don't want to hear about any of the raw numbers with him. He shot it really well this year. He's actually 10th and fourth quarter minutes on the Lakers, which is a little unfair because hood, Schifino, and Gabe Vincent averaged out more of a play less game. Let's say, D'Angelo Russell's eighth and fourth quarter minutes on the Lakers. And you're paying him this, watching it live, too, in the in-season tournament game sitting next to you and watching him fuck up these passes. I've seen it enough for the years on TV. Everybody knows I'm not a fan.


But then to watch it live, or it's like, Do you have any intensity to you? Is there anything that's intense about big possessions and big decisions? So on top of that, he's been a net negative on defense his entire career. If you look at the box score stuff, I think that might be the fit. I know Chicago is hoping what's the asset that we get? I don't know that anybody's in love with Rui hachamura, and there's also some restrictions on when LaVine can be trade because of Rui's contract and that stuff and when it clears. But I think that's the simple fit because I know in the past, LeBron did like LaVine.


Yeah. One thing I noticed last then at the Nicks game, I just love watching Reeves. And I just think he's so underrated. And over and over again, I was going nuts that the Spurs didn't get him. I'll never understand that for the rest of my life. But I think it's so important to watch him, especially in the half court, that you can run offense through him. And he can create shots for himself or other people like a point guard, even though he's not. But he plays so well with those guys. He's so inclusive that they don't need... They don't need Russell when you have LeBron and you have Reeves at the end of these games. You need just somebody who can play off from who can hit threes. I'm with you. I don't think there's a LaVide market. It's 40 and then it just keeps going up. It's three years after this in the 40s. Lebron is not going to care because he wants to win now. And just watching what I watched last night where Cam Redish was playing Crunch Time for them, and Zach LaVine is better than Cam Redish. He's just more dangerous.


You have to worry. You have to worry about it a little more.


You can not like Zach LaVine. I don't think you're allowed to say that Cam Redish is better than Zach LaVine. I look at it as.


Just- He's better than Cam Redish. He's just this.


If the market's that depressed and then you have... The Bulls have the bulls of actually won a bunch of games here with LaVine out, which is his own topic. Which was.


The most predictable thing. The Kobe White part, I guess, wasn't predictable that he turned into what he's turning to. But yeah, I had a couple of Zach LaVine trades, and they're basically just salary dumps. One of them was him going to Detroit, right? And Chicago getting Monty Morris and Joe Harris. And then Isiah Stewart goes to OKC and Chicago gets Uzbendang. And that's basically what you get for Zach LaVine. I had another one where Chicago gets Gordon Hayward and Terry Rogerer and Charlotte gets Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball. They could reunite the Ball Brothers and Lonzo has got a year left. Hayward is expiring. Rozhe's is having a good year. I don't even think Charlotte would do that. Every time somebody's like, Oh, how can Zach LaVine not have a home? Just go through all the teams and ask yourself who's trading for a guy that's averaging 40 this year? He's got three years left after that. And his team immediately played better as soon as he got hurt. Not to mention the eye test, he looked miserable and he doesn't play defense. So this, to me, feels like a classic LeBron salvage. I'm with you.


This is like... Lebron rejuvenated J. R. Smith. J. R. Smith was basically out of the league, and he figured out how to make him a guy who could play for three straight playoff series. I think he'll be able to figure it out with Zach LaVine. And if he doesn't, he'll leave.


Well, you and I were talking last night. It's like, well, normally in the past, it's like, Hey, trade for this guy. And then it's like, It doesn't work. And I agree with the lesson in the phone call. But I mean, how many more years does he have left that he would want to leave? Do you think there's another chapter to LeBron being like, Hey, I'm going to chase a ring somewhere else and leave Los Angeles where it's clear that this is the place he wants to be? I don't know. I think I agreed with you last night on the phone. And then when I thought about it this morning, Do we really think LeBron is going to have... Does he have one more? I'm out of here. Like, Anthony Davis gets hurt. The trade doesn't work. Then he's like, Hey, let's go play it in Denver. I love skiing. Do you think he has that in him?


I think he's got this year, and he got Davis the extension. And the only reason to stay next year would be his son is going to be a senior in high school, right? So maybe you could say, all right, he's definitely got one more Laker a year. I'll tell you this, from watching him in person a couple of times, it feels like he's got like three, four years left. This has turned into the braided quarterback thing. If you told me he's going to play until 2027, I'd believe it. I have no counter.


Yeah. He looks great.


He looks fast. He's explosive. I was telling you last night on the phone, it was so funny to watch him on defense where he just is conserving. He just doesn't move on defense. He's like, Go to a Laker game. And I'm not even criticizing him on it. He just figures out the spots to stand where he could basically just rest. And which guys that he could just play off of and not have to move. And all he's doing is saving his energy for the other side or for click, quick, explosive stuff. And it's smart. It's what he should do. I think he could play for another couple of years. And if he feels like he can't win a title with this team, he's going to move on. On. He wants more rings. That's going to determine everything. It's not about like, Oh, I want to go down as one of the great Lakers. He wants championships. That's it.


You're right about how he finds his spots, which is a compliment to him. The only time it bothers me is that I don't want you looking at your teammates for a bad defensive rotation when you were the bad rotation, okay? That's always going to bother me when he was awesome and he did it on tense. Right. And I have no issue with everything you pointed out because I was noticing the last night, too. He had Hardenstein as an assignment. He's like, Okay, if you're going to play him further away, I'm not going to deal with this. It may have been why Hardenstein had a ton of rebounds. But I'm amazed at the stretch where in the beginning of the year, I thought like, Oh, this might be the first time we start to see some of those bad physical nights. Now, he's usually due to miss about 20 plus games.


Because the side-to-side stuff felt like it was a little sloppy the first month. He could still go up and down, but going left, right, trying to stay in front of guys. It was the first time he started to look a little old. But I think lately he's look great.


Well, that spin move that he had late in the fourth quarter at the baseline where he just went, I'm like, Where did that come from? That was-Here's.


A classic LeBron story. This is why when everybody talks about how smart he is, we were watching it and laughing as it was happening. They have a jump ball. I forget who the jump ball was, but it was clear the Lakers are going to win. And they were all lined up. And then LeBron, all of a sudden is like, No, you go there. You go there. And he's basically arranging the jump ball. And he ends up. It's on the Nick's basket. He's in the circle toward midcourt, and he puts Davis closer to the basket. The tip goes to Davis and LeBron just fucking jets. And Davis gets it and just whips it and LeBron gets lay up. But LeBron figured it out like 25 seconds before the jump ball. And I was like, This is why he's going to play to his 45. He's just smarter than everybody. The Knicks had no idea he was going to do it. But it's just these little advantages that he has with the IQ and then the fact that when he goes to the basket, he's bouncing off dudes. And if it doesn't go in, they're going to call foul because it's LeBron James.


He has all these edges that he just uses game to game. It's really impressive.


The fact that the Knicks allowed themselves to line up that poorly on that big of possession at a set or jump where you already know there's a gap for both teams because of the math of the other eight players. But the gap for the other team can be towards their basket.


It was hilarious. Tibs had like almost.


A stroke. Yeah, I know. But to finish the LeBron part of it, I expected the bad dirt year by now, where it's like, You're still playing, but now it's over physically.




Whenever that is going to happen, because I think he's going to have a really hard time not playing. Everybody when they're great says, I don't want to play when I'm any diminished version of myself. You're like, Yeah, that's what you guys all say until you're the diminished version, you start lying in the mirror. Then once you accept the truth, you're like, You know what? This is still fun. I could travel. I'm still in the spotlight. Whenever LeBron is playing, it's going to be a big deal. That's going to be a hard thing for anyone to walk away from that attention.


But he's still good. He should walk away. What would he be walking away from?


That's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying the years that I thought like, hey, it's still fun. He's around and they're restricting the minutes. But I mean, it's over. It's over. I can't believe it hasn't happened yet. So that means that you're right. If he wants to have those seasons, those seasons might be two years from now.


Yeah. He could just go. He could just be like, I really like what Minnesota is doing. I'm just going to join the Timberwolves.


You really think he would do that?


I don't know. I think he wants rings.


I don't know if he would do it.


I think he wants rings.


Unless it's the back to the son thing that's always been a big part of this. I mean, this hasn't been a secret. Does a team go, Hey, do us a solid. But again, the team that would do that would be a team that is just lukewarm. Like, Hey, we'll bring you. That's not a team that's.


Winning a ring. Yeah, it's like a six or a Seven C. One thing I was thinking about with him compared to braided, because braided is the other one that it just kept going way longer than we expected. Braided had a couple of tricks that he would play where he would try never to take big hits. He would always just get rid of the ball second early, and he didn't care if it was incomplete. If he didn't like the play or the way it was unfolding, he would just dump the ball, which is LeBron's equivalent of, I'm just not going to play that much defense tonight. And I'm going to pick my spots. The difference is I think why braided stopped playing ultimately was he was still taking big hits, right? Once you're at 45, you're like, Fuck this, man. I barely get out of bed the next day. Lebron still is physically dominant compared to these other dudes. He's laying out the hits. It's almost like a defensive player in football, not offensive player. So I think it's going to keep going. All right, let's take a break. And then we got to talk about OKC.


All right. Okc, I think, can actually make the finals if they make a couple of moves. And they have just an armada of picks. They have so many picks. I'm not even going to read you all of them, but it's- Please don't. They have great Huston picks. They have great Clipper picks. They have their own picks. It just keeps going and going and going. There's some marketing in Utah, Mitraid marketing stuff that I don't know if I believe, and I don't know why they would. I don't really fully understand it. But there's been enough buzz about it that I think we have to take it seriously. To me, he was like DiscountDirk last year. He's on a good contract. He's still pretty young. He's in his mid 20s. He's the perfect guy to add to this OKC team because he's got size, they're shooting. I could just see him with the nucleus they have. And they could trade Bertons is expiring, Poku, Ouzmane-Dang. They trade in. They could put in there if they wanted. They have a pick swap with Utah that they could just cancel. They have Houston top one through four protected in '24 and '26.


They have Quippers unprotected first. They could just go all in and get him and Olinik. And if they want to throw in Jordan Clarkson, we'll take him, too. If you were OKC, is that the guy you would target?


I would definitely take him if he's available. I don't know why he'd be available. He's 26. He had a weird start to his career. It just didn't really click. There were some times even in Cleveland where I was like, He's going to be in a League, but I don't know. Then he turns into an All-Star last season. Whether I believe him, I got to interview him All-Star weekend in person, and he was telling me how much he loved it after the ups and downs of the whole thing. He said recently in an interview, he wants to stay there. I know a lot of people say it. It just feels like when he's saying it with everything that he's gone through, he's like, We love it here, when he's talking about his family and the whole deal. One of my biggest pet peeves are just one of the things I get the most annoyed about when teams are talking about rebuilding. It's like, So I'm not allowed to have any good players. Everybody has to suck and everybody has to be 19. It doesn't make any sense. Eventually, I have to pay some people. If Marketing is happy and wants to sign an extension in Utah and I'm Utah, I don't need more-1sts.


I would trade him. I don't like how he fits with Kessler. Yeah, him and Kessler together, I like the combo.


But it's also a Utah thing. Name me the top 50 players that want to play in Utah. How long is that list?


All right.


And it's not for everybody. Look, I like the place. But if Markin is like, No, I want to do an extension, on top of all the other people that are not going to pay other than this John Collins disaster, and he's available shockingly. I just... Look, man, I would not be, whether it was three first last year or no, it has to be five first or has to do all these things. Like if you're Utah, you need even more first that you can't trade for the next superstar that doesn't want to stay there. Marketing is good enough that he wants to stay. I have no interest in trading him if I'm dangerous in it.


My next guy for them would have been Jared Allen, but Cleveland doesn't have their picks. If Cleveland had their pick this year, you could talk yourself into, Oh, let's got it. Moby's out. Garland's out. We'll trade Mitchell. We'll get a bunch of picks. We'll trade Jared Allen. We'll get more stuff. And Jared Allen makes a ton of sense for OKC because that's the big body. But I don't think they can get them. There's Wendell Carter possibilities with them because I think Orlando has proven they don't necessarily need Wendell Carter with the team they have that they can cheat around it. And maybe they can get some assets or get some assets that they can use for a different trade. His contract is only 13.5. And then the one that I like the most, and this is the guy I like for the Celtics, Isiah Stewart on the Pistons, I think could have a real moment on a contender.


Big stew? Big stew?


First of all, I think he's good. The Celtics have a trade exception spot that I think he could fit in, but he's also a poison pill guy, so I think it gets complicated. I actually think it would be hard for them to trade for him. It wouldn't be hard for OKC to trade for him. The best thing about that dude, is he the number one? I don't want to fuck with that guy in the league. Is there anyone you would put over him?


James Johnson.


He's not in the league anymore.


No, didn't he just get picked up?


Oh, he did? Yeah. All right, well-.


No, look, that James Johnson is the default on all of this. What I don't want to do is have you make a really good point and then be like, What about this guy? You're right. All right? You're right. And he can shoot. And it's look, this Detroit roster is a really hard thing to figure out. And he plays hard. Yeah. I like it. I have one for you, though.


What do you got?


Would you do Bertons? Quick aside on Bertons, can you imagine the text thread with Poku and his buddies when Bertons gets minutes over him?


The Poku have?


Would you do Bertons? And I don't know why we're both trading, we're just today because I love when he gets the minutes in there. I love doing his draft stuff.


Yeah, at some point, you got to give up something.


Yeah, that's the thing is you have all these picks and you've been taking all these guys. I think some people forget tray man's even on the thunder. Yeah, didn't he have a couple of moments? Would you do Berton's, Zhang, two of the, let's say, of their war chest of picks, two good ones. It doesn't have to be the two best ones, but two decent ones from Miles Turner.


Oh, that's interesting. When we were in Vegas, people seemed to think Indiana was going to add. They were going to try to go after Andy Nobody or Paul George if he somehow became available or really try to get a better wing. But now that they've gone the other way, maybe-.


But what are the Pacers?


That seems like a lot.


The Pacers are an awesome Halliburton story. Mathron is starting to go off a little bit more. I don't know if there's a completeness to his game that is going to continue because I think Mathron was really dynamic. I'm just going to drive on you all night long. But I don't know that everybody else felt like they were super involved when he had the ball in his hands. Turner has been an adjusted ceiling guy for me where I was like, Why does everybody talk this guy up all the time? Look, there's no market for him. Now when I watch him, I go, You have to find a way to get some other big body. Turner is going to pull one of the other teams two big, if it's Minnesota, one big, if it's a one big team in the playoffs because you have to guard them. I think Turner has had this bit of resurgence, and I always love that Turner-Denver matchup. Love is excessive here, but just how hard he played against Jokic, where the Thunder don't have anything there. So maybe it feels like it's too much. Bertons is involved because Turner is at 20 million.


I spend way too much time trying to figure out Turner to the Western Conference trades, and I really don't think the Pacers would necessarily be blowing up any team that has any chance because they can't guard anybody.


On the flip side of Indiana went the other way, would yourade Matthew in Walker, the rookie who doesn't play, who is the eighth pick in the draft for OG? Is that too much?


It feels a little quick on Walker from Houston. You can send me a list of this guy. It's like, This guy. I don't.


Know who did it. I think he's an asset. He doesn't play. So if you're Toronto, you could just flip Annanoby and two younger guys who are both lottery picks. That actually feels like too much for Annanoby.


It feels like a lot for him, but it's based on something we can't know. Like, is OG re-signing in Toronto? If OG is re-signing in Toronto, I might be like, fine. If I'm blindly making that offer, excuse me, if Toronto calls me and says, Hey, we'll do OG for Mathrew and Walker, and you figure it out with OGs guys. And then you go, Okay, does OG have any interest in re-signing with the Pacers and the agents?


And the agent's like, I actually don't. Yeah.


Yeah, it'd be like, We'll see how it plays out this summer, man. But we're renting. Then I'm I'm not giving you Mathren straight up for him because at least Mathren is under control. I'm not worried about where he's going the next couple of years.


The OKC, there's just less big guys available than I realized, which is why I think the Isaiah Stewart is such a good fit for them because cheap contract, even with the Poison pill, they can figure it out. They can make it work with the contracts. They have all these picks. I think he's worth at least a first looking at him. He's literally the perfect guy for the Celtics. He's my number one. This is the guy I want for the Celtics because it doesn't touch our top six. He's tough. He's the guy that in a playoff series with somebody closedline, Jason Tatom in the basket support and he was out there, the guy wouldn't do it a second time. And I think, okay, so he needs some toughness, too. I think he would play for them. Other than that, Turner is a good one. Jared Allen is the only other one looking at all these contracts that feels like he might be available.


Would you do like... Look, whatever Oklahoma City scenario we're coming to the table with here, it's an imaginary... It's a real pic, but I'm not going to go, Oh, I wanted to be this pic this year, top whatever. Because would you get in the nick Claxton business if you were the Thunder, or do you feel like, Hey, now we have a less perin- No, I want.


Size because I already have a skinny guy in chat. Yeah, that's probably what I need. I need somebody that like, Oh, we're playing New Orleans in a playoff series, and we literally can't guard balance shooting this because we don't have somebody on our roster who's big enough to battle him. I got to say it, Kyle might have to turn on the TikTok camera. If you're OKC, would you think about kicking the tires on Draymond?


He fits the profile of the guys they like. Like somebody with the ball in their hands that can make decisions can drive. I mean, the shooting part, even though his shooting numbers this year are good, I don't know that any of us necessarily think that number from Three Point is real. I might be. I might be willing to.


Yeah, I feel like a month from now, if Golden State, if it's not starting to look better. And I said on my part on Thursday, I still feel like the Draymond, Steph connection and the stuff he does for Steph offensively is pretty special. But on the other hand, Golden State just might be... There might be other stuff that he's done that we don't even know about. And they just might be ready to move on. But I thought that would be an interesting gamble for OKC to say, Fuck it.


Where's the money? Because I think this is why we keep landing on U-smon-Jang, because it's not going to be gitty at six and a half million. It's not.


Going to be- Well, Dreamland is pretty low still. You can do with Bertons and one other contract.


It's 20. It's 20.6..


Bertons and Poku and you're good. Yeah, but.


Bertons and Poku and you're good. But Bertons and Poku. So you're just going, hey, we're going to get two picks out of this.


Matching salaries and some picks.


Two B minus picks.


Yeah. Well, you could also say we'll throw in dang.


Does Steph want to do it?


That's the thing I don't know. And I guess we'll know in three weeks when Draymond comes back from wherever the hell he went. I have one really fun trade. Did we talk about Draymond Green straight up for Jared Allen? Just a straight up.


We just did, I guess. No, it's the first time the pod.


Just straight up. Just fucking take Draymond, Donovan Mitchell stays in Cleveland. Jared Allen, some size with Golden State. Just a straight-up trade. I was trying to think who would say no to that. And I took a while. I don't even know. I think Golden State, just because of the Curry piece. I don't think Curry wants Draymond traded, but I also don't know. And then Draymond, some toughness. That Cavs team has no identity and no toughness. Could he give them the toughness?


The worst way to do this spot would be like you just saying, No, that wouldn't happen for all these different reasons. So I don't want to do that to you. But give me the Cleveland motivation.


We don't want to trade, Mitchell. We don't like the offers out there. We are still at least a playing team. We have really good offense. We were good last year. Draymond next to Moby makes more sense to the Alan next to Moby. We now have a defensive identity and a leader. We didn't have that before. The counter would be, why the fuck would we trade for Draymond? He's been looks like he's losing his mind.


Yeah, strong counter. Would you do some version of Bertons just because we keep landing on him with a 17 million salary this year?


Well, they gave them 500K extra so they could trade him before the deadline. So we know they're trading him.


So if you're Atlanta, is there a PIC package there that would make sense for you to move off a Capella? Even though you probably like your Okongwo, Capella pairing. The problem is we're taking pieces away from teams that may not look great, but they may not be in the business of being like, Okay, so cool. Now we have an issue with our big rotation. Why are we doing the Thunder this favor?


Would you overpay a little for Okongwo if you're going to grab an Atlanta guy? Because he makes more sense to me if I'm okay, say. I'm like, Hey, I know you're offering us Capella, but let's talk about the other guy. What's going to take? Because they could go $0.30 in the dollar for anyone they want. But that's the type of guy they need is him. They need size, shop walking. I'm just thinking like I'm in the west. I might have to play Minnesota in a series. I might have to play Denver. I might have to play freaking New Orleans with Yonah. I need size. It can't be Ched Holmgren. That's too much to ask. I don't want to put 3,000 minutes on Ched Holmgren banging bodies with everybody. It's crazy. So they have to get somebody. I'm going to give you my favorite dumb trade. This solves a lot of issues for me. The Knicks get Bogdanovi from Detroit. Another shooter. Detroit gets Doug McDermott and Chetty Osman from San Antonio. The Knicks cancel the protected PIC they owe to Detroit, and they give them Dallas's 20, 24 first. So they basically get two picks for Bogdana, which San Antonio gets Evan Fornie and Killing Hayes.


Two French guys for Wendy and a little Killing Hayes resurgence on a team that desperately needs a point guard. Now, Wendy has French guys to hang out with.


I'm reading Napoleon right now.




I'm reading Napoleon right now. Fascinating.


You like it? Which Napoleon book?


The Napoleon book.


The Napoleon book?


Yeah, about 800-plus pages into it.


What's the biggest highlight so far?


He had a lot of heartbreak earlier on with the old ladies. He said that love is the distraction of the warrior, which I related to.


You've been preaching that for a while.


I was like, finally, this guy gets it.


What's your iconic phrase? I'd rather beOh, I'd rather be- I'd rather be alone and annoyed.


Yeah, that's pretty much it. Van was with me at my house when I said it, and it was quiet for five minutes. And he was like- Mulling it over. -he was like, Man, what you just said fucking spoke to me.


Napoleon, he would send the ladies telegrams on his way home from whatever battle and tell them I'm going to be home in two weeks. Don't bathe. Three days. He was a big non-bather.


No, he was a fan of the natural musk.


He liked the odors. He was an odor fiend.


In this book, it says it's three days.


Three days, okay.


I knew it was something- For two weeks is a long time, especially for those that era. But yeah, he got worked. His first wife just cheated on him all the time. And she apparently didn't smile any portraits because her teeth were completely black from sucking on sugarcane in one of the territories in the West East East, so not-.


They didn't have crest white strips.


Back then, right? Not great shoppers, apparently. But Napoleon was all in and she still cheated on him. It's unfortunate.


Sounds like a great book.


It's awesome because I believe it's a fair account of military genius and a complicated man, and at times a tyrant.


On top of it. Does it go into the Napoleon complex?


I haven't finished yet, but I'll let you know. Okay. I'll text you immediately. Okay, so let's go over the French Revolution trade that you have there.


That's it. I'm getting Evan, Four Nays, Expiring, and Killing Hayes on the Spurs. No surprise. I really hope the Spurs trade for some point card. I don't know what the fuck they're doing this year. I will never understand the Sohan thing. They finally gave up on it. I don't understand why they're so happy with just throwing away Wendy's first season and putting him in a weird spots with players who don't really seem to make them better. And there's lots of point cards out there. They can get anybody. They can freaking get Monte Morris from Detroit. Just go get more point cards and put the guy in a position to succeed. I think it's weird. And I really... The pop thing, Belichick takes so much shit. But there's way more stealth whispering about what the fuck is Pop doing in NBA circles. I think he's had a really strange couple of seasons. I thought grabbing the mic was super weird during the Kauai game. I think thinking Sohan could play point guard was just ridiculous. I didn't understand it at all. I don't think they put Wmby in a position to succeed this season.


I loved the experiment because I like Sohan so much that I even tweeted out there's nothing that I've been more in favor of that doesn't make any sense in recent NBA history. I was all for it.


Well, you're right about the not making sense part.


Right. But what I didn't understand, and look, Haralibob, who I have a ton of respect for, and K-O-C, who does a great job and all this stuff. When I was like, What's the point of this? I tweeted it out. They both like, K-O-C disagreed with me and then Haralibob disagreed with me. I'm like, Look, we all understand that they don't plan on winning games, but you didn't need to play Sohan a point guard to lose games. You were going to lose games already. So that part of it. Then it was like, Oh, well, with Draymond, and I saw a lot of this, too, with Draymond, he was this multi-talented guy. Draymond is 10 times the pastor, Sohan was when he was in college. So to ask Sohan to then become this guy that understood this stuff, it didn't make me... There was just so many bad possessions. I think despite it being good-natured in trying to expand the pallette for Sohan here, it also meant the other four guys were miserable, a lot of those possessions because you couldn't get an entry pass in. He picked up his dribble way too early. He would lose stuff in transition because he was starting to think when Sohan's best ability is just to go out there.


It's like the Taras and thing. Hey, just go check in the game and wreck it. And that's who Sohan is. Even if it was cool that there was the ceiling that he's this playmaker. Because we both like him. I'd want him on my team. We go and talk about some of these guys and get hard. I'm like, Evan Mobley, 30 teams should still want Evan Mobley, but the ceiling feels like it needs to be adjusted on him. Sohan is the same exact guy. But I think you're being dismissive of how just the game works. And if you're one of the other four guys, you could even see it with Vase-out where it's like, Dude, I'm not getting the ball back to you because you're just going to clog us up and not know where you're going or make the wrong pass. And look, they finally pulled the plug on it with maybe, Look, if you want to do it, why can't he do it with the second unit on one of the second unit things?


He shouldn't do it on any unit. He can't run fast breaks. He can't throw an entry pass. He would pick up his dribble 45 feet from the basket, and he wasn't a good enough shooter. There's no piece of him that's a point guard. And I just thought I was stupid. Is I said before in another previous episode, it reminded me of when PJ, Carlissimo, decided KD was a 7-foot shooting guard. And I was like, No, this guy, people don't realize he's a shooting guard. I said, No, actually, you know what he is? He's a forward. He's going to be one of the greatest scoring forwards of all time, you moron. What are you doing?


Well, I hate it. I'm PJ.


I like PJ. I just thought that was stupid. Here's my big tray to throw you. This is my show-stopper.


Okay. Okay.


Why can't the Spurs trade for Cade cutting him? They could give Detroit their first run pick, which will be a top five or top six pick this year, Toronto's first this year, which is top six protected. They could give them Atlanta's 25 first and throw in Chicago's first that's protected for three years starting in 2025 and ends up being top eight protected in 27. Just say, fuck it. Wemby is special. What are we waiting for? This draft isn't even that great. Let's go get Cade Cunningham now. Detroit is a mess. Cade's stock is low. He's look bad this year. He look good last night. He's look bad this year. What does it take? Hey, Detroit, you tell us. What do you want? You can have a bunch of picks. Feel great about yourselves. Start over. New GM. Start over with a little war chest. The Cade thing didn't totally work because in year three, you're going to have to pay him in two years. You don't even know what he is. Let's go. Let's make a deal.


I spent 20 minutes trying to find Cade trades. Knowing full well it was a waste of time because to our jail and Green point earlier, you're not trading Cade. It can be awful. They could lose every game the rest of the year. The front office doesn't want to turn to the fan base and be like, Okay, we screwed it up with him. And then have him go to a place. You'd rather ride it out and have him be really just playing for five years.


But if I'm firing everyone in the front office and I'm Tom Goars, and I'm like, That didn't work. We had the first, fifth, seventh, and seventh picks in the draft, and we just lost 23 games.


Well, Goars should suspend. I mean, he can't fire himself, but he should at least suspend himself for giving Monty Williams the most money ever as a coach. Because first of all, there was nothing that told you that Monty Williams is going to come in and fix it. It was a roster that was so bad it wasn't going to be fixed in the first place. If anything, you should have gone on the cheap with the coach. But when you don't think your team is going to be any good, you think, Hey, we're bringing in this headliner. The Celtics did it with Doc in the past, but at least it was Doc. This was Monty Williams who didn't even get into the with Phoenix until Chris Paul got there. So there's Monty's stuff that we can go through and be like, You're going to bring him in, who then decided to like, Look, you're not going to be any good. Now, Kilian Hayes is going to be running stuff. And then you had these lineups out there where it's Durin, and then another big and then another non-shooter, maybe Alec Berks and Cade. The Cade numbers are scary.


Zach Cram and the Ringer who did that breakdown of him did a fascinating job, and it was also a pretty heavy indictment of like, Hey, why can't Cade shoot? I don't believe he can never shoot again. He was 40 % from three in college. He's not the most athletic guy that's above the rim and all that stuff. Shay, SGA isn't the most dynamic finisher and all this stuff. Athletically, he just has every single angle down on all the updates and all this stuff. He's big enough to run, pick and roll where it should actually work. You'd like to have more spacing. You'd like to have more shooting out there instead of this collection of centers that Detroit is fascinated with. There's some Cade stuff that I'm definitely worried about, but I don't know that it's ever going to work out here. I don't think the Pistons ever trade. I don't think franchises would trade somebody like this, but I kept going like, What would actually make sense for Detroit to go back to the fan base and say, Hey, we're already moving off of the number one pick from three years ago, so bear with us.


I don't know that that would happen, but I'm with you. I want to find another place for him to see if he has a chance because a lot of it's on him. But I see a lot of possessions where he starts it and then everything gets screwed up. Then he ends up with the ball again. And you're like, Okay, well, like, Maybe he's just not good enough to bail you out of all those possessions, but I don't know that he's actually set up to succeed either. So I'm just not sure. I'm just not like, Is this who he's actually going to be? Because again, that piece in the wringer is telling you like, Hey, the guy that hits this profile the first three seasons and granted, he missed a big chunk of one, like those guys are not difference makers.


Yeah. Right. Which would be the case for trying to sell high and talk in San Antonio and to give up some picks. This is the NBA we grew up with in the 90s, especially point cards. Teams would give up on point cards. Think about the point cards that just got traded in the 90s. J. C. G. Got traded twice. Kenny Anderson got traded. Stephan Marbury got traded. Tarroll Brandon got traded. Sam Cassell got traded twice. Guys just bounced around at early parts of their career. Teams would get frustrated. They move all these different reasons for it. And now it's the opposite. Everybody's just terrified to trade a guy they drafted because they don't want to take shit, it seems like. But in this case, I would think about it. I would just completely start over if I was to trade. I would get rid of everybody who is involved in any of the decisions for the last five years. Sorry, guys. Here's a watch. Here's a little bonus. You're done. I would just start over and try to grab picks. I guess the only problem with grabbing picks in the '24 draft is people don't really seem to like this draft.


Well, they don't like it now. But I'm telling you right now, once we get to April, you're going to just see a bunch of guys go, Hey, you know what? There's some talent in this. Yeah. There's some guys that happens every year. But yeah, there's no... I mean, Cade was one of the celebrated top picks. It wasn't just, Hey, he went one. It's like, Oh, you're going to get Cade. You knew what you were getting when you got number one. I have to admit, I don't know if it's just wrong. Like, Hey, he wasn't that good. Here's all the negatives. Now they're accentuated in this league. You can't seem to finish at the rim. I don't understand why he can't shoot anymore. But just his simple playmaking at that size, that's supposed to work. It's supposed to work. Again, I'm not exalving him from all of it, but it felt like a mess. Then the Ivy Minutes stuff in the beginning, and that's the other thing, too. It's the forever argument in the NBA. The front office is like, We need to get these guys minutes. And then you see it with Chauncy Billips, where after two weeks of Scott Henderson looking terrible, and he's been better lately.


He's like, I'm going to finish with Malcolm Braggman because I'm the coach and I want to win tonight's game. And those two things are never perfectly aligned. They can say they are, but they're not perfectly aligned. But when you pay Monty more than anyone who's ever been paid to be just the head coach and he decides he wants to bring Ivy along slowly instead of figuring out how the Ivy Cade thing is and get the reps, you're going to stink anyway. It's like, No, I'm going to still fuck around with this Killing and Hayes thing. You're just going... If you're in the front office, you go, What are we doing?


Well, it's a little like the Patino thing a million years ago with the Celtics. When you give a coach that much money, he thinks he can do whatever the fuck he wants. Right? It's the worst situation to be in, an expensive coach with a bad team. We've seen this not work out over and over and over again in NBA history. The last guy and then we'll go, There's no chance Porter Jr. Would be on the table in the next two months, right?


I came up with a Porter Jr. To Detroit for K-12.


Oh, wow.


It's so stupid because it's like, would ever be like, All right. Now, today is the first day of the rest of our lives. We have Michael Porter Jr. I mean, he's just not that guy. He's complementary to everything else.


That's going on. Because if you look at Denver, Denver has that classic roster that the Celtics had a couple of years ago, where it's all top heavy, giant salaries and then small salaries. There's no way for them to get anybody in the middle. But there is a way if they put Porter on the table, which you could say, Well, he's our fourth best guy. Could we turn him into two pieces, three pieces?


I love where you're at. I love where you're at. Because I was looking at the Porter Jr. Going, do they go, Hey, let's be even better. We're not disrupting something that won a title. We're maybe picking somebody off that's even better. Go ahead. Sorry I to interrupt you.


You didn't interrupt me. Well, I was looking at Portland because Porter Jr, his salary cap figures at 33.4. He's got four years left. Portland's got that guard heavy roster. Could you put Brogdon in there? Could it be a Jeremy Grant return? Could you put them with a guard?


I don't think you'd.


Want to grant.


I think the Porter Jr. Gordon thing works better than a Grant-Gordon pairing, right? We're just figuring this out.


Could it be Simmons and Tybalt together once those guys can get trained in January? But it feels like a two for one where Portland gets rid of a guard and gives them one of their swing guys who can play defense. And then, Portland gets to take a real flyer on Porter here, which they would if you end up with scoot and you still have Sharp and you have Porter and you have eight, and now I'm getting excited. I've got some size. I got some length. And Porter, he won the title last year. I'm sure he'd be sad to leave Denver, but at the same time, he's like, All right, well, I won a title. Now let me prove I can be a guy. There's something there, but I'd be surprised if Denver did anything because I just think, Why would you? We thought they were going to win the title. I haven't seen anything this year that makes me think I'm worried about that yet. So no, I just wanted to talk it out.


Simmons is better than Porter. So why would you do that if you're Portland, right? First of all, I don't think they would do it anyway because I just don't think Porter is like, Yes, we got him. I mean, that's why I was laughing at myself as I was trying to figure out some Cade thing.


Well, and he has that thing, the back stuff. I'm sure there's physicals that you could have with him. We'd be like, Oh, my God.




What's that?


Right. We didn't even bring that up until just now. So that adds... I like what you're doing, though, with Denver. Is there a new ceiling for Denver with some piece there? But I think the health thing is probably where we should have started with the Porter Jr. On top of what he is because he's still... He's an incredible shotmaker. I think he's still a limited dude. And so you bring it in like, Hey, this guy makes a ton of shots and he's huge. But I don't really know.


How he's good. It just feels like Portland has a spare guard to trade either it's Simmons or-.


It's Brogdon before it's Sharp, Scoot, or Simmons. I mean, certainly it's not Scoot because.


They just- Yeah, but it would have to... Denver is not doing... If it's Brogdon and Tybalt for Port, they're not doing that. They're just keeping what they do. That's why I don't think there's a trade there. But I think the risk for Denver is the League is so much better, and especially the top half of the League. The top seven, eight teams are just better than they were last year. And if you go back and you think about the road that they had last year to win the title versus the road they're going to have this year, especially if they're not a top seed and they don't have homecourt in a couple of rounds. It's just going to be harder for them. The League is fucking loaded. And instead of Miami waiting for them in the finals, it might be a Boston team that has a ton of size. It could be a Philly team that has in Bid play in the best he's ever played that we didn't even mentioned Philly in any of these trades. They have so many expirings. I don't even know what they need.


Okay, but where's the Philly trade? I was trying to find a Keldon Johnson from San Antonio to Philly trade because Vasell seems like he's ahead.


I don't know if I would. Would you mess with it? I mean, did you see the plus, minus with the betune minutes when betune plays with basically all the other good guys. They're like fucking... I know they've had an easy schedule. I know it's going to come back to Earth a little bit, but- Easy schedule? -it just seems like they need tall guys with three-point shooting.


It's the fourth easiest schedule so far. Yeah. So the net rating stuff. Look, they're going to be good. They're in the top three in the East. No one's dismissing of that. But this run in December in particular, I'm like, When are they going to play somebody? Although they destroyed. I mean, they took the soul of Lakers there that one night. I know everybody in Philly is going to be like, Oh, you guys are just doing the bot. No, it's just the reality that every time I turn on Philly right now, I'm like, Oh, they're already up 20. I don't need to watch anymore this game. I don't know where the piece is. And does Darryl keep the powder dry there with this summer? Does he not want to disrupt that?


Well, there's that piece, too. But they could... I mean, you keep one of Batom, Covington, put them with Morris, you're at 30 million bucks already. If you want to improve just the Melton spot. And I like Melton. I think he's been good for them. That gets you to 38. You just have a lot of options. When you look at their spot track, it's hilarious. It's like eight expirings in a row. It's like Darryl's wet dream. I haven't watched them enough and enough games against good teams to know what they're missing. I'd probably wait a month on that.


I like Milton.


I do, too.


People can look at Harris as this big expiring, but it's such a big number. It's just south of 40 million. You're like, Okay, what are you what are you using now?


Who costs- It's only 10 guys that make more money than him.


Right. Who costs that much that the other team wants to get off of? If Clay had some researches, Okay, cool. Now we get Clay. All right. But why does Philadelphia, excuse me, why we're Golden State want to expire in Tobias Pareis?


And I just don't like LaVine for them. Do you? I don't think that's a good move for them at all. That would have been the natural move this summer thinking like, Oh, they're going to have all these expirings. They could just get LaVine for the expirings. But I wouldn't do that if I was then.


I don't know if they can overpay for an OG, but Philly doesn't seem to have the player piece because anybody that's good, they're going to want to keep. But tombs been nice, but there's no market for him or Covington.


Is there Kuzma? Could you turn Covington and Morris and a couple of picks into Kuzma and just call it a day? Yeah, probably. Make them worse. That probably the makes the most sense, right?


Yeah. I think everybody except Kula Bali is available from Washington. Maybe that's where the Daniel Gafford, Oklahoma City thing comes in. Maybe we should have led with that.


Oh, that's a good one. I like that one. All right, Rosilloow, you're still doing your pod three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, Friday. This is your time, bowl season, football playoffs, basketball trades, Napoleon.




You're just peaking right now.


Basketball is taking a back seat to Napoleon, but I promise to start watching more games in February once I'm done with it.


Are you doing an all-Napoleon pod over the break?


We're having the author on. Let me give the author a shout out here on the podcast because we've been.


Working- Wow, you went that far? You could have the actual author? How old is this book?


I think it's only five or six years old. Oh, no, it's eight years old. By the way, the age rating on this one, 18 and older. Just to let you know, we were teasing a bit there. Because the voters? It is Andrew Roberts, who apparently is also a member of Parliament in England and a baron. We're going to have to put a nice shirt on when we interview him for a recap of the book. But again, it's going to take a little bit more time to get through.


All right, Rosilloow, good to see you. Thanks, brother. Merry Christmas. Happy holidays.


Yeah, merry Christmas.


All right, that's it for the podcast. Thanks to Rosilloow. Thanks to Steve Zaruddy, Kyle Creighton. I will see you on this feed on Thursday.