Three logical landing spots for Kevin Durant

Now that the 2015-2016 season has come to a close, one thing is on everyone’s mind; where is Kevin Durant going to play going forward? Well we’re here to speculate on three landing spots for the “Slim Reaper.”

 

3) Boston Celtics

Now look, Durant and his camp haven’t ruled out any teams so everyone that can make a play at him financially likely will. So after many discussions with teams across the league, we believe there will only be three teams remaining, one being the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics are an extremely promising young team with a Head Coach that has never had a poor word spoken about him, dating all the way back to his time at the University of Butler. The one thing they are lacking is star power. Isaiah Thomas is the closest thing to a star, but he’s only made one all-star team roster. That said, a large portion of their 48-win team will still be intact next season. Only three of their free agents had a real big impact on this past season’s team and both are restricted (Jared Sullinger, Tyler Zeller) and Boston will likely be able to match any contract offers made. Evan Turner is the third player but I’m fairly certain most people would consider getting Kevin Durant an upgrade over Turner.

The one thing the Celtics have a lot of is draft picks. The acquired the Nets’ next three first-round draft picks a couple of years back, as well as getting one from Dallas from trading Rajon Rondo and also having picks of their own. If Durant’s had specific stipulations about coming to Boston and one was trading their picks to acquire championship-ready talent, I’m nearly 100-percent sure the Celtics would oblige.

Now if they did acquire Durant, it’s likely they begin playing a lot of small ball. They’d still be able to slow the pace down and play big, especially if they resign Sullinger. That said, it would be on Durant if he would move down and play more power-forward.

The Celtics are a superstar away from being serious contenders in LeBron James’ conference. We’d call it the east but he’s owned it for six consecutive seasons so what’s the point? Does Durant think a Celtics team with him heading the roster can beat the Cavaliers and win championships? We think it’s more than plausible to think that he does.

 

2) Golden State Warriors

We understand many of you are wondering…WHAT? But hear us out. What does Durant seemingly want more than anything? A championship. Where have the Warriors made it too the past two seasons? The NBA Finals. The two are a perfect match.

If the Warriors want to make a serious push at Durant, they will be able to financially. The Warriors payroll was north of $93M this past season. If they resign nobody, including restricted free agents Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli, they’ll have close to $20M available in spending money. The salary cap is also rising, likely giving the Warriors a few couple of million to play with.

Strategically, the Warriors would have zero problems sliding Durant into the then departed Harrison Barnes’ role. The Warriors already have the league’s best offense and that’s before he ever put on their jersey and Durant would take them to a whole new level. Adding him and subtracting Barnes in the Dubs “death lineup” would be virtually unstoppable. Although we haven’t seen Durant play in an offense quite like this, we’re sure one of the three best players on the planet would drastically lower his isolation percentage for consistently great looks at the rim.

We personally believe the Warriors are the favorites heading into the 2016-’17 season without Durant, but if they acquired him, there would be no way around it. Yes he would still be in the daunted Western Conference, but he’d have so much help surrounding him, he’d be silly to not strongly consider this franchise as a candidate.

 

1) Oklahoma City Thunder

Yeah, yeah, how original. But out of all 30 teams in the NBA, resigning with the Thunder makes the most sense for Kevin Durant. At least for the 2016-’17 season, that is. Beyond that is really anyone’s guess.

The Thunder has virtually everyone from this year’s Western Conference Finals team coming back under contract. If Durant resigns, it’s likely the team won’t make any big time moves because of their limited amount of income left over.

Look, the Thunder might only have one more crack at it. Not only is Durant a free agent this year, Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent after the 2017-’18 season. If Durant signs a one-year deal, they’ll have another chance at getting back to the Western Conference Finals and this time, beating whoever’s in their way. It’ll be the second-year with Head Coach Billy Donovan and the players will begin to trust his methods a lot more.

The Thunder were one measly game away from this years NBA finals before collapsing against the Warriors. If Durant feels like next year will be different, he’ll resign without much hesitation. We should expect Durant to wreak havoc for the Thunder for at least one more season.

Facets Player of the Night: E’Twaun Moore

1 E'Twaun

Did he score 40+ points? No. Did he assist his teammates 7 times or grab 8 rebounds? No and no. What the 26 year old who the Bulls signed to be their third-string point guard did was ignite a fourth quarter comeback and knock down a game-winning three after a fantastic play call Coach Thibs drew up.

E’Twaun wasn’t just great during the fourth, he was great during his entire 22 minutes he spent on the floor. He went 9-10 from the floor for a career high 19 points. He didn’t turn the ball over once and Chicago was an outstanding +/- +17 with him ON the floor.

His fourth quarter was special. He scored 13 points on 6/6 from the field, including the aforementioned game-winning three. Not only was his offensive performance special, he was really good on defense guarding Russell Westbrook down the stretch for the last four or five minutes of the game.

The Bulls have been very unfortunate lately, losing Rose, Butler and Taj Gibson for extended periods of time due to injury. This was a breathe of fresh air for all Bulls fans and a HUGE win going forward. Winning games versus other playoff teams without two of it’s stars and a key role player will keep optimism alive in Chicago until the cavalry returns from injury. This is probably the only time he’ll end up as a player of the night during his entire NBA career, but tonight, it’s E’Twaun’s night.

Player(s) of the Night: DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Durant

February here in New York is brutally cold but Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan were the polar opposite of cold tonight. Both had jaw-dropping evenings.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Los Angeles Clippers

Let’s start with DeAndre. The struggling Clippers went into a pivotal conference match-up against the Mavericks and came out with a dominating victory. Mainly because of DeAndre Jordan’s insane 22 point, 27 rebound night. He also chipped in 3 blocks, continuing to help his Defensive Player of the Year case. Out of the 27 rebounds, a crazy 11 were on the offensive end, which was only 1 less rebound than Dallas’ leader Chandler Parsons who had 12 total. DeAndre hasn’t missed a game in 3 seasons and continues to play great for the Clips. He even hit 6 of 9 free throws, which is amazing for the big fella who shoots 39.6%

1 KD

Kevin Durant is not human and he reminded us just that versus the Nuggets. He got scorching hot during the second quarter hitting four 3’s and continued to dominate in the second half. He ended with 40 points on 13-19 shooting, including seven 3’s which is a new career high for the Slim Reaper. KD’s been in and out of the lineup all year with injuries, but not many players in the league can be rusty and still score 40 points on 19 shots only. The Thunder are now 16-9 with KD in the lineup, 11-16 without. Kevin Durant is back and ready to get the Thunder into the playoffs. Would OKC not be the scariest 8 seed ever?

Facets Player of the Night: Steph Curry

STEPH CURRY W THE POT

December 18th, 2014

The league’s MVP almost a third of the way through with the season struck in Oakland Thursday night. A first half which saw three of the betters players in the entire NBA score frequently saw one of them specifically rise to the occasion in the second half. That would be Wardell ‘Stephen’ Curry II.

Steph went 14-24 from the floor, hitting five three-pointers, for 34 points. He fell only one assist and three rebounds short of a triple-double against the red hot Oklahoma City Thunder. He also contributed slightly on the defensive end coming away with four steals.

NBA 2014-2015 Predictions

We will give our predictions for both divisions, conferences, playoffs and personal awards.

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Eastern Conference

Atlantic                                                                                    

  1. Toronto Raptors                                                                
  2. New York Knicks                                                                 
  3. Brooklyn Nets                                                                    
  4. Boston Celtics                                                                    
  5. Philadelphia 76ers

Central                                                                                     

  1. Chicago Bulls                                                                     
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers                                                           
  3. Indiana Pacers
  4. Detroit Pistons
  5. Milwaukee Bucks

Southeast

  1. Washington Wizards
  2. Charlotte Hornets
  3. Miami Heat
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Orlando Magic
Conference Standings
  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Washington Wizards
  5. Charlotte Hornets
  6. Miami Heat
  7. Atlanta Hawks
  8. New York Knicks

Western Conference

Northeast

  1. Portland Trailblazers
  2. Oklahoma City Thunder
  3. Denver Nuggets
  4. Utah Jazz
  5. Minnesota Timberwolves

Pacific

  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Sacramento Kings
  5. Los Angeles Lakers

Southwest

  1. San Antonio Spurs
  2. Houston Rockets 
  3. Dallas Mavericks
  4. New Orleans Pelicans
  5. Memphis Grizzlies 
Conference Standings
  1. Los Angeles Clippers
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Golden State Warriors
  4. Portland Trailblazers
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. Phoenix Suns
  8. Dallas Mavericks

We both agreed that the Pelicans have a chance to overtake Dallas in their division and in the conference standings.

Player Awards

  • MVP

@The_Real_Grande1) Steph Curry 2) LeBron James 3) Derrick Rose

@jessedoyle7: 1) LeBron James 2) Derrick Rose 3) Anthony Davis

  • Rookie of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Jabari Parker 2) Nerlens Noel 3) Andrew Wiggins

@jessedoyle7: 1) Jabari Parker 2) Nerlens Noel 3) Andrew Wiggins

  • 6th Man of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Isaiah Thomas 2) Jamal Crawford 3) Ryan Anderson

@jessedoyle7: 1) Jamal Crawford 2) Ryan Anderson 3) Doug McDermott

  • Comeback Player of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Derrick Rose 2) Al Horford 3) Kobe Bryant

@jessedoyle7: 1) Derrick Rose 2) Kobe Bryant 3) Al Horford

  • Defensive Player of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Anthony Davis 2) Joakim Noah 3) LeBron James

@jessedoyle7: 1) Anthony Davis 2) Joakim Noah 3) DeAndre Jordan

  • Coach of the Year

@The_Real_Grande: 1) Tom Thibodeau 2) Doc Rivers 3) Gregg Popovich

@jessedoyle7: 1) Steve Kerr 2) Tom Thibodeau 3) David Blatt