So, Anthony Randolph is said to be available, along with every other player on the Warriors' roster? Look, the Warriors are 7-17, and there are only three teams in the league worse than them right now. Put it this way: Every player on the roster should be available. However, getting to the nuts and bolts of it, Randolph isn't likely to go anywhere unless Corey Maggette goes along with him. I find it hard to believe the Warriors would move Randolph unless they can send Maggette and his contract -- three-plus years -- along with him. Time to clear up a little misconception about coach Don Nelson and his role when it comes to personnel matters. Point is, he doesn't have much of one. From what I'm told, general manager Larry Riley certainly doesn't clue in Nelson on the day-to-day of what's going on. In fact, Riley makes a point not to include Nelson on everything because he knows how itchy Nelson can get when it comes to this kind of stuff. If the Warriors do make a trade, Nelson isn't going to be the one doing it. The Stephen Jackson trade was all Riley and the next trade will be all Riley, too. Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf are getting close to returning, and when they do it will be interesting to see what happens. We should really be able to measure their importance. For better or worse, the two big men have been isolated, and without them, we've gotten a real good look at this team and its interior deficiencies. We know both Biedrins and Turiaf should help with rebounding and defense. But the real issue is whether their return will actually help the Warriors win more games. That's how you'll know they're valuable. I keep waiting for rookie Stephen Curry to be more careful with the ball, but it hasn't happened yet. Curry can be clever with the ball, no doubt, but he can also be a little too cavalier with it. He's averaging 2.7 turnovers per game and his assist-to-turnover ratio isn't even 2-to-1. Not ready to proclaim this a long-term problem yet, but it is time he begins to show some improvement in that area.
The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.
Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.
On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.
While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.
"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.
James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.
That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode #Filayy https://t.co/wKYmYsmdgG
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 23, 2017
The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.
At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.
There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.
Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.
Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.
Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?
And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?
On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.
There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.
But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.
And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.