Why Your Favorite Western Conference Team Won’t Win An NBA Championship This Year

LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard

We need to talk about the NBA, and why your favorite Western Conference team is on the verge of falling apart.

Every year, the delicate dance begins of basketball’s most gifted multimillionaires balancing fragile and insatiable egos against psychopathic levels of competitiveness and drive.

If we’ve learned one thing about today’s NBA, it’s that a championship window is only opened by talent and teamwork, but that same window can be slammed shut for a million different reasons. 

Today I’m here to with a full glass of Haterade to explain why your favorite Western Conference team is much closer to falling apart than they are to hoisting up the gold ball. 

Let’s start with my beloved Lakers. After several months of trade rumors, not only is he still on the team, the Lakers brought in his on-court nemesis Patrick Beverly, and might even start Pat Bev over Russ. Is Westbrook ready to run the bench unit for the good of the team? Will Anthony Davis’ body hold up? Is winning still the most important thing to LeBron James? Is there ever going to be a day when Dennis Schroder shows up to work and isn’t remined that he fumbled an $84 million dollar bag? This Lakers team has so many question marks that the Riddler could wear them as an outfit.

And what about the defending champion Golden State Warriors? Jordan Poole is going to get mocked in every arena he goes to, and don’t think it’ll just be the fans with something to say about him eating a punch. Is Draymond Green ready to spend an entire year playing big brother and defending a teammate from slander that he helped create? More importantly, does Draymond Green have the stamina to not get sensitive himself about being the only core piece of the Warriors team that isn’t locked up long-term? The Warriors need Draymond to be volatile on the court to keep other teams off guard- they don’t need internal volatility off the court. As Draymond goes, the Warriors go.

And what about the other so-called contenders in the Western Conference?

The Mavericks lost Jalen Brunson. Don’t underestimate the attitude that a two-time NCAA champion brought into that locker room. They don’t beat the Suns to advance to the conference finals without him. Now you’re going into a season with your second and third best players being Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr? Yikes.

The Phoenix Suns gave Deandre Ayton his money, but not without pissing him off first. The one thing this team had going for it was its chemistry, and now Ayton’s comes to media day acting like a very rich grouch, Jae Crowder is sitting at home waiting to be traded, Cam Johnson had negotiations with James Jones break down, and Devin Booker and Chris Paul were on opposite ends of the choice to speak out about the Robert Sarver reports. It’s a good think Cam Payne and Mikal Bridges like to dance, because with chemistry like this they’ll be dancing their way to the seventh seed. 

The Utah Jazz blew their team up after winning the Northwest division because their stars couldn’t get along, and now they’re in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. Good luck with that. We all know you’ll end up picking a Gordon Hayward close with the 8th pick.

The Nuggets believe they’re the Warriors, like Jamal Murray taking two years to heal from injury is the same as Klay Thompson. But your team still doesn’t play defense, and your title chances are as fragile as Michael Porter Jr’s back. And I’m sorry Denver, but Nikola Jokic isn’t getting a third straight MVP on a 45-win-team. 

And what about Memphis? I like the Grizzlies- they’re in a sweet spot where the team is young, they all have friendly contracts, and they seem to like playing together. But they’ve never come into a season with expectations, and expectations can be suffocating when the national media starts to pick apart your flaws. When Jaren Jackson Jr. returns from his foot injury in a couple months, and he doesn’t improve his 40% shooting from the field? What then? What about the next time Ja Morant threatens some random stranger who is trolling him online? 

Last and least, we have the Clippers. Look, I’m happy to see John Wall happy and ready to roll. He’s only played in 40 games in the last three years, while bringing in over $120 million in salary. His story goes a long way to show that money doesn’t buy happiness. I’m rooting for him. But the Clippers are still the Clippers. Kawhi is healthy, for now. Paul George is healthy, for now. But the track record of those guys makes me feel like it might be smart money to wager on Norman Powell as this team’s leading scorer. I’ll take the Clippers seriously when they do something serious. Until then, they’re still just the Clippers.

Let me know if you think I’m Wrighster or Wrong about your favorite Western Conference team’s chances. Or let me know if you’re a Minnesota Timberwolves fan and you’re mad that I didn’t take your team seriously enough to include them. 

All I know is that if my team can’t be happy, I don’t want to see any of your teams happy. And if my Lakers do find a way to figure this out and get another title, I get to see your team unhappy either way.

Let that sink in.

2022-2023 NBA Season Predictions

Joel Embiid asks for high fives from the crowd.

Tonight marks the start of the 2022-2023 NBA Season. Wait, what? The season always sneaks up on me, but this time, I’m ready for it.

It was a wild offseason full of blockbuster trades (Donovan Mitchell), trade demands (Kevin Durant), and trades that broke our brains (Rudy Gobert).

Has the NBA ever been more talented than it is now? Seriously, there are marquee players on almost every team. But, if you thought tanking was bad in the past, wait until you see what happens this year as teams position themselves for Victor Wembanyama and Scott Henderson.

Shall we make some NBA season predictions?

NBA Key Storylines

Draymond Green vs. The Warriors: The punch heard ’round the world might be a death blow to the Warriors dynasty. Draymond’s punch isn’t something the team will forget in the short term. After the recipient of the punch, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins received contract extensions, Draymond is now the meme of Will Smith in an empty room. I trust Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Steve Kerr to be professional about it, but this situation is something to keep an eye on.

The Circus in Brooklyn: On paper, the Nets could win the NBA Championship. In reality, they have a long way to go. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving wanted out this offseason, and yet both players return to a roster that was swept by the Celtics in the first round. It’s only a matter of when, not if, the team will implode.

No Ime, No Problem?: The Celtics were prime for a return to the NBA Finals until Ime Udoka received a yearlong suspension. Now, I don’t know what to expect out of Boston. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are the two staples and the addition of Malcolm Brogan is an upgrade at the point guard position. However, Robert Williams is out until December at the earliest and Al Horford has a lot of miles on his legs. The Cs should figure things out on their way to the playoffs, but I don’t trust them to beat teams like Boston or Philadelphia.

Eastern Conference

  1. Philadelphia 76ers
  2. Milwaukee Bucks
  3. Boston Celtics
  4. Miami Heat
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers
  6. Brooklyn Nets
  7. Toronto Raptors
  8. Atlanta Hawks
  9. New York Knicks
  10. Chicago Bulls

Eastern Conference Finals: Bucks over 76ers

You can say this about a lot of teams when it comes to injuries, but if the Bucks had a healthy Khris Middleton, I believe they make the NBA Finals. If the Bucks are healthy this season, they have the pieces to win the Eastern Conference. They return virtually the same roster from a season ago, and they will add Joe Ingles to the rotation once he returns in 2023. I like the Sixers’ additions of P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton to add much-needed toughness to the roster. Embiid will be an MVP favorite, but it will not be enough to catapult the Sixers past the Bucks in the East.

Western Conference

  1. Denver Nuggets
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Phoenix Suns
  4. Los Angeles Clippers
  5. Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Dallas Mavericks
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. New Orleans Pelicans
  10. Sacramento Kings

Western Conference Finals: Warriors over Clippers

The Draymond Green saga could be a major thorn in the Warriors’ side as they look to defend their title. There is a possibility that Green gets dealt at the deadline. However, if Green can suck it up and play through the turmoil, the Warriors are in a prime position to repeat. Steph and Klay will steal all the headlines, but another year of Poole and Wiggins will add to the team’s chemistry. If Jonathan Kuminga can take the next step and James Wiseman can take a (literal) step, the Warriors will represent the West in the Finals.

NBA Finals

Bucks over Warriors

Giannis puts on his crown and wins his second ring.

NBA Awards

MVP: Joel Embiid

Rookie of the Year: Keegan Murray

Coach of the Year: Michael Malone

Defensive Player of the Year: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Most Improved Player: Jalen Brunson

Sixth Man of the Year: Jordan Poole

Check back next year to see how right (or wrong) my predictions turn out!

Leave your NBA season predictions in the comments or tweet us, @danny_giro.

LeBron James Breaks NBA Tradition To Set The Stage For Vic Wembanyama

The NBA is notorious for being a two things-

First, it’s a big, dysfunctional family. 

Second, nothing about the NBA is as consistent as one generation hating on the next. It’s almost a right of passage. 

That tradition of being a hater is what made LeBron James’ comments about the up-and-coming #1 overall pick, 7-foot-4 Giannis and Luka hybrid Vic Wembanyama, so refreshing. 

LeBron James said Wembanyama was well beyond unicorn status, calling him an “alien,” and saying that he’d never seen somebody combine that much height with fluidity and grace, and finished by calling Wemby a “generational talent.”

Now, that term “generational talent” gets thrown around a lot, but LeBron should know better than anyone what it actually means. It’s a player, whether at a certain position, or that can play multiple positions, that only comes around once every 20-25 years. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a generational talent at center. It can be argued that we didn’t see another center change the game like Kareem did until 23 years later when Shaquille O’Neal was drafted. 

Magic Johnson redefined what an NBA point guard could be when he came into the league in 1979, and Steph Curry found a way to completely change the entire way basketball is played as a point guard when he came into the league 30 years later.

Michael Jordan was thought to be beyond generational, with players in his mold springing up all over the country, and even some like Kobe Bryant achieving similar heights of greatness, but 19 years after Michael Jordan was drafted, a young man from Akron, Ohio came into the league with the makeup it would take to forge his own legacy as a generational great, worthy of NBA Mount Rushmore status. 

And in the years since LeBron James has been in the league, there has been a lot of discussion as to the next player we’d see that would not only redefine basketball on this court, but also the way we talk about basketball. Europe has given us several contenders- the last four MVP’s have gone to Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic, with Luka Doncic’s scoring ability simultaneously taking the league by storm. 

There were whispers that Zion Williamson, a Charles Barkley-Shawn Kemp hybrid, could be the one. And enough people believe that the real post-LeBron generational talent has been amongst us all along, moving from city to city, getting into five Twitter battles between every 35-point offensive outburst. And maybe it is Kevin Durant, that’s another debate for another time.

For LeBron James to bestow that crown on Vic Wembanyama a full year before he ever sets foot on an NBA court means something. That’s more than hype. That’s real recognizing real. 

But let’s zero in on another thing LeBron James said that illustrates his place in basketball as not only a generational talent, but a generational person.

As I said before, a common thread in NBA circles is the elevation of the era you played in, and cherry-picking examples from that era to explain how the up-and-coming generation might not have experienced the same success they did. 

When asked how all this hype surrounding Vic Wembanyama reminded LeBron of his own time as “The Chosen One,” as he was dubbed by Sports Illustrated at 17-years old, LeBron James reflected on how much more difficult and chaotic things are today than they were in 2003.

LeBron’s exact words were “Thank God I didn’t have social media. I can’t imagine how my life would have been different or what would have transpired… I’m happy I didn’t have social media, and I’m happy I was from a small town like Akron, Ohio.”

LeBron James knows better than anyone what these young stars are facing because he’s the only NBA player in the GOAT debate that lived as much time outside of the Social Media and Embrace Debate era as he has lived inside it. He knows that Vic Wembanyama doesn’t have that luxury, and that hundreds of thousands of people, including me, are already talking about whether he’ll live up to the hype, a full year before he even has the chance to start the multi-decade process of proving himself. 

LeBron is the first superstar to be able to pay proper respect to the up and coming generation, while also expressing gratitude for not having to carry the same burdens at the same age. Maybe it’s because he has sons that are already experiencing this, or maybe he’s just uniquely empathetic and appreciative of his era. 

Whatever it is, if LeBron James is willing to break NBA tradition to give a young “alien” a King’s blessing, Vic Wembanyama must be really special.

The Fight Between Jordan Poole and Draymond Green Might Be Exactly what the Warriors Need

We need to talk about the fight between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole.

Let’s get two things out of the way- violence is rarely ever the answer for solving problems, but not all violence is created equal. 

The word violence has become an all encompassing term from everything from military aggression to just not speaking up about an issue. 

Silence is violence? Really?

In sports, you’re taught that in order to be successful you have to be aggressive. You’re told you’re going out there into battle. As an NFL Tight End, I had to “fight” for my spot and “dominate” my assignment off the line of scrimmage. All of this involved some kind of violence or violent imagery. 

I went through plenty of training camps, and the purpose of those camps was to get everyone on the same page through competition, and to establish a pecking order. I saw my share of physical altercations, and participated in a few myself. 

For the most part, if your purpose in challenging someone is to uphold a standard, or establish a personal boundary, once the conflict is over, two men that are out from under the influence of surging testosterone are going to find a way to re-establish a connection and find common ground. 

It’s hard to explain unless you’ve experienced the phenomenon, but as a man, sometimes what it takes to get on the same page is to eat a punch, or serve one up yourself. 

Andre Iguoadala took to Twitter and explained that what happened between Draymond Green and Jordan Poole was family business. Chris Haynes reported that Poole’s behavior has changed as his payday nears, and that’s a believable situation I’ve seen unfold in person time and time again. 

We all know Michael Jordan punched Steve Kerr, and believe it or not, Shaq tried to fight Scott Skiles. As long as it’s a situation where the players involved are able to come together, talk it out, humble themselves, and extend forgiveness, the Golden State Warriors might be better for having this conflict play out publicly instead of simmering in the background until one or both players requests a change of scenery.

And the latter is a real possibility- just ask Kevin Durant.

To reiterate, I’m not defending violence. I’m endorsing the process of reconciliation, and the simple fact is you can’t have reconciliation without conflict. 

If Draymond Green had a history of sucker punching players, or if this wasn’t reported to be a “chest-to-chest” conflict, I might be singing a different tune. 

But as it stands, a four-time NBA champion with four All-Star selections and seven NBA All-Defensive team awards punched a 23-year-old role player that has shown flashes that he could be a future star when both players were face-to-face, talking trash. 

Draymond Green has an opportunity to humble himself here, while Jordan Poole has an opportunity to push his ego to the side and move forward. 

If both those things happen, and it helps re-focus this team, which in turn helps re-establish the Warriors dynasty… violence won’t be the catalyst, but reconciliation of violence will be.

Let that sink in.

The NBA Let Us Know Their Real Values With Robert Sarver’s Suspension and Fine

We need to talk about the NBA’s suspension of Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver

One year. Ten Million Dollars. 

That’s the penalty for the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury’s managing partner after an 11-month investigation that revealed 17 years of Robert Sarver acting cringier than the Scott’s Tot’s episode of the Office.

One year. Ten Million Dollars.

Since it doesn’t look like he’s going to be forced to sell the team, let’s take a closer look at what that ten million dollars bought Robert Sarver.

Ten million dollars bought a pass from Adam Silver for at least five confirmed occasions over the span of 12 years where Robert Sarver had to be reminded by people around him that it wasn’t appropriate for him to repeat the n word, whether it was during a free agent courting session in 2004, or in an angry tirade about Draymond Green’s on-court language in 2016.

Ten million dollars bought Robert Sarver out of any proper consequences for unnecessarily pulling his penis out in front of a physician, talking about his penis in front of a female employee, and walking around naked in front of male employees.

Ten million dollars bought Robert Sarver out of having to face the music for depantsing an employee in front of coworkers, talking in a sexual manner about his players’ significant others, and getting caught in a lie by the lawfirm that investigated this case about his habit of shouting and cursing at employees. 

Ten million dollars in exchange for the ability to tell a pregnant female employee that she should be at home nursing babies, commenting on another female employee’s breast augmentation, and organizing a lunch for female employees to try and toughen up one staffer that cried about being screamed at.

That’s what ten million dollars gets you. 

Let’s take the NBA’s investigating lawfirm, and Adam Silver at their word for a minute.

Let’s say that Robert Sarver isn’t a racist. Let’s say that Robert Sarver isn’t sexist. Those two things could absolutely be true. And if they are true, what it means is something equally discomforting-

Robert Sarver is a dangerous idiot. That’s what the NBA wants you to believe. We’re not dealing with a trained assassin here- we’re dealing with a milk-drunk toddler with a loaded gun.

How is that supposed to make us feel better?

And how does it rectify 17 years of damage that a supposedly non-racist, non-sexist, dangerous idiot toddler did?

Adam Silver and the NBA owners want to be able to chalk this up to a locker-room talk culture, and claim that the Suns, and the league as a whole have already begun to get a handle on it.

Putting aside the irony that Robert Sarver was saved from being forced to sell the team by the fact that his own HR department spent over a decade doing anything but their job, the idea that an owner should have ever been a participant in locker room talk leaves out the very important point that owners are not part of the locker room any more than Elon Musk is part of the Tesla factory floor. 

The term locker room talk was popularized when Donald Trump had his Access Hollywood “grab them by the pussy” tape leaked. In that tape, Trump said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it.”

Thanks to Adam Silver and the NBA, we know the ‘star’ is Robert Sarver. 

Let that sink in.

A Thank You From a Sports Content Creator to Kevin Durant and the Dysfunctional Brooklyn Nets

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets / NBA

I want to thank Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.

The months between the end of the NBA Finals and the start of NFL preseason are truly the dog days of summer if you’re in the business of producing or discussing sports content. 

This isn’t a knock against baseball, but even commissioner Rob Manfred will tell you that anything that happens before the all-star break is basically a tree falling in a forest- it’s only making a sound if you’re around to hear it.

And even the MLB All-Star game, the most watched of any sports league’s All-Star game, is less relevant than it’s ever been, with ratings down 71% over the last 30 years.

And that’s the reason that I want to thank the Brooklyn Nets, because when my options on my podcast on iHeart, or my radio shows on SiriusXM and Fox Sports were nothing but baseball, Kevin Durant was there to save the day by demanding a trade with three years and $150 million left on his contract.

When the only topic of the day was what amount of money it would take for a professional golfer to ignore the fact that if Saudi Arabia doesn’t like an American citizen, they can just break out the bone saw, Ben Simmons was there to leave the group chat when people ask him to show up for work.

When the only thing there was to talk about on a random Tuesday in June is Serena Williams struggling at Wimbledon, Kyrie Irving stokes rumors that he’s interested in playing right here in Los Angeles, and refuses to sign an extension that just asks that he show up for work sometimes.


It’s hard not to be grateful for this Brooklyn Nets team. They might not be making news for what they’re doing on the court in late spring, but they’re out here dominating the headlines all summer long, whether it’s Kyrie Irving questioning the entire idea of property ownership right before buying a home in LA, or arguing with anyone from Stephen A. Smith to the Barstool sports account, to Kevin Durant picking fights with construction workers and schoolteachers at all hours of the day, and feeding backdoor demands to Shams Charania. 

All to accomplish absolutely nothing, and be forced to suit up together again in 2023. 
All for the benefit of people like me? 

There’s a Douglas Wood quote that says “The heart that gives thanks is a happy one, for we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time.

But as a content creator, I can definitely feel thankful while the Brooklyn Nets are unhappy. And with today’s announcement that the Nets are running it back next year, I have a feeling I’m going to spend next summer thankful as well.

Let that sink in.

Deandre Ayton Didn’t Get What He Wanted, But He Might Have Gotten What He Needs

The Suns and restricted free agent Deandre Ayton came to an agreement on an extension the hard way last week, with Phoenix instantly matching Indiana’s 4-year, 133 million dollar offer to the former #1 overall pick.

Phoenix wanted Deandre Ayton on a four-year extension all along, and despite how dysfunctional the path was to achieving that goal, they got it done. It’s a win for the Phoenix Suns, who are fighting to keep a championship window cracked open while simultaneously negotiating to land Kevin Durant to support Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

In the end, this could be a win for Deandre Ayton too, as he’ll be approaching free agency again at age 27, but it’s only a win for Ayton if he locks in and makes massive strides over the course of his second contract.

Ayton hasn’t always gotten a fair shake from NBA fans, who constantly point out that he was selected ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young, but he has been a good player on what has become a contending team.

Still, you don’t have to be one of the fans that has had Deandre Ayton under a microscope over the last four season to know that there are some massive holes in both his game and his approach that led to a contract standoff with the Suns rather than an automatic offer for a 5-year max rookie deal.

While Ayton has the body and skillset of a dominant 90’s center (in a game that has largely evolved past the need for one), Ayton struggles to hold onto the basketball in traffic, and his lack of physicality is enough to drive both young fans and NBA oldheads insane. Over his four year career, Ayton has only 47 more made free throws than he does turnovers. While Ayton is a solid shot-alterer, he’s averaged less than one blocked shot per game over the last two regular seasons combined.

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Ayton’s game is in the area of consistency, both in-game and over the course of a full season. There are very few players that put up more first quarter points per game at the center position, with Ayton ranking 4th last year at 5.9, behind MVP Nikola Jokic (7.8), all-star Karl Anthony-Towns (8.4), and Philadelphia franchise player Joel Embiid (8.5). Ayton’s production falls precipitously once the fourth quarter hits, ranking 19th amongst centers with 3.1 points per game, one spot behind his own 2021-2022 backup JaVale McGee. In addition, while Ayton has averaged a double-double for four consecutive seasons, he actually has more games played without a double-double over the last two seasons (54) than he does games with a double-double (53).

Combine that with his PED suspension, his admission that he stays up most nights playing video games, his public declaration that he “doesn’t like the big man role,” and his reported feud with Suns coach Monty Williams that spilled over onto the court in a game 7 western conference finals blowout loss, and you have some serious questions about whether Deandre Ayton will ever meet his potential.

We know what a dominant center’s attitude and leadership is supposed to look like. We saw it in Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and more (None of whom, by the way, had their best FG% season come anywhere close to Ayton’s career average of 60%). Ayton has natural skills that could put him that same conversation some day, but Ayton has been quoted as saying his NBA goal was to achieve his second contract, and it’s not unreasonable to think that if this money robs him of any motivation to improve, he could be in the same conversation as an Andrew Bynum or Jahlil Okafor instead.

At this point, it’s up to him.

NBA: Kevin Durant Wants Out And More Free Agency Thoughts

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets / NBA

We’re not even 24 hours into NBA Free Agency, and the drama is at an all-time high. Kevin Durant dropped an atomic bomb on the NBA community by requesting a trade out of Brooklyn. The Knicks somehow signed Jalen Brunson a week ago. The Pacers traded Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics for a bag of peanuts.

The NBA is more dramatic than the hallways of a high school. Here are my somewhat organized thoughts on NBA Free Agency so far what has transpired so far.

Kevin Durant Wants Out Of Brooklyn

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller describing the last two seasons for the Brooklyn Nets.

When things go from this…

to this…

in the span of two seasons, the word “roller coaster” does not do it any justice. Circus? Disappointment? The word I’ve settled on is failure. The Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving partnership failed. Both star players pushed for James Harden, and the Nets mortgaged their future to create a “big three.” On paper, it was a genius move. However, Harden wanted out after one season, and now both Kyrie and KD want out.

Is Kyrie the main reason behind both Harden and KD’s exits? Perhaps. Did getting swept by the Celtics make matters worse? I think so. Whatever the reason might be, Owner Joe Tsai and GM Sean Marks did everything in their power to accommodate KD, but now they’re left with their pants on the ground as one of the greatest players to ever play this game wants out with four years remaining on the contract. That, my friends, is not good!

So where does Durant end up? Phoenix is the logical answer because they could send Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, and a boatload of draft picks and pick swaps to Brooklyn. You can never count out Pat Riley and the Heat. The man who has been spot-on about every Nets rumor, Brian Windhorst, said teams need to watch out for the Utah Jazz.

I’m interested to see if the Nets move KD or Kyrie first, and then convince the remaining member to stay. This will be an interesting weekend, to say the least.

Jalen Brunson Becomes A Knick

It wouldn’t be a Dan Girolamo article (yes, I referred to myself in the third-person) if I failed to mention the New York Knicks. Jalen Brunson agreed to a 4 year, $104 million contract with the Knicks.

To my Knicks fans, do not take out your frustration with the front office on Jalen Brunson. Make no mistake about it, Brunson is a good player. To save your mental health, I will not include the list of Knicks’ starting point guards over the last 15 years. It’s not good. Brunson will be the best option at point guard for the Knicks for well over a decade. For being only 6’1″, Brunson is very crafty in the lane while shooting over 37% from behind the arc. Now that he’s the true number one point guard, he should be able to average around 20 points and 6 assists.

Brunson is only a piece. The team-friendly deal puts the Knicks in a good situation for the future. They need to make more moves, but Brunson is a nice piece.

Good Moves

– Malcolm Brogdon to the Celtics – ROBBERY.

– Kyle Anderson to the Timberwolves – This league! The new rivalry between the Grizzlies and Wolves is getting spicy!

– Joker signs the supermax – Not enough money.

– Zach LaVine re-signs with the Bulls – Personal pick. I can’t quit Lavine.

– Bobby Portis re-signs with the Bucks – Good for morale.

– Victor Oladpio re-signs with the Heat – Take the flyer on the “bet on yourself” player.

Bad Moves

– Royce O’Neale to the Nets for a first-round pick – What the hell?

– PJ Tucker to the Sixers – Good for this year, but how about in two years?

– Mitchell Robinson re-signs with the Knicks – I love Mitch. He earned this deal. However, I’m not crazy about $60 million. Was $48 million not an option?

– Lonnie Walker IV to the Lakers – Your guess is as good as mine.

– Juancho waived by the Jazz – Fuck this.

To Be Determined

– Dejounte to the Hawks while the Spurs openly tank – Only time will tell.

Enjoy the best soap opera on television, the NBA offseason! I’ll leave you with this masterclass segment from Windy.

What is your biggest NBA Free Agency storyline? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Breaking Down What The New York Knicks Should Do In The NBA Draft

RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks.

With the 11th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the New York Knicks select…

That’s what we’re going to find out during tonight’s draft. After last summer’s free-agent debacle and a disappointing 37-win season, the Knicks must shake things up. The time to be bold is now. With plenty of future first-round picks and young players, the Knicks have the pieces to make a major move.

Will they? One can only hope.

Here are my best options ahead of tonight’s draft.

Option 1: Trade Up For Jaden Ivey

This is the home run scenario for the Knicks. It’s also their best option in terms of the direction of the team. The Knicks desperately need an elite guard who can create his shot and get others involved in the offense. Look at how the Celtics could not get into their sets at the end of the games in the NBA Finals. It’s one of the reasons why the Warriors won the title. Take Boston’s offensive inefficiencies at the end of games and multiply it by 10. That will give you the Knick’s late-game offense, which ranked 28th in fourth-quarter points per game.

Ivey solves a lot of the team’s problems. He’s a 6’4″ guard with a 6’9″ wingspan who has an explosive first step and can finish at the rim. The Knicks have never had that. Ivey averaged 17.2 ppg with percentage splits of 46/36/74. I’m calling him “Big Baby Ja Morant.” The Knicks are dying for a point guard after the Kemba Walker disaster. Do whatever it takes to trade up and take Ivey.

So what would it take? If I had to guess, the starting point is No. 11, another first-round pick, a future first-round pick swap, one of Obi/Quickley/Grimes, and one of Noel/Burks/Kemba. I would call that trade into the league office right now. I love Obi, Quickley, and Grimes, but they do not have the dynamic playmaking ability that Ivey possesses. If the Kings don’t select Ivey, then Leon should call the Pistons at No. 5, the Pacers at No. 6, and so on and so forth until he’s drafted. Make the move.

Option 2: Draft AJ Griffin, Mark Williams, Or Johnny Davis

The NBA is dominated by wings. It’s the most highly-coveted position in the league. AJ Griffin is the prototypical 3-and-D wing out of Duke. I watched almost every Duke game this year, and Griffin’s continuously hit big shots from behind the arc in the game’s biggest moments. Griffin shot an impressive 44% from three. Despite the injury history, Griffin is a more than capable defender at 6’6″ with over a 7-foot wingspan. Griffin would fit right in with Thibs.

With Mitchell Robinson hitting free agency, it’s unknown whether the team will resign him or not despite the team leaning towards a reunion according to Marc Stein. I like Mitch, but do I want to give him $15 million per year? Not really. If the team wants to find his replacement or a second center to pair with Mitch, Mark Williams is the right option. In the last game of the 2020-2021 season, Williams put up 23 points and 19 rebounds, which were well above his season averages. That game was the springboard Williams needed as the 7’0″ shined this past season at Duke. Williams is a true rim protector in every sense of the word. He runs the floor well, can hold his own on switches, and shot a respectable 72% from the free-throw line.

Johnny Davis is more of a playmaking wing than he is a 3-and-D (30% from 3). This would be my least favorite selection out of the three, but he still fills a need. The Big Ten Player of the Year can hit tough shots, especially from the midrange area. He was Wisconsin’s only threat on offense so that’s why some of the percentages might be down. However, Davis could step right in and contribute for the Knicks off the bench.

If Bennedict Mathurin somehow falls to 11, then he’s the home run pick.

Option 3: Trade Back

This is the option I don’t want to happen. The Knicks need to clear cap space in order to make a run at a player like Jalen Brunson. I could see where there’s a scenario they trade back in the draft but attach a player like Burks/Noel/Kemba/Fournier to shed salary. I’m all for shedding salary, but the team needs to make this pick at No. 11 if they can’t trade up.

Hopefully, Woj or Shams doesn’t spoil the pick for you! Do the right thing tonight, Knicks. Please.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s draft? Tweet me, at @danny_giro.

NBA Playoffs: 3 Biggest Questions Right Now

Luka Doncic flexing in a game for the Dallas Mavericks.

I don’t want to brag, but I’m locked into these NBA Playoffs. My wallet may beg to differ, but I haven’t missed a game. The league is so damn talented right now. There are emerging stars left and right. On any night, so many guys can give you 20 points a game. 

Here are the three biggest questions I have right now. Two of them are fair while one is out of leftfield. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

3. What Happens To Duncan Robinson This Offseason?

I’m fully aware that I’m the only person outside of Miami who cares about this question considering the Heat are going to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, and have a good shot of returning to the NBA Finals. That being said, what happened to Duncan Robinson? Two years ago, the sharpshooting Robinson was the Heat’s starting shooting guard, averaging 13.5 ppg and 44.6% from three. Now, Robinson is glued to the bench as Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, and Victor Oladipo receive Duncan’s minutes.

Every team would love to have a 6’7″ shooting guard who shoots over 40% from three. However, do teams want Robinson in year two of a 5 year, 90-million-dollar contract? If he’s getting healthy DNP’s in the playoffs, the Heat have to explore trade options for Robinson this offseason.

2. Will Hunting Become The New Normal?

If you’re a bad defender in the NBA, then there’s nowhere to hide especially in the NBA Playoffs. If the opposing team is smart, they will run pick and roll with whomever the worst defender is guarding, get the switch, and attack at will. It’s like a shark that smells blood in the water. Look no further than Game 2 between the Suns and Mavericks. Despite just under three minutes of matchup time, Chris Paul scored 9 points against Luka and the Suns scored 18 points. He’s also put Dwight Powell through the wringer, scoring 14 points against the Mavericks’ big man in just under two minutes of matchup time.

No one, and I mean no one, on the Suns can guard Luka. He will score over 30 points again in Game 3. However, Kidd is right when saying Doncic will have to participate more on defense. That can only happen if he’s not exhausted from the offensive burden he carries the entire game. Will the real Jalen Brunson please stand up and help Luka out? If that doesn’t happen, get the broomsticks.

1. Will Giannis Antetokounmpo Become A God And Enter The Top 15?


Giannis Antetokunmpo put on a godlike performance in last year’s NBA Finals, rallying the Bucks from an 0-2 deficit to win the series, 4-2, behind series averages of 35.2 ppg, 13.2 rpb, and 5.0 assists. The cherry on top of a historic run had to be his 50-point performance in the series-clinching victory.

Giannis is already one of the 75 greatest players to play in the NBA. He also happens to be the best player in the NBA. Furthermore, The Athletic had Giannis as the 24th greatest player in NBA history. At this time, top-25 is where the Greek Freak belongs. However, if Giannis can go back-to-back, where will he stand with the all-time greats?

If Giannis wins the title this year, it will be without the Bucks’s second-best player. Khris Middleton, for a portion of the playoffs. I’m also assuming he will win Finals MVP if the Bucks win a title. There will be no Igudola over Curry if the Bucks win. So if those two things happen, here are what Giannis’s accomplishments would look like:

  • 2x NBA Championships and 2x Finals MVPs
  • 2x regular-season MVPs
  • 3x All-NBA First Team (will be four after this season)
  • 2x All-NBA Second Team
  • 1x DPOY
  • 3x All-NBA Defensive First Team (will be four after this season)
  • 1x All-NBA Defensive Second Team
  • 1x NBA MIP
  • Member of the 75th Anniversary team

Giannis will have accomplished all of this by the young age of 27. That is an insane resume. Giannis easily slides into the Top 20 with those numbers, but if it’s another historic final where he dominates, it will be hard to keep him outside of the Top 15.

Here’s to an exciting NBA Playoffs. Hopefully, we get a Game 7 in one of these series.

If you agree or disagree with my assessment, leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet me, @danny_giro.