It’s that time in the week where we buy or sell topics in the sports world. This week we will have two separate articles dealing with two sports with essential games going on.
Those two sports are the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League. As both of these sports wrap up the first round of the playoffs, we ask the questions that need answers, but which side are you on?
This Buy or Sell will focus only on the NBA and the critical moves of two of the biggest franchises in the history of all sports. Those two franchises are the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. They both have a lot of questions that need to be answered.
But how about one of the biggest names in the upcoming free agency pool? Will Kawhi Leonard stay with Toronto, or move back West? Let’s find out what Dan, Joel, and I think it should be bought or sold.
Dan: Despite his past, James Dolan will finally get it right in free agency & the draft this year?
Joel: Being the worst team in the NBA, James Dolan better not screw up free agency or the draft this offseason. I think this offseason may be the one where he gets things right. He’s got a lot of opportunity coming his way, so he’ll have to go out of his way to screw things up this time.
As far as the draft goes, getting the number one pick is out of his control because of the stupid draft lottery, but that’s a topic for another day.
Regardless of if he has the number one pick, he’ll still have a top pick with the opportunity to draft a future NBA stud. It’s easy to go Zion Williamson if he gets the first pick, but if he doesn’t, he could go after a guy like Ja Morant or RJ Barrett. Any of those guys would be solid picks.
In free agency, Dolan will have a few players with legit interest. There have been rumors all season long that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are interested in playing for the Knicks. I don’t know how much truth there is to those rumors, but I can honestly see it happening because New York is a prominent market place to play.
Big markets seem to be where NBA stars want to go now, regardless of how good the team is. Dolan will have many opportunities this offseason. So I buy him getting it right and building the Knicks into a team who can compete in the NBA, whether that be now or in a couple of years.
Rahim: Wow! Joel pretty much summed it all up for us, and I agree! I buy that Dolan finally gets it right, especially now that all the distractions are gone. Let’s face it, the NBA is full of great players, but some aren’t meant to be NBA Champions.
That one someone we all know of is Carmelo Anthony. Anthony came to the Knicks in a trade from the Denver Nuggets to be back home in New York, where he won a National Championship for Syracuse. But during his six and half seasons with the Knicks, they made the playoffs three times, losing in the first round twice.
Dolan invested a lot in Anthony and tried to put pieces around him who could win, like drafting Kristaps Porzingis a few years back.
With everything that has happened to the franchise with the Charles Oakley feud and the demise of Phil Jackson, the Knicks need a new direction. Trading Porzingis this season told us all they are ready for a fresh start.
What can they do? Well, as Joel said, they will have a top pick in the draft, maybe the No. 1 overall. That pick will attract some big free agents, like perhaps a Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving. Everything is in play for Dolan and the Knicks to get it right this time, so I’ll buy it!
Rahim: The Lakers will still get Anthony Davis despite a dysfunctional front office
Joel: I buy the Lakers still getting Anthony Davis despite front office problems. It doesn’t matter how bad the Lakers are; they will always be a big market team.
Big market teams attract big-name players. Anthony Davis is one of those big name players. We all know Los Angeles is where Davis wants to go, and something tells me he’ll end up there, even though the decision of where he ends up at this point isn’t his to make.
I feel like, somehow, someway, Anthony Davis will end up playing for the Lakers. I can’t put numbers into this one like I usually like to do to support my buy or sell opinions. This one comes down to a feeling for me.
Dan: I agree with Joel; there are no stats or numbers needed for this one because we all know how valuable Anthony Davis is. As Joel said, Davis has made it known where he wants to go this offseason, and I’m buying that. Davis wants to go there, and LeBron wants him there.
But let me make things interesting by saying what I felt once I saw this move take place. That move was the signing of a new Executive Vice President of basketball operations to the New Orleans Pelicans. That new position was given to former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager, David Griffin. Griffin was the Cavaliers GM from 2010-2017 and was a part of the memorable championship run led by LeBron James. Now, LeBron is on the Lakers, the favorites to land Davis, and I would not be shocked to see Griffin help out LeBron by sending Davis to the Lakers before next season.
Joel: Kawhi Leonard will stay with the Raptors regardless of if they win a championship or not.
Rahim: This is a tough decision to make because Leonard could lead the Raptors further then they’ve ever been. Leonard and the Raptors have their eyes set on the NBA Finals, and if they manage to get by the Sixers in the next round, they will have the tough task of taking on the Bucks or Celtics if they want to make it o the NBA Finals.
With the East already lacking a lot of superstars, I think he might stay, so I’ll buy him as a Raptor for the foreseeable future regardless of how far they go this year.
I say it like that because I don’t think it’ll be a long term deal. I can see Leonard doing a three year deal with the third year being an option, and he could then return to the West to win a title against the older players in the league. By the time he finishes out his three-year deal, he would have just turned 30, and still have plenty of great years ahead of him.
I think he could bring a title to Toronto during his time there and help get him a spot in the rafters.
Dan: I’m going to sell this. Kawhi wants to be in the West; that’s the bottom line. He may not want to play in the purple and gold as people thought, but he wants to be in LA or somewhere else in the Western region of the United States.
From the moment he got traded to Toronto, he expressed his displeasure with the Spurs for trading him, and you could tell he didn’t want to be in Toronto. I don’t think anything has changed from day one to now. No matter the result of this season, he will be on a different team come next season.
And there you have it! Now, what do you think?
- Will James Dolan finally make the right moves in the draft and free agency for the New York Knicks?
- Will the Lakers still get Anthony Davis despite a dysfunctional front office?
- Will Kawhi Leonard stay with the Toronto Raptors regardless of how far they go in the Playoffs?