Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Celtics & Kings Trade and Offseason Moves

I was going to do both these teams by themselves but with recent reports of the Kings wanted to move their two stars I figured I put a monster trade together as well as their offseason moves. Let's start with who the Kings want to move. When I said stars I meant it, they want to move Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins. They want to move Rudy Gay to clear up cap space for Rajon Rondo and Head Coach George Karl doesn't want Cousins on the team. So you guessed it, it's time for the Celtics to swoop in with an offer they can't refuse. We start with the Celtics giving up the 16th, 28th, 33rd and 45th picks in this years draft. Then either Kelly Olynyk or Jared Sullinger, whichever George Karl prefers, and Avery Bradley. Also throw in one of the many 2016 1st round picks the Celtics have and who could refuse. The Celtics could also throw in Gerald Wallace to clear cap space. In return the Celtics get DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Nik Stauskas or Ben McLemore. I'm assuming Stauskas would be the one to come over but I'm not sure who the Kings see as a better shooter.

Next we move on to the Celtics offseason. It's not a big offseason other than the trade since they traded their draft picks. First off re-sign Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko. Crowder is an incredible spark off the bench that made the Celtics the winners in the Rajon Rondo trade. Jonas Jerebko was also a pleasant surprise after a trade with the Pistons. They both have high energy and Crowder is all hustle all the time. Jerebko is all around good and has also been called the LeBron stopper. I have Crowder coming off the bench regardless, but I think Jerebko should start if they keep Kelly Olynyk. That way he can stretch the floor better because he is much stronger than Olynyk. Plus I like Kelly's energy off the bench. Sullinger is different. He's better as a started and would get the rebounds Cousins misses. If he improves his three point shot he'll be even more dangerous.

As for the Kings they can make up almost everything in the draft. With their sixth pick obviously Willey Cauley-Stein. Great defender and shot blocker. Plus he knows how to lead a team, which is special for a rookie. Then with the 16th pick they should pick Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. I love this kid! He is getting defensive comparisons to Tony Allen, except taller and stronger. He also doesn't have a really awkward jump shot and can add a consistent jumper and 3-point shot in the near future. His defense will play at the NBA level immediately however. Then with the 28th pick I have them taking Jonathan Holmes. His stock dipped this year as he wasn't as consistent offensively this year. But I can see him as either the 2 Guard or small forward to back up Avery Bradley or Hollis-Jefferson. With the 33rd pick I have them picking Olivier Hanlan. A great point guard for Boston College, I think he can eventually evolve into fellow Boston College alumni Reggie Jacksons. For now he'd be great off the bench and benefit from watch Rondo up close. With the 45th pick I have them picking an international talent as a draft and stash. I'm not sure who, but Vlade Divac probably knows better than me. I have them also making two signings. One I already mentioned in Rajon Rondo. The other being Gerald Green. I believe his size and 3-point shooting to come in for Hollis-Jefferson would be perfect and give Jonathan Holmes time to mature, maybe at the D-League.

Both teams will obviously make multiple camp signings and minor signings also but these are the big one I wanted to cover.
If this plays out the teams should look like this

  1. Marcus Smart
  2. Evan Turner
  3. Rudy Gay
  4. Jonas Jerebko/Jared Sullinger
  5. DeMarcus Cousins
  1. Isaiah Thomas
  2. Nik Stauskas/Ben McLemore/James Young
  3. Jae Crowder
  4. Kelly Olynyk/Jonas Jerebko
  5. Tyler Zeller
I still have Smart starting for his defensive but Brad Stevens will work out a good rotation like last year. If they acquire Stauskas I have him fighting James Young for the back up spot

  1. Rajon Rondo
  2. Avery Bradley
  3. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
  4. Jared Sullinger/Kelly Olynyk
  5. Willie-Cauley-Stein
  1. Olivier Hanlan
  2. Ben McLemore/Nik Stauskas
  3. Gerald Green
  4. Carl Landry
  5. Jason Thompson
I like the Kings bench, especially if Landry is healthy. I prefer Sullinger to Olynyk unless Olynyk adds twenty pounds of muscle this offseason.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Red Sox Salvaged Season

The Red Sox came into the season, on paper, the best offense in baseball. They also had hope for their rotation. But the season has been a disaster so far. Many people blame John Farrell. Others blame the new batting box rule. Both seem plausible, but I'm not sure yet. The question is can the Red Sox salvage the season and make a playoff run? I believe they can and I believe it will take one trade and some roster moves. The trade is with the Reds and will be dubbed the Second Coming of Luis Tiant. I have the Red Sox trading prospects Henry Owens and Edwin Escobar, Justin Masterson and Mookie Betts for Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. Now I know that sounds a little out there and I expect to get plenty of negative responses, but the Reds are looking to move them. Now I'm not traded Mookie Betts because I've given up on him. I'm doing it because it's the only way to get this trade done. Same thing with Henry Owens. His high upside makes him a perfect trade candidate. He has struggled with his walk rate this season but he has great hit and miss stuff. Then you throw in Masterson for payroll and Edwin Escobar to but a good bullpen lefty for the Reds. I do believe they'll have to throw in one more prospect, but LHP Brian Johnson and 3B Rafael Devers should be the only ones off limits. I'd also like them to keep RHP Pat Light. And obviously Yoan Moncada is off limits. Now with Mookie Betts traded it's time for Jackie Bradley to get his second chance. His gap power has returned and his defense is always reliable. I also have them bring Dalier Hinojosa back up as well. He's doing a very good job at AAA and the Sox need more good relievers. So with these acquisitions the rotation should look like this:
  1. Johnny Cueto
  2. Clay Buchholz
  3. Eduardo Rodriguez*
  4. Rick Porcello
  5. Wade Miley*
Of course that means Joe Kelly is headed to the minors. I believe if he spend an extra year done there he can figure out all his problems.
The bullpen should look like this
  1. Aroldis Chapman*
  2. Koji Uehara
  3. Junichi Tazawa
  4. Craig Breslow*
  5. Dalier Hinojose
  6. Tommy Layne*
  7. Alexi Ogando
  8. Steven Wright 
With the acquisition of Chapman that will move Koji to the setup roll. I believe with that extra rest since Tazawa is also there will make him dominate again. This will also keep Matt Barnes down in AAA. I love Barnes and believe he can dominate someday in the near future.
With these move I believe they can make a push. Mainly because the Yankees seem to be faltering, The Blue Jays have inconsistent pitching, the Rays are very young and the Orioles are going back and fourth. Don't misunderstand, the Yankees are the only team I don't believe they can keep up their winning ways. They are old and fragile and the dominos have already began to fall. Ellsbury and Miller are on the DL and it's only a matter of time before Teixiera and Beltran are there too. But that's an article for another day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New York Knicks Offseason

Let's take a break from baseball and talk some basketball today. Let me state that I'm am not a Knicks fan (Sorry Spike), however they fascinate me. It's probably because Carmelo Anthony is so good, but they can't manage to win with him. But now that they've traded off all their expensive players, had the second worst record in basketball (but got screwed by the Draft Lottery) and now only have five guaranteed contracts on the books they are very, VERY flexible. For starters they won't get better through the draft. The first move they should make is trading the 4th Overall pick to Minnesota for Ricky Rubio. In order to stay flexible they'll have to send Jose Calderon over too and possibly a future 1st round pick. Rubio is the assist first Point Guard the Knicks have been looking for since they acquired Carmelo. The only issue is staying healthy, but that's a necessary risk. After that I have three different approaches they should use this offseason in order to improve.
The first approach is the Carmelo as Power Forward approach. With this approach the first big move is a rebounding center. While I like DeAndre Jordan, I don't think New York in on his radar so I'm going with Omer Asik. Omer isn't there to score, he's there for rebounds and putbacks. As a starter he has averaged 10.8 rebounds a game, 3.2 of those are offensive. He's not a premiere shot blocker but is aggressive enough to give other centers trouble. Next move is signing Tobias Harris to play Small Forward. When Harris said he wanted to win a title with New York is when I started pairing him a Melo together. I like the of the two of them play off each other. They are both strong, can both rebound well for their position, can stretch the floor and go to the hoop. Tobias will get the rebounds Carmelo doesn't and vice-versa. They are a match made in NBA Heaven when paired with Asik and Rubio. The final started is Arron Afflalo. Afflalo is the speedy shooter they need to pair with Rubio. His outside shot has improved dramatically since coming to the NBA, but has always been on teams that underutilize him. His skill set will play perfectly with the other starters. For the bench I have Langston Galloway and Tim Hardaway Jr. in the backcourt. Two high energy players that will spark the bench. Gerald Green at Small Forward, a three point shooter and powerful dunker. And Jordan Hill and Jason Smith in the front court. Hill is the defending rebounder while Smith is the consistent mid range jump shooter. They'll play perfectly off each other.

The second approach is Carmelo at Small Forward part 1. With this approach we go with the defensive minded Center Robin Lopez. He's there for blocking shots and offensive rebounds. He's there because the Knicks should sign Kevin Love. If you pair Love with Carmelo and Lopez in the front court he can prove he's not a stretch forward and really open his game to all levels. New York wont need a Big 3 with this Big 2. To pair with Rubio I have Mike Dunleavy. A consistent three point shooter, Dunleavy surprised me with his defensive rating this year. One that I think will be better playing Shooting Guard again. For the bench the backcourt remains the same, as does Gerald Green. The frontcourt however changes. Instead of Jordan Hill and Jason Smith I have Reggie Evans and Andrea Bargnanai. I've wanted these two to play with each other for a long time. While Andrea has improved his inside game, he's still not a rebounder. Evans is all rebounding. Pair them together and you have great combo.

The final approach is Carmelo at Small Forward part 2. With the same backcourt and bench the only changes are the starting frontcourt. At Center I have Greg Monroe. He's an aggressive rebounder with a great field goal percentage. He's even got a nice elbow jumper to go with it. At power forward is Josh Smith. Smith provides the strength and shot blocking ability lacking in the line up. While he and Greg Monroe didn't work in Detroit, they should blend nicely now that they are in their proper positions.
Now tell me what you think New York fans. Do these line ups excite you for next years games against the Celtics like they do for me?