Damian Lillard “Not a Team Up Type of Person”

According to Toronto Sports Network, Damian Lillard is “not a team up type of person.”

Lillard says that he wants a challenge. However, the Warriors made it pretty clear that teaming up can still bring all kinds of challenges in itself. In order to win NBA Championships nowadays, you need a minimum or three all stars or for the other teams all stars to all get devastatingly injured at the same time. Basically, teaming up is the only way to control your own destiny unless you’re Zaza Pachulia.

Damian Lillard has made it very clear that he is not leaving Portland. Loyalty is important to him which is refreshing in today’s NBA. If he is going to be on a championship team, players will have to come to him. Since he isn’t a “team up” guy, this means no monster trades or free agent signings. So, the only other way to get championship caliber players to the Blazers is by the NBA Draft. And if Portland’s history tells us anything, well, good luck with that.

Drafting Lillard and McCollum out of Weber State and Lehigh, Portland can find a diamond in the rough better than most teams. But when faced with top lottery picks, they have accounted for both of the two worst draft blunders of all time.

In 1984, they took Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan. If you don’t know who Sam Bowie is, that’s my point. Then, later on in 2007, Portland took Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant and we all know how that turned out.

In order for Lillard to bring a championship to Portland now is to pray and hope that the Blazers find a couple more diamonds in the rough like a Nikola Jokic or Kawhi Leonard. Guys who are incredible but don’t get the recognition they deserve because they don’t have the name Duke or Kentucky associated with them. Until then, it looks like the Blazers will continue to fall victim to the ever growing Western Conference.

Portland “Surprises” Everyone With Expected Damian Lillard Offer

Unsurprisingly, contrary to the title, Portland is expected to offer All-Star Damian Lillard a supermax deal this summer to the tune of 4 years, $191 million. The 28 year old point guard, if he signs this deal, could easily finish out the rest of his career with the team that drafted him, which would make him one of the few people to actually do that in the modern NBA.

While this deal will cripple any and all likelihood that the Trail Blazers will be big players in the FA market this offseason, this is the right move to do. The Lakers will be hounding the market for any and all All-Stars that feel like their organization has wronged them. Last thing the Trail Blazers need is their best player leaving their team to head to an interconference rival.

By no means do I think Dame is beginning to hit the twilight of his career. Dame is widely regarded as a top 5 point guard in the league, with some (myself included) having him resting at 2nd best. Dame will be worth every penny of that deal, and he won’t make Portland regret retaining him. What they will regret is having almost $48 million of their cap per year dedicated to Dame, resulting in a worse roster being constructed around him.

Oh well, like most Portland fans, I’d rather see Dame D.O.L.L.A. retire as the best Trail Blazer of all time.

…or should I say “of all Dame Time”?

Miami Heat: Lotto Reaction and Where to Go

Miami fans were not expecting anything impressive coming from the lottery. In fact, there was no reason to be disappointed when they got their predicted 13th pick. Sure, Heat fans can moan how the Pels and the Griz were able to jump up higher, but thats not the worst thing. In fact, even when looking over Miami’s lottery, I still think they kind of wish the could have swapper places with the Celtics for the 14th pick. Why? Well, the worst part about having this pick is that they can’t it.

With the salary cap being set at $109 million for the 2019-2020 season, the $129.6 million the Heat are expected to pay is well above, and that is without them D Wade and Haslem retiring, putting them at 10 active players on their roster. A rookie drafted in the thirteenth pick is given a backloaded 4 year, roughly $12.1 million contract. This means the eleventh player will add an additional $2.2 million to their books, and this is before they will, more than likely, go up to a 13-15 man roster.

Talk about a rough situation.

However, they can easily trade out of a few of those contracts. Josh Richardson is viewed as the best value contract in the NBA right now, and Kelly Olynk’s contract is not heinous. A title contender would/could acquire those guys in a heartbeat if it meant getting them over the edge (lookin’ at you Blazers and Raptors). However, what would they get back in return? Josh is borderline untradeable since he is the best player on the Heat, but Kelly would probably net a low level pick and an expiring contract back.

…but why?

The Heat are in a great place to acquire either a wing shooter, athletic wing, or a big. Which would be great if that is what they needed. The Heat desperately need a point guard, since they had Justice Winslow and Josh Richardson splitting those reps whenever Goran Dragic was hurt or resting. A few mocks has them slated to get Romeo Langford, Nassir Little, or Kevin Porter, Jr. I only see one that could be a viable option to be a backup point guard, and I can guarantee it isn’t the one some fans want to hear. Since all three are 6’6″ , have to use athleticism and ball-handling skills as the metric. Nassir Little is the best via film, since he may be the most athletic out of the three. However, KPJ may have the biggest upside of the three, so that may be a push internally with the evaluation process the Heat have shown these past few years.

If the Heat were smart, they would try and leverage the 13th pick and a player or two to move up. While I am sure the Hawks will be looking to move up themselves, I would find it hard to believe that they would turn down Josh Richardson for the 8th or 10th pick. I don’t know if that’d be the right move for the organization, but it would wipe a lot of money off of their books, and I am sure a team like the Thunder would gladly take Olynk and give up a pick to do so. The Heat are in a great position to leverage some of their contracts for picks, so I hope they can do that and get out of the tax.

May be asking: what’s the worst case scenario for all us Heat fans out there in the world, Buck?

Easy. Y’all draft Bol Bol.

Enjoy that trash medical and the fact he’ll back up the biggest contract waste in the NBA.

Westbrook and Lillard Scuffle As Paul George Proves His Shoulder Is Fine

Paul George, AKA Playoff P, has been struggling with a shoulder injury for the better part of the month. Judging from his 4/15 3PT shooting performance in game 1 of this year’s Western Conference First Round, it was not getting any better. Even Dr. Tracy McGrady M.D. (made-up doctorate) thought he had a torn labrum. Game 2 has seen a completely different Playoff P though. Watch:

Maybe a little discomfort, but George is showing no signs of stopping.

So disrespectful on so many levels. Throws Harkless to the ground as he drains the step back, then the OKC bench encourages him to get up. Ruthless. But it’s a Western Conference Playoff game, of course, it is going to get chippy. It finally came to a head right before halftime.

Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard, the two best players in this matchup, have been tasked with guarding each other. Two big egos going after each other every play was surely going to spark some type of temper flair.

This honestly makes me wonder if these guys know there are cameras on them at all times. You can’t just continually push somebody after the whistle and expect nothing back. And on top of that, you can’t be so obvious with your flops with the officials right in front of you. Russ threw himself to the ground like a 3 year old having a tantrum. Luckily for them, no fouls were call due to the scuffle.

Steven Adams’ Butt Screen Is the Best Thing Since the Butt Fumble

We all remember where we were for the butt fumble. Thanksgiving 2012 was just an ordinary holiday. I was hiding from my family watching football when Mark Sanchez tried to hand off to no one, then ran into his own lineman’s butt resulting in an scoop-n-score for the Patriots. Uncles and cousins popped out of the woodwork asking if I had just seen what happened. Really brought us together.

No matter how old we get, butts will always be funny. Especially, when they are used in sports. Yesterday, Steven Adams gave us another play that yet again reinstated the athletic dignity of the butt with this screen.

Of course, that brick wall of a man does not even register that someone ran into him.

In terms of butt related sports plays, nothing will ever beat the butt fumble, but I would rank the Steven Adams butt screen just above when Khalil Mack butt sacked Aaron Rodgers.