Kobe Bryant Compares Andrew Wiggins Trade Situation to His Own Draft Day

  Kobe Bryant. NBA superstar, now legend, and an all time great. Some consider him a top 10 player of all time, and everyone can see the similarities to Michael Jordan. Not to mention, Kobe has five rings on his fingers all from the Los Angeles Lakers. However, many people do not realize Kobe was actually not drafted by the Lakers. Kobe Bryant was drafted 13th overall in the 1996 draft by the Charlotte Hornets, and later traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe was sent to LA in form of Charlotte receiving a valuable center (At the time), Vlade Divac. 

  The Hornets really did not truly need another guard, and therefore, thought Divac would be a better fit for the team. The Hornets already had two scoring guards in Glen Rice and Larry Johnson (Both averaging at least 20 PPG), and felt they could add some more size. 

  If only they knew what Kobe would become. While Vlade Divac became a 11 PPG and 8 boards per game guy for the Hornets for two years, Kobe teamed with Shaq to lead the Lakers to three straight Championships from 2000-2002. 

  Fast forward 18 years. Andrew Wiggins, 6 foot 8 inches, 200 pound, shooting guard, with tremendous talent and desire is drafted number one overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Two months later, the Cavaliers and Timberwolves make an unofficial trade to send Wiggins to Minnesota for one of the best big men in the NBA, Kevin Love. 

  The Cavaliers already have a great back court with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters (Both averaging 15 PPG), and therefore, the Cavaliers could really use a big men to go along with a great back court. 

  Hmmm. This Andrew Wiggins situation feels somewhat like deja vu. I'm not the only one that sees it as oddly familiar: "Cleveland is making the same mistake Charlotte made with me." - Kobe Bryant 

  Now although this situation is similar to Kobe's situation, there are some major holes in the comparison. For one, Andrew Wiggins is being traded to Minnesota, not LA. Kobe was traded to LA, where another top 10 great of all time, Shaquille O'Neal was considering going. People talk about heading to South Beach, New York, Los Angeles, but no NBA superstar ever says, "Ah. Minnesota. Where dreams are made." Don't get me wrong Minnesota is a functional state with a lot of pride, but its not exactly destination number one for any NBA superstar (With or without Andrew Wiggins). 

  Second, Kevin Love is, without a doubt, a much more valuable player than Vlade Divac. When Divac was traded to Charlotte, he was averaging 12 PPG and 8 boars per game. Love averaged 26 PPG and 13 rebounds per game, and not to mention he is only 25 years old. Divac was never once an all-star before being traded to the Hornets, while Kevin Love has been 3 straight times (Discarding his injury ridden season)! 

  Finally, there is one huge hole in Kobe's comparison. Cleveland not only has a great back court in Kyrie and Dion, but they have this guy by the name of LEBRON JAMES. Lebron's the best player in the past 20 year, and possibly the greatest player of all time. The Cavaliers don't need Andrew Wiggins, as they have Lebron who already is one of the greatest players of all time! The Cavaliers needed shooting and bigs for Lebron, and they got all that and more with Kevin Love. I do wish the Cavs had waited to see how Lebron and Wiggins had played together, but the Cavaliers are going for a Championship now! If the Cavs can get just one Championship out of Kevin Love, Kyrie, and Lebron, this notion of not trading Wiggins will be erased (Whether or not he ends up being an all time great). 

  I don't know if Kobe's lamenting over the Cavs off-season being greater than LA's, or if he's trying to give hope to Andrew Wiggins. However, either way, Kobe's comparison has its points, but at the end of the day, the comparison is just plain wrong. 

Doug McDermott - Rookie of the Year?

(Video from TheMaverick: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4qVouVDamp98FtecYfkeLg 

    The NBA Rookie Photo Shoot took place a week ago, and besides the chance to be on a basketball card, rookies were asked to be part of a poll pertaining to other rookies. Questions ranged from the most underrated rookie in the draft, the best shooter in the draft, the best play-maker in the draft, etc. Got to give the rookie photo shoot directors credit, there were some good questions.

    However, there were two questions that really caught my eye. One, "Who Will Win Rookie of the Year?" Well, at first prediction I thought the polls would go Jabari, Wiggins, and Embiid, like the draft order. However, unlike what I predicted, a surprising player was high up on the list, even tied for second.

    This unforeseen athlete was Doug McDermott. McDermott is coming out of Creighton as a Senior (Not a one and done), and has been traded to the Chicago Bulls on draft night (11th pick). McDermott has been a consensus All-American for three straight years, dating back to sophomore year. Obviously he has talent, but many people are over looking him due to lack of quickness. I would never have guessed his fellow rookies would think of him as possible Rookie of the Year.

1. Jabari Parker 52.8%

T2. Doug McDermott 8.3%

T2. Andrew Wiggins 8.3%

T4. Shabazz Napier 5.6%

T4. Nerlens Noel 5.6%

T4. Elfrid Payton 5.6%

    However, the other rookies also did get to see McDermott's outstanding performances in the Las Vegas Summer League right in front of them. McDermott averaged 18 points per game, 42% shooting from the field, and 44% shooting from three point land. Dennis Scott and fellow NBA.com members rated him as the most impressive rookie in Las Vegas Summer League.

    Due to his great performance, and great respect for Doug, McDermott is expected to be a high contender for Rookie of the Year along with Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins. Although there is a big discrepancy between McDermott and Jabari in the votes, it is still good news for the Bulls, as the rookies were not asked to vote for second (If that was the case, McDermott might have been much closer to Parker).

    After the question of Rookie of the Year, the directors of the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot asked the players, "Which Rookie Will have the Best Career?" Once again, after Jabari at first, McDermott came in at second. This time, however, McDermott received more votes than TJ Warren of the Suns and Andrew Wiggins of the Cavs/Wolves.

    This second question is actually much more of a compliment to Doug than the first, as this poll question is talking about the next 15-20 years! His fellow rookies are saying he will end up having a better career than Andrew Wiggins! I can't wait to see what Doug can do during the regular season.

1. Jabari Parker 45.9%

2. Doug McDermott 13.5%

3. TJ Warren 8.1%

T4. Andrew Wiggins 5.4%

T4. Zach LaVine 5.4%

    After the Rookie of the Year and Overall Career question, directors of the NBA Rookie Photo Shoot asked 3 more questions.

1. "Which rookie is being most overlooked?"

2. "Which rookie is the best shooter?"

3. "Which rookie is the best playmaker?"

    McDermott finished in the top five for number one, was voted the best shooter for number two, and finished 4th for number three. Number three is quite ironic, as all the top finishers were point guards (Tyler Ennis, Marcus Smart) except Doug McDermott.

    Although McDermott did have a fantastic NBA Summer League, and his rookies are thinking high on him, I do not see Doug winning Rookie of the Year. With Jabari Parker in NBA Form already (Who honestly could have entered the draft out of high school last year), I see Jabari being outstanding and taking home Rookie of the Year. However, keep an eye on Doug McBuckets this year, as he might help a Championship contending Chicago Bulls Team take home the gold in June.

Is Minnesota Better Long Term For Andrew Wiggins?

    A recent article has come out about Andrew Wiggins and whether or not he wanted to be traded to Minnesota. I thought for sure anyone would want to play with Lebron James and Kyrie Irving, and not go play by yourself in Minnesota! Right? 

    Well, I guess Andrew Wiggins had a different thought process. Bill Self has revealed to reporters that Wiggins actually wanted to be traded to Minnesota! Wiggins told Self he wants to carve out his own future and NBA legacy, and that Minnesota would help him do that. Wiggins did not talk to reporters, but Self told reporters he believes it is better for his future. 

    Come on. Really? Better for his future? Wiggins thinks playing with Ricky Rubio is better than playing with the greatest player in NBA history (or, one of the best)!? Wiggins doesn't want to take lessons from someone of similar body shape coming into the NBA, who then turned into a 5 time MVP!? I'm struggling to believe this. 

    The only way I see Minnesota being better for Wiggins is making Minnesota his own team. If that's the case, he either wants a challenge, or has tremendous pride. And based on what he reportedly said, then he does have absolute pride. Wiggins said he wants to carve out his own future, or in other words, not let someone else run the team. However, I have heard Wiggins is a great kid, so I'm not going to rip on him too much. 

    Either Wiggins is trying to make it look like he wants to be in Minnesota, and might have used the wrong words, or he is actually happy in Minnesota. I struggle to see him happy in Minnesota, and still see him going to Cleveland as detrimental short term and long term to him. 

    But its his life, and if he really thinks playing on a poor team in the tremendous western conference is good for his long term future, then good for him. 

Who Will Be the Beast of the East: Chicago or Cleveland?

With Lebron's coming home tour to Cleveland, and Kevin Love joining Lebron, there has been large talk about how good the Cleveland Cavaliers will be in the up-coming season. Well, knowing they have 3 all star players, and the best player in the world, I can tell you they will be pretty darn good. The bigger question needed to be asked is the controversy of having to deal with the team up north in the Windy City. 

Chicago has had a relatively good off-season - not perfect in losing Melo to New York - but they still have picked up some good assets. For one, after losing Melo, the Bulls went out at got former Lakers power forward, Pau Gasol. Gasol will be there for Chicago to help out their horrendous scoring (
Which was dead last in the NBA last season, with 93 points per game), as he is a good 17-10 guy. Gasol's only real struggle will be on defense, as he is mediocre at best. However, with the help of defensive master mind, Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls will be just fine on defense. After Gasol, they needed a small forward from losing the Carmelo sweepstakes and trading Luol Deng a year earlier. The hole in the project was solved in the NBA Draft by drafting Creighton scorer, Doug McDermott. McDermott averaged 26 points per game for the Bluejays, and shot 45% from three and 56% from the field. Again, like Gasol, McDermott's only real struggle is on defense. However, being a college coaches son, and not being the quickest guy in the world, McDermott has been able to develop an outstanding IQ on the court. His high IQ will help him shape into a good defensive helper on defense. Now, having to face up one on one with a guy (cough cough Lebron, Melo, KD), might be another problem that the Bulls will have to address. 

And of course, we have the one and only, Derrick Rose. From looking at highlights of Derrick Rose at the USAB Showcase, I think we can all say he is back. Now playing against tight defensive pressure in the NBA Regular Season might slow him down in the beginning, but he looks back into his 2011 MVP Form! Rose finished the showcase with 8 points, and one monstrous throw down. If Rose can stay healthy, he will be a huge help to the Bulls struggling offense from 2013. 

Now, these three players recently added to the Bulls are trouble for Lebron James and Cleveland. However, Cleveland has been no slouch in picking up players this off-season. Obviously, there is Lebron James. You can't go wrong with Lebron. Other than Lebron, the Cavs have picked up shooting star, Kevin Love, and Mike Miller. Although they had to trade away Andrew Wiggins, it's for the best as the Cavs are better off with a proven player right now. 

Love and Miller are going to be a ginormous problem for opposing teams, as Lebron will no longer be able to be doubled and force and shot (Like in 2010). Lebron now has 3 of 4 players who can shoot on the floor at any given time, and with Love playing center at times, he will have 4 players to rely on! Now, Kyrie Irving has yet to prove he can catch and shoot, but his 38% three point shooting gives me a lot of hope he can develop that part of his game. Not to mention, if the Cavs start Mike Miller or Ray Allen (If he comes to Cleveland like the reports say), they will have a dynamic youngster at the 6th man position in Dion Waiters. Waiters is a pure scorer as he averaged 16 points per game last season, and can shoot from deep with a 36% mark. He is not someone that will take over a team and lead them to a Championship, but he is simply a great asset in need of scoring. This will be great for Cleveland, as he can give Kyrie a rest, and still provide some scoring. 

Anyway you put it, a team will be great with Lebron James on the floor. Now with great shooters, and all-stars, the Cavs are set on offense. The main problem will be on defense. Kyrie Irving is mediocre on defense (108 defensive rating), Kevin Love is poor (104 defensive rating), Anderson Varejao is the best argument (Besides Lebron) as he is a presence on the boards. Overall, the Cavs will need to find a strategy to fend of opposing offenses. The new Cavaliers coach, David Blatt, is a long time coach in Europe, and will need to think of solving their biggest predicament. 

Overall, having said that, I trust in the best coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau. With three scorers, and two average scorers in Jimmy Butler (13 PPG) and Joakim Noah (13 PPG), their scoring will be great to along with their great defense. I don't see Chicago having the same defense as last year with three mediocre defenders added to the roster, but with mastermind Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls will maintain a tight and stingy defense. For Cleveland, they will be great, but I don't see them being as balanced as Chicago on defense, and have them at the 2nd seed in the East. For now, at this moment in the off-season, and with Derrick Rose healthy, I have the Chicago Bulls as the Beasts of the East. 

(This article is sponsored by TheMaverick: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4qVouVDamp98FtecYfkeLg )

Team to Look Out For: Kansas City Royals

    The Kansas City Royals have been the team to keep my eye recently. The Royals are quietly edging their way closer and closer to the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, and I've barely noticed. Throughout the season, they have been contending with the Tigers for first place, and have been quietly behind Detroit. Basically, the Royals are stalking the Tigers waiting for a moment to try to jump on them. 

    At the beginning of the season, the Royals started off slow with a 26-30 record, and were last place in the American League Central. However, starting on June 7th, the Royals went on a tear and won 10 straight games. In the stretch, the Royals showed their true strength and key to victory: Their bullpen. 

   9 out of the 10 games in the winning streak, the Royals got out to an at least 2-0 lead. In multiple games, the Royals were ahead by 5 at one stretch! With Greg Holland, and possibly the best bullpen in the MLB, the Royals just needed an early lead and the game was practically over. 

    At the end of the stretch, the Royals had actually taken over the number one spot in the AL Central by 1.5 games. However, the Royals were then set back with a 4 game losing streak (Where in all 4 games, the Royals were not able to build a 2 run lead before the 4th inning), and with Detroit beginning a 7 game win steak, the Royals were sent back to second place. 

    Throughout July, the Royals not only had to fight their way back from a 7 game deficit of the Tigers, but also a surging Cleveland Indians team. For a moment in mid-July, the Indians had actually moved into second place. However, the Royals then surged back into second, and like every year in baseball, the tides had turned. 

    The Royals winning began on July 22nd and has continued to this present day. Since July 22nd, the Royals are actually 16-3! Throughout their great run, the Royals have actually not played their brand of baseball as only 5 of their 16 wins have come off of 2 or larger run leads. 

    With saying this, I am actually frightened by the Royals. The Royals have beaten great teams in San Francisco and Oakland, without their great weapon. Knowing their streakiness, the Royals just need one big run of using their best advantage (Bullpen), and could take over the AL Central. At this point, the Royals are still 1.5 games back of Detroit. However, Detroit fans still need to be beware, as the Royals are quietly climbing the standings, and have yet to use their biggest weapon. 

(Sponsored by TheMaverick)

Should the Cavaliers Trade Andrew Wiggins For Kevin Love?

      With the first pick in the NBA Draft, the Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins, a guard coming out of freshmen year in Kansas. Wiggins has unmatched potential with unbelievable jumping ability, length, and overall athleticism. However, although Wiggins will be a very good player next year, and a great player in the future, it might be in the best interest of the Cavaliers organization to trade him. 

      Who would they trade him for? None other than Kevin Love. Love has played in the NBA for 6 seasons, been an all-star three times, and has played his entire career for the measly talented Minnesota Timberwolves. In the past two seasons (Ignoring the 2013 injury season), Love has averaged 26 points per game, 13 rebounds per game, and 37% three point shooting which is few and far between in 6'10 athletes. 

      He's proven he can score, shoot, rebound, pass, and needs a chance to prove he can win. Obviously the Cavaliers with Lebron James and Kyrie Irving could provide this idea to everyone, and win a Championship. 

      However, there is a major problem in bringing Kevin Love to Cleveland. The Cavaliers actually have to give up someone to Minnesota, and that person seems to be the one and only, Andrew Wiggins. It is pretty clear that Minnesota will only trade Wiggins for Lebron or Wiggins, and obviously, no one would ever trade Lebron, so Wiggins is the only option. 

The Cavaliers are then faced with two options: 

1. Keep Wiggins, let Wiggins develop under Lebron, Wiggins turn into a super star, let Lebron age before turning into a Championship contender, and have the best back court in the NBA now. 

2. Trade Wiggins, get Love, have the newest big three develop, title contend for the next 5-7 years. 

     To me, looking at the options, I feel that trading Wiggins is undoubtedly the best option for Cleveland. Let Kevin Love come over to Cleveland, have a great guard, forward, and center, and an all around great team. Kyrie or Lebron can play pick and roll/pop with Love, have one set up for a shooting/driving option somewhere else on the floor, and find some shooters to put in the corner. Versatile big men are the most valuable players in the league, and Cleveland has a chance to grab two (Lebron and Love). 

     Once Cleveland lands some three point shooters, they are set to contend and win a Championship. There would be some need to improve their defense, but overall, they would be for sure Championship contenders. Lebron could play with a Chris Bosh-like player, who is a better rebounder, shooter, and scorer! 

      The only argument I see for keeping Wiggins is for the potential, excitement, and future. Wiggins is not going to be an all-star in his first year - Well take that back - He's in the eastern conference, so possibly, but unlikely. 

      Wiggins could turn into the next great thing, and it's up to the Cleveland organization and Lebron to decide if he's worth the risk of keeping him to develop. To me, I don't like too many risks and I feel Love would be a sure thing to bring Cleveland to Championship contention. I don't see Wiggins, Kyrie, Lebron taking Cleveland to a Championship next season, and I feel Vegas is wrong for making them favorites to win it all. I could see them competing for the ECF, but I don't see them beating teams like San Antonio in the west. 

     Finally, Wiggins is only worth keeping to see the excitement. I admit it, that I would love to see Wiggins, Kyrie, and Lebron play together. I can't wait to see them develop and become the best back court in the NBA. As a fan, I want the Cavs to keep Wiggins. 

     However, at the end of the day, I feel that Cavs fans just want to win. And if that's the case, Love is the best option for contending for a Championship next year, and years after that. 

Lebron James: Loyalty Over Royalty.

    I was sitting in the doctors office when I heard the news. I had to receive some allergy shots and relax for the rest of the day. It had been over a month waiting for Lebron to make his "Decision" and honestly, and selfishly, I was getting tired of waiting. As I sat there, looking at a bogus magazine of Hollywood celebrities, I was debating where Lebron would go, why he would go some where, and if people would despise him with exemplified hatred. I thought to myself, "If he goes to Miami, he's going for rings, and people will never forgive him. He will go down as one of the most hated and easiest to poke fun at athletes in history." However, on the other hand, I knew going to Cleveland would just be the opposite. "If Lebron were to go to Cleveland, he would go because it's his home, he's accepted the apologies of Dan Gilbert, and wants to help build Kyrie, Wiggins, and the city of Cleveland." He would be more famous than the Beatles, and according to John Lennon, "More popular than Jesus." 

    As the nurse walked through the open door, I felt a small buzz in my right pants pocket. I looked down, and the words were simply stated from a good friend of mine, "What did I tell you, Lebron's going to Cleveland." I was shocked, felt adrenaline and excitement flowing through my body. The nurse told me to sit still and gave the allergy shots for the second week of July. The shots were exemplified in pain as adrenaline only makes the pain worse, but I didn't care. Lebron was coming back to Cleveland. 

   I jumped off the table, thanked the nurse and ran off to the car. As I drove home, I listened to the hometown, ESPN Cleveland radio exclaiming, "HE CHOSE US!" 

    The words echoed through my mind, as I knew he would be on cloud nine for the next 72 hours. Not only was he giving up an almost certainty of a 5th straight NBA Finals appearance, but he chose a gorgeous and great city of Miami for Cleveland who has been struggling since Lebron left in 2010. 

   Lebron in his letter stated, "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball." Lebron was choosing his loyalty to Ohio to bring happiness to his home city over happiness to himself and his legacy. In Miami, they had proven themselves worthy of another Finals appearance, and with Pat Riley at the head of the organization, they were undoubtedly reaching the ECF and most likely the Finals. With Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts, new fire in Shabazz Napier, and only being in July, the Heat were ready to make another run. 

   In Cleveland, Lebron is going to a team that Colin Cowherd quotes saying, "A team in diapers." Kyrie and Dion Waiters have never been to the playoffs, or even in a playoff race for that matter, Luol Deng and Andrew Bynum are gone, Wiggins is a rookie, Anthony Bennett is still a young sophomore, and the only player who has ever played with Lebron is Varejao. The Cavs were the 9th youngest team last year, and haven't gained any other veterans but Lebron. 

    The Cavaliers will have to face the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and his old team, the Miami Heat. Thank goodness they are not in the west, or they would have no chance of being a high seed next season. 

   Chicago has added better scorers in Doug McDermott, and Pau Gasol. If Derrick Rose is healthy, or good enough to play, the Bulls will have a good offense. On defense nothing changes with Noah heading as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Jimmy Butler reaching the 2nd All-NBA Defensive Team last year, and the best coach in the NBA, Tom Thibodeau. The Cavaliers have a small chance of defeating the Bulls in the regular season or playoffs. 

    The Indiana Pacers put forward a great line up of George Hill, most likely Lance Stephenson, Paul George, David West, and possibly Roy Hibbert. Another great defensive team that has a ton of time and talent to fix their offense for next year. 

   A young team up in Canada, the Toronto Raptors, has a great back court of Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan. Both young players can compete and out play with the Cavs Kyrie and Wiggins. As they continue to grow, the Cavaliers will have to watch out for the Canadian team and keep a close eye. 

    Finally, Lebron and Cleveland will have to challenge Miami in the East. A lot of people seem to be counting Miami out of challenging the Bulls, Pacers, and Cavs in the east, but I feel that they will surprise some people. Of course, Miami has aging super stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, but everyone seems to be counting Wade and Bosh as washed up and old. Bosh only missed 3 games last season and averaged 16 PPG, while one shooting 12 field goals. With Bosh taking most of the shots next season, he'll be averaging in the mid 20's in points next season. If Wade is able to be slightly more healthy and play in about 60-65 games, there will be another 19-5-5 player there (He actually did average 19 points on 14 field goals, and with more field goals, he will be averaging in the 20's). Luol Deng has been added to the roster and he averaged 16 points per game last season, and still has a motor in him. Finally, the Heat have a great coach and role players. Spoelstra will handle this team with excellence and lead them to a relatively good seed in the playoffs. Chalmers and Cole are still quality point guards, Ray Allen is still there (For now), Danny Granger is an all-around good player and veteran, and the birdman will provide some fire. With Lebron gone, they will not be one of the best teams in the NBA, but I definitely see them fighting with Toronto, Indiana, and even Cleveland for a 2,3,4,5 spot in the East (I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Miami and Cleveland face off in the playoffs). 

(NOT TO MENTION: The Western Conference is filled with 6 great teams that are greater than or equal to any of the teams in the East!) 

   The Cavaliers do have the greatest player in the world, and the best back court in the NBA, and therefore, will have a high seed in the East. However, the Cavs will need at least 2 years or Kevin Love to create a Championship contending team with the Western Conference. However, this move as Lebron has said, "Is bigger than basketball."

   Overall, Lebron James is choosing his home town team over a sure Eastern Conference Championship team in South Beach. If Cleveland can pull a couple more strings and grab Kevin Love, then everything changes. However, until that day ever comes, Lebron James is taking loyalty over legacy and royalty. 

Ranking the Best Destinations For Lebron

    With free agency beginning yesterday, teams are going crazy trying to grab the two biggest free agent, Lebron James. The Mavericks made a trade for Chandler and Felton to clear cap space, the Bulls cleared cap space with a trade for Doug McDermott, the Knicks have grabbed a real point guard to take pressure of Melo (If he goes back), and the Heat's big three have all opted out of their contract to create more cap space. For Houston and LA, well they are just setting up meetings to talk to Lebron. Overall, all of these teams have some positives and negatives. But at the end of the day, there are better choices in looking for a championship than others. 

Lebron's Best Destinations:

1. Miami Heat - Lebron's team for the past four years is the best bet in winning a Championship for Lebron. The Heat have already reached 4 finals in a row, and even without making any moves over the off-season, will probably reach the Finals again (With Lebron). However, Lebron wants to WIN the Finals, not just reach his 6th (If he loses his next Finals, he will be 2-4 in Finals, and we all know what the Kobe and Jordan lovers will say...). This problem, however, is small. Pat Riley is at the front office at the Miami Heat organization, and he knows how to fix the Heat's struggles at point guard and their surrounding players. He has already started by drafting Shabazz Napier (Although he is not going to instantly change the Heat into Champions), and this is a start. For Lebron, the safest bet in reaching the Finals, and winning, has to be in the hands of Pat Riley and the Miami Heat. 

2. Chicago Bulls - After the Miami Heat, the best destination is in Chicago. Chicago already has a great supporting cast, and have added to their role players by trading for Doug McDermott in the draft. Chicago struggled to shoot last year, and McDermott, who shot 45% from three in college, will help. However, one player cannot flip the switch to a great three point shooting team. Lebron is a passer who needs three point shooters to spread the floor, and in order for Lebron to go to Chicago, they need to keep adding shooters (Chicago was 24th in three point percentage in 2014). Finally, I don't know if Lebron wants to live in the shadow of Michael Jordan in Chicago. He already is living partially in his shadow as the best player in the NBA, but going to Chicago would only exemplify the shadow. Although the two major problems of Jordan and lack of shooters, I still believe Chicago is the best bet. They have the best defense in the NBA, and Lebron would only make it greater, they have a great coach, and have reached the Conference Finals with their team (With Lebron they could go all the way and win). 

3. Dallas Mavericks - Another team in the west, the Mavericks boast strong positives in bringing Lebron to Dallas, Texas. First off, as I have stated, Lebron is a great passer, and the Mavericks had the 2nd best three point percentage in the past season. Lebron could feed anyone on the court, and they would be able to fire up a three. Lebron would also get a chance to defeat his demon, the San Antonio Spurs. In the past season, the Spurs and Mavericks went to seven games and the Mavericks team offense pushed the Spurs to the limit. Lebron is a major team player, and with more talent, would definitely be considered favorites versus San Antonio. Lebron would also be paired with Dirk and Monta Ellis, who are a lot like Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Monta has even compared himself to Wade, and Dirk is, without a doubt, better than Bosh. Finally, when Dallas won a Championship in 2011, they played great defense in the playoffs, and the big key was Tyson Chandler. With the addition of Chandler, Felton, and if Lebron comes, they would have great defenders at point guard (Not great, but good), small forward, and center. It's hard to find a problem with this team other than the Heat and Bulls have a for sure chance of making the Finals. Overall, the Mavericks would be a very good choice for Lebron. 

4. Houston Rockets - The Rockets are a young team with great stars, and it would be an interesting combination of Harden, Lebron, and Howard. However, I say interesting in a manner that offers a good and bad connotation. Harden shoots 22 field goals per game, more than Carmelo, and I don't know if he would want to limit field goals. He has proven how great he is, and he might want to keep improving. We saw two years ago, Howard had problems with another star, Kobe Bryant. There was fighting, feuding, and an explosion at the end. However, this scenario of feuding could be quite irrelevant to them, as Lebron is friends with Howard, has never feuded, a much better and willing passer than Kobe, and I just don't see it happening. With Harden, I see Lebron and him pairing together like Dwyane Wade. Harden will take a couple less shots, Lebron would be the passer and leader, and everyone would get some shots. Also, Lebron would be surrounded by great shooters on the Houston Rockets as the Rockets shot and made the most three pointers in the past season. However, with the two positives of a big three and shooters, the Rockets are in the west and have a terrible defense. The west is tremendously talented, and the Rockets would have to bond very fast. The Rockets were also ranked 23rd in opponents points per game, and Lebron would have to take a large part in the defensive role. Would Harden and Howard step up and play better defense, or would Lebron have to do everything. Overall, Lebron to Houston would not be a horrible idea, but it would not be the best choice. 

5. Phoenix Suns - The Phoenix Suns have recently jumped into free agency talked, and there's a reason. Phoenix is a great, young, talented team on the rise, that needs one more star to be a title contender. If Lebron joins, the Phoenix Suns immediately become favorites to win the title. For Lebron, he will be surrounded by great shooters, as the team shot better from three than the Miami Heat. He won't have to worry about bringing the ball up the court, as the Suns start two great guards in Goran Dragic and "Mini-Lebron" (Eric Bledsoe). Lebron would also improve on a defense, that had a better opponent field goal percentage than the Miami Heat. With all the positives, there is on the opposite side, some negatives. The Suns are in the west, and even with Lebron, do not boast as much talent as some of the western conference teams. At the big men position, no one averaged more than 8 rebounds per game, and the Suns lack talent at center and power forward. They have good role players, but no one like Joakim Noah and Chris Bosh. At the end of the day, the Suns would be a good land for Lebron, but not great. 

At the end of the day, Lebron's best bet is past team and Chicago. Most people believe he is giving Miami one more chance this season, and I believe the same. Lebron to Miami! 

(For those asking where's Cleveland: The only two positives are young talent and it's Lebron's home town. But I don't see Lebron risking his future for a team with a horrible owner, who still hates Lebron). 

Who Will Win the Pennant: Giants or Dodgers?

  Clayton Kershaw, the two-time Cy Young, was on the mound for LA in against St. Louis. Tim Hudson, the long time veteran, was on the mound for SF against Cincinnati. Both teams best pitchers were on the mound to fight for the NL West. Although it is only June, the All-Star break is soon on the calendar, and every team wants to have momentum heading into the second half of the season. 

   Kershaw took the mound for LA and pitched a stellar game with 13 strike outs, 7 scoreless innings (Making it 28 straight scoreless innings), and a win. Hudson also pitched a great game, with only 2 earned runs in 8 innings, but his own team did not show up. Homer Bailey, for the Reds, threw a 3 hit shutout and the Giants were unable to score one run. For the Dodgers, they smashed the opposing Cardinals pitcher, Shelby Miller, and scored 6 runs in 5 innings. 

At the end of the day, LA had defeated St. Louis and had tied the NL West pennant. 

     With the Giants in a struggle in the past 10 games, going 3-7, the Dodgers have taken their chance to catch San Francisco, going 7-3. LA has had their pitching crew step up, as their opponents are averaging 2.2 runs per game (in the past 10 games), and have all their starting pitchers with an ERA under 4.00. 

   San Francisco has had their pitching rotation playing slightly below average, but their hitting as the main problem. The Giants are averaging 2 runs per game in the last 10 games, and averaged slightly more than 1 run per game when swept by Cincinnati. 

Now, with NL West, the main question will be: 

Which team will surge ahead? 

  Looking at the momentum, the Dodgers would be the favorable pick with a 7-3 record in the past 10 games, and SF with a 3-7 record. Not to mention, the Giants have recently been swept by the Cincinnati Reds. 

   Looking at the schedule, the Dodgers have the better chance of taking over the number one spot with the Cleveland Indians next on the schedule. San Francisco has the Cardinals up next, who are not a great team, but more of a challenge than the Indians. 

  Finally, looking at both the teams, the Dodgers seem to have the better team with better players. LA has possibly the best pitching rotation in baseball, with a starting pitcher average of a 2.77 ERA. With their worst starting pitcher being Josh Becket, who has been a runner up in the Cy Young and a three time all-star, the Dodgers pitching crew has little worries. 

  On offense, the Dodgers are not a fantastic hitting team, but they are definitely filled with potential and the greatness. LA is the 10th best run scoring team in the MLB, with 3 players hitting above .340 on base percentage, and Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hanley Ramirez hitting more than 10 home runs. Not to mention, Matt Kemp, who has been in a 2 year slump, has had a great June of a .320 average and .380 on base percentage. With the Dodgers great pitching crew, there is not much pressure on the Dodgers hitters, which will, and has resulted in very good hitting. 

   However, on the other side, the Giants are not a horrible team. They have a good starting rotation of Madison Bumgarner and Tim Hudson leading the way with a 2.59 and 2.90 ERA. After Hudson and Madison, the rotation somewhat drops off with former greats in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain having a combined 4.40 ERA. However, both are veterans, who can provide great performances in needed times. In fact, Lincecum threw a no-no a week ago! 

  On offense, the Giants have, again, a good line up. When Angel Pagan returns from the 15 day DL, he brings a great .307 average to the team. With Hunter Pence and Buster Posey teaming up to average a .293 average in the 2nd and 3rd spot, Pablo Sandoval and Mike Morse has a chance to bat in some runs. Sandoval and Morse have a combined 20 home runs this season, and finish a good combination of getting on base and batting in runs. 

   However, although the Giants are very good team filled with very good players, the Dodgers over shadow them with great players and a great team. The Dodgers average more runs, a better ERA, and force opponents into a tough night in scoring runs in the field. Not only do the Dodgers seem to have better players, but they finish ahead of the Giants in runs, opponents runs, ERA, and almost every statistical category. 

   At the end of the season, we will find that the tough early start for the Dodgers meant nothing, as the Dodgers look like they will over take the NL West and win the pennant at the end of the year. 

Lebron Opts Out of Contract - One Man Holds Lebron's Future In His Hands

One minute I'm walking to the DMV, next minute I'm sitting in the parking lot listening to all the sports radios I can find. Who wants to go to the DMV anyways? 

The man that has delayed my day is Lebron James. Lebron has been big news in the past couple of weeks with the controversy of him possibly opting out of his contract. "Lebron's going back to Miami for another Title" "Lebron isn't loyal, he'll leave Miami the first chance he gets." 

Welp, today Lebron officially has opted out, and is testing free agency. Already I have heard Cleveland fans having different mind sets of, "Well, I used to hate him, but now that he has to chance to come back....." First off, Lebron has not left the Heat for good. 

He has opted out of his contract which means he is a free agent. This is not a game of tag with "No tag backs!" The Heat can resign him and Lebron can be in a Heat uniform in 2015. It would be like this off-season never mattered. 

Second, Lebron makes his own choices, but he is not the one totally controlling where he goes. Loyalty and the home town Cleveland are not a huge influence on Lebron right now. LA, New York, and the big cities are not on his mind. One player has quite a large part in where Lebron will be heading:

Dwyane Wade. 

Wade has been Lebron's sidekick since 2010 when James joined Miami. He has taken a step back, let Lebron take over the team, and proven just how great of a person, and teammate, he really is. But now, Wade has a bigger test ahead of him:

Will he demand 20 million dollar contract and have Lebron flee Miami, or take a 9 or 10 million dollars and have a chance at another title with Lebron? 

Right now, Lebron is looking for a title and to expand his legacy to greater heights. If Wade takes a large contract, the Heat will be stuck in mud with finding better players to surround Lebron and Wade. We saw in the 2014 Finals how terrible his teammates played (It was the 2010 Cavs all over again), and Lebron knows he needs better players and better performances. With Wade taking a large contract, it makes it nearly impossible to surround Lebron. 

However, with Wade taking a smaller deal, the Heat have a variety of moves to make in the off-season. With Pat Riley in the front office, magic will happen and Lebron will have great teammates in 2015. 

All in all, Lebron heading to Miami or moving in a different direction depends on one man, Dwyane Wade. Ya, maybe the home town move still hurts from 2010, but right now, Lebron is looking towards Dwyane Wade for an answer.