Five players that need to join new teams now
You ever watch an athlete and think, “Wow he’s a beast but he’s wasting his years for [insert going-absolutely-nowhere organization here]?”
There are several guys like that in the NBA. Dudes who can drop 40 a night but their efforts are futile since their team, and organization, are generally subpar. We at The Barber’s Chair decided to take a look at five of those players - players we’d like to see join other teams. Now.
I liked Devin Booker coming out of Kentucky. He was largely known as the light-skinned kid who could shoot, never getting as much notoriety as future No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns. However, it became clear as his rookie season began he was more than a shooter. He was a pure scorer who was going to get you 20-25 a night and be a focal point of an NBA offense.
Booker averaged 13 points per game in his rookie season but that number jumped to 22.1 ppg the following year.
The problem for Booker is as his game was growing, his team, the Phoenix Suns, seemed to have no idea what they were doing.
The Suns haven’t made the playoffs since the days of Steve Nash in 2010. Since then they’ve had one good season under current Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek, going 48-34 in 2013-2014 but missing the playoffs
Then there was the three point guard experiment with Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe. Remember that? Why did anyone in the Suns front office think that was a good idea.?
To make matters worse all three guards are in the Eastern Conference playing major roles for playoff teams.
Speaking of Eric Bledsoe, we all remember his not-so-cryptic tweet following Earl Watson’s firing.
Then there were the comments from Suns general manager Ryan McDonough.
It’s very easy to have no faith in this team. Despite being in the lottery for a large part of the last eight seasons, they’ve drafted one star - Booker.
His contract is up after next season. We know the Suns can offer him way more money than anyone else. Nevertheless, let’s hope for his sake he feels like getting out of Arizona.
Trade rumors for Kemba Walker began swirling around a few weeks ago and it’s becoming more likely he’ll no longer be a Charlotte Hornet after the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
Unlike Booker, Kemba’s just not good enough. No, I don’t mean he’s not a good NBA player - Kemba is a borderline all-star level talent.
He’s averaged more than 20 ppg his last three seasons and made the Eastern Conference all-star team last year.
The problem is, Kemba isn’t good enough to be your best player. The Hornets drafted him as a building block in 2011 and have made the playoffs twice in those six years - exiting in the first round both times.
Kemba is a small guard who gets buckets. But in a league where you need a guard who’s freakishly athletic, or shoots like Steph Curry or plays defense and passes as well as Chris Paul, Kemba is none of those things.
The former UConn Huskie will be 28 in May. It’s time for him to go to another team and be a No. 2 or 3 option. Possibly even a sixth man. He’ll be able to spend the final years of his prime - maybe as a San Antonio Spur? - helping another star win a championship.
It’s not working. Whatever the Trailblazers have been trying to do for the last season and a half is not working.
They have arguably the best backcourt in the league (after the Warriors and Rockets of course) with C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard but they’re destined for another first round annihilation in the playoffs.
The problem is after that backcourt, they have NO ONE ELSE. And if you’re reading this yelling, “How dare you disrespect Jusuf Nurkic!!” you’d be talking about the Jusuf Nurkic who’s averaging 14.3 ppg which, quite frankly, is not good enough for a third option on a team trying to compete in a loaded Western Conference.
The C.J. vs Dame argument picked up steam last season as NBA media continue to discuss who’s the better player and who may be the better trade piece.
Obviously you can get more for Dame. He’s the bigger name and carries more star potential.
However, it’s clear Dame knows how important he is to the Trailblazers and doesn’t plan on changing that anytime soon.
In an interview with Chris Haynes and Marcus Spears on ESPN’s The Hoop Collective podcast, he told them he wanted to be like Tim Duncan with the Spurs and Dirk Nowitzki with the Mavs - he wants to be the best Trailblazer ever.
Also, Dame knows how much cache he has in the organization, meeting with team owner Paul Allen earlier this week in attempt to get the team in the right direction.
One way to do that? Trade C.J. The Blazer’s need an athletic wing who can defend and shoot or an athletic big man who can score.
One possibility may be shipping C.J. to the Cavs for that Brooklyn Nets pick. It would give the Cavs another skilled, and quite frankly taller, playmaker to pair with LeBron. The two teams would obviously have to add additional pieces to make the money work (and possibly add a third team as Isaiah Thomas would likely have to be in that deal to make it work and he makes no sense next to Dame) but it could be beneficial for both teams.
The Blazers could draft a guy in the first round like Villanova’s Mikal Bridges - a 6’7 wing with a 7’0 wingspan who can shoot and defend.
Even if it isn’t the Cavs, seeing C.J.- who currently averages 21.5 ppg - on a championship team would be much more entertaining than watching him get bounced in the first round. Again.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The Pelicans are 26-21, sixth in the West and only 1.5 games behind the fifth seed.
This argument isn’t about this season though - it’s about Davis’ future. The Pels have two of the 10 best players in the NBA and they’re only now getting to five games over .500.
A team with two top ten players shouldn’t be struggling at the bottom of any conference. The problem is the Pelicans have done a terrible job constructing the roster outside of the two big men.
Jrue Holiday is a nice third option but he’s currently on a 5-year, $126 million contract and holding a lot of cap room for the Pelicans.
Also, despite the fact Demarcus Cousins and A.D. look like they enjoy playing on the same team, there’s no guarantee Boogie stays after his contract is up this season.
If he leaves, then the Pelicans are back to square one - A.D. attempting to drag a sorry Pelicans team to a low seed in the West.
The Pelicans could get a haul for A.D., who turns 25 in March, and I like the idea of a trade with the Celtics. They could try to get young pieces like Tatum, Brown or Rozier and the Lakers 1st round pick in this draft and attempt to build from the ground up - this time creating a much more complete team.
This would also be better for the league. There are people who forget how good Anthony Davis is. When he’s healthy he’s one of the five best players in the league - a 25 ppg scorer, a shot blocker, and a big with guard skills and range out to the three-point line.
If he’s in a market like Boston, it would provide the NBA a much larger platform to showcase one of its major stars.
Lol. Hear me out.
I know LeBron isn’t going anywhere before the end of the season. Also, as a rule, you don’t trade the best player in the league.
But I, as a fan, need LeBron on another team. I’m tired. Tired of knowing the NBA Finals matchup before the season starts and tired of knowing the Warriors are gonna smack the Cavs in June.
I would like to see LeBron on a squad this offseason that could challenge the Warriors. Maybe the Sixers - a team with some shooting and young athletic players. Maybe the Spurs - a team with precision and discipline that matches the Warriors but is one star away.
Whichever team it is I need LeBron to go there. He probably has two years left playing at an elite level and if he wants to at least be .500 in the Finals, he needs to be on a team that can has a chance against Golden State.