Top JBA Players to Watch this Summer
Written By: Austin Philippi
Before I begin I wanted to state I’m rooting for each one of these young men to further their basketball careers to the best of their potential. All 64 JBA players have been given an amazing opportunity to show of their skill, teamwork, IQ, and natural ability on the biggest stage of their lives in the JBA’s inaugural season. The ratings I’ve put next to these young men are in no way conducive of their actual basketball skill beyond my opinion of film on these individuals we’ve been able to get our hands on. The rating isn’t comparing them to the best basketball players in the NBA but is rating them on their chances to be drafted into the NBA. The rating is based off their skill level compared to that of previous 60th picks of the NBA draft that went on to make an NBA roster (so on this scale previous 60th overall NBA picks are now the perfect 10’s, meaning the ratings may be higher than if on a list with LeBron James as the 10). This is a ranking prior to the JBA players taking the court against their new level of competition, we will be updating these rankings by seasons end. After we’ve had a full season of seeing what these guys can do on the court, these rankings will most definitely change.
Here is some tape of previous 60th overall picks so you can have a comparison throughout the article.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zspuz3UQcbk – 2017 Alpha Kaba 2017 6’10 235
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqeTnn4k460 – 2016 Tyrone Wallace 6’6 200
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au6glU-nnPc – 2011 Isiah Thomas 5’8 185
One of the common themes of second rounds of NBA drafts are usually players who aren’t that talented but have a ton of potential due to their bodies and size. Outside of Isiah Thomas, in the last decade a 60th pick hasn’t been under 6’6. A few of the players you’re about to be introduced to have the length but don’t have the grown men bodies just yet. Now that they are professional athletes and getting paid to work on their bodies and game I’d look for them all to be doing the things necessary to be in the best possible shape they can be. With that said, we did our due diligence to make sure all information is accurate, however since we are dealing with players fresh out of high school in most cases we hope all names are spelled correctly and all tape on the individual is accurate. These rankings are a rough estimate on the players you should be keeping an eye on. The players below were ranked 1-20 based on potential to make the NBA given their unique skill sets and ratings given to them by our panel.
- Zac Crockett – 6’4 170
Current Team: Dallas
Strengths: Passing, Finishing with contact, Slashing
Weaknesses: 3-Pt Shooting, Defense, Size
Dream Fit: Suns- playing with Booker would be huge for a young player that likes to drive and pass to willing shooters.
Info: The Green Bay East stand out averaged over 18 points game his senior year of high school. 1st Team All-Conference 2017.
Outlook: A decent Point Guard with good vision and ability to drive and slash, he needs to work on his outside game and perimeter defense to have a chance at the next level.
- Brandon Stacy – 6’6 185
Current Team: Philadelphia
Strengths: Inside Game, Ability to finish through contact, Length
Weaknesses: Inconsistent Shooter outside of Paint, Too small for play style
Dream Fit: Wizards- Playing with a guard like Wall looking to pass to cutters, and the open man would help him thrive. Especially as they (Wall, Beal) would take the offensive burden every game.
Info: Rochester Adams High School SF/SG averaged a double-double in rebounds and points.
Outlook: Needs to grow another 2-4 inches and could have real potential as a SF in the NBA, also needs to work on his overall shooting from outside. He put up amazing shooting numbers in High School however against lesser competition and a low volume of shots.
- Breydon Hargrove – 6’3 175
Current Team: Chicago
Strengths: Change of Speed, Passing, IQ, Handle
Weaknesses: 3-Pt shooting, Going Left
Dream Fit: Suns- Having such a high basketball IQ and willingness to pass and slash to the rim on the cut and drive would make playing with Devin Booker a natural fit.
Info: Addison Trail HS
Outlook: He is lightning quick, can stop on a dime and then take off again before the defender has time to fully react. At times he can take too long with the basketball and dribble it too much or make unnecessary body movements trying to fake out a defender. Overall, he’s got a good handle though and can really pass the ball with either hand. Needs to work on going left with same ferocity as he goes right.
- Semaj Booker – 6’4 180
Current Team: Seattle
Strengths: Athletic, finishing through contact, Defensive awareness
Weaknesses: Size, Shooting outside of paint, Glasswork
Dream Fit: Celtics – They love players who go out and work on defense, and he will fill up the stat sheet in several different ways and will only get better with more talent around him.
Info: Clover Park High School
Outlook: This Guard is extremely athletic and is a threat to dunk on you at any given moment. He doesn’t seem to be have a ton of basketball skill however, more so looks as if he survived off superior athletic ability in high school. If he can put on another 10-20 pounds while keeping his athletic ability and finding a consistent knockdown 3-Pt shot, he could find himself on an NBA team.
- Devin Haid – 6’3 165
Current Team: Philadelphia
Strengths: Handle, Defensive positioning, Offensive and Defensive footwork, Decent shot
Weaknesses: Size, Strength
Dream Fit: Celtics/Spurs- He would be very coachable, has the IQ and natural basketball instinct to be in the right place at right time.
Info: Wooster High School
Outlook: He has a good handle to go with great awareness and footwork, he needs to put on at least 25 pounds of muscle or he would be dominated in the NBA from a physical stand point.
- Chris Lacey – 6’3 175
Current Team: New York
Strengths: Shooting, Defense, Passing
Weaknesses: Size, Court Awareness, Handles
Dream Fit: Warriors- He can knock down an open shot, will pass to the open man and can defend his position well although he’d be bullied and hunted in the NBA just like curry who has 10 pounds on him.
Info: Kingston High School
Outlook: A good shooter with a knack for making defensive plays, he doesn’t seem like an A+ athlete but he has decent all-around basketball skills and the tools to be able to improve his body and game to take it to the next level.
- Devin Mitchell – 6’8 185
Current Team: Dallas
Strengths: Defense, Size, athletic ability
Weaknesses: Shooting, finishing with contact, decision making
Dream Fit: Rockets- They have a long history of properly training and working with their posts to maximize their potential, although the rockets are going towards being A 3-Pt shooting team. Meaning being able to stretch the floor will help Devin at the next level if he puts the work in.
Info: Rowlett High School, averaged over 2 Blocks a game
Outlook: You must give someone who is this young and has this kind of size a realistic shot at being taken late in a draft if he continues to work and perfect his game. If he can continue to grow and become a near 7’0 while learning to shoot out to 20-25 feet he could have a future in the NBA.
- Antonio Singleton – 6’7 215
Current Team: Chicago
Strengths: Size, Footwork, can get hot from 3, Athletic
Weaknesses: 3-Pt consistency, driving left and finishing through contact, decision making
Dream Fit: Bulls- alongside Dunn Lavine and Makkanen their play styles would all suit each other well assuming Singleton shows he is a defender and can hit the 3-pt shot at pro consistency.
Info: Northern Central High School,
Outlook: He needs to work on his 3-pt stroke to get the kind of consistency he needs, he has great size and potential. His footwork is amazing, and he can finish through contact when he gets going, if he works on his driving ability and his ability to pull up on a dime as well as shoot from deep on a consistent basis he could be a pro. He needs to live, eat, sleep basketball from here on out.
- Curtis Hollis – 6’6 185
Current Team: Houston
Strengths: 3-Pt Shooting, shooting touch, Driving
Weaknesses: as his 3 goes so does he, Passing, Awareness
Dream Fit: Rockets- Their offense is built around putting up the 3 and being a willing shooter. His play style would mix in well coming off the bench with a Gerald Green, and playing alongside James Harden.
Info: Summit High School
Outlook: When he’s feeling it, expect him to pull up and launch the 3 at will. This man deserves a green light, seems to have a shooters touch as the ball almost always lightly hits the rim if it does. Could work on his IQ and awareness, just passing the ball mostly now that he is on a team with more talent than that of his High School. I think he will play even better with better players, I look for him to excel.
- Jaylen Nixon – 6’3 165
Current Team: Philadelphia
Strengths: 3-Pt shooting, Mid-Range Shooting, 3-Pt Shooting Again, Driving
Weaknesses: Size, Strength
Dream Fit: Warriors– his defensive problems would be erased by a lot of what the Warriors do best and on offense he’d get open shots like crazy if he can knock them down now that he is shooting 3’s from deeper, thanks to the JBA rules.
Info: National Junior College – Philadelphia
Outlook: This man can flat out shoot the basketball. He is undersize but pulled up from anywhere on the court with anyone on him while shooting an unreal percentage in high school. If he adds muscle and mass to his frame while keeping his stroke he could be a real threat at the next level. He shot over 44% from 3-Pt range while playing for a junior college program.
- Fionn Brown – 6’5 200
Current Team: Atlanta
Strengths: Size, Driving, Athleticism
Dream Fit: Lakers- He would be a nice combo guard that could put the ball on the court and shoot the 3 if he continues to develop his game at this level.
Info: Marieta High School
Outlook: This combo guard has a decent size to him already and if he will be able to grow some. He could stand his own as he develops his game to the next level. He has a smooth shot that is better than expected, he has great athletic ability and seems to play above the rim often. His glasswork needs to be improved as players will continue to get bigger and more athletic at the next level.
- Cameron Massey – 6’2 175
Current Team: Dallas
Strengths: Quick First Step, Decent Driver, 3-Pt shooting
Weaknesses: A little small, Defense
Dream Fit: Knicks- Porzingis could help hide some of his defensive lapses while they’d be shooting 3’s left and right from a high clip.
Info: South Grand Prairie High School
Outlook: He has a quick first step, is a decent driver and passer of the basketball, He needs to put on about ten pounds of muscle to be at least Steph Curry’s size. Long strides when driving and going down the court, finishes well through traffic, but needs to improve on making the shot with contact. Still needs to perfect his shot as that will be his key to a lengthy career beyond his time with the JBA. Extremely excited to see what this young man will do against some of the bets competition from around the country.
- Jerrel Springer – 6’6 170
Current Team: Seattle
Strengths: Shooting, Mid-range game, Finish in traffic
Weaknesses: Size, game translating to NBA
Dream Fit: Mavericks – As he continues to grow his ability to switch and guard the 1 as well would help hide some DSJ defensive faults. He’d also be a knock down shooter for a team in need of consistent and efficient scoring.
Info: Shadow Ridge High School
Outlook: He has a lot of upside if he can hit the weight room as well, now that these young men are professionals they need to realize their bodies are going to be very important in getting them the rest of the way to the NBA and staying there. At 6’6 he has some of the tools, but he could use some additional weight as he’ll need it to play his style at the next level. I have questions about his glasswork, and when he gets into a situation where he isn’t the biggest and most athletic guy on the court how he will be able to finish at the rim.
- Jordan Ray – 6’4 180
Current Team: Atlanta
Strengths: 3-Pt Shooting, Ball Handling, change of speed, Pull up jumper
Weaknesses: Glasswork, Finishing and going to his left
Dream Fit: Rockets- he’d be a great potential fill in to shoot 3’s for the rockets if they lost a bunch of piece this off-season to clear cap space.
Info: Sierra Canyon High School
Outlook: Can shoot the 3-ball well from all spots of the court, he has a high IQ and good moves and ball handling skills. He is a threat to stop on a dime and pull up from anywhere in the mid-range area. Needs to work on his glasswork and finishing with his left as he plays bigger and more athletic competition.
- Calvin Brown – 6’6 175
Current Team: New York
Strengths: Athletic Ability, Defense, Set 3-PT shot
Weaknesses: Left Hand dribbling and passing, Finishing with contact
Dream Fit: Warriors- He’d be deadly do come in for the Warriors if he developed a solid handle and perfected his shot. Livingston played great during the NBA finals but can’t shoot the 3, and the Warriors will be upgrading their unit during this offseason.
Info: Roosevelt High School
Outlook: He has a long wingspan with great athleticism, can shoot set shots from deep or drive past the man that closes out on him. He plays great defense and he is always a threat to block your shot or dunk on you. An absolute highlight play waiting to happen.
- Melvin Davis – 6’10 250
Current Team: Seattle
Strengths: Shooting, Size, defense
Weaknesses: footwork, speed, awareness
Dream Fit: Pelicans/Timberwolves – As neither AD or KAT want to be centers they could both be benefited from having a big bodied rim protector in the lane.
Info: Southwest Louisiana Home School
Outlook: He has a huge body, needs to define it and get into NBA level shape now that he’s being given an opportunity to perfect his craft and utilize the natural skills and abilities given to him. He has a good shot for his size, and the body to be a pro if he can turn some of that size into raw power and athletic prowess.
- Greg Floyd Jr. – 6’10 200
Current Team: Los Angeles
Strengths: Mid-Range Shooting, Handles, Defense
Weaknesses: Lacks Mass, inconsistent from 3
Dream Fit: Knicks- Pairing him with a Porzingis if he developed a shot as well would be scary with the amount of shot blocking and 3-pt shooting going on from the opposing teams’ big men.
Info: Middlebrooks Academy
Outlook: He can shoot the ball and drive well, has a good handle for his size and a long wingspan. If he puts on muscle to his frame he’d be able to switch 1-4 at the next level. I do have questions about his defense against grown men, and he will need to be a knockdown shooter if he wants to go to the next level.
- Corey Boyd – 6’9 255
Current Team: Atlanta
Strengths: Handles, Size, Shooting, Passing
Weaknesses: 3-Pt shooting, Size
Dream Fit: Kings-Playing with Buddy Hield and Fox would give him the opportunity to have the ball in his hands often and have shooters to pass the ball too if he gets double teamed.
Info: Mount Zion Christian Academy
Outlook: This man has a Charles Barkley body from high school not TV analyst chuck. At 6’9 255 and can handle the rock and move with the ball up court like a guard. He has some real athletic ability in his legs, he’d probably have the best chance to go pro outside of Lamelo if he could define his body and take this opportunity to eat right and do the things for his body that will take his game to a scry level. If he can turn that weight and mass into muscle, he will be a scary individual to play against.
- Kezo Brown – 6’2 180
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrtKNc66n6Y Chicago City Title Game 11th Grade
Current Team: Chicago
Strengths: Passing, Athletic Upside, Defense, IQ
Weaknesses: Shooting Consistency, Size
Dream Fit: Magic- getting to pass to a shooter like Payton, or a high flyer like Gordon would be the exact kind of young fit and mix of talent he’d need to thrive at the next level.
Info: Team USA Junior Olympian
Outlook: He is a flashy passer, not to blasphemous but if he got to the run the show on his own team as he progresses in his career you’d see a magic like passer. He’ll drive to the hoop bring multiple defenders on to him and then wrap a fancy pass around the defenders to a cutting man. He has a ton of athletic upside and played good tough defense for Team USA’s Junior team. I have a good feeling that he will be the best player in the JBA for this upcoming season.
- Lamelo Ball – 6’6 165
Current Team: Los Angeles
Strengths: 3-Pt Shooting, Passing, Size, Potential, Youth
Weaknesses: Motor, Effort when things go wrong, decision making
Dream Fit: Lakers- Obviously
Info: Chino Hills High School, Vytautas LKL Pro League
Outlook: He scored 92 points in high school and has the best draft possibility out of everyone named here because of his youth, talent, and popularity. He can get as hot as almost any person on the planet, but he can get colder than them too. Which is where his decision making needs to allow him to use other parts of his game to help his team be successful. He is a 16-year-old kid and at times it shows when he doesn’t take his opportunities or responsibilities as serious as he should. He has the most potential in this league however to go to the NBA, I don’t believe he’s currently the best player in this league though, that would fall to the man I named prior on this list. He does have the benefit of having played for a professional team that travels, so he may be readier for this pro like atmosphere than his peers in the JBA.
Anyone remember that song, Call Me Maybe, you know the one that was so overplayed that anytime it came on, you wanted to stab out your eyes. Well it seems not only did Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande hear that song, they took the lyrics to the maximum. They went from hey I just met you and this is crazy to here’s a ring so marry me baby.
May 9th, just barely one month ago, it was announced that Ariana and Mac Miller were no more. By May 16th Pete Davidson had announced his breakup with Cazzie David. Ariana and Pete spent the next two weeks commenting and liking one another’s Instagram posts. Gossip magazines all around began to buzz: are they or aren’t they together?
On May 30th, Pete posted this photo of the two of them in their Hogwarts robes, officially confirming they were a couple. These two young lovebirds continued to garner attention as Pete showed off his new tattoos, both of which are about Ariana.
Annnnnddddd…Boom just 12 short days later, they’re engaged. Very beautiful stone, Davidson spent close to $100,000 on it and had it custom made, which come to find out took two weeks to complete. I’ll let you figure out the math on that one.
And while I believe there is no time frame on falling in love, these two crazy kids seem to be setting themselves up for a divorce waiting to happen.
Written By: Austin Philippi
LeBron James will be the best player in the world until he retires at about age 41 after playing 23 NBA seasons. I believe LeBron wants to play long enough to play alongside his son for at least one NBA season. LeBron said once in GQ magazine that he’d like to play long enough to play with his son and even went as far to say on the question of him possibly playing aginst his son “I’ll Foul the shit out of him! I’d give him all six fouls. I’d foul the shit out of Bronny man” but then he also noted that he won’t play washed. LeBron, I believe has a game and a body that will translate well as he continues to age, his athletic ability while it will decline some as you can see from an older player like Vince Carter it’s possible to still have bounce late into your career. LeBron is spending over 1.5 million a year on his body for a reason, he doesn’t rise and dunk on people as often as when he was younger, not because he can’t but because he doesn’t want to risk injury. LeBron is not only chasing Jordan in championships (6) which could take the rest of Lebron’s career to accomplish, however the length of his career and overall ability in his game to do some things will allow him to play at high level late into his career.
Once he isn’t the most athletic person on the court 9/10 nights he will still basically be the biggest, can play out of the post more frequently and extend his career longer passing out of double teams and using his athletic ability in spurts and saving himself for the postseason. Between the nostalgia of the number and how by that point in time he will be the clear leader in All-Time career points and it wont even be close. He also has a chance to catch Magic Johnson on the all time assist list if he continues to play at this level this long into his career. Kevin Durant recently said in a report that he “could see himself retiring at age 35”, I think LeBron has some of that sentimental value in him.
The difference is LeBron will play 8 more seasons to a possible KD 5, at about age 41 we will see LeBron hang up his sneakers somewhere north of 43,000 career points, 10,000 assists (5th Magic Johnson, 10,141), and 10,000 Rebounds. After having also went to (assuming he goes to Boston or Philly) what will be 15 straight NBA titles by that point in time, and I also believe he will either eclipse Jordan’s 6 or tie it by the end of his career. LeBron will finish with a finals record around 7 wins and 9 losses, amassing the single greatest career in sports history. These are a lot of the seasons I’ve said for years LeBron was the GOAT because I’ve been predicating his finals streak since back in his Cleveland days the first time around. His longevity and the amount of finals he will go too in the modern era will just never be accomplished again, he will have the grown men playing against him who have never seen an NBA Finals match up without him competing in it.
We’ve already seen glimpses of that this year with players like Lonzo Ball, Ben Simmons, and Jayson Tatum who grew up huge LeBron fans and are now competing against one of their idols. This is just the begging, there will never be another rookie class who enters the NBA that hasn’t spent their lifetime watching basketball seeing the LeBron James show and what might as be called the LeBron James NBA Finals after he retires. (That’s a joke, although I’m sure LeBron will be honored by the NBA somehow) The point however is still valid, LeBron is going to be playing against young men whose eyes will get real wide every time he steps on the court. This will also be one of LeBron’s greatest feats to be able to play at such a high level for so long while grooming his son to be in the NBA as well, getting to play with his son on an NBA team would be one of the greatest stories in sports history. The testament to his longevity and work ethic to his game and his family would be something we haven’t seen from an NBA player. LeBron growing up without a father and having gave his first son his namesake and naming him LeBron James JR. forever giving him major expectations, and now leading that same son to possibly following down his footsteps and following into the family business in one of the hardest leagues in the world to get into.
LeBron hanging up his career in time watch his son begin his career, a son that if he does make it will overcome the expectations that his name carries, a son that will overcome the scrutiny of being a high school phenom as well. LeBron will have a ton of career accomplishments but playing long enough at a high enough level to play with his son must be one of the highest on the list, and I firmly believe LeBron will be able to do this and he will play at a level close to what we are used to until he hangs up his sneakers. He’ll have one of the most superhuman like careers ever witnessed being the sole person in NBA history to have reached career stats of 40,000 points, 10,000 assists, 10,000 rebounds, and the only player in sports history to play the sport with his own son.
The following is the top 5 locations that Gelo would fit best with in their system and where his game can develop and why I think they could have potential to draft the middle of the ball brothers. Before I get too into it, I think Liangelo is highly underrated and has huge upside with his 3-Pt shooting ability, size, and strength. He has a ton of hate because he didn’t grade well coming out of high school, but at the time he also had a bigger body that was deemed an unathletic build. He has proven commitment to his body and game and developing them to that of an NBA player. I think he has a real shot and these teams below will take a long look at drafting Liangelo.
Fit: The 76ers have a Lebron style player who needs stand still 3-point shooters surrounding him to be at his most successful. Liangelo not only fits that roll he may be the best shooter with his feet set in the draft. With Simmons at point if you slide him in at SG it gets tough for an opposing team to try to hide their starting point guard on your SG to avoid the mismatch that would be Simmons. Gelo has a decent post up game for a guard and he a strong player that could abuse some Point Guards on switches.
Predicated Pick: Either the 39th pick if they want to try and beat the Lakers to him but I doubt they draft him that high. So, I’m going to pick an additional one on this one only and that’s at #60 if Gelo lasts that long on the board.
Reasoning: He has had some decent workouts with the Lakers and at the Pro Basketball Combine. He has impressed me more than Grayson Allen and some other notable guards that are border line NBA players. The deterrent is with them having a shot at LeBron and the controversy with their GM, do they really want to add to that drama with the drama Lavar could bring to the franchise? I’m not sure that answer is yes, but this is one of the best fits for the young Ball brother.
Fit: They have been trying to find the next Steph Curry, so their owner believes with Buddy Hield they have a chance at achieving that no matter how delusional. It would still be California, and the Kings have always been the forgotten franchise in California, even more so than the Clippers as of recent memory.
Predicted Pick: #36 overall, what bigger way to make a splash and media buzz with a second-round pick? The kings would finally be talked about in the media for the first-time sense they traded Demarcus Cousins.
Reasoning: The reason they are higher on this list even though he wouldn’t be as good with them as the 76ers is, I think as the “ugly step sister” franchise in California wants to sell tickets and make some sort of media buzz for their franchise. Also, Lavar was on record saying all 3 boys would want to play together, so why not draft Gelo this year try and Melo in 2 years and then your shot at signing Lonzo with his brothers on the team goes up drastically.
Fit: They just traded for Bradley and Harris making it seem the warriors are also trying to take a page from the Warriors books in having a ton of 3-pt shooters. Liangelo has been again and again graded as a poor man’s Klay Thompson. The odds of them taking a chance on the young Ball brother in the second round is high if they want to draw publicity, it is low if they believe they can sign Lebron James.
Predicted Pick: I believe the Clippers make a trade in the second round to go and get Liangelo, unless they were so impressed by his scheduled workout with him that draft him with the 13th overall pick in the lottery. Which I highly doubt as there is a lot of NBA talent in this draft. But as the clippers don’t have a second-round pick these are the only two options.
Reasoning: Same as I said for the kings, why not draft the younger two brothers to try and get the oldest to sign in Free Agency? That is of course if you believe based off their workouts that they will be productive NBA players. The Clippers also being in LA would be close to home for Liangelo and would probably be the best fit for the young products confidence and happiness.
Fit: Playing with his brother would probably put him in his most comfortable and confident position. Which are two huge key aspects for a shooter to be consistent, and productive. The Lakers are also trying to move the ball and get up a ton of 3’s and shots much like Gelo is used to doing with Lonzo in high school and AAU.
Predicted Pick: 47th Pick, I can’t see the Lakers using a draft pick on Liangelo as they have a huge chance to sign LeBron, and no one knows how LeBon feels about the Lavar aspect yet. Most likely is the Lakers waiting till the draft is over as they’d be Gelo’s first choice on which team to try out at camp with.
Reasoning: Liangelo looks to be a knock down shooter, you already have his older brother, so you already have the publicity and limelight they bring. If he can produce and knock down shots I think the Lakers will give him a chance especially if they lose out on LeBron. Look for him to get an invite to camp in the case the Lakers don’t get a major offseason free agent, and maybe even if they do.
- Golden State
Fit: The Warriors have said they want to retool their roster and add new pieces and depth that will continue to help them win championships. They shoot a lot of threes and the players who get on the court outside of the Warriors All- Stars will need to knock down open shots, which I believe he can do. He’d come off the bench for Klay as a lesser version of Klay Thompson, making the warriors even scarier than they already are.
Predicted Pick: 28th Pick, the warriors could cap start off with what will be a quite offseason for them with the most talked about move they could potentially make. However, I believe the scenario Liangelo goes to the Warriors is if he doesn’t get drafted and LeBron joins the Lakers with Lonzo being traded. At that point Liangelo wouldn’t be going to LA and would be a serious threat within the Warriors lineup.
Reasoning: If he can produce or hit shots at the NBA level what better way to find out then putting him on the best team in the NBA and letting him shoot wide open shots. He will sink or swim and at worse it’ll cost the warriors a 1-2-year contract that they could send down to the G-league affiliate and get real publicity and attention for their minor league team.
Written By: Austin Philippi
This is UniqueSports list of the 5 players most likely to find their way into the upper echelon of NBA History, and become a top 10 All-Time player and unset Bill Russel who ranks 10th in our All Time Players List. The players are judged based off their overall skill and current ability, and then the affect Lebron could possibly have on their career legacy if he chooses their team or they are traded to a Lebron James team.
- Joel Embiid
Current Outlook: He plays on one of the brightest young teams in the league with another player on this list who if they both continue to develop have a great chance of cracking the all time top 10 and sliding ahead of Bill Russel. He was absolutely dominate in all the games he’s been able to suite up for in the NBA. His health could play a major factor and is why he is this low on the list. He also hasn’t gotten to play a ton of minutes from game to game and as expectations rose in the playoffs he and Ben Simmons were bottled up by the Celtics tenacious defense and coaching schemes. He is also one of the best interior and pick and roll defenders in the entire NBA.
Reasoning: Embiid however could have major parts in his game complemented and have chances at a lot of hardware over the next decade if they can convince the king to come to Philadelphia. With how good this warriors team is getting the chance to play them in the finals multiple times over the net few years and possibly win rings or multiple along the way will go a long way in his possibility of winning championships and being a mount Rushmore type player.
Projection: *If LeBron goes there he finishes career with minimum 4 NBA Titles.
- Giannis Antentounmpo
Current Outlook: He is 6’11 and has a great overall game that reminds of you of a young KD/Lebron hybrid. He doesn’t have the overall shooting ability of a KD or even a LeBron at this point in his career, but I believe he will continue to develop that and his overall game. He plays on a team who is young enough to continue to grow with him, and the franchise seems determined to win with the star that they possess.
Reasoning: If LeBron decided he wanted to play in Milwaukee (which he won’t) Giannis could get huge praise for guarding and playing good defense against KD in a potential finals matchup. With Lebron not having to do everything on the team he can focus on what he does best while Giannis takes and gets credit for all the hard work and effort he’d be putting in to help making LeBron a 4-time NBA Champion. Regardless of his decision though Giannis has the potential to be an all time great if he leaves Milwaukee for a super team as well like the trend is in the NBA.
Projection: *If LeBron goes there he finishes his career with minimum 2-3 NBA Titles and an MVP or 2.
- Jayson Tatum
Current Outlook: He put LeBron James on a poster in such a way while playing at such a high level for a 20-year-old that it has convinced me is already a top 25 NBA player at the age of 20. I also believe he is on one of the best teams in the NBA with the most youth, talent, and quality management. He is going to go into this off-season working even harder now realizing he is a future face of the NBA and an all time great franchise. He has incredible length and size for his age and has the chance to continue to grow much like we saw a young KD do during his career. He will be an NBA all star next season as well after the name he made for himself in his rookie season.
Reasoning: This is where I believe LeBron is most likely to go as it would be a great area to raise his kids, it’s a great franchise that hasn’t had an all time great on the team in years, allowing him to team up with a young Tatum and help Jayson go to the next 5+ NBA Championships. They could easily win 3 titles over the next 5 years and more so if Jayson takes the experience and lessons he could learn from LeBron to become one of the best players in the world at some point. As Lebron ages and reaches age 40 and starts to think or retiring Tatum will only be 27 years old and just entering his absolute prime. As LeBron doesn’t want to keep switching teams as his oldest son Lebron James JR is entering high school and will be playing basketball he will be trying to finish out his career in a location and what better than the place where the players will only get better as you get worse with age. Giving Tatum a great shot at going to 7 straight NBA finals with LeBron and then continuing it on his own possibly.
Projection: Would go to next 7 straight NBA Finals with LeBron and possibly more as LeBron retires. Would finish career with minimum 5 NBA titles and possibly and MVP or Finals MVP at some point.
- Ben Simmons
Current Outlook: He had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory, putting up a stat line of 15-8-8 while not being able to shoot outside of the paint. He has a lot to continue to work on with his game, but it is already at an all-star level and his potential to be an all time great is very high regardless of what happens this summer. He is a LeBron James type NBA player that if he has the same motor and drive the King has shown throughout his career than he will excel year after year and continue to improve his game. He also plays with another 7’0 monster in Joel Embiid that takes attention off him at times. Combine that with a lot of other young talent surrounding him he has a chance to succeed regardless of LeBron.
Reasoning: If LeBron joins the 76ers, Simmons will get a day in and day out example of how he needs to prepare, workout, dissect the game, and get better constantly from the best player in the world. LeBron would give him a huge chance especially If joined by Paul George for the 76ers to immediately be the best team in the NBA and win 3+ straight titles barring a major injury or other significant free agent moves. If he gets a 3-Peat and multiple appearances before the age of 30 years old once he gets into his LeBron years it’d be hard to keep him out if he continues to win and get to NBA finals.
Projection: *IF Lebron and even PG13 go to 76ers they will be immediate favorites and will win next 3 titles, barring significant injuries. They also have potential to continue to go to and win finals if Simmons and Embiid develop around LeBron and again stay healthy.
- Anthony Davis
Current Outlook: He is the least likely place for LeBron to go currently but he is a stud and the best player on this list by far. He is already a top 5 player in the NBA on pretty much every single person’s list in the world. He has had some of the best PER seasons of anyone in NBA history alongside LeBron and Wilt Chamberlain. He has been one of the best defenders in the NBA for years and his overall game has continued to get better and expand as he leads the pelicans to the second round of the playoffs until losing to the eventual NBA champions.
Reasoning: If somehow LeBron ends up in NOLA or Boston trades Kyrie and Hayward or some variation of that for Anthony Davis, then Davis like Giannis would get to draw a lot of matchups on Durant and would be able to guard him better than anyone else in the league most likely. Especially if LeBron was carrying the offensive load and allowing Davis to impact the game in all sorts of other ways. If Davis found himself in Boston with Lebron and Tatum it would be impossible to leave him or Tatum outside of your top 10 players all time as they will dominate the east with LeBron for 7+ years.
Projection: 1 NBA title and 2 MVPS if he never plays with Lebron. *if he plays with LeBron he could be right up there next to Kobe and Durant in NBA history. He’d Finish with 5+ Rings, An MVS and Finals MVPS if he got to play with the KING.
This is UniqueSports list of the 5 players most likely to find their way into the upper echelon of NBA History, and become a top 10 All-Time player and unset Bill Russel who ranks 10th in our All Time Players List. The players are judged based off their overall skill and current ability, and then the affect Lebron could possibly have on their career legacy if he chooses their team or they are traded to a Lebron James team.
Our story first began on October 31, 1963 when 6 year old Michael Myers brutally murders his 15 year old sister. He was sent away to be under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis at a high security mental institution in Smith’s Grove. He remained there until the night of October 30, 1978 when he escaped and made his way back to his hometown. He had one goal in mind, kill Laurie Strode. He was unsuccessful in killing his youngest sister and she was unsuccessful in stopping him. The boogeyman would continue to haunt her for the next forty years. Which brings us to the newest movie in long list of Halloween films. However ignore what you have seen and forget what you know, because this time? They’re retconning everything.
The terrible original sequel set in the hospital that everyone would like to forget about? Irrelevant. The third movie in the series about witches that was absolutely pointless? Don’t worry about it. The ridiculous back and forth over him dying but not really being dead. Her dying but not really being dead. Different timelines to follow that retcon previous ones. All of that is going out the window. Forget everything after the first movie.
Blumhouse is bringing a new take to the Halloween Franchise and this time they’re not playing around. It’s a showdown 40 years into the making. Laurie Strode has prayed every day that Michael Myers would escape so she could kill the bastard. She is finally going to get her chance. Question is: Which one of them will live? And which one of them will die?
Check out the trailer for Halloween below: Coming October 19, 2018!
UniquESports+ is doing it’s very first give away, a Signed Basketball from when LeBron James was a member of the Miami Heat. The contest is in honor of LeBron’s Free Agency decision this summer and the fact we could see him with a new franchise. The Contest rules are simple, and the Winner will be chosen at random from the applicants who follow these rules.
1. Follow @UniqueSportplus on Twitter!
2. Retweet the Pinned Tweet!
3. Like Our Page on Facebook Uniquesportsplus
4. Share the Facebook Post of the Giveaway
5. Tag 3 Friends in the comments of the FB or Twitter post for an additional Entry. (can tag up to 12 friends for 4 extra contest entries)
The WINNER will be selected on July 21st via video upload to our Twitter Page! Thank you all for participating and we hope you’ll check out the rest of our new and growing website.
In the world of gaming, a specific RPG type game has been all the rage. You guessed it, the ‘Battle Royale’ game mode. This experience is intense sure, but the fight to be the “best” game is getting even more intense than the games themselves. In a fight against up to 99 other players, tensions can run high. Each console has their favorite game that they back, and unfortunately my Xbox One is a tad slow on the ‘new new.’ That being said, Steamers are at the top of the list for playing and setting the vibes for new games.
In the Steam world, four days ago there was an explosion in the “Battle Royale” games universe. A groundbreaking game emerged from the ashes of the burnt-out Fortnite and H1Z1 warriors. Realm Royale is the brainchild of Hi-Rez Studios and is said by many to be better that Fortnite!!
The early access of this game is featured exclusively on Steam, with talk of coming to other platforms soon. Most likely next is PlayStation and their contact with Sony only strengthens their hold in the gaming community.
Meanwhile, the game is beautiful. With graphics almost commanding a lawsuit by Fortnite, the gameplay is almost identical. The map at the beginning looks EXACTLY like that of Fortnite, even down to the same layout of Lucky Landing, my personal favorite spot to drop. A big difference is actually having the option of choosing a class at the beginning, this is what really sets RR apart.
There are features in this game that allow you to find powers comparable to Thanos in the Fortnite Battle Royale mode. These powers are specific to the classes that you choose. Here is a lil’ thing put together by our friends at https://www.metabomb.net/ and you can catch their full Realm Royale walkthrough on the website.
In addition to the specific powers to each class, there are passive abilities as well.
There are more abilities that can be found throughout the map, comparable to the rare guns on Fortnite, in chests.
After seeing these things, I considered switching sides myself, JUST to try it out. There are a lot more things that set this game presumably above the rest. There is a “mount” feature that allows you to actually RIDE A HORSE! I think this is hilarious because the game makers are marrying the top two “Battle Royale” games on the market.
Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds or PUBG has the feature that players can drive vehicles around the map. I LOVE THIS! Even though I play Fortnite a ton more than PUBG, because it’s scary as hell, I like it because of the ability to interact with the environment. Fortnite is way less scary, so I think I will adapt very well to Realm Royale.
Hopefully this comes to my platform and one in your home soon! To all you Steamers out there, I’m jelly.
Written By: Austin Philippi
Ever since Kyrie Irving was drafted there has been an intense amount of buzz around him, from being the first number one pick Cleveland had since Lebron departed, or his flashy play and style that left fans craving even more. He apparently was also craving more, and isn’t happy seeing others succeed and get the praise he believes he rightfully deserves. Kyrie didn’t want to be in Lebron’s shadow anymore and demanded a trade and at first everyone started relating it to Shaq-Kobe. They and maybe you wondered what Lebron did wrong as a teammate that could have caused Kyrie Irving to want to leave Cleveland. Earlier in his career with Lebron in Cleveland I thought Kyrie had a chance to be the next best player in the world after Lebron. Due to his age and the fact I thought he’d be in the NBA Finals with Lebron for 5-8 straight years, I thought the experience would help Kyrie become like the next Kobe Bryant but even better. I was wrong, behind the scenes Kyrie wasn’t under LeBron’s wing or accepting his role like I believed at the time. Winning and being viewed as LeBron’s second fiddle was never something Kyrie was interested in. Why would he choose to leave the Cavaliers only to not be able to win or compete for a championship without him? Only what people left out is the Celtics have been stockpiling assets for years for this moment to be young and on the cusp of greatness and would be good regardless of Kyrie. Kyrie and the Celtics did however get off to a hot start to the season quickly changing that narrative that he couldn’t win without Lebron. The new narrative however after yet another major knee injury forcing him to miss time by seasons end is that the Celtics are just as good without Kyrie, and they didn’t need him to win or even possibly win the East. Irving being the Diva he so clearly is doesn’t like the attention not being on him. He simply put wants to be the man. But, shouldn’t the man be worth more to his team than one game?
The Cavaliers this season seemed to struggle at times and had narratives that they couldn’t compete for a championship with LeBron’s new supporting cast. While that turned out to be right as they were swept out of their own building in a 4-game series, what went unnoticed is Kyrie not being there didn’t make that much off a difference after all. The Cavaliers still had some competitive games and even had chances to win a few games but alas fell short every time. Kyrie being on the team gave the Cavaliers one more game on the Warriors than they got without him. While you may argue they could have used kyrie in this NBA Finals I don’t think he’d have made a difference. He is an extraordinary talent, but his own ego gets in the way. Lebron saw this and tried to appease his needs as Kyrie took more shot attempts per game in their last season together. This I believed was the reason the cavaliers didn’t compete further last season against the warriors as Kyrie can make bad decisions down the stretch of ball games. He did make “The Shot”, so we must give him credit for some ability to close and close big.
Let’s take a bigger sample size because that is just the NBA finals after all. Go back and look over the course of this entire season for the Cavaliers and they won 50 games despite all their apparent struggles, which is just one game less than Kyrie won with the Cavaliers the year prior. Ok, maybe its starting to just be a trend I mean it was just the Cavaliers team after all and they did receive some talent in exchange for Kyrie it wasn’t like he left in Free Agency and they didn’t get anything. Cavaliers continued to fight on throughout the entire year through multiple sets of trades that constantly change their team. When Lebron left Cleveland the first time around they were awful without him, granted this isn’t the same situation as the Cavaliers got talent back this time. However, in a league full of narratives I believe Kyrie Irving isn’t a superstar worth more to a winning basketball team than one game a few at max. I know this may sound like I’m just hating but the proof is right in front of you that while Irving is extremely talented, he isn’t that conducive to helping his team win many additional games.
Still think it’s just a coincidence? Do you think the Cavs just got some talent back in their trade and Lebron playing all 82 games for the first time allowed them to win basically the same amount of games and have basically the same result as the previous season?
Fine let’s move on to the Celtics then and how they were
-53-29 (.646) the previous season W/Out Kyrie.
-With Kyrie Irving last NBA season the Celtics were 40-20 (.667) just about one game better as well.
However, that isn’t exactly one game and I don’t want you to have any cop outs by the end of this article so obviously since Kyrie Irving missed time I have the record (14-8) (63.6%) for the Celtics without him this NBA season as well. Which if you expand that out over the course of 82 games Kyrie ends up being worth about one game more to the Celtics. Granted this was a slightly smaller sample size.
The real take away from this is Kyrie Irving still hasn’t proved he can win or be “The Man” as the leader of an organization. The Celtics as an organization over the course of 20 games and the playoffs in which they were a Game away from the NBA Finals without him realize this too. Kyrie doing himself no favor when he decides to not show up for the Celtics in Game 7 of the ECF because he needed to choose that ONE GAME to be a diva and get minor nasal surgery. This started rumors that Kyrie could be unhappy in Boston, this time with no Lebron James there to blame. He wasn’t happy seeing others succeed without him, or the narrative starting to grow that Celtics didn’t need Kyrie to be this good. The new narrative is fans expect Hayward and Irving to come back from injury and be able to lead the Celtics to an NBA Finals or at least for sure past Lebron James (if he stays in the east).
*Update: The day after the Knicks put together the cap room they would need to get get Kyrie and KD or a mix of two max free agents Kyrie changed his tune even more from recent weeks. In which he also even called and apologized to Lebron James a few weeks ago. Siting the youth of his teammates and that he wanted to apologize for being that young teammate.
Oct. 4, 2018: “If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here.”
Feb. 1, 2019: “Ask me July 1…I don’t owe anybody shit.”
This season nothing has changed as the Celtics are
6-2 (75% Win%) W/Out Irving
26-17 (60.5% Win%) W/Irving
66-37 (64.1%) W/Irving
20-10 (66.7%) W/Out Irving
Written By: Austin Philippi
UniquESports Polled 5 of our Analysists over their opinions on various Receiving Corps in the NFL as well as assigning a numerical score (1-10) for the overall quality of the unit. This is a combined summary of our outlook on the Top 20 NFL Receiving Corps. When evaluating units, we don’t include the Quarterbacks skill. However, I will address the teams QB in each section and how he can be beneficial to his group of Receivers. I will also give an argument for how the teams fell in the rankings even if I didn’t personally have them in the same position in my personal rankings.
*QB Quality is a rough personal estimate
*Potential is based off their outlook for 2018 and beyond.
- Lions – Average Rating 6.28: High 8.0 Low 5.0, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Golden Tate has been one of the most consistent players over the last several years and has given the lions good production for an undersized receiver. Marvin Jones had a good first year with the Lions and has #1 WR potential after increasing his production in his second season. Kenny Golladay stepped in and had a few big games for them and could be a big lift heading into 2018.
Weaknesses: Golden Tate is not a true #1 Receiver, but he gets the most catches and targets on the team. Marvin Jones while having potential isn’t quite a standout #1 WR at this point in his career. Golladay was inconsistent throughout the season in a very pass happy offense. The Lions TE situation is also less than stellar.
QB: Stafford: He is a top 15 QB on anyone’s list and will throw for a minimum of 4,000 yards if healthy. There will be a ton of balls thrown their way throughout the season. So, if they are better than their ranking they should be able to show us rather quickly. QB quality considered (8/10) and their QB does nothing but benefit their case.
Reasoning: Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr., Golladay is a decent trio and clearly is better than anything the panthers or the other 11 teams in the NFL can conjure together on any given Sunday.
- Ravens – Average Rating 6.44: High 8.0 Low 5.0 (Twice), 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Offseason acquisitions of Willie Snead and Michael Crabtree could prove to be much more formidable than their 19th place ranking. Crabtree is one of the most dominant players in the Red Zone over the last several seasons. John Brown was also a 1,000-yard receiver once upon a time, and he is their 3rd option giving them at least 3 hopeful options going into 2018.
Weaknesses: Crabtree has had his issues with dropping passes his entire career and has had some suspect character concerns. Willie Snead while having a decent year last season played for Drew Brees, and no one has left Brees to go on and have higher production without him. John Brown while not being a bad 3rd option hasn’t been a 1K yard WR in 2 years and can’t be expected to become one again. Their TE also isn’t very formidable.
QB: Flacco: He is a solid starting Quarterback that can win a championship if the rest of his team is good and in perfect stride. He isn’t a QB that makes his players better in my opinion and has only passed for over 4,000 yards once in his career. He also saw his possible replacement be drafted this season meaning he could have shaky confidence and shaky play as a result. I think Flacco will hinder any ability these Receivers may have considering his QB quality (6.0/10)
Reasoning: I don’t exactly believe these group of receivers will produce more this season due to the offensive scheme in Baltimore. However, I’d have to believe Stafford and most lions fans would also Want Crabtree, Snead, Brown in place of their own trio of WR.
- Bears- Average Rating 6.52: High 7.1 (Twice) Low 4.8, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Signing Allen Robinson in the offseason will be huge for their Young Quarterback. Robinson coming off a major injury hasn’t seen football action in basically an entire calendar year. I think he will have a lot to prove and will have plenty of opportunities in that bears offense. Kevin White has a ton of potential especially now that he will get less defensive attention.
Weaknesses: The Bears don’t have a ton of Depth at WR and their top 2 WR have both had several injuries during their short careers. The Bears also don’t have a great TE or security blanket within their WR’s, they have some talent but their lacking a go to go to move the chains.
QB: Trubisky: They didn’t give this rookie Quarterback a ton of opportunity to show us what he could do. Only throwing for 2,200 yards last season doesn’t exactly inspire me to believe he is going to come out flinging the ball and making his teammates drastically better. QB quality (5.0/10) is severely lacking until proven otherwise meaning his receivers will be doing him a ton of favors this season.
Reasoning: The overall quality of this unit is not great however they have a true #1 in Allen Robinson, (a top 10 NFL WR if Healthy) and White who could continue to develop alongside a young (24) Robinson. Based off potential, youth and the fact the bears have the best WR out of 2 other teams named thus far.
- Packers- Average Rating 6.84: High 8.7 Low 5.5, 1 Top 5 Vote
Strengths: Davante Adams was a pro bowler last season for the Packers in just his fourth season having caught consecutive double-digit TD’s the last 2 NFL seasons. Randall Cobb has been a consistent target and piece for the Packers, with Jordy Nelson gone I look for him to catch even more passes. Jimmy Graham also signed with the Packers giving them a good TE to now add to their passing attack as a security blanket for Rodgers who has caught 10+ Td’s in 4 of his 8 seasons in the NFL. Montgomery is also a WR turned make shift RB that deserves mentioning as he catches a ton of passes for their unit.
Weaknesses: They don’t seem to have a true # 1 WR. They have talent along their team, but the players haven’t been consistent or haven’t had a 1,000-yard season in over 2+ years. They also lost Jordy Nelson whom was one of Rodgers favorite targets. The Receivers didn’t look impressive too me when Rodgers was injured last year, giving me a chance to see their individual talent to just get flat out open.
QB: Rodgers: Best QB Talent (9.9/10) in the NFL. He 100% makes his entire offense better, and when he is in the lineup the Packers are more likely to toss the ball around 35+ times giving the Receivers a lot of opportunities to make plays. He has a knack for throwing his targets open and giving his guys to make plays on almost every ball thrown their direction.
Reasoning: Davante Adams is a pro bowl wide receiver regardless of your opinion, that must be considered. They also have one of the best TE in NFL history now lining up for them in Jimmy Graham. The overall Receiver Quality when you consider the weapon jimmy graham could be for this team is just better for trying to win now. While the bears may not trade their core for the packers straight up due to youth and potential I’d believe Rodgers would want these guys as well over Robinson and White.
- Saints- Average Rating 6.86: High 8.5 Low 5.0, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Michael Thomas is a good young receiver for the Saints whom has 2 1,000-yard seasons to start his career. He even eclipsed 100 receptions last season making him the favorite target of Drew Brees. Tedd Ginn Jr. had some bright moments as a member of the Saints, with Snead gone I look for Ginn to string together his 4th consecutive 700+ yard season.
Weaknesses: Coby Fleener hasn’t produced sense arriving in New Orleans, he needs to show up within this offense to complete the saints passing attack. A weakness and strength of their receiving core is the amount of balls thrown to the backfield, this both helps the teams offense but takes away from their possible production.
QB: Brees: One of the 5 best Quarterbacks in the league throwing them the ball is a good way to drastically improve your numbers and production on the field. His Talent (9.0/10) absolutely helps excel his teammates.
Reasoning: Michael Thomas, Tedd Ginn, Cameron Meredith and Fleener is enough to argue they have more than the Packers without considering that Fleener hasn’t yet lived up to expectations in replace of Graham.
- Buccaneers- Average Rating 7.22: High 8.4 Low 5.8, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Mike Evans is an absolute animal and has a real argument that he is a top 5 WR in the NFL talent wise. Desean Jackson is a very fast second option that you can’t let out of your sight as a defense or else your giving up a big play. OJ Howard also has upside potential after catching 25 balls for over 400 yards. Humphries is also big for the Bucs in the slot and continuing to move the chances and extend drives.
Weaknesses: Jackson is on the wrong side of 30, and Evans production took a massive dip last season. They don’t have a ton of depth at the receiver position either, they do however have depth at TE. The O-line and running game will need to have consistent play for them to get consistent opportunities.
QB: Winston: I’m going to write most of the Buccaneers section on their QB as I believe they have some solid talent at WR and some young upcoming talent at TE too. The reason for their unproductive season and for Evans not having a top 5 WR type season I because of Jamies. He hasn’t taken the steps in his game as an overall passer of the football to really elevate his teammates. QB quality (6.0/10) will do this core no favors. He missed time last season that affected his numbers or else he’d have eclipsed 4,000 yards for all 3 of his years in the league. Jamies is lucky in the fact he was drafted with Mike Evans and has never known what its like to not have his #1 guy.
Reasoning: Mike Evans. Who wouldn’t want a WR that has had nothing but 1,000-yard seasons in his career. Combine that with OJ Howard and even Jackson from time to time and the Saints with Drew Brees would take this Unit over Thomas Meredith and Fleener any day of the week.
- Broncos- Average Rating 7.28: High 8.0 Low 6.5, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: They have a solid duo in Thomas and sanders, two of the most consistent and productive pair of receivers in the last few years. Thomas has big play potential every play and Sanders is a great security blanket for any Quarterback. Too bad they don’t have 2013 Peyton Manning tossing them around the ball. The Duo has continued to put up numbers the last few years with inconsistent play in the rest of the offense.
Weaknesses: They also don’t have the same Level of TE play, and don’t have sure fire red zone target unless one of their duo squeezes open. The core isn’t stellar outside of their two now aging stars both on the wrong side of 30 so, without major change coming I don’t see them increasing production on what they’ve been known to do.
QB: This is one of their biggest weakness but isn’t considered when thinking about quality of their Receiving corps. However, this position has done them no favors over the last 3 seasons and will continue to give them uneven QB play. They did sign Case Keenum but I’ve never been a huge fan of his I’d need to see a second season like last year from him first. QB quality (5.5/10)
Reasoning: They have a true #1, and a good career slot receiver. They may be aging so they potential outlook isn’t on their side, but could you imagine how much better off Winston would be if he had two targets he could expect 1,000 yards out of. Evans is the better WR and they have youth on their side but for this next season I’d say Broncos have the slight edge as you can tell from their AVG Rating 7.28-7.22.
- Chargers- Average Rating 7.33: High 8.2 Low 6.0, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Keenan Allen is a stud, Travis Benjamin is fast and has been solid for this unit. Tyrell has had two decent seasons for the chargers as well sense coming into the league, look for him to take a step forward along with the entire Chargers offense in 2018. They also have depth at the TE and WR positions along with solid help catching balls from Melvin Gordon. Mike Williams (a top 10 pick of last year’s Draft) will also get an opportunity to help this unit go from good to great.
Weaknesses: They will need to stay healthy, Allen and Henry had huge injuries last season. Antonio Gates is also getting up in age and could be more susceptible to injury meaning they need to stay on the field to show the true strength in their overall unit quality.
QB: Philip Rivers: They have had Consistently good QB play for a decade now, Rivers will man the ship well and this could be his best chance to win a Super Bowl given his teams overall talent. QB Quality (8.0/10)
Reasoning: Potential and overall Depth at every position is much better than just having a good duo of WR’s. The TE position is another key element in what separates the chargers from the Broncos. I don’t think its as close as their Rating suggests, the chargers have a real potential to be great.
- Bengals- Average Rating 7.4: High 8.3 Low 6.4, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: AJ Green is on of the 5 best WR’s of this generation and of the few consistently great targets in the NFL game in and game out. John Ross is the fastest Man in the NFL, and LaFell is an experienced WR. They also get great TE play out of Eifert.
Weaknesses: They don’t have a ton of Depth and the rookie campaign put together by Ross was underwhelming. They need drastic improvements around AJ Green for this unit to live up to their 12th place ranking.
QB: Dalton: Talk about inconsistent play, sometimes Dalton looks like a top 5-10 QB and then most the time he either looks average or below average. He doesn’t do his teammates any favors, and I firmly believe is benefiting from a career with AJ Green and some decent targets put around him. Therefore, based on his QB quality (6.5/10) I’d have to say AJ Green Makes Andy Dalton better.
Reasoning: Do you want AJ Green? And the chance to groom and throw to the fastest man in the NFL. Oh yeah, don’t forget about Eifert as a security blanket either. Having 2 targets that would Grade as an A or higher is more than any team prior on this list can claim to boast. (Eifert Green > Charger unit)
- Eagles- Average Rating 7.66: High 8.6 Low 6.8, 1 Top 5 Vote
Strengths: Super Bowl Champs. They also produced for two different QB’s on their run to a title meaning they don’t have to have A+ quarterback play like they were getting early in the year. Jeffrey, Wallace, and Agholor are a 3-man unit without many weaknesses between them. Throw on the fact Zach Ertz wad the best TE in the NFL last year and you have a very strong corps.
Weaknesses: They don’t have many weaknesses, maybe the chance of a Super Bowl hangover. Possibly Depth if one of them gets injured or the fact they don’t have a top receiver in the NFL as their #1 target. However, with Ertz on the team and a plethora of other talent Alshon is a good enough #1 to scare opposing defenses.
QB: Wentz/Foles: It doesn’t matter what QB steps in for this unit they will be good and productive regardless. There is only one QB named here that makes his teammates better and the other is one of the best Game managers in the NFL. QB quality Wentz (8.5/10) Foles (6.5/10)
Reasoning: The Bengals don’t have a ton of Depth or weapons outside of Green and Eifert, and while that is enough to beat out all the chargers B level targets its not enough to be better than the lineup the eagles can put onto the field play after play. (Ertz>Eifert) (Alshon, Mike, Nelson > AJ Green, Ross)
- Rams- Average Rating 7.68: High 8.7 Low 6.0
Strengths: Adding Brandin Cooks as a deep threat to the highest scoring team in the NFL last season is a huge plus. Sean McVay is an offensive genius and will utilize his cores talents to their best interest. Robert woods is a big play big body wide receiver to go alongside Goff’s friend and once roommate Cooper Kupp. A Hot young offense that will be able to move the chains and will get a ton of long possessions.
Weaknesses: They don’t have a great TE, and don’t have a ton of WR depth. Kupp was suspect as a go to guy late in games in which Goff favors him due to their connection. Gurley is the centerpiece and will take nearly 750+ receiving yards from their group if healthy. If he isn’t healthy then he receivers have more pressure as woods and Kupp still have major questions without an MVP caliber RB keeping 8 men in the box.
QB: Goff: He I a young QB that took a huge step forward in his second season. However, as shown in playoffs the rams need to rely on running the ball 20+ times and throwing to Gurley another 5. Not attempting to allow Goff to beat you throwing the ball to this group of receivers. QB quality (7.5/10) He doesn’t make his teammates better (yet) but he is no longer hindering their ability to perform either.
Reasoning: Cooks, Kupp, and Woods are all receivers with huge upside and potential all under 26 years old. Nelson meanwhile improved last season took a few years to come into his own. The core barely out edged a Philadelphia core that has a ton of talent, biggest case I can make is for the Rams is their talent level is close to Philadelphia and they are younger and probably hungrier (For a Super Bowl) giving them more potential to improve further this season.
- Texans- Average Rating 7.9 High 8.5 Low 7.5, 0 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Hopkins has been a borderline top 5 WR over the last five seasons without having much of Quarterback throwing him the ball. Fuller is also a big-time speed option that could be huge for this upcoming season as defenses will continue to key in Deandre Hopkins.
Weaknesses: They don’t have much of a big body WR that is any good, and their TE department is rather lacking. They also have had suspect play from nearly every other position on the offensive side of the ball making it even harder on them to move the ball and produce and yet Hopkins basically can’t be stopped.
QB: Watson: He needs to stay healthy and play almost to the level of what he was doing prior to injury but uf he does I’d have to say he will make his WR core better just off the fact they will have a competent level quarterback throwing them the ball. QB quality (6.5/10).
Reasoning: Hopkins has put up big numbers in every single season, he nearly has more receiving yards than Kupp, Woods, and Cooks combined for their careers. Add in a deep threat (Fuller) and a potential big player receiver in Miller and that is just better than the Rams or Eagles based on potential with a healthy team and competent play coming from their QB position. Pure skill wise Hopkins makes this an almost non-discussion by himself.
- Browns- Average Rating 7.92 High 9.3 Low 6.9, 1 Top 5 Vote
Strengths: Jarvis Landry is a most likely a Top 10 NFL WR who was just added to a group that is bringing back Josh Gordan and has a young Corey Coleman who can develop alongside these other two premier targets. They will have a ton of big play potential across the board.
Weaknesses: Weed. Their TE depth is more than suspect. And they haven’t had a QB start All 16 games for the browns in over a decade. They also have won just one game in the last two years, but they still have a lot of upside if they can stay on the field and get an early entrance of Baker.
QB: Taylor/Mayfield: Tyrod will start the season most likely barring the hype of Hard Knocks that could make Baker the starter in time for week one. I’ve seen enough of Tyrod to know he is not a slinger of the football. This team needs a Quarterback that will help put them in position to succeed and not hinder their own natural abilities. QB quality Taylor (5.5/10) Mayfield (6.5/10)
Reasoning: Jarvis Landry may not be better than Hopkins, but he has been very productive in his 4 years in the NFL as well on a team with a more than suspect QB. He will be a bigtime security blanket for the Browns and will help Josh Gordon come back into the NFL and have a chance to put up big numbers with less defensive attention. Gordon had an argument as a top 5 WR before weed took him out, off talent alone not production you have to say the browns are loaded. If Gordon doesn’t get loaded from here on out they may even be better than their #8 ranking.
- Patriots- Average Rating 8.2 High 9.0 Low 7.0, 3 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: They have the best TE in football with no real cover or answer on the Defensive end. One of the greatest minds in football history in Belichick puts these receivers in the best situations to maximize their naturally ability and to help the team be successful. Edleman is coming back off injury giving brady one of his favorite targets back. Patriots also seem to transition from one group or receivers to another without missing a beat. They also added Jordan Matthews and Cordarrelle Patterson to the mix.
Weaknesses: If you don’t include Gronk, they don’t have a true number one receiver. Eledman is coming off injury and could regress, while Hogan isn’t going to get that many more opportunities to show what he can do than he did last season. Any other weaknesses they seem to have from the outside are covered up by the play of their QB. They will also need to stay healthy especially at TE sense they don’t have the same depth there as in years past.
QB: Brady: QB quality (9.5/10) Brady is the 2nd best quarterback in the NFL currently and the G.O.A.T in NFL history. He has an illustrious career that seems to be defying age and he will continue to make his teammates much better every single tame he takes the football field.
Reasoning: Gronk is the only player named thus far that has absolutely no cover or answer in the NFL. They have a ton of receiver depth and options allowing for you to go 5-wide while having all of them being legitimate threats on the field. With the overall depth and standout TE you’d be hard pressed to find teams who wouldn’t want this patriots roster.
- Giants- Average Rating 8.26 High 9.5 Low 6.9, 3 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Odell before he got injured was the most productive player in NFL history through 3 seasons. Sterling Shepard got some big-time minutes and looks last season and he will get the chance to go back to having less defensive attention. Also, now that the giants have a semblance of a running game their receivers will have less overall attention on them.
Weaknesses: Health. Last year they were god awful mostly due to the fact almost all their offensive weapons spent significant time injured. Last season they had a horrible offensive line, no running game, no healthy receivers and bad quarterback play as well.
QB: Manning: The lesser of the two Manning brothers will have the most offensive weapons and protection he’s had in years. If he can play consistent to the level of the Best Game Manager in History (which is what he probably is) and try to limit his league leading mistakes the Giants will have real opportunity to get back to the playoffs even in a tough division. QB quality: (6.5/10)
Reasoning: Odell is one of the 3 best WR’s in the game. Shepard is young, and on the rise, the youth mixed with talent of that duo is enough to warrant the argument that I’d rather take these two men on my team for the upcoming season and into the future.
- Raiders- Average Rating 8.27 High 8.9 Low 7.75, 2 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: They signed an offensive minded coach who loves to throw the ball and make it fun for his team and offense. The raiders added Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant to their receiver corps giving them one of the best trios in the league if Nelson can stay healthy and Cooper can find his hand again in time for the 2018 season. Bryant will also get plenty of chances in what is sure to be a pass happy offense.
Weaknesses: Bryant can have attitude problems when he gets lost amongst quality receivers, So Bryant doesn’t want to see Nelson or Cooper play better than him. Cooper had far too many drooped balls last season in a year in which he should have taken a step forward as a sure fire top ten receiver.
QB: Carr: The better of the Carr brothers regressed last season along with the raiders in a season in which their offense was underwhelming. Gruden will help Carr take steps forward in his game, as well as helping Carr help his receivers make the most of their game. QB quality (8.5/10)
Reasoning: Cooper and Bryant are both still relatively young, alongside a seasoned pro in Jordy Nelson. Those 3 weapons if healthy are slightly more of an issue than the Giants by the slimmest of margins since this trio are better than the Giants duo if both live up to potential and are healthy. Nelson is the difference maker if he is healthy and if he isn’t then you could see the raiders slide more to the Low side of their rating.
- Vikings- Average Rating 8.28 High 9.0 Low 7.4, 3 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: They have arguably the best young duo in the NFL, Diggs is an absolute stud who I am very high on and I believe talent wise is already a top 15 WR but hasn’t always performed as such. Thielen had a huge year for the Vikings catching a ton of balls I look for him to have a repeat performance keeping some of the eyes off Diggs. Add Rudolph one of the best TE’s in the NFL and they have a very formidable receiving corps. Caldwell is also a big body red-zone threat that has potential to blossom as defense will have so much else on their hands.
Weaknesses: Diggs has been inconsistent on when he has big games as well as with his ability to stay on the field. Thielen also has some questions surrounding if he will have the same rapport with new QB Kirk Cousins. Caldwell and Rudolph also need to stay on the field and make the most of their chances in the red zone.
QB: Cousins: Cousins was a highly sought after QB this off season and was paid exactly as such. He will need to perform like it, as I believe he has a plethora of targets to choose from that can make his career if he is worth the money they are paying him. QB quality (8/10)
Reasoning: Their Trio at best case scenario may not be better than the Raiders trio if both perform up to ability. However, The Vikings have a very good TE that the raiders just can match in Jared Cook. This along with youth gives them the slight edge as a receiving corps heading into 2018.
- Steelers- Average Rating 8.4 High 9.5 Low 7.0, 3 Top 3 Votes
Strengths: Antonio Brown should be the number 1# pick in almost every PPR Fantasy Draft just off the fact no NFL player has been more consistent or reliable the last 5 years. That reason alone it is hard to not have them in your top 5 because I’d want AB on my team over just about any other duo or trio named previously combined. They added a rookie in JuJu Smith last season who was phenomenal, he’s going into his second season and I look to take yet another huge step forward in his game. They also have the same Coach, QB, and System for longer than any team not named the Patriots.
Weaknesses: The Tight End position is a weak one for them and while McDonald is young and will have the chance to blossom I really like the idea of trying to sign a one LeBron James as a RED ZONE TE. That alone would solve a ton of their issues, they also lack depth however if they were to incur a major injury. (knock on wood) Meaning the Steelers need their performances out of their best receivers. And Le’veon Bell takes away more chances from WR’s than any other player in the league almost.
QB: Roethlisberger: A Two Time Champion. Has been playing in Super Bowl’s basically sense I started watching football (2006), and longer than any other QB in the league not named Tom Brady. He will throw for over 4,000 yards if healthy, he’ll also need to take better care of the ball this season and try to get back down into single digit INT’s and he could have MVP chances. However, just the last 5 years you can see the effect of having a top 2 WR on your team. His stats have been better with Brown, but it hasn’t resulted in Super Bowls even though they focus so much on the offense for Big Ben. QB Quality (8.25/10) My reasoning here is I believe Ben is clearly better than Cousins, but I think his receiver core makes him better, so his rating needed to be between the two.
Reasoning: Antonio Brown and JuJu or a duo of receivers that have issues with consistency and staying on the field. Diggs more so than Adam, but JuJu I believe has more max potential than Thielen. Rudolph obviously makes it closer, but I just don’t think its enough and highly doubt the Steelers would swap cores with the Vikings. If Diggs shows to be the #1 receiver that I believe he is while staying healthy maybe this ranking proves to be wrong.
- Chiefs- Average Rating 8.5 High 9.3 Low 8.1, 3 Top 3 Votes
Strengths: Kelce has a legitimate argument as being the second best TE in football if he was on a team with a better QB over the last few seasons and not a game manager. Tyreke Hill is lightning fast, and Conley is going to make strides in his game as well. Combine that with the offseason addition of Sammy Watkins and the Chiefs going to be more of a pass happy team in the upcoming season thanks to their change at QB. They have HUGE upside.
Weaknesses: They don’t have a ton of weaknesses on offense, if they experienced some injuries I’d have to say Depth. They also will have huge expectations on what is basically a bunch of young men. Kelce (28) being the oldest amongst their offensive weapons, this can obviously be a good thing as well if they live up to expectations. They also don’t currently have a Top 15 WR but Hill may take a step forward this season and prove that statement wrong.
QB: Mahomes: He has a lot to prove before I can state that he will make the Chiefs players better, because they are all very skilled. Mahomes however is very green and while I’ve seen plenty of him playing at Texas Tech, I believe at least in his first full season his team will be doing him a lot more favors than he will be able to do for them. QB quality (7.0/10)
Reasoning: They beat out the Steelers slightly based off Youth and overall quality. With some of the concerns that surround Brown as a diva WR I don’t believe the Chiefs would trade all their talent for Brown and JuJu alone. Almost any other team in the league would love to have that duo. This team however has more quality weapons than any other team in the league.
- Falcons- Average Rating 9.28 High 10.0 Low 8.5, 4 Top 5 Votes
Strengths: Julio Jones is the biggest mismatch in the NFL right now. He hasn’t been as productive as Antonio Brown has been, but I believe he is the better WR. Julio is a huge body with great route running speed and hands. Sanu has a great chance to take another step forward this season and cross the 1,000-yard mark as the falcons hope to regain some of their 2016 form. Austin Hooper and Justin Hardy will have a chance to produce with all the attention on these other two, if the offensive coordinator can figure out the play calling they could be dangerous.
Weaknesses: The offensive scheme last year wasn’t up to par with the previous season after an Offensive Head Coaching change. They don’t have a ton of depth if they have a major injury within their core, and while they aren’t exactly old their core is getting older with every football hit and season added to their belt. However, none of this is a real weakness as the Falcons have a great offensive outlook in 2018.
QB: Ryan: He makes everyone not named Julio Jones better. With his QB quality (9.0/10) he helps make the most out of everyone’s talents if the offensive play calls give him that opportunity. He will help Hardy and Sanu have career best seasons in 2018, and he needs to do a better job of calling audibles to get Julio the ball in the Red Zone. Not everything can be blamed on the offensive coordinator, he’ll need to take control and make the right play with the football coming up this season for the Falcons to have a chance at getting back to the Super Bowl.
Reasoning: They have a decent Roster and weapons around Julio and Sanu which are just vastly better options than having Kelce Hill and Conley combined. However, Watkins may beat out the rest the Falcons on potential but as a combined unit and based off what they have produced in an all time historic offense in 2016 they have an edge over the entire field on skill and potential for this upcoming season alone. All their targets are in their absolute Prime and should be hungry to try and get back to another Super Bowl.
Written By : Austin Philippi
Possible Roster: Lebron James, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson, LaMarcus Aldridge
Championship Ability: The Spurs have a championship pedigree and a 21-year playoff streak on the line. LeBron would be signing up to play with the best player he’s ever played with in Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs have a plethora of 3-Pt shooters and championship experience coming off that bench which is what LeBron needs to thrive. A team boasting this kind of Length at every position would also give the warriors fits as Steph Curry will be stuck on Danny Green for most of a potential Spurs- Warriors matchup as he couldn’t be guarding Lebron James.
Coaching: Lebron has always made what seems most of his teams coaching and personal decisions. Lebron going to San Antonio he’d be giving that power up to one of the two teams better at building a championship team than Lebron has been. Popovich would challenge Lebron and I believe finally force Lebron to start and play at Point Guard throughout the game.
Texas: No State TAX
Negatives: The branding opportunities wouldn’t be great for LeBron, it would be great for the spurs as they’d be talked about daily for the first time ever. Lebron would also have to give up a lot of control and his decision making to adhere to Pop’s system and team. Lebron also has no real chance to leave a legacy in San Antonio, if he doesn’t win 4+ titles there he wouldn’t get a statue or be talked about in the breath of Tim Duncan for the Spurs. Most he could hope for legacy wise is winning another couple Rings and getting his jersey retired in a 3rd location. Would have to play one of if not both Golden State and Houston before reaching the NBA finals and having to play Kyrie Irving.
Possible Roster: Lonzo Ball, Paul George, Lebron James, Kyle Kuzma, Julius Randle
If Magic Blows up Youth for Lebron: Lonzo Ball and Julius Randle may be enough to trade for Westbrook after PG13 Departs. Brandon Ingram, Josh hart, and a draft pick or compensation may be enough to get Cousins from the Pelicans.
Westbrook, Paul George, Lebron James, Kyle Kuzma, Demarcus Cousins
Championship Ability: Lebron added to any team has championship expectations. He’s carried this Cavaliers team to the NBA finals, the Lakers if you added him and PG13 to the roster would be leaps and bounds better than the Cavaliers currently. They would be in the West and may not exactly be ready for championship pressure, but I believe their team would have a better shot than the currently constructed Cavs. However, I do believe they have the least amount of Championship certainty if Lebron goes and may have the most expectations because of an expecting fan base.
Youth: The Lakers could develop alongside Lebron as he grooms young talent to possibly carry him in 3-5 years when he is no longer the best player on the planet. Allowing him to possibly compete for championships for years to come, after he either outwaits the warriors or finally gets over the hump.
Branding: The bright lights of LA is a huge attraction especially for someone as brand and image conscious as Lebron James. He has 2 homes already in southern California leading to the assumption he wants to live there at some point in his life. He’d also have opportunities to be in more commercials and movies than ever before especially as he’d have shorter seasons not making the finals for the first year or two.
Lakers/Celtics Rivalry: With Kyrie on the Celtics if Lebron went to the Lakers the rivalry of the 80’s would feel renewed. And two of the best franchises in NBA history would now have real championship aspirations. While this may not be something in Lebron’s head completely it should be in the NBA’s and their fans as it something the consumers would love to see.
Family: California has a great High School Basketball Program, which is important for his oldest son specifically as Lebron James Jr. has shown real sings of being a future NBA prospect. He has multiple houses there already and it is almost always sunny and warm in the bright lights of LA.
Negatives: Playing for the Purple and Gold comes with expectations LeBron would be embrace, however if it doesn’t result in championships for Lebron it could further hurt his legacy in eyes of Kobe fans who would expect a title to be delivered. Bringing me to my last point if Lebron leaves for another team it should be to not only win and win a lot but to create a legacy with a second franchise that will result in a statue and possibly even a 3rd jersey being retired. Lebron would have to bring 2-3 titles minimum to the Lakers to get that kind of honor in LA. All that said, I don’t think LA is the place for him to finish his career.
Possible Roster: Chris Paul, James Harden, LeBron James, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela
Championship Ability: The Rockets had a lead on the Warriors until Chris Paul got injured, giving an argument they are very close to being better than the warriors. They missed 27 straight 3’s in Game 7 to end up losing. Add a Lebron James or CP3 to weather that storm and make better decisions and the Rockets could be in the finals this year.
Lesser Workload: Lebron played over 100 games this NBA season and many stretches in these NBA playoffs he has looked exhausted. This would be the best set of guards LeBron has ever played with giving him the least duties handling the ball he will have had in his career. James Harden can take a ton of the workload off Lebron from a scoring standpoint while CP3 takes the pressure off him to make plays. Allowing Lebron to find how else he can exert his powers on the court to make a Houston more formidable than Golden State.
Chris Paul: Lebron and CP3 have been friends for over a decade and have always wanted to play with each other at some point. I wouldn’t doubt the notion that OKC buys out Carmelo and he finds himself along with D Wade playing for Houston coming off their bench. Finally allowing the banana bout to become reality. However, even if this doesn’t come to be I still see Lebron wanting to play alongside one of the best point guards of this generation.
Legacy: Lebron could end up with a statue in Houston if they won 2-3 titles and had multiple appearances in a row. He could also easily find his name up in the rafters for the Rockets one day. The issue will come with the rockets were an injury away from possibly being in NBA finals. So, he won’t get the same level of credit if he went to another location. Miami is the easiest place for him to try and get another statue built however they don’t have the pieces or cap room for him to compete for championships. I just think another way he can become the GOAT is finding a location in which he can not only get his jersey retired for a 3rd time but possibly finish his career there giving whatever team he chooses real chances for multiple titles over the next couple of years.
Negatives: Lebron won’t get the level of credit he would deserve for delivering a championship to Houston. If he finishes his career out there his stats will take a dive in Points and Assists which could affect his place in history as I think he has a real chance to pass Kareem in scoring and Magic in assists. Playing out the rest of his career with Harden and Paul eliminates him from the Magic conversation but maybe not the Kareem if he plays into his 40’s. Also, if he goes to H-Town he has to beat Golden State then beat what I’m assuming will be the Celtics and Kyrie Irving. Losing an NBA Finals to Kyrie would not look good on his resume.
Possible Roster: Ben Simmons, JJ Reddick, Lebron James, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid
6th man – Robert Covington
Possible Roster with trades and a second star:
Ben Simmons, Paul George (signs as a free agent), Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard (Trades Covington, Saric, and Fultz) Joel Embiid
Championship Ability: If Lebron joins the 76ers as currently constructed they’d have a ton of 3-point weapons and still be almost too big at almost every position for another team to compete. If the 76ers pulled off sending their young assets off for Kawhi Leonard or signed a combination of PG13 and LBJ they would be too big for the warriors to compete against. The smallest guy on the court would be Kawhi Leonard whom has 4 inches and 40 pounds on Steph Curry at least. This is obviously a dream team but if Lebron is dominated the rest of this finals he’s going to orchestrate his own super team (again) that will rival or surpass Golden State this time. If Lebron is smart he signs for very cheap for one year and then sign for more money after when the team can over the cap to sign him. He should do this to assure Paul George can go there with him and they attempt to trade everything else to land Kawhi for a Big 5.
Lesser Workload: Lebron would get to groom Ben Simmons who is already a client of Lebron’s Klutch Sports. Giving LeBron a break to where he can rest for the postseason and take games off next season but still step in and get his numbers on the games he does play. He won’t have the full burden having to do the scoring and he will have arguably two of the biggest mismatches in the NBA on a nightly basis when you think that Embiid is a 7’0 center that is the best in the NBA and Ben Simmons is a 6’10 Point Guard who will have 7-10 inches on his matchups most nights. That is a recipe along with Saric and Reddick or PG13 and Kawhi that Lebron can dominate the east with for the next 3 years and get his first 3-Peat.
Youth: Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Fultz, Saric, Covington. These are all young players who are locked up for years to come, LeBron could ride the youth that already won 50+ games and let it take him to multiple championships over the next 5-10 years if they all develop properly. Or Lebron can pressure management to make moves for additional seasoned NBA stars. Either way the youth is nothing but a plus for Philadelphia.
Legacy: The 76ers haven’t won a title sense 83 and it only took one title for the city to enshrine Erving with a statue. After the buzz of winning the Super Bowl LeBron could ride that momentum to take Philadelphia to the “IT” sport city for the next 5 years. If Lebron wins 1-2 titles with Philly and gets multiple appearances the city will have a statue of LeBron right alongside Erving and Rocky Balboa. The city has a craved sports championship for years, that’s why a fictional character like Rocky can be so big for a city. The Eagles have given their fans that joy but with the rise of the 76ers youth this season it has the city buzzing for more. Lebron could deliver.
Negatives: The fans went a little too crazy after the Eagles won the Super Bowl, and Lebron is a family man the city of Philadelphia may be a little dangerous for a king and the NBA’s Royal Family. Ben Simmons also must develop a jump shot outside of 5 feet for them to reach max potential. As well as Joel Embiid having health concerns could be a thought in Lebron’s head during his decision making.
Possible Roster: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Lebron James, Jason Tatum, Al Horford
Bench: Rozier, Gordon Hayward, Alfred Morris
Possible Roster if Kyrie gets mad and traded:
Terry Rozier, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Jason Tatum, Al Horford
Bench: Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Alfred Morris
Championship Ability: The Celtics were a game away from going to the NBA finals without their two biggest stars. They have the best chance to go to the NBA finals for the next 5 years plus barring Lebron making a super team somewhere else. Why try and beat them again when you can join them and power the team up further to win multiple NBA Finals for years to come. Now I know most people think LeBron wouldn’t do it especially because of kyrie but I feel he could force the organizations hand to where if Kyrie doesn’t like it they move Kyrie. But if it goes smoothly Lebron and Kyrie would have fleeced their way onto the team who I thought for years was next up because of their plethora of picks. Which turned into Rozier, Brown, Tatum and more making the Celtics a destination Lebron could realistically go to the next 7 straight NBA Finals and will have a great chance to win many of those long the way. Having a player like Gordon Hayward come off the bench for the Celtics would be an eliminate the Warriors couldn’t keep up with. Combine that with their overall length and ability to play and switch on defense will be huge in defending Golden State on the perimeter.
Youth: The Celtics have gotten a ton of picks from the Nets over the last few years that have led in a ton of lottery picks. These lottery picks have exceeded expectations in most cases. Brown, Tatum, and Rozier are three great young assets that can be groomed by LeBron and help him go to championships for years to come. Jason Tatum is a real star and I believe to already be a top 25 player in the NBA. (See UniquESports+ top 100 NBA Players)
Stats: Lebron would still be able to step into this team and orchestrate the offense like he is comfortable with. He’d be able to average 8+ assists for almost the rest of his career while still scoring 24+ points per game for the next few seasons. How well Lebron would be able to age with this team would allow him to change positions later in his career to where the ball isn’t in his hands as much every play but where he works out of the post a lot for the Celtics and won’t be expected to make every play. This allows Lebron to get to the point in NBA history with his overall stats I believe he will.
Coaching: Brad Stevens is the second-best coach in the NBA with what is the BEST GM in the NBA. That is an absolute recipe for success that LeBron should be a part of for his last 5+ seasons in the NBA. Lebron would really get to see what it is like to just play basketball and not have to carry an entire franchise from top to bottom on and off the court.
Branding: The Celtics may not be Los Angeles, but it is close to New York and still has the bright lights in the North East. That along with a very loyal and strong fan base, Lebron would experience a sport city really unlike any other. Lebron would also get the chance to turn a fan base who has hated him his entire career into huge fans.
Legacy: If Lebron James went on to lead the Celtics to 2-3 NBA titles or more and a ton of appearances would find himself more loved by Celtics fans than Paul Pierce. He could find himself with a statue next to Larry Bird if he won 3 straight or more. All of this is hypothetical of course LeBron has only won 3 rings up to this point in his NBA career and would need to go to one of these teams and continue to be the LeBron we’ve come to expect, and he could win that many more championships. If Lebron’s only thought and concern is chasing Jordan and he doesn’t feel he has any peers than his only thought should be to go to a place he can Stack the odds in his favor to get to as many finals in a row as possible and maximizing his chances to win when he gets there. If he goes to Boston they’d be favored in the East for the next 5+ years and could easily beat Golden State and win multiple titles in that span especially with Golden State aging and having injury history and Lebron joining a young team.
Negatives: There isn’t a whole lot of negatives from a basketball standpoint. However, Kyrie Irving’s presence on the team may deter Lebron from choosing the Celtics. He’d also be viewed as jumping on the Celtics bandwagon and making the NBA have the same level of non-parity for the next few years. Giving us Lebron-Warriors Part 5, 6, and 7. This is a negative for fans as many would like to see multiple teams with the chance to win a title. LeBron would receive major ridicule for going to Boston, but that shouldn’t deter him as people have already started to forget Kevin Durant did something much worse when he joined the Warriors.
Written By: Austin Philippi
The last four years have reminded me a lot of some of the movie franchises I’ve been watching recently. One or two good movies in a franchise, with a ton of predictability mixed with a stale and repetitive story line. I along with many of you not only hope this is the last time we see Cavs vs. Warriors but I’m hoping like all these other movie franchises I’ve seen the ending is predictable. Let me set up what is the Cavs Warriors Franchise.
Movie 1: Warriors on The Scene: The Protagonist (Lebron James) finds himself in the NBA Finals and has been riddled with injuries to his starting lineup. Playing an up and coming streaky team with that seasons MVP and sniper Steph Curry. After a season of being heavy favorites after leaving the warmth of Miami for his home in Cleveland and the young Kyrie Irving. Resulting in the Cavaliers and Lebron James falling short and giving the Warriors validation and confidence as champions. They go into their parade and off-season talking a lot about the cavaliers and Lebron most of which wasn’t good. Adding fuel to what was sure to be a sequel. The opening “film” was filled with drama and surprises and left a lot to be desired in a sequel do to the injuries on the cavaliers.
Movie 2: The Come Back: The Warriors heard all off-season how Lebron didn’t have Kyrie or Love and that if he had they would be champions. This added fuel to the Warriors fire where they set the league on fire on their way to a 73-9 Win season. Exerting so much effort to try and be one of the best teams ever only to fall short when Lebron and co. defies all odds and beats the gigantic favorites and coming back from a 3-1 deficit. The Movie Ends with the Cavs winning the title and having their own Parade in which Lebron deemed an “Ultimate Warrior” shirt. This movie like some franchises was one where the sequel was one of the better “films” in the franchise if not the best.
Movie 2 After Credits Clip: Lebron James and Chris Paul (VP and President of NBA Players Association) are sitting in an office with NBA Owners and demand that the players want a steep salary cap to jump instead of a gradual one. (Resulting in the Plot Line for movie 3)
Movie 3: Monstars Infinity War Part 1: The Warriors Led by newly acquired Kevin Durant slept through much of the regular season and then stormed through the NBA Playoffs on their way to a 16-1 Postseason record. Resulting in questions of who the best player in the world is to some doubters. Along with Kevin Durant stating that when he hit a shot over Lebron’s extended arms that it was a passing of the torch moment. Stating he is now the best player on the planet because he joined a juggernaut. The third part of what was then a trilogy was a predictable outcome, much like the third Avengers movie (Infinity War Part 1) he now goes up against what seems like an unbeatable opponent and gets smacked in the face while having all his weapons or “Avengers” if you will.
Movie 3 After Credits Clip: Kyrie started to not feel good (because there were rumblings he could be traded for PG13 and Bledsoe) he started to disappear, and found himself in the up and coming Boston team in the very same Eastern Conference
Movie 4: Monstars Infinity War Part 2: This Movie while not finished has been nothing but doubts, chaos, panic, and self-destruction much like what I can assume the next Avengers movie is going to look like with half the population gone with a snap of the finger. Much like the next movie where the Avengers are going to have to fight Thanos without their full squad, Lebron will now have to go up against the Warriors with just a few guys against what seems like an unbeatable opponent. All season and post season the talk mounted that Lebron has no help and this team won’t make the NBA finals let alone defeat the Warriors and “save the NBA” The story line falling perfectly in place for Lebron to pull off the ultimate heroics in beating the Warriors and be the ultimate Avenger.
The one thing everyone can agree one is we don’t want to see Warriors vs. Cavaliers Part 5. That may extend to Lebron James as well and for us to not see a Lebron vs Warriors matchup again next year will have a lot to do with this season. If the Warriors win this season they will go to another finals appearance next year. If this happens Lebron must go play somewhere he can beat Golden state and stop them from getting a 3-peat in what was supposed to be his movie franchise. This is one of those “movie” franchises that just doesn’t know when to end and unless something drastic happens like the warriors losing and breaking up or Lebron joining the Celtics next season. With all of this said I think Lebron much like the Iron Man he has been much of his career will be the key to beating Thanos (Warriors), I believe he can pull of the impossible this season before leaving the Cavaliers (just like I assume Robert Downey Jr. will leave the marvel franchise) for greener (Celtics) pastures. This leads me to one final question. Does Disney Own the NBA too?