Project Shanks NBA Preview: Central Division

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Writer

NBA CENTRAL DIVISION PREVIEW

(Projected Order of Finish)

1. Cavaliers. Let’s state the obvious: This is the most talented team in the Eastern Conference. There are seemingly limitless possibilities on offense when you add Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to the best player on the planet. LeBron James is also likely to get guys like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters overpaid at some point in the near future. But while shiny and new, these are known quantities. I’m most excited to see how new coach David Blatt employs his bounty. Basketball insiders love him but he’ll be under a ton of scrutiny for a first-time NBA coach.

lebron-james-back-in-cleveland

Say ‘Hello’ to: James Jones. LeBron and the Floor Spacers. Jones and Mike Miller reunite with LeBron . Wave the towels from the bench. The open looks are sure to follow. [Read more...]

No Bull, Even Without Melo, Chicago Still a Threat

By Kelly Manalo
PSDC Contributor

The Chicago Bulls will make the NBA Finals next season. OK, maybe that is a bold statement but I will not be surprised if Chicago reaches that feat with the team that they do have going into the Eastern Conference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

First off, I know it hurts that Carmelo Anthony decided to stay in New York and not join the Bulls. He would have provided the scoring that Chicago sorely lacks and gave them a go to option in crunch time besides Derrick Rose. He made his decision to stay with the Knicks and he should not be criticized for it. Bulls’ management gave a great pitch and effort but their backup plans in free agency helped bolster the roster. [Read more...]

NBA Free Agency: Now, we’re really underway

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Writer

NBA free agency has been a tricky thing so far. Some teams were negotiating and reaching agreements for the past week plus just waiting for 12:01 a.m. yesterday to start signing contacts. The waiting game drug out for a painfully long time due to the one man at the head of the domino chain taking his dear sweet time making a decision. Now that LeBron James has officially informed the masses he is going home to Cleveland, other big name stars can make their decisions and the action will really start pumping. The next 24 hours will be a frenzy of activity as players sign, teams move on to plan B or C or G and franchises decide whether or not to match offers extended to their restricted free agents.

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Starting with what we do know…

San Antonio Spurs:

The defending champs took care of business starting with Tim Duncan exercising his player option, resigning key role players, Boris Diaw and Patty Mills, and inking Coach Popovich to a multi-year extension. While all the focus has remained on the elite stars, Eastern Conference and the fabled Lakers, the Spurs have resigned their entire team. By this time, everyone should accept the Spurs are the odds on favorites to go back to the finals next year no matter what else happens during free agency. [Read more...]

LeBron James Headed Home, Will Re-sign with Cleveland Cavaliers

By Chris Stuckey
Editor-in-Chief

LeBron James is going back to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. That is according to the tweet shown below.

 

After what seemed like years of anticipation and countless refreshes of the twitter feed, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated finally put us all out of our misery by breaking the biggest NBA free agency news since LeBron’s decision four years ago.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

It’s amazing the reaction from everyone in and around Cleveland. The man whose jersey they burned four years ago is once again their beloved son. The prospect of winning changes those life-long grudges that Cavs fans possessed only a few weeks ago. [Read more...]

Where Will LeBron James Take His Talents Next

By Kelly Manalo
PSDC Contributor

After one of the worst playoff defeats in NBA Finals history, the Miami Heat and the best player in the world, LeBron James may be traveling in different paths after this summer.

Photo Credit: Reuters

Photo Credit: Reuters

LeBron officially opted out of his contract along with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The big three may be no more. [Read more...]

Time for LeBron James to Catch Some Sun?

By Justin Broyles
PSDC Writer

It’s the beginning of July. That means quite a few things, cookouts, fireworks and NBA/NHL free agency. But who cares about the NHL, especially when the NBA free agent crop is stacked with stars. The available players include the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Luol Deng, Pau Gasol and the entire big three from Miami. The most coveted free agent on this market is the main man in that big three, LeBron James. There are 30 teams that want LeBron but not too many have a shot to land him.

paul-george-lebron-james-1

Many don’t think LeBron will leave Miami and he is only opting out to force Pat Riley to build a better supporting cast around him. Some also think that LeBron will consider other teams such as the Rockets, Lakers and Cavaliers. But are any of these teams a better option? The Rockets would have to dump their whole team besides James Harden and Dwight Howard. That’s basically the same setup he has in Miami. The Lakers don’t have the same talent level as the Heat. Finally, after how the Cavaliers and their fans treated LeBron when he left, would you want to go back to that franchise? So when it comes to these teams, LeBron might as well stay in South Beach. But there is a team rarely mentioned that LeBron should probably sign with. [Read more...]

NBA Free Agency Looms: Which players need to be watched?

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Fantasy Expert

Our friends down in San Antonio have barely begun sobering up from their title celebration, the NBA rookie draft is on deck for this Thursday, NBA free agency begins next Tuesday and the NBA world is awash with chaos and speculation. The bank of fog rolling across the NBA landscape is so thick several Vegas books have pulled all future odds on NBA championships. Things are very unsettled right now. The word frenzy has popped up. Here is my best effort to help everyone understand just what is going on.

pau-gasol-mavs

Over the next few days leading up to the draft and the free agency mayhem that follows the next week, expect the stories and speculation about who is going where to grow exponentially. While the biggest stories will focus will be on Carmelo Anthony and Miami’s Big Three, numerous other players may be on the market with the potential to change the playoff picture of the NBA. To keep track of everything in the midst of this madness, first we must identify the players. Here is a look at some of the biggest names likely to draw attention as free agency looms. Let’s start with the champs. [Read more...]

Here’s The Thing – LeBron’s Image: Rising Like A Phoenix?

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

The NBA offseason has begun in earnest, and naturally the biggest question involves LeBron James, as the sports nation waits breathlessly to see if he’ll start using Rogaine or not. I kid, I kid! Everyone wants to see where LBJ will play next season, so that wherever it is they can say Michael Jordan would have done it better. [Read more...]

They Didn’t Tell Me it Would Be Like This!

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Withdrawal. Most commonly associated with the detoxification process after addiction to drugs has taken over your life. Or perhaps it’s just a semi-effective birth control measure. Regardless, I’ve been suffering through them this past week with the end of the NHL and NBA playoff seasons.

sports-withdrawal

No more Blackhawks until October. Eleventh to be exact, at the United Center against the Sabres. The Hawks will be the favorites to win the Stanley Cup next season, despite the LA Kings cheating to “win” it this year. [Read more...]

Why This Summer May Change the Entire Landscape of the NBA

By Jake Hyman
PSDC Writer & Host of the New York Sports Minute Podcast

Let the rumor mill churn.

The NBA free agency period is nearing and practically nothing is a guarantee between now and the end of July.

No guarantees but plenty of questions.

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Photo Credit: NBA.com

Like, will LeBron James stay in Miami? Subsequently, what do Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh do? [Read more...]

Here’s The Thing – Get Off Your Butt. Do Something

By Stephen Thomas
PSDC Funnyman and Brad Pitt Doppelgänger

I’m Stephen Thomas with Here’s The Thing.

Was having trouble coming up with a topic for today, so I decided to do what I always do in that situation. Procrastinate mightily, while snacking on bacon and watching reruns of Cheers. After that, I got right to work. Actually, after that I took a nap and visited the water closet, as I’m sure you can imagine. After THAT though, I got right to work. [Read more...]

Hot in Cleveland: Welcome Johnny Manziel

By Matt Rogers
PSDC Writer

The hangover of day one of the NFL draft has slowly dissipated and Manziel Mania is in full swing in Cleveland. I am a Texas guy, born and raised. I loved Johnny Football even though I have no love for the Aggies. I loved watching Johnny show boat through two years of SEC football even though I don’t particularly care about college football. Everything this kid has done for the past two years made me smile. Yes, I am a jerk on most occasions and embrace it fully.

That said, from day one, I have maintained two things about this draft. One, Houston never considered drafting Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney was destined to be the No. 1 pick and play the opposite end of the Texan’s line from JJ Watt. Two, Johnny Football was destined to end up in Cleveland. Granted, the path the opening round of draft picks followed after the second pick was anything but what I expected. Those two things came to pass. [Read more...]