BREAKING: Paul George Traded to Thunder

By Darreck Kirby
Project Shanks Creative Director

In a stunning move just hours before the opening of NBA free agency, the Oklahoma City Thunder made waves in acquiring the 27-year-old superstar. As with any trade, there are at least two outlooks moving forward. So let’s break down this blockbuster piece by piece, shall we?

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Project Shanks NBA Preview: Southeast Division

By Matthew Carpenter
PSDC Writer

NBA SOUTHEAST DIVISION PREVIEW

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In only a couple of years, this division quickly transformed from “The Heat and Scrubs Division” into “The Pleasantly Competent At Basketball (And Also the Magic) Division.”

Projected Order Of Finish

1. Wizards. Conventional wisdom may portend a Bulls/Cavaliers Eastern Conference Finals but don’t tell the Wiz. Washington possesses an underrated veteran frontcourt with Nene and Marcin Gortat and the conference’s best backcourt in prime “bust out” candidate Bradley Beal and the already busted out John Wall. Someone feel free to tell Colin Cowherd that Wall has become a complete point guard. He led the league in assists (turnovers too…) and was fifth in steals while playing excellent all-around defense (Defensive Win Share of 4.0). The loss of Trevor Ariza will hurt them in the playoffs, but this is still a solid team. They could really use a contribution from Otto Porter but, beyond a decent Summer League, Porter shows no indication of meeting the projection that coincides with his high draft selection. Paul Pierce will provide a nice vessel for announcers to proclaim a “veteran presence” during your NBA drinking game. [Read more…]

2014 NBA Draft Tank Rank

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC NFL/NBA Editor

The NBA season is finally here. This is my favorite time of the year. I love football, but my heart belongs to basketball. With football and basketball going on at the same time, I look forward to many late nights of watching replays and highlights. This NBA season will be like none other we have known. Not because of Houston getting Dwight Howard, or Brooklyn getting Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, or Miami going for a three-peat. No, this year is different because we have so many teams already tanking for a better draft pick before the season has even started. There are anywhere from 4-7 projected All-Stars in the 2014 draft, and everyone wants a piece of the top half of this draft. It doesn’t matter who wins the championship this year, all that matters is who will pick first.

I will keep track of the Tank Rank for you all season long, and let you know who has the inside track on the No. 1 pick this season as well as the right to draft Andrew Wiggins among others. 

1. Philadelphia 76ers

I know that the Suns traded for an injured Marin Gortat, but the Sixers traded away their only All-Star caliber player for an injured rookie who might not play this year, Nerlens Noel. At this point they are the leaders in the Tank Rank, but the reason why I believe they are most likely to keep the top spot is they have cheap assets they can dump in the coming months if they win some games they shouldn’t, or some of the other tanking teams loses more than expected. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are two players that would fit in well with almost every team that has thoughts of a deep playoff run. Keep an eye on the rumor mill for Young and Turner, but keep your eyes off the Sixers.

2. Phoenix Suns

I see you Phoenix. Giving up your second-best player, Gortat, for and injured Emeka Okafor is the move we needed to get the ball rolling with this tankfest. The Suns are going to be awful, and outside Eric Bledsoe or Goran Dragic, I don’t see a player that is even worth having on an NBA roster. Maybe Alex Len in a few years, but for now there are only two NBA players on this roster. The problem that Phoenix will have is that they aren’t trading Bledsoe, and the only teams that could utilize Dragic will be teams that need a backup point guard, or teams that have an injury to their starter. But, no one is given up much to get Dragic. Philly can move Turner or Young and command an additional first round pick this year. The secret weapon up Phoenix’s sleeve is the expected “hamstring injury” to Bledsoe. [Read more…]

DeMarcus Cousins and the NBA Draft Trade Market

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

Sacramento Kings trying to trade DeMarcus Cousins

DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest name on the trade marked right now. He is a phenomenal talent, but he is also a phenomenal knucklehead. He has been sent home after fighting a teammate, he has been suspended for an altercation with San Antonio Spurs commentator Sean Elliott and he tried to fight Blake Griffin. Even with all those red flags, he is still a very good player. Last season, he posted 17.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg in 30.5 mpg. [Read more…]

2013 NBA Draft Lottery: Team-by-Team Needs

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man

Tonight, the NBA announced the winners of the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery. It goes without saying, if you are in the lottery you need a lot of help, but each team has a different need. This is how the lottery shook out and what needs each team needs to address in the draft this season.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers- SF, PF, C, SG

Cleveland is the only really bad team that already has a superstar, Kyrie Irving, now they need to get him some help. The really need an outside shooter at the two-guard or small forward position. Also, finding a replacement for Anderson Varejao needs to be addressed.

2. Orlando Magic- PG, PF, C, SG

Orlando only has one point-guard under contract and that is overpaid, under-talented, 31-year-old Jameer Nelson. Orlando has several young pieces from the Dwight Howard trade, but they don’t have a go-to scorer or a player that can get in the lane and make plays for others.

3. Washington Wizards- SF, PF, C

With John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Wizards are set in the backcourt. Washington needs to add more rebounding and better interior defense. A small forward that can shoot will help space the floor and open up the lane for Wall and Beal.  [Read more…]

Boston Celtics Blowing It Up and Other NBA Trades

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Big Man 

On Sunday afternoon, the Boston Celtics announced that their All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo, would miss the rest of the season due to a torn ACL. This is a huge blow to a team that had high hopes for the playoffs.

Now, it remains to be seen why the Celtics had high hopes. Boston is holding onto the eighth spot in the East, and will probably continue to be eighth unless Andrew Bynum comes back and lights a fire in Philadelphia, in which case Boston would miss the playoffs. With the Celtics being three games behind Milwaukee for the seventh spot, chances of them getting higher than eight are pretty slim. So, if you are resigned to the fact that you are going to be the eighth best team in the East, you have to realize your first-round opponent will be Miami. The Celtics played an inspired game without their best player and beat Miami on Sunday, but Miami is floating through the regular season and waiting for the playoffs start to turn up the heat. (See what I did there?) There is no way that Boston would beat Miami in the playoffs, with or without Rondo. [Read more…]

Five NBA Questions, Five Correct Answers

By Robbie Marbury
PSDC Basketball Jones

The Cleveland Browns are eliminated from the playoffs, Cowboys fans are mad at Tony Romo and Chargers fans are ready to fire Norv Turner.  You know what that means?  It’s almost time for the NBA to start.  And boy am I excited.  We get a full season of the NBA – no crammed schedules, no resting players, no back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back games all in different cities – we actually get a normal NBA slate this year.  I am so pumped.  I cannot wait for the season to start.  [Read more…]

A Closer Look at the Dwight Howard Blockbuster

By Anthony Wright
PSDC Contributor

The Dwight Howard saga is finally over. A four-team trade has gone through and has been stamped by the NBA, no veto this time by David Stern. The teams involved in the trade included the Lakers, Magic, Sixers and the Nuggets. In my opinion, every team got what they wanted and every team won. [Read more…]

Breaking Down The Dwight Howard Trade

By Matt Corder
PSDC Staff

Hey! By now you probably know that some man who formerly played center for the Orlando Magic is going to play center for the Los Angeles Lakers next season. Obviously this topic has been dissected on various horrible radio and television programs across the country, but that doesn’t mean you should skip this article! Where else will you find blatant homerism for the Denver Nuggets in a Dwight Howard trade column? That’s what I thought.

So, Dwight Howard, LA Laker…but what does it mean? [Read more…]

Could the Orlando Magic hire Phil Jackson?

By Bobby Roberts
PS.com Staff 

The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that Phil Jackson was a serious candidate for either the Orlando Magic’s coaching vacancy or to fill a spot in their front office. The talks were rumored to fall apart last week, but former Magic player Sam Vincent sparked them back up.

Vincent played with the Chicago Bulls while Jackson was an assistant and he spent the final portion of his playing career with Orlando. He is trying to broker a deal that would land Jackson and other well-known basketball figures in Orlando.

Jackson has a large compound in Montana and his girlfriend is in the Los Angeles Lakers front office. Would Jackson be able to commit enough time in Orlando? Would Dwight Howard stay if the Magic hired Jackson? [Read more…]