LeBron James is slated to meet with Pat Riley this week, and if you’re a Heat fan living and dying with every development, there’s a big difference between today and Friday.
Heck, if you’re fan of any NBA team and you just want to see free agency get moving, you have an interest in that meeting occurring sooner rather than later. So many teams and agents won’t proceed until LeBron and Carmelo Anthony choose their landing spots.
Good news might be on the way for those in a hurry.
Riley can try selling LeBron on his two big signings – Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. I have no idea how LeBron will react to those moves, but unless he reverses his stance on receiving a max contract, those two are likely Miami’s last major outside additions this offseason.
I’d guess this meeting will trigger one of two outcomes:
1. LeBron states an intention, publicly or privately, to re-sign with the Heat.
2. LeBron, after his agent laid the groundwork, will begin meeting personally with other suitors to hear their pitches.
A third possibility – a longer holding pattern – is possible, but I’d think LeBron has waited long enough for everything to shake out. I believe/hope this meeting with Riley will set wheels in motion – one way or another.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.