The NBA trade deadline has come and passed - oh my goodness, the Cleveland Cavaliers just traded their traveling secretary. Oh no, the Cavaliers are now sending their beat writers to Lithuania to deal with LaVar Ball.
Anyway, now that the trade deadline has passed, we can start talking about rumors. Who will the Knicks blow money on this offseason? Will LeBron James actually leave for another team in free agency? That's the fun of rumors, not like how rumors were in high school where you wanted to go crazy on someone for spreading lies about you. These are rumors that have no consequence so long as you don't text a beat writer that LeBron James is refusing to report to games until he's given a new contract.
For today, there's really no ground rules other than we're not doing too outrageous. All of the rumors on here are ones that are currently happening or have been made recently. For example, Magic Johnson's comments about the 2019 free agency class count as a rumor, while "LeBron James is going to retire after the season" isn't eligible.
So if you're ready to gossip like a teen girl movie, let's start trading rumors around.
15 Not true: LeBron James will leave the Cavaliers
I know I can't be the only person who doesn't want to see LeBron James leave Cleveland for Golden State, Houston, Los Angeles, or anywhere else this offseason. LeBron may have incentive on paper to leave for the Western Conference, but what's the point? Cleveland is retooling their roster to bring in younger talent and will have the Nets' pick this June, which could very well be used on Trae Young to replace Isaiah Thomas - and, if we're being realistic, replacing Kyrie Irving.
LeBron leaving for the Heat worked in 2010 because they also had Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and a proven bench. If the Cavaliers can provide James with younger talent (done), a proven bench (done), and maybe another superstar (DeAndre Jordan?), The King should stay home.
14 Not true: The Grizzlies think they're close to contending again
I don't understand this one at all. Memphis is desperately trying to avoid an actual rebuild, holding onto Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans despite the assets both could bring in - and in Evans' case, the chances of him actually returning next season are slim after the numbers he's put up this year.
Why are the Grizzlies deluding themselves into thinking they'll be a playoff team next year when there could be as many as 10 playoff caliber teams in the West?
(Depending on what the Lakers do, that number could become 11. Sorry, Suns, Kings, and Mavericks, you're going to have to wait as well).
If the Grizzlies want to live in the past, fine, but they might want to consider taking the Boston Celtics strategy of stockpiling picks and tradable assets for later. Oh, and eat some money on the Conley and Gasol deals.
13 True: The Knicks part ways with Jeff Hornacek
It's not that we're rooting for Jeff Hornacek to lose his job, but it's more that the Knicks need one more coaching change under the new regime. Hornacek was Phil Jackson's guy and has done a fine job keeping things at a calm level in recent months, but the team has underperformed since the calendar turned over to 2018 and the time has come for a replacement at the top. Whether it's Mark Jackson, Lionel Hollins, or even a reunion with Mike Woodson, Hornacek needs to be shown the door unless the Knicks finish the season on a remarkable note.
Even then, what hurts Hornacek's case is the handling of Willy Hernangome zand the insistent reliance on playing Jarrett Jack and Kyle O'Quinn. Then again, we like Mark Jackson on TV, so this is tough. What's Jason Kidd up to?
12 Not true: The Brooklyn Nets will try to lure major free agents...again
There's two major rumors going around with the Brooklyn Nets: the team will either try to make a splash in free agency with a mid-level player (Avery Bradley-level) or keep up their process of acquiring young talent alongside bad contracts (i.e. acquiring Marquese Chriss from the Suns, but also having to take on Tyson Chandler's contract as well). We like idea No. 2 and urge the Nets to stay as far, far away from as idea No. 1.
(Dear Nets, call Magic Johnson, Rob Pelinka and the Lakers to see if they want to trade Julius Randle while also taking on Luol Deng's untouchable contract. Things could work! You just have to believe in yourself!)
At this point, the Nets could be back to being a playoff team by next year. Keep up what's working!
11 Not true: Paul George will sign with the Lakers
Again, am I the only person who doesn't want Paul George to go to the Lakers? It's a move that makes sense for neither side: George would be crazy to take the money and run to a Lakers team that isn't guaranteed at being a playoff team next season, while the Lakers shouldn't be blasting that type of money at this time. Wait to see how Lonzo Ball develops in year two, see who you can acquire in the draft, and go for buy-low options like Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor.
Ideally, Paul George should just hang around in Oklahoma City with Russell Westbrook and the slowly-rotting corpse that is Camelo Anthony. With that said, let's get to talking about what the Lakers should do...
10 True: The Lakers wait for the 2019 offseason to make a splash
With that said, let's get to talking about what the Lakers should do...oh wait, we said that already. So the Lakers are going to have some money to spend and potentially even more if they do certain things with Julius Randle and Luol Deng, but they should heed Magic Johnson's wisdom of spending in either the 2018 or 2019 class...by waiting for the 2019 class.
Notable free agents from that class, you ask? LeBron James, Kevin Durant - oh wait, those aren't the free agents we're thinking of. Hold on, these are the free agents we're talking about.
- DeAndre Jordan
- Paul George (if he opts into his contract this summer, which will likely happen)
- Klay Thompson
- Tobias Harris
- Kemba Walker
That's a pretty solid class! Lakers, wait until next year, we say!
9 Not True: Isaiah Thomas won't get paid this offseason
We like Isaiah Thomas and we like the journey he's been through from Mr. Irrelevant in 2011 to an MVP candidate last year. Even with how rough of a season Thomas has had for the Cavaliers and now the Lakers, there should still be teams out there who pay Thomas at least a mid-market level contract, something like three years, $30 million and then renegotiate the deal later. Thomas has been so productive in recent years that there has to be a team willing to make that option. The Nuggets, maybe?
What might hurt Thomas' case is Derrick Rose, interestingly enough, because it's a similar situation of an extremely talented point guard having a potentially career-affecting injury. But seeing as Thomas isn't Rose and isn't coming off an ACL injury, he should be alright. Speaking of Rose...
8 Not true: Minnesota is going after Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose was once a hell of a player, but at 29 years old when he should conceivably still be well into his prime, the former MVP looks old and beaten. Rose has taken personal leaves of absences in the past two years and, though jokes were made upon Rose's trade to Utah that a personal journey with the Church of Latter Day Saints could help him, the Jazz's decision to cut him could be the right choice for everyone.
But if the Timberwolves and former coach Tom Thibodeau are truly interested in signing Rose...why? What would Thibs get from pairing Rose with Jimmy Butler again after seeing how badly their relationship was fractured in Chicago? If the Timberwolves are serious about signing Rose, maybe they don't deserve to win the NBA Finals this year...
7 True: The Pelicans hold onto Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins
In wake of DeMarcus Cousins' ruptured Achilles tendon, there's been talk that the injury will make it easier for the All-NBA center to stick around and partner with Anthony Davis for another season. After watching the two this season, we're definitely on board for a few more years of this partnership. New Orleans may still have some other issues to work out, especially with regards to a deeper bench and some help on the wing, but trust us when we say we're all in favor of Cousins hanging out in NOLA to help bring a championship home.
Again, New Orleans still has things to fix and they're far, far away from reaching Golden State's level, but we want to see ADDC dominate in the paint going forward. Please?
6 Not true: The Cavaliers are going to fire Tyronn Lue
On one hand, we'd understand if the Cavaliers made this decision because of the new front office, but this should not be done to appease LeBron James - or worse, another decision made or influenced by LeBron James himself. Lue has done a fine job with the pieces he's been given and he's made back-to-back NBA Finals, so let's give him some credit. Lue's biggest mistake, and this is one that many have argued for every coach, is managing the minutes of *insert whatever player's name you want not named LeBron*
Seriously, Lue has not done that bad a job and this should be his job going forward. If the Cavaliers stumble out the gate next year, maybe this can be re-evaluated then, but we like Lue sticking around for the time being.
5 Not true: The Clippers want to build around DeAndre Jordan
There's a few reasons why this is a bad idea, so let's just go through them.
1. Jordan will be a free agent after next season and, after seeing how the front office traded Blake Griffin after signing him to an extension last summer, may not want to return.
2. Building a team around a center who is only useful in the paint does not work anymore. The Clippers would need to acquire a superstar (i.e. Paul George) to help spread the floor, which would then nullify building around Jordan.
3. While Jordan is a fantastic player, his future in Los Angeles may be tied to that of head coach Doc Rivers, who is not guaranteed to return next year.
But hey, at least the Clippers have Lou Williams!
4 True: Kristaps Porzingis is back before next February
Seeing Kristaps Porzingis get hurt was awful, both for him and the New York Knicks as a team. Did they really deserve that after trying so hard to escape the mistake-filled years of recent? Anyways, the likelihood of Porzingis returning prior to next February is slim with the average recovery time being about 12 months, but we want to be optimistic. This is maybe the only one on this list where we're trading realism for nativity and hopefulness because of how much fun Porzingis is to watch on a nightly basis. Do you want to go a year without seeing that?
(But yes, we do know that it'll be a while until we see The Unicorn on the court. Get back soon, Kristaps! We're rooting for you!)
3 The Celtics want to keep Marcus Smart long-term
We love Marcus Smart, we love his development over the years, and we love the grit he brings to the table. But if the Boston Celtics are going to keep him around as a backup to Kyrie Irving, we don't get it. We just don't get it. The time will come where Smart is going to hit the free agent market and the Celtics are doing everyone involved a disservice by keeping him around as a sixth man and not sending him somewhere to start.
As for where we want Smart to go? New York has been ruled out with their recent trade for Emmanuel Mudiay, but what about the Minnesota Timberwolves? Smart could be a fun point guard option in that offense going forward, me thinks.
2 Not true: Orlando drafts Trae Young
And speaking of point guards, no. Just no. The Orlando Magic have become the Cleveland Browns of the NBA and after wasting Victor Oladipo's career, they're going to do the same if they draft Trae Young. Please, don't do this, Orlando. We don't know how well Young's talents will translate to the NBA, but putting him in basketball purgatory is the easiest way to ensure that doesn't happen. Keep your top prospects away from basketball purgatory!
Now, who do we think the Magic should draft? I don't know. I just don't know because the Magic are the new Cleveland Browns. we're sorry to tell you this, Magic fans, and we hope you seek help about the state of your franchise. (And this is coming from a Nets fan.)
1 True: Jabari Parker gets a nice payday
We feel like ending this on a sweet note, so how about this? Jabari Parker deserves to get a nice payday this offseason, whether it be from the Bucks or another team, despite his two torn ACLs. Even after all of that, Parker has so much potential and has the grit coupled with personality that those who have suffered repeated major injuries in recent years (Derrick Rose) never had. We say that with as much respect as we can, but we love Jabari Parker and hope he gets rewarded for his efforts.
And with our luck, Parker is going to get hurt before the season ends, sadly. We're rooting for you, Jabari! And if the Brooklyn Nets are reading this, which we doubt, give the man some money!
Which of these rumors do you most want to see? Which rumors do you not want to see? Let us know in the comment section below!