The drought is over, the drought is over!  Cleveland has finally won a sports championship after 50 some odd years, including the world of fiction where the Indians couldn’t even win in Major League.  Remember when CLE fans were burning their LeBron jerseys?  Ah, how things have changed…  And a good excuse for me to show my graphic representation of when LeBron was re-signed and his introduction press conference!

LeBron Gets New Cavs Jersey

Wow, things change in 2+ years, including my eye at graphic design!  At least I hope!  I remember that was pretty hard to put together too…

Speaking of hard to put together, the Warriors pulled a New England Patriots by having the best regular season record then choking in the final minutes.  Like a punch or kick to the groin, they saw their dream season come crashing down, and now their reg. season record will only be a footnote to the greatness that is LeBron.

With this championship, I’m ready to put LeBron on my Mount Rushmore.  Have you guys seen this silly little NBA app?  I made one before, and even though it seems like sacrilege, I changed Bill Russell to LeBron.  Man, this can start some debates!  Here’s my NBA Mt. Rushmore, which I challenge you guys to make for yourselves:

nba-mount-rushmore.776a3883-270e-46f9-be69-5f8b6aeea7c3

It was an incredible Game 7 after a series of blowouts, and a nearly-scripted (notice I didn’t say rigged!) finale for a great NBA season.  I’ll go ahead and lock in stone that the Warriors are winning the 16-17 championship.  No more Mr. Plain Shoes from Stephen Curry.

While the Finals have pressed on, there’s been a few news and notes around the NBA:

Spencer Dinwiddie Traded to the Bulls for Cameron Bairstow.  Pretty interesting get for the Bulls, who likely will peg Dinwiddie as their backup PG and has very intriguing upside as the backup to Derrick Rose.  I was going to make an injury pun, but they’ve all been used at this point.  This trade also makes me feel better about drafting a PG for the Pistons in our Mock Draft.

Greg Monroe This signing never seemed to make much sense when they were sitting on John Henson.  Although if anyone sat on John Henson, it might break something.  Not much pushin’ for the cushion!  Wait, I don’t think I’m using that right…  Anyway, Moose is getting heavily shopped, and with the end of the lottery rife with big man upside and not-so-much on the G side, it makes sense the Bucks would move Monroe and nab a usable big in the draft.

Jahlil Okafor The Sixers and their infinite wisdom of drafting too many big men are shopping big men, with Okafor sounding like their most movable preference.  Let’s just say I’d hope their GMs don’t run into Okafor at a bar after midnight down the road…

Jeff Teague Another heavily rumored trade candidate, Teague shipped off would give Dennis Schroder EIN OPPORUNITY!  Yeah, German is hard…  I think Schroder could really thrive as a starter, and as Slim and I semi-debated in the comments, I think his TO rate stemmed from pressing as a reserve last year, and the Hawks second unit didn’t really have an playmakers in 15-16.  A change of scenery could help Teague as well.

D’Angelo Russell Being shopped for another top-5 pick by the Lakers.  I dunno, any team other than the Sixers might wanna take a long and hard look at that deal, as long as they get a good explanation about why he was a moron in the locker room last year.  Maybe take away his cell phone privileges.  “You’re grounded, no cell phone, and no talking to girls!”

Darren Collison No longer a fan.  This is getting ridiculous in sports.  Kings can’t catch a friggin’ break.  And with the climate changing on this, it could be a lengthy suspension to start 16-17…

Jimmy Butler Big rumors swirling on a possible deal for Andrew Wiggins.  Would be an awesome get to pair Buckets back with Tibby, but I don’t see any reason the Wolves would do that deal with Wiggins still a young pup.

 

Any other trade rumors got you interested as we near the NBA Draft on Thursday?  And we’ll be doing a special edition Podcast during the NBA Draft Thursday night!  So look for that to come out that evening and a full write up to follow.  Happy offseason Razzball Nation, and congrats to you Cavs fans out there!

  1. jay says:
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    reports out that Sixers practically begging the Celts to trade their #3 pick for Noel so they can draft a PG (Dunn?)

    also hearing the GSW looking to go after Dirk? I dunno..I don’t think that team needs another long/mid range shooter. would rather have them go after P. Gasol to have some semblance of an inside outside game. Not as gifted a passer as his brother, but decent enough for that GSW offense

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @jay: Yeah that must be what they’re thinking, plus Providence (I think?) is close to there… I see Draft Express moved him to 3rd, so he must be shooting up the draft boards.

      Yeah I saw the Dirk news today, and agree, I dunno if he really adds much value to them. Ohhhhh Gasol would be a GREAT fit! That’d be a pretty great team if he can stay healthy

    • OldNavy says:
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      Philly could end up with Simmons, Dunn and Ochefu

      jay: Center Daniel Ochefu – Senior

      When the top seeded Kansas University Jayhawks were set to face the second seeded Villanova Wildcats, few expected the Wildcats to advance. But 10 points from big man and senior Daniel Ochefu, including a big jumper with 6:14 left, influenced the one opinion that mattered most – that of the scoreboard.

      The outlook for the 6′ 11″ 245 pound Ochefu suggests that he will be in the NBA for a long time. He is a great learner and is extremely coachable, improving his game each season. He has a quick first step on offense and is an excellent passer from the post. On defense, he’s a solid rim protector and an above average rebounder. He needs to solidify his mid range shooting and cut down on the fouls, but he’s shown the ability to do both. Ochefu will be a second round talent, but again, you can’t teach 6’11. The senior averages 10.1 points per game, shoots 62 percent from the field and leads the team with 7.1 rebounds. He keeps the opposing team’s defense honest.

      “When you have a 5-man like Daniel Ochefu, who is as skilled as any of the guards, great decision-maker, ball handler, passer for his position, extremely skilled, usually the other guys are skilled. But when you have a guy like that at the 5 spot, you know you’ve got a chance to be pretty good.” – Villanova Head Coach Jim Wright

      The Kansas game was not the only showcase for the big man’s offensive prowess. Against the three-seed Miami, he scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. When opponents bring double teams, as Iowa and UNC Asheville tried, he ended up with four assists in each game. He is the type of player who takes what the defense gives him. While he is not projected to be a top center in the upcoming draft, he would make an incredible signing if the Sixers get a late second round pick or even sign him to the the 20 man roster on a one year deal. With so much obscurity over what the team will do with the current glut of top talent at the center position, there is a vacuum in the bench at that role. Ochefu would be perfectly suited to come in with his rim protection ala Nerlens Noel, or use his shot accuracy to pull defenses in and open up the perimeter and lanes for the wings. And he is a senior, which gives him that “age fit” that I suspect will be a quality the Philadelphia 76ers are seeking in this year’s draft class.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @OldNavy: That would be a pretty awesome return for the Sixers if they got those 3 guys! The one thing I might argue on its the “age fit”, but when you get a second rounder and it translates to anything useful at the NBA level, it’s a win. I just feel like Sixers might stay young with their second rounder.

  2. OldNavy says:
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    Ochefu at 22 years old looks like a bigger Draymond Green. Philly is smart if they draft Ochefu.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @OldNavy: Ummm, well I dunno about that, I don’t think he has the perimeter game. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing the Sixers “should” pass on him, I’m saying “they probably will due to incompetence” haha

  3. OldNavy says:
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    CSNPhilly.com’s printable bracket.

    Brackets: East | Midwest | South | West

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Don’t call Daniel Ochefu a center. Don’t call him a “five.”

    Just call him a basketball player, and he’s OK with that.

    Ochefu, Villanova’s 6-foot-11 senior big guy, is enjoying an exceptional NCAA Tournament for the Wildcats after battling an assortment of injuries during the regular season.

    In Villanova’s three NCAA Tournament games, he’s 17 for 25 from the field (68 percent) and averaging 15.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.7 steals.

    So far in this year’s tourney, only Ochefu and Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga have 40 points, 20 rebounds, five blocks and five assists.

    “I take a lot of pride in not just being a traditional big guy,” Ochefu said Friday. “In being a complete basketball player. I take a lot of pride in my passing. We have great shooters, great cutters, so it’s easy to get guys in good position and get them the ball and they can just shoot it.

    “I just take a lot of pride in being an all-around player, and I think us as a program take a lot of pride in just having basketball players, not just a five-man or a three-man or a point guard. Arch (Ryan Arcidiacono) comes in and guards the post guy sometimes, I guard the point guard … everyone is just great basketball players.”

    Ochefu is one of only 12 players in NCAA Division I with 250 points, 250 rebounds, 50 assists, 50 blocks and 25 steals.

    The versatility in Ochefu’s game is a product of his early years at Westtown School outside West Chester, where he played basketball before graduating from Downingtown East.

    “It’s actually been a secret and nobody’s ever talked about it and we used it, and nobody asked me so I never said anything,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “But his high school coach at Westtown High School, Seth Berger, used him as a perimeter player.

    “He taught him how to pass and how to dribble, and he never played in the post. So he was the opposite of any other big guy that you ever get. We taught him how to play in the post, but it was so valuable to have a guy that could pass.”

    At Villanova, Ochefu has gradually become a real force in the post while retaining his ability to pass out of the paint, defend on the perimeter and even bring the ball up the court when needed.

    “We use him against the press, put the ball in his hands against the press, he throws back-door passes,” Wright said Friday. “He’s a great passer and he loves it. He doesn’t need to score, but he can and he likes it.

    “He’s always enabled us to have five good ballhandlers and passers on the floor and still have a shot blocker at the rim. Most teams don’t have that.”

    It speaks volumes that in the three NCAA Tournament games Villanova has won, over UNC Asheville, Iowa and Miami, Ochefu is actually third on the team with nine assists.

    He’s also fifth among all players in this year’s tournament in rebounds and second in blocks.

    And get this: The 6-foot-11 Ochefu has five steals in the tournament — 10th-most in the tourney. Kris Dunn had three in two games. Isaiah Whitehead had two in one game.

    So Ochefu has the same number of steals as the two most celebrated guards in the Big East in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

    “It makes him very dangerous,” Josh Hart said. “To be able to have a 5 — I wouldn’t even all him a 5. To be able to have a basketball player at his height who’s able to make the right play? A lot of times, especially here, it’s easy to get frustrated, so it’s easy for a big to be frustrated. Because a lot of times the guards have the ball in their hands a lot and it’s easy for a big to get frustrated.

    “But he never gets frustrated. He’s always focused on this team, focused on making the right play. He’s never focused on individual stats. It’s not like if he hasn’t got the ball in three or four possessions, it’s, ‘OK, I have to get a shot.’ He doesn’t get the ball in three or four possessions, he just thinks, ‘I need to make the right play.’

    “To have someone like that, who can pass out of the post, he can score out of the post, who can defend, who can get out on the perimeter and defend guards. It just gives us an extra element offensively and defensively.”

    Ochefu and Arcidiacono, Villanova’s two seniors in Wright’s rotation, will play for a berth in the Final Four on Saturday when the No. 2 seed Wildcats face No. 1 seed Kansas in the South Region championship game at 8:49 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center (see breakdown).

    Villanova is 114-27 since Ochefu arrived on campus, and ‘Nova’s .809 winning percentage during these four years is fifth-best in Division 1, behind only Stephen F. Austin (.859), Gonzaga (.855), Wichita State (.834) and Arizona (.821).

    “This is what I expected,” said Ochefu, a native of Nigeria. “Coming to Villanova, I wasn’t expecting us to be a mediocre team. I expected us to compete for a Final Four berth every year, and this year we’re finally here, and it feels like something we expected.

    “I try not to think about it being my last go-around just because it’s distracting, so this last couple months have just been thinking about playing Villanova basketball, helping our teammates, and I think myself and Ryan have done a good job not focusing on this being our last year.”

    The winner Saturday night advances to the Final Four in Houston and will face the winner of Sunday’s Notre Dame-North Carolina game next Saturday in the national semifinals at NRG Stadium (former Reliant Stadium).

    “He’s basically went through four years at Villanova and at this point, he’s basically a graduate,” Hart said. “He’s basically an old-head. He’s definitely playing his best basketball now.”

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @OldNavy: Definitely interesting… No questioning his impact at the college level, but NBA teams love their toolsy 18 year olds, like we just saw MIL do… Crazy!

  4. Ryan says:
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    Wow I’m very, very behind on news. I kinda isolated myself from all basketball news for a while because I knew that 90+% of it was pure speculation. I suppose now is the time where shit gets real though.

    Just found out that Rose was traded, and I think that kinda suggests that Jimmy is the guy in Chicago now. I’m taking any Jimmy Buckets trade rumors with a grain of salt. Oh man, Agreed that Dinwiddie could provide sneaky value next year if CHI doesn’t load up on guard depth this offseason. I’m excited to see what they do next!

    I know you don’t like Dunn JB, but I truly think he will be good. Mind you, I’ve dismissed every PC prospect to declare for the draft before him as borderline-to non-NBA material.
    His shooting form doesn’t look great, but it’s not as terrible as people make it seem (37% isn’t godawful). I think he will be one of the best defensive PGs in the league from day one, and has some John Wall-lite potential as a playmaker.

    Me personally, I wouldn’t take him at three if I’m Danny Ainge. Yes, in my mind he is one of the BPA, but I don’t necessarily take the BPA if I believe there are comparable talents available that better fit my team needs and provides greater trade flexibility. I’m not sure there is any team besides PHI values Dunn as highly as I do.

    I’m also hoping that if there is a grain of truth to the Philly rumors, that Boston can get more out of them than Nerlens Noel. He’s great and all, but we need an offensive presence that can stretch the floor even more than a rim protector. I’d be ecstatic if we can steal RoCo from them as well, even if it requires giving up all of our picks and other pieces. He’d thrive in Stevens’ system. Not sure if he’s on the table though..

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Ryan: Hahaha awesome video! At least he knows he can make fun of himself for it, but still, kinda making fun at something so bad and dumb that could hurt his career? I dunno…

        Anyway, yeah the Bulls PG depth chart is crazy right now. upside for either Dinwiddie or Grant if either can take the role.

        Unfortunately, only one lower tier trade so far… Nothing ended up happening. Guess rubio has to worry about Dunn clipping his heels now!

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