Here’s LeBron James talking about how contracting a couple – I say four – NBA teams could help the NBA:
“Just imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team,” he said. “Or, looking at some of the teams that’s not that great, you take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off these teams that’s not that good right now and add ’em to a team that could be really good.
“I’m not saying, ‘Let’s take New Jersey, let’s take Minnesota out of the league.’ But, hey you guys are not stupid. I’m not stupid. I know what would be great for the league.”
Couldn’t agree more with LeBron. If it’ll help the league avoid a labor stoppage next summer, then contract four teams. How to determine who gets the ax? You can look at attendance figures, consecutive years of ineptitude, or at owners who don’t seem to give a shit.
If we were going to trim the league from 30 teams, we’d dial it back to 26. Four teams we’d target:
Memphis Grizzlies – poor attendance, owner is a buffoon
New Orleans Hornets – already let the league take over the team, and they’re about to lose Chris Paul anyway
New Jersey Nets – Have more history than the two teams above, and their fortunes could change dramatically if they trade for Carmelo Anthony … but they’d be one of our four to go
Toronto Raptors – The fanbase is passionate and attendance is solid but let’s be honest – no free agents want to go to Canada. We give Toronto the slight nod over Sacramento and Charlotte
Now the fun begins. You throw the players from those four teams in a supplemental draft, and they selected the same way any draft is held (worst record picks first). Here’s how it would look if the draft were held today:
Sacramento – Chris Paul, PG .. the Paul-Evans backcourt would be instantly filthy
Minnesota – Brook Lopez, C … Kevin Love would have a legit wingman inside
Washington – Rudy Gay, SF … instant starter and go-to scorer
Cleveland – Marc Gasol, C … underrated, perhaps because his brother’s so good
LA Clippers – Trevor Ariza, SF … taking him for the glue-guy role because Bledsoe seems ready to run point
Charlotte – Devin Harris, PG … the answer to their turnover woes, assuming they don’t trade for Baron Davis
Detroit – Zach Randolph, PF … would step off the bus and average 23 ppg
Golden State – Andrea Bargnani, F … a best-on-board decision; 6th man?
Milwaukee – OJ Mayo, SG … Jennings-Mayo backcourt is titillating
Philly -Emeka Okafor, C … Will hopefully make them forget about the disaster that was Dalembert
Here’s what LeBron did to the Suns last night after talking to the media about contraction:
vid via @Jose3030