December 11, 2017

Hoops polls — LeBron, Knicks

Per respondents in my first poll, as many of you think LeBron James will stay in Cleveland next year rather than join Lonzo Ball et al in LaLa Land. Only one thinks he'll go to the other side of LaLa Land with Blake Griffin and the Clippers.

I think the likelihood of him moving is now less than when I ran the poll. But, I'm not yet 100 percent convinced he'll stay.

I personally was the one Clippers voter. But, with Blake injured again, and the team facing some tough choices, I think that option is gone.

Meanwhile, the latest story says the Lakers aren't likely — but the Rockets may be. Of course, there's no way they can give LBJ a max contract right now.

There's a sidebar to all this, and that's his mileage. Yes, the King is having an incredible year this year. But, by the end of the year, he should be in the top 20 all time in career minutes. And, he'd probably be in the top 15 by the end of next year. The "finish line" is surely getting closer. How well will he make a transition to no longer being, at least not all the time, the alpha male on his team? He's been a great passer so far, but, at some point, there may be a point where he's simply no longer the best crunch-time scoring option.

That could certainly be the case if he went to the Rockets. Harden would be the first option in most cases.

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Next, the Knicks-Thunder trade of Carmelo Anthony and Enes Kanter. Only one of five thinks the Thunder won this now or will win it in the future. Two called it both a short-term and a long-term win for the Knicks, while I and one other called it a short-term draw, long-term win.

I wasn't specific, but I meant short-term to be this year, not the first one-quarter of this year.

At worst, from the Knicks POV, I think it's a short-term draw, and may wind up being a short-term win. If they make the playoffs this year, it's definitely a win. Ditto if, even if they don't make it this year, the Thunder don't get past the first round out West. Kanter and Unicorn Kristaps Porzingis are playing pretty well together — when both are healthy.

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