NBA Daily Preview, January 28: Basketball Drama

As trade season approaches, drama is engulfing several teams and players around the league

Over the past week or so, the storylines around the NBA have been slowly gaining momentum. The Knicks are publicly dangling Carmelo Anthony’s name in trade rumors, LeBron James is upset about the Cavaliers’ payroll expenses, and other teams are quietly preparing to make acquisitions at the deadline.

Carmelo Anthony

It looks like this might be the year that Anthony finally gets traded. His famous no-trade clause in the contract makes any deal difficult, of course, but it’s doubtful that his team would be putting his name out if he weren’t open to being traded. However, the question of his actual value is another matter, entirely.

Anthony is still a good player, and one who can add a lot of scoring to nearly any team. The problem is that his salary is considerable, and the playoff teams who would want him don’t have many assets to give back. Essentially, it will be very hard for New York to find a “fair” value for his talent.

This is definitely a story to keep an eye on.

LeBron James

I wrote about this recently, but James’ recent comments about his team’s roster don’t mean too much. He’s a smart player — he understands the constraints on Dan Gilbert and the entire organization. It’s nearly impossible for this team to add more talent before the season is over.

I wouldn’t be too worried if I were a Cavs fan. The only thing that can stop this team from reaching the Finals is a James injury, and that would be true no matter how many more pieces they add. Their lack of depth won’t hurt them nearly as much in the playoffs, and they should be focused on that goal anyways. They’ll be fine.

Predictions

1–1 last night, 7–3 on the week. ABC has the primetime slot, and I’ll throw in a League Pass pick as well.

ABC—LA Clippers at Golden State: Golden State

This game loses so much of its luster without Chris Paul. LA would be a long shot to win in Oakland anyways, but they’re hamstrung without their best player. The Clippers should still be talented enough to keep this game respectable at least, but that won’t be nearly enough. Golden State should win easily.

League Pass—Memphis at Utah: Utah

If both of these games go how I predict here, the Jazz will end the evening in position for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Memphis is easily capable of upsetting this outcome, but I feel confident enough in the Jazz to predict a home win for them here. One could hypothesize that Rudy Gobert will play lights-out to make a statement about his all-star snubbing, but I don’t think the Jazz need that to win this one.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.