Warriors, Lakers, Celtics among five NBA teams with the most to be thankful for

It’s Thanksgiving time, and there are a whole lot of teams in the NBA which have lots to be thankful for (the Nets usually are not one in all them, which is saying lots for a group that has Kevin Durant). But we’re going to break up some hairs right here. Every group that has a celebrity is thankful for that celebrity, however I’ve tried to slim it down to the five teams which have the most to be thankful for, and what, precisely, they’re thankful for. Here it goes.

When five teams handed on Curry in the 2009 draft, together with the Timberwolves twice, the Warriors had no concept what they had been getting. Curry has reworked Golden State’s franchise in ways in which would have been unimaginable even a decade in the past when Curry first turned an All-Star. Four championships. Six Finals appearances. An NBA file 73-win season. Literally billions in franchise worth. None of it occurs with out Curry, whose mixture of skill and humility comes alongside perhaps as soon as in a technology as the face of a franchise, if that.

I’d argue there is not a single different participant in the world, for varied causes, who would’ve led final 12 months’s Warriors to a title, and but once more this season, Curry is the cause an getting older and flawed Warriors group continues to be thought-about a professional contender. If you’ve Curry, you’ve an opportunity, and the Warriors are awfully thankful they’ve him.

If the Lakers had been, say, nonetheless in Minneapolis, or Memphis, or Salt Lake City, or just about wherever apart from LA, with the means they’re operating issues at the second, they’d be a laughing inventory. You may argue they’re anyway. But as a result of they occupy prime NBA actual property, their margin for error is so nice that they will primarily mess every thing up and nonetheless have a reasonably direct path out of the darkness and into the mild of title competition.

You may say the Lakers are most thankful that they’ve LeBron James, however the solely cause they’ve LeBron in the first place is that they are in LA The solely cause they’ve Anthony Davis is that they’ve LeBron. And the solely cause they’ve a title inside the final decade is that they’ve each of these guys.

Since that title (bubble title, I ought to say), this franchise has performed mainly nothing to make itself engaging to gamers with choices. Other than location and that iconic identify throughout their chest, they’ve made one disastrous determination after one other — empowering Rob Pelinka to run round in a So-Cal sandbox with, seemingly, little concept of ​​what he is doing. Pelinka is sort of a trust-fund child. He can screw up time and again, in ways in which would bury nearly every other GM, and nonetheless be inside just a few fundamental strikes of competence of popping out forward.

Every group in the league with a celebrity participant is thankful for that participant. Damian Lillard has been a godsend in Portland for a decade. Nikola Jokic in Denver, Jayson Tatum in Boston, Jay Morant in Memphis, Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, Devin Booker in Phoenix, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Oklahoma City, Jimmy Butler in Miami, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers; Brooklyn would be a dumpster fireplace if not for Kevin Durant.

But none of these guys have introduced a championship to their present franchise. Other than Tatum, none of them have delivered even a Finals look. Antetokounmpo, on the different hand, has lifted Milwaukee to the high of the basketball world. He might’ve left in the summer time of 2021, proper after successful the championship for the Bucks, the means Leonard did with the Raptors, however Giannis signed a five-year extension in the center of a season.

Giannis might’ve not less than listened to what different teams had to say in the summer time. Done the dance. Been wooed. But his ego did not want that form of celebration. He did not need to grow to be a distraction for a Bucks group attempting to win a title, which they did somewhat greater than six months after he prolonged comparatively quietly. Other than Stephen Curry, there’s not a participant in the league which means extra to their franchise than Antetokounmpo does to the Bucks.

Ainge is doing his factor in Utah now, however the Celtics are going to be indebted to him for a very long time; he’s the no. 1 cause they’re able to compete for championships for the subsequent decade. The trades that Ainge executed with the Nets, which landed the Celtics Jaylen Brown, and the Sixers, which landed them Jayson Tatum, have offered Boston with arguably the finest duo in the league, and they’re simply now beginning to enter their prime.

There was strain on Ainge to commerce Brown particularly for years. He by no means did. He allowed that duo to develop collectively, all the whereas drafting Robert Williams and Grant Williams to go with them. Ainge drafted Marcus Smart. He introduced in Al Horford. He employed Brad Stevens, who was an excellent coach and is proving to be an excellent GM. He employed Joe Mazzulla, who seems like he might be the coach for the subsequent decade.

Everything that has the Celtics arrange for this future of competition is owed to Ainge. He put all of it collectively. He wasn’t at all times well-liked with Celtics followers who wished extra aggressive strikes, however his cussed methods and refusal to concede in any shortsighted commerce is the cause Boston is on this place now. Ainge constructed this group to final. Boston ought to be very thankful.

It won’t ever not be astonishing {that a} group might commerce Trae Young AND a second lottery choose and nonetheless one way or the other come out on the proper aspect of the deal, however that is precisely what the Mavericks pulled off in buying and selling for the draft rights to Luka Doncic, who , barring a career-changing harm, is already a lock to go down as one in all the best gamers ever.

I do not know what quantity you need to placed on it — high 20, high 10, no matter — however he is happening as an all-timer. This man has legit GOAT dialog potential, and he is simply 23 years previous! I’d argue, if there was an open draft for each participant in the league proper now, Doncic would go first. I do not assume it will even be shut.

To have a man this nice, at this age, is the stuff that makes you get down in your knees and thank the basketball gods each evening earlier than you go to mattress. A participant like Doncic all however ensures competition for the subsequent 10-15 years if you happen to do your half and encompass him with correct items. Dallas may need to begin fascinated about doing that.

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