NBA Questionnaire: Prime Talk Sports Talk Editionby John Devereaux September 4, 2021 0 comments
The Prime Time Sports Talk NBA crew followed in the NBA executive’s footsteps, as they answered questions surrounding the NBA. Every year, NBA executives and general managers answer questions about the offseason and the upcoming season. Nine of our writers came together and shared their opinions on the same questions.
Who is the Best Player Entering the Season?
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks – 5 votes
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets – 3 votes
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers – 1 vote
Antetokounmpo had back-to-back MVPs in the 2019-2020 season respectfully. He followed up by being in the MVP conversation even after the media voting fatigue set the stage. The Greek Freak averaged 28.1 points, 11 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game last season. He would then average 30.2 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game in the playoffs. In the NBA Finals, he took it to another level, as he averaged 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, and five assists per game on nearly 62 percent from the field. He led his Milwaukee Bucks team to a championship and performed at a historical level. Antetokounmpo has been progressing further and further each year and is dominating both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
What was the Best Move this Offseason?
Miami Heat Signing Kyle Lowry – 3 votes
Chicago Bulls Signing Lonzo Ball – 2 votes
Brooklyn Nets Extending Kevin Durant – 1 vote
Orlando Magic Drafting Jalen Suggs – 1 vote
Lakers Trading for Russell Westbrook – 1 vote
Golden State Keeping their Draft Picks – 1 vote
The 2021 offseason was yet another year of moves for most franchises. Lowry was a champion with the Toronto Raptors in 2019 and is still an all-star caliber guard at the age of 35. Miami was in need of a floor general, as Goran Dragic was progressing downward due to age. The deal was also budgeted that fits the team’s timeline of three years. The signing was only worth $30 million a year for three years, and pairs a gritty player with another gritty player in Jimmy Butler. Meanwhile, the signing off of Ball allows the Bulls to provide Zach LaVine with help both offensively and especially defensively. The signing is also complemented with the additions of DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso.
Which Team had the Best Offseason?
Miami Heat – 3 votes
Chicago Bulls – 3 votes
Los Angeles Lakers – 2 votes
Toronto Raptors – 1 vote
Miami and Chicago were very busy this offseason. Miami signed Lowry, extended Butler, and filled out the bench with gritty players that have playoff experience. Pat Riley re-signed Victor Oladipo, who only played four games with them last season but the signing was on a team-friendly deal. Oladipo who has been struggling to stay healthy was an all-star before injuries derailed his last two seasons. If healthy Oladipo could return to form and would make Miami have arguably the best starting five in the league. Riley would also extend Duncan Robinson to a large deal worth $90 million over five years.
Robinson is one of the league’s best shooters and provides the shooting depth that the team will need for a championship run. Chicago signed both Ball and DeRozan to non-max deals, which is an absolute steal for their talents and production levels. This allowed the team to also sign a very underrated role player in Caruso. The team filled out the bench with athletic wings in Javonte Green and Derrick Jones who will provide gritty defense and highlight-reel plays. A very underrated move was the signing of center Tony Bradley, who will be the league’s best backup center this season. Bradley is a tremendous rebounder and low post scorer.
The James-led Lakers made the most moves this offseason, as they reworked their whole roster and filled them out with complementary players. The team traded for Westbrook and filled the bench with specialized role players. The team signed shooters Carmelo Anthony, Kent Bazemore, and Kendrick Nunn for the bench. The team also brought back Rajon Rondo and Dwight Howard from their championship run in 2020.
Which Team had the Best Draft?
Golden State Warriors – 5 votes
Detroit Pistons – 3 votes
Houston Rockets – 1 vote
Golden State had the best draft hands down, as the team selected two of the biggest names in the 2021 NBA draft. Both players dropped right into their laps, as Jonathan Kuminga dropped to them at pick seven, and Moses Moody dropped to them at 14. Both players were rated in the top 10 of most NBA analyst’s draft boards, as they could each provide instant help to any franchise. The Warriors already have a championship-caliber roster, and both players will learn under three of the greatest to ever do it in their era.
Detroit had a good draft as well, as they received the best selection of them all. The top pick and universal No. 1 prospect in Cade Cunningham. Cunningham is a tall point guard who can do it all. The Oklahoma product will come into the league and produce at a high level and could become the face of the organization.
What was the Worst Move this Offseason?
New Orleans Pelicans Adding DeVonte’ Graham – 3 votes
Denver Nuggets Signing Jeff Green – 1 vote
Detroit Pistons Signing Kelly Olynyk – 1 vote
New York Knicks Signing Evan Fournier – 1 vote
Cleveland Cavaliers Trading for Lauri Markkanen – 1 vote
The Pelicans had a questionable offseason as adding Graham in a sign-and-trade was a headscratcher move. Graham is a short-shooting guard and can become very streaky. If the team just signed the guard it would not have been a problem, but the team had to trade away a first-round pick to acquire him. This sign-and-trade came right after the team lost out on the Lowry sweepstakes and let Ball walk for mediocre role players that on most teams would not receive minutes.
The Knicks made some questionable moves this offseason, as they signed starting-caliber players to nearly $20 million per year contracts. Fournier is a solid scorer, but not worth his contract, especially when the team is trying to make a run for the title. They wasted cap space on players that will just keep them afloat for a playoff spot. The team would also re-sign Derrick Rose, which for both parties does not make much sense. Rose is looking for a title run while still obtaining meaningful minutes. After a tremendous season in 2020-2021, teams must have flocked to obtain him. But he decided to stay in the Mecca of New York City with a team that is throwing money at every solid player in free agency.
What was the Most Surprising Move this Offseason?
Celtics Signing Dennis Schroder – 4 votes
Los Angeles Lakers Trading for Russell Westbrook – 2 votes
Chicago Bulls Signing DeMar DeRozan – 1 vote
New York Knicks Signing Kemba Walker – 1 vote
New York Knicks Signing Derrick Rose – 1 vote
Schroder turned down a four-year deal worth $84 million from the Lakers last season and tested out free agency. Unfortunately for the veteran guard, nobody offered him close to the same kind of contract. Schroder waited in free agency for over two weeks, and finally accepted an offer from the Boston Celtics. The deal is worth $5.9 million for one year, and NBA fans were shocked that no other team offered him remotely anything better. Schroder is worth a minimum of $15 million a year with how he has produced in the NBA.
Who will win the Eastern Conference?
Brooklyn Nets – 8 votes
Milwaukee Bucks – 1 Votes
The Nets are still the best team in the Eastern Conference. For the first time since the James Harden trade, their big three of Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Harden will be healthy. This team is arguably the best roster to ever be put together in the league’s history. The Nets have three of the best scorers in the league, and the team has young and veteran role players off the bench. Milwaukee did just win the NBA championship, but their roster is not as talented as their competitors in Brooklyn. Milwaukee is definitely a clear second-best team in the East for now, but unless the Nets have another season filled with injuries they will be getting the second seed.
Who will win the Western Conference?
Los Angeles Lakers – 7 votes
Denver Nuggets – 1 vote
Golden State Warriors – 1 vote
The Lakers revamped their roster this offseason as they added nearly ten new players to the roster. Every signing they had this offseason was to fill in a role for the bench. They brought back Howard to help protect the rim and rebound. They signed Nunn and Bazemore for their three-point prowess and signed defensive-minded Trevor Ariza to help guard the perimeter. The team also brought in young talent such as Malik Monk and re-signed Talen Horton-Tucker as developmental pieces. This team may be on the older side, but it was created for almost every situation the playoffs throw at them. James wanted another run at a ring, and the team obliged as they brought in a haul of talent to surround him.
Who will win the NBA Championship?
Brooklyn Nets – 6 votes
Los Angeles Lakers – 3 votes
Brooklyn’s big three out-produces Los Angeles’s big three. As the trio of Durant, Harden, and Irving will out-score the likes of James, Westbrook, and Davis. The Nets big three can each take off for big quarters, and when one is struggling, the other two pick up. While Westbrook and Davis can go cold offensively, especially from the perimeter. Another advantage that Brooklyn has over Los Angeles is shooting, as the team is riddled with shooters from the starting lineup to the end of the bench. While the Lakers do have shooters, their starting lineup could be the worst shooting starting five in the league.
Who is the Best Player under the age of 25?
Luka Doncic – 8 votes
Jayson Tatum – 1 vote
Doncic has become one of the faces of the NBA and is emerging as the best player in the league as well. In just his third year in the NBA, the Maverick guard averaged 27.7 points, eight rebounds, and 8.6 assists per game. He received votes for the MVP award as well and led the Mavericks to the playoffs on a very limited roster. The Slovenian product is a near triple-double machine and can do everything for the franchise offensively.
Tatum deserved a vote here as he is a tremendous player. Although he did not start off dominating the league, he was vital to his team’s success since his rookie season. He is the best step-back shooter in the league, and arguably a top-five scorer in the league. A very underrated shooter, Tatum can score the ball at every level of the court at a high-efficiency rating. Tatum, unlike Doncic, is a much-devoted defender as well and can be productive night in and night out on both ends of the floor.
Who is the Best Duo in the NBA?
LeBron James and Anthony Davis – 3 votes
Kevin Durant and James Harden – 3 votes
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – 1 vote
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton – 1 vote
A little bit of an edge to the Durant and Harden duo as a writer voted for Durant and Irving instead. Durant and Harden would make the best scoring duo in league history. It makes sense that James and Davis did not receive the same attention as years prior as both have been dealing with injuries. Both former MVPs in Jokic and Antetokounmpo each received a vote, as they may carry their partner in the duo. A surprising note is Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, along with Tatum and Jaylen Brown, did not receive a single vote.
Follow the crew on Twitter:
John Devereaux on Twitter @NBADevereaux
Garrett Brooks on Twitter @Garrett_Brooks1
Kamran Nia on Twitter @kamran_nia
Jonas Clark on Twitter @jarkclonas
Darius Walker on Twitter @BullWalker1
Ben Fadden on Twitter @ben_fadden
Jacari McRae on Twitter @JMcRae23
Jarbree Briggs on Twitter @jarbreebriggs
Rephael Negnewitzky on Twitter @RephaelN613
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