Cohen 8-Ball: Could It Actually Be True?
December 27, 2012
LEBRON BACK TO CLE? Josh Cohen’s Analysis: Every so often, a report comes out that LeBron James will likely exercise his early termination option and become a free agent again in 2014. There have been rumblings for the past year and even after winning a title in Miami that he would consider a return to Cleveland. As far-fetched and outlandish as it seems after all the drama that transpired more than two years ago, I actually think there is validity to it and if the Heat fail to capture another championship this season or next, we may have another monumental decision on our hands.
DWIGHT TO DAL OR ATL? Cohen’s Analysis: His statistics are plummeting, his reputation is always fluctuating and his opportunity to be the focal point of an offense is vanishing. Dwight Howard’s first few months in L.A. have been substandard. While it may be the idyllic city for a superstar of Dwight’s caliber, Los Angeles may not be the best basketball destination for the assumed to be future Hall of Famer. Dallas, with player-friendly owner Mark Cuban, and Atlanta, with fellow hometown heroes Josh Smith and Lou Williams already present, have sufficient salary cap space next summer to try and lure the perennial All-Star. If the Lakers don’t advance past the First Round of the playoffs or qualify at all, D12 will really need to survey the landscape of the league and perhaps bolt Hollywood.
CP3 & DWIGHT UNITE? Cohen’s Analysis - The Clippers are the hottest and probably deepest team in the NBA. Chris Paul is a legitimate MVP candidate and the normally shoddy L.A. team is flourishing. But let’s not forget, Paul will be a free agent in the summer and if somehow both the Clips and Lakers fail to reach expectations, it would seem rational to believe that perhaps D12 and CP3 will finally try to unite. The Mavericks could end up with enough cap space to sign both of them to max contracts. Although because of bird rights, other teams can only offer Paul and/or Howard four-year deals rather than five (sign-and-trades are always possible, however, with teams well under the cap).
A PLACE PLAYERS WANT TO BE? Cohen’s Analysis: Not long ago, I asked an active NBA player which markets are the most preferred and desired destinations for players in this league. He specifically said, “New York is 1, L.A. is 2 and Orlando is 3. Orlando is the most attractive place to raise a family and bring the kids.” Well, as we all know by now, the Magic will have sufficient salary cap space in the near future and if this perspective holds true across the league, we could see some major talent attained by Orlando.
NO GUARANTEE FOR PLAYOFFS? Cohen’s Analysis: Some think the Lakers are turning the corner. While they may be better now with Steve Nash back, there is a lot of making up to do after such a dismal start. The West is stacked. OKC, San Antonio, the Clippers and Memphis are likely destined top four seeds. Denver and Utah have a trillion home games left and they both are stellar in their own buildings. Houston is scorching. Minnesota is desperate for a playoff berth. Dallas just got Dirk back and has enough talent to make a playoff push. If you ask me, the Lakers are still in serious trouble.
A 9.A.M. TIPOFF? Cohen’s Analysis: It’s no secret that the goal is too further globalize the NBA. It’s the most adored and admired league in most countries and regardless of whom is in office as commissioner, there will be more concerted effort to cater to fans across the world. One concept that makes sense is to schedule games on the home turf in the morning so that our dearest supporters in China can watch the games live in primetime. With the significant time difference, it would create incredible excitement for NBA enthusiasts over there to have the best entertainment available when everyone is sitting in front of the television.
NO LOVE FOR LOVE? Cohen’s Analysis: After the comments Kevin Love made a few weeks ago about the feelings he has about management in Minnesota, one would be led to believe the clock is ticking for the Wolves to make the playoffs or see their prime attraction become greatly disgruntled. Love can’t become a free agent until 2015, but if Minnesota does not reach the postseason for the first since 2004 this year, it would seem rational for the T-Wolves to trade him as early as the summer.
A LOST CAUSE IN PHILLY? Cohen’s Analysis: It’s getting really serious and troubling now. Andrew Bynum’s knees are complicating matters for he and the Sixers. Philadelphia knew there were risks, but used simple basketball logic to acquire him anyway knowing its only chance to compete for a title was to net a dominant center. Not only is it possible that Bynum may have to sit out the entire season, but it’s also realistic that because he will be a free agent in the summer, we may never see the 7-footer suit up for the team that went above and beyond to bring him to town.