Random Thoughts 5/22/14

-I meant to write something about this yesterday, but ran out of time.  I can’t believe the Cavs won the Draft Lottery AGAIN!!!  Crazy.  One thing this has certainly done is bring back the question of whether LeBron will go back to Cleveland now.  I just read a few things on ESPN about it and there seem to be lots of different opinions on this topic.  I’ll give you my opinion.  First and foremost, if the Heat win this year he’s not going anywhere.  I don’t care if Bosh leaves.  I don’t care if Battier and Ray Allen retire.  He’s not giving up the chance at a possible 4-peat.  Jordan never did that.  Kobe never did that.  Magic never did that.  Bird never did that.  You get the idea.  However, should the Heat happen to lose I do think it opens things up a bit.  There are only a few teams I could really see him going to.  The Heat and the Cavs are two of them (the only other team I really even see as a possibility are the Clippers, but that would require a lot of work on the Clippers part).  The Heat would still be an option for LeBron.  I would be shocked if Wade left.  And if Wade and LeBron came back, I’d be fairly shocked if Bosh left.  They’d have to sign a bunch of new guys, but they’ve shown the ability to do that in the past.  There are a bunch of veterans who have shown the willingness to sign for less for a real chance at winning a Title.  The Heat also do have a 1st round pick, although it’ll be right near the bottom of the Draft.  The only two players under contract for next year are Norris Cole and Chris Andersen.  Haslem has a player option, which he will most likely take.  That leaves 3 guys before we know what LeBron, Wade and Bosh will do.  Even if they all come back, that’s still only 6 guys.  That leaves a lot of holes.  And they probably wouldn’t have much cap space if the Big 3 came back.  Looking at the Cavs paints a much different picture.  They would have Jarrett Jack, Kyrie, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Sergey Karasev all under contract for next year.  Varejao, Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson all have team options for next year, but they wouldn’t be picked up if the Cavs really want to make a run at LeBron.  The best news is that they have the #1 pick and they’d have considerable cap space.  If they played their cards right, they could use the #1 pick, sign LeBron and still have money to sign other key players.  They could bring in a big like Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph or Marcin Gortat.  Let’s say they draft Jabari Parker.  That could give them a potential lineup of Kyrie, Dion Waiters, LeBron, Parker and Gasol.  That’s not bad at all.  They’d have Jack coming off the bench for scoring.  They could also try to sign a shooter or two like Caron Butler, Jodie Meeks, Steve Blake, Aaron Brooks, Devin Harris or Kirk Hinrich.  Whatever happens, the Cavs lucked out in winning the Lottery.

-The Thunder looked terrible last night.  Not sure how they are going to be able to rebound from the first two games.  They just don’t seem to have any answers for the Spurs.  Every time they make a run and get back into it, the Spurs bring someone else in and get the big lead right back.  Scott Brooks absolutely needs to go.  This Thunder team reminds me of the Cavs when they have LeBron.  Both teams have/had enough talent to make the Finals and win some title.  However, both teams were stuck with a coach who couldn’t get out of his own way.  I think this Thunder team has more talent on offense for sure.  However, the Cavs teams were great on D.  Neither team was able to make the correct adjustments.  Neither team ran any kind of offense.  The Thunder rely on Durant and Westbrook to try and take care of business.  The Cavs relied on LeBron.  This works in the regular season.  And it works, to some degree, in the postseason.  However, nearly every series seems to be a struggle and neither team has been able to really get over the hump.  The Thunder made the Finals once and got demolished by the Heat.  The Cavs team made the Finals once and got demolished by the Spurs.  The sad thing is that, just like with the Cavs and LeBron, these failures will likely cause the Thunder to lose Durant and Westbrook.  It’s a shame because I hate to see a potential dynasty broken up because of a coach.

-There is a lot of chatter going on about Topps making the Lucky redemptions in 2014 Bowman Kris Bryant Refractor Autos.  I can see it from both angles, but I don’t totally understand all the rage against Topps.  I get it that it would stink if you had sold the card early on for $250-$300.  However, that’s a chance you take.  Nearly everyone who sold these cards listed Bryant as a possibility for the redemption.  Either they were just trying to inflate their price or they thought that he might really be the redemption.  The bottom line is that selling or buying these cards is risky before you know who it will be.  Had these turned out to be a guy who isn’t worth $100, do you think all the people who bought these cards for $250 should get a partial refund?  To me this is no different than selling a sealed box of cards.  If you sell a box and the person gets something really good, are they required to send you more money?  If they open it and don’t get anything, are you required to send them another box?  Obviously the answer to both these questions is no.  Anyway, I do wish Topps wouldn’t even put these in the product as “Lucky” or “Mystery” redemptions.  I think they should have to tell us up front who these cards are for.  However, they’ve been doing this for quite some time.  And nearly every time they announce who it is, someone is unhappy.  Either you sold it too cheap or you paid too much.  Very rarely to you have a card that is valued right at where the redemptions were selling.

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