One Does Not Simply Tell Gregg Popovich What To Do

This has been a unique week….

How often do two top-five players, in different sports, get traded in the same week?!

Kawhi Leonard Gets Shipped North Of The Border

Ask, and you shall receive. The only thing is, you don’t always get exactly what you ask for. Despite being lauded as the NBA’s gold standard over the past two decades, the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard grew out of love. In June, Leonard publicly requested a trade. Leonard’s destination wish-list was short: The Los Angeles Lakers.

As hard as it is to imagine Gregg Popovich laughing, he probably doubled over when he heard Leonard’s request.

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Oh, you want to play in sunny California, for one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, in Popovich’s conference?!?! That’s cute. Instead, Leonard was banished to the Toronto Raptors for the final year of his contract. In return, the Spurs received DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2022 1st-round top-20 protected pick.

The Spurs won this trade — by a lot.

Yes, Leonard is better than DeRozan, so (assuming Leonard is a good soldier this year) the Raptors have a chance in the Eastern Conference. However, knowing Leonard wasn’t going to resign with the Spurs, and CLEARLY isn’t going to resign with the Raptors, the haul the Spurs got for their disgruntled (rental) superstar is astonishing. DeRozan is an all-star who’s under contract for three more years. And don’t sleep on the 22-year old, seven-footer (Poeltl). He’s the type of player Popovich turns into a 10 point, 8 rebound machine, providing depth in the frontcourt.

I’m Moving To Los Angeles!!

machado

It’s good to be Manny Machado.

It’s not every day you start your day on the worst team in MLB (Baltimore Orioles), and end your day on a World Series contender (Los Angeles Dodgers). Also, the weather is slightly better in L.A. than Baltimore — last time I checked.

Like I said….it’s GOOD to be Manny Machado.

Just like Kawhi Leonard, Manny Machado is a top-five player in his respective sport. Just like Leonard, Machado is an expiring contract, and wasn’t expected to resign with his former team. And just like Leonard, Machado helped bring his former team quite the haul.

The Orioles received five prospects for Machado: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handed pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, and infielders Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.

Diaz is the prize here, as he was ranked #73 in Baseball Prospectus’ rankings prior to this season.

This deal makes sense for both sides. The Orioles read the tea leaves and did what they had to do, while the Dodgers immediately launched themselves into World Series contention.

And Machado seems to have adjusted nicely to his new home. He’s hitting a smooth .385 through his first three games. Yeah, he’s pretty good.

With just eight days remaining until the MLB trade deadline, stay up to date with every move on DaveTalksSports.com.

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Is This Rock Bottom?

This has to be rock bottom right? Well, I hope for the sake of Knicks fans everywhere it is. The New York Knicks put forth another lousy performance last night and lost to the Toronto Raptors (100-98). Granted the Raptors are 7-3 since Rudy Gay arrived, but they are still a team the Knicks should beat handily. We all know the Knicks weaknesses, but right now it’s more than that. They look wildly uninspired. They look like they could care less about losing basketball games night in and night out. Maybe it’s because they have been too busy complaining to the referees rather than focusing on playing basketball. The Knicks have now lost 5 of their last 6 games and are in serious danger of falling to 2nd place in the Atlantic Division. Carmelo put up his usual 32 points, but in my opinion he played his WORST game of the year. Do you want to know why? it’s because he doesn’t care!! He wants to be called a superstar, but he doesn’t want to do all the things that that title comes with. He is not a leader. He doesn’t rally his team and get everyone amped up. He doesn’t dive on the floor and do any of the dirty work. And he certainly doesn’t play the type of defense a superstar should be playing. Never in all my life have I ever seen a player completely give up on a play like Carmelo Anthony did last night. With just 6 seconds to go in the 1st quarter, Demar Derozan took the ball and drove the length of the floor for a layup. Carmelo Anthony was planted right under the basket in prime position to take a charge, try to block the shot, or at minimum take a foul and keep him from scoring an easy basket. So what did he do? Nothing!! He didn’t even pretend to swipe at the ball. He simply braced for impact to save himself from Derozan landing on him after the ball had already fallen through the hoop. I can’t come close to overstate how pathetic this play was. And that is the overall mentality of the Knicks right now. They look totally disinterested. As for Jason Kidd, he is not disinterested, he has simply lost any confidence he once had shooting a basketball. I mean the guy made his first two three pointers right out of the gate, and still had no plan to continue shooting. He had at least 5 wide open shots later on in the game, that he passed up and swung the ball to someone who wasn’t open. This team is in total disarray, and it all starts with the coach and his “superstar”. I’m done giving solutions to how they can fix their substitutions or play better defense. Of course we already know they need an interior presence who’s not 78 years old and a real 2-guard. However, even with their current roster, they just need a leader who is going to lead by example. They need a leader who is going to take this team and carry every last person on the roster through the finish line. Carmelo “well at least I score a lot of points” Anthony is not a leader.