Do you know what the trade deadline has passed already?
The NBA. And boy, did we have some movement. We're going to talk about the new places that some of the people are. Here we go. Let's got Brendan Whitted from, let's see, Swarm and Sting. Right? You're the guy behind Swarm and Sting.
So let's start with Swarming and Stinging, if you will. It's part of Fansider, but Brendan is legit. So let's talk about LaMelo Ball and the latest injury. Man, this has been a tough year for the Ball brothers. I'm not sure that LiAngelo isn't going to play more NBA games than the other two combined, and he's nowhere close to playing in the NBA. How many games has LaMelo played this year? Lonzo hasn't played at all, I don't believe. No, I don't think Lonzo played at all, and it sounds kind of really bad, like the more you start to kind of research a little bit more about Lonzo because he was supposed to be back in January, and he's just way behind schedule. And it seems like there's been a lot of reporting about this being a more peculiar sort of injury than people are accustomed to.
This isn't like your normal kind of lower body. I think it's a knee injury, the kind of injury that you see. So I'm really hoping that we see him again because him being hurt really sunk the pulls.
But I think LaMelo played something like 35 games or something, somewhere around there. Yeah, he missed a lot of time this year, and he missed the early part of the season, which is maybe the only kind of saving grace because he was hurt early on, and he was pretty much, and Rosier was hurt as well, or Hayward missed time. All their injuries were stacked in the beginning of the season for the Hornets, and it worked out better because they didn't really need to try to tank officially. It was like, hey, we just don't have the talent to roll out there. Because Steve Clipper was never going to be that. He got hired. Keep in mind when Clipper got hired. Clipper got hired at the end of June, right before Miles Bridges got arrested. And this was supposed to be a team that he got hired to get this team over the hump and get them into the playoffs. No playing, get them to the playoffs.
He gets hired. Three days later, Bridges gets arrested, so he ends up not playing this season. LaMelo was hurt, and the the boat of injuries. So it's been a really rough season overall for the whole squad. All right, let me ask you about the immediate future, not this year, but the near future for the Charlotte Hornets.
And Brennan Wood is joining us here at HU-CoSell on Twitter. So, LaMelo's had a tough year, obviously, with injury. Bridges has had no season for obvious reasons, although with the charges going away, do we think that the Hornets are going to ultimately bring him back and put him on the court next season? If there are no charges, not that what he did is, you know, even if there are no charges, he obviously did some heinous things.
So what are we looking at for the future of those players? Yeah, well, for clarification, he pleaded no contest for one count of domestic assault. So he's got to serve, and this doesn't necessarily have to be away from the NBA, but part of the plea that he agreed to was 52 weeks of anger management counseling, 52 weeks of parental counseling, and then there's some community service involved as well. Charlotte's been really hushed about any sort of a future with him. He's a restricted free agent, so they still hold his rights, but they haven't said anything. The only public statement that they've given so far was when he was immediately arrested to essentially say, hey, we know they've been arrested. We're monitoring the situation. It's an ongoing investigation. We're not going to comment on it.
And that's it. Now, Bridges, I believe at the Michigan State-Indiana game, maybe at halftime, I believe, he said he felt like he might be able to play again in March. Again, Charlotte's never said any of these things. That is the only kind of public conversation from one of the two parties that we've seen. I don't know what the future is, to be completely honest with you. Whenever something this serious happens away from the court, it always feels very empty to talk about, oh, this is how many games he needs to miss or something like that, because we're talking about a violent action that occurred.
And it always feels hollow. But at the end of the day, if the criminal justice system has played itself out, all the NBA can do is say, hey, you're going to be suspended. All Charlotte can do is say, hey, we're going to release your rights.
That's the only thing that the National Basketball Association can do. Personally, I would like to see him complete the counseling before he got back into the NBA. And I also don't necessarily know if he needs to go back to Charlotte. I'm just talking about purely from, I think what might be in his best interest is to play somewhere else, to be at another franchise.
And if you want to talk about this, some sort of next steps for him. From a purely basketball point of view, that hurts Charlotte a lot. This guy that was coming off a career high in points, rebounds, assists were up. He was getting to the free throw line in large part because he just improved his handle so much. So you saw the dunks, you saw the athleticism, and you saw his three point percentage improve.
But then once he worked on the handle, he's able to get to the bucket, get to the line and become a more consistent score. He started to show some of those traits. So him turning that money down, at the beginning of that season, made sense. He was going to make a ton of money. Now, I don't know what the market is going to be for him, but I honestly think that it would probably be in his best interest if they parted ways.
All right. So what happens with LaMelo? When LaMelo first got here, we saw, oh my gosh, future star.
We see a guy who has clearly got a lot of talent and is fun to watch and he plays with flair. But is that all it is? Is it a little bit too much?
To borrow from Al McGuire, one of the all-time, he was a great coach, but also a great broadcaster. Is there too much French pastry, right, with LaMelo Ball's game and not enough meat and potatoes? No. Disagree. Our heart, body, disagree.
Anybody that tells you differently, I feel like it's just not watching this guy on a regular basis. Keep in mind, before last night's loss to the Suns, they won a five-game winning streak in the first part because LaMelo was healthy again. They finally had enough guys to throw out there where you're not just putting together these terrible lineups. They won a five-game win streak for a reason. I know it's a small sample size and everything like that, but outside of really PJ Washington and Cody Martin, who hasn't played really all year, hasn't played since January, that team was whole. They finally got Kelly Oubre back and this team has started to win again.
Keep this stuff in mind too. LaMelo is averaging, I know it's a smaller, fewer games. LaMelo is averaging career high in assists. He's taking, listen to this, he's taking over 10 and a half three-pointers per game and making 36, 37%. Oh, that's good.
Yeah, it's very good. And he is a dynamic player. And if you're looking for the future, like enjoyment, if you're looking for something to be excited about, if you're a Hornets fan, not just the draft, Mark Williams. Mark Williams has been really, really good. He's only started about seven or eight games since the Plumlee trade, but he's being exceptional. His third straight game last night with the double-double and the stuff he's going to be able to do on the pick and roll now is going to be really, really special. Plumlee was a good passer, not a good finisher. Williams looks like he's going to be a legitimate finisher. Hit two kind of pick and pop jumpers off of pick and roll last night versus the Suns, like feathery jumpers.
You see the touch. Again, this is a guy that's going to work hand-in-hand with LaMelo because LaMelo is sixth in terms of pick and roll possessions per game this year. I know, again, fewer games, but that was a heavy part of their offense. Putting him alongside a guy like Mark Williams is really, really going to help to say nothing of the defense suppressants that he's going to give you. As soon as he kind of finds his way, he's already had a four or five block game.
Like, they finally got it right at the center position. Okay, I'm going to hold you to that, Brendan, about Mark Williams. I know that has to hurt because I know he went to Duke.
All right, so although they got rid of Aduki first before they put Mark Williams in, I want to go through a couple of new situations. Kevin Durant is in Phoenix. We were talking to J-Well the other day, and I asked him who he trusts the most in the West, and he said Denver, and he goes, who do you trust? I said Phoenix. He goes, they haven't played together yet.
I don't know. I think Durant can play anywhere, and I don't think it'll be any problem incorporating him into their lineup in Phoenix. There's certainly fewer guys to worry about now with Cam Johnson and Mikhail Bridges out the door, but I don't know, man. It's hard not to love Chris Paul, Booker, KD. DeAndre Ayton doesn't even have to give him anything. Outside of DeMar DeRozan, I think they might have the most efficient mid-range guys in the league. If you're a fan of the old mid-range game, you better tune into every single one of these Suns games. They're going to be knocking it out from the elbow, but no, I think you're 100% right. One, the basketball IQ of the players that you're talking about is off the charts, right? And he's playing with these guys.
We're playing international ball with book and CP3. He's going to be fine. He's going to be completely fine. It'll be interesting watching him play with Ayton because I think I'm doing this off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure he's the best center he's ever played with.
So I'm very, very interested to see what that looks like. He was 10 to 15 last night. Didn't look like he missed any time at all offensively. Defensively, I think is where you'll find that it's going to take him a second because he was playing at a really high rate at a really high level when he was with the Nets. That was the quietest MVP candidacy of anybody who's ever played in New York ever.
He was that kind of good. Well, he didn't play in New York. That's the problem. It sounds funny.
I agree. He played in Brooklyn. That ain't playing in New York. There's no buzz for the Brooklyn Nets. The funny thing is that when the Nets made both trades, and we're going to talk about Kyrie in a second, I thought the Nets had amassed so many good players, a roster of players. They have like 10 or 11 legitimate guys who could play. I thought they'd be fine. They had been getting crushed basically every game just getting annihilated. The Knicks beat them by what, 30?
Yeah, they stomped a mud hole in them. But the thing is that I thought they'd be good defensively too because they got a whole bunch of 3 and D guys there. The problem is that, and I kind of saw this with Toronto Raptors this year, you do need a little bit of role refinement.
Everybody kind of does need to know exactly what they're doing. Like, Makhil Bridges went for 45 right before the All-Star break versus the Heat. Is he your top scorer? Is that the guy that you're going to go to in late-clock situations and late-game situations? Or is it going to be Kan Johnson? By the way, he's got one of the greenest lights I've seen.
I was about to play the other night. His step backs in the middle transition. Him and Bridges are so happy to be like, I'm sure that they wanted to compete with the Suns and compete for a title. But anything that they've had in their bag that they haven't been able to wear, boy, they have been showing out in these games. I really, really like that. But I think they're probably going to do some stuff in the off-season to kind of get to manipulate this roster a little bit.
It's fun, but it's just not going to happen. Although I will say Nick Claxton, I think is a defensive player to your game. He was really, really good for a really good part of this year.
Yeah, he has been tremendous. They do have a lot of the same with the Nets. So they have to kind of say, oh, we want this. We want to keep this. Let's get rid of this. Final thing. Kyrie and Luca haven't exactly meshed yet.
It's early. Thoughts on that as we wrap this up? Pretty much the opposite of my thoughts on the KD to the Suns.
I think that it will fit. I think eventually Mav, Luca and Kyrie will figure it out. They play very, very similarly. Kyrie's played off ball before.
I think he really enjoys it. He did it with Harden. He did it with LeBron. Absolutely.
But I think he's going to take them a second. The real problem with them is the trade didn't help where they were bad. They were deficient on defense grading for Kyrie is certainly not going to help on that end. And they traded their best defender and Dory finished Smith. So like they, you know, I got why they made the decision.
I think the ceiling is higher. If I'm being honest, I don't think they made the trade for this year. I think they made it for next year. I don't think that they thought that Kyrie could come in last second and they would have miraculously be a different team. I think this is a long-term play. Otherwise, you don't give up so many assets. So they're going to sign him to a max deal after this year because that's what Kyrie wants. Although, I don't know if there's a market for Kyrie in a max deal. He might have to take what the Dallas Mavericks offer. They wouldn't have traded all that if they didn't plan on keeping him. They're going to try, yeah. Yeah, it was too much.
They've got that sunk cost now and they're like, no, we're all in now. Brennan Whitted at H.U. Cosell on Twitter. Swarm and I can't even say swarm. Swarm and Sting. Go check him out at again at H.U.
Cosell. Thank you very much, my friend. I'll talk to you later. Appreciate it.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-03 17:38:56 / 2023-03-03 17:45:21 / 6