Jets should blame themselves for losing

iAs we all know the New York Jets are currently 1-3 in this 2014-2015 NFL season. Now many people believe this is how the Jets season should be going since people all over the country believe this team is horrible. This is a pretty good assumption though. The team is performing as everyone expected but for me, I believe they are off to this start because of the personnel on the team. It is not like the Jets are getting blown out of every game. They have lost by one score or less in every game they have lost so far in the season. Now I am not one to make excuses but the Jets are in the middle of a very hard stretch and are currently in the hardest part of their schedule. The past three games have been against the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears, and the Detroit Lions. Each team can be argued to be in the top-tier of teams in the NFL. The Packers are elite and it is obvious since they won a Super Bowl in recent years. The Bears have always been a good team and have a great offense. The Lions can be argued to have the best defense in the NFL along with one of the best offenses as well. One thing all of these teams have is an elite player at the quarter back position. These players consist of Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and Matt Stafford respectively. All of these quarterbacks are elite and were played in three consecutive weeks. This path of elite quarterbacks does not stop there either. The next three weeks the Jets also need to play the San Diego Chargers, the Denver Broncos, and the division rival New England Patriots. The elite quarterbacks for these teams are Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. Phillip Rivers has been great for the Chargers the past few years. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have both won MVP’s in the NFL so just from that you can tell they are elite. It does not get any easier for the Jets and they need to find out a way to win at least one of those games, and that will be very difficult to do.

The New York Jets might have a rookie quarter back in Geno Smith that makes a few costly mistakes here and there, but not all the blame can be put on Geno. Geno has been able to show his potential at times but has also shown he might have the composure to play in New York. In Smith’s defense he does not have many receiver to throw the football to. They have good receivers in Eric Decker and Jeremey Kerley. There is no doubt that both of these guys are pretty good but neither is elite. The other thing about Decker is he can’t even stay on the field since he has been battling a hamstring injury since he was signed in the offseason. With mediocre receivers no quarter back can expect to be successful. The Jets play calling has also not been the greatest thing for Geno. At times the coaches seem to hold Geno back and this causes the offense to become more predictable which can influence some of the interceptions Smith throws. In the red zone the play calling has been even worse. The Jets cannot score in the red zone because of the horrible play calling by the coaches. They are not being as aggressive as they should be and limiting Geno. I believe if they let the chains loose on Geno he can flourish. We saw glimpses of this last year towards the end of the season where Geno looked the player everyone thought he could be.

Now for the main reason why I believe the New York Jets are not as productive this season. The reason is the front office, plain and simple. General manager John Idzik was brought in from Seattle to help build this team into something replicating the Seattle Seahawks and as of right now it seems to not be working. Seattle was built through the draft and through over looked free agents. You could see this happening during the offseason but it apparently was not enough. The Jets had huge salary cap this offseason and this was the year everyone thought Idzik would spend the money to bring this team to the playoffs. That was not the case. The only worthy free agent the Jets were able to bring in was Decker and too most he is not a number one receiver. Many believe they even over paid for Decker, which is not what Seattle did to build their team. With the huge amount of money the could have spent, they did not address the cornerback issue. The New York Jets secondary could be the worst in the NFL and there were options the Jets could have gotten to fix that problem. Two players that were available were Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Darrelle Revis. Both of these players were thought to be targets for the Jets but DRC went to the Giants and Revis went to the Patriots. Revis wanted to return to the Jets but they did not even offer him a contract. The organization thought he wanted too much money, but what do you expect for the best corner back in the NFL. You get what you pay for. Rodgers-Cromartie signed with the Giants because they gave him more money but it is not like the Jets didn’t have the money to get at least one of these players. Now they did get Decker to help them at receiver but the main target should have DeSean Jackson. Now he is known to be a number one receiver and would have helped the offense greatly due to his deep ball threat. One thing the Jets barely do as it is. These are risks the Jets should have taken. Building this team conservatively hasn’t worked and looks like it won’t get too much better unless something is done. Even through the draft it hasn’t worked for the Jets. The Jets drafted three receivers in the early rounds and none of them are on the team. One got suspended, one got injured for the entire year, and one was cut from the team. This offseason seemed to be a bust and nothing has gone right for the New York Jets. And it doesn’t seem to look like it will get better anytime soon unless something is done by the front office. Will be interesting is they can do anything during the season to fix the team, but it is very doubtful.

Derek Jeter and his Legacy

Baltimore Orioles v New York YankeesAs we all know Derek Jeter has finally played his last game as a New York Yankee yesterday. It is an end of an era for many Yankee fans and will take time for them to see the Yankees without their captain playing shortstop. I know for me personally it is going to see the Yankees playing and not seeing #2 playing shortstop. My entire life Derek Jeter has been playing shortstop for the New York Yankees. During the season when they showed the tribute commercials for Jeter, every single time I watched one of them, it sent chills down my back and I could not believe this era was coming to an end. It finally hit me on Derek Jeter day at Yankee stadium, a couple of weeks before his actual last day playing. When the Yankees retired his number, it finally hit me and I got emotional. My idol and the face of the New York Yankees for me is going to retire and the realization of this did make some tears come to my eyes but did not fall down my face.

Derek Jeter was born in Pequannock New Jersey and was eventually taken 6th overall in the 1992 amateur draft by the New York Yankees. He made is major league debut in 1995 and was a contributor to the team right away. Even though he played in 1995 his rookie year was the 1996 season and he was awarded with the Rookie of the Year award. Jeter is a 14-time all-star, has 5 gold gloves at shortstop, and is a 5-time World Series champion. Derek won the MVP of the World Series in 2000. Now besides being known as a champion, Jeter is also more known for his title within the Yankee organization. Derek Jeter was named the captain of the New York Yankees in 2003 and that title has stuck with him ever since.

Looking back at Jeter’s career statistics, he is in the record books and can be argued for one of the best Yankee players and player in general ever. Jeter in New York Yankee history ranks in the top three in seven different statistics. These statistics include games (1st), at-bats (1st), runs (2nd), hits (1st), doubles (1st), total bases (3rd), and stolen bases (2nd). If a player is able to lead any team in any of these categories they are more than likely a great player. But to be in the top three for seven different statistics for the New York Yankees, with all the greats that have played in that organization, you have to be one of the best to play the game. Jeter never won an MVP award but many believe he should have won the award in 2006. Derek Jeter finished in second place behind Justin Morneau. In 2006 Jeter posted a .343 Avg., 97 RBI’s, which is high for a hitter at the top of the lineup, and also had a .900 OPS rating. That year Jeter only lost by 14 points in the MVP voting which proves how close he was to winning. (I personally thought he was going to win the award that year and was shocked when he didn’t). Many people say that Jeter is overrated but from the statistics that were just mentioned, how could he be overrated? He might not be the best ever to play but he is for sure in the top tier of players to ever play the game.

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Besides the statistics, Derek Jeter is also known to be more when it comes to his personality and what he means to the Yankees and to the fans. Jeter is the face of the New York Yankees to so many fans. To remember such an amazing player like Jeter you need to be at least 45 years old where you will remember Thurman Munson and Don Mattingly. Jeter is praised by many for also never having a blemish on his resume. He has never been apart of any scandals or any violations during his career. In todays terms that is very hard to do for a high profile athlete like Jeter and is also hard to do in a city like New York City where reporters are everywhere. Jeter also gets praise by so many respected coaches and players, which shows how much respect Jeter has over the entire league. Derek Jeter has nicknames of “The Captain” and “Mr. November” for a reason. These nicknames will stay with this legend forever and I’m so glad I got to witness his entire career. Jeter is a living legend and will be remembered by Yankee fans forever.

Farewell Captain! #2 #RE2PECT

Trade Deadline now approaching

nba-star-game-2014-20140217-044525-046The NBA Trading Deadline is almost upon us. The Deadline for when all trades must be done by is on Thursday. There have not been any major trades to happen yet, but it seems to be that they are coming. Some of the players that have been in some rumors include Rajon Rondo of the Celtics, Kevin Love of the Timber Wolves, Gordon Hayward of the Jazz, Isaiah Thomas of the Kings, Kyle Lowry of the Raptors, Jeff Teague of the Hawks, and Jordan Hill of the Lakers to name a few.

The trading deadline is the time where you find out what teams are going all into to make playoff runs. You also find out the teams that are forfeiting the season and that are starting the rebuilding process. Some teams that might make a splash to help them with the playoff push are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and possibly the New York Knicks. For the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New York Knicks they will want to make moves because they are close to a playoff spot and their seasons are disappointing. To maybe salvage their seasons they might need to bring in some outside talent to help them get over the hump. For the Houston Rockets and they Los Angeles Clippers, they are looking to up their roster because they are having great seasons, but they are small pieces away from possibly competing for a championship. Many teams will try to make moves, but like with everything, sometimes things don’t work out in your favor and have to deal with the pieces you have.

There are always going to be some surprise moves during the trading deadline, and all NBA fans are excited to see what these moves might be. These moves could help a franchise this year and even for years to come depending on the move and whether or not it was the right move for the franchise. There are currently two days left and the rumors are going crazy right about now. Only time will tell on whether they were right or wrong, and I am excited to see which ones were right. Trading deadlines in every sport for the most part are exciting, and that also includes the NBA trading deadline.

I will be trying to keep updated on the rumors, and if any trades happen I will be tweeting and writing about them. So stay tuned for more in the upcoming days.

Why the Cleveland Cavaliers have been such a disappointment this season

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This year the Cleveland Cavaliers have been one of the biggest disappointments of the 2013-2014 NBA season. This is a very young team with little experience. But this team has a lot of potential and should be playing better then their 19-33 record. The team is performing so poorly because of many reasons. These reasons consist of mainly poor playing of the players themselves, poor coaching, and also poor management. As you could have realized, the Cavs organization is not looking good, but this can change, and it seems like they might be in the right direction.

 

There is always a main reason for something not to be working ideally. For the Cleveland Cavaliers the main reason for this season being a complete bust is the players not playing to their potential. It is almost that simple. It is not the only reason but it is a big reason. The Cavaliers are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. They also have one of the most electric players in the NBA in Kyrie Irving. Kyrie Irving this season has been named the Eastern All-Star starter at point guard in only his third year. Just from that alone, this should be enough for you to be confident that this is not Irving’s fault. But this is not necessarily true. Kyrie Irving is a great player and is clearly the Cavs centerpiece of their organization, but he could be taking this role better. Here is how:

Irving is the point guard of this team. Point Guards are supposed to run the offense and are supposed to be an extension of the coach on the floor. Neither of these things Irving does very well. While he is on the floor, the ball movement of the entire team seems to stop. Kyrie seems to just want to make highlight plays and dribble to get himself open. Yes this is great for the NBA because this is what fans want to see, but this doesn’t make a team win. Without good ball movement, it will be hard for a team to take good open look shots. The easier the shot is, the more likely the shot will go in the basket, which is the main objective in basketball. Kyrie is great at doing all of these things for himself. But if he wants to see improvement of this team, he needs to start getting the entire team involved in the offense. Now Irving is not the only problem of this team either. Many others share the blame as well.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to attract decent players during the past offseason and the season to Cleveland because they are able to see the potential in this team. Some of these players include Jarrett Jack, Earl Clark, and Luol Deng (midseason pickup via trade). All of these players since joining the Cavaliers have been disappointing. Jarrett Jack was brought to the Cavs to help Kyrie Irving develop, produce off the bench, and also be a locker room leader to the team. Basically none of these things have happened with Jack this year. Irving hasn’t developed into the player people thought he would be this year. Jack has almost been non-existent in the Cavs offense this season. And finally, he doesn’t to be the same leader he has shown in the recent years of his career. It seems that the Cavaliers locker room is a mess because of the lack of veteran locker room presence, which Jack was supposed to introduce to this team this season and the next few to come. Earl Clark was brought to this team this season because he was productive off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers last season. Clark has almost done nothing for this team. There isn’t much to say about a player only averaging five points a game. You can just see that he doesn’t contribute to this team much. The other main piece that was added this year for the Cavaliers was Luol Deng. Deng was brought to the Cavs during the season in a trade with the Chicago Bulls. The main piece the Cavs sent to the Bulls was Andrew Bynum. Which if you followed the NBA season this year, you know how that worked out (Bynum was cut days after the trade was executed by the Bulls and Cavs). Deng is known for his great two-way play in the NBA. This is still the fact when he is on the Cavs, but he just seems to not be apart of the offense like he was in Chicago. Deng has been playing better in recent games and seems to be getting used to Cleveland, but it doesn’t seem to be helping too much. Since joining the Cavs, their record with Deng is around .500 or a little bit lower. Now you cannot put this on Deng, but everyone thought him being on this team would have helped them a little more than he actually has been. Many Cavaliers haven’t been progressing like everyone thought. Dion Waiters and Anthony Bennett are also other examples. They are both young players that still have room to grow, but these two players would have thought to have more impact in their careers at this point since they were both top five picks in the draft classes. Now all this blame cannot be put on the players because there are many more factors that go into a NBA franchise.

 

A coach is another big part of a NBA franchise. This is the man in charge to run plays, keep the players under control, and help the progress in their respective games. The only thing Mike Brown seems to know what to do out of those points is call plays. And it seems to be possible he can’t even do that part right based off their record. With the players on this roster, the Cavs should in no way be as bad as they are. This team has potential and Mike Brown seems to not be able to bring this potential out and produce wins. Mike Brown is known to be a defensive minded coach. But the Cavaliers are one of the worst defensive teams this year. Since he is a defensive coach with a team that isn’t good at defense, there offense will obviously not be good. And that is also true about the Cavaliers. It seems to be that every game the Cavs are able to play competitive for three quarters and then will eventually collapse in one of those quarters and blow the game. Now this could be because of the players, but the coach is a good reason for this. His job is to get these players to play hard every play and execute plays to score points and make stops on defense. Those two things seem to be the biggest problems for the Cavs. Some factors that lead to this is player’s not hustling, playing team basketball, and committing to the style of play needed to win. As a coach you need your players to do these things, but it seems Mike Brown cannot do this since these things are a reoccurring problem for the Cavs game in and game out. I am not sure if a new coach would help the Cavaliers at this point but I would think about it if I were apart of the team’s management, which is another problem.

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers franchise management might be the main reason to the Cavaliers problems. They have made some recent moves that did not make sense to many people around the league. Most of these problems start with the players they have recently drafted. In the last three years they have drafted Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller, Dion Waiters, and Anthony Bennett (all of the players just listed are the main players they have selected). The only pick that the Cavs have hit on was the pick of Kyrie Irving. All the other selections they have made are very confusing to most people. The players they have picked are not necessarily bad, but from the players they could have picked, people aren’t sure why the players they picked were actually selected. This is all on the management team. They should be more responsible for these picks. The Cavaliers have had many lottery picks over the years and only one is a sure thing. With that many chances, you should have at least solid NBA players to start a franchise team with. And the way things are going this season; it looks like they will have another shot at picking a player in the lottery. In the recent days, the Cavaliers have actually fired their old General Manager Chris Grant. The new GM of David Griffin replaced Grant. Nobody knows if this move will help the Cavs in the long run. But it seems to be that the Cavs want a change and are willing to do something to change the direction of the franchise. Since the move the Cavaliers are actually on a three game win streak. Is that a coincidence? Or is everyone afraid they might be next so everyone is trying their best to make sure they aren’t next? I feel like it is a little bit of both. It seems like the Cavs will make more moves to their front office before the draft because they don’t want to screw this lottery pick up like they have in the past. They also want to be able to have LeBron James return this offseason. So all of this can possibly be solved with a new front office.

 

Now luckily for the Cavs is the season is only half way over. They can turn the season around and make the playoffs since the Eastern Conference is that bad. But at this point I think the Cavs should try and rebuild and work on the team for next season. It will be interesting to see what the Cavs do while the trade deadline approaches. I feel like they will make a few moves to open up room for LeBron and other possible pieces. The Cleveland Cavaliers have potential and it will be interesting to see how this team develops in the next few years.

Is Kevin Durant finally going to win the Most Valuable Player award?

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This year seems to be the year Kevin Durant might finally pass LeBron James as the Most Valuable Player in the NBA. LeBron James has won this award four of the last five years, and coming off two in a row. LeBron has been the best player in the NBA for all those years. Arguably Kevin Durant has always been second, and Derrick Rose could be in the argument when he is healthy. In the past five years, it seemed to always be that LeBron was in his own category or elite and everyone else was looking up to him. But now it seems that Kevin Durant is knocking on that door and is looking to join LeBron James.

Kevin Durant this season has been playing the best basketball of his career. As of now in the 2013-2014 NBA season, Durant is averaging 31.2 points per game, 5.5 assists per game, and 7.6 rebounds per game. His averages for points and assists are both at career highs as of now. Durant is also shooting 51% from the field, 42% from behind the arch, and 88% from the free throw line. Durant is very close to another 50-40-90 season, which he has done before. At a point in this season, Durant had a twelve game streak of scoring thirty or more points, which was amazing to watch. During that stretch Durant could not have been stopped. He was scoring at will and was doing it efficiently, which might have been the most impressive thing about the streak. Also during this season, Durant has also overcome his all-star teammate Russell Westbrook missing time due to multiple knee injuries. Even though Westbrook is injured, the Thunder is still a threat to win it all and bring a Championship to Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant seems to be to many people as of now the leader in the MVP race. He has elevated his game to where his stats are out of this world, but his team hasn’t become worse because of it. Usually when players start putting up numbers like KD has been, the team will play poorly since they only watch that player play instead of playing as a team. But this is not the case for Durant and the Thunder. Durant is making this team better now, and it seems to be that they will only get better when Westbrook comes back healthy. Some people think when Westbrook comes back, that it might hurt this team. I can see where they are coming from, but the chemistry between Durant and Westbrook is amazing. When Westbrook was healthy during the year, the Thunder seemed to be untouchable. I believe this will still be the case when he does in fact come back. Which seems to be closer than later. Obviously with Westbrook coming back Durant’s numbers will not be the same as they are now. But with another all-star caliber player on the floor with him, it will help spread the floor and keep all the defensive attention off Durant.

The Oklahoma City Thunder is a championship caliber team right now. They will only get better with the return of Russell Westbrook. They have everything a team needs to be able to win it all. This year could without a doubt be the year Kevin Durant stops coming up short in the MVP race and also in the finals. The season is only half way over, but it seems to be that the Thunder will be going far into the playoffs like they have been. It will not be easy, but they can make the case for this team to make it all the way to the top.

 

LeBron Silencing Critics and leading Heat to second straight Championship

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Last night the Miami Heat won Game 7 of the NBA Finals. This is their second championship in two years. A great fought game between the Heat and Spurs. The game was intense as ever and this series might go down as one of the best ever to be played. On the Spurs side, they played amazing the entire series but some bad decisions and poor shooting down the stretch did in fact cost them the Championship. The Spurs were in the lead in Game 6 with 25 second left on the clock. The San Antonio Spurs were that close to winning their fifth Championship. Not for Ray Allen and his clutch 3-point shot to but the game into OT, they would have won. The Heat had their backs against the wall and they were able to overcome this and eventually win two games in a row to win their second straight Championship.

Rightfully so, LeBron James was named Finals MVP. James was no doubt the best player in the Finals and he led the Heat to their second straight Championship. LeBron has been taking criticism this entire series because every other game he would come up short and not deliver when the team needed him most. In Game 7, LeBron definitely delivered and silenced the critics. There are still people that say LeBron is not clutch. Again he was able to prove these fans wrong. James was able to hit a mid-range jumper to send the game to a two-possession game and go up by four. Analysts are calling that shot the biggest of LeBron’s career. And with all the pressure in the world on his shoulders, he was able to overcome it and hit that shot that was the dagger and ended the Spurs hopes in wining that game.

Dwayne Wade and Shane Battier were key factors in this game. Wade was able to force himself into the scoring and was able to record a double-double in the close out game. Wade was a huge lift for the team in Game 7. Even with his hurting knees and poor play in the beginning of the series, the last three games of the series Wade was able to overcome everything and help the Heat to the Championship. Shane Battier was huge when he was able to hit six three pointers, and those were key points for him to score. Battier was possibly the MVP of Game 7 but he came up to the challenge like he always has done.

The Spurs have an amazing organization and are always one of the best teams in the NBA but never get the recognition. I have gained so much respect for the team and the players on that team. They played an amazing series and should learn from this situation. They might have lost the series while winning in an elimination game late, but learning from that, they will never let that happen again. Tony Parker proved to be an elite player in the NBA and hopefully he will be able to play for many years to come. Tim Duncan, the Big Fundamental, might have come up short in Game 7 late, but he should be proud of himself. Despite being 37 years old, he played amazing throughout the playoffs and especially in these finals he proved that he could still play. Manu Ginobili did not have his best playoffs, but he had a few shining moments in these playoffs. Manu seemed to be fatigued all throughout the playoffs and he could possibly retire at the years end. For the Spurs young stars in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, these are two amazing young stars and will be great players in the near future for the Spurs. The Spurs played great and they are a class organization with an amazing coach. You know for a fact they have a shot at this next year if they are able to bring the main pieces back to their team.

This years NBA Finals are one for the ages and I am glad I was able to watch every game. It was an amazing year and it was a great way to end the season. Miami will be the favorites to win next year again. Will they win a third in a row? Or will a team dethrone them?

Celtics and Clippers Blockbuster?

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With the NBA finals on the verge of being over, here starts the talk for free agents and trades that will start happening in the off-season. There are talks brewing between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Boston Celtics on a blockbuster trade. Not only are there players involved in the trade talks, but there is a high profile coach in the trade talks as well. The coach of the Boston Celtics, Doc Rivers, is in trade talks. The Clippers are in search of a coach, and Doc Rivers is starting to think it is time for a new location to coach. What perfect timing for both sides. The players that are in talks with this trade include Kevin Garnett, possibly Paul Pierce, Eric Bledsoe, and DeAndre Jordan.

The Celtics are looking to rebuild the team since their main core is getting older. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are fantastic players but the Celtics realize they need to get younger to become the force they once were in the Eastern Conference. Garnett and Pierce are both still under contract so it would be great for the Clippers since they will have those players under contract for at least one season. Also on the Celtics side, if they trade away Doc Rivers they can fill their head coaching vacancy with one of many great head coaches available on the market. These coaches include Lionel Hollins, Vinny Del Negro, and George Karl. All three coaches were able to coach their teams to the playoffs this season. So any of these coaches could help replace Rivers, but not to sure if they will be as great. With the possible addition of Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan, the Celtics would get younger just like they are planning. Eric Bledsoe is a great young and athletic guard in the NBA. DeAndre Jordan is also an amazing athletically talented center in the league. Both of these players need some work on their game, but both can be stars in this league with some great coaching which the Celtics have proved they can do with any coach. With these players being added to the already dangerous point guard Rajon Rondo, they could be lethal in the years to come. This would be a good trade for the Celtics because they would be able to get young talent for the aging superstars. They might be losing one of the best coaches in the NBA, but they can replace him with any of the great coaches available.

The Clippers are looking to improve their roster and also recruit their free agent Chris Paul into staying with the team. Chris Paul showed frustration with their old coach Vinny Del Negro, and some believe that is the reason why the coach was fired. Since the Clippers do not have a coach at the moment, being able to obtain will be a great way to sway Chris Paul into signing back with Los Angeles. Chris Paul teaming up with big men in Blake Griffin and Kevin Garnett would be a dream come true for Chris Paul. And the addition of Doc Rivers and possibly Paul Pierce is probably music to Chris’ ears. If the Clippers were able to make this trade happen, they would instantly become favorites in the West to reach the finals next season. The Clippers bench is already great and deep so this team will be heading in the right direction if this trade happens. The only downside is that the players that are acquired will be aging and will not have many years left in the tank. So that means they will need to win sooner than later. All in all it seems like a great trade for the Clippers and they should pull the trigger on the trade if it is possible. They need to keep Chris Paul in a Clipper uniform if they want to stay relevant in the NBA.

This trade will happen in the next few days if it is actually going to happen. There are too many big names involved for this trade to be in question for too long. It will be interesting to see if this trade happens because it will change the entire makeup of the NBA and can make both of these teams even better than they were this past year. Keep an eye on this trade as it gets closer to happening; it is going to be a great blockbuster.

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