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NBA Playoffs sports

King of the North

After Milwaukee took a two to nothing lead in the series against Toronto the general sense was doom for the Raptors.  The Bucks haven’t lost three games in a row and haven’t lost a home game where they entered the fourth quarter with a lead all season.  Marc Gasol wasn’t playing up to his standard and the Raptors bench unit were being outplayed.  The odds seemed stacked against the Raptors.  But sure enough the Bucks lost four games in a row for the first time all season and lost a home game where they entered the fourth quarter with a lead for the first time all season.  

Were the Raptors that much better than the Bucks?  I think not. We’re talking about a double overtime game three where the Bucks easily could’ve been up three games to nothing.  A pivotal moment in that game was fourth quarter with about two minutes and thirty seconds left.  George Hill was leading the break but multiple Raptors were waiting under the basket.  Instead of backing out the ball and setting up a play Hill decided to rush the break and miss a contested paint attempt.  The Raptors went on a five to nothing run over the next minute.  The Bucks would send the game into overtime but the whole complexion of the game could’ve been changed with one play. Heck in game six when the Raptors took the lead with nine minutes and forty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter that was their first lead since 6-3 in the first quarter.  

The Bucks took leads into the fourth quarter in both game five and six.  This series in many ways could’ve went Milwaukee’s way. Unfortunately for the Bucks their late game half court offensive execution, tertiary playmaking, three point shooting and secondary help defense took a nosedive.  Giannis became nullified in the fourth quarter with the Raptors playing more drop coverage on pick-and-rolls, collapsing middle with three defenders and sagging back on transition pushes taking away his driving angles and side steps.  It’s tough to score when you aren’t a proficient three point, free throw or mid-range jump shooter.  It becomes even more difficult to make precise decisions late in game on drive-and-kick opportunities, dump offs and timed passes to cutters.  It also doesn’t help when one of your most important shooters, Nikola Mirotic, goes in the tank and shoots 19% from three and becomes unplayable.  Shooting 31% from three as a team really makes it hard for Giannis to trust his kick out options, especially to a 17% from deep Bledsoe.  

The Bucks ran a 5-out motion offense with shooting at every position surrounding Giannis all season.  A lot of times when Giannis drove to the rim and helpside defense would rotate over that would trigger a weak side cut by the Bucks.  It was a simple but effective offense since Giannis draws so much attention.  The Raptors defense did a very good job snuffing out these actions late in the game.  They closed space fast with sharp closeouts on skip passes and kick outs, were communicating on every ball screen, under control on recoveries and on a string with every rotation.  Fourth quarter game five and six was some of the best defense I’ve seen the Raptors play all season.  The Raptors walled up the paint and forced the Bucks out of their game plan.  They were more capable of playing different styles of pick-and-roll coverage due to better two-way personnel in comparison to Milwaukee.  The Raptors switched or contained on most ball screens and that versatility through the Bucks out of rhythm.

The Bucks pick-and-roll defense at the end of game five and six were pretty lazy.  Several times did I see Milwaukee lazily give up the switch without fighting to stay attached.  The Raptors would run multiple ball screens forcing the Bucks big men and weak side defense to cover extra ground and put them in a vulnerable spot.  The Bucks communication would break down falling for hammer picks at crucial parts of the fourth quarter.  The Raptors would setup Pascal Siakam as the screener in many ball screens situations trying to get players like Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova to switch on Kawhi.  The Raptors ran variations of roll-and-replace and double ball screen actions quite often at the end of game five and six to move Milwaukee’s defenders into scramble mode. The Bucks had Giannis guard Marc Gasol and had Malcolm Brogdon/Khris Middleton guard Kawhi Leonard late in the game.  Middleton struggled trying to guard Kawhi and multiple times gave up middle. Brogdon actually did a commendable job trying to guard him even though Kawhi could easily shoot over the top.  Kawhi probably did the best job of his career trying to find shooters on his drive-and-kick chances during this series.  Having a player that can score proficiently at all three levels of the game makes a huge difference come playoff time.  The amount of attention that imposes on a defense changes the floor balance in favor of the offense.

It also helps when you get out of this world performances.  I can analyze this series as much as I want but maybe it was as simple as this: Fred VanVleet went 2-11 from three games one through three and 14-17 from three games four through six.  Maybe that’s all that needs to be said.  If Mirotic got hot from three and VanVleet stayed cold then maybe this is a five game series.  VanVleet wasn’t just a jump shooter though.  He was aggressive on his takes, playmaked in a pinch and took care of the ball.  Norman Powell really stepped up his game on both sides of the ball as well.  He played better than Danny Green for most of this series.  The bench for the Raptors straight up outplayed the Bucks bench games four through six.

The Bucks now go into this off-season with a lot of questions.  Nikola Mirotic, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Malcolm Brogdon are all free agents.  Are they going to re-sign Middleton to the max even though we just saw him flounder in the east finals?  How much are the Bucks willing to spend on Brogdon?  Will Lopez continue to take a discount?  The Bucks need to get more versatile on defense while at the same time maintain quality spacing for Giannis and that could be an issue since their means of making upgrades could be limited.  Acquiring an extra shot maker would be nice and Giannis evolving his game outside of the paint is the next step in his championship quest. The Raptors now have the pleasure of playing the Golden State Warriors in the Finals.  The Warriors are the favorite even with Kevin Durant not playing.  But without Kevin Durant the Raptors clearly have a better shot at winning the title.  The Raptors counted on a supernatural performance by Fred VanVleet just to get them by the Bucks.  They’re going to need that and then some to beat the Warriors.  Getting OG Anunoby back healthy would be a plus for the Raptors.  Win or lose the Raptors have done such a good job at rounding out their roster with late first round picks, second round picks and undrafted free agents.  They made a risky move trading for Kawhi knowing damn well he might leave in a year.  This might be the only time in franchise history where they will have a shot at winning a title.  And heck who knows, maybe Kawhi doesn’t leave a well run organization playing in a weaker conference with a ravenous fan base and good coach.  Just a thought.

 

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NBA Playoffs sports

Quick Hit 2019 Playoff Notes

~ I don’t know why but I find it funny that two of the most impactful players this postseason are Rodney Hood and George Hill.  Both of whom made up the terrible supporting cast that Lebron had last NBA finals in Cleveland.  Hill was dealing with back spasms for a chunk of the playoffs last season but playing with Lebron brings a degree of pressure that I don’t know if Hood and Hill were prepared for.  Lebron is also his own offensive system and if you don’t fit within his construct then you may be dealing with a lot of DNP-coach’s decision.  This postseason has been different though.  With Enes Kanter dealing with a separated shoulder and Moe Harkless dealing with an ankle injury, Hood has stepped up for Portland.  With Malcolm Brogdon being out with a foot injury, George Hill has stepped up for Milwaukee.  Call it better health, opportunity, confidence, fit, role or whatever, but a couple buy-low trade chips are paying dividends for their respective teams.

 

~ Instead of picking Milwaukee outright over Boston, I decided to weasel out of a prediction and say whoever wins between Milwaukee versus Boston will win the east.  I was favoring the Bucks but I was worried they were going to remain steadfast in their core principles from the regular season.  I first had to see if they were willing to change their style of play during a series before I could confidently pick the Bucks.  In my last article I wrote about how Boston was a bad matchup for Milwaukee and it certainly showed game one.  The Bucks had to make the necessary adjustments if they wanted to turn around the series after a blow out game one loss. Mike Budenholzer has arguably been the best pickup this off-season and once again proved his worth by out coaching Brad Stevens with better coaching tactics.  After game one, the Bucks started Nikola Mirotic in place of Sterling Brown.  I’m a huge Sterling Brown fan but after game one it was clear that he isn’t a true shooting threat or a proficient enough driver which became a problem for the symmetry of the Bucks offense.  Mirotic gave the Bucks more size and shooting which helped open up better driving angles for Giannis.

It felt like the Bucks used Giannis in more screening situations especially late in game.  Whether that be Giannis the ball handler with a ball screen, Giannis setting the ball screen himself or Giannis setting off-ball cross screens, it felt like Milwaukee was forcing the Celtics to negotiate on as many screening scenarios that involve Giannis as possible.  On the other hand it felt like Boston didn’t utilize the Irving/Horford pick-and-pop as much like in game one.  A lot of that had to do with Milwaukee switching on the ball screen more often.

The Bucks switched on ball screens more often as compared to containing almost every ball screen in game one.  The Bucks don’t necessarily have the personnel to switch on defense but there’s still benefit to switching even with less than personnel: it affords time on recovery’s, helps contain point of attack moves and baits the offense into head hunting.  So instead of a smooth motion based offensive play for Boston you could get something like Kyrie dancing on Brook lopez.  The Bucks would then collapse on Kyrie’s drive in the paint and force a kick out, either resetting the offense or giving up a three.  Considering that Boston shot 30.7% from three this series, maybe giving them space on the perimeter isn’t that bad of an idea.  Boston also doesn’t really have a true post threat either so the worry for a big on small cross match in the paint is lessen.

The Bucks bench just dominated the Celtics bench.  I’ve already talked about George Hill but Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova were major contributors with Malcolm Brogdon giving them a boost last game.  Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier were terrible and getting Marcus Smart back wasn’t helping with offensive production off the bench for Boston.  No one on Boston could guard Giannis, too many times did Boston settle for jump shots and when they were down late in the game the offense felt too erratic with no purpose behind their actions.  Kind of like how it’s been all season.

I still think Boston was a bad matchup for Milwaukee but it just so happens that the Bucks have a great coach of their own to make the correct adjustments after game one.  Boston never rebounded.  And you know what else helps?  Having arguably the best player in the league, that’s what.  With Malcolm Brogdon coming back, the Bucks having home court advantage throughout the playoffs, Giannis playing at the top of his game and a coach who is showing he is more than capable of making in-series adjustments bodes well for title consideration.  I said before the playoffs started that who ever won the Boston-Milwaukee series will win the east and I’m obviously staying with that assertion.  The reason why I didn’t pick Milwaukee out right to beat Boston was because of matchup but with the Bucks displaying that they aren’t afraid to switch up their style gives me the confidence in saying the Bucks are the favorite to win the NBA title. (Assuming Kevin Durant misses the Finals)  

 

~  The Rockets better beat Golden State now that Kevin Durant is out for the rest of the series.  If they don’t, that would be a colossal failure and a wasted opportunity.  The Rockets moaned and wined about how they would’ve beat Golden State if it wasn’t for Chris Paul missing the last two games.  There’s no excuses now.

 

~ The other two series are entering game sevens.  My prediction before the second round started was Toronto over Philadelphia and Portland over Denver.  I’ll stick with my picks even though my confidence level is waning after watching the games play out.  I thought Toronto was going to beat the Sixers without much stress but clearly I overestimated Kyle Lowry and the Raptors supporting cast.  I still think whoever wins will lose to Milwaukee anyway. Portland winning at Denver for game seven is the tougher proposition.  Nikola Jokic has been one of the consistently great players throughout the postseason and Jamal Murray is asserting himself as the primary perimeter scoring threat.  The Blazers on the other hand are dealing with injuries to key players and expecting Rodney Hood to stay hot is a difficult trust exercise.  Both teams would have home court advantage versus Houston in the west finals even though the Rockets should be favored in both matchups.  

  

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NBA Play Breakdown Playoffs sports Video

Sign Of Things To Come?

In my latest podcast I talked about how the Celtics were a bad matchup for the Bucks.  I also weaseled out of making a prediction since I was torn between both teams.  All season I thought the Bucks were the team that had the best on-court fit in the eastern conference.  A 5-out motion offense built around Giannis with shooting at every position.  Brook Lopez became instrumental with his floor spacing ability and paint protection on defense.  Even with having arguably the best player going in the league, the best record in the league, a top five offensive and defensive efficiency and a great coach, I wasn’t confident picking them over the Celtics.  A Celtics team a lot of people wrote off before the playoffs started, and with some justification of course.  They haven’t been on the same page all season, injuries have taken a toll and players haven’t progressed like they should’ve.  I still like the Celtics because of how they are designed; a pick-and-roll mismatch problem at center, a slashing scoring three point shooting point guard with big switchable wings.  That type of team design is built well for the postseason.

The regular season isn’t the playoffs.  It isn’t about doing one thing great, it’s about versatility.  Yes, the Bucks are a great defensive team but they were built primarily around a contain first pick-and-roll coverage.  In the playoffs you need to be diverse enough to cover pick-and-roll’s every which way.  Brook Lopez is great at one type of pick-and-roll coverage but can he hedge?  Switch?  And cover space in a timely matter?  That was my issue going into this series.  That was why I couldn’t in good faith pick the Bucks over the Celtics.  Game one confirmed my suspicion and if the Bucks don’t make the necessary adjustments they will lose this series.

To start off the game the Celtics had Horford defend Giannis.  They did the same thing to Ben Simmons last postseason.  Although, the difference is the Celtics are playing tighter gap protection on Giannis’ drives.

In the first play you have Jayson Tatum leaving his man along the perimeter to shadow Giannis with the help of Kyrie Irving, Marcus Morris hugging the lane line to shrink space.  The next play you have Giannis in transition with Horford guarding him, Irving shadowing him, Morris in the middle of the paint and Tatum taking a dig at him from the corner.  The Celtics were keying in on Giannis.

The Celtics would also put Aron Baynes and Marcus Morris on Giannis when Horford was on the bench.  Horford actually did a good job cutting off driving angles and giving help defense time to crash down.  Boston was ok taking an extra step in on Giannis while giving extra space to the Bucks shooters.  Whether that’s because Malcolm Brogdon is hurt and they are giving his replacement Sterling Brown license to drive.

Or they don’t trust players like Pat Connaughton, Eric Bledsoe, Brook Lopez, Nikola Mirotic and Ersan Ilyasova to torch them from three and attack closeouts. 

The Celtics were switching on most ball screens and then would revert back to safer matchups on the weak side.  The Bucks did headhunt on occasion looking for better cross matchups like Terry Rozier defending Giannis but rarely did they go to that.  That should be something the Bucks try to exploit more in game two.  Overall game one the Bucks stuck with what they knew best.  They’re going to have to trust their shooters moving forward even if they miss open shots.  Those shooters are paramount for Milwaukee’s floor balance.  I would like to see DJ Wilson get more playing time.  I think his length and athleticism at the forward/center position can help in terms of positional versatility.  Until they get Brogdon back, they will be lacking another creator on offense and players like Pat Connaughton will have to play major minutes even though they’re struggling just to defend Boston’s point of attack offense.  Brook Lopez will have to make open threes while Bledsoe will have to be better off the bounce if they want this to be a competitive series.

Rudy Gobert and Brook Lopez are great drop coverage defenders.  During the regular season you can rely on that to win defensive player of the year and be apart of a top five defense.  Come playoff time it’s about versatility and how well you can cover space.

The Bucks were containing most everything on ball screens and hardly stunted at the shooter left open.  If Horford can make that above the break three consistently the Bucks will have to make adjustments asap.  Lopez, Mirotic and Ilyasova can’t cover ground as fast as they need to versus the Celtics ball screen motion offense.

The Celtics were bending the Bucks defense all game and making them scramble on exploitable matchups.

That’s part of the reason why I think DJ Wilson should play more game two.  He has the lateral movement to stay on switches and good change of direction ability to cover space in a timely matter.  It doesn’t help when, at times, the Bucks were struggling to contain dribble penetration, were slow to matchup and had poor communication.

This was my overall fear coming into this series and it played out terribly for the Bucks.

The Bucks are obviously not out of it yet.  They have to do a better job headhunting on offense, making open threes, stunting at the pick-and-pop shooter and covering space on defense.  Hopefully it’s not a little too late when Malcolm Brogdon comes back, he could be the difference maker the Bucks need to help with continuity.  Until then however Eric Bledsoe will have to step up his role on offense.  I said whoever wins this series will win the eastern conference and I stand by that claim.  Unless the Bucks make the correct adjustments, the Celtics could be that team.

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NBA sports Trade

Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Trade Deadline (2019)

The unofficial holiday of the NBA trade deadline has come and gone.  I got to tell you this was one fun deadline and it surely didn’t disappoint.  I’m going to briefly go over my initial thoughts about some of the moves that were made.  I’m only going over the deals that I think were relevant.  Sorry Skal Labissiere and Caleb Swanigan:

 

The Philadelphia 76ers acquire Tobias Harris, Mike Scott and Boban Marjanovic from the LA Clippers for Landry Shamet, Mike Muscala, Wilson Chandler, 2020 1st round pick, 2021 1st round pick (via Miami), 2021 2nd round pick and a 2023 2nd round pick (Story):

~ I like this trade for both teams but I love it more for the Clippers.  The Clippers traded away a player that wasn’t going to be their after this season for expiring deals, a solid young prospect and multiple draft picks including two 1st rounders.  I mean, that’s freaking amazing.  The Clippers are acquiring draft capital, cap flexibility and young prospects.  This rebuild is off to a great start and the Clippers are clearly headed in the right direction.  The Clippers also ended up flipping Muscala to the Lakers for Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley.  Another small deal that nets a solid young prospect for the Clippers.

Now, I like this move for the Sixers but wish they would’ve only gave up one 1st round pick.  I just don’t know how many other competitive offers were putting up two 1st round picks for a guy that could leave in a few months.  Would have it been better to trade for Harris and not trade for Butler to keep more depth with Saric/Covington?  The new starting five the Sixers have is as talented a unit that there is in the league outside of the Warriors.  But what makes the Warriors so special is fit, sacrifice and the fact that Draymond Green is the ultimate “glue guy.”  How will the Sixers new starting unit gel?  That’s why I bring up maybe the Sixers should’ve just traded for Harris and kept Saric/Covington since that might be a better fit.  Either way this is obviously an “all-in” move by the Sixers. To quickly address some of the concerns about depth the Sixers also traded for James Ennis from the Rockets.

The Sixers also traded Markelle Fultz to the Magic for a protected 1st round pick (via OKC), a 2nd round pick and Jonathan Simmons.  So maybe the Sixers were fine giving the extra 1st round pick away for Harris since they were trying to get one for Fultz.  The Sixers also upgraded their bench with Jonathan Simmons.  The Magic get a nice retread reclamation project at a position of need while the Sixers move on from one of the biggest draft blunders in recent memory. It’s going to be interesting to see how the buyout market turns out for the Sixers.  With the added depth of Ennis and Simmons plus another player via the buyout market, the Sixers could have the best 8-man rotation in the East.  Overall I do like the fit with Harris and with the amount of talent the Sixers have they should win the East but can the new starting unit make sacrifices for the greater good to be possibly the East champs?  That’s something I need to see first before I believe.  The Sixers have a world of potential but considering that Butler, Harris and Reddick are all free agents to be this summer, as of now, I’m skeptical.

 

In a three team trade, the Milwaukee Bucks acquire Nikola Mirotic, the Detroit Pistons get Thon Maker and the New Orleans Pelicans get Stanley Johnson, Jason Smith and four second round picks (Story):

~ At the start of the season I wasn’t buying the Bucks as a real contender.  I thought they had improved their depth behind a great starting unit but didn’t think relying on Donte DiVincenzo, Ersan Ilyasova and Pat Connaughton as their core bench was good enough to beat the Celtics or Raptors.  Fast forward to now and the Bucks have made outstanding decision after outstanding decision. Whether it was the decision to start playing Sterling Brown and DJ Wilson more, trading for George Hill or making the deal to acquire Mirotic, I’ve been a huge fan of each move that the Bucks have made.  No shade to Ilyasova, Connaughton or DiVincenzo but I just didn’t think they brought a level of versatility that you need come playoff time.  But now with Brown, Wilson, Hill and Mirotic, the Bucks should be looked at as the favorite in the East.  They might not have as much talent as the Sixers, Raptors or Celtics but I think the fit, everyone being secure with their role and overall versatility of style will give opposing teams trouble during the playoffs.  Also for the Pelicans they get a nice retread reclamation prospect and a bunch of draft picks for a player that probably was leaving this summer.  The Pistons make a lateral move moving on from one draft question mark to the another.  Thon Maker is still only 21 years old so the potential is there.

 

The Toronto Raptors acquire Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies for Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second round pick (Story):

~ I honestly don’t know how I feel about this trade for either team.  If you were to tell me that the Raptors were getting the Gasol who during the month of November averaged 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists on 50% from the floor and 39% from three then I’d say overwhelmingly this was a grand win for the Raptors.  But since November it’s been downhill for Gasol, whether it be due to an injury or old age.  During the month of January Gasol averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, on 44% from the floor, 30% from three and not nearly the defender he was at the start of the season.  Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying this was a bad trade for the Raptors.  Gasol is a better shooter and defender in comparison to Valanciunas plus Delon Wright is a prospect that hasn’t developed the way the Raptors have hoped he would.  So on face value it was a solid move for the Raptors.  I guess my issue is that I didn’t think making an upgrade at center was what the Raptors needed and instead making an upgrade at secondary ball handler and shot creator was more important since I’m worried about Kyle Lowry’s health.  Maybe they pick someone like that up via the buyout market.  If they do that then I’m probably more enthused about this trade for the Raptors.  For the Grizzlies, I don’t know what the market was for a 34 year old declining center but if this was all that there was then I’m just not that impressed with the return.

 

The Dallas Mavericks trade Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson (Story):

~ I like this deal a little more for the Mavs then the Kings but I like this deal for both teams nonetheless.  The reason why I like this deal a little more for the Mavs is because they realized that Barnes wasn’t the right fit next to Doncic/Porzingis and they wanted to be a player in free agency this summer.  This deal allows them to potentially go after a max salary player that would fit better long term with Doncic/Porzingis.  Also this summer was booming with available talent in comparison to the next available time the Mavs were going to have cap space, the summer of 2020, which looks much weaker.  I love this move by the Mavs.

The Kings obviously make an upgrade at wing but I’m concerned about fit and locker room chemistry.  Barnes is really just a glorified 3-and-D wing who is a solid scorer and an overrated defender.  He’s also not a good playmaker and there’s question about how much impact he has on offense when he doesn’t have the ball.  The trio of the future in Sacramento is clearly Fox, Hield and Bagley.  With a high-usage player like Barnes coming in how does it affect team chemistry?  The Kings have played so well this season in part because of an improved locker room morale, how does the addition of Barnes effect that?  The Kings also traded Iman Shumpert to the Rockets in a three team trade in exchange for Alec Burks from the Cavs.  I mean, in terms of talent the Kings get better with Burks/Barnes over Shumpert.  But Shumpert was acknowledged as having a big influence on the young Kings.  He was considered a good locker room guy.  I just wonder how the loss of Shumpert shakes up the young Kings morale?  The Rockets meanwhile get a 3-and-D wing they desperately needed after the Danuel House contract impasse and the Cavs get a protected first round back.

 

The Washington Wizards trade Otto Porter jr to the Bulls for Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 2nd round pick (Story):

~ After the news of John Wall rupturing his Achilles tendon the Wizards went into fire sale mode.  Otto Porter is a good player who is having a down year on a bloated contract.  The Bulls could’ve been somewhat of a player during free agency this summer but with so many teams having cap space they probably figured it was best to make a move now instead of overpaying for contracts they don’t want this summer.  This deal ultimately is up to how Porter plays.  If he snaps out of his funk and starts playing up to his potential then the deal it’s a clear win for Chicago.  Even if Porter doesn’t make improvements the risk was giving up on Portis and trading away a player they weren’t playing that much.  Portis is a solid young prospect but the Bulls wanted a wing to pair with Wendell Carter and Lauri Markkanen.  Even though Porter is not on the same age timeline as Carter/Markkanen, the upside is still present for a great frontcourt for years to come.  The Wizards just wanted to be out of the tax.  They also traded away Markieff Morris to the Pelicans for Wesley Johnson, another salary cap saving move.  The John Wall contract could overtake the Chandler Parsons contract as the worst in the league.  Getting under the tax penalty is all they can do at this point.

 

The LA Lakers acquire Reggie Bullock from the Detroit Pistons for Svi Mykhailiuk and a 2021 second round pick (Story):

~ The only reason why I’m mentioning this trade at all is because I like Bullock.  I think he’s going to be a good fit around Lebron especially for a playoff push.  They did have to give away a second round pick which could’ve been used for Anthony Davis this summer.  They also gave up on Mykhailiuk who wasn’t a contributor for the Lakers.  He holds some upside as a shooter but so far hasn’t displayed that.  Bullock is a free agent this summer so I’m assuming the Pistons weren’t going to re-sign him but again, I really like Bullock so this could be a loss for the Pistons when it’s all said and done.