MIKEDROPDAILY – New Kings of the East

M!KEDROP DAILY brings you hot takes on the biggest stories in sports and recaps the previous days’ news and memorable moments. 

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Be sure to check out this week’s MIKEDROPSPORTS Podcast, starring myself and Zach Stein. We go over the fallout of a very exciting Super Bowl and go over some of the major stuff. Two of the big topics for discussion – does Jared Goff suck? And is Julian Edelman a Hall of Famer?

Women Wednesday – Maya Moore

WNBA 2019 season took a massive hit on Tuesday when Maya Moore announced she would sit out the season to focus on her family and some ministry dreams. Good for her for following her heart and doing what she feels is best. But bad for fans of basketball as Moore is one of the best ever.

Moore is a 4-time WNBA Champion and has won regular season MVP and Finals MVP. She is a 5-time All Star, won MVP of the game 3 times and made All-WNBA First Team 5 times.

She won 2 NCAA Championships at UCONN (2009-2010). In 2009 and 2011 she was named Player of the Year by several awards (AP, Naismith, Wooden). She has helped lead Team USA to 2 Olympic Gold Medals (2012, 2016) and she’s won several championships in international play.

Watching basketball without Maya Moore this summer is going to suck. But luckily the WNBA does not lack talent and there will be plenty of other women who step up and take the reins as the star of the league.

NBA Trade Deadline Chatter

Are the 76ers the team to beat in the East?

YES! But I reserve the right to change my answer on Thursday at 3:01.

The Bucks and Raptors, individually, have the two best players in the Eastern Conference and both have strong supporting casts but I love the team that Philly has now built after acquiring Tobias Harris on Wednesday morning. Harris, who is averaging over 20 ppg, was having a career-year for the Clippers and should have been named to the All Star team. He joins 2019 All Stars Ben Simmoms and Joel Embiid and previous 4x All Star Jimmy Butler. That gives Philly a four-All Star core, not unlike the Warriors. And their 5th starter is the always reliable JJ Redick.

Do you have enough to beat the Warriors? No. They do not. But they certainly should be considered the team to beat in the East and have as good of a shot as they ever have to make a run to the NBA Finals.

The next move Philly makes before Thursday should be trading Markelle Fultz. After trading Landry Shamet and two future first round picks for Harris, Philly should salvage what they can from Fultz and re-stock their asset inventory. Take the best offer out there and move on. With this team thinking BIG and with Butler and Harris both impending free agents, the last thing this team needs is a distraction from Fultz. I would simply cut my losses now.

From the Clippers standpoint, they re-unite the 2010 NY Knicks by pairing Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari together. These two also spent many years together in Denver, as a result of the Carmelo Anthony to NY trade.

Anthony Davis Saga Rolls On

I’ve said for weeks that Pelicans need to wait for the Celtics to come to the table in the summer, for the sake of their franchise. They need to see every card on the table.

However, that statement was made based on the condition that the Lakers don’t offer the entire team for Davis. My belief has always been two of Lonzo/Ingram/Kuzma and perhaps an additional vet plus 1-2 picks. I would have held out for Boston’s best offer this summer because I believe Jason Tatum has more star potential than any of the Lakers guys plus they have other team’s picks in their back pocket.

My opinion changed once it was leaked on Tuesday that the Lakers offer included everyone – Lonzo, Ingram, Kuzma, PLUS Josh Hart, Ivica Zubac and two first round picks. Pelicans should have said yes. Instead they said they wanted 6-8 first round draft picks.

My belief that none of these Lakers prospects are going to be stars hasn’t wavered. I don’t trust this package. But the idea of getting 5 young guys has to move the needle for the Pelicans and they had to make this move. If you don’t trust one of the young guys, re-route them to another team. There’s always going to be someone interested in a former first round pick, especially one of the guys.

Now, it seems highly likely that the Lakers and Pelicans are unable to complete a deal by 3:00 ET Thursday and that Davis will remain with New Orleans. I really hope this doesn’t mean the Pelicans are shutting him down though, because it would be a huge shame for the NBA as a whole for one of the top players to be on the sidelines, healthy, because a team refused to trade him and now won’t let him get injured.

Bradley Beal a better fit for Lakers?

News broke yesterday that John Wall torn his Achilles and is now likely to miss all of the 2019-2020 NBA season. With that, should the Wizards consider trading Bradley Beal? It’s probably worth having the conversation. If they considered it, Lakers would be much better off sending two of Lonzo/Ingram/Kuzma and picks to the Wizards as opposed to sending everyone to the Pelicans. Obviously, Davis is a better player, but Beal is a shooter, the kind that Lebron James typically plays well with. I’m not sure what the Wizards are thinking at this time, they don’t have any motivation to trade Beal, but if I were the Lakers I’d be all over trying to make this happen.

Breaking up the Grizzlies

It seems highly likely that the Grizzlies will move on from both Marc Gasol and Mike Conley this week. Last night, there were reports that the Hornets were close on Gasol. This seems like an odd fit to me. Apparently, Michael Jordan is obsessed with the Hornets making the Playoffs in 2019, which is fine, but even still, the four teams atop the East are so much better than the bottom four that is it really worth sacrificing an asset for four playoff games? I guess if they want to make a statement to Kemba Walker, in hopes of keeping the pending free agent it makes sense. It’s unclear who Charlotte would send to Memphis but it sounds like Frank Kaminsky, at the very least is one of the guys. One would have to think Miles Bridges or Malik Monk would be the centerpiece of the deal. I’m a fan of both but if you had to trade one, I’d prefer to send Monk to Memphis and keep Bridges.

As for Conley, it sounds like the Raptors made an offer and the Pistons are interested as well. I think he will end up in Utah. Jazz are a team that struggles to attract free agents so they would gladly adsorb Conley’s huge contract. They can offer the Grizzlies the cap relief they desire (expiring contracts of Ricky Rubio and Derrick Favors) and a draft pick.

College Basketball Thoughts

Is Kansas in trouble? Jayhawks have lost 4 of 6 and after losing to Kansas State Tuesday are two games back in the loss column of their in-state rivals and Baylor, for first place in the Big 12. It seemed like smooth sailing earlier this year but injuries and NCAA issues may have finally caught up to Kansas, whose 14 year first place streak is officially in jeopardy.

What has happened to Michigan State? Spartans lost a tough one at home to Indiana this past weekend and followed that up with a dud, losing to Illinois, who is now 8-15 on the season.

All the talk in the ACC seems to be on Duke and Virginia (and Duke and more Duke and always everything is about Duke). But North Carolina is quietly having a great year. They’ve won 6 in a row since their loss to Louisville in mid-January and scored 113 points last night against rival NC State.

St. John’s had lost 5 of 7 coming into Tuesday night, jeopardizing their run at an at-large NCAA tournament bid, but Shamorie Ponds 28 points helped St John’s overcome a 15 point deficit and they beat 10th ranked Marquette on the road.

LOL Moment of the Day

Miami Marlins Continue to Mess Up

Marlins Mermaids?? I’m sure they will be attractive but you know who else is attractive? Giancarlo Stanton! Marlins are trying a new strategy to attract fans when the truth is they have traded dozens of good players the last few years and those guys winning would have been the key to improving attendance. But sure, yeah. let’s try Mermaids instead of homeruns. Good luck with that.

NBC’s Projected Top NFL Games for 2019 are…Not Good Games

Peter King is crazy if he thinks these are the top matchups. First of all, no Cowboys or Chargers is crazy. Secondly, beyond the Kirk Cousins and Khalil Mack storylines, respectively, who would care about Redskins/Vikings and Bears/Raiders, especially the latter. 49ers/Packers? Really? Browns/Seahawks? I’d be more intrigued by Browns vs Steelers than Seahawks. Giants vs Patriots, huh? I understand it’s a 2x Super Bowl rematch but the Giants stink. Patriots/Eagles is a more exciting Super Bowl rematch, why is that not on this list? Does Peter not realize the Saints play the Rams this year? Is that game seriously not on this list?? I would just love to know the thought process that went into this.

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Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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