Warriors, Lakers, Celtics among five NBA teams with most to be thankful for

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It’s Thanksgiving time, and there are plenty of teams in the NBA to be thankful for (the Nets aren’t one of them, which is saying a lot for a team that has Kevin Durant). But we are going to share some hair here. Every team that has a superstar is grateful to that superstar, but I’ve tried to narrow down the list to five teams that have the most to be thankful for and what exactly they are grateful for. Here it is.

Golden State Warriors: Stephen Curry

When five teams swept Curry in the 2009 draft, including the Timberwolves twice, the Warriors had no idea what they were getting. Curry changed the Golden State franchise in ways that were unimaginable even ten years ago when Curry first became an All-Star. Four championships. Six finals. Record NBA season with 73 wins. Literally billions in franchise value. None of this happens without Curry, whose combination of ability and humility emerges maybe once in a generation as the face of the franchise, if that’s the case.

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I would say that there is no other player in the world, for various reasons, that has led last year’s Warriors to the title, and again this season, Curry is the reason why an aging and imperfect Warriors team is still considered a legitimate contender. . If you have Curry, you have a chance, and the Warriors are terribly grateful that they have him.

Los Angeles Lakers: location

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If the Lakers were still in, say, Minneapolis, or Memphis, or Salt Lake City, or anywhere else but Los Angeles, with the way they run things now, they would be a laughing stock. You can claim they are anyway. But because they occupy top-notch real estate in the NBA, their margin for error is so great that they can basically mess things up and still have a fairly direct path from the darkness to the light of a title fight.

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You could say the Lakers are very grateful to have LeBron James, but the only reason they have LeBron in the first place is because they’re in Los Angeles. The only reason they have Anthony Davis is because they have LeBron. And the only reason they have the title in the last decade is because they have both of these guys.

Since this title (it must be said, a bubble title), this franchise has done next to nothing to appeal to players who have options. Apart from the location and that iconic chest name, they made one disastrous decision after another – authorizing Rob Pelinka to run around in the So-Cal sandbox, seemingly having no idea what he was doing. Pelinka looks like a trust fund kid. He can be wrong over and over again, so much so that he could bury almost any other GM and still be within a few basic skill moves to get ahead.

Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Every organization in the league that has a superstar is grateful for this player. Damian Lillard has been a real find in Portland for ten years. Nikola Jokic in Denver, Jason Tatum in Boston, Ja Morant in Memphis, Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, Devin Booker in Phoenix, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Oklahoma City, Jimmy Butler in Miami, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with Trimmers; Brooklyn would have burned to the ground if not for Kevin Durant.

But none of these guys have brought a championship to their current franchise. Apart from Tatum, none of them even made it to the finals. Antetokounmpo, on the other hand, propelled Milwaukee to the top of the basketball world. He could have left in the summer of 2021, just after winning a championship with the Bucks, as Leonard did with the Raptors, but Giannis signed a five-year extension midway through the season.

Giannis could at least listen to what the other teams had to say over the summer. They did a dance. Was looked after. But his ego didn’t need that kind of celebration. He didn’t want to distract a Bucks team trying to win the title, which they did just over six months after he relatively quietly renewed his contract. Other than Stephen Curry, there is no other player in the league who means more to the franchise than Antetokounmpo does to the Bucks.

Boston Celtics: Danny Ainge

Ainge is now doing his thing in Utah, but the Celtics will be in his debt for a long time to come; he’s the #1 reason they can fight for the championship in the next decade. The deals that Ainge made with the Nets, which resulted in the Celtics acquiring Jaylen Brown, and the 66ers, in which they acquired Jason Tatum, have provided Boston with arguably the best duo in the league, and they’re just getting started. come into bloom.

Ainge has been under pressure to trade Brown on purpose for years. He never did. He allowed the duo to grow together, all the while bringing in Robert Williams and Grant Williams. Ainge chose Marcus Smart. He brought in Al Horford. He hired Brad Stevens, who was a very good coach and proved to be a very good grandmaster. He hired Joe Mazzulla, who looks like he could be the coach for the next decade.

Ainge owes everything the Celtics prepared for this long showdown. He brought everything together. He wasn’t always popular with Celtics fans who wanted more aggressive moves, but his stubbornness and refusal to back down in any short-sighted trade is the reason Boston is in this position right now. Ainge has built this team to last. Boston should be very grateful.

Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic

It will always be amazing that a team can trade Trae Young and the second lottery pick and still somehow get on the right side of the deal, but that’s exactly what the Mavericks pulled off in exchange for draft rights to Luka Doncic, who, aside from a career-changing injury is already a lock to rank among the greatest players of all time.

I don’t know what number you want to put on it – top 20, top 10, whatever – but it’s going down like crazy. This guy has a real GOAT potential for talking, and he’s only 23 years old! I would say that if the draft was now open for every player in the league, Doncic would go first. I don’t think it would even come close.

Having such a great guy at that age is what makes you get on your knees and thank the basketball gods every night before bed. A player like Doncic is almost guaranteed to compete for the next 10-15 years if you do your part and surround him with the right pieces. Dallas might want to start thinking about it.

Source: www.cbssports.com

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