The Minnesota Timberwolves came into this season with high hopes, a new coach, and a roster full of young talent that was sure to blossom. That hasn’t quite been the case. Although there has been progress made as a team, there is not nearly enough evidence to say that the Timberwolves are competing with the “Dubs” for Western Conference supremacy. The “Big KAT,” Karl Anthony-Towns continues to impress, along with Andrew Wiggins and a now injured Zach Levine. However some of their other pieces just haven’t quite been there as consistently — such as fellow big man Gorgui Dieng, who regressed after signing a lucrative deal earlier in the season. Much more notable is point man Ricky Rubio, even though his issues aren’t so much play related as they are well, everything else. In any event, there are 3 surefire things that need to be done in order for this young pack of wolves to take the next step.
It’s almost the time where the Rangers are all but done. In an AL Wild Card race that is still as crowded as hipsters at a cold brew coffee shop, the Rangers find themselves outside the race despite being 3.5 games back. Competing is a long shot because of the quality of the teams that stand in front of them and it’s hard for anyone to envision jumping up and catching the Yankees or Rays when your starting pitching is suffocating your chances. The farm system is barren and they have to capitalize on trading pieces while they can, retooling at the least.
In this different dimension where David Stern doesn’t play puppet master and lets this trade go through, the Lakers are far from the bottom-feeding laughing stock they currently are. They are able to dump the contracts of Gasol and Odom, leaving them room for Howard. Kobe and Howard would still have the issue of needing touches on a consistent basis, but they finally have the man for the job. If CP3 can make DeAndre Jordan into an 80 million dollar man, then imagine what he could’ve done with Howard. With a team like this, Mike Brown may have been able to last more than 10% of the season. Paul has the record and the statistics to give himself the push he needs to be a legitimate MVP candidate. With the proper facilitator in place, Howard doesn’t bump heads with Kobe, and ends up enjoying the bright lights of LA, ending his short stint as a coach killer with just one body count.
Zack Greinke had one of the most dominating stretches in baseball history with the Dodgers. In his three-and-a-bit years with the Boys in Blue, Greinke went 51-15 (that’s a .773 W-L%!) with a 2.30 ERA, 2.97 FIP, and a 1.027 WHIP. In his 2015 season, he went 19–3 with a 1.66 ERA — the lowest in a single season since Greg Maddux pitched to a 1.63 ERA in 1995.
There was a lot of back-and-forth discussion in the Devils community about what New Jersey’s trade deadline approach would be. On the one hand, they don’t seem good enough to be a serious playoff contender. On the other hand, the playoff race in the East has been open, and even with just 62 points the Devils sit seven back of Toronto for the second wild card spot. There could be solid arguments for either buying or selling.