We are about to enter the NBA offseason lull period. Most of free agency’s dominoes have already fallen, and the hottest acquisitions have been officially announced. As we hit the middle of July, the last piece of the expected offseason madness is Carmelo Anthony’s 2017–2018 team. ESPN’s The Jump has “Melo Watch” entering Day 15.
It’s the type of start that every big league rookie dreams of. Your first full season in the Majors, leading the league in homers, and becoming the talk of the city. New York City, to boot. Well Aaron Judge has done just that. They even created a specific section for Judge in right field at Yankee Stadium called the “Judge’s Chambers”. Your own section in honor of how great you are at baseball? Must be nice. But the former first round pick deserves it. He’s taken the baseball world by storm, hitting mammoth home runs and making diving catches in the alleys of Yankee stadium. When Judge began the season on this kind of tear, a lot of people thought it would slow down. But it hasn’t. Judge is hitting .335 with 24 bombs, and was just asked to participate in the Home run derby at the 2017 All-Star game. For good reason, too. He currently holds the longest hit home run of the 2017 season at an astounding 495 feet.
While the Warriors sit back and talk about what shirts they’re going to wear at next year’s championship parade and how they’ll make fun of LeBron’s hairline this year, the NBA is in total chaos. Stars are going back and forth, rumors are coming in by the minute, and the battle between Woj and Shams Charania over who’s going to break news first is like a battle in Game of Thrones on steroids. We’re seeing teams either stock up on nukes in the shape of disgruntled superstars in order to join the ongoing arms race, or unload pieces to the highest bidder, or any bidder as long as they can just sulk in the shadows of the NBA until the Warriors are done waging war on everyone foolish enough to pick up a basketball.
People have been talking about trading DeMarcus Cousins for a couple of years now. He’s only signed through the 2017–2018 season, and will proceed to finally be a free agent. Unless, Sacramento decides to trade him, which I see to be highly unlikely because Boogie will either throw a fit about going to the wrong team, or the Kings can’t find the right deal for them.
The 2016 playoff series was unique in how we saw relievers used. We saw Buck Showalter punished brutally for not bringing his closer into a high-leverage situation in a tied game on the road; we saw Terry Francona ride his relievers all the way to Game 7 of the World Series; and we even saw Clayton Kershaw come out of the pen and dominate.