This week has been an interesting saga for the NBA. To a certain degree, this may be inspected as NBA gossip, however, few things are clear:
- Kyrie Irving has gone absent from his team, Brooklyn Nets
- James Harden is not content with playing with Houston Rockets, claiming “We’re just not that good”
The 2017-2018 MVP, James Harden seems to have accepted that his team has reached the ceiling. Despite everything, the Rockets have ran their unique small ball line-up to great sucesss in the last season, only finally falling to the to-be NBA Champions Los Angeles Lakers in the western conference finals. All in all, it is as good an achievement as any team can expect, but apparently not for James Harden.
Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter: “Reporting w/ @RamonaShelburne: Brooklyn’s acquiring James Harden in a three-way deal with Cleveland. Caris LeVert, Dante Exum, Rodions Kurucs, four 1st round picks – including Cavs’ 2022 first via Bucks — and 4 Nets pick swaps to Rockets. Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince to Cavs.” / Twitter
Teams are starting to sport a deal for Harden, if Brooklyn does manage to land the deal, the trajectory of the league may grow ever more interesting.
Early MVP Predictions
This year, the bigs of the league seems to be taking a big step-up. Joel Embiid is currently averaging 26.6 / 12.1 / 3.1 on great efficiency shooting 54.4%, pushing his team to a leading 8-4 record. He just finished a game against Miami Heat in overtime, scoring 45 points, establishing his dominance in the OT.
Meanwhile, the European star Nikola Jokic is proving his mantle in just his 6th year in the league. The point-center has on many occasions claimed that he modeled his game after the hall-of-famer Tim Duncan. Jokic is averaging a triple-double 24.3 / 10.9 / 10.5 with 1.8 steals and 0.5 blocks. He is also showing he can be the anchor on both defense on offense, as well as proving his strength in the clutch. Nikola Jokic may be the standard center for years to come.
On the other hand, there are other MVP-caliber players slowly baring their fangs. Old guards such as LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant are otherwise having a quiet season, only because standards for them are set extremely high. Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers also looks to be making a case for the elusive title.
Covid-19’s Effects on the League
The NBA commissioner, Adam Silver has claimed that the league wants to do all they can to avoid having to suspend the season again. However, as reports of players testing positive for Covid-19 for the second time emerges, the league is starting to consider halting the league for 7 – 14 days. To the current day, more than 117 players have contracted COVID-19.
As unappealing the solution is, the league may very well have to consider halting the league for the safety of their players. There have been talks of re-establishing the previously successful, coined ‘Orlando Bubble’, but it is very unlikely that players would want to be subjected to the bubble for more than half a year, especially in such social climate.