Darrell Moody: The NBA voters missed on MVP award
The NBA is doing its best to keep itself in the news.
The league recently had its first awards night on the heels of a lackluster playoff season and an NBA draft which saw 11 one and done players taken in the first 14 picks, an NBA record.
I wasn’t wild about the selection of Russell Westbrook as league MVP. Of the three finalists I would’ve gone with Kawhi Leonard or James Harden or LeBron James, who wasn’t even a finalist this year.
If you were picking the most outstanding player it would’ve been Westbrook. The amount of triple-doubles was impressive, but the Thunder still wasn’t a consistent winning team. Westbrook didn’t make his team or teammates better, and that’s what a true MVP does,
Value? No way. The Thunder were a sixth-place team with him. I would’ve gone with Harden, whose Rockets finished third in the tough Western Conference behind the Warriors and Spurs.
Leonard had a quiet MVP-type season. He wasn’t an explosive scorer. He did a lot of things well, and he was probably one of the best defenders in the league, maybe second to Draymond Green of Golden State.
You saw James’ value in the playoffs, and how his absence had a negative effect on his team. That’s true value. The Cavs would’ve been good enough to make the playoffs without LeBron, but I don’t think they’re a top-four squad in the Eastern Conference without him.
The NBA free-agent period is upon us, and much of the talk has centered around the Clippers’ star duo of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Both appear headed out of Los Angeles, and if that happens, both will be leaving some money on the table because the way max contracts work is you make more money if you stay put and don’t opt out to sign with another team.
As I’ve said before, Paul going to the Spurs doesn’t put San Antonio ahead of the Warriors. It gets the Spurs closer, however. San Antonio would still need one more big name.
Paul George is generating a lot of interest. He has already told the Pacers he’s out of there after next year, and obviously the team should be trying to unload him so they get something for him. George wants to go to the Lakers. His presence doesn’t make the Lakers significantly better.
He could be a rental player for a year, and if you’re already a playoff team, it might be worth looking into signing George for one season. Who knows you might be able to persuade him to stay. George can score and he can play some good defense.
What about Carmelo Anthony? There’s talk the Knicks might buy out his contract, and if the Cavs don’t get George they might settle for Anthony.
If that happens, Kevin Love could be the odd man out, and adding Anthony doesn’t put the Cavs past the Warriors. Love is a great rebounder and a solid 3-point shooter. Anthony doesn’t play a lick of defense, and he can only score. He doesn’t make teammates better, and with him and not Love I don’t see the Cavs catching the Warriors,
There’s a lot of noise out there about LeBron moving on when his contract is done in Cleveland. If I’m a free agent and LeBron is making waves about moving on, I wouldn’t consider the Cavaliers.
To be on a super team, good players need to put their egos aside. Look at Golden State. Both Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, at times, took fewer shots because they had another great scoring option in Kevin Durant. And, there were games when Durant was the third option to Curry and Thompson.