November 26, 2022

It’s Thanksgiving, and there are plenty of teams in the NBA to be thankful for (the Nets aren’t one of them, which says a lot about teams with Kevin Durant). But we’re going to split a little hair here. Every team with a superstar thanks that superstar, but I’ve attempted to narrow down the 5 teams with the most to be grateful for and what exactly they are grateful for. Here we go.

When five teams passed Curry in the 2009 draft, including the Timberwolves twice, the Warriors had no idea what they were getting. Curry has transformed Golden State’s franchise in ways unimaginable even 10 years ago, when Curry first became an All-Star. 4 championships. 6 finalists. 73-win season, an NBA record. Franchise value in the literal billions. Nothing happens without Curry. The combination of competence and humility will come once in a generation as the face of the franchise.

For a number of reasons, I’d argue that no single player in the world led the Warriors to a championship last year, but even this season, Curry is the reason why an aging, flawed Warriors team is still considered. legitimate competitor. With Curry, you have a chance, and the Warriors are incredibly grateful that you have Curry.

For example, if the Lakers still have their current operations in Minneapolis, Memphis, Salt Lake City, or pretty much anywhere outside of LA, they’d be laughing stock. In any case, one could argue that it is. However, since they occupy prime real estate in the NBA, their margin for error is so great that they can essentially mess everything up and still have a pretty direct path out of the dark and into the light of title contention.

The Lakers can say they are most grateful for LeBron James, but the only reason they have LeBron in the first place is that they are in LA. The only reason they have Anthony Davis is because they have LeBron. And the only reason they’ve had the title over the past decade is because they’ve got both of them.

Since that title (the bubble title), the franchise has basically done nothing to make it attractive to players with options. Aside from the location and that iconic name etched across their chests, they’ve made disastrous decisions over and over again. It’s Rob Pelinka’s permission to wander around the So-Cal sandbox barely knowing what he’s doing. Pelinka is like a trust fund child. He can continue to mess with almost every other GM in a way that buries them and is still within a few basic abilities to get ahead.

Every organization in a league with a superstar player is grateful to that player. Damian Lillard has been a godsend in Portland for 10 years. Denver’s Nicola Jokic, Boston’s Jayson Tatum, Memphis’ Ja Morant, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Miami’s Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George Scissors; If it wasn’t for Kevin Durant, Brooklyn would be a dumpster.

However, none of them have brought championships to the current franchise. Other than Tatum, no player has made it to the finals. On the other hand, Antetokounmpo took Milwaukee to the top of the basketball world. He could have left in the summer of 2021, right after the Bucks win, as Leonard did with the Raptors, but Giannis signed a five-year extension midway through the season.

Giannis could at least hear what other teams had to say over the summer. danced He was courted. But his ego didn’t need that kind of celebration. He didn’t want to distract a Bucks team trying to win a title a little over six months after expanding relatively quietly. Other than Stephen Curry, there’s no other player in the league who means more to their franchise than Antetokounmpo does to the Bucks.

Ainge is doing his job at Utah now, but the Celtics will owe him a long time to come. He is the number one reason they are in a position to contend for a championship over the next decade. The trades Ainge signed with the Celtics Nets for Jaylen Brown and the Sixers for Jayson Tatum gave Boston arguably the best duo in the league and are just beginning to enter their prime.

Ainge, in particular, has been under pressure to trade Brown over the years. he never did. He allowed the duo to grow together, and at the same time drafted Robert Williams and Grant Williams to go with them. Ainge drafted Marcus Smart. He recruited Al Horford. He hired Brad Stevens, who is proving to be a very good coach and a great GM. He hired Joe Mazzulla, who looked like he could be his coach for the next 10 years.

Thanks to Ainge, everything the Celtics have prepared for this long rivalry. He put it all together. He hasn’t always been popular with Celtics fans who want a more aggressive move, but his stubborn ways and short-sighted refusal to concede in deals are what Boston is in this position right now. Ainge made this team last. Boston should be very grateful.

It’s no surprise that a team could trade their second lottery pick with Trae Young and still come out on the right side of the deal. , barring a career-altering injury, is already a lock to go down as one of the best players ever.

I don’t know what numbers you want to put in, like top 20, top 10, but he’s breaking all-time records. This guy has legit GOAT conversation potential and is only 23 years old! If there was an open draft for every player in the league right now, I’d argue Doncic would go first. I don’t think it’s even close.

To have such a great guy at this age is what makes me get on my knees before bed every night and thank the basketball gods. A player like Doncic is guaranteed to compete for the next 10-15 years if you play his part and surround him with the right pieces. Dallas might want to start thinking about doing that.

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