It's July already? How? Time is obviously a social construct created by humans as a way to control the working man but damn does it fly by. It feels like classes just wrapped up in early May and here I am getting ready to move in a month. I guess when you're floating on a mids-made cloud everything either speeds up or slows down but still, wow. I'm going to be aimlessly wandering the halls of the retirement home my children are absolutely going to force me in the first chance they get in like two weeks.
This has already been the craziest free agency period ever
I didn't post the Minute yesterday because I had to drive back to Iowa City (more on that in a bit) so I didn't get a chance to discuss free agency. It officially opened up Sunday at 6PM but we knew about a lot of deals beforehand because, well, tampering is very much a thing. It was one of, if not the, craziest days in NBA history. The amount of movement, especially from stars, was almost unfathomable and it set up what should be an insane season. Matty Ice and I are going to be coming out with a longer-form free agency piece tomorrow so I'll just go over a few of the most notable moves over the last few days.
KD, Kyrie, and DeAndre Jordan head to Brooklyn
I prophesied this in February (sans the Jordan addition) and I honestly think it might be my only correct prediction since I started doing basketball stuff for Burbs. There was so much talk about these two going to the Knicks and it never made sense to me. The Knicks are a horribly run organization with an even worse owner and the media scrutiny is at an all-time high around MSG. Brooklyn was a team on the rise with a dynamic front office in an emerging market and a ton of cap space and solid young pieces. If KD and Kyrie were heading to New York, why not Brooklyn? I can't believe it actually happened and even though KD is taking a $40 million redshirt year, Brooklyn is an instant contender. It'll be interesting to see how Kyrie does on his own in Year 1 considering the rollercoaster two years in Boston but he didn't have as much control as he was traded to the Celtics; he chose the Nets. Brooklyn is adding two of the craftiest, most elite players in the league to a team that also features DeAndre Jordan (elite rebounder and efficient paint scorer), Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Joe Harris. Maybe they won't be in the running for a championship this season without KD but they'll definitely make a playoff appearance with the potential to make some noise. Brooklyn is going to be one of the most fascinating teams in the league, who knows, maybe Kyrie can emerge as an MVP candidate.
D'Angelo Russell is acquired by the Warriors in a sign-and-trade
I didn't see this coming. Ralph and I cover this in the pod I'm going to upload right after this, but I don't like the fit. I get that the Warriors didn't want to let KD walk for nothing and acquired a 23-year-old All-Star in Russell, but are him and Steph really the backcourt of the future? I think DLo is a much better fit for Minnesota and unless they can hop in and make it a three-team deal (Wiggins to GS is intriguing to me), Russell can't be moved until December. There have been multiple reports that Golden State intends to deal Russell so keep an eye on this situation.
Kemba Walker to Boston
I covered this in a Minute last week so this is going to be super brief. I feel like Boston is headed to a similar situation as last year because their "stars" all still need the ball in their hands to really thrive, but Kemba seems like he's the kind of guy that's willing to let his PPG drop and become more of a facilitator. Boston is still definitely a contender in the East and who knows, maybe they'll improve a lot without Kyrie. Good on them for replacing one All-Star guard with another.
Philly loses Jimmy Butler but adds Josh Richardson and Al Horford; favorites in the East?
I'm still kind of confused as to why Jimmy G. Buckets left a definite contender for a team that might not even be in the playoffs but that's his choice to make. It had to be a sign-and-trade due to all the money involved, and it was a super confusing saga that you can look up, but the most important pieces moved were Jimmy to Miami and Josh Richardson to Philly. Richardson is a really solid player (16.6-3.6-4.1, 41.2/35.7/86.1) and should slot into Philly's lineup nicely. He's not as efficient as Jimmy on either end of the floor but with the return of Tobias Harris on a max deal and the addition of All-Star Al Horford, the Sixers can now run out a lineup with 6'6" Richardson being the shortest player. They're a massive team and if Ben Simmons can extend his game just a little bit, like by five more feet, I think Philly is in the best position to come out of the East. Horford is going to end up being an even more important signing if he has to be Embiid insurance at any point. This is going to be a team to watch for.
I got towed yesterday
I'm not going to mince words. Yesterday was fucking awful. My drive back to Iowa City was exceptionally boring, much more than usual, and I just felt off the whole day. I parked in the garage underneath my apartment building even though I'm clearly not supposed to because others had been doing it without any problems for a few weeks. I had every intention to move it, in fact, when I went to bring it to Ralph's after we recorded, I realized it was gone. I couldn't believe it. "Let's see the whip," Ralph said. Well, the fucking whip was gone. I went into an instant rage. I usually don't get mad, I just don't have it in me, but I was steaming. I kept yelling and probably hit a wall or two and eventually calmed down a bit to figure things out. I called my mom, dropped the bomb, and then called Big 10 Towing, the company that hauled my stallion of a Mazda 3 away. They had it; it was taken in a hour-long window after I had checked on my car. Not only that, but I was locked out of my apartment so it was an absolute nightmare scenario. I was informed that the lot was closed until this morning and was told my total was going to be $170. If I already wasn't strapped for cash, this happened. I just couldn't believe it. I consider myself to be a pretty smart guy but at the same time, I'm an absolute idiot. Sometimes something just doesn't click. I had an off feeling, too, I should've trusted my gut. I'm shocked I didn't puke yesterday, I was so close. I felt awful, guilty, ashamed. Why me? Anyways, I got up at 6 AM today and thankfully Sheehy was able to come in so clutch and take me over to the towing place and I got it back. It's now parked safely and I'm glad it's all over. What does the universe hold next for me? I honestly don't want to know.
CULTURE? ENTERTAINMENT? I DON'T KNOW.
Joe Rogan Experience #1316 with Abby Martin is a great listen
I wouldn't call myself a "fan" of politics because I think the current political landscape is dominated by identity politics and hyper-partisan competition and I can already tell that the 2020 election is going to be an absolute mess, but I like to stay filled in because I think it's important to know what's going on in America and abroad. I don't align with a party because I think they're a mess and I like to consider myself an independent, so I do my best to take in information from all sides. I put this on for my drive back and I thought it was a great look into 2020, international issues, and filled me in more about the Democratic candidates. It was my first time hearing Abby Martin and I thought she was an excellent guest. She's upfront about being very left-wing but I thought she delivered her thoughts in a super well-thought out way and she wasn't afraid to call out her own party. It was a really refreshing political conversation in a sea of anger and ignoring others' viewpoints so if you have any interest in politics or want to know a bit more about 2020, definitely check it out.