Tere Vennas (Hey Guys, for our Estonian readers out there),
Today’s actually a big day for me. I opened up a Charles Schwab account which will allow me to trade options. Now, I can lose money in both the present and future. David, don’t tell mom.
While I might become a trading guru one day, I won’t forget about my fans who constantly put up with my nonsense.
Thus, we continue our voyage by heading westward. For Kappy’s sake, let’s not travel the Oregon Trail. (The Oregon Trail evening program might have been the worst event in Camp Chi History.)
Let’s take a look at the NBA’s Northwest Division.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Hold
I hate buying stocks that have already run up a considerable amount over the course of the past few years. The Thunder franchise, featuring three of the league’s top 25 players, is at a price range that scares this investor. The first red flag of potential turmoil was dealing James Harden to a Western Conference rival for essentially nothing. Rather than creatively construct financial flexibility to sign the Beard, they sold him for 50 cents on the dollar. Would you want a company you hold a long position in to sell one of its strongest assets for a 50% discount? That’s a rhetorical question.
Come to think of it, was it intelligent to deal Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins? Ever since joining the Thunder, Perkins has stunk the joint up something awful. He’s a liability on offense and is not the defensive stopper that he was marked up to be.
As much as I like the potential of Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones, I don’t buy that they’ll suddenly become All-Stars in the near future.
In terms of the head coach, I’ve always thought Scott Brooks is the most overrated ringleader in the game. If not for the lofty talent on the team, Brooks’ offensive schemes would be putrid.
While Russell Westbrook’s injury was surely a huge disappointment, I didn’t really see the team knocking off the Spurs in the first place. In a nutshell, I believe that the Thunder have blown their chance to establish themselves as the cream-of-the-crop in the Western Conference. While the Lakers and Spurs might be on the way down, the Rockets and Clippers are only getting better. It’s really important Kevin Durant and company take it up a notch and show the league what they’re made of in the 2013-2014 NBA season. I just don’t know if an NBA Championship is in the cards for the squad in its current state.
If I had to guess, I’ll be shorting this one next off-season.
Denver Nuggets: Sell
When a CEO of a company leaves, it usually means one of two things. 1) He or she has fallen flat on his or her face and the company is bound for the shitter. 2) The individual can no longer muster any additional value and upside for the company and needs a new opportunity. In the case of former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri, his situation resembles the latter. Skipping up to Canada, the reputable Ujiri probably believes that the Nuggets will never actually contend for a championship. (Editor’s note: it really could’ve been about the $$$. Front office execs are undervalued assets.)
While Toronto is hardly destined for greatness in the immediate future, they have plenty of upside left to garner. Who wouldn’t want to build a team around a guy with fungus on his face? Maybe they can call it “prehistoric” bacteria to theme it with the whole dinosaur thing.
A foundation of good, not elite talent is a successful formula if you want to thrive in the regular season. For Denver nation, the first 82 games have not been the problem. After being knocked out by an up-and-coming Golden State team, the writing is on the walls in the Rockies. You need superstars to get to the next level. While the Nuggets’ roster head to toe is as deep as they come, you don’t see anybody getting the lifelong Adidas or Nike contracts given to premium talent. Until this trend differs, Denver will continue to be knocked out early in the playoffs.
Since 2000, only the 2004 Pistons have relied on team-ball rather than me-ball to win a championship. MVPs have included Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James. As much I like Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson, they don’t necessarily scream superstar. No question the Nuggets are good, but if I’m holding stock, I’m selling high. In many respects, the Nuggets are trapped at the top of NBA purgatory. Coupled with the fact that Iggy’s heading to the team that kicked their butts, this one’s a no-brainer. Sell.
Next time: Look out for Utah, Portland and Minnesota- three small-market teams all trying to become relevant once again.
Until next time,
P.S.- I know I need a stronger array of transitions. I use while, nevertheless, regardless over and over again. If you’ve got any ideas, shoot ‘em over.