What was Phil Jackson thinking saying that he’d take Dwight Howard as the player he’d be most likely to build a franchise around? Nothing against Dwight Howard, but isn’t there this guy named LeBron James in the league who is pretty good? Even Dwyane Wade? Maybe Jackson is trying to get under James’ skin to get him angry for a potential showdown if the Cavs face Jackson’s Lakers in the much-anticipated NBA finals?
We know James is a competitor and whether or not he wants to admit it, he wants to be the best in class, the showstopper in the NBA. Kobe has had the spotlight on him as the best player in the league and Kobe’s been seen as the leader of the USA Dream Team but James wants to assume that role, and he’ll want it soon. If he keeps playing like this, he will get it. Alright, Kobe is awesome – and it’s sad to say because he’s only 30, but he is getting old. Sure, you could build a team around him and you’d be immediately good but his body will catch up with him and it will be difficult for him to lead a team a few years from now. The following is a list of players I’d build a team around, assuming a 5-year future:
1) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers – no contest. James will get to the hole, dribble through traffic, get on the boards, he can hit that open jump shot, nail a clutch three-pointer when called upon, get his teammates involved, come up with a huge hustle play on D and get a massive block or steal, and oh yeah, the guy can get up and DUNK like the best of them in the NBA.
2) Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat – this guy is a game changer. He’s got absolutely nothing around him in Miami and has lead his team into the fifth spot single-handedly. He has some of the sickest handles in the NBA, and when there’s time for one shot left, he’s the guy I want taking the shot (after Ray Allen). How many buzzer beaters has this guy hit? How many times has he scored more than half his teams points?
3) Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic – who cares if this guy can’t shoot. Look at the size of him and athletic ability. Clark Kent would go into a phone booth and become Superman. Dwight Howard just steps on the court and the super freak comes out of him. This guy will have a season when he averages 20 points and 15 boards a game. Plus his defensive presence isn’t that bad…didn’t he win some award this year for that?
4) Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets – no one gets their teammates more involved than Chris Paul. He will continue to get better and before his arrival, New Orleans was a struggling franchise. Last year, they were the second seed in the west. Plus that defensive ability – that’s how you win championships, right?
5) Brandon Roy, Portland Trail Blazers - this guy is a “big time, impact player.” Thank you Mark Jackson for that one. He has brought the basketball fans back from the dead in Portland with his amazing ability and knack for being a clutch player.
6) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder – watch out for this guy. If he puts on a little bit more muscle he will be one of the most serious threats in the NBA and his supporting cast in Oklahoma is getting better.
Just missed the cut: Deron Williams, Danny Granger, Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Devin Harris
For all you Raptor fans: I love Chris Bosh and what he’s done for this city but it is too difficult to build a team around a power forward. Plus, his health causes some concern for me, especially every time I go to a game and see his knee brace getting bigger and bigger.