Anxiety, or at the very least excited curiosity, builds up inside us during this time of year. Offseason trades, the draft and coaching moves spur questions and concern. Of course, we were treated to LeBron James‘ “Decision” last season.
So today, without knowing when our questions will be answered and our basketball-loving jitters quelled, let’s play a LeBron-like game of “What should I do?” for some intriguing NBA players that I’m most curious about. Sure, it’s jumping ahead, but these questions also will evolve throughout this downtime and whenever free agency kicks off. What should each player do, and what will happen if they take Route A instead of Route B?
Should I develop my game into something more than a trigger-happy 7-footer and accept that Toronto really isn’t that bad? Should I demand a trade and head south of the Canadian border? Should I be be concerned that Bryan Colangelo and Co. drafted Lithuanian center Jonas Valanciunas? What should I do?
After a little comment about the possibility of Bargnani bouncing from Toronto because it wasn’t warm enough he backtracked a bit. But was that his subconscious talking? Either way, the Italian big man has the reputation of being one of the softer players in the league by averaged only 5.1 rebounds per game. Granted that could be due to being such a perimeter-oriented big man, but so is Dirk Nowitzki. Next season, we’ll see whether Bargnani is comfortable with his current role or whether he commits himself to becoming a more well-rounded player. Whether his future is in Toronto or otherwise remains to be seen, and with the Raptors drafting of talented youngster in Valanciunas the pressure is on.
Should I do pool workouts every day, dropping the pounds and improving my achy knees? Should I give out shoes from my closet to my Twitter followers? Should I live-tweet dates with girls? What should I do?
Arenas has the most to gain and the most to lose. In fact, the entire roster of the Orlando Magic is up in the air, but with Jameer Nelson having been shopped around and Dwight Howard openly standing (and planking) behind Agent Zero, Arenas could be back to his old self next season. That, or he spends too much time tweeting instead of staying in shape (without putting stress on his knees, of course), resulting in more injury trouble. Though if Nelson remains a player on the Magic, Arenas’ role is still a huge question mark.
James Harden and Evan Turner
Should I tweak my game to be more aggressive and secure a starting role? Should I slightly go against my instincts and be more selfish to become a potential All-Star? Should I keep quiet and wait for my time to shine? What should I do?
Both Harden and Turner are uber-talented two-guards who are team players, sometimes to a fault. While they have the skill-sets to start on their respective teams, neither has become a starter because both are comfortable learning and playing within their roles. But there’s too much talent in the Thunder and Sixer guards to keep them on the bench for much longer. While Harden has the experience on Turner, each are in the same position. They could be break-out stars or continue their quiet development as role players. The guess here is that their teams would benefit from the former.
Should I get mad, get inspired and be the menacing shot-blocker that I was at UConn? Should I take advantage of Yao Ming‘s retirement and the opportunity to provide the Rockets with a defensive presence? Should I continue to look slow afoot and out of it? What should I do?
Drafted at the No. 2 slot overall, hardly playing your rookie season and then being traded soon after can’t be a good feeling. For Thabeet, that’s reality. How he reacts this prolonged offseason will tell us a lot about the 7-3 center, especially with Houston’s lack of a Yao-sized (or otherwise) big man. That must be the reason the Rockets traded veteran Shane Battier for Thabeet. If the center can pretend every NBA game is against Notre Dame – Thabeet always frustrated former Notre Dame forward Luke Harangody – he just might find a place on the Rockets.
Should I be happy to find my way to another team with a dominant big man once again? Should I be glad to have a point guard’s coach teaching me how to run the show? Should I be grumpy about being on my fourth team in just more than three years? What should I do?
Felton isn’t an elite NBA point guard, but he’s not a scrub. Similar to a Chauncey Billups-type of floor general, Felton looks great with this Blazers team on paper. He has enough talent to be a playmaker and big shot taker when the offense breaks down, but Felton also has the smarts to defer to guys like LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy if Roy is healthy. Of course, we’re all curious how well he’ll develop a chemistry with those guys if there’s no offseason to formally work out with them. However, Felton gives the Blazers a more youthful upgrade to Andre Miller. How far will it take them?
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @offensivelyfoul.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.