NBA Bebop: Buy, Sell, Hold

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In case you haven’t been paying attention, Kristaps Porzingis is the NBA’s new golden boy.

The lanky lovable euro has been stealing hearts around the league in the same way that Giannis Antetokounmpo did in his rookie year. Remember that? Porzingis was taken fourth overall in this year’s draft by the New York Knicks only to be met with an audibly overwhelming wave of disapproval by the Knicks fans at the draft, as their team selected an unknown foreigner who looked like he’d never come face to face with a hamburger before.

Since then, the Knicks’ slender member put on 15 pounds of muscle between the draft and the start of the season and looks totally fearless and focused in his first 15 NBA games, with averages of 13.7 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Those numbers are on par with Anthony Davis’ rookie season, and he’s an MVP caliber player now. People fall in love with players with huge potential, especially humble ones. Zinger appears to have gobs of both right now.

Sell: Kobe Bryant

No matter your opinion of Kobe Bryant, there’s no doubt he has supplied us with some of the tastiest basketball over the years. Fans of basketball have always been able to tune into the NBA and count on watching Kobe Bryant pull off some classic moves that display such brilliance that it almost stops surprising you. It becomes the norm. “Yep, Kobe’ll do that” we’d say. Well those dose are officially over, folks. Kobe is done. He’s really bad right now, and it’s breaking my god damned heart.

The major injuries at his age have broken the unbreakable. His body is totally cooked. He can’t run, he can’t shoot (31.1%FG on the season), and worst of all, he’s still playing as if it’s 2008. So many possessions are being run through Kobe that it’s hurting the team overall, including the development of its young players (such as D’Angelo Russell, who seems unhappy with things as they are now). The Lakers are like a rock band with 4 lead guitarists, and Kobe is attempting solos that he can no longer pull off. As much as it pains me to say, don’t be surprised to see the Lakers shut Kobe down after the All Star break and have him retire.

Buy: Paul George

One of the feel good stories of the NBA right now is that Paul George is back, and he’s playing better than ever. After gruesomely breaking his leg in the 2014 offseason and missing almost the entire 2014-15 season, it was easy to count PG13 out as an upcoming superstar. Thankfully no tendons were seriously harmed in the break and he’s experienced a full recovery, and then some. George is enjoying a career year so far with 25.9 points (sixth in the league), 8.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists, which are all career numbers. With multiple veterans leaving the Pacers in the offseason, this is Paul George’s team now. Don’t expect him to slow down too much.

Sell: The Western Conference

Don’t look now but the West is nowhere near superior to the East at the moment. The current 6th and 7th seeds in the West are both at 7-7 records (Suns and Clippers), which is on par with the 10th and 11th seeds in the East (Celtics and Pistons). Are we finally seeing a conference rebalance? Read more…