Bagley’s Top 5

By Cole Bagley, Sports Editor

5. Sacramento Kings

This is an organization that hasn’t made the postseason in 14 years. Not only have they struggled to make the playoffs, but the front office has made a lot of questionable decisions in recent years, including when they traded All-Star Center Demarcus Cousins for a couple of draft picks, Omri Casspi, Tyreke Evans and Buddy Hield. What they do have going for them is a lot of young talent in De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Marvin Bagley, but that’s not enough talent to win a championship now or anywhere in the future. The Kings should look to move some of their young guards for some better and more experienced wing support. Players like Khris Middleton, Caris Levert, or even Victor Oladipo could be some potential trade targets for the Kings in order to get the team back into the playoffs before the next decade goes by.

4. San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs missed the playoffs this year for the first time in 22 years. That is without a doubt a remarkable achievement and just goes to show how incredibly dominant and consistent this organization has been for over two decades. However, it may be time for this organization to pull the plug on a few of the assets it’s had for some time. Lamarcus Aldridge is not getting any younger, the 35-year-old will be entering his 15th season and while he still contributed 18.9 PPG and 7.4 REB, the Spurs should look to move him as soon as possible. The Spurs could look to trade for a younger big man such as Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic who has been in the midst of trade rumors for what seems like forever. Additionally, it may be time to part ways with their hall of fame coach Greg Popovich who was been with the team since 1996. Not that he is doing anything necessarily wrong, but the game is ever-changing and a new face calling the shots might benefit the team.

3. Houston Rockets

Houston made one of the most boneheaded moves in the last offseason as they traded point guard Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook. This experiment was an absolute failure as the Rockets were nearly defeated by Paul and the Thunder in the first round, and were eventually bounced 4-1 by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. Westbrook and James Harden do not mix well as they are both ball hogs and clearly didn’t learn how to make each other better in their first season together. Additionally, the Houston Rockets committed to a “small ball” roster, which ended up being their demise as they had nobody to guard Lebron James or Anthony Davis. The Rockets should recommit to Harden as the face of the franchise and trade Russell Westbrook for a strong and aggressive big man. Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge could be potential trade targets as those two are on teams who aren’t quite sure what to do with them and could bring back some size to the Houston roster.

2. Philadelphia 76ers

With a roster made up of Joel Embid, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Josh Richardson, you’d think the Seventy-Sixers would be able to make a serious run at the title. A lack of chemistry has plagued this team for the last few seasons as they have two All-Stars who can’t seem to complement each other out on the floor. Joel Embid seems to be more of a franchise-type player, and so the Sixers may want to consider moving Ben Simmons as many teams would be interested in trading for the young All-Star guard. If they want to keep those two together, Philadelphia could look to move Harris and/or Horford for another scoring option such as Buddy Hield or Victor Oladipo who are rumored to want out of their current situations.

1. Milwaukee Bucks

The clock is ticking on the Milwaukee Bucks and their ability to resign Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2020-21 offseason. Giannis is coming off of back-to-back MVP seasons and yet has been unable to reach the NBA finals despite dominant regular season performances as the team has finished No. 1 in the East the last 2 seasons. The playoffs have been a different beast for the Greek Freak and crew as this year they are unable to even advance to the Eastern Conference finals as they were upset by the No.5 see Miami Heat 4-1. The Bucks have got to make some offseason moves and acquire a better supporting cast. Players like Eric Bledsoe who averaged an abysmal 11.6 PPG, 5.9 AST, 38.8 FG% and 25% beyond the arc in the postseason are just not what the Bucks need in order to support their franchise star. While Khris Middleton was an All-Star in the regular season, he is not enough of a secondary star to propel the team to a finals appearance. Milwaukee should look to potentially trade these two players to acquire someone like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo or look to sign one of the notable free agents such as Gordon Hayward or Fred Vanvleet. Whatever they do, the Bucks have to act quickly or else it’s almost a guarantee that Giannis will walk after next season.

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