The NBA Took it Easy on Robert Sarver with Suspension

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The NBA is an extremely well-known brand. It’s one of the most well-known brands in the world, and the league takes its reputation very seriously, for good reason. However, there’s been more than a couple scandals in recent memory, and it seems the league will continually be desperate to keep that reputation as shiny as possible. That is the case with Robert Sarver and his suspension.

Robert Sarver’s Career

Robert Sarver is the owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. He’s also the owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. Sarver graduated from the University of Arizona, and purchased both teams in 2004.

Sarver has overseen many monumental events in the Suns’ history. He’s overseen the recent, rapid improvement of the team that grabbed the 1st seed in the Western Conference for the first time since 2004, and for just the fourth time in the franchise’s 54-year history. Behind the scenes, in a scandal that was only brought to light recently, NBA fans learned about the dark secrets floating around the Suns front office.

Robert Sarver’s Actions and the Dark Reality of Suns’ Front Office

Robert has just received punishment for his actions after a long investigation was opened by the NBA into the workplace environment in Phoenix. Here are some findings:

Sarver, on five separate occasions, repeated the N-word when recounting statements of others. Sarver also “engaged in instances of inequitable conduct towards female employees, made many sex-related comments in the workplace, made inappropriate comments about the physical appearence of female employees and other women, and on several occasions engaged in inappropriate physical conduct toward male employees.”

To add to this already extensive list, Sarver engaged in “demeaning and harsh treatment of employees.” This included yelling and cursing at them. These quotes have been pulled from the NBA’s statement regarding the punishment.

For those actions, Sarver has been suspended from both organizations for a year. He’s not allowed to be present at any events related to either team, and must stay away from the organizations entirely for a year. He was also fined $10 million.

How the NBA Failed With the Robert Sarver Punishment and Suspension

To put is bluntly, Robert Sarver received a slap on the wrist for actions that should have warranted a lifelong suspension.

The NBA has seen a situation like this before. In 2014, then-Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape disparaging his mistress for associating herself with African Americans. Sterling also made many more racist remarks, and was under investigation for a sexual harassment lawsuit, as well.

These issues received national backlash, and soon after the NBA decided to take a league vote, deciding whether Sterling should be forced to sell the team. The vote easily passed, and Sterling’s ownership of the team was removed.

Adam Silver released that news, and understandably the NBA was praised for laying down the hammer on a man who fully deserved it. Then, Robert Sarver was found to have done essentially the same exact things, yet received an extremely small punishment. Now, Silver and the NBA’s decision looks hollow, especially in light of Silver claiming the situations are “dramatically different“.

The truth is, Robert Sarver and Donald Sterling are the worst type of people. Both old, rich men who have proven themselves to be racist and sexist individuals. As is commonplace in our society, many men like that have been rich enough to get away with their actions.

The NBA seemed to set a precedent with their handling of Sterling. They completely reversed it with their shallow punishment of Sarver.

The NBA dropped the ball here. In no way should Robert Sarver have anything to do with the NBA ever again. However, the NBA’s light punishment shows how superficial they took these actions from Sarver. It’s disappointing, but not entirely surprising.

Donovan Mitchell Trade: What Teams Make The Most Sense?

Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell could find himself on the trade block
Photo Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

After the Jazz traded one of their franchise players in Rudy Gobert this offseason, there’s just one star left in Utah: Donovan Mitchell. Since being selected by Utah, Mitchell has established himself as a star. Most notably with his insane playoff run during the 2020 bubble playoffs.

Mitchell has helped lead the Jazz to the NBA playoffs each year since he was drafted in 2017. Still, Mitchell and the Utah Jazz haven’t seen much playoff success. It seems a change of scenery is needed for both sides. Here are three teams that would make the most sense for a Donovan Mitchell trade.

Donovan Mitchell Trade: Potential Suitors

New York Knicks

This team makes sense, for some obvious reasons. One of those is the fact that the NBA rumor mill has been flooded with trade rumors involving the Knicks and Donovan Mitchell. After picking up Jalen Brunson in free agency, the addition of Mitchell would make a very exciting backcourt.

The only thing holding this up is the lack of assets on the Knicks side of things. The Utah Jazz got a whopping four first round picks for Rudy Gobert. It’s expected that they have similar value in mind for Mitchell. The Knicks don’t have those options, but if they can get a third team involved, then they can get something going.

Miami Heat

The Heat are a capable trade destination for one main reason; Donovan Mitchell wants to go there, as was reported by Tony Jones. Miami is always an attractive destination. It became a lot more attractive after the Heat nabbed the first seed, and were one win away from the NBA Finals last year.

Unfortunately, like the Knicks, the Heat don’t seem to have the assets Utah is likely looking for. Because of that, Miami is in a similar situation. Like the Knicks, they’d likely need to find a third team to facilitate a deal and send some assets to Utah. If they can get it done, Miami easily becomes a favorite to win the NBA Finals.

Los Angeles Lakers

No, the Lakers do not have the assets or cap to trade for Donovan Mitchell themselves. What they do have is the ability to facilitate a trade, which is exactly why they are on this list. Any trade involving Donovan Mitchell will likely be a three-team trade, given the likely massive demands from the Jazz.

That is exactly where the Lakers come in. Here, Los Angeles finds an opportunity to get rid of Russell Westbrook’s contract. The Lakers would also be able to grab some role players from the Knicks or Heat in return as well, at the very least.

NBA Schedule Leaks: Most Exciting Matchups

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On Wednesday at 3 P.M. Eastern Time, the full, official NBA schedule for the 2022-23 season will be released. However, thanks to the fact that NBA insiders exist, we’ve gotten a sneak peak at some of the biggest matchups throughout the season. Let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing games in the new season.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is universally known in the sports world as NBA-day. For many years now the NBA has dominated the sports world on one of the biggest holidays, with exciting matchups every year. This season will be no different.

This year’s slate has headlines written all over it. There will be rematches of last year’s playoffs with the Bucks playing the Celtics and the Warriors hosting the Grizzlies. The Bucks and Celtics have been crowned as the last two Eastern Conference champions, with both teams expected to contend again this year. The Warriors and Grizzlies have had some very public bad blood since their playoff series last year, and this game should have no shortage of storylines.

The remaining meetups on the slate are the Knicks vs. 76ers, Nuggets vs. Suns and the Mavericks vs. Lakers. These games all have a large amount of star power. Overall, almost every team playing on Christmas day has the potential to reach the NBA finals, so we should see some exciting performances.

Opening Night

Opening night is one of the biggest days on the NBA calendar, as it marks the return of meaningful basketball. This year, opening night will feature two huge matchups. The defending champion Golden State Warriors will play Lebron James and the Lakers. Before that, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will kick the new season off.

The Warriors will receive their rings, and will begin a new year against the Lakers for the second straight year. Last year that happened in Los Angeles, but this time the two squads will meet in San Francisco. In the other game, the Celtics and 76ers will clash. This game brings a ton of star-power, and both teams have the potential to win the Eastern Conference as a whole.

Other Exciting Matchups on the NBA Schedule

On October 21st, the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic will face off in Georgia. This will be a significant matchup because it will be the first time Dejounte Murray and the first overall pick, Paolo Banchero will play against each other. Those two have been quite public with their recent beef on social media, making for an exciting game as the two start to settle it on the court.

On October 19th, the second night of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets will square off in New York. This will mark the return of two stars who have missed time; Ben Simmons and Zion Williamson. Both players have seen themselves stuck in the spotlight recently, but will soon finally have a chance to get back on the court.

Finally, we have the battle for Los Angeles. The matchups between the Lakers and Clippers are always contentious, but they matter more now that both teams are competitive. The two southern California squads will face off four times, on October 20th, November 9th, January 24th and April 5th. These three matchups are some of the most interesting on the NBA schedule.

3 Most Underrated NBA Teams For the 2022-23 Season

Underrated NBA Teams
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As we slowly creep closer to the new NBA season, predictions for every team have been well accounted for. There are consensus conclusions on who the contenders are around the league, as well as some playoff-bubble and bottom of the barrel teams. However, here are three underrated NBA teams as we begin the new season.

Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks may not be one of the more underrated NBA teams, but with the acquisitions made this off-season, they are underrated title contenders.

The Hawks have made the playoffs each of the past two years. They even went so far as to make the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, and were just two wins away from the NBA Finals. They followed that up with another playoff appearance in the 2021 season. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it nearly as far, bowing out in five games in the first round.

Atlanta has since improved their team after that disappointing playoff run. They traded Kevin Huerter to Sacramento, but recouped that loss after picking Up Dejounte Murray from San Antonio. Murray will add some much-needed defense to their backcourt, and form a dynamic duo with Trae Young. The Hawks certainty aren’t being counted out of the playoff race, but they should be looked at as more of a legitimate contender.

Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves found themselves back in the playoffs last season, and they put up a solid fight in the first round. This off-season, they upgraded by getting one of the best defenders in the league, Rudy Gobert. The price for Gobert was far from cheap, with Minnesota having to give up a whopping four first round picks.

The Wolves were willing to pay that price though, and the team is better because of it. Gobert and Karl Anthony Towns immediately form one of, if not the best big-man duos in the league. Minnesota was already on the upswing, but after picking up Gobert, they should be considered a contender in the western conference.

New York Knicks

The Knicks made the playoffs in the 2020 season, but failed to perform up to that caliber last year. We saw the quick decline and departure of Kemba Walker in New York. The Knicks were able to replace him with a massive upgrade in Jalen Brunson.

Brunson really had a breakout season last year, and made himself a lot of money with his playoff performance. He moves to the big apple this year, and will lead a team that is very similar to the squad that secured the fourth seed in 2020. The potential of this team is exciting. With the addition of Brunson, they should be considered a true contender in the eastern conference.

Can the Cleveland Cavaliers Take the Next Step in 2022?

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Heading into the 2022 NBA season, there are several promising young teams across the league. One of the more underrated teams among that group are the Cleveland Cavaliers. After losing Lebron James in free agency several years ago, Cleveland went into a rebuilding phase. They’ve since built the team back up, and have an exciting young core that was able to make the play-in tournament last season. Question is, do the Cleveland Cavaliers have what they need to take the next step and become a true contender in 2022?

The Young Core

First, lets take a look at the young group of players leading the Cavs. First, we have Darius Garland. Garland was picked up early in the first round of the 2019 draft, and through three years he’s already become arguably their best player. The young point guard averaged nearly 22 points and eight assists last year, and was a big reason the team was able to make the play-in.

He was joined in the backcourt with the Cavs’ other impressive guard, Collin Sexton. Sexton averaged 16 points last year, and he plays well with Garland. Sexton did become a free agent this offseason, so it remains to be seen whether he sticks with this core or not. There’s no guarantee on a deal happening, but both sides have been in contact.

At small forward, the Cavs have Caris LeVert. LeVert was acquired at the deadline last year, and he’s got one more year on his contract, so he’ll be a free agent next summer. Whether he decides to stay in Cleveland or not will largely depend on how they perform next year.

In the front court, Cleveland has a dynamic duo with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Standing at 6’11” and 6’10” respectively, the two are an absolute force on defense. Both can score as well, forming a dynamic pick-and-roll duo with Garland.

Offseason Moves

Last year, Cleveland was able to make the play-in, but unfortunately suffered losses to the Nets and Hawks. The Cavs never got to play in the playoffs. For a young team like this, sometimes all it takes is another offseason of development.

With that said, if Cleveland really wants to make a splash move, now would be the time considering a majority of their roster remains on their rookie contracts. A splash move could immediately make them a true contender in the Eastern Conference, but it’s something they’ve failed to do yet this offseason.

The only major asset Cleveland has lost this offseason was Colin Sexton. They could re-sign Sexton, as the two have been in contact. Still, over a month into free agency, Colin and the Cavs haven’t been able to reach a deal. The only two notable players to sign with Cleveland this offseason have been Ricky Rubio and Robin Lopez.

With the addition of those two and the current loss of Sexton, the team hasn’t improved much, if at all. The Cavaliers had a chance to make some significant moves this offseason. Up until now they’ve failed to do so.

Are the 2022 Cleveland Cavaliers Truly Ready?

That question remains very much up in the air. Cleveland took a massive jump in 2021, improving by 22 wins from the 2020 season. That was good enough to make the play-in, but not any further than that.

There is a case to be made that further development from key players like Garland and Mobley, combined with a full season of LeVert might be enough to make Cleveland a true contender. There’s also the case that Cleveland didn’t improve, and may have actually gotten worse if Sexton doesn’t re-sign. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure: the Cleveland Cavaliers have an exciting young roster, and should at least contend for the playoffs again in 2022.