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The Warriors, Lakers and Celtics are among the five teams in the NBA most of whom are grateful

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It’s Thanksgiving time, and there are a lot of teams in the NBA that have a lot to be thankful for ( networks They’re not one of them, which says a lot for a team that includes Kevin Durant). But we’re going to split some hairs here. Every team that has a superstar is grateful for that star, but I tried to narrow it down to the five teams they have the most gratitude for, and what exactly they are grateful for. This is where you start.

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When five teams passed Curry in the 2009 draft, including Timberwolves Twice, the Warriors had no idea what they were getting into. Curry has transformed the Golden State franchise in ways unimaginable even a decade ago when Curry first became an All-Star. Four championships. Six final matches. The NBA record is 73 wins in the season. Literally billions in franchise value. None of it happens without Curry, whose combination of ability and humility comes perhaps once in a generation as the face of the franchise, if that’s the case.

I would argue that there is not a single other player in the world who, for various reasons, could have led the Warriors last year to a title, and again this season, Curry is the reason why the aging and flawed Warriors team is still considered a legitimate contender. If you have Curry, you have a chance, and the Warriors are so grateful to have him.

If, say, the Lakers were still in Minneapolis, or Memphis, or Salt Lake City, or pretty much anywhere other than Los Angeles, the way they’re running things right now, they’d be a laughing stock. You might argue that they are anyway. But since they occupy prime NBA real estate, their margin for error is so great that they can basically screw everything up and still have a completely direct path out of the dark into the light of title contention.

You might say the Lakers are so grateful to have LeBron James, but the only reason they have LeBron in the first place is because they’re in LA and the only reason they have Anthony Davis is because they have LeBron. And the only reason they’ve had a title over the past decade is because they have both.

Ever since this title (a bubble title, I should say), this franchise has basically done nothing to make itself attractive to gamers with options. Other than the location and that iconic name on their chest, they’ve made one disastrous decision after another – enabling Rob Pelinka to run around in the So-Cal sandbox with seemingly little idea of ​​what he’s doing. Pelinka is like a trust fund kid. It can screw up again and again, in ways that would bury any other GM, and it’s still within some basic efficiency moves to get out ahead.

Every organization in the league that has a star player is thankful for that player. Damian Lillard has been a godsend in Portland for a decade. Nikola Jokic in Denver, Jason Tatum in Boston, Ja Morant in Memphis, Joel Embiid in Philadelphia, Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland, Devin Booker in Phoenix, Shay Gilgos Alexander in Oklahoma City, Jimmy Butler in Miami, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with clippers; Brooklyn would be a dumpster fire if it weren’t for Kevin Durant.

But none of these players have ever brought a championship to their current franchise. Other than Tatum, none of them even appeared in the finals. On the other hand, Antetokounmpo raised Milwaukee to the top of the basketball world. He could have left in the summer of 2021, right after winning the Bucks championship, the way Leonard did with wild birdsGiannis, however, signed a five-year extension midway through the season.

Giannis could at least hear what other teams had to say in the summer. Jig completed. been attracted. But his ego didn’t need that kind of celebration. He didn’t want to become a distraction for the Bucks trying to win the title, which they did after just over six months of extending it relatively quietly. Other than Stephen Curry, there is no player in the league who has meant more to the Bucks than Antetokounmpo.

Ainge is doing his thing at Utah now, but the Celtics will be indebted to him for a long time; It is the number one reason why they are in a position to compete for championships for the next decade. The deals Ainge has executed with the Nets, which landed the Celtics Jaylen Brown, and the Sixers, who landed them Jayson Tatum, have provided Boston with the best duo in the league, and they are just beginning to enter their prime.

There had been pressure on Ainge to trade Brown specifically for years. he did not do. He allowed this duo to grow together, while drafting Robert Williams and Grant Williams to go with them. Ainge coined Marcus Smart. Bring in the Horfords. He hired Brad Stevens, who was a very good coach and proved to be a very good general manager. He hired Joe Mazzola, who looks like he could be the coach for the next decade.

Whatever the Celtics set up for this long run of contention is up to Ainge. He put it all together. He wasn’t always popular with Celtics fans who wanted more aggressive moves, but his stubborn ways and refusal to concede in any short-sighted trade is why Boston is in this position now. Ainge built this team to last. Boston should be very thankful.

It would never be surprising if a team could trade Trae Young and a second lottery pick and still somehow come out on the right side of the deal, but that’s exactly what the Mavericks did trading for the draft rights to Luka Doncic, who, barring a career-altering injury , is already a lock back as one of the greatest players of all time.

I don’t know what number you want to put it on – top 20, top 10, whatever – but it falters as working all the time. This guy has a legit conversation potential about goats, and he’s only 23 years old! I would argue, if there was an open draft for every player in the league right now, Doncic would go first. I don’t think it will be soon.

To have an amazing guy, at your age, is the kind of thing that gets you down on your knees and thanking the basketball gods every night before you go to bed. A player like Doncic is guaranteed to be competitive for the next 10-15 years if you do your part and surround him with suitable pieces. Dallas may want to start considering doing so.

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