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NBA 2020-21: Five talking points from Week 7

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Roar Guru
21st February, 2021
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The NBA season is well and truly underway, with trade rumours and roster changes imminent.

There has been an influx of big moments and rumours floating around the NBA world the last week and a bit, with fans eager to see where some of the NBA’s talented big men will eventually land. From Draymond Green calling out the NBA to the announcement of All-Star starters, here are the top stories from the past week:

1. Draymond Green’s calls out the NBA
Green has been praised in the past week for standings up against the NBA as the Cleveland Cavaliers announced that they would be sitting Andre Drummond until he was traded. This lit a fire under Green, who commented on how NBA players are mistreated and the hypocrisy of teams deciding to sit players and trade them without their knowledge.

Green cites the double standards across the league and talks about how players are often judged for not having their game figured out or for wanting to move on to a different team. He uses multiple examples, including James Harden and Kyrie Irving’s situations during the early stages of this season, with Green believing that the organisations need to be criticised more and put under the microscope just as the players are.

It is a compelling argument, and it will be interesting to see how the league responds, with more players hopefully stepping up alongside Draymond Green to get their points across.

2. Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin on the trade block
As mentioned, the Cleveland Cavaliers have decided to sit Andre Drummond until they can agree on a trade to send him to a new team. Blake Griffin and the Pistons have also agreed to work on either a trade or a buyout in order to get Griffin into a winning situation.

Both players have been rumoured to be on the chopping block for a while, as Griffin’s injuries have held back his playing time considerably during his tenure with the Pistons. Meanwhile, Drummond has been rumoured to be moved ever since the massive James Harden trade saw the Cavaliers acquire Jarrett Allen, who has been playing some good basketball for Cleveland.

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While both players may struggle to get traded due to their massive contracts, expect the two big men to be snatched up by contenders if either of them hit the free-agent market via a buyout. A team like the Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Lakers would jump at the chance to fill their voids in the front court.

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3. DeMarcus Cousins hitting open market
Speaking of big men hitting the open market, another former All-Star is set to hit free agency, with the Houston Rockets and DeMarcus Cousins set to part ways. The news comes from Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports that the Rockets were looking to play smaller in the front court with star Christian Wood set to return from injury.

While injuries have held back Cousins in the last few seasons, the big man can still provide a valuable contribution to contending teams looking for some veteran experience and a big man presence. It shall be interesting to see how both parties move forward, with Cousins hopefully getting a chance to win his first championship.

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4. Anthony Davis injury
Anthony Davis has had injury troubles in the past, with the Lakers superstar big man leaving the game against the Denver Nuggets with tendinosis in his right Achilles. Davis will be re-evaluated and is going to miss four weeks worth of action.

It is difficult to say how the Lakers will perform during this time, as Davis is a major part of their team. The group is currently 1-2 since his departure due to injury and have been linked to numerous big men to fill the void, including Mo Bamba.

When asked about how the Lakers will perform, LeBron James insisted he is focused on the present and not the future.

“I really haven’t even thought that far, to be honest,” James told ESPN. “I’m taking it day by day. We play every other day. I don’t have the opportunity to look four weeks ahead. … I have to stay in the moment … Stay low and keep firing.

“I have not even thought that far down of what it looks like four weeks from now.”

While LeBron may be living in the moment, Lakers fans and the NBA are left to question whether Davis’s injury may be more serious than it appears to be. The injury could potentially affect the Lakers chance to repeat, which leaves the door open for teams such as the Brooklyn Nets or Los Angeles Clippers to shine.

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5. All-Star starters announced
This past week also saw the announcement of the starters for the All-Star game, with the top vote-getters for both conferences were announced. LeBron James (West) and Kevin Durant (East) led the charge for their respective conferences and will captain their own teams.

The Western Conference starters also include Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard and Nikola Jokic, while Durant is joined in the Eastern starting line-up with Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid.

Like every year, there are always snubs. However, the NBA world mostly got this vote right. Irving is a questionable pick due to all his time missed, and the snub of James Harden and Trae Young (among others) may be questionable, but their names will surely be some of the main ones among the reserves.

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