NBA Christmas Wish List: A gift guide for every team this holiday season
What does your favorite franchise need most for the holidays? We've got some ideas
'Tis the season for gifts and joy for all. While joy might not exactly be an option for every basketball team around the NBA -- particularly for those struggling mightily so far this season -- we can still offer the perfect present for every franchise.
We take a trip around the league and offer gift ideas for each team this holiday season.
A DeLorean. So the Hawks can go back in time and reconsider signing Dwight Howard. Note: With Howard injured this week, the Hawks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and Paul Millsap had his best scoring game of the year. Coincidences? There are no coincidences at Christmas, only signs.
DeMarcus Cousins. The Celtics have the assets. They can probably even lowball the hapless Kings at this point. Get Boogie, put him next to a true team guy like Al Horford and a coach like Brad Stevens, and let the Christmas spirit rage in Boston right into June.
A new owner. This dude mortgaged the team's future for a group that looked nice on paper (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett) but bombed miserably. Under Mikhail Prokhorov's ownership, the Nets have never won more than 49 games under his ownership, finished with a worse record every year since 2012-13, currently sit in a battle with Philly, Dallas and Minnesota for the worst record in the league and don't own a draft pick next season. Bah, humbug. This dude's awful.
Michael Jordan to come out of retirement. Too old, too fat, too busy with golf? Who cares. M.J. can still shoot. Bring him back.
Buckets, and more buckets. This team is a shooting hellscape. They're dead-last in the league in three-point percentage. Doug McDermott missed 11 games due to a concussion, was shooting 36 percent before the injury, and now he's down to 32 percent. Give this team some buckets.
One guy here deserves exactly what he wants: LeBron. And all he wants for Christmas is a Defensive Player of the Year Award. Time's running out, the man deserves it -- even if he isn't the Defensive Player of the Year this season.
In a bright shiny box, with tinsel and ribbon, please place Mark Cuban's lost self-respect. We miss it, and 2017 needs it. This took it away.
To quote the Christmas song: You. And you. And you and you and you. Denver this year has the lowest attendance in the NBA. Which means all they want for Christmas is as many of you as possible to buy tickets. And why not? The holidays are indeed a time for charity, so buy a ticket. Or 10.
A modicum of actual effort? SVG is getting ready to give his guys coal for Christmas. This is one unhappy holiday goer.
Nothing. The tree is bare. Christmas happened in July for this team when Kevin Durant joined the team. Sure, they could use depth, but their offensive rating is almost 2 points higher than last year, and their defensive rating is only 0.8 less than last year.
Nerlens Noel. He's a young defensive big, looking for a fresh start, and he doesn't need the ball in his hands. He runs the floor. He plays defense. He doesn't take away any usage from James Harden. Perfect fit.
The fountain of youth. That way Larry Bird can ball again.
Peace and goodwill. No, really. Despite the Blake Griffin injury and the rising and continuing threat of the Warriors in the West, this team's biggest hurdle has always been itself: All that talent needs to bond, believe and channel the Ghost of Christmas Past to learn from their mistakes and win the future.
Brandon Ingram. You say he's on the this team already? Only technically. They need their No. 2 overall draft pick to lock in consistency. He nearly became the youngest player ever to record a triple-double. That's the Ingram they need, night in and night out.
Pat Riley hair for everyone. Yes, the team is in disarray, LeBron bitterness remains, Wade is a Bull and the glory days are a fond memory. But nothing says things are turning around like a well-coiffed wig. Get every member of the Heat a Riley wig and let the warmth spread.
Twelve ugly sweaters fronted with Jason Kidd kicking a cup of water on the floor -- and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer on the back. Why? Because everyone loves Rudolph, and nothing says team bonding like ugly sweaters of your coach trying too hard.
Time and patience. Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Wiggins are emerging, but this is still a young team. They have one of the worst defensive ratings in the NBA, but that won't be true long term with Thibs at the helm. This team has a gloriously bright future, but that future isn't going to be tomorrow.
This gift is for Anthony Davis as much as his team: Actual basketball players to play with. No, really. The Brow is a legit superstar, surrounded by players pulling him down. Or we should strive for this being his teammates' New Year's resolution: "In 2017, we'll stop embarrassing ourselves."
A one-way ticket -- First Class -- to anywhere for Carmelo Anthony. Phil Jackson has the Knicks, shockingly, flirting with a top spot in the Eastern Conference. And Melo wants him to stop being negative? Move Melo for the holidays, and, wholly focus in on building around Kristaps Porzingis.
Another superstar. Yes, it's a long shot, but at the holidays you tell the truth, right? And the truth is as dynamic as Russell Westbrook has been this season, the good cheer won't last long once the playoffs roll around without another star to play with him. GM Sam Presti needs to put someone dynamic under the tree for his triple-double machine.
Make them watch It's A Wonderful Life, with SVG as the reality that got away. Sometimes you should just be happy with the life you have. If they'd paid attention at the holidays, maybe things would still be OK in Orlando.
All they should want for the holidays is Ben Simmons healthy. And that would be quiet a gift indeed.
Sorry, these guys get coal for Christmas. They've been naughty in their management of this team. You don't get presents when you turn a borderline Western Conference playoff team into the basketball version of Bad Santa.
Gerald Henderson. Yes that Gerald Henderson -- the guy who had the third-best net rating on the Blazers last season at 1.6 as opposed to their offseason acquisition Evan Turner, whose net rating sits at -11.3. That's worst on the team.
What the Kings need is some addition by subtraction: Let Boogie go. It's time. Dave Joerger took a team with 28 different players and no elite level talent to the playoffs last year. Move Boogie, get a few pieces, rebuild, and let Joerger try to do it again.
A lifetime deal for Gregg Popovich. Just lock him up, give him an ownership stake, whatever it takes. He's the best in the business. Just make it official. No Duncan? So what, they'll just carry the second-best record in the NBA through a quarter of the season. He's getting ready to take over as Team USA coach; don't let him get any ideas that there's something better out there.
A healthy DeMarre Carroll. The Raptors have the best offensive rating in the league. They are only ranked 18th in defensive rating. And Carroll can help -- though he has a defensive rating this year of 108, but it was 101.9 in 2014-15 with the Hawks and 101.9 in 26 games last season. They need him healthy and they need to defend or all the points in the world won't get them past Cleveland.
For Christmas we want to give the Jazz 20 home games a year in Vegas. Far-fetched? Maybe. But it's the holidays, a time of magic, and why not reach for the stars and try to help this exciting team make the next push by giving prospective free agents the chance to make it rain, er, I mean go to Utah.
Let's get this team a coach who is skilled at managing egos, growing young talent, creating positive team chemistry and capitalizing on young and emerging stars to build toward real on-court success -- as in, get the Wiz Scotty Brooks. Oh wait. Too late. Maybe a nice pair of socks instead?
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