Pros and Cons of Andrew Wiggins Starting Right Away for Minnesota Timberwolves

When the 2014-15 NBA season tips off, there’s still no telling where Andrew Wiggins will be. 

At least we know what team he’ll be playing for, as he’s officially joined the Minnesota Timberwolves following the trade that sent Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. But beyond that, everything is up in the air, as Minnesota head coach and president of basketball operations Flip Saunders won’t commit to starting Wiggins. 

According to Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Twitter (h/t CBS Sports’ Zach Harper), Saunders was “noncommittal on Andrew Wiggins starting” during a radio appearance. 

That’s fine.

There’s plenty of time remaining—as well as training camp and preseason—before the Timberwolves have to make any sort of decision as to Wiggins’ role during the opening salvo of his rookie season. Rushing into a choice would be foolish.

But what’s in the team’s best interest? We can determine that much at this stage, even if that doesn’t lock Wiggins into the starting five or onto the pine. 

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Pros and Cons of Los Angeles Lakers Gambling on Michael Beasley

From the Miami Heat to the Minnesota Timberwolves. From the Wolves to the desert-based Phoenix Suns. From the Suns back to South Beach and the Heat. 

In just six seasons, Michael Beasley has become quite the well-traveled NBA player, hopping from team to team as he attempts to jump-start his career in the Association, one that fizzled after he was selected at No. 2 in the 2008 NBA draft. 

Could the Los Angeles Lakers be his next destination? 

According to USA Today‘s Sam Amick, Beasley has already met with the recently downtrodden organization for a second time this offseason, though he remains an unrestricted free agent: 

After missing out on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony in July, the Lakers held a free agent workout Tuesday in Los Angeles. The workout included forward Michael Beasley; big men Dexter Pittman, Greg Stiemsma, and Daniel Orton; and guards Bobby Brown, Toney Douglas, Ben Hansbrough and Malcolm Lee, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports.

Putting aside the fact that this makes it sound as though Beasley is a Plan B after the team missed out on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, this is still significant. The Lakers have two unfilled roster spots, and the former No. 2 pick is now a legitimate candidate for one of them. 

But is that a good thing? 

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Pros and Cons of College Basketball Realignment in the 2014-15 Season

As of July 1, 16 college basketball teams have changed conferences for the 2014-15 season, and we’ve come up with 10 pros and cons from those moves.

Compared to the dozens and dozens of schools that realigned conferences last summer, this set of transitions was barely a drop in the bucket, but there were certainly some major ramifications, nonetheless.

If nothing else, getting used to seeing Maryland in the Big Ten and Louisville in the ACC will take some time.

In case you need a cheat sheet of which teams are moving to and from where, we’re including a full list of moves on the next slide before diving into the pros and cons.

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Pros and Cons of Los Angeles Lakers Re-Signing Nick Young

It’s official: The Swag is back.

On the free-agent market, that is.

The Los Angeles Lakers announced on Wednesday that Nick Young will not be opting into the second year of his contract with the Purple and Gold. “We anticipated and expected that Nick would choose to become a free agent,” GM Mitch Kupchak said in the team’s official statement. “We very much appreciate his contributions to last season’s team, and we will hopefully be able to bring him back. However, he, his agent and the market will dictate his future direction.”

And what a market that might be. Young’s coming off of the finest year of his NBA career and, at 29, should still have years of quality basketball left in the tank. It’ll certainly cost the Lakers—or any other team, for that matter—more than the two years at the veteran’s minimum to which L.A. signed him last summer to keep/bring him aboard.

But would that expense be worth the Lakers’ while, even with all of the cap space they’re due this summer? Let’s consider the pros and cons of Swaggy P’s potential future at Staples Center.

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Jimmy Fallon’s March Madness ‘Pros and Cons’ Are Hilarious and ‘Creigh, Creigh’

Jimmy Fallon has a video that is pure March Madness hilarity. Actually, if one were so bold, they might claim that it’s March “Creigh, Creigh.”

SportsGrid’s Matt Rudnitsky spotted one of the latest videos from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which takes aim at the “Pros and Cons” of March Madness. 

You know, that thing that has completely dominated all that you care about this month?

Fallon takes shots at President Obama, Duke and wraps it altogether in the kind of delivery that has garnered immense ratings for his budding iteration of the show. 

Of course, the man to take the biggest ribbing during the bit is the president, who gets two jokes tossed his way. The last is, “And finally, Pro: Spending all day at work filling out your brackets. Con: Then going back to your job as President of the United States.”

One of the best lines has to be the jab at Duke: “Pro: A low-seeded team that goes far in the tournament is known as a ‘Cinderella.’ Con: A high-seeded team that loses early is known as a ‘Duke.’”

It’s a new day, and there aren’t nearly as many people sticking around late at night to take in various shows as they used to. 

The name of the game is get as much viral content to float across the transom of the Internet, where a sizable chunk of the audience lives each day. 

With so many hosts and late-night fare to choose from, Fallon has mastered the ability to lead a show and also create bite-sized snacks of comedy. 

Thankfully, his latest is exactly what we needed to sate our hunger for the tournament ahead of what will be a very delightful Sweet 16. 

Pro: Jimmy Fallon leads late-night. Con: We can’t think of any. 

 

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Jimmy Fallon’s March Madness ‘Pros and Cons’ Is Hilarious and ‘Creigh, Creigh’

Jimmy Fallon has a video that is pure March Madness hilarity. Actually, if one were so bold, they might claim that it’s March “Creigh, Creigh.”

SportsGrid’s Matt Rudnitsky spotted one of the latest videos from The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, which takes aim at the “Pros and Cons” of March Madness. 

You know, that thing that has completely dominated all that you care about this month?

Fallon takes shots at President Obama, Duke and wraps it altogether in the kind of delivery that has garnered immense ratings for his budding iteration of the show. 

Of course, the man to take the biggest ribbing during the bit is the president, who gets two jokes tossed his way. The last being, “And finally, Pro: Spending all day at work filling out your brackets. Con: Then going back to your job as President of the United States.”

One of the best lines has to be the jab at Duke: “Pro: A low-seeded team that goes far in the tournament is known as a ‘Cinderella.’ Con: A high-seeded team that loses early is known as a ‘Duke.’”

It’s a new day, and there isn’t nearly as many people sticking around late at night to take in various shows as they used to. 

The name of the game is get as much viral content to float across the transom of the Internet, where a sizable chunk of the captivated audience lives each day. 

With so many hosts and late-night fare to choose from, Fallon has mastered the ability to lead a show and also create bite-sized snacks of comedy. 

Thankfully, his latest is exactly what we needed to sate our hunger for the tournament ahead of what will be a very delightful Sweet 16. 

Pro: Jimmy Fallon leads late-night. Con: We can’t think of any. 

 

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Pros and Cons of Kobe Bryant Sitting out Rest of LA Lakers Season

Kobe Bryant’s injuries might force him to miss the season, an occurrence that comes with positives and negatives.

Bryant rehabbed from an Achilles tear he suffered at the end of 2012-13 and rejoined the Los Angeles Lakers for all of six games this campaign. The former league MVP then fractured the lateral tibial plateau in his knee and is at risk of missing the remainder of the year.

Bryant could still return and play in a few games (give or take 10-15 contests), but it’s entirely possible that the pros outweigh the cons as it pertains to sitting out the year.

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Duke Basketball: Pros and Cons of Blue Devils’ Small-Ball Lineup

With ACC play right around the corner, the Duke basketball team is on the short list for conference title contenders and Final Four threats. However, Mike Krzyzewski still has some decisions to makeespecially when it comes to what to do with the revolving door of big men he has utilized.

The Blue Devils rank an abysmal 225th in the nation in total rebounding heading into play on Dec. 31, so the interior play they have thrown out there thus far has not inspired.

Amile Jefferson has been the most productive “center” Duke has used with 6.2 points and 5.8 rebounds a game, but he has only seen the court for 16 minutes a night.

Josh Hairston is posting 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds a game, while Marshall Plumlee is averaging 0.7 points and 1.1 rebounds a night. We’re not exactly looking at Wilt Chamberlain or Hakeem Olajuwon down low for the Blue Devils.

This raises the question: What if Krzyzewski decided to go with a small-ball lineup for extended stretches during conference play? Let’s dig into some of the pros and cons of that decision.

The first obvious positive to a small lineup would be that it maximizes Duke’s talent level. If we are naming the Blue Devils’ top five players from a pure ability standpoint, there is no way any of the big men are on that list.

With names such as Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood, Quinn Cook, Andre Dawkins, Rasheed Sulaimon and even Tyler Thornton, Duke’s best players are not traditional post presences.

Furthermore, with so much athleticism on the court at once, Duke will be able to get out in transition with some of the best finishers in the country. Cook running the floor with Parker and Hood flanking his two sides and Dawkins or Sulaimon spotting up from the corner is a recipe for plenty of points.

The three-point shooting, which has been a strength for the Blue Devils thus far, will open up even more if they can space the floor with five different shooters. That could be critical against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone in what could be the most important matchup on the entire ACC slate.

In addition to creating transition opportunities and opening up the floor for more long-range shooting, a small-ball lineup would lead to a number of different mismatches in half-court sets.

Whichever player the opponent puts on Parker and/or Hood will not have much of a chance to stick with the Blue Devil off the dribble.

Ultimately, a small-ball lineup would do wonders for the Duke offense. There would be transition opportunities, mismatches all over the court and the chance to create serious fatigue in opponents chasing around so many ball-handlers for extended minutes.

However, there are also some concerns and potential cons to this rotation.

For one, the rebounding has been terrible enough as it is with Jefferson, Hairston and Plumlee combining for about 30 minutes a night. If Krzyzewski decides to utilize a small-ball approach in the ACC, Duke’s biggest weakness may become something that is even more crippling in critical conference matches.

This would expose the Blue Devils against any team that is physical in the paint, even if it isn’t until down the road in March.

It also potentially limits Jefferson’s development right when he seems to be turning a corner. The sophomore scored seven points and grabbed an impressive 14 rebounds in the last game against Eastern Michigan after scoring 11 and totaling seven rebounds against UCLA and grabbing 10 rebounds against Gardner-Webb.

Jefferson is Duke’s best chance at a productive and physical post presence, and increasing his minutes instead of limiting them seems like the best option right now.

Furthermore, perimeter defenders such as Cook and Sulaimon are still very questionable on the outside, and if someone blows past them off the dribble, a small-ball lineup wouldn’t have as much help defense down low to clean up the mess at the rim.

If anything, it would put more responsibility on Parker’s shoulders on the defensive endwhich is his one area that needs improvement right nowas a possible enforcer down low and the team’s leading rebounder

As with almost any lineup-altering decision for Coach K, there are numerous pros and cons to utilizing a small-ball rotation in ACC play.

Ultimately, the best route may be to give more minutes to Jefferson and then cut into Hairston’s playing time with a small-ball group. That would give Duke’s best hope at a center time to develop while opening up the window for an offensive run with the small group out there.

Whatever Krzyzewski decides to do in an attempt to improve the rebounding and interior defense will have a rippling effect throughout the ACC. Syracuse and North Carolina will certainly be paying attention.

 

Follow and interact with college basketball writer Scott Polacek on Twitter @ScottPolacek.

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Cliff Alexander Decision: Pros and Cons of Each Contender for 5-Star Recruit

Cliff Alexander, the No. 3 prospect in the class of 2014 according to 247Sports, will make one college basketball program very happy when he decides where to go to school on Friday.

Alexander is one of the most physically dominating big men in his class. He is a formidable rebounder and shot blocker on the defensive end and has gradually developed a soft touch around the rim with the ball in his hands.

Alexander will decide between Illinois, Kansas, Memphis and DePaul. Read on to get some pros and cons for each possible destination.

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Stanley Johnson Decision: Pros and Cons of Each Contender for 5-Star Recruit

The 2013-14 college basketball schedule may have just begun, but future seasons will be shaped by a number of recruiting decisions on Friday.

One of those decisions will come from Stanley Johnson, who is rated as the No. 2 prospect in the country for the class of 2014 by 247Sports. Johnson is a versatile and athletic wing player who can slash into the lane with ease and is an effective passer.

The California native will decide between Kentucky, Arizona and USC, all three of which he has officially visited. Read on to see some pros and cons for each possible destination.

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