Blogtable: Struggling marquee teams

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Thoughts on Cavs’ deal? | Struggling marquee teams | Where will Dirk finish?

VIDEOAre the Lakers better off with Kobe Bryant playing less?

> Three of the NBA’s marquee franchises — Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, L.A. Lakers — are a combined 27-77 and hold little hope for short-term success. If these teams were stocks, which one would you buy, which one would you hold, and which one would you sell?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comI’d buy more Lakers stock, hold what I have of the Knicks and sell my Celtics holdings. The Lakers have the greatest upside because of their culture and their climate — they’re the biggest free-agent magnet of the three thanks to their market and their recent history. Now that Phil Jackson has begun the serious demo work in New York, I think he and the Knicks can build something better, especially as Carmelo Anthony‘s dominance of the team begins to recede. As for that storied franchise in Boston, I’d invoke the phrase familiar to financial speculators: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

Fran Blinebury, I can’t convince you to take all three off my hands for, say, the Grizzlies? OK, if you’re forcing me to buy, I’ll take the Lakers. They’re still THE marquee team in the league and when Kobe Bryant finally does retire — looking more and more like after next season, for sure — they’ll have the salary cap space and the cachet that will let them start over. Not to mention a rehabbed Julius Randle and another high draft pick from this season. I’m holding the Celtics because I believe Danny Ainge has the right coach to build on in Brad Stevens, a future All-Star in Marcus Smart and a patient long-range plan. I’m selling the Knicks because, well, they’re the Knicks. After this salary dump this week, Phil Jackson will go into next summer with the space to sign two max level free agents, maybe three. if the cap takes a big leap. Trouble is, he’ll do the usual NY thing and after finding the possibility of luring LeBron James or Kevin Love from Cleveland a pipe dream and having LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol not willing to climb aboard the worst team in the league, Jackson will wind up grossly overpaying the likes of Jimmy Butler or Goran Dragic and merely making the Knicks mediocre to good, but not contenders.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comHold the Lakers, hold the Celtics, sell the Knicks. (Why did you ever buy on the Knicks in the first place? No wonder you switched brokers.) Investing in the Lakers now looks bad because not only is it a lottery team, it’s a lottery team with one piece in place for the future and he is injured. (Julius Randle.) But I’d hang on to stock on a team in a destination city and Mitch Kupchak with a loud voice in management. It would not be a surprise if even the lottery Lakers bag a big free agent. The Celtics front office likewise has a proven track record, plus the best young pieces among the three. Boston also has the advantage of being in the East.

Shaun Powell, Definitely buy the Celtics. They have seven extra first-rounders (some conditional) coming between now and 2018 and there isn’t a sluggish contract weighing down the salary cap. Plus, Boston remains a destination for free agents. Hold the Lakers. I realize they owe future picks to Phoenix and Orlando and Kobe is clogging up cap space, but they’re still the Lakers and somehow find a way to keep their pain to a minimum (I know, I know, GM Jerry West isn’t walking through that door). Sell the Knicks. Phil Jackson deserves a chance, but this team is cursed.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comI’m buying the Celtics, because they have the best group of young players (by far), the most future picks, and the GM/coach combination that I have the most confidence in going forward. I’m holding the Lakers, because they have one Lottery pick already on board, maybe another on the way (it may go to Phoenix), and a shorter contract with their 30-plus, former league’s leading scorer who doesn’t fit the rebuilding timeline. And I’m selling the Knicks, because they have nothing beyond a 30-year-old forward they just signed to a five-year, $124 million contract (Carmelo Anthony), an unproven team president (Phil Jackson) and an unproven coach (Derek Fisher). Nothing’s guaranteed in free agency.

Sekou Smith, NBA.comI’m buying Lakers’ stock, holding the Celtics’ stock and selling all of my Knicks stock. I know that the Lakers never stay down for long. It’s just not what they do as a franchise. They’ll do whatever takes to get back on track. They’ve operated that way and probably always will — provided there is a Buss in charge. The Celtics have some decent pieces and a bright, young coach in Brad Stevens. They just need time to figure it all out. The Knicks have no business being in this marquee mix with the Lakers and Celtics. They haven’t come close to the championship success the other two have enjoyed in recent years. I’m selling on them until Phil Jackson works his Zen magic and convinces another superstar to join Carmelo Anthony in the seemingly eternal quest to return the Knicks to their 1970s glory.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comI would buy the Celtics, who are fully committed to rebuilding and are two years into the business of asset (Draft picks, young players and cap space) aggregation. I would hold the Lakers, who — eventually — will draw the interest of free agents. And I would sell the Knicks, who after so many self-destructive years are unworthy of faith until they themselves prove otherwise.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: SELL, SELL, SELL! OK, to really answer your question, I’d buy the Celtics, hold the Knicks and sell the Lakers. Danny Ainge gets the benefit of the doubt in Boston because we’ve seen him reboot his franchise before, plus the Celtics have five first-round picks in the next two Drafts. That’s a heckuva place to start. I know the Knicks are terrible this season, but I like the direction Phil Jackson’s going — bottoming out before building back up. That starts with clearing salary and getting young players in to learn the triangle offense and grow along with the franchise. With the Lakers, I’m not quite sure what they’re doing. They’ve tried to rebuild through free agency but the current management hasn’t shown an ability to recruit the marquee free agents we keep hearing about them going after.


  1. george says:

    Goodmorning. My name is George and i am an NBA fan from Greece. I support the Knicks but not fanatically. I’ ve been watching the NBA since the late 1980’s and i definitely don’t like the way it goes today. The balance between the two confrrnces is not existing. We have very strong West teams and struggling East teams. With the exceptions of Chicago, Atlanta and Washington no other team from Eastern Conference would have been in the playoff hunt if they were in the West. Also, i find it unacceptable for the NBA to let some of its marquee franchises to struggle so much. I don’t want the Lakers, the Celtics or the Bulls to win it every year, but the league is more attractive when they compete. In Europe, we treat our historic franchises with respect and we don’t let them look like rubbish.

  2. CHICKUN WANGS says:

    I like the chicken wang. I also would buy the Lakers, hold the Celtics, and sell the Knicks. But, on a more serious topic, do you like the chickun wang? You need the like the chickun wantg. Don’t take me for a fool.

  3. harriethehawk says:

    All three teams are garbage now and will be garbage later, sorry.

  4. dustydreamnz says:

    The Celtics are the most promising by miles. They’re the best team currently, have loads of draft picks and have the best coach. It’s a toss up for 2nd but I’ll go the Knicks because I think Phil Jackson is smart and I like their trade the other day. The Lakers will need Julius Randle to be great.

  5. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    The Knick’s gave Amare the money and he played great MVP level the first year, then in the middle of the year they trade the whole team to get Melo, then Amare got hurt and has been hurt ever since so alot of it has to do with Amare, who when healthy is as good as any player in the league, but give Phil a chance. The Lakers they were robbed by the NBA in the Chris Paul trade, (because of the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert), Then they break up the championship teams, trading Lamar, always looking to trade Pau, not bringing back there bench player’s, then they want to build a team around Nash who was great at one point, but not when they traded for him, they gave so many draft picks up for Nash and then sign Dantoino and that horrible style of play, Howard is the guy they should of built the team around and brought Phil back who wanted to coach that team. The Celtics i can’t really say they made bad moves other then the Rondo move they should of keep him and built around him, they got young good talent, and alot of draft picks. I just think that Kobe and Melo are going to be the one’s who get the blame but it’s not really there fault, and if someone was offering me the money they make i would sign the contract too.

  6. Art says:

    I demand immediate apology from Fran Blinebury for “grossly overpaying the likes of Jimmy Butler”

  7. Balldon'tlie says:

    These three times are going to be terrible for the next decade. They won’t sign any big name free agents this summer and the players they drafts will be busts or they will take 4 or 5 years to become good players or All-stars…for another team. Its time to jump off the bandwagon of these moribund franchises.