Community Shootaround

Community Shootaround: Mavs’ Trade Options

With Dwight Powell out for the season due to an Achilles injury, there’s plenty of media speculation regarding what Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and the team’s front office will do before the trade deadline.

Beyond Kristaps Porzingis  Maxi Kleber, and Boban Marjanovic, the Mavs don’t have a lot of options up front. Porzingis has been dealing with right knee soreness and Dallas surely doesn’t want him to log heavy minutes on his surgically repaired knee.

If the Mavs want to get another big on the trade market, they have a couple of major assets. They possess a giant $11.8MM trade exception and Courtney Lee‘s $12.76MM expiring contract.

Among the names tossed about as potential trade targets including Detroit’s Andre Drummond, Sacramento’s Nemanja Bjelica, Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love, San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl, Washington’s Ian Mahinmi, Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng and Golden State’s Willie Cauley-Stein.

ESPN reported that the team is kicking the tires on veteran free agent center Joakim Noah. In-house options include Dorian Finney-SmithIsaiah Roby and Justin Jackson, all of whom could see more action at power forward with Porzingis sliding to center. However, it seems likely the Mavs will make some type of move to fortify their suddenly depleted frontcourt.

That brings us to our question of the day: Should the Mavs make a major trade with Dwight Powell out for the season or should seek other avenues to beef up their frontcourt?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this option. We look forward to your input.

Community Shootaround: Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose is suddenly a hot commodity again. A Yahoo Sports report on Monday indicated that the Lakers, Sixers and several other playoff contenders were interested in dealing for Rose, who is enjoying a career rebirth after nearly retiring a couple of years ago due to knee pain.

Rose had a bounce-back season in Minnesota last year, averaging 18 points in 51 games before his season was cut short by another injury. But he didn’t attract a lot of attention in the free agent market before signing a two-year, $15MM contract with the Pistons.

While the Pistons have floundered due to injuries, particularly to star forward Blake Griffin, Rose has been an offensive juggernaut. He’s averaging 18.3 PPG in 25.8 MPG and shooting a career-high 50.2%. At an age where most guards have lost a step, Rose has seemingly found the fountain of youth. He’s consistent breaking down defenses with quickness and guile and finishing at the rim.

He’d certainly help nearly any of the contenders, either as a starting guard or sixth man, a role he filled with the Pistons until he was inserted into the lineup three games ago. The Lakers have plenty of point guards on the roster but Rose would be an upgrade over any of them. He’d give the Sixers a change of pace option to take pressure off Ben Simmons and dramatically improve their bench.

The Clippers reportedly have only mild interest in Rose, perhaps because they gave up so many assets to secure Paul George‘s services. The Nuggets haven’t publicly been named as a suitor but he could be the piece that puts them on par with the Los Angeles teams. And he’d make marginal contenders like the Heat and Mavericks a lot more dangerous in the postseason.

The Pistons could just hold onto Rose, who has stated he’s happy where he is, and hope for better results next season if Griffin comes back healthy. But it’s more likely they’ll try to cash in and get a future asset or two while Rose is in a groove.

That leads us to our question of the day: If Derrick Rose is traded, where do you think he’ll wind up?

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

Poll: Will Giannis Repeat As NBA MVP?

After winning his first Most Valuable Player award in 2018/19, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has arguably been even better so far this season.

Despite playing just 30.9 minutes per game, his lowest mark since he was a rookie in 2013/14, Antetokounmpo is establishing new career highs in PPG (29.8) and RPG (12.8) to go along with 5.5 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 1.1 BPG.

Giannis has also managed to convert 55.0% of his field goal attempts even though he’s launching 5.1 threes per game, nearly double his previous career high. He’s hitting 32.5% of those outside attempts, which isn’t an above-average rate, but is an encouraging step forward for a player who had made 27.7% of his career three-point attempts entering the season.

Oh, and his Bucks posted a 35-6 record in the first half, putting them on pace for a 70-win season.

It all adds up to make Antetokounmpo the MVP frontrunner halfway through the 2019/20 campaign.’s Sekou Smith has Giannis atop his MVP ladder, while Basketball-Reference’s model also views him as the favorite.

Still, we’ve still got 40+ games to play this season, and it’s not as if Antetokounmpo has left his competition in the dust.

James Harden is having another historic scoring season, with 37.7 PPG through 37 games. If the Rockets guard maintains that pace, it would be the fourth-highest scoring average in NBA history and the best single-season mark by anyone not named Wilt Chamberlain.

LeBron James and Anthony Davis each have strong MVP cases for the 33-7 Lakers. James’ impressive on/off-court splits, as well as his 25.5 PPG and league-leading 10.7 APG, might make him the better pick of the two.

Second-year Mavericks star Luka Doncic is also in the conversation, with a near-triple-double average through 35 games (29.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 9.0 APG) as his team exceeds preseason expectations and looks to secure a playoff spot.

While Antetokounmpo is putting up insane per-36 stats, it’s possible some voters will dock him for playing fewer minutes than other MVP candidates. He has appeared in 38 games to Harden’s 37 this season, but has logged 200 fewer minutes than the Rockets’ star. If that gap continues to widen by season’s end, with Giannis potentially getting some rest after Milwaukee secure the No. 1 seed, it could be a factor worth considering in the MVP race.

Still, for now, Giannis looks like the odds-on favorite to be named the NBA’s 2019/20 MVP. What do you think? Will he finish strong and win the award for a second consecutive year?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Community Shootaround: Grizzlies’ Outlook

Entering the 2019/20 season, no Western Conference team was projected to win fewer games than the Grizzlies. Oddsmakers set Memphis’ over/under at 27.5 wins and Hoops Rumors voters confidently took the under in our preseason poll.

Through the first quarter of the season, that projection looked about right. The Grizzlies’ 6-16 record put them on a 31-win pace, and while Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja Morant made Memphis an entertaining League Pass team, it seemed as if it would just be a matter of time before the club fell out of playoff contention and entered the race for the No. 1 pick.

Instead, the Grizzlies have been one of the NBA’s hottest teams in recent weeks, winning 12 of their last 18 games to improve their overall record to 18-22. Memphis is currently riding a five-game winning streak that includes victories over the Clippers and Spurs, and has moved into the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference.

Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. have been the catalysts for the Grizzlies’ hot streak. Morant is averaging 16.9 PPG and 7.4 APG with a .517/.368/.846 shooting line during that 18-game stretch, while Jackson has recorded 20.2 PPG and 1.8 BPG on .522/.449/.696 shooting during the same period. Dillon Brooks and Brandon Clarke are also among the club’s most productive contributors, though the team isn’t just relying on young players.

Eighth-year big man Jonas Valanciunas is averaging a double-double (16.1 PPG, 10.1 RPG) with a .630 FG% during Memphis’ 12-6 run, while veteran forward Jae Crowder is playing more minutes this season than anyone else on the roster, providing a reliable three-and-D presence on the wing.

It seems improbable that the Grizzlies will be able to actually hold onto the No. 8 seed in the West, but it’s not as if the competition for that spot has been intense. The Spurs (17-21) and Trail Blazers (17-24) were expected to be playoff teams, but have underachieved. The Suns (16-23), Timberwolves (15-24), Kings (15-25), and Pelicans (15-26) have been up and down too.

Additionally, despite being in rebuilding mode, the Grizzlies have no reason not to push for a playoff spot, since they owe their top-six protected first-round pick to the Celtics in 2020. That pick would become unprotected in 2021 if Memphis keeps it this year, so the team may just prefer to send it to Boston this season and get that commitment out of the way. It would certainly be easier to swallow if it lands at No. 15 instead of No. 7.

The Grizzlies won’t give up any future draft picks or young prospects in exchange for a win-now piece, but there are potentially ways the team could fortify its current roster for a postseason push. We’ve been assuming that Memphis will eventually move Andre Iguodala for a package made up of an unwanted contract or two and perhaps a second-round pick — but maybe there’s a way to turn Iguodala into a player that could actually contribute to this year’s squad.

Obviously, if the Grizzlies can acquire a valuable draft asset for Iguodala, they should favor that return over a veteran on a short-term contract. But a veteran rotation player might make more sense than a late second-rounder. After all, young players like Morant and Jackson would probably benefit from getting some playoff experience – however brief – this early in their NBA careers.

What do you think? Are you a believer in the Grizzlies? Can they remain in the playoff hunt and maybe even grab the No. 8 seed? Will they fall off down the stretch like the Kings did a year ago? Or will their playoff dreams die even earlier than that? As they approach the trade deadline, should they be thinking at all about acquiring immediate help, or should they be focused exclusively on the long term?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts on the upstart Grizzlies!

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Community Shootaround: Western Conference Playoffs

Entering the New Year, there’s a clear separation between the haves and have-nots in the Western Conference. Six teams have 22 or more wins while eight teams are at least six games under the .500 mark.

Regardless of that disparity, eight teams have to make the playoffs and the last two spots are up for grabs. The surprising Thunder currently hold the No. 7 spot with an 20-15 record. However, this was supposed to be a rebuilding season after they traded stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George. It’s fair to wonder if they can sustain their success with a guard-oriented offense and a prime trade candidate in wing Danilo Gallinari, who has an expiring contract.

Outside of the Warriors, any of the West teams with losing records could make a playoff push. The Spurs, who have the eighth-best record at the moment despite their 14-20 record, can rely on the veteran duo of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan and the coaching wizardry of Gregg Popovich.

The Trail Blazers’ season has been a head-scratcher but they were only a half-game behind San Antonio entering Monday’s action.  They’re due for a hot streak as long as Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum stay healthy.

Suns center Deandre Ayton has finished out his suspension and they have a formidable backcourt duo in Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker. It seemed unrealistic to think the young Grizzlies can finish in the top eight but they have caught fire during their current trip and they do possess the likely Rookie of the Year in Ja Morant.

The Pelicans are starting to heat up after a woeful start and Zion Williamson is expected to debut this month. The Timberwolves need to get Karl-Anthony Towns healthy and focused but he’s capable of leading a turnaround. The Kings have been a huge disappointment but there’s too much talent on their roster to count them out, especially with De’Aaron Fox back in action.

That leads us to our question of the day: Which teams will claim the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference? 

Please take to the comments section to weigh in on this topic. We look forward to your input.

Community Shootaround: Andre Drummond

Pistons center Andre Drummond could be the biggest name on the free agent market this summer. Right now, he’s the biggest name on the trading block.

The Hawks are reportedly in discussions to acquire the league’s leading rebounder. A separate report also named the Celtics, Mavericks and Raptors as potential suitors for Drummond’s services.

The trade talk makes sense from Detroit’s perspective. In the midst of a disappointing, injury-riddled season, the Pistons need to seriously consider hitting the reset button. Owner Tom Gores told reporters on Thursday that the front office needed to reassess its approach to make the franchise a serious contender.

The Hawks possess two things that a rebuilding club covets — expiring contracts and draft picks. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that the lottery-protected pick the Nets owe the Hawks is one of the items on the table. Atlanta also has three large expiring contracts — Chandler Parsons, Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner — and could use one of those to facilitate a trade.

Drummond holds a $28.75MM option on the final year of his contract and is expected to opt out this summer, which waters down his trade value.

The Hawks could take a look at Drummond and see how he fits around their young core of Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter. The Young-Drummond pick-and-roll combo could be quite formidable. If both parties like what they see, Drummond could re-sign with the club in July.

Drummond could also be the piece that turns a marginal contender into a serious one and a serious contender into a champion. He would be a major upgrade in the middle for Boston but it’s unknown what GM Danny Ainge would give up to rent Drummond. The Celtics have two extra first-rounders with some protections from Memphis and Milwaukee. The Pistons would likely want the Grizzlies pick as the centerpiece of a deal with the Celtics.

Drummond could be an interesting fit with Dallas next to Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavericks have Courtney Lee‘s expiring $12.76MM contract to dangle but don’t have any extra first-round picks to toss in.

The Raptors could trade either of their two large expiring contracts — Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka — if they view Drummond as an upgrade.

That brings us to our question of the day: If the Pistons deal Andre Drummond, which team would be the best fit for him? And will he wind up with the Hawks or a playoff contender?

Please weigh in on this topic in our comments section. We look forward to your input.

Community Shootaround: All-Star Lineups

Today, the NBA released the first batch of its 2020 All-Star fan voting returns. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Lakers forward LeBron James lead the pack with over a million votes apiece.

While many of the top selections feel appropriate, there are several fluky inclusions that reek of trolling. Specifically, Lakers backup point guard Alex Caruso (who averages 5.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG and 1.7 APG in just 19.2 MPG) made the cut among the top 10 Western Conference guards, and two-way Celtics backup center Tacko Fall, who has played just three NBA games, made the list of top 10 Eastern Conference front court players.

Irresponsible votes along these lines serve as a clear example as to why fan votes are now only weighted for 50% of the total voting for All-Star game starters. Among the remaining 50%, 25% of the weighted votes are allotted to NBA players, and the remaining 25% of votes are designated for select basketball media. NBA coaches select the 14 bench players. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver makes injury substitutions.

Starting teams consist of two guards and three frontcourt players. Select wing players are listed at both guard and frontcourt positions. Bench teams for each conference comprise two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild card players of any position.

Among Eastern Conference guards, the NetsKyrie Irving (who has played in just 11 games for Brooklyn) and the 7-27 Hawks’ Trae Young are leading in fan votes over the Celtics’ Kemba Walker. Pistons backup Derrick Rose and Bulls guard Zach LaVine, two offense-only players on teams that are currently sitting on the outside of the East’s top eight squads, round out the top five among East guards. The Hawks have the single-worst record in the NBA. No matter how pretty Young’s offensive stat line is, he does not deserve All-Star inclusion this season. His lackluster defense has played a part in the Hawks’ struggles.

On the Western Conference guards’ bracket, Stephen Curry ranks among the top four in West votes for guards, despite having played just four games this season.

Heat wing Jimmy Butler deserves to start, either at guard or frontcourt. Currently ranked fourth among frontcourt options in the East, Butler is enjoying an MVP-caliber season for the No. 3 team (posting a 24-9 record) in an atypically loaded East.

There are several viable options for first-time All-Star status. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are scoring and defending in bunches for the 23-8 Celtics. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are picking up the slack in the absence of Kawhi Leonard on the Raptors.

Big man Bam Adebayo has emerged as a dynamic two-way force on the HeatDomantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon have been keeping the surprisingly resilient 22-12 Pacers afloat as Victor Oladipo continues to recover.

Spencer Dinwiddie has been balling out on the 16-16 Nets sans Irving. Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert continue to put in work for an under-appreciated 21-12 season. Doncic’s numbers in Dallas have been stellar.

Here are this writer’s choices for the 2020 All-Star teams:

Eastern Conference
Starters: Guard – Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown. Frontcourt – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid.
Bench: Guard – Ben Simmons, Kyle LowryFrontcourt – Pascal Siakam, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum. Wild Card: Domantas Sabonis, Spencer Dinwiddie.

Western Conference
Starters: Guard – James Harden, Luka DoncicFrontcourt – LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard.
Bench: Guard – Russell Westbrook, Donovan MitchellFrontcourt – Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Paul GeorgeWild Card: Damian Lillard, Chris Paul.

Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, Young, LaVine and Suns guard Devin Booker all have a decent chance at netting an All-Star nod this season, but their teams have been so underwhelming that rewarding them in favor of top players on better squads feels inappropriate.

What do you think? Who are your 2020 All-Star team starters and bench players? Why?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

Community Shootaround: Top NBA Stories Of 2019

We’re on the verge of flipping the calendar to 2020, but before we close the book on 2019, we want to take a look back at The Year That Was in the NBA.

The league crowned a new champion in 2019, as the Raptors won their first title in their 24th year of existence. Toronto made a memorable run to that championship, knocking out the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals with one of the most improbable buzzer-beaters in playoff history, then coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the Conference Finals vs. the Bucks before knocking off the defending-champion Warriors in the Finals.

Of course, the Warriors weren’t at full strength in those Finals. The respective Achilles and ACL tears suffered by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson in that series not only paved the way for a Raptors’ victory — they also essentially ended Golden State’s dynasty. Six months later, Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston are gone, Thompson and Stephen Curry are injured, and the Warriors are in the Western Conference basement.

While things took a turn for the Warriors this summer, it’s not as if their Finals opponents had a perfect offseason either. Kawhi Leonard became the first reigning NBA Finals MVP to leave his team in free agency, returning home to Los Angeles, where he and Paul George joined forces of members of the Clippers.

Leonard’s shocking free agent decision and the out-of-nowhere trade that sent George from the Thunder to the Clippers were among the highlights of one of the NBA’s most eventful offseasons ever. The summer also included Kyrie Irving and Durant teaming up for the Nets, as well as blockbuster trades sending Russell Westbrook to the Rockets and Anthony Davis to the Lakers. The AD trade was the culmination of a saga that began when Davis asked the Pelicans to trade him in January.

Although Davis eventually made his way to the Lakers, it happened after Magic Johnson had abruptly resigned from his position as the team’s president of basketball operations in the year’s most jarring impromptu press conferences. Not to be outdone, the Knicks held a surprise presser of their own several months later to announce, just 10 games into the 2019/20 season, that they weren’t happy with their team’s play. That James Dolan-mandated session may have been the beginning of the end for David Fizdale‘s tenure in New York.

A pair of the year’s biggest basketball stories originated in Asia. USA Basketball’s lengthy international winning streak was snapped at the 2019 World Cup in China, where Team USA had a disappointing showing and didn’t even make the medal round. Weeks later, Rockets GM Daryl Morey issued a brief tweet in support of Hong Kong protestors that kicked off an international firestorm between the NBA and China. That controversy has yet to be fully resolved and may have an impact on the league’s salary cap going forward.

While those were some of the top basketball stories of 2019, there are plenty of others worth mentioning. The league lost a pair of legends this spring when Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki officially retired. However, their longtime teams – the Heat and Mavericks – have been two of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises so far in 2019/20, led by Jimmy Butler and rising star Luka Doncic, whose emergence has been another one of the best stories of the year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s ascension and his MVP battle with James Harden has been an ongoing source of entertainment. The Celtics‘ disappointing and drama-filled 2018/19 showing was a source of fascination. And the NBA’s desire to make major changes to its schedule has been a source of debate among fans.

With the year about to come to a close, we want to hear about your favorite NBA stories of the last 12 months. What will you remember most about the NBA in 2019 when you look back on it years from now?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

Community Shootaround: NBA All-Decade Team

We’re just two days away from turning our calendars to 2020, which means the topic of the NBA’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s has been a popular one as of late.

Picking three All-NBA Teams for a full decade is even more complicated than selecting them for a single season. Longevity comes into play — if a player was only active for half the decade, but excelled during those five years, does that outweigh a solid 10-year run by another player? And how should consistent statistical stardom over a 10-year stretch by a player who didn’t win a title compare to someone who won three championships but didn’t necessarily post incredible numbers?

Among those who have shared their All-Decade Teams is Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, whose picks followed the usual All-NBA format — Rohrbach selected three teams comprised of two guards, two forwards, and one center each.

The First Team is made up of the usual suspects. LeBron James and Stephen Curry lead the way, with Kevin Durant and James Harden joining them in the frontcourt and backcourt respectively. Those four players combined to win seven of 10 MVP awards since 2010, and six of the 10 champions this decade featured at least one of those four stars. James, Durant, and Harden are also the NBA’s three leading scorers over the last 10 years, while no player has a higher win-share rate than Curry since the start of the 2013/14 season.

No centers have dominated the decade from start to finish, so Rohrbach filled out his First Team with Anthony Davis, who may be the NBA’s best center right now, even if he prefers to play the four.

Rohrbach’s Second Team picks are guards Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, forwards Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and center Dwight Howard, who was a perennial All-Star for the first half of the decade.

Rohrbach’s Third Team features a few more players whose best years of the decade came in the first half of the 2010s, with guards Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant making the cut, along with center Tim Duncan. Forwards Paul George and Draymond Green fill out the Third Team.

While Rohrbach’s 15 selections are certainly worthy of recognition, a handful of noteworthy stars didn’t make the cut. Forwards Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin, and LaMarcus Aldridge, who combined for 16 All-NBA nods in the 2010s, only earn honorable mention, as do guards Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, and Kyrie Irving, and centers DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, and Joel Embiid. Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, Chris Bosh, and Rudy Gobert were also considered.

I would’ve given Kyle Lowry serious consideration for a backcourt spot on the Third Team, so I’m surprised he didn’t even show up in Rohrbach’s honorable mentions, but otherwise I can’t quibble with too many of his picks.

We want to know what you think though. Are there any glaring omissions you’d like to see on the list? Do you think any players on Rohrbach’s Second or Third Teams should be bumped higher, or eliminated from the top 15 altogether?

To help refresh your memory on the full decade, here’s a list of every player who has earned multiple All-Star nods since 2010, sorted by win shares per 48 minutes, via Basketball-Reference.

Let us know in the comment section below who you think belongs on the NBA’s All-Decade Teams for the 2010s!

Community Shootaround: Ideal Christmas Day Schedule

As Arthur Hill noted in our Christmas Eve Community Shootaround, injuries have put a dent in the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule. The absences of players like Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, and Raptors forward Pascal Siakam will reduce the star power in their respective matchups.

The idea of a flexible schedule put forth by Dwyane Wade and relayed in last night’s post by Arthur would be a tricky idea to implement, but there’s nothing stopping from us from imagining what our perfect Christmas Day slate would be.

We want your input on what today’s ideal NBA schedule would look like, based on current records and rosters.

Would you keep marquee games like Lakers/Clippers and Bucks/Sixers on the calendar? Would you still have five games on your schedule? Would you reduce or increase that number? Would your perfect schedule primarily involve the NBA’s best teams, or are there some under-the-radar clubs or players you’d like to see get the spotlight?

Here’s what my ideal schedule would look like:

  1. Raptors vs. Heat: Banged up or not, the defending champions deserve a Christmas Day showcase. Toronto and Miami are two of the best “effort” teams in the league and are good candidates to avoid a sluggish early-afternoon start.
  2. Celtics vs. Sixers: These two teams are on pace to win 60 and 56 games, respectively, and are relatively healthy, so it makes sense to keep them on the schedule. Matching them up against one another will give us a good rivalry game for the afternoon.
  3. Bucks vs. Mavericks: Assuming Luka Doncic is able to return, this game pits the reigning MVP against another rising star who should compete for the award for the foreseeable future. It would also be a matchup of the NBA’s best offense (Dallas) vs. the league’s best defense (Milwaukee).
  4. Lakers vs. Clippers: There’s no reason to remove this one from the schedule — especially with Anthony Davis and LeBron James expected to return from minor injuries.
  5. Rockets vs. Nuggets: Rather than pitting these two teams – who own the NBA’s longest active win streaks – against lottery-bound clubs, let’s have them face one another to close out the day.

Let’s hear your thoughts! Head to the comment section below and let us know what your hand-picked Christmas Day schedule would look like.