Best Alternate Franchise for Every NBA Star
Who of us hasn't taken our favorite team on PS3 or Xbox and after some wheeling and dealing gotten our team absolutely stacked? It doesn't matter what game it is either: Madden, MLB The Show, or NBA 2K12. You name it, we've done it.
When the last transaction is complete we feel as if our savvy skills as executives would cause Jerry West to be green with envy.
Why do we do this? For kicks? Sure. To enable our favorite team to run roughshod through the regular season en route to a title? Of course. But it's also interesting seeing players play on teams that they would most likely never play on.
That said, let's envision how things would be if 15 of the best players in the league had to change addresses.
Some changes will have geographical or hometown ties, others will be just because we can. Let's have a look.
15. Dirk Nowitzki: Milwaukee Bucks
Dirk Nowitzki was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1998 and then traded to the Dallas Mavericks for the late Robert Traylor.
What if he had played his entire career in Milwaukee? Would he still be the player he is today? Would he have a ring?
If his career isn't riddled with injuries, how formidable a duo do Michael Redd and Dirk make? With so many guys in a hurry to jump to a big market it would have been nice to see Milwaukee have some good fortune for a change.
14. LaMarcus Aldridge: New York Knicks
Imagine LaMarcus Aldridge in New York, or any big market for that matter. How much more attention would the 21.5 points and eight rebounds a game he put up last year receive?
Instead he's out there, you know the phrase, "toiling away in the Pacific Northwest" and getting overlooked. Soon everyone will know, it will just take a little bit longer than it should.
13. Kevin Love: Portland Trail Blazers
Kevin Love was born in California but grew up in nearby Lake Oswego which isn't even a stone's throw away from Portland.
How much easier would the transition have been if he had been able to leave UCLA and start working eight miles from home? If the old territorial draft was still in effect you can best believe the Trail Blazers would have loved to have him.
12. Russell Westbrook: Denver Nuggets
From the because we can department, Russell Westbrook and his high-flying athleticism would be fun to see with the Denver Nuggets.
Westbrook and Ty Lawson would kill opponents with quickness in the backcourt. Wily veteran Andre Miller could spell them so they could catch their breath occasionally.
Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried, and JaVale McGee would round out the rest of that interesting starting five.
11. Derrick Rose: New Orleans Hornets
If he had to switch addresses, he would have to be sent to New Orleans. He would fit in with the young nucleus they are building.
Besides, after the departure of Chris Paul, another elite guard would do the Hornets' fans some good.
10. Dwyane Wade: Chicago Bulls
That statement was from a few seasons back, but knowing that he felt this way almost half way into his career makes you wonder and want to see how he would do if he played 41 of his games at the United Center.
9. Carmelo Anthony: Golden State Warriors
Carmelo Anthony would have to move from one coast all the way to the other. The Bay Area to be exact.
It would be an interesting marriage, Anthony is an interesting guy. The Golden State Warriors are an interesting team. We all remember what they did to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
Prior to that, when was the last time they had a top ten player? Have to go back to the Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell days and Run TMC before that.
Carmelo would solve that problem.
8. Rajon Rondo: Phoenix Suns
There is no other alternative but to envision Rajon Rondo as a member of the Phoenix Suns. When they drafted him, Steve Nash was going into his third season in Phoenix and he had it rolling at that time. Rondo had just left Kentucky after his sophomore season and no one had any idea he would become the player he's become at the pro level.
If he had been in Phoenix all of this time grabbing minutes when he could, would he have developed the way that he has?
He had to learn on the fly in Boston and try to keep pace with the Big Three. Now the Celtics success hinges largely on how far he can take them.
7. Deron Williams: Dallas Mavericks
If Deron Williams had chosen to join his hometown Dallas Mavericks it would have given them something they didn't have, an elite point guard in his prime. How would the D-Will and Dirk show have worked out?
Despite their disappointing defense of their title, the rings they just won are still fairly vivid in their minds.
It would have been interesting to see the kid from The Colony help them pursue another one.
6. Tony Parker: New York Knicks
No, I'm not putting Tony Parker in New York for the fight that nearly took his eye or anything else non-basketball related. This is strictly for reasons on the court.
Why would we want to see Parker in Madison Square Garden? Look at that division, it would be point guard heaven.
Rajon Rondo is in Boston, Deron Williams is in Brooklyn and they would all be going toe-to-toe all the time instead of the two times a year that Parker sees them now.
If only there was a way to get Chris Paul to . . .
5. Dwight Howard: Atlanta Hawks
The Dwight Howard saga finally, mercifully ended when he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. Dwight's alternate franchise would be the Atlanta Hawks partly because he's from that area.
His alternate franchise would be Atlanta mostly because he's indecisive and describing him as such after all the back and forth we just witnessed is an understatement.
Having Howard in Atlanta would give Hawks fans an elite player to decide if they wanted to go watch play or not.
4. Kobe Bryant: Chicago Bulls
Kobe Bryant would have to go to Chicago for obvious reasons. Michael Jordan's shadow is there and his shoes are there waiting to see if someone can fill them.
Bryant even wanted to be traded a few years ago when things weren't going so great in Los Angeles.
Bryant also emulates MJ to death and it would have been fun to watch and see how Jordan's legend would have affected Kobe had he been right next to it in Chicago.
3. Chris Paul: Philadelphia 76ers
Picking things up where the Tony Parker slide ended, if only Chris Paul could go to Philadelphia. It would be point guard domination like we've never seen before. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Tony Parker in the same division!
Are you kidding me? Who would come out on top? There would have to be a competition to see who was the most competitive.
The Atlantic Division would simply explode from all the dimes that were dropped and ankles that were broken.
Then David Stern would have to step in and, never mind.
2. Kevin Durant: Washington Wizards
Would any other city be more excited to have one of its own return home than Washington if Kevin Durant was a member of the Wizards?
The guy is as likable as he is talented. Seattle was dreadful when he first got there, he's been through some rough seasons.
Imagine the buzz in D.C. if K.D. was back home doing the same big things for them that he's doing for Oklahoma City.
1. LeBron James: Charlotte Bobcats
To the gamers out there who are Charlotte Bobcats fans, you know you've done this. You know you've put LeBron James on the Bobcats and made them instant contenders.
If LeBron was in Charlotte they would be instant contenders. He would bring the immediate respectability that they are so desperately grasping for as a franchise.
Come spring time, the Tar Heels post season chances wouldn't be the only thing being talked about around Charlotte either.
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