This feature lists Disaster Ratings (one being the least problematic, to 10 being code red) for NBA clubs involving offseason retirements and injuries. With some of the recent players going down or calling it quits, we thought it would be nice to have a new section where we can discuss and rate everything.
Andrew Bogut will miss the season with a broken leg: 7/10 Disaster Rating
Fifty-eight seconds; it took 58 seconds into Andrew Bogut's first game with the Cavaliers to break his leg. It would be funny if it wasn't somebody's health, but I bet Jose Calderon is laughing because the Cavaliers cut him after two hours to sign Bogut. Although I doubt Bogut was to get more than 10 minutes a game, if that, this does hurt the Cavaliers as they are painfully light when it comes to size - their starting center is 6-foot-9 - and now have lost Bogut after losing Chris Andersen. Cleveland got a steal on the market, but the team will have to dig very deep into the free agent pool or D-League to sign somebody who can give the roster half of what Bogut would have. The Cavaliers play very small, but in the playoffs, you need size, and although they will walk through the East - Toronto or Boston could give them a fun battle - they could have used that size against the Spurs or Warriors. I thought hard about giving this a 3/10 or 4/10, but the fact that it hurts Cleveland's title chances means the number has to be at least a 7/10.
Ben Simmons will miss rookie season with a broken foot: 10/10 Disaster Rating
For the third time in four years, a 76ers lottery pick will miss his rookie season. No. 1 pick Ben Simmons will miss his because of a broken foot. I am pretty sure the 76ers are just being careful with their prized forward, but there isn't a more troubling injury for a tall person than a broken foot because it tends to happen a lot. Regardless, this may just be a fluke injury and I still think Simmons will be one of the best players in the NBA, but to lose a season of development when he was set to be the foundation of the offense is just a big punch in the gut to the franchise as it will now have at least one more year of developing its roster.
Kyle Lowry will miss 4-6 weeks with a wrist injury: 9/10 Disaster Rating
I am writing this a bit late - sorry - but one of the two stars of the Raptors will miss most of the season and maybe a bit of the playoffs because of injury. The results are in, and the Raptors suck lacking their franchise point guard. They still will be no less than the fifth seed in the playoffs, but now the best they can hope for is Lowry sliding back, fitting into his key role to perfection and a team with no Lowry getting to third, which could take Toronto to a Eastern Conference title rematch. Regardless, a second-round meeting with Cleveland is now likely. The Raptors weren't going to win a title anyways, but this still hurts a lot.
Joel Embiid will miss the season with a meniscus tear: 10/10 Disaster Rating
Thirty-one. That is the number of games Joel Embiid has played in his first three seasons. He missed the first two years with a broken foot and he now has a knee tear. It isn't too serious of an injury, but he was going to win - still should - Rookie of the Year easily and was already one of the best big men in the NBA. So, now instead of playing games and developing his game for the next sixth months, he will have to rehab. His incredibly promising career is in serious jeopardy to go like Greg Oden's, but Embiid should be there for the first game next season. It's just ridiculous he can't stay healthy.
Kevin Durant will miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL: 5/10 Disaster Rating
This is a hard one. Yes, Kevin Durant will likely miss most of, if not all of, the regular season, but he should be playing come playoff time. If he needs more time, the Warriors can just bench him for the first series against Denver or another mediocre team and win easily, so I don't think this is too big of a deal. At first, I was going to give this a 7/10 or more, but really no team that isn't Houston or San Antonio has a chance against Golden State in the West - that includes lacking Durant - in a playoff series, and as Durant should be fine by then, the only thing the Warriors are actually at risk of is losing the No. 1 seed to San Antonio.
Kevin Love will miss six weeks after knee surgery: 9/10 Disaster Rating
Kevin Love will miss six weeks, but he should get to Cleveland again with at least a few weeks to get himself into playoff conditioning. The Cavaliers are very likely to win the Eastern Conference, but they need him at his best with an improved Boston and Toronto chasing them. This is a 9/19 though as they could lose their valuable home-court advantage to Boston as they are a rather mediocre team without Kevin Love.
Joel Embiid has a slight tear in knee: 10/10 Disaster Rating
I don't know how many games Embiid is going to miss, but the NBA's best rookie and a guy who is already a star having any sort of injury is a big deal when he missed his first two seasons to serious injury. Embiid was the third pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and was having an incredible season, establishing himself as the franchise player for now; I think that Ben Simmons will take that role. Regardless, although Embiid's first two seasons were missed because of foot injuries, any injury to him has to be considered a 10/10 to Philly fans.
Zach LaVine will miss the season with a torn ACL: 7/10 Disaster Rating
Third-year guard Zach LaVine is considered the third cog in Minnesota's young big three and averaging 19-3-3; his numbers were beginning to matching his truly incredible athleticism, too - LaVine is a two-time defending dunk champion, but wasn't competing this year -, and he settled nicely as a two after being drafted as a point guard. Regardless, this is a big loss. The Timberwolves weren't making the playoffs, but taking the athleticism from a player this athletic could hinder him when he returns sometime in the next calendar year; lucky for him sports medicine, especially in the knee is excellent today, but losing a young talent becoming a star at 21 is a big deal for a franchise. This also hurts the Timberwolves in any trade, as knowing Tom Thibodeau like I do, he would make LaVine the key piece in a trade for a second established elite veteran - apparently he tried using him in a Jimmy Butler trade in July. Thibodeau knows that having three talents so young is not a recipe for success today, and he wants to win, so the Timberwolves are now lacking their ace in any trade. The only nice angle that can be spun is that this gives more minutes to prized rookie Kris Dunn, who has had a poor season to date.
Jabari Parker will miss about a year with a torn ACL: 10/10 Disaster Rating
This might be the most significant NBA injury of the season. First, the Bucks have arguably the best young foundation in the NBA, and along with franchise player and all-star Giannis Antetokounmpo, Parker was the head of that foundation and in his third season was playing elite ball. As this is Parker's second ACL tear in three years and he was just this season becoming the player envisioned, it may take another two years to see the 20-point scorer again. Second, the Bucks are basically screwed when it comes to making the playoffs this season; I think they would have made it with him, and since Parker will miss most of next season, they need roster improvement if they are to make the playoffs then. The only thing I can say to Bucks fans is at least you have Antetokounmpo and that Parker just got into his 20s. The one I really feel rough for is Parker, who is going to miss signing a $125 million contract this summer. This is a franchise-altering injury for Milwaukee, hence the 10/10 rank.
Rudy Gay will miss the season with an Achilles injury: 10/10 Disaster Rating
This is a 10/10 for one reason; he was on the trade block and was their best trade piece if they were to start to tank. Sacramento's pick will belong to the Bulls if it's No. 11-30. The injury means the Kings will lose out on any assets they were going to get for Gay. A number of teams could have used him for a playoff run, so Sacramento could have gotten at least a first-round pick for him.
Pau Gasol will miss a 1-2 months with a broken finger: 4/10 Disaster Rating
The Spurs are basically locked in as the second seed in the West regardless of Pau Gasol. Their depth is weak in the frontcourt, however, and they will now have to rely on LaMarcus Aldridge - more than they do already -, the exciting, but still improving Dewayne Dedmon and the aging David Lee, who cannot defend. San Antonio is losing shot-blocking, rebounding and scoring that neither Dedmon or Lee can provide daily. The only thing that matters is that Gasol must be fine for the playoffs, which he should be. This is a 4/10 though just because the Rockets are so hot that they could potentially, maybe, just maybe, get to No. 2.
This should just say dumbass and not be a number as Kanter broke his forearm punching something on the Thunder bench during the game. This brings to question a couple of important things. The first, of course, is how do you break your forearm punching something? Who taught you how to punch? Do they punch like this in your native Turkey? This actually hurts the Thunder, as they are not the most talented of teams, which is lost with Russell Westbrook playing like Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson's love child. Kanter may be a reserve, but he is Oklahoma City's third- or fourth-best player and its second-best pure scorer. The Thunder are firmly locked into somewhere around the No. 5-7 seed and Kanter will be playing again soon, but they could easily end up at No. 7, which would mean a date with the Spurs or Warriors; I can see Oklahoma City winning a series against any team No. 1-6 in the West. The Thunder would have no chance as the seventh seed.
Chris Paul will miss 6-8 weeks: 9/10 Disaster Rating
Again, Chris Paul has a hand injury and will miss significant time. Additionally, the Clippers are already missing Blake Griffin, so they could fall far in the standings. Currently fourth in the West, they just do not have the talent of a .500 team while missing their two best offensive players, but Griffin could play again within a month. The Clippers' point guards are now Austin Rivers and Raymond Felton. Lucky for the Clipppers, they have a lot of games on the No. 5-seeded team, but I expect them to fall to at least No. 5.
J.R. Smith will miss 4-6 weeks with a finger injury: 2/10 Disaster Rating
J.R. Smith will miss a month or two with a finger injury, and although the Cavaliers will miss him and they are very thin at guard already, this is still the Cavaliers. They will have the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the East regardless of whether they miss J.R. Smith for one month or nine. Cleveland does need him for the playoffs, but this isn't the playoffs, so I see no reason for concern.
Ian Mahinmi will miss 4-6 weeks with knee injuries: 1/10 Disaster Rating
Mahinmi was the Wizards' big free agent signing this offseason, but he hasn't played this season and will continue to sit with injuries in his knees. The Wizards are playing well and have solid depth in the frontcourt, so this doesn't hurt them too much.
Clint Capela will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken leg: 2/10 Disaster Rating
Capela is the starting center for Houston, which is one of the best teams in the NBA, but along with Patrick Beverley, the defensive key to the roster. The Rockets' depth is also mediocre when it comes to defensive big men - Capela is the only one - so he will be missed. This just means more threes for the franchise that is setting records this season.
Festus Ezeli will likely miss season with a knee injury: 4/10 Disaster Rating
Ezeli hasn't played this season after signing a 2-year contract in the offseason, coming from the Warriors. He didn't get the big payday he deserved because of injury problems, so we should have seen this coming. Regardless, the Trail Blazers have a porous defense - one that could cause them to miss the playoffs - and they could have really used him.
Blake Griffin will miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury: 2/10 Disaster Rating
This injury could have been an 8/10 because Griffin is their second best player, but the Clippers will still be one of the four best teams in the West with him injured and they won't lose much when it comes to where they will be in the playoffs, but t I give this a 2/10 because Griffin is a free agent and I want to see how they play with him injured. I personally think they should trade him as they cannot beat the Warriors with their core and a big trade could help them. They could get a fortune from the Celtics or any team with assets.
Nick Young will miss at least two weeks 2/10 Disaster Rating
Nick Young's personal life was the story a year ago, but this year, it is his play. Starting for the Lakers, he has been one of the best shooters in the league this season at 42 percent, and he seems to play well with franchise player D'Angelo Russell - also injured. I thought the team should have traded him this offseason, but I have been very impressed at his renaissance season at 31 years old. The Lakers have a lot of scorers, but they are a lesser team with Young injured, and with his injury, it means a lot of Brandon Ingram, who just isn't playing like a No. 2 draft pick should, especially one so talented. If the Lakers want to make the playoffs, which they can given the weak Western Conference, they need Young. Luckily for the Lakers, this is just a 2-4-week leg injury.
Tiago Splitter will miss at least six weeks 2/10 Disaster Rating
I like Tiago Splitter, but he hasn't played for the Hawks this season and isn't really a legitimate piece for them. Beyond him not playing, they have Dwight Howard, Paul Millsap, Mike Scott and Mike Muscala, so they don't really need him. Splitter is a nice trade piece though and could help a number of teams. In fact, I think the Spurs would be smart to trade for him again to help their defense. The Hawks can trade Sokiiter at any time really, and again don't need him to play, so I cannot give this more than a 2/10.
Mike Conley will miss at least six weeks with a back injury 9/10 Disaster Rating
We have our first big injury of the season; shocking that it took four weeks. Mike Conley just signed a ridiculous contract, but he is a star who was having the best season of his career, had taken the mantle of the Grizzlies' best player and is literally the key to their offense and one of the NBA's best defenders. The Western Conference is weak this season after the Clippers, Warriors and Spurs, so Memphis has a strong chance to make the playoffs if this is just a 6-7 week injury, but it is going to very ugly with him injured. The Grizzlies win because of their defense, so they can still win some games, but this likely means that Andrew Harrison and rookie Wade Baldwin will get most of the minutes at the one, which is not promising. The Grizzlies will have to win at least 35 percent of these 20-30 games if they are going to make the playoffs. Honestly, I don't know if they can.
I know this was a week ago, but I was busy, I apologize. You have to feel for the 76ers. They get Joel Embiid healthy after missing his first two seasons, and now their second prized young player, in fact, the franchise player and No. 1 pick, potentially the next NBA superstar; has broken his foot. Specifically, Simmons has a Jones fracture - a type of break on the outside of the foot; it's a common injury, but foot injuries for tall people are like knee injuries for football players as similar injuries can easily happen again. Regardless, Simmons is still just 20 years old and will likely play in a few months, but he is Philadelphia's franchise player and him already getting hurt is as big of a punch to the groin as the 76ers could get this offseason.
Reggie Jackson Will Miss Two Months With a Knee Injury 7/10 Disaster Rating
This is big. The Eastern Conference has about 10 teams that have real chances to make the playoffs, and the Pistons will be missing their best offensive player for at least the first month of the season. They could lose valuable wins they need later, but for now, their offense will struggle. They do have Ish Smith, who is a fine second point guard and similar to Jackson as a scorer first and distributor second, but Jackson is the key to the Pistons' offense, and I don't think they have a chance at .500 with Jackson injured.
Gordon Hayward Injures Finger 5/10 Disaster Rating
Gordon Hayward is the best player on the Jazz, but they have the depth and talent to be fine for the month or so of the season he might miss. The Jazz have been the ninth-best team in the Western Conference for two years now, and they have to make the playoffs this season. Any game Hayward misses is one game in which their chances of winning are lessened and although the West doesn't have the depth of the East, they cannot afford to lose any games on teams like the Pelicans, Suns or Timberwolves. As usual, there are seven locks in the West - San Antonio, Golden State, Houston, Oklahoma City, the Clippers, Dallas and Memphis-, so Utah cannot lose games it should win, if Hayward was healthy.
In a week, Mo Williams went from returning to the Cavaliers on his option to retiring. Now, the Cavaliers need another point guard, as they just have Kyrie Irving and second-round pick Kay Felder at the one, although we all know that LeBron James controls the ball. Regardless, Cleveland needs a veteran reserve on the bench with no Williams or Matthew Dellavedova. I love Felder, but he is a 5-foot-9 rookie, so the Cavaliers desperately need to find help at guard, as their backcourt has no depth, literally. They are also thin at the two, which hurts more as Williams played a lot of two for them. It's just Irving-Felder-Iman Shumpert-Jordan McRae at guard. Look for Cleveland to sign the best free agent point guard or to coax somebody from retirement with the promise of a potential ring.
Nikola Pekovic will miss season with an ankle: 4/10 Disaster Rating
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the best young team in the NBA and will be a contender in a few seasons. Although Nikola Pekovic is an excellent big man, he just doesn't fit the Timberwolves with their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns being a center, although Pekovic can play the four and reserve center Gorgui Dieng one of the best in the league. Pekovic just wasn't part of this team. This is only a four because Pekovic has a very tradeable contract, as he makes just $12 million a season and is a strong scorer and an elite offensive rebounder. Minnesota could have gotten a big piece for him. The Timberwolves are young and athletic, and really the 10-20 minutes he would have gotten make more sense for younger talents - Cole Aldrich and Adreian Payne - as it is all about tomorrow for this team.
Another Hall of Famer has retired, as Kevin Garnett, who had another season on his contract with the Timberwolves, has decided to call it quits. He hasn't been much as a player for at least two years, but his numbers are legendary and he is to the Timberwolves as Tim Duncan was to the Spurs, as Garnett will be remembered as the best player the franchise has had. I expect Garnett to take a role in the Minnesota front office, and as he was basically already just a coach for the Timberwolves, I see him sticking with the team in some role. There is rumor he wants to actually own the team, so that is possible as well for him. He will be missed in the locker room and in the community regardless of what is next for him, but the Timberwolves have the best young roster in the NBA and this really means little when it comes to the roster.
Tim Duncan is one of the 10 best players to play the game, and with 20 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, he is the franchise. Five titles, two MVPs, 15 All-Star Teams, 15 All-NBA Teams, 15 All-NBA Defense Teams and one legend; he is one of the best offensive and defensive players to play the game, one of the nicest guys to play the game and just an incredible ambassador for the game. The Spurs will miss him in the locker room, as a coach and although they don't need him as much to win games, he was still an elite defensive player; he just had no legs and by the playoffs, couldn't play. He was right to retire. The Spurs are still going to hurt next season defensively, as they are not set in the frontcourt with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. It doesn't matter though because Duncan gave the Spurs two decades and walks from the team a player and hero who won't be seen again in San Antonio. The Spurs are also are still contenders, but his loss will be felt by the franchise and the fans.
Blake Griffin will miss the playoffs with a quad injury: 9/10 Disaster Rating
I did say that the Trail Blazers would beat the Clippers in Round 1, but seeing the Clippers in Games 1 and 2, I assumed the Clippers would win easily. Now? Portland is probably going to win in six. The Clippers have lost their two best players, but I will start with Blake Griffin. They could have beaten the Trail Blazers with no Blake Griffin as they played well with him missing half the season, but now they have no chance against the Warriors in Round 2, no matter if Curry misses two games, four games or seven games. The Clippers again will lose in the first two rounds and try to make moves in the offseason to improve. It's the Clippers, s*** will happen to them. It's a curse - a really funny, unfortunate for the Clippers, curse.
Chris Paul will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken hand: 10/10 Disaster Rating
With Blake Griffin injured, the Clippers had a chance to beat the Trail Blazers, but with no Chris Paul, they have little to no chance to win Round 1, as Chris Paul is the key to their franchise. Chris Paul could return in Round 3, but the Clippers will be home in the next week, so it doesn't matter really. They cannot beat the Warriors missing Paul or Griffin, but with no Paul, the Clippers cannot win anything this season. Sorry, Clippers, try again next year.
Stephen Curry will miss at least 2 weeks with a knee injury: 9/10 Disaster Rating
Let's be clear, with his ankle and knee injuries, Stephen Curry will not be at 100 percent for the playoffs, however, with him at 80-90 percent, the Warriors are still one of the two best teams in the NBA. They are lucky as they could get a week of rest as the Clippers and Blazers can easily go seven games and Golden State should win its series in five, but if my math is correct, he will miss at least the first two games - likely three or four - of the second round. If the Warriors are playing the Clippers - I am assuming that L.A. wins its series, they have a real chance to lose the majority of games Curry will miss. Golden State is still excellent when Curry sits, but really the Clippers and Warriors are basically the same when it comes to talent, and the Clippers will have the best player in Chris Paul, which is important to win any series.
So, let's say Curry only misses 2-3 games and the Warriors beat the Clippers; Golden State then has Oklahoma City or San Antonio, which to me, are two of the three best teams in the NBA, respectively. With Curry hurt - again, he won't be himself when playing, the Warriors' chances of winning against those two franchises are much smaller than they were a week ago. If the Warriors somehow win that series and the Western Conference, they will likely have to play a healthy Cavaliers team, the NBA's fourth-best team. My point is this is going to be incredibly hard, and I don't think Golden State can win the West and therefore a title. My pick all season was the Spurs, and now I am confident in that choice.
It was an incredible 20 years for Kobe Bryant, but he is now retired. I was raised in Chicago in the 90s, so I saw Michael Jordan's prime and six titles, so it's hard to make me go nuts for a player and care about him retiring. Yeah, he's a legend and one of the 10 best players in NBA history, but he has annoyed me for years, and excluding the Lakers' moron owner, he is the biggest reason why the Lakers suck. However, I will get to that in a minute, but first I'll be kind to him.
Kobe is a legend; there is no doubting that. He won an MVP (should have won two or more), and he is one of the best offensive players in history, winning five titles and clinching the Western Conference seven times. I will remember him most for the 82-point game 10 years ago against the Raptors, and I will miss having him in this league, as the NBA is stronger with him. I won't get into a LeBron-Kobe argument, but to me, Kobe was the biggest star since Michael Jordan was a Chicago Bull. He was a ridiculous talent, a once-in-a-decade personality, and a champion who possessed an awe inspiring work ethic. However, the Lakers have sucked for three years, and it's his fault.
Why? Players didn't want to play with him - stars didn't want to sign with the Lakers - and his ridiculous contract killed them for two years and well, I have to say it, he was a dick. The latter has little to do with anything, but I just wanted to say that. Jordan was a dick too, but he didn't overstay his welcome in Chicago, which is why literally no one cared.
Because of Kobe's inability to share the Lakers with Dwight Howard, no young elite player tried again, and when he stopped being one of the NBA's best players years ago, the Lakers couldn't win. Kobe is why the Lakers have had their two most-pathetic seasons in their history. It will take the Lakers years to get back to the playoffs despite having some really solid young talent, and although this is because of a mix of the Buss Family, GM Mitch Kupchack and Byron Scott, I cannot help but be annoyed. The only reason most aren't annoyed is because of his retirement tour, which was a genius idea to let the Lakers suck and get their draft pick (only their pick if 1-3), but all I saw was a selfish player content to have the largest contract in the league and take 25 shots per game. This season should have been about getting rookie D'Angelo Russell, their next franchise player, groomed into becoming a franchise player, but the only thing people will remember about his rookie season is punking Nick Young, which was my favorite part of the NBA season.
I don't think Kobe gives a damn about his teammates today or the state of the Lakers, and although he truly is one of the best players in history and arguably the best player of my teenaged-to-adult-life (I'm 27 for those wondering), I don't have any real feelings of longing to see him play again. Hell, I watched the Warriors' 82nd game and didn't care to DVR Kobe's last game. Yes, I will have fond memories of Kobe, but despite losing millions in clothing and ticket sales, the Lakers need Kobe to retire so they can rebuild this franchise.
Anthony Davis will miss the season with two injuries: 1/10 Disaster Rating
The Pelicans aren't making the playoffs, so their best player missing 10 games means little, and as he has two injuries that require surgery, it's best for him - and the team - to get healthy now and ready to start the 2017 season. As for Davis, he will have to miss the Olympics - would be the starting center for the United States -, and this also likely loses him $25 million - contract incentives - on his contract that starts next season, as he needed to make the All-NBA team for a third time if he was to be the first player to get a third contract max in his second contract - the Derrick Rose Rule. Davis still gets $125 million, so don't feel too sorry for him. Regardless, for the Pelicans this isn't anything.
Chandler Parsons will miss the season after knee surgery: 7/10 Disaster Rating
Chandler Parsons had knee surgery in the offseason, but he quietly had a really nice season for the Mavericks. But, he will only have played 61 games in his second season for the them after signing a max contract. Dallas is in a battle with Utah and Houston for the seventh and eighth seeds, and all three are basically tied, so this will really hurt the Mavericks in that race as Parsons is one of their best players. They won't win in the playoffs, in fact one game against the Spurs or Warriors would be difficult, so I cannot give this more than a 7/10.
Center Myers Leonard will miss the season with a shoulder injury: 6/10 Disaster Rating
The Portland Trail Blazers have had an incredible season. Thought to be re-building, the young Trail Blazers currently have the sixth-best record in the West and have a real chance to get to fifth-best in the next three weeks. Damian Lillard and C.J McCollum are right to get most of the credit; however, Leonard has had one of the most randomly excellent season of any player. The 7-1 lottery pick is now one of the best shooting big men in the NBA and has turned himself into an excellent stretch four. The Trail Blazers will miss him in the playoffs as he is arguably their best offensive big man.
Mario Chalmers will miss the season with a torn Achilles: 2/10 Disaster Rating
Mario Chalmers was traded after about 20 games to the Grizzlies and was one of the best sixth man in the league this season, as he averaged 10.8 points and 3.8 assists for the Grizzlies in just 22.8 minutes a game. This is a big loss, as they are already mediocre when it comes to depth, but with no Marc Gasol, they aren't winning in the playoffs regardless and are locked in the fifth or sixth seed, so really it doesn't matter.
Mike Conley will miss 3-4 weeks with an Achilles injury: 7/10 Disaster Rating
With Marc Gasol injured for the season with a broken foot, Mike Conley is easily the No. 1 player for the Grizzlies, and he will now miss about a month with an Achilles injury. With no Mario Chalmers either, Memphis has jack at point guard now, but like I said with Mario Chalmers, Grizzlies don't have a chance to win a playoff series, so it really doesn't matter. The big issue is that Mike Conley is a free agent after the season and is loved in this league, so somebody is giving him $100 million, and I would have liked to see Conley play as the No. 1 guy for a couple months to prove to the Grizzlies that they should give him max money. With Conley-Gasol, Memphis has an elite foundation, and if the clubs loses him, it will have to rebuild. Just pay him.
Forward Gordon Hayward has plantar fasciitis: 9/10 Disaster Rating
The Jazz are just a few games from the Western Conference Playoffs, with a real chance to get there with the Mavericks having a lot of trouble, but Utah's franchise player, Gordon Hayward, has plantar fasciitis, which will annoy him the rest of the season. This is an injury that just needs rest, but the Jazz can't do that, so their best player will now be limited for the season, which might just cost them their first playoff appearance since they had Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer.
Michael Carter-Williams will miss the rest of season with a hip injury: 7/10 Disaster Rating
Michael Carter-Williams has so much talent that he hasn't been able to translate into becoming a franchise point guard to date, but he missed half the season, still hasn't played 82 games in Milwaukee and he did improve his offensive efficiency in his third season, so he still can become the all-star I expected him to be. His size and talent are elite and few players average 10-plus points, 5-plus rebounds, 5-plus assists, a block and steal a game, so he isn't a lost cause. I really wish we could have seen Carter-Williams play a big role in a lost season for the Bucks in the next few months, and their losing him means they still don't know if they have their franchise point guard.
O.J. Mayo will miss rest of season with a leg injury: 1/10 Disaster Rating
O.J. Mayo is a fine veteran, but this team isn't making the playoffs and should be grooming its young talent, like rookie guard Rashad Vaughn and second-year guard Tyler Ennis regardless, so this isn't a big loss.
Steve Novak will miss the season with a knee injury: 2/10 Disaster Rating
Well, I said Novak wasn't going to help the Bucks a week ago when he was signed. I was right, although it sucks that it is because of a knee injury. Regardless, a veteran who wasn't going to help a team which isn't going to make the playoffs really doesn't mean too much. I like Novak which is why it is a 2/10.
I don't know what type of fracture it is, as they haven't said, but he won't be playing for at least the next six weeks, but he will likely miss the season. Regardless, he is the Grizzlies' best player, and they could miss the playoffs, but they aren't winning if they get there, so what actually matters is that their 7-foot franchise player has a broken foot. I cannot explain to you how hard it is for a big man whose job involves jumping to deal with a broken foot, but Yao retired because of it, as did Bill Walton, Brook Lopez has dealt with it for years, and Joel Embiid, the third pick in the 2014 NBA Draft hasn't played a game because of it. This could be a big issue for the franchise or maybe I am just being pessimistic. One of the two, but I will give this a 9/10.
Tiago Splitter will miss the season with a hip injury: 4/10 Disaster Rating
Tiago Splitter is an excellent NBA center; however, he really wasn't a fit for the Hawks when healthy, playing just 16 minutes a game, so this isn't too big, more so as the club seems to want to shuffle the roster and make trades. Atlanta has no chance in the East and is just a mediocre playoff team, so losing the team's second center doesn't mean much for the record. That being said, if the Hawks trade All-Star center Al Horford for another elite talent, as is discussed, they could really use Splitter. He could have proved himself a big part of this franchise.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will miss the season with a torn rotator cuff: 7/10 Disaster Rating
This is the same injury Kidd-Gilchrist just returned from after missing most of the first half of the season; a recurring injury after seven games doesn't give one much hope for this not happening to him again. The Hornets were also playing excellent basketball with Kidd-Gilchrist healthy, getting themselves into the eighth seed, and he was playing some of the best ball of his career, so this really hurts their playoff chances. This is a big injury for the Hornets and may cost them the playoffs.
Jimmy Butler will miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained knee: 5/10 Disaster Rating
Jimmy Butler is the Chicago Bulls, and although it hurts, it doesn't hurt too much, as his injury looked like it could cost him the season. Still, the Bulls are now the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and are playing some pathetic basketball. They have lost 12 of 17 games and four of five missing Butler already, however, they are dealing with so many injuries; Nikola Mirotic will be healthy in a few weeks and they just got Mike Dunleavy for the first time.
Chicago still has two elite players in Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose, so this team can still win most games. With Butler though, the Bulls are arguably still the second best team in the East. Regardless, a club that its itself a contender is missing their franchise player in a time of need, so this isn't ideal.
Austin Rivers will miss at least 4 weeks with a broken hand: 1/10 Disaster Rating
I have said for a year that somebody needs to tell Doc Rivers that his son sucks at basketball. Austin Rivers is so mediocre; it boggles the mind that he is a key player for a team that considers itself a title contender. Yeah, he scores and defends some, but that's it, and still his father gave him $7 million in July. That's not nepotism; that's being a crappy GM. Regardless, I am sure that missing Rivers' 8 points and 1.3 assists a game will be a big loss to a team that has missed Blake Griffin for half the season and is still winning. Pablo Prigioni will get most of Rivers' minutes, and although Prigioni is 39, he is the stronger player, so this isn't a big deal.
Festus Ezeli will miss about 6 weeks : 5/10 Disaster Rating
A lot of people don't know who Ezeli is, but he is arguably the best big man on the team with the best record in the NBA. The 30th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft has become an excellent rebounder, shot-blocker and scorer, and is just as important to the Warriors as Andrew Bogut. Averaging 15 points, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes, the free agent to be is one of the best reserves in the NBA, and Golden State will need him for the playoffs against the Spurs and Clippers.
As for now, it shouldn't hurt the Warriors too much. However, if they lose Andrew Bogut again (injured twice this season), they won't have a center and their defense and rebounding will be mediocre. Assuming Bogut is healthy and this is just for six weeks or so, I doubt it costs Golden State a game, but with now zero insurance for Andrew Bogut and knee injuries being tricky, this deserves a 5/10.
Manu Ginobili will miss at least a month with a testicular injury: 1/10 Disaster Rating
There are so many jokes I can make and want to make, in fact I would like to make a dozen testicle jokes, but I am a professional, so I won't. However, the Spurs are a team-first franchise and it takes a lot of balls to have surgery and not help them Manu. Damnit, Mike! I apologize, but come on, a man had surgery on his testicles because of a testicular injury and that deserves at least one joke. As for the Spurs, well, they are the Spurs and I think they would be fine if they had seven players miss a month with testicular surgery. This team has so much depth at guard with Patty Mills, Ray McCallum and Jonathan Simmons on the bench, so that Ginobili really wouldn't be missed much until mid-season.
T.J. Warren will miss the season with a foot injury: 9/10 Disaster Rating
The Suns aren't winning and won't; this is well-known now that we are mid-season. This is a lost season, and it is an interesting one as their coach was fired, their best player tore his knee and they are on an epic current losing streak, but now they have now lost one of the few nice parts of their season, second-year forward T.J. Warren. The 14th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft was one of my favorite prospects that season, as he can play the three and four and was an excellent college scorer. After his mediocre rookie season, where he played less minutes than he deserved, he was showing the scoring ability in season two, which made him so enticing and really was Phoenix's best forward, scoring almost 20 points per 36 minutes on 50 percent shooting and 40 percent three-point shooting.
As for the Suns' season, this won't make them lose more because that really isn't possible. But I give it a 9/10 because with Earl Watson coaching in a lost season, Warren was very likely to start getting more than the 22.8 minutes he got with Jeff Hornacek and, to me, would have proven that he is a key foundation player and starter.
It is a lost three months for Warren to show the team what he can be, and so he likely will go into next season as a bench forward and not the potential 18-20-point scorer I think he can be. For a young team trying to learn who they are, that is a big, big loss.
Blake Griffin will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken hand for being an idiot: 9/10 Disaster Rating
It is difficult to put a grade on being a moron, but in this case, Blake Griffin gets a 9/10 for punching the team's equipment manager at dinner and breaking his hand. Already injured, Blake Griffin the moron will continue to sit on the bench and hurt his team by not being on the court. This is embarrassing for the Clippers and Griffin, and it will hurt their record, too. Griffin is one of the best players in the league, and although the Clippers are pretty much guaranteed to be the No. 4 seed, this is just a mess for them. How do you lose a fight to the equipment manager?
Nikola Mirotic will miss at least three weeks because of his appendectomy: 4/10 Disaster Rating
It looks like rookie Bobby Portis is about to get a lot of playing time because the Bulls, who are already missing Joakim Noah for the season, won't have sixth man Nikola Mirotic for about three weeks because of an appendectomy. This is really poor timing for Mirotic as the Bulls are struggling and after a few poor weeks of play, Mirotic was playing some of the best ball of his season. It is just a few weeks and the Bulls still have Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis and Cameron Bairstow, but losing a key player who is playing excellent ball when the team is playing its weakest ball of the season really hurts. Chicago is looking for one of the first three seeds in the East, and this could hurt the club's record some.
Andre Roberson will miss 3+ weeks with a knee injury : 2/10 Disaster Rating
Many casual fans don't know who Andre Roberson is and I doubt you could pick his face in a crowd, but he is a starter for the third-best team in the NBA, which is a nice tidbit. He is a 6-foot-7 perimeter defender with elite size, and although he has no offense, you don't need it with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant in the starting five. Roberson is who he is, a solid role player for one of the elite NBA teams, and his team will miss him. Expect sixth man Dion Waiters or bench shooter Anthony Morrow to start, which will hurt the Thunder's defense, but it shouldn't cost them wins, however, they are going to need Roberson for the playoffs to guard players like James Harden, Kahwhi Leonard and Klay Thompson. Roberson should be fine by then.
Ronnie Price will miss 3-5 weeks with a toe injury: 1/10 Disaster Rating
The Suns' third point guard will be missing some time with a big toe injury, but with starting point guard and franchise player Eric Bledsoe missing the season with a knee injury, really it's just Brandon Knight at point guard now, and he is a mediocre distributor. This is a 1/10, as the Suns right now are arguably the weakest team in the NBA as they have gone from a likely playoff team to a likely No. 3-5 draft pick. Phoenix have no chance at the playoffs, so losing a bench guard means little, and this just means more playing time for excellent rookie Devin Booker and solid third season shooting guard Archie Goodwin. This season is now about the Suns' young players, and this just gives the staff an excuse to give them more playing time. Easy 1.
Eric Gordon will miss 4-6 weeks with an injured finger: 9/10 Disaster Rating
The Pelicans may have one of weaker records in the NBA, but because the Western Conference is just embarrassing this season, they are just four games from the playoffs and have a real shot to make it. New Orleans have arguably the best roster of the teams going for the No. 8 seed (Pelicans, Jazz, Kings and Trail Blazers), although I give the nod to the Jazz. Regardless, losing one of their five best players and their best scoring guard hurts the Pelicans chances of making the playoffs; they are now weaker at guard, which was already a problem for them. What makes this a 9/10 though is that New Orleans is actually trying to find a trade for him as he has a valuable expiring contract, and with him injured, he may be sitting when the team wants to make a trade. He won't be with the Pelicans next season, but as an injured trade piece and solid shooting guard, this hurts them on the court and hurts their front office's chances to make a big trade. This is big for the franchise.
Joakim Noah will miss 4-6 months with a dislocated shoulder: 10/10 Disaster Rating
Joakim Noah played four games after missing nine to a shoulder sprain, but he dislocated it on Friday night and so the 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year may not play for the Bulls again, as he will be a free agent in the offseason. His signing was in doubt, as he is will be 31 in a month and the Bulls have so many talented big men, but although their depth is excellent, this is a big loss for Chicago.
Noah is the team's best defender, and as its defense is pathetic with Fred Hoiberg, I don't see Chicago getting to where it should be anytime this year. Also, Noah is one of the best play-making big men in the NBA and the Bulls love to play through him and Pau Gasol offensively, so they lose a key play-maker, which is big as they really don't have a point guard (Derrick Rose is a scoring guard). Chicago may have the big men to replace Noah, and he was on the bench playing only 20-25 minutes a game, but the Bulls aren't nearly as talented with him hurt; for a team trying for a championship, that means a lot. You will be missed, Joakim.
Small forward Quincy Pondexter will miss the season with knee surgery: 2/10 Disaster Rating
Quincy Pondexter hasn't played this season, but would likely be playing a big role for the Pelicans, who are playing so poorly this season it's kind of ridiculous. He would be given the minutes that Luke Babbitt and Alonzo Gee are getting and might have started for New Orleans. The Pelicans are missing his shooting and offense, but they would still suck if he was there, as they are a mess this season.
Center Al Jefferson will miss 6 weeks with a knee injury: 1/10 Disaster Rating
For two years, Al Jefferson was the franchise player for the Hornets, but this season, that honor is a mix of Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum. With injury and suspension, Jefferson has already missed half the season, and when he has played, he has been rather mediocre. The Hornets are getting strong play from their two young big men Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky and their small-ball is excellent, so they are developing talent and still winning; this isn't big for them.
Jarrett Jack will miss the season with a knee injury: 3/10 Disaster Rating
The Nets' starting point guard will miss the season after an ugly knee injury, and although Jack is their third-best player, this team is one of the weakest in the NBA, so losing him really isn't too big; they weren't going to win much. Brooklyn now has jack (get it?) at point guard, but this is a three because he was a valuable trade asset for the the club, which needs to be trading anything it can for assets, as the roster has few of them.
Another week another mock and more disparity and players moving up and down boards. The boards are becoming more and more clear. I think I am more confident on what teams will go for and will not so I may throw in a trade for a little wrinkle if it does not make it more complicated. If not I will just mention who should trade. So, without further adieu here we go!