Here is a fun graphic, tweeted out last night by ESPN after Paul George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a couple decent role-players:
Put whatever stock you want in ESPN’s NBARank project—it did not have dashing young Kelly Oubre number one overall, severely injuring its credibility in my heart-shaped eyes—but there can be no question that the already deeply imbalanced conferences just tilted even more wildly towards the West. Consider this: the West just picked up two of the top three or four players in the Eastern Conference, and sent back Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Victor Oladipo, and Domantas Sabonis. Charitably, two of those players might be in the top, what, 30 guys in the West? The Western Conference picked up a pair of superstars, and in exchange the Eastern Conference gained two rebuilding lottery teams.
Here’s another stunning way of looking at it:
That’s ridiculous! NBA superstars are morons for going East to West, and they are morons for not going West to East. The Sixers are going to win 37 games and be the goddamn fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.