Isaiah Thomas Out until All-Star Break? Derrick Rose Gains More Importance

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics recently completed a blockbuster trade, where Kyrie Irving is going to the Celtics, while Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick go to the Cavs.

Some hailed this as a win for Cleveland because they got a lot after Irving demanded a trade. But the Cavaliers stalled before finalizing the deal due to Thomas’ hip injury.

Cleveland claims that the timetable for Thomas is longer than they expected. And according to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, the 5’8″ point guard may not be available until after the All-Star Break:

“No one is willing to put a timeline on when Thomas might return to the court. The fact he isn’t running yet certainly is not a good sign. One source with experience dealing with the type of hip problems Thomas is facing predicted it could be January or even the All-Star break before Thomas returns to game action. That doesn’t leave much time for a new player to establish chemistry and rhythm with a team trying to compete for a championship.”

Lloyd continued by stating that Isaiah Thomas wasn’t Cleveland’s main object because they’re unsure over LeBron James’ future with the team. Here’s more:

isaiah-thomas-celtics“Thomas was never the focal point of these negotiations from the Cavs’ perspective, one source with knowledge of the talks told The Athletic. From the start, the Cavs made clear to the Celtics that James’ uncertain status beyond this season left them prioritizing restocking the cupboards in the event he leaves again. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert remains fixated on James’ future, one source told The Athletic. Had he gotten James to commit beyond this season, this Irving trade might have looked drastically different.

“Instead, Gilbert and general manager Koby Altman focused on a future that might or might not include the best player in franchise history. Now they will have to explain to James why trading for a wounded and undersized point guard, a good wing defender in Jae Crowder, an unknown big man and a couple of draft picks makes them better positioned to compete for a championship this season than they were…”

Thomas Claims that He’s not “Damaged”

Thomas may not have been the focal point of the Irving trade, but he can certainly help the Cavs win now. After all, he averaged 28.9 points per game last season. But now he finds himself defending his ability to come back from this injury.

“I am not damaged,” Thomas told ESPN. “I’ll be back, and I’ll be the same player.”

kyrie-irving-isaiah-thomasOdds are that Cleveland had a fair idea on the extent of Thomas’ injury, given that it occurred during the Conference Finals against them. Many believe that they used the injury as leverage after the deal was announced to get more from the Boston Celtics. That said, it’s not impossible to see Thomas coming back and being a strong player again.

“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career,” Thomas said. “Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.”

The 28-year-old is in the final year of his current deal and wants to make over $100 million in the 2018 free agency period. He did everything to make this happen last year, leading the Boston Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals and making All-NBA second team.

But now he must prove that he can still be the same impactful player after injuring his hip.

“[A doctor] told me, ‘I have seen hips worse than yours with guys who played at a high level and had great careers,'” Thomas explained. “At the moment, yes, I am injured, but I have made progress from May.”

Derrick Rose should Play an Important Role

derrick-rose-clevelandWhen Derrick Rose signed with the Cavaliers in July, it was looked at as a marginal deal that would give Cleveland depth.

He was set to back up Irving, who is coming off another stellar All-Star campaign. Now, Rose will be stepping into a starting point guard role for the defending Eastern Conference champions.

It’s unclear how Rose will mesh with the Cavs’ offense because he’s more of a scorer and rim-finisher. Cleveland has mostly surrounded LeBron with three-point shooters who are good at playing off the ball.

Rose is neither of these things, especially a three-point shooter. He shot a career-low 21.7% from beyond the three-point line.

Nevertheless, the former league MVP averaged 18.0 points and shot 47% from the field last year for the New York Knicks. And he’s a more-than-adequate fill-in while Thomas sits for an uncertain amount of time.

What does Thomas do for the Cavs’ 2018 Odds?

isaiah-thomas-celticsOn paper, there’s not a great disparity between Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. One could even make the argument that Thomas is better at rising to the challenge when considering Thomas’ fourth-quarter heroics.

But all of these arguments are a moot point when considering that Thomas is injured. Since he likely won’t play for months, Cleveland’s record will suffer.

When Thomas does return, it’ll take time to get him back to full speed. He’ll also need to mesh with his teammates on court so everybody is playing with good chemistry.

This may not happen in half a season. But Cleveland is still favored to win the East going into the 2018 campaign. The reason why is because LeBron is at the top of his game for the foreseeable future.

But as for if the Cavs are on pace to usurp the Golden State Warriors, nobody sees this happening any time soon. They were thoroughly handled by the Warriors in the NBA Finals and don’t look to be any better after the trade.

Odds on 2017/18 NFL MVP – Who should You Bet on?

jj-watt-mvpOne of the most-exciting NFL futures bets is who will win the MVP. And the reason why this is such a fun wager is because you never know who’s going to win.

Last season, Matt Ryan was a surprise winner after completing 69.9% of his passes, throwing for 4,944 yards, tossing 38 TDs, and boasting a 117.1 passer rating.

Will we have a surprise MVP in the 2017/18 NFL season? We’ll discuss this matter below by looking at some of the hottest betting picks. But let’s first check out the 2017 MVP odds courtesy of GTBets:

  • Aaron Rodgers +550
  • Adrian Peterson +10000
  • Andrew Luck +3000
  • Antonio Brown +4000
  • Ben Roethlisberger +1800
  • Cam Newton +2500
  • Carson Palmer +7500
  • Dak Prescott +2000
  • David Johnson +2500
  • Derek Carr +1000
  • Drew Brees +2500
  • Eli Manning +5000
  • Ezekiel Elliott +4000
  • JJ Watt +10000
  • Jameis Winston +1600
  • Julio Jones +5000
  • Kirk Cousins +6000
  • Le’Veon Bell +2500
  • Marcus Mariota +2800
  • Matt Ryan +1400
  • Matt Stafford +4500
  • Philip Rivers +4500
  • Rob Gronkowski +10000
  • Russell Wilson +1000
  • Sam Bradford +10000
  • Tom Brady +400

7 Players Offering Value with 2017 NFL MVP Odds

1. Matt Ryan +1400

matt-ryan-falconsAs mentioned earlier, Matt Ryan had an outstanding season after throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and finishing with 38 touchdowns against 7 interceptions.

So what’s changed this year? Not much at all. This is why it’s strange to see both Tom Brady (+400) and Aaron Rodgers (+550) with better MVP odds than Ryan. The latter has the best target in the game in Julio Jones, and two running backs with good hands in Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman.

Colin Cowherd may say that Ryan isn’t an elite quarterback. But how can he be anything but with the great supporting cast around him?

2. JJ Watt +10000

There are two reasons why Watt’s MVP odds are so poor: 1) he’s coming off an injury plagued season; 2) he’s a defensive player.

A defensive player hasn’t won MVP in over 30 years. But Watt has a chance when healthy, as he’s proven by being one of the most-dominant defensive lineman of all time. Watt is a great value bet at +10000 odds.

3. Julio Jones +5000

julio-jones-2016Jerry Rice is the only wide receiver to win MVP honors. So Jones has a large hill to climb in this regard. But it’s hard to overlook his chances after two straight big seasons.

In 2015, he caught 136 balls (T-2nd most ever) and tallied 1,871 receiving yards (2nd most ever). He had another big year in 2016, catching 83 passes for 1,409 yards. If the 28-year-old can repeat 2015’s performance, he has a chance to become the second-ever receiver to win MVP. At +5000 odds, we like this pick.

4. Kirk Cousins +6000

Kirk Cousins will be auditioning for a big, long-term contract for the next two seasons. This means that we can likely expect another strong season following Cousins’ 2016 campaign, where he threw for 4,917 yards, had 25 touchdowns, and completed 67% of his passes. The big thing that would help Cousins’ case is if Washington can make the playoffs.

5. David Johnson +2500

david-johnson-cardinalsDavid Johnson was the league’s best dual-threat running back last season. He rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns. Johnson added another 879 receiving yards and 4 TDs on 80 catches.

The only thing missing from Johnson’s campaign is a winning team that draws media attention. The Cardinals were a disappointing 7-8-1 last season. But they have a chance to turn things around this year and position Johnson as a serious MVP candidate.

6. Le’Veon Bell +2500

leveon-bellThe good news for Pittsburgh fans is that Bell will be reporting to the team after a contract holdout. This also ensures that he has some chance at MVP.

Of course, he has teammates Ben Roethlisberger (+1800) and Antonio Brown (+4000) to compete with if the Steelers have a great season. But we like Bell among this trio coming off a stellar year, where he rushed for 1,268 yards and 7 touchdowns on just 261 carries (12 games).

7. Matthew Stafford +4500

matt-staffordNot everybody is a fan of Matt Stafford’s new deal. But he justified his contract with a solid campaign where he completed 65.3% of his passes for 4,327 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He’s now thrown for over 4,000 yards in six straight seasons. If he can get in the upper 4000s and adds some TDs, Stafford is a legitimate MVP candidate.

7 Players with No Chance to Win 2017/18 NFL MVP

1. Andrew Luck +3000 – We’re not even sure when Luck will take the field again after shoulder surgery. This could end up being a lost season for the Colts’ signal caller, and it makes him the worst value pick.

2. Ezekiel Elliott +4000 – Maybe Elliott wins his case against the NFL in a federal courtroom. But for now, he’s set to miss the first 6 games of the season.

3. Marcus Mariota +2800 – Mariota showed a lot of improvement in his second season, with 3,426 passing yards, 349 rushing yards, 26 TD passes, and 9 interceptions. But he’ll need an even bigger leap to put up MVP numbers.

4. Philip Rivers +4500 – Rivers has the type of stats to be considered an MVP candidate. But the Chargers haven’t won more than 9 games in the past seven seasons.

5. Russell Wilson +1000 – We like Wilson’s talent, and we like his team. But Wilson just doesn’t put up the numbers to win an MVP award. He’s an especially bad bet at +1000.

6. Rob Gronkowski +10000 – No tight end has ever won the MVP award. We don’t think that even Gronk will change this.

7. Sam Bradford +10000 – He’s a decent starting quarterback, but c’mon…