Beginning with the Houston Texans and Deshaun Watson, ever since Bill O’Brien shipped DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona and Duane Brown to Seattle for a couple of toiletries and some picks, they haven’t been the same team. To put this in perspective, the Texans traded a Pro Bowl left tackle in Duane Brown for a fifth-round pick in 2018 and a second-round pick in 2019. To make matters worse, O’Brien traded a generational talent in DeAndre Hopkins, arguably one of the best receivers (if not THE best) in pro football for an injury prone running back to go with a second-round pick in 2020 and a fourth-rounder in 2021. After all of that mayhem, the Texans fired Bill O’Brien during the season this year and at this moment are searching for a new head coach.
Unfortunately for the Texans, they have not only done such an awful job surrounding Watson with talent, but have not met nearly any of his requests. For example, he wanted to have an input in regards to the new general manager they planned to hire to replace Bill O’Brien and the organization told Watson that he would be very involved. Surprisingly, when they hired former Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio as their general manager, Watson was upset as he did not end up having any say throughout the process. Another example of his organization misleading him would be during the DeAndre Hopkins trade process. Not only were Watson and Hopkins close friends, but the Texans and Bill O’Brien did not even mention to Watson that they were even considering trading the All-Pro wide receiver.
Things have gotten to a point in which it appears the bridge has been burned to the ground. It appears that Watson will handle things not only professionally but behind the scenes as well, however do not be surprised if you see #4 in a different uniform in 2021 leading such team to a playoff run.
Two teams that seem appealing for Watson and/or the Texans’ organization would be the San Francisco 49ers and the Miami Doplhins. I am a fan of neither of these teams, however if Watson were to be traded to San Francisco I would not be surprised if he won the MVP in the next two years under Kyle Shanahan and that incredible West Coast offense. Moreover, the 49ers are a top tier run team, so if you put someone like Deshaun Watson in an offense that rushes for around 150 yards/game he will most definitely be considered a top 3 quarterback.
Moving on to the Dolphins, I believe this would be a great trade for all three parties, that is the Texans, Deshaun Watson, and the Dolphins. I believe the Texans can flush everything and start clean with Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins will take the neccesary leap with Deshaun Watson who is a much better quarterback than Tua will ever be. I like the Dolphins for years to come, as they are incredible on the defensive side of the ball with their two Pro Bowl corners in Xavien Howard and Byron Jones to go along with a ferocious pass rush and solid linebackers.
Three’s a crowd
Moving on to the situation that arose within the Houston Rockets organization, James Harden is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets and what could be one of the greatest “Big-3’s” the NBA has ever seen, but could easily turn into a disaster. Offensive firepower will not be an issue for Brooklyn, but unfortunately for the Nets, there is only one basketball to go around the three super-stars.
Just a year ago in 2019, James Harden led the league in usage rate and last year was third in that same category, while this season alone Kevin Durant is already sixth in usage rate. Not to mention Kyrie Irving, who is now the third wheel on the team, and is most known as an isolation point guard. Kyrie also needs the ball to create a shot for himslef, most of the time with his gifted handles. Although these three superstars have looked great in the past individually, here is another example as to why they will not work well together:
Take the Golden State dynasty as an ideal example. Stephen Curry was the facilitating point guard that not only could get his own shot, but created shots for both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. Moreover, if Durant wanted to isolate one-on-one, both Steph and Klay were incredible moving without the ball. To this day, the splash brothers are known as the greatest catch and shoot duo in NBA History.
In Brooklyn, the issue will not be Kevin Durant, as he will get his thirty points per game with minimal dribbling. The issue will be the ball movement between Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Neither of the two guards are great catch and shoot players, and most of their buckets will likely come from isolation plays. This means there will be a lot of standing around and watching on the offensive end, while the other goes to work.
Not to mention the defensive side of the ball, the Nets were already a below average defensive team before the trade for Harden, but by trading arguably their two best defenders in Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince, the Nets have looked shockingly bad in the past several games. The night of the debut of the Brooklyn Big-3, they gave up 147 points to the Cleveland Cavaliers who at the time were the worst scoring offense in the entire NBA.
Ultimately, this could be make or break for the Brooklyn Nets franchise. This is a championship or bust season, as with this much firepower there will be no excuse to come up short. The odds that all three superstars will be able to gel together in time for the playoffs are very slim, but if they find a way to sacrifice in order to win a title, this could be an incredible team to watch for years to come.