Ebs’ Hot Takes: Atlanta Hawks, Clayton Kershaw, Carmelo Anthony

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FROM THE PRESS BOX – This is the part of the year when the sports calendar gets really weak.

It’s the offseason for the NFL, NBA and NHL, leaving baseball all by itself out of the four major sports. And if you’re not into the World Cup it’s an extremely boring part of the year.

But nevertheless there’s always time for some hawt taeks.

Enjoy the latest set of Ebs’ Hot Takes.

The Atlanta Hawks are building Golden State Warriors East. While at the end of the day I’m not sure trading Luka Doncic (aka the No. 3 overall pick) for Trae Young (the No. 5 overall pick) and a future first rounder was the right decision in the long run, but I’m encouraged by what the Atlanta Hawks are doing.

By taking Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman in the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft, the Hawks are taking after the Golden State model. And the man in charge, Travis Schlenk, is just the person to do it.

Schlenk was in the Golden State front office when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were draft and Young and Huerter are already being called Curry-and-Thompson-lite.

New coach Lloyd Pierce is already receiving rave reviews, too.

While this might be a slow rebuild it will be a fruitful rebuild in the end. In a week Eastern Conference, the Hawks will be playing for a title in five years.

Everything’s downhill from here for Clayton Kershaw. Look, I’m not saying Clayton Kershaw is no longer a top 10-pitcher in this league. Honestly, he’s still top 5 and maybe even top 3.

However, this time a year ago, even with his bad back, the guy stood alone with Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber and Chris Sale all staring up at him. Now, it’s the other way around.

Scherzer, Kluber and Sale have definitely passed Kershaw and you can make an argument that Luis Severino and Jacob deGrom smell blood in the water and could be on the rise.

Kershaw’s velocity is way down this season and the number of starts he makes a campaign has dipped each of the last three years as well. He probably has a few more good seasons left, but I’m starting to wonder whether or he’s still truly elite.

Carmelo Anthony is a cancer. Unless he changes. It pains me to say it but it’s true. Carmelo Anthony re-upping with the Oklahoma City Thunder could be really bad.

It’s not bad in the sense that he’s not a good player anymore, because he is. But Anthony should be coming off of the bench now, which if something he made clear in exit interviews at the end of the season that he would not do.

If he can be OK with taking a sixth-man role, he could be really good. Anthony could be like what Paul Pierce was in Washington or Jamal Crawford with the Los Angeles Clippers. It would extend his career and make the Thunder a viable threat in the West.

Melo has to reconsider his role with the Thunder.

Feel free to comment below, check out Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle, @MeetTheMatts and @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram at @meetthematts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

Enjoying Riding The Rails so far? Here’s Episode 10, which features New York Yankees top prospect Justus Sheffield. Episode 11, featuring Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starting pitcher David Hale, drops Monday afternoon.

A fan of The Bachelorette? Yes, you read that right. I co-host a Bachelorette podcast too. This past week, we discuss the trouble former practice squad tight end Colton Underwood is causing on the show. Check out the latest episode of Will You Accept This Podcast?

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About the Author ()

DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.

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