I didn't much care for myGM in last year's game but with the NBA season getting good, I felt the random urge to rebuild a team so I gave it another shot.
I simmed 15-16 with Brooklyn, making a couple trades, winning 31 games, and losing our #2 selection to Boston. Golden State beat Miami in the finals to repeat as champs...
Acquired Kris Dunn (5th or so pick) in a draft-day trade. Offered LeBron and DeRozan the best deals I could, and to my shock, LeBron decided to become a Net. DeRozan went to the Wizards though. Ended up going into the season starting Jack, Sean Kilpatrick, Bojan, LeBron and Brook with Dunn, FA pickups Tyler Zeller and Allen Crabbe and Thomas Robinson off the bench. LeBron's really got to stop listening to Maverick Carter...
After hovering around .500 for most of the season, I decided to try and fulfill the owner's request of forming a big 3, trading Bojan, Kilpatrick, Jack and a bunch of picks to Portland for McCollum and Stephen Zimmerman. The starting lineup became Dunn, McCollum, Crabbe, James and Lopez with Robinson, Zeller, Alan Anderson and Langston Galloway as my main reserves. Was sitting at 37-30, with an outside shot at the 2 seed, before losing seven straight and eventually limping to the playoffs with a disappointing 41-41 record. Kris Dunn was first-team all rookie, LeBron first team all NBA.
Fortunately, 41 wins was still good enough for the 6 seed, setting up a marquee first round battle with Cleveland. After trailing 2-1 in the series, LeBron took over to beat his old team in 6 games. Second round saw us playing the Raptors, who had upset the 2 seed Celtics in round 1. Despite Kyle Lowry and DeMar replacement Eric Gordon going OFF, we swept them to set up a conference finals match-up with Detroit. Detroit, the 8 seed, had swept the inexplicably top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, whose four center rotation was not so effective in the post-season. Went up 2-0, but lost CJ McCollum for the season to a knee injury. Got blown out in game 3, but overcame a 10 point deficit with 2 minutes left in game 4 to win in OT. Detroit came back to win game 5 in Brooklyn, but we knocked them out in 6.
In the finals, it was my 41-41 Nets, missing a starter, vs. the 67-15 Thunder, who had added DeAndre Jordan and Josh Smith. After losing by 50 in game 1, we narrowly lost game 2, split games 3 and 4 at home, and shocked OKC by forcing a game 6. The dream ended there as Finals MVP Kevin Durant had a triple double with rebounds and steals (!), as they won the series 4-2.
Very successful campaign, regular season record aside. The owner made me promise him a title the following season, despite having no draft picks, cap space or players worth trading for. With my hands tied, I made no major changes in the offseason, besides signing Harkless, hoping for internal improvement to guys like Dunn, Zimmerman and McCollum to help get us over the top. They did improve, but the team floundered out of the gate, posting a 12-17 record before I decided to make a change.
Deciding to add a third Blazers alum to the team, I dealt Brook Lopez and Willie Reed to Charlotte for Batum and Kaminsky. Also signed Tiago "Banana" Splitter". With a starting five of Dunn, McCollum, Batum, LeBron and Frank the Tank starting, and Galloway, Crabbe, Harkless, Zimmerman and Splitter as my second unit, we finished the season with a 45-37 record and the 4 seed.
After sweeping the conference champion Heat in round 1, we once again faced an 8 seed, this time the Chicago Bulls, who were finally healthy after having missed Jimmy Butler for most of the year. Sadly for us, McCollum once again suffered a season ending injury, this time a broken leg, and we got creamed by the Bulls in 5 games. They proceeded to lose to the Cavs, who got swept by OKC, who repeated as champs.
The owner, though not thrilled with me, decided to keep me around for the time being. With an expiring contract in Batum, a star player with who can't stay healthy in McCollum and an aging legend in LeBron, there are a lot of question marks going into the 2018 offseason. The good news is that Anthony Bennett is a free agent!