Rockets fans better hope Morey can work his magic and get Iguodala in the mix or maybe Kevin Love?

Iggy and CP3 may be the key to the 2020 NBA title

Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

News Flash! The dynasty is over (at least for one year) and the race for the 2020 title in the NBA is wide open. Gone is the Bay Area "superteam" loaded with 4-star players and a supporting cast that does just enough of the dirty work to get the job done. The league is now all about 6 or 7 teams made up of dynamic duos that give their team and city hope that a title run could be in their future. The favorites could very well be the team that has the best 3rd option of the contenders, followed by the team that has the best overall supporting cast. The two teams in Los Angeles are the leaders of the pack with a deadly combination of star power and role players in all the right spots. Milwaukee has one all-world player and a deep roster of talented and capable veterans at every position and Boston is just loaded with above average talent on quite possibly the deepest collection of talent in the league. Philly may have lost J.J. Reddick, but they have Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. Teams like Houston, Dallas, Denver, Utah and Miami are waiting in the wings for the perfect deal or salary buyout that could put them over the top and into the mix to have a legitimate shot at a ring. With that said, I present to you the three players that could rearrange the NBA landscape between now and the playoffs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have told teams around the league that they are now open to trade offers for Kevin Love. The veteran power forward has a ton of playoff experience including a ring, he is a stretch-four that shoots a good percentage from distance and is capable of fitting right in with a contender to provide rebounding, locker room leadership and smart decision-making. Obviously he fits in better with teams like the Bucks, Celtics, Rockets and Clippers because of the stars they already have on those squads and style of play of coaching staff in place. I don't think he would be a good fit with his former teammate LeBron James and the Lakers because they had a rocky relationship in Cleveland, Anthony Davis already does what Love can do and numbers that would have to be involved salary wise would make it difficult to execute a deal. He would be a perfect fit in Houston because of his size, shooting ability and experience playing in a system where the ball is dominated by one or more players.

Chris Paul is a guy that a ton of teams around the league would love to have, but his contract and salary number have hindered and prohibited the majority of those clubs from exploring a trade. After his tumultuous stint in Houston and his hamstring that left H-town "hamstrung" in the playoffs two years ago, there were serious doubts if he could still play at a high level and contribute to a title contender. When he was traded to the Thunder he could have pushed back and fought the move, even possibly holding out, but instead he has embraced the jump to OKC and in the process proved to the world he has plenty left in the tank. The Lakers would love to find a way to add CP3 to the mix of AD and 'Bron if they could make it work financially. Miami tried to trade for him before the season and would love to put him next to Jimmy Butler to validate the Heat as a contender in the East. Milwaukee is another team where Paul's services would be sought after and his skill set would fit, but coming up with the players and money needed to consummate a deal, especially as a small market team, might be too big of a challenge for Giannis and company. Obviously the Rockets won't be exploring this option any time soon for obvious reasons that the fans of Houston know far too well. Red Nation just has to hope no contending team gets creative enough to work a deal for CP3 and catapult themselves into the race for the crown in either conference.

Believe it or not, the one player that could decide who raises the Larry O' Brien trophy this coming June is not a superstar or and all-star, it's Andre Iguodala. The veteran wing player is the perfect compliment to just about every team with a shooters chance to be playing in late June in the NBA. He has won titles with the Warriors and dealt with difficult situations both on and off the court, including in-fighting between stars like Draymond Green and Kevin Durant. He is an above average defender capable of guarding multiple positions at a high level and this in itself makes him a hot commodity that every team would love to have. If you leave him open he can knock down the 3-ball and if he gets out on the break he is capable of finishing at the rim whether he goes over someone, around them or to the line.

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Houston gets the lopsided win

Valdez, Astros dominate the Angels in 10-0 rout in Anaheim

Framber Valdez was dominant against the Angels on Monday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a series win at home over the weekend, the Astros started their final regular-season road trip on Monday, squaring off against the Angels in Anaheim. They held the momentum firmly in their favor all night, dominating both sides of the game to start the series with a victory.

Final Score: Astros 10, Angels 0

Astros' Record: 89-61, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (11-5)

Losing Pitcher: Jaime Barria (2-4)

Siri leads off with a bang

With Jose Altuve being given the night off, Houston gave Jose Siri a shot at the leadoff spot, and he delivered to start the opener in Anaheim. He launched a missile to left field, 426 feet, to put the Astros in front 1-0 before the Angels could record an out. Later that same inning, they strung together three singles, the third being an RBI by Carlos Correa to double the lead.

Valdez goes seven shutout innings

That gave Framber Valdez a lead to work with as he stepped on the rubber in the bottom of the inning, and he didn't give it up as he would post a dominant start. He started with a 1-2-3 first, worked around a couple of singles in the second, then used a double play to face the minimum in the third.

He retired Los Angeles in order again in the fourth, stranded a two-out single in the fifth and a single and a walk in the sixth. He had his worst inning of the night in the seventh, giving up a leadoff single then loading the bases on back-to-back two-out walks. He'd escape the jam, though, keeping the shutout alive and finalizing his impressive line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 98 P.

Astros take the opener in lopsided fashion

Houston tacked on an insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a one-out double by Correa to set up an RBI single by Marwin Gonzalez, pushing the lead to 3-0. Things escalated from there, as another single put two on base for Martin Maldonado, who blew the game open with a three-run homer to make it a six-run lead.

Brooks Raley took over for Valdez in the bottom of the inning, and with a 1-2-3 inning, made it his eighth appearance in a row without allowing a run. The Astros didn't let up in the top of the ninth, getting two hits and a walk to load the bases before a grand slam by Gonzalez made it 10-0 and gave him 5 RBI in a two-inning span. Seth Martinez, called up by the Astros earlier in the day, made his big-league debut in the bottom of the ninth and closed out the lopsided win to put Houston's magic number at 6.

Up Next: The second of this four-game set will be another 8:38 PM Central start on Tuesday. Jose Urquidy (7-3, 3.38 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, going opposite Packy Naughton (0-2, 4.32 ERA) for the Angels.

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