Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! We apologize that this post is later than scheduled, but consider it a gift for your perusal before the slate of holiday NBA games tips off.
Welcome back to the trading floor! Last time, we gave an update on how our contestants fared during Cycle 1, which ended on December 19. Today, we reveal which teams our writers decided to sell, who they want to hold on to, and which teams are worthy buys for Cycle 2.
As a reminder, here is how the prices look going into Cycle 2:
So, what did our valiant crew of investors do with these updates? Let’s find out!
Life is good at the top of the Brew Hoop W-Index Leaderboard. I saw increased value out of Minnesota, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Charlotte was the only team in my portfolio to decrease in value. For Cycle 2 I have decided to keep all ten shares in the Timberwolves and hope they continue to improve. After buying in big with Philadelphia, I am going to drop five of my ten shares. This team lives and dies with Joel Embiid, and while he has managed to stay healthy this season, he is playing a ton of minutes. That makes me think that one of two things are going to happen: 1. He is going to continue playing a heavy workload and either wear himself out or get injured, or 2. The 76ers will exercise caution going forward and limit his playing time. Either way, he sees a decreased workload going forward and Philadelphia struggles without him.
I have decided to dump my shares in the Nets and the Lakers. So far they have been profitable to me, but I think they have reached maximum value. Much like last season, Los Angeles’ youth combined with a grueling Western Conference schedule will catch up with them. The Nets have improved but they are still the Nets.
I am going to take my new money and invest it into Milwaukee. They have lingered around the same price they had coming into the season, but the addition of Eric Bledsoe combined with the team starting to get healthy, I see a lot of potential wins here. I am also buying five shares into Memphis because after a circus-like Cycle One, I just can’t see how their season can get any worse.
Despite losing some value in Cycle One, I still think the Hornets are going to improve on last season. With their price so low and with some extra cash from my other investments, I’m doubling down.
Boston started the season hot, which really pumped up the value of those shares. The Timberwolves and Suns were also slightly better than expected (although the Wolves should be better than they are, some would argue). I feel comfortable cutting each of them loose, as well as hanging on to Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn.
I decided to go all-in on teams that are struggling, picking up five shares of Atlanta (who’s dreadful) and fifteen(!) shares of Chicago, who seem to be surging a bit. I don’t think these teams are going to be particularly good, but I feel like they have to be at least better than they were early on. Ditto for Washington, who I picked up five shares of, and have missed some John Wall time. If any of these three teams has a strong second trimester of the season, it might not mean much for them but it’ll help out my (imaginary) wallet!
Keeping my Minnesota Timberwolves stock was an easy no-brainer. I feel like that will be the most profitable stock out there right now. Part of me wishes I could have bought more just to be safe! I had said earlier that as long as the Sixers could stay healthy, they should be a playoff team. Embiid has gotten a minor injury and nobody knows what the hell is going on with Markelle Fultz, but Ben Simmons has been very good and I believe in these Sixers. I couldn’t come to terms with selling on the Bucks either; the Bledsoe trade has been good for the team overall and, at worst, I feel like I won’t lose any value on them by standing pat (barring a severe injury).
While investing in the Brooklyn Nets was my best decision, I also knew that their improvement most likely isn’t sustainable. The team still isn’t that good and D’Angelo Russell getting injured rids the team of its most talented player. I’m not sure if the Okafor trade will really help the team overall, especially in today’s NBA. With that, I decided to sell high when the opportunity presented itself, and I wanted to take a gamble in investing on the Oklahoma City Thunder. While it hasn’t been the best start to the season, I feel bullish that the trio of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George will gel at some point make a strong run. This is also the lowest value I see this team for the rest of the season. This is probably the biggest gamble I have so if it works out, I feel like I could top the leaderboard.
While Charlotte has had a tough schedule to begin the season, I am still not convinced that they will really turn the season around and be the playoff team I had initially invested in. I decided to take my loss on this one and invest in another team. I had considered tha Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls with their cost being so low, but those teams look destined to just bottom out and tank. I had also contemplated Utah as they would get Rudy Gobert back, but the Western Conference is still very top heavy and the Jazz didn’t seem like the best investment. I decided to pick up shares of the Miami Heat. I think this team has played solid and have shown to compete with the top team snapping Boston’s streak earlier. I believe in Erik Spoelstra to guide the team so they were
I’m just going to be honest here and say I’m not good at things like this. Having landed in the lower-middle end of the leaderboard, I figured I wouldn’t make too many moves. I ended up selling the two teams that did the worst at the end of Cycle 1: Charlotte and Denver. This appears to be the exact opposite of what Greg did; nevertheless, with my newly acquired $374, I invested more into Brooklyn, who produced the best updated value at the end of the first cycle. If you’ve ever seen the meme of the dog in a lab coat sitting at a table of science beakers captioned, “I have no idea what I’m doing”... I am that dog.
My Cycle 1 portfolio featured Minnesota, Charlotte, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Boston. Only Charlotte could survive my slash and burn strategy heading into Cycle 2. Needing to be aggressive, I sold all of my profitable shares and used that money to try and catch lightning in a bottle. 10 shares of Orlando? My portfolio needs all the Magic it can get. 10 shares of Sacramento? This is like picking a 14 seed to reach the Elite 8 in a March Madness bracket—bet big, win big. 15 shares of Oklahoma City? Let it ride, baby. I held onto my five Charlotte shares because they’ll make everyone who sold them look foolish as the Hornets rip off a 10 game winning streak.
When I hoist the W-Index trophy over my head on the back of a parade bus with confetti raining down on me and everyone else lining the sidewalks of Fourth Street, we will look back at Cycle 2 and say this was when the championship was won.
As a Bucks fan, there’s no feeling more familiar than misplaced blind faith. As such, I will be riding my portfolio of misfit teams all the way to the finish line for the most part. Despite Charlotte’s decreased value, I still believe in their potential, particularly since they were missing Batum for the early portion of the season. Like I mentioned in the first part, Dallas and Charlotte have had top-five most difficult schedules, and I have enough faith in their coaching wizardry to pull their squads back to relevancy.
I still think my 10 Denver shares have immense potential, with Paul Millsap’s integration hopefully smoothing over by season’s end. Minnesota is a sure bet, although I have a small fear that their poor net rating may come back to bite them. However, their clear under-performance a year ago makes those shares about as safe as one can get.
The only shares I’m swapping out are my Brooklyn pieces. Their roster continues to become a hodge-podge of reclamation projects and while I admire Kenny Atkinson’s coaching acumen, I’m dubious his team will be able to find consistent success. Instead, I’m buying low on Memphis, who were reeling this first half of the season, but have also faced a difficult schedule. I have some faith in Marc Gasol-Mike Conley combo still and think they can make up some ground in the second half here. If I had enough cash, I would’ve certainly bought Miami instead though.
After all the changes were made, here is the BHWI Leaderboard at the beginning of Cycle 2:
Greg threw caution to the wind and shot up to the top of the leaderboard for the beginning of Cycle 2. Gotta spend money to make money, right? Adam followed the same logic and, although he dipped below the 1000 mark, is primed for a breakout cycle this time around. Everyone else is hovering around one another, between 1100 and 1175, and I’ll be honest when I say that those numbers are basically useless and I’m not even sure I know what they mean anymore.
We’re like real Wall Street executives! Check out our earnings report later in the season (after the All Star break), and let us know how you did in the comments!