Category:NBA
Posted on: July 5, 2010 5:15 pm
 

For some odd reason, Sloan wants Boozer back

You'd think the Jazz would be doing backflips with Carlos Boozer possibly leaving and taking his significantly high paycheck with him, opening up more cap flexibility and time for Paul Millsap. But according to Jerry Sloan, who spoke with Chris Tomasson at the Orlando Summer League, the Jazz have established a desire among team officials to bring Boozer back to Utah. This despite Boozer going on multiple radio shows in Chicago and Miami and saying he'd love to play there, and despite Boozer's considerable pricetag in this market.

Boozer's productive, able to knock down mid-range jumpers and work in the post as well. He's a veteran leader that can also work the glass. He's also prone to games where he's completely invisible and is a block magnet, being eighth in times blocked in the league , without elite size or athleticism to compensate.

But the Jazz also would like to remain in contention with Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko, and Boozer represents their best chance for a major power forward. Boozer may not be the most inventive or value-oriented option, but he's reliable. We'll see if the Jazz can produce the kind of dollar signs Boozer is looking for in a year he looks to sneak in as a default option for big spender teams.
Posted on: July 5, 2010 4:14 pm
 

Carmelo Anthony 'serious' about Nuggets offer

There have been rumors about one of the big spender teams in this free agency period making a play for Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, a rumor sources told KB were "laughable."

As funny as those talks of Denver trading away the franchise might be, apparently the discussions between Melo and the Nuggets' three-year, $65 million extension is no laughing matter.  The Denver Post reports that Anthony is "very serious" about the extension offer, but also wants to see the Nuggets add another frontcourt asset before he commits. Which is understandable, given Kenyon Martin's continually failing health and Nene's offensive limits. Let's not even start to discuss Birdman's offense.

Melo's getting married in New York on July 10th to longtime girlfriend La La Vasquz on VH1 . He also selling his Colorado home , but there's been nothing to suggest he's relocating, only moving closer to town.

Anthony is in a similar situation as Chris Paul, where he's committed to the team that drafted him, but has also seen a recent high point (in Anthony's case, making the Conference Finals in 2009) fall off hard in following seasons.  The Nuggets obviously have the very understandable excuse of George Karl's illness, but it doesn't change how far off the Nuggets seem now. Their second star, Chauncey Billups, is getting older, and the Nuggets don't really have a secondary option.

But just as we've seen so far in this free agency period, the logical answer is always to stay home, where you can get the most money and be comfortable. So we may see Carmelo get locked up for the next four years which would give the Nuggets a confidence in their core to pursue pieces to put next to him.
Posted on: July 5, 2010 1:26 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2010 1:28 pm
 

Free-agency 4th of July weekend winners

After the first weekend of the most important free-agency period in history, and one of the wildest, who were the winners and losers?


WINNERS:


New York Knicks: They continued their rally from Friday by getting a second conversation with LeBron James' people Saturday night. Chicago is the only team we know of to get a second meeting with a max agent or his representatives. On top of that, they're zeroing in on Amar'e Stoudemire. The Knicks have done a complete 180 in the last four days, and look like they're going to be improving at some level in the first week of free agency.

Cleveland Cavaliers: They had to make their shot count. Seven years of hard work and dedication could have been eliminated if they hadn't made a significant pitch when they met with LeBron James Saturday morning. They didn't pitch him a billion dollars or a super team, but they did do a pretty good job of making an appeal to his sense of drama:



David Lee: Dude's getting paid . Lee had meetings with the Timberwolves, who have already proven they love to overpay frontcourt players. The Knicks are looking to use him as a sign-and-trade option to land a major player, which keeps his value high in that scenario. And he gets out from under the Knicks who haven't really valued him much despite his contributions. Win-win weekend for Lee.

LOSERS:


Miami Heat:
They haven't even gotten a meeting with their own free agent yet. The Chris Bosh rumors have cooled off, and Amar'e is headed for New York by all indications. The Heat are still in this thing, but it's their lack of activity over the weekend that makes you think they lost some ground this weekend. The next four days are going to crucial for them.

Chicago Bulls:
They got a second meeting with Wade. They pushed up their meeting with LeBron. They gambled huge to try and pull off a coup over the weekend, and they missed. The Bulls have some great signs, including the latest from ESPN's Chad Ford that Wade's divorce may be leaning him that way .

Joe Johnson:
How could a guy that signed a max-max contract lose? Because he's nearly guaranteed that he won't win a championship in his career. In four years he's going to be one of the worst contracts in the NBA, constantly shopped around as the Hawks try to get out from the crushing yoke they've put on themselves. And Johnson will be facing all the responsibility thereof. Hope he can comfort himself in the gigantic bed made of cash.


Posted on: July 4, 2010 1:06 am
 

Amar'e recruits Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony?

The New York Daily News is reporting that Amar'e Stoudemire, outside of the production of the Broadway play he helped produce, said:

"I've talked to Carmelo Anthony that he needs to come out here," Stoudemire said. "I've talked to Tony Parker. Both guys are ready to join me if I decide to come here. So we will see if we can work it out."
KABOOM.

And so there's that. The number of questions this brings to mind is stunning:

  1. Is Amar'e going to get fined for tampering here?
  2. How will this affect Parker's relationship with the Spurs?
  3. How will this affect the Nuggets' attempts to extend Melo?
  4. Where did Amar'e get the idea to talk to those two about it?
  5. What's Amar'e thinking that he thinks talking about this is a good plan, true or not?
Let's go into La La Land for a second: Parker dribble penetrating from the perimeter, running the pick and roll with Amar'e Stoudemire's athleticism and Melo available for the pick and pop. Two man game with Amar'e and Melo. Running and gunning with those three, all under the age of 29

Ye Gods.

But in reality, if there's one thing we can take away from the Daily News article, it's that Amar'e is already mentally checked into the Knicks.  You don't start shopping for other partners already on rosters unless you're committed to the squad. It also means that the next 24 hours are going to be full of denials and speculation. The 2010 Free Agency Apocalypse: The self-propelling hype machine.

-Matt Moore
Posted on: July 3, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: July 5, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Free-agency day 2 winners and losers

After the second day of the most important free-agency period in history, and one of the wildest, who were the winners and losers?

Winners:

New York Knicks: From worst to first in 24 hours, folks. Yesterday the Knicks were losers , having not made a dent in LeBron James and looking at the up close side of panic. But Friday, everything turned around for them. Their meeting with Dwyane Wade went well enough to get Wade to say he was "intrigued." And as close as these free agents are playing their cards to their vests? That's a huge win right there. Then, the Knicks advanced talks with Amar'e Stoudemire after the Suns basically let him walk, and came to a "broad agreement" with him , KB reported.  Huge upswing for the Knicks Friday.

Chicago Bulls: Any time you get one of the top free agents in the field who isn't one of your guys to provide a second meeting, along with the third best player? That's a win. Huge win. The Bulls jumped hard into this pool and made an impact. If they can convince LeBron James today to buy-in with Wade, they'll have pulled off one of the biggest gambles in NBA history and be the impact team for the next decade.

Los Angeles Lakers: Signed Steve Blake to a 4-year, $16 million deal, which essentially means that combined with Derek Fisher's expected one year, $2.5 million contract, they'll have their starter and backup point guard positions improved and solidified for $6.5 million. It's good to be on top.

Losers:

Miami Heat: Pat Riley made an impassioned plea   to LeBron James based on sacrificing to win championships, and the Heat have met with every available free agent except Dwyane Wade. So far, there have been no reports that anyone is "leaning" towards Miami aside from a few Chris Bosh rumblings. Meanwhile, Wade was "intrigued" by New York, and took a second meeting with the Bulls. Not a great day for the Heat, but they didn't lose much ground, it seems like.

Los Angeles Clippers: In a stunning turn of events, absolutely no one is talking about the Clippers' meetings having any effect whatsoever on any of the top free agents. It's almost like a lifetime of misery and bad luck compounded by having the worst owner in the NBA has negatively impacted their chances at getting a top free agent in the most competitive class ever. Huh.

Phoenix Suns: I like Hakim Warrick. You'd probably like Hakim Warrick. He works hard. He's tall. He's talented. He's not Standing Tall and Talented. He's not Amar'e. The Suns watched as arguably their best player (considering Steve Nash's age) walked away from the table, likely headed to New York. Even though the Suns chose to go this route and were proactive in their approach, it's still a rough day for the Suns, who had an era end for them today.

Posted on: July 3, 2010 9:09 am
 

Amar'e and D'Antoni together again?

KB reports that Amar'e Stoudemire has a "broad agreement" with the Knicks on a 5-year, $100 million dollar contract.

There's a million things that could change in this regard, and a milllion ways this could develop with Amar'e and other free agents over the next week. But for the time being, let's focus on what this deal would conceputally mean.

Stoudemire's best season was D'Antoni's last in Phoenix, in 2007-2008, when Amar'e posted a 27+PER to go along with 26.7 points and 9.7 rebounds (and 2.2 blocks). D'Antoni understands Stoudemire's game. It fits perfectly with the Seve Seconds or Less strategy, freeing him up to finish off the trailer in transition, and constantly in the pick and roll. It makes sense that Stoudemire would feel comfortable going back to a coach that for the most part simply told him what he was doing was awesome.

But there are questions. Stoudemire, in all likelihood, is not going to have a quality point guard, much less Steve Nash, running the show if he takes the New York deal. He won't have the plethora of shooters at his disposal. And if the Knicks are unable to find another max free-agent willing to play with him, he'll be solely responsible for bringing the New York Knicks back to prominence. That's a lot of pressure for a tough situation.

But money talks, and right now, the Knicks' gums are flapping. We'll see if the medical tests come out clean on Amar'e, and if he elects to take on this massive responsibility.
Posted on: July 2, 2010 11:28 pm
 

Julian Wright needsVegas League guidance

We interrupt your coverage of NBA free agency apocalypse to bring you Julian Wright's ego run amuck.

So Julian Wright had so much potential and just never got there. The prototypical athletic forward that can't seem to develop consistent moves, touch, or keep his head on straight while defending. Your favorite team probably has one. If your favorite team is the Warriors you have about five.

But the story of a career is not writtten a handful of years into it, it's written at the end. So if he works hard, and continues to committing to developing...

Oh, well .

The Times Picayune in New Orleans reports that Wright has elected not to participate in Summer League. The assumption is that he believes he's got nothing to gain from attending. It's entirely possbile there's some injury keeping Wright out. Or maybe he's got a significant personal engagement he can't break.

But skippig is kind of par for the course for "Juju." He's failed to recognize that you can't skip stages in this league unless you're an elite talent. And like most players, he's not an elite talent. Which means he needs to try and work his way to where he wants to be instead of just saying he's there.

Not the best way to start off with a new coach, there, Juju.



Posted on: July 2, 2010 7:00 pm
 

Wade going for second visit with Chicago

Free agency moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Just hours after Dwyane Wade told reporters he was "intrigued by the presentation of the New York Knicks (Knicks fans: "Yay!"), Wade is headed back to Chicago for a second meeting with Bulls brass according to Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel . And he's bringing his agent in tow.

Reports vary between Winderman and ESPN as to whether the Bulls requested this meeting, or Wade did .

This comes hours after LeBron James' schedule was adjusted for Saturday. The meeting was moved up, and multiple reports suggest that the move was made because the Bulls intend to push for a decision from James by the end of day. Which sounds like abject suicide. Until you consider that the gambit may be to try and get Wade and James sealed and delivered (but not signed since they can't until the 8th) before any other teams can make another run at him. Then it sounds like a dangerous, but bold, manuever that could result in the mega-team the Bulls have been working towards, or a complete strikeout.

So the Nets started out strong, then the Knicks made a comeback. Then the Heat started appearing strong, and the Bulls looked terrible. Now the Bulls look like they're coming back. (The recurring theme is that the Clippers are irrelevant. Which means reports will indicate they're "close" to a free agent tomorrow most likely.)

If someone could get me some duct tape to keep my head strapped on to my neck, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

-Matt Moore
 
 
 
 
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