So this overview of last Thursday’s NBA Draft is a little untimely. I didn’t have the time to immediately jump on my computer and start typing. Don’t worry about it.
First off, I just want you to know that I will not be “handing out” draft grades. Why? Because I think they’re dumb. And since this is five days late, I’ll just offer my thoughts on a few of the teams; by now, you’ve probably read everything else. Read More…
The NBA Draft is in an hour and it promises to get pretty crazy. Rajon Rondo, Tracy McGrady, Amare Stoudemire, and Elton Brand are all popping up in trade talks; will any of them come true? And what’s Mark Cuban got cooked up for the Dallas Mavericks? We’ll know soon enough. But first, some trades to sort out.
Shaq to Cavaliers
In the biggest move thus far, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Shaquille O’Neal, sending Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, and a second round pick from next year’s draft to the Phoenix Suns.
The motives for both teams are clear. For Phoenix, it’s all about rebuilding. The Suns are no longer the perennial championship contenders they were a few years ago. Wallace and Pavlovic both have expiring contracts after next season and the Suns will use that cap space to rebuild.
For Cleveland, this trade is all about keeping LeBron James from bolting next off-season when he becomes a free-agent. It’s also about winning a championship; can’t forget about that. I think they got a good deal for what they gave up, but let’s not kid ourselves: Shaq isn’t what he once was. He’s a definite upgrade over the sluggish Zydrunas Illgauskas, but I’m not so quick to declare them NBA champions. I definitely think they’re a better team now, though, but I’m curious as to whether they will use the “LeBron needs more help” excuse if they come up short again. Understand this: no one will ever blame LeBron for the team’s shortcomings. No one will ever say “Hmm, maybe LeBron isn’t THAT great.” Instead, it’s always going to be “Oh, LeBron’s teammates suck!” Right now on ESPN, they’re acting like this is the best trade ever, saying things like “Shaq is back” in a butt-kissing segment. Shaq is back? Where was he? I think they mean that Shaq is again playing for a team that they deem relevant.
Fun “storylines”: What will Shaq’s new nickname be? Every where he goes, he gets a new nickname that’ “The Big [something].” And can Shaq win a championship with the three best perimeter players of this decade? He’s won with Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, so can he win with LeBron?
Hawks get Jamal Crawford
The Golden State Warriors will send Jamal Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Acie Law IV and Speedy Claxton.
You might remember Law as the star player of Texas A&M a few years ago. He played really well during his college days, but didn’t see much action during his two seasons with the Hawks and averaged 2.9 points and 1.6 assists. Claxton has been a journeyman for his seven year career, playing for the 76ers, Spurs, Warriors (twice), Hornets (twice), and the Hawks before heading back to Golden State again; he’s averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 assists for his career and won a championship with the Spurs in 2003. With Crawford, the Hawks get a really athletic shooting guard who shoot and score off the drive.
Vince Carter to Orlando
A few weeks after losing the NBA Finals and the Orlando Magic have already made a big move. They traded Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee, and Tony Battie to the New Jersey Nets for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.
For the Magic, this move is kind of a safety net in case they can’t get Hedo Turkoglu-who opted out of his contract-to return to the team. They give up a good guard in Alston, but he was more of a rental. They only traded for him when Jameer Nelson was lost to his shoulder injury. Now, they’ll go back to starting Nelson with Anthony Johnson or whoever else coming off the bench. They also give up Lee, who was their starting shooting guard as a rookie, but there’s no doubt that Vince Carter can fill his place.
The Nets get a good backup point guard in Alston. Yeah, he’s good enough to start, but they already have Devin Harris at that position. They also get another good young player in Lee.
The 2008-2009 NBA season has been over for just over a week and teams are already gearing up for the 09-10 season. The Draft is on Thursday, but a few teams have already started wheeling-and-dealing. Here’s what’s happened (and not happened) in the past couple of days.
Spurs acquire Richard Jefferson
You may not know this already, but I’m a big San Antonio Spurs fan. And as such, I really like this trade. It’s been a while since the Spurs have had a really athletic small forward. Last season with the Milwaukee Bucks, Jefferson averaged 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. I haven’t really seen him play a game since he was with the New Jersey Nets when they were making their deep playoff runs. So far I’ve read that he’s unappreciated, will under perform when compared to his large contract, and that he’s not good defensively, which confuses me because I had always heard he was a solid defender. But I do know that the Spurs got another quality person off the court.
In exchange for Jefferson, the Milwaukee Bucks got Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto, and Bruce Bowen. I hate to see Bowen go because he’s done so much for the team. Without him locking down offensive players, winning three championships this decade would have been more difficult. Thomas was a good veteran defender who could knock down the mid-range jumper, but he certainly wasn’t helping the Spurs get any younger. Neither was Oberto, but he was a staunch defender who teamed well with countryman Manu Ginobili.
This trade leaves the Spurs a little thin in the low post, with Tim Duncan, Matt Bonner, and Drew Gooden as the only big men currently on the team. I am reasonably confident, however, that the Spurs’ management has planned ahead for such a thing. Perhaps they’re finally bringing Ian Mahinmi over from France, or maybe they’re planning on trading into the first round to get a big man, or they could possibly have their eye on someone from free-agency.
In related trade news, the Bucks turned around and sent Oberto to the Detroit Pistons for Amir Johnson. The Pistons then released Oberto, which would allow him to return to San Antonio if he so pleased.
T-Wolves trade for #5 overall pick
The Minnesota Timberwolves, keepers of the #6, #18, and #28 picks in the first round, have traded for yet another. They sent guards Mike Miller and Randy Foye to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov, Darius Songaila, and the #5 overall pick.
The T-Wolves now have plenty of picks to stock their team with young talent, or they can use them as pieces in trades for veteran players.
(Just a note, the deal isn’t official yet)
The big non-trade
Have you ever been in a fantasy sports league and concocted an absolutely preposterous trade in hopes that the other player would accidentally hit the “Accept” button? Well, I think that’s what Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics tried to do to the Detroit Pistons. They offered them Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen for Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey.
Had Detroit accepted, their main core of players would be gone. Taking their place would be a point guard who can’t shoot well and a 34 year old Ray Allen. That’s not to say that Rondo and Allen aren’t good, it’s just that they’re not as good as Prince, Hamilton, and Stuckey. With those three, the Celtics would be able to have a starting lineup of Stuckey, Hamilton, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Kendrick Perkins, with Prince coming off the bench. It was the lanky defender that could shoot from the perimeter that the Celtics missed when James Posey left for New Orleans and Prince would have filled that position well coming off the bench. But Joe Dumars and the rest of the people running the Pistons seem to know what they’re doing, so they didn’t take the trade.
Over a week has gone by without a post on my site and it has everything to do with the NBA season being over. I am actually more interesting than this in real life; my life does not depend on the NBA like my blog apparently does.
The U.S. Open
Just finished watching the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. In golf, I’m a fan of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson so I’m naturally a little disappointed with the outcome. Tiger was never really relevant and finished the tournament tied for 6th place with a score of even par. Phil was able to take the lead for a short time, but frittered it away after bogeying the 15th and 17th holes; he still finished -2 in a three way tie for second place with David Duval and Ricky Barnes. In the earlier rounds, Barnes at one point got to -11. And speaking of David Duval, I thought he had fallen off the face of the earth.
The NBA Draft
This Thursday is the NBA Draft and it could get crazy. The Los Angeles Clippers have already committed to taking Blake Griffin from Oklahoma with the #1 pick, but after that it’s anyone’s guess as to who will take who. The Memphis Grizzlies are at #2 and the various mock drafts out there have them taking Ricky Rubio, Hasheem Thabeet, or even Tyreke Evans. Looking at their roster, I think I would take Thabeet because of his defense. Rubio would also be a good pick, but he’s said he isn’t keen on playing in Memphis. At #3, the Oklahoma City Thunder will probably take Rubio or Thabeet depending on which one of them was drafted by Memphis. After that, the draft order seems to be up in the air. And don’t expect a mock draft from me; I think they’re silly. Also, don’t expect me to “hand out” a bunch of draft grades when it’s over; I think those are even more silly. However, I will be back to give an over view of the draft.
For the second year in a row, BRETT FAVRE has retired only to come back and steal our summer away. But he didn’t fool me this time. When he “retired” from the Green Bay Packers at the end of the 07-08 season, I believed him. (And didn’t he “retire” the year before as well? I remember recording his “final” game against the Chicago Bears. After the Packers lost, I remember him getting choked up in a post-game interview about how he was done.) But I didn’t believe him when he “retired” from the New York Jets earlier this year.
So yes, I think he’ll be playing for the Minnesota Vikings this coming season. There has recently been some confusion after Favre didn’t show up for a team meeting (no surprise there). The Vikings gave him a deadline to decide what he was going to do and then “backed off” when he was a no show. Then coach Brad Childress came out and said none of that was true, which was very helpful of him. But he’s coming back, don’t you worry about that. And this just adds to my disdain of hearing about football during the summer. I find it very annoying. There isn’t a time of year when the sports media isn’t talking about the NFL. When the season starts, they build up to the Super Bowl; when the Super Bowl ends, the draft gets hyped up (actually, the draft is hyped all year); and then when the draft is over, it’s time to look ahead to next season and it’s the middle of APRIL! I enjoy watching football and taking part in fantasy football leagues (I started my Yahoo! league last week), but I can’t handle hearing about it ALL THE TIME.
Alright, I hope you’re all happy. The Los Angeles Lakers are once again NBA champions after defeating the Orlando Magic 4-1, bringing their franchise total to 15, including 4 from this decade. You may now commence obligatory “Is Kobe Bryant better than Michael Jordan?” and “Is Phil Jackson the best coach ever?” discussions. Read More…
The Los Angeles Lakers are now up 3-1 on the Orlando Magic after what was one of the worst games I’ve watched in a while. I can think of plenty of ways to describe it, but most of the words I could use aren’t suitable for polite company, so I guess I’ll settle for “wretched.” Read More…
EA’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour games have long been at the pinnacle of golf simulation. Of course, the Mario Golf series of games are always a lot of fun, but for the most realism Tiger Woods is the way to go.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 was released earlier this week across all platforms. I got it for Wii. So is it worth your time and money? Keep reading to find out.