There's no question about their talent they have. But, talent doesn't always win. The team that shows the best teamwork will win it.Phil Jackson on the Heat. ... Provocative thought, eh?
Definitely something to chew on
What catches me is Rubio's stat line. I believe about a week ago Hollinger was also pointing out his very mediocre numbers. Is this guy really worth a top five pick?
Earl Barron won't be a Knick UPDATE: Alan Hahn of Newsday updated the Barron situation on Tuesday, and wrote that the Knicks are not expected to bring him back as a fourth center. Hahn reported that Barron was offered a non-guaranteed contract for 2010-11, but that he turned it down "mainly because he was hoping to get something more secure -- perhaps even from the Knicks -- during the offseason." So far, Barron has yet to hook on with another team, though. It was recently reported that Barron turned down an offer from Maccabi Tel Aviv because he's confident he'll get an offer from an NBA team.ESPN Insider
With team USA's next game still a couple days away, it's looking like a slow week around here. I'm tired of talking about EJ, so here's a different topic to help fill the time. I was browsing...
...in a deal for Carmelo, then on a scale of 1 to 4, how willing are you to part with him? I ask because that may be what it comes down to. "No deal w/o EJ," I can hear Denver say. If so, then we...
Frankly, I'm a bit grateful that this Carmelo issue has come up at all. It makes for some interesting August discussion, especially as our city's baseball teams muck up the airwaves. Reading...
A lot of love for EJ in this article. Well deserved, too. I'm feeling the optimism, I must say.
In his recent Hoopsworld article, Eric Pincus had this to say about Olshey's offseason inactivity. Once the big names went elsewhere (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Rudy Gay etc.), Neil...
It turns out, I have a time machine in my basement. Last night, I cranked it up and forwarded myself to October 2010, just in time to glimpse the Clip's opening night roster. Ah surprises, it...
Barnes between Cavs, Lakers UPDATE: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweeted Thursday that unless Cleveland raises its multiyear offer that starts around $3.5 million, Barnes will sign a one-year, $1.7 million deal with the Lakers. Brian Winhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer added that he doesn't see the Cavs raising their offer at all -- since it's already the highest and they'd be bidding against themselves -- meaning Barnes will likely be a Laker.ESPN Insider
At this point, who would you rather have on a one year contract? We have plenty of cap space, so money is a non-issue, at least for us fans. Let's also assume that Kapono would come to the team in...
David Aldridge of NBA.com adds the Raptors into the mix for Barnes. "As of late Sunday, according to a source, the Cavs were still in the running for Barnes -- though their opposition was formidable, with the Lakers, Celtics and Heat, along with Toronto, all making strong pitches," he writes. About a week and a half ago, Matt Barnes tweeted that he'd been in contract talks with the Lakers, Heat, Mavs, Knicks and Pistons.ESPN Insider
The Best Available Free Agents #4: Josh Childress, Hawks (R) Potential destinations: Knicks, Nets, Clippers Childress went back to Greece for a second straight season after failing to be wowed by an offer from an NBA team. He's been solid there, and a number of NBA teams that saw him play in the Euroleague Final Four believe he once again could be a terrific role player in the U.S. The Hawks still hold his restricted rights, but by now, no one thinks they actually would match an offer for him -- especially after the Hawks gave Joe Johnson $124 million. Look for a team like the Knicks to try to use some of its cash on Childress now that they've lost out on LeBron.Chad Ford, ESPN Insider
Here we go. Nothing very new here, though. I'd love to get some direct quotes from the front office.
It looks like it's official now. With JJ staying, Childress should be ours to pursue.
Good read, interesting thoughts. KA has me rethinking Korver. I'm puzzled, though, by how he omits Childress.
My apologies if someone already posted this. It's from a few days ago, but it shows some of the different attitudes toward the Clips among the ESPN writers. KA is our diplomatic advocate, as usual. Ford is surprisingly unprejudiced, whereas Hollinger is the devil in thin disguise. Larry Coon seems the most objective, IMO. All of them except Hollinger think the Clips will take Casey. All except Hollinger predict improvement w/o any gratuitous negativity.
From the free agent market, that is. And funny, KA agrees: "If the Clips’ opening night roster is nothing more than the current group with some functional, intelligent complementary parts with limited talent and manageable contracts, then Neil Olshey will have done his job well." A couple votes, then, for going conservative and spitting up the max money. Hmmm.
Reports: Knicks have hard sell The Knicks have long been angling for the summer of 2010 and its vaunted free agency class. But might they have a hard time attracting anyone to come play for them come Thursday? Writes Ken Berger of CBS Sports: "Word circulating over the weekend was that Knicks president Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni faced a 'very tough sell' to the top free agents, according to one rival executive monitoring the free-agent buzz .. A representative for one prominent free agent, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the negotiating period hasn't begun, said the Knicks may have as hard a time -- or even harder -- persuading second-tier free agents to go to New York." The representatives reasoning is as such, according to Berger: "If you come in there, expectations are so high you almost can't -- unless it's LeBron, anybody else will have a really hard time living up to it." Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is hearing similar chatter: "One prominent agent [said Sunday night]: 'I think there's a very good chance the Knicks will get shutout (in free agency)...Even likely...'"ESPN Insider
Buyer's Guide: Rudy Gay (excerpts from ESPN Insider's article) "Someone will pay him," predicted one West exec. "...He has legitimate upside. He's still scratching the surface of the player he could be. I have to confess, I'm not terribly certain he'll ever get there." So where is he now? Imagine if Kevin Durant had merely a decent jumper, then mix in LeBron's dynamite finishes in the open court and top it off with the court awareness of a blindfolded Amare Stoudemire. That's Rudy Gay. Once he gets the ball on the perimeter, it's best to crash the boards immediately. According to Hoopdata.com, he's no more than an average shooter from 16 to 23 feet, but he takes about four long 2-pointers per game. Not only that, Synergy Sports Technology informs us that he created offense via passes on only 7 percent of his iso sets, which is just a third of what LeBron James managed this past season. Passing is not, and has never been, on Gay's radar. While he can use his height and hops to rise above his defender, Gay's shooting still needs work. He takes plenty of jumpers, but he doesn't make nearly enough to justify the high volume. He took a step backward beyond the arc this past season, converting just 32.7 percent of his 202 3-pointers after shooting 35.1 percent in 2008-09. The team that gambles on his athleticism would be wise to sharpen that part of his game. One logical destination for Gay would be the Los Angeles Clippers, where he could join forces with Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon... With Gay around, the Clippers wouldn't win more games than the Lakers, but their youthful athleticism would win over fans looking for style over substance. And there are plenty of those in Hollywood.ESPN Insider
Arrrr, I just don't know what to do with myself for these last 43 hours. Thank goodness for the ~14 hours of sleep I'll have in between. Nobody better wake me up. Meanwhile, it looks like the...
Good read, with some details I'd never heard before. "If you want something easier, then take somebody else," Calipari said. "If you want to take on this challenge and make him one of the best players in the NBA, then he has it all." It'll be interesting if Philly takes him. I wouldn't be too terribly surprised, either. Circumstances then could force Kahn to choose between Johnson and Favors. I'd like to see the look on his face. If Minni doesn't take Johnson, then suddenly there's somewhat of a chance he could slip to us. Hmmm.
A different kind of mock draft- The four writers (Chad Ford, Fran Fraschilla, Ryen Russillo and David Thorpe) and the two editors (Jordan Brenner and Mike Hume) divided up the teams and took on the first round of the draft as if they were GMs. The only guideline was to pick based on what each drafter would do, rather than what the actual team would probably do. Here's how it turned out. [my summary]: 1. Wall 2. Turner 3. Favors 4. Cousins 5. Johnson 6. Monroe 7. Davis 8. Udoh 9. Babbitt 10. Aminu 11. Hayward 12. George 13. Bradley 14. Anderson 15. HenryESPN Insider
Top five prospects by position... Small Forward 1. Wesley Johnson, Syracuse The Iowa State transfer turned into a home run for Syracuse. He sensationally used his athletic ability in transition and on the offensive glass and has elevated into an accurate midrange jump shooter. His lack of ballhandling skills scares me, but a good coach will play to what he does well. He may have trouble guarding physical small forwards, however. 2. Paul George, Fresno State The 6-8 George is rising fast up draft boards as NBA people remind themselves of his enticing combination of size, athleticism and shooting ability. Also in George's favor is that he just turned 20 years old. If he can shed the "soft" label, the sky's the limit. 3. Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest Aminu is one of the best athletes in this draft but his transition from power forward to small forward will be tricky. Because he has not shown the ability to shoot the jumper with accuracy or handle the basketball, he is the classic tweener. 4. Gordon Hayward, Butler Hayward is a very good athlete whose slashing ability against slower defenders was utilized perfectly in Butler's spread offense. While he's been stereotyped as a great shooter, Hayward struggled with the deep ball last season because of a lack of strength, in my opinion. That weakness will be exploited at the NBA level if he doesn't bulk up that 210-pound frame. 5. Damion James, Texas The Big 12's all-time leading rebounder is a power forward trapped in a small forward's body. The hope is that James can marry a relentlessness on both backboards with an improved perimeter skill level and become an effective rotation player in the NBA. Value Pick: Devin Ebanks, West Virginia Wow! I had this guy pegged as a lottery selection last summer because of his positional size, defensive skill and rebounding ability. If he overcomes some issues that plagued him early last season, as well as improves his jump shot, he has a chance to help a team as a rookie. Power Forward 4. Luke Babbitt, Nevada The former McDonald's All-American had two very productive years for his hometown team. At 6-9, he is not only a player who can stretch a defense with his jump shot, but can score inside or handle the ball on the break. The more NBA teams study his game, the quicker he'll end up in the lottery next week.Fran Fraschilla, ESPN Insider
Last week some time, several citizens here were discussing a possible trade for Danny Granger. To entice Indiana, we considered offering EJ, this year's #8 pick, and/or the Minni pick. Suffice it...
The 10 Most Likely Draft Busts: Paul George- George has been getting a lot of buzz, projecting as a 6-9 shooting guard. But against poor competition this season, George was invisible during stretches. He's also inconsistent with his decision making. In transition, he is impressive but in the half court he takes a lot of bad shots and gets into trouble with some questionable drives. If a team takes him in the lottery it will be passing on better players. Gordon Hayward- This is difficult, because there are so many things that I like about Hayward's game. He is tough, finds the ball, has a good handle, makes the right decision and looks like a great teammate. But who is he going to guard? Hayward will be matched up against the best big athletes in the world and they will look to post him until he gets stronger. But perhaps the biggest question is his shooting. He converted only 29 percent of his 3s last year after hitting 45 percent his freshman season. If he doesn't improve his long-range jumper, it will be hard to find a role for a potential top-10 pick. (Also on the list: Cousins, Whiteside, Stephenson, Orton, Ed Davis, Stanley Robinson, Terrico White, Willy Warren)Ryen Russillo, ESPN Insider
Metric-minded GMs' Top 10 Draft prospects as ranked by our three stat-head GMs. I talked to three NBA executives who use various forms of statistical analysis to rank their players to get a feel for what they're seeing. The GMs agreed to share their statistically based top-10 lists as long as I didn't disclose the team and as I long as I didn't divulge the statistical methods they were using. I then aggregated those lists, and here's a look at what they came up with: Rank Player Team 1. DeMarcus Cousins Kentucky 2. Derrick Favors Georgia Tech 3. Evan Turner Ohio State 4. Greg Monroe Georgetown 5. John Wall Kentucky 6. Xavier Henry Kansas 7. Luke Babbitt Nevada 8. Al-Farouq Aminu Wake Forest 9. Wesley Johnson Syracuse 10. Ed Davis North Carolina This group matches up closely with Hollinger's findings and is even more in line with the top 10 on our Big Board. Each team had an outlier the other two teams didn't rank as highly. One team had Cole Aldrich ranked in the top five. Another had Manny Harris and Gordon Hayward in the top 10. There are a few other things to note. The first is that, by statistical measurements at least, it looks like Greg Monroe should be going higher than No. 9 -- where we have him projected in our mock draft right now. The same holds true for Henry, whom we currently have at No. 15. The love also keeps on coming for Luke Babbitt, who I believe is now seriously in the discussion for Utah at No. 9. One guy who isn't getting any love is Ekpe Udoh. That's because Udoh is already 23 years old, and virtually all of the stat gurus view that as a problem. Players who are older than 22 when they are drafted have terrible track records in the NBA. That works against him in virtually every formula out there.Chad Ford, ESPN Insider
Aminu is not the most effusive interviewee, but I get the impression that he's serious and focused, hardly a "play-for-the-paycheck" kind of guy. I'd like to know what others here make of his jump shot mechanics; they look pretty good to me. His workout schedule sounds Griffen-esque.
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