Blog Entry

Weekly Post-Ups

Posted on: December 14, 2009 8:02 pm
Will the NBA trade winds pick up now that more than 70 players are set to become trade-eligible on Tuesday? Do the Weekly Post-Ups appear every week? Naturally. Time to throw it down low and break down the possibilities:

• Free agents who signed contracts this summer can’t be traded until three months from the date the contract was signed, or Dec. 15 – whichever is later. There’s a long list of players whose trade-eligible status is merely a formality. Trevor Ariza, Ron Artest, Mike Bibby, and Ben Gordon aren’t going anywhere. But there are enough intriguing names that, for various reasons, could be on the move. Here are my top five players with the most compelling cases to go from trade-eligible to traded:

1) Andre Miller, Trail Blazers: Given the need to extend stars Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers had to use their cap space this past summer or lose it. Once he was spurned by Hedo Turkoglu, GM Kevin Pritchard went to plan B – Miller, a seemingly much-needed veteran, play-making point guard. But with Steve Blake still playing at a high level and not eager to give up floor time, it’s been a bad fit from the start. Miller has been frustrated both by not starting and not finishing games, and Portland seems to play more cohesively with Blake running the offense. Miller isn’t a good enough shooter or defender to justify major minutes off the ball, so teams that don’t possess such play-making riches will be exploring Pritchard’s willingness to cut his losses with Miller.

2) Brandon Bass, Magic: As with Marcin Gortat (see No. 3), Orlando GM Otis Smith says he’s not looking to trade the rugged power forward plucked from the Mavs last summer. But Bass is young (24), has a reasonable contract (three years and $12 million after this season), and is having a difficult time carving out meaningful minutes and production in the Magic’s rotation. As such, Smith won’t have to try very hard; the deals will come to him.

3) Nate Robinson, Knicks: Being on a one-year deal, Robinson comes with all the requisite impediments to a trade – not least of all is the fact that he’d have to waive his no-trade clause. But N8 the Gr8 has fallen out of Mike D’Antoni’s rotation, and the Knicks – 4-1 during his stretch of DNPs – are unlikely to forge a long-term relationship with the talented but headstrong former dunk champion next summer. Robinson could prove useful to a contender looking for energy and scoring off the bench. According to, Robinson was sixth in the league last season with 44.6 points per 48 minutes of clutch time.

4) Marcin Gortat, Magic: The Polish Hammer also is unhappy in the O, but the Magic would be ill-advised to peddle a 7-footer who is a capable backup to Dwight Howard – even if he hasn’t been as useful to this point in the season as both imagined. Any number of scenarios that will come up in the postseason will reinforce Gortat’s value: foul trouble for Howard, the need for a viable alternative if opponents employ a Hack-a-Howard strategy, and the need to play Howard and Gortat together against teams with size (i.e. the Lakers).
5) David Lee, Knicks: Like Robinson, Lee has veto power because he’s on a one-year deal with Bird rights pending after the season. But like Robinson, Lee’s long-term demands could be too rich for the Knicks, who are putting all their eggs in the 2010 free-agent basket. Would Lee waive his no-trade clause for new surroundings in, say, Chicago, as a facilitating piece to a Tyrus Thomas trade? Such an arrangement likely would have to come with an understanding that a long-term extension would be signed after the season. (Note: Both Lee and Robinson become trade eligible next week, as they signed their one-year deals in late September.)

• Speaking of Ariza: When Artest went to the Lakers and Ariza to the Rockets, what sort of odds could you have gotten on Ariza being the first one suspended by the league?

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, commissioner David Stern said legalized gambling on NBA games was a “possibility” that could be “a huge opportunity” for the league. To be clear, Stern said he’s not advocating such a change any time soon, and the issue most likely will be left for his eventual successor to navigate. But the comments represented another incremental step toward easing the long-held taboo about the widespread legalization of sports gambling. Is it bad timing that Stern would kick the door ajar for such sweeping changes at a time when the Tim Donaghy scandal is still very much in the news? Maybe so. But if Stern has proved anything during his quarter-century of commissionership, it’s that he’s a human version of the stock market – forward-looking. He knows that if and when betting on NBA games is legalized, Donaghy will be long forgotten and Stern himself will be retired. I know this: Strengthening sports leagues’ relationships with the gambling world will help – not hurt – their ability to monitor and stop point-shaving or game-fixing scandals. Bookmakers, oddsmakers, and sports gambling experts told me this over and over again when the Donaghy scandal first broke.

• The Allen Iverson experiment is working out nicely in Philadelphia, isn’t it? The Sixers were 0-3 with Iverson and on a 12-game losing streak heading into Monday night’s game against Golden State, and A.I. revealed that he recently had 55 CCs of fluid drained from his left knee. That’s what happens when a 165-pound body violates the speed limit in professional basketball for 13 years. Eventually, the body breaks down. Of more concern to the Sixers should be this: After selling out Iverson’s debut last Monday against Denver, the team drew only 12,136 for his second game against the Pistons, another former employer.

• When Stern was asked about the anomaly of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov trying to purchase the Nets, he responded that it wouldn’t be the last time an NBA team was sought by international investors. On Monday, it was revealed that the Cavaliers have reached an agreement to sell a minority stake to Chinese investor Albert Hung. When the possibility was broached a few months ago, it was viewed in some quarters as possible incentive for LeBron James to stay in Cleveland and use the connection to expand his influence in the NBA’s biggest market outside the United States. Although the Board of Governors hasn’t even voted on the deal yet, the impact was felt immediately. Also on Monday, the Cavs announced a marketing agreement that will make Tsingtao the exclusive Chinese beer of Quicken Loans Arena. I’ll give it a try after my next game there, but it’ll have to be something special to overtake Burning River Pale Ale as my favorite local brew in Cleveland.

Wizards center Brendan Haywood is “officially retiring from the blogging game,” he announced in his blog. Not that it’s his fault – Haywood has played great – but this seems like the best decision for everyone involved considering the Wizards’ ongoing struggles. No need for your team to be making more news blogging about Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren than it does on the basketball court.
Category: NBA

Since: Dec 15, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 7:56 pm


People who place wagers on sports tend to watch the games. Watching the games eqautes to higher viewrship which leads to higher advertising rates for the networks carrying the games which translates into bigger $$$$ for the NBA when selling off TV rights.

Since: Jun 24, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 4:46 pm

Re-do the Hedo

Could Hedo still wind up in Portland? Or is that bridge burned to a crisp after his wife forced him to spurn the Blazers? Toronto is not playing well and that to me spells Bosh leaving at the end of the season. That would leave the Raptors more or less awful. Calderon is a constant injury risk and Jack is really just a backup. Could the players and teams involved say, "We messed this up," and swap Hedo for Andre? Over the summer it seemed like the Blazers needed a PG more and the Raps a swing, but given the injuries that have occurred, it now seems the complete other way. The Blazers desperately need a Hedo and the Raps really could use a legit, durable starting PG, even one who couldn't hit a 3 to save his life.

I suspect there's no way Hedo agrees to go there or that the Blazers would swallow their pride after he left them at the altar, but if he was going to be there and always have second thoughts, at least this way he knows he belonged in Portland all along and that professionally in Toronto it wasn't going to work. Be a man and tell your bee-atch of a wife to pipe down and enjoy the Emerald City!

Just my .02.

Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:23 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

I am in absolute agreement. Christmas ale is by far the best beer out of NE Ohio. I think Berger likes burning river because the name gives him and all the other talking heads another way to put down Cleveland and its sports teams.

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 1:03 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

The introduction of gambling could increase viewership and bring in new sponsors such as gambling sites and casinos, thus equally more potential profit.  also although not likely betting could be involved at the arenas like at tracks increasing ticket sales and revenue from betting.

Since: Jul 16, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 12:35 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

I think your suggestion of keeping Miller and shipping Blake is awful.  Blake is a better shooter (and, in my opinion, defender).  If Blake goes, then you're down to only 2 (healthy) guys who can hit 3's -- Roy and Webster.  And for the life of me I cannot understand why you would want to "force Roy to learn to play along with [Miller].  You just gave Roy a max extension.  And now you want to "force" him to play with someone with whom he's less comfortable?  Makes no sense whatsoever.

Since: Aug 3, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 12:10 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

I think the Blazers would be better off keeping Miller and trading Blake. He could be a terrific backup pg who gives a ton of effort. Miller is a better player (though not historically a better shooter) and a smarter player. It also would force Roy to learn to play along with him.

Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 12:05 pm

Weekly Post-Ups

That's crazy, Burning River Pale Ale is nothing in comparison to another local Cleveland beer, Christmas Ale from the Great Lakes Brewing Company! Not even close!

Since: Feb 15, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 11:24 am

How would the NBA profit from gambling?

I don't get it- how is it an "opportunity" for the league? The coruts have held the league does not own the results of its games, so the league won't be paid by the sports books at the casinos. A lottery perhaps, where you pick the winners of games to be eligible?

Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2009 10:22 am

Weekly Post-Ups

I think another thing about the Blazers is that with all the injuries, they would be better served finding someone else rather than Miller.  When Miller and Blake are on the floor Blake sort of dissapears.  The three guard line-up produced a small win streak in the beginning of the year but with Oden down, Outlaw down, Fernandez down, Batum down, they went from a pretty big athletic team to really small.  3 guards only works on a matchup basis but Roy has already voiced his negetive thoughts about playing the 3.  Since moving back and spending more time at the 2 his production has increased. 

I think the Blazers biggest problem right now is they don't have a big center that can block shots and bang around beyond Pryzbilla.  Howard has shown he can score from the bench but moving him to the center position seems to be asking too much of him.  Aldridge is long enough to play there a bit, but he's skinny and gets bumped around too much down there.  We don't want him wasting fouls on the likes of shaq for just banging physical play. 

Nate Robinson presents an under-sized guard which goes beyond traditional thinking in the NBA.  Right now Aaron Brooks is showing his stuff well in Houston.  Unfortunately for Nate its going to take a certain team, in a certain state for him to become useful again.  Because of his height and offensive mindness I think it hampers his versatility. 

Marcin Gortat will be a pretty good center if he goes some place and can start.  I think he brings pretty good minutes at the position, but it seems like he has it in his mind that he does not want to be held to playing second fiddle.  I thought that this guy would have been good in a cavs uniform but they went with Shaq in an act of desperation and publicity.

David Lee finds himself in a familiar position as over the summer.  Is he asking for too much money?  Does he really want to play somewhere other than the big apple?

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