Tag:free agency
Posted on: July 12, 2010 9:34 am
 

Shootaround: Free-agency weekend in rhyme

A lot happened over the weekend, so we want to catch you up quickly. We'll have more on each of these stories in a bit. But while you're waiting, here's a little poem for you to get caught up.

The Mavs are chasing Haslem to make them seem bigger .

While the Nets are tapping Morrow to pull the big trigger .

The Pistons and Ben Wallace wed for two more years .

While Nellie brought in DWright as the latest wing he'll bring to tears.

The Nets brought in Petro to perplex us much more .

Then they tagged Jordan Farmar after Phil showed him the door.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas misses the King .

And Matt Barnes at this point is just chasing a ring .

The Baby Bears added a stopper in Allen.

And then the Suns traded Leandro Barbosa and some trade exceptions for Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress, while Toronto then swapped out the trade exception they got from the Suns who got it from New York for Boris Diaw in exchange for almost nothing.

That last one doesn't rhyme because it doesn't make any sense, whatsoever.

Oh, and Jesse Jackson compared Dan Gilbert to a slave owner . You may have heard about that one already.



Posted on: July 10, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 7:18 pm
 

Report: Portland signs Matthews to offer sheet

Posted by Royce Young

The Blazers have signed guard Wesley Matthews, a restricted free agent, to a five-year, $34 million offer sheet, Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

If you need help with that, that's $6.8 million a year. Matthews had a nice rookie campaign averaging 9.4 points per game and turning into one of last year's rookie surprises. If you remember, he was an undrafted free agent. And now he's turned a quality year into a potentially large contract. Pretty, pretty good for a guy that didn't hear his name called last June.

The report says that the Blazers offered Matthews a frontloaded deal that would pay him close to $9.2 million the first year in an effort to discourage Utah from matching. Maybe Portland's just messing with the Jazz though. If you recall, the Blazers offered a four-year, $32 million deal to Paul Millsap last year that forced Utah's hand to match it. The Jazz did and kept Millsap. Hard to figure if Matthews is important enough match on.

Obviously without Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, Utah's got more space, and more need. Matthews signed the contract Saturday night and the Jazz have seven days to match.

Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:48 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 6:54 pm
 

Cavs in the mix for Josh Childress, Al Jefferson

Posted by Royce Young

Replacing the best player in franchise history isn't easy. But that doesn't mean Cleveland is just going to sit and cry and write angry letters about it. Well I guess one of those things they did do. Nevertheless.

Brian Windhorst reports that the Cavs
are considering making an offer to Atlanta restricted free agent Josh Childress . But that's not all! The Cavs are also talking with Minnesota about a deal to bring Al Jefferson to Cleveland, Windhorst reports .

Childress has until July 15 to opt out of his contract with Olympiakos, which is where he spent last season. The Jefferson talks aren't serious yet, Windhorst says, because Minnesota is looking for more than just a salary dump. They want assets. Does that mean J.J. Hickson? Just draft picks? Hickson plus picks? There were talks a few days ago that Cleveland was making a play for Jonny Flynn. Maybe this is all one big package deal being discussed.

Cleveland's not the only team making a play for Jefferson though. Marc Stein reports the Mavs have had some talks with Minnesota involving Eric Dampier, but the Wolves want picks along wth Dampier's attractive contract, and that's something Dallas doesn't want to include.


Posted on: July 10, 2010 3:59 pm
 

Miami to add Juwan Howard?

Posted by Royce Young

The Heat are starting to round out their roster of death. Marc Spears of Yahoo! reports Miami is close to signing veteran big man Juwan Howard to a $1.4 million deal. The contract is the veteran minimum.

Howard, 37, most recently played with the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 6.0 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game in 73 games.

So if this deal goes through, along with the reported Mike Miller signing plus the rumored Udonis Haslem signing, Miami would be sitting at eight roster players, including Joel Anthony. That would put them needing five most warm bodies to fill out the roster, and that's not including the Heat's three second-round picks.

But Howard is an excellent veteran big man to play behind Chris Bosh. He always gives productive minutes and was a big help to the injury plagued Blazers last year. For Howard, a veteran surely looking to make a last stand, and the Heat, a team looking for players looking to make a last stand, this deal makes a lot of sense.

But as Trey Kerby of Ball Don't Lie points out , he still needs to chill out .
Posted on: July 9, 2010 5:08 pm
 

Bobcats sign Tyrus Thomas

Posted by Matt Moore
Ken Berger reports sources have told CBSSports.com that the Charlotte Bobcats have signed free agent Tyrus Thomas to a 5-year, $40 million deal. The move is not altogether surprising, as the Cats had invested quite a bit to land the mercurial power forward and need depth at the position.

While Thomas struggled mightily for minutes in Chicago despite putting up stellar per-minute defensive numbers, Larry Brown uncharacteristically gave Thomas extended minutes during the Charlotte playoff run, enabling his athleticism and using it as the raw counter to Boris Diaw's finesse game. The Bobcats' defensive philosophy is centered around efficient and hammering rebounding, something Thomas does well.

The question at that price tag is if Thomas has the mental makeup to be a full-time starter. Despite his considerable athleticism and an improving jumper, Thomas has long minutes of looking utterly lost on the floor, often playing recklessly and not working within the rhythm of the game. He also tends to hijack possessions routinely and look for opportunities for his shot, which still needs a lot of work.

This move also in no way shape or form locks Thomas into Charlotte long-term. The Bobcats have shown a perplexing commitment to improving their team almost solely through trades, often after signing the outgoing players to long deals. See: Okafor, Emeka. The Cats have a vested interest in Thomas but if he regresses for the thirty third time, you can bet he'll find himself on the trading block again. He's been rewarded for the work he did last season with this opportunity. If he's ever going to become the player his athleticism suggests he could be, he needs to start now.
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:25 pm
 

More misery in video form from Cleveland

Posted by Royce Young

Warning: This video might possibly cause light depression, even if you don't like the Cavs. Watch at your own risk.



That's some raw video from the AP from some establishments around Cleveland. As soon as LeBron mutters the words, "South Beach" you can literally see the air sucked out of the place. It was like someone shut the power off in the entire city. A couple people in the background appeared to be laughing in disbelief. You can even hear one fan shout out, "Turn it off! Turn it off! after the announcement. Somebody else yells, "Yeah, go jump on Wade's back!"

Yeah, I'm thinking this didn't go over that well there. On the other hand though, looks like the folks in Miami are happy .

Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:09 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:53 am
 

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Posted by Matt Moore

We told you for days that someone was going to lose the NBA free agency arms race. That several teams were going to lose. And tonight, the final blows were struck. With LeBron James announcing his intention to sign with the Miami Heat, every team but the Heat will fall into the losers category. From here on out it's just a matter of degrees. Here are the losers, in order of degree by which this day sucked:

Level 1- LeBrocalypse Devastation: First four Black Sabbath albums


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Go ahead. Let it out. You too, Dan. Get it out of your system . In Comic Sans, no less. It's bad. It's really bad. It's not just the emotional stuff. The deep connection people had to the kid from Akron, Ohio's native son, the local boy done good. It's the practical stuff. The city of Cleveland just lost out on what some estimates have put at $250 million in revenue to a South Beach heist. That's jobs. That's vacations. That's benefits. They weren't James' responsibility to watch out for, his obligation is to his family and his company. But it still deepens the wound. And that's not all. What about the practical holes in the roster? Who plays the small forward? They sacrificed so much, committed to bad contracts of veteran players in an attempt to build around James. And now?

It's a team poorly constructed. With little hope to remain in contention. Their best players are now Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. There's no bright side to this. They can't bring in another player to put their hopes in. There's nothing but the sting of watching the media coverage for the Heat ramp up to levels the Cavs never saw. There's just nothing left. In a television interview, Brian Windhorst described the scene in Cleveland as if an atomic bomb went off. Kaboom.

Level 2- "Boom Goes the Dynamite"


2. Chicago Bulls:
Here's a bad sign for when your organization has probably thought too much of itself. New York looked humble and realistic next to the Bulls in this whole thing. When the most self-important set of zip codes in the modern world is showing you how to keep things in perspective, you may have overestimated your position. The Bulls played their cards strong to the point of bullying, challenging and charging at LeBron at every turn. In the end, it was the quiet, subtle Pat Riley who made the most effective pitch and converted the deal, while the Bulls come off as brash and overly confident.

The Bulls honestly expected that the attitude "You should want to sign here" would work. And by all accounts, they were close. But as usual, the Bulls organization fumbled an opportunity and now face a reality where their big "get" was Carlos Boozer. Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35. Wait.

Level 3 - "A Series of Unfortunate Events "


3. New Jersey Nets:
The Nets knew they were sunk before ESPN's camera's showed up at the Greenwich depot for coffee (they may not have a depot in Greenwich). They signed Travis Outlaw to a deal which slammed the door shut. The Nets are committed to a long-term approach using youth and growth. That's the new plan. Landing one of the top guys would have helped. But they fell out of favor almost as soon as they made their pitch. It's more that the Nets are looking at a longer rebuilding process than the other teams that lands them here. They have no Derrick Rose to comfort them, nor an Amar'e Stoudemire signing to take the sting off. But really, their fate was sealed when the lottery balls didn't go their way.  That's the way the cookie crumbles. Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

4. New York Knicks: Well, they did get Amar'e. And now have Anthony Randolph and some solid roleplayers. The Knicks wanted to become a legitimate force in the NBA championship picture. Well, that didn't happen. And so they wind up on this failures list, but in the end, the pain isn't as great as it could be. They did get a top flight free agent. And from there, D'Antoni has started to assemble a roster that may not be a championship contender, but is similar to some sort of mid-70's ABA underground club, playing in the back-arenas of New York. A running, striding, power team with point-forward capabilities and shooters that can get out and run with the best of them.

It's not the worst of fates for the Knicks, and unlike the Bulls they don't look desperate or misguided and unlike the Cavaliers, the franchise still stands with hope for the future. It wasn't a win, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. Los Angeles Clippers: “Self-pity  is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” - Helen Keller

Funny story, Helen actually had a better overall vision for a basketball organization than the Clippers do.
Posted on: July 8, 2010 11:33 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 11:42 pm
 

Cavs owner eviscerates James for "betrayal"

Posted by Matt Moore

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert posted a letter to Cavs fans regarding LeBron James on the team's website tonight, and it is truly shocking. In the letter, Gilbert lays into James (passively aggressively, never once using the word "LeBron" and using "James" only once) for what he refers to as a "cowardly betrayal. " He talks about the ridiculous spectacle of James' television special. He tells Cleveland fans they deserve more than the betrayal they received.

And then the kicker.


You see, he wrote in Comic Sans so that you would know he's serious.

Gilbert's letter is clearly an emotional reaction an emotional situation. The franchise, who they had specifically built the entire organization around, has left them. But to paint James' departure as a cowardly betrayal is a bit much. Danny Ferry had years to build a championship organization around the best player in basketball, and instead always opted for the safe way out. The easy route. The compromise value deal. Acquiring players like Wally Szczerbiak and Ben Wallace and even Antawn Jamison were safe moves that involved no real risk and yet never capitalized on the big move. Meanwhile, James saw the Lakers and Celtics win championships with all out moves to surround their best players with top tier talent.

Gilbert has taken control of his own message, and it's clear. LeBron James is dead to the Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland as far as he's concerned. James may not have wanted to burn bridges in his hometown, but tomorrow, he'll wake up and smell the smoke.

That part of his life is over. Forever.

(Read the full letter from Gilbert here .)



 
 
 
 
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