Posted on: January 26, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 2:13 pm
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Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:03 am
By Matt Moore
The Dallas Mavericks will look nothing this season like the team that took the floor at the beginning of last season, nor the one that took the floor for Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Tyson Chandler has signed with the Knicks. Caron Butler has signed with the Clippers. And now it appears J.J. Barea will be gone as well.
NBA.com reports that Barea has received a four-year, $19 million offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
This deal is right on the cusp between being great value and slightly overpaid. Barea lacks size (obviously) and athleticism. But he's 27, still in his prime, and has an incredible ability to not only manage the offense effectively, but score in bursts using savvy and quickness.
It's easy to pull out the old Timberwolves point guard jokes, but considering their actual situation, with Luke Ridnour being their only other primary viable point. Barea can work in small lineups at the two-guard spot (or extremely big ones if the frontcourt is loaded). He's versatile and plays within the system. He should work extremely well under Rick Adelman.
For the Mavericks, the fans don't even get to enjoy one night of seeing the team that knocked off the Heat to bring the Mavericks their first ring. And the team will be very different when it takes the floor on Christmas against the Heat. The Mavericks won the title and decided to go in a different direction. Immediately.
It should be noted that the deal for Barea is actually less than the Timberwolves paid for Darko Milicic. So they're learning.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 5:52 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 6:00 pm
Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has allegedly been caught parking in a handicapped spot. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Who would have guessed that a big man best known for spearing smaller guys out of the air would have the audacity to illegally exploit one of the rare benefits afforded to our society's most vulnerable citizens? (Allegedly.)
Yes, that's correct. Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who made headlines this season when he knocked Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley and Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea to the floor with hard fouls, has reportedly been caught parking in a spot reserved for handicapped or disabled persons.
NBCLosAngeles.com reports and displays photos allegedly showing Bynum parking illegally while shopping at a Bristol Farms Market in Playa del Rey, a beachside area of Los Angeles near the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo.
The photos, provided exclusively to NBC4, were taken by an LA Parking Enforcement official at the upscale Bristol Farms Market in Playa del Rey. NBC4 questioned Andrew Bynum, 23, about the alleged incident as he was getting into his car recently. He slammed his car door and drove off without comment.The photos show Bynum loading groceries into a dark BMW convertible that is double-parked in a clearly marked handicapped area. Multiple available parking spots for non-disabled drivers and passengers are pictured in the near background, just yards away.
Shake. My. Head.
Top image via NBCLosAngeles.com.
Hat tip: LakersNation.com.
Posted on: July 10, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:14 pm
Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest does stand-up comedy in a video. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Note: Please be advised this post included references to profanity.
The NBA lockout is well into its second week, and the players have responded in many different ways: signing to play in Turkey, hosting summer camps and, of course, planking.
True to form, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest, who recently changed his name to Metta WorldPeace, did something different. He took the stage at the Hollywood Improv to perform some stand-up comedy to kick off "Ron Artest's Ultimate Comedy Tour."
The Los Angeles Times captured a portion of his act on video, which involved a question-and-answer format. WorldPeace was asked, "What did you learn from the brawl in Detroit?"
WorldPeace replied, "It seems like you want me to answer that one," he said with a smile. "I didn't learn s***. I just smacked [J.J.] Barea and f****** got suspended. That's why I changed my name to Metta. Next year, there will be peace."
Artest, of course, was referencing the clothesline he gave to Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea during Game 2 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, a foul that earned him a suspension for Game 3. The Mavericks, who went on to win the 2011 NBA title, went on to sweep the Lakers out in four games.
Here's a look at the video courtesy of YouTube user LosAngelesTimes.
Posted on: June 27, 2011 5:56 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 5:52 pm
Posted by EOB Staff
When free agency starts there's a relatively lackluster class to choose from. Nevertheless, here are the top 40 players available in unrestricted or restricted free agency now that they tentatively have this sorted out.
Rankings are based on overall value, factoring in production, age, potential, star power, interest and market value. For the full list of free agents this offseason, check out our tracker.
1. Nene, C: You're looking at a cornerstone piece in Nene, which means someone's got to pay cornerstone money. He's just now hitting his prime at 29 years old and as the second half of last season proved, he's top guy material. The Nuggets are definitely looking to put pretty much all of their eggs in Nene's basket, but there could be another big spender that tries to swoop in and grab him. He's a prize and someone that can be a building piece for the next four or five years.
2. Marc Gasol, C: The perfect combination of factors lead Gasol to our No. 2 spot. Talent, capitalizing on a stellar playoff run, centers being at such a premium in the league and Gasol's age of 26. There are bigger names on this list, but no one is as valuable as Gasol. His restricted free agency status only drives his value farther, as a front-loaded contract is the only thing that might push the Grizzlies off matching an offer.
3. David West, F: Were West not coming off of a significant injury at 31 years old, he'd likely be in the top spot on this list. A former All-Star with excellent mid-range skills and a heap of attitude, West opted out and enter free agency, presumably to attempt to get a front-loaded contract before any CBA restrictions drive down his long-term value. He'll have bidders if the Hornets don't quickly recapture him once free agency begins.
4. Tyson Chandler, C: Hitting free agency just after being the starting center and a key factor for a championship team -- talk about great timing. Chandler is a lock to return to Dallas as there's no way Cuban lets the guy who validated all that work escape. But Chandler's going to have whatever offer he wants. Which is stunning for a guy who can't contribute much offensively outside of the lob. But that's the difference a ring makes.
5. Jason Richardson, SG: Richardson's age is kind of a concern here; he'll be 31 next season. But he's the best overall offensive weapon and has a few more years of contribution left in him and is the kind of veteran that teams look for. Orlando may be looking to make room for a bigger trade, so Richardson could fetch offers on the market. But if teams have learned anything from the Joe Johnson valuation, they'll keep it within reason.
6. Thaddeus Young, PF: It's really hard to imagine Philadelphia letting one of its very best young options get away, but Young has become one of the most lethal bench weapons in the game. He can realistically play three positions and is one of the game's most versatile players. He became a legit Sixth Man of the Year candidate and as he matures -- he's still just 23 -- he could become one of the 76ers prized future pieces, making him a valuable asset.
7. J.R. Smith, SG: Unstable? Probably. Unreliable? Possibly injured? He may be all of these things. But Smith's a scorer whose not on the downslide of his career. A sixth-man scorer with guts. Think Ben Gordon a few years ago with a worse attitude.
8. Glen Davis, PF: "Big Baby" has a championship ring and has shown he can contribute to a winner. The only thing keeping him lower on this list is a disappointing playoff run after a tremendous season; 14 points and 7 rebounds per 36 with great defense and the ability to take charges will get him the rest of the way.
9. DeAndre Jordan, C: In a normal year, Jordan's the top of the B rankings. This year, he's the seventh-best available player considering value. Jordan had a tremendous year for the Clippers and is nearly a lock to be re-signed by the Clippers. Then again, it's the Clippers. Jordan averaged 10 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 last season but more importantly started to show understanding of defensive rotations, which makes it much tougher to turn away from him.
10. Grant Hill, SF: Anyone else think Hill's career is going in reverse? If Hill doesn't want to return to Phoenix, there will be contenders left and right vying for his services.
11. Tayshaun Prince, SF: Part of the worst locker-room environment in the league last year, Prince should have a higher value, even at 31. He's still capable of excellent defense and averaged 14 points on 47-percent shooting last season. Seeing him in another jersey would be bizarre, but after last season's hijinx, it's a coin flip.
12. Wilson Chandler, SF: Chandler's a young and versatile player. Denver is unlikely to re-sign him considering their need to get Nene back in house and they have Galinari and drafted Jordan Hamilton. Chandler has been rumored to be interested in a return to the Knicks, if they've got the scratch to pay him.
13. Jeff Green, SF/PF: This one is mostly on account of his market value. Green is not a good rebounder. He can't really take over offensively, and he's not a great defender. But Danny Ainge thinks he's the bee's knees and will overpay to keep him, plus he could theoretically develop any of the aforementioned skills. This one caused some debate among our crew in developing these rankings.
14. Jamal Crawford, SG: Crawford made it public knowledge that he wanted a big extension last year, but the Hawks declined to oblige him. Crawford is 31, and his numbers took a dive last season (42 percent FG percentage, 14 points per game down from 18). But he's likely to still pull offers based on star power. The question will be whether it comes close to matching what Crawford thinks he's worth. His playoff heroics should help matters on that front.
15. J.J. Barea, SG: Barea's stock could not be higher coming off the Mavs' championship win. He answered every question about himself and showed the ability to compete at the highest level. He won't dictate a huge asking price due to his diminutive size, but for a role player, he'll collect a tremendous amount of interest, though like Chandler, it's certain Cuban will re-sign him.
16. Caron Butler, SF: So many Mavericks, such a poor free-agency class to drive up their value. Butler's over 30, coming back from injury, and has been on the slide for quite a while. Still, veteran defender who can shoot (or at least can have a few hot shooting nights) is going to get offers. Cuban will likely re-sign Butler in a wave of goodwill on his championship high.
17. Aaron Brooks, PG: The best point guard in the free agent class. How depressing is that? Brooks is a high-usage, low-assist-rate point guard who's undersized. And yet because of his work in Houston before getting shuffled off to make room for Kyle Lowry, Brooks is rumored to be on the radar for Sacramento among others, but as a restricted free agent, the offer will have to be significant for Phoenix not to match.
18. Marcus Thornton, SG: Guys who can drop 40 in a night are rare in this league. "Buckets" has that ability coming off his rookie contract. Yes, his shot selection needs work, and he's undersized for a two-guard, but he's scrappy, hustles and can hit big shots. Thornton should be high on every team's list if the Kings elect to let him slide after adding Salmons and Jimmer.
19. Arron Afflalo, SG: A 26-year-old guard with great athleticism who shot 50 percent from the field last season coming off his rookie contract? Afflalo could be a steal if the Nuggets decide not to match for some reason. Odds are that he's headed back to Denver, though.
20. Samuel Dalembert, C: Dalembert played surprisingly well last season for Sacramento. But he's an aging center with injury questions who has never contributed much offensively. So why is he top-20? Seriously. NBA centers. Not good right now.
21. Carl Landry, PF: A below-average rebounder who learned to work well with Chris Paul (who doesn't) late last season. Landry didn't gather a huge contract last time he was in free agency and will probably not draw much this time. Still, he's a reliable power forward who's great defensively even if his defensive rebounding is a significant letdown.
22. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG: A combo guard's combo guard, Stuckey may have outstayed his welcome in Detroit, even in restricted free agency. Teams looking for quality guard play could definitely look to Stuckey who may have some improvement left in him at 25.
23. Kris Humphries, PF: The Incredible Hump is looking to cash in after averaging a double-double, finding himself in the Most Improved Player discussion and locking down a Kardashian last season. The Nets have expressed interest in David West but will be very motivated to retain Humphries if that chase doesn’t work out.
24. Shane Battier, SF: After taking part in a miracle run past the San Antonio Spurs, it would be heartbreaking to watch Battier and the Memphis Grizzlies part ways. At the same time, Battier has reached the “latch on with a contender as a very valuable role player” stage of his career. Would be a huge get for a team looking for an experienced, gritty wing defender.
25. Mario Chalmers, PG: Chalmers got buried behind Mike Bibby for no apparent reason by Heat coach Erik Spoelstra but, nevertheless, made a solid name for himself by being the most capable and consistent member of the Big 3 support staff. He enters free agency as a young talent with upside if given more minutes, but the Heat, without another point-guard option, will likely do what it takes to keep him.
26. Nick Young, SG: When given the opportunity after Gilbert Arenas was dealt, Young became quite the scorer, finishing up at better than 17 points per game. He was a bit trigger happy however and one has to wonder how he'd fit in a more traditional offense. He's not a go-to scorer but will make a nice bench option or even second or third starting scorer for someone. But that's the thing: He has to realize that.
27. Luc Mbah a Moute, SF: It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg for the Bucks to retain him. Even though the Stephen Jackson trade muddles up the available minutes on Milwaukee’s wings, a low-cost, quality defender is worth keeping around.
28. Jeff Foster, C: Life isn’t very complicated for Foster. He’s a lunch-pail worker who does the dirty work and not much else. He’s getting up there in years but always seems to find a niche. Indiana’s frontcourt is fairly shallow aside from Roy Hibbert, so if the Pacers strike out in their attempts to get bigger fish in free agency, Foster could be a good fallback option.
29. Jonas Jerebko, SF: A tough-minded wing who has been lost because of injury and the coach-killing mess left by his higher-profile teammates. President Joe Dumars is preaching a fresh start after Thursday’s draft, and it makes sense that Jerebko, a fresh-faced worker, would be a part of that.
30. Andrei Kirilenko, SF: The Utah Jazz are finally freed from one of the ugliest contracts in recent memory. Where will AK land and at what price? Very difficult to say. He’s a quirky guy who brings loads of versatility and should have some miles left. If a contender throws its mid-level at him, that could get real interesting.
31. Marco Belinelli, SG: The Hornets have concerns than Belinelli. Namely, David West. Belinelli's future is uncertain, although his shooting is a clear role player asset that should draw interest, if not big dollars.
32. Kwame Brown, C: The only other big man Charlotte has on its roster is DeSagana Diop, so if Brown leaves in free agency, there will be a gaping hole in the middle. That will be a sure sign that the Bobcats are truly committed to a full-scale rebuild. Once a punchline, Brown has emerged as a serviceable defender.
33. Greg Oden, C: One less knee surgery and Oden's probably a top 15 free agent on this list. Two less and he'd be top five. But then, that's another universe, and the reality is that Oden is too much of an injury risk to devote money to. For all the promise born in his frame, there's a desperately terrible injury to go with it. At some point there's only so much damage you can do before you're relegated to lemon status until you prove you can stay on the floor.
34. Marquis Daniels, G/F: Daniels wasn't a terrific player but a pretty good one. But he's coming back from a gruesome injury, and that's going to raise red flags.
35. DeShawn Stevenson, G/F: The only Maverick free agent not in the top 20. Stevenson did a fantastic job in the Finals, but the "Ariza effect" is something to be wary of. A strong playoff run does not make up for an overall career of questionable production. Still, Stevenson could be a value pick up for another team... or they could overspend dramatically, blinded by the shine of his championship ring.
36. Earl Clark, F: This one caused some consternation within the committee for where to put Clark. Athletic, low production, warned off in the draft, cast off by Phoenix, produced marginally for Orlando with some intriguing potential. But Clark is young, healthy and can be had for cheap. This is a value slot.
37. Tracy McGrady, F: McGrady actually wasn't bad last year for the Pistons. I mean, the Pistons were bad last year for the Pistons, but still. McGrady isn't going to be a difference-maker, but he can contribute some points, assists and rebounds every now and then to finish out his career. Provided he stays healthy. You can file that under "Famous last words."
38. Josh McRoberts, PF: McBob was surprisingly productive for the Pacers last season, and in a league where big men are overvalued, he'll find a spot.
39. Kenyon Martin, PF: There are dozens of reasons not to sign Martin. But if you need someone with experience to bring a metric ton of attitude to your team, Martin's as good a pickup as any. Remember when this guy was part of a Finals squad?
40. Yi Jianlian, PF: An unrealized offensive talent, Yi still seems like he should be every bit the player of an Andrea Bargnani. Yi's not a strong defender or rebounder, but at seven feet with touch to the 3-point line and just 23 years old, he's going to be worth a contract to see if he can sniff a little of that lottery potential.
Posted on: June 13, 2011 3:51 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 9:28 am
Posted by Royce Young
MIAMI -- That championship feeling won't wear off for a couple months, but eventually, the Dallas Mavericks will have to lace 'em back up and get ready to defend their title. (Hopefully sooner than later. I'm talking to you, lockout.)
The Mavericks completed a fairly improbable championship run, overcoming a serious injury to a starter, playing with just one real star and winning completely as a team, top to bottom. You don't see that much any more not just in the NBA, but professional sports.
But there will be a next season -- I think -- and the Mavs obviously are going to try and do it all over again. Winning once is great and validates a lot and redefines legacies all over the place, but it's not like they're all pulling a George Costanza and throwing their hands up to say, "That's it! I'm outta here!"
So what kind of offseason things will the Mavs be dealing with? Five questions for the champs.
1. What to do with Tyson Chandler?
Clearly, the Mavs want him back. Problem is, he may have played a little too good. No doubt Dirk was the Finals MVP, but if you told me to pick someone other than him I wouldn't have gone with Jason Terry. I would've said Chandler. Nobody impacted the series more than him in those six games, Dirk included.
The Hornets dealt with this exact same issues as Chandler put together some great numbers playing with Chris Paul, but Chandler's contract came back to bite them because it was too long and for too much. He made $12.6 million this past year and at just 28, he should have some good years left.
But he has been prone to injury and at 7 feet, that's not good. He has played 10 seasons already and 662 games. It would be a pretty scary endeavor for Dallas to extend him long-term for a big amount. But he earned a new paycheck and it's impossible to deny how important he was to the Mavs winning a trophy. Dallas wants him back, but it's about whether or not the numbers line up.
2. What to do with Caron Butler?
Remember him? The Mavs' No. 2 scorer and second or third best player? How many other teams could have survived losing their second or third option and still won an NBA title? We'll go with "not many."
Butler worked his butt off to try and get back to play in the postseason, but after having major knee surgery in January, that was just impossible. But he'll be 100 percent again next year and despite concern over the knee, he'll likely return to form. Question is, does Dallas want him back?
He's expiring this summer and is a $10 million a year player. The free agent market this summer is a bit thin but if the Mavs have visions of Dwight Howard, Deron Williams or maybe Chris Paul in 2012, locking up Butler and/or Chandler for multiple years will have major consequences in getting a big deal done like that in the future.
3. Do they need to get a little younger?
Everyone knows the Mavs are old. Jason Kidd is 58. Dirk is something like 52. Ballpark figures, of course (38 for Kidd and 33 on June 19 for Dirk are the actual numbers). They only have a couple of young players (Roddy Beaubois, J.J. Barea, Dominique Jones, Ian Mahinmi, Brian Cardinal -- just making sure you were listening on that last one). Pretty much every key player on the roster is in their late 20s or 30s.
But this isn't a franchise that operates on a long-term sustainability mindset anymore. They've already had their long-term sustainability and it finally paid off. They've won at least 50 games for 10 straight seasons and now have a championship. At some point the Mavs will have to start over, but not now. They have a few good years left with Dirk, Jason Terry can still play and Rick Carlisle is a wonderful coach. Cuban will spend big when he has to, but for now, they can stay as old as they want because it didn't hurt them a bit this year.
4. Where can they improve?
It's always a funny thing to ask after a team wins a title because if this roster was good enough to win it all once, why can't they do it again? But the reality is 29 other teams will spend a summer trying to get better -- or 28, depending on your view of the Timberwolves -- so Dallas can't stand pat and hope Dirk is unreal again next year.
The Mavs need to lock up J.J. Barea and keep him as part of the core. But they could get better at shooting guard for sure. Jason Terry sees the bulk of those minutes and DeShawn Stevenson played his role well, but the vision is Beaubois in that spot. Either he gets it together, or the Mavs find a replacement.
Shawn Marion was wonderful in the postseason, but that may have been a last hurrah. A little more depth behind him at small forward is definitely something the Mavs should look at.
5. Can they repeat?
Can they? Absolutely. When you have a Nowitzki, you are a threat in every single situation.
But let's face it -- a lot went right for the Mavs in these playoffs. They got hot at the right times, got huge unexpected efforts from Peja Stojakovic, Shawn Marion, J.J. Barea and even Ian Mahinmi at one point. Brendan Hawyood hit free throws. They had games where they hit 75 3s (again, slight exaggeration -- that would be a record of some note).
They were the best team, no doubt, but it would be a lot to ask to have another perfect postseason next year. The Mavs will be very good again next year because they always are. Are they contenders? For sure. But I wouldn't put them as a favorite or anything. Which is probably just how they like it.
Posted on: June 4, 2011 5:07 pm
Edited on: June 4, 2011 5:08 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Most have been saying this NBA Finals is really the Mavs last good chance to win it all, at least in the Dirk Nowitzki era. And while yes, the Mavericks are an aging team, it's looking like most of the core will return intact for another run next season.
According to ESPN Dallas, the Mavs are looking at bringing back free agents Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler. The only other free agents on the roster are Peja Stojakovic, DeShawn Stevenson and Brian Cardinal. It seems unlikely Peja and Cardinal will be retained, but Stevenson could be an interesting situation, especially since he's made quality contributions for Dallas in the postseason.
But with Jason Kidd saying recently that he doesn't plan on retiring, the Mavs will have pretty much this same group back, plus Butler who has missed a large portion of the season and the entire playoffs after knee surgery. Yes, Dirk will be a year older, Kidd almost 40 and a lot of other players are there in age. But what's another year or two when you can still play? Age never affected the Mavs this season, so I don't think it's that big a deal.
There isn't a prime free agent crop this summer to stalk either and with the lockout situation looming, the Mavs might just stand pat. Especially because 2012 will have some interesting names up like Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams.
So that will definitely be a consideration as the Mavs look at how long-term they want to commit to those guys. Signing Chandler or Butler to a major deal could potentially hurt the chances of having the flexibility to pursue a big name in 2012. But Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban obviously already know that.
Posted on: May 10, 2011 6:57 pm
Edited on: May 10, 2011 7:07 pm
Posted by Royce Young
There's no surprise here, but Andrew Bynum is suspended for next year's first five games and has also been docked $25,000 for his vicious foul on J.J. Barea at the end of Game 4 against Dallas.
The suspension is for the foul, the fine is for removing his jersey before he exited the floor. The league deemed it "unnecessary and excessive contact."
Of course the suspension takes effect next season because Bynum's team has been eliminated. It's yet to be seen if Bynum will actually serve it to start the season since, you know, he's always hurt at the start of the season.
Bynum apologized for the foul today saying it wasn't a reflection on him or his upbringing. No doubt it was an awful play and the league is hitting him with a pretty harsh penalty. For a similar foul on Michael Beasley during the regular season, Bynum was hit with just a one-game suspension. The circumstances here though were much different.
In most cases, non-fighting penalties are no more than two games. But probably because Bynum is a repeat offender and because the foul was some completely ridiculous.
Five games is a pretty hefty suspension and I think it sends a pretty strong message. The league didn't like the cheap shot and Bynum will pay for it. Total, Bynum's suspension and fine will cost him $677,272. I wonder if it was worth it?