Posted on: December 1, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 10:36 am
By Matt Moore
Here we are, once again. A small market team reportedly held hostage by their franchise player All-Star and his desire to be traded to the specific team he wants, or else he'll simply depart the home team in free agency, leaving them with nothing. Carmelo Anthony hijacked Denver's season last year, and now Chris Paul is reportedly in a position to do the same to New Orleans. Except when Anthony applied extortion to get his way to Broadway, the Knicks actually had assets to trade to Denver, including Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, and Raymond Felton (who eventually became Andre Miller and a pick).
The Knicks now? Not so much.
The Hornets face an impossible position shold they elect to trade Paul. The teams that have the kind of assets to make the trade worth it if Paul elects to state he will only sign with the Knicks (which as Ken Berger notes, he has not done yet) have the kind of market cache to not need to make such a desperate move, or have no shot at a championship and therefore no reason to risk it all.
A team with young players and picks won't waste them to rent Chris Paul for a season, only to watch him walk out the door. After all, there's only one New Jersey Nets out there. (Kidding, Nets fans! D-Will says you're still under consideration!) And teams with superstar talent like Boston or Los Angeles don't have to gamble to win a title. They can just wait on the next superstar available (or just go after Dwight Howard).
So as it stands, the Hornets have no alternative. They'll just have to take whatever the Knicks are offering. There's talk of just letting Paul walk to avoid the embarrassment of taking on the Knicks' garbage heap, but that's nonsense. You don't accept a loss when you can have a gain. Chauncey Billups and Toney Douglas and a pick in 2045 is better than nothing at all.
But... there is another option. It's outside the box. You're going to think I'm nuts. And I'm not prone to posting about trade ideas. There's another site with a trade machine. You can fill your day with moving every player in the league. Everyone partakes from time to time. But this concept? It's the best possible move for both teams.
Orlando needs to trade for Chris Paul.
Hear me out before you close this browser as fast as humanly possible.
The Magic have every reason to trade for Chris Paul without the promise of an extension. With no consideration of the extension, there's nothing to hold up a deal. The Magic are facing the same cliff the Hornets are, staring down the barrell of Dwight Howard's big-market shotgun. They are burdened with pieces which hold no value once Howard is traded. If Howard leaves, they will wind up with a huge amount of salary and no superstar, a terrible team with a supporting structure holding up nothing. They have two options. Win a championship this year or give up and trade Howard for nothing now. Even a move for Andrew Bogut as Berger has said will be discussed won't keep them in title contention. That's what Howard means to a team. That's what an MVP candidate means.
So the only thing left, as the movie quote goes, is to win the whole friggin' thing. (OK, that's not the line, but it's a family site.)
The Magic would trade some combination of Brandon Bass, J.J. Redick, Ryan Anderson, Daniel Orton, and Jameer Nelson to the Hornets for Paul, along with a first-round pick in 2012. That's right. The Magic could lose both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul for 2013 and have no first-round pick. Disastrous-sounding, I know. Here's why they do the deal.
Here's the best case scenario. Howard and Paul,playing with another star, the best at their position, along with the supporting pieces in Orlando which would still be better than what the Knicks are likely to trot out onto the court (I'd like to remind you that Jared Jeffries started at center in the playoffs for the Knicks), would likely have the best seasons of their careers if healthy. Versus the trio in Miami or the duet in New York, Howard and Paul are a combination of players who actually mesh together. The best pick and roll center in the league with the best pick and roll point guard. A hyper-efficient perimeter shooter with a center who draws doubles every time on the block. A ball-hawking point guard who can create steals and the best defensive presence in the league. It may not be better than Miami or L.A., but it would be a force to be reckoned with. One season to make a run at the title.
This is the reality of the new NBA. If you want to win a title as a small-market, you have to find lightning in a bottle. Maybe there's no way to even that gap thanks to the inherent draws of bigger markets with more flashbulbs, television appearances, parties and endorsement offers. But if you don't have a once-in-his-lifetime talent and get absurdly lucky along the way, this is your best shot. Mortgage everything on one season.
If it works, and the Magic take home the title, the Paul and Howard will have gone through the transformitive process of winning a title together. Fans in Orlando will worship them. Howard will have done what Shaq never has. And they'll be staring at the possibility of not playing together next year. Even if that's not enough to get them to stay, it'll make them think twice. It's Orlando's best shot. There can be no more "really, Dwight, we'll get it right next time" with Howard. His patience has run out. If they don't win the title, there's no chance he returns. There's little chance even if they do, but it's their best shot, and if they win the title, they get that forever. You can't take that title away from the fans, away from the franchise, away from the team.
And if it doesn't work, if they don't win the title? That's over $34 million in cap space expiring for Orlando. Along with the amnesty of Gilbert Arenas, that's $54 million. That's nearly the NBA salary cap they would be gaining in cap space. The typical response to that is "what does it matter, no one will sign there." From that point on, the objective is not to bring in free agents, it's to rebuild through the draft. That 2012 pick missing is a problem? Not really, because Paul and Howard could give 50 percent effort (something they would never do) and still win 40 games, even in the East. The Magic won't have a lottery pick regardless. Which means the pick holds no value to them, but quite a bit to New Orleans. The Magic would be in premium position to tank in 2013, then rebuild through the draft. It's not appealing. You know what's less appealing? Trying to rebuild with Andrew Bynum's decision making, knees, contract, and nothing else. The key when your title run is over is to start over as completely as possible, as quickly as possible. This plan lets them out.
But what about New Orleans? Jameer Nelson, with $15.6 million remaining over two years? Brandon Bass with $8 million? J.J. Redick with over $12 million? What's the upside for them, along with a pick that won't be good? For starters, it's better than what they'll get from New York. It lets them avoid being bullied by the Knicks for nothing. And it's not about what those players give the Hornets, it's what they bring individually on the market. A team in need of a power forward who can score? Bass is a great pickup for a cheap draft pick and an expiring. Teams in desperate need of a shooter? J.J. Redick. Starting point guard gone down with an injury? Call up the Hornets. Jameer Nelson is on the block. It's a flip project. You don't get the pieces to start over, you get the pieces you can use to get the pieces to start over. It's the best way to do exactly the same thing the Magic would be doing. Tanking to start over and hopefully get that All-Star Hall of Famer who doesn't adore the bright lights.
This lets them both out of the pain, it gets the gun off of them. It gives them the dignity. Orlando gets to contend for one more year, the Hornets get to start moving forward now. The Magic go all-in, the Hornets fold and save their chips for a time when the flop doesn't come down so wretched.
Big markets are squeezing the talent out of small markets. But those small markets get to decide how it goes down.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:11 pm
Posted by Royce Young
All summer long, we've seen players try and stay in shape for an upcoming NBA season. With the lockout's uncertainty, players played in pickup games, flag football games, charity games or overseas games. Or they just tweeted about how they were working out.
But all those videos are all glamor. All dunks and alley-oops. What about the fundamentals? What about the little things? That's what J.J. Redick is freshening up to.
Stan Van Gundy probably needed a cigarette after watching that. Chest passes AND bounce passes? Woo-wee.
Redick is ready for the season. And if everyone else's summer workout vidoes are any indication, while J.J.'s dropping layups and fundamental thumbs-out chest passes, the rest of the league will be a step behind with just their dunking and 3-pointers.
Posted on: June 7, 2011 12:10 am
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick underwent successful sports hernia surgery. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick averaged a career-high 10.1 points per game this season, but he missed more than twenty games during the regular season and was off of his form during the team's first round playoff series loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Orlando Sentinel reports on Monday night that Redick's injury-plagued 2011 and statistical dip in the posteason can be attributed to the fact that he was suffering from a sports hernia, which recently required surgery.
Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick recently underwent successful surgery for a sports hernia injury, a Magic spokesman confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel Monday night.Recovery timelines following sports hernia surgeries can vary a lot, depending on the surgical procedure. One Atlanta-based surgeon puts a typical recovery timeline following sports hernia surgery at 4-6 weeks. In other words, it's likely that Redick should be ready to go for the start of the 2011-2012 NBA season, whenever that happens.
Posted on: April 18, 2011 12:16 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 4:16 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Posted on: April 17, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 6:02 pm
Posted by EOB Staff
Continuing updates throughout the day on playoff miscelanea.
Posted on: April 16, 2011 12:51 pm
Edited on: April 16, 2011 10:40 pm
Posted by EOB Staff
Continuing updates throughout the day on playoff miscelanea.
Update 10:35 p.m. EST: Here's your nightly roundup of all our CBSSports.com Eye On Basketball coverage.
Update 9:26 p.m. EST: Liberty Baller with an interesting note. The Sixers had a lot more attempts at rim than the Heat did in Game 1. Something to watch going forward. Some of those are accounted for by fouls drawn by the Heat. But there's still a gap there, considering the slasher talent the Heat have.
Update 9:18 p.m.: With 10 minutes left to go in the 4th, Dwight Howard picked up his fifth foul (3 fouls in the 3rd quarter). Stan Van Gundy has left him in, with the Magic down 12. Risky move by the Magic coach.
Update 8:47 p.m: Dwight Howard had 31 points in the first half. And the Magic are down 11 in the second half.
Update 6:36 p.m.: It took over 10 minutes for any other Magic player to score outside of Dwight Howard. The big guy had the Magic's first 12 points before Hedo Turkoglu hit a free throw. Despite all that, the Magic are only down two to the Hawks inside of a minute.
Update 6:24 p.m.: Danny Granger compared Derrick Rose to a "crazy, stalker ex-girlfriend." No, really.
Update 5:22 p.m.: The Sixers had a great start, but as the game has worn on, the Big 3 for Miami have just pounded the hammer on them, and the Pacers are grinding down. Jrue Holiday has played well, but the defensive matchups are starting to overwhelm them. If we're not providing upsets, it's because we've fallen asleep. Sixers looking a bit overmatched right now.
Update 4:50 p.m.: Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and a block, told the Indianapolis Star after the game: "There's no way they’re going to sweep us." That's the perfect attitude for the Pacers to possess, given that there's no pressure or expectations for them to do anything. There's nothing to lose.
Update 3:53 p.m.: Rose takes over down the stretch and finishes off the Pacers with an assist to a wide-open Korver and a great job of getting to the line. Question is, will that be the backbreaker for the Pacers or give them confidence? Have to think they have to wonder what more they could have done. Great win for the Bulls, heartbreaker for the Pacers, but the Bulls have some work to do on both ends. More analysis coming soon on CBSSports.com
Update 3:26 p.m.: Coach Rick Carlisle told reporters that Rodrigue Beaubois will miss Game 1 vs. the Blazers. That just makes the Mavericks even more thin on the perimeter where the Blazers already have the advantage. He hasn't been great since returning from injury, but it's just one more thing going against Dallas right now.
Update 3:17 p.m.: New Orleans coach Monty Williams describes Kobe in terms of what other players don't have, the dagger mentality.
Update 3:04 p.m.: Tyler Hansbrough got an elbow from Kurt Thomas and went down hard. Hansbrough missed almost the entirety of his rookie season with vertigo. The Pacers checked his equilibrium and he's expected to return via ESPN TV. Bulls starting to chip away at the lead. Here's video of the hit and the scary fallout.
Update 2:47 p.m. Lionel Hollins believes Manu Ginobili will play in Game 1 vs. Memphis.
Update 2:42 p.m.: So much for that idea, as the Pacers score 12 in the first six minutes of the third, and now lead by 12 with 6:04 to go. Danny Granger has responded from a terrible first half and Darren Collison continues to light up Rose.
Update 2:30 p.m.: Both teams grabbed over 40% of all available offensive rebounds. Hibbert was big the first eight minutes, then vanished. IF he doesn't have a big second half, Pacers will run out of steam. We're calling 25-13 third quarter advantage Bulls.
Update 2:18 p.m.: Pacers... lead at the half? Collison with 15, Hibbert with 10, A.J. Price with 6. Derrick Rose is getting anything he wants in terms of perimeter transition. Pacers are trying to outgun the Bulls which you can't believe will work. Boozer with three fouls early.
Update 2:06 p.m.: Shaq is out versus the Knicks. Glen Davis and Jermaine O'Neal better have huge games.
Bulls making a run, have cut the lead to 4 within 2 minutes to go in the half.
Update 12:55 p.m.: Derrick Rose can get to the rim whenever he wants. So can the Pacers point guards. Rose has 13 and 2 assists, Pacers point guards 17 and 2 assists. Here's video as Rose blocks a shot and goes coast to coast, dropping a sick 360 spin in traffic before finishing the lay-up.
Update 1:30 p.m. After one, the Pacers... lead the Bulls? Darren Collison has 10 points despite Rose's spectacular plays. Roy Hibbert is owning the offensive glass, but Carlos Boozer is getting some work done. Not much ball movement from Chicago.
Original post 12:30 p.m. The NBA has opened up a new stats tool which is pretty significant, called StatsCube. So we'll be peppering you with information from that all day. Here's a start. The Pacers actually shoot 10% better with Rose on the floor versus off. But then, they are also outscored by 8 points more per 48 minutes when Rose is on the floor.
The Orlando Sentinel reports J.J. Redick reports no pain and is good to go versus the Hawks Saturday night. Redick's role in this series isn't important. He can't check Joe Johnson, and won't run point. Though him versus Kirk Hinrich could be really good and that's not a joke. Redick's rust will be something to watch. The Magic need shooters. That make them. As opposed to Gilbert Arenas, who's a shooter that doesn't.
Pacers bloggers are not exactly confident going into this series. Not that they should be, but it shows the difference between the NBA and other sports. Fans don't have hope in the first round when they're overmatched.
Another nice touch, the Bulls shoot 12% worse when Roy Hibbert is in, but don't lose much in rebounding.
Posted on: March 23, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 2:37 pm
Jimmer Fredette has lit up the college basketball world all the way to the Sweet 16. But what do his pro prospects look like?
Posted by Matt Moore
Jimmer Fredette was easily the most recognizable player coming into the NCAA Tournament this year, and remains the most prolific player in the Sweet 16. He's the type of player who brings people's imaginations out to play. They're captivated by what he does. And what he does is score. As long as you have an incredible scoring ability at the college level, people will proclaim your greatness and defend you from the scrutiny of draft evaluations. Take for example, some of the comments from Ken Berger's latest discussion with NBA personnel on the BYU senior:
"The old saying is that hopefully you can teach people to defend at least to a certain point," one Eastern Conference GM said. "But you can't teach the offensive skill set that he has."
Or, as another GM put it:
"You start talking about elite shooters, which he's proven himself to be, how many of those guys have come into this league as elite shooters and failed? Not many."
It's really great to see NBA executives willing to take a chance on a player based on the results he's shown in college, not based on upside or potential or athleticism or defense or explosiveness or ability to guard any competent NBA player for a single possession.
You see where I'm going with this, right?
Have the GM's learned nothing from Adam Morrison? Has the long and prolific history of draft busts who were awesome at shooting in college but had questionable athleticism, size, and defensive prowess completely whipped past their heads on the way to Jersey Sale Island? Fredette, as Berger repeatedly mentions, is terrific at creating off-balance shots from either foot. Which will be really helpful when he's getting swallowed alive by guards with more wingspan than three Jimmers put together with an Ammo. He really is a brilliant college scorer. But that's just it. The NBA isn't college. The game's rules and objectives may be the same, but how they operate is completely different.
For starters, offensively, Jimmer's basically looking at a Kyle Korver type role. A spot-up shooter only, since his speed, leaping ability, and size will ensure that any mid-range floaters, leaners, or runners will wind up getting eclipsed by the long arms he'll find at the pro-level. Korver can't defend either, after all, and he really just needs to stick to the perimeter. But Korver's 6-7. He's got five inches and a bulkier frame on Fredette, which limits teams' ability to drive him into the post and abuse him. Fredette would have to play point guard due to his height, and from there, he's looking at guarding either the fastest players in the league at a time when the ability at that position is at an all-time high, or getting put into the post against players like Deron Williams who will bruise him into a pulp.
The other obvious comparison for Fredette is J.J. Redick, as we mentioned. Redick was a pure shooter coming out of Duke and many questioned his ability to play in the NBA. But Redick spent two years bulking up on muscle and focusing on defense. Now he's one of the better defenders on the perimeter Orlando has and arguably the best defender of Ray Allen in the league, thanks to a near-pathological drive to bust through repeated screens by the Celtics. Can Fredette copy that model? Tom Ziller of SBNation.com pointed out in January that Redick is stronger and bigger than Jimmer. In short: whatever limitations can be mitigated in regards to Jimmer's size are emboldened by his physical abilities and whatever shortfalls can be mitigated in regards to his abilities eventually overwhelm his stock due to his lack of size.
But hey, lots of players can't play defense in this league. Many of them will be teammates for Fredette when he lands on a lottery squad. So what's the big deal on that front? The issue is that you have to find an offensive repertoire you can rely on to create open looks. Fredette's best option when faced with a capable defense at BYU is to simply step back and shoot from longer range. The first time Fredette launches a 40-foot J in the NBA will be the last time a teammate passes to him. Maybe he can adopt the leaning shots that Manu Ginobili routinely drains over more athletic opponents. Except Ginobili is four inches taller than Fredette and his speed is good enough to create havoc against a defense, even if he's not explosive like C-4.
In reality, there's no real comparison to Fredette in the NBA, and that's a bad thing. It's one thing to have no comparable set of athletic talent because you're so superior in that regard. After all, there was no one to compare LeBron James to when he entered the league at 18, either. But with Fredette, it's difficult to find a comparison because most players of that mold have not lasted long enough to succeed.
This isn't to say Fredette has no shot. There are always exceptions, and those are often times some of the greatest players. (One colleague suggested Larry Bird to me this week. After I was through cackling my way into choking on a sandwich, I pointed out that Bird was about as brutally big and tough as a forward comes and that Bird was 6-9, for crying out loud.) And as Berger notes, he could be a fine bench option. But who uses their first-round draft pick north of the 20th overall to draft a 15-minutes-per-game pure shooter who you can't leave in if you need stops? No one drafts for reasonable value in the NBA, everyone tries to get that special player that's fallen to your spot. Ironically, it's that same idea that will draw GMs to draft Fredette, thinking he has something special to offer, based off how special he's been in college (and he is a wonder at that level).
But before they do, they should check and see the measurements Fredette provides in his pre-draft workouts. Check his vertical leap, his shuttle time, his 40-time, his standing reach. See how they measure up not only against the more athletic members of his class, but against the players who have tried, and failed, before him to bring the pure skill game of college to the sharp and brutal athletic gauntlet of the NBA. Someone will be brave enough to take Jimmer high in the first round. In this instance however, fortune may not favor the bold
Posted on: January 17, 2011 11:56 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2011 12:01 am
Celtics' Big 3 take over down the stretch, as the Celtics regain the upper hand. Question is, is there a respect gap between Boston and Orlando?
Posted by Matt Moore
Welcome back, Kevin Garnett. And welcome back, playoff atmosphere, TD Northbank Garden. And welcome back, Celtics closing out big games. After the Celtcs blew a sizeable lead on Christmas to the Magic, they turned the tables on Orlando Monday night, with Kevin Garnett at the center of it all. Garnett snatched a huge steal to seize the game, throwing the outlet to Ray Allen who managed to run off several seconds before being fouled with the C's up 3. Celtics defeat Magic, 109-106 .
But Garnett's play was so much more than that in his return. And it was more than the 19 points and 8 rebounds he put in on the stat sheet. The defensive energy picked up as Garnett started barking orders, and the Big 3 looked very much like the components who ripped through the Eastern Conference last year with Rondo also doing his part. But it was the Big 3 who sealed this. Pierce with a combination of his patented pump-fake to draw the foul and his patented corner jumper set the Celtics up for their three-point advantage, but it was Ray Allen constantly nailing tough jumpers off multiple screens which allowed the Celtics to match Orlando three-for-three. Then Garnett with the steal, and that's your game.
So the question you're left with, after all the history between these two teams, and with the season series knotted at 1-1 is this: Does Boston respect Orlando? And the feeling you get is no. Not at all. Not even now.
Kevin Garnett was his usual bullying, screaming, spitting self, and at one point he and Dwight Howard had a staredown of sorts which epitomized the two players. Garnett mouthing and snapping like a guard dog, staring down Howard. Howard laughing and confused at what Garnett was doing. In the end, Howard walked away, which you'd criticize him for, if it weren't for his technical foul situation and the need for him to stay in the game. But it was very much a study in contrast of personality, if not character. Garnett not only refuses to back down to anyone, but constantly chests into everyone. He'll start a confrontation with anyone (the question of him ending said conflicts is another, more complicated issue that involves a lot of "hands up, walk away" behavior). Howard on the other hand, is smiling, pleasant, still the laughing man-child, even as his status as a franchise leader requires more out of him. And perhaps for that, along with the equally complicated issue of how the officials treat both teams, Boston continues to appear to take Orlando as a second-rate squad.
For all the success, Orlando's had, Boston holds this attitude still. After the Magic were eliminated from the Finals in 2009, Paul Pierce referred to the Magic as "poodles." This after Orlando had eliminated the Celtics in seven games without the services of Kevin Garnett, which allowed both the teams and the fans to dismiss the win entirely. This despite the Magic also having considerable regular season success against the Celtics as well, and eliminating the Celtics on their home floor in a Game 7. But the fact they needed seven games spoke loudly to many. That attitude was furthered when Boston easily dispatched Orlando in the 2010 playoffs. So the two have quite a bit of history, even with all the changes to both teams, and yet there is still an attitude gap with Boston.
But that could be more about the Celtics in general than the Magic specifically. There's a begrudging respect for the Lakers after being defeated by them last spring. But the Celtics rely on their brash, overtly physical, cocky attitude to take over games mentally. To surrender that attitude with any measure of respect would decrease their edge.
So what will it take for Orlando to win Boston's respect? No amount of regular season wins, or close losses, will do it. They have to topple them in the playoffs, with the Celtics at full-strength. And with Kendrick Perkins close to returning, Delonte West back soon after that, and the C's still capable of that extra gear that blasted them through the entire East last year, it's hard to see Orlando hitting that gear. Respect has to be earned, and the Magic need so much to go right in order for them to do just that.
Some final game notes: