Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Kevin Martin
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:30 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:40 pm
 

Report: Rockets pursuing trade for Kaman

The Rockets are reportedly pursuing Chris Kaman in a trade. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

Chris Kaman is apparently a thing, now. 

The one-time All-Star traded from L.A. to the Hornets has been benched for the time being while the team attempts to trade him. There were talks that Kaman could be bought out, but a report from Sports Illustrated indicates that it may not get that far, because the Rockets are hot to trot for him. From SI.com:  
While no deal is imminent and the pieces are still being discussed, sources said the talks have involved the Rockets' two top-10 picks from the 2009 draft -- center Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2 by Memphis) and power forward Jordan Hill (No. 8 by New York). The Rockets have other young former first-rounders who could be included as well, among them second-year forward Patrick Patterson, third-year point guard Jonny Flynn and third-year small forward Terrence Williams. They also have a 2012 first-round pick from the Knicks that the Hornets would love to obtain.
via Houston Rockets discuss acquiring Chris Kaman from Hornets - Sam Amick - SI.com.

This comes after another SI report indicated that the Sixers are out of the running for Kaman, prefering to hold on to their valuable assets despite short-term injuries to both of their centers, Nikola Vucevic and Spencer Hawes.  

For the Rockets, a simple question.

Why?

This is a team badly in need of a star player. They need a quality starting scorer, a franchise player, someone to take them from the "borderline 8th seed, one-and-done at best" mediocrity they've settled into and towards a future of contention.

Chris Kaman is pretty much the opposite of that.

It's certainly true that Thabeet is nothing to give up for Kaman. But Jordan Hill is posting a 19 percent-plus rebound rate, playing pretty solid defense for a third year guy, and shooting over 50 percent. Is he a good basketball player, yet? No, but he's more than acceptable, and has room to grow. Better still, he's a movable contract. Why would the Rockets send out a quality young player and a draft pick they can move later for a  29-year-old on an expiring contract? Kaman is a quality center when healthy, but he's not something to build around. But if the Rockets really want to make a run this season with Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, and Luis Scola, sure, Kaman's as good a center as any, even if the have Samuel Dalembert

It's also possible the Rockets are clearing cap space for the summer. The question then is who they're targeting if not in trade.

All around, a confusing situation surrounding Kaman.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:34 am
Edited on: December 18, 2011 11:27 am
 

Report: Rockets dispute Stern over dead CP3 deal

Posted by Royce Young

It's been more than a week since David Stern's office vetoed a trade sending Chris Paul to the Lakers for "basketball reasons." In that time, a deal got done sending Paul to the Clippers, Stern denied all the allegations and criticisms blaming source-mongering journalists and the expectation was everything would go away. We'd all move on.

For the most part, people have. We're all excited to see CP3 lobbing to Blake Griffin, all excited to see how or if the Clippers can challenge the Lakers in Los Angeles and excited to see if the balance of power just shifted in the Western Conference.

But there are people that haven't moved on. Most notably the Houston Rockets.

Lost in the original CP3 mess was that the Rockets came up as major losers. The Lakers didn't get their man, Stern's reputation took a hit and the Dell Demps and the Hornets had to restructure a deal to get more youth. But no big deal, all that stuff can be fixed. The Rockets though, were left empty-handed after thinking they were about to land one of the elite power forwards in all of basketball.

And they haven't forgotten. Not just because the trade didn't work out for them, but because they feel that Stern has sort of spit in their face with his damage control of the situation. Via the Houston Chronicle:

Stern said in a media conference call last week that he was only "generally informed about the discussions with teams."

He emphasized that Demps never thought the deal to be complete and that his decision as final say on the move was not unlike the customary role of owners during trade negotiations.

But according to two individuals with knowledge of the talks, Demps had assured Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak throughout the day that Stern and other NBA officials had been given all the details of the deal and had signed off on it.

"He said that David was briefed and that it was a done deal," one of the individuals with knowledge of the talks said. "He (Demps) said multiple times that he briefed both of his local officials, (Hornets president) Hugh Webber and (Hornets chairman) Jac Sperling, and they and Dell at regular intervals were updating (NBA vice presidents) Stu Jackson and Joel Litvin and that they told David himself throughout the day. Also, Hugh and Jac, who were updating the league office, understood it to be a deal."

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was asked about the situation Saturday and declined comment based on the advice of legal counsel. So that's not a good thing. The whole organization is ticked, especially owner Leslie Alexander.

But Morey and Alexander were livid about Stern's action, according to the person with knowledge of the discussions that day and since. Alexander had tried to speak directly with Stern after the deal was originally nixed and again as Morey, Demps and Kupchak tried to rebuild the deal, but did not get a returned call until after the Lakers had pulled out of the discussions.

By then, the person said, Alexander had no interest in speaking with Stern and has declined to speak with him since.

[...]

"You (Alexander) can say he was very angry," the person, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. "He was on the phone with Daryl too many times that day to count. When the deal finally got done, he got a call from Daryl saying the deal was done. Afterwards, the commissioner said he didn't think the deal was done. It was amazing. Daryl is extremely efficient and does things the proper way. (Lakers owner) Jerry Buss has been in the league 30 years and has made countless deals and thought the deal was done. Mitch Kupchak thought the deal was done. There was no question in his (Alexander's) and Daryl's minds the deal was done."
Stern maintained on a conference call after the Clipper trade went through that the deal was never done, but was just something in the talking phase. Which obviously someone in the Rockets' organization sees as a complete lie.

This story isn't over. It's not going to go away quite yet. It would, except the Rockets feel like they got screwed, which they did. And they're going to try and make sure everyone hears about it.
Posted on: December 11, 2011 12:01 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 2:03 am
 

Lakers nix Chris Paul trade; to ship Odom to Mavs

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-bryant-chris-paul

The Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers trade proposal has blown up.

After three days of negotiations that reportedly included two potential 3-team trade frameworks that would have sent the New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard to the Lakers, word on Saturday night is that Los Angeles has abandoned those talks to head in a different direction.

ESPN.com and DraftExpress.com both reported that the Lakers have pulled out of the 3-team discussions, which also included the Houston Rockets. ESPN.com further reported that the Lakers will trade forward Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks, who earlier received a large trade exception in return for trading center Tyson Chandler to the New York Knicks, in exchange for "unspecified draft considerations." The Dallas Morning News later reported that the pick will be top-20 protected with the Mavericks having six years to decide when to turn it over to the Lakers.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms that the Lakers are "out of the Chris Paul talks and will trade Lamar Odom to Dallas into exception created by Tyson Chandler." Odom's 2011-2012 salary of $8.9 million easily fits into the 8-figure trade exception created by Chandler's departure.

If the Lakers really do move Odom, a key rotation member and solid value, simply to acquire a trade exception and picks, then all signs point to this being a set-up move prior to pursuing another trade, perhaps one including Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, a long-time rumored Lakers target. On Friday, Berger reported that the Magic had given Howard's agent permission to speak with the Lakers.

Another possible explanation for the trade: Odom's state of mind. After being involed in the Paul trade rumors, Odom did not attend Lakers training camp on Friday, instead meeting with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and then departing the team's practice facility, according to the Los Angeles Times

"To me, I would think it's better to stay away," Odom told the paper. "You know, the energy and all. I don't know how it's going to go right now. It's a little weird."

The Lakers' decision to give up their pursuit of Paul comes two days after NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in to veto one 3-team trade proposal and hours after reports indicated that the teams had submitted another proposal for his approval. It also comes hours after Berger reported that a "framework of revamped trade agreement" had been reached among the parties, one that was "pending approval of the commissioner."

Saturday's offer would have seen the Houston Rockets send Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and a draft pick to New Orleans, as they had in Thursday's original offer, but would have included further deal tweaks will occur between the Lakers and Hornets. The original proposal also had the Lakers sending All-Star big man Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Odom to the Hornets. 

The New York Times reported on Friday that the league urged the Hornets to get a "better, younger package" in exchange for Paul to ensure long-term success for the struggling franchise after Stern nixed the original move in his role as overseer of the league-owned Hornets. The NBA initially said the trade had been vetoed for "basketball reasons" and issued a full statement on Friday morning.

"We decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade," Stern's statement read.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent a letter to Stern that called the proposed trade a "travesty" while players criticized Stern for stepping in to block the trade.
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 5:09 pm
 

New Chris Paul to Lakers trade submitted to NBA

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-bryant-chris-paul

Update 5:05 p.m.: Yahoo Sports reports that in the revised trade, Houston will be sending more young players to New Orleans. This is going to get tight with the money and for Houston post-trade. 

--

Take two!

Two days after NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in to veto a 3-team trade that would have sent New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers, the three sides have reportedly sent in a new proposal to the league office for consideration.

ESPN.com reports that the Hornets, Lakers and Houston Rockets have crafted a new deal for Stern to consider, although the full details are not yet immediately known. Yahoo Sports reports that the Houston Rockets would send Kevin Martin, Luis Scola and a draft pick to New Orleans, as they had in the original offer, but that deal tweaks will occur between the Lakers and Hornets. The original proposal had the Lakers sending forward Lamar Odom to the Hornets and All-Star big man Pau Gasol to the Rockets.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms that a "framework of revamped trade agreement" has been reached among the parties and that it is now "pending approval of the commissioner." Berger reports that the Rockets' role in the trade is "virtually unchanged," with Houston receiving Gasol in exchange for the package going to New Orleans. He also confirms that the deal tweaks will come between Los Angeles and New Orleans.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the league urged the Hornets to get a "better, younger package" in exchange for Paul to ensure long-term success for the struggling franchise. 

Talks then resumed, with Berger reporting late Friday night that the three sides continued to work into the night, with sources saying that the deal "still had a chance."

Those talks picked up where earlier talks had left off, as the three sides had reportedly agreed to a framework earlier on Thursday before word broke that Stern killed the deal in his role as overseer of the league-owned Hornets. The NBA initially said the trade had been vetoed for "basketball reasons" and issued a full statement on Friday morning.

"We decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade," Stern's statement read.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent a letter to Stern that called the proposed trade a "travesty" while players criticized Stern for stepping in to block the trade.
Posted on: December 9, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 8:32 pm
 

Chris Paul to Lakers trade talks resume

Posted by Ben Golliverkobe-chris-paul

Less than 24 hours after NBA commissioner David Stern stepped in to veto a 3-team trade that would have sent New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard to the Los Angeles Lakers, the three sides have reportedly resumed talking.

Yahoo Sports reports, with confirmation from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, that the Hornets, Lakers and Houston Rockets are re-engaged in trade talks in an attempt to "find a new way" to consummate a trade that would have sent Lakers All-Star big man Pau Gasol to the Rockets and Lakers forward Lamar Odom to the Hornets, along with Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and other considerations. 

The three sides had reportedly agreed to a framework earlier on Thursday before word broke that Stern killed the deal in his role as overseer of the league-owned Hornets. The NBA initially said the trade had been vetoed for "basketball reasons" and issued a full statement on Friday morning.

"We decided, free from the influence of other NBA owners, that the team was better served with Chris in a Hornets uniform than by the outcome of the terms of that trade," Stern's statement read.

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sent a letter to Stern that called the proposed trade a "travesty" while players criticized Stern for stepping in to block the trade.

According to the New York Times
, the league would like the Hornets to get a "better, younger package," to ensure long-term success.

Paul reportedly threatened not to attend the opening of Hornets training camp on Friday, but eventually showed up. ESPN.com reports that Odom showed up late to Lakers camp, met with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and then left without participating.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 7:35 pm
 

Hornets trade Chris Paul: Grade the Trade

Posted by Royce Young



It was inevitable. Chris Paul wasn't going to start the 2012-13 season in New Orleans. The only question there was how much of the 2011-12 season he'd spend there. 

The answer came late on Thursday, just a few hours before training camp and free agency officially opens: Chris Paul, pending a deal going through, will be a Los Angeles Laker.

Whoa. I mean, whoa.

The Hornets had to act quickly and swiftly in order to maximize the return on their franchise guy. The longer Dell Demps waited, the lower the asking price he'd have to slap on CP3.

So, what do they get in exchange for the guy that been been their face for the past six seasons? Is it anything close to equaling Paul's value?

Here's the breakdown: Chris Paul goes to L.A. with Lamar Odom, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola going to New Orleans. With a pick getting tossed in on the back-end of it (Knicks 2012 first-rounder).

So really, the Hornets did pretty well. Not just well, actually. As good as they probably could possibly do. Chris Paul is a more valuable player than Carmelo Anthony, but in comparing this trade to that trade, the Hornets did far better than the Nuggets did. The Hornets get Odom, a player with a ton of trade value that they can flip for a young talent and a draft pick from Houston to help rebuild with. Or deal Martin and Scola as well to blow it all up and get a heap of talent and picks. Scola's not young at 31 and Martin is 28.

But here's the thing: If the Hornets wanted, they could just stick with this group for this season and probably make a postseason run. Dragic isn't the best point guard in the world, but he's certainly serviceable. And besides, Odom might be playing that more than anyone else in the end, if they so choose. Scola is a talented 4 and Martin is the posterboy for efficient scoring.

Dragic, Martin, Trevor Ariza (or Odom), Scola and Emeka Okafor. With Odom (or Ariza) off the bench. That's a pretty good group of six, no? This team could conceivably be a playoff contender for the next two seasons and then figure out where to go from there after that when they presumably have new ownership.

Considering the circumstances, it's hard to imagine how the Hornets could've done better outside of baiting the Clippers into giving them Eric Gordon and that unprotected pick from Minnesota. And even still, New Orleans has options right now. Lots of them. They can stick with the current roster, maintain a level of flexibility (Martin expires in 2013, Scola in 2014 and Odom after this season), and look to rebuild in the coming years.

Replacing a player like Chris Paul is pretty much impossible. He's meant everything to your franchise and taken you to unseen levels of success. But he wasn't staying. And the team wasn't going anywhere this year with him anyway. Demps did the wise thing and cut his losses. It's just a matter of how well he did and in this case, I'd say his return is just about as good as it could be.

Grade: A-
Posted on: November 7, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2011 7:12 pm
 

Kevin Martin OK with 50-50; Blake pushes for vote

Posted by Royce Young

Derek Fisher, and thereby the union, rejected the NBA's proposal Sunday. But the question is, would the majority of players actually vote to accept it?

That's the subtle brilliance in David Stern laying it out to the public and then taking the message on talk shows, podcasts and wherever else Monday -- he's not trying to win the PR battle anymore. He's trying to talk directly to the rank and file players. He's begging them to consider this deal regardless of what the union representation and power agents are saying.

One player, Kevin Martin of the Rockets, says take the deal and run. Via SI.com:
"If you know for sure [the owners] are not moving, then you take the best deal possible," Martin wrote in a text message to SI.com. "We are risking losing 20 to 25 percent of missed games that we'll never get back, all over 2 percent [of basketball-related income] over an eight-to-10-year period [of the eventual collective bargaining agreement]. And let's be honest: 60 to 70 percent of players won't even be in the league when the next CBA comes around."

[...]

"When players are negotiating as free agents, we're always saying, 'Well I'm going to do what's best for my family,'" he wrote. "So now we're lying, because right now, losing money isn't helping our families at all. I'm not criticizing the fight our union is doing, because they have been in every meeting adding up to countless hours and have been breaking down every number possible. I believe in them and know they have the best interest for us. My opinion -- which is just one of 450 players -- is that if it comes down to losing a season and 100 percent of the money, we all definitely have to sit down and think about reality. That doesn't sound smart to possibly become part of the country's growing unemployment rate."
Kevin Martin: Efficient on the court and even better with his words. I'd say his WER (Word Efficiency Rating) was a quality 30.5 there. And he's not the only one. Glen Davis tweeted he'd take 51 percent. Samardo Samuels of the Cavs tweeted he was fine with 50-50. Shane Battier said on Jim Rome a couple weeks ago that 50-50 was fine with him as long as the system was solid.

And to add to that, Steve Blake has been calling players urging them to ask their player reps to push for a vote at Tuesday's manadatory rep meeting in New York. That's all players want at this point. The some 450 players want to have their voices heard. They don't want to be told what's best for them. They want to make their own decision. Agents and attorneys claim to be looking out for them, but we all know where their bread is buttered. The better the deal for the players, the more money they make.

David Stern detailed the offer very specifically in a letter to players. Would the majority of players vote to take the deal? Who knows. But enough have spoken out that should at least give it consideration.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2011 5:56 pm
 

The EOB Elite 100, 40-31: Middle men

Posted by Royce Young



This is the seventh segment of the CBSSports.com Eye on Basketball Elite 100, counting down the top-100 players in the NBA. 

Check out the earlier installments: 100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41

Once you break the top 50, you start getting good players. Former All-Stars, solid veterans and some up-and-comers. But the top 40, that's when you start breaking into some legit talent. Last season's Sixth Man Lamar Odom. A young stud Eric Gordon. A new champion in Tyson Chandler. Talents like Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis and Marc Gasol. It's not a list full of superstars, but there's no denying these guys are good. With a bunch of guys that easily could make a leap at any moment.

As such, we march on towards No. 1 with 40-31.

40. Gerald Wallace, SF, age 29, Portland Trail Blazers
2011 stats: 15.7 ppg, 8.0 apg, 2.4 apg, 45.4 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 16.28 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 48, 33, 48


Hard to figure Gerald Wallace sometimes. I'm not sure he's ever really truly found a place in this league. Not in the sense of fitting on a roster, but just in where he lines up with other good players. He's not just a defender. But he's not that great of an offensive player. He's not a star you build around. But he's someone you pay almost like he is.

Wallace is an elite defender, frustrating players like Kevin Durant and LeBron James often, but he also has lit up the scoreboard. His outside touch is a bit erratic and he mainly gets it done by out working other players. He's relentless on the glass, attacks mercilessly in the paint and goes hard at his opponent non-stop. He has the talent, but has never possessed the polish. Still, he's certainly on of the NBA's top 50 players.


39. Monta Ellis, PG, age 24, Golden State Warriors
2011 stats: 24.1 ppg, 5.6 apg, 3.5 rpg, 2.1 spg, 45.1 FG%, 36.1 3P%, 18.69 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 35, 48, 42

Oh, Moped Ellis. Such a talented, gifted scorer. But for many a reason, such a frustrating player. He's never seen a shot past the halfcourt line he didn't like. Efficiency isn't exactly his calling card, nor is his defense. He gambles on both ends, plays almost in his own world and takes too much responsibility offensively.

But man, once he gets going, he gets going. He doesn't exactly play under a defined position (Point guard? Shooting guard? I think Ellis would place himself just as "baller guard.") but wherever he ends up on a given night he's a threat to go for 40. It might come on 31 shots, but he can carry a team on his own. I wouldn't exactly say he's the type of player that should be better, but there's no denying his talent. He's probably about the best player he can be, or at least the player he wants to be. Above average, gifted in specific areas but nothing premier.

38. Danny Granger, SF, age 28, Indiana Pacers
2011 stats: 20.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 42.5 FG%, 38.6 3P%, 17.89 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 47, 36, 37

At a time, it looked like Indiana might have stumbled onto a true building block star. Granger was a low first rounder but broke out in 2008-09 averaging 25.8 a game. He was efficient, shot high percentages and as a result, got himself a nice little contract extension from Larry Bird.

It's not fair to say he regressed or anything -- he's been good the past two years -- but he hasn't exactly continued his trend upward toward a star player. He made one All-Star team in 2009 but since then has just been kind of in that group of "Oh yeah him, he's not a bad player." He definitely didn't step up for the Pacers in the postseason last year against the Bulls, fading into oblivion in the fourth quarter of virtually every game. Granger's a quality scorer and certainly a top 40 player. But it's become pretty obvious that he's not an alpha player.

37. Andrew Bogut, C, age 26, Milwaukee Bucks
2011 stats: 12.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.6 bpg, 49.5 FG%, 44.2 FT%
Composite rankings (random order):
46, 35, 30

Injuries just aren't fair. Not that Bogut would otherwise be an elite center, but injuries have certainly hurt him (get it?). His 2009-10 season was off to an excellent start, as were his team, but a nasty elbow injury sidelined him for the last 13 games and the playoffs. Plus that injury greatly affected him last year.

Bogut is consistently in the top five in blocked shots each year, passes the ball well and plays his position solidly. He's never been a star type of player which is what you might expect from someone drafted No. 1 overall, but Bogut's been good. Not great, but good. He's averaged a double-double for three consecutive season -- injuries be damned -- and still turned in a decent 2010-11 despite playing with one arm. If he gets everything back to full strength, he's one of the East's top three big men. But until then, he's just an above average center.

36. Eric Gordon, SG, age 22, Los Angeles Clippers
2011 stats: 22.3 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.9 rpg, 1.3 spg, 45.0 FG%, 36.4 3P%, 18.56 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 40, 40, 27

Honestly, 37 feels a tad low for Gordon. Last season was derailed a bit by a wrist injury for him because before it, he was off to a pretty torrid scoring pace. Remember: He's just 22. With Blake Griffin as the featured player and someone defenses are forced to focus on constantly, Gordon is clear to bomb away from deep, where he shot a solid 36.4 percent.

But don't think that's all he is. He's really one of the game's most underrated slashers and finishers. He's great with both hands and with his stocky, strong frame, he takes contact extremely well in the paint. I don't know if Gordon will ever be an elite scorer per se, but he's certainly a threat to average around 25 a game for multiple seasons.

35. Rudy Gay, SF, age 24, Memphis Grizzlies
2011 stats: 19.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 47.1 FG%, 39.6 3P%, 17.88 PER
Composite rankings: 39, 34, 33


So he was overpaid last summer. And then he got hurt. And then the Grizzlies played really, really good without him. But don't think for a second Rudy Gay isn't a pretty darn good player. He's sort of Kevin Durant lite -- long, athletic and has a pretty good outside touch. The biggest issue has always been consistency. He'll score an effortless 30 one night and then disappear the next with 12 on 4-13 shooting. There's going to be a question of how he'll respond from a major injury, but he's young and is still a centerpiece for the Grizzlies. He sits at 39 now, but there's no reason that next summer he could leap 20 spots.

34. Tyson Chandler, C, age 28, Dallas Mavericks
2011 stats: 10.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 65.4 FG%, 18.45 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 26, 38, 39

Players like Chandler have taught us that there's a premium on defense. Before the NBA Finals, he was probably a fringe top 60 guy. But after completely shutting off the paint for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for six games as his Mavs put away a title, his stock skyrocketed. He's no longer just the guy that catches oops and tries to shake the goal around just a little too much on a routine dunk. He's a true defensive enforcer and not just because he blocks shots. He's aggressive, smart and understands help defense as well as any big man in the league.

Chandler's not, nor has he ever been, a big offensive player. He's going to score off of oops, putbacks and easy hoops under the basket. But he's a double-double guy, a defensive stopper and someone that can impact the game -- or a championship series -- in a major way.

33. Lamar Odom, PF, age 31, Los Angeles Lakers
2011 stats: 14.4 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 3.0 apg, 53.0 FG%, 38.2 3P%, 19.50 PER
Composite rankings: 31, 31, 40


Being ranked as the 34th best overall player in today's NBA is a pretty good deal. But for Lamar Odom, that's just horribly disappointing. And that's not to say HE'S disappointing. He just won a well deserved Sixth Man of the Year trophy. But a player with his skillset, he athletic ability and his talent should easily be in the top 20. Probably the top 10.

Odom really is a one-of-a-kind. He can easily slide into three, four positions and sometimes all five positions effortlessly, plays defense, handles the ball, passes, shoots, rebounds, scores -- he's got the total package. Which is pretty stinking rare for a dude 6-10. When he was taken fourth overall in 1999 by the Clippers, people saw him as the next evolution in basketball. A point forward with the ability to do it all. And no doubt, he's always been good. But not quite as good as he should've been.

The fact he's known more for a stupid reality show than his basketball ability kind of says it all. If this were a list ranking the top 100 most gifted players in the NBA, it would be hard to keep Odom out of the top 10. But he's never really lived up to his own talent which is why he settles in at 34. Not a bad place to be, unless, well, you're Lamar Odom.

32. Kevin Martin, SG, age 28, Houston Rockets
2011 stats: 23.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 43.6 FG%, 8.4 FTA per game, 21.46 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 29, 59, 20

Who wants a guy that can routinely score 29 points on 14 shots? What's that, everyone? Martin has kind of become the overlooked scoring star, which started early in his time with the Kings. He's more the guy with the weird shot and skinny frame that puts up 25 a night without much resistance. Martin is that player who hits a 3 in the second half against your team and you look at the box score and see he has 32 and you think, "What the heck, I remember him scoring like twice."

Martin never quite graduated to that next level star though. Maybe it's a fault of his own, maybe it's just a lack of overall respect for what he does and how he does it. But it's hard to make a name for yourself when your calling card is 18 points on eight shots over 30 points on 22. It shouldn't be how things work, but that's just kind of the way it is.

31. Marc Gasol, C, age 26, Memphis Grizzlies
2011 stats: 11.7 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 52.7 FG%, 16.88 PER
Composite rankings (random order): 41, 32, 26

Here's how you know Marc Gasol has gone from forgotten little brother to a top NBA big man: It's a legit question to ask if he's better than Pau. And not just in a whispered way. It's truly a toss up now.

With him and Zach Randolph tag-teaming inside for the Grizzlies, Memphis went on an improbable run not just into the playoffs, but well into May before bowing out in seven games to Oklahoma City. Gasol's numbers won't blow you away -- 11.7 points, 7.0 rebounds per game -- but it's more about what you see. You see a gifted center that is developing into a go-to option on the block. You see a center who has played just three seasons and is only 26 getting better game-by-game. You see a center that could potentially be All-Star material soon.

I don't really know where to place Gasol's ceiling (15 points, 10 rebounds?) and while he's probably not as good as brother Pau -- and may not ever be -- the fact we're even wondering tells you enough about why he's in the top 35.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com