Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:03 pm
By Matt Moore
In this week's edition of the Friday 5, Ken Berger discusses Linsanity, Bulls minutes, and who's on the trade block headed into All-Star Weekend. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS.
1. So, hey, that Jeremy Lin kid's pretty good. We've beaten the subject into the ground here at CBSSports.com this week, but it bears opening the Friday 5 nonetheless. Let's forget about how Melo fits in, or D'Antoni, or even Lin's play directly. Is the best thing for the Knicks about this run that it's brought the locker room together and they're having fun again?
Ken Berger: Well, I think that's a by-product of what Lin has brought to the table. Among the many elements of this perfect storm was the fact that the Knicks were running the most point guard-dependent offense in the sport and had some of the worst point-guard play anyone had ever seen. Plug in a competent point guard, and the Knicks would've played better. Plug in someone performing as well as Lin has performed, and you have the makings of something special. So it started with Lin's production, which has instilled confidence in the locker room and made everyone relax in an environment that can be extremely high on stress. The Knicks now believe they can win, and confidence is a big part of the battle.
2. You wrote in Post-Ups this week about the Heat flying under the radar. How good is that for them to avoid the spotlight for a few weeks?
KB: Who? Oh, the Heat. I'm not sure it's either good or bad for them. I think it's great for the league as a whole that people are captivated by something other that how LeBron and Wade are getting along or playing together on any given day. And the fact that people are captivated by basketball being played the right way, an enjoyable way, is a pleasing diversion from the usual poisoned brew of trade demands, coaches getting fired, agent agendas, egos colliding and the like.
3. I've been critical of Tom Thibodeau and his approach to minutes with Luol Deng and Derrick Rose with various injuries considering the long-term goals of the Bulls in this insane schedule. But I'm not a doctor and I'm not a trainer. In your mind, if the doc's say it's fine and the trainers say it's fine, should Thibodeau just disregard the notion of exhaustion, and if so, is it because they really do need that top seed?
KB: I'm not a doctor or a trainer, either. And Thibodeau presumably learned how to manage minutes from one of the masters in that department, Doc Rivers. I think the time off due to back spasms will do Rose some good. But to a degree, when he's healthy, he's going to be on the floor for 38-plus minutes. Same goes for Deng, especially if you're in a close game and the opponent (like the Celtics, for example, with Paul Pierce) has an elite wing scorer who needs to be dealt with. It's a fine line with this schedule for coaches between resting their stars and winning as many games as possible. To get where they want to go, the Bulls need homecourt advantage. Once they secure that, Rose and Deng and anybody else who needs to put themselves back together for the playoffs can have as many minutes off as they need.
4. Ken, I know you've enjoyed writing about actual basketball for the past few weeks. But trade season's back, bro. Who are you expecting to be chattering next weekend in Orlando?
KB: Well, of course there will be the Dwight-fest. After that, I think the biggest name being discussed will be Steve Nash. A point guard could make all the difference in the world to the Lakers and Magic. For the same reason, Ramon Sessions will be on the radar.
5. With J.R. Smith joining the Knicks, what was the driving force behind his decision and what should the Knicks be concerned about with him, if anything?
KB: J.R. seemed to enjoying the process of being recruited, and will wind up with more money at the end of the day by joining the Knicks. The way Lin has the Knicks' offense humming, J.R. could see a lot of future dollar signs swishing through the Nets at Madison Square Garden. Even off the bench, he could be an electrifying scorer in Mike D'Antoni's offense. Plus, he's played with Anthony before, so there's a comfort level there, and Knicks official Mark Warkentien was a big supporter of Smith when both were in Denver. Concerns? What concerns? Oh, yeah, J.R. is a knucklehead. But he's a knucklehead who can make a jump shot. So the risk-reward is pretty heavily in the Knicks' favor.
Posted on: February 10, 2012 11:47 am
By Matt Moore
Cavaliers coach Byron Scott told reporters Friday that Kyrie Irving would miss both Friday and Saturday night's games for the Cavs while recovering from a concussion he suffered Tuesday night against Miami.
Scott did not say when Irving would retur, only that he would not play this weekend. The NBA has instituted new policies regarding concussions in an effort to be more aware of the dangers involved. Reserve point guard Ramon Sessions will once again start in his place. The Cavaliers signed former Nets guard Ben Uzoh from the NBA D-League to provide depth.
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:18 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:20 pm
He's not Chris Paul, but he could be a lot worse.
Yahoo Sports reports that the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly phoned the Cleveland Cavaliers to express interest in trading for reserve guard Ramon Sesssions.
The Los Angeles Lakers have talked with the Cleveland Cavaliers about possibly acquiring guard Ramon Sessions, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. No deal is imminent, but the Lakers view Sessions as a candidate who could help their depleted backcourt.The Lakers' messy point guard situation got messier when key back-up Steve Blake went down for an extended period of time with a rib injury. Starter Derek Fisher is on his last legs and 2011 Draft picks Andrew Goudelock and Darius Morris are still learning how to walk. The position is clearly the weakest link on L.A.'s roster and will almost certainly be the scapegoat if the Lakers aren't able to win the 2012 title.
So is Sessions the guy? Not definitely, but he would earn major minutes immediately given the other options. His career has been derailed by circumstance, as he signed a contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who couldn't really use him, and then was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who don't really ned him now that Rookie of the Year candidate Kyrie Irving is carrying such a major load. His best play might have come last year, for a truly horrendous Cavaliers team, so it got lost in the muck. He's not an excellent shooter, but he has good size, is a capable set-up man and specializes in the pick-and-roll, a nice asset with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol on the roster.
Financially, the Lakers can absorb the entirety of his $4.3 million salary into the trade exception created when they dumped Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. That means L.A. doesn't need to match salaries in return and can instead send draft picks and/or a lower-priced player (or no player at all) to Cleveland in return. Sessions has a $4.5 million player option for next season, which he will very likely pick up, but a capable third or fourth guard would seemingly be worth that price to the Lakers, who are pretty desperate at the one after NBA commissioner David Stern nixed a potential blockbuster trade that would have landed Paul during the preseason.
Sessions is an obvious trade target and has been ever since the Cavaliers landed the No. 1 pick in last year's Draft lottery. Indeed, even his agent thought he would be the odd man out if Irving was selected, but that wound up being Baron Davis, who was released using the amnesty clause. Cleveland would be smart to milk his value all the way up to the trade deadline. While the Cavaliers are off to a better-than-expected 8-11 start, the goal is to secure as many complementary pieces to Irving and fellow 2011 lottery pick Tristan Thompson. Picks would seem better than salaried players at this point of the rebuild.
Posted on: June 12, 2011 5:20 pm
The agent for Ramon Sessions doesn't think there's enough room for his client if the Cleveland Cavaliers draft Kyrie Irving. Posted by Ben Golliver.
We all saw this one coming a mile away.
As soon as the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery, and thus the rights to select Duke University point guard Kyrie Irving, they immediately acquired a log jam at the point guard position.
Why? Because the Cavaliers already have Baron Davis -- recently acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade for Mo Williams -- and Ramon Sessions as incumbents.
With the drafts still weeks away, Ohio.com reports that Chubby Wells, the agent for Ramon Sessions, is already making noise that there's not enough minutes for all three players.
Sessions would seem to be the odd man out, with Irving as the point guard of the future and Baron Davis on hand to groom him as such. Sessions averaged 13.3 points and 5.2 assists last season, his first in Cleveland. Now 25 and a four-year veteran, Sessions believes he can start in this league. That doesn't appear likely to happen in Cleveland.The best case scenario would be to find a way to off-load Davis, who is owed more than $28 million over the next two seasons. That would allow the Cavaliers to turn the keys over to Irving on day one, with Sessions in place as an affordable, quality back-up point guard capable of playing as many minutes as needed.
Star point guards that have taken the reins early get the reps they need to truly succeed. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose are two obvious recent examples. While Irving might not have the ceiling of either player, he's good enough as a prospect and smart enough as a player to be thrown to the wolves immediately so that he can learn on the job.
As for Sessions and his agent, they're not saying anything the entire league hasn't assumed already. It will be difficult for the Cavaliers to keep all three point guards on their roster for very long, considering the combined money that will be paid to them and the number of other holes the team needs to fill.
If you needed another good reason to keep your eye on Cleveland -- who owns both the No. 1 and the No. 4 pick in this draft -- as the most likely team to wheel and deal this draft season, you've got it now.
Posted on: March 29, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 10:17 pm
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat Tuesday night, getting revenge on the player who left them in free agency last summer.
Posted by Matt Moore
That's why they play the games.
The now-15-58 Cleveland Cavaliers got revenge on the player who left them in the most devastating way possible as the Cavs beat LeBron James and the Heat 102-90 in Cleveland Tuesday night.
You couldn't have scripted the performance any better for the Cavs. LeBron James finished 10-21 with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, with three turnovers. And he had probably the best night of any Heat player. The Cavs played the kind of game you need to play to win a game like this, getting out in transition and knocking down threes. Anthony Parker was 4-4 from downtown, Ryan Hollins and Alonzo Gee received multiple alley-oops from Baron Davis, J.J. Hickson had a double-double with 21 and 12, and Ramon Sessions spelled Baron Davis (who had a throw-back night) with a solid 11-6-6 in 26 minutes.
For the Heat?
The box score is actually kinder to them than the game would suggest... and the box score is an autopsy report. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 13-34, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 turnovers. Bosh, in particular, had yet another in a very long line of disappointing performances inside. The game actually turned back in the Cavs' favor after a Heat run when Ryan Hollins blocked Bosh twice on one possession. It was that kind of game. Bosh fell down repeatedly, failed to finish at the rim, and was completely outmuscled by Hickson and Hollins. You know, those dominant beasts of the paint.
This game speaks to the high level of play in the NBA across teams. The worst team in the NBA at the moment, record-wise, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have knocked off the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks, and now the Miami Heat. The Cavs have a long way to go to rebuild and find themselves back in a place of contention. But until then, Tuesday night will stand as the high point of the season, when the fans got to rally behind a total team effort, against the individual-centric Heat offense and deliver a blow for their pride, for their city, and for the hurt they suffered after "the Decision." Baron Davis wasn't in Cleveland for that, but he was a hero. Ramon Sessions wasn't there, but he was a hero.
The Cavs still lost twice to the Heat this season, once in Cleveland. The Cavs are still the worst team, record-wise, in the NBA. The Heat are still headed to the playoffs and the Cavs to the lottery, James to the second-round, most likely, and the Cavs to vacation in May. But for a night, the Cavs proved that they are professionals, and on any given night, they can compete with the best. That's what makes sports great.
Enjoy the win, Cleveland. You earned it.
Just don't publish the headlines in Comic Sans, okay?
Posted on: February 21, 2011 4:07 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 12:03 am
With the NBA trade deadline approaching, we take a look at the league's ten most wanted players for acquisition before Thursday afternoon.
Posted by Matt Moore
The NBA trade deadline is just three days away (Thursday, February 24th at 3 p.m. EST). The Melo trade has held up a lot of movement but there's a lot of talk bubbling beneath it. With it expected to be resolved in the next 24 to 48 hours (like we've said about ten times, but bear with us), it's going to be a fast and furious final trade season under the current CBA agreement. Many are predicting a toned down deadline due to the CBA, but there are enough buyers (Houston, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey) and enough sellers (Portland, Indiana, Charlotte) to make for some interesting developments as we head down the stretch. But who are the players that everyone's clamoring for? And why are they worth that much?
Saddle up, partner. Here's the true grit behind our NBA Trade Deadline 10 Most Wanted.
1. Carmelo Anthony: Melo, naturally, is the most wanted. It's not just the vast history of all this nonsense; it's how it's come down to the wire. Two teams, both of which will be located in New York in 2012, with rich, eccentric owners, throwing out asset after asset to try and acquire the All-Star. Anthony's worth it. Even with his defensive issues and relative inefficiency compared to his fellow elite players, Anthony can score anytime, anywhere, anyway. He's a clutch performer who can take over a ballgame and having a 1-2 punch between him and either Amar'e Stoudemire or Brook Lopez would significantly boost the Knicks' or Nets' hopes for the future. His agents have kept the pressure on since July, and Denver has been slowly losing their resolve to keep him. The odds are heavily favored that Anthony will be moved sometime this week and it will kick off a series of deals with the other front offices around the league. And then the New York/New Jersey circus will really kick off.
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports Monday that that the Nets may actually be trying to get two of the assets the Nuggets would get in a deal with the Knicks for two first rounders. If that works out, the Knicks and Nets will combine to give Denver two starters and three picks. It's not the loaded deal the Nets were offering for Anthony, but it's still an insane wagon-full of assets. If they wind up with Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and three first-round picks in exchange for just Melo and Billups, they've still lost because they lost an All-Star. But they also will have successfully set the team up to immediately turn around and compete right off the bat. They'll still be able to move J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin and have Ty Lawson and Aaron Afflalo to build around along with Nene. This is the dream scenario for the Nugget if they have to trade with New York.
2. Andre Iguodala: Iggy has been on the market for literally years. He's the consummate supporting player, able to pass, rebound, and score. He's never played alongside a top-flight point guard (sorry Philly fans, Jrue Holiday's not there yet), and has had to play the part of the primary offensive option, which he's ill-suited for. The Sixers have recently made quite a bit of noise about him not going anywhere, which frankly, baffles us. They have Evan Turner who has shown significant signs of progress as the season has progressed, and his value on the market trumps his value to the team as it tries to build a new core. But he has $44 million left on his contract, which is a big price tag to swallow for a guy who should probably be no more than third option on offense. That's not a knock on Iguodala, as we've come to understand the things he does defensively and in support for the system are nearly invaluable, and that's before we factor in his locker room leadership. If a team decides it wants to make a big move and has young assets to spend, Iguodala is a prime target for a late push.
The real answer to whether Iguodala will be moved is whether Rod Thorn and coach Doug Collins think that he's able to co-exist with Evan Turner, and if they think Iguodala can continue to be the face of the franchise with so much young talent around him. Jrue Holiday, Turner, an improved season from Thaddeus Young, and even with Elton Brand performing better than expected. At the same time, the Sixers are right in the playoff hunt, in an underwhelming middle of the Eastern Conference, and a great shot at making a run this season. However, the Sixers would be foolish to commit to Iguodala, turning down a good offer for him just to make the playoffs and get run out of the building in the first round. Part of putting your team in a position to win championships isn't just figuring out what will work, but what won't. Iguodala will continue to elicit calls right up until the deadline, big contract or no.
3. Andre Miller: Old man game in the house! Miller is an aging, veteran point guard who has proven he can still drop 40 every once in a while. You know exactly what you're getting with Miller. He is a consistent, reliable scorer who lacks upside and athleticism, but always manages to find a way to get it done. He's a relative steal at $3.6 million (prorated) for this season and $7.8 million non-guaranteed for next season. That means two different types of teams can vie for him: those seeking a veteran point guard upgrade to push them over the top, and those looking to dump salary next year while giving their team a reliable fill in for the remainder of the year. The Blazers have been so-so on Miller since he arrived as a free agent in 2009, clashing with Nate McMillan. But those problems were resolved quickly and he's grown to be a strong force in the locker room, the steady hand on a ship filled to the brim with the injured. Yet, he's 34 and the Blazers look to go younger. Miller has repeatedly been listed as a target in a potential Devin Harris trade, among others. The Blazers may look to keep him order to push for the playoff income, especially given his ability to connect with LaMarcus Aldridge, but if Rich Cho elects for a full-scale revamp for the long-term, Miller will be one of the first assets put on the block, and one of the first to attract multiple offers.
Miller's attitude may be a huge factor. He doesn't want to leave the Blazers, but is also tired of being discussed under trade talk. Moving to a rebuilding project, however, would be extremely difficult for him at this point in his career and could create an ugly situation with any team that trades for him who isn't on the up and up. On the flip side, he's a perfect option for a contending team looking to acquire a capable back-up point guard to get them over the top. While there's been little noise about this, Orlando would be one team you'd think might be giving Portland a call to inquire about Miller, should the Nets not immediately move Harris for Miller in the next few days, either through Denver or independently.
4. Marcus Camby: Speaking of the Blazers, they've got another aged, talented, productive player starting for them, and he too could be on the move. Camby has a little less than $17 million (prorated) left on his contract. He's a versatile, talented defensive center who can impact a game at both ends, is reliable and capable. He's a seasoned veteran who does his job, has an expiring contract after 2012, and can push a contender over the top. The only problem? He doesn't want to leave. Sources have said he would "contemplate retirement" if he was traded to a rebuilding situation, and his agent has talked strongly about how much he wants to stay in Portland, where he's moved his family. We've seen this before, as older players really love the atmosphere and lifestyle of raising their families in Portland, on a team with a loving fanbase that always tries to contend. Still, Camby can't control what happens, and if presented with an opportunity to win a ring, he would likely welcome the opportunity wholeheartedly.
The same problem exists for Rich Cho with Camby as it does with Miller. They're both huge reasons why the Blazers are still in the playoff hunt and moving them would almost certainly result in a drop to the lottery. The Blazers are likely aiming to get a deal that frees them up long-term while still taking on players of a solid caliber. They know it will be difficult to improve with a trade for Camby, but they may be able to move his conract while still adding talent to keep them in the same place. Houston has been mentioned by CBSSports.com's Ken Berger as a possible destination for Camby.
5. O.J. Mayo: Talk about a bad year. In Summer League, the Grizzlies pressed O.J. Mayo to play point guard, resulting in some terrible, turnover-filled performances after which he was yanked following a handful of performances. He was cut from Team USA despite their need for perimeter shooting. In preseason, Lionel Hollins questioned him publicly. He started the year in a shooting slump, so significant that Hollins decided to move him to the bench, in order to improve their bench scoring, the first time Mayo has come off the bench in organized ball in his life, mostly likely. His name started to appear in trade rumors. He watched as Mike Conley got a $40 million extension, with Lionel Hollins backing him for two years despite his struggles, while Mayo was yanked to the bench at the first sign of a slump. He got into a fight with Tony Allen on a team flight over a gambling dispute and got his lights knocked out. And then he got busted for a performance-enhancing drug, earning him a ten-game suspension.
So why then is Mayo then such a popular trade prospect? Because he's very good. In his first two years in the league he was a high-level perimeter threat, able to score both in spot-up situations and off the dribble. He has a ways to go on defense, particularly against larger two guards where he's almost always undersized, but he shows great quickness and anticipation. He's still on his rookie contract and will be an RFA under the newly modified CBA next summer, meaning he's not a risk to depart a team that acquires him. And he's one of the few players who is truly capable of dropping 30 on a given night when he's hot. He's everything you want in a trade prospect. Unwanted by his team, available for affordable extension, talented, still with upside, and with low trade value due to off-the-court issues and team decisions which don't signify long-term problems. The Grizzlies have consistently said publicly that they plan to re-sign Mayo and not trade him. But there have been suggestions across the league that teams have inquired about him and received positive feedback that he can be had for the right price, though that's expected to possibly be too high. Mayo is teetering on the very edge of a move. If a GM gets itchy to acquire a player of that ilk, he's likely to go.
6. Aaron Brooks: Seems like only yesterday he was carving up the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs, prompting L.A. fans abroad to ask "Who IS this guy?!" Now he's an upcoming free agent without an extension, disgruntled and unhappy as the Rockets have done what they usually do. Get the most out of a player's ability without ever over-committing to a contract they would regret later. They did the same thing with Carl Landry, eventually signing him on the cheap, then trading him to Sacramento for Kevin Martin. Now they face a similar situation with Brooks, only he represents an expiring contract, increasing his trade value.
Brooks' value on the open market isn't sky high. He's an undersized point guard who's not particularly efficient. He doesn't have insane athleticism, nor does he possession tremendous vision .He's just a good, solid, young point guard who can be had for a reasonable price. And even with the depth of the point guard position, those are still valuable. Brooks has incredible speed and is a tremendous finisher at the basket. He's had some trouble with Adelman but this season has been the first where he's struggled with team issues. What's more, the Rockets won't horde him, trying to get the most value out of him. Instead, he can be had in a combination package with some of the rest of the Rockets' young talent. But Brooks can be used as the centerpiece in the deal. A team looking for a backup point guard to provide scoring will likely look to Brooks first when they go to market.
7. Andrei Kirilenko: It's baffling that in the midst of what seems more and more like a disastrous season for the Utah Jazz, Andrei Kirilenko's name hasn't started foaming from sources' mouths like the sources have Russian Freak Wing Rabies. Kirilenko is 29 with several good years still left in him, averages 13, 6, and 3, with 1 steal and 1 block in 32 minutes per game. But biggest of all? He has a $17.8 million expiring contract. Close to $18 million coming off the books. There's been a lot of talk that expiring contracts won't hold as much value this year with the CBA coming up, which doesn't make a lot of sense. For starters, the new CBA likely won't affect luxury tax payments for this season. Next, even if the cap is decreased significantly, and even if it is made into a hard cap, space under that cap will still be valuable. Especially for teams looking to park contracts like Kirilenko's to get rid of their players and change things up. Kirilenko isn't the star the Jazz hoped he would be when they signed him to his last contract. But he's still a tall, strong, veteran player who can contribute to a contending team, or help a rebuilding franchise transition. Kirilenko will likely start popping up in rumors as the deadline draws nearer.
The problem is that even by paying for a rental with Kirilenko, you don't know what you're going to get. His time with Utah has been described with significant high points and low points. He's been a big reason for the Jazz' continued success, but has also never taken the next step that management thought he would when the signed him to the extension. Teams trading for him have little way to tell how he would react in another locker room, and that's a big gamble for the remainder of his $17.8 million contract.
8. Devin Harris: Harris was thought to be the building block of the Nets' rebuilding project when they traded Jason Kidd for him. But he's only been above average, never great, especially after that first season. When the Nets were in the lead for the John Wall sweepstakes last year, which of course they lost, there was rampant talk that the Nets would trade Harris once assured of the No.1 pick. We never got to find out the answer to that as the Nets wound up with Derrick Favors, instead. Harris isn't as young as some folks think, turning 28 three days after the deadline. But he's in his prime, and still able to run an offense, has little injury history, good explosiveness, nice scoring ability and good vision. Which is why he's been a part of the Nets' talks for Melo since the beginning, and why should a deal fall through for Anthony, he's likely on his way out anyway.
Harris has suffered with poor teammates but the thoughts from several front office officials is that he could produce were he on a contending team. It's difficult to go from a playoff team like Dallas to a rebuilding project, especially when his second season in New Jersey was historically bad. Throw in the weight of trade rumors hovering overhead and there's enough to cloud the issue of Harris' performance. But the Nets will have to capitalize while that value is still in effect or they'll wind up with nothing for him. Portland has expressed interest several times, including the aforementioned deal for Andre Miller, and Dallas has shown similar interest.
9. Stephen Jackson / Gerald Wallace: One of them will probably go. Not both, most likely, but one. The Bobcats need to cut salary. They're looking at an uphill climb to the playoffs, and even then the odds of any progress there are nonexistent. They need to get rid of some of the older players on large, sizeable contracts, and these two represent their biggest sale items for such a move. Jackson has been involved in more talks. He's a veteran scorer who can drop 30 regularly, has played on a championship team (Spurs 2003), has led the most unlikely upset in NBA playoff history with the Warriors, and is respected across the league as a fierce competitor and locker-room leader.
Sure, he's a little nuts, but who isn't? Jackson's off the court issues have vanished with age, and now his biggest liability is his contract. Golden State surrendered a massive extension to him that leaves over $20 million still left on his contract over the next two and a half years, all guaranteed. Jackson will be 35 when his contract expires. That's a pretty old player with a less-than-elite ceiling to be paying over $10 million to. But considering the possibility of CBA rollbacks on current contracts, and the chance for Jackson to contribute to a winner, he's likely going to be high on the list. The Mavericks have been most prominently discussed as a viable buyer, with Caron Butler's expiring as bait.
Wallace on the other hand was an All-Star last season, is only 28, and is a high-price addition. He's got $21 million left on his deal over three-years, and a player option for the third year. But Wallace could contribute immediately to a contender. He's a wing that can rebound, provide assists and scoring, and is an elite defender. He's reliable and has no discernibly blatant weaknesses in his game, despite a low ceiling for performance. Wallace isn't going to drop 40 on you, but he is going to stuff the stat sheet every night. Jackson has received more attention, but it's Wallace who may wind up getting stronger offers he can't refuse as the deadline nears.
10. Ramon Sessions: Sessions was drafted in the second round, spent time in the D-League, then showed up with the Bucks and immediately showed promise. But he was then buried by Scott Skiles, and wound up signing an offer sheet with Minnesota, who of course, mishandled him, then traded him to Cleveland. Sessions has played for most of the season as the starting point guard for the team who lost the most consecutive games in history (with Mo Williams missing significant time due to injury). So why are so many teams interested in him?
Because he's talented, consistent, and efficient. Sessions has a strong ability to attack the basket, good handle, and is cheap. He's got just $10 million left on his deal over three years with a player option in the third year. He has a 19 PER and has proven to be coachable, talented, and has considerable growth potential. He's simply been passed from one bad team to the next. On a good team he could wind up as a serious addition off the bench. Which is why the Knicks and Hawks have both made inquiries about him. Sessions is the kind of player who deserves a fresh start. Maybe he'll get one to get off this disaster of a Cavs team. Either way, expect a lot of talk about him before Thursday afternoon.
(All salary info courtesy of ShamSports .)
Tags: 2011 NBA Trade Deadline, 2011 NBA Trade Deadline Rumors, 2011 Trade Deadline, 2011 Trade Deadline Rumors, Aaron Brooks, Andre Iguodala, Andre Miller, Andrei Kirilenko, Carmelo Anthony, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Devin Harris, Gerald Wallace, Houston Rockets, Marcus Camby, Melodrama, Memphis Grizzlies, New Jersey Nets, O.J. Mayo, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Ramon Sessions, Stephen Jackson, Utah Jazz
Posted on: February 19, 2011 2:43 pm
Trade rumors abound about people other than Carmelo Anthony, including Anthony Parker, Ramon Sessions, and Nene.
Posted by Matt Moore
Believe it or not, there are trade deadline rumors that don't involve Carmelo Anthony. I know, we're amazed, too. Here's a round-up of what's going on outside of the... ugh... I'm sorry. I can't call it Melodrama anymore. I just can't do it without getting physically ill. Anyway, trade rumors!
ESPN reports that both the Celtics and Bulls are vying for Anthony Parker, the wingman for the Cavs. Parker's not having a great season (I know, a Cavalier having a bad season, who would have thought?), but he is shooting 40% from the arc. The best thing about Parker currently is that he's a bargain deal. The Bulls or Celtics can reportedly get him for either a young big man or a draft pick. The Celtics have Semih Erden and the Bulls have Omar Asik. With the playoffs coming up, rotations are shortened and Erden and Asik are unlikely to get time (provided Joakim Noah and/or the Celtics twin O'Neals stay healthy), so they're expendable. Parker provides help where both teams need it.
The Bulls need a longer perimeter wing to go behind Luol Deng while the Celtics are struggling with Marquis Daniels out for several weeks. Parker is a fit in both places as an athletic veteran. This is the kind of bargain deal that good teams pursue while other teams are knocking themselves out chasing after big names.
Everybody loves RamonEarlier this week Ken Berger reported that the Hawks were interested in Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions. That interest is spreading like a disease, now, with Portland and the Knicks also reportedly having interest.
But the Akron Beacon Journal reports that the interest is one-sided, with the Cavs not showing particular enthusiasm for moving him. Because the one thing you know is that when you lose 25 games in a row, you don't want to switch things up.
We've already argued that the Cavs need a total and complete firesale, and Sessions shouldn't be exempted. If they can get someone to take on another deal with him, so be it. Yes, he's a young talent, and yes, he's arguably their best player. But the Cavs' problems are so severe as to warrant whatever changes they can make without taking on long-term money. Portland is an attractive situation with veterans on expiring contracts and younger players, while the Knicks? Well, the Knicksdon't need Eddy Curry if the Melo deal falls through so they can afford to take some of the Cavs' flotsam in order to take on Sessions. But the Cavs have to reach that level first.
Speights to the PartySpeaking of the Blazers, Berger said they'd be active, and they're in just about every rumor we've got. Including this one, which has them interested in sending young Dante Cunningham to Philadelphia for Marreese Speights. Speights is just 23, and his per-minute numbers continue to climb even as he gets fewer minutes and a smaller role in the offense now that Elton Brand has put in a better season. Perhaps most important, Speights' rebounding figures are starting to catch up with his scoring ability, while he's gotten his FG% over 50%.
Cunningham by comparison has done a lot for the Blazers as their lone remaining healthy center (knock on wood, you knock on wood right now). But he doesn't have the versatility Speights has and Speights' upside is still formidable. He's got a solid mid-range J, crazy athleticism, and has never had resources devoted to his development.
But it looks like Philly is doing the most aggrivating thing teams can do, keeping a talented young player buried while also not listening to trade offers.
Nene not looking to relocate, regardless of MeloThere's been talk of Nene possibly looking to get out of Denver should Melo walk. But Yahoo! Sports reports that family issues may keep Nene there long-term. His wife's pregnant and from Colorado. Often overlooked in players' desire to win or chase big markets or money is the impact of family. Nene may wind up being the building block the Nuggets will need him to be going forward regardless of how the Melo situation works out after all.
Diaw the Fix-It-All (Okay, not really, but it rhymed, kind of)Boris Diaw has an expring contract, an oversized midsection, and a versatile game, still. Yahoo! also reports that the Bobcats are looking to move Diaw (to "change their team a bit"). Diaw is undersized as a five and a four, oversized as a three, has good handle, can shoot, attack off the drive, play the post and work as a passer in the pinch-post. He just can't do any of those things exceptionally well. With a $9 million expiring, he'll be a target for teams.
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2011 2:06 pm
Hawks looking for guard help, could look to Cavs' Sessions at deadline.
Posted by Matt Moore
Some people will tell you the San Antonio Spurs are flying under the radar this season. If that's true, then the Atlanta Hawks are flying in invisible, Heat resistant stealth bombers this season. Did you know the Hawks are just 3.5 games out of the No.3 seed in the East?
On the flip side, did you know they're just 12th in the league in point differential, that they're 14th in offensive efficiency, 13th in defensive efficiency, and 12th in efficiency differential? So they're better than you'd think. But their record also shows a better team than has been on the floor.
Which is why they may be looking for an upgrade, particularly at guard. From Ken Berger's Post-Ups Wednesday:
The Hawks are looking for guard help, and sources say they may be interested in the Cavs' Ramon Sessions. The feeling among rival execs is that the Hawks may be willing to spend up to or perhaps even a bit beyond the luxury-tax threshold if there's a deal that would significantly improve their chances in a playoff series with Boston, Orlando or Miami.via Trade buzz: Swap not only way Melo ends up with Knicks - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.
Jeff Teague has underwhelmed after a strong start, and Mike Bibby is, well, Mike Bibbly. Old, reliable, and old. Also can be old. Sessions would fit seamlessly with Atlanta and is the kind of athletic force on the break that could really mesh with Josh Smith and Al Horford. Sessions may have been part of the worst losing streak in NBA history, but he's also shooting 46% from the field this year and averaging 5 assists per game. On a team with actual players, who know what he could accomplish.
A point guard advantage could help Atlanta push a second round playoff series to seven games. And there, anything can happen, even if the Hawks are the most unlikely of contenders. It probably won't push them over, but it would be a solid upgrade regardless.
Still lingering for the Hawks? The issue of Jamal Crawford, without an extension, and wanting one badly. If that relationship has been soured beyond repair, the Hawks could get good value from him on the open market.