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Tag:Andrea Bargnani
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:10 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Shootaround 12.09.10: Rocking out with Rony

Former NBA player turns club DJ, questions about Tyreke Evans' foot, Derek Fisher drops the Clippers, the Blazers fret about a lockout, Antoine Walker airballs a free throw, and a bunch more. Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Former Miami Heat center Rony Seikaly is now a party DJ playing in clubs across the globe, the New York Times reports. “I’m not doing this to be a celebrity,” Seikaly said. “I’m not doing this to become famous. I’m doing this just to share the love, and to share the music.”
  • Duke point guard Kyrie Irving, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, "could miss the rest of the season with a right toe injury," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told the media.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:07 am
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Posted on: November 1, 2010 1:48 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:22 pm
 

Al Horford, Hawks agree to 5-year extension

The Atlanta Hawks have reportedly agreed to terms with Al Horford on a 5-year contract extension. Posted by Ben Golliveral-horford
Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Twitter that the Atlanta "Hawks and Al Horford agree to terms on 5 year $60 million contract extension. Incentives still to be negotiated." Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports confirms the contract details on Twitter. Horford, 24 years of age and currently in his fourth year with the Hawks after attending the University of Florida, has established himself as a solid, talented young big man in the NBA. Taken with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2007 draft, behind Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, Horford has averaged right at nine rebounds per game during all three of his NBA seasons. He's also increased his scoring average from 10 points to 11.5 points to 14.2 points during those three years. The reported contract is similar in size to one signed earlier this fall by Horford's former teammate at Florida, Joakim Noah, who agreed with the Chicago Bulls on a 5-year, $60 million deal. Two comparable deals from last year: No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft, LaMarcus Aldridge ($5 years, $65 million) and No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, Andrea Bargnani ($5 years, $50 million).   Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Noah's deal may have influenced Atlanta's decision to extend Horford.
Horford joins only Kevin Durant and Joakim Noah among high-profile 2007 draft picks who will be getting extensions. Horford's deal marks a philosophical shift for Hawks GM Rick Sund, who has almost without exception declined to do such extensions in the past. Given uncertainty over a new collective bargaining agreement, few teams are extending their 2007 picks before the deadline. Sources say the Hawks' hand was forced by the Bulls' decision to give Noah a five-year, $60 million extension. 
Given that Horford has yet to enter his prime, has averaged nearly a double-double for three straight seasons and has missed only 17 games in three years, the deal represents great value for the Hawks. They certainly won't be panned by the critics for this one, like they were after re-signing Joe Jonson to a 6-year, $119 million extension this summer. Update: The Hawks have officially announced the deal in a press release to the media. Some quotes and notes from the release are excerpted below.
“From the moment he arrived in Atlanta, Al has been a large part of our success,” said Hawks GM Rick Sund.  “The winning tradition he brought to the franchise as a rookie out of Florida has extended to three consecutive playoff seasons in a Hawks uniform.  In addition, he was deservedly recognized as an All-Star last year, and we certainly look forward to his continued development as we move forward.” Eighth in the NBA in field goal percentage, Horford was also among the league’s leaders in rebounding (10th), offensive rebounding (tied for ninth) and blocks (26th).  He recorded a team-leading 39 double-doubles (11th in the NBA) and posted 12 20-point games and a career-high 31 on February 7 at the Los Angeles Clippers. Having reached the postseason in every one of his three seasons, he has averaged 11.5 points and 8.3 rebounds in 27 games, with a 20/10 performance in his playoff debut (the first Hawk to do so) – 20 points and 10 boards against the Boston Celtics.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:20 am
 

Shootaround 9.8.10: Super Scola

Posted by Royce Young
  • Luis Scola was a one man wrecking crew yesterday against Brazil. He finished with 37 points and scored six in the closing minutes for Argentina. He was so good, he got his general manager to tweet, "Scola goes into video game god mode to finish off Brazil. Wow."
  • Jason Friedman of Rockets.com on Scola's performance: "Having watched him for three years now, Rockets fans know the truth: Scola is simply passion personified. He loves the game. Loves the competition. Loves the challenge of improving himself every day. The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen once wrote that Scola is the walking, talking embodiment of every fan’s ideal: that if we, too, were able to compete at the world’s highest level, we would do so with the sort of passion and professionalism Scola displays on a daily basis. 99.999 percent of us play the game we love for free. If every professional basketball league on the planet were to suddenly dissolve, rest assured Luis Scola would play gratis, too. And he’d do so with a giant smile on his face."
  • Doug Smith of the Toronto Star looking at Team USA's added incentive against Russia: "If the United States is looking for any extra motivation as the quarter-finals of the world basketball championships unfold, the players can look back on one of the darkest moments in the international history of the sport in that country, to a time before any of them were born. It was at the 1972 Munich Olympics, in one of the most storied games in international basketball history, that Russia beat the United States in a gold-medal game marred by a replayed finish that had all the stench of a pre-ordained result."
  • Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! looking at the same thing: "Thirty-eight years later, all the hate and acrimony between the Americans and Russians is gone on the basketball court. They used to look across the floor and wonder what in the world they had in common. All those Eastern European states – Serbia, Croatia and Lithuania – gobbled up the best players, and Russian basketball is left fighting for its identity, its soul, its future. Chicken fingers and potato skins in the shadows of the Ottoman Empire and Sea of Marmara — yes, the final victims of American sporting capitalism have paid a steep price."
  • Charles Barkley had a history of demanding trades and potentially chasing rings. Yet, he continues to rip on LeBron for the same things. Matt Bunch of Hot Hot Hoops looks at it: "So what’s the end result? Let your biases be known. Identify you’re being hypocritical, and explain why your present-day view is right and your past one is wrong. I don’t think anyone is clamoring for ideological rigidity from Trent Dilfer or Mark Schlereth or Charles Barkley, but if you’re going to say something that will figuratively make the listening audience’s ears bleed, preface it (or follow it) with an explanation of why you just said that thing. It’s the least you can do; we’re not stupid."
  • Could Chris Bosh's departure lead to Andrea Bargnani's breakout? RaptorsRepublic looks: "Maybe it’s a psychological thing with him, Bosh’s departure might not open up space on the court, but it could in his mind? Huh? Or maybe it’s simply a matter of hoisting more shots? Perhaps 14.3 FGAs a game doesn’t cut it for him and if he ups that he’ll be more interested in playing defense and will be more comfortable making plays for others. I’m clutching at straws here, but any way one looks at it, the burden of proof of whether Bargnani can become the player he was touted to be rests solely on him, not anyone else. It is no-one’s “fault” that he’s been under-performing except his. The coming season presents a different opportunity for Bargnani to excel, not necessarily a better one."
Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:31 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 11:13 am
 

Pop Quiz: Who's the worst?

Posted by Matt Moore

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who will be the worst team in the NBA this season?


It's a depressing question, isn't it? Who's going to fail more than any other? Someone has to win the fewest number of games this year. So who's on the list?

The Returning Champ: The New Jersey Nets

You can't just let the reigning "champs" off the list without giving them a chance to repeat! The Nets were the worst team in the league last year, only able to avoid the worst mark of all time due to a late surge. It was a startling development, one that baffled a lot of NBA heads, because the team really did have talent. But for whatever reason (injury, chemistry, coaching, pure terrible luck), it never came together and the team plummeted into the depths. So are they doomed to repeat history?

The Nets struck out in free agency for the top names but still brought in good players. Anthony Morrow, Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, and Troy Murphy will all be suiting up for the Nets alongside Devin Harris, Terrence Williams, and Brook Lopez. With the development of the younger players, the addition of a few talented veterans, and a more demanding coach in Avery Johnson, the Nets may not be in position to push for the playoffs, but they are unlikely to repeat as the worst team in the NBA.

The New Kids: The Toronto Raptors


Our first victim of the free-agency summer of doom. After losing Chris Bosh to the triad, GM Brian Colangelo went on a firesale. He ditched Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa and sent Marco Belinelli for Julian Wright. He did spend some money, though, giving Amir Johnson a hefty new deal and bringing Linas Kleiza back from overseas. The Raptors lost a huge chunk of salary, and weren't that great to begin with. They are teetering on the abyss. Will they fall off?

Bear in mind that we're talking the worst here. Not bad, but the worst. And the Raptors could assuredly reach that mark if everything were to go wrong. But there are bright spots. Andrea Bargnani, for all his rebound-void, yogurty, forceless  weaknesses, can still hit from anywhere on the floor, and might actually get to play where he's best (high-post and mid-range) with Bosh gone instead of trying to impersonate a traditional center. DeMar DeRozan has the athleticism and range to be able to become a leader. Sonny Weems continues to impress, Amir Johnson will forever be lauded as the next great (whistle) defensive player (whistle) if only he could (whistle) stop fouling (whistle). If the Raptors drop off a cliff, it'll be because the chemistry wasn't fit to hold, or because the real problem in Toronto hasn't been Colangelo's roster, but Triano's coaching.

The Dark Horse: The Washington Wizards


How could any team with John Wall be the worst team in the league? When you have as fragile a chemistry set as this team does. That's how. The Wizards are a long shot to burrow into the trash heap the furthest, but with Gilbert Arenas anything but a sure thing, there's just no telling how this is going to work out. We thought the biggest concern with Arenas last year was if he could stay healthy a full season. We didn't even get to answer that. Andray Blatche is the third best player on the team, and that could go any number of ways. He could be a consistent scorer, working in tandem with Wall, and showcasing the scoring ability he showed last season. Or he could become a space cadet again. JaVale McGee showed great things in Summer League, but he's yet to prove he can be someone to be relied on as the primary big.

Wall is likely to be good enough to drag this team out of the very basement, and if everything were to go right (and I mean everything), the Wizards could find themselves in contention for the playoffs. But if another chemistry blow-up happens and Flip Saunders is unable to contain the damage and get through, the Wizards could be a two-year disaster.

The Favorite: The Minnesota Timberwolves


Okay, let's try the opposite. Let's try and figure out how the Wolves could avoid being the worst team in the league. Option No. 1, another team has a rash of injuries that makes Houston seem like Phoenix. Okay, barring that, Option No.2, we need the following to occur:

A. Luke Ridnour picks up where he left off in Milwaukee, being a solid game manager and reliable shooter.
B. Martell Webster slides in and immediately begins to contribute as he did in Portland, providing the perimeter scoring missing in Minny last year.
C. Wesley Johnson was in fact, the best player available at 3, better or at least within range of DeMarcus Cousins only without the chemistry problems, and is able to pick up the pro game's speed and awareness necessary to contribute.
D. Jonny Flynn recovers on schedule from hip surgery.
E. Kurt Rambis and David Kahn get over whatever problems they had with Kevin Love last season, and Love is allowed to be on the floor and become the player everyone else believes he is.
F. Darko Milicic actually was worth five years and $20 million, and alongside Love makes for a stout front court.
G. The triangle, one of the more complex and difficult systems to run, which has only been successful for two teams under one coach with the best or second best player in the league at all times, magically works for a lottery team lacking in both veteran smarts and talent.
H. Mike Beasley really was just misunderstood.

That's a lot that needs to go right. Wolves fans tend to think the media picks on them because of their market. As a proponent of small markets, I'm here to say that's not the case. It's because this team is bad. It was built badly, with bad contracts for bad players, with a bad system for its personnel, and it needs significant upgrades at nearly every position and at multiple depth levels in order to make itself right. The Wolves could come together and shove it in the faces of all the doubters. But until we see the actual manifestation of all the supposed potential the roster holds, your Minnesota Timberwolves are expected to be the worst team in the NBA this season.


Posted on: August 16, 2010 8:49 am
 

Shootaround 8.16.10: Chicken and the egg edition

News and links to set the NBA table, brought to you daily...
Posted by Matt Moore

Lance Stephenson's impressive performance in Summer League was enough to make you think maybe all the talk of him being a knucklhead was overblown. Whoops. Stephenson allegedly threw his girlfriend down a flight of stairs Sunday. The question of whether the acqusition of Darren Collison by the Pacers now looks like a savvy move or if Stephenson's realization that he's been bumped down the depth charthelped contribute to the incident is a lot like the chicken and the egg. Only with guys that throw their girlfriends down stairs. Not cool, if true.

Dwyane Wade feasts on the tears of children. No, seriously, there's video evidence and everything .

Mike Miller is no longer on the list of "guys you should mess around with." He's been training with MMA fighters .

Owners-media relationships are one of the more interesting developments in new media, as owners have been at both ends of the spectrum. Michael Hiesley has done interviews with blogs before. James Dolan, on the other hand, doesn't even speak up when he needs to make sure everyone knows the house is in order.

J.J. Redick was one of the most efficient players in the NBA last season, which is particularly difficult from the perimeter. With his new nifty $20 million contract, you have to wonder if he'll be given more opportunities to showcase that efficiency.

The Warriors sold for $450 million, which isn't a bad price tag in this economy. The Detroit Pistons, with multiple championships and a much greater basketball legacy, but in a decisively lower bargaining position, are on the table and close to a deal, but the leading bidder's not willing to go over $400 million . Whether this is the kind of driving force behind the failing economy of a symptom thereof, is, naturally, another chicken-and-the-egg deal. As long as the Pistons don't move, everything should be cool.

O.J. Mayo is arguably the second best player on the Grizzlies, depending on who you talk to. And there are six spot-on reasons why he doesn't have a place on the Grizzlies roster. This has "how the Grizzlies screw up a good situation, again" written all over it.

Josh Childress, on if he can be a lockdown perimeter defender on the Suns, a team not known for its defense, even marginally acceptable defense: "That's the plan."

Andrea Bargnani isn't the worst rebounding seven-footer in the history of the league. But it's really close .

Finally, I'd like to nominate the following as our official slogan for the 2010 FIBA World Championships: "Please do not get hurt, Tyson Chandler." Really? Eric Gordon goes with the team on the next leg, and JaVale McGee, for all his issues one of the true legit bigs on the roster, and Jeff Green go home? In Coach K we trust, but....


Posted on: July 8, 2010 3:20 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2010 4:41 pm
 

What the Bosh S&T proposal means for the Raps

Posted by Matt Moore

KB informed us that the Raptors are inching closer to a sign-and-trade agreement for Chris Bosh to Miami. The deal has now grown to include Houston and Charlotte, primarily from the Raps end so that they don't have to take on a player. The deal they're pursuing would get back their first round draft pick they traded to Miami, along with a massive trade exception for 2011, and a player from Houston, ideally.

This move signals that the Raptors are not pursuing a strategy of trying to make the current roster contend, but instead abandoning ship on the team as it was built. A full rebuild is underway. It's a perilous approach considering how much money the Raptors sank into contract last year in order to keep Bosh around, without any real indication he would be staying in Toronto. Bryan Colangelo will essentially be moving to undo all the decisions he's made, and that's the kind of process that's painful and often costs GMs their job.

Getting the pick back and taking the trade exception is a great start, though, and not having to absorb the risk of Michael Beasley is a huge upshot. The team may be back in the lottery again next year, and they'll want a shot at franchise savior Harrison Barnes. Not taking on any more contracts will make it easier for them to try and shave salary from trades, and this should be viewed as an open invitation that the Raps are open for business.

Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu are the two biggest albatrosses, and while there are elements of each's games that could attract teams, the contracts Colangelo gave them in a failed attempt at a contender will likely make them near immovable. They may be forced to take on deals like the ones New York had to endure the last two seasons in order to unload them.

Someone had to lose out this summer, many teams did. Unfortunately it looks like Toronto may be in for the roughest turn.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com