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Tag:Rudy Fernandez
Posted on: September 15, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 2:08 pm
 

Pop Quiz: How good are a healthy Blazers?

Posted by Royce Young

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...

If the Blazers can get (and stay) healthy, how good can they be?

Pretty darn good. Next question.

(What's that? I need to take 800 or so more words to explain why? OK then.)

Last season's trials for the Blazers are well documented. Greg Oden , Joel Pryzbilla , Rudy Fernandez, Brandon Roy, Nic Batum - they all missed a significant amount of time. That's like, the whole team right there.

Yet they still won 50 games and finished seventh in the West. When you start looking at old box scores from last season and some of the lineups Portland played 20, 25 and even 30 minutes a night with, it really shows you what a remarkable job Nate McMillan did last season holding it all together.

Now imagine them all healthy, all clicking for a full 82. I realize that's basically impossible to picture because, you know, Greg Oden is on the team, but humor me.

Pryzbilla may be out until December, but assuming he comes back fully healthy, Portland's front line is as stout as they come. Oden , Pryzbilla , LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby for a four-man rotation on the blocks.

The addition of Wesley Matthews is no small thing, especially with the whole Rudy Fernandez situation flapping out in the wind. If anything, Matthews makes Fernandez somewhat dispensable. Brandon Roy now has a capable scorer to stand with him on the wing, plus Matthews is a nice wing defender.

Andre Miller looked re-energized last season when he had to carry the load for Portland, Jerryd Bayless has his moments and they have a bonafide stopper in Nic Batum . Rookies Luke Babbitt and Eliot Williams a nice adds, though they may not get a ton of time, unless, well, last season happens again. But this time, Portland's at least got a little more depth and it might not have to scramble to sign Juwan Howard's 65-year-old body.

The window in Northwest is still wide open. The Thunder might enter the season as the favorites for the division, but they're young and some feel might be setting up for a bit of a disappointment. Hey, it's what happened to Portland last season.

Then of course Denver could be transitioning without Carmelo Anthony, Utah has some questions and then there's Minnesota.

Winning over 50 isn't out of the question. Heck, it's probably a strong possibility.

Don't underestimate the value of a healthy Oden for a full season. Portland hasn't yet had a chance to experience that. Before he went down last year, the Blazers were 13-8 and were only giving up 90.7 points per game. After Oden was hurt, the Blazers gave up 96.2 the remaining 61 games. His defensive impact is definitely important.

Plus, this team is still young. The average age is under 25, even with old dogs like Miller and Camby on the roster. For the most part, the Blazers are a rising, building unit. Two years ago, they were the youthful darlings before Oklahoma City stole their thunder (I realize that was terrible), but the reality is, this team isn't filled out yet. Windows in the West don't stay open for long, but it's still open for Portland.

The best part of last season was there wasn't any crying. There wasn't any whining. The excuses were there and this team still won 50 games and made it into the postseason. In terms of character and willpower, that says something. At least to me.

Injuries happen. It's life in professional sports. But not every year do you see five or six significant injuries that cause starters to miss multiple games. That's what Portland went through last season.

If this team is healthy for a full 82, are they legit contenders? Possibly. Outside of one team at the top, the West's door is open. The talent is certainly on the roster and they've proven they can win. Injuries make for an easy excuse a lot of times, but sometimes it's just real.

The Blazers at full tilt for an entire season? Yep, I'd say they're pretty good.
Posted on: September 3, 2010 11:17 am
Edited on: September 3, 2010 11:18 am
 

Report: Donnie Walsh rejected trade for Fernandez

Posted by Royce Young

For anyone that thinks the Knicks are completely clueless, here's something to think otherwise. Rudy Fernandez has been lobbying to get out of Portland for months. Lobbying enough to get slapped with a $25,000 fine for it. The Knicks are on his short list of teams to be traded to and the Knicks would certainly love to have him.

And there was a deal on the table to make it happen. But Knicks general manager Donnie Walsh didn't hit the red button. According to the New York Daily News, a three-way trade sending newly acquired Anthony Randolph to Indiana, a first round pick to Portland and Fernandez to New York fell apart at Walsh's desk. Walsh evidently offered Wilson Chandler instead, but neither the Pacers nor Blazers apparently had much interest there.

The Blazers have made it clear they at least want a first round pick, something the Knicks don't have. So a third team is necessary to bring in. But the complication there is, you have to make this deal worthwhile for this third team. And Anthony Randolph would definitely be something worthwhile. I'm sure the Pacers were absolutely tickled at this deal before it felt through seeing as they desperately need a power forward.

But Walsh is smart to keep Randolph. Most agree that Randolph is one of the most uniquely talented players in the league with an absurd amount of upside. He was trapped in Golden State with Don Nelson's erratic playing time and treatment so the thinking is, out of that system and into Mike D'Antoni's, Randolph could flourish. And while the Knicks want a shooter really badly, Fernandez isn't a neccesity because of the offseason signing of Roger Mason Jr.

Fernandez's people definitely aren't done looking to move him and Blazer GM Rich Cho will certainly continue to look for a willing partner. But it doesn't look like the Knicks will be one of those teams, at least unless Anthony Randolph is not part of the deal.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 1:44 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 1:46 pm
 

Your guide to the 2010 FIBA World Championships



Posted by Royce Young


The 2010 FIBA World Championships tip off tomorrow and let's be honest, outside of Team USA and a handful of NBA players scattered around other teams, we all don't know a ton about it. So here's your cheat sheet to catch up on the important parts of the games:

10 NON-NBA PLAYERS TO WATCH
Miroslav Raduljica, Serbia - The big Serbian was going to play a large role in this year's games before Nenad Krstic was suspended for three contests. Now, Serbia's early success may very well hinge on Raduljica. He runs the floor well, has soft hands and is one of the most improved players in Europe. He's eligible to enter the NBA draft next year and with a big showing in Turkey, might see his stock skyrocket.

Tibor Pleiss, Germany - Pleiss is property of the Oklahoma City Thunder and was taken in the early second round of this year's draft. He's 7'1, skilled with a lovely jumper that stretches out near the 3 and has an improving post game. He's already a quality rebounder and shot blocker, though as is the case with most young European big men, he needs strength. He's definitely an NBA caliber player at some point and he's one of Germany's top players. If Germany makes some noise in Turkey, it'll likely be because Pleiss did some breaking out.

Juan Carlos Navarro, Spain - Ah, the elusive JCN, or La Bomba as he's endearingly called in Spain. He's known in the States because of a brief stint with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2007-08, but is known across international basketball as one of the most crafty, creative and skilled guards in the world. The lack of superior athleticism is what held him back in the NBA, but he has an array of runners, floaters and running jumpshots, plus is deadly when he's open. He's one of those players that's basically just fun to watch.

Ioannis Bourousis, Greece - Bourousis is coming back from a hand injury that forced him to miss most of Greece's exhibition games, but should be ready to go in Turkey. He's a massive seven-footer that weighs in at 280 pounds. Like Tim Duncan, he trained to be a professional swimmer before getting to big for the pool. He's surprisingly smooth on the post and at 26, has improved his game a lot since 2006 when the U.S. played Greece.

Victor Claver, Spain - Property of the Portland Trail Blazers, Claver is a classic swingman that prefers to run the floor and shoot jumpers. He's not strong and not a great ballhandler, but does finish well at the rim. He's huge at 6'10, but only weighs about 215 pounds. Teams with physical forwards will beat him up, but running the floor with Ricky Rubio will give him a chance to showcase his talents in the open court.

Matthew Nielsen, Australia - The Euro Cup Final Four MVP for Valencia last season, Nielsen is an accomplished international player. He's 32 and has spent time on multiple national teams for Australia. He's not overly skilled, but he's big at 6'10 and moves well. He scores outworking players inside, but is a quality post-up threat.

Tiago Splitter, Brazil - He counts here because he's not in the NBA yet. A recent signee of the Spurs, Splitter will be a player that NBA fanatics will have a close eye on these next few weeks. We've all heard about his skills for the last few years, but most haven't had a chance to see them in action. He's incredibly gifted around the basket and if he plays well, Brazil may make a run to the semi-finals.

Timofey Mozgov, Russia - Same as Splitter, Mozgov will be in the NBA next year with the New York Knicks. He's a true big man at 7'1, but runs the floor well. He's not especially polished offensively, but he uses his big body well. A lot of people have compared him to Marcin Gortat or Andris Biedrins because he scores a lot by playing physical inside. He'll be a project for the Knicks, but he'll be a feature for the Russians.

Ante Tomic, Croatia - Tomic is a gifted big man that has drawn comparisons to Pau Gasol because of his excellent footwork, soft touch and passing ability. He has range that stretches out close to the international 3, and is a player Croatia will likely center their offense around. He's rail thin though and his lack of strength is what really hurts him when talking about taking his game up a notch.

Ricky Rubio, Spain - Everyone knows about the flashy passes. Everyone's seen the YouTube mixtapes. Everyone knows he has a ton of talent. But not a lot of people have seen him actually play a full basketball game, outside of 2008's gold medal game. With Jose Calderon out, this team is Rubio's. He'll play the bulk of the minutes and run the show. He's a bit turnover prone and his stat line never seems to impress, but it's all about watching him. A game where he scores five points, dishes out four assists and has four steals may not seem like much, but he seriously impacted the game.

THE UNITED STATES GROUP PREVIEW
Most consider Group B to be the toughest in Turkey. Obviously there's Team USA, but Brazil, Slovenia and Croatia are all capable squads that should advance out of this group.

Brazil
NBA players: Anderson Varejao, Leandro Barbosa, Tiago Splitter, Nene (out with injury)

Prior to Nene's injury, Brazil was becoming a trendy pick to make the semi-finals and possibly the finals. The talent is there and it's not just in NBA players only. Former NBA players Alex Garcia and Marcus Vinicius clearly have skill, but Marcelo Machado is an excellent sharpshooter, Marcelo Huertas is a crafty point guard and Wellington Dos Santos may actually be faster than Barbosa.

Former Gonzaga star J.P. Batista has the ability to anchor the interior with Splitter and Varejao and with a combination of size and speed, Brazil is a team to take notice of. They want to play up-tempo and high pressure defense, and they have the players to do it.

Croatia
NBA players: Roko Ukic

The Croatians are a squad that doesn't have a ton of top tier talent, but is deep and filled with quality players. The aforementioned Ante Tomic is the key. If he plays well and stays consistent throughout, Croatia could be a team that goes deeper than expected.

Iran
NBA players: Hamed Haddadi

This isn't a bad team. They aren't good, but they aren't that bad. They likely won't advance out of the group stage, but they definitely are a candidate to win a game or two. Teams like the United States will steamroll them, but they could definitely sneak up on Croatia and Slovenia, potentially making a little noise to finish in the top four.

Slovenia
NBA players: Goran Dragic, Primoz Brezec

As it is now, Slovenia is good. But if it had its entire roster with players like Beno Udrih, Sasha Vujacic, Rasho Nesterovic and Erazem Lorbek it could be really good. Slovenia should battle Croatia for third in this group, but is definitely good enough to get to second. It all hinges on Goran Dragic. He needs to score and create and if he can continue his good play, Slovenia should be fine.

Tunisia
NBA players: None

This is easily the worst team in the group. Its goal should be to maybe beat Iran and then keep games within 20. There's simply not enough talent on the roster to stay competitive. Honestly, Team USA could let Jim Boeheim and Nate McMillan start and it would still be a cakewalk.

United States
NBA players: Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala, Lamar Odom, Tyson Chandler, Chauncey Billups, Danny Granger, Stephen Curry

The clear favorite to win Group B and a favorite to win the whole thing. Obviously, Team USA has the most talent in the entire field. But playing together is the key. Coach K has done a fine job of establishing roles for players, but the lack of interior size could hurt the Americans the deeper the tournament goes. A game against Brazil in this group could be the only hangup, but Croatia and Slovenia aren't pushovers.

Despite this group probably be the toughest in the tournament, anything less that a 5-0 start for Team USA would be disappointing.

Predicted finish:
1. United States
2. Brazil
3. Slovenia
4. Croatia
5. Iran
6. Tunisia

FOUR GROUP STAGE GAMES TO WATCH
Saturday, August 28: Spain vs. France - Two traditional soccer powerhouses field pretty solid basketball teams. Spain should win, but Nicolas Batum has emerged as a go-to player for France to seeing him compete and defend the Spanish roster will be fun.

Monday, August 30: Brazil vs. USA - The winner of this game will likely win the group. It should be a fun game to watch too as both teams play pressure defense and prefer to push the pace. This one could easily have 200 combined points.

Monday, August 30: Croatia vs. Slovenia - A European rivalry game with the winner surely locking in a place in the tournament, and probably third place in Group B.

Tuesday, August 31: Greece vs. Turkey - Someone might be killed during this game. No, seriously. Both these teams HATE each other. I don't know if this will so much be a basketball game, as a 40-minute hip-checking contest.

THE FAVORITES
United States - The most talent in the field, though maybe the least chemistry. The U.S. squad will have to find its identity and find it fast.

Spain - A chic pick to win gold, Spain has the talent, chemistry and leadership to win. Losing Jose Calderon hurts only the sense that backcourt depth is light. But if Spain is to seriously make this run, a player like Rudy Fernandez is going to have to elevate his game and play well.

Greece - The smallest player on the team is Vassilis Spanoulis, and he's "only" 6'4. So in other words, the Greek's are big. Greece is massive and what they lack in athleticism, they make up for in size and skill.

Argentina
- The USA's old nemesis, Argentina has NBA talent in Carlos Delfino, Luis Scola and Fabrico Oberto. They'll surely miss Andres Nocioni and Manu Ginobili, but this is a team that should make an easy run to the quarters, probably the semifinals and possibly the finals.

Serbia - The suspensions to Nenad Krstic and Milos Teodosic definitely hurt, but there is enough on this roster still to get out of the group. And once they're full strength, this is a team that's good enough to be in the semifinals.

Brazil - The Brazilians seem to be flying a bit under the radar, but with a group of speedy, skilled players, they should get to the quarterfinals with ease and then past that, they're a tough matchup for anyone.

THE SLEEPERS
Turkey - The host country always seems to do well because the boost from a home crowd always helps. But Turkey has players too. There's Hedo Turkoglu, Ersan Ilyasova, Semih Erden and Omer Asik, all NBA players. Some are taking Turkey to get to the finals based only on the fact they're hosting, but they might get there because this roster has some serious talent.

Canada - Don't sleep on Canada. While not a lot of names on the roster jump out and there's no Steve Nash, they have all decent players and a few NBA guys in Joel Anthony and Andy Rautins. Canada beat Serbia and France in friendlies and isn't a walkover by any means.

Puerto Rico - This feisty group has three NBA players in J.J. Barea, Renaldo Balkman and Carlos Arroyo and has played well in exhibitions. They should get out of their group and in tournament play, they have the players to make a small run.

Australia - The Australians have slowly been building better basketball teams and this might be one of their best yet. There are two NBA players in David Andersen and Patty Mills, plus quality guys like A.J. Ogilvy and Matthew Nielsen. They lack athleticism, but if Mills can get his game going, Australia might sneak up on a few teams.

PREDICTION (see the full bracket)
Group A winner: Argentina (Serbia, Germany, Australia advance)
Group B winner: United States (Brazil, Slovenia, Croatia advance)
Group C winner: Greece (Turkey, Puerto Rico, Russia advance)
Group D winner: Spain (Lithuania, France, Canada advance)

Round of 16: Argentina defeats Croatia, Puerto Rico defeats Lithuania, Greece defeats Canada, Brazil defeats Germany, United States defeat Australia, Turkey defeats France, Spain defeats Russia, Slovenia defeats Serbia

Quarterfinals: Argentina defeats Puerto Rico, Brazil defeats Greece, United States defeat Turkey, Spain defeats Slovenia

Semifinals: Argentina defeats Brazil, United States defeat Spain

Third place: Spain defeats Brazil

Finals: United States defeat Argentina
Some don't like Team USA winning gold. But it's hard not to like them. The way the bracket sets up, if both Spain and the U.S. win their groups, they'll meet in the semifinals. So if the U.S. gets by Spain again, beat whoever comes their way in the gold medal game shouldn't be a huge issue.

The thing with Team USA is, they have more talent than anyone. They have more skill. They have more strength. They have more speed. They have more athleticism. The one thing they lack is size, and that's just in a traditional sense. Nobody can properly match up with the likes of Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant and Rudy Gay. Even figuring out how to guard Team USA's second unit would be tough. While no, this isn't a team full of Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, this is a quality unit with a ton of talent. There will be some tough games for sure and the U.S. will rely on Rose and Durant to carry them through. But these guys should be up to the task to bring home gold for the first time since 1994.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 9:01 am
Edited on: August 27, 2010 9:05 am
 

Shootaround 8.27.10: Chicken Nuggets

Posted by Royce Young
  • Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post: "The task of receiving anywhere near market value for Anthony in trade only figures to be more difficult with a growing perception the 6-foot-8 Denver forward is more interested in winning an Oscar than an NBA title. As a league executive told me: Anthony used to bleed basketball. But if you opened him up now and looked inside, what could be found closest to the player's heart? A love of the game? Or the desire to be a Hollywood star?"
  • Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company: "I know most observers are saying the Nuggets are going to fail to get equal value for Carmelo, and they are right.  There is just no way around that fact. I strongly believe Denver is in a better position than everyone realizes.  There will be competition between the Knicks, Nets, Rockets and Clippers. The Knicks, Nets are desperate to make a big move and acquire a marquee player.  The Clippers are just a notch below that level. I can see Donald Sterling convincing himself that this is his chance to make a run at the Lakers and doing everything he could to acquire Melo."
  • Howard Beck of the New York Times: "With Fields signed, the Knicks’ roster is essentially set. They have 14 players with guaranteed contracts and no immediate plans to fill the final vacancy. (Center Jerome Jordan, another second-round pick, will begin his career in Serbia. The Knicks retain his rights.) A handful of players will be brought to camp on partial guarantees and perhaps compete for the 15th spot."
  • Steve Nash talking to the Arizona Republic: "It disappointed me because we were close and we're going to miss a big piece, but I think Robert went to or beyond where anybody could ask him to go," Nash said. "This franchise would suffer a severe risk if Amar'e ever got hurt, so I understand why the last two years were guaranteed only if he played 22 minutes a game. I can't fault Robert for that. I can't blame Amar'e. He got that money guaranteed. It's just a shame."
  • D-League Digest continues on with grading teams use of the D-League. I find the differences fairly fascinating.
Posted on: August 19, 2010 7:11 pm
 

Fernandez fined $25k for comments

Blazers forward fined $25,000 for comments by agent about wanting out of Portland.
Posted by Matt Moore


The path out of a guaranteed contract in the NBA is a messy, and often expensive, affair. Rudy Fernandez is getting a head-start on what that kind of divorce looks like.

The NBA today fined Fernandez $25,000 for "public statements detrimental to the NBA" according to an NBA release. It's assumed that Fernandez was fined for comments made by his agent regarding a desire to end his time in the NBA and return to Europe. Fernandez' agent spoke with both Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports and HoopsHype.com about Fernandez' desire for a split with the Blazers. Via HoopsHype:

“The impression I’m getting more and more is that he’s lost interest in playing in the NBA, quite frankly,” Miller said. “It’s my impression that Rudy would prefer to be in Europe rather than the NBA at this point.”

The fine is a pretty standard reaction from the league, which automatically fines a player that makes a public trade or release request. Granted the multiple reports which have indicated both Carmelo Anthoney and Chris Paul requesting trades make for an easy loophole, but it's an important distinction. You have to provide the league and your team with plausible deniability. Your agent going on record about you wanting out doesn't exactly provide a lot of wiggle room.

For what it's worth, Rich Cho, the new GM of the Blazers told Spears that they're not in any hurry to do anything about Fernandez. Fernandez' situation is particular, but GMs are always wary of setting precdents which could lead to other situations. The cold hard truth is that Fernandez is under contract with the NBA. If the Blazers don't want to let him go, they don't have to. And if he doesn't play, he doesn't get paid. Unlike the other superstars looking for a new zipcode this summer, Fernandez doesn't have much in the way of leverage.

And the NBA certainly isn't going to be helping him out.
Posted on: August 18, 2010 11:24 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 8:57 am
 

Rudy Fernandez is done with the NBA

Blazers forward is headed back to Europe, regardless of trade.
Posted by Matt Moore


Rudy Fernandez has made a ton of noise this summer about wanting out of Portland, where his value has steadily declined since entering the league. He never clicked with the coaching staff and had his role progressively compromised by roster moves. The steady thought was that a trade to New York, Chicago, or Boston would have placated him. However, it would appear that situaton has changed.

Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports that Fernandez' agent claims that Fernandez is homesick and wants to return to Europe. He no longer has an interest in playing in the NBA, and is willing to sit out the season under suspension in pursuit of a split with the Trail Blazers. Fernandez is still under contract with the Blazers this season, so he can't just escape back home.

What he's going through sounds awfully similar to Juan Carlos Navarro, who joined the Grizzlies before heading back home. Of course, Fernandez was actually part of a winning team, though he did have his best friend on the team (Sergio Rodriguez) traded away just like Navarro (Pau Gasol). But it's yet another example of a European player that simply prefers the lifestyle and play of Europe over the NBA. It's a shame we'll miss out on seeing Rudy regularly. But hey, we'll always have the failed dunk attempt. 40 times .



Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:02 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 12:18 pm
 

It's Thursday and Rudy still wants a trade

Posted by Royce Young

Rudy Fernandez has made it pretty darn clear that he wants a trade. And he's reiterating those sentiments again. HoopsHype translated an interview done with Marca.com and Rudy once again laid his feelings out.

"It's more like we're trying to talk with (the Blazers) and make them understand my position. And let's make clear I understand theirs too," Fernandez said. "We have to come to an agreement and find a way out as soon as possible. I made a great effort going to the States, making less money that I would in Europe. This season, I decided with my agents that the best thing was to try to get traded so I could be on another team with more playing time."

The was also talk that Fernandez grew depressed over playing time and his situation. He talked a little about that too.

"Not to the point of being depressed, but I've been pretty messed up psychologically," he said. "I didn't feel comfortable on the court and sometimes I preferred to stay on the bench. I didn't feel capable of helping the team and that's very tough to handle for any player."

It's looking unlikely that Fernandez will in fact get moved any time soon though. The Bulls are still a candidate even though they just signed Keith Bogans, but Blazers coach Nate McMillan said in an interview with NECN.com that his focus is that Fernandez will be back and also how to use him when he comes back.

The Celtics are another potential spot for Fernandez to land, though if the Blazers aren't willing to swap Fernandez just to get him out of Portland, it's unlikely the Blazers will be satisfied with most packages teams like the Bulls and Celtics could put together. The Blazers have been clear they want a first round pick among other things, so teams like the Celtics and Bulls will have to weigh that and decide if Fernandez is a piece worth going after. But this much is apparently clear: You better play him if you get him or he'll want to leave.

Posted on: August 12, 2010 9:05 am
Edited on: August 12, 2010 9:30 am
 

Shootaround 8.12.10: Scal with a clipboard?

Posted by Matt Moore

Did we overreact to the Malice in the Palace? Was it really that big of a deal when Ron Artest went into the stands and decked a fan who he thought hit him with a cup of soda (he didn't, some other dude did)? After all, Kevin McHale did pretty much the same thing in 1987. The answer of course, is no. Even if no one was significantly injured in either incident doesn't mean that the odds are good these types of things won't lead to it. There are kids in that lower bowl. Let's all agree near-riots are bad, m'kay?

While we're at it, let's keep "don't slap assistant coaches in Pro-Am leagues (or ever)" on the list as well.

Daryl Morey on the trade for Courtney Lee yesterday: "This is a guy who we were focused on acquiring in the (’08) draft. I think, overall, the deal is similar to the Kyle Lowry deal. We’ve been trying to acquire Courtney when he went to Orlando and then he went to New Jersey and as you can tell, myself being on vacation, you can just never tell when an opportunity is going to strike. We really target players who we think will fit in well here over time and when we got our first chance to acquire him we really were obviously fairly aggressive to get this done."

Lorenzo Wright's ex-wife (who has been investigated in connection to his murder) claims he left the house the night of his murder with drugs and money . This story gets progressively somehow more depressing.

Carlos Arroyo raps ! (Not well.)

Breathe a sigh of relief for the already depleted Team USA team. Danny Granger's finger is A-OK . You can pat your Pacer friends on the back as well.

Don't sleep on Shaun Livingston. I can never decide if Shaun Livingston is over-covered due to his hardships, or not covered enough. Either way, the idea of him with the Bobcats is a pretty solid concept. Larry Brown is the type of coach that appreciates the effort that Livingston has made to recover from injury.

Chris Bosh continues to drive the dagger into Toronto . It's kind of suprising. Some people you expect to behave cruelly to their former small-market comrades. But Bosh never struck me as that type. I was wrong in that assessment.

Shocking news, Rudy Fernandez wants out of Portland . No, really. No kidding. Like, seriously this time. No joshing.

Brian Scalabrine may be a coach . No, not a dancing coach. Quit laughing. It's not funny. Not that funny, at least.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com