Posted on: August 20, 2010 8:53 am
Edited on: August 20, 2010 8:54 am
Carmelo and LeBron's loyalty, Greg Oden's return timeline, and Grant Hill is a tambourine man.
Posted by Matt Moore
Troy Murphy is thrilled to be playing for the Nets. And he should enjoy this opportunity. For a full season. Because when his contract expires, he likely won't be able to enjoy the beautiful vistas of New Jersey unless it's on vacation.
No wonder everyone freaked out when Anderson Varejao was injured. The video of the injury was signficantly worse than the result. X-Rays and MRIs were negative, and he's day-to-day for Brazil. Odds are that won't make the Cavs feel totally fine with Varejao playing so much this summer.
Basketbawful points out how a delightful quote from Carmelo that harkens back to another person that claimed loyalty to his team: LeBron.
You know the best way NOT to use PER as a useful statistic? Compare those whose PER is similar to a player to conclude that player should take more shots. The end result? Don't try and tell Amir Johnson to take more shots. That just won't work out well. I'm a numbers guy, and even I know I don't need a formula for that.
I'm not saying this is the last time you'll see Daniel Orton in a Magic uniform this year . I am saying this very well might be the last time you'll see Daniel Orton in a Magic uniform this year.
My favorite listing of things Phoenix Suns did this summer ? Grant Hill played tambourine on his wife's album. Yeah.
There is no time frame , at least publicly, for Greg Oden's return. I'm sure this makes Blazers fans feel just fabulous. Oden's also off the radar and his trainer isn't talking. The only time you don't share that kind of information is if either the news is not good, or you're trying to take what is perceived to be too much pressure of an injury-prone guy that's struggling to get back.
An appeal to approve the application for Wilt Chamberlain to have his own stamp .
There is so much "UGH" about this .
Derrick Rose likes Skittles so much they sent him his own custom Skittles vending machine . It has every type of Skittles ever made. According to sources, his mom is really worried he'll ruin his appetite before dinner.
Posted on: August 12, 2010 5:18 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 9:16 pm
A look around the web at reactions to the 4-way trade between the Hornets, Rockets, Nets, and Pacers.
Posted by Matt Moore
Indiana PacersPacers blog Indy Cornrows is breathing a heavy sigh of relief as the team has finally begun to construct a roster for the future, after years of band-aids on bullet holes:
"The second major area of relief addressed was adding a point guard who isn't just a one-season rental or a stop-gap point guard until someone better surface. Darren Collison is a young and vibrant point guard who instantly energizes the backcourt and fits in well with the other young core pieces the Pacers have assembled.
Teams trying to acquire a legitimate point guard never get this lucky. You either have to overpay in assets or money, and often both. For the Pacers to have acquired a player with neither limitation nor cost, that's quite a coup. 8 Points 9 seconds touches base on how it's relevant that Collison brings the right attitude to "running the team."
"Celebrate, Pacers fans. This is a good, good, good day. The team has a point guard. I never thought this day would come. Best part? Darren is just the perfect combination of youth, talent, mentality (he wants to show the world he belongs among the better PGs on this league) and drive to run this team at a very high level immediately. I’m sure he enjoyed picking up a thing or two from Chris Paul, but he must be ecstatic to have “his” team. And with only Granger and Hibbert as established team cornerstones for the future, he can immediately put his mark on the ball club."
And that aspect is why it's important the Jim O'Brien makes it clear the team is headed for a youth movement and not allow the same kind of veteran preference overshadow the need to put the youth on the floor. The Paces also feature a solid four-man rotation in the backcourt with Collison, Brandon Rush, Lance Stephenson, and A.J. Price. Also, there's no word on if the celebration in Indiana will feature a hoe-down. (I'm not mocking. I'm from Arkansas. I respect a good hoe-down.)
"While some may argue that Trevor Ariza is the better player than Lee, that's not really my concern. Rather, I'm focused on how Lee fits with the roster, because that's what ultimately matters most. He's perfect for the free-flowing offense that Rick Adelman will likely employ with the second unit, much in the way that Shane Battier was a terrible fit for such a unit. Lee's presence frees up Battier to start once again, where he is much more comfortable. Make no mistake: Battier starting again is a good thing. He may have suffered through an ankle injury last season, but his style of play is not such that it will be affected by his aging. He is an intangibles player, much in the way Lee is. If anything, I'm excited that Lee will be able to learn from Battier"
Lee is often criticized for having limited upside. I'd argue that his upside manifests itself not in terms of increased points and assists, but in the kind of things The Dream Shake hints at, the defense and savvy attributes that Battier represents.
New Jersey NetsSebastian Pruiti of Nets Are Scorching thinks the best thing about the Nets' acquisition of Troy Murphy is his expiring contract, which gives them not only flexibility next summer, but the ability to "flip" Murphy before the deadline if a marquee upgrade becomes available to teams with cap space.
""At the start of next season, the Nets are going to have both Murphy and Humphries coming off the books, plus they are saving what Courtney Lee would be making next year ($2,225,093). This means that they are going to have somewhere in the area of $15 to $16 million worth of cap space to work with next year, when a certain indecisive forward in Denver becomes a free agent. Even if the Nets don’t make a run at Carmelo, they have a lot of money to continue adding pieces to their roster. In addition to the cap space next year, Murphy’s contract is going to be very attractive to teams at the trade deadline, and if Favors is playing well enough, I can see the Nets flipping Murphy for some young talent/trade exceptions/draft picks."
It's strange to see Murphy headed to the Nets in such a salary-shifter role, considering he was one of the more sought-after offensive weapons at last year's deadline. In the interim, he should be able to provide some help, most notably taking pressure off of Derrick Favors to come in as gangbusters, which is a really good thing considering how raw Favors is:
"From a roster standpoint, the Nets now have a power forward who can come in right away and be “the guy” at the spot. Murphy, the New Jersey native, is going to be the opening day starter, no question about it. So what does that do to the rest of the front court? It makes Derrick Favors the back-up, and this is probably the best scenario for him in terms of development. "
New Orleans HornetsHornets 247 reports on an underrated element of this trade , that head coach Monty Williams has done terrific work with similarly long versatile small forwards in Portland, which could spell good things for Ariza in New Orleans.
"It also has to be noted that this is the exact kind of small forward that new coach Monty Williams will love to work with. By all accounts he did wonders with Nicolas Batum and Travis Outlaw while he was in Portland and Ariza is further along in his game than either of those players were when Monty started working with them. Once Peja is moved, the Hornets will have two defensive minded small forwards in Pondexter and Ariza that will be able to hound players on the defensive end, fill lanes and finish in transition, and knock down the wide open threes that CP3 will be able to provide."
At The Hive, on the other hand, isn't nearly as impressed with the trade, being frustrated with not getting more for what they consider a future star in Darren Collison.
"At the end of the day, I simply expected more for Darren Collison. I thought his value was higher and that Trevor Ariza's, after an underwhelming first year in Houston, was lower. The fact that Houston received nothing more than Courtney Lee in the transaction is pretty telling."
Posted on: August 11, 2010 5:29 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 5:46 pm
Posted by Royce Young and Matt Moore
Here's how today's 4-team trade breaks down for each team.
New Orleans HornetsSent: Darren Collison, James Posey
Received: Trevor Ariza, sweet, sweet flexibility
Dell Demps wasn't about to sit around with the Hornets roster as-is and hope it was good enough to settle Chris Paul down. He went right to work with building for the future. Today's trade netted the Hornets Trevor Ariza, but surrendered Darren Collison. It's likely Demps will take Heat for giving up on a player that averaged 16.1 and 7.4 per 36 minutes last season in a backup role, as a rookie. But in reality, this was a solid win for New Orleans, because it gave Demps what he needs in order to start turning the Hornets into a real contender. Flexibility.
That flexibility starts in the other player they sent to Indiana in this trade, James Posey. Posey had two years and $13.4 million left on his contract for a soon-to-be-34-year-old player that scored 5.2 points per game and shot 37% from the field last season. Posey and Peja Stojakovic make up the bulk of the remaining albatross contracts on New Orleans, older players with massive contracts. Moving Posey clears not only the money but the roster space.
Acquiring Trevor Ariza locks them into a long-term deal, but it's for a 25-year-old wing that can defend and carries a lot more value. Ariza's production plummeted last season, largely due to trying to take on more than he's capable of handling. But alongside David West and Emeka Okafor as a weapon for Chris Paul, he could regain some measure of the ability that landed him that contract in the first place. And if not, moving Ariza at 24 will be much easier than Posey.
Moving Collison is a risky maneuver, but having your second or third best player at the same position as your best player creates complications. This move gets rid of one of the albatross contracts and gains a talented player. Allowing them to ditch Julian Wright is a perk of the deal.
Demps knows the only way to get the Hornets on the right track is to create flexibility. If you want to make a flexible omelet, you gotta break a few eggs. --M.M.
Indiana PacersSent: Troy Murphy
Received: Darren Collison, James Posey
If there was a clear-cut winner in this deal (and we think each team won), the Pacers are it. Point guard is a vital position in this league. Outside of the Lakers (whose system doesn't require an elite point guard), nearly every serious contender has a legitimate top-flight point guard. And the Pacers' point guard situation has been an outright disaster for years. T.J. Ford was thought to be the answer, and that didn't work out so much. Furthermore, they lived in point-mediocrity while refusing to commit to a true youth movement.
Well a new day is dawning in in Indy.
With the addition of Collison, the Pacers get a scoring-point who can also distribute to the options they've acquired in the draft, along with Danny Granger. Troy Murphy was one of several expirings they have, so they're still looking at a wealth of movable options to upgrade before the deadline. They specifically needed an upgrade at point guard and definitely got it. Even if Collison takes a step back while keeping his turnover ratio as high as it was, he's still a significant upgrade, and one who is only 23.
Posey's contract is a pain, but it's possible a buyout could be arranged, and if not, they're still losing enough salary to make them players in free agency next season. More importantly, a revised CBA with a stricter tact won't hurt them as severely. The Pacers now feature Collison, Lance Stephenson, Paul George, Brandon Rush, Roy Hibbert, and Tyler Hansbrough as significant rotation players they've drafted or acquired. It's a roster with flexibility and upside. It may not be a playoff team, but it's a team headed in the right direction that finally solved its biggest riddle. --M.M .
Houston RocketsSent: Trevor Ariza
Received: Courtney Lee
Yes, swapping Ariza for Lee seems like a downgrade in talent. But when you consider the Rockets' payroll just swelled to around $81 million after the signing of Luis Scola, Brad Miller and Kyle Lowry, it's pretty clear Houston wanted to dump some salary. The Rockets were about to be stamped with a $10 million or more luxury tax hit, so this deal saves them almost $30 million overall and about $10 million this season when you factor in the luxury tax. Houston isn't a franchise that attempts to operate on the cheap, but in this NBA financial climate, any time you can cut major costs all while not hurting the team, it's a pretty good plan.
But don't write it off from a non-basketball standpoint either. This wasn't only a business move. Lee is a player that at his $1.2 million salary, is a pretty good bargain. He can defend three positions, can shoot the 3 and on a good night, put up solid numbers. The Rockets wanted to move around a bit to make more room for Shane Battier and make Kevin Martin the go-to offensive weapon. Now with Ariza gone - a player that liked to shoot - Martin becomes the focus along with Aaron Brooks and the backcourt gets a little deeper. Houston will miss Ariza's hot scoring nights, but with Martin, Brooks, Scola and the return of Yao Ming, they'll likely be able to pick up the slack fine. --R.Y.
New Jersey NetsSent: Courtney Lee
Received: Troy Murphy
Most are going to say the Pacers came out shining in this trade, but the Nets are really the quiet winners. Murphy is a fantastic player that is almost a guaranteed double-double every night. He's a guy that will help make the team competitive, all while the organization grooms the No. 3 overall pick Derrick Favors, who is only 19, to grow into a starting role. Plus, a bonus: Murphy is in the final year of a $12 million deal so New Jersey has a healthy amount of cash coming off the books.
The Nets signed Anthony Morrow in the offseason so Lee immediately became expendable. Yi Jianlian moved to Washington clearing space in the frontcourt. So even with Murphy, Favors still sees ample playing time, Morrow steps in for Lee and the Nets roster just got a little tune-up. A few pieces were shuffled around but in the end, the Nets are a better, more well-structured team. Brook Lopez and Murphy will likely work really well together, Morrow fills the gap left by Lee and Favors isn't rushed into anything. A smart move all around for New Jersey. --R.Y.
Posted on: August 11, 2010 1:23 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 4:22 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Update: Our own Ken Berger of CBSSpors.com confirms that the deal is done, pending league approval.
I guess new Hornets general manager Dell Demps was serious about upgrading the talent and putting together a plan in New Orleans to keep Chris Paul. And he's not wasting any time doing it, sacrificing Darren Collison in a trade in order to move James Posey's hefty chain of a contract.
Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports that the Hornets, Nets, Rockets and Pacers are talking a four-team trade that would send Trevor Ariza to NOLA, Courtney Lee to Houston, Collison and Posey to Indiana and Troy Murphy to New Jersey.
Goodness. Let's all let that one soak in for a minute.
At first glance, I'm having trouble finding anything all that appalling about it. It makes sense for Indiana who desperately needs a point guard and is willing to take on Posey's ugly contract to get a potentially excellent point man in Collison. The Nets don't really need Murphy long-term because they just drafted Derrick Favors, but with Yi Jianlian moving to Washington, the Nets could use some more scoring punch and honestly, unloading Lee is not that much of a price to pay for a double-double machine like Murphy. Plus having Murphy in front of Favors and pairing those two with Brook Lopez would be darn fine frontcourt.
The Rockets would get Lee, who is a good shooter and scorer to spell Kevin Martin and also clear room for Shane Battier who now can get the minutes he deserves. Not to mention they'd ship Ariza's $5.8 million off the books in exchange for Lee's $1.2. Houston clearly is looking to clear some money off the books, because a straight swap of Lee for Ariza really isn't equal in terms of a talent trade. For instance, as Ford points out, before the trade, the team was bracing for a $10 million-plus luxury tax hit. This trade would save them $28 million on the life of the contracts and $10 million this season, including luxury tax considerations. That's a good chunk of change.
And of course the Hornets, who are the most important part of this proposed trade. Demps promised CP3 he would improve the roster and here's his first stab at it. Ariza replaces Posey in the proposed trade and this would also gives Demps the flexibility to move Peja Stojakovic, who he surely would love to.
Though he has faults (like shooting way too much, shooting too many 3s and shooting too low a percentage) Ariza is a quality scorer and someone that Paul can be encouraged in having. Plus, the kicker: Demps is already starting to try and clear some of the dust off the shelves by moving contracts like Posey's off the books. Though if there is a question mark here, it's that one would think the Hornets could get more than Ariza in a trade that sends Collison somewhere.
Obviously New Orleans wouldn't trade Collison if it weren't certain that Paul were staying. So if there's anything to take from all this, it's that CP3 will likely be with the Hornets for at least two more years. That is, if it all goes through in the end.