Posted on: August 5, 2010 7:53 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 10:54 am
Posted by Matt Moore
The Pacers continue to search for a point guard option . There comes a point where you just have to recognize you can't go forward without a positional upgrade and you have to commit the resources necessary to acquire one. The Pacers have hit that point, but now there aren't really many options. However, if Lance Stephenson can just show a baseline of point play like he did in Summer League, he could be an option. I never would have thought that a reasonable match, but Stephenson looked like a better combo point than several attempted hybrids have.
Consider this. With Shaq signing not only with Boston, but in Boston for a two-year deal , the odds are high that his last NBA game will be as a Celtic. Try and wrap your brain around that.
Almost everyone agrees that Mark Cuban, for all his antics, is a great owner. But after Cuban lost the bid for the Texas Rangers last night, one reporter thinks his heart wasn't in it to begin with, and has some harsh words . It's hard to imagine Cuban doing the bidding of anyone, and the fact is that Cuban has been one of the best stories in sports ownership over the past decade. Committed not only to winning, but not throwing out money to ridiculous personnel like New York.
The Suns signed Matt Janning who looked good in Vegas Summer League . This brings their total number of goofy looking white point guards to three.
Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian want to have children . Tremble for your world, ye children of men.
Bulls blog Bulls by the Horns points out that Joakim Noah has improved his jumper . That's a fairly siginificant step for a player just to become decent and another sign that Noah is still even better than we think he is, and at this point we think he's pretty good.
In a lot of ways, Ben Wallace is the anti-Shaq. Doesn't say much. Does his job. Re-signs with the team that he's loyal to . You know, those kind of things.
Shannon Brown thinks playing time, more money, and a system that fits his skills are all fairly useless things . Why be a prince in an upcoming neighborhood with tons of potential when you can be a lapdog in Bevery Hills? Wanting to stay where you had success is nice, as is the loyalty factor, if that really is part of it. But Brown is poorly suited for the triangle and has more value elsewhere than he does in LA, walking the ball up as a third stringer and sitting in a corner waiting for a three. He's a slasher, a driver, a creator. But hey, his career. And the rings are always nice.
Bill Walton is working with Roy Hibbert, which can only lead to good things . My question? Where's Rik Smits?!
Sharks + Thunder= Thundersharks .
Tags: Ben Wallace, Boston Celtics, Bulls, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Joakim Noah, Lakers, Lamar Odom, Lance Stephenson, Los Angeles Lakers, Mark Cuban, Matt Janning, Mavericks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Pacers, Phoenix Suns, Pistons, Rik Smits, Roy Hibbert, Shannon Brown, Shaquille O'Neal, Suns, Thunder
Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:30 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 11:31 pm
Posted by Matt Moore
Along with the Christmas and opening day schedules released tonight by the NBA, the MLK Jr. Day schedule was also revealed. And just as in years past, the slate's pretty solid. If only we had a trusty NBA blog to run down the games that day.
Wait, we do have a blog like that! It's this one!
Okay, I'll stop. Here's the rundown.
1PM EST, Bulls at Grizzlies:
The Grizzlies had a huge win last year on MLK day over the Suns, a team much better than them in 2009-2010. And they'll find themselves in a similar situation this year. Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, and Ronnie Brewer make the Bulls a much better team than they were last year on paper. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have only added a shooting guard they can't come to terms with despite the existence of a rookie pay scale. So they've got that going for them.
But still, this should be a good matchup, if the Grizzlies aren't on a back-to-back. Marc Gasol and Joakim Noah are very different but nearly equal players in terms of production and skill. Zach Randolph is the flip side of Carlos Boozer. More consistent, less injury prone, and continuosly hammered for his locker room cancerous behavior. Not that Boozer is a saint, he's just somehow been excused regularly despite his contract situation being a distraction for Utah the last two years. But their production is similar so that's nearly a wash as well. Rudy Gay is a better but younger version of Luol Deng, and O.J. Mayo's scoring punch and perimeter defensive speed counters Kyle Korver/Ronnie Brewer's specific but limited skill-sets. Unfortunately, that Derrick Rose guy exists. Advantage: Bulls.
Let's not even talk about the bench diffferential, which is considerable. Like I said, back-to-back for the Grizz would be a bad, bad thing here.
4PM EST, Kings at Hawks:
The Hawks got ran last MLK by an up and coming Western Conference team in the Thunder. So naturally the league scheduled them against a similar, and only slightly worse in the Kings. Joe Johnson versus Tyreke Evans should make for a good theater, and Al Horford versus DeMarcus Cousins could be one of the most bizarre conflicts of style and personality among players under 25 all season. And hey, what says Martin Luther King Jr. Day more than Omri Casspi and Zaza Pachulia?
8EST, Magic at Celtics:
You don't really expect me to provide you with a preview for the estimated 22nd meeting of these two teams in three years, do you? Because if you do, you expect way too much out of me.
Oh, hey, something-something, Shaquille O'Neal versus Dwight Howard. Boom.
10:30PM EST, Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers:
This is likely going to be a back-to-back for the Thunder. That's generally how these things work. But in what could well end up being an MVP season for Kevin Durant, it still should be incredibly fun. As we saw in the playoffs, these two teams are extremely well matched, and even with the Lakers' upgrades off the bench, OKC's continued development should make for a strong foil to their heavily favored position.
Plus, Cole Aldrich versus Pau Gasol could be high comedy.
Tags: Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Bulls, Carlos Boozer, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Rose, Grizzlies, Hawks, Joakim Noah, Kevin Durant, Kings, Lakers, Los Angeles Lakers, Magic, Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, Mike Bibby, O.J. Mayo, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Pau Gasol, Sacramento Kings, schedule, Thunder, Tyreke Evans, Zach Randolph
Posted on: August 3, 2010 3:57 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 5:03 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Shaquille O'Neal is finally set to sign with the Celtics, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Boston .
Ken Berger confirms this with his sources as well and says the deal will be for the veteran minimum of $1.4 million is likely a two-year deal with the second year a player option.
Shaq will get what he wants in that he's on a good team that has a need for him. Though the Celtics signed Jermaine O'Neal already, Boston has to deal with an injury to Kendrick Perkins plus Jermaine O'Neal's sketchy health history. Shaq should have minutes and will fill a role, two things he wanted.
Shaq flirted with multiple other teams including the Hawks and Spurs, and even tossed out the idea he nearly signed to play overseas in Italy . But after all that, the chance to join a contender and have another go-around at an NBA title was too much to turn away.
This will be Shaq's sixth team in 19 seasons. He's 38 and averaged 12.0 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last year in Cleveland.
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:27 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 8:49 am
Posted by Matt Moore
The new NBA superpower in Miami will definitely have its hands full to start the season as the New Big 3 takes on the Old Big 3. Welcome to being the hunted, ring or no ring. The Boston Globe reports that the NBA season will kick off October 26th with the defending Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics hosting the Miami Heat. If this report and the Orlando Sentinel report regarding the game against Orlando on the 28th are correct, it means two things.
One, Miami will immediately be under fire to produce wins. Starting the season off 0-2 would mean almost nothing in terms of their capacity as a team, but would result in a cataclysmic fire of negative press that would follow them until the notched several significant wins. Knocking off the Pacers on a Tuesday will not help things if they start off winless against the two best teams in the East outside of Miami, both of which have been to the Finals the past two seasons.
Two, the Heat will not open their own arena until at least Friday or Saturday, meaning it doesn't look like the NBA trusts the Miami market to create a particularly rowdy atmosphere, compared to what greets the Big 3 on opening night. Two road games against the two other top East teams? Baptism by fire, super-friends. Baptism by fire.
Meanwhile, the revelation that the season kicks off with Miami and Boston leads us to wonder what team the defending champion Lakers will face. Rampant speculation has suggested Oklahoma City, which would certainly bring the most high profile game for the Western second game of the expected doubleheader. Other possible options include the Suns, Nuggets, Spurs, and Mavericks.
We'll have more on the opening night matchups when the NBA officially releases its opening night, Christmas Day, and MLK day schedule tonight on NBATV.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 12:03 pm
Edited on: July 30, 2010 12:06 pm
Posted by Royce Young
At some point, Tracy McGrady and Shaquille O'Neal are going to sign somewhere. I'm convinced.
And as of Friday morning, according to Marc Stein , Chicago had not completely ruled out signing McGrady.
The Bulls were looking hard at Eddie House so with his signing in Miami, Chicago is looking elsewhere to fill out the roster with a scorer. However, Stein says Chicago continues to look at lower profile options like Keith Bogans and Roger Mason.
The main issue with the Bulls for McGrady is that he wants to guarantee of a prominant role. And obviously the Bulls are looking at this as a role player off the bench kind of thing. The Bulls are looking for McGrady to accept any role he's handed and live with it with no complaints.
The Bulls could certainly use another scoring threat on the perimeter, so if they do cave and give in to McGrady, Stein reports it's believed Chicago would push for a non-guaranteed contract for next year so they can dismiss him without worrying about the pocket book if the experiment goes wrong.
As for Shaq, it looks like the big guy is pushing for Boston, but he's not going to like the veteran minimum that the Celtics will offer. Shaq has really four choices at this point: Take minimum money and play in Boston, take less money and play in Atlanta, take less money and minutes and play in San Antonio or take more money and minutes and play for a bad team.
The injury to Kendrick Perkins gives Boston more inclination to do something, and Stein mentions the possibility of looking at Kwame Brown as well. The Celtics only have minimum money available and not even Brown is wanting to take that, Stein says. So obviously Shaq probably isn't too pumped about it either.
Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:51 am
Edited on: July 28, 2010 11:09 am
Posted by Royce Young
Rudy Fernandez wants to be traded. He's wanted to be traded since before the draft. The Blazers got close with a few teams, but nothing ever materialized. It even got to the point Fernandez said he preferred to return to Europe.
And currently, Portland is talking to a bunch of teams about the shooting guard, reports The Oregonian . According to the report, Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running for Fernandez.
Some of the teams interested in Fernandez have offered a future first round draft pick, while other offers would pair Fernandez with another Blazers player, according to the report. In a story from the Chicago Tribune , James Johnson is reportedly being shopped and is part of an offer to Portland for Fernandez. If Chicago were to complete that deal, Tracy McGrady's chances to play for the Bulls just got slim.
"I've spoken to Andy and I'm aware of Rudy's feelings," general manager Rich Cho said. "But at the end of the day we are going to make the best decision for the franchise."
Miller says he expects a trade to be made in the near future. Fernandez will earn about $1.25 million next season and his contract includes a team option for 2011-12.
Posted on: July 24, 2010 7:41 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 7:42 pm
Posted by Royce Young
And here comes another report from Shaquille O'Neal's camp, this one reported by Tim Povtak of FanHouse . Two sources close to Shaq confirmed to FanHouse his continued interest in the Celtics .
Though as Povtak mentions, Shaq is interested even though the Celtics currently have no room, or exceptions, under the salary cap to pay him beyond the NBA veteran's minimum of $1.35 million. The only way Shaq is getting more money is if Cleveland lends a hand with a sign-and-trade.
One question though is where does Shaq fit? The Celtics have Kendrick Perkins inside (though he is recovering from an injury), Jermaine O'Neal and of course, Kevin Garnett. Where does Shaq pull meaningful minutes from? Shaq would have to accept a reduced role, which is something he hasn't sounded that excited about during this process.
So far, Shaq's name has been up most prominantly with the Hawks, but also a little with the Spurs. In both instances again, the word has come from Shaq's side of things.
But for a guy that's 38 and looking for a last hurrah before signing off on a historic career, Boston is a nice fit. He would have the luxury of not being heavily relied upon, would fit in with a group of quality veterans and the Celtics are already serious Eastern contenders already.
Though there's no telling if the Celtics have mutual interest. Shaq might have a difficult time fitting into Boston's defensive system because the Celtics prefer a versatile, more athletic big in the middle. But it makes a decent amount of sense of both sides, especially if Shaq is willing to take the minimum. Hard to see Shaq humbling himself that much, especially since as of a month ago, he was still thinking he was at least a $10 million a year player.
Posted on: July 16, 2010 2:39 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 9:23 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Multiple outlets (Sam Smith , David Aldridge , Marc Spears ) are reporting that guard Ronnie Brewer has signed with the Bulls. The deal is reportedly three years, $12.5 million.
Reportedly, Brewer turned down an offer from Boston to sign with the Bulls.
Besides the fact that the Bulls should now be called the Chicago Jazz, this is a good signing for them. Brewer's an excellent athlete and quality defender that can shoot and get to the rim. He adds immediate depth in the backcourt and can play multiple positions. The Bulls lost out on J.J. Redick when the Magic matched his offer, so Brewer was a pretty nice Plan B.
Everyone is talking about the Heat's big offseason, but quietly, the Bulls have done a ton of work. Just these past few weeks Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer have all been added to the roster. They were able to keep Luol Deng who they thought they'd lose and now with Derrick Rose in his third year and the rise of Joakim Noah, the Bulls are starting to look pretty scary.
Brewer played last season in both Utah and Memphis, but hurt his knee almost immediately upon arriving with the Grizzlies. In 58 games he averaged 8.8 points per game.