What is taking Dumars so long to move Rip Hamilton. Al Jefferson was out there from the Timberwolves. David Lee is about to get traded for two reserves on the same level as Maxiell and Wilcox. I'm starting to wonder why Joe D is moving so slow, with a team that barely has trade value as it is. Dumars You need to wake up and smell the free agency...if we end up spending our MLE on somebody like Sheldon Williams, Dumars will officially be on the Hot Seat in my book.Continue reading "Whats up Dumars, Get rid of the old ..."
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How Can the Washington Wizards Improve to Contender Status? posted by Chase Hughes
Last night I was listening to an interview with former NBA head coach P.J. Carlesimo on 106.7 The Fan. He was commenting on the opening days of the NBA regular season, specifically about the Eastern Conference and his thoughts on who were the better teams. Not surprisingly he named the top three teams as the “factors,” those being Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando. He said that there are not any teams even close to those three but on the outside looking in is the Washington Wizards. The Wizards were the only team he mentioned as the fourth best team and he said this about three times. These comments got me thinking about what the Wizards need to do this regular season to take the next step and breach that label, in what areas can they improve to develop into the fourth Eastern Conference power?
First of all, this piece is not in discussion of anything to do with the playoffs, I am not assuming that the Wizards are clearly the fourth best team or that they will even make the playoffs at all. What I am saying is that the Wiz are in that second tier bunch that follows the top three, which in my opinion also includes the Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, and the Philadelphia 76’ers (3rd tier: MIA, CHI, NJ, DET). Carlesimo added that this is the way the East is presently, that come December we could be talking about another team that has emerged or perhaps a top team will regress and make way for one that is on the brink. We know that this is Gilbert Arenas’ team but what pieces need to fall into place for Washington to make that jump? I offer several possibilities, some more plausible than others for how the Wizards can materialize into a contender:
5 Predictions for the 2009-10 Washington Wizards posted by Chase Hughes
1. Gilbert Arenas will average over 8 assists per game – It is quite obvious that with all the new offensive weapons and a healthy roster, Gilbert Arenas’ scoring average is going to go down. He isn’t going to be able to keep up a 29.3 ppg season like he did in 2005-06. My guess is that his numbers will drop down to around his career average of 22 ppg. Maybe even a little bit lower as there are going to be plenty of guys begging for the rock. Scoring averages aside, with Gilbert Arenas back in the line-up everyone will benefit. Gil still gets respect for his scoring capabilities, as evidenced in the two games last year in which he tallied 20 assists and no turnovers. He has the ability to draw the double team and help defense, much like Kobe, Dwyane, and Lebron, giving him opportunities to pass the ball off to the open man. In the two games he played last year, you could see that Gilbert still has a quick first step but is more cautious with it. That hesitancy makes opponents play on their heels which allows Gilbert to blow by them on a drive and get the basket or draw the foul. What is going to happen is Gilbert will come out this season as a type of player we aren’t used to seeing wear number “0.” His essentially two years away from the game have undoubtedly changed his perspective as a floor general. What will emerge is a Gilbert Arenas that involves his teammates while still showcasing the killer instinct that makes him the great scorer he is. Gilbert’s career assist average is 5.5 apg, a great figure for a small forward but not up to par with the best point guards in the league. Here are his assist averages over a few seasons:
Continue reading "5 Predictions for the 2009-10 Washington Wizards"
Thunder continue to make small moves in the right direction. posted by john howard
The Thunder traded away Damien Wilkins and Chucky Atkins for Etan Thomas and two second round picks. The move was an even swap money wise. Wilkins and Atkins make nearly 7mil together and that is what Thomas will make this year. The Thunder are well under the cap and Thomas' contract expires this year. So, not only will they have freed up money next year, they will also have 5 draft picks. 2 in the first round and 3 in the second round.
So, financially and on paper it makes a lot of sense. Also, the Thunder were heavily loaded with guards. Sefaloosha and newly drafted James Harden have the 2 guard covered. And Russell Westbrook is the starting point guard. Shaun Livingston has played well enough this summer to be the back up. Second year player Kyle Weaver can play both and is ever improving. So, there just wasn't any room for those other 2 guys.
Etan Thomas will likely take the role that Malik Rose played last year. A veteran with leadership and tough inside defensive play. This was yet another brilliant move by the front office.
For Minnesota, Atkins gives them some insurance at point should Ricky Rubio not show. Also, Wilkins is in his last year and this is a make or break year. He has shown sings of being a contributor in this league. If he breaks through this year, then the management looks like a genius. If he flops, they clear up 3mil in cap space and it's no big loss. It's a risk worthy of a second round pick. And, Atkins is worth the insurance of a late second round pick. So, this was a good move for them as well.Continue reading "Thunder continue to make small moves ..."
Richardson traded again. This time to Minnesota posted by john howard
Quentin Richardson has traveled from New York to Memphis to Los Angelos, and now to Minnesota. He takes with him $9mil for one year. Last season he earned 3 wins for the New York Knicks (a Howard Sports statistic). In return, the Clippers get Sebastian Telfair (3 wins), Craig Smith (2 wins), and Mark Madsen (0 wins). So, it was a good trade for the Clippers. They gained a backup to Baron Davis. Minnesota meanwhile gets to unload a huge salary after this season. Richardson also fills a void that was created when Foye was traded to Washington. Also, Ricky Rubio doesn't appear to coming soon. After the terrific play of Flynn this summer in Las Vegas, Telfair became expendable.Continue reading "Richardson traded again. This time to Minnesota"
Minnesota summer league a success posted by john howard
Minnesota has a long way to go, but they made progress this summer in Vegas.
Johnny Flynn is the real deal and should be the starting point guard from day one. He averaged 15 points and 7 assists. And, shot lights out! Over 50% from 3-point and 91% from the line. He had over 5 turnovers, but that is to be expected. Scoring and dishing at that level in summer league shows that he is going to be a good player.
Wayne Ellington also showed that he can play. He averaged 14 points and 3 rebounds while also shooting lights out.
Corey Brewer was the 3rd leading scorer at 12 ppg and played solid. He isn't the player that I thought he was going to be, but he can still contribute.
Oleksiy Pecherov was acquired this summer from Washintong. He 9pts and 7 rebounds and shot well below 40%. He will be a bench player at best, but is still developing.
Bobby Brown and Gerald Henderson are two other notables that played, but not much.
Overall, Minnesota did very well in Las Vegas and they have 2 new players they are going to really like.Continue reading "Minnesota summer league a success"
Minnesota Timberwolves posted by john howard
The Minnesota Timberwolves are in a world of hurt, and it's likely to get worse before it gets better. Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, and Sebastian Telfair each earned 3 wins last year, while the rest of the returning roster earned 8. That is a total of 17 returning wins. When they traded away Foye and Miller, they unloaded 6 wins to acquire the 5th pick. That pick usually earns 4 wins. So, they traded away wins form something they hope pays off in the future. With Ricky Rubio, Johnny Flynn, and Wayne Ellington as rookies, statistically, they should acquire 9 wins. That would be a dismal 26. That number could even be lower if Rubio decides to bolt. Also, 2 wins, Ollie and Carney are free agents. This could be another, long hard year for the Timberwolves. The bright side is that Jefferson didn't play all 82 games, so his win total of 3 should go up. But with the surrounding cast, not by much.Continue reading "Minnesota Timberwolves"
New York and Rubio posted by john howard
New York, I don't care what you need to do, get Ricky Rubio. He has a chance to be special. There is no player on your team now that can be special. He wants to play where his name will be known and New York is it. He would be great in that style of play. Also, being on the east coast would make him seen more. I think they could work something out. Especially if there is a chance that he could play in Europe and not for Minnesota.Continue reading "New York and Rubio"
National Champs send four in NBA Draft posted by Christopher Arroyo
The people who saw the 2009 NBA Draft on Thursday were in for a special treat when they saw Blake Griffin go No. 1.
Very predictable however.
Then, Hasheem Thabeet went No. 2, which was also predictable. Then things got a bit interesting.
The early shocker was Stephen Curry going number seven to the Golden State Warriors. But what was really neat was that all of the North Carolina players that declared were drafted.
The first Tar Heel chosen was Tyler Hansbrough, who went at number 13 to the Indiana Pacers. This was a good pick, for the Pacers and here is why. Indiana is not known to carry much toughness, especially in the frontcourt.
If you had the treat to see this guy in college then you would know that he’s the real deal for toughness. I think he will start the season on the bench, but he will emerge into that starting position around December.
The second Tar Heel chosen was Ty Lawson, who was picked by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Now I know many of you were wondering why Minnesota picked four guards in the first round, which three were point guards. But, rest assured, they ended up trading Lawson to the Denver Nuggets for a future first round pick.
This is the BEST team for Lawson. You’re putting one of the top, and under-appreciated, point guards in the draft on a team that is surrounded with rising talent. He is also going to appreciate being an apprentice to Denver’s Chauncey Billups.
Probably the most respected guard in the league and known for his patience and leadership on and off the court. Sadly, he will be a bench player for a few years but, learning under Billups will definitely make him one of the top point guards in the league. This was really the best move of the draft Denver should be strong under the point guard position for at least the next 10 years if all goes well.Continue reading "National Champs send four in NBA Draft"
OH-HUM THE 2009 NBA DRAFT posted by Andy Natalie
1 Clippers Blake Griffin PF
2. Grizzlies Hasheem Thabeet C
3. Thunder James Harden SG
4. Kings Tyreke Evans SG
5. Timberwolves Ricky Rubio PG
6. Timberwolves Jonny Flynn PG
7. Warriors Stephen Curry PG
8. Knicks Jordan Hill PF
9. Raptors DeMar DeRozan SG
10. Bucks Brandon Jennings PG
11. Nets Terrence Williams SG
12. Bobcats Gerald Henderson SG
13. Pacers Tyler Hansbrough PF
14. Suns Earl Clark SF
15. Pistons Austin Daye SF
16. Bulls James Johnson PF
17. 76ers Jrue Holiday PG
18. Timberwolves Ty Lawson PG
19. Hawks Jeff Teague PG
20. Jazz Eric Maynor PG
21. Hornets Darren Collison PG
22. Trail Blazers Victor Claver SF
23. Kings Omri Casspi SF
24. Mavericks B.J. Mullens C
25. Thunder Rodrigue Beaubois PG
26. Bulls Taj Gibson PF
27. Grizzlies DeMarre Carroll PF
28. Timberwolves Wayne Ellington SG
29. Lakers Toney Douglas SG
30. Cavaliers Christian Eyenga
SFThe Clippers picked their "10,000th" lottery pick in NBA Draft history. And it is yet another shame that a guy like Blake Griffin will waste his talent for a few floundering years for the most disorganized sports franchise on Earth. The Clippers are a joke. And I was a huge fan of Elgin Baylor but his time in Clipper-dom has been the usual failure of a franchise to be even relevent. Other than the teams history dating to a time in Buffalo, the Larry Brown years of 1992 and 1993 are the only Clippers teams that did anything. Actually they had a winning season in 2005 and 2006 at 47 - 35. Anyhow the list of good players that have been selected there and then left are mounting. So I expect Griffin to display his talents and then be courted by a team that knows what it is doing. Other than that the 2009 Draft was a bit of a sham. How is that? Well what does it say that the LA Lakers ook some cash for their 1st round pick? The Orlando Magic decided to deal for aging Vince Carter instead of taking a player from this litter. The Cavaliers felt the acquisition of Shaq held more value than any of these players. Even the Golden State Warriors traded their new pick Stephen Curry to Phoenix for Amare Stoudamire. Honestly the level of USA basketball talent has diminished. Many argue that NBA players are better than ever. I believe those people depend on earning money from the NBA so therefore they continue to lie about the quality. Hey I am guilty of still loving the NBA but the new generation of players are not that fundamentally sound. Oh, they are 10 times the athletes of Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, Julius Erving or Jerry West but they can't pass, dribble, or shoot like those NBA players did and like NBA players should. I think this is borne out by the decline of the USA's ability to dominate a World that has gotten better. (And yes there are Continue reading "OH-HUM THE 2009 NBA DRAFT"
Minnesota Timberwolves News
The NBA's annual Rookie Photo Shoot would be wonderful enough if all it gave us was awkward still shots of each year's Kelly Olynyk . In recent years, though, the photo opp has turned into an impromptu dunk contest , with members of the rookie class strutting their stuff, showcasing their springs and instantly sharing the fruits of their labors via social media. The rooks added an extra wrinkle to this summer's mid-shoot exhibition —a bit of a "can you top this?" competition featuring direct Twitter challenges. It all seems to have started with Minnesota Timberwolves second-rounder Glenn Robinson III calling out his new teammate , lottery-pick high-flyer Zach LaVine, to top this 360-degree windmill dunk: As you might expect, given the UCLA product's résumé, LaVine accepted, pulling off this off-the-wall, through-the-legs righty throwdown: ... before paying the challenge forward to No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, rocking ( for now , at least) the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The former Kansas standout responded in kind, making the act of getting airborne, spinning, switching hands behind your back and finishing look entirely too easy: Here's another look at that from the baseline: Wiggins kicked the challenge over to fellow Canadian and Phoenix Suns point guard Tyler Ennis, who ... well, took things in a different direction. (More on that in a sec.) The dunking displays didn't stop, though, with Sacramento Kings guard Nik Stauskas getting creative on the floor before getting in the air: ... and Boston Celtics point man Marcus Smart showing some power with the off-the-bounce double-pump reverse: ... and Charlotte Hornets power forward Noah Vonleh looking awful springy in those super-cool purple-and-teal duds : ... and Toronto Raptors mystery man Bruno Caboclo displaying his remarkable wingspan with a through-the-legs reverse: There was also quite a bit of teamwork at the shoot, with multiple freshmen-to-be showing off their love of the extra pass to set up a fellow rook for a furious finish. The young Wolves who lit the candle on the competition showed their love of sharing, with Robinson III setting up LaVine: ... and LaVine returning the favor: Celtics draftee Smart set aside future Atlantic Division beef to set up Brooklyn Nets second-rounder Markel Brown, his former Oklahoma State teammate, for a whirling slam: Atlanta Hawks big man Adreian Payne got to be the beneficiary of multi-pass work on a couple of occasions, with Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton and Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle doing the honors once: ... and a handful of fellow rooks —Payton, New York Knicks wing Cleanthony Early, Celtics swingman James Young, Randle and Magic forward Aaron Gordon —setting him up for another: The crispest three-way dance came courtesy of former Michigan men Stauskas, Oklahoma City Thunder big man Mitch McGary and Robinson III: McGary proved to be quite a nimble facilitator for a 6-foot-10, 255-pounder, offering a soccer-inspired feed to fellow OKC draft pick and future D-Leaguer Josh Huestis: McGary's most triumphant work, however, came in this unparalleled feat of athleticism and acrobatics: Not to be outdone, the Magic's Gordon showcased the brand of panache that leaves children's ankles pulverized with this off-the-wall homage to Michael Finley : I'm not sure that tops McGary's flawless floor work, but it's an admirable attempt, if nothing else. Back to the aforementioned Ennis: Since the Suns point guard couldn't match his north-of-the-border-bro Wiggins in feats of aerial assault, he decided to introduce H-O-R-S-E style shot-making into the proceedings: Ennis' trip behind the basket opened the door for some of the not-quite-as-high-flying members of the Class of 2014 to get in on the fun. Rodney Hood of the Utah Jazz checked in from the not-so-short corner: Chicago Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott offered his spin on Kobe Bryant's favorite H-O-R-S-E shot : The San Antonio Spurs' Kyle Anderson got a little trickier (and, to be fair, a little closer, too) with his take: Jabari Parker, the No. 2 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks, went behind the back: ... and Miami Heat point guard Shabazz Napier topped him by making Parker's short shot from long distance (albeit on his sixth try ): And last, but certainly not least, here's recuperating Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, walking boot and all, taking a page out of the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book: Hi, Rihanna . My personal quick picks for best of the bunch: the Smart-to-Brown Oklahoma State connection, the Michigan three-man weave, Napier's behind-the-back heave and, of course, McGary's tumble. Feel free to share yours in the comments below. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]
From Yahoo Sports
“Ring-chasing”is an oft-derided modern phenomenon. It wasn’t mocked in 1985 when Bill Walton demanded a trade to either the champion Los Angeles Lakers or would-be champion Boston Celtics, but for some reason (deduce as you will) it was roundly criticized in 2003 when Gary Payton and Karl Malone took far, far less money than they were being offered elsewhere to sign with the Lakers; a team that actually hadn’t even won a ring the year before. In the years since, just about every player who has joined a team along those lines has gotten the same treatment, even down to the sainted Shane Battier and Ray Allen as they joined the (in Battier’s case, non-champion) Miami Heat. Battier earned two rings with the Heat before retiring, while Allen earned his second ring as a pro in 2013. Allen currently is considering stepping down after a Hall of Fame-level career. Or, he could follow LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and hear the catcalls from those who have no idea what it’s like to be in a locker room when the champagne starts spraying. Allen discussed his impending decision in a discussion with Mark Murphy at the Boston Herald : "No," he said when asked about the assumption that he would return as a Cavalier. "There’s so much speculation about me going to Cleveland. I haven’t even decided where I will play. Obviously LeBron and I are great friends, and James Jones and I are really close. But atno point have those two tried to push me in that direction. I haven’t had that conversation. LeBron and I went on vacation to the Bahamas earlier this summer, and we didn’t talk one iota about things. And that was before he made his decision. "It’s just what they start talking about on TV —where I’m supposed to go. I have not leaned towards Cleveland," said Allen. "I have not made any mention of going to Cleveland. These last two months were about me physically, and deciding whether I want to play again." Instead, Allen is weighing family concerns and a major question of whether he wants to retire in prime physical shape, or whether he wants to chase his third NBA title. That will most likely mean leaving Miami, his city of the last two years. Allen said he has not talked with Heat general manager Pat Riley, or any other member of the Heat organization, about returning. "That’s the other dilemma. If I do play again, based on what Miami is doing or not doing, I’ll end up having to move," he said. "I’ll live in Miami, but I’ll have to move to another team." Yes, “where the dude and his family actually live.”Something that gets lost way, WAY too often as we discuss these players as assets, and complain when they stay in their incumbent cities, declining to pull up roots and move. In Allen’s case it would be the fourth such move of his career, not counting the time he was traded just minutes after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. We know, we know –world’s tiniest violin. Allen’s potential “veteran’s minimum”contract with Miami or Cleveland (and probably not with Doc Rivers’Los Angeles Clippers, who are just about hard-capped out) would make him yet another million, even if it will underpay for the sort of services he provides. Ray’s three-point shooting declined last season, but anyone who watched a Heat game and took in the “oh no oh no oh no oh no”-reaction that defenses gave Miami while collapsing on an open Allen will attest to what he brings to the table. Does he want to return to that table, though? Typically, when athletes retire, they do it right away. Sick of the grind, the game, or any other number of elements, they’ll pack it up right after the season ends, or even announce before a campaign that this is the final year, I’ve had it, I’m out . Now that we’ve entered early August, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that Allen is considering giving it another go, and returning for one final year, mainly because he didn’t throw up his hands as soon as the San Antonio Spurs were done dismantling (literally, it turns out) the Miami Heat. Allen is no ordinary, typical athlete; he’s an intelligent sort that doesn’t have to follow the same path that his predecessors in basketball or other sports have. Remember, he’s famously devoted to his physical routine both during the season and in the summer months, and his declaration that the “last two months were about me physically”is a nod to that brand of obsessive orthodoxy. From there come the ring-chasing “charges.”It’s nice to win a ring. It’s fun to play with really good basketball players, and it’s even better fun to play with really good basketball players that (as it is with Allen and LeBron James) you’re also really good friends with. What would Allen’s would-be detractors want him to do? Stay in Miami for a middling team, the same franchise they criticized him for joining? End his career with a team in Milwaukee that once traded him? Go to Oklahoma City because they were kind of the SuperSonics once? Wait, no, that would be ring-chasing. It’s understandable that NBA fans are sick of supposed superteams, but LeBron James just joined a potential-laden franchise in Cleveland that is no strong guarantee to win a championship during James’prime over the next couple of years even with Allen. Carmelo Anthony declined to set up shop in Chicago, the designed superteam in Los Angeles failed miserably with Dwight Howard in the middle, Houston has so far been unable to acquire a third star, and the former superteam in Miami won just two rings in four tries, one of them just barely. “Superteam-up at your own peril,”we should probably say. We should also truly hope that we haven’t watched the last game of NBA basketball that Ray Allen will ever play, and we certainly shouldn’t criticize him should he decide to “follow”LeBron James to Cleveland and spot up in the corner for the emerging Cavaliers. This would involve a man leaving his family for months at a time while dealing with, um, significant climate change in order to try to earn another championship –the sort of thing huge gobs of fans yell at players for declining to do all the time. The only decision that Ray Allen could make that we should boo would be the decision to retire from the NBA. Then, after that initial “boo,”we should all stand and applaud the man’s legendary career. Check out what's buzzing on the Yahoo Sports Minute: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]
From Yahoo Sports
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Minnesota Timberwolves haven't made the playoffs in 10 years and just traded the face of their franchise so he can go chase a championship with LeBron James in Cleveland. [read full article]
From FOX Sports Digital
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Timberwolves have parlayed the Kevin Love trade into a record-setting week at the team's box office. [read full article]
From Yahoo Sports