Where Should T-Mac Go?

July 15, 2010

The Next Biggest Free Agent?

With all the top name free agents gone and settled into different teams, the next big free agent in the market right now is the one and only Tracy McGrady.  The 31 year old wing still have a lot left in the tank and can be a solid contributor to any team he goes to.  Yes, he has been riddled with injures for a while and yes he has had microsurgery on his knee over a year ago.  But this is the same man who dropped 20+ points several times as a Knick last season and was the best player in the league many years ago.  The same guy who carried a weak Magic team on his back (which explains all his back spasms haha) and took them to the playoffs while averaging 32 points a game.  2002-2003 T-Mac was what 2005-2006 Kobe became.  A great player carrying a weak team all the way to the playoffs only to barely lose in the first round after going up 3-1 in the series.  But unlike Kobe, T-Mac was traded away instead of having players built around him.  And throughout the years in the Rockets, T-Mac was great but all his injuries took a toll and beat him up during his prime years.  But since knee surgeries generally take a year to recover, I expect T-Mac to play this season in as good shape as he possibly can.

Which comes with the question of where should he play?  Well the most obvious answers would be either the Lakers or the Heat.  Lakers have a good team in place and can use a destructive scoring option off the bench with T-Mac.  With the Lakers, he can chase the ring that has alluded him throughout his NBA career.  He wouldn’t be playing with the glory and glamor of leading the team or even being in the starting lineup but he can be a great role player for a team that needs strong scoring off the bench.  Same situation in the Heat.  But instead he’ll be piggybacking off of 3 superstars instead of 2.  He’ll probably offer the same services in the Heat as he would in the Lakers as the scoring option off the bench.  Difference is, Lakers have the biggest chance of getting a ring while the Heat are still unproven.  No one knows if their Big 3 are fit to play with each other for 82 games, but that will be observed throughout the season.  I highly doubt T-Mac wants to be piggybacking off either team though.  The dude can still ball.

Or T-Mac can do the unexpected.  My suggestion is that he signs a contract for the Los Angeles Clippers and be the SF that they been looking for the last several offseasons.  Tracy McGrady is set to workout with Los Angeles Clippers next week and if he can show the team that he is recovered and still has a bit of his old self in there, he will be a great option to have.  He can be the starting SF while their lottery pick this year, Al-Farouq Aminu develops into an NBA player.  He can help spread the floor, which relieves SG Eric Gordon the pressure of being the only 3 Point threat out there.  And T-Mac is also a capable defender that can easily give problems to the opposing team.  And with Kaman and Blake Griffin out there, T-Mac won’t have to feel the pressure of being the first scoring option of the team.  The Clippers needs a starting SF that can spread the floor, defend, and also show some leadership.  Out of all the available free agents available right now, I think T-Mac is the best option.  And he can cement a legacy for himself by leading this team into the playoffs and further.

Or he can fall into the Clippers curse and explode.

The dude is injury prone but I think he is the worth the risk.


Reaction to the Decision

July 8, 2010

For all of you that don’t know, LBJ has chosen to join the Miami Heat and be with his bros, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  After two years of buildup, hours and hours of promotion by the worldwide leader in sports, and even a one hour special about it tonight, LBJ finally made the announcement the NBA world has been waiting for.  And with that announcement, millions of hearts were broken in Cleveland, the 5 other teams with cap space can finally pursue other free agents if they haven’t already started (Clippers already signing Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes), and hopefully the big free agency circus is finally over.

I personally didn’t see the one hour special tonight but the second I started getting texts from my friends on what happened, I just got angry and started to not like Lebron James even more.  I think he’s a great player and everything but he is also a primadonna, a diva, and a media whore.  His philosophy, anything to get attention.  What better way to make sure ESPN never forgets you by joining a team with the other two biggest stars of this era.   And also, why bother working hard for a championship if you can easily join two other big name superstars and win one with less pressure on yourself.  If LBJ thought he was that great of a player, he would have stayed in Cleveland and bring that city a championship they have not seen in what seems like forever.

I can understand why Dan Gilbert is pissed off.  The hometown hero has decided to turn his back on the city that raised him and take the easy route to a championship gold.  I don’t care about Cleveland (even though they have every right to be mad) but what kind of message does this send to the kids.  I can think of several horrible lessons to the children here.

  • Fuck working your ass off to the best of your abilities to achieve your goals, take the easy route whenever the opportunity becomes available.
  • Forget about loyalty to your home,  go somewhere else where the grass looks greener.
  • Follow your friends because they supposedly have your best interest at heart.
  • Money isn’t important, but neither is being faithful to the people who supported you since day one.
  • Who cares about building a legacy, just win without ever really leaving a mark behind in history.
  • Get as much as attention as you can because being humble is overrated.

I can think of a thousand other negative messages here in this little announcement.  How can LBJ look at himself in the mirror now that he broke the hearts of all the Cleveland children that thought of him as a hero.  How does he feel that he is no longer the hometown hero but the hometown despicable villain.  I’m not from Cleveland but I feel their pain.  As a Clippers fan, I know what its like to have the star player betray you and go to another team.  But the Cleveland fans have it a thousand times worse because their Benedict Arnold is considered to be one of the top two players in the game right now.  Betrayal is an awful sight to see, I hope Heat fans cherish this moment as much as possible right now because when something goes wrong with their Big 3, this summer will be for naught.

Calling it right now, the Miami Heat will not win a championship with those 3 players and 9 scrubs.


Let’s Keep Talking About Lebron James Since Everyone Else Is Doing It

July 5, 2010

Here’s a great article by Adrian Wojnarowski from Yahoo!
http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=aw-lebronfreeagency070410

Basically summed up as: Lebron James is trying to be all professional and business-like but in the end, he’s still a big kid playing with his childhood friends.

Me, I’m just irked by the fact that he single-handedly has put the NBA free agency on hold until he makes a decision on where he’s going. Everyone is just waiting for his decision. Once he picks his team though, the free agency dominoes are going to fall and by mid-august, teams should be done on their spending.

The only teams I see Lebron going to are the Nets and the Cavs. Knicks and Heat have too many question marks right now because their rosters are basically depleted. He would be a great fit on the Clippers but news media ragged on the team so much that it is really hard to take them seriously in the Lebron Lottery. He would also be a good fit in the Bulls too, but I don’t see him going there. Nets though have a Russian playboy billionaire and Jay-Z, Lebron’s buddy. They can easily convince him to join their team. Nets also have a need at small forward and their roster is somewhat stacked with Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, and Brooke Lopez. And Cleveland has the hometown advantage.

As of right now, I stopped caring about where he’s going, I just want him to make his move so the rest of the free agency can move on.


Free Agency Update

July 2, 2010

Not a huge spark on the start of free agency day, but it was still fun to see players switch around some teams. Let’s take a look on some key players that signed with certain teams.

Rudy Gay was the first free agent to make a big splash in the market. As a restricted agent, the Memphis Grizzlies made sure Gay went nowhere. Memphis secured him with a 5 year deal worth $82 million dollars. With a huge contract like that, Rudy should be able to deliver the Memphis fans a great few years. I think Rudy Gay doesn’t get enough attention out in the NBA world. One big reason is probably the fact that he’s playing in Memphis. The last I checked, Memphis fans barely even filled a stadium of people.

Milwaukee’s John Salmons also made a deal with his current team. The Bucks re-signed him for 5 years worth up to $39 million. Salmons is a wonderful player, but I wonder how will the combo of Salmons, Maggette, and Redd is going to work out. Chances are, Maggette will sit on the bench and be that sixth man. It’s great that Salmons can finally settle down in a team that likes him.

Other role players who were picked up by teams:

Drew Gooden – 5 year contract, $32 million with Milwaukee Bucks

Great pick-up for the Bucks. The Bucks are making the most moves so far in the market. Gooden has proved in the past few years he can be a factor off the bench.

Hakim Warrick – 4 year contract, $18 million with Phoenix Suns

Great athleticism for a PF. Warrick can block shots and bring the spark off the bench if he has the playing time.

Amir Johnson – 5 year contract, $34 million with Toronto Raptors

Arguable decision by Raptor’s GM Bryan Colangelo. Amir is young, but is his talent worth the contract given to him?

Darko Milicic – 4 year contract, $20 million with Minnesota Timberwolves

A slap in the face to Al Jefferson. David Kahn, you’re just bringing this team down into the dumps year by year…. No disrespect to Darko, but cmon’ now. He had a decent half season and immediately worth $20 million through 4 years?

Channing Frye – 5 year contract, $30 million with Phoenix Suns

Basically, the Suns are trying to build insurance for Amare if he leaves. Chances of Amare leaving are extremely high. Frye can play, but can he deliver a strong performance in the playoffs. That is the question.

Steve Blake – 4 year contract, $16 million with Los Angeles Lakers

One of the biggest upgrades in the free agent market was from the Lakers. The Lakers picked up a point guard who can run the ball well with the traditional triangle offense. At $16 million for 4 years, the Lakers got Blake for a discount. For he could have gotten an easy $6 million from the Knicks each year.

BIGGEST RUMORS AND CHATTER!

There have been reports about Amare Stoudemire close to reaching a 5 year deal worth up to $100 million dollars with the Knicks. Amare is strongly considering the deal, but will still snoop around on other teams such as Miami and Chicago. The Suns offered the same deal but $5 million dollars less. My prediction before was for Amare to head to NY, so far, it’s looking like it.

Dwyane Wade just met with the Chicago Bulls and is “leaning towards commitment” with the Bulls. That says a lot. Dwade is probably feelin’ the hometown love and putting Miami aside for now. The Heat are still scheduled to meet with Wade on Saturday and that meeting might change is mind in a snap.

Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki met with their current teams and are finding a deal to have them return. Sources say Pierce will sign a deal up to $62 million for four years. Smart for Paul to take advantage before the Collective Bargaining Agreement comes into play.

As for LeBron James, he met with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. ESPN news says Pat Riley came out of the meeting with a grin on his face and the Los Angeles owner Donald Sterling did not attend the Clippers meeting since all he wanted to be presented to the King was pure basketball talk.


Chris Bosh….Man UP!

June 30, 2010

This is what you look like right now

Free agency has just started and the last few weeks since the playoffs ended has been filled with nothing but speculations about where Lebron James is going to go.  But my biggest beef is the Chris Bosh rumors.  Every rumor has him following either Wade or Lebron to whatever team they go to.  Chris Bosh is a franchise player who can lead a team to greatness.  He is one of the top big men in the league and barely entering his prime right now.  Give him a strong supporting cast instead of that piss poor roster in Toronto and Bosh can bring that team into the playoffs every year.  But all these rumors swirling that Chris Bosh is only going to join a team that already has their own franchise player just makes him look bad.  He needs to go to a team where he can be the man.  He is not a sidekick, he is a superstar player that does not come around often.  So all those articles about Bosh only signing with a team with either Lebron or Wade just makes him look bad.  That just means he is already admitting that he cannot do it himself and needs to be second fiddle to another star player just to be a winner.

So for Chris Bosh, what I’m saying is, don’t be a bitch, find a team with a good supporting cast and be the man.  I will applaud him if he actually signs somewhere before Lebron or Wade.  Or if he signs somewhere else where Lebron and Wade aren’t there.  But if he does follow his two Team USA teammates, I will lose respect for him and would never think of him as a franchise player ever again.


Round and round wherever they go. Where they’ll end up, nobody knows

June 30, 2010

As there’s less than a day left before free agency negotiations go under way, the flame has grown much much bigger. Talks about LeBron, Wade, AND Bosh playing in Miami stirred up over the week and a few teams made big moves to clear up cap space for big stars in the market this summer. Other than those three players I just mentioned, there are also significant role players in the market to be signed too. Such players like Ray Allen, Allen Iverson, and Shaq need to find a team that can chase the title. Here are my predictions of where each superstar player will land this summer. I’ll also include role players and former stars that are old but still have the talent to help a team win a championship.

Here we go starting with the main stage:

LeBron James

Prediction: New York Knicks

Knicks fans waited years to get to this point and letting LeBron slip off their hands would be heartbreaking once again. Money talks, but so does basketball. Money is a given in the big city of New York. The talent on the roster will be up to veterans who want to step in and sign with the Knicks to pursue a championship. The Knicks  have a nice small roster with contracts right now. With great young players like Gallinari who can shoot, Chandler who is versatile, and an improving Toney Douglas, all the Knicks need are a few players who are 1. Past their prime (former stars) 2. Still have gas left in the tank 3. And lastly desperately need a ring on their finger. Those veterans will need to take a pay cut in order to win. The Knicks will have the money to sign two superstars if they wanted. LeBron’s stock will skyrocket if he signed with the Knicks. Actually, if NY were to win the title next season with LeBron, anyone on the roster’s stock would rise. Right now, New York’s doing everything they can to clear cap room for players, and getting rid of Eddy Curry is a priority (not like it wasn’t).

Chances to: New York 40%, Chicago 30%, Cleveland 30%

Dwyane Wade

Prediction: Miami Heat

He’s been there and done that. Wade has a ring to look at while LeBron and Bosh don’t. The city of Miami have been very supportive behind DWade. Also, the team is moving in a right direction. The Heat has only missed the playoffs once after the their championship year in 2006 due to a series of injuries especially on Wade. Pat Riley and staff have been calm and considerate with Wade. Miami has the money to sign up to three superstar players. Chances of that happening are slim in my opinion. Most of the superstars in the market are in their prime. Taking a big pay cut and not winning a title in the next few seasons would have gone to waste. Especially in Miami, there isn’t much media attention as the other big cities. Wade will have a partner to work with in Miami since it’s still HIS team.

Chances to: Miami 80%, Chicago 20%

Chris Bosh

Prediction: Miami Heat

Bosh wants to win. Playing for the Toronto Raptors hasn’t gotten him anymore near a championship. Chris will follow a team that has had championship experience, and that is in Miami. Wade has a ring, Bosh can receive a ring and give Wade two. He would be Dwyane’s sidekick at most. It’ll be a smart move to go to Miami through a sign and trade. Miami has enough money to attract many valuable players. If the solution to getting Bosh is shipping out Beasley and Chalmers (recent source), Miami would need to replace those positions with role players who can step into play when needed. When Wade played with Shaq in 2006 and won the title, key players came into Miami such as Gary Payton, Alonzo Mourning, Antoine Walker, and James Posey to help win that title. It can happen again.

Chances to: Miami 40%, Chicago 30%, New York 30%

Joe Johnson

Prediction: Chicago Bulls

In need of a SG/SF, Johnson would fit perfectly for the Chicago Bulls. A back-court of Derrick Rose and Joe Johnson would sound like one of the best in the league today. Besides Rose, Johnson can shine in Chicago if he plays well. He didn’t get that chance in Atlanta due to the lack of media attention and all-star caliber players playing around him. If the pulls don’t pull off a LeBron and Bosh deal, Joe Johnson would be their next choice.

Chances to: Chicago 35%, New York 30%, Los Angeles Clippers 25%, New Jersey 10%

Amare Stoudemire

Prediction: New York Knicks

Yup, LeBron’s sidekick. Why you ask? If Bosh signs with Miami and Wade is there, LeBron is going to need someone else to be there with him to dominate. Amare’s going to be that force. Playing under Mike D’ Antoni again would be enjoyable for the big man. Having LeBron adapting to the running game would be a piece of game, and Amare already knows how it would work. Plus, the money is good in NY. What is there to hate?

Chances to: New York 50%, Phoenix 30%, Miami 20%

Dirk Nowitzki

Prediction: Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs have been successful in the last few years. Their early playoff exit in 2010 was unfortunately against the experienced Spurs. Caron Butler was added on mid-way through the season, so that might have been a factor for them faltering. Next season will be different though. They will bring back Dirk and be on the lookout for a trade that might include Kidd.

Chances to: Dallas 90%, New York 10%

Paul Pierce

Prediction: Boston Celtics

He’s been there and been successful. The Celtics reached to the NBA Finals. Yes they are aging. But if Pierce was smart, he should take less money with the Celtics so Boston can sign key players to make another championship run while they can with a 34 year old Kevin Garnett and 32 year old Paul Pierce. Ray Allen’s name is up in the air, but it isn’t guaranteed he’ll come back.

Chances to: Boston 80%, New Jersey 20%

Carlos Boozer

Prediction: Chicago Bulls

The Bulls seem to be the front runner for LeBron and Bosh. But if Chicago doesn’t get those two, then which combo would they be able to get? Joe Johnson and Boozer would fill the positions well. With the Bull’s front court being very thin, Boozer can put bulk into the paint for Chicago. For any team to win a championship, the team must have a balance of great talents. Having Rose, Johnson, Deng, Boozer, and Noah as a starting line-up sounds a bit intimidating.

Chances to: Chicago 40%, Miami 35%, Utah Jazz 25%

David Lee

Prediction: New Jersey Nets

Yes, they just got Derrick Favors. Favors isn’t ready to bring the Nets anywhere near the playoffs himself. Having David Lee and Brook Lopez as a front court is going beast mode. I would feel sorry for the opposing team trying to bang for boards, because those two usually clean it up. Avery Johnson would love to have David Lee work with the Nets, especially that Lee is a player willing to listen and do rather than talk back. If Avery ran a running game, look for the Nets to head to the playoffs.

Chances to: New Jersey 50%, New York 25%, Toronto 25%

Rudy Gay

Prediction: Tie between Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves

Clippers: Plain and simple, Rudy would fit perfect there. They just need a coach to let Baron Davis run the ball like he did in GS the year they went to the playoffs. If BDiddy got the chance to do that and have Rudy Gay on the Clippers, be afraid of the Clippers for the time being.

T-Wolves: It wouldn’t make sense if David Kahn signed Gay. They just drafted Wesley Johnson. But rumors are swirling around about Kahn chasing Rudy. Horrible move if they sign Gay because they would have too many SG/SF’s.

Chances to: Los Angeles Clippers 40%, Minnesota Timberwolves 40%, Memphis Grizzlies 20%

Ray Allen

Prediction: New York Knicks

Allen is smart. He will follow where championship contenders are. Playing with LeBron and Amare in a running system is perfect for Allen since he’s just a spot up shooter. With the ability of LeBron being able to pass the ball, Ray Ray would have great looks if he plays with the King. Allen has a few more years left in him, and it would be sweet if he won one more ring under his belt with LeBron and in Madison Square Garden rather than the TD garden.

Chances to: New York 30%, Boston 30%, New Jersey 20%, Miami 20 %

Allen Iverson

Prediction: Miami Heat, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, Boston Celtics

All these teams would be contenders and in need of veteran talent. Iverson can still play, no matter what anyone says, the guy can ball still. Whether he will be a sixth man or a starter, he will be a factor for any championship contending team to get the title.

Shaquille O’Neal

Prediction: Dallas Mavericks or Retirement

Old Diesel would only fit in one place. Dallas. Assuming Dirk comes back to Dallas, Shaq would work next to Nowitzki. It’ll make them a stronger contender and definitely in the top 3 best teams in the West. I wouldn’t be surprised if Shaq chose retirement this year. The man is old. Whatever decision he makes, more power to him.

Tracy McGrady

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers or New York Knicks

Lakers: Artest is letting Tmac know that if he comes to LA, he’ll get his ring he always wanted. Ron got it. If Ron can get it, Tracy can get it. The time is ticking on Tmac’s career.

Mike D’ Antoni let McGrady play and he didn’t do bad for being off the court so long. If the relationship is still good and the Knicks pick up big names, I see TMac staying in NY.

John Salmons

Prediction: Sacramento Kings or Miami Heat

Sacramento: Salmons had a great time in Sacramento since he started blossoming is talent there after countless years. Going back as a starter and to have a chance to shine with Tyreke Evans can be fun and memorable. Money speaks to Salmons.

Miami Heat: If Salmons wanted to, he can play for a contending team where he can start. In Miami he will definitely need to take a pay cut.

Steve Blake

Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers

Chances are, they Lakers can’t bring back Farmar or Brown. A starting passing point guard who can adapt to the triangle well would benefit the Lakers in getting another three peat going.

Josh Howard

Prediction: Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings

All three teams need a SF. Whether Josh will start or not, he’ll come for a cheap price. At most, a Mid Level Exception contract. Howard still has the slashing talent, just needs a chance from a team.

Mike Miller

Prediction: Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers

Both teams are in need of a sharp shooter like Miller. Boston will chase Miller if they lose Ray Ray. Lakers will go after Miller if they lose Brown. Mike’s talent is overlooked upon in this league. I think he’d be a great sixth man or starter if a team needed him. In the end, it’s up to Mike’s decision whether he wants to play for the redemption team or defending champs.