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.

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The New Best Draft Class? Part Dos

February 27, 2010

Continuation of my last post which you can find here, here, and here. This post shall describe the last half of the lottery picks of the legendary 2008 draft class.  The same draft class that lost to the rookies during all-star weekend some weeks ago.  So here you, picks 8-14.

8th Pick?

Who?

Every great draft class has a bust and this white boy happens to be the one of 2008.  His name is Joe Alexander, born in Taiwan, knows how to speak mandarin, and a phantom college career I do not know much about.  At one point he was described as being the next Larry Bird such as other white boys like Adam Morrison and Tyler Hansbrough.  On paper, he was considered the best athlete, having the second best 185lb bench reps, and second fastest sprint time during workouts.  And he was also able to drop 15 points on the Los Angeles Lakers once in his professional career.  Other than that, he was injured, assigned to d-league, still injured, and traded.  Not much else to say about him.

9th Pick

D.J. Augustin

The 9th pick drafted to the Charlotte Bobcats had a great rookie season, averaging 11.8 points a game and showing nice athleticism.  His second season though, he fell off a bit, averaging only a little bit over 5 points a game but that can be attributed to the ridiculous playing time that Raymond Felton is receiving.  Augustin lacks size but he has shown that he is a very smart player.  He knows his rotations, knows his plays, and can play pretty decent defense for a big man.  Just every once in a while a bigger point guard would out power him such as Deron Williams did.  As of right now, his game has a lot of expanding to do, but he can drop a lot of points at once if given the playing time.  An above average pick that still has a long way to go.

10th Pick

Brooke Lopez

The only bright spot of the New Jersey Nets right now.  Hell, he is the only person keeping those Nets afloat in this season.  His averaging of 19 points, 9 rebounds, and almost 2 blocks a game is considered all star level.  A talented center that can be almost Shaq-like in terms of dominance, Brooke Lopez will turn the Nets into a devastating team.  He’s young, he’s playing well, and everyone knows that he is only going to get better as the years go on.  All he needs is a strong supporting cast and this half Hispanic center can send his team to the playoffs and beyond.

11th Pick

Jerryd Bayless

Jerryd Bayless is a shooter, slasher, and volume scorer.  This season so far, he has scored double digits 24 times, one of those times, scoring 31 points.  Right now he’s a great backup guard to the great Brandon Roy and knows how to keep the team afloat when the Blazers starting lineup is benched and resting.  Like the rest of the players in this post, he’s still developing but he has shown many flashes of greatness here.

12th Pick

Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson of the Kings kinda got written off because of the beastmode playing of Tyreke Evans.  Last year he averaged 11.1 points a game which is decent for a rookie.  And this year he is averaging 12.7 points a game which shows slight improvement.  He is a forward center who is notoriously known for his jumpshot.  He is not a stretch 4 like Rashard Lewis or Antawn Jamison because he can’t really shoot treys but he has the long jumper which is good enough.  And Thompson also averages around 8 rebounds a game.  Good big man, I just don’t think hes ever going to be amazing now with Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, and Carl Landry running the Kings.

13th Pick

Brandon Rush

This guy can’t really do much besides score.  And even then he only averages 8 points a game.  I’m not disappointed because anyone having to play with a ballhog such as Danny Granger would only average 8 points too.  I don’t watch the Pacers play much but I do know from playing 2K10 that Rush can hit the trey often.  Again, he’s not horrible, he’s not great, and he is part of the late lottery picks where its either hit or miss on who you get.

14th Pick

Anthony Randolph

The 14th pick by the Golden State Warriors and the last person I’ll be writing about in this post.  Some may call him overrated, others may call him the second coming of *insert great player here*.  I do know that he was heavily hyped during the offseason last summer by all the bloggers and media.  And really, those last 8 weeks of his rookie year where he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds was impressive, I’ll give him that.  But he’s skinny like most of his teammates and extremely fragile.  I believe that he is injured right now.  I never understood the hype, but I can tell that he’s talented and athletic.  He has star potential written all over him, he just needs room to grow.  Which means Monta Ellis can’t keep shooting 30 shots a night and should pass it to the inside once in a while.  Randolph though is just one of those players you want to see get better but you’re not sure if it’ll happen.

So there are the lottery picks of the 2008 draft class.  A nice young group of players where besides one has shown many flashes of greatness.  Some other notable people from this year are J.J. Hickson, the 19th pick chosen by the Cavs.  He’s a good power forward who plays with Lebron.  Then there’s Courtney Lee, the 22nd pick chosen by the Magic and is now playing for the Nets.  And George Hill, the fantastic point guard chosen at 26th by the Spurs, who I also have on my fantasy team and is giving me more points than I deserve.  And from the second round, there’s Mario Chalmers from the Heat and DeAndre Jordan from the Clippers.  Then there’s Anthony Morrow who went undrafted and is also on my fantasy team and gives me a lot of points, inconsistently though but whatever works.  And yes, I believe this draft class will be better than the Lebron and Darko Milicic class of 2003 simply because of all the star power here.


The New Best Draft Class? Part One

February 21, 2010

Everyone nowadays considers the draft class of 2003 as the greatest draft class of the era. I can’t blame them though because of all stars like Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, David West, and Josh Howard. Along with great role players in Chris Kamen, Kirk Hinrich, Boris Diaw, and Travis Outlaw, this was the probably the best draft class to play with in 2K9. And like every great draft class, there’s a big bust in there in Darko Milicic. There’s a new greatest draft class of this era though in 2008. The draft class that produced Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, and much others has probably the best lottery picks ever.  Today, I’ll name the first 7 picks, and the last 7 lottery picks in a future post.

Number One Pick in 2008

Derrick Rose

Averaging 19.8 Points a game right now and is the reason that the Bulls who everyone thought fell off at the beginning in the season are now playoff contenders.  His leadership qualities and athleticism has earned him a spot on the all-star team this year.  Rose is not going to duplicate the greatness of Michael Jordan for Chicago but he is now the undisputed star of the team and has the ability to bring the Bulls great success.  Him and Joakim Noah are one of the best guard/big duos out there right now and have really put a bright spot in Chicago in the post-Jordan years.

Second Pick in 2008 Draft

Michael Beasley

The number 2 draft pick in the 2008 draft pick is Michael Beasley who is having a great sophomore year.  He currently averages 16.3 points a game and 6.6 rebounds.  As of right now he is currently the second best player in the Miami Heat after Dwayne Wade.  And if Dwayne Wade was to leave Miami this summer, that would make Beasley the star player of the team which I think is a position he can handle.  His jump shot, freakish athleticism, height, and abilities to play both forward positions makes him a Kevin Garnett-esque player.  Like all the players I’m listing, Michael Beasley is a future All-Star in the making and like Derrick Rose, can carry his team far into the playoffs on his own if given the chance.

3rd Draft Pick

O.J. Mayo

The USC star who has a name that makes you hungry.  Mayo was one of those highly touted prospects that scouts were following since the age of 13.  I consider him one of those star shooting guard players in the model of Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, and Kobe Bryant.  Of course, Mayo hasn’t done much so far in his career to be named with the rest of those future hall of famers but he has shown the potential.  Right now his game is raw, but with a few years of refinement, he can and will be the franchise player, knocking down game winning shots all day.  Mayo just needs to not let his hype get in his way and improve on his own pace before he can become the top dog in the NBA.

4th Pick

Russell Westbrook

This UCLA Bruin is the Robin to Kevin Durant’s Batman.  He’s the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder and currently averages 16 points, 7.5 assists, and 5 rebounds a game.  He’s an excellent scorer and terrific second option on a rising young team that is mos def bounded for the playoffs.  And as of right now, I see Westbrook as a star only in the Scottie Pippen vein.  Like Pippen, he is a great player but proves more effective when he is not relied on as the number one option on the team.  So yes, he can become a future all star in the future but he just does not seem like a player that can lead a team.  The Thunder are lucky to have him on the team though.  Westbrook just needs to keep improving his point guard game and keep creating shots for his teammates more often.  Once he gets that down, him and Kevin Durant will be the most unstoppable duo of the new era.

5th Pick of 2008

Kevin Love

Another UCLA Bruin.  Besides having an awesome name, Kevin Love is a star in the making too.  This season, after a pretty big injury, Love is averaging 15 points a game and 11.3 rebounds.  For a white boy power forward that plays alongside Al Jefferson, another beastly rebounder, those numbers are impressive.  Unlike Westbrook, Kevin Love does not play the sidekick role to Al Jefferson.  Instead, the both of them are a tandem that clogs the middle, making it unapproachable to the likes of slashers and dunkers.  Jonny Flynn must be having a blast out there having two big men to pass to that can handle the post equally.  Kevin Love also has a nice jump shot that is pretty beastly too.  Even though the T-Wolves suck right now, Love has been a bright spot.  Give the team some wings, more time to learn the triangle, and they will be a new force in the West.

6th Pick

Danilo Gallinari

The 6th pick from Italy was supposedly a bust in his rookie year because of injuries.  But after coming back from his back injury, Gallinari showed the world his sharpshooting skill and became one of the best 3 point shooters in the league right now.  Averaging 14.3 points a game and .395 3-point shooting percentage, Gallinari is the only thing the Knicks have for them this summer that’s a for sure.  But the Knicks have made him a desirable teammate to have.  Every player would like a 3 point beast out in the perimeter to throw the ball to on any given notice.  Of course, Gallinari will never be anything else other than a sharpshooter unless he learns some hardcore defense a la Bruce Bowen status.  But right now, his future is bright.  Who knows whats going to happen this summer with the free agents, the only thing for sure with the Knicks is that they have a great role player in Gallinari.  He kinda sucked in the 3 point contest though but I’d say he was a star compared to the dunk contest.

7th Pick

Eric Gordon

The 7th pick is Eric Gordon, the future of the Los Angeles Clippers along with Blake Griffin.  Eric Gordon is a shooter who can get to the hoops and also plays beastmode defense. This year alone, he was able to shut down Allen Iverson, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy, and Dwayne Wade, leading the supposedly lowly Clippers to nice winning streak early in January.  Being the only bright spot his rookie year in a pathetic Clippers season that ended in 19 wins, Eric Gordon has shown that he is the future of the team.  Currently second in scoring by averaging 17 points a game, Gordon has the skills to explode into a 30 point game on any given night.  Right now his ball handing skills are a work in progress which leads to many turnovers but that is something that can be worked on.  His shy demeanor also makes it hard for him because he does not get that many calls from the refs that he should be getting.  There are times when Gordon can be decked in the face and the refs still would not call a foul.  In several years time though, Gordon is going to be a destructive force in the Clippers and a top shooting guard.

Here’s the first 7 picks of 2008, and all of them are great players.  All have the potential to become future all-stars and become a powerful option on their team.  I’m going to get through the rest of the lottery picks of this draft class along with honorable mentions next time and it is not going to be as great as the first seven.  There are good players there but this first seven is just amazingly great.  In a couple years, the 2003 draft class will become just a forgotten bunch of stars with barely any champions on there while 2008 will have a bunch of players leading their teams in the playoffs.

And yes, I saw the rookie-sophomore game and this class lost to the rookies.  But with Westbrook and Beasley taking half of the sophomore’s shots and not playing coherently, they practically gave it to the rookies.  Derrick Rose was also not there distributing the ball which also hurt.  But like other all star weekend festivities, the game did not really matter.  At least it didn’t suck like the Dunk Contest.  Dontletshannondunk.com plz


My Allstar Weekend Winners

February 10, 2010

The All-Star attendance in Dallas this year is projected to be over 100,000 people! I wonder how loud that building will be with so many NBA fans in a single sitting.

Let’s start off with the Haier Shooting Stars event

This year, the NBA decided to change the “Team” shooting stars to “City” shooting stars. In my opinion I like the city option better because it gives more teams to show their city talents instead of individual team talents so they can brag about it in the end. Instead of a team bragging, it can be a whole city. So everyone can get along! Let’s see the teams.

Team Atlanta: Joe Johnson (Current Hawks player), Angel McCoughtry (Rookie Atlanta Dream), Steve Smith (Former Hawk player 1995-1999)

Team Los Angeles: Pau Gasol (Current Laker player), Marie Ferdinand-Harris (Current Los Angeles Sparks player), Brent Barry (Former Clippers player 1995-1998)

Team Texas: Dirk Nowitzki (Current Mavericks player), Becky Hammon (Current San Antonio Silver Stars player), Kenny Smith (Former Rockets player 1990-1996)

Team Sacramento: Tyreke Evans (Current Kings player), Nicole Powell (Former Sacramento Monarchs player), Chris Webber (Former Kings player 1998-2005)

My Winner: Team Texas

Why? Dirk Nowitzki is going to knock down shots no doubt. With the help of Becky who has been a consistent shooter through her career and Kenny “The Jet” Smith having a pretty decent jumper for his age, I think Becky or Dirk can finish the half court shot pretty easily.

Peter’s Winner: Team Sacramento

Why? Chris Webber is not that old and can still throw it down with the best of them right now barring injury. Pair him up with Tyreke Evans and they’d make a good team.  But this event is more shooting based so they might have some difficulties getting the last shot down but at least Webber can throw a ball further than Kenny Smith.

Now the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

Last year, rookie Derrick Rose took the title with a quick finish of 35.3 seconds. Rose will be defending his title with plenty of past year winners this year in Dallas. Let’s see a few of the league’s fastest guards.

Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash (3rd appearance)

Milwaukee Bucks – Brandon Jennings (1st appearance)

Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose (2nd appearance)

Utah Jazz – Deron Williams (2nd appearance)

My Winner: Deron Williams

Why? No disrespect to the others but Deron still holds the Skills Challenge fastest finish record with an incredibly low 25.5 seconds! Last year Williams wasn’t in the contest, but now that he’s back and 100%, I think he can take the title back.

Peter’s Winner: Derrick Rose

Why? The all-star and returning champion is going to be back to back.  He’s an elite point guard and more athletic than an old Steve Nash and a Deron Williams whose beard is weighing him down.  His only challenge is Branden Jennings but he was in Italy and Italians don’t know how to play.

I’m disappointed Kapono isn’t in the shootout this year. But hey, he had back to back 3-point contests before Daequan Cook stole it last year. Let’s take a look at the sharpshooters.

(The percentage is how the player is shooting behind the arc this season)

Denver Nuggets – Chauncey Billups (.415%)

Miami Heat – Daequan Cook (.300%)

Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry (.429%)

Phoenix Suns- Channing Frye (.438%)

New York Knicks- Danilo Gallinari (.403%)

Boston Celtics – Paul Pierce (.467%)

My Winner: Danilo Gallinari

Why? No one has made more threes this season than Gallinari. Frye and Gallinari are the only players hitting over the hundred mark in three point shots this season. In the final round, I believe the sophomore Knick can edge breakout player Frye by a shot or two.

Peter’s Winner: Chauncey Billups

Why? He’s not just a team leader, he’s one of the most proficient shooters in the league and can throw it down.  When Chauncy is on fire, no one can touch him and he is the most experienced shooter out of all of them.

In the past years, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest has players using many props. Dwight Howard with his “Superman” cape, Nate Robinson jumping over short and tall people, and Gerald Green blowing candles out. I think the dunks should be based on three categories. Originality scale 1-10, Creativity 1-5, and Finish 1-5. Sounds a bit complicated but I feel that it would bring more fun for the dunk contest. I’m hoping to see many surprising things this year. Everyone is a new contestant besides current champ Nate Robinson. The 2010 dunkers are….

Los Angeles Lakers – Shannon Brown

Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Wallace

New York Knicks – Nate Robinson

Toronto Raptors – DeMar Derozan*

Los Angeles Clippers – Eric Gordon*

* – will compete in dunk-in challenge

My Winner: Shannon Brown

Why? I’m an L.A. native, I watch Laker games. When I see Brown hop to dunk, it’s plain sick for a short kid getting that high above the rim. Shannon stated “I can touch the top of the backboard”. In case you haven’t heard, the last person to touch a top spot on the backboard was Dwight Howard with the sticker dunk a few years back. Though Dwight didn’t win that year, that’s still freakishly impressive for a 6’4 guard getting that high. If I picked a final round for the contest, it would be Brown with either Derozan or Wallace. Derozan gets up. Wallace shows to finish aggressive around the rim, so I’d also take him to the finals.

Peter’s Winner: Gerald Wallace

Why? Crash is going to do some crazy ish in the dunk contest.  Shannon Brown has hops but Wallace will do some crazy oh my god dunks that will get everyone off their seats with gaped mouths.

Rookies

Player (Team) Position Height/Weight School/Country
Omri Casspi (Kings) F 6-9/225 Israel
DeJuan Blair (Spurs) F-C 6-7/265 Pittsburgh
Stephen Curry (Warriors) G 6-3/185 Davidson
Tyreke Evans (Kings) G 6-6/220 Memphis
Jonny Flynn (Timberwolves) G 6-0/186 Syracuse
Taj Gibson (Bulls) F 6-9/225 USC
James Harden (Thunder) G 6-5/220 Arizona State
Brandon Jennings (Bucks) G 6-1/169 Lottomatica Virtus Roma (Italy)
Jonas Jerebko (Pistons) F 6-10/231 Sweden

Sophomores

Player (Team) Position Height/Weight School/Country
Michael Beasley (Heat) F 6-9/245 Kansas State
Marc Gasol (Grizzlies) C 7-1/265 Spain
Danilo Gallinari (Knicks) G-F 6-10/225 Italy
Eric Gordon (Clippers) G 6-3/222 Indiana
Brook Lopez (Nets) C 7-0/260 Stanford
Kevin Love (Timberwolves) F-C 6-10/260 UCLA
O.J. Mayo (Grizzlies) G 6-4/210 USC
Anthony Morrow (Warriors) G 6-3/190 Georgia Tech
Russell Westbrook (Thunder) G 6-5/210 UCLA

My Winner: Sophomores

Why? When I deeply think about it, the 2009 draft class was one of the league’s best ever.

Peter’s Winner: Sophomores

Why? They’re more experienced and this year’s sophomores is some of the best in the league


Last season in Phoenix was a fun one to watch. Shaq, Kobe, and Phil reunited for a fun performance. The starting line-up wasn’t so different from last year with the East having the same starters this year.

Let’s take a look at the team’s full roster.

East Roster

NO. PLAYER (TEAM) POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE FROM
23 * LeBron James (Cleveland) F 6-8 250 12/30/84 St. Vincent/St. Mary HS
5 * Kevin Garnett (Boston) F 6-11 253 05/19/76 Farragut Academy HS (CHI)
3 * Dwyane Wade (Miami) G 6-4 220 01/17/82 Marquette
3 * Allen Iverson (Philadelphia) G 6-0 165 06/07/75 Georgetown, D.C.
12 * Dwight Howard (Orlando) C 6-11 265 12/08/85 SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)
15 # Al Horford (Atlanta) C 6-10 245 06/03/86 Florida
4 Chris Bosh (Toronto) F 6-10 230 03/24/84 Georgia Tech
34 Paul Pierce (Boston) F 6-7 235 10/13/77 Kansas
3 # Gerald Wallace (Charlotte) F 6-7 220 07/23/82 Alabama
2 Joe Johnson (Atlanta) G 6-7 240 06/29/81 Arkansas
9 # Rajon Rondo (Boston) G 6-1 171 02/22/86 Kentucky
1 # Derrick Rose (Chicago) G 6-3 190 10/04/88 Memphis
Head Coach: Stan Van Gundy (Orlando)

West Roster

NO. PLAYER (TEAM) POS. HT. WT. BIRTHDATE FROM
15 * Carmelo Anthony (Denver) F 6-8 230 05/29/84 Syracuse
21 * Tim Duncan (San Antonio) F 6-11 260 04/25/76 Wake Forest
24 * Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers) G 6-6 205 08/23/78 Lower Merion HS (PA)
13 * Steve Nash (Phoenix) G 6-3 178 02/07/74 Santa Clara
1 * Amar’e Stoudemire (Phoenix) C 6-10 249 11/16/82 Cypress Creek (FL)
16 Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers) C 7-0 250 07/06/80 Barcelona, Spain
35 # Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) F 6-9 230 09/29/88 Texas
41 Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas) F 7-0 245 06/19/78 Wurzburg, Germany
50 # Zach Randolph (Memphis) F 6-9 260 07/16/81 Michigan State
3 i Chris Paul (New Orleans) G 6-0 175 05/06/85 Wake Forest
1 Chauncey Billups (Denver) F 6-3 202 09/25/76 Colorado
7 i Brandon Roy (Portland) G 6-6 211 07/23/84 Washington
35 # Chris Kaman (L.A. Clippers) G 7-0 265 04/28/82 Central Michigan
8 # Deron Williams (Utah) G 6-3 207 06/26/84 Illinois
Head Coach: George Karl (Denver)
* – denotes starter
# – denotes first-time selection

i – denotes injured and will not participate

My Winner: East All-Stars

Why? East is the powerhouse this season.

Peter’s Winner: Doesn’t matter

Why? This is going to be a fun and entertaining game showing the best talent around the world.  Lebron’s going to do something awesome, Dwight is going to do something funny, it’s going to be a good time.