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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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.



Ready for the grades?!?!

February 22, 2010

As usual, rumors often become just rumors before the trade deadline. Not too many big deals at all. Other than that, lets recap with all the trades that went down right before Thursday night.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers

Acquired: Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair

Losses: Zydrunas Illgauskas, Emir Preldzic, and a 2010 first round pick

Probably the biggest trade before the deadline was the Jamison deal. This trade surprised me. I thought the Wizards should have known better to make this team a more of a powerhouse than it already is. Don’t let the Bobcat’s whipping to Jamison’s behind fool you tonight. Antawn is a great player. His age might be a concern for the Cavaliers in the long run, but the man can still shoot the ball. Sebastian is currently injured, but I believe he may be a solid third string point guard if Mo Williams or Daniel Gibson gets hurt.

Grade: A-

2.Dallas Mavericks

Acquired: Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson

Losses: Josh Howard, James Singleton, Drew Gooden, and Quinton Ross

Butler and Haywood are the main pieces to this Dallas team. Caron gives the Mavs another offensive threat which Josh Howard hasn’t been filling in for and Haywood gives another big body down low who can crash boards and play incredible defense. What I like to see from the Mavericks after the trade is the productivity of their bench. The bench has to be one of the best in the league today with Jason Terry, J.J. Barea, and Erick Dampier are one of the big names not in the starting lineup.

Grade: A

3.Houston Rockets

Acquired: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, Jordan Hill, and Jared Jeffries

Losses: Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, and Joey Dorsey

I thought for one thing Houston would try to find another big man to their roster. They found two decent ones, but nothing to go “WOW” about. Kevin Martin was a great pick up for the Rockets. Shane Battier would probably move back to the sixth man spot where he does exceptionally well. Aaron Brooks should be leading this team now that Carl Landry who was probably the Rocket’s best active player this season is now gone. This trade was a great playoff push trade for the Rockets.

Grade: B+

4.Portland Trail Blazers

Acquired: Marcus Camby

Losses: Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw

In desperate need to find a big man, Portland finally came through landing a experienced player. Camby is a solid acquisition for the Blazers since Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla went out. Old Juwan Howard needed a break from playing so much sometime soon. Portland plays an uptempo style which fits perfectly with Camby since he used to play with the fast paced Denver Nuggets.

Grade: B

5.Charlotte Bobcats

Acquired: Tyrus Thomas and Theo Ratliff

Losses: Flip Murray, Acie Law, future first round pick, and future second round pick

The Bobcats are a fun fast paced team to watch. Funny how they can beat the Cavs and lose to the Nets. Tyrus Thomas is a perfect addition to the team. The Bulls were fed up with the kid, but the Bobcats picked up the slack for them by taking Tyrus off their hands for a decent Flip Murray, traveling guard Acie Law, and a first round pick which Tyrus once was. Ratliff was a questionable decision on the other hand. But having a veteran who can protect the paint for some few minutes won’t hurt much for a second round pick.

Grade: A-

6.Milwaukee Bucks

Acquired: John Salmons, Primoz Brezec, Royal Ivey, and a second round picks (from 76ers and Bulls)

Losses: Joe Alexander, Hakim Warrick, Jodie Meeks, and Francisco Elson

With Redd out the whole season, the Bucks look to start fresh with a new roster look. Redd’s contract will be done by the end of this season, so they are trying to find a replacement for him. Salmons is a decent pick up for the Bucks. But these trades to me doesn’t seem to make much sense. Warrick was a solid player for the Bucks. He didn’t have a great jump shot, but his athleticism makes him have skill talent similar to players like Josh Smith or Shawn Marion. I mean, he was a natural forward so I don’t expect him to shoot the ball outside much. Joe Alexander had potential to become a good player too, but the Bucks gave up on him. Milwaukee should have used this non playoff season to experiment young players like Alexander and Meeks.

Grade: D+

7. Boston Celtics

Acquired: Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry

Losses: Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future second round pick

Nate Robinson as a sixth man for the already stacked Celtics? That’s crazy talk. Eddie House was a great role player for the Celtics. Shipping him and two young players for the 3 time Dunk Champion to me was pretty much a steal. The one problem on my mind is how is Nate going to share the minutes with Rondo or Allen? His minutes will go down for sure. Let’s see how this will work out.

Grade: A

8. New York Knicks

Acquired: Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez, Eddie House, J.R. Giddens, Bill Walker, and a future second round pick

Losses: Nate Robinson, Marcus Landry, Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, Larry Hughes, and a future protected first round pick

The New York buzz is TMAC. Tracy amazed NY in his debut scoring 26 points. I always thought Tracy still had his talent. New York needs all the expiring contracts they can get for the LeBron chase. Having Tracy a former star on the team can bring in ticket sales for the Knicks at least. Also, the Knicks got lucky getting rid of Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill whose contracts were going to spill into next season.

Grade: B+

9.Chicago Bulls

Acquired: Flip Murray, Joe Alexander, Acie Law, Hakim Warrick, and a future first round pick (Charlotte)

Losses: Tyrus Thomas, John Salmons, and future second round picks

Chemistry issues made the Bulls ship out Thomas. Understandable in some sense, but Chicago took a huge hit on losing a talented player. On the good side, Salmons for Warrick and Alexander was a great trade for the Bulls. Warrick would fill the spot for Thomas and Alexander hopefully can develop in Chicago behind Deng and James Johnson. If Chicago is trying their best to chase after LeBron, I highly doubt it’ll happen. Their chances of landing Dwade is more likely.

Grade: C+

10.Los Angeles Clippers

Acquired: Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, Drew Gooden, and Cash

Losses: Marcus Camby, Al Thornton, and Sebastian Telfair

Clippers were all about the money in this trade. They didn’t get much, but as they say “every penny helps”. The Clips will be looking busy this off season in the free agent market. Their best addition I thought was Drew Gooden, but rumors are he might get bought out. Other rumors are that he might stay. If he stays, I see Drew getting some good minutes to show off his role player model. Blake should be starting, but of course LA has Baron as their starter. Outlaw is out. In the end, it comes out to just Benjamins.

Grade: C (If Gooden plays)/ D+ (If Gooden gets bought out)

11.Sacramento Kings

Acquired: Carl Landry, Larry Hughes, and Joey Dorsey

Losses: Kevin Martin, Hilton Armstrong, and Sergio Rodriguez

Another team who will make many moves in the 2010 market is the Kings. The loss of Kevin Martin is always backed up by Tyreke’s break out year. I felt that the Kings could have gotten much more for KMART 2. Hilton Armstrong was also a tough loss for Sacramento. Hilton is surprisingly athletic for his size and Houston got a steal for that. Of course, on the upside the Kings received one of the sixth man of the year candidates and expiring contracts. Too bad Carl is now starting and will soon be out of the award race.

Grade: C-

12.Washington Wizards

Acquired: Josh Howard, Quinton Ross, James Singleton, Zydrunas Illgauskas, Al Thornton, 2010 first round pick (Cleveland), and rights to Emir Preldzic

Losses: Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, and cash

Washington is making the biggest push to rebuild before the deadline. They didn’t really care if they gave up Antawn. In desperate times, you need to make a move quickly. Big Z will most likely be bought out, but unsure if he will head back to Cleveland. Al Thornton was a nice cheap pick up and everyone else they got had expiring contracts.

Grade: C+

Minor Trade Deals

Memphis Grizzlies

Acquired: Ronnie Brewer

Losses: Protected 2010 first round pick

I just have to say, Memphis had one of the biggest steals of the deadline day.

Grade: A

Minnesota Timberwolves

Acquired: Darko Milicic

Losses: Brian Cardinal

Darko impressed many NBA fans in his debut as a Twolve. This might be his last shot at the NBA. Darko stated he wants out of the NBA after this season and wants to head to Europ to play. After a performance like that, he should think otherwise if he keeps it up.

Grade: A-

Philadelphia 76ers

Acquired: Jodie Meeks and Francisco Elson

Losses: Royal Ivey, Primoz Brezec, and a 2010 second round pick

Jodie Meeks was a good pick up for two players who practically do nothing for the 76ers. A second round pick would be pushing the Meeks trade outcome. If Philly ends up getting a high pick in the draft, the Bucks would benefit if they picked up a great player. Right now the 2010 mock draft says Greivis Vasquez from Maryland would be the Bucks pick. That’s bad on Philly’s note since Vasquez averages pretty good stats all across the board.

Grade: B-

San Antonio Spurs

Acquired: Protected 2010 second round pick

Losses: Theo Ratliff

Ratliff is old. The pick is protected. Spurs are slipping quickly out of the playoffs. If somehow the Spurs are in the lottery and get a high pick, they will regret it just a bit.

Grade: C-

Utah Jazz

Acquired: Protected 2010 first round pick

Losses: Ronnie Brewer

Why?!?! This was just plain idiotic. Ask Deron Williams and see how he feels.

Grade: F



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


Deadline and done deals

February 17, 2010

Trades that have happened

As most NBA fans know, the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Wizards made the first big trade before the deadline. The Wizards received Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton in exchange for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson.

It’s obvious the Wizards are planning to rebuild their whole team due to the troubles they’ve gone through this season. On the other hand, the Mavericks came up big in this trade deal. Caron Butler who was once an All-Star selected player hasn’t been playing at an All-Star caliber player level. However he still has the skills and talent to become that offensive threat for a team. Butler might not get the ball as much as he did before in Washington (when Arenas was out), but on paper he makes the Mavericks look intimidating. Brendan Haywood is a solid pickup. At 7 feet tall, Haywood gives another big man on the court who can crash boards and blocks shots. What people don’t usually see about Haywood is that he works his tail off to bother players on the defensive end. Stevenson gives that in-depth shooter for the Mavs.

Another deal that went down was the Clippers sent out veteran center Marcus Camby to Portland in exchange for Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake, and some cash.

Clippers were all about the money on this one. Everyone in the deal has an expiring contract, but the extra money helped out the needy Clips in this one. Travis Outlaw is injured with a broken foot and won’t know when he’ll play this season.  Steve Blake is a great point guard who can run the game well and play as a starter or the bench. Portland was desperately in need for a center, and in my opinion they picked up a steal.

Teams that SHOULD happen to make a move within the next day

Cavaliers – The Cavs are just missing one piece to a guaranteed finals appearance, and that is a new power forward. Cleveland have tried to bid for players like Amare Stoudemire, Antawn Jamison, and Troy Murphy. So far, I think the best chance they have is getting at Troy Murphy. Rumors are that the Suns want more than just Zydrunas’s expiring contract which they’ll wave and Hickson’s talent doesn’t come close to Amare. Indiana is planning to rebuild, and Murphy’s contract is in their way for next season. Murphy isn’t like Amare, but still can give the Cavs a great shot at the title.

Knicks/Rockets – The Knicks need all the expiring contracts they need for the big free agent market bidding next season. Trading for Tracy McGrady can actually be an experiment for New York. Tracy was once a star and I believe he still can play. In his expiring contract season, why not just let the guy play and have the team build greater chemistry with the player so he might think of resigning with the team for a veteran price? The Rockets on the other hand would just get a young Jordan Hill, veteran Larry Hughes who still has some gas left in his tank, and Jared Jeffries (nothing really GREAT about him). Houston would be just adding depth into their team.

Wizards – They got rid of Butler for expiring contracts, now to get rid of Jamison for more expiring contracts. The Wizards to me are just going to be like the Knicks this offseason. They will be looking to invest into the 2010 free agent market. For one thing, I don’t think Jamison is going to land in Cleveland for two reasons. One, they don’t want to help the best team in the East already get better. Two, they were once rivals, why help them out? If the Wizards were smart, they’d ship Jamison out to the West. [Update] Jamison gets shipped to Cavs. I gotta ask why Washington is helping out the top East team and their rivals.

Celtics – The Celts have seemed pretty busy with their trading offers. The rumors floated around with D.J. Augustin and Glen Davis aren’t true, but with names like Ray Allen and Rasheed Wallace in the picture, Boston might have something up their sleeve. This year hasn’t been the best for them and plus they built up chemistry problems. I see the mean green making a big or small move in the next day.


Trade talks heating up…

February 12, 2010

Mavericks, Celtics, Suns, Wizards, Cavaliers, and Heat are teams making the most buzz about trades lately.

Players whose names are mentioned most: Amare Stoudemire, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Ray Allen, Richard Hamilton, Tracy McGrady, and Troy Murphy.

I’ll keep ya’ll updated.


2010 All-Stars

January 21, 2010

Before I name my All-Star starters and bench I’d like to ask the NBA to fix a huge problem.

NBA’s All-Star fan voting….

Look, I know in the past Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson were terrific stars who scored ridiculous amounts of points. On top of that, they put up a great show the their devoted fans. Now, look at those two stars.

Tracy McGrady – He has only played 6 games for the Rockets. Averaging career lows in every stat. I don’t blame the guy because he barely gets to play due to some feuds going on. But deserving to be on the All-Star team? Not even. He shouldn’t even be placed as a candidate for the All-Star game in 2010. Tracy isn’t even “with” the Rockets at the moment. I’m not saying China (which is the majority of the all-star votes) votes shouldn’t count. I’m proposing players like McGrady should be off of the ballot.

Allen Iverson – I remember back in the day A.I. was probably the most sickest scoring point guard in the league. The key words were “back in the day”. Yeah Allen WAS a star. But now, he’s just some old veteran with a lot of previous talent who doesn’t have rings. It’s unfortunate to see Iverson’s career closely coming to an end. In what is probably his last year in the NBA, fans feel he should deserve to be in the All-Star team one last time. I don’t think so. With rising star point guards like Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, Allen should be bumped off the list of candidates. I respect A.I. and what he has shown in the past, but a 2010 all-star nod just isn’t right for his mediocre season.

Another thing I’d like the NBA to change is the All-Star roster. 12 players seem to less, and 15 seems too much. I say fans can vote for top 10 starters for each conference. Add 4 more players for each conference who are chosen by the coaches in the league. I remember for two years, I felt Deron Williams deserve the All-Star nod. But with the overload of talented guards in the West doesn’t give Deron any attention.

My top 12 players (since they only have 12) from each conference deserve the All-Star spots the most.

Eastern Conference

The “easy” East isn’t too difficult to find the starters. There isn’t much to look around. Here we go.

Rajon Rondo

Rondo

The East guards aren’t hard to choose from. Rondo is the most consistent point guard in the East. If the Celtics didn’t have Rajon, the Celtics wouldn’t be looking at the Finals. Yes, the Finals. That’s how important Rondo is to their team. His defense is solid and nearly always averages a double double. The aging big 3 are still the main points for Boston. After this season, the Celtics should look to invest in Rondo.

Dwyane Wade

Wade

One of the given in the East, Wade will enter his 6th All-Star season. Dwade is basically lifting his team to the playoffs and try to reach as far as they can. In one of his fewest healthiest seasons, the MVP candidate is hands down the best shooting guard in the East so far. Competition for Dwyane against the Eastern Conference guards are nowhere near close.

LeBron James

James

Who can forget King James? LeBron is “beast mode” this season (as Marshawn Lynch likes to say). In one of his best seasons, James has helped brought the Cavs to the top of the Eastern Conference. His player efficiency rating is no surprise and is still number one in the league. His last five games he has shot 57%. Impressive. LeBron so far looks like the clear MVP winner in the league.

Chris Bosh

Bosh

All the trade rumors floating around Bosh must bother him. Or he just dusts it off his shoulders and averages career highs in Points, Rebounds, FG%, and 3-point shooting. The Raptors must be STUPID to try to shop him. Chris is a franchise player. Toronto shouldn’t ship him, but build a great team AROUND him. How is it possible for Bosh to have his best season despite playing less minutes in the past few years? Vote for this cowboy .

Dwight Howard

Howard

Any player who leads the league in rebounds should be able to earn a starting spot for the game. I gotta say this though. The Magic aren’t going to win games if they don’t use Dwight to his fullest potential. Howard aka “Superman” gets ONLY an average of 9 shots per game behind Vince Carter (15 shots) and Rashard Lewis (11.5 shots). Do these Orlando players don’t see the dominant center in the middle who can out muscle anyone? Dwight is still the best center in the league today.

Reserves:

Derrick Rose

Rose? Really? Yup… the East’s point guard reserve comes down to Derrick Rose. The Sophomore gets the vote because of his leadership for the young Bulls. Good thing for young Rose is that he increased his point scoring by 3 points since last year.

Joe Johnson

Joe doesn’t get enough respect from fans. The man has been consistent in every stat in the past three years!!! He deserves the All-Star spot right behind Wade. Johnson should be the captain for the Hawks, then the league will recognize this hard-working player.

Gerald Wallace

Another player who doesn’t get enough respect. Wallace is my favorite for Defensive Player of the Year award. Rebounds and blocks seem to be his highlights every night. Gerald has finally developed into an All-Star player I have waited to see.

David Lee

The best Eastern Power Forward behind Bosh. Lee is one of the most consistent scoring and rebounding forwards/centers in the league. The Knicks are still a mess, but Lee has picked up the slack for this team to win games. David leads the Knicks in 4 statistical categories.

Joakim Noah

Rebounding machine. In four games this season, he grabbed 20+ rebounds. Noah is +5 in rebounds and points since last year. If you don’t think that’s amazing, you try and increase your averages in two stats by 5.

Western Conference

The talented West has many players to choose from. Here they come.

Steve Nash

Nash

At this point, Nash is playing as well as his two MVP seasons. Seems like when he ages, he plays better!!! Steve has to be the toughest point guard in the league. The guy is turning 36 on the 7th of Feb. He just had 7 stitches in his mouth against the Pacers and STILL returned to try to help the Suns win. How does he do it? I don’t know. I don’t even think Steve knows himself. Nash is shooting a career high with a near 54% from the field. The Suns would be nothing without Nash.

Bryant

Kobe Bryant

How can you hit two buzzer beater game winners in the first half of the season? How can you play with a broken pinky and index right fingers AND have back spasms? Yeah, Kobe hasn’t shot well lately, I know. But that shouldn’t make him any worse… Bryant’s playing hurt and can still be clutch. Going into his 12th All-Star selected season, Kobe still proves he is the greatest player in the league. LeBron is consistent, but the Lakers led by Kobe still has the best record in the league. Plus, compare the West and Eastern Conference records. The East is nowhere near close as the tough West in standings.

Kevin Durant

Durant

Young “Durantula” are proving doubters that he can become a franchise player and bring the young Thunder team into the playoffs. Kevin, who is one of the favored players for the Most Improved Player Award is scoring a career high of 29.1 points per game. The Thunder’s chances of claiming a spot in the playoffs to me are high. Look at the Thunder roster. Besides Westbrook and Green, who else helps Oklahoma with the scoring load? KD is an amazing player at both offense and defensive ends.

Dirk Nowitzki

Nowitzki

Another player who doesn’t seem to get enough respect in this league is Dirk. Dallas is ranked 2nd best in the tough Western Conference. When I watch Dirk play, he’s the most clutch big man I have seen in the game today. From the perimeter, baseline, or driving it in, Nowitzki gets the job done for the Mavs when they need it the most. Sometimes I wonder, “How do you guard this guy?”. Give him space, he pulls up on you. Put a body on him, he can pass you and head straight to the hoop. Dirk should be finally given the starting spot in the All-Star spot.

Tim Duncan

Duncan

Tim needs to be center so he gives Dirk a chance to claim that starting spot. Duncan is aging. On the other hand, he’s still good as hell. The F/C is matching  his career high in FG% since his 2006-07 season. Double-double averaging player and turning 34 in April, Duncan is aiming for his 5th title. Tim’s career has had seasons with a few bad injuries, but he still has the All-Star performance on the court.

Reserves:

Chris Paul

Ever since Paul came back from his troubling injury, the Hornets are 15-10 and is still kept in the hunt for the playoffs. The Hornets have been a disappointment all season, but Chris hasn’t. 32 out of Paul’s last 33 games, he has scored in double figures. He is single-handedly carrying New Orleans this half of the season.

Brandon Roy

How are the Blazers even winning without even having their roster healthy? Oden, out. Przybilla, out. Batum, out. Fernandez, out. Even Roy himself is out at times, but he is STILL doing work. Averaging a career high 23 points per game, Roy should enter his third straight All-Star appearance.

Carmelo Anthony

Melo’s scoring shot up 8 points per game since last season. The Nuggets are one of the most powerful teams in the West from the help of MVP candidate Carmelo. Anthony also leads the league in scoring with 30 ppg. Melo has picked up his career by shedding weight for this season and maturing into a franchise player.

Pau Gasol

Pau is the second best player on the dominant Lakers. He averages a double-double after coming off a hamstring injury. This is his first season he has been averaging a double-double. Though Kobe is still considered the best player in the league, Gasol takes the weight off of Bryant’s shoulders when it comes down to business on the court.

Chris Kaman

When has the Clippers had a player who has played in the All-Star game? Chris has performed like an All-Star player. He is also one of the favorites for Most Improved Player Award. Averaging 20 points and 9 boards per game, Kaman is having a breakout season. I believe the Clippers have a chance to make a playoff run if the team comes together and as Kaman performs as well as he does now every single night.

Deron Williams

Deron is nearly averaging a double-double. In the past seasons, he HAS average a double-double. How has Williams never been voted an All-Star? In the past years, it has been Ginobli and Parker stealing Deron’s spotlight. Those aging guards aren’t having a great of a season as Williams has. Deron should finally be able to claim that last spot since he’s one of the top 10 point guards in the league.

Zach Randolph

Averaging a double-double per night. Wait no, make it a 20 points and 11 rebounds per game average. Zach is part of what the Grizzlies are today. Memphis is one of the most surprising teams this season. Great coaching? Probably. But Zach averaging ridiculous stats per night is probably the reason why the Grizzlies have a shot at the playoffs. With the help of the big 3…. actually make it 4 with Zach, Mayo, Rudy, and Gasol. Memphis is on pace looking at their best season since the 03-06 seasons.