Monday, July 18, 2005


Larry Brown is apparently not going to coach the Pistons this season. I'm interested to see what happens next. It seems unreal to me that Larry would want to coach anywhere else right now. Where does he have a better chance to win another championship? A lot of questions will need resolving this week and it should be interesting to see how things end up.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Oh. My. God.

There may be a one time chance to dump Raef LaFrentz or Mark Blount
this off season. I'm not sure why I ignored the possibility, but the
new collective bargaining agreement is going to allow teams to waive a
player and then not have that players remaining salary count against
the cap. The team would still be responsible for the waived players
salary, but they wouldn't have to pay luxury tax and could sign other
free agents or their own players. I think the Celtics have a great
chance to dump some excess baggage. Mark Blount, I'm looking at

Next Free Agent Move

It's reported now that Larry Hughes will sign with the Cavs for 65-70 million over 5 years. Supposedly the Wizards offered him 6 years at $70 million. The Wizards offer was probably the right one. Hughes had his best season ever in a contract year. He has never played in a winning situation and just cut his teeth in the playoffs for the first time last year. It's possible the Wizards will reup because nobody can offically sign for a few more weeks, but I think they would be unwise to do so. Hughes is not entirely unreplaceable and they could get a better or cheaper model in Bobby Simmons if they should wish to do so. Hughes is a bit versatile which NBA guys love, but we'll have to see how he meshes with Lebron. From the Cavs point of view, they had to do something this offseason in terms of signing some guys. Lebron has two years left on his deal and if anybody thinks he's staying in Cleveland if they don't make the playoffs in those years is crazy. I'm not sure how this effects the Cavs ability to resign big Z either. He's looking for a lot of money and now Hughes is getting it. More dominoes soon to fall.

Max Money

Players that deserve max money (talent and turnstile effects are important with talent being the most important factor):

1. Shaq
2. Duncan
3. KG
4. Dirk
5. Amare
6. Wade
7. Lebron
8. Pierce
9. Kobe
10. Iverson
11. AK47
12. Kidd
13. Ray Allen
14. Elton Brand

On the Cusp (but will probably never be fully worth it):

1. Yao
2. McGrady
3. Melo
4. Odom
5. Ben/Rasheed Wallace
6. Billups
7. Arenas
8. Hughes
9. Bobby Simmons
10. Corey Maggette
11. Jason Richardson

Youngins on the Rise:

1. Dwight Howard
1a. Andre Iguodala
2. Kirk Hinrich
3. Luol Deng
4. Chris Bosh (he may have reached his ceiling)
5. Shaun Livingston
6. Trevor Arizia

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Free Agency

1. Ray Allen. Seattle felt like they needed to reup to keep their number one player with them for a while. They maxed Allen out giving him something like $85 million over the next 5 years to keep playing with the Sonics. I think Seattle overpaid for him, but he proved his worth in ticket sales and success this year. The Sonics just have to hope he doesn't dog it over the next few years now that he's inked for a long time.

2. Nate McMillan. Apparently Portland is going to be paying Nate $6 million per annum over the next five years. Really? $30 million dollars for a coach who had one 50+ winning season and won a single playoff series? Nate was a great player, is a favorite in the Pacific Northwest, and is definitely a young up and coming coach, but $30 million seems like the kind of coin the games premier coaches get (Larry, Phil, Popps), not unproven youngins'. Seems like Paul Allen is on another crazy spending spree. We'll see what it gets him. He better be ready to suspend idiots like Miles if they start acting up though, that's for sure.

3. Michael Redd. Supposedly Milwaukee is going to max-out Michael Redd for a seven year contract. That's good. This reminds me of when the Knicks signed a young lights out shooter who couldn't do anything else on the court. What was his name? Oh right, Allen Houston. Redd better hope Bogut is the real deal, or people in Milwaukee are going to be pissed about this deal. I personally think Milwaukee would have been better off throwing that kind of money or less at a guy like Bobby Simmons or Larry Hughes. Both are more versatile.

More indicators that talent is a rare commodity in the NBA so it will be overpaid for and that NBA GMs are idiots. Seriously, how are the Sonics going to keep their team together with Ray's contract? What are the Bucks going to do with Redd now that they can never trade him? If he's such a great player, how did he let Milwaukee slide out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. Paul Pierce doesn't let that happen, and now he and Redd are making the same money? That's interesting. And as for the Blazers, McMillan is a stand up guy but they had better be committed to him. The Blazers are not ready to win today. It's going to take a little while. I just find it surprising that they over reached for him so much. Christ, they probably could have stolen Larry Brown for that kind of money.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Kobe, me myself and I revisted

I bashed Kobe pretty hard at the end of this season for his poor
leadership and his inability to play like a superstar this past year
when that's all he seemed to want for a long time. I think he
deserved it. But lost in the recent hoopla surrounding the hiring of
Phil Jackson is what Phil's return says about Kobe's mentality and
attitude. I don't expect any open mea culpas, however I think the
return of Jackson signals that Kobe was humbled a bit by last years
experience. I think Kobe realized the way he was going wasn't the
right way and he's reaching out for help from the only true mentor
he's had in the league. After the book Phil wrote Kobe couldn't be
blamed for trying to keep Phil out of L.A., but instead I think Kobe
is intending to take the criticisms he gets from his coach and other
knowledgeable basketball types and work on his weaknesses instead of
just deflecting the criticism. If that's the case the Lakers are going
to be a much improved team and I think Kobe may be ready to try and
change his errant ways. I may be reading too much into this, but
that's the feeling I get. I know it's been denied that Kobe had any
decision in the hiring, but Jackson said that he and Kobe discussed
this before it happened and seeing as Kobe is signed for a long time
one would have to be very naive to think that superstar players have
no input on coaching and personnel decisions. I may have to revise my
opinon on Kobe in the near future.

Circle the wagons

Peter May wrote a column yesterday that I really agree with. Too many
young players, the C's should have got an established college player
with the pick and that the C's will try to trade Pierce and that it's
probably the right move. I'm very in tune with him. The Celtics are
starting to remind me a little bit of the Baby Bulls years. It's no
secret that a hard nosed coach, and rookies or young players from blue
collar winning programs turned around their fortunes very quickly.
When you start looking to Pierce and Ricky for leadership, your team
is in some serious trouble. I think Jefferson has a good head on his
shoulders, but May is right in that he didn't even play 15mins a game
last year (not his fault with 'Toine coming back in) and Green is
largely an unknowable commodity at this point (who was also passed
over by several teams in spite of widespread acclaim).

I just want to say that I really enjoy watching Pierce play. He's a
very talented player and a shooting guard who has never shied away
from contact and has been remarkably durable. The other Celtics fan I
talk with think that Pierces meglomania has consumed him and I think
he's right. He has some preconceived notion of being "the man"
because he's the best player on the team. He had one of his better
statistical seasons last year and yet he's unhappy, and acting like a
bitch when the chips are on the table. I used to contend that Pierce
was in the top ten of players, but he officially gets the mercurial
lable now. I'd like to see him out of Boston. I'm just not sure who
will want him right now. Should be an interesting month.