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NBA Offseason Thread

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  • NBA Offseason Thread

    Oden or Durant? Hakeem or MJ?

    WTF was Boston thinking? They now have two all-star guards and not much else.

    Meanwhile, Portland ends up with two potential stars in Greg Oden and #5 Jeff Green -- to go with young guns LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy drafted last year. That's an amazing core group.

    Why would Golden State trade Jason Richardson? Great get for Charlotte.

    Looks like Atlanta finally had a good draft, getting Al Horford and Acie Law.
    Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
    RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms

  • #2
    The draft in the NBA is only two rounds?!


    • #3
      Yup. Everyone else is a free agent.

      Rosters are so small (12 active, 15 overall) that there's not much turnover. 1st-rounders get guaranteed contracts, while most 2nd round picks wind up in Europe to get some experience. Conventional wisdom among players is, if you're not going in the top 20, stay in college.
      Apolyton's Grim Reaper 2008, 2010 & 2011
      RIP lest we forget... SG (2) and LaFayette -- Civ2 Succession Games Brothers-in-Arms


      • #4
        Re: NBA Draft

        Originally posted by -Jrabbit
        Oden or Durant? Hakeem or MJ?
        I was having similar thoughts as the draft started... All the "experts" had Oden number one... and all I could think about was Hakeem vs MJ

        Time will tell on this one.
        Keep on Civin'
        RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O


        • #5
          Mark Cuban is suing Don Nelson.
          Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
          "Hating America is something best left to Mobius. He is an expert Yank hater.
          He also hates Texans and Australians, he does diversify." ~ Braindead


          • #6
            That's old news They've been going after each other over contractual issues since he left Dallas.

            I'm impressed by the Bulls' 1st round by the way... Noah
            <Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.
            I like your SNOOPY POSTER! - While you Wait quote.


            • #7
              Considering what was still available, he was a "solid" pick. He meets the general player standards that Pax likes... hard working, energetic, plays defense... he just doesn't solve the major problem the Bulls have.
              Keep on Civin'
              RIP rah, Tony Bogey & Baron O


              • #8
                Re: Re: NBA Draft

                Originally posted by Ming

                I was having similar thoughts as the draft started... All the "experts" had Oden number one... and all I could think about was Hakeem vs MJ

                Time will tell on this one.
                I'm think more along the lines of Bowie or MJ......

                Oden just doesn't look like he wants to play.

                Don't try to confuse the issue with half-truths and gorilla dust!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ming
                  Considering what was still available, he was a "solid" pick. He meets the general player standards that Pax likes... hard working, energetic, plays defense... he just doesn't solve the major problem the Bulls have.
                  What's that? They have great guards and small forwards, they have a pure scoring PF (Nocioni), they have a couple of good defensive big guys (Wallace and now Noah), and a scoring big guy (Tyrus). That's assuming Tyrus can, well, score of course, but he showed flashes of brilliance last year. If he can keep improving, in a year or two he'll be great...

                  That said I'd of course love to have drafted a 7'2" scoring center, but there was a sad lack of those this year
                  <Reverend> IRC is just multiplayer notepad.
                  I like your SNOOPY POSTER! - While you Wait quote.


                  • #10
                    Chauncey Billups will be staying with the Pistons. He's reportedly agreed to a 5-yr, $60.5M contract (last yr is a team option).
                    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
                    Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
                    One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD


                    • #11
                      Yay Chauncey
                      Captain of Team Apolyton - ISDG 2012

                      When I was younger I thought curfews were silly, but now as the daughter of a young woman, I appreciate them. - Rah


                      • #12
                        Five rules for managing the salary cap (and not paying Rashard the max)

                        By Chad Ford

                        They are popping the champagne corks in Orlando this week, celebrating the signing of Rashard Lewis to a six-year, $113 million deal.

                        Congratulations, Orlando. Good luck with that.

                        History doesn't look kindly on this type of contract. The NBA salary cap can be brutally unforgiving. Manage it well, as the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs have done over the last five years, and your team has a shot to remain relevant and competitive year after year. Mismanage it, as teams such as the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves have done, and you have painted your team into a corner.

                        While owners obsess over finding GMs who have a great eye for talent, in the NBA, that's only half the equation. Front-line talent does win championships. But if you can't manage the cap in a way that gives a team a chance to add the right players to your star or stars, talent will take you only so far.

                        We've seen evidence of that in the past few weeks with Kobe Bryant demanding a trade and Kevin Garnett's agent looking for greener pastures for his client. No one doubts that Bryant and Garnett have been two of the 10 best talents in the league over the past decade. But because of bad trades and poor cap management, their teams have been unable to put the right players around them.

                        Here are the five rules every GM in the league should follow. As you can tell, most do not. In fact, a handful don't even understand them. And when it comes to the Lewis signing, I believe Orlando GM Otis Smith violated every single rule.

                        1. Don't bid against yourself.

                        In other words, don't pay a player more than necessary.

                        This rule seems obvious, but it's often violated.

                        In perhaps the most infamous case, the Knicks gave Allan Houston a six-year, $100 million contract even though the competition could offer him only a five-year, $56 million deal. The Houston contract ended up as a disaster for the Knicks.

                        There are a couple of reasons that the rule gets violated.

                        First, some GMs simply misread the market. They often panic, believing that if they don't offer a certain amount, another team will. Agents work overtime to fuel the perception of the rising market value of their clients.

                        In many cases, the battle between agent and general manager is not a fair fight. On one side you have the agent, a professional negotiator who spends all year thinking about how to drive up the player's price. On the other side you have GMs, many of whom are former players who have seldom handled negotiations. They usually had agents for that.

                        A second main reason is loyalty. Sometimes teams "reward" their own free agents for years of loyal service. The Pistons did that with Chauncey Billups this summer. On the open market, Billups wouldn't have received as much money as the Pistons are giving him. But they felt like he was a key fixture in the franchise and they needed to "make him happy." And, it's worth noting, Billups' contract is far smaller than Lewis'.

                        Overpaying based on loyalty is usually a bad idea, but it's understandable. There's a human element in every negotiation, and it's tough to tell a player that you value that you're going to lowball him because the market stinks in a given year.

                        So what about Rashard Lewis? Why did the Magic give him $113 million?

                        Was there a team out there that would have matched such an offer? No, not even close.

                        His previous team, the Seattle SuperSonics, could have given him a similar amount, but their offer was for far less.

                        The other team with enough salary cap room to offer Lewis a similar contract, the Bobcats, didn't want to spend anything close to that on Lewis. Other teams, including the Rockets, were interested in a sign-and-trade deal, but as a number of teams learned in the past week, the Sonics didn't want to take back any long-term salaries as part of a sign-and-trade. That eliminated virtually everyone else.

                        Not only did the Magic offer Lewis far more than any other team was willing to pay, but they also added an unnecessary sixth year to the deal. Without a sign-and-trade deal between Seattle and Orlando, which the Magic didn't need to do, Lewis was eligible by NBA rules to sign with the Magic for only five years.

                        The sixth year is worth $22.7 million, if paid in full. While only $10 million of it is currently guaranteed, a league source revealed that the remainder will be guaranteed if certain performance incentives are met. According to this source, it boils down to this: If Lewis remains healthy, he'll get the money.

                        The Magic could have secured Lewis with a five-year, $60 million deal. Of course, Lewis' agent and the Magic won't admit that, but that's what the market tells us -- along with a number of GMs and agents.

                        So when the Magic broke the first rule and "bid against themselves," the price was an extra $53 million.

                        2. Give the max to franchise players only.

                        More GMs are getting clued into this one, but it still gets violated with shocking regularity.

                        If you're going to give a player a maximum-salary contract, he had better be a franchise player. Pay a lesser player that much money and he becomes a millstone around the team's neck.

                        So who qualifies as a franchise player? I think the list is pretty small actually.

                        Here are the players who deserve it: Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash (the only guy on the list who doesn't have a max contract), LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett and Yao Ming. You might consider a max deal for these players as well: Chris Bosh, Gilbert Arenas, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony -- and for Dwight Howard, who signed a max extension on Thursday.

                        We can grandfather in a few other players who have shown they were max players in the past -- Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Jason Kidd -- though now those contracts seem pretty burdensome.

                        But here are some others players with max contracts: Zach Randolph, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Pierce, Pau Gasol, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, Antawn Jamison, Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis.

                        While some of these are very good players, they are not the kind of franchise players who deserve max dollars. What might have seemed like a good deal becomes a nightmare when you realize they can't carry your team. And those contracts make it very difficult to trade them away and get back similar talent.

                        We had two great examples of that on draft night. The Sonics received only the No. 5 pick, a role player and Wally Szczerbiak's bad contract from the Celtics for Allen. The Blazers sent Randolph to the Knicks and had to swallow a $30 million buyout of Francis' deal to make it happen.

                        Lewis just received a max deal, or very close -- as close as the Magic could offer. So is Lewis a max player?

                        Some questions: Was he the best player on his team? (No.) Was his team good? (No.) Is he the best player on his new team? (No.) Do we really need to ask any more questions?

                        3. Stay away from the luxury tax.

                        Owners hate the luxury tax -- the penalty that teams pay for going over a certain team salary threshold.

                        While owners like Paul Allen (Portland), James Dolan (New York) and Mark Cuban (Dallas) have shown they are willing to pay the luxury tax, even they have tried to slow down their teams' spending.

                        GMs have a way of talking their owners into paying the luxury tax for a specific player. But once the team is there, owners tend to scrutinize every move more closely. In some cases, they don't want to reach to bring in the next free agent, use the midlevel exception or pay a premium to retain their own free agents.

                        It's pretty clear why. When a team is paying the tax, a $5 million contract (plus the $5 million tax) means that $10 million in real dollars is going out the door. That's a lot for a role player who might not even be worth the first $5 million.

                        An unwillingness to pay the luxury tax limits a team's flexibility to make important trades, sign draft picks (that's why the Suns have traded or sold first-round picks for the past four years) and land free agents. It essentially freezes spending and freezes the team.

                        So what does this have to do with Rashard Lewis?

                        Starting with the 2008-09 season, the Magic will have approximately $60 million a year going to Lewis, Howard, Jameer Nelson (assuming he gets an extension) and six role players. If they add a draft pick and a midlevel contract, they will be very close to the luxury tax threshold.

                        That's fine if a combo of Howard, Lewis, Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and J.J. Redick can deliver a championship. But if not, Orlando will have very little flexibility to make significant changes.

                        4. Keep your options open.

                        This rule really sums up the first three.

                        It's another way of saying, don't overpay. When you overpay, your ability to make additions and even subtractions to a team is damaged.

                        Again, let's look at the Magic. With so much money invested in two players (Lewis and Howard), and without a lot of supporting talent on the roster as trade bait, Orlando will find it difficult to make deals.

                        The team could try to use the expiring contracts of Carlos Arroyo, Pat Garrity and Keyon Dooling to bring in a player or players with longer-term contracts. However, if they do that, they'll run even more risk of crossing the luxury tax threshold (starting in 2008-09).

                        To take advantage of the flexibility that the Magic had before signing Lewis, and to keep their options open for the future (given that it will be extremely hard to trade Lewis), Orlando could have taken a different tack. Had the Magic decided to keep Darko Milicic (with a three-year deal) and pursue free agent Gerald Wallace, they potentially would have made themselves both more competitive and more capable of making moves in the future.

                        Wallace is more than three years younger than Lewis, and he just signed a six-year deal for about half of what Lewis did. Wallace averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season, and posted a very similar player efficiency rating to Lewis. He also is a much better defender. While Wallace does not have the kind of outside shot that Lewis does, the Magic have players who do -- especially Redick and Turkoglu.

                        The combined production of Milicic and Wallace very likely will match or outpace what Lewis will do for the Magic this season. Essentially, Orlando is paying him the price of two players.

                        5. Don't give away assets.

                        This is the rule that most teams follow, which is why many around the league were shocked that the Magic didn't try harder to get something in return for Milicic. Say what you will about Darko -- whether you think he is a bust or still has potential, he is a roster asset.

                        The Magic mishandled the Milicic asset in several ways.

                        First, they gave up their 2007 first-round pick to land Milicic, without being committed to a strategy for this asset. (Detroit used that pick to draft Rodney Stuckey.)

                        Second, they chose not to keep a 22-year-old center, when they said it was their top priority and could have rearranged their roster slightly to do so. Now they have the thinnest frontcourt in the NBA.

                        Third, they essentially gave him away, rather than trading him for another player, a draft pick or a trade exception.

                        Fourth, they mishandled the entire episode to the point where they are ineligible to use the midlevel exception this year. With a sign-and-trade to move Darko to another team and receive an asset in return, Orlando could have stayed slightly over the salary cap and used the exception. By waiving Milicic, the Magic fell a little below the cap and lost their free agent exceptions. Now they can sign only minimum-salary players.

                        Darko's agent, Marc Cornstein, said more than 20 teams inquired about Milicic once he became an unrestricted free agent, and several teams attempted to work out a sign-and-trade with Seattle and Orlando to land Darko.

                        While Smith said publicly that the team was working feverishly to find a way to keep Milicic, Cornstein said that he received just one phone call from the team after it withdrew its qualifying offer, and the call wasn't related to a deal for Darko.

                        A source in Seattle also said that the Magic weren't very interested in exploring various sign-and-trade scenarios and in the end "just wanted to get their guy and be done with it."

                        Instead of asking Lewis to wait a few days while the team tried to explore trade options, the Magic waived Milicic early Wednesday to expedite the Lewis signing. Later that day Milicic agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Grizzlies.

                        So where does that leave the Magic? The team gave Lewis one of the most lucrative long-term deals in NBA history -- along the lines of historic deals for O'Neal and Garnett. His sixth year salary of $22.6 million (if and when it becomes guaranteed) will be higher than that of all but two players -- Garnett and Tim Duncan. To get the right to pay him that much money, the team renounced or dropped qualifying offers to a whopping 12 players. Two key players for the Magic last season -- Grant Hill and Milicic -- are gone.

                        Once the Magic extend the contracts of Howard and Nelson, they essentially will be capped out for the next five years. This is their team.

                        If the Magic win and win big, no one will care about how much Lewis makes. But if they stumble, it could be the deal that sucks the Magic right out of Orlando.
                        Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
                        Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
                        One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD


                        • #13
                          Donaghy under investigation for betting on NBA games

                          NBA referee Tim Donaghy is under investigation by the FBI for allegations that he bet on games that he officiated over the past two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in games, multiple sources told ESPN.

                          Donaghy, a 13-year veteran of the league, is aware of the investigation and resigned from the NBA recently.

                          The NBA issued a brief statement Friday, saying: "We have been asked by the FBI, with whom we are working closely, not to comment on this matter at this time."

                          According to a law enforcement official, authorities are examining whether Donaghy -- whose identity was not revealed until Friday afternoon -- made calls to affect the point spread in games on which he or associates had wagered.

                          The law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity, said the referee was aware of the investigation and had made arrangements to surrender as early as next week to face charges. The official, who did not identify the referee, is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation.

                          The investigation first was reported Friday by the New York Post.

                          The law enforcement official said the bets involved thousands of dollars and were made on games during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons.

                          The FBI probe, which began recently, also involves allegations that the referee had connections to organized crime associates. Other arrests are expected, the official said.

                          The referee had a gambling problem, according to the official, and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance.

                          Nevada gambling regulators were not involved in an investigation and had no information about the allegations, said Jerry Markling, enforcement chief for the state Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board.

                          Jay Kornegay, executive director of the sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton, said he had never seen any unusual activity in NBA betting, and was surprised not to have heard about an investigation until Friday.

                          "Whispers would have happened on the street, and we would have heard something," Kornegay said. "Any type of suspicious or unusual movements, you usually hear in the industry. We're so regulated and policed, any kind of suspicion would be discussed.

                          "We haven't seen anything like that in the NBA that I can remember," he said, "and we haven't been contacted by anybody."

                          Kornegay said legal sports betting in Nevada represents a fraction of sports betting worldwide, with 98.5 percent of all action taken outside the state. Clayton cited a 2005 estimate by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission that found $380 billion is wagered on illegal sports betting, compared with $2.25 billion in legal sports betting in Nevada.

                          Gambling long has been a problem in sports, and leagues have made a point of educating players of the potential pitfalls. The NBA, for example, discusses gambling at rookie orientation, even bringing in former mobster Michael Franceze to speak.

                          NBA commissioner David Stern had long objected to putting a team in Las Vegas because it permits betting on basketball, though earlier this year allowed Mayor Oscar Goodman to submit a proposal to owners on how the city would handle wagering on a team if it moved there.

                          Rasheed Wallace has referred to calls he disagreed with as "felonious," though I don't recall if it was ever in connection with this ref.

                          BTW, can the thread title get changed to NBA Offseason Thread?
                          Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
                          Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
                          One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD


                          • #14
                            Oden out for season.

                            Oden's recovery from surgery likely in range of 6-12 months

                            PORTLAND, Ore. -- Celebrated Trail Blazers rookie center Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, will likely miss the 2007-08 season after undergoing knee surgery Thursday, the team said.

                            Doctors found cartilage damage during an exploratory procedure, and team physician Dr. Don Roberts performed microfracture surgery to repair the damage.

                            "There are things about this that are positive for Greg," Roberts said in a statement posted on the Trail Blazers' Web site. "First of all, he is young. The area where the damage was is small and the rest of his knee looked normal. All those are good signs for a complete recovery from microfracture surgery."

                            The 7-foot center is expected to be on crutches for up to eight weeks. A full recovery likely will take six to 12 months, the team said.

                            The Trail Blazers will hold a 4:30 p.m. ET news conference to discuss Oden's situation. The procedure was performed in Vancouver, Wash.

                            "Certainly this is a setback, but our future is still incredibly bright," Trail Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said. "Is it disappointing? Yes. However, this is a great core of talent and players of strong character and will continue to be."

                            Oden described the knee pain in an entry Tuesday on his personal blog:

                            "On my vacation earlier this summer i got up off the couch and remember my knee having a sharp pain in it. That was about a month ago. I didn't tell anyone because i didn't want to seem like i was complaining or making excuses for anything. Plus i wasn't doing anything at the time i realized it hurt, so i figured it couldn't be anything big.

                            "After a couple of weeks, i had to finally tell someone so i went to St. Vincent's Sports Performance (where i worked out at before draft) and got my knee looked at. That was right before i moved to Portland for good. My knee was swollen since i was there. I finally just said that i need to tell my trainer because this is not normal. We went to the doctor's the next day to get a MRI and that night me and my mom ended up in the doctor's office being told that I have to get surgery. It's a light one, just a scoop, but still it's just another setback. I would like for me to be playing and not seem like i'm a high-maintenance player, but things just keep popping up."

                            If Oden does not play this season, he would become only the second player in the common draft (1966-present) to be selected No. 1 overall and not play in the year of his selection. David Robinson was drafted by San Antonio in 1987 but instead honored his naval commitment.

                            This is Oden's second health problem since the Blazers drafted him in June. He had a tonsillectomy in July after struggling in two Las Vegas summer league games.

                            Oden, despite being hampered by a wrist injury during his freshman (and only) season at Ohio State, averaged 15.7 points and 9.6 rebounds in leading the Buckeyes to the national championship game. He had 25 points and 12 rebounds in the title-game loss to Florida.

                            The Trail Blazers were the surprise winners of the NBA draft lottery and chose Oden over Texas forward Kevin Durant, who went to Seattle. Portland opens training camp on Oct. 2, and its regular-season opener is at San Antonio on Oct. 30.
                            Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin
                            Iain Banks missed deadline due to Civ | The eyes are the groin of the head. - Dwight Schrute.
                            One more turn .... One more turn .... | WWTSD


                            • #15
                              poor kid