July, 27, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- The Cavs made an underwhelming trade for Ramon Sessions. But did they just trade a player who will be cut (Delonte West) for a better point guard than they ever put alongside LeBron James? John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog says Sessions could be the best pure point guard the team has had since Andre Miller. "I believe Sessions to be a better pure point than Jeff McInnis, Damon Jones, Eric Snow, Daniel Gibson, and Mo Williams. Not saying much, when you really think about it." The same post makes a strong case that the Cavs -- long known for defense -- could be on the brink of becoming horrible at that end of the floor. Also, in a poll, Cavs fans seem to like the trade.
- John Hollinger (Insider) with a shocking bit of analysis. "It appears both [Matt] Barnes' agent and the Raptors' front office leaked to the media that Barnes would sign a two-year, $9 million deal with the Raptors in a sign-and-trade -- in fact, every major outlet reported it. Only one problem: The deal wasn't even remotely legal under the salary-cap rules, revealing a shocking ignorance of a very important piece of the business on the part of NBA professionals." He then goes on to describe several ways such a deal would have been impossible. What is that about?
- Do the Spurs mind having their front office raided time and again for people like Dell Demps? On the contrary, I think they love it. Not only are they branded as the best organization in the business, but they do all that while keeping the pieces that matter -- coach Gregg Popovich, big man Tim Duncan, owner Peter Holt, and GM R.C. Buford. Not even vice president and assistant general manager Dennis Lindsey was taken away.
- Yao Ming is talking about retirement. Not right now. But some day soonish, maybe, if his foot does not heal perfectly. As I see it, these comments are most likely the latest in an ongoing battle to limit his obligations to his national team.
- Can we get a physicist on this? Yesterday I linked to a YouTube video where a kid with a golf club chips a basketball into the hoop. In the comments and on Twitter people are saying that's impossible, the shaft of the club would break. Ruling, please!
- Kirk Hinrich shooting under pressure.
- Shaquille O'Neal singing with Justin Bieber. Celebrity is strange.
- Rob Mahoney of the Two Man Game: "It seems like a lifetime ago, but Tim Thomas was actually a productive member of the Mavs’ rotation before taking a leave of absence to stay with his ailing wife. Thomas started the year in terrific fashion, but fell back to Earth a bit over the course of the season. Still, he was a solid three-point shooter for the Mavs in 18 games, shooting .372 from deep on 43 attempts. He showed patience and discretion, and was a slightly more efficient offensive player than his overall career marks show. He scored well, defended adequately, and filled in minutes for the Mavs at both the 3 and the 4. He hit a game-tying three to force overtime (though that shot was easily overshadowed by the Mavs’ loss in OT and the teeth in Dirk Nowitzki’s elbow), played to his strengths, and did what was asked of him. That’s not the kind of portfolio that’s going to secure Thomas a huge paycheck for the coming season, but it looks like it could be enough for him to reprise his role with Dallas in the coming season. The Mavs have a chance to bring Thomas back to do it all over again, and provided he’s available for the veteran’s minimum, it seems like the right move. There are no superstars, All-Stars, quasi-stars, former stars, or even distant stars left to acquire. There are only role players, and while Dallas could certainly use more help than just Thomas, they’ll have to make do."
- Dan Feldman of PistonPowered writes a very fair -- even generous, perhaps -- assessment of Shaquille O'Neal as a free agent. It includes this great line: "He could be aging quickly, if that hasn’t happened already."
- Paying Paul Pierce and Ray Allen helped the Celtics hang on to Doc Rivers, too.
- David Berri of Stumbling on Wins says the Suns were smart to let Amare Stoudemire go.
- Coach Scott Brooks on the Sports Animal in Oklahoma City talking potentially having three Thunder players -- Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook -- on Team USA, which might lead to some tired legs: "It’s not going to be easy to win the gold. It’s going to take a lot of effort, a lot of energy, but our guys are young and they’re excited to play. They’re going to play basketball all year long. Kevin, I wanted him to take a couple of weeks off and he took two days off. ... There’s going to be a little bit of time where I’ll say 'OK, you guys gotta rest,' and maybe I can rest them a few days during that month of October, but it’s going to be like pulling teeth to get those guys to sit out of things." (Via Sports Radio Interviews)
- Spurs signee Gary Neal is an American who led the Italian league in scoring, and can flat out put the ball in the basket.
- That's Kevin Pritchard making a cameo on the TNT show "Leverage". Look for the car sales guy with his feet up on the desk.
- Here's Tracy McGrady talking like a guy who won't be satisfied coming off the bench. Here are sources saying the Bulls are getting cold feet about signing him.