Friday Bullets

  • The Chicago Tribune reports that Andres Nocioni has agreed to return to the Bulls for roughly $38 million over five years.

  • ESPN's John Hollinger (Insider) on Juan Carlos Navarro: "... he's certainly a better player than a lot of the jokers who have been getting $5 and $6 million per year this summer. I ran my projection of Navarro's numbers for this year based on those past three seasons, and it came out to a 13.84 PER, 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per 40 minutes, and a 40.8 shooting mark. On a team like Washington, I'd expect the same net result with fewer shots and a higher shooting mark. Taken as a whole, it's clear he has value and the Wizards should jump at the chance to use a portion of their midlevel exception to nab him, especially given the general decrepitude of their second unit. He should be among this year's better imports and, at 27, he's younger than some of the other vets that have crossed the pond the last couple years."

  • The Akron Beacon-Journal's Brian Windhorst on some ways Navarro could end up in Cleveland: "The Cavs may have interest in both Navarro and Wizards' restricted free agent Andray Blatche, whom the Wizards have partial Bird rights to so they won't have to use part of the exception with him. So it wouldn't be surprising if the Cavs and Wizards had some talks over this issue. The Wizards seem to be looking to move Etan Thomas and/or Brendan Haywood. Thomas has a bad contract and good relations with head coach Eddie Jordan while Haywood has a good contract and bad relations. Just stuff to chew on."

  • Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on how tough it is to be Larry Harris: "Milwaukee Bucks general manager Larry Harris arrived in Las Vegas on Thursday, and he was intent on meeting with first-round draft pick Yi Jianlian. The 7-foot forward also was in Las Vegas, preparing with the Chinese national team to compete in the NBA Summer League." But still, no meeting yet. Hope Harris is ready to impress. Here's a primer.

  • Greg Oden needs a nickname. There are lots of suggestions in the comments of this post, and I'm not crazy about any of them to be honest, but so far my favorite is "The Landlord" because he owns the paint. UPDATE: Apparently Shelden Williams already has that nickname. It's not the best nickname anyway, because it implies there are renters who come and go as they please, which is about how other teams seem to treat the painted area against Williams' Atlanta Hawks. I'm not even sure he's making them pay all that regularly.

  • They should probably just change the name of YouTube to GregOdenTube, 'cause it's all full of the big man these days. Here's a great little music video (Sonic/Chronic rhyme scheme especially pleases), here he is meeting the Blazer staff (Kevin Pritchard has the gall to wonder aloud if there was "ever any doubt" about who they'd pick, when he has been telling us for ages that there was a ton of doubt), and he goes to his first summer league practice.

  • Blazer broadcaster Mike Barrett writes: "I got a chance to talk to Sergio Rodriguez, who, like always, had a big smile on his face. He was bouncing around the facility, happy to be back, and looking forward to his first summer league. He told me his parents read this blog from Spain, and to give them a little shout out. He spent most of the time after practice glued to the hip of his good friend LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is going with Sergio to Spain after summer league to help him with a basketball camp there." For some reason, that makes me really happy.

  • This PG-13 quiz should be really easy for anyone who is intimately familiar with Delonte West's pillow talk.

  • Matt Geiger's house was in the movie "The Punisher," where it was the home of a gangster played by John Travolta.

  • Sour grapes in Orlando over Grant Hill's departure. UPDATE: Whit Watson says Orlando is a naive sports town.

  • Do you want Darko Milicic? I'm looking for someone who is profoundly excited about the guy. I haven't found one yet. Slam's Lang Whitaker is not there yet.

  • Very early NBA rap.

  • A story about sports, back when they were simpler.

  • Producing sneakers in a fashion that is remotely sensitive to workplace and environmental standards sounds expensive. Cheap might not be the only or best criteria as we hunt for heroes to join Stephon Marbury atop the sneaker world.

  • According to Kevin Pelton, for the most part, the numbers show that offense is more important than defense in the regular season. UPDATE: This article is from 2003! Still fascinating, though.

  • Writing in The New York Times, Robert H. Frank has an interesting point about how some careers, like managing hedge funds and playing in the NBA, attract more people than they really should: "This market is what economists call a winner-take-all market -- essentially a tournament in which a handful of winners are selected from a much larger field of initial contestants. Such markets tend to attract too many contestants for two reasons. The first is an information bias. An intelligent decision about whether to enter any tournament requires an accurate estimate of the odds of winning. Yet peoples assessments of their relative skill levels are notoriously optimistic. Surveys show, for example, that more than 90 percent of workers consider themselves more productive than their average colleague. This oerconfidence bias is especially likely to distort career choice because, in addition to the motivational forces that support it, the biggest winners in many tournaments are so conspicuous. For example, N.B.A. stars who earn eight-figure salaries appear on television several nights a week, whereas the thousands who failed to make th
    e league attract little notice. Similarly, hedge fund managers with 10-figure incomes are far more visible than the legions of contestants who never made the final cut. When people overestimate their chances of winning, too many forsake productive occupations in traditional markets to compete in winner-take-all markets."

  • The town that essentially banned basketball because of swearing. (Via Inside Hoops)

  • Tony Parker and Eva Longoria are legally married, but the big party isn't until this weekend. According to this report, Longoria had one dress for walking in to the civil ceremony, and a different one for once she got in there. Life's complicated for celebrities, huh?

  • The Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman quoting Pat Riley: "What we need, and we found out last year, opposite Dwyane is a facsimile of him, at 6-7 or 6-8, that can do things similar to what Dwyane can do," Riley said. "When Dwyane gets double-teamed, it's not a matter of if we're going to live with a three." Then came this perspective on Posey: "James is acrobatic, energy, will make threes, make cuts to the basket, but he's not a playmaker, that's not his strength, has never been his strength. He's not one of those guys that can play pick-and-roll basketball. He doesn't have a real high offensive skill level. That's not a criticism; that's a reality."

  • Derek Fisher's agent disputes the notion that Fisher's departure from Utah was motivated by money.

  • Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times on Sam Presti's Sonic overhaul: "It's like this entire organization is still in boxes. New GM. New coach. New franchise player. Even after adding some major furniture, the Sonics' room still looks bare. If they must sleep on the floor for a while, so be it. They're committed to being picky shoppers. It's undeniably a cost-cutting decision, but it's also a philosophical one. Applaud or abhor any of Presti's decisions, but there's no question he snagged exactly the kind of coach he sought, just like he acquired exactly the kinds of players he wanted in the Ray Allen trade, just like he hired exactly the kind of creative assistant general manager he craved in Scott Perry."

  • One of the biggest names in European basketball will reportedly not be coming to the NBA.

  • Michael Jordan dunks. One of a million such videos, but pleasing nonetheless.

  • One thing I keep wondering: now that San Antonio has lost the likes of Sam Presti and P.J. Carlesimo, who will be the next to step into Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford's career-making machine? UPDATE: Dennis Lindsey, formerly of the Rockets, is the new Presti.