First Cup: Tuesday

June, 30, 2009
6/30/09
8:24
AM ET
  • Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle: "Chris Bosh is 25 years old. He's 6-10. He's 23 points and 10 rebounds a night. He's a great kid. He's a Texan, too. (Actually, he's from Dallas, which, sort of makes him a Texan. No one's perfect.) He's the best option for the Rockets filling that huge hole in the middle of their roster caused by the possible absence of Yao Ming for next season or longer. If you're looking for good news, this is it. No team is better positioned to withstand the loss of a Yao Ming than the Rockets. They may not have a single major contract obligation after next season when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Bosh and other premier players are set to be free agents. Keeping that financial flexibility suddenly is Morey's first priority during a nightmarish offseason. If he can trade for a player worth a long-term investment, he'll do it. Otherwise, we'll see a small, fast, scrappy team next season."
  • Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News: "Free agency begins at one minute after 11 p.m. local time today. Expect the Rockets to contact the agents for the best big men who might be lured by the full mid-level salary cap exception of just less than $6 million. One of those is Antonio McDyess, the veteran Pistons center-forward whose off-season home is, ahem, Houston. Even at age 34, he is one of the NBA's most consistent post players. He averaged 9.6 points and 9.8 rebounds last season, when he returned to the Pistons after being part of the Chauncey Billups-for-Allen Iverson deal, loyal to GM Joe Dumars to the bitter end. Can the Rockets afford not to find out if McDyess would like to finish his career in his adopted hometown? With Yao out and Dikembe Mutombo finally retired, McDyess would play at least 30 minutes a night for the Rockets. If the Rockets do reach out to McDyess, this could be bad news for the Spurs, also in the market for bigs after moving Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto to get Richard Jefferson last week."
  • Kate Fagan of The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Andre Miller, who last season averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 assists, is represented by Andy Miller, who has said his client's No. 1 option is to remain with the Sixers. 'He's the main free agent, an important free agent,' said Sixers president and general manager Ed Stefanski. 'Neither of us is going to be at each other's doorstep at 12:01 a.m., but we will talk on July 1. There's no doubt.' ... Although tomorrow kicks off what is usually a fast-paced few weeks in the NBA, Stefanski said things may be slower than usual - a reflection of a sluggish economy. 'I could be wrong, but I just don't think there will be as much quick-paced movement as years past,' Stefanski said. 'It might be surprising because it's a different economic climate out there now.' "
  • Chris Vivlamore of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Jamal Crawford, who will wear No. 11, has two years and $19 million remaining on his contract. He had an out clause this year but signed an agreement that he would not opt out of his contract. That's how much the 29-year-old, who has yet to play in the postseason, wanted a fresh start with the Hawks. 'First when I got traded to Golden State, coach [Don] Nelson said I was a guy that he wanted to end my career there,' Crawford said. 'Unfortunately, things didn't work out. We never got into it, there was never a beef. He just thought that Monta [Ellis] and I were very similar and they already invested six years in him. I totally understand that. There are no hard feelings. Looking forward, I'm ecstatic. They could have sent me anywhere. To come to an up-and-coming team, a team that went to the second round of the playoffs, they were fun to watch… . I'm happy to be here and be a part of it.' "
  • Don Seeholzer of the Pioneer Press: "Since hiring David Kahn as president of basketball operations on May 21, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has stayed out of the media spotlight, but he's as involved as ever behind the scenes. From the Kevin McHale decision to the trade that sent veteran guards Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington to last week's NBA draft and the selection of Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, Kahn has hit the ground running, and Taylor said Monday that he fully approves. 'We brought him in to make changes and to re-evaluate the team,' Taylor said. 'To have a new vision, a new look at it. That's what I asked him to do, and I think he is doing that. He's not laid-back. He's been very aggressive. ... I've been very satisfied with how he's worked with the staff.' Taylor said he was pleased with the Wolves' draft preparation and how quickly Kahn and the staff adjusted when Rubio fell to them at the No. 5 selection."
  • John Denton of Florida Today: "Hedo Turkoglu, who won the NBA's Most Improved Player award in 2008 and was a driving force in Orlando's run to the Finals in 2009, seemed to have all of the leverage as a free agent in the days after the most successful season in Orlando history ended. The Magic tested Turkoglu's loyalty to the franchise when they offered him a four-year contract extension worth approximately $35 million just after the Finals. When Turkoglu declined and ultimately opted out of the final year of his Magic contract in order to become an unrestricted free agent, the franchise went ahead with the deal to acquire Carter and shooting forward Ryan Anderson."
  • Ethan J. Skolnick of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Michael Beasley is a popular figure in NBA blogs around the nation. The latest mention comes from Tim Kawakami's San Jose Mercury News blog, where Kawakami speculates that the Warriors could show interest in Beasley. Beasley would certainly thrive in that system, but I'm having difficulty identifying what Pat Riley would want from the Warriors in a two-team trade. Golden State has talented young players like Brandan Wright and Anthony Randolph, but not a lot of proven guys. Andris Biedrins is signed through 2013-14 at $9 million per season, with a player option in the final season. Again, if the Heat parts with Beasley, it won't be a giveaway. It will only be as part of a deal for someone who can be Wade's sidekick on a championship contender for the next several seasons."
  • Chris McCosky of The Detroit News: "A few weeks ago, after working out at the Pistons practice facility for the first time, Jonas Jerebko was invited into president Joe Dumars' office for a brief chat. 'He looked at me and he says, 'You don't remember me, do you?' 'Dumars said on Monday, after introducing Jerebko and fellow draftees Austin Daye and DaJuan Summers to the media. Dumars wracked his brain trying to remember where he might have met this 22-year-old kid from Swede
    n. Then Jerebko reminded him about the 2001 Euroleague Championship, which was held in Sweden. 'I remember there was this little kid maybe 12, 13 years old who kept running up and sitting with me, bringing me stat sheets, bringing me cokes and popcorn,' Dumars said. 'He was telling me which guys could play and which guys couldn't play. I basically adopted him for two days and at the end he says to me, 'One day I want to play in the NBA.' And I am like, 'Sure, OK.' ' And there he was, eight years later, drafted by the Pistons in the second round. 'He said to me in my office, 'Remember the kid from the Euro championships?' And I said, 'Do you know that kid?' And he said, 'I am that kid.' I was like, you've got to be kidding me.' "
  • George Panagakos of the Washington Examiner: "While Washington's choice with #32 isn't exactly clear-cut (my Championship ring for a Blair?), one interesting thing about trades is who will end up sacrificing what jersey number. Well, now we know who won the battle of #33. Mike Miller, formerly #33 for the Minnesota Timberwolves, is now #6, due to Haywood already having #33. Randy Foye, formerly #4 for the T'wolves, is now #15 due to Jamison already rocking #4. Meanwhile, over in Atlanta, rook Jeff Teague has acquired another Wizards number, #0. Teague plans to wear Gilbert Arenas' number for the Hawks as a form of flattery, but I have to tell ya, since Atlanta beat Washington 4-0 last season, I doubt anyone in a Wizards uniform is going to welcome the opposing #0 from ATL with open arms. That Southeast Division is going to be a tough one next season."
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: "Decked out in a slick vest and tailored trousers, Kenyon Martin spent Monday night in Dallas chatting and glad-handing with friends and fans at his inaugural reception for his charity foundation. It was a side of Martin fans almost never get to see. What most of them remember are the issues Martin -- a Bryan Adams High School graduate who plays for the Denver Nuggets -- had with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in the playoffs. Martin said the two have since buried the hatchet after Cuban and Martin's mother had words -- and an ensuing controversy -- after a playoff game at American Airlines Center. 'He reached out to me,' Martin said. 'I didn't reach out to him. But he reached out, and I'll leave it behind. It wasn't negative. Everything's fine. It's over. I'm moving forward with positive things."
  • Dave Krieger of The Denver Post: "The Nuggets already have $71 million committed to 10 players, one of whom, Antonio McDyess, will play for somebody else again. If they intend to bring back free agents Chris Andersen and Dahntay Jones, as they say they do, they will need most or all of their mid- level salary cap exception, which will take them close to $77 million. That doesn't include Linas Kleiza's qualifying offer or several minimum salaries to fill out the roster. So billionaire E. Stanley Kroenke is looking at a minimum luxury-tax bill in the $5 million to $6 million range without roster improvements, other than Lawson. Any further upgrade will cost twice its face value because of the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax. Kroenke keeps his own counsel, but having had such good results with cost-cutting lately, a new spending spree probably isn't the way to bet."
  • Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman: "The last week of June 2008, Russell Westbrook was a head-scratching, top-five pick in the NBA Draft, but the last week of June 2009, he is an emerging face of a franchise and a rising luminary in the league. Just think about what Westbrook has done this past week. He not only attended the BET Awards but also appeared on 'Rome is Burning' and altered the future direction of his team. Truth is, he changed the future direction of several teams. Because of Westbrook, the Thunder drafted James Harden instead of rolling the dice on Ricky Rubio. Because of that, the draft-night decisions of several other teams changed. Had the Thunder drafted Rubio, who knows what Minnesota might've done? Had the Timberwolves picked Stephen Curry or DeMar DeRozan or Brandon Jennings, who knows what that might've meant for the rest of the lottery teams?"

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