Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thoughts on the NBA offseason developments

Spurs trading for Richard Jefferson

Although I have always felt Richard Jefferson was overrated this trade was about as one sided as can be. The Spurs gave up four virtually useless players, and got back at the very least, an above average one. As of right now, there probably isn't a better fourth option in the league. Jefferson doesn't really excel in any part of the game, which is why I view him as overrated and overhyped, but in San Antonio he really doesn't have to carry the load because of what they already have on the team. All he has to do is play within himself, score a little here and there, provide some defense and have a couple games where he picks up the scoring load on an off night.
From Milwaukee's vantage point it was a salary dump and nothing more. Considering Jefferson is scheduled to make 33 million over the next two years, it was a smart move on their part as well. Great move for both sides.

Lakers signing Ron Artest:

The Lakers now arguably have the best scorer and best defender in the NBA, along with a very skilled big man. Artest brings a toughness, a nastiness to the team, and can also score on the low post. His offensive game is very erratic though, as he takes a ton of bad shots, and isn't a particularly good shooter. Considering what the Lakers already have, Ron won't be anywhere close to a primary ball handler or scorer, as others can create offense for him. I don't see his often combustible personality being an issue since the Lakers are the World Champions, and Kobe will put him in place if he gets out of line. Jackson has already handled a player like this as well (Dennis Rodman), so I don't see his personality being an issue. Artest is a major upgrade over Trevor Ariza, who is the latest marginal player to get far too much love and appreciation for simply being in the right place at the right time.

The rich continue to get richer.

Minnesota drafting Rubio and then the potential aftermath

David Kahn had to have taken this guy with the thought of a virtual auction in mind. That is the only thing that makes sense. Did he really think Rubio was going to fork over six million to come play in Minnesota? And to add to the matter, they then drafted Jonny Flynn, who plays the same position as Rubio. Did Kahn really think that was going to sit well with Rubio? Why not just draft Flynn and Curry/DeRozan and call it a day, avoiding all this drama. Given all the uncertainty surrounding Rubio at the moment, it's not a given that Kahn is going to get a team to pony up for him. Then if they don't trade him, what if he doesn't come to America at all? Then the T'Wolves wasted a top five pick, in a situation where it made little sense to take the guy. Seriously, they took Rubio then took someone who plays the same position with the NEXT PICK. The ensuing drama was bound to happen. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Boston signing Rasheed Wallace:

The economy along with the potential bonanza in 2010 really helped out the Lakers and the Celtics who signed Artest and Wallace to bargain basement deals. Wallace helps the Celtics because he is a nice player, he helps the overall depth on the team as well. He is a big man who can shoot the three, hit the mid range jumper and most importantly is a very good post defender. He is another presence down on the block, who can do a little of everything. But I think an aspect that is being overlooked in the signing is the impact on Kevin Garnett. Garnett can now be relied on for less minutes, and in the event that Garnett comes back and isn't right, Wallace can step in during Garnett's absence. This is a good move on all fronts for the Celtics.

Allen Iverson:

'If I can't go somewhere and start, I'll probably retire.' That is paraphrasing what AI said, and I find ir particularly odd, that he feels that way. Is his ego that big? I respect AI from the standpoint that he doesn't just want to latch onto a championship team, as I find that to somewhat lame. That being said, he is going to "ego" himself out of the league with that attitude. Is it not enough to go and get significant playing time from a team? Iverson apparently has an ego the size of China, and he might force himself out of the league as a result.

Orlando trading for Vince Carter/losing Hedo Turkoglu:

Hedo Turkoglu was a nice player for the Magic but I think he is overrated based on the virtue of the Magic making the Finals. He is a nice player who is better than his statistics indicate, but he is also a 30 year old small forward who isn't getting better. I think the loss hurts from the standpoint that they lose what in essence is, a 6'10 point forward who can handle the ball, run the offense and do most things you would want in an offensive player. It puts more pressure on Nelson to handle the ball handling and distributing duties, but I think the addition of Carter can offset the loss of Turkoglu even though they are different kind of players. Carter is just a flat out better basketball player than Turkoglu, and he can get to the basket on pretty much anyone in the NBA. I can understand the owner declining to pay Turkoglu 10 mil a year over the course of the next five years when he is a 30 yr old player, who has reached his peak. I can't blame the guy for trying to be fiscally responsible.

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