Archive for the ‘ rumors commentary ’ Category

Rumors Talk: Banged-up Bogut

Rumors Talk: Banged-up Bogut

It’s obviously terrible news that Andrew Bogut is injured. Without him, chances are the Milwaukee Bucks will be sent home in the first round of the playoffs. What a nasty injury that was. All the best for Andrew in his recovery.

Channing Frye is right to become a free agent. He’ll make more money after proving himself with the Suns this season. I’m not sure he’ll get the full mid-level exception — if the economy, both in and out of the NBA was better then maybe he would — but he’ll probably get something close.

I’d have loved to see video of Kenyon Martin going nuts after being pranked.

The monster game that David Lee put up was great, but it was also against the Warriors, who I believe are playing 70-or-so-year-old coach Don Nelson at center. And their current backup center is a random hot dog sales guy. So, Lee wasn’t really up against pro-level competition. Still, a terrific game for him.

If Stephen Jackson really does have about 28 different injuries, he should consider just sitting out. But the problem is, the Charlotte Bobcats are currently the no.7 seed in the East and could very easily fall out of the playoffs. They’re just ahead of the Raptors and no.9 seed Bulls. What to do? If S-Jax is totally banged up, he won’t be as effective as a healthy backup and might as well not be there. Keep an eye on that.

I was a big Dennis Johnson fan (rest in peace, DJ), but I understand the Hall of Fame not putting him in right away. Good news that he’s going to make it this time around. But he was sort of a borderline guy to make it and definitely benefitted from a star-studded set of teammates. Anyway, I’m glad he’ll be in there.

Talk to you Monday.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

Rumors talk: KG mouthing off

kevin garnett

Regarding Garnett being fined by the league for mouthing off, the entire Celtics team seemed angry at how many fouls Kevin Durant managed to draw. The next obvious step for NBA observers is to see how true that is. The next Thunder game you catch, see if Durant earns the fouls he gets or not. And report on it, on the InsideHoops.com message board.

Kobe Bryant signed a 3-year extension with the Lakers today. No one should be too shocked. It wasn’t out there that this was going to happen, but in general it’s assumed that Bryant would keep re-signing. And now he has.

In equally huge news, according to multiple media outlets the Knicks will sign center Earl Barron to a 10-day contract. There could be another 10-day deal or two signed in the next 48 hours.

The NBA regular season ends on Wednesday, April 14. The playoffs start three days later.

While it’s true that the Warriors are good at finding D-League talent, it’ll be more interesting to see which of those players stick around in the league and become rotation players on good teams. Because everyone who joins the Warriors usually scores 30 on some wild night, but the team loses by 19, and the player is gone a few weeks, months or a season later.

I think Darko Milicic bulked up too much, over the years. I’d like to see him drop 20 or 25 pounds and be handed the rock regularly down around the low post, and see what he can do.

The Wolves should draft 29 more point guards. And then urge Ricky Rubio to come over. Yeah.

Rooting for Tracy McGrady to become an All-Star type player again is fun and all, but there’s no reason to think it’ll happen.

ESPN has about 49 LeBron James stories today. Rather than give you my take on them, I’ll simply share the bottom line on LeBron in general. Here goes:

LeBron is great. The Cavs are a very good team. He’s very comfortable in Cleveland. Chances are he stays there. And if he did come to the Knicks I think it would only be if he convinces some other top superstar to come with him.

Everything went wrong for the Pistons this season. Pretty much every player other than a rookie and maybe one other were disappointing. Other than that, everything went great!

If Monta Ellis feels he still doesn’t get full respect, he needs to win more games. It’s probably that simple.

I’m back to updating this every day. Talk to you Saturday.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

Rumors Talk: Keepin it real

Rumors Talk: Keepin it real

It’s nice when NBA players are totally honest about stuff that pisses them off. Amar’e Stoudemire is the current example of that, revealing that he’s not a Tracy McGrady fan. The NBA needs more personal grudges. Ideally between players who guard each other. Let’s all root for Amar’e to develop a grudge against, say, David West, or a guy he goes up against. I support such things. Grudges are good. They make the games more fun.

The main thing Chucky Atkins can offer teams at this point isn’t his basketball ability. It’s his name. It’s just fun to say “Chucky.” Seriously, try it. Yell “Chucky!” at a friend, even if that’s not his name. Chucky!!!

Don’t be surprised by any Phil Jackson Lakers stories that come out, unless they claim that he actually won’t be back. When in doubt, assume he’ll return.

The constant talk about where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc. may go always gets big attention. But in reality, LeBron will probably stay with the Cavs, Wade with the Heat, but Bosh I’m not sure about. He could jet. But there’s a good chance he has no idea where he’ll go. Any stories that name actual favorites are probably just semi-educated speculation at this early point.

Andres Nocioni could contribute more to the Sacramento Kings than he currently is, but it’s just sort of pointless for them to really focus on using him. They’re a bad team, with plenty of young talent for the future, and Nocioni simply probably won’t be a part of it. Ideally, they can trade him this summer to a competitve team that needs a good backup forward.

The Timberwolves ‘may’ offer Darko Milicic a multi-year contract. That’s not particularly huge news. It’ll probably be something close to the minimum, and less than Darko can earn in Europe. He probably has no idea where he’ll be next year, but it does sound like Europe is still the favorite.

I think I could score 30 on the current Pistons frontcourt.

Will 76ers guard Jrue Holiday be better than Lou Williams by next season? Is he better right now?

The next Nets owner, Mr. Russian billionaire, will be on 60 Minutes Sunday. I’ll be watching for sure. Hope he says something interesting and doesn’t just stick with boring, politically correct statements. Also, watch and see if he buys the show, or the entire TV network, after the interview, just so he has a new toy to play with.

The NCAA tournament is flying by. Watch every game! By Sunday night we’ll be down to the Final Four already.

Go INSIDE HOOPS every day.

Talk to you Sunday.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

eddie jordan

Philadelphia 76ers coach Eddie Jordan may or may not have lost some or all of the team, but really, chances are at least a few of those guys have lost themselves. Certain players realize they aren’t having a great season and the team’s upside being so limited probably affects them just as much as not necessarily agreeing with everything Jordan does.

But, also, the triangle offense simply doesn’t work if a coach doesn’t have the right pieces for the puzzle.

Simply put, the 76ers have a limited roster and wouldn’t be doing much better than they are under another coach.

As for Real Madrid reportedly preparing to make Manu Ginobili a huge offer, the report came from Europe. And sorry to say, but a lot of reports from that continent regarding NBA players are either only partially true, or lost in translation. The offer may or may not come to exist. And chances are, he’ll re-sign with the Spurs.

Juwan Howard is right to not think about retiring yet. He can still help teams as a backup.

Shaquille O’Neal should keep playing, too. If he isn’t good on the court, he can help a team by acting as a security guard in the parking lot before and after each game, and occasionally breakdancing during timeouts.

Dwight Howard leads the league in technical fouls, with 15. He’s followed by Boston Celtics teammates Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace.

Andray Blatche finally said he was sorry for acting out of line the other day. With all the issues the Washington Wizards have had this season, it’ll be forgotten. He’s still raised his stock nicely over the last month.

As expected by people following the situation all along, the Washington Capitals owner will become the next Wizards owner. For fun, they should let the Capitals hockey team and the Wizards basketball team occasionally practice together, on the same floor at the same time. Hilarity will ensue.

Raptors struggles mean more articles coming out about Chris Bosh possibly leaving town this summer. There have only been 27,500,000 of those so far. More are needed.

Bosh should consider the attention a compliment. If we national media members stop talking about you, it probably means you don’t matter. Bosh matters.

Eddy Curry remains out. In equally shocking news, the sun is hot.

There’s no reason for Tyreke Evans to rush back until his head fully clears up. He and the Kings know this.

Tons of NBA games Friday night, but you should DVR your favorites and watch live NCAA Tournament instead, even if you don’t follow college hoops.

Go INSIDE HOOPS every day. Talk to you Saturday.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

Rumors Talk: Blatche blowing it

Rumors Talk: Blatche blowing it

Since the Washington Wizards scrapped their team, two main things have happened that I can think of. First, Josh Howard’s season ended due to injury. And second, big-man Andray Blatche emerged as a legit talent. His stats in the last month or so are inflated because he tends to get the ball a heck of a lot, but still, he’s doing great.

But as you read on the rumors page today, he messed up yesterday, arguing with Flip Saunders and then reportedly refusing to play the rest of the game. By doing this, Blatche sent a message to the masses that he has maturity issues to work on. Hopefully he does the right thing, says sorry to his coach and team, and moves on positively from there. But the Wizards really don’t need any more nonsense from any players.

The Knicks don’t need Raja Bell at all this season. It’s pointless to add him. Bell should probably just hang out someplace cool, regain full health, and focus on joining a championship contender next season.

I definitely hope Don Nelson goes on to coach the Warriors in summer league play, as he reportedly plans. The more head coaches involved in those games, the better. It’ll just raise the level of everything and make the games that much better.

Madison Square Garden’s atmosphere is electric and amazing, even in losing seasons. Can’t wait to see what it’s like when they have an actual good team out there.

The Nuggets without Kenyon Martin probably aren’t a championship contender. He’s certainly not their best player, but they drop a half-rung down the ladder without him.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas returned to the Cavaliers! In equally shocking news, I ate food today, and will likely do so again tomorrow.

I laughed when hearing that Nets CEO Brett Yormark snapped at a fan. I have no followup comment. That’s just friggin funny on its own. Anyway, Yormark is a respected guy. He’s fine. Just a rough day. Or season. But the Nets should give that fan a signed jersey and a free basketball or something. Or a date with a Nets dancer.

On second thought, I’ll take the Nets dancer date. The fan can have the jersey.

Talk to you tomorrow.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

Rumors talk: Aches and pains

Rumors talk: Curry hurting

In the latest shocking news, Eddy Curry continues to feel pain, tightness, sharpness, aches and whatever other unhealthy words you can think of. At this point it doesn’t really matter if he plays or not. The main thing the Knicks want to do is trade him, and that’s pretty hard to pull off if he can’t even get on the court, let alone play well.

The Bucks have gone nuts lately and while credit goes to the whole team, Andrew Bogut is big-time out there. He’s moved up a notch in the eyes of many.

I look forward to seeing how Phoenix Suns rookie Earl Clark does in the D-League. He’s not expected to be there long. Chances are he doesn’t do anything special for one or two games, and then unleashes something nasty once he gets the hang of it. And then gets called back to the Suns.

The Heat will reportedly sign Kenny Hasbrouck, who I bet at least 12 of you have heard of.

Amar’e Stoudemire is a monster out there lately.

Glen Davis and Shaq should sumo-wrestle it out.

I can appreciate Matt Bonner feeling that every shot he takes should go in. I feel the same way about my own shot. Typically, out in the park if I shoot and miss, I take the basketball, kick it out of the playground while declaring it defective, curse at everybody and call city maintenance to come measure the rims. It makes a positive impression on the guys I’m playing with and sends a clear message that my shot is not to be trifled with.

Tyreke Evans is putting up some Lebron-like stat-lines. Kid is nasty.

Talk to you tomorrow.

InsideHoops.com Rumors Talk is an editorialized take on today’s NBA rumors stories.

Opinion: Knicks not for Allan Houston

If Allan Houston truly is attempting another comeback, as New York Newsday today reports, I don’t see why the Knicks make any sense for him. Considering his age and how long he’s been out of the league, at this point the best H20 could be is a poor man’s version of what he was before, and not contribute much more than nailing open outside shots.

Even in his prime, back in the 1920’s, perimeter shooting was the only truly exceptional aspect of Houston’s game.

If he’s going to join a team in 2008-09 he should join a winning team who can use a gunner for a few minutes off the bench to come in, shoot two or three 3-pointers, hit one or two of them and sit down. The Knicks are a team of the future. They need to worry about finding a legit superstar or two to build around and don’t need a player like Houston now.

Still, all the best to H20. I liked him a lot in his prime and hope he does find what he’s looking for now.

–Jeff

From what little I’ve seen of Hamed Haddadi, the giant Iranian dude who yesterday signed with the Grizzlies, he’s just size. He’ll take up space. The dude is big. He’s a large guy. Also, he adds bulk. And height. He’s got size. Large big-man. In other words, he’s like Allen Iverson.

I don’t expect much from Haddadi. But it’s always fun when a player from a new country enters the league. So, congrats to him and I hope it’s a good experience for him. We’ll see if he gets to stick around. Odds are against it.

Sean Marks, now with the Hornets, can come off the bench and stretch the floor a bit with his face-up jumper for a few minutes per half.

We’ve heard 29 times now that the Oklahoma City team name is probably going to be Thunder. But what if it’s a fake-out? Maybe someone said “Let’s call them ‘Thunder’ for now” when telling Ticketmaster what to list, and when telling some NBA.com person what page to link to (before removing it).

Yeah, unlikely. They’re probably the Thunder. And I’m actually cool with the name, though it still reminds me more of Arena football than basketball. But that’s because it’s new. In a year or two, it’ll make you think of basketball. Names grow on you that way.

If I was DJ Mbenga, I’d learn how to DJ. Just because chicks who meet him and find out that his abbreviated first name is “DJ” probably ask him if he knows how to rock the turntables. And it would be cool to be able to say yes, I’d think.

What if Warriors coach Don Nelson goes wild and decides Stephen Jackson is the team’s point guard until Monta Ellis, a scoring guard who isn’t really a point guard, comes back. Jackson would probably average 5+ turnovers per game and get angry a lot but I bet the game flow would be fun.

The above is InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner’s totally unedited, off the top of the head responses to some recent NBA rumors stories.

Rumors Talk: LeBron would go overseas

Would LeBron James play in Greece, Russia or some other European country if it meant making dozens of millions per season? Why not? I doubt he, Kobe Bryant or any other star would leave the NBA for years, picking their entire life up and going to another continent for a long time. But for a season or two? Sounds possible.

What if LeBron, in a couple of seasons, finds himself a free agent, and the select few NBA teams with salary cap space to sign him at the time, are losing teams that offer him no real shot at a championship anytime soon. And then he has a chance to see a new part of the world. Why not consider it? LeBron could probably bring a bunch of his friends for company. They work for him, so that’s no problem. Teams in Europe play fewer games than NBA teams, so it’s less “work.”

Again, I don’t see it being a long-term thing. I doubt Kobe, LeBron or any top star would agree to go overseas for more than a season. If the deal was longer, they’d surely want an opt-out option at the end of each season, like Josh Childress reportedly received.

You’d go vacation in Greece for a year, right? What if you could work there for a year, at double your current pay? You’d consider it. So would anyone else.

- Jeff

Talk bball on the InsideHoops basketball message board.

Rumors Talk: On Louis Williams

Lou Williams impressed me a lot last season. I’m still not sure if he’s worthy of being a full-season, full-time starting point guard, but at the very least he’s a terrific backup. In a season or two he’ll probably be ready to start for 5 or 10 of the league’s teams, which would have been crazy to suggest a mere year ago. The kid just flat-out works hard, and he’s more skilled than many thought.

Williams would make a great addition to the Cavs and has more upside than Daniel Gibson, who remains a shooter that isn’t a true floor leader. Gibson, whose nickname “Boobie” still just seems wrong, a better, younger Damon Jones. I like Gibson, but as a backup, not a starter. Williams, to me, should keep emerging and become someone’s starter.

Rumors Talk: On Rockets getting Artest

I’m picturing the Rockets lineup now of Rafer Alston, Tracy McGrady, Ron Artest, Luis Scola and Yao Ming and love it. That team is worth watching, and on paper, if everything goes according to plan they’re as good as anyone in the West. Of course, what’s on paper doesn’t always translate to reality. I think at worst the team stays as good as they were last year, minus that Earth-shattering 823923-game winning streak, much of which came while Yao Ming was out injured.

Like last year, the West is a mix of terrific teams without a clear favorite. I guess the Lakers have to be considered the best, especially since they played well last season, reached the Finals, and get to enjoy a (presumably) healthy Andrew Bynum, who should keep improving. I’m still not sure about their rotation, however. Should Lamar Odom play small forward, alongside Pau Gasol and Bynum? Yes, if the team wants their best players on the court at all times.

Anyway, as for the Rockets, aside from making lots of wacky statements and seeming a bit nutty off the court, I think Artest knows how to be a winner and is basketball-smart enough to fit in well with what the Rockets do, especially since he trusts coach Rick Adelman.

The best of the West remains a mix of teams, but the Rockets definitely improve a bit with this deal.

Rumors Talk: Hawks need to keep Smith

July 27: It would be a real shame if the Hawks and Josh Smith are unable to work out a long-term contract and instead wind up having to sign-and-trade him, especially after the team made the playoffs last season. Not that qualifying for the postseason is hard when playing in the Eastern conference. Myself, a few other InsideHoops.com guys, Chuck Nevitt, JR Rider and Leon Smith could probably pull it off. Still, the Hawks are fun to watch, show promise to get a bit better, and have a squad that’s decent to cheer for. Losing Josh Childress to a faraway overseas land hurts, but if a bench guy or two steps up a bit and shows some improvement, he’ll only be missed a little. His afro, on the other hand, will be tougher to replace.

Anyway, imagine if a team like the Celtics were able to land Smith. If that happened I’d imagine they’d use him as a super-sixth man. They have championship chemistry in the starting lineup and shouldn’t mess with that. Imagine Smith getting 28-32 bench minutes on a 60-win Boston squad. Sweet, huh?

I’m just tossing Boston out there for the fun of it. Obviously every team in the league would love to have Smith, and he’d start for almost all of them.

Aside from being good and still young, Smith is also extremely exciting to watch. He sells tickets. The Hawks need to keep him, even if it means overspending a little.

July 26: I don’t think it’s particularly big news that an overseas team offered Mike Finley a contract. Chances are, every player in the NBA who is either an aging veteran or a young guy who isn’t a lock to stay in the league gets multiple overseas offers. It’s just that now, with Bostjan Nachbar going overseas (a slight surprise) and Josh Childress going there as well (a pretty big surprise), overseas offers are getting more publicity, and writers and columnists are asking agents more about that stuff than before.

Chances are, Finley got overseas offers in the past, too, and he’ll get them in the future.

As has been reported by lots of outlets, and confirmed by people we at InsideHoops.com talk to, there isn’t a big reason to think tons of players on the level of Childress will ever wind up going overseas, because the money isn’t there. Teams in Europe don’t have massive TV deals and marketing profits that NBA teams do. They’re much smaller operations. So don’t expect lots of good NBA sixth men or prime bench guys to leave the league.

I’d guess there could be another couple of good NBA bench guys (probably not as good as Childress) that go overseas this or next year, but not much more than that. Nothing that would shake the league up in any real way.

July 7: If Corey Maggette has to forget about getting more than the mid-level exception and is going to take a long contract that lasts for years, he might as well do it on a team that can compete for a championship. He’d make a nice scoring option off the bench for the Celtics, though defensively he has a lot to learn. He’d also help the Pistons or Spurs… Chris Duhon is a real point guard who is limited by his athletic ability. Keyon Dooling is super-athletic but not a real point guard… The Heat cut some dude named Jonny Reibel. I’d have cut him just because of the spelling of his first name. Remember Ralph Sampson? If his name was spelled “Ralfie” or something, I’d have sent him packing… I understand teams like the Knicks and Nets focusing on 2010 free agency, but it’s kind of a bad message to send to fans: ‘We plan on being lousy in the hope that two years from now, of two or three really great players out there, one of them agrees to sign with us.’ … The Nuggets may keep Anthony Carter? That’s like the Celtics getting Kevin Garnett. Similar impact. Give or take… So will Elton Brand stick with his Clippers team or bail on them and head to the Warriors for a lot more money? Must be an extremely tough decision… The Celtics should really give James Posey a mid-level exception deal if that’s what he wants… I still don’t know what Al Harrington’s ideal NBA position is. Do you? … NBA summer league games are good for seeing your favorite rookies. Other than that, they don’t bring much to the table. Fortunately, every team has at least two or three guys worth watching.

This commentary is in response to today’s NBA rumors… Go Inside Hoops every day… Talk with other fans on the InsideHoops basketball message board.

Talking Rumors: Free agent talks begin

July 1: Free agent negotiations began today (Tuesday) and even more than usual, always assume that any good or great free agent is going to re-sign with their own team, because almost no one else has the money (under salary cap rules) to make it happen. So, Jose Calderon will go back to the Raptors, totally expected since the team is still going to trade T.J. Ford away for Jermaine O’Neal.

I think the Wizards are making a mistake giving Gilbert Arenas the max. He’s a terrific player, certainly a star, but I always felt a max contract should only go to players who instantly make a team with good role players a contender. Select top superstars deserve the max, and that’s it.

Baron Davis to the Clippers? That would be fun if it happens. I don’t know how good the combo of Baron Davis, Al Thornton, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman will be — this assuming that Corey Maggette is gone if Baron comes on board (a money thing). On paper it sounds good.

I predict the Celtics successfully wind up keeping James Posey.

If the Rockets can land Brent Barry, it’ll help a little if he’s healthy, but aside from some three-pointers and nifty passes in very limited minutes he won’t do too much. He’s 94 years old (in other words, double the age of Greg Oden).

P.J. Brown shouldn’t retire. He may, but he shouldn’t. He clearly helped the Celtics and can do it again.

Wow, Shaun Livingston and Sebastian Telfair are both now unrestricted free agents, and possibly now considering the world famous InsideHoops.com rec team as an option. Livingston showed more flashes of talent than Telfair did, but that awful injury to Livingston unfortunately changed all that. I won’t pretend to know how Livingston is playing right now, but I assume he has a long way to go in his road to recovery. And a few guys I talked to don’t think he’ll ever recover. Telfair will probably get signed by someone, but probably a short term deal for very low money.

This NBA Rumors commentary accompanies the InsideHoops NBA Rumors page. Read Inside Hoops every day, several times a day, all summer long. And talk basketball with other fans on the InsideHoops basketball message board.

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