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Old 07-27-2010, 01:00 PM   #1
niko
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Default Hollingers Winners and Losers

Thanks to Yung D Will - 3 posts down....

Last edited by niko : 07-27-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can someone post the Hollinger winners and losers?

Do you really want to see it? I found it that bad
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can someone post the Hollinger winners and losers?

yeah I wouldnt mind seeing it as well. especially the losers
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can someone post the Hollinger winners and losers?

Winners


Well, it's pretty much a wrap for the hugely anticipated summer of 2010. Sure, there's a Josh Howard here and a Lou Amundson there, but basically, all the difference-making free agents in this year's class were snapped up a long time ago. (Sorry, Shaq.)



So now it's time to look back and size it all up. Ideally we'd wait 'til a couple of these teams had played actual games with their new rosters, but where's the fun in that? Instead, it's time to jump the gun and offer one man's opinion of the good, the bad and the ugly of the 2010 offseason.



Today we're going to start with the happy stuff: the winners from this year's offseason. And after rehashing all the moves, it seems to me the big gainers are Chicago, Milwaukee, Golden State, San Antonio and Portland. Let me get into detail about how each of those teams succeeded this summer.



But first, let's double-check. Am I leaving anybody out? Trying to think here. Ah, yes …



Miami Heat

Duh. I'd say they had a decent offseason. I think we can all agree on this without the need for detailed analysis.



While we're here, I should mention that I don't get the Joel Anthony contract -- when Miami makes a mistake, it's almost always by falling head over heels for a limited role player like Anthony. But when you walk away from the offseason with three of the four best players in the conference, you can punt $18 million on Joel Anthony and still call it a good summer. Heck, they could have given the $18 million to Billy Joel and they'd still top the list.



Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about the summer's other winners.


Chicago Bulls

I don't see their failure to get one or two of the Big Three as some kind of big setback. The Bulls already had a lot of young talent and ended up with a much better team than the one they had at the end of April, which I thought was the point of this whole exercise.



They basically traded John Salmons, Kirk Hinrich, a mid-first-round pick and a second-round pick for Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson. You do that deal in a heartbeat. Boozer and Korver filled glaring needs for post scoring and shooting, respectively, while Watson can take over as the backup point guard and provide another shooter.



Additionally, don't sleep on Turkish import Omer Asik. A second-round pick in 2008, he signed for a mere pittance but should be a solid backup center right away. I'd still like the Bulls to come up with another shooter, but they had a very strong summer.



Milwaukee Bucks


The Bucks were the worst team in the league at drawing fouls last year. Not any more -- human free throw machine Corey Maggette gives them the kind of shot-creating scorer that they desperately needed a year ago, and he cost them nothing. He has his faults, but fans overlook how effective a scorer he is because so many of his points come via the relatively uninteresting free throw.



Drew Gooden was another solid get, providing a massive upgrade from the likes of Kurt Thomas and Dan Gadzuric a year ago. Ideally his deal would be a year or two shorter, but given what other teams paid for frontcourt talent, the Bucks still got a good price. Meanwhile, retaining Salmons was crucial, albeit unfortunately expensive in this market. Remember, teams over the cap have an incentive to overpay their own free agents since it's impossible to replace them, so from that perspective Salmons' price makes sense.



Milwaukee's end-of-roster moves were just as strong. Jon Brockman was flat-out stolen from Sacramento for a second-round pick after leading the NBA in offensive rebound rate last year. Chris Douglas-Roberts also cost the Bucks a second-rounder, but fills a need by giving them another wing who can score. Keyon Dooling won't replace what Luke Ridnour gave them a year ago, but that was the one sacrifice they had to make to pull off the other moves.



It might seem like the Bucks spent a lot, but their cap situation going forward is still really strong and they're two deep at every spot. Fear the Deer, folks -- the Bucks could be a force this year.



Golden State Warriors


Forget about anything that happened on the court. They've got new owners!



It doesn't even matter who the new owners are, just that the reviled Chris Cohan is now the old one. The Warriors' phenomenal history under Cohan includes 15 lottery appearances in 16 seasons and an unrivaled track record of building up and then shredding to pieces any talented young player that came through. The sooner the new guys clean house, the sooner the Warriors can start acting like a real NBA franchise again. Golden State's slavishly loyal fans still pack the arena despite all the losing; one can only imagine the local support if the team started winning consistently.



The new owners (Joe Lacob and Peter Guber) did receive some lovely parting gifts from the Cohan gang. I don't like the David Lee deal, but he'll be a heck of a pick-and-roll partner with Stephen Curry. If the Warriors can find some defensive players to put around those two, especially a tough center, and convince a dumb franchise that Monta Ellis is really good (look at his scoring average!), the rebuilding period may be brief.


San Antonio Spurs

I put the Spurs here because they got under the luxury tax while signing the best free-agent contract of the summer, Brazilian big man Tiago Splitter's three-year, $10 million deal. Splitter could start at center for a good chunk of the league's teams right now, but in a summer in which Brendan Haywood got $55 million, San Antonio got Splitter to cross the pond for relative chump change.



On the other hand, they got under the tax solely because Richard Jefferson opted out of a final year on his deal that would have paid him $15 million. This one raised eyebrows in front offices around the league, many of which suspected that there was a prearranged deal between the two parties.



This isn't an outlandish premise, given that:



• Jefferson told reporters in April that it might be worth it to opt out if he could get a four-year, $40 million deal (he said it right here on April 11).



• That's almost to the dollar the deal he received in July.



• Doing so got the Spurs out of the luxury tax and allowed them to sign Splitter at a discount.



• There didn't appear to be any kind of serious bid from another team to drive up Jefferson's price.



That said, we have no smoking gun that there was any kind of prearranged deal between the Spurs and Jefferson. We don't even have a smokeless gun. All we have is the circumstantial evidence above, as well as two other pieces of information:



1. The Spurs don't sign bad contracts.



2. This is the worst contract of the summer.



Seriously, four years and $39 million for Richard Jefferson? Did Isiah Thomas take over the franchise and not tell anybody? Wings who depend on athleticism have a rough time in their late 20s and early 30s; Jefferson just turned 30. He wasn't a $10 million per year player two years ago, and sure as heck isn't going to be one two years down the road.



Follow the money, however. Jefferson's opt-out and lower-salaried return means the Spurs will save about $17 million in salary, luxury tax and tax distributions this year (if one presumes Splitter was coming regardless). Jefferson's new deal cost $31 million after this season, which is all we care about since the Spurs were paying him in 2010-11 either way. Subtract $17 million from $31 million and you end up with Jefferson's deal as a three-year, $14 million extension, which seems eminently reasonable … if you were going to prearrange such a thing.



So the Spurs ended up with both the best and worst contracts of this offseason. But on balance, they're paying $13 million a year for the next three years for a Splitter-Jefferson combination. I'd take that deal any day, and between it and drafting James Anderson, I think the Spurs are in much better shape for next season than many people realize.



Portland Trail Blazers


As crazy as this sounds with all the mayhem in the front office, the Blazers actually came out of this offseason better than when they started. Since Kevin Pritchard was allowed to operate the draft before being unceremoniously dumped as general manger, Portland ditched Martell Webster's contract and got three promising rookies out of draft day -- most notably high-scoring forward Luke Babbitt, who is exactly the kind of floor-spacing 4 who Nate McMillan loves.



During the interminable delay before hiring Pritchard's successor (note to Blazers honchos Paul Allen and Larry Miller -- if you know several months ahead of time that you're firing the GM, it might be wise to have some kind of succession plan in place), what was left of Portland's front office managed to lure Wesley Matthews from Utah. They overpaid, sure, but they overpaid for a piece that really fits. Matthews will help them with his defense and 3-point shooting -- every team is looking for players like this -- and since I don't imagine Paul Allen will have major objections to the Blazers' being a luxury tax team, the dollars aren't going to hurt them.



Finally, the Blazers made a strong hire by bringing in Oklahoma City's Rich Cho to take over. He adds the cap expertise that the team lost with the firing of Tom Penn earlier in the spring. The Blazers lose Pritchard's scouting eye and deal-making skill, but the organization was already very strong in the former department with NBA scouting director Michael Born and college scouting director Chad Buchanan. Given what a mess this seemed like two months ago, they've ended up in fantastic shape.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:03 PM   #5
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Default Losers

In the NBA offseason, for every winner there must also be a loser.

I wrote Monday about the six teams that improved themselves the most so far this summer, but now it's time to look at the seamy underside: the teams that find themselves in a tougher position. In several cases, this isn't necessarily of their own doing, but rather from circumstances that were either somewhat or entirely out of their control.

Nonetheless, they're worse off for it, starting with our biggest loser from the summer:


Cleveland Cavaliers

Does anyone else want to hug a Cleveland fan "Good Will Hunting" style and remind them that it's not their fault? LeBron James' impossibly painful exit was made worse by the Cavs' inability to give anyone their money. Houston matched a generous offer sheet to Kyle Lowry, Matt Barnes took half the money to play for the Lakers, and they can't even find a workable sign-and-trade for Shaquille O'Neal.

The only major change so far has been a swap of Delonte West for Ramon Sessions, which means the Cavs are basically the same team that won 61 games a year ago … albeit with one glaring omission. Cleveland still has a huge trade exception and may be able to get something done before opening day, but at best this looks like a borderline playoff team.

Los Angeles Lakers

What, you ask, did the Lakers do wrong? Nothing -- in fact, they shored up the point guard spot with Steve Blake and got a tough gamer for peanuts in Matt Barnes. And, of course, they coaxed Phil Jackson to stay on the bench for one more season.

All that would have made the Lakers overwhelming favorites to repeat as champions next season, except for a little thing that went down in Miami. With the Heat looking like a super team, the Lakers find themselves downgraded to co-favorites at best, through no fault of their own.

Had James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aligned themselves in any other combination with any other team, that wouldn't be the case. Thus, L.A. lost ground this summer, even though, in narrower terms, it won with the additions of Barnes and Blake.

Los Angeles Clippers

Not a great summer for basketball teams in SoCal. While the Lakers' misfortunes were entirely external, in the case of the Clippers, the offseason has been a full-on disaster. L.A. created enough salary-cap room to sign a big-fish free agent to a maximum contract, and walked away with Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye.

Yeesh. While I appreciate the Clippers' efforts to reconstruct the 2008 Minnesota Timberwolves (they also re-signed Craig Smith; can Greg Buckner and Mark Madsen be far behind?), those two additions do little or nothing to improve their prospects for this season.

L.A. added to its woes with a puzzling coaching hire, selecting the barely adequate Vinny Del Negro over the vastly more qualified Dwane Casey. The Clips have some talent, and if Blake Griffin delivers, they might contend for a playoff spot anyway, but they missed out on a glorious opportunity to rise among the elite in the Western Conference.

Toronto Raptors

Losing Bosh was bad enough, but that wasn't the only thing in Toronto that left us scratching our heads. The whole Matt Barnes saga was jaw-dropping: It appears both 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.

Look, this is pretty basic stuff. I've seen stories suggesting this was some inscrutable piece of salary-cap arcana, and it's just not true. For starters, a sign-and-trade deal has to be at least three years. Has to. That's not a difficult rule to understand. I'm pretty sure all of you got it immediately. That's why every single sign-and-trade deal that any of these guys has ever done has been for at least three years. You'd think they'd at least know from experience. But right there, much energy was spent negotiating a deal that couldn't happen.

Second, Orlando couldn't sign-and-trade Barnes under those terms. He had no Bird rights because he had played only one year on his current contract; the most he could be offered by the Magic this season was about $1.9 million. Again, this isn't some obscure footnote; it comes up every single year because so much of the league's rank and file are on one-year deals.

Finally, Orlando could have re-signed Barnes using its midlevel exception, except that (A) the Magic had already used it, and (B) you can't do a sign-and-trade using the midlevel exception. Toronto couldn't use its midlevel on Barnes either, since it had already been bestowed on Linas Kleiza.

In a nutshell, the deal had to be a sign-and-trade for at least three years, starting at no more than $1.9 million a year, or it couldn't happen. This was obvious to anyone with any knowledge of the salary-cap rules. That it wasn't to the two parties involved is disturbing.

When the Raptors weren't trying to use imaginary exceptions to sign players they couldn't get, they were giving Amir Johnson a five-year, $34 million deal that's among the summer's most questionable. They used their midlevel exception on Kleiza, adding another bad defender to the league's worst defensive team.

Toronto did salvage a Hedo Turkoglu-Leandro Barbosa trade that dumps last year's big mistake, albeit for another guy who can't guard anybody. Unfortunately, an offseason-saving steal of a deal with Charlotte fell through, and they're left with a star-less team that still is the worst defensive squad in basketball.

New Jersey Nets

The Nets had all that cap space, and the new Russian oligarch owner, and they were coming to Brooklyn to make a big splash. Everybody was talking about them. Two months later, they have Billy King as their GM, Travis Outlaw as their big free-agent score and a lot of questions about whether new coach Avery Johnson is really the one calling the shots.

Outgoing GM Rod Thorn called it quits and almost immediately hinted he wouldn't mind working someplace else, a sure sign that Mikhail Prokhorov's regime isn't engendering great morale. It's equally puzzling why Prokhorov didn't push for a change; instead, he allowed the architect of a 12-win team to execute the Nets' draft and free-agent strategy before heading out.

New Jersey did one thing right: All its free-agent dollars went on players age 25 or younger, an admirable piece of restraint from a franchise that realistically is a couple of years away from doing anything noteworthy. In one case in particular (sharpshooter Anthony Morrow), the Nets got unbelievable value. Unfortunately, the deals for Outlaw ($35 million for five years) and Johan Petro (three years, $10 million) are ridiculous.

As a result, there will be no quick fix in New Jersey. The Nets have a decent foundation with Devin Harris, Brook Lopez and rookie Derrick Favors, and they'll at least double their win total, but Prokhorov's arrival as a power player appears to have been wildly overstated.

Minnesota Timberwolves

KAAHHHHNNNN!!! OK, had to get that one out. No, nobody is quite sure what the strategy is under Timberwolves general manager David Kahn.

I'd say they're rebuilding, but their big free-agent pickup was a 30-year-old point guard, and they traded their first-round pick for Martell Webster.

I'd say they're focusing on value contracts, but they just gave Darko Milicic a four-year, $20 million deal.

I'd say they're trying to corner the market on point guards, but the league has about 70 of them and the Wolves can hoard only 15 at any one time.

I'd say they're acquiring players who can thrive in coach Kurt Rambis' triangle system, except they're not -- they keep acquiring small pick-and-roll point guards with iffy outside shots.

I'd say they're building around character and discipline, but they traded for Michael Beasley and Milicic.

I'd say they're focused on opportunistic trades, except that they unloaded their best player for 50 cents on the dollar and repeated the exercise with Ramon Sessions.

The only thing I can confidently say is that they'll be terrible again this year, and probably for several years afterward. The Wolves have a rising star in Kevin Love and a couple of other interesting pieces (keep an eye on Euro import Nikola Pekovic), but it's not clear whether they're coming or going right now. I'm not sure they know, either.

Last edited by Señor Cedric : 07-27-2010 at 01:04 PM. Reason: already posted
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Can someone post the Hollinger winners and losers?

Lol @ this chimp saying the Lakers are the losers.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

Quote:

Los Angeles Lakers

What, you ask, did the Lakers do wrong? Nothing -- in fact, they shored up the point guard spot with Steve Blake and got a tough gamer for peanuts in Matt Barnes. And, of course, they coaxed Phil Jackson to stay on the bench for one more season.

All that would have made the Lakers overwhelming favorites to repeat as champions next season, except for a little thing that went down in Miami. With the Heat looking like a super team, the Lakers find themselves downgraded to co-favorites at best, through no fault of their own.

Had James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aligned themselves in any other combination with any other team, that wouldn't be the case. Thus, L.A. lost ground this summer, even though, in narrower terms, it won with the additions of Barnes and Blake.

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Old 07-27-2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

Sorry for making all of you read that, yes it was terrible.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

Quote:
Originally Posted by niko
Sorry for making all of you read that, yes it was terrible.
I warned you
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

Wow; Hollinger hates the Lakers. Expect him to once again predict an early Lakers' playoff loss despite playing the same opponents as the year before (e.g. Jazz).
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

I guess if the Lakers lose in the NBA championship series this year, he'll be right.

IF the Lakers beat the Heat in the Finals, then he's flat wrong -- it will be a huge legacy thing for Kobe and a big win for the Lakers franchise. A lot of people said its the best thing that could have happened for Kobe/the Lakers because they will now have serious motivation to play that Heat team and will work towards the offseason because of it, perhaps avoiding minor squabbles that happen to championship teams cause of egoes.

He's basing an awful lot on conjecture. You have to give the Lakers at least a chance to beat this first year "team."
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

lakers did nothing wrong yet there are still losers...

dude is freakign reaching
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

thats hollinger for ya... and if we believed in his PER, the lakers would not have won the title two out of three years... don't get bent since he's just trying to get himself some cover.


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Old 07-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

Hollinger is a friken Laker hater, a professional troll. He should make an ISH account.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hollingers Winners and Losers

So lakers are losers because of what the heat did? Getting Blake and Barnes means nothing? HAHAHA
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