Monday, October 27, 2008

If Hornets are Truly In Win Now Mode

Since acquiring James Posey this off-season, to give them a “clutch” x-factor-type player off the bench, the Hornets have given all indication that they are trying to win now, especially when SF was a position that they had some depth at (Rasual Butler, Julian Wright in addition to Peja). What they sorely lack (check for more info) is big men outside their stud starters. Any sort of big men with a pulse. Sorry, Hilton Armstrong still is not satisfactory. Enter a trade for Joe Smith. He’s a veteran with a lot to offer a young team. He’s been through playoff wars, helped another youngin (Lebron) to the Eastern Conference championship, and has a pretty sweet jumper out to about 17 feet (a la David West). He brings toughness, guile, sturdy defense, and some rebounding and would work spelling either Chandler or West at any point in the game. The Son—er, Thunder, would do this trade because they lack outside shooters and Butler provides that and perimeter defense. They'd have to take on his extra year because the Hornets would also be giving up the high upside in Julian Wright. Putting Durant, Green and Wright together (ages 20, 22, and 21 respectively), would give the team three, incredibly young and gifted 6-9 players that would create match-up nightmares with their length, athleticism, and abilities to handle the ball (still in progress for Green and Wright) and pass. Add to them Russell Westbrook and that's a newschool team with a heap of talent.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

An Ideal Deal with Appeal

Don’t see any downside to this deal.

AI brings the killer instinct and necessary shot creator the Mavericks sorely lack and need. Plus, he can still average 8 plus assists. He brings heart and a little swagger to a Mavs team led by the stick-up-his-ass, vanilla of Dirk Nowitzki.

J-Kidd is exactly the type of point guard that J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony and even Nene need to skyrocket their abilities. Kidd was also, albeit several years ago, very, very good for Kenyon Martin. And in the Nuggets, er, George Karl’s high-octane offense, Kidd is the perfect playmaker who needs very few shots (his attempts have dropped dramatically over the past couple of years) and can rebound like a forward.

Their salaries match up and neither team is likely to re-sign either if the teams remain as currently constructed.

Do it. Let’s get some good basketball going in Dallas and Denver.

Tha Carter III

Chad Ford of ESPN brought the Vince Carter to Los Angeles Clippers deal to my attention. That would be spectacular. Well, could be in the present. I don’t really care about the Clippers future. With them, I’m all about the here and now, and bringing in Vince Carter to replace two, let’s face it, dead beat players, would be the huge boost this team needs.

He’s still got all-star talent, and, if properly motivated, maybe even more than that. Add him to Baron Davis, Al Thornton, Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman and the Clips suddenly transform from a potentially good team, to a rather dangerous one.

Sure, the 4 years at $16 million per is scary for the future, but so is the big contract we just handed over to the injury-prone Baron Davis.

And what of newly drafted Eric Gordon in all this? The great thing about Vince is that he’s perfect for Eric Gordon because he’s such a good distributor. Eric can move over to the point guard position and Vince can handle the rock. Or, VC can slide over to the small forward slot and let Eric get his shots in at the 2.

That would completely revamp a Clippers offense that was mired in the lower third of the league the past two seasons. It also gives the team potentially, four all-star caliber players and a bench of young, up-and-coming players with upside.

For the Nets, well, they get two veterans who can help the young guys gro…okay, for reals? They get two contracts that equal Vince’s but come off the books two years earlier—just in time for the Lebron sweepstakes.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A West coast Deal that Makes Sense

As Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinal reports (htp:// the Shawn Marion experiment in Miami is not working out so well. Turns out, the team is starting to become more of a half-court squad rather than a fast-breaking unit. He’s made it clear that he doesn't want to play the 4 any longer, but due to the dearth of bigs in Miami, just might find himself playing there this season.

In the West, Steve Luhm and Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune ( report that Utah is currently experimenting with bringing Andrei Kirilenko off the bench. While early returns have been promising, AK47 has had some gripes in the past about not getting the ball enough and is much better suited to playing the 4. Of course, Carlos Boozer is firmly entrenched at the 4 and won’t be given up his starting spot anytime soon.

Obvious trade? No. We’ve been there before and it didn’t happen. What I’m suggesting is sending Boozer and some other pieces (Jarron Collins and Ronnie Price) to Utah for Marion and Mario Chalmers.

Boozer is rumored to be most certainly opting out of his contract at the end of the season and his preferred destination is Miami. He’s a killer in the half-court set and excels at the pick-and-roll. Miami wants him next year, and might as well go about trying to get him for this season to help Wade get through the year. Everybody remembers how well Wade played with a dominant post presence, and though Boozer ain’t no Shaq (ain’t nobody Shaq), he can put up 20 and 10 in a pinch.

Miami lacks any sort of defensive presence at center, and Jarron Collins, though lacking offensive skills like Sarah Palin lacks political acumen, is a tough, gritty defender who instantly becomes their biggest man in the middle. Ronnie Price is young, super athletic and can create his own shot, the one thing Mario Chalmers lacks. He had a pretty good year last season, and has plenty of upside still left to explore.

Chalmers doesn't look like the answer this season for Miami, and, for lack of a better point guard, almost needs to be (sorry Chris Quinn, you get no love). He’ll be a nice understudy for Deron Williams and Brevin Knight and won’t be pressured to perform right away.

Utah will be able to let Kirilenko move back to the power forward spot where he blossomed and dominated. Remember back when he was averaging over 3 blocks and nearly 2 steals, putting up 5X5s with PERs routinely in the 21-23 range? Seems like an eternity ago, but he used to be all the Jazz had, and carried them right to the cusp of the playoffs basically by himself. The Jazz’s frontcourt is lacking in any sort of defensive presence what with Memo Okur and Boozer being weak to non-existent defenders. That changes if you move Kirilenko to the power forward and bring in Marion at the 3.

Marion and Kirilenko are freaks, and the freak in me wants to see what sort of freakish game the two could play together. Put them with the best point guard in the league (co-with Paul) and strong shooters (Korver, Okur, Almond?) and this team would improve across the board. Marion’s rebounding prowess would help to offset the loss of Boozer and would improve the defense. D-Will, Ronnie Brewer, Marion and Kirilenko would be a feisty bunch and would force a lot of steals.

Chalmers was a valued draft pick, but the prize for Miami is Boozer. Price is a nice consolation with upside (who could potentially be just as good if not better than Chalmers) and Collins is a must have due to the complete lack of anything resembling a center. The team improves in all their needed areas (inside scoring, depth at center, half court offense)

The Jazz improve their defense and become a faster team. Though they lose some toughness in the middle, they have upside bigs in Kyrylo Fesenko and Kosta Koufos (though, they’ll have to learn on the fly).

Boozer apparently wants out anyway, so the Jazz might as well get a championship caliber piece for him. Besides, it’s not like he did anything of relevance against the Lakers in the playoffs and the Jazz still pushed the Western Conference champs to 6 games.

If Marion decides to walk in the offseason, the Jazz will still have picked up a valuable piece in Chalmers. And there is always the possibility that Boozer pulls, well, a Boozer on the Heat (especially if they have a losing season) and skips back over to the Jazz.

It’s a scenario where both teams will greatly benefit from the trade even if they fail because both Marion and Boozer are free agents after this season.