This last 7 days has been abvsolutely bananas as far as NBA Basketball Trades!
NOT ONLY did we see Chris Bosh and LeBron James leave the Raptors and the Cavaliers respectively to join the Heat and Wade in Miami, but we’re also seeing MORE transactions complete with grudge matches, and more!
Witness this ….
LeBron James lures Zydrunas Ilgauskas away from Cleveland
This is a HUGE shock to me. Ilgauskas has been a Cavalier since WAY before LeBron and was considered by many to be “Mr. Cavalier” and that he was gonna retire there as well!
But in the end, LeBron was able to pull him into Miami to compete for a chip on his new team! I wonder what Dan Gilbert has to say about this …
Rumours swirled for a few days that Shaq was, somehow, gonna end up in Miami for a second time. But this article does a great job of explaining why it will never happen. A shame. Bron, Wade, Bosh, Ill Gaga and Diesel? Might as well have handed them the chip!
On the flip side, Mike Miller and Juwan Howard are both aggressively trying to come to terms with contract negotiations that would put them in prime real estate for a Finals berth. Both these acquisitions are AWESOME for a Heat team trying to find affordable pieces to complete a potential championship team!
But don’t get it twisted. Wade still insists that the Lakers are the team to beat and NOT the Heat. I actually agree with him 100% on this. The Lakers are the 2-time NBA champions. Back to back. Until they are dethroned, everyone else is just playing for runner up ….. God I hate saying that. It’s like vomit emanating from my mouth …
Speaking of the Lakers, rumours swirled for DAYS that The LA Lakers were gonna sign Raja Bell but today Bell decided to flip off KB24 and signed with the Jazz! This headline makes me SO happy because it shows that not everyone can be swayed by money and power. Good for Bell for standing up to Kobe and sticking to his convictions. Let’s not forget their rivalry and how Kobe has repeatedly treated Bell with disrespect on and off the court. Bell, for his part, has fired back. But this year, things cooled and it appeared that the hatchet had been buried. But Bell signing with the Jazz and not the Lakers says a LOT more than what people are leading you to believe. It means that Bell might still hold a grudge. It means that Kobe is gonna try to “take it out” on the Jazz all year long and try to abuse Bell for big numbers. It means that we’ll see a great Jazz/Lakers rivalry renewed partially. The Jazz, however, get a lot stronger with Bell. He’s a good shooter and will provide Deron Williams with another solid perimeter presence to take away pressure off him during the season.
Shannon Brown, meanwhile is flirting with leaving the lush pastures of LA for somewhere where he can shine a bit more. It didn’t work for Ariza and it probably won’t work for Brown either. But anything that can disrupt the Lakers and make them vulnerable to a non-title season (where I can watch Kobe cry cuz he didn’t win) is great. So I say do it, Brown! Though sources close to that situation are now saying that he’s leaning towards signing with the Lakers again. The Lakers continued their off season work by signing Steve Blake to their team. Personally, I think Steve Blake is a bum. One dimensional. That one dimension happens to be that of sharpshooting ace (the man shoots the 3 with a ridiculous amount of accuracy) but he’s so lame defensively that I doubt he will be anything more of a victory cigar by December.
Someone who was tired of being a victory cigar was Jordan Farmar, who signed with New Jersey this month for a 3 year $12 Million Dollar deal.
One player who is reupping is Derek Fisher. He had been courted heavily by LeBron and Co. in Miami. But he decided to be loyal and re-sign with the Lake Show. I can understand that and respect his decision. But I still hate him for being a Laker – and let me say this: Once Kobe dies and decomposes on this earth, I will be a Lakers fan. Believe that. I will be the only mummy on the face of the earth wearing a Lakers hat once Kobe rots.
Speaking of the Jazz, on top of signing Raja Bell, official word is that they have acquired Al Jefferson via trade with Minnesota. This is an interesting decision and one meant to plug the hole left behind by Boozer. I think it’s a shrewd move because he’s an exclusive player to the low post with a good skill set, offensively. He’ll allow Paul Milsap to play bigger minutes and expand on his skill set and experience. And with Mehmet Okur (Mr. Glass) being a more perimeter oriented player, I think it adds a great deal of versatility to the Jazz! Not Championship contenders but maybe a playoff team …
The Celtics are seeing a slight modification in their roster after losing Tony Allen to the Grizzlies via Free Agency. I think Tony Allen is a very under-appreciated player. Skilled defender, good locker room guy – glue guy – albeit with an abysmal perimeter shot and prone to bouts of mindless play. He’s normal. And I can relate to and appreciate that in him. I wish him luck. I don’t know what kind of role he’ll play in Memphis …. though thinking about it, I think it’ll be a good fit, a Shane Battier kind of fit. He’ll plug the holes left behind by the young guns and will be allowed to just roam on D. It will be good for him, I think, to get out of Boston and see some new things. For his part, Danny Ainge is confused about Tony Allen. On the plus side (sort of) they signed Nate Robinson and Jermaine O’Neal to contracts in Beantown. The Nate Robinson deal was good, I think. He’s an X Factor who, when channeled, can be very explosive. Jermaine O’Neal ….. he’s a conundrum. He did nothing for the Raptors and was sub par for the Heat ….. I think that man needs to retire. I think he’s living proof that some people make it in the NBA only because they’re tall (Jermaine O’Neal, Greg Ostertag, Bryant “Big Country Reeves, Todd Macullogh, etc etc etc). Anyway, the Celtics also re-sign Ray Allen (to a 2 year, $20 Million Dollar deal) which is a GREAT move, I think. Especially since Ray Allen has already declared war on the Heat, after being courted by them for a minute. Should make for some FUN games this year. Heat-Cavs, Heat-Lakers, Heat-Celtics. Must see TV!
The Grizzlies also did their homework and re-signed Rudy Gay this week as well! The deal was worth a reported $80 Million over 5 years …. seems a bit steep to me. But I think he might be good for it.
Another contender shaking up their roster (albeit, not by choice) is the Cavs. They tried to sign Kyle Lowry this week away from the Rockets but that deal was quashed as the Rockets matched the offer in order to keep Lowry in Houston for another few season. I think the Cavs are a sad team right now. With Ilgauskas gone, they only have Mo Williams (now a bum) and Antawn Jamison as legitimate offensive threats because everyone else was able to score because of the attention LeBron demanded. Without LeBron … that team looks sad, man. So sad for Cleveland fans …
The Raptors are also busy remolding their roster since Bosh’s departure. This week they traded away Hedo Turkoglu to Phoenix for Leandro Barbosa and Dwayne Jones. I say good riddance to that lazy so-and-so. It’s sad that I have to scratch him off my fave players list – he was there for his entire career – but that’s what he gets for quitting during Toronto’s most important season ever. And while there was good reason to believe that Calderon was going to be traded away to the Bobcats for Boris Diaw and Tyson Chandler, the deal was nixed at the last minute by Michael Jordan. I don’t know that this would have been a step forward by Toronto. Calderon is still a decent player, if a bit prima donna-ey right now, and Chandler has proven he is inconsistent and not skilled. Diaw would have been awesome with Barbosa again ….. but that’s a pipe dream now. In the process, the Suns acquire Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress, who will make his return from Greece after leaving the Hawks last season.
The Raptors frustrate me. They re-signed and (in my opinion) GREATLY overpaid for Amir Johnson (5 years, $34 Million) and their attempts to move Jose Calderon (or Jarrett Jack) speak, to me, of a team that is headed in the wrong direction. Maybe Bryan Colangelo has no idea what he’s doing and he simply shoots darts at players faces while blindfolded ….
I know what you’re thinking … Rico, since the Raptors were unsuccessful in getting Tyson Chandler, what happened? Well, I can tell you that Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca were traded away to Dallas! A 5 player deal sent Eduardo Najera, Erick Dampier and Matt Carroll as well as cash considerations to Charlotte in exchange for the two players mentioned above. With Erick Dampier being shipped out, Mark Cuban rewarded Brendan Haywood with a 5 year $45 Million Dollar deal (cheap by Cuban standards) for his excellent play during the post season. I think this was a shrewd move by Cuban. Dampier is on the tail end of his lackluster career and Haywood is just hitting his prime. He’s sure to be a starter now …
For their part, Charlotte agreed to terms for a new contract with Tyrus Thomas (for an undeserving 5 year $40 Million). I don’t know that Thomas has ever done anything to actually warrant this kind of payday. He’s okay, sure. And he blocks shots. But $40 Mil?!?!?!? That means I’m worth at least $3 or $4 Million per season … hear that guys?!?!?!
The Nets signed Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow and Johan Petro. This is an interesting move because Morrow is a great shooter (46% from 3) and Petro is a tough defender. Seems like Prokhorov is starting to put some solid pieces in play.
Oh, and I forgot to add this in but Morris Peterson was moved to Oklahoma City on Draft Day. And Kyle Korver left Utah and went to Chicago for a 3 year stint worth $15 Million. I don’t know that Korver will get any more minutes, touches or shots than he did in Utah (he is playing with Uber Ball Hog Derrick Rose, after all – oh did I forget to tell you that? I think he’s a bit of a hog now. I’ll write more on that later.)
Captain Kirk Hinrich was also shipped away to Washington … for draft picks. This deal originally happened a bit before Draft Day, but it still has to suck. Erick Dampier gets massive contracts and gets moved in multi player deals and Kirk Hinrich gets moved for guys who don’t exist in the NBA yet … so sad …
And speaking of SAD, The LA Clippers continue their journey through suck-ville by signing Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes from Minnesota. They also signed Brian “Cookie”Cook. Average players who bring nothing special to the table. No noteworthy talents, just guys that can score and get some rebounds. What the hell is Donald Sterling doing?!?!? George Steinbrenner dies and yet Donald Sterling is allowed another year of life?!?!? At least Steinbrenner was a guy who could make a winner! Sterling is just a bottom feeder.
Golden State also continued their descent into limbo by trading away forward Anthony Randolph, forward Kelenna Azubuike, forward Ronny Turiaf and a 2012 second-round draft pick to New York for David Lee. It’s just as well, I suppose. Lee was never loved in New York and Randolph was never loved in G-State. I think the change in scenery might do these guys some good as well.
My Spurs have been relatively quiet this offseason. Their only moves being the signing of Tiago Splitter and a renewal of contracts for Matt Bonner (for roughly 4 years and $12 Million). I love Matt Bonner so I am glad he’s back on my favorite squad. Tiago Splitter is an X Factor at the center position, but I think his presence might be something like what Fabricio Oberto brought to the table a few years ago, albeit with more natural talent. He’s kind of a pretty boy, but he could turn out to be like Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola …. so I might like him.
And ALL of this activity has taken place in …. 14 days.
What a sideshow.