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Tag:Derrick Rose
Posted on: July 25, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 1:29 pm
 

Kobe, Durant, Rose made $400,000 in Philippines

By Matt Moore

When Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose and their merry band of locked out NBA players headed to the Philippines last weekend, the reception was enormous. The crowd went absolutely berserk for the players; the entire country did. And it turns out the top three stars made a pretty penny on the deal as well. From SI:
Star-studded exhibition games like the two taking place in the Philippines this weekend are proving to be quite profitable as well, with one source with knowledge of the deals saying the Lakers Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma Citys Kevin Durant and Chicagos Derrick Rose are being paid more than $400,000 apiece for their weekend of work reminder: tax-free.
via NBA stars looking abroad in earnest - Sam Amick - SI.com.

So for two games, in which they weren't exactly going full-bore, these guys got paid $400,000 over two days. Take, say, two hours prep time with meet and greets, two hours for the game, an hour afterward for meet and greet and shower, top it off at five hours per day, call it good?  So this weekend, they made $40,000 an hour. An hour

Look, I'm not saying that professional athletes aren't overpaid in the grand scheme of things. I'm not saying that doctors, lawyers, or here's an idea, school teachers shouldn't be paid more than guys who play a game for a living. But if the owners want to make the argument the players are overpaid, a quick glance around their global market value will give you a pretty good idea of how valued these players are.

That's still an absurd amount of money. It makes you wonder why no one tries to set up a whole number of these around the globe. You could just have traveling teams of All-Stars who just blister the local guys. They can travel the globe at a fast pace. Maybe at a trot. Hey, we could even name them that! The Globetrotters!

...

I'll stop now.

Anyway, breaking news, NBA players paid lots of money.
Posted on: July 23, 2011 3:23 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Video: Kobe and Rose hook up on an alley-oop

Posted by Royce Young

It's the first time we've really seen NBA stars on the floor playing together since the Finals wrapped in June. Saturday, Manilla hosted a star-studded NBA exhibition featuring Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, James Harden and a bunch of others. The event didn't disappoint as the NBA stars topped the Philippine Basketball Associations top players 131-105.

The punctuation? A Kobe to Rose alley-oop that's most definitely going to make you hate the lockout that much more. Observe:

Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:29 pm
 

2011 NBA All-Star likeability rankings

Posted by Ben Golliver.

wade-durant-bryant

It's one thing to be great on the court. It's one thing to be famous. It's one thing to be marketable. It's one thing to be respected. 

But how do we throw all those attributes together? How do we determine which of the NBA's brightest stars are the most well-rounded? How do we put our finger on which stars capture the imagination, drop jaws and tug on the heart strings? 

It's an impossible task, but that didn't stop the Eye On Basketball staff from trying. Over the last week, we pinpointed five characteristics that combine to make NBA players likeable: "Ballin' Ability" (how good a guy is as a player), "Winning Attitude" (how dedicated he is to the game), "Talking Softly" (how he comes across in public comments), "Commerical Appeal" (how visible he is in advertisements) and "Public Works" (charitable contributions and other character-defining achievements).

Our panel of four experts ranked every member of the 2011 All-Star teams on a 1-5 scale in each of these five categories. We then added up all the scores to get a ranking on a 1 to 100 scale. The higher the number, the more likeable the player. Pretty simple stuff. 

Without further ado, here are the CBSSports.com 2011 NBA All-Star likeability rankings, from worst (least likeable) to first (most likeable). 

24. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks: Johnson’s unassuming personality and solid perimeter game don’t stand much of a chance here due to his relatively invisible national profile and his team’s lack of playoff success. Score: 44

23. Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks: Horford suffers from the same low-profile problem as Johnson but is perceived as more of a winner because he took home NCAA hardware at the University of Florida, and his game is predicated on doing whatever it takes to get the job done rather than jacking jumpers. Score: 48

22. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat: Bosh is intelligent, articulate and gentle off the court and a versatile talent on the court, so he should be prettychris-bosh-tears likeable, at least in theory. His goofiness -- the photo shoots, the secret wedding, the screaming at the preseason parade -- has become off-putting now that he’s teamed up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. His status as the league’s most obvious punch line hurts him here. A lot. Score: 54

T-20. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: Still just a half-touch too far up the “might be crazy” scale to be totally likeable at this point in his career. Westbrook is still stuck in Kevin Durant’s shadow, although he showed with his fearless play in the 2011 postseason that he might one day eclipse KD in terms of sheer star power. Could be a fast riser in future renditions of these rankings, especially if he can cut down his turnovers and shake a developing reputation as a bit of a late-game ball hog. Saying something interesting after a game once in a while wouldn't hurt either. Score: 55

T-20. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers: Much like the Lakers, Gasol took a step back in prominence this season when he didn’t show up as expected -- and as needed -- in the postseason. His gangly frame isn’t particularly marketable, at least not here in the United States, and while he is a true professional when it comes to the media, he’s known first and foremost as Kobe Bryant’s on-again, off-again punching bag. Score: 55

19. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics: More than anyone else on this list, Rondo genuinely doesn’t care what you think about him. He can come across as curt and moody, and doesn’t expend much energy playing the media game. His authenticity can’t be questioned, but it does keep casual fans at arm’s length. Score: 58

18. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: An egoless star on an egoless team in an egoless organization in a relatively small market, Ginobili has never sought the bright lights. Even after all these years, the average fan doesn’t have much of a connection with him. There’s nothing not to like, but nothing that reaches out and grabs you either. Score: 59

17. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets: Williams gets bonus points for his amazing annual dodgeball tournament and rose to a new level of renown this year thanks to a blockbuster trade and a trailblazing deal with Besiktas in Turkey. The rumored spats with Jerry Sloan that surfaced when the legendary Utah Jazz coach abruptly retired briefly painted a very unlikable picture, although that didn’t seem to bother him too much. Score: 61

16. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics: Beloved in Boston, Pierce’s personal likeability suffers a bit nationally because he’s almost always talked about as one of Boston’s Big Three, with Kevin Garnett usually getting top billing. He's a bit past his prime, which surely costs him some spots on this list. Score: 62

15. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics: Allen is pretty much in the same boat as Pierce, although he’s got an energetic mother (the ever-present Flo), a picture-perfect jump shot and an unforgettable silver screen performance (Jesus Shuttlesworth) to give him a bit of a boost. Score: 64

14. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves: Love is the anti-Rondo, fully embracing the media attention, putting his self-kevin-love-smiledeprecating humor to full display whenever possible. He’s blogged, starred in viral videos and, let’s not forget, put up mammoth statistics through sheer hard work amidst a dysfunctional mess of a team. All while remaining sane. No easy task. Score: 65

T-12. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics: Thanks to his on-court bullying antics and incessant trash talk, Garnett is as polarizing as anyone in the league, save LeBron James. But his reputation as a winner was sealed by Boston’s title, he’s been a fixture on the national endorsement circuit for years and his overwhelming competitive desire helps cover up some of the ugliness. Score: 66

 T-12. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks: Near the top of his game and playing in a major media market, Stoudemire keeps the dunks and quotes coming, so everyone stays happy. The fact that he abandoned Steve Nash immediately following a Western Conference Finals playoff run to take more money without catching any flak for it is a testament to how he’s carved out a major place in the nation’s heart in his own, quirky way. Score: 66

11. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: Anthony’s steady focus during a half-season-long free agency and trade whirlwind last year won him a lot of goodwill, as does the fact that he’s put millions of dollars into both Syracuse University and Baltimore. Based on talent alone, Anthony should probably be higher on this list, but wife LaLa and his lack of playoff success hold him back. Score: 68

10. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: Griffin is still enjoying the “new-car smell” phase of his NBA fame. His audacious take-offs, explosive leaping and vicious finishing are so unique for a player his size that nobody much cares that he didn’t make the playoffs and still has a ways to go to fill out an all-around game. The centerpiece of All-Star Weekend in his very first visit, he’s got endorsements by the boatload and is arguably on the verge of over-exposure. He’s still a little stiff, but that seems to be fading. Once he gets a few playoff series wins under his belt, look for Griffin to be a perennial top-5 member on this list. Score: 71

9. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs: Duncan has been so good for so long -- and won so much -- that the respect factor afforded him is significant enough to make up for a bland, sometimes robotic, personality. Duncan can be subtly hilarious and occasionally sharp-tongued with the media. He is also unfailingly classy. Score: 72

8. LeBron James, Miami Heat: He should be No. 1 on every NBA list ever made given his otherworldly talent and global-marketinglebron-james-face-machine status, but James drops hard in terms of likeability due to his late-game failures in the 2011 NBA Finals, his out-of-touch comments towards fans following the Heat's eventual loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the self-unaware “Decision” and his overall child-star cockiness/obliviousness. Even given all of that, no one would be surprised if winning a title vaulted him to the top of this list next year. His talent is that absurd. Score: 74

7. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls: You might have heard: Rose is humble. The 2011 MVP has so much going for him: He’s won at an early age, he’s winning for his hometown team, he’s lived up to expectations, he’s taken responsibility for losses and shared credit for victories, he’s managed to be a scoring point guard without getting written off as “selfish,” and he kept a safe distance from all the free agency politicking that soured a lot of fans on many top-name players last summer. He continues to battle his “shy” public nature, which is the only thing holding him back from much, much greater fame. Score: 79

6. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets: Paul checks off virtually every box on the likeability list. He’s cutthroat on the court and cuddly off of it. He’s raised loads of money for Hurricane Katrina relief. He’s a devout man without being preachy. He comes across as a caring father and thoughtful citizen. He’s -- so far -- steered clear of hijacking his franchise by demanding a trade or threatening to walk in free agency. The touching story of his love for his deceased grandfather has become an indelible part of his identity. And he is team-first, always. There’s so much to like that you actually hope he finds a better situation, where he will be able to fill out his playoff reputation. Score: 81

5. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks: This is the top of the mountain for Nowitzki, both on and off the court. It simply doesn’t get any better than captaining a balanced team through a marathon playoff run that ended with the demolition of the league’s most hated team. The cherry on top is the fact that Nowitzki came through in the clutch time and again. He’s put an ugly past relationship totally behind him, moving forward with a new fiancé. His personality with the media is easy-going and honest. He plays with a childish love of the game and hits shots that make you marvel. It’s hard to imagine another seven-foot German man gaining this level of acceptance and respect in the United States. Ever. Also, he’s squashed the “soft” label that haunted him for years. Score: 84

4. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic: Howard has deftly positioned himself as the heir apparent to Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most likeable NBA stars in recent memory. His dominant two-way play serves as the basis for a superhero persona, and his active online presence and numerous endorsement deals make his zany personality inescapable. The fact that he hasn’t committed to the Magic and could be headed for a free agency bonanza could cost him points down the road, but right now he’s still the giant, lovable teddy bear who can swat shots back to half court. Score: 85

T-2. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat: It was a shocking scene when Wade joined James in mocking Nowitzki during the Finals for being sick: A very flat note for someone who has historically been pitch perfect. Throughout his career, Wade has been a Teflon Don, particularly charmed as a player and as an endorser. With a title under his belt and a megawatt smile, Wade has displayed a good sense of humor for years as a pitchman and also been a staple on NBA Cares commercials. Both James and Bosh lost points last summer for their decision to team up in Miami, but Wade came off as a big winner, the cool older-brother figure who pulled off the recruiting haul of a lifetime. Score: 87

kevin-durant-smile

T-2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: Colorado sure feels like a long, long time ago, doesn’t it? Bryant has made the most of the second half of his NBA career, winning rings by the fistful and growing his international popularity immensely. He’s played through pain, done things his way, taken a direct, often profane, tone with the media and become the closest thing to Jordan since Jordan. Age is slowly advancing, which has a way of humanizing people, and yet his ego and force of will push back equally hard, making it seem, at least for now, that his reign on top will last as long as he chooses. Right now, he’s the NBA’s most mythical figure. Score: 87

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s virtually impossible to find fault with the NBA’s scoring champ. Durant combines Rose’s humble nature, Nowitzki’s impossible scoring touch, Griffin’s “new-car smell,” Howard’s technological accessibility and a Bryant-esque work ethic. He’s polite, he’s shown he has what it takes to win in the playoffs at a young age, he’s popular on an international stage already and the best is yet to come. He’s confident, but not cocky. He’s a gunner, but he comes off as unselfish. He’s team-first and loyal, much like Paul, and he’s locked in long-term so there’s no doubt or question about his future motives (at least not yet). Put it all together, and Durant is enjoying the ultimate honeymoon period with the NBA fans. We love potential, and Durant still has plenty of that. Also, he wears a backpack. Score: 88







Posted on: July 12, 2011 10:53 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 6:23 pm
 

Derrick Rose says he 'wore down' in the playoffs

Posted by Matt Moore

Derrick Rose was not the same guy against Miami. Really, he wasn't the same guy against Atlanta for most of the series.

Rose was a tour de force in the regular season, spinning and whirling his way to an MVP. He was relentless, and his intensity only increased in the final minutes of a close game. He played 37.4 minutes per game, just slightly the most of his career. In the playoffs? He played over 40 minutes per game. He was the entirety of the Bulls' offense at times. Against the Pacers, for the most part, he was a world above, the gap between an upstart group and an upset, the reason the Bulls were able to handle the Pacers in five. They simply couldn't deal with Rose. Against the Hawks he provided one of the finest games by a player in the entire postseason, a 44-point, 5-rebound, 7-assist, 1-steal, 1-block Game 3 which regained home court for the Bulls. He was masterful in Games 4 and 5, and dished 12 assists in the Game 6 clincher. 

Even in the first game against the Heat, Rose looked to be the best player in the series as many expected him to be.  Twenty-eight points, even if it was on 22 shots, and 6 assists, not an overwhelming statistical performance, but more a sign of the pace and brutality of that defensive series. But after that? The struggles got worse. And worse.  And worse. 

You could see Rose was hurting. He'd suffered an ankle sprain in Game 3 of the Pacers series, but had returned to play through it and had not missed a game. But now Rose has spoken to Yahoo! and it would appear that he's recognized the real problem in the playoffs. It wasn't the Heat's defense. It was Rose's body. From Yahoo!:
After averaging 29.8 points and nine assists in the second round of the playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, Rose’s scoring dipped to 23.4 points per game on 35 percent shooting in the East finals as the Bulls lost to the Heat in five games. Rose now says he should have been in better shape to handle the strain of the postseason.

“I just learned from last season where my conditioning wasn’t up to par at the end of the season,” Rose said. “That’s what I’m working on this summer, getting my conditioning right. There was just fatigue. My body wore down. Just going through the rounds, the first time being there past the first round, it was hard. I’m just learning from it.”
via For Rose, there's still room to grow - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

Rose also revealed wrist and back injuries which slowed him. In short: it turns out taking up 35.2 percent of your team's offense, as Rose did during the playoffs, the most by a considerable margin of any player in the playoffs, will take its toll.  That's the reality. Rose has been working since the season ended to get into better shape and to learn how to handle things. He sloughs off talk that his teammates need to step up. But that's where he's wrong. Rose needs to be able to be efficient when called on, and called on often. But he can't be the start and end of the Bulls' offense. There are going to have to be other playmakers on the Bulls, whether that's shot making or shot creating. There's got to be some room for Rose not to be involved every trip down. Final five minutes? Sure, let him rip. But there has to be some space where Rose isn't responsible for doing everything. Those drives that lead to all those trips to the line take their toll, as do all the bumps coming around screens, shoves while fighting for rebounds, and shoulders while going for the block. Rose is incredible when he's in a position to be so. But he can't be at that level for 40 minutes a game, every second. 

Turns out he is only a man, after all, despite what his highlight reel tells us.
Category: NBA
Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:39 pm
 

What teams risk in a lockout: Central Division

A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Central Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.

derrick-rose-dunk

Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.

Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division and the Atlantic Division. Let's continue this series with the Central Division.  

CHICAGO Bulls


The Bulls won the Central by a preposterous margin in 2010-2011, stacking up a league-high 62 wins and burying their division mates by a ridiculous 25 games, by far the biggest margin of any division winner. Nothing has happened yet this offseason which suggests next year's results will be any different. Even if the Milwaukee Bucks return to full health or the Indiana Pacers make a key free agent addition or the Detroit Pistons finally emerge from their slog or the Cleveland Cavaliers successfully start the Kyrie Irving era, the only thing stopping the Bulls from running away from the competition again is an injury to Derrick Rose. The Bulls are, by far, the most talented and deepest team in the division. They have the reigning MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year. They're poised to be championship title contenders for the next five years.

With so much going for them, the Bulls clearly have the most to lose in a lockout. If a season is lost, that's a title chase that evaporates. Perhaps most important, the Bulls would lose that visceral desire for redemption that comes with the ugly end to their season. It was a disappointing, frustrating loss to their new archrivals, the Miami Heat, in the Eastern Conference Finals. The pain of that loss subsides with time. It's ability to serve as unifying inspiration will fade too. The Bulls want revenge and they want rings. The pieces are in place. Besides aging teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who face the possibility of their championship window closing, the Bulls don't want to sit around and wait. They created some amazing chemistry last season, built strong trust bonds. Losing a season risks all of that.

INDIANA PACERS

The upstart Pacers are up to something: they finally committed to Frank Vogel as their coach, they brought on former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard to serve as Director of Player Personnel, they made a solid draft day trade to acquire point guard George Hill and they sit on a mound of cap space ready to make a splash in free agency. The Pacers risk two things if a season is lost. First, a critical development year to see how their young pieces are able to gel together. Second, A feeling of certainty in terms of team expectations.

Indiana has assembled some nice, young talent: Roy Hibbert, Darren Collison, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough and Hill are all 25 or younger. Depending on how they use their cap space and whether they decide to move Danny Granger, that has all the makings of a promising core that could reliably make playoff runs for the foreseeable future. But the group needs time to spend together, reps to get things right and an evaluation period to see whether all four belong long-term. They look great on paper but more data -- playing together -- is needed. A lost season risks that and potentially stalls the development of those younger guys.

The real risk is free agency. Indiana has just $36 million committed in salary next season, meaning they have one of the smallest payrolls in the league. They also have an expiring contract in James Posey to move and potentially could move Granter if they were looking to make a major splash. Their combination of flexibility and talent on-hand is near the tops in the league when it comes to rebuilding teams. A delayed season pushes that promise back and while teams with space are definitely sitting in a better position than teams without space, it's unclear what additional rules might be in place that inhibit free agent movement. If you're the Pacers you'd prefer to be able to chase a guy like David West now without any messy collective bargaining negotiations getting in the way. Put simply, the Pacers are a team on the rise, but a lot has to go right for young teams to reach their potential. Even minor things can throw a team off course. The less variables, the better. Unfortunately, the CBA is a major, major variable.

MILWAUKEE BUCKS

lockoutThis team is just confusing. The Stephen Jackson trade made a bit of sense, given that the Bucks needed a serviceable alternative to Brandon Jennings at point guard and got one in Beno Udrih, but this group isn't going anywhere meaningful, not even if Jennings and center Andrew Bogut are fully healthy. 

About the only thing lost in a lockout for the Bucks is another year for Jennings to bloom. His sophomore years was sidetracked by injuries and poor outside shooting, and he questioned his teammates' desire to win at the end of the regular season. Other than Jennings, Larry Sanders and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could use more developmental minutes but the rest of the roster is essentially veterans who have reached their potential. 

From a cynical standpoint, Bucks ownership could be cheering a lost season because it would mean cash savings on ugly deals for Jackson and big man Drew Gooden. Is it worth saving the combined $15 million that will go to Jackson and Gooden in 2011-2012 to lose a year of floor leadership training for Jennings? 

DETROIT PISTONS

The Pistons are another confounding mess, but at least it feels like they've turned a corner thanks to the sale of the team, the departure of reviled coach John Kuester and the drafting of point guard Brandon Knight and wing Kyle Singler. Last year was one, long, ugly grind. 2011-2012 figures to be a step in the right direction.

Knight slipped out of the top five of the 2011 NBA Draft because of questions about his position. Is he a pure point guard? Can he run an NBA offense? Will he be able to execute something besides the pick-and-roll game? His future is incredibly bright but as a one-and-done player he absolutely needs as much playing time as possible to get a feel for the NBA style and to get comfortable with the ball in his hands and a team of professionals that look to him first. There's no other way to learn the point guard position than by on-the-job training, and recent success stories like Rose and Russell Westbrook only reinforce that idea. A year away from the game at this stage would be a critical loss for Knight and the Pistons, and that's a major risk.

The same is true, to a lesser degree, for big man Greg Monroe, who came on strong in the second half of his rookie season and appears to be a potential core piece going forward. 2011-2012 is all about letting Knight and Monroe build up a chemistry together 

A lost season would certainly be welcomed by ownership here too because Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva all failed to live up to their big-dollar contract figures last season. Hamilton and Villanueva, in particular, seem like lost causes. Weighing the savings from these deals versus the lost development of Knight, the Pistons should probably be pretty close to indifferent when it comes to losing a season. They need work, they know they need work and the rebuild can only come as these big contracts get closer to their conclusion and become more tradeable. Still, it would seem to be better to continue that journey with Knight getting more familiar and comfortable day-by-day, month-by-month than it would having him workout solo in a gym somewhere. If you've committed to a rebuild, start it immediately.
 
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS

Last but not least, we have the Cavaliers, the NBA's second-worst team from last season, who endured an embarrasing 26 game losing streak to set an NBA record for consecutive futility. There's significant light at the end of the tunnel for the Cavaliers, as they have an owner committed to spending money to win, the 2011 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson, who was taken No. 4 overall. 

Cleveland is in much the same position as the Pistons: the biggest risk from losing a season is the lost reps that Irving won't get running the show. There are always some bumps and bruises for a young point guard transitioning from college to the NBA, and the potential for struggles is even more pronounced in Irving's case because he missed much of last season, his freshman year at Duke University, with a foot injury. Time away from the game is not good. The shorter, the better. Irving was clearly the most NBA-ready point guard in this year's draft crop and the Cavaliers would be smart to turn the keys over to him from Day 1, even with veterans Baron Davis, Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions on the roster as well. 

That raises a secondary risk of the lockout season for the Cavaliers: losing positional clarity. Cleveland clearly needs to move one, if not two, of their point guards to clear the deck for Irving and surround him with some solid complementary pieces. A lost season just delays that process. Saving the money from Davis' contract is tempting, but it's a non-factor for owner Dan Gilbert who would just as soon pay that tax to watch his young team start the rebuild. Along those same lines, an entire season lost could mean the Cavaliers aren't able to move Antawn Jamison's $15 million expiring contract, a nice trade asset that could potentially bring a rotation player in return.

Posted on: June 9, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 8:27 pm
 

The NBA Trade Movie of the Week: "Get Monta"

Posted by Matt Moore

Coming this summer from the NBA Board of Governors' CBA Negotiation Meeting Productions: a new film by director Larry Riley. Starring Mark Jackson, Andre Iguodala, Jerry West, and Monta Ellis as Monta Ellis, the biggest blockbuster of the summer, "Get Monta." 

From KB:
The Warriors and representatives for Monta Ellis are working cooperatively to see if a trade to a contending team can be arranged, a deal that would likely happen around the NBA draft later this month, a person with knowledge of the discussions told CBSSports.com. “It’s pretty hot,” the person familiar with the talks said.

UPDATE: The Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Hawks, are among the teams that made exploratory calls after word leaked that the Warriors and 76ers were discussing an Ellis-for-Andre Iguodala swap, league sources said Thursday. Ellis-for-Iguodala is a “50-50” proposition at the moment, a person with knowledge of those talks said. A third person with knowledge of the Warriors strategy described trading Ellis as a secondary priority to the draft.

Ellis would be interested in a trade to the Bulls, who have previously expressed interest in him. But a person with direct knowledge of Chicagos offseason discussions refuted the notion that the Bulls have had recent contact with Golden State about the electrifying guard.
via Source: Monta trade talks pretty hot - CBSSports.com.

Let's look at some of these options. Logic Score refers to how much the trade makes sense, on a scale of 1 to 5. 

Trail Blazers

Logic Score:  3

The Blazers need backcourt help and Brandon Roy is walking through that door, but he's probably limping. The Blazers have the young talent available to make a deal but sent some picks to Charlotte that could limit them. For the deal to make sense, it would likely have to center around standout small forward Nicolas Batum, along with Wesley Matthews. It makes a lot of sense for the Blazers, provided Nate McMillan thinks he can get through to Ellis on defense. It would be interesting to see Ellis play in a halfcourt offense for once. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Logic Score: 2

Yeah, because Kobe Bryant's definitely going to want to give the ball up to Monta Ellis. Yeah, because Ellis is definitely Mike Brown's kind of defensive standout guy. Yeah, because Ellis can definitely run point guard in a system that relies on low turnovers. Yeah, because the Lakers are definitely willing to give up on their center of the future, Andrew Bynum, for Ellis with no reasonable addition in return. Yeah, because otherwise the Warriors are really looking for Matt Barnes, Luke Walton, and Derek Fisher. I don't care how much Mark Jackson likes veteran guys, this deal makes absolutely zero sense.

Chicago Bulls 

Logic Score: 4

The Bulls have Luol Deng's contract they can send, along with some good big man defensive talent to cash in on. Ellis would take possessions away from Rose, sure, but he could also be deadly as the drive and kick option and an incredible complement in transition. Ellis would take pressure off Carlos Boozer, and the Bulls can send Charlotte's 2012 pick as part of their package. This makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels. Ellis' defense? Listen, if Tom Thibodeau can make the best defense in the league with Carlos Boozer at power forward, he can do the same with Ellis at the two-guard.

Philadelphia 76ers

Logic Score: 3

This is likely to happen, and it makes a ton of sense for the Warriors. They get a defensive presence in Iguodala, likely some other personnel to fill more defensive roles and a true building block to go along with Curry. But the Sixers get Ellis, while having to mitigate further what Evan Turner can give them and force him to play big at the 3 or bury Jrue Holiday with Ellis running point. The only way this could be a slam dunk for the Sixers is if they manage to dump some other salary as well, but they'd have to get quality players like Dorell Wright or Ekpe Udoh in return. With the Warriors' pick seemingly set on a big man, that might be a decent option.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: June 1, 2011 11:49 am
 

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Posted by Matt Moore



You want to know the real problem with the market inequality in the NBA? It's not the profit-margin differential. (Yes, it is.) It's not the lack of competitive equality. (Yes, it's that, too.) It's not the inability of small markets to sign or keep stars. (Yes, it so much is.) The real problem is that both fans, media, and sometimes team authorities start to believe when they're good that they can just go out and get anyone. Have a good team but need a point guard? "SIGN CP3!" even though he's under contract, the fans cry. Need a wing defender? "We can just go get Gerald Wallace, right?" is often the discussion. And in the case of Dwight Howard, no matter what he says, every big market and their fanbase will think they can go get him. Including, apparently, the Chicago Bulls.

Mike Wilbon of ESPN said last Friday on air that "credible people" in Chicago indicated to him that the Bulls intend to make a play for Dwight Howard. This was prior to Howard's outburst saying he loved Orlando and wants to be there and all the other things everyone says on their way out of town as is the new model A.D. (After Decision), and before rumors of a contract extension being worked on came out. 

Here's a question. Why would the Bulls think they need to upgrade so badly that they would go after a player who would demand the player cost in trade of Dwight Howard? Didn't they win 60 games this year? Didn't they get the top seed in the East? Weren't they right there in the four games they lost to Miami in the Conference Finals? And wasn't all of that success predicated on a "greater than the sum of its parts" approach to the roster, using timely and well-considered contributions from multiple players as opposed to raw star power? 

To acquire Howard, the Bulls would have to give up some combination of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer, plus some young talent and some picks. It's not an impossible situation, those are good players. The Magic would never come near Boozer's contract unless it was laden with a ton of other assets, but those other guys are worth the price, as long as, again, a lot of other nice things are thrown in. It would mean sacrificing the things that made the Bulls so good this year. Their depth down low (even with Asik coming back). Boozer's post offense. And most importantly, Deng's slashing, cutting, perimeter shooting and defense, which was downright phenomenal this season. 

And how would Howard work in Chicago? In case you haven't noticed, Derrick Rose likes to shoot quite a bit. Those are touches Dwight Howard's not getting, and he feels he needs the ball to be productive. Rose isn't a great alley-oop passer or high lobber out of the pick and roll. Yes, Howard makes it exceptionally easier by being a freak of nature, but there's still a zillion reasons why this wouldn't be a perfect fit. 

And what about what the Magic would demand they take back? Orlando's not doing this deal without sending back either Gilbert Arenas or Hedo Turkoglu's contracts. Those are sinkholes on the Bulls' roster, far more than Boozer, even with them being shorter. Do the Bulls really want to wind up paying the luxury tax just to get the Defensive Player of the Year and an MVP candidate with incredible size, speed, agility and finishing ability? 

Okay, yes, probably. But it's still an obstacle. 

Then again, anything the Magic would get from the Bulls would be better than what they'll pull in from a potential Lakers deal. But this just seems like it's wishful thinking in Chicago, especially with Chicago (just barely) not being the media market L.A. or New York is. But hey, it's been a year since The Decision, Amar'e is in New York, Melo's in New York, and no matter what Howard says, the question won't be closed till he signs that extension in the minds of front office officials or the reporters they talk to in those big cities. 

Get ready, kids. The Dwight Out (GET IT?!) is still coming soon. 

(HT: IamaGM.com)
Posted on: May 31, 2011 10:23 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 10:24 pm
 

When should the NBA award its MVP?

Posted by Royce Young



MIAMI -- Amazing how public opinion can shift so quickly. During the regular season, most everyone agreed that Derrick Rose was everything an MVP should be. He led his team to the league's best record, carried them through injury and had a number of MVP-ish performances. There was debate but that largely stemmed from the stat-inclined community lashing out at Rose's Win Shares and plus-minus more than anything else.

But now, after Rose's unceremonious five-game exit where he was thoroughly outplayed by LeBron James, some are wondering: Why doesn't the MVP include the postseason?

"It's an idea that should get some traction," David Stern said before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. "I have no particular opinion on it one way or the other. And the worst answer I can give you is the truth -- it's always been done this way. That doesn't mean it's the best way to do it."

Rick Carlisle, who has a player on his team in Dirk Nowitzki that's made quite the postseason statement, said he likes the way the league does it now.

"I agree with the way they do it," he said. "And I believe the media does a good job of kind of keeping our fans informed of the difference between that award and whoever becomes the Finals MVP or the playoff MVP. I like it the way it is."

Obviously, as Carlisle points out, the Finals MVP sort of serves as a playoff MVP of sorts. But there's no doubt that in terms of legacy, a Finals MVP doesn't carry near the weight a regular MVP. Hench why this has been brought up. Some soured on Rose after what seemed to be a lackluster postseason and wanted to annoint someone new. And with the heightened level of play, visibility and importance of playoff games, some feel like a re-vote is in order.

"It's something we would consider if there was any momentum for it amongst the Competition Committee, our ownership," Stern said. "It's something we can always consider for next season."

Stern said that with sort of an air of, "Yeah, we're not really ever going to change it, but I'm answering your question as if we actually might." No sport awards its MVP to include the playoffs. Not even college athletics. It's pretty much commonplace to have the MVP given to the player that was best over the 82 games of the regular season.

If the MVP was given out after the playoffs, it would be natural though to just give it to the Finals MVP. That would be the lasting image in everyone's mind. For instance: Whoever plays better between Dirk and LeBron in this series would be the MVP. Worthy? Of course. But what about in a season like 2009 where LeBron was the obvious MVP, but Kobe Bryant won the Finals MVP? It seems like that would be a mistake to make that switch.

The last MVP to win a title came in 2003 when Tim Duncan took home both trophies. Of the 40 MVP winners, only 13 have won both. Which means I don't think we'd get a "true" MVP each season. In terms of weighing both the regular and postseason, at least.

What if you extrapolate a bit though? Should Coach of the Year be voted on after the season? Sixth Man? I mean, Jason Terry has been a much better sixth man than Lamar Odom was. It's understandable to get wrapped up in the importance of the playoffs and feel like the MVP should include that, but remember, in terms of the grand picture, the playoffs are only about 25 percent of an NBA season. More important? Definitely. But it doesn't tell the whole story.

Like Stern said though, it's worth the debate. When you see MVPs fizzle out like Rose to a better player in LeBron like this year, it makes you wonder.
 
 
 
 
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