Monday, July 28, 2014

Xavier Henry Signs With the Lakers

Xavier Henry has signed a one year deal with the Lakers.  Last season he averaged 10.0 PPG, 1.2 APG, and 2.7 RPG.  Henry only played 43 games last season due to injuries.  Henry will hopefully see more playing time this year and show his potential.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rajon Rondo to the Knicks?

Rajon Rondo isn't actually being traded to the Knicks.  This is just a possible deal for the Celtics and Knicks to negotiate.  The Celtics would trade Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace to the Knicks in exchange for Amare Stoudemire, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Iman Shumpert.  

The Knicks are willing to trade these three players for all-star talent.  They offered these three players to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love already.  The Knicks don't have a draft pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, so there goes the option of rebuilding through the draft.  Phil Jackson knows he needs to make some moves to keep Carmelo Anthony happy.  The Knicks would get Rajon Rondo.  Who's better to make Anthony happy.  Both have selfish attitudes and love the big lights.  Rondo known for high assist numbers would be able to dish the ball to Anthony known for high scoring numbers.  And what a better scene for Rondo.  Mr. Primetime himself would love New York.  Rondo is known for only having big games when the whole world is watching on nationally televised games.  In New York it can feel like the whole world is watching.  Imagine the Knicks with Rondo and Anthony.  Imagine Kevin Love plays out the season in Minnesota.  The Knicks could then try to get Kevin Love in free agency and form the NBA's new big three.

Now from the Celtics point of view.  The Celtics deal Rondo off finally.  The Celtics know Rondo is probably not coming back when he hits the free agency market this upcoming offseason.  The Celtics also get to deal away the terrible deal of Gerald Wallace.  They also add two of the best young guards.  Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. would be great young talent for the Celtics to add although they already have Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, and James Young.  Unloading Gerald Wallace's contract helps the Celtics out this upcoming offseason.  They will have extra cap space to sign an elite player in free agency.  The Celtics could also tank this season getting rid of Rondo.  Then they have a high draft pick to get Jahlil Okafor or Cliff Alexander.  Now they have Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley,  Iman Shumpert, James Young, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, and either Okafor or Alexander.  The Celtics would then be loaded with young talent.  And they could also acquire a star player in the free agency.  

The Latest on the Kevin Love Saga

The market for Kevin Love is still wide open.  Realisticly only the Cleveland Cavaliers have a legitimate shot at landing Love.  The Chicago Bulls offered Minnesota Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and Nikola Mirotic for Kevin Love.  Minnesota denied that offer.  They also denied an offer from the New York Knicks.  New York offered Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert, and Amare Stoudemire for Kevin Love.  Again the Timberwolves denied the offer.  At this point what deal will attract the T-Wolves to deal Love.  The T-Wolves may be waiting for an offer from Cleveland including number one pick Andrew Wiggins.  Today Wiggins signed his rookie contract with Cleveland.  This means he can not be traded for 30 days.  Hmm.... So if Minnesota wants Wiggins we will have to wait another 30 days for the trade.  At this point of the offseason we are all sick of the waiting games.  First we have to wait for Lebron's decision, then Carmelo and Bosh, and now we have to wait for Love.  Right now Minnesota is a cold place with cold hearts.  Minnesota needs to hurry up and share some Love before we all become impatient.  

Shelvin Mack Signs With the Atlanta Hawks

Shelvin Mack has signed with the Atlanta Hawks.  They agreed on a 3 year $7.3 million deal (Via Yahoo Sports).  Mack averaged 7.5 PPG and 3.7 APG last season.  Both were career highs.  Mack will be coming off the bench behind Jeff Teague.  He will have more playing time this year because guard Lou Williams is now on the Toronto Raptors.  Mack is looking to find a home in Atlanta and play up to his full potential.

James Harden Comments on the Rockets Cornerstones

The Houston Rockets' James Harden is in the Phillipienes and was asked about the Rockets current state.  Harden said, “Dwight and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets, the rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We’ve lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we’ll be fine next season” (Via NBC Sports).  

What was Harden thinking?  Yes, it may be true he and Dwight Howard are the cornerstones of the Rockets team.  But is calling everyone else apart of the Rockets "role players" a good idea?  Harden really needs to think about what he said. 

I don't see this Rockets team going to far in the western conference this year.  The Rockets lost Chandler Parsons, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik this offseason.  To replace them they got Nick Johnson, Ish Smith, Trevor Ariza, and Alonzo Gee.  But the Rockets lost talent while most of the Western Conference gained talent.  Behind Patrick Beverly the backup spot is up for grabs.  Behind Harden there is really no one.  And Behind Howard and Terrence Jones there is really no one again. This team is going to struggle.  Last season they exited the playoffs in the first round against Portland and they probably won't get much further this year if they even make the playoffs. 

Right now the Rockets should be looking into signing either Eric Bledsoe or Greg Monroe.  Both are restricted free agents so the Suns and Pistons could both match an offer from Houston.  But they need another piece to compete in the Western Conference.

Harden's comments uncover problems in Houston's foundation.  They only have two main pieces and then a drastic fall off.  Houston lost out on Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh this offseason.  The cornerstones of the team need to work with the rest of the "role players" to form some team chemistry.  Let's see if this Rockets team really will "be fine next season".

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Isaiah Thomas Introduced in Phoenix

Isaiah Thomas was introduced to the Phoenix Suns the other day.  Thomas just inked a deal for $27 million over 4 years.  Thomas was not going to hold back when speaking to the press.  He was brutally honest multiple times and said all the right things. 

Isaiah struggles with his height, and has his whole life.  He thinks teams would respect him much more if he was taller.  During the press conference Thomas said,
"If I was 6-foot, I would be signing for $90 million contract, just like him [Kyrie Irving]. ...  I'm 5-foot-9 and that's why I was the 60th pick. That's why the Kings keep bringing new guys in. That's the reason why. And I understand and you can't put it past that. If I was 6-foot, I would be a max player. I think a lot of people feel that way, too." 
- Via Fox Sports.
Thomas is exactly right.  Last season Thomas put up 20.3 PPG, 6.3 APG, 2.9 RPG, and player efficiency rating of 20.54.  Kyrie Irving averaged 20.8 PPG, 6.1 APG, 3.6 RPG, and a player efficiency rating of 20.14.   The only difference between the 5 foot 9 Thomas and 6 foot 3 Irving last
season was 6 inches.  Both Thomas and Irving had almost identical numbers, and both players have similar player efficiencies.  It's amazing 6 inches can cost Thomas $11.25 million per year.

Thomas also said he felt disrespected by the Sacramento Kings.  He felt he played well enough for them to push hard for him in free agency. Thomas then continued to say, 
"I’m a Phoenix Sun, and when we play them, it will be bad for them."
- Via Slam Online
 When the NBA schedule is released remember to mark down the Suns v. Kings matchup on your calendar.  Thomas is sure to put on a show that night that could be described as "disrespectful". 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Maya Moore Drops 48 Points!

Maya Moore scored 48 points for the Minnesota Lynx in their 112-108 double overtime win over the Atlanta Dream.  Moore shot 7-9 from behind the arc and added 10 rebounds to go with her career high in points.  She shot 53% from the field.  Moore's 48 point performance was the second highest scoring game in the WNBA ever.  Last season Riquna Williams scored 51 for the Tulsa Shock.  With performances like this Maya Moore is in contention for MVP.

Washington Wizards New Alternate Uniforms

The Washington Wizards have new uniforms.  It's an alternate uniform that reads Washington on the front, and features the secondary monument logo on the shorts.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Emmanuel Mudiay is Heading Overseas

Top Southern Methodist University recruit Emmanuel Mudiay will forgo his college career and head overseas.  A source told Yahoo Sports that Mudiay signed a $1.2 million deal with Guangdong of the China Basketball Association.  His contract will be the highest paid ever for a high school player going overseas.

SMU suffered a huge loss with Mudiay leaving.  Mudiay, the 5th ranked recruit in the class of 2014, would have been paired with Keith Frazier, Marcus Kennedy, Ben Moore, and Nic Moore.  Despite the loss of Mudiay, SMU will still be a contender this year.  They reached the NIT final and lost to Minnesota 65-63.  SMU now has talent and experience coming back.  It's just a shame they couldn't get Mudiay to stay.

Mudiay is among the likes of current NBA players Brandon Jennings and Jeremy Tyler.  Both of which went overseas straight out of high-school.  Jennings was still drafted 10th overall and Tyler was drafted 39th.  Mudiay is projected to be better than both Jennings and Tyler though. 

Emmanuel Mudiay had been faced with eligibility issues for this season at SMU.  In a statement given to Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn, Mudiay said,  He was looking forward to playing at SMU, “But I was tired of seeing my mom struggle. And after sitting down with coach Brown and my family we decided that the best way for me to provide for my mom was to forgo college and pursue professional basketball opportunities." Mudiay will sure be able to provide for his family with his $1.2M contract. 

Emmanuel Mudiay is projected a lock as a top 5 draft pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. projects Mudiay to be the 3rd pick in the draft. The number one player of the 2014 high school class Jahlil Okafor is projected to go 1st, and Kansas Jayhawk big Cliff Alexander is projected 2nd.  It will be interesting to see if Mudiay's draft stock falls as college players prove themselves throughout the season. 

According to Yahoo Sports' source Mudiay has taken out insurance policies to protect his future earnings against injury while overseas in China. 

Emmanuel Mudiay will not be a name that fades away once he goes overseas.  Expect to hear his name next year in May and June when the NBA Draft is approaching.  It's just too bad we couldn't hear Emmanuel Mudiay's name in the fittingly named Moody Collesium of the SMU Mustangs next season. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Best Free Agents Remaining at Each Posistion

The 2014 free-agency period is slowing down, as many teams have filled out their rosters and are already looking forward to training camp.  With the likes of Anthony and James off of the market, it will be interesting to see if any of the teams who cleared cap space to attempt to make a run at one of those two sign any of the remaining players on the market.  Here is a breakdown of the best player left at each position.


Point Guard

Point Guard 

Eric Bledsoe RFA

The best player still on the market, Eric Bledose is a restricted free agent who has yet to sign an offer sheet. Additionally, Phoenix’s actions this offseason have been awfully interesting. The drafting of point guard Tyler Ennis and the signing of point guard Isaiah Thomas could have just been talent and value grabs, but this is a pretty crowded backcourt all of a sudden. That shouldn’t deter Phoenix from retaining Bledsoe by any means, but the team has some insurance just in case.


Shooting Guard

Shooting Guard 

Ray Allen UFA

When you’ve been in the league this long, there’s no real rush to make your decision. Ray Allen will once again will have many contenders seeking to add his sharp shooting. He's one of the greatest shooters of all time, after all. Allen may be limited to just being a three point threat at this point in his career, but he's still a great offensive weapon.  His high basketball IQ and years of experience in the league and championship experience make him a very valuable addition to any contender.


Small Forward

 Small Forward 

Shawn Marion UFA

Not many free agents on this list are capable of having the type of impact Marion can, as he can still cover multiple positions defensively and enable his coach to get creative in terms of defensive schemes. With the league going to stretch big men more and more, Marion is the perfect counter to all that. He’s still athletic and crafty enough to get by on the offensive end while providing great efforts on the glass and in transition. Although he may need to accept a bench role, Marion should land with a contender.


Power Forward

 Best Landing Spots for 2014 Unrestricted Free Agent Andray Blatche 

Andray Blatche UFA

The offensively talented big man had the ability to remain with the Nets for the 2014-15 season, though he'd have made only $1.4 million. Rather than secure himself onto the Nets roster, Blatche decided to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent, seeking out both a bigger payday and a longer deal that would bless him with the guarantee of financial security. His plan has not worked out yet with very few teams showing any interest.




Greg Monroe RFA

Monroe has the potential to be a franchise-quality big, as he can score from the low block, rebound and pass well out of either post. Defensively, he has some issues, but pair him with a shot-blocker who can stretch the floor, and he’d be a great option.  If Monroe truly wants out of Detroit taking less money and accepting his one year player option for $5.5 million would make him a free agent next year giving him many more options then he currently has.

Top 5 Signings of the Offseason


5. Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks, three years $46 million

Did the Mavs overpay for Chandler Parsons? Yes. However they only slightly overpayed and with Dirk Nowitzki taking a pay cut this does pay off as a big signing.   Parsons should thrive alongside Dirk and Monta Ellis, filling a role similar to the one he played so well in, while calling Houston home. "I feel like I haven't even scratched the surface as to how good I can be," Parsons told Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'm an extremely hard worker, and I'm going to keep getting better and better every single day."  It will be interesting to see how the Mavericks stack up with the rest of the Western Conference powerhouses.  They were a fringe playoff contender last year and now with the additions of Chandler Parson and Tyson Chandler it may be just what they need to get back in the conversation as a contender in the Western Conference.
And on a side note watch for Parsons and Nowitzki to execute the pick and roll as well as any other duo in the NBA this upcoming year.

4. Lance Stephenson, Charlotte Hornets, three years $27 million

Stephenson, who led the league in triple-doubles last year, is exactly the kind of two-way threat they Hornets can use.  At $9 million a year the Hornets are getting great value.  There will always be questions about "Born Ready" until he matures and proves he's not going to disrupt one of the NBA's most stable locker rooms. However, there's no denying the two-way talent he flashed over and over while with the Pacers. With the Hornets signing of Al Jefferson last season and the two draft picks PJ Hairston and Noah Vonleh,  the signing of Lance Stephenson solidifies them as a true playoff contender, potentially positioning them to make a deeper run this year.

 6. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

3. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors, four years $48 Million 

 Landing one of the Association's top 10 point guards for just $12 million, may just be the best value signing all offseason.  Lowry was instrumental in the Raptors' most successful season in over a decade. His presence gave the team the necessary tools to compete with experienced, star-studded squads, and he led the team in both assists and steals per game. Not only did Lowry look great during the regular season, but he was stellar during Toronto's playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.  By resigning Kyle Lowry the Toronto Raptors have done exactly what they needed in order to contend for the playoffs again.

2. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

2. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, five years $124 Million

If the Knicks wanted to avoid a multi-year rebuild resigning Anthony was their only option.  After resigning Anthony, Phil Jackson told the media, "He did exactly what we kind of asked him to do, Give us a break in the early part of his contract so that when we have some wiggle room next year, which is hopefully big enough wiggle room, we can exploit it."  With Stoudemire and Bargnani’s salaries both coming off the books next summer, New York will have more than enough to sign a second player to a max contract.  They could have as much as $23 million or so in cap room next summer making them a canidate to sign one of the top stars that headlines next years free agent class such as Marc Gasol, Goran Dragic, Rajon Rondo, Wesley Matthews and, of course, Kevin Love.  Anthony's time in New York has been quite unimpressive never making it past the second round of the playoffs.  Stay tuned to see if Jackson can finally surround Anthony with some talent and end the championship drought the Knicks are in.

1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers

1. Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, two years 42.2 Million

This one goes without saying.  Any time a team picks up the best basketball player in the world it will hands down be the best signing.  Now consider the fact that it is Cleveland who loves their basketball so much. They have gone from a locker room disaster full of potential to a team ready to make a deep playoff run. Eventually. For now, it's fine to paint James' return as the fairy tale it is. It's hard to remember when an athlete last did something this monumental that was met with such universal approval. When the appeal of that hero-comes-home narrative fades and sports fans dial their focus back in on wins and losses once the season begins, the Cavs may endure a tough period in which their capabilities don't quite measure up to expectations.  But if everyone's patient, there's a good chance James will eventually mold this team into the contender it couldn't be the first time around.
And that kind of redemption—the kind that brings a title back to Cleveland—will be sweeter than anything we've seen so far.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Cleveland willing to offer Wiggins for Love

The Cleveland Cavaliers are now willing to trade this years number one pick, Andrew Wiggins, for all-star forward Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  The Cavs would offer Andrew Wiggins, last years number one pick Anthony Bennet, and first round pick.  Personally, I think that is to much for Love.  A more reasonable deal might be Wiggins and the first round pick.  If the Cavs and Timberwolves agreed to that deal both sides benefit.  Minnesota can add Wiggins and start rebuilding right away.  Wiggins has the potential to be the next Lebron.  He could be a steal for the Timberwolves.  Cleveland obviously benefits because they can add Kevin Love to an already amazing team.  They could use the starting lineup of: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Lebron James, Kevin Love, and Anderson Varejao.  They would also have young bigs Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennet.  Both are loaded with potential.  Anthony Bennet had a good summer-league and is looking to play up to his potential this year.  In the future the Cavaliers could have a developed Bennet and Kevin Love in their front court.  Trading Wiggins for Love to me is a no brainer.  The Cleveland Cavaliers would trade and unproven talent for an already proven all-star.  If the Cavs acquire Kevin Love, they are automatically title contenders for many years.

Stay tuned for updates on Kevin Love's status.

Eric Bledsoe declines Suns offer

Eric Bledsoe declined a four year $48 million offer from the Phoenix Suns.  The Suns have already signed point guard Isaiah Thomas and they drafted point guard Tyler Ennis from Syracuse.  They also still have Gordon Dragic.  Do the Suns really need Bledsoe?  They would definitely benefit from bringing him back.  It will be interesting to see what other teams offer Bledsoe.  He is a restricted free agent which means the Suns can match any contract he is offered.  Some teams may not even offer Bledsoe because it's believed the Suns will match any deal offered to Bledsoe. If Bledsoe was not a restricted free agent he would have many more offers at this point. If the Suns can bring Eric Bledsoe back they will have one of the most loaded if not the most loaded backcourt in the NBA next year.

Stay tuned for updates on Eric Bledsoe.