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View Full Version : Kravitz: No to JO for #1



Unclebuck
06-14-2006, 08:50 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Date=20060614&Category=COLUMNISTS01&ArtNo=606140431&SectionCat=SPORTS&Template=printart


Bob Kravitz
O'Neal for No. 1? Don't bite, Pacers
June 14, 2006


I love NBA rumors.

Even the ones that aren't true, as I suspect is the case with the juiciest rumor making the rounds.

The latest, according to multiple media sources who probably don't have real sources in the know, is the Indiana Pacers are considering sending Jermaine O'Neal and the No. 17 pick in the draft to the Toronto Raptors for the No. 1 pick and Charlie Villanueva. (There's also a Jamaal Tinsley to Minnesota for Ricky Davis rumor out there, but first things first.)

Now, as far as the truth of this Big Rumor goes, let it be noted that I left a message for team president Larry Bird and he did not return my call. And, let's be honest, even if he did, do you really think he would have said, "Well, Bob, I sure hope we can make that deal, and then draft Adam Morrison"?

Personally, I think this rumor falls somewhere between nonsense and baloney. While there shouldn't be any hesitation about making big news this summer -- trading the deadwood in the locker room and either extending or firing coach Rick Carlisle -- this rumor reminds me, in the weeks before the NBA draft, honesty is as rare as a Shaquille O'Neal made free throw.

I don't think there's smoke or fire on this one. But that won't stop me from offering breathless commentary, will it?
So . . . J.O. and No. 17 for No. 1 and Villanueva?

My verdict: No way.

Again, I'm all for dropping a large nuclear device into the middle of the Pacers' dressing room. I'm all for taking risks, even taking a couple of steps backward to move forward. The truth is, after so many years of reaching the playoffs but failing to win a championship, I don't see the point in continuing to win 45 or 46 games and getting whacked in the first round.

This just isn't the right move.

Not in a season when the draft isn't featuring someone on the level of a Shaq/Tim Duncan/Greg Oden.

The problem with this rumored deal is, there's no consensus No. 1 -- unless there's a clear consensus No. 1 in Bird's mind, in which case, he'd better be right or this franchise will spend the next five years in the lottery. One minute, the national media proclaims the primacy of Morrison. Then it's LaMarcus Aldridge, and Tyrus Thomas, and Andrea Bargnani.

I would agree, if the Pacers are serious about changing the face of their team, they're probably going to have to move O'Neal. I don't say that because O'Neal is a bum or is incapable of returning to his old form, but as you look at this roster, he's the only player with the kind of pedigree who can demand significant value in return.

You trade Stephen Jackson, you're going to get somebody else's problem child in return.

You trade Tinsley, you're going to get a Ricky Davis-type, if you're lucky. (And yes, I'd do it; Davis may be a bit of a knucklehead, but he's a knucklehead who stays healthy.)
You trade anybody on this roster who isn't named O'Neal, it rates as tinkering, and the Pacers are not a couple of minor adjustments from being an NBA contender.
This just isn't the right move.

If you're going to trade a sure-fire double-double guy -- and O'Neal has remained one despite the injuries and the depletion of the roster around him -- you'd better get a sure thing in return. And a non-consensus No. 1 pick and Villanueva, a guy who floats more than Jacques Cousteau, are a long way from a sure thing.

Am I blinded by my personal affinity for O'Neal, the fact that as a human being, he's my favorite pro athlete in this city? I've been accused of that. J.O. is smart and opinionated, and I've always held him in high esteem since he defended his friend Isiah Thomas at a time when it would have been far easier to abandon his convictions.

As a player, yes, these past two years have been a nightmare. Some of that has been the result of circumstances beyond his control. But sometimes injuries are the result of sub-standard preparation and conditioning.
To his credit, O'Neal knows, he spent the past two offseasons concentrating too much on developing strength for what he figured would be an added workload at center. The result, though, was he was too heavy, and when he needed his legs late in Game 6 against New Jersey, his pins weren't there.

If he's going to be a Pacer next year, there needs to be a meeting of the minds -- between O'Neal and team CEO Donnie Walsh, it should be mentioned, because there isn't a lot of trust between O'Neal and Bird.

On the one hand, O'Neal needs to make a commitment to lose weight and come to camp in the best shape of his professional life. On the other hand, the Pacers need to bring in a true big man who can allow O'Neal to be the kind of player he was when he was surrounded by Ron Artest and Brad Miller.

Now, if there are some other juicy rumors out there, ones that involve players with proven track records, I'd be far more interested and willing to support a move involving O'Neal.

Until then, I don't like this one.

Whether it's true or not.

Robertmto
06-14-2006, 09:13 AM
Not in a season when the draft isn't featuring someone on the level of a Shaq/Tim Duncan/Greg Oden.

He didn't just...did he just?....:mygod: :crazy: :alcohol: :shakehead :spitout: :uhoh: :wtf:

and finally :banned:

beast23
06-14-2006, 09:43 AM
The reasons that Kravitz provides are the exact same reasons that many have stated on our forum. I'd say he does a very good job of reading and getting our message out in front of the masses.

I would still say if Toronto wants JO, then it needs to pony up more than CV and #1. They should also have to provide a high 1st round pick for next year as well.

NuffSaid
06-14-2006, 10:30 AM
What kinda gets me is neither Bird nor Walsh have come out to squash this rumor. On the one hand, you'd expect they would considering Bird stated in his post-season conference he wasn't "shopping" JO.

"There's not one time that we called anybody and said, 'Hey, are you interested in Jermaine O'Neal?' I can't sit here today and tell you we're going to pursue to trade Jermaine O'Neal."

Bird's exact words. Doesn't mean he hasn't entertained phone calls inquiring of JO's availability nor listened to any deals that involve him. So, to be fair while Bird may have been true to his word the day of the conference, he very well could have changed his mind the day after. "Make me an offer I can't refuse..."

On the other hand, it would be rather foolish for Bird/Walsh to tie their hands by stating that any player is completely off limits. Sure, they did it with Reggie, but who wouldn't have!? By the time they put the franchise tag on him, he had already a proven himself to be a very worthwhile asset well until his final game. The man still could have played the game and been very effective even after he retired. Even Walsh knew it; that's why he tried to talk him into staying just one more year.

So, I can kinda see why Bird/Walsh haven't spoken out about such rumors just yet. Perhaps they feel they don't need to because they (Bird) have already said the rumors will fly all summer long concerning JO. But then again, he also said, "I can't sit here today and tell you we're going to pursue to trade Jermaine O'Neal."

But what about tomorrow? And the day after that? And the day after that? And the day after that?

Bball
06-14-2006, 10:35 AM
If he's going to be a Pacer next year, there needs to be a meeting of the minds -- between O'Neal and team CEO Donnie Walsh, it should be mentioned, because there isn't a lot of trust between O'Neal and Bird.

Yet again... a snippet... a bone tossed to the masses... that would suggest there are significant differences of opinion in the Pacer hierarchy.

-Bball

beast23
06-14-2006, 11:08 AM
Yet again... a snippet... a bone tossed to the masses... that would suggest there are significant differences of opinion in the Pacer hierarchy.

-BballI caught that, too. But I don't know whether Donnie and Larry differ in opinion all that much, or whether JO just doesn't trust Larry following the firing of Thomas. At the very least, I believe we can assume that the communication between Larry and JO is very poor.

blanket
06-14-2006, 01:35 PM
What kinda gets me is neither Bird nor Walsh have come out to squash this rumor.

I've noticed that, too. Usually Brunner has a quick response to these kinds of rumors with a quote from DW or LB, but not this time. hmmm....

Robertmto
06-14-2006, 02:06 PM
looks to me like both teams are denying this rumor thru the media trying to gain leverage in the trade. :cool:

Shade
06-14-2006, 02:11 PM
Finally, a fair and even-handed article by the badger. :thumbsup:

Kegboy
06-14-2006, 02:30 PM
God, I hate it when :kravitz: agrees with me. Makes me look like a ****ing moron. :loser2:

Mourning
06-14-2006, 02:30 PM
Finally, a fair and even-handed article by the badger. :thumbsup:

Actually, I think he made several good articles this year, particularly in the second part off the basketball season.


Regards,

Mourning :cool:

fwpacerfan
06-14-2006, 02:56 PM
Maybe JO isn't thought of as highly around the NBA as he is around here. Maybe this is as good as it gets.

I think there is a better deal out there but it won't surface until after the draft.

Shade
06-14-2006, 03:01 PM
Actually, I think he made several good articles this year, particularly in the second part off the basketball season.


Regards,

Mourning :cool:

Not really. Everyone was just in "Tim mode" at the time and Kravitz's tirades seemed more relative to the masses.


Maybe JO isn't thought of as highly around the NBA as he is around here. Maybe this is as good as it gets.

I think there is a better deal out there but it won't surface until after the draft.

If this is as good as it gets, we keep JO and tweak the roster. If all else fails, maybe we can dangle him in a package offer for Oden or something in a year.

Robertmto
06-14-2006, 05:28 PM
If this is as good as it gets, we keep JO and tweak the roster. If all else fails, maybe we can dangle him in a package offer for Oden or something in a year.

:confused: :alcohol: :crazy: :shakehead :spitout: :scream: :wtf: :swear:

Young
06-14-2006, 05:39 PM
Well this JO to Toronto rumors is getting a lot of publicity. It was just talked about on Around the Horn and PTI. I gotta wonder if it was still just a Chad Ford idea, or if the Pacers are actually looking to make a deal for JO.

D-BONE
06-14-2006, 06:42 PM
If there really is discussion with the Raps, I side with those that say #1 and CV aren't quite enough. Personally, I hope the Bird-Adam Morrison theory is not at play here. I am not confident enough in Morrison's max potential unless we get another player in the trade. Even then, he still makes me nervous.

Robertmto
06-14-2006, 10:55 PM
Well this JO to Toronto rumors is getting a lot of publicity. It was just talked about on Around the Horn and PTI. I gotta wonder if it was still just a Chad Ford idea, or if the Pacers are actually looking to make a deal for JO.

What did everyone say about it?

Young
06-14-2006, 11:21 PM
What did everyone say about it?

The guys on Around the Horn gave no new information. They discussed it during the "showdown" or whatever it's called. I do remember the guy who said that the Pacers should do the deal won the point. Of course this doesn't mean amything, that's really all I remember though.

As far as the guys on PTI, they just gave their opinions, I missed like all but 30 seconds of the thing, so I couldn't tell you much of what they said. I do remember it being one of the first 5 things or so they discussed.

SycamoreKen
06-14-2006, 11:53 PM
The local sports talk radio show in San Antonio was talking about this today as well. One guy thought that Toronto should do it because the matching of JO and Bosh would be better than anything the draft would give them. He looked at it in comparison to Duncan and Robinson working well together. The others thought it was better for Toronto as well.

grace
06-15-2006, 12:16 AM
God, I hate it when :kravitz: agrees with me. Makes me look like a ****ing moron. :loser2:

You have one of two choices. You can either never bother to read what he writes again or you can assume when he says something that you agree with he read it here first.

Kegboy
06-15-2006, 03:35 PM
You have one of two choices. You can either never bother to read what he writes again or you can assume when he says something that you agree with he read it here first.

So I should sue him for plagerism? Excellent. :plot:

grace
06-16-2006, 12:17 AM
So I should sue him for plagerism? Excellent. :plot:

No, don't do that. He'll have to resign. Well, let me rething this. :chin:

Steve McQueen
06-16-2006, 01:02 AM
I'd never do this. A guy who's being compared to a skinny Wally Szczerbial or a short Keith Van Horn (take your pick) is being projected to go #1 overall. Now I think Morrison will be better than either of those two, but even if he reaches his highest potential, I don't think he'll be on J.O.'s level. So no way would I do this if I were the Pacers. Now if we could get Charlie V. as well, then I'd seriously think about it.

Robertmto
06-16-2006, 01:24 AM
The trade is for Charlie V, McQueen