View Full Version : Take my big man, please.

02-04-2004, 02:16 PM
Seattle viewpoint with Pacer mention.


02-04-2004, 02:25 PM
But ... Sonics need a big man


The calendar says we are within two weeks of the NBA trade deadline, and Sonics fans are singing the same anthem: "Get us a big man."

In the NFL, the quest is for a pass-rushing defensive end. In baseball, it is a No. 1 starter. And in the NBA, it is the big man. Each is equally elusive.

As the Sonics front office makes calls around the league, they are finding few big men available. Those who are available all have one significant problem: They are available.

The big guys that teams are willing to move come with a serious "BUT" statement.

The players we dream of -- Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki or Jermaine O'Neal -- are not obtainable. Even Kwame Brown, the former No. 1 overall pick of the Washington Wizards, once the bust of the league, has been withdrawn from trade talks.

According to league sources, the available players include Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler, Rasheed Wallace, Michael Olowokandi and Scot Pollard.

The thought of Abdur-Rahim brings visions of grandeur. Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Abdur-Rahim, can you imagine?

Abdur-Rahim's numbers are terrific -- career averages of 20.9 points and 8.6 rebounds. He is a legitimate low-post player. He does a great job getting to the free-throw line. He is remarkably consistent night to night. Just 27 years old, he is playing his eighth season.

BUT, he is the biggest anomaly in the NBA. Year in and year out he puts up wonderful numbers and year in and year out his teams crank up 50 losses. If he were that good, his teams would have at least broken .500 once. He is notoriously soft and turnover-prone. His defense makes you wish for Lewis.

Abdur-Rahim has two years left on a maximum contract; he is not a max player. The kicker? His agents are the Goodwin brothers, the same people the Sonics brawled with over Gary Payton. Do the Sonics want to deal with that again?

Eddy Curry's combination of size and skills makes one drool. He stands 7 feet tall and is just 21. The former No. 4 draft pick has great touch around the basket and has flashed the ability to be a low-post threat. His size is his top asset.

Last season, he led the league in shooting percentage. In the second half of last season, he shot 62 percent and averaged 17 points and 6 rebounds. His past two games, Curry has scored 27 and 25 points against the Blazers and Sonics.

BUT, he is openly referred to as a "mutt" inside NBA circles. He was nearly 70 pounds overweight when he was a high school senior. If he can't take care of himself, why should you invest your future in him? His rebounding is inadequate for a center. In January, he averaged 4.8 rebounds a game. His commitment, desire and effort to get any better are seriously in doubt. Is that what you want out of a franchise piece?

Curry's teammate is Tyson Chandler. Nate McMillan said Chandler has "the ability to do Kevin Garnett-type things with his body." It is a fair comparison at 7-1 and 235 pounds. Chandler loves to rebound and defend ... a rare combination in a 21-year-old. The No. 2 pick of the 2001 NBA draft is averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds. In the first two weeks this season, he had one night of 22 points and another of 22 rebounds.

BUT, he has played just 12 of 49 games due to a sore back. Are you willing to rest your franchise on a 21-year-old with back problems?

Wallace has Tim Duncan-like skills. His body is brilliant. His offensive versatility is dynamic. He is capable of scoring 30 points without a great deal of effort.

BUT, he is Rasheed Wallace. Enough said.

The last two names being bandied about exemplify how difficult it is to get big men.

In the off-season, the Minnesota Timberwolves were convinced they had filled their gap in the middle with Olowokandi. The Indiana Pacers believed the same when they replaced Brad Miller with Pollard.

However, before reaching the All-Star break, both the Timberwolves and Pacers are accepting calls from around the league regarding both players.

Olowokandi, the first overall pick of the 1998 NBA draft, has played just 15 games this season due to injuries. Even when healthy, he managed just 21 minutes a night, with averages of six points and four rebounds. That certainly is not the answer.

Pollard can't contribute in Indiana. Thirteen times this season Pollard hasn't left the bench. Indiana was convinced Pollard would pick up the slack of Miller's departure, and be a better rebounder and a tougher presence inside. He hasn't come close.

Which gamble are you willing to take with your franchise? That is what it comes down to. If a big man is "available," there is a reason, and you have to gamble on that reason.

The scary fact is, any of the first four players would be an upgrade for the Sonics.

David Locke hosts "Locked on Sports" from 7-10 p.m. weeknights on Sports Radio 950 KJR-AM. His column appears Wednesdays in the P-I. You can e-mail him at Davidlocke@clearchannel.com.

02-04-2004, 02:27 PM
I'd give them Pollard for a pound of Starbucks, and I don't drink coffee. ;)

02-04-2004, 02:30 PM
I figured the Pacer reference would be in regards to Al Harrington. Pollard's available, which is really not new or earth-shattering news. Anyone have ideas who we could realistically acquire for Pollard?

<edit> I'm thinking we could get like 5 pounds of Starbucks for Pollard. Maybe even a mocaccino or something as a kicker.


02-04-2004, 02:46 PM
Why in the heck did they think Pollard would be a better rebounder and tougher presence inside? I know some people on here deluded themselves into thinking that but to me that was more wanting to believe than actually thinking that. I could be wrong I dont know I was one of the people pointing out that he has never ever gotten more rebounds or scored more points.

But for the pacer brass to think that would be the case is incusable. It is there job to notice little things like Pollard had peaked and was on the downslope and Brad was getting better. But I digress.

Please please dump Pollard for either an ending deal or to the Jazz for nothing. At least then the Brad fiasco will have left us with money to pay Tins and maybe pick up someone with the mid level. Or trade him to the Magic for Howard. He is no center but try telling me that Pollard is. They want to run and gun which is where Pollard was tolerable so they might be tricked into taking him.

02-04-2004, 03:13 PM
I like Starbucks...works for me.

How about a draft pick? Which brings me to something I had thought of for a new thread, but since this is my thread I'm not really stealing it...am I??

I often read where LB isn't availabe for comment because he's out on a college scouting trip...or scouting in Europe or Africa. Seems like that is a rediculous waste of his time considering we're going to draft like 29th or so. I can only see this as one of 3 options:

1) He has nothing else to do with running the P's... other than a being a glorified scout
2) He considers EVERY draft pick really really important
3) He intends to move well up in the draft and wants to be ready with a rabbit to pull outta the hat.
4) It's a simple ruse to avoid commenting. (nah that isn't much fun to ponder)

Is that thought worth commenting or is it only interesting to me?

02-04-2004, 03:18 PM
Yet he always seems to be at the games

02-04-2004, 03:24 PM
Yet he always seems to be at the games

It's a stunt double. That way a fan can attack the SD instead of Larry for not resigning Brad... :unimpressed:

02-04-2004, 03:54 PM
You have NO IDEA that's what they thought. This writer has NO IDEA that's what they thought. They never said anything close to that publicly, or to a Seattle writer. The only people that did were people on message boards, and beat writers not affiliated with the team. Let it go.

I'm normally sympathetic to comments like that one, but DW and Bird did say publicly in the summer/ preseason that they expected Scot to elevate his game and be our starting center; he was the preseason starting center; and he started the first two regular season games at center.

Walsh is not trying to present Pollard as a better player than Brad Miller. But he is a player whose profile seems to fit perfectly with the rest of the roster. He won’t need the ball but he will go get it. He gives up his body to do the dirty work necessary to make teammates look better. He can play as many, or as few, minutes as the coaching staff determines are necessary to get the job done – without complaint.

“He’s a different type player than Brad,” Walsh said. “He’s bigger, longer, probably a little more tenacious under the backboard. But he does a lot of things like Brad. He can run the floor like Brad did. I don’t think he’s as good an outside shooter, but he is a good shooter in his range. Both of them are good passers and this guy is a good defender and he’s got a great body.

“He brings a lot to us that I wouldn’t say is any better than Brad but it’s a little different than Brad. It gives us some elements we didn’t have last year with Brad, but we’ll lose some elements Brad gave us.”

Walsh also pointed out another similarity: the circumstances under which each player came to Indiana. Miller had been primarily a backup, and was certainly a journeyman, when the Pacers acquired him in the seven-player deal with Chicago. The Pacers wanted him to defend centers, allowing O’Neal to move full-time to power forward, get rebounds and make the occasional basket. Pollard is walking into precisely the same role. This is not to say he will blossom into an All-Star, but that is not the expectation – just as it wasn’t for Miller.

The Pacers don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. But the pieces they do have fit better.

And here’s the thing: it’s July.

The 2003-04 schedule hasn’t even been released yet, and the knee-jerk critics would have us believe the season already is over.

As for Walsh and Bird? They’re just getting started.

Q. If I'm not mistaken, one of the biggest fan favorites of most Pacers fans was a hard-nosed, blue-collar, defensive-minded, rebounding fool named Dale Davis. Scot Pollard seems to be that type of guy to me. I think Pacer fans need to see past the weird hair and painted fingernails, and just maybe they will find a Dale Davis type of player who is willing to give everything he's got when he is on the floor in a blue and gold uniform. What are your expectations from Pollard? Do you see him as a 10-point, 10-rebound type of player? Or do you envision much more out of him? (From Travis in Indianapolis)

A. It’d be nice if we could get 10 points and 10 rebounds out of anybody. Dale Davis brought a presence to our team that I don’t think anybody else can. Dale did all the dirty work, played under control, did exactly what he had to do for us to win games. Hopefully, Scot can fill that role.

I've not complained a lot about the Pacers no longer having Brad. When he got too expensive, I was fine with letting him walk to Denver. I just didn't want to the Pacers to trade him for a third-string center. :mad:

02-04-2004, 05:04 PM
yes, I remember all that. They, however, did not say he would be an upgrade over Brad, as was implied earlier.

It said better rebounder and tougher. Not hard to accomplish. Hardly saying "be a better player".

He can't catch, no one said otherwise. He can't shoot, some of us thought he had a chance at developing, but no more than we think Jeff can learn to shoot. He can't pass. No one said he could pass.

But if he banged inside with less whining and had grabbed about 8 or so rebounds as a starter, I wouldn't have been shocked.

02-04-2004, 05:10 PM
yes, I remember all that. They, however, did not say he would be an upgrade over Brad, as was implied earlier.

Fair enough.

I'm trying to track down the Indy Men's Magazine interview with Bird, I think he said some flowery things about Pollard in that interview (but I guess its not available online.)

If my folks still have it, I'll try to post the contents of that interview this weekend when I'm in Indy...

02-04-2004, 05:18 PM
it was a prevailing thought that Pollard would be just as good a rebounder and a better low post defender.

I do think Pollard is a better low post defender than Brad.

Pollard's hands are so bad that it hurts his rebounding.

Slick Pinkham
02-04-2004, 05:22 PM
Indiana trades:
C Scot Pollard (1.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.1 apg in 11.2 minutes)

Indiana receives:
SG Brent Barry (10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.5 apg in 30.8 minutes)
Change in team outlook: +9.0 ppg, +0.9 rpg, and +5.4 apg.

Seattle trades:
SG Brent Barry (10.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.5 apg in 30.8 minutes)

Seattle receives:
C Scot Pollard (1.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.1 apg in 36 games)
Change in team outlook: -9.0 ppg, -0.9 rpg, and -5.4 apg.


Seatlle seems to think that they won't re-sign him.

It seems to me that Seattle SHOULD NOT want to do this deal, but if hey would, I'd be all over it.

Slick Pinkham
02-04-2004, 05:34 PM
I can't understand why (apparently) Seattle is interested in trading Barry to Boston for the also-expiring contract of Chris Mills. The C's must be kicking in a draft pick, but STILL that seems lopsided for Boston.

02-04-2004, 05:58 PM
Pollard's hands are so bad that it hurts his rebounding.

I've had the thought that he should play with wide receiver gloves, or maybe see if Lester Hayes has a few buckets of stickum he doesn't need....

02-04-2004, 06:01 PM
Pollard's hands are so bad that it hurts his rebounding.

I've had the thought that he should play with wide receiver gloves, or maybe see if Lester Hayes has a few buckets of stickum he doesn't need....