Can someone who has ESPN Insider please post this article? Thank you very much.
Can someone who has ESPN Insider please post this article? Thank you very much.
First, the bad news: I'm not sure we're going to have as many trades this year as you might have hoped. The Magic are unlikely to move Dwight Howard, the Suns are reluctant to move Steve Nash and virtually every front office exec I've talked to has described things as more quiet than usual.
With all that said, we still have nine days until the trade deadline, and veritable torrents of water can go under the bridge between now and then. Obviously, Howard and Nash remain the focal points, but today I wanted to dig a little deeper.
There's a second category of trades that a few teams specialize in, and it's one that's especially useful for teams trying to fill out a roster or rebuilding squads looking to build their talent base. I call it "body snatching," but the big-picture idea is to grab a promising player who has fallen out of favor with his current team. Often these players are available as throw-ins to a larger trade, and can represent some great value.
Take Portland for instance. Everybody knows the Blazers are looking at assorted deals, especially for point guards, and would move valuable pieces to get them. And everybody, obviously, will ask for Nic Batum first. But what of Luke Babbitt and Elliot Williams? Those are two other promising players who have gotten very little run in Portland, and for that reason they might be had cheaply. Babbitt hasn't done jack in the NBA but put up huge numbers in the D-League; most players who do that eventually become respectable pros.
As for Williams, the 22-year-old guard has just played some brief snippets this year after missing all of last season, but looked quite capable in his limited cameos. A scoring, slashing wing, he's a useful source of bench scoring on the right team.
Those are two guys I'd be looking at if I were cutting a deal. Let me introduce you to a few other names that might make sense:
Robin Lopez: Aside from all the Nash business, Phoenix is looking to dump its bad contracts. One option for a team dealing with the Suns is to ask for Lopez as the price of taking on a Hakim Warrick or a Josh Childress. From Phoenix's perspective it makes some sense too, as Marcin Gortat has taken over as the starting center and the Suns could make Channing Frye a fulltime backup 5 -- the spot where he's always played best.
As a 23-year-old 7-footer Lopez obviously has some value; he may not be the league's most mobile big man but he plays hard and scores around the basket. The lone drawback is that the team acquiring him also needs to pay him; he's a restricted free agent after the season.
Chase Budinger and Marcus Morris: Houston is heavily in the hunt for star talent, and these two would be near the top of my list if I were dealing with the Rockets. Budinger has fallen out of favor because of his defensive shortcomings -- it's very difficult to pair him on the wings with Kevin Martin, especially since they don't exactly have Bill Russell playing behind them -- but he can score and has arguably the best contract in the league ($885K next season). Morris was the 14th overall pick and thrashed the D-League during a brief stint down there, but has played only 19 minutes for the parent club after second-round pick Chandler Parsons beat him out.
Austin Daye: The background stuff is all good -- Daye is 23, under contract for a reasonable $2.9 million for next season and 6-11 with skill. There's just the little matter of his shooting 30.1 percent this season, which has caused him to fall out of Detroit's rotation entirely. I can't just dismiss a 400-minute sample with a 6.67 PER; on the other hand, he was a viable rotation player in his first two seasons, and I have to think the Pistons' glut of combo-forward types has made it more difficult for him to gain traction. A change of scenery might be good for everybody.
Jordan Farmar: I've always been intrigued by Farmar's talent but he seemed to be heading nowhere fast. This year he's finally figured things out, it seems, averaging 19.5 points per 40 minutes and blowing away his career best in true shooting percentage at 60.0. Unfortunately, he's also backing up Deron Williams and would be better served by going someplace where he could start.
He's still just 25 and has a favorable contract, although he may opt out of it and become a free agent; if so, keep an eye on him as an under-the-radar free agent. In the meantime, it's worth investigating if he can be had as a rider to any blockbuster deal involving the Nets and an unnamed Florida franchise.
Tyrus Thomas: A "pay me to take him" type because of a contract that pays him $25 million over the three years after this one, Thomas nonetheless might be intriguing for the right team. He was devastatingly effective a year ago but has been suddenly awful this season, partly because he's played out of position at the 3 and partly because, well, he's been awful. He can be a handful, too. On the other hand he's only 25 years old and averaged nearly a point every two minutes a year ago; his 8.53 PER this year is dreadful but I have a hard time believing he's truly become this bad this quickly.
Craig Brackins: OK, does anyone have any idea if this guy can play? Any at all? He's been in the NBA for two years but played a total of 60 minutes for the Sixers. With Philly's roster overstocked in the combo forward department, I don't see many more minutes in his future, and the Sixers didn't pick up his option for 2012-13. His D-League numbers from 18 games last season suggest he might be a useful pick-and-pop weapon; I'd imagine he'd be worth a flier for a rebuilding team.
Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer: File this under "we'll take Stephen Jackson IF …" Milwaukee's two rookies have both been very productive in limited minutes; Harris is obviously the more alluring of the two due to his youth and upside, but Leuer is a solid player, too -- a low-mistake, midrange shooting big who has the potential to develop a 3-point game. Both have PERs above the league average in limited minutes this year, and obviously getting one or both would make it much easier to swallow the $10 million Cap'n Jack is owed next year.
Anthony Randolph: I know what you're thinking: been there, done that. But Randolph still may be worth a flier. His per-minute production remains extremely high; this season he's shooting a career-best 50.6 percent, and in four seasons he's never had a PER below 16.
The Wolves seem in fairly good shape at the power forward position and would appear to have no need to keep Randolph beyond this season, but as a running 4 (or even a 5) in the right system Randolph should be able to thrive -- provided he can ditch that eyes-glazed-over routine and do a more convincing job of trying at both ends. He's still just 22, and the potential is obvious. With his being a restricted free agent after the season, the risk is also very low if he's obtained cheaply.
Toney Douglas: It's not working out in New York, but I still think he can play, just not at point guard in a pick-and-roll-heavy system. Douglas forgot how to shoot this year (31.8 percent overall, 23.5 percent on 3s), but his two seasons before that he shot in the high 30s on 3s, suggesting he can be a lot more effective as a spot-up shooter if another ball handler is around to handle the decision-making. And defensively, Douglas is potentially very good. He's still too manic and plays guys too close, but he can defend both guard positions; he also still has one year left on a very favorable rookie contract.
I'd love to take a flier on Anthony Randolph is he came fairly cheap. He'd be a great low-risk, high-reward pickup, and, honestly, I don't see how he could possibly be as bad as Hansbrough has been this season.
I think we should do everything we can to get Boris Diaw. He is a team guy that could give us quality minutes. What I love about Diaw, is his passing abilty. He would be an outstanding facilitator with our second unit. With Tyler's sub-par play, you could put Diaw in as our backup PF.
Robin Lopez - Pass if the price is to take on Warrick's contract. I'd rather wait and make him a contract offer when he becomes a RFA and see if the Suns blink...which would likely be the case.
Chase Budinger - I don't mind adding him as as scorer to the bench that can play the SF spot......but the question is how much the price is.
Austin Daye - Likely pass...based off of KStats assessment of him.
Jordan Farmar: I'd take him on only if the Nets sent an additional 1st for him.
Tyrus Thomas: Pass, he's too much of an impact on the salary cap for the foreseeable future and is injury prone.
Craig Brackins: Have no clue about him. Was he one of Seth's Players that he scouted?
Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer: pass if the cost is SJAX
Anthony Randolph: Pass unless he could be had for cheap.
Toney Douglas: Pass unless he could be had for cheap.
Over the offseason, the Indiana Pacers were pursuing some of the top free agent centers such as Nene and Marc Gasol. Larry Bird, Indiana’s president of basketball operations, met with Nene in Denver. There was a rumor that the Pacers had offered Roy Hibbert to the Memphis Grizzlies in a sign-and-trade for Gasol.
we did that ??
Hibbert, Pacers Make Huge Strides: Over the offseason, the Indiana Pacers were pursuing some of the top free agent centers such as Nene and Marc Gasol. Larry Bird, Indiana’s president of basketball operations, met with Nene in Denver. There was a rumor that the Pacers had offered Roy Hibbert to the Memphis Grizzlies in a sign-and-trade for Gasol.
Andray Blatche’s extension haunts him and the Wizards
In hindsight, the Washington Wizards’ forward thinking was probably a mistake. Back in the summer of 2010, the Wizards were looking ahead two summers when they signed Andray Blatche to a three-year, $28 million extension that would keep him with the franchise through the 2014-15 season.
At the time, Blatche had two seasons left on his deal and was slated to become an unrestricted free agent in 2012. Fearing there might be a lockout that would wipe out the entire 2011-12 season, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld made a bold move and locked up the versatile, 6-foot-11 big man who was coming off an impressive two-month statistical stretch. He even structured the deal to ensure that Blatche would receive an early salary bump.
The alternative was letting Blatche play out his deal — in which he would’ve earned $3.52 million in the last season — and risk letting him walk without compensation.
Right now, that would likely be the preferred option for both sides, as the Wizards have aggressively sought to move Blatche by the March 15 deadline and fans at Verizon Center have soured on Blatche to the point that he is booed every time he enters the game, touches the ball or makes a mistake.
A separation is probably best for Blatche and the team, and he recently admitted that he wouldn’t let the speculation surrounding his future affect his play. “I’ve been here for seven years. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go,” Blatche said. “If in any way and form they feel like it’s time for me to go, it’s part of the business. No hard feelings in this at all.”
Grunfeld declined to comment when asked specifically about Blatche on Tuesday, but he acknowledged that the Wizards have actively spoken with several teams about possible deals. In the past two seasons, the Wizards have dealt Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Kirk Hinrich near the trade deadline, with those deals yielding current starters Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford and Chris Singleton.
“Before the trade deadline, it’s always very busy. There’s a lot of conversations,” Grunfeld said. “We’ve been busy the last two trade deadlines. A lot of things have happened. We’ll continue to work the phones and see if there are some opportunities there. But I think things will get busier as the week progresses. But will anything happen? Only time will tell.”
If the Wizards are unable to deal Blatche, they would still have at their disposal the amnesty provision, which would allow them to waive a player, pay him the remainder of his salary but have the contract removed from the salary cap. But they wouldn’t be able to make such a decision until before next season.
Injuries and other distractions have prohibited Blatche from building upon that impressive two-month stretch late in the 2009-10 season — in which he averaged 22.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals. He had a broken foot when the deal was signed, arrived in training camp out of shape last season, struggled with injuries and poor conditioning and even got into an altercation with JaVale McGee at a local club.
After pledging to make amends for past indiscretions and assuming more of a leadership role this season, Blatche got off to a rough start this season when he complained about his role in the offense after the first game. He started getting booed in pregame introductions before he was eventually benched, then missed five weeks with a strained left calf, setting up an even more hostile environment at Verizon Center when he returned.
Blatche now has to work out the rust of not playing for several weeks as his every move is the source of derision for the home fans. The jeers reached an all-time high on Monday against Golden State, as Blatche finished with four points and four rebounds, lost a battle for a rebound with 5-9 guard Nate Robinson and looked confused and short on confidence.
“Every time I touch the ball, I’m second-guessing. I’m trying to avoid the boos. Trying to play a perfect game so I don’t have to hear it so I can help my team win,” said Blatche, who is averaging just 9.5 points and shooting a career-low 37.3 percent this season. “It’s got to the point now where I come in and sub and the boos are coming. It’s not even a point of giving me a chance. I’m going to continue to try and work. Hopefully something will happen for me. I don’t know.”
Coach Randy Wittman has encouraged Blatche to play through the ridicule but with more expected to come when the Wizards host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, he shrugged when asked how that’s possible.
“It happens. You hate it. Like I said, the fans, I’d never do something like that to a team I’m rooting for, but that’s their — it is what it is,” Wittman said. “I’m sure that’s something that if you walked into the arena every day and that happened to you, you wouldn’t feel too good about yourself.”
I don't have any interest in Blatche whatsoever, but it would be interesting to see him land somewhere with more veteran influence in the locker room.
yeah dont think blatche will be going anywhere soon good luck finding a team that wants him
NBA Trade Deadline 2012: Rashard Lewis' Contract Buyout Will Cost More Than Expected, According To Report
As has been noted several times, the Washington Wizards will have a chance to get out from under the final year of Rashard Lewis' massive contract next summer by buying him out for a partial amount of the money he's guaranteed. Previous reports suggested that number was around $10 million of his $22.7 million salary, and it was based on incentives that seemed impossible to reach. However, according to Michael Lee, Lewis' buyout number will actually be around $13.7 million due to incentives he hit while with the Orlando Magic.
Lewis has additional incentives for his time with the Wizards that could push his number all the way to $17.25 million, according to Sham Sports, but those appear unlikely to be met. I had been told a while back that the buyout number was always going to be a bit higher than $10 million, but wasn't sure how much more. Now, we know.
It'll be interesting to see if this changes anything or if the Wizards knew this all along. I suspect it's the former. Keep in mind: if the Wizards buy out Lewis, the $13.7 million number still counts against the salary cap. If they choose to use the amnesty clause on Lewis, it'll completely wipe that number off the cap, though the Wizards would still need to pay him.
Only thing is, using the clause on Lewis would mean the team wouldn't use it on Andray Blatche, who has three years and $23.4 million left on his deal after this year. That, of course, assumes Blatche is still on the team past March 15.
For being a low-salary team, there is a lot of contract status drama in DC. I would be interested in signing Lewis as a backup 3/4 (after he is bought out this summer), probably as an 8th/9th man that comes in to rebound and hit open shots. Despite his poor 3PT shooting this year, he is still very effective off the catch-and-shoot and could have a role on our team.
Yes, I think Kaman discussion are open for business from everything I’ve heard. I don’tg think Indiana is at the core of those discussions. The chirpring I’ve heard abnout the Pacers recently have all revolved around shooting guard help … not another center.