Walsh Doesn’t See Domino Effect from K.G. Deal
Aug. 3, 2007
With Kevin Garnett off the market, more attention may shift to Jermaine O'Neal because he is perceived to be the most prominent name available. There's talk the Lakers, in the unending quest to make Kobe Bryant happy, will rekindle their pursuit. There's been some thought the Nets will reconsider what appears to be a decision to stick with the current roster.
So far, that's all speculation. Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh has seen no increase in actual activity since the Garnett trade.
"The Boston-Minnesota trade was being talked about before the draft, during the draft and obviously after the draft," he said. "There were a lot of teams that were interested in a player like Kevin Garnett. Most of those teams fell by the wayside early in the process and that's what made this Boston-Minnesota trade somewhat of a surprise.
"There may be one or two teams that felt they had a chance to get Garnett that will continue to search for that kind of trade but there's really no way of knowing that. So it's really up in the air as to whether this is going to shake loose teams that are going to continue to search for major trades – but it's a possibility."
Of course, O'Neal's availability likewise has been an assumption.
"It's a similar situation to where it is every year," Walsh said. "You'll talk about every player on your team but whether you're going to do something or not depends on how good the trade is and whether it makes you a better team.
"There are very, very few trades that involve players of the caliber of Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Jermaine O'Neal, LeBron James, etc. They're few and far between."
CELTICS BETTER BUT EAST NOT THAT DIFFERENT
Boston has thrust itself into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, without question.
Beyond that, however, what really has changed? There's been so much discussion of a shifting balance of power in the East, I'm feeling a bit wobbly.
With Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen joining Paul Pierce, the Celtics have a formidable trio that should certainly assure a reversal of fortunes in Boston. Of course, there is that small matter of the league requiring five players on the court at any given time, but that's Doc Rivers' problem.
Some have decided to ordain the Knicks contenders because of the Zach Randolph deal and the deletion of Steve Francis from the overcrowded backcourt. Others believe the Knicks simply traded a problem at guard for the same problem in the post. Will Randolph and Eddy Curry fit together any better than Francis and Stephon Marbury?
Orlando should be better with Rashard Lewis but that team always seems to make more headlines in summer than winter. Aside from the headline deals, the vast majority of moves have fallen into the category of tweaks, not overhauls.
"After all these trades are done, it always comes back to the same place and that is: how do all these teams come together, and what effect did trades or whatever have on each team?" said Walsh. "We changed coaches. What effect will that have? Each team has something that they're hoping lifts them up from where they were last year and that's what makes this year, in my mind, really exciting.
"You may now pick Boston to win the East, but it isn't like picking San Antonio to win the West. It's all up for grabs still, but they're in a better position than they were before the trades. And some of the Eastern teams have made what look like improvements on paper but you have to look at how it affects the way they'll play, the chemistry they have, all of it.
"It's always been humorous to me how in August there's this rush of articles after trades that declare who's now going to win. The interesting thing is that nobody really keeps track of those articles to see what happened."
CROSHERE JOINS EX-TEAMMATES WITH WARRIORS
After one remarkably odd season in Dallas, Austin Croshere has found comfort in more familiar surroundings by signing with Golden State.
The Warriors' executive vice president is Chris Mullin, Croshere's teammate his first three seasons with the Pacers. Golden State also has ex-Pacers Al Harrington, Stephen Jackson and Sarunas Jasikevicius. And Croshere was a senior at Crossroads High in Santa Monica, Calif., when Warriors point guard Baron Davis was a freshman.
Croshere averaged just 11.9 minutes, 3.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in Dallas, shooting an uncharacteristic 28.6 percent from the 3-point line. He signed a reported one-year deal for the league minimum
“We’re very happy to add Austin to our roster,” said Mullin. “He provides another veteran presence on our team and we feel that he is someone who will be able to come in and make a contribution.”
PERSON LANDS ON HIS FEET WITH KINGS
With Chuck Person's hiring as an assistant to Reggie Theus in Sacramento, all of last seasons assistant coaches have found employment.
Dan Burke and Leonard Perry remained with the Pacers, while Johnny Davis (Memphis) and Chad Forcier (San Antonio) signed on with other teams.
"Chuck, who has built a strong coaching career in the league thus far, comes highly recommended by people within the league who I respect tremendously," Theus said.
Person also has a strong relationship with Kings forward Ron Artest, who has maintained his home in Indianapolis and frequently worked out with Person during the offseason.