Welcome to the NBA Roundtable! This week we have EJ, Zach and David breakdown week 1 of Free Agency, Kobe and Rose not exactly rolling out the welcome mat, and Hometown discounts! Enjoy!
EJ: I’ll go with Spencer Hawes. Yes, he’s going to be a backup with the Clippers but Hawes is a big man with shooting range, and someone that can come in late in games and replace DeAndre Jordan, who can’t shoot nearly as well and is a liability at the free throw line. In Hawes the Clippers have a situational player that can step up in crunch time when the defense will be more focused on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Zach: I always thought Spencer Hawes was a good product of a bad environment. The guy is a good shooter, decent range, good defender, and can snag offensive rebounds. What more can a team want out of a bench center? Be that as it may, Hawes just got out of a bad team in Philly, and will look to take his talents to a true contender. I think it’ll work out for the best, on the Clippers and Hawe’s accounts. The rest are just piece moves that are, frankly, not worth the headline.
David: I don’t understand the Thunder letting Thabo go. Hawes is big, but he’s been in the league- what? going on 8 years? He isn’t going to get better. Thabo could really be impressive once he gets in what could be considered an offensive system.
EJ: All three are horrible in my opinion, but I’ll go with Collison here. Avery Bradley isn’t impressive at all to me to warrant an $8 million a year deal but I’ll give Danny Ainge the benefit of the doubt with the Celtics. I’ll do the same with Stan Van Gundy of the Pistons because that team did need shooting and Meeks, although overpriced, does that. However, I don’t get Collison and the Kings at all. Isaiah Thomas might be an undersized point guard with the Kings but the younger player is the better one. He might be more score first than the organization likes, but he’s a better option than the pedestrian and overhyped Collison. Now, the Kings look like they’ll let Thomas leave as a restricted free agent and get little or nothing in return for him. Sad.
Zach: Collison and Meeks just don’t make sense. Then again, maybe that’s why GMs are paid for a reason. Bradley was forewarned; he should’ve left while he had the chance. Betcha Boston doesn’t have a winning season for the next five years. And it won’t even have anything to do with Bradley. It’s a shame, really.
David: Collison. I don’t understand the building plan, I don’t understand the system. Trade bait in 2 years MAX.
EJ: Well in Kobe’s defense he tried to get there in time for the meeting, but he was travelling from Greece and didn’t get there in time. As far as Derrick Rose, I think we should be seeing something there. It’s been said Rose wasn’t part of the recruiting efforts in 2010 when that free agent class came to town, and the fact that this is his team, in his hometown, he should be proactive in recruitment. It’s something he needs to take the lead in, and not cede that to Joakim Noah.
Zach: They simply have better things to do than to parade around, acting like they want ‘Melo there when it’s really still their team. Why won’t he fit in Chicago? Because Chicago is Derrick Rose-land. Not Melo and Rose-land. Same goes for Kobe and L.A….times a million. I don’t blame them, either. After spending years and years with a franchise, all for some headcase to come in and take the glory is simply unappealing and uncouth. I would shine him on, too. Acting like someone isn’t wanted is usually the best way to get them to leave.
David: I’m not really a big fan of an established star having to play recruiter. They do that everyday anyway, if you don’t think collusion isn’t happening everyday, you are just an idiot- or you think every major football program is clean as well. Why are Kobe or Rose are expected to come out and kneel down to anyone to beg them to come to the 2nd and 3rd biggest markets in the country? I just don’t see it.
EJ: I’ll give it a 1. I look at the roster, and I look at Jason Kidd and I don’t see how he succeeds with this team. The Bucks were the worst team in basketball last season, and they have little hopes of being that much better this season. While I look forward to see how Kidd helps the progression of the Greek Freak and Jabari Parker, I expect he’ll be fired from the Bucks in two or three seasons. The new ownership is going to want to see results, and as of right now I don’t see Kidd getting it done.
Zach: Personally, I give it three years (at most) before Kidd is unemployed. He did an okay job in his first year, but Kidd was also handed a pretty decent team in the process. I think (this time), Jason Kidd’s luck has finally gone awry. What he did tk Brooklyn won’t be soon forgotten. It is, but a ticking clock for Kidd and Milwaukee. But a ticking clock…
David: He’s a buddy of the owner, I get it, but why exactly was he a hot commodity? Its not like the Bucks are stacked with assets. I’ll give it a 4, since he could be considered a draw. I do think it would have been a better hire if Jennings was still around- or the first pick was Exum or another PG. Lets keep in mind this is the same idiot who spilled a drink to try and get a cheap timeout.
EJ: As a Brooklynite I want to say yes, but I can’t. Mikhail Prokharov is a very rich man but this franchise lost $144 million last season. Eventually paying the punitive luxury tax is going to get to him, and he’s going to have to tear this team down to save money, and without the draft picks to bring it back up, it’s going to get very ugly at the Barclays Center very quickly. Lionel Hollins might be inheriting a good job right now, but I don’t think it’s going to be all good at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in about 2 to 3 seasons.
Zach: For now, it is. Then again, the Nets were built on a win-now principle that could quite possibly crash down next season. Ask that same question in three years and you might get a different response. I think it is, but who can tell what the future brings. All I know is Jason Kidd is one whopping idiot for leaving the job.
David: Depends on who they bring in, and who comes back, any NBA coaching job is a good one, but some jobs are far better than others. If they are able to get some parts, or bring everyone back, then its a great job- if the Russian decides he isn’t happy with losing 144 Million anymore and needs to break even at worst, then its a horrible job. They still have a LOT of payments to make on this team.
EJ: Yes I think it will because the current CBA is making it prohibitive for teams to put together a “big three” without some players taking a little less in order to win. There might be a few franchises who’ll have no problem paying top dollar, like the New York and Los Angeles franchises, but most owners are not going to want to pay the luxury tax under this new system. So, it’s going to take players taking a little less in order to build the strongest teams around them. This is what Dirk and Duncan understand. It’s something Kobe, LeBron, Carmelo, etc… haven’t quite gotten through their heads yet.
Zach: No. Oh god no. If anything, it’ll be come more rare for the hometown discount to take place. These are two class acts that only want the best for their team, city, and fans. Duncan and Dirk are two of the finest classes of player to ever dribble the ball. And when they leave, it’ll be shutting the lights off on an entire generation and perception of the way basketball should’ve always been meant to be played and handled. Not million dollar attitudes, but million dollar teams. For the city, fans, and teammates is where the mind should lie. Not in the wallets of greener pastures. It’ll be sad to see what basketball free-agency is like in ten years.
David: I think its going to be fairly rare going forward, but its possible that its going to happen from time to time. I do think it depends on first the structure of the team and the indivudual star we are talking about. I do think we are going to see some serious changes in the salary cap structure if it starts to change. Explain to me why Jordan can’t throw Nike Deals at a few players who just happen to sign in Charlotte? I wouldn’t mind seeing some New Nike Air Loves or Nike Runnin Rhondos. As I have said, LeBron is going to make more from Apple this year than he will from the NBA, no matter his contract. Duncan and Dirk both should have been getting 20M a year for the past decade- but they are going to retire with rings- and demi-god status in Texas. Thats going to last a lot longer than an extra 4-5M in salary. You think Sir Charles doesn’t look back in his Philly days and wish he had been able to keep Moses Malone? You think Ewing wouldn’t love to go back in time and cut his salary in half to get someone like Gary Payton or even a Harvey Grant/Mookie Blaylock combo platter? Imagine if the Knicks had added Kevin Johnson instead of Derek Harper- and maybe even Hershey Hawkins?
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