Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Around The League

It’s been awhile since we cast our Lord-Of-The-Rings-like gigantic eye around the landscape that is the NBA. Time to get caught up on some non-Blazer stuff.

Rumored Three-Way Involving Portland
… and it has nothing to do with Zach Randolph and a stripper! Thank you, thank you, be here all week. Sekou Smith of the Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that the Hawks, Wizards and Blazers are in the midst of a three-way deal. What it boils down to for Portland is that they’d give away Jamaal Magloire, and receive Lorenzen Wright (a really crappy backup center), Salim Stoudemire (don’t we already have him, he’s named “Juan Dixon”?), and Esteban Batista (I have no idea who this player is and after looking him up still don’t know much).

As you can probably already tell, I’m not a huge fan of this trade. Yes, Jamaal Magloire sucks, but I think we can do better than Salim Stoudemire for him. Of course, the fact that it’s already been leaked to the media means that it’s not going to happen, so we’re probably wasting our time talking about it anyway. Besides, as Casey over at Oregonlive points out, Portland would have to cut someone from its roster were this trade to go down, and that doesn’t make any sense.

Vince Carter: On the Trade Block?
The Nets are terrible this year. They’re five games under .500 in a horrid conference; they’ve lost their center for the season, and they’ve got three near-max contracts on their roster – one of which can’t stay healthy, one of which’s knees are so creaky you can hear them from the Brooklyn bridge and is accusing his wife of mistreating his children, and the other one is incredibly talented but has no heart. Ouch. Of the three, the most moveable is easily Vince Carter’s. Not only is he an immensely talented player – even if he does have a gigantic, sloppy pulsing labia and uses tampons every day – he has an opt-out clause in his contract after this season which most expect him to exercise, allowing him to both sign with a club he’d like to play for and get a longer-term deal. Let’s take a look at a quote from Nets GM Rod Thorn (the currently leader for “best porn name in the NBA”):
"What normally transpires between Jan. 15 and the trading deadline is that a lot of teams figure out, 'We're not what we thought we were, but this year, it's taken teams longer because everybody in the Eastern Conference - and I'm even including Philadelphia - has a chance, particularly in our division."
Nice of him to include Philly in that discussion, eh? I would “strongly disagree" with that, by the way, but that’s another story for another paragraph. In this quote, he’s sort of giving himself a way out without actually owning up to the fact that the Nets need to do a minor rebuild. And what I'm getting to in all of this is that I would not be surprised to see Vinsanity moved prior the trading deadline.

Corey Maggette: On the Trade Block
Note that I didn’t include a question mark after this one. There’s no doubt that the Clippers are trying to deal the immensely talented young wing player, and let me add that if San Antonio gets him for 75 cents on the dollar, I’m going to kill someone. Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy for some reason doesn’t like Maggette’s skills and can’t fine enough playing time or shots for him. Given that the Clippers have struggled following their hot start, why won’t Dunleavy experiment with starting Maggette? He’s a good defender, good rebounder, and his point-per-shot is #1 on the team, and PER #2 on the team (behind only Elton Brand).

And of course, since this is after all Blazersblog, and since Portland needs a young small forward, here are two trades that work under the salary cap between LA and Portland which would bring in Maggette:
  1. Maggette for Jamaal Magloire and a first-round pick. The Clips get an expiring deal, a backup big man for this season, and a first round pick.
  2. Maggette and Zeljko Rebraca (a crappy backup center) for Juan Dixon, Jamaal Magloire, and Travis Outlaw. The Clippers get an expiring deal, upgrade their backup center, and a young cheap small forward with crazy physical skills. Portland gets an expiring deal (Rebraca) along with a potential SF of the future, and doesn’t lose any draft picks.
Oh, in case you need another laugh, the Clippers signed Luke Jackson as “insurance” in case Maggette gets dealt. Nice.

Theo Ratliff: Done For the Year
(Just had to include this note for comedic purposes. If “Telfair and Ratliff for Roy and LaFrentz” isn’t the greatest Blazer trade of the last six years, I don’t know what is.)

Other quick hits:
-Luke Ridnour has been the second-best player on a crappy team this year. His reward? Getting sent to the bench in a “lineup overhaul”. I didn’t know that removing playing time from your best players was a good way to help an ailing team.

-Speaking of the Sonics, they currently stand 1.5 games behind Portland in the “race for last place” in the northwest division. If Bob Hill remains their coach, I don’t expect that to change

– But I will say this: With Ridnour, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis and Chris Wilcox in the starting lineup, and quality backups like Earl Watson and Nick Collison coming off the bench, that team should have a much better record.

-Charlie Villanueva is likely going to have shoulder surgery and will be done for the season. Maybe Bryan Colangelo knew what he was doing after all when he sent collison to the Bucks for TJ Ford?

-I'm late on this, but if you haven’t seen Gil Arena’s 40-foot game-winner where he turns around before the shot goes in, it’s incredible. Look up "Arenas game winner" on YouTube and it'll be the first link.

We'll be back this week with another game preview, an interview with a surprise guest, and other rantings and ravings. Have a good week everyone.

1 comment:

BlazerBandit said...

good, we need another injury riddled SF being paid too much