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Etan Thomas Gets a Homecoming

Two months after he was dealt to Minnesota, former Wizards center Etan Thomas was traded to Oklahoma City on Monday. The Timberwolves dealt Thomas, a native of Tulsa, to the Thunder in exchange for former Wizard Chucky Atkins and Damien Wilkins. All three players are on expiring contracts, so it was essentially a salary swap with the Thunder also picking up two second-round picks in the deal.

Thomas will add more frontcourt experience to the Thunder, which is one of the more exciting young teams in the league with Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook and now James Harden. The Thunder is pretty light up front, with Green starting at power forward and Nenad Krstic and Nick Collison playing center.

Thomas played high school ball at Tulsa's Booker T. Washington, where he won two state championships and was known by the nickname Derrick (Etan's given first name is Dedreck). Thomas said his family and close friends always called him Etan, so he went with that name when he attended Syracuse. I found out that little bit of info when the Wizards played a preseason game in Oklahoma City in 2005 and some of the local sportswriters were talking about how weird it was to refer to him as Etan. There won't be much confusion now.

Thomas described his trade from Washington as a "win-win" situation when he spoke to ESPN 980's John Thompson back in June. He had been the longest-tenured member of the Wizards before being included in the deal that brought Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington.

The longest-tenured Wizard now? Yep. Brendan Haywood, who joined the team in 2001.

By Michael Lee  |  July 27, 2009; 4:51 PM ET
 
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Next: Southeast Gets Tougher if Odom Joins Heat

Comments

The Hornets and Bobcats are in advanced discussions on a trade that would send center Tyson Chandler to Charlotte in exchange for fellow big man Emeka Okafor, according to NBA front-office sources. It was not immediately known if the teams are ready to complete the swap -- or if the deal would expand to include other players or teams -- but sources close to the process said talks featuring Chandler and Okafor as the main components have been ongoing since late last week.


Maybe we can give the Bobcats Haywood for Okafor?

Posted by: anacostia85 | July 27, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Please, if you're the first poster, at least have the decency to note that fact in your post. A first post that begins with anything other than "First!" just doesn't cut it.

Posted by: satchmore | July 27, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I can't stand that first crap!!

The Wizards should be happy -- they have a superbly athletic center on their roster. Though a spectacular shot blocker whose offense should develop in time, McGee is a little too raw to be considered for the '10 squad.

Posted by: anacostia85 | July 27, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I cant believe Haywood didnt let us in on "dedreck" after the BTH incident.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | July 27, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

So... two questions.

1) Does his trade kicker pop again, or was that a one time deal? Because if it kicked in again, he is getting PAID.

2) Wasn't there a discussion on here about some rule that prevents teams from trading away a player for a period of 60 days after they trade FOR him? Anyone want to clarify?

Posted by: VeCente115 | July 27, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

VeCente115, they can still trade Etan by himself as long as he's not packaged with other players.

Posted by: jlmp_08 | July 27, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"I'm getting confused here. The Wiz haters always say we arent a real team that will spend to win like say the mighty Lakers do. And us not even considering Odom is even more proof of this.

But isn't it the Lakers that are refusing to pay Odom? How does that work?

Newsflash- Odom is the most overrated player in the nba right now and the Lakers know it. So does most of the league given the almost total lack of interest in signing him.

He's the definition of 'sometimey' and I don't care where he signs, though that's just me.

Posted by: divi3 | July 27, 2009 9:39 AM "

The Lakers would have signed Odom by now had they not signed Artest.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 27, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"To expect that a successful GM will be 100% correct in all his decisions is almost akin to expecting a good MLB player to hit 1.000 all year long. It ain't going to happen.

Sometimes for a GM you have to make lemonade out of lemons, like when Mitch Kupchek traded for Kwame Brown and then parlayed that bad decsion into Paul Gasol.

The focus on the negative so much so as to not being able to see anything positive can sometimes seem like a difference of opinion, but usually means there are other issues with individual involved.

Posted by: cannontl | July 27, 2009 8:59 AM "

Not 100%, but also, not 0% like EG's record.

Kupchak got Gasol and won a ring this past season.

What has EG won?

EG's version of lemonade didn't even translate to Les BouleS nevermind winning the lottery, but couldn't even hold their #2 worst in the NBA spot and dropped to 5th place instead that was traded for money.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 27, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Whatever name he goes by, I hope Etan does well in Oklahoma City. He ought to get some minutes there.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | July 27, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Why can't Les BouleS be in "advanced stage of negotiations" with a trade for Emeka Okafor?

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=4359609&campaign=rss&source=NBAHeadlines

http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=laap3w

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 27, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Etan probably won't make it off the bench. Collison is a better player, and OKC has Mullens and Ibaka for garbage time.

Maybe we can give the Bobcats Haywood for Okafor?Posted by: anacostia85

Have you seen Okafor's contract? This is a good deal for Charlotte. New Orleans is just trying to save some money in the near term.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 27, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

'Why can't Les BouleS be in "advanced stage of negotiations" with a trade for Emeka Okafor?'

Is that your idea of being a good GM? Taking on Okafur's $40million contract?

Posted by: divi3 | July 27, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

"'Why can't Les BouleS be in "advanced stage of negotiations" with a trade for Emeka Okafor?'

Is that your idea of being a good GM? Taking on Okafur's $40million contract?

Posted by: divi3 | July 27, 2009 10:38 PM "

Oh, you mean a 26 year old who's a solid 6-10, 255 lbs and has played in all 82 games the past 2 seasons and averages a double double and almost 2 blocks/game and likes to mix it up inside?

You mean a smart guy who actually graduated from college in 3 years as an academic all american to add to his national title?

Les BouleS clearly have an overabundance of cats who match up especially after clearing out 3 bigs a few weeks ago.

EG wouldn't be interested really because he doesn't fit the criteria of players he usually goes after, namely gimpy, no defense, bad ticker, bad previous season, arrest record, overhype, high school/one and done college, etc.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 27, 2009 11:06 PM | Report abuse

if okafur was to come here he'll gain 50lbs and then blow out his knee

Posted by: eandrejones | July 27, 2009 11:30 PM | Report abuse

the team is set..no point on wishing for a transaction that will not happen..if this "deep team" doesn't make the playoffs, then maybe EG will finally be made accountable for this mess..i'm for bringing back unseld as GM who's with me!!?

Posted by: bulletsfan4ever | July 27, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

When are we going to hold EG accountable? Its the coach -- Eddie Jordan, Ed Tapscott. Its the players. Who assembled them?

Posted by: fotoblack1 | July 28, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

cannot believe somebody made a comment back on the last thread about soft tarheel centers.

Does he know that nba centers are rareties and that Carolina may have turned out more NBA centers than any college.

Does he even know that Mitch Kupchak was on the Bullets championship squad.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 28, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Okafur is a baller but he is a forward, not a center.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 28, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

So, are Etan's parents poor spellers? I always thought 'Etan' should be 'Ethan.' And now I learn his first name is 'Dedreck' which may indeed be 'Derrick!"

Posted by: MeviousMan | July 28, 2009 1:05 AM | Report abuse

The Lakers would have signed Odom by now had they not signed Artest.

Excuses. Winners pay money right? Give him his money. Artest was a wash for Ariza.

Not 100%, but also, not 0% like EG's record.

Kupchak got Gasol and won a ring this past season.

What has EG won?

EG's version of lemonade didn't even translate to Les BouleS nevermind winning the lottery, but couldn't even hold their #2 worst in the NBA spot and dropped to 5th place instead that was traded for money.

The 5th pick was traded for money? Yeah it sure helps when you inherit a dynasty including possibly the best player on the entire planet. Kupchak took 8 years to win a championship after inheriting a championship team from Jerry West. Grunfeld has been here 6 and inherited a joke. I think we had been to the playoffs once in my lifetime, with Chris Webber. When have we ever been on TNT or ESPN before EG got here. If you hate everything Wizards so much find another team. We're in much better shape than we were and the team is much improved from last season.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 28, 2009 8:19 AM | Report abuse

F BARNO !

Posted by: slipperyrichard | July 28, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

What has EG won? The 1994 Eastern Conference title. He came so close to an NBA ring.
Abe Pollin has won more NBA championships than Mark Cuban,Paul Allen and Senator Herb Kohl combined.

Posted by: jeremybozz | July 28, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Micheal Jordan continues to wheel and deal while it seems he's only spinning his wheels.

Okafor is limited offensively, and has fell out of favor with Larry Brown. Wow, Larry Brown souring on one of his players that just last summer they resigned and was to be a cornerstone. So what else is new?

Bob Johnson got his man to run the team, after tampering with MJ, when MJ retired as a player and was to go back upstairs for the Wiz. It was widely reported that MJ went to Abe with a Bob Johnson offer in his back pocket.

Ole Abe message to Bob was, "you want him, you can have him". Now I think Bob would rather sell the team then fire an icon in North Carolina.

MJ might be the greatest player of all time, I'm still of the opinion that Russell, Wilt, Oscar all should be in that conversation. But he's no Jerry West in the front office. Actually he's beginning to look a little like an Elgin Baylor as a GM.

If the Wiz do decide that Blatche can't fill the role of being the first power forward off the bench, I'd think Lee from the Knicks would be the better target.

I don't think Flip's made that determination yet, if Blatche gets off to a slow inconsistant start, then Grunfeld might be inclined to deal. Right now, I'd say he's done for awhile.

He's still got James's expiring deal, all of his picks, and a couple of young bigs that seem to be gaining value, and the big Russian stashed overseas improving his game, plus the MLE to work with.

Ernie's still holding some cards heading into late summer, but he's not going to use any of them on Okafor and his huge contract for his production. Lee might be had for a full MLE with max raises for 5 years. But the only way Ernie goes after him would be in a sign and trade deal involving James's contract.

If the Wiz decide they need another power forward there are better deals then Okafor's contract that are available.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 28, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

When are we signing Oakley as the big man coach?

It would be nice to get someone like Okafor or Lee, but why not work on McGee...the guy we actuallyalready have and could outplay either of those two, with good training.

Oakley as coach = $400k max + McGee's $2million vs. Okafor's $10million or Lee's $6-8 million.

Posted by: Blurred | July 28, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

'It would be nice to get someone like Okafor or Lee, but why not work on McGee...the guy we actuallyalready have and could outplay either of those two, with good training.'

It appears DC_MANNs logic is based around belief that since Ernie drafted McGee, it's impossible Javale could ever outplay anyone.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I like Okafor. He's a legit 6'10" in shoes, about the same as Blake Griffin. He's got a remarkable 7'4" wingspan and 9'2.5" reach. He jumps well and can wrestle the rebound away from other players. He runs the court very effectively or can play the post in a half-court offensive set.

What he's not: agile. According to coaches, he doesn't move from side to side very easily, and can be beat to the hoop. That might be where Larry Brown finds fault. Or maybe not; who can figure out Larry Brown?

Tyson Chandler is the opposite. Extremely quick and agile, over seven feet, long arms and the ability to adjust in the air for the block. Not much offense except for putbacks and alley-oops.

The Hornets tried to unload Chandler to OKC last season, for Chris Wilcox and Joe Smith. That's not much of a price for a young center. Tyson failed the physical.

So my question was, why the trade? No good answer. Okafor played all last season but is known to have a history of severe back problems which might re-emerge. Chandler missed almost half of last season. Both are defensive stalwarts; Chandler is the better athlete, Okafor is more skilled.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 28, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

"Okafur is a baller but he is a forward, not a center. Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

He can play center. He does tend to stay below the rim, but so do a lot of very good NBA big men. I think he's somewhat limited at forward in terms of quickness and outside shot. At center he has a quickness advantage and he's very strong.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 28, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Jeeze, the season hasn't even started and already the haters are hating. Give THIS team at least a few games in the preseason before all of the negative predictions. Because, when it all boils down, none of us know what this team can and will do.

GO WIZ!

Posted by: ivyleague | July 28, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

On the Etan trade, it's hard to imagine him getting many minutes in Oklahoma. They've got four big men on their roster now, including an investment in Krstic, a reliable rebounder in Collison, a current first rounder in Mullens as well as a former first rounder in Robert Swift. At PF they have Green and the underrated DJ White plus Malik Rose.

Maybe they've got something in the works for one of those big men.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 28, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

What's the rush to get Okafor right now?

If we want a big man with a big contract, I don't think it will be hard to convince the Bobcats (on whatever team he lands) to unload him later.

OK's coach just got the raw end of that deal. Etan projects everything you want in a pro - he hustles, shows good energy, and his professional work ethic is deserving of some minutes, but he is a no-hands, bad FT guy that makes the team worse when he's on the court.

So for a young team lead by a skinny phenom who hates the weight room, they get to see a guy with all the "right" attitudes stay on the bench. Or the coach chooses to loose games with Etan so he can "reward" the work ethic.

Posted by: cballer | July 28, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

http://dimemag.com/2009/07/wizards-crashing-the-2010-postseason-party/

check out that link...

theres also one in the slam magazine. It is interesting to see the national perception of our beloved wizards

Posted by: mrhney03 | July 28, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Okafor's remaining contract is actually worth over $62 million over the next 5 years. According to HoopsHype.
'09 - $10.5
'10 - $11.5
'11 - $12.5
'12 - $13.5
'13 - $14.5

Posted by: bozomoeman | July 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Check Etan's stats vs Oberto's

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

http://dimemag.com/2009/07/wizards-crashing-the-2010-postseason-party/

sorry to interrupt the irrelevant okafor and chandler trades but check out that piece on our beloved wiz.

slam magazine had a nice piece as well

Posted by: mrhney03 | July 28, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

OK, Haywood makes 6mil a year, Okafor 10.5 and chandler 11.8, hence the swap. Wiz have a bargain with Haywood a 6 and last year of his contract...

So first poster, let's get real. Neither are 4to5 mil better than Haywood

Posted by: kevenjones | July 28, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"Check Etan's stats vs Oberto's Posted by: divi3"

What are we supposed to notice?

Posted by: Samson151 | July 28, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

So, are Etan's parents poor spellers? I always thought 'Etan' should be 'Ethan.' And now I learn his first name is 'Dedreck' which may indeed be 'Derrick!"

Posted by: MeviousMan | July 28, 2009 1:05 AM

Are you saying that first names should only be the current American-accepted Anglicized spellings?

You might want to do your own research, but FWIW the first name database on the web I went to had:

The boy's name Dedrick \d(e)-dri-ck, ded-rick\ is pronounced DEE-drik. It is of Danish and Old German origin, and its meaning is "power of the tribe". Variant of Diedrick and Theodoric. Also the source for Derek. Dieter is a German form. Football player Dedric Ward.

Dedrick has 5 variant forms: Dedric, Diederick, Diedrick, Dieter and Dietrich.

and

The boy's name Etan \e-tan\ is a variant of Ethan (Hebrew), and the meaning of Etan is "firmness, long-lived".

The baby name Etan sounds like Edan, Eton and Eitan. Other similar baby names are Eban, Egan, Elan, Eman, Ean, Eran, Euan, Ewan, Evan, Eian and Stan.

Posted by: rickgonz | July 28, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

According to some reports, the Okafor/Chandler trade was spurred, in part, by Larry Brown's frustrations with Okafor's offensive limitations. If that's true, then I can only assume Larry Brown has never seen Chandler play, because his only "offensive" moves are the offensive rebound put back and alley-oop throwdown. And without CP3 to spoonfeed him the ball at the rim, he won't be getting a lot of the latter.

As for Okafor, he can play C but he shouldn't be. In yet another genius move, MJordan passed on drafting Brook Lopez despite the fact that the 'Cats have been in need of a real C in order to move Okafor to PF for years, and instead drafted another midget combo guard when they already had Raymond Felton on board.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Check Etan's stats vs Oberto's Posted by: divi3"

What are we supposed to notice?'

That statistically Etan is the better player...this was in response to the poster who said Etan "makes the team worse" when he is on the floor.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"So first poster, let's get real. Neither are 4to5 mil better than Haywood "

That's not how it works. There's no equation that maps a differential between two players' production versus their contracts and determines their relative value. Moreover, even if there were, your point would still be moot because if the Wiz re-sign Haywood after this season, they'd likely end up paying him close to what Okafor's making for the next 3-5 years. The difference being that Haywood is 30 and Okafor is 27.

For the same salary and factoring in age, Okafor is pretty easily the better player/value.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the Etan trade was about roster balance for both teams. After the trade with us, Minnesota had a bunch of bigs and not enough guards. The Thunder has a bunch of small guys, but no roster space if they want to make any moves.

With the Chandler / Okafor deal, it seems like it's really more about the salaries involved than the individual players.

I'd be fine with trying to get Okafor or David Lee, I think either will be more of a guaranteed replacement for Jamison as his career starts to wind down. But I don't see it happening. The Wiz, along with most teams, wouldn't want to hit the Luxury Tax as hard as they would if they got Lee or Okafor. They could survive it this year by packaging James's contract, but in the years to come, especially if the want to resign Butler, they would be hosed.

Posted by: ts35 | July 28, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

For the same salary and factoring in age, Okafor is pretty easily the better player/value.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 12:13 PM

Would you trade them straight up right now? I wouldnt. Haywood is a legit 7footer coming into his own, while Okafor wears lifts to hit 6'10" and seems to lack the offensive skills to play PF

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Kal, I'll disagree with you to the extent that I don't think the Wiz will pay Haywood close to $60 mil over 5 years (or any year-length with a $12 mil average). Not only would he probably not be worth it, but their recent history suggests they will try to extend Butler, and then look for a cheaper option in the middle if Haywood is looking for that kind of deal.

Posted by: ts35 | July 28, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Would you trade them straight up right now?"

You can't trade for them straight up right now because Okafor makes almost twice as much money as Haywood. If they made the exact same amount of money and had the same number of years left, would I trade them straight up? Probably, yeah.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"That statistically Etan is the better player...this was in response to the poster who said Etan "makes the team worse" when he is on the floor.Posted by: divi"

Am I missing something? Here's the numbers I'm looking at for last season:

Oberto: 54 games, 11 starts, 12.5 minutes, 2.6 points, 2.6 rb, FG 59%, FT 57%, 0.7 TOs, EFF 7.0

Etan: 25 games, 7 starts, 11.8 minutes, 3 points, 2.5 rb, FG 49%, FT 70%, TO 0.7, EFF 4.4.

From a stat perspective, almost the same player. Two heart patients. Probably not a good idea to count too much on either one. Etan's a better FT shooter.

I don't think Etan made the Wiz worse -- how could he? I just don't think he made them better.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 28, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"theres also one in the slam magazine. It is interesting to see the national perception of our beloved wizards
Posted by: mrhney03 "

Not very interesting. Any article that begins by suggesting we 'throw out' last season is probably not very reliable.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 28, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

"So for a young team lead by a skinny phenom who hates the weight room, they get to see a guy with all the "right" attitudes stay on the bench. "

How do you know that (A) Durant "hates the weight room" or that (B) he needs the weight room? Last I checked, he wasn't jumping C.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Etan shot 49%? Wow.
I wanna say Mike Miller shoots better than that shooting mostly jumpers.

I'd take Okafor over Haywood personally.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 28, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Haywood is going to have a big season then sign elsewhere. Look at the money offered to Gortat for playing 12mins a night, there is no way we will pay Haywood what it should take to keep him.

All eyes on you Javale!

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Durant doesn't need to bulk up per se. He is a matchup nightmare right now all over the floor. He will need to get stronger and condition his body in the way that Michael, Kobe and others have done. Which is not to say that he isn't doing that already. But he's never gonna be Karl Malone.

Posted by: ts35 | July 28, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

'I don't think Etan made the Wiz worse -- how could he? I just don't think he made them better.'

The overall point for the other poster was that if Etan made us worse (or not any better)...than neither does Kevin Sorbo.

Time will tell!

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I really don't get all the giddy glee over landing Oberto. He's not any better at anything than Songaila was and people couldn't wait to be rid of him. I'm fine with Grunfeld signing Oberto. he's probably the best they could get with what they were willing to spend. But the idea that he'll make any difference whatsoever seems wildly optimistic and out of left field.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Big issue is that Haywood is making about $5.5M per year and Okafor is around $11M on a contract that has 4 seasons to run. Even if the Bobcats would trade in division and accept Mike James' expiring contract to even up the salaries, there is no way that EG would put the Wiz over the luxury cap for what would likely be the next 3-4 years. I also don't think that Okafor is worth what he's being paid or would make the Wizards much better given his limited offensive skills and poor FT shooting.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 28, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure where this "limited offensive skills" stuff is coming from with Okafor. He's averaged double figure scoring every year in the NBA, never averaging less than 13 ppg and has a career FG% of 51%. He's certainly not Tim Duncan or Shaq on offense, but he ain't . . . well . . . Brendan Haywood, either.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"That's not how it works. There's no equation that maps a differential between two players' production versus their contracts and determines their relative value."

No, there is no publicized equation. But for GM who has to deal with cap space they are making trade off evaluation based on a player's value vs. the size of his contract everyday!

Posted by: sagaliba | July 28, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure where this "limited offensive skills" stuff is coming from with Okafor. He's averaged double figure scoring every year in the NBA, never averaging less than 13 ppg and has a career FG% of 51%. He's certainly not Tim Duncan or Shaq on offense, but he ain't . . . well . . . Brendan Haywood, either.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 2:07 PM

I'll bite.

It struck me as somewhat out of character for you to defend his skill set by quoting his stats. To my recollection, stats are usually secondary to what you see on the court.

I've never paid much attention to Okafor, so I can't comment directly, but reading what hollinger (who shoulders a lot of blame for current stat-mangling trends) has to say shows a player who is a limited post player with a shaky shot from both the field and the charity stripe, but once he catches around the rim his strength and athleticism allow him to finish strong."

So it would seem that people say he has "limited offensive skills" because he has glaring weaknesses from the field, but makes up for it around the rim.

What else have you seen from Okafor, besides his stats, that shows a balanced or versatile, as opposed to limited, offensive skill set?

Like I said, I haven't watched him much so I have no opinion in that regard. My only opinion is that stats can't provide an accurate depiction of one's skill set.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/players/hollinger?playerId=2399&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnba%2fplayers%2fhollinger%3fplayerId%3d2399

Posted by: crs-one | July 28, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"I'll bite. "

Yes, you do.

As for the rest . . . what a load.

You talk about stats being secondary to what you see on the court (the one thing you got right, btw) then immediately admit that you haven't really seen Okafor on the court which, of course, makes anything you have to say about him devoid of any relevance or substance. And, as the cherry on the top, you base your "opinion" of him on the writings of a guy who is famous as a numbers cruncher who uses stats as a foundation for pretty much every bball thing he's ever written. Pick one side of the fence and stay on it. That straddling can't be good for your delicate parts.

"What else have you seen from Okafor, besides his stats, that shows a balanced or versatile, as opposed to limited, offensive skill set?"

I never said he had a "balanced or versatile offensive skill set" so really, WTF are you talking about? What was being said about him implied that the guy had no offensive chops. That's simply not true. Again, he's not an every possession, go to post scorer. But he is a guy who can get you points down low in a half-court set. Certainly more so than Chandler (for whom he was just traded) or Haywood (who people claim, wrongly, he's not as good as).

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's the thing about being a double-double guy, it's really about getting 10 boards. There isnt a player in the league pulling in 10 boards who doesnt manage at least 10pts. Of the guys getting the 10rebs, there are those whose points come off the fact they so often find themselves 3ft from the rim with the ball in their hands, and those who have offensive games beyond getting majority of their points on putbacks etc.

The latter category consists of the Duncan's, Bosh's, Boozers, of the world, Okafur is squarely in the former category with the Cambys and Biedrins.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

By watching the games I thought Etan made the team worse - as hard as that is for such a bad team.

For what it's worth, I just went to 82games.com and saw the stats...the on-court off-court stats are pretty bad, however I agree that stats are only secondary to observation.

Who could miss Etan's unique ability to create loose balls near his own basket and turn them into missed free throws?

Posted by: cballer | July 28, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"Here's the thing about being a double-double guy, it's really about getting 10 boards. There isnt a player in the league pulling in 10 boards who doesnt manage at least 10pts. Of the guys getting the 10rebs, there are those whose points come off the fact they so often find themselves 3ft from the rim with the ball in their hands, and those who have offensive games beyond getting majority of their points on putbacks etc.

The latter category consists of the Duncan's, Bosh's, Boozers, of the world, Okafur is squarely in the former category with the Cambys and Biedrins.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 4:00 PM "

There are no guys on Les BouleS who can muster the 10+ and 10+ toughly in the paint, nevermind the # of blocked shots that Okafor also brings to the table.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

DC_MAN88,

What have Okafor's team's ever won? What is their record vs Wiz since okafor has been there?

You are the guy who thinks the Lakers winning a ring is the be all, end all of every player discussion.

So tell me what Okafor has ever done in his career that we should give a crap who decides to pay his $40million salary.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

"It appears DC_MANNs logic is based around belief that since Ernie drafted McGee, it's impossible Javale could ever outplay anyone.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 10:17 AM "

Past history has shown that EG's moves (both in the draft and in FA) are not only questionable, but have flat out failed.

It's too early to tell about JaTravel, but he hasn't shown anybody anything beyond the ability to block a shot and make a flashy dunk once in awhile for about 25-35 games. Not exactly hard for a player 7 feet tall with some athletic ability.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse


Yes, you do.

Clever. And classy, so bonus.

And, as the cherry on the top, you base your "opinion" of him on the writings of a guy who is famous as a numbers cruncher who uses stats as a foundation for pretty much every bball thing he's ever written.

A fact that I acknowledged, and a reason I chose to quote him. He's a person who "uses stats as a foundation for pretty much every thing he's written" but still points out a limited offensive game

I never said he had a "balanced or versatile offensive skill set" so really, WTF are you talking about?

I chose "balanced or versatile offensive skill set" as it seemed to be a logical alternative to "limited offensive skill set." If you don't agree with it, choose your own terms. Well-rounded skill set. Good fundamental skill set. Whatever you would say he has since you do not feel he has a "limited" skill set.

What was being said about him implied that the guy had no offensive chops. That's simply not true.

Agreed! But now you're shifting your original statement. You didn't attack the idea that he had "no offensive chops." You went after those who said he had "limited offensive skills." And you backed it up only with stats. You pride yourself in not being a fence sitter, and you admit that stats are secondary to what you see on the court (nay, you subordinate them in favor of your analysis of what you see on the court.) So back it up. What do you see on the court that indicates that Okafor's offensive skills are not limited?

Posted by: crs-one | July 28, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

'There are no guys on Les BouleS who can muster the 10+ and 10+ toughly in the paint'

Jamison flirts with 20/10 every season, averaged it in '08. And please don't tell me the rebounds arent "toughly in the paint"

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"Jamison flirts with 20/10 every season, averaged it in '08. And please don't tell me the rebounds arent "toughly in the paint"

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 6:22 PM "

There's nothing tough about MeTawn. Get real.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, Yeah, when Etan came into the game, it did make us worse.

Whatever chemistry we had went south. And I really mean South, like all the way to Aruba.

I can see him now grabbing a rebound and swinging around like he had just taken it from Wilt.

Oh Yeah! He was tough and hustled hard. All over the floor, while the center was left wide open.

Oberto's numbers might be equal to Etan (whatever his name is) but the difference will be how Oberto plays with the Team.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 28, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

"What else have you seen from Okafor, besides his stats, that shows a balanced or versatile, as opposed to limited, offensive skill set?"

An athlete's skills are always limited to some lesser or greater extent, obviously some more than others. Much of my opinion of Okafor is based on reading others' observations rather than my own. Here's an assessment that suggests that Okafor's skill set is limited but still contains an enviable range of offensive weapons when compared to Chandler or oh say, BTH.

"Gets almost half of his offense from post ups, with the rest coming from pick and rolls, cuts off the ball, and offensive rebounds. Loves to turn over his left shoulder, and does a good job of shielding the ball and finishing with contact. Shows a decent right handed hook, but needs to diversify his offensive game with fakes and shots with his left hand. Has nice form on his jumper, and has consistent range out to about thirteen feet. Will miss open looks from time to time, but has improved his touch considerably. Not turnover prone in the least. Extremely stingy with his dribble, and doesn’t put the ball on the floor unless he is going to get into position to score. Major offensive weakness is his free throw shooting. Has made some improvements on the offensive end, but is still fairly mechanical at times. His ability to maintain position and grab offensive rebounds makes him a valuable addition regardless of how many touches he gets in close. Not the most talented offensive player around, but is effective regardless."

Posted by: midlevex | July 28, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing tough about MeTawn. Get real.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 7:32 PM

Jamison battles in the paint, only a true hater could deny that. Say what you want about his obvious defensive deficiencies, you wont get any argument from me.

But to suggest the guy isn't doing yeoman's work night after night on the glass means either 1)you dont watch him play and/or 2)you just hate the team and post here for the sake of trashing every aspect of them

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

"Jamison battles in the paint, only a true hater could deny that. Say what you want about his obvious defensive deficiencies, you wont get any argument from me.

But to suggest the guy isn't doing yeoman's work night after night on the glass means either 1)you dont watch him play and/or 2)you just hate the team and post here for the sake of trashing every aspect of them

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 10:58 PM "

Please, the only battling MeTawn is doing is to see who can rack up the highest stats regardless if Les BouleS win or lose.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Here's an assessment that suggests that Okafor's skill set is limited but still contains an enviable range of offensive weapons when compared to Chandler or oh say, BTH.

Posted by: midlevex | July 28, 2009 9:02 PM

A well-selected analysis. Much more effective than a simple statistic.

Posted by: crs-one | July 28, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Jamison flirts with 10 rebounds a game, but he is no battler. He is exceptionally crafty, a quick jumper, has a good feel for where to be, when to jump, etc. It is the same craftiness he uses on the offensive end, where he always looks for the easy bucket, often in the form of a quick turn-n-scoop shot under his opponent's underarm. Those are unique, savvy skills which make Jamison a legit NBA player. However, one should not take his 20 and 10 stats as proof that he is a legit PF. A proper PF should bang, intimidate, menace, muscle, gatekeep the paint and wear down opponents, none of which Jamison does. In short, Jamison is the rare pf who puts up pf numbers without playing a pf game. While those personal numbers undoubtedly help the team, they do not mean that his game doesn't create deficiencies for the team. I think the same argument could be made for Blatche. While Haywood is a decent center and Mcgee is hugely promising, neither has the dominant size of center skills needed to make up for our softness at PF. This team still needs muscle in the frontcourt, and until it has it, will never truly contend against the big boys.

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 29, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse

"Again, [Okafor's]not an every possession, go to post scorer. But he is a guy who can get you points down low in a half-court set. Certainly more so than Chandler (for whom he was just traded) or Haywood (who people claim, wrongly, he's not as good as).Posted by: kalo_rama"

The accounts in the media are amazing. Yesterday I came across one that insisted Larry Brown wanted Chandler because he could play PF while Okafor couldn't.

It's just nuts. At least with stats, you can check your observations against some numbers. These guys aren't even bothering to do that, just printing whatever drivel passes through their heads.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 29, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

'A proper PF should bang, intimidate, menace, muscle, gatekeep the paint and wear down opponents, none of which Jamison does. In short, Jamison is the rare pf who puts up pf numbers without playing a pf game.'

Look at the top 10 rebounders in the nba listed as "F" and tell me which are the intimidating, bangers you speak of.

Dirk? No. Bosh? No. Durant? No. Gasul? No.

In short, the nba has changed, there are no more Oakley's, Mason;s, etc. Game is far more finesse than it was.

Posted by: divi3 | July 29, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

A proper PF should bang, intimidate, menace, muscle, gatekeep the paint and wear down opponents, none of which Jamison does. In short, Jamison is the rare pf who puts up pf numbers without playing a pf game.

He may not be a banger, but if you think those "intimidators" want to come guard Jamison 15 feet out and further from the basket or that chasing him around doesn't "wear them out" you're crazy.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

'A proper PF should bang, intimidate, menace, muscle, gatekeep the paint and wear down opponents, none of which Jamison does. In short, Jamison is the rare pf who puts up pf numbers without playing a pf game.'

"Look at the top 10 rebounders in the nba listed as "F" and tell me which are the intimidating, bangers you speak of.

Dirk? No. Bosh? No. Durant? No. Gasul? No.

In short, the nba has changed, there are no more Oakley's, Mason;s, etc. Game is far more finesse than it was."

True, it has become more of a finesse game. However, jump shooting, perimeter teams with poor D still don't seriously contend. All great teams have toughness up front. While Gasol and Bosh aren't classic bangers, they're both tough and seven feet tall, which creates match-up problems for the 6'9 Jamisons of the NBA. Durant and Dirk are great scorers and get their rebounds, but their lack of interior toughness creates the same 'soft' deficiencies for their respective teams Jamison does with the Wiz. Frontcourt deficiencies can be made up elsewhere on the roster, provided it is long and athletic throughout. Ours hasn't been for years. With the exception of Gil pre-operation, we haven't had a single elite 'athlete' on our roster in a long time, and many players, Pech, Thomas, Blatche, Songalia etc. who, despite some skills, who were (are) not NBA starter-caliber athletes. For years, we have been soft... interior toughness being the obvious hole that Grunfeld (as Cerrato with the Skin's O-line) has been unable to fill since it was obvious that it was holding us back in the 2005 playoffs.

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 29, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 27, 2009 8:00 PM

[A good GM does not have to 'bat'] "100%, but also, not 0% like EG's record.

Kupchak got Gasol and won a ring this past season.

What has EG won?

EG's version of lemonade didn't even translate to Les BouleS nevermind winning the lottery, but couldn't even hold their #2 worst in the NBA spot and dropped to 5th place instead that was traded for money."

He also asks:

'Why can't Les BouleS be in "advanced stage of negotiations" with a trade for Emeka Okafor?'

To which divi3 aptly responds:

Is that your idea of being a good GM? Taking on Okafur's $40million contract?

People call DC_MAN88 a "hater." Maybe. But I wonder if he's not involved in "black ops" (more specifically "psyops")for another team, either voluntarily or as part of his paid duties. I know it seems wild, and it would certainly be unsportsmanlike, but I'm sure that 95% of his posts are negative about the Wizards, as though he's trying to get into people's heads in a demoralizing way. In this day and age, is it really that wild to think that a team might pay someone to type away in his cubicle negative crap aimed at opponents' heads. I cannot for the life of me see his posts as the work of a supporter of the team, but if you read them as the work of someone acting on behalf of another team, it makes sense.

What's it matter? As one who wishes the Wizards well, I don't want DC's bile to mess with any of the players' heads. I assume that some of team read this blog sometimes, and some of these players are young. A veteran like Jamison can probably flush that crap down readily, but I doubt that the young ones are experienced enough.

Come on, DC! Your cover is blown, MAN! Who are you working for? And who does #2 work for?

[Actually, my guesses about DC are as follows: 1) he has a grudge against the Wizards, 2) he is a fan of another team, voluntarily performing black ops against the Wiz, 3) he is a paid agent of another team, doing the same.]

Posted by: 7snider7 | July 29, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"People call DC_MAN88 a "hater." Maybe. But I wonder if he's not involved in "black ops" (more specifically "psyops")for another team, either voluntarily or as part of his paid duties. I know it seems wild, and it would certainly be unsportsmanlike, but I'm sure that 95% of his posts are negative about the Wizards, as though he's trying to get into people's heads in a demoralizing way. In this day and age, is it really that wild to think that a team might pay someone to type away in his cubicle negative crap aimed at opponents' heads. I cannot for the life of me see his posts as the work of a supporter of the team, but if you read them as the work of someone acting on behalf of another team, it makes sense.

What's it matter? As one who wishes the Wizards well, I don't want DC's bile to mess with any of the players' heads. I assume that some of team read this blog sometimes, and some of these players are young. A veteran like Jamison can probably flush that crap down readily, but I doubt that the young ones are experienced enough.

Come on, DC! Your cover is blown, MAN! Who are you working for? And who does #2 work for?

[Actually, my guesses about DC are as follows: 1) he has a grudge against the Wizards, 2) he is a fan of another team, voluntarily performing black ops against the Wiz, 3) he is a paid agent of another team, doing the same.]

Posted by: 7snider7 | July 29, 2009 3:49 PM "

So sorry you wasted 1/2 hour of your life typing that nonsense.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 29, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Why would the WIZARDS trade HAYWOOD? Look what happened last year without him.

Posted by: glawrence007 | July 29, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Why would the WIZARDS trade HAYWOOD? Look what happened last year without him.

Posted by: glawrence007 | July 29, 2009 10:41 PM "

Unfortunately, there's a difference between doing the right thing and doing the Les BouleS thing.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 30, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

So sorry you wasted 1/2 hour of your life typing that nonsense.

DC, it might take you that long to type an entry. Hey, so what is the deal? What is your major malfunction? Why so predictably negative about EVERYTHING Wiz related?

Posted by: 7snider7 | July 30, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

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