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Southeast Gets Tougher if Odom Joins Heat

I'm not sure what the Charlotte Bobcats are doing -- dealing Emeka Okafor to New Orleans for Tyson Chandler -- but I know for sure that the Washington Wizards had better hope that Lamar Odom is bluffing and is merely using his reported meeting with Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade as leverage to get a bigger contract from the Los Angeles Lakers. Because if Odom returns to the Miami Heat next season, the Southeast Division will be the toughest division in the NBA from top to bottom. (The Southwest Division, with San Antonio, Dallas, New Orleans and Houston, once held that title, but with Houston losing Yao Ming for the year, that could change.)


Do you really want to see this again? (Photo by Victor Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)

Odom would be the piece that could put the Heat back among the Eastern Conference elite, with his playmaking skills, athleticism and rebounding filling a huge hole for a team that struggled at both power forward and point guard last season. The Heat could solve two problems with one player. Since he already played with Wade, resurrected his career in his one season in Miami and maintains an offseason home there, it wouldn't be a difficult adjustment for him.

That being said, I still have a hard time seeing Odom walk away from the Lakers. They've offered him about $9 million a season, which is much, much more than $5.8 million -- even when you factor in that there is no state income tax in Florida. But, if Riley can lure him with his charm and a simple check for the mid-level exception, it would be a major heist -- and make the challenge of moving up the Eastern Conference ladder (heck, the Southeast Division ladder) even more difficult for the Wizards.

Odom brings more to the table, and helps the Heat in ways that Carlos Boozer -- who has already declared his desire to come to Miami in a trade -- cannot. Odom doesn't really overlap anything they already have, plus he wouldn't come at the cost of losing a promising prospect like Michael Beasley, who I believe can become a really good player in this league, if the Heat decides to finally use him correctly.

Las Vegas oddsmakers still have the Lakers as the favorite to win the title, with or without Odom. But I think the loss of Odom is a major blow for the Lakers, given the annual Andrew Bynum breakdown. They are playing hardball with Odom and are making several cost-cutting measures, which is confusing since the Lakers are one of the biggest cash cows in the NBA.

The Lakers already helped out the Wizards by giving them Caron Butler, but if they let Odom walk back to Miami for nothing, they would seriously hurt the Wizards. The Southeast Division is already pretty stacked with the defending Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic (which has been stockpiling talent all summer) and the rising Atlanta Hawks (who retained its own free agents and added Jamal Crawford). Odom to the Heat makes it highly likely that four teams, including the Wizards, will win at least 40 games.


I'm leaving the Southeast Division, Dwight. We never had much of a rivalry anyway. (Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

As for the Bobcats, I haven't been able to understand what they've been up to for the past season. I just know that since Larry Brown has come on as coach, they've been making trades like a Wall Street stockbroker.

Gerald Wallace is now the only player remaining from the original team Ed Tapscott built in 2004-05. Okafor was the first draft choice in franchise history. When I spoke to Tapscott five years ago before the Bobcats played their first game, he said Okafor's arrival with the No. 2 pick was "[s]ort of like central casting opening their doors for us."

But the Bobcats decided to trade him one year after signing him to a six-year, $72 million contract. The Bobcats only have three of the seven lottery picks they've ever selected, with Okafor following Brandan Wright (draft day deal in 2007) Adam Morrison and Sean May out of town. Raymond Felton, a restricted free agent, D.J. Augustin and Gerald Henderson are the only lottery picks left -- and Felton has been mentioned in more rumors than you can count.

After this trade, I think it's a little funny that there actually was a debate five years ago about which player should go No. 1 -- Dwight Howard or Okafor. Okafor won the rookie of the year award (only because his stats were better) but anyone could tell, after watching those two guys play, that Howard was going to be the better player down the road. Okafor isn't a bad player. He's a double-double machine, but his problem has been durability (although he has played each game the past two seasons) and fluidity. There is little smooth about his game, but I'm still surprised that Charlotte gave up on him so swiftly. Then, again, Brown has been known to fall out of love with players in the time it takes someone to run one suicide.

I've heard that one of the reasons Okafor fell out of favor with Brown was because he wasn't solely focused on basketball. Okafor is committed to the game, but he wouldn't be classified as a gym rat. Still, Bob Johnson is looking to sell the team and with about $62 million remaining on his salary, Okafor was expendable and clears up some future cap room for a potential buyer.

I cannot say that the Bobcats got considerably worse in getting Chandler because this trade seems to be more motivated by money than anything else. I'm just trying to figure out how Charlotte will score points next season. Wallace? Felton? Boris Diaw? Vladimir Radmanovic? Chandler is a great defender when healthy but is offensively challenged and he won't have Chris Paul to toss him lobs out of the pick-and-roll. He also has struggled to stay off the inactive list, with his ankle and surgically repaired toe forcing him to miss 37 games last season -- when Oklahoma City voided a trade deadline deal to acquire him.

The Bobcats will be competitive, because they always have been -- even though that hasn't always resulted in wins. But they might be the closest thing to a light night in the Southeast Division, especially if Odom joins Wade in Miami.

By Michael Lee  |  July 28, 2009; 12:39 PM ET
 
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Next: Odom Stays in LA

Comments

ESPN reporting the Lakers just LOWERED their offer to Odom, calling his bluff and then some. Ouch

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

How is that calling his bluff? They already called his bluff when Buss took the previous deal off the table. It didn't work, because Odom didn't come scurrying back to the Lakers begging for another chance. It seems pretty clear that he's not bluffing and is willing to leave LA if they don't back the truck up to his door.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

No one is backing up the truck to his door, quite the opposite it would seem given the Lakers reduced what they were offering. Is that news going to spur the Heat to offer him more? Dont think so.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Michael's analysis of the Bobcats is dead on. Pairing Jordan's lack of insight into personnel moves with Brown's impatience and impulsiveness regarding players' value was a really bad idea.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone suggested this latest move reflects Bob Johnson's desire to sell the team, which is easier without large contractual obligations. Wonder if MJ is still interested?

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Heat only have the MLE to offer from what I understand while the Lakers have offered him $10M/year for three years or $9M/year for four years. Wit the Lakers, Odom has a legit chance at winning another ring or two while he's in his prime. Playing in Miami, he's likely to go deep in the playoffs but the Heat don't have the talent at point guard or center to really challenge for the Easter Conference crown.

Odom has proven he's a good 3rd option on a talented team like the Lakers but was never able to be the supporting actor to the star (Kobe) needed to get a team over the hump. It took the Lakers acquiring Gasol before they were able to contend in the West. I don't see him being able to shoulder a heavier load in Miami where they have no big man close to the caliber of Gasol.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 28, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"No one is backing up the truck to his door, quite the opposite it would seem given the Lakers reduced what they were offering."

Which was exactly (and obviously) my point. The Lakers aren't ponying up the money and thus he's looking to go elsewhere. It helps if you read the whole thing before writing a response.

"Is that news going to spur the Heat to offer him more? Dont think so."

The Heat can't offer him more than the full MLE (which they've already offered), so there's no "spurring" involved. It all comes down to whether his pride was hurt enough by what he feels was the Lakers hardball tactics that he'd be willing to take less and go elsewhere just to give Buss the finger.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Odom finally showed some consistent effort in his contract year, but not enough to keep the Lakers from going 7 with a Yao-less rockets or being pushed by the upstart Nuggets. And where was he last year when they really needed him in the Finals?

Guy is an invisible man all too often to warrant a big payday because he decided to show 70% of the time in his money year.

Personally I don't care of the Heat sign him at all. More likely he will disappoint than deliver.

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If Haywood was offered a better deal than what the Wizards offered (A) there almost certainly would have been some reporting of it and (B) there's no reason to think he wouldn't have taken it.

Posted by: kalo_rama
-------------------------------------------

A) Of course he wasn't offered a better or ANY deal from other teams! In fact, he can't according to NBA rules. He signed the extension BEFORE going into free agency where other teams may make an offer. In other words, Wiz made him an offer he deemed reasonable and signed it instead of holding out and wishing to get something better. That's what I meant by "not greedy."

B) Of course if there is a better offer he probably would've taken it, wouldn't you? But that has nothing to do with "greedy." (Would you think of yourself as "greedy" in that case?) As explained above, greedy to me means you hold out and drag on, sometimes into unpleasant territory just try to extract more money or a bloated contract, think about Varejao last season, or Boozer in his last FA fiasco, etc.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 28, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

does it surprise anyone on this blog that the Bobcats are still recovering from Tapscott's tenure. Why would anyone put that clown in charge of constructing a team.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | July 28, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

@ZardsFan1:
D'OH

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 28, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"That's what I meant by "not greedy.""

You keep babbling about him not being "greedy" like it was some kind of high moral stand. A guy can't be greedy when there's no food on the table to gobble up. For all you know (and, really, in all likelihood) he signed the Wizards' extension because he (and his agent) didn't believe there was a substantial demand for his services on the FA market. Just that simple. All of this "not greedy" stuff is empty air. He signed the best deal he thought he was going to get.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Well Flip you've got your work cut out for you now, you had better pray Odom stays in LA.

Posted by: dargregmag | July 28, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"does it surprise anyone on this blog that the Bobcats are still recovering from Tapscott's tenure. Why would anyone put that clown in charge of constructing a team."
-ZardsFan1

ETaps career has been a mixed bag but his results with the Bobcats wasn't out-of-the-ordinary bad for an expansion franchise. Their record improved modestly, year by year and even in their first year they didn't finish last in the Southeast. On the positive side he had a hand in putting together the 1999 NY Knick Cinderella team that played into the finals.
On the minus, he missed picking Artest with the Knicks 15th pick and instead drafted a French center who never played in the NBA.
Hard to draw any conclusions from his season coaching the injury plagued Wizards, they were off to a 1 and 10 start when he took over from Jordan.

As far as Odom going to the Heat, is he really the missing piece or just another piece to an incomplete puzzle? If Odom is added to Haslem, O'Neal, Magloire and Beasley along with a couple of journeymen centers there may be another move involving one of their big men for a solid point guard.

Posted by: midlevex | July 28, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I don't get the Chandler/Okafor trade at all.

What's the upside for Charlotte?

Chandler can play the "5" more? Is that it?

Posted by: SteveMG | July 28, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

People are too quick to fall in love with Odom when he plays his best.

History has shown that he will always be an inconsistent performer. So, while adding a talent like his to the Heat would improve them, it does not automatically elevate them to elite status.

I also think it is pretty funny that LA is lowering their offer. They realize that it is now only a two team battle for LO's services and Miami can only offer the MLE. I bet it is only a scare tactic, so that if they raise their offer back up Odom makes his choice right away.

Posted by: SportzWiz | July 28, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get the Chandler/Okafor trade at all."

The Bobcats are up for sale and looking to dump long term salary commitments to make themselves a more enticing, if not more talented property. Chandler will make more than Okafor next year and 2010-11 but that is the final year of his contract, Okafor still has five years left on a six-year, $72 million deal he signed last year.

Posted by: midlevex | July 28, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"SPN reporting the Lakers just LOWERED their offer to Odom, calling his bluff and then some. Ouch

Posted by: divi3 | July 28, 2009 12:49 PM "

They can do so because they signed Artest.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

wait i don't get it, how does miami signing odom hurt us...if anything it helps us...it weakens a lakers team we will surely see in the 2010 finals...i hope odom signs with miami!

hahaha

wizards 2010 baby!

Posted by: jasonma1 | July 28, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

michael lee does not watch basketball. yesterday he talks about how deep the wiz are. Oh yeah...their 7809 wing players will really do damage in the east. then he clamors about odom. odom is great half the time. Yes, he has the attributes but he brings it half the time. He doesn't have the x factor that makes him an elite player. One day he's a playmaker doing great things, the other day he's pickin his nose and his box score shows 2 points, 3 boards, and 1 assist.

that's why the lakers signed artest. The dude is a baller and brings it everday. he's not a little mental p*ss like odom. He's the opposite...which is the scary part about artest..but he's kept it in check the past few years.

Posted by: jdgreger@yahoo.com | July 28, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

michael lee does not watch basketball. yesterday...

Or you could of completely misread the articles.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 28, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

@jdgreger

Odom's ability to disappear on any given night is well-documented, but if you don't think a supremely gifted playmaker who stuffs the stat sheet with with career averages of 15.1 ppg/8.8 rpg/4.2 apg/1bpg will help improve the Miami Heat, maybe you're the one who doesn't watch much basketball?

Odom certainly doesn't live up to his potential--but he has the potential to be a superstar ala KG, so even lacking a killer instinct he's STILL a premier player in the NBA.

On a different note, it's obvious the Wiz are fielding their deepest team in over a decade. I'm not sure how you could really make an effective argument about that, but if you've got a Wiz roster from the last 10 (heck, 20) years that you think had more talent either in the starting 5 or on the bench than this year, let's see it.

Posted by: Plix | July 28, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

"The Bobcats are up for sale and looking to dump long term salary commitments to make themselves a more enticing, if not more talented property. Chandler will make more than Okafor next year and 2010-11 but that is the final year of his contract, Okafor still has five years left on a six-year, $72 million deal he signed last year."

plus, Larry Brown is notorious for falling in and out of love with players at the drop of a hat and wanting to trade half his roster on any given day. He needs to be paired with a strong GM who knows what he's doing, can stand up to him, tell him no, and provide a stable foundation for him to concentrate on what he does best: coaching. In Charlotte he's got Michael Jordan.

'Nuff said.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 28, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

It is too ovious for heat to be a better team if they sign odom.The improvment of wiz is just to win 50 games, both miami and Atlanta will have the same chance to win 50 games.For wiz to advance to second round they need a minimum the 5th seed in play off which is a 1st round run with out home court advantage.Their best chance is either to win the south east division which is a miracle or get their home court advantage by fighting for the 4th spot.Odom's impact is significant, the heat will have a better chance to be deep in playoff with odom and healthy wade than the current roster of wizard.

Posted by: gtefferra | July 28, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Don't think one player going to Miami is gonna affect the Wizards that much.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 28, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Odom's been on the downward slide ever since he first left Miami. In talking with the Heat, he could be fondly reminiscing of his glory days, thinking that going back to Miami will reinvigorate his career. But he would be wrong.

Odom hasn't been a great player, or even a significantly good player, in a long time. His addition to the Southeast division would amount to little more than a blip on the radar. He averaged almost 30 minutes per game last season, yet eked out a measly 8 rebounds, 11 points, a block, a steal and a 62% free-throw percentage. Why should anyone be worried about that?

Sure, he's a talented player who brings an "x-factor"-type quality to the Playoffs. But he's also a notorious slacker. The Lakers would be fortunate for him to leave, if only for the cleared cap space. He's just another in a long line of veterans who AWTM*.

* AWTM: newly-minted acronym for "aren't worth that much".

Posted by: satchmore | July 28, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

"Odom hasn't been a great player, or even a significantly good player, in a long time. His addition to the Southeast division would amount to little more than a blip on the radar. He averaged almost 30 minutes per game last season, yet eked out a measly 8 rebounds, 11 points, a block, a steal and a 62% free-throw percentage. Why should anyone be worried about that?

Sure, he's a talented player who brings an "x-factor"-type quality to the Playoffs. But he's also a notorious slacker.

Posted by: satchmore | July 28, 2009 9:45 PM "

And Gilby averaged around 30 ppg for two straight seasons and what kind of championshop glory followed?

Gilby, of course, is a "notorious slacker" on defense.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 28, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Even though he isn't always the most consistent player, Odom is a very good one. Like a few people have said in comments here, he thrives as a 3rd man but falls short of expectations as a 2nd man (see the Laker's 04/05 season "success").

But with the Heat, his role would be somewhat blurry. He can play on the wing and down low, so it shouldn't be too hard fitting him in somewhere; however, he's got nearly the exact same skillset as Haslem&Beasley do combined, with better ballhandling. He's probably the best ballhandling 6'10 player in the league, aside from maybe Kevin Durant, and his versatility is huge. He alone likely won't propell the Heat to 55+ wins, which is probably what they'll expect if they do in fact sign him. If the Heat win that many games (which I don't see likely), it's because D-wade plays at the level he did this past season, the young guys (Cook, Beasley, Chalmers) all step up, J.O'neal & Haslem stay healthy, and Odom gels in successfully.

I see the final SE standings filling out like this though

Magic - roughly 60 wins
Wizards - roughly 50 wins
Atlanta - roughly 45 wins
Miami w/ odom - roughly 45 wins
Miami w/ out odom - roughly 40 wins
Charlotte - roughly 30 wins

Posted by: tdavelfresco | July 28, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Odom's impact is significant, the heat will have a better chance to be deep in playoff with odom and healthy wade than the current roster of wizard.

Posted by: gtefferra | July 28, 2009 8:06 PM
______

lol...and you know this how?

There is not doubt he makes the Heat better, but I have a problem with the assumption that he makes them an *elite* team and they are not a particularly deep team with or without him. The Wiz are a better *team* than the Heat even with Odom, in my opinion. And, yes, Wade is a great player, but he won with Shaq when he was still capable of dominating somewhat unlike the Shaq/LeBron pairing now. Odom, not so much!

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 29, 2009 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Let's see Wes Unseld GM ruins Wiz and Tapscott GM ruins Bobcat then become coach of Wiz and wasted a year almost chasing our young talent out. Oh but he's still with the organization.

Posted by: rnbrown4 | July 29, 2009 6:37 AM | Report abuse

"Odom hasn't been a great player, or even a significantly good player, in a long time. His addition to the Southeast division would amount to little more than a blip on the radar." -satchmore

I hope you're right because if the motivated Odom shows up with any consistency wearing a Heat uniform Miami will be a handful.
Would the Lakers have won it all without him? I tend to think not.
Interesting position Miami is in with Beasley, there are questions whether he's going to find a way to compensate for what was sufficient size and power to dominate at the college level inside and out but has translated to a weak low post game and a last-resort to his stronger perimeter game. His offensive rebounding and his success around the rim have been greatly reduced in the pros. Removing that inside dimension from his game reduces his once dominant presence to at best a talented role player.
Miami is undersized and perhaps as Michael Lee suggests the Heat could use Odom to take on the low post where Haslem is a nice player but undersized.
Consistency is the variable with the multi-dimensional talent Odom brings, part of his allure but also part of his problem; with so many offensive options his focus is liable to be divided among them and he can play himself out of the game.
The Wizard's Blatche may be suffering in some degree from the same surplus of riches.

Posted by: midlevex | July 29, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

It's a telling indication of the asset deflation the economy is experiencing to compare the $300 million price Bob Johnson paid in 2003 for the expansion Charlotte franchise and the estimated $284 million it's worth now as he looks to sell. The free agency season has looked a little different this year as strategies on both sides are adapting to a new set of circumstances.

Posted by: midlevex | July 29, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

does anyone know if former georgetown center BUBUKAR AHH is still available? zards should sign him.

Posted by: wizRjizz | July 29, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I love Odom as a player but addinf him to the Heat won't really hurt the Wiz. The biggest concern is how we match up against physical power forwards because we start Jamison, who is nice but a sixth man on a championship contender.
Skill will not hurt the Wiz as currently constructed. Athletic strength will.
Beasley and Odom up front, Haslem, too, will not be overwhelming.
DWade on the other hand ...

Posted by: BigWesGoingToTakeA | July 29, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Michael Beasley is an interesting case -- you hear folks on blogs writing him off as a bust after one season. That's a case of exaggerated expectations. Beasley actually had a decent if not exceptional first year.

Part of the problem is he didn't see that much action. He suited up for 81 contests but garnered only 19 starts and averaged 25 minutes for the season. That's comparable to Blatche except for the starts; Andray got 36.

Beasley's numbers: 13.9 pts, 5.4 rb, 47% FG, 78% FT, 1.49 TOs. The FG% was brought down by an unexpected reliance on the 3 pointer, which he had trouble hitting.

Beasley's listed in the program at 6'9" but he measures about an inch shorter in his Boks. He makes up for it somewhat with good length and jumping ability -- his max vertical is a very respectable 11.5.5". One advantage is that he's both agile and very fast -- designed for a full court offense. That suggests he's probably not Pat Riley's dream player, and would produce more in a different scheme.

Odom's a lot better than Beasley at the moment, and if the Buss family drives him out of LA, he could really help Wade take that club deeper into the playoffs. Why would the Lakers want to lose Odom, when he was such a factor in their title? Beats me, but that's big-time sports for ya.

Beasley IMO would be a good prospect for a trade to another club.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 29, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

About that max vertical leap measurement, the 'dunker's delight' -- Javale McGee came in at 12'3", one of only two in his class (the other was Anthony Randolph) to hit the twelve foot mark. None in this most recent class. Others in previous classes who've topped 12' include Greg Oden (that was when he weighed under 260), Saer Sene, and remarkably, Ronnie Brewer, a swingman.

The only other player in the past five drafts to hit 12'3" at the combine: Dwight Howard.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 29, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

You keep babbling about him not being "greedy" like it was some kind of high moral stand. A guy can't be greedy when there's no food on the table to gobble up. For all you know (and, really, in all likelihood) he signed the Wizards' extension because he (and his agent) didn't believe there was a substantial demand for his services on the FA market. Just that simple. All of this "not greedy" stuff is empty air. He signed the best deal he thought he was going to get.

Posted by: kalo_rama
------------------------------------------
LOL, I brought it up once, and then was kept busy responding to your irrelevant and illogical counter-arguments. So if you see me bringing it up N times, that means N-1 times your counter arguments have been debunked.

Are you saying you KNEW Dalembert was going to get a BIG contract before he went into FA? Etan Thomas KNEW that Milwaukee was going to knock on his door? (Heck the Wiz didn't even offer Etan the type of contract they offered Haywood!) Seriously? Last I checked, you crystal ball couldn't even predict the contract Gortat just got! In fact, your crystal ball hasn't predicted anything yet.

Yeah, Haywood signed thinking that was a good contract, because he didn't overvalue himself (that's the what I was talking about if you don't like "not greedy"). Examples to the contrary would be Varejao last season, or Deshawn Stevenson in '06, etc.

Posted by: sagaliba | July 29, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"Beasley IMO would be a good prospect for a trade to another club."

Miami, if they land Odom, might want to move the Bease. Suggestions of picking up Odom and moving Udonis Haslem for Boozer are floating around but Haslem has an expiring contract and the 2010 free agency is being plotted and planned for.
But the anticipated 2010 free agency may have popped the bubble as the economy lowers luxury caps and owners tighten budgets. Moves that otherwise would have seemed inconceivable for the 2009-10 season may be seen in a new light.

Posted by: midlevex | July 29, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I should have probably just posted this link. Scroll down to see the Summer League evals of Young and Blatche..

http://www.draftexpress.com/article/NBA-Vegas-Summer-League-Player-Reports-Part-One--3295/

Posted by: Samson151 | July 29, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"Are you saying you KNEW Dalembert was going to get a BIG contract before he went into FA? Etan Thomas KNEW that Milwaukee was going to knock on his door? (Heck the Wiz didn't even offer Etan the type of contract they offered Haywood!) Seriously? Last I checked, you crystal ball couldn't even predict the contract Gortat just got! In fact, your crystal ball hasn't predicted anything yet."

Are you really that stupid? (Rhetorical question, of course.)

Basketball is a business. A big money business. Part of success in any business is knowing the marketplace. Part of an agent's job is knowing what the market is like for his client when it comes time to shop his services. Can they predict exactly what kind of deals will be offered and for how much? Of course not, but then I (unlike you) never suggested anything so idiotic. But they can, do, and must know if there's demand out there for their clients before they counsel them on whether to leave a sure deal on the table and go hunting for better. Really, that's basic business (and life) 101: Look before you leap. Haywood and his agent looked, saw it was a long way down with no net, and stepped back off the ledge.

Seriously, are you really this stupid? (I'm actually asking. I really want to know.)

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 29, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Kal, you and Songalia are having a really esoteric debate. Although for the record, I have not idea what Songalia is saying either.

Posted by: rphilli721 | July 29, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Darius Songaila would make more sense than anything this guy is saying (even if he were speaking in Lithuanian).

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

But...who's scared of Lamar Odom???

This guy shows up once every other month...I really dont care if he goes to the Heat or anyone else for that matter. And he thinks he shuld get 10 mill?

If I was the Lakers I would have hit him with the New York accent.....GET OUTTA HERE!!!

Posted by: Gtown87 | July 29, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Gtown87:

Bingo on Odom, who cares where he goes. Guy is a slacker, and if any more proof is needed, just look at the almost non-existent interest in him across the league- coming off a championship season.

Posted by: divi3 | July 29, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I'd have been much more concerned if I were the Wizards and Miami had acquired a center that wasn't as fragile as Jermaine O'Neal. Miami is going to end up either playing (a) small ball with either Odom or Haslem at center when O'Neal inevitably gets hurt and (b) relying on a second year PG in Mario Chalmers. I see Odom taking away minutes from Beasley, but he's never proven to be a top 2nd banana on any team.

If Odom was smart, he'd have accepted the first offer from the Lakers and played the 6th man role where he flourished last year. Considering he's almost 31, you would have figured that Odom would want the stability and chance to win championships that is proved by the Lakers. If Odom signs for the MLE with Miami and Wade decides to leave as a FA after this year, where does that leave him?

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 29, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question:

Who do we think will have the upper hand on this team, Gilbert or Flip Saunders?

Gilbert has clearly had free rein for as long as he's been in DC. This is probably the first time since he's been here that he will be playing for a coach who can afford to take a stand against him. Flip has a better reputation than EJ did, and he was EG's hand-picked choice. This year, we even have enough depth on the perimeter for Flip to tell Gil, "I think Randy Foye playing hard at both ends of the floor is better than Agent Zero only playing offense." Could this be the year when Agent Zero learns to harness his gifts, plays the
"right way," and becomes a force at both ends of the floor?

Posted by: yop32 | July 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

could u copy and paste the wiz related stuff from the draftexpress website to here please...thanks

Posted by: jasonma1 | July 29, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

On Gil:

He has a ton to prove and Flip is known as a great coach...I think Gil will be more than happy to follow direction. By the same token, Flip is not like Larry Brown and wont try and micro-manage every possession. Should allow Gil plenty of playmaking freedom.

As to becoming "a force on both ends of the floor"

I dont see that ever happening with Arenas, and quite frankly, am not sure it must happen for the team to succeed.

Posted by: divi3 | July 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

kalo_rama,

"Seriously, are you really this stupid? (I'm actually asking. I really want to know.)"

Don't you know there are many different ways of running a business? There are conservative approaches with better opportunity of success but less payoff, and there are more aggressive approaches that seek higher payoff but mode risky, and everything in between!

Do you think there is only ONE model for business? Do you think all NBA players follow the same model? I even gave you the examples of players rejecting the offer and going into FA with different results. But just like before, you simply brought up something absolutely irrelevant, such as NBA is a business. Well, NBA is a business does not change the fact that there are different ways of running the business.

Are you really this stupid, or you just like to argue for the sake of arguing? (And I really like to know this too!)

Posted by: sagaliba | July 29, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

So, I'll take that as a "yes" then.

"Do you think all NBA players follow the same model? I even gave you the examples of players rejecting the offer and going into FA with different results."

In other words, you gave me examples of players making bad business decisions by (A) acting on poor advice from their agents or (B) rejecting the good advice of their agents. Which, of course, does nothing to counter my original point and, in fact, reinforces it. Again (read it slowly this time): It's the agent's job to know the marketplace and advise his client on the proper course of action. When they fail to do that, their clients (like Stevenson) take it on the chin. Haywood re-signed with the Wiz rather than test the waters because, in all likelihood, he got the good advice that there wasn't a big demand for him on the open market and the Wizards offer was the best he was likely to get.

You ever consider learning Lithuanian? Or better yet, English?

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 29, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

As for Odom . . . he doesn’t make the Heat instant contenders but he definitely makes them better. The Heat have needs at multiple positions and Odom can play almost all of them pretty well. If it ends up that the Lakers have essentially swapped Odom and Ariza for Artest, that’s a net loss for L.A., esp. if Bynum goes down with his annual injury and the ticking in Artest’s head finally reaches the end of the countdown.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 29, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Unless you guys are somehow making money off of debating on Michael Lee's blog, I don't see any point to your debating endlessly and suggest you state your opinion and then walk away. Most of us appreciate other's points of view even if we don't agree.

Most often we don't convince anyone away from what they are thinking. There is no point in hammering on the same things and then calling each other names.

The Wiz, the NBA, the players are what they are, and not one whit of our opinion will change anything.

Let's give our opinions and be thankful we have a forum to do so.

Posted by: rickgonz | July 29, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I think it was Mike James who said, "this is the NBA, one team's trash is another team's treasure."

Pro sports are a business. But a very strange business. There is no franchise manual for teams to follow. Most of these owners were successful at something else that required a totally different skill set then owning a team.

They make a Billion, and decide what the hey, I want to own a team. More fail then then not, and most blow a lot of money on really bad FA contracts. And most FA money has little to do with performance, it has to do with putting fannys in the seats.

Why do you think TO keeps getting contracts? It sure isn't because he can make a great team better. It's because he makes any team a media story. He'll do things on Sunday and say things on Monday that will keep people talking all week.

Compare the Redskins and the Steelers for instance. Snyder has had more Head Coaches then the last three generations of the Rooney family combined. Snyder can't win a Super Bowl despite of himself.

But bottem line, on the business side of the sport, Snyder and the Jerry Jones of Pro Sports are probably making more money then the Rooney's.

Some people are in sports for the winning, some for the business, and some just want to give the poor suckers that buy a seat "the business".

Abe loves Gil, because in a town that was all about the Redskins, Gil made people talk about the Wizards again. Yes they won, but it's more then just winning.

If people paid to win dull, Marty would still be running the Redskins. If Gil's healthy, people won't stop talking about the Wiz this year, 88'er will be on here posting 50 times a day.

And somebody will still find something to fight about all day,every day...
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 29, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

'Most often we don't convince anyone away from what they are thinking. There is no point in hammering on the same things and then calling each other names.'

Welcome to the internet!

Posted by: divi3 | July 29, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

all of all my pplz on this forum...uz be like my brothers from other mothers.

Posted by: wizRjizz | July 29, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

We can knock Odom all we want for being inconsistent, but adding him to the Heat definitely makes them better and more competitive.

You don't need to be a 20/10/5 every-night franchise player to improve a team.

The thing with Odom is that you can't count on him to do any one thing consistently, but if you plug-n-play him in a couple different roles, then he adds alot of value to a team and creates alot of mismatches across the roster.

He finally showed something last year in a very effective support role w/the Lakers, and it's not totally crazy to think he could find a similar niche with the Heat.

Posted by: p1funk | July 29, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I thought we were done with this nonsense already. You got a problem, take it up with the guy who went back to a post I wrote several days and several threads ago and stirred the whole thing up again in a new one that had nothing to do with the previous discussion.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 29, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Odom is going to help them too much. He was a decent support player being a 6th man and almost a 4th option so even if he didn't show up...it didn't matter. He came off the bench for a reason, do you think Trevor Ariza is actually a better player? It's because he was better coming off the bench.

In Miami it's going to be Wade THEN Odom. I don't think he can handle being a #2 any better than he could handle it in LA when he was with the Cripples or before Gasol arrived. He's a 30 year old Blatche LOL

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 29, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"He came off the bench for a reason, do you think Trevor Ariza is actually a better player?"

Odom didn't come off the bench because of Ariza. He came off the bench so they could start Bynum at C and move Gasol to PF where he was more effective. And even though he was coming off the bench, he was playing starter's minutes. The Lakers wouldn't have won the title without Odom.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 29, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I always saw Odom as more of a SF. I always wondered why not go Bynum, Gasol, Odom in the front court. I agree on the minutes and them not winning without him.

Even still more would be expected from him in Miami and I don't think he can deliver than consistently.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 29, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"I think it was Mike James who said, "this is the NBA, one team's trash is another team's treasure."

Posted by: flohrtv | July 29, 2009 2:49 PM "

Unfortunately, that'll be the only thing people remember him by when he's gone soon, and that is one tired @ss cliche.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | July 29, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm pro EG and think he's as good a GM as there is in the league. His hiring of Saunders and the off season trade for Foye and Miller are excellent moves. HOWEVER. I think many of my fellow bloggers are a wee bit too optimistic with projections of the Wizards going deep into the NBA finals.The pros definitely don't concur. Specifically, the Las Vegas and on-line Sports Books peg the Wizards at somewhere between 75 and 100-1 to take the NBA championship. That's roughly the same odds as are the Bucks, Raptors and Nets. It's definitely not in the class of the Lakers @ 2-1, Cavaliers @ 3-1, Celtics @ 3.5-1. The pros even rate the Wizards behind the Heat, Pistons, Suns and Bulls who are at roughly 50-1. Overall, the Wizards are ranked around 15th best which equates to possibly getting into the playoffs. So let's lower our expectations a wee bit and perhaps try to crawl before we run.

Posted by: phil27 | July 29, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Since Grunfeld assembled the Arenas-Butler-Jamison Triumvirate in 2005, his performance has been poor by any standard. He hasn't brought a single quality starter to the team in four years, has just dumped three of his own mistakes (Pech, Thomas, Songalia) and would dump another two (Stevenson & Blake) if he could find a taker. He has bought some decent bench depth this year (although no quality starter), at the cost of not drafting several promising rookies with higher upside, and threw away Blair/Budinge/others by selling our second round pick. He continues to sign dubious long-term deals (Arenas, Jamison) despite risks (age, injuries) and the mess it's caused him in the past (Thomas, Stevenson), as well as to overpay (Arenas, Jamison, Stevenson) when there is no evidence another team is willing to remotely match our offers. This has forced us into the cap deadzone, limiting our roster versatility, ability to sign free agents and forcing us to sell opportunity in the form of draft picks. I'd love for the Wiz to make a run this year, but I fear the quality, size and athleticism isn't there to truly compete, even if they are healthy, a big 'if' to be sure. GMs can have a good run, then fall prey to their own traps and obsessions. Grunfeld started out right, but has lost his path. This team needs a fresh perspective (and a little luck) to get to the next level.

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 30, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

Specifically, the Las Vegas and on-line Sports Books peg the Wizards at somewhere between 75 and 100-1 to take the NBA championship. That's roughly the same odds as are the Bucks, Raptors and Nets. It's definitely not in the class of the Lakers @ 2-1, Cavaliers @ 3-1, Celtics @ 3.5-1. The pros even rate the Wizards behind the Heat, Pistons, Suns and Bulls who are at roughly 50-1. Overall, the Wizards are ranked around 15th best which equates to possibly getting into the playoffs. So let's lower our expectations a wee bit and perhaps try to crawl before we run.

So Vegas oddsmakers decide what we should expect from the Wizards? I'm not predicting a championship but I see them as better than the Nets or the Bulls.

Since Grunfeld assembled the Arenas-Butler-Jamison Triumvirate in 2005, his performance has been poor by any standard. He hasn't brought a single quality starter to the team in four years, has just dumped three of his own mistakes (Pech, Thomas, Songalia) and would dump another two (Stevenson & Blake) if he could find a taker. He has bought some decent bench depth this year (although no quality starter), at the cost of not drafting several promising rookies with higher upside, and threw away Blair/Budinge/others by selling our second round pick. He continues to sign dubious long-term deals (Arenas, Jamison) despite risks (age, injuries) and the mess it's caused him in the past (Thomas, Stevenson), as well as to overpay (Arenas, Jamison, Stevenson) when there is no evidence another team is willing to remotely match our offers. This has forced us into the cap deadzone, limiting our roster versatility, ability to sign free agents and forcing us to sell opportunity in the form of draft picks. I'd love for the Wiz to make a run this year, but I fear the quality, size and athleticism isn't there to truly compete, even if they are healthy, a big 'if' to be sure. GMs can have a good run, then fall prey to their own traps and obsessions. Grunfeld started out right, but has lost his path. This team needs a fresh perspective (and a little luck) to get to the next level.

Foye isn't a quality starter? Who in the draft had more "upside" than Foye? Haven't you learned anything about the word "upside"? Upside is what gets GM's fired. Foye averaged 16 a game last season. Who from this years draft is going to do that? Honestly? Foye is better than any guard that came out this season because he's showed he can actually play in the NBA. NONE of the rookies have shown they can do the same. Foye and Miller and cap room for a crap shoot draft pick is fine by me.

I don't know where all the Stevenson hate comes from. He earned his money and his back went out last season. People act like he's Allan Houston or something and got a $100 million dollar contract. He plays defense and knocks down open 3s at around a 40% clip. He played terrible on a bad back. Geez.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 30, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

The problem with the so-called "pros" is that the Wiz just won 19 games last year, so that is an influence on what they predict. Plus, Gil has been injured for two years and nobody knows for sure if he will be close to the same player, so it is understandable that the "pros" would hedge their bets.

The people who are positive on this board toward the Wiz (and I am one of them) think the Wiz might win as amny as 50 games next year, but with the caveat that the Wiz would have to be reasonably healthy to get there (which includes Gil being close to the player he once was).

Posted by: cannontl | July 30, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with SDMDTSU on Stevenson. His problems last year were physical. Before that he played pretty will for the Wiz and was good pairing with Gil because he played defense and could hit an open three.

Posted by: cannontl | July 30, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

First Up For The Next Thread, Come On.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | July 30, 2009 8:56 AM | Report abuse

sdm: "I always saw Odom as more of a SF. I always wondered why not go Bynum, Gasol, Odom in the front court. I agree on the minutes and them not winning without him."

Odom agrees with you -- he's stated so many times. He certainly has matchup advantages at SF, and he's an outstanding passer, but he's got one big demerit: his outside shooting. This late in his career, that's not likely to change. So he knuckled under and became an inside role player, and on the Lakers, that worked.

The way most offenses are set up, you really need someone at SF who can hit from outside -- Carmelo Anthony, etc. Or hopefully a mix of Caron Butler and Mike Miller.

I think one of Phil Jackson's achievements was to get Odom to buy into the role he played last season.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"Compare the Redskins and the Steelers for instance. Snyder has had more Head Coaches then the last three generations of the Rooney family combined. Snyder can't win a Super Bowl despite of himself."

When teams lose, they usually respond by changing head coaches. When teams win, the Head Coach invariably gets to stay, provided he wants to. If Joe Gibbs had lost, Jack Kent Cooke would have fired him. If Belichik has lost, Bob Kraft would have canned him. The Steelers have had few head coaches because they've won. If they finish poorly the next two years, that will change.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Odom agrees with you -- he's stated so many times. He certainly has matchup advantages at SF, and he's an outstanding passer, but he's got one big demerit: his outside shooting. This late in his career, that's not likely to change. So he knuckled under and became an inside role player, and on the Lakers, that worked.

I think it's a little easier to play that role when he just needs to blend in with Bynum, Gasol and Kobe. I hope he's ready to be the #2 to Wade with Haslem/and O'Neal up front. He may find it's not as easy.

Doesn't Miami already have someone with pretty much a similar skill set that they JUST drafted?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 30, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"Doesn't Miami already have someone with pretty much a similar skill set that they JUST drafted?Posted by: SDMDTSU"

Don't know who that would be. Patrick Beverley's a guard and Robert Dozier is a typical Memphis-style power forward. Nobody with Odom's skills.

Beasley is very talented but he's something of a black hole in terms of wanting to take the shot and he certainly isn't a defensive factor.

Looking at the roster, I'm amazed they made the playoffs last year. O'Neal wasn't much help and Haslem, though reliable, is nobody's idea of an NBA starting PF. Mario Chalmers helped but looks to me like this team was Dwyane Wade and eleven dwarves.
What a performance that guy must have put on.

Odom would seriously help that club, but their needs IMO go well beyond Odom.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Don't know who that would be. Patrick Beverley's a guard and Robert Dozier is a typical Memphis-style power forward. Nobody with Odom's skills.

I was speaking of Beasley. The roster is solid in my opinion. However, I don't see how people can think the Heat have nothing but then think the Wizards won't make the playoffs. I actually think Miami has a nice squad though.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 30, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

THIS JUST IN....
Brendan Haywood will be hosting a talk show on 106.7 The Fan from 7PM to 10PM. Not sure of when the show is due to debut however.
Maybe we can actually get some updates on Gilbert's health.

Posted by: bozomoeman | July 30, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

In other words, you gave me examples of players making bad business decisions by (A) acting on poor advice from their agents or (B) rejecting the good advice of their agents. Which, of course, does nothing to counter my original point and, in fact, reinforces it. Again (read it slowly this time): It's the agent's job to know the marketplace and advise his client on the proper course of action. When they fail to do that, their clients (like Stevenson) take it on the chin. Haywood re-signed with the Wiz rather than test the waters because, in all likelihood, he got the good advice that there wasn't a big demand for him on the open market and the Wizards offer was the best he was likely to get.

You ever consider learning Lithuanian? Or better yet, English?

Posted by: kalo_rama
-----------------------------------------
No, I gave you examples of player who took more risky approach and did not sign the contract the team initially offered. Some were rewarded with bigger contracts (ET, Dlamerbet, and Varejao this year), and some didn't (DS in '06, Varejao last year, etc.).

Read it slowly this time, risky, aggressive approach don't ALWAYS fail; sometimes it gives better payoff. No one, either the agents or you has the crystal ball that can exactly predict the future. In the end, it is the CEO of each business (in this case, the player) who makes the decision to either go with a bigger payoff but more risky approach, or a conservative less payoff approach.

Ever consider taking some more advanced course on business model, so you can understand better and not get so hung up on elementary school English?

Posted by: sagaliba | July 30, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, IMO Miami's problem is overdependence on one scorer. Wade kicked in about 31% of the team's points in a typical game last season. That's even worse than Cleveland (LeBron 28.3%) and the Lakers (Kobe 25%). The dropoff in Miami from Wade to the others is even more dramatic -- Beasley and O'Neal at around 13. If Wade goes out, can Beasley pick up the slack?

They're a good defensive club, so they have that going for them.

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

HAYWOOD RADIO SHOW UPDATE!!
Brendan Haywood will host a radio talk show from 7 PM to 10PM,on 106.7 FM, The Fan beginning tomorrow evening.

Posted by: bozomoeman | July 30, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Absolutely agree about the Heat being too dependent on Wade, Samson. He basically has to do everything in order for them to have any shot at winning. Add that to the physically reckless style of hall he plays and he's looking at a short career if Riley doesn't get him some help (or if he doesn't go to another team).

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 30, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Make that: "Add that to the physically reckless style of ball he plays..."

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 30, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Samson151, The Rooney's gave Chuck Noll the time to establish a winner. Cowher got a lot of leeway when Steeler fans thought he was washed up, they gave him the time to rebuild for a run at it all. Much like Jerry Jones did in Dallas with Jimmy Johnson, that was before he thought he was smart enough to own, manage, and coach the team.

Since then he's had pretty good teams that can't get over the top. Teams that win in any sport always seem to have one common denominator. A coach that can get a group of guys to play better as a team then they look on paper.

Winning coaches are one of the toughest things to find in sports. I think Ernie was smart to make the judgement that Eddie wasn't taking the Wizards deep into the playoffs.

On another subject, I see Foye as a solid starter. I think he's the kind of combo guard that will thrive beside a healthy Arenas. I'd wager he'll be the next guy to get an Allstar bid playing beside Gil.

Last season when Minny went on that win streak Foye was playing at near Allstar level ball over an extended streak. on a team with the scoring options the Wiz have, he'll be lights out.

I'm still a little concerned about frontline toughness and depth. But it would be my quess that Ernie's going to wait on that awhile and see how the young guys look before pulling the trigger there.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 30, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

"When teams lose, they usually respond by changing head coaches."

True, but the other parts of that equation are that (A) coaches that win usually do so because the owner/GM/front office provides them with the players/tools/authority they need to get the job done and (B) teams that fire their coaches often do so because they need to change something and it's easier and cheaper to fire the coach than turnover the whole roster. How often does it happen that a really bad team fires a coach and the new coach comes in and starts winning right away with the same collection of players the fired coach had? Not very. Winning coaches get to keep their jobs because their bosses have done the job behind the scenes to facilitate their winning. When the big bosses can't get the job done, the coach makes a convenient fall guy. If a team keeps firing coaches but doesn't get any better, the coach probably isn't the real problem to begin with, and the guy in the big office needs to take a look in the mirror.

" When teams win, the Head Coach invariably gets to stay, provided he wants to."

Rick Carlisle (2 50 win seasons, COY award, fired) and Flip Saunders (3 55+ win seasons, 3 conference finals, fired) would probably disagree.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 30, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"Rick Carlisle (2 50 win seasons, COY award, fired) and Flip Saunders (3 55+ win seasons, 3 conference finals, fired) would probably disagree.Posted by: kalo_rama"

You think I'd have remembered those guys. I looked up Carlisle's firings, and it appears he was fired by the Pistons for friction with the owners (whatever that means) plus the desire to hire Larry Brown, and by the Pacers in the aftermath of a 35-47 record the year after the Brawl. But it's true his overall record with the team was excellent. If he gets fired in Dallas, it will probably be for the same reason anything happens in Dallas -- Mark Cuban feels like it.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

flohr: "Last season when Minny went on that win streak Foye was playing at near Allstar level ball over an extended streak"

That's my understanding. Then when Jefferson went down the whole thing fell apart. Now they've decided to rebuild.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

'as well as to overpay (Arenas, Jamison, Stevenson) when there is no evidence another team is willing to remotely match our offers.'

Didnt golden state offer Gil the max they could? 5yr deal worth around $100,000,000?

I also remember Sacramento basically telling Arenas they would do anything to get him as well.

Given the past few seasons, it's easy to forget just how good Gilbert is. If he hadnt been injured, there would be very little criticism of Grunfeld.

Posted by: divi3 | July 30, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"Foye isn't a quality starter? Who in the draft had more "upside" than Foye? Haven't you learned anything about the word "upside"? Upside is what gets GM's fired. Foye averaged 16 a game last season. Who from this years draft is going to do that? Honestly? Foye is better than any guard that came out this season because he's showed he can actually play in the NBA. NONE of the rookies have shown they can do the same. Foye and Miller and cap room for a crap shoot draft pick is fine by me."

He averaged 16.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, two turnovers and one steal. Neither poor nor 'quality' stats, considering that he was on the floor a lot (35.6 minutes a game) and played on a dreadful team where he was given free reign to shoot (at a .407 per cent clip, a poor stat even considering his many 3-pt attempts). His D, from what I've seen of him against the Wiz, is mediocre, neither deficient - though he is a bit small for a SG - nor exceptional. In short, while he seems to be an OK, perhaps even an average NBA starter, he is by no means a 'quality' one. Quality shooting guards include Kobe, Wade, Manu, Mcgrady, Rip, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Igoudala, etc. He is hardly the player that 2005 and subsequent teams have needed to push it into finals contention. The only players Grunfeld has brought in the last four years who were 'quality', or have the potential to be, were Roger Mason - who Grunfeld let go - and Mcgee - who has a long way to go. The others include Deshawn Stevenson, Darius Songalia, Pecherov, Nick Young, D-Mac, Dee Brown, Juan Dixon, Mike James, Javaris Crittendon, Veremeenko, Randy Foye and Mike Miller, hardly the moves to mold a contender. Anyone who thinks that list represents good GM-ing is high.

As for Foye over a rookie, because he has 'proven' he can play, I disagree. When you have the fifth pick, you have the chance to get someone GREAT and you should take it unless you get a GREAT player in return. Sure, you risk getting a lemon, but you could also end up with a stud who can transform your team. Choosing average players (Miller, Foye) over potential is for championship-caliber teams who need to fill a hole to put them over the top. That team is not the Wizards (as much as Grunfeld would have you believe it). While I admit this was a weak draft class at the top, I believe Rubio, Flynn, Curry, Hill, Derozan, Jennings, Williams and perhaps even Daye and Mullens have more potential than Foye, and would have been savvier choices.

"I don't know where all the Stevenson hate comes from. He earned his money and his back went out last season. People act like he's Allan Houston or something and got a $100 million dollar contract."

No one else was willing to pay Stevenson near what we did. If we could have gotten him cheaper, we should have. We would have had more cap flexibility now. As for Allan Houston, the correct comparison would be Arenas, although I hope he proves me wrong and has a monster. Go Gil!

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 30, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

'Specifically, the Las Vegas and on-line Sports Books peg the Wizards at somewhere between 75 and 100-1 to take the NBA championship'

If Abe secretly put down $300,000,000 on the Wiz winning the whole thing, that line would change overnight. Would the team suddenly be better?

Posted by: divi3 | July 30, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

... monster 'season' that is. I wouldn't wish a monster on anyone.

Posted by: SammyT1 | July 30, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Another, less dramatic, example of a coach getting canned to cover management's ass is Mo Cheeks in Philly. He got the Sixers back to the playoffs by implementing a style that made best use of the strengths of his roster while compensating for their weaknesses. That summer the GM goes out and spends a mint to acquire a player whose playing style is completely incongruous with the style that got them to the playoffs. Not surprisingly (to anyone but the GM and owner, apparently), the team struggled with the adjustment. Cheeks gets fired (even though, despite the adjustment to Brand, they were actually on a pace to win more games than the season before). DiLeo gets the job and the struggles continue (get worse, if I recall correctly, which I may not). Then Brand gets hurt. The team goes on a run and squeaks into the playoffs, putting a scare into the Magic before falling. How? Because after brand got hurt, DiLeo went back to running the exact same system that Cheeks used to get them into the playoffs the previous year with (essentially) the same roster. So, basically, they fired Cheeks and replaced him with a guy who did the exact same thing Cheeks likely would have done had he stayed.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 30, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

'I believe Rubio, Flynn, Curry, Hill, Derozan, Jennings, Williams and perhaps even Daye and Mullens have more potential than Foye'

all these players have major deficiencies in their games, as much or moreso than foye.

curry cant guard anyone, rubio cant shoot and is slow, flynn is 5'11" etc etc

imho, much better to use the 5th on a guy who has already proven he can play in the league AND is still young, not reached his potential yet

Posted by: divi3 | July 30, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

"As for Foye over a rookie, because he has 'proven' he can play, I disagree. When you have the fifth pick, you have the chance to get someone GREAT and you should take it unless you get a GREAT player in return. Sure, you risk getting a lemon, but you could also end up with a stud who can transform your team."

And you could just as easily (more easily, probably, given the rarity of truly great "transforming" players) end up with a dud that becomes a millstone around the franchise's neck and a cautionary "what if" tale for years to come. Based on the talent he's already displayed and the lack of any obvious sure things after Griffin, there's nothing to suggest that Foye's chances of being a great player are substantially less than those of any of the players the Wizards might have taken at #5. Of course, there's nothing to suggest that his chances will be necessarily greater either. but then, that's the risk a team takes with a young player, whether it's the draft, a trade, or free agency.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 30, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

As for Foye over a rookie, because he has 'proven' he can play, I disagree. When you have the fifth pick, you have the chance to get someone GREAT and you should take it unless you get a GREAT player in return. Sure, you risk getting a lemon, but you could also end up with a stud who can transform your team.

I don't think anyone think that anyone besides Griffin has the ability to "transform" a team. The only player anyone thinks can is Rubio and he wasn;t coming here and might not even come to the NBA period for a couple years.

'I believe Rubio, Flynn, Curry, Hill, Derozan, Jennings, Williams and perhaps even Daye and Mullens have more potential than Foye'

There you go with that word. Potential. I have the potential to win the lottery. I have the potential to be President. Foye has played 3 seasons in the league and you know what he can do...with the POTENTIAL to do more.

Quality shooting guards include Kobe, Wade, Manu, Mcgrady, Rip, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Igoudala, etc.

That's not quality. Those are the best at the position. Stars. Hall of Fame potential. You can't seriously be seriously think that we were going to trade the 5th pick for that...are you?

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 30, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

sammyt: "He averaged 16.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, two turnovers and one steal. Neither poor nor 'quality' stats, considering that he was on the floor a lot (35.6 minutes a game) and played on a dreadful team where he was given free reign to shoot (at a .407 per cent clip, a poor stat even considering his many 3-pt attempts). His D, from what I've seen of him against the Wiz, is mediocre, neither deficient - though he is a bit small for a SG - nor exceptional"

You're being too demanding. Foye's actually a good defender, and has been since his days at Villanova. His one weakness is when he lines up against a really fast PG -- he has trouble staying in front of them. He's better against bigger players because he's a solid 215 himself. Hopefully the team will be able to exploit his strengths in a rotation.

The FG %, as you suggest, is largely the result of shooting so many 3 pointers. The Wolves were an inside-oriented club that looked to get the ball into Jefferson. The guards role being to balance that with long jumpers on the rare occasion that Big Al sent the ball back out. As a result, 28% of Foye's made FGs were 3 pointers (a 36% clip. He shot fewer and hit a higher percentage (41%) the year before. By comparison, that would be 10% for Dwyane Wade, 14.8% for Kobe, 16.7% for LeBron, 21% for Deron Williams', and 4% for Rajon Rondo. Foye got to the FT line a respectable 272 times, so he can go to the basket when he wants to.

This looks like a solid player who won't be a superstar. The players I thought the Wiz would choose from if they kept the 5th pick were Harden and Jordan Hill. Given how many young guys they already have on the club, I think Miller and Foye are a better acquisition -- especially when they were able to dump a couple undesirable contracts.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Foye is a significant upgrade over our other options at SG such as Stevenson or Young. He likely will never be an All-Star but has shown a solid game on a very poor team. Given his 3 years of experience, he should have an impact on the Wiz much sooner than any of the prospects that were available at No. 5. Not to mention that we got Mike Miller who provides us a top 3-point threat and depth at both the 2 and 3. EG was also able to rid us of two undesirable contracts for players who did not figure in the team's plans for next year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 30, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Getting Foye for the pick straight up might not have been a good deal. Getting Miller and ridding the team of Thomas's deal with the trade kicker was a huge plus.

Moving Songaila frees up time at the 4 for Blatche and enabled Ernie to sign a bigger, stronger, guy in Oberto to backup at center. So that made the deal a plus by making room for a backup center.

Harden wasn't dropping to the 5th pick. I can't see that the Wiz would have taken Rubio. I like Flynn, but can't see a pairing of him and Gil in the backcourt. Hill was another project up front and Flip's already got two to work with.

When the Wiz's best players are factored in, this trade just seems to be a good fit. Flip will also run an offense that gets a lot of high percentage shots, Foye and Miller will both thrive in his offense.

Blatche and McGee are the two big question marks right now. If they both thrive under Flip and the increased role that the should be presented with, this could be a very productive Wizards season.

If they both flop, the team's going to be really thin up front. More likely one of the two will step up and the team will be ok up front, but Ernie will be looking to deal at the deadline.

Ernie's has put himself in position to be a player at the trade deadline if he stands pat with the roster he has right now.
GM

Posted by: flohrtv | July 30, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

with the POTENTIAL to do more

or less

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 30, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

with the POTENTIAL to do more

or less
Posted by: lilhollywood10 | July 30, 2009 4:53 PM

Which is true of pretty much every young player in the NBA.

Posted by: kalo_rama | July 30, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Blatche and McGee are the two big question marks right now. If they both thrive under Flip and the increased role that the should be presented with, this could be a very productive Wizards season.
Posted by: flohrtv | July 30, 2009 4:46 PM

True.
Those 2 have to step up. Especially Blatch.
I didn't see a big leap in Summer league from him. I expected him to dominate. He needs to play hard every possession. Something that he seems to have difficulty doing. He needs more control and to find more ways to help his teammates.
If he matures and becomes the player everyone thinks that he can be the Wizzies will make some big noise in the East.
I think Magee will have flashes but also a lot of mistakes. His energy and athleticism make him fun to watch but he also can't slack off for periods during games.

Posted by: VBFan | July 30, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Odom stays with Lakers. From ESPN -"Odom will sign a four-year contract, with the fourth year at the team option, the source said. One source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com the four-year deal is worth $33 million if the Lakers exercise the final year of the contract."

Posted by: djnnnou | July 30, 2009 5:22 PM | Report abuse

this is going to make it hard for us to beat the lakers in the finals...dammit!

Posted by: jasonma1 | July 30, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I was almost with ya SammyT1, until you said Roger Mason is a quality player and Randy Foye is not. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big RMJ fan. But Foye and RMJ are (at least) the same caliber of player. Foye was the 2nd option on a bad team, so he was going to get more shots, but also more consistent defensive attention. All RMJ had to do last year was sit behind the 3pt line and wait for passes from Duncan and Parker. Both are quality players.

Also, a 'quality player' by most people's definition usually doesn't mean one of the top 20 players in the league (from when you referenced Kobe, etc as quality SGs). I think most would agree that a quality player is a average to better-than-average starter or key bench performer. I think Foye qualifies. I think Miller is bordeline quality. If he returns to his 6th MOY form, he will definitely count.

To the trading of a potential stud in the 5th pick. There likely will be some good guys aside from Griffin who come out of this draft. But there are a lot of big ifs with any of the players the Wiz could have picked. Write out the lineup with any of those picks versus what the Wiz have now and you should see that they are much better off. They got proven pieces that fit in with what they already had.

Plus, I love how EG's critics love to gloss over 2004/05. "After he assembled the big three, he hasn't done anything!" As in, "after he constructed a playoff caliber team from the decade-long train wreck that preceded it....what has he really done?"

I'm not going to say Ernie is the best GM ever, but he deserves his due. His drafts have been iffy. Some of his resignings aren't the best. And I, like everyone, wish they would be more aggressive in FA in trying to fill their shortcomings. But you have to at least give him that he has built a competitive team. And I don't want to hear about last year. Take the best player and another starter and a half off of any other team and they will struggle. EG learned from that mistake last year and we now have more proven depth to survive injuries.

Posted by: ts35 | July 30, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

"Ernie's has put himself in position to be a player at the trade deadline if he stands pat with the roster he has right now"

Agreed.

Along with Mike Jame's contract, I'm sad to say one of the 3 shooting guards (aside from Foye) on our roster could very well be headed out at the deadline; Miller, Young,or Stevenson. Whoever doesn't click in the new system, assuming we're a .600 or better team nearing the all-star break, is probably the first out of town.

I agree with the few people who've actually stuck up for Deshawn, he's been one of my favorites from the team ever since we've picked him up. He's a solid scorer as a role player, a very good shooter from deep (albeit not always consistent, including pre-back injuries), and is our best perimeter defender aside from Butler. Adding him to Butler on our perimeter defense unit helps immensely because it allows Butler to guard the 2nd best swingman, which allows him to conserve more energy to thrive on offense as a scorer and playmaker. I think Stevenson will hold onto the starting 2-guard spot, as he was stationed at before injuries took over; which, btw, were the reason he played so bad last year.

Posted by: tdavelfresco | July 30, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Stevenson will hold onto the starting 2-guard spot, as he was stationed at before injuries took over; which, btw, were the reason he played so bad last year.

Posted by: tdavelfresco | July 30, 2009 6:40 PM

I also think that a lot of people here have a distorted view of DeShawn.
He is what he is. Not 30/game but a decent NBA player. A starter on every other team ---- no. Last year I attribute to his back. The year before he was the big steal that EG pulled off. If he comes back his old self then there will be a lot of posters here calling him a big part of the Wizzies success.
The thing that I think turns some off is the "I can't feel my face" thing.
I think it would be better received if he only did it after the 5th or 6th 3 pointer of the game. Not after 3 air balls and a couple clangers.

Posted by: VBFan | July 30, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

The thing that I think turns some off is the "I can't feel my face" thing.
I think it would be better received if he only did it after the 5th or 6th 3 pointer of the game. Not after 3 air balls and a couple clangers.

Posted by: VBFan | July 30, 2009 7:00 PM

It's completely obnoxious as is McGee's salute.

Posted by: djnnnou | July 30, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

'I also think that a lot of people here have a distorted view of DeShawn'

The problem is DeShawn has a distorted view of himself. He is not the offensive player that he appears to believe himself to be. He's a career 34% 3pt shooter, while people want to write off last year's shooting debacle as the aberration- you can just as easily make the case '06-'08 were the fluke years. Or more likely, the years he benefited from Gil.

'It's completely obnoxious as is McGee's salute.'

The Obama game was one of my all-time favorite wiz games to attend and the salute is awesome. Different strokes for different folks!

Posted by: divi3 | July 30, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

The problem is DeShawn has a distorted view of himself. He is not the offensive player that he appears to believe himself to be. He's a career 34% 3pt shooter, while people want to write off last year's shooting debacle as the aberration- you can just as easily make the case '06-'08 were the fluke years. Or more likely, the years he benefited from Gil.

I don't think he has a distorted view. I think he knows he can't carry a team or even be a 2nd option. (Playoffs where he shot like 10%) he's a good defender and 3rd option to knock down open shots created by focus on other players. 06-08 isn't a fluke...it's a pattern and I don't think Gil played much those years.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 30, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Stevenson strong points - smart, good overall basketball skills and knowledge, good defender, experience,pride, affordable at the price.

Basketball is not all about shooting. When Stevenson plays with other scorers, the pressure comes off him, he can play his smart basketball, and when defenders collapse on the scorers, he is open and he can knock down shots (except this terrible last season, when even I wanted him to sit for a while).

The Wizards can use Stevenson because with the big three on the court, they don't need a 4th scorer or ball hog, they need fundamentals. He is precisely the role player a team needs to go deep in the playoffs, whether starting or not. People who are on his case are star-struckers.

By the way, people completely misunderstood the LeBron statements; you don't have to be better than someone else to call them over-rated. DeShawn NEVER place himself near LeBron in skills, he just said he was over-rated.

Did anyone else catch the film of Soriano rounding the bases after his walk-off grand slam the other night? He did the I-can't-feel-my-face wave after rounding third!!!

Posted by: ragtop4spd | July 30, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Soriano - I can't feel my face!!!

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=5779935

between 3rd and home.

By the way, I think DeShawn should find a different trade-mark, or use it only on a huge play, as others have suggested. It's over used.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | July 30, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

By the way, I think DeShawn should find a different trade-mark, or use it only on a huge play, as others have suggested. It's over used.

Posted by: ragtop4spd | July 30, 2009 9:13 PM

I agree that it looks pretty ridiculous if he's been missing big all night and then makes one three.

But I can also see that, from a shooter's perspective, you've got to think you're going to make every shot. It's a big mental game. So if you give up your swagger, you admit defeat and then you will DEFINITELY miss.

I think the only solution is not to stop doing it, or to do it less...it's...well...don't miss.:)

Posted by: crs-one | July 30, 2009 9:48 PM | Report abuse

"The problem is DeShawn has a distorted view of himself. He is not the offensive player that he appears to believe himself to be. He's a career 34% 3pt shooter, while people want to write off last year's shooting debacle as the aberration- you can just as easily make the case '06-'08 were the fluke years. Or more likely, the years he benefited from Gil.posted by divi"

DeShawn has one of the weirdest 3 point shooting records I've ever seen. Here's the spread, beginning with 2003 in Utah and Orlando (when he became a regular):

2003 Utah 23% Orlando 29%
04 37%
05 13%
06 40%
07 38.3%
08 27%

In Orlando in 2005, when he averaged more than 32 minutes a game, he took a total of 15 three point shots. In 06, in Washington, he averaged 29 minutes and took 183. The next year in DC he took 413 three point shots -- a remarkable 53% of his attempts. Hitting more than 38% of them is quite an achievement.

What happened? Is this transformation the result of a carefully planned team strategy? Or did he just fall in love with the freaking 3 pointer, or maybe with the can't feel my face gesture? Your guess is as good as mine.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 31, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

In Orlando in 2005, when he averaged more than 32 minutes a game, he took a total of 15 three point shots. In 06, in Washington, he averaged 29 minutes and took 183. The next year in DC he took 413 three point shots -- a remarkable 53% of his attempts. Hitting more than 38% of them is quite an achievement.

What happened? Is this transformation the result of a carefully planned team strategy? Or did he just fall in love with the freaking 3 pointer, or maybe with the can't feel my face gesture? Your guess is as good as mine.

It was the role he was asked to play. In Orlando I'm assuming that wasn't what he was asked to do. Here he needs to play defense, spot up and hit open 3s. I think it's also a result of a evolving of his game. I know coming out of high school he was extremely athletic, could jump out of the gym but wasn't much of a shooter. We definitely don't see as much athletic ability...but the shooting is much improved.

Posted by: SDMDTSU | July 31, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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