Brooklyn Nets Look for Help in 21-Man Free Agent Camp

22 May

The Brooklyn Nets are in the middle of hosting a free agent mini-camp, which began on Monday, May 21st, and will conclude on Wednesday, May 23rd.

The roster of the players participating includes several former NBA players, as well as some D-League standouts. Here are the 21 invited to the camp:

Centers

Player – College – Most Recent Team

Hilton Armstrong – UConn – ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France)
Jeff Foote – Cornell – Springfield (D-League)
Vernon Goodridge – La Salle – BC Kyiv (Ukraine)
David Harrison – Colorado – Tianjin Rongang (China)

Forwards

Player – College – Most Recent Team

Taylor Griffin – Oklahoma – Dakota (D-League)
Darington Hobson – New Mexico – Fort Wayne (D-League)
Delroy James – Rhode Island – Tulsa (D-League)
Adam Morrison – Gonzaga – Beskitas Milangaz (Turkey)
Ryan Reid – Florida State – Tulsa (D-League)
Al Thornton – Florida State – Guayama Wizards (Puerto Rico)
Julian Wright – Kansas – Austin (D-League)

Guards

Player – College – Most Recent Team

Bobby Brown – Cal State Fullerton – EWE Baskets Oldenburg (Germany)
Diante Garrett – Iowa State – JSF Nanterre (France)
Kyle Gibson – Louisiana Tech – Canton (D-League)
Stefhon Hannah – Missouri – Dakota (D-League)
Ben Hansbrough – Notre Dame – BC KRKA (Slovenia)
Sylven Landesberg – Virginia – Maccabi Haifa (Israel)
Anthony Roberson – Florida – Fujian Sturgeons (China)
Seth Tarver – Oregon State – Idaho (D-League)
Jermaine Taylor – Central Florida – Rio Grande (D-League)
Edwin Ubiles – Siena – Washington Wizards

Adam Morrison, Al Thornton, Julian Wright, Hilton Armstrong, and David Harrison are all former first round picks. Also on the list as are three other former NBA players, Jermaine Taylor, Darington Hobson and Taylor Griffin.

In addition, Stefhon Hannah was the 2012 D-League Defensive Player of the Year, Edwin Ubiles was the 2012 D-League Rookie of the Year, while Ryan Reid and Jeff Foote also had short stints in the NBA this season.

So what do you think? Do any of these guys have a chance at helping Brooklyn win next year?

Will Patrick Ewing be the Next Coach of the Bobcats?

18 May

 

Most of the top-tier teams in the NBA are focused on making a playoff run, while some are focused on addressing injury issues. This leaves the rest of the league focusing on getting a head start to the 2012 NBA Off-season.

There is little doubt the Charlotte Bobcats are the team in most dire need of a franchise facelift and a new direction. Even though Michael Jordan appears to be committed to president Rod Higgins and general manager Rich Cho, there is little doubt that MJ will be making the final call when it comes to selecting a new coach.

The names that have flown around the league as possible candidates include veteran coaches, like Mike D’Antoni, Jerry Sloan, Nate McMillan, and Jeff Van Gundy, as well as career assistants, like Mike Malone, Brian Shaw, Mike Dunlap, Nate Tibbets, and Steve Clifford.

Arguably the most intriguing name, however, remains that of former NBA All-Star center, Patrick Ewing. Ewing, who has been an assistant for nine seasons total, has been serving as an assistant coach for the Orlando Magic over the past five seasons. He has also held assisting positions on the coaching staffs in both Washington and Houston.

In an interview with ESPNNewYork, Ewing passingly expressed his desire to be a head coach in the NBA when he said, “I’d be interested in any job… I’d love to interview for any job, here (New York) or anywhere.”

Ewing continued by making a short case for himself, stating, “I think I’ve paid my dues. I’ve been an assistant coach for eight, going on nine years, and I’d love to have an opportunity to get an interview. I’ve put in the work. I’ve learned from a lot of very good coaches in Stan (Van Gundy), Jeff (Van Gundy), and Doug Collins, and I’ve played for a lot of great coaches. All I need is an opportunity, and once I get that opportunity, hopefully I’ll be successful.”

Patrick Ewing is one of the most polarizing figures in NBA history. He had a hall of fame career as a player and has paid his dues as an assistant coach. He does deserve a shot at becoming a head coach in the NBA. However, he needs to first ask himself if taking on the task of trying to resurrect the team with the worst winning percentage of all-time is worth risking his coaching career over, which is still in its infancy.

Docs and Downloads Page

8 Mar

This last week I’ve been going through some of the archives and digging up stories from the past. Some of them are my stories and some of them are just stories that I instantly loved once I read them. You can check them out in the Docs and Downloads page. Let me know what you think and if you’d like access to more stuff like this.

-Hayden

An oral history of the Malice at the Palace – Grantland

1 Mar

An oral history of the Malice at the Palace – Grantland.

This story is a must-read. It provides quite a bit of insight on what really transpired that infamous day.

Shabazz Muhammad Set To Visit Duke – RealGM Wiretap

28 Feb

Shabazz Muhammad Set To Visit Duke – RealGM Wiretap.

THIS IS HUGE!!!

Shabazz Muhammad is expected to make an official visit to Duke this weekend.

Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman high school, has been heavily recruited by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Muhammad last week led Bishop Gorman to its third state championship in four years, scoring 30 of his 36 points in the first half as the Gaels rolled to a 96-51 win in the Class 4A boys state title game.

He is ranked No. 1 overall in the 2012 class.

Magic Deny Rumors Of Imminent Howard To Lakers Trade – RealGM Wiretap

27 Feb

Magic Deny Rumors Of Imminent Howard To Lakers Trade – RealGM Wiretap.

The Magic are denying a rumor that they have reached a deal with the Lakers and Raptors involving Dwight Howard.

Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Jameer Nelson would go to the Lakers, while the Magic would receive Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol and possibly Jose Calderon.

Alex Martins, CEO of the Magic, confirmed to the Sentinel that the rumor is wrong.

Why Contraction is the NBA’s Best Option: Part 3 – Minor League Basketball

25 Feb

If any of you know me, you know that I am a huge proponent of the NBA Development League (the D-League). I love the idea of minor league basketball and the potential it brings to the development of young players. How cool would it be to see every NBA franchise own its own D-League team? Each team could teach their younger players their respective systems in the D-League and monitor their growth, while not having to throw them into the fire.

You may disagree with me, but think of the impact that minor league development could have had on the careers of Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Saer Sene, Robert Swift, Darko Milicic, Peter John “I Look Just Like Jar Jar Binks” Ramos, Yaroslav Korolev, Joe Alexander, or (dare I say….) Kwame Brown. A big reason why these guys never panned out was because their confidence was shot to hell by already-established NBA players thrashing them night in and night out.

I believe the D-League would benefit from a contraction because new D-League teams could be inserted into the cities that lost their franchises. With fewer NBA teams, executives could focus on making the D-League more of a legitimate farm system, much like professional baseball and hockey have. The goal would be for every NBA team to have their own D-League affiliate that they could manage and allow their younger players to develop in.

And remember how the NBA would have about 60 fewer roster spots? What better place to work you way back into the league than by signing in the D-League and getting called up. Obviously, many players would head for Europe and a bigger paycheck than the D-League could offer, but a legitimate chance of being called up to the NBA would be enough to keep a lot of players on this continent.

If NBA franchises had full control over their D-League affiliate, being able to install their own offense and defense, as well as making roster changes, I believe every franchise would use the D-League to develop their young talent. NBA teams would also have the option of replacing players they sent to the D-League by signing up to three replacement players.

All this talk about the D-League has gotten me all riled up. I feel a D-League opinion piece looming in the future…

Why Contraction is the NBA’s Best Option: Part 2 – Dispersal Draft

24 Feb

Where would the players go?

Picking up where we left off yesterday, if these four teams (Minnesota, Milwaukee, Memphis, and New Orleans) were contracted there would have to be a way to disperse the players who are under contract. They could all be put through the waiver process, or maybe they could all be released from their contracts and be free to sign wherever they please. Obviously, any unrestricted  or restricted fee agents of these teams would be free to sign with any team that pursued their services.

I think the most logical (and interesting) way to disperse the players still under contract would be to enter them into a pool for a dispersal draft. The draft would be a serpentine draft—much like fantasy drafts are conducted—that would allow the team with the worst record to draft first in the odd numbered rounds (1,3), and last in the even numbered rounds (2,4). There would be no lottery; the worst teams simply get the top picks. Each team would also be allowed to forfeit their any of their picks and not draft a player. Separate franchises could also work out trades that would result in swapping picks in the dispersal draft for players, future NBA Rookie Draft picks, or cash.

Each player that is drafted would then have the opportunity to negotiate a new contract with the team that just acquired their rights. If no contract agreement could be reached, the player would then be required to sign a one-year deal, where he would make 90 percent of his previous year’s salary and become a restricted free agent in the next year’s summer.

How would this help?

The dispersal draft would feature quite a bit of high level talent. Some of the players eligible to be drafted includes: Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, OJ Mayo, Marreese Speights, Trevor Ariza, Eric Gordon, Carl Landry, Emeka Okafor, Al-Farouq Aminu, Andrew Bogut, Ersan Ilyasova (aka James Franco), Brandon Jennings, Stephen Jackson, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph, JJ Barea, Nikola Pekovic, and the crown jewel of the draft, Kevin Love.

The dispersion of the available talent would genuinely make each team better. The quality of each roster would be drastically improved. Teams would be able to stockpile better talent, and every game would be more competitive.

The NBA could even market this as a television special, much like they do with the annual NBA Rookie draft.

Why Contraction is the NBA’s Best Option: Part 1

23 Feb

Contraction is a word that has come up quite a bit in recent discussion. Seeing that the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is having little effect on the players and the quality of the game, some NBA executives have suggested that a contraction would be the best way to improve the quality of both the play and brand.

Over the next few days, I will be posting just why I think contraction is the best option for the NBA. The entire story will be available in PDF format once it has been published in its entirety.

Before we proceed, I would like to say that I am not a fan of contraction. Being from the Northwest, I have seen what losing a team has done to Seattle. Obviously the Sonics were not contracted, just relocated—but the principle is the same. Losing a professional team is devastating, not just to the fans, but to the game of basketball itself.

But who would go?

If there was to be a contraction, I believe the teams most likely to go would be the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Memphis Grizzlies, the New Orleans Hornets and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Franchise net worth, attendance records, and peer opinion were all studied and taken into account.

These four teams all ranked in the bottom five for net worth. Three of the teams are amongst the league’s worst in attendance, and the Hornets are owned by the NBA because of financial troubles.

By eliminating four teams, the NBA would have a total of 26 teams. That would mean there would be about 60 fewer roster spots in the league. Vets at the end of their careers and less-talented project players would be forced over to Europe or (hopefully) the D-League. Theoretically, this would also encourage college underclassmen to stay in school, which would subsequently improve the college game as well.

Rip City Welcomes Back the Vanilla Gorilla

23 Feb

Yesterday, Joel Przybilla announced that he will sign for the remainder of the season with the Portland Trailblazers. He chose resigning with the Blazers because he valued the sentiment in playing in a city where he has a home and where he experienced the best years of his career, over playing for a contender in Chicago or Miami.

Przybilla will undoubtedly make an instant impact for the Blazers, who seem to be consistently battling injuries. He will provide depth in the post behind LeMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas. The Blazers’ roster is already at 15 players, so at least one player will need to be cut or traded. Candidates include F/C Chris Johnson, G Armon Johnson, and the oft-injured C Greg Oden.

Marcus Camby expressed his pleasure in having Przybilla back in Portland to the Oregonian when he said, “He would definitely be welcomed back by me. He played hard, was a guy who protected the paint, and he wasn’t afraid to give hard fouls. And he was definitely a team guy.”

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