The End of the Bench

Basketball blog with takes on basketball and anything related to basketball . . . as well as a haven for jingoists everywhere - in America.

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Friday, July 25, 2003
The move that MUST happen before the season starts

The Kings still haven't taken care of resigning their most important free agent signing. Yes, Mateen Cleaves is still not signed. Bad enough they almost traded him. They better resign him or the hit to the team's morale during timeouts could be catastrophic.

Three-team swap includes Turkoglu, Mercer

Who got the best of this deal:

1) Sacramento in a run away. They essentially turned Scott Pollard (rebounds well and is okay on defense, but does little else) and Hedo Turkoglu (the guy who lost hi spot in the rotation and despite the chance couldn't get it back) into Brad Miller. Hell, the Kings second team is Bobby Jackson, Jim Jackson (if they resign him), Gerald Wallace, Keon Clark, and Brad Miller. In all seriousness, that team could make the playoffs in the east and possibly have home court in the first round.

2) San Antonio getting Ron Mercer and Hedo Turkoglu. Not much good to say about this other than at least they didn't get Scott Pollard and Danny Ferry

3) Indiana. Speaking of Pollard and Ferry, this was simply the Pacers trying to get something, anything, for Miller before he left. But Ferry? Ewwwwww.

Jackson, Robinson headed to 76ers

Who got the best of this deal in order from best to worst:
1) Minnesota getting Latrell Sprewell. Not sure how the lineup will work without a real 4. My guess is that maybe KG lines up at the 4, which gives the starting five of Cassell, Sprewell, Sczewryuwerw, Garnett and Olowakandi. Which leaves Troy Hudson as the 6th man. Look for him to realize he's Troy Hudson early and not repeat the madness that was his playoff run. He'll be solid, but that stuff in the playoffs was crazy. They've definitely upgraded this offseason.

2) Philadelphia getting Glenn Robinson and Marc Jackson. This is goo mainly because they got rid of Van Horn and that awful hair cut. Robinson is basically Van Horn with a more consistent track record and Marc Jackson will do little, but who cares.

3) Atlanta getting Terrell Brandon's contract. It's over after the season and it clears cap space. Whether they'll be able to use it is another question.

4) New York getting Keith Van Horn. Hey I got an idea. We only got 5 undersized power forwards to go with our utter lack of centers. Lets get another one. Even better, let's get one that is inconsistent and has a fragile ego to play under the NY media scrutiny. Great! Let's get it done! I hope they have another trade in the works.

Piatkowski takes shooting stroke to Rockets

The Rockets make a big free agent splash going into the new arena by signing Tim Legler . . . errr . . . Eric Piatkowski. He's a three point specialist for sure.

Warriors' Arenas signs offer sheet with Wizards AND Speedy decision: Warriors sign Claxton to be new PG

Don't let the door hit ya Gil. That's essentially what the Warriors said. Despite what Arenas' dad said, this was about money for Arenas. Chris Cohen could have had a damn parade through Oakland (complete with kevlar vests) and it wouldn't have made a damn bit of difference when Abe Pollin offered 4M more per year. In other news the Wizards still suck and the Warriors will miss the playoffs again.

Lue expected to start over Gaines early in year

Tyronn Lue signed with Orlando. I heard someone say that might happen but can't remember who it was. Oh wait, it was me.

Monday, July 21, 2003
Clippers make play for Arenas

Does this mean Corey Maggette is gonna be in Utah next year?

By(e) George

Imagine that, a guy who's teams have underachieved for about 5 years parted ways (read: was asked to leave or be fired) with his team. They should call the Czar, Mike Fratello. I still can't figure out why he can't get a job offer.

Utah goes after Brad Miller

I like Brad Miller and he deserves to get paid. Glad to see one of the NBA's underrated players getting a payday. It'll be interesting to see what other teams in the running for Miller do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Posts to come in spurts

For reasons I won't get into here, my internet has been cut off. So I come to you on type delay from the Moffitt Computer lab in the basement of the Moffitt library on the beautiful UC Berkeley campus. Needless to say that without internet in the home, my posts will come in bunches whenever I can get online. So here is a bunch to get you going.

Clippers getting cut up in free agency

Is anyone looking to stay with the Clippers?

Michael Olowakandi is officially gone as he signed with the TWolves replacing Rasho Nesterovic, who signed with San Antonio. So much for Kandi getting the max. Can anyone believe that was talked about last year as a realistic possibility?

Elton Brand has been given an offer sheet by the Heat. I suspect he will sign it. No one other than the Clips could give him more cash and we know the Clips won't give him anymore than they have to. I suspect that the Clips will match the offer on Brand. Apparently Lamar Odom is the Heat's plan B. Sterling could have to pick between the two.

Andre Miller has gotten an offer sheet from the Nuggets. He's gone.

Corey Maggette signed an offer sheet with Utah. I'm not holding my breath on this one getting matched either.

In the end, the only FAs to stay with the Clippers will probably be Brand and Odom. Riley may throw a ton of money at Odom, but rumor has it that the Don is very attached to Lamar so if he can he would probably match it.

So in the end, everyone who can get away from the Clippers is leaving or at least trying to leave. Just like the good old days. At least they got that monster Chris Kaman . . .

Wizards jump into Arenas sweepstakes

If Arenas wants to get paid, he should go to Miami. If Gil wants to win anytime soon though, he doesn't really have any options. His best bet for a winner may be the Warriors. The Clippers could jump into this too, but they have to wait to see what happens with their own guys.

76ers to announce Thomas' re-signing

I like Kenny Thomas and all, but 50M? 7 years? Probably not a move I would have made. Although neither was making Randy Ayers the head coach.

Howard's deal worth at least $28 million

Gives them a nice scoring 1-2-3 with Tracy McGrady, Juwan Howard and Drew Gooden. Doesn't really help defensively and they are still weak at the guard spots. We'll see what they do about a PG in the days to come. Perhaps Tyronn Lue will fall into their laps.

Magic moving on with other signing options

This hurts Orlando for obvious reasons. They still need a PG and now have less money to use to get one. Maybe John Gabriel can get creative.

Saturday, July 12, 2003
In other news, Doug Christie still tethered to wife

As Lang Whitaker said, "I think the picture with the story tells a thousand words.".

Kidd to re-sign and take Zo with him

Jason Kidd resigns for 99M (not all in one season of course). This was done for two reasons as I see it. Alonzo Mourning pretty much said he would go where Kidd went and the Kidd's odds of getting to the Finals are much better in the East. Also, everyone is denying that he demanded for Byron Scott to be fired.

Maggette still in talks with Nuggets

Chad Ford is reporting that Corey Maggette will sign with the Nuggets. The Clippers could match, but what are the odds that will happen? Slim and none. And slim has left the building. Maybe this is the challenge Dunleavy sees?

Another interesting note in the article involves the Nuggets quest for a PG. Apparently Gilbert Arenas is asking for 9M per. He better have learned to walk on water in the offseason if he is asking for 9M. Especially when Andre Miller is looking for 6-7M.

Dunleavy sees 'challenge' in taking over Clippers

In other news, I see the blue in the sky.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Payton puts his money where his mouth is

And your paper champions for the 2003-2004 NBA season are the LA Lakers.

Gary Payton says he's down to take the Lakers mid level exception. This in turn probably means Karl Malone will play for the minimum next year in LA as well. Does this make the Lakers very good on paper? Well, sort of. The bench still kinda sucks, but that's a hell of a starting five on paper. The key words there are on paper. That doens't mean this will work and they are guaranteed a ring like some people seem to think. Are they the favorites to winit all next year? Probably. However there have been plenty of teams that looked good on paper, but couldn't get it done in reality. The Trailblazers in the playoffs are one example. There are many other instances throughout sports history.

In other news, is anyone else concerned that Mitch Kupchak needed the help of Karl Malone to make his first big free agent signing ever?

Monday, July 07, 2003
Missed option deadline makes Carter a free agent

This kind of changes the free agency landscape a bit. The Heat now have more cap room since Carter is off the books. Two main thoughts: 1) I bet Pat Riley did a little happy dance upon hearing the news and 2) What is the over under on days before Anthony Carter fires his agent? Can I put down money on this?

Sunday, July 06, 2003
And just to show that I am still paying attention . . .

I normally try not to post on stuff like this til there are better details, but Kobe Bryant got arrested. While most are saying this is out of character for him and that they doubt he did it. The reality is that while I hope he didn't do it, I don't know the guy and for all I know he could have. As Ben Matasar reminded me, everyone thought Kirby Puckett was a nice guy too and look how that turned out. So we'll wait and see on Kobe.

Plot thickens among Malone, Payton and Lakers

This is interesting. Malone is recruiting for the Lakers without even being on the team. This would definitely make the Lakers a formidable team next year if it happens. 4 probable Hall of Famers on the court at once. Payton and Malone as options 3a and 3b. Most teams they would be option 1 or 2. Even if this happens, the Lakers still need to address the bench. Devean George and Derek Fisher would pretty much be the entire bench. something else to consider: How well would Malone and Payton fit in the triangle? I think for a ring they owuld find a way to fit, but it is always a question with that offense.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003
2003 Free Agent List

Here's everyone who is a free agent this summer. The biggest name for me on that list: Mateen Cleaves. Who'd you think I was gonna say? I'll be crushed if Mateen doesn't get signed.

'Detailed discussions' with Jordan prove fruitless

Turns out my theory on the Sam Cassell trade doesn't work out anymore. I was probably right about Ernie Grunfeld though, as he's accepted a new position with the Wizards