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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bit’s O’ Info: NBA Edition

I don’t really have a category for this post, because it’s really a mixture of random NBA thoughts. In case you were wondering about my Black Book draft post, I’m waiting till after July 8th, when I expect a few more trades to pop up.

Thought # 1: I loved the Shaq trade…If it happened 2 years ago when he was still with the Heat. Now? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Sure, he’s a big name and a big body, but he is nowhere near dominant and is always on the verge of a breakdown. At this point in his career he is not even a significant upgrade over Zydrunas Ilgauskas. And by the way, he will clog up the lane like no other. Have fun driving to the hoop now Lebron. You’re going to have drive around your defender, Shaq’s defender and Shaq, because he won’t play away from the hoop like Big Z does.

And let’s say they pull it off and win an NBA championship. Lebron is now just another player that “can’t win the big one without Shaq”. Ask Kobe how that tastes.

Thought #2: The Spurs are THE BEST run basketball franchise in the world. Hands down. And it pains me to say this because I hate Manu Ginobili and generally do not like the Spurs. Here’s what they have done in the past few weeks.
Trade for Richard Jefferson by offering the Bucks a pupu platter of expiring contracts. This is such a great move, because they needed a small forward, but one that didn’t need the ball to be effective. Jefferson is exactly that player. He is unselfish, a very good defender, and can nail the three. He fits exactly what the Spurs needed.

Have no first round picks but still manage to grab the most dominant player in the Big East (DeJuan Blair), at times the most dominant guard in the ACC (Jack McClinton), and a very underrated foreign born player that will be able to stay overseas (Nando De Colo). Blair “beasted” (Jay Bilas’ term) second overall pick Hasheem Thabeet and the rest of the college landscape, and while he is undersized and has past knee issues the guy is an absolute stud. He could start in the NBA right now; I don’t care what any of these “scouts” say. If he can stay healthy he may one day lead the league in rebounding. McClinton is another player that is supremely talented, and a great scorer. He has the potential to be a more consistent Eddie House. As a 7th or 8th man that is a great asset to have.

Thought #3: The Pistons are THE WORST run basketball franchise in the world: This one isn’t hands down, but the mistakes they have made in the last few years are horrid. They drafted Darko Milicic when everyone knew they should take Carmelo Anthony. They signed Kwame Brown to a two year deal despite the fact he had been terrible everywhere he had been. They traded their leader (Chauncey Billups) for a complete opposite in a player (Allen Iverson), putting Iverson into a terrible position.

They drafted Austin Daye, a toothpick that never did much of anything for Gonzaga against some fairly weak competition, in the first round when no one had him going nearly that high. They kind of redeemed themselves by selecting DeJuan Summers in the second and then getting the steal of the draft (other than Blair) in Chase Buddinger. But then they traded Buddinger away.

All of that is bad, but there are other teams *coughCLIPPERScough* that were worse run. Or so I thought. Now they have signed Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, both to five year deals for 98 million combined. Both players are second or third bananas, not leaders or all stars. They come to a team full of second bananas and non all stars. It’s also been said that Joe Dumars values toughness; clearly that’s not the case because although Gordon has shown some toughness Villanueva has not. He has completely underachieved his entire career, and Gordon is practically the EXACT same player as Hamilton, except with terrible shot selection. The only redeeming quality of trading Billups was the money they were saving, now they have even wasted that. Terrible.

Thought #3: I’m not sure how I feel about the Vince Carter trade. On one side I like that they are making moves, but I’m not sure acquiring Carter is the right one. There are two Vince Carters. One that dominates at times, albeit now with his jump shot rather than his athletics and can be an effective leader on the floor, and one that can disappear at the most inopportune times. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt for now, because I think Vince has matured enough to be a second banana on a championship team.

Thought #4: The Blazers should sign Hedo Turkoglu OR Jason Kidd. Hedo is the better option here…younger, great passer and a much better shooter and athlete. He can play the point at times for them and play the small forward for them. He doesn’t need the ball to dominate the game.

On the other side is Jason Kidd. He may actually be a better fit for them if they think he has a few years left, and heres why. He is the ultimate facilitator. Combine him with the offensive talent the Blazers have and I think he could average 13 assists a game easy, and that’s what they need. With Roy, Aldridge, Outlaw and everything else the Blazers have I could see them being a major contender with a premier passer.

That’s all for now folks
~Aaron Jackson

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