6/22 Traded Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric to Golden State for Corey Maggette and the 44th pick in the 2010 draft
6/25 Traded a 2012 second-round pick to New Jersey for Chris Douglas-Roberts
7/8 Re-signed John Salmons and signed Drew Gooden
Unquestionably, the Bucks have won the talent exchanges here. Maggette is still a pretty good player but is owed about $30 million over the next three years, while Bell and Gadzuric will be pretty much gone after 2010-11 (Bell is owed $4 million in 2011-12). So, Maggette is essentially a free agent pick up for the Bucks, giving them the extra scorer they need. The only downsides with Maggette are injury concerns and his lack of defense, a weakness that does not always work with Scott Skiles teams. Douglas-Roberts could also help in the scoring department but between Maggette and Salmons there isn’t much playing time left over for a lower budget scoring type.
The Gooden signing is also a nice talent move, though the contract terms appear a little long (five years and $32 million). Like Maggette and CDR, Gooden will also scoring as his primary ability, challenging Skiles to assimilate a different kind of talent base to his core. The addition of more scorers correctly identifies the right problems with the Bucks. Even so, I don’t see the Bucks making a big jump forward. At best, this will be a consolidation year to make sure the gains of 2009-10 carry forward. It should be noted that consolidation is worthy goal since Skiles last three winning season were followed by struggles the following year:
-2000-01 Suns, 51-31: Slipped to 25-26 the next season and Skiles was fired.
-2004-05 Bulls, 47-35: Fell to 41-41 the next season
-2006-07 Bulls, 49-33: Started out 9-16 the next season and was fired. Continue reading Transactions 4/15-7/13 Part 3…
Los Angeles Clippers
7/7 Named Vinny Del Negro head coach
7/8 Signed Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes
7/9 Signed Brian Cook
In the best and worst of times, there is a certain sense of futility we all get when we hear that someone is going to be new coach the Clippers. It is true that all coaches are hired to eventually be fired, the Clippers seem to stack the deck against a coach’s ability to have long term success more than most. This got me wondering where Clipper coaches come from and where they go from Clipperdom. Here’s a list of the Clipper head coaches hired by Donald Sterling and how it went for them:
-Jim Lynam, 1983-84: The Clipps were Lynam’s first head coaching gig. He went 30-52 the first season before being fired after a 22-39 start in 1984-85. This job wasn’t a dead end for Lynam, who parlayed it into work with the 76ers (1987-88 to 1991-92) and the Bullets from 1994-95 through mid-1996-97. Neither later stint was a rip roaring success but Lynam did win one division with the 76ers and Charles Barkley at his best in 1989-90. Continue reading Transactions 4/15-7/13 Part 2…
5/14 Fired Mike Woodson
6/13 Named Larry Drew head coach
7/8 Re-signed Joe Johnson
From a decision-making perspective, Atlanta is one the weirder franchises in the NBA. First, Mike Woodson apparently wins a power struggle with GM Billy Knight right about the time when it was clear that the Hawks had built a pretty good team. Now, the team is looking pretty good and Woodson is shown the door too. Knight was apparently fired because he was unable to lead the team past the second-round (they were swept out of the second-round both years). If that is the main basis for firing Knight, it strikes me as a little obtuse. The Hawks have done nothing but improve with Woodson. Sure, it’s not fun to be swept but the teams that swept them (Cavs in 2008-09 and Magic in 2009-10) were much better. Woodson isn’t irreplaceable or the main reason the team improved so much over the last five years but usually it is better to err on the side of stability and keeping a competent coach over canning him because of unreasonable expectations.
Hopefully, Drew will show himself to be a good coach and take the team to the next level. Drew has been a well-regarded assistant for a long time and has paid enough dues to get this job. On paper, however, Atlanta looks like the same second-round team they were the last few years. Continue reading Transactions: 4/15-7/13 Part 1…
The big news of the day is that soon the LeBron James Saga will be over. On Thursday night, James will announce his decision on ESPN on prime time. The whole spectacle raises all sorts of interesting questions, both basketball and human nature related. We can’t definitively answer any of those questions now (or perhaps ever in some cases) but, still, this whole event some reflection and investigation. Let’s take a stab at some these issues:
-Where is LeBron going?
I have no idea and have absolutely no inside knowledge on the subject. We do know certain facts that at least allow for a theoretical handicapping. Recognizing that we are making guesses based on rumor/innuendo we’ll still try to distill an educated guess based upon the facts as we see them. In order to find the facts, let’s do a team-by-team breakdown. Here’s how the contenders look:
(1) Cleveland: Cleveland is still the hometown favorite and the mention of them trying to get Chris Bosh recently seems to indicate that the Cavs were working with James. On the other hand, the Bosh Affair also seems to indicate that LeBron was making sure that whichever team he went to brought in another star-type player. The fact that the Cavs couldn’t land Bosh doesn’t bode well for them if that is the case. Still, Cleveland seems to be the leader as the hometown squad and have already acommodated James by upending the coach and GM to suit him. Continue reading Reflections on the LeBron Watch…
Free agency is looming around the corner and 2009-10 will soon fade into memory. But before we look forward, let’s look back for a few moments on some of the issues raised after the Finals. Here’s a look:
-Despite having the two signatures franchises meet again, the Finals were hardly classic. While both teams were very good defensively and were leaving everything on the floor, there were few compelling moments and the most memorable moments, namely the end of Game 7, were not played at the highest offensive level either. While I enjoyed the series, there did seem to a bit of hypocrisy in hyping this as a great series. In my mind, this series actually mirrored many of the plodding but competitive hard fought series of the 1990s, particularly the 1993-94 Finals between the Knicks and Rockets, which has been unfairly maligned as an ugly series by many. Continue reading NBA Finals Aftermath…