Tag Archives: free agents

Sterling Should Taunt Himself

It’s impossible not to enjoy a good heckler at any kind of game. Whether it’s a realalistic fan spouting off about why someone is or isn’t good or it’s the idiot that doesn’t know anything about the game and 90% of the time is spitting out drunk babble. I have no problem with either as long as they are good at it, and are entertaining. Today it’s been reported that Donald Sterling the owner of the super successful Los Angeles Clippers, has been heckling his players for the last couple of years. All of the heckling reported seemed fairly un-imaginative.  Nobody has received it worse than our former Bay Area hero, Baron Davis. I had mixed feelings about it when I first read it, since BD hasn’t lived up to his contract at all, I can see why Sterling might feel that some of his comments/frustrations were warranted, but how many bad contracts have there been in the NBA? 5,000? 10,000? Way too many for me to count (I can count at least five on the Warriors right now). In this information age, you had to know what you were getting yourself into when you signed Baron. Maybe Sterling wasn’t paying attention to the way Baron left New Orleans or Golden State. Whatever the case for the bad blood between the two just remember Sterling holds the record for largest payout ($300M) in a trial that concluded that he was racist against who he was renting his apartments to.

I feel bad for Baron as he’s fighting against his injuries, a new coach, and even the owner. I guess it is possible that Sterling might have found the single weirdest way to motivate his highest paid player. I doubt that’s what he’s doing, but if you were Baron wouldn’t you want to prove him wrong a little? The weirdest part about all this is I couldn’t see any owner doing this in any sport. Not Dan Gilbert who wrote that ugly letter to Lebron. I can’t see Jerry Jones on the sidelines heckling Roy Williams, with a “get off my billion dollar field comment”. At least Bud Adams flips off the opposing team instead of his own. Even Al Davis loves his players too much to throw them under the bus during a game.

The fallout from this will probably be nothing much from the Baron front, because he’ll get paid whether he performs or not. He might pick up his game a little bit, but looking at it from the bigger perspective they have two amazing stars of the future there in Eric Gordon, and the eventual Rookie of the Year, Blake Griffin that nearly every franchise would kill to have as building blocks. I’ve never been in their locker room or around any of their players, but do know that Baron is a very likeable guy. I’m positive that he’s had some influence on Gordon and Griffin in one way or another, and I feel like they’d feel Sterling is in the wrong. My theory is if Sterling continues to heckle Baron (and he most likely will), does he really expect either of his two young stars to stay when they have a choice of exploring their options? If I were either of them, my first option would either be to switch to purple and gold, or get the hell out of LA. Also how do you build with these guys? Would any free agent in their right mind want to go to the Clippers unless they were going to make an extra $2-3M? Enjoy Griffin and Gordon while you can Clippers fans, because the Sterling and Baron saga just sealed your future of staying in the lottery for years to come, and confirmed why I put you as the worst NBA franchise over a year ago.

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The Cardinal List

In the wake of Anthony Tolliver and “The Decision: Part Deux,” Chappy, By, and I got to thinking about former Warriors who put up meaningless numbers on terrible teams, but somehow fooled other teams into offering them ridiculous contracts. Tolliver is the perfect example. A D-League call-up who received significant minutes because no one else wanted to play. I know, I know, they were injured, but after the recent interview with Andris Biedrins, I’m starting to question the entire team’s dedication. But back to the subject, here’s a list of players who’ve benefited from a little time spent in the East Bay. I call it the “Cardinal List,” named after former Warrior Brian Cardinal, who had a stellar season in Oakland, and then signed a fairly large contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, which might even still be going. I’ll check it out when I get to him, but I’m willing to bet he produced more in his one season in Golden State than he did during his entire contract in Memphis.

Gilbert Arenas – Washington: Okay, this one’s a little different because Arenas turned into a legitimate star. But, he played two seasons in Oakland for a TOTAL of $844,ooo, and then proceeded to make about $82 million over 6 years in DC. He’s a little different since he’s a bonafide star, but a prime example of a player getting some shine on the Orena floor en route to a substantial payday. While the Wizards would probably argue that contract was a decent investment, the one they gave him after that may be one they regret.

Earl Boykins – Denver: Boykins didn’t exactly get his start in Oakland, but he certainly made his name there. While his numbers weren’t overwhelming – he did have 7 games of 20+ points though – he proved he belonged in the league. He went from making $528,000 with the Warriors to $2.5 million in Denver the next year.

Brian Cardinal – Memphis: Ah, the man the list was named after. Cardinal spent his first three seasons in Detroit and Washington, where he totaled 52 points. The Warriors, however, let him into 76 games, only to watch him average 9.6 ppg. He quickly became a fan favorite, but even the fans knew he wasn’t worth 4 yrs, $20+ million. Fortunately, Warriors management knew this too, and they let Cardinal go to Memphis. I was really hoping to see that he’d scored less in his 4 seasons in Memphis than that one in Golden State, but after tallying the numbers, he managed to rack up 897 points in Memphis vs. 733 in one season with the W’s. Pretty close.

Anthony Morrow – New Jersey: Where were you when undrafted rookie Anthony Morrow scored 37 points against the Clippers? Chappy and I were courtside at Staples Center, with zero idea that was going to happen. We were busy wondering if these free tickets were even going to be at will call, let alone be on the floor five rows in front of Mitch Richmond. But 37 points and 11 rebounds later, we were obviously on the Morrow bandwagon. I’m still a big fan, but Morrow is still just an average player. The Nets didn’t think so though, as they offered him four times his current salary, going from $736,000 to $4,000,000 this season.

CJ Watson – Chicago: I guess when you have Derrick Rose, you don’t really need the world’s greatest backup point guard. But, to pay CJ Watson well over three times what he was making last year, it seems like you could find a better value. After all, the Warriors found Watson, like many other players, in the D-League, so surely the Bulls could’ve found a similar player for a fraction of the price.

Anthony Tolliver – Minnesota: The guy who inspired this list. Yes, he did have a 34 point game last season, not coincidentally in Minnesota. But for a D-league call up who basically got minutes by default, I have no problem watching him walk up to the Twin Cities to the tune of $2.4 million per. The Warriors will probably find four guys next year for that price. And you know what? Those four guys will probably go on to sign inflated contracts elsewhere when their time is up.


Optimistic For Oakland Part I: Athletics

When MCeezy and I were in China, we were disappointed to see Stomper on a Chinese billboard, because the A's were struggling at the time, but maybe the trip overseas showed him what he was missing!

I’m very excited for all three of the Oakland franchises’ futures, more so than I have been for long while. I feel weird, because I’m not expecting/demanding playoff runs from any of them, but instead am just happy that all three franchises will be worth watching for the next couple of years, which is more than I can say for the last two years. It has been a downtime for all the Oakland sports area the last few years in terms of success, so naturally, there’s really only one way to go, up. So this three part series will be about why the fans of Oakland’s franchises can finally be optimistic about the future! Let’s start with the Oakland A’s, since their season is still going on, and everyone overlooks them outside of the Bay Area, and even in their area they are under covered because of the recent Giants success.

Today it was reported that our highly touted prospect, Chris Carter, is going to be called up to join the Athletics roster in Seattle tonight. I couldn’t be more pumped. Even if they weren’t planning on it, the injuries to Barton and everyone in the outfield made it a necessary move. I thought this would happen sooner in the season, but now is as good of a time as any with the DL getting even more crowded adding Matt Watson yesterday. Although I don’t see this move getting us to the playoffs this year, it will give us a better idea of what we have waiting in the wings for next year, and this is a move that has rejuvenated my enthusiasm that much more for the A’s. If you didn’t know, Chris Carter is the best power hitting prospect we have in our farm system, and we got him as part of the Dan Haren trade to Arizona that keeps on giving (we got Brett Anderson, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Carter, Gregg Smith, as the major pieces that have made an impact so far). I hope Carter hits a few bombs, and supplants Cust as the DH/Platoon LF for the rest of the year.

Oakland currently sits in 2nd place, 7 ½ games back of Texas in the AL West. They still play seven more games against Texas this season, and have a mild shot at weaseling out an AL West title or maybe a Wild Card spot if Tampa Bay falls apart. Not that I see that happening, but I can always hope that the standings tighten up a little as we get closer to the end of the season. Seriously though, with close to 50 games left, a there is room for movement! Texas is heading to NY, BOS, TB, BAL, and MIN. The A’s meanwhile head to SEA, MIN, TOR, TB, and CLE. I view the Rangers schedule as harder (feel free to disagree I’d like to hear that argument), so we could conceivable be 3-6 games out going into our next series against Texas. If Texas starts faltering, the A’s could sneak up on everyone! Also, this season has made me like our manager, Bob Geren a little bit more. I’ve never been a fan, but seeing how he’s kept this youthful team together through tons of injuries over the last couple years, you have to give him some of the credit no matter how many of his late inning moves I don’t agree with. Continue reading


Doin Free Agency Predictions

We already made a list of the top free agents of 2010, and now we give you the predictions on where we think some of the best players in the NBA will end up. Even though none of the players even know where they are going, we will still try to predict where we think they will go in the super hyped July free agent frenzy.

LeBron James

Cali4Dre: NY Knicks, where the lights shine brightest and the team has been prostituting itself to him for 5 years now

Chappy: NJ Nets, He decides to learn from the self made billionaire how to become a billionaire himself. He gets his global icon status without winning a championship and has some premium Russian vodka named after him.

By:  Oddly enough, I believe the two biggest names will stay put.  The Cavs are most certainly going to deal Desperado West, and all will be well in Cleveland once again.

MCeezy: Nowhere. I think Lebron’s full of shit. He’s just gonna milk the Cavs for all they’re worth, but he’s gonna have one last fling (or six or seven) visiting other teams – just to see what they would give him. I think the whole “play your whole career for one team” will prove too much for the King to leave his castle. (That one team is also his home town to boot) Cavs season ticket reps can breathe easy.

Dwyane Wade

Cali4Dre: Chicago, home sweet home for “fall down once, get up twice”

Chappy: Miami, he seems to really like south beach, and from what I can tell, he’s the only one that really wants to stay and bring in a new buddy.

By:  Wade being the other of the two “big-big names” – I believe he stays in South Beach.  Miami will deliver on their commitment to pairing him up with another All-Star.

MCeezy: Chicago. I think this is more what I’d like to see than what will happen though. I’m sure Wade would love to go back home and the run the show in Chicago, but I just can’t see him running with Derrick Rose. I think in the end, Miami will just have more to offer.

Chris Bosh

Cali4Dre: Chicago, already sounds sold and getting to know Oprah is at the bottom of his list

Chappy: Miami, Wade talks Bosh into moving to Florida, and is super pumped about the new Predators movie coming out…

By:  Some say Miami, some say Chicago, one thing is for sure – goodbye Canada!  Bosh has been reported saying he doesn’t want to become someone’s second fiddle, so Chicago with Joe Johnson looks good right now.  I’d really like to see Bosh in a Warriors jersey though … wishful thinking.

MCeezy: Miami. For some reason, I can already see him in a Heat jersey. I think the front office sells D-Wade on bringing in another star, and Bosh seems to fit the bill.

Continue reading


Who Will Your Team Want in July of 2010? Rating the NBA Free Agent Class

We’ve had little to no talk on the free agent class on 2010 here on the blog, and obviously this class is the biggest and best we’ve probably ever seen. July 1, 2010 has been etched into owner’s/GM’s minds for the past few seasons, and multiple teams could land a couple of big time players to make them an instant contender. This upcoming July could shape the NBA’s power balance for the next decade to come. I’m a big fan of making lists, so here’s my top twenty free agents. I’ve included some guys on the list that I think may opt out of their contract making the list a little more exciting. I decided to leave off the restricted free agents such as Dirk and Pierce, because it would be strange to see some of these teams actually cut these guys…

#1 Lebron James – 7th season – 25 years old – Player option to be an unrestricted free agent

He’s the first player I can ever think of that had teams scrapping multiple seasons just to make the cap space for him, and another star. He’s the best player in the league, and WILL one day join Oscar on the list of players to average a triple-double. I won’t go into what he’s good at since he can pretty much do everything. If any player in the league can make personnel decisions within his own team, Lebron is that guy.

#2 Dwayne Wade – 7th season – 28 years old – Player option to be an unrestricted free agent

Probably the best guard in the league. He scores wherever he wants, and gets to the line nearly everytime he drives to the hoop. He probably had two of the best five dunks of the season dunking over Varejao, and half the Pacers team. He’s made a crappy Heat team relevant. Hopefully someone else on this list ends up on the same team as him, because if anyone deserves some help it’s this guy. If Miami loses him, they will be counting ping pong balls for years to come.

#3 Amar’e Stoudemire – 8th season – 27 years old – Player option to be an unrestricted free agent

Amar’e looks to have fully recovered from his injury, and looks like he’s back at his 2007-08 form. The knock on him has always been defense, but it looks like he’s made some strides since sitting down with Bill Russell, which Amare said was an eye opening experience. I’m not certain that I see him opting out of Phoenix since he seems to like it there, but why stick with a one year contract when you can get one for six? Especially with his laundry list of injuries. Then again, I could also see him staying in Phoenix to help Nash ride off into the sunset. After all the constant trade talks swirling around him, and him never going anywhere, I’m skeptical that he will leave the valley of the sun.

#4 Chris Bosh – 7th season – 25 years old – Player option to be an unrestricted free agent

Most teams that are in the Lebron sweepstakes are also hoping to team him with Bosh. The predator should make a big impact wherever he lands whether it’s in Chicago with Rose and Noah, or with Lebron or Wade somewhere else. I don’t view him as a alpha dog, but he’s as good a great sidekick that demands a lot of attention from opposing teams. I see him as a Gasol type fit on a championship team. A big part of why they win, but in the end not the sole reason they win. Continue reading


The New Salary Cap Kills Dreams, and Gives Other’s Hope

Stern

Today the salary cap numbers were released for the NBA, and as projected the cap space for next season dropped by close to $1 million from $58.68 million this past season to $57.70 million this upcoming season. It is also projected to drop 5% more next year during the extremely hyped free agency class of 2010.  I know that I’ve been a little depressed and couldn’t really tell what the motivations were for the moves made by my Warriors, but now I feel that this is going to give us the boost we needed, as it may help us get rid of our horrendous owner (back to that later).

Teams that have been clearing cap space for the 2010 free agent bonanza are suddenly realizing that they may not have the cap room they first thought. The Knicks have been the most adamant in trying to get a superstar to the big apple in 2010, as they have been dumping salary like Steinbrenner gives out $100 million contracts. Their obvious goal was to make enough room under the cap to sign a combo of star players and bring the franchise back to contention for a championship. Since they were trying to clear out enough money to sign a combo of players, they haven’t really developed much of a team.80391809NB002_CAVS_CELTICS NB001_ROCKETS_KNICKS During the tirade of trades that would be off the books by 2010 the projected cap was in the $60 million range. Now it appears that number will be around $8 million less than what was projected a year ago to spend on the superstar summer. Basically, instead of signing two superstar free agents, they will have to settle for one superstar and one MLE player. In the Knicks case, it seems that not developing a team worthy enough to entice a superstar, is going to hurt them next summer. As of now, it seems much more likely that Cleveland, Toronto, and Miami can retain their franchise guys, and possibly, for slightly less money than they had originally thought. Does it sound very tempting to a player like Lebron to go to a lottery team like the Knicks or stand pat and keep trying in Cleveland where he knows he’s close. If Lebron isn’t moving to a team with a player like Bosh, Wade, or Amare there isn’t a point for him to leave.  I’m sure he believes he could make them a playoff team, but I doubt he could talk himself into thinking that they were a championship caliber team.

What does this do to the Warriors you may ask? Not only is the cap not a concern to me, even though the Warriors have a lot of their money tied up for many years down the road, it actually could be a franchise changing year for the good of the team! Being a lifelong Warriors fan, I wasn’t old and wise enough to enjoy the early teams they had with Run TMC, so I’m stuck with the visions of the Chris Cohan era, which has produced a whopping 1 playoff appearance in 15 seasons! RunTMC_160x140 This recent news has helped our horrible owner have what alcoholics like to call “a moment of clarity”. Even if this team does get blown up because of the sale, is that really the worst thing that could happen to this franchise? I love the way their team is set up with youth and some veterans, but any longtime Warriors fan will tell you that it can’t get much worse as long as the new owner doesn’t take us for a Donald Sterling type ride. I’d love to see a front office that actually has relationships with the GM, coach, and players. What a concept!


The Sad State of the NBA

With the draft wrapped up and the free agency about to kick into full swing (Highlighted by Ben Gordon and Hedo Turkoglu), it seems like the NBA is in a different state than it has been for most seasons with the vicious economic decline. Instead of hearing about the best players being traded, we hear more about hedo_300_080204the rumors on how so many NBA teams are losing money, and are definitely going to have even more troubles with their payrolls next season. Money is the most valuable part of every organization and it seems that more teams are interested in shedding cap space, than making their teams better to compete for a title. Trade offers aren’t even about talent as much as who is getting the player with the big contract that expires next year. 12 teams accepted the leagues offer to borrow between $13 and $20 million. I won’t completely blame it on players and situations like the highly chronicled Darius Miles who is still sucking cap space away from Portland and just violated the leagues drug policy again. large_DariusBut, he is definitely one of the reasons the league needs to review the collective bargaining agreement before the seemingly imminent lockout in 2011.

My biggest concern for the NBA is the shrinking cap space each season. If the economy continues to go the way it has, the cap will keep falling. In turn, this will make it impossible for teams to stay under the cap especially with the current contract constructions weighted at the end, and put some teams over the cap before the next season even starts. This year will only be the second time in league history that the cap has been lowered from the previous season. Teams know this, and it is making them thriftier than ever. Why do they want to risk hitting the luxury tax for making it one round deeper in the playoffs? They really don’t, and this is going to be the NBA’s biggest problem during the recession! The objective for mediocrity in the league is not going to keep fans around, and without the fans the league will obviously struggle. The seats are already empty in the smaller market areas and terrible franchises. I watched many Clippers games (more than I’d like to admit) this year and most of the time you could hear the other teams fans that happen to live in L.A. at the games cheering over the Clippers’ fans (if there actually were any).

So with Amare on the block, and few interesting free agents out there, what will happen this offseason you ask? I think it’s going to be a lot of low-balling, and there will definitely be a lot of teams giving away superior talent just to relieve their books. With all of the talks surrounding my Warriors, and Amare Stoudemire possibly going to them, I took a step back to see what could possibly be behind it. Sure Amare is a great player when he’s healthy, but even he felt that the Warriors are giving up too much talent for him to want to go to there. It makes me wonder if the Warriors original objective was to have Stoudemire for a one year rental and have a lot of money come off the books instead of having: Biendris (5 years), Wright (3 years), and  Bellinelli (3 years). brad-millerWere the Warriors making a money dump like the Kings did when they gave away Brad Miller to save themselves millions off the cap in the long run? I feel like I can’t trust any move my team is making this offseason without wondering, was this done just for the pocketbook or did they really try to improve the team to make them a contender…