Monday, June 25, 2007

major trade looms as draft approaches

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, together? Yes, it's true, the Lakers and Timberwolves, along with help from the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers are working on a four team deal that will send Garnett to the Los Angeles Lakers, Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom to the Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal to the Celtics, and the #5 overall pick (from the Celtics) and either the #19 pick (from the Lakers) or Al Jefferson to the Timberwolves. This may or may not keep Bryant in Los Angeles after he demanded to be traded last week, but I think that this will keep him in LA with an improved team with Garnett as his sidekick.

This deal makes sense for all teams except for Boston. After all, rumors were swirling about Garnett going to the Lakers, Jefferson and the #5 pick going to the Timberwolves, and Bynum and Odom going to the Pacers, although all of them were in separate deals. In order for this big deal to get done, it will probably have to happen before the #5 pick is announced. The draft is this Thursday and begins at 7:00 EST.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Kobe, Garnett are on the trading market

Over this past week, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be on the available for trades. Both are superstars on teams with minimal support and are headed nowhere fast. Bryant asked to be traded last week after a meeting with team owner Jerry Buss and Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale is finally listening to calls for Garnett.
Bryant is in his late 20s and Garnett is in his early 30s, making it possible for both to contribute for about 5-7 more years apiece. Reportedly, the Lakers are actually interested in acquiring Garnett, but they do not have the pieces necessary unless they are willing to trade every decent player except for Bryant. The Celtics have also shown some interest in acquiring Garnett, but will probably not trade Paul Pierce in a deal. They would need to trade Al Jefferson, their #5 overall pick, and enough contracts, maybe Wally Szczerbiak, to acquire Garnett. Obviously the Knicks are interested, but Garnett wants to go to a winner and I don't think the Knicks would even contend for the Eastern Conference title even with Garnett. Garnett could also go to the Bulls, but I don't think GM John Paxson will pull the trigger on any deal if he needs to give up more than one of the following players: Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, or Luol Deng.
As for Bryant, He could go to the Phoenix Suns for Shawn Marion and maybe another player or a draft pick, but GM Mitch Kupchak is unlikely to trade him to their division rivals. This would put the Suns over the top with more offense and more defense in addition to a great closer and Steve Nash as his point guard. Reports also say that he could go to the Bulls or Knicks. Another intriguing possibility is to the Washington Wizards for Gilbert Arenas, who will opt out of his contract after next year.

Monday, June 11, 2007

What Indiana should do during the offseason

Like the Sacramento Kings, the Indiana Pacers had a disappointing season and missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade (1996-97 was the last year they failed to make it). A major trade occured part way through the season for the Pacers in which Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington were traded to the Golden State Warriors for Mike Dunleavy, Jr. and Troy Murphy, a deal the Pacers probably regret now. Jackson and Harrington were key in leading the Warriors to the playoffs and Dunleavy and Murphy never really did make up for what was lost in the trade. Indiana collapsed late in the season and fell all the way out of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, they didn't even get their lottery pick, which was eleventh overall. That pick goes to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the Al Harrington deal. Jermaine O'Neal is rumored to be going to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason and the Pacers may get a first rounder out of it. If they do, I suggest that they take the best available player because they will have no star power if O'Neal goes. The Lakers first round pick is ninteenth, so someone good could potentially slip to that spot. Maybe they can take Brazilian center Tiago Splitter with that pick. Then they could have a big man for the future.

They offseason will likely be very interesting for the Pacers with O'Neal's potential trade. I expect the Lakers to give up a combination of Lamar Odom, Kwame Brown (who is entering the last year of his contract), Jordan Farmar, Andrew Bynum, and first round picks. I don't see the Lakers willing to give up Bynum and I don't see them parting with Odom unless absolutely necessary, but the Lakers will do anything this offseason to keep Kobe Bryant happy. The Pacers could get a decent deal, but O'Neal could also get dealt to a team like the Knicks and knowing Isiah Thomas, he'll give the Pacers David Lee and multiple first rounders.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Check out this new game

I have posted a link for Super Smash Flash game. It's similar to the game Super Smash Bros. Melee. What you do is fight different Nintendo stars like Mario, Kirby, Samus, and Sonic.

What Sacramento should do in the offseason

The Sacramento Kings missed the playoffs for the fisrst time since the 1997-98 season this year. On paper, they don't seem to have a bad team and had they been in the Eastern Conference, I think they would have made the playoffs this year with a nucleus of Mike Bibby, Kevin Martin, and Ron Artest. Brad Miller, a key player, was injured for most of the year and never did find his form.
The Kings need to draft a good big man this year. Their best players are all smaller players and with a high pick in this year's deep draft, they could easily get someone who can contribute at either power forward or center. Also, with this great draft year, the Kings could trade it for more depth and veterans.
Mike Bibby was nearly traded at this year's deadline to the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Kings refrained because Cleveland did not give up enough. Especially with this year's supporting cast, I expect the Cavaliers to make another big push at acquiring Bibby. Cleveland will probably have to part with either Daniel Gibson or Drew Gooden and draft picks. As long as Cleveland can give LeBron James some reliable help, I think anyone is available but LeBron for trading.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

What New York should do in the offseason

The New York Knicks surprised the NBA for a while last year. In fact, the Knicks actually were the eighth best team in the East in March, but then Isiah Thomas was extended and the Knicks crumbled after that. In my opinion, had Thomas not been extended before the season was over, I think we would have seen the Knicks in the playoffs this year.
They have the Chicago Bulls pick in the first round, which is 23rd overall. With this pick, they can either trade it in a package to get a guy like Rashard Lewis or Jermaine O'Neal, two guys they have expressed interest in or they can draft a small forward or a shooting guard. I know, they already have Jamal Crawford, but he could move over to the point and shop Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis around.
New York is set at center and power forward for the next decade with Eddy Curry at center and David Lee at power forward and Channing Frye backing them up or moving Lee to small forward and Frye starting at power forward. Where their problems occur, other than Thomas of course, is at point guard. They have two people who don't yet know how to win in Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis and an undersized, but productive Nate Robertson. Marbury and Francis have also been sidelined for significant periods of time last year with injuries. Remember, this couldn't have been due to tanking, since they had to exchange their pick to the Bulls in the Curry deal.
For the offseason, I expect the Knicks to go after Lewis, O'Neal, and Kevin Garnett, but end up getting none of them and only be able to use their midlevel exception. In case some of you don't know, the Knicks are way over the salary cap and can't sign any major free agents without doing a sign and trade. Of course, just about anyone they are willing to give up does not generate a lot of interest from most of the other teams in the NBA. I expect them to try to either buy out or trade Francis and if someone offers them something decent for Marbury, he could go too since they are two of the highest paid players on the team.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What Charlotte should do in the offseason

Charlotte is a very young team and has only been in existance for three years, so that could be why they are a bad team. However, they are trying to build their team like the Chicago Bulls did once Michael Jordan left. They are bringing in winners. Currently they have drafted three national champion players in the first round in Emeka Okafor, Raymond Felton, and Sean May. This is why I expect them to take either Al Horford or Corey Brewer with their first round pick (#8 overall) this year. These two spent their last two years at Florida winning the national championship both years. They know what it takes to win.
For the free agency period, the Bobcats have one real weakness, power forward. Sean May is their power forward, but he has been injured a lot and I think that he is better suited as a backup. The Bobcats' number one priority is to resign rising star Gerald Wallace, but I expect them to not be able to do so because Wallace is very versitile and talented and can fill up a stat sheet (trust me, he was on my fantasy team). This could give him a rich contract and just about every team would love to add him to their roster. Charlotte can also sign Okafor, Felton, and May to extensions this year. May is rumored to be traded this summer, and I think he will be, but I still think the Bobcats will extend all three of these players this offseason because they all contribute when healthy and Okafor and Felton are essential to the team's future success.