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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 02 2015 at 7:15pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Interesting that Aldridge is giving LA a second chance.  At this point I was kind of assuming SA had him wrapped up and was setting up their next dynasty.  No question LA has more glitz and marketing opportunites but the Spurs can offer credible shots at a championship over the next few seasons, which LA certainly cannot.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 03 2015 at 1:54pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

DeAndre Jordan rumored headed to Dallas on max deal, player option on year four.  If so, huge loss for the Clips. 

Most of the A-level guys have resolved pretty fast.  So who's left besides Aldridge, Cousins and Gasol (the latter two of whom may stay home)?  A bunch of players with issues.  But some of them have surprising upside and I'd be willing to risk some money on a lot of them in the right situation, particularly on shorter term deals in case they don't work out.  Some of them may prefer such short deals since the cap explosion in the next two years offers them huge upsides if they play well now (another reason to make bets on them in the short term).   Here are some that are somewhat under the radar but which might merit a second look in the right setting.

Josh Smith PF unrestricted. Attitude issues got him dumped last year but he played decently for Houston down the stretch (17 pts / 8 rebs).  If Houston lands a big fish free agent they'll probably let him go but he's certainly got some game left.

Enes Kanter Big scorer, rebounder (18.7/11).  Bad defense. unrestricted.  If you need offense, absolutely worth a shot.  OKC hasn't resigned him yet.

Lou Williams PG/ SG 15.5 ppg sixth man of the year unrestricted.  Surprised there's not more discussion of this unsung energy guy who can score. 

Manu Ginobli SG 10.5 ppg unrestricted.  Likely to re-sign with the Spurs for peanuts but if not, certainly worth the risk for short term lowball salary.  He's near the end of his career but he can shoot and he can pass and he's a fundamentally sound winner. 

Rajon Rondo PG unrestricted 8.9 ppg, 7.9 assists.  He had a HORRIBLE year after being traded to Dallas and hasn't shot well in several years.  He is likely to be disruptive, he's likely not to listen to the coach.  He is one of the best distributors in the game and since nobody seems to want him, you might be able to get him for quite the deal.  A cheap one-year tryout signing seems eminently worth the risk/reward.

David West 12 pts / 7 rebs PF unrestricted.  He's declining and may be headed to SA if they can't nab Aldridge, but either way, he can still ball on a limited basis and if you need a big, he can fill the role.

Reggie Jackson 14.5 pts / 4.2 rebs / 6.0 assists restricted. 25 y.o. PG Dragic and Knight's signings may have raised Jackson's payday... in his 26 games with Detroit he averaged 17.6 points and 9.2 assists, better than either Dragic or Knight.  Detroit may not match their deals, in which case this solid PG may walk.    

Tobias Harris restricted. SF/PF 17.1 pts / 6.3 rebs Boston was interested but is apparently out now, so this decent forward may be available.



Edited by Rick Senger on July 03 2015 at 2:43pm
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Doug Centers
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Posted: July 04 2015 at 6:33am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I think Jackson will stay with Detroit.
The Dragic and Knight signings will change the way the contract may look,
but he loves playing under Van Gundy and has a good relationship with
the owner.
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: July 04 2015 at 7:41am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Deandre Jordan signing with Dallas is an indictment on the situation behind the scenes in LA.  Is it Doc Rivers the GM?  Chris Paul difficult to get along with?  All of the above?  No question LA was the best basketball place for Jordan to be and they can give him more money.  The only reason to leave is to flee dysfunction.

I'm happy for Dallas though.  You couldn't replace Chandler any better than Jordan!  He's younger and better at all the same things Chandler does well.  Also happy to see Cuban and the Mavs finally land a top tier free agent.  Something they haven't been able to do since they won the championship in 2011.  Bad news is they have no back court...Parsons and Matthews are both recovering from career-threatening injuries. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 04 2015 at 11:39am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

The Clips blew it but I mainly blame Paul, who along with the rest of the team didn't come to the team's presentation (unlike Dallas, where Nowitski cut short a vacation and Chandler both wined and dined Jordan incessantly.)  Paul was in the Bahamas when he should have been protecting his team and future.  Paul is way more tightly strung than Jordan but he should have realized the value Jordan brings and particularly that they'd be high and dry if he left.  There's no excuse for not working things out.  LA has no money to lure a free agent big and their mid level isn't going to cut it.  They may try to "go small" but it's a losing proposition in the playoffs against the best west teams.

On the other hand, the Spurs just got Aldridge so it may all be academic.  SA is going to be scary great once again and it's amazing how seamlessly they've bridged the transition to the next generation.  There's always the risk that Parker and Duncan will finally wear down but Aldridge is a seasoned superstar in his prime who will insure against Duncan and with Kawhi they've got a great two way player for another decade, plus Green and a solid supporting cast and fantastic coach.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: July 05 2015 at 9:30pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Reggie Jackson signed a five year $89 million deal with the Pistons.  Last year, he turned down a 4 year $48 million offer from OKC.  Looks like a smart decision on his part.  I did not know he was worth that kind of money though.


Edited by Wilson Mui on July 05 2015 at 9:31pm
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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 06 2015 at 8:51am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

The Lakers have actually made a couple competent fallback moves after their failure to draw any major free agents.  Roy Hibbert is a decent defending big who once upon a time was an all star and he will fill the role they wanted Aldridge to take, though he's not nearly as good offensively and is a bit of a headcase.  Brandon Bass is an unspectacular but highly durable forward who can score and defend some.  Lou Williams is a pretty good instant offense pickup; no defense but Hibbert helps there.   All reasonable pick-ups.  Jeanie Buss has again asserted that her brother Jimmy will be gone if the team can't make the Western Conference Finals by the end of his three year plan (which has two years remaining), so Jimmy is obviously trying really hard.  The above moves are definitely minor progress and DeAngelo Russell and Julius Randle should bring much needed youthful energy.  If they can sign back Jordan Clarkson and get a good full season from Kobe, they will be much improved over last year's 21-61 mark, though making the playoffs still seems like a tall order in the west.
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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 06 2015 at 9:40am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Stunning deal for Jackson... the Pistons were obviously unwilling to let him go and opened up the Brinks truck.  Teams really are signing just about any good player they can to long term deals on the theory that whatever money is paid now will seem cheap years from now when the cap explodes.

The Cavs apparently want to acquire Joe Johnson from the Nets, which seems impossible given they are way over the cap and JJ's huge $24.8 mill contract.  Still, The Cavs can apparently work some magic using Brendan Haywood's contract and possibly dealing Verajao and picking up David West cheap to replace him.   If so, the Cavs would have four all star starters (LBJ, Love, JJ and Kyrie).  Johnson does bring offense and outside shooting, which the Cavs need, but he is 34 and that is a breathtaking contract to take on given their cap status.


Edited by Rick Senger on July 06 2015 at 9:45am
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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 06 2015 at 3:28pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Shee~!  The Spurs not only get Ginobli back, they lure West for the vet's minimum ($1.5 mill).  West just opted out of $12 mill from Indiana so he just left $10.5 mill on the table in the hopes of getting a ring.  The West is absolutely loaded.
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: July 06 2015 at 9:46pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I have to respect a guy who is willing to leave so much money on the table to win a championship. Not sure why he didn't go to the Cavs or Warriors though, which are just as likely to get into the Playoffs. News reports said both team pursued him and probably offered more money.

Edited by Wilson Mui on July 06 2015 at 10:08pm
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: July 07 2015 at 5:07am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Cavs sign Mo Williams.  I'm guessing that means they're giving up on the Joe Johnson idea.

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Rick Senger
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Posted: July 07 2015 at 11:57am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Williams for $2 mill+ per is a deal.  The Cavs were looking for a backup PG and they found one who not only has played with LBJ before but he had a nifty back third after going to Charlotte, averaging 17.2 pts / 6 assists.  Only concern is that his shooting has declined and he's only 6'1", but that's a no brainer at that price. 
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