Monday, July 16, 2007

Thoughts on NBA Summer League and more Free Agency Opinion

First, let's talk about the Summer League. You have to give props to the NBA and its hyping of young talent via the use of its network, NBA TV. Throughout the day and in the evening, the NBA pulls in ardent fans of college basketball who can now easily check out many of their favorite players who have moved onto the next level. Of course, there are positive and negative externalities attached to the easier access to the Summer League.

With respect to the actual summer league, here are a few quick hits:
* Greg Oden and Kevin Durant fared respectably but both struggled. Oden, who only played two games due to tonsilitis, amassed a total of 19 fouls. As for Durant, he definitely knows how to score, but must improve his shot selection based on his awful shooting percentage.

* To steal a line from our football guru Armin Mohajeri, "you heard it here, first". I thought my hometown Wizards were idiots for passing up on the guy and my thoughts were confirmed during the Summer League when 2007-2008 Rookie of the Year runner-up (Durant is winning this barring injury because he has no one else on his team) when Marco Belinelli tore it up.

* Sticking with the Wizards, Dominic McGuire, will likely earn a roster spot following his solid performances.

* The story for the Knicks summer league is not Nate Robinson, who is the Summer League MVP. It's forward Brian Greene, who did quite well for himself, picking up loose balls, hustling, and finishing strong. He has placed himself in a position to either be signed by the Knicks or find himself on the roster of a high-level European team.

* Aaron Brooks dominated for the Rockets at the summer league and might take Rafer Alston closer to the bench for Rick Adelman.

* On draft night, we learned that Yi Jianlian's name was pronounced "E". Elongate that pronunciation and that sums up his sub-par Summer League performance.

* Charlotte has $75M locked up at the shooting guard position between ::drumroll:: Jason Richardson and Matt Carroll. Being that the Bobcats doled out another $57M over six years to do-everything forward Gerald Wallace, this has to endanger the possibility of re-signing both Felton and Okafor, which would be a tragedy.

* Why??? That's the question I consistently get from my friend Damien who's an avid Bulls fan. He asked this question when they drafted Noah and included a few choice words when I informed him of the $38M over 5 years handed out to Andres Nocioni. As for the Joe Smith, this jury is still out until I get the number on the two-year deal. Smith provides inside scoring at the 4-position which the Bulls get from absolutely no one who's currently on the roster.

* While I have respect for the Magic front office for the way they cleaned house following the selection of Dwight Howard, signing Rashard Lewis to an astronomical contract and withdrawing the qualifying offer for Darko Milicic was downright tragic. As it turns out, the Magic receive no compensation for Darko, who signed a very economical 3-year, $21M deal with the new-look Grizzlies.

* Luke Walton gets $6M per year to be the third or fourth option. I'm hating these contracts.

* Mo Williams has re-upped with the Bucks with a 6-year, $52M contract. Apparently, Milwaukee wants a scoring point guard who is lax on defense and has a propensity to commit turnovers. I could find many of those for under 9 million clams a year.

*Getting MoPete for 4 years at less than $6M per year in this market is quite the bargain. However, going to New Orleans may not be the best career choice. Another great shooter at CP3's disposal never hurts.

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