Rasheed Wallace agrees to join Boston Celtics, Jason Kidd to remain a Dallas Maverick

July 6, 2009

sheedby Jack Maidment

There is a knock at the door. Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, accompanied by Boston Celtic’s GM Danny Ainge, have flown into Michigan especially just to talk to you about the possibility of joining there team.

Rasheed Wallace who played gracious host to the Celtic contingent was scheduled to visit elsewhere in his bid to find a new team.

However, it would appear that KG, Jesus Shuttleworth and the Truth were enough to sway ’Sheed into going green.

A 2 year contract for around the mid-level exception, $5.5 million give or take, will ensure that Wallace is suiting up in Boston next season, providing the C’s with valuable front court depth.

It remains to be seen whether or not he will start with less minutes or come off of the bench for impact, but the lure of another title with 3 genuine All Stars should put Wallace in the right place to stay focused.

The combination of KG and Rasheed could go one of two ways. Either they will be good for each other, sort of like two angry and volatile positives cancelling each other’s madness out, or they will combine to create the most combustible front court tandem in the League.

Entertainment guaranteed.

Wallace was not the only veteran free agent being courted by a number of teams. After talking to the New York Knicks amongst others, Jason Kidd has agreed to a 3 year $25 million deal to stay with the Dallas Mavericks.

To commit to that much money on a 37 year old is certainly brave; Mark Cuban must simply believe that Jason Kidd is the man to get the Mavs where they need to go.


NBA Trade Rumors: David Lee to Detroit Pistons, Ron Artest to Greece

June 8, 2009

DavidLee_300_061220by Jack Maidment

Ah, the Knicks.

If Boston and LA is where Championships happen, and Cleveland is where becoming a witness happens, then New York is surely where confusure happens.

Nothing is beyond the realm of sanity for the New York Knicks. Nothing too silly to actually happen.

With this in mind it is with little surprise that David Lee is rumoured to be on the next flight to Detroit.

Their best player of the current season looks likely to vacate the Big Apple in a management bid to lower economic commitments.

Cash First, Talent Second? Maybe for next season, but every penny may count when NYC try and lure LeBron to the Big Apple in 2010.

The trade makes sense for the Detroit Pistons who have a distinct need to bolster their front court with the almost certain departure of Rasheed Wallace and in all likelihood Antonio McDyess too.

Even if ’Dyess stays, the Pistons need some youthful, talented big men to plug the holes and who better than the double-double machine Lee?

The 15th pick in this year’s draft coupled with Amir Johnson could be enough to steal him away.

The Knick’s bid to cut their League high payroll does not stop there, with the grapevine suggesting that they are interested in Orlando’s reserve center Marcin Gortat.

Gortat has impressed on his outings as Dwight Howard’s understudy with the Magic apparently conceding that they will be unable to hold on to him if a team comes in offering starter money.

The Knicks are alleged to be eyeing the 7 footer as the recipient of their $5 mid-level exception.

If New York are the acid trip of the League then Ron Artest is arguably the player’s equivalent.

This year’s free agent is rumoured to be commanding admirers from afar with Greek powerhouses Olympiakos and Panithinaikos rumoured to be legitimate contenders for his signature.

His services will undoubtedly be in demand around the NBA. It remains to be seen whose money will talk louder.


NBA Playoffs: No Time For Fishing

May 2, 2009
$100 Million?
$100 Million?

6 are gone.

 The Utah Jazz, New Orleans Hornets, Portland Trailblazers, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs have all gone fishing, time on their hands.

 Utah has vowed to improve defensively after falling to the Lakers. Again. The fact that Carlos Boozer is seeking out a $100 million deal probably puts team defense fairly low on team priorities.

 The Jazz need to re-sign Mehmet Okur and Paul Milsap, so the possibility of matching a big time deal for the Booze must be scaring the GM up in Salt Lake something fierce.

 The current economic climate and the allure of the free agent market for the next two years makes it difficult to justify such a blockbuster contract for a player who is unlikely to put you over the hump to the Finals.

 Utah are not the only team with decisions to make. If much of the media is to be believed then San Antonio are either officially at the end of their title contender status or very, very close.

 You can’t beat age. You can deceive it for a while, but it will catch you eventually. Charles Barkley rubbished the idea that an early rest will give Tim Duncan the time he needs to repair, and rightly so.

 If their big three can get (relatively) healthy then they have a shot next year. As long as they bring in some, whisper it, youth.

 The Hornets, despite their destruction by a VERY good Denver Nuggets team, cannot be too worried about their immediate future as long as they have Chris Paul and the rest of their guys get healthy.

 The only team with little to worry about are the Portland Trailblazers. Brandon Roy being hailed as the best player that Ron Artest has played against must fill Oregon with confidence that their team has a player who can lead their team to the Promised Land.

 They are pretty much the antithesis of the Spurs. Old versus young. The likes of Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum and Greg Oden (!) are all going to get A LOT better really fast. The Blazers’ future looks pretty enviable.

 Philadelphia are in much the same position as the Jazz with one of their main guys looking around for a new, and big, contract. The loss of Andre Miller to the Sixers would be a huge loss for a team who are light on leadership.

 However, no team that has just exited the Playoffs has more to think about than the once great Detroit Pistons.

 Allen Iverson’s contract is off the books leaving the Pistons with some maneuvering room. The question is when does Joe Dumars decide to pull the trigger: he could go after Boozer or whoever else this summer or he could tread water for a year and wait to make an assault on the fabled free agent class of 2010.

 The one major plus for the Pistons is that players do want to play in Detroit. It’s not like the Memphis Grizzlies who could offer LeBron and co all the money in the world yet would still receive a big fat no in reply.

 Detroit must also decide whether or not to re-sign Mr Technical Rasheed Wallace. As brilliant as he is combustible, and expensive to boot.

 Wholesale changes could be the order of the day in Mo-Town as the team is broken down and rebuilt: will Tayshaun or Rip still be there next year? Or will they be traded for the All Star that the Pistons crave?

 The exit from the Playoffs means that these teams have lots of time on their hands to think.

 The four teams that have game 7s to look forward to will be praying that they are able to put off the inevitable change process by proceeding to the Conference Semi Finals.


Cleveland Cavaliers Roll On: Detroit Pistons Lose But Message Is Clear To NBA’s Playoff Contenders

April 1, 2009
Down But Dangerous

Down But Dangerous

Last night the Cleveland Cavalier home court war machine kept rolling, despite the efforts of a hungry and determined Detroit Pistons. The game was tied going into the last quarter in a truly low scoring and gritty playoff type atmosphere. LeBron had been relatively quiet all night by his imperious standards and when the Pistons went up in the 4th it looked like Detroit’s veteran leadership might drive them toward a famous and confidence boosting victory.

 

The eyes of all in the Quickens Loan Arena fell on King James expecting as they have done for the entire season that their MVP would drag his Cavs back into the game and eventually over the winning line. To a certain extent this was the reality. LeBron upped his production in the 4th and started demanding the ball. Yet the real difference maker for the Cavaliers was Anderson Varejao. The Brazilian exhibited his true worth to the team with numerous high energy, hustle plays which kept his team alive. When the Cavs needed them the Brazilian grabbed huge offensive rebounds down the stretch.  

 

The Brazilian took an elbow to the face earlier in the game and such physicality was characteristic of the whole night. These two teams plain do not like each other as illustrated by Delonte West who banged with Rip Hamilton all game long, most notably grabbing Rip in the often court after being stripped and subsequently throwing the Pistons’ shooting guard to the ground. Flagrant.

 

Guess who got served with his 16th technical, enough to get a one game ban. Rasheed Wallace was back and doing what he does, coming off the bench with A.I. which actually looked pretty nice when The Answer passed the ball. Wallace was hitting threes off the pick and pop, 3 in a row, but the Pistons and particularly Iverson stopped going to Sheed later in the game. It sure is nice to see Wallace getting his argue on. Especially when its about 10 minutes after the call. Entertaining but not too helpful in a tight game, right.

 

For the penultimate 2 Cavalier possessions in the 4th the Pistons had Rip go one on one with LeBron, and it was not even fair. Dude got blown by and scored on. The final possession, when the game was almost out of reach and Varejao had done his magic, Tayshaun got the assignment instead and made LBJ take the toughest shot possible which he missed. Just does not make sense. In Prince you have a lock down player and in LeBron you are faced with probably the best closer in the game. Put Tayshaun on LBJ!

 

So the Cavs win, again, on a night when L.A. lose to the Bobcats improving their case for home court in the Finals massively. As for the Pistons, A.I. starting or coming off the bench just does not work. Simple. In fact, it got pretty ugly for a few minutes in his first stint off the B when he was forcing his shot and the team ethos got thrown out. But, they did run Cleveland close, highlighting that Detroit are to be avoided come play off time. They are too dangerous and experienced to meet in the first round.

 

The Pistons are to be avoided at all costs.