Denver is Mecca for Stephen Jackson

October 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Posted in nba, warriors | Leave a comment
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The Denver Nuggets have an 8 million dollar trade exception which expires Nov. 3, meaning they can trade for a high-priced player and give up only draft picks in return. With their veteran roster, they  definitely need to strike now, so its unlikely they’ll let it expire. Their GM believes that captain Chauncey Billups can handle any chemistry problems that might arise with a newcomer. Don’t be surprised if this all adds up to Stack Jack going to Denver.

It could mean a championship.  Carmelo started showing signs, or at least hints, of being a winner last year. Chris Andersen is beyond whacky, but who plays harder or scarier? Ty Lawson will be one of the top three rookies in the NBA– he went for 29 in 26 minutes against the Lakers– and at some point will team with Chauncey in one of the best all-around coach-on-the-floor backcourts. O.K., Kenyon Martin and Nene are whack jobs, but Martin plays hard and Nene can’t help but do some god things with that body.

For Jackson, Denver is mecca, a true chance to dethrone Kobe and the Lakers, and he will be highly motivated. Stephen Jackson, Chris Andersen, and Kenyon Martin might belong in the cuckoo’s nest, but Denver, with Dr. Billups in charge, could serve as a most interesting half-way house. I’d definitely be watching, and so would Kobe and his boys.

Jack trade talk around the blogosphere…

ESPN’s True Hoop (Oct. 23) :

The Cavs, though, don’t want to surrender Zydrunas Ilgauskas in a prospective deal because they want to keep all the size they can muster to throw at Boston, Orlando and the defending champs from L.A.

Nuggets general manager Mark Warkentien, meanwhile, reminded folks this week that the front-office team in Denver is not afraid to swing big with Chauncey Billups in place to police any chemistry risks in the locker room, telling the Denver Post: “If we get stuck, Big Bertha’s coming out.” The Nuggets, though, have also made it clear through a very measured summer of offseason tweaking that they are in no rush to take on any extra long-term money, which would suggest that Denver’s $8.7 million trade exception from the Billups-for-Allen Iverson swap will quietly expire Nov. 3.

Sources say that Dallas, already two-deep at versatile forward with Shawn Marion and Josh Howard, has informed the Warriors that they have “no interest” in adding Jackson to that mix despite Jackson’s publicly stated wish to go to Cleveland, New York or one of the three Texas teams.

ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher reported on the aforementioned roundtable show that San Antonio has a level of interest in reuniting with Jackson as well, but that possibility — while something that the Spurs have undoubtedly weighed after Jackson helped them win a championship in 2003 — has likewise been downplayed this week as “remote.”

The only other team we’ve heard mentioned as a potential Jackson chaser is Charlotte, although we’re obliged to note that the Bobcats weren’t on Jackson’s original wish list and don’t exactly seem like his kind of team.

A commenter said this:

I think Jackson would be a good fit for Miami. They have a desperate need for a SF, and GS wants a big/expiring contract, so why not trade Haslem and a draft pick to the Warriors for Jackson? Warriors get a big and expiring contract, and Miami gets the starting SF they are looking for.

from denver post

S-Jax acquisition unlikely.

There has been some buzz around the NBA that Denver is interested in Golden State’s Stephen Jackson, but an NBA source said there haven’t been any significant conversations about acquiring the forward.

Even if Denver wanted him, he would be difficult to acquire. The trade exception is now at $7.4 million, which is less than Jackson’s $7.6 contract, so Denver couldn’t use the exception to get Jackson.

From the Cleveland Plains Dealer, Oct. 27: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2009/10/the_latest_james_rules_may_mak.html
You have not heard the last of the Stephen Jackson trade rumors involving the Cavs.
According to sources, the Cavs do have an interest in Jackson and have had some internal discussions about trading for him. He is a quality perimeter defender and has championship experience with the San Antonio Spurs. With strong team leaders and Mike Brown, who is close to Jackson and coached him in two different stops, there is a belief the Cavs could harness his good qualities and suppress his bad ones that he’s been showing in an effort to get out of Golden State.
However, right now there is no trade that works between the Cavs and Warriors. Golden State wants a big man, as they should because they need one. The Cavs don’t want to give one up. For the time being, expect the Cavs to track the developments and watch out things play out both in Cleveland and in the Bay Area. One issue that may not be a huge hang-up is Jackson’s contract, which has three years after this one. That is a red flag to many teams but the Cavs may be willing to swallow it under certain conditions. Stay tuned.

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Hmmm…DeJuan Blair is pretty tough, isn’t he?

October 12, 2009 at 11:18 pm | Posted in nba, Uncategorized, warriors | Leave a comment
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I wonder if the Golden State Warriors could use a MAN who, in his first NBA action, had 19 boards in 22 minutes, then followed that up with 28 points in 26 minutes in his second night of action. A man who dominated Hasheem Thabeet in college, even threw him over his shoulder, literatlly (see video).

A man as wide as he is tall. A man about whom Spurs teammate Antonio McDyess said:

“He listens and he’s a good guy. He’s different that way than a lot of young guys that come in the league. Plus, he’s a beast. A lot of teams need to kick themselves in the butt. He’s a heck of a player.”

The beasts name is DeJuan Blair. He was taken by the Spurs with the 37th pick in the draft. Yes, 37 comes in the middle of the second round, give-away territory. Greg Poppovich, who has McDyess, Ratliff, and, umm.., the Big Fundamental, had a crazy idea that such a beast might help out, that big strong guys who can throw Hasheem Thabeet over their shoulder are important to NBA teams. That DeJuan Blair might be worth a mid-second-round pick (I can just see Popovich’s smug smile as he watches Blair dominate).

The Warriors have three big men who barely reach 200 pounds with their high-tops on and get pushed around by every team in the league. Stephen Curry had just fallen in their laps, which was fantastic, but meant that they weren’t getting Amari Stoudemire. DeJuan Blair kept falling, and falling, and yet the Warriors brass couldn’t quite come up with the imagination or energy to obtain a second round pick. Were they drunk already, overjoyed about the Curry pick? Did they think Marco Bellinelli was too important to give up for, say, a pick in the 30-37 range?

They weren’t the only team that snoozed on this one–just about the whole league passed on Blair, a bad knees report gone viral being the culprit. But every other team has their Paul Millsap, except the wimpy kid Warriors. How could they not go get DeJuan Blair?

Stephen Jack– Leave Your Heart in San Francisco

August 31, 2009 at 4:47 am | Posted in warriors | 1 Comment
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To Don Nelson and Stephen Jackson:

Stop drifting. Circle the wagons. You both are incredibly talented but tragically flawed. It is time to make a stand with this team, this year. The only way it can happen is for both of you to do some serious soul searching and stop listening to your egos (or Al Harrington for Christ’s sake). You have the ingredients right here to not only be madly entertaining, but to win. Its time to look each other in the eye, remember that Dalls twinkle, and stay together for the kids.

Stephen:

Tim Duncan once called you the “ultimate teammate.”   Warrior fans scratched their heads over that one, given how you’d been depicted. But they soon realized that the Big Fundamental was right, that you are something special. Your play inspires even us ordinary people to be better “teammates” in our ordinary lives.

But though you have the heart, Jack, you don’t have an elite offensive game like your old running-mate Baron Davis. Baron breaks down a defender as well as anyone, providing wide open jumpers for his teammates. Even when Baron misses driving shots, the defenders he draws lead to easy tip slams for the Andres Biedrens of the world.

Jack, you’re not that. You’re a mediocre shooter, you make too many turnovers and you don’t really finish well.  You’re really best-suited as a third  option, albeit one with brass oxnards. If something special is to happen in Oak Town this year, you have to realize this: You are the “ultimate teammate” only if you accept your role as a third option offensive player.

This is a tough one for any player with pride, and you have plenty. The year the Warriors beat the Mavericks in the playoffs, it took you a half-year to cede the rights to the #2 role to Monte Ellis. Monte shot 60% for a month before you, and  Davis, accepted him as the number two. When you did, the team soared, and you feasted on the open looks and the ample scraps left by Monte and Baron. You were at your best.

With Baron’s departure and Monte’s injury, you were pushed again into an ill-suited role. Don Nelson must shoulder much of the blame for this. He not only played you to exhaustion, with 40+ minutes the norm in any close game, he also allowed you to flail in an offensive go-to role. Did he ask too much of you or did you try to do too much? Probably a bit of both.

What matters is this: With the ’09 Warriors you can be greater by being less. With Monte back, Anthony Randolph’s emergence,  the one-on-one prowess of Corey Maggette, and the drop from heaven named Stephen Curry, you don’t need to carry the offensive load. Play 35 minutes and be fresh at crunch time.  Let your scoring average drop to 15 and your turnovers to 1. All you need to do is lead these men into battle and, of course, guard the other team’s best player. Be Bruce Bowen. With major benefits.

Nellie is too old to corral you– look how he screwed it up with Mickael Pietrus and Al Harrington. Unlike those guys, he gave you too much leash last year. You have to come up with that on your own. Fortunately, you have the intelligence and the contractual security, unlike Mickael and Al, to be who you are, not who you wish you were.

Yes, Nellie is a pain in the ass. But remember that he’s intelligent enough to get you, and you’re one complicated dude. Not all the wives out there are so smart.

Nellie:

Your openness is a breath of fresh air. Hearing you say on the radio that Mickael Pietrus isn’t a very good player, or that Al Harrington is a lousy rebounder, is madly entertaining. But no matter how true, and how delicious it is to hear such remarks by the COACH, and no matter how much joy you get in saying them, the remarks aren’t effective. These guys are humans with huge egos. Your openness hurts them and hurts the team, and as you get older you seem to care about this less and less. I don’t think you’ve lost a step in terms of measuring talent or game strategy, but you are losing your emotional intelligence.

You have a great team lined up, potentially sensational.  Stop trying to be unique in every way. Defense might be boring to you, but it wins games. Stop being so damn entertaining, and so wonderfully open about your player’s shortcomings. Lay off the sauce for a year. Go get the championship you deserve, no excuses.

Note to Clippers: SIGN IVERSON

July 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm | Posted in nba | Leave a comment

O.K., I know, the visceral reaction to “Allan Iverson to the Clippers”  is to laugh it off as yet another high-profile move with disaster written all over it. Clipper fans are probably waking up with cold sweats and visions of Bill Walton’s wretched feet and Michael Olakwandi’s broken jumper. And Clippers management seems to have cooled off on the idea. But they could not be more wrong. The NBA is about windows of opportunity– combining end-of-career stars with incoming forces to rise above the salary-cap parity. Think Jabbar-Magic, or Shaq-Wade.

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Despite the current antipathy in NBA circles towards him, Baron Davis is an NBA force.  He is one of the few players today who can break down anyone, anytime. He gets great shots for his teammates, wide-open shots. And he can play shut-down defense at crunch time. Anyone that saw him lead the Warriors to victory over the Mavericks in the playoffs two years ago knows that he has what it takes to win a championship. He is not a man to bet against when his back is to the wall.

Baron is not Shaq or a Jabbar, and Blake Griffin may not prove as powerful an incoming force as Magic or Duane Wade. But the Clippers have two other NBA difference-makers. There’s Marcus Camby, who averaged over 11 boards and 2 blocks in 30 minutes per game last year. And  the strange phenomenon of the Chris Kaman. Nobody knows how good this giant can be, but he is already the best low-post power scorer since Shaq. A front-line of Kaman, Camby, and Griffin is nothing short of scary. With Baron playing Athilla, Western Conference foes will leave their women and children at home when these Huns arrive.

As is, the club is interesting. But they are not contenders, no matter how great Griffin proves to be.  With Baron’s knees and Camby’s age, the clock is ticking. But fate– the economy and lack of salary cap space around the league– has made an NBA superstar available for pennies on the dollar.

Adding Iverson to the mix would scare even the Lakers. His career averages are 27.1 PPG and 6.2 assists. Those are NOT misprints. His back is against the wall and he has precious few more chances to win a title. Can you imagine AI coming off the bench to terrorize second-team units. He and Davis can also thrive side-by-side when sharpshooting Eric Gordon rests. Who would Derek Fisher guard? And the duo is possible because Davis is one of the few point guards big and strong enough to take on the twos and allow Iverson to guard the points.

AI’s rep. has taken a hit as of late, but much of it has nothing to do with AI and his ability, and much to do with Chauncey  doing so well in Denver while Detroit imploded. Joe Dumars knew it was a bad mix, but he wanted AI’s 20 million dollar expiring contract. Iverson was a sacrificial lamb in Detroit’s reload. He is still a great player, for the right team.

A positive-thinking team would jump at this opportunity. Are the Clippers too deep in losing to realize they could be an instant contender?

Andre Miller and Brandon Roy: Dumars and Thomas Reborn

July 28, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Posted in nba | Leave a comment
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With little fanfare, the Portland Trailblazers made a move that instantly turns them into a championship contender. Andre Miller was the steal of the free agent season and, with Brandon Roy, gives the TrailBlazers two genius leaders at the guard position.  The tandem is not unlike the Dumars-Thomas duo that led the Pistons for years. They now have two guards who are both coaches on the floor and use their brains to win games at crunch time.

Coach Nate McMillan and GM Kevin Pritchard both rave about Miller’s basketball IQ. At a pre-signing dinner, Andre  apparently knew so much about the Blazer’s roster and offense that the dinner turned into an organizational brainstorming session. He’s 33, which might be a negative for some teams, but is a perfect match for the youthful Blazers. He may turn LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, and Roy into perennial all-stars. If he does, Portland will win a championshp.

Veteran point guard Andre Miller, who averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 assists for the 76ers last season, signed a three-year contract with the Trail Blazers.

20 Million Dollar Gift from Hawks

June 30, 2009 at 4:05 am | Posted in warriors | Leave a comment
Dunleavy, Murphy, Harrington, and now Crawford- Gone.

Dunleavy, Murphy, Harrington, and now Crawford- Gone.

Overshadowed by the Stephen Curry pick and the Stoudemire rumors was the completion of one of the greatest houdini acts in NBA history. Trading Jamal Crawford saves the Warriors 20 million cap room over the next two years, and rids them of perhaps the worst defender in the NBA. Jamal is a wonderful person but drifting out for an outlet when a shot goes up is not rebounding. And scoring 50 once every two months doesn’t make up for the other 25 mediocre performances. You can see what the Hawk fans think at PeachTree Hoops.

The trade completes a long, arduous track to fix the mess left from Chris Mullen’s horrendous long-term signings of Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy. Somehow Bird took them off our hands for Stephen Jack and Harrington, but then Nelson must have seen one of Crawford’s 50 point efforts and had a brain freeze. Anyway, Harrington became Crawford became a 10 million albatross, but thanks to the friendly Hawks, that is now shed. Thank you Mike Woodson and friends, and good work Nellie!

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