Things That Make Little Sense

Posted on March 15, 2012 | 11 Comments

**Update**

So now the Raptors have traded Leandro Barbosa to the Pacers for a 2nd round pick. Some fans may be disappointed they didn’t get more, but you have to realize that no one is going to give much up for what amounts to a 2 month rental on a player they could have signed in the offseason. Expiring contracts have very little value, anymore, and Barbosa’s expiring contract actually made him worth less than what he would normally fetch.

And for those keeping track….

Charlie Villanueva turned into T.J. Ford, who turned into Jermaine O’Neal, who turned into Shawn Marion, who turned into Hedo Turkoglu, who turned into Leandro Barbosa, who turned into a second round pick and a trade exception.

Okay, maybe that’s an oversimplification, but it’s fun to follow the line, isn’t it. What’s ironic, though, is that I might very well rather have a 2nd round pick and a trade exception than the player who is stapled to the Detroit bench, right now (as well as T.J. Ford, Jermaine O’Neal and Hedo Turkoglu), so there is a bright side.

——————-

While I’m watching an injury riddled Nets team, whose top two players on the team are Kris Humphries and…maybe Gerald Green(????), beat the Raptors, I thought it fitting to talk about a few things around the NBA that make very little sense.

RAPTORS NET LOSS

The Nets team that beat the Raptors, showcased 3 castoffs that either were, or very well could have been, Raptors.

When Kris Humphries was a Raptor, he never seemed to fully understand he wasn’t the star he was projected to be when he played at Minnesota, and it prevented him from being anything more than a talented, but frustrating, role player. It took him two more teams and two more years, but he’s currently 6th in the league in rebounding, while scoring 13.6 ppg. The Raptors traded him to Dallas along with Shawn Marion in the convoluted trade that allowed the Raptors to sign Hedo Turkoglu. Who would you rather have, Hedo Turkoglu or Shawn Marion and Kris Humphries?

Sundiata Gaines played 6 fairly decent games for the Raptors, but was cut mostly because he had a non-guaranteed contract. In a lot of ways, he’s very similar to Jerryd Bayless and currently has a higher PER this season.

Gerald Green was a player a lot of Raptor fans had their eye on in the 2005 draft, the one where they ended up taking Charlie Villanueva and Joey Graham. Green led all scores against the Raptors with 26 points and looks like a better dunker than DeMar DeRozan.

Now, I’m not suggesting the Raptors made a mistake by either not keeping or not taking these guys. It’s just the fact that these three guys lead a injury riddled team to beat the Raptors, Wednesday night, makes no sense. But that’s the NBA for you.

NOTHING INCLUDING NET

While the Nets won against the Raptors, they are the perfect example of why cap room can be a white elephant for teams. They strike out two summers ago, getting not LeBron, not Bosh, not Amare, not Boozer, not even Tyrus Thomas, who they tried to overpay, but we’re rebuffed by Charlotte, but Travis Outlaw, who they eventually amnestied.

And after giving away the farm to get Deron Williams, everything is riding on whether Dwight Howard signs with them this summer. If he doesn’t, Deron is gone and the Nets may not even get a draft pick next year (it’s top 7 protected). They could be truly screwed. But, hey, at least they’ll be in the Bronx!

IT’S NOT A MAGIC ACT

Speaking of Dwight Howard, I have no idea where he will be by the time you read this, but does anyone have any idea what the hell is going on in his or the Orlando brass’ head?

After the Magic went to the Finals, three years ago, they took on the massive contracts of over the hill veterans, Vince Carter, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson (he was 30 and on the decline by the time the Magic traded for him) and then Hedo Turkoglu, whose contract was so onerous the Magic had refused to re-sign him, initially. They’ve probably had more players on their roster that would be amnesty candidates than any other team. And they wonder why Howard is thinking of leaving?

And what is it with Howard apparently being confused with what picking up his option meant? The Magic were pressuring him to do it and he didn’t realize it would mean he wouldn’t become a free agent this summer? Well, he never went to college…but then Allen Iverson did, so….

NOT BUCKING THE TREND

It’s not that I don’t understand why the Bucks would want to trade the perennially injured Andrew Bogut and the cancer-to-go, Stephen Jackson, but trading for no-defense-playing-no-shot-he-won’t-take, Monta Ellis, makes little sense. For a team that is the perfect example of a mediocrity treadmill team, this is not going to get them anywhere other than where they’ve been the last few years.

HE’S NOT THAT TYPE OF WIZARD

JaVale McGee, who is my goto example of why blocked shots don’t necessarily equal good defense, is apparently asking the Wizards for $14 million a season. I don’t know whether I’d want to pay him half that.

THE ROTTEN APPLE

When the Knicks hired Mike D’Antoni as their first step to turn the franchise around, I was dubious. It’s not that D’Antoni wasn’t a good coach (he had great success in Phoenix), but he’s not exactly the coach you hire if you are serious about winning a Championship. Then, after signing the no-defense-playing and ball hog, Amare Stoudamire, they went out and traded for no-defense-playing and ball hog, Carmelo Anthony. And they wondered why the team didn’t take off?

Now that Linsanity has moved on, and the Knicks are spiralling down the standings, D’Antoni is fired/resigns. I almost feel sorry for Knicks fans. Almost.

THIS ISN’T YOUR OLDER BROTHER’S LAKERS

First the Lakers let one of the best trainers in sports, Alex McKechnie (who the Raptors scooped up), in order save on money during the lockout, then they trade Lamar Odom for a trade exception that they might not even use. But do you think Jerry West would have ever taken on Pat Riley’s castoff, Michael Beasley?

The Lakers now have Metta World Peace and Michael Beasley on the same team. I’d say their run is over.

DO SOMETHING!!!!

Am I the only one puzzled by the Raptor’s lack of movement on the trade front? I have stated several times that I like what Colangelo has been doing recently, but I can’t help but get the feeling that he’s afraid to go all in on this rebuilding thing. Leandro Barbosa is of absolutely no use to the team, except to give them a few more wins. He’s 30 years old and shouldn’t fit in the Raptors long term plans, but despite apparent trade offers, the Raptors look like they’re holding. Apparently Bryan Colangelo won’t take back a longer contract, which makes things difficult. He’s intent on having his cap room this summer. Maybe he should take a look at how well New Jersey has done with their cap room.

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Join the discussion: 11 Comments

Comments

  • BP

    It’s been a crazy last couple of days hasn’t it, Tim?

    Otis Smith + management = what are they thinking? Howard’s just using them for leverage. They need to trade him ASAP. Even if he opts in for next year, it’ll be the exact same thing next year, but where he and Chris Paul will team up, instead of him and D-Will.

    Also, assuming Howard does actually sign to stay in Orlando until next year, I think NJ will give Williams to a rental team. They’ll do whatever it takes to get a top pick, and also something in return for Williams. Don’t see them keeping him past 3PM EST if they know Howard won’t be joining. Then it’s almost certain Williams is gone via free agency.

    I like what the Bucks did. Scott Skiles is a guard oriented coach, and although, I think Curry-Ellis is almost the exact same as Jennings-Ellis, I think it could be a pretty nice back court if he gets them to work together. Also really like the young bigs Udoh, Sanders, and Ilysova. I think they’ll really contend with NY for the 8th spot.

    Totally agree with the Raptors though. By not trading Barbosa, I’m assuming they want to sign him longer? I just have to wonder, what Bryan Colangelo is thinking if he wants to resign him. I think they need to let Bayless take over the 6th man role full time.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    Well, it looks like Colangelo traded Barbosa, after all. WHile a second round pick isn’t much, I’d rather he get nothing for Barbosa than keep him for the rest of the season.

    And it now seems Howard is indeed staying for another season in Orlando. That is a completely screwed up situation. If Otis Smith is still the GM by this time next year, I’m predicting Howard gone.

    I agree the Bucks will contend for that 8th spot, but that’s to helping themselves. Annually competing for the 8th spot without the hope of actually becoming a contender isn’t doing themselves any favours. I’ve never been a fan of Ellis and predict the Bucks will end up regretting the move in a year or two. Until then, watch Ellis go on a tear.

  • Stephen Waugh

    I’ve been surfing the comments on the Barbosa trade article and man are fans hating for not getting better than what should amount to be a late draft pick. Fans need to understand that Leandro is 30 years old this year, a sixth man who is a nice piece for a contender, but no long term (or even immediate future) solution to a rebuilding team, and an expiring contract with no guarantee of resigning with the same team. If you’re a team seeking immediate help and it comes in the form of an expiring contract, would you offer a first-round pick for a guy who you may have for only a couple of months coming off the bench and then possibly leave you with no compensation? I sure wouldn’t. I’m not sure if I would even offer a protected first.

    As far as draft picks are concerned, Colangelo, Stefanski, and Gherardini better scout this whole draft from top to bottom like they’ve never scouted before; NCAA, Europe, everywhere. They better know who’s who and their advanced stats, physical strengths and limitations, skills, intangibles, and weaknesses. I too would have liked the Raptors to trade for an additional first round pick in this draft. Oh well, there’s still draft night to look forward to, anything can happen on that day.

  • Tinman

    BC took the best deal available – I agree, would of given him up for less.
    I think the Wiz and Nets made deals that will get them a few more W’s. Don’t understand why.

  • Stephen Waugh

    As far as capspace is concerned, Bryan Colangelo needs to consider taking on terrible contracts if a team will thrown in multiple draft picks or a high draft pick. He BETTER NOT under ANY circumstances spend it on Michael Stewart, Jason Kapono, or Hedo Turkoglu type signings.

  • Trev

    re. d’antoni…for all the talk that he doesn’t know how to (or isn’t willing to) coach D, and despite featuring two of the worst (or at least non-committal) defenders at their respective positions (melo & amare), the knicks weren’t actually bad AT ALL defensively this year (chandler effect?). it was their offense that did them in, or more specifically, the inability to create/implement an offensive system that took best advantage of personnel.

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    @Stephen

    Agree with you on all counts, although I wonder if Colangelo could have gotten a 1st round pick if he’d agrees to take back a longer contract. He can still do that, though, and I’d much rather trade for a longer contract and get another first round pick than over pay for a free agent. I really don’t think the Raptors need to be looking at big free agents this summer. The team is not good enough, yet, to attract a good one, so they’ll have to overpay.

    @Tinman

    Ya, the deals the Nets and Wizards made are head scratchers. Apparently the Nets aren’t impressed with anyone in the draft outside the top 3, but is a 30 year old Gerland Wallace really the best they could get?

    And while I have no problem with the Wizards trading two of their headcases, I don’t see Nene solving their problem.

    I think it would be hilarious is both of them move ahead of Toronto in the standings and Toronto ended up getting the first pick. Although somewhat tragic if it was the other way around!

    @Trev

    That is quite true, but I think a lot of that had to do with Chandler. In the playoffs, I don’t see the defense being able to be sustained. As for the offense, I just don’t know how an offense with Carmelo and Amare on the same team can be very fluid.

  • FPB

    Tim: I think Monta has become a useful player this year by adding some dishing skills to his arsenal.

    With no ”Real PG” adding some playmaking skill isn’t really too much. Monta is deadly on the pick and roll with a good shooting big (Ilyasova, Gooden).

    Really if you kill out his shitty 3 point shooting he’s 50% on 2 point attempts. Which is pretty good.

    Just need to get it out of his arsenal. (Sounds weird but i’d be better that way)

  • http://www.wearingfilm.com/picketfence/ Tim W.

    Monta has become more useful, but I’d want him to play some defense before I’d count him as a guy who can help a contender. I think he’d be a great third guard, but with his salary and ego, I don’t see how that would work.

  • FPB

    Tim W: He’d be a good lightning rod like Terry.

    I’m not sure about his D. Think he can be okay at guarding PG, and he’s been asked to guard SG’s for awhile now.

    If he pisses off the 3 point line and sticks to the pick and roll he’s good.

  • Stephen Waugh

    “And after giving away the farm to get Deron Williams, everything is riding on whether Dwight Howard signs with them this summer. If he doesn’t, Deron is gone and the Nets may not even get a draft pick next year (it’s top 7 protected). They could be truly screwed. But, hey, at least they’ll be in the Bronx!”

    The first round draft pick the New Jersey Nets traded to Portland is actually top-three protected, which means they better pray that it is one of the three picks selected in this year’s draft lottery.

    The Nets new arena (Barclays Center) is in Brooklyn, not Bronx. Along with its unique (ugly) seating bowl, I don’t know what to think about it other than a pure waste of money all because Jay-Z wants a team in his neighbourhood. I wish we had money here in Canada to burn like that on top-flight sporting infrastructure. Imagine how much better of a sports powerhouse we would be.

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