Tag Archives: Josh Childress

Wiz Flip Out

McGee and Blatche, giving their best Thizz faces.

With Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that the Washington Wizards have fired head coach Flip Saunders, the team appears to be headed towards a major rebuilding commitment.  While owner Ted Leonsis has attempted to improve the Wiz by small movements, it is very apparent that this team cannot be a playoff caliber team (or anything close) with the selfish trio of Andray Blatche, Nick Young, and JaVale McGee.  All three of these players are athletic and young, so it stands to reason that other teams would have desire in the raw talent in the hopes of maybe turning around their bad tendencies.

Andray Blatche

Blatche is never going to be a defensive presence, but there is something terribly off about his shot selection this season.  His FG% is down from .445 last season to .380 this year, and while he’s received the brunt of the Wizards’ ridicule, he has actually been taking 3 less shots per game than he did last year.

Could work for:

Phoenix Suns

The Suns took a huge offensive step back when they lost Amar’e Stoudemire.  Since then, their big man game has been weakened as well.  Robin Lopez has been unimpressive, and a creative trade might be an easy way of getting rid of their Josh Childress contract.

Miami Heat

I know how it sounds, but Erik Spoelstra is one of the few coaches who might be able to make Blatche an acceptable help defender.  He has the athleticism to defend, maybe putting him in a position where his offense is superfluous would be good for him.

Nick Young

Young is a prime example of how Gilbert Arenas was poisonous to this team’s mindset.  He’s wonderful with the ball in his hands, but he is cocky, selfish, and when needed to facilitate the rest of his teammates, finds himself unable or unwilling to help.

Could work for:

Dallas Mavericks

While Lamar Odom is a spectacular player, he hasn’t been playing well at all for the Mavs.  Eventually, he will be able to be his old self, a cannonball that few can match up well with, but as of now, this team could use him in order to produce in the same capacity that they employed Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson last season.

Chicago Bulls

Now, Young already plays with an excellent young point guard, but there is no chance that Young could be able to lead the Bulls in scoring like he did last year with Washington.  This could help Young to develop a little sense of humility with a team that’s not known to pander to its players.  Discipline, discipline, discipline.  Also, the Bulls are watching Luol Deng’s injury very closely, and might need some extra scoring to maintain their record.

JaVale McGee

If I were a betting man, I would say that McGee is the most likely to remain with the Wizards.  He’s more driven than the other stooges, he’s liked by fans (on occasion), and if the league ever allows double-dunking in games, he has a significant lead on all other players.  Not saying it’s going to happen, but Leonsis is a “forward-thinking” owner, you know.  However, with the right training and mental preparation, McGee could be a mixture of Pau Gasol and Ralph Sampson, long and lean, with great hands.

Could work for:

Minnesota Timberwolves

This team has some promise, but they’ve got to trim some fat first.  If the Wolves could find a way to pair McGee with Kevin Love, Love’s work ethic could rub off, and a starting five including Ricky Rubio, Wesley Johnson, Derrick Williams, McGee, and Love would be rather imposing when they hit their primes.

Milwaukee Bucks

While the Bucks already have a few players of his size, they are also ranked 25th in the league in rebounds and 24th in blocks.  McGee could add something to this anemic offense, and further lock down the paint.

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NBA Lockout Day 13: Childress’s Warning

"Show me tha Euros player!"

Right now, playing overseas is a hot topic among NBA players that are in the midst of a pretty hefty lockout but maybe it’s time for them to listen to one guy that’s been over there before they decide to sign any papers.

In July of 2008, Josh Childress decided to sign an enormous three-year contract worth $20 million with the Euroleague club Olympiacos Piraeus in Greece.  The deal would have been the same as a three-year, $32 million contract in the NBA.  However, in his Euro contract the franchise paid his local taxes and even covered his agent’s costs.  In addition to the car and house supplied by the deal, it was a pretty sweet setup.

At the time, the lockout loomed in the distance and it looked as though owners were set to cutback on spending starting with contracts.  With this said, he was set to sign a $5 million per year contract and it made more sense for him to leave the league if there was money to be made.  So he left the Atlanta Hawks and took his game to Europe.

But, in a column by ESPN’s Ric Bucher, Childress is quoted as saying he wouldn’t do it again.

“No, I wouldn’t,” [Childress] says. “And I don’t know why guys would. I understand that guys really want to play. But you sometimes have to look at what you have and treat this as a business. The only way I could see it making sense is if you’re a player from a particular country going back. But for an American player with a good-sized guaranteed deal here, I can’t see why you’d do it.”

He has since  returned to the NBA and now plays for the Phoenix Suns under a five-year, $33 million contract.  That’s something he’s not willing to risk by playing in Turkey, Italy, Spain or even Greece again.

Such an injury wouldn’t have to end a player’s career to wipe out his contract but any lingering one would give a team to void a deal.  Contracts can end even if the guy can still play.

Additionally, he stated that playing in Greece wasn’t all that glamorous.  The team still had to endure long bus trips and even had to fly coach most of the time.  There was no being tired in Europe too with teams often enforcing a military style of harsh training.

But, the risks of playing in Europe aren’t strictly reserved to the players themselves.  In a blog post on Real GM Basketball, Erildas Budraitis states that these European teams have just as much to worry about.  Since 2008, contracts and salaries in the Euroleague have dropped substantially.  With an influx of NBA players willing to play but at a higher price than local Europeans that know the Euro-style of basketball, some GM’s may be reluctant to throw out hefty deals.

While it sounds like a good idea to bring in a superstar from the US, what would these teams do if the lockout ends and they decided to return to the NBA?  There’s a big ‘what if’ that has a lot of money tied to it.  It’s a risk that some teams may want to avoid.

It’s understandable that a lot of players want to keep playing.  They’ve done it their whole lives and now they can’t even communicate with the teams that turned their dreams into reality.  Instead, maybe they should just wait and find other means to keep their legs fresh and their minds in the game.  Yes, the lockout is very unfortunate but it wont last forever.

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American Players limited on Rosters Overseas

Josh Childress' time with Olympiacos is rare for an American born player

David Stern loves to promote the NBA internationally. It seems as though he spends more time trying to expand the league and its influence overseas more than he does leveling fines on just about everyone and everything in the league. Not even a terror alert in Europe can keep the NBA from extending their olive branch of basketball overseas. For the past several years NBA teams have been spending time in Europe and Asia for training camp often playing various Euroleague and Chinese teams in exhibition games. The sport of basketball is continuing to grow and it seems only reasonable that the NBA, the world’s best league, help promote the sport abroad. At the end of the 2009-10 season the NBA had 79 international players in it. The league also has a strong history of international player involvement. However, after everything the league has done to expand and improve the sport abroad while increasing the numbers of foreign born players, the world has not reciprocated the generosity that the NBA has shown. It seems that American basketball players are the only thing that the country cannot outsource.

Our main man, Ron Artest, who is with the Los Angeles Lakers in London for training camp and preseason games against the Minnesota Timberwolves, brought the disparity to light:

“They need to let more Americans play in the European leagues. There are only like two [Americans] to a team while Europeans can come to America [and play in the NBA] like the whole San Antonio Spurs team — a whole American team can be full of Europeans. Europe has to be a little more fair to the American players.

“You see a lot of foreign players come over to America to play in the NBA. It’s not fair that a lot of American players can’t come to China or can’t come to Europe to play with as many players as they want, so there’s no balance … They should just make it more even.”

So what is the deal, Europe? Is America too good for you? Only allowing two to three American players on a roster seems unfair when the Milwaukee Bucks ended last season with six players of foreign descent on their team. It seems as though there is a sort of tariff on American talent. Not every European league has a limit on the number of Americans that can be on a team’s roster, however. The best ones, in Spain and Greece, do though.

Spain, what is it about Spain and the Spanish players? (The Gasol brothers and Jose Calderon are not included in this critique.) Are they still bitter about the Spanish-American War? They seem to be the most uncooperative of all. Spanish players hint at the notion that they only want to play in Spain at times with Ricky Rubio looking further and further from his debut with the Timberwolves and Rudy Fernandez tweeting that he essentially wants to play for a Spanish team and leave the NBA. Spain is possibly the most confusing example of international basketball as the Spanish league is one of the best, but to keep Spanish players in Spain that apparently means keeping American players out. Greece and England do it too, however their nationals do not seem so disenfranchised with the NBA. This is a form of segregation. The NBA has always been open to players from all reaches of the globe.

Ever since the NBA raised the eligible draft age to 19, there has a small but growing stream of players venturing to Europe to hone their skills in an effort to make their way into the NBA. Brandon Jennings is the most notable player to have done this recently as he spent a year playing in Italy before entering the Draft. The Euroleague also offers more opportunities that the D-League does for players as well. Not only is it more financially lucrative but it affords a sense of celebrity, that players these days seem to covet, and with modest celebrity comes the attention of NBA scouts and the media. If the NBA can shine the spotlight on foreign players in their league then why should the Euroleague not follow suit?

Recently, FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basketball) suggested that the NBA change some of their rules to comply with international rules. The main thing FIBA wanted changed is the NBA’s goaltending rule. So far the NBA has been rather receptive to the suggestion as the D-League will change its goaltending rules to comply with the current international rules. FIBA has also made changes to conform some of their rules to match those of the NBA. Isn’t it nice when everyone can get along?

If there can be common ground between the NBA and FIBA then why do some European and Chinese leagues limit American players? It seems to be a detrimental rule when the end goal of all parties involved is improving the quality of the sport worldwide. Maybe it is time for the NBA to ask for changes overseas.

Artest is right. Foreign leagues need to trash their current rules limiting the participation of American born players in their leagues. There is absolutely no point in keeping such dated rules. The parity of the players, both American and international, has grown closer. Allowing American players more opportunities in foreign leagues will not adversely affect the leagues competitive edge. It is not like NBA super stars in their prime are going to head overseas to play. The opportunity is more for players wanting to establish themselves and work on their skills in games rather than practice and for players looking to extend their careers such as Stephon Marbury and Bonzi Wells have done in China. It is time for the foreign leagues to follow the NBA’s open door policy for its players. It will only help improve the level of competition worldwide and afford more opportunities for players of every background.

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NBA Free Agency post “The Decision”

A not so long time ago, in an NBA galaxy close to home…

FREE AGENCY

Since the coup d’état and emergence of the Miami Thrice there have been a remarkable amount of moves, signings, and trades by teams. So many moves have occurred in fact that it is almost dizzying. Sure, the major names that have filled the 2010 Free Agency marquee banner for two years were quickly off the table but there are certainly a number of key players that are out there that will make a great addition to any franchise looking to improve. We, hear at the Beef have taken it upon ourselves to help keep you as up to date as possible with free agency. It is likely that within hours of this posting many more signings and trades will have occurred (the number of times this piece had to be updated while being written over a two day span is proof positive of that), making this piece slightly dated but, as always, keep apprised of all the movers and shakers in free agency with up to the minute information, or at least as soon as we are able to report it, by following the Kobe Beef on Twitter.

Miami Heat

When Miami attempted to buy itself a soul by acquiring both LeBron James and Chris Bosh they had just two players under contract with the team for the coming season. Those players were Mario Chalmers and Michael Beasley. Since that time, the Heat have dealt Beasley, in what equates to a salary dump, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for two second round draft picks in 2011 and 2014. Ouch, he was the second overall pick in 2008. Relieving themselves of Beasley’s services allowed the Heat to free up enough to award the Miami Thrice (will this catch on?) close to maximum contracts. Both James and Bosh will receive six-year, $110 million contracts while Wade receives $107.5 million over the same period of time. Each player also has an early termination option after the 2013-14 season.

So the Heat, at that point, had just four players under contract for the coming season. That is certainly grounds for championship speculation. Since then the organization has been in overdrive recruiting and signing free agents to bolster their roster. Mike Miller looked like a lock to join the Heat after meeting with Pat Riley and other organization officials on July 1, but now the Miami Herald is reporting that Miller may be backing out of the deal. Miami has a qualifying offer out on Joel Anthony which would pull the reins even tighter on the money that they could offer Miller. Nothing about Miller’s situation with the Heat is certain yet. At least that was the latest news as of early Wednesday afternoon. As of today, Mike Miller is in Miami and has signed a five-year contract with the Heat.

Udonis Haslem, after being pursued by the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets (who have had a knack to engage in bidding wars this summer), has decided to resign with the Heat. Haslem’s deal is worth just over $20 million over four years. The Heat are also close to a minimum level deal with Juwan Howard.

In yet another blow to the city and fans of Cleveland, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, for the second time this calendar year, is leaving. This time he is leaving on his own accord and not part of a multiplayer and multi-team deal to help entice a certain player to stay put. He is following James to Miami. Ilgauskas has played his entire career in Cleveland, he was traded to the Wizards but he never played a single game for them, let alone put on a Wizards’ jersey. The deal with the Heat is expected to be for two years with a player option for the second year. How many knives will Cleveland have to remove from their back when free agency is over?

Gordon Gekko…err, Pat Riley, has done an excellent job of using the Bud Foxes at his disposal as incentive for players to join the Heat. Ilgauskas’ close relationship with James was the deciding factor in his move to South Beach. Yet, the team still lacks a point guard. Miami lost out on its attempt to lure Derek Fisher away from the Lakers and the aura of Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. Certainly, the combo of Jackson and Bryant is Sir Lawrence Wildman to Riley’s Gekko.

New York Knicks

New Yorkers and Knickerbockers alike should not feel all too bad about missing out on the Miami Thrice (I’m going to make this stick). They successfully procured Amar’e Stoudemire. That is a very solid consolation prize. It is better than what the soon to be cross town rivals got. New York should be happy that they convinced any player to join their team since they employed Isiah Thomas to help them recruit free agents. Isiah Thomas! This is the man who gave monster contracts to “superstars” like Eddy Curry (who is going into the final year of his contract and will be paid $11.3 million) and Jared Jeffries. He almost singlehandedly drove the organization into the ground. Well, Knicks owner, James Dolan, helped too. However, the acquisition of Stoudemire was not a bad one but it meant that fan favorite and perennial double-double (this is a statistic that STAT cannot claim on a regular basis), David Lee, would no longer be a part of the Knicks’ future.

Lee was dealt to the Golden State Warriors (the AND1 Mix Tape Tour’s only NBA equivalent) via sign-and-trade where mad scientist, Don Nelson, will undoubtedly have an insane number of offensive schemes already planned with him in mind. In return the Knicks received Anthony Randolph, who was the main chip New York wanted in return, Ronny Turiaf, and Kelenna Azubuike. Randolph will make $1.96 million this coming season, Turiaf will make $4 million, and Azubuike, who is going into the final year of his contract, will make $3.3 million. Dorell Wright is also joining the Warriors. He became expendable when the Heat orchestrated a Gekko-esque takeover and cornered the market on top free agents. After that they needed to pay them and Wright would eat up more money that they needed for their new stars. Dwyane Wade is reported to have really like Wright as a teammate but money seems to have trumped friendship. Wright has agreed to a three-year deal worth $11.5 million.

The Knicks lost Chris Duhon in free agency to the Orlando Magic so for a time they were without a starting point guard. In a Mike D’Antoni coached offense, this is the most important position. New York quickly found a solution to their vacancy in Raymond Felton. They had been after Felton since last season but the Bobcats were in no mood to trade him. Felton was originally in talks with the Knicks to sign a three-year deal with the Knicks but the two parties reached an agreement on a two-year contract worth nearly $15 million.

In addition to these players the Knicks also signed Timofey Mozgov, a 7’1” center from Russia. He is expected to sign a three-year contract worth $9 million but not all the money will be guaranteed. The Knicks are buying him out of his contract with his former team, Khimki Moscow, and are reportedly paying them $500,000. Some reports have said that he is the best prospect in Europe. We at the Beef have not read that, in fact we know nothing about him. Honestly, we thought all the Russians were in New Jersey.

The Knicks have also shown interest in resigning Earl Barron, who played the last seven games of the season with New York last season. Yet, nothing has been made official. Even after all these signings the Knicks will still have about $2-3 million in cap space. With the expiring contracts of Curry and Azubuike at the end of the season, the team looks poised and ready for free agency next summer when Carmelo Anthony becomes available if he chooses not to sign an extension with the Denver Nuggets.

Minnesota Timberwolves

What the hell is general manager David Kahn doing? Does anybody know? In recent days it has been said that an avocado would do a better job than he would. As of right now (July 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm central standard time) the Timberwolves have just reached an agreement with point guard Luke Ridnour on a four-year $16 million deal. Minnesota now has four point guards; yes that is right, four. They have Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions, Ridnour, and Spaniard holdout, Ricky Rubio. If Kahn is trying to entice Rubio to leave the now perpetually drunk Spain, he sure is sending mixed signals. However, many see the signing of Ridnour as a possible prelude to the Wolves trading Sessions. Reports say that Minnesota has been in talks with Charlotte, who just lost Felton to the Knicks, about the possibility of a trade for Sessions. The Bobcats, however, have just extended an offer to free agent guard, Shaun Livingston, which likely means that all Sessions discussions are dead.

The acquisition of Ridnour comes just days after the Timberwolves traded away their best player, Al Jefferson, to the Utah Jazz. Minnesota, in return, gets two first round draft picks and center Kosta Koufos. Utah swooped in, seemingly at the last minute, to snag Jefferson as the Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks were in serious trade discussions. The Jazz had the advantage of having a trade exception, acquired when Carlos Boozer left for Chicago, and were willing to give up first round draft picks. Minnesota’s motive for moving Jefferson was based on his style of play, slow and post oriented, which they are trying to move away from. If there is any sense of style coming out of Minnesota it is a frenetic one, spearheaded by Kahn.

David Kaaahn!

Minnesota has finalized its contract with Darko Milicic making him one of the veterans on the team. Veterans, as a term, should be used lightly since Milicic has just seven years of NBA experience. The T-Wolves have also signed draft picks, Wesley Johnson and Lazar Hayward. Center Nikola Pekovic has also agreed to terms with the team. All of these moves, along with the addition of Beasley, have, as David Kahn hopes, bolstered the frontcourt and made the team sleeker and quicker on the court. Yet, it is still hard to discern what Kahn in actually doing other than trying to improve upon last year’s 15-67 record. His roster now has four centers, and a host of wing player. This is also now one of the youngest teams in the league and plays in a division where the four other teams won at least fifty games last season. Hell, Utah is a division rival and they just shipped their best player to them for virtually nothing other than “financial flexibility.” Kahn must be leaving his team’s fan base screaming his name in anger, much like Captain Kirk in Star Trek II, every time he makes any sort of move. Though they have become a player in free agency this summer none of their moves consolidate into a coherent plan, Kahn appears to be a madman, deranged by power, hunting his white whale. His whale, of course, is Ricky Rubio.

Chicago Bulls

Chicago has benefited from defectors from Utah. Both Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver have left the confines of the Great Salt Lake and head to the Windy City. No, neither of these players is named James, Bosh, or Wade but they are still major pickups for the Bulls. Korver should help the Bulls in their three-point shooting. As a team the Bulls shot 33 percent from downtown which ranked them 28th in the league. The Bulls are also looking to further strengthen their long-range shooting as they have signed J.J. Redick to a three-year, $20 million offer sheet. Redick is a restricted free agent so his current team, the Orlando Magic can match the Bulls offer and retain him. If history is any indication (matching the Mavericks offer to Marcin Gortat last summer) of their intentions, Orlando will likely match the offer. Yet, the Magic recently agreed to a deal with Quentin Richardson so maybe they are prepared to let Redick go.

Korver’s deal is worth an estimated $15 million over three years. Boozer agreed to a five-year deal worth roughly $75 million that became a sign-and-trade with Utah with the Bulls also receiving a future protected second-round draft pick. The trade exemption that the Jazz used to trade for Al Jefferson was part of the Boozer trade.

New head coach, Tom Thibodeau, should be very pleased with the work that general manager Gar Forman has done this offseason. Fans of the Bulls should also be quite pleased with the moves the team has made. They may have been slighted in their quest to land one of the Miami Thrice but they have found themselves in a formidable position heading into next season. The same cannot be said for all the teams who were in the rat race for the big three.

New Jersey Nets

Seriously, the Nets should change the name of their team to the New Jersey Nyets. Despite the fact that they were shot down by every major free agent this summer, they constantly thought themselves to be leading the pack to land each one. The team confidently suggested in the media that they had the upper hand in landing James. Why? What hallucinogen gave them this notion? It must be some pretty potent shit to make them have pipe dreams such as this. Everyone in the world seemed to know that James would not go to the Nets except for the Nets. This ordeal has seriously hurt the reputation of Jay-Z and his supposed ability to land James due to their friendship. Who listens to a minority owner anyway? Greatest rapper alive? Give me a break, Rakim is still alive. Mikhail Prokhorov said he had a hunch that James would not be coming to his team. What tipped him off? Everyone he talked to?

What have the Nets done then, other than move to the cesspool that is Newark? Well, they lost their general manager, Rod Thorn and replaced him with Billy King. Yawn. They have reached a contract agreement with Johan Petro worth $10 million over three years. He will back up Brook Lopez. The Nets need to lure a big free agent this summer to make up for their failures thus far and they may have found just the player. Two time NBA champion, former Lakers great, Jordan Farmar has agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal with the struggling franchise. Good job, Jay-Z. I doubted you earlier but you really came through with this one. It should prove to be a spectacular competition for starting point guard when training camp begins. Farmar stated that his desire to leave the Lakers was to be a starting point guard on a team. He has a good chance of doing just that in New Jersey. Oh, wait…Devin Harris still plays in New Jersey? Oh, I see. Is that common knowledge? Did anyone tell Farmar that? Sorry, Jordan, looks like you will simply be a backup on a bad team.

By far their biggest acquisitions are those of Travis Outlaw and Anthony Morrow. Outlaw agreed to a five-year, $35 million deal. New Jersey signed Morrow to an offer sheet worth $12 million over three years that the Golden State Warriors did not match. The teams eventually worked out a sign-and-trade where the Warriors receive the Nets’ second-round draft pick in 2011.

These moves, in the wake of not landing James, are…well, they are moves. Morrow and Outlaw have the potential to thrive alongside Harris and Lopez but it will all depend on how Avery Johnson chooses to utilize their talents on the court. As for right now, the Nets look to be at least three wins better than they were last season, maybe. At least in a few years the team will be in Brooklyn where they can overcharge hipsters for tickets and merchandise. Hipsters love ironic failures and chronic underachievers. Financially, the Nets will be winners then.

Phoenix Suns

The Suns have been one of the biggest movers in the Western Conference this summer. They had to be after losing Stoudemire to the Knicks. They recently welcomed back to the league, Josh Childress and his iconic Afro with a five-year contract. Phoenix acquired him via sign-and-trade with the Atlanta Hawks, who still retained the rights to his contract. Atlanta will receive the Suns’ 2012 second-round draft pick.

Phoenix has also traded for scorned Raptor, Hedo Turkoglu for Leandro Barbosa and Dwayne Jones. Turkolgu thrives in offenses where he gets to control the ball so a pairing with Steve Nash seems a bit odd but any situation has to be better for Turkolgu than what he went through in Toronto.

Dallas Mavericks

Dallas’ attempts to land players named Al have been thwarted at every attempt this summer. First they were in position to land Al Jefferson. Then, out of nowhere, the Jazz swooped in and nabbed him so that they could fill the void left by Boozer’s departure. Next the Mavericks set their sights on Al Harrington. Talks were advancing nicely but then the Denver Nuggets struck. They offered Harrington a longer and more valuable contract (five-year, $34 million) than the Mavericks were willing to offer him.

The Mavericks have made some moves this summer, though they are not earth shaking; they are moves to build on for the future. Dallas’ second priority this summer, after resigning Dirk Nowitzki, was signing Brendan Haywood. They did just that as the team and Haywood agreed on a six-year deal worth $55 million. The way Haywood’s contract is structured he will make $7-8 million a season, and as the Mavericks are prone to do, the last year of his contract is not fully guaranteed.

For the Mavericks, the elephant in the room was Erick Dampier’s nonguaranteed $13 million contract and their ability to use it in an attempt to lure a max free agent to Dallas to team up with Nowitzki. Dallas missed out on the marquee names but was able to move Dampier’s contract. Dampier, along with Matt Carroll, Eduardo Najera, and cash were sent to the Charlotte Bobcats for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca. It was not the blockbuster move that Mavs fans were hoping for and many are quite discontent at the moves their team has made this summer after being force-fed rumors and speculation about the possibility of landing a superstar. Honestly, this deal fits the Mavericks plan better than landing the likes of Jefferson who would have either been forced into a sixth man role or center. Neither of which would have been ideal for either party. Chandler gives the Mavericks and versatile shot blocker with the ability to run the floor. Running the floor is something that Chandler was accustomed to during his time with Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets and is something that he will get back to on the Mavericks with Jason Kidd and Rodrigue Beaubois. One thing is certain, the alley-oop dunk will return to prominence in Chandler’s offensive repertoire.

This deal also gives the Mavericks some financial breathing room as they have dumped Carroll’s bloated contract. It also gives the team added size and length in the frontcourt, something the team wanted so they could compete with the Lakers’ bigs. This deal came just in time too. It also acts as a counter to their in-state arch rival San Antonio Spurs’ addition of the great threat, Tiago Splitter. This nobody is making folks quake in their boots from the filthy, disease laden River Walk to the Alamo. Team front offices are whispering amongst themselves about the domination that Splitter could unleash on an unsuspecting league. Hold on, he is a South American seven footer? How many floppers do the Spurs need on their roster? The only threat he poses is to himself. It is a long way to the floor when flopping from seven feet up, concussions could become a problem.

Chandler is going into the last year of his contract which has led some to speculate that if a player became available during the season the Mavericks could use Chandler and Caron Butler, who is also entering the last year of his contract, as trade bait. However, the people who are the ones speculating this are the same ones who almost guaranteed Mavericks fans that they would land a superstar player this summer.

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz have acquired Raja Bell and thwarted Kobe Bryant’s attempts to get Bell to sign with the Lakers. Los Angeles had $1.8 million left of their mid-level exception to offer Bell while the Jazz offered him a three-year deal worth close to $10 million. (It is always about the money.) With the signing of Bell the Jazz chose to let Wesley Matthews sign with the Portland Trailblazers as they were unwilling to match the offer sheet that Matthews signed with the Blazers which was worth $32.7 million over five years.

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