QUICK LINKS

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2014-15 NBA SEASON PART 3

  PART 1 PART 2 PART 3 PART 4 PART 5

L.A. CLIPPERS
RETURNING PLAYERS (9)
-          CHRIS PAUL (PG, 20.07, 4 YRS-89M)
-          BLAKE GRIFFIN (PF, 17.68, 4 YRS-79M)
-          DEANDRE JORDAN (C, 11.44)
-          J.J. REDICK (SG, 6.58, 3 YRS-20M)
-          JARED DUDLEY (G/F, 4.25, 4.25 PLAYER OPT IN 2015)
-          MATT BARNES (SF, 3.40)
-          DARREN COLLISON (PG, 1.99 PLAYER OPT)
-          REGGIE BULLOCK (G/F, 1.20, TEAM OPTS IN NEXT 2 YRS)
-          BYRON MULLENS (C, 1.06 PLAYER OPT)
NON-GUARANTEED CONTRACTS (2)
-          JAMAL CRAWFORD (G, 5.45)
-          WILLIE GREEN (SG, 1.45)
FREE AGENTS (3)
-          RYAN HOLLINS (C)
-          ANTAWN JAMISON (F)
-          HEDO TURKOGLU (G/F)
PROJECTED 2014 DRAFT PICKS (2)
-          1ST RD – 24TH OVERALL (OWN)
-          2ND RD – 54TH OVERALL (OWN)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK ASSETS (1)
-          2016 2ND RD PICK FROM BROOKLYN (RIGHT TO SWAP)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK DEBITS (5)
-          2014 2ND RD PICK TO SAN ANTONIO (TOP 55)
-          2015 1ST RD PICK TO BOSTON
-          2015 2ND RD PICK TO DENVER (TOP 55)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK TO HOUSTON (ONLY IF 51-55)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK TO MILWAUKEE (ONLY IF 31-50, ONLY IF 31-55 IN 2016, UNPROTECTED IN 2017)
-          2016 2ND RD PICK TO NEW ORLEANS (TOP 55)
POSSIBLE DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS JOINING TEAM (0)
-          NONE
OTHER DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS (0)
-          NONE
OUTLOOK
-          BLAKE GRIFFIN STEPPED UP HUGE IN CHRIS PAUL’S ABSENCE AND FIRMLY CEMENTED HIMSELF INTO THE CONVERSATION FOR BEST CURRENT POWER FORWARD IN THE GAME.  BOTH HE AND PAUL ARE LOCKED UP FOR THE NEXT 4 YEARS & THE CLIPPERS TASK WILL BE TO SURROUND THEM WITH THE QUALITY ROLE PLAYERS NEEDED TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP.  THE DEANDRE JORDAN SITUATION WILL BECOME INTERESTING DURING THE SEASON AS HE WILL BECOME AN UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT & LIKELY WANT A RAISE FROM HIS ALREADY HIGH SALARY.  JAMAL CRAWFORD REMAINS A PERENNIAL SIXTH MAN CANDIDATE & CAN BE KEPT FOR RELATIVELY CHEAP.  

        THE ADDITIONS OF J.J. REDICK & JARED DUDLEY LOOK SHORTSIGHTED AFTER SEEING ERIC BLEDSOE BREAKOUT BUT WHILE THE LATTER HAS STUMBLED, REDICK HAS BEEN EXCELLENT WHEN HEALTHY.  A BIG QUESTION WILL BE WHETHER OR NOT DARREN COLLISON WILL OPT IN ON HIS TEAM FRIENDLY SALARY FOR NEXT YEAR.  HE’S PRODUCTION WILL BE HARD TO REPLACE IF HE WAS TO MOVE ON.  WHILE L.A. CERTAINLY HAS A CHANCE TO MAKE A DEEP PLAYOFF RUN THIS SEASON, THEY STILL FEEL LIGHT ON QUALITY BACKUP BIG MEN AND SHOULD LOOK TO MAKE A MOVE TO BRING SOMEONE IN.  OTHERWISE, THEY MAY HAVE TO WAIT ONE MORE YEAR TO CHALLENGE THE LIKES OF OKC, SAN & HOU OUT WEST.

L.A. LAKERS
RETURNING PLAYERS (4)
-          KOBE BRYANT (SG, 23.50, 2 YRS-49M)
-          STEVE NASH (PG, 9.50)
-          NICK YOUNG (SG, 1.23 PLAYER OPT)
-          ROBERT SACRE (C, 0.92)
NON-GUARANTEED CONTRACTS (0)
-          NONE
FREE AGENTS (10)
-          RYAN KELLY (PF, 1.02 QO)
-          STEVE BLAKE (PG)
-          JORDAN FARMAR (PG)
-          PAU GASOL (F/C)
-          XAVIER HENRY (SF)
-          JORDAN HILL (PF)
-          WESLEY JOHNSON (SF)
-          CHRIS KAMAN (C)
-          KENDALL MARSHALL (PG)
-          JODIE MEEKS (SG)
PROJECTED 2014 DRAFT PICKS (1)
-          1ST RD – 5TH OVERALL (OWN)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK ASSETS (0)
-          NONE
FUTURE DRAFT PICK DEBITS (4)
-          2014 2ND RD PICK TO MILWAUKEE
-          2015 1ST RD PICK TO PHOENIX (TOP 5, TOP 3 IN 2016 & 2017, UNPROTECTED IN 2018)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK TO ORLANDO (TOP 40)
-          2017 1ST RD PICK TO ORLANDO (FIRST ALLOWABLE DRAFT AFTER CONVEYING PHX PICK, TOP 5 IN 2017 & 2018, UNPROTECTED IN 2019)
POSSIBLE DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS JOINING TEAM (0)
-          NONE
OTHER DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS (3)
-          CHINEMELU ELONU (F/C, 2009-59) – TOFAS (TURKEY), FA IN 2014
-          SERHIY LISHCHUK (F/C, 2004-49) – VALENCIA (SPAIN), FA IN 2014
-          ATER MAJOK (C, 2011-58) – GOETTINGEN (GERMANY 2ND DIV), FA IN 2014
OUTLOOK
-          THIS HAS BEEN A LOST SEASON FOR THE FORMER KINGS OF LOS ANGELES.  WHAT LOOKED TO BE A DOWN YEAR WAS SABOTAGED BY KOBE BRYANT & STEVE NASH’S INJURIES. THE LAKERS ARE HOPING TO TURN PAU GASOL’S EXPIRING DEAL INTO AT LEAST A YOUNG PLAYER OR FUTURE DRAFT PICK AND JORDAN HILL IS ALSO ON THE BLOCK AS WELL.  RUMORS ABOUND THAT NASH COULD RETIRE, NICK YOUNG IS NO LOCK TO OPT IN SO IT MIGHT JUST BE KOBE & ROBERT SACRE RETURNING TO THE TEAM NEXT SEASON.  L.A. SHOULD HAVE A TOP 5 PICK TO ADD TO ROUGHLY 27M WORTH OF CAP SPACE.  

        RE-SIGNING KOBE FOR 49M OVER THE NEXT 2 SEASONS MID-SEASON WAS A BIT OF A HEAD SCRATCHER SINCE IT’S STILL NOT KNOWN HOW EFFECTIVE HE CAN BE COMING OFF ACHILLES SURGERY BUT HE IS THE FACE OF THE LAKERS & THEY’LL STILL HAVE NO PROBLEM ATTRACTING POTENTIAL FREE AGENTS.  THE QUESTION IS WHO WILL BE AVAILABLE.  CAN THEY GRAB A LEBRON OR CARMELO?  IT’S UNLIKELY AND KEVIN LOVE’S WILL BE FREE IN THE SUMMER OF 2015 SO THAT MIGHT INFLUENCE HOW THE LAKERS SPEND THIS OFFSEASON.  2 OF THEIR NEXT 3 FIRST ROUND PICKS ARE DUE TO BE SENT TO PHOENIX & ORLANDO SO IT’S IMPERATIVE THEY HIT ON THIS YEAR’S PICK.  WE SHOULD SEE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TEAM NEXT SEASON & GM MITCH KUPCHAK CAN GO IN A TON OF DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS BUT SUFFICE TO SAY THE LAKERS SHOULD HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF BEING A PLAYOFF TEAM NEXT YEAR IF KOBE IS HEALTHY.

MEMPHIS
RETURNING PLAYERS (9)
-          ZACH RANDOLPH (PF, 16.50 PLAYER OPT)
-          MARC GASOL (C, 15.83)
-          MIKE CONLEY (PG, 8.89, 2 YRS-19M)
-          TAYSHAUN PRINCE (SF, 7.71)
-          COURTNEY LEE (G/F, 5.45, 2 YRS-11M)
-          TONY ALLEN (SG, 4.83, 3 YRS-16M)
-          QUINCY PONDEXTER (SF, 3.15, 4 YRS-14M)
-          JON LEUER (PF, 0.97)
-          JAMAAL FRANKLIN (SG, 0.82)
NON-GUARANTEED CONTRACTS (2)
-          KOSTA KOUFOS (C, 3.00)
-          NICK CALATHES (PG, 0.82)
FREE AGENTS (3)
-          ED DAVIS (F/C, 4.36 QO)
-          JAMES JOHNSON (SF)
-          MIKE MILLER (G/F)
PROJECTED 2014 DRAFT PICKS (1)
-          1ST RD – 14TH OVERALL (OWN)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK ASSETS (2)
-          2016 2ND RD PICK FROM BOSTON
-          2016 2ND RD PICK FROM TORONTO
FUTURE DRAFT PICK DEBITS (5)
-          2014 2ND RD PICK TO CLEVELAND
-          2015 1ST RD PICK TO CLEVELAND (TOP 5 & 15-30 PROT IN 2015 & 2016, TOP 5 IN 2017 & 2018, UNPROTECTED IN 2019)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK TO DENVER
-          2016 2ND RD PICK TO DALLAS
-          2017 2ND RD PICK TO OKLAHOMA CITY (TOP 55)
POSSIBLE DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS JOINING TEAM (1)
-          JANIS TIMMA (SF, 2013-60) – VENTSPILS (LATVIA), FA IN 2014
OTHER DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS (0)
-          NONE
OUTLOOK
-          INJURIES TO MARC GASOL, TONY ALLEN & QUINCY PONDEXTER HAVE LEFT MEMPHIS STRUGGLING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS THIS SEASON AND THE FUTURE GETS MURKIER.  ZACH RANDOLPH CAN OPT OUT, GASOL WILL BE ON AN EXPIRING DEAL AND RUMORS HAVE THE LIKES OF TONY ALLEN, TAYSHAUN PRINCE’S CONTRACT & ED DAVIS BEING SHOPPED TO HELP RELIEVE SOME OF THE SALARY BURDEN.  MIKE CONLEY’S DEAL IS A STEAL RIGHT NOW & MARC GASOL IS STILL ONE OF THE BEST CENTERS IN THE GAME SO THERE’S THAT.  THE RANDOLPH SITUATION IS TOUGH.  IF HE OPTS IN GREAT BUT IF HE OPTS OUT HOW MUCH CAN YOU REALLY OFFER A 33 YEAR OLD BIG MAN EVEN IF HE IS AVERAGING 17 & 10.  ED DAVIS COULD BE A SOLUTION BUT HE’S UNPROVEN TO BE A QUALITY STARTER AND MIGHT STILL PRICE HIMSELF RIGHT OUT OF MEMPHIS.  KOSTA KOUFOS HAS BEEN OUTSTANDING IN LIMITED MINUTES AND COULD BECOME A TRADE CHIP AS HE’LL HAVE VALUE ON THE OPEN MARKET BUT LOSING HIS PRODUCTION WILL ALSO HURT.  

        BEING AROUND THE TAX LINE WITH NO REAL BREATHING ROOM CONTINUES TO FORCE THE SMALL MARKET GRIZZLIES TO LOSE ON TRADES IN THE SHORT TERM.  A TRIP TO THIS YEAR’S PLAYOFFS IS STILL POSSIBLE AND, DEPENDING IF THIS ROSTER STAYS MOSTLY INTACT, MEMPHIS IS STILL A VERY TOUGH MATCHUP.  ONE BRIGHT SPOT IS LAST YEAR’S LAST PICK IN THE DRAFT, JANIS TIMMA.  TIMMA HAS REAL POTENTIAL AND WILL BE JUST 22 YEARS OLD AT SEASON’S START AND COULD BE A CHEAP ROSTER ADDITION AT A POSITION OF NEED.  MEMPHIS MIGHT HAVE MISSED THEIR WINDOW OF CONTENTION OR MIGHT HAVE A YEAR LEFT.  EITHER WAY A REBUILD SEEMS TO BE ON THE HORIZON.

MIAMI
RETURNING PLAYERS (6)
-          CHRIS BOSH (F/C, 20.59 PLAYER OPT)
-          LEBRON JAMES (SF, 20.59 PLAYER OPT)
-          DWYANE WADE (SG, 20.16 PLAYER OPT)
-          UDONIS HASLEM (PF, 4.62 PLAYER OPT)
-          NORRIS COLE (PG, 2.04)
-          CHRIS ANDERSEN (C, 1.45 PLAYER OPT)
NON-GUARANTEED CONTRACTS (0)
-          NONE
FREE AGENTS (9)
-          RAY ALLEN (SG)
-          SHANE BATTIER (SF)
-          MICHAEL BEASLEY (F)
-          MARIO CHALMERS (PG)
-          TONEY DOUGLAS (G)
-          JAMES JONES (SF)
-          RASHARD LEWIS (F)
-          ROGER MASON (SG)
-          GREG ODEN (C)
PROJECTED 2014 DRAFT PICKS (2)
-          1ST RD – 28TH OVERALL (OWN)
-          2ND RD – 58TH OVERALL (OWN)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK ASSETS (0)
-          NONE
FUTURE DRAFT PICK DEBITS (3)
-          2015 1ST RD PICK TO CLEVELAND (TOP 10 PROT THROUGH 2017)
-          2016 2ND RD PICK TO BOSTON
-          2017 2ND RD PICK TO ATLANTA
POSSIBLE DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS JOINING TEAM (1)
-          JAMES ENNIS (G/F, 2013-50) – QUEBRADILLAS (PUERTO RICO), FA IN 2014
OTHER DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS (2)
-          GEORGE BANKS (F, 1995-46) – RETIRED
-          ROBERTO DUENAS (C, 1997-58) - RETIRED
OUTLOOK
-          AS THE HEAT GO FOR A 3-PEAT THIS SEASON, THE REALITY OF NEXT SEASON BEGINS TO SET IN.  ONLY NORRIS COLE IS A GUARANTEED RETURNEE AS THE BIG 3 CAN, AND MOST LIKELY WILL, ALL OPT OUT IN SEARCH OF NEW LONG-TERM DEALS.  LEBRON JAMES & CHRIS BOSH ARE NO BRAINERS.  IT WILL REMAIN TO BE SEEN WHAT DWYANE WADE CAN DO DURING THE PLAYOFFS TO SEE IF HE WILL EVEN COMMAND ANOTHER MAX OR NEAR MAX DEAL AFTER LOOKING LIKE A SHELL OF HIMSELF MOST OF THE YEAR.  IF THE LEBRON & BOSH ARE IN I’M SURE MIAMI WILL HAVE NO PROBLEM PAYING WADE TOO EVEN IF HE WON’T BE WORTH IT 2 YEARS FROM NOW.  SO WILL LEBRON RUN TO THE LAKERS OR SOMEWHERE ELSE LIKE HE DID 4 YEARS AGO?  WILL BOSH DECIDE HE WANTS TO BE A FOCAL POINT OF ANOTHER OFFENSE?  I WOULD THINK AS LEBRON GOES SO WILL WADE & BOSH.  

        IF ALL THREE RETURN THE QUESTION BECOMES WHO CAN THEY BRING IN TO SUPPLEMENT THEM.  MARIO CHALMERS COULD SEE MORE MONEY SOMEWHERE ELSE.  SHANE BATTIER & RAY ALLEN ARE LIKELY TO RETIRE.  MICHAEL BEASLEY MAY HAVE PLAYED HIMSELF INTO A BETTER CONTRACT AS WELL.  WHILE IT WON’T BE HARD TO FIND VETERANS WILLING TO PLAY FOR CHEAP, AS EACH YEAR GOES BY THE LOAD WILL CONTINUE TO BE HARDER FOR LEBRON TO BEAR BY HIMSELF, ESPECIALLY IF WADE GOES INTO SERIOUS DECLINE.  LAST YEAR’S SECOND ROUNDER JAMES ENNIS WILL LIKELY BE BROUGHT IN AFTER HIS MVP-LIKE PERFORMANCE THIS SEASON IN AUSTRALIA.  THEY WILL HAVE A LATE FIRST ROUND PICK TO WORK WITH AS WELL IN A HOPEFULLY DEEP DRAFT.  THE BIG 3 WILL CERTAINLY BE THE BIGGEST STORY OF THE OFFSEASON AND WHILE I BELIEVE IT’S MORE LIKELY THAN NOT THAT ALL 3 RETURN, IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO SEE WHAT A TEAM WITH ONE PLAYER UNDER CONTRACT & 60 MILLION DOLLARS OF CAP SPACE COULD DO.


MILWAUKEE
RETURNING PLAYERS (11)
-          LARRY SANDERS (F/C, 11.00, 4 YRS-44M)
-          O.J. MAYO (SG, 8.00, 2 YRS-16M)
-          ERSAN ILYASOVA (PF, 7.90, 2 YRS-16M)
-          ZAZA PACHULIA (C, 5.20, 2 YRS-10M)
-          BRANDON KNIGHT (PG, 3.55)
-          CARLOS DELFINO (SG, 3.25)
-          GARY NEAL (SG, 3.25)
-          JOHN HENSON (F/C, 1.99, TEAM OPT IN NEXT YR)
-          GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO (SF, 1.87, TEAM OPTS IN NEXT 2 YRS)
-          MIROSLAV RADULJICA (C, 1.50)
-          NATE WOLTERS (PG, 0.82)
NON-GUARANTEED CONTRACTS (1)
-          KHRIS MIDDLETON (SF, 0.92)
FREE AGENTS (3)
-          EKPE UDOH (C, 5.96 QO)
-          CARON BUTLER (SF)
-          LUKE RIDNOUR (PG)
PROJECTED 2014 DRAFT PICKS (4)
-          1ST RD – 1ST  OVERALL (OWN)
-          2ND RD – 31ST OVERALL (OWN)
-          2ND RD – 35TH OVERALL (FROM L.A. LAKERS)
-          2ND RD – 50TH OVERALL (FROM TORONTO)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK ASSETS (4)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK FROM L.A. CLIPPERS (ONLY IF 31-50, ONLY IF 31-55 IN 2016, UNPROTECTED IN 2017)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK FROM PHOENIX
-          2016 2ND RD PICK FROM SACRMENTO (BETTER OF SAC/NEW ORLEANS PICKS)
-          2019 2ND RD PICK FROM SACRAMENTO (RIGHT TO SWAP)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK DEBITS (0)
-          NONE
POSSIBLE DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS JOINING TEAM (0)
-          NONE
OTHER DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS (3)
-          ANDREI FETISOV (F, 1994-36) – RETIRED
-          ALBERT MIRALLES (F/C, 2004-39) – JOVENTUT (SPAIN), FA IN 2014
-          EURELIJUS ZUKAUSKAS (C, 1995-54) - RETIRED
OUTLOOK
-          WELL THIS DIDN’T GO AS PLANNED.  MILWAUKEE MADE MOVES TO BRING IN O.J. MAYO, BRANDON KNIGHT & GARY NEAL THIS PAST OFFSEASON.  THEY ALSO LOCKED UP LARRY SANDERS LONG-TERM, BROUGHT IN WISCONSIN NATIVE CARON BUTLER & GLADLY OVERPAID ON BACKUP CENTER ZAZA PACHULIA IN AN ATTEMPT TO FINALLY ESCAPE THE PURGATORY OF THE 8TH SEEDED PLAYOFF TEAM.  AND WHAT THEY GOT WAS NADA.  SANDERS HAS BEEN A TRAIN WRECK ALL YEAR BEFORE HIS EXTENSION HAS EVEN KICKED IN.  MAYO HAS BEEN A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT AND WAS SENT TO THE BENCH.  KNIGHT HAS HAD HIS MOMENTS BUT IS STILL LACKING.  AND POOR GARY NEAL CAN BARELY SEE THE COURT.  

        THE BUCKS ARE SADDLED WITH A TON OF BAD CONTRACTS AND CAN ONLY HOPE TO UNLOAD AS MANY AS POSSIBLE BEFORE NEXT SEASON.  THE BRIGHT SIDE IS THAT THEY CURRENTLY HAVE THE BEST CHANCE FOR THE NUMBER ONE OVERALL PICK IN THE BEST DRAFT SINCE 2003.  THEY HIT A HOME RUN WITH THE GREEK FREAK GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO.  JOHN HENSON & KHRIS MIDDLETON HAVE MADE HUGE STRIDES AND NATE WOLTERS HAS LOOKED GOOD IN SPOTS.  THE BUCKS ALSO WILL HAVE 3 SECOND ROUND PICKS, 2 OF WHICH SHOULD COME IN THE TOP 5 PICKS SO THEY CAN HOPEFULLY GRAB A COUPLE MORE IMPACT PLAYERS.  DUMPING SOME OF THERE LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS IS A MUST BUT A COMPLETE REBUILD MIGHT NOT BE NECESSARY BUT ALSO MIGHT NOT BE POSSIBLE IF SO DESIRED.

MINNESOTA
RETURNING PLAYERS (12)
-          KEVIN LOVE (PF, 15.72, 16.74 PLAYER OPT IN NEXT YR)
-          NIKOLA PEKOVIC (C, 12.10, 4 YRS-48M)
-          KEVIN MARTIN (SG, 6.79, 3 YRS-21M)
-          RICKY RUBIO (PG, 5.07)
-          CHASE BUDINGER (SF, 5.00, 2 YRS-10M)
-          COREY BREWER (SF, 4.70, 2 YRS-10M)
-          LUC MBAH A MOUTE (SF, 4.38)
-          J.J. BAREA (PG, 4.52)
-          ALEXEY SHVED (G, 3.28)
-          SHABAZZ MUHAMMAD (G/F, 1.97, TEAM OPTS IN NEXT 2 YRS)
-          RONNY TURIAF (C, 1.50)
-          GORGUI DIENG (C, 1.37, TEAM OPTS IN NEXT 2 YRS)
NON-GUARANTEED CONTRACTS (0)
-          NONE
FREE AGENTS (3)
-          ROBBIE HUMMEL (SF, 1.02 QO)
-          DANTE CUNNINGHAM (PF)
-          A.J. PRICE (PG)
PROJECTED 2014 DRAFT PICKS (4)
-          1ST RD – 13TH  OVERALL (OWN)
-          2ND RD – 41ST OVERALL (FROM NEW ORLEANS)
-          2ND RD – 43RD OVERALL (OWN)
-          2ND RD – 51ST OVERALL (FROM GOLDEN STATE)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK ASSETS (2)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK FROM DENVER
-          2017 2ND RD PICK FROM NEW ORLEANS (TOP 55)
FUTURE DRAFT PICK DEBITS (2)
-          2014 1ST RD PICK TO PHOENIX (TOP 13, TOP 12 IN 2015 & 2016, IF NOT THEN 2016 & 2017 2ND RD PICKS)
-          2015 2ND RD PICK TO HOUSTON (LESSER OF MIN/DENVER PICKS)
POSSIBLE DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS JOINING TEAM (0)
-          NONE
OTHER DRAFT RIGHTS HELD PLAYERS (5)
-          NEMANJA BJELICA (F, 2010-35) – FENERBAHCE (TURKEY), FA IN 2016
-          BOJAN DUBLJEVIC (PF, 2013-59) – VALENCIA (SPAIN), FA IN 2016
-          LIOR ELIYAHU (F, 2006-44) – HAPOEL JERUSALEM (ISRAEL), FA IN 2016
-          HENK NOREL (F/C, 2009-47) – ZARAGOZA (SPAIN), FA IN 2015
-          PAULAO PRESTES (F/C, 2010-45) – VIVO/FRANCA (BRAZIL), FA IN 2014
OUTLOOK

-          THE TIMBERWOLVES APPEAR THAT THEY WILL CONTINUE THEIR RUN OF NO PLAYOFF APPEARANCES SINCE 2004.  NOT ONLY ARE THEY SADDLED WITH SO MANY BAD CONTRACTS BUT KEVIN LOVE CAN OPT OUT AFTER NEXT YEAR AND LEAVE FOR GREENER PASTURES & RICKY RUBIO IS IN LINE FOR A BIG CONTRACT EXTENSION AND SHOOTING JUST 36% FROM THE FIELD.  MANY FEEL THEY SHOULD TRADE LOVE NOW FOR A KING’S RANSOM OF PICKS & YOUNG TALENT BUT WITH SO MANY OTHER UNMOVEABLE DEALS HOW COULD THEY?  TWELVE PLAYERS ARE SLATED TO RETURN SO HOPING FOR INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT COULD BE ALL THEY HAVE.  THEY OWE PHOENIX THEIR FIRST ROUNDER THIS YEAR IF IT IS 14TH OR WORSE SO EVEN MAKING A PLAYOFF PUSH WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL.  

        KEVIN MARTIN HAS PLAYED VERY WELL AS A THIRD OPTION SCORING 19 A GAME, NIKOLA PEKOVIC IS AVERAGING 18 & 9 AND LOVE IS AN ABSOLUTE SUPERSTAR PUTTING UP 26 & 13.  THE PROBLEM WITH TRADING LOVE IS THAT MINNESOTA WILL NEVER ATTRACT A SUPERSTAR.  THEY WILL HAVE TO DRAFT ONE AND WE ALL KNOW HOW OFTEN THAT IS POSSIBLE.  BUT IF YOU DON’T TRADE HIM, HE WALKS FOR NOTHING AND YOU SET YOUR FRANCHISE BACK EVEN MORE.  RICKY RUBIO, ONCE PEGGED FOR THE 5 YEAR MAX DEAL THAT LOVE DIDN’T GET, IS HAVING AN ALL-TIME AWFUL SHOOTING SEASON WITH NO HOPES OF RECOVERING.  CAN YOU REALLY PLACE YOUR FUTURE IN THE HANDS OF SUPERSTAR ENTERING HIS PRIME THAT CAN OPT OUT & A FLASHY POINT GUARD WHO CAN’T SCORE?  OH, MINNESOTA!

No comments:

Post a Comment