Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chandler finally finds a home in Charlotter after being rumored in many trades this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

Tyson Chandler has finally found a home. This is going to be officially Chandler's 3rd NBA team. He was previously drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, before being moved to Chicago with Brian Skinner for Elton Brand.

Chandler's name has been rumored to many teams within the past month. He was rumored to go to the Phoenix Suns for Ben Wallace, before the Suns bought out Wallace's contract to make him a free agent. After a failed attempt at the trade deadline, his name has been bounced around for the past month, especially at the NBA draft. But nothing happened at that time.

Chandler was traded to on February 17, 2009 for Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith, and the rights to DeVon Hardin. But Chandler failed a physical to complete the trade, because of a toe injury. And just 24-hours after the trade was made, the Thunder rescinded the trade, sending Chandler back to New Orleans.

With Chandler in Charlotte, he is expected to be their starting center. Chandler is expected to start over Nazr Mohammed and DeSagana Diop. Chandler is also expected to be backed up by foreigner Alexis Ajinça, who only appeared in 31 games last year. Last year was Ajinça's rookie year in Charlotte after being a second-round pick in the 2008 NBA draft.

Chandler adds even more veteran leadership to the team. In February alone, the Bobcats added Raja Bell, Boris Diaw, Diop, and Vladimir Radmanović in trades. The Bobcats currently only have two rookie on their team – both from the 2009 NBA draft in 2nd-round pick Derrick Brown and first-round pick Gerald Henderson.

Chandler only appeared in 45 games last season due to injuries. He averaged 8.8 points and 8.7 rebounds last season when he was healthy. In the previous season, he averaged a career-high 11.8 points and 11.7 rebounds in 79 games. He's never played in more than 80 games in a season. He played in exactly 80 games during the 2004-05 season.

Okafor goes to New Orleans after Chris Paul recently criticized management for not making any mores

By Anthony Caruso III

Emeka Okafor was just traded to the New Orleans Hornets yesterday. Okafor was traded to the Hornets for Tyson Chandler, who has been on the trading block for months. After a failed traded at the trade deadline with Oklahoma City, Chandler has been rumored to be traded to several different teams before this trade.

Okafor was the first-ever draft pick in Charlotte Bobcats history, as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft. As the Bobcats are on the verge to peaking under Larry Brown, it appears that they are going in a new direction with many of their original players. Okafor has moved on. Sean May has moved on. And Raymond Felton is expected to move on, as well.

As of this moment, Okafor is the only veteran signed up through the 2013-14 season. Only rookie Darren Collison is the only other player signed through that time. Okafor is expected to make $10.5 this year, $11.5 in 10-11, $12.5 in 11-12, $13.5 in 12-13, and $14.5 in 13-14. He just signed a long term deal with the Bobcats last summer, which was a 6-year, $72 mill extension.

Now that Okafor is not longer in Charlotte, one of his streaks will be coming to an end. Okafor was the Bobcats active franchise-record holder with playing in 93 consecutive games. Of those 93 games, 92 of those games were consecutive starts.

While the Hornets have been busy in recent years with moves during the off-season, this is their first move of this summer. Even superstar Chris Paul recently criticized the Hornets for not making any moves over the weekend. In the ever-changing Western Conference, Okafor will give the Hornets a chance to compete each and every year with Chris Paul and the other veteran pieces.

Okafor averaged 13.2 points and 10.1 rebounds last year, with 82 starts. He averaged career-high 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds in 73 games during his rookie season.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mark Jackson is a top candidate for the Timberwolves job with Kurt Rambis

By Anthony Caruso III

Mark Jackson is back at the top of an NBA's team wish list to be the head coach. Jackson and Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis are the top candidates for the Minnesota Timberwolves head coaching job. This is the third team that Jackson has been a top candidate for their head coaching this summer alone.

Jackson has been a candidate for the Detroit Pistons job after Michael Curry was fired. He was also a candidate for the Sacramento Kings job after Kenny Natt was fired. Jackson did not get those jobs – John Kuester went to Detroit and Paul Westphal went to Sacramento. Rambis was also considered for the Kings job, before declined the job, because he said the Kings were a rebuilding team.

Jackson has never been an assistant coach or head coach in the NBA. After his retirement from the NBA in 2004, he moved into the broadcast booth a few years later. He worked as an analyst for the New Jersey Nets on the YES Network for Marv Albert, but quit at the end of the 2008 season. He is currently an NBA analyst with ABC/ESPN, where he recently covered the 2008 and 2009 NBA Finals.

Even though Jackson has never coached in a game, he will bring valuable experience to any team that may hire him as a coach. Jackson is 13th in the all-time games played list with 1,296 games and is currently second overall in assists with 10,334. Jason Kidd is expected to surpass Jackson's place for second all-time at some point during the upcoming season. He is also 26th all-time in minutes played, 77th all-time in three-pointers made, 65th all-time in three-pointers attempted, and 23rd all-time in steals.

Jackson also scored 12,489 points. While he's ranked high in all these records, he's never achieved great individual success, even though many fans believe he deserves to be elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Jackson has played for 7 teams during his NBA career, which will likely hurt his chances to make it to the Hall. As well the fact that he's only been an NBA All-Star once in 1989 and the 1987-88 NBA Rookie of the Year.

Jackson was the 18th overall pick in the 1987 NBA draft by the New York Knicks. He teamed with Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley for his first few years in the league to bring the Knicks back to prominence. But, before the Knicks peaked and went to the 1994 NBA Finals, Jackson was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 1992. He would also play for the Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Houston Rockets in his NBA career.

Monday, July 27, 2009

With Andre Miller and Steve Blake, Portland has put Bayless on the block

By Anthony Caruso III

The Portland TrailBlazers has stood pat for much of the off-season. However, that all changed with the addition of André Miller last week. Miller is the first Portland free-agent signing from another team this summer. But this will all change again soon.

With Miller and Steve Blake, it has unfortunately put Jerryd Bayless on the trading block. Bayless has spent just one-season in Portland. He was acquired last summer in a draft-night trade with the Indiana Pacers, but it wasn't officially made until last July.

In the trade, the Blazers acquired Bayless, the No. 11 overall pick, and Ike Diogu from the Indiana Pacers for the No. 13 overall pick, Brandon Rush, Jarrett Jack, and Josh McRoberts. Now, a year later, many of these players are likely to move onto other teams. Diogu and McRoberts are currently free agents, while Jacks recently signed with Toronto.

Even though Bayless has been used sparingly, he was able to score a career-high 23 points against the New Jersey Nets in January 2009, but he's only averaged 4.3 points in his only NBA season. However, he's seen his biggest impact coming in the 2008 and 2009 NBA Vegas Summer Leagues. He was the 2008 Vegas Summer League MVP after leading the league with 29.8 points per game.

Bayless is under contract for the next several seasons. Bayless is due to make $2.1 million in the 2009-10 season. Portland holds two team options for the following two seasons – one for $2.3 million in 10-11 and another for $3 million in 11-12. There is also a $4.1 qualifying offer for the 12-13 season.

Watson is still looking for a job in the NBA and might not find it

By Anthony Caruso III

C. J. Watson has always had to prove his self in his pro career in the States. Watson did not get a shot at the NBA right out of college – and it wasn't until years later, that he finally got a shot. The Golden State Warriors saw something in him to sign him in January 2008.

At that time, he was signed to a 10-day contract to back up Baron Davis. He impressed the coaching staff to get another 10-day contract. He would sign for the rest of the season after this second 10-day contract. He has spent the past 1 1/2-years total in Golden State. He averaged 9.5 points last season in 77 games after scoring 3.7 points in 32 games in 2008.

Now, as a free agent, Watson has to prove his self again. However, this time, he cannot prove his self on a basketball court – teams will have to rely on what they saw during his time in Golden State. There have been a few teams have expressed interest in Watson, including the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, among others.

But Watson still isn't signed. He may not get signed until later this summer, or maybe not until training camps start in September. Watson would like to find a home before then, but he might have to go back overseas or to the D-League to play again.

Watson played in the 2007 summer league with the San Antonio Spurs, before going to the Charlotte Bobcats training camp. But he was released from that camp, before being drafted the 5th overall pick in the 2007 NBDL Draft by the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He averaged .4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.38 steals in 38.1 minutes per game for the Vipers before signed by Golden State Warriors in January 2008. When he was called up to the Warriors, he became the 100thplayer to be called by an NBA team in D-League history.

Watson originally went undrafted out of Tennessee in the 2006 NBA Draft. He got his pro career officially started with the Italian Serie A Team, Bipop Carire Reggio Emilia. He averaged 8.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 17 games. After playing in Italy, he moved onto Greek A1 Ethniki team PAOK B.C, where he averaged 7.4 points and 2.2 assists in 5 games.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Jason Williams wants to get back into basketball after retiring in September 2008

By Anthony Caruso III

Jason Williams is trying to get back into basketball. Williams retired before the 2008-09 season after signing a 1-year deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. He never played in any games with the Clippers, before he retired.

Williams is expected to clear waivers by the end of the next week and become a free agent again. The Miami Heat are considering adding a veteran point guard to their roster to back up 2nd-year player Mario Chalmers and Williams is being considered for that role once he clears waivers. The Heat are willing to bring back Williams, because he's willing to take a lesser role in the offense and less money.

Williams was the most successful during his 10-year career with the Heat. He was traded to the Heat from the Memphis Grizzlies in the largest trade in NBA history. The Heat acquired Williams, André Emmett, and James Posey in the deal in August 2005 for Eddie Jones. And not even a year later, Posey and Williams were key role players in helping the Heat to their first-ever Championship over the Dallas Mavericks. Williams spent three years in South Beach.

Williams averaged a career-high 14.8 points in his first year in Memphis, in 2001-02. He then averaged 12.1 points and a career-high 8.3 assists in 2002-03, 10.9 points in 2003-04, and 10.1 points in 2004-05. He was traded to Miami after getting into a verbal argument with a Memphis reporter in the locker room after the reporter wrote a story that said Williams wanted to play closer to this family home in Orlando.

After Williams was the 7th overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft, he averaged 12.8 points and 12.3 points in his first two-years in Sacramento. He then averaged 9.4 points in his third season. After his third season, he was traded with Nick Anderson to the Grizzlies, who were in the process of moving from Vancouver, Canada to Memphis, Tennessee in 2001, for Mike Bibby and Brent Price.

Friday, July 24, 2009

USA Basketball is back preparing for a tournament in August after winning the 2008 Olympics

By Anthony Caruso III

After a long NBA season, team USA is back back on the floor together again. USA Basketball just started mini-camp on Thursday afternoon in Las Vegas, Nevada. The last time a USA Basketball team was together was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when they won a gold medal.

However, this USA Basketball is different than that star-studded team, lead by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, among others. Mike Krzyzewski will not be coaching this team, nor will Mike D'Antoni, Nate McMillan, or Jim Boeheim. They all coached the Senior National Team from last summer.

This summer, the USA Basketball Select Team will be coached by Toronto Raptors head coach Jay Triano. Triano has dual citizenship in Canada and the USA, which allows him to coach the USA team. Triano will be assisted by Tyrone Corbin, Dave Cowens, Kenny Gattison, and Jerry Sichting.

This Select Team has a mixture of veteran leadership and rookies. Danny Granger, André Iguodala, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, Josh Smith, and Davis Lee will provide the veteran leadership. The rookies include Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, O. J. Mayo, Eric Gordon, Brook López, Kevin Love, and Anthony Randolph. Other players are D. J. Augustin, Ronnie Brewer, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Jeff Green, JaVale McGee, Greg Oden, and Thaddeus Young. However, all these players will not make the final cut.

Blake Griffin was supposed to be among this group of players. However, he has an injury and will not take part in these festivities. He suffered a shoulder injury while playing in the summer league and will likely not play again until training camp. He is out 3-5 weeks with his injury.

On Saturday, July 25th, this Select Team will have an intra-squad game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada as they prepare for the tournament. From August 26th to September 6th, Team USA will be participating in the FIBA Americas World Championship Qualifying Tournament. This tournament will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Raptors are still interested in Delfino after extending a qualifying offer, and even though he's signed to a Russian team for the next two years

By Anthony Caruso III

The Toronto Raptors have been successful in adding former foreign players in recent years. This has been GM Bryan Colangelo's key to success, even during his time in Phoenix. Colangelo is still interested in adding another foreign player to the Raptors.

Colangelo extended a qualifying offer to Carlos Delfino back in June – and they are still interested in bringing him back to Toronto. But Delfino is currently signed within the Russian Super League with Khimki Moscow Region team, and he still has still more years left on the three-year deal he signed during the 2008 summer. Delfino is one of the highest-paid basketball players in Europe, as he's getting paid $10 million dollars (US dollars), plus housing, a car and driver, and savings on taxes.

In his first-year with the team, he averaged a career-high 13 points her game. He also averaged 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in Europe's second-level competition during the 2008-09 season. He is making way more money over in Russia than he made in the NBA.

When he was in the NBA, he played his first several years in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons. In June 2007, he was traded to the Raptors for two draft picks. One of the draft picks was in last month's NBA draft, while the other second round pick will come in the 2011 NBA draft.

In his one and only season in Toronto, he averaged an NBA-high 9 points per season. He also averaged 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 82 games during the 2007-08 season. He was coached by Sam Mitchell in Toronto during that season, who is no longer the coach.

The Raptors currently have 5 foreign players on the team. Andréa Bargnani is from Italy, é Calderón is from Spain, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a free agent, is from Britain, Hedo Türkoğlu is from Turkey, and Roko Ukić is from Croatia. If Delfino elects to come back to the Raptors, he will be first Raptor from Argentina since é Garbajosa during the 2007-08 season, who just happens to his old Raptors teammate.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Rockets are going to have to rebuild on the fly after losing superstars Tracy McGrady and Yáo Míng for the 09-10 season

By Anthony Caruso III

The Houston Rockets used to have two superstars on their team. Both players are still on the team, but are injured. Both players are expected to miss the majority of this upcoming season after suffering injuries last season. Now, they have no superstar players on the roster to be the face of the franchise.

Tracy McGrady had microfracture surgery in February 2009 in Chicago. Yáo Míng just had hairline surgery in his foot and another surgery to realign the bones on Tuesday. The Rockets were able to get an injury exception for Míng, which is more than $5 million dollars.

McGrady is expected to make $23.2 million this upcoming season in the final year of his deal. Míng is expected to make $16.3 million this upcoming season. Míng has a $17.6 million player option for the 2010-11, which he will definitely pick up now. He is expected to be in training camp in Houston in October 2010.

Since McGrady arrived in Houston in the summer of 2004, he has missed a combined 103 games in the last 5-years. The most games he has played in a Rockets jersey was 78 during the 2004-05 season. He also set a Houston career-high 25.7 points per game; however, his numbers have decreased each year since that season.

Míng has missed a combined 93 career games over the past 7-years since being the first-overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He has only played 82 games twice in his career – in the 2002-03 season and the 2003-04 seasons. He has not played a complete season since that time. Even though, Míng has missed a lot of games, he was able to set a career-high 25 points per game during the 2006-07.

Now, the Rockets are re-building on the fly. Aaron Brooks has a chance to become a star after his performance in the playoffs, but that's still to be determined. The rest of the guys currently on the roster are more role players than stars.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Magic add Barnes to the roster in what is turning out to be a busy off-season

By Anthony Caruso III

Matt Barnes is on the verge of signing with the Orlando Magic. Barnes is expected to sign a two-year deal within the next day or so with the Magic. He has spent the last few years playing under one-year deals.

Barnes is the newest addition to the Magic team this off-season, which has been a busy one. This off-season, the Magic re-signed Marcin Gortat – against his wishes as he wanted to sign the offer sheet with the Dallas Mavericks – and Brandon Bass. On the NBA draft day in June, the Magic acquired Ryan Anderson and Vince Carter from the New Jersey Nets. All these moves are made to help them to compete in the re-stacked Eastern Conference.

Barnes is expected to battle Mickaël Piétrus for the starting small forward position that is currently vacant. Barnes and Piétrus will each have their opportunities, beginning in September at training camp, to replace former starter Hedo Türkoğlu. Türkoğlu left via a sign-and-trade for the Toronto Raptors earlier this off-season.

Türkoğlu signed a 5-year, $53 million deal with the Raptors, after previously agreeing to a 5-year, $52 deal with the Portland TrailBlazers a few days earlier. Türkoğlu averaged 16.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 77 games last season. He averaged a career-high 19.5 points during the 07-08 season, which was his 4th season in Orlando.

Barnes, in his one and only season in Phoenix, he averaged 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 77 games. He averaged career-highs in points, rebounds, and assists last season. Piétrus, in his first season in Orlando, averaged 9.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 54 games, as the back-up to Türkoğlu.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Is streetball dead?

"Streetball as a big business is dead. SLAM happily rode shotgun during its rise, taking in Mixtape Tour games from coast to coast and publishing a special Streetball issue five straight summers. But the popularity continued to wane, and now its come to this." - SLAM Magazine, Issue #131

To put the above excerpt into context, "this" refers to an email message SLAM received from And 1 about its corporate decision to indefinitely suspend the And 1 Mixtape Tour in lieu of focusing on philanthropic inititaves.

Honorable? Yes. Implicative? I think so.

There's no questioning the economy's restraining impacts on executing a multi-city streetball tour. However, you don't have to go far to notice that streetball's verve has worn off. This was inevitible. Packaging a pure and artful endeavor into a traveling sideshow was bound to overrun its already limited shelf life, and leave behind a dark cloud over the local run.

But clouds, too, shall pass. Much like the overall U.S. economy, streetball's appeal is cyclical in nature. We all knew the housing bubble was going to burst when the average Joe, with no money or collateral, was scoffing up and flipping investment properties. The same pattern existed in streetball. The day I heard a fifty-year-old white guy from the 'burbs - who never picked up a ball in his life - start spouting off streetball monikers like "Spyda," "Escalade," and "The Professor," I knew the end was near.

Don't start writing streetball's eulogy just yet. Corporate interests may have receded and the sport's secondary fan base may have tapered off, but don't you think that's a good thing? In my opinion, the essence of playground basketball resides in its purity and passion from the niche-based junkies and not from TV contracts or mixtapes.

Streetball is not dead. It's in a recession, predictably a drawn out one, and it was rooted by greed and self-interest.

Sound familiar?

Peter Robert Casey is a basketball scribe and social media playmaker. He hosts a basketball blog at and his work has been featured on SLAMonline, ESPN The Magazine online, and You can also connect with PRC on Twitter.

Miami is expected to let Moon go to Cleveland in Cleveland all-in approach this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

Recently, the Cleveland Cavaliers signed Miami HEAT's restricted free agent Jamario Moon to an offer sheet. The offer sheet, according to sources, for 3-years and $10 million dollars. As a result, the HEAT will have a hard time matching the offer sheet.

The HEAT are targeting Carlos Boozer via a trade and/or former HEAT forward Lamar Odom this summer. While the HEAT have interest in adding one or both players, it's going to cost them a huge amount to keep sign and keep them. As a result, the HEAT will not have enough money to re-sign Moon. Plus, the very big question will loom over the whole city of Miami for the rest of the year, as they still have to decide what will happen with superstar Dwyane Wade.

The HEAT already have three small forwards currently on the team for next season, in James Jones, Yakhouba Diawara and Dorell Wright. If they land Odom, he will play some small forward, too. Last year's first-round pick Michael Beasley has been trying to expand to a small forward role from a power role in the paint.

Moon only made $712,000 last season, splitting time with the Toronto Raptors and HEAT. The HEAT held a $1 million dollar qualifying offer, which only a part was guaranteed. He is about to strike it big if he goes to Cleveland in this deal.

Moon signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors on July 10th, 2007 after he had impressed the coaching staff in a three-day mini-camp held by the club after previously making stops bouncing around lower-level basketball associations. Moon was traded in February with Jermaine O'Neal to the HEAT for Shawn Marion. Marion is no longer a member of the Raptors, as he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks this off-season.

The 76ers are expected to extend an offer sheet to Raymond Felton soon

By Anthony Caruso III

With the Philadelphia 76ers expected to lose out on the André Miller sweepstakes, they are expected to turn their attention to another point guard. The 76ers have not made a splash in the free-agent market just yet. Before the start of free agency, they acquired Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans, which is the only move they've made this off-season.

The 76ers are expected to make an offer sheet contract offer to Charlotte Bobcats restricted free-agent Raymond Felton. The Bobcats will have 7-days to match any contract made to Felton. He is looking for a long-term deal in the neighborhood of 5-years. His recent meeting with the Bobcats did not go well.

Felton has spent the last four-years with the Bobcats. But the Bobcats have a replacement in place for when Felton leaves, when they drafted D. J. Augustin last summer. Augustin was the 9th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He averaged nearly 12 points in his rookie season.

Felton is coming off a season, where he averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.4 blocks in 82 games. He averaged a career-high 14.4 points, 3 rebounds, career-high 7.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 79 games two seasons ago. Miller averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 82 games.

Adding Felton will give the 76ers a veteran point guard to replace Miller in the starting lineup. A starting lineup that will feature Felton, Willie Green, André Igoudala, Elton Brand, and Samuel Dalembért. That's of course if the 76ers do not move Brand or Dalembért, as both players are on the block.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Cavs have interest in signing Barnes, who Shaq is trying to get to sign with Cleveland

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still in need of some more athletic swingman. The Cavs recently signed Anthony Parker to a two-year deal worth nearly $6 million dollars. They are looking to add one or two more swingman.

Matt Barnes continues to be mentioned as a potential player the Cavs have interest in. Barnes is a well-traveled journeymen and will be looking for his 7th NBA team since 2003 after starting out in the NBDL in 2002. New Cavs center Shaquille O'Neal is trying to get Barnes to sign with Cleveland. Both O'Neal and Barnes were in Phoenix last season.

Even though Barnes has bounced around from team-to-team, he saw his best season last year in Terry Porter/Alvin Gentry's offense. Barnes averaged a career-high 10.2 points last season. He also averaged 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 77 games. He's spent the past three seasons in up-tempo offenses with the Golden State Warriors and the Suns.

The Cavs still have the majority of their mid-level exception to spend on free agents. Parker's deal only took up some of their mid-level exception. They have nearly $4 million dollars left of their mid-level exception to spend on free agents.

With the signing of Barnes, it will give the Cavs another good three-pointer shooter. Last season, the Cavaliers, as a team, shot 39.3% from three-point range. Barnes shot 34.3% from three last season. Parker shot 39% from three.

Mo Williams led all Cavaliers with 43.6% from three, while Delonté West chipped in with 39.9% from three. Daniel Gibson shot 38.2% and Tarence Kinsey shot 38.9%, as some of the best three-point shooters on the team. Former Cavs Wally Szczerbiak shot 41.1% from three and Sasha Pavlović shot 41% from three, but they are not expected to return for the 2009-10 season.

The Knicks want to secure even more cap space by trading Curry and Jeffries

By Anthony Caruso III

Everybody knows the New York Knicks have a plan for 2010. Head Coach Mike D'Antoni and GM Donnie Walsh have mentioned this play ever since their 2008 press conferences when they've both come from Phoenix and Indiana, respectively. The Knicks are attempting to acquire even more cap space to spend next summer.

The Knicks would love to trade both Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries. Both of these players have contracts past the 2010 summer – both player options for the 2010-11 seasons. They've tried to trade Curry many times over the past several years since Isiah Thomas acquired him from the Chicago Bulls.

They were rumored back at the trade deadline to send both Curry and Jeffries to the Charlotte Bobcats. In the reported deal, the Knicks would have received Boris Diaw and Raja Bell, both players played under D'Antoni in Phoenix, in the deal. However, the deal did not happen.

Curry had a lot to deal with over the past year. He had to deal with the murder death of his ex-girlfriend, who is the mother of his son, which happened in January 2009 in Chicago. He also missed the majority of the season for numerous reasons, which is why he only appeared in 3 games last season. Jeffries played in 56 games last season.

Curry is due to make $10.5 million for the 2009-10 season. He has a player option for $11.2 million the following season, which he is expected to pick up. Jeffries is due to make $6.4 million for the 2009-10 season. He has a player option for $6.8 million the following season.

The Knicks hope to get expiring contacts in return for both players, if they can't acquire Diaw and Bell in the before-mentioned move. The Knicks want to have enough cap space to sign potentially two superstar free agents next summer. LeBron James is their main target, while Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar'e Stoudemire, Steve Nash, among others, have been mentioned.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Kings are looking at bringing back Gooden for the veteran's minimum after he played in 1 game last year

By Anthony Caruso III

The Sacramento Kings are a very young team. They have many players that are in the first couple years of their playing careers. As a result, there are going to be some growing pains.

But the Kings are hoping to add a veteran front-court player. Kenny Thomas, a power forward, is the oldest player on the team with 10-years experience. They are hoping to sign a veteran for the veteran's minimum.

The Kings have nearly $6 million this summer to sign on free agents. Their cap space increased to $6 million when they decided to not to pick up Ike Diogu's $3.9 qualifying offer, which made him a free agent.

Drew Gooden, a well-traveled power forward, has been mentioned as the veteran front-court player the Kings are seeking. Gooden is seeking his 7th team since being the 4th overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft out of Kansas. He last played for the San Antonio Spurs during the latter part of the 2008-09 season.

Gooden started off the season with the Chicago Bulls. In February 2009, he was traded to the Sacramento Kings in a six-player trade. He was bought out on March 1st after playing 1 game with the Kings and then signed with the Spurs on March 3rd. He played in 19 games with the Spurs in the regular season, where he averaged 9.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 0.2 steals, and 0.2 blocks. He also played in 4 games in the playoffs with the Spurs.

Gooden has previously played for the Memphis Grizzlies (02-03), Orlando Magic (03-04), Cleveland Cavaliers (04-08), Chicago Bulls (08-09), before going to the Kings and Spurs. Gooden has only appeared in 82 games just once in his career, which just happened to be his first-year in Cleveland. He averaged a career-high 14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.9 blocks that season.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Whisenant returns to the sidelines today after a 2-1/2 year hiatus

By Anthony Caruso III

The Sacramento Monarchs recently relieved Jenny Boucek of her head coaching duties. However, they turned to the past to try to rejuvenate their past success. Boucek replaced John Whisenant, the Monarchs GM, and now, Whisenant is going back to being the GM and Head Coach.

Later today, Whisenant will be coaching his first game with the Monarchs since the end of the 2006 season. The last game he coached with the Monarchs was in the 2006 WNBA Finals, before losing to the Detroit Shock. Whisenant will making his 2009 coaching debut against the Phoenix Mercury in Phoenix.

Whisenant is the most successful coach in Monarchs history. He became the Monarchs head coach in 2003, replacing former coach Maura McHugh. He guided the Monarchs to their only WNBA Championship in 2005 over the Connecticut Sun – which is the first title for Kings/Monarchs owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. He was named the 2005 WNBA Coach of the Year.

The Monarchs are currently 3-10 this season. The veteran team with such leaders as DeMya Walker, Kara Lawson, Nicole Powell, and Tisha Penichiero. The Monarchs only have two second-year players, in Laura Harper and Crystal Kelly, and one rookie, in Courtney Paris. The three wins came against the Mercury, Minnesota Lynx, and the Chicago Sky. The Monarchs even lost both pre-season games, too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Turner recently interviews for the Wolves head coaching position

By Anthony Caruso III

Recently, Elston Turner interviewed for the Minnesota Timberwolves head coaching job. He is one of several candidates to interview for the position after Kevin McHale was let go back in June. It is unknown if Turner is a top candidate for the job.

Turner previously interviewed twice with the Phoenix Suns last summer when Mike D'Antoni left for the New York Knicks head coaching job in May 2008. He was not hired by the Suns, as Suns GM Steve Kerr went with his friend Terry Porter. But Porter was fired at the mid-way point in February, before he was replaced by Alvin Gentry, who runs a fast-paced offense like D'Antoni does.

Turner has worked as a member of the Houston Rockets coaching staff under Rick Adelman since 2007. Turner previously worked with Adelman in Sacramento, where Turner spent 6 years as an assistant coach. Turner also coached 4-years with the Portland TrailBlazers, too.

Turner was a second-round pick (43rd overall) in the 1981 draft by the Dallas Mavericks. He played 8 seasons in the NBA from 1981-1989 for the Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, and the Chicago Bulls. He also played and coached in the CBA, including a player-coach role with the Chicago Rockers. He also played professionally in Europe, as well.

It's a wait and see approach with André Miller

By Anthony Caruso III

The Philadelphia 76ers have to make a big decision in the near future. Do they want to keep their stance of offering André Miller a one-year deal, or do they want to break their position and give Miller want he wants? Miller wants a multi-year deal.

Miller wants a 5-year deal for more than the mid-level exception. Miller made nearly $10 million dollars in the final year of his contract last season. However, the 76ers are only willing to give Miller a one-year deal for $9 million.

The Sixers do not want to sign the aging Miller to a long-term deal, because they already have two future point guards in place. Louis Williams, a former first-round pick, is a year away from running the show full-time and 2009 first-round draft pick Jrue Holiday is still learning in the summer league after playing just one-season at UCLA. When Holiday signs his rookie contract, both Holiday and Williams are going to be signed for the next several seasons.

Miller was acquired from the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson in December 2006. He didnot want to leave Denver at the time, but he found a home in Philadelphia for the past several seasons. But it's a waiting game to see if he will return to Philadelphia, as he's been rumored to go to Miami, New York, among other teams.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Odom will be forced to take way less than he had hoped for going into the free agent market to stay with LA

By Anthony Caruso III

Lamar Odom had hoped he would hit it big in free agency. Now, the only way he will hit it big is through a sign-and-trade. The Oklahoma City Thunder is the only team with significant cap space, but are not willing to pay a veteran a large amount of money, especially with their young stars entering free agency in the coming years.

Without a sign-and-trade, which the Lakers are not willing to do to my knowledge, Odom will have to take less cash than he thought he would be getting when he first entered the market. The Lakers have less money to give Odom after signing Ron Artest to a 5-year, $33 million dollar deal last week. Odom can now only get around $7 million per season if he re-signs with the Lakers after thinking he would get $11 million or more.

Odom is one of the young Lakers big-men that they have under 30 years old. Odom is the oldest of the three, as he will be 30-years-old on November 6th. Pau Gasol just turned 29 on July 6th, while Andrew Bynum will turn 22 on October 22nd. But Gasol is signed through the summer of 2011, while Bynum has a team option for the 2012-13 season.

Odom was acquired from the Miami HEAT in 2004 with Caron Butler and Brian Grant for future Hall-of-Famer Shaquille O'Neal. After the trade, Odom, at times, had a hard time fitting into Phil Jackson's famous triangle offense, but he's adjusted to it better in recent years. He recently won his first NBA Championship when the Lakers won their 15th NBA Championship in June. If he re-signs with the Lakers, he could win many more.

Iverson signing with Memphis expected this week

By Anthony Caruso III

The Memphis Grizzlies are in one of the music capitals of the World, along with Nashville. While the Memphis has so many stars in the music world, they haven't had a superstar type player ever play for their 8-year-old NBA team. Sure, they've had the likes of Mike Bibby, Michael Dickerson, Bryant Reeves, Jason Williams, among others, to play for the Vancouver/Memphis franchise, but those are more role players than stars.

Even though Allen Iverson has fall off in recent years, he's still a superstar with all the attention he gets. Iverson's agent has been in contact with the Grizzlies about playing in Memphis after he was offered a 1-year, $5 million dollar deal for Iverson. This signing is expected to take place sometime this week if everything goes according to plan. Also, Memphis is the only team that has shown interest in Iverson.

Just 3 games into this past season, the Denver Nuggets traded Iverson to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups with other players involved in the package to make the salaries work. The Nuggets to better by making this deal, as they went to the Western Conference Finals, while Detroit got swept in the first-round of the playoffs. Billups averaged in 12.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 2 games with Detroit and 17.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 77 games with Denver. Iverson averaged 18.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks in 3 games with Denver and 17.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.6 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 54 games.

Iverson will be going to a young team, lead by young stars Rudy Gay and O. J. Mayo. So, he will not be asked to do a lot, in terms of scoring. He could even be asked to come off the bench, a role he didn't want to accept in Detroit when he was platooning with Richard "Rip" Hamilton, before he got hurt and missed the rest of the season.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Roy hopes to strick it big this summer with a contract extension

By Anthony Caruso III

Brandon Roy of the Portland TrailBlazers is a young superstar. But he hasn't yet to get the superstar status deal that many players of his stature get. He's hoping to get that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony type deal.

The 2007 Rookie of the Year is the face of the franchise in Portland. He is expected to make $3.9 million during the 2009-10 season. He has a $5.2 million qualifying offer for the following season. But the Blazers are expected to talk to Roy this summer about a contract extension.

Roy might do what James, Wade, and Anthony did in the summer of 2006. All three of those players, along with Toronto Raptors Chris Bosh, all decided to go for a shorter 3-year deal for nearly $50 million, instead of the longer 5-or-6-year deals for more than a $100 million. They are all expected to hit it big in the 2010 free agent market.

Roy was the 6th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. Shortly thereafter, he was traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who drafted him, to the Portland TrailBlazers for Randy Foye for one another. Since that time, he has accomplished many accolades, like the before-mentioned 2007 Rookie of the Year, 2008 and 2009 All-Star selections, 2007 All-NBA All-Rookie First-Team, and was named to the All-NBA Second-Team this past season; the first Blazer to make the All-NBA team since the 1991-92 season.

Roy was co-captains with LaMarcus Aldridge during the 2008-09 season. Both players were acquired during the 2006 NBA draft. He also finished 9th in the MVP voting last season, with 1 4th-place vote and four 5th-place vote for 7 points.

He averaged 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 36.9 minutes last season in 78 starts. The 22.6 points were the most points he averaged in a season in his career after previously averaging 16.8 points and 19.1 points in the previous two seasons. He averaged 26.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks in 39.7 minutes in 6 playoff games, before losing in the first-round to the Houston Rockets.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spurs will have to decide the future of Michael Finley

By Anthony Caruso III

With the San Antonio Spurs recently acquiring Richard Jefferson from the Milwaukee Bucks, the Spurs have to decide if Michael Finley will return, even though he will not be a free agent until 2010. Finley now will be a back-up if he does return to the Alamo.

If he does return, it will likely be off the bench. Finley hasn't come off the bench since the 06-07 season. He came off the bench for 66 games that season.

The Spurs basically stole Jefferson away from the Bucks after they decided to cut salary. Jefferson was acquired for Fabricio Oberto, Kurt Thomas, and Bruce Bowen. Thomas has a chance to stick around with the Bucks, while Oberto is gone and Bowen will be soon.

Jefferson started all 82 games in 08-09. He averaged 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks. Finley averaged 9.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 08-09. Finley appeared in 81 games, with 77 starts.

The 36-year-old forward came to the Spurs in 2005 after being released by the Dallas Mavericks. He opted to sign with the Spurs over the Miami HEAT that summer. He averaged 10.1 points in 05-06, 9.0 points in 06-07, 10.1 points in 07-08, and 9.7 points last season.

Even though Hill has offers from the Knicks and Celtics, he is likely to re-sign with the Suns

By Anthony Caruso III

While the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics have made offers to Grant Hill, it is very likely that Hill will turn down those offers. He is expected to sign another one-year deal with an option for the following season. Basically for the same amount of money that he signed for during the summer of 2007.

Hill made $1.83 million during the 07-08 season. He adapted well to the up=tempo style of offense that Mike D'Antoni ran, averaging double-figures as a key role in the early parts of the 07-08 season. In 70 games, with 68 starts, he averaged 13.1 points, 5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 0.9 blocks.

The 36-year-old forward made $1.97 million, in a player option, during the 08-09 season. Hill played in all 82 games for the first time in his career, while he averaged 12 points, 4.9 points, 2.3 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.7 blocks during the regular season. He scored 27 points and 10 rebounds in the final game of the Suns regular season.

Hill moved his family from Orlando to Phoenix in the summer of 2007, after previously moving his family from Detroit to Orlando in 2000. He has previously stated that he would retire if he didn't re-sign a contract with Phoenix.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cleveland is interested in former Celtic Leon Powe

By Anthony Caruso III

While the Cleveland Cavaliers lost out on signing some of the marquee free-agents this off-season after teaming Shaquille O'Neal with LeBron James, the Cavaliers are interested in signing Leon Powe. Powe was not retained by the Boston Celtics, even after being a restricted free agent. With with Rasheed Wallace going to Boston, it has basically sealed Powe's fate as the odd-man out.

Starting in place of the injured Kevin Garnett on March 13th, 2009, he scored a career-high 30 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high 5 blocks against the Memphis Grizzlies. But he would spend the rest of the season trying to recover from a right knee strain. He would return in time for the playoffs, but tore his ACL and meniscus in his left knee in Game 2 of the first-round match-up with the Chicago Bulls. He had successful surgery to repair the injury on May 5th.

Powe, who is expected to miss the first few games of the NBA season, would come to Cleveland and compete for the starting power forward position. Cleveland is likely to lose both of their power forwards from last season through free agency. Joe Smith and Anderson Varejão are both free agents and are not likely to return.

Powe was making nearly $800 thousand last season. It's likely he will not make much more than that after his injury. He was looking to make more than that if he did not get hurt.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Bucks are not expected to keep Bruce Bowen

By Anthony Caruso III

The Milwaukee Bucks are not expected to keep Bruce Bowen. Bowen was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night for Richard Jefferson. Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto were sent to Milwaukee for Jefferson.

Bowen is expected to be released by August 1st. By releasing Bowen by August 1st, the Bucks will avoid paying Bowen the guaranteed $2 million portion of his contract for next season. Bowen has a $4 million salary for next season.

Before being released, the Bucks are shopping Bowen around. There will not be many suitors for a 38-year-old small forward, who has just played off the bench last season. He appeared in 80 games last season. The Bucks will hope to get a similar deal that get got for Oberto when they shipped him to Detroit for Amir Johnson.

The Spurs are not expected to bring back Bowen if he is released. Bowen might be forced to retire, because it will be hard for him to find a job in the league, again.

Nash might be traded to Portland for Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, among others

By Anthony Caruso III

The Phoenix Suns are more willing than ever before to explode and start over. First, Shaquille O’Neal was moved. There have been rumored about Amar’e Stoudemire being moved for several weeks. Now, there are rumors about the heart and soul of the team, Steve Nash, being moved.

According to a source, the Blazers have offered Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, one or two more players and potentially a first-round pick, to make salaries work to Phoenix for Steve Nash. Phoenix would like to rebuild and get younger fast. Both Blake and Outlaw had their options picked up earlier this off-season.

It is unknown if Nash would like to play for Portland. Nash resides in New York during the off-season, which just happens to be the same city that former coach Mike D’Antoni moved to last year. D’Antoni coached the Suns for several years when Nash returned to the Valley of the Sun in 2004 after playing for Dallas for 8 years. Nash has said that he would like to play for D’Antoni again, which would likely come in New York, if he doesn’t get traded away or re-signs with Phoenix.

Nash is only under contract for the 2009-10 season. Nash is due to make $13.1 million next season. He could be one of the most historic free agent in the summer of 2010.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

With Hedo signing with Toronto, Marion likely won't be returning to the Raptors

By Anthony Caruso III

With Hedo Turkoglu expected to sign with the Toronto Raptors after backing out of a deal with the Portland TrailBlazers, it appears that it will end the Shawn Marion era North of the Border. Turkoglu is expected to sign a 5-year, $52 mill deal with the Raptors next week. Both Turkoglu and Marion play the same small forward position.

Marion was telling his friends and league executives that he believed he was going to stay in Toronto for the long-term. Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo picked Marion with the 9th overall pick in 1999 and acquired Marion in a February 2009 deal for Jermaine O’Neal. He would spend less than 6 months with the Raptors.

With the Suns going back to the Mike D’Antoni offense under Alvin Gentry, Marion could return to the Valley of the Sun. Marion spent nearly 9 years in Phoenix, before being traded to Miami in a package for Shaquille O’Neal. He would have to take way less than he made last season, expected in the range of $17 million, and take a little more than the mid-level exception from a game. He could get around $7-8 mill per season, if he’s lucky.

Lee won't be signing with the Thunder or the Grizzlies like previously expected

By Anthony Caruso III

Many people thought David Lee would sign with either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Memphis Grizzlies heading into free agency. Well, now, it appears that he won’t be signing with either one of those teams. Lee is asking for more than $10 million dollars a season.

The Thunder do not want to sign Lee, because they are thinking about the future. The Thunder will have to re-sign Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, and Russell Westbrook, their core group of young stars, over the next two summers. Durant is expected to get the max, while Green and Westbrook is expected to get around $7-10 mill per season.

And with the Grizzlies acquiring Zack Randolph in a trade for Quentin Richardson, the Grizzlies have no need to sign Lee, another power forward. Randolph’s trade will not be official until next season when signings and trades can become official. This will be Randolph’s third team since the beginning of last season — Knicks, Clippers, and Grizzlies.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wallace is going to be a hot commodity in the free agent market by contending teams

By Anthony Caruso III

Rasheed Wallace is going to be hot commodity in this free agent market. All the top contenders are likely going to go after his services. Those teams consider Wallace an asset to help them win a championship next season.

The San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics are hotly pursuing the free agent power forward. Both teams already have Hall-of-Fame power forwards in place, with Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. But Wallace would be a role player off the bench.

Wallace has been receiving texts from Garnett in the past couple of days about potentially signing with Boston. Wallace made nearly $14 million this past season, but would likely get $10 million per season in the free agent market. Wallace would also likely be leaving behind a starting job, too.

Wallace has previously said that he would retire if he did not get a contract worth at least $8 million per season. The Cavaliers said they would be willing to give Wallace a 2-year, $20 mill deal, but that was before Shaq was acquired. The Celtics would like to sign Wallace to equal the recent moves by the Cavs and Magic to bring in Shaq and Vince Carter.

Allen Iverson is going to have a hard time to find a job

By Anthony Caruso III

Allen Iverson is one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. But it’s going to be very hard for him to find a job for next season. Not even his old coach Larry Brown wants him.

Iverson averaged a career-low 17.4 points per game in 54 games with Detroit. He appeared in 54 games with 50 starts last season after being acquired for Chauncey Billups, among others. The Iverson trade destroyed the Pistons chemistry and called in-house problems. He is also coming off of a leg injury, which called him to miss several games.

Iverson is no longer the superstar player that he was in Philadelphia for nearly 12 years, where he appeared in nearly 700 games (697) as a member of the 76ers, but the team is not willing to bring him back. Iverson made $20,840,625 last season in the final year of his contract. He will not get anywhere’s near that in this free agent market.

Iverson did not like coming off the bench last season in Detroit. And he may not like it if he becomes a bench player again, even if it’s making a big salary.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Jazz are likely to have the same team as last year, except for a few minor chances

By Anthony Caruso III

The Utah Jazz are likely to have the same team as last year, except for a few minor changes with their bench players. It is likely that Carlos Boozer decides that he will stay with the Jazz and not opt-out, like was expected. He was expected to request a maximum deal from the Jazz or another team, but that will not happen until next summer now. Paul Millsap, the Jazz’s potential future power forward, is expected to request a long-term deal from the Jazz worth nearly $10 million per season. Kyle Korver decided to stay with the Jazz as well, with the Utah Jazz likely to work out new deals with Mehmet Okur and Ronny Price over the next few days.

Monday, June 29, 2009

McDyess will re-sign with Detroit in free agency, his 5th straight season in Detroit

By Anthony Caruso III

The Detroit Pistons want to remove their “gangsta” image, with Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson leaving the nest. But many familiar faces are still going to remain on the team. Antonio McDyess, who was traded to Denver last November, returned to the team after a month and is expected to re-sign a contract with the Pistons in free agency. He doesn’t want to leave Detroit after being apart of the franchise for 5 straight years.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rasheed Wallace won't land in Cleveland

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a big fan of Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is a free-agent-to-be within the next two weeks, but don’t look for Wallace to land in Cleveland, even if Shaq and LeBron wants to bring him onboard. “Yes, but Rasheed is not a Danny Ferry type of guy,” a source said. “Plus Z (Zydrunas Ilguakas) is still pissed at him for that elbow a few years ago.”

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shaq gives the Cavaliers the big body they need for potential playoff match-ups in 2010

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to beef up their lineup, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. They acquired Shaq for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, and the 46th overall pick in the draft. Shaq gives the Cavaliers a big body to guard Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard in eventual playoff match-ups. And it also gives Cleveland the immediate shot at winning the 2010 Championship, which would likely save LeBron from leaving during next summer.

Expect a lot of player movement before and after the draft

By Anthony Caruso III

With the recent trade of Shaquille O’Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers not even an hour ago, we could see many players moved before and eventually after the draft. The team that could be most active is the Los Angeles Clippers. They are looking to trade big men Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zack Randolph within the next day or so. The Clippers would like to move one or two of those bigs to make room for Al Thornton and Blake Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick, in the starting lineup. Many other teams are looking to deal, too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Bucks want to move Redd by the draft or this off-season

By Anthony Caruso III

The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to go in a new direction. The Bucks, who have traded big-name players in the past, are looking to move Michael Redd, who missed the majority of last season with a leg injury, possibly even by the draft Thursday night. Redd is due to make a little more than $17 million this upcoming season, with a $18.3 million option for the following season. Many teams are interested in Redd, including the Cavs, even know he’s coming back from a serious knee injury.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hawks want to acquire Amar'e Stoudemire, but it's going to be hard to do

By Anthony Caruso III

The Atlanta Hawks want to acquire Amar'e Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns. However, the Hawks only have two potential trade options to acquire Amare. One is to trade Amar'e straight up for former Suns guard Joe Johnson, who left Phoenix several years ago for Boris Diaw. Another option is to trade Josh Smith, Speedy Claxton and Acie Law, which is not equal value for Amar'e.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Flynn could be drafted by the Sacramento Kings and start right away

By Anthony Caruso III

Former Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn is flying up the mock drafts in recent days. Flynn could be the second point guard draft, behind Alex Rubio. Rubio is expected to go within the Top 3 picks. The Sacramento Kings has interest in Flynn, who could select him with the 4th overall pick. Currently, the Kings have Beno Udrich has their starting point guard, who has been a career back up for the majority of his NBA career. Flynn could come in and start right away like Mario Chalmers did with the HEAT last season.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The 76ers are hoping the 17th pick turns into a star, like the recent results show

By Anthony Caruso III

The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping that they get a star with the 17th overall pick. The 76ers are hoping that either Gerald Henderson Jr., the son of Gerald Henderson Sr., who used to play for the Sixers, or Eric Maynor. Maynor would remind many Sixers fans of Allen Iverson, as he can create his own shot. In recent years, the 17th overall pick has yielded these results: Josh Smith (2004-Atlanta), Danny Granger (2005-Indiana), Shawne Williams (2006-Indiana), Sean Williams (2007-New Jersey), and Roy Hibbert (2008-Toronto, traded to Indiana).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If the Cavs acquire Shaq, Big Z will be his back up

By Anthony Caruso III

If the Cleveland Cavaliers opt for a trade that involves Shaquille O'Neal over one that involves Vince Carter, the Cavaliers will keep Zydrunas Ilguaskas, even though he has an option for next season. According to a source, "Z isn't going anywhere. If they acquire Shaq, Z becomes his back up off the bench." It worked in 2006 with Shaq being backed up by Alonzo Mourning, when the Miami HEAT won their first-ever Championship. So, it could work in Cleveland during the 2009-10 season.

Friday, June 19, 2009

McHale to Boston? It's very likely

By Anthony Caruso III

Kevin McHale was recently let go as Timberwolves head coach. But he could be joining a new NBA team in a front office role very soon. McHale is good friends with Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics, and used to play for the Celtics during their Championship years in the '80's, could return to Boston. McHale and Ainge completed the blockbuster deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston, McHale and Garnett would be reunited with this move. McHale was the Timberwolves' GM from 1995 to 2008, including a spint as interim head coach several years ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Rockets are looking to move McGrady

By Anthony Caruso III

The Houston Rockets have started to look for trade partners for Tracy McGrady. McGrady is due to make $23.2 million next season in the final year of his contract, which makes him a free agent in the summer of 2010. But McGrady is coming off an injury, which will cause teams to pass on his services. The New York Knicks have often been rumored to be interested in McGrady and his contract, because they have interest in clearing enough money to make a run at one, potentially two, superstar players in 2010. LeBron James is supposed to be one of those players.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lakers' parade is scheduled for today

By Anthony Caruso III

The Los Angeles Lakers are just hours away from their parade in Los Angeles. The parade will take place on 2 pm today, eastern time, on ESPNEWS and other local Los Angeles TV stations. But the Lakers had to get donors to put up money to make this parade happen, because California is struggling with money. It is expected that the parade will cost $1 million dollars or more.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NBA trade unusually quite this time of the year

By Anthony Caruso III

Leading up to the NBA draft, you usually hear about many potential trades that could occur before or after the draft. But this year, there's really only one trade that has been talked about prior to the draft. That proposed deal would send Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlović, which was previously talked about at the trade deadline. The current economic downturn will affect teams from making trades for overpaid players leading up to the draft, after the draft, and during the off-season.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fisher's 4th title gives him the active lead for Finals appearances

By Anthony Caruso III

Derek Fisher’s 31 career Finals game was memorable, as it was his 4th NBA Championship. Fisher is the active leader with the most Finals games played, surpassing Shaquille O’Neal, who has appeared in 30 career Finals games. Fisher has now won titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nelson is expected to start over Alston in Game 5 of the Finals

By Anthony Caruso III

Jameer Nelson will likely start as the point guard for the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of the Finals. Nelson will be replacing Rafer Alson, who will come off the bench, a role he is familiar with as a back-up for many of his NBA seasons. Nelson played the majority of the 4th quarter and overtime in Game 4 of the Finals. This would his first start since February 2nd, 2009 against the Dallas Mavericks, which is the game he hurt his shoulder.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Harangody is expected to return to Notre Dame for his senior year

By Anthony Caruso III

Luke Harangody is expected to return to school at the University of Notre Dame for his senior year. Harangody had until Monday to withdraw his name from this month's NBA draft. Harangody lead his team in scoring this past season with 23.3 points per game, nearly 8 points more than the second leading scorer. The last Notre Dame player draft was Ron Rowan by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 3rd round of the 1986 draft, but Chris Quinn, who plays for the Miami HEAT, went undrafted and signed with the Heat in 2006, where he's been ever since as a quality role player.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lakers win Game 4 of the Finals

By Anthony Caruso III

The Lakers have just won Game 4 of the NBA Finals. It is their first road win since Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals. And the Lakers are just one win away from the Championship. It would be Kobe's 4th Championship and Phil Jackson's 10th Championship.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reggie Theus wants the USC job, but may not even get an interview

By Anthony Caruso III

Reggie Theus would like to coach the USC Trojans, a position that has been vacated earlier this week when Tim Floyd stepped down. But he may not even get an interview with USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett for the position. Theus used to coach New Mexico State for two seasons, before coaching the Sacramento Kings for nearly a year and a half. He has not coached since being fired by the Kings in December.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jeff Van Gundy is USC's top choice

By Anthony Caruso III

Jeff Van Gundy is the leading candidate for the now vacant USC men's basketball head coach position. Van Gundy has coached the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets in the NBA for nearly 10-years. But he hasn't coached since 2007; however, he's been working for ABC/ESPN as an NBA analyst since that time.

Being a decorated college player doesn't guarantee Hansbrough will get drafted

By Anthony Caruso III

Tyler Hansbrough is one of the most decorated college players in recent years. When many college star go into the NBA after a few years, Hansbrough decided to stay all four years in college, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will be drafted. Some media reports have Hansbrough going in the second round, while others have him not even drafted.

Hansbrough, who guided North Carolina to the National Championship, will be remembered by his greety play with the Tar Heels. Also, he will be remembered as the Tar Heels all-time leading scorer. He broke the record that was previously set by Phil Ford, who is an assistant coach on the current Charlotte Bobcats team.

Hansbrough has already decided that he will only work out for certain teams leading up to the draft. This could be one of the very few bad decisions that Hansbrough has made, which hasn’t been a lot. Hansbrough will probably be a Brian Cardinal, Mark Madsen, Anderson Varejao type of player if he makes it in the league.

He will see some of his teammates go higher than him in the draft. Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson are both expected to be mid-to-late first round selections. Even though, Hansbrough was the heart and soul of the team and averaged more points than both players at 20.7 points per game.

Even if he doesn’t make it, Hansbrough could possibly go into coaching, if he would like to take that route. And if he coaches at North Carolina, he could always look up and see his jersey in the rafters to remember his college career.

Yao Ming will likely ask for a contract extension this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

The Houston Rockets are facing the biggest question mark of all the NBA teams this summer. And the player just happens to be on their team.

Yao Ming, the 2002 No. 1 overall pick, is eligible for a contract extension this summer. He is due $16.3 million next season. And he holds a $17.6 million player option for the following season, which he will likely be erased if he gets a contract extension.

Ming will likely ask for a max deal. He could get a contract in the neighborhood of $100 million over 6 years. And with a contract extension in Houston, it will likely help his endorsement deals, as well.

Ming has been often injured throughout his career in Houston. He has missed a total of 93 regular season games from the 2004-05 season due to injury. And he’s currently recovering from a broken leg from the playoffs, where he missed the final four games of the Conference semi-finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Even with Tracy McGrady, Ming has been the focal point of the Rockets offense since the 2002-03 season. Ming averaged 19.1 points this past season, which was his 5th highest in his career. He averaged 25.0 points during the 06-07 season in just 48 games.

Lawson was the player that best helped his draft stock through the NCAA tournament

By Anthony Caruso III

Ty Lawson was the player that best helped his draft stock through the NCAA tournament. Earlier this season, he was playing to be drafted late in the first round, at best. But, now, after his performance in the tournament, he could very well end up late in the lottery.

Lawson is arguable the be 6th best point guard coming into the draft. Many scouting reports have Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, and Jonny Flynn ahead of Lawson. Those same reports have Lawson compared to T. J. Ford in the best case scenario and Jamaal Tinsley in the worst case scenario.

Lawson has been a dynamic player at every level so far that he’s competed at. His poise, court vision, and speed will help him when he is drafted. He’s a short point guard at just 5’11, but Earl Boykins, who is just 5’5, played in the NBA for 10 years, so Lawson can do it.

Lawson will be the first Tar Heel point guard drafted since Raymond Felton, who plays for the Charlotte Bobcats. Felton was drafted in 2005 when North Carolina had 5 first round draft picks. This year, North Carolina could potentially have three first round draft picks in Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, and Lawson.

Last year, North Carolina did not have a single player drafted in NBA draft. The last player drafted was Reyshawn Terry in 2007. He was drafted with the 44th overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the second round.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ellington is projected as a late first rounder or early second rounder

By Anthony Caruso III

Wayne Ellington is preparing for this month’s NBA draft. Last year, he entered into the NBA draft, but withdrawn his name a few weeks before the draft. He would go back to college and help North Carolina to the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Ellington has signed with Arn Tellem to represent him in the NBA. Tellem represents many NBA players, like Tracy McGrady, Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose, Ben Wallace, among others. Ellington’s college career was sealed when he received the Final Four MOP (Most Outstanding Player) Award after his stellar play in Detroit.

Ellington averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 30.4 minutes this season. He averaged 14.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.26 assists, 0.93 steals, and 0.13 blocks in his college career at Carolina.

He is expected to be a late first round pick or early second round pick. But that could all change if one team falls in love with him higher than that, like the Kings did with Jason Thompson last year. He is the latest in a long line of explosive Tar Heel guards to play in the NBA.

Even though he’s 6’5 and 202 pounds, he’s going to be a little undersized in the NBA. Shooting guards are around 6’6, 6’7 in the NBA these days. He will also need to improve his ball handling and defense to stay in the NBA for a long time.

Artest would like to stay in Houston instead of leaving through free agency

By Anthony Caruso III

Ron Artest is a free agent this summer. But if Artest had his way, he wouldn’t leave the Rockets organization. He would probably take less money to stay with Houston.

After the horrific brawl in November 2004, Rick Adelman, the Rockets head coach, gave Artest a second chance to forget those dreadful actions. Artest played a year under Adelman in Sacramento. This was the second year that Artest played under Adelman and his first year in Houston.

Artest and the rest of the Rockets were able to beat the Portland Trailblazers in the first round of the playoffs. They beat the Blazers 4 games to 2. And it was the first time that Houston won a playoff series since 1997.

After Yao Ming was injured in the Conference semi-finals, Artest and the rest of the Rockets were counted on more. Artest averaged 17.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 35.5 minutes during the regular season. He averaged 15.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 37.5 minutes in both playoff series.

Artest will look for a contract extension in the neighborhood of $10 million per season. He made $8.45 million this past season in the final year of a contract.

Bosh headed to South Beach? It very well could happen this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

Chris Bosh has been the face of the franchise for the Toronto Raptors for the past several years. Even when Vince Carter was a member of the team, Bosh was still the face of the franchise. Carter was going through problems with the front office at that time.

But there are rumors that the Raptors may trade their star power forward/center this summer. One rumor that continues to gain steam has Bosh headed to South Beach. If the trade is made, it would move Bosh closer to his Texas home.

According to the rumor, Bosh would head to Miami for Michael Beasley — last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Udonis Haslem, and either Dorell Wright, Daequan Cook, or Chris Quinn to make the salaries work. If the trade is made, it would be the second trade between the two teams in the past several months.

Miami sent Shawn Marion North of the Border back in February for Jermaine O’Neal, who recently exercised his option for next season to stay with the HEAT. Also, Miami would have the No. 4 and No. 5 picks from the 2003 draft to build the team around. But they are both free agents in the summer of 2010 if contract extensions cannot be worked out.

Griffin, a decorated player since high school, is expected to share time behind Al Thornton and Zack Randolph

By Anthony Caruso III

Blake Griffin has been one of the top baseball players for many years. He helped Oklahoma Christian School, where his father is the head coach, to four straight State Championships. He won many accolades throughout his sophomore to senior year. He also played in the McDonald’s All-American game in his senior year in Louisville, Kentucky. He also won the slam dunk contest, too.

Griffin would move on to the University of Oklahoma, where he would play college basketball with his older brother, Taylor. He averaged 14.7 points and 9.1 rebounds during his freshman year and helped the Sooners to a 23-12 record. He averaged a team-high 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds and helped the Sooners to a 30-6 record.

Griffin would help guide the Sooners to the Elite Eight on the 2009 NCAA March Madness tournament. They would lose 72-60 to eventual Championships, North Carolina, in the game. This would be Griffin’s last collegiate game, before entering into the NBA draft.

Griffin won the Associated Press Player of the Year Award this season. He also won the John Wooden Award, the Naismith Award, and the Sporting News Player of the Year. He combined with Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy, to give Oklahoma the top players in college football and college basketball. Oklahoma is just the second school to do this.

UCLA did this in 1968 when Gary Began won the Heisman and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) won the USBWA Player of the Year Award.

Griffin is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the next few weeks. He is expected to share time with Al Thornton at the small forward position. Griffin may see some time at the power forward position backing up Zack Randolph.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Clippers have been the second team in Los Angeles for 25-years with the Lakers in town, but they will have the spotlight on them later this month

By Anthony Caruso III

The Los Angeles Clippers have been known as the second NBA team in recent years. With the Lakers expected to win the Championship in the next few games, the Clippers will be the second team in Los Angeles again.

But for a night later this month, they will have all the spotlight on them. The Clippers have the No. 1 draft pick in this month’s NBA draft. This is just the third time the franchise has had the No. 1 overall draft pick.

The Clippers used the 1988 No. 1 draft pick on Danny Manning. They used the 1998 No. 1 draft pick on Michael Olowokandi. The Clippers had a 17.7% chance of winning the 2009 No. 1 draft pick, which is expected to be used on Blake Griffin.

The Clippers have had only 7 winning seasons in franchise history, which includes their time as the Buffalo Braves and the San Diego Clippers. But only four of those winning seasons as the Los Angeles Clippers. They lose in the Conference semi-finals in 2006, which just happens to be the furthest the Clippers have made it in the playoffs.

The Clippers are currently the oldest NBA team to never appear in the NBA Finals. The Clippers are one of four teams — Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Charlotte Bobcats — to never won an NBA Championship, Conference Championship, or Division Championship.

Cavaliers have to make significant moves this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers have to make significant moves this summer. These moves will affect the team’s future, but also the pending free agency of arguably the team’s great player.

LeBron James can become a free agent in the summer of 2010. Media members believe and are speculating that James will sign with the New York Knicks at that time. But the Cavaliers can offer him more money and a better chance of winning than the Knicks can.

Danny Ferry, the Cavaliers General Manager, needs to find that second start that will fit with James. James previously had Larry Hughes, but that experiment did not work out. James needs to find that Scottie Pippen-type player that his ideal, Michael Jordan, had for so many years. In recent years, the teams with two superstar have won the NBA Championship.

There are no superstar players on the open market this summer. Possibly Carlos Boozer, if he opts out, will be the top free-agent on the market, but he has burned his bridges in Cleveland. The top free agent on the market right now is Ben Gordon, but he’s a good bench player.

Ferry will have to make a trade to get another superstar to team with James. The Cavaliers have had interest in Michael Redd, who missed half of the season with an injury. He is signed through the 09-10 season with a $18.3 million player option for 10-11. If Cleveland acquired Redd, he would be playing 2.5 hours away from his hometown, in Columbus, Ohio.

The Cavaliers have nearly $25 million in free agent money. Wally Szczerbiak, Lorenzen Wright, Joe Smith, Tarence Kinsey, Jawad Williams, and Trey Johnson are all free agents. They could have nearly $15 million more if Zydrunas Ilguaskas and Anderson Varejao opt out of their contracts.

Wallace and Iverson will not return to Detroit

By Anthony Caruso III

The Detroit Pistons are going to look like an entirely new team. This is the first year since 2001 that they did not appear in the Conference Finals. They went to 6 straight Conference Finals.

The Pistons have so many unanswered question. And one question has to do with “The Answer” Allen Iverson, who will be a free agent after making $21.9 million last season. The Iverson experiment completely failed after being acquired on November 3rd, 2008 for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb. Iverson will not return.

The Pistons also have to face the pending free agency of Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is also a free agent after making $13.6 million last season. Wallace has been a major role player for the Pistons after being acquired by the Hawks in February 2004. Wallace helped the Pistons to the Championship that year over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wallace averaged 13.7 points after the trade. He averaged 14.5 points and 15.1 in the following two seasons. But his numbers have dropped in recent years as he has averaged 12.3 points, 12.7 points, and 12.0 points last season.

Both players are not expected to return to Detroit next season. The $35.5 million is expected to be used to potentially sign Carlos Boozer, if he opts out, and re-signing Jason Maxiell and McDyess, who would like to stay in Detroit. The team could also lose Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince through trades.

Miller will test the free agent waters, but could end up back in Philadelphia

By Anthony Caruso III

Andre Miller will test the free agent waters in the next several weeks. There have been some rumors that Miller could end up in Miami after a sign-and trade with Philadelphia. But it is too early to tell.

Miami has Mario Chalmers as their future point guard. Chalmers started every game for the HEAT last season, when he averaged 10.0 points, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.95 steals on 32.0 minutes per game. His 1.95 steals per game ranked number one among all rookies and the fourth highest among all players. In his fourth game, Chambers set a new Heat team record with 9 steals in a game.

Miller could still end up back in Philadelphia. The Sixers do not have a replacement to play significant minutes. Louis Williams is there, but he hasn’t matured enough to be a full-time starter in the league.

Miller was acquired in December 2006 after the Sixers decided to move on without Allen Iverson. After the trade, Miller averaged 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 37.6 minutes. He averaged a career-best 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in 36.8 minutes in 07-08. He averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in 36.3 minutes last season.

If Miller does decide to leave the Sixers, it will be his fifth team. He previously played for Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, and Philadelphia.

James will likely return to the Chicago Bulls next season, even though he's only appeared in 4 games over the past two seasons

By Anthony Caruso III

Jerome James will likely return to the Chicago Bulls next season. He was acquired by the Bulls, along with Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson, for Larry Hughes. James never played in a game for the Bulls.

James has a $6.6 million player option pending for next season, because he would not get paid that much money on the open market. James has only appeared in only 4 games over the past two seasons. The Bulls could release James after he picked up his player option, or ask James to retire to get injury insurance to potentially inquire about a new player this summer.

James, who had a season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury, appeared in 5 minutes over those two games with the Knicks last season. He has been a questionable signing by Isiah Thomas in the summer of 2005 after he appeared in 80 games — the most ever in his career — to sign a 5-year, $30 million dollar contract.

James arrived in training camp out of shape in New York after signing his huge contract. But his time in New York was hampered by injuries or he did not play significant minutes due to coaches decisions after averaging just 3.1 points in his first season. He was even fined for being out of shape in January 2006.

House is expected to return to the Boston Celtics next season

By Anthony Caruso III

Eddie House is expected to return to the Boston Celtics next season. He has a $2.86 million dollar option for the 09-10 season.

House has appeared in 159 regular games over the past two years. This includes all 81 regular games from this past season. He also has two starts last season as well. He has also appeared in all 35 playoff games over the past two seasons.

House has become a major role player off of the Celtics bench this past two seasons. He averaged 7.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 19 minutes per game in 07-08 He averaged 8.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.1 blocks in 18.3 minutes per game last season.

It was the most points he averaged in a season since the 05-06 season when he played for Phoenix. House averaged 9.8 points that year in 17.5 minutes under Mike D’Antoni’s fast-passed offense. He averaged 11.1 points in 23.1 minutes per game for Charlotte, but he only appeared in 13 games for the Bobcats, before he was traded to Milwaukee and Sacramento.

Friday, June 5, 2009

WNBA is returning this month

By Anthony Caruso III

The WNBA is returning this afternoon. The Women's Pro Baseball Leagues tips off action at 2:30 eastern time when the Detroit Shock travels to Los Angeles to play the Sparks.

The league is currently composed of thirteen teams around the United States. The league was founded in 1996 as the women's counterpart to the NBA, and began to play in 1997. This is their 12th overall season. Only the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm do not share the same city as an NBA team.

While nearly every team is returning from last season, there is a glaring whole that may never be replaced. The Houston Comets had to be disbanded by the league office after there was no potential buyers in this tough economic times.

The Comets won the first 4 league Championships from 1997-2000. The Comets were headlined by Tina Thompson, Sheryl Swoopes, and Cynthia Cooper, while they were coached by Van Chancellor. The Comets would not win another title after their 2000 Championship.

Hilton Koch, a Houston-area businessman, bought the Comets in January 2007 and decided later that year that he would move the team from the Toyota Center to the Reliant Arena for the 2008 season. The Comets lost fan interest after the move as they averaged 6,000 fans per game and only sold out 4 games. Reliant Arena can only hold 7,200, while the Toyota Center can hold 13,000 people.

Koch put the team up for sale with a $10 million asking price after the 2008 season. But no potential buyers stepped up to the plate. The WNBA would eventually take over management of the Comets and would later announce that they would cease operations in December 2008.

Jerry Sloan will return to coach the Jazz next season

By Anthony Caruso III

Jerry Sloan is expected to return to the sidelines next season as the Utah Jazz's head coach. He has previously agreed to terms for the upcoming 2009-10 season in January 2009. But he was still thinking about if he wanted to return or not.

This will be his 22nd overall season as the Jazz's head coach. In 2001, Sloan became the longest tenured head coach in American major sports when former Twins manager Tom Kelly retired. Sloan is the only coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins with one team.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United, a European football team, has coached longer than Sloan with one team. He has been the Manchester United coach for the past 23 seasons.

KG guarantees 2010 & 2011 Championships

By Anthony Caruso III

Kevin Garnett has entered into the guessing game. Garnett, who missed the playoffs with a serious knee injury, has guessed the Boston Celtics will return to their glory years sooner than later.

Garnett has already guaranteed that the Celtics will win the 2010 NBA Championship. He also guaranteed that they will win the 2011 NBA Championship, as well. The Celtics haven't won back-to-back titles since 1968 and 1969.

Garnett helped the Celtics to the 2008 Championship. It was the first NBA Championship that he's won in his NBA career. But it was the Celtics first Championship since 1986.

Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will be apart of the team at least through the summer of 2010. This gives the guarantee a possibility, as long as these three players stay together and the young players until to grow. But the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic are going to continue to grow, too.

Allen will be a free agent in the summer of 2010. Pierce has a $21 million dollar player option for the 2010-11 season. Garnett is signed for $18.8 million for the 2010-11 season.

What happened to Adam Morrison?

By Anthony Caruso III

Adam Morrison was one of the prominent college basketball players just a few years ago. He was named Co-Player of the Year with Duke University's J. J. Redick by the United States Basketball Writers Association. And won the 2006 Chevrolet Player of the Year award.

After his college career, many media members had Morrison as a Top 10 pick. And he did go high in the draft, when the Charlotte Bobcats drafted Morrison with the 3rd overall pick. He was picked behind Andrea Bargnani and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Bobcats picked Morrison over Brandon Roy, Randy Foye, Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, among others.

Morrison would average 11.8 points per game during his rookie campaign. Then, he would miss the following career. He would tear his ACL during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which resulted in season-ending surgery. He wouldn't last three seasons in Charlotte.

After rehabbing from the surgery, he appeared in 44 games with Charlotte. He would start 5 games in Larry Brown's lineup. But he would eventually be traded to the Lakers, along with fellow 2006 draft pick Shannon Brown, for Vladimir Radmanovic. Morrison has only appeared in 5 games with the Lakers.

He is averaging 1.3 points and 1 rebound in 5.5 minutes in those 5 games.

Shaq has an unusal off-season

By Anthony Caruso III

Usually this time of the year, Shaquille O'Neal is guiding his team through the grueling playoffs. But this is the first time in 16-years that he missed the playoffs.

This is only the second time ever that he's missed the playoffs in his Hall of Fame career. He missed the playoffs during his rookie campaign of the 1992-93 season. And his Phoenix Suns team missed the playoffs this past season. It was the first time that Phoenix missed the playoffs since 2004.

But this has allowed Shaq to adventure into new paths. We usually see him in commercials and movies, like other celebrities. Yet, how many celebrities go to broadcasting school? Not many. But that's exactly what he did late last month at Syracuse University.

And coming this weekend, he will be one of a handful of celebrities to be the grand marshal of a race. This weekend in Texas, O'Neal will be the grand marshal at the IndyCar Series race Bombardier Learjet 500 in Texas. He will ride in the pit car with three-time Indianapolis Champion Johnny Rutherford.

This is the first time that he will be the grand marshal of a race.

A Lakers Championship would be historic for Phil Jackson

By Anthony Caruso III

The Los Angeles Lakers have a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals. It is their first 1-0 start to the Finals since 2002 when they faced the New Jersey Nets.

The Lakers went on to sweep that series with Shaquille O'Neal receiving the Finals MVP honors. There are only two Lakers currently on the team from that series. They are Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant.

Phil Jackson is 43-0 when winning Game 1 of a series. Jackson also holds the best all-time winning percentage by a coach in the NBA playoffs.

If the Lakers do go on to win the series, it would be historic for Jackson. Jackson was able to win 2 Championships as a player for the New York Knicks. But this will be Jackson's 10th Championship, as a head coach, which is more than Red Auerbach's 9 career Championships.

It would also give Kobe Bryant a 4th Championship in his 13-year career. And it would be his first without O'Neal. It would also be Derek Fisher's 4th Championship in the same amount of time.

The Orlando Magic enjoy their underdog role

By Anthony Caruso III

The Orlando Magic have their heads full in this series. They are already trailing in this series. The Magic are down 1 game in the Finals.

Thy were already down 1 game in an earlier playoff series. And they actually won that series.

The Magic enjoy their underdog role. They were the fourth-best team in the regular season, behind the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics. Yet, people still doubted them.

Even when Jameer Nelson got hurt with his shoulder injury, people doubted them. But the Magic acquired Rafer Alston a few weeks after Nelson's injury to be the full-time point guard. The Magic went 22-10 with Alston to close out the regular season.

They were only the favorite in the first round match up with the Philadelphia 7ers. And the Magic won the series, even after being down 1-0 to start the series. They didn't need Dwight Howard in Game 6, as he was suspended for the game, and they still won the game.

They were the underdog against the Celtics and the Cavaliers. Yet, the Magic won both series. They beat the Celtics in Game 7 in Boston. And they beat the Cavaliers in Game 6 in Orlando.

The Magic still have a chance to win this series against the Lakers. Their recent playoff performances show that.

Washington Wizards are hoping that the Big Three stay together

By Anthony Caruso III

Flip Saunders recieved the Washington Wizards head coaching job nearly a month ago. Saunders has been able to complete his assistant coaching staff with Randy Wittman, Wes Unseld, Jr., Sam Cassell, and Don Zierden. Both Wittman and Zierden worked under Saunders previously.

But Saunders and the front office staff still have work to do. The Wizards currently have the 5th overall pick in this year's NBA draft later this month. The Wizards are already rumored to be trading this pick. One potential rumor has Antwan Jamison, the 5th overall pick, and another player going to the Phoenix Suns for Amare Stoudemire.

While Jamison is being rumored in deals, the Big 3 of Gilbert Arenas, Jamison, and Caron Butler is still currently on the roster. Arenas only played in 2 games last season. Jamison only missed 1 game last season. While Butler missed 15 games last season.

If they stay together, Washington is hoping that the three stars are healthy all of next season. If they are, they have a good chance at going far in the playoffs.

Don Zierden and Flip Saunders are reunited again

By Anthony Caruso III

Don Zierden and Flip Saunders are reunited again. Zierden recently resigned his position in the WNBA to rejoin Saunders in the NBA.

Zierden was going into his third season as the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx season when he abruptly resigned on June 2nd. Jennifer Gillom, a women's basketball great, has been promoted to be the head coach. Zierden was 26-42 in just two seasons as the Lynx head coach.

Zierden will be the lead assistant coach for Saunders with the Washington Wizards. This is the third time that Zierden has worked under Saunders in the NBA. They worked together in Minnesota and Detroit previously.

Stefanski and Jordan's ties to New Jersey help Jordan get the Sixers job

By Anthony Caruso III

Eddie Jordan was recently named the Philadelphia 76ers head coach earlier this week. Jordan has become the 7th Sixers head coach since the 2002-2003 season, which was Larry Brown's last.

Jordan was last the head coach of the Washington Wizards. After losing Gilbert Arenas in the off-season for the majority of the season after surgery, Jordan lost his job not even a month into the season. He was 197-224 in 5 1/2 years in Washington.

Jordan was also the head coach for the Sacramento Kings for 1 1/2 seasons. He was 33-64 combined in Sacramento. He was a candidate for their current head coaching vacancy, before being hired by the Sixers.

Jordan was an assistant coach in Sacramento for 5 years, before being named head coach late in the 1996-97 season. He was also an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets from 1999 to 2003. Sixers GM Ed Stefanski worked in the Nets front office at that time, which had a factor in Stefanski hiring Jordan.

Jordan helped the Nets to two NBA Finals appearances, as the lead assistant, in 2002 and 2003. The Nets lost both appearances to the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs, respectively. But Jordan does have an NBA Finals Championship under his belt, as he was a player on the Lakers 1982 title team.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Magic's 2004 draft selection turned out to be the right one

By Anthony Caruso III

Many people criticized the Orlando Magic's No. 1 overall selection in the 2004 draft. Yet, several years later, it turned out to be the right choice.

Many media members thought the Magic should have drafted Emeka Okafor over Dwight Howard. Okafore was coming out of UCONN as a junior and won a National Championship in his last college game. While, Howard was coming out of high school at the time of the draft. Howard's decision to go pro out of high school was inspired by his idol Kevin Garnett.

Okafor and Howard were expected to the be the center pieces of their respective franchises. That has been the case, but it has taken them both several years to develop.

Howard has been able to take the Magic to back-to-back playoff appearnaces. And last year, he helped the Magic win their first playoff series in 12 years. It was the first playoff series win since Shaq played for them in 1996.

However, Okafor has yet to appear in a playoff game. You also have to take into account that the Charlotte Bobcats werej ust starting out when they drafted Okafor with their first-ever draft pick. Okafor was very close to making the playoffs this year, under Larry Brown, for the first time, before eventually losing out for the 8th seed.

Howard has helped the Magic to the playoffs the past three years. He has appeared in 32 career playoff games going into the Finals. Howard is one of the many Maigc players that will be making their first appearance in the Finals. Only Anthony Johnson with the Nets (2003) and Tyronn Lue with the Lakers (2000, 2001) have Finals experience.