Posts Tagged ‘DeSagana Diop’

Bobcats Pay Up To Nab Jefferson

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From NBA.com staff reports

In a potentially perception-altering move for one of the NBA’s most moribund franchises, the Charlotte Bobcats reached a verbal agreement Wednesday with one of the most sought-after big men after Dwight Howard, Utah’s Al Jefferson, who agreed to a three-year, $40.5 million deal.

The 28-year-old Jefferson was Charlotte’s top priority in free agency, as the Bobcats sought to finally find a low-post presence that would help their perimeter players get move driving and shooting space.

Jefferson will receive $13.5 million in each of the three seasons of the contract. He will have a player option for the third season.

The Bobcats, according to a source, will amnesty forward Tyrus Thomas in order to create enough cap room to sign Jefferson, who will, along with first-round pick Cody Zeller, give Charlotte a bolstered frontcourt next season, along with second-year small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Last season, Byron Mullens (when healthy) was the de facto starting center for Charlotte, notching 41 starts in 53 games played. But the Bobcats also gave playing time in the middle to second-year big man Bismack Biyombo as well as veterans Thomas, Brendan Haywood, DeSagana Diop and Josh McRoberts.

The Bobcats are finally free of Diop, a monumental bust who played in just 92 games over the past four seasons after Charlotte took him off the Dallas’ Mavericks’ hands, and they did not make a qualifying offer to Mullens, setting the forward-center free.

Haywood and Biyombo, who started 65 games last year and will enter his third season, are both on the books at bargain rates for next season. Charlotte signed Haywood before last season after Dallas used the amnesty clause to release him. He’ll be paid $2.05 million by the Bobcats next season. McRoberts is an unrestricted free agent.

The 6-foot-10, 289-pound Jefferson is a low-post tactician on the offensive end, but he certainly is no Bill Russell on the defensive end. He averaged 17.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg and 1.1 bpg last season with the Jazz.

Acquired by Utah from Minnesota in a July, 2010 trade, Jefferson could be the kind of acquisition for Charlotte that Vlade Divac was for Sacramento in 1998, when he left the Charlotte Hornets for the Kings in a free agent deal. With Divac aboard and Chris Webber coming from Washington, the Kings turned their up-to-then terrible fortunes around, becoming one of the league’s most exciting teams.

Charlotte has a way to go to get to that level, but Jefferson’s presence will make things easier for everyone. Averaging 16.4 ppg over nine NBA seasons, Jefferson has never shot less than 49.2 percent from the floor. He offers a creative low-post game that utilizes both hands along with an improved jumper.

Now with four centers on the roster for next season, it will be interesting to see Bobcats owner Michael Jordan’s next move is in a possible attempt to thin out the position and seek help elsewhere for the club.

Jordan has been criticized for poor drafts and seeming unwillingness in recent years to spend money, but in signing Jefferson and eating the final two years and $18 million of Thomas’s contract, Jordan is making a significant investment in trying to turn around the Bobcats’ fortunes. They’ve been the worst team in the league the last two years, with a combined 28-120 record, including a 7-59 season in the Lottery-shortened 2011-12 campaign.

Jefferson averaged 17.8 points and 9.2 rebounds last season for the Jazz, who could also lose their other free agent big man, Paul Millsap. The two sides met in the opening minutes of free agency on Monday but Utah did not make an offer to Millsap.

NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan and TNT analyst David Aldridge contributed to this report

Hit And Miss: The Cavaliers’ 40-Year Draft History Has A Bit Of Everything!





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Teams use all sorts of information to guide them during the Draft process.

Everything from analytics to eye-witness accounts to brain waves (in Boston) to studying a guy’s tattoos is used as a way to gain insight into what sort of projection a team can make on a particular player.

It wasn’t always this complicated. There was a time when the recommendation of the right scout or college coach, along with a standout career in the college ranks, was enough to convince a team that they’d found their man.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have a 40-year history of hit-and-miss first-round picks that span the entire spectrum of the Draft process, dating back to 1970 and then 1971 with their selection of Austin Carr as the No. 1 overall pick. Nearly every uptick in their franchise history is tied to the work they did well in the Draft,  from Brad Daughtery in 1986 to LeBron James in 2003 to Kyrie Irving in 2011 and whatever they do with the No. 1 overall pick tonight.

The Cavaliers have a chance to change the course of their franchise history once again, provided they do the right thing with the pick tonight and that player they get turns out to be like Daughtery or James and not one of their many lottery misses over the years (apologies to Trajan LangdonLuke Jackson, DaJuan Wagner, DeSagana Diop and several others who, for various reasons, never lived up to their Draft hype).

With that said, the Cavaliers have had more hits than misses if you grade out their Draft history since 1971, as The Plain Dealer‘s Mike Peticca did this morning.

In addition to those overall No. 1 picks they hit on, the Cavaliers can boast of drafting the likes of John Johnson (sixth overall) in 1970, Campy Russell (eighth) in 1974, Ron Harper (eighth) in 1986, Kevin Johnson (seventh) in 1987, Terrell Brandon (11th) in 1991,  Zydrunas Ilgauskas (20th) in 1996 and Andre Miller (eighth) in 1999.

For every miss the Cavaliers have at least one hit, which is a pretty solid track record for a franchise with decades of Draft history. We can only speculate how different things might have been if the focus and attention to detail on the Draft was as meticulous 40 years ago as it is now (not that combing through every bit of minutiae prevents a team from making a Draft night blunder or two) …

Mavs’ 3-Point Streak Ends at 1,108 Games

 

HANGTIME SOUTHWEST – Robert Pack, Travis Best, Antoine Walker, Antoine Wright, Dan Dickau, Erick Dampier, Danny Manning.

Just a few of the names that contributed along the way to the Dallas Mavericks’ remarkable (but once not unrivaled) 3-point shooting streak. For 1,108 consecutive games entering Friday night’s chilly visit to Toronto, at least one Mavericks player has made at least one 3-point shot.

Back when gas cost a buck-seventeen, before George W. Bush became president, as Y2K threatened every last computer, even pre-dating Mark Cuban‘s first NBA fine, Michael Finley and Erick Strickland combined to make three 3-pointers in a 97-90 win over the Sacramento Kings at the now-demolished Reunion Arena.

The date was Feb. 27, 1999.

Keith Van Horn, Cedric Ceballos, Shawn Bradley, Trenton Hassell, Adam Harrington, Danny Manning, Rawle Marshall.

On Feb. 26, 1999, the season was just 13 games old because of the lockout. Dirk Nowitzki was a rookie. Don Nelson was in his second year as head coach. The Mavs were 4-9, but had won two in a row when they got to Salt Lake City. In the middle game of a back-to-back-to-back, the Mavs missed all eight 3-point attempts and lost to the Jazz 80-65.

Incredibly, it would still stand as the last game that the Mavs didn’t make at least one 3-pointer as they arrived Friday at Air Canada Centre.

Drew Gooden, Juwan Howard, Antoine Rigaudeau, Steve Novak, Matt Carroll, Jerry Stackhouse, Vernon Maxwell.

On this night, the Mavs would not have available the franchise’s top three active 3-point shooters. Nowitzki, the all-time leader, remains shelved after October knee surgery. Jason Terry, second, plays for the Boston Celtics. Jason Kidd, fourth, plays for the New York Knicks. Third on the list is Finley. He works in the Mavs’ front office.

As play entered the fourth quarter, the Raptors held a 69-55 lead. One reason was Dallas had yet to make a 3-pointer, missing all 12 attempts. Toronto had made seven of its 24, hardly a flattering percentage, yet a 21-point differential nonetheless.

Early in the fourth quarter, Derek Fisher looked to have extended the streak to 1,109. But after a replay review, Fisher’s foot was determined to be stepping on the arc. Two points.

Dallas would attempt one more and miss it: 0-for-13.

Brandon Bass, Steve Nash, J.J. Barea, James Singleton, Kelenna Azubuike, Alexis Ajinca, Lamar Odom.

Fifteen times during the streak, the Mavs skated by with a lone 3-pointer. Arguably the most famous streak-saver came on April 19, 2006, the final game of the season. With a playoff seed wrapped up, coach Avery Johnson sat out some starters, including Nowitzki getting his first rest of the season, and he greatly limited others.

With Dallas trailing 84-68 to the Seattle SuperSonics, Johnson drew up a play to get DeSagana Diop his first career 3-pointer with less than a minute to go in the 7-foot center’s fifth season.

By gosh, he hit it.

“You think I would’ve shot it if he [Johnson] didn’t draw it up?” Diop would say, smiling.

The streak lived on, 610 games strong, into another offseason.

Wang Zhizhi, Eduardo Najera, Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, Antawn Jamison, Christian Laettner, Hubert Davis.

The second-longest consecutive 3-point streak in NBA history belongs, coincidentally, to the Raptors at 986 games.

And now for the truly bizarre part. Remember the date Feb. 26, 1999? The night the Mavs went 0-for-8 from behind the arc in Utah — the last game they would not make at least one 3-pointer for the next 13 years — the Raptors’ Vince Carter, Doug Christie and Dee Brown combined to make four 3-pointers in a 102-92 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Who knows how minuscule the odds, but one night before the Mavs embarked on their record streak, the Raptors had started their own, one that would span 986 games until Jan. 24, 2011.

On Dec. 14, 2012, the Raptors finally stopped Dallas’ at a potentially untouchable 1,108.

Carroll Trade Came And Went, But in Dallas He’s Fondly Remembered

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – Tuesday’s first trade of the NBA season, a ho-hummer in which the Charlotte Bobcats sent shooting guard Matt Carroll to the New Orleans Hornets for forward Hakim Warrick, didn’t make news as much as it spawned a Twitterverse comedy hour, a seemingly endless timeline of sarcasm and supposed wit mocking an exchange of low-minute guys.

Few jokes, jabs or barbs, however, likely originated from laptops in the City of Dallas. No sir. You see, in Dallas, Matt Carroll is something of a hero, the final, critical piece to the 2011 championship puzzle — or, more accurately, a facilitator to acquiring said hero and final, critical piece to the 2011 championship puzzle.

On July 13, 2010, the Mavs traded Carroll, Erick Dampier (the linchpin with his fully non-guaranteed $13 million contract) and Eduardo Najera to the Bobcats for a pair of centers, Alexis Ajinca and, drum roll please … Tyson Chandler, hero and final, critical piece to the 2011 championship puzzle.

Of course, no one knew it when it happened. In fact, in Big D, Chandler arrived to a collective yawn that rivaled Tuesday’s trade. Fans were banking on the much-hyped Dampier trade chip netting a superstar to pair with Dirk Nowitzki. Who knew?

So Carroll had quite the unique and overwhelmingly valuable existence in Dallas for a player who scored 71 points over 262 minutes in 46 games in a season-and-a-half. Yet every time the name Matt Carroll comes up, it makes Mavs owner Mark Cuban bust out with a smile.

“I do,” Cuban wrote in an email. “Because Matt is such a good guy. He makes the NBA better on the court and off.”

Carroll’s Mavs magic started on July 17, 2007, when Charlotte handed him a six-year, $26.9 million contract after he posted a career season, averaging 12.1 points while shooting 41.6 percent from beyond the arc. He’d have one more pretty good season the next year before basically plummeting.

Meanwhile back in Dallas, on July 2008, the Mavs inexplicably signed free-agent center DeSagana Diop to a five-year, $31 million deal  just months after trading him to New Jersey in the Jason Kidd deal. Quickly realizing their miscalculation, Dallas began shopping Diop and found a taker in the Bobcats decision-maker Michael Jordan.

On Jan. 16, 2009, Dallas acquired Carroll and his contract and unloaded Diop and his contract on the Bobcats. By the time memorable July 13, 2010 rolled around, Carroll had just enough dough left on his once-in-a-lifetime contract to make him the perfect fit in the package for Chandler.

And most fortunate for the Mavs, the generous Jordan agreed to bring Carroll back to Charlotte where he joined Diop in enjoying a bit role on the NBA’s worst team, until Tuesday.

For Cuban and what’s left his almost completely altered Mavs, it was a day to reminisce.

Curry Is Out; Mavs Hope Kaman Is In

DALLAS — The Eddy Curry experience in Dallas didn’t last long. Eight less-than exhilarating days to be exact. The Mavericks now optimistically turn to Chris Kaman time.

The Mavericks will waive the 7-foot Curry on Friday to make room on the 15-man roster for another recent basketball vagabond, power forward Troy Murphy, (neither transaction is official yet, but coach Rick Carlisle and players talked about the moves after Friday’s practice), an indication of just how badly the Mavs need scoring and rebounding at the position with Dirk Nowitzki out at least another week and possibly as many as four following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

It’s been musical chairs in Dallas with erratic combo guard Delonte West being the first out the door, waived on Monday after twice being suspended for behavioral issues. He remains without a job.

The question in front of Curry is if another team will toss him a life-preserver and try yet again to rescue his overwhelmingly disappointing career. The Spurs released the 2001 fourth overall draft pick before the Mavs provided him a short-lived shot. Curry played 25 minutes in the Mavs’ first two regular-season games. He was decent on the offensive end; awful on the defensive end.

Dallas now turns optimistically to Kaman. He’s hopeful of playing in the home opener Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats. The oft-injured Kaman missed the last four preseason games and the first two real games this week nursing a strained right calf.

“That’s my goal,” Kaman said after Friday’s practice. “I can’t guarantee it at this point, I’ve got to see how I feel. I’m off the medication now. Hopefully everything feels good and the swelling stays down.” (more…)

Shaqtin’ A Fool: Episode 4


The foolishness continues this week as Shaq had a wealth of plays to choose from. DeSagana Diop, Hedo Turkoglu, Corey Brewer, Big Baby Davis and Kendrick Perkins are this week’s nominees for the Foolish Hall of Fame. Vote for your favorite Shaqtin’ A Fool moment!