Posts Tagged ‘Hakim Warrick’

Landscape Unchanged As Deadline Passes

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The 2013 trade deadline will be remembered more for the lack of movement than for any deal that was made. We had a handful of transactions in the final hours before the deadline, but the best player dealt this week was a guy who has started a grand total of 52 games over seven seasons.

That would be J.J. Redick, who is heading to Milwaukee in a six-player trade. The Bucks are also getting Gustavo Ayon and Ish Smith from Orlando. The Magic will receive Beno Udrih, Doron Lamb and Tobias Harris in return.

Redick is a role player, but one who should help the Bucks, who have struggled on both ends of the floor as they’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, dropping below .500 for the first time since early December. Now in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, they’re just three games in the loss column ahead of ninth-place Philadelphia.

The Bucks were reportedly the leaders in the race for Josh Smith, who is surprisingly staying in Atlanta … for the next few months or so. The Hawks apparently did not have a deal they liked, and will have to hope for a sign-and-trade deal in July if they want something in return for Smith. Our own Sekou Smith says that the Hawks will have “no chance” to re-sign Smith.

Atlanta did make a minor move, sending Anthony Morrow to Dallas for Dahntay Jones.

As much as the lack of a Josh Smith move was a surprise, so was the fact that the Utah Jazz stood pat. With Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter waiting in the wings, the Jazz have both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap on expiring deals. We don’t know if the Jazz had an opportunity to upgrade their backcourt this week, but maybe, like the Hawks, they’d prefer to let one (or both) of those guys walk in the summer.

The Boston Celtics made a minor deal, but held on to both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for the stretch run. They’ll be adding Jordan Crawford to their backcourt, sending Jason Collins and the contract of Leandro Barbosa to Washington in exchange for the volume scorer who has been out of the Wizards’ rotation for the last couple of weeks.

Other moves:

  • The Heat sent Dexter Pittman and a second-round pick to Memphis.
  • The Bobcats traded Hakim Warrick to the Magic for Josh McRoberts.
  • In order to get under the luxury tax line, the Warriors are sending Jeremy Tyler to Atlanta and Charles Jenkins to Philadelphia.
  • The Raptors traded Hamed Haddadi and a second-round pick to the Suns for Sebastian Telfair.
  • The Thunder sent Eric Maynor to Portland.
  • The Knicks sent Ronnie Brewer to OKC for a pick.

In addition to Smith, Richard Hamilton (Bulls), Andrea Bargnani (Raptors), Kris Humphries (Nets), Ben Gordon (Bobcats), DeJuan Blair (Spurs) and Evan Turner (Sixers) aren’t going anywhere. The Denver Nuggets didn’t get a shooter, the Brooklyn Nets didn’t get any of their targets (Smith, Millsap, etc.), and the Los Angeles Clippers will try to get past the Spurs and Thunder with what they have.

The new collective bargaining agreement certainly had a role in the inactivity. The new, steeper luxury takes goes into effect next season, so contracts that don’t expire this season are a heavy burden to bear. Two years from now, the repeater tax goes into effect, so there’s plenty of incentive for teams to get under the tax line this year as well.

And now that the deadline has passed, we can get on with the remainder of the season, knowing that the landscape hasn’t changed one bit.

Kirilenko Could Join Wolves’ Pack

HANG TIME, Texas – You can never say that Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn lets the grass grow under his feet. If he delivers on the rumor of sending Wesley Johnson to Phoenix as part of a three-team trade that also includes New Orleans, he’ll have dealt away five first-round picks in just two years.

More important, he could bounce back after losing out on the offer sheet to Nicolas Batum by bringing forward Andrei Kirilenko back to the NBA from Russia.

According to the relentless Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, there would be a sign-and-trade deal that sends Robin Lopez and Hakim Warrick to the Hornets and also a lottery-protected first-round draft pick to the Suns.

The teams were still finalizing details, but sources said that Lopez, a restricted free agent, was returning soon from a vacation to take a physical for the Hornets. New Orleans had been working diligently for weeks on acquiring a center to play alongside No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, and give Davis some inside support.

Kirilenko has a buyout in his CSKA of Moscow contract that allows him to return to the NBA. He ruled out the Brooklyn Nets and Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov on Tuesday because the Nets simply couldn’t pay him beyond the veteran’s minimum of $1.2 million, sources said. Kirilenko has been searching for a deal that would pay him in the vicinity of $8 million annually, and Minnesota could have the cap space to do so.

Minnesota is signing another Russian, point guard Alexey Shved, to a free-agent contract. The T’wolves signed Portland restricted free agent Nicolas Batum to a $45 million offer sheet, but the Trail Blazers matched the money to retain him.

Kirilenko, 31, is eight years older, but would fill many of the same needs the Timberwolves were chasing when they went after Batum. After playing 10 NBA seasons with the Jazz, Kirilenko spent last season with CSKA Moscow, where he was named Euroleague MVP.

It’s said that a two-year, $18 million offer with a player option for a third season could close the deal for Kirilenko. It’s a far cry from the $17 million he was paid by the Jazz in 2010-11, but would be money well spent for a Wolves roster that could use a defender on the front line.

Right Place, Right Time

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – When the credits rolled on the wild and crazy Summer of 2010, the names Dorrell Wright and Hakim Warrick were barely legible compared to the bold type afforded guys like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, David Lee and many others.

Yet when the midseason report cards get handed out, both Wright and Warrick will be on the honor roll.

While some of the more high-profile movers from the summer are still trying to settle into their new digs, Wright (in Golden State) and Warrick (Phoenix) have made seamless transitions with their new teams.

It’s clearly a case of the right player being in the right place at just the right time. The 19th pick in their respective drafts (Wright in 2004 and Warrick in 2005), neither player had found the right fit, until now. And their new teams are reaping the rewards of these unions in ways their former teams wish they could.

The Warriors uncovered a true gem in Wright, a prototypical small forward who can defend on one end and more than hold his own on the other end with dynamic scorers like Monta Ellis and Steph Curry dictating the pace and tempo. It’s a totally different look for Wright, who was used primarily as a defensive specialist in Miami, if he was used at all.

A casualty of the Heat’s huge summer haul, Wright’s career numbers (15.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 37.6 minutes) must look pretty good to a Heat team scrambling right now to find solid role players to complement James, Wade and Bosh. Wright spent six seasons with the Heat, the team that drafted him, but never could find his niche playing alongside Wade. (more…)

Let’s See It Again: Video

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – He’s no Amar’e Stoudemire.

Hakim Warrick realizes that no matter how many times he rattles a rim in a Phoenix Suns uniform, he’ll never be what Stoudemire was to the Suns.

But Warrick deserves some special attention for his work against the Jazz last night (18 points and 11 rebounds off the bench always look good in a quality road win).

And don’t forget about this:

About Last Night

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Orlando Magic finally got their chance to show off their new arena and the team some people think will be the Miami Heat’s major roadblock to the NBA Finals.

Unfortunately for John Wall‘s rookie debut, the Washington Wizards were the dinner guests for opening night in Orlando Thursday and the Magic didn’t show any Southern hospitality.

The Phoenix Suns played the spoiler in Utah, ruining the home opener for the Jazz with a knockout performance from summer addition Hakim Warrick (check for a second look at one of his nastier highlights below).

Oh, and we’ll get to that Magic-Heat game a little later tonight. It’s one of the marquee games, along with the Suns-Lakers matchup, on a 12-game Friday night slate of games.

HT’s Marquee Games!

***

Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The rematch and the grudge match on opening night or on Christmas Day?

Not that anyone asked for our input, which we would have been more than willing to provide, but we’ve worked up our own list of Hang Time’s Marquee games to kick off and highlight the 2010-11 NBA schedule.

NBA TV will air the “real” version tonight at 7 p.m. ET. And the full schedule will be unveiled on NBA.com Aug. 10.

So in the meantime, we’re going with our own wish list of marquee games.

TIP-OFF ’10:

Heat at Cavaliers – Why wait to pit LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat against not only the Cavaliers but Cleveland and the entire state of Ohio? There’s no sense in making us wait until Christmas to see the game we’ve all been waiting for. The tension is already through the roof. And there’s no better way to stomp into a new season than with the biggest drama of the summer. Give the Cavs a shot at revenge early and give their fans an opportunity to put some closure on this whole affair before the holidays. And let the Heat start their title quest on the same stage that was the home of their new star the past seven seasons. Do the right thing schedule makers and don’t make us wait for this game.

Celtics at Lakers – The best NBA Finals matchup in years deserves an encore. We can just call this Game 8 of The Finals. Like so many that enjoyed the historic matchup, I could have watched the Celtics and Lakers play well into July. The matchup was that good, the drama that thick and the stakes as high as could be. I don’t normally like to waste a cross-conference throwdown of this magnitude this early in the season. But the circumstances demand it. Plus, we can’t put the Heat on the big stage on opening night and not include Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and Derek Fisher and Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo — the other SuperTeam alliances in the league right now.

***

***

CHRISTMAS DAY:

Thunder at Bulls – Don’t assume this is the junior varsity game just because these two upstarts will serve as the appetizer for the main event (below). Anytime you can get Kevin Durant on the same floor with but wearing different a uniform than Derrick Rose, basketball lovers everywhere will be pleased. The Thunder and Bulls are two teams poised to breakout this season and make major moves up the food chains in their respective conferences. If they live up to the lofty expectations surrounding both franchises right now, this could very well be a matchup of top three teams by Christmas.

Lakers at Heat – No lumps of coal will be handed out on this day, whether you celebrate it or not. We all win with the Lakers making their one and only trip to Miami during the regular season (we’re guessing no one complains if they make two or three more during the playoffs …). Lakers fans might not appreciate having to travel like this on Christmas Day, especially since they are the ones with the championship hardware to display. But you can’t go wrong with Christmas in Miami or LA, we’re just choosing to take our game to South Beach, so to speak.

***

***

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY:

Suns at Hawks – We have to go with tradition here, and you can’t do a MLK Day game without including Dr. King’s hometown Hawks. An added bonus is that by this time of the season we’ll know if the chemistry experiments these two teams will be working on this season have worked or blown up the lab

– The Suns are going to work for the first time in years without Amar’e Stoudemire as their man in the middle. With Steve Nash driving there is always a reason for optimism, but the pressure will be on the Suns all season to prove they can roll without Stoudemire and with Hedo Turkoglu, former Hawks swingman Josh Childress and free-agent addition Hakim Warrick in the mix.

– Larry Drew‘s tenure as the Hawks’ coach will be defined by his ability to finish a complete scheme makeover for an offense that was so focused on All-Star Joe Johnson it had its own nickname (Iso-Joe). Drew’s movement-based offense is designed to include all five players on the floor. Again, the pressure will be on all season to prove that this is change Hawks fans should believe in.

Jazz at Bulls – Two years ago this might have looked like a practice scrimmage with Jerry Sloan presiding over the festivities. Now it’s Deron Williams and new Jazzman Al Jefferson taking on the Rose and the Jazz refugees (Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer). We love inter-league action in the NBA. It’s always sexier in these marquee games than watching division rivals or conference foes square off. We’ve graduated from the days when one conference was so much more dominant than the other, so there’s no need to avoid these sorts of cross-country matchups.

These are just a few of the battles we’d love to see. Surely, you have your own ideas about who you want to see matched up in these marquee games.

Feel free to share with the rest of us (in the space provided below).

***

An Intriguing Brew In Phoenix

***

Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The Phoenix Suns we’ve come to know over the past few years will be somewhat unrecognizable to the group Alvin Gentry puts on the floor this season.

Sure, Steve Nash will still be at the controls. And Grant Hill and Jason Richardson will be there.

But Amar’e Stoudemire is gone, as is the dynamic 1-2 offensive punch he and Nash provided the last six seasons.

Hedo Turkoglu, Josh Childress and Hakim Warrick will join a deep and talented Suns crew, including a monster bench mob, that is long on ability but short on chemistry, since so few of them have played together heading into training camp.

Still, there has to be plenty of excitement in Phoenix about a team with so many interchangeable parts — especially when Nash is running the show and Gentry’s bench-friendly approach to the game.

The Suns had the best bench in basketball last season and probably will have it again this season, though it remains unclear how all of this will work — once the Suns complete all of their business.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic provides more details and analysis:

Can last season’s hailed Suns chemistry survive losing three rotation players and others getting fewer minutes because of more overlap on the wings? Can a poor rebounding team get by with Turkoglu as the starting power forward? Will the Suns’ go-to play of Steve Nash running the pick-and-roll be anywhere close to as effective with Robin Lopez and Warrick as his top pick-and-roll partners? Can Earl Clark get that promised rotation time if there are six people ahead of him who can play one or both of his forward spots?

Turkoglu was struggling and unhappy in Toronto, but he is two years removed from arguably playing like an All-Star. Even at 6 feet 10, Turkoglu at power forward harkens back to when the Suns reached the conference finals four years ago with [Boris] Diaw as a makeshift center and Shawn Marion as an undersized power forward. Turkoglu’s ability to guard power forwards is questionable, but the 31-year-old’s ability to stay in front of wings could be a concern, too. Defense and rebounding from the Suns power-forward spot already was questionable when Stoudemire was there.

Turkoglu has a court savvy that helps him at both ends. However, Turkoglu often ran the Orlando offense in his best years, but the Suns have Nash to dominate the ball.

Turkoglu was disgruntled in Toronto but wants to be here, especially if his agent, Lon Babby, aided it and is set to head the Suns’ basketball operations. Turkoglu will yield about $5 million of his trade kicker and make his $12 million salary for 2013-14, when he is 35, only half-guaranteed.

The Suns will pay Childress an average of $6.6 million over the next five years to back up Jason Richardson and Grant Hill on the wings, where Phoenix also has Jared Dudley and potentially Turkoglu, Clark or Goran Dragic at times. Dudley is up for a contract extension by October, but how does Childress’ contract affect that?

Phoenix was set up for salary-cap space next summer before the moves but still is not a luxury-tax team and does not have a regrettable contract.

The Suns are in a much better position than we imagined they would be without Stoudemire, who was far more important to that team than many give him credit for being.

The Suns have an intriguing brew working with their roster now. It should make for a very interesting training camp in Phoenix.

It always helps to start with Nash, though.

***

Still Working The Frenzy

***

Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Just because the biggest names have already signed their contracts doesn’t mean the 2010 free-agent frenzy is over.

Teams are still working.

The Miami Heat have to find someone to play alongside Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. All the other teams that were involved in the LeBron sweepstakes have to pick up the pieces and reconfigure themselves in time for training camp. And the teams that received generous trade exceptions for signing and trading away their top line free agents have to figure out what to do with all that flexibility.

There is still plenty of work to be done.

The Phoenix Suns are handling the departure of Amar’e Stoudemire just fine. They’ve already added Hakim Warrick and are in the midst of finalizing two separate deals to land Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress. That’s an excellent free-agent haul in any summer, what with three quality players to add to the mix for a team that made the Western Conference finals last season.

Of course, replacing Stoudemire won’t be easy. But if you can do it with quantity as well as quality, Steve Nash will be a happy man this season.

***

***

The Bulls whiffed on James, Wade and Bosh. They didn’t even get Joe Johnson, who stayed put in Atlanta. They did grab Carlos Boozer, though. Kyle Korver, too. They’ve also extended a $20 million offer sheet to Magic restricted free agent J.J. Redick,  a move that will force the Magic to either match the offer or allow Redick to join a rapidly improving Bulls team that could pose a direct threat to the Magic’s playoff aspirations.

Even with all that work done, the Bulls still have cash to spend on another big man and potentially more bench help. This is how you conduct business in the summer if you are serious about putting a better product on the floor this season than you did last.

The Nets haven’t closed up their shop since missing out on James either. Shooting specialists Anthony Morrow has an offer sheet from the Nets. And Jordan Farmar has found a home with the Nets (3-years, $12 million) after leaving a championship situation, albeit as a backup, in Los Angeles. The Nets are also poised to deal a major blow to the Heat’s plans with a reported three-year, $20 million deal for veteran power forward Udonis Haslem, who is one of Wade’s closest friends and has been a mainstay in Miami the past seven seasons.

The Nets aren’t going to contend for a title anytime soon, but they’ll be in the playoff discussion and not the lottery if they can solidify these deals in time for training camp.

Utah has a decision to make about what to do with the frontloaded offer sheet extended to Wesley Matthews by the Portland Trail Blazers. As TNT’s David Aldridge explains, the matter is complicated because of the way the offer sheet was structured:

The Blazers frontloaded the contract as allowed under league rules, adding a $3.4 million signing bonus that has to be paid as well as the $5.8 million in salary, for a total hit of $9.2 million in the first year. It was not known if that amount had to be paid within a week of the Jazz matching the offer, a common practice that the signing team puts into a contract to make it difficult for the incumbent team to match.

A factor in Utah’s favor is that by losing both Boozer and Korver, the Jazz should not be a luxury tax payer next season even if it matches the sheet on Matthews. The team’s ownership, the family of the late Larry Miller, has okayed paying tax this coming season within reason just as it did last year.

But Utah had hoped to use the mid-level on a big man this summer, knowing that it would probably have to replace Boozer and with starting center Mehmet Okur unlikely to be ready for the start of next season following an achilles’ injury. Matching the sheet on Matthews would remove that option.

Watching Matthews work defensively on Kobe Bryant during the playoffs last season was a revelation. Few rookies would have accepted that challenge the way he did. So we can understand why both teams would want to have Matthews on their side.

***

***

Oh, and if you hadn’t heard, the No. 1 pick in the Draft has made his NBA debut as well. Washington point guard John Wall shook off some early jitters and helped the Wizards to a win in Las Vegas. In fact, there are plenty of rookie highlights to be had in summer league action. Check out Drew Packham’s Rookie Ladder on NBA.com for the latest.