Posts Tagged ‘Jason Richardson’

Dwight Update: Many Bodies Involved





HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Any trade involving Dwight Howard is a big trade. But if the Brooklyn Nets acquire the three-time DPOY in the next couple of days, it will be a big trade in more ways than one.

As Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! writes, this may end up being a four-team trade involving 10 players, four first-round draft picks and $3 million in cash…

In the proposed deal, Howard, Jason Richardson and Earl Clark would be sent to Brooklyn, and the Magic would receive the Nets’ Brook Lopez, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Cleveland’s Luke Walton and three future first-round picks, sources said. Cleveland would receive Orlando’s Quentin Richardson, Brooklyn’s Sundiata Gaines, Kris Humphries (on a one-year guaranteed deal), a first-round pick and $3 million from the Nets. Brooklyn also would send [MarShon] Brooks to a fourth team to get them an additional first-round pick to send to the Magic.

Trades that big aren’t easy to put together. And to further complicate things, five of the six guys that that Nets would be sending out have to agree to new contracts and new locations.

James, Williams and Gaines might be happy to just have another year in the league, but Humphries and Lopez will surely have some say in whether or not this trade goes down. Humphries’ willingness to sign a deal with just one guaranteed season is reportedly a potential hang-up, so stay tuned…

Rosen’s Report: New York at Orlando




Jeremy Lin is down for the count and who knows when/if Amar’e Stoudemire will return to action. That means what’s left of the Knicks’ roster will have to carry New York for the duration. While the Knicks are still battling for the last playoff slot, they also have their sights set on the No. 6 seed in order to play Orlando in the opening round instead of either Miami or Chicago. And on the heels of last week’s trampling of the Magic, a repeat performance would not only greatly enhance the achievement of both of these goals, but also make Orlando shiver in anticipation of encountering New York in the money season. After their fourth-quarter meltdown in Indiana on Tuesday, the Knicks also has to prove that they do have a necessary killer instinct.

On the flip side, the Magic need the win to demonstrate that their humiliating performance in New York was a fluke, and that they are indeed legitimate championship contenders.

HOW THE KNICKS CAN WIN

  • Forget about LeBron, Kobe and/or Kevin DurantCarmelo Anthony is the most versatile scorer in the game. If KD is a better long-distant dialer, Anthony’s 3-point shooting is more reliable than the other two elite scorers. The difference is ‘Melo’s dynamic post-up game. With Stoudemire out, Anthony is now filling the power forward slot, which makes his offense even more unstoppable (plus he’s a better rebounder than his predecessor). There’s certainly no way that either Hedo Turkoglu, Ryan Anderson (if he makes a miraculous recovery from a freshly sprained ankle), or Glen Davis can put up any meaningful defensive resistance without considerable help. The problem is the Knicks’ spacing forces defenders to come a long way to double Anthony. And should Anthony bring his A-game into the last period, the Magic will run out of tricks.
  • Assuming that Dwight Howard has recuperated from the infamous phantom punch, Tyson Chandler has the length and the defensive chops to make him labor mightily to score in the low post.  In addition, Howard gets flustered when he’s doubled on the move and tends to force shots, make wayward passes, or simply commit turnovers.  Chandler’s timely dive-cuts on high screen/rolls should also put him in dunk city. (more…)

Blogtable: What Pseudo-Contender Needs A Trade?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

What pseudo-contender most needs a trade and won’t get it by Thursday’s deadline?

Steve Aschburner: Philadelphia. The Sixers sure could use a closer, a star offensive player who could get his own shots and, better still, earn trips to the foul line late in games. Evan Turner has been a boost to the starting lineup, but he’s not that guy. However, it’s hard to envision them breaking up the crew that has been so productive or tinkering with the chemistry of the ensemble. Getting center Spencer Hawes back is the next-best thing to a notable trade but a surgical move might have this team really pushing the Heat and the Bulls.

Fran Blinebury: Taking you at your word — pseudo-contender — then the biggest fake in the league was the notion that the Knicks could combine Jeremy Lin with Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony to make noise in the playoffs.  In two weeks, we have gone from Linsanity to Linadequate and Linsufferable watching Melo and coach Mike D’Antoni do their dance of mistrust.  The Knicks need a makeover. What they’ll likely get instead is D’Antoni’s head.

Scott Howard-Cooper: The Magic (with an emphasis on pseudo-contender, not top contender). I will stick to my belief of several weeks that they are not going to deal Dwight Howard, and there is no sense in the thinking that they will be able to make a major addition to convince Howard they can surround him with a championship roster. The second-best trade asset in Orlando is Ryan Anderson. That doesn’t generate a big return. (more…)

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Needs Yet Another Tweak, Or Two … Or Three!





ORLANDO — The silence, and we’re talking crickets, in the Amway Center after several of the dunks was the first sign that All-Star Saturday night’s signature event was going to be a little off.

That “worst dunk contest ever” chatter seems a little strong, but the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk contest certainly exposed the fact that a serious tweaking of the format, namely the rules and regulations of the competition, is in order. No offense to the league’s new slam dunk king, baby-faced, human pogo-stick Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, but not even his peers around the league were satisfied with the competition or the results.

The 4 million fans that cast the deciding votes on NBA.com, Evans snagged 29 percent of them compared to Chase Budinger‘s 28 percent, were drowned out after Evans was handed the trophy by a flood of Tweets from other players around the league who didn’t agree with the results.

A small sampling of the instant, and at times brutal, reaction that reflected the mood in the building:

  • Roy Hibbert: Robbery!!!!
  • Jason Richardson: I think Paul George or Chase Budinger should of won…. Guess all [4] million votes came from Utah lol
  • Hassan Whiteside: u tellin me I could of won a NBA slam dunk contest in HIgh school Jump over 5’5 Kevin hart n a reserve dunk with a cam n dunk 2 balls smdh
  • Stephen Curry: Even though the 2 ball dunk was nice prolly the best of the night, u can’t have the WORST dunk ever and win.
  • Hasheem Thabeet: “@MAL___: This is what happens when you let half a million ppl that probably can’t touch the backboard vote. Jeremy Evans?!? Smh” LoL
  • Shane Battier: Evans had the best single dunk, but this voting process was seriously flawed. #airbudwazrobbed

There are so many elements involved in pulling it off just right, but Battier said it best, the voting process is seriously flawed. We need the on-site, human element involved. Evans admitted that his first dunk was “awful” and that if not for his splendid two-ball dunk where he jumped over the head of a sitting Gordon Hayward, who tossed the balls into the air for Evans, the trophy probably would have gone to either Budinger or George.

(For the record, my ballot would have had George edging Budinger for the top spot with Evans and Williams rounding out the field.)

(more…)

Shaqtin’ A Fool: Episode 3


Shaq is back with more antics from around the league and once again you can vote for the most foolish play of the week. This week Shaq calls out Jason Richardson, Nate Robinson, Roddy Beaubois, ‘Boomer’ the mascot and yes, The Diesel himself. Vote for your favorite Shaqtin’ A Fool moment!

Magic Give J-Rich A Curious Deal

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY BUREAU — Magic general manager Otis Smith acknowledged Saturday afternoon that Dwight Howard has asked to be traded. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Howard has specifically asked to be traded to the New Jersey Nets, where he would team up with point guard Deron Williams.

Smith now faces the unenviable task of finding the best package he can for Howard, knowing that he’d lose him for nothing if a deal isn’t done by the trade deadline, and knowing that he’s really only got two teams to work with: the Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Other teams would be wary of giving the Magic any strong assets, knowing that Howard’s heart is elsewhere and he can leave next summer.

Smith has tried his best to build a title contender around Howard, and the Magic did get to the Finals in 2009. They were even a very strong team last season. But the moves that Smith has made over the years have driven the Magic to a point where they have neither the financial flexibility nor the assets to bring in another star.

So it was a little strange to hear that the Magic have agreed to terms with guard Jason Richardson (their own free agent) on a four-year deal worth $25 million.

Now, $6.25 million a year isn’t that unreasonable for Richardson. It’s almost a 60 percent pay cut from what he made last season. And this is a guy who shot 40 percent from 3-point range over the last four years.

But Richardson is on the wrong side of 30, with his production bound to decline each year of that contract.

More important, if Smith is in the process of evaluating trades for his franchise player and possibly facing a rebuilding process in the wake of a deal, then why is he committing to a contract that won’t expire until Richardson is 34 years old and will be difficult to move in a trade for at least the next two seasons? Wouldn’t he want to remain relatively flexible instead of going deeper into luxury tax territory?

Smith has made a lot of curious transactions over the years. Add this one to the list.

Chicago’s New Dynamic Duo?

– For the latest updates check out: NBA.com’s Free Agent Tracker

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – As we’re often reminded during free agency, for most teams it’s not about what you need but what you can afford. Or better yet, what you are willing to pay for.

The Chicago Bulls represent that theory perfectly as they search for the right shooting guard play alongside reigning league MVP Derrick Rose this season as they chase the NBA title. They’ve courted Caron Butler and chatted up the likes of Jason Richardson and Jamal Crawford, all three of them ideal candidate for the job.

But there is a catch, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune explains:

The strategy appears to be to let the market come to them as they try to upgrade at shooting guard, armed only with salary cap exceptions. With other candidates like the Suns’ Vince Carter not officially waived yet, management sounds confident one player will sign for the right price for the chance to play for a title contender alongside Derrick Rose.

According to league sources, the Bulls have not yet offered the $5 million mid-level exception to any player, including Butler, who is meeting with the Nets on Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, last season’s starter, Keith Bogans, continues to work out at Berto Center and looks to be in great shape.

So, it’s not just about who the Bulls want as much it is who is willing to come and play alongside a young superstar like Rose for the right price. On a team built on a bedrock of defense first, Crawford probably seems like a strange choice. But from this vantage point, he’s the no-brainer choice from a purely basketball standpoint.

(more…)

Labor Talks: Circling The Wagons?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — While we admire the solidarity message the players’ union has delivered repeatedly throughout the NBA lockout, it’s tough to read exactly how that message has been received.

While the majority of the rank-and-file players have been saying (and tweeting) all the right things about their unified state, cracks in the union’s foundation have emerged (as Jerry Stackhouse displayed passionately). The voices of discontent over this latest standoff are getting louder and louder. And there is a growing sentiment that we could see some sort of significant movement in mood after the union brass and executive committee members gather for a “strategy session” today in New York.

Are they circling the wagons with this pow-wow and gearing up to take another stand against the owners? Or is this the beginning of the end of the “stand united” campaign and the union’s solidarity movement?

Union executive director Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher will find out sometime later today or perhaps this weekend, when the Boston Herald reports that negotiations are set to resume.

(more…)

Bulls’ hard choice: Now or then?

How much closer would the Bulls be to hanging with — or beating — Miami’s Big Three if they had Courtney Lee or Jason Richardson in their lineup right now?

How many of those “six more titles” that Michael Jordan hinted at might still be out there with Omer Asik in the lineup down the road?

Those were the questions facing Gar Forman and John Paxson back at the February trade deadline and that is the dilemma they now find themselves in after the Heat’s 96-85 win in Game 3 on Sunday night.

As ESPN’s Michael Wilbon notes, the Bulls are paying the price right now for focusing on the long-term future:

Almost certainly it’ll pay off down the line, but the price the Bulls are paying in the conference finals is that the lack of a deal then means the Bulls don’t have enough offense now, not when Miami can send 6-foot-11 Chris Bosh and 6-8 LeBron James to double-team 6-3 Derrick Rose as happened more than a few times. Miami’s 96-85 Game 3 victory produced more than a few storylines, including Chris Bosh’s second huge game of the series.

But what should stand out even more is that the Bulls don’t have enough offense to beat Miami in a seven-game series. Back in late February when Forman and Paxson decided to put off finding a scorer to complement Rose until the summer, Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen said, “We’ll be able to beat good defenses, but against a team with great defense and scorers like Miami, we just won’t have enough firepower.”

As the Eastern Conference finals progress, we’re seeing more and more evidence of why Rose was the correct choice for MVP. He’s certainly had to do more of the heavy lifting and carry much more of the load for the Bulls.

The Heat can simply hand the baton off from James to Wade to Bosh in different games or in different quarters. But Rose has got to be the one driving Chicago on virtually every possession. And not coincidentally, when Rose is driving to the basket, Miami defenders have often been able to cut him off and prevent him from finishing.

As Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times observes, Rose is in over his head:

The Big Three scored a combined 73 points in Game 3.

If Rose doesn’t play his best when Miami is at its best, the Bulls don’t have much of a chance.

Now the focus falls on (coach Tom) Thibodeau. After most practices, he and Rose watch film together to see how best to attack the other team’s defense. Thibs is going to have to be refitted for his genius hat. He has to figure out ways to get Rose free in time for Game 4. If he doesn’t, how does a 3-1 Heat lead feel?

It seems obvious: The Bulls need to run. Let Rose create. Let him improvise. Let him go. Rose in a half-court offense against this good a Miami defense is suicide.

“I tried to let my teammates create for others,’’ he said. “That’s what I made the team try to do. Sometimes I tried to beat the double team, and sometimes I just tried to pass and make it easy.’’

And that’s just it: I don’t want to see Luol Deng trying to create. I want to see Rose doing the creating. The options are limited when the Bulls aren’t shooting well. Rose can dish off all he wants, but if his team shoots 41.6 from the floor, which it did Sunday, forget it.

Can the Bulls now flip the series around and win three of the next four games from the Heat? How much closer would they be to accomplishing that feat if they had another wing scorer/finisher like Lee or Richardson in their lineup?

Conventional wisdom in sports says that if you have a chance to win a championship, you reach out and grab it, then worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes while you’re already polishing your trophy.

But the 7-foot Asik is only 24 years old. He’s active and aggressive. He’s quick, he hustles, he’s improving constantly on offense and he is a big man who can defend the pick-and-roll. In other words, he’s exactly the kind of big man that every team in the league is seeking, which is why Houston and Orlando would have pulled the trigger on deals for Lee or Richardson in a heartbeat.

Will the Bulls regret not making the move sometime in the next two or three days if they can’t get past Miami in this series?

But what about the next two or three (or more) years?

It says here that Forman and Paxson may not have made the popular choice for now, but the right one for the future.

‘Melo By Any Means Necessary

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Carmelo Anthony said it was “almost a must-win” game for his Knicks when they faced Orlando last night at Madison Square Garden.

Well, he wasn’t messing around.

It was an almost must-win game, and apparently that meant by any means necessary:

We’ll never condone wrestling takedowns being used on the basketball court. Never.

But since both Anthony and Magic swingman Jason Richardson scored on their takedowns, we’ll call it a draw and forget this ever happened.