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Quick blurb today. I’m gonna do a nba season/off season preview and recap unlike the traditional heavy hitters starting tomorrow. Happy Sunday :)
August is traditionally the slowest month of NBA news, so I’m just going to do a recap of what went down.
The four-team trade between Houston, New Orleans, New Jersey and Indiana was pretty much a yawner for even the most casual fans. The Rockets apparently had in-house beef between Aaron Brooks and Trevor Ariza all year, and since a good PG is hard to find and wingmen are a dime a dozen in today’s NBA, Ariza was shipped out for Courtney Lee from the Nets. While this could be looked at as a cost-cutting news, it is also about talent consolidation for the Rockets. Ariza never fulfilled his contract he signed last summer, and with the chemistry issues with their floor general, they freed up minutes for Chase Budinger behind Shane Battier and get a solid backup in Lee for when Kevin Martin goes down. Again. But the most overlooked item in this trade for Houston is the trade exception they received since Lee makes significantly less than Ariza. Come February’s trade deadline, the Rockets hold a big bargaining for a team that wants to cut costs and ship out a rotational player. Rockets get a “B” grade for this, and possibly an “A” if they do something with that trade exception.
Not much to say about the Hornets. They traded heavily coveted Darren Collison for Ariza. Now let’s say Chris Paul is content in New Orleans, is Ariza and his contract really much better than Collison and James Posey? And what if Paul really does join forces in the Big Apple with Carmelo and Stoudemire? Then they’re stuck at mediocrity for a long time. Hornets get a “D” grade.
The Nets I think are the quiet winners in this trade. While it’s hard to let a player of Lee’s caliber go, they have a very strong guard rotation in Terrence Williams and Chris Douglas-Roberts who both also need playing time. Williams is the better of the trio and should develop next year into a great rotation player. Now by adding Troy Murphy, the Nets can slowly bring along draft pick Derrick Favors off the bench. I expect Favors to be starting before Christmas Day however. This also gives the Nets flexibility come February, as Murphy is an expiring contract player who could be moved yet again to a team fighting for a playoff spot. Nets get a surprising “A” grade.
Larry Bird finally pulled off a good trade for his Pacers. He got an up and coming PG in Collison for a player they didn’t need next season in Murphy with hottie Tyler Hansborough coming off a sub-par rookie season filled with injuries. Psycho T gives it 100% every game and watching him, Collison and Granger together should finally give the Pacers fans something to cheer about. The Pacers get a “A” grade.
And now Lance Stephenson. If you haven’t heard already, recently signed Pacers guard Stephenson was arrested today for pushing his girlfriend down a flight of steps at 5AM in the morning. Before he could even step foot on the court, his career is probably already over since he was a second round draft choice. The NBA has really taken a stand against violence in the past few years after. Throw in the fact that the Pacers just traded for Collison last week, his NBA future doesn’t look too good. Now there are two sides to every story, so maybe something will change this week when details are revealed. Even though I will never sleep with a girl, I would still never lay a hand on them, no matter how crazily annoying they are.
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