Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Around the NBA

It's mostly a slow time in the NBA, hence the lack of regular NBA posts here lately. I do intend to do a full season preview, but the regular season is still two months away, so in the meantime, here's a quick roundup in case you've missed any of the recent storylines in the NBA.

  • Mo Williams got traded to the Cavs, who sent Joe Smith and Desmond Mason to the Oklahoma City THUNDER (see bel0w), and the Thunder sent Damon Jones, Luke Ridnour, and Adrian Griffin to Milwaukee. The prevalent media spin: Lebron James finally has a competent scorer to play alongside him, the Thunder are just clearing salary, and Milwaukee is getting rid of a talented player who happened to not fit in with what they're trying to do there. The McFruity spin: Williams does indeed have the ability to create shots for himself and others and score with moderate efficiency, and that's more than any other non-Lebron Cavs can say. However, he's 6'1" and not a great defender. Boobie Gibson is 6'2" and not a great defender. Delonte West is still officially a free agent. Gibson is a solid outside shooter, and Williams can shoot well enough to need guarding, and Cleveland's defense is strong everywhere else, so hopefully this move helps the team and gives Lebron a bit of a break on the offensive end. But the move isn't exactly a slam-dunk, you know? As for the Bucks: the most intriguing part of this deal to me is whether this gives more playing time to Ramon Sessions. I'll have more to say about Sessions at a later date, but in any case I think the fact that only Luke Ridnour stands between him and a starting point guard job must be a good thing.
  • Yes, the Oklahoma City team has an official name, and it's the Thunder. No word on whether the Golden State Warriors mascot is upset about this development.
  • Manu Ginobili needs ankle surgery and will miss the first month or so of the season.
  • During the league-mandated rookie transition program, Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were "caught in their hotel room with marijuana and women." (Yes, that's really how the story reads. Apparently the latter part is noteworthy because "Having visitors at the rookie transition program is not permitted."). I'm not linking to the story because it's stupid and as a basketball fan I don't care about it so I don't want to draw attention to the story or encourage the reporting of it. So is it hypocritical of me to write about it here? Yeah, a little bit. I just point it out in order to draw attention to how completely senseless it is to punish 20-year olds (or anyone, really) for smoking weed (let alone for hanging out with women).
  • Rod Benson, one of my favorite players I've never actually watched play, is going to play in France. He writes a very entertaining blog, and I really hope he continues to do so while he's overseas. I was hoping for him to get an NBA contract, but I guess that's for another time. In any case, congratulations Mr. Benson, and good luck! What with Josh Childress and Rod Benson and Brandon Jennings, I'm all excited to watch Euro-ball this year as an NBA fan.
  • The Suns traded away D.J. Strawberry to Houston, for Sean Singletary. It's not clear that either player will make it onto the roster of his new team, although I believe Strawberry would do well in Houston. Meaning Phoenix seemingly traded away Strawberry for nothing.
  • The Rockets then sent Patrick Ewing, Jr. to the Knicks for, essentially, nothing (they got the rights to Frederic Weis, who may never actually come to the NBA). The spin all seems to be about another Ewing on the Knicks, though he may not make the roster.
  • Ben Gordon STILL has not signed a contract with any NBA team, and supposedly he's been offered a contract to play in Moscow. I'll keep an eye on what happens . . .
  • Some random dude won a chance to play HORSE with Lebron James (hey, I told you it's the slow part of the offseason!).
Now you're caught up!

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