Posts Tagged “NBA”

I was absolutely shocked that the Wolves did not move up in the NBA lottery. Just shocked. The Wolves have been around since 1989. They have never moved UP in the draft. They have always drafted where their record dictates they should draft or lower. That is hard to do. Good things simply don’t happen to the Wolves. I mentioned something similar two years ago.

Even as an unbiased fan I think the lottery system is broken. The NBA has changed the rules of the lottery multiple times, can’t they do it again? What if they had four pools of teams? Right now 14 teams are in the lottery. Here is my suggestion.
• Teams 13 and 14 simply draft in those positions. This year, that would be Indiana who finished 36-46 (missed the playoffs by three games) and Phoenix, who finished 46-36 (winning record, would have been the 5th seed in the East, missed the playoffs by two games in the West).
• Teams 9, 10, 11 and 12 pull names out of a hat to draft in those positions
• Teams 5, 6, 7 and 8 pull names out of a hat to draft in those positions
• Teams 1, 2, 3 and 4 pull names out of a hat to draft in those positions
Why doesn’t that work? Teams sandbag at the end of the year now hoping for one more ping pong ball. You could still technically have a weighted lottery in each group. Or just give each team an equal chance within that group. That would give a 25% chance for each team in each group to get the highest pick in that group. That has to be better than the current system.

The lottery clearly isn’t the only reason the Wolves are terrible, but a little luck can’t hurt.

Let’s recap the past few years.

2005: Minnesota drafts Rashad McCants (Danny Granger was selected three picks later)
2006: Minnesota drafts Brandon Roy (3rd team All-NBA this year) with the 6th overall pick and traded him for Randy Foye, the 7th overall pick.
2007: Portland and Minnesota tie for the sixth worse record in the league. There is a coin flip, which Minnesota wins so they have a slightly better chance in the lottery. BUT, Portland moves up from the 7th pick to the 1st pick and takes Greg Oden (could have had Kevin Durant). Minnesota ends up with Corey Brewer. Not a great draft overall.
2008: Minnesota gets the highest draft pick in their history (#3 – last time they had the #3 pick they took Christian Laettner after Shaq and Alonzo Mourning). They draft OJ Mayo and trade him for Kevin Love. –> I’m still holding out hope that this works out. They could have drafted Russell Westbrook or Eric Gordon….hmmm.
2009: Minnesota and Memphis tie for the fifth worse record in the league. Minnesota wins the coin flip, giving them a slightly better chance at moving up in the lottery. BUT, Memphis moves up to the #2 spot and Minnesota moves down to the 6th pick.

I want to be excited for basketball in Minnesota again. I want to root for the Wolves. It’s been tough since KG left and tougher given the decisions the front office has made and the terrible luck the franchise has had in the lottery.

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Beat LA…Beat LA….Beat LA…

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Something has to be done, right? Obviously for the Suns the Shaq trade didn’t work. They traded for him specifically to have an inside presence against the Spurs. That obviously failed miserably. Tim Duncan is clearly on the downside of his career. However, he averaged 24.8ppg, 13.8rpg, 2.6apg and 2.8bpg the five playoff games vs. Phoenix. For the season, his averages were 19.3ppg, 11.3rpg, 2.8apg and 1.95bpg. I don’t think Shaq helped. Steve Nash just can’t stop Tony Parker either. I like Steve Nash and really like how he plays. I just don’t think he has the physical ability to stay in front of Tony Parker. Parker averaged 11 more points per game in the playoffs than he did in the regular season.

Is it time to break up the Suns? I think so. Good luck finding a taker for Shaq. He has two years left at $20 million per year. Nash has one year left at $12.2 million and a team option for a second year. Boris Diaw, the guy who averaged less than nine points, five rebounds, and four assists per game during the season, is still owed three more years at $9 million per year with a player option for the fourth. If they could find a way to unload Shaq this summer they have a “chip and a chair” to turn things around.

Phoenix is the team who traded Joe Johnson for Diaw and pieces and also traded Luol Deng for a box of Wheaties (what turned out to be Nate Robinson and Jackson Vroman).

The Mavs basically traded Devin Harris for Jason Kidd (yes, Keith Van Horn somehow made millions of dollars in this trade too). In the Mavs first round series, Jason Kidd was able to hold Chris Paul to 24.6ppg, 12apg, 5.6rpg and 2spg. In other words, if New Orleans could play Dallas every game Chris Paul would be a first ballot Hall-of-Famer by the All-Star Break, 2009. But Jason Kidd scored too. 8.6ppg, 7.5rpg and 6.8apg. AND “ason” (which is Jason with no “J”) shot 42% from the field. What do you do when you aren’t shooting well? You get to the free-throw line. Jason Kidd got to the line eight times per game? No. Eight times in FIVE games. With Dallas, Kidd averaged 9.9ppg, 9.5apg and 6.4rpg. Kidd will make $21 million next season. With the Nets, Devin Harris averaged 15.4ppg, 6.5apg and 3.2rpg. Harris made $3.9 million this season.

Kidd has one more season at $21 million. Nowitzki is owed $38 million the next two years with a player option for a third year. Josh Howard has two more years at $10+ million per year with a team option for a third year. Jason Terry is owed $41 million for the next four years. Erick Dampier has three years and $30+ million left on his contract. On a positive note, Dampier is only slight below his career average of 8.1 ppg (he averaged 6ppg this year).

On second thought, maybe the Mavs don’t need to break it up. Michael Finley ($18.5 million), Shawn Bradley ($5.2 million) and Juwan Howard ($1.2 million) come off the books this summer. The Mavs have $68.1 million tied up next year for Kidd, Nowitzki, Howard, Dampier and Terry.

As a Timberwolves fan who had to suffer through poor management and decisions for so many years. I will enjoy watching these two franchises struggle for the next few years.

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