After leaving the turmoil that the Washington Wizards season became, landing with the Dallas Mavericks had to feel like Nirvana for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood. Stable organization, playoff team, fans in love with the team, what more could you want?
Butler doesn’t want to leave. Can’t say I blame him. However, as they always do, the Mavericks are considering roster shakeups this summer and with just one year left on his deal Butler is a tradable asset.
So in his Hoopshype blog, Butler made his pitch.
We’ll have an interesting summer now. I would like to continue to play for a winning franchise like the Mavericks. I have no more years to waste on rebuilding or something like that. I look forward to being in a great situation and that’s what Dallas has been to me. The fans have been awesome. They welcomed me with open arms and I had a great time out there.
All that said, I’m aware that it’s all going to depend on what Dirk Nowitzki decides. You kind of feel what he wants is to stay a Maverick for life, but you can never know for sure. You just have to wait and see what happens during free agency. If you ask me, I would like this team to stay together. We’re not that far off. We could return next season with the exact same squad and compete for the title. We have the experience, leadership and everything else in place to make it happen.
Actually, you need another piece or two to get past the Lakers — and maybe others — in the West. Hence the trade talk. But Butler gets that; if anybody understands this is a business it’s him. The man was once traded for Kwame Brown. Reality doesn’t slap you in the face much more than that.
Wherever he lands, Butler will be a good, professional player. That is who he is.
Delon Wright made some big plays down the stretch to help the Raptors to a Game 5 win over the Wizards last night. With Toronto up 3-2 in the first-round series and the home team winning the first five games, Game 6 is tomorrow in Washington.
Oubre, via Candace Buckner of The Washington Post:
“The next game is a different story. We’re back at home. Just like Delon doesn’t play well anywhere else, you know, other than at home,” Oubre said, sharing inspiration coupled with a touch of an insult. “You can kind of chalk it up as the same story.”
Wright decided not to escalate the conflict when reporters asked him about it.
Wright has been much better in Toronto than Washington in this series. His average game score is 14.7 at home and 5.7 on the road.
But that’s such a small sample. During the regular season, there wasn’t nearly such a big split between Wright’s average game score at home (8.4) and on the road (6.9).
For what it’s worth, Oubre has a somewhat similar home-road average-game-score split, both in this series (9.4 at home, 6.3 on the road) and during the regular season (8.1 at home, 7.5 on the road). Which Oubre basically acknowledged in his diss of Wright/self-own.
This is pretty typical Oubre – hyper-competitive verging on out of control. It’s fun regardless.
Let’s just say he’s right, though, and the Wizards win Game 6. Game 7 would be Sunday in Toronto, where, by Oubre’s own admission, Wright plays well and the Raptors are undefeated in the postseason. Then what?
The Bulls tanked so hard this year, the NBA warned them to cut it out. It was a rare instance of the league responding to actual tanking measures rather than just talk of preferring to lose.
Bulls executive John Paxson, via Vincent Goodwill of NBC Sports Chicago:
“We did this year what we felt was in the longterm best interests of the Bulls,” Paxson said. “It’s not a situation that any of us want to ever be in again; it goes against everything as a competitive person that you believe in; but it’s the way the system is set up.”
Chicago could try to turn around quickly. The Bulls project to have about $25 million in cap space this summer – enough to land a good player or two.
Mark Schanowski of NBC Sports Chicago:
The assumption in league circles is the Bulls will wait until 2019 to make their big move when players like Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving could be on the market, and might consider signing with the Bulls after watching another year of development from LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn.
This is the wise course. It’s unlikely Chicago can lure anyone good enough to lift such a young core quickly. The Bulls are better off remaining patient – and bad, which will net another high draft pick as Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn develop.
This is also probably the course thrust upon Chicago. Even if they wanted to, the Bulls probably can’t land a premier free agent this summer. Star free agents can see the same problems with Chicago trying for a quick fix and will likely avoid the situation.
There’d be no harm in trying for top free agents like LeBron James or even Paul George. But the Bulls will probably be relegated to 2019 if they want to sign someone meaningful. Better they realize that than make a desperate attempt for relevance this year.
In 2011, the Trail Blazers surprisingly fired Rich Cho after only season as general manager.
Cho – since hired and fired by the Hornets – seems to be holding a grudge.
John Canzano of The Oregonian:
That’s a sentiment many people hold toward their former employer. Few say so publicly. That Cho did indicates just how strongly he feels.
Under owner Paul Allen, the Trail Blazers have run through numerous executives. It’s part of the culture in Portland, and it leaves a lot of outgoing people bitter.
Current general manager Neil Olshey ought to be mindful of that.
Josh Allen, a quarterback from Wyoming, could be the No. 1 pick in tonight’s NFL draft. But his recently unearthed high school tweets – which include using the n-word with an ‘a’ at the end – are the sports story of the day.
And there’s an NBA tie.
Via Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports:
I hate LeBron!!!!! #LeBronSucks
— Josh Allen (@JoshAllenQB) June 7, 2011
Damian Lillard went down this same road with LeBron James, and they got past it.
But it would be a little more awkward if the Cleveland Browns – who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks – take Allen. Then, Allen will face more scrutiny over this tweet – the most innocuous of the bunch.