Remember the Michael Beasley at Kansas State? He killed people from the post. He was an amazing finisher at the rim, with either hand. He could face up and blow by anyone. He worked hard off the ball. He was so fluid. He had 13 30 point, 10 rebound games. He looked like a man among boys at Kansas State.
When he got with the men in the NBA, he looked different. Small, and bothered by the long arms and challenged shots at the next level. He was chased out of the post, last season taking more shots from 16 feet on out than he did at the rim (and not hitting them, he shot 39 percent on long twos and 27.5 percent from three). Then there was spending last summer in league-imposed substance-abuse treatment. He has not been terrible, but he has been pretty average on the court. Which is not what is expected out of the number two pick overall.
How far has he fallen? He was offered to the New Jersey Nets for Keyon Dooling, and the Nets said no. That came up on ESPN’s daily NBA podcast Wednesday.
Our own Ira Winderman said in the South Florida Sun Sentinel the reason is it is all about the money.
While Keyon is due $3.6 million next season, his contract can be bought out for $500,000 by June 29. So, in essence, the Heat can launder Beasley’s contract through a Dooling trade, release Dooling, and then benefit by the extra cap space. I would not be surprised if the Heat made such an offer. That said, I made a bunch of calls after ESPN mentioned the possibility on one of its podcasts and came to the realization that the Nets simply have no interest in Beasley and would rather maximize their own cap space. I requested comment from the Heat and got the expected no comment. Still, it would not surprise me at all if the Heat, at this stage, was willing to deal Michael for mere cap space. The greater question is whether there is anyone out there willing to take on Michael and his off-court baggage, especially another space team.
This fall is just a little reminder of how precarious any draft pick, even ones that seem the sure thing, can be.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.