Report: Suns close to acquiring Turkoglu, Childress in trades

1 Comment

Well, this is certainly… something. 

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Phoenix Suns are close to two separate deals to acquire two small forwards at opposite ends of their careers, both with sizable contracts. 
First up, hailing from Turkey and loving pizza, Hedo Turkoglu and your $43 million in remaining contract, head on down! The Suns are close to sending Leandro Barbosa for Turkoglu along with using part of their remaining trade exception from the Amar’e Stoudemire sign-and-trade. Turkoglu was a pivotal part of the Orlando Magic’s run to the Finals two years ago. His pick and roll offense and work inside of the Magic’s elite defense landed him as a top free agent last summer. 
And then Toronto happened. Turkoglu was an outright disaster. Unable to keep up on the floor, lost on defense, injury plagued and looking generally lazy. His contract with Toronto looked like the single worst move of the summer. The contract was an albatross around their neck, and if Colangelo can ditch it, it’s a considerably brilliant maneuver to continue with the rebuilding process. Barbosa provides speed and perimeter attack, but obviously won’t help much with Toronto’s worst-ranked defense. 
For Phoenix, Turkoglu is expected to play power-forward, which would be a great idea if he had the frame, athleticism, or youth to compete at that position.
The other move? 
They’re a playoff team loaded on wings. He’s a small forwarded who’s been playing in Greece for three years. Together, they’re one wacky match! Being acquired in a sign-and-trade for a second rounder with a 5-year, $30 million contract, Josh Childress! 
(/music plays)
I’d love to give you some sort of deep analysis on this series of moves, but in reality, my brain has exploded all over the wall and I’m writing this thing out of a compulsive motor function.
The Suns do need to replace Amar’e Stoudemire and find a younger replacement for Grant Hill. Childress is young, athletic, and should fit with the Suns immediately. Turkoglu is a huge gamble with minimal pay-off, but if the Suns can get top value out of him, the same way the Suns have used their regenerative powers on many veterans. The Raptors continue to rebuild, and the Hawks… well, they had to get something for Childress and there’s not much room after giving Joe Johnson King Solomon’s savings account. 
The Summer of Madness continues. 

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
Leave a comment

DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.