The trick here is to look past the actual conjectured free agency target and look to the greater schematic. But we’ll start with said conjectured free agency targets. From the Miami Herald:
If the Heat cannot sign preferred choices Shane Battier, Grant Hill or Tayshaun Prince postlockout, Miami will consider Michael Redd and Tracy McGrady, among others.
via UM’s Armstrong, Forston, Benjamin trying to take next step – Sports Buzz – MiamiHerald.com.
Tracy McGrady joining LeBron James. Really, we just need Vince Carter and Stephon Marbury and we have ourselves quite the team of the people.
The Heat just got through with a year where they dealt with a myriad of injuries, so signing Redd would be far too much of a bad thing. Redd’s percentage has plummeted since knee injury 600, and there’s been little indication he can recover fully at age 32.
More interesting, however, is the fact that these are all wings. So the team that features the 1A/1B shooting guard in the league and the No.1 small forward in the league is looking to add another shooting guard/small forward. For all the talk of Mario Chalmers being the future at point guard, it’s pretty clear from this short list that they want to run the LeBron-Wade point guard system a lot more in coming seasons, even if it’s off of bench adjustment situations.
Battier provides the lockdown defender to let James and Wade focus on offense. Prince provides the length and versatility. Hill provides the shooting and leadership. Redd provides a spot-up shooter if he gets well, and McGrady? Well, McGrady had a surprisingly good season last year and can do a lot of things, if his head’s in the right place. And what with all the humility and good vibes in the Heat locker room, that should be no problem.
This should be entertaining, either way.
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.
Joakim Noah is playing 20.6 minutes a night coming off the bench for Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls this season.
And he doesn’t like it. He wants more run. He was getting 10 minutes more a night last season under Tom Thibodeau, and Noah wants some of those minutes back. Nick Friedel of ESPN sent out a tweet that was a reminder of just that.
Three thoughts here.
1) Reducing minutes for guys who battle injuries every season by the time the playoffs roll around was one huge reason Fred Hoiberg was brought in to coach the Bulls and Tom Thibodeau was shown the door. This isn’t just Hoiberg, the minutes reduction comes from management. While it is possible Noah’s spot in the rotation shifts (he could start at some point) and he might get a little more run, the Thibodeau era is gone.
2) There are legit reasons for Noah to want to play. First, he is a competitor who doesn’t like sitting. Second, the Bulls’ defense is elite when he plays (allowing 95.5 points per 100 possessions) and the Bulls outscore opponents by 1.3 per 100 when he plays. Finally, Noah is in the final year of his contract and scoring just 3.1 points per game is not going to help him earn more cash in the next deal.
3) Barring injury to another big, don’t expect a change.