Every time Gerald Wallace opens his mouth, it sounds to me like a guy bucking for a trade. He is trying to grease the skids out of town. It started in the preseason with his attempts at “leadership.”
However, with his contract, he may have no choice but to suck it up for a while.
Wallace was taken out of the starting rotation by coach Brad Stevens for Wednesday night’s game in Utah, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
But Wallace’s unhappiness goes back much father than that. Wallace’s latest comment was about his role in Boston and how he feels out of place, something he explained to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
“It’s hard,” Wallace said. “It’s like starting from scratch zero with this team and trying to figure out what direction they’re headed in and what pieces they’re going to put together. For me, I’ve already been through that situation. I was on an expansion team in Charlotte. I’ve established myself. To have to start all over on a team that’s starting from scratch is very difficult.”
Honestly, I get where Wallace is at here. He’s 31, been in the league 13 years now and has only seen the second round of the playoffs once (2003 with the Kings). He’s gotten paid, now he wants to win not be on a team that’s rebuilding, and not be with a college coach finding his way in the NBA as well. He wants to get moved to a team where he feels the games will matter this season. I appreciate that.
But he has two years and $20.2 million on his contract after this season — combine that with the new luxury tax and what Wallace brings to the table (9.2 points a game on 39.7 percent shooting last season with a PER of 11.6) and it will be tough to move him. It can be done, but Boston might have to throw in a sweetener of some kind. Which rebuilding teams are loath to do.
Wallace needs to be quiet. He doesn’t have the gravitas or style to pull off the Kevin Garnett style of leadership. He needs to lead by example, play well enough that a team will want to take on his contract, then hope for the best.
Everyone else thinks Dwight Howard is getting out of Houston this summer.
Jason Terry isn’t convinced.
Dwight Howard has a player option this summer, which he is expected to exercise and become a free agent. For one thing, he’d do it for the pay raise — he wants a max contract, starting at about $30 million. The other reason is he and James Harden have not blended in Houston, and Howard wants a fresh start.
But Jason Terry isn’t convinced yet. Terry was on SiriusXM NBA Radio and told Justin Termine and Eddie Johnson Howard may stay put. Here is the quote, via Hoopshype.
“I wouldn’t rule (a return) out. He has yet to opt out. Again, it’s just going to depend on if you get the right coach in there. At this point in his career, he’s not going to be the focal point offensively. They’ve made that clear. He’s gonna have to, if he remains in Houston, buy into the role fully, commit himself to setting screens, rebounding, running the floor, blocking shots and working on his free throws, obviously.”
In theory, a coach could come in and convince Howard to stay. In theory, I could capture Bigfoot and prove his existence to the world. Those have about the same odds of happening.
Forgetting the whole “Howard wants another max contract” thing, what Terry said about Howard accepting a role is the issue. Howard said he went directly to Rockets GM Daryl Morey and asked for a bigger role — and he was shot down. Howard does not want to accept a lesser role where his primary job is rebounding and defense, just like he never wanted to accept running more pick-and-roll and working less from the post even though he was much better at the former than the latter. Howard wants what Howard wants.
And I’d be shocked if he doesn’t want out of Houston.
A good rule of thumb: If LeBron James is getting few breakaway dunks, the other team is in trouble.
Enter the Toronto Raptors, who got to watch a dunking clinic by LeBron as he had multiple breakaways during the Cavaliers’ 38-point win on Wednesday night. LeBron played well, and the Cavaliers got a balanced attack from their stars — 25 points from Kevin Love, 23 each from LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
Watch LeBron’s night above. Toronto needs to find a way to keep him from having another game like this Friday.
After a beatdown at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 — a loss where he was just 5-of-12 shooting, a loss that has the Raptors on the brink of playoff elimination — Kyle Lowry did what he had to do and went in front of the media to answer questions and try to explain that loss.
But really, his face when he walked into the interview room and saw the box score summed up the Raptors night perfectly.
Lowry and the Raptors need to turn it around and win at home Friday night to keep their playoff dream alive another day.
The Memphis Grizzlies have found their man — Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale has been offered the head coaching job in Memphis. He’s a smart coach who earned the trust of elite players and was a key part of the staff that helped Miami to a couple of rings.
It’s a good hire. Don’t just take my word for it, check out what a couple Heat players from that era had to say.
Mario Chalmers had a first-hand view — he was traded from Miami to Memphis in the middle of last season. The point guard who went the other way in that deal, Beno Udrih, also helped push the deal along.
Fizdale is going to be a popular hire with the players. That said, if the Grizzlies can’t keep Mike Conley in free agency the team is going to have struggles this season, regardless of who coaches them.