There will be no Rajon Rondo for Iman Shumpert and pieces deal going down between the Celtics and Knicks — Boston GM Danny Ainge rightfully laughed that one off.
But there might be a Celtics/Knicks deal that Boston officials would consider — a swap of bad contracts.
Chris Broussard of ESPN threw up this tweet.
This time it should be the Knicks that say no.
First off, to make this trade work under the NBA trade rules it would have to be Gerald Wallace, Courtney Lee and someone or something else, mostly likely a pick (unless Celtics fans want to move Jordan Crawford or Jared Sullinger… didn’t think so).
Yes, adding Wallace and Lee would be an upgrade for the Knicks this season and next over what Amare Stoudemire’s knees will let him offer. Those two are not game changes, but they help.
Here’s the problem for New York: Their pitch to Carmelo Anthony on why he stays with New York this summer is based around the idea that “in 2015 we will have a lot of cap space and can get another star to pair with you and win a ring.” Stoudemire is off the books by then, however the deals for both Wallace and Lee extend into the 2015-16 season — they would heat up $15.8 million of the cap space in that summer you are trying to convince Anthony is such a great thing.
The Knicks roster right now seems thrown together without a grand plan in mind, 2015 is a chance to start really changing that. This kind of trade gives you a limited short-term boost at the expense of the long term — the Knicks have done enough of that over the years. They need to think big picture. Which means not doing deals like this.
Just a suggestion for rookie Dejounte Murray: Don’t do this in front of Gregg Popovich. You may not like his reaction.
That said, the Spurs needed to get more athletic this off-season — landing Pau Gasol certainly didn’t help that cause — so enter first-round pick Murray, who pulled this off in a recent pickup game.
Murray is going to be brought along slowly in a backcourt where Tony Parker and Patty Mills will be splitting time at the point. Murray is more of a combo guard and is going to have to shoot a lot better than he did in college (28.8 percent from three) to get some run. But this is a situation where the Spurs can groom him, bring him along slowly, and see if they have another draft steal.
He’s certainly got the athleticism.
James Harden‘s defense is not as bad as its reputation.
Well, at least it wasn’t two seasons ago — his near MVP season he was in good enough shape that he could put in a respectable effort on that end and still handle his massive offensive load. There were still some mental lapses, but his focus was better and his improvement lifted the team defense. Last season, he regressed back to youtube “highlight” defense Harden — his conditioning was not where it needed to be, he didn’t expend as much effort on that end, and it showed.
Harden got a massive contract extension this summer, and Dwight Howard is Atlanta’s problem — now Harden has to lead the Rockets. By example. Corey Brewer told ESPN you’re going to see that on defense.
“I think this year he’s going to play better defense, We’re going to let the past be in the past. It’s the future of the Rockets, man. James is going to play defense this year.”
We’re all Missourians on this one: Show me.
Remember that the Rockets will be out and running — Mike D’Antoni is the coach now, and Daryl Morey is going to get the up tempo ball he wants (which Kevin McHale had them doing, but Harden didn’t like him so…). D’Antoni’s teams in Phoenix played better defense than their reputation — points per possession they were middle of the pack — but that has never been his focus.
Will Harden be able to run like he needs to on offense and still defend at a reasonable level?
If he can, it’s a big step toward the Rockets being a dangerous team in the West because if he does it others will follow. Otherwise, every Rockets game will be a shootout, which is entertaining but not going to get a team deep into the playoffs.
I can see the questions on Twitter/in the comments already so let me save you some time.
Because it’s summer.
Because it’s Drake (he’s a celebrity and an NBA hanger-on with some quasi-official position with the Raptors).
Because Stephen Curry did it, too.
Because what other hoops are you watching on a late August afternoon?
And besides, you clicked on it. You know you want to see it.
So here it is, Drake, hitting a halfcourt shot while doing a sit up. Enjoy.
Mario Chalmers was thriving with the Grizzlies after a midseason trade from the Heat when a torn Achilles ended his season.
Not the way Chalmers wanted to enter free agency.
Still unsigned, he says he’s progressing.
Can he go 100%, though? If not, when?
A few teams could use another point guard. If Chalmers shows his health, he belongs in someone’s rotation. But that might require taking a low-paying deal and working his way up from the third point guard spot – or even just onto the regular-season roster.