Tag: Amare Stoudemire

Udonis Haslem; Tayshaun Prince; Andre Drummond

Udonis Haslem: “I feel like I could go three or four more years”


Udonis Haslem, at age 35, will be back in Miami next season for at least one more run. Which seems fitting after a dozen seasons in South Beach already.

His game is deteriorating a little with age. However, because it was always based more on energy and effort — playing smart defense, crashing the boards, being an enforcer — he still brings some value to the court. He started 25 games and played almost 1,000 minutes for the Heat last season, averaging 4.2 points and 4.2 assists per game.

Haslem may be nearing the end of his career, but he told Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post he isn’t ready to hang up his sneakers.

“I feel pretty durable,” he said after his second straight season playing fewer than 1,000 minutes (after averaging 2,283 during his first seven seasons and playing fewer than 1,400 just once in his first 10). “I just make sure to keep myself ready and give myself a chance to play this game.

“I feel fine. I feel like I could go three or four more years depending on how Coach might need to use me or what the situation might be. When I was needed to go out there and play big minutes, I was able to put up some pretty decent numbers. If these guys need me, I’ve gotta make sure I stay ready.”

Haslem could be leaned on to prove he still has some gas in the tank next season — he did that with a few key games down the stretch last season (he scored 18 points against the Pistons, for example).

The Heat will start Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside up front, and behind them bring in Josh McRoberts, Amare Stoudemire, and Chris Andersen (although the Birdman has been mentioned as having been shopped around by the Heat). That’s an interesting front line but not the most durable one ever, and Haslem is going to have to step in some nights to make sure those guys get some rest (at the very least).

This is the last year of his contract ($2.9 million), whether the Heat will want him back remains to be seen. But he’s a veteran, stabilizing voice in the locker room, and that alone makes him a favorite of Pat Riley. So maybe three or four years isn’t out of the question.

Report: Milwaukee Bucks in talks to buy out Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders has played in just 27 games for the Bucks this season. First he missed time for personal reasons. Then came a 10-game suspension from the league for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there). Now that suspension has been extended past the 10 games (the team is again listing him out for “personal reasons”). All that comes after last season when a nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. Sanders has played just 50 games for the Bucks over two seasons since his four-year, $44 million deal kicked in.

The Bucks have had enough; they are moving on without him.

The Bucks have started talks to buyout the remaining two pus years of Sanders’ contract, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

Buyout discussions have begun between the Milwaukee Bucks and Larry Sanders that would make the recently suspended big man a free agent, according to league sources…

He’s been one of the league’s most impactful defensive big men when he’s been on the floor, but the surprising Bucks — off to a 30-23 start under Kidd — have coped well without him this season, posting a 12-7 record in those games while relying on the likes of John Henson, Ersan Ilyasova, Zaza Pachulia and the recently signed Kenyon Martin.

The Bucks see a future where this core of players — with a few additions — could grow into a real threat in the East. Sanders was to be part of that core, their defensive anchor, but this season the Bucks’ defense has been 1.9 points per 100 possessions better when Sanders is off the court. For Milwaukee, he’s just not worth the disruptions.

Sanders has said he plans to continue his NBA career and tweeted this out last week.

While it’s common for a player seeking a buyout to take a discount to get out of his deal (for example, that’s what Amare Stoudemire will do for the Knicks) there is no motivation for Sanders or his agent to give the Bucks a price break. They will pay full price to make him go away.

Next summer, if he does show he’s not smoking anymore, some team will take a shot on him. However, it’s going to be for far, far less than the $11 million he was set to make this year.

Shawn Marion announces he will retire after this season

Shawn Marion fashion photo

The Matrix is ready to walk away. On his own terms.

Four-time All-Star and NBA champion (2011 Mavericks) Shawn Marion is going to retire after this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is Marion’s 15th NBA season but at age 36 the pull of family was too strong, he told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

When the Suns drafted Marion in 1999, Marion set a goal to play 15 seasons. The 36-year-old believes he could play another three seasons but being away from his first child, 8-month-old Shawn, has convinced him to retire after this season with the Cavaliers.

“I wanted to go out on my terms,” Marion said. “The biggest thing is having a son. I got attached to him. Seeing him periodically is hard. Watching him grow up on pictures and videos is hard.”

Marion signed with Cleveland this summer in part to be closer to his son, who lives in Chicago. Also, the Cavaliers looked like contenders.

While Marion has played for other teams and won his ring since then, we will remember him as part of the revolutionary Phoenix Suns teams that featured Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire. Marion’s length, athleticism, and balanced game made him a great fit for those teams. He was part of the revolution in that he could play fast and at either the three or the four — and he could guard multiple positions well. Marion averaged 18.4 points and 10.0 rebounds but that really only tells part of the story of what he did with that team.

Ultimately, then GM Steve Kerr traded Marion for Shaquille O’Neal in an ill-fated move that spelled the end of the chances for those Suns.

Grantland’s Zach Lowe started an interesting debate on twitter.

In the end I think Marion misses the cut, but like Marion himself his case is sneaky good and based not on the raw numbers as much as the understanding of people who watched him on how he influenced the game.

Whatever happens with the Hall, Marion’s style will be missed.

Rumors: Knicks may go after Reggie Jackson this summer, or no one of consequence

Phoenix Suns v Oklahoma City Thunder

J.R. Smith and his $6.4 million owed next season are now gone. Amare Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani and a lot of other players come off the books as their contracts expire. After their moves this week the Knicks should have more than $25 million in cap space next summer to go after….

Maybe nobody?

That’s not really accurate, they will make a run at Marc Gasol for one, but the rumor is they are realistic about it and not optimistic they will land the Spanish big man. After that the names that come up are the Thunder’s Reggie Jackson and then, maybe nobody of note, reports Ian Begley of ESPN New York.

The feeling among some around the league is that the Knicks will instead target second- and third-tier free agents this summer and maintain some cap flexibility for the summer of 2016, when a free-agent class headlined by Kevin Durant becomes available.

One name to keep an eye on this summer is Reggie Jackson. NBA people expect the Knicks to have interest in Jackson, who can test free agency this summer. Jackson likely will be a restricted free agent. But with Oklahoma City having obtained Dion Waiters, the club may not break the bank to retain Jackson.

Durant’s potential free agency is like LeBron James’ in 2010 in the sense that he is such a game changer every team that can will make sure it has cap space to offer him a max contract. If he were to leave Oklahoma City — and that is still a big “if,” the Thunder remain the odds on favorite to retain him — teams such as his home town Wizards, the Lakers and a host of others will join the Knicks in trying to land the top scorer in the game.

I don’t think the Knicks should be totally quiet in free agency and only swing for the fences, they need to spend a little on role players who fit the triangle system. That means smart veteran guys, unselfish guys, and some guys who can space the floor with their shot. Not everybody fits in their system.

But they do need another star to go next to Carmelo Anthony and they do need to keep enough money free to offer the max to Gasol or Durant or whomever else they are able to land down the line. If they strike out on the big names this summer, they may very well keep most of their powder dry looking ahead to 2016.

John Wall looks like All-Star, Knicks look like the Knicks, Wizards cruise to win

John Wall, Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert

For Wizards fans, early Christmas afternoon was a chance to bask in the warmth of John Wall’s improved game and have dreams of playoff wins dance in their heads.

For Knicks fans, it was pretty much a lump of coal.

In the first of a five-game slate on Christmas Day the Wizards raced out to a first quarter lead and put it in cruise control much of the afternoon, leading by double digits almost the entire game, as the Wizards basically embarrassed the Knicks winning 102-91.

Wall was the star for the Knicks — he had nine points and six assists in first quarter, leading the Wizards to put up 34-points in the first 12 minutes. That’s he most they have scored in the first quarter all season. The Wizards were up by 11 after the first quarter and never were threatened again.

Wall finished with 24 points, 11 assists and six rebounds and was just orchestrating the game. Plus he was doing things like this.

The real noise in the game came in the fourth quarter when Wall took a hard foul from Quincy Acy in transition — Wall bounced up and shoved Acy, something he admitted after the game he shouldn’t have done. Acy came back at him and basically tried to throw a punch — which he pulled, it didn’t land, but the damage was done. Acy was ejected and it he can expect to miss another game or two for the suspension that will come.

“Me being a key player I’ve got to keep my emotions in check and not get a technical or get ejected, that could have cost us the game,” Wall said in a televised interview on ESPN afterward. “I’ve just got to do a better job of staying composed.”

Washington showed it’s usual balanced attack with good ball movement — Bradley Beal had 17 points, Kris Humphries had 14 (and beat Amare Stoudemire off the dribble a couple times), Nene had 12, Rasual Butler 11. The Wizards got 50 of their points in the paint and basically did whatever they wanted on offense.

The Knicks slogged on offense, there was very little ball movement and that led to Carmelo Anthony getting 34 points, mostly from the perimeter and mostly contested — 21 of Anthony’s 28 shots were contested, he hit 11 of those.

The Knicks have lost 16-of-17 and it showed just how far this roster is from the top teams in the East (and the Wizards are a top team, a potential Eastern Conference Finals participant). They don’t defend, they don’t share the ball, they don’t play good team basketball, and Derek Fisher can’t seem to motivate the troops. The Knicks are just a mess.

But things will get better next year, Phil Jackson promises. For now, just use the lump of coal to keep warm.