The Clippers both see a value in former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford and realize that he remains their best trade chip. That’s why he was shopped around at the draft and early in free agency.
The fact the Clippers went out and got Lance Stephenson this summer adds to their wing depth and, in theory, makes Crawford more expendable. At least if you believe in bounce-back Lance. Crawford has been frustrated by what he sees written on the wall, but the Clippers are not just going to give him away so there has been no deal.
Who wants Crawford? How about the Knicks, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
On the surface you can see the logic there for the Knicks, adding that kind of scoring depth gives them a boost, and for a bubble playoff team in the East that could be enough to put them over the hump. Maybe. It certainly makes it an interesting discussion. For the Clippers, the question is who would they want off the Knicks roster? And do they trust Stephenson to be their sixth man on the wing?
All that may not matter — making this deal happen is very difficult.
The Knicks renounced their trade exception from the J.R. Smith deal this summer to get under the salary cap and go after Arron Afflalo and Robin Lopez. That means the Knicks have to send salary back to the Clippers in this deal. And they don’t have players that work for that under the cap. Former Nets exec and Twitter star Bobby Marks laid it out well:
Calderon may make some sense for the Clippers if they do not trust Austin Rivers — and based on past performance they should not trust Austin Rivers. (Clips fans, do not let a couple decent playoff games cloud your judgment.) But making this deal happen is challenging at best. The two sides likely have to wait until the guys signed this summer can be added to the deal, which means December at the earliest. Even then, I wouldn’t bet on it.
Shawn Bradley wasn’t as bad as Twitter seems to remember him, even if he ended up on the wrong end of a lot of dunks. The 7’6″ center with a stick-figure build had six NBA triple-doubles — not with assists but with blocks — and was double-digit a game scorer with a PER above the league average at his peak. He lasted a dozen seasons in the league.
Still he is widely seen as a bust (it doesn’t help that Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn were taken right after Bradley). He was so thin he simply could be muscled around by guys with lower centers of gravity.
Could the same thing happen to Knicks’ rookie Kristaps Porzingis?
Phil Jackson backs his man but expressed this concern at the possibility when speaking to Charlie Rosen at ESPN.
Jackson projects that Porzingis will add at least 10 pounds of muscle before his first season commences, yet concerns still linger over his prize draft pick. “Like Shawn Bradley, who was nevertheless a pretty good player, KP might almost be too tall for the game. What I mean is that his core strength might never be good enough, and that he might not be able to get low enough to get himself into prime defensive position to body power rebounders or drivers.”
Porzingis showed promise at Summer League, but what also was clear was his need to put on some weight and get stronger because guys like Jahlil Okafor pushed him around with ease. And even if he puts on that weight, as Jackson said his center of gravity may be too high. That said, he showed a skill for using his length to compensate.
Porzingis showed far more skill and potential on offense than Bradley did — and he showed some shot-blocking chops. Not Bradley level, but he could develop into a rim protector.
It’s far, far too early to say how any of this draft class will turn out (Summer League is not a good predictor). But if I were a Knicks fan, I’d not be too worried about the Bradley comparison.
30 years after getting his own shoe with Nike, Michael Jordan is getting his own store. After the wild success of the Air Jordan line of sneakers, Jordan’s name has been spun off into its own separate brand under the Nike umbrella, which counts Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony among its endorsers. Now, for the first time ever, Jordan Brand is going to have its own store, separate from the rest of the Nike family. This location in Chicago will exclusively sell Jordan products.
From ESPN.com’s Scoop Jackson and Darren Rovell:
“I’ve been on these guys [at Nike] for some time, [saying] ‘We need to do a Jordan Brand store, and we need to do it in Chicago first,'” Michael Jordan told ESPN.com.
In the past year, a partnership between Nike and Footaction yielded Flight 23 stores in New York, in Las Vegas and two in suburban Chicago. But the new downtown location, named after its address, 32 South State Street, is the first that won’t be a co-branded location. It will be all Jordan.
The idea behind the store is not only to offer a wider selection of Jordan-branded product but also to tell the Jordan story and become part of the community. A space above the store can be used for Jordan-sponsored athletes or as a promotional space.
Chicago obviously seems like the ideal location for a flagship store for Jordan. Even though he’s now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, he still has deep ties to the city of Chicago, where he won six NBA championships and became arguably the greatest player of all time.