2.21.2008

Margins With a View



I sincerely apologize to all of you who have come here looking for reaction to the Cavs trade. Ferry took a crappy situation and made incremental improvements. Wally is not Larry Hughes, though I would encourage you all to remember—this man once stole a pass from teammate Kevin Garnett. And up in Seattle, he's made an art form out of freezing out Durant. Wallace's brokedown-ness is roughly equivalent to Gooden's poor judgment, but he exudes wisdom and can play center. Delonte West will break your heart—his game is nice, except it only intermittently works. He's also pretty much the streetwear Damon Jones, all the same hamminess without the Pixar aspirations.

However, I am an idealist, not a realist. I want to believe that, even if the going small is now passe, its legacy of speed can enter into an unholy Frankensteinian union with the cult of the big man. I see the West as the conference of ideas, while the East tweaks the edges and espouses pragmatism. And for these reasons, for me the signature trade of this evening is Gerald Green's return to Houston.

Right before the dunk contest, Kelly Dwyer called Gerald Green "an All-Star talent who is probably a year removed from being an NBDL benchwarmer, or hooking up with an overseas contract that doesn't have a chance of being fulfilled." As Green staggered through the wastelands of pre-boom Boston, or shivered on the bench in Minny, this seemed like the most cruel, sad, and apt description within reach.



Green's entire career had been one long downward slide, with the occasional big night or highlight hammer only furthering the joke. But right now, I see a twenty-two year-old who—stop me if you've heard this before—has all the potential in the world and no shortage of time on his side. Sounds like J.R. Smith all over again, and yet Green's not even looking for renewal. Smith had that rookie season of note; Green, on the other hand, is still hoping for his career to start.

Green's coming back to Houston, his hometown. As the Recluse awesomely observed, he'll be under the watch of Tracy McGrady, the player he was supposed to emulate. It's an ultra-hospitable situation, one that fills you with hope and seals off the wound left by the Battier/Gay trade (I know, I know). On the one hand, this could be Green's last shot. Then again, he's the age of a college senior, and has a team willing to take a chance on him. The question isn't whether or not he'll do right by others, but whether he'll finally be afforded the opportunity to develop into a professional basketball player. Because lord knows, wandering through mismanaged, scantly-coached lottery logjams is not the way to see if a talent like Green will sink or swim.

That said, I only have the patience to deal with one J.R. Smith. If it weren't for the picture-perfect DAWN, FINALLY feel of this, and if nothing good happens in the next year or so, I'll give up without guilt. However, for now, I am in the business of hope.



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24 Comments:

At 2/22/2008 12:48 AM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Even though the guys Ferry traded for may be overrated, shitheads, or overrated shitheads (how long til Bron takes out a hit on Wally?), it's half of the perfect capper to The Year The GMs Grew Balls. That trade is kind of like the big scene at the end of the movie where all the shit blows up, and then the Gerald Green trade feels like the guy in the movie who you didn't think would make it through all the explosions getting a second lease on life. Kind of. Maybe I just need to start watching better movies.

 
At 2/22/2008 1:10 AM, Blogger Marcus said...

The East just doesn't have the players. But Lebron is all by himself a big idea. Every new player around him is an experiment that offers the potential for discovery.

I was going to say that Wally would never dare to piss off Lebron. Playing off LBJ is so obviously the last big chance for Wally to go down in NBA history, and in his own state no less. But are you saying that Wally actually fucked around with Kevin Garnett, of all people?

 
At 2/22/2008 1:12 AM, Blogger Marcus said...

Oh, and also, Wally's contract expires next year, part of a total of $25 million in expiring contracts. Next year will be the Big Leap, the Pippen-esque star to follow the failed Larry Hughes experiment. This was just to restore Lebron's faith in the organization.

And at least I won't have to watch any more 3-17 nights from Larry Hughes.

 
At 2/22/2008 1:30 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

There I go again, failing on the Cavs front. I forgot that Wally's contract expires in 2009.

Still, LeBron's got that opt-out in 2010, so that's what, one year to build a dynasty? And who exactly is available that year? Looking around, I'm not seeing anyone who jumps out as LeBron's Pippen. At least not anyone who is likely to be readily available.

Don't say Odom. He's a zany third option and teams now realize this. Also I think he's key to these new Lakers. Elton Brand?

I sound like Skip Bayless, who I actually had to watch for ten minutes today.

 
At 2/22/2008 3:02 AM, Blogger Krolik1157 said...

ARENAS. I dream.

 
At 2/22/2008 4:59 AM, Blogger knowing is knowledge said...

I completely agree bout Odom shoals. I think he is best when he is allowed to be a third option. When he is a second option, he forces things and isn't effective, but in this situation he'll able to act as the perfect facilitator/point forward for the Triangle. The lakers are for real.

 
At 2/22/2008 5:51 AM, Blogger BW said...

I thought everyone was coming here for Primoz Brezec-Juan Dixon analysis.

 
At 2/22/2008 10:49 AM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

It seems to me that LeBron doesn't need a Pippen - he's the evolutionary version of Pippen, raised to an MVP-level. Seems to me he needs either a SG who can nail open jumpers, or a point guard.

Therefore forget Odom (redundant), and strive for Baron Davis.

 
At 2/22/2008 11:58 AM, Blogger J Rock said...

LeBron is Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson.

He needs his Alcindor or Jabbar.

 
At 2/22/2008 12:07 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Can someone please ban Highrespectable? Dude's fucking spamming every entry with that shit.

I don't think this Cavs deal was one to fix everything now, I think Ferry's just trying to get things in place to make some real deals this summer or next year.

Wally's expiring contract may be overrated though. Next year there are an inordinate amount of players with large expiring deals (the aforementioned Odom being one of them), so I'm guessing all the expiring contracts will make each individual one less valuable in a trading sense. For instance, Kwame Brown's expiring $9m contract was so valuable this year because other than Theo Ratliff's contract it was the only big expiring K out there (other than re-signing guys like PJ Brown or KVH). Will there be a million trades out there next year with teams trying to stockpile a ton of guys who are expiring? And if so, will we suddenly have half the league with tons of capspace in the summer of 2009 and a shitload of free agents floating around? Will it be a buyer's market and all those free agents will get shitty deals? Gonna be interesting.

 
At 2/22/2008 12:30 PM, Blogger JW Stringer said...

Well, in Green's debut tonight, Houston will be going for their 11th straight victory for the first time since the 93-94' season when they went on to win two consecutive NBA titles.

Here are a few other nuggets I grabbed off http://pregame.com.

Rockets are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 road games.
Rockets are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 Friday games.
Hornets are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games.
Hornets are 42-20-1 ATS in their last 63 games overall.
Road team is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Underdog is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.
The OVER is 11-5-1 in New Orleans' last 17 games vs. Southwest Division.
The UNDER is 39-18-1 in Houston's last 58 games vs. Southwest Division

 
At 2/22/2008 1:47 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@Marcus: Wally's not from Ohio, he just went to college there. He's from Long Island, and remembering that fact makes me really, really, REALLY wish he could somehow end up on Isiah Thomas's Knicks.

 
At 2/22/2008 2:04 PM, Blogger The wondering Mind said...

Unrelated but....Why are true big men goofy and most almost big men moody? Shaq's personality is mirrored by D. Howard and Greg Oden even retired Valde Divac and in the other case see STAT, Big Ben and C web. It's not talent and it's not money or recognition, could it be...height? A natural giant might never have to prove his greatness, but a tweener might feel a need to justify their presence taller ever land? I don't know but it is fascinating.

 
At 2/22/2008 2:10 PM, Blogger Mr. Six said...

I think the keys to the Cavs trade are Joe Smith and Delonte. Since Mike Brown can't coach offense, LeBron's only easy opportunities to score are on the break. But no one else on the team runs with him. Like, ever. Delonte could change that. And to me, a point guard who will push the tempo and occasionally take someone off the dribble and pass are the things that LBJ most needs.

Also, what Smith brings is consistency to the front court. Gooden's primary problem is that you never know what you'll get from him on any night. Not that I've watched him a lot this year, but my lasting impression of Smith is that he does exactly the same thing every game. You can plan around consistent mediocrity; you can't do anything but cross your fingers with unpredictable highs and lows.


wv: mmjamfbi--mighty mouse jams j. edgar

 
At 2/22/2008 2:29 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Bill Simmons' take 2 on "Mount Rapmore" might be of interest around here.

Also, Shaq isn't moody?

 
At 2/22/2008 2:32 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

Yeah, I was speaking figuratively with Pippen. Lebron's ideal complementary superstar would be a really good PG who could both hit the open jumper and break down the defense off the dribble.

Close second would be a big guy inside who could draw a double team on offense and vacuum the boards and provide good outlet passes on defense.

But you know, ANYBODY ELSE WHO IS AT ALL GOOD would really help. A couple of above average players, whatever. Anybody who consistently makes wide open jumpers and plays acceptable D. Anything.

 
At 2/22/2008 2:44 PM, Blogger Martin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/22/2008 2:49 PM, Blogger Martin said...

My intense hatred of all that Wally stands for as a basketball player began back in 2003 when a plucky T-Wolves team led by KG and Troy Hudson threatened to topple the lazy, bickering but still potent defending champion LAL. The Wolves were up 2-1 in the series and leading by double digits midway through the 4th quarter of Game 4 in the Staples Center with a game 5. The Wolves seemed poised to put the champs on the ropes and take one step closer to KG’s first trip to the second round and basketball redemption. Of course none of that happened because the real Wally S stood up. He was a true LmVP simply did doing it all for the cause of losing. From taking ill-advised jump shots early in the shot clock, stealing passes intended for KG, refusing to pass the ball back out when the most effective play the Wolves had was the high pick and roll with KG and Troy Hudson that the LAL simply could not defend. Instead Wally opted for out of control drives to the rim that either ended with the ball bouncing off his foot out-of-bounds or being easily stolen by Kobe or Fisher. I will never forget or forgive Wally for single handedly destroying the Wolves hopes in that series.
Back then Wally had some serious delusions of grandeur and though I have not yet seen a Sonics game this season, Shoals post indicates that Wally had that same attitude in Seattle. Seriously WTF! How can a 4-year NBA veteran be totally oblivious to what he can or cannot do? Wally = above average spot-up jump shooter or jump shooter curling off a screen NOT IN ANY WAY A FUCKING BALL HANDLER OR SLASHER! How did he not realize that A) his handle is fucking terrible; B) He is slow as a paraplegic white stiff stuck in molasses and has NO hope of beating a 1st Team-All defensive player like Kobe to the rim; C) He was at best the 4th offensive option on that team Wolves behind KG, Troy Hudson and Rasho. And the funny thing is Wally’s shitty decision making seems to come off almost naturally as though Wally’s basketball IQ exists in a bizzaro GQ world (actually I must admit that he would make an excellent GQ model – no homo) where he is best dribbler, the fleetest of foot, the best point guard and thereby entitled to handle the ball most, the best shooter and the Team MVP. I truly believe that any team with Wally has no hope of winning anything big unless he is chained to the bench or undergoes heavy shock therapy and hypnosis.

 
At 2/22/2008 2:52 PM, Blogger Martin said...

To Marcus: the man you speak off is Deron Williams. Seems the Jazz hold the either of the two keys (DWill and Boozer) required to unlock the Lebron's potential.

 
At 2/22/2008 3:09 PM, Blogger aeneas said...

the first picture is not correct. it does not fit in the first spot, maybe it would fit at #3 but the #3 does not fit in #1 so theres one missing

 
At 2/22/2008 3:19 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

how do you know?

 
At 2/22/2008 6:23 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

Boozer / Lebron is one of the tragic Might Have Beens in NBA history.

I may be prejudiced here.

 
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