The Fundamentals

» June 26, 2009 4:17 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

Ian Thomsen of  “Four groups are positioned to invest in the Nets, a highly placed source in the league office confided this week. Two other league sources told me that minority owner Vincent (Vinny) Viola is moving to buy out majority owner Bruce Ratner and take control of the franchise. Viola, the senior strategic advisor of the New York Mercantile Exchange, attended many of the Nets’ workouts in preparation for this draft. But the senior-level source named Viola as one of four potential suitors, while adding that Ratner may remain involved with the Nets and could even retain majority status. “It’s all up to negotiation,” said the source, emphasizing that all the interest is based on the promise of the Nets’ long-anticipated move from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The most intriguing group of potential new investors is headed by the Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, who, until this season, was the financier of the Euroleague champion CSKA Moscow.”

Alan Hahn of Newsday:  “Walsh acknowledged that he planned to call his former protege, Timberwolves president David Kahn, to check in on the situation involving his decision to select two point guards — Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn — with back-to-back picks at No. 5 and 6. ‘I haven’t spoken to Minnesota, I will,’ Walsh said. ‘I don’t know what’s going on there. He took a lot of point guards so I want to ask him, ‘Why did you do that?’ In a way that kind of helped us because that left us with two players that were, in our mind, really good players. I just want to find out.’ Walsh said Rubio was ‘very high’ on the Knicks draft board but when asked if he would have selected the Spanish guard if he were there at No. 8, Walsh replied, ‘We would have considered a lot of people at eight, but tht would have meant that the guy that we got would have been gone.’ Multiple sources have said that Rubio was not as highly-regarded by the Knicks as Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans and perhaps not as much as Hill, whom some Knick scouts touted as the second-best player in the draft.”

Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald:  “Some of the issues that have come to light – Rondo’s stubbornness, for instance – are traits that Rivers admires. ‘Yeah, stubbornness, ego, but those are good things too,’ Rivers said. ‘We just have to manage him better, and he has to manage him better. I have to manage him better. There’s no doubt about that, but I’m not that concerned. ‘Being the point guard, he has a bigger role in that he has to get along with everyone on the team. That’s something he has to learn, and that’s difficult. With the personalities he has to deal with at his age . . . if he was 30 and had these issues, that would be a problem. At 24, I don’t see it being as much of a problem.’ And if Rondo is something of a loner where his locker room presence is concerned, then so be it, according to his coach. ‘You can be a loner as long as you’re not a loner on the floor,’ Rivers said. ‘One thing I’ve told Rondo is that they don’t have to love you off the floor. They don’t have to respect you all the time, but they have to love playing with you.’”

Tim MacMahon of The Dallas Morning News:  “Donnie Nelson insists he doesn’t feel a sense of urgency based on the blockbuster deals that happened around the NBA this week. That’s fine. Nelson can take his time. His deadline for making a move that gets the Mavs back in the conversation about contenders is Aug. 10. That’s when a decision has to be made on Jerry Stackhouse’s buyout. It’s an easy decision. Stack will get the $2 million buyout instead of a $7 million salary. The question is which team will write the buyout check. The $5 million of savings (plus luxury tax, depending on the team) makes Stack one of the most valuable trade chips on the market. If the Mavs can’t capitalize on that to get an impact player — and Stack might be part of a package — then this off-season will be an epic failure.”

Jeff Rabjohns of the Indianapolis Star:  “The 13th pick in the NBA draft Thursday night, Hansbrough said this afternoon he’s looking forward to answering the questions about how productive he can be in the NBA. ‘I think a lot of the knocks on me are that my athleticism is a question for some people,’ the 6-9 forward said. ‘Not everybody thought I was as tall as I was until I measured out at the combine. ‘The workouts allowed some of the (NBA) coaches that don’t get to watch a lot of college basketball because they’re busy with their teams to see me up close and see how I move.’ Pacers president Larry Bird knows first-hand about hearing whether a player is good enough for the pros, having gone through the same thing when he came out of Indiana State. ‘It sort of reminds me of when I came out, the skepticism that I wouldn’t be able to play in this league against those players,’ said Bird, who became one of the NBA’s all-time greats.’”

Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle:  “This offseason has begun with another lightning bolt of bad news. Yao Ming apparently thought he was going in for a routine exam of his left foot Wednesday night. He was said to be laughing and joking, looking like a guy without a care in the world. He figured to be cleared to return to doing basketball drills, and we’d all live happily ever after. He’d told the Rockets the pain in his left foot had gone, and he assumed the broken bone had healed. Instead, he got the stunning news that after almost two months, the break hadn’t healed. Suddenly, an offseason that was supposed to be about tweaking an already good team became about something more basic. He’ll visit with specialists around the country before deciding on a course of action, but the truth is that the Rockets have no idea what the rest of Yao’s career will look like.”

Brian Windhorst of The Plain Dealer:  “Shaquille O’Neal was his usual blunt and stylish self in stating his new mission as a Cavalier. He wants to be the ‘first to five.’ As in five championships. And first before former teammate and chronicled rival Kobe Bryant, who picked up his fourth championship ring with the Lakers earlier this month. In an interview with ESPN during the NBA Draft on Thursday night just hours after the Cavs completed a trade for him, O’Neal said he was willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get a fifth championship. And he also expressed how happy he was to be coming to Cleveland to play alongside LeBron James. ‘I was elated about the trade because I get to play with one of the greatest players to play the game in LeBron James,’ O’Neal said. ‘I haven’t had any verbal conversations with LeBron but I’ve had many mental conversations with him.’”

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:  “The Orlando Magic’s blockbuster formula for winning the NBA Finals now involves shooting guard Vince Carter as the go-to-guy and very likely not small forward Hedo Turkoglu, who probably will move on after turning down an offer from the club. Magic General Manager Otis Smith told the Sentinel that he made Turkoglu a ‘decent’ initial offer before receiving Turkoglu’s official letter this week notifying the team he had opted out of his contract. Smith didn’t go into details, but said that Thursday’s acquisition of Carter — an eight-time all-star — will make re-signing Turkoglu something of a long-shot. ‘It would be hard,’ Smith said. Carter, 32, is two years older than Turkoglu, who can be courted by teams as a free agent beginning July 1. The Magic believe Carter is an upgrade over Turkoglu as a one-on-one player who can create his own shot, any time, any where, especially at the end of games.”

(Photo by Mark Lennihan/Associated Press)

5 Responses to “The Fundamentals”

  1. john amaechi Says:

    The cavs will get Turkoglu.

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    Ya’ think?

    I don’t think they have the cap space to sign Hedo.

    How about J-Kidd?

  3. john amaechi Says:

    if you look at the salaries at hoops hype right now, the cavs are at $73 million currently. What’s the cap going to be next year?

    off the books wally = $13 million, snow =$7.3 million.

    why can’t the cavs offer Hedo $10 mil per year?


    you think Shaq’s career is over?

    point guards are a DIME a dozen my friend.

    big men, not so much.

  4. Brandon Hoffman Says:

    The cap was set at $58.68 million last season, and is expected to drop next season. I think we’ll see it dip below $57 million with the luxury tax threshold at about $69 million.

    I’m not a salary capologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I don’t think there’s any way the Cavaliers can make a run at Turkoglu this summer.

    A sign and trade is always a possibility, but the Cavaliers have few trade assets.

    $10 million sounds a little steep anyway. Turk is probably worth $7-8 million per year.

    I’ll probably put something together on the Shaq trade this weekend. He’ll put up points, but he won’t be a difference-maker on the defensive end.

    Point guards are a dime a dozen? Then why don’t the Cavaliers have one?

    I kid.

    Mo Williams exceeded many of my expectations last season, but the Cavaliers would benefit from a pure point like Jason Kidd, especially late in games when their offense comes to a grinding halt. A floor leader like Kidd would get the Cavaliers into their sets, and deliver the ball to James in scoring position. That’s pretty invaluable in the playoffs. Or, you know, Mike Brown could just continue to put the ball in LeBron’s hands at the top of the key and watch as he dribbles away the shot clock.

    I think LeBron and Shaq could convince Kidd to sign for the mid-level exception. Should be interesting.

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