The Fundamentals

» July 15, 2009 12:13 PM | By Brandon Hoffman

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Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:  “Lakers owner Jerry Buss, an avid poker player, called Lamar Odom’s bluff at the negotiating table Tuesday, following through with his threat to pull the offer to Odom. The Lakers admitted that the offer Buss presented to Odom and his representatives has been available for over a week, but that because the unrestricted free agent never responded, Buss grew upset and broke off all negotiations. ‘Yes, we have taken the deal off the table,’ Lakers public relations director John Black said. ‘Talks have broken down for the time being.’ Black was asked if talks could resume in the future. ‘That’s within the realm of possibility,’ he said. … Team officials also said Buss was not happy that Odom and Schwartz have been talking with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat President Pat Riley about a deal, but have refused to talk to the Lakers. The Heat and Mavericks can offer Odom only the mid-level exception of $5.8 million, but can give him a five-year deal up to $34 million. Many in the Lakers’ organization believe that Odom wants to accept Buss’ offer — and so do those close to Odom — but he has failed to convince his agent.”

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:  “Why would the Los Angeles Clippers want to thrust Allen Iverson into the life of gifted young guard Eric Gordon? The answer is as simple as it’s flawed: box office over basketball. The worst owner in sports, Donald T. Sterling, believes A.I. can do what No. 1 pick Blake Griffin has been thus far unable – sell tickets. Perhaps the Clippers could give winning a chance, but Sterling is hell-bent on dysfunction. Everyone walked out of the Thomas & Mack Center late Monday so impressed with the Clippers’ young cornerstones, Griffin and Gordon. Yet, Sterling, sitting courtside, couldn’t see the truth unfolding before his eyes. Iverson is a bad investment for the Clippers. Iverson is a shell of himself now, and worst of all, he’s the last to know. Nevertheless, the Clippers are far behind in tickets sales over this time a year ago, according to internal NBA data obtained by Yahoo! Sports. As of July 6, the Clippers were significantly down in season ticket-renewals and new plans. The NBA’s analysis projected a 29.3 percent drop in ticket revenue for Clippers for the 2009-10 season. ‘That’s the only reason [the Clippers] are even thinking of doing this,’ one rival GM said. ‘Why else do this to Gordon?’”

Howard Beck of The New York Times:  “There is a long-term vision, and Kahn is pursuing it with the same methodical nature that he learned at Walsh’s side for nine years with the Indiana Pacers. Even as he discusses the most stressful aspects of the job, Kahn exudes a Buddha-like tranquillity that seems inspired by Walsh. ‘David is very bright, very thorough in his thinking,’ Walsh said. ‘The one thing that I always liked about David when he worked for me is he could have like 10 things on his plate. He doesn’t like to have one thing he’s just focused on.’ In Indiana, Kahn became a trusted voice as Walsh’s general manager. He was a master of salary-cap machinations and the franchise’s point man for the construction of Conseco Fieldhouse. In an era of hyperventilating news coverage and a now-now-now mentality in sports, Kahn is content to tune out the shouting and take the long view. A former sportswriter and a voracious reader, he also seems to understand the landscape better than most.”

Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News:  “When you talk to people about Warriors forward Anthony Randolph, they just shake their head and roll their eyes. ‘I’ll give him two years,’ said one Western Conference executive, who said it was team policy not to comment on other teams’ players. ‘In two years, he’ll be making people say ‘wow.’ If he’s not an All-Star, people will be asking, ‘How didn’t he make it?’’ Randolph has been perhaps the most dominant player in this year’s summer league. He put together his best performance yet on Tuesday as the Warriors beat the Chicago Bulls 95-83 at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion. Randolph scored 42 points, tying the record for most points in a Las Vegas summer league game. (Marcus Banks and Von Wafer each scored 42 in 2007.) Randolph also had four steals, three blocked shots and no turnovers. After four games, Randolph is averaging 26.7 points on 60.9 percent shooting with 8.5 rebounds and three blocks. …  Onlookers marvel at his length and athleticism, which has produced several dunks and acrobatic plays. Opposing teams all but shudder at the noticeable improvements in his jumper, knowing such only makes him harder to defend. Warriors management is giddy about his defensive intensity and the firmer grasp he has on his emotions.”

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal:  “Darrell Arthur couldn’t believe what the Grizzlies’ coaching staff suggested following his rookie NBA season. He’d never done it before. The 6-9 forward expected a laundry list of marching orders so that he could improve certain aspects of his game. But the coaches didn’t load up Arthur with many physical demands. They went with psychology, asking Arthur to go away for a while. Don’t pick up a basketball. Don’t even think about the game. So with a shrug of the shoulders and a somewhat puzzled look, Arthur trotted off to Maui for two weeks. Somewhere between the Pacific Ocean and Las Vegas, where he is playing on the Grizzlies’ summer league team, Arthur got the message. After an up-and-down rookie season, the Grizzlies wanted Arthur to clear his mind and come back ready to play instinctively, as opposed to how stiff he seemed most of last season. ‘This was the first time I got away from basketball, and I needed to,’ Arthur said. ‘Coach (Lionel Hollins) told me to go home and relax, and just work on slowing down. When I came back, I was ready to work. It was pretty helpful.’”

Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:  “Frye chose Phoenix after receiving a call from Denver as the free-agency period began, making a visit to Cleveland and a getting a push from Washington. Becoming the first Valley product since Gerald Brown in 1999 to play for the Suns was not the only reason Frye signed. That thrilled his family, but he also likes the system. On Tuesday, Frye spoke about the possibilities while playing with point guard Steve Nash.  ‘You could look at the weak side,’ Frye said. ‘Who are you going to let shoot – me or J-Rich (guard Jason Richardson)? Amaré Stoudemire, dangerous and athletic as he is. Now you let him play one-on-one-basketball? If you know anything, he can score on anybody on any given night. What I’m going to do is let everybody play one-on-one basketball. If you get teams to double-team Amaré, now they have to trap Steve on a screen and roll. You’re just picking your poison.’”

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:  “Aussie. Aussie. Aussie. Yao? Yao? Yao? Well, no. David Andersen is not the Australian Yao Ming. He could, however, be the Australian Brad Miller. And he should play for the Rockets more than enough to bring that cheer – Aussie. Aussie. Aussie. Oi. Oi. Oi. – to Toyota Center. As soon as he signs a contract, which should not take a day or two, he will be penciled in as the Rockets new starting center. This might not sell many tickets. The Cavs get Shaquille O’Neal. The Spurs pick up Richard Jefferson. The Mavs get Shawn Marion. The Rockets? They pick up a 6-11, 29-year-old Euroleague veteran considerably down under the radar. He does, however, fit the plan. This is not a free agent pick up to add depth. That might still come. He is one of those trade targets Daryl Morey has been talking about. He is widely considered to be among the top centers in Europe, playing and winning for the top teams in recent years, and with a style that fits extremely well with the way the Rockets will have to play.”

Tim Buckley of the Deseret News:  “Boozer’s camp would prefer to go somewhere where he could be cheerful long-term, and to a team willing to offer him a lucrative multiyear contract extension. ‘I’d definitely be open to signing an extension and being locked into a team — obviously, one, that wanted me to be there in the future and, two, that I thought we would have a chance to succeed,’ he told WMVP, the Bulls’ flagship station. ‘That would be something me and my agent would explore right away.’ No matter what they might have told him, however, the Jazz are under no obligation whatsoever to do what’s best for Boozer. Their primary interest is what’s best for them, and what that is — on both the Boozer trade and Millsap match fronts — could be decided during a meeting among Jazz front-office and ownership personnel that is thought to be scheduled for either today or Thursday.”

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times:  “The Jazz — which already has more than $73 million in salary commitments for the upcoming season before matching the offer sheet for Paul Millsap — is desperate to unload Boozer’s $12.7 million salary, and there aren’t many teams willing to take on a big contract. It’s a buyer’s market, and the Bulls might be able to swing a deal with an offer of Tyrus Thomas ($4.7 million) and the expiring contract of Jerome James ($6.6 million). That exchange would save the Jazz roughly $1.3 million and get them closer to the luxury-tax threshold of $69.92 million. Of course, that deal also would put the Bulls a little over the luxury-tax threshold, but there are other ways they could get under the number before they’d have to pay the dollar-for-dollar penalty. That proposal also wouldn’t affect the Bulls’ flexibility moving forward. Boozer’s contract expires after next season, so they still could be major players in the potentially blockbuster free-agent class of next summer.”

Marc Berman of the New York Post:  “Eric Goodwin, agent for Nate Robinson, said the Knicks’ 5-foot-7½ guard is considering an offer to play for the Greek team Olympiacos. Robinson’s preference, however, is to stay in New York and the NBA, but he hasn’t come close to signing an offer sheet anywhere. The Greek team may be willing to pay Robinson $5 million a year. Oddly, Knick president Donnie Walsh said yesterday he spoke to Robinson’s agents, and that they never mentioned the Greek offer, which is telling. ‘We will consider any team interested in Nate’s services,’ Goodwin told The Post. ‘We have heard from the Greek team. They are very interested.’ The Knicks had been hoping that Robinson, a restricted free agent, would re-sign for the one-year qualifying offer of $2.8M, but they can offer him a one-year deal at any amount. The Knicks prefer not to sign Robinson to a long-term deal to protect their 2010 cap. Coach Mike D’Antoni said earlier this week the Knicks are interested in Andre Miller only for the one-year, $5.8M midlevel exception, but that the Sixers PG is not yet interested in such a deal.”

Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times:  “You never saw it. The Lakers never ran it. An 87-year-old stroke victim conceived it. But amid all the intricate designs concocted by the NBA champions during their postseason run, perhaps no single play was more important. It appeared not in the glitz of Staples Center, but in a quiet assisted living apartment home in Wilsonville, Ore. While the Lakers were celebrating their Finals victory over the Orlando Magic, basketball consultant Tex Winter was fighting to speak the words ‘Orlando’ and ‘Magic.’ Having suffering a stroke earlier in the playoffs, Winter could barely talk or comprehend. It was difficult to write, difficult to gesture, one of the greatest teachers in basketball history laboring to learn the basics of living. His team had won, but Winters was still fighting, the frustration growing each day, until finally his son Chris had an idea. ‘OK, Dad,’ Chris said, sticking a piece of paper in front of his father’s hand. . . . ‘Draw a play.’ Tex looked down. He thought for a second. He slowly put pen to paper. And there it was. The triangle.”

2 Responses to “The Fundamentals”

  1. Jason Says:


    How can you even question why the Jazz would choose Boozer over Millsap. Let me give you some ideas:

    Boozer complains, is me first, misses 1/3 of games, cannot
    and refuse to try to play defense, bad locker room example, makes bone head statements and is a jerk to the media, wouldn’t even comment when “he opted in”…..

    73% of the fans don’t even want him here.


    Better defender, never injured and wooooorrrrkkkkkkksss

    Besides, how can you choose Boozer when he will just bolt in a year? Do you actually research NBA players lol…

  2. Brandon Hoffman Says:


    I think the Jazz should have chosen Boozer over Millsap, because I think he’s proven that he’s the superior player.

    I get that Boozer is vilified for everything under the sun in Utah, and some of that criticism is justified, although I haven’t seen anything that suggests he’s a cancer in the locker room.

    I like Paul Millsap. I really do. He’s a slightly better defender, and he’s been more durable through the first three seasons of his career. But I don’t think he’ll develop the skill set required to become a perennial All-Star.

    Boozer is one of the best low-post scorers in the league. He’s very underrated offensively. Sure, he’s subpar defensively, but I think he’s become the scapegoat for Utah’s lack of defense. Utah could have become stronger defensively if they would have paired Boozer with a defensive-minded center. Mehmet Okur is one of the worst defenders in the league.

    Also, it’s worth noting that Utah would have had Boozer’s Bird Rights, and could have offered him more than anyone next summer.