Trade Love already…

Everybody in the media and basketball fans want to know where Kevin Love will play next season because we all know it will not be in Minnesota Timberwolves uniform. No one knows what the Timberwolves President and part-owner Flip Saunders is trying to accomplish by letting the process drag on? The sports writers and bloggers get to write about the topic for another few weeks.
Kevin Love has stated that he will not sign with Minnesota after his contract is up; therefore, the front office team should trade him before the season starts and get maximum value for one of the top 5 big man in the NBA.
Do the Timberwolves believe Andrew Wiggins could be the next great superstar that can carry the franchise from lottery pick to playoff contender? Saunders should tell the Cavs what player he wants included in the trade and make it happen. The fact J.J. Barea must be included in the deal may have complicated the trade.
The list of teams making offers for Love has increased doesn’t mean their offers’ includes a potential star player, which the Cleveland Cavaliers can offer them. The Cavs are on the verge of signing Wiggins; therefore, he can’t be traded for a minimum of 30 days. This could mean three more weeks of non-sense and Love dominating the NBA news.
The Love soap opera is on the verge of not being the number one topic anymore because Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is back in the news.
Saunders wants to make people believe he is taking his time to get best deal possible. No one is winning with this process except the media. Timberwolves seem uncertain as to what they want in return for Love; the players mentioned in the trade rumours don’t feel appreciated by their teams and the Timberwolves fans would Love an end to the trade soap opera.
Which package would you accept if you were the Timberwolves President?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Sterling is still the owner of the Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are still owned by Donald Sterling despite the owner voted to remove him as owner. The NBA Draft went and now Summer League has started. The NBA season is 2 months away from starting another season and Sterling is fighting with his wife for the control of the team.
I have said that Sterling would still be owner of the Clippers unless the players threaten a boycott. Doc Rivers said he would quit if Donald Sterling remains the owner of the team that is not enough pressure to force the Clippers owner to step down. Rivers hasn’t given a deadline when he will step down, which could be the end Clippers championship aspirations if he did.
Don’t believe the rumour Sterling has to sell his team to pay off his debts. Billionaires’ live off credit and understand they will be in the negative in some parts of their portfolios. It is a license to print money when someone owns an NBA team. The television revenue keeps on going up, ticket prices continue to increase and merchandising money is tremendous; therefore, why would Sterling sell the team despite fellow owners, NBA fans, players and coaches don’t want him to be an owner.
Sterling is still stubborn despite having battling dementia; he has lawyers willing to charge him a lot of money in billing hours for frivolous lawsuits and will keep the NBA in court for a long time. There is a strong possibility that Sterling will still be the owner of the Clippers when the next season starts.
NBA President Adam Silver hands are tied and his swift move to vote for the removal of Sterling looks like a joke. Silver was hoping that Sterling’s wife would have won and sold the club to Steve Ballmer for 2 billion dollars.
It will be interesting to see if the NBAPA (NBA Players’ Association) will make their voices heard if Sterling hasn’t sold the team two weeks before the season. The Clippers point guard Chris Paul is the head of the union and has been very quiet about this situation. The Sterling Saga will not be over for a long-time.
Will Sterling still be the Clippers owner when 2014 – 15 season starts?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

H.S. star Mudiay gets $1.2 million dollars

Emmanuel Mudiay signed a $1.2 million dollars contract to play in the Chinese Basketball Association instead of attending Southern Methodist University (SMU). He will be the first high school star to use the overseas option instead of attending one year in the NCAA since Brandon Jennings.
Jennings played 1 year (2008 – 09) season in Europe before entering the NBA Draft and still was selected 10th overall by the Milawukee Bucks. He didn’t dominate the league. He played in Italy for Lottomatica Virtus Roma where he scored 8 points a game. He practiced twice a day, was asked to play defense and hit the open shot; therefore, he learned how to do fundamentals that many USA high school layers don’t work on.
Mudiay will have at least $500 000 in his pockets after taxes and paying his agent instead of getting a couple of free pairs of sneakers, t-shirts, practice and play a lot of games on ESPN. The NCAA coaches, universities, T.V. networks and apparel companies make billions of dollars off the student-athlete play. He may help his family financially.
The NCAA student-athlete who is a one and done who doesn’t show up to classes, rumours about someone writes their papers or writing exams for them, worry about being investigated for taking illegal payments and worry about an injury that my end his NBA career. Mudiay bought an insurance policy in case he may get a career ending injury.
I hope more high school players will use the overseas option and get paid to play. They deserve to be paid for their performance on the court. The athlete wants to train to be a basketball player and get drafted as high as possible. Many professional basketball players in Europe begin their professional career at 16 years old.
Mudiay already has a NBA professional body; he is 6’5”, 200 pounds and very athletic. His year in China will not prevent him from being drafted high because the season ends in March, which will give him two months to prepare and visit teams before the draft.
Did Mudiay make a good decision going to China?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Dungy taking a lot of heat…

Former NFL Coach and now NFL colour commentator Tony Dungy told Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Bay Tribune, “He would have taken him (Michael Sam)”. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth…things will happen.”
Dungy made those comments when Sam and his people were negotiating with the Oprah network for exclusive rights to Sam’s journey to make an NFL team. A team crew in and around the St. Louis Rams facility following the seventh round rookie as he tries to make the team would be a major distraction.
The Rams and Sam decided it wasn’t a good idea.
The major backlash Dungy is receiving in every social media and sports post confirms his point that having Sam trying out for a spot is a major distraction. Now, Dungy has to release a statement to explain what he meant by his comments.
The Rams football camp will have an extremely high number of media presence, people who want to see Sam succeed and haters will pay close attention to his process. Dungy indicated the NFL has always been a meritocracy before the NFL draft in February. “Guys who produce and play well will be welcome in the league.”
The Michael Sam situation will be an uneasy transition for everybody involved. The media only cares about Sam and nobody else on the Ram’s roster. Every time someone is asked a question about Sam with an answer that is not positive or politically correct the media and Gay rights activist will jump on the individual involved.
The chances for Sam to make the Rams are less than 30%. The defensive lineman starters at end are outstanding: Chris Long (8.5 sacks) and Robert Quinn (19 sacks). Sam will need to be a special team dynamo to make the team, but he doesn’t have the speed (4.91 40 yard dash) or power (only 17 reps on bench press) to make big plays on special teams. His NFL Draft combine numbers would indicate he has the athletic ability to make it as a special team player. He will need to make big plays on special teams during the pre-season.
Coach Jeff Fisher and the Rams organization wanted to draft a local player (Missouri) who could or not be a steal in the seventh round. Sam was the SEC defensive player of the year, which makes it worthwhile that St. Louis takes a chance on him. They will give him an opportunity and may still get abused in the media for not giving Sam a fair chance.
Will Sam make the Rams?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Subban vs Canadiens at arbitration…

Arbitration is a no win situation for everybody involved because the player and agent will try to show how valuable a player is to the franchise, while the organization will try to show he is not that good. Most situations are settled before the hearing to avoid a bitter proceeding.
I do not see how the Montreal Canadiens expect to go into the hearing feeling they can win their case due to P.K. Subban’s play and the fact he took a two year contract for less money to show his worth (2 years for $5.75 million). The Ottawa Senators Erik Karlsson signed a seven year contract for $45 million dollars with a cap hit of $6.5 per year that began in 2012-13 season. The same season Subban signed his two year extension.
Alex Pietrangelo also signed with the St.Louis Blues a seven year for $45.5 million dollars before the 2013 season. He is the defenseman that NHL commentator Darren Pang refered too when he made his comment that shocked some people, “Pietrangelo does the things the white way.” He apologized and meant to say the “RIGHT way.”
Drew Doughty the best defenseman at the Olympics and in the NHL playoffs; who won Gold and Stanley Cup in the same season got an 8 for $56 million dollars at a cap hit of $7 million a year that started in 2011-12.
It is too late for the Canadiens organization to look back at Subban’s original request for 6 years for $36 million two years ago. No one will know if Subban would have still won a Norris trophy, won an Olympic gold medal and be the second best defenseman in last years’ Stanley Cup finals.
What is for sure is the Montreal Candiens head coach Michel Therrien and general manger Marc Bergevin will tell an arbitrator every fault and error their franchise defenseman made during the last few years. Coach Therrien may get into the behind scenes disputes him and Subban had that caused him to bench his best player on occasion. The process will not end well if the management tries too hard to save money and the media releases the nasty comments made about Subban during the hearing.
The Canadiesn woud match any offer sheet that Subban will receive, which means he is too valuable to lose, but they believe he is not worth $8 million a year contract. The Montreal Canadiens organization hasn’t had a Hall of Fame type player since Patrick Roy left the organization. Subban has that type of ability, charisma and can continue to play at an excellent level for another decade.
If the contract dispute goes to arbitration who will win: Subban or the Canadiens?
Enjoy your weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

NBA players refusing big contract offers

The Charlotte Hornets big move this summer was to sign Lance Stephenson to 3 years for 27 million dollars contract. Owner Michael Jordan did not over pay nor locked his free agent for too many years. It was very good move for the Hornets because they get a player who will be hungry to play great for three years and get a max contract in four years.
Stephenson giving up a 5 years for 44 million dollars guaranteed contract due to the fact he felt he was worth more. Let us do the math: Hornets contract 9 million a year and Indiana Pacers offer 8.8. The third year of the Hornets contract he will get him a slight raise if team picks up his option.
A team love players who are confident in their ability. Players who play at the NBA level need to believe they are as good as anybody in the league. The players hire agents who are supposed to get them the best deal possible, which is obviously the Pacers offer.
Stephenson is 23 years old who entered the NBA as the 40th pick in the draft and only played four years in the league; why wouldn’t he take the 5 years of guaranteed payment instead of 2 years guaranteed and a team option for the third. He would 28 when the 5 year contract ends and should be entering the prime years of his career. Now he is an injury or behavioral suspension away from understanding why he should have taken the 5 years guaranteed.
Eric Bledsoe rejected a 4 years for 48 million dollars offer from the Phoenix Suns; he wants 5 for 80 instead. Bledsoe and his agent must be crazy to believe a 4 year player who averaged more than double digits once (last year 17.7) is worth such an offer. Kyle Lowry accepted the same contract Bledsoe rejected from the Toronto Raptors. Lowry is 28 years and had a much better season than him. Bledsoe is getting this money at 24 years old with only one good year under his belt. He only played 43 games due to an injury last year.
Bledsoe would be a top 10 paid point guard in the NBA without being a top point guard. He will be a very good player and has showed signs that he can play at a high level for long stretches. He is not worth to any team in the league 16 million dollars a year. He and his agent still haven’t got an offer worth their while. How long before they ask the Suns if the offer is still available.
I remember Latrell Sprewell refused 3 years for 21 million dollars contract offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves to feed his family in 2004. His last season he earned an NBA salary was 2004-05.

http://www.thebrushback.com/lsprewell_full.htm

Bledsoe should be reminded that he is neither an established franchise player nor a multiple times all-star who can make demands that are laughable to everybody involved except him and his agent. Agents are supposed to remind their clients and convince them to take the best deal possible after talking to several teams. The players have big egos and agents are there to help them put ego aside for business.
Will Bledsoe have to settle for 4 years instead of 5?
Enjoy your weekend!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Who would win a Wiggins for Love trade?

A friend of mine, Kareem Granger asked me could this trade be reminiscent of the Kobe Bryant for Vlade Divac NBA Draft day trade. Kobe Bryant was the 13th pick overall by the Charlotte Hornets and he advised the team that he would not play for them.
The Hornets had no choice in the matter.
The perspective Kareem was talking about is that Andrew Wiggins maybe become one of the greatest players of Al-time. In the last two years no player has been as hyped as Wiggins despite a so-so year with the Kansas Jayhawks; he was still the most talked about player before the draft. Joel Embiid back injury sealed the deal for Wiggins to be selected number one overall.
This could be one of the rare trades that both teams would win and many in the media wouldn’t perceive it as a one-sided trade. There are many very good reasons to make the trade immediately and not let this linger into the season.
The Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t sign the best basketball player in the World and gave Kyrie Irving a 5 years 90 million dollars contract to win in two to three years. Even the great Kobe first few two years was average not even close to dominant; he scored 7.6 points and had 1.9 rebounds a game his rookie season and followed that up with 15.4 points and 3.1 rebounds.
Kobe won his first NBA Championship until his fourth year in the league. Shaquille O’Neil won 3 NBA Finals MVP and Championships with the help of Kobe Bryant. King James is not going to wait 4 years before winning his next title.
King James has played 11 seasons in the NBA with 5 Finals appearances. The last 4 years he has been in the Finals winning 2. I can’t believe he didn’t discuss with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert that he wants to win now not to baby sit a future star while they were negotiating his return to Cleveland.
Yes, getting Kevin Love doesn’t guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will be the NBA Champions immediately. I still think it puts the Cavs in the NBA Finals, which will give them a chance every year LeBron, Irving and Love are together a chance to win.
Love is one of the top 3 big men in the NBA in terms of all-around play. He can score (19.2 points), rebound (12.2), pass (2.5) and shoot the three point shot at a high percentage (36.2%). The numbers in brackets are Love’s career average. How can anybody doubt Love coming to the Cavs would not be better than Cleveland with rookie Wiggins? Love has no Championship rings; therefore, he will be hungry to help his team win many.
The Cavs should speak to their staff and stop saying if they will or not trade Wiggins if it happens or not the media posting a new stance of the Cavaliers organization on the possibility of trading Wiggins just makes them look foolish.
Wiggins going to the Timberwolves would give him time to adapt to the NBA, not have immediate Championship aspirations, an opportunity to play 40 minutes, score over 20 points a game and a chance to win rookie of the year.
Both teams would be happy with the results of the trade. Cavs get a chance to win immediately and TWolves would have a franchise player to build around.
Who do you believe would win the Wiggins for Love trade?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Can Spoelstra lead a team without…

The Miami Heat organization took a major blow with LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Everybody is talking about how Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will have to set-up and show they are still great players. Some mention how President Pat Riley will have to rebuild the roster without the best basketball player in the World. All are valid points, but they are not the person most affected by King James departure.
Head Coach Erik Spoelstra will have an opportunity to show everybody that he is one of the best coaches in the NBA. Spoelstra has had the pleasure to coach LeBron, Wade and Bosh in the last four years, make 4 straight NBA Finals and won 2 NBA Championships. It is hard to give a coach his due when the Heat’s roster had such a huge advantage over all his Eastern Conference opponents.
The Heat Coach will have to get the maximum out of an old roster with no young talent. His starting line-up will be Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Luol Deng with Norris Cole or Shabazz Napier playing the point guard position.
It is a matter of time before they sign Chris Andersen and Udonis Halsem who will be the big men of the bench. Danny Granger will provide some scoring as back-up forward and shooting guard.
The Heat will have to depend on three players who had serious injury problems in the last few years. Wade only played 49, 69 and 54 in his last three seasons. Can Wade recover NBA Finals MVP (Pre-LeBron) form and be available to play at least 70 games? LeBron’s presence gave Coach Spoelstra the chance to rest Wade and save him for the playoff. He still looked like he had nothing left for the Finals. I’m not sure he can play at an MVP level for 70 games next year and be effective in the playoffs.
Danny Granger has only played 46 out of a possibility of 246 games in the last three seasons. He was supposed to be an off the bench player who can play 25 minutes a game and provide some two way play. Can his knee hold up for a full season and regain his All-star form? Granger’s limited play in the final three years will gave his body an opportunity to recover; did he get enough rest and rehabilitation? The first 20 games will give Heat fans an indication.
Deng has missed 54 games in the last three seasons. He is an excellent two-way player who can defend against opponents top scorers and has a career 16.0 points a game average. How many games can he play at a high level next season? Deng averaged close to 39 minutes a game played during his last  four years with the Chicago Bulls under Coach Tom Thibodeau.
One thing for sure: Bosh will not regain his 22 points and 10 rebounds statistics he had in Toronto during his 5 best years in the NBA. Bosh’s game regressed as a player because he played with 2 great players that would create scoring opportunities for him. Can Bosh create his own scoring opportunities? He will be effective, but not franchise level player.
Heat will still make the playoffs because the Eastern Conference is weak. I hope they met the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
Do you believe the Big 2 can lead the Heat to more playoff success?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

Wizards are a team to be reckon with…

The Washington Wizards had the second best free agent season in the NBA by singing Marcin Gortat, Paul Pierce, Andre Miller, Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair. The veteran additions combined with Nene Hilario is still one of the best power forwards in the NBA and the young high scoring backcourt: John Wall and Bradley Beal.
The Wizards will almost be impossible to out rebound during the game. Their roster will give Coach Randy Wittman the flexibility to use different styles of play to beat an opponent. Washington has several key points that must be checked off for immediate success.
A key player for the team to take the next step in their progression towards a NBA Championship is Otto Porter Jr. The second year player has to replace Trevor Ariza in the starting line-up, play excellent defense and shot the three point shot consistently. The former third pick overall is having an excellent start to his Summer League action. Porter will have to play a solid 20 to 25 minutes a game in order to limit Pierce’s playing, which make the 36 years old more effective.
Coach Wittman will have to use his roster’s size advantage and avoid falling into the trap to match their opponent’s line-up. An opposing team may put a small line-up on the floor with only one center; the Wizards must keep two big men on the court at all-times to maintain their advantage.
Wall took a huge step forward last year and needs to understand when to be a facilitator or scorer. He finally has a roster that guarantees him an opportunity for playoff success. Wall will increase his assists totals and lower his points a game because of all the talent surrounding him.
The number one factor for the Wizards to be considered for a Top 3 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs and a shot at the NBA Finals will be health. They have enough big men and guards to handle an injury, but the small forward position is thin with Pierce and Porter.
They will be a dangerous team to face with a great mix of veterans who won a NBA Championship (Pierce), made a NBA Finals appearance (Gortat and Blair) and have played many playoff games (Hilario and Miller).
Do you believe the Wizards will be dangerous next year?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

The Cavs are in a catch 22…

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed the best basketball players on the planet and got the Andrew Wiggins with the number pick in the NBA Draft. What can go wrong? LeBron James wants the Cavaliers to get Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves to increase the possibility for an NBA Championship.
Head coach David Blatt and the Cavaliers organization doesn’t want to trade Wiggins for Love. They believe Wiggins is a future superstar who can help Cleveland win a championship sooner rather than later.
The Timberwolves have Love signed for the year and won’t mind starting the season with him in the starting line-up. They hold the hammer because LeBron, Coach Blatt and Cleveland organization have made conflicting statements.
Dan Gilbert must have guaranteed James to do his best to get him players that can help Cleveland win immediately. LeBron has played with Love internationally when they were both team USA representatives.
The Cavaliers once again seem like an organization in disarray. The owner, general manager, head coach and LeBron should have a meeting to discuss what is going happen with the Love situation. The group telling the media contradicting information doesn’t do anybody any good.
The situation that the Cavs want to avoid is James feeling resentment towards Wiggins if the Love trade is not made before the season starts.
The Cavs need to make trade before the season or not make it at all. Love playing a full season with Cleveland gives the team a chance to build chemistry. A trade for Love at the trade deadline would force the Timberwolves to lower their demands, but it doesn’t give him enough time to fit in. He is a free agent at the end of the season and the Cavs need to convince him to sign long term to be with LeBron and Kyrie Irving.
The Timberwolves will not make the same dumb mistake that the Utah Jazz made when they kept Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap to only lose both players to free agency and receive nothing in return. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors all lost key franchise players four years ago without getting anything in return.
The Timberwolves are enjoying the fact LeBron wants to play with Love and the Cavs most probably will have to give in to the franchise player. Gilbert doesn’t need to be reminded how his team did during the four years without King James.
Will Wiggins plays with the Cavs or TWolves?
Enjoy your day!
You may comment or contact me on Twitter @AlixtheGambit or e-mail at Jadesronvil@gmail.com

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