Brooklyn Nets: can they compete for a championship next season?

Nets Beyonce JayZ

It was almost a year ago when the Brooklyn Nets agreed on the blockbuster deal of 2013 with the Boston Celtics. The Nets acquired Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce while at the same time shipping to Boston a bunch of non–factor players.

Brooklyn’s payroll skyrocketed and in fact, the Nets became the most expensive team in the NBA and the only one above the $100 million mark. All these deeds had one and only purpose – the conquest of the championship. Now, after a total failure to even seriously contend for the Larry O’Brien trophy, the Brooklyn Nets are looking towards their future with uncertainty.

So can this team really compete for the championship next season? Or has the window closed? [Read more…]

Where Dwight Howard SHOULD Go

Dwight Howard

From the information I have gathered it sounds like the Orlando Magic is going to trade Dwight Howard, their centerpiece, to the Brooklyn Nets. But before that happens, I have a message for the Magic organization.  [Read more…]

Atlanta Hawks dump salary; trade Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams

hawks cheerleaders

It appears the Atlanta Hawks are heading into a bit of a re-building mode as new general manager Danny Ferry has dealt Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets and Marvin Williams to the Utah Jazz; clearing up a ton of salary cap for the future.

Nets receive: SG-Joe Johnson
Hawks receive: SG-Anthony Morrow, G/F-DeShawn Stevenson, C-Johan Petro, PG-Jordan Farmar, PF-Jordan Williams, lottery protected 2013 1st round pick (via Houston)

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The 10 Worst NBA Drafts in the Lottery Era

The calendar now reads June. In the NBA that means it’s time to crown an NBA Champion. However among the biggest of NBA nerds, it also means it’s time to get ready for the NBA draft. We’re only two weeks and a few hours away from the 2011 NBA Draft. This year, it’s preparing for the likes of Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter and Brandon Knight to join the greatest basketball league on the planet that has us basketball geeks totally psyched.

Wait, what?

By Peter Christian

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The 2012 NBA MVP is . . .

LeBron James and Kevin Durant

The NBA MVP debate has heated up, then cooled down. Then it heated up again, and then it cooled down, again. It seems that the MVP has come down to two players: Miami Heat forward LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

[Read more…]

Bulls vs. Hawks: NBA Eastern Conference Semis, Let’s Get it On!

luvabulls

Are you excited for the NBA Playoffs? Are you enthused to see your #1 seeded Chicago Bulls advance past the Indiana Pacers and meet the Atlanta Hawks in the next round? This is crunch time, the big time!

Of course, this Monday, most of us are buzzing about something else.

There was a news story of note released Sunday night. You might have seen a little blurb, a tiny snippet here and there in the media about it. And it’s much bigger and more important than basketball.

But moving back to the United Center. A series with a truly fascinating storyline: point guard battle between original mentor (Kirk Hinrich) and mentee (Derrick Rose) isn’t actually going to happen after all. And the result could prove disastrous for Atlanta.

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Atlanta Hawks Bringing Momentum into Series with Bulls

NBA Cheerleaders

The Atlanta Hawks have a lot to feel good about as they upset the Orlando Magic in the first round of the NBA playoffs and reprise their role as the underdog in a round two showdown with the Chicago Bulls.

The Hawks have to be happy with the production they got from their two shooting guards, Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford. Crawford looked unstoppable at times as he averaged 20.5 points per game in the series—6.3 points more than his regular season average. Although he was held to just eight points in Game 5, Crawford scored 23 points or more in the first four games of the series and finished with a 19 point effort on Thursday.

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So Far, Marquee NBA Free Agents Staying Home

Joe Johnson Hawks

LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are still undecided.  But so far free agency has not provided the roster shake-ups that most were expecting.  Joe Johnson and Rudy Gay surprised some by deciding to stay home (which will ultimately screw over one of the teams with a ton of cap space.)  To nobody’s surprise Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce are also staying home.  Here are David’s thoughts on what has happened so far this off-season.

By: David Kay
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Bulls TV Analyst Kendall Gill breaks down Free Agency Prospects

kendall-gill-bulls

The NBA free agency season has just begun, and trust me- it will be a hundred times more interesting and exciting than last year’s NBA regular season. I say that without hyperbole.

And if you don’t believe me check out these tweets from Chris Bosh himself, the third most sought after free agent in this class. Bosh posted them right before: “I’ve been watching this clock and it won’t speed up!”

and after: “The time is finally here. Thank you for all the support. I’m nervous, but I’m excited and READY! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!” open season officially commenced.

And the Chicago Bulls are premier players in this free agency period. Former Bull Kendall Gill was added to Comcast SportsNet’s studio coverage of the Chicago Bulls as analyst prior to the ‘06-‘07 season. He also serves as college basketball analyst for the Big Ten Network.

I recently had an exclusive with Gill where we talked Bulls free agency prospects.

By Paul M. Banks

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Did Joe Johnson Play His Last Game with the Hawks?

By: David Kay

Talk about embarrassing.  The Magic treated the Hawks like Billy Madison treated the kindergarteners he played dodge ball against; absolutely white washing them all over the floor.  Orlando swept Atlanta out of the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, whipping the birds by an average of almost 23 points per game.  The Hawks seemed unmotivated, like they didn’t care, and mailed it worse than Jay Leno when he was moved to a prime-time television slot.

It seemed as if this group didn’t get along and had zero interest in playing for one another.  They obviously did not respect their head coach Mike Woodson as they constantly were daydreaming during timeouts and as result, Woodson will certainly be out of a job within the next week or so.  So what’s next?

The Hawks face the likely possibility of losing star shooting guard Joe Johnson this off-season since Johnson is an unrestricted free agent.  He will not be as coveted as LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, but will certainly be a nice consolation prize for whichever team lands him.  Here are my predictions as to which team has the best chance of signing Johnson this summer.
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The Economics of Basketball

By Brandon Robinson
With the current recession, it is going to be difficult for a lot of Americans—even for those working with NBA basketball. At least as far as making money they were accustomed to making a few years ago.

Additionally, the biggest effect will be on team revenue. “If you think about it, it’s one big cycle. The recession affects the fans, who will spend less money on tickets and merchandise. So the league will force the players to accept less as the pie shrinks,” says ESPN.com Senior Writer, JA Adande.

 Revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship will be down next season. Player payroll is based on a percentage of team revenue. This means the salary cap will go down, which means players that are not already under contract will have a difficult time getting the kind of deals they’ve gotten in the past.

Team owners are finding ways to cut costs in a shrinking economy.

“It already had an effect this season. Teams are anticipating lower revenue and were reluctant to take on expensive contracts at the trade deadline,” says Chris Carrino, Executive Director of Broadcasting for the New Jersey Nets.

Footlocker.com

Currently, the hoopla surrounding the summer of 2010 has been hyped as the year in which marketable a-list of superstars will become unrestricted free agents. This means that NBA squads can sign them to max long term deals without that price being matched by their current team or other teams. During that summer, it is believed that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, will bolt and sign with either the New York Knicks or across the Hudson with the New Jersey Nets. That summer has been dubbed by some as the “Summer of LeBron.” It will be very interesting to see what teams decide to do as the economy crumbles. Will people spend money?

Among that elite list of free agents: Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh, Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudemire, Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, New Orleans Hornets’ Tyson Chandler, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, Milwaukee Bucks’ Richard Jefferson, Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson, Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash, Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Michael Redd.

“This will come into play in the next collective bargaining agreement, which will certainly feature shorter contract lengths and average and maximum salaries. It will become more difficult for teams to afford multiple stars, or to fit them into a smaller salary cap. So if the teams are worse, the fans won’t want to come to the arena to watch them, and it starts all over again,” added JA Adande.

Footlocker.com

A lot has happened since the current NBA collective bargain agreement, was signed during the lockout shortened 1998-99 NBA season. Players have made a lot of money. The current collective bargaining agreement ends the summer of 2011 and owners want to make strict changes. According to the Indianapolis Star-News, the Indiana Pacers have lost money nine of the past 10 years. The Sacramento Bee reported that the Sacramento Kings are expected to lose up to $25 million this season. The Sports Business Journal reported that the Orlando Magic are expecting potential losses of between $15 million and $20 million. Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert Johnson has claimed losses of $50 million since he paid $300 million for the expansion franchise in 2003.

Clearly the owners and NBA commissioner David Stern want to lower the salary cap and with good reason. The NBA salary cap went down only once in 2002. It went from $42.5 million to $42.7 because they overestimated it. That was with no economic trouble.

“I think the game will be fine, but just like every industry it’s going to take some hits” says ESPN the Magazine’s senior writer, Chris Broussard.

“The superstars are still going to get paid: Kobe, LeBron, Wade, and Dwight Howard are still going to get their money,” added Broussard. So who will take the biggest hit? “It’s always going to hurt the midlevel players, the midlevel salary will definitely drop” says Broussard.

What do players think about this? “Of course the current economic climate will affect the lengths of contracts and the amount of money people will make. Teams are tightening their spending since they are not making money the way they were before,” says Utah Jazz guard Brevin Knight.

One thing is clear, despite the economic woes fans will still need an outlet to get their minds off this economic crisis. They need something to cheer for.

”The game still is very popular. You have great young stars and rivalries in the Celtics and the Lakers. LeBron and Kobe have somewhat of a rivalry in regards to who is the best player,” added Broussard.
Something tells me, everything will be fine.