My “beef” with NBA contracts: Part I – Bad Contracts

Money and the NBA

I love to get paid just as much as the next guy. But when it comes to figuring out a budget and where to spend your money, I think some GM’s are lost. The absurdity of big-dollar contracts in the NBA has made me think a lot since last offseason. With another off-season just around the corner, I would like to dive into last year’s contracts that were handed out, what players did and didn’t deserve them, and then I would like to focus on this year’s contracts and who should and shouldn’t get a big deal. This might turn into a three or four-part series. Here is Part I today.  [Read more…]

NBA Free Agent Signings: McGrady, Dunleavy, Prince, Jerebko

pistons

Our resident NBA nerd David Kay is on vacation this week; in a much warmer place. However, being out of the country hasn’t stopped him from being on top of the news. He’s got a lot to say on what’s been going on with the league this week.

Detroit Pistons re-sign SF Tayshaun Prince to 4-year, $27 million contract

I thought for sure Prince was going to move on in his career and not want to return to a Pistons team that seems to be in re-building mode.  Financially, this was probably the best deal Prince was going to get as other teams were reportedly offering him a shorter deal.  He must be happy in Detroit otherwise he wouldn’t have signed this deal and chose to take less money from a contender.

Detroit Pistons re-sign F Jonas Jerebko to 4-year, $16 million contract

Jerebko missed all of last season with injury but showed enough in his rookie season to warrant this type of contract extension.  He is an energy player who can do multiple things on the floor and is worth the investment for Detroit.

Atlanta Hawks sign G/F Tracy McGrady to 1-year deal worth league minimum

For a Hawks team that is massively over the cap and losing their sixth man, Jamal Crawford, this deal makes a lot of sense.  T-Mac had a rejuvenation of his career last season, showing he was healthy and still had some gas left in the tank.  He will ultimately replace Crawford as the team’s top reserve on the wing and comes at a cheap rate.

Los Angeles Lakers sign SG Jason Kapono to 1-year deal worth league minimum

The Lakers did just lose Shannon Brown to Phoenix so maybe Kapono can serve as a back-up to Kobe Bryant.  MAYBE.  I wouldn’t expect him to be a major contributor for the Lake Show this season.

Milwaukee Bucks sign SF Mike Dunleavy to 2-year, $7.5 million contract

In trading Corey Maggette and having Chris Douglas-Roberts and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute as free agents, the Bucks were searching for a veteran small forward.  Dunleavy is still a serviceable player at this point of his career but injuries are always a concern since he has only played more than 70 games once in the past five seasons.  He will likely serve as Carlos Delfino’s back-up until first round pick Tobias Harris is ready to be a contributor at the NBA level.

More NBA free agent signings

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

Detroit Pistons Need Off-Season Therapy

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank continues to break down all thirty NBA teams to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

As if their record was not awful enough, the Detroit Pistons 2010-2011 season was filled with more drama than a Real World episode.  Led by Richard Hamilton, several players  staged a walkout on first year head coach John Kuester.  Now, the Joe Dumars and the Pistons enter a critical off-season without a whole lot of cap flexibility.

By: David Kay

[Read more…]

NBA Trade Machine Challenge: Blow Up Pistons’ Roster

rip hamilton tayshaun prince

The Sports Guy refers to himself as the Picasso of ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.  Well if he is Picasso then The Sports Bank’s Peter Christian and David Kay are the da Vinci and van Gogh of the trade machine (though neither would cut their own ear off while working on a trade… or at least I don’t think.)

In this new feature, Peter and David will play the role of NBA general manager since they are likely more intelligent than half of the GM’s out there.  One will propose a challenge to the other to make a trade happen with certain requirements and the other will accept the mission like he were Tom Cruise and explain why all parties involved would pull the trigger on the deal.
[Read more…]

Tubby Smith Not Letting Gophers Bubble Burst

By Mike Gallagher

The buzzer sounded, and the battle of two bubble teams ended with the Gophers coming out losers once again.

Surely their 77-74 overtime loss to Northwestern doomed their hopes of making the tournament, as they dropped to 14-10 (5-7) and still had two Big Ten stalwarts (Wisconsin, Purdue) coming to The Barn. [Read more…]

Detroit Pist-ing Their Money Away

ben-gordon1211

By: David Kay

Heading into the NBA free agency period, the Detroit Pistons were one of the few buyers in the market willing to shell out the cash to sign a big name free agent.  As the clock struck midnight on July 1st, Joe Dumars wasted no time in courting his desired targets as both Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva flew to Detroit to meet with the Pistons general manager.  Reports have now surfaced that both former UConn Huskies will indeed call Motor City home for the next five years.  Detroit and Bulls free agent shooting guard Ben Gordon have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $55 million deal while Villanueva’s contract is for the same length at $40 million.

Personally, I am not in love with either signing.  Gordon, who turned down a similar offer from the Bulls last off-season, is developing into a big-time scorer, but has yet to show consistency in his game-to-game performance.  He was one of the top free agents in the 2009 class and it is now evident that he had little desire to return to Chicago.  But where does Gordon fit in Detroit?  Rip Hamilton is already on the roster and sulked last year when he was forced to come off the bench.  And it’s not like Rip is going anywhere as he has four years, $49.5 million left on his currently deal.  That poses a dilemma as that contract will not be easy to deal in a market where most teams are looking to dump long, expensive contracts than take them on.

My biggest concern with the Gordon signing is the fact that, in my opinion, Piston starting point guard Rodney Stuckey is a poor-man’s version of Gordon.  Neither has the capability to be a true point guard and are more shooters than creators.

charlie20072As for Villanueva, I have seen him play in Milwaukee for the past couple of seasons and I’m not a fan of his game.  Chaz V. can light up the scoreboard every once in a while, but for every 40-point game, he has four ten point performances in a row.  He was not a favorite of Bucks head coach Scott Skiles, moving in and out of the starting line-up partially because of his minimal effort on the defensive end (and partially because he likes to tweet during games.)

Detroit has always been a defensive-minded team which makes Villanueva’s signing a bit perplexing.  Plus, for a 6-11 “power” forward, Villanueva is softer than Lance Bass at the Playboy mansion and spends most of his time on offense wandering around the perimeter rather than trying to be a factor underneath.  With Chaz V, Tayshaun Prince, and Austin Daye all in Motown, the Pistons now have three tall, lengthy but physically inferior forwards who have similar styles of play.  Interesting.

The re-building process has officially begun in Detroit with familiar faces like Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace (who almost certainly will not be re-signed) being shown the door in the past few months.  Now Gordon and Villanueva will be faced with the task of ushering in a new era of Piston basketball.  Next up; find someone to coach these guys…

Detroit Pistons’ Draft Emphasized Character over Talent

detroit_pistons_logo

By H. Jose Bosch

Every time a professional draft comes up, my least favorite word thrown around is “character.”

Many coaches and GMs love to wax poetic about the character of potential picks.

Guess what: you’re building a professional sports team, not the St. Gloira Men’s Chorus.

That’s not to say character is completely bogus. The Pistons are exhibit A in how low a team can fall when character falls by the wayside (*cough*Allen Iverson*cough*). But for every A.I., T.O. and Chad Ocho Cinco, guys who let their lack of character sink a franchise, there are plenty of athletes who can contribute to a winning team and still be a jerk.

I say this because Detroit’s first-round pick, Gonzaga forward Austin Daye, was picked “not only for what he could do on the court, but also for what he won’t do away from the court. He won’t show up late on game days or late to the airport for flights. He won’t show up authority if he disagrees with a coaching decision.”

That’s great. And if he ends up being an NBA burnout I’m sure he’ll wear a large smile when he asks, “Would you like fries with that?”

Hey, I’m not dumb. This draft was weak and the Pistons were picking at No. 15. The chances of getting an NBA-ready talent, with minimal flaws, at that position is as good as me dunking over Shaq. But if Detroit is already in a spot where the fist pick is basically a flier, why not try and address the two biggest needs–point guard and center—rather than worry about a player’s partying habits?

Daye is a taller, skinner and younger version of Tayshaun Prince. That would be fine and dandy if A.) Prince was nearing the end of his career and on the verge of retirement or B.) He was no longer on the team. Neither is the case meaning Detroit now has a weaker version of Prince to back him up this season. Not that exciting.rasheed-wallace

I’m a risk taker myself, especially when I’m not actually in charge of a sports franchise and millions of its dollars. If I had a choice, I would’ve picked a point guard since that seemed to be the deepest end of the shallow talent pool and, in my opinion, the jury is still out on Rodney Stuckey’s ability to be a true point. Jrue Holiday (UCLA), Ty Lawson (North Carolina) and Jeff Teague (Wake Forest) were all on the board when Detroit’s name came up. To my knowledge none of them really have character issues. But instead we go for a player a girl can bring home to mom.

That’s not to say the Daye pick is a terrible one. Depth in the frontcourt doesn’t hurt. It just felt like what he could be off the court mattered more than what he can contribute on the court. That’s not winning basketball unless titles are doled out based on the NBA Sportsmanship Award.

But I take solace in the fact that the Pistons can’t build a contender through the draft. What makes or breaks this offseason will be the free agent period.

The Pistons could sign Carlos Boozer or trade for Chris Bosh. Hedo Turkoglu will be out there and there’s even Mike Bibby now that the Hawks signed Jamal Crawford and drafted Jeff Teague.

So maybe I shouldn’t be too harsh on the character guy. When Prince was drafted he didn’t really raise any eyebrows and he turned out to be a major factor in the Pistons’ recent success. And Dumars needs to help Michael Curry re-establish control in the locker room with guys that will actually listen.

This draft should probably be nothing more than a shoulder shrug for the fans. We’ll have to wait till July 8 and see before we decide if we should lose it. Until then, there are more important things to talk about today.

I heard some singer passed away yesterday.

mj