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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Utah Jazz in search of backcourt help this off-season

utah jazz cheerleaders

All things considered, the Utah Jazz showed steady progress this season when some expected them further drop off post-Deron Williams trade.  Now the Jazz enter the off-season with a glaring need; upgrading their talent in the backcourt.

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Top 25 Toughest Players to Guard in the NBA: 25-21

Deron Williams

I am little bored right now, so I thought I would create a list of the 25 Toughest Players to Guard in the NBA. Here are players 25-21. Feel free to leave a comment!  

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Utah Jazz In Search of New Identity This Off-Season

Devin Harris Jazz

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.  The Utah Jazz begin a new era this off-season without long-time head coach Jerry Sloan and superstar point guard Deron Williams.

By: David Kay

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Trade to Nets Proves Deron Williams is NOT the NBA’s Best PG

For the last few seasons there has been a lively debate about the best point guard in the NBA. Prior to this season the discussion was mainly between Chris Paul and Deron Williams (Derrick Rose is now in the conversation). Now that Deron Williams has been traded to the New Jersey Nets for Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first round picks, it’s safe to say that the debate is over.

Deron Williams is definitely not the best point guard in the NBA.

By Peter Christian
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Carlos Boozer can be Robin to Derrick Rose’s Batman

So many failed experiments, and finally the Chicago Bulls have found their big man.

By my count, I have ten failures by the organization at the power forward position: Elton Brand, Tyrus Thomas, Tyson Chandler, Drew Gooden, PJ Brown, Andres Nocioni, Michael Sweetney, Lonny Baxter, Antonio Davis and Donyell Marshall. Almost all were expected at one point to deliver the franchise a low post presence, and every one of them has been shown the door out of Chicago.

But things are different now. When that magical ping pong ball revealed in May 2008, despite only a 1.7% chance, the Bulls would have the rights to draft Derrick Rose, the search began to surround the talented point guard with sufficient help.

It’s finally here.

Carlos Boozer, the same Alaskan who sent a recruiting video to Mike Krzyzewski because he wasn’t receiving any attention, is the Bulls‘ new $80 million answer to what seemed to be their lingering problem over the past decade – finding a legitimate and versatile post threat.

By Ethan Asofsky and Paul M. Banks

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NBA Offseason Mailbag

lebron

Any chance LeBron goes to the Mavs? It seems like them and the Heat offer the best shot at a championship. Sure he could go to the Chicago Bulls but even with LeBron I think they are at least another year or two away. The New York Knicks have absolutely no talent to surround him with, and the New Jersey Nets just don’t have it going on. Dallas is a big sports stage, and Cuban will undoubtedly do a hell of a job marketing him. The promise of playing in JerryWorld has to be enticing. Damp is expendable and Dirk is willing to take a pay cut, what do you think?

By Paul M. Banks and David Kay

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Jazz-Suns will be the BEST Playoff Series Ever!

deron williams

By Paul M. Banks

PHOENIX, AZ- Utah’s 116-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns Thursday night felt like a playoff precursor of exciting things to come. The high-scoring affair saw Utah race back from ten points down in the fourth quarter and it put the Jazz 1.5 games ahead of Phoenix in the Western Conference playoff race. If current standings hold, the Jazz would have home court advantage in a first round playoff match-up against these same Suns that would undoubtedly be the most exciting pairing of all.

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The Jazz re-signing of Paul Millsap, Solid Move?

paul-millsap

By David Kay

In an offseason that could have shredded the Jazz roster, things have fallen right into place. Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver all exercised their player option and chose to return to Utah rather than become unrestricted free agents. The Jazz even signed Okur to a 2-year extension worth $20.8 million rather than risk losing him next summer.

Then, just when it seemed like The Jazz were going to lose emerging power forward Paul Millsap, they decided to pony up the money and match the 4-year, $32 million offer sheet that the restricted free agent signed with the Blazers. Portland thought by front-loading the contract and giving Millsap a first-year salary of $10.3 million that Utah would shy away from bringing him back. That wasn’t the case. (By the way, if we were keeping score, Portland is now 0-2 in trying to land a premier free agent.)

Millsap proved to be more than just a physical, energy bench guy when Boozer was riddled with injury this past season. Millsap started in 38 games, posting 29 double-doubles. Jazz management was so impressed with his performance that they ultimately chose to re-sign Millsap as a replacement for Boozer, who is the final year of his contract.

Since matching Portland’s offer, Utah has pretty much settled on the fact that they will be trading Boozer with general manager Kevin O’Conner even admitting a trade was “imminent.” The Jazz realize that even if Boozer ends up playing all season in Salt Lake City, the odds of him re-signing with the team are very slim. With Millsap’s new guaranteed 4-year contract, the odds have become pretty much non-existent.

To read the whole analysis click here

NBA Offseason Analysis Bonanza

 

For all your draft grades, free agency questions, team needs, check out these links where we break down all everything you need to know about every NBA team

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbaoffseason.php

Toronto Raptors

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbaoffseason2009tor.php

Utah Jazz

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbaoffseason2009utah.php

Oklahoma City Thunder

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbaoffseason2009okc.php

Miami Heat

http://www.walterfootball.com/nbaoffseason2009mia.php

Original Bull and Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan Interview

By Paul M. Banks

Earlier this month Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan was announced to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is the only coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins for one team and fourth on the list of all-time most-winning NBA coaches. He has also coached one team longer than anyone in NBA history. The 2009-10 season will be his 22nd season (and 21st full season) at the helm of the Jazz.

After Tom Kelly stepped down as manager of the Minnesota Twins in 2001, Sloan became the longest tenured head coach in American major league sports with their current franchise. The only manager in any top professional league that has headed their current team for longer is Alex Ferguson of the English football team Manchester United.
He played for the Chicago Bulls during the franchise’s formative years. He was the first player selected by the Bulls in the expansion draft, earning him the nickname “The Original Bull.” Sloan played in two All-Star Games during his NBA career, and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He is currently fourth on the Bulls’ all-time scoring list.

With an average of 2.15 steals per game (tabulated over his last three seasons), Jerry Sloan is ranked tenth in the NBA’s all-time leaders category for steals per game. His playing career was cut short by successive knee injuries, and he turned his attention to coaching. Because of his influential career with the Bulls, the franchise retired Sloan’s No. 4 jersey, the first jersey retired by the Bulls.


Paul M. Banks: What are the biggest differences between small market and big market?

Jerry Sloan: Basketball’s basketball, I never thought I did that bad in Chicago. We worked hard and had some guys who are probably not the kind of guys that you’re going to win with on a consistent basis. I thought that if they had the patience, we could have worked it out, I never thought that I couldn’t.

Footlocker.com

On his ability to operate in a bigger market…

JS: “Sure, if they had the right philosophy. If the players know you’re expendable they don’t have to play. If the agents and everybody tells them, he’s not going to be here, wait a couple weeks, the coach will be gone don’t risk getting hurt wait and play for the next guy then they’re not going to play for you.”



On whether he ever had an agent or needed one…

JS: When I took the job in Chicago, Mr. Wirtz and I had kind of a run-in, he didn’t want to talk to me anymore, so I had a go between. I just didn’t feel like I wanted to be put in a corner.”

On his not needing an agent in Utah…

JS: “They’ve been fair. I’m just happy to have a job, the organization has been fair with me all along.”

PMB: A lot of people had run-ins with Wirtz over the years…

JS: It’s just one of those things, he’s the boss and I realize that. So I didn’t want to get into a shouting match with him.

Regarding whether he pays attention to the internet and blogs and all the information available out there these days…

JS: “Well, I’ve never paid attention to all that stuff. There wasn’t that much stuff going on when I came into the league, I was aware of guy’s getting fired. You can listen to everybody in the world, but you’re the one who’s responsible.”

Footlocker.com

PMB: What’s been the key to your success/long run?

JS: Pretty simple, our owner hasn’t fired me, when I tell our players at the beginning of the year I’m going to be here, I’m going to be here. I’ve been able to do that for a long time. not too many have had that opportunity. I guess if I did something crazy they would probably get rid of me pretty quick, but so far I haven’t done too much.

Nothing too crazy?

JS: “Well, I did get suspended for 8 or 9 games once”

Commenting on the 6 NBA coaches fired before Christmas this season and job security in the association…

JS: “I’m always concerned about what owners are thinking, are they letting the players run the team or are they letting the agents run the team? I’ve seen this for a number of years and it’s really frustrating because a lot of great coaches, better coaches than I’ll ever be, have been fired, some of them two or three different times. Somewhere along the line it looks like patience is something worth while if you’re willing to put up with it. I know there’s tremendous pressure on owners, coaches and players, but we’ve been lucky that our ownership has stuck by us. You lose 56 games and still have a job, you’re pretty lucky.”

On whether he had any worries his run could come to an end…

JS: “Well, I never thought I’d even play a year, so it’s no big deal, I’m happy to have done so, but I had people tell me I would never play in this league.”

Of course one of Sloan’s best quotes ever was published awhile ago…

“I don’t care if he’s 19 or 30. If he’s going to be on the floor in the NBA, he’s got to be able to step up and get after it. We can’t put diapers on him one night, and a jockstrap the next night. It’s just the way it is.” — on second year guard C.J. Miles, the youngest player on the 2006-07 Utah Jazz