It has been quite a bit, since I’ve updated anything. But what perfect timing of when I have the opportunity to come back and give a little bit on the draft. Every year, days leading up to the draft, draft days and the days after, often gives us a look at what direction a ball club is headed. For the Cavs, they sent the NBA rocking, with the first real interesting trade. They got Shaq for an aging and limited Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, a second round pick in 2010 and $500,000. Though Shaq has aged quite a bit and isn’t the force he once was, he still commands a double team of some sort and gives those who want to drive a second glance. If anything else, the Cavs are looking to win now. They know their window of opportunity is short when LeBron, will be leading a dynamic class of free agents. The Cavs gave Shaq to him and they look for him to get a championship. The Orlando Magic, was the second team to trade that shook up the Eastern Conference. Trading with the New Jersey Nets, they acquired Vince Carter for Rafer Alston, Courtney Lee and Tony Battie. They get an outside presence in Carter who can create his own shot and a go-to guy down the stretch. And of course the guy can still unbelievably fly through the air. But with all that commotion going on, Hedo Turkoglu opted out of his contract, looking to make more money for the long haul. The Magic are said to be in an unfamiliar position, and both sides made it clear that they want each other. Now it is the money talks that will make or break this relationship. Looks like the East will be stronger than last, which is a testament that players are growing and the league is still successful on both ends.
As for the West, besides dumping Shaq to the Cavs, the San Antonia Spurs have added another aging but still effective scorer to their roster. They too, know that their window of winning is short with both Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobli hitting the 30’s. Only Tony is young enough to sustain the way he plays, but you can’t imagine his game being the same, when he hits the ages of Duncan and Manu. They traded longtime and defensive Spur, Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto for Richard Jefferson. It seems like the defensive-minded Spurs have traded their reputation for a win-now offense looking system. Though they lose quite a bit in defense, I still think they have enough to make a splash into playoffs and give some team a run for their money. But a championship, the Spurs will have to add and delete a few more pieces to make that happen.
With most of the action taking place before the draft, most of the draft was according to what the experts had agreed on. Blake Griffin was chose as the number 1 pick to the Clippers, and Ricky Rubio fell to Minnesota as the number 5 pick overall. Interestingly enough, Minnesota ended up picking two point guards in the draft and now the controversy of how that is going to get played out is still unraveling. Shockingly enough, the Warriors chose Stephen Curry as the number 7 pick. Rumors started to fly that Curry was upset about not falling to NY, but he has silenced the rumors by saying he is excited to be a Warrior. As Warrior fans, we should be excited as well. This kid is a natural shooter than can get hot and stay hot. He will definitely bring some scoring punch that we lack. But before we settle into Curry faze, there also have some rumors that we intend to use Curry as a trade bait. Rumors had him going to Arizona for Amare Stoudemire. I’ve read some newspapers, and most agree that we are giving too much for a player that a history of nagging injuries. Injuries that won’t go away or get better with rehab. So before we bring some thunderous jams back to Oracle, the trade talks seem to be on hold and beginning to fade as days go on. Though they can pull a midnight trade and then I’m eating my words.
But Warriors are looking for some impact players with less hit on salary cap. Last year was exciting watching Jamal Crawford play. One of the more bright spots, the Warriors and new GM, traded Crawford to the Atlanta Hawks for Acie Law and Speedy Claxton. The new GM said this was to save some money, but in reality, the Warriors are a bit guard heavy and with the addition of Curry, don’t be surprised if some more guards move for some high caliber players and/or big men.
It will be interesting to watch where the new draftee will fall in the mix of things, whether he is staying as a Warrior or he is donning a new jersey by the end of the week. Also, watch for trades to happen that will shake up the conferences. With two trades, (Shaq and Carter) already changing the dynamics of the Eastern Conference, sit and wait as the West will pick and choose where to add to their teams. Hopefully the Warriors won’t make a stupid trade or sign the wrong players to a long term deal.
This is only the beginning of another NBA season. I can’t wait. I’m sick that the Lakers won…..