Hey, do you remember when the NBA lockout was supposed to save the owners from themselves? Sure, the league implemented the amnesty clause as a get out of NBA hell free card, but the bad money is again flowing like it does whenever players hit the Vegas strip. Certain teams are feeling the burn of the more punitive luxury tax hits, but the Bulls are a small market squad, so we really can’t count them. And, the Knicks let Jeremy Lin walk out of spite and James Dolan’s continued lunacy.
What was the point of the lockout, anyway? Think about it, the big stars only want to play with big market teams (Lakers, Heat, Nets, Knicks), and the small market franchises are screwed unless they make three straight lottery trips and are lucky enough to score a franchise player like Kevin Durant in the process.
Nothing’s changed in the NBA except Gestapo Stern vetoing a Chris Paul to the Lakers trade and Dwight Howard’s repeated indecisiveness. But what this summer has provided is a ton of horrendous contracts and pure comedy that elicits a “What the hell are they doing?” reaction.
The Knicks are always leading the buffoonery in the association, and their decision to let Lin the Money Machine walk for nothing is asinine. I understand that Lin would have cost the Knicks $43 million in year three of the Rockets’ offer sheet, but how do you let a valuable asset bounce without getting anything in return? This isn’t the Bulls letting a center that can’t catch the ball leave for the same Rockets team, this is a 23-year-old player with great international appeal and one that boosts MSG’s stock.
So Lin’s off to the Rockets where Daryl Morey aka Mr. Poison Pill is whoring himself out to try and acquire Howard from Orlando. As much as I like Lin for the Knicks, wouldn’t the Rockets have been better off keeping Goran Dragic? Dragic is a better player than Lin, and 4 years & $34 million is a better deal than 3 & $24.9 million for Lin. Does he think that Howard will want to pair up with Lin? Or, is he so desperate for a “star” play that he felt compelled to throw a back loaded offer at the guy with the most hyped 25 games in league history? Lin is a solid player and the Rockets will profit off of his marketability, but Dragic is a better player with higher upside.
No matter how you feel about those two players, there’s no defending give Omer Asik $25.1 million regardless of how the deal is structured. He is a backup center that has never shown an ability to play extended minutes. I can’t wait to see how a Lin-Asik led Rockets team propels Houston to a 7th seed in year 3 of those deals.
I hate to do it, but Mark Cuban is thrown into this stupidity clinic as well. How can an owner that tore down a title team to make a run at Deron Williams in free agency not attend his team’s pitch? I mean, I know taping “Shark Tank” is vital and all, but this is your franchise’s future, Mark. Williams can say that the Nets trading for Joe Johnson’s $89 million was the deciding factor to stay with Brooklyn, but don’t you think that Cuban no showing the meeting pissed him off a little? So do I.
Speaking of the Nets, I absolutely hate what they did this summer. Gerald Wallace is not worth $40 million over 4 years (I’d still rather have the 6th pick in the draft), Johnson hasn’t been the same player he was before he signed the biggest deal of any free agent in 2010 & Brook Lopez getting $61 million for 6 boards a game and a twice broken foot is a travesty. Making a splash and trying to steal headlines gave the Jets a short term boost when Tubby Ryan showed up, but it didn’t last.
The Nets can prey on the Knicks’ incompetence, but they’ll never be the #1 team in New York. If the Knicks ever get it right, they’ll push the Nets back to 2nd fiddle status quicker than a D-Will crossover. The Nets didn’t have a choice with Lopez, but that’s a contract that could cripple them going forward. They’ve locked up their cap and have a permanent stranglehold on the 4th & 5th seeds in the East.
No, you know I wouldn’t forget Bryan Colangelo throwing a $19 million offer sheet at Landry Fields and his 25% shooting from 3. Shame on you. The Raptors’ ill-fated run at Steve Nash again showed just how dangerous the free agent game is. That’s another warning to GarPax and their precious plan of clearing the decks for free agency 2014. Colangelo does deserve some praise, however, for acquiring Kyle Lowry. Still though… Landry Fields?!
Okay, what’s dumber… Throwing $18 million at Michael Beasley, or $19.7 million on Jameer Nelson? It doesn’t appear close at first glance, but Nelson is on a rapid decline and shoots a robust 42% from the field. And yes, the team that paid him (Orlando) is a team desperately trying to offload money in any Howard deal. I told you this league was a comedy show.
We couldn’t countdown the NBA’s stupidity without the immortal David Kahn & the bumbling Blazers. Kahn was determined to land Portland’s Nic Batum (a player I like) and threw a 4 year $46 million offer sheet at him. Knowing there’s pressure from Kevin Love to improve the roster justifies the offer sheet, but Kahn reportedly offered Portland Derrick Williams and two #1 picks for Batum. Is he high? If so, throw some of that weed my way, David. I would have taken Williams and two #1′s in a heartbeat for Batum. Williams hasn’t even approached his potential, and two #1′s from the perpetually bad T’Wolves?! Where do I sign?
If the T’Wolves are offering that package for a small forward, GarPax should get on the horn yesterday to see if they want Luol Deng. Hey, they have the cap space to make it happen…
By the way, those same Blazers wanted Roy Hibbert. The same Roy Hibbert that was virtually useless against Miami after they stopped playing around with Indy after game 3. $58 million for a player that can’t play more than 30 minutes a game boggles my mind. Larry Bird got out at the right time.
And can someone tell me why the Pacers would trade Darren Collison for Ian Mahinmi? I know George Hill got paid ($40 mil over 5), but Collison raised his game vs Miami, and you can never have enough shot creating play makers… Especially against Miami.
And finally, there’s the Bulls. I’ve written in detail about the financial champs’ off-season from NBA hell, but the Kirk Hinrich signing has to top the list. The man who lives for bricking jumpers off the front rim from 17 feet out signed for $8 million over two years. That’s not awful until you realize O.J. Mayo (who Derrick Rose wanted here) signed for basically the same cash over 2 years. Are you telling me the Bulls would rather have Hinrich over Mayo?! Of course they would. Why? Because they value their guys, and are in love with their precious “core” that’s won them nothing.
And what about that Kyle Korver $5 million trade exception that will undoubtedly go unused? Are you telling me a sign and trade for Mayo couldn’t have been worked out? Whatever.
How’s that song go? Oh yeah… Only the Bulls… Only the Bulls.
This has been the summer of stupidity in the NBA, and it keeps getting better. Owners and GM’s simply can’t help themselves. It’s like when married guys get a free night out and are surrounded by hot single girls. They can’t help but trying to get them drunk and into bed. It’s just what it is and life in the NBA is no different. These clowns are compelled to spend money, even if it’s on mediocre players that won’t lead you to a title. It’s the greatest reality show going, and one I can’t turn away from.