HOOPSWORLD Week in Review
Howard/Paul Moves Will Wait For New CBA
By Eric Pincus
Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers? Chris Paul to the New York Knicks?
Here’s the problem with those super trades. What incentive do the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets (owned currently by the NBA itself) to make a deal before knowing the rules of the new, yet-to-be-written Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)?
It may be inevitable Howard and Paul relocate eventually, but why should their respective franchises assume inevitability when the new CBA may ensure the opposite?
Irving Not ‘Savior’ Just Yet
By Derek Page
With the 2011 NBA Draft now just a little over a month away, teams that have been forced to watch the 2011 NBA Playoffs play out from the comfort of their couch are salivating at the upcoming opportunity to draft players like point guard Kyrie Irving out of Duke.
Irving, who has decided to forgo participation in any organized drills at the 2011 NBA Draft Combine, had some interesting things to say about his future in the NBA, injury issues and whether or not he feels overwhelmed by the view of being a possible "savior" for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"That’s something that I’ll probably consider down the road," Irving said. "Right now, I’m not really focused on being a savior for any organization. I’m just trying to get better."
Williams: I’m Most NBA-Ready
By Jason Fleming
Before the 2010-11 NCAA men’s basketball season began most people had only a vague idea of who Arizona forward Derrick Williams was. Four months later Williams became a household name is consensus one of the top two players in the 2011 NBA Draft, along with Duke point guard Kyrie Irving.
"I think a lot of people knew my potential, I just had to show it," said Williams. "My freshman year I didn’t really get to show it because we weren’t winning as much. I think a lot of that has to do with winning as a team before all the individual stuff. Going from 16-15 to 30-8 at Arizona really brought the best out of me as an individual."
Oh yes it did. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers Williams posted this past season. He shot 60% from the field. And 57% from three-point range and 75% from the free throw line. The only Wildcat to average double figures, Williams put up 19.6 points a game and also led the team with 8.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocked shots, and added in 1.1 assists per game for good measure.
5 Steps: Fixing The Knicks
By Tommy Beer
HOOPSWORLD continues its offseason series, breaking down each team in the league – Today we examine what the Knicks’ next steps should be…
Here are 5 Steps for Fixing the Knicks:
1. Keep Donnie Walsh
This single most important decision that this franchise will make this offseason doesn’t pertain to a player or even the head coach – the most crucial determination made this Spring will be whether or not NYK owner James Dolan is smart enough to retain the services of Donnie Walsh. Walsh, whose official title is ‘President of Basketball Operations,’ is the brilliant architect of the Knicks as we now know them. When he arrived back in 2008, the organization was in shambles. New York had become a league-wide laughingstock, both on and off the court. The roster was teeming with bloated contracts that were deemed ‘un-tradable.’ Walsh masterfully gutted the roster and somehow got below the salary cap, which was the first step. Then he found a way to bring in two legit superstars to fortify the franchise. Just as importantly, Walsh not only vastly improved the product on the floor, he was also responsible for bringing a sense of class and dignity back to the organization, which was desperately needed.
5 Steps: Fixing The 76ers
By Mark Nugent
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the storied franchises in the NBA, owning three world championships and playing in the NBA Finals nine times. Recently however, the team has fallen on tougher times. They missed the playoffs in 2009-2010 after winning only 27 games, tying them for the sixth-worst record in the league. They did get a little lucky during the lottery when they moved up to the second pick in the draft and selected shooting guard Evan Turner.
This past season the Sixers appeared to right the ship as they returned to the playoffs and finished the regular season with a .500 record. They played five tough games against the Miami HEAT before bowing out in the first round. The 76ers also brought in a new coach, Doug Collins, to help bring stability to the bench after going through three coaches in two years.
So the question becomes, what do the Sixers have to do to get out of the first round? Here are five steps that will help Philadelphia grow from a fringe playoff team to a potential powerhouse in the East.
5 Steps: Fixing The Pacers
By Joel Brigham
About a year ago, when the Indiana Pacers made the trade to acquire Darren Collison, the NBA world almost immediately felt as though they’d put together the foundations of a really good team. By the time the season started, however, most of us changed our minds. Indiana was very underwhelming, Jim O’Brien didn’t seem to be using his point guard or his power forwards to their strengths, and they looked set for more lottery mediocrity.
But then that first-round series with the Chicago Bulls happened, and everybody changed their minds. Again.
With interim head coach Frank Vogel bringing the best out Collison, Paul George, and Tyler Hansbrough, the Pacers showed the Bulls more than anyone thought they would, and those players along with Danny Granger and Roy Hibbert are enough to make Indiana look more than a little promising again.
Where Will Jamal Crawford Land?
By Lang Greene
Before the start of training camp, normally low key Atlanta Hawks shooting guard Jamal Crawford made an unexpected demand of the organization.
Either provide an adequate contract extension or grant him a trade to a team who wanted him as part of their future plans.
The Hawks did neither.
As the season progress Crawford, the 2010 Sixth Man of the Year, consistently expressed his desire to remain with the franchise over the long haul but retreated substantially from any talks of still wanting to be traded if his contract demands weren’t satisfied – at least publicly.
Have questions for Mark Nugent? Be sure and drop by HOOPSWORLD on Wednesdays at 5PM Eastern for his weekly basketball chat.