HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
The Pros And Cons Of Knicks Decision To Add Tyson Chandler
By Tommy Beer
The Knicks’ biggest need this offseason was adding a legit starting center, an intimidating big man that would board, grindand aggressively defend the paint. Well, it appears the Knicks have found their man.
To the surprise of mostly everyone, word began to spread yesterday afternoon that the Knicks were close to signing free-agent center Tyson Chandler. As of midday Friday, it appears it’s a done deal… (New York Times is now reporting Chandler is on his way to New York to sign the contract).
The Knicks had never been considered contenders for Chandler, one of the top free agents on the open market, as New York had nowhere near the cap space necessary to match what other teams other would surely throw his way during this truncated free agent frenzy. However, it appears the Knicks were willing to get unexpectedly creative in order to clear the cap space necessary to bring in the center they desired. Multiple reports indicate the Knicks are attempting to clear cap space via various means, which may including trading Ronny Turiaf along with Chauncey Billups, or simply “amnestying” Billups to clear his salary off the books.
Colangelo: Building The Raptors For The Future
By Stephen Brotherston
Raptors President and general manager Bryan Colangelo has been adamant that he wants to make the playoffs every year even after it had become obvious to most people that the team was heading towards a rebuilding period with the loss of free agent All-Star Chris Bosh last season. Even now Colangelo finds himself easily drawn back into that mindset.
“I expect to make the playoffs every year based on what I would like to do,” said Colangelo at an informal media session on Wednesday. “I would like to win basketball games.”
This year is different however. This year Colangelo has a longer term plan and hired former 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski to keep him on track and away from short term fixes. This Raptors plan is definitely geared towards next season and beyond.
2011-2012 Schedule Analysis
By Jason Fleming
The NBA released the full (revised) 2011-12 schedule on Tuesday, so as is standard around these parts we ran the schedule through some analysis. If you recall we did the same thing in August for the full season schedule, but obviously things have changed.
We reviewed all 30 team schedules and broke out the games in the following categories:
- Longest home stands, noting 4-game, 5-game, and 6-or-more-game home stands.
- Longest road trips, noting 4-game, 5-game, and 6-or-more-game road trips.
- The number of back-to-back games and back-to-back-to-back (thanks to the lockout) games.
- National TV games (ABC, ESPN, TNT, NBATV).
- Finally, the number of games for each team per month.
Can McGrady Make A Difference For Atlanta?
By Lang Greene
The Atlanta Hawks have made no secret over the past two seasons of trying to lure veteran talent to the franchise to support their core trio of Al Horford, Joe Johnson and Josh Smith.
Last year, the Hawks openly courted future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal during free agency before refusing to pay the $10 million price tag over two seasons requested by the recently retired center.
This year, the Hawks may have found the veteran presence they were previously seeking.
According to an ESPN report, former two-time NBA scoring champion Tracy McGrady has agreed to a one-year deal to join the Atlanta Hawks for the 2012 campaign.
Dwight Howard Spells It Out For Orlando
By Bill Ingram
Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard met with Magic GM Otis Smith on Monday night and everyone wants to know what was said in the meeting. Today HOOPSWORLD has learned the gist of what was said.
First of all, forget Dwight signing a contract extension this season. The Magic could add Chris Paul, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Dwight would still not sign an extension, not because he doesn’t want to be in Orlando, but because under the new collective bargaining agreement it would be a horribly bad business decision.
The new CBA allows veteran players to extend their deal to a maximum of four years, meaning at no time can your extension push you past four guaranteed years. Dwight has two more years on his contract with the Magic, with an option coming this summer. As of today, Dwight can only sign a two-year extension with the Magic, as this season and next would count towards the four allowed. Next summer Dwight (and Chris Paul and Deron Williams) could opt out and sign a new contract for five years. BY waiting until July, Dwight can sign for two more years than he can sign for now.
Jimmy Butler: The Quintessential Bull
By Joel Brigham
It’s easy to see why the Chicago Bulls fell in love with rookie Jimmy Butler. Last season’s Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau has put together an environment in which team comes before statistics; defense comes before offense; adherence to the system comes before individuality. Butler, it seems, has played his entire basketball career sticking to these basic principles, and his ego is smaller even than Derrick Rose’s. The Chicago locker room is full of humble guys, good guys, and the team’s lone rookie seems as though he’s going to fit right in with last season’s 62-win Bulls.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do was win,” Butler told HOOPSWORLD while readying himself for the season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. “In high school, we didn’t get to make the playoffs, so all I wanted to do was win. In junior college we were highly-ranked, but we didn’t even make the national tournament. At Marquette, we went further and further in the tournament, but all I wanted to do was win. At the end of the day, that’s all. Coming in and knowing that the fans, our team, our coaches want to win a championship, that’s all that matters to me.”
He’s not just saying that. Butler has never been the sort of player that talks the talk yet secretly tries to pad his own stats, sometimes at the detriment to his team. In, fact the knock on him coming into the draft was that he wasn’t a great scorer, a great passer, or even a great athlete. Someone like that isn’t often accused of playing selfish basketball, but while scouts all agree he does a lot of things well, they also agree that he doesn’t do anything great.
Fantasy: 2011-2012 Top 100 Overall
By Tommy Beer
“The lockout is over…” The news we woke up to in the Saturday after Thanksgiving was something basketball fans had been waiting to months to hear and was music to our ears. However, with the shortened preseason and the upcoming free-agency frenzy, fantasy leaguers across the land are going to face unique challenges this month. Not only is there a time crunch attempting to set up drafts, we all have less time to prepare than usual. In addition, the uncertainly of the free agency market (the wackiness of the amnesty clause throws another money wrench into the equation), makes preparation that much more difficult.
But have no worries, the fantasy nerds here at HOOPSWORLD have been busy crunching numbers, analyzing trends, and have already begun crafting the industry’s best cheat sheets for your use on draft day.
Below is the first of many Top-100 rankings we’ll publish throughout the season. This list is certainly preliminary considering training camp has not yet started and certain rosters are very much in flux due to upheaval free agency will undoubtedly cause, not o mention undecided position battles, etc. Nonetheless, the projections for the fantasy elite likely won’t change significantly, and there are quite a few sleepers I already have my eye on.