HOOPSWORLD Week In Review
Dalembert Wants To Stay With Rockets
By Yannis Koutroupis
The Houston Rockets have a decision looming over center Samuel Dalembert, who averaged seven points, seven rebounds and nearly two blocks a game in his first year with the team. Dalembert is owed $6.7 million next season, but it’s only partially guaranteed. He can be waived before July 8th for only $1.5 million.
“No,” Dalembert said in an exclusive interview with HOOPSWORLD when asked if the Rockets have given him any indication what they might do. “They have so much to figure out this summer for themselves. I’m just going out there and making sure I get myself ready whether they keep me or not. I Just have to stay ready.
“I like it in Houston. It’s a very nice city. The people are very hospitable. The people are really good here, nice. It’s a good organization. I enjoy myself with the guys. We had good times, fun times.”
LeBron James Silences Critics…For Now
By Derek Page
It’s difficult to argue that LeBron James’ title clinching Game 5 box score could’ve been any more dominant considering the circumstances.
The final line from last night’s pivotal game of the NBA Finals for James: 26 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds, two blocks and one steal.
In one fell swoop, James handled a young and prosperous Oklahoma City Thunder squad and clinched his first NBA Title – just the second in Miami HEAT franchise history.
“It’s about damn time,” James said. “This is the happiest day of my life. This is a dream come true.”
Top 5 NBA Draft Mistakes
By Joel Brigham
There is a certain level of buzz coming out of Charlotte right now that the Bobcats might be considering selecting Harrison Barnes with the second overall pick in next Thursday’s draft, partly because he’s a top-five talent, but mostly because he’s marketable as an in-state college star that could, in theory, help to rejuvenate a franchise.
That, of course, would be an egregious mistake for the Bobcats from a basketball standpoint, particularly because Thomas Robinson looks like the biggest potential star available to them at #2, and even Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal appear primed for a higher level of NBA stardom than Barnes.
In any event, I saw Barnes listed at #2 in a mock draft online, and all I could think was, “Man, that just isn’t the right choice.” From there, I naturally started thinking about some of the other poor drafting decisions in league history, and that’s where the idea for this Top 5 was birthed. The following list examines the most notorious incidents of passing up on future superstars for players who just never lived up to their draft positions.
Where Do The Celtics Go From Here?
By Stephen Brotherston
Boston is heading into the 2012 NBA offseason with just five players under contract, and it is all by design. After five successful seasons with their big-three, the veteran stars Celtics’ president of basketball operations Danny Ainge acquired in 2007 are now into their mid-thirties and Ainge has some big decisions to make about next season and the future direction of his team.
The Celtics are in a position to strip this team down to the bones and rebuild; however, after watching a 24-10 run that captured the Atlantic division crown and forced Miami to seven games in the Eastern Conference Finals, Ainge’s decision has gotten a lot tougher than he ever could have imagined.
It might not be deep, but Ainge has Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley to build around next season and that represents a pretty strong core. Rookies JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore are likely to return as inexpensive pieces to help fill in the back end of the roster. Ainge also has about $27 million in salary cap room to close the gaps.
Arbitrator Sides With NBPA: Knicks Big Winners
By Tommy Beer
Breaking news out of New York City this afternoon, which will have major impact on the offseason activity of the Knicks. Howard Beck of the New York Times is reporting that “arbitrator, Kenneth Dam, issued his ruling Friday, siding with the National Basketball Players Association, which challenged the N.B.A.’s interpretation of the rules under the collective bargaining agreement. Dam handed the union a complete victory in the ruling.” The arbitrator’s decision means that both Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak, who the Knicks signed off waivers last December, will be granted “early-Bird Rights.”
Roger Montgomery, who represents Lin, confirmed the ruling. He was informed of the decision on Friday morning and described this as “a great victory for the NBPA.”
Under the previous interpretation of the CBA, the Knicks would have still been able to re-sign Lin, but would have likely been forced to use their full mid-level exception in order to bring the talented young point guard back to New York. Then they would have been left with only the bi-annual exception and veterans minimums to entice prospective free agents. As a result, they likely would have lost sharpshooter Novak to a competitor.