NBA PM: Carl Landry’s Big Payday?
Make no mistake about it, once the NBA lockout lifts and teams are allowed to start tendering contracts, New Orleans Hornets free agent forward Carl Landry is going to be very much in demand.
As Steve Kyler detailed this morning, Landry has been talking about how much he would love to play for the Portland Trail Blazers, but that doesn’t mean he’s likely to land in Portland. The Blazers have a definite need, but they lack the cap space to make a move for Landry. That doesn’t mean they can’t deal the coveted Nicholas Batum, which could clear up some cap space and also allow Gerald Wallace to spend more time at his preferred three spot, but don’t expect Landry to take any kind of discount to play for Portland.
It’s time for Carl Landry to get paid.
Landry was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 31st pick in the 2007 NBA draft and was promptly traded to the Houston Rockets. In Houston he proved to be one of the great second round steals in recent history, improving markedly over his first three seasons, and should have had his big pay day at that point. Instead, as a restricted free agent caught in Houston’s snare. The Rockets put the word out that they will match any offers to their restricted free agents, thereby limiting the amount of money they have to pay those players. After a prolonged free agency, waiting for a team to make an offer and set his market value, Landry finally got a modest contract offer from the Charlotte Bobcats which Houston did match.
That’s how a player who can consistently give a team 15-18 points and 7-9 rebounds winds up making $3 million in his fourth NBA season.
Landry finally got big minutes after being traded to the Sacramento Kings in the deal that sent Kevin Martin to Houston, and he rewarded the Kings by averaging 16.8 points (52% shooting) and 6.5 rebounds per game as a starter. The 2010 NBA Draft brought an influx of big men to Sacramento, which is why they traded Landry to New Orleans last season, and an injury to David West saw Landry once again flourish as a starter. He started the final 26 games of the season for the Hornets and averaged better than 14 points per game in helping the Hornets make the playoffs. Now he’s a free agent looking for his first big pay day.
Today’s news may have Landry talking about the Blazers, but his first choice is to remain in New Orleans. The Hornets have a decision to make about West, who is also a free agent, and could opt to pay Landry and let West walk as they approach next season. They have, after all, seen that they can be very successful with Landry, who will certainly cost less than West. But if the Hornets opt to go with West, Landry will seek his payday elsewhere.
One of the first teams in line waiting to talk to Landry is the Indiana Pacers, who considered acquiring Gerald Wallace last season in their effort to shore up the front line, and they view Landry as precisely the player they need at the four spot. In Indiana, Landry would find the starting position he seeks as well as the significant payday he has coming. He might just be the key to the Pacers taking a quantum leap forward next season.
To this point of his career, Landry has been something of a bargain basement player, and that’s about to come to an end. Whether he lands back in New Orleans or elsewhere, Landry is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Armed with a starting role and his first big contract, Landry will come out of the gates looking to prove some people wrong . . .and that will be a very good thing for his new team.
We Want To Know
The Truth Gives Back
HGTV’s “Home by Novogratz” teamed up with Boston Celtics Captain Paul Pierce to transform an old storage space at Inglewood High School, the NBA All-Star’s alma mater, into a new state-of-the-art locker room lounge and deluxe gym. The special episode airs this Saturday, August 20 at 10:00p.m. EST on HGTV.
The renovation took place at Pierce’s All-Star Fitness Festival powered by Bing as part of his Truth on Health campaign, which empowers and encourages youth to live healthier lifestyles. Pierce teamed-up with the Novogratz’s on this special project to promote healthy lifestyles among youth while he was in his hometown of Los Angeles for the 2011 NBA All-Star weekend.
Basketball and children’s health are close to Cortney and Bob Novogratz’s hearts, so they dove into the project with local designer Suzanne Kisbye, tearing up the beat up linoleum floors and turning them into parquet floors, á la the storied Boston Garden. They mixed flea market finds with high-end modern furniture and a high-design colorful lighting cluster creating an urban loft inside a high school. The biggest transformation covered huge 20-foot high window security gates with banner-like photographic window treatments from hip-hop photographer and cultural observer Chi Modu’s.
Boston Celtics Captain and 2008 NBA Finals MVP Paul “The Truth” Pierce and his foundation, The Truth Fund, launched the Truth on Health Campaign to help empower and encourage young people to lead healthier lifestyles. The Truth on Health includes an awareness campaign and sustainable programming designed to help young people lead healthy lifestyles by incorporating physical fitness and healthy eating into their daily lives and encouraging a commitment to be active for at least 60 minutes per day. For more information visit www.truthonhealth.org.
Waiting For Adelman?
At least once a week a report comes out of Minnesota that the Timberwolves are close to hiring their next head coach . . .but not too close.
Last week the story was that Minnesota was set to choose between Don Nelson and Larry Brown, neither of which stoked the fire of excitement under their disgruntled fan base. Former Toronto Raptors head coach Sam Mitchell and former Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns head coach Terry Porter have also been among those under consideration by Timberwolves president David Kahn. Kahn’s advisors have offered up mixed feelings on all of the above, but the overall theme was a vote of no confidence in the entire field.
Nellie is really just looking for a check, Brown isn’t known for his ability to win over and maximize young players, and neither Mitchell nor Porter have had remarkable success in their head coaching stints.
Of all the names that have been floated in connection with the Timberwolves, and admittedly they waited until most of the great candidates were already spoken for, only one stands out. The one coach that excites the imaginations of the majority of Kahn’s staff is former Houston Rockets head coach Rick Adelman.
Adelman took the job in Houston because he believed the team would compete for a championship with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady in the mix. Of course, injuries derailed that dream, but the Rockets continued to be one of the most competitive teams in the league nonetheless. Adelman’s knack for getting the most out of young players like Kyle Lowry, Chuck Hayes, David Andersen and a laundry list of unlikely heroes is what interests the Timberwolves’ brain trust. After all, they need a coach who can help their plethora of young, potential-loaded players (especially Ricky Rubio) actually start to translate that potential into wins on the basketball court.
The next head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves may also be David Kahn’s last hire as the president of the team. He needs to hit a homerun, and at this point anyone not named Rick Adelman is more of a sacrifice bunt.
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