NBA PM: Isiah is Very Helpful
Isiah Is Very Helpful
Isiah Thomas is starting to resemble Frankenstein’s monster. He keeps trying to help out the villagers, but every time he just ends up being chased off with some pitchforks.
This time, the embattled former Knicks president and coach was rumored to be consulting for team owner James Dolan on the Carmelo Anthony trade front. After all, Dolan reportedly didn’t get the answer he was looking for from coach Mike D’Antoni and president Donnie Walsh, who, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, feel that the Nuggets are asking for too much (three starters, at least one first-round pick and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract).
So apparently Dolan solicited Thomas’ opinion, which the former Pistons guard confirmed on a Miami radio station on Tuesday night.
“Everyone agrees they need to keep improving to get to a championship level,” Thomas said, Marc Berman of the New York Post reported. “I don’t think anyone’s saying, ‘This is it.’ I do think the organization wants to improve to get better and get to the next level.
“But for me to speculate on this Carmelo situation, I just don’t think it would be proper to insert myself in such a public way knowing what I know,” he continued.
For New Yorkers, Thomas’ opinion is about as welcome as a case of bed bugs. Yes, he said he’s staying out of the conversation, but the cryptic phrase “knowing what I know” is enough to leave a bad taste in any Knicks fan’s mouth.
If Thomas is so knowledgeable, why are the Knicks still undoing his mistakes?
Naturally, New York’s various sports media outlets have spent the day recounting Thomas failures with the franchise, but they may not be in the past tense. According to various reports over the past few months, Dolan is still interested in replacing Walsh with Thomas after the season. Thomas was also reportedly involved in the recruitment of LeBron James last summer, which, as we now know, was a doomed effort.
The bottom line seems to be the different ways in which D’Antoni, Walsh, Thomas and Dolan do business. The first two want to build a complete team while the latter two are hunting for superstars. But at the end of the day, right or wrong doesn’t matter because Dolan cuts the checks. The Knicks could land their star, but at what cost, nobody knows.
One of the bigger points made by CBSsports.com’s Ken Berger in today’s blog was that the Portland Trail Blazers are poised for a busy trade deadline—it’s just a matter of what direction the team would like to go in.
They’re already in luxury tax territory, but, as Steve Kyler mentioned in the NBA AM, guard Brandon Roy may only have a couple of seasons left in his knees. Does that mean GM Rich Cho could start the cost-cutting measures now or does he see this as a two-year window to build a winner with Roy?
There might not be any team in the NBA who has as many movable pieces as the Blazers. Berger mentions Joel Przybilla’s expiring $7.4 million contract and the fact that Andre Miller’s deal isn’t guaranteed next season. However, Portland also has movable contracts such as Marcus Camby ($9.25 million next season), Nicolas Batum, who is still on his rookie deal, and Rudy Fernandez.
Berger goes on to mention “bubble” teams like the 76ers, Bobcats and Pacers as being likely trading partners. In the rush to make a playoff appearance before a possible work stoppage, each franchise could be motivated to cash in some younger talent for the chance at a better regular season record. However, if Charlotte was given the chance to shed the remaining $19 million on Gerald Wallace’s deal, they could take a pass at this year’s postseason.
Is Missing the 3-Point Contest a Big Deal?
NBA players are in a strange position with things like the 3-point contest and the All-Star Skills Challenge. The events can give some lesser-known players nationwide exposure but they also cut into a much-needed vacation. So while every contestant seems honored to be asked to compete in the prelude to the Dunk Contest, nobody is heartbroken when their invitation gets lost in the mail.
“It was bittersweet,” Knicks forward Shawne Williams told HOOPSWORLD of his rejection from the contest. “It didn’t affect nothing in my day or nothing. It’s something that I wanted to be in. But, I didn’t make it, so hey, try to make it next year.”
Williams, a 6-9 journeyman who is not signed beyond this season, has worked hard to find this niche. After three disappointing seasons between Indiana and Dallas, Williams signed with the Knicks after missing the 2009-2010 season altogether. His 47.9% mark from range is over 10% higher than his career average and better than any of the competitors’ in this year’s contest.
“It’s a good way [to gain exposure],” Williams said of the 3-point contest. “But we play so many nights out of the week, so I’ll just have to do it [gain exposure] after the All-Star Break.”
And Williams is serious about gaining exposure.
If the Knicks do make a major trade at the deadline, he could be asked to play even more minutes (he’s already averaging a career-high 18.1 MPG) should Danilo Gallinari or Wilson Chandler be dealt.
That’s why he isn’t going anywhere over All-Star break, instead preferring to rest up and work out.
“I’m staying in New York,” he said. “I’m staying and I’m working out. Really just work out, try and get the edge coming off the break. This will be the first time having an off day in like three or four months.
“I can’t afford to break it,” he continued. “I’ll leave that to the people with the big paychecks.”
Williams and Spurs forward Matt Bonner, the league’s most accurate 3-point shooter (50.4%), were both omitted from this year’s contest in favor of more popular players like Boston’s Paul Pierce (38.9%) and Ray Allen (45.6%), Golden State’s Dorell Wright (39.7%), Miami’s James Jones (42.7%), Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson (44.6%) and Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant (33.8%).
Durant’s low percentage seemingly opened the door for some other Knicks like Gallinari (34.6%) and Toney Douglas (34.7%), but again, these guys weren’t heartbroken to be left out.
“I think the best shooters have to go,” Gallinari said of Durant. “He can do a lot of stuff, but he’s not just a 3-point shooter.
“I wasn’t surprised,” Gallinari continued. “I thought that my percentage was not that high like the players that are going. I was not expecting to go. I think it’s something that, if it comes, great, if it doesn’t it’s not a big deal.”
NBA Is Down With The Clown
How accurate is the McDonald’s High School All-American Game at predicting future NBA talent? Apparently, pretty accurate.
The 146 McDonald’s All Americans currently in the NBA have combined to make 155 All-Star Game appearances. In fact, eight of the 10 starters for this year’s All-Star Game are former McDonald’s All Americans.
The last team to win an NBA title without a McDonald’s All American was the 1982-1983 76ers, which means that 28 of the past 29 champs had at least one player who appeared in the high school game. To this date, 87 NBA titles have been won by 54 former All Americans.
McDonald’s All Americans have been selected with the first pick in the NBA Draft 20 times, they’ve won Rookie of the Year 18 times and six former All Americans have combined to win 13 MVP awards.
The 34th installment of the McDonald’s All-American Game will take place at Chicago’s United Center on March 30. Click here for more information.
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