Thursday, July 17, 2008

Summer Vacation Time At The Daily Hurt

We're just taking a 2 week summer-vacation at The Daily Hurt.....we'll be back in early August.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Camby Man Can

The LA Clippers off season of intrigue continues as last night they acquired C Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for a future second-round draft other words, the Nuggets wanted to dump salary and as the Clippers were under the salary cap, they were able to assume Camby's contract without giving back anything in return.
  • This is obviously a purely financial move from the Nuggets who once again looked good during the regular season, yet were bundled out of the playoffs without even so much as a whimper.

  • In Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson, Denver has two (starting) All-Stars but they can't seem to work together well enough to take the team to the next level.

  • You figure that either 'Melo or Nuggets coach, George Karl won't be with the team for too long into the 2008-09 season.

  • The move is also surprising as Camby is one of the league's best shot-blockers and rebounders. He doesn't score a lot, but he didn't need to playing for the Nuggets. The biggest problem Denver has had in recent seasons is at the defensive end.

  • F James Posey hasn't yet signed a new deal with one of his many suitors. After winning his second championship with the Boston Celtics this season, the word is that Posey is seeking a long-term(4 years) but the teams he has spoken to feel that that is a year or two too many. Posey played his role at Boston very well this season, but he's never going to be a go-to guy.

  • Former Raptors and Pistons G/F Carlos Delfino is apparently on his way to play in Russia after agreeing a $5m a season deal. Delfino said that he wanted to stay in the NBA but he wouldn't get that sort of money from any team here. Delfino is one of the most frustrating players in the league. He can be devastating when he's "on", but the flip side is like the guy's never played a competitive game in his life. He's the ultimate feast or famine guy.

  • ESPN loudmouth Steven A Smith apparently had a phone conversation with Houston Rockets F Tracy McGrady and in it, T-Mac said that while he's happy to stay with the Rockets, he just wants to win and if that meant moving to a new team in order to do that, then he'd be open to the idea.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Clippers hoping money talks

The LA Clippers are hoping that the saying "Money Talks" proves true to them this week as they go about resurrecting their hopes for the 2008-09 season. They struck an early blow by swaying star PG Baron Davis away from the Golden State Warriors but that party was over just after it began when they lost PF Elton Brand to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Regardless of Brand's agent, David Falk's meddling in the situation, Brand is done with Clippers and that's all that counts.

With some talented free agents such as 76ers G/F Andre Iguodola and F Josh Smith not yet signed up, the Clippers are going to throw as much money as they can afford to in order to offset the loss of Brand and to give their supporters reason for optimism again.

The biggest factor going against the Clippers is that, well, they are the Clippers. They have never been anything other than the ugly sister of one of basketball's most glamorous cities. Everything that is cool about the Lakers, is uncool when it comes to the Clippers. What is a Clipper anyway ?

Whatever it is, Clippers' coach Mike Dunleavy and owner Donald Sterling will need to hope that enough money can persuade someone like Iguodola or Smith to ignore the Clippers' long history & tradition of losing and sign with LA-lite.
Charlotte Bobcats PF Emeka Okafor is another name being mentioned by the Clippers. Emeka is a double-double machine, but his offensive game is limited. He is a very solid player defensively but it is risky to spend a truckload of money on a guy who can't really dominate at the offensive end.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

At NBA-Ink, deals become official.....and a look at the WNBA

There were press conferences galore throughout the NBA yesterday as teams could finally make official their new signings.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers gleefully announced the signing of Elton Brand to a five-year $79.795m contract. It was always thought that Brand was going to re-sign with the LA Clippers but according to reports, Brand's agent David Falk was offended by an offer from the Clippers and took his clients' services elsewhere. Falk has a reputation for being a powerful and difficult agent and it certainly appears as though he brokered something out of nothing here.

  • The Dallas Mavericks signed former player Desagana Diop to a five-year $31m contract. Unbelievable. Diop is good at clogging up the paint but he doesn't do much else...on his first stint in Dallas he had averages of 2.5ppg and 5.1rpg and it wasn't as though he was inundated with offers either. Dallas owner Mark Cuban is obscenely wealthy and obviously good at making money, but some of his basketball moves are staggeringly dumb.

  • Atlanta F Josh Smith doesn't yet have a home. It looks like he'll return to the Hawks although there are suggestions this morning that the LA Clippers are going to try to entice him. They now desperately need another "name" player as their once promising off-season has fallen apart very quickly.

  • The Milwaukee Bucks have reportedly offered C Andrew Bogut a five-year $72.5m contract extension. Big Bucks for Boguy. He has been a solid if unspectacular player but Milwaukee are very high on the young Australian. After an awful 2007-08 season, the Bucks apparently made each and every player on their roster available - except for Bogut.

  • Now onto the women's game and LA Sparks first overall pick, Candace Parker continues to dominate. She's an absolute certainty for Rookie of the year honours and is a pretty good bet for MVP too. Last night she had 40 points, 16 rebounds, 6 assists and added 5 blocked shots for good measure as the Sparks rallied from behind to defeat the Houston Comets, 82-74 in overtime. Two weeks ago, Parker dunked in a game too. If anyone thinks women's basketball is not fun to watch should check out a game these days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Brand new home for Elton

Last night, the NBA delivered it's salary cap figure for season 2008-09. The cap itself has been set at $58.68m with the luxury threshold $71.15m. Any team which is already over the salary cap for the season can only offer the league maximum of $5.585m to any perspective free agents.
So, with the salary-cap figure announced, the leagues' moratorium on free agent signings and trades has been lifted.
  • The biggest surprise has been Elton Brand's decision to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers. After sitting out most of last season with a foot injury, Brand didn't play it safe and see out the final year of his contract with the Clippers, he instead opted out and left $16.4m on the table. However, most observers expected Brand to re-sign with LA, especially after his friend, PG Baron Davis, also chose to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Golden State Warriors and agreed a deal with the Clippers.
  • What was shaping up as a promising off-season for the Clippers now looks to have blown up as swingman Corey Maggette has reportedly agreed to join the Golden State Warriors. It was a long shot for Maggette to return to the Clippers anyway, but given Brand's defection, LA probably would have like to have kept the versatile player.
  • In another blow to the Warriors, G/F Mickael Pietrus has verbally agreed to sign with the Orlando Magic. The fact that Pietrus left the Warriors is no great shock, as there had been rumblings that he wasn't happy with his role playing under coach Don Nelson. After belting the Dallas Mavericks from the playoffs two short seasons ago, the Warriors looked poised to become a serious challenger in the ultra-competitive Western Conference but since then they've taken a backwards step.
  • The Toronto Raptors signed SF Hassan Adams to a two-year contract yesterday. Adams played one season in New Jersey during 2006-07 and showed flashes of athleticism. He was shipped out of NJ mainly for financial reasons and averaged 20ppg playing in Italy last season. This signing could be another gem from Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Nadal and Federer final a classic

As the basketball world is a little quiet right now, we're going for a slight change of pace today from The Daily Hurt, as we simply can't ignore that amazing Men's Wimbledon Final yesterday.
In fading light Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer's five-year stranglehold on tennis's most coveted prize, but it took Nadal until the absolute last moment as Rog' clung onto the trophy for as long as humanly possible, clutching on with the very tips of his fingernails.
Federer never gave up and Nadal had to battle for every single point. It's impossible to compare winning Wimbledon to climbing Mount Everest, but in the tennis world yesterday, Rafael Nadal reached it's pinnacle.
The match was the longest final ever at Wimbledon and was also maybe the best tennis match ever played. It was fitting that after turning the grassy hallows of SW19 since 2003 into his own fortress, Roger was atleast defeated by a most worthy opponent.
Last year in the final, Nadal had showed signs that he was more than just a clay one-trick pony as he threatened to end Federer's dominance then, but a knee injury derailed his challenge.
This year it was the heavens that gave Roger a break as they opened and halted Nadal's early momentum. After the first rain delay, Federer pounced as he fought his way back and looked to be gaining control of the match. It wasn't to be though as the nerves Nadal was showing when leading 5-2 in the tiebreak - on serve - in the fourth held strong
Those lucky enough to be in attendance for yesterday's match will have memories to cherish forever.
They also take home a little slice of history too as from 2009 onwards, never should rain cause a delay for a match on centre court again as the All England Club have finally moved with the times and have installed a retractable roof which will be in place from next summer.
The after match talk now shifts to 'who is the best player?'. Of course, this argument will never have a true answer but it's worth trying to find one anyway.
Nadal is certainly 2008's best player so far but he still has a long way to go and has a lot of winning and dominating to do to match Federer's imposing overall record. Also, now that Nadal has finally conquered Federer at Wimbledon, will he be able to stay on top as that is what has made Roger so good. Roger has owned men's tennis for the best part of five years and while Nadal has been untouchable on clay, he hasn't been quite as good on the other surfaces.
Certainly 2008 hasn't been Federer's best year, but only a fool would say that this loss now suggests he's begun the downward slide of his career, as at 26, pending his health and motivation, he's still got plenty of tennis left in him.
Regardless of yesterday's loss, it's still a good bet that he'll overtake Pete Sampras' grand slam record 14 titles within the next couple of years.
The emotion spilled over so much yesterday that even commentator John McEnroe got a bit choked up interviewing Federer after the game. It was the ultimate show of man-love from one of tennis' most colourful characters and an indication of just how much emotion there was out there on the court during the match.

So, onto the NBA news...

  • It shows how slow the last couple of days has been in the NBA world when Chris Duhon signing a 2-year $7m contract with the NY Knicks is news. The Knicks don't seem to able to scrub themselves clean from Isiah Thomas. Duhon is a mediocre player at best but he could shine individually if he's given some burn and a significant role in the Big Apple, but he's not going to improve them much from the last few seasons.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Big Dollars the order of the day

Another day, another few million more dollars thrown around.
  • Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards agreed six-year $111m contract. Agent Zero could have earned as much as $127m from the Wizards but felt that he didn't need the extra $16m. According to 'bert, he didn't want to financially impact his teams' ability to be able to continue to sign players down the road. That was awfully generous of him, I heard he now plans on saving the whales from Japanese 'fisherman'. Gilbert is a good player but I think Washington have overpaid him here. They made the playoffs - comfortably - without him last season and I think they could have spent their money more wisely. Time will tell though as in Caron Butler & Antawn Jamison and Arenas all entering their prime, if the Wiz are going to seriously challenge for an NBA title, it will be in the next couple of years.

  • Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets agreed on a new four year contract. The first three years are guaranteed with the fourth being a player option. At its entirety, the deal is worth $68m to CP3. The Hornets have one of the most promising teams in the league and with Paul at the controls, they figure to be a contender for the NBA title from as early as next season.

  • Baron Davis is said to be comfortable with friend & potential teammate Elton Brand taking his time to mull over the offer Brand received from the Golden State Warriors. After Davis himself bolted from the Warriors for his hometown LA, Golden State have tried to entice Brand to Oakland with a $90m contract. I think Brand will stay in LA, but you never know.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Warriors strike back

Money talks they say....
  • The Golden State Warriors are making their best effort to disrupt the plans of the LA Clippers. One day after it was announced that the Clippers had reached a five-year $65m agreement with ex-Warrior Baron Davis, it's being reported that Golden State has countered that deal by offering un-contracted Clipper Elton Brand a five-year deal worth around $90m. Brand and Davis are close friends who together share a movie making business and you figure that they were planning on playing together, but this monster offer to Brand might just scuttle things. This one probably has a few more twists and turns to play out as the Warriors apparently have offered Gilbert Arenas a $100m contract.
  • Restricted free agent and much sort after F Josh Smith met with officials from the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday in Philly. Smith is an Atlanta-area native and he was a key reason behind the Hawks making their first playoff appearance in five years this season, but he has clashed with Atlanta's coaching staff and management in the past. Atlanta still hold the key in any negotiations though as they have the right to match any offer Smith receives, but they could choose to let him walk as they are already in deep with large contracts to Joe Johnson and Mike Bibby and they want to keep swingman Josh Childress.
  • A sad day for Seattle Supersonics fans. After 41 years, the Sonics are done with the city of Seattle and are moving to Oklahoma. I doubt it will be too long before we see another NBA team in the city, but for now, it's all over. It's amazing that the bickering over who was going to pay for either a new stadium or renovating the old one has caused the end of the Sonics.
  • In some unremarkable news, Desagana Diop has verbally agreed to return to the Dallas Mavericks in a five-year deal worth about $6m a season. $6m ! A season ! Five seasons ! I wonder if Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will now also try to swing a deal with the Nets and offer Jason Kidd for Devin Harris !

There will be more updates throughout the day

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sign me agents start negotiations

The first day that free-agents could begin negotiating new contracts kicked off yesterday.
  • The big news of the day was Baron Davis opting out of the final year of his contract with the Golden State Warriors. B-Diddy left $17.8m on the table and has reportedly agreed a five-year $65m deal already with the LA Clippers. Two seasons ago when the Warriors smashed the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs, things were looking bright in Oakland, but since then GM Chris Mullin has lost his two best players. Firstly, he traded away Jason Richardson to save some money and now Baron Davis has walked away. Just as GSW appeared to be on the verge of something special, now they look set to return to being perennial playoff strugglers again.

  • If Monta Ellis stays with the Warriors, he should be in for a big season. If the Warriors can land another PG, and we're hearing that they're pursuing former player Gilbert Arenas, then Ellis can stay in his off-guard role. If they can't land someone though, Monta may move over to play PG. Alot of 'ifs' right now in San Fran.

  • Ron Artest now says that he regrets not opting out of his contract. zzzzzzzz Ron, same old same old with him. Ron is a good player but he comes with heavy, heavy baggage.

  • Corey Maggette still hasn't found a home. Sacramento, Orlando, Boston (and while unlikely, he could even still remain a Clipper) are the teams still vying for his services. When healthy, Maggette is a good scorer who attacks the rim and gets to the line. No teams appears to be throwing huge dollars at him though which tells us that there are a few concerns with regard to either his health or his attitude.

  • The Charlotte Bobcats are negotiating with Emeka Okafor. Emeka beatout Dwight Howard for rookie of the year honours in 2005, but since then, he really hasn't been able to cement his game, especially at the offensive end.

check back for more news throughout the day