Here is a look at to what I was thinking about this weekend as big news and rumors broke concerning the 2014 NBA Offseason. Side note: one last mock draft will be coming Tuesday with the NBA Draft a couple days away!
1. Cavs hire David Blatt as head coach?
While the Cavs could have done much worse I just do not understand the hire if they are seriously in “win now” mode. A first time NBA coach is going to need time to adjust and that usually means more early season losses than wins (a la Jason Kidd). The team Kidd had this past season in Brooklyn was much more talented than the team Blatt will have in Cleveland in 2014-15 (unless LeBron James decides to come back home).
That leads me to LeBron: for the Cavs to have a real chance in getting him to come back I would think he would want to have a coach of his choosing that could help him win championships. Immediately I think of Mark Jackson who was successful in Golden State and probably shouldn’t have been fired. I think Blatt will be a good head coach if given some time to adjust to the NBA, but from what the Cavs have been saying they do not want to waste any more time outside of the playoffs.
2. Detroit wants to keep Monroe?
I was surprised to see the Pistons now wanting to re-sign power forward Greg Monroe. He is worth paying a near max contract if the Pistons did not just give a max deal to Josh Smith. I said from the beginning the trio of Smith, Monroe, and Andre Drummond would not be effective on the floor together. Smith is not a small forward because his jump shot is not respected. So this allows teams to leave Smith and help in the post against Monroe and Drummond. Drummond is a keeper and it will be nearly impossible to move Smith’s huge contract now, so I do not know why the Pistons wouldn’t try a sign and trade and get something for a player who has some value.
3. Knicks linked to rookie P.J. Hairston?
As I said in Mock Draft Zocc.0 the Knicks will use Iman Shumpert to get a first round pick. Phoenix and OKC (surprise, surprise) have a pick that they would like to move for a guy like Shumpert. P.J. Hairston though does not make sense for the Knicks who already have two shooting guards they seem to like: J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. The Knicks should use this pick if they acquire one to either get a point guard for the future or fill the hole Melo may leave at the small forward position.
4. Shabazz Napier climbing up the draft board?
As he should be! (Can you tell what state I’m from?) Napier will be a good back up point guard in this league for years and is someone many teams in this draft could use on their roster.
5. Klay Thompson holding up Love to GS deal?
The Thunder have proved you can’t win a championship with just shooting and no one to throw the ball into in the post (as Charles Barkley so eloquently pointed out during every Western Conference Finals game this past postseason). The Warriors already have Steph Curry, a great shooter and legit star, so why would they not want to trade Thompson to get a post presence like Kevin Love who can also stretch the floor?
Kevin Martin also had something to do with this, who Golden State did not want to take back with Love. Martin’s lack of defense is what turned the Warriors off and I guess it makes sense because Martin is owed more than $20 mil over the next three seasons. Both of these things have squashed the trade talks between the Warriors and Timberwolves for now, and I think they will open discussions again once draft night comes. Golden State simply has too much to offer Minnesota.
Oh yeah, rumors now are that Love will not be traded until after the draft. I do not believe that for one second, or at least hope Minnesota is trying to get to teams to give more than they already offered to pry Love from Minnesota. If the Timberwolves were smart they would get this done before the draft so they can get three picks in the first round and choose who the future of their franchise will be in a deep and talented draft.
6. Pau to the Mavs?
I feel for Mark Cuban who wiffed the past two off seasons on Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Pau would be a good addition next to Dirk and would make them competitive. I hope Cuban gets someone this offseason in the free agency market.
7. Melo opting out?
While this no longer surprises me that he is really doing this I hope the Knicks at least do not lose Melo for nothing. After he forced his way from Denver to New York now Carmelo is going to leave when the going gets tough. And it isn’t even that bad in New York. Literally more season where the Knicks can still make the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference and then New York will have all of the cap space in the world to build around Anthony.
Melo opting out says to me two things: he does not want to “waste” a season in New York, and he does not believe Phil Jackson will be able to put a championship team around him in 2015. I think it is more of the first than the latter, but it still is not right for Melo to leave. If he ends up in Chicago as I think he will I hope the Knicks get something back. Chicago’s two first round picks (No. 16 and 19) would not be a back consolation prize for a franchise that has said they want to get a pick in the first round.
I would then also trade Shumpert to OKC for pick No. 21 and have three first round picks going into Thursday’s draft. New York could then move two of these three picks and move up two the early teens and get a franchise changing player that may have slipped in the draft to help replace Melo and rebuild. So things aren’t that bad in New York, with or without Carmelo.