Sure, you’re inundated with free-agency speculation right now. From those throwing noodles against the wall trying to see what sticks to those outraged by the hype … it’s all in good fun, I suppose. Now take a break from all that and check out the must-read links and quotes below (with some commentary) — okay, a couple do pertain to the free-agency bonanza, but not most of them.
Local Baltimore kid Rudy Gay was Thursday’s winner, signing a 5-year, $82 million contract and returning to the Memphis Grizzlies, while crushing the hopes of those wanting him to make it back to the DMV area. Tom Haberstroh Tweets:
“Only one active player has scored more points through their 4th season while having a career ORtg as poor as Gay (104) … And that inefficient scorer was Juwan Howard”
Yikes. Seems like a good omen that Rudy didn’t come home.
But yea, the free-agency mess is fun, because it gives us posts like this one from Brain On Funk.
Ben Standig on CSNWashington writes, “….with the wall-to-wall free agent talk, Brett Favre, for once, is not the lead story on every newscast. I knew I could find a silver lining.”
Meanwhile, Michael Lee reports that the Wizards are taking things slow. And that’s okay with me.
D.C. Stand Up
The Wizards might bring training camp back to D.C. Please do. Because making the trek down to Richmond (I only did it on one weekend last year) for only the last 15-20 minutes of that day’s training camp session is just not worth it — plus, poor beat reporters like the Post’s Michael Lee have to stay down there the whole time (no offense Richmond). Oh, and it’d be good for the local fan base too.
[DC Sports Bog]
Rashad Mobley says that Arenas and Wall need each other.
I’ve been running this site for four years now, and I’ve never seen any topic that spurs as much excitement as John Wall coming to D.C. As the owner of a downtrodden sports team, you HAVE to capitalize on that. And frankly, we as fans deserve the chance to show our excitement. At the end of the day, sports fandom is about moments and feelings, not about rationality. (This site tries to find balance between the two, but if we err, we always err on the side of passion). The question of whether John Wall lives up to the hype or not is not something we’re particularly interested in thinking about right now. For lack of a better term, it’s a buzzkill.
-Mike Prada, Bullets Forever
Wall doesn’t arrive to the NBA with an unblemished off-the-court record. Just two weeks before he signed a letter of intent to play at Kentucky, Wall was charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering when he and a couple of friends broke into a vacant home in Raleigh, N.C. Wall pleaded guilty to the charge on May 27, 2009, and had to complete 75 hours of community service and cover court costs as a condition of the plea.
-Kevin Arnovitz, TrueHoop
It’s not often that a franchise suffers its most embarrassing season ever, only to be gifted with a savior who shares an initial with the team’s name. The odds of that happening are infinitesimally small.
-Trey Kerby, Ball Don’t Lie
More on Jet Yi
But if there’s one thing we know about Yi Jianlian, it’s this: he’s the antithesis of a tough player. He’s a jump-shooting big man that hates banging inside and doesn’t rebound. No amount of coaching is going to change all of that.
I’m not saying the trade was terrible. It’s not. But I am saying that the trade kind of undermines the rhetoric of getting tougher. That it happened on the same day the team spelled out this desire only makes the whole situation more ironic.
-Mike Prada, SB Nation DC
For the team’s bit of cap space, to start, which allows for the squad to make lopsided deals under the salary limit. Ross, while not a world-beater, is pretty desirable with that limited contract and defensive aptitude. And it’s the end of June, not the start of September. Teams aren’t as desperate now as they will be towards the end of the summer. So why not pounce on those teams, instead of acting like the second team in three Junes to act desperate and needlessly trade for Yi before the free-agent period officially starts?
-Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie
One could argue that teams like the Nets and Bulls are more desperate now than they would be later in the summer. Actually, there’s no argument there. It’s a fact. But that doesn’t mean other, less desperate teams didn’t have talented options.
It could just be that Grunfeld wanted to play it quick and safe by getting what he might have considered to be the best potential talent available while still maintaining flexibility. I mean, as players, I’d rather have Kirk Hinrich than Deaquan Cook and Yi Jianlian over Michael Beasley (okay, that last one is a big maybe, if not both …. but from the franchise’s perspective, consider it a ‘character’ decision).
As a Wizards fan, nit-picking moves the team has made so far this summer, which have been in accordance with Ted Leonsis’ outlined plan, would feel a little bit like being the homeless guy in line for food at the shelter asking if they had any steak tartare in the back.
Everything ain’t going to be perfect. What’s available to one team might not be available to another. Things aren’t always how they seem. Yet, I can’t help but think that Grunfled, someone who has come under very high criticism from fans over the past couple of seasons, hasn’t exactly ‘wowed’ the masses.
With new ownership and a changing house in play, Grunfeld’s moves are going to be more scrutinized than ever.
A New Jersey farewell to Yi Jianlian with video highlights.
[Nets Are Scorching]
Grunfeld and fans
Grunfeld, truth be told, wasn’t terribly more quotable with the fans than he is with the media. He told them that Arenas is “really looking forward to playing with John [Wall] and not having to have as much of the ball-handling responsibility.” He declined, politely, to discuss any players under contract with other teams. He said the team needs to pick up at least one more big man and somebody who can play on the perimeter before next season. He acknowledged that John Wall is already “the Great Wall of Chinatown,” and decided that Yi could be “the Great Supporting Wall, I guess.”
-Dan Steinberg, DC Sports Bog
The “Jianlian Effect” overshadows the introductory press conference of Trevor Booker and Hamady N’diaye.
Dan Feldman charts the offensive and defensive rebounding percentages for all frontcourt players from the 2010 NBA Draft (in a post about how great Georgetown’s Greg Monroe will be for the Pistons). You’ll see that Trevor Booker is a slightly above average defensive rebounder (20.6%), and slightly below average on the offensive end (10%). Hamady N’diaye is fairly below in both categories, 17.6% DEF, 9.3% OFF. You’ll notice that Derek Caracter, who went to the Lakers a couple picks after N’diaye at 58, has better rebounding-percentage numbers … but knowing the history of both, I think the Wizards went with actual character.
The run-down on Kevin Seraphin.
Funny story about Seraphin. I actually met him outside of the hotel, while waiting for a cab a few hours before the draft. I was speaking to French reporter, Pascal Giberne, who introduced us. I had no idea that Seriphan would wind up being a Wizard. I just wished the kid luck and hopped into cab.
-Michael Lee, Washington Post
Tony Kornheiser… God love his inane, attention seeking ramblings with assumptive judgments that only make him look like even more of a jerk. With Tony and the “poisonous” Gilbert Arenas, for some reason it’s personal.
[DC Sports Bog]
Ted Leonsis sums up his approach to ownership in five words.
[Washington Life Magazine]
Might Leonsis himself make Washington a free-agent destination?
The NBA Draft is like one of those pretentious night clubs.
@DocFunk says that real fans get the shaft at the draft.
[Brain On Funk]
John Wall’s agent, Dan Fegan, on draft day. Fegan also has former Washington Bullet, Mitchell Butler, working for him as an agent.
JaVale McGee can “come within 7 inches of touching the rim standing up,” but evidently that doesn’t make him a better rebounder than Chris Kaman.
Roger Mason, Jr. has some interesting thoughts on free agency.
[Pro Basketball Talk]
Why Wall matters more than Strasburg in D.C.
[SB Nation DC]
Proposed nicknames for all 60 2010 draft picks. The Wizards have Kevin “Evan” Seraphin, Trevor “Trevdawg” Booker and “Your” Hamady N’Diaye … in addition to John “Great Wall of Washington” of course.
[Ball Don't Lie]
Can John Wall bring a new era of accountability to D.C.?
In a perfect dream world, what the Wizards didn’t do on draft day.
An Orlando blogger says ‘no’ to Arenas.
The sadness Orlando felt when Shaq left.