There was a mini-spike in Randy Foye news last week. On Monday, after watching a video about Foye on NBA.com, I wondered if he could be ‘the’ difference maker.
On Wednesday, the WaPost’s Michael Lee put together a nice piece on Foye off his notes from a previous meeting. Here, we learned of a potential style conflict between Foye and former T-Wolves head coach, current Wizards assistant, Randy Wittman. Lee also related something Kevin McHale once told Foye before a matchup against Dwyane Wade, “Anything he can do, you can do.” Foye battled and finished with 29 points to Wade’s 31. The game came down to a last second foul call that Foye did not get … Wade probably would have.
Mike Miller is for serious about his social networking. How serious? Damn serious enough to debut his new website with an inspirational ‘Eminem’ “song” that came out seven years ago.
Miller also has a new blog entry, introduced by the ‘frightening/sad/tough/crying on the inside/I’m from South Dakota/my fav rapper is Killer Mike/I’d eat a man’s heart if it were legal and tasted like cheese wiz & beer‘ face you see above.
Damn. That’s serious enough to remove the ‘r’ from ‘for’ and make it a fo’.
Naturally, I wanted to get the opinion of a Pacers fan-blogger on the potential deal. Tom Lewis of Indy Cornrows was kind enough to weigh-in via email:
[The] proposed trade definitely makes sense from an emotionless nuts and bolts perspective. I do think the Pacers are willing to move Foster and with Mike James involved the team could have additional cap room next summer. Plus, as an added bonus, assuming Jarrett Jack does not re-sign and the team keeps A.J. Price in play, James may be a good mentor for the rook since both hail from Amityville, NY.
The Diener/Crittenton parts appear to be a wash. Diener is in the last year of his deal and Crittenton has a team option next summer. Crittenton has some known flaws, namely his ability to shoot the three and too many turnovers which are two areas Jim O’Brien values highly which he proved last season by moving T.J. Ford out of the starting lineup. The physical upside to Crittenton’s game would be worth the gamble though since the team could let him go after the season, not a bad worst-case scenario.
On draft night, there were many frustrated rumblings on Bullets Forever over Ernie Grunfeld failing to land (or go after) Vince Carter. Not only that, but Carter was allowed to go to the reigning Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic.
With Hedo Turkoglu opting out, unlikely to return to Orlando, who knows if the Magic will be better off with Carter … many assume yes. I’ll be curious to see if Stan Van Gundy uses Carter similarly within the offense as he did Turkoglu, creating for others off the high pick and roll.
Manu over current Wizards coach Sam Cassell - flickr/eugene
Since writing the Manu Ginobili to the Wizards post, I’ve somewhat soured on acquiring him. Not that I’m now completely against it, given ideal circumstances. Manu is nice, but he doesn’t fit the two greatest team needs: a rugged big man who can defend and rebound (either in the form of starting PF or a significant bench role player), and a dead-eye three point shooter, who can also defend. Mike Prada of Bullets Forever has a good post on who that needed wing player might be: ‘Who is Gilbert Arenas’ ideal backcourt mate?‘
The veteran squad and expiring contracts the Wiz would get in the Ginobili trade scenario makes an interesting team while maintaining flexibility for the future. But as Prada pointed out on Bullets Forever, the Wizards would be giving up almost all of their attractive assets (Blatche, Young, the 5th, and the expiring contracts of Mike James and Etan Thomas) for a bunch of over the hill guys with unreliable health.
If I’m Ernie Grunfeld, I want to max out the value of those assets, or retain some for a 2010 trade deadline rainy day. In the end, I, along with most Spurs fans, can’t really imagine the trio of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobili not being together next year anyway.
The rumors, the possibilities … they must be tired because they’ve been running through my mind all night. It’s getting a little crazy leading up to the draft, but bloggers, MSM types, and the Internets wouldn’t have it any other way.
First of all, I’d like to remind the basketball world, despite the fact that 99% of it won’t see this post, that the Wizards are not “desperate“ to shed salary.
I’ll simply point to a Washington Times piece from late March highlighting that owner Abe Pollin would pay the luxury tax in order to win a championship. No, this doesn’t mean Ernie Grunfeld won’t be looking for creative ways to save money, he just won’t be making any wholesale giveaways in the process.
Last week, I had a chance to interview Mike James over the phone from Houston as he was on his way to the gym. Why Mike James? Well, the guy was nice enough to respond to my email and subsequently agree to chat. Doubt many NBA players would do the same for a ‘blogger’.
In speaking with Mike, I came away with two main impressions; he absolutely loves the game of basketball and he’s very confident — two traits you’ll probably find in every player who sticks around in the best basketball league in the world for more than five seasons.
Acquired from New Orleans in mid-December, James’ presence on the court in a season inevitably filled with mounting losses was the cause of frustration for many Wizards fans who would have rather seen younger players developing on the court.
I really like the move Ernie Grunfeld made to get Javaris Crittenton, even if he doesn’t pan out. GM Gruns turned an over-hyped 2002 40th draft pick, who probably would have barely lasted with the Wizards, as he did with the Grizzlies, into a still developing/promising young point guard taken 19th in the ’07 draft.*