Category Archives: NBA
The San Antonio Spurs went into this offseason with a good amount of cap space. This excited the Spurs fanbase, especially after getting oh so close to ring #5. The Spurs were rumored suitors for several free agents, but in the end the Spurs decided to take care of the players in house, adding just 1 new piece to the Western Conference Championship roster.
First order of business, retaining Tiago Splitter. Now this wasn’t a very popular choice, mainly because Tiago had a bad Finals series. Fans tend to forget about Tiago’s solid defense in the Memphis series. When the Spurs played the Grizzlies two seasons ago in the 1st round, Zack Randolph destroyed the Spurs. This time around, with Splitter starting at center Randolph was a no show and the Spurs swept the series. And with Dwight Howard landing in Texas and in the Spurs division, having a good defensive center is more valuable than ever for the Spurs.
This next signing wasn’t much of a surprise, although the money was. Manu Ginobili will probably retire a Spur, but not before collecting 14 million over two seasons. Manu faded in these playoffs, showing age is catching up with him. His 12 turnovers in the last two games of the Finals really put the Spurs in a bad spot, a spot that ended up dooming the Spurs. Manu means so much to this franchise, so I do understand re signing him. 7 million a year however, was too much for sentimental value. With Duncan and Manu having 2 years left on their contracts, I guess the Spurs will have some serious cap space in 2015.
The only new blood the Spurs brought in was bulls swingman Marco Belinelli. Now this was a solid pick up, swaping a spot shooter in Gary Neal for a more athletic role playing shooting guard. Belinelli passed up on 3 better offers to join the Spurs, mainly due to the international culture of the team. This minor upgrade gives Coach Pop a chance to sit Manu more, hopefully to keep him fresh for the playoffs.
The Spurs will again drive for five, and are content doing so with the same team that was 28 seconds away from #5.
The Dwight Howard circus has lasted over two seasons, it has traveled from the Magic Kingdom to Hollywood, with rumored stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, Hotlanta (do they still call it that), and of course the Texas two step. Howard tweeted on friday night that his final landing spot would indeed be Space City, Houston Texas. That’s right, the Rockets are relevant again, at least for the offseason. Dwight Howard joins a long list of great big men on the Rockets, Moses Malone, Ralph Sampson, Akeem Olajuawon, and Yao Ming. The Houston Rockets landed the biggest free agent since Lebron James, and now have added two of the best players in the world the last two seasons. Make no mistake, the Rockets want to win
Dwight Howard took notice, saying the Rockets give him the best chance at winning an NBA title. Who’d a thought that the Rockets would be a better option than the LA Lakers. “I just looked at both teams and I felt like Houston was going in one direction–they got a lot of young players, they got a good coach in Kevin Mchale and I just felt like having him as a coach, he could really help me in the post and help me develop like I want to. That was mainly the big reason right there, and having the opportunity to grow with a team, a young team, like the Rockets. That’s the reason I decided to leave.”
With Dwight and Harden, the Rockets have a classic inside out game that could put them towards the top of the western conference. Time will tell if the Rockets do in fact compete with the Thunder and Spurs, but the Rockets sure are trying too.
The Houston Rockets took their best shot at Howard on Sunday night, or Monday morning as free agency kicks off. General Manager Daryl Morey, players James Harden, Chandler Parsons, coach Kevin McHale, owner Les Alexander all traveled to LA to speak with Howard. Hakeem Olajuwon, Y ao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo all taped video messages for Howard as well on behalf of the Rockets.
The Rockets are able to offer Howard a four year, $88 million dollar deal. The Lakers, Hawks, Warriors and in state rival Mavs will all also pitch to Howard this week.
1st Round-Shane Larkin (via trade)
Guard from Miami
Mavs did some trading on draft night, but landed the ACC player of the year. Larkin could be a center piece of the franchise, if they go the rebuilding route. If they still feel they can win now, Larkin might be traded to create cap space.
2nd Round-Ricky Ledo
Guard from Providence
Ledo never played college ball, he had some academic issues and opted to just enter the draft. Ledo is an athletic shooting guard, and the Mavs just have to pray he matures. Again, the big Mavs target is Dwight Howard, so both picks might not ever make it to Big D.