Sunday, July 02, 2006
NBA Free Agency
Vlad to replace Slava as Phil's whipping boy
The Lakers will reportedly sign Vladimir Radmanovic to a 5 year deal worth about $30 million (Lakers' mid-level exception). Considering that the "allergic to the inside of the 3-point line" Radmanovic is the No.12 ranked free agent on ESPN.com, it's safe to say that this isn't the greatest free agent class we have seen. Can the Lakers sign a better player with that mid-level exception? Probably not. But in 5 years the Lakers will deeply regret signing a guy with attitude issues (remember he was kicked off the Serbia&Montenegro national team at one point), absolutely no ability to play any defense to the extent that his name should be Vlaimir Ramonovic, and guy who has a striking resmebelance to Stanislav Medvedenko, or everyone's main boy Slava, for short.
Slava was not only in Phil's doghouse constantly, he was also in Kobe's doghouse...constantly. I've never seen Kobe yell at anyone more than the clueless Slava, who's only NBA talent was shooting the ball. Do you see what I'm getting at? I've always said that Slava would be successful in the NBA in a system that allowed him to freely use his offensive talent. Radmanovic was given that freedom both in Seattle and with the LA Clippers in high octane offensive systems. Radmanovic may have more range on his shot and may have more brainpower to learn the triangle, which Slava wasn't able to do...ever, but Phil won't allow him to shoot unconsciously as he has become accustomed to doing.
Better yet, the Lakers' problems in the playoffs did not start at the offensive end like most analysts suggested but rather at the defensive end where they gave up over 100 points in every loss to the Suns, but allowed less than 100 in every win. Radmanovic in no way helps them defensively, can't score within the offense, and will become a sworn enemy of Phil and Kobe. It's like adding Ja Rule to 50 Cent's label and saying "Well, he might not be a good fit, but at least Ja makes good love songs with Ashanti."
Fugazi coming to LA
The Clippers will reportedly sign Tim "Fugazi" Thomas. How can anyone in Los Angeles be okay with this? It's like the Yankees or Mets signing John Rocker. Or the Yankees signing Johnny Damon. Oh, wait that last one happened. But regardless, this is a guy who shouldn't be allowed to step off the plane at LAX, much less put on an LA uniform.
Sam Cassel will reportedly re-sign with the Clippers for 2 years at $13 million. If the Lakers didn't pursue a sign and trade for Cassel, then Mitch Kupchak should be fired. Sidenote: What has Kupchak done since taking over the general manager position? Someone please tell me why he isn't on the hot seat. He's no Isaiah Thomas, but name one move he's made that's turned out well.
To Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com, how is Cassel your 15th best free agent, behind guys like Nazr Mohamed, Joel Pryzbilla and Jared Jeffries? I undersand that he's old and doesn't play center, but we're talking about a guy who averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 assists per game while leading a young team to the playoffs for the first time since Michael Jackson broke his own color barrier.
Stop Hating on Farmar
What is the deal with haters of Jordan Farmar? Just because he's a local kid you may have played with, doesn't mean he wasn't the best pick for the Lakers. Obviously there's a lot of jealousy seaping through people's skin, but Farmar can shoot the basketball, has a ton of athleticism (40 inch vert) and is smart enough to play for Phil (1250 Sats). Plus he's a local kid who cheered for the Lakers his entire life and the Laakers were lucky that he slipped to No.26.
Kupchak has said Farmar is a year or two away from contributing. Here's my take on those comments: A) Phil hates to play rookies as we've witnessed often in the past and Farmar won't be an exception especially with Vujacic and Parker (if re-signed) ahead of him on the depth chart and the Lakers probably signing Marcus Banks. B) Kupchak has to downplay Farmar's ability from a public relations standpoint so as to not put too much pressure on a local kid people expect to succeed and secretly hope he fails.
Hot Sauce in New Jersey
Drafted No.54 by the Nets, Hassan Adams joins fellow high fliers Vince Carter and UA alum Richard Jefferson as the newest Arizona addition to the NBA. While Adams is not a sure candidate to make the team, with the Nets drafting to rookies in the first round and Adams' work ethic being questionable, Jefferson likes Adams' chances.
“He’s going to make the team. He’s 100 percent going to make the team," Jefferson said. "To be successful, he has to just work hard and listen." (preview of D Wildcat article).