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Friday, January 29, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 18

- Dion Dowell

Dowell is signed in Israel, putting up numbers quite impressively similar to those of his senior season in college. He's playing for Altshuler Saham Galil Gilboa - a team that really needs to settle upon one name only - and is averaging 9.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

There are two types of players in Israel; Israelis and Americans. That's it. Despite Israel being kind of in Europe, there are only a handful of non-Israeli European players in the league. And by "a handful," I mean "two." The breakdown of the nationalities of players on Israeli league rosters, according to Eurobasket.com, goes like this;

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 17

It's days like yesterday that remind me of why I spent a good three weeks of my life making the anagram feature. Greg Oden's anagram is "engorged," and by Jove did that turn out to be fitting. In amongst the two hundred and seventy jillion jokes made about Oden's goods the other day, none seemed more apt than that.

The day Tayshaun Prince comes out as a lingerie model is the day I start worrying if those things are actually premonitions.


- Dan Dickau

Dickau signed with the Suns for preseason, instead of signing with the Celtics as was first thought. He played in 5 preseason games, totalling 14 points and 7 assists in 39 minutes, but did not make the team. He was never going to, really, because even though the Suns had open roster spots to play for, they're the Suns. Since being waived by Phoenix, Dickau has not signed elsewhere, which seems strange for a 31 year old man whose career will be on the downslope soon. Perhaps he's injured.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 16

When I came in from bowling last night, many messages awaited me asking me for my views on the news that Devin Brown had joined the Bulls. You know how sometimes you get an irrational like for a fringe NBA player, a staunch loyalty that reaches far in excess of that player's talent level, and you yearn for them to join your team if only for them to play badly so that you can break that bond? That guy is Devin Brown for me, and such a kinship made my name synonymous with that of Devin Brown to at least 1 person. This can only end well. Or rather; well, this can only end. Good times.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 14

This one might be shorter than the last one.

One final note on Keon Clark: despite what I said earlier about Clark's mandatory weekly court appearances being "almost universally described as good", Clark failed a drug test as recently as late November. So maybe it's not all coming up Milhouse after all.


- Victor Claver

Windpipe is still with Valencia, his hometown team and the team he's been with since he was 15. He's averaging 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game in the Eurocup, alongside 9.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists in the ACB. Good numbers all, with only one drawback; Claver is shooting a combined 26 of 87 from three point range between the two competitions, which is .298%.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 13

- Lionel Chalmers

Chalmers is signed in the Russian Superleague, or what's left of it. Russian basketball, like all Eastern European teams, has had a bit of a financial crisis this year, and the Superleague has only 9 teams left in it. Nevertheless, they're nine pretty good teams, so it's not a bad gig. Playing for Enisey Krasnoyarsk, Chalmers is averaging 17.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 33 minutes per game. The scoring is 6th in the league, the assists 8th and the steals 7th, but Chalmers' numbers are also down across the board; last year, he led the Superleague in scoring with a 21.0 ppg average, and ranked second in assists with 5.6 apg. That scoring title was a particularly impressive feat considering that he did it while shooting 57% from the free throw line as a 6'0 point guard.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 12

- Brian Butch

After going undrafted despite working out for basically every NBA team at some point (and going to summer league with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he barely played), Butch split his first professional season between Spain, China and Germany. He spent most of it in Germany, averaging 10.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for Noerdlingen, and this summer he signed in Greece for Ilysiakos. In three games, Butch put up 42 points and 16 rebounds in only 49 minutes, with 10 three pointers, and led the team in points and rebounds despite not playing half the game. But Ilysiakos released him anyway for reasons I'm too lazy to Google, and Butch has returned to America and joined the D-League. For the Bakersfield Jam - a team who announced they were folding after last season yet who seem to have found a stay of execution from somewhere - Butch averages 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 31 minutes per game. He'd play more if it wasn't for the 4 fouls per game.

Here is Brian Butch scantily clad in the scanty cladding of a woman.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 11

Calling it early; Miami will trade Dorell Wright along with New Orleans' 2010 second rounder to the Grizzlies in exchange for changing the protection on the Grizzlies 2012 secound rounder - already owed to the Heat from last year's Shaun Livingston deal - from top 55 to top 50. (That is to say, in exchange for as little as possible.)

That's a prediction, not a story, but it makes sense; Miami gets under the tax with this deal, and Memphis gains a free decent player and a 40's pick to replace their own, which is owed to the Lakers as a part of the Pau Gasol deal. It's the kind of deal a lot of teams have done lately, not least of all Memphis, who spent much of last year taking on either people's unwanted cap hits in exchange for future picks and cash. It's a solid way to do business, and, post-Iverson buyout, they can afford to do it again. Add this to my list of predicted trades, which previously featured one other; Hilton Armstrong to the Clippers, who's now gone to the Kings instead. Don't know why I was so hung up on it being the Clippers. Thought too much about TPE's and forgot about cap space.

Speaking of which, the salaries are updated.

Also, what I said earlier about Mikki Moore was wrong. Golden State does not pay him more now that they've waived him; for some reason, the rebate thing applies once a player has been paid more than the two year minimum, regardless of whether he's on the roster not. Thus, Golden State will still only pay $825,495 to Moore after all. The confusion/misinformation stemmed from the case of Austin Croshere, who last season signed a one year minimum salary contract with Indiana (later claimed off waivers by Milwaukee) but who didn't make it beyond the guarantee date; Croshere got paid $543,026 by the Bucks for his two months of work, which was 73 days worth of the team or more year veteran's salary for that season ($1,262,275), but apparently that wouldn't have applied if his contract was guaranteed. This makes it even weirder than the Bucks waived him, since it cost them $543,026 for 73 days work and would have only cost $254,555 for another 97 more. But anyway.

Everything's Justin Frazier's fault, somehow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 10

- Rick Brunson

The last time we checked in on Eric Daniel Brunson, he was the director of men's basketball operations at the University of Virginia. He's moved now, however. After Virginia head coach Dave Leitao resigned last April, Brunson took over the head coaching role until his replacement was announced, a role that didn't involve a huge amount of coaching as their season had already finished. Once the handover was completed, Brunson left the program and became an assistant coach at Hartford, where he remains.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 9

- Michael Bramos

After going undrafted out of Miami Ohio, Bramos played for the Pistons in summer league, and played pretty well. He then used his Greek heritage and Greek passport to go to Greece, where he is signed with Peristeri. Unfortunately, his first professional season is not going well. Bramos averages only 5.1 points, 1.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 2.7 fouls in 21 minutes per game, shooting 34% from the field. Peristeri have had some turnover with their imports this year, and it doesn't help that those documented two haven't played well either. But more on that later.

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 8

Drew Gooden was neither waived nor traded this week. Therefore, for all that fuss about his 'novel' contract, nothing actually happened with it. Now, he's just a plain old expiring.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 7

Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely today, where "indefinitely" is implied to mean "for the rest of the season at least." I don't really have an opinion on that, apart from to state the obvious. Which I won't do.

But here's one thing to note; the financial repercussions of the suspension.

Disregarding the possible voiding of the contract for a moment - I'm not a lawyer and won't profess to understand all the technicalities behind this - the suspension impacts the Wizards' current salary situation too. As things stand, the Wizards are about $8 million over the luxury tax threshold, and with no obvious means of getting under it. The players they want to dump (Mike James, DeShawn Stevenson) are undumpable, and they have nine players earning $3 million or more, tied with Portland for second in the league (the Knicks have ten). But this suspension gives them a means with which they can get nearer to getting under it.

50% of money not received by players suspended by the league is deducted from the team's cap. If a player loses an even $1 million in salary through suspension, then a team can deduct $500,000 from their salary cap number (and thus their luxury tax calculations). So by being suspended, Arenas has inadvertently aided the Wizards in their previously futile quest to dodge the luxury tax.

One thing I don't actually know is whether salary lost due to suspension is calculated based on games or days missed. It doesn't make a huge amount of difference to the general point though. So far in the season, 71 days have passed (not including today), and the Wizards have played 32 games. Therefore, regardless of whether you use 32/82nds of Gilbert's $16,192,079 salary ($6,318,860) or 71/170ths ($6,762,574), the fact remains that the suspension will cost Gilbert over $9 million if it is season long.

So if Arenas is indeed suspended for the remainder of the season, the Wizards will get about $4.5 million nearer to dodging the luxury tax. At that point, it becomes attainable.

How do the Wizards feel about this? Happy, surely. Must be. They needed to blow the team up because they built a bad one. They were losing, woefully underachieving, ill-fitting and WAY over budget. They mismanaged it badly, spending money badly and wasting basketball assets, compiling an inefficient roster of shooters and sulkers, and they were the most fail franchise in the NBA. Even moreso than the 3-31 Nets, who at least and a plan and some youth. Now, they've gotten an out clause. The Lord had mercy. Not sure why.

Sucks for the fans, though. The fans always are the victims. Sorry, people. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 6

The Jazz signed Sundiata Gaines today. They needed an extra guard, and Sundiata was one of the best the D-League has to offer. For the Idaho Stampede this year, he was averaging 23.9 points, 6.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.3 steals, and no matter how much those numbers are inflated by the Stampede's pace - and no matter how unflattering his measurements are to his score-first style - them's is good numbers. Also note; 10 day contracts became available today, and today marks the 14th day after the Matt Harpring/Eric Maynor trade, meaning today was the day that the Jazz had to sign someone. The timing of that trade was not a coincidence. By waiting as long as possible, they saved as much money as possible. Because of that, it wouldn't be a surprise if Sundiata played out his ten days and then went back to the D-League. Good luck to him, though. If Wes Matthews can do a Wes Matthews, then so can Sundiata Gaines.

(Here's a video of Sundiata's reaction to being called up. Awww!)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 5

I was going to write a separate post to describe ways that the Hornets can avoid the luxury tax without trading away David West or anyone important, but I've decided that I can't be bothered. Here's a shorthand version:

1) On trade deadline day, trade Hilton Armstrong and $1.1 million in cash ($922,748 to cover his remaining salary, the rest as an incentive) to the Clippers in exchange for changing the protection on their 2016 second rounder - already owed to the Hornets from the Rasual Butler deal - from top 55 to top 50. The Clippers gain a free player who may or may not see the court, whilst more importantly earning some cash for their troubles and giving up quite literally the least significant thing imaginable. Meanwhile, the Hornets dump the $2.8 million salary of a player that managed to lose an unloseable backup centre spot to Darius Songaila. That can't ever be a bad loss.

2) Also on trade deadline day, trade Ike Diogu and $400,000 to the Hawks for the rights to Alain Digbeu. $271,928 of that covers Diogu's remaining salary; the rest is the Hawks incentive to use an inactive list spot on a player that's out for the season. And all they lose is a 34 year old Frenchman. If not the Hawks, Diogu could also be sent to the Grizzlies, Kings, Pistons or Sixers. Whichever.

Trading two surplus players and $1.5 million will save them about $9 million, once tax payments are substituted and rebates added. And you can do so without moving one of your only good players or taking on future salary. If those two deals happen, or ones very similar to them, then expect misplaced bravado.

Failing that, someone competitive will think too much of James Posey, just like the Hornets once did themselves. Ask Dallas. Even if they won't give you Drew Gooden's unguaranteed deal, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot coming between a Shawne Williams and Kris Humphries package. The Lakers might want to know, too, at which point your foundation for a deal is Adam Morrison. Maybe San Antonio bites, using some of their expirings. Either way, you get the idea; the tax is highly dodgeable without giving away one of the only three good veterans to do it. Devin Brown's unnecessary trade kicker need not be a sticking point.

And now for some Where Are They Now action.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Where Are They Now, 2010; Part 4

For what it's worth, the Marko Jaric buyout was completed very quietly on Christmas Eve, and he's now a fully fledged member of Real Madrid. He put up 12/8/5 on debut, playing 41 minutes. In a 40 minute game. Not bad.

(There was overtime.)

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"The brain behind ShamSports could have been featured in a number of these Twitter lists, but because his website often spends our entire working day lodged in one of our browser tabs we decided to take the boring route and place Mark amongst the professors. Deeks might be the funniest man you've never met, he does exhaustive work with the NBA's salary minutiae and transaction follow-ups, and he's a stone-cold must-follow. Stone-cold fox, too, ladies. Or, some gentlemen."