September 19, 2013
History has done what it loves to do best and repeated itself.
Utah headed into this summer with almost two maximum salaries worth of cap flexibility, and yet they made no effort to sign players with it. Almost as quickly as free agency began, Utah committed to burning their cap space on the Warriors’s castoffs, Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson, a combined $20 million cap hit with some first rounders to offset the cost. Burning $20 million of cap space on Biedrins, Jefferson and Brandon Rush is about as identical to burning $20 million of cap space on Gugliotta, Rice and Clark as you can get.
The difference is, or should be, the end result. The 2003 edition of this strategy culminated in the 2004 draft selections of Kris Humphries, Kirk Snyder and Pavel Podkolzin. Snyder went to a psychiatric hospital, Humphries lasted two seasons before being traded for Rafael Araujo, while Pavel lasted about seven minutes before being traded for a pick that later became Linas Kleiza. Stocking up all the assets meant nothing when said assets were wasted – with Kirilenko (and, to an extent, Boozer and Okur) taking up all the cap flexibility without living up to the money, and the supposed young core not working out, the 2004-05 season that followed was much worse than the one which was designed to be bad. A wasted season had to follow before Deron Williams arrived and the rebuild finally began.
This time, it’s different. It is the same situation, but it’s not. This time, Utah have gotten the young quality BEFORE hoarding the cap space.
June 27, 2010
On an unrelated note, has anyone ever done less to earn more than Keith Van Horn? Lots of guys got big contracts they didn't really deserve, but Van Horn did it twice. He even did it once when retired. Now that's commitment. Johnson's numbers made me think of this, but I'm not saying they're comparable.
April 13, 2010
- Pavel Podkolzin
After his NBA career set new records for the most epic of all fails, Podkolzin returned to his native Russia to play for Lokomotiv Novosybirsk, the team he began his career with. Podkolzin is into his fourth season with the team, and has stuck with them even after they were relegated out of the Russian Superleague down to the second division. Statistics are hard to come across, because they're all in Russian, and Russians use the wrong alphabet. However, as far as I can tell, Pavel averages 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.9 fouls per game.
On the Novosybirsk website, three players are listed as playing the position of "?????????." Pavel is one of them, and a quick internet search reveals the obvious; that word translates as "center". But curiously, if you run that word through Google Translate, it comes out with the result "Washington Bullets." I'm not making that up, either.