August 12, 2010
Unguaranteed or partially guaranteed final seasons are becoming quite the trend in the NBA, and they are quickly replacing team options. In fact, there are only 11 team options in the entire league, belonging to Chase Budinger, Jermaine Taylor, Andrew Bynum, Sam Young, Andres Nocioni, Hakim Warrick, Goran Dragic, Pooh Jeter, Francisco Garcia, Solomon Alabi and C.J. Miles. In contrast, there are so many partially or fully unguaranteed contracts in future years that I can't be bothered to go through and list them all. And considering the length of this post, and all the things I could be bothered to do, that should signify something.
June 27, 2010
Solomon Alabi is still on the board, and San Antonio is up next. DraftExpress reports that the reason Alabi is plummeting is due to a medical red flag; after the draft, we later find out that this is due to him having hepatitis B. Nasty, and definitely significant. However, as I understand it, his case of hepatitis is entirely treatable (albeit not curable), and should not present a problem in his basketball career. If this is accurate, therefore, then Alabi's plummeting stock seems unfair.
To put it into contrast, Da'Sean Butler (drafted six picks ago) is recovering from a severe knee injury at the worst possible time, and will be out of action for a good while yet. But if it did affect his draft stock, then it did so negligibly, because he still was drafted in a position befitting of his talent by a team not prone to rash decisions. However, Alabi's stock is freefalling like an overfed paraplegic pachyderm in a nasty skydiving accident, when he has an illness that is unusual yet which should not present a problem. It is the fault of neither party, and yet it seems ludicrously unfair that one suffers so much more.
But that's just how it is. People fear what they don't understand. And they always will.
Picks 50 and 51: Off-camera, Alabi is finally drafted, going to the Dallas Mavericks. Almost as quickly, my sources (i.e. Twitter) say that Alabi is being trading to the Toronto Raptors. This is a very good pickup for Toronto. Even if Alabi flakes out in the NBA, or goes the other way and never joins it, he is the right kind of player for Toronto at a very good price. With the drafting of Alabi and Ed Davis, Toronto have identified their biggest flaw and taken steps to rectify it. Neither will provide any significant short term help, but if Toronto are to rebuild - and they should do - then short term help doesn't really matter. Regardless of what else they do, it's a step in the right direction.