“That Guy We Drafted”, 1994
June 4th, 2009

If you’re hardcore, you’ll probably remember the name of that random second-round draft pick your team made back in 1999. And if you’re really hardcore, you might even care about him enough to spend 30 seconds reading up on where he is and what he does now. Well, I’m here to oblige you with that. Starting as of, like, now, we will trace back drafts and draftees, from as far back as I can be bothered to go (which early estimates predict will be about 1994), to the most recent 2008 draft. Potentially, we might stumble across something interesting. —– – 1st pick: Glenn Robinson (Milwaukee) – Robinson signed two contracts in his life; the 10-year, $80 million one he signed after being drafted (one that catalysed the inception of the rookie scale the following season), and a prorated minimum salary contract with the Spurs the season after the first contract ended. With the Spurs, he coat-tailed his way to a championship ring. And then he disappeared. Last month, Mike Hutton of the Post-Tribune (a newspaper that apparently couldn’t decide what to call itself) wrote a piece that tried to track down the absent Robinson and find out what he does now. The answer appears to be…..not a lot. The comments on this follow-up post seem to confirm that. – 2nd pick: Jason Kidd (Dallas) – Still going, and now back with the team that drafted him. Kidd is going to be a free agent this summer, and even though he’s declined a lot in the last two years, he’s still got something to give to a competitor. – 3rd pick: Grant Hill (Detroit) – Also still going, and also a free agent this summer. Hill has said in the past that, if he was traded away from Phoenix, he’d […]

Posted by at 11:50 PM

Phoenix Suns: Good enough to be good, but not good enough to be good enough
January 20th, 2009

I hated the appointment of Steve Kerr as the Phoenix Suns General Manager. Hated it. I loved Steve Kerr as a player even if I did miss his best years, but I didn’t like his writing much, and he ruined my entire NBA Live 2006 experience with his insistence that Kirk Hinrich was in some way like Steve Nash. (They’re both white and keep their dribble alive when circling the baseline. Identical!) Why would a man whose take on the NBA was limited to the games he was commentating on suddenly be qualified to run an NBA franchise, short as he seemed on experience, the CBA know-how, and the depth of knowledge base that was surely required for such a position? How much can you learn about the prognosis of thousands of potential NBA basketball players worldwide when sitting alongside Marv Albert? I hated the entire idea. Similarly, I hated the Shaquille O’Neal trade when it happened. The Phoenix Suns’ style of play under Mike D’Antoni wasn’t really getting anywhere, but was the answer really to trade for a player who commits your team to a life of halfcourt play, yet who isn’t effective enough any more to build an offence around? And why would a team that had recently gifted away Rajon Rondo and Rudy Fernandez for immediate financial savings now be so willing to take on the huge contract of a declining player, committing them for the foreseeable future to the luxury tax that they had been so desperately trying to avoid? It was all the eggs in one basket, and the basket wasn’t worth it. However, as I am wont to do, I have since backtracked on both opinions. Acquiring Shaq has not affected the Suns’ ability to acquire talent, as I feared it might. No longer […]

Posted by at 4:53 AM

With apologies to Dwight Howard
January 6th, 2008

In my season preview of the Orlando Magic, written back in October and located here, I wrote something that looks a bit stupid in hindsight. At this point, I’d quite like to try and weasel my way out most of it. The following are some quotes that I stand by: It would be very difficult if not impossible to provide a commentary on the Rashard Lewis sign-and-trade while also managing to take an interesting or unique viewpoint, or to say anything that hasn’t already been said. So I won’t. But I will recommend that you look at the figure that he signed for (listed above), and think long and hard about whether he is worth it. And if you come up with any answer other than “no”, keep looking at it until you do. In 2013, a 33 year old Rashard Lewis is going to be being paid nearly $22.7 million.¬† So now, ask yourselves whether the trio of Hill, Milicic and Diener (who should, without a doubt, have played over Carlos Arroyo all of last season, and who is now nicely lined up for a breakout season) is going to help any more than Rashard Lewis on his own. It’s a tough answer, but either way, the Magic’s player personnel¬†did not improve much. If at all. Last season’s mediocre performance suggests that the good run to end the 2005/06 season was nothing more than an aberration. With better coaching and better performance this season, the Magic have the opportunity to show that it was last season that was the anomaly instead. If Orlando gets breakout performances from one or perhaps a couple of young players (specifically looking in the directions of Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick), they could contend for the open Southeast Division title. If you only read […]

Posted by at 8:04 PM

30 teams in 36 or so days: Orlando Magic
September 16th, 2007

Players acquired via free agency or trade: Rashard Lewis (signed and traded from Seattle, six years, $112,753,504) Adonal Foyle (two year minimum) Marcin Gortat (two year minimum)   Players acquired via draft: First round: None Second round: Miroslav Rakovic (60th overall, unsigned)   Players retained: Keyon Dooling (opted in), Pat Garrity (opted in)   Players departed: Travis Diener (signed with Indiana), Grant Hill (signed with Phoenix), Darko Milicic (signed with Memphis), Bo Outlaw (unsigned, may yet return)   Bobbins: In a seven-day period in February 2006, first-year GM Otis Smith made two trades. One saw the expiring contract of Kelvin Cato and a 2007 first-rounder (later parlayed into Rodney Stuckey) dealt to Detroit for Darko Milicic and Carlos Arroyo, and one saw falling star Steve Francis dealt to New York – in a trade only Isiah Thomas could make – for Trevor Ariza and the huge expiring contract of Penny Hardaway. Within a week, the floundering Magic had been re-invigorated. Since the McGrady/Hill era had failed several years prior, the John Weisbrod era had made the Magic’s fortunes worsen further. Managing to do almost everything wrong, Weisbrod saw fit to end the McGrady in Orlando era by dealing him and Juwan Howard to Houston for Francis, Cato and Cuttino Mobley, a trade which vastly improved Houston but which didn’t do much for Orlando. Daring and skilled enough to somehow make the situation worse, though, Weisbrod subsequently traded Mobley to Sacramento for Doug Christie, a man who played only 21 games with Orlando, scoring 119 points. And that’s not to even mention the Varejao and Gooden for Battie deal with Cleveland that he also rustled up. Weisbrod then resigned. Which seems fair. Yet with these two trades in early 2006, Smith had managed to get some serious value for the two […]

Posted by at 11:54 PM