Any chance LeBron goes to the Mavs? It seems like them and the Heat offer the best shot at a championship. Sure he could go to the Chicago Bulls but even with LeBron I think they are at least another year or two away. The New York Knicks have absolutely no talent to surround him with, and the New Jersey Nets just don't have it going on. Dallas is a big sports stage, and Cuban will undoubtedly do a hell of a job marketing him. The promise of playing in JerryWorld has to be enticing. Damp is expendable and Dirk is willing to take a pay cut, what do you think?
--> (DK) The only way the LeBron/Cuban marriage can happen if it comes via a sign and trade which the King must agree to. If the Cavs realize they are not going to be able to keep LeBron at home, it is of course in their best interest to try and get him to agree to a sign and trade even if it means forever living with the label of having traded him. Plus, it's in LeBron's best interest since the Cavs can offer him a longer contract and more money than any other team.
So what could the Mavs offer to make this happen? They would have to total around $16 million in contracts. An offer including Caron Butler who is in the final year of his deal would be enticing since he would be a lead scorer on the wing in Cleveland.
Would LeBron even want to play in Dallas? Possibly. A core of Dirk (assuming he re-signs), Jason Kidd and LeBron with a supporting cast of Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, Roddy Beaubois, Erick Dampier, and Brendan Haywood (if he is brought back) should at least on paper be able to compete for a NBA title and give LeBron the complementary players that he didn't have in Cleveland.
I think you're being a bit too negative about the Jazz (in our Jazz team needs page.) They've got the ninth pick this year, a lottery pick in 2012 from the Memphis Grizzlies, the biggest expiring contract in the league, and a PF who has shown the ability to be an 18 and 10 player in Millsap who could replace Boozer
and become a great second or third option.
--> (PMB) Sure, I'm a big believer in Millsap too, but even if he equals or exceeds Boozer's production once Carlos walks where does that leave you? There is no net difference in the long run unless the Lakers somehow implode. Sure, there's a couple pieces, a couple expiring contracts coming off the books, and a lottery pick to a 53-win team, but is that all going to be enough to grant them a legitimate third star? Because that's what it's going to take to overcome the Lakers. And I just don't see the Jazz being a huge player in this year's free agency market. Now maybe if they can somehow land Carmelo Anthony in 2011...
From Jon Bellwood:
Loving the 2010 NBA Mock Drafts on Walter Football, nice to hear someone not spouting the same old spiel! As a Brit (though currently living in Vietnam) I would like to know what you can tell me about this Ryan Richards you have going early in the second? I've never heard of him but he sounds promising!
I like Eric Bledsoe going that high but I don't know if you can take the risk on him that high! I agree with Matt that Orton is a headcase though, I think DeMarcus Cousins will work out but there will be growing pains! Patrick Patterson will be solid for 10 years if not spectacular! John Wall will be a megastar, looking forward to the finals and the draft.
--> (DK) First off, let's give it up to Jon for reading our coverage all the way from across the Pacific!
Like most NBA GMs, I did not know much about Richards until I saw him at the NBA Draft Combine. Until then, he was a bit of an unknown commodity. From what I saw and what I have been reading about reaction to his abilities, he really impressed. He measured in at a hair under seven feet with shoes on and a solid 230 pounds which is impressive for somebody who just turned 19 years old a few weeks ago. His build sort of reminds me of Dwight Howard when he entered the league - lean and muscular but still with plenty of room to get stronger. Skillwise, he is still developing and will likely be stashed overseas for a year or two before he comes to the league.
I realize my Bledsoe to the Indiana Pacers pick is ballsy at 10, but I think he could one of the top ten players to come out of the 2010 NBA Draft when we look back in five years. I don't understand the hype around Orton who looked lost offensively in his limited minutes at Kentucky. Yes, the NBA body and potential are there but I cannot see why a team would use a top 15 pick on him hoping he develops and becomes a steady contributor in a couple years. Patterson can be a solid role player in the league, but I don't think he will be a star in the league.
From vincinerator28 :
Your 2011 NBA Mock Draft looks quite good, but I have one major issue with it. It seems to be missing Kawhi Leonard, the freshman small forward from San Diego State. He is a terrific player, in the vague mold of Lamar Odom in my opinion. He is a legit first-round prospect.
--> (DK) I am not going to deny that Leonard is a first-round prospect in 2011; I just don't think he will turn pro next summer. It is a total crap shoot trying to determine which underclassmen will forgo their eligibility in a year's time. A year ago I would never thought Jordan Crawford or some guy named Hassan Whiteside would be in the 2010 NBA Draft. Hell, three months ago I didn't think there would be any chance of Daniel Orton declaring. But to answer your question, if Leonard continues to improve off his solid freshman season and shoot the ball more effectively from the outside, he has lottery potential.