ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard and Marc Stein are reporting today that the Utah Jazz intend to match Portland’s offer to Paul Millsap but, to do so, must first offload Carlos Boozer and the $12.6 million he’s due next season. No surprise there.
What is a little bit surprising, though, is that Broussard and Stein (doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue like Woodward and Bernstein) are also reporting that the Knicks are among the teams that have interest in acquiring Boozer.
Boozer is an expiring deal so trading for him certainly makes sense from the Mission-2010 perspective but it would also give the Knicks ownership of the bird rights of one of the elite 2010 free agents. It’s not clear that Boozer would be a perfect fit in SSOL but, since the commitment would only be for a year, the Knicks would basically be getting a free look without a whole lot of risk.
The problem is that, since Utah’s greatest need in any Boozer trade is to free up cap space to re-sign Millsap, the Knicks don’t have a whole lot to offer them straight up. Any trade would have to be a three team deal (at least). I think I might have a solution, though.
While the Blazers decided to extend an offer to Millsap, they’ve also shown a lot of past interest in David Lee. Here’s what I propose: First, Utah matches Millsap. Then, the Knicks, Blazers and Jazz execute a three way deal whereby the Blazers acquire a signed-and-traded Lee (and another small contract to make the money work), the Knicks get Boozer and the Jazz get Travis Outlaw and a big, fat trade exception. In fact, if the Knicks also offered Jordan Hill or Wilson Chandler to the Jazz in this deal perhaps they can reacquire their 2010 first round pick. I’m pretty sure (85-90%) that this works under the cap.
UPDATE: I now realize that this trade fails to take into consideration that Lee would become a BYC player after signing the contract. To my understanding, that means that his deal has to be slashed in half when calculating the cap consequences in a trade. So he’d have to be paired with another contract going back to Portland to make it work under the cap. I think Lee and Cuttino Mobley’s deal might get it done.
Brandon Roy apparently is unhappy with either the pace of extension talks with the Blazers or the amount they have offered (You mean they didn’t just say, “Hey Brandon, here is the max.”?)
Brandon Roy told KJR radio in Seattle today that he’s frustrated and disappointed with the Trail Blazers handling of his contract extension negotiations. He talked a lot about the hard work he’s put in, and all he’s done to make his dreams come true, and about being patient as he watches the good days and bad days come down the pipeline.
He wants to get a deal done and is confused as the rest of us as to why the left brainers in the organization are standing in the way.
On watching the negotiations: “I sit back and think about all the hard work I’ve put into my dream… excited about the opportunity to provide for my family. I go in… knowing that I’ve come into the league and I’ve done everything I can do to get a max contract.”
On how he feels about the negotiations: “It’s 50-50 right now… I’d love for something to get done so I can move forward and meet free agents…”
On whether he was involved in the Hedo Turkoglu recruitment: “Not playing much of any role. It’s hard for me to go out and recruit Hedo for five years when I have only one year on my deal.”
Well played by Roy’s camp. It’s absurd that the organization is misplaying this negotiation so badly. Sign the guy already.
Brandon Roy is a max player in the league and I’m sure the Knicks (and many many other teams) would love to give him max money in 2010 if the Blazers don’t come to their senses. Of course the Blazers could always match any deal next year.
since the Kings just dealt him to the Bulls along with John Salmons . The Kings received Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden’s expiring deal and Cedric Simmons. (Michael Ruffin of the Bulls was shipped to Portland for Ike Diogu and $1 million in a separate trade.) If you can’t figure out how the Kings-Bulls trade really benefits either team, believe me, you’re not alone.
Can’t say I’m heartbroken though.
UPDATE (5:31) Chris Sheridan keeps getting new information on the details of the trade. I’d originally read that it was a 3-way deal in the Sacramento Bee but changed my post when I saw that Sheridan had it different. It is in fact a 3-way trade between Portland, Chicago and Sacramento and it’s the Kings that get Diogu. So:
Bulls get: Miller, Salmons
Kings get: Nocioni, Gooden, Simmons, Diogu, and $1 million
Blazers get: Michael Ruffin (seems well worth it for them)
In a stunning move unheard of in professional sports, Mike D’Antoni actually admitted yesterday that he blew the Portland game by not advising his players to give a foul in the final seconds before Brandon Roy’s game winning shot. D’Antoni said of the screw up:
“When you asked me [Sunday] night, it hit me,” he said. “But that’s the way it is. That’s my responsibility. Probably won’t happen again but can’t swear to it. I messed up.”
Though it certainly doesn’t excuse the error, that kind of candor is so refreshing. Could you ever envision a scenario where Isiah would take responsibility like that for a mistake that he made? Or Steph? It would never ever happen in a million years. Clearly, President Obama has successfully ushered in the era of accountability. 😉
Two more thoughts about D’Antoni’s blunder:
1. Sometimes the means and ends don’t exactly meet up perfectly. I know the media don’t like to hear it, but this has been a good week for the Knicks. They went up against three NBA superpowers and a legitimate playoff team on the road, took each team’s best punch, and hung tough in every game. They had chance to win two of the games (Cleveland and Portland) and, if it wasn’t for the Coach D’s mistake, they very likely would’ve knocked off the Blazers on Sunday.
It’s true D’Antoni made a mistake, but it’s also true that he’s a great coach – one of the best in the business – and it’s obvious the Knicks are on the right track. They haven’t played basketball at this high a level in a long, long time.
2. Even though the Knicks didn’t give the foul, they could’ve won the game if they’d played competent help defense. Take a look at this video that Tommy Dee posted on the Knicks Blog this morning and then tell me that David Lee couldn’t have offered a little bit more resistance than that. He rotated over but then just sailed passed Roy without contested the shot. As we’ve been saying for a while in this space, just because Lee doesn’t block shots doesn’t mean he has to be like a turnstile around the basket. Play a little defense David!
Yesterday, Rod Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported that Mike Conley remains on the trading block as the Grizzlies have grown disenchanted with what they perceive to be a lack of fire and desire burning inside their young point guard. In the article Tillery reports that: 1) though they discussed it before the season, it’s very unlikely that Memphis and Portland will do business on Conley in the aftermath of the Darius Miles-threatening-email fiasco and 2) Memphis and Milwaukee are discussing a trade where the Bucks would get Conley in exchange for point guard Ramon Sessions and struggling rookie forward Joe Alexander.
Could the Knicks top the Bucks’ offer and get in on this Conley action? Well, they have David Lee so of course they could. But Lee is worth a lot more than Conley (remember the Grizzlies almost gave up a top 5 pick for Lee on draft night) so the Knicks would have to get back more than just a struggling, albeit very young and intriguing, point guard. So I propose this trade:
The Knicks trade Malik Rose and David Lee to Grizzlies for Mike Conley, Darrell Arthur and the Lakers’ 2010 first round pick (acquired by the Grizzlies in the Pau Gasol trade).
In addition to Conley, the Knicks would get Darrell Arthur, a rookie PF (signed past 2010) with a big upside and perfect skill-set for D’Antoni’s system and a (late) 1st round pick in 2010, a year in which the Knicks presently don’t have any pick (dealt to Utah five years ago as part of the Stephon Marbury debacle…er, trade).
Based on the back and forth in the comments section, I know I’m asking for trouble by even proposing a Knicks trade that includes Lee (looking at you, Heri) but, as most of you know by now, these are the types of deals I think the Knicks should be trying to make. So go on and let me have it.
From Alan Hahn’s chat over at Newsday today:
Guest: Hey Alan – What do you make of this whole Darius Miles thing? Apparently if he plays 2 more games for any team, Portland would then be on the hook for the remainder of his $18 mil. salary plus lux. tax penalties (total has to be close to $25 mil., maybe more). Should Donnie look to grab Miles then agree not to pay him in order to get Kevin Pritchard to fork over fair value in a potential David Lee trade?
AH: That’s not the way to do business, Guest.