Since the unappealing outcome of the 2010 NBA Draft Lottery that saw the favored New Jersey Nets drop down to third overall pick instead of first, NAS has discussed the positives/negatives of DeMarcus Cousins and Derrick Favors at considerable length. Both youngsters declared for the Association after their freshman seasons at Kentucky and Georgia Tech, respectively, and are blessed with huge upside from the four and/or five positions.... MORE →
Will Willie Warren be New Jersey's second pick? At least one NetsAreScorching writer thinks so.
It's June 9th, which means we are fifteen days away from the draft and therefore fifteen days away from (barring a trade) three new Nets players. The Nets currently own the rights to the 3rd overall pick (as we all know), the 27th overall pick, and the 31st overall pick (the first of the second round). This week, we'll be looking at how the draft could play out up until that second Nets pick. A few changes occurred this week - a few trade rumors, a few workouts planned, but most notably Euro prospect Donatas Motiejunas decided to withdraw his name from the NBA draft, saying he wanted to work more on his game. I like the move & think he's a really skilled player who could potentially go top-5 next year if he shows marked improvement.
Also, a fun fact: DC Pro Sports Report has added the NetsAreScorching Mock into its illustrious mock database. The site is great for looking at different mock trends as we come closer to the draft. Take a look if you get a chance.
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Well, you can forget Monty Williams, Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Brown, who are all, for one reason or another, out of the running for the Nets head coaching vacancy. So that really only leaves one choice, right? Fred Kerber believes Avery Johnson will be the next head coach, and though there is no final offer.
But several sources insist that Johnson has been and remains the leading choice -- and that there were additional conversations with Thorn this week.
I have to be honest, while I like the choice of Johnson, I've been underwhelmed by Thorn's coaching search process-wise, and I hope this isn't a sign to how he's going to test the free agent market. From what I can gather, his outreach to Tom Thibodeau, a guy I really wanted to bring in here, was limited to periphery phone calls. I don't even think he ever met with Monty Williams, who many consider the best assistant coach in the NBA. JVG clearly had no interest here, and I think we dodged a bullet with Mike Brown taking himself out of the running. So it leaves really the only guy they've formally interviewed according to published reports. What was this talk about "five or six guys" and a "surprise." If pretending for half a day you're going to wait for the Finals to end to interview Phil Jackson is a "surprise," then I must be getting cynical in my old age. One can only hope that while Thorn contemplates his next move, Avery isn't scooped up elsewhere.
Last week I assumed, barring something unforeseen, that Devin Harris was the Nets PG in the 2010-11 season. Well, Sam Smith is speculating something unforeseen. He believes the Nets are going to use their #3 pick in an attempt to trade for New Orleans PG Chris Paul.
The thinking goes like this: You get Paul and can play Devin Harris at shooting guard. Harris isn’t a great three-point shooter, though he has had decent seasons at 34 percent. But he is more a scoring guard than point guard. Plus, the way the game is played these days, it is useful to have a shooting guard who can handle the ball and make plays as opposed to just spotting up. The other, perhaps more likely, possibility is a sign-and-trade with the Hawks of Harris for Joe Johnson.
When healthy, Chris Paul is arguably the best point guard in the NBA - a player who can score, shoot, pass and play defense. However, Paul is also coming off an injury ravaged season where he only played in 45 games. He's two years from free agency as well, which could play a role in disrupting Mikhail Prokhorov's five-year plan.
Personally, I'm more excited to hear that this kind of speculation is out there, though I'm not sure what I think of Paul in a Nets uniform as of yet. It sounds like the Nets brass are ultimately unimpressed with what's going to be available with their draft pick. I also think there's some reality setting in that most of the big name free agents are either going to stay where they are or avoid the Nets.
I can't take this LeBron James hype anymore. In fact, it's much ado about nothing since I believe James is just going to re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers anyway. If money talks, then the Cavs, in fact, do have an edge since they can offer LeBron $30 million more over the life of a max contract. "But what about the marketing opportunities in New York?" Stop it! Like he wasn't and couldn't continue to build his "brand" from Cleveland.
C'mon LeBron... just admit you're staying already!... MORE →
Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News talks to an old friend of the Nets, Byron Scott, who thinks Avery Johnson is a perfect fit for the head coaching position:
"He's a good teacher and obviously, he's an old-school type coach," Scott said. "He's a disciplinarian. And, he had Devin Harris, before in Dallas, and I think Devin has a lot of respect for him. And Avery definitely loves Devin, from the talks I've had with him."
Additionally, Scott thinks Phil Jackson will either retire or stay with the Lakers at the end of this season.
The Daily News this morning talks about a quote from Jay-Z that's set to appear in the next issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. The Rapper/Mogul/Minority Owner of the Nets says he's not going to push too hard on his buddy LeBron James to come to Newark next year.
Recruiting the NBA's reigning two-time MVP is instead up to new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov - and Jay-Z thinks the deep-pocketed Russian is up to the task.
I'm getting the sense that despite all the hysteria immediately after the Cavs were bounced by the Celtics last month, things are being set up for LeBron to return to Cleveland. With that said, I always thought the Jay-Z/LeBron relationship was a bit overstated in terms of recruiting him to the Nets. It makes for good speculation, but considering that Jay-Z's involvement with the Nets ownership has always been superficial at best, I'm not going to get exciting dreaming up scenarios where the two decide to join forces to help the Nets win some games in Newark.
Boston assistant Tom Thibodeau, reportedly one of the two prime candidates for the Nets head coaching position, may be headed to the Chicago Bulls, according to Sam Smith at Bulls.com.
Although the Bulls privately are saying there is no agreement and they are only talking seriously with Thibodeau, at least one Boston newspaper is reporting Thibodeau will be the Bulls next coach.
Meanwhile, Portland assistant Monty Williams has reportedly agreed to coach the New Orleans Hornets.
These are two very viable coaching options that are now off the table for the Nets. Rod Thorn seems to be taking his time with this search, which is understandable, but unless he's waiting for that "big surprise" to finish coaching the Lakers in the NBA Finals, Thorn is not leaving himself many interesting options besides Avery Johnson.
Obviously, this is a New Jersey Nets blog, however, the NAS crew absolutely love the NBA in general. So, every week, Sebastian, Mark, Devin, and myself will answer questions regarding the L.
Sebastian is off the table this week as he heads to Blogs with Balls in the Windy City. He'll also be running a covert operation to ruin the Bulls' chances of signing LeBron... oops, did I just write that?
1) LeBron James told CNN's Larry King that the Cleveland Cavaliers have "the edge" to re-sign him. Does this make sense for LeBron or should he get away from that under-performing situation?
I have thought, dating back to two summers ago when the summer of 2010 was first becoming something for Nets fans to look forward to, that it made too much sense for LeBron to stay in Cleveland. And while being bounced in the second round is a major disappointment, Boston took care of the Magic in similar fashion - so maybe their run has more to do with their pieces coming together at the right time (along with some great defensive schemes from Doc Rivers and Tom Thibodeau) rather than the Cavs underachieving. With Mike Brown now out of the picture, LeBron could hand pick his own coach while staying in his home state. The idea that he has to come to the NY area for more marketing exposure is a myth. No one is going to care about LeBron if he's leading the Knicks to an 8 seed or helping the Nets rebuild. If he stays in Cleveland, he's all but guaranteed to be playing for a title contender, even if it hasn't worked out that way the past two springs.
As a Nets fan who is infatuated with LeBron James, I'm obviously inclined to say, YES, YES, LEAVE. It also makes me inclined to say that the "edge" he is talking about is purely financial - the Cavs can re-sign him for more money than any other team can offer due to the nature of the free agent market. As a basketball fan, though, I'm not so sure it would be good for his legacy to leave. Look at the great players in the history of the NBA. Kobe will be a lifelong Laker. Magic too. Jordan was a lifetime Bull who never played anywhere else, ever, not even four years after he retired. Russell and Bird were Celtics their entire careers. If he shows loyalty to Cleveland, it could potentially be exactly what the doctor ordered - the FA cloud looms over them no more, the focus is finally on basketball, and a championship could be soon on the horizon.
However, LeBron, Harris, Lopez, and Favors/Cousins/Turner would be an awesome combo...
Previous to the Cavs getting tossed out of the playoffs by the Celtics, I thought LeBron would bolt Cleveland unless they won the championship. However, while the Cavs didn't win the title, they lost in such a bad way and a lot earlier than expected, I quickly changed my train of thought. There was no way that LeBron would stand to leave his legacy in Cleveland after that horrible series where the team seemed to give up, LeBron was not being the attacking LeBron, and his leadership seemed to dissolve right before our eyes, both on the court and off. I thought at the very least, he would opt for the one-year in 2010-11 and become a free agent again after that season. That said, I do think he'll re-sign with the Cavs and does make sense in a lot of ways - the team should contend again next season while teams like the Knicks and Nets won't. The Bulls possibly could, but geting back to legacy, I don't think he'll want to be in the Land of Jordan. So, if he really believes what he's saying about his hometown and the fans, as well as winning a title in that mix, he should re-sign. Plus the Cavs can offer him $30 million dollars more than any other team. Money always seems to talk.
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This is both hilarious and ridiculous. The City of New York has launched a "C'Mon LeBron" campaign begging the Cavs Megastar to leave Cleveland this summer. Smartly, Mayor Bloomberg alludes to both Knicks and Nets highlights in his intro... remember kids, Brooklyn residents vote in the mayoral elections too:
So, just to recap: In anticipation of Draft Night, last week, I looked back at the Nets’ history with lottery picks. When examining how the Nets fared with picks number one through four, we saw that the Nets never pulled away as a true winner with those picks – with Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson have amazing potential but ultimately flaming out, and Chris Morris and Dennis Hopson never playing at a level that justified their high selection. Now, we’re looking at the Nets remaining lottery picks – the slots where good talent can be found, but is even less of a guarantee than the top four picks.
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I came across this information from NetsDaily, and when I read the title I did a double take. "It couldn't have been straight up could it?" I said to myself. When I realized it was a proposed straight up deal, I was initially shocked. The Nets just turned down the #2 pick of the 2008 draft because they didn't want to give up a role player who will more than likely be cut by the Nets. There was (and probably still is) a bit of outrage, and I was right there with them...
Then I thought about it some more, and you know what? This is a very smart move by Rod Thorn. I'm not even talking about the cap situations, which you guys probably already know about (only $500,000 of Dooling's contract counts against the books if he is dropped by the 29th vs. Beasley's nearly $5,000,000). This was a smart move because the Nets already have a better version of Michael Beasley on their roster, Yi Jianlian (and if you want to talk about salary, Yi's contract for next year is about 1 million less than Beasley's). This isn't a joke either, I am dead serious.
Now, I am all about upgrading the huge hole at the PF spot (because there is one), but Beasley isn't the one to do it. Preferable, we need an inside guy to start the game with a "stretch 4" coming off the bench. Yi is that "stretch 4." Bringing in Michael Beasley doesn't fix that problem, since he basically does the same thing as Yi. Don't believe that Beasley is a stretch 4? He shot 104 threes last year. What's worse he shot 27.5% while shooting over 100 threes. That's not the only similarity (with Yi winning out) between the two
Here are a few numbers from the fantastic tool, MySynergySports (a tool that tells you how successful a player is in certain situations - and even lets you watch video of it):
- Michael Beasley - 325 possessions (24.5% of total)/.83 PPP (Points per possessions)/10.2% Turnovers
- Yi Jianlian - 90 possessions (12.5%)/.71 PPP/6.7% Turnovers
- Michael Beasley - 76 possessions (5.7% of total)/.71 PPP/14.5% Turnovers
- Yi Jianlian - 108 possessions (15%)/.86 PPP/10.2% Turnovers
- Michael Beasley - 344 possessions (25.9% of total)/.86 PPP/5.8% Turnovers
- Yi Jianlian - 224 possessions (31.1%)/.88 PPP/4.5% Turnovers
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