Friday, June 15

Northwest Report

Thought I’d take a cue from the college ranks and try to capture the Northwest Division in a weekly column. After all, the Sonics will be playing these teams 20-odd times next year, so don’t you think you ought to know what they’re up to this off-season?

(Okay, it’s Friday and I’m tired of re-running the same boring Rashard Lewis rumors).

UTAH:
McSean makes a point I’ve been pondering for a while now – should the Jazz and Sonics hook up in a Rashard-for-AK47 deal? He makes the point that both teams would actually be better off for the move, with the Jazz adding some scoring from Ra and the Sonics getting much-much-much needed defense from AK ... retiresloan.com brings up a great quote from Hot Rod Hundley in regard to Jerry Sloan’s teams, “Sloan’s teams don’t seem to play well in the playoffs, they play scared or something.” He also mentions how it seems as though Kirilenko’s defense seems to improve with more touches on offense. Not a good sign for the Sonics if they pick him up, as AK would be #3 in the offensive hierarchy behind Sugar Ray and Durant ... harpringsucks.com’s Sirkickyass makes this request if the Jazz part with AK: Pick up Ron Artest, if only to replicate AK’s surrealness. You’ll also want to scroll down to see how they compared this year’s roster to Star Wars characters. I especially enjoyed the Jerry Sloan-Emperor Palpatine comparison.

MINNESOTA:
Drew Boatman at Timberwolves Den surveys the landscape at the #7 or #8 pick (this was written before the lottery), and conjectures that “the only thing that comes up good in the 7 or 8 spot is when you have 7 or 8 pancakes and a whole mess o' boysenberry.” That’s a quality line. He has no love for Corey Brewer, which I don’t understand, nor for Spencer Hawes, which I do. ... Lil Dice from I Heart KG relays a story from Las Vegas about how bettors’ reacted to the tanking at the end of the season. “It was very apparent ... that (Minny, Memphis, and Boston) were tanking games,” said handicapper Jim Kruger. Which led me to wonder: As a Wolves fan this year, how could you tell when your team was tanking and when it was playing its very best? Also, Lil Dice also mentions that Spencer Hawes has reportedly received a promise from the Wolves that he’ll get picked at #8 if he’s still available. Sorry, Minny. Somehow, I’m guessing Garnett would be less than thrilled with that idea.

DENVER:
Dan Lucero from solidgold.com says the NBA is killing itself with its straightjacketed approach to rules interpretations, and that David Stern is taking the emotion – and the enjoyment – right on out of the league ... It appears that the Nuggets off-court activities this summer will take place in court. DerMarr Johnson has been arrested for resisting arrest (he probably wouldn’t be back next year, anyway) and JR Smith has been cited in a horrific New Jersey car accident ... Brett Edwards reports on a LA Times bit which says the Nuggets and Lakers are/were in talks about sending Marcus Camby to LA for Kwame Brown. It’s a money-saving deal for the Nuggets.

PORTLAND:
Just to taunt their fellow NWers up I-5, Dave at blazersedge.com asks his readers to pick who they want with the #1 pick. Quit mocking us, Blazer fans, and making us daydream about Greg Oden in a Sonics jersey. Everybody outside of Kevin Durant thinks Oden is going #1. Stop messing with our heads. ... Casey Holdahl notes that the Blazers received more love in one chat from David Thorpe at espn.com than they did in the past 4 years ... Blazersblog wonders if the Arenas free agency situation impacts upon the Zach Randolph +pick for Antawn Jamison +pick deal ... A nice piece by Jim Taylor at blazersevangelist about a new book on the ’77 Blazers (because, as even Sonic fans can attest, there’s nothing like celebrating the only championship in your town’s history). He also sheds light on a billboard in Portland that urges drivers to honk once for Oden and twice for Durant.

16 comments:

Beau said...

Excellent idea! Keep 'em coming.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Thanks for this idea. As far as fun posts, how 'bout making a 6 degrees of (fill in the blank with anything sonic related) kinda like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon? Like, I don't know, 6 degrees of Shawn Kemp. It could reveal something like, so and so kid in New York is related to so and so kid in Seattle. 3 degrees of seperation. 2 moms and Shawn Kemp! Or something like that.

Ryan said...

I think we can all agree that everyone in North America is within 6 degrees of Shawn Kemp. I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures on draftexpress in 15 years. Going to be alot of 6'8" - 6'10" guys with tan skin throwing down monster dunks ....

Nuss said...

Thanks for the good words, but if you think it's good now, just wait until next year when Raf gets his artwork all set up.

Ah, I'm just kidding, Chunky. No pressure.

Ben said...

Is there really any chance that the Jazz will deal AK? That just seems so weird to me. He's the consummate Jazz player. That aside, I'd kill for a shot at seeing AK47 alongside Durant.

Anonymous said...

From what I've read at the Jazz sites, it's obvious that AK is frustrated with his lack of touches on offense. It's also obvious that Sloan is less than thrilled with AK's performance. I'm surprised too, since it seemed like a perfect situation from the outside looking in. It's a great opportunity for the Sonics to pick up a superb defender, stick him at the 3, put Durant at 4, bring Wilcox off the bench and/or trade him with Watson for a veteran big in the last year of his contract.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but durant would get pulvarized on defense playing the 4 given his twig-like physique, and if AK was forced to do it we would lose his tremendous defensive upside because he'd be struggling with bigger 4's. It seems like the best players we can trade for are also 3's, which is a problem because KD takes that spot.

And would you mind naming some veteran centers in the last years of their contracts? I don't think that list is very long, especially if you want to trade wilcox/watson for them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Sonic fans check out this highlight clip of Kevin Durant.This kid is absolutely ridiculous!! im out

http://videos.utexasclan.com/view.php?id=1071

Anonymous said...

http://www.videos.utexasclan.com/view.php?id=1071

Anonymous said...

oops . Hey does anybody know how to put a link on this blog or any blog for that matter??

Anonymous said...

AK is actually more comfortable at the 4 which is why he struggled so much this year with boozer in the lineup. Previous to this year he was able to play there. With a healthy boozer in the lineup he was forced down to the 3

Nuss said...

He's right; Kirilenko typically played at least as many minutes at the 3 as he did at the 4 in previous seasons. Plus, although Durant doesn't look like a power forward now, that doesn't mean he can't change. Take a look at a pic of Shawn Kemp circa 19990 sometime - the man was seriously skinny. It's called youth, and we all seem to fill out as we age.

Greg Scott said...

A bit off topic, but is this the Pete Nussbaum that lived in Carson Hall , A wing and idolized Chris Sabo?

I'm shocked more teams havent shown an interest in Kirilenko, he isnt that far removed from being a game-changing force. What the Sonics need is to coax Sherman Douglas from retirement, so he can throw alleyoops to Wilcox and Durant all game...short of that, I've got nothing terribly useful to add.

Nuss said...

You got me, Greg, although I winced when I heard the Sabo remark. Man, whatever happened to that guy?

I don't know about the Sherminator, but I sure wouldn't mind seeing Gary Payton back in Seattle for one last season. Got to be better than the Watson/Ridnour Show. What do you think about all this talk of the Blazers taking Durant? Is it all just a smokescreen, or is Portland really going to help the Sonics out and let us get Oden?

Greg Scott said...

Cool...I thought about going the blog route, but the world doesnt need yet another Laker blog. Someday maybe I'll get a couple guys involved and do a league blog.

I just cant believe that the Blazers might pass on Oden. Durant fills a need in that he gives them a shooter and wouldnt necessitate trading Randolph(like that could be a bad thing?)...and Pritchard seems to like skill position guys...but still. Oden just makes more sense. He and Aldridge can run, and would allow them to move Randolph, which would allow the whole team to be a running team. The whole halfcourt offense could be junked, and the young guys allowed to run and gun. Sells tickets and gets the fans excited, and gets rid of one of the last boneheads from the Jailblazers era.

And can Pritchard really hand a division rival Greg Oden when they already have all those shooters-possibly even getting Shard back?(although to be honest, Vecsey doesnt have the sources he once had...sometimes his info is off these days, so I wouldn't count on that story just yet) I wouldnt think so...I figure that the Sonics end up with Durant...beats the heck out of gambling on a Noah or Hawes with a late lottery pick.

More importantly, how badly do the Hawks screw up this years draft? Always fun to watch and wince when they make their picks.

SportsGorilla said...

The Northwest should be young a tough next year. The bottom 2 teams, Sonics and Blazers, should be much better next year with the draft. Utah will be better, and I think Denver might be the best team. Only question is Minnesota. it should be interesting.