Tuesday, July 10

Durant's Shot Still Not Falling; Sonics Lose Again

Okay, take a deep breath, everyone. We're two games into meaningless summer league action - a league where Jelani McCoy can lead the league in rebounds, Milt Palacio can lead in assists, and Marcus Banks can lead in points.

In other words, don't get too worried when a guy who was named all-everything as a 19-year-old freshman has only hit 9 of his first 37 shots from the field.

If you missed last night's affair, you can watch the nba.com archive here. I'll try to write up a more in-depth report later in the day, but for now a couple of quick hits based on watching the game ...

- Johan Petro showed a marked improvement over his first effort.
- Still love to watch Gelabale play. The guy was just born to be a sixth man.
- If you haven't seen Jeff Green's thunderous dunk over Nate Robinson, you missed out. Do yourself a favor and watch the highlight package at nba.com so you can see it. Green also played much better last night.
- Zabian Dowdell - while still looking like a rookie - looked much better after getting his feet wet on Friday night. As I always say, I need more Dowdell, baby.
- As Kevin Pelton noted at supersonics.com, Durant is effective thus far at drawing fouls because of his quickness. This is an underappreciated ability; and one that people like Karl Malone or Adrian Dantley, used to their advantage. While those two didn't use the quickness factor so much, the ability to get to the line 8-10 times a night consistently is the difference between averaging 14 points a game and averaging 18-22 points a game. It also means fewer 7 point nights for the rookie.
- Julius Hodge sure fell back to earth after that first game, didn't he?

6 comments:

P.J. Patches said...

Hey Patches Pals. . .

I agree with your observations of last night's scrimmage. One thing is becoming clearer to me with each day; this years' Sonics are going to be worse than last season's Grizz & Celtics. That is tough to admit.

As the clock ticks towards midnight tonight, S.Presti holds the Magic's financial future (and front office jobs) in his own hands. Here's why.

If Presti chooses to do nothing, R.Lewis' contract becomes approx. 5 yrs. for $104 million to Orlando, worst case scenario. How? The NBA team cap ($57.0) minus Orlando's current salaries ($39.1) equals $17.9 starting year one salary. Add the 8% increases/yr. and Lewis' 5th year becomes $23.6 million. Am I wrong?

Who knows, maybe the Magic will offer their next 3 first round draft picks to get out from underneath this albatross as the clock ticks towards midnight tonight.

In Sam We Trust.

Jeremy said...

Nuss,

I noticed many of the same thing that you did, but for different reasons.

1. Petro looked better because he wasn't facing a guy likely to be playing in November. He got demolished by Diop and I'm not sure that he's ready yet to hang with the NBA level talent.
2. If Gelebale's play means that Wilkens is expendable, I'm all for it.
3. Dowdell still did not look good to me. He was consistently beaten off the dribble and on cuts by Nate Robinson, didn't contribute much offensively, didn't get the offense going. The guard play has been attrocious so far.
4. Your Dowdell is my Hodge. I'm really hoping that Hodge can make the team. If they are able to move Wilkens, they could slide Hodge into that role. I love his intensity, hustle and defense.

P Nussbaum said...

I'll try to play amateur capologist here, P.J. ...

From reading the FAQ NBA Salary Cap website (a wonderful resource), I can see one possible flaw in your logic: Maximum salary. The maximum salary only comes into play in the first season of a multi-year contract, but that maximum salary for Rashard would be about $15,000,000, since he has 9 years of NBA experience. The 8% raises would go on top of the $15 mil., not $17.9 mil.

Again, I'm an amateur at this stuff, so I might be wrong. If not, Orlando's got one hell of a reason to cough up a couple of draft picks to Seattle. And going by how their last foray into small forward free agency went, Orlando Magic first-round picks might be pretty valuable.

Jeremy said...

nuss,

We don't know exactly what the number is yet. That's why the moratorium on signings is in place, they have to figure out the salary cap numbers. That process will conclude today at which time everyone should know what it is.

Sign and trade is best for Rashard (average raises of 10.5% and an extra year) and the Magic (unload players to make a run at Darko). The only way I would have favored a straight S&T for the Sonics is if they took nothing (or next to nothing) back in return, which would have created a huge trade exception and tons of flexibility. Orlando wouldn't be interested in this scenario because they want to clear cap room.

So, with all that said, I'm glad the Sonics are holding to their guns on this one. I would rather get nothing than get hosed.

P Nussbaum said...

Amen to that.

Also, re Julius Hodge. I love the guy, too. Watching him lead NC State in the tournament was one of my great memories of college basketball. Julius Hodge is (was?) what makes college hoops great. A smallish guy playing center, doing absolutely everything he could to lead his team. Really fun to watch. I hope he sticks with the Sonics, too. I always thought of him as a SF type, but he's played mostly guard in the pros, and there's definitely room for another 2-guard on this team.

P.J. Patches said...

Good stuff at NBA FAQ. . .

I looked at C.Anthony and D.Wade's new max contracts which begin this season (note who should be receiving these things). They are identical and begin with the salary pulled from the chart under "11." for players with 0-6 yrs. in the NBA. So, your $14,946,000 no. might be correct for Lewis, however, the "30% of cap" or $17.10 million might kick in also. Let's hope it does. Lewis will make at least $86.69 to $90.42 million over the 5 years.

One thing is for sure. . . there sure is alot of gray-area here.