The joke’s on us for thinking off-season acquisitions were (basically) over in the NBA.Kyrie Irving made sure wholesale nba jerseys of it. Irving sent the NBA into a tizzy last week after word leaked out that the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star point guard requested a trade in a meeting with team owner and Detroit native Dan Gilbert. There’s no doubt Irving is one of the game’s best scorers, and the Pistons are in need of a player of his caliber to carry the franchise back to the playoffs and beyond. But money and talent drive the NBA, which is why it’s unrealistic to think Irving will land in Detroit. Irving, whose game-clinching three-pointer helped the Cavaliers stun the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, seems to be looking for a chance to be the top offensive player or at least share the spotlight. He could check either of those boxes with the Pistons, who have been searching for a star and were in talks with the Indiana Pacers about trading for Paul George before last season’s February trade deadline. Plus, Irving is under contract for two more seasons (with a player option for 2019-20). Irving averaged a career-best 25.2 points to go with 5.8 assists in 72 regular season games last season, shooting 47.3% from the field (19.7 shots per game) and 40.1% from three-point range. He replicated his dominance from the 2016 championship run in the 2017 playoffs, posting 25.9 points over 18 games on good efficiency. A Pistons backcourt of Irving and Avery Bradley would complement each other perfectly with Bradley’s off-ball shooting and cutting, and his All-NBA defense helping to shield Irving. The pair would immediately become one of the best backcourts in the league.
Archive for September, 2016
The dead of the offseason is in full swing, the draft is done, major free agents have all signed and outside of a disgruntled Kyrie Irving, the trade market is wholly uninteresting. With plenty of time to pontificate, the Stiffs got thinking about rivalries. Who is the Denver Nuggets rival? How do we define and rank rivalry and once we do, will anyone truly be able to be called a rival of the Nuggets? The slow period gives us time to answer these questions so in the words of Daenerys Targaryen: shall we begin?The methodology is loose, to be kind. Mostly its based off of feel. However, there were certain things to take into consideration: teams with former Nuggets players (especially ones who were disgruntled while in Denver), teams who have routinely beat the Nuggets (especially in the playoffs), teams who play in the same conference, teams who play in the same division, and to some degree, teams who have upper echelon talent. Again though, there’s not a lot of hard science here. Rivalries are about emotion and passion, which makes them difficult to quantify but also helps determine where emphasis should be placed. Losing a playoff series is demoralizing for a team and its fans and that breeds hatred of the team that bested them. Losing a player to free agency, or worse having a player force his way out, also tends to stir up emotions of anger and finally a player being spurned by his former team is never a good thing so those three factors played the biggest role in making this list. There is almost nothing to make a rival out of this group. All are nowhere near competing, all are in the Eastern Conference and all have virtually no significant history with the Nuggets. You’re really grasping at straws here. The best arguments for having a rivalry with any of these teams would be Dwyane Wade choosing the Bulls over Denver last year, Brooklyn beating the Nuggets twice in a season on buzzer beaters from Joe Johnson and the Pacers backing out of a deal that would have landed the Nuggets Kevin Love. There’s A LOT of talent in this group, whether that be the Celtics whose Finals appearance chances get better with Irving’s malcontent, or the 76ers who are rising from the ashes but come loaded with young players with extremely high ceilings. Every team on this list has guys who profile as future stars in the league, and many already have ascended to that status. However, outside of the Pelicans they are all Eastern Conference teams meaning a true rivalry would likely have to be born from a finals matchup with one of them and outside of Boston (and including the Nuggets), none of these teams strike you as a finals contender in the near future (maybe Washington, but cheap nba jerseys authentic that’s a stretch). The Pelicans have been such a non-factor that there isn’t much of a rivalry now, but with both them and the Nuggets expected to battle for the final playoff spots in the West, this rivalry could get a lot more heated very quickly.
The Dallas Mavericks are continuing to add to the depth of their roster’s back end. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the team has agreed to a partially guaranteed contract with former South Carolina guard PJ Dozier.After going undrafted, Dozier signed on with the Los Angeles Lakers summer league team, but only appeared in two games and did not make their roster. In his final season at South Carolina, he averaged nearly 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. P.J. Dozier’s time in Los Angeles is over, for now. The former South Carolina basketball guard is headed to the Dallas Mavericks, according a report Thursday evening from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Dozier was an undrafted free agent who spent the NBA Summer League with the Lakers. He played 10.4 minutes over two summer league games and battled an ankle injury. “Partial and non-guaranteed contracts are becoming a popular way for teams to take a chance on a player without locking themselves into that cheap jerseys player,” according to RealGM. “Often, undrafted players are signed in to the league on a partially guaranteed contract. This gives them, in effect, a signing bonus to attend camp and play in the pre-season with a team. The team can then try the player out and make a decision at a later date on keeping that player or not.”
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and new general manager Koby Altman called Kyrie Irving’s reported trade request to the team’s brass several weeks ago a “fluid” situation and would not say cheap jerseys China if they indeed plan to deal the four-time All-Star.“He’s a core piece of what we’ve done,” Gilbert said at Altman’s introductory news conference Wednesday. “Kyrie is a tremendous player. He has made great contributions to this franchise, and we enjoy him as a player and we’re going to keep this stuff in house in terms of what was said in those meetings, but he continues to be a core piece of who we are and what we do.” Gilbert and Altman would not even confirm that the trade request occurred, even though it has been widely reported since ESPN’s Brian Windhorst broke the news Friday. When pressed if Irving still would be with the team when training camp for the 2017-18 season opens Sept. 25, Gilbert made it sound like Cleveland plans to hold on to the point guard it drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2011. “Right now, Kyrie Irving is under contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers for two or three years, depending on the last year,” Gilbert said, referring to the point guard’s player option for 2019-20. “As of now, he’s one of our best players, and sure, we expect him to be in camp.” Whether it was denial on the part of the Cavs’ decision-makers or simply an optimistic outlook that the relationship between LeBron James and Irving can be salvaged at this point — despite reports of Irving’s desire to grow outside the four-time MVP’s overbearing shadow — they did not reject the notion of James and Irving playing together next season. “I think a lot of it has been overblown,” Altman said. “I think the people who are in this building every day haven’t seen any of that animosity. This is, along with Kevin Love, this is a group that got us to three straight Finals and won an NBA championship together. They play great together on the floor, and a lot of that I do think is overblown. We haven’t seen a lot of that ‘animosity’ that’s been out there in the media.” Multiple Cavs players have told ESPN they are hopeful that there is a reconciliation of sorts between James and Irving this summer and the team stays together as currently constructed. Gilbert, who again only would confirm that “several scenarios” were discussed between him, Irving and Irving’s agent, Jeff Wechsler, on July 7, might have unintentionally confirmed the trade request by comparing Irving to Kobe Bryant. “I think you also have to look at history sometimes,” Gilbert said. “The other Kobe, not this Koby, Kobe Bryant, I think there was a time [in the summer of 2007] he was calling radio stations and saying he was demanding to be traded and won two or three championships after that point. Things happen and you never know. I’m not saying that happens here. The possibilities of what will happen is wide, and it’s not just one path or one track.” One thing Gilbert would say definitively is that he has confidence in the state of his franchise, despite the past six weeks that have seen the Cavs lose the Finals to the Golden State Warriors in five games; part ways with general manager David Griffin; fail to land Chauncey Billups after courting him for a front-office position; have a trade with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George fall apart at the finish line; and now have to deal with the Irving quandary. “I believe we’re going to be competing for championships for a long period of time,” Gilbert said. “I really do. And especially this year coming up. And we’re not done yet. We’re not done yet.” The question hanging over the Cavs, however, is when will James be done with them? The superstar forward can opt out of his contract to become a free agent next summer. Gilbert and Altman painted James as a happy camper. “LeBron has been as helpful as he’s ever been,” Gilbert said. “He’s active and helped with Derrick Rose, and that’s why Derrick Rose has signed here; and he’s been active, he’s been responsive. “That hunger is as strong as I’ve ever seen.” And Altman expressed confidence that the man he deems the “best player in the world” will remain on board with the Cavs. “LeBron remains deeply committed to this organization,” Altman said. “He remains deeply committed to this team and deeply committed to this city. He has deep roots to this city. And it means a lot to him to be here and compete for championships for years to come. That’s his goal, and so we have shared goals. We have a shared vision.”