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Old 08-31-2008, 02:33 PM   #196
Head Coach
Join Date: Sep 2004
NBA Lottery
1. Houston Rockets (+5)
2. New Jersey Nets (-1)
3. Portland Trailblazers (+10)
4. New Orleans Hornets (-2)
5. Washington Wizards (-2)
6. Golden State Warriors (-2)
7. New York Knicks (-2)
8. Atlanta Hawks (-1)
9. Cleveland Cavaliers (-1)
10. Chicago Bulls (-1)
11. Los Angeles Clippers (-1)
12. Seattle Supersonics (-1)
13. Miami Heat (-1)
14. Phoenix Suns

The Rockets and Trailblazers are the big-time winners here, obviously. I'm not happy about seeing a divisional foe gain such a drastic leap, but on the other hand, I think I've made our team good enough to be dominant within the Northwest for a few more years to come.

Andrew Bynum - Los Angeles Lakers - 19.2 ppg 11.9 rpg 3.1 apg 2.2 bpg 0.9 spg
Defensive Player of the Year
Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz - 11.5 ppg 8.4 rpg 3.4 apg 3.8 bpg 1.4 spg
Rookie of the Year
Buddy Bracey - Cleveland Cavaliers - 11.2 ppg 5.4 rpg 2.5 apg 1.1 spg
6th Man of the Year
Tony Parker - Indiana Pacers - 14.9 ppg 2.5 rpg 4.4 apg 0.8 spg
Coach of the Year
Rudy Tomjanovich - Indiana Pacers

Very deserving awards for Tony Parker and Rudy T. But Bynum as MVP? What a joke! There were so many players far more deserving than that, but then, the voters are idiots.

All-NBA 1st Team
PG Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
SG Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers
SF Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks
PF Elton Brand - Los Angeles Clippers
C Andrew Bynum - Los Angeles Lakers

All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Gilbert Arenas - Washington Wizards
SG Ben Gordon - Indiana Pacers
SF Rudy Gay - Memphis Grizzlies
PF Tyrus Thomas - Philadelphia 76ers
C Jonte Jones - Dallas Mavericks

All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Chris Paul - New Orleans Hornets
SG Mateen Yeaton - Denver Nuggets
SF Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks
PF Kelvin Moody - Minnesota Timberwolves
C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors

All-Defense 1st Team
PG Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat
SG Kevin Martin - Sacramento Kings
SF Andrei Kirilenko - Utah Jazz
PF Tyrus Thomas - Philadelphia 76ers
C Greg Oden - Toronto Raptors

All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Calvis Graham - Golden State Warriors
SG Lebron James - Cleveland Cavaliers
SF Gerald Wallace - Charlotte Bobcats
PF Emeka Okafor - Denver Nuggets
C Andrew Bynum - Los Angeles Lakers

All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Branko Starcevic - Seattle Supersonics
SG Charles Seegars - Chicago Bulls
SF Buddy Bracey - Cleveland Cavaliers
PF Pete Totten - New York Knicks
C Martin Beerbohm - New Jersey Nets

All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Donovan McCarthy - Minnesota Timberwolves
SG Jerian McCrary - Portland Trailblazers
SF Ron McPherson - New Orleans Hornets
PF Kerwin Haston - Washington Wizards
C Chris Washington - Utah Jazz

First time ever we've had two award winners for one of my teams in a season as far as I can recall. Gordon and Yeaton flip-flopped from last year, but that's all right. I personally would've given Jonte Jones the MVP and 1st Team C award.

Want to know how little an impact this year's rookie PG class had? McCarthy, the All-Rookie 2nd teamer, averaged less than a point and an assist per game.

Utah Six

PG Brandon Brooks - Portland Trailblazers
Averaged 11.9 points and career highs in assists and rebounds with 9.2 and 3.8 respectively. 28 years old now, he's been a major disappointment relative to his selection as the 2nd overall pick. Oh, he's still a fan favorite and a smart player who has good defense, but he's not a gamechanger, nor is he an explosive player.

PF Kelvin Moody - Minnesota Timberwolves
Showed no ill effects from the injury that limited him to 60 games last year in averaging 18.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks a game en route to All-NBA 3rd Team honors and his fourth straight All-Star game. The scary part is, he's still just 25 and looks to have a long, successful career ahead of him.

SF Julius Austin - Miami Heat
Fought his way back to being a part-time starter this year, with 50 starts and 73 appearances. He averaged 6.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, while continuing to be the most underrated defensive player in the league. He's set financially for the next few years, signed with Miami through his year 32 season (29 now).

C Rudy Braun - New York Knicks
What a difference a year makes. Braun went from being the starting C in New York all the way to an end of the bench player, averaging just 6.5 minutes a game in 66 games, averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds. That said, the $3-4 million a year, 6 -year contract extension he signed with the Knicks last season likely ensures he'll stay in New York and in consequence the NBA, for some time to come.

PF B.J. Whitehead - Los Angeles Lakers
Signed just before the season started to a min-sal deal with the Purple and Gold, where his horrible ballhandling skills doomed him to the end of the bench. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6 minutes a game for 50 games. Unlike Braun, he doesn't have contract security so he's likely out of the league after this season, especially since he's now 29.

SF Brian Robertson - Idaho Buckaroos
Just when I thought he was done for good, Robertson squeezes another $35,000 out of a D-League team in signing with the Buckaroos as a free agent. Sure he sat on the inactive list and didn't appear in a game (his last appearance came in 2010, in fact), but at least he was on a roster and earned some money.

B.B. Dyer and I have a chat a few days after the awards are announced. I promise yet another division title next year. He wants more than that, but he'll accept that and although he'd prefer not to be $10-15 million over the cap as I project we'll be, he agrees to that as well.

Honestly, I don't foresee very many changes to the roster this offseason. For once, we're pretty well set in terms of numbers with 11 players under contract and our nucleus of talent looks good enough that I don't anticipate trying to shake things up.

Phillip Gill gets a 2 year, $8.6 million contract extension that'll keep him in Denver for the next three years. I wanted to sign him to a longer term deal, but he and his agent both know that if Gill develops like he has the potential to, he could be looking at a huge payday in a few years. I actually see Gill as the possible heir apparent to Emeka Okafor at PF, even though Gill will never be more than an average defender.

Of course, I being who I am, I can't resist the opportunity to investigate the trade market. A deal with the Chicago Bulls almost comes to fruition, but their front office nixes the trade at the last minute. I come this close to making a trade with the 76ers, but choose not to just before I'm about to sign, although I inform the Philadelphia front office the possibility of the deal is still open, pending the fallout of the draft.

All in all though, it's a pretty rough trade market. The Bulls and 76ers were the only teams we came even remotely close to making a swap with.

The coach hiring season is upon next and we're looking for new 2nd and 3rd assistants. Kevin O'Neill, my top choice for 2nd assistant, takes a little less money to be the top assistant with the Magic. No problems as I make a huge splash the next day in announcing the signing of former Knicks great Patrick Ewing to a 2-year deal as our 2nd assistant.

Not only does Ewing have potential to be a good coach, maybe even a head coach someday, but it's another knife stab in the heart of the Knicks, whose fans are irate when the news breaks of their beloved Patrick to our staff.

Detlef Schrempf returns to our staff, accepting without complaint a demotion to the 3rd assistant role on a 2-year contract for the same amount of money as Ewing.

The pre-draft buzz is all about 19 year old Canadian SG Justin Richler, who averaged 30.4 points a game in a league in the Great White North, though for my money, 19 year old one and done Kansas Jayhawk SF Mark White is the most complete player in this draft class and should go #1.

An amusing story in this class is another 19 year old, a Bulgarian named eric Kostov. Yes, that's right, he spells his first name with the lower-case e. According to what I've been able to find out from our European scouts, Kostov was looking to change his first name to something more appealing to American sponsors and he happened to read an e.e. cummings poem that he was so enchanted by, he settled on eric as his first name. Brilliant, in an Ocho Cinco kind of way.

The mocks have us taking 22 year old PF Jonathan Guyton out of North Carolina. While I'm definitely looking at either PF or PG, as we need more youth at those positions, I'm not at all impressed with Guyton.

Just exactly what we do with the pick is still open to debate. All I know is, my fingers are itching to make some kind of a trade. It's not like me to go this long without dealing.
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