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Old 01-05-2009, 08:00 PM   #451
Autumn
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bath, ME
Finally a shakeup in the league awards though. It seems like they were just rotating MVP between the same guys every year up until now.

You're in some tough spots but it's actually a bit fun to watch, things were getting a bit too easy for you. Now you're like the guy who has to dance while the cowboy shoots at his feet. It would be great if you scored big in the draft and had a nice young nucleus.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:12 PM   #452
Coffee Warlord
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
Kinda hoping you go for the asshat route and make a run for the trophy, going ridiculously over budget and winning it all.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:04 PM   #453
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Autumn: That and DPOTY seemed to shift a lot between the same basic guys. The All-NBA teams are still keeping most of the same guys and I suspect we'll see it that way for a while yet, because of how horrible the last few draft classes have been, with a very few exceptions.

Oh, it's certainly a challenge, but it's the kind of challenge where I want to throw things because of how damned unreasonable the owner is. And things were never really that easy, in my opinion. Yes, we've had an ungodly playoff appearances streak, but as far as challenging for the title, our window turned out to be much shorter than I expected. Not complaining about three straight championships though, and I take a sadistic glee in Dallas's ouster in the first round to ruin their hopes of replicating our and Toronto's feat.

Coffee Warlord: Tempting, but not something I'm going to do. I'm too determined to outlast the asshole.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:07 PM   #454
Autumn
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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They have a thing for centers too, don't they? Seems like it was what Bynum and Oden up there all the time?
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:38 PM   #455
Swaggs
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Almost Heaven
Any chance we can get a recap on the careers of some of the guys from your Knicks' "run." Did Durant, Noah, or Acie Law ever turn into anything productive or special?
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:16 AM   #456
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Autumn: Indeed.

Swaggs: Durant's 37 and in his 18th season, still kicking it with the Traiblazers. He's posted career averages of 18.9 points, 3.2 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks. Seven 20+ PPG seasons, the most recent of which was two years ago.

All-Star Games
2010, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023

All-NBA Teams
2010 - 3rd Team
2012 - 2nd Team
2015 - 2nd Team
2016 - 3rd Team
2018 - 1st Team
2019 - 1st Team
2023 - 2nd Team

16.6 points, 2.6 assists, 7.7 rebounds, 1 steal and 0.4 blocks in 8 postseason years, with just 2 seasons over 20 points a game. Basically he seemed to freeze up in the playoffs, which is why the Blazers have only ever made it as far as the West Conference Finals once in his career and that was last season.

Joakim Noah played from 2007-2021, with the bulk of his time in Indiana. 9 seasons with the Pacers, several as a starter and in all that time he never broke 10 points a game on average. The closest he ever came was 9.5 points a game with the Knicks in his third season, the year before he got dealt to Denver when I got hired. Basically, he was a defensive specialist with good stealing instincts who never developed into anything more than a bench player masquerading as a starter.

Acie Law also managed to stick around from 2007-2021, 7 of his seasons with the Washington Wizards, split into 6 and 1 stints. It was with Washington that he had his greatest success, starting in 2012 and 2013 and racking up 12.2 points and 13.8 points respectively. Never turned into the great passer everyone thought he would after he was drafted and after he averaged 14.5 points and 10.4 assists in two games in the D-League. His career season high average assists was 4.5 in 2013. Huge, huge bust considering he was the 5th overall pick, bigger than Noah, who was taken 10th overall in the same ill-fated first draft.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:17 AM   #457
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
One thing worth noting: Kevin Moore, Andre Moore's little brother, is in this draft class. Andre went to Wake Forest, Kevin to Notre Dame. He's projected to go #27 to the Hawks, which would be a real steal for Atlanta in my opinion. Michael Frey, a year younger than his brother Terrance Frey, a 2nd round pick last year and All-Rookie 2nd Team member with the Heat, is in the class. Terrance attended Oklahoma, Michael Nebraska. The younger Frey is picked #12 to Minnesota in most drafts. Honestly, Michael doesn't strike me as being much better than his brother at first glance and I think 12th overall is just asking for a bust pick.

After reviewing the draft workouts, there's one player we just have to have and there's a chance he could go 1st overall, but the Supersonics refuse to even consider dealing out of the spot, and so we wait with baited breath.

2024 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. SG Vladimir Tupolev - Seattle Supersonics

And off the board he goes. Although the pick's slammed by the analysts, everything about him says franchise type player and I'm not wholly sold on Justin Cherry, given how he flamed out for much of the season after his hot start.

2. SG David Johnson - Indiana Pacers

Johnson had a lukewarm workout, so I wouldn't have taken him even if he'd been available at #3. Chris mentions that he'd heard reports of other bad workouts as well, while J.P. calls Johnson a steal and a turnover machine in the same breath. Typical stupid talking head commentary.

But what J.P. does have right is his remark that he'd heard conflicting reports from sources within our organization, with some saying we'll take the predicted Marcus Reeves, others Tyrone Capel. He also says our trading the pick is a possibility.

Our initial plan was to take Capel, but the more I look at him, the more he looks like a Paulinho Buboltz clone and I'm not a fan of scoring point guards. He also seems like a development project and is famous for being lazy. Reeves graded out well in the workouts, but the coaching staff seems lukewarm on his ceiling and his fit for our team.

I hit the phones, but nobody's offering anything worth talking about and while the Supersonics seem open about a trade for Tupolev, our head of international scouting informs me that the Russian doesn't care who he plays for at all.

I'm trying to listen to my gut instincts about what to do here, but everything's cobbling all together. It's boiling down to a series of questions.

1. Am I comfortable with Waldemar Althusser as the starting PG next year?
2. Do I think Justin Cherry can be the next Mateen Yeaton?
3. Is there a C or PG truly worth trading for that doesn't involve imploding our team?

#1. Not Really. He's just not a scoring threat and he can't play defense much at all.
#2. Maybe. It's hard to get a read on him yet.
#3. There's players worth trading for, yes. But matching salary is a real problem unless I'm willing to part with Tim Butler, which would make sense logically. We don't play as well with Timmy B in as we do with him out. On the other hand, who becomes our future team captain then? And he showed incredible improvement last year in the postseason, so that's not an option. Dealing Andy Sola is a possibility, but the Charlotte Bobcats aren't willing to take the #5 pick and Sola for PG Caleb James and there's no Cs worth acquiring in that price range.

Putting that all together, the choice is clear.

3. PG Tyrone Capel - Denver Nuggets

After all, Sonny Boxler got tagged with a low work ethic and he turned out just fine in Portland.

It's a split decision, with J.P. iffy on the selection, Chris praising it.

4. C Luke Smith - New Orleans Hornets

All the centers graded out with pretty bad workouts, but I was willing to take a flyer on Smith. Unfortunately, he gets taken here and our plans for a new center with the #5 pick just took a huge hit.

The moderator asks J.P. who I said we'll take, as that smarmy bastard was oozing his way around here earlier in the week. J.P. answers that I was extremely tight-lipped, but he's holding to our taking Reeves. I'm not going to deny it as a possibility, but at 6'5, 195 lbs, the Arizona product is more of a 2 than a 3 and he'd take away development time from Cherry.

On the other hand, if I broker a deal to trade away the #5 pick, maybe I can free up enough money to be able to go out and get a new starting C in free agency. The idea appeals to me so much I go shopping again.

But the more I weigh it in my mind, the more I can't be comfortable with trading away Sola, so I flip the #5 pick to the Lakers, who I think will tank again next season.

5. SF Marcus Reeves - Los Angeles Lakers
6. C Ronald Smith - Washington Wizards

Absolutely absurd selection by the Wizards here. Maybe I should've taken their 1st rounder next year instead.

7. SF Dee Dickenman - Indiana Pacers
8. PG Kelley Forbes - Milwaukee Bucks
9. SG Hayletts Dennis - Utah Jazz

Fantastic value pick for Utah here, as I almost thought about keeping the #5 pick and drafting Dennis. It's worth noting that A.J. Dunkley was also a 9th overall Jazz selection. I'm not too happy to see this great drafting by division foes.

10. SF Lamar Hardy - Detroit Pistons
11. SG Carlos Searcy - Houston Rockets

Originally projected as Top 3 pick, but horrid workouts dropped his stock all the way down here. I wouldn't call this a value selection, because he looked awful when we brought him in.

12. C Patrick Weston - Minnesota Timberwolves

So the mocks were right. Too high a selection in my opinion, as I see him more the 20s range, but the T-Wolves apparently liked what they saw in him. We didn't for the 5th overall pick.

13. PG Tony Johnson - Miami Heat

Terrific steal by the Heat here. Johnson's a score-first PG, but at this stage in the draft, he's an excellent acquistion. I could see them going PG Gama/SG Johnson/SF Whoever/PF Vines/C Jackson, which would be a pretty good starting five.

14. C Michael Frey - Philadelphia 76ers

Heh. Chris points out that the Freys are a dedicated family, with two brothers who've made the NBA and both earned their degrees before moving to the pros. That doesn't stop J.P. from wigging out, though and the mention of Frey's family reminds me of a certain Teddy Ginn, Jr, or, as I call him after his botched butterfingers during the 2008 Dolphins/Ravens wildcard game, Fumbleass Ginn, Jr. Either way, it's a pick Philly's gonna regret.

15. PG Brian Floyd - Golden State Warriors
16. PG Kevin Moore - Los Angeles Lakers

He didn't have a very good workout and I think this is a little high for him. Not a terrible pick by the Purple and Gold though, especially with the Moore blood in his veins.

17. SG Tyreck Huge - Memphis Grizzlies
18. PG Lawrence Townes - Cleveland Cavaliers

Smart move by the Cavs here. They need a legit PG and Townes was the best of the remaining players. Not saying he'll step in and start, but anything's better than a second year of Wendel King running the offense.

19. SG Jason Engstrom - Orlando Magic
20. SF Chauncey Harris - New York Knicks
21. PG Tom Hayes - Phoenix Suns
22. PG Joe Gordon - Dallas Mavericks

Desparation pick by the Mavs here. They need a true PG, but Gordon doesn't strike me as good enough to crack the lineup. They'd have been better off scouring free agency.

23. SF Travann Patterson - Los Angeles Clippers
24. SF Nick Simmons - Charlotte Bobcats
25. SF Travis Hart - Sacramento Kings
26. PF Dermek Mociler - Miami Heat

I'm not sure what happened to the Heat front office, but they've suddenly put together a nice plan and are drafting well and will be an intriguing team to watch next year.

27. PF Matt Mitchell - Atlanta Hawks
28. PG Damien Ohl - Utah Jazz
29. PG Henry Dupree - Portland Trailblazers

J.P. almost has a heart attack after this pick, shouting that it's the worst pick he's seen in all his years of covering the draft. I'll have to see what my scouts say afterwards.

30. SF Chris Wright - Chicago Bulls

The first post-draft report on Tyrone Capel is somewhat discouraging. Balanced offensive game, good rebounder for a guard and fairly intelligent, but he doesn't look like an electrifying passer and Waldemar Althusser is, preposterously enough, a better defender. Making matters worse, Luke Smith is raw, but talentwise I think he can be Patrick Riley 2.0, only with a more consistent game. On the other hand, he's a moron on the basketball court and he's so undeveloped, he'd have a hard time cracking our rotation.

We're $6 million over the cap, so we've got a small amount of money to play with to pick up a starting C in free agency... Very small.

Make that $3.6 million over the cap, after we renounce our contracts. Suddenly we've got enough money to offer somebody a mid-level exemption. Even at $5.5 million, we still skate in at $9.1 million under the cap, which is a $700,000 decrease from last year. Hopefully that'll be enough.

Summer League
PG Tyrone Capel
SG Joem Layne
SG Justin Cherry
SG Eric Bass

We beat Dallas 96-83 to open summer league play, but it's a little worrying when our best performers are invitees Damien Yarborough with 15 points and 12 rebounds and Jerry Murphy with 14 bench points.

Justin Cherry wakes up for 20 points in our 106-100 loss to Golden State, benchmen Eric Bass and Darren Davis putting in 13 and 10 points a piece, but it's not enough. Tyrone Capel's scored 14 and 19 points the first two games, so it appears he has some scoring chops.

Despite our 92-85 loss to Golden State, Tyrone Capel is POTG with 15 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Good to see that out of him. Eric Bass scores 10 off the bench and Jerry Murphy nabs 12 reserve rebounds.

We guarantee our first ever losing summer league with a 103-83 blowout defeat at the hands of the Bulls, Darren Davis and Jerry Murphy combining for 15 and 12 bench points as our only highlights. I'm not terribly concerned with our record, because we have no post players to speak of.

A 93-81 win over the Celtics to end the summer season gives a bit of cheering news, Tyrone Capel just missing a double-double with 16 points and 9 assists, Mario Catlett scoring 10 off the bench. It's worth noting that Capel has no turnovers in this game and in the Golden State game, he had just one turnover to his 11 assists.

Free Agency
Weak class this year. Jon Ward is the best young player, though there's a couple great greybeards in Kelvin Moody and Chris Gearheart. Second tier sub-30 free agents include Terry Vinson, Charles Arnold and Patrick Riley. Over 30 notables include Georghios Kairis and Greg Oden, who is without a doubt the best center in this outfit even at 36. Sad group.

I'm pleased to see Kelvin Moody re-sign with the Timberwolves on a 1 year, $11.6 million deal. I like to see career-long players with one team, so that makes me happy.

Philadelphia makes a splash by signing Charles Arnold to a 5 year, $54 mill and change deal on the same day that Greg Oden accepts $8.5 mill. for one year to go back to the Raptors.

So basically, we're screwed in terms of getting a decent C in free agency. I recover by bringing Carlton Goree back to Denver on a 5 year mid-level exemption, $5.5 million a year.

Charlotte falls in love with Brooks Smith's offense, ignoring the fact that he can't play defense worth a damn and is 36 years old, as they ink him to a 5 year $32 million contract. Our old pal Rico Wolfe gets a 2 year min-sal deal from the Clippers, chasing another championship.

Just before training camp, I pull off a trade that improves our C situation significantly.

Denver Nuggets receive
C Marcus McKie
Minnesota Timberwolves 2026 1st round pick

Minnesota Timberwolves receive
PG Waldemar Althusser
San Antonio Spurs 2026 1st round pick

What this means for the Nuggets
The 24 year old McKie will challenge Andrew Bynum for the starting C spot. Still in the process of development, he has a good inside shot and is a respectable rebounder, passer and defender. At the very least, he'll be the 6th man if he doesn't manage to win the starting spot. He also provides Denver a possible heir to the 38 year old Bynum.

What this means for the Timberwolves
They've now got a security blanket passing wizard on the bench in the German Althusser, a wizard with the ball. Won't score a ton or play great defense, but he's the kind of reserve guard every coach dreams of.

Winner: Denver
Carlton Goree came back via free agency, making Althusser expendable. McKie fills Denver's most glaring hole and while he's no giant at 6'10, 265 lbs, he's big enough to hold his own against most centers in the league.

We push up to $9.65 million over the cap with the trade, but it's still $150,000 less than last season. That probably won't be enough for our anal owner, but every little bit helps.

Training Camp

Tyrone Capel improves a little during training camp, but he appears to have no upside to speak of. Mateen Yeaton is looking slower, but I think even at 36, he can still bring it. Tim Butler had a great camp and I'm expecting big things from Timmy B this year. Justin Cherry looked a little better, but Carlton Goree really worked on his game to beat our second year player out for top guard off the bench.

The preseason press has us pegged for 12th in the West, 3rd in the division behind Utah (#5) and Portland (#9). While I believe the Traiblazers are going to take a step back without Charles Arnold around anymore, to say they'll plummet that far is ridiculous.

The Clippers are the pick in the West, which I can see. The Rockets at #2 I call shenanigans on, only because Chris Driver is nobody's idea of a legitimate starting C. Dallas will still win the division and they're probably correctly tabbed as the #3 seed behind the Clippers and I'm not sure who else.

Chicago's picked to repeat as the East's top seed, though I have my doubts about Antonio Sarchet at C and what the hell is Andre Moore doing on the bench? Funniest prediction ever: The Pacers as the #2 seed. If that happens, I'm expecting a hot blonde teen cheerleader in my office the minute the playoff seedings are released. The Wizards at #4 is almost as funny. I can see Charlotte as the #3 seed and winning the Southeast after adding Brooks Smith, though I think he'll hurt more than help. My guess says Toronto and the Knicks will be the class of the East, with the Nets a darkhorse.

Denver Nuggets 2024 Opening Night Lineup
PG Tyrone Capel
SG Mateen Yeaton
SF Andy Sola
PF Tim Butler
C Andrew Bynum
6th Marcus McKie (PF/C)
7th Clifton Snyder (SF/PF/C)
8th Carlton Goree (PG/SG)
9th Justin Cherry (PG/SG/SF)
10th Darrell James (PG/SG)
11th Tzvetan Kishishev (SF/PF/C)
12th Joem Layne (SF/PF)

Inactive
Eric Bass (SG/SF)
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Last edited by Izulde : 01-06-2009 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:43 PM   #458
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
A new coaching staff, a whole new system and a shiny new rookie PG. It's a touch nerve-wracking, going with a fast-paced offense that features a rookie coach in Kurt Thomas, who's never gotten the head gig he deserves and another rookie in Tyrone Capel at the controls. Kind of like handing the keys to a Porsche Boxster or a Ferrari Enzo to a 16 year old. Just hope the results aren't a trainwreck.

Mateen Yeaton takes right to our new offense, scoring 41 points in our 122-102 season-opening victory over the Lakers. Tim Butler double-doubles for 19 points and 10 rebounds and Carlton Goree slides seamlessly back into the team with 13 bench assists. Tyrone Capel does pretty well for his first game, just missing a double-double with 9 points, 10 assists, a steal and just one turnover.

Andy Sola gets hurt yet again, so Clifton Snyder slots in as the starting SF and Kurt Thomas finally gets smart and names Marcus McKie the starting center. With the two new starters, we beat the Timberwolves 123-100. Mateen Yeaton scores 28, Tyrone Capel gets his first NBA double-double with 14 points and 13 assists and Andrew Bynum and Carlton Goree score 13 and 10 points a piece with the reserves. Great win, especially considering it's our first victory over the Timberwolves since they added Branko Starcevic last season.

A fourth quarter meltdown results in a 102-98 loss to the Jazz, despite good performances from Clifton Snyder (12 points, 12 rebounds), Marcus McKie (19 points, 10 rebounds), Mateen Yeaton (20 points) and Andy Sola (18 bench points).

We had trouble in the division games last year and it looks like a repeat this season as we drop both ends of the back-to-back. Utah beats us 109-90, Tim Butler's 23 points and 12 rebounds and Clifton Snyder's 13 points and 10 rebounds not enough and Seattle rallies in the fourth quarter to not only tie it, but win in OT 119-114. Tim Butler doubles for 18 points and 10 rebounds, Mateen Yeaton scores 23, Tyrone Capel nets 16 points and 15 assists and Carlton Goree explodes for 29 points off the bench in the loss. Center is proving a real problem for us this season.

A 109-98 win over the Pistons puts us back to .500 on the young season, all five starters scoring double-digit figures. Tim Butler and Mateen Yeaton lead the way with 22 and 24 points respectively and Tyrone Capel adds a double-double of 12 points and 11 assists.

We finally have a fourth quarter comeback of our own to nip the Kings 116-115 in Sacramento. Tim Butler thunders for 32 points and 14 rebounds, Mateen Yeaton scores 27, Marcus McKie puts up a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds and Andy Sola leads the second unit with 10 points.

Andy Sola comes back to the lineup and scores 25, but the real story of our 126-110 upset of the Raptors is Tim Butler heating up for 30 points and 13 rebounds. Great play from reserves Darrell James (12 points), Clifton Snyder (10 points, 11 rebounds) and Carlton Goree (11 points) doesn't hurt either.

The preseason favorites Bulls don't look so hot after we destroy them 116-91 in Chicago, including outscoring them 31-7 in the fourth quarter. Tim Butler has his third straight game with 27 points and 11 rebounds, Marcus McKie abuses the Chicago centers for 21 points, Mateen Yeaton scores 26 and Tyrone Capel picks up a 10 point, 15 assist double-double.

I love playing Dallas, especially when we win 118-110 as we do in the next game. Andy Sola leads all scorers with 33 points, Tim Butler posts 22 points and 10 rebounds and Clifton Snyder and Carlton Goree pace the bench with 14 and 12 points a piece.

But then our season takes a devastating blow as Andy Sola tears his ACL in the waning minutes of the game. He's done for the year and we're now forced to go with Clifton Snyder the rest of the way.

We tend not to play well without Andy Sola and sure enough, we lose 123-117 in OT to the Nets our next game. Mateen Yeaton scores 26 and Carlton Goree adds 25 off the bench, but it's just not enough.

Bad teams are good for one's record and we sweep the Spurs and Rockets on back to back nights. Clifton Snyder scores 20, Mateen Yeaton adds 21 and Andrew Bynum and Carlton Goree propel the reserves with 11 and 10 points respectively in our 110-96 win over San Antonio. A single layup is all that gets us the 115-113 win in Houston the next night, but I suppose credit's due for Tim Butler (27 points, 15 rebounds), Mateen Yeaton (31 points), Marcus McKie (12 points, 13 rebounds) and Carlton Goree (15 bench points) for getting us there.

Tim Butler is having the best season of his career so far and he shreds the Hornets for 41 points and 16 rebounds in our 105-82 rout. Mateen Yeaton plays a capable second with 21 points.

Rookie Lawrence Townes has finally given the Cavs a true starting PG, but it doesn't matter as we beat Cleveland 113-102 to end the month. Mateen Yeaton scores 25, Tim Butler doubles for 20 points and 11 rebounds, Darrell James plays beautifully off the bench for 15 points and 9 assists and Tyrone Capel, demoted in favor of Carlton Goree, scores 10 points in reserve time as well.

So we're 11-4, a half-game in front of the Timberwolves for the Northwest lead. Impressive run, especially after Andy Sola went down. I still may make a trade if things start to go haywire. Memphis is off to a torrid start at 12-4, 3.5 ahead of Dallas and the 10-5 Suns are showing last season's no fluke with a half-game lead on the Clippers.

Boston's a shocking 12-2, 2.5 up on the Raptors, 8-5 Milwaukee is 1.5 in front of Cleveland and Detroit and 7-6 is enough to give Charlotte a half-game lead on everybody but the Wizards, who are 4-9.

I'd like to smugly point out my predictions of a competitive Miami are right as they're 8-8. The Lakers are 5-11, second to last in the Pacific, so I think we'll be okay there.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:46 AM   #459
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Seattle Supersonics receive
PF Mike Vines

Miami Heat receive
PF Nate Bonner
Seattle Supersonics 2025 2nd round pick

What this means for the Supersonics
After years of developing a reputation for choosing high-scoring, no defense players, the Sonics acquire one of the league's premiere defenders in Vines, who can still frustrate people at 35 years old. 6'11, 245 lbs is a great size to have at SF, where he'll be starting.

What this means for the Heat
Bonner can still pump in the points at will, even at 35 years old himself. A complete zero on defense, but he's precisely what Miami needs; a legitimate scorer, because right now, the best offensive option the Heat have is rookie Tony Johnson, who hasn't earned a starting spot yet and Zelipe Gama, whose career high points per game is 13.5

Advantage: Draw
A win-win trade for both teams, as they swap expiring contracts of high quality players who fill gaping holes on each roster. It'll help Seattle avoid being the worst team in the league this year and continue Miami's forward progress.

Last year only had one trade in the first month as well and it floodgated the rest of the way. We'll probably see more of the same this season, particularly since I'm not totally sold on our lineup right now after we lost Andy Sola for the year.

The Heat go out and prove just how much better they are this season by whipping us 116-93. Tim Butler's on form with 28 points and 10 rebounds and Mateen Yeaton scores 22, but that's all she wrote. Carlton Goree is displaying signs of Tzvetan Kishishiv-itis, where he's great as a reserve, but awful as a starter.

After a 118-110 loss to Orlando, I've had enough. Sure, Tim Butler scores 33, Clifton Snyder puts up 19 points and 10 rebounds and Mateen Yeaton scores 25, but we're dragging ass out there.

I hit the phones and put together a deal that I'm not wholly thrilled with, but we need to shake things up.

Denver Nuggets receive
PG A.J. Dunkley
SG Hayletts Dennis
Utah Jazz 2025 1st round pick
Utah Jazz 2027 1st round pick

Utah Jazz receive
PF Clifton Snyder
C Marcus McKie
Denver Nuggets 2027 1st round pick
Minnesota Timberwolves 2026 2nd round pick

What this means for the Nuggets
33 year old Dunkley is an excellent pure passer who plays solid defense and can put points up on the board. The rookie Dennis is raw, but has the ability to develop fantastic scoring instincts and good defense, particularly as a ballthief. The two will start at SG and SF respectively while Mateen Yeaton deals with a back injury.

What this means for the Jazz
McKie gives Utah a solid all-around young big man with great potential as an inside scorer and rebounder and solid skills on defense, both as a cover man and a playmaker. Snyder plays very good technical defense and has a nice, accurate shot. While both of them are on the bench, the Jazz now have two youngsters and big man bench depth they sorely lacked. So weak was their bench for bigs, free agent signing Ryan Sweetwyne was the top man there.

Winner: Utah
The first round picks look to be a wash from where we're sitting, but Utah just got some excellent youth and depth in the frontcourt and the opportunity to audition Cedric Caldwell at starting PG. Denver, on the other hand, must now revert to 38 year old Andrew Bynum as the starting C and have just one player on the bench who can play the four or five in Tzvetan Kishishev.

Not as big a problem as it sounds, as I swing another deal.

Denver Nuggets receive
C Dan Jacobson

Washington Wizards receive
PG Darrell James

What this means for the Nuggets
Jacobson, a former Nugget, returns to Denver at 37 to provide rebounding and defensive playmaking help, along with another bench big body.

What this means for the Wizards
James is a much better all-around backup guard than Jameel Williams, though both now sit behind Dwyane DeManby. Not a standout in any one area, James is balanced and gives the Wizards veteran grit.

Winner: Denver
The need was simply bigger for the Nuggets after their blockbuster with the Jazz.

We've some more cap room, which I use to sign Lindsey Williamson as long as we're bringing back old Nuggets. He hasn't played since 2022, the last time he was with us. Then again, it's 2024 and before 2022, the last time he played was 2020, also in a Nuggets uniform, so it's fitting. Great defender and shotblocker still.

That puts us at $9.77 million over the cap and now we've saved maybe $50,000 over last year, but at this point, I don't care.

121-112 loss to open the new lineup, the Wizards gleeful in their beating of us. A.J. Dunkley scores 21, Tim Butler adds 22, [b]Andrew Bynum[b] double-doubles for 16 points and 12 rebounds and Mateen Yeaton comes off the bench for the first time in years for 12 points, Tzvetan Kishishev adding 11 points of his own.

Our fourth straight loss comes 105-78 to the Raptors and we officially have a trainwreck on our hands. Not one single statistical Denver Nugget of note and I've completely butchered what may be Mateen Yeaton's final year.

Tim Butler scores 23 in our next game, but Carlton Goree and Mateen Yeaton have to come off the bench for 13 and 11 points and the Knicks pound us 117-99 for our fifth straight loss.

After three nights of insomnia, I make another trade.

Denver Nuggets receive
C Luke Smith
SG Teddy Harriman
New Orleans Hornets 2026 1st round pick

New Orleans Hornets receive
PG Tyrone Capel
SG Joem Layne
Denver Nuggets 2026 1st round pick

What this means for the Nuggets
Smith is extremely raw, but has promise as a rebounding and defensive specialist. Harriman's improved his shot each year he's been in the league and could be an offensive force by the time he's done developing. He'll tenatively start at SG for the Nuggets.

What this means for the Hornets
Capel's a pretty good offensive, passing and rebounding option, but he's a terrible defender and he has no upside. Despite the fact that he was averaging 8.1 points and 10.5 assists with Denver, New Orleans is going to put him at the SG spot. Layne is a good technical defender and that's it. Average bench player.

Winner: Draw
GM Jestor seems to be in an absolute confusion and just blindly making moves. The Hornets aren't being smart about their use of Capel, either. Call this a lose-lose for both teams, really.

A preposterous pair of back-to-back losses to continue the nightmare. 139-129 to Philadelphia, even as A.J. Dunkley explodes for 36 points and 13 rebounds, Tim Butler scores 27, Mateen Yeaton pipes in with 23 points, Andrew Bynum doubles for 17 points and 11 rebounds and Carlton Goree scores 10 bench points. 112-104 loss the next night in Boston, despite A.J. Dunkley's 26 points and 11 assists, Mateen Yeaton's 21 points, Tim Butler's 19 points and 10 rebounds and Andrew Bynum's 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

After losses to Miami and Orlando I'm admitting defeat. 121-114 to the Heat, Mateen Yeaton (37 points), A.J. Dunkley (16 points, 13 assists), Tim Butler (22 points) and Andrew Bynum (10 points, 13 rebounds benchside) shine, the defense doesn't. 118-92 to the Magic, our bench players our stalwarts with 13 points from Hayletts Dennis and Luke Smith, 12 from Dan Jacobson.

I fire Kurt Thomas, eating $18.3 million and my job prospects in the process and hire Steve Van Gundy.

Daylight dawns for the first time in ages, a blessed 114-99 win over the Suns. Mateen Yeaton scores 20 and Hayletts Dennis and Carlton Goree lead the bench with 13 and 12 points a piece.

We lose 102-99 to the Supersonics two nights later, but I'm stoic about it. Mateen Yeaton and A.J. Dunkley combine for 27 and 26 points a piece, Tim Butler and [b]Andrew Bynum[b] invert double-doubles of 17 points and 10 rebounds and 10 points and 17 rebounds respectively and Luke Smith adds 10 bench points.

It's a miraculous Christmas as we beat Dallas 117-113 on Christmas Eve. Tim Butler explodes for 31 points, Mateen Yeaton scores 20, A.J. Dunkley scores 22 of his own and Carlton Goree contributes 12 bench points. On Christmas Day itself, we edge Golden State 112-105 thanks to Tim Butler's 28 points and 10 rebounds, Mateen Yeaton's 25 points, A.J. Dunkley's 19 points and 11 rebounds and Carlton Goree's 14 bench points.

The sweet breath of a win streak washes over us, Tim Butler the Calmbringer with 25 points in our 95-90 victory over the 76ers. [b]Teddy Harriman[/] is the second man with 20 points, Andrew Bynum pops up with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Carlton Goree leads the reserves with 10 points.

But then we end the year with the sickening, acidic aftertaste of two straight losses. The Lakers beat us 98-88 on New Year's Eve and nevermind Teddy Harriman's 24 points, while 96-78 is the Clippers' margin of victory despite 24 points from A.J. Dunkley and 14 points and 11 rebounds from Tim Butler.

15-16, 3rd place in the Northwest, 1.5 half games behind Minnesota.

I'm too depressed to even write anything else.
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:26 AM   #460
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
What's Happened To The Nuggets?: A Primer

A 4-12 December marked the worst month for the Denver Nuggets in GM Jestor's tenure. It got Kurt Thomas fired, cost the franchise $18.3 million, and led to a flurry of trades that resulted in entire new rosters for every game.

So we thought it might be helpful to take a step back and give an overview of the current makeup of the Nuggets.

PG A.J. Dunkley
Great passer, one who's taken on much more of a scoring role since coming over from Utah last month. 33 years old. Not a lights out defender, but good enough. If he could stop emulating Paulinho Buboltz, it'd really help the team.

SG Mateen Yeaton
Needs no introduction. His benching played a huge role in Thomas's firing and he got shuffled to SF for a few games before Tyrone Capel got traded so that Yeaton could get moved back to SG. Despite the chaos and his 36 years, he's still averaging 21.9 points and is the heart and soul of the Nuggets.

SF Teddy Harriman
23 year old in his third season. Poor defender and his scoring and shooting, which are supposed to have excellent upsides, have fallen off a cliff since his arrival in Denver. Acquired on December 11th, if he doesn't improve, he'll be gone on February 11th.

PF Tim Butler
The 26 year old's name keeps popping up in trade rumors as the Nuggets seem to play better without him in the lineup than with him. But Jestor is adamant the future team captain isn't going anywhere, especially not when he's averaging 22.4 points, 9.3 rebounds and a steal per game. Hard to argue with that or with his 49.8% shooting. Can't really make plays on defense, nor is he good on the technical aspects of it.

C Andrew Bynum
The weakest position on the roster and some fans feel like trading Marcus McKie was the wrong thing to do. That said, the 38 year old is probably the best all-around defender in the starting lineup, which points to what is probably the Nuggets' biggest problem right now.

6th Carlton Goree (PG/SG)
Averaging 8.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals, mainly as a reserve. Good shooter and scorer, good passer and ballhandler for a benchman. Very good defense and out of this world ballthief skills, along with good basketball smarts. His lengthy contract makes the 27 year old untradeable though and he flamed out as a starter.

7th Hayletts Dennis (SG/SF)
Rookie 21 year old with some good upside as a scoring hound and an all-around defender, but like Harriman, he's been shooting ugly since coming over with Dunkley on December 5th. Also like Harriman, he could be gone come February if he doesn't improve.

8th Luke Smith (SF/PF/C)
Big 21 year old rookie at 7'2, 278 lbs and while he allegedly has some good potential, at this point he's looking like a slightly upgraded version of Lindsey Williamson, which isn't good news for a player drafted 4th overall. Infuriatingly prone to making boneheaded plays, but his work ethic is through the roof, which may buy him some time.

9th Dan Jacobson (SF/PF/C)
7'3, 290 lbs gives the Nuggets another monster-sized big man and he can still bring at 38. Not fantastic, but a solid all-around player who's flourishing with increased minutes and the comfort of being back in Denver. Min-sal contract, likely not to be re-signed.

10th Justin Cherry (PG/SG/SF)
From highly touted rookie sensation to sophomore slump. He's getting under 3 minutes a game and only has 20 appearances so far this season. When he does get on the court, he's shooting a ghastly 35.3%. Jestor still favors him, though, so it's quite possible that Harriman and Dennis go in a package to get an improvement at SF or C and free up more PT for Cherry.

11th Lindsey Williamson (SF/PF/C)
Defending and shotblocking specialist who always was a Jestor favorite. One of the few draftees to have an extended career in Denver, even if he's had brief vacations away. The 32 year old has played extremely well in the sparing minutes he's gotten.

12th Eric Bass (PG/SG/SF)
24 year old waste of space and Jestor's ticked he's even active. Look for him to go in February as well.

Inactives

Tzvetan Kishishev
Signed to a great value contract, the 27 year old with the scoring touch and defensive prowess is inexplicably not on the active roster, which infuriates Jestor, who thinks the Bulgarian should be one of the top reserves. Some of the big men above could go too.

Andy Sola
Gone for the year with a torn ACL and the biggest reason why the Nuggets are struggling. He's become the real team MVP, though no one wants to admit it.

Steve Van Gundy is 4-3 so far as Denver's head coach following Thomas's firing. He'll have to do a lot better than that if he wants to get the Nuggets back in the playoffs, but if Jestor manages to keep his trigger finger tamed, perhaps the team can get some chemistry and more wins going.

***End Article***

Minnesota Timberwolves receive
C Murry Alexander
Orlando Magic 2025 2nd round pick

Orlando Magic receive
PG Chris Blackmon

What this means for the Timberwolves
35 year old Alexander is a phenomenal defender and shotblocker who becomes the first big man off the bench for Minnesota, who was starved for any kind of reserve talent in that area, particularly since rookie Patrick Weston is so green.

What this means for the Magic
Second year Blackmon has good security and some defensive ability to go with his basketball smarts, but everything else about his game suggests he'll be little more than an end of bench guy as he is now and a future career D-leaguer.

Winner: Minnesota
The Timberwolves smell blood in a weak Northwest division this year and Alexander will help them win now as they gun for their first division title since 2004, a 20 year drought and counting. Blackmon is filler and it's a myopic move by the Magic.

Atlanta Hawks receive
PF Booker Werner
Golden State Warriors 2025 2nd round pick

Golden State Warriors receive
PG Curtis King

What this means for the Hawks
The 25 year old Werner's intelligence lets him overacheive relative to his actual talent, which he has very little of, but he's still nothing more than an mid-bench player at best.

What this means for the Warriors
King, 20 and in his second season, has the potential to one day be a solid backup, but he's only played 1 minute in the NBA so far and that was last year. He's the 12th man in Golden State and he'll be lucky to see the court at all.

Winner: Atlanta
The extra pick is what does it, as this is honestly a garbage for garbage deal.

Wow, only two trades. Surprising. Almost as surprising as the free fall our season's taken. I'm thankful for the article, by the way. It pointed out things I was having trouble seeing in my cloud of panic and I'm determined to just ride out the storm and make some changes near the All-Star break.

We split the opening doubleheader. San Antonio beats us 110-101 on the road, despite Mateen Yeaton's 26 points, Andrew Bynum's 11 points and 11 rebounds and A.J. Dunkley's 15 points and 13 assists, but we snap back the next night to top Houston 95-88 on Teddy Harriman's 22 points as SG, Tim Butler's 18 points and 10 rebounds and Luke Smith's 12 bench points.

Our next doubleheader is a much needed double dose of win, the first a pleasant 108-97 victory over the Kings in Sacramento. Mateen Yeaton scores 24, back at SG, Teddy Harriman adds 22, Tim Butler pulls down 17 points and 14 rebounds and A.J. Dunkley issues 17 points and 15 assists. Granted, this is a Kings team without Jonte Jones, who broke his leg, but a win is a win at this stage. A 120-117 barnburner tilts our way over the Purple and Gold the next evening, thanks to 33 points from Mateen Yeaton, 26 points and 14 rebounds from Tim Butler, 25 points from Teddy Harriman, a jaw-dropping 11 points and 21 assists from A.J. Dunkley and Carlton Goree's 10 bench points. I guess some of the guys, especially Harriman, have been reading some of the local press and really taken it to heart.

A key game against Minnesota results in a disheartening 105-84 loss despite 15 points and 11 rebounds from Teddy Harriman, 16 points and 10 rebounds courtesy of Tim Butler and A.J. Dunkley's 14 points and 11 assists. We really need to get Andrew Bynum out of that starting C spot. He's been just killing us.

I'm reaching for the Prilosec during the upcoming road back-to-back, but we salvage a split. Golden State flatten us 114-97, Tim Butler our lone noteworthy performance with 21 points, but we stomp Seattle 102-79 as Teddy Harriman rips the Sonics for 26 points, Mateen Yeaton scores 25 and Tim Butler and Andrew Bynum chip in blue-collar double-doubles of 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 points, 11 rebounds.

Great game against the Grizzlies results in a 105-84 win on the backs of Mateen Yeaton (28 points) and A.J. Dunkley (22 points, 12 assists).

But there's a treacherous path ahead, namely a five-game road trip. But then again, we always get up for the Mavericks and we beat them 121-114 due to three Nuggets with 20+ points: A.J. Dunkley (29 points), Tim Butler (26 points, 13 rebounds), and Mateen Yeaton (23 points). Andrew Bynum applies the finishing touches with a 12 point, 10 rebound double-double.

I'm not surprised when Chicago and Detroit beat us on both ends of a back-to-back and I don't mind so much the 116-84 reaming by the Bulls where Mateen Yeaton is the only one to play with 26 points, but the 100-96 blown fourth quarter loss to the Pistons galls me. Mateen Yeaton is awesome with 25 points and 10 rebounds and Teddy Harriman chips in 21 points, but the rest of the team drags it out there and I really, really want a shiny new center.

I fucking hate the Central. Four losses in a row. 103-82 to the Bucks and I give props to Mateen Yeaton and Teddy Harriman with 20 points a piece, along with Andrew Bynum's surprise 16 points and 12 rebounds, but nobody else can get on the same page. 99-87 to the Pacers, blowing Mateen Yeaton's 25 points, A.J. Dunkley's 20 points and 11 assists and Carlton Goree's 11 bench points.

We just barely fend off the Knicks 114-112 at home to stop the bleeding, Paulinho Buboltz's 43 points overcome only by Mateen Yeaton and Tim Butler each scoring 34 and Carlton Goree leading the reserves with 11 points. No such luck the next night as we're too little, too late in a 116-106 loss to the Traiblazers. Great 31 point, 13 assist showing from A.J. Dunkley, but we're getting raped out there with a worthy center.

Five losses in the last six games. Terrible way to end the month.

But on the other hand, we played a hell of a lot better in January than we did in disgusting December. Unfortunately, that slide really cost us and we're 22-24, three games back of Portland, a game back of Minnesota and tied for third with Utah. Yeah, just a god-awful year for the Northwest.

Memphis's 29-18 gives them a 2.5 game lead on the Mavericks while Phoenix is officially back on the rose, their 33-15 record placing them atop the conference and ahead of the Clippers by 2.5 games.

Out East, Boston is somehow 33-13 and tied with the Raptors for the Atlantic and the East's top seed. Milwaukee's 24-19, exercising a 2 game advantage on the underachieving Bulls and the Bobcats dominate the Southeast by 7 games over Atlanta, thanks to their 28-14 record.

I'm still too bummed out to do comparisons. Maybe next month if we can shop for a legitimate center.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #461
Swaggs
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Almost Heaven
It probably won't make you feel any better, but I am still really enjoying the dynasty and, in a sick way, it is a little more interesting now that things are not sailing as smoothly.

The inevitable twilight of Yeaton's career, having a limited draft class in the years that you had high picks, and your asshole owner made things really challenging in a hurry, but I am looking forward to updates.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:12 PM   #462
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swaggs View Post
It probably won't make you feel any better, but I am still really enjoying the dynasty and, in a sick way, it is a little more interesting now that things are not sailing as smoothly.

The inevitable twilight of Yeaton's career, having a limited draft class in the years that you had high picks, and your asshole owner made things really challenging in a hurry, but I am looking forward to updates.

Indeed. A challenge precisely for the reasons that you describe.

I'm still holding out hope for the playoffs, because it'd be just heartbreaking if this is Yeaton's last season and the first time he's missed the postseason since he was in Indiana.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:26 AM   #463
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Minnesota Timberwolves receive
PF Billy Cullen
Atlanta Hawks 2025 2nd round pick

Atlanta Hawks receive
C Patrick Weston

What this means for the Timberwolves
Cullen's a run of the mill 24 year old backup combo forward/center. Nothing remarkable about him, though he is admittedly more developed than Weston.

What this means for the Hawks
The 19 year old rookie Weston might one day be a good reserve C, but he saw almost no time in Minnesota and he's liable to see even less with the Hawks as the 12th man. His upside isn't great, but it's respectable enough that he'd be worth a flyer on a bad team. Atlanta's 22-22, which doesn't exactly qualify them as bad.

Winner: Minnesota
The T-Wolves are hellbent on a division title and no doubt fear a move by GM Jestor raise the Nuggets back up. Thus, the second trade for an improved player at the cost of scrub youth. Great deal.

Toronto Raptors receive
PG Ron Morant
San Antonio Spurs 2025 2nd round pick

San Antonio Spurs receive
PF Mike Wise

What this means for the Raptors
Morant's 26 and a very good passer and ballhandler, with great technical defense. If he had better scoring instincts, he'd be capable of starting at the point. Key pickup for Toronto, who have 3 PGs, all 35 years old. While Ron's buried as the 11th man, if he comes back to the Raptors next summer, he should see increased playing time.

What this means for the Spurs
Strange move by San Antonio, as Wise has little upside and the 21 year old isn't anywhere near as good as Ian McClinton, who's both more developed and getting more seasoning in the D-Leagues. In fact, Wise is so bad, he's an inactive on a woeful Spurs squad.

Winner: Toronto
Even if the Raptors don't return Morant, he gives them a good pass-first safety blanket PG on the bench and even a half-year of that is worth far more than anything Wise will ever offer.

Portland Trailblazers receive
PG Mark Martin
Toronto Raptors 2025 2nd round pick

Toronto Raptors receive
SG Aaron Smylie

What this means for the Traiblazers
Martin became expendable for the Raptors after Morant's acquisition and he's a decent floor general off the bench, but terrible on defense and not a scorer either. His managing to hang on in the league is a bit of a mystery, but the real shock is that he's actually starting for Portland at PG.

What this means for the Raptors
Smylie is a big (6'7, 209) guard, with great handling skills for a two, rather like a certain Denver Nuggets SG in that regard, but he doesn't have great scoring instincts. However, the 23 year old third year pro has potential to develop into a defensive specialist and score some points as a reserve.

Winner: Toronto
While we normally applaud the acquistion of a new starter, Martin simply isn't a legitimate NBA starting PG and we see the move imperiling Portland's season.

Dallas Mavericks receive
PG Jeremy Steele
Philadelphia 76ers 2025 2nd round pick

Philadelphia 76ers receive
PG Joe Gordon

What this means for the Mavericks
Steele joins his 6th team in 3 seasons and it's easy to see why he's often so used as trade bait. He's a solid all-around veteran, who while not as good as a passer as he used to be, still plays good ball security and very good defense. In short, the perfect benchbacker, especially for a Dallas team who still insists on the lunacy of Jeremy Leach at PG.

What this means for the 76ers
Gordon may be a rookie, but he's a 23 year old one with no upside and talents outside of some basketball smarts and ball thievery. Not worth the price of admission and 11th on the 76ers' bench who already have Charles Diggs and Corey Westbrooks at 24 and 25 respectively.

Winner: Dallas
In short, a foolish trade for Philadelphia. While a youth movement wouldn't hurt, Gordon is the wrong piece of the puzzle for far too many reasons.

Six losses in seven games after Golden State beats us 120-113 in OT. Tim Butler bursts through for 35 points, A.J. Dunkley double-doubles for 15 points and 12 assists before fouling out, Andrew Bynum scrapes together 10 points and 10 rebounds and Carlton Goree scores 18 off the bench. But when Mateen Yeaton has a 2 for 10 night, our chances of winning just aren't very good.

Fast forward to the 5th and our stunning trade to counter the moves by Minnesota and Portland last month.

Denver Nuggets receive
C Greg Oden
Toronto Raptors 2027 1st round pick

Toronto Raptors receive
PF Andy Sola
SG Eric Bass
C Dan Jacobson

What this means for the Nuggets
GM Jestor pulls off another surprise move, shuffling Sola, the lynchpin to the team's late run success last year and the heart of their stellar start this season, to the Raptors for a 36 year old Oden, still a fearsome warrior on defense and rebounding and one of the smartest, most universally popular and hardest working players in the league. Needless to say, he immediately takes over at C for the Nuggets. The first round pick should be worth more in a couple years than it is now.

What this means for the Raptors
Jacobson got cut immediately after the trade, so this becomes Sola and Bass for Oden. Sola is a very good all-around player, somewhat underrated and as mentioned, he's out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL. But he's also under contract for next season and figures to step in at PF then for the Raptors. Bass is roster filler who's on the inactive list.

Winner: Denver
We call this one the "Save Mateen Yeaton's Last Dance" trade. Center was Denver's most glaring weakness and Jestor goes out and gets a rental to try and propel the Nuggets back to the playoffs. While it's not certain to happen, this just improved their chances immensely.

The deal comes just in time for a divisional doubleheader.and while Utah beats us 107-89 for our third loss in a row, because our new idiot head coach has Mateen Yeaton at SF and our only highlight is new reserve Andrew Bynum's 12 points, we rebound for a thrilling 107-104 win against the Timberwolves in Minneapolis the next night. All five starters score 13 points or more, led by Tim Butler's 26 points and 10 rebounds. Greg Oden gets his first double-double in a Nuggets uniform with 16 points and 14 rebounds, A.J. Dunkley tacks on 16 points and 10 assists and Carlton Goree leads the bench with 10 points.

But even switching Mateen Yeaton back to SG can't prevent a 106-100 fourth quarter collapse against Cleveland. Not when Tim Butler's double-double is an anemic 10 points and 12 rebounds and A.J. Dunkley isn't much better with 14 points and 10 assists. At least Andrew Bynum is playing decently with 9 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

And so, in the sort of grandiose move that's borderline stupidity and nine-tenths desparation that's characterized our season, I pull the trigger on another trade.

Denver Nuggets receive
SG Charles Arnold
SG Ronald King

Philadelphia 76ers receive
PG A.J. Dunkley
SG Hayletts Dennis

What this means for the Nuggets
Desparation strikes again as GM Jestor acquires the 26 year old Arnold, who once swore he would never again play for the Nuggets after he was traded before ever donning a uniform when he signed with Denver in free agency. Now he's back in and a guarantee to play. He can play better score-denying defense than Mateen Yeaton, is 6'7, 188 lbs and is also averaging a sizzling 24.5 points a game. The 27 year old King is a great locker room guy who can score a little and defend a little.

What this means for the 76ers
So much for Corey Westbrooks returning to the starting PG role any time this year. Dunkley's a savvy, pass-first PG who needed a change of scenery after shooting an anemic 40.8% in Denver. The rookie Dennis, he of the 39.3% shooting with the Nuggets and angry about his lack of playing time, comes in as the starting SF for the 76ers, where he can hopefully fulfill his scoring potential.

Winner: Denver
If he has to, Teddy Harriman can run the point okay and the Nuggets just made a huge upgrade to their starting lineup at the price of two players who were major disappointments in their short tenure in Denver. The extra second rounders make nice trade bait.

Eh, what the hell? I'll try Harriman out at the one and see how he does.

Terrible debut for Charles Arnold (5 for 19/10 points)1 and we fall 107-96 to New Jersey. Teddy Harriman scores 24, Tim Butler double-doubles for 18 points and 13 rebounds and Carlton Goree scores 14 off the bench.

Enraged at our sloppy play, I make another trade.

Denver Nuggets receive
PG Zelipe Gama
Miami Heat 2025 1st round pick
Miami Heat 2027 1st round pick

Miami Heat receive
SG Teddy Harriman
C Luke Smith
C Lindsey Williamson
Toronto Raptors 2027 1st round pick

What this means for the Nuggets
For the third time in his career, the Spainard Gama comes to Denver and he'll once again seek to rescue the Nuggets by manning the starting PG spot. If anyone can do it, he can.

What this means for the Heat
The 23 year old Harriman was just starting to warm up in Denver when he's sent packing. Very good to great player in all facets of the offensive game, but admittedly just as weak on defense. He slots in as the starting SG. Smith is a project and a very intriguing one. Even better for the Heat, he'll be the 6th man and get the playing time he needs to develop his supreme rebounding, defensive and shotblocking potentials. Williamson's an inactive.

Winner: Miami
GM Jestor's hunger to keep the Nuggets' playoff streak going is going to cost him his job and ruin Denver for future years, draft picks aside. Meanwhile, Miami picks up two terrific building blocks in Harriman and Smith. If the Heat implode after this, so what? They've already won 24 games this season, more than they've won this early in a long, long time.

I don't care... I don't care. Mateen Yeaton must make the playoffs again.

We've also exceeded our budget of $10 million that's not really $10 million and need to sign two players. Enter former Nugget Darren Davis and 33 year old rebounding monster Changa Diarra, a former second round pick of the Supersonics (10th pick, 2nd round, 2013 draft).

So I get fired at the end of the year. Big deal.

Back-to-back road games before the All-Star break and a split. 110-103 win over Atlanta, narrowly losing in the fourth quarter. Mateen Yeaton and Charles Arnold combine for 27 and 29 points a piece and Zelipe Gama issues 15 points and 14 assists. 112-93 loss to Charlotte as we never get it going, though Zelipe Gama has a nice 18 points and 14 assists and Greg Oden pulls in 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Darren Davis gets to the finals of the Slam Dunk competition before losing to James White.

The Sophs crush the Rooks in a game I don't watch, though there's a few former Nuggets on the first years. Whatever. I don't care.

Tim Butler makes the All-Star game and scores 3 points in a very forgetable 14 minutes. Still, every point counted in the West's 97-96 barnburner win. MVP Rashard Ferguson was just ridiculous for the East. 20 point and 23 rebound ridiculous. Got 5 assists and 2 steals, too.

It's ugly, but I'll take the 102-97 comeback win over the Celtics. Mateen Yeaton is adjusting fine to SF, scoring 28 points. Charles Arnold adds 25, Tim Butler puts up 19 points and 16 rebounds and Zelipe Gama garners 12 points and 12 assists.

But then we lose 97-86 to Memphis, despite Greg Oden's impressive 12 points, 23 rebounds and 5 blocks, Mateen Yeaton's 23 points and Zelipe Gama's 18 points and 10 assists because our bench blows.

Our first dominant win in forever comes at the hands of the horrid Hornets, 108-84. Tim Butler breaks loose for 30 points, Mateen Yeaton adds 20, Greg Oden yanks down 23 boards and Zelipe Gama repeats for 18 points and 10 assists.

Fucking Atlanta beats us by one frigging point to ruin our hopes of ending on a tiny win streak. 26 points a piece from Mateen Yeaton and Charles Arnold just miss the mark, and Greg Oden's 12 points and 11 rebounds were one layup short in the 103-102 loss.

So we're 26-31 and if the playoffs were held today, we wouldn't make it.

We're going to have to bust ass over the remaining games in the season and I'm not sure we can do it.

Hell, I can't bring myself to write anything but a quick listing of the division leaders.

Southwest
Memphis - 35-22 (3 GB - Dallas)

Northwest
Portland - 33-23 (5.5 GB - Utah)

Pacific
L.A. Clippers - 40-17 (1 GB - Phoenix)

Atlantic
Toronto - 42-14 (4.5 GB - Boston)

Central
Milwaukee - 29-26 (2.5 GB - Chicago)

Southeast
Charlotte - 35-19 (7 GB - Atlanta)
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #464
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I think you came to the right conclusion too late.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:14 PM   #465
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Originally Posted by Barkeep49 View Post
I think you came to the right conclusion too late.

Which conclusion is that?
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:22 PM   #466
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That you were probably going to get fired this offseason.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:28 PM   #467
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Originally Posted by Barkeep49 View Post
That you were probably going to get fired this offseason.

True, true.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:28 PM   #468
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Minnesota Timberwolves receive
SG Jay Brown

Golden State Warriors
PF Joseph Barnes
C Jarion Calloway

What this means for the Timberwolves
The 22 year old Brown, in his third season, is notorious for inconsistency and will never be anything more than a 6th or 7th man. His biggest area for upside is in free throw shooting, but there just isn't much to get excited about with him. He'll be mid-bench for now.

What this means for the Warriors
Calloway got cut, so it's Brown for Barnes, who is as unthrilling as the other and two years older. He's also not a very valuable reserve. The best thing about him is that he's an expiring contract.

Winner: Minnesota
Brown is more talented than Barnes and for a team that's chasing a playoff spot like the Timberwolves are, an improved on-court team trumps everything else, especially since Calloway re-signed twith the T-Wolves.

Phoenix Suns receive
PF Damous Price

Detroit Pistons receive
SF Brad Randle

What this means for the Suns
Price is a good, solid reserve with a nice inside shot and scoring instincts. He also gives Phoenix youngerish big man at 29 years old and represents a significant upgrade talentwise on the bench for the Suns.

What this means for the Pistons
Randle is in his third season, but is just 21 years old. He's got major potential to develop into a scorer and eventual starter, but for now, he's playing behind two guys on the bench. No versatility either, as he can only play SF. That said, if he develops like he has the ability to, he'll be a starting 3 someday.

Winner: Draw
Good deal for both teams, as the Suns are pursuing a return trip to the Finals, while the Pistons are probably lottery bound, a low playoff seed team at best.

Quietest trade deadline we've had in years. Hell, our dealing frenzy aside, it's been the quietest trading market we've had in at least three or four seasons.

Our pursuit of .500 starts off beautifully with a 112-91 win over the Pacers. Greg Oden turns back the clock with 22 points and 10 rebounds, Tim Butler double-doubles for 19 points and 12 rebounds, Zelipe Gama kicks in 10 points and 17 assists and Carlton Goree adds 13 points off the bench.

All you need to know about our 108-81 loss to the Clippers is that Charles Arnold was our only player to show up with 34 points and we shot 35% from the field.

Then comes the huge 108-98 win over the Traiblazers as Zelipe Gama erupts for 29 points and 14 assists. Tim Butler chimes in with 21 points and 12 rebounds andGreg Oden gets a pair of 17s in points and rebounds.

Buoyed by the magnificient victory over Portland, we sweep both games of the next doubleheader. Charles Arnold drills the Spurs for 30 points, Greg Oden towers for 12 points and 24 rebounds and Tim Butler scores 21 as we crush San Antonio 107-84. Phoenix's record doesn't scare us as Tim Butler thunders for 26 points and 10 rebounds in our 107-98 win. Charles Arnold scores 21, Zelipe Gama hands out 17 points and 10 assists and we get a surprise 11 and 10 bench points respectively from Ronald King and Andrew Bynum.

Four wins in a row, a genuine win streak after we best Charlotte 106-93. Mateen Yeaton sparkles for 29 points, Tim Butler just misses a triple-double with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 9 assists and Greg Oden powers through for 22 points and 13 rebounds.

After our fifth straight win, 115-102 over the Clippers, we're officially being called one of the hottest teams in the NBA. Mateen Yeaton and Charles Arnold score 29 and 23 a piece, Greg Oden chips in 13 points and 14 rebounds and Andrew Bynum is a perfect 6/6 for 16 points off the bench.

What a thrilling, miracle turnaround it's been as we reel off our sixth straight victory, 107-84 over the Bucks. Charles Arnold mows down Milwaukee for 38 points, Mateen Yeaton adds 20 points and Carlton Goree leads the reserves with 11 points.

And then the Wizards cool us off and we tumble 114-107 in OT, games we've had a lot of trouble winning this year. Great effort by Tim Butler (28 points), Greg Oden (22 points, 17 rebounds) and Charles Arnold (20 points), though, with [b]Carlton Goree adding 13 bench points.

And that's when the team doctor sees me, looking grim.

Mateen Yeaton - Broken Toe - Out 62 Days

...I feel sick. This might be a career-ender, unless the insane happens and we somehow make the NBA Finals, which I don't see us doing.

Absolutely heartbreaking event to happen in the most frustrating season of my NBA GM career and the real topper.

35 year old Chauncey Thomas is signed to cover for Yeaton, but I already see our year going up in smoke with 38 year old Andrew Bynum now starting at SF.

Sure enough, 111-99 loss to the Lakers, Tim Butler's 26 points and 12 rebounds not even close to rescuing us.

A 103-94 win over the Kings stops a potential extended losing streak, but we need all of Charles Arnold's 34 points, Tim Butler's 27 points and Zelipe Gama's 20 points and 16 assists to manage it.

Sans Mateen, the Suns exact revenge on us, 105-90, Charles Arnold's 20 points, Tim Butler's 26 points and 10 rebounds and Greg Oden's 14 points, 18 rebounds wasted.

We bounce back for a much-needed 107-83 hammering of the Jazz in Utah. Charles Arnold plays magnificiently with 43 points, Greg Oden is a rebounding machine with 10 points and 17 boards and Ronald King leads a very productive bench with 11 points.

March ends with the expected split. We edge the Spurs 109-101 on Tim Butler's 31 points, Charles Arnold's 21 points and Zelipe Gama's 10 points and 13 assists before Portland pulverizes us 108-86 in another revenge game. Tim Butler plays his heart out with 22 points and 11 rebounds and Ronald King and Carlton Goree rise off the bench for 10 and 16 points respectively, but it won't cut it.

We've clawed our way to 36-36 and currently stand as the #8 seed, three games ahead of the Jazz for that distinction. Phoenix leads the conference at 50-22, the Suns 1.5 over the Clippers. We're 5 games back of the 41-31 Trailblazers and 41-30 Memphis is 2.5 ahead of Dallas.

Toronto doesn't miss Greg Oden one whit, 6 games in front of the Celtics at 53-19, the East's best mark. 38-34 Milwaukee stands 3.5 ahead of Cleveland in a Central as weak as the Northwest is this year. 44-28 Charlotte barely holds off hard-charging Atlanta by 2 games.

You know, I don't care if we make the playoffs anymore. All the excitement has gone out of the season for me now that Yeaton's likely done.

A hollow victory: He averaged 20.8 points this regular season, preserving a six season streak of 20+ points a game.
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Old 01-11-2009, 03:06 PM   #469
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I'm not expecting much after we just lost Mateen Yeaton, probably for the year, but then the team surprises me with back-to-back road wins to kick off our final ten games. Zelipe Gama dazzles with 28 points and 16 assists in our 107-102 win, Charles Arnold scores 26, Tim Butler chimes in with 12 points, 12 rebounds and Ronald King comes out of nowhere with 25 points off the bench. Gritty defense keys our 97-85 victory over the Hornets, the offense provided by Charles Arnold (22 points), Tim Butler (20 points), Zelipe Gama (11 points, 12 assists) and Changa Diarra (10 bench points).

34.6% shooting isn't going to win you ball games and Minnesota shreds us 105-77. Charles Arnold gets 21 points by throwing up shot after shot, while Tim Butler continues his underrated, even-keeled play with 21 points and 12 rebounds. No worries, though, as we obliterate Seattle 111-98 the next night in Denver. Charles Arnold shoots more accurately for 28 points, Tim Butler double-doubles for 17 points and 15 rebounds and Ronald King leads the reserves with 17 points of his own. I'm tempted to re-sign King if I keep my job or, if I get fired, I'll take him for whatever team I join on with.

Four Nuggets score 20+ points in our 115-108 triumph over Golden State. That's either a record or close to it since I've been here and the quartet is composed of Greg Oden (28 points), Zelipe Gama (20 points, 10 assists), Tim Butler (20 points) and Charles Arnold (20 points). Ronald King continues his hot bench play with 10 points.

We clinch a .500 season with a 107-88 beatdown of the Hornets. Charles Arnold has arguably his best game in a Nuggets uniform with 34 points and 11 rebounds, Tim Butler scores 33 and Greg Oden squeezes in 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Another win cinches a winning season and we get it by besting Memphis 103-97 on the front end of a doubleheader. Tim Butler leads the charge with 24 points, Charles Arnold adds 22 points and Ronald King chips in 11 bench points. The sweep comes as we rout the Rockets 123-86, amazingly winning all four quarters. Tim Butler blows up for 30 points and 15 rebounds, Greg Oden is just as magnificient with 22 points, 21 rebounds and 7 assists, Charles Arnold scores an almost-afterthought 26 points and Zelipe Gama doubles for 18 points and 13 assists.

Two games left and suddenly we're in fighting postion for a mid-tier playoff spot rather than defaulting to the #8 seed. But we've got a tough back to back to finish off the year in Phoenix and Portland.

The Suns destroy us 119-95 in Phoenix, Greg Oden's 15 points and 18 rebounds and Ronald King's 10 bench points not enough despite a balanced offense. But then we surprise the Trailblazers 96-87 as Greg Oden muscles his way to 21 points and 13 rebounds, Charles Arnold scores 25, Tim Butler picks up 14 points and 10 rebounds and Zelipe Gama gets a pair of 12s in points and assists.

8-2 without Mateen Yeaton. I never would've expected that, nor the recovery of our season all the way to a playoff berth after the bungling we did for so much of the year.

West Conference Playoff Seedings
1. Phoenix Suns (57-25)
2. Los Angeles Clippers (55-27)
3. Memphis Grizzlies (48-34)
4. Portland Trailblazers (48-34)
5. Sacramento Kings (45-37)
6. Denver Nuggets (44-38)
7. Dallas Mavericks (44-38)
8. Utah Jazz (39-43)

East Conference Playoff Seedings
1. Toronto Raptors (59-23)
2. Boston Celtics (55-27)
3. Charlotte Bobcats (51-31)
4. Milwaukee Bucks (44-38)
5. New York Knicks (49-33)
6. Atlanta Hawks (49-33)
7. New Jersey Nets (42-40)
8. Chicago Bulls (41-41)
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #470
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Somebody over on the WS boards asked for an overall review of the team performances to date in this dynasty and I liked the idea so much, I thought I'd post it and my commentary here, too.

Atlanta Hawks
Overall Record: 701-775 (47.5%)
Playoff Appearances: 8
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2019)
NBA Championships: 0

Boston Celtics
Overall Record: 770-706 (52.2%)
Playoff Appearances: 12
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2013)
NBA Championships: 1 (2013)

Charlotte Bobcats
Overall Record: 784-692 (53.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 14
NBA Finals Appearances: 2 (2007, 2008)
NBA Championships: 0

Chicago Bulls
Overall Record: 729-747 (49.4%)
Playoff Appearances: 8
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2009)
NBA Championships: 1 (2009)

Cleveland Cavaliers
Overall Record: 745-731 (50.5%)
Playoff Appearances: 11
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Dallas Mavericks
Overall Record: 883-593 (59.8%)
Playoff Appearances: 14
NBA Finals Appearances: 3 (2012, 2021, 2022)
NBA Championships: 2 (2021, 2022)

Denver Nuggets
Overall Record: 991-485 (67.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 18
NBA Finals Appearances: 8 (2008, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
NBA Championships: 4 (2008, 2018, 2019, 2020)


Detroit Pistons
Overall Record: 828-648 (56.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 13
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2014)
NBA Championships: 1 (2014)

Golden State Warriors
Overall Record: 584-892 (39.6%)
Playoff Appearances: 2
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Houston Rockets
Overall Record: 776-700 (52.6%)
Playoff Appearances: 10
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Indiana Pacers
Overall Record: 638-838 (43.2%)
Playoff Appearances: 6
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Los Angeles Clippers
Overall Record: 649-827 (44.0%)
Playoff Appearances: 5
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Los Angeles Lakers
Overall Record: 806-670 (54.6%)
Playoff Appearances: 12
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2011)
NBA Championships: 1 (2011)

Memphis Grizzlies
Overall Record: 682-794 (46.2%)
Playoff Appearances: 10
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2013)
NBA Championships: 0

Miami Heat
Overall Record: 609-867 (41.3%)
Playoff Appearances: 2
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Milwaukee Bucks
Overall Record: 802-674 (54.3%)
Playoff Appearances: 15
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Minnesota Timberwolves
Overall Record: 739-737 (50.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 12
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

New Jersey Nets
Overall Record: 623-853 (42.2%)
Playoff Appearances: 3
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

New Orleans Hornets
Overall Record: 449-1027 (30.4%)
Playoff Appearances: 0
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

New York Knicks
Overall Record: 651-825 (44.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 9
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2023)
NBA Championships: 1 (2023)

Orlando Magic
Overall Record: 763-713 (51.7%)
Playoff Appearances: 11
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Philadelphia 76ers
Overall Record: 764-712 (51.7%)
Playoff Appearances: 11
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Phoenix Suns
Overall Record: 755-721 (51.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 6
NBA Finals Appearances: 3 (2007, 2009, 2023)
NBA Championships: 1 (2007)

Portland Trailblazers
Overall Record: 724-752 (49.1%)
Playoff Appearances: 9
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Sacramento Kings
Overall Record: 803-673 (54.4%)
Playoff Appearances: 16
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

San Antonio Spurs
Overall Record: 851-625 (57.7%)
Playoff Appearances: 14
NBA Finals Appearances: 1 (2014)
NBA Championships: 0

Seattle Supersonics
Overall Record: 645-831 (43.7%)
Playoff Appearances: 5
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Toronto Raptors
Overall Record: 1038-438 (70.3%)
Playoff Appearances: 18
NBA Finals Appearances: 10 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022)
NBA Championships: 5 (2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017)


Utah Jazz
Overall Record: 756-720 (51.2%)
Playoff Appearances: 11
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

Washington Wizards
Overall Record: 602-874 (40.8%)
Playoff Appearances: 3
NBA Finals Appearances: 0
NBA Championships: 0

No question who the two great dynasties are of this era. I thought Phoenix's 3 NBA Finals appearances in 6 playoff outings was impressive, but Toronto beats that with a staggering 10 East Conferences championships in 18 playoff tries to go with their sterling 70% overall win rate.

I feel sorry for the Kings and the Bucks. Two historically very good franchises who've never made it to the title bout. I wouldn't mind taking over either one of those teams and bringing them to long-dreamed of rings.

You can't get any more identical than Philadelphia and Orlando. Scary how just one win separates them. The T-Wolves are the very definition of a .500 team and that's a real shame for Kevin Garnett and Kelvin Moody.

No question who the two worst teams of the era are either. That'd be No Playoffs New Orleans and the other sub-40% overall win rate Warriors. Then again, I suppose you could make a case for the Heat, who threw away Dwayne Wade's career and the Wizards, who have the most overrated PG in the league in Leland Peterson.
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:19 PM   #471
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if you do get canned, i would like to see how you build up one of those struggling franchises...
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Old 01-12-2009, 02:51 PM   #472
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Originally Posted by RedHawk00 View Post
if you do get canned, i would like to see how you build up one of those struggling franchises...

+1

If not New Orleans, then either Miami or even Washington.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:34 PM   #473
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New Orleans would be amusing.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:39 PM   #474
Izulde
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RedHawk00: I'd like to see the same thing, actually.

JonInMiddleGA: I think all three of those teams are handicapped somewhat by my having acquired their first rounders with the Nuggets. I can't remember for sure, though.

Coffee Warlord: Indeed, considering I'm a big part of the reason why they're so bad. Their front office has been filled with morons for years, so it's been quite easy for me to rip them off in trades. Other teams have been real hardasses to work with.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #475
BYU 14
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One more vote for New Orleans...
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:47 PM   #476
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One more vote for New Orleans...

Would be great fun if the opportunity comes up.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:48 PM   #477
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Nuggets Set To Take On Grizzlies In First Round Rematch

What a long, strange trip it's been this season for the Denver Nuggets, which saw a flurry of changes in the most in-season trades in franchise history, a mid-season firing of a highly hyped head coach in favor of one with a sub-.500 record and a topsy turvy record that was more turvy until two late season hot streaks to propel them to the playoffs and the #6 seed.

The last time GM Jestor changed a well-respected coach for one with a career record below .500, George Karl was replaced by Jim O'Brien and we all know how that turned out, with O'Brien leading the Nuggets to three straight championships before he was fired after last season. While it's unlikely that Steve Van Gundy will replicate those results, his slower style brought Denver back to fundamental basketball and suited a veteran team much better than Kurt Thomas's frenzied pace.

Many thought the Nuggets' season was over after the franchise star and face, Mateen Yeaton, went down with a broken toe, but the team rallied to go 8-2 in its final ten games and get new life in the playoffs. They've earned a rematch with the Memphis Grizzlies, who beat them handily last year.

Can Denver reverse course in its first season in years as a lower seed? That's difficult to judge.

Point Guard
Zelipe Gama vs. Bernard Kelly

In, out, in, out, in. It's been a roller-coaster ride for the 33 year old Spainard in terms of his Nuggets membership, but the truth is, nobody's run Denver's offense better in all the years GM Jestor's headed the front office. He may have lost a step to age, but 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 10 assists, 1.4 blocks and a steal show that Gama's still got great all-around game.

Kelly is one of the best pure passers the league's ever seen and he led the NBA in assists this year with a 12.8 average to go with his 16.2 points and 1.7 steals. He had a field day against the slower Gama last playoffs and the 27 year old should do the same this year.

Advantage: Grizzlies

Shooting Guard
Charles Arnold vs. Durko Jagr

Once upon a time, Arnold swore he would never come back to Denver after being involved in a sign and trade deal for Rico Wolfe and a slew of picks from the Miami Heat and when he found out he'd been traded to the Nuggets earlier this year, he initially considered not reporting. But report he did and while he won't ever replace Yeaton and has some cold shooting slumps, he's started to win over fans with his ability to score. Unfortunately he's pretty one dimensional as a scorer, but here's a dirty little secret - the 26 year old is a better defender than the 36 year old Yeaton is at this point and he's actually an upgrade on that end of the floor.

Jagr put up 11.2 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in the regular season, but he's never been an accurate shooter and at 34 years old, he just isn't anything more than a league-average starter at this point. Not a stellar defender either.

Advantage: Nuggets

Small Forward
Andrew Bynum vs. Shane Holliway

Seeing the 38 year old Bynum in the starting lineup reminds a lot of people of the year Denver had an ancient and decripit natural SF Antawn Jamison at C, on the surprise team that made a run to the Finals. Like Jamison, Bynum just doesn't have much left in the way of skills and his 7.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks during the regular season reflect that. On the other hand, he's still 7', 285 lbs and size is one thing that never goes away.

The 6'6, 224 lb Holliway is going to have to rely on his quickness to outfox Bynum if he wants a repeat of last year's great postseason against the Nuggets. Great scoring knack and good ballthief who posted regular-season numbers of 17.4 points, 6 rebounds and 1.3 steals. Our hunch says quickness beats height here.

Advantage: Grizzles

Power Forward
Tim Butler vs. Ronnie Fry

Butler really came into his own this season, developing greater consistency and earning his first ever All-Star bid on his way to 20.9 points and 9 rebounds. Won't ever be a defensive stopper, but is an underrated rebounder and has grown into the team leader after Yeaton went down. One of the only untouchable guys on the roster.

He'll have a tough time of it against Fry, who's emerged as a great defender in addition to being a topflight scorer with 20.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals to his credit. Fry's been rumored to be on Jestor's target list ever since he entered the league, but Memphis rightfully refuses to deal their bright young star.

Advantage: Memphis

Center
Greg Oden vs. Narcyz Malinomowski

Fascinating matchup at the five, featuring one of the great defenders in the league against one of the top scoring centers in the NBA. Oden may be 36, but he's still a top-flight defender, shotblocker and rebounder, posting 12.6 points, 13.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks during the regular season and he's capable of terrific scoring outbursts.

And those outburts he could very well earn against the man infamously nicknamed The Great Polish Sieve for his lack of defense. Malinomowski tore up the Nuggets last playoffs, but he's going up against a brick wall in Oden. Still, one can't wholly discount his regular season 15.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. Still a prime-time shot blocker and the third offensive option for the Grizzlies.

Advantage: Nuggets

Bench

Carlton Goree has been a major disappointment after signing a fat, multi-year mid-level exemption in the offseason, but he still put up 7.4 points and 4.2 assists, with good defensive skills. The season's biggest surprise was Ronald King, a trade package afterthought who emerged as the bench's best offensive threat down the stretch and finished with 6.2 points. Like Goree, a good defender, but not the playmaker on that end that Goree is. There's no really good big men on the bench, as Tzvetan Kishishev struggled to find minutes this year and Changa Diarra is still adjusting to Denver.

22 year Deon Sterley is a smaller, poor man's version of Greg Oden. That's still high praise and he produced 8.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks during the regular season as Memphis's 6th man. Dave Linton is the best guard, but he's strictly a passer, terrible on defense and tries to get too fancy at times.

Advantage: Draw

Final Thoughts

Subtract Yeaton and Andy Sola, add Oden and Arnold from last year's playoff matchup and this is suddenly looking much more even, primarily because of Oden. But it only appears that way. Memphis's youth and quickness is going to be too much for Denver's aging lineup to handle and the Grizzlies should match last season's triumph.
Prediction: Memphis in 5

Yeah, whole lot of confidence they're showing in us there. Still, maybe we can thrive in the underdog role.

Game One
Hostile crowd, hostile building, no offense. Charles Arnold was the only Nugget to even break double-digit points with 25. That's all you need to know about this embarassment. For Memphis, Shane Holliway danced circles around Andrew Bynum for 28 points, Ronnie Fry rampaged for 25 points and 15 rebounds and Deon Sterley scored 10 off the bench.
Final - Denver 72 Memphis 99

Game Two
Our offense finally wakes up as Charles Arnold scores 20 and Tim Butler and Greg Oden pick up double-doubles of 17 points and 12 rebounds and 15 points and 13 rebounds respectively. But a poor third quarter, Narcyz Malinomowski's 14 points and 15 rebounds, Bernard Kelly's 22 points and 16 assists and Deon Sterley's 10 bench points are -just- enough to nip us at the wire and we lose probably our best shot to steal one from the Grizzlies in Memphis. Just heartbreaking.
Final - Denver 92 Memphis 95

Game Three
We'll need to win both at home to make a series of this thing. A hard-fought battle in front of a partisan Nuggets crowd turns into our finest defensive effort of the year. Tim Butler leads the charge on offense with 22 points and 11 rebounds, Charles Arnold continues his amazingly consistent playoffs with 23 points, Zelipe Gama snaps out of his slump for 16 points and 11 assists and Ronald King sends out notice that our bench isn't completely cosmatose with 10 points. Shane Holliway and Bernard Kelly each score 23, but it's not enough to preserve Memphis's sweep dreams and we grind out a tough, important win to make it a 2-1 series.
Final - Memphis 84 Denver 93

Game Four
Shane Holliway was frantically determined not to let us back in this series and explodes for 34 points. Bernard Kelly supports him with 17 points and 14 assists, while Deon Sterley heads the Grizzlies reserves with 12 points. But then Charles Arnold adds another chapter to his claim of worthy Mateen Yeaton successorship with a spellbinding 39 points on 14/16 shooting, including 5/6 from long range and Ronald King and Carlton Goree help the bench to their best showing yet, netting 14 and 11 points a piece. We come out on top and we've officially back in the thick of it with a knotted up series!
Final - Memphis 89 Denver 106

The Suns are looking terrific in sweeping Utah, the only series to finish early.

Game Five
This one's the swing match and we blow it with yet another fourth quarter meltdown. Really puts a damper on Charles Arnold's 22 points and Greg Oden's 18 points and 19 rebounds. Shane Holliway lights up for 28 points, Durko Jagr breaks out with 24 points, Bernard Kelly is an assist demon with 10 points, 20 assists and Narcyz Malinomowski cobbles together 12 points and 11 rebounds. Another freaking, stinking 3 point loss in Memphis. Man, a couple bounces here and there and we'd have this thing won right here, right now. Instead, we're down 3 games to 2 and are really up against it.
Final - Denver 94 Memphis 97

Sacramento kicks Portland out in five and the Clippers, who honestly scare me, do the same to the Mavericks. Out East, Toronto dispatches the Bulls in five and everyone else rolls on to Game 6.

Game Six
A spirited home crowd and Mateen Yeaton wearing his best powder blue blazer with yellow tie. It's a winning combination as Charles Arnold gets inspired and scores 30 points, Tim Butler summons up 13 points and 11 rebounds, Zelipe Gama turns in 12 points and 21 assists and Ronald King builds on his growing reputation with 17 bench points. Great effort by Bernard Kelly with 24 points and 14 assists, but we just simply would not be denied as we force a Game 7 with our most emphatic performance yet.
Final - Memphis 96 Denver 113

New York tops Milwaukee in six and Atlanta stuns heavily favored Charlotte in six as well. Celtics/Nets are going down to the wire in Game 7, same as us.

Game Seven
Can we finally get the grizzly bear off our backs? They're amped in Memphis and Bernard Kelly puts on a 26 point, 11 assist show and Deon Sterley scores 14 off the bench. We counter with 26 points and 11 rebounds from Tim Butler, 10 points and 12 rebounds from Greg Oden and the poor man's double of 10 points, 10 assists from Zelipe Gama. But it's not enough as Charles Arnold finally runs out of gas. We lose by 11 and have a long offseason ahead of us to wonder what might have been.
Final - Denver 88 Memphis 99

Boston eliminates New Jersey in the other final game.

Although the Celtics are higher seeded, they stun the Hawks by sweeping them in the second round. Phoenix steamrolls over Sacramento in five, the Knicks upset the Raptors in six and the Clippers need all seven games to put away Memphis. Makes me wonder what would've happened had we gone against the Red and White.

The Suns look unbeatable this year, returning to the NBA Finals by sweeping the Clippers and the Knicks make it a rematch Finals via knocking out the Cinderella Celtics in six games (I know, weird to call a 2 seed a Cinderella, but that's how it is this year).

There'll be no second ring for Paulinho Buboltz, as the Phoenix Suns go from 23-59 to East Conference Champions to NBA Champions in the course of three seasons, sweeping New York in four games.

I've never seen such a crazy turnaround in a franchise's fortunes and it really puts the pressure on GMs around the league.

NBA Lottery
14. Detroit Pistons
13. Houston Rockets
12. Indiana Pacers
11. Cleveland Cavaliers
10. Minnesota Timberwolves
9. Denver Nuggets
8. Washington Wizards
7. New Orleans Hornets
6. Orlando Magic
5. Seattle Supersonics
4. Golden State Warriors (-1)
3. Philadelphia 76ers (+1)
2. Denver Nuggets
1. San Antonio Spurs

Another year of ridiculously minimalist lottery movement. Two Top 10 picks including the coveted #2 pick... and I'm probably going to get fired. Now watch, this'll be a class of great players, too.

NBA Awards

MVP
Marcelino Augusto - Dallas Mavericks - 23.7 PPG 9.7 RPG 3.1 APG 2.8 BPG 0.9 SPG
Defensive Player of the Year
Dontay Williamson - Los Angeles Clippers - 13.1 PPG 13.9 RPG 2.2 APG 3.6 BPG 0.7 SPG
Rookie of the Year
Tyrone Capel - New Orleans Hornets - 9.8 PPG 8.3 APG 3.8 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.0 SPG
6th Man of the Year
Filip Svorda - Phoenix Suns - 13.3 PPG 6.5 APG 2.5 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.5 SPG
Coach of the Year
Sam Mitchell - Toronto Raptors

Raise your hand if you're the dumbass GM who traded away the Rookie of the Year you personally drafted. ...Yeah. It was that kind of season.

All-NBA 1st Team
PG Corey Neal - New Jersey Nets
SG Justin Richler - Toronto Raptors
SF Devone Allen - Dallas Mavericks
PF Marcelino Augusto - Dallas Mavericks
C Oswaldo Apolonario - Atlanta Hawks

All-NBA 2nd Team
PG Kenny Graham - Sacramento Kings
SG Rudolf Zyndram - Phoenix Suns
SF Jeremy Lemons - Orlando Magic
PF Rashard Ferguson - Chicago Bulls
C Terrence Howard - Portland Trailblazers

All-NBA 3rd Team
PG Paulinho Buboltz - New York Knicks
SG Jon Ward - Phoenix Suns
SF Will Baron - Boston Celtics
PF Henry Fisher - Utah Jazz
C Tim Davis - Milwaukee Bucks

I know I'm biased, but I totally think Tim Butler got robbed here. But whatever.

All-Defense 1st Team
PG Corey Neal - New Jersey Nets
SG Jon Ward - Phoenix Suns
SF Jeremy Lemons - Orlando Magic
PF Marcelino Augusto - Dallas Mavericks
C Dontay Williamson - Los Angeles Clippers

All-Defense 2nd Team
PG Leland Peterson - Washington Wizards
SG Rudolf Zyndram - Phoenix Suns
SF Devone Allen - Dallas Mavericks
PF Henry Fisher - Utah Jazz
C Patrick Riley - New Orleans Hornets

All-Rookie 1st Team
PG Tyrone Capel - New Orleans Hornets
SG Vladimir Tupolev - Seattle Supersonics
SF Marcus Reeves - Los Angeles Lakers
PF Dermek Mociler - Miami Heat
C Luke Smith - Miami Heat

All-Rookie 2nd Team
PG Lawrence Townes - Cleveland Cavaliers
SG David Johnson - Indiana Pacers
SF Chauncey Harris - New York Knicks
PF Matt Mitchell - Atlanta Hawks
C Ronald Smith - Washington Wizards

Second straight season we've been shut out of the awards. Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Mateen Yeaton announces that he plans on coming back for another season. Only one team fires its GM before I talk to Bob Neal and that's the Sacramento Kings.

Our owner's hot to trot to get rid of me and at this point, I'm sick of the whole mess, so I tell Baldy Bob to go fuck himself and quit on the spot a mere half-second before he angrily and half-gleefully informs me that I'm fired.

Of course, Bob won't allow it to be a resignation, so it goes in the papers as a firing. Nuggets fans everywhere are furious and the editorials are all slamming Neal in the press and on the blogosphere.

I call Will Langhi, the Kings owner, and ask him about the GM job. He's all smiles and good cheer, faxing the contract over almost before I hang up the phone. I just as quickly sign it back and send it in, officially taking over one of the most successful, but heartbreaking franchises since I've joined the league.

It's a beautiful situation I step into in Sacramento. A lot of huge contracts are going out the door. To wit:

PG Kelvin Johnson - $10.3 million
PG Kenny Graham - $17.1 million
SG Justin Barnes - $18.9 million

In fact, there's only four players under contract for next year and they're all, except for one, expiring next season.

With just the three big contracts above expiring, we go from being $26.3 million OVER the cap to $20 million UNDER the cap. Can you say re-tooling the Kings? I knew you could!

It's the perfect rebuilding scenario and the ownership and Kings fans are beside themselves with joy that they've landed me to rebuild the franchise. Of course, that probably means Justin Barnes, a career-long King, face of the franchise, 20+ points a game every year from 2017-present, etc, is out the door, so I'll take some heat for that. But you know, I always hated low percentage shooters and Barnes, a career 41.7% converter, is precisely that.

I'm feeling giddy myself about this transition. The Kings have never made the NBA Finals since I've joined the league and in fact, have never made the NBA Finals in their entire history, much less a championship.

It's a chance to take a historically good franchise (at least recent history) and elevate it to unseen levels of greatness.

I try and cut a deal with the Nuggets right off to get Tim Butler to go with me, but the assistant GM, who learned a lot of my tricks, refuses, even when I throw in Jonte Jones, still a great player at 35, so I work out another trade instead.

Sacramento Kings receive
SG Mateen Yeaton
PF Tzvetan Kishishev
PG Zelipe Gama
Miami Heat 2025 1st round pick
Denver Nuggets 2025 1st round pick

Denver Nuggets receive
C Jonte Jones
SF Antwan Carson
SF Travis Hart
Sacramento Kings 2026 2nd round pick
Sacramento Kings 2027 2nd round pick

What this means for the Kings
GM Jestor sure didn't take long to start remodeling the Kings, acquiring Yeaton's Bird Rights and setting up Gama to run the offense just as he did in Denver. It's safe to say that Kenny Graham won't be returning to Sacramento. Kishishev is a Jestor favorite who plays great defense and has underrated scoring ability. While it won't be certain he'll see more minutes with the Kings that he did with the Nuggets the last season or two, his contract is one of the best values in all of sports. The real deal here though, is Sacramento picking up two more first round selections in this year's draft, including the #9 overall pick.

What this means for the Nuggets
Jones returns to Denver, where he guarantees Greg Oden's departure from the Nuggets. At 35, Jones has slowed down a lot and is no longer the elite player he once was, but he's still one of the best centers in the league. Carson is a servicable all-around starter at SF right now and the 25 year old has the potential to develop great scoring instincts and very good rebounding. 23 year old Hart could someday develop into a serviceable reserve, but he's really just a throw-in when you get right down to it.

Winner: Denver
Jestor's first blockbuster trade is liable to blow up in his face as Jones has the type of talent still to carry Denver to a division title next year and the Nuggets won't really miss Yeaton with the emergence of Charles Arnold in this past playoffs. Carlton Goree can finally start earning the big bucks Jestor shelled out to land him as Denver's starting PG and the Nuggets made this deal without surrendering Tim Butler or the #2 overall pick, two things Jestor coveted most. On the other hand, the Sacramento Kings are now poised to have $45.7 million in cap room this summer. Then again, given that Jestor's flameout rate on free agents is almost as high as his draft selections, maybe that's not such a good thing.

To that I say, bah humbug. This is going to be a very, -very- good free agent crop, unlike last year's dud group. I've already scouted the market and if we can land the players I'm targeting and pick up an impact rookie in the draft, we could turn this thing around in a hurry, even if we only have three players under contract right now.

Will Langhi is a guy who likes spending money even less than Bob Neal, but the difference is, he actually enjoys winning as much as the next guy and is willing to give me some time to work my mojo.

He insists that we need to go back to the playoffs and that anything less would be seen as a step back by the fans. I agree with him and tell him that since we have so much freed up money, we should be below $10 million over the cap. Unlike Neal, who would say okay and then bitch when I bumped up near the $10 million mark, Langhi's forthright in saying that he wants it as close to the cap as possible and that if I don't think I need all that money to field a playoff team, I shouldn't spend it.

Am I happy that Langhi's a hardass about money? No, but I can respect it, especially since he doesn't play games like Neal did.

Nobody and I mean nobody wanted the Nuggets GM job after I got fired. As one sportswriter quipped it was like being head coach of the Oakland Raiders. So Neal went out and got a 48 year old nobody in George Haywood who doesn't know shit about basketball. Haywood's in for a rough season. Not only is he a moron, my fast-talking of my old assistant resulted in the Jonte Jones albatross contract and with just 8 players signed, the Nuggets are already $11 million over the cap.

Makes me wonder how many Denver fans are going to switch their allegiance to the Kings.
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Last edited by Izulde : 01-12-2009 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:05 PM   #478
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Thickened the plot has.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:19 PM   #479
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Location: Almost Heaven
Me wants more...
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:51 PM   #480
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Coffee Warlord: Indeed.

Swaggs: You know, I just may do that. I'm having trouble falling asleep for my 8:00 am teaching section tomorrow and maybe an extended offseason post will do the trick.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:12 PM   #481
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I henceforth demand the offseason be run before about 10:00am tomorrow, for I'm out of town for the next week. I MUST KNOW NOW!
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:51 PM   #482
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coffee Warlord View Post
I henceforth demand the offseason be run before about 10:00am tomorrow, for I'm out of town for the next week. I MUST KNOW NOW!

I can't guarantee getting through the entire offseason, but I've got at least one small post to put up.
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Old 01-12-2009, 11:51 PM   #483
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I've only ever visited Sacramento once in my life and it was to visit a girl who lives in Redding. I hated the city, thought it was dirty and filled with people I didn't exactly want to get to know, but maybe that's because I was at the bus station, which tends to attract the sketchy sort. In the interest of semi-full disclosure, I'll confess that I almost ended up getting kicked out after I flipped out because the connecting bus to Redding was a) late and b) only had a few seats available due to having to pick up passenger from another bus breaking down.

Nice bit of ironic parallelism there when you think about it, bus breakdown leading to near me-breakdown.

Anyway, the girl was pretty, but we didn't click and to this day she remains the type of good friend I fight with about everything and occasionally... well... you know...

Not that any of that has anything to do with me or the Kings, of course.

In any event, the problem with having just three contracts and only one of them trade-eligible and that one being $612k and change is that it's impossible to make a deal. My cap money's still being held hostage by the NBA Rules and I can't kick the gun out until after the draft's over.

I also have to decide about the coaching staff. Reggie Theus has been the Kings' head coach for well, I don't know how long. I just know he's been in the business 18 years, has an 804-672 record and has 16 playoff appearances. But the more I look at him, the more he just seems the wrong fit. When I realize the records don't match up to make him a Kings lifer, it's much easier to do what I want to do and fire the whole coaching staff.

It may be a mistake, but I make a splash by signing 49 year old former NBAer Andre Miller to a 4 year, $5 million a year contract as our newly minted rookie head coach. I love his skill set as a coach and he runs the moderate-leaning-slow pace offense that seems to work best with the types of teams I put together, so I don't see this as another Kurt Thomas hire (who wound up in Golden State as a 2nd assistant). The same day, we announce the signing of Emeka Okafor as the 3rd assistant. Yeah, Emeka's a pretty bad coach, but he comes cheap and at 43, he can learn on the job. Besides, he's a great team leader. We strike out on all our other assistant offers and are forced to settle for Chuck Person and Kenny Natt as 1st and 2nd assistants respectively.

Mock Draft

With 3 first round selections, we generate quite a bit of buzz and are tabbed to take the following players.

#9. SF Tariel Abashize (18 - Estonia)
#20. PF Jim Johnson (20 - Maryland)
#21. C Deon Blair (21 - Texas)

Abashize is a very intriguing prospect at first glance and this is one hell of a draft class, making up for the draft of previous years by a huge margin. How fantastic is it?

9 players are rated 5* future by Scouts, Inc., the most in a long time, maybe the most since I've been in the league

And we have pick #9. Damned good time to have it, if you ask me.

On the face of it, I'd say 19 year old Notre Dame one and done SF Damian Thomas and 20 year old Latvian SG Nochimas Eliashov are the two best players in this ungodly class. Little surprise, then, that they're tabbed to go 1 and 2 to the Spurs and Nuggets.

Now, if the new Denver GM was smart, he'd draft PG Dondrell Wilder, a 19 year old one and done from Wake Forest. At first blush, he reminds me of fellow Demon Deacon alum Andre Moore in some ways and that's a good thing.

Frankly, after skimming the preliminary reports on the Nine Knights, as the class is being called in the papers, I'd be happy with just about any one of them. Granted, there's some I'd prefer more than others, but it's got to be a hellish year for the Timberwolves, who are stuck at #10 and have to hope somebody falls.

Speaking of classes, and as a random aside, Brandon Brooks finally retired this past offseason. I'd stopped tracking the Utah Sixers and lost interest in keeping up with anyone else, but the Nine Knights intrigue the hell out of me and make me want to follow their careers.

Bad year for centers, it looks like. Quite a few good PGs, though, but it'll be difficult to nab one I want. Not a big problem, since it's pretty easy to find a decent pass-first PG, easier than it is to find anything else actually.

Oddly enough, the Nine Knights aren't projected as the Top 9 picks. Instead, they go like this:
1. SF Damian Thomas - San Antonio Spurs
2. SG Nochimas Eliashov - Denver Nuggets
3. PG Dondrell Wilder - Philadelphia 76ers
4. SF Russell Sims - Golden State Warriors
5. SF Kevin Phillips - Seattle Supersonics
6. SF Sigiswald Eckert - Orlando Magic
9. SF Tariel Abashize - Sacramento Kings
11. PF Eddie Pruitt - Cleveland Cavaliers
17. PF Michael Havens - New Jersey Nets

Now one of these guys dropping I could see, because C Chris Moss looks like a great player and in a class thin on bigs, he's bound to get snapped up early (Projected #8 - Washington), but for one to still be there at 17 would be ludicrous.

Thrilling, thrilling draft. I can't wait to bring these guys in for workouts and see what shakes out.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:49 AM   #484
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Very, very disappointing workouts for the Nine Knights. There's some great players among them sure, but overall, they don't appear nearly as good as we first thought. But it is what it is.

2025 NBA Draft 1st Round
1. SF Damian Thomas - San Antonio Spurs*
2. PG Dondrell Wilder - Denver Nuggets*

...I'm shocked. The moron actually made the right call. Nice move.

3. SF Kevin Phillips - Philadelphia 76ers*


...Three picks and Nochimas Eliashov, the guy I think is the best player in this class, is still on the board? But Golden State's not playing when I come calling.

4. SG Nochimas Eliashov - Golden State Warriors*

Ah well, was worth a try. The Warriors just got the steal of the draft, no doubt about it.

5. SF Russell Sims - Seattle Supersonics*

There's one more player I feel is worth trading up for, but Orlando's not willing to talk to me, either.

6. SF Sigiswald Eckert - Orlando Magic*

And of course he gets taken.

7. PF Michael Havens - New Orleans Hornets*

Two of the Nine Knights remaining. Eddie Pruitt is too small for my tastes and yes I know about all the great undersized fours in the league right now, but I don't think he has the skills either. And I'm not leaving this draft without one of the Nine Knights, so it defaults to Tariel Abashize, who didn't have a great workout, but he's only 18 and he'll get a lot of playing time for us I imagine.

But much to my shock, I who've had so much success trading up in the draft, get hung up on by the Wizards GM, who won't allow me to move one lousy pick up, even if I add another first round pick.

8. SF Tariel Abashize - Washington Wizards*

...I want to throw up. I come damned close to doing so, too. The league's GMs are conspiring against me, doing their best to cockblock me and prevent me from achieving any kind of success in Sacramento.

The smarmy "experts" say that I'm very high on Kenneth Towns, a senior SF from UCLA. I'll admit, he had some nice college stats, but we didn't bring him in for a workout. It's really all downhill from here.

On the other hand, Jim Johnson impressed the coaching staff so much in his workout, they upgraded him to a 5* player in their highs. I'm so not thrilled with how they rated his skills, and he's smallish at 6'10, 223. On the other hand, he looks like a good scorer with a sweet shot, appears to have good work ethic and is 20 years old.

So I pull the trigger on it, because there's no way we're getting value here in a trade.

9. PF Jim Johnson - Sacramento Kings

It's a split decision from the talking heads, but the overall tone seems to be lukewarm. Just hope the Terrapin proves me right.

10. SF Kenneth Towns - Minnesota Timberwolves
11. PF Eddie Pruitt - Cleveland Cavaliers*

And there's the last of the Nine Knights.

12. SG Edmond Ford - Indiana Pacers
13. PF Julian Jones - Houston Rockets
14. C Chris Moss - Detroit Pistons

Workouts were iffy, but Moss is a great value pick here.

15. SF Mark Duhon - Denver Nuggets
16. C Ramond Crawford - Chicago Bulls

I see a PG who I somehow missed bringing in for a workout, but who shouldn't be dropping this far in the draft. The Nets have Corey Neal, so they aren't going to draft him. Milwaukee's willing to talk, but I need second rounders to convince them.

Luckily, Portland's in a chatty mood.

Sacramento Kings receive
PG Henry Dupree
Portland Trailblazers 2025 2nd round pick (51st overall)
Portland Trailblazers 2026 2nd round pick
Portland Trailblazers 2027 2nd round pick

Portland Trailblazers receive
PF Julian Arthurs

Quick Analysis
A small deal that sends a more talented scrub to Portland for a more expensive, less talented scrub and a trio of 2nd rounders to Sacramento. No doubt GM Jestor has something up his sleeve.

Naturally I do, sending picks #21 and #51 to Milwaukee to move up 3 slots to #18.

17. PF Meleki Lane - New Jersey Nets

Everybody in the building is calling for the PG and I rush to the phone to take him.

18. PG William Tackett - Denver Nuggets

Check this LSU senior's numbers out: 28.6 PPG 13.0 APG 7.3 RPG 3.0 SPG 2.1 BPG. He's also 6'4, 183 lbs and most were calling him a 4* player in the mocks. The best thing about the pick? We just totally screwed the Mavericks out of him and I can hear the Dallas GM swearing all the way across the room.

19. PG Troy Collins - Dallas Mavericks

They're saying Drew Elder for our #20 pick. 6'6 SF? No thanks. There's some players definitely worth considering taking a flyer on here, including some fairly big SG. But we desparately need a C and the free agent crop is looking pretty bad for that, so I reach down and snap up the C I scouted who I think is underrated.

20. C Ryan Crews - Sacramento Kings

As expected, the pick's greeted by a chorus of loud, angry boos and J.P. and Chris wigging out. Eh, whatever. It's insurance and if he sucks, I can always deal him to someone else for something.

21. PG R.T. Williams - Milwaukee Bucks

Ahh, Milwaukee. Thank you for making a WTF pick for me to take everybody's mind off of Crews.

22. PG Rich Skiffer - Portland Trailblazers
23. SG Reggie Jamison - Memphis Grizzlies

Superb value pick by Memphis here. I'm sure we'll see a couple more before the first round is over.

24. SG Aron Fisher - New York Knicks
25. SG Malik Barnes - Atlanta Hawks
26. C Brett Johnson - Charlotte Bobcats
27. PF Simon Van de Velde - Los Angeles Clippers
28. SG Kent Wallace - Boston Celtics

Want to know the funny thing? In the drafts over the past 3-5 seasons, Wallace would be a lottery pick, maybe even Top 10. This class is going to go a long way to fixing the drought.

29. PG Jeremy Williams - Phoenix Suns
30. SF Herb Smith - Toronto Raptors

First post-draft look says Jim Johnson is extremely raw and probably drafted way too early. I think he can turn into a pretty good player, though. Not an elite level, but still good. William Tackett looks like a better version of Louis Mertens. For the 18th pick in the draft, I'll take it. Ryan Crews does indeed appear awful, though he could possibly be a Lindsey Williamson type.

Renounce everyone but Mateen Yeaton and what to you end up with? A cool $20 million in cap space in your back pocket.

Summer League
PG Henry Dupree
PG William Tackett
PF Jim Johnson
C Ryan Crews

Ugly 90-77 loss to the Bucks to start the summer league. The bright spot: William Tackett leading all scorers with 21 points. Thomas Anderson chipped in 10 bench points.

Happiness returns in a 105-88 trashing of the Wizards. William Tackett lances Washington for 18 points and 11 assists, Kevin Bradford (yes -that- Kevin Bradford[/b] double-doubles for 15 points and 11 rebounds, Henry Dupree surprises with 16 bench points, Thomas Anderson has his second straight 10 point bench game and Ryan Crews leads the reserves in actuality with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Best stat of the game? Tariel Abashize finishing with 6 points on 2 of 4 shooting.

A shootout goes down in defeat, 111-100 to San Antonio, but what a hell of a game it was. William Tackett and Damian Thomas duel to 27 point draws, Kevin Bradford looks like a real, live NBA center with 17 points and 13 rebounds, Ryan Crews continues to play great off the bench with 12 points and 13 rebounds and Henry Dupree is really turning heads after another fantastic showing of 17 points.

We get back to .500 in the summer league, bashing the Jazz 106-68. Our reserves deserve credit for this one, Ryan Crews with 14 points, Brian Green with 11 and Thomas Anderson with 12.

Summer play ends on a winning note, 103-73 over Toronto's squad. Kevin Bradford nets 15 points and 11 rebounds, and three bench players again break double-digit points: Earl Erskins (16), Thomas Anderson (12) and Henry Dupree (11).

I should note that William Tackett never finished with less than 14 points in all five summer league games. Very, very encouraging sign.

Free Agency

Blue Chip List
SF David Anyan
SG Bernard Legans
SG Nigel Abel
SF Devone Allen
SG Kyle Hoiberg
SG David Davis
PG Jason Griffin
SG Walter Coleman
SG Justin Barnes
SF Andre Davis
SG Kyle Smith
SF Shane Holliway
PF James Bellairs
PF Ronnie Fry
SF Kevin Durant
SF Will Baron
PF Antonio Sarchet
PG Andre Moore
PF Kelvin Moody
PG Ameirin Qipani
C Narycz Malinomowski
PF Mike Vines
PG Kenny Graham
SG Mateen Yeaton
C Greg Oden

You thought I was kidding when I said it was a banner free agent crop, didn't you? Well, there you have it folks, one of the finest free agent groups in recent memory.

The first thing I do is try to sign Devone Allen to a max-level deal, but he's not really listening. So I switch targets to Ronnie Fry. He won't talk to me either, leading me to debate between David Anyan, who despite all his glowing accolades, is historically inaccurate and Andre Davis, who while accurate, never developed into a top-flight scorer. Anyan's defense settles it and I sign him to a 3 year max-level the next day. He's 33, so he'll be an albatross by the time the deal's up, but for one of the elite level free agents, I can manage.

Especially when none of my other top targets will give me the time of day.

One by slow one, all the other blue chip free agents go back to their teams, until Mike Vines signs with the Cavaliers on a one year deal the day before Cleveland tags Kenny Graham on a one year and suddenly they're looking a lot like the old Kings. The same day Graham heads to Cleveland, Mateen Yeaton agrees to terms on a one year, $7 million contract. It's overpaying for a 37 year old with drastically eroded skills, but I want him to stay with me.

I'm distressed to learn that Yeaton's currently slated as the 6th man. Yes, he's 37, but Mateen Yeaton not starting? It seems unthinkable. I leave that for later concerns, because we've suddenly got almost $18 million in cap room again and there's still some good players left. Like Walter Coleman, who I ink to a 5 year, flat-rate $50 million contract and Lawrence Smiley, who smiles at earning a 2 year, $4 million a year deal and Dan Jacobson on a min-sal, who even at 38 is still somebody I trust to bring the dirty work down low.

Then I realize, belatedly, that Smiley's still recovering from an MCL and won't be back until halfway through the season. Too late now.

With the rest of our cap money, I bring in Ronald King on a 2 year, $4 million deal and Larry Lovett, a scrub rebounding specialist C on a min-sal. The day those two contracts are announced, Justin Barnes stays on the West Coast and in California to boot, accepting a 5 year, $32.2 million contract from the Los Angeles Clippers. ...Great. As if I didn't fear them enough already, now the Red and White can throw Barnes in my face.

We're still on really, really shaky ground at C, so before training camp, I cut a deal.

Sacramento Kings receive
C Greg Oden

Denver Nuggets receive
PG Zelipe Gama
Portland Traiblazers 2026 2nd round pick
Portland Trailblazers 2027 2nd round pick

What this means for the Kings
A desparate need for a legitimate C and GM Jestor's belief in rookie William Tackett as the PG of Sacramento's future now leads Oden to come back in at 37 and expend more defense, shotblocking and rebounding for a team that seems far removed from his Raptors.

What this means for the Nuggets
Oden became expendable when they acquired Jonte Jones from the Kings in Jestor's first deal. Gama knows this Denver offense in his sleep and he'll probably be named the starting PG again and mentor studly, but raw rookie Dondrell Wilder.

Winner: Draw
The move plays out well for both teams, each addressing a significant issue. Sacramento still has almost no big man depth to speak of, but at least their situation at the starting spot is immensely improved.

Training Camp

At 37, Mateen Yeaton's no longer a worthy starter, much as it kills me to say it. In fact, I'm not even sure that he should be the 6th man, but Andre Miller insisted it's fine. Greg Oden thankfully showed no decline on his own 37 year old body, thanks to a fanatical offseason regimen.

As for our young guys, Jim Johnson showed small signs of improvement, which is good because he'll be our starting PF. The bad news: William Tackett shows no upside. The good news: He's already good enough to be our starting PG and have me feel safe about it.

From watching the players at camp, Walter Coleman and David Anyan are going to be the guys that really carry the offense and I feel like I hit the ball well in bringing them in. Walter wanted out of Golden State in the worst way and he believes we can make the Kings winners. As for Anyan, he wanted to get out from under Justin Richler's shadow and prove he's still got it.

The preseason press isn't giving us a chance in hell. They've got us picked for second to last in the conference behind Seattle. Now I understand their taking the Clippers and the Suns at #1 and #2 in the West, but to say that we won't even beat out the Lakers is just dumb in my opinion. I also think Golden State, slated for the playoffs in preseason mags, is really going to miss Walter Coleman and we're not even going to talk about the Mavericks now auditioning Devone Allen at PG. Bet they really wish they had William Tackett right about now, don't they?

Admittedly there's no question about the Red and the White and Phoenix as the two best teams in the West. I'd put the Rockets, Nuggets and Grizzlies, who will be lining up without Narcyz Malinomowski at C for the first time in over a decade in the second tier. But if the Timberwolves think the Great Polish Sieve can solve their problems at C, they're mistaken and if the preseason scribes say the Hornets break their playoff streak this year, they're on crack.

That's not the dumbest thing I heard all preseason, though. The stupidest statement of the offseason goes to those magazines picking the Pacers to win the East. If that happens... well, you know the drill by now. Chicago will be good again, now that they're -finally- starting Andre Moore at PG and I don't disagree with the Bulls at #2. In fact, I'll say it right now... Chicago's the team to beat in the East. Everyone else has questions galore surrounding them.

Sacramento Kings 2025 Opening Night Roster
PG William Tackett
SG Walter Coleman
SF David Anyan
PF Jim Johnson
C Greg Oden
6th Mateen Yeaton (PG/SG/SF)
7th Ronald King (PG/SG/SF)
8th Ryan Crews (PF/C)
9th Larry Lovett (SF/PF/C)
10th Tzvetan Kishishev (SF/PF/C)
11th Dan Jacobson (SF/PF/C)
12th Henry Dupree (PG/SG)

Injured/Inactive
Lawrence Smiley (SF/PF)

Biggest problem we have is depth. There's no true PG to come off the bench and our big man reserve situation is admittedly iffy. If need be, I'll flip Smiley for a pass-first reserve PG.

Best cap situation ever. Just $505k over. The owner ought to be happy with that.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:42 PM   #485
RedHawk00
H.S. Freshman Team
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
very anxious to read. more... often... now...
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:12 PM   #486
Autumn
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bath, ME
Wow,some amazing turnarounds. Poor Gama, that guy should start sending you his mortgage bills, you ship him around the country like a bad piece of luggage.

It sure looks like the league is determined to not give you success in Sacramento, cockblocking you. I say start over with a new crop of players and show them how it's done again.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:25 PM   #487
rjolley
College Benchwarmer
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Roseville, CA
Congrats on the new gig. It was time to move on from Denver.

Good luck in Sacramento. Hopefully, they'll show you some love out there.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:48 PM   #488
JonInMiddleGA
Hall Of Famer
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Behind Enemy Lines in Athens, GA
Any chance you could post Gama's season by season stat line? Don't really need the stat part, I just want the years/team/games played section. I'm wondering how long (if ever) since he's played two full seasons in the same uniform.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:47 PM   #489
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
RedHawk00: I'm anxious to play and write more, myself.

Autumn: The thing is, I actually like Gama, I really do. But he's the type of guy who, after his freakish All-Star year with us, turned into what he really is, a good, safe, but not great PG. He's usually on a good contract, too, so in other words, the perfect trade piece, even if he's 34 now.

And yeah, I'm really looking forward to the rebuilding project. We're relying -very- heavily on a pair of veterans for our scoring as of Opening Night and it's going to be a scramble in a couple years to find more guys who can put points on the board.

rjolley: Thanks. I wholeheartedly agree.

JonInMiddleGA: Sure thing!

Zelipe Gama Team By Team Stats
Drafted #14 overall by Seattle in the 2009 Draft
2009 - Seattle Supersonics - 10 games (D-Leaguer most of the year)
2010 - Seattle Supersonics - 36 games (Half the year in D-League)
2011 - San Antonio Spurs - 76 games/11 starts (Came via FA min-sal deal)
2012 - San Antonio Spurs - 82 games/80 starts
2013 - Miami Heat - 81 games (Came via FA - 4 years, $30.4 million)
2014 - Miami Heat - 36 games
2014 - Detroit Pistons - 50 games (Via Trade - An ancient Tayshaun Prince and Detroit's 2015 1st round pick, which the Heat used to draft Winston Smith)
2015 - Detroit Pistons - 7 games
2015 - Denver Nuggets - 73 games/73 starts (Via Trade - Gama, Tim Davis, and Antawn Jamison for Dan Jacobson, Phillip Gill, Shaun Livingston and Eddy Curry) Also his 1st and only All-Star appearance
2016 - Denver Nuggets - 82 games/82 starts (All-NBA 2nd Team, his only one)
2017 - Denver Nuggets - 82 games/82 starts
2018 - Denver Nuggets - 82 games/82 starts
2019 - Denver Nuggets - 82 games/82 starts
2020 - Dallas Mavericks - 82 games/82 starts (Via the Infamous Trade - Gama, Shaun Livingston and Marcelino Augusto for Jonte Jones, Sabit Sakur and Dallas's 2021 and 2023 1st round picks, which I don't remember if I traded away or drafted people with)
2021 - Dallas Mavericks - 82 games/82 starts
2022 - Dallas Mavericks - 82 games/82 starts
2023 - Denver Nuggets - 82 games/82 starts (Via Trade - Gama, Ron Morant, Dallas's 2026 1st round pick for Jeremy Leach, Calvin Hayes and two 2026 2nd round picks)
2024 - Miami Heat - 53 games/53 starts (Via Trade - Gama and David "50 Ninja" Jackson for Clifton Snyder, Jeremy Bellairs and Eric Bass
2024 - Denver Nuggets - 31 games/31 starts (Via Trade - Gama, Miami's 2024 and 2026 1st rounders and 2025 and 2026 2nd rounders for Luke Smith, Teddy Harriman, Lindsey Williamson and Denver's 2026 2nd round pick)
2025 - Sacramento Kings - 0 games/0 starts (Via Trade - Gama, Mateen Yeaton, Tzvetan Kishishev and Miami's 2025 1st round pick (used to take Jim Johnson for Jonte Jones, Antwan Carson, Travis Hart and Sacramento's 2026 and 2027 2nd rounders)
2025 - Denver Nuggets - 12 games/6 starts to date (Via Trade - Gama and Sacramento's 2026 and 2027 2nd rounders (belonging to Portland I think) for Greg Oden
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:04 PM   #490
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
I grab Alfred Baxley off the free agent pile on the eve of the regular season. Great pass-first reserve who fills a major concern of ours. On the other hand, trying to find a rebounding specialist for the bench via trade or free agency is much more difficult. I'd love to get my hands on Jamarcus Wilson, who went from Philadelphia to Washington this offseason, but trade negotiations fail, so we'll roll with what we have going into the season.

Our season tickets completely sold out, as everybody's eager to see what this completely new me-fashioned Kings product looks like on the court.

Early returns are promising as we sweep a road doubleheader to open the season. A sweet 105-96 win over the Mavericks comes courtesy of David Anyan, who starts earning his money right away with 28 points and 14 rebounds, William Tackett, who electrifies with 21 points in his pro debut and Greg Oden of the 12 points and 13 rebounds. We embarass the Spurs 97-66 the next night, David Anyan almost singlehandedly beating them with 33 points, William Tackett continuing his flying start with 16 points and 11 assists.

Another away game, another win, this one good for 119-104 in Houston. David Anyan's the hero again with 31 points, Greg Oden pulls a pair of 15s in points and rebounds, William Tackett is continuing the run of great Kings draft steals with 23 points and 13 assists (Remember, Justin Barnes and Mike Vines were also mid-late 1st round Sacramento picks) and Mateen Yeaton chimes in with 13 points off the bench.

Our first home game is a sellout crowd against Toronto and David Anyan and Greg Oden punish their old team with 24 points and 18 points and 14 rebounds respectively in our 101-89 victory. William Tackett scores 22 and Ronald King paces the reserves with 12 points. We beat Seattle on the road the next night, William Tackett putting up a great line of 23 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and a steal, David Anyan the second with 23 points of his own. Mateen Yeaton leads the bench with 10 points.

All hot streaks must end and ours goes down in a disappointing pair of back-to-back losses. Phoenix clubs us 108-96 despite David Anyan's 27 points, William Tackett's 13 points and 11 assists and Mateen Yeaton's 14 bench points. But the real kick in the teeth is our 88-84 loss to the Nuggets at home the next evening and it's all the more frustrating because Walter Coleman finally breaks through for 21 points, David Anyan adds the same and Mateen Yeaton scores 13 off the bench.

Lawrence Smiley comes back to give us new life as the starting PF, but we still drop our third game in a row, 113-103 to the Bulls. Mateen Yeaton thunders for 25 points off the bench, Jim Johnson and Ronald King adding 11 and 10 points respectively, but this is getting frustrating.

The drought ends with a 110-90 pummeling of the Grizzlies keyed by David Anyan's 21 points and 11 rebounds, Walter Coleman's 25 points, William Tackett's 12 points and 12 assists and Mateen Yeaton's dazzling 24 bench points. Coleman's been god awful to start the year and I'm -this- close to trading him for more big man help.

A slow start slays us in a 111-103 home loss to the Bucks. We've been just terrible at home this year and I don't know why. David Anyan scores 29, Walter Coleman scores 20, William Tackett engineers 12 points and 13 assists and Mateen Yeaton leads the reserves with 12 points.

Disgusted with Coleman and our uneven play, I call around and make a trade.

Sacramento Kings receive
PF Antonio Sarchet
Chicago Bulls 2026 1st round pick

Chicago Bulls receive
SG Walter Coleman
C Larry Lovett

What this means for the Kings
Sarchet's a career 60.6% shooter and is averaging a double-double this season. Fantastic rebounder, terrific inside and can really draw the fouls. Not the best defender, however. This trade also allows Mateen Yeaton to step back into a starting role, a wish GM Jestor no doubt was looking to fulfill.

What this means for the Bulls
Poor shooting led Coleman to a fast ticket out of Sacramento and he'll slot in as the best 6th man in the league, a real scorer with size, passing and handling skills and adequate defense. The Bulls are so stacked, they're not really going to miss Sarchet or that 1st round pick.

Winner: Chicago
Jestor's being way too hasty here and he'll regret it by the end of the year, no matter how much Sarchet improves the Kings' frontcourt.

That may be true, but we win our next game 105-90 over the Rockets on the strength of Antonio Sarchet's 20 points, Ronald King's 11 bench points and completely suffocating defense.

Fantastic 114-104 win against the Lakers in our next game. William Tackett gets player of the game with 22 points and 16 assists, Antonio Sarchet doubles for 22 points and 11 rebounds, David Anyan scores 24, Greg Oden gets a cheap 10 point, 10 rebound double-double and Jim Johnson just misses a bench double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds.

We utterly crush the Timberwolves 113-77 as David Anyan lights up for 26 points, Antonio Sarchet bangs around for 16 points and 11 rebounds, Mateen Yeaton has his first 20 point game as a Kings starter with exactly that and Ronald King tosses in 12 bench points.

My first month as the Kings GM ends as it began, with a back-to-back on the road and much to my great pleasure, we sweep. The Grizzlies put up one hell of a fight and nearly rally to beat us, but we edge them 103-101 on David Anyan's 28 points, Greg Oden's 22 rebounds, Lawrence Smiley's 10 bench points and an absolutely shrewd decision by Andre Miller. Going on a hunch, our rookie head coach puts Ronald King in the starting lineup at SG and King responds with a sensational 33 point night. Mateen Yeaton returns back to the starters the next night in our 111-99 hammering of the Hornets. David Anyan scorches New Orleans for 29 points, Antonio Sarchet is his fellow frontcourt sniper with 26 points and Lawrence Smiley headlines the reserves with 12 points.

Our blistering pair of win streaks set us at 11-4, on top of the Pacific by 2.5 games over the Clippers. Dallas parlays a weak division into an 11-5 record and a 4 game lead on the Grizzlies, Spurs and Hornets, who are shockingly competitive at 6-8. Minnesota and Utah are deadlocked atop the Northwest at 11-3 and 12-4 respectively.

I'm amazed when I see Toronto's 14-2, shrugging off David Anyan's defection as if it were nothing. They're just a half-game ahead of the equally confounding Celtics. 11-2 Milwaukee stakes an early 2 game edge on the Cavs, as the Bulls apparently miss Antonio Sarchet more than most people realized. The Southeast features 8-5 Charlotte 1.5 half up on the .500 Hawks.

The city of Sacramento is quickly falling in love with this team and I am too. I don't care how many people blasted the Sarchet trade, because we're 5-0 since the deal, knock on wood.

But the most wonderful thing of all is seeing Denver with a $26.6 million cap overrun and a 5-9 first month record to show for it.

I'll do comparisons at the end of next month. I'm hungry and it's suppertime.
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Old 01-15-2009, 08:29 PM   #491
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Milwaukee Bucks receive
PG Mark Johnson

Golden State Warriors receive
PF Ron Collier
Milwaukee Bucks 2026 1st round pick

What this means for the Bucks
The 24 year old Johnson, a former #1 overall pick (Miami Heat - 2020 Draft) has never really lived up to expectations. A good paser with great scoring instincts, a nice outside shot and a ridiculously brilliant ball-stealing ability, he also gives up quite a few turnovers and opposing PGs can score at will on him. On the other hand, the Bucks' best option at PG prior to picking up Johnson was Kelley Forbes a second year man both raw and limited in upside.

What this means for the Warriors
Once upon a time Collier could bring something to a team, but now at 37, there's simply nothing left in the tank. His $7.5 million expiring contract sounds sexy until you realize that Johnson's contract also runs out this year and for a little over $7 million as well. The first round pick will probably a mid-late one and next year's class probably won't even begin to approach what this year's was with the Nine Knights.

Winner: Milwaukee
The Bucks got an instant jolt to their weakest area and didn't have to give all that much up comparatively speaking. If Johnson can finally break through and show the talent that made him a #1 pick in the first place, this turns into an out and out steal.

Minnesota Timberwolves receive
SG Momsilo Zivkovic

Los Angeles Lakers receive
SG Jay Brown

What this means for the Timberwolves
Serbian Zivkovic can't hit a shot to save his life and he's medicore everywhere else as well. $3.5 million expiring contract is his best value.

What this means for the Lakers
Brown has some upside to become a competent reserve, but he's not wholly there yet. He's also expiring, but $3 million rather than $3.5

Winner: Lakers
$500,000 doesn't make or break a team and the Lakers get a chance for extended auditions and more playing time for Brown. Minnesota, on the other hand, just reduced their talent a little bit for $500k. Not a wise move for a division leader.

Surprising how quiet trading's been the last year or two. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It means there's more eligible targets if I decide to go swapping. However, I currently have no plans for any more trades this season. It's a fun unit we have that's playing extremely well together right now.

A wellness that continues with a 115-94 romp over the Pacers to kick off December. David Anyan is simply brilliant in a 37 point, 9 assist, 7 rebound outing, Antonio Sarchet hangs down low for 14 in points and rebounds, William Tackett picks up 15 points and 10 assists and Ronald King leads the bench with 12 points, a dozen that equals the lowest total scored by our starters.

Boston gives us a stiff challenge, but William Tackett shows why he's the biggest steal of the draft in the early going with 29 points and 13 assists in our 107-100 victory. Antonio Sarchet (24 points) and David Anyan (21 points) also break the 20+ point mark, while Greg Oden gets an honestly scrubby 10 points and 11 rebounds and Tzvetan Kishishev scores 12 bench points.

All streaks must come to an end and ours does in a 103-94 loss to the Bobcats. David Anyan scores 30 and two benchmen score 10+ points in Ronald King (14 points) and Tzvetan Kishishev (10 points), but we played like crap outside of those three and couldn't get shots to fall at all.

Given our streaky nature this year, I'm worried about another famine after our feast, but we salvage a split in our road doubleheader. Our frontcourt dominates in a 102-85 victory in Minneapolis, with David Anyan and Antonio Sarchet scoring 21 and 23 respectively and Greg Oden piling on 17 points and 18 rebounds. Ronald King paces the reserves with 10 points. The 121-111 loss to the Pacers the next night was an OT defeat that was back and forth all night, until we just got exhausted in extra time. We've played great up to that point, with 24 points from David Anyan, 21 points from Antonio Sarchet, Greg Oden's 21 points and 19 rebounds and William Tackett's 17 points and 12 assists.

Three losses in four games isn't anything to panic about, but it's still disheartening to lose 103-99 to the Bucks. David Anyan did his part with 20 points, William Tackett doubled for 11 points and 13 assists and Jim Johnson and Lawrence Smiley keyed the bench with 19 and 11 points respectively, but Ronald King's 2 for 10 shooting night killed us along with Greg Oden's only attempting one field goal all evening after breaking his wrist, an injury that'll put him out for a little over a month and a half.

Jim Johnson's slated to be the starting C, but he's far, far too raw to be taking over yet. The free agent market is nonexistant, so I look into trade options of which there's really nothing either without disrupting the balance and harmony of the team. Still, I manage to find a small deal.

Sacramento Kings receive
C Brandon Edmond
Memphis Grizzlies 2026 2nd round pick
Memphis Grizzlies 2027 2nd round pick
Memphis Grizzlies 2028 2nd round pick

Memphis Grizzlies receive
C Ryan Crews

What this means for the Kings
With Greg Oden out over a month and a half with a wrist injury, the Kings need a new starting C, so they bring in the 27 year old Edmond. Total team guy with very good rebounding, grossly underrated shooting ability and some pretty good, though not great awareness on defense and shotblocking. He's also a nice, big body at 7'1, 304 lbs. The former 1st round pick (17th overall - Minnesota Timberwolves - 2019) can be a bit inconsistent and has never started an NBA game until this year, when he started 8 games for the Grizzlies. He'll fill that starter's role in Sacramento until Oden gets back, allowing the Kings to push rookie PF Jim Johnson back to the bench.

What this means for the Grizzlies
The rookie Crews is looking strictly a bench player as a shotblocking specialist or so it appears. His playing time will be drastically reduced in Memphis, where he's the 12th man. Evidently the Grizzlies staff they can make him into more than what he is, as he's just 22.

Winner: Sacramento
GM Jestor's mastery in trading shines through here, as Edmond will be adequate cover for Oden and he got himself a three-pack of 2nd rounders for trade bait besides.

Okay, so it was bigger than it looks at first glance. I'm happy with it, because I was able to pull it off without disturbing the core of the team.

That doesn't stop me from being disappointed in our 120-117 loss to the Lakers a couple nights later, where we completely self-destruct in the fourth quarter in front of the home fans. We wasted Antonio Sarchet's 34 points, David Anyan's 22 points, Mateen Yeaton's breakthrough 25 points and William Tackett's 10 points and 18 assists in the bargain. I blame it on the bench going 4 of 18.

The Hornets, as they so often were for me in Denver, prove a tonic and we stop our four losses in five games streak by beating them 120-112. Antonio Sarchet and David Anyan get the headline credit with 26 and 21 points, but William Tackett negotiated 16 points and 17 assists and Brandon Edmond was a perfect 8 of 8 for 17 points.

After losing the first quarter, we take the remaining three and blow out the Wizards 110-95 thanks to David Anyan's 30 points, Antonio Sarchet's 25 points and 16 rebounds and William Tackett's 14 points and 12 assists. I still can't fully believe Tackett's a rookie we got with the 18th overall pick. I mean, yes he was a senior, but it's still incredible to see.

Miami trounces us 107-88 as we fail to show up for the second half. That's pretty much all you need to know, though David Anyan and William Tackett do double-double with 20 points, 10 rebound and 16 points, 13 assists respectively.

Unlike Denver, where we played both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, a home game on the 24th is all we have. But the game's a 101-87 waxing of Golden State to make Kings fans happy. We ride a balanced offense keyed by David Anyan's 23 points, Brandon Edmond's first double-double in a Kings uniform (good for 12 points and 10 rebounds on a 5 for 5 from the floor night), William Tackett's pair of 15s in points and assists and Lawrence Smiley's Tackett-matching 15 bench points.

We head to Utah after several days' vacation and promptly lose 101-97. David Anyan's 28 points and 12 rebounds, Antonio Sarchet's 21 points and William Tackett's 13 points and 11 assists just aren't enough to rescue us, as we seem to have fallen to a .500 team in the games since Greg Oden's injury. I'm -this- close to cleaning out the bench in some trades as they go 7 of 20.

At least the calendar year ends on a happy note as all 12 actives get to play on New Year's Eve in our 117-74 headbanging of the Spurs. David Anyan highlights the festivities with 34 points, Antonio Sarchet pulls down 14 points and 12 rebounds, William Tackett passes out 12 points and 16 assists and our reserves must've heard the rumors of their being shipped out, because Ronald King and Jim Johnson get hot for 15 and 13 points respectively.

Greg Oden will be back on the 31st, meaning we'll be without him for 16 more games. We're 4-4 since his injury, making my gut feeling that we're .500 sans the Ageless One right on the mark.

Despite that, we're still percentage points ahead for the West's top seed at 18-10 and enjoy a four game lead on the .500 Suns. Good year for the Pacific to be in a slump. Dallas is warring with us for that #1 slot at 19-11, 6 games in front of the Grizzlies. Heh. Yay for the Mavericks in the NBA's weakest division. The Northwest has 17-11 Minnesota a half-game in front of the Jazz. The division headliners for the last several years, Portland and Denver, are second-to-last and last respectively at 10-19 and 9-21. I expect to hear of riots in the Mile High City and a call for Bob Neal's head any day now.

The East hosts 27-4 Toronto leading Boston by 4.5 in the Atlantic. Cleveland had a fantastic December and rule the Central at 23-6, 4 games over the Bucks. The Southeast is the slum of the East, where 16-11 gets you the temporary crown as Charlotte and a game lead on the Hawks.

Paulinho Buboltz
2013 Stats: 82 games/77 starts - 17.0 PPG 9.5 APG 3.0 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.2 SPG
2014 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.1 PPG 8.7 APG 2.8 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.4 SPG
2015 Stats: 55 games/48 starts - 14.1 PPG 8.3 APG 2.8 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.2 SPG
2016 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 18.3 PPG 8.1 APG 3.3 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.5 SPG
2017 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.1 PPG 8.5 APG 3.0 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.2 SPG
2018 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 20.5 PPG 8.3 APG 3.2 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.5 SPG
2019 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 20.6 PPG 8.1 APG 3.5 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.5 SPG
2020 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.8 PPG 7.5 APG 3.3 RPG 0.6 BPG 1.3 SPG
2021 Stats: 44 games/44 starts - 22.3 PPG 7.0 APG 3.6 RPG 0.9 BPG 1.6 SPG (Indiana)
2021 Stats: 36 games/36 starts - 17.8 PPG 8.3 APG 2.9 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.3 SPG (Denver)
2022 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 16.3 PPG 10.2 APG 2.7 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.2 SPG
2023 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.5 PPG 9.6 APG 3.0 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.8 SPG (New York)
2024 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 20.2 PPG 9.5 APG 3.2 RPG 0.6 BPG 1.9 SPG
2025 Stats: 30 games/30 starts - 17.7 PPG 9.2 APG 2.6 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.8 SPG

Mateen Yeaton
2013 Stats: 82 games/81 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.4 APG 5.2 RPG 1.8 BPG 1.6 SPG
2014 Stats: 82 games/80 starts - 23.2 PPG 3.6 APG 5.2 RPG 1.7 BPG 1.3 SPG
2015 Stats: 82 games/81 starts - 23.6 PPG 2.4 APG 4.5 RPG 1.6 BPG 1.5 SPG
2016 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 25.0 PPG 3.1 APG 4.5 RPG 1.9 BPG 1.8 SPG
2017 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 24.4 PPG 3.2 APG 4.9 RPG 1.9 BPG 1.6 SPG
2018 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.8 PPG 2.4 APG 4.2 RPG 1.5 BPG 1.2 SPG
2019 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.5 APG 4.7 RPG 1.5 BPG 1.6 SPG
2020 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 23.0 PPG 2.7 APG 4.6 RPG 1.8 BPG 1.4 SPG
2021 Stats: 57 games/57 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.8 APG 4.3 RPG 1.9 BPG 1.4 SPG
2022 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 24.3 PPG 2.0 APG 4.5 RPG 1.6 BPG 1.3 SPG
2023 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 23.3 PPG 1.9 APG 4.2 RPG 1.3 BPG 1.4 SPG
2024 Stats: 66 games/63 starts - 20.8 PPG 1.8 APG 4.4 RPG 1.2 BPG 1.3 SPG
2025 Stats: 28 games/17 starts - 12.1 PPG 2.4 APG 3.0 RPG 1.3 BPG 0.9 SPG (Sacramento)
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Old 01-16-2009, 09:31 PM   #492
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Miami Heat receive
C Victor Gipson

Charlotte Bobcats receive
PF Dermek Mociler

What this means for the Heat
Miami continues to collect ex-Nuggets from GM Jestor's tenure in picking up 7'2, 303 lb, 29 year old Gipson, who's primarily a rebounding and shotblocking specialist with an extremely accurate shot. Despite David Jackson's paranoia as the two are now teammates on their third team (New Orleans being the other one), 50 Ninja retains his starting job at C while Gipson slides into starting SF for the size mismatch opportunity.

What this means for the Bobcats
Mociler, 23, is in his second season and has some upside a bench scoring threat, but he isn't likely to realize it in Charlotte, where he's tethered to the 12th man role. He also has nothing else of value to him. On the other hand, the Bobcats just shed $4 million in salary by shipping Gipson to Miami.

Winner: Miami
Is Gipson worth spending $4 million in free cap space? We'll go ahead and give this one a yes as the Heat continue their march back to respectability. While it probably won't be enough on its own to get Miami back to the playoffs, it's a sign to fans that the organization is getting serious about improving the talent of the franchise.

New Jersey Nets receive
PF Sean Pryce

Boston Celtics receive
SF Ross Crispin

What this means for the Nets
Pryce is still a pretty good all-around big man at 35, save for the fact that he can't pass or handle the ball to save his life. That said, we think he deserves more than the 12th man role he's presently given.

What this means for the Celtics
The 32 year old Crispin is a great locker room guy and one who injects the C's with an instant burst of bench offense. On the other hand, he's a complete sieve on the defensive end and he's going to get shredded night in and night out.

Winner: Draw
Crispin's too uneven to make us give this one to Boston and Pryce isn't being utilized effectively enough by New Jersey to call it for the Nets, so it'll remain a draw.

Wow, another quiet month. Talk about famine following feast. Speaking of feast and famine, as I said before, we have 16 games without Greg Oden's services and we're presently 4-4 without him. I won't be too happy if we stay .500, but on the other hand, that's better than completely going to pot.

Things don't get off to an easy start either, with back-to-back road games against the Knicks and Raptors. New York manhandles us in the second half to win 105-100, despite 28 points and 10 assists from William Tackett, 20 points from David Anyan and 16 bench points from Ronald King. Then again, both Tackett and Mateen Yeaton fouling out points to a significant factor in our defeat. Fortunately, a balanced offense the next night allows us to win 117-111 in Toronto. Antonio Sarchet scores 20, Mateen Yeaton scores 21, Brandon Edmond double-doubles for 10 points and 11 rebounds and William Tackett picks up 12 points and 13 assists. It was our bench that really won this game for us, though, with Lawrence Smiley and Ronald King scoring 19 and 16 a piece and Jim Johnson pulling down 14 boards.

I'm scared when David Anyan has to leave the game early, but it turns out to only be a nasty ankle sprain, which I think he and we can fight through.

Our opponents get easier in another road doubleheader, but the results are frustratingly the same. We clip the Hawks 113-96 on Antonio Sarchet's 21 points, William Tackett's 13 points and 20 assists and Ronald King and Tzvetan Kishishev's respective 21 and 11 bench points, but then get blown out in New Orleans 109-87 as our shooting goes to hell. Antonio Sarchet plays great with 34 points and 10 rebounds and Ronald King continues his invaluable play off the bench with 16 points, but we still sucked the big one.

Mateen Yeaton comes alive and turns impassioned, looking 27 instead of 37 as he scores a blistering 33 points in our 113-107 revenge win against the Nuggets. Antonio Sarchet aids him with 28 points and William Tackett directs the offense flawlessly with 18 points and 18 assists. Sweet, sweet win on a lot of levels.

I'm sure you know what happens next. We have our worst game of the year and get crushed 116-84 by the Jazz to keep us at .500 without Greg Oden. We were so terrible only Ronald King's 15 bench points stood out.

Back on the winning trail as we stomp the Clippers 118-92. Mateen Yeaton scores 27, Antonio Sarchet adds 23 points, Brandon Edmond hauls in 12 points and 11 rebounds and Ronald King is just ridiculous off the bench for 27 points, including 6 of 7 from 3 point range. In point of fact, I'm so satisfied with how he's heated up for us, if we don't get another SG next offseason and Yeaton retires, I'd be okay with King as the starter for the Kings.

...Well, so much for .500. We drop both ends of a doubleheader, the Clippers outscoring us 36-18 in the fourth quarter to steal a 105-100 game. Forget everything nice I said about Ronald King, who goes 0 for 10. I'm so infuriated I can't enjoy the 22 points from Mateen Yeaton and Antonio Sarchet, David Anyan's 20 points or William Tackett's 14 points and 12 assists. As for the 124-89 loss to the Traiblazers? Sure David Anyan scores 24, but William Tackett's double-double of 10 points and 13 assists comes via hideous and frequent shooting, rendering Ronald King and Jim Johnson's 19 and 14 bench points useless.

I'm seriously tempted to make a trade, but we're still doing okay, both in the conference and in the division, so I stay my hand, except to make one small move.

Sacramento Kings receive
SG Justin Cherry

Denver Nuggets receive
PG Henry Dupree
Memphis Grizzlies 2026 2nd round pick
Memphis Grizzlies 2027 2nd round pick
Memphis Grizzlies 2028 2nd round pick

What this means for the Kings
The only thing that really surprises us is that this deal wasn't made immediately after Sacramento acquired the 2nd rounders with Brandon Edmond. Cherry has long been a favorite of GM Jestor's and while he didn't live up to expectations following his sensational rookie season, a large part of that has been a lack of playing time. He'll get that PT in Sacramento as the second guard off the bench behind Ronald King and if he shows some of his old rookie form, King could be gone.

What this means for the Nuggets
Dupree's an end of the bench scrub, a glorified D-Leaguer. This is really all about the second rounders.

Winner: Sacramento
Once again Jestor gets a player he wants without damaging the fabric of the newly rebuilt Kings. Although there is some slight concern that moving pass-first PG Alfred Baxley to a reduced role could have harmful effects, the potential payoff for a Sacramento team that's struggled to find points at times recently is too great to ignore, especially for the comparatively low cost.

It feels good to have Cherry back with us and it feels even better to win all four quarters in a 117-103 win over Cleveland to get back to .500 sans Oden. Mateen Yeaton and David Anyan each score 24, Antonio Sarchet nabs 18 points and 10 rebounds, William Tackett garners 19 points and 14 assists and Ronald King scores 20 off the bench.

But not even a home game against one of the league's weakest teams can prevent a fucking 1-point OT loss to the Spurs and a denial of +.500. So much for Mateen Yeaton's 27 points, Antonio Sarchet's 24 points and 13 rebounds, David Anyan's 20 points and Jim Johnson's 15 bench points. I make national headlines when I smash a glass into a suite table and cut my hand pretty badly, but since the media loves me, my outburst is couched in terms of being passionate about the Kings.

If broken glass inspires us as much as it seemed to against the Nets, I should do it more often. 101-88's the final in our favor, Antonio Sarchet leading the way with 25 points and 15 rebounds, Ronald King lighting up the bench with 19 points.

Back to one game under .500 we go with a 121-112 loss to the Spurs, who have found a real gem in #1 overall pick Damian Thomas, he of the 19.4 points per game as a rookie to date, the highest total we've seen since I joined the NBA. For our boys, David Anyan scores 27, William Tackett scores 22, Antonio Sarchet continues his consistent, unheralded play with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Jim Johnson doubles for 10 and 10 in points and rebounds in his first start as Brandon Edmond pulled a hamstring last game. We bounce back to .500 with a 113-100 win in Houston, David Anyan masterful for 37 points. Great game by William Tackett, too, with 27 points and 13 assists, even as Ronald King throws up a lot of shots to get his 11 points. Dan Jacobson was a great surprise, the 38 year old gathering 12 rebounds in just 19 minutes of PT.

Because we can't actually, you know, go above .500 without Greg Oden, I'm not suprised at all when we fall apart in the second half and lose 114-107 to the Timberwolves. 21 points from David Anyan, 10 points and 12 rebounds from Jim Johnson and 15 bench points from Ronald King, who I'm toying with trading because Justin Cherry has looked pretty good in limited minutes.

But of course that'd be stupid to do. Despite the one bad game, he's really saved our collective bacon in a number of outings this year and been remarkably consistent, so I'll resist the urge.

Final Greg Oden-less tally: 10-10 after we beat the Supersonics 104-95 on the front end of a back-to-back. Antonio Sarchet scores 23, William Tackett plays his way to 20 points and 10 assists, David Anyan gathers 15 points and 13 rebounds and Ronald King and Lawrence Smiley each score 10 off the bench. Greg Oden returns the next night and while he doesn't have a fantastic game by the statlines, we still win 106-90 in Oakland. Antonio Sarchet leads us in scoring with 21 points and Jim Johnson and Ronald King pace the bench with 12 and 11 points a piece.

I have to say, I've been really impressed with how Jim Johnson's been progressing. He's still extremely green, but he's been improving, picking the brains of our big men, both players and coaches and really trying to apply himself to getting better.

We've fallen off the pace for the top seed in the West, but 27-18 is still good enough to lead the Pacific by 3.5 games over the defending champion Suns. 30-16 Minnesota has the Northwest by 3 games over Utah and the Timberwolves are deadlocked with 29-15 Dallas for the conference's #1 seed. The Mavericks are 6.5 games in front of the Grizzlies and this could finally be the year the Hornets break their playoff drought. 22-23 currently punches their ticket as a #7 or #8 seed. Needless to say, New Orleans has been a lot happier place this year for basketball fans.

The antithesis, one could argue, to Denver. The Mile High City is in a mile-deep funk, the Nuggets mired last in the Northwest at 17-29. Even Portland can point to an improvement from last month, the Trailblazers presently 20-24. Not so for the Powder Blue and Gold, where calls for Bob Neal to sell the team grow louder and more vitrolic every day.

Three 30+ win teams in the East, led by 35-9 Cleveland, the Cavaliers holding an obscene 8.5 game edge on the Bulls. 35-11 Toronto is two games in front of the 33-13 Celtics, who are riding a host of shrewdly drafted youngsters the last couple of seasons. In the seemingly eternal Southeast war between the Hawks and the Bobcats, Atlanta's turned a 24-20 mark into a 2 game lead on .500 Charlotte.

Paulinho Buboltz
2013 Stats: 82 games/77 starts - 17.0 PPG 9.5 APG 3.0 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.2 SPG
2014 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.1 PPG 8.7 APG 2.8 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.4 SPG
2015 Stats: 55 games/48 starts - 14.1 PPG 8.3 APG 2.8 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.2 SPG
2016 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 18.3 PPG 8.1 APG 3.3 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.5 SPG
2017 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.1 PPG 8.5 APG 3.0 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.2 SPG
2018 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 20.5 PPG 8.3 APG 3.2 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.5 SPG
2019 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 20.6 PPG 8.1 APG 3.5 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.5 SPG
2020 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.8 PPG 7.5 APG 3.3 RPG 0.6 BPG 1.3 SPG
2021 Stats: 44 games/44 starts - 22.3 PPG 7.0 APG 3.6 RPG 0.9 BPG 1.6 SPG (Indiana)
2021 Stats: 36 games/36 starts - 17.8 PPG 8.3 APG 2.9 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.3 SPG (Denver)
2022 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 16.3 PPG 10.2 APG 2.7 RPG 0.5 BPG 1.2 SPG
2023 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.5 PPG 9.6 APG 3.0 RPG 0.8 BPG 1.8 SPG (New York)
2024 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 20.2 PPG 9.5 APG 3.2 RPG 0.6 BPG 1.9 SPG
2025 Stats: 37 games/37 starts - 19.0 PPG 9.5 APG 2.5 RPG 0.7 BPG 1.9 SPG

Mateen Yeaton
2013 Stats: 82 games/81 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.4 APG 5.2 RPG 1.8 BPG 1.6 SPG
2014 Stats: 82 games/80 starts - 23.2 PPG 3.6 APG 5.2 RPG 1.7 BPG 1.3 SPG
2015 Stats: 82 games/81 starts - 23.6 PPG 2.4 APG 4.5 RPG 1.6 BPG 1.5 SPG
2016 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 25.0 PPG 3.1 APG 4.5 RPG 1.9 BPG 1.8 SPG
2017 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 24.4 PPG 3.2 APG 4.9 RPG 1.9 BPG 1.6 SPG
2018 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 19.8 PPG 2.4 APG 4.2 RPG 1.5 BPG 1.2 SPG
2019 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.5 APG 4.7 RPG 1.5 BPG 1.6 SPG
2020 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 23.0 PPG 2.7 APG 4.6 RPG 1.8 BPG 1.4 SPG
2021 Stats: 57 games/57 starts - 23.3 PPG 2.8 APG 4.3 RPG 1.9 BPG 1.4 SPG
2022 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 24.3 PPG 2.0 APG 4.5 RPG 1.6 BPG 1.3 SPG
2023 Stats: 82 games/82 starts - 23.3 PPG 1.9 APG 4.2 RPG 1.3 BPG 1.4 SPG
2024 Stats: 66 games/63 starts - 20.8 PPG 1.8 APG 4.4 RPG 1.2 BPG 1.3 SPG
2025 Stats: 45 games/34 starts - 13.6 PPG 2.6 APG 2.8 RPG 1.1 BPG 0.9 SPG (Sacramento)

Tough luck for the Knicks. Not only is their 27-18 record, the same as ours, putting them third in the Atlantic and 7.5 games off the pace, but Buboltz broke his arm on the 15th and he's out another 43 days.

They'll be fine with Johnny Willias running the offense, though, even if Wilias is 36. After all, he's still a very good passer and he's a career-long Knick.
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Last edited by Izulde : 01-16-2009 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:35 PM   #493
Barkeep49
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Not too far away
Congrats on the new gig, though I worry about you going to work for an even bigger spendthrift.
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Old 01-17-2009, 07:01 PM   #494
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkeep49 View Post
Congrats on the new gig, though I worry about you going to work for an even bigger spendthrift.

Thanks. So far it's going okay and I think we'll be fine for the next couple years anyway.
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Old 01-17-2009, 08:51 PM   #495
Izulde
Head Coach
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
San Antonio Spurs receive
C Mark Wilson

New Orleans Hornets receive
SG Beau King
San Antonio Spurs 2026 2nd round pick

What this means for the Spurs
Wilson is a 27 year old, 6'11, 275 lbs shot blocking specialist whose greatest asset is an expiring $3.7 million contract, $600k more than King's. Although a big body, he doesn't seem like he should be the first big man off the bench, but he is.

What this means for the Hornets
King is an average all-around 33 year old journeyman guard, one properly situated towards the end of the bench. Nothing exciting about him here.

Winner: New Orleans
The move gives the Hornets more playing time for Rick Harris and absurdly raw rookie Michael Havens, their two young frontcourt players, whereas Wilson will likely have a negative impact on the Spurs' development of their own frontcourt youth. That alone is enough to make the difference in an otherwise bland, equl deal.

Houston Rockets receive
PG Ron Morant
Detroit Pistons 2026 2nd round pick

Detroit Pistons receive
SF Greg Hill

What this means for the Rockets
Morant's a pass-first PG with some defensive skills, but it seems to overkill, as Houston already has a glut of youngerish guards and not enough time to distribute to all of them.

What this means for the Pistons
Hill is a body and a complete waste of roster space. He can't even cut it in the D-Leagues.

Winner: Houston
Despite the overload, improved talent on the roster plus an extra second around pick equals easy winner in this trade for the Rockets.

I'm hoping we'll be able to turn things around now that we've got Greg Oden back in the starting lineup, but we'll just have to see what happens. Certainly our big man depth on the bench just got that much better.

We split the opening doubleheader of the short month, beating the Knicks and losing to the Trailblazers. New York got smoked all four quarters as we whip them 124-75, David Anyan and William Tackett leading the way with 23 points and 19 points and 22 assists respectively. Ronald King and Jim Johnson came off the bench for 17 and 10 points. Although we lost to Portland on the road the next night, we made it competitive at 106-96 and would've won, if not for getting scorched 32-16 in the fourth quarter. 20 points from David Anyan, a pair of doubles from Antonio Sarchet (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Greg Oden (13 points, 12 rebounds), 16 bench points and 12 bench rebounds from Ronald King and Brandon Edmond respectively round out our highlights.

A key divisional game against the Suns goes our way as we prevail 112-102. David Anyan gets his second straight 20 point game, Mateen Yeaton scores 25, Greg Oden bulldozes for 19 points and 12 rebounds and Brandon Edmond comes up with a surprise 16 points off the bench.

I'm extremely pleased when we sweep the following back-to-back, not the least because one of the games is against the Mavericks. 112-97's the final against Seattle, Mateen Yeaton replicating his 25 points from last game, David Anyan scoring 24, Greg Oden putting up 19 points and 12 rebounds, Ronald King scoring 17 bench points and Brandon Edmond just missing a bench double-double with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Our 121-114 victory over Dallas is keyed by Marcelino Augusto's foul trouble, Antonio Sarchet's 30 points and 9 rebounds, David Anyan's 26 points and 11 rebounds, all our starters reaching double-digit scoring, the lowest point total of which goes to 12 point, 16 assist William Tackett and 15 bench points from Ronald King.

The Celtics show why they're one of the best young teams in the league by demolishing us 113-96 in Boston. Nice efforts by our big men - David Anyan with 22 points, Antonio Sarchet with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Brandon Edmond with a terrific reserve performance of 12 points and 11 rebounds, but those showings aren't enough, not even when paired with Ronald King's 16 points.

We help our other first round pick out a little bit and win both away games of a doubleheader going into the All-Star Break. The Bulls, whose first rounder we own, fall 108-100 as Greg Oden has a magnificient game of 18 points, 19 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 blocks. Antonio Sarchet scores 22, William Tackett doubles for 15 points and 13 assists and Ronald King stays hot with 15 bench points. It's a nailbiter against the Nets, but we do just enough to come out on top 104-99. Antonio Sarchet leads the charge with 27 points, William Tackett issues 17 points and 15 assists and our bench is highlighted by Ron King's 12 points and Brandon Edmond's 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Everybody's expecting the Rookies to slaughter the Sophomores and that's precisely what happens in a 98-73 laugher. #1 overall pick Damian Thomas builds on his growing legacy, winning Player of the Game with 23 points and 11 rebounds. But what confounds me is that Dondrell Wilder, who's averaging 6.6 points and 8.5 assists goes to the game and is named the starter over William Tackett, who's averaging 14.3 points and 12.1 assists and doesn't even get an invite to the game.

I'm up in arms, the national press is outraged and the blogosphere calls it evidence of a growing anti-Jestor conspiracy on the part of the league. William's as angry as I am and Ronald King privately advocates the storming and torching of the NBA's offices for the insult.

Thrilling All-Star Game that goes to the East 115-110 in OT. Despite the loss, Filip Mikulic is unquestionably the best player on the floor that night, with 26 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds and a steal. David Anyan makes it as a reserve, scoring 12 points with 4 rebounds in 15 minutes. I'm a little irked that Antonio Sarchet got snubbed, as he's been a key part of our season and proven the naysayers about the trade wrong, but at least it's nowhere near the level of injustice as Tackett's omission.

David Anyan scores 27, Antonio Sarchet doubles for 21 points and 10 rebounds and Ronald King adds 15 points off the bench as we come out angry after the All-Star break, beating Atlanta 106-97.

I've got a decision to make about whether or not to make another trade. There's a slew of great playes on the block, including a few guys I'd love to have on the team, but ultimately, when it comes right down to it, it's just not worth disrupting what we've got going on here and so I pass.

I'm rewarded for my gut instinct when we win all four quarters and destroy Dallas 114-88 on their own home court. Mateen Yeaton scores 22, David Anyan adds 21, Greg Oden picks up 17 points and 12 rebounds, William Tackett distributes 10 points and 16 assists and Ronald King and Brandon Edmond guide the second unit with 20 points and 11 rebounds respectively.

That game is the start of a 6 game road trip, the last of which takes place next month. 1-0 becomes 3-0 after a back-to-back. We spank the 76ers 114-84 behind a balanced offense captained by Antonio Sarchet's 26 points and assisted by William Tackett's 14 points and 19 assists, Brandon Edmond's 10 points and 15 rebounds off the bench and Ronald King's 11 bench points. The 105-79 dismantling of the Wizards comes courtesy of David Anyan and Antonio Sarchet each scoring 20, Greg Oden's 16 points and 14 rebounds and Brandon Edmond's renewed reserve life with 15 points.

In a refreshing departure from what I experienced my last few seasons in Denver, we actually look good on the road, taking 3-0 to 5-0 after the second doubleheader. Charlotte can't answer David Anyan's 31 points in our 116-100 win, not when Greg Oden has 18 points and 11 rebounds to pair with our only named All-Star and Ronald King and Jim Johnson are scoring 13 and 10 points a piece. As for the Magic, we beat them 109-87 on the strength of Antonio Sarchet's 24 points, Greg Oden's 21 points and 15 rebounds, William Tackett's 13 points and 19 assists and Jim Johnson's 10 bench points. Johnson's been filling in for Edmond, who's been dealing with a concussion.

Great run to end February and as a result, we're on top of the West at 39-20, 5 games ahead of the Suns. Despite Dallas's two losses to us, 34-22 still situates them atop the Southwest at 34-22, 4.5 ahead of the Grizzlies, while 36-22 Minnesota stands 2.5 in front of the Jazz. Denver continues to wallow in last in the Northwest at 20-37.

The East is continuing its dominant season as 43-13 Cleveland holds the top seed over 43-15 Toronto, who in turn are a game and a half up on 41-16 Boston in the Atlantic. The Cavaliers are sitting on a 9 game advantage over the Bulls and Atlanta still enjoys the league's weakest division, 31-26 good enough for a 2 game lead on the Bobcats.

NBA Leaders

Points
1. Justin Richler (TOR) - 33.2
2. Filip Mikulic (HOU) - 27.4
3. Galen Drayton (DET) - 25.8
4. Marcelino Augusto (DAL) - 24.2
7. David Anyan (SAC) - 22.2

Richler's trying to become the first 30+ point per game scorer since... either Nigel Abel or Lebron James way back in the early years of my Denver tenure, maybe even before that. I hope he does it.

Assists
1. Bernard Kelly (MEM) - 13.7
T2. William Tackett (SAC) - 12.3
T2. Ameirin Qipani (SA) - 12.3

Now tell me again why, when this rookie of ours is tied for second in the whole frigging league in assists, he doesn't even go to the Rookie-Sophs game, let alone start?.

Rebounds
1. Dontay Williamson (LAC) - 14.1
2. Oswaldo Apolonario (ATL) - 13.6
3. Scott Palmer (UTA) - 13.0
4. Greg Oden (SAC) - 12.3
5. Jonte Jones (DEN) - 12.1

Blocks
1. Patrick Riley (NO) - 3.4
2. Sonny Boxler (POR) - 3.3
3. Dontay Williamson (LAC) - 3.1
4. Charles Seegars (CHI) - 3.0

Steals
1. Mark Johnson (MIL) - 2.5
T2. Vinston Henry (NO) - 2.1
T2. Curtis Wilkerson (ATL) - 2.1

Been a long time since we've had this many guys averaging over 2 steals a game. Nice to see.

Rookies Leaders

Points
1. Damian Thomas (SA) - 20.4
2. Nochimas Eliashov (GS) - 16.8
3. William Tackett (SAC) - 13.9

The scary thing about Thomas is he's just 19. If he can keep this up, his #18 jersey is going to hang in the rafters in San Antonio after his career's done. No rookie has ever averaged 20 points a game or better since I joined the league. I really, really hope he pulls it off. I'm not even going to mention the Tackett thing again.

Assists
1. William Tackett (SAC) - 12.3
2. Dondrell Wilder (DEN) - 8.8
T3. Russell Sims (SEA) - 3.8
T3. Nochimas Eliashov (GS) - 3.8

Rebounds
1. Chris Moss (DET) - 6.9
2. Kenneth Towns (MIN) - 6.8
T3. Russell Sims (SEA) - 6.3
T3. Sigiswald Eckert (ORL) - 6.3

Blocks
1. Chris Moss (DET) - 1.2
2. Ryan Crews (MEM) - 1.0
T3. Russell Sims (SEA) - 0.9
T3. Damian Thomas (SA) - 0.9
5. William Tackett (SAC) - 0.8

Steals
1. Nochimas Eliashov (GS) - 1.3
T2. Russell Sims (SEA) - 1.2
T2. Damian Thomas (SA) - 1.2
4. William Tackett (SAC) - 1.1

Easily the best rookie class we've had in ages. In fact, I'd say you have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a draft class this good (Jonte Jones, Mateen Yeaton, Nigel Abel, Paulinho Buboltz, Mike Vines). There are a couple other draft classes you might be able to make an argument for, but in terms of a starting five, the 2010 class would kick the snot out of everyone else.

PG Paulinho Buboltz
SG Nigel Abel
SF Mateen Yeaton
PF Mike Vines
C Jonte Jones

You want to argue with that one? 2018 might be a little deeper (Will Baron, Andre Moore, Dontay Williamson, Sonny Boxler, Tim Butler, Shane Holliway, Andy Sola, Freddie Tackett) and 2017 could field a decent five in Marcelino Augusto, Scott Palmer, Charles Arnold, Bernard Kelly and Michael Johnson, but it's not even close in my opinion. Of course, it's worth noting that all 5 2010 draftees have pulled on a Nuggets uniform, which may play a little into my bias, but I don't think by much.

2011's class is pretty good too: Georghiois Kairis, Chris Gearheart, Kyle Hoiberg, Tim Davis, A.J. Dunkley, Kenny Graham, Durko Jagr, but they strike me as a diluted version of 2018.

If I had to rate the classes, I'd break it down like this.

1. 2010
2. 2025
3. 2018
4. 2017
5. 2011

That's awfully high to rate the 2025 class I know, but I just have this feeling they're going to be the ones that redeem the talent level in the NBA. Then again, not all the classes have been horrible in recent years in hindsight.

2019 produced Filip Mikulic, Keith Attaway, Oliwjer Rosiak, Devone Allen and Corey Westbrooks, which is a damned fine group and I'd actually rate them somewhere around the class of 2017. The only reason I don't put them higher is because they had no centers worth mentioning.

The jury's still out on some 2020 members, but Mark Johnson, Jon Ward and Oswaldo Apolonario isn't a bad foundation at all. That's not to say I'd call this a great class or even a very good one. It's just pointing out that not all the recent drafts were god awful.
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Best Non-Sport Dynasty: May Our Reign Be Green and Golden (CK Dynasty)

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:18 AM   #496
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Boston Celtics receive
PF Booker Werner
Philadelphia 76ers 2026 2nd round pick

Philadelphia 76ers receive
PG Scott Miles

What this means for the Celtics
Werner is an average all-around young F/C (26) with nothing remarkable to say about him other than that he was a once upon a time GM Jestor draftee. The trade doesn't make all that much sense though, given that Sveto Lepinat recently broke his elbow, leaving the C's thin at PG.

What this means for the 76ers
Philadelphia reacts swiftly to losing Charles Diggs for the year to a torn ACL by picking up Miles, a 23 year old in his third season with pretty good pass-first skills, particularly for a reserve and solid elsewhere, with some upside left. He slots in as the 6th man and also gives the 76ers an expiring $2.1 million contract.

Winner: Philadelphia
Just on the face of it, it's a steal by the 76ers, but it's even further a triumph for the City of Brotherly Love when 5 days later, Celtics starting PG Jon Costello tears his Achilles and goes out for the year. Had Boston not so quickly given Miles up, they would've had adequate cover at the 1, rather than being forced to go with a two guard ill-suited to the task.

Dallas Mavericks receive
PF T.J. Roberts
Golden State Warriors 2026 2nd round pick

Golden State Warriors receive
SF Calvis Hayes

What this means for the Mavericks
Roberts may be a greybeard at 35, but he's a respectable bench big, particularly as a scoring option for a Dallas team in need of big reserves, particularly since Jarion Calloway is a one-dimensional player as a defensive specialist.

What this means for the Warriors
The 25 year old Hayes is a suspect passer/ballhandler, but he's also the rare second round pick who's actually made it. Taken with the 4th pick in the 2nd round the Lakers in 2022, the fourth year forward has greatly improved as a shooter and is a nice all-around force on the defensive end. Unfortunately, he's a bit buried on Golden State's bench.

Winner: Draw
At the time of this trade, it's a draw as both sides benefit significantly from this. But when Tyrone Dotson breaks his hand nine days later, it turns into a Mavericks victory, because Roberts isn't that much of a dropoff from Dotson.

And so the quiet trading market continues. That's not a bad thing---in fact, I rather like it this way as opposed to the dealing frenzy that occurred over the last few years.

Our 6th and final game of the road stretch comes in Miami, where a sensational battle plays out that sees us prevail 141-135 in overtime. A Heat team loaded with former Nuggets including Teddy Harriman, Luke Smith, David "50 Ninja" Jackson as starters and Louis Mertens, Lance Purnell, Leroy Freeman and Lannce Dudley as reserves was hell-bent on beating us, but it didn't happen. Antonio Sarchet was on fire all night, hitting on 13 of 16 shots from the floor for 33 points and 11 rebounds, David Anyan chipped in 24 points, William Tackett generated 13 points and 11 assists and Brandon Edmond scored 16 points off the bench, bailing out foul-plagued Greg Oden. Ronald King matched every one of Edmond's points, finishing with 16 as well.

We stomp Detroit 120-82 next game on William Tackett's 27 points and 12 assists. Two other Kings break 20+ points in David Anyan (22) and [b]Antonio Sarchet (20), while Greg Oden rebounds from his struggles against Miami with 15 points and 10 boards.

The Grizzlies, playoff plagues from my last two years in Denver, fall 98-87. Antonio Sarchet doubles for 26 points and 14 rebounds, David Anyan scores 23 and William Tackett nets 14 points and 16 assists. I'm still furious over Tackett's omission from the Rookies/Sophs game and I'm glad to see he's taken it to heart as well.

I've lost track of how many wins in a row we've had, but we tack on another in obliterating the Clippers 120-96. William Tackett takes point both literally and figuratively in compliling 26 points and 14 assists. David Anyan pulls down 20 points and 10 rebounds, Antonio Sarchet scores 24, Greg Oden delivers 12 points and 14 rebounds and Ronald King tops the second team with 11 points.

There's little doubt we're the league's hottest team right now, blowing out the Rockets 112-99 next game. David Anyan scores 25, we get a pair of double-doubles from Greg Oden (10 points, 12 rebounds) and William Tackett (15 points, 12 assists) and two bench players break double-digits in Ronald King and Brandon Edmond with 17 and 11 respectively.

Orlando come out swinging, the Magic determined to take us down, but a great fourth quarter stops them short and we keep our fiery form going in winning 104-98. David Anyan and Antonio Sarchet score 26 points each, William Tackett just makes the double with 10 points and 13 assists and Ronald King continues to be Mr. Reliable with 10 bench points.

David Anyan scores 28, combining with Mateen Yeaton's 25 points to easily clobber Golden State 111-83. Greg Oden and William Tackett are a pairing as well, Oden's double-double good for 14 points and 12 rebounds, Tackett's valid for 11 points and 14 assists. Brandon Edmond paces the bench with 10 rebounds.

Even a back-to-back can't stop us as we sweep the revenge-minded Clippers and Warriors. 99-79's the final against the Red and White, our balanced victory keyed by David Anyan's 19 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists, Greg Oden's 14 points and 12 rebounds, Brandon Edmond's bench 10 points and 11 rebounds and Ronald King's reserve 10 points. David Anyan singlehandedly beats down Golden State in our 134-94 laugher, scoring a breathtaking 47 points. Lost in the dust of that supernova explosion of shooting are William Tackett's 13 points and 20 assists and Ronald King and Brandon Edmond's 10 and 11 points off the bench.

I thought our unbeaten run would end against Portland, but it doesn't happen as we squash the Trailblazers 118-93. Balanced offense rules the day again, highlighted by William Tackett's 19 points and 14 assists, Antonio Sarchet's 18 points and 10 rebounds and our two most reliable reserves, Ronald King and Brandon Edmond adding 18 and 12 points respectively.

A Mavericks team featuring Devone Allen at PG comes to Sacramento eager to tear us down, but it's they who are run out of the building following our 114-99 win. Antonio Sarchet scores 26, Greg Oden abuses Dallas's centers for 18 points and 16 rebounds, Mateen Yeaton gets up for 20 points and Brandon Edmond and Ronald King headline the second unit with 18 and 10 points.

We travel to Denver next and promptly embarass an impassioned Nuggets team 109-85. David Anyan scores 31 and Antonio Sarchet scores 26 as our forwards continue to be two of the biggest reasons why we're so good right now. Zelipe Gama is extremely unhappy this go-round in Denver and can't wait to get back to a winning organization. As for Tim Butler, he's used to bad franchises after his years in New Orleans, so he's quite philosophical about the whole thing.

Philadelphia finally stops our 19 game win streak, edging us 119-114 in OT. Great games by David Anyan (30 points), Mateen Yeaton (26 points) and William Tackett (13 points, 16 assists), but our bench just went cold all night long and that did us in. Hell of a game by Corey Westbrooks with 30 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds and 4 steals.

That hot/cold run is starting to kick in again as we lose 100-93 in Detroit thanks to going icy in the fourth quarter. David Anyan and Antonio Sarchet see their respective 29 and 25 points negated, but I'm not overly worried just yet.

Three close losses in a row, as a bad third quarter turns into a 99-93 loss to the Cavaliers. Antonio Sarchet plays well with 25 points and 16 rebounds, David Anyan adds 19 points and 10 rebounds, Greg Oden chips in 13 points and 11 rebounds and Brandon Edmond paces the bench with 10 points, but all our backcourt players had a terrible night of it. Interesting that the Cavaliers have both Mike Vines and Kenny Graham in their lineup after snapping them up in free agency this summer. Goes a long way to showing why they're as good a team as they are this year.

Despite the late-month stumble, with 8 games to go in the regular season, our 51-23 record gives us a 5 game edge on the Phoenix Suns in the Pacific, while 46-27 Minnesota is the closest to stalking us for the #1 seed in the West. The Timberwolves, who have experienced a miraculous turnaround, are 3.5 games up on the equally surprising Jazz, and it's a new leader atop the Southwest, as 38-33 Memphis has hung tough for a shocking half-game lead on the Mavericks. New Orleans looks poised to finally end their playoff drought at 34-37, even as the Nuggets are sitting there with a 25-46 record, third worst in the West.

Toronto still rules the East at 54-18, Boston staying in the 50 win club despite their PG idiocy at 51-21, 3 games back. 51-20 Cleveland's already clinched the Central over Chicago, while 41-31 Atlanta has a 4.5 game advantage on Charlotte.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:05 AM   #497
Autumn
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Bath, ME
I was hoping you'd pick up Cherry at some point. I wish he could get into the lineup, but there's obviously no reason to mess with the magic right now.

Great find at point, you very quickly put together a great team. And with all that snubbing going around they've got plenty of bulletin board material to take them all the way.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:30 PM   #498
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
I was hoping you'd pick up Cherry at some point. I wish he could get into the lineup, but there's obviously no reason to mess with the magic right now.

Great find at point, you very quickly put together a great team. And with all that snubbing going around they've got plenty of bulletin board material to take them all the way.

I tried to get Cherry earlier in the season, but Denver was being a bunch of stubborn asses about it. I'm glad to have him now, even if his minutes are unfortunately scarce.

I can't believe my luck in getting Tackett with the 18th pick myself. I'm still angry about the snub, but what can you do? As for the great team, I lucked out with all that cap space floating around... and we're not that deep, to be totally honest. As the Greg Oden injury showed, one hit to our starting five and we drop to a .500 team.

But I'm having a lot of fun with it. And you bet there's bulletin board material galore going on.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:03 PM   #499
Izulde
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Why the Sacramento Kings are the League's Most Enjoyable Team

There's little doubt that the Kings have been the most fun, enjoyable team to watch this season. GM Jestor has performed a miracle in his comprehensive remodeling of Sacramento and as a result, they're poised to go into the playoffs with the top seed.

It all began with the gutsy trade of Jonte Jones and a package to Denver, a move that brought in Mateen Yeaton, Tzvetan Kishishev and two 1st rounders, among other pieces. Although the deal was criticized then, it's looking a lot better after Jones demonstrated this season that he's no longer anywhere near the offensive force he once was.

From that swap, the dominoes kept falling. The firing of long-time Kings coach Reggie Theus and his staff leading to the hiring of Andre Miller and former Nugget Emeka Okafor, among others. Miller has shown that although it's his first year as a head coach, he's a perfect fit for the Kings.

The draft day homerun when Jestor traded up to the 18th pick and grabbed William Tackett, who has been an astounding revalation as the starting PG as a rookie. Tackett's inexplicable passover for the Rookies/Sophomores game has energized Sacramento and given them motivation to show the league its stupidity by winning and winning big.

Yeaton himself, now ancient at 37, but still finding ways to contribute and score, especially after being promoted back to the starting SG spot after the trade of Walter Coleman to Chicago for Antonio Sarchet.

Ah yes, the in-season trades. Coleman for Sarchet was blasted throughout the media, but while Coleman is serving as the starting PG for an underachieving Bulls team (once again shoving Andre Moore to the bench), Sarchet has been one of the key offensive options for Sacramento, powering the Kings with consistent, accurate shooting and rebounding.

And then there was the trade to bring in Brandon Edmond after Greg Oden went down with an injury. Edmond stayed the course at C, helping the Kings to a .500 record without Oden. After Oden returned, Edmond went to the bench and became one of the most valuable reserves in the league.

Free agency brought in Ronald King, who showed his excellent play off the bench in Denver last season was no fluke, putting up the kind of scoring that'll garner him 6th Man of the Year votes. But the big free agent prize was David Anyan, the team's lone All-Star who has thrived away from Toronto, where he was forced to share the spotlight with Justin Richler.

And perhaps that's the biggest reason why this Kings team is so much fun to watch. Anyan and Oden, two former Raptors during the great Toronto/Denver rivalry of the teens joining forces with Yeaton, the marquee player of those Nuggets squads. This is a group of old men, old rivals who have had nothing but the highest respect for each other, coming together to deliver a city a championship. That this might be Yeaton and Oden's mutual swan song makes it all the sweeter, especially for a Sacramento that has known only heartbreak of the so-close-but-not-quite kind with its Kings teams.

Maybe this will finally be the year.

***End Article***

Hugely important game against the Timberwolves to open the final set of eight and we snap our 3 game skid and go a long way to clinching the #1 seed by throwing Minnesota down 109-88. David Anyan scores 31, Antonio Sarchet adds 20 points, William Tackett picks up 18 points and 10 assists and Brandon Edmond gathers 10 bench rebounds.

Pretty ugly 121-110 loss to the Supersonics despite good balance on offense ignited by David Anyan's 25 points and William Tackett's 14 points and 14 assists. Brandon Edmond scores 16 off the bench, but when Vladimir Tupolev drops 41 points on us, there's really not much chance of winning.

The Traiblazers are always a tough draw, but we rally in the 4th quarter for a 103-99 win as William Tackett has his single best game yet, with a blistering 33 points and 12 assists. Add in David Anyan's 26 points and Greg Oden's 11 points and 13 rebounds and you have just enough for us to get the victory.

William Tackett does it again in our 114-104 victory over the Lakers, putting up 33 points and 10 assists. David Anyan scores 26, while Antonio Sarchet doubles for 22 points and 10 rebounds.

We split the road back-to-back against the Lakers and the Suns. It's a close game, but we still edge the Purple and Gold 108-103 on David Anyan and Antonio Sarchet's 28 points a piece, Greg Oden's 13 points and 18 rebounds and William Tackett's team record, maybe even league record 27 assists. The next night's a 115-106 loss to Phoenix, as we never could overcome a poor first quarter. David Anyan (22 points), Greg Oden (20 points, 17 rebounds), William Tackett (11 points, 16 assists) and Ronald King (15 bench points) make up our noteworthy performances.

Still, it isn't all bad. At 4-2, we've guaranteed a .500 record for the last round of games and we clinch a winning record by beating the Jazz 113-108 in OT in Utah. David Anyan scores 22, Antonio Sarchet and Greg Oden double-double for 14 points, 11 rebounds and 12 points, 16 rebounds respectively, William Tackett garners a double-double of his own for 19 points and 12 assists and Ronald King and Brandon Edmond score 15 and 10 points a piece off the bench.

One game left in the regular season and it's against the Suns. It's also a meaningless game because we've already clinched the #1 seed. As a result, I'm not too terribly concerned when they stomp us 127-106, nevermind David Anyan's 24 points, Greg Oden's 17 points and 10 rebounds, William Tackett's wrong-way triple double of 13 points, 18 assists and 12 turnovers, or 19 and 14 bench points from Ronald King and Brandon Edmond.

West Conference Seeds
1. Sacramento Kings (56-26)

2. Phoenix Suns (54-28)
3. Minnesota Timberwolves (52-30)
4. Dallas Mavericks (45-37)
5. Utah Jazz (47-35)
6. Memphis Grizzlies (44-38)
7. New Orleans Hornets (42-40)
8. Portland Trailblazers (40-42)

East Conference Seeds
1. Boston Celtics (59-23)
2. Toronto Raptors (59-23)
3. Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25)
4. Atlanta Hawks (47-35)
5. New York Knicks (49-33)
6. Chicago Bulls (47-35)
7. New Jersey Nets (46-36)
8. Milwaukee Bucks (42-40)

What a year it's been, both for us and for the Hornets, who become the last team to finally reach the playoffs. Celebration is high in New Orleans, even if they draw a nasty matchup in the defending champion Suns, who looked awesome down the stretch. Just getting there is a huge accomplishment for such a downtrodden franchise.

NBA Leaders

Scoring
1. Justin Richler (TOR) - 32.8
2. Filip Mikulic (HOU) - 27.8
3. Galen Drayton (DET) - 26.2
4. Marcelino Augusto (DAL) - 24.8
6. David Anyan (SAC) - 23.0

Assists
1. Bernard Kelly (MEM) - 13.7
2. William Tackett (SAC) - 12.7
3. Ameirin Qipani (SA) - 12.2

Rebounds
1. Dontay Williamson (LAC) - 13.8
2. Oswaldo Apolonario (ATL) - 13.2
3. Scott Palmer (UTA) - 13.0
4. Jonte Jones (DEN) - 12.0
5. Greg Oden (SAC) - 11.9

Blocks
1. Patrick Riley (NO) - 3.5
T2. Sonny Boxler (POR) - 3.2
T2. Dontay Willamson (LAC) - 3.2

Steals
T1. Curtis Wilkerson (ATL) - 2.2
T1. Mark Johnson (MIL) - 2.2
T3. Vinston Henry (NO) - 2.0
T3. David Cormier (NO) - 2.0

Rookies

Points
1. Nochimas Eliashov (GS) - 16.8
2. William Tackett (SAC) - 14.2
3. Sigiswald Eckert (ORL) - 12.3

Damian Thomas got sent down to the D-Leagues. ...Yeah, go figure. A 20 point per game rookie and they put him in the frigging D-Leagues.

Assists
1. William Tackett (SAC) - 12.7
2. Dondrell Wilder (DEN) - 9.6
3. Russell Sims (SEA) - 4.3

Rebounds
1. Kenneth Towns (MIN) - 6.8
2. Chris Moss (DET) - 6.5
3. Russell Sims (SEA) -6.4

Blocks
T1. Ryan Crews (MEM) - 1.1
T1. Chris Moss (DET) - 1.1
3. Russell Sims (SEA) - 1.0

Steals
1. Nochimas Eliashov (GS) - 1.3
2. Russell Sims (SEA) - 1.2
3. William Tackett (SAC) - 1.1
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:45 PM   #500
Coffee Warlord
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Colorado Springs
There will be killing if Tackett isn't ROY.
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