After reports of the Clippers trying to add Hedo Turkoglu earlier today, sources confirmed the former Magic forward will be joining the Clipps, pending a physical. After point guard Chris Paul was injured, the Clippers have been looking for another player to take on some extra ball handling for the team. The Clippers have gone 3-1 since losing Paul, with Darren Collison fitting in nicely as a replacement at point guard. Turkoglu hasn’t played since almost an entire year, as he was relegated to bench warming in Orlandob before being released a few days ago. Turkoglu will most likely play some point forward along with spurts at power forward due to the lack of depth of the Clippers front line. Turkoglu, 34, has career averages of 11.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG.
Yesterday afternoon, an arbitrator decided Alex Rodriguez’s suspension would be reduced from 211 games to an even full season. As a result, the $25m Rodriguez was owed stays in the Yankees pockets. Additionally, the AAV (average annual value) of A-Rod’s contract of $27.5m no longer counts against the luxury task threshold for the Yanks. Before the arbitrators decision the Yanks payroll stood at about $176 million. Now, A-Rod’s AAV will be officially off the books for the 2014 season, allowing the Yankees to sign Tanaka and avoid the luxury tax for at least this year.
The Yankees were an obvious front runner for Tanaka regardless of how the A-Rod situation played out, but now they are even more primed to go all out to sign Tanaka. Yesterday a source reported the Cubs, another front runner from Tanaka, were willing to commit nine figures to the Japanese star. The Yankees are now in perfect position to do the same. Now its a matter of where the former Rakuten star would prefer to play. Tanaka went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season for the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Like many things in the NBA seem to draw back to, the Timberwolves have been put into a dilemma thanks to the infamous LeBron situation of the 2010 off-season. After LeBron left his hometown Cavaliers who received nothing in return, the move struck fear into other teams who had superstars approaching free agency. It started with the Nuggets in 2011, when it became increasingly obvious Carmelo Anthony had no interest in remaining with the team. After sending him off to New York, the Jazz made a similar move with their superstar, being slightly more proactive by trading away Deron Williams with a year left on his contract. The next domino to fall was in Oklahoma City, with the Thunder trading emerging star James Harden not due to his lack of interest in playing there, but their lack of funds to keep him in OKC.
Next up, the T-Wolves. As always in the West getting a .500 record is far from good enough to get into the playoffs (unlike the Eastern Conference, where Brooklyn is in position to snag the 8 seed with a terrible 14-21 record), and this year is extremely difficult for teams like the T-Wolves. At 17-18 the Wolves sit just a couple games out of the playoffs, but are faced with a question that can be extremely difficult to answer. Is this as good as they can possibly be?
After Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love traded injury plagued seasons, this season has been the first that both of the Wolves stars have been able to stay healthy. (so far) After a quick start to the season, the Wolves slowed down and have been hovering right around .500 for the last few weeks. With the trade deadline a little more than a month away, the Wolves have got to ask themselves that difficult question, and be honest with themselves, can they do better with the group they have? And if they can, is it really worth priming for a playoff run where they will likely see an early exit when matched up with the likes of San Antonio or Oklahoma City? Maybe, maybe not…
Reports have been flowing in that once he is a free agent in 2015, Kevin Love will pack his bags to Los Angeles, returning to the region he was born in and enjoyed a deep run into the NCAA tournament with the UCLA Bruins. When you think about it, it’s not too crazy an idea, considering he was born in Santa Monica and spent his lone year in college at UCLA. Though he played high school ball in Oregon, his team was also named the Lakers. Coincedence? Probably. But it doesn’t take any validity away from the facts.
Since the Clippers are in pretty good shape with Blake Griffin slotted in at PF, a swap of Love/Griffin swap would make little sense, especially since Griffin fits so well into the Clippers style of offense. And then there’s the Lakers… The floundering, Kobeless, team full of no names that is dipping further and further below .500 with each game. What could they possibly have to offer? Well… quite a bit.
Here’s just one scenario that works and makes sense to both sides, with a draft pick or two going to Minnesota.
With this trade, the Wolves would allow Love to go where he truly wants to be, and receive the huge $20m expiring contract that is connected to Pau Gasol. In addition, the Wolves would get a year and half of Nick Young’s explosive scoring ability for less than 2 million, a steal considering his improved scoring and shot selection this season. Even though this would be a move preparing for the off-season that could see LeBron hit the open market again, the Wolves would still have a shot at making the playoffs while simultaneously putting them in prime position to sign a superstar by freeing around $24 million in cap space. Rubio and Gasol are both natives of Spain, and have played well together in the past. Who’s to say they can’t bring the best out of each other?
The way I see it, the trade is a great way for the Wolves to remain competitive while creating financial flexibility for the off-season. The trade may seem a little one-sided and far fetched, but it would benefit both teams in the long run. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time the Timberwolves have traded away a star named Kevin…
Originally posted on Americas Got Balls
Although the Lakers are only four games into the regular season, there’s quite a few blaring flaws in the team that I feel are such minor issues, that combine to cause major issues to the team as a whole.
Hey Nick Young. You know that guy that’s around your size, plays your position, wears a suit, and who’s game you’ve modeled yours after? You’re not him, just saying, so stop throwing up shots like you are. Young may have stepped it up a little bit tonight, taking smarter shots and being more of a team player, but in the Lakers first three games his shot selection was as reckless as his hair. And it showed, as he shot 27% from the field in the first four games.
2. The Pau Factor
Pau Gasol was vocal in the off-season about how excited he was to return to his natural position and the opportunity to play with his back to the basket more often. In the Lakers first four games hes done anything but that, he’s been settling for outside jumpers and even three pointers. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but as a center and the focal point of the interior offense, he’s got to work harder in the paint to improve his shooting percentage. (its currently at 40.3%)
3. Defense, Defense, DEFENSE!!!!
The Lakers team defense has been terrible, if one man loses his assignment there’s been absolutely no help, which usually results in a wide open layup or 3 pointer. One of the ways the Hawks got back into the game tonight was through easy 3 pointers by Kyle Korver and Cartier Martin, along with easy layups by Jeff Teague. The Lakers need drastically improve their transition D, as well as their communication and defense as a team.
4. Focusing on the task at hand.
As a lifelong Laker fan, I believe maintaining their focus for 48 minutes has been a major flaw of the Lakers, especially the last year or two. Rarely ever do the Lakers go up by 15-20 points early in the first half, and maintain that lead throughout an entire game. I understand the current Lakers roster isn’t the same as the teams of yesteryear, but the team still needs to do a better job of staying focused and maintaining a lead throughout the whole game.
5. Where in the world is Jordan Hill?
You’ll hear it from the fans, you’ll hear it from the commentators, hell, I wouldn’t even be surprised if his teammates are thinking it too. Where the hell is Jordan Hill!? It seems like hes frequently playing the majority of his minutes in the 4th quarter, but barely playing before that. With the energy he provides on the boards, especially offensively, its ridiculous that he’s only getting playing time late in the game. It seems every time he enters the game, he makes an immediate impact and the momentum shifts back to the Lakers. Get him on the court D’Antoni!!
6. Steve Nash’s Performance
Now I understand Steve Nash is getting old. With Jason Kidd’s retirement after last season, he’s the oldest player in the NBA. That being said, I can understand a limit of 20-25 minutes in games, but I expect effectiveness during that time. Including his vastly improved shooting performance tonight, Nash is shooting an abysmal 31% from the field, a far cry from his lifetime percentage of 49%. Today Nash showed flashes of his old self by hitting floaters in the lane, scoop layups off the dribble, and three pointers. If the Lakers have any hope of being relevant this year, especially without Kobe, Nash has to show more of the same from here on out.