The weather did not cooperate for golf on Saturday, so I got to spend sometime with my FO friend talking basketball in the clubhouse instead. A few insights – sorry – very few names for obvious reasons.
He confirms what I have felt for a while – Kahn is up against the wall this summer. He has to produce a team that is more interesting to watch. It does not need to win more – it needs to be more interesting to watch. Taylor was quite frankly disappointed at the huge decrease in interest as the season progressed. Taylor’s rope is far shorter now then when McHale was in charge because, quite frankly, Taylor is losing far more money.
The calls have been made to all the agents of all the FA to gage interest in them becoming a Twolve. Not surprisingly, none of the top 5 or 6 have the Twolves on their lists. The 2nd tier grouping only has a few with “tentative” interest – which I interpret meaning that they will come to us only if they do not get better offers. Pretty clear that signing a strong FA is NOT likely.
Inquires have been made to the teams holding the top 8-10 picks. Yes – we have checked with teams below us. (A good thing in my opinion) Washington is keeping their pick no matter what and will select Wall. Philadelphia is generating lots of interest – right now – they want to trade Brand & #2 for an expiring plus young player (together equal to Brand’s $$) and top 12 pick this year. A very steep price. We are not going to get #2 using current assets. New Jersey is in a state of chaos right now – new owner, no GM – no one knows yet what will happen. That is a challenge – predicting what they will do is a critical factor in our planning.
Portland is being uber aggressive in calling for a top 5 pick. Guesses are they are looking for one of the best big men to supplement Oden/Prys/Camby. Can’t blame they one bit – the health/age of those guys is really their Achilles heel. The other ones being reported (like Houston) are more the feeling out type calls. Portland is trying to deal now.
Lots of teams calling to see if we will participate in 3 team trades. The reason – nearly everyone sees the top FA wanting sign and trades rather than just a FA signing. That way they can max their contract $$$ under the current collective bargaining agreement. (The new CBA is expected to be far less favorable to players) My FO friend feels this is a HUGE positive development plus for the Twolves – our assets work far better in helping other facilitate a big time FA trade that could lead to better players/picks – than just trying to do it on our own. For example, a trade of Big Al to Indiana might nab the expiring contract (Murphy/Dunleavy) who could be moved to Phillie if we wanted to take back Brand for #2. There are lots of these “what if” scenarios being played out right now.
Everyone is on the table – save Rubio. SnP is right – Kahn is definitely all in on Rubio.
He does not see both Big Al and Love on the team next fall. Both have market value – though Al’s is less than his contract value meaning we would need to take back some less than desirable $$$ (and/or sweeten with a nice pick). It looks like Love will bring back equal salary value. Personally (me not my friend), I am betting Love leaves, not Big Al. Especially is Favors or Cousins becomes our pick.
Draft board goes up as soon as the combine is over this week. Was disappointed in the larger number of top 10’s unwilling to come. More and more agents holding their players back. Means a lot more individual workouts will need to be scheduled. He feels that hurts the evaluation process – hard to project “competitive instincts” in an individual work out.
Guess that’s it. What does everyone think?