Free agency continues:
Jason Kidd is the latest point guard to be changing uniforms. Seemingly out of nowhere, Kidd suddenly announced he would be joining the New York Knicks, saying it was the place he could help the most, and he likes the chance to (hopefully?) mentor Jeremy Lin.
So now just a year removed from winning a championship, the Mavericks have pretty much decimated themselves. Tyson Chandler, Jason Terry, JJ Barea, DeShawn Stevenson, and now Jason Kidd are all gone. Chandler, Stevenson and Barea were let go of to create cap space. Now it seems KIdd has decided to leave because the Mavs were unable to do anything meaningful with that cap space. They bet everything on signing Dwight Howard and Deron Williams this summer, and they lost. Big time.
The Knicks, meanwhile get a godsend. If anyone can figure out how to distribute shots between Melo and Amare, it's Kidd. Lin meanwhile has signed an offer sheet from the Houston Rockets, but a trusted Knicks source has told ESPN that NYK will match any offer for Lin "up to a billion dollars."
The 76ers have made the decision to amnesty Elton Brand....in order to sign Nick Young. To a one year deal. (~_~ face) Yeah....
Of course, you all know that the Wolves has signed Brandon Roy, and made an offer to Nic Batum.
And finally, it was just announced about 20 minutes ago that Ray Allen will join the Miami Heat. He was reportedly torn between the Heat and Celtics. My guess is the thought of having to come off the bench behind Avery Bradley and still share time with Jason Terry was the deciding factor. They Heat have taken a lot of flak the last two years for not fixing a fairly glaring roster imbalance with their lack of outside shooting. They won the title this year with a timely three point explosion from Shane Battier and Mike Miller, but well.....nothing like signing the best three point shooter in the history of history to fix the problem.
Anyway, my two cents....
I do get the argument that Nic Batum isn't worth $10-12 million a year. But I'm going on record to say I hope Portland doesn't match. I hope Nic Batum will be a Timberwolf this year.
For one, I think he's better than his number suggest (and the numbers already suggest he's a pretty good player). We might find the idea of Batum being stuck in a corner to be amusing, but it's actually fairly close to the truth. Batum has spent almost all of the past 4 seasons playing in Nate McMillan's draggingly slow, meticulously micromanaged offense, which relegated all wings not named Brandon Roy into being three point catch-and-shoot specialists. Blazer fans all but admitted as much to us when we acquired Martell Webster from them.
Put him in Adelman's flex offense, with Rubio to create shots, and I bet you'll see Batum take a big 'next step'. He can put the ball on the floor. He can attack the defense, attack the rim. A bigger, more active role might not only result in more production, but also more efficient production...the kind that will make it more plausible why Batum's paygrade is higher than Budinger's.
I think Portland's decision on Batum will hinge on Indiana's decision with Roy Hibbert, but I can see either scenario going either way. The Blazers get Hibbert, and keep Batum to create the core of their team; the Blazers get Hibbert and decide they don't want to pay him max plus $45 mil more for Batum; the Blazers don't get Hibbert and decide to keep Batum because they have plenty of money to afford to; the Blazers don't get Hibbert and decide Batum isn't worth $45 mil for a team that will be essentially rebuilding from the ground up.
I know Portland isn't happy with our gigantic offer to Batum. Good. They aren't supposed to be. The Wolves (for once) played their hand right, trapping a division rival in a fairly no-win situation. Portland you don't have any room to complain about this. I reference you to Millsap, Paul.
I also am perplexed by the supposed rumor of us sending Williams to Philly, the Sixers sending Iquodala to Portland, and Portland sending Batum to us. For one, who turns down Iguodala + parts for Batum? Two, couldn't we just trade Williams for Iggy ourselves? And three, why would we object to parting with Williams to land Batum in the first place? Again, I get we'd already be paying a lot for him. But to describe Williams as a 'valuable trade asset'....well, let's just say the actual evidence say that's very much wrong. If dealing Williams is what it takes to guarantee Batum plays here, I say do it. Throw a party, drink champagne, and sleep like a baby.
We'll see. Like I said, I hope they let him sign here. Get what you can when you can get it, right? Win when you can, right? A healthy Love/Rubio/Batum/Pekovic team goes to the playoffs. At minimum. No more kicking the can. No more saving up for a tomorrow that never arrives. Get this done.
PS I'm also fairly desperate to see the Wolves land Alexey Shved. And should Batum not work out, I say offer Williams to the Sixers for Iguodala, or to the Denver Nuggets for Danilo Gallinari.