SH Blog: Gasol, benched again in 4th, won’t request trade; Nowitzki to start

If Memphis can only squeeze a league-average offense out of this group, they’ll grade out as more of an “absolutely everything has to go right” fringe contender than a true title threat. Those who subscribe to ‘The 5 Percent Theory‘ believe such fringe powers should go for it anyway, since very few teams each season even reach 5 percent territory. But the Grizzlies are about $4 million over the luxury tax, staring at a very expensive four-man core that, if left intact, could take Memphis over the tax line in this season and the following two. Three straight tax seasons wouldn’t trigger the dreaded repeater tax penalties, but that path would hamstring Memphis’ roster-building flexibility during those three years and could put the repeater penalties in play if the Grizz cross the tax later.”

Who will be the first pick overall in the 2013 NBA Draft? Nobody knows right now, but our our Joe Kotoch broke down six potential candidates this morning: “After several years in which consensus top picks such as Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, and John Wall were the obvious choices for whichever team won the lottery, 2013 appears as though it will be different. When a draft lacks star power, it usually means the race to be the first pick is wide open — which is the case this year. Several talented players across the country and the world have a shot to be the top pick, but that will largely depend on which team ends up winning the lottery. While the top of the draft is weak, overall this is a fairly deep draft that is strong in terms of bigs.”

Similarly, Yannis Koutroupis of Hoopsworld discusses what comprises a No. 1 overall draft pick:  “There’s nothing more prestigious for an aspiring professional basketball player than going number one overall in the NBA Draft. It’s an achievement that takes a lifetime of hard work and dedication. It forever etches you in history as the best prospect of that year and it makes you a big part of your team’s future. Oh yeah, some fat paychecks come with it as well. It’s not all great, though, just ask Kwame Brown. Being the top overall pick in the draft comes with the burden of high expectations. And, forget about taking time to develop. Teams typically expect an instant impact from the player who they pick first. If you’re not a star by year three, get ready to be associated more with being a bust than an actual human being.”

Since we’re on the college bandwagon right now, we thought you’d find this piece about Syracuse’s star point guard- and likely lottery selection – Michael Carter-Williams. Luke Winn from Sports Illustrated gives an in-depth look at what Carter-Williams is accomplishing this season: “When Carter-Williams is on the floor, he’s assisting on 50.5 percent of his teammates’ field goals. Is that normal for a dominant point guard, you ask? Far from it. Only two point guards in the past 10 years have finished a season with an assist percentage above 50. Northeastern’s Jose Juan Barea did it twice (while also using an insane 37.8 and 38.7 percent of his team’s possessions), and Marquette’s Travis Diener did it once (in an injury-shortened senior year).”

There was a time when hiring Mark Jackson was considered a joke by a lot of people. Well, he’s proving everyone wrong with his Warriors thriving. Zach Harper of CBS Sports Eye on Basketball with a nice story here: “Right after the news broke that Mark Jackson would be leaving the ESPN announcing booth and become the head coach of the Golden State Warriors, the Internet burst into laughter. There was a time when it seemed only natural for the point guard, who finished with the third most assists in NBA history (even ahead of Magic Johnson), to take a shot at donning a suit and patrol the sidelines. He was a cerebral player who saw the angles and made teammates better. He ran offenses, called out defensive assignments, and remained effective with veteran knowhow and an acute understanding of the game of basketball.”

Rudy Gay Available in trade? D’Antoni stunned by Stoudemire comment

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Jeremy Bauman, an aspiring scout and shooting coach, is a blogger and columnist for Follow him on Twitter.


  1. George Y says

    Long question coming up. This current Laker team is a mess and going nowhere with the current roster. All memory of Phil has been erased from the franchise except for one key holdover, Kobe.

    The man is owed nearly $60 million(this year and next). Send Kobe and J. Hill to Chicago for Boozer, Deng, Hamilton and the protected Charlotte pick. Follow the above move with a proposal of Gasol, Morris, and the attained Charlotte pick for Minnesota’s injured star Kevin Love and backup guard Barea. All of the money matches in the proposed deals.

    LA needs new blood now that the Kobe/Phil era is over(it has been over for the last 3 years). This may be the best way to salvage this wasted season of Bryant’s excellence, Howard’s unpredictability, and Nash’s adjustment to not having control of an offense.

    As a Bulls fan I wouldn’t mind seeing Rose and Bryant share a backcourt for 100+ regular season games and some playoff games. It would also be nice to have an expiring contract of $30 million to work with in the summer of 2014.

  2. Alek Samm says

    Of course Gasol says he doesn’t want a trade. He doesn’t want to go back to the days of being a Grizzlie where he was tasked with carrying a team because that’s too much like work. Dude is a loafer, lazy, and stat-padder and often times does just enough to not get criticized by his peers and the press.

    As much as people say Nash can’t guard anyone, he’s a decent team defender whilst whenever Gasol is in the game on defense the opposing team treats the lane like a runway because he doesn’t intimidate whatsoever. Tired of the guy quite honestly. When we lost in 08 I wanted them to trade him then but he somewhat came through in the following two years, again doing enough to make it look like he’s putting effort in but in reality, doing just enough while doing absolutely zero on conditioning his body (that’s why he gets gassed so easily).

    But when the Lakers were swept in the playoffs by the Mavs, that should’ve been his ouster right there. The fact that he was given not one but yet another season after that all while he constantly doesn’t stay consistently motivated (and has a general lack of heart to boot) is confusing to say the least.

    I can only hope the Lakers wake up from their apparent love affair with Gasol and face reality. He’s not a Kareem-type that can play till he’s 40 so they may as well try and get some fresh/young players to work with to build us a better bench while he still has some value.

    Don’t get me wrong. Gasol, when he’s “on” and motivated, he’s every bit the All-Star that people label him as. Unfortunately, you never know which Gasol you’re going to get on a nightly basis. Check that, you do know which one you’ll get. It all depends on who he has to guard and who has to guard him. If it’s someone that will play him hard, he will usually crack/crumble under the assault. On offense, if he can’t fairly easily score on the man guarding him (which isn’t anyone who bodies him up), we get one of those 3-for 12 nights out of him.

  3. says

    Gasol represents the least of the Lakers’ problems, and they should stop shopping him at every trade deadline. He’s a capable rebounder, shooter…and would have been a mice complement to Dwight Howard. Well, the Dwight Howard that we saw up until this year. Get Steve Nash to run the offense (that’s what they got him for, right?), and get some intensity on defense. They should start there.

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