SH Blog: Parsons credits himself for influencing Howard’s decision, Wall and Wizards in advanced talks for max contract agreement

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Chandler ParsonsDuring the recruitment of Dwight Howard, you often heard the name Chandler Parsons attached to the Houston Rockets anytime there was news about making efforts to convince the center to join them.

Most of us took the news that Parsons had been talking to Howard everyday with a grain of salt with the mindset of “as if he can really make a true difference.” But as it turns out, the forward played an enormous part in helping Howard make his decision. Just ask Chandler himself, from Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:

“I think I had a big impact,” Parsons said at USA Basketball’s mini-camp. “The first thing he said at the press conference was that, ‘You guys should thank Chandler Parsons because he is a big reason why I am here.’

“Obviously, he loves the team, [general manager] Daryl Morey, coach [Kevin] McHale and all that. But I think I just gave him that comfort that you got one of your boys here who is also a key part to the team, a young guy. And we can grow on this for a long time.”

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Tweet of the Night: Mark Cuban

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ELLIS_MONTA-bucksAfter two full weeks of NBA free agency, the big names and big dollars continue to dwindle.

Just ask SheridanHoops’ Mighty Moke — his free agent rankings have atrophied from 50 to 25, and have just turned to 24 as the Mavericks have come to terms with No. 2 on Moke’s list, Monta Ellis. According to ESPN Dallas:

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in an email Saturday that Ellis has agreed to a three-year deal worth at least $25 million, according to sources close to the process. 

The Cavs are now a playoff team, Bynum or no Bynum (PODCAST)

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Dan GilbertCleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made a vow to Cleveland’s long-suffering fans that his team would be playing postseason games next spring.

I think he is going to deliver — and it will not matter if Andrew Bynum pans out or not.

SH Blog: Joe Lacob hopes to beat up the Rockets, Nets agree to terms with Andrei Kirilenko

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Joe LacobWhen it comes to the NBA, what people most care for is the product that’s on the floor: your superstars, role players and the coaches.

But how well a team operates really depends on and starts with the dedication of the ones sitting at the very top. Yes, the personality of an owner can truly reflect the successes and failures of a team, and there is no better example of this than seeing the before and after of the Golden State Warriors when Joe Lacob became the majority owner.

For so many years, the Warriors were run by an ownership that is well documented as an utter failure and disaster. We won’t get into the specifics of that because it’s now in the distant past, but to sum up how they did under the Chris Cohan regime, the team made the postseason just once in the span of nearly two decades. 

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StatBox Free Agency Breakdown: Winners & Losers July 11 Update

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Most of the star players in free agency are now off the board, but there are still plenty of impact players to discuss in this updated version of the Free Agency Breakdown with unique analytic angles. We here at Sheridan Hoops will break everything down for you into bite sized Winners & Losers style pieces.

HowardThe Houston Rockets, GM Daryl Morey and Dwight Howard were WINNERS after agreeing to a four-year deal worth $88 million to finally, mercifully, ending the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. Morey set out a year ago to acquire two stars to legitimately compete in this SuperTeam Era that currently rules the NBA and got them in Howard and Harden.

Houston also signed Francisco Garcia to a team-friendly contract worth $1.3 million over two years. Garcia could probably replace Carlos Delfino in a spacer-type role for Houston after shooting 37.4 percent from three last season. Houston then picked up another spacer in Reggie Williams, who needs to greatly improve from his 30.6 shooting percentage from three last season with Charlotte.

Of course, the Howard deal makes the Los Angeles Lakers the big losers of the offseason for getting nothing out of Howard and looking ridiculous in doing so. They will now try to delude themselves into thinking players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will come next offseason. Good. Freaking. Luck.

But if there is any consolation for Laker fans, I do like their signing of Chris Kaman a lot. Despite a sharp decrease in minutes with the Mavericks last season, from 29.2 to 20.7 per game, Kaman shot 50.7 percent from the field (his best percentage in a season in which he played over 40 games since the 2005-2006 season) and averaged 10.5 points with 5.6 rebounds. His Win Shares per 48 minutes was his best mark since the 2007-2008 campaign. Expect better production in LA with a slightly increased workload. And Jordan Farmar won’t be a bad player either for the veteran’s minimum.

Josh SmithDwight Howard’s good friend, Josh Smith, ended up with Detroit for four-years and $56 million and Al Jefferson cashed in for three years and $41 million with Charlotte. This brings us a really interesting philosophical question: Can these players be the highest paid, and best, players for playoff teams? The answer is likely no. But does that mean the teams shouldn’t try?

Despite a subpar year by his standards Smith is still a really good player, so the jury is still out on this signing for the Pistons. Smith will make a really good frontcourt with Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond, but do the Pistons have the backcourt to compete? Not right now, even with the Chauncey Billups signing (two years, $5 million).

LAC_Billups_ChaunceyBillups will add veteran leadership and a fan favorite to the Detroit roster, but he’s only played 42 total games over the last two seasons. But when he’s played he’s been good, shooting 36.7 percent from three last season with a Win Share/48 number that’s well above average. It’s just hard to envision Billups being healthy all season. Billups will join Will Bynum, who Detroit re-signed to an affordable two-year deal worth $5.75 million. Bynum shot a career best 46.9 percent from the field and averaged nearly 10 points per game for the Pistons in 2012-2013.

It’ll also be interesting to see how the team uses reigning Italian League MVP Gigi Datome, who inked a two-year deal worth $3.5 million. Our resident Euro expert A.J. Mitnick told me that he’ll need to adjust to the NBA game, but the potential is there for Datome to become a nice NBA player. I’ll take his word for it…

On the Charlotte side of things, there’s no doubt that Jefferson is a really, really good player. Anyone who shoots nearly 50 percent from the field and averages nearly 18 points and over nine boards per game is really good. His defense will certainly help an inept Bobcats team in that department, but his offensive rating of 109 last season leaves something to be desired.

Can Jefferson, Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo coexist in the frontcourt? Can Jefferson be the best player on a playoff team? Jefferson has made the playoffs just twice in his nine-season career, losing in the first round on both occasions. Golden State signed David Lee to an enormous contract, and Golden State ended up okay by hitting it big by drafting Stephen Curry, Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. Charlotte will have to do that in order to not look foolish with this Jefferson signing, so, again, the jury is still out.