Bernucca: NBA Buyout Season’s Winners and Losers


I’m kinda high on what the Charlotte Bobcats did with Ben Gordon.220px-Gordon7_20091204

The Bobcats waived Gordon on Sunday, preventing him from appearing in the postseason should he sign with another team. While they may have alienated his agent – not a trifle thing in the business world of the NBA – two things should be pointed out.

1. When teams waive or buy out players at this time of the season, they are essentially establishing a price they are willing to pay to that player to not play for them.

2. In this case, the Bobcats made it impossible for Gordon to come back to haunt them in the playoffs.

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Five Things To Watch: Atlanta Hawks

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ferryThere may be nothing that frightens the average NBA more than the idea of mediocrity. It is the notion that there is nowhere to go for an unidentified period of time — no improvement, no cap flexibility, no enticing trade assets — and nothing to watch but the gradual and steady decline of a core constituted for competitive basketball but not championships.

It’s why coaches and GMs are fired, because if there is anything that ticks off a fan base more than losing 50-plus games, it is a lack of direction or upward trend. As fans, we hate the staleness that accompanies a slowly deteriorating roster that peaks much too low for satisfaction.

The disgust for mediocrity is why teams tank late in the season; it is why the best players on the worst teams get hit with an injury bug come late March and drop like flies; it is why teams voluntarily build pathetic rosters to enhance future draft position.

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StatBox Free Agency Breakdown: Hawks win, Bucks, Mavs and Jennings lose in point guard derby


Brandon JenningsAs free agency and summer league wind down and the steamy, sultry dog days of summer commence, there is still at least one valuable free agent still on the board — Brandon Jennings.

While Chris Paul, Jeff Teague and most other point guards went off the market in this annual game of monetary musical chairs, there are two notable parties that lost out in a big way: Jennings, and the Dallas Mavericks.

TOTD: Atlanta Hawks make big announcement.

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Tuesday afternoon, while everyone was either lauding the San Antonio Spurs (after their series sweep of the Memphis Grizzlies) or perpetuating the hype machine behind the Miami Heat (preceding their Game 4 contest against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse), the Atlanta Hawks and general manager Danny Ferry made a move to improve the future of their franchise.

The Hawks hired a new head coach.

OFFICIAL: We have named Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer our next head coach.Read the full release here:
Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta GM Ferry had this to say in the team’s press release this afternoon:

We are thrilled to have Mike as the next coach of the Atlanta Hawks. He has an incredible basketball acumen and has a keen awareness of the league and what it takes to be successful. His experience and four championships over the last 17 years provide a tremendous foundation for his leadership of our team.”

Atlanta Hawks new coach Budenholzer.

Atlanta Hawks new coach Budenholzer.

Budenholzer, who is only 43 years old, has been an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs for the past 17 seasons—including the past six years as the top assistant under head coach Gregg Popovich. He got his start as the team’s video coordinator before being elevated to an assistant coach.

In the Hawk’s statement, he made the following remarks.

I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the San Antonio Spurs organization for the last 19 years. I knew it would have to be a tremendous situation for me to leave and clearly coming to Atlanta as the head coach of the Hawks is perfect for me.

Even though he will remain with the Spurs until they complete the 2013 NBA Finals, Coach Popovich has already expressed his regret in seeing Budenholzer go.

I couldn’t be happier for Mike for many reasons. As anyone who’s been part of this program knows, he has been more of a co-head coach than an assistant for a long time. His knowledge of the game as well as his ability to teach and develop relationships with players are all special.

“I will miss him a great deal both professionally and personally and am confident that he and Danny will make a great team as the future unfolds.”

Between the salary cap freeing moves that shook up the Atlanta roster preceding the 2012-13 NBA season and the recent hiring of Budenholzer, Hawks fans should only feel hopeful when reflecting on the possible future of their franchise.

Head coach Mike Budenholzer will be officially announced by the team Wednesday.

All that is left is to see what moves Ferry and Budenholzer make this offseason to fill out the Hawks roster.



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Hello and welcome to the Evening News.

As the playoffs continue, we’ll keep you updated every evening. What’s happening today?

Here’s the latest news from around the league: