Bernucca: You Can Have the NCAA Tournament

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sportsWICHITAstate_t640I don’t like the NCAA Tournament.

I don’t like that college basketball’s regular season provides little postseason incentive. I don’t like that the coach is a bigger personality than the players. I don’t like that the games are played on neutral courts. I don’t like that one bad game or bad call or bad break can end a team’s season. I don’t like that “close” becomes a synonym for “well-played.” And I don’t like that poor play determines the outcome much more often than great play.

Most of all, I don’t like how I’m supposed to just accept that it’s fantastic and wonderful and beautiful, when it’s actually substandard basketball in a flawed format that tells me less and less every year about the game I love, which is the NBA.

I’m not trolling here. As anyone who knows me will tell you, I’ve truly felt this way for a while. Part of it is admittedly a lingering distaste developed over more than a decade of working on a sports news desk and spending countless hours having to plan, preview, write, edit, update and package all of the words and numbers associated with the NCAA Tournament.

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Bernucca: Grading the Trades That Have Already Been Made

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Andrew_Bynum_CavsSince training camp opened, there have been five significant trades involving 10 teams, 19 players and seven draft picks.

The big winners have been a team that got rid of the highest scorer among the traded players and a team that acquired a player who has yet to play. The big loser has been a team that swears by analytics.

Another way to look at it is like this: The biggest trades thus far have been the ones that haven’t been made – Omer Asik for Thaddeus Young, Carmelo Anthony for Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol for just about anybody.

And with six weeks until the trading deadline, there will be plenty more trades that are and aren’t made.

But we can’t grade those. So we graded the ones that have been made.

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Tweet of the Day: A Tale of Two NBA Quincys

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Quincy is not the most common name among men in America.

It actually ranks 633rd among male names in the U.S.. The most popular Quincy in American history is President John Quincy Adams, the sixth president in our nation’s history.

There aren’t many men in the NBA that bear the name Quincy—only three, to be exact.

Two of the three are actually in the NBA news this week.

Tweet of the Day: Raptors Ditch Rudy Gay

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Rudy Gay

Short, but not that sweet is the best way to describe Rudy Gay’s stint in Toronto.

On Sunday evening his time as a Raptor officially came to an end.

Rudy Gay has been traded to the Sacramento Kings along with Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray. The Toronto Raptors will receive Greivis Vasquez, John Salmons, Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes, reports Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc Spears of Yahoo.

The past month has been rough on both Gay and the Raptors, as tension began to build. It got so bad that fans and media began to turn on the starting small forward.

Usually in these circumstances, players avoid speaking about the manner on social media, however, a couple of guys took to Twitter.

 

 

Perhaps Rush is right, the Kings gave up three expiring contracts and the contract of Chuck Hayes that’s worth over $6 million. Right now this is an unpopular move in Sacramento, but if Gay can adapt to his new role, good things can happen.

In Toronto, fans are cheering as the high volume shooter is gone. The Raptors also got what they wanted out of the trade – more flexibility to land a 2014 lottery draft pick.

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Tweet of the Day: Hibbert Recruiting Teammates to a Physical Challenge

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Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops.

Kings to acquire Rudy Gay in seven-player deal

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Rudy Gay, who has one of the most overbearing contracts in the NBA, reportedly has been traded for the second 220px-Rudy_Gaytime in less than a year.

Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday night that a seven-player deal is being finalized that would have the Toronto Raptors send Gay and the $37 million remaining on his contract to the Sacramento Kings.

The report said the Kings would also get deep reserves Aaron Gray ($2.69 million) and Quincy Acy ($790,000), both of whom have deals that expire after this season.

The Raptors reportedly get guards Greivis Vasquez and John Salmons and forwards Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes. Toronto will have to cut a player.

The Raptors acquired Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies in a huge three-team deal last January. But that deal was made by former GM Bryan Colangelo, who was replaced by Masai Ujiri in the offseason.

Ujiri has spent most of his brief tenure in Toronto cleaning up the team’s awful salary cap situation. He traded Andrea Bargnani and his unwieldy contract to the New York Knicks in the summer and now has unloaded Gay, who is the highest-paid current NBA player who has never made an All-Star team.

Vasquez ($2.15 million) and Patterson ($3.1 million) were members of the 2010 draft class who did not receive extensions and will be restricted free agents next summer. Salmons ($7.58 million) is in the final year of his deal. Hayes makes $5.72 million this season and $5.96 million next season.

Gay, 27, was second on the Raptors (6-12) in scoring at 19.4 points per game. However, he is shooting less than 39 percent from the field despite having offseason Lasik surgery. He makes $17.32 million this season and has a $19.32 million player option for next season that he will certainly exercise.

His arrival in Sacramento gives the Kings a potent but young starting lineup. Gay will start at small forward  alongside center DeMarcus Cousins and power forward Jason Thompson. Point guard Isaiah Thomas, who leads all bench players in scoring this season, will be elevated to starter alongside rookie Ben McLemore.

The Kings (5-13) also have a new GM in Pete D’Alessandro, who already had made one in-season trade, sending Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota for Derrick Williams in a swap of forwards last month.

No one on Toronto’s roster will replace Gay’s scoring. Candidates for his starting spot include Landry Fields, Terrence Ross and Salmons.

Vasquez had been starting for the Kings but was being outplayed by Thomas. He likely will back up Kyle Lowry with the Raptors.  Patterson and Hayes will provide depth for one of the worst benches in the NBA.