Sabado, Hulyo 6, 2013

Winners and Losers of the Dwight Saga

The drama that Dwight Howard brought in this offseason transpires into his dramatic unison with the Houston Rockets. I don't know if it has something to do with Yao Ming's skype account or James Harden's pizza rolls, but the Rockets somehow convinced Dwight that playing in Houston is a whole lot better than 4 other suiting cities.

Now as the Dwight-light Saga reached it's end, let me try to sum it up with my own list of winners and losers of the biggest signing this offseason.


Houston Rockets

In general, any team who needs a legitimate center and landed the best center in the league today is a winner. With James Harden suddenly finding a partner in superman, the Rockets move on from the Tracy McGrady era, which is a million years ago, to this duo looking to bring the Rockets back to title contention. Let's fast forward to the season and see if things transpire to what we all expect it to be.

Dwight Howard

Thank God Chris Paul decides to end his free agency early, or we might just be going crazy over two undecided stars. Well, indecision stopped this morning when Dwight Howard chose the Houston Rockets. 

Howard is now $88 million richer through 4 years with his new contract with the Rockets. Aside from that, he is given the chance to star for another team which is still raising stars. That is where he wanted to be in the first place. He is an egoistic big man who wants to win a championship without giving away his "star" role. Now he's got that chance and better grab and make the most out of it if he doesn't want to feel the sting LeBron James felt in 2011. After all, he said he doesn't want to do things like LeBron. Hohoho Dwight, well said, no really, we believe you, we truly believe you. Duh.

Anyway, I just hope Dwight gets back the love he lost much like LeBron James did. But it's gonna get rocky from here. One knows that winning a championship while posting solid numbers is the only way he could do it. 

Or if he refuses to do things like LeBron, let's just wait for December 15 and his trade demand. 

Golden State Warriors

Golden State had been solid suitors for Dwight through the last 48 hours since he announced his decision. They even offered the Lakers Andrew Bogut, budding stars Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes for Howard in a sign and trade. Thank goodness that deal didn't even reach a paper

Instead, being wise and all, Warriors GM Bob Myers shed cap through trading the contracts of Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, and Kareem Rush to the Utah Jazz. It's really shocking that Richard Jefferson is still in the NBA. The resulting acquisition makes Golden State winners. His name is Andre Iguodala. Iguodala.

Josh Smith

I wanted to include Josh Smith because after Dwight Howard was employed by his team, Smith now turns to be the biggest option in the market. Let him feel his importance guys, I suggest make him his own saga. 

With guys like Tyreke Evans completing deals somewhere, Smith could only be the remaining "star" in this draft without a team, and it just goes exciting for him from there. 

If rumors are true about Houston's interest on Atlanta's free agent forward, and if a deal gets done, NASA should be letting those spacecrafts fly letting the alien worlds know that their about to land 3rd seed in the Western Conference.  


Los Angeles Lakers

C'mon LA fans, that's enough. The franchise is the epitome of pride in the league. We get it. We know how many titles the Lakers have already won. We know how many stars the roster have. We know that the Lakers will always be superior to the Clippers. We know Kobe Bryant and his ability to lift his team. Alright, the Lakers is one of the best, if not the best, team in the history of the NBA. That is long proven. 

But c'mon, we've got a situation here. The Lakers just lost the best big man in the league. It's true that he's got issues with attitude or with how he fits with Mike D'Antoni's system -- if there's any --, but he still is Dwight Howard. Kobe himself told that he's one of a kind and you just can't simply pluck him from trees.

Robert Sacre is a living proof that the Lakers are in the negative side of the equation. If the season is to start tomorrow, he'll be their starting center. With the fact that Earl Clarke leaves for Cleveland, and Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, and maybe even Kobe himself, dance in the twilights of their careers, the Lakers failing to re-sign Howard is a total loss for the team.  

But with enough time and a whole bunch of free agents still available, the Lakers could use Dwight's abandoned cap to sign significant players. Josh Smith maybe, Mitch Kupchack? Or why not bring back Andrew Bynum? I'm kidding, please. And if management is wise enough, they could also bring in a new head coach to lead the Lakers. Uhh does anyone from the front office know someone named Earvin "Magic" Johnson? They might want to try something never tried before. 

The Lakers revolves around winning and they surely will. But this season around, I don't think they'll bully the Clippers in paying their rent on time. One positive about this offseason is that Metta World Peace is still a Laker! That's just for fun of course.

Dallas Mavericks

I am a long time fan of the Dallas Mavericks. They were the champions that never were, the legendary team that everyone tends to underestimate, they are forces in the West, and are one time world champions! 

But sadly, I need to speak like it's 2013. The Mavs suck.

Donnie Nelson tried to create cap as huge as possible for them to land either Chris Paul or Dwight Howard and other pieces necessary to bring Dirk Nowitzki his second ring. Plans were good looking, and they even tried to woo the Boston Celtics into trading Rajon Rondo to them for a bunch of Mavs players. I know everyone's aware that in real life, unplanned events are always the best. The Mavs refused to believe it, and the results were awful at least for now.

The Mavs hurt themselves by shredding too much contracts just to acquire a toptier guy. It's as if they never learned from what Deron Williams did to them last summer. They let go of OJ Mayo and Darren Collison, missed on a potential blockbuster to acquire Rajon Rondo, missed Chris Paul, and missed Dwight Howard. Their cap is huge though so they used $29 million of that to sign Jose Calderon. Seriously? I'm still heartbroken.

But Mark Cuban stays positive and told that it was time for them to move to "Plan B". I hope this time it works, and I hope Jose Calderon would bring in Jason Kidd's lucky charm. The Mavs have a weird obsession on old point guards. 

Al Jefferson

I really wanted to include Big Al on this because of his impatience. In an official interview with Yahoo! Sports, Jefferson expressed desire to play for the Mavericks if they were unable to load Dwight Howard. A few minutes later, he signed with the Charlotte Bobcats.

True that he can star with the Bobcats, but the missed chance of him playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki and helping the Mavs improve their interior brings him in the dark side of this list. If only he waited for a little more time like what Andre Iguodala did with the Sacramento Kings, he could have won something in the offseason, and the Mavs' "Plan B" would have worked.  

Last thought, please Dwight Howard, ditch the headband. Please.


Miyerkules, Hulyo 3, 2013

Chris Paul's Decision to Stay in Hollywood is 'Beautiful'

I like what Chris Paul did this offseason. 

He put much pressure on the Clippers management to get him a new coach. He played well with the circumstances and blurted out what he wanted. The Clips did so what he wanted them to do and placed Doc Rivers on the empty coach's couch. As a result, Paul resigned with the LA Clippers and is now $107 million richer and was guaranteed 5 years of being on the employment line. Duh. As if he'll not make any noise come 2018. 

But what is beautiful about Chris Paul resigning with his team is that he didn't put much drama on his free agency. He played fair. It's a good and healthy talked "Give me what I want and I'll give you what you want" situation. 

This is far different from what a certain center did to Orlando a year ago who still didn't fixed a long term deal to the city who loved him, despite the management complying to all of his tantrums. And yet, the world looks at LeBron James as the epitome of arrogance. Mad world.

But whatever is happening around him and around the league, Chris Paul will surely receive tremendous amount of love from Los Angeles as he should.

The 2013 All-Star Game MVP will be in charge of leading the emerging LA team to a deeper push in the post season. Let's not talk about the regular season anymore because I'm sure as hell that the Clippers are going to sit at the Western Conference's 3rd to 4th place come April 2014.

With fellow All-Star Blake Griffin, acquired shooters JJ Redick and Jared Dudley, and strong back up from the other guys, Chris Paul's time bomb may have been more than ready to explode. I am just hoping that DeAndre Jordan would be dealt with a high benefit player, or would not be dealt at all. Add defensive flavor through Doc Rivers and the Clips are contenders. Actually, even if Mikki Moore coaches them, they'll still be contenders.