NBA Lockout WTF

Here’s how everybody feels:

Cards on the table, the reason I was so optimistic yesterday about the NBA lockout was Bill Walton. Yes, Bill Walton. He said they were “close” when they’re in fact “very far apart on virtually all issues”. I’m starting to think Bill Walton was talking shit.

Back to reality, and the first two weeks of the season are cancelled, so no games till November 14th. This doesn’t necessarily means games will be lost since they can crunch them together to make up for lost time, but assuming we do lose them, here’s what we’ll miss: vs Philadelphia, @ Cleveland, @ Minnesota, vs Dallas, vs LA Clippers, @ Memphis and @OKC. Full schedule here.

Couple notes on the severity of the lockout: one GM thinks only 50 games will be played and another thinks that it’s only starting to get ugly. Here’s a good piece by J.A Adande which gives some perspective to things.

And c’mon now, you met for seven hours and couldn’t come any closer to a deal? Give me seven hours and I’ll convince a random guy off the street to saw his arm off for 5 bucks. “Hey self, calm down now”, is what I tell myself, it’s not like the first two months of the season matter anyway. Hell, as long as they play 58 games or so I’ll be happy because that’s how long the season should be anyway. Maybe all this will finally give me a chance to start writing that book about Molecular Physics that everybody tells me I should write.

Ed Stefanski Stuff

I read in the local newspaper that we’ll be hiring Ed Stefanksi as the new GM and Bryan Colangelo will be giving up his GM duties. Can someone please explain to me what that means? Will Colangelo still have final say on trades? (yes) Will Colangelo still dictate the lineups and playing time on the floor? Will Stefanksi be allowed to run this team like its his own, or will he be chaperoned by Colangelo through every decision? And if Stefanksi will be doing all the general managing, what exactly will Colangelo be doing? Is Colangelo’s plan to assume a VP role like his father used to in Phoenix, while another GM did the work?

This is a fairly standard model for NBA teams to adapt so this really isn’t that big of a news, especially if Colangelo retains all the authority, which it appears he has. Mind you, I’m asking these questions for the sake of asking them. It really doesn’t matter to me what either one of those two will be doing, because the next draft is a ways away and the team doesn’t have much in the way of assets, so any trades either GM would pull won’t shift the landscape by too much. I’m resigned to years of suckage, who administers that suckage doesn’t matter to me. I’m still coming to terms with how we got into this suckage.

Let’s see what Eerie Ed has been upto in Philly:

  • Traded forward Kyle Kover to Utah for Gordon Giricek and a conditional first-rounder
  • Re-signed Lou Williams to $25M/5yr
  • Re-signed Andre Iguodala to $80M/6yr
  • Signed Elton Brand to $80M/5yr
  • Acquired Jason Kapono for Reggie Evans
  • Drafted Jru Holiday with the 17th pick
  • Traded Samuel Dalembert to Sacramento for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes
  • Drafted Evan Turner with the 2nd pick
  • Drafted Nikola Vucevic with the 17th pick

I’ll let you assign grades to these trades, it shouldn’t be that hard and I’m sure consensus on them can be reached quite quickly. Unless you’re HoopsHype that is, who have the signing of Elton Brand marked as his “best transaction”.

Stefanski was also a candidate for the Portland job, and it’s generally thought around the league that he’s been neutered in Philly since the ownership change. There’s an interview here which he gave to a fan website where he was described as a “forward-thinking GM”, the article has some nice quotes where you might get an insight to his basketball thinking:

“The ultimate goal every year when you start this thing is to win an NBA championship. If that isn’t your goal, you shouldn’t be in the game. Kyle Korver is a good player, a very good shooter, I’ll say. A very good shooter. On a team that doesn’t have a low-post presence, he isn’t as good of shooter as he would be on a team with one. He’s not going to get as many open looks on a team without a low-post presence because if I’m coaching against them I just tell my guy, well just cover Korver, don’t worry about helping out. If you’re coaching against us (the Sixers) who do you have to double that’s going to leave Korver open?”

“”We’re in a position right now where we want to go into the Summer with cap space. Right now, we’re at a low of $10M in cap space, a high of $12M depending on where the league number comes in. We are under the cap and our options are much, much more liberal than they would be if we were over the cap. We can use this money either to sign a free agent, or to trade, with a player or without a player, to another team in a situation where that team doesn’t have to take money on. If you look around the league, there are always teams that are unhappy with what went on. They’re spending a lot of money on their players, and you know, it’s just not working so let’s see if we can get rid of a guy or two. We’ll be situated in the Summer so that if an opportunity like this arises, we can seize that opportunity. We feel that it’s really important that with the team we have, it’s crucial that we have this flexibility. We also got extra value in the future draft pick.”

Good good. So he knows his way around the salary cap works and figures that you need space to shoot. Sign me up for 10 years of Ed!

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