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Tuesday , May , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers want Rudy Gay?

Do the Grizzlies have enough money for Randolph, Gasol, Mike Conley's five-year, $45 million extension that begins next season and Gay, too? Perhaps, but they played awfully well during the postseason without him. Gay averaged 19.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in a season that ended in mid-February to a shoulder injury. He is one of the league's most explosive scorers and just entering the prime of his career, so he won't come cheap.

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Will take big tickets from small markets.

This should be the motto for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who, despite the declining economy and pending lockout, are one of the few teams willing to assume lucrative contracts.

After all, Cavaliers` owner Dan Gilbert hates losing, and will spend on veteran talent –if it provides an identity and helps turn the page on The Decision.

The Cavaliers acquired Baron Davis –even though he`s often injured, overweight, and has two years and $29 million remaining on his contract.

Last year, they chased Gerald Wallace before the Charlotte Bobcats sent the pogo-stick three-man to the Portland Trail Blazers at the trade deadline. Wallace is owed $22 million through 2013.

Now they want Rudy Gay, who the Memphis Grizzlies have made available because he`s scheduled to make $68 million over the next four years. The Grizzlies just extended Zach Randolph and want to re-up with Marc Gasol.

On the one hand, Gay might be a nice asset. He`s relatively young. He`s talented. He`s athletic. And he can score in a variety of ways.

On the other hand, he`s expensive. Some believe his team was better without him –the Grizzlies were a game from the Western Conference Finals, even though Gay was injured.

So acquiring Gay`s big-ticket would be a risk. Perhaps, it`s a risk worth taking.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Friday , Mar , 11 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Rockets would have accepted Baron Davis, lottery pick for Yao Ming?

The Clippers could have traded Baron Davis and their number one pick in the 2011 NBA Draft that was used to acquire Mo Williams and Jamario Moon in a similar deal for the expiring contract of Yao Ming, according to Bill Simmons.

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Why was there such a market for Baron Davis?

Sure, he has some talent. When healthy and motivated, Davis has the skill set to still be a decent point guard.

Here’s the problem: he’s rarely healthy and/or motivated. He signed with the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent, but seemed more interested in making films and filling out his physique than winning games.

Davis couldn’t even get motivated when paired with Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon, and the young exciting Clippers of 2011.

Now suppose Davis gets in reasonable shape. He won’t be the same player who orchestrated that magical run for the Golden State Warriors.

We Believe was back in 2006-07. That cram on Andrei Kirilenko was a lifetime ago.

Simply put, Davis is not the same player. And he never will be, either. But GMs clearly expect him to regain his form because he has another two years and $29 million remaining on his contract.

They are mistaken. The usualy wise Houston Rockets dodged a bullet. Expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to learn this the hard way.

Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Mar , 05 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Baron Davis: I`m still a top-five point guard

He also agreed with coach Byron Scott, who called Davis one of the NBA's top five point guards when healthy. "I believe so," Davis said from Thursday's practice. "I love the game, I study the game, I see the game with a different set of eyes than a lot of other guys."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s little doubt Baron Davis -when motivated, fit, and healthy- can play.

Unfortunately, Davis is rarely motivated, which means he’s hardly ever fit. Of course, an unmotivated and out of shape player is an often injured player.

After all, Davis has spent most of the last few years sulking about playing for the lowly Los Angeles Clippers, a team he picked as an unrestricted free agent.

He seemed more interested in making movies with his Hollywood buddies. He often had a ‘generous’ physique. And his play suffered.

Sadly, after teasing fans in Golden State, Davis has been a bust. He’s withered away his talent, content to take advantage of the perks that come with a plush, guaranteed contract.

None of this has impacted Davis’ confidence. After all, Davis –even when at full strength- isn’t a top five point guard.

Not anymore and not now. The one-spot currently belongs to up-and-comers like Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Deron Williams.

There’s also established heads like Chauncey Billups, Steve Nash, and Tony Parker. And what about talented youngsters and veterans like Darren Collison, Stephen Curry, Ray Felton, Jason Kidd, and Andre Miller?

All have performed at a higher level than Davis. In fact, Davis, who was recently traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, might have trouble beating out Ramon Sessions for the starting table-setter job –if all things are equal.

Hopefully, Davis gets motivated, fit, and, as a result, stays healthy. Hopefully, he salvages whatever he can of his career. At 31, the clock is ticking.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below.

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Thursday , Feb , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Clippers trade Baron Davis to Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon

The Cavaliers and Clippers have agreed upon a trade of Mo Williams and Jamario Moon for Baron Davis and a first round pick in 2011 (reportedly unprotected), according to sources that spoke with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

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Sunday , Feb , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Best car leap: Blake Griffin or Kobe Bryant?

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: By now, you’ve seen it.

You’ve seen Kenny Smith pull a ‘Bundini’ and rep for Blake Griffin like he was former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.

You’ve seen the choir pump up the Los Angeles crowd by belting out the R. Kelly classic ‘I believe I can fly’.

And you’ve seen Griffin leap the hood of a car, catch a Baron Davis alley-oop, and throw down a fierce two-handed jam, which won the Clippers superstar the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest.

However, Griffin didn’t invent the car leap. He simply mastered it.

A few years ago, Lakers great Kobe Bryant made news when he jumped an Aston Martin. ‘The Black Mamba’ didn’t dunk a basketball, but his aerial antics –despite reportedly being aided by special effects- impressed.

Watch the clips and tell us in the comment box below if Griffin or Bryant did the best job hurdling a car.

(Kenny `Bundini` Smith. The choir. And Griffin leaping a car.) 

(Kobe: `I got this.`) 

--Oly Sandor.


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Monday , Dec , 27 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Baron Davis: ‘I don’t want to leave’ Clippers

"It's tough because it's the nature of the business,'' Davis said in an interview with FanHouse before the Clippers' 108-103 win over Phoenix on Sunday about the trade rumors surrounding him. "But it's tough because I don't want to leave. I'm here. I came here for a reason. If I were to be traded, I just think that I just never really got a chance to do what I was signed here to do.''

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Well, play like it.

Baron Davis has to play like he wants to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers. At this point, his words are meaningless.

Since signing with the Clippers as a free agent, Davis has made an award winning documentary film, become a spokesperson for Jenny Craig, lost a laptop, and made a classic skit with Steve Nash.

Off-the-court he’s been good. On-court is a different story.

For the better part of two years, Davis has been out of shape, apathetic, and a distraction. In short, he’s stolen money from owner Donald Sterling.

Of course, the NBA is a business. The Clippers have moved on. Davis has been replaced by young Eric Bledsoe in the starting line-up. And high-flying Blake Griffin is the new face of the franchise.

So the Clippers have no need for Davis. Neither do the other 29 teams in the league, who are reluctant to assume the final two years and $29 million on Davis’ contract.

Davis, to an extent, controls his fate, though. He must lose weight. He must start to care again. And he must resemble the player the Clippers signed as a free agent.

Then management may consider Davis’ wishes about staying. Right now, he's an afterthought. 

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Dec , 23 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Baron Davis back to Charlotte?

Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is considering a trade proposal where the team would acquire Baron Davis in exchange for D.J. Augustin, DeSagana Diop and Matt Carroll.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When in doubt, turn back the clock.

Yesterday, the Charlotte Bobcats encouraged Larry Brown to quit as head coach. They’re lost, and owner/executive Michael Jordan knows fans won’t accept another rebuilding project.

So Jordan turned to the past. Former Charlotte Hornets Coach Paul Silas returns to the sideline –at least on an interim basis. This makes sense because Silas is local, living in North Carolina full time.

Bringing back Baron Davis, however, does not make sense.

This isn’t the fresh-faced kid who played in every game for the Charlotte Hornets. This isn’t the fresh-faced kid who was on the verge of becoming a superstar. And this isn’t the fresh-faced kid who bonded with Silas so many years ago.

Davis, at 31, is an over-the-hill, out-of-shape veteran. He doesn’t love the game anymore; the passion is gone. He is now more interested in making movies than winning games for the Clippers.

Re-acquiring Davis is a nice thought. He can't go home, though. Hopefully, Jordan’s Bobcats don't extend an invite.

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Dec , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Donald Sterling to Baron Davis: you’re ‘out of shape’

Of late, however, the jeers directed at the team's struggling point guard are coming from a far more surprising source: The man paying Davis, Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who usually sits court side at home games. Among Sterling's verbal barbs: "Why are you in the game?" ... "Why did you take that shot?" ... "You're out of shape!"

 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Witness the dysfunction that is Donald Sterling.

Only the Los Angeles Clippers owner is mad enough to verbally bash his players during games from his courtside seats. Bottom line: Sterling is to blame for the team’s poor performance on-court.

For instance, last year Sterling fired executive Mike Dunleavy and then refused to honour his contract. Dunleavy has many friends in NBA front offices and will warn them about working for The Don.

Baron Davis has not lived up to expectations with the Clippers. However, Sterling knew the point guard’s track record when he gave him a five-year, $60 million contract.

Davis wouldn’t be in shape. And because Davis was rarely in shape he would get injured and spend his time making movies.

Still, Davis does not deserve to be heckled by his owner. However, abusing employees is nothing new for Sterling.

In August, Sterling told reporters ‘he hadn’t heard of these guys’ when asked to comment on the Clippers signing role players Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes. 

Sterling was likely frustrated. After all, he spent millions of dollars building a mega-practice facility in hopes of landing a superstar free agent and ended up with Foye and Gomes.

Still, he should have kept his mouth shut. Just like he should have kept his mouth shut with Davis.

But Sterling is one of pro sport’s worst owners. And he runs one of pro sport’s worst franchises. This won’t change. There will only be dysfunction.

--Oly Sandor.

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Monday , Nov , 08 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Monta Ellis staying with Golden State because Don Nelson gone?

Warriors guard Monta Ellis was mentioned in trade rumors this summer, but the team is no longer interested in moving him, according to The San Jose Mercury News.

Golden State (4-1) is off to their best start in 16 years and Ellis is playing much more efficiently so far this season.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Maybe this is a coincidence. Maybe not.

There is, however, no disputing the obvious: Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors are a happier, more functional team since Don Nelson, the mad scientist on the sideline, retired.

To be fair, Nelson wins regular season games. And his small-ball approach occasionally captivated –who can forget the Warriors upset of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs?

He also alienated. Soon after the ‘We Believe’ miracle, Nelson soured on key players such as Baron Davis, Al Harrington, and Stephen Jackson.

Such dysfunction unfortunately influenced Ellis, a young combo guard with quicks and skills.

For instance, Ellis lied about injuring his ankle while riding a moped. The reason: he was in violation of his 6 year, $66 million extension.

Ellis also ‘welcomed’ rookie Stephen Curry to his first ever training camp by declaring he couldn’t form a backcourt with the lottery pick.  There were trade requests and disputes with the organization.

This, as they say, is water under the bridge.

Nelson is gone –for good. New Coach Keith Smart has the Warriors at 4-1. Ellis is happy with the team. The team is happy with Ellis. 

Maybe this is a coincidence. Probably not.

--Oly Sandor.


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Saturday , Nov , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Stuck in LA: Clippers can’t move Baron Davis

The Clippers are exploring whether anyone has interest in acquiring point guard Baron Davis via trade, according to a report by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Los Angeles coach Vinny Del Negro recently criticized the veteran's conditioning and the team won their first game of the season this week with Davis out of the lineup because of a swollen left knee.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Interest will be limited.

For several reasons, Los Angeles Clippers’ point guard Baron Davis won’t be traded. L.A.’s other team can’t trade him.

Make no mistake about it, Davis has talent. He’s big; he’s skilled; he's athletic. TNT broadcaster Kenny Smith has gone on record saying Davis has the talent to be first team All-NBA.

Smith may be exaggerating; however, Davis, when motivated, can play. Unfortunately, these days he’s more motivated to produce feature films than highlight reel assists.

The other road block is money. Davis is owed $42 million over the next three seasons, which makes him hard to move in today’s sluggish economy.

There’s more. Most teams are reluctant to assume a big-ticket with the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring in July and a new financial system set to arrive.

If Davis and the Clippers decide to part ways, they must first declare détente and make nice for six months. Davis must get in shape. The team must showcase him. Then, after the new CBA is settled, a market could eventually develop for Davis.  

Of course, could doesn’t mean will. But could is better than not happening –which describes the current market for Davis.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Oct , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Would Baron Davis have kept LeBron James in Cleveland?

The Cavaliers offered the Clippers guard Maurice Williams and forward Jamario Moon in exchange for guard Baron Davis earlier this offseason, according to a league source.

Cleveland, at the time, was desperate to please LeBron James, who eventually left for Miami as a free agent.


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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Desperate times, desperate measures.

This is the only way to describe reports the Cleveland Cavaliers tried to convince LeBron James to sign an extension by acquiring Baron Davis from the Los Angeles Clippers.

Davis wouldn’t have been enough. Not even close. Miami would still have won out for James' services.

After all, Davis - an overrated and overweight point guard - can’t compete with Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and the lure of South Beach.

If the Cavaliers had acquired Davis, they’d be on the hook for the remaining three years and $43 million of his contract. 

This, of course, would be problematic. James would be long gone. Davis would be bored, angry, and hibernating through the Ohio winter.

Davis is a sad story. He has such potential.

A few years ago, he was the toast of the NBA –leading his ‘We Believe’ Golden State Warriors to a playoff upset over the league-leading Dallas Mavericks.

And TNT Broadcaster Kenny Smith has gone on record saying Davis has the game to be a first team all-NBA player each year.

While this may be hyperbole, Davis should be better than he is.

Right now, he’s the problem for the Clippers -a team he picked as a free agent. And he’d have been a bigger problem for the Cavaliers, especially without James.

--Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
   

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Sunday , Oct , 03 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Nuggets turned down Chris Kaman for Carmelo Anthony?

"The Clippers recently offered Chris Kaman to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony and got the same response."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They couldn’t be more different.

Chris Kaman is from rural Michigan, looks like a dude you’d find at monster truck rally, and has a meat-and-potatoes, low-post game.

Carmelo Anthony was raised in West Baltimore, has a marketable personality, and makes fans drool with the ease in which he puts the ball in the basket.

So naturally Kaman and Anthony may be swapped as part of a deal between the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets.

(Kaman would be the key part of a Clippers’ package that would likely include draft picks and expiring contracts).

Kaman, if healthy, is a solid, low maintenance center. He posts 20-10 numbers and blocks shots, too. Denver, however, would be hoping Kaman stays on-court and off the injured list.

This may be too great a risk for the Nuggets, especially if they’re parting ways with Anthony, their franchise face. (Recent reports indicate this was why the Nuggets passed on the Clippers' offer.)

This deal would work for the Clippers' marketing department. Melo’s star power would give Donald Sterling’s crew more of a local, national, and international following. 

The on-court dynamic might be more of a struggle.

Anthony would surely tire of chubby, underachieving point guard Baron Davis, who seems more committed to producing movies than winning basketball games.

The other complication is Blake Griffin. Anthony and the 2009 first overall pick are both 3-4 ‘tweeners’. Would these two gel in the frontcourt? And would Anthony hurt Griffin’s development?

Still, Kaman for Anthony is an interesting thought. It's just not a fit for either team.  

--Oly Sandor.

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Tuesday , Sep , 28 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Baron Davis shows to Clippers’ training camp out of shape

Baron Davis has reported to training camp out of shape, according to new head coach Vinny Del Negro. Del Negro lightly criticized Davis for not being in ideal shape to run the aggressive, uptempo offense he envisions.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

Baron Davis has once again arrived at the Los Angeles Clippers’ training camp in less than ideal shape, earning the wrath of coach Vinny Del Negro.

Clearly, Davis is wasting his talent. For instance, TNT broadcaster Kenny Smith once suggested he had the talent to make the All-NBA first team every year.

If healthy and focused, he’s a premier table-setter, capable of dominating like the 2007 Western Conference Quarter-Finals when his Golden State Warriors upset the first-seeded Dallas Mavericks.

If out-of-shape and unfocused, he’s a liability. Davis becomes turnover-prone, takes bad shots, sloughs off defense, and becomes a negative influence in the locker room.

For most of his run with the Clippers, Davis has resembled the latter. He seems more interested in his off-court pursuits – his documentary Crips and Bloods: Made in America is up for several nominations - than playing basketball.

The real shame is that the Clippers have potential. Chris Kaman and Blake Griffin could dominate down-low, while Eric Gordon blossomed with Team USA.

All that’s missing is a motivated point guard. Hopefully, Davis seizes the moment and changes his ways.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , May , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Could Larry Ellison save the Golden State Warriors?

Oracle Corp. CEO Larry Ellison is among "more than a dozen" suitors who have submitted non-binding bids for the Warriors, a source close to the negotiations said Tuesday.

"He is a part of it," the source said.

According to another source, so are the San Francisco Giants, 24 Hour Fitness owner Mark Mastrov, an NFL owner, a former Lakers star and a group of prominent Chinese businesspeople, among others. Galatioto Sports Partners and Warriors owner Chris Cohan will choose the best prospects in the next week.

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HoopsVibe's Call: Give Larry Ellison a cape, tights, and Dwight Howard/Shaquille O'Neal's phone booth because he could be Superman and save the sorry Golden State Warriors.

Ellison, if approved as Golden State's owner, would bring something to The Bay that has been in short supply: sanity. Simply put, Cohan and Coach Don Nelson have ruined the Warriors. There's zero plan. Players, both past and present, have had significant issues with the club (see Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, and Al Harrington). Even their loyal fans are disgusted.

The right owner, Ellison, would surely hire the right basketball people -not Nelson and his group of faithful lackeys on the bench and in the front office. Talented youngsters like Andris Biedrins, Stephen Curry, and Ellis could then blossom with proper mentorship.

A change at the top would do Golden State good. It starts with Cohan cashing out as owner and being replaced with someone such as Ellison.

Is Cohan the problem with the Golden State Warriors? Does he have to sell for the team to turn things around? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.

 

Best playoff poster job: LeBron James on James Johnson or Baron Davis on Andrei Kirilenko?
Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2010 Oly Sandor

Best playoff poster job: LeBron James on James Johnson or Baron Davis on Andrei Kirilenko?

He can’t run. He can’t hide. He can only accept the inevitable: he’s been poster-jobbed and millions will relive and replay his moment of shame on youtube.

James Johnson: we’re talking about you. The Chicago Bulls’ swing is in Shawn Bradley and Alton Lister territory after the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James delivered a facial our News Department deemed a 'hate crime' and considered slapping with a restricted rating.

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