We all know Geoff likes to operate under the radar. Stealthy. The F-117 of NBA GMs. Looking to exploit an advantage where it can be gained. His two recent trades were as unsuspecting as they were transformative to team identity, swapping perceived building blocks K-Mart and Spencer, for Top Hat and Sammy D.
Softness for toughness. Finesse for force.
Free agency begins in less than 48 hours, and unlike BTE, I find the whole process endlessly intriguing. A handful of players courted by a handful of teams. It reminds me of a high school dance where the prettiest of girls line up on one side of the gym, and the most courageous of boys try their luck. Unfortunately, the lighting is dim, so even if she accepts your advances, you are uncertain if you are dancing with the prom queen or chess club president.
Chris Bosh has declared he wants no part of Sacramento. He is likely destined for Chicago (two max spots), New York (two max spots), NJ (one max spot), or Miami (two max spots). Today ESPN reports his return to the Raptors is unlikely, as has been suspected for months. If he foregoes a sign and trade, he gives up $30 million dollars. This is where Geoff could step to the table, and play his cards.
The millions are going to fly fast and furious on Thursday and soon thereafter. Once Lebron commits, dominoes will fall. Does Bosh want to play second fiddle to the King? To Dwayne Wade? Maybe not:
"I don’t want to be mentioned as an addition to a team," Bosh recently told NBA Entertainment. "I want to be mentioned as the guy that people want to center their team around....I want people to know that, because I’m not somebody that helps out. I’m the guy you get like, ‘Yo, we’re going to win a championship, you’re gonna take us there.’"
If CB4 delays his decision, league cap space will dissolve quickly, as teams scramble after the top FA prizes: LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Johnson, Boozer, Amare, Dirk, and David Lee. Once the only two unquestionable max deal players, Wade and LeBron, declare their intentions, Bosh has a decision. Do I join up with one or both of them, and take a back-seat, perhaps grudgingly (if the above quote is true), and cough up $30 million in the process? Am I willing to forego dollars and top dog status in the pursuit of a ring? Do not discount the role of the player’s ego in formulating his action plan.
A four year extension to Carl Landry at 10 million per annum would be the logical sign-and-trade offer to the Raptors, to allow Bosh to get his extra $30 million. Would the Maloofs sign off on a 6 year, 100+ million contract to Bosh? Would Bosh reconsider his previous stance following our draft success? Would the Raptors welcome Landry as a Bosh lite? Unlikely all questions will answer in the affirmative, but know they will be asked by and between involved parties. For the Kings, the upgrade from Top Hat to Bosh could be the difference between a 45-win team to a 55-win team, from playoff participant to championship contender.
Stay tuned. Geoff is one of the best poker players at the table. Folding his cards at first blush is not his style.
Nate Robinson could have been a King a season and a half ago, if the Knicks would not have balked in the 11th hour. A trade was agreed to deadline day to send Nate and Jarred Jeffries to Sacto for Kenny Thomas, until the Knicks backed out. Geoff was willing to take the dollars owed Jeffries, signed through 2010-11 at $7 million. Now Nate can be obtained without the burden of a lousy contract.
(1) Nate tallied 14 consecutive DNP-CDs by Mike D’Antoni last year, then came off the bench to score 41 points in an overtime win against the Hawks in January. Nate doesn’t play for a month, but instead of demanding a trade, sulking, or slacking on game readiness, he steps up at first opportunity, and dominates. I want this type of player on my team.
(2) An offense will be prone to stagnate over the course of a season if the roster is composed of players who cannot create shots. Mismatches are created by (a) talented speed, and (b) talented size. A combo of guys who can beat their man off the dribble, and guys who can command double teams, (a) + (b), is a lethal one-two punch.
Talented size became a strength last week. Talented speed is not. Omri is our best transition player, relative to his position. Sammy D can outrun centers. Our wings, and guard line, however, are not known for their speed. Beno and Cisco will not be confused with Tony Parker. Tyreke exploits defenders with size and craftiness, as much as with quickness.
The Kings will clean the boards next season. In a week span, we became a Top 10 rebounding team, perhaps better. So let’s rebound and run. Rebounders need an outlet man. Tyreke will be the primary ball handler for about 30 minutes out of 48 minutes a game, if you assume up to 10 minutes he rests, and up to 10 minutes, he plays off the ball. A spark plug is needed for those 20 minutes. Enter Nate.
The Kings saw what a back-up pass first PG could do last year. Other possibilities, Luke Ridonaur and Steve Blake, are modest upgrades to White Chocolate (Sergio). Lets call them the imported brand, but still likely to melt in your hands, and stain the sofa. I prefer premium Godiva dark chocolate, even with a few nuts. :P
(3) Nate played well in the NBA Finals, including key end of game minutes. This experience will bode well for him, and for the team he joins. With the exception of Landry, no Kings player has tasted playoff success. Beno has a ring with the Spurs, but did not play an integral role in obtaining it. Nate made a difference for the Celts, scoring inside, outside, playing pesky on the ball defense. He has displayed recent maturity, and degree of selfless play, long considered questionable traits.
A long shot and a hot shot. Or shot down? Let the recruiting begin. Prom queens wanted. Chess club members, aka Raymond Felton (yawn), need not apply.
I have gone on record as to what I expect will occur. But I have recently returned to walk, and blog, among the living. Trust a zombie with league pass, and a cyber vendetta, at your own peril. ;)