dun has a diary outlining Marc Stein's feeling on whether Mike Bibby to Cleveland will happen. Mike James is involved.
That same Stein column has this interesting passage, as well:
I'm guessing the deal would have been Bibby for Kwame Brown, Jordan Farmar, Chris Mihm's expiring contract, and a first-round pick. I wouldn't have been mad at that. Well, not until Bibby started shooting 50% and scoring 25 ppg.
Back to Mike James. A quick comparison, using career numbers through last season:
Name Pt40 FGA40 FG% 3P% AstR ToR Usg
Bibby 18.2 15.2 .446 .373 26.1 10.2 21.6
James 17.6 14.8 .433 .384 24.2 10.2 20.9
In order: points per 40 minutes, field goal attempts per 40 minutes, field goal percentage, three-point percentage, assist rate (percentage of offensive possessions which player ends with an assist), turnover rate (percentage of offensive possessions which player ends with a turnover), and usage rate (percentage of team offensive possessions player ends while on the court, with 20 meaning the player uses exactly 20% of his team's possessions).
Mike Bibby is better, and he's almost three years younger.
But Mike James is almost Bibby-lite, or even Jason Terry lite. The thing you worry about: James thinks he's an incredible player. He's a good player, an aging player. He's not incredible.
His shooting numbers have slipped this season, not precipitously but enough to worry about with a 31-year-old. He's signed another three years after this season - $5.4 million next year, $6 million in 2009, and $6.5 million in 2010. For a starting point guard, that's affordable. The question is: will Mike James be a starting point guard for the next three years?
He can shoot, and point guards who can shoot age better than those who cannot. That's obviously no guarantee, but it's a bit of cold water on the pessimists.
The biggest problem I have with the trade is that Mike James is not a distributing point guard, which is what our teams could really use. James is a creator for himself first and his pick-and-roll partner second - as I said, he's Bibby-lite. He's the polar opposite of an Andre Miller, a point guard who revels in seeing his teammates throw down dunks and get transition layups.
But I doubt you'll get a better starting point guard cheaper, unless you draft a D.J. Augustin and he turns out to be the next Jason Kidd. Maurice Williams will be on the market this summer - and he'll get a contract similar to or greater than James'. Of course, Williams is years younger than James. But if you wait, you take a huge chance.
The other elephant: the Kings would certainly have to get Drew Gooden in the illustrated deal. Bibby for James and Gooden? That's a deal I like, especially if the Kings keep their first-rounder.
(For those that missed dun's suggestion, here it is. Cleveland gets their point guard, Minnesota gets cap relief, Sacramento gets James and Gooden.)