August 14, 2020

Previewing the NBA: Deals and Decisions

posted on: Thursday October 28, 2010

Dan McNamara ’13 / Sports Staff

The question I ask you all today is, are you a nail biter?

Remember that question as you read the words of sportscaster Jim Gray:

You’ve had everybody else biting their nails. So I guess it’s time for them to stop chewing. The answer to the question everybody wants to know: LeBron, what’s your decision?”

For those of you who have made decisions in life, I hope you do not contact ESPN and do it from a Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn. LeBron James made his decisions this past summer with these simple, but famous statements in the history of basketball: “In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall, I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.”

Don’t worry, all; I am not going to talk about him for this whole article because you have probably heard more than you have asked for about the man in the past few months.

His move to South Beach was the first of many to come in the NBA during the off season. Joining and rejoining him in Miami are Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. They have emerged in my mind as not only the new Big Three, but also arguably the best three players wearing the same jersey outside of the All Star Game and Olympics. They have also added the likes of journeyman Mike Miller and legendary Cleveland big man Zydrunas Illgauskas.

Moving away from South Beach up the Eastern Seaboard are the Washington Wizards. Now, I am not sure if they were inspired by the president so often being in attendance or to prove that not all their players carry guns in the locker room with them. With the first pick in the draft, they took the most exciting player in college basketball, John Wall, who brings with him inexperience and at times, out of control ball handling. Nonetheless, he also brings speed, quickness, and brilliance. Not only do these characteristics of his game come with him, but also a few free agents. The Wizards acquired some key players in Kirk Hinrich and Josh Howard who should help complement the skills of Wall.

For the last three years, the Knicks have cleared cap room in order to sign two free agents to maximum contracts. Until now, they have only signed one, and don’t get me wrong; he is a big one. Amar’e Stoudemire was unable to bring anyone with him but that may not be so bad. He alone will give the Knicks a legitimate threat since Patrick Ewing wore 33. Madison Square Garden was also able to attract Raymond Felton who will compliment young players such as Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler. Who knows, CP3 and Melo may be the next to wear New York on their chests.

Michael Jordan’s shadow in Chicago proved to be too threatening for LeBron to play under but for Carlos Boozer, it was a chance to play with one of the best guards in the game in Derek Rose. Boozer will be joined with Kyle Korver and Kurt Thomas, who are wily veterans who should make Chicago a very interesting team in the spring.

The Orlando Magic always seem one player away from winning a title, and they may have their best team this season in an eastern conference filled with all-star lineups. The Magic signed Chris Duhon and resigned J.J. Redick and Jason Williams who will be joined by rookie standouts in Daniel Orton and Stanley Robinson. This team is one of the most athletic up front with Dwight Howard and will be in contention once again.

18. This is what the Celtics will be striving for all season long. Coming one win away from it last year has made them even more hungry and out to prove that age is only a number. With that motto, they have added two O’Neals. Both are looking for a ring and can defend just about any center in the league. Big daddy Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal are in Boston and look to help the Celts get to 18.

To switch gears, I will now focus on two teams that have players who are free agents in the next two seasons and have been rumored about literally skipping town.

This past summer, Chris Paul, commonly referred to as CP3 put out his Christmas List early. To top his list, playing with Carmelo Anthony in New York alongside Amar’e was something he could not ask Santa more for. Second on his list, Paul wanted to go to Orlando to play alongside Superman, aka Dwight Howard. To top out his list, he had Dallas and Portland as teams he would want to go to. CP3 is a free agent until the summer of 2012 but do not be surprised if he is wearing another uniform sooner than that.

A week ago, a source told ESPN.com that Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks have made significant process in recent days about settling a deal. About a month ago, a four-team trade that involved New Jersey, Denver, Utah and Charlotte seemed to be in place until the Knicks stepped up. Anthony has told the Nuggets that he will not sign a three-year, $65 million contract extension with Denver. After the Knicks seemed to struggle this preseason, Spike Lee, a Knicks season ticket holder, took it into his own hands to bring Melo to New York. He has gone to Knicks GM Donnie Walsh and said that Melo wants to be in New York and no place else. It will be interesting to see if a deal gets done early in the season, or if the Knicks will have to wait one more offseason to get their own Big Three that so many teams now covet in the NBA.

After an offseason filled with so much indecision between teams and players, one made his decision so well known. So now after all this drama, I ask you this: Are you still a nail biter?

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