Tag Archives: Jonny Flynn

July 21 NBA News & Notes

Richardson was traded for the third time this summer, this time to the T-Wolves.

Richardson was traded for the third time this summer, this time to the Timberwolves.

Here are some recent news & notes you may have missed in what has been a very boring NBA offseason thus far:

Q-Rich to T-Wolves, Telfair to Clip Joint

Quentin Richardson has been traded – again. Shortly after acquiring Richardson from the Grizzlies in the Zach Randolph deal, the Clippers sent him to the Timberwolves in exchange for Craig Smith, Mark Madsen, and Sebastian Telfair.

This was another puzzling move between two of the dumbest franchises in the NBA. Telfair played well at times for the Wolves last seen and would have added depth. Ricky Rubio is still way out of the picture, leaving Minnesota with Jonny Flynn as the only point guard on the roster. The Clippers certainly didn’t need Richardson, but probably don’t need Telfair either. L.A. is in hot pursuit of Bucks guard Ramon Sessions and already has Baron Davis and his huge contract.

This trade would seem to signal the end of the Allen Iverson courtship, but you just never know with the Clippers.

Jarrett Jack heading to Canada

The Raptors offseason has been very impressive to say the least. The signing of Jarrett Jack to a four-year, $20 million deal is the latest solid move. Jack provides insurance behind the aging Jose Calderon, who battled injuries throughout last season. The former Georgia Tech point guard averaged a career-best 13.1 ppg for the Pacers last season.

Meanwhile, Larry Bird’s puzzling moves continued Monday. He signed Earl Watson as a replacement for Jack, adding to a dismal free agent class of Dahntay Jones and Josh McRoberts. Yuck.

Heat poised to add Boozer, Odom?

With Lamar Odom at odds with the Lakers, Miami appears ready to offer a five-year deal to the versatile forward. Financially, this move is a no-brainer, but it’s not that simple. Odom’s maturity (who would have thought) makes staying in L.A. to win another title his most desirable option. This could drag on for a few more weeks.

Carlos Boozer spoke highly of playing in Chicago last week, and now he is talking about how he would love to play in Miami. Boozer told the Miami Herald the Heat are his “Number one option.” He lives in Miami during the offseason and is close to Dwayne Wade. Boozer spent last week talking about how he would love to play in Chicago and seems ready to play just about anywhere – except Utah.

Misery in Memphis? Grizzlies appear to be A.I.’s only option

Allen Iverson might be seriously considering retirement. The Clippers aggressive pursuit of Ramon Sessions (sources say they are poised to offer a five-year, $34 million contract) suggests that talks with Iverson have stalled. Last week, ESPN reported the Clips wanted to speak with AI about coming off the bench before offering him a contract.

Miami would be a decent fit for AI, but is focused on signing Lamar Odom and working out a deal for Carlos Boozer. Iverson is merely an afterthought at this point.

That leaves Memphis as the one remaining team interesting in signing Iverson. The Grizz would likely offer Iverson the mid-level exception, meaning a one-year deal at around $5.6 million.

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NBA draft winners and losers

Kahn had nothing to smile after Thursday night's draft.

Kahn had nothing to smile about after Thursday night's draft.

The 2009 NBA draft may not have been as interesting as some expected, but there were certainly some head scratchers. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of draft night.

The biggest loser

Minnesota T-Wolves – New team president David Kahn spent the days leading up to the draft running his mouth, then promptly dropped the ball. The selection of Ricky Rubio made sense, but using the ensuing pick on Jonny Flynn didn’t. The news that Rubio wants out makes this deal look a bit better. Then Ty Lawson came along and the Wolves nabbed him too.

Kevin Love on Twitter: “What are we doing????? We better trade. I don’t even know.”

Lawson was traded to Denver, making the Wolves look a bit smarter. Wayne Ellington was the final first round pick and could end up being a very good NBA player.

In the end, there is a strong possibility only two of the six players drafted by Minnesota will ever suit up for the club – those players being Flynn and Ellington. Lawson and Nick Calathes were traded, Rubio probably will be dealt, and some guy named Henk Norel won’t be in the lineup next year. Kevin McHale could have done better.

The biggest winner

New York Knicks – The selection of Jordan Hill drew boos from the crowd, but he is a perfect fit in D’Antoni’s system. The Knicks resisted the temptation of Jrue Holiday, Brandon Jennings, and Ty Lawson to take a big who can score. Hill’s presence allows the New York to shop David Lee to clear up space for the potential contract of one LeBron James. The Knicks acquired G Toney Douglas from the Lakers, providing stability and toughness in the backcourt. He isn’t a true point, but he is probably better than Chris Duhon right now. Douglas is very underrated and should have a nice NBA career.

Biggest drop

DeJuan Blair, Chase Budinger and Jack McClinton – Blair was projected to go anywhere between 13-20 in almost all mock drafts I saw. He promptly lasted until the No. 37, ending up in San Antonio. Concerns about Blair’s lack of ACL’s may have had something to do with his drop. Watch him be better than Tyler Hansbrough, Taj Gibson, Jeff Pendergraph, and certainly Dante Cunningham.

Budinger and McClinton were considered late first-early second round prospects. Budinger is soft and tends to drift, so he drifted all way to No. 44. McClinton is a specialist – a pure shooter with few point guards skills at 6’1″. McClinton and Blair fit in well with the Spurs.

Biggest rise

Brandon Jennings, Tyler Hansbrough – Jennings was expected to fall into the 20’s, but the Bucks took him at No. 10 despite concerns of immaturity. Scott Skiles will be very, very angry next season.

The Pacers added another white player to the roster, taking Hansbrough at No. 13. Productivity in college doesn’t always translate to productivity in the NBA – 13 is much, much too high.

Strangest moment

Brandon Jennings bolted the green room after watching his stock plummet. The Bucks passed on Jrue Holiday and nabbed Jennings at No. 1 – come back Brandon! In a nice and somewhat odd gesture, Stern let Jennings come on stage after announcing the Earl Clark selection since Clark wasn’t in attendance. Jennings appeared, blew kisses to the crowd, and looked tiny in his giant suit.

Report: Rubio may stay in Spain

Rubio might not be headed to the NBA just yet.

Rubio might not be headed to the NBA just yet.

Minnesota’s once puzzling selection of back-to-back point guards is starting to make sense.  News today that Ricky Rubio might spend another season or two in Spain.

The Spanish sports site Marca.com is reporting Rubio plans to talk to Minnesota’s brass about his future, possibly to request a trade to a bigger market – i.e. New York.

Minnesota will still get a backcourt out of the draft even if it loses Rubio, but has to be disappointed in what is unfolding.  The T-Wolves wanted to make a big splash in the draft – this is more of a small patter.

I’ve had just about enough of this kid and his family already.  He had better worth all of this hype.

T-Wolves acquire No. 5 pick from Wizards in exchange for Foye, Miller

Foye and Mike Miller are headed to D.C.

Foye and Mike Miller are headed to D.C.

David Kahn promised the Timberwolves would make a splash in the 2009 NBA draft when he was named the team’s president of basketball operations in May. It looks like he is going to live up to his bold statement.

The ‘Wolves shipped former lottery pick Randy Foye and veteran G/F Mike Miller to the Wizards in exchange for the No. 5 pick, F/C and aspiring poet Etan Thomas, F Oleksiy Pecherov, and journeyman Darius Songaila. The deal isn’t official as of yet, but should be completed by Wednesday.

The trade doesn’t seem to make much sense for the Wizards on the surface. But with the team struggling financially, this could be the first move to get younger and unload salary. Veterans Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Gilbert Arenas could be on the move this summer.

The Timberwolves now control the Nos. 5 and 6 picks in the draft and has a total of four first round picks. Tyreke Evans will almost certainly be one of the players selected, with Stephen Curry, Jonny Flynn, and even possibly Brandon Jennings also in the mix.

Minnesota could also look at DeMar DeRozan if it decides to give up on Corey Brewer, who is recovering from a knee injury.

Kevin McHale may soon be only a distant memory in the Twin Cities.

NBA Mock Draft, first edition

Why Not? The Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick - then things will get interesting.

Why Not? The Clippers will select Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick - then things will get interesting.

With the NBA draft less than a week away, you’ve probably seen dozens of mock drafts with a fairly similar look. We’ve decided to change it up a bit for our first mock draft. In addition to listing the probable first round picks, we’ll grade the likely selection.

1. L.A. Clippers – Blake Griffin, F/C Oklahoma

This makes too much sense for even the Clip Joint to screw up. The Clippers hasn’t hid the strong desire to land Griffin, the first highly marketable player the team has boasted in years. His game still has plenty of room to improve and he should have a huge impact from day one in L.A.

Grade: A+ Clippers finally make a good move with a top-5 pick.

2. Memphis Grizzlies – Hasheem Thabeet, C UConn

The Grizzlies don’t want to be in this spot. Attempts will be made to trade the pick, but the team will likely settle on the best available player not named Ricky Rubio. Memphis seems to think Thabeet’s the best fit because of his defensive abilities.

Grade: F The pick needs to be traded at all costs, but I’m not counting on that to happen. Thabeet is the latest over-hyped big man and Marc Gasol is already in the middle – talk about a slow frontline.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – James Harden, SG Arizona State

Harden’s maturity and scoring ability makes him an attractive pick for the young Thunder.

Grade: C Harden will be a good pro, but OKC is very weak inside and could use a post scorer more than another perimeter player.

4. Sacramento Kings – Ricky Rubio, G, International

Rubio could be the man to breathe some life into a dying franchise. He won’t be a star right away, but has all the tools to be a great point guard, and more importantly, sell tickets.

Grade: A His 6 million dollar buyout is somewhat of a mystery, but it will only cost the Kings $500,000. Rubio hasn’t objected to the idea of playing in ‘Mento – this one is a no-brainer.

5. Washington Wizards – Jordan Hill, F Arizona

Hill is the best big man in the draft.

Grade: A Washington already has Gilbert Arenas and still hasn’t given up on Nick Young, so a big man makes sense here. Hill would provide much-needed inside-scoring for the Wiz.

6. Minnesota Timberwolves – Tyreke Evans, G Memphis

The T’Wolves will make a big splash in the draft, and it all starts with Evans. He has the tools to be an All-Star for years and make fans forget about draft disasters Randy Foye and Rashad McCants.

Grade: A Minnesota should have a strong draft now that Kevin McHale isn’t running the show any longer.

Tyreke Evans could be headed to the Twin Cities.

Tyreke Evans could be headed to the Twin Cities.

7. Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry, G Davidson

Don Nelson loves guards and has more input than he should in Warriors’ draft decisions. Curry and Monta Ellis would give Nellie plenty of offense and no size or defense – just the way he likes it.

Grade: C Golden State’s system suits Curry’s skills, so the pick wouldn’t be a total disaster. The Warriors need inside help, but it doesn’t really matter – nothing good will happen as long as Nelson is in charge.

8. New York Knicks – Jrue Holiday, G UCLA

The Knicks are one of several teams talking to Memphis about the No. 2 pick in a quest to land Ricky Rubio. If that falls through, look for NY to nab Jrue Holiday.

Grade: B Holiday has point guard skills but is relatively inexperienced and could take some time to develop. LeBron is not impressed.

9. Toronto Raptors – DeMar DeRozan, G/F USC

DeRozan has been impressive during workouts and has as much potential as any other player in the draft field.

Grade: A+ This pick fills a need and gives the Raptors the best player available – the perfect combination for draft success.

10. Milwaukee Bucks – Jonny Flynn, G Syracuse

Flynn is still learning how to be a facilitator, but his scoring energy would make him a nice addition for the Bucks.

Grade: B In a draft filled with solid point guards, and Brandon Jennings and Ty Lawson could end up having better pro careers than Flynn.

11. New Jersey Nets – Gerald Henderson, G Duke

The Nets need to get younger and more athletic, and Henderson has been impressive in several pre-draft workouts. Rod Thorn has a knack for drafting quality perimeter players.

Grade: A Henderson is a safe pick and should have a nice pro career.

12. Charlotte Bobcats – Terrence Williams, G/F Louisville

Williams has a ton of talent and could fit nicely with Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton.

Grade: C Williams is the kind of player Larry Brown hates, so Brandon Jennings or Earl Clark might be a better option.

13. Indiana Pacers – Brandon Jennings, G International

Jennings is a sparking talent and could finally give the Pacers stability at the point guard spot.

Grade: A Even if it takes a couple years for him to develop, Jennings should be worth the wait.

14. Phoenix Suns – James Johnson, F Wake Forest

Johnson is strong, big and athletic – his awful jumper is only glaring flaw.

Grade: A The Suns need to get younger on the perimeter, and Johnson is a step in the right direction

15. Detroit Pistons – Earl Clark, F Louisville

Clark’s versatility makes him the perfect replacement for the fragile Tayshaun Prince

Grade: A The Pistons desperately need help in the frontcourt and Clark has a ton of potential.

Clark would be a nice fit in the Motor City.

Clark would be a nice fit in the Motor City.

16. Chicago Bulls – DeJaun Blair, F Pittsburgh

The Bulls could look to replace Ben Gordon with this pick, but Blair’s inside scoring ability makes him the likely pick.

Grade: C Blair might be able to score inside, but he won’t be a good defensive player and has limited upside.

17. Philadelphia 76ers – Ty Lawson, G North Carolina

Lawson’s speed and quickness could help the Sixers become one of the fastest teams in the NBA.

Grade: A Lawson could be the perfect replacement for Andre Miller, who is expected to be elsewhere next season.

18. Minnesota Timberwolves – B.J. Mullens, C Ohio State

Despite his size and talent, Mullens has no idea what it means to play hard or tough.

Grade: C There is nothing wrong with stockpiling big men, but Minnesota should look for a point guard or wing.

19. Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Teague, G Wake Forest

The Hawks passed on another Wake point guard a few years back and desperately need Teague to develop.

Grade: C Teague is certainly not Chris Paul and needs to get much, much stronger

20. Utah Jazz – Tyler Hansbrough, F North Carolina

Hansbrough’s days of domination are over, but he will be a decent NBA player.

Grade: B In a draft light on quality big men, Hansbrough is the best available besides Thabeet and Blair.

21. New Orleans Hornets – Chase Budinger, G/F Arizona

The Hornets desperately need a running mate for Chris Paul.

Grade: A Budinger is a good shooter and finisher who could flourish in the NBA – this pick makes sense.

22. Dallas Mavericks – Sam Young, F Pittsburgh

The Mavs need more youth on the perimeter.

Grade: A Young could be Josh Howard – without the attitude.

23. Sacramento Kings – Omri Casspi, F International

Casspi’s athleticism and versatility make him an attractive prospect.

Grade: A The Kings can afford to wait a couple years for Casspi to develop.

24. Portland Trail Blazers – Eric Maynor, G VCU

Maynor could be a steal in the late first round.

Grade: B Jerryd Bayless is probably more suited to be scoring guard, so Maynor could be the distributor the Blazers need.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder – Taj Gibson, F USC

Gibson needs to gain weight in order to be effective on the inside.

Grade: B This is a little high for Gibson, but the pick certainly fills a team need for the Thunder. Gibson is the last decent big man remaining in the draft.

26. Chicago Bulls – Wayne Ellington, G North Carolina

Ellington is sneaky athletic and a good shooter.

Grade: A His skills make him a good compliment to Derrick Rose.

Ellington could be runnin' with the Bulls.

Ellington could be runnin' with the Bulls.

27. Memphis Grizzlies – Victor Claver, F International

Claver is a bit raw but has a wealth of offensive talent.

Grade: B This could end up being a great pick, that is if he wants to play in Memphis.

28. Minnesota Timberwolves – Darren Collison, G UCLA

Collison is a winner and could be a great defensive player in the NBA.

Grade: A Randy Foye’s future in Minnesota is cloudy – Collison would be a nice insurance policy.

29. L.A. Lakers – Toney Douglas, G Florida State

Douglas has the maturity and toughness to fit in with the Lake Show.

Grade: A With Derek Fisher is nearing the end, Douglas could be the perfect replacement.

30. Cleveland Cavaliers – Derrick Brown, F Xavier

Brown is as steady as they come and a strong defender.

Grade: A Brown would be the perfect combo forward for the Cavs to match up against Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom types.

Previewing Oklahoma-Syracuse

Warren will get a chance to jaw-jack against Eric Devendorf tonight. (Getty Images)

Warren will get a chance to jaw-jack against Eric Devendorf tonight. (Getty Images)

(3) Syracuse takes on (2) Oklahoma tonight in South Region action in what could be one of the best games of the NCAA tournament.

The Orange are playing as well as any team in College Basketball right now, but will need a strong effort to defeat Blake Griffin and the Sooners.

Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf have an advantage on the perimeter.  Flynn is much quicker than Austin Johnson and should be able to drive and kick all night long.

Devendorf has shot the ball well lately and usually steps up in big games.  Look for him to get involved in a trash-talking battle with Oklahoma’s Willie Warren.

Warren and Austin Johnson need to play well tonight, and an offensive contribution from Tony Crocker’s long sleeves would certainly help.

Blake Griffin is the best player in the country, but will have to work hard tonight against Syracuse 2-3 zone.  The Orange are one of the most physical teams OU has played all season, and can throw three big men at Griffin inside.

Paul Harris and Andy Rautins provide offensive balance for Syracuse and could be the key tonight.

Oklahoma has Blake Griffin, but Syracuse has the better team.  I look for 30-20 tonight from Griffin, but I’m not sure that will be enough.

Syracuse wins in a close game.

Previewing the Big East final: Syracuse vs. Louisville

Clark has been consistent throughout the Big East tournament.

Clark has been consistent throughout the Big East tournament.

After outlasting UConn in Thursday’s fabulous six-overtime thriller, not many expected Syracuse to have anything left in the tank. But a 74-69 win over West Virginia Friday night has the ‘Cuse on the cusp of a Big East tournament title.

No. 18 Syracuse meets No. 5 Louisville tonight at 9 EST time on ESPN with plenty on the line.

The Orange have a chance to improve NCAA tournament seeding, possibly climbing to a # 3. Louisville is likely to receive a # 1 seed in the Big Dance, but a Big East tournament title would give the Cardinals a top overall seed and prevent it from heading to the west region.

Jonny Flynn has been the best player in the tournament but will face intense pressure tonight from Louisville guards Jerry Smith, Andre McGee, and Preston Knowles.

All three players have great strength and should really bother Flynn tonight.

The yappy Eric Devendorf could be the key for the ‘Cuse. He is annoying but talented, and teams with Andy Rautins to give Syracuse a lethal 1-2 punch from the outside.

Devendorf is also pretty crafty going to the basket and can handle the ball to take pressure off Flynn, who looked tired during the second half Friday.

Louisville, which advanced to the final by rallying past Villanova 69-55 Friday, has a huge advantage inside. Earl Clark has been fantastic in the Big East tournament, and Terrence Williams and Samardo Samuels will present problems for the Orange.

The Cardinals won the only meeting between the two teams this season, winning by ten in Syracuse.

I expect the magical run to end tonight in the Garden. Louisville’s depth will be the difference, and I look for an easy Cardinal victory.

Just watch Syracuse prove me wrong – again.

Stay tuned.