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Archive for July, 2009

According to Rotoworld, via Yahoo!, the Red Sox couldĀ offer an attractive package, involving Clay Buchholz and a plethora of prospects, for Roy Halladay. Boston would probably also have to take on the contract of Vernon Wells in return.

Let me just say, if the Sox have both Halladay and Beckett in the same rotation, I will call for Brian Cashman’s head. The Yankees have a good group of prospects, though not as many as Boston that they can offer. Even though I don’t want the Yankees to trade Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Austin Jackson, I still want them to make some kind of an offer, just so I know that my team is trying to improve.

I will say, I doubt Halladay gets traded at all. Especially because, Toronto will ask all A.L. East teams to give an extra player in return, as a premium to trade Doc within the division and because the Phillies and Dodgers know that there are other, cheaper options available. Either way, Theo Epstein is a mad genius.

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So exactly two weeks after I posted the Spurs 2009-2010 roster breakdown, the Spurs have signed Theo Ratliff, the 36-year-old center, who just recently played for the Philadelphia 76ers. This gives the Spurs seven big men on their roster (Duncan, McDyess, Blair, Mahinmi, Bonner, Gist and Ratliff) meaning something has to give. I like the idea of bringing him off the bench with Blair, giving the Spurs a solid rebounding and shot blocking combo, but I’m not sold on the signing, even if it’s for one year at the veteran minimum. Mahinmi did okay in summer league, but was not at all impressive, while Blair proved that he will be an excellent rotation player.

Maybe there’s a trade coming, maybe there isn’t…maybe Gist was just a try out and will be put in Austin. Either way, low risk/medium reward signing? I’m all for it.

Commenters – your thoughts?

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Now that the Spurs have signed Antonio McDyess (which I’m extremely happy with), Marcus Haislip, Malik Hairston, traded for Richard Jefferson, drafted DeJuan Blair and Jack McClinton, and got word that Michael Finley was coming back, it’s hard to see where everyone fits.

The roster at the moment is:

Tony Parker, G

George Hill, G

Roger Mason, G

Jack McClinton, G

Manu Ginobili, G

Michael Finley, G/F

Richard Jefferson, F

Malik Hairston, F

DeJuan Blair, F

Marcus Haislip, F

Matt Bonner, F/C

Antonio McDyess, F/C

Tim Duncan, F/C

Ian Mahinmi, C

That’s 14 players. Now I know the roster normally contains 15, but your active roster is only 12 guys. The Spurs are loaded at the 4 spot, even though most of the players are undersized, they are not 3’s that can fit behind Richard Jefferson. That being said, Ginobili and Finley can play behind Jefferson and Mason, but the team needs another guard somewhere. McClinton and Hill are both athletic andĀ versatile guards, but none of which are true point guards – even though George Hill filled that role exceptionally well, as a rookie, when Tony went down. Mahinmi has always had a history of injuries, so he’s not reliable. McDyess and Duncan are both guys who are going to require some sort of rest during the regular season. Matt Bonner is a player that shouldn’t ever play near 20 minutes again, because he’s such a liability on defense and most of his shots come at unimportant times. Mason is a horrible player with the ball, as his dribble penetration is the weakest flaw in his game. Finley is an inconsistent jump shooter, who also lacks driving into the paint, but not because of ability, because of age. And, lastly, Manu Ginobili isn’t the same player who burst on the scene in 2003, with off balance lay ups, that made you wanna kill him when he missed and love him when he got the “and 1” call.

So what’s next?

This roster is too talented and too large, to go into the season as a full 14 man team. Not to mention the amount of talent the Spurs posses in the D-League Austin Toros. There has to be another trade coming.

The ideal scenario is to trade Michael Finley. A lot of problems would’ve been solved if he didn’t pick up his player option. But since he did, the Spurs are stuck with him. He has an appealing expiring contract, but Michael Finley has the all important “Bird Rights”, which allow him to veto any trade that involves him. So now, the focus moves to Matt Bonner and Roger Mason, Jr.

There is one player, who is on the trade block, that would fit the Spurs perfectly – Raja Bell. His defense and outside shooting make him a perfect fit for Coach Pop’s system. Charlotte would get the expiring contracts of Matt Bonner and Roger Mason, Jr. and San Antonio would receive Raja Bell and Alexis Ajinca, who the Spurs would probably release instantly. Bell would fit into the starting lineup immediately, while Ginobili and Finley come off the bench behind him and Jefferson. Not to mention, him and Timmy would become instant buddies, seeing as both are from St. Croix.

But as we all know, now that it’s been said publicly, the Spurs will in no way, whatsoever do this trade.

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So it’s not a secret that the Spurs need to strengthen their front court, now that they’ve traded away Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto. There are so many different names being floated around, and as most fans already know, Rasheed Wallace is a guy on the Spurs wish list. Yes, he’s got character problems. Yes, he’s great buddies with Tim Duncan. Yes, he’s exactly what the Spurs need. Yes, he was even rumored to be at the San Antonio International Airport a couple days ago?

Either way, it makes sense. Rasheed wants to go to a playoff contender and contenders only. The only three “championship” contenders that have significant cap room (teams that can offer more than the MLE) are the Orlando Magic, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Detroit Pistons – all three which can be ruled out. Orlando is a serious threat, but Sheed is being heavily courted by KG & the Celtics, and they still have Marcin Gortat to retain after trading away Tony Battie. The Trail Blazers are rumored to go after Hedo Turkoglu, so there goes all of their cap room. And the Detroit Pistons are looking to completely retool their roster, so ‘Sheed may not be in their plans anymore.

*not to mention Detroit and Portland already know what it’s like to have Rasheed ruin their entire locker room atmosphere

San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers are all possible destinations, but only Boston is likely (besides San Antonio). Cleveland is losing Varejao and Joe Smith, but added Shaq, who dented their payroll somewhat. The Lakers have to choose to retain Odom or Ariza, because they cannot afford both (especially after Kobe refused to opt out of his deal to take less money). And, lastly, Dallas wants to resign Kidd and retain Brandon Bass, which will be a little more difficult now that Devean George decided to opt in.

In the end, everything looks like it could work out for the Spurs. Even if the Spurs don’t get their primary target, their are many other good front court players that can help out the teams’ needs right now. I’ll be posting my Free Agent wish list, later on today.

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