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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  101 responses

Reports: Utah Jazz About to Land Al Jefferson

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Despite being the best player on their roster, David Khan and the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t willing to pay the remaining $42 million on Al Jefferson’s contract over the next three years.

Ergo, according to multiple published reports, they’re on the verge of trading him to the Utah Jazz.

Both the Star Tribune and ESPN guess that Minnesota will receive a number of draft picks in exchange for the big fella:

The Utah Jazz have quickly moved into the lead to acquire Al Jefferson and were actively working Monday night to complete a deal with Minnesota, according to NBA front-office sources. Sources told ESPN.com that the Jazz and Timberwolves are on the verge of completing a trade that would slot Jefferson’s contract into the $14 million trade exception that Utah created earlier this week in its sign-and-trade deal with Chicago for Carlos Boozer.

The full extent of the package that Minnesota would receive in return was not immediately known, as one source told ESPN.com that the two teams were still discussing the terms of draft picks that Utah would send to seal the deal.

But because its trade exception is large enough to absorb Jefferson’s $13 million salary next season, Utah can complete a trade for Jefferson without sending back any players to the Wolves. Sources with knowledge of Minnesota’s thinking said Monday that the Wolves’ main aim in shopping Jefferson in recent weeks has been securing multiple future first-round picks and taking back as little salary if possible.

It’s of course no secret that the T-Wolves have wanted to get rid of Jefferson for quite some time now; going forward, they’ll have to count on a combination of Kevin Love, Darko Milicic and Michael Beasley to hold the fort down in the post.

As for the Jazz, management can now begin selling the idea to the frustrated Deron Williams that they’re trying to improve despite losing some key pieces this summer.

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  • Young C

    Talk about replacing Carlos Boozer…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    At least Utah is doing something to help Deron.

  • http://slamonline.com mike

    younger than boozer and another year removed from acl surgery – should be a 20 and 10 year similar to 2 yrs ago for Al, especially now that he’s playing with Deron

  • Be Equal

    Good move for my hometown Jazz. Jefferson will do nicely in an offense that piles up the numbers for PF’s.

  • http://nba.com Reflex

    Good move for Al J, deserves to be playing with a stud like DWill, hopefully things go well and he can finally get some AllStar love

  • The Philosopher

    Great pickup for the Jazz if this goes through.

  • hobbes

    Well Al J is not as good as Boozer on the pick n roll system, Deron will eventually leave Utah and join who? which remains to be seen. Lakers i guess!~~ hehe… anyways Sloan’s about to retire…

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    This gives me two questions: 1) If Minny didn’t want to pay him, why didn’t they draft Cousins to replace him in the SL? 2) Deron is bummed by the loss of Boozer and the Jazz are looking to replace him with another big, then why did they give all that money to Millsap? Wasn’t he the insurance if Booz left? They should be looking to shore up the 2 and 3 spots. That being said, from a talent perspective this is a good pickup for Utah.

  • Chris

    Gotta agree with hobbes, Al is definitely not a pick & roll guy, he’s not agile like that. He plays the blocks…weird fit, we’ll see I guess

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    The Timberwolves might just be the most oddly managed team in the NBA. Does anyone know what they are doing? Do they? Sure, they wanted a salary dump here but they are going after Ridnour too. How many PGs and SFs do they need?

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    looks like my Cavs are gonna miss out on another one.. oh well..

  • rainman10

    @LDR4…how many PGs do they have? They have Johnny Flynn, and the underwhelming Ramon Sessions. At small forward they have Beasley, Brewer, and a rookie. Beasley will play some 4. At shooting guard, Webster and Ellington will get most the minutes. That leaves Milicic, Jefferson, Love, and Hollins(?) as the big men. You can say they are making some questionable moves, but this team is getting better.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    +1 Eboy.. Seriously name me one team that hasnt made a move on the roster other than our Cavs? Sigh..

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    eboy.. They say Z might follow suit to your miami.. Some has to get called 3 in the key in that roster. Kidding.. your gonna enjoy that guy.. Still servicable.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    *someone

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    I don’t understand this trade. I thought one of the main reasons why UTAH was okay with Boozer leaving was so that Paul Milsap could flourish. Now they’re bringing in Al J?

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    okur is hurt, aging and nearing the end of his contract. plus jefferson has size, which utah is short on. excuse the bad pun. call him insurance.

  • hobbes

    U know what, Sasha n Luke should cut their salary to half and trade Blake’s money, so L.A. can sign Deron Williams. That’s ll be a 6 peat team guys~~

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    niQ.. both Big Al and Milsap will flourish with Utah.. more likely if they’re gonna run,. milsap will do the pick and roll and weakside scoring which he’s very good at, while Al will work inside and post.. besides he’s the best big man available. His contract wasnt that bad.. koufos and fesenko wont contribute like al can, looks like one of them is gonna get traded for a wing, since they lost a lot of it..

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Big Al is boozer with more center and much less pick and roll, so why not try another 20-10 guy who works more inside and also cheaper and younger?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jefferson can get buckets in the post against bigger players. Boozer couldn’t. I think that’s a good dimension, and both of them suck on defense.

  • mellmeister

    How come Charlotte aren’t making a move on Big Al… they need to improve on their front court.

    Anyway, Utah should’ve traded for Amare and traded Paul Millsap for Phoenix. they almost play alike but Amare got more arsenal and could be the “Mail Man” to Deron’s Stockton. oh well, i guess NY will make a move on CP3 soon. :) and have a CP to Amare tandem. ;P

  • ab_40

    al jefferson = zach randolph good luck in utah. He’ll do fine sloan will turn him into a man. If beasley can get his head on straight and that’s a big if he’s gonna do damage in minnesota if not the globetrotters are looking for goofballs

  • Hedo Turkeyglu

    Huge get for Jazz and for Al. Jefferson has been playing on losing teams throughout his career and still is a 20/10 guy. He is arguably the best back-to-the-basket offensive threat in the NBA. You match him up on a team with D-Will and some solid parameter shooters and Jefferson will not be double- and triple-teamed as much. Then, watch out world!

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    ab_40, when did al jefferson shot 3′s.. much less shot airball 3′s from 30 feet.. lol, gordon hayward is kyle korver 2.0

  • Hedo Turkeyglu

    I’m a Wolves fan but I think their management is crazy. Every team runs half court offensive sets at least 50% of the time. Sloan does more than most. Sloan’s system is perfect for Al and Jerry Sloan knows how to extract the most from his players. The Wolves won 15 gams last year and their getting rid of their best point producer? Their best PF on the roster? Craaazy!

  • LOAF

    there someone goes again comparing white players to oh white players? hayward is not another Korver, Korver is a pure shooter his role is SHOOTING Gordon is more then that

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    Jefferson best back to basket player in NBA? How bout Yao Ming, Bynum, Duncan, Gasol, Lopez ahead of him.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kap
    Nah, maybe Duncan when he’s healthy and spry, but other than that, nope. Jefferson is the equal of Gasol, and better than Bynum, Yao and Lopez. Cats didn’t watch Jefferson work before the injury. His pump fake game is bananas.

  • Be Equal

    @Kap … Bynum is still largely potential waiting to be filled… I wouldn’t consider him among the names you listed. Yet. Maybe one day. Al Jeff is a proven 20/10 guy, or at least close to it.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    I know what Big Al can do bc I’m from MS but I think alot of guys sleep on Bynum but the dude is a walking double-double when Gasol is out of the lineup. He’s not potential waiting to be filled he just as had bad luck getting healthy. @ Allenp…he is nowhere near equal Gasol in any aspect of offense or defense. Gasol’s footwork and being able to finish left or right puts him above plenty of bigs in the league.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    But I get you guy’s point…He has had the opportunity to showcase himself on a team where he is the focal point.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    LOAF, he maybe.. yes, but knowing this team, what im refering to is the role gordon hayward will most likely gonna be, and im not comparing with looks and kind of play.. And will hayward start over a healthy kirilenko or mathews at sg? i highly doubt that.

  • ere

    DARKO MILIC????????AS THE wtf

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Kahn’s not a fan of Al’s KRS-Nose

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kap
    Nah, I disagree. Gasol, as “the man” in Memphis, hovered around 18 and 8. Jefferson has two seasons of 22 and 11. That right there tells me Al is more effective with his back to the basket. Sure, Gasol has a nice left hand, but he doesn’t have same footwork as Jefferson, the same strength on his moves and his ability to dissect not just marginal players, but bonafide talents in the post.
    On defense, Gasol is better, but we weren’t talking about their complete games, at least I wasn’t. I was talking about their ability to score in the post, and I think Jefferson is damn near the best in the league when healthy.

  • Be Equal

    I think you’ll see a bump in Al’s numbers too… Sloan’s system is made for PF’s. Hell, even Michael Ruffin put up some decent numbers in it. Agree on Gasol though, the guys footwork is amazing, and for that alone he stands head and shoulders above a lot of other big guys in the league.

  • Tony

    This is a good move by Kevin O’connor, whens the last time utah had a center like Al?

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    I don’t look much into numbers because numbers don’t reflect team philosophy or how good the other teammates are.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    deron deserves this. For awhile, it looked like Utah was content with doing nothing at all

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    AL is a beast and this makes Utah a team to beat in the west. I would take AL over Boozer, so Utah gave Deron some better help.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    i would never take al over boozer

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Oh nice. I wonder how he’ll do with an elite PG. Very interesting.

  • Be Equal

    Does anyone remember Boozers #’s pre-Sloan? Barring injury, Big Al is gonna produce in Sloan’s system.

  • unrel

    as far as post game goes.. Pau Gasol is the best.. period.. he has more moves and more counter moves.. finishes with both left and right.. can work the low post.. high post.. and mid range.. and has a jumper.. Pau’s game is a beast.. pound4pound he’s head and shoulders above EVERYONE.. skill wise..

  • NBA kid

    @unrel, there’s still this guy named Tim Duncan who I think most people would agree is more skilled than Pau.

  • Be Equal

    and that guy named Tim Duncan is officially on the downsloping side of the hill. Gasol meanwhile, is approaching the tip of his, if not already at his plateau for a few years.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kap
    I gave you numbers, and I gave you reasons based on his game.
    Gasol is nice, but honestly, he ain’t all that. I still remember him getting worked over by Dirk in Memphis.
    Watch Al Jefferson operate, dude is a machine with the pump fakes and jab steps. He needs to work on some aspects of his game, but so does Gasol. Outside of a healthy and spry Duncan, I can’t honestly say anybody is flat out better than Jefferson at scoring in the paint.
    Boozer couldn’t score in the post effectively. You couldn’t just throw him the ball on the block. I dont’ know if Jefferson can hit the jumper or run the pick adn roll like Boozer because he hasn’t had enough time with a really good point guard for me to tell. But, I do know that right now Boozer isn’t on his level as strictly a post scorer, and that’s always a plus in the NBA.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    Well he has come along way since Memphis but it does help he plays with Bynum and Kobe.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    But I still think Gasol is the best post scorer & player in the league.

  • The Philosopher

    Gasol has the better all around game. Jefferson is a maestro in the post.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kap
    I brought up Memphis to show what they were doing at similar points with similar talent.
    Also, where do you think Gasol has improved his game? Maybe the mid-range, but outside of that, what is he doing that differently?
    Playing with Kobe is about all I can see.

  • JTaylor21

    You lakers fans are still in denial about Bynum. every year is wait until bynum gets healthy and wait until he reaches his potential. the dude is nothing but a walking injury and a glorified oop catcher, nothing more. remember when laker fans swore that he was going to make the all-star team this year what happend to that. the dude fired the captain, who fires the greatest offensive threat in history. He rather go the the playboy mansion with a 80yrold relic and all those plastic bimbos. He’s still better than Dhow in the post.

  • matt

    Elite point guard, power-forward driven system, sold out arena, playoffs–Al with enjoy the Jazz. If they can still pull off the Harrington deal they’ll be #2 in the west

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    @JTaylor21…You need to relax. All that Lakers hate is gonna kill you.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling Kap

    @ Allenp…He is more aggressive and has more confidence in himself. That’s the biggest difference in his game plus he is pretty consistent. Confidence is what separates alot of good players from great players in the league. You cannot deny that Gasol is money in the post. The turn around jumper, hookshot, soft touch and spin move are unmatched.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Im sure he’ll be missed in Minnesota, will be nice to see him playing his true position (4)

  • JTaylor21

    Kap, I’m ready to die like Big (one of the GOATs, pac doesn’t belong). speaking of death and ny, rip to Mr.Steinrenner, true NY legend.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Kap
    Nah, Gasol’s turnaround isn’t even as good as KG’s or Sheed’s.
    His left handed jump hook is the best in the league, I’ll give him that, but with the right hand I’d take Tim Duncan and Al Jefferson.
    Spin move is decent, not better than Jefferson or Duncan though, and even Chris Bosh and Yao have spin moves of the same caliber. Look at how often he’s off-balance when he makes that spin and how much time it takes for him to gather himself to get his shot up.
    As for his touch, Z-Bo, Jefferson, Duncan, KG, Yao, and even Bynum has just as much touch around the rim.
    Gasol is money in the post, he’s really good. But, that doesn’t mean he’s a better post scorer than Duncan and Jefferson.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    He’s gonna play significant minutes at the 5. Okur is… Not what he used to be. Millsap will play the 4 and screen roles, about 30-35mpg, I’d imagine.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Kap: Jefferson is the second best post scorer in the league next to Duncan. Gasol has more range, moves better to attack the basket and his passing is superior, making him a better offensive player in general… but Jefferson is mint. Believe it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Btw, this trade appears to be official…

  • http://www.stonesthrow.com Michael NZ

    KAAAAHHHHNNN!!!!!

  • Tony

    Im gonna miss his intensity and his AND 1! screams

  • MVPballer

    Yeah, big Al has the moves on the block, and loves to bang. He’s got the dropsteps, the spinmoves, just the complete package down low. And, I don’t understand why people are mentioning Paul Millsap in this particular case, ’cause Aj plays the 5, not the 4. With this trade the Jazz have a solid frontcourt who can bang with the best of them.

  • JTaylor21

    The wrath of KHAN strikes again. thats a guaranteed 20/10 walking out that door. Also KG still has the best post/turnaround jumper, while gasol has the best footwork/left hand, duncan still has the best post game regardless of age. His not the big fundermentals for no reason.

  • Hurricane

    JTaylor21 is probably the biggest f@g in the world, he is just a Lakers/L.A. hater, 2Pac doesn’t belong, LMFAO, 2Pac is the G.O.A.T. just like Kobe is the G.O.A.T., GET OVER IT WEIRDO LOSER

  • JTaylor21

    Ur right I’m a west coast hater. Yall clowns aint got sh** on the south and east coast. You guys don’t have the cojones thats why u need 5 people to ride just to go shoot up some house, instead of walking up solo like a man and just do it like nike. I’m not even going to address that wildly outragegous statement about kobe being GOAT, ha. but 2pac was aiight but come on he aint got sh** on big and jay-z. put down the thug-life crap down for one second and listen to ni**as bleed and dead presidents. Then and only then shall you see the light.

  • JTaylor21

    Hurricane speaking of fa*gs, la has a lots of them with their tight scrotum constricting jeans and talking bout jerking movement. Ur probably jerking right now to the black mamba huh. Tupac would be rolling over in his grave.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Not gonna lie, I like the way JTaylor21 responds to his critics

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    DAVID KAHN MIGHT BE THE WORST GM IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS, IM TALKIN WORST THAN ISIAH THOMAS BAD HERE PEOPLE.

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    thats cause youre a fu(kin douchebag just like JTayor Jukai…hes a BronBron di(krida and your just a douche on youre own right, lol…PS- we lost Outlaw and added Marcus Camby you idiot, think thats bad? we just like the Celtics but mutch younger in the way that, dont need aditions, just need to stay healthy…be careful or we gonna steal your trainer from your cheap a$$ owner..hahahhahahaha

  • Sporting-Lisbon-Blazers

    @Allep: Big All´s an awsome post scorer but hes not even in the same breath as Gasol on anything else. you forget Al´s a famous black hole while Pau´s the best passing big man in the L while having as much foot work, touch and more athleticism. Pau´s been givin the big fundamental DA BUSINESS over this last years in witch Timmy´s on the decline. NO COMPARISON POSSIBLE ALLEP.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    SLB: Well, adding Camby isn’t a BAD thing per say: I’m a -HUGE- Camby fan. The reality unfortunately is, if you think adding Camby is going to fix yer injury problems, you are WAYYYY mistaken. That’s like curing your mercury poisoning by swallowing a thermometer.
    And if everyone IS healthy, then you have a massive log jam of centers on your team. So do you keep your five centers in fear of injury or trade them and pray nothing happens?
    Yeah, I’d love to be a Blazers fan right now (ps- sarcasm)
    Also, Allenp already admitted Gasol is better at the majority of the game than Big Al. His only point was BIG AL IS THE BEST POST SCORER NOT NAMED DUNCAN. And that’s not debatable.

  • http://Www.lkz.cn Darksaber

    Jazz get a proven, but fragile scprer/rebounder. My Mavs get *sigh* Tyson Chandler. I need to e-mail Dirk and ask him where’s he’s burying his sorrows in a drink this week.

  • ClydeSays

    Al is the best low post scorer in the League, in my opinion. He scores
    on the block with a semmingly endless array of unstoppable moves. He isn’t much of a defender and could be better on the boards.

    Gasol is a better all around player, Boozer and Duncan have better jumpers, but no one is better than Al on the block Watch him next season. And his contract is a steal.

  • Holiday

    there is way to much Gasol Love here! The guy aint even gotta jump to dunk, his size and length are what get him by, and think about the fact he play’s on a team like the Lakers and that frees him up from double and triple teams!

  • Holiday

    Gasol has talent but I think he gets too much credit, other big men have footwork as good and passing as well but they aren’t 7’1 with arms that stretch to the ceiling, or play with an array of talent on a championship team!

  • Holiday

    Now then, great pick up for the Jazz but what’s was that Harrington deal MATT mentioned?

  • Hurricane

    @ JGAYlor21- 1.2PAC is regarded as the G.O.A.T. GEOGRAPHICALLY ACROSS THE WORLD, Big & Jay-Z are only regarded as the best by New Yorkers & not even that, Nas is, you understand that my man, don’t get it twisted, I listen to Big & Jay-Z, but they are nowhere near 2PAC, only Eminem & Nas are close. Skinny jeans son, just because one group on the West Coast wears skinny jeans doesn’t mean we all do, speaking of f@gs, East Coast is where people wear skinny jeans & peacoats son, with some ballet slippers lmfao, slap your mama for me, & tell her she should have aborted you, & sorry I took so long to respond to you, I don’t sit behind a computer screen all tough & reply to people all day, you fruity WEIRDO LOSER, GET A LIFE, & don’t respond because I aint responding back fruitcake, LAKERS, RAIDERS, DODGERS, KINGS & USC ALL DAY

  • Dillan

    what about millsap?

  • Holiday

    It seems obvious to me that Milsap will play the 4 and Jefferson will play the 5, at least til the figure out the best lineup!

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    Nah they still won’t start Millsap, Jazz are going to rock a lineup of Deron, Matthews, AK, Al, and Okur. They need what Paul brings (IE hustle and toughness) off the bench to keep the other second unit on the backfoot and off balance. I love this signing by the way. They can still play around with the lineup and close games out with Al moving to the 5 and Paul to the four or three. Jazz still need to grab a few more FA’s to shore up that bench though, but I’m one of the few people that beleives the Hayward pick is going to pay dividends.

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    *I meant opposing second unit obviously

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Allenp: You seriously think Pau Gasol is a better post player than Yao Ming? I disagree. Al Jefferson is up there as one of the best, though for sure.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap will make the best front court in the league. Talent-wise at least.

  • Ronald

    It’s kinda funny how everyone seems to wonder what’s going to happen to Millsap. But how do you NOT take this offer if the Wolves put it out there for you? It is true that Al has the best post-moves in the league for the last few years. They did a video article on him trying to explain his low free throw attempts and it was due to his ability to pump fake players out of their socks so badly that he would have an open layup most of the time. And despite his age Tim Duncan is as deadly in the post than Pau. The main thing that he has lost due to age is his defense.

  • Cool Dude

    Actually. Immortal Tech is up there in the G.O.A.T debate son.

  • rich

    wow i never thought other ppl knew about this dude, its too bad he couldnt fake that cop when he got that DUI. utah hit the jackpot this year, and they are going to shed AKs contract i belirve

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    @Teddy: I agree w/ allenP, Pau is a far better post player than Yao if you restrict the discussion solely on talent and not height. I find it hard recalling any other post moves from Yao other than turnaround fade aways and hook shots (although those are pretty unstoppable to be fair).

  • olddirtyphil

    okay check it out on nba.com they said it was official but with no trade exception it was 2 1st round picks the dude from Ohio state with a k starting each his first and last name i think he was 2nd round pick that’s like almost what Toronto got back for the former cb4. so i dont about this trade i like Al i just feel they gave up alot to get him

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    melvin ely: What about the spin moves? Yao shakes his man every time–baseline spin, etc. Yao is pretty darn skilled in the post too–but I see what you’re saying, his height coupled with his skillset is what makes him unstoppable, whereas Gasol works with less physically (although he’s pretty darn tall himself).
    Yao is the better player though.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    Teddy: I’d take Pau every day of the week and twice on Sunday. At the top of his game, Yao is better than Pau, but the top of his game may happen five times in a two year span.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    I mean, please correct me if I’m wrong, this might not have been you, but when I said that I’d put Bill Walton over Patrick Ewing on an ‘all-time great list,’ you told me that made no sense because of Bill Walton’s general lack of playing time. I eventually agreed and reversed my decision.
    You cannot think better of Yao than Pau when you really can’t expect Yao to play any significant time. Yao isn’t THAT much better than Pau that you can overlook his injuries.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Hmmm… Well yes, you raise a good point, but MY point was Yao is the better player–key words: when healthy. If Yao can play the next year healthy, I would rather have him than Pau any day of the week.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Of course, Pau is a great second option, but he can’t dominate a game the way a true center like Yao or even Dwight (when hitting his shots) can.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Okay maybe it was inaccurate to mention Dwight…

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    And about the Bill Walton vs. Patrick Ewing argument, I think that was me. Ewing and Walton are closer than Yao and Pau. But, back to the Ewing/Walton debate:
    I know Bill Walton was the man and led his team to a title (later got another one). I know Bill Walton is one of the best passing big men ever, and an insane rebounder. But at the same time, he never averaged over 20 ppg.
    I know stats aren’t everything, but would you rather have 18 ppg, 14 rpg, 4 apg, and 3 bpg; or 28 ppg, 11 rpg, 2 apg, and 4 bpg from your MAIN superstar? I’d take Ewing over Walton.

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    I’d rather have Walton a bajillion times over and to me it’s not even close.
    It’s hard to compare players from different eras, especially those you didn’t live to see, but Walton is a bit easier than most because NBA HARDCORE CLASSICS HAVE THE 77-78 TRAILBLAZERS ALL THE TIME.
    First off, that Trailblazer team may be the worst team to ever win a chip. The second best player on the team? Maurice Lucas, a poor man’s Amare who could create absolutely no offense of his own. The third best? Lionel Hollins. Really.
    The talent around Ewing during his heyday was superior.
    So let’s gauge tangible qualities. Buckets? That easily goes to Ewing. He didn’t have more moves (around the same range, Walton a little better with his back to the basket, Ewing far more mobile and crafty) but he was a far more confident scorer. Rebounding goes to Walton, who was taller and had a Rodmanesque sense of timing (don’t tear my head off for that, Walton was a ridiculous rebounder). Passing isn’t even close. Defense is a bit of a wash too, although if you wanted to give the edge to Ewing, I wouldn’t argue too much.
    Walton wins on the other side of the game. Walton had qualities in surplus that Ewing was constantly criticized for: perfect vocal leadership, clutch shot making, fantastic decision making, deferring to the hot hand, getting his teammates involved… hell, he’s the ANTI-Ewing, who blew numerous big moments when others were wide open and never managed to fire up his team.
    You clearly loved the 90s Knicks, so I’m not sure I could ever convince you of Walton’s superiority… but I don’t think anyone debates that, at 100%, Walton wasn’t right up there with Chamberlain/Kareem/Russel/Hakeem.
    Plus, you know, MVP + Finals MVP and all that jazz that Ewing never could get.

  • The Philosopher

    Jordan invalidated a many a career.

  • cj

    hope it happens

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