Links: Cost Certainty, Certainly

by June 23, 2009

by Lang Whitaker

Someone here in the office this morning asked me who the Knicks are going to be drafting on Thursday. I said, “I have no idea,” and kept walking. Does anybody really know what’s going to happen Thursday night? Anyone? Anyone?

I certainly don’t. But I’m excited to find out. Maybe this isn’t the deepest Draft, but it does seem like it’s shaping up to be one of the most unpredictable drafts in a while.

(One thing: has had the Hawks taking Jeff Teague at 19 for weeks now, though from what I understand, unless I’m being snookered, that’s not happening. I don’t know who the Hawks are going to Draft, but I don’t think it’s going to be Teague.)

In the meantime, the one thing I do notice is more and more NBA teams trying to achieve that elusive “cost certainty,” meaning they want to know exactly how much they’re going to have to pay their players, not just this year but several years down the road.

Look at the Boston/Detroit trade rumors. From a basketball point of view it makes zero sense for the Celts, only marginally more for Detroit. Boston would really trade their crucial point guard and the shooting guard who helped carry them in the Playoffs for a bunch of guys from Detroit? And the Pistons, who already traded their leader last season, would let the rest of the guys go in exchange for a year from Ray Allen and two from Rondo? Sure!

Well, apparently Boston would at least entertain this deal. Why? Because Rondo’s a restricted free agent next summer and a free free agent the summer after that. And Boston, despite winning a title and having a rabid fanbase that is willing to buy tickets, for whatever reason hasn’t been a willing spender on players. Look at last season when they tried to replace James Posey with Mikki Moore.This seems like a clear-cut case of the Celtics trying to make money by not spending it. And when you start making moves based on cash rather than hoops, that’s when you get into trouble.

If you’re looking for more cost certainty in action, look no further than Milwaukee today, where the Bucks just traded a young small forward for three guys with an average age of 36.3 years old. They wouldn’t do that for basketball reasons, right? Regardless of Jefferson’s contract vs. his production, that deal makes no basketball sense.

But Oberto, Bowen and Krazy Kurt Thomas make a combined $11.3 million next season and then all three are free agents. So the Bucks can move Jefferson and the two years left on his deal, tell their fans they’re looking forward to the summer of 2010 when they’ll have more flexibility, and then use all that money to not sign LeBron or Wade or whoever.

Basically, the Bucks thought Richard Jefferson had more value to them as a trading chip then as a basketball player. Now the Bucks have a little more cost certainty. And they’ve also added a year or two onto their rebuilding.

• Thought it was worth noting a post from Mark Cuban, who recently wrote on his blog about an idea he had to punish blogs or websites who print completely unsubstantiated rumors:

How to stop it? puts up a page of blacklisted blogs and websites who’s posts they wont comment on or report on in any way.  It will create a short term surge of traffic for those sites, but then they will go away as the proprietors of the sites realize that being discredited is not a good thing.

I’m with you a hundred, Mark. And the first website I’d put on that list?

As Cuban wrote…

“If some random blogger reports that “he has heard that a trade of Joe for John is being discussed”, then the traditional media, as they have told me many times “is requested by their editor to run it down and see if its real”.

Hey, I spent two days on the phone discovering that the Josh Smith thing wasn’t real. These darn bloggers are taking up all my time!

• Thanks to everyone who’s been saying “The Links are back,” etc., the last few weeks. I’ve been trying hard to squeeze in time here and there to write The Links, which mostly means I’ve been jotting down thoughts and notes and bookmarking sites whenever I come across them, then trying to carve out a couple of hours here and there to aggregate. It’s a little easier to find time to write now that the season is over, and this week is always a fun week here in NYC, with all the different Draft events/parties, as well as the Draft itself.

So I’ll have a couple of posts this week, including our annual Draft Hat giveaway. And then Thursday night I’ll be your host for SLAMonline’s NBA Draft liveblog, so please stop by and join us for that.

Also, here’s a picture of Hasheem Thabeet at the dentist.

sixersoldlogo• Great news from Philly, where the Sixers officially announced they were returning to their old logo. It’s kind of amazing a team could go through so many different logos over the last decade and not be able to make anything better than what they had ten years ago.

• So I guess Phoenix fans have been up to something.

• I found out the other day that my cholesterol was a little high — like double what it’s supposed to be. So my doctor suggested I cut back on certain things, like all the things that are fun in life. Hey, I get it, I’m getting old, etc.

But speaking of high cholesterol, guess who wants to make an NBA comeback: Oliver Miller!!!!!!

The Humongous O now says he’s just The Really Big O, and he’s down under 350 and ready to go. This would be awesome. Come on Toronto, let’s bring him back!

• Finally, via Gizmodo, here’s an amazing video of a Japanese satellite crashing into the moon. Watch it in HD on full-screen mode. Remarkable…