That seems to be the big question after the draft today. Rubio's people are making a lot of noise that Ricky might be staying in Spain. I might too given what I can see from the TimberPups. Look, I don't think Rubio is going to be all that. He's great in transation, but he's skinny as a rail, has the usual Euro defensive liabilities (with apologies to Mickeal Pietrus), and doesn't function that well in the half court. He's Steve Nash before the haircut.
But, in this draft, he is one of the 3 or 4 guys who has a great shot at being a long time starter in the NBA, so he does have some value. And already teams like the Knicks are circling the Pups for a chance to clean up their leavings. What superstar free agent wouldn't want to play with a flashy passer who wants to get them the ball in transition? Oh, Pups. You amuse me. Oh, and apparently, the Knicks could have had the number 5 pick which turned into Rubio for Wilson Chandler and Larry Hughes. Really? Hmmmm. Lets see what they are willing to give up now. Something tells me the Wolves aren't going to do this deal for expiring contracts . . .
So, lets talk about the pre-draft trades to see what went down.
Vinsanity and Ryan Anderson to the Majerks for Courtney Lee and some salary cap throw-ins - OK, I get that New Jersey wants cap room, but what is their plan B? I mean who are they going to build around? Devin Harris and who? Its a shame because I really like Devin Harris. As for the Majerks, while I generally hate Vinsanity, I think this deal works for them. Orlando has the best offensive rebounder in the game who has very little skill at creating his own shot. Why not let him chase Vinsanity's crazy shots and throw them down for easy points. Consider them alley-oops! Howard doesn't need the ball to be successful. Jameer Nelson doesn't need the ball to be successful. Rashard Lewis is happy fading back to the perimeter and hucking them up from there. What the didn't have was a guy who could create his own shot and finish. Now they do.
Shaq to Cleveland for a few more bucks in Robert Sarver's wallet. Why is Phoenix always doing this? You want to know the picks Phoenix has literally given away in the last few years to stay below the luxury tax? They have given away picks that have turned into Rajon Rondo, Rudy Fernandez and Luol Deng (who also could have been Andre Igoudala). And worse still, the ex-Sonics still have Phoenix's unprotected first rounder next year which they dumped to shed Kurt Thomas. What a joke. Someone needs to save that team. The Suns fans are good fans and don't deserve that. For the Cavs, why not? You gave up Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic? What, they didn't want a box of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame towels as well? This won't fix Cleveland that needs athletic wing players to throw down LeBron feeds and actually defend to protect Mo Williams and the rest of that group. But those guys fall off trees in the NBA, so I expect Cleveland to land a few.
Richard Jefferson to Spurs for Fabricio Beef Jerky, Bruce Bowen, and Gymkata. How do they do it? Think of the Spurs starting 5 now, assuming Pop will let Manu's bald spot into the starting lineup: Manu, Mr. Longoria, Tim Duncan, Richard Jefferson, and fill-in-the-blank token white American, probably my man Bonner (former Gator). Your bench still might need help, but Finley is good for a few minutes, both George Hill and Roger Mason proved capable for stretches, and they got the steal of the draft in Dejuan Blair who I think is going to be a beast. They need a little size on the bench, but who is not going to want to come there to play with that lineup? I don't know if they have their mid-level exception, but could they bring Sheed and would he accept a role on that team? He would be a great 6th man. Regardless, there is enough there that they put themselves up in the list of contenders again.
Oh, and no way Amar'e goes to the Warriors for Curry and Biedrins and Brendan Wright (who has potential) without Amar'e agreeing to an extension. Otherwise you give up a legit big man (Biedrins) and a fan favorite with lots of potential in a run and gun system like Nellie's (or the Suns) for one year of a superstar who promptly bolts. Not even the Warriors can be that dumb, can they?
Something actually about running and ultras next post, I promise. Still suffering from NBA post-draft-itis.