The boys of summer are back! Skeets and Tas break down the best and worst of the biggest free agency period in history. Agree with their picks? Disagree? Care to add some of your own? Go almonds, my friend.

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Comments (39)

  1. It’s my birthday. I’m at work. Thanks for the present, Jones.

  2. Great job guys — I think the analysis of the Jazz can be hard to do right now because we don’t know how things will mesh if/at all. That said, that’s the question mark for all these teams as well. On paper I think the omission of Lotto pick Gordon Hayward from their off-season score sheet can be seen as erronious.

    Thus:

    Boozer replaced by Jefferson – Jazz get younger and get a 20/10 guy for cheaper than they would have if they paid Boozer what he wanted. Both guys are absolutely horrible on defense, but at least the Jazz now get blocks from somewhere besides their oft-injured Russian SF. While Boozer’s offensive versatility will be sorely missed, he did play like a 40 year old jump shooting Karl Malone – and that never got it done in the playoffs the last 3 years. Going in the paint, and getting the other team’s bigs in foul trouble will be something the Jazz will come to enjoy in the next few seasons; purely a product of Sloan’s revised Dick Motta forward oriented offense combined with Jefferson’s desire to play in the paint. Boozer is a finished product and we know what he is. Jefferson has the ability to improve. His pick and roll success was not so hot (but look at the PGs he has played with), playing with Deron will help him out. (Similarly, expect a drop in Boozer’s stats as he plays in a non-forward scoring offense outside of Utah) If this does not work, Deron can always pick and roll (or pop) with Millsap or Okur. This is a wash. Younger and cheaper, with blocks vs. doesn’t know the offense and doesn’t hit the 18 footer all day long.

    Matthews replaced by Bell – aside from the he said/she said that’s going on between Wes’ agent and beat writer Ross Siler, we can agree that the Jazz could not afford to pay Matthews what Portland was doing. (Two years in a row Portland? Really? Millsap’s toxic contract and now this? You guys sure are classy, just like that email to the rest of the GM’s not to sign Darius Miles a few years back — then you fire your GM on draft day, yet make him work that day?) It’s hard to lose a young guy who doesn’t make mistakes. Matthews played as well on defense as he could vs. Melo (round 1) and Kobe (round 2). He makes his open shots and was one of the few rookies to get playing time under Sloan (as Tas points out). He will be sorely missed. There is no way around that. What the Jazz get back with Raja Bell is a guy who played for Sloan before, isn’t afraid of Kobe/The Lakers (he’s seen them go home before – something no one else on the team has seen, save for Memo, who is always injured come playoff time), and is known for being a solid catch and shoot wing. He does not have the young or floor game of Matthews – but he has the veteran savvy and mental toughness that so many other players on the Jazz lack. If anything, he brings on the court leadership and an extension of Sloan on the floor. Going foward this ‘replacement’ of Bell for Wes is going to look worse each year, but getting Bell is better than getting no one.

    Korver replaced by Hayward – Again, this is a move that all small market teams can appreciate, you replace a one trick pony with another guy with a number of skills at the same position for much cheaper. Korver was a great catch and shoot player, but he kind of got worse every season in Utah. (check out his ft% last year) A drive and dish PG needs a catch and shoot guy, and Korver was greatly enamored in SLC. Even Kirilenko’s wife exploited him by making and selling all those Korver t-shirts. Hayward isn’t a great catch and shoot guy, his 3pt% was low in his most recent college campaign, but if you sum all of his years up he has a respectable make % from that distance. IF you watched the Orlando summer league you got the sense that Hayward’s game fits the Jazz better than Kover’s ever did because he’s more than just a jump shooter. He can handle the ball, and dish to the right guy. He is an okay help defender and can rebound. These are all things Kover was incapable of doing. Also of note is that Hayward does not feel entitled to jack up shots every time down the floor. That’s something Jerry will like for sure. Losing a specialist is always tough, but this mitigates that loss somewhat. Hayward was a few inches away from basketball immortality in college. Direction from the jazz and special attention from Jazz shooting coach Jeff Hornacek (who knew how to drive and dish in this offense) will attempt to only make him better.

    This is a super long comment, so I’m sorry for that. I think that as far as the Jazz being winners/losers – we really can’t tell. They did get cheaper and younger – and out of these 6 players, ended up with the one with the most veteran savvy and toughness to boot.

  3. Just dropping by to say that you can actually be a Heat fan and still hate The (selfproclaimed) King ;) And hate everyone for letting him join my beloved Heat roster…

    It got me thinking, is the King nickname credible…!? What has he won? Or is it just because of the name…

    Great show guys, we miss you! ;)

    Cheers from Bulgaria

  4. you forgot about the Clippers. didn’t they want LeBron too? losers. they should seriously get out of L.A. and get an identity for themselves.

    as a Laker fan i love the addition of Theo Ratliff on the Lakers. he could give you at least 10 solid minutes off the bench for Bynum. and if Bynum gets hurt again he could definitely start and keep Gasol as a forward. he won’t score much but then Gasol will have more touches.

  5. I’ve watched 15 seconds and just have to quickly point out the pit stain Skeets showed everyone at the “Good morning everyone” part. :)

  6. Speaking of nickels, Korver can’t defend and Brewer can’t shoot.

  7. Can Boozer defend? Nope. But at least he’ll have Noah looking over his shoulder in Chicago, unlike in Utah where Memo had to get his back. I despise the Bulls, but it’s hard with so many core guys from our teams that went to the playoffs 4 times in the last 4 years. (West Finals once, West semi’s twice)

  8. Hey guys I think an underrated winner this offseason was Orlando. They resigned an important piece in J.J. Redick, acquired a solid younger backup point guard with Chris Duhon, and got a better shooter and physical defender in Q. Richardson. The loss of Barnes won’t be that big because he’s not that good of a shooter and defender as they seem to make him out to be.

  9. How about the Suns? They got Hakim Warrick, Hedo..that does not replace Amare..Losers.

  10. Amar’e's just one piece of the puzzle for the Knicks – Donnie Walsh had to make a gamble. Obviously, he’s not a standalone type player, which may be why the Knicks may be aggressive in attempting to acquire Chris Paul or willing to sign Tony Parker this summer. Not one player on the team prior to the offseason could be a reliable playmaker/ball distributor, which is why Walsh overpaid for Ray Felton and cut into next year’s cap room.

    Losers:
    Warriors- What’s their plan? They obviously aren’t close to contending yet trade away cap space (Turiaf/Azubuike) and youth (Randolph) for David Lee and 6 years/$80MM. And they took on Bell, who may be one of the worst regular players in the league. They rid themselves of Maggette, yeah, but Lee just took his place on the payroll.
    Grizzlies- Overpaid for Rudy Gay by far, took big gamble with Greivis Vasquez and can’t sign their lottery pick in Xavier Henry. They made a major step forward last year, but they’ve handcuffed themselves with Gay’s contract. Granted, if they hadn’t given him that much for that long, he may have been out of town, but I dispute his importance to the team. One of the more overrated players in the league.
    Suns- I can see why they let Amar’e go, but if you are going to let such a huge facet of the offensive game depart, you can’t not make a splash for a replacement. How much longer can Steve Nash play? Clearly not for long, and it seemed like the team failed to take advantage of Nash while he’s still playing well. Nothing like the Nash-Hedo tandem. Or Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick being the big threats down low.

    Also I thought that the Magic did nothing to improve. Daniel Orton came out way to early – he won’t be contributing for a while – and after two years of watching Chris Duhon at MSG, I’m convinced he’s not worth four years. Resigning JJ Redick was good, and they got Quentin Richardson for a bargain, but they let Barnes leave. They’ll still be a top three team in the East, but I don’t think they put themselves over the hump, especially with Miami.

  11. “let’s not splitter hairs over this.”

    Can you please say this every time you talk about Tiago Splitter?

  12. I get the feeling that Tas hates what sports journalism has become – and I’m right there with you man. Sports writers have totally lost perspective and make up drama out of nothing. They’re lost in their own writing, garbage exaggeration and extrapolation that exist only in their head and blogosphere.

    They’re all calling the Nets and Knicks losers all because of what they “could of had”, an imaginary fiction that doesn’t exist, as opposed to the tangible fact that they got better in reality.

  13. what abt raptors? lose!!

  14. I pretty much agree with everything you guys said. Great vid.

  15. Really happy to see a video form you guys. Agree with most of what you said, just happy to see it up. Hope to see some more to get us through these summer doldrums.

  16. NY will make the playoffs, who will make it over them? CHI 5th seed, biggest chance to upset w/ a tough, high-rebounding team. MIL is brewing something good, but East is getting deeper. ROFL’d at “Fuck Kobe,” but Durantula is the real deal. Classy, character, and as long as he does not rape or air 1-hour specials, sky is the limit. NJ are losers, still lottery-bound, messy swing rotation. There goes Skeets butchering names.

  17. In case you haven’t seen it… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7xlzLOZH5c&

  18. Ratliff is better than Mbanga / Michael Redd is a great player, he will be healthy again. / Outlaw good for Nets / Mavericks got better, Mahimni is under rated and Chandler if Healthy will be nice with Haywood.though they paid to much for Haywood. I could go off but it’s too late, i’m tired and i’m not being paid soo lol later.

  19. You forgot your own team guys.

    Raptors paid a pile of money to Amir Johnson, acquired Barbosa, Kleiza and Jones, somehow got out of the Turkoglu contract, lost Chris Bosh but gained some first round picks.

    I think it’s a win overall, they were always going to lose Bosh but have made the best out of an awful situation. Getting out of the Turkoglu deal alone makes this a win, but the Johnson re-signing brings it down a touch.

    Clippers have been alright so far, in the style of the Nets. Didn’t get a big name but didn’t do anything stupid. Got some nice draft talent in Aminu and Bledsoe in, got some decent (And trade-able) pieces in Gomes, Foye and Cook. Pile of cap space freed up, Sterling one year closer to losing the team (Via whatever means that’ll happen), all positive.

    Only potential negative is going with Del Negro over Casey.

  20. I consider the Knicks a winner for one reason: they are actually worth watching now. There was absolutely nothing to enjoy in New York the past few seasons. They brought in young players, the brought in entertaining players, and everyone is going to love watching Randolph, Dani, and high energy guys like Azubuike and Turiaf. Knick basketball will be fun for the first time in a while which is a win for me.

  21. I don’t get how Tas on the one hand compliments the Nets and their big picture position in terms of talent and flexibility for the future and on the other hand he joins in the unreasonable criticism of the Timberwolves, who are just as well placed.

    To elaborate, the Milicic contract is right in line with other average big men (Amir Johnson, Jason Maxiell, Marcin Gortat) and only overpaid compared to bargain contracts like Splitters. Dumping Jefferson for almost nothing (injury history and length of contract simply killed his value) was the only sensible thing to do for a balanced roster now and maximum salary flexibility for the future (as in Ricky Rubio).

  22. The Nets didn’t give away their best player … FOR NOTHING!!!!!! Don’t tell me all they could get for Al Jefferson in Kosto Koufos and crappy picks. I’m Greek, and I know Kosta Koufos ain’t worth more than a, than a, Darko. Yeah, that’s about right. I kid, but, seriously. The Nets didn’t trade Devin Harris ’cause he makes more money than everyone on the roster for a player who has a very limited future in this league.

  23. Clippers, possible winners? They didn’t panic when they couldn’t land Lebron, signed some good contracts in Gomes and Foye, re-signed Craig Smith and Butler, and made a wise pass on McShady. They had a solid draft in getting Aminu, Bledsoe and Warren, and oh yeah, that red-head kid from Oklahoma will be making his NBA debut as well this season. VDN taking over as coach is kind of a wash; better than Dunleavy I suppose but not the sexiest signing out there. Still, he supposedly is good a motivating his players and developing young guys, so in that sense he’s a good fit. Almost enough to make you forget they’re owned by a sleazy slum lord….

  24. I think that Jefferson is a clear improvement, on this Utah team, over Boozer. The Jazz weren’t getting any better with Boozer on the roster. Chemistry improves without him, and I don’t think we know how good Jefferson might be on a real team. I think there is a reasonable upside here, especially if Jefferson proves effective playing center. Millsap is a far better defender than Boozer, and Jefferson is a better defender than Okur (yes, Okur is that ineffective). And most importantly, they have a bigger guy to match up with LA, which is huge.

    At the same time, Boozer will be better in Chicago than he was on the Jazz. Everyone wins. (Except Minnesota, but they’re used to that…)

  25. @daeyeth

    people bash some of these clubs like NY because rather than building something over the last couple years, they butchered their teams by trading away draft picks and talent for expiring contracts SPECIFICALLY to acquire a big name in this years free agency. So when that didn’t happen it most definitely is a failure and slight improvements over their self imposed awfulness is a small consolation prize.

  26. @Mike —- I accept your answer re: Jazz / Jefferson. The man is excited, that’s for sure: http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/07/all-jefferson-says-minnesota-a-couple-years-away-from-winning-so-he-likes-utah-better.php

  27. For the record, I love Kosta. He just needs regular playing time. In the summer league this last year he played with confidence and was doing the dirty work inside and shooting 18 footers with confidence (and swishing them). We haven’t seen this from him since his freshman year in college. (Sloan and flat out kill young players) I hope he gets a shot to develop somewhere in the NBA / NBA-DL. He’s a good, hard working kid with a strong base. I’d love to see him succeed.

    One big thing re: Booz/Jefferson is that Boozer really knew the offense in Utah well and was great at passing within it. This familiarity with all the cutters and flex action is going to be missed with his departure. Jefferson isn’t known for being a slick passing guy — hence, it’s probably to pair him up on the court with one who is.

    Lastly, very few people (not named Dwyer) are as supportive and congratualtory to the Jazz as the TBJ staff are. As a Jazz fan I recognize this and am grateful.

  28. The Rockets were winners in my book. Pairing Miller with Adelman and keeping Lowry and Scola were great moves. If Yao can play a productive full season, they will be a dangerous team. The Blazers did well to sign a couple of great draft picks and say what you like about Mathews, but he’s going to help the Blazers in a big way. I still think they are the deepest team in the league when healthy and have the best bench out there now. Losers I think you forgot to mention, Nuggets, Kings, Grizzlies and Bobcats. I think Tas would make a great GM…for the Raptors? Skeets would make a great scout. I’m with Skeets in thinking the Lakers were the true winners in this offseason. Blake, Barnes and Ratliff make their team frickin scarier than ever! In response to Skeets pit stains, it’s canada where air conditioned cubicles will cause a true Canadian to sweat bullets

  29. Mcgrady, Iverson and Shaq should all become Globe Trotters!

  30. did u notice… now dat hedo and nash is on the same team… its like you guys skeets and tas on the same team. lol o.O

  31. Dallas has that “6’6″, athletic, take it to the hole” guy in Caron Butler, who seem to have gotten spoiled by J Kidd’s passing and became a jump shooter. And I agree that they are losers this off-season. But I think the problem with them is chemistry. When I was watching them in the Playoffs they seem to have TOO MUCH depth. Rick Carlisle was almost experimenting on his line-ups. For a couple game I was like “where is the Jet??” I don’t think he’s great but over the years I got used to watching JT and Dirk working that pick and roll getting crucial buckets. To me, having a winning team means having great players but also players that playing in a consistent system in which everybody knows exactly what their roles are.

    Great show guys I’ve been checking on your new vids forever. The bloggers on the score… hm…

  32. I think this idea of the Nets as a winner was just an overreaction (and you may have even said this) because you were upset that so many people were calling them losers. Perhaps it came in a similar fashion to the show in March where you were upset that people were calling the Heat “the Tito Jacksons” and proclaimed that they were good and could beat the Celtics in the first round.

    I wasn’t expecting to see the Celtics featured in the show. But, if the Nets are going to be called winners, then I don’t see how the Celtics aren’t. They signed Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Nate Robinson, and Jermaine O’Neal (among others). How is that not better than what the Nets did?

    Love Big Al, but I’m not totally sold on him being as good on a good team.

  33. There’s definitely some truth to that Nick. Can’t lie.

  34. How are the Celtics not mentioned or brought up in the discussion? Very frustrating. I think the signing of J’ Oneal is a nice signing. He came of a great regular season last year. Yes he was horrible in the playoffs, however the Celtics defense will do that to you. I think J’ Oneal has always been a number 2/3 option on a team. With the Celtics, he will be a 4/5 option. I think we’ll see a good year from J’ Oneal. Not to mention the Celtics re-signed the majority of players who were 13 minutes away from banner 18. Thoughts?

  35. Totally agree with Tas about the Nets. They may have quietly done some of the best work this offseason, and they have a ton of cap space left. Outlaw and Morrow are great signings, even Petro.

    Not sure what the hell is going on with the Jazz. I didn’t think they’d actually let my Blazers take Wesley.

  36. A loser that you guys missed was the Cavs. They lose Lebron and Big Z. The get Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins, but that doesn’t replace Lebron. I doubt they will even make the playoffs this year.

  37. All that analysis on the nets and not a mention of Avery Johnson? If there is anyone in the league who can get through to Devin Harris it’s Avery, not Kiki Vandeweghe. And they still have enough money to trade for a star.

    The warriors are winners as well, adding Lee to make their starting five a scoring machine. Total team to watch next year with reggie williams totally never talked about.

    and the cavs and the raptors win 30 games next year EACH I mean you can’t really ask Bargnani or Mo Williams to carry a team can you? And I’m sorry Antawn but your 34 and we saw the same situation last year with the wizards.

  38. Skeets, need to watch em CP3 commercials…d-d-d-defense just kidding

  39. the winner that will come out of the miami heist is durant

    durant will be next season’s mvp

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