Knicks Begin Cap Space Clearing – Send Chandler to Mavericks for Calderon, Ellington, Larkin, Dalembert and 34th and 52nd Picks

NY POST

In the first blockbuster trade of the summer, the Knicks send Tyson Chandler back to Dallas for 4 players and 2 picks.

According to ESPN, Tyson Chandler will be back in Dallas next season. In a trade to cut Knicks salary and give the Mavericks a rim protector, Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton are going to Dallas in exchange for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and the 34th and 52nd pick in this years draft.The Mavericks would finally get a real rim protector in Tyson Chandler who has a few years left of his prime left. Raymond Felton would step into a backup role for the Mavericks, with Devin Harris likely starting. The Knicks would acquire a new starting point guard in Jose Calderon, who isn’t exceptionally talented or athletic, but he can shoot and is a pass first point guard on a modest contract that expires in the summer of 2016. Shane Larkin is a young prospect the Knicks can develop over time and Wayne Ellington and Dalembert’s contracts both expire next summer, the same time as Bargnani and Stoudemire. Overall, the Knicks are shedding 3,056,33 million in salary, which is small but shedding Chandler’s salary and moving Felton who is coming off of his worst season in recent years is a promising start for the inevitable roster overhaul the Knicks will undergo.

Good trade?

Mavericks:

The Mavericks are looking to win now. With Dirk’s time limited and a roster full of experienced veterans in place, any addition that can bring them closer to a championship is the right move to make. The Mavericks needed a defensive presence still in his prime. Dalembert is a solid defender but lacks the athleticism and inside presence of someone like Tyson Chandler. While there were a lot of names shipped to New York, the Mavericks didn’t lose a lot. Shane Larkin who showed promise last season is a long-term project the Mavericks don’t have time to wait for. Wayne Ellington was basically irrelevant for the Mavericks last year as he only contributed 8 minutes a game. Chandler is an upgrade over Dalembert, which leaves Calderon, who is the only player the Mavericks could understandably be sour about letting go. As a great passer and spot up shooter, Calderon was an integral part of their playoff run, which was unfortunately ended in Game 7 of the first round against the eventual NBA Champions; the Spurs. Chandler fills a hole in their defense and maybe a return to Dallas where Chandler won a championship in 2011 can spark another run next season.

Knicks:

And people doubted Phil Jackson… This coming season for the Knicks will most likely be a sham – simply a season before another. With Carmelo Anthony unlikely to re-sign with New York, Phil will have to wait for the summer of 2015 where Stoudemire and Bargnani’s contracts expire for him to make any major changes to the roster. Shedding Chandler’s contract now for value in return is smart as he was unlikely to re-sign next summer with New York anyway. Chandler struggled with injury early on but had one of his worst seasons since 2010, averaging 8.7 points and 9.6 rebounds. His defensive presence, while still very much alive, looked worse because of the awful defense he was in charge of anchoring. He was due 14.6 million next season. The Knicks not only got rid of him now, but in his place found the perfect point guard for the triangle offense. Calderon, an exceptional passer and spot up shooter is custom-made for a triangle offense and a huge upgrade over Raymond Felton who is coming off the worst season of his career, averaging 9.7 points and 5.6 assists on 39% shooting and 31% shooting from deep. Dalembert, while older and not the same player he used to be, can still man the paint effectively. Larkin can be a project the Knicks develop over time and Ellington is someone who despite limited minutes last season has range – he’s shot 38.6% from deep throughout his career. While Calderon is surely a long-term piece the Knicks will likely rebuild with, Dalembert and Ellington both expire after this season, and the Knicks will have a team option with Shane Larkin. The Knicks also acquired the 34th and 52nd picks. The 34th pick while a 2nd rounder, is probably the equivalent of a mid-round 1st pick in any other years draft due to the plethora of talent in this years draft class. According to sources, Phil Jackson has also looked to flip Larkin and Dalembert along with a 2nd round pick they acquired in this deal with the Mavericks for a late 1st rounder. This is the first of presumably many deals Phil will make to try and rebuild the Knicks team who disappointingly went 37-45 last season while missing out on the playoffs.

Problems in Knick World

If anybody thought the Knicks were going to instantly be a better team, they were wrong. They lost a big lead to Boston and only won because of lucky shots made by Melo. Tonight’s game against Golden State is atrocious. Winning by 8 points in the first half, then losing by 15 in the second. It’s all due to the lack of defense for 48 minutes. A common story in Knick world. Then there is their awful offense. I can’t believe I’d be saying this about a Mike D’antoni team but they can’t do a thing on the offensive end. When Amar’e and Melo aren’t scoring, like tonight, the Knicks have absolutely nothing. They have no flow, they have no playmakers with the ball. They have no passers and they look stagnant. They aren’t going to achieve any of the high expectations or goals set for themselves if they continue to play like this. Their offense cannot revolve solely around two players. They will get you 20 or so but then what? You’re stuck with Bibby shooting an old jump shot, and Bill Walker and Toney Douglas throwing up poor threes.

I realize these two games are just two out of a 66 game season. However, this game really shows the Knicks’ true colors. When their stars aren’t producing then this team is nothing. In a compressed season, they can’t count on two players to score for the whole team, or one player to defend for the whole team. They desperately need Iman Shumpert back, they need Baron Davis to distribute and they need an overall change of attitude. And culture. Ring a bell?

 

Mavericks Need to Rebuild

The Mavericks don’t realize how big an impact the loss of J.J Barea, Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler is to their team. While watching their game against Denver, one thing jumped out at me. The Mavericks are soft again. Tyson Chandler changed the culture of the Mavs last year. Notice the word changed. Meaning before him they were soft, and didn’t impose any intimidation or toughness. They’ve gone back to their ways.

Right now the Mavericks have no chance at winning the championship again this year. With the loss of Marion on opening day, their chances went down even more. Losing him in the starting lineup leaves only Jason Terry on the bench. Their defense is noticeably sluggish, without Chandler commanding the paint. And they’ve had long scoring droughts throughout both of their games. Dirk can’t do it all, and all of their secondary scorers aren’t young or athletic.  I’m not saying this to be harsh, but they’re game is a huge downgrade from last season. Losing to the Heat and the Nuggets is not a terrible thing, they are very good teams. However, they weren’t just beat. They were thrashed. The Mavericks lost by 22 points to Denver and 9 by the Heat. The Mavericks were down by 26 to the Heat at one point.

Both the Heat and the Nuggets are stacked with young talent. Look Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson. Both teams love to run and gun. They are all athletic and quick, that’s what is killing the Mavericks. They don’t have a quick young center anymore, they don’t have a J.J Barea to come off the bench and provide energy, they don’t have a young Caron Butler to put up points or a Deshawn Stevenson to knock down some threes. Most of their players are easy to guard, nobody will explode to the rim.

It may finally be time to rebuild for the Mavericks. They had four young players that they could’ve used for the future that they let go in the offseason. That could’ve been the foundation for the future, however now they’re team is mostly veterans. Everyone said they were too old last year but now I think they actually are. This is clear, and their two games are proof. Especially with this condensed season, the back to backs may tire out the Mavericks more so then other teams.

Mark Cuban is stubborn but he may have to face the facts. The Mavericks reign is over.

Christmas Day Predictions

As the clock hits 12 tomorrow the NBA season officially begins. Let’s take a look at the Christmas day match-ups. The winners and the losers.

Knicks vs. Celtics:

A repeat of the first round of the playoffs from last year. The Celtics swept the Knicks, however this year the Knicks are back with a vengeance. They drastically improved their roster this off season with additions like Tyson Chandler and Baron Davis among many others. This match-up should be very interesting. Or it should’ve been interesting, however recent changes in the Celtic roster have made this game a no brainer. Losing Jeff Green was a huge blow to their depth, and the injury of Paul Pierce just gives Melo more room to score. That means Marquis Daniels will start and that leaves the bench with…. Brandon Bass? That won’t be enough to hold off the Knicks, especially when the Celtics core are all in the mid 30’s and need breaks often. Tyson Chandler will also have whatever he wants in this game. He will most likely be guarded by Jermaine O’neal, a slower and shorter center. Tyson will have his way in the paint, and since Jermain O’neal isn’t an offensive weapon he will be able to play lots of help. Furthermore, Amar’e Stoudemire will play along the elbow and the perimeter causing Kevin Garnett to come out as well. Leaving Jermaine O’neal all alone. The guard play will be vital for the Celtics in order for them to win. Rajon Rondo has a large advantage over Toney Douglas, however Iman Shumpert has shown defensive capabilities as well as quickness and a 6’5 frame. He will need to step up this game, as well as Ray Allen. He will need to do more then just shoot, due to the absence of Paul Pierce. If I had to predict right now, I’d give it to the Knicks.

Heat vs. Mavericks:

A finals rematch, probably the most anticipated game of the Christmas match-ups. After winning the finals, the Mavericks made substantial changes to their roster. Letting Tyson Chandler, Deshawn Stevenson and J.J Barea go made the team softer. However, they added veterans Lamar Odom and Vince Carter. This game will be a test to see if the Mavericks still have the toughness and defense they had last year. Nobody will be able to guard Dirk in this game, because frankly, it’s impossible. He will get his share of points, no doubt. Lamar Odom will also be a threat on the floor, he and Bosh will be a great match-up considering they’re almost the same type of player. Then you have D-Wade and Lebron. It’s very rare that players can guard them. And this game will be no different. There is no way, an older Vince Carter can guard Lebron James. He’s slow, and he’s not interested in playing defense. At the shooting guard position there really is nobody to guard D-Wade except for Jason Terry. Although, the Dallas bench can still out battle the Miami bench, I will give this game to Miami. The loss of Tyson Chandler is bigger then they think, they lost toughness and a defensive anchor. Who’s really going to stop D-Wade and Lebron in the paint? Nobody.

Lakers vs. Bulls:

This game features the Bulls and the second best team in Los Angeles. The Lakers are out to prove that they can still win games, doubt has surrounded this team for weeks. Kobe’s injured, Bynum’s out, Lamars gone, the triangle offense is gone. Everything seems to have gone wrong, well unfortunately tomorrow won’t be the light at the end of the tunnel. I predict a Laker loss. Let me explain. The former MVP is going to destroy this whole team. It’s as simple as that. Derrick Fisher can’t guard him, neither can Kobe. He will get by the first man and Bynum will block him. Oh, wait Bynum is out. Pau isn’t a shot blocker and isn’t as intimidating as a Bynum. I forsee a Derrick Rose takeover tomorrow. Another strength of the Bulls is their bench. Taj Gibson…. 

Ya, remember him? Omer Asik and Kyle Korver are other names among the young bench who averaged around 27 points a game last season. Another weakness of the Lakers is their bench. They lost the 6th man of the year in Lamar Odom, and they lost Shannon Brown. Now that Bynum is out for 5 games, they have to move Josh McRoberts into the starting lineup, which leaves the Laker bench with…. Matt Barnes? Steve Blake? That won’t get the job done. Among all this doubt, there is a strength that the Lakers have. An angry Kobe Bryant. Kobe is the type of player to go off when he is mad, and oh boy does he have things to be mad about. His wife left him, he tore ligaments in his wrist, the front office traded Lamar Odom, and Mike Brown was appointed without any discussion. Even though he might go crazy tomorrow, that won’t be enough to get past Derrick Rose, the Bulls defense and their bench. I’ll give this one to the Bulls.

Thunder vs Magic:

The Magic fans will be happy to see Dwight Howard on the floor in an official game as a member of the Orlando Magic. They won’t be happy to watch their team get beat by the Thunder. The Thunder pride themselves in their defense and their energy. Their young talent and their scoring champion in Kevin Durant. I bet Kevin Durant is smiling somewhere right now as he thinks about the poor perimeter defense he will match up against tomorrow night. Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, Quentin Richardson. What a joke. Kevin Durant will rip them up from all over the floor. As well as his partner in crime Russell Westbrook. Who has no problem being guarded by Jameer Nelson. I bet James Harden is even looking forward to the loose defense of the Magic. However, getting to the basket will be harder then ever. Whenever you’re up against Dwight Howard you know points in the paint won’t come easy. He should have his way in the middle, nobody on the Thunder can really out muscle him. They do have a good chance of constraining him though, considering the depth at the power forward/center position. Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collinson and Cole Aldrich are all very defensive minded players and will try keep Dwight Howard under control, but we all know that’s close to impossible. The depth is also a huge problem with the Magic. Besides Big Baby Davis and Quentin Richardson the bench is pretty empty. Everyone else is inconsistent and won’t be a match for the young and energetic  bench who scored around 30 points a game last season. This game will go to the Thunder. I will also predict that this win against the Magic will be the beginning of their finals run. A win in the finals? Possibly but this could be the beginning of something special.

Clippers vs. Warriors:

The world is buzzing about the Los Angeles Clippers. The most exciting team in sports right now. The “Lob Angeles Clippers,” they’ve been dubbed. The talents of Blake Griffin and CP3 combined seems like something out of a video game. I would say they scored the biggest this off season with the additions of Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler and Chris Paul. They’ve proved they’re no fluke, while beating the Lakers in both preseason games. I could see this game being more of a challenge for the Clippers. The Warriors actually have players who can stay with CP3. Stephen Curry has shown defensive aptitude in his career and although Monta Ellis isn’t a defensive minded guy he can still keep with CP3.  The Warriors bench is also very young and talented. Ekpe Udoh, Klay Thompson, and Brandon Rush are among the bench. They will provide a boost of energy for the Warriors if they need it. Unlike the Lakers, the Warriors are a very young team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they really give the Clippers a run for their money. This match-up is especially interesting because  neither team really plays too much defense. This should be a score-a-thon. Both teams somwhere in the 100’s. The X-factor in this game for me is DeAndre Jordan. Blake Griffin will pound David Lee down low, he isn’t quick or strong enough to guard him. DeAndre Jordan is the key to a Clippers loss or win. It is yet to be seen if he can be a defensive anchor in the middle, if he can man the paint and provide an intimidation factor, then Monta Ellis and Steph Curry will have a harder time scoring. If he ignores the defensive end, then this game will come down to who can outscore the other. We’ll see. I’m going to be spontaneous and give this one to the Warriors. I have to have at least one surprise. I think the Clipper mania will come to a halt when the Warriors come out of nowhere and beat the Clippers.

What do you think? Comment who you have to win each game. Only 13  hours until tip-off. Here we go!

Does New York Have a Contender?

With the unofficial addition of Baron Davis, we begin to wonder if the expectation of a title could be realistic. The Knicks have the best front-court in the NBA with Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler. The rookie Iman Shumpert showed tons of potential in New York’s preseason game in New Jersey. The gap in their roster was in the backcourt and on the bench. Now that they’ve added an experienced veteran in Baron Davis, the backcourt is more experienced and the roster is deeper. If D’antoni decides to start Baron when he is fully healthy, there is an option of Shumpert, Douglas or Bibby coming off the bench. That’s a lot of options, especially when Douglas can play the 2.

How does this team stack up against the elite teams in the NBA? This offseason, they really made a jump from an average team, to an elite team. However, the expectations of winning a championship put a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Let’s analyze their game and see if they have what it takes.

Offense:

We all know the Knicks can score. With Carmelo and Amar’e combining for around 50 points a game, offense is never a concern. Especially when your coach is the infamous offensive minded man that is Mike D’antoni. Surrounding their two offensive stars, Tony Douglas, Landry Fields, Mike Bibby, Baron Davis, Iman Shumpert have all shown they have offensive talent. And the three ball. A deadly weapon. Their backcourt was only concern. They have four options to pick from for point guard. Now that Baron Davis is here, he and Mike Bibby can mentor the younger guards and bring experience. Let’s not forget how dangerous Baron Davis is when healthy. 

Defense:

This is the really big question for the new look knicks this season. Defense has been their weakness every season. The addition of Tyson Chandler filled a hole in the front court, and provided a defensive presence in the paint. He brought wear and tear, and toughness to a “soft” Dallas team last year, and is trying to do the same with the Knicks. Don’t underestimate the perimeter defense either. Landry Fields and Toney Douglas have proven themselves as capable perimeter defenders. Iman Shumpert also showed his defensive aptitude in the preaseason game against the Nets. Iman End to End The team defense, however is the concern. Communication isn’t a problem on this team. They have leaders, and talking to one another won’t be an issue. The issue will be working together as a team and playing defense for 48 minutes. Something Amar’e and Melo aren’t known for. No matter how good Tyson is in the paint, he can’t play defense for a whole team.

Bench:

Depth was a huge problem for the Knicks last season. After giving up practically all of their young talent in the “Melo Drama”, they were left with few assets. They’re depth in the backcourt won’t be a problem. They have four options at the point guard position. The frontcourt depth is a bit of a problem though. Renaldo Balkman won’t put up 20 points every night like he did on Saturday. Jerome Jordan, and Josh Harrelson are young players with little experience. They will have to really step up to help out when the Knicks’ dangerous starting front court takes a break. That might not be enough to win a championship. Depth is everything. It was the difference in the finals last year. The Heat were extremely limited and the Mavericks had J.J Barea and Jason Terry putting up double digits every game.

With all the new assets the Knicks are certainly a contender and a legitimate team for the first time in recent memory. However, the bar may be a bit too high for the Knicks at this point. They will hold their own against the elite but still have to prove themselves as a team. Only time will tell.

Chris Paul + Clips

Finally, David Stern and the rest of the owners gave in to a trade involving Chris Paul. The Clippers traded Chris Kaman, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and the 1st pick of the 2012 draft. All for CP3 and two second round draft picks. Now that CP3 is with the Clippers, the first question that needs addressing is an extension. Did the Clippers trade young talent for a guy who will dash out when he gets the chance? Also, who is the better team in Los Angeles? Questions need answers, so here we go.

If I was Chris Paul, I would sign an extension with the Clippers. It’s actually a no brainer. You’d be playing with the rookie of the year and one of the best big men in the league. You’d be playing in the best city in america. Hollywood. Where the opportunities are endless. Don’t forget being mentored by 2004 finals MVP Chauncey Billups. And playing with a developing Tyson Chandler type of player in Deandre Jordan. He won’t get anything better in the offseason. This team can take him far in the short term but also in the longterm.

The other question under discussion is the rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers. Who is better? The Lakers have ruled the city of Los Angeles for as long as the NBA has been around. The Clippers are like the disappointing son who is stuck in their father’s shadow. Kobe has been the king of Los Angeles and only until Blake Griffin came along did people even consider the Clippers as a legitimate team.

Now it seems like the Clippers are the better team in Los Angeles. The Lakers have the experience point. They have Kobe one of the best players in the league, and along with him, Pau, Metta World Peace, Andrew Bynum and Derrick Fisher who all know what it takes to win a championship. However, the Clippers have the fresh legs. They have the developing stars and two all stars who are both under 30. The point guard competition between the two teams isn’t even a comparison. Chris Paul almost single handedly beat the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs last year. The Lakers only won 4-2 in what was an expected blow out. Chris Paul will take Derrick Fisher to town all day long. The shooting guard position isn’t a comparison either. Kobe will burn Eric Bledsoe every time down the floor. He has the moves even at 33, he can still score 40 if he wants to. The small forward position is pretty equal to me. Ron Artest is clearly the better defender, and is the tougher and stronger player. However, last season he scored a career low 8 points a game. He is an offensive liability and won’t be too hard to defend for Caron Butler. The Power Forward position goes to the Clippers. Everyone may be a bit surprised by the last statement. However, last postseason I couldn’t stand watching Pau Gasol play basketball. A ‘7 footer playing soft actually agitates me. If you have the size, strength and agility then use it. He didn’t at all. He also won’t be able to keep up with the speedy, and strong Blake Griffin who will jump over him any time he wants. The center position however, has to go to the Lakers. DeAndre Jordan is becoming a force in the paint but Andrew Bynum has the experience and more of a developed game on both sides of the floor.The bench goes to the Clippers. After the Lakers losing Lamar Odom and Shannon Brown their bench is pretty empty. They signed Josh McRoberts however, there is a limit to his game. The Clippers bench has Chauncey Billups the 2004 finals MVP and one of the smartest players in the game, who will mentor every young player on the team.The coaching competition is the easiest of all. Vinny Del Negro needs to go. Mike Brown is a defensive mastermind, and has been to the finals before with James and the 2007 Cavaliers.

Now that we’ve established the better team in Los Angeles, we have to take the Clippers to the whole conference and see how they compare. I can see them winning the Pacific Division. It will be close but they can get it over the Lakers. When playoffs come around they will definitely be in contention. They will come in the top 4 in the West but that’s when their run might end. They have talent, they have fresh legs, they have superstars but they don’t have too much experience. That is the key when a game 7 comes around in the playoffs. The smart players, and the players used to pressure will prevail. The Clippers only weakness is their experience. If they could add another veteran on the bench that could do wonders.

Chandler and The Knicks

Report:  According to ESPN.com Tyson Chandler confirmed he will sign a 4 year 58 million dollar deal. “It just really happened over the last, like, 48 hours,” Chandler said. “I just think the future of the team, being able to play alongside Amare Stoudemireme Carmelo Anthony and the young talent that we have, I feel like puts us in contention over the next four or five years.” They will have to release Billups for cap reasons. The Knicks have the player they were looking for but are now financially limited for a long time. They are now limited from the 2012 Free Agency Summer Frenzy. Was getting Chandler for this price a smart move? What do you think?

It seems like up till now the only names involved with the Knicks have been CP3, Superman, and Grant Hill. Now it seems like Tyson Chandler is going to end up in the Big Apple. Although, he’s not a superstar like Cp3 or Dwight Howard he is the key to the Knicks’ success. Let’s examine why they are the match made in heaven.

Chandler:

* Brought toughness to “soft” team in Dallas

* Brought size, and presence to the paint

* Was the X-Factor in Dallas’ win

* Influenced whole team to shift focus to defense

Now let’s think about the Knicks’ weaknesses…

* No real big man

* Sloppy on defense

* Nobody guarding the paint

* A generally “soft” team

* Inconsistent rebounding ability

Honestly, we have the perfect couple. It also seems like New York is Chandler’s number one destination. According to an ESPN.com source, “New York is Tyson’s first choice.” It was also mentioned that, ” It’s 98 percent sure that Tyson is going to wind up with the Knicks.”

Up until now, the Golden State Warriors seemed like the favorite for Chandler, but finally the Knicks came to their senses and starting thinking practically. They have been lacking a true center since Patrick Ewing left the garden. CP3 was their main priority but it seems like they don’t have the assets to trade for him, and the Hornets are more then likely to get the most value out of Paul before it’s too late. They also might be making amends for the rushed Melo acquisition last season. They are aware that Paul wants a bite out of the big apple, and they are aware that he won’t sign an extension for any teams except the Lakers if they were to get him. Sources are also reporting that there is an Amar’e for Paul trade being mentioned. Don’t do it. This relates directly to that saying. If it was meant to be it will happen. Well if Paul and New York are destined for each other, then trading your star player for someone who will come in the summer seems pointless.

The only downside to this whole idea is that the Knicks will most likely lose Mr Clutch A.K.A Chauncey Billups in the process. There would also be a hole at the point guard position, however Toney Douglas showed true potential last season and could fill the spot if given the chance. As well as Ronny Turiaf who can be replaced more easily.  They could use the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups and trade Ronny Turiaf. However, there is another option that seems more lucrative for the future. They could involve Billups and Turiaf in a sign and trade with Dallas which could bring over Tyson Chandler as well as free up space for the summer of 2012 when CP3 will be a free agent, considering he doesn’t sign an extension with whatever team he ends up on.

Wait it gets even better. It is reported that Chris Paul badly wants to reunite with Tyson Chandler, whom he played with in New Orleans. So with Tyson Chandler, you could guarentee short term success and long term success if CP3 really wants New York and Chandler he will come next summer.