INSIDER – Thoughts on Free Agency from the Grand Canyon

Sorry for the lack of news for those of you unaware my family and I are on a cross country RV trip and the internet connectivity has been limited. If you would like more on the trip you can get it here

Jefferson to Charlotte
Al is wonderful man and was a great teammate to Enes Kanter and a super member of the Jazz community but 13.5 million a year for Jefferson is not something the Jazz wanted to do. With the NBA CBA you can have 3 players that earn 40 million or 4 players that earn 45 or you will be in serious jeopardy of going over the luxury tax. No need for the Jazz to put 13.5 million toward Jefferson under those constraints.

It will be interesting to see how the Jazz are defensively without Jefferson. Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a critical piece on the coaching staffs defensive structure and systems. However, almost everything the team was doing defensively was trying to cover for Jefferson and preclude teams from isolating him. The defensive numbers with Jefferson on the floor were awful and when he was on the bench were ok. If you look at our worst defensive line-ups all of them had Jefferson on the floor and the same groups of 4 without Jefferson were not bad defensively.

On the other hand, Jefferson was the Jazz low post go to scorer. He was remarkable over the last few years late in games and that will be difficult to replace. However, not to the tune of 13.5 million a year.

CLIPPERS ADD REDDICK MOVING BLEDSOE AND BUTLER

I have never been a fan of Caron Butler, he is an inefficient player and I am not totally sold on Eric Bledsoe as a point guard. The addition of Jared Dudley and JJ Reddick two efficicent players to the Clippers are going to make them an offensive beast.

Bledsoe was a good defensive player and that is going to be missed and the Clippers must find a defensive player and a point guard to complete their roster.

This is a nice move by the Clippers. The Suns have now started their franchise Bledsoe and Len. I am not sold on either player but what they do with Gortat and Dragic will determine their rebuilding project.

EVANS TO NEW ORLEANS IN THREE WAY DEAL WITH SACRAMENTO AND PORTLAND

New Orleans becomes interesting. I am not sure if they are good but they are interesting. Holliday, Gordon, Evans, Anderson and Davis. Their guard line can’t shoot from the outside but Anderson can stretch the floor. Evans has a chance to be a good player outside of Sacramento but Holliday was very inefficient in Philadelphia and can’t shoot from the outside either.

I love what Portland did here. Robin Lopez is a nice player who could be a good starter or a terrific thrid big. With the roster the Blazers have Lopez makes for a nice center where Meyers Leonard is not ready.

Sacramento’s new ownership is doing everything they can to restart their franchise but it is going to take lots of time and defensiveless point guard is not the answer but they have little choices.

OTHER QUICK THOUGHTS
* OJ Mayo wants the ball not wins
* Love the Spurs move to get Marco Belinelli
* 6 million for Korver, wow
* The Knicks were screwed by the Luxury tax and had to over pay JR Smith because of it. Interesting how that hamstrings a luxury team.

Lastly, let me be on the record that the Clippers had no choice but the Chris Paul contract is going to be a major problem at the end of the deal.

Would you really be willing to let Dwight Howard have his hands around the neck of your franchise?