Posted: Wednesday July 5, 2006 12:48PM; Updated: Thursday July 6, 2006 12:49AM
A guy like Wallace deserves credit for continually (he's played 96 percent of his team's games over the last eight seasons) throwing his undersized frame around the interior over his remarkable career. Still, this often leads to bouts of moodiness. Wallace has reportedly had issues with the four different coaches who manned the sideline in his six-year run in Detroit, and though Chicago coach Scott Skiles may seem like a 6-foot version of Big Ben, things are bound to get testy as Wallace takes to superstar money.
Even worse, the soon-to-be-traded Chandler's statistics as a 23-year old from last season dwarf Wallace's production as a 23-year old from nearly a decade before -- and he's four inches taller. This signing is a big hit now, but it's hard to see Chicago reflecting fondly on this deal in '10.
Am I missing something with this guy? He hits a fair amount of his shots when he's wide open but misses just enough to where you don't feel bad about failing to rotate toward him some 24-feet from the hoop. And though he'll get hot with a hand in his face, he'll miss enough wide open shots to where you won't regard him as a 6-10 Steve Kerr. He rarely drives, doesn't post up, doesn't rebound, and might be one of the worst defenders in the league.
And yet, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak decided to sign Radmanovic to mid-level exception cash (published reports say five years, $30 million), hoping he'll turn it all around. At least I'm hoping that this is what Kupchak is hoping, because he couldn't possibly been that turned on by the player he saw in Seattle and with the Clippers last year -- could he?
Phil Jackson's offense is predicated on ball movement, guys working as a seamless unit and dashing all over the court without the ball. It doesn't do much for men who plant themselves in one spot outside the 3-point arc -- which is why Brian Cook was in and out of favor last season. Los Angeles paid average money for an average player, I know, but couldn't it have been used to sign a pair of defenders (at point guard, especially) instead?
Peja Stojakovic and Bobby Jackson
The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will be significantly better next season, and they should be commended for signing actual free agents (instead of just extending their own players), but committing so much to this pair of former Sacramento Kings is worrying.
Stojakovic's only 29, but his production has decreased for two straight seasons, two-and-a-half, if you count his up-and-down '03-04 campaign. He's a shooter, and the Hornets had big issues trying to stretch the defense with Desmond Mason at the wing last year. But Stojakovic will also give up buckets of points, he's injury prone (missing important playoff games last season, in a contract year no less) and he's reported to be making close to $13 million a year over the next five seasons.
And giving three years and $17 million, as reports indicate, to a 33-year old Jackson is a stretch. It's easy to love Jackson's game, but you usually only get to love it for 60 games a season. Last year's backup, Speedy Claxton, had a better season than Jackson did in '05-06, he's five years younger and didn't sign for much more with the Hawks. Jackson's rebounding and all-around play seem more in line with the sublime Chris Paul, but what's the point if you're going to have to reach into the NBDL to find Paul's backup when Jackson invariably goes down with injury?