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Jefferson puts Spurs back in title hunt; CP3 jumps Kobe & LeBron

By 06.24.09
RJ & wife (photo. Sports Illustrated)

RJ & wife (photo. Sports Illustrated)

Enough of the rumors; Tuesday saw one actual, real-life NBA trade go down (or at least be agreed to in principle) that seriously impacts the 2010 championship race, and another that great impacts the top of tomorrow’s Draft. The Spurs basically stole Richard Jeffferson from the Bucks, sending them Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas and Fabricio Oberto. And since Milwaukee will most likely buy out Bowen and he’ll re-sign with San Antonio for the minimum, the Spurs really didn’t lose much here … Jefferson fell off the map playing for the sorry, never-on-TV Bucks last year (19.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg), but he’s still the guy you remember from New Jersey, only a year removed from being heavy in the All-Star discussion. At 29, he brings the Spurs a legit scorer at the three, some youth and athleticism, and a guy who can improve Tony Parker‘s assist numbers just on fast-break opportuities alone. He’s also a vet who shouldn’t have much of a problem blending into Gregg Popovich‘s system and somebody who has a lot of playoff experience, having been to two Finals with the Nets … So between Trinidadian supermodel Teresa Lourenco (RJ’s wife) and Eva Longoria-Parker, do the Spurs have any competition for which NBA team has the best wifey eye candy? … The biggest winner in the deal, aside from the Spurs, is Joe Alexander. After a forgettable rookie season, he could become the Bucks’ starter at small forward and show why he was a Lottery pick in the first place … The other trade saw the Wolves send Randy Foye and Mike Miller to Washington for Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov, Darius Songaila and the 5th pick. The Wizards backcourt is looking real nice now with Foye and Gilbert Arenas, and Miller adds even more offensive punch (presuming last year was just an extended slump and he hasn’t entirely lost his jumper). Minnesota gets a little taller, but the important part is that they now have the 5th and 6th picks. Who should they take? And do you think it’s smart to do all this roster overhaul when they don’t even have a coach yet? … With NBA Draft Media Day happening later today, Tuesday was really the last day for pre-draft workouts. Tyler Hansbrough, Gerald Henderson and Jeff Pendergraph (why?) were among those working out for the Nets, and UNC fans will be glad to know Psycho T got some get-back and bloodied Henderson’s nose during the session. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t intentional, but we’re also pretty sure Tyler cracked a smile about it later on when he was by himself … The Raptors brought Wake Forest forward James Johnson (the first guy Stephen A. Smith will have to pretend he knows something about on Draft Night) in for another look; Johnson is on their list of targets with the 9th pick, along with DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Jonny Flynn and Henderson. At the peak of the “Jose Calderon is the next Steve Nash” hype (which wasn’t that long ago), did you ever think the Raptors would be looking for a PG with a Top-10 pick despite having Calderon locked into a long-term deal? …

Chris Paul (photo. Zach Wolfe)

Chris Paul (photo. Zach Wolfe)

Sean May is available. The Bobcats didn’t pick up his contract option, making him an unrestricted free agent. That sound you just heard was the night manager of every Chick-Fil-A in the greater Charlotte area slamming their fists on the counter. Which team is the best fit for May? In today’s economy, they’re gonna be wary of signing a dude who single-handedly forces you to increase your expenses when it comes to the pre-game/post-game spread … Speaking of the NBA Fit Club, Eddy Curry is allegedly getting into shape. Knicks GM Donnie Walsh told the New York Times, “He’s losing weight. He’s starting to get his body to look like an athlete’s body again.” And for Curry, any kind of athlete will do at this point: shot putter, offensive lineman, pro bowler … Maybe it’s because he looks like your old wise uncle, but you can just tell Anthony Johnson is a smart dude. Talking about exercising his $2.1 million player-option with the Magic next season, AJ said, “I’m 35 years old and a point guard. Not a big contract to be gotten.” If only Latrell Sprewell had that kind of grasp on reality, he could’ve extended his career a few more years … People complain about LeBron and Kobe, but Chris Paul might be the most overhyped dude in the League. Not that we don’t love CP3 — he’s always been super-cool with Dime and everybody in the office would pay to watch him play — but some of the stuff TV talking heads and writers say about him borders on ridiculous. For example, the “Paul is the best PG since Magic” argument that gained steam this season, or Clippers’ announcer Mike Smith’s creepy man-crush. Yesterday, one of ESPN’s Insider writers tried to make the case that CP is the best draft pick of the last 20 years. (Or at least hinted at making the case; we don’t anybody who pays for Insider so we only saw the teaser.) We don’t even have to argue the merits of Duncan, Shaq, LeBron, Garnett, Pierce, Wade, Iverson, Payton and the other obvious choices over Paul. But take it a notch lower, and has CP even put himself above Mutombo, Vince, Dirk or Carmelo yet?. Again, love CP, but sometimes it’s just going too far … We’re out like Sean May …

TOPICS#Chris Paul#KOBE BRYANT#LeBron James

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