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Trevor Ariza Is This Year's James Posey

Detroit makes first free agent splash, and Z-Bo finds a home

By 07.02.09
Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon

They say it’s not really free agent season until somebody gets at least $50 million richer — meaning we’re officially underway now that Ben Gordon cashed in with the Pistons for 50 mil over five years. Detroit also reached an agreement with Charlie Villanueva for $35M over five years, giving the team almost an entirely different core from the one that played in the conference finals just 13 months ago. This isn’t going to be the defense-first, everybody-gets-equal-shots squad we’ve gotten used to … Two questions that popped up as soon as the Gordon news broke: (1) Did the Pistons overpay for a guy who can only really do one thing well? (2) And does this mean Rip Hamilton — their other highly-paid SG who only does one thing well — is getting traded? … The Pistons also need a coach, which Joe Dumars said will be done by this time next week. Doug Collins has reportedly pulled his name out of the running, so it looks like Avery Johnson will be the guy. Is it just us or does it seem like we go through this with Collins every couple years, where he’s considered for a job then decides to pull his name out? Maybe he just needs to feel needed … As for the Wolves’ coaching search, they’ve narrowed it down to Mark Jackson, Brian Shaw, Sam Mitchell, Kurt Rambis, Bill Laimbeer, and Blazers assistant Monty Williams … Wednesday’s other big move saw the Grizzlies getting Zach Randolph from the Clippers for Quentin Richardson. Oh well; we had Q-Rich and D-Miles reunited for a few days — not so much excited about Q being back with the Clips unless he’s got his head-tapping partner with him. Memphis can plug Zach in at PF right away and he’ll get his 20-and-10, but what is Q’s role in L.A.? He could be Mike Dunleavy Sr.‘s other Steve Novak, somebody sits all game long but gets put in when the Clips need a last-second shot even though he’s ice-cold and his legs are stiff … The Celtics are really putting on the full-court press for Rasheed Wallace. As soon as the negotiation period opened at 12 a.m. Wednesday, Danny Ainge was knocking on ‘Sheed’s front door, and later in the day the team sent KG, Pierce, Ray and Doc over to recruit ‘Sheed some more. NBA free agency can defy reality: Under what other circumstances would anyone ever knock on Rasheed Wallace’s door past midnight? He’s liable to answer with a .38 or a tire iron … The Celtics are also among the teams interested in Ron Artest, who could get the mid-level exception (probably about $5.5M) from any contender if he’s willing to take less money for a chance at a ring. Ron-Ron met with LeBron yesterday, and the Lakers are also in the mix …

Stephon Marbury

Stephon Marbury

Is anyone else seeing Marcin Gortat turning into the next Jim McIlvaine? Dude is getting just a little too much hype for somebody who only plays 10 minutes a night and doesn’t really have an offensive game. The Rockets and Thunder are the two teams after Gortat the hardest, and Orlando GM Otis Smith said the Magic are going to “match anything” that’s offered to the restricted free agent, even if it means going into luxury-tax territory … Meanwhile, the Magic seem to have conceded the fact that Hedo Turkoglu is gone; he’s got a reported five-year, $60 million offer from Toronto, and a five-year, $50 million offer from Portland. If the Raps spend that kind of dough on Hedo, even though everyone thinks they’re gonna lose Chris Bosh eventually, does this mean they’re making the transition to build around Hedo? Or does it show that they’re going to do whatever it takes to keep Bosh? … After seeing sh*t like this in Greece, Josh Childress may be ready to come back to America. Still a restricted free agent for the Hawks, Childress met with the Bucks about a return to the NBA. He’d probably step right in an start over Joe Alexander, too … Meanwhile, the Hawks are targeting Jarrett Jack, who could start at PG if Atlanta loses Mike Bibby and Mike Woodson does the smart thing and brings Jamal Crawford off the bench as a volume scorer … As for the Pacers, they’re looking at Dahntay Jones, who fits right in with their renewed commitment to defense. Danny Granger talked about that in a Dime Q&A yesterday, plus what he thinks of the Tyler Hansbrough pick and where you can find the best pickup run on the West Coast … Stephon Marbury wants to come back to the Celtics even though he knows they can’t pay him much, and didn’t pass up a chance to take more shots at the Knicks. “I wouldn’t want to play in that system,” Marbury told the New York Post. “That system can’t win championships. You can’t win championships if you don’t talk about defense. In Boston, the coaches even play defense.” Steph also talked about last season’s NY banishment. “They spent $3 million on a 29th pick. They could’ve given $3 million to Anucha (Browne-Sanders). I knew it was personal. It’s about ego and power. I’ve never been so happy to be out of someplace. The way I was treated, lied to, grown men doing this that have stature.” When Steph can take the moral high ground on the sexual harrassment case — and he’s right — you know your organization is a mess … We’re out like The Polish McIlvaine …

TOPICS#LeBron James

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