Declaration of Independence

09.27.07 10 years ago 32 Comments
IMAGE DESCRIPTIONPhoto. Estevan Oriol

So it’s not just rumors and speculation anymore: Shawn Marion is officially looking for a way out of Phoenix. “I’m tired of hearing my name in trades,” Matrix told the Arizona Republic, the day after it had been reported he was seemingly unhappy heading into training camp. “It’s time to move on.” We would say this is just Marion showing frustration and everything will blow over soon, but given his contract situation (he can opt out after this year), the fact that he has been in so many trade rumors, and that there are some adequate replacements possibly on the trading block, we think Matrix will get dealt — if not now, then before the deadline in February. The easiest move would be to send Marion to Utah for Andrei Kirilenko. Money-wise they’re pretty much equal, basketball-wise they’re pretty much equal (Matrix is the better rebounder and scorer, AK the better passer), and each of them wants a change of scenery. But do the Suns or Jazz want to help out their conference rival by handing each other an All-Star caliber player? Probably not. And if Marion really is as bothered by not getting his props from the public/media as he seems, how’s he gonna feel being in small-market Utah; still overshadowed by Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer, and playing on national TV less often? … Another possibility for Marion is the Lakers. Shawn himself has already said would be his ideal place and says Kobe is down for it. There’s no way L.A. lands Marion without giving up Lamar Odom, so in that case, do they really get that much better in that trade? Pound-for-pound, Marion is better than Odom. But considering what you need for the triangle to work and the things Lamar brings to the table (passing, ball-handling, ability to create his own shot) that Marion really doesn’t, Odom is a better fit for the Lakers. Unless you have Marion playing almost a Dennis Rodman role in the triangle, then slide Luke Walton to that Pippen/wing spot, that could maybe work. We do know this much; in Phoenix’s system, a healthy Odom would be a beast … Everything seems to be OK in L.A. on the Kobe front: “I have no reason to think he won’t report [to camp],” Mitch Kupchak told reporters. That’s cool and all, but you never like it when you have to answer questions like that regarding your franchise player … The Celtics picked up two more guys for the bench: Esteban Batista and Dahntay Jones. We like the Jones move. He’s an athlete who just hasn’t gotten a lot of time to shine in Memphis. Everyone is convinced Batista is actually going to do something in the NBA this time, but despite the big numbers at the FIBA tournament, we’re not sold yet. At the very least, though, he’s six fouls to throw in there with Big Baby, Leon Powe and the rest … And if you missed it, Samaki Walker is back, signing with the Bucks this week … Nellie to the San Jose Mercury News on Marco Belinelli: “The guy’s got stardom written all over him.” … Are you more athletic than Andrew Bynum? The Orange County Register has an interview with Bynum’s trainer where he says Mr. Ship His A@$ Out of Here runs one mile in a little less than 6 minutes, 50 seconds; bench presses 305; and can squat 405 pounds 10 times. Next time you’re at the gym, see if you can match that … Our friends over at NBADraft.net have their 2009 mock draft up, and the cream of this year’s high school crop is well-represented. Over on High School Hoop we broke down why guys like B.J. Mullens, Demar DeRozan, Brandon Jennings and Greg Monroe will be high Lottery picks. Check it out here … NBATV replayed Game 1 of the 2001 playoff series between Philly and Indiana yesterday. That was the year the Sixers went to the Finals, but they lost this particular game after Reggie Miller (wearing a 1991 haircut in 2001) stuck a three with a little less than three seconds to go, then — depending on who you ask — got away with a foul on Allen Iverson on the final possession. Individually, the two superstars didn’t have great games; Reggie was 5-for-21 from the field, and Aaron McKie was just as productive on offense as A.I., who had about 15 points. Dikembe Mutombo and J.O. (fresh out of Portland) did their thing, though; Dikembe went for 12 points, 22 boards and 5 blocks, while Jermaine had 12, 20 and three. Funny how last week we were watching Jermaine ride all kinds of pine when NBATV showed Lakers/Blazers from 2000, and a year later he’s a star. What could that Portland group have done if they’d just given him some burn? … We’re out like Matrix …

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