Before getting into what was a busy first day of NBA free agency, let’s talk about Joe Dumars and his sudden firing of Pistons coach Michael Curry. You can’t really say it was “out of nowhere,” because few teams fell apart quite like the ’08-09 Pistons fell apart, and Dumars has proven that he’s not exactly patient. (It’s a miracle he didn’t trade Amir Johnson two years ago.) But it was just two months ago that Dumars admitted he’d fired previous coaches too soon, promised to be more patient with Curry, and even took some responsibility for putting Curry in a tough situation with the Billups/Iverson trade. What happened to that? … Avery Johnson, Doug Collins and Bill Laimbeer‘s names have been bounced around as replacements. Judging by how the Rip Hamilton/Curry beef played out, this group of players needs somebody they immediately respect. Laimbeer, Collins and Avery all have the on-court credentials, but Collins’ time may have been too long ago for any of those guys to remember or care … It’ll never get out publicly, but if Avery gets the job, you know Devin Harris and Jason Kidd are gonna tease Rodney Stuckey about the micro-managing hell he’s about to encounter. And if Laimbeer gets the job? Well, you can make your own jokes about the seamless transition from dealing with the Shock to dealing with the Pistons … One of the guys who was supposed to be a big free-agent fish in ’09 took himself off the table. Carlos Boozer decided not to opt-out of his contract, meaning he’s coming back to Utah at a $12.7 million price tag and pretty much stamped Paul Millsap‘s ticket out of town. Maybe the Jazz front office and fans would’ve preferred Millsap, but either way they’re in decent shape. It’s a good problem to have when you’re giving up one walking double-double at power forward but you’ve got another one sitting right there ready to make an All-Star bid … Mehmet Okur and Kyle Korver also decided to opt-in, so Jerry Sloan will have most of his core unit back (minus Millsap, plus Eric Maynor) to make another run next year. The unfortunate part? Utah will be expected to be good, so once again Sloan can’t win Coach of the Year … In the interest of time and space, for this next section we’re gonna skip all the “reportedly” and “apparently” and “rumored to be” stuff; just presume everything is a fact or close enough. Cool? … Hedo Turkoglu has the Blazers on top of his list, even though they can’t pay him the $10M a year he was looking for; The Pistons and Cavs are going after Charlie Villanueva, and while Detroit has more money, Charlie wrote on his Twitter page that he thinks he’s the missing piece to a championship in Cleveland; The Rockets are exploring trade scenarios for Chris Bosh (T-Mac back to T-Dot?), and if that doesn’t work, will make Bosh their top free agent target in 2010; and for an insurance policy, Houston got in early talking to Marcin Gortat, but is he really an NBA starter?; Memphis is still trying to get Zach Randolph from the Clippers, but they’re also prepared to chase David Lee and Millsap in free agency; The Celtics didn’t make a qualifying offer to Leon Powe, which you can blame on his knees; Eddie House made the smart move and took his $2.9M player option, killing our wish to see if he’d still act like an ass if he’s playing for a Lottery team … J.R. Smith was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 500 hours community service for charges related to that car accident two summers ago that caused the death of his friend … Corey Maggette had surgery on his right wrist and will be out for a month. When he does come back, you don’t want to be anywhere near whatever gym he works out in during the offseason. With a month’s worth of shots to catch up on, “Bad Porn” would be the worst pickup teammate EVER. Tony Dungy would even be compelled to choke him … From Ron Artest‘s alleged Twitter: “Played pickup bball against an 8 year old today. Beat him 47-1. I teabagged him so many times I nicknamed him Earl Gray!” Why hasn’t anyone given this guy a TV show yet? … We’re out like Bad Porn …
NBA Free Agency tips off, and is Houston replacing Yao with Bosh?
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