With the biggest of the big-name free agents quickly finding homes, the next phase is all about reactionary replacements. Example: The Blazers thought they had Hedo Turkoglu the other day, but now that he’s going to the Raptors, Portland has turned their sights on David Lee. They can offer Lee the same $50 million over five years they offered Hedo, but is Lee even worth that much? He’s only had one good year (16 ppg, 11.7 rpg) as a starter, and those numbers were put up in Mike D’Antoni‘s stats-on-crack system where he was the only rebounder on the Knicks. And do the Blazers really need to spend $10M a year on LaMarcus Aldridge‘s backup? … Meanwhile, the Bulls are looking to replace Ben Gordon‘s scoring punch, so they’re trying to talk Jannero Pargo into coming back home from the Euroleague. The Hornets are also trying to get Pargo, but he’s a Chicago native, so that could sway his decision … And the Cavs, having missed on Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza, are now interested in Anthony Parker. Obviously not a game-changer like the aforementioned two, at least Parker is a smart vet who can contribute; he can be a threat in the stand-around-and-watch-LeBron offense, and he can play some D … Mike Bibby is close to re-upping with the Hawks on a three-year deal. From everything we’ve read, a lot of people assume there’s gonna be problems between Bibby and Jamal Crawford over who’s gonna start (Joe Johnson obviously isn’t going anywhere), but we don’t see it being an issue. We’ve been around and worked with Crawford enough to know he’s willing to accept a sixth man role on a playoff team — he’s never been to the postseason before — and especially when he’d still be involved come crunch time. Mike Woodson should be smart enough to know that a crunch-time lineup of Bibby, Crawford, Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford will win games for the Hawks. If anything, the loser in Bibby re-signing would be Jeff Teague, who may be on his way to becoming Acie Law V … Trade that could have been: T-Mac to Utah for Andrei Kirilenko. According to the Deseret News, the Rockets and Jazz were talking about it, but the Jazz pulled out. Crazy as it would have been just a couple years ago, it makes sense now. When he’s on his game, AK-47 does too many things for Utah that T-Mac can’t … Team USA is ripping through the under-19 world tourney in New Zealand; In pool play this week they beat Iran by 51, France by 16, and Egypt by 57. The squad is headlined by Seth Curry (Stephen’s little brother, sitting out this year as a transfer at Duke), DeAngelo Casto (Washington State workhorse destined to become the DeJuan Blair of the 2012 NBA Draft) and Trey Thompkins (PF who will get Georgia back on the map), but the star so far is Pitt point guard Ashton Gibbs. Through the first three games he’s leading the U.S. with 12.7 points and 4.0 assists per game. After sitting behind Levance Fields as a frosh, look for Gibbs to have a breakout sophomore run … We’re out like Acie Law …
The NBA’s summer of $10M backups, plus T-Mac going to Utah?
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