Smack / Jul 2, 2009 / 4:24 am

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

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 …

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  • Jordi

    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


  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    noone wanna trash talk with a KG / sheed frontcourt… false swagger running wild!

  • control

    Funny how I haven’t heard AI’s name mentioned once as far as having teams really pursue em.

    That guy has fallen DOWN…

  • Jay Jay

    Pistons should have just kept AI, don’t see how Gordon will improve them.
    Also why would Ron Artest want to sign up to mid-level money? He can get much more, players only give up money for a ring in the last stages of their career.

    And the amount of money being thrown at Hedo is just plain crazy! Damn who wants to invest their future with Hedo?

    Sometimes i wonder about the intelligence of these GM’s

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Dang Rockets. From sugar to sh#%?

    Yao prolly won’t play.

    Tracy will only play prolly half a season but still won’t be enough and that is if he don’t get traded.

    Ron most def. will prolly be in Clev. just to beat Kobe and that will give him his best chance.

    Gortat will prolly stay in Orlando.

    Right now that dark cloud is back over the Rockets something awful. They need to make a major move to shed some light into all this. Dang.

    Oh and for the record. DB and DOC …naw ya boi didn’t write any letters to Gortat lol.

    Rockets need to holla at the Clippers for their 5’s.

    Anyway congrats to Ben and I hope he brings it. True about him only doing that one thing well, but when he is hot. Dude is scorchin!

    Charlie must have been told he could Tweet all he wants to in Detroit plus he wouldn’t have to compete with Shaq’s tweets lol, cause otherwise he should have taken the Cavs.

    Kidd really needs to do the NY thing and leave Dallas quickly.

    Dang you know Sheed loving the attention.

    Say Gary Payton became coach of Boston wouldn’t they be the most obnoxious team ever specially with an addition of Sheed lol?

    Dang Rockets…….dang.

  • alf (from melmak)

    I have always been a big fan of Sheed. He is possibly the most underrated big man of the last 20 years.

    With that said, at his age, he can still contribute big time. Detroit just sucked so much last year.

    My meal allowance says, even with some bias, Sheed would be a perfect fit in Utah if he would accept the MLE. That is also if he can co-exist with Sloan — which I doubt very much.

  • josh tha roc

    i think Marcin seems to have a little too much heart to pull an ike austin.

  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    no way sheed’s going to utah… hell no… it’s like artest wearing a pistons jersey…

    anyway… poppi gee, u sure yo boys need the clips’ centers? camby and kaman ain’t exactly ironman material… getting them would just clog up their cap in a worse way… i think they’re better off gambling with the ryan hollins / hilton armstrong / solomon jones / josh powell type of dudes… if they fail, at least they won’t bite the cap off too much… and not as if rockets’ biggies are that bad – scola, my main man chuck hayes (LOL), landry and co held their own quite well for some stretches… they’d be decent, though don’t expect larry o’bies to come asap…

    i dunno with jason kidd, but man, it’d be storybook material if he ends it in dallas and somehow by a major pipe dream he wins a title with them… oh well… he could just take the best money and bring his game along… stockton never had rings, anyways…

    and i can’t imagine how disgusting a sheed / kg / payton team would be… that’s ugggghhhh…

    we’re out like j-chillz stint in europe

  • Phileus

    Yeah, what the heck is happening with AI?

    Nobody in the whole NBA wants him?

  • Swedish Mooze

    How quiet are the phones for AI, Marion and Bibby right now? You know they’re walking around checking their cells every 20 minutes to make sure the battery hasn’t run down. What about NateRob, Marvin Williams? Not even decent rumor mill stuff on these guys.

    Wonder if AI (before the Pistons debacle, remember the hype of the Philly-Denver trade??!?) ever thought it was possible that Gortat would be getting the royal treatment or Ben Gordon would be the combo guard in demand the same summer he was a free agent… my guess is no.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Under what other circumstances would anyone ever knock on Rasheed Wallace’s door past midnight ?LOL
    Some bridges are left uncrossed for a reason.

    And finally cats are starting to wake up on AI.In retrospect the number of shots it takes to keep this guy a valuable part of your offence are redunkulous.Rarely has tobe doubled,isn’t that willing of a passer.No thanks.

    I can’t honestly front on gortat.He may have only got ten minutes of shine but they were quality minutes.You didnt feel like he was hurting your team with his presence.Boy has maybe one post move and can grab rebounds.Not very promising at first glance but then this time last year Ariza wasn’t either.Food for thought..

    At this point all Zbo can give you is 20-10(which is good) but for a vet,with those stats,why is he the blandest thing you can ever add to your team?I can’t put my finger on it but his trades are officially in the whogivesafluck territory.I got it! Even with increased production teams don’t get better with him on board.Think about it ,any other player,those stats would be HUGE !!

  • Sweet English

    What? Stephs sick he gets like 9 assists and 4 dimes a game…

  • Sweet English

    Ha Ha the Danny Ainge story reminded me of that scene in coach carter when the gangbanger kid turns up to Samuel L’s house covered in blood.

    Sheed ‘What happened Danny?’


    Sheed ‘Come inside danny come inside’


  • http://manilatonight.com solomon (el latino machismo)

    LOL @ #13… that’s a classic

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    @ sweet english
    Huh ?! an assist is a dime !

    @Jay Jay
    1.you’re right.That kinda paper to hedo is nuts.You don’t build a team around Hedo.He’s icing on a cake,not the cake itself.Nuts.

    2.you’re wrong.Ben Gordon over AI is an improvement.Better D,slightly better passes,can work WITH a team and is prolly from last glance just as clutch when it counts.

    @ POPPI
    I feel for you cuz.i know you hurting bad.first tmac,then yao and rumors of Artest bolting.When it rains huh ??

    @ Dime
    Ain’t it funny how Lebron is gettin GMs working overtime on some doomsday shyt WITHOUT saying a single word?Now THAT is clout !!

  • heartbreaker85

    if ronron signs with the cavs, its gonna be bricks all day.

    shaq free throws
    lebron free throws and some jumpers
    ron with just about every shot that isnt a lay-up/dunk

  • kevin k

    can we finally admint what i been saying for last couple years that Joe Dumars is overrated as a GM??

    This is the idiot that drafted Darko over Carmelo, Wade, and Bosh.

    This is the idiot that hired some randy Michael Curry and fired Flip Saunders.

    This is the idiot that claimed Rodney Stuckey and Amir Johnson as their future.

    The success of the Pistons was all Larry Brown and Chauncey.


    ^^^^^^Only idiot I see is you and those dumbaSS comments.

  • PALakerFan

    I think it’s time to give some credit to the sh*t sisters of the league…

    Clips – Dumped Randolph’s big salary AND got a trade exception in the deal. Now a trio of Kaman, Griffin, Camby looks pretty damn good. This might cause Baron Davis to actually put forth effort this coming season.

    Griz – Adding an established PF who can get you 20-10 to OJ, Gay, Conley and Gasol is a very nice move. Plus, how much trouble can he actually get into in Memphis???

    Thunder – Look to be the front runners for David Lee. Adding Lee to Durant, Westbrook, Green would be a great move too.

    Nice to see the perennially crappy teams finally making some smart moves to field a competitive starting 5.

  • Chitown 23/33

    Sorry to see BG leave..he had some big moments for us. But you can’t be a serious contender with a 6’0 one dimensional guy starting at the 2. And for that kind of money he needs to be starting. BG still lost money overall by overrating himself. He could’ve gotten 10mil a year from the Bulls two years ago and made 20mil the last two years instead of 13. Which is more than the 5 mil difference in the two contracts. But at this point I think he just wants to stick it to Pax and the org for what he feels is disrespect.

  • kevin k


    lol @ your ignorance moron

  • MBE18

    Marbury has no business talking about what wins championships!!!!!

  • kb8

    come on, hedo and bg are gettin about what they’re worth when you compare them with other contracts. doesn’t zbo make over 10 a year? rashard? i still think bg over deng and deng’s makin way more. im a bucks fan and i’ll take bg 5/50 over redd’s 6/90 whatever he makin contract any day.

  • http://www.hot1047fm.com Steve Gomez 10a-2p on Hot 104.7 Modesto, CA

    AI is done. He won’t play in the NBA agian. His EGO won’t accept anything less than 10mil per and a starting spot. Who’s gonna offer him that?? Maybe the Bobcats. But if he goes there it’s out of desperation

  • Promoman

    The thing is, Marbury’s partially right. D’Antoni’s system will make a playoff team, not a championship team. Phoenix had multiple who’re All-Star caliber while New York has borderline ones. Nobody on that team save a couple of guys plays D. Marbury’s wrong because he did fuck Browne-Sanders while he was married and he’s been almost as bad as Iverson his whole career.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    @ Kevin K this is the idiot that won the only championship in this decade besides the Spurs, Lakers, Heat and the Celtics.

  • K Dizzle

    and like 6-7 straight conference championships…..what an idiot, no idea what he’s doin…

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    solomon (el latino machismo) I get what you saying and I can even dig that money wise. Still in just losing Yao, is losing so much of an offensive impact and you at least want half of that in what you get to come to the squad or at least a defensive presence.

    Still your way is cool …although I don’t know about those names you listed lol, but something has to be done.

    I mean if you looking at it, the Rockets are losing about 50 to 60 points and a fair amount of rebounds. Yao is about 20, Tracy was 20 and Ron is 15 to 20 point wise and he is going to bounce more than likely and I can’t even blame him.

    smoove chips most def. when it rains. One thing I will say and I guess this is why I can always remain a fan. The Rockets will and usually do find a way.

    Funny thing is no other team has been the undoing of the Rockets, no GM really, no coach or anything. The biggest hinder to the Rockets has been health.

    Well I ain’t losing hope cause I do believe something will happen to keep us in the running, just where in the running is the question?

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    6 – 7 conf. champioships = better than none or not making it to the playoffs at all.

  • the cynic

    Marbury just go away already. Go fly your plane, or someone else fly your plane while you sit around.

  • cbizzle

    “The success in detroit was all Larry Brown and Chauncey”
    Guess you forgot about the idiot that brought them there.
    They were saying the same thing about chauncey when
    Detroit signed him as they are with Gordon now

  • MJAX

    @ Poppi Gee, I mean you are on point with the Rockets!!!! They an TMAC have taken me thru too many changes. I gotta break up with em, I tune in to watch em and it’s a different line up on the regular. TMAC goes down (again), Yao in the major playoff game, Deke goes out in the worse way, Landry gets shot, and chuck hayes can’t score still! It’s hard to endure, watching brooks, wafer, scola, battier and landry/hayes..
    I gotta move on.. Gotta be a Blazer/Nugget now!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Dang MJAX hate to see ya move on but I understand. The stuff can’t just get to frustrating. I mean they are not even helping the fans root for them with all the drama. I am still sticking with them though. I have always been loyal to a fault and right now it appears that way.

    I like the Blazers a lot too though, and I will like the Nuggets when they get rid of George Karl.

  • http://myspace.com/neirbomij JOB33

    Uh oh..I’m back, never really gone..sure no one noticed.

    The .38/tire iron at the front door line is classic. Get him, Payton, AND Artest on the Celts immediately. They’d be the anti-Globetrotters, puttin on a show that ain’t wholesome-family-fun-for-all-ages.

    How crazy is it that Artest will be a laker? Me and my boy were laughin like crazy when Artest gave Kobe the ol’ crazy eye after he showed him his tongue in the playoffs. I think if KB would’ve even smirked, Artest would’ve gone UFC on his ass. I figured Artest would more likely chase KB down in the stands than sign on with him.

    So I guess Detroit is officially rebuilding then huh? AI never got them over the hump. And I think BG makes them worse. I just remember some of his teammates givin the WTF look while they stood their wide open with him jackin all over the Celts. But can’t hate, boy has confidence.

  • http://myspace.com/neirbomij JOB33


    Amen to the George Karl quote. I wouldn’t root for him if he went and got sleeved out like the rest of the Nugs.