This has been a summer full of teases. The Cavs teased their fans into thinking it was their championship to lose; Sacramento was teased into thinking their terrible record would at least land them Blake Griffin; Ricky Rubio (might have) teased the Wolves into thinking he was their next PG; DeJuan Blair was teased into thinking he was a first-round pick; and Knicks fans were teased into thinking they had Stephen Curry in their pocket … Yesterday it continued, as Hedo Turkoglu apparently teased the Blazers into thinking they had him ready to sign for $50 million over five years, until — while he was in Portland visiting with his almost-new team — Hedo decided he’d rather go to the Raptors for $56 million over five … With Shawn Marion and Anthony Parker as good as gone (Marion wants $10M a year), that gives you a top five of Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Turkoglu, Chris Bosh and Andrea Bargnani. Even if they won’t be able to stop anybody, they’ll put up buckets. You have to give the Raps credit; in the Draft and in the first week of free agency, they identified their targets and got what they wanted … With Jason Kidd pretty close to re-upping with Dallas, the three biggest free agent names left are Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace and Lamar Odom. No one’s heard anything substantial on L.O., and A.I. has a couple rumors involving his name, but ‘Sheed is more popular than ever. The Celtics have their offer on the table, but ‘Sheed is reportedly taking the next week to see what teams like Orlando, San Antonio, Cleveland and Charlotte have for him before deciding … After Rasheed makes his choice, the second tier of available power forwards should fall in line. Big Baby Davis has the Pistons, Grizzlies, Knicks, Spurs and Celtics among those talking to him; Brandon Bass has the Magic, Spurs, Mavs and Hornets; Paul Millsap has the Thunder and Jazz; and Shavlik Randolph is getting interest from the Dakota Wizards, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, and Lowe’s … There’s gonna be so much focus on Ron Artest and how he could sink or strengthen L.A.’s chances of a repeat, but nobody’s talking about the Pau Gasol factor. Gasol is playing for Spain in this summer’s FIBA European championship in Poland, making it yet another offseason of barely any rest before getting right back on it in training camp. Having Gasol wear down late in the season is something the Lakers have to keep an eye on … At the same time, we’re guessing L.A. isn’t so much worried about Sasha Vujacic playing for the Slovenian team. In fact, they might want to try sneaking Adam Morrison into the tourney just to make sure he still remembers how to play basketball … Enjoy the 4th. We’re out like Shav …
Smack / Jul 4, 2009 / 6:03 am
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