- Lebron James opted out of his contract today with the Miami Heat. Naturally, all zealous fans have emerged from the woodwork, thinking their team may have a chance at the best player in the association, but as the link correctly surmises, James will most likely keep his talents in South Beach. He is merely giving the Heat the freedom to rework all their contracts in hopes of strengthening the roster.
It will be interesting to see if Dwyane Wade follows suit, turning down over 40 million dollars, when it's obvious he doesn't deserve anything remotely close to that sum. If I'm James, I wouldn't want someone who is half the player he once was eating up such a large piece of the pie, no matter how close they are outside of the limelight.
- Jimmy Smith is at it again, producing below average content, but hey, he did get one part right:
Make no mistake: there's a huge need for the Pelicans at the small forward spot, for someone who can score and play defense.
The rest of the article was dedicated to convincing readers why Doug McDermott would make for a good option with the 8th pick of the upcoming draft, were the Pelicans to trade away Jrue Holiday. On the one hand, it's due time to find a legitimate two-way option at shooting forward. On the other, here's a deeply flawed rookie, but that's fine, because his agent is Mark Bartelstein. Love the rationale.
- Speaking of Holiday, his name has been recently linked in a number of stories. Ranging from fluff on Sheridan Hoops:
Also, the Sacramento Kings are very open to dealing the eighth pick and have been looking to upgrade over Isaiah Thomas. One potential deal to watch is the New Orleans Pelicans sending Jrue Holiday to the Kings for the pick. The Pelicans have been looking for a pick in the first round and have been shopping Holiday.
to several laughable remarks on ProBasketBallTalk:
The Jrue Holiday trade could go down as one of the worst deals in NBA history...On the other side, Holiday has done nothing more than tread water with the Pelicans. You wonder whether they would have made the trade if Holiday didn’t hold the coveted "All-Star" label.
Really, neither article deserves any attention, but it should be pointed out Dell Demps' options, were he looking to make a splash, requires the inclusion of an asset(s) that would normally be off the radar. It's no secret Eric Gordon has been in Demps' crosshairs for years now, but he has unable to find a suitable deal bringing back any value to the team.
Now, Ryan Anderson has joined him in the land of untradeables. Coming off spine surgery, no team will trade for the remainder of his contract until he proves he remains an effective scorer without limitations. The earliest that could happen is at least several months into next season.
By default, that leaves either Holiday or Tyreke Evans (as Anthony Davis is as immovable as a contract can get). This is made even more true when considering New Orleans depth at guard. Austin Rivers is ready for consistent rotation minutes. One must assume the team would like to bring back Anthony Morrow. Eric Gordon, as mentioned, is a problematic paper weight. And we haven't even yet mentioned Brian Roberts nor Pierre Jackson.
I strongly believe Holiday isn't leaving town. Demps is simply exploring his options, doing his due diligence. Even after the disheartening Joel Embiid news, it has been widely reported a number of teams (ie. ORL (#4) and UTA (#5)) are still interested in moving up in the draft. Dell wouldn't be doing his job, not looking for possible value somewhere in the draft.
"If there’s an opportunity for us to get back into the draft, we’ll take it," Williams said while doing charity work at Covenant House in New Orleans. "As for (whether we are) aggressive, every team in the NBA is aggressive right now. They may not say they are, but they are.
However, make no mistake, the franchise won't be off loading Holiday for some middling prospect like McDermott. Last year proved Benson and Loomis have taken the same approach with the Pelicans as the Saints -- win now.
- Well this is certainly different, Monty now appears to have Tyreke Evans' back:
''He may not remember, but I talked to him last year about adding to the pot and we call it corporate equity,'' Williams said. ''When you are able to build a relationship, whether it's working in the gym or being in the city of New Orleans as a representative of our team. He's been phenomenal in those areas, so he's building equity with me.
''He's been rehabbing, working on his shot, working on his body. He doesn't have the stress of a contract this summer, so I think he can relax. I think he generally enjoys being in New Orleans.''
Regardless of his role next season, hopefully the improvement in their relationship means Evans will no longer be under-utilized.
UPDATE: And boom goes the dynamite:
But a league source confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Holiday has not been included in any trade discussions by the Pelicans to secure a draft pick.