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Loud Links: June 9, 2009


Welcome back to "Welcome to Loud City". Friendly, aren’t we? 4D here. The first trade of the off-season has happened. There is more news about the usual suspects Griffin, Rubio, Curry and the rest of the crowd. Collison is growing more hair? Didn’t we cover that yesterday? Griffin’s shooting mechanics are evaluated. Our friends at the Blazer’s Edge are proposing trades between Portland and OKC. Message to Presti: just say no. More links after the link.

Breaking Down Blake Griffin’s Mechanics with David Thorpe
First of all, the good news: He really has no idea how to shoot the ball, save a few small but important details. That’s good news because he’ll still make shots thanks to his natural talent and feel. It’s clear he has not taken many jumpers in his life, also good news, because he’s too good racking ass in the paint. Without doubt, and with hours of practice, there’s every reason to believe he’ll be a fine shooter, and perhaps an excellent one. With a work ethic as strong as I hear he has, the hours of practice, a prerequisite for success in shooting for most players, seems a given.

Griffin has game off the court, too /
Oklahoma power forward Blake Griffin is getting the same royal treatment as the projected No. 1 pick in the June 25 NBA draft. Forget that he just completed his sophomore year and will become property of the lowly Los Angeles Clippers, who had better luck winning the lottery than most of their games last season.

The NBA Draft is a Nightmare and the Kings are Chasing a Ghost | Basketball Fiend
If you’re Oklahoma City, this is slightly less nerve-wracking than it is for everyone else. If the Grizzlies take Ricky Rubio, your fans will be okay with Hasheem Thabeet. You need a proper center - someone who can stuff the middle - and Thabeet is the man for the job. He’s no cornerstone, but he is something that you need.

The Official Trade Drawer for June 8th, 2009 a.k.a. "The Big One" - Blazer's Edge
Oklahoma City has an exciting young roster, but they've got some dead ends. Their stars are ready to go. Their supporting cast needs some work. They don't have too many bad contracts but Collison and Watson are among the less valuable. Neither one is in the long-term plans. Jeff Green is in the long-term plans and is a good player but they need to move Durant to small forward permanently and Green isn't a great power forward. He's going to be an upper-tier role player without a defined spot on the team. The Thunder are also in a less-than-favorable position with the third pick. They'd love a center or power forward but Griffin will certainly be gone by #3. Thabeet may or may not be there. Even if he is he's got a lot of question marks, especially rebounding. The most obvious target for the pick is Ricky Rubio. But they've already got Westbrook and Rubio apparently isn't overjoyed about OKC. In a normal year on a normal team Jeff Green and #3 is a lot to give up. But this isn't entirely normal. Those assets don't have as much value to the Thunder as they seemed like they would have a year or two ago.

NBA Draft: Ricky Rubio wants out of Spain deal, smaller buyout - ESPN

"The [buyout] clauses are disproportionate to his salary -- abusive clauses," Rubio's father, Esteban, told ESPN's Chad Nielsen. "We want to know, if he really left, whether or not he'd have to pay these amounts. It's fair for DKV Joventut to get paid a certain amount of money, but what they want to collect is out of proportion with what Ricky earns."

Draft prospects by the numbers | Daily - Where Thunder Happens
Bret of Hoopinon has put together an extensive spreadsheet of statistics for this year’s draft prospect crop. It’s really something else. He’s got sortable stats on 92 prospects. So yeah, it’s extensive. (Google docs are really incredible by the way. You can even chat with others viewing the spreadsheet. Safe to say, when I realized this, my mind was blown. Also, to sort the stats, go to "view" and click "list view." Then click each category to sort just like you would on a video game.)

Grizzlies expect Ricky Rubio visit for workout : Grizzlies : Memphis Commercial Appeal
There are Internet and Spanish reports that contend Rubio would skip Memphis and visit only Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and Sacramento -- teams that own the first, third and fourth picks. Wallace, though, said Monday afternoon that no one from Rubio's camp has indicated the Spaniard would bypass Memphis -- owners of the No. 2 overall selection.

Nick Collison decides to grow more facial hair (was he inspired?)
nickcollison4 - Its still pretty weak hopefully it will fill out

NBA AM: Gortat Has Suitors
"He's got the best job in America, playing behind my best player, playing 8 to 10 minutes," Smith said to Marc Berman of the New York Post. "He goes out and does his job and probably has the best work ethic of anyone in the locker room. Can he start for another team? Yeah he can.

Jason Kapono of Toronto Raptors traded - ESPN
The Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers have completed the first trade of what is being widely forecast as an active month for NBA transactions by agreeing to swap sharpshooting guard Jason Kapono for rebounding specialist Reggie Evans.

Sports Radio Interviews | David Stern Sees NBA Basketball in Seattle Within 10 Years
The Commissioner of the NBA isn’t a very popular person in Seattle, and for good reason. He helped Clay Bennett yank the former Seattle Supersonics, now known as the Oklahoma City Thunder, out from under the city’s feet. While the blame for letting the team leave is still being passed around Seattle to this day, Stern actually sounds as if he might try and push to get an NBA team back into the country’s 14th largest market.

NBA draft: Brandon Jennings garners support - ESPN Insider
TREVISO, Italy -- Two weeks ago, Brandon Jennings' grand European experiment ended with a whimper and then, a demand. His team, Lottomotica Roma, had just been upset in the quarterfinals of the Italian League playoffs. Jennings, who many NBA scouts predict will be a lottery pick in this month's NBA draft, hadn't played a minute in the entire playoff series. Frustrated, and a little bit angry, Jennings had had enough. Before his team had even left the court he was on the phone with his agent. "Get me out of here." Within 48 hours Jennings was on a plane back home to Los Angeles. His one-year European adventure was over.

Doug Gottlieb: Ranking and breaking down this draft's best players - ESPN Insider
Everyone would like to wait till next year. So if you are not in love with what you see on your draft broad, go Chicago Cubs-style and "wait till next year" and its stellar draft class. While most NBA pundits talk glowingly about the free-agent class of 2010, the college basketball world is smitten with the vast amount of returning talent in its game. Potential lottery picks Greg Monroe, Al-Farouq Aminu, Willie Warren, Cole Aldrich, Luke Babbitt, Jerome Jordan, Evan Turner, James Anderson, Kyle Singler, Craig Brackins, Ed Davis, Kalin Lucas and Jarvis Varnado will be joined by a much-better freshman class (John Wall, Avery Bradley, Renardo Sidney, Derrick Favors just to name a few) in what surely will be a very deep draft. ESPN's Fran Fraschilla has called this year's draft class the worst in 25 years. Listen to those who know and get a pick from a potential lottery team for next year.

Charlotte Magazine - - Staying Stephen
Stephen, pronounced STEFF-in, who won't turn twenty-one until the middle of March, is not the first basketball star at Davidson, and he's not the first basketball All-American there, either. What he is, though, and he is very much this, is Davidson's first basketball star in the televised, talked-about, blogged-about, YouTubed, sports-crazy, Internet-fueled infotainment culture in which we now live. He is a national player of the year candidate, arguably the face of the college game, certainly one of its boldest boldface names. He is a main character in ESPN's spot-lit, big-bucks college sports reality-show narrative that never ends. He is also, still, a student at little Davidson College in northern Mecklenburg County.

Charlotte Magazine - - See Stephen Go
Stephen has a good chance of being a lottery pick in the draft in June. That's what Dell has heard from people he's talked to around the league, a league, of course, in which he played, and played well, for sixteen years. That's what McKillop has heard, too, and he told me earlier this week that he talked to eight NBA general managers to try to gather information to help with the process. The NBA's "lottery" refers to the top fourteen picks of the first round of every year's draft. Stephen said money had nothing to do with his decision, not even a little bit, and I believe him, but I'll just take this moment anyway to point out that the NBA's set rookie salary structure says the No. 14 pick makes almost a million and a half dollars his first season, and the pay rate goes up from there.




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