Archive for February, 2010

More Collison Speculation On My Part
February 25, 2010

Kyle Williams For Jammal Brown???
February 25, 2010

…But yesterday a fan brought up a trade proposal that made alarmingly perfect sense.  In fact it’s the most logical scenario I’ve heard to date.  He said the Bills should trade Kyle Williams to the New Orleans Saints for Jammal Brown.

I’m not sure Buffalo could get Brown for Williams, though it’s feasible.  But even if it’s not Brown, the Saints have a pair of talented offensive tackles in Jermon Bushod and Zach Strief that are restricted free agents.  Strief has already been tendered and Bushod will soon follow.  The Saints aren’t letting any of the three walk away for nothing as all are starting caliber tackles.

http://www.buffalosportsdaily.com/2010/02/a-trade-that-would-make-sense-williams-to-new-orleans/

LSU Ace Ranaudo Has Bad Elbow
February 25, 2010

by Bill Franques, Senior Associate Sports Information Director

BATON ROUGE — LSU junior right-hander Anthony Ranaudo will miss Friday’s scheduled start versus William & Mary due to discomfort in his throwing elbow, coach Paul Mainieri said Wednesday.

Mainieri said Ranaudo’s ailment is classified as a stress reaction that does not involve ligament damage, and it does not appear to be a long-term condition.

“He may just miss this start, or it may be another two or three weeks,” Mainieri said. “We don’t think it’s a serious problem, but we don’t want to put Anthony on the mound until he feels 100 percent. He is one of the top pitchers in the country, and I’m certainly not going to do anything to jeopardize his career.”

www.lsusports.net

Hornets Draft
February 25, 2010

Okay, as I write this the Hornets are losing to Milwaukee.

As I’ve been stating…I think the Hornets will miss the playoffs this season.

No post season means NBA draft lottery.

So…what will the Hornets do?  Well, in my opinion they need good players at the wing.

MoPete and Peja are old and inconsistent and Julian Wright has been a bust. 

Now, if the Hornets can trade Darren Collison this offseason for a starting SG/SF then they probably do not have to address those positions in the draft.  If the team foolishly decides to keep Collison to back-up Paul and waste his tremendous trade value then look for a wing player to be selected by the Hornets.

Assuming the Hornets pick between 6th and 14th in the draft lottery here are a few guys that could be in New Orleans next season:

*The Hornets could pick higher but they’ll need a miracle in the lottery for that to happen. 

1. Wesley Johnson: SF Syracuse University

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Wesley-Johnson-1215/

{Fletcher’s Take: Johnson is now flying up mock drafts and could be gone in the top 5 picks…so he may not even be there when the Hornets choose.}

2. Quincy Pondexter: SG University of Washington

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Quincy-Pondexter-1122/

3. Greg Monroe: PF Georgetown University

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Greg-Monroe-1109/

{Fletcher’s take: Personally, I love Monroe, have since days in HS on the West Bank at Helen Cox.  I see a young David West in Monroe.  My only problem with drafting Monroe is the fact that the Hornets really need to try to find a starter in the lottery and if West is still on the team Monroe becomes a back-up for the Hornets.}

4. Donatas Motiejunas: SF/PF/C Lithuania

http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Donatas-Motiejunas-1300/

{Fletcher’s Take:  Motiejunas has been compared to Andrea Bargnani of Toronto.  A soft ‘7 footer who’d rather play outside than inside.  Soft or not, Bargnani does score 17 points a night for the Raptors…so if the Hornets were feeling inspired and were willing to take a risk this could be their guy.}

5. Devin Ebanks: SF University of West Virginia 

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/devin-ebanks 

Fletcher’s 2nd Round Sleeper Pick (The Marcus Thornton of 2010):

Charles Garcia: PF/SF Seattle University

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/charles-garcia

Trade Darren Collison (Updated 2-24-10)
February 22, 2010

This post was updated : 2-24-10 (7:53pm CST)

  • I truly believe the Hornets will make a late push this season but will fall short of making the NBA playoffs this year.  

They’ll finish in 9th place missing the 8th and final postseason spot by a 1/2 game. (and really, if the Hornets got into the playoffs they’d face the Lakers and would be lucky to win one game in the best of 7 series).

  • But…this offseason the Hornets are in a GOOD SPOT…THEY HAVE A GOOD PROBLEM!!!

With Chris Paul (knee surgery) out Rookie Darren Collison is proving he’s capable of leading a team and being a full time starter in the NBA. 

The 22 year old from UCLA is averaging 20 points, 8 assists and 2 steals as a starter in place of CP3.

But…when Paul returns Collison’s minutes will decrease greatly.  Sure CP3 and Collison can play in the same backcourt when the team goes small…kinda like the Hornets did two years ago when they played Paul and Pargo together…but Collison & Paul cannot start together.  Collison is a true point guard, not a shooting guard, so unless the Hornets want to mirror the dysfunctional mess that is Golden State and start an insane lineup of all small guards they’ll have to bring Collison off the bench.  So…when CP3 returns at the end of the season Collison will see his minutes cut in half.

But having a surplus of good players is a nice problem to have and one I think the team can parlay into success next season.

In my opinion, the Hornets should look to trade Collison this offseason. 

Seriously!!!

I know Collison makes the teams bench (which has historically been a sore spot for the Hornets) better…but this team needs starting help more than bench help and trading Collison could mean getting a starter back in return.

Package Collison with a bad contract (MoPete, Posey, Stojakovic) or with David West or Emeka Okafor and really rebuild this team for a serious run.

Keeping Collison as a backup is foolish.  Sure, Paul needs a backup but a veteran journeyman player like Bobby Brown, Devin Brown or another minimum contract player can fill that role.  Even a player like James Posey can play point forward when Paul needs a breather. 

If the Hornets do not explore trade options with Collison they’re crazy!

  • And being the obsessive NBA die hard that I am….I have of course come up with several ideas for the Hornets:

Updated Collison Trade: (2-24-10)

Darren Collison to New York Knicks

Wilson Chandler to New Orleans Hornets

WHY:  The Knicks will have tons of money to spend this summer and although they probably won’t land a whale like Lebron or D-Wade…they could get Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh and re-sign David Lee.  So who plays the point?

Speculation is Steve Nash will re-team with his old coach and relocate to NYC (where he makes his full time home)….but even at a discount price Nash will be pricey.  So perhaps the Knicks would be tempted to swap Chandler for Collison one -for-one. 

Updated Collison Trade II: (2-24-10)

Darren Collison & Morris Peterson to Sacramento

Omri Casspi & Beno Udrih to New Orleans

WHY: Tyreke Evans is a tremendous rookie and in my opinion the favorite (along with Stephen Curry) to win the NBA’s rookie of the year award.  But is Evans a true point guard?  NO!  Evans is turnover prone and a true scorer.  He may be better served playing off the ball.  Team him with Darren Collison and you’ve got the best young backcourt in the league.

Casspi has been a huge boost to the Kings and could start at SF for the Hornets.  The Hornets would have to take Beno Udrih’s bad contract back in this deal but Udrih is a decent back-up point guard who can also play off the ball.  Plus, the Hornets have lots of expiring contracts in 2011 so taking on Udrih is not a bad thing.  Morris Peterson makes the deal work money-wise.  Peterson would lend depth to a young Kings team and he’s got an expiring contract.  

Collison Trade #1 (updated 2-24-10):

Darren Collison and Julian Wright to Detroit

Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye to New Orleans

WHY: The Pistons Rodney Stuckey is really a 2-guard playing the point in Detroit.  Acquiring Collison gives the Pistons a true floor general.  Jerebko is having a solid rookie season and could start at SF for the Hornets.   Longterm I actually like Daye better than Jerebko.  Jerebko is a better player right now but Daye has more upside.  If the Pistons fell in love with Collison and could swing this deal they’d get two young players who could start at the wing positions (Jerebko at SF & Daye at SG).

Collison Trade #2:

Darren Collison & David West To Golden State

Anthony Randolph & Monta Ellis to New Orleans

WHY:  The Warriors are one of my favorite teams in the NBA but as I stated above, they’re a dysfunctional mess.   Head coach Don Nelson will more than likely be fired when the season ends so the rebuilding will begin this summer.  Stephen Curry is the second best rookie in the league (Tyreke Evans is the best) but he’s more of a shooting guard than a point guard.  The Warriors get a true point guard to pair with Curry and an all-star power forward to team with Andris Biedrins in the front court.  Add Corey Maggette into that starting 5 and the Warriors look like a solid, balanced team on paper.  The Hornets get an all-star scorer in Ellis and a young power forward with worlds of potential in Randolph.          

Collison Trade #3:

Darren Collison, Julian Wright, future 2nd round draft pick to Memphis

Hasheem Thabeet to New Orleans

WHY:  The Hornets could certainly use size and rebounding help and Thabeet would provide that.  The Grizzlies seem set at center with Marc Gasol putting up all-star numbers so in my opinion Thabeet is kind of expendable in Memphis.  Memphis is in desperate need of a point guard so Collison could be just what the team needs to help get over the hump.  Wright needs a change of scenery and he makes the deal work money-wise…plus, he still may turn into a good player.   

Collison Trade #4:

Darren Collison & Julian Wright to Portland

Nicolas Batum & the draft rights to Victor Claver to New Orleans 

WHY:  Portland’s Jared Bayless is more of a combo guard who should be coming off the bench not starting at the point and veteran Andre Miller will more than likely be dealt this summer.  The Blazers have a surplus of wing players and could absorb the loss of Batum.  Claver is reportedly a solid talent who could return from overseas this summer.   

  • Bonus (non-Darren Collison) Trade:

Julian Wright to Cleveland

Draft rights to Christian Eyenga to New Orleans

WHY:  I, like many others, became enamored with Eyenga’s highlight reel before last year’s draft.  He’s a boom or bust type of talent who’s currently playing in Europe.  If Cleveland would take Wright it’s a deal I’d do in a heartbeat. 

  • One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure 2010 Free Agent Signing:

Ian Mahinmi

WHY:  Their is something about Mahinmi I’ve always liked.  Not that’s he’s played a lot…but he’s worked hard, proven himself in the D-League and could emerge as a solid contributor in the NBA.  The Spurs did not pickup Mahinmi’s option for next season meaning he’ll be a free agent this summer.  This is just the type of player the Hornets need…low risk, high reward.  Years ago, back in the spring of 2004, I wrote several blogs about a free agent named Chris Andersen….and in opinion Mahinmi falls into the same category as the Birdman.  Also, it’s worth noting that the Spurs traded Luis Scola to the Rockets and gave Houston a starter…because they gave up on Scola too soon.  Maybe the Hornets can luck into the same type of situation. 

  • NBA Draft:

Missing the playoffs may not be a horrible scenario for the Hornets.  Getting into the NBA draft lottery could help the team add much needed depth.  The guy I would love to see the team take is former Helen Cox High School star Greg Monroe.  Monroe is finishing up his sophomore season at Georgetown.  Every time I see Monroe I see David West.      

I also like Al-Farouq Aminu from Wake Forest…and small forward is more of a position of need for the Hornets than power forward so if the Hornets get into the lottery Aminu could be their guy. 

  

Saints To Franchise Sharper
February 16, 2010

SAINTS TO FRANCHISE SHARPER:
story courtesy: www.profootballtalk.com
Posted by Mike Florio on February 16, 2010 10:21 AM ET

We pointed out yesterday, tongue partially in cheek, the existence of a conflict between two of the many ESPN employees who report on all things NFL regarding whether the Saints will apply the franchise tag to safety Darren Sharper.

Len Pasquarelli says they won’t, and Adam Schefter says they might.

Now, Steve Wyche of NFL.com (one of the truly great guys we met during Super Bowl week) resolves the dispute.

Wyche said on Monday night’s edition of NFL Network’s Total Access (here’s the video, via NFL.com) that the Saints will apply the franchise tag to Sharper.

It means that Sharper will be tendered a one-year contract with a guaranteed salary of $6.445 million, if/when he accepts the franchise tender.

And he’d be wise to accept the tender as soon as it’s, um, tendered.

Though we can’t tell from the look on his face in the above photo whether he’s happy, upset, or just constipated, Sharper should be ecstatic.  Nearly $6.5 million puts him in the Troy Polamalu/Ed Reed neighborhood.

The ‘When Pigs Fly’ Hornets Trade
February 15, 2010

With the Saints Super Bowl victory I haven’t written anything about the Hornets recently…and understandably so!

That’s about to change!

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and teams like Dallas have already made big moves.

Will the Hornets do anything?  PROBABLY NOT!

But they should.  And yes, I’ve come up with yet another blockbuster deal that would help the team tremendously.  This deal actually helps all three teams involved. 

Fletch’s Far-Fetch Trade:

Teams Involved: New Orleans, LA Lakers, Golden State

  • Hornets Acquire:

SG Monta Ellis

SF Corey Maggette

PG Jordan Farmar

  • Lakers Acquire:

SF Peja Stojakovic

PG Darren Collison

  • Warriors Acquire:

PF David West

SG Marcus Thornton

SF Luke Walton

SF Adam Morrison

WHY:

The deal works under NBA trade guidelines.

Hornets acquire two all star caliber players (Ellis & Maggette) to keep the team competative and to keep Chris Paul happy.  Parting with David West is hard but the Hornets need to shake things up and this trade does that. The Hornets core is now CP3, Ellis, Maggette, Okafor and their 2010 1st round draft pick (which will hopefully be Greg Monroe….the Georgetown PF is a local and a  David West clone in my opinion). Add Avery Johnson into the mix as head coach and this team could be pretty good.  I also think that no matter who the coach is next season assistant coach Tim Floyd should be retained.  Floyd is a tremendous x’s and o’s coach who may have finally found his role in the NBA…top assistant. 

The Lakers receive the shooter they’ve been looking for in Peja and a point guard of the future in Collison.  Is Peja the best shooter out there?  No way…but the Lakers need a bit of help in that area and Peja is battle tested in postseson and could help a veteran Lakers team win it all again.  Collison returns home to Los Angeles and next season takes over as the starter for Derek Fisher. For the Lakers acquiring Peja and a really good young point guard for three players that will never be more than back-up’s is a solid move. 

Golden State rids themselves of the headache that has been Monta Ellis and can build around Curry, Thornton, West, Biedrins, Randolph and their 2010 lottery pick.  The Warriors are a dysfunctional mess and are in major need of a massive overhaul.   

Will this trade happen?….when pigs fly…wait, didn’t pigs fly last Sunday when the Saints won the Super Bowl?!?!?!?!?

Fox Sports 2010 Saints Mock Draft (rounds 1-3)
February 14, 2010

Fox Sports 2010 Saints Mock Draft:

1st Pick: Ricky Sapp-DE-Clemson

2nd Pick: Tim Tebow-QB/H-Back-Florida

3rd Pick: Chad Jones-S-LSU

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/schrager-mock-draft-2-021010

Tracy Porter Goes Tecmo Bowl
February 14, 2010

Remember Tecmo Bowl on the Nintendo?

I do….I can’t tell you how many hours in college me and my roomates spent playng this game.

So, needless to say when WDSU news anchor Scott Walker sent me this link it made my day!

This clip is dedicated to two great tecmo bowl players (from ’92-’94 when the game was at it’s height of popularity) Joe Disalvo & John Marie.

Possible Saints Trades
February 14, 2010

If you scroll down you’ll find my 2010 Saints Mock Draft (all 6 picks).

But what about the Saints making a trade?

It would not surprise me to see the team move a player or two to pick up players at a ‘need’ position. 

Here are a few considerations:

Trade #1

S/CB Usama Young to Cleveland Browns

DE/OLB David Veikune to New Orleans Saints

With the expected release of Chrles Grant the Saints need help at defensive end and Veikune could fill a need.  a 2nd round choice by the Browns out of the University of Hawaii in 2009 Veikune was considered a bust because he failed to produce and then finished the season on the injured reserve.  I liked Veikune at the Senior Bowl last season and had the Saints taking him in my 2009 mock draft.  Moving back to defensive end in the Saints 4-3 system could perhaps help Veikune. 

The Browns badly need help in the secondary so Young is a logical choice in this deal.  Usama also played his college ball in Ohio and could immediately help Cleveland on special teams.

I’d hate to see the Saints part ways with Usama but the team has solid depth in the secondary so moving him would not be a huge deal.

Trade #2

WR Lance Moore to Philadelphia Eagles

DT Trevor Laws to New Orleans Saints    

With Marques Colston, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson I’m not sure where Moore fits in even if he’s 100% healthy.

Plus, the Saints still have Adrian Arrington. 

Like Usama Young, Lance More is a classy guy and I’d hate to see him go but the Saints need to upgrade their D-line.

Laws is a player I had in my 2008 Saints mock draft. A bit of an underachiever since being taken in the 2nd round out of Notre Dame Laws could use a change of secenery and is the type of smart classy player Sean Payton would like.

Moore would fit in nicely in Philly as a possession receiver lined-up across the field from DeSean Jackson.