Nets interview Dumars, Bower

January 18, 2010: Head Coach Jeff Bower of the New Orleans Hornets in action against the San Antonio Spurs during an NBA game in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. Tyler Kaufman/CSM.

The New Jersey Nets are considering Detroit GM Joe Dumars and New Orleans GM Jeff Bower to replace Rod Thorn.

Dumars won the 2002-03 NBA Executive of the Year Award. Under his watch, the Pistons went to six consecutive Eastern Conference finals, two NBA Finals and won the 2004 championship.

Bower helped transform the Hornets from an 18-win team in 2004-05, the year before he took over, to a franchise-best 56 victories three years later.

Notice the dates of Dumars and Bower’s successes. Detroit and New Orleans have struggled in recent years with these two guys at the helm.

Dumars did build a championship roster, but he is also the mastermind who passed on Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony to draft Darko Milicic and traded away Chauncey Billups in order to rebuild by overpaying Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva just last summer. The Pistons have gotten increasingly worse on his watch.

Bower did pluck budding prospects Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton out of the 2009 Draft, but he also made two miserable trades (for Peja Stojakovic and Emeka Okafor) that have totally handicapped the franchise financially, leading to rumors that Chris Paul would welcome a trade to ‘contender.’

Is this the best that the Nets can do? There is one name that jumps out as a great candidate for this job, and he’s looking for work: former Portland GM Kevin Pritchard.

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NBA Draft Lottery: Who wouldn’t pick John Wall #1?

The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight, and as always, there is a lot riding on a few ping pong balls. Here is a list of the lottery teams (with their chances of winning the top pick in parenthesis) along with some discussion of their possible strategy if they do win the #1 pick.

ALMOST A SURE THING

Nets (25%)
The Wall-to-New Jersey/Brooklyn rumors have been strong all season, thanks to the Nets’ woeful record and Devin Harris’s struggles. Harris is now viewed as expendable, which means Wall would be a Net if the balls bounce their way tonight.

Wizards (10.3%)
Winning the right to draft Wall would allow the Wizards to cut ties with Gilbert Arenas and the franchise’s gun-toting past. It might also convince a free agent or two to sign for the chance to play with Wall.

76ers (5.3%)
Jrue Holiday is nice, but he’s not going to dissuade the Sixers from drafting a franchise-savior like Wall.

Pistons (5.2%)
See 76ers above but substitute “Rodney Stuckey” for “Jrue Holiday.” That is all.

Pacers (1.1%)
Indiana arguably needs a point guard more than any other team in the lottery, but with just a 1.1% chance of winning, they’re hoping against hope.

Grizzlies (0.7%)
Memphis would be buzzing with the arrival of Wall, who would seemingly be a great fit with O.J. Mayo, a re-signed Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Memphis would likely make the playoffs next season.

Raptors (0.6%)
The chances are very slim, but winning the right to draft Wall would offset the likely loss of Chris Bosh this summer. Neither Jarrett Jack nor Jose Calderon would be enough to convince the Raptors to draft Evan Turner.

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Rodney Stuckey collapses

Stuckey had some sort of seizure and collapsed on the court during Detroit’s game against the Cavs.

LeBron James had 40 points, 13 rebounds and six assists as the Cleveland Cavaliers beat Detroit 99-92 on Friday night in a game delayed when Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey collapsed late in the third quarter.

Stuckey’s vital signs were stable, and he was conscious and breathing on his own at the Cleveland Clinic, according to the Pistons. He was transported there for tests.

Stuckey was wheeled off the court on a stretcher after he collapsed into a coach’s arms on the bench. Play was halted for 12 minutes as the medical staff worked on him, placing an oxygen mask on his face and wheeling him into an ambulance.

The Detroit News reports that he is breathing on his own and is conscious at the Cleveland Clinic, where he was taken after his collapse.

Is Joe Dumars overrated?

John Hollinger sure thinks so.

Let’s look ourselves in the mirror, fellow media members: We’ve all given the guy a free pass because of his amazing run to six straight conference finals and blithely ignored the fact that he’s screwed up a hundred ways from Tuesday since he decided to whack Flip Saunders after the 2008 conference finals.

Check out the résumé and find me a correct decision. Just one. Fire Saunders? Wrong. Hire Michael Curry? Wrong. Trade Chauncey Billups? Wrong. Extend Richard Hamilton? Wrong. Sign Kwame Brown? Wrong. Go after Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva? Wrong again.

In two years, the Pistons have gone from one of the best teams in basketball to among the worst. They stink, they’re capped out, and they don’t have much in the way of young talent; for all we know, in two years they’re going to be the Pittsburgh Pisces or the Seattle Grunge or something. If Isiah Thomas or Rob Babcock had done this, we’d have buried them alive by now, so it’s only fair for us to point out that regardless of his previous track record, Dumars is on a two-year losing streak of McHalian proportions.

No arguments here, though I don’t know that keeping Flip Saunders as your head coach is ever the right move.

Let’s not forget that it was Dumars who picked Darko Milicic #2 overall back in 2003. The next three picks? Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Ouch. Dumars got a pass on that pick because of the aforementioned six straight Conference Finals and the fact that the Pistons won the title in 2004. But the Billups trade and his performance in last summer’s free agency understandably has a lot of Piston fans scratching their heads.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Why would the Sixers do a three-way deal for Stoudemire?

The Arizona Republic is suggesting that the Sixers could do a three-way deal that would send Amare Stoudemire to Detroit instead of dealing directly with the Suns.

Possibilities with Philadelphia could be stronger with two fronts, a deal between bringing in swingman Andre Iguodala for Stoudemire with perhaps young power forward Marreese Speights or a three-way deal involving Detroit with Pistons guard Ben Gordon winding up in Philadelphia and the Suns getting Iguodala and Detroit power forward Chris Wilcox. The rub with Iguodala, a 26-year-old former Arizona star, is inheriting a contract that will pay him $56.5 million over the next four seasons.

This sounds like wishful speculation. First, both Marc Stein and Chad Ford have confirmed that it’s the Sixers holding up an Iguodala-and-Dalembert for Stoudemire deal, so why would Philly give up the promising young Speights instead?

Secondly, why would they trade Iggy, an elite defender who can score, for Ben Gordon, an excellent shooter but just a mediocre defender? It’s not like Gordon’s contract (four years, $48 million) is that much better than Iguodala’s (four years, $57 million). Not enough to justify the drop off on defense, anyway.

While I love the NBA trade deadline, I’m ready for it to get here already. The amount of misinformation and speculation that happens on a daily basis is mind-boggling.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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