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Old 07-13-06, 12:19 AM
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Ludden: NY will match

Spurs offer deals to two centers

Web Posted: 07/13/2006 12:00 AM CDT



Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer Allowed, finally, to put pen to paper, the Spurs signed 6-foot-1 veteran Jacque Vaughn on Wednesday, presumably to play point guard, not center, though the latter shouldn't be discounted for another week, at least.

With the NBA ending its free-agent moratorium, the Spurs also tried to address their biggest priority by extending offer sheets to two centers: Denver's Francisco Elson and New York's Jackie Butler. Because Elson and Butler are restricted free agents, their respective teams can keep them by matching the offers within seven days.

The Spurs divided their $5.2 million midlevel exception between the two centers. Butler signed a three-year, $7 million offer sheet, while Elson received a two-year deal for close to $6 million.

Knicks officials have intimated to some they intend to match the Spurs' offer. Publicly, they said they haven't decided.

New York has 14 players under contract — one below the league maximum — including centers Eddy Curry, Jerome James and Channing Frye. Curry has five years and $48.6million left on his contract, while James is owed $24 million over the next four seasons. Because the Knicks' payroll exceeds the league's luxury tax, Butler's $7million contract could cost them twice as much.

Butler's agent, Keith Glass, is the son of Joe Glass, the agent for former Knicks coach Larry Brown, who is involved in a dispute with the franchise over the $40 million left on his contract.

Speaking to reporters in Denver on Wednesday, Nuggets coach George Karl said it would "probably be a danger for us to match" the offer for Elson.

"He hated to be called an insurance policy," Karl said, "but he was."

Elson, whose nickname among the Nuggets was "Geico," said he doesn't know whether the Nuggets will keep him.

"My concern right now is that hopefully it's with the Spurs," Elson said. "They're a great organization and championship-caliber type team. Shoot, anyone would like to play for the Spurs."

Not everyone. Joel Przybilla and Nazr Mohammed decided to sign with Portland and Detroit, respectively, because the Spurs offered less money. Miami's Alonzo Mourning also turned down an offer from the Spurs.

Signing Butler and Elson to offer sheets could come at the expense of Robertas Javtokas, the Spurs' 2001 second-round draft pick. The Spurs had projected the 6-11 Javtokas to be their backup center before negotiations broke down this week.

Javtokas signed with Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos, said Herb Rudoy, Javtokas' agent.

"Robertas was very disappointed," Rudoy said. "He expected to have serious negotiations, and they didn't want to make him a serious offer.

"It's a shame because we thought this was the summer (for him to come to the NBA)."

Spurs officials declined comment except to say they haven't given up hope of restarting negotiations with Javtokas if they don't get either Butler or Elson. Rudoy, however, said Panathinaikos has given Javtokas a Friday deadline to sign with the Spurs, after which he would have to wait until next summer.

As evidenced by their negotiations with Argentine forward Luis Scola, the Spurs don't want to spend heavily on an international player until they are sure his skills translate to the NBA. Manu Ginobili signed a two-year, $2.9 million contract when he joined the Spurs four years ago, but his success has prompted the next crop of international players to seek more lucrative deals.

Indiana's Sarunas Jasikevicius, the Spurs' Fabricio Oberto and New Orleans' Arvydas Macijauskas all contributed only modestly to their teams after signing last summer.

If Elson and Butler are retained by their respective teams and Javtokas heads to Greece, the Spurs could be left with their pens in their hands. Utah's Jarron Collins and Memphis' Lorenzen Wright are the top unrestricted free-agent centers, but there's no guarantee they would be on the market by the end of the week.

The Spurs are willing to gamble because they don't consider any of the free-agent big men as definite impact players, and that includes Elson and Butler.

Butler, 21, went undrafted after high school. He signed with New York after Dell Demps, the Spurs' director of pro player personnel then working for the Knicks, saw him in the CBA. He averaged 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 13.5 minutes during 55 games last season.

Butler, 6-10, isn't much of a defender but can be an effective low-post scorer. Elson stands 7feet, runs the floor well and is a capable shot blocker. He doesn't have good hands and can be slow to react, also problems with Mohammed.

"I've got great speed, and that is something they seem to need," Elson said. "They have fast guards and need some bigs to run up and down the court with them."

Spurs officials acknowledge Elson and Butler might not provide the same level of production as Mohammed and Rasho Nesterovic but are willing to take that risk because they would cost about half as much.

In the meantime, the Spurs filled another need by signing Vaughn, a nine-year veteran who averaged 3.4 points and 1.5 assists in 80 games with New Jersey last season. He gives the Spurs a point guard to help back up Tony Parker if Beno Udrih isn't up to the task.

Provided, of course, none of them must jump center.


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Old 07-13-06, 12:20 AM
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c now jamesR can celebrate....neways hope ny doesnt fck it up somehow ...If so then BRING JAVTOKAS!!!
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Old 07-13-06, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
He hated to be called an insurance policy," Karl said, "but he was."

Elson, whose nickname among the Nuggets was "Geico," said he doesn't know whether the Nuggets will keep him.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:22 AM
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really though what else is out there for that price??? excluding javtokas this is as good as i gets imo
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Old 07-13-06, 12:24 AM
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Um...This quote doesn't exactly match the title of this thread. Also, forgive me for putting a little less stock in Johnny Ludden after recent events.

Quote:
Knicks officials have intimated to some they intend to match the Spurs' offer. Publicly, they said they haven't decided.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
two-year deal for close to $6 million.
Well, I guess thats better than 3 for 9
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Old 07-13-06, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
Javtokas signed with Greek powerhouse Panathinaikos, said Herb Rudoy, Javtokas' agent.

"Robertas was very disappointed," Rudoy said. "He expected to have serious negotiations, and they didn't want to make him a serious offer.

"It's a shame because we thought this was the summer (for him to come to the NBA)."

Spurs officials declined comment except to say they haven't given up hope of restarting negotiations with Javtokas if they don't get either Butler or Elson. Rudoy, however, said Panathinaikos has given Javtokas a Friday deadline to sign with the Spurs, after which he would have to wait until next summer.
I wonder if the Knicks would do us the courtesy of deciding one way or the other quickly. From this it sounds like Javtokas, though pissed, might still be a possibility. If the Knicks match on Butler the Spurs could then make that same offer to Javtokas.

Of course maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:26 AM
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so basically the best offseason move for the spurs is : getting rid of RASHO 'S CONTRACT.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:27 AM
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Spurs officials declined comment except to say they haven't given up hope of restarting negotiations with Javtokas if they don't get either Butler or Elson. Rudoy, however, said Panathinaikos has given Javtokas a Friday deadline to sign with the Spurs, after which he would have to wait until next summer.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:27 AM
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So SA didnt off Elson more than Butler

and Javtokas has till friday to work something out

Ludden also mentioned a reason why NY may not match so who knows
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Old 07-13-06, 12:28 AM
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This article doesnt excatly say its a done deal that NY is matching
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Old 07-13-06, 12:28 AM
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I swear the Spur's FO got thier Page Ranking ideas from this board. "Spur's officials acknowledge Elson and Burler might not provide the same level of production as Mohammed and Rasho Nestorovic but are willing to take that risk because they would cost about half as much." Now I am beginning to get depressed. I am intrigued with Butler, I hope NY doesn't match, I just don't see how they can afford to. But with the Knicks and Isaiah, you never know.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:28 AM
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We'll see. Anything is possible with Zeke. Usually, you can predict the possibility by how stupid the move would be. "Filling your roster with yet another big when you have more than the cap itself committed to players at the same position and it'll cost you twice the amount of the contract since you are so far beyond the Lux tax threshhold that you don't even remember what it looks like" is pretty stupid. So I guess it is a lock to be matched.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
New York has 14 players under contract — one below the league maximum — including centers Eddy Curry, Jerome James and Channing Frye. Curry has five years and $48.6million left on his contract, while James is owed $24 million over the next four seasons. Because the Knicks' payroll exceeds the league's luxury tax, Butler's $7million contract could cost them twice as much.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:29 AM
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Why would New York pay that kind of money for a 4th center??? Oh yeah this is the Knickers we're talking about ...nevermind
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Old 07-13-06, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Knicks officials have intimated to some they intend to match the Spurs' offer. Publicly, they said they haven't decided.
Translation:

For right now, they plan to match but will make the Spurs wait the full 7 days.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:31 AM
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Remember this...The Knicks have different groups vying for power within the organization (fewer since LB left). These Knicks officials who are "intimating" that the Kicks will match may have little say in the ultimate decision whether they will.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducks
Spurs officials declined comment except to say they haven't given up hope of restarting negotiations with Javtokas if they don't get either Butler or Elson. Rudoy, however, said Panathinaikos has given Javtokas a Friday deadline to sign with the Spurs, after which he would have to wait until next summer.

i think the deadline is

pinche' Rudoy!!!!!
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Old 07-13-06, 12:32 AM
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dammit isiah what a mess...leave it to zeke to say oh well why not still holding out hope ...
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Old 07-13-06, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
Translation:

For right now, they plan to match but will make the Spurs wait the full 7 days.
@$$h0les!!!!
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Old 07-13-06, 12:34 AM
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with Dolan wanting to clean things up and giving Thomas a year to do that

why would they want to pay that much to match Butler who wont see much playing time with all the money they are playing to other big men?

to match the sheet could cost them twice as much

they have 14 players already and more than several big men

I wouldnt be shocked if they dont match.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
with Dolan wanting to clean things up and giving Thomas a year to do that

why would they want to pay that much to match Butler who wont see much playing time with all the money they are playing to other big men?

to match the sheet could cost them twice as much

they have 14 players already and more than several big men

I wouldnt be shocked if they dont match.
if spurs aquire both elson and butler, is it still POSSIBLE to sign JAVTOKAS?
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Old 07-13-06, 12:35 AM
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It would be very stupid for the Knicks to match the offer for a player they won't use and will cost them more from the luxury tax...

...which is exactly why Isiah will match the offer.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:37 AM
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It doesn't make sense to pay 14+ mill more in lux tax for a 4th center unless you already know you are going to get rid of one. But then again, this is NY and with Thomas and Dolan, anything is possible.

edit:
Hey Joe, I was thinking the same thing but just a fraction later than you.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:41 AM
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The only certain thing is Javtokas is done. No one will match until next week, so past the deadline.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
The Spurs are willing to gamble because they don't consider any of the free-agent big men as definite impact players, and that includes Elson and Butler.

Quote:
Spurs officials acknowledge Elson and Butler might not provide the same level of production as Mohammed and Rasho Nesterovic but are willing to take that risk because they would cost about half as much.

oh wow. Spurs actually admit those two aren't as good as Rasho/Nazr combined.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:44 AM
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well it appears Karl has already basically said their not going to match Elson so they are not exactly making SA wait to hear their intentions
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Old 07-13-06, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousspirit
It doesn't make sense to pay 14+ mill more in lux tax for a 4th center unless you already know you are going to get rid of one. But then again, this is NY and with Thomas and Dolan, anything is possible.

edit:
Hey Joe, I was thinking the same thing but just a fraction later than you.
Great minds...
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Old 07-13-06, 12:46 AM
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So our offseason outlook rests on the unsure shoulders of the KNICKS organization? Now I can sleep at night (sarcasm). Waiting is a biatch!
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Old 07-13-06, 12:46 AM
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"He hated to be called an insurance policy," Karl said, "but he was."


past tense ..interesting
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Old 07-13-06, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousspirit
It doesn't make sense to pay 14+ mill more in lux tax for a 4th center unless you already know you are going to get rid of one. But then again, this is NY and with Thomas and Dolan, anything is possible.

edit:
Hey Joe, I was thinking the same thing but just a fraction later than you.
Someone help me out. If the Knicks match Butler, will they be able to Sign and Trade him to another team? I know they won't have that option with the Spurs, but can they use him as a part of another trade immediately? Cause that's the only reason the Knicks would (logically) match him. Of course, knowing Isiah, he'll match Butler so he can call him the Black Bill Lambier to NY Radio.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:47 AM
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Quote:

"Robertas was very disappointed," Rudoy said. "He expected to have serious negotiations, and they didn't want to make him a serious offer.

"It's a shame because we thought this was the summer (for him to come to the NBA)."

As evidenced by their negotiations with Argentine forward Luis Scola, the Spurs don't want to spend heavily on an international player until they are sure his skills translate to the NBA. Manu Ginobili signed a two-year, $2.9 million contract when he joined the Spurs four years ago, but his success has prompted the next crop of international players to seek more lucrative deals.

Indiana's Sarunas Jasikevicius, the Spurs' Fabricio Oberto and New Orleans' Arvydas Macijauskas all contributed only modestly to their teams after signing last summer.
I think the problem is his agent is trying to get the Spurs to pay more that they originally talked about. We can talk that 3 to 5 mil a year is not much but with Spurs close to the lux tax, it might end up costing more that just the contract.

Its hard to say "give up 3 mil a year and come to the NBA for less" but if thats what Scola and Jak really want, they should accept the little less and prove themselves. Then they could possibly get a bigger contract like Manu.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesR
im speechless.
Im not. Why the shock? its been know for awhile that SA wanted to dump Rasho's contract and that they didnt want to bring Nazr back...so they were never going to make some offer like Det gave him

They now get could get two players thay may or may not turn out to be better. Butler certainly is worth IMO and they cost less than paying Rasho to sit on the bench

What suprise is there in see the Spurs thinking that would be better? There is no set notion either of these players would have to be long term solutions and could be moved at some later time

it made no sense to keep paying Rasho that kinda contract to not play much and the options avail were certainly not that interesting...

The Spurs finally moved Rasho's "impossible" contract and could get up to multiple players costing half as much that lets them play a center by committee

people can not agree with it but I can def see the FO's thinking here
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Old 07-13-06, 12:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverstreak
I think the problem is his agent is trying to get the Spurs to pay more that they originally talked about. We can talk that 3 to 5 mil a year is not much but with Spurs close to the lux tax, it might end up costing more that just the contract.

Its hard to say "give up 3 mil a year and come to the NBA for less" but if thats what Scola and Jak really want, they should accept the little less and prove themselves. Then they could possibly get a bigger contract like Manu.
I agree. If either of them can contribute what Manu has for the team, pay them whatever they want. Until then, prove it on an NBA court first.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
the Spurs don't want to spend heavily on an international player until they are sure his skills translate to the NBA....
Then you know what,
QUIT DRAFTING THEM...
especially in the 2nd round.
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Old 07-13-06, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
Then you know what,
QUIT DRAFTING THEM...
especially in the 2nd round.
Exactly. I dont question the Spurs front office but when it comes to Javtokas and Scola, they have been Spurs property since 2001 and 2002, shouldn't they know by now if their skills have a chance to translate to the NBA?
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  #37  
Old 07-13-06, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
Then you know what,
QUIT DRAFTING THEM...
especially in the 2nd round.
having you been saying for months that SA wasnt convinved Scola would fit with Duncan?

so they shouldnt have drafted him when they did? what if they didnt know at that point years ago that they would later decide his game didnt fit with Duncan? I think taking a flyer on him with his bad contract status in Europe was worth it. SA knew it would be several years before he could come over and perhaps he would develop into someone they wanted

There wasnt much risk drafting someone like Javtokas or Scola where they did and they still own their rights

The Spurs didnt have much question on Manu coming to the NBA. the guy was a superstar in Europe. They were sold on Parker being special.

Whats the harm on taking flyers on guys you may leave overseas for a few years and possibly get something big in return? at worst you wasted a draft pick at best you get a good player or the rights to use in trades
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Old 07-13-06, 01:02 AM
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I'm not sure what more Scola and Javtokas could do to show the Spurs they are ready for the NBA.
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Old 07-13-06, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirebatMIV
Someone help me out. If the Knicks match Butler, will they be able to Sign and Trade him to another team? I know they won't have that option with the Spurs, but can they use him as a part of another trade immediately? Cause that's the only reason the Knicks would (logically) match him. Of course, knowing Isiah, he'll match Butler so he can call him the Black Bill Lambier to NY Radio.
no they can't do that.
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Old 07-13-06, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Amente
no they can't do that.
Ok, so Isiah's just mentally deficient. Good to know.
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  #41  
Old 07-13-06, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ro_50
Exactly. I dont question the Spurs front office but when it comes to Javtokas and Scola, they have been Spurs property since 2001 and 2002, shouldn't they know by now if their skills have a chance to translate to the NBA?

True. And if they know that quit making out every year to those players and the fans that
"oh, this may be the year we bring these guys in."

Ian they'll bring in because he'll be on a cheap, rookie contract for about 4 years.
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  #42  
Old 07-13-06, 01:07 AM
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so the Spurs shouldnt draft any foreign players now unless their SURE at the time they draft them that they most certainly will want them on the team at a later point? wtf? that defeats the whole purpose of drafting someone and leaving them overseas to develop...possibly getting a steal at a later point.

Quote:
I'm not sure what more Scola and Javtokas could do to show the Spurs they are ready for the NBA.
The Spurs dont think Scola's game...the way he plays on the court...where he likes to catch the ball and how he plays fits with Duncan. Right or wrong it doesnt matter ir Scola is ready for the NBA or not if they dont think he works with Duncan
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  #43  
Old 07-13-06, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
True. And if they know that quit making out every year to those players and the fans that
"oh, this may be the year we bring these guys in."

Ian they'll bring in because he'll be on a cheap, rookie contract for about 4 years.
Ian is going to be a on cheap four year contract as you say.

I was looking forward to seeing Javtokas here. I'm sure most of us didnt expect him to become a star Manu-style but his athleticism offers intrigue and could've filled a role off the bench w/ his athletic abilities and hustle.
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  #44  
Old 07-13-06, 01:10 AM
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SpursRo-- I'm perfectly aware of why Scola is not a Spur. What's not clear to me is why he's not in the NBA. It is not clear to me why Javtokas is not in the NBA.
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  #45  
Old 07-13-06, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpursRock50
so the Spurs shouldnt draft any foreign players now unless their SURE at the time they draft them that they most certainly will want them on the team at a later point? wtf? that defeats the whole purpose of drafting someone and leaving them overseas to develop...possibly getting a steal at a later point.



The Spurs dont think Scola's game...the way he plays on the court...where he likes to catch the ball and how he plays fits with Duncan. Right or wrong it doesnt matter ir Scola is ready for the NBA or not if they dont think he works with Duncan

If you know that 2nd round picks are essentially free agents and that will no longer come over cheap then try and draft the best ones in the first round like Beno and Ian. Nice inexpensive rookie deal for about 4 or 5 years.

As far as old picks like scola and Jak, well, if you're unsure about their game translating to the NBA then why invite JAK to come over 5 weeks ago and then make out like, "Oh but we wanted you for less than that." They've been scouting these guys for years, you would think they know by now what they have or don't have.
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  #46  
Old 07-13-06, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Amente
If you know that 2nd round picks are essentially free agents and that will no longer come over cheap then try and draft the best ones in the first round like Beno and Ian. Nice inexpensive rookie deal for about 4 or 5 years.

As far as old picks like scola and Jak, well, if you're unsure about their game translating to the NBA then why invite JAK to come over 5 weeks ago and then make out like, "Oh but we wanted you for less than that." They've been scouting these guys for years, you would think they know by now what they have or don't have.
Exactly.
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  #47  
Old 07-13-06, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
As far as old picks like scola and Jak, well, if you're unsure about their game translating to the NBA then why invite JAK to come over 5 weeks ago and then make out like, "Oh but we wanted you for less than that." They've been scouting these guys for years, you would think they know by now what they have or don't have.
I dont know about the Jack situation because enough info on what really happened just isnt out there

but for Scola. I dont think they should have known for sure when they took a flyer on him back then that he couldnt fit with Duncan. They could have easily reached that assessment later for all we know.

We have known for multiple seasons that SA didnt have him as a priority to really bring over...so sure SA knows that they dont think he fits but did they know that when they took a chance on him way back when? He was tied to a bad contract buyout and wouldnt even be avail for several years after that

they could have easily thought it was worth the risk that he developed into something that would have worked in their system with Duncan. I mean at that time of the draft DROB was still playing
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  #48  
Old 07-13-06, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ro_50
Exactly. I dont question the Spurs front office but when it comes to Javtokas and Scola, they have been Spurs property since 2001 and 2002, shouldn't they know by now if their skills have a chance to translate to the NBA?
They drafted Manu in 99 and didn't bring him over til 02-03. And that was after he had won championships and MVP awards in Europe and stole the show in the Wolrd Championships in 02. Javtokas and Scola haven't won anything even close to Manu, team wise or individual wise. Scola's situation has been exascerbated by his buyout clause. Oh, and Javtokas had some "minor motorcycle related issues" along the way. So, the extra time its taken is NOT unreasonable in my eyes.

And for all those who think they can evaluate how Euro talent will translate to the NBA game, sorry, but I have NO hesitation in saying I will trust Pop and RC's evaluations of talent/translation/worth over yours. No offense.
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  #49  
Old 07-13-06, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
There wasnt much risk drafting someone like Javtokas or Scola where they did and they still own their rights

The Spurs didnt have much question on Manu coming to the NBA. the guy was a superstar in Europe. They were sold on Parker being special.

Whats the harm on taking flyers on guys you may leave overseas for a few years and possibly get something big in return? at worst you wasted a draft pick at best you get a good player or the rights to use in trades
good post, with skills like that you should be signed to man the middle
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  #50  
Old 07-13-06, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
I wonder if the Knicks would do us the courtesy of deciding one way or the other quickly. From this it sounds like Javtokas, though pissed, might still be a possibility. If the Knicks match on Butler the Spurs could then make that same offer to Javtokas.

Of course maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.
you are not alone with that kind of wishfull thinking.
i can't remember that i wished so badly that an offer of the Spurs is matched.
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