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  #1  
Old 07-21-06, 01:11 AM
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Ludden: Spurs find center in Elson after Nuggets fail to match

http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/b...n.18f4d87.html

Spurs find center in Elson after Nuggets fail to match

Web Posted: 07/20/2006 11:55 PM CDT

Johnny Ludden
Express-News Staff Writer

SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday came and went, leaving behind another 7-foot center and ending the Spurs' tense-yet-successful venture into restricted free agency.

After trading Rasho Nesterovic, watching Nazr Mohammed take more money — and, presumably, more minutes — from Detroit and a thanks-but-no-thanks from Alonzo Mourning, the Spurs filled their remaining lineup hole when Denver declined to match a two-year, $6 million offer to Francisco Elson.

Elson, 30, is the second center in as many days to join the Spurs. New York said Wednesday it wasn't keeping Jackie Butler, who received a three-year, $7 million contract from the Spurs.

The Spurs hope Elson and Butler, 21, can give them production at center at less than half the combined $12.5 million Mohammed and Nesterovic will make next season.

The third year of Butler's contract also is at the Spurs' option, so the team could conceivably have only Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili under contract after the 2007-08 season, allowing them significant salary-cap room to reshape the roster.

The Nuggets informed Elson's agent, Calvin Andrews, late Thursday afternoon they didn't plan to match the Spurs' offer unless an unexpected trade allowed the team to move another of its frontcourt players. When one didn't materialize, Denver simply allowed the 11:59 p.m. deadline to lapse.

The Nuggets re-signed forward/center Nene to a $60million contract Thursday and have $72 million invested in forward Kenyon Martin and another $42million in center Marcus Camby. Keeping Elson would have moved their payroll close to the luxury-tax threshold and likely ended their efforts to re-sign forward Reggie Evans.

The Spurs also front-loaded each year of Elson's contract, making a substantial percentage of it payable in one lump sum before the start of the season. Carmelo Anthony's contract extension, which doesn't begin until the 2007-08 season, is structured similarly.

Though Spurs coach Gregg Popovich doesn't guarantee minutes or roles, Elson appears to be the leading candidate to start next to Duncan, given his experience and size. The Spurs think Elson's ability to run the floor could allow him to play with their small lineup while Duncan rests.

Nesterovic and Mohammed were plodders, a large reason why both spent much of the Spurs' second-round playoff loss to Dallas on the bench.

In a January victory over the Spurs last season, Elson often beat Duncan and the rest of the Spurs' big men down the floor while totaling 13 points, six rebounds and two steals.

"When we played them he got a lot of layups because he can run," Bruce Bowen said. "That's something David (Robinson) used to do real well. Not to say he is Dave now, but he does have that running quality."

The Spurs don't have plans to put Elson's jersey next to Robinson's in the AT&T Center rafters anytime soon. Elson is an adequate shot-blocker and has a decent mid-range shot, which should help him fit in the Spurs' system. Neither skill, however, is in Robinson's class. Scouts also don't like his hands and say he sometimes is slow to react.

Elson played in 72 games last season. The Nuggets went 32-22 in the 54 he started. He averaged 5.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.7 minutes as a starter.

Born in The Netherlands, Elson attended Kilgore Junior College in Texas before transferring to the University of California, where he was a teammate of former Spurs forward Sean Marks. (Marks, who spent three seasons with the Spurs, is expected to sign with Phoenix.)

The Nuggets drafted Elson in the second round in 1999, but he played four years in Spain before joining them.

"I think Francisco will fit well with us," Bowen said. "The thing about the Spurs is we don't ask a lot of our bigs other than to just go out and give their best effort. He will be able to do that."

The burden on the Spurs' centers will be lessened with Duncan expected to average 15-plus minutes at the position. Fabricio Oberto also will have a better opportunity next season to carve out minutes for himself.

The Spurs hope Butler progresses enough to provide some muscle at the position. But they also concede they might miss Nesterovic's defense, forcing them to double-team Houston's Yao Ming more often.

The addition of Elson gives the Spurs 14 players with guaranteed contracts. Guard Melvin Sanders and forwards Rich Melzer and Jamar Smith, each of whom has a non-guaranteed deal, could compete for the final roster spot in training camp.

Notebook: The Spurs suffered their third consecutive loss at the Rocky Mountain Revue on Thursday, falling 90-81 to Dallas. Ian Mahinmi, the team's first-round pick from a year ago, played better than he did Tuesday but still finished with seven fouls, five points and three rebounds in 27 minutes.

Rookie guard Maurice Ager looked like another late first-round steal for the Mavericks. He scored 24 points and had a vicious dunk over Mahinmi.

[email protected]

Staff Writer Mike Monroe contributed to this report.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:15 AM
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YES
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Old 07-21-06, 01:17 AM
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Well...that answered my question.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ro_50
The third year of Butler's contract also is at the Spurs' option, so the team could conceivably have only Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili under contract after the 2007-08 season, allowing them significant salary-cap room to reshape the roster.
Yes!!! And next year, we sign Grant Hill (if healthy) or PJ Brown for 1 year with MLE
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Old 07-21-06, 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by semut
Yes!!! And next year, we sign Grant Hill (if healthy) or PJ Brown for 1 year with MLE

I dont think either of them are even worth considering to bring in, maybe if this was 2000 and not 2006. Both are old and at the end of their careers.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by semut
Yes!!! And next year, we sign Grant Hill (if healthy) or PJ Brown for 1 year with MLE
Heck...we could get Jamaal Magloire for 1 year if they wanted. He only has 1 year left on his current contract.

What woud be so bad about having a true 10/10 center for 1 year?
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Old 07-21-06, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ro_50
I dont think either of them are even worth considering to bring in, maybe if this was 2000 and not 2006. Both are old and at the end of their careers.
It is only for 1 year contract. Low risk move. Hopefully they still have some juice in the tank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SF4L
Heck...we could get Jamaal Magloire for 1 year if they wanted. He only has 1 year left on his current contract.

What woud be so bad about having a true 10/10 center for 1 year?
I dont think Magloire want to sign 1 year contract. He is still relatively young. The idea is to maintain cap space in 2008 but still a title contender.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:35 AM
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The Spurs have definitely added nice frontcourt depth with Elson and Butler. Both are nice players but I think Elson will get the early minutes since he's more polished.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by semut
I dont think Magloire want to sign 1 year contract. He is still relatively young. The idea is to maintain cap space in 2008 but still a title contender.
Wouldn't have to resign anything...Magloire still has 1 year left on his current contract...a S&T would suffice in bringing in a top 10 C for 1 year to help win another championship + it would actually allow Duncan to not have to be in the lineup for 38 minutes a game for the entire season.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:47 AM
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Jazz ink center Jarron Collins to 3-year deal
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/rss...section=si_nba
Well, everything is coming together now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
Where's our Spur capologist? Is this true?
That is correct. That's why they were watching the years on their contracts, mostly, not necessairly the value of the contract total.

Beno has a Qualifying Offer for that year, but everyone else is off the books now that Rasho is gone.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
Where's our Spur capologist? Is this true?
I'm not the capologist but it's true.

http://www.hoopshype.com/salaries/san_antonio.htm

^^Oh, too late. Sorry.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SPUROFTHAMOMENT
I'm not the capologist but it's true.

http://www.hoopshype.com/salaries/san_antonio.htm

^^Oh, too late. Sorry.
Be careful though. The site isn't always accurate with any of the teams. Generally they are good, but sometimes they get things wrong. Most common are player option/team option type stuff.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:53 AM
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Thanks Grego, I noticed it wasn't 100% accurate, but it's close enough.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:54 AM
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Not as graphic nice, but more accurate to double check against.

http://www.dfw.net/~patricia/
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Old 07-21-06, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SF4L
Wouldn't have to resign anything...Magloire still has 1 year left on his current contract...a S&T would suffice in bringing in a top 10 C for 1 year to help win another championship + it would actually allow Duncan to not have to be in the lineup for 38 minutes a game for the entire season.
If we can get Magloire, I will be very happy. But it is not easy.
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Old 07-21-06, 04:28 AM
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Forget Magloire - let's see how good Jackie is in two years.

Kid may be a beast by then under Duncan's tutelage.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by miguelito
Forget Magloire - let's see how good Jackie is in two years.

Kid may be a beast by then under Duncan's tutelage.
Under Duncan't tutelage, the kid will be a wiz at PS2 and Paintball.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:12 AM
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$72 million invested in forward Kenyon Martin
K-Mart should get down on his knees every day and thank God for Jason Kidd.
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Old 07-21-06, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelito
Forget Magloire - let's see how good Jackie is in two years.

Kid may be a beast by then under Duncan's tutelage.
I just hope it's not Samaki Walker Jr
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Old 07-21-06, 08:14 AM
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Walker was older with bad knees

Butler is young and has talent. He can still improve
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  #21  
Old 07-21-06, 09:01 AM
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Elson is an adequate shot-blocker and has a decent mid-range shot, which should help him fit in the Spurs' system. Neither skill, however, is in Robinson's class. Scouts also don't like his hands and say he sometimes is slow to react.
And Butler's defense is questionable.
WIll be interesting to see how much Pop alters his defensive scheme.
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Old 07-21-06, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
Where's our Spur capologist? Is this true?
It's possible, but wouldn't be enough to get overly excited about and probably wouldn't be worth the effort to try and pull it off. The Spurs will have $42 mil wrapped up in Duncan, Parker and Manu. If you assume the cap goes up about $2 mil per season (just a number I came up with that sounds reasonable) the cap would be $57 mil leaving the Spurs $15 mil to fill 10 roster spots with, assuming the Spurs let both Butler and Beno walk.

If you keep Beno, the qualifying offer on him is $2.6 mil, then you add in Mahinmi and our 2007 1st round pick and there's another couple mil gone. Then in free agency next year unless you plan to sign everyone to 1 year deals, which won't land you anyone good, any FA's you sign are going to eat into that number even more.

All in all, I think the Spurs would be better off keeping their eyes focused on setting up for cap space in 2010.
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Old 07-21-06, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
It's possible, but wouldn't be enough to get overly excited about and probably wouldn't be worth the effort to try and pull it off. The Spurs will have $42 mil wrapped up in Duncan, Parker and Manu. If you assume the cap goes up about $2 mil per season (just a number I came up with that sounds reasonable) the cap would be $57 mil leaving the Spurs $15 mil to fill 10 roster spots with, assuming the Spurs let both Butler and Beno walk.

If you keep Beno, the qualifying offer on him is $2.6 mil, then you add in Mahinmi and our 2007 1st round pick and there's another couple mil gone. Then in free agency next year unless you plan to sign everyone to 1 year deals, which won't land you anyone good, any FA's you sign are going to eat into that number even more.

All in all, I think the Spurs would be better off keeping their eyes focused on setting up for cap space in 2010.

Good post. Beat me to making some of the same points.
Signing at LEAST nine players with whatever cap space they may possess.
Decisions would have to be made. Do they resign Beno or Bowen? When is Ian brought in, or any other draftee for that matter? Do they keep Butler for that 3rd year? Whatever cap space they may possess in 2008 will be nice to have but don't start looking to 2008 as the year of the Big Free Agent Signings.
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Old 07-21-06, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
And Butler's defense is questionable.
WIll be interesting to see how much Pop alters his defensive scheme.
or how much those players improve under the Spurs coaching. We have seen Pop get lesser defensive players to do decent/well before.

Guess we will find out
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Old 07-21-06, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DizzG
or how much those players improve under the Spurs coaching. We have seen Pop get lesser defensive players to do decent/well before.

Guess we will find out

That's not my point.
Read the article again and yesterday's about Butler.
Read between the lines and one can tell that Pop might be looking at a little more "small ball." Elson/Butler/Oberto/Horry/Bonner are better at a small ball type game according to what the write-ups have been saying and are not the traditional big man center that the Spurs have tried to bring in over the past few years. So Pop may be altering his defensive schemes just a bit.
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Old 07-21-06, 12:39 PM
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Walker was older with bad knees

Butler is young and has talent. He can still improve
Walker was only 23 when he signed with the Spurs, and he had talent and the capacity to improve. It wouldn't be a big shock if a low-money gamble didn't work out.
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Old 07-21-06, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by objective
Walker was only 23 when he signed with the Spurs, and he had talent and the capacity to improve. It wouldn't be a big shock if a low-money gamble didn't work out.

That's probably why the Spurs have a team option on Butler's third year.
Just in case.
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Old 07-21-06, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
It's possible, but wouldn't be enough to get overly excited about and probably wouldn't be worth the effort to try and pull it off. The Spurs will have $42 mil wrapped up in Duncan, Parker and Manu. If you assume the cap goes up about $2 mil per season (just a number I came up with that sounds reasonable) the cap would be $57 mil leaving the Spurs $15 mil to fill 10 roster spots with, assuming the Spurs let both Butler and Beno walk.

If you keep Beno, the qualifying offer on him is $2.6 mil, then you add in Mahinmi and our 2007 1st round pick and there's another couple mil gone. Then in free agency next year unless you plan to sign everyone to 1 year deals, which won't land you anyone good, any FA's you sign are going to eat into that number even more.

All in all, I think the Spurs would be better off keeping their eyes focused on setting up for cap space in 2010.

will TD still be a part of the future plans of 2010 or will the TD window be officially closed?
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  #29  
Old 07-21-06, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by objective
Walker was only 23 when he signed with the Spurs, and he had talent and the capacity to improve. It wouldn't be a big shock if a low-money gamble didn't work out.
Walker was lazy and stupid too. He was just getting a chance to play for a team (and a good one) and he violates his contract by riding and wrecking his motercycle. Came back fat.

From what we have read Butler is a hard worker. He might struggle with the fat part. I would also say no other teams fans were crying about not getting Walker.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:03 PM
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I would also say no other teams fans were crying about not getting Walker.
i read a lot of boards (pacers, kings, knicks, lakers, nuggets, raptors, celtic, hornets, jazz, mavs, suns, wolves, all team-centric and not split forums like realgm), and I can't say anyone is crying about not getting Butler.

The vast majority of the pro-Butler posts on Knicks boards (nykfanpage and knicks4life) are upset about how little he would have cost compared to the Knicks' history of contracts. There isn't much "Jackie is so great and has incredible upside!" but more 'we spend X on so and so why not Y for Jackie when Jerome James is so bad.' kind of thing.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ro_50

Rookie guard Maurice Ager looked like another late first-round steal for the Mavericks. He scored 24 points and had a vicious dunk over Mahinmi.
Now that's something I didn't want to hear.
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Old 07-21-06, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BehaviorDisorder
will TD still be a part of the future plans of 2010 or will the TD window be officially closed?
I would expect Tim to still be in the picture, but he'd certainly be due a hefty paycut from the $22 mil he'll have made in 09-10. Same story on Manu.
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Old 07-21-06, 02:41 PM
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will TD still be a part of the future plans of 2010 or will the TD window be officially closed?
I would see no reason not. unless he retired I would think he would still be a good player even in 2010...not the same level as now but worth keeping for sure
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  #34  
Old 07-21-06, 02:44 PM
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I would expect Tim to still be in the picture, but he'd certainly be due a hefty paycut from the $22 mil he'll have made in 09-10.
I tend to doubt that he would take a big paycut. Robinson didn't take a big one at the end of his career.
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  #35  
Old 07-21-06, 02:49 PM
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TD will still get at least 10 mil a year in 2010 (unless he's seriously injured).
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  #36  
Old 07-21-06, 03:54 PM
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Not wanting to start another thread, but if Atlanta did do a sign-n-trade with Indiana for A. Harington and Indiana's 8.6mil trade exception. Could the Spurs trade Barry and E. Williams to Atlanta for the trade exception and a 1st round pick in next year's draft. That would free up two player spots that could be filled by Meltzer, and J. Smith. Just wondering, since Peter Holt's not the richest owner in the league and SA would probally let the trade exception expire anyway.
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  #37  
Old 07-21-06, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakehorn
Not wanting to start another thread, but if Atlanta did do a sign-n-trade with Indiana for A. Harington and Indiana's 8.6mil trade exception. Could the Spurs trade Barry and E. Williams to Atlanta for the trade exception and a 1st round pick in next year's draft. That would free up two player spots that could be filled by Meltzer, and J. Smith. Just wondering, since Peter Holt's not the richest owner in the league and SA would probally let the trade exception expire anyway.
You want a 1st round pick? That would cost an arm and a leg, especially for next year's draft. 2nd rounder is a lot more realistic.
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  #38  
Old 07-21-06, 04:32 PM
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Why would Atlanta want Barry and Williams?
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  #39  
Old 07-21-06, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by objective
Why would Atlanta want Barry and Williams?
The hawks gain the experience of two veterans one who can play both PG/SG and a SF with an expiring contract. A 2nd round draft pick is more like it as ROBINSON50 mentioned, but if possible it's a way for the Spurs to get younger and dump contracts. I'm just throwing it out there for discussion or if it's even possible. It seems more feasible than some of the crazier trade scenarios some posters are suggesting.
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Old 07-21-06, 04:46 PM
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The hawks gain the experience of two veterans one who can play both PG/SG and a SF with an expiring contract.
Sorry, but they're still up to their neck in swingmen with Smith, Johnson, Childress and Marvin Williams. And Speedy and Stoudamire/Lue/Johnson as the PG.

I just don't see why they would want Barry and Williams even for just the trade exception.
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  #41  
Old 07-21-06, 06:08 PM
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If anyhing Atlanta needs a big man
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  #42  
Old 07-21-06, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by objective
I tend to doubt that he would take a big paycut. Robinson didn't take a big one at the end of his career.
Robinson didn't make $22 mil the year before he re-signed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lakehorn
The hawks gain the experience of two veterans one who can play both PG/SG and a SF with an expiring contract. A 2nd round draft pick is more like it as ROBINSON50 mentioned, but if possible it's a way for the Spurs to get younger and dump contracts. I'm just throwing it out there for discussion or if it's even possible. It seems more feasible than some of the crazier trade scenarios some posters are suggesting.
The Hawks are under the cap. They don't need expiring contracts.
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  #43  
Old 07-21-06, 09:59 PM
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The Hawk needs to tank and get Oden rather than getting 2 useless veterans. If they want to train up their players, they better hire a better coach. They need no cap space and will not pay $ to Barry and William. Their players are so young that they are almost guaranteed a spot in the lottery.
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  #44  
Old 07-22-06, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amente
Good post. Beat me to making some of the same points.
Signing at LEAST nine players with whatever cap space they may possess.
Decisions would have to be made. Do they resign Beno or Bowen? When is Ian brought in, or any other draftee for that matter? Do they keep Butler for that 3rd year? Whatever cap space they may possess in 2008 will be nice to have but don't start looking to 2008 as the year of the Big Free Agent Signings.
Bowen by this would be risky with any significant contract. As much as I love him, and as healthy as he's stayed, i just hope it woudlnt' be too big. Hopefully they find some 3's to take over his spot. Hopefully viktor sanikidze will also be brought over sometime. Hopefully he'll look bigger than Barry by that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotes_geek
The Hawks are under the cap. They don't need expiring contracts.
Don't use logic with the Hawks!! Nor with any team Isiah Thomas is involved with.
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  #45  
Old 07-22-06, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Grego
Bowen by this would be risky with any significant contract. As much as I love him, and as healthy as he's stayed, i just hope it woudlnt' be too big. Hopefully they find some 3's to take over his spot. Hopefully viktor sanikidze will also be brought over sometime. Hopefully he'll look bigger than Barry by that time.
If Bowen can still play in spurts, Spurs may keep him on at vet minimum. He has not slowed down much and he keeps getting older. I would take this risk, especially if there is someone on the roster that he can help train.



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Old 07-22-06, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousspirit
If Bowen can still play in spurts, Spurs may keep him on at vet minimum. He has not slowed down much and he keeps getting older. I would take this risk, especially if there is someone on the roster that he can help train.
He still has 2 years left on the contract. Next contract would be pushing it. Any big contact would be bad unless it was a 1 year with team option on second.
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  #47  
Old 07-24-06, 12:39 PM
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  #48  
Old 07-24-06, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ro_50
[url]Scouts also don't like his hands and say he sometimes is slow to react.
And how is this guy different than Nazr???
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