This morning at about 4:30 Pacific -- I'm on the West Coast working on a project -- I was awoken from a perfectly satisfactory dream about golfing by people in the next room being very loud.
A few moments later I heard a hotel security guard's walkie-talkie crackle in the hall. Which led me to one of two conclusions. Either he was a peeping tom right out of the movie Garden State or some other guest had been awoken and reported a possible assault going on in room 437. If the police come knocking later looking for witness statements, the only thing I'd be able to report is the perp's name was either "Baby" or "Sweet Jesus."
Unable to return to sleep, I was left to consider who in the NBA has been, ahem, screwed this summer.
The Cavs by the Nuggets. Six years and $60 million for Nene! Totally messed up the Drew Gooden talks.
The Warriors by the Hornets. Golden State may very well have gotten its hands on Al Harrington had the Hornets for some reason decided to just hand the Pacers a $7.5 million trade exception for Peja Stojakovic at the last second. I know the Hornets GM has maintained that it helped them with "flexibility." Uh, yeah, you were concerned with flexibility when giving Peja $64 million and then trading an expiring contract for Tyson Chandler and $50 more million. Hey, I'm not criticizing those moves, but it sort of undermines that argument. Had they gotten $3 million, the max allowed and certainly enough to sign a free player, from the Pacers I'd believe it. But they reportedly got 250K, which won't even get you a rookie playing for the minimum.
Flip Murray by the system. He played last season for less than a $1 million because he felt he was worth more than the $3 million per year deal the Sonics were offering. Then he was sold to the Cavs and came in and helped turn around the end of the season. Some were thinking he was in line for a $25-$30 million deal as a starter. Then the Cavs drafted Shannon Brown at his position and let him walk. He signed a two-year deal worth less than $4 million in Detroit.
The Knicks by themselves. I think with the talent on the roster and a new up-tempo style they could really win like 35 games this season. Which, by the way, only hurts them because it may convince them to stay the course. But let me get this straight. Including luxury tax penalties, they traded away expiring contracts to take on like an extra $100 million in Steve Francis and Jalen Rose and have just signed Jared Jefferies to an offer sheet that will cost them $60 million in real money if Washington doesn't match.
Yet they have a young, athletic big man with significant upside in Jackie Butler, who they actually found the old fashioned way in the CBA, and they don't match a three-year $7 million offer sheet from the Spurs? Talk about being penny wise and dollar foolish. I mean the fact that the always thrifty and intelligent Spurs wanted Butler should've been enough to make them consider what they had. Heck, they could have always traded him in a bad deal to get an average player with a massive salary down the road per usual.
The Raptors by God. They thought they had John Salmons wrapped for $23 million over five years. Then he backed out, saying isn't wasn't where God wanted him to be. Then a day later he signed for $25.5 million over five years with the Sacramento Kings. Now, as you know, Sac is no Eden, but they were offering more money, are a playoff team, have better weather, and Cali has a more favorable income tax structure than Canada. Simply Divine!
Of course, I could be wrong about all this, I'm sleep deprived.