FanDuel - WFBC

August 09, 2005

REJECTED: Nets president Rod Thorn pulls the rug (and 6 year sign & trade deal) out from under Shareef Abdur-Rahim. This on the heels of the Hawks ownership trying to oust managing partner Steve Belkin over the logistics of the Joe Johnson trade.

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 05:21 PM - 13 comments

Relatively speaking, this is an extraordinary decision. New Jersey is a team that not a couple seasons ago inked Jason Kidd to a max deal, which will pay him what, $15 million at age 37 (I'm guessing on both counts) and traded for notorious pouter and knee-creaky Vinsanity (another max deal, although at least Vince is younger than Kidd), but won't take this absolute bargain in Shareef (willing to sign for less than half the max deal rate). The one player who HASN'T missed major time with a knee injury in his NBA career is the one the Nets decide not to add to the roster--again, at a bargain rate. From a team called the Nets that sports a rim with no net in their logo, I suppose this is to be expected. And am I the only one who wonders why Atlanta needs to trade two first-rounders AND Boris Diaw just to get Joe Johnson into the fold? Not that I believe that is Belkin's real objection to the deal--his own GM, Billy Knight, has stepped out to say Belkin has instructed him to work on the cheap--but why in the world would you pay such a ransom for Johnson when he's basically talked himself out of Phoenix already? If you only trade a first-rounder for Johnson, is Phoenix suddenly going to match and keep a guy who is choosing ATLANTA over title-contending Phoenix?

posted by Brett at 05:53 PM on August 09

I was going to be cute and say Belkin's from Boston which is why he doesn't realize Joe Johnson is good now, but then I saw the terms. As someone who thinks players should squeeze every dollar they can from ownership, as someone who hates sports owners and as someone who knows how awful the Hawks franchise is from top to bottom, I ask, "What kind of world do we live in that someone would pay $20 million for a year of Joe Johnson?" Good for Steve Belkin. I hope he wins out, lest I be reduced to a one of the mindless horde, repeating, "Do you know how many schoolteachers that would pay for?"

posted by yerfatma at 06:00 PM on August 09

Excellent points, Brett. I can only imagine what Joe Johnson is thinking right now. The Hawks can't look any more dysfunctional than they do right now.

posted by dusted at 06:05 PM on August 09

Im not convinced that Joe Johnson is as good as he looked last year. His 17 points per game came on a team where he could score so many points in a game off of fast breaks. The real question is how many points can Joe Johnson score on a team without Steve Nash to pass the ball, and without Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion to take defensive pressure of him.

posted by rockin_the_suburbs at 06:43 PM on August 09

Now comes news that the Nets have acquired Marc Jackson from Philly instead. Thats 75 cents on the dollar if you ask me. Jackson doesn't have the track record that Rahim does, or the post game for that matter. Jackson has averaged 9 Ppg, 5 Rpg, and a PER of 14.8 over 5 seasons in the NBA (not counting his overseas experience).
Jackson has played in 267 out of 410 games in 5 seasons due to injury, DNPs, etc. While Rahim has put up 19.8 Ppg, 8.1 Rpg, and a PER of 19.7 AND played 672 games out of 788 in 9 seasons. Jackson has played in 65% of his teams games while Rahim has played in 85%, and yet Thorn recinds Shareef's deal due to injury concerns? Thats it. I'm officially calling Bullshit.

posted by lilnemo at 06:55 PM on August 09

Either that or stupidity.

posted by dusted at 07:12 PM on August 09

As far as the Joe Johnson deal is concerned. I'm on Belkin's side on this (assuming he's not inheriting the throne of NBA Satan Donald Serling). Joe Johnson is not worth $20 Mill in year 1 + Boris Diaw + 2 First Round picks + a $4.9 Mill trade exception. Billy Knight done lost his damn mind. Don't get me wrong, Joe Johnson is an exceptional talent who deserves a contract north of the MLE but south of the MAX. The real question is how many points can Joe Johnson score on a team without Steve Nash to pass the ball, and without Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion to take defensive pressure of him. I don't think this line of reasoning really sticks. I mean, Nowitzki, Howard, Daniels, and Finley didn't have a "noticeable drop" in offense, their defense did pick up however, but that may be more attributable to Avery Johnson's emphasis on Defense vs. Nellie's total lack of, or it could be that Nash was a sieve. The pace of the team declined slightly, but this could be attributable to various factors (different PG, different offensive/defensive philosphies, other roster changes, etc.). There really are too many factors involved to pin the success of a player or group of players to another player. From Basketball-Ref.com: 2004:Pace Factor: 95.7 (3rd out of 29), League Pace Factor - 92.7 Efficiency: Offense - 109.6 (1st out of 29), Defense - 104.3 (26th out of 29), League Efficiency - 100.0 RPI: .543 (6th out of 29) 2005:Pace Factor: 95.3 (9th out of 30), League Pace Factor - 93.6 Efficiency: Offense - 107.5 (5th out of 30), Defense - 101.0 (9th out of 30), League Efficiency - 103.1 RPI: .555 (3rd out of 30)

posted by lilnemo at 07:20 PM on August 09

I dunno 'nemo, it might stick a bit: I only saw Johnson in a couple of games with the Suns, so maybe he grew up and is a completely different player, but the Joe Johnson the Celts drafted was a raw talent completely afraid of trying for fear he would fail. I have no doubt he and Chauncey Billups will be inducted at Springfield the same day just to stab a little deeper, but there's a chance he's not the guy that scored 17/game for a year either.

posted by yerfatma at 07:25 PM on August 09

I'm hedging my bets that he's somewhere in between. Not the scrub/scapegoat he was in Boston nor the potential All-Star he was in Phoenix.

posted by lilnemo at 07:30 PM on August 09

I don't think this line of reasoning really sticks. I mean, Nowitzki, Howard, Daniels, and Finley didn't have a "noticeable drop" in offense, their defense did pick up however, but that may be more attributable to Avery Johnson's emphasis on Defense vs. Nellie's total lack of, or it could be that Nash was a sieve. Yes, that is still 4 offensive threats that must be guarded. Joe Johnson wouldnt have that in Atlanta.

posted by rockin_the_suburbs at 07:40 PM on August 09

I agree with lilnemo, Joe Johnson has got the talent, but who knows how well he can bring that over to Atlanta. Whether or not you agree with me on this, but I think that Nash has the ability to make anyone look amazing on the court. So how well do you guys think he will succeed without the "Nash factor"? I dont know if he will fare that well without it. I also feel the same about Marion and Stoudemire. Sometimes you need a certain something or somebody to make you great. And its not there in Atlanta for Joe. He should stay with the Suns.

posted by tina at 10:46 PM on August 09

I agree there must be something to the Nash factor. Last I looked Atlanta still hasn't addressed the point guard issue, and there aren't many like Nash to begin with. The Hawks are a team full or players with "potential" at best! Young players that haven't really proven themselves yet. We all know how dangerous that "P" word is! But there is virtually no chance of Johnson staying in Phoenix. Although it's easy to look at the Nets now and say what a bonehead decision they made, what if Shareef does have knee problems 1-2 yrs down the road?! Who's the idiot then. I'm sure the Alonzo fiasco has made them a little cautious, granted maybe too cautious.

posted by gr8czrsgost at 02:06 PM on August 10

Sure, the Nets are being cautious but hey, I wish the Raptors woulda picked up Shareef (at the amount of money this deal is about) in trading Carter. And if you wanna talk Alonzo fiasco... at least he broke a sweat for his money from the Nets.

posted by gspm at 03:20 PM on August 10

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