contract extension

Three Players to Watch (Brooklyn Nets)

The “Three Players to Watch” series is brought to you by the OuttaTownClowns, covering each of the league’s 30 teams providing you with insight on three guys that should demand your attention next season. As you can always expect at the OTC, not every player noted are a team’s top player, instead it may just be a player’s particular situation that’s worth following if you’re a die-hard NBA fan. Up Next: “Hello Brooklyn, how ya duin” (Lil Wayne Voice)

1. Tyshawn Taylor

The seasoned college prospect fell to the 41st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and was surprisingly traded by Portland to Brooklyn for cash considerations. Cash considerations? Consider this…Tyshawn Taylor will receive some chances to help the Nets next season. Averaging 15.5 ppg in Orlando Summer League competition Taylor provided leadership, a clear ability to score the basketball at the next level, and most importantly wasn’t afraid to take control of the flow of the game while on the court. Although he only handed out an average of 2.5 assists per game in summer ball, his overall game play can easily make him a reliable option of the bench for Head Coach Avery Johnson if called upon. Don’t be surprised to see Taylor sent to the D-League early on into the year, but come the middle of the season he should rise if given the opportunity.

 

2. Brook Lopez

Go ahead big fella, pick out some new Brooklyn Nets gear that fits. Looks as if you’ll be sticking around after all…

Two words can describe the Nets feeling when it comes to Brook Lopez next season: fingers crossed. After playing in just the first 5 games of the last year’s season, the Nets ultimately decided to shut Lopez down after a severely sprained right ankle. Despite much court time the Nets still elected to re-sign Lopez to a 4 year, $61 million dollar contract extension. Re-signing Brook Lopez and missing the boat on acquiring Dwight Howard the Nets will heavily rely upon Lopez to have a major bounce back year. As the current Nets roster stands, Lopez is arguably their only true center and will obviously need to avoid foul trouble. With the relocation to Brooklyn that included a new logo, new image (Jay-Z convinced the league to allow them to have primary black jerseys), re-signing of Gerald Wallace, and trading to acquire Joe Johnson the Nets have huge expectations this coming season. It’s time that owner Mikhail Prokhorov sees a drastic improvement in team success considering the amount of money he’s been willing and able to fork out over the course of the past two years. Add Lopez to that list and the 24 year-old should definitely feel some pressure to perform.

3. Joe Johnson

NBA fans should be very curious to see how D-Will & “Iso Joe” share the ball next season

It’s safe to say most people like Joe Johnson. He’s not really the type of guy you can really hate on outside of the fact that he’s become famous for delivering clutch, cold-blooded daggers to your team in your own building for years now. But while he executes everything so calmly with ease, it’s hard to understand how on earth “Iso-Joe” is the NBA’s highest paid player. Johnson is an All-Star that got paid Superstar money. In Atlanta, Johnson was an annual All-Star and Brooklyn can expect no different. However, it will be interesting to see how well Johnson’s game can gel in the backcourt with Deron Williams. Both players love and are used to having the ball in their hands. It should be very interesting what transpires at the end of close games and how the Nets offense flows next season. If everything goes as planned, the Nets will somehow sneak their way into the 2013 NBA playoffs. In order for that to even a slight chance of happening, Joe must continue to be Joe while also adjusting to sharing a backcourt with Deron Williams. Easier said then done.

Dirk Nowitzki: A Phoenix Sun? Don’t Count It Out

An Amare departure could very well help Nowitzki decide to join Nash in Phoenix

It was reported yesterday by a number of sources including ESPN.com and HoopHype.com that the Dallas Mavericks expect star forward Dirk Nowitzki to opt out of the last year of his contract. In all reality, it’s hard for anyone to believe that Dirk Nowitzki would actually decide to abandoned the only franchise he’s ever played for, but if he decides to opt out he’ll become an unrestricted free agent which definitely makes things a lot more interesting. Dirk Nowitzki may be Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s boy, but at the end of the day the thought of Dirk being a classified unrestricted free agent must raise some concerns in Dallas.

If Nowitzki were to be a restricted free agent, well heck, there’d be no point in writing this article but the decision is entirely out of Cuban’s control. Having Cuban’s back pocket out of control is something Cuban and the entire city of Dallas isn’t quite used too, especially if it involves the long-time face of the city’s franchise.

Finish with the one teammate that helped get it all started

So now the question arises, where in the world could Dirk Nowitzki possibly see a better fit and increase his chances of winning a title? I’ll give you a hint to the answer: it definitely has the word “best” included in it but don’t assume that the word “best” goes before the words “title chance”. Rather the answer very well could be BEST FRIEND, joining Steve Nash as a member of the Phoenix Suns.

Before you immediately rule it out, remember that timing is everything, and now’s the time. With Amare Stoudemire more than likely departing the Phoenix Suns (who have also reported that they too expect their star to opt out), bringing over Nowitzki to pair with Nash couldn’t fit any better. Take a look at this year’s market, there isn’t one realistic Stoudemire replacement that is even close to the stature of an Dirk Nowitzki (no way Bosh has interest in Phoenix). For many Suns fans it’ll definitely take some time adjusting too as Nowitzki definitely wouldn’t be referred to as a “Suns favorite”, but that’s only because he’s that good. There’s no bad past history in where Suns fans would refuse to except Nowitzki as one of their own, I mean it can’t get any worse than when the Phoenix Suns added the infamous “kiss of death” man himself, Mario Elie to their roster in the early 2000’s. Oh and on top of all that, consider the underlying NBA storyline as the Suns look forward to their season I can see it now: Two best friends, two past most valuable players, two franchise faces come together as one hoping to accomplish that one career achievement they’ve yet to experience: an NBA Championship.

No More Elimination Goodbye Hugs If They Decide to Become a Duo Again

Everywhere NBA journalists are just begging to cover this story. If Nowitzki were to sign with the Suns consider it the closest thing publicized to LeBron James’s big decision. And yes, I say that very well knowing Wade and Bosh are also going to end up somewhere, but this, much like LeBron’s decision, is beyond basketball.

Why battle for dominance when you can just do it together?

This is just an idea, but it’s definitely one that isn’t impossible from occurring. I think many would be very surprised to see it actually happen but Nowitzki isn’t just a guy that’s all about the glamour and the fortune. As his prime year’s soon come to an end, why not come continue to boost your numbers in the Suns system and do so performing screen and rolls with your best friend? Relationships go a long way in life and that makes it an interesting move to document. Which relationship is more important to Dirk Nowitzki: is it spending his entire NBA career as a Maverick under Mark Cuban or is it rejoining your best friend on the ultimate chase for a title?

That question will be left unanswered until July 1st at the very least, but it definitely one to keep a close eye out on. If Nowitzki did in fact decide to jump ships, not only does that up the antes of the Mavs-Suns rivalry but I wouldn’t rule out Cuban going out to sign Amare Stoudemire. It could very well end up being an unofficial swap in which two long-time franchise players switch to their rival opponents. Nowitzki would rejoin Nash and Stoudemire would rejoin the long lost soul of Marion.

No doubt the LeBron James auction will be the best free agent move to cover, but don’t rule out Dirk Nowitzki’s decision. Rest assured, the moment Amare Stoudemire departs, Steve Nash will be phoning his best buddy. Will Dirk Nowitzki answer Nash’s calling? We’ll just have to wait and find out….

The Piggy-Back Ride Could Be Over in Dallas

It’s Clear the Current Suns Team Loves Making Comical Videos, I Can See Dirk Fitting in Real Nicely:

The Valley of the Sun Could Use “The Big Nowitzki”