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Around The World: March 16

  1. Written by: DHawes22  / avg. rating: 5.0

    March 16 Video: Trade Deadline Press Conference

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Part Ways With Nate McMillan
    “Clearly the season to this point has not gone the way we had hoped it would and after talking with Nate we decided it was best to part ways,” said Miller. “I want to personally acknowledge and thank Nate for his many contributions to this franchise and wish him nothing but the best for the future.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Acquire Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, And 2012 First Round Draft Pick From New Jersey
    “This trade was very compelling to us because not only does it give us more flexibility in free agency, but we also acquire a very attractive first-round draft pick,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “I’d like to thank Gerald, Greg and Chris for all they’ve done for the franchise and hope for nothing but the best for them and their futures.”

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Acquire Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, 2012 Second Round Pick From Houston
    “We’re looking forward to what Jonny and Thabeet can bring to our team at two positions we can use help at and we’ve added an additional asset with the second-round draft pick,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “We appreciate Marcus’s contributions over the past three seasons and we wish him the best for the future.”

    Trail Blazers: A Day Of Drastic Change
    "Canales has gone from unpaid intern as a video assistant, to interim head coach. No one is more deserving of a pat on the back. But, don’t try and give him one. He’s fiercely loyal, and I promise you isn’t looking at this as a promotion. The people who have compared him to Miami’s Erik Spoelstra are on to something. They are cut from the same cloth, took the same paths, and he and Canales even look like they could be brothers."

    Trail Blazers: Trail Blazers Prepare For The Future With Trade Deadline Moves
    "Bottom line. Moves made today give Portland the ability to reshape the roster in the offseason and better position Rip City for the long-haul."

    Oregon Live: Trail Blazers turn Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby into draft picks and salary cap room with trades
    "It is a very attractive pick and it's a very strong draft class coming up," Buchanan said. "Granted, there's no guarantee you get it this year, but moving forward, it remains an attractive draft pick, not only to us, but to other teams around the league as well."

    Oregon Live: Kaleb Canales ... unpaid intern to interim Trail Blazers coach
    "I really think it's a book written by God," Canales said, describing his story. "I've been so blessed, man. The people that have influenced me, the people that I have encountered in my life, I know God's put them there for special reasons. It's very humbling and it's awesome. It's something that I've always prayed and dreamed about doing. This truly is a blessing. It may be summer league, where victories tend to take a back seat individual development and personal progress, but Canales has treated his run as a head coach as if he were guiding the Blazers in December. When told Canales had the Blazers doing push ups during a morning shootaround -- which tends to be a mellow walkthrough in preparation for a game -- Chad Buchanan, the team's director of college scouting, joked that this was "Kaleb's boot camp."

    Oregon Live: Nate McMillan fired after the Trail Blazers' once promising future fades to gloom
    "Nate was not happy with where things were," Miller said. "I think he understood that the team was not putting out the kind of effort that he wanted to see, that any of us wanted to see. And he acknowledged that."

    Oregon Live: The Greg Oden era ends; Trail Blazers will waive oft-injured center
    "The manner in which Oden will leave the Blazers -- being waived in March as the organization blows everything up -- is hardly the vision Blazers fans imagined when they stormed the Rose Garden arena floor after the team drafted Oden No.1 overall in 2007. "

    Columbian: Matt Calkins: Tenure of success, frustration
    "I suppose he is partly responsible for his ouster. Throughout the season, McMillan hinted at his players lacking heart while expressing bewilderment as to how to get through to them. And part of you just wanted to scream, “well ... then what are you doing here?!” Come on -- a struggling salesman can’t blame his figures on the customers, but there was Nate, shrugging his shoulders while answering questions as though he’d already reached the fifth stage of grief. An NBA coach simply accepting? That’s unacceptable."

    Rip City Project: Game 44 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers at Chicago Bulls
    "Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford survived the purge, but will they get a lot of minutes Friday? Luke Babbitt and Nolan Smith are signed through the 2012-13 season, does that mean they get to play more because there’s a good chance they’ll be on the roster next year? Should interim head coach Kaleb Canales rest LaMarcus Aldridge for the rest of the season since there’s no reason to risk an injury now that 2011-12 is a throw away? These are all good questions. Here what I think should happen. Start Haseem Thabeet, and Jonny Flynn. Make Memo Okur play, same with Shawne Williams. That way, when the Blazers go win-less the rest of the season it will clearly be their fault."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers-New Jersey Nets Trade Analysis: Gerald Wallace for Mehmet Okur, Shawne Williams, and 2012 First-Round Pick
    "Getting any kind of lottery pick for any of Portland's available players was a coup. Portland's goal at this trade deadline was rebuilding through first-round picks in a deep draft without taking on onerous salary. They achieved that goal in spades here. The cost was a severe talent imbalance among actual players, neither Okur nor Williams likely to suit up for Portland. Since the Blazers were not making headway towards anything but their own lottery pick, that doesn't concern them. This roster was getting blown apart at the end of the season anyway. The deconstruction came a little early to gain the advantage of a pick. The Blazers were never, ever, ever going to pay Gerald Wallace and restricted-free-agent Nicolas Batum at the same time. The price tag would have approached $20 million. They lost nothing in this deal that they intended to keep."

    Blazersedge: Kaleb Canales
    "It takes more than character and generosity to be a head coach. Tough decisions, being a boss and not a friend, a certain amount of arrogance and coldness and chutzpah...all of these go with the territory. Nevertheless, even if he's just a nice guy the Blazers could use some of that Canales comportment and community after the events of the past couple months. He's an interim, but these players should probably be nice to him anyway. If not, I'm pretty sure that's on them. In fact how you respond to Mr. Kanales might be a decent litmus test for your priorities and personality both. Liking and working hard for this guy should be easy even if you know it's not forever."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers-Houston Rockets Trade Analysis: Marcus Camby for Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn
    "If the Blazers were going anywhere this season this trade would make no sense at all. Even so, it barely does. Flynn has the greater likelihood of panning out but he's a long-shot. I'm not even sure what Thabeet is...likely just long with no shot at all. The Blazers roll the dice on these two players and save a little money. On the other hand they've put plenty of stress on their remaining bigs. Their rebounding and interior defense are already shy. Camby wasn't always the answer but at least he was on the multiple choice list. You have to reach off the board for Kurt Thomas and Thabeet. Under normal circumstances this would be a lot of fuss for a huge gamble and a second-rounder. The current level of play, the chemistry on the team, and the financial situation apparently made this deal make sense. Or maybe the Blazers are visionaries and just stole themselves two budding lottery-level prodigies. Portland needs some kind of future at point guard and center. The lesson here may be that massive gambles are as close as you can get."

    Blazersedge: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Chicago Bulls Game Preview
    "These are the Chicago Bulls. This is what a real team looks like...a really good team. They're one of three franchises with a super-legit chance to win it all this year. Their defense is amazing. They're 2nd in the league in defensive efficiency, 6th in shooting percentage allowed, 8th in three-point percentage allowed, 10th in points in the paint allowed, 5th in opponent free throws attempted. They don't force many turnovers, they're only average in fast-break points allowed and defensive rebounding percentage. Nowhere in there is the word "bad" or "lacking". Their awful is average for everyone else."

    Ball Don't Lie: Danny Ainge is apparently not the easiest guy to make a deal with
    "It makes sense that other teams' executives would be frustrated by Ainge's high sticker prices, but it wouldn't have made much sense for the Celtics to make anything but a no-brainer deal given the kind of weird situation in which they now find themselves — very evidently at the end of an era, waiting for the odometer to roll over onto a new set of zeroes, but still a playoff team just 1.5 games off the division lead and a top-four seed in the postseason."

    The Basketball Jones: How the Trail Blazers totally nailed their one-day rebuild
    "Trading Wallace set the Blazers up with more future assets than just the pick they returned. With his 2012-13 $9.5 million player option salary cleared off the books, offset in the deal only with Shawne Williams’s $3.15 million option year instead, the Blazers are looking at an awful lot of financial clout. Even when cap holds for their two 2012 picks, as well as still-unsigned first round picks Joel Freeland and Victor Claver, and notwithstanding free agent cap holds on Nic Batum and Greg Oden, the Blazers will have something approaching maximum cap room in the summer if Crawford opts out, means to land a further infusion of premier talent to go alongside their young big man superstar. An all it cost them was two declining non-All-Stars."

    The Basketball Jones: NBA Trade Deadline Day: Winners and losers
    "Skeets and Tas will break down all of the trades on Friday’s episode of “The Overdose,” but until then, here’s a quick guide to the winners and losers of a very busy NBA trade deadline day."

    DIME: NBA Trade Deadline Day: Winners and losers
    "Nick Young is going home (Clippers) while JaVale McGee is finally leaving Washington (to go to Denver), and Nene moves on just months after signing a massive deal in Denver (to Washington). Yahoo! Sports is reporting the three-team deal has gone down, which also includes Brian Cook and a second-round pick from the Clippers going to the Wizards while Ronny Turiaf goes to Denver. "

    DIME: Daily Fantasy Basketball Diagnosis: 3.16
    "John Wall finished with 26 points, four rebounds, 12 assists, three steals and a block last night. He shot 69 percent (11-16) from the floor and 100 percent (4-4) from the free-throw line, and had five turnovers. Maybe that new Wizards roster will do Wall some good. "

    DIME: The Top 5 Winners & Losers From The NBA’s 2012 Trade Deadline
    "The Blazers failed to land a marquee point guard to pair up with LaMarcus Aldridge for years to come. They were the number one squad that I argued must make a move at the trade deadline. Any team that has a beast like Aldridge must utilize all of their resources and creativity to build a legitimate contender around him. And well after the 3 p.m buzzer went off, their inability to snag a point guard wasn’t even the biggest issue this franchise has to resolve. "

    SLAM: Post-Up: The Morning After
    "With 0.7 seconds left in regulation of a tie ballgame, all that was left for the Jazz to do was try the ole’ alley-oop play. And guess what—it worked, perfectly. Unfortunately, even after the Wolves left him completely unguarded and Jamaal Tinsley threw him a perfect pass, Paul Millsap couldn’t convert what has to be the easiest lob play this season (and maybe ever), instead sending the game to an extra period. Millsap made up for his mistake, though, leading Utah to the victory with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 8 steals and 4 assists, including key plays in the fourth quarter and overtime. The Jazz young guns provided all the help Millsap needed, as Gordon Hayward scored 26 points, Alec Burks scored 15 and Derrick Favors grabbed 16 rebounds. In the loss, Kevin Love put up 25 points and 16 rebounds and Luke Ridnour had 18 points and 13 dimes for the Wolves."

    SLAM via NY Daily News: Deron Williams Confirms He’ll Become a Free Agent
    “Deron Williams is a family man with four kids and a desire for stability in his life, not another year of uncertainty with his contract. So Williams will not follow Dwight Howard’s lead into 2013 free agency by waiving his ETO. Instead, as expected, he will become a free agent this summer and explore his options."

    SLAM: The End Of Linsanity In New York
    "Jeremy Lin momentarily appeared to have saved the Knicks’ season, leading them at one point to seven straight electrifying wins. But then Carmelo Anthony returned from injury, and it all went to hell during a nightmarish six-game losing streak, leading to the resignation of Mike D’Antoni. Sad as this may be not just for Knicks fans, but for anyone who had fallen in love with the unbelievable-yet-true Jeremy Lin story, this is the way things were always supposed to be in New York. Team owner James Dolan didn’t gut the roster to acquire ‘Melo and STAT just to have them play second-fiddle to anyone else."

    ESPN: What was the trade deadline play of the day?
    "I thought the Trail Blazers blowing it up and getting a very favorable draft pick from the Nets was huge. With the dismantling of their own roster and the firing of their coach, they're in prime position to tank, clear cap room for next season and end up with two lottery picks. Too many teams tread water before they realize it's time to blow it up. Have to sink or swim. "


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