Tag Archives: South Beach Talents

Byebye, Nene

When the Nuggets resigned Nene to a large contract in the off season, I wrote that they were making the most of a bad situation (few marquee free agents available, Nene not worth the money). Today, they admitted as much by trading Nene in a three team deal that landed them talented but unreliable JaVale McGee.

Although the Nuggets have bucked the trend slightly by having some success post-Iverson and Carmelo, my preferred models for NBA success are the South Beach Talents and the Seattle Scientists. The Talents involve trading or signing two (or three!) top 15 players, and spending the spare change on spare parts to fill out the roster. The theory is that mid range guys are overpaid, so just spend you money at the top and bottom.

If you’re a small market, it’s tough to attract stars these days, so I suggest the Scientists, a hypothetical NBA team that attacks a different undervalued asset: effort. The Scientists hire guys who will be in better shape and work harder than every other team. They press on offense AND defense.

The Nuggets are neither of these. They are doing okay with their strategy of paying mid range guys (Afflalo is another example); they have the 6 seed right now. However, they probably aren’t a championship team. Wouldn’t it be fun to try something new instead?

Howard and the Lakers

At halftime of the Lakers and Bulls Christmas day game, the commentators speculated on whether the Lakers can compete as they are or whether they should keep pushing to trade for Dwight Howard. Magic Johnson said unequivocally that the Lakers cannot win a championship with their current team and should continue working on a trade offer with Andrew Bynum as the centerpiece. Chris Broussard went even further, arguing that the Lakers should trade Bynum and Pau Gasol, which seems to be what the Magic want.

This was music to my ears. The Lakers have some interesting new role players this year (good rebounders Troy Murphy and Josh McRoberts, sharpshooting rookie Andrew Goudelock). Even if they have to trade one or two of these guys and a stocking full of draft picks, it’s a great time to follow my South Beach Talents model by pairing top 15 superstars. I no longer put Gasol in the top 15, at least not with the specter of Kobe staring down ready to criticize every mistake.

With Brook Lopez out, the Nets missed their shot. The Lakers should do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to get Dwight Howard. If they do, they will immediately become strong contenders for at least one more NBA championship. What more could they want under their Christmas tree?

The Brooklyn Broken Metatarsals

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? They could have been the Brooklyn Talents, on their way to the playoffs. Instead, the Nets will be lucky to win 30 games without Brook Lopez. They should have given the Magic whatever they wanted in exchange for Dwight Howard. Who cares about a few more draft picks or a role player? Too late now.