I tried to put together a list of top free agents yesterday and ran into a huge problem.
I couldn't do it.
This is my top five: (1) Tyson Chandler, (2) Marc Gasol, (3) Samuel Dalembert, (4) TJ Ford and (5) Jeff Green.
The list was based on making myself the general manager of a NBA team trying to put together a group to win a championship and listing the guys in the order that I would try to sign them.
But what about Oklahoma City?
There is no way they would go after Chandler when they already have Serge Ibaka, who does essentially the same thing.
Marc Gasol would be their first choice.
As I looked through the rest of the 15 guys, I saw this same thing everywhere.
You can't definitively rank individual players. You have to know the teammates they will be playing with and the coach they will be playing for.
I ended up scrapping the list and killing the story.
Mike Prada completely disrespected DeShawn Stevenson and himself last week when he wrote that there are "plenty" of guys in the D-League who can fill in for Stevenson in a pinch.
He deserves a $1,000 fine and a one-week suspension for lack of basketball knowledge.
Reducing Stevenson's contributions to threes and D is insulting and makes me wonder what games Prada was watching, not to mention that Stevenson's threes and defense were against the best players and teams and on the biggest stage the game has to offer.
I'll let Tyson Chandler, someone who knows what he is talking about, describe some of the other things Stevenson provided Dallas.
In short, Chandler is saying Stevenson knows how to play basketball.
Knowing how to play the game may be a "minimal" contribution in Prada's eyes, but it's invaluable to this little thing called "winning."
Being unselfish and a total team player? Means nothing. Minimal contributions.
And Chandler forgot to mention that Stevenson can bring the ball up the floor and initiate the offense, like he did at times during their playoff run.
Zach Lowe, in a wildly inaccurate and reckless statement, wrote that Mike Bibby "can't guard anyone." Lowe should know better.
Ask Rajon Rondo about Mike Bibby's defense.
And ask Derrick Rose. Bibby played so well against Rose that even the player-haters at Heat Index had to give it up to him for his defense.
Bibby did struggle against JJ Barea in the Finals, and I can't explain his playoff-long shooting slump, but to write that he can't guard anyone is false and irresponsible.
If Lowe made that statement on the witness stand, he would be prosecuted for lying under oath.
Finally, David Kahn made the news again.
Not that he actually did anything, so the best way to put it would be that the media made David Kahn make the news again.
Kahn fired Kurt Rambis, but apparently there are standing orders at every media outlet that no story about Kahn can be written without portraying him in the worst possible light.
So the narrative developed that Kahn took too long and is some sort of bad guy for not firing Rambis three months ago.
As far as I'm concerned, anyone towing the "David Kahn is a buffoon/bad guy" company line is a peon.
Fortunately for you, I am my own man; so you'll never have to worry about me following the crowd or being bullied into writing something I don't truly believe.
It's one of the many perks of being independent.
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