With the free agent pool thinning out, teams are starting to look to trades to fill needs. The Rockets and Suns traded guards on Monday. The Rockets have acquired guard D.J. Strawberry from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Sean Singletary. Strawberry averaged 2.2 points, 0.9 assists and 8.2 minutes in 33 games as a rookie with the Suns in 2007-08. Singletary averaged 19.8 points last season for Virginia. He is a very athletic point guard and should give Dragic a run for back up point guard. The move was a cost cutting move for the Suns as they will save about $540,000, including projected luxury-tax savings.
Just a day after winning gold in the Beijing Olympics, Chris Paul is already thinking of joining the 2012 Olympic squad. Carmelo Anthony also expressed a desire to compete in the 2012 Olympics but wasn't sure if he could make another 3 year commitment. With the positive experience of this team all the way around, I am sure other young players will be ready to join the team as well. Jerry Colangelo, the architect of USA Basketball’s gold-medal revival, is expected to stay on as the managing director and oversee the men’s program through the 2012 London Olympics.
It is just about a month till training camp starts and word is that Doc Rivers is already meeting with his assistants and making plans for training camp. Doc's assistants still don't have contracts for next season and Doc has just one more season on his contract. Danny said that he is working to re-sign them all and that should be the next news coming out of Boston. It is crucial that Tom Thibodeau comes back as his defenses were a big reason the Celtics are champions right now. Also with a project like Patrick O'Bryant, having Clifford Ray stay will be important as well. Thibodeau and Ray are two of the best assistant coaches in the league and I will be happy when they announce that they are signed.
Last season, the Celtics were all together in Boston working out ahead of training camp. There have been reports of the Nets and Wolves both working out on a regular basis in preparation for the season. The Celtics don't have the same hunger that they had last summer. From the reports out of Vegas, Paul Pierce is still celebrating. Nothing has been heard from KG. Ray Allen is enjoying wedded bliss. The young players are there and working on their games together which bodes well for the future but with the improvements all the teams have made, the Celtics need to get that hunger back or they could face an uphill climb this season.
Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas asked a year ago for access to information from the FBI's investigation of Donaghy. Thomas said he wanted to know whether Donaghy broke any Arizona laws while officiating two Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers playoff games in 2007. When Thomas had tried to get the files previously he was told that he had to wait until the investigation was finished. Now that it has concluded he is trying again to get the files.
A couple of Lakers notes. They officially signed "The Chinese Magic Johnson" Sun Yue. Sun averaged 6.8 points, 2.5 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in six games for China in the just-completed Olympics. the Lakers expect to learn in a few days when Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery on his damaged right pinkie. Bryant injured his finger in a Feb. 5 game against the New Jersey Nets, but put off surgery until after the Olympics. They are hoping that Kobe will be ready for training camp that begins for the Lakers on Sept. 30 in El Segundo.
The Timberwolves and Hornets have already unveiled their new look uniforms and now the Magic is scheduled to unveil their new style uniforms on September 23. The new uniforms will celebrate the franchise's 20-year anniversary this season. And early clues indicate that the new uniforms will somewhat resemble the look from the past. The team wore pinstriped uniforms until 1999 and reports are that they will be going back to pinstripes with their new uniforms.
Ron Artest received a rock star welcome as he arrived in Houston for the next chapter in his NBA story. Music blared and airhorns blasted. A throng of about 500 screaming fans welcomed Artest with enthusiastic cheers. With the addition of Artest, the Rockets have to be considered a threat to win it all. Artest will be playing alongside Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady forming their own Big 3 and they don't come any bigger than Yao. They also have a nice bench and are going to be very, very tough, assuming that Artest doesn't self-destruct as he has in times past.
The FBI is investigating Piston Lindsey Hunter for a mortgage scam. Hunter was a a Celtic very briefly before being cut to go right back to the Pistons in one of those wink, wink type transactions. Now he is being investigated by the FBI for a scam that left a high school janitor on the hook for a million dollar home. Hunter maintains he is a victim as well.