Notes at 3 am

Kurt —  June 20, 2006

• One follow up note on Marcus Banks: in the comments on the post below Kevin Pelton reminded us that Dan Rosenbaum (now employed by an NBA team) came up with as good a defensive statistical metric as anyone ever has, and it ranked Banks as the second best defensive point guard in the league.

• Last year, just one mock draft had the Lakers taking Andrew Bynum at 10 — Basketball Draft Central. Check out thier interesting predicted draft order for this year (Farmar at 13 to Philly?). For the Lakers at 26, this year they are predicting Shannon Brown, which has come up in a few places and would seem a good fit.

• If you want to read the latest draft and free agent speculation, check here for the latest from Eric Pincus — but you’ll be disapointed if you think moving Odom (or Bynum) is a good idea.

• I don’t think this can be said enough — no major talent leaving his rookie contract to become a free agent in 2007 or 2008 (or a few years past that). I can give you 30 million reasons why. Remember that the team that has the rights to a player can offer him larger pay increases and one more year on a max deal, which works out to about $30 million in garunteed money over the course of the contract. Nobody is leaving that on the table (Kobe didn’t). The best you can hope for is a sign-and-trade, but you then are going to have to give up a lot of talent to get your guy.

• The latest Carnival of the NBA blogs is up at the always good Raptor Blog.

• I’m loving having Vinny Chase and the boys back for the summer. Best line from last Sunday, from Drama, made this former Valley boy laugh out loud (and wake up my two month old, who I was holding), “You know everything north of Ventura Boulevard is the devil’s waiting room.”

• From the “yes I’m petty” file: After what a black hole he was in the Finals two years ago for the Lakers, it just pisses me off to see Gary Payton hitting big shots now.

• I really shouldn’t use the word “petty” in relations to these finals because ABC has already tainted it (think Tom).

• As an NBA fan, I can’t say enough that these Finals, and these playoffs, have been way more entertaining than I could have hoped for. There really just is something in the air about the NBA right now, you can feel the energy.

• The only person dragging them down is Bennett Salvatore.

• I’m not saying Wade wasn’t fouled on the last play of the game, or that the majority of calls were not justified, I just think it’s pretty amazing that the Heat had 49 free throws on 69 shot attempts in game 5. My theory is that stars that can penetrate get calls — and that is Wade — and that the home team gets more calls. Look for things to even out tonight in Dallas.

• The Stanley Cup is still the coolest trophy in all of sports, in part because of the great rituals and traditions around it (how many other trophys have gone to strip clubs?). I love watching the players skate around with it, even when I don’t care about the team.