With the continually extended moritorium on signing free agents, the NBA seems to have gone quiet, especially in Seattle. So I thought I would through my thoughts out there and see where discussion goes during this quiet period.
First, I am glad Jerome James is gone. Even when he was playing good against Sacto, I couldn't wait for the off season so that some other team could over spend to acquire is unmotivated behind. I don't begrudge him one iota for taking the money. If someone offered me that same contract, they'd have to kill me to keep me from signing it. I hope he does well in NYC, but I have very little confidence that he will. In baseball you can from time to time find a player who blossoms later in their career (Jeff Kent) but not often/ever in the NBA. Sometimes players find roles they are well suited for, but with the current roster mess in NYC I don't see that happening for James. The one shot he has there though is that they don't have much else for size. So if nothing else, he's guarenteed 6 fouls worth of playing time every time they play Miami.
Second, I don't mind that Antonio Daniels is gone. He played his role while he was here, and now it's time for him to be over paid somewhere else. I do think that Washington might actually be a good fit for him, but I don't see him being the solution to their needs long term. We might actually miss him this coming season, but long term it was the right thing to not give him that sized contract. He'll work hard in Washington, and hopefully he can stay healthy and will provide some good things over the next few years.
Third, I really want Vlade to get a contract, and I'm not talking the qualifying offer. I don't expect the Sonics to overpay for his services, but there is just something about him that makes me think he's worth keeping around. Can he start here? Not likely, but he can play an important role, and can find plenty of minutes and shot opportunities. I love the idea of him and Rashard as a real match up headache for other teams. If Ray goes down, Vlade (when his shot is on) can pick up some of that deep shooting slack to create room for Rashard in the post. Certainly Vlade doesn't replace Ray in any scenereo, but he is an additional weapon to keep defenses honest. I think with the continued development of the post games of Nick Collison/Rashard Lewis, having multiple outside threats is imperitive.
Fourth, and perhaps most important in my opinion, is the continued development of Luke at PG. I think this team will go as far as Luke can carry them. I think his development at point will be directly reflected in the W column. Maybe this will change with Weiss if he changes the offense, but I don't think that will happen. I think two years from now we'll all be wondering why anyone ever questioned the drafting of Nick and Luke. I also hope he keeps his hair short.