July 2006 - Posts

Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff announced the 15 players chosen to represent the United States in August's World Championships.  The coaching staff was required to trim their 24 man roster down to 15 for the championship games in Asia.

Among the players not selected were Luke Ridnour, Shawn Marion (knee) and Adam Morrison; the official reasons were not disclosed.  It's important to note that these players are still part of the 24 man roster to be considered for the 2008 Olympics, but they won't representing USA Basketball for this summer's games.

The 15 men chosen for USA Basketball's 2006 World Championship roster:

  • Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers (former Rookie of the Year)
  • Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat (2006 NBA Finals MVP)
  • Carmello Anthony, Denver Nuggets
  • Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns (surprise pick - recent injury/surgery)
  • Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls (surprising pick)
  • Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards
  • Shane Battier, Houston Rockets
  • Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors
  • Elton Brand, L.A. Clippers
  • Bruce Bowen, San Antonio Spurs
  • Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
  • Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards
  • Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
  • Brad Miller, Sacramento Kings
  • Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

The coaching staff will need to cut the roster down to 12 for the actual championship games.  Look for Hinrich, Bosh and Battier to be taken off for the official playing squad.

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The Phoenix Suns signed former Celtic guard Marcus Banks to a 5 year contract for $21 million.  Banks should fit in well with the run & gun Suns, as most have said he's almost as quick as Leandro Barbosa.  Marcus will likely backup Steve Nash and play shooting guard as well.

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Phoenix Suns Summer Rumors & News
The Phoenix Suns entered the summer with a couple goals, a couple problems and a lot of hope that their star player would get healthy.  Not everything that's happened benefits the Suns, but they're looking pretty good at this point.

  • Tim Thomas - Leaves Suns to sign with the LA Clippers.  The Clippers just offered more money than the Phoenix was capable of and they're a playoff-ready team.  I don't expect Thomas to flourish in LA, but he should fill a nice role with the Clippers.
  • Eric Piatkowski - Phoenix wasted little time filling the void left by Tim Thomas, by signing sharp shooter Piatkowski to a multi-year contract.  This does nothing to help the defense, but gives the Suns a good outside shooter for Amare and Marion to kick the ball out to on double-teams.
  • Eddie House - Rumored to be leaving due to playing time.
  • 2006 Draft Picks - The Suns traded both of their 1st round draft picks to give themselves more cap room to sign Tim Thomas, which ended up backfiring on them.
  • Amare Stoudemire - The Suns star player is participating in the Las Vegas Summer League for Phoenix.  So far, so good for Amare, but the Suns should be cautious of pushing him too much or letting him play too much at this point.

In other NBA news...

  • 2003-2004 NBA Rookies - Lebron James, Carmello Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all sign contract extensions with their respective teams.  While Anthony opts for a max contract for the full 5 years, James, Wade and Bosh all sign 3 year deals.  This gives them the option to leave if their teams don't show enough improvements.
  • Ben Wallace - Arguably the biggest free agent signing of the year, Big Ben signs deal with the Chicago Bulls - spurns Detroit's offer to join young Bulls team.  I think the Bulls are getting screwed on this one, but time will tell.
  • Other Free Agents - Peja Stojakovic signs w/ Bobcats. Alonzo Mourning likely to return to Heat in 2006-2007. Sam Cassell resigns with the Clippers for 2 years.
  • Paul Pierce signs 3 year, $60 million contract; I don't see how the Celtics can get competitive if they're paying one player $20 million a year (see Garnett/Timberwolves for example). 
  • Kobe Bryant has minor knee surgery, out of World Championships.
  • NBA Trades - Tyson Chandler traded to New Orleans Hornets for P.J. Brown and J.R. Smith. Marquis Daniels traded to the Indiana Pacers for Austin Croshere.

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