4-Down Episode 11: Basketball in the summer


Curtis Jerrells of the San Antonio Spurs loses the ball at the Las Vegas Summer League.Summer is the time for us to get rest from the grind of watching basketball every night from October to June. It’s time to watch baseball and go to the pool and do other fun things, right?


Instead we do things like go to ESPN3 on a Sunday afternoon and watch Spurs summer league games just to get our fix. And we record podcasts, either early in the morning or late at night, and talk about the things we see during those Spurs games.

And on that note, episode 11 of the 4-Down podcast is here. The guest on this week’s podcast is Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Jeff is the San Antonio Spurs beat writer for the Express-News and was fortunate enough to Las Vegas for the summer league this year. And then he was nice enough to come on the podcast and talk about it.

You can read Jeff’s writing about Spurs basketball at MySA.com, you can follow him on Twitter, and you can buy a newspaper (I can’t link to a physical object).

And while you’re at it, you can follow me and Tim Varner on Twitter.

Make sure to subscribe to the 4-Down Podcast via RSS feed or iTunes. And tell your friends, because you love us.

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  • Drom John

    Good interview.

  • Jim Henderson

    Wojnarowski hits the nail on the head again, this time in regard to LeBron & Co. despoiling Chris Paul:


  • Jim Henderson
  • Jim Henderson


  • andy

    was just having fun with the trade machine:


  • mikrobass3

    re: ‘great read on james’ /// i read this quote in that article: ‘The team, the league, the press and media, and the fans derive their power from him, and not — as the game had always wanted athletes to believe — the other way around.’

    i must disagree with that. ultimately, without the fans, he is nothing.

    otoh, looking forward to anderson play…

  • mikrobass3


  • UTPA

    @ andy

    well i guess its not that bad of a trade, but i think i would much rather prefer this trade:

    Clippers: Parker, Mcdyess, Bonner

    Spurs: Davis, Kamen

    I really dont know whether or not the clips would go for something like this but they would be getting an upgrade over davis at the point and a decent veteran to play in the paint, thats about it…

    The spurs would be getting a good starting point but they would have one of the most dominant frontlines in the league with Timmy D, Kamen, Tiago and Blair.

    I think Kamens game would fit like a glove next to Tim, he’s a legit 7ft center with good range, good game on the low post and decent defense plus after Timmy D sets sail into the H.O.F, I would still enjoy seeing Kamen and Splitter holding down the fort with DA BEAST!!

  • Jacob

    Hey Andy,

    Interesting trade, do you think that we’d be better off with Nelson at the point?

    Okafor for McDyess would be nice…

    I guess that would all hinge upon Parker really wanting to leave, and NO’s front office giving in to Paul’s trade request. I’d do the deal, I think everyone wins.

  • mac


    It’s interesting from the Spurs’ end, Nelson is a lot of things that Parker is not, and more of a leader, even if he’s not quite the player TP is, neither is and exceptional playmaker. But the hitch for RC, Popovich, and Holt is the length of Okafor’s contract. Okafor also would give us 4 bigs who all have to limit their minutes to make room for one another, he’s overpaid to be a backup, but we could then hopefully forget about Bonner altogether.

    The thing is the Hornets can do better than this deal, even if dealing only with Orlando. They could get Gortat for example and/or Pietrus… some guys they can keep, not just two guys to sell some tickets and then leave town at the end of their deals.

    The Hornets MIGHT do this if both ORL and SA each add a 2011 first rounder. But do you really think SA would take on that expensive 4 year contract of Okafors?

  • mac

    I also don’t see Orlando balking too much at taking Okaor and moving that overpaid joker Lewis to the SF spot.
    One advantage the Spurs might have is a familiarity with Demps, and perhaps Demps having a high regard for Spurs players. Maybe those advantages are enough to land C Paul to the Spurs, but man we’d have to give up a LOT to take on Paul and Okafor!

  • Jim Henderson

    Guys, the three-team Parker trade would not work for New Orleans. The Hornets are more interested in young, talented front court players than they are in PG’s, or old, declining SG’s. The Spurs don’t have any excess young talented front court players to offer, unless you want to part with Blair or Splitter (which I don’t see us doing, let alone assuming the large Okafor commitment). That’s the only way that I see the Hornets even considering a trade of their franchise point guard at this point. They really should not be in any hurry. They have Paul under contract for two more years. Paul has very little leverage at this point.

    The Hornets already have a young, talented PG & SG (Collison/Thorton), and thus would be better off doing a deal for young, cheaper talent (2 front court players & a back-up PG), and a large expiring contract — something like the following deal:


  • B Burke

    Chris Paul hits guys in the nuts. Chris Paul speaks openly about his desire to play for other teams while under contract. Chris Paul got beat by the worst Spurs lineup of the decade 2 years ago. That was his most successful season to date. Chris Paul is very good, but we already have a point guard with three rings, and he definitely earned the last two.

  • http://www.sodybaprievilniaus.lt/ Sodyba

    For me Lin was big surprise!

  • Jacob

    If the deal required a 2011 first rounder I would do it.

    I would not want to give up the grizz or splitter to get it though, mostly because I’m greedy… ; )

    Nelson, Hill, Temple
    Ginobili, Anderson, Neal
    Jefferson, Butler, Hairston
    Duncan, Blair, Bonner
    Splitter, Okafer, Amundson

  • Jim Henderson

    July 25th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    “If the deal required a 2011 first rounder I would do it.”

    The Hornets are not going to do that deal just to get an additional unknown, late first round pick for 2011.

    As I said, they’d be more interested in doing the Knick deal that I proposed.

  • eeg

    If I were to trade parker I would much rather try and trade a trade like this:

    Clippers get: parker, mcdyess, bonner, gee/hairston

    Spurs get: Davis, Kamen

    The clippers would get an all star point on a contract year, who might want to resign since its LA and well that’s about it… theyd be getting some veteran bigs with a young prospect.

    The spurs would get a good starting point and would greatly improve their frontline with Kamen. He’s a legit 7ft center with good outside/inside game plus good defense.

  • td4life

    Jim Henderson,
    The Knicks deal works only if the Hornets aren’t committed to unloading Okafor. If NY takes both of those NO starters, they are out of picture for Melo next summer.

    If Okafor is required to do the deal, somebody is going to have to sacrifice a lot of talent, which I don’t see our conservative FO doing. Orlando could swing taking on both those guys and Portland could if they were willing to give up LA, Batum, Pryzbilla, Miller and pieces which is definitely a sacrifice. If Portland gave up Oden instead of one of those guys, it’s an even bigger sacrifice that I wouldn’t do if I’m the Blazers. Word in Portland is that Parker is a better fit next to Roy than CP3, so the Blazers might try to sell RC on 3 team deal.

    But I agree with you, CP3 has no leverage and the only reason I’m talking about it is because A) it’s July, and B) I was hoping for better upgrades to SA this summer.

  • Jacob


    understood… Nobody is going to do any of these deals proposed here, so far as we know.

    I like the idea of knocking around semi-unrealistic trade proposals for the sake of pure fantasy, nothing more.

    Your propsal is more realistic, I agree.

  • andy

    haha, i wasn’t floating it as a realistic endeavor.

    i think that would be an ideal trade for our spurs, but not at all likely. i’d think the hornets are committed to keeping paul, and if he burns his rep as a joy of a player, then packaging him with okafor’s monster contract (though to be honest, with some of the crap that’s floated around for people like darko, it seems reasonable) will likely be a major point, so demps has salary flexibility. even with those nice young pieces, you’re taking away the knicks’ best shooter and young prospects, and paul has to realize he’s not going to win a title with just amare. therefore jim’s trade wouldn’t really be likely either, unless demps is looking to just acquire young talent.

  • andy

    * “ideal” as in, the best we could possibly hope to do in a trade where paul doesn’t want to come to the spurs and petulantly demands a trade to the magic, who then need to move nelson.

    as i said, i was just playing around with the trade machine.

  • Jim Henderson

    July 25th, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Actually, the Knick trade proposal makes a lot more sense for the Hornets. They get to take a good look at some young talent from the Knicks for a full season, and would still have substantial flexibility going into 2011-2012.

    2010-2011 team:

    Collison, Douglas
    Thorton, (need another SG)
    Gallinari, Stojakovic, Posey
    West, Anthony, Songalia
    Okafor, Gray, Curry

    2011-2012 team:

    Posey 6.5 mil. (one year left)
    West 8.3 mil. (one year left)
    Okafor 11.5 mil. (3 years left)

    Only three players under contract:

    ……….for 26.3 mil.

    If the 2011-2012 cap is the same as this years, they would be about 32 million UNDER the cap. This would provide them with substantial flexibility to be a significant player in the FA market (including signing some of their own, of course).

  • Jim Henderson

    As far as the Knicks are concerned, if they really want Paul, they’re going to have to pay a price. Even so, after the trade they would still have a pretty good team.

    2010-2011 team:

    Paul, Felton
    Azubuike, Walker
    Turiaf, Mozgov

    Knicks would be about 6 million under the cap, and would be able to sign a couple of decent FA’s, and 2-3 vet minimum contracts.

    2011-2012 team:

    Paul 14.5
    Stoudemire 16.5
    Felton 7.0
    Mozgov 3.5
    Walker 1.0

    42.5 million under contract. Should have enough available to sign one more “star” to a max-type contract (Anthony?), resign some of their own FA’s (e.g., Azubuike, Turiaf, etc.), and some vet minimum guys. And a trade of Felton might be considered for front court dept & a cheaper back-up PG.

  • andy

    jim, i wasn’t evaluating the trades against each other, or even whether it was a good trade. i flat out said that my trade didn’t make sense for new orleans, but rather was the best the spurs could hope to profit from a hand in the dealings.

    however, i did say that you’re trade’s not likely. i’ve said (and others have highlighted) that a key that many “experts” are mentioning in any chris paul deal would be the unloading of okafor’s contract. assumedly, this would let demps completely reshape the team according to his blueprint. it all depends on the skipper (and the owner’s tolerance for the skipper’s vision), and if his plotted course is to blow up and rebuild, then you can’t pass up the opportunity to pass on your bad contracts in addition to obtaining young talent, which is what you would want to do if you’re going to trade a transcendant talent like paul. gallinari is good, but i personally think his ceiling is probably more detlef schrempf than dirk (maybe that’s too harsh). randolph could be awesome, but he’s also an unknown. demps learned from the best, so he’s going to exact as much as possible in any deal, otherwise paul can kiss a trade goodbye. personally, i think paul stays in new orleans this year.

    more on this, (via henry abbot):

    “There is a lot of hemming and hawing [about teams and packages for paul].

    Here’s a rule of thumb I’ve developed to help you through it: If you’re getting Chris Paul, it’s a good deal.

    There are a two exceptions:
    LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant are more valuable than Paul. (Some people prefer Deron Williams, but that’s moot — that trade is not happening anyway.) You can make a case for a few other guys that a few other players are more productive than Paul — like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, or Dirk Nowitzki, for instance — but the age discrepancy is massive in those cases, making Paul far more likely to lead you to titles between now and retirement.

    I would not trade anything good at all for Chris Paul if I thought my team was not going to contend with him, which certainly seems to be the key to getting him to re-sign in two years. For this reason, I would not, for example, hand over all of the good young players and picks from a team like the Thunder or Blazers. You have to have enough left to win a lot, or there’s no point.

    What prompted this, however, was hearing some Knick fans obsessing over whether or not they’d be willing to part with Danilo Gallinari.

    Believe me, I am enamored with the power of a 6-10 guy who can shoot the lights out and plays very hard. But remember how the highlight of his career to date was dueling against Carmelo Anthony for a quarter? Paul wins battles like that night in and night out, and he’s young too.”

    now, throwing loyalties to the wind, would you trade duncan and parker for paul and okafor? i assume most here would say no, but if you want a championship now, with a shot at one 3 or 4 years from now, as the spurs front office, do you pull the trigger on something crazy like this http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=2bu7n54 ? (in the trade machine, that looks admittedly awful, haha)

    it’s summertime folks.

  • Jim Henderson

    July 26th, 2010 at 1:26 am

    “…..however, i did say that you’re trade’s not likely. i’ve said (and others have highlighted) that a key that many “experts” are mentioning in any chris paul deal would be the unloading of okafor’s contract”

    As I pointed out in the scenarios above, it is not necessary to trade Okafor with Paul. Okafor’s contract is not a “bad” contract. I don’t really care what Abbot & others have suggested. Good centers are VERY valuable in this league, and Okafor is a good center that is in his prime. Granted, he’s on the expensive side, but it’s not a contract they must get rid of. With the Knick deal, keeping Okafor still allows the Hornets to greatly reshape their roster with 32 million of cap space, and just THREE players under contract in 2011-2012.

    Gallinari, Randolph, & Douglas are not stars right now, but that’s why you’re getting THREE players for ONE. And all three young Knicks have shown evidence that they can be very good players in this league for years to come.

    And the Knicks would be setting themselves up for a challenge in the East over the next 2-3 years.

  • Easy B

    3 way trade scenario:
    May need some tweaking with minor players to make work, as some players aren’t eligible to trade yet on trade machine…

    Bobcats get: Tony Parker and Andre Iguodala
    Sixers get: Jackson, Jefferson and either DJ Augustin or Livingston and minor pieces from Bobcats or someone like Diop or Mohammed who they could parlay into another Point guard from another team (Minnesota maybe?), and maybe someone like Jerrells/ Gee/ Hairston etc to make salaries match .
    Spurs get: Gerald Wallace, Jrue Holliday and Jason Kapono (and parts if necessary).

    Bobcats: Run with a dynamo backcourt and likely get more out of their bigs like Diaw and whoever is left out of Dampier, Nazr or Diop. They get a star like Igu for at least 3 years more to try and build around, and maybe could yet convince Tony to resign with meaningful cap room or trades from the Dampier contract. Regardless, they position themselves well financially and in free agency.
    Sixers: Exchange backcourt pieces, yet get a cheaper buy in Jackson. Get a solid SF in Jefferson to make a competitive outfit around Brand, Hawes, Nocioni and Speights. Whilst they lose a young talent like Holiday, they remain stacked in the front court to continue manuvering for better point guard talent, should they deem Lou Williams and co to be substandard going forward. Financially, they relieve some salary in Kapono, and though they take on two salaries in Jeff and Jackson, it gives the team excellent size overall.
    Likely lose some short term scoring punch with the loss of Parker, but continue on a steady rebuilding path with the Holiday acquisition while maintaining a super competitive team with the upgrade at small forward in Wallace and the influx of 3 pt shooting in Kapono. Ginobili and Hill (and Temple?) could help shelter Holiday at the point in the first season, until he is more ready to run the team. Spurs can push the defense envelope alot more with guys like Wallace, Duncan and Splitter matching up well with the Laker front line.
    I’m guessing the sixers would have the most questionmarks on this deal due to the somewhat blunting of offensive potency and getting older…but with the front court pieces they have, they would be in a great position to deal further, and as it stands they are still a fair way from being a top tier team.
    At first glance all teams achieve better balance overall…thoughts?

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Andy

    “now, throwing loyalties to the wind, would you trade duncan and parker for paul and okafor? i assume most here would say no, but if you want a championship now, with a shot at one 3 or 4 years from now, as the spurs front office, do you pull the trigger on something crazy like this”

    Ok, I know this is hypothetical trade, but there’s more fantasy in this proposal than any of Bill Simmon’s trade proposals. The Spurs won’t sell the greatest Spur of all time for a slim chance at a title. No how, no way. Miami would trade LeBron sooner than we’d trade Timmy. Plus, your trade actually decreases the Spurs’ estimated win total by 11, according to Hollinger. How can a 39 win team win a title?

    Keep it in the realm of the slightly possible, my friend.

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ Easy B

    “At first glance all teams achieve better balance overall…thoughts?”

    Too many players moving to retain any sort of team continuity. I don’t think you can move half of your top 4 options for a defensive minded SF, a one dimensional spot-up shooter, and a back-up to the back-up PG. If Parker and Jefferson have normal years, where do you get their 35 PPG from?

    Hill will never be the offensive force that Parker is. If you trade a dynamic scorer, you need to receive a dynamic scorer back, and we don’t get that in this trade.

  • Jim Henderson

    Easy B
    July 26th, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Well thought through for the most part. However, you alluded to the problem here for the Sixers. In my view, Holliday is an “untouchable” for them. He’s on the verge of becoming a star already at the ripe old age of 20. That’s the major stumbling block in the deal: our most valuable piece, Philly doesn’t “really” need (i.e., they’re not going to contend anytime soon anyways, so what’s the point).

    July 26th, 2010 at 5:38 am

    “If Parker and Jefferson have normal years, where do you get their 35 PPG from?”

    You do realize that the 28 year old Wallace has averaged 18.1 ppg. over the past 4 seasons? Also, Holliday is a star in the making. At age 19 he averaged 8 ppg in 24 mpg in his rookie season. Having just turned 20, and with a good coach like Doug Collins, expect to see a jump in Holliday’s game this year. He’ll probably get closer to 30 mpg. this year, which should get his ppg. up to a good 12 or 13. And then the shooter Kapono is good for another 6-7 ppg. in his 15-18 minutes of duty. So that’s about 36 ppg. right there. Plus, there’s still upside to Holiday’s game for the next 3-4 years at least. Plus, we become better defensively with Wallace – a BIG benefit to this team. I would do this trade in a heartbeat. Too bad Philly wouldn’t.

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