Grades for the Tyreke Evans trade

By: Jon

Sacramento Kings – B-

Get: Greivis Vasquez

Give: Tyreke Evans

Greivis Vasquez
Greivis Vasquez

The Kings did a great job trading Evans, while obtaining equal compensation. The Kings did not want to be put into the same position as the Pelicans were in last season with Eric Gordon. Similar to Gordon, Evans did not want to return his team and he is inconsistent. They were smart to let Evans walk, unlike the Pelicans with Gordon. Although Vasquez does not have the talent or skill that Evans possesses, Vasquez is a competent point guard, who is great at distributing the basketball. The 26 year old point guard had a breakout season last year, averaging 14 points and 9 assists. With the money they were going to re-sign Evans, the Kings can now spend money on a small forward or power forward. However, the Kings should never have come to this point. They should have been able to let Tyreke improve and grow as player, but instead they surrounded him with bad players, who took his playing time. However, now the Kings have even more okay point guards and shooting guards that will not make a difference this season. Expect them to be in the running for Wiggins during next summer’s draft.

New Orleans Pelicans – B+

Get: Tyreke Evans and Jeff Withey

Give: Greivis Vasquez and Robin Lopez

Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans

After a great rookie season where he averaged 20.1 ppg, 6 apg, and 5 rpg, Tyreke’s play has greatly declined. However, a change of scenery may allow Tyreke to return to his rookie form, when he was a legitimate star in the league. Evans will be able to play with good players around him, which never happened while he was with the Kings. The Kings earn a B- in this trade because they added a guard when they desperately needed a forward or center. Trading Vasquez is not a horrible decision because his value was sky high after his solid season. Evans’ new contract is pretty hefty. If he can return to his past results, the deal could be a bargain, but if he plays like he did last season, it will be bad financially. If the Pelicans can trade Gordon for a small forward or center, this trade will be elevated to an A because Evans does not have the knee problems like Gordon. After the trade for Holiday, the loss of Vasquez will hurt. However, the loss of Lopez may force them to go to the free agent market to pick up a center. Davis is currently not a center because he is neither strong enough or tough enough to battle with the big boys down low.

Portland Trail Blazers – B

Get: Robin Lopez

Give: Jeff Withey and Cash

Robin Lopez
Robin Lopez

After losing double-double machine JJ Hickson, the Trail Blazers needed to find a replacement who could match Hickson’s success. The Blazers have found that man in Robin Lopez. Although Lopez is not a offensive dynamo like his brother, Brook, Lopez is a quality center in today’s terms. Lopez had a breakout year for the New Orleans Hornets last year, 11.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 1.6 blk. Lopez is a really good defensive player, who can help Aldridge score down low. Lopez is a cost effective option at center as well, $5 million per season. Tiago Splitter, a similar player, was given $9 million this offseason. The best part of the Blazers trade was that they gave very little for a starting center. Although it is not official, the Blazers gave Jeff Withey for Lopez, which is a great trade for a starting center. Although Withey has the skills to be a good defensive center, he does not have the offensive capability or build of Lopez. Portland is the only team that did not take any risk during this trade. If Evans succeeds, the Kings will look really bad. If Evans fails, the Pelicans would have traded a good starting point guard and a given a lot of money for an average player.

Stats from Baseballreference.com and pics from espn.com

How will Roc Nation impact major sports?

By: Evan

Jay-Z dropped the album The Magna Carta and the sports’ world got a taste of how Jay-Z is going to take over sports agency. According to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports, Jay-Z dissed Scott Boras on how Robinson Cano, a former client, has signed to the new Roc Nation. The lyric is “Scott Boras you over baby/ Robinson Cano, you coming with me”. Wow. Not only has Jay-Z signed one of Boras’ main clients, but he has chided him as well. With all of Jay-Z’s notoriety and clout, could he become the next great sports agent?

With the signing of Cano and Durant, will Roc Nation take over sports agency?

I believe Roc Nation, spearheaded by Jay-Z will take over as the elite sports agency. Players in the modern era are looking to expand their brand and Jay-Z has that ability. Look at Kevin Durant, a star player but a star in a small market. He wants to expand outside of OKC and become an even more advertised and idolized player.

What does Brazil’s victory mean for the World Cup?

By: Evan

Courtesy of ESPNFC.com

The beautiful game was in full effect Sunday as the Selecao easily defeated the Spainards 3 to 0. Spain looked frustrated by Brazil’s constant pressure applied by Luis Gustavo and Paulinho. Although they were warned for pushing and questionable tackles, Brazil never let up, smothering the talented Spain midfielders. Most credit goes to Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose game plan worked to perfection, as the pressure created numerous counter attacks. Brazil struck early in the second minute off a beautiful cross by Hulk to Fred who scored by chipping the ball off the ground. This goal gave Brazil the confidence they needed to beat Spain, winners of 29 straight international games. But the most important moment of the match came in the 40th minute when it looked like Pedro was in for a clear equalizer when David Luiz swooped in and knocked the ball out of play. After then it seemed like Brazil was ready to take over and keep Spain from the elusive Confederations Cup trophy. In the 44th minute, Neymar scored off a fantastic give and go with Oscar and sent a left footed missile to the top shelf. Neymar is the obvious star and leader of this young Brazilian squad and he had a magnificent tournament with 4 goals and 2 assists, winning the Golden Ball. Fred scored again in the 47th minute, off another Spain turnover and slipped the ball past the reach of Iker Casillas. Brazil was unstoppable, taking the ball from Spain with ease and constantly attacking. There was some nervousness as Jesus Navas was fouled inside the box in the 55th minute, but Sergio Ramos pulled the penalty wide. Nothing was going Spain’s way as the game ended in an embarrassing fashion for the reigning World Cup Champions. Now what does this mean for Brazil for next year?

Positives:

  1. They can beat the best. Neymar was quoted by ESPNFC saying, “Brazil has shown to the world that this is the Brazilian national team and that we must be respected” and “I think that today we had a great victory against the best team of the world, with some of the best players in the world.” Well he is certainly right. By no means is Spain unbeatable, it is just extremely difficult to accomplish. Manager Luiz Scolari was also quoted by ESPNFC saying, “Now we have more confidence. That’s what we needed.” He is absolutely right as this victory was exactly what Brazil needed to convince their fans and themselves that they are an elite team that can win the World Cup.
  2. They are young. Next year the average age of Brazil’s starting 11 will be 27 years old. And with the maturation of young stars like Lucas and Bernando, Brazil will be able to run hard while other teams tire.
  3. They have one of the best players in the world. If this tournament wasn’t enough proof for justification of Neymar’s stardom, I don’t know what will be. He handled the pressure of a nation facing internal strife and gave them hope. He was vocal in support of protests for change in national government and played his heart out on the pitch. He dazzled with beautiful technique and made top class defenders look slow and inept. His play will only improve at Barcelona, playing next to Messi and other great players. He is ripe to lead Brazil back to their former glory as World Cup champions.
  4. They are playing at home. The World Cup is in Brazil next year and the team will look to feed off the crowd’s energy as they play the other elite teams for the right to be champions. The comfort of playing in your country should not be overlooked as Brazil was inspired by their home crowd, embracing fans after goals.
Courtesy of ESPNFC.com

Negatives:

  1. The best will be back. This win doesn’t not necessarily mean the end of Spain’s run as the best team in the world. Vicente Del Bosque will game plan for Spain’s weaknesses, trying to cover them up as only Spain can. The Spainards also have their own star in the making with Thiago Alcantara, a center midfielder who is garnering transfer attention from Manchester United. Spain will be back to defend their crown and Brazil better be ready.
  2. They are young. Brazil is young, and they lack the experience of the Spanish or Italian teams who have players who have won the World Cup. As ESPN’s Alexi Lalas said, “Where will Brazil go when things are tight?”  But the Confederations Cup gave Brazil some much needed experience.
  3. The pressure just doubled by playing at home. By winning the Confederations Cup, Brazil has the added pressure of playing in front of fellow citizens. Alexi Lalas thought that losing the game might have been better for Brazil so they would know they would have to improve.  While Brazil was never going to lose on purpose, it did pose an interesting question: how will Brazil play with even higher expectations?

Brazil showed they are ready for the World Cup.  Brazil is one, if not the best, of soccer’s elite.