Phoenix Suns Trade for Every Pick in 2014 Draft
In a bid to jump-start their recently adopted rebuilding plan the Phoenix Suns have acquired all 30 first-round picks in the 2014 NBA draft. They accomplished this through a series of trades with 26 other NBA teams, cycling out their entire roster four times in a three-day period.
"We already had four picks in the draft, so why not?" said haggard-looking Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough when cornered on Sunday night following a three-team, six-man swap with Orlando and Golden State. "We retained cap flexibility and next year, if things go right, we'll be auditioning 30 different guys to fill our roster. Training camp will be crazy, but I like those odds. Now if you'll excuse me, I haven't slept since Tuesday."
Technically the vast majority of picks acquired by the Suns are top-15 protected. When questioned about this following McDonough's retreat to bed, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said, "Ryan did a hell of a job. Hell of a job. Yes, some of those picks are protected, but if the order finishes Washington-Utah-Denver-Charlotte-Boston-Cleveland-Philly-Orlando-Toronto with us in there somewhere, we're actually going to own all the lottery picks. It's kind of like your six-team parlay in Vegas. If it doesn't play out we'll just use the 15 picks in the lower half of the draft for the next couple years. It'll work. Those drafts will be deep."
Over the weekend the Suns combed YMCA leagues from as far away as Tuscon to fill their newly-depleted roster. Asked about the quality of his recent recruits, Phoenix Head Coach Jeff Hornacek said, "Well, we've got 15 guys in uniform. Check that...14. Hold on. The logo goes on the front, dude! Anyway, as long as you put guys in uniform in this league you have a chance. Awww...hell! The front! Take it off and turn it around!"
"Oh yeah, we'll compete," offered Phoenix center Bart Mokowski. "And even if we don't, the minimum salary cap is $53 million and there are only 15 of us. Do the math! Yesterday I was a freakin' porta-potty technician. Can you believe it? But seriously, this makes us want it more. We're going to play hard, learn some things, then hopefully come in next fall and fight for a spot on the team. Between now and then, I heard about those NBA road trips, baby!" Mokowski then received a nod and a high five from new point guard Alec "Junebug" Parkins. The apex of the hand slap measured out at 6 feet, 6.5 inches. Asked whether he could touch the rim or even the backboard, Mokowski replied, "I can on the one nailed to my garage. This one here may be made of glass and have an NBA logo on it, but a hoop's a hoop. It's just basketball, man. Gotta jet, though. I'm getting my Taurus detailed."
The Suns take on the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Jazz and Celtics Play Rare Double-Forfeit Game
For the first time in league history an NBA game ended in a double loss Saturday night. The contest between the visiting Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics was ruled a double-forfeit after three hours of intense debate which included a call to the league office and a dive into the arcane appendices of the NBA rulebook.
The titanic struggle was sparked when both teams refused to take the floor for the schedule 7:00 p.m ET start. Though insisting on anonymity as he is not authorized to speak officially on the matter, one Jazz official exclaimed, "We're no fools! Somebody was going to win that thing."
When it became clear that neither team was going to exit the locker room for the tip, head referee Rodney Mott placed a call to the league office. Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver assigned a battery of lawyers to determine the proper resolution. Silver offered the following explanation to league reporters. "As it turns out, this was covered in Section 89, Subsection D, Paragraph 4b. If neither team is present for the opening tip, whichever team ended up closer to the floor that evening is declared the winner."
This revelation sent Mott and his crew of referees reviewing video tape and pacing the tunnels between dressing rooms and the court in heel-to-toe fashion. Mott offered the final ruling. "Vitor Faverani actually came halfway down the tunnel, looking to spot some visiting relatives I think. But one of Utah's assistant coaches ducked out for a quick smoke. I'm not sure who came down farther. It's hard to tell from the camera angle. But when you think about it the Jazz actually traveled much farther to get to this game than the Celtics did. That has to count for something. On the other hand, smoking is against arena policies. It's a mess, man."
With the holdout running towards its fourth hour and both teams huddled in the locker rooms for fear of accidentally winning the game, the league office ruled the contest a double-forfeit, pinning a loss on the ledger of each team and preserving a spotless "0-fer" record for each.
"It's basically what we wanted," said a Utah reserve, also commenting under condition of anonymity. "It's not good that Boston got the loss too but you can't help that. Things are going to happen. But if you go out on that floor you might end up with a win."
A teammate chimed in from the back of the bus, "Yeah, look what's happening to Philly." At that the entire bus descended into uncomfortable silence.
"Yeah, Philly. They're dead to us now," said the reserve, shaking his head and retreating to his seat.
Shaquille O'Neal Making Mark in Sacramento
Former NBA center Shaquille O'Neal is wasting no time leaving his stamp as new part-owner of the Sacramento Kings. Caught for an informal interview following a staff meeting at the Sushi, Steak, and Lard Palace on J Street O'Neal waxed poetic about his responsibilities with the team.
"First, I'm working with DeMarcus Cousins, teaching him to be like the greatest center ever, Me. I'm going to mentor him on all the important stuff. 1. Forearm. 2. Forget conditioning until at least February. 3. Ignore free throws cuz even if you miss them you can always get more. 4. Don't forget the forearm. Also I told him this team should be renamed the Sacramento Shaqs so they can get some confidence and a winning tradition."
A reporter pointed out that it might make more sense to name the team the Sacramento Cousins since the onetime Kentucky star actually plays for the team and had just signed a maximum contract extension. O'Neal responded, "Naw, that's just noise. You gotta feed the Big Dog and I'm the Big Dog until I say I'm not. Which is never. Deemarc's time will come. In another life. If he learns to throw a forearm."
And those are the stories from around the league for Monday, November 4th. Watch for more news in the weeks to come!