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MavsFanFinley
08-25-2002, 10:41 PM
Sabonis reportedly agrees to $7M contract

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ESPN.com news services


A Lithuanian newspaper reported that Arvydas Sabonis has agreed to a one-year, $7 million contract to play for the Portland Trail Blazers, The Oregonian reported Sunday.

Sabonis, a 7-foot-3 center, is expected to sign the deal as early as Monday, the report said.

"Once I received Portland's offer, everything was very clear," Sabonis told the Lithuanian paper. "It might be one of the last contracts in my career, therefore I have to use this opportunity."

The Blazers and Sabonis' agent, Herb Rudoy, told The Oregonian on Saturday that the contract wasn't finalized, although Sabonis made it sound as if the contract already is in the mail to Lithuania and that the only detail missing from it is his signature.

In other words, it's only a matter of time before Sabonis, 37, rejoins the Blazers, officially.

"We remain optimistic that we will get a deal done with Arvydas," Blazers president Bob Whitsitt said.

Said Rudoy: "We are very close. I expect to have it done early next week. Arvydas is really excited about returning to Portland and he has instructed me to get it done as quickly as possible."

Sabonis was in Portland two weeks ago and worked out for Whitsitt and the Blazers' coaches at the team's practice facility in Tualatin. He said that visit helped convince him to return to the NBA.

"Once I got to Portland, memories came alive," Sabonis told the Oregonian. "Everything is familiar to me there. Needless to say, the NBA is the best league in the world."

Apparently, Sabonis insisted on a one-year contract.

"After one year, we will see if there is sufficient health, desire or any demand for me to continue playing," Sabonis said.

Sabonis turned down an offer to play for a Spanish team, Unicaja, which was prepared to pay him $3 million and provide financial assistance to Sabonis' basketball academy in Lithuania.

Blazers coach Maurice Cheeks said he is intrigued about the prospect of adding Sabonis.

"I hope we get him," Cheeks said as he watched some of the Blazers scrimmage against Team USA at the Rose Garden on Saturday. "It would be a nice upgrade for our team. I know we could have used him last year, because he's big. I mean, he is big."

In six seasons with the Blazers, Sabonis averaged 13.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, while shooting 50.3 percent from the field. He last played for Portland in the 2001 NBA playoffs, when the Blazers were swept by the Lakers in the first round, then sat out last season as a restricted free agent.

"If he came back tomorrow, he'd still have to be one of the top seven or eight centers in the league," Blazers guard Damon Stoudamire said. "You have to respect what he does on the offensive end alone. With the right frame of mind, and the coaches understanding Sabas, there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to help this club."

Dooby
08-26-2002, 08:43 AM
At least people will stop pipedreaming that he'd come here.

Red White and Blue
08-26-2002, 08:46 AM
I see another team is making more moves why the Mavs stand still. They have now signed McInnis(who always seem to kill the Mavs), and now 1 of the better players to defend Shaq. Isn't that what the Mavs need? Someone to guard Shaq, why didn't they make a run at Sabonis? Teams that did not finish as good as us are making big moves and the Mavs have lost players, and not signed their own restricted FAs. I sure hope they start making some moves sometime in the "NEAR" future!

Red White and Blue
08-26-2002, 09:08 AM
Yes, you're right Dooby! We can only dream about the Mavs signing players to get better, rather than them actually signing someone to get better. Yes, it's only dreaming because we all know the Mavs will never sign someone to get better, give me a break!

madape
08-26-2002, 09:09 AM
Chicken Little - The Mavs couldn't have offered Sabonis $7M. They are over the salary cap.

Usually Lurkin
08-26-2002, 09:11 AM
this may or may not be good for Portland. He's just getting older, whether or not his passing and knowledge can still make up for his lack of movement and endurance is yet to be seen.

Portland has arguably had better talent than the mavs for years. Yet, they've only shown a decreasing ability to keep it all together. Why should we worry about them any more than usual, just because they've added more talent?

TheKid
08-26-2002, 10:12 AM
One year for $7Mill is good for Portland. It would have been a terrible situation if Kemp doesn't decide to give in. Think about it, they would have been spending $25 mil this year on Kemp. So instead they only have $10 mil count against the cap this year for that and $7 for Sabonis. They still save about $8 mil. So looking at the entire picture, it's not that bad and hell they'll get just as much out of Sabonis as they got out of Kemp, so it's actually not a bad deal for them if you ask me.

David
08-26-2002, 04:56 PM
<< I see another team is making more moves why the Mavs stand still. They have now signed McInnis(who always seem to kill the Mavs), and now 1 of the better players to defend Shaq. Isn't that what the Mavs need? Someone to guard Shaq, why didn't they make a run at Sabonis? Teams that did not finish as good as us are making big moves and the Mavs have lost players, and not signed their own restricted FAs. I sure hope they start making some moves sometime in the &quot;NEAR&quot; future! >>



Sabonis can't defend Shaq, EITHER. That is, Shaq pushes him around, just like he pushes the other centers around.

Dooby
08-26-2002, 05:23 PM
<< Yes, you're right Dooby! We can only dream about the Mavs signing players to get better, rather than them actually signing someone to get better. Yes, it's only dreaming because we all know the Mavs will never sign someone to get better, give me a break! >>



Look, jackass. Sabonis and Portland have a relationship that goes back 10+ years. Portland is consistently in the playoffs. Portland can offer Sabonis more money than anybody and Portland isn't afraid to pay. Sabonis would never, I repeat, never, come here as long as Portland wanted him. This isn't about whether Sabonis would help the Mavs, it is about whether or not he would ever come here. The answer to the first is that Sabonis would help the Mavs; the answer to the second is that Sabonis in a Mavs uniform is a pipedream.

In short, jackass, any attempt to court Sabonis by Mark would have been just as much a waste of time as responding to this post has been for me. If you want to criticize Mark, fine. At least have a good friggin' reason. Bash him for not forcing R.Lewis into making a decision or not going after keon Clark or Donnell Marshall. But don't bash him for not going after Sabonis because it only makes you look stupid.

Red White and Blue
08-26-2002, 05:49 PM
David, Sabonis has had sucess against Shaq in the past. Can we say the same about the PF(Raef) and crappy C's(Bradley and EE) that the Mavs throw at the Lakers. Last year we atleast had a combination of Buck and Griff to go against Kobe and contain him. Buck is gone, and well Griff isn't the most dependable player we could have. Sabonis is a big body, so Shaq will have more trouble with him rather than a skinny 6 10 PF. Just my opinion of course........... He does not push all centers around the same way. Their is some centers in the league that do have sucess against him. Sabonis is 1 whos had sucess in the past, and Olowokandi has had sucess against him too. I am sure there's more, but those 2 examples there proves my point!

Jackass? haha, very funny Dooby! You prefer insulting people when your inital post was laughable and somewhat stupid. I prefer not to reply to your insults, I am the bigger man and I will show it by not insulting you back. Thank You

Dooby
08-26-2002, 06:10 PM
Look, buddy. You challenged me with sarcasm so I came back at you. Deal with it. Other than perhaps calling you a jackass, I don't see anything in my posts that can be disputed.

Sabonis playing anywhere other than Portland was not realistic. I am not saying anything earthshattering. I don't see what you can really argue.

I thought your post was really a criticism of Cuban's relative inaction. However, if your point really is that we should have made a move for Sabonis, and you insist on arguing that point, I am not sure I can take you seriously. On the other hand, a spirited debate over the relatively quiet offseason is more than appropriate.

Usually Lurkin
08-26-2002, 06:16 PM
sabonis has had success against shaq??!!
That's not my memory. If you've got something to back that up, please post it. I'll try to find some box scores in the morning.

David
08-26-2002, 06:24 PM
<< David, Sabonis has had sucess against Shaq in the past. Can we say the same about the PF(Raef) and crappy C's(Bradley and EE) that the Mavs throw at the Lakers. Last year we atleast had a combination of Buck and Griff to go against Kobe and contain him. Buck is gone, and well Griff isn't the most dependable player we could have. Sabonis is a big body, so Shaq will have more trouble with him rather than a skinny 6 10 PF. Just my opinion of course........... He does not push all centers around the same way. Their is some centers in the league that do have sucess against him. Sabonis is 1 whos had sucess in the past, and Olowokandi has had sucess against him too. I am sure there's more, but those 2 examples there proves my point! >>



Sabonis is 37 years old with TWO bad knees. Shaq has pushed him around EXACTLY like he has pushed around ALL the other centers. Olowokandi has had limited success against Shaq, also. Olowokandi is unpolished and poor defensively. So your two examples prove nothing, nada, zilch. Of course, neither player you mention could POSSIBLY become a Mav, so why bring either up? Olowokandi is a restricted FA and Portland has Sabonis' Bird rights so could pay more, plus, he's been quoted as being comfortable and at home in Portland.

Red White and Blue
08-26-2002, 07:05 PM
Olowokandi unpolished and poor defensively? Do you even bother watching games David? Ehen I say sucess, I mean he has had sucess not only offensively but defensively too. I only used them as examples, I know Olowokandi is restricted but again it was an example to your &quot;Shaq pushes everyone around&quot; and that's not the case. Sure Shaq is dominant but you cannot begin to compare the way Bradley or EE defends him, and the way Sabonis and Olowokandi defends him. You may want to start watching other games besides the Mavs games. If you say that he pushes everyone around the same then you obviously don't watch many games. Sabonis has a nice touch from the outside that brings Shaq away from the basket and with his frame can definitely bang with Shaq. Sure Raef can bring him away from the basket, but can he bang with Shaq? Of course not, he is a PF that is forced to play C. Sabonis has had bad knees for awhile now, it's no different from years past with Portland. Only now he has given those knees a rest, and IMO will help Portland a great deal. They have picked up McInnis(let me say it again, who is a Mavs killer), Sabonis, Charles Smith and Antonio Daniels. Do you guys actually think this does not matter to the Mavs or what? My point again is that, teams who was not as good as the Mavs have made drastic moves?

David
08-26-2002, 08:57 PM
I watch plenty of games, do you? If you did, you would see that the player that Shaq DOESN'T push around is not playing in the NBA. Olowokandi is a poor defender. He blocks a few shots because he is 7 feet tall. BRADLEY blocks a few shots, as poor a defensive player as HE is.

There is a reason Sabonis retired. His knees couldn't take the rigors of the NBA season. He only signed for one year with Portland because he STILL doesn't believe his knees, or the rest of his 37 YEAR OLD body, can take the stress. When he last played in the league, Shaq kicked his butt EVERY game. Shaq made a 7'3&quot; guy, with bad knees and NO outside game, play outside. Even someone, such as yourself, with obviously limited knowledge of the NBA, should be able to see what I am talking about, or is it that you are just dense?

Red White and Blue
08-26-2002, 09:51 PM
More insults huh David? Your posts insults you enough with the poor knowledge, no need for me to help out. You may want to get some glasses, because you obviously can't see if you say that Sabonis has no outside game. You have to watch more than some highlights or commercials to see someones game. If you want to hurl insults back and fourth this will be my last post in this thread, I have no time for that. I can go over to the board I was at before to do that.

David
08-26-2002, 10:30 PM
Go back and read YOUR OWN POSTS and see who insulted who. If you want to talk basketball, I'm willing, but make some sense, huh?

Sabonis is 37. He's been out of the league because of his bad knees for a year and Shaq punished him when he WAS in the league. If you had paid attention, the year before last, you would have seen that. Sabonis is not COMPLETELY useless but he won't stop Shaq and neither will anyone you care to name and blame the Mavs for not signing.

Red White and Blue
08-26-2002, 10:42 PM
You can put those glasses on anytime now! When did I say anything about Sabonis stoping Shaq, or even coming close to stoping him? Did I mention anywhere in my posts that Sabonis or anyone else for that matter would stop Shaq. No, I did not say that, but I did say some people have better sucess guarding him, than others. Is there any debate to that?

nowitzki_prophecy
08-27-2002, 05:19 AM
sabonis is one of my fav centers,the mans is about 290 pounds and he doesnt have a post game!he shoots!funny as hell,but the mans got a good harm,so why not.

David
08-27-2002, 05:53 AM
<< You can put those glasses on anytime now! When did I say anything about Sabonis stoping Shaq, or even coming close to stoping him? Did I mention anywhere in my posts that Sabonis or anyone else for that matter would stop Shaq. No, I did not say that, but I did say some people have better sucess guarding him, than others. Is there any debate to that? >>



So, wanting to do a little backpedaling, huh? Sabonis was good when his knees were good and he was younger. Shaq will, and does, stuff Sabonis just like everyone else, so why pay 7 million for that? Perhaps Wallace didn't have any teammates to abuse on national TV so Portland decided to bring back Sabonis.

MavKikiNYC
08-27-2002, 06:45 AM
David, I disagree with you on this in part. Not sure what Sabonis will bring this coming year, but 2-3 years ago, he led the Blazers platoon defense against Shaq, and did as good a job as can be done at defending O'Neal. Sure, O'Neal gets some dunks and puts up some big numbers--he always will. But at 7.3, 300+, Sabonis had him off his game and made him work harder for what he got than anyone I've ever seen matched against O'Neal. It certainly wasn't Sabo's fault that the Blazers lost that series.

nowitzki_prophecy
08-27-2002, 10:23 AM
david is right,although sabonis had to guard shaq,only because they had no better defender for him,he did a bad job doing so. despite his 7'4 and 290 pounds his a very bad defender,especialy against the big man.

Red White and Blue
08-27-2002, 02:11 PM
That is not what David said, he said Shaq pushed Sabonis around exactly like he does everyone else. That is not the case, and he knows it but some people will never admit they were wrong. Sabonis made the guy work extremely hard, but people think just because the Lakers won he didn't do much. A few years ago they took the Lakers to 7 games, and not many teams have done that lately besides the Kings. I think besides the Kings, no one has took them to 7 games in the playoffs in a while. Portland did, and Sabonis played a role in that in guarding Shaq well I believe. That's just what I recall, of course I could be wrong and I will admit it if I am.

Usually Lurkin
08-27-2002, 03:13 PM
from playoffs 200 and 2001

From 2000
NAME MIN FGM FGA REB AST PF ST TO PTS
ONEAL 45.71 9.29 17.29 12.43 4.29 2.57 0.00 2.71 25.86
SABO 31.29 3.00 7.86 5.57 2.14 4.57 0.86 0.71 8.29

From 2001
NAME MIN FGM FGA REB AST PF ST TO PTS
ONEAL 43.7 10 20.7 15.7 2.67 2.3 0 2.7 27
SABO 34.7 4.67 9.67 8.33 2.67 4 0.3 0.7 11



who cares if Shaq had to work hard for what he got? He still got it. Sure it wasn't Sabo's fault that Portland lost the series. It was largely Oneals fault.

-I really don't see Sabonis even doing as good as he did in the past. I see Sabo sitting a lot, getting paid a bunch of money to ice his knees next spring.

Dirk77
08-27-2002, 03:52 PM
Sabonis defends Shaq just about as good as any mortal, but he is old, has put on weight, alot, despite reports. I have a Client in Kaunas, he said Sabonis is simply out of shape now.

MavKikiNYC
08-27-2002, 04:08 PM
<< who cares if Shaq had to work hard for what he got? He still got it. >>



Not the finest hour for argument here at D-mavs.com.

If you'll go back and look at the box scores for the Lakers-Blazers series (I have, you can too), you'll notice that in some of the games where O'Neal put up the biggest stats, the Lakers lost. Making O'Neal work harder for his points disrupted the Lakers' offense, and prevented them from establishing any continuity.

Sabonis did a very strong job against O'Neal, and with Wallace and or J. O'Neal (and the following year D.Davis) coming over to harass O'Neal from the weakside, the Blazers provided a virtual blueprint for how to defend O'Neal platoon-style.

And for the record, that wasn't O'Neal's series...it was Kobe's.

David
08-27-2002, 05:51 PM
Sabonis had his day. He was not a bad center. He just didn't stop Shaq or slow him down much at all. Of the centers that Shaq had to go against, Sabonis did as well as anyone. It just wasn't enough. NOW, after a year layoff, I don't think Sabonis is in any better shape and Shaq is just that much tougher.

I have this image in my head from watching Portland and LA. Shaq was doing his usual thing. He was backing Sabonis down and pushing him back under the basket and stuffing the ball and Sabonis is looking over at the refs and wondering how they can let Shaq get away with it. The refs let Shaq initiate all the contact and push, push, push and then call the foul on the defender, if a foul is called at all. As long as that goes on, no one stops Shaq or slows him down.

The Crippler
08-27-2002, 07:28 PM
&quot;i see your true colors shining through&quot;...

do what's right Rhylan...

Red White and Blue
08-27-2002, 07:30 PM
huh?

pepperfletch
08-27-2002, 07:49 PM
Sabonis is better than Kemp. He has rested his knees a season and can still shoot and bang a little. I suspect he skipped out a year more do to with Wallace...

He is not the end all save all, but he does give them another big man option...good move for Portland as he reminds me of Vlade, SMART player. Portland still has to many trouble makers to make the title run IMHO....

Red White and Blue
08-27-2002, 08:51 PM
Portland has the talent, all they need to do is use it their advantage and put it all together. Sabonis will definitely help IMO.

Bayliss
08-27-2002, 09:06 PM
On the &quot;so what he still got his points&quot; argument: huh?

Which would you rather have: a low post player that lets Shaq get a dunk most of the time or a low post player that makes him shoot in the low post that is contested?

I'd much rather have the low post player that makes Shaq shoot turn arounds, etc. Sabonis did that. No one is ever going to stop Shaq, but if he gets 30 points by hitting 7 foot turn arounds, and jump hooks, then tip your hat and call it a day. 30 points with that is a whole lot better than 30 points with half of his shots: dunks.

Red White and Blue
08-27-2002, 11:58 PM
Great post Bayliss!

nowitzki_prophecy
08-28-2002, 03:27 AM
look RWAB,i think the task for shaq against sabonis was so easy i almost cried,i was amazed looking at the game that a 7'4 didnt gave any fight against shaq,there were no competition,exactly like it is now with all the other centers,im with you on this one david.

Usually Lurkin
08-28-2002, 08:00 AM
<< Not the finest hour for argument here at D-mavs.com. >>



you are right. Let's look at your argument:


<< the Blazers provided a virtual blueprint for how to defend O'Neal platoon-style. >>


and they still lost. will they do as good with the strongest member of the platoon older, weaker, and having just sat out a year?



<< And for the record, that wasn't O'Neal's series...it was Kobe's. >>


How will bringing sabonis back change this?

my point - who cares if shaq works harder is this: If shaq sweats 3 drops while he dunks on you, you lose. If shack sweats buckets while he pushes you low enough to shoot over you, or pass away from you, you lose. Repeating the same approach over and over will reap the same result. It'll take a different approach.

you can say sabonis did admirably - but 3 sabonises switching out against one shaq will still not be good enough. Great, the blazers did a wonderful job getting the Lakers out of their game. Look what happened to the blazers. They absolutely collapsed. All the height and weight of the platoon, their admirable effort, their technicals, their towel throwing, etc, etc. You have to say the Lakers took the Blazers further out of the game than the Blazers took the Lakers.

MavKikiNYC
08-28-2002, 08:09 AM
I'm gonna waste just a couple more key strokes on you, fool.

Blazers lost, but NOT because of their defensive strategy, or Sabonis's job on O'Neal. Kobe won that series for LA. Point of the post is not about what Sabonis will do, but about what he's done.

Go lurk on Mavs-Talk, eh?

Usually Lurkin
08-28-2002, 08:33 AM
the point of the thread is that sabonis will be playing for the blazers next year, so I assumed we've been talking about what he's done as evidence for what he'll do for them now. Sorry if I was wrong about that. But it doesn't change the fact that whatever Sabonis did in the past was not good enough.

Portland lost because they got too frustrated to keep things together. Is that agreeable? Do you not agree that when their defensive plan failed to keep the Lakers from scoring more points than the Portland offense, that contributed to the frustration?

Usually Lurkin
08-28-2002, 04:07 PM
After reviewing the past few posts, I thought I'd try to restate my opinion, because I may not have been very clear.

I have two objections to the idea that sabonis has had some success against shaq in the past.

My primary objection has to do with what 'success' is. That may be a good point of debate here where we often talk about how much player a will benefit team x. In this thread, we've been sort of defining 'success' as offensive, defensive, and/or contribution to team performance.

RWB threw out a hot sports opinion without really defining what he meant or what role the opinion plays in the current discussion. This leaves interpretation and argumentation to the rest of us. I interpret the statement as Sabonis the individual had success against Shaq the individual. Interpreting it in this way means that if shaq got his usual numbers, then sabonis had no effect on shaq, regardless of the outcome of the game.

Interpreting the statement as 'the blazers defensive strategy had success against shaq' is not really valid. That would be attributing blazer's team performance to sabonis, but not attributing Laker's team performance to shaq. It also completely ignores sabonis's offensive contributions (sabonis's points and assists were much lower than shaq's) and rebounding contributions (shaq doubled sabonis's rebound totals). Shaq also shot a lot of freethrows - largely due to sabonis's fouls.

Likewise, interpreting the statement as 'Sabonis's defense interrupted the Lakers offense' also ignores the (relative lack of) offensive production by sabonis, and ignores his inability to keep shaq from interrupting the Blazer's offense.

The blazers lost. period. twice. the second time worse than the first. In my own humble opinion, for players as important as Shaq, that is the best measure of overall contribution to team performance.

A secondary objection (which I have had confused with the first) is - what the hell good does it do to have 'some success' against shaq? All it means is that shaq dominates by less than he otherwise would, and kobe or the role players are left to beat you.