July 7th: Rumors and Rankings

Well, yesterday, I thought that there were no front line free agents left, but now reports are that Trevor Ariza’s name just might be swimming back out into the pond of availability.

From Waiting For Next Year:

“In the last few hours, rumors have swirled that Trevor Ariza might now be having second thoughts about his deal with the Houston Rockets.  The source of the rumors isn’t exactly known, but ESPN radio in Los Angeles had Ariza’s agent on and asked him if there was any truth to the rumor. He answered “no comment.” Is it a coincidence that Mike Brown and Danny Ferry are in Los Angeles today?

Let’s hope its not a coincidence, because if Ferry and Brown traveled all the way out to Tinsletown just to talk to Anderson Varejao’s agent that would be, shall we say, disappointing.

And while we all sit caught up in the fact that football hasn’t started yet, the Indians are the worst team in the AL, and the only interesting thing to talk about in Cleveland is the NBA’s version of the hot stove, let’s allow our friends at the Big Lead to remind us Clevelanders that the Cavaliers are still the class of the East, with our without another big name get.

From The Big Lead :

“Here’s what everyone has conveniently forgotten: Even before KG went down for the season, the Cavs were the favorites in the East. They were better defensively and had the inside track on home court advantage (season series: 1-1; each team winning at home). The Cavs would not have had the match-up issues against Boston that perplexed them in the ECF against OrlandoEven though there’s still a few free agents yet to make decisions, here’s how we see the East:

1. Cavaliers
2. Magic
3. Celtics
4. Bulls
5. Pistons
6. Heat
7. 76ers
8. Raptors”

While we will be breaking the rosters down in depth as free agency comes to a signed in ink close here at SR, at this point, at least initially, it is tough to make the argument that these rankings are all that off with respect to the top end of the Eastern Conference.  For Boston, Ray Allen is getting up there, Ainge and Rando hate each other, there is no guarantee that KG will return to form, and Wallace looked awful last season.  The Magic got worse by adding Vince Carter and subtracting Hedo Turkoglu, Rafer Alston and Courtney Lee, and I don’t see the Bulls and Pistons – while they will be certainly better than last season – making a jump into the upper echelon of the conference. 

That said, I digress, and hope WFNY is on to something with the Ariza news…I don’t think Channing Frye is going to do it for me.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.