Big league recruiting
There are a lot of factors that go into winning. Coaching, practicing, luck, but by far and away the most important aspect has to be the players. Everything needs to come together as a unit for total success, but without good players, you're not going to win.
Unsurprisingly, some of the people most familiar with this concept are the players themselves. That fact surfaced this week a couple of times as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tweeted, "@MikeVick would intently make the vikings a playoff team!" and reports surfaced that Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah attempted to recruit potential 2014 free agent Carmelo Anthony to join him and Derrick Rose in the Windy City. (By the way, I've never been much of a fan of Noah, but he has been absolutely tearing it up lately, notching two triple-doubles in the past week as a CENTER! I know not having Derrick Rose means the assists have to go somewhere, but for him to be leading the team in assists to this point in the season, which he is currently doing with 281 so far, is completely insane. Fortunately for him this has culminated into the nickname "The Point Center." Just a great nickname all-around. Kudos to everyone involved.
Trying to lure other great players to your own team is only natural. Dwyane Wade did it, and it got him two rings and a chance to play with a generationally transcendent superstar. Things can go well.
However, Peterson's attempt at luring a big name talent shows that being one of the best backs in the NFL doesn't translate to being one of the best general managers.
Would Vick be an upgrade over Christian Ponder? Sure. But, would that upgrade be around for 16 games, let alone be enough to boost a five-win Viking team into the playoffs? Not very likely. Vick hasn't played a full 16-game slate since 2006, and ever since his Comeback Player of the Year campaign in 2010, he's been less than electrifying, turning the ball over 38 times to scoring it 35. He'll be 34 next year, and quite frankly, he isn't an above-average quarterback in the NFL anymore.
Best case scenario for Vick is finding a cushy backup job, paying a few million dollars a year for minimal playing time to pad his bank account enough to avoid filing for bankruptcy ... again.
Best case scenario for the Vikings is trading up in the draft for a shot at a potential franchise man under center, otherwise the're staring down the barrel of mediocrity again this season. I don't know which guy it is on the board, but I'm also not running an NFL franchise currently. I do know they haven't had anything close to a franchise signal caller since Daunte Culpepper's knee made me throw up. (Much like his post-knee injury career.)
As for Melo's upcoming summer decision, he has the choice to opt out of his contract with wretched stench wafting out of New York known as the Knickerbockers. Due to the collective bargaining agreement, New York can offer Anthony more money than any other team in the league, but he already has quite a bit.
Noah's alleged pitch according to those always trustworthy "sources?"
Something along the lines of: You can go to Los Angeles, but if you really want a ring, if you really want your legacy to be about winning, you should come to Chicago.
The Bulls can feasibly offer Melo "enough" money by dumping Carlos Boozer's contract, but is that where the Syracuse product should really go?
Going to the land of deep dish means hoping against all hope that Rose fully recovers from nearly two entire seasons of inactivity due to knee issues. That recovery is of course totally possible with today's medicine and the fact that Rose is only 25, but it's still an obvious risk.
Going to L.A. seems foolish, considering they decided to sign Kobe to a gigantic deal that clogs too much cap space.
My best guess would be Anthony sticking with the Big Apple. They may be bad at a little thing called basketball, but they'll pay him a boatload of money to jack up closely defended midrange jumpers eight seconds into the shot clock, which sounds like a pretty good time. Plus, NYC has plenty of allure itself, and Kevin Durant is a free agent in a couple years, so is that guy in Miami ... I'm just saying it's possible. (OK. It's not. But think of the highlights!)
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