NBA in Seattle: A Retrospective Look at Traded Players with Local Connections

We may not have a team in the Emerald City at the moment, but a host of players with Seattle/Washington ties were moved at the trade deadline. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen. Here are those esteemed Washingtonians/people with Washington connections.

  • Aaron Brooks

The Seattle native was acquired by Denver from Houston to fill a need at back-up point guard. He cost the Nuggets young, swing-man Jordan Hamilton, but hopefully the former Rockets standout will provide Brian Shaw’s team a spark. The Nuggets only moved for Brooks to fill their back-up point guard spot after losing fellow Seattleite Nate Robinson for the year due to injury.

  • Luke Ridnour

A former Sonic and graduate of Blaine High School, Ridnour is one of the few ex-Sonics left in the league. He and Gary Neal are headed to Charlotte, while Ramon Sessions and Jeff Adrien moved the other way to Milwaukee.

  • Spencer Hawes

Hawes, the first Husky on the list, was dealt from deadline-seller Philadelphia to quasi-contender Cleveland for Henry Sims, Earl Clark and two second-round draft picks. Here’s hoping he finds a smidgen more team success in Cleveland than in Philly.

  • Austin Daye

The former Gonzaga standout isn’t from the state of Washington, but he was a superb collegiate player in Spokane. He’ll look to rekindle his career in San Antonio.

  • Reggie Evans

Another non-Washingtonian makes the list. Evans started his career as a Sonic and is one of a few left. He and the next player on the list were dealt to the Kings for Marcus Thornton.

  • Jason Terry

The Jet has moved again. This time from Brooklyn to Sacramento. He’s out for the year with an injury. Hopefully he finds success in Sacramento.

Seattle Seahawks’ Repeat and Dynasty Potential: Why Team’s Superb Player Development is the Key

The Seattle Seahawks have experienced some of the usual perks of winning a Super Bowl. The parade, the sudden interest shown by media in the team’s players, etc.

Another result of the Super Bowl win has been a number of teams taking interest in the Seahawks’ free agents. Other teams are/were looking to take some of the Seahawks’ exceptional depth. The team has already lost supporting players Chris Maragos, Paul McQuistan and Clinton McDonald to free agency while key players like Golden Tate, Red Bryant, Walter Thurmond and Chris Clemons have also left town.

In addition to those players, the team also lost cornerback Brandon Browner and tackle Breno Giacomini, while players such as Sidney Rice and Michael Robinson could be brought back, but nothing is certain.

All of these losses will be felt in one way or another, but the team’s superb player development will help them sustain their winning ways.

Pete Carroll and friends find diamonds in the rough. Players like Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor. Players who were late-round draft picks or undrafted. These players soon develop into starting players, as evidenced by Sherman’s meteoric rise to elite status.

Developing late-round/undrafted players also gives Seattle a huge boost in terms of the salary cap and money. These players’ rookie contracts are much cheaper than a first or second-round picks’ contract. All of this adds up, thus the team can target more players in free agency to supplement the team.

So far, some of the Seahawks’ more prominent losses in free agency are easily replaceable with much cheaper players who could develop into better players.

For example, Tate’s will be replaced by Jermaine Kearse, while a healthier Percy Harvin will improve the offense even more so. The two should more than make up for the former Notre Dame standout.

Kearse is still on his rookie deal, while Tate signed for five years and as much as 31 million dollars with Detroit. This will save the Hawks lots of cash to funnel into players like Harvin or complementary veterans on shorter contracts.

On the offensive line, McQuistan and Giacomini will be replaced by younger players like Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey. The team showed confidence in the latter pair last season and could also draft a lineman or two come April. Former first-round pick James Carpenter could also start.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell is another young player who will find himself starting again next year. The former Clemson Tiger filled in admirably for Browner during his suspension and in the process left no doubt that he was the better player for the role, as opposed to Thurmond. Maxwell, as well as young, cheap and talented corners Jeremy Lane, DeShawn Shead and Tharold Simon, will make up for the loss of the departed players.

All in all, players like Kearse, Bowie and Maxwell may or may not turn into star players. Their impact probably won’t be the sole reason the Seahawks turn into a dynasty. What will propel the Seahawks into a dynasty is their ability to continually find and develop under-valued players into impact performers.

Seattle Mariners: Signing Nelson Cruz Doesn’t Guarantee Success

Rumored Mariner signing Nelson Cruz would add a powerful bat to a lineup already bolstered by the arrivals of Robinson Cano and Corey Hart. What signing Cruz doesn’t do is guarantee success.

An offensive triumvirate of Cruz, Cano and Kyle Seager isn’t one to balk at, and is a wonderful foundation for the team moving forward, but in terms of success, it guarantees nothing.

In most divisions, like say the NL West, these kinds of additions (Cano, Cruz, Hart) would push a team towards the top of the table. Not so much with the Mariners in the AL West.

The rest of the division is stocked. The Mariners’ rise to “playoff-contender” status, if not the realm of respectability, has vaulted the division to a ridiculous level. On paper, the Angels, A’s and Rangers all have the talent to be playoff teams. Throw in Seattle, and you end up with a lot of unhappy teams come the postseason.

It wouldn’t be completely surprising to see, even with Cano and friends, the M’s finish in the same exact place in the standings as last year. They’re probably going to have an improved record, but as stated, the division is stacked.

If one thing is clear after watching postseason baseball, it’s that pitching is needed to contend. Teams like Detroit, Boston, St. Louis and Oakland found great success last year with tremendous staffs. And it wasn’t just those four teams; most playoff teams boasted strong pitching. Great pitching is nearly synonymous with a playoff squad now-a-days.

Which brings the topic of one-way conversation in the piece to the Mariners’ pitching.

The M’s will use some combination of Erasmo Ramirez, Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Brandon Maurer and recent signing Scott Baker for the last three spots in the rotation. This is where question marks come into play. Moving into the future, both Walker and Paxton figure to be mainstays in the Seattle rotation thanks to their fantastic potential, but between them they have a grand total of 39 innings at the big league level. Whether they continue to show promise or hit a wall remains to be seen.

Ramirez and Maurer have both shown flashes of potential in the past, but the jury remains largely out on the pair. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Baker, given his experience and quality, leapfrog one or both of them to claim a rotation spot. The bottom line is that the Mariners’ rotation could show the promise and poise that Oakland’s young hurlers have shown, or they could continue to display the growing pains that have plagued the team.

If anything, a potential Cruz signing puts more pressure on the rotation to succeed. The one-time Brewer coupled with Cano, Hart and Logan Morrison would vastly improve a team that had issues scoring runs. The run output in Seattle should, at the very least, be slightly above average. The Mariners need their young pitchers to step up. If they can do this, Seattle will be in a position to contend. If not, well let’s just say get ready for all those low-scoring losses to turn into higher-scoring losses.

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champions: Top Photos from seahawks.com

Here’s a cool picture slideshow from seahawks.com showing everything from the team heading to the airport to last Wednesday’s victory parade. Click the link to check it out.

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champions Gear

From scarves to shot glasses to whatever a wristlet is, their is one of everything when it comes to the Seahawks’ championship gear.

 

Seattle Seahawks: Rally Tickets and Overflow Seating

To a lot of folk’s dismay, the seating for the rally at the Clink for tomorrow’s festivities is full. However, overflow seating is available in Safeco Field. Depending on when you read this, it may or may not be full, but none the less, try throwing your hat in the ring!

Seattle Seahawks: Some Victory Celebration Parade Info Announced

The Seahawks have released some information regarding the championship parade on Wednesday. The team has released the route of the parade, among other things. They haven’t all info, so keep your eyes glued to Kingdome, and more importantly, seahawks.com for more.

Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Build Up: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are Seahawks Fans

Obviously you’re likely a Seahawks’ fan if you’re from the Seattle area. So it makes sense that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are. Here they are talking about it on Ellen. Plus Ellen, again, explaining why she’s rooting for the Broncos.