Posted by: Kingsguru21 | June 17, 2009

Bargaining with Dan Fegan

Dan Fegan has recently made several power plays. The first was with Yi Jianlian and the Milwaukee Bucks. He told them he wouldn’t play in Milwaukee. Yi ended up signing in late August.

Dan Fegan also tried to get Anderson Varejao out of Cleveland at his price. He eventually signed a contract with Charlotte that Cleveland could match. Cleveland did, but only in December.

Jianlian has since been traded as part of a package to New Jersey. He probably won’t have a contract beyond next season. Varejao can opt out (and probably will) before July hits. We’ll see how that plays out for him. (He might not, but then again, he might. You never know with Fegan.)

Fegan has tried multiple power plays, and they simply have not worked.

Which brings me to the most important point: Giving up to Dan Fegan isn’t only stupid, it’s likely not going to help your team.

Why should Geoff Petrie do Dan Fegan a favor? For what? To get Anderson Varejao? Yi Jianlian?

Do you know whom his most prominent clients are? Who are actually the best players that have played for him? Shawn Marion and Jason Terry.

In otherwords, you don’t give Dan Fegan what he wants just because he wants it. You say “fuck you Dan”, and you go about your merry way.

Geoff Petrie giving in to Dan Fegan to help his client get more money is a bit like the contract the Kings offered Beno Udrih. It’s dealing from a position without much power. The Kings needed Beno badly because last year they wouldn’t have had a point guard. (And, they might have lost 75 games if they hadn’t. I know; it’s pretty sad.)

The Kings are in a position of power. Which means they don’t have to make it easy on the Grizzlies or Rubio regardless of how much they like him. They can make it simple for the Grizzlies here: “We wouldn’t trade for Rubio beyond taking the 4th overall pick. You can’t trade down and make us acquiesce to your demands.”

Period. End of story. That’s the name of the game. The Kings don’t have any more leverage in trading down than the Grizzlies do. The difference?

The Kings have what many “consider” to be the 2nd best player in the draft interested playing for them. The Grizzlies have been spurned at nearly every opportunity.

Only fans believe the Grizzlies should take Rubio. Chris Wallace hasn’t said much (nor should he), but at the same time, the Fegan camp has done everything in their power to get Rubio in Sacramento.

Personally, I think it’s a waste of time. Wining and dining a potential draft pick is stupid. He’s not a Free Agent, and if he’s clearly the 2nd overall pick, the Grizzlies would still take him anyway.

So why would they be amenable to trading him? Because it’s a guessing game as to who the best player, and the 2nd best player, and the 3rd best player is right now. There isn’t a clear 1st overall pick no matter how many teams publicly have said Blake Griffin is that guy. And, it’s only worse trying to project the 2nd best player and yadda yadda. Right now it’s Rubio. 3 years from now it could easily be Jordan Hill, Brandon Jennings, Jonny Flynn, Hasheem Thabeet, Jrue Holiday, or something like that.

I don’t really think Hill or Thabeet will be the 2nd best player. I liken shot blocking to getting a blow job. It’s nice, and it feels good, but it’s not sex. (Or not in terms of sexual intercourse.) Shot Blocking is nice, and it’s important, but it’s not a full component of defense. Some of the best defensive teams (90’s Bulls for instance) happened without a real shot blocker.

The Kings were one of the 5 or 6 best teams for about 5 years running in the NBA, and the only shot blocker they had was Keon Clark. How much does that matter?

Anyway, back on point. The point here is that Dan Fegan can want anything he wants. So can Geoff Petrie. But, at the same time, if money was so important in the Westphal hire, why shouldn’t it be in the Rubio instance?

Here’s another problem that Rubio has. Along with having his buyout currently in the hands of the Spanish gov’t, his contract is still with Joventut. Which means he either returns to Joventut to play (which is not likely), and waits to re-enter the draft.

Or, he lives with Memphis taking him. If that’s the case, and Memphis may try to call the bluff here (and then again, they may ignore Rubio altogether which is what I would do if I were them–and I’m not saying that because I want to see Rubio in a Grizzlies uniform–you can easily make a case Rubio ISN’T the 2nd best player) by picking him to get whatever they can get in a trade scenario. Maybe it’s a veteran player.

Dan Fegan has no leverage here. He knows it. He’s trying to convince everyone else that isn’t the case. Which it is. It’s also funny that sometimes people doubt facts when certain things arise. (Like, when Rubio has dinner with the Kings brass and will again tonight after a physical.)

Rubio needs the Kings to want him so bad that they will do anything it really takes within reason to get him. That would be pretty ideal for Memphis.

That’s really stupid if you’re Sacramento. It would be stupid for them to not wine & dine Rubio. It would also be stupid for them to make a promise they’ll do whatever it takes to get him to the Kings. There is only so much they can bargain with, and it’s not like the Kings are that financially stable.

If the Kings do this, they’re banking a ton of things on Rubio, and Rubio alone. Who wants to take that risk? If I were Geoff Petrie, and if I was Jason Levien, I would not want that to be the end to my legacy, and what I inherit from the previous GM.

But, there is a way to play this, and there is a way not to. If the Kings bungle this so badly they may not get a shot at Rubio even if they do have him rated as whatever player (say 1st or 2nd) on their board.

So stroking Rubio’s, and Dan Fegan’s, ego is probably more than a bit necessary. But, not to the point where you make the Grizzlies happy by ridding the Grizz of a bad financial obligation to get Rubio. That’s stupid. That’s dumb management. Dumb management. Dumb management, like the Grizzlies. (Who did that very thing to acquire OJ Mayo. And, not only that, what’s funny is that to boot they still have so much cap room and have to pay a certain amount of salaries they are not that close to exceeding. They shouldn’t have a problem getting over the minimum limit, but, still.)

But, here is what this really comes down to. Would you trade Jason Thompson & the 4 for Rajon Rondo? Do you think Rondo is the right fit? This is the same type of problem, only it’s Ricky Rubio and more Kings fans covet him.

Which is why you don’t bail out the Grizzlies because they’re stuck. You say fuck ’em, that’s their problem. And, you know what? It is. God Speed Chris Wallace. You’re going to need it. (This is mostly me praying that Geoff plays hardball. Losing Rubio is not THAT a big deal. And I’ve banged the Rubio drum as long and as hard as anybody. But, it’s not very clear that he is clearly so much better than anybody else that he must be traded for if it arises. That’s the point. Simple. Easy.)

See, that’s not so much of a hot stinking mess, is it?



  1. […] in the sky type posturing from Nene, and more likely, Nene’s agent Dan Fegan. (Read this for my opinion of Fegan. It’s not changed.) More importantly, Fegan was part of the whole “Kevin Martin” […]

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