Pirates Press



There are changes this year in Nigeria.  The team’s owner could not come to an agreement with the previous general manager, Rob Arnold.  Michael Futch has been all about making money since taking over the team in 2000.  He doesn’t worry as much about winning as his fans and coaches do.  Last year, the team made over 41 million.

Since Michael couldn’t reach an agreement, he looked towards a new general manager.  He selected Kevin Hitch out of Indiana.  Hitch has managed other basketball teams, but none in the current league.

Hitch looked at a couple of franchises with openings.  After some consulting, he decided to take the Pirates.  According to Hitch, this team had some young talent that was attractive.  He also saw that the team slid in the playoff run late in the year and just missed them.  However, the Pirates had no first or second-round picks this year.

Hitch went to work.  He looked over the draft and looked at moving into it before draft day.  In the end, he traded a future first, which is expected to be a late very one, for the 30th overall pick this year.  He took Sf Paul Kaufman.

Free agency came up quickly afterward. Hitch wanted to get a couple of front-line players.  He felt that he had the right coach and place with Frank Harris, but needed to give him some pieces to help.  Coach Harris stated he wanted to get Harrelson back. Coach also commented that he felt he had a strong nucleus of players and didn’t want to trade them.

Hitch went out and got Harrelson, who may get minutes at the three or four spots.  Morales is back on his rookie contract at sf.  (There are rumors three teams have asked about his availability for trade and made very good offers.)  Harrelson came back on 5 years 80 million.  Is he worth it at 14 ppg with an average defensive presence on the inside?

In what might be a better value signing, the general manager convinced Seneca Redd to the Pirates.  He can put the ball in the basket with good blocking ability.  He can be foul-prone though.  Rumors are that he was promised minutes.  For less than 22 million over three years, Redd may be penciled in as the starting center. Rawlings will get back up minutes.  Crowly will be back and he can also score upfront.  Does this leave Harrelson on the bench or moving positions?

Would the new management look at moving Morales to the shooting guard or trade him off?  Would they bring Berger off the bench?

Hitch was able to fill up the line up with a lot of bench players.  There will be competition to see who makes the team.  Twenty players are currently on the roster.

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