Fabricio Oberto is a man who can get things done. That despite being a little to slow, not great on the boards and not quite good enough a shot. He plays a smart game — which is why he was a starter for the 2007 title-winning Spurs, his interior passing was a great fit with Duncan — but put in a more individualistic situation he struggles. See last season in Washington as an example.
But right now Portland could use a man who can get things done along the front line. Or just a healthy body. They are without Greg Oden for however long that is going to take, Joel Pryzbilla is out until mid-November (but he did practice with the team over the weekend) and Jeff Pendergraph is now gone for the season.
Portland and Oberto are talking. How far depends on who you want to believe. The Oregonian’s Jason Quick said there have been talks but no offer. Although, to be realistic, often these deals are worked out through back channels and agents to that a formal offer is the last thing that happens and is basically a formality. The HoopsMarket said Oberto is choosing between the Blazers and Efes Pilsen and will make that choice in a couple day, even though a similar offer was on the table before and he rejected it. (Saying there are two offers on the table sounds like an agent trying to gain leverage in a deal, but we don’t know who the HoopsMarket sources are.)
Oberto had been waiting for an NBA deal, and while he is not perfect the Blazers will be hard pressed to find anyone better on the market right now. It sounds like it could be a match, if not made in heaven at least one made out of convenience for this year. And those types of deals tend to get done.
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: