Monty Williams has proven a pretty good coach so far this season.
He looks like a lot better coach when Chris Paul and David West are playing. He admits as much. Those also happen to be two guys who can opt out of deals the next two summers. So Williams has set to work.
That starts with forward David West, who is expected to opt out of the $7.5 million he is due next season and test the free agent market. Williams told the Times-Picayune he has been working on West.
“He’s earned the right to choose and I’ve talked to him about that on a few occasions,’’ Williams said. “I’ve tried to show him how diligently I work and prepare so he’ll want to come back here.
“For us to be in position to keep him is a good thing, but there are going to be teams that come after him. But the cool thing is he knows what we represent and understands where we’re going. He’s going to be the flagship leading us there.’’
West could be the big domino here. Keep him and there is a chance of keeping Chris Paul because West can be a key guy to help build around. West goes and it becomes a lot harder to keep CP3.
It’s smart of Williams to lay the groundwork. But money is going to talk. With the NBA running the Hornets while the search for an owner, it will be interesting to see how much they are willing to offer (under whatever the new collective bargaining agreement allows).
The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a center— desperately at times, they brought JaVale McGee into training camp to get a look. They will start Zaza Pachulia and behind him it’s probably Samuel Dalembert once he gets healthy.
Which is why Dallas may be the team interested in Larry Sanders — Mark Cuban is a guy known for giving second chances in the league. But there have been no talks, yet, reports Tim MacMahon at ESPN.
Larry Sanders has been out of the game since his buyout last February trying to deal with his personal demons and may well not be ready to return. He may never return.
His couple seasons with the Bucks were filled with drama and issues. There was the nightclub brawl left him with an injured thumb in need of a surgery. There were the charges of animal cruelty. There was a five-game drug suspension. There was missed time for personal reasons. There was the 10-game suspension for marijuana use (he failed at least four tests to get there) — then that suspension was extended past the 10 games. In the end, he agreed to a buyout to get space away from the game to deal with his personal issues.
He may or may not be ready to return from that. He may or may not ever be ready. But if he decides to give it a try, NBA teams will be waiting. Maybe Dallas.
Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka are healthy — just how good will the Thunder be?
The bold prediction in this PBT Extra preview with Jenna Corrado is that the Thunder will win 60 games, something they have not yet done. I wouldn’t bet on them hitting that number — with a new coach, and them making sure Durant and Westbrook get rest coming off injuries, plus the fact they’re in the deep West, that number may be high.
I think they have a better chance to come out of the West than win 60 games. I think they have a good shot to come out of the West.