Everyone knows the Jazz are in “ground up rebuilding” mode, but a couple surprising names have popped up on the radar.
During ESPN’s Chad Ford chat Thursday he was asked about draft day trades and mentioned the things we all expect — the Cavs to move a point guard, Daryl Morey and the Rockets to be active — then he threw in a real surprise (via CBS Eye on Basketball).
Jazz looking for deals. Would be open to discussing Paul Millsap or Devin Harris.
Now, let us start with some notes of caution — Chad Ford is well connected but he throws a lot of stuff up on the wall and only a portion of it comes true. I bet the Jazz talking to teams, I’m just saying the reality is these moves may not happen for a while if at all. Traditionally I’d say Utah is patient with trades, but the whole Deron Williams thing blew that out of the water.
There is just one reason Millsap would be traded — Utah knows Derrick Favors as the future at the four for the team. Millsap felt like part of the future in Utah not long ago, giving them 17.3 points per game (on 53 percent shooting) and 7.3 boards a game last season. He busts it inside. There would be teams very interested in his services.
Harris being shopped implies that Brandon Knight (or maybe Kemba Walker) are high on the Jazz radar. Harris is a quality point guard and they could get real value for him on the market if they planned to turn the keys to the team over to another PG.
We may see more big mores from the Jazz, but if the plan is to build around Favors and whoever is the No. 3 pick, then seeing what the market for Harris and Millsap is makes some sense.
Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.
But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.
There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.
Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….
Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.
This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.
If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.
The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.
Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.
Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.
Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.