We love talking trade rumors as much as anyone. It’s part of the fun of being a sports fan, talking about potential deals.
And rumors were flying about like cabs in New York City leading up to the NBA Draft Thursday. Andre Iguodala to either team in Los Angeles. Lamar Odom to Minnesota or Philadelphia (wouldn’t you pay to see Khloe Kardashian in Minnesota?). Monta Ellis to 29 teams, plus maybe to North Carolina for Harrison Barnes. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
But we should do a little truth in advertising here, the reality is very few of these trades leaked get anywhere near becoming reality. We will let Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak (whose team was at the heart of a lot of rumors) explain, via the Los Angeles Times.
“A lot of the stuff you read the last three or four days was agent-driven,” said Kupchak.
“A lot of times agents these days think the way to consummate a trade is to suggest publicly ideas that they come up with and I think that’s part of the problem, as well.”
Andre Iguodala’s agent is Rob Pelinka. He is also the agent for Derrick Williams, the No. 2 pick who was rumored to be shopped by the T-Wolves to every team in the league. He is Chris Kaman’s agent. (He has a long list of clients including Kobe Bryant, Carlos Boozer and James Harden among others.)
I don’t know where a lot of these pre-draft trade rumors started, certainly not all of them from agents as teams will throw out a thick cloud of smoke screens around the draft to hide their true intentions.
We’re not going to stop talking rumors here, we just want an educated readership on the topic. Know that often these are the wishes and dreams of agents far more than they are reality, things teams discuss seriously. Have fun, but don’t think that Odom for Iguodala was actually anywhere near happening.
Spurs to give Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili Friday night off in Denver
That is the first night of a back-to-back, with former Spurs’ assistant coach Mike Budenholzer and his Atlanta Hawks coming to San Antonio on Saturday. Popovich is saving his two veterans for that game.
Duncan and Ginobili have looked like they found the fountain of youth this season. Duncan is taking on less of the offense but has been very efficient in those moments. Ginobili has the impact he did a few years back in his bench role.
What Gregg Popovich cares about is them playing like that come the postseason. So they will rest on Friday.
Rejecting the tender is a favor to the drafting team, which gets to keep the player’s exclusive rights for a year. If Thornton tries to join the NBA now, he’s stuck negotiating with only the Celtics.
By accepting the tender, the player typically gets one of two outcomes. He either plays on that contract and draws an NBA salary or he gets waived. But even getting waived is better than rejecting the tender, because at least the player becomes a free agent and can negotiate with any team.
Players who reject the tender go to another league and play for less money. In Thornton’s case, that mean Australia.
How’s that going?
(Almost) never reject the required tender as a second-round pick.
Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks
Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.
So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.
“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….
“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.
“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”
Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.
Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.