Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors

Warriors won’t just give away Biedrins. No, we’re not sure why either.

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At new head coach Mark Jackson’s introductory press conference at the NBA Finals, a reporter asked if the Warriors would try and get bigger. Instead of citing Andris Biedrins, David Lee, and Ekpe Udoh, Jackson instead made a bizarre comment about how you can look at the Mavericks and see you don’t see size, referencing Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion. Getting past the fact that Tyson Chandler is as long as the day is, the approach was interesting and lead you to believe that the Warriors knew they needed to go in another direction down low, if only to pair a true center with Lee. With the amount of money Biedrins makes (he’s owed another $27 million over three years), it’s natural that the Latvian who has slid backwards with bigger responsibilities since showing promise with the “We Believe” team of the late 2000’s would be the one to go.

Psych.

From the Contra-Costa Times:

I’ve been told the Rockets have offered Hasheem Thabeet and Jordan Hill. Haven’t confirmed if they were offered as a package, but the figures add up. Thabeet, a former No. 2 overall pick, is widely regarded as someone who simply not good enough to play in the NBA and probably won’t be. There is still some hope for Jordan Hill, but he’s got a Post-It note on his back that says “stiff.”

Bottom line for the Warriors: that’s not enough.

via Warriors Aren’t Just Giving Away Biedrins | Inside the Warriors.

Makes sense, except for the fact those players come off the books sooner and are cheaper and easily moved in other trades. But maybe more concerning than that (because that is a pretty terrible package for anyone) is this quote from Warriors president of Basketball Operations Kirk Lacob (son of owner Joe Lacob) from BasketUSA via Hoopshype:

Houston has offered more packages for Biedrins but we were not interested. We would not let this guy go. He is only 25 years old and is one of the most agile 7-footers  in the world. He averaged a double double average number of years ago and it will take a large package to let him go.

via Golden State, “offers the Rockets we were not interested” | USA Basketball – NBA News in daily.

Be aware that’s a translation from French, so that always comes with pitfalls. But the point shines through. The problem is that the Warriors don’t need agile bigs. They need big bigs. And they might be able to get a better package down the line, but they don’t need to be going into talks thinking they have some sort of incredible player. His stock is low. You can work to get it higher, but at some point you need to pull the trigger and move on. While Biedrins’ future in Golden State is far from certain, it does look like he won’t be going to the first team to offer an even decent package to the Warriors, and certainly not to the platter of nothingness Houston’s offered so far.

(Side note: You know why you don’t hire your 22-year-old son as President of Basketball Operations? Because of things like “He’ll openly tell a French website that another team has made an offer.” That’s a good start.)

Monty Williams is back coaching with Team USA, ready to get back on NBA sidelines

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 18:  Draymond Green #14 of the 2016 USA Basketball Men's National Team drives against assistant coach Monty Williams of the 2016 USA Basketball Men's National Team during a practice session at the Mendenhall Center on July 18, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Watching Monty Williams back on the court at the USA basketball camp/practices in Las Vegas, you could see he was at home. He’s easily the best 44-year-old defender on the planet — he went toe-to-toe with Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler, and the rest, was physical, and made them work for buckets. Then he’d instruct. He’s just a natural.

Back in February, Williams’ wife was killed in an auto accident. It devastated the devout family man, in ways it’s hard for us to understand who have never experienced it. He walked away from coaching the rest of the NBA season with the Thunder, and nobody questioned it for a second.

Now, after getting his feet wet with Team USA (where he is an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski), he told Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman he is ready to get back on the sidelines.

“I wouldn’t even think that if I didn’t know, one, my wife would want me to; my kids talk about it all the time. And there have been some things that have happened in my life lately that have allowed me to get that back. I’m so juiced up and ready to get back into it again.”

He is one of the better respected assistant coaches in the league, and a guy who will get another shot at a top spot someday. Soon. Can’t wait to see him back on the sidelines.

Ben Simmons says he plans to work on shooting, handles, getting stronger before camp

Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons cheers from the bunch during the first half of the team's NBA summer league basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Thursday, July 14, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Associated Press
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The leap from college — even high-level college programs — to the NBA can be hard to describe. Now everybody is bigger, longer, and far more athletic — the guy at the end of the bench barely getting any burn was one of the best players on his college team.

Players get their first taste of that at Summer League. The Sixers’ No. 1 pick Ben Simmons looked pretty good when he got that taste, but you can see the development that needs to go on as well.

He’s spending the time between now and the start of training camp working on his shooting and getting stronger, among other things, he told Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com.

“I think just getting in the gym and making sure I’m getting reps up, shooting-wise, dribbling,” Simmons said earlier this week after an appearance at Sixers Camp in Wayne, Pennsylvania. “The weight room as well, making sure I get my strength back and my weight up.”

All good things. Handles and shooting in particular — he’s about to start seeing much better defenders nightly. It’s going to take time, and we’ll see how far he can go, but Simmons unquestionably brings a lot of skill and potential to the table. That he’s putting in the work is a good sign — that was one of the concerns about him heading into the draft.

New GM Bryan Colangelo is going to benefit from Sam Hinkie’s process. So long as he doesn’t screw it up.

Report: Warriors sign JaVale McGee to make-good training camp contract

JaVale McGee
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JaVale McGee is getting another shot in the NBA.

He played just 34 games off the bench for Dallas last season. He played 23 games the season before that due to injury.

But the Golden State Warriors are thin up front — Zaza Pachulia will get the bulk of the minutes at the five (when the Warriors use a traditional center), and there is the often-injured Anderson Varejao behind him. The Warriors could use another big. So they are giving McGee a look, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.

This is a low-risk move by the Warriors, and it’s worth the gamble. Vintage McGee, for all his Shaqtin’ a Fool flaws, is far more athletic and a better rim protector than any of the guys the Warriors now have at the five. If it doesn’t work out — and the odds are it will not — they cut him, if it does they pay him a minimum deal.

I hope he makes it, just because the league is more fun when McGee is in it.

Russell Westbrook laughs off question about Kevin Durant

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 21:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant #35 discuss play during the first half against the Los Angeles ClipperLos Angeles Kingsat Staples Center on December 21, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and condition of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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At some point, Russell Westbrook will sit down with members of the media and discuss Kevin Durant leaving the Thunder, how he felt about the move, and how it impacted him both personally and professionally.

But not right now. He remains silent.

This Vine making its way around, where Westbrook laughs — probably at the question, although read into that whatever you want — when asked about Durant sums up where we are.

https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

In the full Facebook clip, Westbrook walks away, too. It’s his right. He can talk about it on his schedule.