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.)

Can we just relive that epic Dunk Contest one more time? Here’s the mixtape.

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TORONTO — Talking to NBA people, fans, and media around Toronto Sunday it seems every conversation starts with some version of “last night’s Dunk Contest was INSANE!

Because it was.

Andre Drummond threw down an impressive two-hand power slam with an assist from soccer playing Steve Nash. Will Barton‘s first dunk might have won him the contest in some weaker years. And we’re not even talking about them because of the eye-popping show that Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine put on.

Before we move on and talk trade rumors or actual All-Star Game, or whatever is coming next, can we just bask in the joy of that dunk contest one more time? The fine folks at NBA.com put together this mixtape version of the Dunk Contest, I’m passing it along.

Savor this people, it doesn’t get any better than what we witnessed Saturday night.

Michael Jordan to Klay Thompson: “Go ahead and break” Bulls’ 72-win record

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 25:  Owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan, watches on during their game against the Washington Wizards at Time Warner Cable Arena on November 25, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NBA - NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Barring a major injury, it seems almost inevitable at this point that the Warriors will surpass the 1996 Bulls’ record of 72 wins in a season and vault themselves into the conversation of the greatest NBA teams in history. All year, members of that ’96 Bulls team have weighed in comparing the teams, but one guy who hasn’t given his thoughts publicly is Michael Jordan.

Apparently, during All-Star Weekend in Toronto, Jordan gave Klay Thompson his blessing for the Warriors to go for 73. Via CSN’s Rosalyn Gold-Onwude:

Not that the Warriors need anybody’s permission to go after the record, obviously. But it had to be cool for Thompson to hear directly from Jordan that he respects what the Warriors are doing and wants them to break his own record. In all likelihood, they’ll do it.

Report: No suitors for Boston’s David Lee. So far.

Boston Celtics' David Lee comes down after dunking during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets in Boston, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
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The Celtics are rumored to be involved in a lot of trade talks that in reality are going nowhere — Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Al Horford. The buzz around the league is none of those deals are coming together, in part because Boston is protective of its picks (particularly things like the 2016 unprotected first round pick of the Brooklyn Nets).

What the Celtics would love to talk about is finding a new home for David Lee. But that is proving difficult, reports Mark Murphy of the Boston Globe.

Lee, who has fallen out of Brad Stevens’ rotation, and would welcome a move to a playoff team that has a role for him, is not drawing suitors.

“David Lee was tough for Golden State to move all of last year,” said the source. “And it finally came down to him being moved for Gerald Wallace. David Lee has no value. It’s his contract. David Lee’s value comes in if they get one of these big name players.” … Isaiah Thomas has been doing his part when it comes to selling players on the virtues of being a Celtic.

Lee is making $15.5 million this season. He’s always mentioned in those superstar trade rumors with Boston because they can use his salary to help match a more expensive players’ contract. But on his own, that’s been a much tougher sell.

Hopefully, the Celtics can find a taker; Lee deserves to be in a place where he has a chance to at least contribute a little. He’s not a starting caliber player anymore, but we saw in the NBA Finals last season in the right circumstance he can play a key role.

Craig Sager and his flashy suits return to All-Star weekend

Craig Sager
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TORONTO (AP) — The All-Star game in New York was a little less colorful last year.

Craig Sager, the TNT sideline reporter known for wearing flashy suits, missed the NBA’s annual midseason gala for the first time since he started doing them in 1988. Another bout with the leukemia he’s been battling for the last few years resurfaced, and Sager was forced to sit out while undergoing more treatments.

Sager considers the All-Star festivities the most important weekend of the season for him, and so it pained him to have to watch on television while receiving his treatments.

“It was hard for me not to be there, but I had to address my health,” Sager said. “To be able to get that in remission and be able to go through this year, it’s going to be extra special for me. I’ve really been looking forward to this a long time.”

That’s right. Sager is back for All-Star weekend in Toronto this year.

He spent the week leading up to it in Houston receiving his monthly treatment, which included a blood transfusion, to make sure he was healthy enough for the trip. Once he arrived in Canada, he was easy to spot.

“I just saw him,” Spurs coach and longtime foil Gregg Popovich said after the Western Conference team practiced on Saturday. “His suit spoke to me. It blinded me for a second.”

It’s been an emotional run for Sager, the longtime fixture at NBA games. He has needed two bone marrow transplants and still has to make those treks to Houston once a month. He has returned to the sideline for games this season and is feeling so well that he was scheduled to do both the Saturday night activities that include the 3-point shootout and the dunk contest as well as the game on Sunday.

“I feel great. Got my weight back. Got my strength back,” Sager said. “I’m back to playing golf.”

Two of his youngest children – daughter Riley and son Ryan – will be with him on the court this weekend serving as a ball boy and ball girl.

And of course, Sager will do a round with Popovich on television during a quarter break on Sunday. The two have turned the sideline interview into a passion play,

“He’s been an iconic figure in the NBA. He does a great job,” Popovich said. “His sense of humor is obvious. we have a lot of fun going back and forth with that. To have him back where he belongs, obviously we’re happy for him and his health. But for the league it’s great too, because he’s a fixture that everybody enjoys.”

Sager called the support he has received from Commissioner Adam Silver, coaches, players and fans “humbling” and said he was looking forward to coming back to his favorite event of the season.

“It’s been very uplifting, very therapeutic,” Sager said. “Very supportive on their part. That really has been very helpful to me, my treatment and my drive to get back.”