In an annual tradition like Meryl Streep getting an Oscar nomination, the Monta Ellis trade rumors have started to swirl.
Golden State likes Monta Ellis for all the same reasons you covet him for your team — there are few better pure scorers in the league. At the end of the day, putting ball in the hole wins games. He can do that.
Golden State will consider trading him for one of the games elite superstars, but short of that you’re out of luck. And superstars are not exactly involved in the offers the Warriors got around the last draft, such as this one from the Timberwolves, reports Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News.
According to multiple league sources, the two teams had a loose outline of a proposal–neither team had agreed to anything, but this was the basic heart of the talks:
* Minnesota was willing to talk about a package involving F Michael Beasley and C Nikola Pekovic in return for Ellis.
The sources say the Warriors didn’t flat out say no to Minnesota, but wanted more.
* The GSWs apparently asked to expand the deal to include the Timberwolves’ No. 1 pick in last year’s draft, which was 2nd overall and turned out to be Derrick Williams.
No deal. This is sort of like the Lakers with Pau Gasol — sure, they’ll move him if Chris Paul is coming back but not if it’s Derrick Williams, or even Carlos Boozer. Basically, you’re not going to rip them off.
The Warriors need some roster changes — turns out just the presence of Mark Jackson does not transform talent — but they have something of value in Ellis. And they know it. If you want him you’re going to have to blow them away.
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.