The drama continues in Sacramento as a late-week meeting between Kevin Johnson and the Maloof family re-opens discussions on a solution for the Kings to stay in their home.
Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke with reporters prior to the King’s game against the Thunder, and spoke of how he reached out to set up the meeting, and that it was in the best interest of both parties to open up talks again. Johnson had previously said the city was through negotiating with regards to the previous deal which the Kings backed out of because of supporting details they weren’t happy with.
Kings blog Cowbell Kingdom was in place to catch Johnson’s comments. Video is below. Can I mention how weird it is that Johnson is locked into fierce negotiation and struggle with the team he’s on the floor of? But then again, who’s going to tell Kevin Johnson he can’t step on the Kings’ floor? More than that, who’s going to tell the mayor he can’t hold court?
The big takeaway from Johnson’ comments is as follows, via Cowbell Kingdom:
“Today was wasn’t really about Plan A or Plan. Today was about ‘does it make sense for us to keep talking?’ and we both agreed it did.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers are going to make moves at the deadline — they have surveyed the landscape and realize they may need help just to get out of the East this season, forget about the Warriors (or even Rockets).
Channing Frye and Shumpert straight up for Hill works as a legal trade. It also works for the Cavaliers, as Frye and Shumpert are not part of the rotation. But adding another older player (31) who has an injury history (he hasn’t played even 50 games the past two seasons) to this roster comes with a lot of risks. Is it really worth that for Cleveland? This is not a deal that changes things much, it’s just a better fit for the Cavs.
It’s less of a good deal for the Kings, who want a deal that is about how it helps them two or three years from now as they rebuild. The only advantage Shumpert and Frye give the Kings is their contracts are shorter — Frye is a free agent next summer, Shumpert has a player option at $11 million for next season, while Hill has two more years after this one on his contract. However, neither player would be part of the Kings’ long-term plans, so the Kings likely want a pick or something else in this deal to make it work for them.
The Cavaliers are going to do something at the deadline. What remains to be seen. While there may be trades that help them get out of the East, there isn’t anyone available who solves their Warriors problems, and if they can’t get that it’s hard to imagine them throwing in the Brooklyn pick in a trade (their biggest chip). The moves will be smaller, not grand ones.
The number of contestants in the dunk contest has varied, but it’s been four the last few years. So, this might be the entire field – and it’d be a strong one.
Gordon narrowly lost to Zach LaVine in an epic dunk contest a couple years ago. Oladipo brings star power, as he’ll probably play in the actual All-Star game. Nance has the pedigree, and I bet he involves his dad – who won the NBA’s first dunk contest in 1984 – in a dunk. Smith is the young up-and-comer with the first platform to prove himself nationally.