Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks - Game Three

Report: A year ago, some Bucks officials wanted to cut Larry Sanders

12 Comments

There are issues with the Bucks signing Larry Sanders to a long-term, four-year, $44 million contract extension, but overall it’s probably not a terrible decision.

Sanders has been accused of mailing it in at times, and was among the leaders in technical fouls last season, tying for third with Blake Griffin and Carmelo Anthony, and finishing behind only DeMarcus Cousins and Russell Westbrook for the most in the league.

But Sanders is talented, and the price paid for a player possessing his skill set is anything but outrageous. It’s the going rate, in fact, but there was a time very recently when the team’s management wasn’t convinced that Sanders should be the future face of the franchise.

From Gery Woelful of the Racine Journal Times:

Larry Sanders ascent to being Bucks’ highest paid player is remarkable. A yr ago some Bucks officials wanted to cut him.

That’s a bold statement, considering that Sanders is now on the books for guaranteed money longer than any other player on the Milwaukee roster.

But to be honest, the Bucks didn’t have much of a choice.

NBA teams can’t continually attempt to rebuild, and at some point they need to establish credibility by retaining the players that give a star-level effort who are already in place.

The Bucks saw Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings leave this summer, and Sanders was the only one left who the team could legitimately attempt to build around.

Sanders has the inherent ability, and if he truly is able to fix his problem with the officials, Milwaukee has a special player in place. It’s crazy that front office personnel were ready to bail on him as recently as last summer, but unfortunately, that’s the nature of the business.

Matt Barnes’ rep says Kings forward acted in self-defense in nightclub fight

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 27:  Matt Barnes #22 of the Sacramento Kings looks to pass the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game at Golden 1 Center on October 27, 2016 in Sacramento, California. 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 Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

New York police reportedly want to question Kings forward Matt Barnes over a nightclub fight early this morning.

What happened between Barnes, teammate DeMarcus Cousins and other clubgoers?

TMZ:

A rep for the NBA star tells us … Barnes was having a good time at Avenue Nightclub with his teammate, DeMarcus Cousins, when he went to sit at his VIP booth and accidentally “butt bumped” a woman who was at the next booth over.

Barnes claims the woman reacted by slapping him in the face, hard — and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Barnes claims the woman’s crew — which included several men — jumped in and began to get violent. Barnes was knocked to the ground in the melee and one of the men began to choke him.

We’re told Barnes got physical in an effort to protect himself. Cousins also jumped in to defend Barnes.

We spoke with  Barnes’ attorney Alex Spiro who tells us, “We do not believe a crime was committed and are hopeful no charges will be pressed.”

By this telling, it sounds as if a crime was committed – with Barnes as the victim. I have no idea whether this account is accurate – what else would Barnes’ representation say? – and it’s reasonable for Barnes not to desire charges even against the other side. But it’s a little strange to hear Barnes’ lawyer give the other side such a quick reprieve while Barnes’ camp circulates this story of Barnes as a clear victim.

Bulls suspend Rajon Rondo for Trail Blazers game

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 09:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Chicago Bulls looks on from the bench in the final minutes of their 115-107 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on November 9, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
1 Comment

Starting for an injured Rajon Rondo, Jerian Grant had 18 points and five steals in the Bulls’  25-point win against the Trail Blazers last month.

Grant will likely get another crack to start against Portland tonight.

Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

Chicago’s net rating with each starter on the court is lowest with Rondo:

But I doubt that’s the detrimental conduct the Bulls are referring to.

Chicago’s other starters have been dynamite with Grant instead of Rondo, outscoring opponents by 28 points per 100 possessions (relative to +10.6 with Rondo, still a robust mark). That’s a small sample with Grant, but we’ll get another opportunity to learn how this team meshes without Rondo.

Remember, though it started with a team-imposed one-game suspension, the Mavericks eventually told Rondo to stay away.

DeMarcus Cousins pushes handsy Joakim Noah (video)

Leave a comment

Joakim Noah kept his hands on DeMarcus Cousins after getting called for a foul, and that – and/or the Kings heading toward their third straight loss – agitated Cousins into pushing the Knicks center.

Remember, Cousins and Noah have a history.

Aaron Gordon throws inbound pass off Marcus Morris’ back, scores (video)

1 Comment

Aaron Gordon has backslid this season while playing out of his comfort zone at small forward, but there are still signs he’s progressing from great dunker toward great player – like this crafty inbounds pass off Marcus Morris‘ back.