This is not something likely go down in the near future if it goes down at all, so just put this in your “things that could happen after Christmas or close to the deadline” file.
We’ve told you before that the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to trade Derrick Williams. Flip Saunders and the rest of the front office wants to win now — part of the “keep Kevin Love happy and in Minnesota” campaign — and they know a veteran will help them more in that regard than the inefficient Williams.
So who makes a viable trading partner that would role the dice on an athletic tweener forward who struggles to create his own shot or defend well? Maybe the Sacramento Kings, as thrown out there by Chad Ford in a chat at ESPN (credit to Tom Ziller at Sactown Royalty for finding this):
From everything I can gather, he’s available. It’s just about finding the right deal. Head coach Rick Adelman would prefer another veteran big to fill out the rotation. I think GM Flip Saunders wants a little more value. I know the Kings have a lot interest in Williams and might have the right combination of veterans to make a deal (Jason Thompson? Chuck Hayes?).
It’s going to take more than Chuck Hayes. Thompson is interesting but that’s a steep price for Sacramento to pay, there would have to be other pieces in there to make that work.
Still, just something to watch. There are teams still sold on the potential of Williams and think in a better system he could be a good rotation player. One will eventually bite and make an offer the Timberwolves like, and the Kings may well be that team.
Kobe Bryant‘s pregame tribute video stole the show in Philadelphia, but Tuesday night was Moses Malone tribute night. The former league MVP and Hall of Famer passed away in September, and his legacy was honored by the Sixers during a halftime ceremony. During the festivities, Malone’s son announced that his No. 2 will be retired by the organization next season.
There’s no question that Malone, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, deserves to have his number retired. The only relevant question is: why didn’t this happen years ago? The ceremony next season should be good, but it would have been better if they had done it when Malone was alive to participate in it. No Sixers player has worn No. 2 since Malone anyway, but it’s been over 20 years since he last wore a Sixers jersey. Why couldn’t they have found some time in those two decades to have a ceremony and hang a banner?
Perhaps LeBron James‘ most underappreciated skill has been his passing. He is rightly hailed as the most unselfish superstar of his generation, but being a willing passer is only part of it: he’s also as good at it as any point guard in the league. Case in point: this two-handed halfcourt bounce pass on Tuesday night, finding Richard Jefferson for an easy dunk:
Kobe Bryant‘s relationship with his hometown of Philadelphia had its rocky sections — the Kobe’s Lakers beat the Sixers in the 2001 Finals, and then Kobe was booed during the 2002 All-Star Game — but all was forgiven on Tuesday night.
In his final trip to Philly, he was given a framed Lower Merion High School jersey — that’s Kobe’s school, in case you forgot — and it was presented by Dr. J.
Then the fans welcomed him like you see above.
That pumped up Kobe, who scored 13 first quarter points on 5-of-10 shooting, his best quarter of the season.
If you play for the Brooklyn Nets, and your name is not Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, expect you will come up in trade rumors this season.
First up on the block, Bojan Bogdanovic. The report comes from Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Bogdanovic is in the first year of a three-year, $11 million deal, which isn’t bad for a guy playing nearly 25 minutes a night and scoring 8.4 points per game. There is a lot of potential in his game, if developed in the right setting — he’s a good shooter out on the wing who works well off the ball. He seems to have regressed this season, but how much of that is due to the Nets and their guard play (and just generally struggling) is up for debate.
Is there going to be interest in him? Probably. As always, it is about the price, what the Nets will demand. Whether the Nets can get anything back they want is up for debate.
Right now a lot of GMs are testing the waters for players, judging the market. That is a long way from a trade happening. But don’t be shocked if the Nets make a deal or two before the February deadline.