Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

Report: Warriors ‘split’ over whether or not to part with Klay Thompson, so Kevin Love trade talks have stalled


The Warriors want to acquire Kevin Love, and are fine with giving up a piece like David Lee to get him.

But what they don’t want to do — at least right now — is break up their high-scoring backcourt tandem of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the process.

That wrinkle has led to trade talks stalling on the Love front at the moment, but since there are some within the organization who wouldn’t mind parting with Thompson, the situation is one that may be revisited at some point in the future.

From Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

What is being described as an “organizational split” on the willingness to part with prized shooting guard Klay Thompson has led to an impasse in the Golden State Warriors’ trade pursuit of All-Star forward Kevin Love, according to sources close to the process.

After it appeared that the Warriors were prepared to part with Thompson in a deal to land Minnesota’s Love, sources told ESPN.com that Hall of Fame consultant Jerry West and new Warriors coach Steve Kerr have voiced opposition to surrendering both Thompson and a future first-round pick to the Timberwolves along with former All-Star forward David Lee for Love and Wolves guard Kevin Martin.

Others in the Warriors’ organization are said to be willing to surrender Thompson if it means landing Love, who is widely regarded as the marquee name on this offseason’s trade market. But sources say the talks, which were gathering momentum in advance of the upcoming NBA Draft, have stalled.

Giving up Thompson is the true sticking point here, because while including him and a first round pick in a trade might seem like a price too steep, the value there is diminished because Golden State would likely be picking fairly late in the first round if they were able to add Love to the roster.

The three-way trade idea involving the Lakers would be even better for the Timberwolves, but it still involves the Warriors losing Thompson, so no dice.

Remember, Minnesota isn’t exactly in a hurry to send Love packing, so it will continue to take its time in waiting for the right offer. We’re hearing more chatter because the NBA Draft is less than a week away, and those picks are potentially less valuable once they’ve been turned into actual players selected.

The Timberwolves can’t (and shouldn’t) trade Love simply for future draft picks; the franchise needs an immediately ready asset in return to sell to its fan base, and someone like Thompson — while being nowhere near Love’s level of production — would at least help ease the transition.

But the Warriors don’t appear to be willing to include him in any deal for Love — at least not yet.

Report: Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer urged Danny Ferry to resign

Danny Ferry, Mike Budenholzer
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When Danny Ferry’s racism scandal came to light, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer publicly supported his general manager. Budenholzer called the “African” remarks about Luol Deng “very much out of character” and said Ferry was trying to learn from his mistakes.

And while Budenholzer might not have done anything privately to contradict his public statements, his tone apparently differed with Ferry and then-owner Bruce Levenson last fall.

Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

Budenholzer very much owed his job to Ferry. His former Spurs colleague had pleaded with Levenson that the Gregg Popovich assistant was the man for the position. Yet Budenholzer felt Ferry should resign, lest the Hawks be subsumed in disruption when training camp opened, and he made his wishes known in a heartfelt conversation with Ferry and Levenson at that time.

In some respect, Budenholzer was just doing his job as coaching – trying to maximize his teams chances of on-court success. Ferry didn’t resign. He took a leave of absence that lasted until he agreed to a buyout this summer. That was apparently enough to avoid a paralyzing distraction. The Hawks won 60 games and reached their first conference finals since moving to Atlanta.

Ferry’s departure also significantly benefitted Budenholzer personally. Budenholzer ran the Hawks’ front office during Ferry’s leave, and the new owners have installed him as the teams permanent president.

The only other four active coaches with personnel control experienced much more success before getting the dual president/coach title.

Gregg Popovich coached the Spurs to four championships and 11 playoff berths before they named him president in 2008. Doc Rivers won Coach of the Year with the Magic and then guided the Celtics to a title during his 14 seasons before the Clippers plucked him to run their franchise. Stan Van Gundy steered the Heat and Magic to the playoffs in all seven of his full seasons, including a trip to the 2009 NBA Finals with Orlando, before getting hired by the Pistons. Flip Saunders won more games than every other Timberwolves coach combined, is responsible for every playoff win in franchise history and made four trips to the conference finals (including thrice with the Pistons) over 16 total seasons before Minnesota gave him the huge role.

Budenholzer has been a head coach just two seasons, including a 38-44 debut year. He has done a good job, winning Coach of the Year last season, and he might make a good team president.

But he lacks the track record most coaches need to gain such status. Budenholzer, more than anything, was at the right place at the right time.

Report: Rockets will try to sign Alessandro Gentile next summer

Alessandro Gentile, Paulius Jankunas
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The Rockets tried signing Sergio Llull this summer, but he opted for a long-term extension with Real Madrid.

So, they’ll just turn to another player in their large chest of stashed draft picks – Alessandro Gentile.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

Gentile, who was selected No. 53 in the 2014, is a 22-year-old wing for Armani Milano. He’s a good scorer, but he primarily works from mid-range – an area the Rockets eschew. He can get to the rim in Europe, but his subpar athleticism might hinder him in the NBA.

If Gentile comes stateside, he’ll face a steep learning curve. But he’s young enough and talented enough that he could develop into a rotation player.