Author: Dan Feldman

George Karl

Report: Kings coach George Karl ‘in trouble’


The Kings haven’t bought into George Karl’s system. DeMarcus Cousins might have cussed him out. Sacramento is holding team meetings already.

Everything is on the table.

But Karl’s fate looks increasingly certain.

Sam Amick of USA Today:

George Karl is in trouble.

Even those closest to him are willing to admit that much.

The Sacramento Kings coach who came to town nine months ago, who was given a $15 million contract ($11.5 million guaranteed) that doesn’t expire until the summer of 2018, and whose sterling record of success has been tainted by way of the 12-26 record ever since, isn’t seen internally as their coach for the long-haul anymore. Barring a shocking turnaround – and by that, we’re talking a 40-plus win season that seems unlikely – that much has become increasingly clear.

Even if the Kings were moderately cohesive – which they’re not – 40 wins would have been a high bar entering the season. They haven’t won even 30 games in any of the last seven years. Getting to 40-42 with a 1-7 start weighing them down looks highly improbable.

Really, this isn’t such a bad situation for Karl. Sixth on the all-time wins list, 12 behind Phil Jackson, Karl wants to climb the rankings – maybe all the way to No. 1 with 193 more victories. But he also wants to coach his way, apparently willing to ignite a feud with Cousins. If the franchise picks Cousins over him, Karl will get plenty of guaranteed money as a fallback. Show me the unfavorable outcome for Karl here.

The way owner Vivek Ranadivé operates, I’m not sure Karl gets until the end of this season. Sacramento has had four coaches in the 2.5 years Ranadive has owned the team, though to be fair, he inherited Keith Smart. Once Ranadivé decides to change directions – and there’s no telling when that will be – I’m not sure what stops him.

Klay Thompson: I should have sat out games to get healthy

Klay Thompson, Jrue Holiday
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You must really squint to find problems with the 8-0 Warriors – who could reach 72 wins – but Klay Thompson started slowly.

He averaged just 14 points on 29% 3-point shooting in his first five games. In his last three, though, those numbers improved to 20 and and 46%.

The shooting guard blamed a back injury.

Thompson, via Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

“It was killing me after Houston (Oct. 30) and for a couple games after that,” he said. “But now I’m pretty much back to normal.”

“In retrospect, I probably should have sat out to get it right.”

Sometimes, players embellish their injuries to excuse their struggles – to themselves and/or the public. If Thompson has put this injury – embellished or not – behind him, that bodes well for him and Golden State.

But, if this injury was as severe as Thompson said, I’m surprised the Warriors kept playing him. They’re proactive with health, and it’s early in the season. An extra win isn’t worth jeopardizing a lingering issue.

Would Thompson have stayed in the lineup if Steve Kerr were coaching? There’s a lot on Luke Walton’s plate, probably more than he’s quite ready to handle. I could see this slipping through.

Heat, Grizzlies finalize trade without third team

Beno Udrih, Dwyane Wade
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The Heat agreed to trade Mario Chalmers and James Ennis to the Grizzlies for Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes.

Miami reportedly wanted to find a third team to take Udrih and/or Stokes.

That’s not happening, but the deal still got done.

Heat release:

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have acquired guard Beno Udrih and forward Jarnell Stokes from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Mario Chalmers and forward James Ennis.

“This is a tough day for myself and the organization in trading Mario Chalmers and James Ennis,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “Mario was a part of two championships with us and Ennis is a solid young player, but it is part of the business and it was a move necessary to make because of our crowded backcourt. We feel that it is in the best interest of Mario and we want him to be successful and be a part of a good team. We wish them nothing but the best. We would also like to welcome Beno Udrih, an accomplished veteran and someone that has playoff and championship experience, and the addition of Jarnell Stokes, a young player that we would like to develop.”

This is an excellent trade for the Heat – who save money, get better players and reportedly get a draft pick. The Grizzlies add a point guard with more outside-shooting ability, but Chalmers hasn’t shown much beyond the arc since he stopped playing with LeBron James.

Expect Miami – over the luxury-tax line and facing the repeater rate – to try to still trade Udrih and Stokes. Tyler Johnson and Jason Richardson can serve as backup point guard, and Stokes probably isn’t rotation-ready. With their salaries costing multiple times over due to the tax, Udrih and Stokes are probably luxuries the Heat prefer not to pay.

Kobe Bryant resting for Lakers-Heat game

Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson
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Kobe Bryant has said he wanted to play in all 82 games this season, but back-to-backs raised a question.

Consider it answered.

Mike Trudell of

I’m sure all the Heat fans who wanted to see the second half of Kobe’s last game in Miami will be disappointed, but this is good news for those planning to attend his second-to-last game in Orlando tomorrow night.

At least this will give the Lakers a better chance to develop their players win.

Report: Heat suspending Gerald Green two games

Gerald Green, Garrett Temple

Heat wing Gerald Green was hospitalized last week after reportedly acting erratically.

We still don’t know much about what happened, but the Heat apparently didn’t like it.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Green, who was discharged from the hospital a couple days ago, will apparently miss games against the Lakers tonight and Jazz on Thursday.