Author: Kurt Helin

Brett Brown

Sixers coach says report team planned to release Andrei Kirilenko “not accurate”


When the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Andrei Kirilenko the buzz was they would instantly cut him loose. This is a guy who, due to a family situation, didn’t want to leave the New York area (he would only play for the Nets during home games), so there was no real way for him to play for Philly. The rumor was GM Sam Hinkie told Kirilenko he’d be waived.

Instead the Sixers kept him on the roster. Most assumed they just kept the salary around as potential trade bait as the deadline approached, but Kirilenko remains a Sixers.

Now the Sixers have suspended Kirilenko for failure to report to the team. Coach Brett Brown told Dei Lynam of that the reports the Sixers planned to cut Kirilenko were always false.

“I hear the stories,” Brown said. “It was explained to me very aggressively and clearly. Andrei had a chance to play for me and us. I got excited because I had coached against Andrei in two Olympic games. We have mutual international friends, Tony Parker among them.

“I sat down with him and had coffee with him the last time we were here. I wanted to get in his head and see what he was thinking. I went through that exercise and got excited. I wanted him to share his wealth of knowledge with the team along with Luc [Mbah a Moute]. That we always intended to release him — that is not accurate.”

I find it difficult to believe that Brown actually believed Kirilenko would play for the Sixers. He knows the personal situation.

Sixers fans, if you are a Comcast subscriber in the Philadelphia area and want to watch a live stream of the Sixers taking on the Pacers Saturday night, you can do so by following this link.

What seems more accurate to me is that the Sixers couldn’t make the Jared Cunningham trade with the Clippers because they had 15 guys on the roster, however if you suspend a guy then the league grants you an extra roster spot. That let the Sixers make the trade (they then waived Cunningham). I believe Kirilenko is still a Sixer only because his contract might be useful in another deal.

I do know a lot of agents have taken note of how Sixers GM Sam Hinkie handled this situation.

Trevor Booker hits ridiculous one-touch volleyball shot (VIDEO)

Trevor Booker

You’re kidding me. That shot didn’t just work.

Okay, it did. There was 0.2 seconds left on the shot clock as Utah tried to inbound the ball in the second quarter against Oklahoma City. With that much time on the clock the only legal way to get off a shot is a tip, so most teams run some kind of play trying to free up a big near the rim and throw a lob.

But Utah has Trevor Booker. He can work miracles. Apparently. He hits a tip shot from waist high off a bounce pass with his back to the basket from eight feet away.

That may be the shot of the year.

The Thunder went on to win the game 99-94.

Chris Bosh returns in “Tall Justice Two” (from Funny or Die)

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks
Tall Justice 2 with Chris Bosh from Funny Or Die

Chris Bosh can be funny. Especially as a meter maid.

He teamed up a while back with the people at Funny or Die — you know, the place Blake Griffin interned — to make a fake movie preview called Tall Justice.

Well, like any good movie, there’s a sequel. Good stuff from Bosh.

Hat tip to That NBA Lottery Pick.

And in case you missed out on the original “Tall Justice”…

Report: Celtics near deal to send Jeff Green to Memphis Grizzlies

Boston Celtics v Washington Wizards

Danny Ainge is wheeling and dealing.

In the wake of sending Brandan Wright to Phoenix, it appears the Celtics are about to finalize a deal that sends Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies, reports Adrain Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Marc Stein of ESPN confirmed this.

This is going to be for Tayshaun Prince (owed $7.7 million this season on an expiring deal) and a future first round pick. (That has been the buzz around the league for a while, anyway.)

For the Celtics, it’s about going all in on the rebuild.

For Memphis, it’s about going all in for this year. Which they should do.

The Grizzlies are one of the teams in the mix in the West as potential contenders but what they needed was an upgrade on the wing and someone who can knock down threes. Green is athletic as they come and is a career 34 percent form three (although that is down to 30.5 percent this year, something that might improve with the better looks on a better team). Green fits their needs.

If you’re about to put in the comments, “they should have just kept Rudy Gay” you need to go back to basketball class. Gay demanded and took a much higher percentage of the shots and offense in Memphis than Green will (the offense was too Gay centered before). The Grizzlies offense now will continue to flow through MVP candidate Marc Gasol first and then to guys like Zach Randolph, Mike Conley and Green. If he accepts his role Green is a big upgrade for the Grizzlies.

Green doesn’t really help their defense, which for the past month has been Memphis’ real issue. But if that end comes around they remain right in the mix.

Report: Celtics near deal to trade Brandan Wright to Phoenix Suns

Boston Celtics New Player Media Day

The fire sale of the Boston Celtics continues.

The arms race in the Western Conference continues.

The Phoenix Suns are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the eight seed in the West with the now healthy Oklahoma City Thunder lurking just four games back. The Suns seem like the team that could end up on the outside looking in. Again. So they are doing something about it, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Sorry Oklahoma City but the Phoenix Suns will not go quietly into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light… or your playoff chances.

Boston had gotten Wright as part of the Rajon Rondo deal with Dallas.

This is a great deal for the Suns on a few levels. For one, that pick is lottery protected for the first two years of the deal, and with the Wolves likely in the lottery those years then it becomes two second rounders. No big loss for Phoenix.

Next, Wright is on an expiring $5 million contract, so he is not a long-term burden and the Suns can try to re-sign him this summer.

Then there’s this — Wright can flat-out play. And is a good fit in the Suns system. If you missed him when he was getting key minutes in Dallas as Tyson Chandler’s backup then you should know he gave them 8.8 points on 74.8 percent shooting, plus he was a good defensive rim protector. He had a PER of 25.8 in Dallas. He is athletic, bouncy, and loves to run the floor, and can be strong in the pick-and-roll with all those quality guards the Suns have laying around. Plus he can defend for them. He is a quality backup for Alex Len (sorry Miles Plumlee, it’s going to suck for you).

For the Celtics? You get assets toward rebuilding, plus you are worse this year so your lottery odds get better. If you’re going to rebuild, go all in.

Is this move enough to keep the Suns as the eight seed out West?. Maybe, maybe not. I’m not going to try to predict the bottom of the Western Conference. Do you think San Antonio or OKC will miss the playoffs?

But this makes things more interesting.