Kurt Helin

Reports: Warriors expected to rest Draymond Green a couple games

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Golden State has a back-to-back coming up this week: Wednesday night at the altitude in Denver, then Thursday night at home — where the Warriors have yet to lose this season — against the Los Angeles Lakers. Two easily winnable games for Golden State.

But it looks like they will have to do it without Draymond Green. While nothing is official yet, expect Green to get some time off. From Marcus Thompson at the Mercury News.

He’s been playing through discomfort in both lower extremities, producing on both ends and paying the price after games. Monday, he had 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the 111-103 win over the Miami Heat. And even during the game, you could see him laboring for stretches. In blowout games, he spends the fourth quarter with his legs wrapped in enough ice to look like he’s wearing hockey pads.

The problem is, Green doesn’t want to rest. His mother has been on his case for a while. Much like point guard Stephen Curry, he has to be forced sit down. And according to a team source, that’s probably going to happen soon.

Then this from Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Green has been putting up monster numbers of late and has fans backing him as an All-Star starter as of the last vote count. Not that it matters much to the Warriors when it comes to resting guys.

There will be more of this from the Warriors as they move they move into the dog days of the season. Sure, 73 wins would be nice, but now is not the time to focus on that. What matters when trying to build an NBA legacy is rings, and you don’t need the studies that exist to know guys who are tired and physically worn down are more prone to injury. The Warriors goal is June, and that means resting guys in January.

Besides, the Warriors should be fine against the Nuggets and Lakers even without Green (although Denver has played Golden State tough this season).

Expect Green to sit out a little this week. He’s not going to be happy about it, but it appears it is going to happen.

Report: Denver Nuggets to sign Sean Kilpatrick to 10-day contract

New Orleans Pelicans Sean Kilpatrick (25) passes the ball to Eric Gordon (10) during NBA training camp in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Chris Tilley)
Associated Press
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Sean Kilpatrick played in four NBA games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season while on a 10-day contract. The most notable part of that stint was how he got the job in the first place — he was in New York when the shorthanded Timberwolves were in the city and desperately needed a guard. Location, location, location.

This preseason Kilpatrick went to camp with the Pelicans but couldn’t make the cut (on a team with a lot of injured guards), so he went back to the D-League. Now the Denver Nuggets will give him a look, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports.

Kilpatrick could flat-out score coming out of Cincinnati, and he averaged 18.2 points a game at Summer League, but at the NBA level he’s been unable to continue that kind of success (he shot 30.8 percent from three in his time with the Timberwolves last season). This season in the D-League he’s averaged 27.1 points per game and shot 44 percent from three, so he’s getting another chance.

Kilpatrick doesn’t play great defense (although he competes), meaning unless he’s can start to bring some of that scoring touch to the NBA it’s hard to find minutes for him.

Derrick Rose says he wants to retire a Bull

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Derrick Rose rumors are starting to bubble up around the league. His contract is up in 2017 and with the emergence of Jimmy Butler and the new offensive system with Fred Hoiberg, there have been questions about how Rose fits in exactly long term. And if the Bulls do keep him, what should his price tag be (he’s not a max player anymore)?

Rose is oblivious to what is said around him — to the point of his detriment at times, as he doesn’t realize the impact of his words and phrasings. He’s not listening to all this trade buzz either. He wants to remain a Bull — because he loves the city and because his son is here, he told Nick Friedell of ESPN in a Q&A.

Friedell: You told me a long time ago you never wanted to play anywhere else. Is that still true?

Rose: That’s still true. Still true. Just having my son [P.J.], I’m doing all this because of my son now, you know? Just wanting to be around him every day, having him come up here, shoot with me or see me shooting til he’s able to become a ball boy. Little things like that I think about long term. Just trying to get him groomed, trying to get him used to being in the environment.

Friedell: You want to retire here still.

Rose: For sure, for sure.

The Bulls are going to undergo some significant roster changes in the next couple of years. For example, this summer both Joakim Noah and Pau Gasol (if he opts out as expected) will be free agents, and there is a real possibility neither of them returns to Chicago.

Rose could be part of that change. The only long-term locks to remain in Chicago are Jimmy Butler and Bobby Portis. When Rose and Butler have been paired on the court this season the Bulls are average — they have both a 101.1 offensive and defensive rating. They are a .500 team with those two on the court together. The questions to be answered are if that number is a matter of Rose’s health, noise from the ill-fitting pieces around the two guards in Hoiberg’s offense, or just they don’t work well as a tandem?

Whether Rose remains a Bull may simply come down to money. The Bulls will have their number and if another team sees more promise in Rose — or is more desperate for a quality point guard — they could come in over the top. Rose says Chicago is where he wants to be, but would he take a hometown discount? The more challenging question may be what is Rose worth in the new, Wild West market created by the coming salary cap spike?

But we know where Rose wants to be — sweet home Chicago.

 

Bradley Beal says he hopes to return to Wizards this weekend

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For 16 games, the Washington Wizards have tread water without two guard Bradley Beal, who is out with a stress reaction in his right fibula. The Wizards are 14th in the NBA in offense and 17th in defense in those 16 games, showing some promise by doing things like beating the Bulls on Monday, but struggling to compete with playoff quality teams from either conference.

This weekend, the Wizards may get Beal back. That is what the player himself told Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post (hat tip Eye on Basketball).

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, sidelined since Dec. 11 because of a stress reaction in his right fibula, said Monday that he hopes to return either Friday against the Indiana Pacers or Saturday against the Boston Celtics.

Beal joined the Wizards on their two-game road trip to Orlando and Chicago, which concluded with a 114-110 victory over the Bulls Monday, to rev up his workload and said he could begin contact activity Tuesday when the Wizards return to Washington.

The Wizards need to get healthy — center Marcin Gortat was out Monday, for example — then try to establish a rhythm.

Particularly Beal and John Wall — when those two have shared the court this season Washington has an offensive rating of just 98 points per 100 possessions (more than three below the team average) and the Wizards get outscored by 3.6 per 100. The problem is the offense, which is seven points per 100 possessions worse with Beal on the court this season.

Those numbers are counter-intuitive (although Beal and Wall have played 520 minutes together, it’s not sample size). Coach Randy Wittman has to bet that if he can get what should be a powerhouse starting backcourt together and healthy, the offense will start to click. The Wizards are just two games out of a playoff spot in the East, they just need a little push and to make a run and they are in the mix.

The Wizards are betting on Beal to be that bump.

Report: Anderson Varejao will not ask Cavaliers for trade

Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao battles forward James Jones for a rebound during an NBA baskeball scrimmage Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, in Cleveland. (Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES
Associated Press
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are the only team Anderson Varejao has ever known. For a dozen seasons, he has seen the ups, the downs, and now the ups again in Cleveland.

And he doesn’t want out. Despite getting a DNP-CD in eight of the last 10 Cavaliers’ games and being well out of the rotation.

Here is what Varejao told Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“If I go anywhere else and win a championship, it’s not going to be the same,” he said. “I want to win a championship in Cleveland. That’s where I want to stay. I love Cleveland….

“Of course, it’s not easy,” Varejao said. “It’s a different season for me. I said at the beginning of the season that my goal was to stay healthy and help this team. I’m not getting a lot of playing time, but I know the season is a long season. We still have the playoffs coming and anything can happen. I just have to stay ready and help the team when coach needs me.”

The question is will he have a choice? The Cavaliers are not expected to be major movers at the trade deadline, but they have a big man who, when healthy, can be a solid contributor and will make $10.3 million next season (or can be bought out for $9.5 million), then has a non-guaranteed season after that. The combination is going to get teams to call. The question becomes will the offers intrigue Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin enough to pull the trigger?

Varejao doesn’t want to go anywhere.

“Because Cleveland’s been loyal to me and I’ve been loyal to the team,” he responded. “I had a chance to leave when the team was really bad, going through a rebuilding process when we were losing almost every other game, and it was tough. I said, ‘I’m not leaving Cleveland. I want to win a championship in Cleveland’ and I know now we have a chance.”

You have to admire his loyalty and willingness to put team in front of personal numbers.