Author: Kurt Helin


Bucks’ Larry Sanders undergoes “minor outpatient surgical procedure,” out for rest of preseason


Larry Sanders played well enough two seasons ago to earn a $44 million extension then missed much of last season with an injury suffered in a bar fight (finally when he got back on the court an inadvertent elbow from James Harden basically cost him the rest of the year). Now he is trying to prove that he is the guy from a couple years ago that deserves the big checks rolling into his account.

This doesn’t help although it’s apparently not much of a setback.

Sanders underwent a “minor outpatient surgical procedure” Friday at a Milwaukee hospital and will miss the Bucks final three preseason games, the team announced. However, the team says he should be ready for the start of the regular season.

I’m always a bit skeptical when the team will not tell you what the surgery was for (we will update when we know), but for Sanders sake let’s hope this really is something not serious.

The young Bucks potentially have a really interesting front line — Sanders, John Henson, Jabari Parker plus veterans Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia — if they can just get everyone healthy.

If they do the Bucks become a potential “League Pass favorite” — they are not going to win many games but they will be fun to watch.

Andre Iguodala wants to get Klay Thompson, teammates in contract years get more shots

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala got paid — he has three years and $35 million left on his deal with the Warriors, that was after his $80 million Sixers deal — now he wants to see his teammates get paid.

As has been much discussed, Klay Thompson is in a contract year. Coming off his stellar World Cup performance he seems poised for a breakout year with big numbers, and big numbers mean big dollars. He’s not alone on the Warriors, Draymond Green is also up for a new deal next summer as a restricted free agent.

Iguodala, who could be coming off the bench in a point-forward role while Shaun Livingston is out injured, wants to see those guys get paid, so he’s going to feed them the rock. That’s what he told Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group.

And he’s said it this preseason that he wants to help his friend and Warriors teammate, Klay Thompson, get paid at a time when he’s due for a contract extension.

“Hopefully he’ll continue to realize I should get like 0.1 percent (of his next contract) or something like that,” Iguodala joked earlier this week…

“It’s not just Klay, but I want Steph (Curry) to maximize his career. I want him to get paid as much as possible on and off the court. Draymond Green’s in a contract year, too, so I’m going to be looking to give him a couple extra. He’s going to fill up the basket a little bit more with me on the court with him as well. It’s just about taking care of your teammates, and I learned that early on playing with (Philadelphia 76ers teammates) like Kevin Ollie, playing with guys like Aaron McKie. And then Andre Miller, he was perfect for me. He was a big reason why I got the (six-year, $80 million) deal that I got and why I played at the level I played with when I was in Philly.”

Iguodala said he would do it for any teammate, he’s just paying it forward. That’s what you like to hear from your veteran players…

Unless you’re Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

I don’t really get the Warriors trying to low-ball Thompson on this contract. You wouldn’t put him in a potential trade for Kevin Love this summer, that pretty much is the definition of a max player. Plus, you can be sure that if you don’t give him a max deal now some team is going to come in with a Chandler Parsons offer next summer. Just sign off on the big checks, you already got a steal on Stephen Curry (remember his ankles were a serious question when the contract was inked) don’t push it too far.

With Bradley Beal out, Otto Porter will get look as Wizards’ starting shooting guard

Washington Wizards v Chicago Bulls
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This was already a year a lot more was expected of Otto Porter.

Last season a hip injury and struggles adjusting to the NBA game meant a rough season, but by Summer League in Las Vegas he looked like a different player. Paul Pierce will get minutes at the three for the Wizards, but they were going to have to lean heavily on Porter to keep the old guy fresh.

Now it looks like they may lean on Porter even more — as the starting two guard with Bradley Beal out with a broken wrist and now his reserve Glen Rice Jr. injured as well.

He’ll get some serious run there in the next Wizards preseason game, reports J. Michael of

There’s a strong chance that the Wizards will start Otto Porter, who is doing reps in practice at shooting guard, for Friday’s exhibition vs. the Charlotte Hornets with Bradley Beal and Glen Rice out with injuries.

“A little bit. I did,” Porter said when asked if he was doing more work there after Rice went down with a right ankle sprain in a game Wednesday. Beal had left wrist surgery last weekend.

Porter has shown improved shooting range from his rookie season (which is good because 19 percent from three won’t cut it) and he’s generally much better on the catch-and-shoot as opposed to creating his own look. Also, Porter has the length and athleticism to defend two guards.

At least it looks like it should work on paper. Coach Randy Wittman’s other options are to start Garrett Temple or Xavier Silas at the two, so they should give Porter a long, hard look before turning to their other choices.

Trade official: Celtics trade Joel Anthony to Pistons for Will Bynum

Boston Celtics Media Day

UPDATE 3:24 PM: And it’s official and done, Will Bynum is headed to Boston (at least temporarily) and Joel Anthony is part of the crowded Pistons’ front court.

11:18 AM: The Boston Celtics would like to save some cash.

The Detroit Pistons want depth along the front line because Aaron Gray has been out and it’s possible down the line they could trade one of their front line guys (Greg Monroe).

So the two have come together on a possible trade, reports Chris Forsberg of

The Boston Celtics are working to finalize a trade that will send center Joel Anthony to the Detroit Pistons for guard Will Bynum, according to a league source.

The Celtics appear to be making the move with roster flexibility in mind. They have 16 fully guaranteed contracts on their books and must trim that to 15 before the start of the regular season. Swapping Anthony, who is set to make $3.8 million this season, for Bynum, who will earn $2.9 million, will save the team $900,000.

Bynum is buried on the Pistons depth chart, but that doesn’t really change in Boston. He likely doesn’t stick with the team, suggests A. Sherrod Blakely of

This deal appears almost done and likely gets finalized later on Friday or at least over the weekend.

Report: Mavericks shopping Gal Mekel, Bernard James in effort to free up roster space

Dallas Mavericks Media Day 2014-2015

The Dallas Mavericks have 15 guys in training camp with guaranteed contracts (20 players total). Like many teams, the Mavericks would ideally like to carry 14 or so on the roster, to provide flexibility for potential trades down the line (or to pick up a free agent in case of injury).

So, they are looking at trades to clear out some roster spots, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

The Dallas Mavericks have been shopping point guard Gal Mekel and center Bernard James in trade talks, sources told Yahoo Sports… No trade for either player is currently imminent, a source said.

James can’t be traded until Dec. 15, but it’s worth exploring his value. Both players likely would be moved for just a future second round pick or player who could be cut.

James is a great story, having served his nation for six years in the Air Force before playing at Florida State (which is why he is age 29 and entering his third NBA season. He blocks shots, works hard on the defensive end and will grab boards, but he doesn’t bring much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. He could serve in a role as a third center on a team.

With so many point guards on the Dallas roster (Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris, Raymond Felton) Mekel will be pretty much forced out of a role. The Israeli product who played professionally in that country knows how to run a team, knows how to distribute the ball, but he struggled in the NBA with his own shot (he had a true shooting percentage of just .400, he shot 25 percent from three and struggled with any shot not at the rim).