Kurt Helin

Blake Griffin, Kostas Papanikolaou

Contrary to prior reports, Nuggets not waiving Kostas Papanikolaou. Yet.

3 Comments

When Denver acquired Kostas Papanikolaou from Houston, reports came almost immediately that Denver would waive the small forward out of Greece. Denver already has 14 fully guaranteed contracts, most teams only carry that many players, and if the Nuggets keep a 15th it could be Erick Green (who is set to make nearly $4 million less).

Maybe the Nuggets ultimately will waive Papanikolaou, but not yet.

From Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post.

For more detail, there is this from eurohoops.net, transcribed by Hoopshype.

On Saturday night, there were rumors about Denver releasing him. However at this point there are just rumors. Until now, the player’s side has no knowledge for this matter and the Nuggets hasn’t informed them about those kinds of intentions. According to Eurohoops sources, the Nuggets’ plan when they acquired Papanikolaou was to keep him in their roster and take their decision about him during Eurobasket, probably at the end of the tournament. That was their intention and that’s why they didn’t try to use his contract as a trade asset.

The Nuggets have until Oct. 4 to make a decision on Papanikolaou, that is when his $4.8 million contract for the next season becomes fully guaranteed.

What Denver wants to see is what kind of growth he has made. Papanikolaou was the best Houston player off the bench the first month of the season — he could play the three or the four and was a fantastic passer. As the season wore on the league seemed to catch up with him, and once the team traded for Corey Brewer and Josh Smith Papanikolaou dropped far down the rotation. Then he suffered a pretty severe ankle sprain and barely saw the court after the All-Star break. For the season he got in 43 games, shot 35 percent overall and 29.2 percent from three. To use a good snapshot, he had a PER of 7.8, which usually means a guy should be in the D-League or overseas.

The Nuggets can afford to watch Papanikolaou through the upcoming Eurobasket then even at workouts at their facilities at the start of training camp. They can see if the guy from the first part of the season is still there.

But the smart money — because Denver would save so much of it — is that he still eventually is cut. He’s going to have to prove

Report: Kings have no interest in Hedo Turkoglu

Washington Wizards v Los Angeles Clippers
3 Comments

Hedo Turkoglu wants to return to the NBA for another season. He’s at 997 games played, he wants to break the 1,000 game barrier. That’s understandable.

Just don’t expect that to happen with the Sacramento Kings.

They are not going to bring him in, reports Bill Herenda of CSNBayArea.com.

This is not a surprise, and there are likely a couple reasons for it. One is that Turkoglu, at age 36, is not exactly in his prime or playing at the peak of his powers right now.

Second is simply math. Kings GM Vlade Divac already had 14 guaranteed contracts on the roster. Although that technically leaves room for one more, most teams leave that that last roster slot empty to allow flexibility with trades or to bring in someone due to injury.

Turkoglu can hang around in the States, stay in shape and hope that once teams get a better look at their rosters/suffer injuries someone will want a floor-spacing big (he shot 42.3 percent from three last season). If he waits, his phone likely rings. That or he can make a boatload of money ending his career playing in his native Turkey. It just sounds like Turkoglu isn’t ready for that second option yet.

Glenn Robinson III dunks while riding a phunkeeduck (VIDEO)

Atlanta Hawks v San Antonio Spurs
2 Comments

That is dunking at the speed of Boris Diaw. Nice spin moves, though, is that a 1440?

That is the Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III showing off how to dunk on an eight-foot rim while riding a phunkeeduck. I’m not sure this skill moves him up the Pacers depth chart much, but it’s August so we will share it with you.

So we have two-fifths of our phunkeeduck starting five now, Robinson and J.R. Smith. Although we have yet to see Smith play hoops on  one, it’s our suspicion is that he takes a lot of questionable shots while riding it. Just a wild guess.

Hat tip 8 points, 9 seconds.

Timberwolves coach Flip Sauders returns to Twitter to say he loves three pointers

Flip Saunders
6 Comments

The last time Timberwolves coach and GM Flip Saunders was on Twitter, he was setting the record straight that Kevin Love had in no way told him he was opting out or wanted to be traded. Six months later, Love was traded.

Now Saunders is back on Twitter after a long hiatus to again set the record straight.

Saunders doesn’t like the idea that he is considered a dinosaur, an old-school guy who doesn’t have an obsession with getting clean three-point looks like everyone else in the NBA.

Unlike the Love situation, I fully believe Saunders here. Look at what he told Zach Lowe of Grantland in a recent interview.

Do we need to make 3s? No question. I think Andrew will become an adequate 3-point shooter. The bottom line is, you have what you have. If your best players aren’t 3-point shooters, you can’t just make them 3-point shooters. We need to build around them and get some other players who can stretch the floor…

The reason teams don’t post up is that nobody can do it anymore. Teams would like to do it. The post-up is conducive to small ball. If a guy can score down there, the defense has to trap, and you can get open 3s. And that’s what we’re all trying to get — open 3s.

Saunders is also a realist. He may want to shoot threes, but he also sees his roster (the one he built) and knows these are not the Warriors. He’s going to often have the ball in the hands of Ricky Rubio (25.5 percent from three last season) and Andrew Wiggins (31 percent), followed by Zach LaVine (34.1 percent) and sometimes rookie Tyus Jones (25 percent at Summer League). He doesn’t have stretch bigs with Kevin Garnett (14 percent last season), Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng. There are a couple good three-point shooters on the roster in Shabazz Muhammad (who Saunders will use as a stretch four at times) and Kevin Martin (if he can stay healthy), but this team needs guys who can space the floor.

All of that could lead to spacing issues for the Timberwolves next season.

But don’t confuse that with a guy who doesn’t want to shoot the three. Saunders took to Twitter to clear that part up.

New Blake Griffin, Superfly 4 shoe commercial suggests… Space Jam 2?

space jam
9 Comments

There have been bigger hints that Space Jam 2 is coming — starting with LeBron James partnering up with Warner Bros.

Space Jam 2 has been rumored for a while. You can add Marvin the Martian showing up in a Blake Griffin ad for Jordan Brand shoes to the list.

Let’s just hope that unlike some other big budget sequels, Warner Bros. decides to get the script done first. And well.