Tag: Darren Collison

Doc Rivers, Austin Rivers

Report: Celtics and Clippers discussing a trade for Austin Rivers


The main purpose of the three-team trade that’s brewing between the Celtics, Grizzlies and Pelicans is to send Jeff Green to Memphis, without the Grizzlies having to cross over the luxury tax threshold to get him.

But the ancillary players in the deal, and where they may ultimately end up, is also something that’s becoming rather interesting.

Austin Rivers was a late inclusion in the deal from the New Orleans side, but it appears as though Boston, already loaded four-deep at the guard position, is looking to send him elsewhere — even before a trade has officially been finalized. And the Clippers, where Austin’s father Doc is the head coach and president of basketball operations, are reportedly interested.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Boston’s on phones now, trying to find a deal to move on Austin Rivers, league sources tell Yahoo.

Yahoo Sources: Within front office and coaching staff, officials pushing president/coach Doc Rivers to bring his son, Austin, to Clippers.

Austin’s 22, pending free agent. Clips searching for PG depth. Front office/ assistants telling Doc: Forget his last name. This makes sense.

Celtics willing to move A. Rivers for 2nd-round pick. For Clippers, it’s free look at 10th overall pick — who’d only be college senior now.

Celtics and Clippers discussing a deal for Austin Rivers, league sources tell Yahoo, but Boston doesn’t want salary back next season.

The Clippers played an afternoon contest at Staples Center on Saturday, and Doc told reporters he’d be open to bringing in his son.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

Doc said after the game he would be open to coaching his son, Austin.

Doc on coaching Austin: “I would. I think a year ago I probably wouldn’t. I think I would for sure. I think this team could handle that.”

Doc on Austin: “He’s a downhill guard, which is something we need so I certainly would (be open to coaching him).”

Doc Rivers is well-respected in the Clippers locker room, and it’s difficult to see him handling this situation unprofessionally if it were to arise, to the point where it would cause some kind of distraction.

Since losing Darren Collison in free agency last summer, the Clippers are extremely thin at the point guard position. Jordan Farmar is logging the the bulk of the backup minutes there with an average of 14.7 per game, but he’s barely serviceable, and surpassing what he brings to the table wouldn’t be a very high bar for Austin Rivers to reach.

Austin is an unrestricted free agent this summer, which is part of the reason New Orleans is looking to move him after declining his contract option for next season. The Clippers are desperately in need of young and inexpensive talent that the team can develop, which is something we discussed on this week’s podcast. Austin might be good example of that; the fit makes sense, it’s just a matter of whether or not the father-son relationship can be set aside, and the Clippers can do something to bring him on without sending back salary Boston’s way.

PBT’s Wednesday Night NBA Winners/Losers: Klay Thompson is not to be trifled with

Klay Thompson

Every night the NBA can be a cold hard reality — there are winners, there are losers. It’s the nature of the game. We know you are busy and can’t keep up with every game, so we’re here to bring you the best and worst of the NBA each week night. Here’s what you missed while wondering if Lionel Messi would really leave Barcelona

source:  Klay Thompson. Making the All-Star cut at the guard spot in the West is going to be pretty much like getting into Harvard — some incredible people will be left out. (That includes actual Harvard grad Jeremy Lin.) Klay Thompson is likely going to be one of those on the outside looking in, but he made a nice case for inclusion Wednesday — 40 points on 25 shots as the Warriors talent just overwhelmed the Pacers in the second half. Thompson was a big part of that with 15 points in the third quarter when the Warriors started to take control and 12 more as they sealed it in the fourth. He was 6-of-11 from three. He is playing like an All-Star, the only problem is in the Western Conference that’s not enough.

source:  Kemba Walker. The Hornets’ best shot creator has scored 30 or more points in three straight games now, and Charlotte is on a three game winning streak. But most importantly, he did this.

source:  Darren Collison and Sacramento Kings. The Darren Collison pickup has been a lot better for Sacramento than I thought it would be and the point guard was key in the Kings putting together their best performance in a while and routing the Oklahoma City Thunder. He had 24 points and he also drew the defensive assignment on Russell Westbrook and helped lead him to an off night (although Westbrook contributed plenty on his end to that cause). Rudy Gay had 28 points, DeMarcus Cousins 23, but the real key was that the Kings played the best defense they have in a long time. Sacramento contested 48 percent of OKC’s shot attempts and the Thunder hit just 27.9 percent of those (via NBA.com). Of course, the Thunder hit just 37 percent of their uncontested looks, it was that kind of night for them, but the Kings should be happy after this one.

source:  Chicago Bulls/Oklahoma City Thunder. What. Was. That. Two of the league’s power teams just got destroyed on Wednesday night. Both looked flat and disinterested. That’s not the fault of Dion Waiters (who was 1-of-9 shooting). That’s not the fault of Derrick Rose. Or the polar vortex. Or Barack Obama. Or North Korean hackers. All credit to the Kings and Jazz who both played well, but this was just one of those nights for two good teams. The thing is, the Bulls can afford to have these off nights, they are in a solid spot in the East. However, the Thunder now have had a couple bad games in a row on the road in Cali and they can’t really afford it — they are four games back of the eight-seed Suns, with the Pelicans in between them. We keep waiting for the Thunder to go on a run and just blow by everyone into a playoff seed, but the fact is those teams above them are pretty good with playoff dreams of their own and are not just going to roll over. OKC needs some wins.

source:  Atlanta Hawks. Another day, another Hawks win against a powerhouse team. Today it was Memphis’ turn to learn the Hawks are for real. Memphis got the kind of ugly, scrappy game they thrive in and the Hawks beat them at their own game with a 96-86 win. This was an 84-84 game with three minutes left and the Hawks simply executed better down the stretch — Al Horford hit shots, Jeff Teague hit a key three and the Hawks pulled away. Let’s all say it together again — the Hawks are for real.

Darren Collison, who went from hot-shot rookie to journeyman, may have found niche with Kings

Houston Rockets v Sacramento Kings

BOSTON – Darren Collison lost a job because he played well. He lost a job because he got hurt. And he lost a job because he played poorly.

The point guard has moved around the NBA at nearly an unprecedented rate for someone with his early career credentials, but maybe, just maybe, he has found a place he can stay for a while.

The Kings gave Collison a three-year, $16 million contract in free agency last summer – even though that meant casting aside incumbent starter Isaiah Thomas, a player many (myself included) thought was superior to Collison. Collison has rewarded their faith, posting career highs in points per game (16.4), assists per game (5.9) and PER (18.7).

There’s little stability in Sacramento – where the coach just got fired despite exceeding all reasonable expectations, the owner has his own crazy ideas and the franchise player is brooding – but Collison has potential to stick. His speed equips him to run the up-tempo, jazzy system Vivek Ranadivé wants, and Collison’s bond with DeMarcus Cousins gives him a powerful ally.

“The opportunity is definitely here,” Collison said last week. “It just seems like everything is all coming together. I’m more confident.”

Collison has long had reason to be confident in himself, though not always his fit with his team.

He broke in with the 2009-10 New Orleans Hornets, getting a huge opportunity when Chris Paul got hurt. In 37 starts, Collison averaged 18.8 points, shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 42.9 percent on 3-pointers, and 9.1 assists per game – All-Star-caliber numbers. Of course, no matter how well Collison played, the Hornets weren’t going to choose him over Paul.

They dealt him to Indiana, where he became a full-time starter and helped the Pacers end their longest playoff drought of his lifetime (four seasons). Reggie Miller comparisons didn’t seem outlandish. But Collison got hurt during his second season in Indiana, and George Hill Wally Pipped him in the starting lineup.

The Pacers sold low on Collison, trading him to the Mavericks. Dallas initially started Collison, but he lost the role to Dominique Jones, then Derek Fisher, then Mike James after Rick Carlisle expressed frustration with Collison’s defense. By the time the 2012-13 season ended, the Mavericks didn’t even extend Collison a qualifying offer.

He signed with the Clippers, taking a pay cut from his rookie-scale contract. Full circle, he was once again backing up and sometimes playing with Chris Paul. After the season, he opted out seeking a raise.

That’s when the Kings came calling, becoming Collison’s fifth team six seasons.

Just two other players have made an All-Rookie first team since the NBA-ABA merger and played for so many teams in their first six seasons:

  • Marc Jackson, 2001 (Warriors, Timberwolves, 76ers, New Jersey Nets, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets)
  • Ron Mercer, 1998 (Celtics, Nuggets, Magic, Bulls, Pacers)

Jackson was out of the league one year later, and Mercer lasted only one more than that. The 27-year-old Collison certainly hopes he won’t suffer a similar fate.

That’s why Collison appreciates his opportunity in Sacramento.

“That’s all it is, really,” Collison said. “There’s a lot of good players in this league, but they don’t necessarily have the opportunity. Sometimes, they’re with a team, and they still don’t have an opportunity. They’re not going out there playing their games. I think, this year, I have a chance to do that.

“When I was with previous teams, it was hard to fit in. I couldn’t play my game, necessarily. So, this year, has been good for me.”

And good for the Kings’ offense.

They’re posting their best offensive rating relative to league average in a decade, and Collison is steering the ship.

Prior to this season, Collison has never had a dramatic effect on his teams’ offensive outputs. They’d all scored within two points per 100 possessions with him on the court as they did with him off.

But Sacramento’s offensive rating jumps from 95.6 with him off to 107.8 with him on.


Some of that success can be chalked up to Collison spending most of his minutes with Cousins, Sacramento’s top player. But credit Collison for quickly learning how to play with the star center. Cousins scores better by volume (26.8 to 24.2 points per 36 minutes) and efficiency (51.7 to 46.4 field-goal percentage) when Collison is on the court rather than off.

The key to meshing with Cousins?

“Give him the ball, and let him work,” Collison said. “…It’s that easy.”

Collison’s deferential attitude aside, he’s not merely riding Cousins’ coattails. When the center missed 10 straight games with viral meningitis, the Kings still scored much better with Collison on the court than off (103.7 to 94.7 points per 100 possessions).

In fact, pair Collison with any teammate, and the Kings score better with Collison on the court. Here’s Sacramento’s offensive rating with each player and Collison on the court (purple) and off the court (black), sorted by minutes played with Collison:


(Eric Moreland, who barely played before suffering a season-ending injury, is excluded from the visualization.)

Player Min. with Collison Min. without Collison Off. rating with Collison Off. rating without Collison Diff.
Rudy Gay 966 200 109.1 99.0 +10.1
Ben McLemore 874 254 108.5 95.5 +13.0
Jason Thompson 682 157 105.1 91.9 +13.2
DeMarcus Cousins 550 195 111.9 98.6 +13.3
Carl Landry 263 358 103.7 92.8 10.9
Reggie Evans 238 185 105.7 96.0 +9.7
Derrick Williams 206 243 111.3 98.4 +12.9
Omri Casspi 155 300 108.6 96.0 +12.6
Ryan Hollins 144 58 98.1 83.6 +14.5
Nik Stauskas 141 330 105.4 96.1 +9.3
Ray McCallum 71 205 110.7 91.7 +19
Ramon Sessions 33 394 107.4 97.4 +10
Eric Moreland 1 1 200.0 166.7 +33.3

At some point, the common denominator becomes clear: Collison.

He knocks down pull-up jumpers from mid-range, not exactly an analytical hotbed, but a part of the floor that opens thanks to his pick-and-roll probing. He has improved working off the ball, spotting up for corner 3s. And he keeps the ball moving.

In a conference where half the Kings’ opponents start a former All-Star at point guard, Collison doesn’t exactly stand out. But he’s brining credibility to the position in Sacramento.

“He’s comfortable,” Kings coach Tyrone Corbin said. “He’s gotten his confidence back. His speed, pushing the ball down the floor. He knows he’s going to be on the floor for a certain amount of minutes, so he’s relaxed and just playing at a pace that’s favorable to his style of play.”

It’d be foolish to say Collison, just 31 games into his Sacramento tenure, has found a home. His previous teams have struggled to determine whether he should start or come off the bench for fair reasons, and toeing that line has made him expendable.

But this season, Collison is showing he’s a quality starter.

“This year, I definitely proved that,” Collison said. “So, now, it’s not even about proving to be a good starter. It’s about leading the team now.”

Report: Trade talks between Kings and Nets ‘on hiatus’ with Mason Plumlee off the table

Mason Plumlee, Timofey Mozgov, Jarrett Jack

The Nets made it known that any of their three biggest stars in Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez could be had via trade, if a team could be found who was interested enough in taking on more in terms of salary than it would likely get in production.

The Kings bit initially, and talks began on a deal centered around Williams.

But the former All-Star point guard wasn’t Sacramento’s main target. Instead, it was Mason Plumlee that the Kings were after, the promising young big man in the early stages of just his second season. And they were willing to take on the contract of Williams in order to make that trade happen.

Give the Nets credit for being smarter than that. They have yet to make Plumlee available, and as a result, the talks have been shelved for the immediate future.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Sacramento Kings’ insistence on a trade package for Brooklyn Nets guard Deron Williams that includes center Mason Plumlee has pushed talks into a hiatus, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

After the teams’ front office officials again talked on Wednesday, both sides insisted they weren’t budging on Plumlee’s inclusion into a proposed trade and agreed there was no use discussing the deal further in the near future, league sources said.

“Talks aren’t dead, but nothing’s going to happen with Plumlee involved,” a league source told Yahoo Sports.

The Kings were offering Darren Collison as a Williams replacement, and low-grade big men Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams to compensate for the loss of Plumlee.

But Brooklyn has tried to build a roster around expensive, aging veterans in recent years, and with very few draft picks still in the team’s hands to use in the upcoming seasons, the only young talent in place is Plumlee. And moving him just to save some salary is far from a smart way to rebuild for the future.

Thankfully for Nets fans, the front office in Brooklyn seems to realize it.

Report: Kings discussing trade for Deron Williams with Nets

New Jersey Nets practice 05/07/2014

After a start to the season that was far below Brooklyn’s expectations, the Nets essentially placed anyone and everyone on the trading block — in order to improve, or potentially to hit the reset button while intending to rebuild from scratch.

While the contracts of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and even Brook Lopez would appear to be difficult to move considering the dollar amounts that are guaranteed relative to those players’ current levels of production, at least one team appears ready to make a move to take one of them on.

From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Brooklyn Nets and Sacramento Kings are discussing a deal centered on former All-Star guard Deron Williams, league sources told Yahoo Sports. …

The talks have centered on sending the Nets point guard Darren Collison and forwards Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson as part of a multi-player package for Williams, league sources said. …

The Nets’ partnership with Williams has become increasingly fractured over the past two years, and the idea of a breakup has appeal for both sides, sources tell Yahoo.

In light of recent events, we really shouldn’t be surprised.

Ownership in Sacramento is for some reason desperate to make an immediate splash; it’s the reason that a competent head coach was fired midseason for no good reason.

Williams has been great in the early part of the year, but health issues may be creeping into the picture once again. Williams is set for an MRI on a calf injury that forced him out of Brooklyn’s close loss to the Cavaliers on Friday.

Sacramento is reportedly pushing to get Mason Plumlee as part of the deal, and if the Kings persist, that will likely kill these talks. Brooklyn rightfully considers Plumlee relatively untouchable at this point, as they should — despite head coach Lionel Hollins being somewhat reluctant to trust him thus far.

Nothing is imminent, and the conversations will continue. But make no mistake — Deron Williams is available, and the Kings are one of the more likely teams to be willing to absorb that contract, and take him off of Brooklyn’s hands.