Tag: Jeff Green

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Six

Report: OKC front office backs Scott Brooks, may look to trade Reggie Jackson


The Thunder remain on the outside looking in as far as the Western Conference playoff picture is concerned, and after losing to a dismal Knicks team on Wednesday (in a game where Kevin Durant was once again sidelined), there’s speculation on what moves the team can make to quickly turn things around.

It’s long been speculated that Oklahoma City’s offensive weapons could be much better utilized under a new head coach, but inside the organization, the commitment to Scott Brooks — from both management and the players — has, to this point, remained strong.

If the coach’s job is safe for now, then that means the focus should shift to player personnel. And after one trade brought some additional bench help in the form of Dion Waiters (at least theoretically), another may be needed to shore up the roster for a realistic run at the postseason.

From Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report:

Person familiar w/ OKC’s coaching situation says front office/players behind Scott Brooks. Focus on potential trades, maybe Reggie Jackson.

Jackson is going to be a restricted free agent this summer, and has been honest in publicly stating his desire to have a bigger role, while playing starter’s minutes. That’s not going to happen as long as Russell Westbrook is on the roster, and just like James Harden and Jeff Green before him, the Thunder will look to move a talented backup rather than paying him like a star to come off the bench.

As for Brooks, the best thing that could happen for the long-term prospects of the Thunder may be for them to miss the playoffs this year. The team needs a new voice, and would have almost no choice but to replace its head coach after missing the postseason, even though the time missed by Durant and Westbrook would be very real reasons for that, should it ultimately happen.

The Thunder would then have one season under new leadership (and presumably, with new assets on the roster) to prove to Durant that the team is heading in the right direction before it’s time for him to make his free agent decision. Every move is crucial right now in Oklahoma City, so if one comes along that makes sense where Jackson is concerned, expect them to make it — while hoping that’s the start of turning things around.

Tayshaun Prince: “Obviously I want to be in a winning situation”

Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets

It’s not just the snow.

Tayshaun Prince has basketball reasons for wanting out of Boston — he wants to win. And while you can make a case that the Celtics could make the playoffs in the East — they are just two games out of the eight seed and have played the toughest part of their schedule — actually winning in a serious way is not in the plan for a few years.

The former Grizzlies’ wing would love to be back playing for a contender again, he told Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald, and one way or another that is likely to happen. In the short term he’s just trying to be professional.

Acquired as a moveable asset in the Jeff Green trade, the Celts have been trying to roll Prince over into another draft pick for their satchel. Failing that by the Feb. 19 NBA dealing deadline, the club will resume talks with Prince’s side regarding a buyout….

“Obviously I want to be in a winning situation,” Prince said. “Everybody wants to be in a winning situation, make no mistake about it, especially toward the end of your career.

“But at the end of the day, it’s about doing what’s right and going out there and having fun. If you get to the point where I am in my career after all these years, you just want to go out there and have a chance to win and do the right things.”

I don’t how moveable this asset is because he makes $7.7 million this season, which means team have to send something of actual value back to Boston for him. Why do that if you think after the trade deadline you can pick him up as a bought-out free agent.

Prince is a shadow of what he once was but still would have value on a contender. His length and hoops IQ means he’s still a decent defender. On offense he lives in the midrange — 52 percent of his shots with the Celtics have come from 10 feet out to the arc — but he hits enough of them to keep the defense honest.

For a team needing wing depth that could play him 15-20 minutes a night he could help. And by the end of February expect him to be in a place like that. One way or another.

Report: Executives have proposed moving up NBA trade deadline

Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 19 this year.

Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, Timofey Mozgov, Brandan Wright (twice), Iman Shumpert, Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith and Corey Brewer have already been traded since this season began. There have been several smaller deals, too.

How many more players are left to be traded in the next few weeks?

Sure, the Nets probably still want to trade Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson. The Hornets should be motivated to move Lance Stephenson. The Knicks want to unload Jose Calderon and Pablo Prigioni. Thaddeus Young and Norris Cole seem available. The Thunder might not keep Reggie Jackson?

So, it’s not as if the trade market is dead. But is there any reason these other trades can’t be made sooner?

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

some executives have already pitched an earlier trade deadline in informal discussions with league officials.

Admittedly, I could be overreacting to a single season. But it seems the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has changed the in-season trade market.

Contracts are shorter, placing less value on expiring contracts. Therefore, teams aren’t using them as the primary selling point in midseason swaps to get better players on lengthier contracts who teams want to dump.

Now, in-season trades are more about talent. And if teams are going to add talent, they’re going to do it sooner – both to increase chemistry-building time and the number of games a new player helps the team win.

But I don’t see a point to mandating the trade market move this direction. The deadline is already early enough to prevent wide-spread dumps by non-playoff teams to playoff teams. Mostly, if not fully, teams completely out of playoff contention by mid-February have already ridded themselves of win-now players in an effort to tank.

I think moving up the trade deadline would matter less now than, say, a decade ago. But what is the benefit?

PBT’s Weekly NBA Power Rankings: Hawks continue to fly high


Atlanta’s win streak is up to 16 in a row and while we see flashes from the Bulls and Cavaliers, a trip to the Finals in the East still runs through the ATL. That’s a good story. Out West Golden State remains the team to beat, although the margins for error in that conference are miniscule. That’s a good story, too. But in these Power Rankings we talk a lot about All-Star reserves.

source:  1. Hawks (37-8, Last Week No. 1). The winning streak is now at a ridiculous 16 games. We know at least one Hawk will be represented at the All-Star Game — Mike Budenholzer will coach the East. The question for the coaches voting around the league is how many of Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver to add to the All-Star team as reserves (two at least, maybe three).

source:  2. Warriors (36-6, LW 2). Klay Thompson put on a 37-point third quarter show last week right as coaches started to vote on the All-Star reserves. He’s a bubble guy but that performance plus the fact one more guard will get in with Kobe Bryant being out means Thompson should be a lock for New York.

source:  3. Spurs (29-17, LW 3). They have won six of seven and the only off day happened to come on a day the Bulls finally played up to their potential. Looming out there starting Feb. 8: The nine-game rodeo road trip, a signature trip that has made some previous Spurs teams.

source:  4. Grizzlies (31-12, LW 4). I’m not so sure about the whole “starting Jeff Green” thing, but the Grizzlies have won six of seven and are looking rock solid again. Interesting tests this week vs. Dallas and OKC. Good on the fans for rightfully voting Marc Gasol as a starter for the All-Star Game.

source:  5. Clippers (30-14, LW 5). It’s odd to think that Chris Paul is on the bubble for making the All-Star Game as a reserve, but that’s just how deep the West is. Fans going by points alone or falling for the hot new flavor of the month have others in front of CP3, but look at his assists and assist-to-turnover ratio. To me the best floor general in the game today has to make the cut. Clippers are +11.9 as a team in last 10 games, third best in the NBA, thanks to an offense scoring 114.5 per 100 over that span.

source:  6. Rockets (31-14, LW 6). Kevin McHale would like the Rockets to play at a faster pace but says it’s like pulling teeth: “Everybody says they want to run until it’s time to run. I asked one guy, ‘Do you run down to get your mail?’ ‘Do you run and get your eggs?’ Nobody likes to run — they all say they do but they’re lying to me. It’s been 25 years since anyone liked to run, and we grew up running, we ran all the time, that’s the way we grew up playing.”

source:  7. Mavericks (30-15, LW 8). It was a scary moment Sunday when Tyson Chandler had to be helped to the locker room holding his knee. Fortunately it was nothing too serious, he returned and played later in the game. However, the next center after him on the roster is Dwight Powell. The Mavs think they can sign Jermaine O’Neal. Either way, both are huge drop offs from Chandler, who is key to any Dallas postseason run.

source:  8. Trail Blazers (32-13. Last Week No. 6). The Blazers are entering a tough stretch of the schedule so they could use the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge is going to play through a torn ligament in his thumb. By the way, if you thought he might bolt Portland as a free agent this summer, you think he would put the team first and play through this injury if that was the case?

source:  9. Bulls (29-17, LW 12). The Bulls look like they broke out of their mid-season slump with a thrashing of the Spurs followed by a win over Dallas the next night, both on the road. Then they got home Sunday night against a sub-.500 team and laid another egg. Their inconsistency is maddening, but I still see their peaks and think they could come out of the East.

source:  10. Suns (26-20, LW 9). If the Suns are going to hold off the hard-charging Thunder in the West they need to do well in a rough stretch of games through Feb. 5. They started of 1-2 and this week face the Wizards, Bulls and Warriors. The good news is the Thunder have yet to get hot.

source:  11. Cavaliers (25-20 LW 13). In the Cavs five game winning streak they are averaging 118 points per 100 possessions behind an explosive LeBron James, it’s the best offense in the league by a wide margin in that stretch. Their defense is improved, but still is just middle of the pack in the league. That has been enough of late.

source:  12 Wizards (30-15, LW 10). They lost to both the Trail Blazers and Thunder last week because of poor fourth quarter execution (and if Kenneth Faried didn’t miss two late free throws the Wiz would have dropped three last week). Interesting showdown with slumping Toronto later in the week.

source:  13. Raptors (29-15, LW 11). In their last 10 games as a team they are -3.2 per 100 possessions, and the real concern is it’s a drop on both ends of the court. That said, Raptors fans should celebrate Kyle Lowry being voted an All-Star starter of Dwyane Wade, that was the correct choice.

source:  14. Pelicans (23-21, LW 16). They picked up a quality win over Phoenix and are now just two games out of the final playoff spot in the West, plus they have 10 of their next 12 at home. The playoff dream is alive in New Orleans.

source:  15. Thunder (22-22, LW 14). They have dropped two in a row and are 5-5 in their last 10 because their offense is struggling. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been fantastic (and both deserve to be All-Stars) but in his last five games Dion Waiters is shooting just 37.7 percent and Reggie Jackson is worse. The rest of the team has to step up.

source:  16. Hornets (19-26, LW 19). They have won 8 of 11 and with that moved past the Nets to be the eight seed in the East. Why the run? Because of a soft schedule, the only quality wins in there were over the slumping Raptors and the Heat. Things change this week on the road at the Spurs, then next week they have a home-and-home with Washington.

source:  17. Heat (20-24, LW 18). Heat fans (and people around the team) had been buzzing for a while about Hassan Whiteside, but he announced his presence with authority on Sunday blocking a dozen shots in a win over Chicago. He’s matured physically — he’s put on a lot of weight since he entered the league, and he needed to — and in terms of the mentality of his game. He’s patient now, not frenetic.

source:  18. Bucks (22-22, LW 15). They are 1-3 since returning from London and have not looked sharp, particularly the bench. Potentially important game for seeding against Miami on Tuesday.

source:  19. Pistons (17-28, LW 17). . The Brandon Jennings injury could be devastating. D.J. Augustin had a great game as a replacement on Sunday, and he has played better as a starter than off the bench in recent years, but this is still a step back.

source:  20. Jazz (16-28, LW 25). If he were not in a ridiculously stacked Western Conference, Derrick Favors should deserve a little All-Star buzz. The Jazz are 10-10 in their last 20 games and are doing that with solid defense.

source:  21. Nets (18-26, LW 21). The most interesting thing about this team continues to be the trade rumors — now they are talking to Charlotte about a Joe Johnson trade for Lance Stephenson. There will be other rumors flying as they try to reduce payroll before selling the team.

source:  22. Nuggets (18-26, LW 20). They have lost six in a row and the issue is on defense, where they have been the worst team in the NBA over their last five games. Brian Shaw should make sure his resume is in order for this summer.

source:  23. Celtics (15-27, LW 26). Credit coach Brad Stevens if you want, credit the makeup of the players if you want, but what you have to like about this Celtics team is that they don’t quit. Down in games when a lot of teams would just roll over Bosotn fights back. That is a good quality.

source:  24. Pacers (16-30, LW 22). Well they beat Orlando on Sunday to snap a seven-game losing streak. However despite their good defense their offense is not going to allow them to win many more games.

source:  25. Kings (16-27, LW 23). DeMarcus Cousins should make the All-Star team, at least in my book (I’d have him over Dwight Howard or Tim Duncan, which Duncan would be good with as he doesn’t want to be there). Cousins getting in might takes Kings’ fans minds off the six-game losing streak.

source:  26. Magic (15-32, LW 24). I think Nikola Vucevic deserves to make the Eastern Conference All-Star team, but if he doesn’t it’s because he plays on a struggling team right now that shows flashes of good play surrounded by some raw, sloppy play.

source:  27. Knicks (8-37, LW 30). Break up the Knicks! They have won three in a row and Langston Galloway is on his way to establishing cult hero status in New York. They could keep winning with teams like the Kings and Lakers on the docket this week.

source:  28. Lakers (12-33, LW 27). The loss of Kobe Bryant is the big story, but the other issue around the Lakers is that the minutes and rotations are just all over the map. Coach Byron Scott is searching nightly for anything that works, but the result is guys just don’t know if they will be called on. Nick Young is the latest guy in that doghouse.

source:  29. 76ers (8-36, LW 28). As if the Sixers couldn’t get any harder to watch, Tony Wroten goes down with a knee injury and is done for the season. They play hard and defend as well as they can, but this team is not entertaining.

source:  30. Timberwolves (7-35, LW 29). Nikola Pekovic is back and Flip Saunders is throwing him out there like he wants to showcase him for a trade. Or he doesn’t have other good options. Or a little of both. Kevin Martin can expect the same thing.

Report: Celtics may keep Tayshaun Prince if he’s not traded by the deadline

Boston Celtics v Portland Trail Blazers

Tayshaun Prince came to Boston in the deal that sent Jeff Green to the Grizzlies, and while the Celtics have launched even further into a full-fledged rebuild by virtue of their mid-season trades, Prince is a veteran that has a puncher’s chance of sticking around.

Typically, a team like the Celtics in this situation would look to jettison any and all veterans from the roster, and Prince will indeed be dangled in trade talks before the mid-February deadline, in hopes of netting a draft pick in return.

But since he isn’t a key difference-maker in terms of wins and losses, his professional attitude may be welcome by the coaching staff — and that would mean a buyout negotiation may not happen if a willing trade partner can’t be found.

From Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:

There was strong word that if Prince wasn’t moved by the deadline that the Celtics would seek agreement with him on a buyout of this final year of his contract (he makes a bit more than $7.2 million).

But coach Brad Stevens has taken a strong liking to Prince, who had four points in 17 minutes in last night’s 100-99 win against the Nuggets. It’s fair to assume he may lobby to keep him on the squad the rest of the season if he is not traded. …

And there is also the need to develop the young players on hand, and the C’s believe it’s important to have that happen in an environment where the club is competitive. Stevens believes Prince can help in this regard, both with his talent and leadership.

“I think there’s no question about that, but also there’s the fact that he’s a veteran who knows how to,” the coach said. “The other thing is he just has such great poise and presence.

We’ve been round and round on this subject many times before, but it’s worth mentioning here that coaches have no interest in tanking, which is completely an organizational decision.

Since Prince isn’t exactly a guy who will take a game over and drop 30 on any given night, having him around would benefit the younger players on the roster, at least in the head coach’s eyes.

If a team eventually comes calling for Prince with a draft pick in hand, Boston will undoubtedly pull the trigger. But given Prince’s overall game and professional demeanor, the team may keep him around if that doesn’t end up happening, instead of negotiating a buyout to further rid themselves of veteran talent from the roster.

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