Tag: Jeff Green

Washington Wizards v Atlanta Hawks

PBT’s NBA Power Rankings: Atlanta, Golden State keep lock on top spots


How does an Atlanta vs. Golden State NBA Finals sound? It’s not out of the question, the Hawks are for real and with Andrew Bogut back the Warriors may well be the best of the West. Of course, there’s a lot of basketball to play and with the arms race in the West the balance of power could shift again out there.

source:  1. Hawks (29-8, Last Week No. 1). They have won eight in a row and last week that included wins over the Clippers, Grizzlies and Wizards. In their last five games they have outscored their opponents by 14.2 points per 100. On the season they are fifth in the league in defense, sixth in offense. Tell me again why can’t this team come out of the East?
source:  2. Warriors (29-5, LW 2). They have won six in a row and now they have Andrew Bogut back in the rotation to strengthen their defense. More scary than that, the Warriors are really starting to find their groove on offense — they have the best offense in the NBA over the last 10 games.
source:  3. Trail Blazers (30-8. Last Week No. 4). Coach Terry Stotts said after they beat the Clippers Sunday that he sends quotes to his players almost every day from famous people and that the last few have been about process — to take things day-to-day. That as well as they are playing now they need to be better by May. To a man believe they are legit title contenders now.
source:  4. Bulls (26-12, LW 3). That Derrick Rose had to sit out a game with a sore knee is a concern, even if Pau Gasol did carry them to a win. Also of concern is Mike Dunleavy’s slow recovery from a sprained ankle. Fun showdown with Atlanta on Saturday night, too bad it’s the second night of a back-to-back for the Bulls.
source:  5. Spurs (23-15, LW 8). Even with all the injuries — they are still without Kawhi Leonard — and juggled lineups the Spurs have won four of five and are 23-15 this season. It still feels to me like they will string together a run soon.
source:  6. Rockets (26-11, LW 9). James Harden is a legitimate MVP candidate putting up 27-6-6 a game (and before you say something about his defense, he starts on the second best defensive team in the league, it’s improved). When he gets more help on offense this team is scary.
source:  7. Clippers (25-13, LW 7). Sunday seemed to sum up the Clippers — they should have been able to beat the Heat but a combination of a lack of both bench play and consistent defense from their bigs did them in. If the regular season is about building good habits for the playoffs then the Clippers are behind a lot of other top six teams in the West.
source:  8. Mavericks (26-12, LW 5). Lakers coach Byron Scott on the late Roy Tarpley, who passed away last week at age 50: “The thing that stood out about Roy is he was an unbelievable athlete and a great basketball player. Hell of a rebounder. He gave us fits, he was a tough cover for everybody. Obviously we’re all saddened that he passed away.”
source:  9. Grizzlies (26-11, LW 6).
In their last 10 games the Grizzlies they are allowing 104.2 points per 100 possessions, 21st in the league and about seven more per 100 than they did in the first month of the season. I like the pickup of Jeff Green, he gives them more athleticism on the wing, but this team has to start to defend again (it did better Sunday vs. Phoenix).
source:  10. Raptors (25-11, LW 10). They snapped their four-game losing streak against the Celtics over the weekend, which is nice but this team still misses DeMar DeRozan. Interesting tests this week against the improving Pistons and the red-hot Hawks.
source:  11. Suns (22-18, LW 13). The pick up of Brandan Wright was a great fit — he’s athletic, can run the floor as well as the pick-and-roll with all those guards, and he gives them another shot blocker. Just don’t think he’s a stretch four. This is an upgrade behind Alex Len. If the Thunder want the eighth playoff spot they need to catch Phoenix, this team is not going to just roll over.
source:  12. Wizards (25-12, LW 12). Quality win over the Bulls reminds us that the Wizards, when healthy, can look like a team that can do damage in the playoffs. Then on Sunday they got just thumped by the Hawks and looked like a team well back of the best in the East. Is this team still maybe a second round playoff team at best?
source:  13. Thunder (18-19, LW 11). They lost both games on the road last week and are 7-12 away from home this season, which isn’t ideal with 6 of their 7 seven on the road (and their one home game is Golden State). They are 2.5 games out of the playoffs, and with Phoenix picking up some wins and Russell Westbrook slumping the “could OKC miss the playoffs?” questions are out there.
source:  14. Pelicans (18-18, LW 14). I love that the fans are voting Anthony Davis in as an All-Star Game starter, he’s more than earned that with his play this season. I just wish the rest of his team were more consistent, they really can beat or lose to anyone on any given night.
source:  15. Bucks (20-19, LW 15). Are we trying to punish England? This week the Bucks — playing fantastic defense of late — will take on the offensively anemic Knicks in London. That could get ugly. At least the fine people of Europe can get an up close look at how Giannis Antetokounmpo has developed.
source:  16. Cavaliers (19-19 LW 16). They have lost five in a row and are now 1-8 on the season without LeBron James. This team relies on him like the Cavs of old used to. That didn’t work then and will not now, this team needs defense and an identity. All the trades — getting J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and particularly Timofey Mozgov — brought upgrades to the roster, but it doesn’t solve the bigger problems.
source:  17. Heat (16-21, LW 17). They may have found something in Hassan Whiteside, who fits in their system well because of his hustle and energy — he outplayed DeAndre Jordan Sunday. The Heat split the first two games of the rough West Coast road swing they are in the middle of.
source:  18. Pistons (13-24, LW 21). . The Pistons in the playoffs? Don’t laugh. They are just three games back of the Nets and Heat (tied for the 7/8 seeds) and Detroit is 8-2 in their last 10. They could make up this ground, which would be a huge story.
source:  19. Nuggets (17-20, LW 23). As their backcourt goes so goes Denver and recently Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo have played well, so the Nuggets have won four in a row. Trading Timofey Mozgov has opened up minutes for Jusuf Nurkic and he has been a player to watch.
source:  20. Hornets (15-24, LW 25). They have won five in a row and now are just two games out of the playoffs in the East, which is pretty amazing considering their start. It also speaks to just where the bottom half of the East is at.
source:  21. Pacers (15-24, LW 20). Another team just two games out of the playoffs and with hope to climb in thanks to their defense. Still that loss to Philly felt like a setback. If they want to make it in they need to beat other teams trying to climb that ladder like Detroit and Charlotte, both of whom are on the docket this week.
source:  22. Kings (16-21, LW 22). They beat the Thunder and Cavaliers last week, but lost to the Nuggets in between. DeMarcus Cousins should make the All-Star team in the West, but the conference is so overloaded that some very deserving players will be on the outside looking in.
source:  23. Jazz (13-25, LW 19). I loved Trevor Booker’s shot of the year. More than that, I loved that Enes Kanter returned from injury and Quin Snyder left Rudy Gobert in the starting lineup.
source:  24. Nets (16-21, LW 18). They have lost five in a row and it’s not like they were playing a murder’s row — it’s just that the Nets are playing poorly. That gives the Hornets, Pacers and Pistons real hope they could make the postseason.
source:  25. Lakers (12-26, LW 26). There’s a lot of speculation around the Lakers that there is something more wrong with Kobe Bryant than just needing rest (he has missed 3-of-4 and 6-of-11), but Byron Scott denies it. What can’t be denied is Nick young’s slump, he is shooting 25 percent in his last five games and 17.2 percent from three. They need his points.
source:  26. Magic (13-27, LW 24). They have lost six in a row and their offense has gone AWOL, which is bad news with the Bulls, Rockets, Grizzlies and Thunder coming up this week.
source:  27. Celtics (12-23, LW 27). The Celtics fire sale gives them a lot of picks. This next draft they have theirs (which is going to be quite high), the Clippers first, and three second rounders (and two of those are high second round). Celtics fans will be watching a lot of college ball for a while.
source:  28. 76ers (7-29, LW 28). They have won two in a row and three of four, and they are doing it playing solid defense. The offense is still a work in project, but with the game on the line last week Michael Carter-Williams made plays.

source:  29. Timberwolves (5-31, LW 29). Andrew Wiggins is going to be the Rookie of the Year. The only other guy really in the conversation is Nikola Mirotic of the Bulls — he’s playing key rotation minutes for one of the East’s best teams — but I have a hard time seeing voters giving it to the experienced European.
source:  30. Knicks (5-35, LW 30). They head to London for a game this week against the Bucks. Go ahead and insert your “why should we subject the English to this torture” joke here. That said, this is good for Derek Fisher and his team because it’s not many games with extra practices. This team could use that.

Three-team trade that sends Jeff Green to the Grizzlies becomes official

jeff-green grizzlies

The trade to send Jeff Green from the Celtics to the Grizzlies took a few days to come together.

But now, with three teams, five players and two draft picks involved, it has become official.

From a Memphis Grizzlies official release:

The Memphis Grizzlies completed a three-team trade with the Boston Celtics and New Orleans Pelicans in which they acquired forward Jeff Green from Boston and guard Russ Smith from New Orleans. In exchange, Memphis traded forward Tayshaun Prince and a protected future first round draft pick to Boston and traded guard/forward Quincy Pondexter and a 2015 second round draft pick to New Orleans, Grizzlies General Manager Chris Wallace announced today. As part of the trade, New Orleans also has traded guard Austin Rivers to Boston. In addition, Memphis will receive a traded player exception.

While this appears to be a nice move on paper that should provide Memphis with an upgrade over Prince on the wing, it’s also one that sends Boston further into a Sixers-like situation.

The one loose end that needs tying up is the ultimate fate of Austin Rivers. The Celtics were reportedly in talks with the Clippers about a trade, mainly because Boston is loaded at guard, but also because it would rather have a future pick in exchange for Rivers, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.

Even if the trade with the Clippers doesn’t work out (where Austin’s father Doc Rivers is the head coach), the Celtics aren’t interested in keeping Austin on the roster, and are expected to pursue other deals instead.

MORE: CSNNE subscriber? Watch Celtics-Pelicans Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET

[Photo via the Grizzlies on Twitter]

Report: Grizzlies, Pelicans and Celtics finalize terms of three-team deal involving Jeff Green

Jeff Green, Maurice Harkless

After two days of rumors and details slowly trickling out, it appears that the three-team trade between the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans and Boston Celtics has taken on a final shape, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Here’s what the deal looks like:

  • Memphis gets Jeff Green from Boston and Russ Smith from New Orleans.
  • New Orleans gets Quincy Pondexter and a second-round pick from Memphis.
  • Boston gets Tayshaun Prince and a first-round pick from Memphis and Austin Rivers from New Orleans.

The trade gets the Grizzlies an upgrade on the wing in Green, and various picks and cap relief to the other teams. The Pelicans get a nice young wing defender in Pondexter, and the Celtics are expected to flip Rivers somewhere else, probably to the Clippers.

Report: Clippers and Celtics looking for third team to complete Austin Rivers trade

Austin Rivers, Joey Dorsey, Josh Smith

With the three-team Jeff Green/Tayshaun Prince trade close to being complete, Austin Rivers is reportedly headed to the Celtics. But Saturday night reports have the third-year guard not long for Boston, with the Clippers targeting a trade for Rivers — whose father, Doc, just happens to coach the team.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Clippers and Celtics are looking for a third team to help them facilitate the trade.

The Clippers are about $1.7 million below the hard cap, and Rivers makes $2.4 million, so Los Angeles has to unload at least one player to make this deal work. Involving a third team makes that easier to pull off.

Still, it’s a bizarre move for the Clippers. Putting aside the father-son awkwardness (which actually shouldn’t be that big a deal), Rivers simply does not fit on the Clippers’ roster. Their two biggest needs are a wing who can defend and an upgrade of their backup big men. Rivers is neither of those things — his skillset replicates, at a much lower level, that of Jamal Crawford, who is already a rotation player for the Clippers.

With how close the Clippers are to the hard cap, they essentially have the flexibility to make one move without giving up any of their major pieces. That they would use it on Rivers, who doesn’t fill a need for their roster, just because he’s the coach’s son, is puzzling.

Report: Celtics and Clippers discussing a trade for Austin Rivers

Doc Rivers, 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.