Tag: Rajon Rondo

Los Angeles Lakers v Philadlephia 76ers

Report: Kings sign Vince Hunter to partially guaranteed contract

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The Kings, despite their macro problems, continue to make good micro moves.

Shams Charania of RealGM:

I rated Hunter a high second-rounder. The forward rebounds very well and can capably guard multiple positions. His offense is a work in progress. He’s hardly a can’t-miss prospect, but he’s worth this small gamble.

As Sacramento’s roster stands now, Hunter would likely make the regular-season roster. The Kings have 16 players, including David Stockton (unguaranteed). Considering most teams carry three point guards and he’s behind Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry, Stockton is the most likely cut. Sacramento could also consider waiving Duje Dukan or even Seth Curry (guaranteed minimum salaries) if both Stockton and Hunter play well in training camp.

The Kings also have the $2,814,000 room exception (Carlos Boozer?), which could push Hunter down the totem pole. If they waive him, they could assign his D-League rights to their affiliate.

Either way, at this cost, Hunter is a nice addition.

Report: DeAndre Jordan’s Clippers scheduled to play Mavericks in Dallas on Nov. 11

Los Angeles Clippers v Dallas Mavericks

DeAndre Jordan spurning the Mavericks to re-sign with the Clippers completely ruined Dallas’ offseason. The Mavericks were stuck increasing offers for players they already agreed to sign, and there were no other premier free agents available when Jordan reneged. They now face missing the playoffs and sending their lottery pick to the Celtics as a result of the Rajon Rondo trade.

Dallas forward Chandler Parsons was particularly harsh, saying of Jordan, “He wasn’t ready for being a franchise player. He was scared.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has repeatedly fanned the flames of resentment.

Many Mavericks fans are waiting for Jordan to play in Dallas to boo him.

They won’t have to wait long.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The atmosphere for this game should be wild. Expect Jordan to get booed during introductions, when he checks in, every time he touches the ball and especially when he’s at the free-throw line.

Nov. 11 is a Wednesday. Hopefully, this is a nationally televised game, so we can all enjoy the spectacle.

It’s official: Kings hire Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lieberman as assistant coach

Austin Toros v Texas Legends
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It’s an impressive resume for an NBA assistant coach: Two years as the head coach of the D-League’s Texas Legends making the playoff the second year, then becoming general manager of that team. Before that she was a two-time college champion and an Olympian as a player. That is somebody with the background to understand and coach the game.

Nancy Lieberman’s credentials should not be in question — she’s in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame for a reason.

The Kings made it official, announcing that she has been hired Friday as a member of George Karl’s coaching staff in Sacramento.

Sam Amick of the USA Today got a short quote out of her on the topic.

In a late-night text message to USA TODAY Sports, Lieberman called Thursday, “a crazy, wonderful day.” For at least the past year, Lieberman had been interested in joining an NBA team as a coach and has worked at high-profile camps last summer instructing NBA players.

Lieberman becomes the second full-time female assistant coach in the NBA, behind the Spurs Becky Hammon.  What’s impressive is that Lieberman was one of the real pioneers of women working in the NBA, and she helped open the door for Hammon. Now Lieberman herself is walking through that same door.

The Kings — with Rajon Rondo, DeMarcus Cousins and Karl coaching them — have a lot of strong-willed people in the same room. It’s potentially combustible. If Lieberman can navigate that locker room and win the players over, she will be able to do it anywhere.


Mark Cuban says trading for Rajon Rondo was tough call, “came down to a coin flip”

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

The Rajon Rondo trade didn’t end well for Dallas or Rondo last season.

Rondo averaged 9.3 points and 6.5 assists per game in Dallas, with a true shooting percentage of 46 percent (numbers close to what he had done recently in Boston). But Rondo never meshed well with coach Rick Carlisle and the Dallas offense, which up until his arrival had been one of the NBA’s best. It was a clash of styles. Rondo’s lack of a jump shot had teams sagging off him, he dominated the ball at times, and the result was the Mavericks’ offense lost its spacing. Bottom line, the Dallas offense was 5 points per 100 possessions worse when Rondo was on the court. He improved the Dallas defense by 1.7 points per 100 possessions, but that was not enough to make up for the offensive issues. Everything deteriorated, and midway through their playoff series with Houston, Dallas ended the Rondo experiment.

Getting Rondo may not have worked out, but it was the kind of gamble owner Mark Cuban is known for. That said, he told Zach Lowe of Grantland during a recent Lowe Post Podcast that the decision to get Rondo was not unanimous in the front office, instead it was more of a coin flip (hat tip to Tim MacMahon for the transcription).

“Everybody went back and forth 100 times. There was no 100 percent, yeah, let’s all go do it. Everybody changed their mind 50 times. At the end, it really came down to a coin flip more than anything else. And the coin flip was as much about, is there going to be anything else that we could do? Because we knew we had to do something. But that’s the way it all worked out, and what’s done is done. No hard feelings. He has his approach to basketball. Look, where I give him credit, he came as a 29 percent free throw shooter and left as a 77 percent free throw shooter because he put the work in. I would bet every penny I had to bet against him shooting 3s, and by the end, working with our guys, he ended up shooting 35 percent I think from 3s and actually was somewhat consistent at the end. There were other reasons why it didn’t work, but one of the reasons it almost could have worked is because he was a hard worker. He really did put in the time to make it work.”

Cuban is right, Dallas was strong on offense early in the season but clearly was a team not on the elite tiers of the West with the Warriors, Spurs, Clippers or Rockets. Getting Rondo was a gamble that didn’t pay off, but the end result of a first-round playoff exit was where Dallas was heading without him. Nothing much changed, it was simply the hopes of Mavericks fans that spiked and fell.

However, just because this didn’t work out, don’t expect Cuban and the Mavericks to be gun shy the next time there’s a risk to take.

Both sides have moved on, with Rondo landing in an interesting situation in Sacramento. Cuban and the Mavs will be looking to roll the dice again.

Report: With no trade market now, Nene likely to be with Wizards at start of season

Washington Wizards v Indiana Pacers

With the Wizards having success going small in the playoffs — Paul Pierce was the four at key moments — Washington management decided to check the trade market for Nene this summer. Which was all good with many Wizards fans — in DC Nene became the scapegoat for last season, especially after an Al Horford putback cost them game five against the Hawks (Washington lost in six).

Turns out, there wasn’t much of a market.

Meaning expect Nene to be a Wizard at the start of next season, reports CSNWashington’s J. Michael.

CSNwashington.com reported earlier this offseason that Nene, who is entering the final year of a deal that pays him $13 million, didn’t draw any interest in the trade market and isn’t likely to be moved before the start of the 2015-16 season. If he is eventually moved with that expiring deal, that’s more likely to happen near the February trade deadline but if they allow his size to leave they’ll want size in return. Being injury-prone is a recurring issue, but the Wizards like him, and they’ll need him to get past the Chicago Bulls or Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason.

J. Michael also sticks up for Nene against the heat he took in the nation’s capital. On that final play of Game 5, Michael notes Nene did leave Horford, but only because first Paul Pierce on the switch was beaten by Dennis Schroeder driving the lane, then when John Wall recovered and blocked the shot off the glass. After leaving Horford, Nene went over to body up Paul Millsap, who after setting the pick had beaten Pierce badly and was in great rebounding position. The real issue was that Pierce chased the ball then didn’t help the helper — Nene got Pierce’s man, Pierce needed to put a body on Horford. Didn’t happen. But if Nene had stuck right with his man then Millsap gets the tip for the win. The Wizard defense was not exactly on a string, the only guy who did what he was supposed to was Bradley Beal, who didn’t leave Kyle Kover.

Michael took a bigger picture view as well.

How quickly those forget that the culture in D.C. changed when the 7-foot Brazilian arrived in a trade with the Denver Nuggets and JaVale McGee and the circus that surrounded him was shipped away for good.

Nene was part of the much-needed culture change that has allowed Wall to flourish of late. Washington isn’t thinking conference finals without part of what Nene brought.

Think of it this way, a guy with more holes in his game in Rajon Rondo came into the league and landed in Boston, where veterans like Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and others taught him how to be a professional and play on the game’s biggest stages. Wall landed on a team with Gilbert Arenas, McGee, and Andray Blatche. Reverse those situations and how are those two point guards different?

All that said, expect to hear Nene’s name come up in a lot of trade rumors as we work our way into next season.