Well, the Richard Jefferson to the Spurs experiment seems to have fizzled out. Officially. Everyone pretty much knew it was dead a couple months ago. But now we have proof.
Displeased with the way he has fit into their system, the San Antonio Spurs are attempting to trade forward Richard Jefferson just days before the trade deadline, multiple league sources have confirmed.
However, because of Jefferson’s lack of production this season, as well as his $14.2 million salary, it does not seem likely the Spurs are going to find any takers.
Really? Nobody wants to take on $15 million in salary next year for a guy whose production dropped dramatically this year? Couldn’t have seen that coming.
Jefferson’s shooting percentage numbers are pretty similar to last year (except from three, which dropped from 39.7% to 35.4%). What has dropped are his shot attempts (especially at the rim) as he has struggled to find his way fitting in with Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. Jefferson is giving the Spurs 14 points a game, but he is using 11.5 shots to get that.
General manager R.C. Buford did roll the dice on this one, giving up Frabrico Oberto, Kurt Thomas and Bruce Bowen to get Jefferson. But he had to do something — the Spurs as constructed were not going to beat the Nuggets, let alone the Lakers, in the playoffs. They needed to do something to open the championship window again. On paper Jefferson seemed a good idea.
In practice, the Spurs are wasting a throwback year from Duncan. And no move at the deadline is likely to change that.
Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma trolling now in ad for Wish shopping app
For three seasons, Briante Weber has bounced around the fringes of the NBA. The defensive-minded point guard has played in short stints (often 10-day contracts) for the Grizzlies, Heat, Warriors, Hornets, and last season he got in 13 games for the Rockets (plus five in Memphis). He’s spent most of his career in the G-League, working for his chance to get in the door.
Miami is bringing him into training camp, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Guard Briante Weber has agreed to a partially guaranteed deal to return to the Miami Heat, league sources tell Yahoo.
There is roster space in Miami if Webber blows them away. Miami has 12 fully guaranteed roster spots and, with Webber, two partially-guaranteed deals (Malik Newman, who was undrafted out of Kansas, is the other).
Rather than a potential rebuild — or another “Russell Westbrook vs. The World” season — the Oklahoma City Thunder were one of the big winners of the off-season when Paul George agreed to re-sign with the team. They also moved on from Carmelo Anthony, will get Andre Roberson back from injury, and added Dennis Schroder to give them a shot creator off the bench.
“I’m very, very excited. Paul has been an unbelievable teammate, obviously a great friend. I’m very, very excited that he is back and we’re ready to make some noise. We are just going to take it one day at a time. I think our team has a lot of great, young talent. We have one goal now and that is winning a championship.”
While it’s hard to envision the Thunder reaching that goal (as constructed), the Thunder could well be the three or four seed in the West and have home court in the first round of the playoffs. While the margin for error in the West will be minuscule (with 12 teams having a shot at the eight playoff spots), with the Thunder’s strong top-10 defense and two stars who can take over games nightly, they should be one of the more consistent regular season teams in the West.
Either way, the Thunder are a lot more interesting with George than without. It’s going to be a good season for the Thunder.
PBT Extra: Carmelo Anthony officially a Houston Rocket now — this can work
Did the Houston Rockets get better this summer? The conventional wisdom is no, they will miss the switchable defense and versatility of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute against the NBA’s other elite teams.
But with Carmelo Anthony officially signing with the Rockets on Monday, don’t expect a big step back, something I cover in this latest PBT Extra.
The Rockets had the second-best offense in the NBA last season (almost tied with the Warriors) and ‘Melo can enhance that — he can still punish switches in the post, he has a catch-and-shoot game, and while he may not be as efficient as he once was, the man can get buckets. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, expect Mike D’Antoni to find him minutes while Chris Paul and James Harden rest where he can be an offensive focal point.