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Tag:Golden State Warriors
Posted on: March 8, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: March 8, 2012 4:42 pm
 

Trade Deadline: Teams looking to make a move

Dwight Howard faces the most uncertain trade deadline of his career. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The winds are filled with whispers and disinformation. Fans are rattling trade machines and scouring salary lists. And most of the players in the league have a heightened anxiety while telling everyone they're oblivious to what's going on.

It's trade season.

With the deadline a week away, talks are ramping up, and while this is the most difficult trade deadline in years to predict in the way of volume of deals, the chatter is going to be the same as ever. Teams are at the point in the season where it's time to either head in a different direction, try and get over the hump, move towards the future, add that final piece, blow the whole thing up, or try and stay the course.

Some teams are above the fray. The rest will be on the phone. And some desperately need to get a deal done in the next seven days. With that, we present the Deadline Urgent Care Report, for teams that need to make a move now. It's time to trade or get off the block.


1. Orlando Magic: There's so much going on with this situation that no one really wants to talk about. It gets boiled down to a handful of narratives. "You have to rebuild if you're going to lose Dwight Howard." "You don't trade Dwight Howard until you absolutely have to." "You can't make decisions based on emotions." "Who really wants to rebuild around Brook Lopez?"

There's so much more going on. The health of their owner. Dwight's complex relationship with the city, with ownership, with Otis Smith, with Stan Van Gundy. To be sure, there's an impression given that Howard thinks he's beyond all of them at this stage in his career. But there's part of him that knows Smith took a chance on him. He knows Stan Van Gundy helped make him into the Defensive Player of the Year that he is. He knows Orlando has embraced him. This isn't an easy scenario in back and white lines.

But the reality remains. The Magic have to trade Howard if he is unable to give them a solid indication he wants to stay. Yes, Cleveland has rebuilt well without trading LeBron James. But it's less about what you get in return than it is about clearing space. Letting Howard go in free agency means you have a terrible team that's expensive. Trading him means the possibility of moving Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, or Glen Davis to alleviate the contract situation.

The Magic need to be looking to the future, trying to pull in as many young viable could-be-stars as possible, not bringing in veterans with large contracts or injury issues. They need to scrap it and start over. It's the quickest and most logical way back to title contention. Currently the odds are a pick 'em for if they'll trade him or not. At some point, despite how complicated the situation is, you have to move forward. Otherwise you're not saving yourself, you're just waiting to die.

Targets: Distributing wing creator, point guard upgrade.
Movable assets: Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu, J.J. Redick, Jameer Nelson


2. Los Angeles Lakers
: It's pretty simple stuff, really. This team, as constructed, will most likey win a title. They can, but they probably will not. And that is not how the Los Angeles Lakers operate. They have movable stars, are willing to take on salary, and are in need of a face-saving move to try and redeem the decisions of the front office.

The trick for the Lakers is determining trade value. Pau Gasol was thought of as the best big man in basketball a year and a half ago. Now, he's a sidekick delicate shooter who fell apart in the playoffs. Andrew Bynum was a project with upside who you could still rationalize moving for something less than elite return. Now he's an All-Star who finally looks healthy. Do you see the problem? Gasol is better than his current value will allow in return and Bynum's current value is so high as to make it difficult to net equal return.

Furthermore, they need a star to put next to Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard is there, but that situation has been temperamental. And it doesn't address their issues. A trade for Howard means they still have weaknesses at point guard and small forward. If the Lakers are going to do a deal, they need to pull in other teams to get some auxiliary talent back.

Targets: Dominant superstar option B, point guard upgrade, small forward who can hit water falling out of a boat.
Movable assets: Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum (?), Metta World Peace, Steve Blake, Matt Barnes.


3. Boston Celtics:
It's. Over.

The run was good. It wasn't great, just one championship, two Finals, and for a collection of Hall of Famers, it's disappointing. But the reality remains, it's time for Boston to move on. Every indication is that Danny Ainge isn't looking to try and win a title this year through trade. He's aiming for down the line. The idea is to be in a position to make a big move should one come available, not try an force one with the older players currently on roster.

And still, a change is needed. They can definitely re-stock in free agency when Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett's deals come off the books. But considering the value of both players, it would make sense to shop either or both in an attempt to get something of value now. Again, the idea is not to find players to win a title now, since they're not in that position. But to get players that will have value later to then move for those big pieces.

And then there's Rondo.

The enigmatic, temperamental shrouded in mystery and a faint air of disgust who drops triple-doubles to boggle the mind continues to be at the center of the Celtics' uncertainty. The Celtics took to the offensive last week to shoot down rumors they were looking at moving Rondo. But he's been discussed as a potential trade target for far longer than the past two weeks. Rondo has trouble scoring efficiently. He also possesses arguably the best vision of any point guard in the league, including Chris Paul. Can you build around him? Is his success a product of playing with three Hall of Famers? Is he limited by the Celtics' pace and lack of speed? The questions about Rondo have implications beyond whether to trade him or not. They also deal with how to build a team around him going forward if they don't trade him.

Targets: Versatile wings, on-ball creators, anything resembling a legitimate center.
Movable assets: Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce (?), Chris Wilcox, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jermaine O'Neal (expiring contract).


4. Atlanta Hawks:
Josh Smith still wants out. The roster is stale. Marvin Williams is movable, finally. Jeff Teague makes Kirk Hinrich expendable. There's every reason for the Hawks to be big players at the deadline, but as always, their ownership situation makes things complicated. Still, the Hawks have repeatedly made moves at the deadline over the years and Smith should get a high amount of offers.

Targets: Clearing salary, legitimate center, back-up scoring guard.
Movable assets: Josh Smith, Kirk Hinrich, Joe Johnson.


5. Golden State Warriors:
The Warriors' new ownership has made big noise about change and bringing in stars, changing the culture. Instead they're largely the same team they have been for the past few years. They want to make a big splash. They have all the components to do so, it just matters how desperate they are. Expiring contracts, young stars on good contracts, versatility and depth. They have everything but a good roster. Fixing it will take more than a quick fix, but if they want to make a splash, the time is now.

Targets: Legitimate star, legitimate center, defensive backcourt and frontcourt upgrades.
Movable assets: Literally every player on roster.


6. Milwaukee Bucks:
Stephen Jackson has a huge contract, a bad attitude and a declining skill set. So clearly the market should be strong for him. The Bucks have wandered into no-man's land, not bad enough to land a star in the lottery, not good enough to make progress. But how do you remake a roster like this with a very specific outline for a blueprint? Brandon Jenning is the franchise player... is that a good thing? If Andrew Bogut can stay healthy they're a force... can he? They have depth that plays exceptionally well, is it worth selling high on them? It's a complex situation in Milwaukee.

Targets: Scoring, versatility, multi-dimensional impact.
Movable assets: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Brandon Jennings (?), Andrew Bogut (?), Stephen Jackson.


7. New Jersey Nets:
They can wait on Dwight. But that's the kind of gamble that puts the fear of God in you. It's like telling your spouse, "Don't worry, honey. I've lost our car, our couch, our refrigerator, our bed and our life savings the last five times I've tried this gamble, but this time it's going to be different!" Nets supporters often point out that Billy King has made a number of four and five team trades. What they do not mention is how seldom his teams have gotten the better end of those deals. Not that his teams come out worse. But it's not like we're dealing with a stellar record.

The Nets have young players, but they're not very good. It's unlikely they'll panic should Howard stay put in Orlando, but it's going to make them break out the scotch. Expect their phone lines to be busy for the next week.

Targets: Dwight Howard. Pieces necessary to get Dwight Howard.
Movable assets: Anyone but Deron Williams.


8. Houston Rockets:
The Rockets are where they always are. Trying to get a star and building up assets to get a star they can never seem to land which makes them build up more assets to try and get a star. It's like an M.C. Escher painting.

Targets: Superstar to build around, low-post scorer.
Movable assets: Anyone for the right price.
Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Report: The Warriors have spoken to everyone

By Matt Moore

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Warriors have spoken with about half the league regarding trades to be made at the deadline. It's a pretty leaky faucet the Warriors have somewhere. Among the remarks, the Chronicle reports the Warriors spoke with the Hawks about trading for their All-Star, Joe Johnson
Atlanta: The Warriors think they could get Joe Johnson but feel he's a more expensive and possibly inferior player to Monta Ellis. They'd like Josh Smith, but they haven't found the Hawks willing to part with the forward.
via Considering the Warriors' trade possibilities.

This is the first time a substnative rumor regarding the Hawks being open to Johnson has surfaced. Johnson is in the second year of a six-year max deal which was panned by essentially everyone at the time. Johnson is a six-time All-Star, but his field goal percentage has dropped to 42 percent this season along with his assists and asssist rates, as well as his rebound rates.

But there's a hitch here. While Ellis is only shooting a better and is a much better assist creator, Johnson is a far superior defensive player. With Mark Jackson's committment to improving defense on the Warriors, Johnson might be a better fit as the primary scoring weapon for the Warriors in a volume shooting capacity. The Hawks, on the other hand would be be getting a gift if the Warriors took Johnson. It clears their books, gives them an offensive threat to respond with and possibly move again. 

Johnson is the star of the franchise, but Al Horford was also given a huge extension last year and something has to be figured out with Josh Smith as well as Jeff Teague

The Hawks will likely make the asking price too high, but it's interesting the Warriors have gone down that path at all.  
Posted on: March 1, 2012 4:31 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 5:56 pm
 

Doc Rivers says there's no talk of dealing Rondo

Posted by Royce Young

When the trade winds start blowing, they pick up a whole lot of debris. Some of that wound up on the Boston Celtics' front doorstep as a report said the Celtics were "aggressively" shopping point guard Rajon Rondo.

You'll never believe this, but Doc Rivers and the Celtics say they've heard nothing of it. Via ESPN Boston:
Doc Rivers spent an hour and a half with Danny Ainge before Wednesday's win over Milwaukee, but the Boston Celtics coach says they never discussed trading point guard Rajon Rondo.

"... In all that time we did not talk once about any trades," Rivers said. "There was not one single thing about Rajon Rondo that crossed my desk."

Rivers said Thursday afternoon he is irked by reports the Celtics were aggressively shopping his mercurial point guard and frustrated that his relationship with Rondo is being cited as one of the reasons Boston is willing to part with him.

"My relationship with Rajon is as strong as it has ever been," he said. "Our communication has never been better. I want him here. I can say with almost 100 percent certainty he will be here with us when the season ends. I'm tired of this stuff. It's not fair."

Said Danny Ainge, talking to the Boston Herald, "“I anticipate him being here for a long time,” the Celtics president said when asked about Rondo’s immediate future.

Rondo has always been said to have a bit of a fragile personality, someone that can be affected by trade rumors and other things. So obviously with the Celtics trying to battle their way back into the Eastern playoff picture, this type of stuff doesn't come as good news.

They very well could be shopping Rondo around, but that doesn't mean the Celtics want to trade him. The original report said that the Celtics were essentially fed up with Rondo and the supposed "headaches" he brings. Most notably, the report said Rivers and Rondo have had extreme off-court clashes.

But unlike the other core Celtic members, Rondo still has a lot of time left in the league and at just 26, is certainly a player that can be part of Boston's long-term future. Whether the Celtics are shopping him around or not, Rondo is still wearing green as of now and while his name might pop up in rumors every few days, a deal's not done until it's done.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 10:50 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 11:16 am
 

Report: Magic 'reach out' for Monta Ellis

Monta Howard is rumored to be targeted by the Magic. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

ESPN reports that the Magic are not only trying to keep Dwight Howard with this Magic team, they're trying to improve the one they have. 
The Orlando Magic have reached out to the Golden State Warriors about trading for Monta Ellis, according to league sources.No deal is imminent, but Orlando is trying to add Ellis to its roster in hopes of appeasing Dwight Howard. Rather than aggressively pursuing a trade of Howard before the March 15 deadline, the Magic are desperately seeking a move that will convince Howard he can stay in Orlando.
via Source -- Orlando Magic reach out to Golden State Warriors about Monta Ellis trade - ESPN.

ESPN notes that the Warriors are essentially "meh" on the idea, so Orlando's having to pull in a third team. That's the theme of this year, really. The Magic have laden themselves with such terrible contracts they only have Ryan Anderson to move in a potentially big deal, but he's not a star, isn't a veteran, and if they lose Howard, they desperately need to keep him. So they not only have to find a third team, but they have to find a third team interested in the poor trade pieces they have, whether it's Glen Davis, Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and his monster contract, or Jameer Nelson.

That won't be easy.

Ellis and Howard would be a great fit, though. Ellis can create off the dribble and score in bunches, which would make life easier for Howard. He's a remarkably good post-up guard, and can create some assists in the right situation. Defense is always the question, but Stan Van Gundy could probably work some magic there like he has with so many. But is Ellis enough to get Howard to stay? That's always the question and the more desperate Orlando becomes to keep Howard, the worse their odds become, you would think.
Posted on: March 1, 2012 8:58 am
 

Report: Celtics are shopping Rajon Rondo

  Is Boston trying to move Rondo? Wait, we've heard that story before. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

The Boston Big Four could be on the brink of breaking up. (Alliteration!)

There's been a lot of talk of Danny Ainge making some sort of move with one, two or maybe even all of Boston's four core pieces before the trade deadline. The one with the most trade value would likely be 26-year-old point guard Rajon Rondo and the Celtics are shopping him around, according to ESPN Boston:
The Celtics find Rondo's personality to be too high-maintenance and his clashes with coach Doc Rivers remain an off-court distraction, sources told Broussard, and the front office is now actively pitching him to other teams. With the Celtics realizing they are no longer title contenders, they don't believe his point guard prowess is worth the headaches Rondo brings, sources say. And they do not want to build around him.

In December, the Celtics had discussions with Golden State about a Stephen Curry-for-Rondo deal, and one source says it was Golden State that decided against pulling the trigger. But Curry's recent ankle injuries, which have caused him several problems in his short career, have given the Celtics pause.

The potential trade is still being discussed by Boston's braintrust, but they aren't sure they want to go forward with it. It also isn't clear whether the Warriors would be willing to do it. Other players would have to be thrown in to make it work financially.

There was talk earlier in the season that the Celtics were pursuing a deal for Chris Paul involving Rondo, and another deal that would send Rondo to Indiana. So there's certainly some fire to all this smoke. Ainge is absolutely making phone calls involving his young point guard.

Whether they're just trying to move on, or they want to wash their hands of the headaches Rondo brings, Boston is actively looking to deal. Doesn't mean something is imminent, but it means that March 15 could be an interesting day for the Celtics.

Ainge tried to cover himself for shopping Rondo around earlier in the year saying in January there's a difference in trying to trade a player and trying to acquire one.

"I was not trying to trade Rajon Rondo," Ainge said. "There's a big difference between trying to acquire a player and trying to trade a player."

Potato, potahto.

Rondo is averaging a career-high 14.1 points per game to go along with 9.6 assists and 1.6 steals. It's not his best season in terms of overall production, but he's still an extremely productive All-Star point guard. And someone with a lot of value. If Rondo is indeed dealt, it would signal a change of process for the Celtics. They'd likely be going from a team looking to contend now, to a team looking at transitioning into a new era.

That roster has been built largely on great talent, but also a strong bond in chemistry. The Kendrick Perkins trade tested that, and the Celtics failed. Dealing Rondo would signal that it's a full on shakeup in Beantown.
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:29 pm
 

Report: Warriors still chasing Dwight

The Warriors reportedly continue to pursue Dwight Howard. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The Warriors, reportedly, are not messing around.

Golden State has long been rumored to be chasing Dwight Howard, despite his exclusion of the Warriors from his team of preferred trade destinations (read: places he will consider re-signing with). What's more, Golden State has been rumored to be interested in trading for Howard without assurances he'll stay. That's the ultimate Russian Roulette gamble. If you miss out with convincing Howard, you will have traded everything you have and have nothing to show for it. Talks had died down in the din of Nets chatter that continues. But a report today from NBA.com says that the Warriors aren't done chasing the rabbit down the hole.

From Scott Howard Cooper of NBA.com on Twitter:
Warriors continuing push for Dwight Howard deal even without DH commitment to re-signing. Not backing off from risky move, source says.
via Twitter / @SHowardCooper: Warriors continuing push f ....
Biedrins has zero trade value, so GSW offer has to be 3-4 key pieces. Imagine moving Monta, Klay, others and DH walks. But Dubs staying in.
via Twitter / @SHowardCooper: Biedrins has zero trade va ....

Monta Ellis is a very good player, if not a "star" or "superstar." Klay Thompson looks to be a great rookie. They have Ekpe Udoh as a talented young big man along with Biedrins' expiring contract. The Magic have reportedly wanted to stay in the playoff hunt, which means they want talented veterans, though,and outside of Ellis, the Warriors are short on that. That's what makes the Magic request so baffling, that they wouldn't be trying to work away to get Stephen Curry, draft picks, and Udoh out of Golden State. 

And all of this for a situation in which Howard could vanish outright. It's a monstrous gamble. But let's look at the best-case, worst-case scenario here.

Best-case: Howard and Ellis/Curry click. Howard finally has a co-star worthy of his stature while he's also clearly the alpha dog. The Bay Area market allows for him to cash in on endorsements and media opportunities, while enjoying the California weather, even if it's a bit colder and ranier than southern California. Mark Jackson gets the defensive rock he covets, ownership gets a star to build everything around. Shooters plus creator plus Dwight = success. They hold his bird rights which means Howard has to walk away from the $30-million-plus afforded him in re-signing with his current team in free agency. That's a big stone to hold. 

Worst-case: Howard leaves, and the gap from the assets traded for him creates an unbalanced roster full of misfits who have to be traded off. Meanwhile, the organization clears over $15 million in cap space and has the ability to clean house on a team that has been fundamentally flawed for the past decade, cycling in the same style of players. A clean slate erupts, with the worst part being a potentially unhappy Curry/Ellis but the Warriors now have unlimited flexibility to retool their roster.

Is drastic change that bad of a worst-case scenario? If Howard and Ellis/Curry works, he could very well stay, and that's great. If it doesn't, he leaves anyway and the Warriors start over again which they've needed to do forever, and that's great. It would look bad, and would create a painful rebuilding process. But if you want to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs. A move like this would prove the new ownership really is the kind of bold leadership they say they are, unwilling to stand on the sidelines while other teams make the franchise-changing moves.

It's just a question of how brave are they, and if Orlando will finally bite the bullet for their offer.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:26 am
 

Report: Warriors demanding star for Ellis

The Warriors want a star for Monta Ellis. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

It just wouldn't be the All-Star break without incessant trade rumors about Monta Ellis and the Warriors over-valuing him. This year's starter is from the San Jose Mercury News and Tim Kawakami who says that the going price for Ellis hasn't changed, while providing the background for a trade that was discussed last year. Kawakami outlines a deal which would have sent Michael Beasley and Nikolai Pekovic in return for Ellis. The Warriors turned it down, Pekovic was largely irrelevant last year, but has become a monster in Rick Adelman's system, averaging 18.4 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes. The lessons, Kawakami says are: 
* The Warriors, as has been their stance for years, want a star in return for Ellis, who they consider a premium value because of his rare scoring ability and the dearth of scoring shooting guards in the league.

They don’t want to move Ellis just for cap relief. They are quite insistent on that, I’ve heard.

* But they have not yet been offered anything close to what they consider equal value–if Michael Beasley is the best player discussed in a casual offer, that’s not a big offer.

* You never know what you might get as a throw-in, however, since Pekovic suddenly has become much more valuable than Beasley, almost overnight.
via If the Warriors shop Monta Ellis: One example of what they’ve been offered recently | Talking Points.

That's the biggest reason Ellis hasn't been moved yet. He's too good not to get great return on, but not good enough to have teams clamoring for him to come in and dramatically change their offense. He's a player that as a third option would be monstrous, an absolute killer, and as a second option would be very, very good. But the market for stars is tight right now in the NBA. 

The most likely scenario involves Ellis staying through the deadline. There are teams interested in unloading stars, but would the Warriors' management want to part with Ellis for any of the Boston Big 3? Would they consider Josh Smith a star? Targeting Ellis' value is impossible, and until a major shift happens from the Warriors or someone gets desperate, Ellis should be lacing them up in the Bay. 

(HT: IAmAGM.com)
Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:24 pm
 

NBA Power Rankings: Breakdown, Takedown Vol. 10

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

Even with all the hype, Jeremy Lin and the Knicks aren't getting their due. (Getty Images)

The 2011-2012 NBA season continues. Here's the tenth weekly installment of CBSSports.com's NBA Power Rankings by Eye On Basketball's Matt Moore.

What did he get right? What did he get wrong? We're here to break it down and take it down.

1. Too High: Houston Rockets at No. 9. I want to get excited about the Rockets too. They're an intriguing bunch of over-achievers with almost-stars in Kevin Martin and Luis Scola. But no way are they top 10 material quite yet. They are good at home but haven't been able to prove themselves much on the road. A 6-10 mark away from the Toyota Center has to improve if this group is to make a good case to be mentioned among the Western elite. -- RY

2. Too Low: New York Knicks at No. 15. Gauging the Knicks is all about how you want to look at the sample. They're 1-2 in their last three and they're 16-17 on the season, but they're also 9-4 in their last thirteen. All indications are that this is an above-average team that's put its early-season woes behind it. Working Carmelo Anthony back in after injury and adding J.R. Smith to the formula won't be a completely straightforward process, but this is a team that should be at least two spots higher. -- BG

3. Most Overrated: Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 14. We seem to go through this every week, but there's no chance that Minnesota should be this high, given that they're below .500, ranked above the Portland Trail Blazers, currently a game up on them, and still reside in last place of the Northwest Division. This week, they're not all that drastically overrated but placing them above New York, Portland, Memphis and Boston was a big with the heart, not the mind. Or maybe a pick made with googley eyes at Ricky Rubio. Whatever the reason, overrated. -- BG

4. Most Overlooked: Golden State Warriors at No. 23. Among the bottom ten teams in the league, Golden State seems the least awful. They're 5-5 in February, which counts as positive momentum after a slow start. Written off by many as early as mid-January, the Warriors are just four games out of the No. 8 playoff seed in the ultra-packed Western Conference, and even though they're 12th in the West, their No. 7 ranked offense provides enough reason to believe that they will land closer to the playoff fringes than the basement. -- BG

5. Sure Thing: San Antonio at No. 4. After back-to-back weeks of having the Spurs too low, it looks like they're finally in the right spot. Not quite as good as the Thunder, who own the West currently and certainly not among the Heat and Bulls. But absolutely a top five team with a look in them to make a strong push for the West's top spot before it's all said and done. They briefly got back Manu Ginobili, only to lose him again for a few weeks. No bother. The Spurs will just keep on. -- RY

6. Wild Card: Denver Nuggets at No. 11. At one point, it was nearly universally agreed upon that this team was legit contender material and a threat to the Thunder in the West. Then everyone started getting hurt and they started losing games by the bunches. What would've been a defining win against OKC Sunday was snuffed out by Kevin Durant. The Nuggets have shown they're almost good enough, but not quite there. If Danilo Gallinari can lift his game to another level when he returns, this could be a group to make a big Western push. -- RY
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com