Tag:trade rumors
Posted on: February 18, 2012 3:36 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2012 3:45 pm
 

Bryant says Gasol affected by trade rumors

Pau Gasol has been the subject of trade rumors all season long in L.A.. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Kobe Bryant told reporters Friday that he believes the constant trade rumors surrounding Pau Gasol have negatively impacted him. From the Los Angeles Times: 
Though it appears pointing out a discrepancy involves splitting hairs, Bryant believes reports linking Gasol in a trade has made it "an emotional couple of days for him."

"Personally I don't understand that crap," Bryant said regarding the Lakers' effort to trade Gasol. "But it is what it is. It's important for him to know we support him. I support him especially. I just want him to go out there and play hard and do what he does best for us."
via Kobe Bryant: Trade speculation has made Pau Gasol emotional - latimes.com.

Now that's nothing new, with Gasol having off-court issues affect his performance as they did during an understandably rough time in the playoffs last spring. But it is telling that both Bryant and Gasol are not denying that he's on the block or being shopped constantly. This is yet another impact of the vetoed Chris Paul trade and subsequent fallout.

The Lakers took a step backward when they were forced to trade Lamar Odom because of his sense of betrayal over being involved in the Paul deal David Stern vetoed. In order to overcome that, the Lakers are considering a trade, which will have to involve Gasol due to the low value of their supporting players, ownership's belief in Andrew Bynum, and the fact they have to trade for a significant upgrade at the star level and not role players support. So Gasol is discussed, and with media so prevalent, rumors get out, as well as I'm sure discussions being held with Gasol regarding this situation. 

For his part, Gasol says things are not affecting him, that he's blocking it out and playing, and to be fair, his numbers aren't significantly down, outside of his field goal percentage which is below 50 percent for the first time in nearly a decade. But there's an impact, and it's continuing to keep the Lakers out of the elite tier of teams. Until this situation is resolved one way or another, Gasol will have to play through it. 
Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:59 pm
 

Skiles and Jackson aren't getting along

Stephen Jackson and Scott Skiles are not getting along in Milwaukee. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

In news that will surprise exactly no one, Scott Skiles and Stephen Jackson are not getting along. Jackson was initially reticent about being traded to the Bucks, and has struggled mightily on the floor. It was thought Jackson's perimeter shooting and commitment to defense would be a perfect fit for the offensively inept Bucks, but the Racine Journal Times reports that things have already hit a pretty low point: 

 
After Stephen Jackson was benched for the second half of a game against Denver Jan. 17, I asked the Bucks veteran swingman whether he had any inkling Bucks coach Scott Skiles was going to do that.

Jackson said he didn't get any advance warning and he didn't get any explanation after the game, either.

It was abundantly clear even then that Jackson, whom the Bucks acquired from Charlotte last June and was expected to be a key piece to the Bucks' puzzle this season, wasn't on the same page with Skiles.

Now, a month later, Jackson's relationship with Skiles seemingly has disintegrated. In an interview with Rod Burks of Channel 4 (NBC) in Milwaukee, Jackson said: "We don't have no relationship like I've had with other coaches and I don't expect to have one. Too much stuff has happened."
via BUCKS BEAT: Jackson, Skiles are all business.

Yeah, that's not good.

The Warriors were criticized for handing Jackson his last massive extension, the Bobcats were criticized for trading for that contract, and the Bucks were criticized for trading for that contract the Bobcats had traded for. That Jackson has seemingly fallen off the age cliff just makes matters worse. He's the worst kind of asset when he doesn't fit in with the team culture. He's an outspoken veteran who won't fall in line just to fall in line, who can be great in the right situation and terrible in the wrong, on a massive contract with years remaining and a declining skill set.

So, no, the Bucks will not have an easy time finding a suitor. That said, there's always someone out there looking for veteran scorers, and Milwaukee should definitely accept taking a bath on the investment in order to clear Jackson's money off the books. It wasn't a terrible idea to bring in Jackson, it just didn't work. Seems like so many ideas under the current regime in Milwaukee, unfortunately. 
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:43 am
 

Report: Heat targeting Kaman

The Heat reportedly have interest in Chris Kaman if he's bought out from the Hornets. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

The Heat are not through trying to build their roster. FoxSports.com reports that the Heat are attempting to acquire Chris Kaman, should he be bought out of his contract after the trade deadline. 
Heat officials, including president Pat Riley, have been calling people who know Kaman to ask about him, a source told FOXSports.com on Wednesday.

The thinking is the Heat’s best effort to get a center would be to sign Kaman — if his contract is bought out by New Orleans after the March 15 trade deadline.
via Miami Heat Chris Kaman Minnesota Timberwolves Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers trade 021512 - NBA News | FOX Sports on MSN.

A trade isn't feasible due to the very little flexibility the Heat have on their roster to make salaries match. Kaman was put on the block in January and even allowed to stay away from the team while a trade was negotiated, but a deal wasn't found. After a week the Hornets actually publicly announced they were taking him off the block and he rejoined the team. So the odds of another team swooping in to snatch him up are very low.

The Heat would be a great fit for Kaman, allowing him to compete for a title and giving the Heat a legitimate center down low. In stunning news, Eddy Curry has failed to make an impact and the Heat face the same problem they had last season with size down low. Joel Anthony is a skilled defender and has made great strides offensively this season but still lacks the bulk to make an impact down low. If Kaman were to agree to a deal for the veteran minimum, which doesn't seem likely, it would mean the Heat would start four current or former All-Stars. Which is just kind of ridiculous.

It's no guarantee the Hornets will buy Kaman out, nor is it likely he'll lean towards the Heat if bought out. It's entirely another team, like the Boston Celtics could make a similar offer, or a team with more cap room could make an offer. Kaman would have to agree to a buyout in the first place, and there's been no indication either way of Kaman's feelings on that front. 

It's a scary thought for the rest of the league that the Heat could wind up with Kaman, and you'd have to think that puts separation between them and the rest of the league in terms of who is the best team in the league by shoring up their biggest weakness.
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:21 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 5:32 pm
 

Is Kobe Bryant getting restless?

Kobe Bryant says the Lakers will make a trade before the deadline. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

In high school, a girlfriend bought me a a button that says "conscientous agitator." My wife constantly refers to my combative tone as "poking large bears in the bum with pointy sticks." So I'm pretty familiar with how to say things that aren't technically saying things while actually saying exactly what the thing is not supposed to say... you might say. And I'm saying that Kobe Bryant is trying to say something in his recent comments this month. Let's take a dip in the oily pool, shall we?

From the Los Angeles Times on February 1st:
"Because of the changes in the players and so forth, you just can't come out of the gates and fight for a 1 seed or a 2 seed," he said. "That's just not realistic, but we want to build and get better and go into the playoffs with momentum."
via Lakers FYI: Kobe Bryant says other teams are still worried about the Lakers - Los Angeles Times.

In that same article he warns that the Lakers could be dangerous when the playoffs start. But this is Kobe Bryant, obsessed with winning, talking about how his team can't reasonably expect to be the first or second best team in the West, and that his team might be dangerous. That was eight days ago. Thursday on ESPN radio, via ESPN LA Bryant said he was sure the team would make a trade as we discussed here. Here are more comments from Bryant:
" They obviously tried to pull the trigger on a trade that they thought was going to improve our team with CP and it just didn't happen. But, that shows me that they're thinking in the right direction in terms of doing things to improve our ballclub. So that's why I'm not really tripping on it. We have to be patient and we have to make the right moves and I'm sure we will."

"The motivation is for us to build a contender," Bryant said. "It's not to just kind of sit around and see what falls in our lap. That's not the impression that I get from management at all, so I think that allows me to be patient. You can't just rush into things and then you make bad decisions, you make bad choices, you're locked into bad contracts. So, it's important to be patient, make right choices and we'll be fine."
via Driven Kobe Bryant thinks Los Angeles Lakers will 'tweak' team - ESPN Los Angeles.

The standard duck-and-cover answer for whether you think an organization will make a trade is "I don't know. I don't worry about those things. That's something (the team's GM) worries about." It's simple. It's easy. It's effective, it closes off all doors. 

What Bryant did is the opposite of that.

He's essentially pushed the organization to make a move. That's the star, the face of the franchise, the second-best-to-best player in the history of the most successful team in the NBA publicly stating that he expects his team will make a move. The hidden implication there is that he expects that because to do otherwise would be a mistake. He's not calling out teammates, he's not speaking directly about Dwight Howard or Deron Williams, though he said he'd like to play with "both of them." But he's putting it out there that going into the playoffs with Bryant chasing his sixth ring with this configuration is not acceptable. 

There's no "We've got Andrew and Pau and Metta" or "I believe our coaches can win with this roster." Just "We could be dangerous when the playoffs come around. Bryant in the interview actually specifically discusses why this situation is different from the beginning of the 07-08 season when he was demanding a trade. Which means he considers things to be bad enough to compare the two situations. Again, not trying to connect phantom trains here, but with Bryant there's always the implication of what he doesn't say when he says something. It's easy to provide a transluscent answer that gives a reporter or interviewer nothing. Instead Bryant openly said "expect change" which isn't far from "we'd better trade someone so I don't feel like I have to score 40 (on 30 shots, he'll conveniently omit) every game."

Meanwhile indications from multiple outlets suggest Dwight Howard has soured on the Lakers, which would mean that Deron Williams if off the table as the Nets would be firmly in the top spot for Howard. With Chris Paul playing the other nights at Staples, the Lakers are running out of All-Stars to go get Bryant.

Maybe Bryant is as patient as his quotes claim he is. But there's a pattern forming, and it suggest a Black Mamba unhappy with how tight his cage is.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 7:16 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 7:44 pm
 

Report: Cavs want first-round pick for Sessions

The Cavaliers reportedly want a first-round trade pick for Ramon Sessions. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore 

Ramon Sessions has been on the trade block for, well, pretty much his entire career. And now a report indicates there is a price in place for the talented, but never-starting point guard. From the News-Herald in Ohio: 
Guard Ramon Sessions is expected to opt out of his contract after this season. He'd be seeking a multiyear deal. He's scheduled to earn $4.6 million next season.

That's one reason you'll hear Sessions' name a lot in trade talks, as evidenced by recent rumors of the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks inquiring about his services. The Cavs want a first-round pick in exchange for Sessions.
via NBA: Bob Finnan's three points and rumor mill - news-herald.com.

The problem with reports of this nature is they give no indication of what "a first-round pick " means. There's a huge gap in the NBA between picks No. 30 and No. 15 and No.15 and No.1. So a first-round pick has a world of difference. If the Cavaliers are asking for a 10-15 pick, thats likely high. Likewise, a pick that would facilitate a trade to, say, the Lakers likely would mean something under his value, even if packaged with a contract filler player. 

The Cavs do need to move him, however. He has too much value on their bench but not nearly as much as budding star Kyrie Irving. The Lakers and Knicks have both been linked to talks with the Cavs, but with budding young point guard Jeremy Lin making waves in New York and the Lakers still eyeing a major trade for Dwight Howard, th eoptions may not be there.

Sessions is also having a down season, shooting only 34 percent, while holding relatively steady in assist rate. Sessions is likely to get offers, but that first-round pick likely doesn't have the value it did a few months ago. With Kyrie Irving's concussion, however, it'll be a while before the Cavs resume talks should they come in.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:30 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:40 pm
 

Report: Rockets pursuing trade for Kaman

The Rockets are reportedly pursuing Chris Kaman in a trade. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

Chris Kaman is apparently a thing, now. 

The one-time All-Star traded from L.A. to the Hornets has been benched for the time being while the team attempts to trade him. There were talks that Kaman could be bought out, but a report from Sports Illustrated indicates that it may not get that far, because the Rockets are hot to trot for him. From SI.com:  
While no deal is imminent and the pieces are still being discussed, sources said the talks have involved the Rockets' two top-10 picks from the 2009 draft -- center Hasheem Thabeet (No. 2 by Memphis) and power forward Jordan Hill (No. 8 by New York). The Rockets have other young former first-rounders who could be included as well, among them second-year forward Patrick Patterson, third-year point guard Jonny Flynn and third-year small forward Terrence Williams. They also have a 2012 first-round pick from the Knicks that the Hornets would love to obtain.
via Houston Rockets discuss acquiring Chris Kaman from Hornets - Sam Amick - SI.com.

This comes after another SI report indicated that the Sixers are out of the running for Kaman, prefering to hold on to their valuable assets despite short-term injuries to both of their centers, Nikola Vucevic and Spencer Hawes.  

For the Rockets, a simple question.

Why?

This is a team badly in need of a star player. They need a quality starting scorer, a franchise player, someone to take them from the "borderline 8th seed, one-and-done at best" mediocrity they've settled into and towards a future of contention.

Chris Kaman is pretty much the opposite of that.

It's certainly true that Thabeet is nothing to give up for Kaman. But Jordan Hill is posting a 19 percent-plus rebound rate, playing pretty solid defense for a third year guy, and shooting over 50 percent. Is he a good basketball player, yet? No, but he's more than acceptable, and has room to grow. Better still, he's a movable contract. Why would the Rockets send out a quality young player and a draft pick they can move later for a  29-year-old on an expiring contract? Kaman is a quality center when healthy, but he's not something to build around. But if the Rockets really want to make a run this season with Kyle Lowry, Kevin Martin, and Luis Scola, sure, Kaman's as good a center as any, even if the have Samuel Dalembert

It's also possible the Rockets are clearing cap space for the summer. The question then is who they're targeting if not in trade.

All around, a confusing situation surrounding Kaman.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:47 pm
 

Bynum says changes could come after road trip

Andrew Bynum says changes could come for the Lakers after the Grammy's trip. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

The Lakers are not their usual dominant selves. They're good, improving to 13-9 after a thumping of the Bobcats Tuesday night. But there is a prevailing sense that after losing Lamar Odom and some changes in roster through free agency as well as the new coaching regime, they are not the usual favorites. There was, of course, the Chris Paul trade which fell through, and rumors relating to Dwight Howard persist.

But there have been no changes. Yet.

ESPN spoke with Andrew Bynum, who says that depending on how the Grammy's trip goes, the Lakers may not be the same team when they get back from the six-gmae trip as they are when they get on the plane. From ESPN:
"If we do well on this, then we'll be the team we need to be," Andrew Bynum said. "If we don't, then they might start looking around."

Lakers coach Mike Brown confirmed reports that the team has been in touch with Gilbert Arenas, whose sole duties of late have been cashing the checks Orlando keeps sending his way after using the amnesty provision on the remainder of his contract. Arenas believes the Lakers want to see what type of shape he is in before making a commitment, according to a source.
via Daily Dime - ESPN.

The Lakers need to make a move. Kobe Bryant only has so many years left, even with his scoring output and spring in his knees. Pau Gasol's on the slide. They need to make one more run and set themselves up for the future. Bryant is owed $30 millions by the end of his contract, which means either the Lakers will be surrounding him with very little support, or a trade or amnesty will be in order to avoid death by luxury tax. Not even the Lakers can afford that kind of bill. The time is now. If they can't pull this team into a position to look like the unbeatable team it's seemed in the past four seasons (despite the epic meltdown in the second round last year vs. eventual champion Dallas), they need to face the reality and make a move. They'll always have leverage as the most popular place to play. They need to exert it. 

Arenas has been talked about for a week now. He's not going to come in and be the difference maker, though. He can produce, and have some scoring nights. Certainly having a limited role will help. But his body simply can't give what the Habachi used to cook up.

That said, the Lakers' trip only includes one legitimate contender in Denver, with the Celtics' slide and Philadelphia still largely untested. There's a good chance they rack up the wins, puff up the record, and settle in for the long wait till the trade deadline. Then, no matter how well the team is doing, the Dwight Howard scenario will be in full effect, and the drama will only get louder in Hollywood. 

(HT: SLAMOnline.com)
Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:47 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 11:36 am
 

Report: Grizz plan to keep Mayo

O.J. Mayo is playing well enough, he may stay in Memphis (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

O.J. Mayo did not have a good 2011. He got into a fight on a team plane with Tony Allen over a card game. He was busted for a banned substance he says he got from an energy drink from a gas station. He was benched for the first time in his competitive-playing life, had some injury issues, and generally wasn't himself. He was nearly traded to the Indiana Pacers ... twice. 

2012, as it turns out, is a much better fit for the fourth-year shooting guard.

Mayo has worked out his issues with coach Lionel Hollins, has a better understanding of his role on the Grizzlies, and has rediscovered his shooting touch. His 45.8 percent field goal percentage matches his career high, and his 48.9 percent mark from the perimeter is downright scorching. He's been focused in on both sides of the ball, has his career mark in PER, and rebound percentage. In short, he's playing pretty well. 

And the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reports that the result is a move away from actively pursuing a trade for Mayo. He may not be off the table, but he's no longer on the block. Not only that, but he could wind up staying with Memphis even after he enters restricted free agency this summer. 
Truth is, Griz management isn't seriously thinking of dealing Mayo nor is his possible, restricted free-agent status this summer a major concern. Mayo likely will remain with the Griz this season because of his productivity and the Grizzlies' ability to control his future with the right of first refusal on contract offers.

Although Mayo is eligible to negotiate a long-term contact extension with Memphis by Wednesday, the Griz aren't compelled to agree to a deal or trade him at the moment.

"It remains to be seen whether something happens or not," Griz general manager Chris Wallace said about a Mayo contract extension. "If it doesn't happen I wouldn't read much into it. We didn't extend Rudy and resigned him. It's a floating situation. I wouldn't say (Mayo) is a lock to be with us after this year and I wouldn't say he isn't. There's so much ground to be covered between now and July."
via Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo beginning to flourish in reserve role » The Commercial Appeal.

Eight months ago, it seemed impossible that Mayo would still be in Memphis even now. Now it's possible that the Grizzlies, after clearing some cap space by trading Xavier Henry and moving other pieces. Michael Heisley being willing to go into the luxury tax with five players on roster on big, long-term deals seems unlikely, but with the success Memphis has found, there's no way to tell. It's good to see a player work through his trouble with a team and come out productive on the other side.
 
 
 
 
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