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Tag:trades
Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:20 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 2:27 am
 

Report: Sessions and Hickson available from Cavs

Posted by Matt Moore




ESPN reports on Twitter:  
2 players you can talk to Cavs about now: Ramon Sessions & JJ Hickson. Andy Varejao not available for just a draft pick.
via Twitter / @WindhorstESPN: 2 players you can talk to ....

Sessions we knew about, as his agent has been talking about how there's not room in Cleveland if the Cavs take Kyrie Iving with the first pick next week. But Hickson is a different matter, and moving him could be a difference maker as the Cavs try and make substantial changes to their roster in a rebuilding effort.  

Hickson was at one point considered a major building block for the Cavs, but he struggled under Byron Scott, especially at the offensive end where he shot 46 percent, a significant drop off from previous seasons once he was given more minutes. Hickson is still young, though, and on a team that isn't, you know, hemorrhaging like roadkill, he could be a useful frontcourt rotation player. Maybe Cleveland can ship him to a contender needing talented big men who aren't aging, somewhere that needs depth. Oh. like Miam....oh. Nevermind.

If the Cavs are liquidating assets, though, that's a good plan. Keeping Varejao for more than a draft pick isn't a terrible idea, considering he was a defensive player of the year until his injury. But the Cavs need to be keeping an eye out for acceptable offers and still keeping the bar low. The objective needs to be to move every veteran contract that is on the books after this year. Varejao can help a contender, but there's not much he can do for the Cavs and they need to fully commit to a rebuilding era. Moving Sessions and Hickson, who are both younger pieces, is still a good start.
Posted on: June 9, 2011 5:14 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 8:27 pm
 

The NBA Trade Movie of the Week: "Get Monta"

Posted by Matt Moore

Coming this summer from the NBA Board of Governors' CBA Negotiation Meeting Productions: a new film by director Larry Riley. Starring Mark Jackson, Andre Iguodala, Jerry West, and Monta Ellis as Monta Ellis, the biggest blockbuster of the summer, "Get Monta." 

From KB:
The Warriors and representatives for Monta Ellis are working cooperatively to see if a trade to a contending team can be arranged, a deal that would likely happen around the NBA draft later this month, a person with knowledge of the discussions told CBSSports.com. “It’s pretty hot,” the person familiar with the talks said.

UPDATE: The Trail Blazers, Lakers, and Hawks, are among the teams that made exploratory calls after word leaked that the Warriors and 76ers were discussing an Ellis-for-Andre Iguodala swap, league sources said Thursday. Ellis-for-Iguodala is a “50-50” proposition at the moment, a person with knowledge of those talks said. A third person with knowledge of the Warriors strategy described trading Ellis as a secondary priority to the draft.

Ellis would be interested in a trade to the Bulls, who have previously expressed interest in him. But a person with direct knowledge of Chicagos offseason discussions refuted the notion that the Bulls have had recent contact with Golden State about the electrifying guard.
via Source: Monta trade talks pretty hot - CBSSports.com.

Let's look at some of these options. Logic Score refers to how much the trade makes sense, on a scale of 1 to 5. 

Trail Blazers

Logic Score:  3

The Blazers need backcourt help and Brandon Roy is walking through that door, but he's probably limping. The Blazers have the young talent available to make a deal but sent some picks to Charlotte that could limit them. For the deal to make sense, it would likely have to center around standout small forward Nicolas Batum, along with Wesley Matthews. It makes a lot of sense for the Blazers, provided Nate McMillan thinks he can get through to Ellis on defense. It would be interesting to see Ellis play in a halfcourt offense for once. 

Los Angeles Lakers

Logic Score: 2

Yeah, because Kobe Bryant's definitely going to want to give the ball up to Monta Ellis. Yeah, because Ellis is definitely Mike Brown's kind of defensive standout guy. Yeah, because Ellis can definitely run point guard in a system that relies on low turnovers. Yeah, because the Lakers are definitely willing to give up on their center of the future, Andrew Bynum, for Ellis with no reasonable addition in return. Yeah, because otherwise the Warriors are really looking for Matt Barnes, Luke Walton, and Derek Fisher. I don't care how much Mark Jackson likes veteran guys, this deal makes absolutely zero sense.

Chicago Bulls 

Logic Score: 4

The Bulls have Luol Deng's contract they can send, along with some good big man defensive talent to cash in on. Ellis would take possessions away from Rose, sure, but he could also be deadly as the drive and kick option and an incredible complement in transition. Ellis would take pressure off Carlos Boozer, and the Bulls can send Charlotte's 2012 pick as part of their package. This makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels. Ellis' defense? Listen, if Tom Thibodeau can make the best defense in the league with Carlos Boozer at power forward, he can do the same with Ellis at the two-guard.

Philadelphia 76ers

Logic Score: 3

This is likely to happen, and it makes a ton of sense for the Warriors. They get a defensive presence in Iguodala, likely some other personnel to fill more defensive roles and a true building block to go along with Curry. But the Sixers get Ellis, while having to mitigate further what Evan Turner can give them and force him to play big at the 3 or bury Jrue Holiday with Ellis running point. The only way this could be a slam dunk for the Sixers is if they manage to dump some other salary as well, but they'd have to get quality players like Dorell Wright or Ekpe Udoh in return. With the Warriors' pick seemingly set on a big man, that might be a decent option.
Posted on: June 1, 2011 12:06 pm
 

Bulls, Grizzlies rumored to want Monta Ellis

Posted by Matt Moore

Monta Ellis has entered into that rather uncomfortable zone where he's not traded, but everyone expects him to be. He's not gone, but it's kind of assumeed he will be. He's still with Golden State, only not really. He's been rumored to have been on the trade block for close to a year now, with Stephen Curry considered the guard of the future.

Now the Contra Costa Times reports that the Warriors are considering trading Ellis again, and more aggressively following the makeover planned by new owners with Joe Lacob leading the charge. The addition of Jerry West to the ownership and front office group only strengthens that idea, with Ellis being considered the bait to kickstart the reshaping of the Warriors in a more defensive-minded structure. The Contra Costa Times' Tim Kawakami lays out both sides of the argument for trading or not trading Ellis, and brings up the Bulls and Grizzlies as those in consideration for a trade:

 
Then there is the matter of getting the right deal for Ellis, who is due $11 million in each of the next three seasons.

After checking with a few NBA sources, two teams kept coming up — both with the combination of potential interest and the right roster pieces to intrigue West and the Warriors.

They were:

Chicago, which might have been a big-time perimeter scorer away from pushing Miami to the brink in the Eastern Conference finals. Would the Bulls think about Luol Deng for Ellis? Could the Warriors sweeten that offer?

And Memphis, West’s old team, which has Rudy Gay at a huge salary and which offered O.J. Mayo for Ellis in the recent past.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy for the Warriors to trade Ellis — emotionally or practically. It will take some guts. But again, that’s precisely why West was brought to the Warriors in the first place.
via Trade Monta Ellis? Jerry West just might be the guy to do it | Talking Points.

The Grizzlies from all indications have no intention of trading Rudy Gay, despite the team's success without him in the playoffs. Multiple reports have surfaced linking the Grizzlies to trade talks for Gay, but almost all come from media on the other side of the trade, not from Memphis. The Grizzlies would love to have Ellis, as Kawakami mentions the near Mayo-Ellis swap, but Mayo's value is no longer high enough to support such a trade, if it ever was to begin with. As a result, Memphis is an unlikely target.

The Bulls are an interesting fit. Coach Tom Thibodeau has taken players with questionable defensive ability (Keith Bogans, Carlos Boozer, Kyle Korver) and made them a part of the best defensive unit in basketball. Could he manage to cover Ellis' defensive liabilities in the same manner while adding a pure scorer to work off-ball with Rose and give the MVP a break from hoisting the offense on his shoulders. This would make a lot of sense from a lot of angles, but giving up Deng is giving up the emotional backbone of the Bulls and a key locker room guy, not to mention their best wing defender. The Bulls would be in a jam were they to make the move.

Still, the odds seem to be increasing that Ellis will not be in the Bay when the NBA kicks back up again.... whenever it kicks back up again.  
Posted on: June 1, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: June 1, 2011 11:49 am
 

Report: Bulls to pursue Dwight Howard

Posted by Matt Moore



You want to know the real problem with the market inequality in the NBA? It's not the profit-margin differential. (Yes, it is.) It's not the lack of competitive equality. (Yes, it's that, too.) It's not the inability of small markets to sign or keep stars. (Yes, it so much is.) The real problem is that both fans, media, and sometimes team authorities start to believe when they're good that they can just go out and get anyone. Have a good team but need a point guard? "SIGN CP3!" even though he's under contract, the fans cry. Need a wing defender? "We can just go get Gerald Wallace, right?" is often the discussion. And in the case of Dwight Howard, no matter what he says, every big market and their fanbase will think they can go get him. Including, apparently, the Chicago Bulls.

Mike Wilbon of ESPN said last Friday on air that "credible people" in Chicago indicated to him that the Bulls intend to make a play for Dwight Howard. This was prior to Howard's outburst saying he loved Orlando and wants to be there and all the other things everyone says on their way out of town as is the new model A.D. (After Decision), and before rumors of a contract extension being worked on came out. 

Here's a question. Why would the Bulls think they need to upgrade so badly that they would go after a player who would demand the player cost in trade of Dwight Howard? Didn't they win 60 games this year? Didn't they get the top seed in the East? Weren't they right there in the four games they lost to Miami in the Conference Finals? And wasn't all of that success predicated on a "greater than the sum of its parts" approach to the roster, using timely and well-considered contributions from multiple players as opposed to raw star power? 

To acquire Howard, the Bulls would have to give up some combination of Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Carlos Boozer, plus some young talent and some picks. It's not an impossible situation, those are good players. The Magic would never come near Boozer's contract unless it was laden with a ton of other assets, but those other guys are worth the price, as long as, again, a lot of other nice things are thrown in. It would mean sacrificing the things that made the Bulls so good this year. Their depth down low (even with Asik coming back). Boozer's post offense. And most importantly, Deng's slashing, cutting, perimeter shooting and defense, which was downright phenomenal this season. 

And how would Howard work in Chicago? In case you haven't noticed, Derrick Rose likes to shoot quite a bit. Those are touches Dwight Howard's not getting, and he feels he needs the ball to be productive. Rose isn't a great alley-oop passer or high lobber out of the pick and roll. Yes, Howard makes it exceptionally easier by being a freak of nature, but there's still a zillion reasons why this wouldn't be a perfect fit. 

And what about what the Magic would demand they take back? Orlando's not doing this deal without sending back either Gilbert Arenas or Hedo Turkoglu's contracts. Those are sinkholes on the Bulls' roster, far more than Boozer, even with them being shorter. Do the Bulls really want to wind up paying the luxury tax just to get the Defensive Player of the Year and an MVP candidate with incredible size, speed, agility and finishing ability? 

Okay, yes, probably. But it's still an obstacle. 

Then again, anything the Magic would get from the Bulls would be better than what they'll pull in from a potential Lakers deal. But this just seems like it's wishful thinking in Chicago, especially with Chicago (just barely) not being the media market L.A. or New York is. But hey, it's been a year since The Decision, Amar'e is in New York, Melo's in New York, and no matter what Howard says, the question won't be closed till he signs that extension in the minds of front office officials or the reporters they talk to in those big cities. 

Get ready, kids. The Dwight Out (GET IT?!) is still coming soon. 

(HT: IamaGM.com)
Posted on: May 18, 2011 2:22 pm
 

The complexity of the egg on the Clippers' face

The Clippers' pick won the lottery, but won't be going to L.A.. Could the Clippers have avoided surrendering the No.1 overall pick to Cleveland?

Posted by Matt Moore


So the Clippers' would have had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, giving them a devastating combo of Blake Griffin and Kyrie Irving going forward, had they not traded it to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and to get out from Baron Davis' contract (in exchange for Mo Williams' contract). Except they wouldn't have, because that trade altered the Clippers season and landed them in the spot that gave Cleveland the No.1 overall. There was no way for the Clippers to know that they would have landed the top spot had they held on to the pick. But they did know it was possible, knowing they were lottery bound. So why didn't they top-three protect the pick, as is done so often in the NBA? 

Clippers' GM Neil Olshey told NBA.com:

“Protecting the pick was never an option,” L.A. general manager Neil Olshey told NBA.com. “There is no way to Monday morning quarterback this since our draft position wouldn’t have been the same had we not made the deal as I’m sure we would not have finished 11-11 post-trade without Mo Williams.“

Additionally, we had a 97-percent chance of sitting here tonight with Baron Davis taking up 25 percent of our cap, the eighth pick in a weak draft and no cap flexibility. Adding Mo Williams and $8.5 million in cap room gave us a better opportunity to become a playoff team next year than adding a seventh player under 23 with no NBA experience.”
via No Regrets For Clippers « NBA.com | Hang Time Blog.

When the lottery balls came up Cleveland last night, Olshey must have had a Charlie-Brown moment. "Good grief." It's true that the Clippers had no way of knowing they'd wind up in the top spot, and it's nearly certain that had L.A. not made the trade, they wouldn't have winded up in the lottery spot that gave Cleveland the pick. But at the same time, Cleveland's 2012 pick goes to the Celtics. The Clippers' best bet is to build around Blake Griffin with young talent. Mo Williams and Chris Kaman do not constitute as such. Even with Eric Bledose a promising young point guard, the Clippers need as much talent as they can get. Top 3 protecting that pick would have gotten them the best of both worlds, the cap relief they so desired, and that pick. Protecting the pick is something that happens in trades nearly every time, specifically to prevent this situation. Olshey's right that the Clippers received more in value than they gave up in the trade... at the time of the trade. But that won't help the continuing perception, despite Blake Griffin's brilliance, that the Clippers are still the Clippers, prone to do Clipper things.  
Posted on: April 29, 2011 10:04 pm
 

Warriors want a complete overhaul

Warriors' GM says personnel changes towards defensive strength must happen along with new coach mindset. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Thursday we mentioned how Larry Riley was looking for a coach with better defensive principles, and we questioned how that was going to happen, given their personnel. Turns out, Riley turned around and acknowledged that there were going to be personnel changes. Defense has to be brought in, and the time is now. 
From SFGate.com: 
In what hinted at a major change in philosophy, Riley noted that all of the potential additions have to be better defenders. He even seemed open to slowing his preferred uptempo style offense.

"That doesn't mean I have to go get a defensive guru to coach," Riley said. "Our defense has to improve, but that's not necessarily the model for the coach. ...

"We do like the uptempo game, because the roster is geared that way. That could change, if we change the roster as well as the coach."
via Housecleaning ongoing for Warriors GM Riley.

So the objective then is to try and build a transition roster that doesn't clash with the uptempo pieces they have in place but can also play defense. That's a tough, but not impossible order. Fast-pace teams tend to give up more points and offensive rebounds by way of the system. But a team like Indiana is a good example of a team with young, athletic talent who play solid defense and have the fifth highest pace. And we saw what kind of promising future they've got in their first-round series against Chicago, albeit a brief one. 

If the Warriors want to put the pointless speed years behind them and move towards a more-balanced, while still fast future, making these kinds of adoptions are a great way to start. The only question is what they'll have to give up to start adding those types of players. 


Posted on: April 28, 2011 4:19 pm
 

Wilson Chandler may head back to the Knicks

Wilson Chandler is a restricted free agent this summer. Could he return to the Knicks?
Posted by Matt Moore

Wilson Chandler was pretty comfortable in New York. He had the whole New York thing going on, he was a featured part of the offense, he had some chemistry with his guys and Amar'e. Then Donnie Walsh James Dolan Isiah Thomas came along and ruined all that, shipping him as part of the kitchen-sink package for Melo.  Chandler's going to be semi-available this summer once the CBA gets sorted out, though, and the Knicks are reportedly interested in bringing him back in. From the New York Post
Chandler, who was dispatched to Denver in the Carmelo Anthony trade, will be a restricted free agent, and a source said he would love to return to the Knicks. And the Knicks would love to have him back, as coach Mike D'Antoni believes he's the perfect versatile fit for his system who does so many things, including rebound. Chandler's Nuggets trail Oklahoma City 3-1 in the first round.

Chandler's new agent is Happy Walters, who also represents Amar'e Stoudemire and Knicks surprise reserve standout Shawne Williams, also a free agent whom the Knicks would like to bring back.
via Chandler may come back to Knicks - NYPOST.com.

Chandler is a versatile wing who had a 54 percent True Shooting percentage this year, even after the drop when he came to Denver. He took to Mike D'Antoni's system, can work off-ball and as a ball-handler, and is only 24 next season. Bringing him back would be a big boost for the Knicks. It's surprising that Chandler didn't take the trade more personally, though. He lived through the end of the Isiah reign, dealt with inconsistency in his role and kept coming back and playing, only to succeed, and then be traded. Coming back would mean more time spent as a third banana to Melo (Melo takes up two banana spots) on the wing. 

But hey, it is New York, after all. 
Posted on: March 10, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Memphis has a Zach Randolph situation

Zach Randolph wants his money. Is Memphis in a position to provide him his next contract, and more importantly, should they?
Posted by Matt Moore

It's not like Memphis didn't see this coming. When they gave Rudy Gay a max deal worth $80 million, then followed it up four months later with a $40 million deal for Mike Conley (which looks like a steal right now compared to the garbage assessment I gave it), they knew they were going to be setting themselves up to not get back the core. The starting five from last season of Conley, O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol was something management and ownership had both asserted needed to be kept together. They continually spoke to keeping that core together to let it develop. But for that to happen, with a combination of talented young players on the rise and veterans looking for substantial investments, people were going to have to take paycuts. Two of the five took about as much as they were going to get on the open market. Something's got to give. 

Mayo is gone, even if he's not gone. That fact is a combination of decisions from both Mayo and the Grizzlies. Mayo struggled to take over more ball-handling duties over the summer, then wilted under criticism from his coach resulting in a prolonged shooting slump, then go into a fight with teammate Tony Allen on the team plane, during which he was KO'd, then was busted for a performance enhancing drug due to a supplement he claims was in a gas stations refreshment. Mayo's had his hand in this. But the Grizzlies committed a cardinal sin of management, be it a corporate office, a movie rental store (when those existed), or a basketball team. They set Mayo up for failure. They pushed him to be something he's not, a point guard, and when he struggled in a handful of games in Summer League, publicly criticized him for it. They gave Conley the money when he had contributed less to the team than Mayo at that point, moved him to the bench (even if they did need bench scoring, they knew the effect it would have on his confidence), and continuously told him they weren't moving him, then shopped him on the trade market. The final straw was the failed deal with the Pacers that nearly moved him at the deadline. That's not a situation that can be repaired. Be it this summer or worst-case scenario in restricted free agency in the summer of 2012, Mayo's gone. 

Which leaves Gasol and Randolph. One is going to have as many suitors as he can shake his beard at, the other has not been quiet about making it clear he wants his final payday. Alan Hahn of Newday reported Thursday on both Gasol and Randolph's free agency situations. Specifically, just about every New York media outlet has spun that the Knicks are intent on landing Gasol to be their center of the future, which they badly need. Gasol, true to the form he's held throughout the conversations about his upcoming restricted free agency, said he's not concerned with it, not worried about it. He's said the same to every outlet, but there's one differential. Gasol went to high school in Memphis. He's been there off and on for close to a decade. Whatever problems his brother had with management probably do affect his thinking, but this is also restricted free agency. If the Grizzlies are willing to match, which there is every indication they are, Gasol won't make it hard on them, or buck at the idea of staying in Memphis through another contract. Odds are very strong that Gasol will be in Memphis for the future. 

Randolph, on the other hand, is a stickier situation. From Newsday
Former Knick Zach Randolph will also be looking for a new contract this offseason as an unrestricted free agent and he sounded annoyed that the Grizzlies decided not to sign him to an extension. "I thought it shouldve been done," he said. "But its a business, nothing personal. Ive just got to come out and do my job every day and let everything else take care of itself."
via Gasol would fit in nicely with Knicks- Newsday.

Randolph's been pretty annoyed this entire time he hasn't gotten the extension. Randolph turns 30 this summer, and this is likely his last really lucrative NBA contract. He's got something good in Memphis, and wants to be rewarded for it. But Randolph has learned that this is a business (having been traded multiple times, largely on account of his off-court behavior and leadership issues, both of which have vanished in Memphis), and will pursue whatever angle he can to get the best deal he can. 

And that's where things get bothersome for the Grizzlies. How do you put the right price on Randolph? He's going to be 30. He doesn't have a history of winning. His defense is not great. (He's not a sieve or anything, but put him up against a long athletic guy who's as relentless as he is and he gets overmatched, quickly, and his weakside rotation leaves a lot to be desired.) He succeeds mostly by being savvier, more gifted, and working harder than the other guy. But isn't that who you want on your team? The leadership mentioned earlier could not have been better in Memphis. Randolph is the first guy to help Gasol up, and Randolph told me over Christmas that he just loves playing next to the big Spaniard, despite what should be a culture gap. He's the first to applaud a teammate, first to stand up for him in a tussle, first to help Darrel Arthur learn what he needs to be doing. And all of that is before you factor he was the Grizzlies first All-Star since Pau Gasol, he leads the team in scoring, is a double-double machine, and is arguably their best overall player. How do you not reward a player for doing everything you've asked of him and more? 

The trick is going to be for the two sides to find a compromise. If Randolph's looking for the standard deal with considerable increases as the contract progresses, the Grizzlies will balk. Randolph at 34 isn't going to be nearly the same player he is now. Front-loading the contract is the best-case scenario, but relies more on Randolph's ability to manage his money. The real issue in all this is the CBA. The Grizzlies are probably looking to see how the new cap situation shakes out before evaluating how much fair market value is for Randolph in the new universe being created in the boardrooms. Would it have been right for the Grizzlies to cave and give Randolph is fair share this season? Sure. But that's not how you build for the future. You do it carefully, and shrewdly, and emotions aren't part of the process. 

Just ask Danny Ainge. 

So the Grizzlies try to push for the playoffs, a must with the kind of improvements they've made, and hope for the best. If they fall short (check their schedule for the rest of the month, it's a gauntlet wrapped in barbed wire on fire), ownership could hit the roof and pull the plug on everything but what they've committed to. Which also might spell the end of professional basketball in Memphis. 

As is the case seemingly everywhere this season, there's a lot going on in Memphis on and off the court. 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com