Klay Thompson Rumors
May 9 at 10:54pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski looks back to June 2011, when Warriors' GM Bob Myers had worries about not being able to select Klay Thompson knowing that either the Spurs could possibly trade up in the draft to get him or that the Bucks were planning to select him with the 10th overall pick. As it would turn out, San Antonio would wind up trading for the 15th pick (Kawhi Leonard) and the Kings landed the 10th pick to select Jimmer Fredette, leaving the sharpshooting Washington State forward right into the hands of Golden State. Here are a few more miscellaneous notes to share along this evening:
- AJ Mitnick of Sheridan Hoops fills us in on the "best of the bunch" in terms of international prospects in this year's draft.
- The 76ers aren't expected to hold most of their interviews for their head coaching search until after the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, writes Tom Moore of phillyBurbs.com, although there is a possibility that the team could conduct some during camp.
- According to this report by the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are widely known to be seeking perimeter help heading into the draft but could look to add more to their frontcourt.
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Lakers have granted the Cavaliers permission to interview Phil Handy about joining Mike Brown's coaching staff in Cleveland.
- When asked about the trade that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson told reporters that letting Ellis go helped change the culture of the team, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link).
- ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets that Lionel Hollins will be highly coveted if the Grizzlies opt to not re-sign him this summer, adding that the Nets would figure to be among the interested teams.
- Heat owner Mickey Arison engaged in some civil discourse with a fan on Twitter regarding the possibility that Seattle loses out on their bid for the Kings (credit goes to SportsRadioKJR.com). Arison made it clear that he believes that the city of Sacramento has done enough to warrant keeping the team, and refuted the notion that Seattle had put forth the same effort in 2008 before the Sonics franchise ultimately moved to Oklahoma City.
- John Denton of NBA.com writes that Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu understands the current youth movement of the franchise and that his time in Orlando could be over within the next coming months.
- Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) reports that Lakers big man Pau Gasol will be held out of basketball activities for the next three months after undergoing an operation on his knee today.
March 20 at 2:35pm CST By Luke Adams
Having dropped nine of their last 12 games, the Jazz will play a crucial contest tonight in Houston. According to ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton (Twitter link), Utah's playoff chances will increase to 38.7% with a win against the Rockets today, but would drop to 18.7% with a loss. As the Jazz prepare for what is virtually a must-win game, let's round up a few Western Conference notes....
- Sacramento city officials remain on track to unveil a proposal for funding a new arena on Thursday, according to Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis, and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee. Releasing the term sheet for public viewing on Thursday would give Sacramento City Council five days to examine it before voting on Tuesday.
- Grizzlies players have come around on management's belief that Memphis is a better team following the trade that sent Rudy Gay to Toronto, as Zach Randolph tells Sam Amick of USA Today: "You're (getting) the whole team playing one way, and guys sticking to
what they do and playing together, playing for each other and playing
defense and playing inside-out basketball. It's a lot better – a better
mindset – playing like that.... When it first happened, everybody
was down about it, especially because Rudy was like a brother to us. It
was difficult at first. You wouldn't think it would be this way now, but
- Asked about his 2013/14 player option, Marvin Williams said that he hasn't even thought about his decision yet, according to Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune (via Twitter). Oram notes that Williams is unlikely to exceed the $7.5MM he'd make in his option year on the open market, and he seems to like playing in Utah, so he's a good bet to be back with the Jazz (Twitter links).
- Responding to a Tim Kawakami piece on how a rumored James Harden/Klay Thompson swap between the Thunder and Warriors in 2012 would have been impossible, Daniel Leroux of RealGM.com explores some ways in which a deal could have worked.
March 16 at 10:15pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Although we recently picked up on Bill Simmons' Grantland article mentioning that the Warriors and Thunder engaged in exploratory talks involving Klay Thompson and James Harden last summer, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News firmly refutes the interpretation that Golden State 'turned down' an offer with Oklahoma City. While he says that Simmons' information in the article is correct and acknowledges that GM Sam Presti's interest in Thompson was accurate, Kawakami explains why a deal would have been "practically impossible."
First, Kawakami looks at Harden's eventual max-contract extension, which would have likely required the Warriors to simultaneously unload Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins' contracts. That alone, he says, was already a non-starter for the Thunder, who would not have been willing to take back either of those deals. Secondly, Kawakami points out that the earliest draft choice that Golden State could have offered would have been a 2015 first-rounder, due to the fact that this year's pick is owed to the Jazz and that teams are unable to trade a first-round pick in consecutive seasons (therefore eliminating the inclusion of a 2014 pick). With that in mind, he argues that Oklahoma City wouldn't have favored or been able to gauge the value of a draft choice that would be determined two years from now.
He then refers to what the Thunder actually received in the deal: Kevin Martin on a short-term contract, two potential first round picks this summer (one likely to fall in the lottery), and Jeremy Lamb (a lottery pick from 2012).
While it's reasonable to presume that Presti would have been willing get into more serious discussions with the Warriors if they were able to somehow acquire one or two 2013-14 draft picks, Kawakami says that doing so would have required a major roster shake up, possibly costing Harrison Barnes and/or trading David Lee for much lesser value, and thus leaving a roster with heavy financial commitments to Stephen Curry, Harden, and Andrew Bogut.
In the event that Golden State wouldn't have had to give up Lee and also kept Jefferson and Biedrins, Kawakami shows how the team could have had an annual salary figure of $78MM spanning just 8 players, with the task of filling out the roster potentially costing an additional $6MM. In summation, he concludes that there was no draft choice for the Warriors include, no clear way of making the numbers work, and "no official give and take in the supposed offer."
March 8 at 2:21pm CST By Luke Adams
After looking at the NBA's most cap-friendly deals a week ago, Grantland's Bill Simmons returns today with his picks for the league's top 30 worst contracts. Within the piece, Simmons passes along an interesting nugget regarding the Thunder's James Harden trade talks.
Multiple sources tell Simmons that the Warriors were the first team Sam Presti called when he explored a Harden deal, as Oklahoma City hoped to land Klay Thompson. However, Golden State, wary of future tax bills, wanted the Thunder to take back Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins, rather than cheaper or shorter-term contracts, which resulted in Presti exploring other options and eventually reaching an agreement with the Rockets.
While the Warriors would have been in line for a huge tax bill for 2013/14 if they'd extended Harden to go along with all the other big-money contracts on their books, it's hard not to be intrigued imagining what a Harden/Stephen Curry backcourt would have looked like.
Here are a few more Friday notes from around the Western Conference:
- Sports marketing expert David Carter spoke to Sam Amick of USA Today about the Kings sale, exploring whether Sacramento is a better basketball market than Seattle, why a public subsidy in Sacramento's arena proposal could appeal to the NBA, and a handful of other topics.
- ESPN.com's Chris Broussard explains why he believes it's in Dwight Howard's best interests to re-sign with the Lakers this summer.
- Another busy summer is in store for the Mavericks, as the team continues to seek a talent that would make Dirk Nowitzki the second-best player on the roster, writes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Despite the team's projected cap space, the future isn't looking particularly bright for the Mavericks, according to Gil Lebreton of the Star-Telegram.
February 27 at 7:01pm CST By Alex Lee
The news of the night so far in the NBA is that Pacers' Roy Hibbert and Warriors' David Lee have each been suspended one game without pay for their roles in last night's skirmish (Twitter links from Yahoo's Marc Spears). In addition, Lance Stephenson, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were each fined $35,000 for "escalating the altercation." Hibbert already told Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star that he will pay Stephenson's fine for being a good teammate, tweets Wells.
Lee will serve his suspension tonight, as the Warriors visit in the Knicks in one of 10 games on tonight's schedule. Mark Jackson, back in Madison Square Garden as head coach of the Warriors, has already expressed his displeasure with the league's decision, tweets Adam Zagoria of NBA.com. Here are some other odds and ends from around the league:
- Chad Ford of ESPN released his latest draft blog, available to insiders only and complete with an updated top 30. Ben McLemore of Kansas tops his big board but as Ford asserts, this year's top 10 promises to be as ever-changing as any in recent memory.
- Greg Oden will not decide on his next team until July, reports Sam Amico of Fox Sports. This agrees with last week's report from Marc Spears of Yahoo that Oden won't sign until the offseason, though it sounds like this came directly from Oden's agent, Mike Conley. Amico writes that Oden came close to signing with the Cavaliers earlier this month, but an agreement couldn't be reached. Conley believes that once Oden works his way into game shape, he will again have All Star potential.
- Free agent forward Donte Greene, now healthy after fracturing his ankle in August, will work out for teams at Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, tweets Marc Spears of Yahoo. Spears reported last week that the Nets, Pacers, Hornets, Spurs, Bulls, Knicks, Magic, Rockets, and Cavaliers have all checked in on Greene, who played the last four seasons in Sacramento. Citing a league source, Nets Daily has reported the Nets are not currently interested in filling their open roster spot by adding Greene.
- As was rumored yesterday, it appears that Kings minority owner John Kehriotis does in fact intend to submit a "back-up offer" to the Maloofs to buy the Kings, reports Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee. Kehriotis apparently has the capital to match the offer from the Seattle group and believes he has the legal right to counter their attempt to buy the team, according to the report.
- Meanwhile, the Sacramento city council voted on Tuesday night to approve the request made by city officials to begin negotiations over the financing of a new arena, reports Bizjak. These negotiations are a crucial element to Sacramento's bid to keep the Kings.
February 23 at 10:13am CST By Sean Highkin
Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld has a new column examining which teams have a chance to be title contenders five seasons from now, taking into account possible moves in free agency and the ages of the teams' core players.
- Brigham believes the Thunder still have the brightest future, given that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka will all be under 30 in five seasons.
- LeBron James' free agency will play a major role in determining the next title contender, Brigham writes. The health and effectiveness of Dwyane Wade will determine whether James stays with the Heat, but the Cavaliers and Lakers are also possible destinations.
- On that note, Brigham writes that, although Kyrie Irving is blossoming into a superstar, the Cavs will not be a contender unless James signs in Cleveland.
- The Bulls will still be contenders if Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah stay healthy, Brigham writes. He also notes that Nikola Mirotic will have come over to the NBA by then.
- The trade for Thomas Robinson added another young piece to the James Harden/Jeremy Lin core the Rockets have built, Brigham writes. Additionally, the team is still well under the cap and can add another high-level player via free agency.
- Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge give the Blazers a solid core to build around, writes Brigham.
- Brigham writes that there will be uncertainty every year for the next five as to whether Chris Paul will still be with the Clippers.
- Even if Stephen Curry's ankles don't hold up, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes give the Warriors a good young core, Brigham says.
- Brigham writes that the Pacers have excellent cornerstone players in Roy Hibbert and Paul George.
February 20 at 7:19pm CST By Luke Adams
7:19pm: A deal sending Gordon to the Warriors won't happen before the deadline, sources tell Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game, who adds that the trade could resurface in the summer (Sulia link).
12:45pm: Yesterday, John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that, while the Hornets aren't actively shopping Eric Gordon, they would be interested in a deal with the Warriors that included Klay Thompson. And according to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio, those two teams have engaged in discussions that a source classifies as "more than exploratory" (Twitter link).
In Reid's report yesterday, he noted that the Warriors are reluctant to part with Thompson, since the team feels he's a young emerging star. Gordon has also had injury issues over the last couple years, and is in the first year of an expensive long-term contract. If talks between the two sides progress, I'd imagine the Warriors would push the Hornets to take on at least one of Golden State's bad contracts -- Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins are earning $10.16MM and $9MM this season, respectively, and are certain to exercise their equally pricey player options for next season.
ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reported yesterday that the Hornets had made Gordon available in trade talks, though potential suitors have some concerns about his health. The 24-year-old shooting guard would also have the opportunity to veto any deal, since the Hornets matched his offer sheet in restricted free agency last summer.
February 20 at 1:08am CST By Ryan Raroque
Yahoo's Marc J. Spears says (via Twitter) that trade talk has been quiet, as teams are waiting to see what happens with Josh Smith first. One major factor which undeniably has affected discussions around this time has been the looming "repeater tax," which Adrian Wojnarowski tweets is the reason why most teams have been reluctant to take back long-term deals at the deadline. We'll round up the rest of tonight's miscellaneous links below:
- In addressing the biggest issues for the Lakers moving forward, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times puts the chances of Dwight Howard re-signing next season at 25%. If Howard stays, Bresnahan thinks the Lakers could possibly amnesty Pau Gasol. If Dwight chooses to leave, Bresnahan opines that L.A. would likely keep Gasol and amnesty Metta World Peace.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune directs attention to Luke Ridnour and the Timberwolves' multiple first-round picks as their most attractive pieces in trying to acquire a legitimately-sized shooting guard.
- According to Wojnarowski, the Bobcats have been trying to find takers for Gerald Henderson and are looking for a first-round pick in return.
- John Reid of NOLA.com hears that the Hornets would be interested in trading Eric Gordon to the Warriors in any package that includes Klay Thompson, although Golden State is said to be reluctant in parting ways with the second-year guard right now. Reid notes Gordon has the power to veto any trade, and while he showed a strong interest in signing with Phoenix over the summer, the Hornets are prohibited from dealing him to the Suns.
- With no first-round picks or salary cap space to use, Tim Kawakami of Mercury News believes that the Warriors aren't looking or aren't likely to make a deal soon.
- ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that Derrick Rose appeared good enough to return to in-game action judging by the way he looked during 5-on-5 practice, according to eyewitnesses (Twitter link). On the same token, head coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN Chicago earlier today that Rose might not make his return this season.
- Paul Coro of AZCentral.com says that Sebastian Telfair and Jermaine O'Neal could be sent to title contenders in minor deals, and that Telfair would be the most likely candidate to be moved.
- While there aren't any concrete trade connections between Oklahoma City and the following list of players, Royce Young of Daily Thunder names five reasonable targets for the Thunder: Luc Mbah a Moute, J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Darren Collison, and Rodney Stuckey.
November 15 at 11:00pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times focuses on Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe's efforts to develop into a true NBA point guard. With the help of assistant coach Robert Pack and the mentorship of both NBA veterans Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul, the third-year reserve has a prime opportunity to redefine his game as he continues to adjust to the position after being drafted as a two-guard from Kentucky in 2010. Nonetheless, Bledsoe has been playing well to start this season, producing 10.6 PPG, 1.5 steals per game, and shooting 49% from the field, compared to his career averages of 5.9 PPG, 1.0 SPG, and 42.4% overall. Interestingly enough, he is only averaging 18.7 MPG this year with increased production, which is nearly 4 minutes less than what he averaged as a rookie in 2010-11. There have been several links to arrive out of the Pacific Division tonight, and you can find a roundup of them here:
October 29 at 10:56am CST By Luke Adams
10:56am: Suns president Lon Babby confirmed to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that Phoenix had been engaged with the Thunder in trade talks for Harden, though he says that no proposal ever gained serious traction.
"We were engaged in discussions on numerous occasions," Babby said. "We most recently met in person when we played them [on October 19th]. At the end of the day, there wasn’t a deal that was
workable for both sides."
8:53am: According to Zach Lowe of Grantland.com, Thunder GM Sam Presti had at least "semi-serious" trade conversations involving James Harden with a number of teams before eventually accepting the Rockets' offer. Lowe says the Warriors, Jazz, Wizards, and Raptors were among the teams that Presti spoke to before sending Harden to Houston. We heard yesterday that the Suns also pursued a trade for Harden.
The Thunder were seeking a sure-thing player who was still in the first year or two of his rookie deal, according to Lowe. That means Presti figures to have inquired on players like Klay Thompson, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Bradley Beal, and Jonas Valanciunas. Lowe adds that the Thunder GM likely started the process by reaching out to the Hornets about Anthony Davis, though I imagine that conversation didn't last too long.
Here are a few more Harden-related links, as reactions continue to pour in on one of the year's most surprising trades:
- Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman reports that the Thunder made a last-ditch offer to Harden on Friday, proposing a four-year, $53MM extension. The team gave him a one-hour window to accept it, telling him that if he turned it down, he'd be traded to Houston. According to Tramel's sources, Harden said he needed three days to make a decision, but because the Rockets wanted time to negotiate an extension before Wednesday's deadline, Presti stuck to the one-hour window.
- The pieces the Thunder acquired for Harden are the same sort of assets the team used to initially build itself into a perennial contender, opines Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman.
- Members of the Spurs, a team the Thunder eliminated from the playoffs earlier this year, were surprised by the deal, as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News writes. "It's kind of weird to look at OKC and think of them without their Big
Three," Danny Green said. "Things are different. Obviously
they're still going to be a good team."