Chris Granger

Pacific Notes: Curry, Kerr, Draft, Warriors, Kings

Stephen Curry was more valuable to the Warriors offensively this season than Kevin Durant, writes Kevin Pelton of In a fascinating piece about the relative value of the pair, Pelton points to Curry’s passing ability and the game-changing effect his lethal three-point shooting has on drawing defenders. As a result, ESPN’s real plus-minus (RPM) views Curry as having been far more valuable than Durant this season. However, the writer does allow for Durant’s already high value improving next season and beyond. Adjustments were constantly being made during KD’s first year on the team.

Here’s more from the Pacific division:

  • Although the Warriors presently lack a pick in this week’s draft, the team held a pre-draft workout on Tuesday, tweets Jeremy Woo. According to Woo, the participants were Canyon Barry (Florida), Sterling Brown (SMU), Chance Comanche (Arizona), Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin), Ben Moore (SMU), and Tai Webster (Nebraska).
  • Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will be given time off throughout the summer to explore options for alleviating his back problems, according to Janie McCauley of The Associated Press“I think at the point we’re at now, it’s what makes you 5-10-15 percent better? And that’s what he’s going to pursue and explore with our blessing,” GM Bob Myers said.
  • In the wake of Chris Granger‘s resignation Monday as president of the Kings, Ailene Voison of The Sacramento Bee explains why the departure signifies a major loss to both the franchise and the community. Golden 1 Center stands as Granger’s crowning achievement as Kings president. About Granger, team owner Vivek Ranadive said, “I’m really sad Chris is leaving, but when I recruited him, I also knew it wasn’t going to be forever. He built the arena. He stayed a year (afterward). I told him, ‘I’d like to keep you, but I also understand you don’t want to be selling sponsorships your whole life.’ He’s a big time guy.”
  • The Kings‘ top priority should be to find a point guard to grow their nucleus around, writes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Each team in the Pacific division is stacked at point guard, except for the Kings, who have Darren Collison and Ty Lawson, both free agents. Jones suggests that the team draft its point guard of the future, with many talented floor generals available, even if De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky) is drafted before the Kings pick at No. 5.

Kings Owner On Malone, Front Office, Cousins

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive tells Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee that he expects the team will lose money this year, but he says he’s “not that concerned” about it. Ranadive has officially been in control of the franchise for just eight and a half months, but he’s already made a significant impact. He’s signed off on a max extension for DeMarcus Cousins, hired a new coach, overhauled the front office and kept pushing for a new arena against local opponents and a 2017 NBA-imposed deadline. The software magnate shared a range of thoughts on the team and other subjects with Voisin, and we’ll pass along a few highlights from their Q&A here:

On coach Michael Malone:

I think Michael Malone is going to be a great coach. He was thrown into a situation where there was a lot of dysfunction, and we said the first year is not going to be measured on wins and losses. Do we have a culture? Do we have a system? Are we developing our players? I believe we’re moving in the right direction.

On the philosophical differences between Malone and the front office:

Look, I know people talk about that my coach is always focusing on defense, while guys like Mullie (Chris Mullin, adviser) and Petey (D’Alessandro, general manager) are offense-oriented. And that we have offensive players. It’s no secret the game has become an offensive game, with three-point shots, layups, the rule changes. We all see it. So we have to reconcile that. And I think it’s good. If I had everyone who agreed, why would I want them?

On the team’s player personnel moves since he bought the team:

I’m very pleased with those decisions. When I bought the team, everybody told me the first thing you should do is get rid of DeMarcus, including the previous management. But I just kept an open mind, and I interacted with the young man. And what I saw was a young man who wanted to win and had experienced nothing but chaos during his time with the Kings. Throughout the season he has proven that he wants to win, and he is maturing. I can’t fault him because he wants to win so much.

On whether the notion that the current collective bargaining agreement is more small-market friendly than the one before it influenced his decision to buy the team:

It was a factor when I asked some smart money people to join me. I did explain to them we were at an important point in the evolution of the business. And, yes, in the past, most teams lost money. But with the new TV contract and all the things that were happening, this (NBA) was going to become more like the NFL.

On his accomplishments so far as Kings owner:

“Just kind of stepping back, when I took over, we started from scratch. There is no other word for it than a turnaround. We just paid $535MM for something that had no revenue, no ticket sales, an arena that is falling apart, that had chaos in the locker room, leadership that was falling apart, and so I had to just quickly stabilize everything. And kind of keeping with my philosophy of surrounding myself with people smarter than me, I think I’ve done that. (Team president) Chris Granger is one of the top guys in the NBA.”

International Notes: Kings, White, Thornton, Spurs

The Kings are dedicated to expanding their brand internationally, Will Robinson of Reuters reports. Kings president Chris Granger expressed his interest in appealing to NBA fans over in India: “Our overall mission for us is to become India’s home team.” This announcement is hardly surprising since we’ve heard numerous times that David Stern and the NBA as a whole are keen on expanding the league’s presence overseas.

Have a look at the latest international news:

  • Former first-round pick D.J. White will be returning to China. Marc Stein of reports that the Sichuan Blue Whales are bringing aboard the ex-Bobcats big man. Although White was in Chicago for training camp, he failed to make the Bulls’ opening day roster and most recently saw playing time for the Shanghai Sharks. White will join Hamed Haddadi on the Blue Whales, another former NBA player.
  • Al Thornton inked an international deal today in Puerto Rico. According to Sportando, the Brujos de Guayama have announced his signing. The former lottery pick hasn’t seen NBA action since 2010/11 when he put up a meager 7.4 PPG for the Wizards and Warriors.
  • Dan McCarney over at Spurs Nation takes a look at how the Spurs depth is due largely to the team’s excellent assortment of international players. McCarney notes that with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker aging, great play off the bench from “The Foreign Legion” is critical.

Pacific Links: Granger, Lakers, Nunnally, Kings

Kings team president Chris Granger had been a candidate to succeed Adam Silver as NBA deputy commissioner before he accepted the Sacramento job this summer, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive revealed, reports Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee. Granger told a gathering of Sacramento business leaders that the city's longstanding support of the Kings weighed heavily on the league as it debated letting the club leave for Seattle. There's more from the Kings among the latest from the Pacific Division:

Vogel On East, Offseason, Granger, Hibbert

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel was a guest on ESPN Radio in Indianapolis today and Scott Agness of transcribed much of the interview for us.  Vogel hits on a number of topics, but specifically discussed the offseason developments at the top of the Eastern Conference, including those within his own team.  Here are a few key points from Vogel:

  • Vogel mentioned the Bulls and Nets as the two teams that have taken big steps forward this offseason; Chicago with the return of Derrick Rose and Brooklyn with their bevy of additions.  Vogel lauded the bench additions of Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko in Brooklyn, and said he expects good things from Jason Kidd as an NBA coach.
  • The Pacers' addition of Luis Scola will really help the team's bench, Vogel said, adding that Scola is one of smartest and most creative players in the league.  Vogel said that Solomon Hill, drafted 23rd by Indiana in June, is "ready to contribute right away" and also mentioned C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland as useful additions to his squad. 
  • Of course, the piece most likely to elevate the Pacers to the next level is the return of Danny Granger, who missed all but five games last season with knee issues.  On Granger, Vogel said, "It’s really exciting. Danny is on schedule, looks really good, he’s making progress each week and we’re hoping that we're going to be having a full-strength Danny Granger this year to add to this team that made a lot of noise last year."
  • Roy Hibbert has concentrated on bulking up this summer, according to Vogel.  Hibbert, who established himself as an elite physical presence in last season's playoffs, is adding bulk mainly in hopes of improving on the offensive end, Vogel said.

Odds & Ends: Kings, Tolliver, Lakers, Ellis

After a bid to relocate the NBA's Kings failed, Seattle-based investors also reportedly explored the possibility of moving the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes to the city. Although the franchise appears to be staying put in Phoenix, Seattle wasn't the only city interested in relocating it. According to Dwight Jaynes of, Paul Allen and the Trail Blazers were also interested in buying the Coyotes and moving the team to Portland's Rose Garden.

Here are more odds and ends from around the NBA on a very busy Wednesday:

  • The Kings have named high-ranking NBA executive Chris Granger as their new team president, according to Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. Granger, who had been the executive VP of team marketing and business operations for the NBA, will oversee the team's role in the development of a new downtown sports arena and its business operations, says Lillis. It doesn't sound like Granger will be involved much, if at all, in the Kings' basketball operations.
  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (via Twitter) that Anthony Tolliver is in talks with five teams, including the Hawks, and hopes to make a decision soon.
  • The Lakers have had conversations with Josh Powell's representative, tweets Dave McMenamin of McMenamin adds in a second tweet that the team has also spoken to a couple more former Lakers: Sasha Vujacic and Lamar Odom.
  • As Monta Ellis continues to seek a free agent deal, there doesn't appear to be a clear favorite to sign him, writes Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. News broke today that Ellis has parted ways with his longtime agent.
  • Elton Brand and Brandan Wright are still talking to the Mavericks about a potential return, but Rodrigue Beaubois is almost certainly headed elsewhere, as GM Donnie Nelson told reporters today, including Bryan Gutierrez of
  • Before he agreed to sign with the Bobcats, Al Jefferson received interest from the Mavericks and Pelicans, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.