Danny Green

Pacific Notes: Ayton, Oubre, Warriors, Lakers

The Suns are excited about the progress of Deandre Ayton during their early workouts in Orlando, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. The second-year center was dealing with an injured ankle when the shutdown began, but he’s fully healthy now and feels ready to make a greater impact.

“I feel like I’m in my, damn, I don’t know, third or fourth year, and I know what I’m doing now,” Ayton said. “It’s not really me being told what to do. It’s me understanding and finding what’s available and being a playmaker. (Devin Booker) and Coach (Monty Williams) seen it so we just collaborate our differences and make things happen. Whatever is best for the team.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns haven’t given up hope that Kelly Oubre can play in Orlando, Rankin adds in the same story. Oubre has a knee issue and there have been reports that he will opt out of the restart, but general manager James Jones said this week that Oubre may be ready before the season ends. “Kelly’s doing fine,” Williams said Saturday. “He’s rehabbing. He does a little bit of court work, but for the most part, he’s on the side rehabbing and trying to get himself in tip-top (shape). He’s in good shape, but he’s not in the type of game shape that he wants to be in.”
  • Despite their historic five-year run, the Warriors‘ stars still feel like they have something to prove, Damion Lee said this week on the Runnin’ Plays podcast (hat tip to Kerith Burke of NBC Sports). “Steph (Curry) revolutionized the game,” Lee said. “But if you look at him, Klay (Thompson), Draymond (Green), a lot of guys on this team, we’re all guys that have a chip (on our shoulders).” He explained that all three players had doubters when they came into the league.
  • Dwight Howard and Danny Green both missed the Lakers’ practice Saturday for testing-related reasons, tweets Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. Howard was required to take an extra COVID-19 test because he didn’t travel to Orlando with the team, while Green had an error in his last test.
  • Two Kings players who tested positive for the virus have recorded two straight negative tests and have been cleared to join the team, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports. Coach Luke Walton refused to confirm their identities, but Buddy Hield was spotted getting on a plane today, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Pacific Notes: Green, Oubre, Bagley, Lakers

Lakers teammates Dwight Howard and Avery Bradley have expressed concerns about playing in the Orlando bubble during troubled times, but Danny Green believes that NBA players can make a stronger social statement by playing. Green made his comments in an interview with Caron Butler on the NBA’s Twitter account (hat tip to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps). “I think we can use the platform to our advantage and enhance it,” Green said. “I mean, I see both sides. …  There are going to be cameras all over Orlando, so they can see exactly what we want and what we’re trying to do. So I think it’s an advantage to us to get down there and use that platform to keep the movement alive.”

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Although he’s not expected to be healthy enough to participate, Suns forward Kelly Oubre is grateful his team was given the opportunity to play again this season, as he told Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype. He believes it will be beneficial for the club’s development. “We have to continue to get better each and every day,” he said. “We haven’t done anything yet. So our main goal should be to just lock in and just continue to just focus on getting better and coming back next year, better than ever.”
  • The Kings will likely go smaller in their starting lineup with Richaun Holmes at center and Harrison Barnes playing power forward, according to Jason Jones of The Athletic. In that scenario, Marvin Bagley III — the second overall pick in the 2018 draft — would come off the bench. Coach Luke Walton could also employ some three-guard looks in Orlando with De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic on the court at the same time.
  • The Lakers have hired Dr. Karida Brown as Director of Racial Equity & Action, according to a team press release. Dr. Brown will create a curriculum to help the Lakers staff enrich their knowledge on urgent topics, as well as helping to identify ways the team can be more active and efficient in creating change.

Hiatus Notes: Howard, Rivers, Green, Beverley

Lakers center Dwight Howard believes the NBA should reconsider its plans of returning next month due to the ongoing racial injustice problems in the United States, claiming that the resumption of a season could prove to be a distraction.

Howard, an eight-time NBA All-Star, issued the following statement on the matter (as relayed by CNN’s Jill Martin):

“I agree with Kyrie [Irving]. Basketball, or entertainment period, isn’t needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction. Sure it might not distract us players, but we have resources at hand [the] majority of our community don’t have. And the smallest distraction for them can start a trickle-down effect that may never stop. Especially with the way the climate is now. I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that’s just to [sic] beautiful to pass up. 

“What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families. This is a rare opportunity that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of. When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families. This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family!! European Colonization stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves. Nations come out of families. Black/African American is not a Nation or Nationality. It’s time Our Families became their own Nations. No Basketball till we get things resolved.”

Multiple players (including Irving) agree on the matter, with Irving voicing his concerns during a conference call that included dozens of the league’s players on Friday. Several other players are in disagreement, however, citing financial implications, competitive aspects, and a dire need for sports in such an unprecedented time.

The NBA is still working on finalizing details for the resumed 2019/2020 season, which was suspended indefinitely in March due to COVID-19. The league is currently eyeing a July 30 return date, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link).

Here are some other notes related to the NBA’s hiatus:

  • Rockets guard Austin Rivers holds a different opinion than Howard about whether the NBA season should resume, posting his comments in an Instagram reply (as relayed by ESPN). “Us coming back would put money in all of our (NBA players’) pockets,” Rivers said as part of a larger quote. “With this money you could help out even more people and continue to give more importantly your time and energy towards the BLM movement. Which I’m 100% on board with. Because change needs to happen and injustice has been going on too long.”
  • Lakers guard Danny Green detailed the different aspects of the NBA’s restart plan in a Q&A with Mark Medina of USA Today. Green touched on a number of subjects, including concerns about the NBA’s “bubble,” player feedback, and his level of optimism on the league’s expected return.
  • Clippers guard Patrick Beverley had a rather interesting take on whether the NBA should return, posting the following on social media. Hoopers say what y’all want. If @KingJames said he hooping. We all hooping. Not Personal only BUSINESS #StayWoke.” Beverley is part of a talented Clippers team seeking its first ever championship this year, with both the Clippers and the Lakers battling for bragging rights in Los Angeles.

L.A. Notes: Lakers, Green, Clippers, Morris

As the top-seeded team in the Western Conference when the NBA went on hiatus in March, the Lakers have a vested interest in what form the league will take upon its return this summer. With that in mind, Brett Dawson, Bill Oram, and Brian and Andy Kamenetzky of The Athletic explore how each of the proposed playoff formats would impact the Lakers and discuss which ones the team might favor.

The Athletic’s panel agrees that the Lakers, who are already losing home-court advantage – assuming the NBA resumes play in Orlando with no fans in attendance – would be opposed to a World Cup-style, play-in pool, which would increase the likelihood of a top team being knocked out early in the postseason.

However, The Athletic’s writers think L.A. would be all over the idea of reseeding the playoff teams one through 16, regardless of conference. In that scenario, the Lakers wouldn’t have to get past the Clippers to get to the NBA Finals — they’d instead be pitted against the Jazz or Rockets in round two and likely the Nuggets or Raptors in the semi-finals.

Here’s more on the NBA’s Los Angeles teams:

  • Lakers guard Danny Green has stayed busy during the NBA’s layoff in part due to his role as the team’s union representative, writes Tania Ganguli of The Los Angeles Times. It’s a responsibility Green takes seriously, having kept his teammates up to date on the latest discussions between the NBA and NBPA. “I care about the game of basketball and the next generation and want to make it better for them,” Green said of his NBPA role. “I’ll be, in the future, the old guy. It’s a fraternity you gotta make sure that it comes full circle where everybody is getting taken care of.”
  • Jovan Buha and John Hollinger of The Athletic dig into the Clippers‘ outlook beyond this season, with Hollinger arguing that retaining Marcus Morris should be a top priority for the club after surrendering a first-round pick for him at the trade deadline. The team also figures to try to re-sign Montrezl Harrell, though Hollinger notes that there are a number of potential center alternatives on the free agent market if the Clips get outbid for Harrell.
  • In case you missed it a few weeks ago, we previewed the Lakers‘ and Clippers‘ salary cap outlook for the 2020/21 season, taking a closer look at how much spending flexibility each team will have this offseason.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Cook, Warriors, Clippers

The Kings will place more than one third of their full-time workers on four-month furloughs beginning June 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee reports. The employees were informed in an email from President of Business Operations John Rinehart.  The furloughs will impact approximately 100 workers but the front office, health and performance, and scouting/analytics staffs will not be affected.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Lakers guard Quinn Cook detailed all the precautions being taken at the team’s practice facility after it was reopened. In an Instagram post relayed by The Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli, Cook said even his shoes were not exempt. “We had to leave whatever we wore, whatever shoes and flip-flops we wore, we had to leave them outside,” he said. “We had to wash our hands as soon as we walk in the door. Once we get inside, all of our stuff is kind of right there on the court.” Cook and Devontae Cacok were the only two players to use the facility on Saturday, according to Ganguli. Veterans Jared Dudley and Danny Green were planning to use the facility on Monday.
  • Guards Derrick Rose, Tomas Satoransky and Reggie Bullock are among the guards the Warriors could target with their $17MM trade exception, Grant Liffmann of NBC Sports Bay Area opines. The Warriors obtained the large exception in the Andre Iguodala trade with Memphis last summer.
  • The Clippers’ workout plan during the stoppage of play should have them well-prepared whenever practices and games resume, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic details. The Clippers held weekly group workouts over Zoom as well as chats with famous athletes, along with creating personalized home workout rooms for each player. The organization ordered equipment to ensure each player could work out from home via video calls with individualized player-coaches and strength trainers.

Lakers Notes: LeBron, Pelinka, Bryant, Green

In a conference call today with reporters, LeBron James said he has been training four or five times each day during the shutdown and shooting with his children on his outdoor court, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. James also addressed the wait for the league to start playing again, saying he understands that the health of safety of everyone involved comes first, but he’s strongly hoping the season can be completed (Twitter link).

“I don’t think I’ll be able to have any closure if we’re not able to finish the season,” he said.

James referred to the pandemic as “a roadblock for all of us” and “a test,” adds Mike Bresnahan of Spectrum Sportsnet (Twitter link). With the Lakers holding the West’s best record, they have extra motivation to resume the season, but James said he hasn’t spoken directly to commissioner Adam Silver about the situation.

“(In a perfect world), it would be with fans in the stands,” James said. “It just makes the game that much better.” (Twitter link).

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • General manager Rob Pelinka takes inspiration from Kobe Bryant while dealing with the pandemic and its effects on the team, writes Mirjam Swanson of The Orange County Register“He would always say that the trials of life are kind of when greatness is forged,” Pelinka said today during a Zoom call with reporters. “If you were on a knight’s journey with him and a huge fire-breathing dragon ended up in the pathway ahead, he would say, ‘OK, this is why this is good right now. We’re going to meet this challenge and here’s how we’re going to get around it and here’s how we’re going to defeat it.’ That was just his nature, that obstacles or hard times would lead somehow to growth, and I think that’s the way I’m going to look at 2020.”
  • The Lakers are also using Zoom, a videoconferencing service, to allow their players to work out together even though they can’t be in the same place, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The strength and conditioning staff delivers fitness equipment to the players for workout sessions. “These guys just have a great chemistry of being together,” Pelinka said. “So they’ve tried to stay as connected as possible in the ways they can, working out together virtually.”
  • Danny Green said on his recent podcast that players will use “any means necessary … to try and salvage the season,” relays Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report“Right now we’re fighting,” Green said. “Most guys think that for sure we’re going to have a season, it’s just going to start later than we expected, and just trying to get the next season to be pushed back is not going to be as easy as people think it’s going to be.”

Mavericks Attempted To Acquire Danny Green

As the trade deadline approached, it seemed Marcus Morris was heading to Los Angeles one way or another; it was just a matter of if it was going to be the Lakers or the Clippers. It ended up being the latter in a deal that saw Maurice Harkless and a 2020 first-round pick, among other pieces, head to New York.

[RELATED: Clippers to acquire Marcus Morris in three-team trade]

Had the Lakers found success with obtaining Morris, the Mavericks would have attempted to take Danny Green off their hands, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter links).

As Ramona Shelburne of ESPN tweets, New York was looking to acquire both Kyle Kuzma and Green in talks with the Lakers, who would have had to salary-match Morris’ $15M contract. The Knicks would’ve then flipped Green to Dallas. However, the Lakers were unwilling to part with both Kuzma and Green.

Dallas pursued Green over the summer. The shooting guard decided to sign with the Lakers over Mark Cuban‘s squad. He’s making $14.6M this season and will take home $15.4M next year.

To trade for Green, the Mavericks would have had to give up Courtney Lee‘s expiring contract and Golden State’s 2020 second-round draft pick, a source tells Townsend (Twitter link). That pick currently projects to be 31st overall.

Clippers, Lakers Pursuing Marcus Morris

Reports earlier today suggested that the Knicks are expected to move Marcus Morris before Thursday’s trade deadline — it’s just a matter of where.

Los Angeles is one potential landing spot for Morris, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link via Tomer Azarly of ClutchPoints), who said today that the Clippers and Lakers are competing for the veteran forward. As Woj pointed out, if either L.A. team lands Morris, it would have the added bonus of keeping him away from a top rival.

Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times provides some additional info on those talks, tweeting that the Knicks are interested in Kyle Kuzma in talks with the Lakers and Landry Shamet in talks with the Clippers. Kuzma is the more attainable player of the two — the Clips are unwilling to part with Shamet, tweets Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

While the Clippers have a logical salary-matching piece in Maurice Harkless, the Lakers’ path to absorbing Morris’ $15MM salary is less straightforward. A three- or four-player package of lower-cost guys could work, but Turner suggests in his tweet that the teams may be discussing Danny Green. The Knicks would want to flip Green to another team, according to Turner. For what it’s worth, I’d be pretty surprised if the Lakers are willing to move both Kuzma and Green for Morris alone.

Meanwhile, Marcus Morris may be the more sought-after twin, but his brother Markieff Morris is also drawing interest from contenders, including the Lakers and Clippers, reports Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer (via Twitter).

O’Connor (Twitter link) names the Bucks, Sixers, Celtics, and Rockets as other clubs that have interest in Markieff. The Pistons’ forward hasn’t had the type of season his brother has, but wouldn’t cost as much in terms of a trade package and has a modest $3.2MM cap hit.

Mavs Notes: Cauley-Stein, Broekhoff, Cash, Green

The Mavericks officially acquired Willie Cauley-Stein from the Warriors yesterday, but it’s not clear when he’ll start playing, writes Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. Cauley-Stein will report to the team today in Oklahoma City, but probably not in time for an afternoon practice. He may see a few minutes Monday against the Thunder or Tuesday against the Suns, but coach Rick Carlisle isn’t committing to either game.

“We’ll give him the crash course and try to simplify things for him initially, get him going and see where we are,” Carlisle said.

Forward Ryan Broekhoff could return tomorrow from a fractured left fibula, which lessens the need to use Cauley-Stein before he becomes familiar with the playbook. Carlisle said he spoke with his new center, who is excited to be joining the team.

“We think he’s a guy that has some really unique abilities,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to get him integrated and get him ready. He’s a rim-protector. He’s a rim-roller. His rebounding is good. We feel there’s areas that he can get better. I talked to him a little bit about those things. We’ll coach him hard, and with a lot of respect, and we’ll see where we can help his game go from here.”

There’s more from Dallas:

  • The Mavericks received an A-minus grade on the deal from Sam Quinn of CBS Sports, who notes that Cauley-Stein is an above-average pick-and-roll threat who will benefit from a chance to play alongside Luka Doncic. He adds that Cauley-Stein is a better rebounder than Dwight Powell, who was lost for the season with an Achilles injury this week.
  • Dallas received $800K in cash from the Thunder in a separate deal that sent Isaiah Roby to Oklahoma City in exchange for Justin Patton, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Patton was waived to open a roster spot for Cauley-Stein.
  • Danny Green talked to ESPN’s Zach Lowe on The Lowe Post podcast this week about the Mavericks’ pursuit of him in free agency over the summer. Green signed a two-year, $30MM deal with the Lakers, but said if L.A. would have used that money to sign Kawhi Leonard, then Dallas would have been his next choice.

Windhorst’s Latest: Celtics, Sixers, Blazers, Lakers

The 2019/20 NBA regular season is only eight days old, but a handful of potential contenders may be starting to think about how to fill the obvious holes on their rosters, says ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

For instance, Windhorst believes that the Celtics will be keeping an eye on the trade market this season in search of a possible upgrade at the center spot. Boston was always expected to be thin up front after losing centers Al Horford and Aron Baynes, but missed games from Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis in the early going have exacerbated the issue.

Windhorst identifies Steven Adams and Clint Capela as two centers the Celtics might have on their radar, though he cautions that the Thunder have told teams they view Adams as part of their future. As for the Rockets, they expect to be a contender and may not want to move their starting center, but executives are still watching Capela — Windhorst notes that the Rockets explored moving the big man early in the 2019 offseason, so it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they do so again.

Here’s more from Windhorst:

  • Windhorst believes the Sixers would like to add a shooter — not a star, but someone who can reliably knock down three-pointers and space the floor. While Philadelphia may ultimately turn to the buyout market, the club has several extra second-round picks available if a trade target emerges.
  • The Trail Blazers could use a scoring forward, according to Windhorst, who thinks the Thunder‘s Danilo Gallinari is a more realistic target than Kevin Love. Gallinari’s expiring contract would make more sense, given Portland’s long-term cap outlook.
  • Rival executives view Kyle Kuzma and Danny Green as the Lakers‘ best trade assets, but both players will be important contributors in Los Angeles. With few other viable trade candidates, the Lakers may ultimately have to rely on the buyout market if they want to acquire a ball-handler and/or a wing defender, writes Windhorst.
  • Windhorst wonders if the Nuggets might try to find a small forward capable of slowing down stars like Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James in the postseason. Torrey Craig is Denver’s best option for now, but if the team seeks an upgrade, Andre Iguodala could be a target. Using Mason Plumlee‘s $14MM expiring salary, the Nuggets might be able to put together an offer that appeals to the Grizzlies, says Windhorst.