Archive for February 9th, 2018

The Sacramento Kings are 17-36 this season through Thursday’s games, which is the third worst record in the NBA. They’re all about the future, not the present. As for recent trades involving the Kings and their larger meaning, here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting:

The two most important assets the Kings acquired at Thursday’s trade deadline were Miami’s second-round draft pick in 2020 and the little more than $3 million cash.

That’s because the deals weren’t about immediate improvement. Instead, the Kings are keeping the focus on the future, and they believe trading George Hill, Malachi Richardson and waiving Georgios Papagiannis makes that possible…

Of the three players received in the deal, only guard Iman Shumpert figures to be around after this season, because he has an $11 million player option for 2018-19. Bruno Caboclo is in the last year of his deal and Joe Johnson is seeking a buyout, a request the Kings are likely to fulfill.

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The NBA continues to do more for teams in regard to scheduling fewer back-to-back games than in the past. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, for one, says the effect has been clear, and positive. Here’s the the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

After playing in 17 sets of back-to-back games this year, the Warriors will play in 14. After playing as many as eight games in 13 days last season, the Warriors’ toughest stretch will entail playing five games in nine days. The NBA also spread out its schedule so there are more days in between games.

“The players are much more prepared to play in every game,” Kerr said. “I’ve only rested guys who are older and banged up. I haven’t felt a need to rest our guys who are in our prime. The league has done a great job with the schedule.”

Granted, the Warriors have still nursed long-term absences this season to Stephen Curry (combined 15 games), Kevin Durant (eight), Draymond Green (six) and Zaza Pachulia (right) for various injuries. But only Klay Thompson represents the Warriors’ lone core player to sit out for rest purposes. That happened only once.

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Knicks have crowd at PG spot

The Knicks now have several young point guards. How will the minutes situation play out? Will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Knicks general manager Scott Perry said the addition of young point guard Emmanuel Mudiay is part of their “talent acquisition phase’’ and has no reflection on any disappointment with their struggling rookie lottery point guard Frank Ntilikina.

Thursday’s trade with the Nuggets for Mudiay, 21, a former lottery pick himself in 2015, gives the Knicks four point guards — including three lottery picks 25-and-under. Perry said the move would have been made regardless of Kristaps Porzingis’ catastrophic ACL tear that jeopardizes next season, too.

“A former lottery pick was available and he adds ingredients to our roster that can be very helpful,’’ Perry said in a Friday conference call to discuss the trade-deadline acquisition. “I envision them competing with one another and alongside one another. I’ve discussed the importance of adding more athleticism and ball-handling to the team. It will help each one of these guys. I’m excited how it manifests itself on the court. There’s some promising options.”

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Blake Griffin’s Pistons play his former team, the Clippers, this evening. Here’s what Griffin said earlier in the day, per ESPN.com:

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin downplayed any extra motivation in his first game facing the LA Clippers, telling ESPN just hours before tipoff Friday night that “they’re just another team we’re trying to beat.”

“I spent a lot of time with some of those guys in that locker room,” Griffin said ahead of the 7 p.m. ET tipoff in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “Shared some memories, some good, some bad. At the end of the day, we’re worried about our playoff position, we’re worried about keeping this ship moving forward.” …

Asked if he’s spoken to Clippers coach Doc Rivers since the deal went down, Griffin said “no” without elaborating.

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Hawks waive Marco Belinelli

The Atlanta Hawks waived guard/forward Marco Belinelli today.

Belinelli, in 52 games with the Hawks (one start) this season, averaged 11.4 points, 2.0 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 23.3 minutes (.410 FG%, .372 3FG%, .927 FT%), ranking fourth in the NBA in free throw percentage. He scored in double-figures 30 times (five 20-point outings).

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “the Hawks held Belinelli, the veteran reserve shooting guard, out of Tuesday’s game against the Grizzlies and he did not travel with the team for Thursday’s game at the Magic as the team considered several trade options ahead of the NBA trade deadline.”

In 696 career contests (217 starts), he’s put up 9.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 23.1 minutes (.423 FG%, .377 3FG%, .840 FT%).

Belinelli was originally acquired from Charlotte on June 20, 2017 along with Miles Plumlee and a 2017 second round draft pick in exchange for Dwight Howard and a 2017 second round draft pick.

Bulls waive Tony Allen

The Chicago Bulls waived veteran guard/forward Tony Allen today.

Allen was acquired on February 1 in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bulls are undergoing a youth movement, building for the future, so they apparently didn’t see a need for Allen’s services.

A defensive-minded player, Allen was playing just 12.4 minutes per game for the Pelicans this season prior to being traded to the Bulls.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 16.

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