2012 NBA Trade Deadline Round-Up
So Dwight Howard opts in for another year in his contract for Orlando, but that doesn’t mean this year’s trade deadline wasn’t full of surprises and head scratchers. Let’s recap:
The Warriors look towards the future. The Lakers get a solid, young point guard and a solid, young F/C, adding depth. The Blazers start rebuilding by taking on expiring contracts. The Clippers get an offensive minded, tall off-guard. The Spurs and Popovich get Stephen Jackson back. The Nets do work to try and keep Deron Williams. The Pacers get a nice offensive minded guard. The Cavaliers have four top 40 2012 draft picks. The Wizards get smarter. The Nuggets get over their buyers remorse of Nene (in the expense of McGee and his expiring deal). The Rockets are trying to get better. The Grizzlies give Sam Young a home after finding no place in their roster.
And there you have it. The trade deadline, everybody. Enjoy the rest of your NBA season!
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski Reports:
Golden State Warriors trade Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson
There are reasons that this trade is both great and awful.
The Bucks finally get some consistent offense with Monta, and Udoh’s defense is a great replacement for Bogut. Kwame Brown’s 7 million dollar contract is expiring at the end of the season, leaving the Bucks with some extra caproom this upcoming offseason.
But will a Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis backcourt tandem work? It can either go well, or go worse than the Curry-Ellis combo. Good luck Scott Skiles.
The Warriors finally solve their starting center problems with Andrew Bogut. They get Stephen Jackson back, but after this season he has only one year left of $10 mil, good for future offers/cap space. Klay Thompson finally gets more minutes and the opportunity to start. Bogut is currently injured, but gives the Warriors the opportunity to tank and have a better chance to keep their Top 7 protected 1st round pick that the Utah Jazz currently have. Best part: it is finally Stephen Curry’s team.
But the Warriors are taking a risk building around two injury prone players. Both Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut have fallen to many injuries in the past couple years. Curry’s ankle has been a problem all season and Bogut will be out the whole season due to an ankle. Looks like the Warriors are willing to bet on two players that share two ankles. Also, Stephen Jackson is back. Yikes.
As a huge Warriors fan, I’m okay with the trade, as long as Bogut comes back completely healthy, but I wish they were able to get a draft pick back of some sort. Also, I am incredibly sad that Udoh and his uncanny +/- will be leaving the team. He was definitely one of my favorites these past couple seasons.
-random note, I find it hilariously ridiculous that the Warriors traded Stephen Jackson back in 2009 for Vladamir Radmonavic and an injured Raja Bell, only to get him back in 2012 (along with Bogut) for Monta, Udoh, and Kwame’s expiring deal. huh.
Good luck to all of them, and keep on runnin’ ‘n’ gunnin’.
NBA Valentines Pt. 3
Warriors Guard Monta Ellis Goes Off for 48 in a Loss to the Thunder
Monta Ellis won’t be an All-Star this season thanks to his inconsistent play, the Warriors’ poor record, and great seasons from players like Tony Parker, Kyle Lowry, Steve Nash, and Ty Lawson. Last night, though, Ellis showed why he should at least be considered every year for the All-Star game. When he is in the zone offensively, he doesn’t slow down.
Here’s his line: 48 points (18-29 FG, 3-6 3PT, 9-10 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers. That’s a new career high for Monta, as well as ties the NBA season high 48 that Kobe dropped against Phoenix.
I also want to give props to David Lee with the 25 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist triple-double, as well as Stephen Curry who dropeed 16 points on 7-9 shooting while dishing out 10 dimes, pulling down 7 boards, and grabbing 2 steals. If these players consistently play at this level as well as rack up wins, then maybe we could start calling them Run-SMD… or at least something more original and inspired.
Granted, those scoring numbers came from a game with little to zero defense from both teams (119-116 final score), but with Monta making a lot of crazy H.O.R.S.E. shots during a game, all you can do is tip your hat and watch some great offense.
I also have to give attention to the Thunder’s Core 3 who had great games. Durant got 33 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists, including a jumper that accidently went off glass to seal the win. Westbrook shot 12-21 (6-6 from the line) for 31 points with 7 assists (though his 9 turnovers are ugly). Harden was great off the bench with 19 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals.
(video via TBJ)
Missed Kick Ball Violation At the End of the Indiana Pacers vs. Golden State Warriors Game Friday Night + Outlook on an Abysmal Warriors Season
I’m a huge Warriors fan, but I’m not here to complain about a missed call that basically cost the team a win, which would have put them at 6-9 instead of 5-10, though I will talk about it for a little bit.
I was sitting in the upper levels of Oracle Arena, so I just thought Monta Ellis messed up his isolation again, leading to an easy George Hill steal. Of course, upon review it definitely looked like Hill kicked his foot as Monta crossed over, and thus should have been called a kickball. Amidst all of the boos and yelling from the crowd, all we could do was stand there as Hill makes his free throw and Stephen Curry rattle out his 3 point shot to end the game.
Of course, the ref next to the Warriors bench could have seen the kick (Nate Robinson who was on the bench behind him clearly saw it), and the ref at midcourt definitely could have seen the kick as well, though the kick was quite subtle. Fast forward to Saturday and the NBA even releases a statement that the referees blew the game by not calling a kickball violation. Via NBA.com/official:
With 5.4 seconds remaining in the Indiana-Golden State game on Jan. 20, Pacers guard George Hill intentionally kicked the ball away from Warriors guard Monta Ellis during his cross over dribble. According to rule no. 10, Section IV.b, kicking the ball or striking it with any part of the leg is a violation when it is an intentional act. The officials missed the kicked ball violation which should have resulted in a deadball situation and Golden State inbounding the ball on the sideline nearest the spot of the violation.
Alright, enough about the kickball.
This is actually the third game this season that Monta Ellis basically botched a last second shot attempt by waiting too long as the clock winded down. These losses to the Lakers, the Jazz, and the Pacers could have all been easily winnable with proper clock management, giving the Warriors an 8-7 record instead of their measly 5-10. Of course, there is an advantage to losing for this season’s Warriors.
As a Warrior fan, there are two different scenarios that the Warriors can end up with, and I’d be happy with either. The first is keeping Mark Jackson’s promise of becoming a playoff team. I would love for my favorite team to become winners again, and this team had high hopes this past offseason. With a 5-10 record, though, it seems highly unlikely. The second scenario is getting a terrible record, getting lucky with the draft lottery, and having a high draft pick. Because of the dreaded Marcus Williams trade in 2008, the Warriors’ 2012 first round draft pick went to the New Jersey Nets, which eventually got dealt to the Utah Jazz in the Deron Williams trade. This draft pick, though, is Top 7 protected, so if the Warriors end up in the top 7 during the NBA draft lottery, they get to keep the pick in this upcoming deep 2012 draft. This scenario is a lot more likely to happen.
I’m not saying that I want the Warriors to keep losing, but the fact that there’s a silver lining that comes with every loss keeps me hopeful. Unless Monta, Steph, or David Lee jumps into superstar status, this team won’t be making the playoffs, so it’s good to look into the future.
In no way am I happy for this kickball, but it could possibly a blessing in disguise if these close losses lead to a high draft pick. With the Warriors’ luck, though, they’ll end up somewhere between 9th and 13th in the West, both missing the playoffs and losing their draft pick. Only because they’re the Warriors and the basketball gods hate this team.
Merry NBA Christmas everyone!
NBA Preseason: Judging the Warriors against the Kings
I may only be the preseason, but we can all agree on one thing: thank God that the NBA is back. Normally at mid-December, we would be through the first quarter of the regular season, but thanks to the lockout we will have to settle for a couple preseason games. I’m a Warrior fan from the Bay, so obviously the first full game I would catch is the Warriors hosting the Kings.
If you have been following the Warriors during this shortened offseason, then you have undoubtably heard rookie coach Mark Jackson constantly pushing that the Warriors will be a defensive-minded team. It should be noted that this game was missing Kings F/C DeMarcus Cousins, meaning there was no low-post threat that the Warriors had to worry about. In spite of this, the Warriors defense looked good. Golden State was able to hold the Kings to 36% shooting in the first half, leading to a 59-40 lead into break. The guards were cutting into passing lanes and forced turnovers while rotating across the court. The Kings made adjustments after the half and the Warriors fell back to old habits, but overall if the Warriors can continue to play pesky defense, they have a fair chance to succeed.
The Latvian center’s two past seasons were pretty dreadful. He averaged 5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 25% free throw shooting in 92 games between 2009-2011 after a stellar campaign just the season prior. This preseason game gave hope to Warrior fans that the old Biedrins can be back this season. He only played 16 minutes in the game, so his box score doesn’t say a lot, but he was a bit aggressive and looked more confident on both the offensive and defensive ends. Physically, he looks even bigger and stronger than ever before, showing signs for another breakout year. Let’s just hope he can stay healthy.
The Warriors’ 2011 draft picks Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler, and Charles Jenkins did not look bad during their “first” NBA game.
Klay started a little shaky with his offense (shooting 4-10 from the field by the end), but showed a couple nice plays, including a running jumper in the key, drawing the foul. He also showed some craftiness with his hands, going for some steals, though he should be careful after drawing an early 5th foul during the 3rd quarter.
Jeremy Tyler had an up and down game. He did a good job sealing the paint and getting the boards, but overall he didn’t stand out very much. He has a chance to grow into a decent role player off the bench, though.
Charles Jenkins surprised me the most out out of all the rookies. With a 6’3” height and 220 pound frame, he definitely showcased his speed and strength on the court with an impressive block and work on the fastbreak. You can definitely expect him to be the main point guard off the bench for both Steph and Monta (barring the chance that Ish Smith blows up during practice).
The Warriors also had a handful of un-drafted rookies from the NBA D-League, as well as from overseas. With six rookies on non-guaranteed contracts, we will most likely only expect one to make it onto the roster by opening night, so who is my pick? Edwin Ubiles, the swingman out of the Dakota Wizards. He only played 3 and a half minutes in the game, but he showed that he can hustle and produce in limited minutes.
I can’t have a post talking about this year’s Sacramento Kings without a little blurb about Jimmer Fredette. If there one one thing that’s completely clear about this rookie, it’s that this guy can SHOOT. He scored 21 points off of 7-11 shooting, including 4 of 6 from 3 point range. He had trouble scoring around the rim and keeping up on the defense, but I see him being successful in this league, especially with a stroke like his.
With this game being Mark Jackson’s first taste of head coaching an NBA game and the Warriors trying to change their whole playing culture, this team has a lot to prove, and it showed during this game. It may only be the pre-season (and it may only be the Sacramento Kings), but the Warriors were playing hard and they were hustling. It was very refreshing to see; now I’m just curious to see how this will translate in a real game against contending teams.
Monta Ellis on Twitter (via MT on twitter)
Here’s a video of Monta Ellis on a computer during the Golden State Warriors’ media (aka “tweedia”) day. I’m not surprised that Monta doesn’t use social networking like Twitter and Facebook, especially with his typing “style.”