Morning shootaround — Jan. 16


VIDEO: Highlights from games played Jan. 15

NEWS OF THE MORNING

Reports: Nets’ Lopez, Hornets’ Stephenson at heart of three-team deal | Rivers: No favoritism for son Austin | Blatt calls timeout issue ‘nonsense’ | Report: Kings willing to deal Stauskas

No. 1:

UPDATE, 10:44 a.m. ET: Per Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets didn’t want to take on Lance Stephenson and so, Brooklyn and OKC may be working on a straight-up swap for Brook Lopez

UPDATE, 10:27 a.m. ET: Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, who first broke news of the proposed three-team swap involving Brook Lopez, Lance Stephenson and others, is dead

And here’s more from Broussard on why the deal broke down and what’s next:

The Brooklyn Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder are involved in discussions about a trade involving Brook Lopez and Kendrick Perkins, according to sources.

The two sides had been engaged in talks about a three-way trade that would’ve also involved the Charlotte Hornets shipping out Lance Stephenson, however sources said the Hornets are no longer involved in the deal.

Sources Thursday night confirmed a USA Today report that Oklahoma City would send Perkins could go to the Nets in a potential deal. In earlier trade discussions, the Nets and Thunder had talked about a potential deal involving Lopez and Perkins, among other players, according to sources.

UPDATE, 9:40 a.m. ET: Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that the proposed three-team deal may be dormant … for now

A trade that would have sent Charlotte Hornets shooting guard Lance Stephenson to the Brooklyn Nets has been put on hold, an informed NBA source told the Observer early Friday.

The Hornets, Nets and Oklahoma City Thunder were discussing a deal that would have sent Stephenson to the Nets, Brook Lopez to the Thunder and various parts to the Hornets. It appeared close Thursday night, but the Nets pulled back Friday, putting any discussions on hold.

The Nets have multiple options involving Lopez. It’s still likely they will move him.

The Hornets signed Stephenson in July to a three-year, $27.4 million contract with an out after the second season. It has been an awkward situation, where Stephenson has struggled to collaborate with new teammates. Both he and point guard Kemba Walker need the ball extensively to excel and that has made for an awkward situation.

Reports: Nets’ Lopez to Thunder in three-team deal; Perkins may move to Brooklyn, too — Oklahoma City is struggling to gain traction in the Western Conference playoff chase, but they can’t be faulted for standing pat. After acquiring Dion Waiters from the Cleveland Cavaliers roughly two weeks ago, the Thunder are in talks to try and land former All-Star center Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets. The deal would also include the Charlotte Hornets, who would send Lance Stephenson to Brooklyn and would receive veteran guard Jarrett Jack from Brooklyn. OKC’s Jeremy Lamb and Grant Jarrett would head to Charlotte and, Thunder center Kendrick Perkins could be shipped out to Brooklyn, too.

Multiple outlets reported on the deal last night, but we’ll start with Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, who details the Nets’ intense desire to move Lopez:

The Brooklyn Nets have intensified trade discussions for center Brook Lopez and want to move him soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Nets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Hornets began to gather traction on a three-way trade late Thursday afternoon, and planned to continue to discussions on Friday morning, league sources told Yahoo Sports. For the Nets, the biggest hurdle remained their willingness to take on combustible Charlotte guard Lance Stephenson, sources said.

Oklahoma City has been the most aggressive in its pursuit of Lopez, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Brooklyn has tried to find teams willing to move the expiring contract of Kendrick Perkins for an established player, sources said.

The Nets have delivered indications to teams they would like to settle on a trade by the weekend, league sources said.

The Hornets have a strong interest in making a deal for Lopez, but league sources believe the Nets are focused on dealing Lopez to the Western Conference, league sources told Yahoo.

Brooklyn officials have been re-canvassing the league for intel on Hornets guard Lance Stephenson, trying to measure the risk-reward of bringing him back to his hometown, league sources said. Charlotte and Brooklyn talked several weeks ago, but discussions cooled when the Nets were reluctant to acquire Stephenson as part of a broader package, league sources said.

The Nets have three max-contract salaries on the roster – Lopez, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson – and are motivated to shed two of the three before the Feb. 19 trade deadline, league sources said. Brooklyn has lost seven straight games to drop to 16-23, and owner Mikhail Prokhorov is pursuing a sale of the team.

Brooklyn has been unable lately to find any traction in talks to move Williams, league sources said.

The Nets have had discussions with Oklahoma City on Lopez, but the best chance for bringing back value on the former All-Star center could be gambling on the talent of Stephenson. There’s support for a Stephenson homecoming to Brooklyn on the ownership level but rival teams believe the front office is more cautious about taking on the volatile player.

USA Today‘s Sam Amick provides more on the Perkins angle, as well as what the trade means for Brooklyn and Charlotte:

If the deal remains in its current form, the person told USA TODAY Sports that Thunder center Kendrick Perkins likely would go to the Nets as well. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of trade talks.

The Nets clearly would be taking the biggest gamble in this deal, as Stephenson comes with a high-risk, high-reward quality that hasn’t panned out in Charlotte. After signing a three-year, $27 million deal (with a team option for the third) with the Hornets, he has been extremely inefficient (38.6% shooting overall and 15.1% from three-point range while averaging 10.1 points, 4.7 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game) and is widely known to have been a challenging presence in the locker room.

Still, the Nets badly wants to part ways with Lopez and his contract ($15.7 million this season, $16.7 million next season), and taking on Perkins and his expiring contract as part of the deal ($9.4 million) would certainly help their battered bottom-line.

The Hornets, meanwhile, are eager to part ways with Stephenson and would shore up their backcourt depth by making this move. Lamb, the third-year player out of Connecticut who was taken 12th overall by the Houston Rockets in 2012, has shown some promise but is the odd man out in the Thunder rotation right now. Jack, 31, would give them a productive veteran presence (10.8 points, 4.3 assists and 28.5 minutes per game this season) who — unlike Stephenson — would be a leader in the locker room.

ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, who first reported the trade, says the Miami Heat have also shown interest in landing Lopez:

Sources confirmed a USA Today report that Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins could go to the Nets in a potential deal. In earlier trade discussions, the Nets and Thunder had talked about a potential deal involving Lopez and Perkins, among other players, according to sources.

The Hornets, who have been trying to move Stephenson for more than a month, want to make the deal, and Oklahoma City has agreed as well, leaving the Nets as the only holdout, according to sources.

Brooklyn also has had trade talks with the Miami Heat about Lopez, sources said.

The Nets made it known to other teams in early December that Lopez, point guard Deron Williams and swingman Joe Johnson were available via trade, and they recently had talks with the Sacramento Kings about Williams, according to sources.

The Nets (16-23) have lost seven straight games, and general manager Billy King has been active in looking to shake things up.


VIDEO:How might this proposed mega-trade help the Thunder?

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No. 2: Rivers says favoritism won’t be issue with son on team — The Los Angeles Clippers finally pulled off the trade that reunites Austin Rivers with his father, Doc Rivers, in the first father-son pairing in NBA history. As our Shaun Powellwrote in a story yesterday, the Clippers are entering uncharted waters and how having this kind of pairing on the team will affect the roster remains unknown. Doc Rivers, for his part, doesn’t plan to favor his child over anyone on the team, writes Melissa Rohlin of The Los Angeles Times:

When a reporter recently asked Rivers whether he worries that he’ll show Austin favoritism or, perhaps, go the other direction and be especially hard on his son, Rivers said he doesn’t anticipate that being an issue.

“I probably show favoritism to Blake and Chris,” Rivers said. “I love my son, but I think I’m still going to favor Blake and Chris.”

Rivers acknowledged that there will probably be someone who isn’t pleased by that pecking order.

“The only one who would be upset at that is Kris Rivers,” the coach said of his wife, Kristen.

The younger Rivers, 22, averaged 6.8 points, 2.5 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 22 minutes per game for the Pelicans this season. He was the 10th overall pick in 2012 after spending one year at Duke.

The Clippers’ coach said that he doesn’t think that his son will have any issues with playing for him.

“I think players play, they just go out and play,” he said.

And, he said, he’s had a bit of experience.

“I’ve coached my daughter,” Rivers said with a smile.

***

No. 3: Blatt says timeout issue is ‘nonsense’ — ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported earlier this week that Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has more or less lost the respect of his team and that assistant coach Tyronn Lue often calls timeouts behind Blatt’s back. Combine that with the Cavs’ recent six-game losing streak (which was halted last night against the Lakers) and drama surrounding Cleveland ticked up a notch. Before last night’s game, though Blatt responded to Windhorst’s report, writes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, and took umbrage with it:

David Blatt called the idea Tyronn Lue is dictating team timeouts as “nonsense,” but conceded he’ll often listen when Lue shouts something to him during games.

Both ESPN and the Beacon Journal reported this week how teams around the league are surprised by Lue’s involvement from the bench. Lue specifically has been observed shouting out when to take timeouts.

“An assistant coach can’t call a timeout at an NBA game if you didn’t know that,” Blatt said. “Now if he sees something and feels something and he yells something out to alert me what he thinks, I don’t have a problem with that. I listen to what I think I need to listen to and what I don’t think I need to listen to.

“That’s a lot of nonsense,” Blatt said of the reports. “I think it’s kind of cheap to be honest, I really do.”

Lue most recently called for a timeout during Tuesday’s loss at Phoenix, but there have been other instances. The reaction from the rest of the league remains the same: bewilderment.

It is against NBA rules for assistants to call timeouts and there are even rules that limit assistant coaches’ interaction with officials, but one high-ranking league official acknowledged a referee, in the heat of the game, could hear a request from the bench for a timeout and grant it presuming it came from the head coach.

Regardless, Blatt insists he has no issue with the act.

One current NBA head coach said he’s never heard of an assistant calling for a timeout.

“And if one of my guys did it, I’d kill him,” he said.


VIDEO: Rachel Nichols discusses the recent coaching issues with the Cavs

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No. 4: Report: Kings willing to trade rookie Stauskas — The Sacramento Kings were one of the early success stories of 2014-15, getting off to a 5-1 start. Since then, they’ve gone 11-21, fired coach Mike Malone and are on the periphery of the Western Conference playoff race for the No. 8 spot. In particular, their defense has suffered under coach Tyrone Corbin and with a front office that’s always looking for deals, the Kings may be on the market for a defensive big man to pair with superstar DeMarcus Cousins. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has details on Sacramento making rookie sharp-shooter Nik Stauskas available:

Determined to find an upgrade to complement inside force DeMarcus Cousins, the Sacramento Kings are seeking frontcourt help in a trade and are willing to discuss first-round pick Nik Stauskas in the deal, league sources told CBSSports.com.

The Kings want to pair Cousins with a frontline player who would fit with his post-up skills — either a stretch four or above-the-rim defender, sources said. They’ve fielded numerous calls about Stauskas, whose opportunities have been limited with the steadily improving play of Ben McLemore.

Sacramento thus far has rebuffed teams inquiring about Stauskas, the sharpshooter from Michigan whom they selected with the eighth overall pick in the draft. But the Kings’ motivation to put a “high-level” player next to Cousins on the front line has heightened, making them finally willing to include Stauskas in trade talks.

The Kings have the expiring contracts of Derrick Williams and Reggie Evans to include in such a deal, pushing the potential salary of an incoming player into the $10-$11 million range. A wing defender also is a target of Sacramento’s front office, but league sources say the team is willing to address that need later and is prioritizing bolstering its frontcourt first.

Forward Jason Thompson has long been available in trade talks, but a deal involving Thompson likely would happen separately.

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: After acquiring combo guard Austin Rivers in a trade with the Boston Celtics yesterday, the Los Angeles Clippers are working on buying out Jordan Farmar‘s contract … The Clippers, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards are expressing interest in Nate RobinsonKevin Durant isn’t about to baby anyone on the Thunder, least of all Reggie JacksonKawhi Leonard is listed as probable for tonight’s game … Milwaukee Bucks backup guard Kendall Marshall suffered a right knee sprain yesterday … Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks is impressed with the star turn this season by his former player, James Harden

ICYMI OF THE NIGHT: Who says Kobe Bryant doesn’t like to pass? Last night he set a career best with 17 assists against the Cavs …  


VIDEO:Kobe Bryant hands out 17 assists vs. the Cavs

8 Comments

  1. harriethehawk says:

    I dont think Blatt will be fired until the season is over or when they lose in the first round playoffs.

  2. Da Truth says:

    Blatt is done, I give him two weeks. BTW- Love and Irving are the real problems here.

    Coach Rivers will favor his son, no doubt, just alittle bit. Just like any good father would!?!.

  3. jbonsu1 says:

    https://jbonsu1.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/my-2014-all-stars/ check out my blog post on who I think the 2015 all stars are. #JustAnotherFanWithAnOpinion

  4. lol says:

    brook lopez, when healthy he is the best center in the league. he got the inside and outside game, he is playing old school and can rebound/block and play defense.. his problem is staying healthy i could say. I’m from Houston and D12 is suppose to be good but even when hes 100% fit and on his best, I would take Brook Lopez anytime anyday over D12.

  5. Paul says:

    Brook would make Okc’s front court the most formidable in the league.