The Clippers are obviously very, very good, but like all very good teams still have holes. Adding Millsap (among my favorite players in the league) would significantly boost their frontcourt scoring and defensive rebounding – both trouble spots – but potentially create a weakness somewhere else. And, of course, Millsap could walk after this season. It’s still worth the risk, but isn’t a no-brainer.
SACRAMENTO KINGS (19-36)
The problem with the Kings isn’t that they don’t have good players, but that most of the guys on the roster – Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson, Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, and so on – are slotted too high for Sacramento to be a good team. All could help the right team get better, in one form or another. This is before any discussion of DeMarcus Cousins.
So while in any other season the Kings might be active this week, this season it seems unlikely thanks to the questions of ownership and the future location of the franchise.
Via Jason Jones (via Tom Ziller), Sacramento GM Geoff Petrie says the higher profile names on the roster are staying put. “It’s very unlikely we’d move any of our top players at this point,” he said.
This is typical stuff for teams in flux, particularly ones with salary structures as reasonable as the Kings. Say what you will about the quality of the roster, it’s not an expensive one, meaning there’s no incentive to drop down the payroll.
Meanwhile, whether it’s in Sacramento or Seattle, whatever ownership group controls the Kings going forward likely wants to rework the team’s assets themselves, as opposed to having the Maloofs do it for them.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (30-23)
Heady times, those. Golden State was one of the great stories of the first 50 games of the season, a killer mix of young, athletic and well-dressed (remember, this was the pre-sleeve era). The defense was better, and this was without Andrew Bogut’s presence in the paint.
Now Bogut is kind of back, except the Warriors lost six straight heading into the break. Only once in those six did Golden State hold an opponent under 115 points, and in the sixth it allowed 99 to Memphis, a prodigious total for the low scoring Grizzlies.
So what do the Warriors do now?
If it was me making the decisions, not much. Whether the Warriors are as good as the 13-above version, as bad as the six straight L’s, or somewhere in between, two things seem fairly clear.
First, barring something totally catastrophic, with a 5 1/2-game lead on the Blazers and Lakers, Golden State is almost sure to make the playoffs.
Second, once they get there, they probably won’t go far. Which is fine. A postseason berth would be a significant accomplishment for the Warriors. Certainly it’s not worth doing anything that would sacrifice any young talent or add long term salary to an uncluttered ledger following the 2014-15 season.
So let’s hope they turn things around. This team is too much fun to go down in flames.
Brian and Andy Kamenetzky are sportswriters and radio hosts who have worked in sports media for over a decade. They have covered the Lakers and the NBA for eight seasons, for both the LATimes.com and ESPN.com, as well as ESPN The Magazine. Follow them on Twitter at @KamBrothers.