Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey.
May 1, 2016 | 10:09 am EDT Update
That’s not to say there was no interest expressed in Griffin at this year’s trade deadline, especially with Griffin having taken a PR hit by hurting his hand during a fight at dinner with a team employee. There was hope that Griffin could be had on the cheap, but multiple sources said that, while the Clippers considered offers, they were certainly not going to be lowballed for Griffin.
There was, though, what one source termed as, “groundwork,” for potential Griffin deals that could be revisited in the coming weeks, either at the draft or in the wake of free agency. The Nuggets were among the teams connected with Griffin, but the Clippers’ asking price and the Denver ballpark offer were not even close. The Celtics and Bulls were among other teams that inquired about Griffin, but never got traction.
By then, Karl had contributed mightily to his own demise. Instead of establishing new rules and breaking the five-year pattern of enabling Cousins, he internalized the continual disrespect and turned the other cheek until that fateful night near the end of the 2014-15 season. “I never felt I got into a good place with Cuz,” Karl said, “and some of that was my stupidity when I said that no player is untradeable. I still believe that. But I should have been smart enough not to say it, and I in no way, at any time, thought DeMarcus was going to get traded.”
“Vlade (Divac) has a helluva task ahead of him,” Karl said. “The roster needs to be tinkered with. He is going to be in for an NBA free agency unlike anything we have ever seen. If the decision is made to keep Cuz, you have to put the right players around him. But it can’t be about Cousins. You have to make basketball decisions.”
During an interview with Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo on Wednesday, I wondered how the uncertainty of Embiid’s situation factors into the team’s plans in a draft in which they could have two picks in the top 4. “It’s a great question,” he said. “There is some difficulty there. We’re not sure what to expect. Also there’s the topic of compatibility of parts. The question is: how have Nerlens (Noel) and Jahlil (Okafor) meshed so far? We’ve thought about how it might look with Joel (in the mix).”
Blatt has told confidants he has a shot, though Rambis remains a front-runner. Luke Walton, Jackson’s preferred choice, is off the board. As expected, he took his dream job with the Lakers. Once the Lakers fired Byron Scott last week, Jackson knew the Knicks went from long shot to no shot.
There are too many rings to kiss at Sleep Train Arena. Let’s start with that. “Eighty percent of the time I think the Kings did what had to be done,” Karl said of his firing after his 44-68 record. “But I’m old school enough to think that a coach has to feel powerful, has to feel supported, and I never felt that level of support.”