Michael Malone Rumors
Michael Malone believes one of his roles as an NBA coach near the trade deadline is to keep the mood light and help players relax. He also admitted Wednesday that walking into his team’s practice with general manager Tim Connelly, roughly 24 hours before the deadline, may not have been the best way to achieve that objective. “Everybody was looking over like they were waiting for somebody to be called over,” Malone said. “I said, ‘Relax, fellas.’ ”
While Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari have consistently had their names tied to trade rumors, Malone reiterated Wednesday that the team doesn’t feel compelled to make a move with any sole focus on reaching the playoffs this season, even as the New Orleans Pelicans loaded up to make a run by acquiring star center DeMarcus Cousins from Sacramento.
Malone pointed to a recent conversation with Josh Kroenke in which the Nuggets president said any moves that would be considered are part of a “big-picture” focus. “We’re pretty happy with where we’re at,” Malone said. “We don’t fill the need like we have to make moves. Tim Connelly is doing his job. He’s doing his due diligence. It’s his job to make calls and answer calls from teams and look at possible ways to get better. You’re either doing this (motioning his hand in an upward trajectory) or you’re getting worse. We’re getting better. I love that. And I love that our front office is committed to us becoming the best team possible.”
“I’m sure he’s hurt,” Malone said of Cousins. “He wanted to be in Sacramento. He loved the fans. Sometimes change is good for people. I reached out to him and he got back to me. He’s a lot closer to his home and his family in Mobile, Ala. He’s going to a team that has a chance to make the playoffs. The one thing, at the end of the day, that you can say about DeMarcus is that he’s a competitor. He loves to compete and he wants to win. That’s the one thing that has eluded him.”