The Warriors got more bad news as they learned that their point guard Monta Ellis will be out at least 3 months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn deltoid ligament in his left ankle. Ellis injured his ankle last Thursday playing pick-up ball in his native Mississippi and had the surgery on Wednesday. The Warriors have had a rough start to the off season, losing Baron Davis to the Clippers and it appears that they are having an even rougher end to the offseason with the injury to Monta Ellis.
The Warriors are very interested in former Clipper point guard Shaun Livingston with Chris Mullin scheduled to fly to Chicago on Thursday to watch Livingston in a private workout. They also signed former Celtic (albeit briefly) Luke Jackson, rookie center Steven Hill and rookie guard Jamaal Tatum.
The Oklahoma City team, formerly known as the Sonics, will unveil its name and team colors in a ceremony set for September 3. It has been pretty much certain that the name will be the Thunder but the team refuses to comment on the rumors. I still prefer the old timey way of giving teams plural names like Celtics, Knicks, Lakers, etc. Even without a name, the franchise continues to make moves. On Wednesday they signed guard Kyle Weaver to a multiyear contract. Weaver was the 38th pick by Charlotte but traded to Oklahoma in August.
The Timberwolves young players are apparently very serious about the upcoming season. Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson,Rashad McCants, Randy Foye, Rodney Carney, Corey Brewer, Chris Richard, Mike Miller, and Sebastian Telfair have been working out on a regular basis in preparation for the upcoming season. Though not actual practices, the players have been going through many of the same drills the team runs during the regular season, including some full court 5-on-5 action. I still miss Ryan Gomes and Big Al.
In the meantime, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are hanging out at Blush inside Wynn Las Vegas. Pierce supplied several bottles of Dom Perignon Rose for a party that featured members of Team USA Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony complete with their gold medals. Ray Allen wasn't done there and turned up again at Pure inside Caesars Palace, bringing with him Corey Maggette, Cuttino Mobley, Antoine Walker, Charles Oakley, Chris Humphries, Tyrone Lue and Jermaine O’Neal. Hey guys, isn't it about time to get back to working out for next season? Training camp is only a month away and it appears Pierce and Allen are still celebrating.
Here is the daily defection to Europe report. German champion Alba Berlin has signed free agent guard Casey Jacobsen, who played for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies last season. Jacobsen averaged two points per game last season with the Grizzlies.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed their second round draft pick, guard Joe Crawford. He was selected by the Lakers with the 58th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after playing 4 seasons at the University of Kentucky. He averaged 11.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 127 games for the Wildcats. Crawford started all 6 games for the Lakers Summer League team in Las Vegas this summer and averaged 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 32.7 minutes. This gives the Lakers 16 players under contract. They plan to go into training camp with 18 and will be looking to bring in a couple more players on minimum contracts. One player they have considered is Shaun Livingston but the Warriors are also considering signing him now that Monta Ellis will be out for at least 3 months.
Former Pistons' coach Chuck Daily said that he gets a kick out of the fact that people still remember the Bad Boys days of the Detroit Pistons. He also felt that the image of the Bad Boys is what has kept Laimbeer out of the NBA as a head coach. Laimbeer has been successfully coaching the WNBA Shock but hasn't been considered for any NBA coaching positions. Laimbeer is one of the players I just can't stand. He was such a dirty player and he always had that smirk on his face. I would cringe every time I saw him on the sidelines if he was ever to become the Celtics coach. I can see where Chuck Daily has a point but, it has more to do with Laimbeer's dirty play and smugness and not any Bad Boys image the team had.
With Ben Gordon definitely on the outs in Chicago, Utah is being discussed as a destination for him. The Bulls and Gordon would have to agree to a contract and sign-and-trade arrangement. The Jazz would also have to decide he was worth a long-term investment. Andrei Kirilenko a[[ears to be Utah's most logical bargaining chip but Chicago might feel that he duplicates what they already have in Nocioni and Deng. If Gordon can't find any takers for his services, he may need to take the qualifying offer in Chicago and let the season play out, becoming a free agent next off season.