NBA Weekly Report: February 17-23

Russell Finelsen, Staff Writer, Assistant Editor, Sports Editor

With everyone trying to stay warm in their houses due to school cancellations, you might have missed some important NBA stories. The last week was busy, but I kept up with everything NBA and give it all to you.

1. George Karl gets hired as coach by Kings

George Karl is probably one of the best NBA coaches ever. He has over 1,100 wins and earned a trip to the NBA finals. In addition, he won the 2012-2013 Coach of the Year Award with the Denver Nuggets. Well, with his latest job, he might get to 1,200 wins.

Karl has left his job as a television analyst to become the new coach for the Sacramento Kings. He is the third coach for the team this season, as Michael Malone and Tyrone Corbin got fired after coaching at most 28 games each.

Karl is taking over a disastrous franchise. The Kings have not had a winning record since 2005-2006, and also have not made the playoffs in that span. In addition, over the last nine seasons, the Kings have had the second most losses in the league.

However, Karl is used to winning. As a head coach, he has 1,131 wins with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder), Milwaukee Bucks, and Denver Nuggets. He is one of nine coaches with at least 1,000 wins, and is ready to turn around Sacramento’s fortunes.

“I think there’s enough talent on this team to win games, enough talent to come back and connect with one another in a way that you can be a solid to good basketball team night in and night out,” Karl said to espn.go.com. “It will take some time.”

Sacramento is a good place for Karl, as the team already has budding talent. This includes DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Darren Collison. With some good forutne, Karl can add the Kings to his resume of getting teams from worst to first (or at least close to it).

2. Carmelo Anthony out for season due to surgery

The Knicks have been horrible this season. They are 10-43 this season, giving them the worst record in the NBA this season. In addition, they are 0-13 without good-but-not-great Carmelo Anthony. Well, the Knicks will have to play the rest of the season without him.

Anthony has been shut down after getting season-ending surgery on his left knee. The surgery will keep him out four to six months. Anthony’s surgery was to repair a patella tendon in his left knee.

Even though Anthony has been experiencing pain all season, he still played in the All-Star Game. Here, he played 30 minutes while scoring 14 points. However, he only sank in six out of 20 shots.

The Knicks have already gotten rid of JR Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Amar’e Stoudemire (next number) in a full rebuilding effort. He said at a news conference that it was not worthwhile to keep playing Anthony; with this development, the team can study what talent they have and what needs they have going into the NBA draft.

If they are lucky, Anthony can make a good comeback with other talent.

3. Amar’e Stoudemire gets bought out by Knicks, signed by Mavericks

I just talked about Carmelo being lost this season for the Knicks. Well, Amar’e Stoudemire might be gone for the rest of his career.

Stoudemire and New York agreed to a buyout on Monday, Feb. 16. He was in his last season of his five-year, $99.7 million contract. However, he was not collected off of waivers, since the team that would claim him off waivers would have to assume Stoudemire’s salary of $23.4 million.

His stats have been falling the last few years, and this year, he only averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 36 games due to leg and wrist injuries.

He did not sit in his living room long, however, since he now has a new team to play with.

The Dallas Mavericks have signed Stoudemire for the veteran minimum of $460,000. Thee 13-year veteran will be behind center Tyson Chandler and forward Dirk Nowitzki in the depth charts. However, Stoudemire is a welcome addition to the team, as he gives some more depth in the frontcourt after Brandan Wright was traded to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo.

With this addition, the Mavericks have even more talent as they go into a tough part of their schedule. Who knows? Maybe Stoudemire can go back to being a star.

4. Carter-Williams, Garnett, R. Jackson, Dragić traded before deadline

The NBA trading deadline is always hectic. It involves many teams, from those who are trying to make the playoffs right now, to the others who are going to be playoff worthy in a few years. One thing is for certain, though: the deadline always involves star players.

This year, Michael Carter-Williams, Kevin Garnett, Reggie Jackson, and Goran Dragić, among others, were traded before the Thursday deadline. And, some of these players were even shipped over conferences. Now, let us look further into these player’s trades.

A. Michael Carter-Williams: Carter-Williams was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-tram trade that involved the Bucks, 76ers, and Phoenix Suns. The 76ers also sent Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis to Milwaukee.

Philly got a first round draft pick from Phoenix, while Phoenix got Brandon Knight and Kendall Marshall from Milwaukee.

This is another trade for Philly to get draft picks for the rebuilding process. However, Milwaukee and Phoenix did this trade to bolster their depth charts as the playoffs approach.

Carter-Williams was the Rookie of the Year last year, but has not done as well this year. He is only averaging 15 points per game, which is almost two points down from last year. However, Carter-Williams makes up for it in assists (7.4 per game-up 1.1) and rebounds (6.2 per game-same from last year). This shows that he has the capability of being a star and helping the Bucks stay in the playoff hunt.

B. Kevin Garnett: Garnett spent 12 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he led the team to their only eight playoff appearances and the 2004 Western Conference Finals. However, he was then traded to Boston in 2007. In Boston, Garnett got his championships that had eluded him for so long in his first year there. But, right before the 2013 draft, Boston traded Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Brooklyn Nets, where Garnett spent two years. Now, he is going back to where it all started.

With only thirty minutes before the trade deadline passed, Garnett waived his no-trade clause and allowed the Nets to trade him to the Timberwolves for Thaddeus Young. First on Garnett’s list: helping the Timberwolves snap a 10 year playoff drought.

Flip Saunders, coach of the Timberwolves now and back when Garnett was in Minnesota, said to espn.go.com: “Kevin doesn’t like change. That’s how he’s always been. But I think when he looks back, he doesn’t think moving from Brooklyn to here as a big change. I think he looks at it from moving back and being home.”

Garnett will be partnered with much young talent, including budding star Ricky Rubio, number one draft pick Andrew Wiggins, and Dunk Contest champion Zach LaVine.

Even though Garnett is having his worst year in his career statistically (6.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists), he is still proven as a great locker room leader for the inexperienced players.

In context of Garnett being a leader, Rubio said: “Whatever he says, we’re going to do it. He’s going to have the voice in the locker room. We’re going to learn a lot from him. It’s great. Not just because he did great things over here. He’s been one of the greatest ever in this sport and I’m happy to be his teammate.”

Meanwhile, Thaddeus Young, in his first and only year with Minnesota, is averaging 14.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game this season.

With Garnett’s expertise in the paint, the Minnesota Timberwolves could might as well make the playoffs next year.

C. Reggie Jackson: It has been known by many in the Oklahoma City Thunder organization that Jackson wanted a starting job. However, it was apparent that he was not going to get it. So, he called for a trade many times, and he got his wish.

As a part of a three team trade, the Thunder have sent Jackson to the Detroit Pistons. The Thunder also sent Kendrick Perkins, Grant Jerrett, the draft rights to Tibor Pleiss, and a protected 2017 first-round pick to the Utah Jazz.

The Utah Jazz sent Steve Novak and Enes Kanter to the Thunder. The Jazz also received a 2017 second-round pick from the Pistons.

The Pistons sent DJ Augustin, Kyle Singler, and a 2019 second-round pick to the Thunder.

Jackson’s minutes had decreased significantly after the Thunder added Dion Waiters to their roster in January. This happened to Jackson even after he averaged 12.8 points and 4.3 assists per game this season.

Jackson’s spot on the roster’s depth chart behind point guard Russell Westbrook will be replaced by DJ Augustin, who is averaging 10.6 points and 4.9 assists per game this season.

According to reports, Perkins, in his final year of his contract, will be bought out by the Jazz. Then, he could be signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, or Los Angeles Clippers.

Luckily, Jackson got his wish and will be starting for a team that could make a run for the playoffs.

D. Goran Dragić: Dragić also wanted to get out of his situation. Dragić was with Phoenix, where the team has a plethora of point guards. The solution: Miami, who was in need of a point guard.

In a three-team deal, the Suns sent Dragić and his brother, Zoran, to Miami, in exchange for Danny Granger and two draft picks. One pick is a first-round choice in 2021, while the other one is a first-round selection that can be used for 2017, 2018, or 2019 drafts.

The Heat also sent Norris Cole, Shawne Williams, and Justin Hamilton to the New Orleans Pelicans. In turn, the Pelicans sent John Salmons to the Suns. It was reported that Salmons and Williams would be waived by their respective new teams.

G. Dragić is averaging 16.2 points and 4.1 assists this season. Though this is down from last season, it still will be a big contribution to the Heat.

Cole and G. Dragić were expected to leave the Heat and Suns, respectively, after the season due to the fact that they were free agents.

Last year, G. Dragić was selected as a third-team All-NBA player. In addition, he was the Most Improved Player last year.

Even though G. Dragić made some Suns fans mad because of his comments of the organization, he is sure to make Heat fans happy as Miami looks to make a deep run into the playoffs.

5. Jerome Kersey dies at 52

Jerome Kersey was one of the greats for the Portland Trail Blazers. He was a star during his 11 seasons with the team and six seasons with five other teams. Sadly, though, he is no longer with us.

Kersey died on February 19 from an apparent blood clot. The blood clot traveled from the left calf to the lungs. This caused a pulmonary thromboembolism.

Kersey started his career with the Trail Blazers after being selected in the second round in 1984. In his 11 seasons, he helped the team reach the 1990 and 1992 NBA Finals while playing with stars like Clyde Dexler and Terry Porter, among others.

Kersey also played with the San Antonio Spurs, where he won a championship in 1999. Other teams that Kersey played for include the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics, and Milwaukee Bucks.

With the Trail Blazers, Kersey ranked second in all-time games played with 831. He was also second in rebounds (5,078), third in blocks (621), and third in steals (1,059). He played 1,153 games total in his career.

“It is so sad,” Drexler told Comcast SportsNet Northwest upon hearing the news. “It is a huge loss for the Portland community. He was the greatest guy, the nicest friend, teammate and brother. He was loved by everyone. We will all miss him. He just cared so much. This is unbelievable.”

Kersey was also an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2004-2005 season. In addition, he was a popular guest on CSN Northwest’s Blazers broadcasts of games.

Kersey leaves behind a wife and four daughters. I share my condolences with the family , friends, fans, team, and the league.

6. Chris Bosh, Shabazz Muhammed, Jared Sullinger out for season

It is a team’s worst thought when one of their players is out for future season with an injury. It is even worse when they are a big contribution in games. However, three teams just lost valuable pieces to their puzzles.

A. Chris Bosh: Bosh is a key contributor to the Miami Heat. Since LeBron James’s departure, the Heat have not done as well this season. But, Bosh has picked up the slack in LeBron’s absence. Now, Miami will have to find a new leader in the midst.

Bosh will be out for the rest of the season due to blood clots. These clots were especially dangerous due to their location, which was next to the lungs.

Bosh is the second All-Star to play the All-Star Game but be out for the rest of the season. The other All-Star is Carmelo Anthony.

When there are blood clots next to the lungs, the medication that is needed to solve the problem requires the victim of the injury to go six months or more with little to no physical activity. Most likely, the blood clot traveled to the lungs from the legs, which is very dangerous. This is the cause of Jerome Kersey’s death, who died on Wednesday.

Other NBA players have experienced this injury. This list includes Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic, Cleveland’s Anderson Varejao, and Bosh’s teammate on the Heat’s roster, Udonis Haslem.

Bosh is a huge part of the Heat’s success. He is first on the team with minutes played per game (35.4) and three pointers made in the season (63). He is also second on the team with points per game (21.1), rebounds per game (7.0), touches per game (65.2), and usage percentage (29%). In addition, his points per game ranks 13th in the league, while his usage percentage ranks 11th in the league for players that have played at least ten games this season.

This is huge loss for Miami (23-31), who are hanging on to a seven seed in the Eastern Conference. Hopefully, Bosh can get better from this life threatening condition.

B. Shabazz Muhammed: The Minnesota Timberwolves thought they were hitting a break this season. Many key players have healed from injuries, and the team just received Kevin Garnett in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Well, the Timberwolves have another problem.

Muhammed did not even play in a game after the All-Star Break. Instead, he got hurt in a practice, and will miss the rest of the season due to surgery on his left middle finger.

Muhammed was mostly used off the bench except for a lot of games in the beginning of the season due to injuries to Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, and Nikola Pekovic. For a period, he had eight 20 point games out of 21 games. Then, however, he was sidelined 16 games with an abdominal injury, and only recently came back right before the break.

The injury will cause rookie Adreian Payne to play a bigger role. Due to Muhammed’s and Anthony Bennett’s injuries (Bennett is out for two weeks with an injured right ankle.) and the trade for Garnett (starting power forward Thaddeus Young was sent to Brooklyn), Payne will have a lot more playing time with the Timberwolves. He was just traded for from Atlanta for a lottery-protected first-round draft selection.

Muhammed was in a breakout season, of sorts (he averaged 3.9 points per game last year as a rookie). He was averaging 13.5 points off the bench. With this kind of production, Minnesota will miss a bench producer like Muhammed.

C. Jared Sullinger: Sullinger has been one of the best players for the Boston Celtics this season from a statistical standpoint. With almost 15 points in each game, Sullinger is one of the biggest reasons to Boston’s success. However, Boston will have to find a new forward to rely on.

Sullinger will miss the rest of the season due to a left metatarsal stress fracture. This injury was diagnosed after Sullinger felt discomfort and pain in his foot during Boston’s win over Atlanta on February 11, the last game for Boston before the All-Star Break.

Testing in Boston confirmed the fracture, which forced the team to shut him down.

This comes at a terrible time for the Celtics. From a standings point of view, they are 20-32 and only 1.5 games out of an eight seed in the Eastern Conference. It is even worse if you look at the depth chart. Sullinger’s teammate, forward Kelly Olynyk, has also been out for considerable time this season due to a right ankle injury. Therefore, Boston will have to rely on Tyler Zeller, Brandon Bass, and newcomers Shavlik Randolph and Jonas Jerebko.

This year, Sullinger was averaging 14.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season. His 8.1 rebounds per game lead the team. This is a huge loss for Boston at a terrible time. This might alter their playoff hopes for this year.s