Tuesday, July 31, 2012
But that reality aside, is there much to not like about the work done by Hornets General Manager Dell Demps and his staff this offseason? And as a result, is there any reason to not believe the Hornets won’t be vastly improved because of it?
There’s a level of enthusiasm, hope and expectation surrounding the Hornets that perhaps only has been matched once during the team’s tenure in New Orleans, the offseason of 2008, when there was great promise after the Hornets pushed San Antonio to seven games in the Western Conference semifinals and appeared ready to make the jump and become a conference championship contender for several seasons.
And the talk has remained audible even as the Saints have opened training camp — a statement that hasn’t often been made about the Hornets during the offseason — because of all the good things that have happened to the Hornets, and all the good things they have made happen, since the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Orlando Magic may have just identified their next Doc Rivers.
The Magic introduced Jacque Vaughn as their new head coach at a news conference Monday, and Vaughn seemingly reminded everyone of a young Doc, whom the Magic plucked from the broadcast booth in 1999 and turned into an NBA head coach. Like Doc when he came to Orlando, Jacque is a former NBA point guard who has never been a head coach before at any level. But there’s just something about the way he walks and talks that makes you think he might be something special someday.
He is an intelligent, eloquent man who loves poetry and quoted Maya Angelou on Monday: “Some people will forget what you said and how you said it, but they’ll never forget how you make them feel.” He communicates and relates well to players. He has charisma, a sense of humor and that innate ability to light up a press conference.
The agent for Nate Robinson, Aaron Goodwin, says the veteran point guard will sign with Chicago today “barring unforeseen problems.”
Robinson averaged 11.2 points (42.4 percent shooting overall), 23.5 minutes, 1.2 steals and a career-high 4.5 assists per game with Golden State last season. Assuming the signing takes place, this will be the 28-year-old’s fifth team since the 2009-10 campaign.
The transaction flurry that has defined the Suns this month has not included a contract extension for head coach Alvin Gentry.
And that’s not a surprise. We were escorted to the acceptance porch of this reality during Lon Babby’s preamble-to-summer press conference back in June.
“My view is if a person has a three-year contract, you assess it at the end of three years,” the Suns’ president of basketball operations said when asked about Gentry’s status with the final year of his deal approaching.
“That’s how I’m going to be judged. I’ve talked to Alvin, and he’s perfectly fine with that, and you know, there are a lot of very successful coaches in the league right now coaching in the final year of their contract.
Scott Machado, the former Iona point guard, is a committed Knicks fan. But he stopped short of saying he was an admirer of Linsanity last season when Jeremy Lin was electrifying the league with his come-from-nowhere play.
“I wasn’t on his bandwagon,” Machado said. “I was a Knicks fan and we were winning with him, so I was just happy.”
Machado went undrafted last month but caught on with the Houston Rockets summer league team. Now, armed with an invite to the Rockets training camp, Machado has a chance to make the team and possibly back up Lin at point guard.
“I feel like Jeremy Lin is a good player – nothing against his game – but I want to show my talent and be able to play there as well,” Machado said.
Damian Lillard is an NBA paradox, a relative unknown on the national stage during a 4-year college career who will enter his first fall training camp with the greatest of expectations.
“We found our franchise point guard,” Portland Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey said of Lillard, a 21-year-old from Weber State, shortly after selecting him with the No. 6 pick in June’s NBA Draft.
Lillard’s leap from “Have you ever heard of…?” to potentially being the face of a rebuilding franchise lacks a clear recent precedent. A survey of the league’s current franchise point guards bears little similarity to Lillard’s background. Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving came out of the blue blood ACC. Deron Williams played in an NCAA title game while at Illinois. Derrick Rose played for John Calipari (enough said). The enigmatic Rajon Rondo went to Kentucky and Russell Westbrook, often cited an off-the-radar recruit, wound up attending a little program known as UCLA.
The Grizzlies wanted to add more size to their frontcourt, and did so Saturday with a familiar face.
They finalized a two-year contract with Hamed Haddadi, re-signing the 7-2 backup center in a move that was expected and will likely conclude the team’s offseason dealings.
Haddadi will earn between $1 million and $1.3 million for the 2012-13 season — his fifth with the Grizzlies. The second year of his contract is partially guaranteed.
“We’ve invested four years in Hamed. We have continuity with him,” Griz general manager Chris Wallace said.
Monday, July 30, 2012
The Bucks explored the possibility of signing unrestricted free agent guard Jodie Meeks.
The Bucks selected Meeks in the second round of the 2009 draft before trading him that season to Philadelphia, where he has been a part-time starter since.
Meeks, who averaged 8.4 points last season, has drawn interest from several teams with the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers apparently at the forefront.
When Omer Asik is getting $25 million, you know the NBA is desperate for big men.
Nothing against Asik, a serviceable center who left the Bulls in free agency to sign a four-year contract with the Rockets. Then again, we’re talking about a guy who sports career averages of 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
But Asik is a true 7-footer, a hustling post player with an upside. And in today’s market, that really seems to count for a lot.
Nor is Asik the lone big man to have hit the jackpot this summer. Roy Hibbert (Pacers), Chris Kaman (Mavericks), JaVale McGee (Nuggets), and Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries (Nets) all received large and lengthy contracts. Even old standbys such as Kevin Garnett (Celtics) and Tim Duncan (Spurs) pocketed some serious cash – despite the fact each is viewed as a little past his prime. Or at least, no longer a legitimate reason to watch pro basketball in prime time.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
A flicker of hope for Valley basketball fans:
Former Arizona State star James Harden would consider signing with the Suns if his contract expires after next season.
“Yeah,” he said. “Of course. I love it there. My mom lives there still. So that’s definitely my second home as far as my comfort level and going to school there. But obviously, I’m with the Thunder right now and what we have is special.”
This off-season, the team has a window of opportunity to extend Harden and Serge Ibaka, but league salary-cap restrictions and harsh luxury-tax penalties will make it difficult to sign both. At the least, it would require great sacrifice from the players involved.
If no deal is reached, Harden would become a restricted free agent after next season. A team such as the Suns could then make it hard on Oklahoma City by signing him to a lucrative offer sheet.
“That’s out of my hands,” Harden said. “That’s not my decision. That’s the front office. I’ll let them decide that.”
The Orlando Magic have hired Jacque Vaughn as their new head coach.
A team official said the Magic will hold a news conference Monday afternoon to introduce Vaughn, a former NBA point guard who spent the past two seasons as a San Antonio Spurs assistant coach.
Vaughn will take over a team that is expected to trade superstar Dwight Howard, go into rebuilding mode and begin to emphasize developing young players.
Vaughn, 37, is widely viewed within NBA circles as bright, hard-working and organized.
But, at the same time, some league insiders have noted that he brings limited coaching experience.
After retiring as a player in 2009, Vaughn was hired in 2010 by the Spurs as an assistant coach, working under Greg Poppovich.
(Mike) D’Antoni, 61, never envisioned himself as a college coach. He can be stubborn and headstrong, and he badly wanted to prove his system could work in the NBA. But in the process of taking his son on college visits, his perspective began to change.
“You think about it,” D’Antoni said. “You look at it and think, ‘Oh, that could be fun.’ One thing I do know from taking my son around is that anytime you step on a college campus, you feel energy. You feel an excitement that’s not there, normally, where the business (of basketball) takes over. And obviously, when you feel the excitement; things go through your head.”
(Bradley) Beal scored at least 20 points twice, grabbed at least six rebounds three times and handed out four assists once. His performance was more steady than spectacular. Beal wasn’t too pleased with his shooting from the floor (41.8 percent) or from beyond the three-point line (30 percent), but he also wants to get better.
The most impressive aspect of Beal’s performance was that he never forced the action and let the game to come to him, even if assistant Sam Cassell asked him to be a little more aggressive.
“Honestly, if I feel as though I’m open, coach is going to tell me to shoot it. It’s times I was open and passed and coach got all on my head, so I mean, certain situations, I’m an unselfish player,” Beal said. “I’d rather get somebody else going. I’ll eventually get going myself. That’s just my mentality. But it’s really just staying focused and staying within the flow of the game, actually.”
Saturday, July 28, 2012
On Saturday, Brandon Roy did something that used to be routine: He played a basketball game. Roy’s performance at the Jamal Crawford Pro-Am League in Seattle was his first public appearance on the court since his last game for the Blazers some 15 months ago. In the interim, Roy has retired due to deteriorating condition of his knees, undergone treatment, started a comeback and agreed to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves to start the next chapter of his career.
When close friend Will Conroy first hinted and later confirmed on Twitter last week that Roy would play, it created a buzz in the Seattle basketball community, but also some skepticism. Roy pulled out of a pair of charity games at the last minute during the summer of 2011, and he’s yet to officially put pen to paper on his new contract with the Timberwolves. Yet Roy arrived about 20 minutes before gametime and changed into his red jersey. The teams in Crawford’s team are all named after NBA teams, so for one day, Roy–along with Conroy and another former Husky, Mike Jensen–was a member of the Bulls. They squared off against a Kings team featuring Isaiah Thomas and former Blazer Martell Webster.
After scoring the first bucket of the game on a pull-up jumper going to his left, Roy was quiet offensively the rest of the first quarter. This being a pro-am setting that features a gap in talent between NBA stars and local preps that played at the community college level, it was difficult to tell how much Roy was trying to push things. He opened the game using his occasional drives to set up teammates rather than score at the rim.
Most professional organizations have a diversity of opinion on a given issue or philosophy. Many of those inside front offices who have espoused a broader interpretation of what it means to be an NBA power forward, shooting guard or center feel vindicated by the way in which the Miami Heat won the title.
“The NBA is a pick-and-roll game, not a post game, so you need guys who have defined skills regardless of their size,” one scout said. “The league has been that way for a long time, but we ignored it because the Lakers and Celtics were winning, so size seemed like it matter. We told ourselves that you needed to be big and long to win.”
It is not that rebounding and height aren’t valuable commodities. Watching your 6'2'' shooting guard rotate to close on a 6-foot-10 sharpshooter is as painful as ever, but coaches, execs and scouts uniformly maintain that valuing — or devaluing — a player strictly because of his size is an antiquated exercise.
Friday, July 27, 2012
As he looked back on the craziest year he could imagine, Bay Area native Jeremy Lin conceded to the truth of hindsight. He did let Linsanity go to his head.
“If I’m being honest, in some ways, yes,” Lin told this newspaper. “I fought it every day. But I think subconsciously it had its effect, everyone catering to you. People were saying only good things for so long that when people said negative stuff, it was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ ”
After Lin signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Houston Rockets, a lot of negative things were said. He’s selfish. He’s all about the money. His ego is out of control. And, to top it off, many deemed him a basketball fluke who already has maxed out his potential.
Mostly, what seems to be the sticking point in this deal is not an agent or player, but the indecisiveness of the Magic — and their new GM, Rob Hennigan.
According to sources, the Magic have frustrated potential trading partners by continuously changing terms at the last minute. This supposedly dates back to their dealings with the Nets a few weeks back, when Nets GM Billy King felt an agreement that would send (Dwight) Howard to Brooklyn had been finalized, sources said.
Instead, the Nets re-signed their own free-agent center, Brook Lopez, eliminating themselves from landing Howard.
Derrick Rose has stayed quiet since his season — and the Chicago Bulls’ title aspirations — was cut short by a knee injury in the playoffs, but the 2010-11 MVP surfaced in a YouTube video posted Friday, telling fans not to worry about him.
“Hopefully you’ll see me back out there,” Rose said in the video. “My biggest concern is don’t worry about me. I know I’m going to be all right. I know that I’m healthy, I’m positive, I believe in God, so I should be back there on the court soon, and I hope that you support not only me but the Bulls.”
Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 28. He had surgery on May 12, and has kept a low profile since.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Some believe that the drama is playing out in the Lakers’ favor. In their trademark fashion, the Lakers will show up late to the party but still leave with the best-looking date, just as they did in the Steve Nash Sweepstakes. “The Lakers aren’t his first choice, but they’re his best choice,” one executive said. “And the Magic know they need Dwight on board to get the most in return.”
Others feel Orlando is content to wait, and many of them have quickly become admirers of new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan. “He’s not in a hurry,” an NBA executive said. “He has a very cool attitude, as if he knows something the rest of the league doesn’t know. It makes you wonder, is there a third wave of suitors out there? Is he holding out for [James] Harden or [Serge] Ibaka?”
Every executive agreed that, despite his petulance, Howard is worth a ton. “He’s an emotional midget,” one said. “But he’s worth moving a roster for.”
While fans await news on whether Ben Wallace will return for his 17th season, he shed some light on the situation this week in Virginia.
Speaking with Richmond, Va., TV station WTVR, he said he is “50-50″ about returning to the Pistons.
According to the report, Wallace was preparing to participate in a summer league he sponsors, and he indicated his performance would help him decide.
“I’ll be out here,” Wallace said. “How much of a player (he still is) remains to be seen.”
After going through NBA free agency for a second straight year and hearing offers from a handful of different teams, Kris Humphries only wanted one thing — to be a member of the Brooklyn Nets. He received his wish, and on Friday, as Brooklyn continued its offseason deluge of news conferences, Humphries was re-introduced to the media.
“It’s a nature of the business, but I always wanted to be back,” said Humphries, a forward who signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Nets this week. “There were a lot of things floated out there and I had to explore other things. But this is where I wanted to be. A lot of things went through my mind, but I wasn’t close to making a decision.
(Grant) Hill, who will turn 40 in October, recently had the same platelet-enrichment procedure done on his knee in Germany that Kobe Bryant had, and he said he felt re-energized. Hill started 46 of 49 games last season and averaged a career-low 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 28.1 minutes.
“I feel good,” Hill said. “I felt good before I went over there (for the procedure.) Bottom line is you want to play and you want to give yourself every opportunity to be right. It was really good. I feel good. It was worth the trip.”
Hill’s signing, combined with the offseason acquisitions of Lamar Odom, Jamal Crawford and Ryan Hollins, round out the Clippers’ efforts this offseason to revamp their bench and give them some much-needed depth, especially on the front line.
“There hasn’t been one guy that wasn’t our first choice that we haven’t gotten,” (Vinny) Del Negro said. “It’s been great. We just feel very good about the people we’re bringing in, the players, the talent and the chemistry of the team. We’re building it the right way.”
The plans for a new arena that could bring the NBA back to Seattle has taken another step forward with the King County Council possibly taking a vote on the proposal as early as next week.
The council announced Monday it was moving the memorandum of understanding between investor Chris Hansen and the county out of committee and for a possible full council vote on July 30.
Hansen has proposed a $490 million facility with $290 million in private investment, and the remaining $200 million bonded by the city and county and paid off through arena-generated taxes and revenues over the next 30 years.
The New Orleans Hornets have worked hard on executing a sign-and-trade for Suns RFA center Robin Lopez, but the deal hasn’t come together. The Phoenix Suns want to keep Lopez, but sides are still unable to come to terms. As a restricted free agent, the Suns can match an offer sheet.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The New York Knicks agreed to terms Tuesday morning with free agent guard Ronnie Brewer on a one-year deal, according to a league source.
Brewer became available when his former team, the Chicago Bulls, opted to not pick up his $4.3 million option for the 2012-13 season.
The 27-year-old Brewer appeared in all 66 games last season for Chicago, averaging 6.9 points per game. He’ll join a Knicks guard corps that will include Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Argentinian guard Pablo Prigioni and J.R. Smith. Brewer will likely compete with Smith for the starting two guard spot.
The Knicks declined to match the $25.1 million offer sheet for guard Jeremy Lin last week, allowing him to go to the Rockets.
Everyone kept saying it: Jeremy Lin’s value to the Knicks extended past the basketball court.
Want proof though? Since he signed his offer sheet with the Rockets, MSG’s stock has dropped $93 million, via Darren Rovell.
When Lin made his first start for the Knicks Feb. 6, MSG shares were trading at $29.49. On July 5, the stock had risen more than 30 percent up to $38.80. Since Lin signed the “poison pill” offer sheet than might make it tough to retain him, shares have dropped to $35.50, an 8.5 percent fall.
Free-agent forward Jordan Hill has reached agreement on a two-year, nearly $8 million contract to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent Kevin Bradbury told Yahoo! Sports.
Hill turned down a more aggressive offer from the Minnesota Timberwolves to remain with the Lakers, who traded for him in March. Hill played an increasingly vital role for the Lakers during the Western Conference semifinals.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
However, his defender’s outpouring of raw emotion breathed life back into the downtrodden team. That is, after shaking off some pregame nerves, according to his coach.
“He (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) sets the tone for everybody else,” (Mike) Dunlap said. “He’s a locker room guy in that he doesn’t use a lot of words. But he has an impact with his voice and he also backs it up with his energy.”
Playing with the enthusiasm of a kid hopped-up on sweets, Kidd-Gilchrist flew around the court for the better part of his 12 first-half minutes, in which he totaled 15 of his 18 points and three of his seven rebounds. He even tweaked his ankle a bit in the early going by attacking the rim with such energy.
He ran the break, finding fellow rookie Jeffrey Taylor for a crisp alley-oop pass with 3:59 to go in the first. He ran a stolen pass back to the rim and, almost in slow motion, his intent known from the moment he got his hands on the ball, rose up over Rob Kurz for a highlight slam.
He ran everywhere. That’s his only setting.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Former North Carolina center Brendan Haywood has been claimed by the Charlotte Bobcats, the team announced Saturday.
NBA teams were notified at 5 p.m. Saturday the Bobcats had lodged the winning bid in a blind auction to claim Haywood, who was released Thursday by the Dallas Mavericks via the one-time amnesty clause.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is expected to have surgery Thursday to repair a broken right hand he suffered in summer league practice, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Irving, last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, injured his hand during Saturday morning’s practice at a local high school after slapping the padding on the wall in the gymnasium. He was held out of the remainder of practice and had ice on his hand, but afterward said he didn’t think his hand was hurt badly.
The Los Angeles Lakers are close to a deal with free agent forward Antawn Jamison, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Jamison was also considering signing with the Charlotte Bobcats because it would have meant he could close out his career close to home.
Monday, July 16, 2012
The new front-runner for the Magic job now might be San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Jacque Vaughn a former Magic player who played for the Spurs when Hennigan worked in the Spurs’ front office.
Hennigan also interviewed three others over the last week: Philadelphia 76ers associate head coach Michael Curry, assistant coach Jeff Hornacek and Phoenix Suns player development coach Lindsey Hunter.
The Indiana Pacers have re-signed free agents Roy Hibbert and George Hill, two key members of their rebuilding project.
Indiana Pacers’ incoming president Donnie Walsh had said he didn’t want to disrupt the nucleus of a team that went 42-24 and reached the second round of the playoffs last season. On Friday, he announced that the Pacers have re-signed free agents Roy Hibbert and George Hill.
“Before the free agent period started, I met with the press and basically said the biggest priority we have is to keep our own guys, and we are here today to announce that George and Roy signed contracts to be with the Pacers for quite a while,” Walsh said to a cheering crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Hibbert, a fourth-year pro, is coming off an All-Star season, averaging 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game and giving the Pacers a dominant presence at center. He says he’s happy to be back because the Pacers have “unfinished business” after losing to eventual champion Miami in the playoffs.
“I was pretty surprised I made the All-Star team,” he said. “If it happens again, that’s great, but I’m more focused on winning, rebounding, blocking shots and being a defensive presence.”
The Portland Trail Blazers attempted to snag former Utah Jazz coach, Jerry Sloan, out of retirement this week by formally offering him their head coach position in Salt Lake City.
Sloan later turned down the offer, but that wasn’t the Trail Blazers first big swing.
For the last few months, the Trail Blazers have been in back-and-forth discussions with Phil Jackson in an attempt to persuade him to take their head coaching vacancy, a close source said.
Last week, Jackson’s agent, Todd Musburger, informed the Trail Blazers that Jackson was flattered, but has decided he would not coach this upcoming season.
The deal to reacquire (Ray) Felton — who played 54 games for the Knicks in 2010-11 — was taken by many as an indication that the Knicks would let (Jeremy) Lin depart, despite his wild success on the court last season and his global marketability.
Felton will receive a three-year, $10 million contract in a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to a person briefed on the details. The Knicks will also receive Kurt Thomas, another former Knick, in the deal. In exchange, Portland will receive Jared Jeffries (in a sign-and-trade arrangement), plus the nonguaranteed contract of Dan Gadzuric, the Knicks’ second-round draft pick in 2016 and the rights to two overseas players.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers have discussed a three-team deal that would send disgruntled superstar Dwight Howard to Los Angeles, according to sources close to the situation. The three teams have discussed a number of scenarios. While no trade is imminent, the talks are ongoing.
One scenario would send Howard to Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum to Cleveland and a package of picks and prospects to Orlando, according to sources.
The Lakers would land Howard, who they have been aggressively pursuing for quite some time.
The Cavaliers would acquire a second star to put alongside Kyrie Irving, one that they should be able to keep long-term since Cleveland has been mentioned as a team that Bynum will consider signing an extension with.
The Phoenix Suns have won the amnesty auction for former Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola, according to sources with knowledge of the auction outcome.
The NBA’s 30 teams were notified shortly after 5 p.m. ET on Sunday that the Suns won the blind bidding for Scola, which requires interested teams under the salary cap to bid no less than $3 million for this season and $10-plus million for the next three seasons.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Sometimes when you hear things. You think that just works and will work. Nash in LA is a perfect fit. That is all they needed. All they needed was a point guard. Everyone knew it. Ramon Session was a back up in Cleveland. Came to LA and they were partying. And Derek Fisher? I don't get that guy! I do not think there is a better point to have running the Lake show. There are better point guards out there, but I think he is the best fit for that team.That being said. I am glad as heck that he is off the Suns. I live in the Phoenix area and he was not a good fit here. Very happy to see him leave. The Suns need to blow it up, go young and develop younger guys. Nash is perfect as a third or fourth option. He cannot be a number one option. But there is no other guard I would want if I had a Kobe, Gasol, and Bynum. Steve is gona help Pau Gasol and Bynum the most. He is gona help Kobe too but in a different way. Kobe is just gona have a lot less stress. He is gone be more relaxed and not feel pressure to carry the team and lead the team. I think now he can just play. And Gasol is gona love him. The whole team will. Whoever is open will love him. Even if they don't think they are open. I would make them the favorite to win it all next year. I know Vegas does not agree with that. And I would not trade Andrew Bynum for Dwight Howard. I am not a big Howard fan. Plus if you bring in Howard you might get a different Kobe.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
He’s been largely out of sight, but Jeff Green hasn’t been out of the Celtics’ mind — and the affection has been returned.
So tomorrow, the two sides will officially begin the task of getting Green back in green.
The key acquisition in the 2011 Kendrick Perkins trade played 26 games that season. He was set to return this past year, but during a physical after agreeing to a new contract, Green was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm and had surgery in January. The contract was voided and he was allowed to become an unrestricted free agent.
Now Green is again working out and he wants to get things worked out here.
“He’s doing great,” said his agent, David Falk. “He’s been cleared 100 percent and he’s healthy.
“Obviously the Celtics want him back, and we’ll talk about that on July 1,” he added, referring to the date on which clubs can begin negotiating with free agents.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
The Memphis Grizzlies chose not to extend a qualifying offer to (O.J.) Mayo on Friday, which means the 24-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent tonight. This was somewhat of a surprise since Memphis had multiple opportunities to trade Mayo last season, but decided to hold onto him. Now, Mayo has likely played his final game as a member of the Grizzlies and he’ll attract interest from a number of teams. There are plenty of executives around the league who love Mayo’s potential and believe he could be a very good player if put in the right situation. The Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Clippers are among the teams expected to pursue Mayo, according to sources close to the situation.
Kevin) Pritchard plans to work the phones in an attempt to add another big man and scorer on the wing. Guards Brandon Roy and O.J. Mayo are two wings players the Pacers plan to pursue. Jamal Crawford could also be a possibility.
Roy, a former All Star, retired last season because of knee problems but he’s attempting a comeback. He and Pritchard were together in Portland.
Mayo became an unrestricted free agent Friday when the Memphis Grizzlies did not tender a qualifying offer to him. Former Pacers president Larry Bird tried on several occasions to trade for Mayo in the past.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Thursday the organization didn’t make any serious efforts to trade forward Luol Deng or any of the team’s core players before the NBA draft.
Were we actively shopping our players? Absolutely not,” Forman said after the Bulls drafted Kentucky guard Marquis Teague with the 29th pick. “Are there conversations? All 30 teams have conversations about everybody on their roster. But we like the core of this team, and it’s our job to continue to try to put pieces around Derrick (Rose) and some of the other core guys and try to continue to trend up.”
Trade rumors swirled around Deng in recent weeks, and he recently acknowledged them and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Bulls moved him.
Monday, July 2, 2012
The New Orleans Hornets announced Thursday afternoon they had extended a qualifying offer to restricted free agent shooting guard Eric Gordon.
Gordon turned down an offer of a four-year extension, reported to be in the neighborhood of $50 million, last January in order to test free agency.
The Hornets have the ability to match any offers Gordon receives on the open market, and likely will do so because of the cap space they’ve acquired by the departure of center Emeka Okafor and forward Trevor Ariza in a trade last week with the Washington Wizards.
Thursday’s offer by the Hornets to Gordon is a required procedural move. They cannot begin to negotiate an extension with him until July 1.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
But the focus on the Lakers’ offseason efforts will hardly center on the prospects of Marquette point guard Darius Johnson-Odom or Gonzaga center Robert Sacre. It will zero in on the Lakers’ failure to move up higher in the draft and whether the Lakers can make what (Lakers general manager Mitch) Kupchak described as a “home run” during free agency.
(Pau) Gasol shouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. All things considered, no one outside of Kobe Bryant should really feel settled. Kupchak said the front office will continue trade discussions in what he said was “the beginning phase of when teams look to improve their team.” Considering the Lakers only have an $8.9 million trade exception and a mid-level slot worth $3 million, a trade could serve as the only way to bolster the lineup.
(Steve) Nash has made it a point in recent interviews to stress that he’s “open to everything” and say he’ll listen to any team that calls, but industry sources monitoring the free-agent market have identified four teams that pose the greatest danger to the Suns in terms of signing Nash away: Toronto, Dallas, New York and Brooklyn.
Raptors president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who headed the Phoenix contingent that swooped into Dallas in July 2004 and convinced Nash to leave the Mavericks to return the team that drafted him in less than 24 hours, is planning a similar approach to courting Canada’s best-ever player in 2012.
Sources say that the Raptors will have at least five members of the organization waiting in New York this weekend to visit Nash as soon as he’s ready Sunday, with Toronto widely expected to make the richest financial offer Nash receives this offseason to come back to Canada. The offer is likely to approach $12 million annually, sources say.
One of the best defensive teams in the NBA over the past two seasons is going on a major offensive in free agency.
The Grizzlies have made veteran sharpshooter Ray Allen a prime offseason target and planned to contact him late Saturday night in the first step of what promises to be a strong pursuit of the NBA’s all-time leading three-point shooter.
Memphis, according to sources familiar with the team’s plans, will offer Allen its full mid-level exception ($5 million) in hopes of luring him away from other suitors — such as Miami — with only the mini-mid-level ($3 million) to spend.
Jameer Nelson, the Orlando Magic’s point guard of the last eight seasons, opted out of the final year of his contract on Friday.
But Nelson’s entry into the unrestricted free-agent market doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be leaving the Magic. New Orlando General Manager Rob Hennigan has said repeatedly in the past few days that the Magic want Nelson to be a part of the franchise for years to come, and veteran point guard echoed those feelings Friday night.
“I still hope to be with the Magic, but I have to see what direction I want to go with myself and I’ll have a decision to make,’’ Nelson said Friday night from his suburban Philadelphia home. “I want to be a Magic player, and it’s just about getting something done. I’m a free agent for the first time. It’s definitely weird. But it makes me feel good to hear that the Magic want me back. I have to do what’s best for me and my family, but I still want to be with the Magic.’’