The NBA does not make a profit by sending its stars to play at the Olympics, and a move to re-direct their headline players into a rebranded World Cup of Basketball would certainly change that. While Ken Berger of CBS Sports understands the idea of pulling NBA stars out of the Olympic games in the future, he says that it should be based on the premise that "Dream Teams" have run their course, and not because it is driven by an opportunity for David Stern and NBA owners to try to make money elsewhere. With that aside, here are some of tonight's miscellaneous links...
Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW engaged in a chat with fans about the Mavericks' offseason. Among his more notable thoughts were that the team's interest in Steve Nash was never that serious, Mark Cuban deserves to be applauded for their attempt to land Deron Williams despite falling short, and that he gives the team a grade of "B" for their work this summer. Here are some more of the highlights:
In a string of tweets, Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune says that unrestricted free agent C.J. Miles has drawn serious interest from the Lakers and that they currently have the edge among other teams that Miles is strongly considering. The 6'6 guard/forward played in 56 games for the Jazz last season, averaging 9.1 PPG on 38.1% shooting from the field and 30.7% from long range in 20.4 MPG.
After initially reaching a verbal agreement with Brandon Roy way back on July 5th, the Timberwolves finally made the two-year deal official today. During his introductory press conference, Roy spoke to the media about last year's "retirement," his decision to return, and his role with the T-Wolves. Here are a few of the highlights, courtesy of Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld....
On his retirement last winter:
"It never really was officially my decision to retire. With the process in Portland, I met with the team doctor, we talked for awhile. We have a really, really good relationship. He’s a guy that’s been working with me for five years with my knees. It was a situation where I went in for the physical, and he thought it would be in my best interest to stop playing basketball because of my knees. We pretty much left it up to the team to decide if they wanted to pursue the medical retirement route. After a week, they decided to use the amnesty. For me, it was never that I was retired.... It’s never a situation where I said, ‘I’m done forever.’ It was more of a pause."
On deciding to return to the NBA and preparing for his comeback:
"It was a tough season to sit out but after thinking about it, I wanted to start preparing myself to make a comeback. I didn’t want it to be an overnight decision so I decided to start working out for about two months before I would make my official decision to come back. After two months of pushing myself, my body felt really great. It responded really well."
On his free agency and the Timberwolves' interest:
"It was a weird process. I never really said ‘I’m coming back.’ It was, ‘I’m thinking about coming back’ just to kind of put feelers out there to see what teams were really excited and believed in me. Minnesota was that team, along with some other ones. They continued to call and watch me workout. When they said, ‘Hey Brandon, the sky’s the limit here,’ that really made me feel good. I thought some teams maybe wanted me to play a small role, but Minnesota said you can come in and earn as big of a role as you want. That was really important for me."
On any limitations he may face in Minnesota:
"I would still love to be around that 35-minute mark. It’s whatever the team needs. I don’t want those situations where coach has to say, ‘We’re in a tough game, but you’re at your minute limit.’ That was something I had to deal with in my last season in Portland. That was really hard. Physically, I feel good. I want to play as much as possible, but at the same time be smart because it’s a long season and we want to be at our best down the stretch."
This afternoon's MLB trade deadline may have stolen the headlines, but there's certainly been no shortage of NBA transactions today either. The Sixers, Bulls, and Timberwolves each announced signings, while the Celtics made four new contracts official. As we wait for the next series of NBA roster moves, let's round up some odds and ends from around the Association....
JULY 31ST: The Celtics formally announced Christmas' signing today, via a press release.
JULY 22ND: The Celtics have reached agreement on a deal with guard Dionte Christmas, a team source confirmed to Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com. Terms of the deal are not yet known but Christmas says that the deal will be partially guaranteed.
"I actually got the call before the game started," said Christmas, who has excelled as a member of the C's summer league team. "I don't really know all the details now, but I'm going to go over them with the staff. But I'm just happy, man, emotional. I actually got the call literally two minutes before the game started."
Christmas' representatives have been discussing a potential deal with Boston all week with the guard asking for some form of a guarantee from the team. The Temple product received significant offers to return to Europe but preferred to play in the NBA this year.
JULY 31ST: The Celtics have officially re-signed Dooling, according to a team release.
JULY 24TH: The Celtics and Keyon Dooling have agreed to terms on a one-year contract, a source tells Paul Flannery of WEEI.com (Twitter link). ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg confirms with Dooling's agent that the guard will be returning to Boston on a one-year deal (Twitter link).
Because Dooling played for the Celtics last season, he was eligible to sign for more than the veteran's minimum, but Forsberg confirms it'll be a minimum-salary deal (Twitter link). Dooling's 4.0 PPG and 6.9 PER in 2011/12 were both career lows, so a larger guarantee was unlikely, though Forsberg adds that the 32-year-old's "locker room leadership" is invaluable (Twitter link).
Having used their full mid-level exception to sign Jason Terry, the Celtics will be hard-capped at $74.3MM this season. They'll only be on the hook for $854,389 of Dooling's $1,352,181 salary, with the league covering the remaining portion.
JULY 31ST: The Celtics have officially signed Collins, the team announced today in a press release.
JULY 21ST: The Celtics have agreed to terms with center Jason Collins on a one-year, veteran minimum deal, reports Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter). Collins, 33, appeared in 30 games for the Hawks during the 2012/13 season where he averaged 1.3 PPG and 1.6 RPG in just over 10 minutes per contest.
By signing Collins, Boston has added a legitimate seven-footer to provide depth off the bench in place of Greg Stiemsma, who is headed to Minnesota after reaching a deal earlier on Saturday. Collins' best season came in 2004/05 with the Nets as he started in 80 games and averaged 6.4 PPG along with 6.1 RPG. Beyond the stat sheet, Collins remains a strong defender and brings 95 games of playoff experience to Boston.
With the most active weeks of the 2012 free agent period behind us, it's never too early to start looking ahead to 2013 free agency. Stephen Brotherson does just that today, ranking the best of the 2013 free agent class in a piece for HoopsWorld. There's a heavy Los Angeles presence at the top of his list, with Andrew Bynum coming in third, Chris Paul in second, and Lakers' trade target Dwight Howard in the top spot. I examined Bynum as a potential extension candidate earlier today, but here are a few other Tuesday notes on L.A.'s rivals in the Pacific Division:
TUESDAY, 2:06pm: The Bulls have officially signed Robinson, the team announced today in a press release. It's a one-year, minimum-salary contract, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
MONDAY, 8:07pm: The deal should be completed tomorrow morning, tweets Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated.
6:28pm: Robinson's deal is for one year and should be finalized soon, sources close to the situation tell Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
5:01pm: According to agent Aaron Goodwin, his client Nate Robinson will sign with the Bulls, "barring unforseen problems," reports Sam Amick of SI.com (Sulia link). The guard spent most of the 2011/12 season with the Warriors after being waived by the Thunder on Christmas Eve. Terms of the deal are not yet known.
Robinson, 28, put up 11.2 PPG with 4.5 APG in 23.4 minutes per contest last season. Several members of the Warriors organization, including coach Mark Jackson, were said to be in favor of bringing back the diminuative guard for 2012/13.