Reaction has been largely negative to FIBA's announcement of changes to the basketball World Cup. John Hollinger of ESPN.com characterizes the moves as a "money grab" that degrades the tournament (Twitter link). With qualifiers taking place in the middle of the season instead of during summer, Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com believes Team USA may only have non-NBA pros at its disposal for those games (Twitter link). Tom Ziller of SB Nation tweets that Team USA could simply circumvent the qualifiers by winning the World Cup and Olympic gold every time, though that might prove a difficult standard to maintain. While we await more fallout on the international basketball scene, here's what's going on around NBA. circles.
- David West wants to remain with the Pacers after this year, but he acknowledges the team's other financial commitments could make that difficult, reports HoopsWorld's Lang Greene.
- Ray Allen was open to signing an extension with the Celtics during last season, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Washburn also notes the $12MM final season of the three-year contract Kevin Garnett signed this summer is only guaranteed for $6MM, per ShamSports.
- Greg Stiemsma credits his work with Al Jefferson and Garnett for helping him establish his NBA career, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside runs down a list of seven-footers in D-League camps, while fellow Ridiculous Upside scribe Keith Schlosser observes that the Warriors affiliate is well-stocked with talent.
- Omer Asik is the primary reason for the strong defensive play of the Rockets so far this season, concludes Jason Friedman of Rockets.com.
- A source tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that the "odds aren't great" that top 2013 draft prospect Shabazz Muhammad will play for UCLA anytime soon. The NCAA has declared Muhammad ineligible for an unspecified number of games.