It was an active day around the Association, and it might be that way for a while. Monday is the start date for 10-day contracts and the final day teams can waive players on non-guaranteed deals in time for them to be off rosters by January 10th, when those contracts would become guaranteed for the balance of the season. Come Monday, we'll also be just two weeks and a month from the trade deadline. As we count down, here's the latest NBA scuttlebutt.
- Nolan Smith has fired agent Joel Bell, who asked the Blazers to trade his now former client, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports. Smith said he has never asked for a trade himself, and as we passed along earlier, he also spoke with Haynes about his upcoming free agency, professing his love for Portland in the process. Sam Amick of SI.com identified Smith as a trade candidate earlier today.
- Sean Deveney tweets financial details on Patrick Beverley's $850K buyout from Spartak St. Petersburg. The Rockets, who are expected to sign Beverley, paid the maximum $550K while Beverley chipped in the rest out the $700K in earnings he had already drawn on his $1MM contract with the Russian club.
- Chris Mannix of SI.com mentions Kansas freshman shooting guard Ben McLemore as a darkhorse for the No. 1 pick and ranks the top 20 draft prospects for June, with Kentucky center Nerlens Noel atop the list.
- Hornets coach Monty Williams said the team wants to have the flexibility to bring in new players at small forward, as John Reid of The Times-Picayune notes, and presumably that's why New Orleans waived Dominic McGuire today. Williams has been unpleased with the play of the team's threes since before McGuire signed last month, and now the coach is calling for improvement from Al-Farouq Aminu, who'll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer because the Hornets declined his fourth-year option prior to the season.