Greg Oden stepped on an NBA court for the first time in nearly four years tonight, throwing down a dunk and grabbing a pair of rebounds in four minutes of preseason action for the Heat tonight. It still doesn’t constitute an official return the way a regular season appearance would, but it’s a positive sign for the Heat as they attempt to turn Oden from a minimum-salary gamble into a bargain of an inside presence. Here’s more from around the Association:
- The Celtics don’t plan to keep any of their four players on non-guaranteed deals into the regular season, preferring instead to carry a 14-man roster in a money-saving effort, tweets Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
- The Timberwolves front office is reportedly high on Evan Turner, but there’s no talk of a deal that would send the former No. 2 overall pick to Minnesota, according to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News (Twitter link).
- James Anderson and Daniel Orton have fully non-guaranteed deals, but they’ve all “all but wrapped up” spots on the Sixers opening-night roster, writes Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer looks at Orton’s efforts to make the team, which includes losing nine pounds since the Sixers signed him a week ago.
- The Blazers cut three players yesterday, but coach Terry Stotts was effusive in his praise of E.J. Singler, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian details.
- Kings lead assistant coach Brendan Malone resigned today, the team announced, with GM Pete D’Alessandro citing “factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA” for why Malone is stepping down after 27 years in the NBA. Malone is the father of head coach Michael Malone. Chris Jent will slide up the bench and replace the elder Malone as lead assistant, according to the team (Twitter link).
- David Stern characterized as “relatively upbeat” a report that the Bucks gave to the league’s owners on the status of the team’s quest to fund a new arena, as Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel reports.