With Derrick Favors now locked up, Gordon Hayward is the next domino to fall for the Jazz, writes Tom Ziller of SBNation. Extending Hayward would further cut into Utah’s cap space for 2014, but ZIller notes that if they don’t work out a new deal with him, he’ll also affect their flexibility with an $8.6MM cap hold. Here’s more from around the Association..
- A veteran NBA scout told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel that he doesn’t see the Heat staying on top forever as he expects LeBron James to bolt at some point.
- As C.J. Leslie fights for a roster spot with the Knicks, coach Mike Woodson told reporters that he views the forward as a project, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. “He is a project,” Woodson said after Leslie saw no playing time in Thursday’s preseason contest. “No doubt about that. Right now the game is somewhat quick for him in terms of catching on to what we’re doing. I’ve seen that over the years since I’ve been coaching, a lot of young guys they struggle early because you throw so many things at them, it’s too fast. So we’re trying to slow it down a little a bit, spend more time with him in the classroom.” Leslie has a reported guarantee of ~$200K.
- Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart says that he’s motivated by people crowning Andrew Wiggins as the best player in college basketball before he has even played a game, writes Eric Prisbell of USA Today. Wiggins is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft while Smart is currently No. 5 on DraftExpress‘ mock draft.
- Ryan Gomes is pushing for a job with the Thunder and he says that he is encouraged by the support he has gotten from GM Sam Presti, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman.