2014 World Cup Rumors
March 8 at 10:18pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Sixers ran up against a buzzsaw tonight, falling to the Heat as Miami ran its winning streak to 17. Philadelphia sits eight games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and even if the team was somehow able to climb into that position, it would likely have to overcome the Heat in the first round. Either way, it looks like the Sixers will soon be turning their attention to the offseason, and there are already a few rumblings about the summer, as we detail here along with other news from Philly:
- A source tells Tom Moore of Phillyburbs.com that the Sixers discussed sending Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and another player to make the salaries match to the Jazz for Al Jefferson before the trade deadline, though a deal never became close. Moore also echoes deadline chatter about another proposed deal that would have sent Hawes and Turner to the Hawks for Josh Smith.
- Hawes isn't bothered by trade talk, as he tells Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida, bringing up the Hawks rumor as well as one that had involved the Wolves (Sulia link). The center believes he'll be back in Philadelphia for the final season of his deal next year, but it appears he wouldn't be too surprised if he's traded.
- Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News tries to answer six key questions about the Sixers as they near an offseason he believes could be the team's biggest in more than a decade.
- Aside from Jrue Holiday and probably Thaddeus Young, no player on the Sixers roster is untouchable, Cooney writes, calling Evan Turner "the most intriguing movable piece they have."
- Doug Collins would like to coach Team USA, but as an assistant instead of the head man, Tomasson reports. Collins is lobbying instead for Doc Rivers or Gregg Popovich to be selected as head coach.
March 2 at 3:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Spurs announced today that Tony Parker will miss approximately four weeks with a grade-two left ankle sprain, injecting some drama into the race for the top playoff seed in the Western Conference. San Antonio has taken the No. 1 spot the past two seasons and has a three-game lead on the Thunder this time around, but without their All-Star point guard, the Spurs could be in danger of falling behind even the third-place Clippers, who are just three and a half games back. We haven't heard any serious rumors that the Spurs are looking for a replacement, and with a full 15-man roster, they'd have to waive someone to bring another point guard aboard. While we wait to see what happens in the wake of Parker's injury, here's more from the Lone Star State:
March 1 at 8:33pm CST By Chuck Myron
It's more than a week after the trade deadline, but the stream of rumors is far from an end. In his Weekend Dime, Marc Stein of ESPN.com puts a bow on last week's proceedings, and provides some scuttlebutt related to tonight's buyout deadline as well. Here's what Stein has to share:
- The Hawks wanted to trade Josh Smith at the deadline, and expected they'd get a deal done. But when the Bucks refused to part with Monta Ellis, Atlanta's main target, or Ersan Ilyasova, Plan B for the Hawks, GM Danny Ferry and company walked away from a package that would have featured Beno Udrih's expiring contract and Luc Mbah a Moute, who has two years and $8.97MM remaining on his deal this season.
- DeJuan Blair has been seeking a buyout from his expiring $1.054MM contract with the Spurs, but San Antonio is reluctant to grant his wish, fearing he'd sign with another playoff team. If he's not bought out before tonight's 11pm deadline, Blair would be ineligible for the postseason if he signs elsewhere this season. Stein says it's clear that neither Blair nor the Spurs wish to continue their working relationship in 2013/14, so perhaps Blair could be a buyout candidate after tonight, but that's just my speculation.
- The Spurs were seeking a first-round pick in offers for Blair at the trade deadline, but like everyone seeking that kind of return, they were rebuffed, as Stein notes the increasing value of those picks and the rookie-scale contracts that come with them.
- According to Stein, industry standard dictates that prospective owners in the midst of a pending sale may designate two or three players they wish the team to keep, freeing current management to trade anyone else on the roster. That makes it easier to understand why the Kings shed salary, including last June's No. 5 overall pick Thomas Robinson, at the deadline, even though we heard the Chris Hansen/Howard Ballmer group from Seattle was consulted before the move was made.
- Stein sizes up the competing chances of Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers to become the next coach of Team USA, while adding that USA Basketball executive director Jerry Colangelo wants to wait until he hears from Mike Krzyzewski after the college season to definitely rule out the Coach K's return.
- The ESPN.com scribe also checks in with new Bucks shooting guard J.J. Redick, who felt like he was going to stay with the Magic right up until they traded him.
February 24 at 8:58am CST By Chuck Myron
A pair of Central Division teams welcomed additions to their lineups last night, as J.J. Redick made his debut for the Bucks while Danny Granger saw his first action of the season for the Pacers. If and when Derrick Rose makes his way back to the Bulls this year, the Central's playoff-bound teams will be poised to enter the postseason on an upswing. Here's more on Redick, the Bucks, and other news from the Central:
- The Magic's pursuit of a first-round pick derailed talks the Pistons had about acquiring Redick, reports MLive's David Mayo. The Blazers' insistence on a first-rounder also put an end to Detroit's pursuit of J.J. Hickson, as we heard earlier, but according to Mayo, the Pistons never spoke to the Thunder about Will Bynum.
- The Spanish website El Contraataque is reporting that FC Barcelona is trying to engineer a buyout of Gustavo Ayon's contract with the Bucks so that he can sign a three-year deal worth the equivalent of $2MM annually with the overseas club (translation via HoopsHype). FC Barcelona acquired his Spanish league rights in October, but shortly thereafter, Ayon's agent, Emilio Duran, said his client is content to remain in the NBA. Milwaukee holds a $1.5MM team option on Ayon for next season.
- USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal that Kyrie Irving will be invited to a four-day tryout camp this summer in Las Vegas for Team USA's entry in the 2014 basketball World Cup.
February 17 at 12:59pm CST By Chuck Myron
Jonas Jerebko and Rodney Stuckey are the two Pistons players other teams ask about most, and sources tell Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press that while Detroit is likely to wait to make another major move until summer, a smaller deal isn't out of the question. "You have already had the main course. You aren't getting seconds," a source told Ellis, referencing the Jose Calderon/ Tayshaun Prince swap before adding, "You might get dessert."
While we wait to bite into the sweet spot of trade deadline chatter in the days to come, here's more of what we're hearing from the Eastern Conference:
February 15 at 10:54pm CST By Chuck Myron
When Gary Payton was a rookie with the old SuperSonics, he faced a challenge when he went up against the division-rival Warriors, who boasted a backcourt of Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond as two-thirds of their "Run TMC" combo. Now, all three players could be a few weeks away from election to the Hall of Fame, as today the Hall announced the finalists for this year's class. Other finalists with NBA ties include Tom Heinsohn, Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian. A pair of ex-players have already made it into the Hall's class of 2013 as direct-elects from the ABA and Veterans committees, respectively: Roger Brown and Richie Guerin.
Another Pacific Division point guard from Payton and Hardaway's vintage is making news this evening, and there's more on him and others right here: