The Celtics have seen Avery Bradley make a leap in production this year, and the third-year guard tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders he’s focusing on his play while his restricted agency looms over this summer: “Just like any other process, you try not to worry about it–it’s just like the trade deadline and all that stuff. You just don’t worry about it. You can only control your play and your attitude, and that’s all I am focused on.” Here are more notes from around the league:
- Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders says it’s time for teams to part ways with Evan Turner, Greg Monroe, Pau Gasol, Kyle Lowry, and Omer Asik. Hamilton argues that the time for bluffing and driving up values has passed, and that it is always better to be compensated by pre-empting the inevitable loss of players likely to move on in the coming offseason.
- Sasha Pavlovic has agreed to play in Serbia with the Partizan Belgrade team, per Novosti.rs (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). The 10-year NBA veteran was released by the Blazers this offseason and failed to land with another team after scoring 2.6 points on .353 shooting and 13.5 minutes per game last year.
- Joe Dumars is still running the Pistons front office, but is a rumored candidate for the GM opening with the Cavs, per a tweet from HoopsHype. Dumars is in the last year of his contract, and is reportedly under pressure after splurging this offseason to construct an atypical, playoff-hopeful roster that hasn’t stopped Detroit’s losing woes to this point.
- Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report says that, despite the trend to rely on drafting and under the CBA’s tax structure, the Lakers‘ strongest advantage and best strategy as an organization lies in their ability to draw free agents to Los Angeles. Ding contrasts the gambles and limitations small market teams like the Cavs and Thunder have to take to secure and keep talent like Andrew Bynum and James Harden with the ability the Lakers have to sign stars and afford luxury tax payments. Ding says the Lakers should be optimistic they can bounce back faster than teams in major rebuilding modes, keeping up their championship history.
- Howard Beck and Reese Waters of Bleacher Report discussed the Bucks‘ options heading into the trade deadline with a disappointing league-worst record. Beck thinks the only untouchable player in Milwaukee should be rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
- Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders sees a lot of parallels in the Magic‘s current rebuilding process with the successful rebuild that brought the Thunder to the top of the Western Conference. Orlando isn’t winning many games this year, but their roster is filled with promising young players, and another high pick likely awaits them in the upcoming 2014 draft. The Thunder perfected the art of bottoming out while acquiring and developing assets, and the Magic hope to duplicate their success.
- Dakota Schmidt of Ridiculous Upside provides a nice rundown of the pro prospects that will be featured in the D-League All-Star festivities. Schmidt looks at young players looking to get their first real shot at the NBA like Pierre Jackson and Justin Hamilton, players who have spent some time with NBA teams this year like Hilton Armstrong, Seth Curry, Dewayne Dedmon, Manny Harris, and Malcolm Thomas (currently on the Jazz roster), along with players looking to revive their NBA careers like DeAndre Liggins, Chris Wright, and Kevin Jones.