New NBA commissioner Adam Silver is looking to Jerry Colangelo for help with the collegiate and professional relationship, per Dan Bickley of USA Today. “He wants me to broker everything going forward between the NBA, the NCAA and all the constituents,” said Colangelo, current chairman of USA Basketball. “He wants to lift the bar in terms of youth development and where the game is going.” Silver has already announced his desire to raise the age limit for NBA players another year, but Colangelo says his role is about more than the immediate talent influx for the league. “We want more young people interested in playing the game. I don’t have to tell you that the ball fields and playgrounds—the places were kids used to be all the time—are empty by comparison. There’s more organized activities taking place, but generally speaking, we need to re-engage and re-energize the general population of youth to participate.” Here’s a look around the league:
- Kevin Martin is out indefinitely for the Timberwolves, per an Associated Press release passed on by the Star Tribune. Minnesota’s starting shooting guard suffered a non-displaced thumb fracture and will likely be out at least through the All-Star break. Center Nikola Pekovic has already been out, and likely won’t return before then, either, per Andy Greder of the Star Tribune. Team president of basketball operations Flip Saunders just said that a trade isn’t imminent, but prolonged absence from the team’s starters could force the hand of the front office that is fighting to make the playoffs for the first time in Kevin Love‘s career.
- Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders takes a look at some of the valuable expiring and non-guaranteed contracts that could be moved prior to the trade deadline.
- Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal details a busy six months ahead for the Cavs, a stretch that got even busier following the firing of GM Chris Grant. Now the Cavs are tasked with additional front office personnel decisions to go along with the trade deadline, the draft, free agency, extension talks with Kyrie Irving, and more.
- The Lakers have won two in a row, enjoying some rare success with both Steve Nash and Steve Blake back in the lineup. Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times write that the good times could jeopardize the franchise’s draft outlook. A playoff berth is unrealistic at this point, but the added return of both Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant could boost the team’s performance even further, just enough to significantly hurt their draft lottery chances in a lost season.
- After a 12-year NBA career and multiple stints overseas, Ricky Davis is still hoping his time in the D-League this season will give him another shot in the NBA, telling John Naughton of USA Today, “It’s what’s inside that keeps me wanting to be on the court. I’m blessed to be able to play this game. It’s just a thing that keeps ticking in me.” Davis was once an exciting player, but injuries took their toll on his game. “Now I’m the old man. In my mind, I still feel like I’m a kid. My body’s like, ‘No way, kid.'” His latest recovery has him feeling good, and hopeful about his chances for another shot.
- Players coming to New Orleans for All-Star Weekend festivities are planning to continue the informal tradition of meeting with the league, and seeking an end to the “Tennessee Tax” they incur when playing in Memphis is on their agenda, per Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News. The tax costs up to $7,500 a year for players, and goes directly to Grizzlies owner Robert Pera. NFL players are already exempt from the tax, while NHL players are not.