In discussing Chris Paul's election as the new NBPA president, ESPN's Brian Windhorst writes that neither Paul nor former union vice president Jerry Stackhouse would commit to a timetable nor discuss whether a search firm was in place to find a replacement for ex-NBPA executive director Billy Hunter. Stackhouse, who will remain active with the union in an advisory role, said they aren't in a rush but have already identified a number of candidates. Windhorst also says the union would ideally want a new executive director in place by February 1st, when Adam Silver is set to begin his job as the new commissioner. Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous news and notes, along with more from the above piece:
- Some comments from Paul: "I've been thinking about (running) for a while on and off…I've had a lot of dialogue about it with committee members. I wouldn't have taken on the role if I was going to do it alone."
- There are a few specific issues that were tabled during the 2011 CBA which still need to be resolved, especially blood testing for performance enhancing drugs (including human growth hormone) and the current age limit to declare for the NBA draft.
- Lakers guard Steve Blake and Bobcats forward Anthony Tolliver were added as new members to the executive committee, joining Paul, Roger Mason Jr., Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, James Jones, Matt Bonner, and Willie Green.
- The union has turned to Deloitte Financial Advisory Services to examine its structure and will make necessary changes, such as adding a human resources and information technology department (J.A. Adande of ESPN.com).
- Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today notes that the NBPA has hired Reilly Partners to help with restructuring and forming a job description for the executive director position, and that two names have surfaced as potential candidates for the opening: former NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson and former NBA and Madison Square Garden executive Steven Mills.
- Suns forward Caron Butler says he's looking forward to being a mentor to teammate Michael Beasley, gives his thoughts on the Clippers, and talks about how he's approaching the upcoming season in Phoenix. Butler adds that no one from the Clippers front office has spoken to him since he was notified by his agent about being traded, but insists there's no ill will: “I don’t leave with bitterness or anything, but a phone call would have helped the situation…But it’s cool, it’s no hard feelings because that’s the nature of the business" (NBA.com's Jeff Caplan).
- Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy looks at a list of 11 of the top 13 players drafted this past June and discusses their chances at winning Rookie of the Year.
- In the same piece, Kennedy relays a clip from Gary Payton's interview on FOX Sports, in which the Hall of Fame point guard reveals that he may have had something to do with Allen Iverson's "practice" rant on the 76ers several years ago: "(Iverson) asked me…'How do you keep your body is so good of a shape, and don’t get hurt, and stay always on the court?’ And I just told him for real, my coach George Karl didn’t let me practice. So that was it. I said, ‘You have to stop practicing." While watching the actual rant, Payton recalled thinking: ‘Don’t say it like this! Don’t do it like that, Allen…When he said it, I said, ‘No, that was not our conversation.’”
Clippers point guard Chris Paul has been elected as the president of the NBA Players Association, the union announced via Twitter. The NBPA tweeted that Roger Mason Jr., who was also interested in the top position, has been named first vice president.
Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal first reported the surprising announcement via Twitter. The union was expected to announce their decision tonight according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, who tabbed Mason as Derek Fisher's probable successor. Mason announced his candidacy last week.
Paul, previously a union vice president, will be the first star player to head the players' union since Patrick Ewing, who held the position from 1997 to 2001, and the first "in-his-prime" president since fellow point guard Isiah Thomas. As LeBron James indicated when he was considering the position, a player of his or Paul's caliber would likely have a louder voice as president than their predecessors — something the union sorely needs after being shrouded in controversy in the late stages of Fisher's reign. Fisher served as the union's president until his term expired this summer. He was preceded by Antonio Davis and Michael Curry, who, like Fisher, were also role players. James decided he would not pursue the presidency early last week.
The union also tweeted that it will add Steve Blake and Anthony Tolliver as vice presidents and executive committee members. As USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt reports (via Twitter), Jerry Stackhouse has resigned as first vice president and will accept some sort of special advisory role within the NBPA. The league will also hire an executive director in the near future to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted earlier this year. With Paul and a new executive director in place, it could be an interesting first year for commissioner Adam Silver.
AUGUST 19TH, 12:26pm: The Bobcats' signing of Tolliver is now official, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).
AUGUST 10TH, 12:21pm: Tolliver's deal is for the veteran's minimum of $1.027MM, according to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
10:32am: The Bobcats and Anthony Tolliver have reached agreement on a one-year deal, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter). The deal is fully-guaranteed and won't be finalized until Friday, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter). Tolliver is a client of Larry Fox, as shown in the Hoops Rumors Agency Database.
Tolliver, 28, reportedly narrowed his free agent choices down to the Bobcats, Bulls, and Jazz on Wednesday. However, the scope of the search expanded once again when the Lakers entered the fray on Thursday and the Magic, Spurs, and Knicks continued their pursuit as late as yesterday.
The 6'8" forward spent the 2012/13 season with the Hawks, averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 62 games (15.5 MPG). For his career, Tolliver has averaged 6.1 PPG and 4.0 RPG across five seasons.
For the past two seasons, the Southeast Division has been home to both the NBA champs and the team with the worst record in the league. There's a decent chance that's the case for a third year in a row, as the Heat don't appear to be retreating from the title picture and the Magic continue to value the future over the present. Here's more from Florida and the rest of the Southeast:
FRIDAY, 2:58pm: Rather than narrowing down his list of suitors, Tolliver seems to be heading in the other direction. The Magic, Spurs, and Knicks are also interested in him, according to Tomasson (via Twitter). Still, Tolliver expects to make a decision next week.
THURSDAY, 3:16pm: The Lakers have entered the mix for Tolliver, writes Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (via Sulia). According to Tolliver, talks with the Lakers are still preliminary, but he's considering them alongside the Bobcats, Bulls, and Jazz. Tolliver added that he visited Charlotte on Monday and the team made him a minimum-salary contract offer.
WEDNESDAY, 1:08pm: Anthony Tolliver has narrowed his free agent decision down to three teams, and is expected to finalize a deal this weekend, according to Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. Sierra reports that Tolliver will likely sign with either the Bobcats, Bulls, or Jazz.
Tolliver, 28, spent the 2012/13 season with the Hawks, averaging 4.1 PPG and 2.5 RPG in 62 contests (15.5 MPG). The last report we heard on Tolliver came nearly a month ago, and suggested that the 6'8" forward was in talks with five teams, including Atlanta.
Utah still has a little cap space left, along with its room exception, but Charlotte and Chicago appear to be capped out. As such, it looks like Tolliver will sign another minimum-salary deal, unless the Jazz outbid the other two finalists.
After a bid to relocate the NBA's Kings failed, Seattle-based investors also reportedly explored the possibility of moving the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes to the city. Although the franchise appears to be staying put in Phoenix, Seattle wasn't the only city interested in relocating it. According to Dwight Jaynes of CSNNW.com, Paul Allen and the Trail Blazers were also interested in buying the Coyotes and moving the team to Portland's Rose Garden.
Here are more odds and ends from around the NBA on a very busy Wednesday:
- The Kings have named high-ranking NBA executive Chris Granger as their new team president, according to Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. Granger, who had been the executive VP of team marketing and business operations for the NBA, will oversee the team's role in the development of a new downtown sports arena and its business operations, says Lillis. It doesn't sound like Granger will be involved much, if at all, in the Kings' basketball operations.
- Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports (via Twitter) that Anthony Tolliver is in talks with five teams, including the Hawks, and hopes to make a decision soon.
- The Lakers have had conversations with Josh Powell's representative, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. McMenamin adds in a second tweet that the team has also spoken to a couple more former Lakers: Sasha Vujacic and Lamar Odom.
- As Monta Ellis continues to seek a free agent deal, there doesn't appear to be a clear favorite to sign him, writes Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. News broke today that Ellis has parted ways with his longtime agent.
- Elton Brand and Brandan Wright are still talking to the Mavericks about a potential return, but Rodrigue Beaubois is almost certainly headed elsewhere, as GM Donnie Nelson told reporters today, including Bryan Gutierrez of ESPNDallas.com.
- Before he agreed to sign with the Bobcats, Al Jefferson received interest from the Mavericks and Pelicans, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
It's already been a busy day for Knicks news and rumors, as we've passed along multiple updates on potential free agent targets, as well as a report that suggests Metta World Peace would be interested in landing New York if and when he's amnestied by the Lakers. Nonetheless, there are still a few more items out of the Big Apple to address. Here's a round-up:
- If World Peace is amnestied as expected, the Knicks would "love" to add him for the veteran's minimum, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- The Knicks have been told by Brand's representatives that they're out of the running for the veteran big man, according to Berman.
- With Elton Brand pursuing offers from several other teams, the Knicks will likely turn their attention to Kenyon Martin, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com. Martin isn't close to a deal with any other club.
- The Knicks have also expressed some interest in Brandan Wright, but he's expected to be out of New York's price range, says Zwerling.
- A source tells Zwerling that he could see World Peace getting through amnesty waivers and becoming available for the Knicks. "I'm not sure if a young team would bite," the source said.
- Nate Robinson expressed interest in the Knicks when the team still had access to its full mini MLE, but now that part of that exception has been committed to Pablo Prigioni, Robinson is likely no longer an option for New York, according to Zwerling.
- Undrafted seven-footer A.J. Matthews tells Marc Berman of the New York Post that he thinks he has a "great chance" to turn a Summer League stint with the Knicks into a training-camp invite.
- Berman also tweets that the Knicks have kept tabs on free agent forward Anthony Tolliver, but Tolliver is still waiting on the Hawks.
With just eight days until the NBA regular season officially gets underway in Cleveland, Miami, and Los Angeles, let's round up a few updates from around the league….
- While Taj Gibson is hoping to get a long-term extension worked out with the Bulls, he's preparing for any outcome, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com.
- Discussing his free agency with Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld, Andrei Kirilenko explained that a number of factors went into his decision to sign with the Timberwolves: "I’m not just looking at one thing. Here, I found that all the pieces fit together. The contract is great, don’t get me wrong, but the team has made a big improvement from last year, and you know it’s a team on the way up, not on the way down or stuck. They’re growing up."
- The Hawks aren't sure whether they'll keep 13, 14, or 15 players on their roster, as coach Larry Drew tells Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Of the team's 16 players currently under contract, Vivlamore suggests Anthony Tolliver, Damion James, and James Anderson are the three on non-guaranteed deals. Tolliver's contract was previously reported as being fully guaranteed, so it's unclear exactly what his situation is.
- Rockets GM Daryl Morey appeared on KBME in Houston and discussed offseason additions Carlos Delfino and Omer Asik, as Eric Schmoldt of Sports Radio Interviews documents.
- With Spurs coach Gregg Popovich having indicated that Eddy Curry and Derrick Brown are the frontrunners for the team's final roster spot, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News gives the edge to Curry.
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel isn't sure if there's a place for Joel Anthony on the Heat's current roster and wonders if a trade might make sense.
There are seven preseason games around the NBA tonight, and not one of them involves a team from the Southeast Division. But that doesn't mean their aren't links coming surrounding the division that houses the current NBA champs. Let's keep track of them here:
- Ramon Sessions talked with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo!, explaining why he decided to opt out of his contract with the Lakers to sign a 2-year deal with the Bobcats. Sessions, who has bounced between teams throughout his career, was concerned that the Lakers may move him and was looking for some destination certainty, which he found in Charlotte.
- Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that should the Hawks stick to the 15 player roster limit, the last two spots will come down to James Anderson, Damion James and Anthony Tolliver. Point guard Carldell Johnson is still with the club, but will almost definitely miss the cut. Vivlamore adds that it is no guarantee the Hawks keep a roster of 15, but they need to get down to at least that by October 29.
- New Magic coach Jacque Vaughn says that, despite the loss of Dwight Howard, he intends to instill his own defensive philosophy this year which revolves around protecting the paint, says Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Robbins is skeptical is they have the personnel to do it, but Vaughn says, “The way we’re playing defensively is definitely geared toward the personnel that we have right now, for sure. It is a team defense based around five guys being in the right position at the right time."
- Brian Schmitz of the Sentinel writes that the Magic have essentially had a superstar in 19 of 20 years of the franchise's existence if you don't count the first three. Without Howard, Schmitz opines that the team's history tells us that it is only a matter of time before they find the next one. The question is, how long can they keep him once he arrives, whoever he is.
As training camps are underway, injuries have begun to pop up throughout the league. Here are a few: