Kevin Love seemed optimistic about being able to bounce back from a difficult season with the best offseason of his life, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. He also spoke about his desire for Rick Adelman to continue coaching the team, saying: "We need to have him back...I know his family comes first, but hopefully we can sit down and talk to him. This year has given us a lot of perspective, and hopefully he can see we have the making of a very good team here. We can make a push and have a special year next year...I think he’ll come back.”
You can find more of tonight's miscellaneous links below:
The latest news and notes from around the Eastern Conference on Saturday morning:
Steve Kyler's latest piece for HoopsWorld is packed full of updates on players who could be on the move before this season's trade deadline. Kyler covers plenty of ground in his column, so let's dive right in and round up the highlights....
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel has posted several position-by-position breakdowns of the Orlando Magic's roster as the team gears up to start the season. Here are the highlights, as well as some other updates on the Magic from Robbins:
Nuggets coach George Karl recently joined Scott Hastings on KFFN in Denver to discuss the Nuggets' part in August's blockbuster four-team trade, how losing two veteran players would affect the team, and the next step for Denver. Sports Radio Interviews provides a transcript of a few of Karl's more interesting quotes, so let's check them out:
On acquiring Andre Iguodala:
"We didn’t want to make a trade unless we knew it was going to make us better. Iguodala was kind of rumored all last year and a little bit after the season.... I think [GM] Masai [Ujiri] just did a great job of keeping a good pulse of what was going on. The negative of the trade is giving up Arron Afflalo and Al [Harrington] who were both very, very pivotal players on our basketball team last year and they’re good leaders on our team. Everybody is saying, what is the difference of the team going to be? And I’m not afraid of the differences and I’m hoping we can get whoever, Ty Lawson or Iggy or someone, into that locker room and give us the positive leadership that Arron and Al gave us and maybe a little bit more."
On whether Harrington was an ideal fit on the Nuggets:
"I think you’re defining where Al is in his career. Al was a scorer
and 35 minute player as a guy that had to touch the ball and wanted to
touch the ball almost all the time and he was now coming into a team
where we were going to ask him to play 25 minutes and try to open up the
middle of the court for us and also do some banging inside. In the
first year I thought he struggled with his identity or his role on our
team but I thought last year he was super. I thought he was absolutely
fantastic. I can remember five or six wins that we had that had Al
Harrington written all over it."
On how the team will adjust to having Iguodala in Afflalo's place:
"Arron Afflalo is just a rock, a really solid pro. He’s not spectacular, he’s not fancy, he’s not a highlight film but at the end of the game you get a guy who is going to get you 15 to 20 points and going to give you a solid playmaking game. Most of the time he’s a good defender but we made the trade to basically get better defensively. We think Iguodala is a top 10 defender in basketball and I don’t know if he can cover big guys but I don’t think he’d be afraid of the challenge. Play [him] and Gallo (Danilo Gallinari) at three and four and see if we can get away with it but the whole thing comes down to, he fits our personality, he’s one of those players in basketball that on any given night he can get a triple double and he helps you win basketball games by doing little things and team things as much as he does statistical things."
On the next step for the Nuggets:
"It’s our young guys gaining confidence and building trust.... We are excited about this season and we think we can be a top four team in the West. If we get to a top four team in the West we should expect to try to win the first round and see what happens after that."
1:34pm: Ken Berger of CBS Sports has tweeted a number of the details on the traded draft picks in the deal. We've updated the list below to reflect the protection on those picks.
12:19pm: The Magic, Lakers, Nuggets, and 76ers have completed their trade call with the league office, making Dwight Howard a Los Angeles Laker, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The Magic officially announced the transaction in a press release this afternoon.
The details of the massive four-team swap can be found in our post from yesterday that tracked updates as they came in. But here's a quick recap of how the deal looks from each team's perspective based on what's been reported so far, with players' 2012/13 salaries in parentheses. If anything changes when the teams make their official announcements, we'll update this post to reflect that.
Acquire: Arron Afflalo ($7,750,000), Al Harrington ($6,687,400), Josh McRoberts ($3,135,000), Maurice Harkless ($1,731,960), Nikola Vucevic ($1,719,480), Christian Eyenga ($1,174,080), protected 2014 first-round pick from Nuggets1, protected 2015 first-round pick from Sixers2, protected 2017 first-round pick from Lakers3, Warriors' 2013 second-round pick from Nuggets, conditional 2015 second-round pick from Lakers4
Trade: Dwight Howard ($19,536,360), Jason Richardson ($5,799,625), Chris Duhon ($3,250,000), Earl Clark ($1,240,000)
The Magic also create a trade exception worth about $17.8MM in the deal, as outlined here.
Acquire: Andre Iguodala ($14,968,250)
Trade: Arron Afflalo ($7,750,000), Al Harrington ($6,687,400), protected 2014 first-round pick from Nuggets1, Warriors' 2013 second-round pick
Acquire: Andrew Bynum ($16,889,000), Jason Richardson ($5,799,625)
Trade: Andre Iguodala ($14,968,250), Maurice Harkless ($1,731,960), Nikola Vucevic ($1,719,480), protected 2015 first-round pick2
Los Angeles Lakers
Acquire: Dwight Howard ($19,536,360), Chris Duhon ($3,250,000), Earl Clark ($1,240,000)
Trade: Andrew Bynum ($16,889,000), Josh McRoberts ($3,135,000), Christian Eyenga ($1,174,080), protected 2017 first-round pick3, conditional 2015 second-round pick4
1 The lesser of the Nuggets' and Knicks' first-rounders.
2 Top-14 protected in 2015, 2016, top-11 in 2017, top-8 in 2018; if the pick still hasn't been conveyed after four years, the Magic will receive 2018 and 2019 second-rounders instead of a first-rounder. The pick cannot be conveyed until the Sixers meet their draft pick obligations to the Heat, which could delay the Magic from getting a first-round pick until 2017.
3 Top-5 protected in 2017 and 2018, unprotected in 2019. The pick cannot be conveyed until the Lakers meet their draft pick obligations to the Suns, which would prevent the Magic from getting a first-round pick if the Lakers fail to make the playoffs the next three years. If that takes place, the Magic will receive 2017 and 2018 second-rounders instead.
4 Top-40 protected; if the pick isn't conveyed in 2015, the Magic will not receive it.
11:18am: SI.com's Sam Amick tweets that McRoberts will be heading to Orlando in the deal, rather than to Denver. Wherever McRoberts ends up, it seems the Lakers will be shipping him out to make the salary figures work.
10:55am: Coon corrects himself (via Twitter), suggesting that Bynum's and Eyenga's salaries aren't quite enough to absorb Howard's and Duhon's. Here's how it looks from the Lakers' perspective, by my calculations:
We should hear shortly how the Lakers ultimately work things out, since the conference call with the league to finalize the trade is expected to begin momentarily, tweets Ken Berger.
10:26am: Cap expert Larry Coon clarifies (via Twitter) that the trade exception the Lakers acquired when they dealt Luke Walton to the Cavaliers is big enough to absorb Clark's salary, so Los Angeles wouldn't necessarily have to send out any more players in addition to Bynum and Eyenga.
10:08am: The pick heading to the Magic from the Sixers will be lottery-protected for the first two years, top-11 protected in year three, and top-eight protected in year four, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Since the Sixers have already dealt their 2013 first-rounder (lottery protected) to Miami, presumably the one going to Orlando would be for 2015, as Sam Amick of SI.com notes. If the Magic don't get a first-rounder from Philadelphia after four years, they'd get two second-round picks instead, tweets Berger.
9:32am: According to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, Josh McRoberts may be headed to Denver in the four-way deal. This makes sense, since by my calculations, the Lakers would be unable to take back Howard, Duhon, and Clark without sending out another player in addition to Bynum and Eyenga.
8:49am: The first-rounder heading from the Lakers to Orlando will be the team's 2017 pick, while the first-rounder from Denver will be the lower of the club's two 2014 first-rounders, tweets TNT's David Aldridge. It's still not clear which first-round pick will be coming from the Sixers, but it figures to be 2015's, since their lottery-protected 2013 first-rounder is ticketed for Miami.
8:26am: Duhon is definitely involved in the four-way deal, as he tells Joshua Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link).
FRIDAY, 7:33am: According to Spears, one of the second-rounders heading to the Magic in the trade will be the Warriors' 2013 second-round pick, from the Nuggets (Twitter link). Orlando will receive one more second-rounder, to bring their total haul to five future draft picks, tweets Kennedy.
Additionally, multiple reports indicate that the conference call with the league to confirm the blockbuster deal will happen no later than about noon eastern today.THURSDAY, 11:41pm: Larry Coon of HoopsWorld and ESPN.com hears point guard Chris Duhon might be going from the Magic to the Lakers (Twitter link). Earl Clark will also go from Orlando to L.A., tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, who reiterates Amick's report that the Magic will get multiple second-round picks in the deal as well.
11:26pm: The Magic are in line for "multiple" second-round picks, writes Sam Amick of SI.com. He also says the Sixers were reluctant to give up Harkless, the 15th overall pick in the draft this past June.
10:47pm: Kennedy hears the Magic may be getting another pick to go along with their three first-rounders in the deal (Twitter link).
10:25pm: The Nuggets could get something additional in the trade, Kennedy tweets. Berger says via Twitter that two sources have cautioned that they have not heard directly from the Magic that they've agreed to the deal. Still, the framework of the deal is in place, Berger tweets.
9:27pm: A source tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld that the Magic, Lakers, Nuggets and Sixers have agreed to the framework of a Dwight Howard deal that sends the league's top center to the Lakers (Twitter link). Kennedy tweets that he's unsure of the precise framework, but ESPN.com's Marc Stein hears that the Magic will receive Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a future first-round draft choice from each of the other three teams in the deal. The Sixers will get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. The Nuggets will get Andre Iguodala, and the Lakers will land Howard. Other players are likely to be involved as well, Stein says, although their identities are not yet known. The draft choices going to the Magic are lottery protected, Stein writes.
A conference call with the league office has been scheduled for Friday morning to finalize the deal. Progress on the deal seemed to move swiftly after news of a potential four-team trade broke this afternoon. Earlier reports suggested Gasol would go to the Magic, but that apparently has not materialized. There were also reports that the Lakers could send Devin Ebanks and Josh McRoberts out as part of the trade.
Howard and Bynum are both in the final years of their contracts. Stein hears Howard is unlikely to sign an extension with the Lakers (Twitter link). Sam Amick of SI.com reported earlier that Bynum has had no talks about an extension with the Sixers, who were willing to take him on regardless. Last month a report by Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggested the Lakers were willing to roll the dice on Howard, thinking that being around the team's championship culture for a year would entice him to re-sign next summer. The new CBA makes it more lucrative for veterans to re-sign with their teams as free agents as opposed to inking an extension, giving Howard and Bynum further reason to wait it out.
The agreement appears to put an end to months of speculation about Howard's next destination. Howard has been in the middle of nearly constant trade talks since the lockout ended late last year. On multiple occasions he expressed a desire to be traded, and for much of the time the Nets were his primary target. When the Nets took themselves out of the running by re-signing Brook Lopez, Howard began to consider other teams, including the Lakers and Rockets.
The Sixers land the second biggest name in the deal with Bynum. They give up Iguodala, a member of Team USA, in exchange for a legitimate post presence and go-to threat in the paint. They also get Richardson, who will likely step into Iguodala's small forward position.
The Nuggets send away Afflalo, whom they'd just signed to a long-term contract last year, and Harrington, who has three more seasons left on his deal, for Iguodala, a defensive stalwart who made his first All-Star team last season.
The Magic get youth, draft picks and flexibility, though perhaps not as much as they were thought to be getting in other rumored trades. They can get out of Harrington's deal after this season, since the final two years are only partially guaranteed, and they have a player option on Vucevic for 2013/14. They could have $20MM in cap space next summer, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com notes (Twitter link).
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported that a four-team deal was in the works, along with the initial framework. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported Vucevic's involvement. Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld reported that Gasol would not be in the deal. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported the deal was close, and Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported the conference call had been scheduled. Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com, Ric Bucher of ESPN.com, and Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com also reported detail.
9:12pm: Stein says there are still unreported names in the deal, but the Magic are getting Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and a future first-round pick from each of the other three teams in the deal. The Sixers will get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. The Nuggets will get Andre Iguodala, and the Lakers will land Dwight Howard. Pau Gasol is not in the deal, Stein hears (All Twitter links).
8:59pm: A conference call has been scheduled for Friday morning with the league office to process the deal, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link).
7:29pm: Various Twitter reports indicate differing levels of confidence that the deal will get done. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com says the deal will happen "barring any last minute snag." ESPN.com colleague Ric Bucher believes the Magic and Lakers are pushing hard to complete the trade, but adds there are still many question marks. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says the talks are serious, but cautions there are a lot of moving parts. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports "guarded optimism" about the deal.
7:11pm: The deal has "huge legs," a source tells Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com, and the teams have made progress toward its completion today, Lynam tweets.
6:55pm: A source close to Gasol says he's not in the trade, Ric Bucher of ESPN.com tweets.
6:39pm: Chris Broussard of ESPN.com hears the deal is "very close" and could take place as early as Friday morning. Broussard says that Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles also hears Gasol may not be a part of the trade. Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com tweets that there is greater confidence a Howard deal will get done than in the past. The Sixers are willing to take on Bynum even without assurances he'll re-sign next summer, according to the ESPN report.
6:23pm: Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld, in an updated version of an earlier story, says one of the variants of the deal doesn't include Gasol, and it's unclear whether it includes Al Harrington. Devin Ebanks, on a sign-and-trade, and Josh McRoberts may also be a part of the deal.
5:52pm: A source close to the talks tells HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy that reports so far have the teams right, but the deal would likely include different players if it gets done, as the Magic, Lakers, Nuggets and Sixers discuss multiple scenarios. No deal is imminent or near completion, the source says (Twitter links).
4:37pm: Sam Amick of SI.com confirms discussion of the trade and hears from a source with knowledge of the Rockets' latest Dwight Howard trade proposal who says it would give the Magic more assets than today's rumored four-team deal would. Andrew Bynum's agent, David Lee, says he hasn't had conversations with the Sixers or any other team about an extension for his client, Amick adds. Several other agents whose clients are said to be part of the four-teamer tell Amick they're unaware of the latest trade talks.
3:35pm: Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld hears that, while these four-team talks are ongoing, the Magic continue to discuss other Howard trade scenarios as well (Twitter link).
2:06pm: Jason Richardson is also involved in the tentative framework of the proposed trade, says Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Richardson could head to L.A. in the deal, which makes sense. He would fill the Lakers' need for a shooter, and his salary combined with Harrington's is still not close to what Gasol earns.
12:05pm: The framework of a possible deal includes Howard and Al Harrington going to the Lakers, Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets, Bynum to the Sixers, and Pau Gasol and Arron Affalo to the Magic, according to Wojnarowski. Presumably there would be a few more moving parts involved, with the Magic gaining also picks and/or cap relief. The Lakers and Nuggets, with their $13MM trade exception from this year's Nene deal, would each have room to take on an Orlando contract or two in that scenario.
Wojnarowski adds that the destinations of Bynum and Gasol in the proposed deal are still up in the air, but one would go to Orlando and one to Philadelphia. According to Wojnarowski, the Magic may feel better about flipping Gasol for another asset rather than acquiring Bynum and risking having him leave in free agency next summer.
11:45am: The Dwight Howard rumor mill has quieted down in recent weeks, but the Magic certainly don't appear to be done discussing a potential trade. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter), Orlando is engaged in four-way talks about a possible Howard blockbuster with the Lakers, Nuggets, and 76ers. Wojnarowski adds that discussions have been ongoing for a few days, and they have substance, although nothing is imminent (Twitter link).
While Howard appears open to a trade to the Lakers, it seems a straight-up deal between L.A. and Orlando will be extremely difficult, since both teams would like to shed salary, and the Lakers already traded multiple future first-round picks in order to acquire Steve Nash.
The last series of Howard rumors involved the Lakers and Magic talking to the Cavs about a deal that would send D12 to Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum to Cleveland. In this case, perhaps Bynum would go to Philadelphia, with the Nuggets involved somehow to take on salary or provide picks in order to land assets in return. That's just my speculation though -- we'll have to wait for more details on exactly what's being discussed here.
Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com (via Twitter) points out that the Bulls are specifically $758,642 below the luxury tax apron and that the league minimum salary for sophomore players is $762,195. This definitely factors into the situation of Malcolm Thomas, who put on a standout performance as a member of their summer league roster and more importantly is entering his second year in the league. Deeks still doesn't think that Chicago is willing pay the tax, adding that the team isn't in any rush to make moves that would incidentally put them over the apron. Here are more of tonight's links from around the NBA...
The Nuggets re-signed Arron Afflalo to a five-year, $43MM deal six days before the season began, and have since watched him lose a point off his scoring average (11.6 PPG this year) and turn the ball over a career-high 1.3 times a night. He's had a pair of his best performances of the season the last two times he stepped on the floor, lending credence to the idea that his unsettled contract situation and resulting lack of preparation time led to his poor early-season play, says Aaron J. Lopez of NBA.com.
Here's more from the Northwest Division: