One of the bigger stories of the week was the Clippers signing Danny Granger for the rest of the season. Despite being in uniform he was unable to play in last night’s game thanks to a “clerical error” that accidentally listed him as inactive. But going forward, Granger should help bolster the team’s weak front line, writes Arash Markazi of ESPNLos Angeles.com. Coach Doc Rivers thinks that his best fit on the team might be as a starter, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. This would allow Matt Barnes to return to a bench role and have Granger be more of a defensive asset for the first-team.
Here’s more from out west:
- The Spurs didn’t land Granger, but Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News doesn’t think the team needs him. Instead, he points to how Boris Diaw‘s numbers and production are comparable to Granger’s.
- Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman explores the possibility of the Thunder signing Ben Gordon if he is waived by the Bobcats. Since March 1st has passed, Gordon would be able to play for another team in the regular season, but not in the playoffs.
- In a separate article, Mayberry looks at 15 possible players the Thunder could sign to fill their 15th roster spot.
- The recently signed Caron Butler is expected to be in uniform for Tuesday’s game when the Thunder take on the Sixers, tweets Mayberry.
- Suns GM Ryan McDonough says the team’s long-term approach hasn’t changed, writes Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “We’re trying to get great players, through the draft or trade or free agency, but in the short term I think we’re ahead of what most people thought we would be. If we can use things like our cap space to help solidify our team we’ll do that, but at the same time we’re happy with the group we have”, McDonough said. Washburn also analyzes how the Suns are set heading into the offseason and some moves the team might make.
- Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders analyzes the dividends that the signing of Andre Iguodala has paid to the Warriors.
There is news coming out of the Southwest Division that doesn’t involve Omer Asik, believe it or not. Houston’s effort to trade its backup center has dominated headlines for the past few days, and will likely continue to do so until the Rockets strike a deal. In the meantime, here’s the latest from elsewhere in the Southwest:
- Boris Diaw tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com that it was an easy decision to exercise his more than $4.7MM player option to return to the Spurs this summer. “In the Finals, we were so close,” Diaw said. ”I wanted to go again and come back with this team. It’s been a great season this year, and we play a good style of basketball and we’ll get another shot together.”
- The Bobcats, Mavs and Raptors didn’t make the proper investment of time and effort into Alexis Ajinca‘s development during his first stint in the NBA, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports opines in a piece for the Score. That’s left the Pelicans in a position to benefit now that Ajinca is headed to New Orleans, Deeks writes, comparing it to the Spurs‘ acquisition of Aron Baynes last season.
- Reggie Williams is set to join the D-League, according to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest. The four-year NBA veteran is on the Rockets‘ books for about $474K after Houston cut him in a numbers crunch before the start of the regular season. He was among those scheduled to work out for the Grizzlies recently before the team switched gears.
FRIDAY, 1:31pm: Diaw's agent, Doug Neustadt, confirms that his client is opting in, telling Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link) that the letter has been sent to the team.
THURSDAY, 8:25pm: Boris Diaw expects to opt in for the final year of his contract with the Spurs, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Diaw's 2013/14 player option would pay him a guaranteed $4,702,500 if he exercises it.
Given Diaw's production in 2012/13 (5.8 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 11.9 PER), he'd be very unlikely to land a deal with a higher annual salary than the $4.7MM he'll receive from San Antonio, so it'd be pretty surprising if he decided to opt out. Assuming he makes the decision official, he'll become the second Spur to pick up his player option this week, as Patty Mills exercised his on Monday.
Six days after the Spurs lost Game 7 in Miami, San Antonio GM R.C. Buford publicly discussed the team's offseason today, addressing free-agents-to-be, option decisions, and the next steps for the club. Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News has the details and the quotes from Buford, so let's round up the best of his piece:
- Manu Ginobili has indicated that he has no desire to play for another NBA team, and that feeling appears to be mutual. "I think all of our hopes are that Manu finishes his career in San Antonio," Buford said.
- Buford appeared less certain about restricted free agent Tiago Splitter, who the Spurs would like to bring back, but who figures to draw more interest on the open market. "Until we know what the market says, and how that impacts our planning for the future," Buford said. "You can’t answer with incomplete information."
- The team has yet to receive word from Boris Diaw on whether he'll exercise his $4.7MM player option, though I'd expect him to pick that up at some point this week.
- Until the Spurs resolve the situations with their own free agents, Buford isn't prepared to say whether or not the team will have the opportunity to pursue outside free agents. "There’s a lot of guys (we like)," Buford said. "You just don’t know if you can afford them."
- With the 28th and 58th picks in the draft, Buford suggested that the team isn't going into Thursday night with a specific plan on whether to draft for immediate impact or long-term potential. "You don’t know until you get to your pick what’s available," Buford said.
History was made this morning, as Jason Collins publicly came out as the first active male athlete to announce that he's gay. Collins, who hopes to continue his playing career, will be a free agent this summer, looking for a contract from a team in need of frontcourt help. In his latest piece for HoopsWorld, Steve Kyler looked at a few other big men facing free agency, exploring what their respective futures might hold. Let's check out the highlights….
- Andray Blatche is still being paid by the Wizards through next season, so he won't necessarily be seeking the highest salary offered this summer. However, if he can secure a multiyear deal, he may lean toward that opportunity, says Kyler.
- Although he's eligible for restricted free agency, Austin Daye is unlikely to receive a qualifying offer from the Grizzlies. Kyler doesn't expect the ex-Piston to be back in Memphis next season.
- Carl Landry remains likely to opt out of his last year with the Warriors in search of a longer-term contract.
- The Pacers won't hold full Bird rights on David West, but West's Early Bird rights will be more than enough to make him a competitive offer. Kyler thinks West and the Pacers are likely to work out a deal fairly quickly that will keep the power forward in Indiana.
- Kyler notes that trading Danny Granger would help give the Pacers the flexibility to bring back both West and Tyler Hansbrough, who is eligible for restricted free agency. Kyler expects the Pacers to issue a qualifying offer to Hansbrough and match any reasonable offer.
- Antawn Jamison is unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers, and if Earl Clark returns, it will have to be for not much more than the $1.24MM he made this year, says Kyler.
- Boris Diaw, who has a player option, and Matt Bonner, whose deal is only partially guaranteed, both figure to be back with the Spurs next season. However, Kyler says DeJuan Blair is "done in San Antonio," which echoes what we heard yesterday.
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:
- According to Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press, Rick Adelman has deemed finding a quality shooting guard among the top of Minnesota's priorities this offseason.
- Garrett Temple hopes to have found a home with the Wizards, telling J. Michael of CSN Washington that he'd "love" to be back with them next year.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks that the Magic should look to move Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, and/or Glen Davis (at least one of them) in order to continue creating cap space for the future.
- Jan Hubbard of Sheridan Hoops wonders if a 35-year-old Dirk Nowitzki will have to endure another season like this one, especially if the Mavericks are unable to hit a home run in free agency for the second straight year after breaking up their championship roster.
- Though Mark Cuban isn't happy that Dallas is going to miss the postseason, he vouched for coach Rick Carlisle: "Rick’s a great coach…We obviously didn’t have what we thought we would have, but we obviously should have had more. I don’t know if we could have, but we should have, so it’s all on me. If that means I let Rick down, I let Rick down" (Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram reports).
- Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation writes that Manu Ginobili has been "progressing" in rehab according to coach Gregg Popovich, and that the Spurs veteran shooting guard could be cleared for full contact soon. On a more unfortunate note, Boris Diaw is expected to miss three-to-f0ur weeks (including the start of the playoffs) after the forward underwent a procedure to remove a synovial cyst that had been bothering his spine.
After a startling slow start to the 2012/13 season, Manu Ginobili is beginning to break out and play like the future Hall of Famer we're accustomed to seeing, writes the San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald.
With the early-July flurry of activity having died down, we have the opportunity now to look back at many of the free agent deals signed earlier this month and see how exactly they'll affect teams' caps for the next few seasons. Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News has the salary details for the handful of contracts signed by the Spurs this month, so let's take a look at what San Antonio will be paying its recent signees….
- Tim Duncan will be paid about $9.64MM this season and $10.36MM in year two, with a $10MM player option for 2014/15. As Mark Deeks of ShamSports points out, the salary decrease for the player option seems to violate CBA rules, so depending on how the league views the deal, Duncan could be in line for a pay bump in year three.
- Danny Green's deal starts at $3.5MM in year one, with 7.5% annual raises for the next two seasons, for a total of $11,287,500. As we heard from Deeks previously, this contract is fully guaranteed, with no options.
- The Spurs signed 2009 draft pick Nando De Colo to a two-year contract worth about $1.4MM in year one and $1.46MM in year two. Since this is larger than a minimum salary, San Antonio presumably used its bi-annual exception to complete the deal.
- Boris Diaw will earn $4.5MM in 2012/13 and $4.69MM in 2013/14, bringing the two-year total of his contract to about $9.19MM.
- The salary details for Patty Mills, who will earn $1,085,120 this season, were already known, but according to Monroe, Mills' second year (at about $1.13MM) is a team option. Deeks had reported that it was a player option, so hopefully we'll get some clarification on the matter one way or the other.
- According to Monroe, the Spurs' total commitments for 2012/13 amount to about $69.13MM, just below the luxury tax threshold.
THURSDAY, 1:20pm: The Spurs have officially re-signed Diaw, the team announced today in a press release.
TUESDAY, 8:15am: The Spurs and Boris Diaw have agreed to terms on a two-year deal that will keep the forward in San Antonio, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The deal includes a second-year player option and is worth about $9MM total, with incentives that could push Diaw's earnings to $9.2MM, says Wojnarowski (Twitter link).
Diaw, 30, was waived by the Bobcats in March and signed with the Spurs for the last month of the regular season and the playoffs. Though his playing time and per-game averages were down in San Antonio, he seemed to be a good fit in the Spurs' system after an uneven stint in Charlotte.
Because the Spurs only hold Diaw's Non-Bird rights, the team will have to use its mid-level exception to bring him back. Given the reported value of the deal, the Spurs figure to use more than the $3.09MM taxpayer mid-level, but less than the full $5MM. As such, the club won't be allowed to pass the $74MM tax apron this season.
It may not be Sherlock-caliber detective work, but Tony Parker tells Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News he noticed a hint that Boris Diaw could be leaning toward re-signing with the Spurs. Diaw, who had been living in Parker's guest house, left all his belongings there when he departed San Antonio for the summer, which Parker views as a good sign. Here are a few more Tuesday morning items from out of the Southwest Division: