Three Northwest teams will host games tonight, including the Thunder welcoming the Warriors to Oklahoma City for a rematch of perhaps the best game of the season’s first month. As we look forward to the evening’s schedule, let’s check in on a few items out of the Northwest….
- The Knicks are in Denver tonight, which will result in the inevitable look back on the 2011 trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York. As Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post writes, that deal should continue paying dividends for the Nuggets this season, since Denver could end up with both a playoff berth and a lottery pick, thanks to the Knicks.
- Wilson Chandler, one of the players acquired by the Nuggets in that Carmelo blockbuster, has long since moved on, as he indicates to Dempsey. “It’s just another game,” said Chandler of the Knicks’ visit. “It’s been a long time since that trade.”
- After the Trail Blazers bolstered their roster over the summer, LaMarcus Aldridge decided it was time for him to step up and take a larger leadership role with the club, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Brandon Rush, who was acquired from the Warriors by the Jazz in July, appears ready to return to action, as Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune observes. Making $4MM in the final year of his contract, Rush could turn into an intriguing deadline trade chip if he stays healthy and plays well for Utah over the next couple months.
JULY 10TH, 4:40pm: Utah's agreement with the Warriors has been finalized and has been rolled into a separate deal, both teams confirmed. The breakdown:
JULY 5TH, 4:36pm: Both first-rounders the Jazz are acquiring in the deal will be unprotected, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
4:01pm: The Warriors will send their 2014 and 2017 first-round picks to the Jazz, tweets Wojnarowski. Multiple second-rounders will also go to Utah in the deal, Wojnarowski adds (via Twitter).
3:27pm: Murphy will be sent to the Warriors in the trade, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. Meanwhile, Wojnarowski tweets that multiple draft picks are headed to the Jazz, including a 2014 first-rounder.
3:23pm: Brandon Rush is also headed to Utah in the deal, according to Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group. Shedding Rush's salary as well will give Golden State room under the cap to sign Iguodala.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com adds (via Twitter) that the Warriors will receive a non-guaranteed contract from Utah in the trade. That player will be either Kevin Murphy or Jerel McNeal.
2:57pm: The Warriors have reached an agreement on a salary-dump trade with the Jazz, according to Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson will be heading to Utah in the deal, reports TNT's David Aldridge (via Twitter).
Rumors relating to the Warriors' trade talks with the Jazz had been swirling all day, as Golden State looked for a way to clear cap space to make a run at Dwight Howard and/or Andre Iguodala. The team ended up reaching an agreement to bring Iguodala aboard, and hasn't been entirely ruled out of the race for Howard.
As the Warriors look for ways to upgrade a roster that earned a spot in the Western Conference Semifinals this year, the team has explored the possibility of trading David Lee, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
According to Wojnarowski, the Warriors offered Lee to the Raptors in a package that included Andrea Bargnani, but Toronto agreed to a deal that will send Bargnani to the Knicks. Golden State also made the Trail Blazers an offer for LaMarcus Aldridge that included Lee and Brandon Rush, says Wojnarowski. However, Portland has more appealing options than the Warriors' proposal, if the club chooses to move Aldridge.
Lee, 30, still has three years and close to $45MM remaining on his contract. While he's viewed as a better value than other Warriors like Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson, the three years remaining on his deal make him tricky to move. As Wojnarowski notes, it makes sense for Golden State to explore trading Lee for a star or at least a player on a shorter contract.
Brandon Rush has officially exercised his 2013/14 player option to remain with the Warriors, agent Mark Bartelstein confirms to Hoops Rumors. According to RealGM.com's transactions log, Rush made the decision official earlier this week.
Rush's 2012/13 season came to a premature end when the 27-year-old tore his ACL during the season's opening week. While a successful year in Golden State may have resulted in Rush opting out this summer, it's no surprise that he'd elect the security of another year at $4MM coming off such a serious injury.
In his last full season ('11/12), Rush posted career-highs in PPG (9.8), FG% (.501), PER (15.2), and a handful of other categories. Assuming he's healthy by the fall, Rush will give Golden State another deadly outside shooter to go along with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson — for his career, the Kansas product has shot 41.3% from three-point range.
As I wrote when I previewed the Warriors' offseason, Rush's decision to opt in means that the team will have $69MM+ committed to 10 players for next season. That will make it tricky for the club to bring back free agents such as Jarrett Jack or Carl Landry without going well into tax territory.
Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com hears more and more that the Maloof brothers could keep the Kings rather than sell the team to the Sacramento-led group if the NBA declines the Seattle bid, adding that it's not a total longshot at this point. Howard-Cooper also says that whether the possibility could drag on into this summer or next season, the Maloofs may step back and re-assess their options (All Twitter links). Interestingly enough, Aaron Bruski of USA Today tweeted that league sources "have maintained without any equivocation that the Maloofs will not own an NBA franchise next season."
We've got more to share out of the Western Conference tonight:
- Howard-Cooper reiterates that he's not saying the above scenario will happen, but it's still a possibility. He also clarifies that the Maloofs keeping the Kings would be a way for them to start a bidding war and evaluate at the type of offers they can receive (Twitter links).
- Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle says that Brandon Rush plans to do some light running and jumping in three weeks, and that the Warriors guard/forward should be ready by the start of the 2013-14 training camp (Twitter links).
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld tweets that he thinks Mike D'Antoni's job is safe for next season at least, being that the Lakers coach is still owed a lot of money and hasn't had a healthy roster.
- Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press writes that Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has a tough challenge of trying to evaluate upcoming free agents Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson without enough playing time to find for them.
The Lakers announced yesterday that Metta World Peace underwent successful surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus, and will miss six weeks. Whether or not the Lakers make the playoffs, World Peace's season could be over, and Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wondered yesterday if the veteran forward has played his last game as a Laker.
World Peace isn't necessarily in the final year of his contract, since he has a player option for next season. However, if he exercises that option, he becomes a prime candidate to be amnestied. If he declines the option, he'll hit unrestricted free agency. Either way, the man formerly known as Ron Artest may sign a new contract before he plays in his next NBA game.
A number of players are in the same situation as World Peace, with potential free agency looming and an injury keeping them off the court. Here are a few guys who we may not see play for their current teams again, and whose free agent stocks could be affected by their current injuries:
- Leandro Barbosa (Wizards): If you'd forgotten Barbosa was on the Wizards' roster, you're probably not alone. Acquired for salary purposes in the deal that sent Jordan Crawford to Boston, Barbosa is on an expiring minimum-salary contract, and his ACL/MCL injury may hurt his chances of signing another deal this offseason. Having suffered the season-ending injury in February, he probably won't be healthy in time for fall camps.
- Rodrigue Beaubois (Mavericks): Eligible for restricted free agency this summer, Beaubois underwent surgery on his hand last week, and is unlikely to return this season. I doubt the Mavs will make him a qualifying offer, and there's a good chance he doesn't return to Dallas.
- Andrew Bynum (76ers): As well-documented as any non-Derrick Rose injury this season, Bynum's ongoing knee troubles will certainly hurt his earning potential in free agency this summer, and may also ensure he never plays a game with the Sixers.
- Richard Hamilton (Bulls): While Hamilton remains optimistic that he'll play again this season, his ongoing health problems will likely lead the Bulls to part ways with him this summer. Hamilton's $5MM salary for 2013/14 is partially guaranteed, so he figures to receive a $1MM buyout and hit the free agent market.
- Sasha Pavlovic (Trail Blazers): Pavlovic's quad injury has kept him out of action for more than a month, but even if he were healthy, he doesn't appear to be part of the Trail Blazers' plans. Although he's under contract for two more seasons, both years are non-guaranteed, so he may find himself seeking a new deal this July.
- A.J. Price (Wizards): Price earned 22 starts this season for the Wizards, so perhaps the team will have interest in bringing him back next year. He's eager to return to the court to try to improve his free agent stock, but for now, groin issues are keeping him out indefinitely.
- Brandon Roy (Timberwolves): All the time Roy has missed this season with knee problems ensured that the second year of his contract with the Timberwolves became non-guaranteed, and there's virtually no chance the Wolves will retain him and his $5.33MM salary. If Roy is forced to call it a career at season's end, it would be an unfortunate way for him to go out, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's where we're headed.
- Brandon Rush (Warriors): After going down during the season's first week, Rush underwent knee surgery in January that ended his year. Fortunately for him, he's got a $4MM player option for 2013/14, so he figures to be returning to the Warriors rather than looking for work next year.
- Jason Smith (Hornets): Out for the season with a torn labrum, Smith, like Hamilton, has a partially guaranteed contract for 2013/14. The price to keep him wouldn't be exorbitant – $1MM of his $2.5MM salary is guaranteed – so we'll have to wait and see what the Hornets decide.
- Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace (Knicks): A pair of aging Knicks bigs on expiring contracts, it would be a little surprising to see both Thomas and Wallace playing in the NBA next year, even if they return in the playoffs. Even if Thomas and Wallace wanted to extend their playing careers, their latest foot issues would raise red flags for any interested teams.
- Elliot Williams (Trail Blazers): Unlike some other players on this list, Williams is no lock to receive an NBA contract, especially if he can't show that he's healthy before the fall. That's probably why, even after surgery on his achilles, he talked about wanting to return to the court in '12/13 and auditioning in the Summer League.
Among the highlights on tonight's NBA schedule: A pair of Western Conference showdowns, as the Spurs host the Grizzlies and the Thunder look to extend their Conference lead with a win against the Nuggets. While we wait for those games to get underway, here are a few links from around the West:
- Corey Brewer tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link) that he'd like to re-sign with the Nuggets in July when his contract expires. "Yeah, I’d like to be here," Brewer said. "I like the fans, I like the city, I like the system, I like George Karl’s system, I like my teammates. So it’s a good situation for me."
- Given the Suns' current record and place in the standings, coach Alvin Gentry acknowledges that it may be time to look to the future and give his younger players more minutes, as Bob Young of USA Today writes.
- Eric Bledsoe wants to be a starting point guard in the NBA at some point, but for now he's happy to learn from Chris Paul and Chauncey Billups on the Clippers, says Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
- Agent Mark Bartelstein tells Ken Berger of CBS Sports that his client Brandon Rush underwent successful knee surgery today and is expected to make a full recovery (Twitter links).. With his health not a given this summer, I'd imagine Rush will exercise his $4MM player option for 2013/14 and remain with the Warriors.
- Mavericks guard Mike James spoke to Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the challenge of making an impression while playing on a 10-day contract.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld recognized the Trail Blazers multiple times in his picks for the NBA's best offseason moves, giving Portland the nod for best first-round pick (Damian Lillard) and best coaching hire (Terry Stotts).
Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers! There may be no NBA games scheduled for tonight, but that doesn't mean our coverage will take a break, so thanks for reading. Here are a few odds and ends from a quiet Thursday in the NBA:
- Brandon Rush, who tore his ACL and MCL in the season's second game and figures to undergo surgery in December, spoke to Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times about the injury and his player option for next season. "I was just trying to play the season out first," Rush said. "If we were going to win and make it to the playoffs, that was going to help out a lot during free agency next year — if I was to decline the option."
- Eric Pincus of HoopsWorld checks in on the salary cap situations for each of the NBA's 30 teams.
- After a year in which he underwent successful heart surgery and later signed a lucrative four-year deal with the Celtics, Jeff Green is "thankful for everything," as he tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
- Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops submits his early choices for 2013's top 10 draft prospects, with UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad leading the way.
At 2-1, the Warriors have started off what many believe to be a promising season on the right foot, despite losing Brandon Rush to a torn ACL on Friday night. Because it is so early in the season, the Warriors have the good fortune of having some options if they want to replace him, writes Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area.
One reason they may not need personnel reinforcements has the been the surprising play of Carl Landry, who has provided scoring (20 points per game) and toughness off the bench in the team's first three games, writes Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group.
Let's take a look at what else is going on in the NBA on the first Sunday night of November:
- As the veteran core of the Spurs ages, the roles of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard will continue to grow. Mike Monroe of Spurs Nation writes that right now, Greg Popovich has told the two youngsters to "bring the energy."
- Couper Moorhead of Heat.com provides a detailed analysis of the developing offensive dynamic between Ray Allen and LeBron James. Between James' ability to score efficiently at the hoops and Allen's lethal stroke from the corner, defenses are forced to make an impossible decision against the Heat, Moorhead says.
- The staff of writers at HoopsWorld goes around the horn to discuss which player was the most underrated offseason acquisition. The results: Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Carl Landry, Antawn Jamison, Andrei Kirilenko, O.J. Mayo, Gerald Green and Nikola Vucevic.
- Jonny Flynn, waived by Pistons in October, has agreed to sign with the Melbourne Tigers, an Australian team, says Daniel Eade of the Back Page Lead. The contract with the Tigers is reported to have an out clause should Flynn get an NBA offer.
The early signs didn’t appear positive after Brandon Rush suffered a gruesome injury last night, as Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group writes, and agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed the bad news, passing along word that Rush tore his ACL, tweets Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chroncle. Missing a significant amount of time figures to disrupt Rush’s plan to decline the $4MM option on the last year of his contract next summer. Rush was set on continuing his impressive play from last season and parlaying it into a longer, more lucrative contract in 2013, Thompson reveals. There’s more on what the next step could be for the Golden State, as well as other notes out of the Pacific this afternoon.
- The Warriors could request a $2MM disabled player exception if Rush is ruled out for the rest of the season, but fellow Bay Area News Group scribe Tim Kawakami points out the Warriors may pass on that option, since they’re already above the luxury tax threshold (Twitter link).
- It might be premature to suggest Mike Brown is on his way out of the Lakers coaching job, but Zach Harper of CBSSports.com notices that Brown is already showing signs of desperation.
- Former Lakers guard Andrew Goudelock was taken second in last night’s D-League draft, after JaJuan Johnson, but Ridiculous Upside’s Gino Pilato, in handing out draft grades for every D-League team, calls him “the best recent former NBA talent” in the draft.
- Suns rookie point guard Kendall Marshall doesn’t figure to see much playing time, and with practice time much less plentiful in the regular season than it was in training camp, he and assistant coach Lindsey Hunter are fitting in some one-on-one instruction, as Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic documents.
- Harper argues that while Clippers offer plenty of flash, their retooled offseason roster still has too many holes.