Brook Lopez Rumors
January 23 at 2:20pm CST By Luke Adams
Despite being the subject of trade rumors over the summer, Brook Lopez's strong play this season means he's likely to remain with the Nets at this year's trade deadline. If it were up to Deron Williams, there wouldn't even be a conversation about it.
"We’re happy with Brook," Williams told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. "Brook is our center. He’s having an All-Star year. I don’t see Brook going anywhere."
Here are a few more Wednesday links from around the Eastern Conference:
- Jonas Jerebko downplayed a story out of Sweden that suggested he was unhappy with the Pistons, as Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press writes. "I didn't read the story," Jerebko said. "So I don't know what it said. Everybody has a
right to their own opinion. It's media. They probably twisted it."
- In a piece for MLive.com, David Mayo examines a few possible Pistons trade candidates, including Jerebko, Jason Maxiell, and Will Bynum.
- The Bobcats have begun conducting market research on a potential nickname change, now that the Hornets are set to become the Pelicans, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. The Bobcats are sending surveys to season-ticket holders and polling the Charlotte market to see if a name change would affect buying habits, says Bonnell (Twitter links).
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun takes a look at the Raptors' looming decisions on Kyle Lowry and Jose Calderon.
- In his latest mailbag, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel addresses the unlikely possibility of the Heat acquiring Dwight Howard and the impact he expects Chris Andersen to have in Miami.
January 23 at 12:01am CST By Chuck Myron
Just as we crossed into the final month before the trade deadline, the first deal of the new year went down today, and the action will no doubt pick up going forward. Here are a few more notes from a busy evening.
- J.J. Redick, an unrestricted free agent at season's end, wants a raise on his $6.19MM salary, but the Magic want him to take a hometown discount, reports USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. If the team doesn't believe it can re-sign him when the trade deadline rolls around, Zillgitt won't be surprised to see the Magic trade Redick, since they don't want to lose him without any return.
- The Wizards are looking to make moves, and Jordan Crawford is drawing the most interest of any of the players they'd make available, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler reveals, noting rookie Bradley Beal isn't among the players they're dangling, Kyler adds.
- Damion James is heading back to the D-League's Bakersfield Jam, as the Nets have opted not to renew his 10-day contract, which expires tonight, tweets NetsDaily.com.
- Jae Crowder's contract with the Mavs is fully guaranteed through next season, but he doesn't want that to be the end of his tenure in Dallas, where he wants to play his entire career, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reveals.
- Elliot Williams, who tore his left Achilles tendon in September, isn't ruling out the possibility he could return at some point this season, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. The league, believing he was done for the year, has already granted the Blazers a disabled player exception, but the team will get to keep it even if he makes it back.
- Ben Baroff of SheridanHoops.com believes there will be more deals similar to today's Cavs-Grizzlies trade in the years to come, as luxury tax penalties become more severe.
- Amid another round of Dwight Howard rumors, Nets brass has assured Brook Lopez he won't be traded, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
January 22 at 8:07pm CST By Luke Adams
8:07pm: Tim Bontemps of the New York Post hears the Nets have no interest in going after Howard again, in spite of the earlier report.
10:10am: With the Lakers struggling and Dwight Howard frustrated, the Nets are considering making another run at the All-Star center, according to Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM.com (Sulia link). Rudolph reports that Nets GM Billy King has been quietly searching for a third team that could include an attractive piece that would help facilitate a trade between the Lakers and Nets.
When the Magic were attempting to find a trade partner for Howard at last year's deadline and again over the summer, the Nets topped D12's wish list. However, Orlando ultimately ended up sending Howard to another one of the clubs on a wish list that also included the Lakers and Mavericks. While Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld reported this morning that trading Howard again isn't something the Lakers are currently considering, the Nets feel like L.A. would at least think about it, for the right price, according to Rudolph.
Rudolph indicates that King was preparing an offer that would have included Brook Lopez going to the Timberwolves and Kevin Love heading to the Lakers, with a handful of smaller pieces also included in the deal. The Nets believed the Lakers would be intrigued by Love, but the plan suffered a blow when the Wolves' big man was sidelined for two months with a broken hand.
King will continue to search for a third team that could facilitate a Howard trade, but won't make landing the big man the priority that he did a year ago, according to Rudolph.
January 16 at 8:25am CST By Luke Adams
The Lakers' new game plan involves increasing Kobe Bryant's role on defense, having him guard opponents' top wing players. The approach was certainly effective last night, as the Lakers beat the Bucks by 16, and Brandon Jennings told reporters after the game that Kobe played "probably the best defense anybody's played on me since I've been in the league" (Twitter link via Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register). As the Lakers look to continue their winning ways on the court, here are the latest off-court notes on the club:
- Brook Lopez is now trade-eligible, which would suggest that trade rumors connecting Dwight Howard to the Nets may be renewed. However, Ian O'Connor of ESPNNewYork.com hears from a source close to Nets management that Brooklyn's interest in D12 may not be as strong as it once was: "It's not as cut and dried as it was last year, when
the feeling was go ahead and pretty much gut the team for Dwight, give
up a bunch of draft picks and players and take back bad contracts. That
feeling isn't there anymore."
- Regardless of the Nets' interest or lack thereof, exploring trades involving Howard isn't even something that's on the table for the Lakers, says Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.
- The Lakers are leaning toward keeping Pau Gasol at the trade deadline in part because they're not 100% sure Howard will remain in L.A. long-term, and they don't want to risk losing both of their All-Star bigs in a matter of months, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
- Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com has details on how Gasol and Steve Blake are recovering from their respective injuries.
- GM Mitch Kupchak confirmed to reporters, including Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, that the Lakers have requested a disabled player exception for Jordan Hill. Kupchak expects to hear back from the league within a week or so. I outlined on Monday what a DPE would mean for the team.
January 12 at 10:17pm CST By Michael Pina
The Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer answers e-mails from readers, most of them pertaining to possible Cavaliers trade chips like Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson.
December 9 at 10:39pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Jason Lloyd of the Beacon Journal debunks the misconception that the Cavaliers will be forced to spend big in free agency this summer as a result of the NBA's minimum team salary floor requirement. Next season, teams will be required to spend at least 90 percent of the league's salary cap number next year. Although Cleveland's total amount of committed salaries could fall short of that number, Lloyd points out that the Cavs will be allowed to make up for the difference by dispersing the remaining required amount to its players. Here's more out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
- After initial struggles, Jeff Green appears to be looking more like the player the Celtics envisioned when they inked him to a 4-year, $36MM deal this summer, says A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com
- Brook Lopez's recovery from a sprained right foot hasn't progressed as quickly as the Nets have hoped, writes Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York.
- Count George Karl among those who thinks that Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is primed to eventually win an NBA title (Matt Ehalt of ESPN New York reports).
- Pacers head coach Frank Vogel is considering more playing time for guard Ben Hansbrough and forward Jeff Pendergraph at the expense of those who have been struggling in Indiana's current second unit lately.
- Several of HoopsWorld's analysts weighed in on who they feel are the most surprising teams in the NBA thus far. Out of the Eastern conference, they referenced the Knicks' dominance, the Bobcats' improvement compared to last season, and the Raptors' difficulty in living up to expectations.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times says that the ticket to Bulls forward Jimmy Butler earning playing time has been his defensive versatility.
- John Denton of NBA.com examines the niche that Moe Harkless has found with coach Jacque Vaughn, who likes the progression his rookie has made in the starting rotation. Denton also provides a minor update the current statuses of Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington, saying that while Turkoglu still appears to be out indefinitely, Harrington could return in the next two weeks.
- Raptors guard Alan Anderson went through his workout today without any pain and believes that he is one practice away from returning (Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun reports).
December 4 at 3:48pm CST By Zach Links
The Magic scored a tremendously satisfying win on Sunday when they downed Dwight Howard and the Lakers. Powered on the offensive end by Arron Afflalo and Glen Davis, the Magic employed the "Hack-A-Howard" strategy and forced the big man to try and win the game from the charity stripe. Yesterday, Magic senior vice president Pat Williams spoke with 95.7 The Game to about the post-Howard era in Orlando and Steven Cuce of Sports Radio Interviews has the goods..
How’s this year going without Dwight Howard? How’s the transition going?
Well, it cleared up very nicely [Sunday] night in Los Angeles. Oh boy, Orlando Magic fans were dancing in the street last night. That was a beautiful win for us. We’ve been struggling up to that point. The Dwight thing has calmed down. It was tumultuous for 12 months, really, and just difficult. What are you going to do when your great player and top guy says, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore?’ Move me on. It’s extremely difficult and we had to deal with it the best we could. We tried to convince Dwight to stay here and this could be his long-term home and he was … far better off being here, but he didn’t buy it. And New York or L.A. seemed to have the lure for him. We made the best deal we could and it was a big one — a four-team trade and one of the biggest in NBA history. We ended up with six players and five future draft choices. It was a massive trade, but I think it settled here and the fans’ position was if Dwight didn’t want to be here, so be it and we move on and let’s start fresh. So that’s really what we’ve done, and I think we’ve got a nice, young ball club. I think we are going to be OK.”
What made Dwight Howard change his mind last summer after he said in March he wanted to stay with the team?
“Dwight is a pleaser at heart. Deep down he really is a good guy. He had a lot invested here in eight years out of Central Florida and I think the pressure got to him. It was building and building and building. It was trade, trade and trade. As we got to the trade deadline, I think Dwight was just panic-stricken. Where was this all going to lead? The simplest way was just going to be sign this extension. I don’t think his agent had anything to do with it. I don’t think anyone would have advised him that because it was just a few months from free agency, and I just think the pressure was so great that the safest way to break it was just to sign the one-year extension and take the pressure off, and he made a little press conference and a little speech saying, ‘I love Orlando.’ Then, the next thing you know, this back injury takes place and then he disappears and we never saw him or hear from him again until the middle of the summer. We did meet with him and went out to see him and tried to convince him to stay. … It made no headway. It was not on his agenda and it turned out Brooklyn was his first choice. That all didn’t work, and finally the L.A. trade. Now he’s still a free agent after this year, so who knows what’s going to happen or where he is headed next?”
Why didn’t the deal for Dwight Howard with the Brooklyn Nets work out for Brook Lopez?
“I guess there were a lot of ins and outs with that. I just want to say that one of the fears with him was the tendency, as he got hurt, that he’s got a history with feet and ankle problems. He’s out again now. I think that was a big part of it, and then of course people say then, ‘Why not Andrew Bynum? Why didn’t you get Andrew Bynum?’ Well, I don’t think we’d be real happy with Andrew Bynum right now. If he were sitting here it would be a mess. We made the best deal we could with these other pieces that came from around the league, and I think it was the best deal we could have made based on potential of injury and what was best for our team.”
November 30 at 10:30pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news from around the NBA on Friday evening:
- CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that the NBA is considering instituting a new policy on resting players following Gregg Popovich's controversial decision on Thursday.
- Howard Beck of the New York Times writes that Brook Lopez' foot is not seriously injured, despite indications to the contrary.
- The New York Times' Dan Duggan writes that the Wizards are trying to put their horrific start to the season behind them.
- Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Bucks have still not set a time for Luc Mbah a Moute's return.
- Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com writes that Hawks GM Danny Ferry has turned the team around faster than expected.
- Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer writes that Cavs rookie Kevin Jones is not expected to find his way into the rotation anytime soon.
November 29 at 5:42pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston heard from head coach Doc Rivers that the Celtics could decide to recall Kris Joseph and possibly Fab Melo up from the D-League while Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox are out of action. More notably, after Danny Ainge told WEEI radio that Rajon Rondo would be given a two game suspension (Twitter link), Rivers gave the impression that the team won't necessarily try to make any subsequent roster moves anytime soon. You can find more of tonight's miscellaneous links from the Association here:
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy says (via Twitter) that the Raptors are weighing their free agent options at the small forward position.
- Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian of his plans to use D-League assignments accordingly for Victor Claver, Joel Freeland, Will Barton, and Nolan Smith. While Olshey thinks that his young players are currently benefitting through their NBA experience, he believes the best time to send them to the Idaho Stampede (their D-League affiliate) would be after they have built a good enough foundation with the coaching staff and need significant minutes to continue developing.
- According to Anthony Slater of NewsOK, Thunder GM Sam Presti was spotted at Oklahoma State University's basketball practice to supposedly begin scouting Marcus Smart and Le'Bryan Nash, two college prospects who are currently touted as potential first round picks.
- The Nets announced that the right foot sprain which Brook Lopez suffered during last night's game is unrelated to the foot injury he sustained last season, and added that he is only expected to miss the next two games (Howard Beck of the New York Times reports).
November 14 at 10:37pm CST By Chuck Myron
It was a successful night for a pair of teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, as the Pistons blew out the Sixers en route to their first win after an 0-8 start, while the Bobcats dropped the Wolves for their third win in a row, moving to 4-3. The Wizards failed to join that group, and are the NBA's lone remaining winless team after losing to the Mavericks tonight. There's more on Washington and other news from the East right here.
- After committing to Brook Lopez this summer, the Nets have raised their expectations of the fifth-year center, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt, who says the team signed Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche so they could help Lopez improve.
- J.R. Smith said in training camp he wanted to start at shooting guard, but now he says he's "loving" his role as sixth man for the unbeaten Knicks, for whom he's off to a hot start, observes Nate Taylor of The New York Times.
- As the 0-7 Wizards search in vain for their first win, the frustration is mounting for John Wall, who's without a timetable for a return from a stress fracture in his right knee, writes Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. Wall will be eligible for an extension to his rookie-scale contract next summer.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says rookie Maurice Harkless, who missed preseason while recovering from sports hernia surgery, is already starting to show his worth a week after his debut for the Magic.
- Hedo Turkoglu had hoped to be back from his broken left hand about two weeks from now, but after doctors had to put the hand back in a cast today, he could be out for another month, reports John Denton of Magic.com.
- Richard Hamilton, whose $5MM deal for next season is only guaranteed for $1MM, could be a free agent next summer, but he's okay with Tom Thibodeau's plans to limit his minutes to keep him healthy, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes.
- The Celtics are considering a D-League rehab stint for Avery Bradley once he's healthy, tweets A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.