Pelicans owner Tom Benson bought in to the NBA at the right time, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune. The Pelicans, purchased for $338MM by Benson in April 2012, are now worth $420MM. It wasn’t an attendance boost that helped fill out Benson’s wallet even further but rather the new Collective Bargaining Agreement which is more owner-friendly than the previous one. More from around the league..
- The Cavs announced that they have recalled Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev from the D-League. Both players were recalled and re-assigned to the Canton Charge last week but are back in the fold with the varsity squad today. Felix has played in nine games for the Charge this season, averaging 11.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.7 minutes per game. Karasev has appeared in six games for the Charge and is averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.8 minutes per game.
- Meanwhile, NBA executives are stumped as to why the Cavs won’t demote Anthony Bennett, tweets Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft picked up yet another DNP-CD tonight.
- In today’s mailbag, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wonders if Dwyane Wade might take a financial sacrifice for the Heat by opting out and re-working his deal. Instead of taking $40MM over the next two seasons, Winderman suggests a five-year, $60MM deal for the veteran.
Considering his expiring contract and recent stellar play, Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey could be a hot commodity on the trade market soon, especially for teams looking to add bench scoring or create some cap flexibility this summer, writes Brendan Savage of MLive.com. Despite the likelihood of being included in discussions as we inch closer to the February trade deadline, Stuckey insists that he’s strictly focused on playing basketball:
“Nah, I don’t think about that,..Whatever happens, happens. I’m here to play basketball. I’m a Detroit Piston right now…I have no control over that. My agent will take care of that. It’s up to the organization, what they want to do and what they’re looking at. I don’t think about it at all. I just try to come out every night and compete and try to win.”
Here’s more from around the league this evening:
- Newly acquired Nets guard Marquis Teague said he wasn’t shocked about being dealt from the Bulls and admitted that he didn’t fit well with the style of former coach Tom Thibodeau: “It just wasn’t clicking with Thibs the right way… trying to figure out the system was kind of tough for me. The way they play isn’t really my style, so it’s kind of difficult for me. But I’ve got a new start now, so I’m just looking forward to the future” (Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York).
- As per the team’s official website, the Suns have assigned Archie Goodwin to the Bakersfield Jam.
- The Cavaliers recalled Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev from the Canton Charge earlier today (Twitter link).
- According to Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com, former University of Miami forward Kenny Kadji has entered the NBDL player pool and will likely receive a claim from a D-League team.
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun believes that if the Raptors sign Vince Carter as a free agent this summer, it could help the team’s perception with other free agents who may question why the franchise hasn’t honored its most decorated star.
- ESPN’s Marc Stein forecasts the makeup of the 12-man Team USA roster which will compete in this year’s FIBA World Cup. Of the 28 names listed in the USAB’s national team player pool, Stein believes that 10 of them appear to be realistic locks (barring injury), leaving an interesting race for the final two spots.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
The Bulls could take a couple of different paths regarding trade exceptions from Tuesday’s deal with the Nets. Chicago could absorb Tornike Shengelia’s $788,872 salary into the $2,025,000 exception they received in the Luol Deng trade, leaving that exception at $1,236,128 and creating a new exception worth the equivalent of Marquis Teague’s $1,074,720 salary. It seems more likely that they would leave the Deng exception alone and create a tiny $285,848 exception from the difference between Teague and Shengelia’s salaries, simply because a roughly $2MM exception is more useful than two exceptions worth about $1MM. Still, their choice remains unconfirmed. Here’s the latest from the Central:
- Gerald Green isn’t upset with the Pacers for burying him last season or trading him over the summer, and says he has no intention of ever leaving the Suns, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- Luis Scola says the memories of his time with the Suns are painful, as Coro passes along in the same story. Scola nonetheless had concerns about how much of a role he’d have on the Pacers when the team traded for him this summer, observes Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star. Frank Vogel assured the longtime starter he’d be a major part of the team, and Scola appears content as a key player off the bench.
- The trade talk surrounding Greg Monroe is starting to bother him, as he tells Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News. “It does, to be honest. We’re still trying to get things right, here,” Monroe said. “To see that stuff … I just focus on what we’re doing here. I’m here. If that changes, then I’ll move forward. If it never does, I’ll focus on playing these games and trying to win these games.”
- The Cavaliers have assigned Carrick Felix and Sergey Karasev to the D-League, the team announced. It’ll be the fourth D-League stint this year for Felix, who just returned from the Canton Charge on Tuesday, and the third for Karasev.
- No other NBA teams made an offer to Mike James, who jumped on a 10-day contract from the Bulls and harbors no ill will toward the team for waiving him earlier this season, as he tells reporters, including K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
There has been speculation that the Bucks could wind up leaving Milwaukee at some point as they’ve been unable to secure a new arena in the city, but Herb Kohl is working hard to make sure they stay put. Kohl has been insistent that he is only seeking investment partners and doesn’t want to sell the team outright, but today we learned that there are four suitors with “serious interest” in buying the club from him. There’s no word on a frontrunner, but one club is said to be comprised of local investors, which could give them an upper hand should Kohl have a change of heart and sell. More from around the league..
- The Lakers have had to rebuild on the fly before, but their current troubles will be tougher to fix, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
- The Bulls brought Mike James back because he’s the candidate that coach Tom Thibodeau wanted more than anyone else, tweets Mark Deeks of Shamsports.com. The Bulls re-signed the veteran after they traded one guard Marquis Teague to the Nets. It’s not clear at this point if James got a ten-day pact or was inked for the rest of the season.
- The Cavaliers have recalled Carrick Felix from the D-League, the team announced. The six-day stint was the third assignment to the Canton Charge for the 33rd overall pick in the NBA draft this past June.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Detroit’s “Big Three” of Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond haven’t been as successful as Joe Dumars anticipated writes Zach Lowe of Grantland. His offseason signing of Smith to a four-year, $54MM contract has resulted in a 16-22 record and has them currently sitting as the seventh seed in the weak Eastern Conference, just a half a game up on the Nets in the playoff race. This underachieving calls into question Monroe’s future with the team, with his contract set to expire after the season. The other alternative according to Lowe, is to try and find a taker for Smith, no easy feat considering the size of his deal. Smith said “It’s easy to use me as a scapegoat“, when speaking to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Zillgitt opines that improved shot selection from Smith would go a long way toward improving the team.
Some other notes from around the Eastern Conference:
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel explores the idea of the Magic possibly trading Arron Afflalo. He says the main difficulty in making a trade is that teams want to get him for pennies on the dollar, and aren’t willing to sacrifice young players or draft picks, which would be the primary goal if a trade was made.
- Greg Oden made his return to the hardwood this evening for the Heat, his first action since 2009, writes Joseph White of the Associated Press. His performance going forward will have a direct bearing on the possibility of the Heat signing Andrew Bynum.
- The Cavaliers’ struggling number one overall pick, Anthony Bennett, stated he would be open to playing in the D-League, writes Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer. Bennett is averaging 2.4 PPG in just 10.4 MPG. His playing time doesn’t look likely to increase any time soon with the recent acquisition of Luol Deng. A stint in the D-League, and the chance to log some heavy minutes to get himself going might be just what Bennett needs. Despite Bennett’s willingness to take a trip to the D-League, and the Cavs having had discussions about the move, the team doesn’t have any immediate plans to send him, writes Jason Lloyd of Akron Beacon Journal.
- The Cavaliers have assigned guard/forward Carrick Felix to the Canton Charge, their D-League affiliate, according to a press release. Felix played in six games for the Cavs this season, and averaged 1.5 PPG. In a previous three game stint with the Charge, he averaged 9.3 PPG and 5.3 RPG.
This past offseason, the Spurs extended then-restricted free agent Gary Neal a qualifying offer worth about $1.1MM, which was significantly below the two-year, $7.5MM agreement he eventually reached with the Bucks. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio-Express News, Neal believes he got a fair shake from Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford and understood that he wouldn’t be retained if he wanted more than what San Antonio was initially offering:
“I figured after three years, the Spurs benefitted me, and I benefitted the Spurs…But it’s a business. I kind of knew after Game 7 in the Finals, unless I signed a qualifying offer, I wouldn’t be back…I have no complaints…If (they didn’t give me the opportunity), they could have found another guy one of those summers to shoot 40 percent from three,..I thank Coach Pop a thousand times for that.”
Here’s more out of the Central Division:
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Jannero Pargo‘s contract with the Bobcats became fully guaranteed when the team didn’t waive him yesterday, and A.J. Price passed his contract guarantee threshold with the Timberwolves this weekend. That means the rest of the players with non-guaranteed contracts won’t have their deals fully guaranteed unless they remain on their teams until the leaguewide guarantee date of January 10th. We’ll continue to track non-guaranteed contracts here until that date. Here’s more from around the league:
- Free agent center Jason Collins told Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade that he doesn’t pin the reluctance of NBA teams to sign him on his sexual orientation. Collins, who hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since publicly revealing last spring that he is homosexual, says he hopes a team will sign him by March 1st.
- The Bulls are zeroing in on D.J. Augustin, and the move would give them four point guards, not including the injured Derrick Rose. They probably won’t be carrying all four by the end of the season, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
- With Devin Harris suffering a setback in his rehab, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News wonders if the Mavericks will go after Augustin.
- The Cavs have assigned Carrick Felix, Sergey Karasev and Henry Sims to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. It’s the first assignment for Karasev, while Felix and Sims are making return trips to the Canton Charge.
- Other teams reportedly expect the Nuggets will soon trade Jordan Hamilton for little in return, but the third-year small forward has earned the trust of coach Brian Shaw, according to Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com.
- Shelvin Mack is making the most of his non-guaranteed contract with the Hawks, as Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution examines (subscription required).
Here is a look at some of the D-League moves around the NBA:
- The Cavaliers have recalled both guard/forward Carrick Felix and center Henry Sims from their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. The rookie Felix has appeared in 3 games for the Cavaliers this season, averaging 5.0MPG and 1.3PPG. Sims has appeared in 6 games so far for Cleveland, averaging 1.7PPG in 5.8 minutes played per contest.
- The Thunder have recalled rookie forward Andre Roberson from the Tulsa 66ers. While Roberson has only appeared in six games for the Thunder this season, he averaged 17.3PPG in his three starts with the 66ers.
- Small forward Damion James has signed with the D-League Bakersfield Jam. James signed with the Nuggets in September but was waived prior to the start of the season. James has played two games so far with the Jam and has filled the stat sheet with 11PPG, 3.5RPG, and 1.5BPG in his short return tenure.
Here’s today’s look at the Cavs..
- The Cavs announced that they have assigned center Henry Sims and guard/forward Carrick Felix to their D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge. Sims has appeared in six games for the Cavs this season, averaging 1.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game and Felix has appeared in three games, averaging 1.3 points in 5.0 minutes per game. To keep up on all of this year’s D-League assignments, take a look at Hoops Rumors’ running list.
- Bob Finnan of the Plain Dealer look at how Nuggets coach Brian Shaw nearly became Cleveland’s head man.
- Former Cavalier J.J. Hickson can empathize with struggling No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and has some advice for him, writes Sam Amico of FOX Sports.
Shortly after the Nets’ 21-point loss in Sacramento on Wednesday night, Brooklyn GM Billy King had a closed-door meeting with head coach Jason Kidd and Kevin Garnett to presumably discuss (as Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News surmises) why almost nothing seems to be going according to plan in Brooklyn right now. In another Nets-related piece, Lenn Robbins of NBA.com writes that the current roster hasn’t shown they deserve a player’s coach like Kidd.
Here’s more of the miscellaneous links to pass along tonight:
- When asked further about why Omer Asik didn’t play during tonight’s game in New York, Rockets coach Kevin McHale said that Asik told him that he wasn’t feeling well earlier (Sean Deveney of the Sporting News via Twitter). It should be noted that this was Asik’s first DNP-CD of his NBA career.
- Cavaliers shooting guard Carrick Felix recently returned to the practice floor after being out with a sports hernia, but head coach Mike Brown made it clear that the 23-year-old rookie would find his minutes in the D-League once he’s ready to play (Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal).
- Zach Harper of CBS Sports details why Andre Iguodala may be the ultimate role player.
- Although Michael Beasley may be a ways away from being a contributor with consistent playing time on the Heat, NBA.com’s Couper Moorhead tells us how the former second-overall pick continues to work hard and has taken a significant step forward to improve his overall game.
- Joseph Lombardo, who founded the investment firm Prim Capital (which previously handled the investments and finances of the NBPA), has been charged with fraud, according to the Associated Press. Authorities say that Lombardo used a signature stamp to forge the signature of a deceased general counsel for the NBPA and another employee that awarded Prim Capital a $3MM fee over five years.
- Nate Duncan of Hoopsworld goes in depth about what to make out of the Timberwolves’ and Pacers’ hot starts this season.