It’s been an unusually busy day for news out west, so we’re following up this morning’s round of Pacific rumors with a few afternoon updates. Here’s the latest:
- There are “no indications” that the Suns and Eric Bledsoe will reach an agreement on a contract extension before tonight’s deadline, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. The two sides have until 11:00 pm CT to work something out.
- On the heels of reporting that the Kings won’t exercise Jimmer Fredette‘s 2014/15 option, Sam Amick of USA Today passes along a little more Jimmer news. According to Amick, about six teams have expressed some trade interest in Fredette. The Jazz aren’t one of those six, however.
- The highest-paid player in the NBA will receive most of his salary tomorrow, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, who says Kobe Bryant will be paid more than $24MM by the Lakers on November 1st.
- Mark Deeks of ShamSports, writing for SBNation.com, suggests that extending Andrew Bogut for three years and $36MM+ represents an unnecessary risk for the Warriors. As Deeks notes, Golden State still could have extended Bogut in the spring, prior to free agency, which would have given the team another full season to evaluate the big man.
- In a separate piece for The Score, Deeks discusses the Suns/Wizards trade, writing that it’s the sort of deal that doesn’t necessarily have a winner or loser, since both teams got what they wanted. Deeks also points out that the Suns will have an “extremely logical” trade candidate in Channing Frye if he starts the season healthy and productive.
- The Kings won’t sign Greivis Vasquez or Patrick Patterson to a contract extension today.
MarShon Brooks requested a trade from the Nets last spring, a source tells Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, and the team accomodated him, throwing him into the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett blockbuster in place of Reggie Evans, who was in an early version of the deal. The result pleased Evans and Garnett, who said the Nets' decision to keep their rebounder extraordinaire was even more important than landing free agent Andrei Kirilenko. There's still more fallout from that Nets-Celtics trade as training camps open around the Association:
- Gerald Wallace admits he was "in shock" when he found out Brooklyn traded him to the Celtics, but he's pleased to be in Boston and says he's OK with spending the twilight of his career on a team that isn't a title contender, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com.
- Brandon Davies, whose contract is partially guaranteed for $50K, and Lou Amundson, who's on a non-guaranteed deal, are the Clippers training camp invitees most likely to make the opening-night roster, a source tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- The Clippers announced a number of front office moves today, and added Brendan O'Conner to the coaching staff, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (on Sulia).
- Suns center Channing Frye missed all of 2012/13 with a heart ailment, but with training camp ushering in the final season of his contract, the sharpshooter has been medically cleared to play, as Matt Petersen of Suns.com details.
- Manu Ginobili wasn't sure the Spurs wanted him back when he hit free agency this summer, but a brief meeting with GM R.C. Buford convinced the veteran swingman that the team still values him highly, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
- John Salmons didn't enter the offseason expecting that he'd remain with the Kings, but he says team officials assured him over the summer that he's still in their plans, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes via Twitter.
We took note earlier today of David Lee's comments to Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group about his worse-than-imagined hip injury, and in an updated version of the story, Thompson passes along more from the power forward. Lee said he didn't catch wind about a rumored swap involving him and LaMarcus Aldridge until the Warriors called him to say there was no deal, and Lee also chimes in on the emergence of Golden State as a free agent destination.
"We still have a long way to go," he said. "But if you looked at where we came from three years ago, some of the questions were, 'Why would you come here? They've had one playoff team in the last 150 years.' … Looking where we are now and having these conversations, its very exciting."
Here's more from the Association:
- The NBA will officially announce Thursday an agreement that will place STATS SportVU cameras in each arena, according to Grantland's Zach Lowe, who reported two weeks ago that a tentative agreement was in place. Lowe examines the technology's impact on referees, contract negotiations, the player's union and other facets of the game in his latest piece.
- Monta Ellis tells Cash Sirois of 1310 The Ticket in Dallas that he was "miserable" during the past several seasons and calls his opportunity with the Mavs "a breath of fresh air." (Twitter links).
- Insurance covered Channing Frye's $6MM salary for the Suns last year while he was out with an enlarged heart, notes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Frye, who's due $6.4MM this year, says he's ready to return to action and is awaiting team approval to do so.
- Both Andrew Bynum and the Cavs paint a sunny picture of his recovery from last year's knee injuries, but the team isn't setting a timetable for his return to action, as The Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer observes.
- J.A. Adande of ESPN.com calls on incoming commissioner Adam Silver to take a tough stance on criminal behavior in the wake of legal issues for several players and Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer this offseason.
As the opening of training camps inches a little closer, let's round up the latest items out of the Pacific Division…
- After having previously acted as a consultant for the Kings, Chris Mullin will join the team's front office in a more formal capacity, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Mullin's role as a senior advisor to GM Pete D'Alessandro and owner Vivek Ranadive figures to expand once the team makes the hiring official, says Stein.
- Meanwhile, Kings ownership and local labor unions have reached an agreement related to the construction of Sacramento's new Downtown Plaza arena, as detailed by Ryan Lillis and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee. Officials with the Kings, the city, building trades unions and Turner Construction are prepared to announce the agreement later today, according to the Bee report.
- Channing Frye tells Kris Habbas of Bright Side of the Sun that after missing last season with a heart condition, he has been cleared by "numerous doctors" and that a decision on when he'll return to the court is in the Suns' hands.
- The Suns made the right move to cut ties with Michael Beasley, and it would still have been prudent even if Beasley hadn't agreed to reduce his salary in the buyout, the Arizona Republic's Bob Young opines. Meanwhile, Tom Ziller of SBNation.com argues that Beasley is an example of why incentive-based deals should be more common in the NBA.
- Last night, we looked at a few updates relating to the Lakers and Clippers.
The Clippers signed Antawn Jamison earlier this week, and Jamison conducted a radio interview with ESPN 710 in Los Angeles on Friday, transcribed and given context by ESPN Los Angeles scribe Ramona Shelburne this morning.
In the interview Jamison spoke about last season under the microscope with the star-studded Lakers, applauded the competitive drive of Kobe Bryant, and discussed his sometimes strained relationship with coach Mike D'Antoni, who removed Jamison from the rotation late in the year. Said Jamison of Bryant:
"I would never count Kobe Bryant out of anything. I've played with some special players. Gilbert Arenas when he was [in Washington D.C], at the top of his game, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal [in Cleveland]. I've played with a lot but never played with an individual player who had the type of mindset, the drive that he has. If [Bryant] says he's going to win a sixth ring, believe me, he's going to do everything possible to get that ring."
Jamison also said there was little communication or rapport between the players and D'Antoni after Mike Brown was fired five games into the season.
"Mike was pretty much put in a difficult situation. There was no training camp where he could get a feel for guys. There was a breakdown of communication when we first got there. And throughout the season it was kind of up and down."
Here's more from around the Western Conference, including a possible D-League addition to the Lakers next season…
- The Los Angeles Times' Eric Pincus shares the offseason workout video (via Ryan Ellerbusch of Maximum Exposure) of Lakers summer league standout forward Marcus Landry.
- Landry – younger brother of Carl Landry – averaged 15.2 PPG in 5 games this summer and in February was named to the Futures All-Star roster for the 2013 D-League All-Star Game.
- Pincus adds that the Lakers are planning to bring 16-20 players to training camp despite having just 12 players under contract. They're expected to sign second round pick Ryan Kelly.
- Sam Tongue of Blazers Edge wonders whether Blazers President Chris McGowan can enhance fan experience by upgrading their digital properties to "talk with the fans, rather than at them."
- The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn tweets that Suns GM Ryan McDonough says they'll know whether Channing Frye will play in 2013/14 in the next few weeks, but he's "optimistic he'll be able to play."
The Suns completed a pair of transactions yesterday, officially signing fifth overall pick Alex Len, and sending Caron Butler to the Bucks for Ish Smith and Viacheslav Kravtsov. On the heels of those deals, GM Ryan McDonough spoke to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic about the Butler deal, Michael Beasley's future, and a few other Suns-related topics. Let's dive in…
- According to McDonough, the Butler trade had nothing to do with Beasley's situation, despite the fact that the money saved in the deal could make waiving the troubled forward more palatable. The GM expects resolution on Beasley in "the next week or so," and Coro suggests the former second overall pick will likely be released.
- Assuming Channing Frye, who missed last season with heart problems, is able to participate in training camp, the Suns expect to have at least 16 players on guaranteed contracts in camp. "All the results we’ve gotten on Channing are positive," McDonough said. "We’re just waiting for a conclusion."
- Coro also says that second-round pick Alex Oriakhi will be in camp with the team, which is interesting, since the big man signed a professional deal with a French team several weeks ago.
- Smith and Kravtsov are expected to battle for regular-season roster spots, though it might be an uphill battle for Smith, since Phoenix already has several players capable of playing the point, including Goran Dragic, Eric Bledsoe, Kendall Marshall, Malcolm Lee, and even Archie Goodwin.
- Further discussing the Butler trade, McDonough noted that the decision to move the veteran forward was a difficult one. "Caron is a great player," McDonough said. "Our timeline and Caron’s timeline were different at this stage of his career. This was just a unique opportunity because Milwaukee aggressively pursued him."
All eyes are on Greg Oden at this stage of the offseason and David Aldridge of NBA.com (via Twitter) hears that the big man will make his decision either Wednesday or Thursday. The former No. 1 overall pick will choose between the Mavericks, Pelicans, Spurs, Kings, Heat, and Hawks as he looks to mount another comeback. Here's tonight's look around the Associatiion..
- A source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo (via Twitter) that Oden is most intrigued by the Pelicans and Heat.
- While in China fulfulling committments with sponsors, veteran Tracy McGrady said that he is open to returning to the CBA next season, according to a report from China.org.cn.
- Luis Scola's nearly $4.9MM salary for 2014/15 will be partially guaranteed for $940K, rather than non-guaranteed, because he appeared in all 82 games for the Suns this past season, reports Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- In the same piece, Coro passes along Suns GM Ryan McDonough's optimism that Channing Frye will be ready to play in time for the season. Frye missed all of 2012/13 with an enlarged heart.
- Gal Mekel told Kevin Arnovitz of True Hoop TV that he isn't concerned about making the transition from playing in Israel to suiting up for the Mavericks.
- Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer delves into Sixers GM Sam Hinkie's philosophy of acquiring undervalued players with upside.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
It's already been a busy day of news and rumors, and things don't figure to slow down anytime soon. With the draft fast approaching and free agency to follow shortly thereafter, the NBA's roster-movement season is in full swing. As we try not to let anything slip through the cracks, let's round up a few Tuesday odds and ends from around the Association:
- Free-agent-to-be Andrew Bynum has completed rehab on his knee and is set to resume basketball workouts next week, writes Dan Gelston of the Associated Press. Agent David Lee indicated there's "not a concern in the world" that Bynum will be ready for training camp, and said he expects to meet with a couple teams when free agency opens next week.
- While it appeared during the playoffs that Manu Ginobili would consider retiring this offseason, the longtime Spur wrote in Argentinian newspaper La Nacion that he can't imagine not continuing his playing career. Mike Monroe and Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News have the details.
- Asked about the opt-out clauses the Heat's Big Three have in their contracts for 2014, Dwyane Wade echoed LeBron James' comments, indicating that it wasn't something he'd seriously considered or discussed yet (link via Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald).
- Dave Joerger's contract as head coach of the Grizzlies will have at least three guaranteed years, and could end up being for four years, tweets Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
- If Channing Frye were unable to play for the Suns again next season after missing last year due to a heart condition, the team would receive salary-cap relief, but Frye tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that he's "extremely hopeful and optimistic" about his future and plans to return to action in 2013/14.
- In his latest mailbag for the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Ira Winderman addresses the possibility of Ray Allen opting out and the Heat signing Greg Oden.
- Pelicans GM Dell Demps has met with draft prospects Ben McLemore, Anthony Bennett, and Victor Oladipo, Demps confirmed today to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
- Glen Rice Jr., who is working out for the Bucks for a second time, and Allen Crabbe headline Milwaukee's list of workout participants today (Twitter links via the team's official PR account).
- Agent Marc Cornstein spoke to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News about Metta World Peace's decision to opt in for 2013/14.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld says that last week's quiet deadline could lead to a noisy offseason this year, with quite a handful of those who were rumored to be moved set to hit free agency. Kennedy provides a list of this summer's top 20 free agents along with a primer of each player's situation to boot. One interesting situation involves Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin, who has already been given the impression that the Thunder would like to keep him for the long-term. However, Kennedy opines that a strong post-season could increase the shooting guard's stock to the point where Oklahoma City may have to let him go – as they did with James Harden – if his price tag becomes too high. Here are a few more tidbits we've gathered up from the NBA this evening:
- The Pistons figure to have the task of re-signing Jose Calderon as one of their top priorities this summer, writes David Mayo of MLive.com. However, Mayo thinks that the team's lack of practice time has hindered Calderon's efforts in trying to become acclimated in Detroit.
- Channing Frye discusses the mental toughness he's developed as he continues to sit out from a heart ailment that caused him to miss the season (Stefan Swiat of Suns.com).
- While the Lakers' regular season has been disappointing so far to say the least, Steve Nash tells Sam Amick of USA Today that if given the opportunity to revisit last year's offseason: "Ten out of ten times, I make the same decision again." Nash's agent, Bill Duffy, thinks that the point guard would have considered retirement if they were unable to get a deal to Los Angeles done.
- Don't expect anyone from the Magic roster to shake free anytime soon, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter) says that the team isn't planning to buy out or waive anyone before the March 1st buyout deadline.
- Newly acquired Tobias Harris offered his thoughts on being traded to the Magic and the opportunity that lies ahead for him on a young team looking to build for the future (Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld reports).
- Current ESPN analyst and former NBA head coach Flip Saunders remains open to coaching again, whether it be in the NBA or the college ranks, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune: "I'm keeping my options open…If the right situation comes along? I'll evaluate that. I want to be able to build something, want to go to a place where something can be accomplished.''
- D-League standout Henry Sims of the Erie Bayhawks could be given a chance to join the Knicks depending on how Kenyon Martin fares during his 10-day contract, notes ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling. One NBA scout thinks that Sims has played well enough to be on an NBA roster next season at the very least.
Whether or not the Lakers have what it takes to come close to fulfilling their promise this season, they've already outstripped all expectations for drama. Tonight was no exception, as they bounced back from last night's blowout loss, erasing a 20-point deficit in Charlotte to defeat the Bobcats. The win assures they'll finish better than .500 on their seven-game road trip, which finishes up Sunday with a visit to the defending champion Heat. We've got more on the Lakers and their Pacific brethren right here: