Chris Paul Rumors
May 11 at 3:47pm CST By Chuck Myron
Metta World Peace hasn't offered any public hints about whether he plans to exercise his early-termination option for next season, but Salary Cap FAQ author Larry Coon hears he intends to play out his contract with the Lakers. World Peace is due $7,727,280 in the final season of his five-year deal, and Coon would be "shocked" if he turned that down.
The news isn't unexpected, since World Peace might have trouble making half as much next season if he were to hit the open market. He could probably wrangle more guaranteed money as part of a long-term deal, but at 33 years old, few teams would be willing to give him a contract that stretched out for too long.
World Peace has shown durability and, this year, a remarkable capacity to recover from a late-season knee injury, but his on-court efficiency hasn't been the same since he signed with the Lakers four years ago. His career PER had been 16.5 during his first 10 seasons in the league, but his PER with L.A. is just 11.8. His number this year was slightly higher, at 12.5, as World Peace was tasked with more minutes and shots amid an injury-hit season for his Lakers teammates.
In his blog post, Coon counts World Peace among the Lakers' commitments for next season and ponders whether the team could sign both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, as Grantland's Bill Simmons suggested. Such a move would require the team to amnesty Kobe Bryant and trade Pau Gasol to the Rockets, and there's no reasonable scenario that would allow the Lakers to offer max contracts to both Howard and Paul, as Coon deduces.
May 11 at 2:45pm CST By Chuck Myron
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News doesn't hide his distaste for advanced metrics in his latest dispatch, and he thinks the Nets should wait to hire a new coach until the Grizzlies make their decision on Lionel Hollins official. If Memphis management determines Hollins, whose contract is up at season's end, doesn't fit with the team's new emphasis on statistics, the Nets should pounce on the coaching free agent, Lawrence writes. Given that Hollins said yesterday that the Grizzlies want him back, however, I'd be surprised if he's changing addresses this summer. Here's more from Lawrence on the Grizzlies and the rest of the NBA:
- Chris Paul prefers to re-sign with the Clippers this summer, but he wants them to hire an African American as coach, Lawrence hears, suggesting Nate McMillan for the job that Vinny Del Negro still holds.
- If Rick Adelman steps down as Timberwolves coach, newly installed president of basketball operations Flip Saunders would come down to the bench to replace him.
- Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer probably won't be taking another team's head coaching job this summer because San Antonio has already anointed him as Gregg Popovich's successor, according to Lawrence. When Tim Duncan retires, Popovich will, too, leaving the coaching duties to Budenholzer.
- There are members of the Grizzlies organization who still aren't sold on the Rudy Gay deal, and they believe the team would have more easily overcome the Clippers in the first round if Gay were still in Memphis.
May 10 at 9:51pm CST By Chuck Myron
According to Grantland's Bill Simmons, who finishes off his three-part trade value column, there's "increasing buzz" that the Lakers would amnesty Kobe Bryant if they were guaranteed to sign both Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. That appears a longshot on multiple counts, since the Clippers seem all but assured of re-signing Paul, while the Lakers have insisted they're not considering the amnesty move on Kobe. Even if the Lakers take Kobe's $30MM+ salary for next season off their books, it would still be difficult for the team to fit a max contract for Paul under the cap. Regardless, the offseason figures to be full of intrigue in L.A., as always. Here's the latest from the City of Angels and other Western Conference locales:
- HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram identifies the five teams most likely to lure Josh Smith away from the Hawks, with the Mavericks at the top of the list. If the Hawks want to pursue a sign-and-trade, however, that would probably eliminate Dallas from the equation, Ingram figures.
- In the same NBA PM piece, Ingram points to recent comments from GM Donnie Nelson and sizes up the Mavs' chances of landing Paul.
- George Karl tells Marcos Pineiro of Marca.com that he's had conversations about someday coaching in Europe, since doing so may give him the opportunity to coach with his son, Coby Karl (translation via HoopsHype).
- Charley Rosen of HoopsHype identifies the ideal coaching fit for each of the six teams with a current opening. Rosen, a longtime confidant of Pistons adviser Phil Jackson, wouldn't be surprised to see Brian Shaw wind up in Detroit, even though Rosen believes Stan Van Gundy is best suited for that job.
- Los Angeles is a destination for many, but the idea of coaching either the Clippers or Lakers doesn't appeal to Van Gundy, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler hears (Twitter link).
- The Jazz will host six second-round draft prospects for workouts tomorrow, as Jody Genessy of The Deseret News details.
May 9 at 10:13pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Not long after being officially introduced as the Suns' new general manager, Ryan McDonough addressed the topic of his head coaching search, saying that several people on his list of ideal candidates for the job have matched up with the list that had been in place before he was hired, adding that Lindsey Hunter still remains as "one of the top guys" (Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic via USA Today). McDonough also underscored the draft as a franchise's "lifeblood" for "sustainable success" and was complimentary of some of the current players on the roster. Here's more out of the Western Conference tonight:
- Both Kevin Sherrington and David Moore of SportsDayDFW put themselves in Mark Cuban's shoes and give their theoretical free agent pitches to Chris Paul. Sherrington points to the differences in the Clippers' and Mavericks' ownership, while Moore emphasizes the opportunity to play with a shooter like Dirk Nowitzki and for a proven coach in Rick Carlisle.
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW has his doubts about the Mavericks keeping Brandan Wright, noting that coach Rick Carlisle had issues with Wright's rebounding and inconsistency. With only six players under contract for next season as of right now, Cowlishaw expects the makeup of the team to be drastically different.
- Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News makes the argument that the Warriors are a much more dangerous team now than they would have been with a healthy David Lee.
- Lee told CSN Bay Area's Ric Bucher that he plans to return to action again this postseason and hasn't ruled out the possibility of getting surgery to repair his torn right hip flexor once the season is over (Sulia link).
- Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com describes Masai Ujiri's journey toward becoming one of the league's top executives after humble beginnings ten years ago.
May 7 at 11:50am CST By Luke Adams
The latest piece from Marc Stein at ESPN.com includes word that Dwight Howard remains more likely than Chris Paul to leave Los Angeles this summer. One source predicted to Stein that there's "zero chance" Paul signs with any team besides the Clippers. However, while Paul looks like a strong bet to return to L.A., the same can't be said for his head coach. Here are the latest rumblings on Vinny Del Negro and the rest of the NBA's coaching carousel:
- Stein refers to Del Negro's dismissal as seemingly "inevitable" and suggests that the Clippers want to go "big" with their next hire. Stan Van Gundy is one name likely to surface, according to Stein.
- If Del Negro is let go, Michael Malone, Alvin Gentry, and Byron Scott also figure to be a few top candidates for the position, according to Mark Heisler of HoopsHype.com. Stein endorses that list of contenders, particularly if the team's interest in Van Gundy doesn't go anywhere.
- Kelvin Sampson is the Rockets assistant frequently mentioned as a head coach candidate, but J.B. Bickerstaff is also on the Pistons' list, says Stein.
- Sampson and Mike Dunleavy aren't currently being considered for the Nets' opening, reports Stein.
- Assuming Larry Drew is done in Atlanta, Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer and former Lakers assistant Quin Snyder are expected to be among the Hawks' targets, says Stein.
- Coaching candidate Brian Shaw has yet to be contacted about job openings, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter). I'd assume the Pacers will give Shaw permission to interview for coaching jobs once Indiana is out of the playoffs.
- Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com surveyed leagues execs, players, and team personnel on who would make a good first-time NBA coach, and Heat assistant David Fizdale, Grizzlies assistant David Joerger, and Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg were among the top selections.
May 4 at 10:31pm CST By Ryan Raroque
In a video interview, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune says that he isn't exactly sure what the hiring of Flip Saunders means for Rick Adelman. Zgoda also mentions that Saunders' offseason goal is to add perimeter shooters and "balance the roster," which he interprets to mean that the Timberwolves will try to land a shooting guard with good size and see what they can get for Derrick Williams. You can find more notes out of the Western Conference tonight below:
May 4 at 6:31pm CST By Ryan Raroque
The winds of change appear to be traveling in the direction of Los Angeles this summer, especially after the conclusion of a disappointing injury-riddled season for the Lakers and a first-round playoff collapse by the Clippers. Both teams will certainly have significant decisions to make this summer as they look to regroup and come back strong in 2013-14, and coincidentally, it starts with determining the futures of their respective franchise players. We've got a few rumblings to share from each camp as we inch closer to the NBA offseason:
- When asked if Dwight Howard might try to force Mike D'Antoni out of Los Angeles, Steve Kyler of Hoopsworld (via Twitter) says that the soon-to-be free agent doesn't want to be involved in dictating the job security of the Lakers' coach. As for the player option of Jodie Meeks and the possibility of re-signing Earl Clark, Kyler points to the priority of determining Howard's future before taking care of anything else.
- Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles hears that Chauncey Billups would like to return to the Clippers next season, adding that he's feeling as good as he's felt in two years: "I would love to be back here and continue to help in this process...I feel like we are getting closer. I definitely want to be a part of it and I'll be able to show everybody who I've always been with a summer of getting myself together, so hopefully it works out like that."
- Billups also says that his goal is to play two more seasons and briefly touched upon his desire to be invovled in an NBA front office instead of coaching once his playing career is over.
- Though there were hints about Grant Hill's plans to retire after this season, Markazi writes that Hill could come back for another year if he feels healthy enough. Hill is currently under contract for about $2MM for 2013-14.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that there's no truth to the rumor which suggests that Chris Paul will be leaving his agent Leon Rose for Rich Paul, who currently represents LeBron James and Clippers teammate Eric Bledsoe among others.
May 4 at 6:20pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Earlier today, Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times noted that Chris Paul is currently unsure about his future, especially after the 27-year-old guard told the media: "I don't know how this whole thing's going to play out" (Twitter link). Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles expounded further on Paul's comments about his impending free agency, prefacing with a reminder that the superstar point guard passed on a three-year, $60MM contract extension last season but will be eligible for a five-year, $107MM pact this summer.
"All season long, it's something that I said I would address after the season and I really didn't think about it all during the season...The season's not even 24 hours from being over, so I really haven't thought about it. The craziest thing is that this season is over. I still haven't got that wrapped around my brain."
Markazi writes that Blake Griffin, along with other Clippers players, plan to talk to Paul about re-signing with the team. For what it's worth, he also mentions that impending free agent Matt Barnes had hinted about Paul trying to recruit him for next season, though Markazi also notes that Paul might not have been necessarily recruiting to stay in Los Angeles:
"Chris and I have already been talking about it...We talked about it on the plan last night. He's obviously the franchise player but we also talked about what I was thinking about doing. Without giving anything away, he was doing his job (in recruiting me)."
With a disappointing end to the season still fresh in his mind, the six-time All-Star further maintained that he'll need time to reflect on his situation and is in no rush to determine what lies ahead:
"I don't know. This right here was unacceptable...We lost in the first round to a good Memphis team but a team we were capable of beating. There are no moral victories ... I have nothing to do. This is unreal. We only played two weeks long than everyone else that didn't make the playoffs...I'm going to take my time...I haven't even thought about it...I don't know what to do. I purposely didn't put anything on my calendar because we're supposed to still be playing."
May 4 at 1:38pm CST By Chuck Myron
Last night's loss ushered in an offseason of probable change in Atlanta. Only three Hawks are under fully guaranteed contracts for next season, and the team's long list of free agents includes coach Larry Drew. Speculation that Drew was on his way out of Atlanta began almost as soon as GM Danny Ferry took over the team's front office last summer, but the coach's job appears safe for the moment. The Hawks say they'll hold off on personnel decisions for a few days, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In the meantime, here's the latest from the Highlight Factory:
May 4 at 10:40am CST By Zach Links
The Clippers are going to wait a little while before deciding what to do with coach Vinny Del Negro but its not too early for some to start speculating on possible replacements. Phil Jackson is unlikely for a number of reasons, but Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (on Sulia) has an equally eyebrow-raising idea for L.A.'s other team: Chauncey Billups. One NBA exec suggested that hiring the veteran guard to man the sideline would maximize the club's chances of re-signing star Chris Paul. Bucher doesn't know if Billups is going to retire or is even interested in becoming a coach, but he notes that the consensus around the NBA is that the Clips' early exit is almost certain to cost Del Negro his job. Here's more on the Clippers..
- With about $45MM on the books next year, the Clippers would have to move someone to re-sign Paul and make a run at Dwight Howard, but there's always a way, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Clippers, like everyone else, doubt that Howard would leave money on the table to leave the Lakers, but they can make a nice pitch if he's willing to talk. One way to free up space could be by moving DeAndre Jordan, who has lots of fans in front offices around the league (Twitter links).
- Blake Griffin sounded confident that Paul will re-sign with the club in his post-game comments after last night's loss. "He knows how we've done things, especially the last two years. I think he knows it's a great place to play," said the forward, according to Shelburne (on Twitter).
- While the free agent focus will be on Chris Paul, Matt Barnes is going to get paid this summer as well, notes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter). The veteran capped off his season with a 30 point and 10 rebound performance last night.