Courtney Lee Rumors
May 7 at 9:32pm CST By Alex Lee
The Knicks have evened their conference semifinal against the Pacers at one. While the Grizzlies try to do the same, here are some news and notes from around the league:
- ESPN Boston's Chris Forberg examines the chances that Courtney Lee will stick in Boston as the Celtics head into their offseason. After being traded three of the last four summers, Lee struggled to carve out a role in his first year as a Celtic despite being given every chance to do so. Lee is under contract and the Celts coveted him a year ago, so it would make sense if they gave him another year to assimilate.
- Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com has a litany of Sixers coaching updates in his latest story. According to Moore, the team won't interview Michael Malone or Jeff Hornacek until next week at the earliest. Moore reiterates the team's interst in Brian Shaw and Michael Curry, while also adding a new name, Quin Snyder, to the coaching mix in Philadelphia. Snyder coached on Doug Collins' staff in Philly during the 2010-11 season and was mentioned earlier tonight as a possible fit in Atlanta.
- While Steve Blake is one of four Lakers to be amnesty eligible, his strong play this season as a role player makes it unlikely that he will be the one to go, writes Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times. Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and Pau Gasol are his other three amnesty eligible teammates.
- Alex Len and his agent, Michael Lelchitski, contemplated delaying last week's ankle surgery until after pre-draft workouts in an attempt to move into the conversation for the No. 1 pick, writes RealGM's Shams Charania. “If he had a chance to work out, I truly believe he could have moved up and gone No. 1,” Lelchitski said of the Maryland center. While it was clearly the right decision, Len's injury will certainly affect his draft stock, as it will sideline him for anywhere from four to six months.
- In an Insider-only blog, ESPN's Fran Fraschilla breaks down five underrated draft prospects he believes will rise up boards as team's get a better look at them in the coming weeks. Among them, Frachilla lists Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, Cal's Allen Crabbe, Brazil's Lucas Nogueira, NC State's Lorenzo Brown and Baylor's Pierre Jackson.
March 23 at 8:41pm CST By Ryan Raroque
There aren't very many games left in the regular season, and the playoff picture in both conferences could look drastically different by mid-April with plenty of teams close together in the standings as of today. While it's not usual for us to focus on injuries, we have a few significant notes worth mentioning tonight:
- Pistons rookie big man Andre Drummond could be close to returning after a 21-game absence, says David Mayo of MLive. Although the Pistons aren't in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, a few more regular season games couldn't hurt the former UConn product's development if healthy.
- Clippers guard Chauncey Billups is still day-to-day with a groin strain but could return on Tuesday against the Mavericks, writes Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles.
- Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times tweets that Lakers forward Antawn Jamison has ligament damage in his right wrist. Although he'll try to play through it, Jamison probably faces surgery in the offseason.
- According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports (via Twitter), the Grizzlies have announced that center Marc Gasol will be out indefinitely after re-aggravating an abdominal tear last night against the Hornets. Though they are ahead of the sixth place Warriors by a comfortable margin in the standings, Memphis is separated from the third place Nuggets by one game and the fourth place Clippers by just half a game.
- Joakim Noah will sit both of the Bulls' games this weekend as he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, says Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago. The team is currently one game behind the fifth-place Hawks and a half game ahead of the Celtics.
- Greg Payne of ESPN Boston says that both Courtney Lee and Kevin Garnett are individually recovering from sprained left ankles. There doesn't appear to be a sense that those injuries are expected to keep either out for an extended period of time, but with just 14 games left and Boston currently on a three-game slide, missing two key rotation players can't necessarily help.
- Knicks center Tyson Chandler has already missed six straight games due to a neck strain, and is still considered day-to-day (Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York reports). New York still remains atop the Atlantic Division, and while they are only one game behind the Pacers for second place in the East, the fourth place Nets aren't too far behind in their rear view mirror (1.5 games).
February 20 at 10:59am CST By Luke Adams
Here's the latest on the Timberwolves from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities....
- General manager David Kahn isn't convinced he'll be able to make a deal by tomorrow's deadline, but it won't be from lack of trying, says Wolfson. The T-Wolves have made Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea, Derrick Williams, and Brandon Roy available as they explore trade options.
- The Wolves have received more calls about Andrei Kirilenko than anyone else, but the club won't move the Russian forward, barring a "too-good-to-be-true offer."
- Minnesota's top priority is a wing player with size. The team reached out to the Mavericks about O.J. Mayo, but was rebuffed, according to Wolfson.
- The Wolves like Timofey Mozgov and view him as a good value in free agency this summer, but are unlikely to reach a compromise on a trade with the Nuggets.
- To acquire J.J. Redick or Avery Bradley, the Wolves would have to give up Williams and a first-round pick, according to Wolfson. That's not happening for Bradley and is very unlikely for Redick.
- Rick Adelman and the Wolves like Courtney Lee and are keeping an eye on him, but they didn't want to offer four years in free agency last summer, so the contract could bother them.
- Adelman told season ticket holders that the Wolves' goal is to re-sign Nikola Pekovic this summer. However, some team sources aren't sure Pekovic is worth $11MM annually, and question his ability to stay healthy, says Wolfson.
February 19 at 10:04am CST By Luke Adams
After ACL surgery ended Rajon Rondo's season, Celtics president Danny Ainge insisted that he wanted to see how his team responded before deciding what sort of roster moves to consider. The Celtics have been on a tear since then, but Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa have also seen their seasons end prematurely due to injuries, leaving the team with a dearth of healthy bodies. While we wait to see wait Ainge and the C's have up their sleeves before Thursday, here are the latest rumblings from out of Boston:
- Marc Stein of ESPN.com isn't convinced that Kevin Garnett could be persuaded to waive his no-trade clause, even if it meant joining a team like the Clippers. According to Stein, ESPN.com's Chris Broussard reported last night on SportsCenter that Chauncey Billups believes his friend's position on not waiving his no-trade clause is firm.
- Even if Garnett were to agree to a deal, the Clippers aren't willing to include both Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan in their proposal, according to Stein. The ESPN.com scribe cautions that it could be posturing on the Clippers' part, but one source says the Clippers feel like that's too much to give up for a 36-year-old who may not play much longer.
- Outside of weighing possible deals involving Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Celtics have also explored possibilities that include Brandon Bass, Courtney Lee, Fab Melo, and Avery Bradley, but have only received lukewarm interest, according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. I imagine plenty of teams would like to get their hands on Bradley, but perhaps the Celtics' asking price is exorbitant.
- One opposing executive on the Celtics, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: "[They] are one of the more active teams out there talking, but they really
don’t have a lot of great options. They don’t have a lot to trade."
- Bulpett reports that the Clippers have yet to make a formal offer for Garnett. He also adds that Ainge doesn't feel any pressure to do anything more drastic than to add a player or two. "I love how hard our guys play and compete," Ainge said. "They do need some support
with some extra bodies for the rest of the year. I definitely need to do
that, to add some players to our roster. But that’s all that we need to
February 8 at 8:40am CST By Luke Adams
After participating in the NBA's first two trades of 2013, the Grizzlies aren't necessarily done dealing, according to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (via Sulia). But Bucher says that the team is now far enough below the luxury-tax threshold that it's open to adding players rather than shedding more salary.
According to Bucher, the Grizzlies discussed the possibility of acquiring Courtney Lee using a traded player exception. The largest of Memphis' seven TPEs is worth about $7.49MM, so Lee's $5MM salary could comfortably fit in that exception with no danger of the team approaching the tax again. However, Bucher adds that the Celtics aren't currently interested in simply shedding salary themselves, and would prefer to add a big man -- that's something the Grizzlies likely can't afford to give up, since coach Lionel Hollins has already griped about the team's lack of frontcourt depth.
Given the Grizzlies' aversion to adding big long-term money to their books, the club could end up targeting a perimeter player on a shorter deal than Lee, who is under contract for another three years and $16.35MM after this season.
February 2 at 8:53am CST By Sean Highkin
ESPN.com's Marc Stein has posted his latest Weekend Dime column, featuring updates on several prominent players whose names have been featured in trade rumors ahead of the February 21 deadline. Here are the highlights of Stein's report:
- Stein doesn't believe the Lakers will trade Pau Gasol before the deadline, although the Raptors are making a push to acquire him with a package built around Andrea Bargnani.
- Although the Clippers have shown no indication of wanting to trade Eric Bledsoe, a swap of the third-year guard to the Celtics for Paul Pierce could make the most sense for both sides, Stein writes.
- Celtics GM Danny Ainge recognizes that Pierce and Kevin Garnett don't have the value that would likely make it worth trading then, so he may instead look to move Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, or Jeff Green to get the team under the luxury tax threshold.
- The Hawks have been gauging trade interest in Josh Smith, Stein reports. Although they are very open to moving the forward, there is hesitance because other teams don't want to risk him walking in free agency and Atlanta doesn't want to take on long-term salary.
- Executives around the league don't expect the Jazz to trade Al Jefferson, saying they will either move Paul Millsap instead or stand pat.
- Given their ownership situation, the Kings will likely not make any moves before the deadline. There has been interest in Tyreke Evans, although DeMarcus Cousins remains untouchable.
- The Trail Blazers are not looking to make any moves that will help them in the short term, preferring to preserve their flexibility.
- Teams expect the Magic to trade J.J. Redick, but executives tell Stein that GM Rob Hennigan is asking for young talent or draft picks for the veteran sharpshooter.
January 22 at 12:43pm CST By Luke Adams
In 2011/12, the Celtics were up and down over those first two months, compiling a 16-17 record in the first half of the lockout-shortened schedule. For the rest of the season, Boston went 23-10, locking up another Atlantic Division title. A year later, the Celtics are approaching the midway point with a mediocre 20-20 record, but if their track record is any indication, it's not time to panic yet. Here's the latest out of Boston:
- While the Celtics are always aggressive about pursuing possible deals, it's not likely they consider moving Paul Pierce unless they get an All-Star-caliber player in return, says Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.
- When discussing trades with the C's, most teams are looking at guys like Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Bass, according to Kyler. However, none of those players is an attractive enough trade chip to bring back a significant return.
- Celtics president Danny Ainge tells Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald that he's not expecting to make a big splash before the deadline: "Realistically, I don’t see major changes coming. Of course we’re trying to get
better, and any deal that was available that could help us, you
obviously do that. But we’re not just trying to make any deal. We’re not
selling the team off or anything like that. We’re trying to win with
what we have right now. That’s got to be our first objective."
January 6 at 10:35pm CST By Ryan Raroque
10:35pm: Sam Amick of USA Today says that "Cousins is not going to the Celtics" and that teams who have been asking about his availability continue to being rebuffed (Twitter link).
7:08pm: Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter) says that while nothing is imminent, Boston is one team to keep an eye on around the trade deadline.
6:51pm: Blakely writes that although it's unlikely that Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, or Paul Pierce will be moved, there has been "growing" interest in Courtney Lee, who may be expendable with the return of Avery Bradley to the Celtics' lineup. Blakely also mentions forward Brandon Bass as another player who could possibly be on the move.
6:45pm: A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com tweets that the decision to waive Joseph and Varnardo may have opened the door to what could be a blockbuster deal, according to a league source. One name that has repeatedly been mentioned in speculative trade talk has been Kings' center DeMarcus Cousins (Twitter link).
5:10pm: While rounding up today's list of waived players, ESPN's Marc Stein also tweeted that forward Kris Joseph and center Jarvis Varnado had both been waived by the Celtics today.
The 6'7 Joseph had been selected by Boston as the 51st pick of the 2012 NBA Draft, appearing in six games this season and averaging 1.2 PPG in 4.0 MPG. Varnado had only played in five games, averaging 1.2 PPG in 3.6 MPG.
With the roster now at 13, ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg speculates that the Celtics could target a veteran big man and a backup ball-handling guard to fill the two newly created roster spots. Forsberg also mentions that those potential moves could depend on the big man's asking price.
January 4 at 9:43pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Pacers fell out of sole possession of first place in the Central Division tonight following their loss to the Celtics and the Bulls' win over the Heat. We rounded up the latest out of Chicago earlier this evening, and now we'll do so with the other team atop the Central, courtesy Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star.
- Sam Young suffered a sprained ankle in practice yesterday that could cost him his job. The 6'6" swingman's minimum-salary contract is guaranteed for $25K, and it will become fully guaranteed if he doesn't clear waivers before Thursday. As Wells notes, the Pacers would have to waive him by Monday to avoid the full season tab, and they'll consider doing just that over the weekend when they receive further information on Young's injury. The prognosis at this point has Young missing two weeks.
- Courtney Lee, who signed a four-year, $21.35MM deal with the Celtics last summer, gave thought to signing with the Pacers instead, since he's an Indianapolis native and friends with George Hill. When the Pacers signed D.J. Augustin and Gerald Green, though, Lee knew it probably squeezed him out, and as Wells writes, Indiana was turned off by his agent's asking price. "It just didn't pan out right," the shooting guard said. "I was kind of laid-back with that situation. I wasn't really too much into it. I was trying to relax and take my mind off free agency as much as possible and have my agent handle things."
- Orlando Johnson, recalled today from the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, was supposed to have a longer stint in the D-League, but Young's injury forced the team to bring him back early to provide depth for the big club.
December 15 at 10:04pm CST By Michael Pina
After hitting a game-winning shot against Detroit, Joe Johnson is beginning to find his rhythm in Brooklyn, according to Newsday's Roderick Boone.