Craig Smith Rumors
March 14 at 10:06pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Spurs topped the Mavericks tonight for their 50th win of the season, extending their string of 50-win seasons to a league-high 14. The Mavs, who had an 11-year stretch of 50-win seasons snapped in 2011/12, are merely fighting for their playoff lives this time around. Tonight's loss leaves them three games out of the eighth spot in the West. There's plenty more going on around the West this evening, and we've got the latest here:
- Along with his leaguewide roundup, Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld shares a video interview with Tony Allen, who points to the Grizzlies' run to the conference semifinals in 2011 as justification for the Rudy Gay trade. Gay missed the playoffs that year with an injured shoulder. "Well, I just think we turned into the team we were two years ago, without the guy we traded," Allen said.
- Big man Chris Johnson's deal with the Wolves includes a non-guaranteed season next year, and coach Rick Adelman is calling for the wiry Johnson to improve his strength going into 2013/14, observes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- Craig Smith, who spent last year with the Blazers, is headed back to the States after his Israeli team cut him loose following a clash with the club's coach, reports Sportando contributor David Pick (Twitter links).
- A pair of Sacramento-area attorneys are threatening to petition the city to hold a referendum on whether to provide an expected $250MM in public funding for a new Kings arena, as Tony Bizjak, Dale Kasler and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee report. Such a petition would require 20,000 signatures, according to estimates by city officials.
- Neither Patrick Patterson nor Cole Aldrich has seen extensive playing time since coming to the Kings at the trade deadline, but they've made positive impressions in their brief stints, as Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee details in a pair of stories.
August 14 at 10:28pm CST By Alex Lee
To get an idea of the size and signficance of last week's blockbuster, consider the notion that Andre Iguodala heading to the Nuggets was probably the least publicized leg of the deal. Iguodala was not only an All-Star last season, but he was one of 12 members of a Team USA that has been fawned over by sports fans around the globe for the past month. According to Aaron Lopez of Nuggets.com, some of Iguodala's post-trade quotes were misconstrued and the veteran wing is, in fact, very excited to join what should be an ultra-athletic team in Denver. Let's round up some of the other links and happenings from around the Association on this Tuesday night:
- New Celtics sixth man Jason Terry spoke with Molly McGrath from Celtics.com and stated Boston's case for legitimate title contention in the 2012-13 season. Greg Payne from ESPN Boston transcribed the interview.
- Mark Medina from the L.A. Times spoke with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who sees a lot of similarities between his situation with the Lakers in 1975 and the one Dwight Howard is about to enter.
- Power forward Craig Smith, who saw less than 10 minutes per game with the Blazers last year, explained to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com why he passed up NBA offers to play in Israel in the upcoming season. Smith was tired of being an NBA "roster filler" and was willing to take less money for an opportunity to show what he can do with consistent playing time.
- The Magic have hired Brett Gunning as an assistant coach, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Gunning, who spent the last four seasons in various roles in the Rockets organization, will join first-time head coach Jacque Vaughn on the Orlando bench.
- According to UNLV head coach Dave Rice, Rebels swingman Mike Moser is preparing for what will likely be his last season in Las Vegas, reports Mike Youmans at the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Moser is a rising junior, but Rice says he essentially considers him a senior. Moser averaged 14 points and more than 10 rebounds as a sophomore last season for the Rebels and briefly flirted with the 2012 draft. He projects as a late first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
- Tom Moore of Phillyburbs.com writes that the Sixers, a franchise that has historically gotten burned in trades involving superstars, finally got the best player in a mega-deal in Andrew Bynum. Moore is only referring to what the team directly gave up and received, which eliminates Dwight Howard from consideration.
August 11 at 12:32pm CST By Michael Pina
Craig Smith has signed with Hapoel Jersualem of the Israeli league, according to Sportando.net. The power forward spent last season with the Trail Blazers, where he averaged 3.3 PPG in 47 appearances, a career low.
In late July, it was reported that Smith was in dicussion with the Pacers on coming to Indiana, but it appears their likely one-year, veteran's minimum offer was less than he can make playing overseas. the 6'7" Boston College graduate has proven to be a useful contributor in the past, posting a .556 FG% and 16.4 PER in 356 games from 2006/07 to 2010/11.
July 31 at 1:08pm CST By Luke Adams
In a search of a new contract, unrestricted free agent Craig Smith has engaged in preliminary talks with the Pacers about signing in Indiana, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (via Twitter). Nothing is imminent at this point, says Haynes.
Smith, 28, has played for the Timberwolves, Clippers, and Trail Blazers in his six-year NBA career, and is coming off a one-year, minimum-salary deal in Portland. If he were to sign with the Pacers, or any other club, he'd likely be in line for a similar contract -- given his six years of experience, his minimum salary for 2012/13 would be $1,069,509.
In 47 contests with the Blazers, Smith set career-lows in PPG (3.3), RPG (2.3), FG% (.504), and PER (13.6). However, the 6'7" forward has proven to be a useful part-time contributor in the past, posting a .556 FG% and 16.4 PER in 356 games from 2006/07 to 2010/11.
July 11 at 9:57pm CST By Luke Adams
The July moratorium came to an end late last night, and a number of teams didn't waste any time in finalizing moves. The Lakers' acquisition of Steve Nash was the first transaction to become official, followed closely by the Knicks' signing of J.R. Smith, Deron Williams' contract with the Nets, and Blake Griffin's five-year extension with the Clippers. We're expecting more deals to be formally announced today, but there are plenty of free agents still on the market too. We'll be tracking the latest news on those guys right here, with the newest items added to the top of the page throughout the day....
- Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group reports (via Sulia) that the Warriors have expressed interest in C.J. Watson, who is expected to become an unrestricted free agent soon. However, some members of the Warriors' organization, including coach Mark Jackson, prefer Nate Robinson to Watson (Twitter link).
- The Knicks have some interest in Maurice Evans, who is willing to sign for the veteran's minimum, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Evans has also drawn interest from the Wizards, but would like to join a team that "has a chance to do something special," says Begley.
- After tweeting earlier that the Knicks would likely make an offer to Spanish League point guard Pablo Prigioni today, Marc Berman of the New York Post passes along a report out of Argentina indicating that Prigioni plans to accept it (Twitter link).
- The Pacers will sign Roy Hibbert outright rather than matching an offer sheet from the Blazers, tweets Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. That way the Pacers can control the timing of the move, and the Blazers won't have to tie up their cap for three days.
- On the other hand, the Suns will go through with their plan to sign Eric Gordon to an offer sheet, even though the Hornets will almost certainly match it, tweets Berger.
- The Clippers are eyeing free agent shooter Marco Belinelli, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Los Angeles has committed its mid-level exception to Jamal Crawford, but could sign Belinelli using the bi-annual exception or explore a sign-and-trade deal. Shelburne suggests that the Clips and Hornets have discussed a sign-and-trade that would send Ryan Gomes and a draft pick to New Orleans for Belinelli.
- Michael Redd continues to draw interest from the Suns and Bulls, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link). The interest from those clubs should only grow if they don't lock up Eric Gordon and Kyle Korver, respectively.
April 19 at 12:01pm CST By Luke Adams
Although we've covered a number of reports about Jamal Crawford's potential free agency over the last week or so, Crawford is far from the only Trail Blazer with an uncertain contract situation heading into the summer. Nicolas Batum and Craig Smith are among the other Blazers facing free agency - restricted for Batum and unrestricted for Smith - and both players spoke to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com about their options.
"We'll see what happens in July," Batum said after the Blazers' final home game of the season last night. "That may be my last game in the Rose Garden. I don't really want to think about it."
Batum went on to call Portland "special" and said that he expected to be a Blazer next year unless a better situation came along. Of course, as a restricted free agent, Batum can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the Blazers will have the option and the means to match it.
Smith, meanwhile, expressed frustration with his role in Portland. Although he performed well with increased minutes in January, Smith hasn't seen much action in recent weeks, playing in just four games since March 22nd.
"Yeah, it's frustrating. It's real frustrating just to see it unfold how it did," Smith said. "I don't think I got a fair shot. To see the situation end how it did, it's tough."
While Smith said that he'd love to return to the Blazers, he stressed that when he fields offers in free agency this summer, he'll seek a team that is honest with him and can assign him a specified role.