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 are a few late night tidbits from Tuesday:
- With both his owner and his general manager strategically intent on making the team worse in the short term, Raptors head coach Dwane Casey‘s career has become a tightrope walk, writes Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun. Casey is in the last year of his deal and is rumored to be on thin ice in Toronto.
- One way the Raptors will get worse is to move point guard Kyle Lowry, who is reportedly on the trade block. Per Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun, Lowry was asked about the rumors after tonight’s loss to San Antonio: “That’s part of the business. I’ve been in trade rumors before. I’m still going to go about my business and I’m going to still play my butt off and try to win games for this team.” (Twitter links)
- While they’re likely interested, the Mavericks probably don’t have what it takes to land Omer Asik from Houston given their current asking price, Mavs play-by-play man Mark Followill said on Tuesday in a chat. Followill also suggested that Trevor Ariza would be an intriguing trade target for Dallas if they’re looking to upgrade their bench.
- Former UConn and Missouri center Alex Oriakhi has been waived by Hapoel Holon of the Israeli league after four games with the club, according to Sportando. Oriakhi, who was drafted 57th by the Suns this summer, was also waived by France’s CSP Limoges last month after he signed there in August.
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News reveals the details behind the Grizzlies‘ bizarre parting with assistant coach Barry Hecker in the middle of last season’s playoffs. Hecker butted heads with former head coach Lionel Hollins as well as Dave Joerger, who was then a fellow assistant, and he alleges that Joerger was after Hollins’ job as early as two years ago. There’s more on the Grizzlies coaching situation among the latest news from the Southwest Division:
- The Grizzlies front office is beginning to wonder if they made the right hire with their decision to promote Joerger, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports notes in his weekly power rankings. Joerger’s job is nonetheless safe, Spears adds.
- An executive tells Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio not to rule out the Celtics and Bucks as possible destinations for Rockets center Omer Asik. Other recent reports have also linked those teams to Asik.
- The Mavericks planned to make Samuel Dalembert their starting center when they signed him to a two-year deal this past offseason, but he’s in danger of falling out of the rotation, observes Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
- The Spurs recalled Aron Baynes and Nando De Colo from the D-League today, the team announced. De Colo had 32 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Baynes put up 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Austin Toros last night, hours after the Spurs sent them down along with Malcolm Thomas.
Beckley Mason of the New York Times examines the chemistry and cohesiveness that have galvanized the Trail Blazers this season, prompting LaMarcus Aldridge to call this the ‘happiest time in his career’: “Guys are playing so (unselfishly) — our team chemistry is unreal right now…Coach Stotts gives us the freedom to play loose and make plays, and guys aren’t abusing it.”
Veteran point guard Earl Watson also weighed in: “Everyone accepts their role, and the roles were never defined. It’s the truth of our team, the DNA of our team. The way we fit together, it’s like the perfect storm, so to speak.”
Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:
When Mark Cuban talks, we all listen. Here’s a look at the latest thoughts from the mind of the league’s most charismatic owner..
- The Mavericks need more from offseason acquisition Samuel Dalembert, Cuban said before last night’s win over the Pelicans, writes ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon. They signed him to a two-year, $7.6MM deal with a partial guarantee for the second season because they needed a big man who could serve as a defensive anchor. It has been said that Dallas’ front office has long coveted the big man as well.
- Cuban said the Mavs have thought about sending center Bernard James down to play for the D-League’s Texas Legends, tweets Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram.
- Cuban pointed out that if the Eastern Conference’s struggles continue, it will mean that better draft picks will be coming to the West, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. “As unbalanced as it seems, it means that worse teams will make the playoffs in the East, which hurts their draft position, which means that better teams in the West will get better players out of the draft since this is a good draft,” Cuban said. “So the law of unintended consequences comes into play. So many teams in the East weren’t really out there to be the best possible. They’ll win games against each other, have better records, get into the playoffs, which means they won’t be in the lottery, so they’ll end up hurting [themselves].”
After receiving eight DNP-Coach’s Decisions this year, Trevor Booker is none too pleased with the Wizards. A source close to the power forward said recently that if the Wizards don’t extend him a qualifying offer and let him become an unrestricted free agent, he would look elsewhere for employment based on how the season has gone, writes Michael Lee of the Washington Post. It’s been a strange quarter-season for Booker, who started the first three games of the season but has seen little burn since. More from around the Association..
- Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com looks at how Kobe Bryant‘s lucrative two-year extension could affect the Heat and Dwyane Wade.
- In today’s column, David Aldridge of NBA.com looks at how Kobe’s deal will affect the Lakers over the next couple of years.
- Dante Exum is a mortal lock to go top five in the 2014 Draft, but he says that he hasn’t decided whether to go pro, writes Joe Pierik of the Sydney Morning Herald. ”To be honest, I haven’t been thinking about it too much,’‘ Exum said. ”I am back home but my mum is still in Singapore, so she is going to head back soon. After that I will make my decision with my whole family. I want to get it done by February. It shouldn’t be too hard [a decision] to make. But I just want to make sure I use my time right so I make the right decision.’‘
- The Bulls might be thinking about rebuilding or retooling in the wake of Derrick Rose‘s injury, but Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com isn’t sure if coach Tom Thibodeau would be on board for that.
- Guard Jose Calderon is going out of his way to assist rookie point guards Gal Mekel and Shane Larkin with their transition to the NBA, writes Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram. While coach Rick Carlisle appreciates Calderon passing along his veteran wisdom, he says he’s more concerned with seeing him back on the hardwood. Calderon is currently dealing with a bone bruise on his right ankle.
- The Lakers announced that they have recalled Ryan Kelly back from their D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders. To keep track of all of this year’s D-Leage assignments, check out Hoops Rumors’ running list.
The Cavs drafted Anthony Bennett first overall with many in the organization envisioning him becoming a small forward at some point, notes Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. Lloyd argues that the team should make the former UNLV big man the starter at that position now. Cleveland’s win tonight brings the team’s record to just 5-12, so Lloyd believes it’s an idea worth trying in a season when few of coach Mike Brown‘s gambits have worked. Here’s more from around the NBA:
The Cavaliers reportedly had interest in trading for Luol Deng this past summer but were rebuffed by the Bulls, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. As of now, Deveney adds, it doesn’t appear that anything on that front will change anytime soon, and unless Chicago can obtain a 2014 draft pick, there isn’t much sense in moving Deng. Here’s more out of the Central Division tonight, including much more from Deveney:
- That same piece explores the trade value of Carlos Boozer, who according to one general manager isn’t really being sought after by any team at this point. While the Bulls still have the former Duke product on their books until 2015, Deveney opines that the Knicks might become desperate enough to make a move for him to shore up their struggling front court.
- Deveney also writes that Joakim Noah still has high value around the league despite his battles with injury over the last few seasons. The Knicks would appear to be another logical landing spot for the 6’11 center, although the Pelicans, Thunder, and Mavericks are expected to be in pursuit should the Bulls place Noah on the trading block.
- Lastly, with reports that Nikola Mirotic – whose draft rights are still owned by the Bulls – has developed into a star in Spain, Deveney says that if Chicago were to package his rights in a deal including Deng, Noah, or Boozer, they would be looking to get a star player in return. According to one scout, Mirotic is currently the “best player who is not in the NBA right now.” If Mirotic weren’t included in a deal involving any of those three, the Bulls would supposedly settle for cap relief, draft picks, and/or young talent.
- Sam Smith of Bulls.com opened his mailbag and dissects trade suggestions sent in by his readers.
- Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen thinks the Pacers currently have the requisite pieces in place to make a title run this season. However, considering Indiana’s vow to remain under the tax threshold, the team isn’t likely to maintain the same type of depth after this year, especially with Danny Granger‘s contract set to expire and Lance Stephenson due for a new contract.
The Heat‘s visit to Cleveland tonight brought the specter of LeBron James hitting the free agent market next summer to the forefront, but Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com argues that the four-time MVP should stay in Miami if he wants to continue winning championships. The Heat are a strong draw for other free agents, too, and it’s no surprise that players take discounts to come to Miami, which offers an up-tempo system, the chance to play with LeBron, and title contention, Tjarks writes. Here’s more from around the NBA:
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is confident Dirk Nowitzki won’t seek too much money from the team in contract negotiations this summer, and says the Mavs are “going to do all we can to keep him forever,” notes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Cuban also told reporters that the NBA is open-minded about studies on the use of human growth hormone for helping athletes recover from injury. Cuban intends to fund the research, but that sort of HGH use in the NBA would first require U.S. government approval. Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com has the details.
- Andris Biedrins admits impending free agency is on his mind, and the Jazz center hinted at retirement, saying in part that, “I know this is my last year,” as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune passes along. Of course, Biedrins could be referring to the last year of his contract, rather than his career.
- Gerald Green has fit in surprisingly well in Phoenix, writes Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld, who sees potential for him to be a long-term piece for the Suns.
- Kim English has signed to play in France with Chorale Roanne, the team announced (translation via Sportando). Emiliano Carchia of Sportando first reported the deal for the Leon Rose client and former Pistons guard.
- Jabari Davis of HoopsWorld doesn’t expect the Heat‘s Big Three to hit the open market next summer, but offers up a list of plenty of other potential free agents for teams to consider in 2014.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Following up on comments he made yesterday about trading Derrick Williams to the Kings, Timberwolves president Flip Saunders acknowledged that the deal could end up looking very short-sighted, but said he still felt comfortable pulling the trigger.
“You have to look and see: What is the value where you’re at?” Saunders said, according to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. “What’s the value going to be in two months? What’s the value going to be at trading deadline? What’s it going to be next year?I just didn’t foresee Derrick being able to play much. And if a guy’s not playing, usually your value is not going to go up.”
Here’s more from around the Western Conference:
- Thunder GM Sam Presti is prioritizing longevity and sustainability when it comes to roster-building and culture-building in Oklahoma City, as Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman details.
- David Kahn‘s drafting of Williams in 2011 was understandable, since the forward was viewed as the consensus No. 2 pick at the time. But this week’s trade is the acknowledgment of another failure for the Timberwolves franchise and for the Kahn era, writes Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.
- Chatting with Mavericks fans on Tuesday, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News discussed the possibility of moving Shawn Marion, Jordan Farmar as a potential trade target, and why a playoff berth could help the Mavs in free agency.
- After averaging 22.0 PPG in his first three contests with the Reno Bighorns, Ray McCallum has been recalled from the D-League by the Kings, the team announced today in a press release.
- Current Pacers assistant Nate McMillan spoke extensively to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com about his time as head coach of the Trail Blazers, including his regrets about how he handled Nicolas Batum.