Former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn has signed a contract with Capo d’Orlando of the Italian League, the team announced (translation by Sportando). Flynn last saw action in the NBA with the Blazers during the 2011/12 season. His career numbers are 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 3.9 APG. His career slash line is .400/.338/.809.
Here’s more from around the league:
- With Greg Monroe likely to sign his qualifying offer, the Pistons‘ frontcourt trio of Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond will be together for another season. Coach Stan Van Gundy‘s challenge will be to figure out how to use them more effectively than they were last season, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.
- Kevin Love has essentially traded places with Chris Bosh, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Love is now the third option on the Cavs, much like Bosh was alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Heat, Winderman notes, and it’s the statistical sacrifices of the third player that determines if these star trios are successful.
- With the news that the Spurs are interested in Ray Allen, Nick Borges of ESPN.com runs down the free agent market for the future Hall-of-Famer. Borges notes that if Allen is seeking a title contender and the highest salary, then San Antonio is the best option. The Spurs can offer Allen the $5.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The Clippers, Mavs, Heat, and Cavaliers can only give Allen a veteran’s minimum contract.
The Spurs are showing interest in signing free agent Ray Allen, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). San Antonio’s preseason roster count currently sits at 17 players, after the recent signings of Josh Davis, Bryce Cotton, and JaMychal Green. The Spurs have also expressed interest in re-signing restricted free agent Aron Baynes, and bringing in power forward Gustavo Ayon.
For his part, Allen hasn’t even decided on whether or not he wants to play for another season or to retire. “It will require a perfect storm scenario for me,” said Allen earlier this month. “I’m in great shape, and I’ll continue to be in great shape, but I don’t want to go to a situation where I don’t understand the rhythm of how a coach coaches. He has to be a great coach, a veteran coach.” The Spurs’ Gregg Popovich certainly fits that requirement.
If Allen does decide to return for his 19th season in the NBA, he’ll have no shortage of suitors. Other teams already linked to Allen are the Cavs, Clippers, and Mavericks, notes Stein (Twitter link). The Cavs would seem to be the front runners, with former teammates LeBron James, Mike Miller, and James Jones already on the roster, and Cleveland primed to make a run at the title this season.
In 18 seasons, Allen’s career averages are 18.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 3.4 APG. His career slash line is .452/.400/.894. Hoops Rumors’ Chuck Myron took a look at the free agent stock of Allen, who is a surefire Hall of Famer, and though past his prime, he can still be a valuable asset off of the bench for a contending team.
Wolves president Flip Saunders hopes the Wolves new players’ athleticism will translate into improved defense, Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press writes. Saunders said, “I’m hoping that the biggest change is going to be defensively. Always a key in your ability to guard is your athleticism. The quicker you are, the longer you are, the better chance you have to be a good defensive team.”
Here’s more from around the league:
- Doc Rivers was in contact with free agent guard Ray Allen earlier this summer, and Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter) expects the Clippers to make a run at him again.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is still over the moon about reacquiring Tyson Chandler this summer, as NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan writes. “It was kind of surprising that we got it done, just because with that many pieces and the fact that no one finds out,” Cuban said of the trade. “I’m glad we got it done. We’re excited. He can kind of quarterback our defense, he makes everybody better defensively and he’ll make Monta [Ellis] better offensively.”
- Keith Schlosser of The Knicks Blog wonders if the Knicks would welcome back Kenyon Martin. Martin gave the Knicks one of the most intimidating and physical defensive presences they’ve had in years, but he struggles to stay on the court. Even though he’s seen just 50 games of action over the last two seasons, Schlosser sees K-Mart as a player who the Knicks could call on midseason if Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, or Samuel Dalembert have injury troubles of their own.
Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.
Michael Beasley‘s second audition with the Lakers was part of a larger free agent workout today, writes Sam Amick of USA Today, who lists Dexter Pittman, Greg Stiemsma, Daniel Orton, Bobby Brown, Toney Douglas, Ben Hansbrough and Malcolm Lee as the other participants. As Amick points out, GM Mitch Kupchak has two roster spots to play with going into the 2014/15 season.
Here is what else is happening around the league on Wednesday evening:
Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM expects plenty of suitors to pursue Eric Bledsoe next summer if he accepts the Suns one-year qualifying offer and aims for a max deal as a free agent. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Isaiah Thomas tells Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that while many found it puzzling he would join a loaded backcourt in Phoenix, the Suns‘ belief in his talent made it an easy decision to leave the Kings as a free agent. “I went on one visit, with the Phoenix Suns, and they just pulled out the red carpet for me and in the end I just felt wanted,” said Thomas. “I always felt like [Sacramento] didn’t appreciate me as much as they should. I’m not saying the fans [didn't]–the fans loved me and the city of Sacramento loved me. But it’s a business. They felt like they could get somebody better and I don’t blame them; that’s on them, and it’s their loss.”
- The Lakers like what they saw from Michael Beasley‘s workout with the team, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, but their abundance of forwards could motivate him to prioritize other options.
- We learned earlier that the Lakers have signed their second-round pick Jordan Clarkson.
- Mark Cuban said he thinks new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer will bring positive energy to the league, telling ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM’s “The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley” that Ballmer will be good for the NBA (transcription via Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com). “I’ve known Steve for a long time, going back into my twenties, and he’s always been this way,” Cuban said. “So this isn’t Steve Ballmer getting hyped just for the Clippers. This is just the way he is. He’s going to be great for the league.
Team USA’s roster is set, with every frontcourt player surviving the final cut. Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press reports on the decision-making that led to the big roster for international competition. Here’s more from around the league:
- Cavs owner Dan Gilbert tweeted well wishes to Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins, both of whom Cleveland dealt to the Wolves to acquire Kevin Love. “Wishing [Bennett and Wiggins] nothing but the best this season and beyond,” read Gilbert’s tweet. “Two class acts who both have bright futures in our league.”
- In an interview on 105.3 FM The Fan, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said that Dirk Nowitzki re-signed at a discount rate without the assurance that Dallas would net any particular free agent with the savings (transcription via The Dallas Morning News). “Dirk is the man. It wasn’t that type of conversation at all,” said Cuban. “Dirk and I sit and talk about all of this stuff. He knows the strategy, what we’re trying to do, why we’re doing it. He realizes that if he [hadn't taken a discount] the chances of him being in a championship position weren’t nearly as good.”
- Cuban also said he isn’t concerned about Chandler Parsons‘ increasingly high-profile lifestyle after signing his huge contract. “Every guy who is good goes through that though because you go off your rookie contract and if you’re good, you’re getting paid,” said the Mavs owner. “I think it’s rare to find a guy who takes the money and is out. I think in Chandler’s case in talking to him, he wants to prove that he’s worth it. He’s working his butt off to do it. You never know until you know. It’s not like he was only good for one or two years, he was good for three years.”
At the moment, the Southwest Division appears to be the only division in the NBA featuring all teams with playoff hopes for 2014/15. Here’s a rundown for what should be one of the most competitive groupings in the league:
- Free agent Denzel Bowles will work out for the Spurs on September 7th, a source tells David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). Bowles, who has spent time in the D-League and the Chinese Basketball Association, worked out for Charlotte at the end of last season but failed to earn a 10-day contract.
- Jeff Bzdelik tells Ronald Tillery of Commercial Appeal [subscription-only] that he was brought to the Grizzlies as an assistant coach to focus on defense, where Memphis slipped from their elite standard last season.
- In an Insider-only piece, Amin Elhassan of ESPN.com ranks the Mavs‘ re-calibrated frontcourt, featuring new arrivals Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler alongside Dirk Nowitzki, as the fourth-best big unit in the league.
Analysts have mixed opinions about whether or not Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders is getting the best possible return for Love, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune. The deal will only be as good as Andrew Wiggins‘ development becomes, opines Youngblood.
Here’s more from around the league:
- The crew over at Basketball Insiders (video link) discuss the Love trade, and what it means for all the teams involved.
- It will be a few seasons before a clear winner in the Love trade is determined, but Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders discusses the possible outcomes for each team involved.
- Thaddeus Young is facing another long season of losing, this time with the Wolves, writes Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wanted to best Rockets GM Daryl Morey in free agency this offseason, he relayed in an interview with Dallas’ KRLD-FM 105.3 (hat tip to the Dallas Morning News). Cuban said, “Oh, all good business is personal. Trust me, there’s nobody more competitive than me. Every bit of me wanted to kick his [expletive deleted] and I would have felt bad. Obviously they got Dwight Howard a couple of years ago. Yeah, I wanted to beat him. And that’s a compliment to him. Daryl is very smart. It was very much like a game of chess.”
- Cuban also weighed in on the Rockets inquiries about acquiring Dirk Nowitzki. Cuban said, “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ He asked if we’d trade Dirk. At first I thought it was taunting, but now knowing more about Daryl I don’t think it was in hindsight. That’s just not his style. It says a lot about their approach more than anything else. They just have a different understanding and approach to chemistry than we do. Some teams, and that’s not just the Rockets, just put together talent and the talent takes care of itself. We think chemistry matters. When Carmelo came to visit us, there was no chance that we were going to put him in someone else’s jersey number and put it on the outside of the arena. That’s not our style.”
The NBA season won’t officially start until Tuesday, October 28th, when the Spurs begin their season against the Mavericks. An expert poll over at ESPN.com has picked San Antonio to repeat as NBA champs, with the Cavs coming in second, and the Thunder rounding out the top-three. The Heat were the last franchise to go back-to-back, winning titles in 2012 and 2013, while the Spurs have never accomplished that feat.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Wolves were impressed with undrafted point guard Brady Heslip‘s performance for their summer league team, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Heslip recently changed agents, hiring Bernie Lee, and is attempting to land an NBA training camp invitation, Wolfson adds.
- The Thunder have named Mark Daigneault as the new head coach of their D-League team, reports Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. Daigneault spent the last four seasons as an assistant on Billy Donovan‘s staff at Florida, and replaces Darko Rajakivic who accepted a position on Scott Brooks‘ staff with the Thunder. Speaking about the hire, GM Sam Presti said, “Mark has placed a high value on development throughout his career and we feel that he is well aligned with the goals of our organization. His experience at Florida under Coach Donovan has provided him the platform to apply his intelligence and relationship skills to help strengthen the program. We are excited about Mark joining the organization and continuing his professional growth.“
- When Shawn Marion left the Mavericks as a free agent this summer to sign with the Cavaliers, he did so knowing that he would come off the bench and play fewer minutes than he had in Dallas, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. In regards to Marion leaving, Mavs owner Mark Cuban said, “It’s different when you’re going back to your same team as supposed to going to a new team. I think there’s a different dynamic and different expectation.” Marion placed the opportunity to contend for a championship above monetary and playing time concerns in making his team selection, notes MacMahon.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
FRIDAY, 8:20am: The impending deal for James will be fully guaranteed, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. That would give the team 15 fully guaranteed pacts to go with the partially guaranteed arrangements for Eric Griffin and Ivan Johnson, as MacMahon points out.
THURSDAY, 11:20am: The Mavericks are close to re-signing center Bernard James, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Stein, the team is finalizing a one-year deal for the minimum salary to bring back the 29-year-old for his third season in Dallas. Assuming the deal is finalized, James should receive the two-year veteran’s minimum worth $915,243.
While the Mavs didn’t extend him a qualifying offer by the June 30 deadline, there were multiple reports that suggested the team was interested in bringing James back. The Florida State product backed up Samuel Dalembert at center last season in Dallas, averaging 0.9 points and 0.3 blocks in 4.9 minutes per game. He is likely to fill a similar role in 2014/15.