Damon Jones

Central Notes: Parker, Thompson, Jones

Jabari Parker will return Wednesday for his first game since he tore his left ACL in December, as Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported (Twitter links), and as the Bucks confirm. It appeared the team was concerned he’d have to remain out until late this month, but he’s instead a go this week for Milwaukee, which has started the season a disappointing 0-3. Tyler Ennis will also make his season debut for the Bucks in that game after dealing with a shoulder injury. See more from the Central Division:

  • Tristan Thompson hinted to TNT’s David Aldridge that he was on board with sitting out all of this season if it was necessary for him to get a fair deal, as Aldridge writes within his Morning Tip column for NBA.com. The power forward finally re-signed with the Cavs on a five-year, $82MM deal late last month after lengthy negotiations. “I didn’t worry about it,” Thompson said. “Obviously I love playing the game of basketball. That’s what God blessed me to do. At the same time, playing in the NBA, it’s a business side to it. At the end of the day, myself, Rich [Paul], Mark [Termini], we handled it the way we felt best. We weren’t worried. If the deal gets done, it gets done. If not, so be it, sit out the whole season [and] work on my game, and just get better. It was no wondering if it would get done, or nervousness. If I had it to do over again, I’d do it the same way — no regrets.”
  • The Cavs have named former player and Termini client Damon Jones an assistant coach for their D-League team, notes Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor (Twitter link). Cleveland originally planned to have Jones, who served last year as a shooting consultant for both the Cavs and their D-League team, move into that full-time D-League role for last season, but he wasn’t interested, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (on Twitter).
  • The Pacers have assigned Rakeem Christmas and Shayne Whittington to their D-League affiliate, the team announced. Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star first reported the moves would take place (Twitter link). They’re the first players any NBA team has assigned to the D-League this season, and the first that Indiana has ever assigned to its new one-to-one D-League affiliate.

Odds & Ends: Joseph, West, Delany, Wiggins

Here are a few odds and ends from around the NBA on Wednesday night:

  • Kris Joseph, who was waived last month by the Celtics, is weighing international offers in Italy, Russia and France as well as a few NBA invites, tweets Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest. 
  • Haynes also tweets that free agent guard Delonte West has impressed at a coach's camp in Las Vegas.  West, who spent some time in the D-League last year, hasn't played in the NBA since his 2011/12 campaign with the Mavericks.  West has also played with the Celtics and Cavs. 
  • The Heat have named advance scout Pat Delany the head coach of their D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, tweets Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. 
  • Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM evaluates the prospects of the eight 2010 first-round picks that are currently not on NBA rosters – Cole Aldrich, Xavier Henry, Luke Babbitt, Craig Brackins, Elliot Williams, Damion James, Dominique Jones and Lazar Hayward.
  • Andrew Wiggins has the potential to single-handedly turn around an NBA franchise, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld, adding that his ceiling has teams lining up to better their chances for his services. Kennedy names the Sixers, Magic, Suns, Bobcats, Kings and Jazz as the six teams who have positioned themselves for Wiggins, and Celtics and Raptors as outside possibilities. 

Washburn On Harden, Jones, Rockets

Free agent swingman Mickael Pietrus has made it clear he isn't willing to sign for the veteran's minimum, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Pietrus has expressed an interest in playing for the Celtics and taking the team's $1.95MM biannual exception, but Boston will likely hold onto it until the regular season, using it on a player who's been waived by another team. 

Here's the latest news and headlines from Washburn…

  • Magic Johnson recently voiced his opinion on the moves the Lakers made this offseason. “It was a great move for the Lakers, not just for now but for the future because now we’ll have somebody we can build the Lakers around once Kobe is gone,”Johnson said. “I think that Steve Nash was also a key trade because Steve will make everybody better like Dwight Howard will make all the players better because he’s a great defender and he can get out on that break and run the pick-and-roll well.”
  • The Thunder's decision to re-sign James Harden isn't a lock even after helping the United States win a gold medal this summer in London. Team general manager Sam Presti may be reluctant to offer him a new contract due to Harden's struggles during the NBA Finals in which he missed 16 of 20 shots in Game 3 and 4 losses to Miami. “We’ll be open in saying that there are a lot of inherent challenges this organization faces as a result of the new CBA,” Presti said. “With that said, we also maintained that we’re going to figure out a way to build a team that’s competitive within the new system and capable of competing."
  • Former Cavs guard Damon Jones has moved on from his playing days and is now looking to make a career as a coach. He helped out friend Tyronn Lue with the Celtics this summer during the team's summer league and truly enjoyed the experience. “When you play like I have for 12 years, there’s so many different things that I saw during the course of my career that I can extend to younger players,” Jones said. “The players that we have here are very receptive. It’s been fun. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
  • Rockets general manager Daryl Morey approached the summer in search of a superstar player to build his roster around but enters the fall with Jeremy Lin as his big ticket acquisition of the offseason. While Morey didn't add the franchise player he was looking to acquire, the general manager is excited about what Lin brings to his team. "We’re always looking for opportunities to upgrade our team," Morey said. "We really like that we have Jeremy [Lin] and the other young players that we have and the other young players improving over time."

Odds & Ends: Sloan, Nets, Novak, Nash

Let's check out the latest notes from around the league, as we prepare for a busy slate of games that includes a Southeast battle in Orlando, the Clippers in Philadelphia, and, of course, Kobe Bryant against Jeremy Lin….

  • Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports reports that former Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan has been approached by at least six teams trying to lure him back into coaching. Although he wasn't ready yet when those opportunites arose, he's feeling recharged and could return to the NBA next season.
  • The Nets will roll with their current roster rather than signing or waiving anyone, despite all the injuries, tweets Ben Couch of NJNets.com. The club wants to retain their Bird-rights players like Damion James in order to build around max contracts this summer, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
  • In an Insider-only ESPN.com column, John Hollinger examines whether or not the Big Three model is all it's cracked up to be.
  • The "Linsanity" surrounding Jeremy Lin is overshadowing Steve Novak's recent success, writes Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. Novak, who was claimed off waivers by the Knicks in December, is eligible for unrestricted free agency at season's end.
  • Although Steve Nash doesn't appear to be going anywhere before the trade deadline, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle thinks a reunion with the Mavericks could make sense.

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