Derek Fisher Rumors
May 16 at 6:04pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News Sports tweeted that former player's union executive director Billy Hunter has filed a lawsuit against the NBPA, union president Derek Fisher, and Jamie Wior (Fisher's publicist), claiming defamation and a breach of contract. Ken Berger of CBS Sports elaborated further on the matter, reporting that the suit includes allegations accusing Fisher and Wior of secretly conspiring with "certain owners" (not identified in the suit) to negotiate the conclusion of the 2011 lockout and that their actions ultimately led to the termination of Hunter's contract with the NBPA.
Hunter's lawsuit contends that Fisher "actively manipulated the investigation" conducted by the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, & Garrison law firm "by making false statements impugning Hunter's character." The document also questions why Hunter's employment contract from 2010 was deemed invalid by the Paul-Weiss firm considering that Fisher - whose signature on Hunter's termination letter indicates that he had authorization to hire Hunter - had signed it.
Expanding on the accusation that Fisher had secretly worked with several NBA owners in order to end the lockout, the lawsuit includes that Hunter received a telephone call from "one of the highest paid players and his agent" nearly a month before the actual agreement was reached and was notified that a deal had already been agreed upon with the owners. At that point, it is alleged that Hunter was then told by the player and agent to accept the terms and end the lockout. Hunter's party also contends that Fisher had negotiated the 50-50 split of league revenue "without consulting with Hunter or the Executive Committee."
Among some of the rest of the charges listed in the lawsuit, Fisher is accused of "(inserting) himself into the collective bargaining process to the detriment of the union" and that he "was incentivized to complete a deal as quickly as possible given his limited playing career and need to secure his future job prospects by staying on good terms with the NBA and team owners." It also brings into question the active role of Jamie Wior, who Hunter asserts had no authority to become involved with or assist Fisher with the negotiations of the CBA. At the very minimum, Hunter is seeking the rest of the money owed to him at the time his contract was terminated, not including compensatory and punitive damages.
May 16 at 3:55pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier this week, Dirk Nowitzki addressed the Mavericks' desire to bring some major talent on board this summer in free agency, going into a little detail about the pitch he expects potential targets to receive. Nowitzki spoke about the same topic today, reiterating that it's "pretty obvious" he'll be in line for a pay cut in the summer of 2014, which will allow the team to flexible in handing out bigger-money contracts to other players. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News has the details and the quotes from Nowitzki.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Western Conference:
- Although he's the likeliest amnesty candidate on the Thunder's roster, Kendrick Perkins told reporters, including Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (Twitter link), that he's "pretty sure" he'll still be on the team next season.
- Derek Fisher also told the media, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link), that he'd like to return to the Thunder, adding that he isn't considering retirement yet.
- If the Lakers explore the free agent market this summer, they'll likely be shopping for bargains. Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com identifies a few potential targets for the club.
- With the Spurs and Pacers each one win away from their respective Conference Finals, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News recalls the Kawhi Leonard/George Hill swap consummated by the two teams, calling it "the definition of a win/win trade."
May 4 at 10:31pm CST By Ryan Raroque
In a video interview, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune says that he isn't exactly sure what the hiring of Flip Saunders means for Rick Adelman. Zgoda also mentions that Saunders' offseason goal is to add perimeter shooters and "balance the roster," which he interprets to mean that the Timberwolves will try to land a shooting guard with good size and see what they can get for Derrick Williams. You can find more notes out of the Western Conference tonight below:
March 18 at 1:20pm CST By Chuck Myron
Mavs owner Mark Cuban took a sarcastic tone last month when discussing Derek Fisher's decision to sign with the Thunder a few months after securing his release from Dallas earlier this season, ostensibly so the veteran point guard could spend more time with his family. Last night, Cuban took a more direct swipe at Fisher, insinuating that he tried to deceive the Mavericks, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas chronicles.
"My personality is to try to help somebody, particularly somebody that I thought one thing about, even if it didn't turn out to be that way," the owner said. "So I was just trying to be nice and help. Usually when you help somebody, you expect at least some semblance of loyalty back. When you don't get it, then it's more disappointing. With his history, I shouldn't have been surprised what happened."
Fisher's exit from Dallas was the third time in his career that he's negotiated a premature end to one of his contracts, as MacMahon and Jeff Caplan of NBA.com point out. There's more news today on the Mavericks, as well as a couple of their Southwest Division rivals, and we'll round it up here:
March 5 at 4:59pm CST By Luke Adams
Let's check in on a handful of Tuesday updates out of the Western Conference....
- Responding to comments made by Mark Cuban last week, Derek Fisher defended his decision to sign with the Thunder after asking the Mavericks to release him earlier this season, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times details. "Over the last couple of months, being out of the game and having a chance to reflect on some things and think about some things," Fisher said. "When this opportunity presented itself and I thought about the totality of my career, I decided that this was something I deserved to do for myself."
- With the Mavericks falling out of the playoff race and nine
free-agents-to-be on the roster, coach Rick Carlisle remains upbeat
about the atmosphere in Dallas, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes. "This is a great situation in Dallas," Carlislie said. "The guys in the locker room that
are all free agents, every second they step on the court, they’re
auditioning for Donnie [Nelson] and Mark as to whether they’re
going to have a chance to be here after this year."
- Now that they've formally submitted their bid for the Kings, the pressure is on Ron Burkle, Mark Mastrov, and their Sacramento investment group to work out an arena plan, according to Tony Bizjak, Ryan Lillis, and Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee.
- Thunder GM Sam Presti is among the NBA evaluators in Athens to scout prospect Giannis Adetokunbo, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops. Scouts from the Nets, Trail Blazers, and Clippers are also in attendance to watch Adetokunbo, who ranks 32nd among DraftExpress.com's top 100 prospects.
February 27 at 4:41pm CST By Luke Adams
Derek Fisher has been activated for tonight's game against the Hornets, but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban likely won't be paying close attention to Fisher's debut with the Thunder. Cuban's response was sarcastic when he was asked about the veteran point guard's decision to sign with Oklahoma City two months after requesting his release from the Mavs to spend time with his family.
"His kids are older," Cuban said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. "It’s easier to fly in and out of
Oklahoma City than Dallas. I understand that. It’s a decision a parent
has to make. Every parent has difficult decisions to make."
Here are a few more Wednesday afternoon items out of the Northwest Division:
- Kyle Korver is set to hit free agency this summer, and told reporters today, including Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, that he'll "definitely listen" if the Jazz pursue him (Twitter link).
- The Nuggets received some criticism last August for playing a part in helping the Lakers acquire Dwight Howard and build a supposed powerhouse, but Denver has come out on top in the four-team blockbuster so far, says Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post.
- SI.com's Chris Mannix names Maurice Cheeks and Kaleb Canales, two former head coaches and current assistants for Northwest teams, as potential head coaches in waiting.
- Also at SI.com, Ian Thomsen speaks to LaMarcus Aldridge about the big man's evolution into a team leader with the Trail Blazers.
February 26 at 6:22pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news and notes from around the Northwest Division on Tuesday evening:
February 26 at 2:25pm CST By Luke Adams
In a piece for SheridanHoops.com, Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com previews the Chinese Basketball Association playoffs and recaps the standings for the season. Pastuszek also makes note of the American players who had been playing in China, some of whom could be candidates to return stateside and catch on with an NBA team. So far, Terrence Williams has signed a 10-day contract with the Celtics after his stint with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, while D.J. White is set to sign with the C's as well.
Here are a few more Tuesday afternoon odds and ends:
- The Sixers know what Andrew Bynum is capable of when he's healthy, which is why John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer argues that the club should shut down the big man for the rest of this season.
- In his latest mailbag, Ian Thomsen of SI.com cites one rival executive who expects the Sixers to re-sign Bynum this summer, negotiating language into his contract that gives the team some level of protection in case his knee issues continue. "If they don't sign him, then we'd all better run the other direction," said the exec. "Because they'll know his situation better than everybody."
- While the Mavericks' front office was reportedly "agitated" to see Derek Fisher sign with the Thunder, Mavs players didn't seem too shocked by the move, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com details. "It wasn't a big surprise," one Mavs veteran said. "We expected him to end up with the Lakers or OKC."
- Fisher told Oklahoma City reporters today that he's not necessarily planning to retire at season's end, according to Royce Young of Daily Thunder (via Twitter).
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld runs through all 30 NBA head coaches in an attempt to determine which ones are safe and which ones might be on the hot seat.
- The NBPA moved quickly to remove Billy Hunter from his exectutive director position, but finding a replacement figures to be a longer process, tweets Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal.
- 21 NBA scouts and one general manager, the Thunder's Sam Presti, were in France today to watch Rudy Gobert match up against Mouhammadou Jaiteh, according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com (Twitter link). Gobert ranks 12th on Givony's list of top 100 prospects, while Jaiteh is 32nd.
February 26 at 12:28pm CST By Luke Adams
Here's the latest from around the Western Conference, where the Lakers are three games back of the Rockets for the eighth seed and three and a half back of the seventh-place Jazz:
- Although his plan was being openly questioned in NBA circles eight months ago, GM Daryl Morey continues to build the Rockets into a team with strong long-term potential, observes Grantland's Zach Lowe. Within his piece, Lowe writes that Morey and assistant coach Kelvin Sampson were both fixated on acquiring James Harden, and that the team would like to add a defense-first wing to the roster.
- The Clippers were "closer than people think" to acquiring Kevin Garnett for Eric Bledsoe and DeAndre Jordan last week, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News questions whether the Mavericks ought to try to build a team around Dwight Howard, even if the All-Star center is willing to sign in Dallas this summer.
- Although Dirk Nowitzki indicated recently that he hopes to play for a few more years, his focus for now is more on the short term, as he tells Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. "[Mark Cuban]’s obviously said his bank’s open, so we’ll see what happens this
summer," Nowitzki said. "It’s going to be a big summer for us. We want to get back to
winning ways. We always competed and were part of the playoffs, so we’ll
see what happens this summer. It’s going to be a big summer for this
- The Thunder decided to bring back Derek Fisher for the stretch run because they know exactly what they're getting in the veteran point guard, writes Susan Bible of HoopsWorld.
February 25 at 10:01pm CST By Zach Links
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has kept mum about Derek Fisher signing with the Thunder, but one league source told Jeff Caplan of NBA.com that the best way to describe the mood of the Dallas front office is “agitated." The source said that the veteran and his representatives never contacted the Mavs during his decision-making process to discuss a possible return to Dallas, the team that, in good faith, initially signed him. Fisher asked for and received his release from the Mavs on December 22 so he could spend more time with his family. Here's more out of the Western Conference..
- Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News doesn't see Dwight Howard as the answer for the Mavericks as they look to once again build themselves into contenders. Cowlishaw argues that despite his immense talent, his poor foul shooting and subsequent inability to be counted upon in crunch time cancels out much of it.
- Mike Conley is averaging 2.3 steals per contest and if he keeps up his thieving ways, he'll be in line for a contract bonus at the end of the year, notes Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal. To cash in, the Grizzlies guard has to finish top five in steals. He currently ranks second behind Chris Paul of the Clippers.
- Salary cap guru Larry Coon (via Twitter) believes that it's possible that the Lakers will trade Steve Nash this offseason, but he doesn't see them actively pursuing a deal.