Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau appeared to be excited as he described the progress that Derrick Rose has made, saying that the superstar point guard's speed and explosiveness have come back to the point to where he's comfortable and confident (Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago):
"I worked him out about a week ago...Watching the way he's moving now, there's a confidence.(Reporters) may not have been able to see the total work he was putting in. But he was putting in an enormous amount of work each and every day. He just never got to the explosiveness he was comfortable with. I think he's there now. He feels great, and that's the most important thing."
Here are more miscellaneous notes out of the Eastern Conference tonight:
Though Hall of Fame point guard Bob Cousy once doubled as a player-coach, don't expect Nets coach Jason Kidd to follow suit, as he told reporters that he has no intention of ever playing another minute (Marc Berman of the New York Post via Twitter).
Patrick Ewing, recently hired as an associate head coach for the Bobcats, thinks that it'll be a tough challenge for Kidd to make the transition from being an NBA player directly into becoming a head coach (Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York).
Former Knicks and Nets forward Shawne Williams looked good during a workout today and will audition for several NBA teams soon, tweets Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that while the presence of Dion Waiters on the Cavaliers may compound the team's interest in drafting Ben McLemore, the former Syracuse standout could thrive in a reserve role as a primary ball handler in the second unit.
Wheat Hotchkiss of NBA.com reviews today's draft workout hosted by the Pacers, which included Deshaun Thomas, Will Clyburn, Alex Oriakhi, James Southerland, and Troy Daniels. C.J. Leslie was present, but did not participate in the workout.
The Cavaliers have tried and failed to pry Kevin Love from the Timberwolves, and their alternative may be to go after center Nikola Pekovic, one of the leading restricted free agents. Cleveland has the cap room to make him an offer of $12MM or better, a price Wolves owner Glen Taylor has said he won't pay.
Nerlens Noel says he'll be ready to play around Christmas, but the Cavaliers don't think he'll be back from his ACL injury until February or March. The team remains undecided about whether Noel will be the No. 1 pick, and Amico confirms that Otto Porter is also in the mix for that selection.
Amico hears the Cavs are willing to trade up to nab Sergey Karasev in the middle of the first round if it doesn't look like he'll fall to them at No. 19. The Cavs are also high on Alex Len, and he could be theirs if they trade out of the No. 1 pick.
The Cavs like Shaun Livingston, but he's seeking a larger payday than the team wants to give him.
Cavs fans worried about what the hiring of Mike Brown might mean for the team's potential pursuit of LeBron James in 2014 shouldn't put too much stock in the move one way or the other, says Chris Broussard in his latest ESPN.com piece (Insider-only link). Brown's return to Cleveland doesn't mean LeBron is coming back too, but it also shouldn't be a deterring factor, according to Broussard, who notes that there will be plenty of other factors in play over the next 14 months. The ESPN.com scribe explores that topic and a number of others in his article, so let's round up the highlights....
The Cavs are hoping to upgrade the roster before next summer in an attempt to lure James (or another impact free agent, presumably). As we heard from Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports yesterday, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and draft picks could be dangled as trade chips. Broussard mentions LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love as potential targets.
The Bucks would like to keep all three of their free agent guards this summer, but recognize that they'll probably only be able to retain two, with Brandon Jennings the player most likely to stay put.
Several sources around the league believed Lance Blanks, who the Suns fired earlier this week, was a scapegoat for the team's poor season. According to Broussard, the widely panned signing of Michael Beasley was Lon Babby's call, and Blanks had "little to do with" Alvin Gentry's firing as well.
Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman is viewed as the frontrunner for the Suns' GM opening, says Broussard.
Former Suns assistant Elston Turner may join Rick Adelman's staff in Minnesota, with an understanding that if Adelman steps down, Turner would take over as the Timberwolves' coach. We've heard in the past that Adelman "badly wanted" Turner on his staff when he first took the Wolves' job.
While Kevin McHale isn't expected to step down as Rockets head coach anytime soon, Broussard hears from sources that the team would have "strong interest" in Stan Van Gundy if McHale left.
Now that the Cavaliers have made it official, announcing that Mike Brown has returned as the team's head coach, one looming question is what effect the hire will have on Cleveland's potential pursuit of LeBron James in the summer of 2014. LeBron told the Associated Press (link via Cleveland.com) that he's "very happy" for Brown, adding that he's a "really good coach," but would James be interested in playing for his former coach again? Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tackles that subject in his latest column, so let's round up the highlights....
One former Cavs staffer told Wojnarowski that "the way Mike had to bend for LeBron weakened him as a leader. They'd be crazy to put him
through that again. It's pointless."
One league source tells Wojnarowski "there are still some scars" when it
comes to Brown and the Cavs, primarily centered on the coach's
relationship with Dan Gilbert, who fired him in 2010.
Agent Rich Paul has created anticipation for LeBron's possible return to the Cavs in 2014, but according to Wojnarowski, "the idea of returning as the conquering hero is probably much more romantic than reality." Wojnarowski suggests that it's "unfathomable" that James would trade Miami, Erik Spoelstra, and Pat Riley for a return to Cleveland.
According to Wojnarowski, the Cavs have privately pitched the idea of trading young players and draft picks to the Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge.
Such a deal with Portland is unlikely to ever happen, says Wojnarowski, since the Cavs value their young players like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters more than other teams around the league do.
The Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto believes that the Cavaliers will have to tread carefully with Kyrie Irving's health, as he says that the young star has missed a significant amount of time over his first two seasons due to several different basketball-related injuries. Whether it involves reducing his minutes or learning how to manage his game to take less hits, Irving's durability will have to take top priority for Byron Scott and the organization, opines Pluto. Here are a handful of more significant notes about the Cavs from his column on Cleveland sports:
The team will likely part ways with Daniel Gibsonthis summer, when the 6'2 guard is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
C.J. Miles has a $2.25MM team option and will likely be kept.
Whether or not the Cavaliers keep Shaun Livingston will depend on the price that the market sets for him.
While Dion Waiters is still prone to making rookie mistakes, the rookie out of Syracuse has made noticeable improvements over the course of the season. With Kyrie out of the lineup, Pluto thinks this will be a key opportunity for Waiters to handle the ball more.
Although the team's biggest needs include a small forward or a big man, Irving'sinjuries may prompt the team to draft a guard in June.
Following their loss last night in Denver, the Clippers added a 15th man to their roster, signing ex-Sixer Maalik Wayns to a 10-day contract. That's the top headline out of the Pacific so far today, but let's check in on a few other stories from the Clips' division rivals....
Warriors sources recognize that the team could use an "explosive offensive player" who can make plays off the dribble, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. That's one of the reasons Golden State had interest in Dion Waiters at last year's draft, says Kawakami.
Sam Amico of FoxSportsOhio.com has a new notebook column covering several topics relating to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here are the highlights:
Although the Cavs are struggling, Amico believes that it is part of the process the team will have to go through to get better.
Amico cautions readers that, although rookie Dion Waiters has shown flashes, he will take time to mature and develop into a consistent NBA player.
Amico doesn't believe the Cavs would be smart to trade Anderson Varejao, citing his outstanding production this season and his importance to the team's stability following LeBron James' departure in 2010.
Alonzo Gee, re-signed to a three-year deal this summer, has been inconsistent this season, according to Amico.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have struggled out of the gate to a 2-7 record, in spite of outstanding play from 2012 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving and a resurgence from Anderson Varejao. Here are a few tidbits on the Cavs on Sunday afternoon:
Through three days of the NBA season, most of the heavily hyped rookies have made their debuts. In particular, five have had standout first games as pros: New Orleans' No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis, Washington's No. 3 overall pick Bradley Beal, Cleveland's No. 4 overall pick Dion Waiters, Portland's No. 6 overall pick Damian Lillard, and Toronto's Jonas Valanciunas, drafted in 2011. Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist makes his debut tonight.
Which of the five rookies who have made an impact so far have impressed you the most?