The Pacers have agreed to terms on a multiyear contract with Donald Sloan, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). It's already the third agreement the Pacers have reached this month, on the heels of deals for C.J. Watson and David West.
Sloan, 25, is a combo guard that has played primarily at the point in the NBA, including a brief and productive run in Cleveland filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving. Assuming the Pacers view him as a point guard as well, Sloan figures to be the third-stringer, behind George Hill and Watson.
Terms of Sloan's deal aren't yet known, but I'd be a little surprised if it was for more than the minimum. Depending on how they signed Watson though, the Pacers should have either the mid-level exception or the bi-annual exception available if necessary.
Sloan is represented by Impact Sports Basketball.
WEDNESDAY, 12:47pm: Sloan has finalized a contract with Guangdong, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). Berger adds in a second tweet that the deal is only for the rest of this season.
TUESDAY, 12:41pm: For teams like the Celtics, who may be looking at D-League prospects in search of backcourt help, one prime candidate appears to be off the market. According to Mark Deeks of ShamSports, Donald Sloan has left the D-League and will replace Terrence Williams on China's Guangdong Southern Tigers. Williams came home due to a death in the family, says Deeks (Twitter links).
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports (via Twitter) that Sloan is closing in on a "lucrative" contract with Guangdong, though it's not clear if it will just be for the remainder of this season. Deeks suggests that the Texas A&M product will be returning stateside after the CBA season ends, and could catch on with an NBA team later this season.
Sloan, 24, appeared in 20 games for the Cavaliers earlier this season, earning some extra playing time when Kyrie Irving was sidelined. He also signed a 10-day contract with the Hornets and appeared briefly in three games for New Orleans.
Although Sloan has yet to make a real impact at the NBA level, he has excelled for the D-League's Sioux Falls SkyForce this year, averaging 22.1 PPG, 7.4 APG, and 6.5 RPG, while leading the team to an 8-2 record in his 10 contests.
In light of news that Rajon Rondo has a torn ACL, it looks like most readers think the Celtics would be smart to move Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. It is a question that basketball writers around the league will be tackling for weeks leading up to the trading deadline. Let's round up all of the media fallout from the Rondo injury here:
- A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England considers adding Delonte West the most likely scenario for the Celtics, adding that a league source told him earlier this season that the Celtics would only consider bringing back West if one of their guards went down with a long-term injury. Blakely also mentions Andre Barrett, the current D-League assists leader, as a possibility.
- The Celtics' television broadcast team takes a shot at answering the question of how the Celtics can replace Rondo, via CSN New England.
- Blowing up the Celtics' roster is way better in theory than it is in reality, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. He says that there simply aren't teams out there with young talent and draft picks that are willing to give them up for Paul Pierce or Kevin Garnett. With this in mind, Wojnarowski opines that it would be a mistake for the C's to do anything drastic.
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside wonders whether the Celtics will look to the D-League to fill the void created by Rondo's injury. Schlosser specifically mentions Delonte West, Courtney Fortson, Chris Wright, Donald Sloan, Sean Singletary and Scott Machado as potential solutions.
- Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram also tweets that West and the Celtics seem like a match.
- Danny Ainge and the Celtics have some big decisions to make in the near future as a result of Rondo's injury, writes Matt Moore of CBS Sports. Moore says the Celts were already contemplating blowing up their roster this season, and the Rondo news certainly makes it more likely.
- Ken Berger of CBS Sports says that Pierce's contract – with only $4MM guaranteed next year – is "as tradeable as it gets." Berger adds that rival executives expect the Grizzlies to have interest in Pierce. He also speculates that a team like the Nets could be interested in Garnett. Should they decide to become buyers rather than sellers, Berger says Jose Calderon or Kyle Lowry are two possible targets for Boston.
- Jessica Camerato of CSN New England writes that the Celtics locker room was stunned to hear the news about their floor general after their double overtime win against the Heat. Camerato's colleague, A. Sherrod Blakely, provides more reactions from the Celtics as well as from Miami's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
- Blakely adds, via Twitter, that he doesn't expect a trade soon. Instead, Blakely thinks that the Celtics will add a point guard via a 10-day contract, if they choose to do anything.
A year ago, fans voted Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Andrew Bynum to be the Western Conference's starting lineup for the All-Star Game. This season, fan voting produced nearly the same result, with four of the same five guys returning as All-Star starters. The only difference? One Lakers center replaces another, as Dwight Howard, rather than Bynum, will start for the West.
Here are a few more notes from around the conference:
- Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies are still adjusting to the new ownership group in Memphis, as Randolph tells Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal: "It was definitely (former owner Michael) Heisley's plan to keep us all together and make a run for the championship. So when you come in with something different, of course, it kind of bothers you."
- Australian big man Aron Baynes is on his way to San Antonio to take a physical and begin completing his paperwork with the Spurs, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com and Sportando. We heard earlier this month that the Spurs were working to sign Baynes.
- The Hornets don't plan to sign Donald Sloan to another 10-day contract at this point, tweets Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Sloan's first 10-day deal expired Wednesday at midnight.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link) believes Kyle Korver makes sense as a trade target for the Lakers.
MONDAY, 10:08am: The Hornets have signed Sloan to a 10-day contract, according to Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune (via Twitter).
SUNDAY, 8:25am: Former Cavs point guard Donald Sloan is on his way back to the NBA after a brief D-League stint, as Sportando's Emiliano Carchia tweets, and Marc Stein of ESPN.com fills in the blank with the news that the Hornets are the team set to sign him (Twitter link). If the Hornets wait until Monday to make the signing official, it could be a 10-day contract for Sloan, who got a pair of 10-day deals from New Orleans last season. Otherwise, the 6'3" Texas A&M product is likely in line for a minimum-salary contract for the rest of the season.
The Cavs released Sloan on Christmas when they claimed Shaun Livingston off waivers, and Sloan made his debut Friday with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the D-League. He posted back-to-back 22-point games with the Skyforce this weekend, and also put up 10 rebounds and seven assists in last night's contest. The 24-year-old averaged 4.1 points and 1.9 assists in 12.9 minutes per game for the Cavs this year, but lost the job of Kyrie Irving's primary backup to Jeremy Pargo. His numbers were down from last year, when he split the season between the Hawks, Hornets and Cavs, notching 5.5 PPG and 3.2 APG in 20.3 MPG.
The Hornets, at the minimum 13 players after waiving Dominic McGuire on Friday, have been going with two point guards in Greivis Vasquez and backup Brian Roberts. It's unclear whether the addition of Sloan is meant to provide more depth or signals the end in New Orleans for Roberts and his non-guaranteed contract. The Hornets would have to place Roberts on waivers today or Monday to avoid guaranteeing his minimum-salary deal for the rest of the season.
The addition of Sloan, another point guard, runs counter to the indication given this weekend by coach Monty Williams, who said the team wanted to have flexibility to add another small forward. Nonetheless, New Orleans would still have an additional roster spot available even they don't release anyone when Sloan comes aboard.
The Cavaliers have claimed Shaun Livingston off waivers from the Wizards, according to a team release. To clear a roster spot for Livingston, the Cavs have waived Donald Sloan, the club announced.
Sloan earned a spot on the Cavs' roster out of training camp, but wasn't playing on a guaranteed contract, meaning Cleveland will only be on the hook for a portion of his minimum-salary deal. Livingston, meanwhile, was signed by the Wizards earlier in the season to what was also assumed to be a minimum-salary contract, and was released this weekend. The Cavs will take on that deal, and if they hold on to Livingston past January 10th, his deal will become guaranteed for the season.
Sloan, 24, appeared in 20 games for the Cavs, averaging 4.1 PPG and 1.9 APG, and seeing a bit of a bump in playing time when Kyrie Irving was on the shelf. Livingston, meanwhile, averaged 3.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 2.2 APG in 17 contests for the Wizards, including four starts.
NBA GMs were polled recently about their thoughts on the upcoming season, and one of the more intriguing revelations is that the Pacers received more votes to win the Central Division than the Bulls, who have finished with the league's best record two seasons in a row but are now without Derrick Rose. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is unfazed by the prediction, as Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com notes. Here's more from around the Central.
- It doesn't look like both Donald Sloan and Jeremy Pargo will make the opening-night roster for the Cavs, according to Bob Finnan of The News Herald, who believes Sloan has the best chance to survive cuts (Sulia link). That's a little surprising, since Sloan's deal is without a guarantee, while Pargo has a fully guaranteed deal for $1MM this season.
- With the Cavs' first regular season game just a week away, coach Byron Scott said the only players guaranteed a starting spot are Kyrie Irving and Anderson Varejao, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
- Mike Dunlap seemed like an out-of-nowhere hire when the Bobcats tabbed him as their new coach this summer, but Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets that the Bulls interviewed Dunlap for their coaching job in 2008, when they hired current Clippers boss Vinny Del Negro.
In this morning's round-up of Celtics items, we linked to ESPN The Magazine's 2012/13 NBA projections, which included the Celtics as a No. 4 seed in the East, behind the Knicks (No. 3). While those ranks are somewhat surprising, the team that ESPN and Basketball Prospectus placed directly behind the top-seeded Heat is even more of a shock: The Hawks will be the East's second-best team, according to the magazine's predictions. We've got updates on Atlanta and a few other Eastern Conference clubs, so let's check them out….
- If and when John Jenkins and Mike Scott officially earn spots on the Hawks' roster, they'll be the team's only draft picks in the last five years besides Jeff Teague to do so, says Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- It's been over three months since Ray Allen officially left the Celtics for the Heat, but the veteran's free agent decision is still a hot topic in both Boston and Miami. Allen appeared on WMEN in Miami recently and said he felt the Celtics put him in a position where he had to leave (link via Sports Radio Interviews). Celtics coach Doc Rivers, meanwhile, says he's over Allen's departure but is still "disappointed" with the way it played out (link via the Boston Herald).
- Landry Fields told reporters, including Al Iannazzone of Newsday (Twitter link) that he lost some of his confidence and comfort level after the Knicks acquired Carmelo Anthony and needed a change of scenery.
- It appears Ersan Ilyasova's new long-term contract with the Bucks has him feeling more comfortable in Milwaukee, writes NBA.com's Steve Aschburner.
- The Cavaliers aren't expected to make their final roster cuts for a few days yet, but it appears one of Donald Sloan or Jeremy Pargo has the upper hand in the backup point guard battle — coach Byron Scott just won't say which, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (via Sulia).
- Sam Smith fields Bulls questions on Nate Robinson, Kirk Hinrich, and others in his latest mailbag at Bulls.com.
After rounding up a few stories out of the west this morning, let's turn our attention this afternoon to the Eastern Conference and to a pair of drafts….
- Competition for playing time and roster spots is still wide open, according to Magic coach Jacque Vaughn. "I am completely honest when I say I have not filled out my top 10, top nine, top 12 guys on the team yet," Vaughn told the media, including Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, after last night's game. "And guys should take advantage of that, and tonight was a night that guys should’ve taken advantage of that opportunity."
- Coach Scott Skiles says the Bucks talked "many times" about how trading Andrew Bogut would impact their interior defense, and made it a priority this offseason to add size and length. Truman Reed of NBA.com has the details.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Chad Ford ranks the top prospects out of the Big East for next year's NBA draft. Meanwhile, Ford's No. 1 2013 prospect, Nerlens Noel, has been cleared by the NCAA to practice and play for the Kentucky Wildcats, according to a USA Today report.
- Speaking of drafts, the NBA D-League's 2012 draft will take place on the evening of November 2nd, according to the league's official Twitter account.
- The Cavs won't necessarily keep both Jeremy Pargo and Donald Sloan on their regular-season roster, but neither player has really pulled away as the favorite to earn a roster spot, says Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.