Amidst rumors that Flip Saunders might be next in line to run the Timberwolves' basketball operations and owner Glen Taylor's insistence that current GM David Kahn could still be retained beyond this season, Taylor tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities to expect a decision no later than the end of April.
"I owe it to David to get going," Taylor said. "I can't go on for a long time."
Here are a few more of the latest Wolves rumblings from Wolfson:
- Taylor tells Wolfson that he hopes the team can work out an agreement with restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic this summer, but Wolfson continues to hear from team and league sources that Taylor likely won't go up to $12MM+ annually for the big man.
- Taylor expects Rick Adelman to return to the Wolves' bench as head coach next season.
- According to Taylor, Adelman had no interest in moving Luke Ridnour at the trade deadline, leading Wolfson to speculate that Kahn was more open to a Ridnour or J.J. Barea trade than the head coach was.
- As the Wolves debate whether to add a big man on a 10-day contract, Eddy Curry is one name the club has discussed internally, says Wolfson.
Several NBA teams have inquired about free agent big man Eddy Curry, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (on Twitter). Curry has been playing in China with the playoff-bound Zhejiang Golden Bulls and is averaging 23 points and 10.1 boards in 29.6 minutes per game.
Curry hooked on with the Mavericks last summer only to be waived by the club on November 2nd to make roster space for Troy Murphy. The former No. 4 overall pick has just 26 NBA games to his credit across the last four seasons. For his career, Curry has averaged 12.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
Basketball season is in full swing around the globe, and a few international players with NBA ties are making headlines. Here's the latest from overseas.
- Sources tell HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy that Eddy Curry, let go by the Mavericks after he appeared in two early-season games, has signed to play in China with the Zhejiang Golden Bulls. The story was first reported by Sina Sports (Chinese link). Another Chinese club went after Curry shortly after the Mavs let him go, but he turned them down amid interest from other NBA teams. According to Kennedy, Curry has his eyes on a return to the NBA in February, when the Chinese season ends.
- It seemed last week that Joe Alexander was also headed to China to play for the Liaoning Hunters, but the team has denied signing or having any interest in the former Bucks lottery pick, according to a Sports.QQ.com report (Chinese link, translation via Sportando).
- Semih Erden returned to his native Turkey to play this year after starting nine games for the Cavs last season, but the 7-footer is determined to make it back to the NBA, blaming injuries for his inability to stick the first time, as Orhun Özdemir of Trendbasket.net writes (hat tip to Sportando). "I’m back in Turkey because I failed to perform at my best in the NBA," the big man said. "I will recover from my injuries here and reach my top form again. I will be back in the NBA better than before."
- Derrick Caracter, a second-round pick of the Lakers in 2010, is headed to Israel, as we heard earlier.
It's Friday afternoon, which means, even on Thanksgiving weekend, Marc Stein has published his Weekend Dime on ESPN.com. Let's dive right into the highlights from this week's column….
- Stein asked executives from five teams about Andrew Bynum's health issues and how they'd affect his contract offers next summer. One GM, noting that the NBA is a "desperate league," pointed to max offers this past offseason for Eric Gordon and Brook Lopez and said Bynum should still land a maximum-salary contract, even considering his knee problems. Other execs weren't so sure though, with one suggesting Bynum could count on "maybe a one- or two-year (max offer). You won't be able to get insurance coverage on his knees."
- While some pundits panned the Knicks this summer for adding so many aging veteran players, Carmelo Anthony wasn't among the critics. In Carmelo's view, players like Marcus Camby, Rasheed Wallace, and Kurt Thomas are helping him improve. "I have no complaints," Anthony said. "What our front office did this offseason, acquiring those guys we did, I have no complaints about that."
- China's Foshan Dralions aggressively pursued Eddy Curry after he was waived by the Mavericks, but Curry turned them down in hopes of landing an NBA roster spot.
- Israeli point guard Gal Mekel, who drew offseason interest from the Jazz, is playing in Israel this season, but hopes to earn a spot on an NBA team next season with a strong summer league performance.
- Andrei Kirilenko tells Stein that while there was a possibility he remained in Russia for more than one season, he only returned there because of the NBA lockout, and his plan always involved returning to the NBA.
Five NBA teams have been in contact with Eddy Curry since he was waived by the Mavericks, reports Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. In addition to receiving inquiries from NBA clubs, Curry has also drawn interest from teams overseas, and has a lucrative offer from a team in China, says Kennedy.
Curry appeared in just 14 games last season with the Heat and hasn't played significant, meaningful minutes in the NBA since the 2007/08 season. However, he looked better than expected during the preseason last month for the Spurs. While that didn't earn him a spot on San Antonio's roster, it inspired the Mavericks to claim Curry on waivers and play him in a pair of regular-season games. He was cut to make room on the roster for Troy Murphy.
At the time Curry was waived, Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld reported that a few clubs had reached out to the big man, and that he was expected to catch on with another team soon. It seems as if the 29-year-old is still weighing his options, perhaps deciding between guaranteed money and a larger role overseas as opposed to a non-guaranteed deal and less playing time in the NBA.
4:37pm: The Mavericks have made the move official in a press release.
10:46am: In order to clear a roster spot for Troy Murphy, the Mavericks are expected to waive Eddy Curry, reports ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Curry was claimed off waivers by Dallas last week after he was released by the Spurs.
The Mavs reached an agreement with Murphy yesterday, but because they were carrying the maximum 15 players, a corresponding roster move is required before the deal is finalized. According to multiple reports, Dallas attempted to find a taker on the trade market for Dominique Jones, but were unsuccessful.
Curry's contract was believed to be fully non-guaranteed, so the Mavs will take a small cap hit for the time he spent on the roster, but won't be obligated to pay his full salary. As Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweets, the veteran big man, who has looked decent this fall, is expected to draw interest from other teams. If he clears waivers, he'll be free to sign with any club.
We've got a busy NBA slate lined up for tonight, with the Knicks, Timberwolves, and Hawks among the teams opening up their seasons at home. As we look forward to a 12-game evening, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the league:
- Despite receiving some criticism for giving Chris Paul too much power in the Clippers' decision-making, GM Gary Sacks tells Sam Amick of USA Today he has no problem with listening to "the guy with the highest IQ in the NBA, maybe."
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com examines whether Mark Cuban will be able to rebuild the Mavericks without bottoming out.
- We heard this morning that Eddy Curry will be waived by the Mavericks, and according to Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld, a number of teams have already reached out to Curry's camp. The big center figures to join another club soon, says Ingram.
- Grantland's Zach Lowe calls DeMar DeRozan's extension a bad contract, but not a catastrophic one. Lowe prefers the deals signed by Jrue Holiday and Taj Gibson to DeRozan's.
- Responding to the criticism DeRozan's extension has received, Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo defended the team's decision, as Eric Koreen of the National Post transcribes.
- Sam Smith's latest mailbag at Bulls.com features discussion on the James Harden trade, Quentin Richardson, and potential Bulls targets.
- A federal court judge has dismissed the claims that agency Priority Sports & Entertainment filed against NBA agent and former Priority employee Aaron Mintz, according to Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal.
MONDAY, 9:36am: According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter), the Mavs have shopped Dominique Jones in hopes of trading him and buying more time to make a decision on West. However, there have been no takers so far. Dallas has until 4:00pm CT today to set its regular-season roster.
SUNDAY, 11:08am: Mavericks executives appear to have convinced owner Mark Cuban not to try to keep suspended guard Delonte West on the team's roster, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News reports, adding that West is likely to be waived before Monday's 4:00pm Central time deadline to finalize opening-night rosters. Cuban has hinted that the troubled West could remain with the team, but Eddy Curry looks to be in line to take his roster spot, according to Sefko.
The Mavs suspended West indefinitely Thursday, his second such punishment of the preseason for unspecified conduct detrimental to the team, and Sefko reports Dallas is wary of the influence West might have on its young players. The Mavs moved swiftly to claim Curry off waivers from the Spurs and sign Melvin Ely and Chris Douglas-Roberts, ostensibly to audition for a roster spot that would come open if West were to be let go. All three are on non-guaranteed contracts, but Curry seemed to distinguish himself with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in Friday's preseason game against the Bobcats.
West is due a guaranteed $1.2MM this season, but the Mavs are only on the hook for $854,389 of it, since he's on a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum. His is one of 15 fully guaranteed deals on the team.
The Mavericks have waived Melvin Ely and Chris Douglas-Roberts, the team announced via press release. The moves come on the heels of a report that team officials have convinced owner Mark Cuban to waive suspended guard Delonte West, whose roster spot Ely and Douglas-Roberts appeared to be competing for. Instead, it seems that spot will go to Eddy Curry. Ely and Douglas-Roberts, like Curry, were on non-guaranteed deals.
It's the second time Douglas-Roberts has been waived this week, as the Lakers let him go Tuesday after he averaged 4.0 points in 8.3 minutes per game over four preseason contests with L.A. Ely is a veteran of eight NBA seasons, but didn't play in the league last year, instead catching on for five games in Puerto Rico. Neither player appeared in a preseason game for the Mavs after signing Thursday.
Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com believes both will wind up with the Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate for the Mavs, as the Legends hold their rights in that league.
9:08pm: Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports that West will not return to the team.
5:01pm: Art Garcia of FOX Sports Southwest tweets that the Mavericks have claimed Curry off of waivers.
4:47pm: Eddie Sefko of SportsDay DFW writes that Delonte West is expected to be waived or traded in order to make room for Curry's signing. West signed a one-year agreement in July worth $1.22MM but is currently under suspension.
4:21pm: According to the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter), the Mavericks are close to signing Eddy Curry. In five pre-season games with the Spurs, the 7'0 center averaged 8.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG, and shot 68% from the field in 15.4 MPG before being waived on Tuesday.
Dallas currently has 15 players on its roster, and would thus have to free up a roster spot in order to bring the ten-year veteran on board.