Grant Hill Rumors
May 7 at 8:40am CST By Luke Adams
Coming into the 2012/13 season, the Lakers and Clippers were receiving most of the attention out west, but with four Western Conference teams still alive, the only Pacific team still standing is Golden State. Stephen Curry and the Warriors played in perhaps the best game of the 2013 postseason last night in San Antonio, but ultimately couldn't hold off the Spurs, who escaped with a 129-127 victory. As we hold out hope that the rest of the series lives up to the standard set by Game One, let's check out some other notes from around the Pacific....
- ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that "rumblings persist" about the Suns holding off on their decision on a new general manager because they're hoping to land Grant Hill for the job. Stein adds in a second tweet that if Hill can't be persuaded to return to Phoenix, the Suns figure to decide between Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough and Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman. Charles Barkley didn't receive an interview for the position, says Stein (via Twitter).
- Even if the Lakers could save a bit of money by declining Jodie Meeks' 2013/14 option and replacing him with a minimum-salary player, Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Sulia link) expects the team to bring back Meeks, who could be L.A.'s starting shooting guard on opening night.
- Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times examines the futures of Chris Paul and Vinny Del Negro in L.A., noting that the Clippers and Del Negro discussed an extension a couple times early in the season, but ultimately elected to wait until season's end.
April 24 at 4:49pm CST By Luke Adams
Having parted ways with general manager Lance Blanks this week, the Suns are the first NBA team this offseason seeking a new GM. And according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, team president Lon Babby and the Suns have already lined up a number of potential candidates for the job.
Coro reports that Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman, former Pacers GM David Morway and
former Lakers assistant GM Ronnie Lester are viewed as viable contenders for the Phoenix opening. Assistant GMs Ryan McDonough
(Celtics), Wes Wilcox (Hawks) and Troy Weaver (Thunder) are
potential candidates as well.
Weltman and Morway have a bit of history either with the Suns or the Phoenix area, as Weltman was a finalist when the team hired Blanks as GM in 2010. Morway, meanwhile, graduated from the University of Arizona.
According to Babby, the team is unlikely to make a promotion from within the organization, but previous GM experience isn't necessarily a qualification for the job. Still, Babby noted that he can't imagine "a first-rate talent evaluator would not have front-office experience." As Coro points out, if front-office experience is a requirement, that would eliminate a couple popular speculative candidates, in former Suns players Grant Hill and Charles Barkley.
According to Coro, members of the Suns organization have hoped to see Hill eventually return to the team in a management role. As for Barkley, he has suggested before that he could have interest in a GM role with the Suns, and reiterated today on XTRA Sports 910 in Phoenix that he hoped to receive a chance to run an NBA team at some point (Twitter link via Eric Sorenson). However, as Coro writes, the Suns' GM position would likely mean a pay cut and a workload increase for Barkley.
"I think the job requires rowing the boat every single day and it’s an
all-consuming job and my impression is that he has a pretty full and
good life," Babby said of Barkley. "Taking on a challenge like this might be
something he really doesn’t want if he knew what it entails."
April 22 at 11:08pm CST By Chuck Myron
Many believe there's virtually no chance the Jazz will re-sign both Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap this summer, and Millsap admits the uncertainty of impending free agency crept into his mind during the season, as Mike Sorensen of the Deseret News writes. "That’s me being honest," Millsap said. "It’s a tough thing to try to put it in the back of your head and not think about it. For the most part, I felt like we did a good job of handling it and the coaches did too." Free agents in the playoffs face even more pressure as they chase a title and their next contract at the same time, and as we watch to see who can take that kind of heat, here's the latest from around the Association:
- Clippers vice president of basketball operations Gary Sacks expressed his support for Vinny Del Negro to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, in response to rumors that the team may not retain the coach. Del Negro is in the final year of his contract, and though he and the Clippers have spoken about an extension, both sides have tabled those talks until after the season.
- Mike Dunleavy Sr. wants to coach again, and he's told agent Warren LeGarie to investigate the opportunities, reports Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida. Dunleavy said he'd limit his search to teams that have the "resources" available to win.
- Rival executives have suggested to Chris Mannix of SI.com that Grant Hill could be a fit for the general manager opening in Phoenix. Hill is likely to retire at the end of the season, and he's a favorite of Suns owner Robert Sarver, who employed him as a player for five seasons. Lon Babby, the team's president of basketball operations, is a former agent who used to represent Hill (Twitter link).
- SB Nation's Tom Ziller ponders what might have been if James Harden were still with the Thunder, pointing to numbers that suggest they'd be among the greatest offensive teams of all time.
- Former Illinois shooting guard Brandon Paul has chosen agent Jim Tanner of Williams & Connolly, tweets Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal. Paul checks in 57th with Jonathan Givony's ratings for DraftExpress, but Chad Ford of ESPN.com has him 96th.
April 4 at 8:50am CST By Luke Adams
Given his injury problems earlier in his career, the fact that Grant Hill is still playing at age 40 is remarkable. But while he has a second year on his contract for 2013/14, it appears likely that this season will be his last. Hill tells Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic that there's a "strong chance" he'll retire this summer.
"I’m leaning toward it," Hill said. "I want to get to the end of the year and
offseason and think about it, but I’m pretty confident that’s where my
mind is right now. I’ve enjoyed it."
Hill, who signed with the Clippers last July, didn't appear in a regular-season game until January due to a bone bruise to his right knee. He has played in 27 games since then, but is averaging career-lows in most key categories, including minutes per game (15.5), PPG (3.2), FG% (.380), and PER (4.2).
According to Mark Deeks of ShamSports, Hill's contract, which would pay him about $2.05MM next season if he remained with the Clips, includes a $500K guarantee. The veteran forward's second year becomes fully guaranteed if he's not waived by July 1st, so I would guess that if he decides to retire, the Clips will release him before that date, saving themselves a little money. As for Hill, he'd still be making out pretty well -- according to Basketball-Reference, he has earned over $140MM since making his NBA debut in 1994.
Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel first reported back in February that Hill was "strongly" hinting he expected to retire at season's end.
February 10 at 10:50am CST By Chuck Myron
Dwight Howard's father made news yesterday, weighing in on his son's upcoming free agency and the way he gets along with Mike D'Antoni and Kobe Bryant, among other topics. The younger Howard declined to address Dwight Sr.'s remarks, and Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game is not surprised. Bucher says the relationship between Howard and son is a rocky one, and that Dwight Sr. has given several inaccurate off-the-record stories about his son to reporters over the years (Sulia link). It hasn't been easy to separate fact and fiction with the seemingly mercurial Howard over the past two years of his NBA career, but we're sure to hear plenty more about him between now and the day he inks his next contract this summer.
In the meantime, there's more about D12 and other Pacific Division figures right here:
- Howard never wanted to go to L.A., according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, who hears the Magic were threatening to trade him to the Lakers if he didn't decline the early-termination option on his contract at last year's trade deadline.
- Though Grant Hill is not ruling out a return to the Clippers, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel is convinced this is the final season for the 40-year-old, based on Hill's comments to him this week.
- If Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson can work with Mark Mastrov and Ron Burkle to mount a credible bid for the Kings, the league will be facing an unprecedented showdown between two cities seeking the franchise, observes Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee.
- Fellow Bee scribe Mark Glover examines some of the 20 local investors who've committed $1MM apiece to become minority owners if the Kings stay in Sacramento.
February 8 at 9:31pm CST By Chuck Myron
Whether or not the Lakers have what it takes to come close to fulfilling their promise this season, they've already outstripped all expectations for drama. Tonight was no exception, as they bounced back from last night's blowout loss, erasing a 20-point deficit in Charlotte to defeat the Bobcats. The win assures they'll finish better than .500 on their seven-game road trip, which finishes up Sunday with a visit to the defending champion Heat. We've got more on the Lakers and their Pacific brethren right here:
February 7 at 9:01am CST By Luke Adams
Even during a year when neither team has lived up to preseason expectations, a matchup between the Lakers and Celtics is worth circling on the calendar. The contest in Boston tonight is particularly intriguing, given the injury woes that have beset both clubs recently. Despite being shorthanded, the Lakers and C's have been two of the league's hottest teams, with the latter riding a five-game winning streak and the former having won six of seven. As we wait to see which team cools off tonight, let's check in on a few items out of Los Angeles....
- Kobe Bryant tells Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com that he feels like Dwight Howard is too preoccupied with how he's perceived by fans and media. "He just wants people to like him," Bryant said. "He doesn't want to let anyone down, and that gets him away from what he should be doing."
- In detailing how the CBA's increasing tax penalties will affect NBA teams next season and beyond, Sam Amick of USA Today notes that few teams will be hit harder than the Lakers. If the club signs Howard to a max deal, it will have about $100MM committed to just nine players for next season, which would result in over $70MM in tax payments. As such, it's no surprise that a player like Pau Gasol, who is earning $19MM+ next season, has an uncertain future in L.A.
- Despite having a partially guaranteed contract for next year, Grant Hill strongly hinted that he's likely to retire after this season, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.
- Earlier this morning, we heard from Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld that the Lakers are in no rush to add a free agent following Gasol's foot injury.
January 8 at 11:18pm CST By Ryan Raroque
While injury news may not be part of our main scope at Hoops Rumors, we have a handful of updates to share this evening:
- Kevin Love will travel to New York on Wednesday in order to determine whether or not he'll need surgery on his broken right hand, according to Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
- Derrick Rose should be cleared for full-contact practice within the next two weeks, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Subscribers only). Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times provided another look at the superstar's return to practice today, noting that Rose looked good in "predictable contact" drills.
- Kevin Ding of the OC Register (via Twitter) notes that Dwight Howard's injury is actually a separated shoulder (not a torn labrum) and that he hopes to return after a week of recovery. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News tweets that Dwight's injury will not require surgery.
- Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweeted that after meeting with a neurologist today, Pau Gasol has not been cleared to return to action after suffering a concussion during Sunday night's loss to the Nuggets. The Lakers big man will be re-evaluated on Thursday.
- Anderson Varejao does not appear close to returning to action, writes Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer. The Cavaliers center has missed 10 games and counting since injuring his knee near mid-December.
- While there is no specific date for his return, Iman Shumpert made significant progress by being able to participate in 3-on-3 drills and absorbing some contact during Knicks practice today, notes Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
- The Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge learned today that the bothersome pain in his right wrist is nothing more than a sprain, says Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. The 6'11 forward/center originally hurt his wrist in November and has dealt with intermittent pain since then.
- Grant Hill went through full practice today and could be close to making his season debut for the Clippers tomorrow night if all goes well during shootaround, says Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles. Bone bruises in his right knee have kept Hill from appearing in a regular season game thus far.
November 10 at 11:08pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Jabari Davis of Sheridan Hoops noted
a few highlights from a roundtable discussion between longtime personal friend of Phil Jackson
/NBA author Roland Lazenby and the hosts of a blog talk radio show called TheOpinioNationNetwork. Most notably, Lazenby feels that Jackson's return to the Lakers
is a foregone conclusion and went on to briefly talk about how Jackson would be able to handle the team's schedule, Nash's fit within the triangle offense, and where he currently stands with Jerry Buss.
While the head coaching situation in Los Angeles currently appears to be the most polarizing topic of the basketball world, we'll keep track of tonight's other rumblings from around the Association here:
October 19 at 7:46pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest notes from around the Pacific Division on Friday evening: