Although the Mavericks/Lakers game tonight will have a serious impact on the race for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference, it's not the only noteworthy game on the schedule. The Knicks and Heat have comfortably clinched playoff spots, but New York is still vying for the second seed in the East, while the Heat are looking for a split of the season series with the Knicks. As we wait for those teams to tip off in Miami, let's round up a few odds and ends from around the NBA:
Citing a source close to the team, ESPN New York's Jared Zwerling reports that the Knicks are considering adding a veteran point guard to supplement Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni. While injuries have decimated their frontcourt, Zwerling says a lack of free agent options has led the Knicks to consider opting for guard help.
Zwerling indicates that the Knicks are ideally looking for a point guard that has some speed and quickness, in contrast to the wisdom and decision making of the older Kidd and Prigioni. The source points to Delonte West, Sundiata Gaines and Jannero Pargo as options, with West being the most likely. While West has some issues - as evidenced by his absence from the NBA this year - the Saint Joseph's product would join a veteran roster in New York. Meanwhile, all signs point towards Pargo signing a 10-day contract with Charlotte tomorrow. So unless that deal falls through, the Knicks would have to hope the Bobcats let him walk once his contract expires if they want to pursue him.
Two of those veterans are injured big men Amare Stoudemire and Rasheed Wallace, both out for the remainder of the regular season. Zwerling says Mike Woodson remains committed to Wallace, probably making James White the odd man out should the team decide it needs a roster spot.
Should the Knicks decide their need for frontcourt help is too pressing to consider anything else, Zwerling lists Henry Sims, Tony Battie, Josh Boone, Brian Cook, Dan Gadzuric, Troy Murphy, Ben Wallace, Hassan Whiteside and Sean Williams as potential targets. While Sims provides the most intrigue of the bunch, Zwerling says the Knicks would prefer a veteran.
The Hornets have signed Henry Sims to a 10-day contract, the team announced in a press release. John Reid of The Times-Picayune reported yesterday that the move was expected. The 7-footer was with the Knicks in training camp this past fall, and before the Hornets got in the mix a source told Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com that the Knicks might entertain the idea of bringing him back this season.
The 22-year-old went undrafted this past June after four years at Georgetown. Sims has seen extensive time with the Erie BayHawks of the D-League this year, starting all 36 of the team's games and averaging 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. When Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune reported Friday that the Hornets were looking for a center, I speculated that Sims might be someone they consider.
New Orleans made liberal use of 10-day contracts last season, and with big man Jason Smith out for the season with a torn labrum, Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors wrote that more short-term deals might be coming. The addition of Sims gives the Hornets 14 players on their roster, leaving one more spot open should they decide to pursue more depth.
The New Orleans Hornets are expected to sign center Henry Sims of the D-League's Erie Bayhawks to a 10-day contract, John Reid of the Times Picayune reports.
Sims has averaged 17.1 PPG and 9.0 RPG with the Bayhawks this season and has never played in an NBA game.
Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld says that last week's quiet deadline could lead to a noisy offseason this year, with quite a handful of those who were rumored to be moved set to hit free agency. Kennedy provides a list of this summer's top 20 free agents along with a primer of each player's situation to boot. One interesting situation involves Oklahoma City's Kevin Martin, who has already been given the impression that the Thunder would like to keep him for the long-term. However, Kennedy opines that a strong post-season could increase the shooting guard's stock to the point where Oklahoma City may have to let him go - as they did with James Harden - if his price tag becomes too high. Here are a few more tidbits we've gathered up from the NBA this evening:
With Rajon Rondo out for the year, two of the Celtics' Atlantic Division rivals are in position to give Boston a run for the eighth and final playoff seed in the East. The 76ers are 2.5 games back of the Celtics, while the Raptors are five games back, and both teams hope to have injured players returning to the floor in the next few weeks -- Andrew Bynum for the Sixers, and Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas for the Raptors. Here's the latest out of the Atlantic:
The latest on various moves and happenings from around the D-League on Sunday afternoon:
The Knicks have officially signed four players to contracts that include training camp invites, according to a team press release. We heard yesterday about the team's deal with John Shurna, but the other three names are new -- the Knicks have added center Henry Sims, guard Oscar Bellfield, and forward Mychel Thompson.
Sims, a seven-footer out of Georgetown, was ranked as the seventh-best center in this year's draft by ESPN.com's Chad Ford after averaging 11.6 PPG and 6.0 RPG in his senior year, but went undrafted. Bellfield, a senior out of UNLV, also went undrafted in 2012.
Thompson, meanwhile, is the only player of the four with any NBA experience, after a brief stint with the Cavaliers in 2011/12. Klay Thompson's older brother appeared in five games for Cleveland last season, starting three. He's a year removed from going undrafted out of Pepperdine, where he averaged 14.6 PPG in his senior year (2010/11).
According to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter), all four players worked out for the Knicks in the spring, and will be fighting to earn one of the team's final roster spots. The Knicks now have 19 players under contract heading into camp, including up to seven believed to be on non-guaranteed deals. For the players that don't earn an NBA roster spot, a place on the Erie BayHawks, New York's D-League affiliate, could be in the cards.