Former Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace took a lot of flack for trading Pau Gasol to the Lakers five years ago, but no one is complaining now, writes Peter May of Sheridan Hoops. Wallace was widely roasted for making what appeared to be a very one-sided deal, but the emergence of Pau's brother, Marc Gasol, has vindicated him.
Tracy McGrady isn't a key player for the Spurs, but the veteran says that he is "living the dream" as he tries to help them advance beyond the conference finals in a limited role, writes NBA.com's Fran Blinebury. McGrady spent the bulk of the year in China but hooked on with San Antonio at the end of the season.
Earlier today, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com wrote that Dwight Howard was showing interest in the Rockets and Mavericks while he contemplates his free agent fate this summer and ignores the Lakers' request to re-sign with them as quickly as possible. The Lakers can offer Howard a fifth year and more money because the 2011 CBA allows annual raises of 7.5% over the first year, which would be in excess of $20MM for Howard; the other teams bidding for the 27-year-old center's services, including the long shot Netsand Hawks, can only offer increases of 4.5% over the first year.
Remember, Howard is just entering his peak years, and will likely sign another max contract before he retires, so a four-year deal with an option for the final year would allow him to become a free agent again at 30, when he can then sign a larger five-year deal. While Howard takes his time deciding, do you think he re-signs with the Lakers, or does he jump to some other team said to be in the mix?
2:52pm: Here are a few more updates out of Chicago:
In a seriesoftweets, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune lists a number of the prospects the Timberwolves have talked to or will talk to in Chicago. Among those we hadn't already heard about: Alex Len, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr., Ricky Ledo, Archie Goodwin, Reggie Bullock, and Vander Blue.
The Trail Blazers will meet with Caldwell-Pope today, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (via Twitter). Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com adds (via Twitter) that the Blazers met with Ledo yesterday.
Ryan Kelly has met with the Mavericks, Celtics, and Clippers, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.
Dennis Schroeder will work out for the Bucks, Jazz, and Rockets, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (via Twitter).
Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio tweets that there's some speculation at the combine that this could finally be the year the No. 1 pick is traded.
11:44am: It took us multipleposts yesterday to round up all the tidbits trickling out of Chicago, where the NBA is holding its draft combine this week. We'll see if today is as busy, but in the meantime, here are the latest updates on the 2013 draft:
Some NBA executives believe that it's possible Shabazz Muhammad falls out of the top 10 and perhaps even the lottery on draft night, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Chad Ford passes along the official measurements on the players in Chicago, and provides a few thoughts on the results.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) hears from an NBA source that the Warriors believe they can acquire either a first- or second-round pick in this year's draft, if they so choose. Kawakami adds in a second tweet that a pick would mostly just cost money, but I'm skeptical that the Warriors could pick up a first-rounder without giving up anything of value, or that they'd even want to add a rookie-scale salary, given their proximity to the tax.
The Pistons will meet with Rudy Gobert today, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
Steven Adams interviewed with the Magic last night, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Chad Ford heard that Adams was the big winner on the first day of the combine, with "GM after GM" impressed by his showing.
Kelly Olynyk has met with the Bucks, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
Myck Kabongo met with the Knicks and Trail Blazers earlier in the week, says Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Mason Plumlee also expects to meet with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
2:47pm: More afternoon combine updates from Chicago:
Ben McLemore has already interviewed with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Pelicans, according to SI.com's Chris Mannix (via Twitter). McLemore expects to meet with the Bobcats, Magic, and Pistons tonight, according to various reports (all Twitter links).
Victor Oladipo will also meet with the Pistons tonight, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) adds Otto Porter to the list of prospects interviewed by the Timberwolves, but says the T-Wolves won't get a chance to meet with Oladipo, who was on the team's wish list.
Jamaal Franklin tells Jason Quick of the Oregonian that when he met with the Trail Blazers yesterday, the whole meeting consisted of a psychological test (Twitter link).
Andre Roberson met with the Magic yesterday, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).
Shams Charania of RealGM.com has a list of the 12 prospects the Bulls plan to work out on Monday (Twitter link).
1:35pm: We covered the Thursday morning updates from Chicago's predraft camp earlier today, but with so many tidbits surfacing throughout the day, we're starting an afternoon post to round up the latest notes:
ESPN.com's Chad Ford hears that two international prospects have received first-round guarantees: Dennis Schroeder and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Twitter link).
Michael Carter-Williams has met with several teams, including the Trail Blazers, Bobcats, Pistons, Timberwolves, and Thunder, according to various reports (all links go to Twitter). Carter-Williams is hearing he could be drafted anywhere between third and 15th overall, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
We heard this morning that the Celtics had spoken to Cody Zeller and Glen Rice Jr. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe adds a few more names to the list of Boston interviewees (via Twitter): Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo.
C.J. McCollum won't meet with the Trail Blazers this week, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (Twitter link). However, he will meet with the Pistons tomorrow, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (via Twitter), and has already interviewed with the Magic, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter). SI.com's Chris Mannix (Twitter link) adds the Thunder, Nuggets, and Cavaliers to the list of teams who have spoekn to McCollum, who has 15 total interviews scheduled.
Robbins notes in a separate tweet that the Magic also met with Myck Kabongo.
Isaiah Canaan will meet with the Wizards on Friday, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
Canaan, Andre Roberson, and Grant Jerrett all met with the Pistons last night, tweetsLanglois.
Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Bucks met with Shane Larkin yesterday and will work him out later this month.
Erik Murphy has interviews lined up with the Grizzlies, Clippers, and possibly the Pacers, tweets Robbins.
Seth Curry will meet today with the Lakers, Rockets, and Knicks, tweets Bonnell.
Nerlens Noel told reporters that he hasn't completed any interviews so far, but that he's "pretty sure" he has one scheduled with the Magic. He's not quite so sure about the Cavaliers (Twitterlinks).
Steven Adams and Kelly Olynyk are among the prospects that have met with the Wizards so far and think they'd fit in well in Washington (Twitterlinks). Mason Plumlee is also on the Wizards' list, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
Olynyk has met with the Bobcats as well, says Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
Gorgui Dieng will work out for the Bucks, who will also interview Rudy Gobert and Plumlee, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitterlinks).
A couple notes from SI.com's Chriss Mannix (viaTwitter): Cody Zeller has spoken to the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Rockets, and Celtics, while Mike Muscala only has interviews lined up with the Spurs and Hawks, but will do "nine or 10" workouts later. One of those workouts will be with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
11:09am: With a number of reporters in attendance at the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago, we're expecting plenty of noteworthy tidbits to trickle in throughout the day. Here's a round-up of the first batch of updates on 2013's draft combine participants:
According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), the Cavaliers aren't on Otto Porter's list of teams he's meeting with this week. That's a bit of a surprise, given the rumblings that he's high on the team's big board, though as Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer tweets, the Cavs drafted a pair of players they didn't interview last year.
Porter is scheduled to meet with the Wizards, who spoke to Victor Oladipo earlier this week, tweets Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Porter will meet with the Pistons as well, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The Bobcats, Thunder, and Suns have already met with Porter, according to Lee (via Twitter).
The Pistons are also prepared to meet with Shabazz Muhammad today, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). Muhammad interviewed with the Trail Blazers yesterday and felt it went very well, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
Nate Wolters and Adonis Thomas were among the prospects who have met with the Lakers so far, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
Glen Rice Jr., who played in the D-League this past season, has been interviewed by the Bucks, Celtics, Warriors, Sixers, and Spurs, he confirmed to reporters (allTwitterlinks).
Let's round up the latest out of the Atlantic, where the division's lone remaining team (the Knicks) will attempt to stave off elimination at Madison Square Garden tonight....
The Sixers have received permission to interview Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson, according to John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Sampson had already been on Philadelphia's list of candidates before former Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie was hired by the Sixers, but it will be interesting to see whether or not the Houston connection makes Sampson a stronger candidate for the opening.
Mitchell adds in the same piece that Hinkie is believed to be eyeing Jazz assistant Jeff Hornacek as well.
In identifying Dwight Howard's five likeliest free agent destinations, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld writes that there's still mutual interest between Howard and the Nets.
While Kennedy notes that, due to their cap situation, the Nets are a
"long shot," I'd classify Brooklyn's odds of landing Howard as even more
miniscule than that.
Mark Hale of the New York Post notes that Jason Kidd has said there's no guarantee he'll finish his current three-year contract, and wonders if Kidd's struggles during this postseason could influence a retirement decision.
MONDAY, 3:21: Owner Josh Harris has made it official at a press conference this afternoon, announcing Hinkie's hiring as president of basketball operations and general manager.
FRIDAY, 11:06pm: Hinkie's hiring doesn't change Thorn's situation with the team, Thorn tells Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com (Twitter link). The veteran executive is transitioning into the role of a consultant for the Sixers. Moore also clarifies that Hinkie will choose the team's next head coach.
3:04pm: DiLeo will not return to the Sixers in any capacity, according to John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Twitter). DiLeo had been part of the Sixers' basketball operations department since the 1990/91 season.
2:53pm: According to Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News, Hinkie will also be the Sixers' new president of basketball operations, and DiLeo is "out" (Twitterlinks). Cooney adds that Hinkie's contract is expected to be for three or four years (Twitter link).
An official announcement from the Sixers could come as soon as next week, tweets Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com.
2:35pm: The 76ers have reached an agreement with Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie on a deal that will make Hinkie the Sixers' new general manager, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
Tony DiLeo had previously been serving as the GM in Philadelphia, but his contract was set to expire next month, making his status going forward uncertain. DiLeo has been a longtime member of the Sixers' front office and had been working with ownership on the team's coaching search, so it's unclear whether he'll be parting ways with the club or simply transitioning into a new role. I wouldn't be surprised if he moved into the team president position previously held by Rod Thorn, but it appears as if Hinkie will be the final decision-maker in basketball operations.
Before the Sixers promoted DiLeo to GM last summer, the team conducted a search that included Hinkie. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, the two sides re-opened discussions "very recently" (Twitter link).
We could have a fairly clear idea of the two teams that will play for the Eastern Conference title by the end of tonight. The Heat appear on their way to the conference finals with a 3-1 lead against the Bulls, and the Pacers can take a 3-1 lead of their own with a win at home against the Knicks tonight. Of course, we won't know for sure until later this week at the earliest, but if Indiana wins this evening, most of the on-court intrigue will shift to the Spurs-Warriors series in the West. All five open head coaching jobs are in the East, however, and there's news on that along with other notes from around the conference today:
The Bobcats are interviewing Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson for their head coaching vacancy today, and they'll meet with Lakers assistant Steve Clifford next week, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitterlinks). The team has reportedly had interest in both.
A few days after receiving permission from the Lakers to do so, the Cavs are interviewing L.A. player development coach Phil Handy for a spot on head coachMike Brown's staff, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com doesn't expect to see resolution on the future of the Celtics soon, suggesting that trade talk involving Paul Pierce could drag on past June 30th, the deadline for Boston to waive Pierce and reduce his cap hit by more than $10MM.
The Raptors appear headed for tax territory next season, but the arrival of new executive Tim Leiweke indicates that the team is comfortable paying the tax, writes Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld.
Eddie Jordan spent parts of nine seasons as an NBA head coach, six of them with the Wizards, but he tells Michael Lee of The Washington Post he doesn't want another NBA head coaching job, no matter how it goes in his new gig as the coach at Rutgers University.
All eyes will be on Clippers guard Chris Paul this summer and while the All-Star has been treated like royalty in L.A. and arguably has been given more pull than any other player in the league when it comes to personnel decisions, it's possible that CP3 will head elsewhere as he looks to win his first NBA title. Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld ran down the Clippers' biggest competition and identified the Mavericks, Hawks, Rockets, and Nuggets as the top threats to pull him away from La La Land. Here's tonight's look around the Association as the Clippers gear up for a very interesting summer..
In today's mailbag, a reader asked Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sentinel if Norris Cole is essentially playing his way out of Miami. The Heat guard is under contract for next season with a club option for 2014/15, but his play could convince Miami that they can safely let Mario Chalmers go rather than exercise his $4MM option for next year. Alternatively, they could also exercise the option on the KU product and flip him elsewhere.
Chris Wilcox is a free agent for a second consecutive season, but he says that he would like to return to the Celtics, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. “I would love to come back and be a part of this, because I just feel like I didn’t. . . . I wasn’t me, you know what I mean? So I want to come back healthy. I want to come back and be healthy right from the start of training camp," Wilcox said.
The Nuggets' Quincy Miller recently had his contract for next season partially guaranteed at $150K, according to Sham Sports. Miller, who could earn up to $789K next year, had a clause in his deal that gave him a partial guarantee if he was not waived in the week following Denver's elimination from the playoffs.
The Rockets will not exercise their team option on Francisco Garcia for 2013/14, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston. Given the price on the option ($6.4MM), the decision comes as no surprise for a Houston team that will have the opportunity to clear more than $15MM in cap space this summer.
With Garcia heading for unrestricted free agency, Houston will have about $39.33MM in guaranteed salaries and $9.18MM in non-guaranteed salaries remaining on its books for next season. Some of those non-guaranteed contracts, such as Chandler Parsons' and Patrick Beverley's, seem to be locks to become guaranteed, while others aren't so certain, as I outlined when I previewed the Rockets' offseason.
As for Garcia, the longtime Sacramento King was sent to Houston for salary purposes as part of the six-player deadline deal that also sent Thomas Robinson to the Rockets. In 58 total games this season, the 31-year-old Garcia averaged 5.5 PPG and shot 37.4% from three-point range. While the Louisville product has never been an exceptional scorer in the NBA, he can still contribute as an outside threat, leading Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com to speculate that he could be a fit for the Lakers. Garcia, for his part, has said he'd like to return to Houston.