With seven playoff spots clinched and the Bucks likely to lock their spot up as soon as this weekend, there won't be much late-season drama in the Eastern Conference. But seeding is still on the line, and a win for the Bulls tonight over the Nets would increase the likelihood of the two teams playing each other in the first round later this month. As we look forward to that game, let's check out a few notes from around the conference....
WEDNESDAY, 10:38am: The Bobcats have officially signed Pargo for the remainder of the season, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (via Twitter).
TUESDAY, 3:22pm: Jannero Pargo's second 10-day contract with the Bobcats will expire tonight, and he's set to sign with the team for the rest of the season tomorrow, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Charlotte had to make a decision regarding Pargo, who occupies the team's final roster spot, since clubs can only sign a player to a pair of 10-day deals per season. I'd guess his new contract will include a non-guaranteed year or a team option for 2013/14 so that the Bobcats can retain his rights and evaluate him during the summer, but that's just my speculation.
Pargo has seen plenty of action in his brief time in Charlotte so far, appearing in 10 games and averaging 9.4 points and 2.5 assists in 17.4 minutes per night. His three-point shooting is down to 38% from the 55.6% clip he showed during his first 10-day stint, but the 33-year-old point guard is still attempting an average of five treys per game over his time as a Bobcat.
Pargo also signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Hawks earlier this season after the Wizards waived him in November. Jeremy Pargo, Jannero's younger brother, was waived this weekend by the Sixers.
SATURDAY, 11:36am: The Bobcats have re-signed Pargo to a second 10-day contract, according to Bonnell (via Twitter).
FRIDAY, 6:02pm: Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports that the Bobcats will re-sign Jannero Pargo to a second 10-day contract, and whether or not they decide to keep him further than that will depend on the health status of Ramon Sessions (Twitter links). Sessions has been recovering from a sprained MCL he suffered earlier this month, and faced a timetable of two to four weeks.
In four games for Charlotte, Pargo has averaged 10 PPG and 3.3 APG while shooting 44.8% from the field and a remarkable 55.6% from long range on 4.5 attempts per game. He's also scored in double figures in three consecutive contests for the Bobcats.
THURSDAY, 9:11am: The Bobcats have officially signed Pargo to a 10-day contract, according to Bobcats VP of communications B.J. Evans (Twitter link).
WEDNESDAY, 10:34am: The Bobcats will likely wait until tomorrow to finalize the agreement with Pargo, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Since Charlotte isn't practicing or playing a game today, waiting until tomorrow will allow the team to maximize Pargo's 10 days.
8:25am: The Bobcats will sign Jannero Pargo today to add depth to their backcourt, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Pargo's deal with Charlotte is expected to be a 10-day contract, according to Bonnell.
Pargo, 33, has had stints with the Wizards and Hawks this season, though neither lasted long. Pargo was cut by the Wizards just a couple weeks into the season, and later inked a pair of 10-day deals with the Hawks, who elected not to retain his services for the remainder of the season. In a small sample size (14 games), Pargo has posted career-lows in FG% (.300) and PER (5.3), among other categories. However, he had a solid season in Atlanta a year ago, recording a career-best 13.6 PER.
For the Bobcats, Ramon Sessions has been sidelined with a sprained left knee, leaving the team thin at point guard, so Pargo is expected to back up starter Kemba Walker. Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors suggested last Friday that Pargo might be a fit for the Bobcats in the wake of Sessions' injury.
Charlotte currently has 14 players on its roster, so a corresponding move won't be necessary to clear a roster spot for Pargo.
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.
We've had a couple interesting items come out of the Southeast Division already today, as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported the Hawks nearly engaged in a three-way deal at the deadline that would have sent Josh Smith to the Celtics, while the Heat are expected to give 40-year-old Juwan Howard a second 10-day contract. There are other notable stories involving Southeast teams this evening, and we'll round up them up here:
As they survey the free agent market and the D-League for potential short-term backcourt options, the Celtics have expressed some interest in Jannero Pargo, agent Mark Bartelstein tells A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.
"Yes, we have talked," Bartelstein said. "But I know Danny [Ainge] is weighing a lot of different options right now, looking for what works best for them. We're doing the same thing, too."
We heard from Ainge yesterday that the Celtics, who have lost Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger, and Leandro Barbosa to season-ending injuries, will likely sign a player to a 10-day contract after the All-Star break, and are considering players overseas as well as stateside. Ainge's comments seemed to suggest that he favored a veteran who could contribute right away rather than a young prospect, which could work in Pargo's favor.
Pargo, 33, was recently re-signed to a pair of 10-day contracts by the Hawks, but wasn't retained for the rest of the season when his second deal expired. Atlanta reportedly had interest in bringing the veteran point guard back, but wanted to keep its 15th roster spot open in case it came in handy at the trade deadline.
As the Bulls continue to hang around in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, there's been speculation that getting a certain former MVP back in the lineup could make Chicago the biggest threat to knock off the Heat. But as he tells Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, Derrick Rose doesn't have a set timetable for his return and isn't about to rush back.
"I'm not coming back until I'm 110%," Rose said. "Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
As Bulls fans wait on Rose, let's round up a few links from around the Eastern Conference:
The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed guard Jannero Pargo to a second 10-day contract, the team announced Saturday in a press release. In his first deal, Pargo averaged 5.2 PPG and 2.6 APG, appearing in five games.
With Pargo playing well and Louis Williams out for the season with a torn ACL, it would appear likely that, following this second 10-day contract, the Hawks will guarantee Pargo for the rest of the 2012/13 season, although there has been no indication of that.
11:09am: The Hawks have officially signed Pargo to a 10-day deal, the team announced in a press release.
10:07am: The Hawks will sign Jannero Pargo to a 10-day contract, agent Mark Bartelstein tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. Atlanta is currently carrying 14 players on its roster, so a corresponding move won't be required to clear space for Pargo.
Pargo earned a spot on the Wizards' roster this fall, but was cut early in the season when Washington signed Shaun Livingston. We heard multiple times after that point that the 33-year-old was drawing interest from teams like the Bulls, Lakers, and others. However, it sounds as if he didn't receive serious interest until the 10-day contract period got underway two weeks ago.
For Pargo, it's a return to the place where he spent the 2011/12 season. In 50 games last year for the Hawks, the veteran guard averaged 5.6 PPG and 1.9 APG while recording a decent 13.6 PER. He'll provide Atlanta some backcourt depth over the next ten days as the club deals with the loss of Louis Williams for the season.