While it's been a fairly quiet day in the NBA so far, a few familiar names are making headlines internationally. Here are the latest notes from around the globe:
- Jason Kapono is not expected to finish the season with Greek team Panathinaikos, according to a report from Lefteris Moutis of EuroHoops.net. Kapono joined the club in December, but has been disappointed by his lack of playing time and will likely ask to be let go, according to Moutis.
- Brian Cook has reached an agreement to sign with Piratas de Quebradillas of Puerto Rico, agent Greg Nunn tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. Cook, who played for the Clippers and Wizards a year ago, will have an NBA out, giving him the option of returning stateside before season's end if an opportunity arises.
- Cajasol Sevilla has signed former NBA veteran Pops Mensah-Bonsu, the Spanish club announced today on its website (English link via Sportando). The 29-year-old played with five NBA teams in parts of four seasons, last appearing in seven games for the Hornets in 2010/11.
It's been an eventful day around the Association so far, as rumors swirl around the Raptors, while Josh Smith and Kevin Love make headlines with noteworthy quotes. There are a few stories of note happening overseas as well, so let's take a look at today's international updates:
- Croatia's Cibona Zagreb has signed former NBA veteran Smush Parker, the team announced today (link via Sportando). Parker, who started 162 games for the Lakers in 2005/06 and '06/07, engaged in a bit of a back-and-forth with Kobe Bryant earlier this year about their time as teammates.
- Rudy Gobert tells Catch and Shoot that he wants to declare for the NBA draft and come stateside next year (English link via Sportando). That's no surprise, considering he projects as a surefire lottery pick. ESPN.com's Chad Ford even suggested last week that Gobert could be in the mix for the first overall pick.
- After dealing with a personal issue in America, Jason Kapono has finally joined Panathinaikos in Greece, according to Niki Bakouli of EuroHoops.net. Kapono had reached an agreement with the Greek team back in mid-November.
Although he only turned 33 years old earlier this month, Corey Maggette has been around the NBA for a long time, having made his debut back in 1999. With his contract set to expire next summer, Maggette was non-committal about what his immediate future may hold, says David Mayo of MLive.com.
"Who knows what will happen? Who knows? I might be a guy that might be in a front-office position," Maggette said. "I'm already preparing myself for that as I finish this career. The biggest thing is to worry about what's going on now and let the future take care of itself. We don't even know if we're going to wake up tomorrow."
While I'd be surprised if Maggette retired as a player next year, it seems he's already considering the next stage of his career, having spoken to Pistons GM Joe Dumars and assistant GM George David about the paths they took to their current jobs. Here are a few more odds and ends as we prepare for a light Thursday evening NBA schedule:
- Speaking to USA Today's Sam Amick about his extension negotiations with the Thunder and the trade that sent him to the Rockets, James Harden says the final offer he got from Oklahoma City was for four years and $53MM.
- Jannero Pargo is on top of "several NBA teams' radars," Pargo's agent Mark Bartelstein tells Shams Charania of RealGM.com (Twitter link). Considering the source of the info, it's not clear how much stock we should put in it, but Pargo was recently said to be drawing interest from the Bulls and others, and is hoping to get a deal done soon.
- Jason Kapono, whose agreement with Panathinaikos has been on hold, is expected to join the Greek team on December 10th, according to a Gazzetta.gr report (English translation via Sportando).
- Thunder coach Scott Brooks thinks Jeremy Lamb's D-League assignment is a great opportunity for the rookie to earn some playing time, according to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. "He's going to get great work on the practice floor and game floor," Brooks said. "But we like what he does. He has a very high skill set. He definitely needs to continue to develop his body and his game, but that’s a great position for him to be in."
- If you're curious about which D-League players may be in line for a shot from an NBA team in the coming weeks, keep an eye on four players Ryan Ripley of Ridiculous Upside identifies as hot starters.
- Offseason signee Randy Foye has found a home in the starting lineup for the Jazz, as Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune chronicles.
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Tuesday night:
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW.com writes that, despite a hot start, the Mavericks are struggling without the injured Dirk Nowitzki.
- Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee has a Q&A with Kings GM Geoff Petrie covering the state of the franchise.
- Former NBA guard Jason Kapono is still unsure whether or not he will play in Greece, as he agreed to, citing a family emergency.
- Sean Williams has signed to play in China, according to Jon Pastuzek of NiuBBall.com.
The Wizards will be looking to win their first game of the season tonight, while the Spurs and Grizzlies will aim to be the first teams to nine wins. As we await the evening's seven-game slate, let's check out a few odds and ends from around the NBA:
- J.J. Redick is on an expiring contract and there's been speculation that he's a candidate to be traded, but if it were up to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic would keep Redick and re-sign him at season's end.
- Jason Kapono and Greek team Panathinaikos finalized a contract agreement last week, but the deal may have hit a sang after complications with Kapono's wife's pregnancy, according to Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net. The two sides are in constant contact to determine whether Kapono will be able to travel to Greece this week, but there's a chance the contract could be voided.
- Speaking to Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld, Elton Brand talked about the 76ers' decision to amnesty him this summer, noting that the team informed him of its intentions early on and that there are no hard feelings there.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio talked to Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace about putting together a team that's off to the best start in the NBA this year.
- Current Knicks GM Glen Grunwald acquired Tyson Chandler and a number of other players during the last two offseasons, but Donnie Walsh deserves plenty of credit too for the Knicks' turnaround, considering the moves he made before Grunwald took over, says George Willis of the New York Post.
- After all the offseason additions the team made, the Clippers will now have to figure out how to balance minutes and egos, writes Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside wonders if Juan Dixon will be the latest NBA veteran to use the D-League as a means of auditioning for NBA clubs.
Of the 17 players that competed during the 2002 NCAA title game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Indiana Hoosiers, three would go on to become first round picks during that year's NBA Draft: Chris Wilcox
(eighth overall), Jared Jeffries
(11th), and the championship game's leading scorer, Juan Dixon
(17th). Today, while Wilcox and Jeffries have guaranteed contracts, Dixon finds himself on the outside looking in, tirelessly determined to make a comeback. Connor Letourneau of The Diamondback
uncovers how Dixon's trying experiences as an international player contributed to his maturation process and what a return to the NBA would mean for the 34-year-old guard.
You'll find the rest of this evening's miscellaneous notes from around the league below:
- Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com thinks that the chances of the Kings remaining in Sacramento after this season (and possibly several more) continue to increase because of little movement in talks of going anywhere else. Without much momentum between the Maloofs and the potential destinations that have been mentioned (Anaheim, Seattle, Virginia Beach) nor anything that indicates a possibility that the team will be sold, Howard-Cooper writes that it bides more time for the city to find a way to keep the Kings for now.
- Eurohoops.net tweets that Panathinaikos of Greece has signed Jason Kapono.
- John Reid of NOLA.com reports that Matt Carroll has not yet reported to the Hornets since Tuesday's trade involving Hakim Warrick going to the Bobcats. Head coach Monty Williams says that there have been ongoing discussions between Carroll's agent and GM Dell Demps but did not elaborate on the specifics. The team hopes to give an update on the situation tomorrow.
- Yahoo's Marc J. Spears relayed a quote from today's press conference in which Mike D'Antoni said he'd like to get the Lakers to play "Showtime basketball."Arash Markazi of ESPN LA tweets that D'Antoni's coaching debut will likely be on Sunday against the Rockets.
- Nagging injuries have become a cause for uncertainty and concern for Heat superstar Dwyane Wade, writes Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
- Dan Bickley of AZCentral sports says (via Twitter) that Charles Barkley would be interested in becoming the Suns GM if owner Robert Sarver were to make such an opportunity available in the near future.
- The Raptors officially posted an injury update on their team website regarding Alan Anderson, Landry Fields, and Kyle Lowry. Anderson will remain out for another three to six weeks and Lowry for one to two weeks, according to the press release. There is no timetable set in place for Fields' return.
The owners of the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce received an offer from an unnamed NBA team this offseason to sell the franchise, according to Terry Vandrovec of the Argus Leader (hat tip to Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside). However, the proposal, which would have made the Skyforce a one-on-one affiliate for the unknown team, would have required the team to relocate, which didn't appeal to owners Mike and Greg Heinman.
The Skyforce are one of five D-League teams without a single affiliation, as Sioux Falls is currently the affiliate for the Heat, Magic, Timberwolves, and 76ers. With a new arena set to open next season, the Heinmans are hoping to land a hybrid single affiliation with the neighboring T-Wolves.
Here are a few more Thursday morning odds and ends from around the NBA:
- After a pair of disappointing seasons with the Sixers and Lakers, Jason Kapono didn't land an NBA contract this summer. However, according to reports out of Greece, the sharpshooter could be headed overseas to join Panathinaikos. Emiliano Carchia of Sportando has the details.
- Jason Kidd tells Marc Berman of the New York Post (Sulia link) that he was "very, very close" to signing with the Spurs in 2003 before he decided to return to the Nets.
- Many members of the Knicks, including Kidd, Tyson Chandler, and GM Glen Grunwald, were happy to see Mike D'Antoni land the Lakers' coaching job, as Berman writes in a piece for the Post.
- An overheard conversation has raised questions about whether the NCAA has prejudged the case on Shabazz Muhammad's eligibility, reports Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times. Muhammad's representatives believe the revelation is enough for the NCAA to declare the UCLA freshman eligible immediately.
- Discussing how to "fix" the Pacers, Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star essentially rules out the possibility of a trade, since David West's expiring contract is one of Indiana's only real assets.
Free agent sharpshooter Jason Kapono has been working out with the Spurs this week, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). The nine-year veteran hasn't had a spot on an NBA roster since last year's trade deadline, when he was acquired from the Lakers by the Cavs, and subsequently waived.
Kapono has contributed next to nothing for the 76ers and Lakers over the last two seasons, playing limited minutes and making just nine of his 35 three-point attempts. However, he's still just 31 years old and has a career .434 3PT%. He would have to show flashes of his old self before he'd be considered a worthwhile investment for any NBA team, but it's possible he could help a club in need of outside shooting.
With Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal, Danny Green, Derrick Byars, and Nando De Colo already at the two and three spots, the Spurs don't have a real need for Kapono, so I wouldn't be surprised if the workouts were simply due diligence. Adding a big man or two will probably be a stronger priority for the Spurs, particularly if they find a taker for DeJuan Blair.
The Bobcats have been linked to a number of power forwards this summer, including Carl Landry, Antawn Jamison, and Louis Amundson. However, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer says (via Twitter) that the idea Charlotte is "desperate" to add another power forward is off base. Here are a few more Thursday afternoon odds and ends from around the Association:
- Jason Kapono turned down an offer to play for Orleans in France, according to Gabriel Pantel-Jouve of Catch and Shoot (French link).
- According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, the Bulls turned down the Magic when Orlando asked permission to interview Chicago assistant Adrian Griffin for its lead assistant position. The Bulls appear to only be allowing Griffin to interview for head coach openings, says Haynes.
- Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com wonders how the Mavericks stack up against their Western Conference foes, following the team's offseason moves.
- Having signed a three-year deal with the Suns, Michael Beasley is looking forward to getting a fresh start in Phoenix, as he tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.
- Lang Greene of HoopsWorld identifies a few teams whose summer acquistions may have them ready to make the leap from the lottery to the playoffs in 2012/13.