Jason Smith Rumors
March 29 at 8:56am CST By Luke Adams
The Lakers announced yesterday that Metta World Peace underwent successful surgery on his left knee to repair a torn meniscus, and will miss six weeks. Whether or not the Lakers make the playoffs, World Peace's season could be over, and Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News wondered yesterday if the veteran forward has played his last game as a Laker.
World Peace isn't necessarily in the final year of his contract, since he has a player option for next season. However, if he exercises that option, he becomes a prime candidate to be amnestied. If he declines the option, he'll hit unrestricted free agency. Either way, the man formerly known as Ron Artest may sign a new contract before he plays in his next NBA game.
A number of players are in the same situation as World Peace, with potential free agency looming and an injury keeping them off the court. Here are a few guys who we may not see play for their current teams again, and whose free agent stocks could be affected by their current injuries:
- Leandro Barbosa (Wizards): If you'd forgotten Barbosa was on the Wizards' roster, you're probably not alone. Acquired for salary purposes in the deal that sent Jordan Crawford to Boston, Barbosa is on an expiring minimum-salary contract, and his ACL/MCL injury may hurt his chances of signing another deal this offseason. Having suffered the season-ending injury in February, he probably won't be healthy in time for fall camps.
- Rodrigue Beaubois (Mavericks): Eligible for restricted free agency this summer, Beaubois underwent surgery on his hand last week, and is unlikely to return this season. I doubt the Mavs will make him a qualifying offer, and there's a good chance he doesn't return to Dallas.
- Andrew Bynum (76ers): As well-documented as any non-Derrick Rose injury this season, Bynum's ongoing knee troubles will certainly hurt his earning potential in free agency this summer, and may also ensure he never plays a game with the Sixers.
- Richard Hamilton (Bulls): While Hamilton remains optimistic that he'll play again this season, his ongoing health problems will likely lead the Bulls to part ways with him this summer. Hamilton's $5MM salary for 2013/14 is partially guaranteed, so he figures to receive a $1MM buyout and hit the free agent market.
- Sasha Pavlovic (Trail Blazers): Pavlovic's quad injury has kept him out of action for more than a month, but even if he were healthy, he doesn't appear to be part of the Trail Blazers' plans. Although he's under contract for two more seasons, both years are non-guaranteed, so he may find himself seeking a new deal this July.
- A.J. Price (Wizards): Price earned 22 starts this season for the Wizards, so perhaps the team will have interest in bringing him back next year. He's eager to return to the court to try to improve his free agent stock, but for now, groin issues are keeping him out indefinitely.
- Brandon Roy (Timberwolves): All the time Roy has missed this season with knee problems ensured that the second year of his contract with the Timberwolves became non-guaranteed, and there's virtually no chance the Wolves will retain him and his $5.33MM salary. If Roy is forced to call it a career at season's end, it would be an unfortunate way for him to go out, but I wouldn't be surprised if that's where we're headed.
- Brandon Rush (Warriors): After going down during the season's first week, Rush underwent knee surgery in January that ended his year. Fortunately for him, he's got a $4MM player option for 2013/14, so he figures to be returning to the Warriors rather than looking for work next year.
- Jason Smith (Hornets): Out for the season with a torn labrum, Smith, like Hamilton, has a partially guaranteed contract for 2013/14. The price to keep him wouldn't be exorbitant - $1MM of his $2.5MM salary is guaranteed - so we'll have to wait and see what the Hornets decide.
- Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace (Knicks): A pair of aging Knicks bigs on expiring contracts, it would be a little surprising to see both Thomas and Wallace playing in the NBA next year, even if they return in the playoffs. Even if Thomas and Wallace wanted to extend their playing careers, their latest foot issues would raise red flags for any interested teams.
- Elliot Williams (Trail Blazers): Unlike some other players on this list, Williams is no lock to receive an NBA contract, especially if he can't show that he's healthy before the fall. That's probably why, even after surgery on his achilles, he talked about wanting to return to the court in '12/13 and auditioning in the Summer League.
March 1 at 4:51pm CST By Luke Adams
When I looked earlier this week at teams with open roster spots, only four clubs had more than one opening. Since then, the Celtics have filled their two open spots, leaving the Hornets, Warriors, and Grizzlies as the NBA's only teams carrying just 13 players. Now, the Hornets will find themselves with one fewer player available, as the team announced today that Jason Smith will miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum. As one club that took full advantage of 10-day contracts last season, it may be only a matter of time before New Orleans brings in some young players on 10-day deals to add some roster depth.
Here are a few more Friday updates from around the Western Conference:
- Antawn Jamison turned down a three-year, $11MM offer from the Bobcats to sign for the minimum with the Lakers last offseason, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The veteran forward also has no intention of retiring after this season, as Shelburne tweets. "I don't think this is my last run," Jamison said. "I can still compete with these young guys."
- Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks aren't interested in playing the what-if game when it comes to misses in free agency, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes. "In free agency, we can’t always get what we want," Nowitzki said of the team's pursuit of Deron Williams. "It’s not a Wish concert. It didn’t go the way we wanted so we have to
move on as a franchise."
- After a bounceback 2012/13 season with the Suns, Jermaine O'Neal can count on drawing more interest as a free agent this coming summer than he did last year, says Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld.
- In a piece for Grantland, Bill Simmons lists his choices for the NBA's best contracts, and three of his top 15 belong to the Spurs.
January 26 at 10:49pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Although Kobe Bryant
registered a season low of 10 field goals on Friday night, his 14 assists proved to be instrumental in the Lakers'
rout of the Jazz. Mike D'Antoni
praised his star shooting guard's approach, saying that the dip in field goal attempts shouldn't be looked at as a sacrifice if the team ultimately comes out on top, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles
. McMenamin also takes a closer look at the impending return
of Steve Blake
, who practiced with the team today and could return to game action next week. You'll find the rest of tonight's Western Conference notes here:
- Earlier today, HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler answered some of his followers' questions on Twitter, saying that he doesn't think the Lakers aren't looking to move Dwight Howard before the deadline, Mike D'Antoni's job isn't necessarily safe right now, and that the Grizzlies aren't currently looking to make a deal with the Celtics (All Twitter links).
- Luke Ridnour has been a productive and dependable stop gap for the Timberwolves in spite of all the injuries he's handled this year, notes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro wants Lamar Odom to be more aggressive on the offensive end, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Another 6'10 forward has been making waves in Los Angeles, albeit for the purple and gold. In another article, Ben Bolch examines Earl Clark's breakout year as a starter for the Lakers.
- Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin tells Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune that he wants to groom Gordon Hayward into a player who can be counted on to close games.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says there's no doubt in his mind that Dirk Nowitzki will be an All-Star again, writes Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW.
- Jason Smith has played with
a reckless abandon that has earned the attention and respect from his
teammates and the Hornets coaching staff, observes John
Reid of NOLA.com.
- Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post makes a case for why Warriors guard Stephen Curry was the biggest snub of this year's All-Star game.
January 10 at 6:22pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest updates on the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday evening:
December 2 at 4:27pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news and notes from the Southwest Division on Sunday afternoon:
- Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News wonders whether Spurs coach Gregg Popovich cost himself the opportunity to coach Team USA at the 2016 Olympics with his controversial decision to rest several starters on Thursday.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that he understands the NBA's decision to fine the Spurs, although he may have done the same thing in Popovich's shoes.
- Darren Collison, on the last year of his rookie-scale contract, doesn't think he got a fair shot at starting for the Mavs, writes Jeff Caplan of NBA.com, but Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News thinks the numbers support coach Rick Carlisle's decision to go with newly acquired Derek Fisher as the starter.
- Hornets forward Jason Smith tells John Reid of the Times-Picayune that it is the responsibility of the veteran players to set an example for younger players on the struggling team.
- Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune writes that the Hornets so far are failing to deliver on their promise of a brighter future.
November 3 at 10:53pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News stirs up
an interesting talking point about Mike D'Antoni
and speculates whether or not a head coaching job with the Rockets
would appeal to him down the line with James Harden
now on board. In July, Lawrence wrote about how the former Knicks
coach was worth keeping an eye on
for Houston because of Jeremy Lin's
success under his stewardship (all this under the premise of head coach Kevin McHale
not being able to thrive with Lin this year). Again, this is purely speculation, and with McHale just beginning the second year of a three-year deal, nothing we've heard at this point would indicate that he's on the hot seat. With that aside, you'll find tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the league below:
- Darnell Mayberry of NewsOK describes how Kevin Martin is fitting in with the Thunder as he looks to transition from being the main guy in Houston to the sixth man in Oklahoma City.
- Tim Bontemps of the New York Post reports that Nets guard Keith Bogans suited up for tonight's game against the Raptors after being out with an injury since February.
- The following three links are all courtesy of the Los Angeles Times: Firstly, Broderick Turner discusses Vinny Del Negro's task of finding minutes for all five of his rotation big men at the power forward and center positions, adding that doing so through the Clippers' first two games was easier because of foul trouble. Secondly, Ben Bolch reflects on current Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey's tenure with the Clippers, his departure, and the ties that Olshey still feels with some of their players. Lastly, Eric Pincus says that today's day off for the Lakers was needed, considering that Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Jordan Hill are all trying to play through injuries. Metta World Peace agreed, saying that the team had already gone through seven or eight straight days on their feet and that it had "hurt them a bit."
- Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press writes about how Nikola Pekovic and his physical play during Timberwolves' practices have played a vital role in the development of Greg Stiemsma.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune talks about how veteran additions Brandon Roy and Andrei Kirilenko have fared in Minnesota so far.
October 14 at 9:10pm CST By Ryan Raroque
We've got a handful of links to share from New Orleans tonight, including several injury updates:
- Anthony Davis returned to practice Sunday after a groin injury sidelined him from Friday's pre-season game against the Rockets, says John Reid of NOLA.com. The Hornets forward appeared to move without limitations during post-up drills but was held out of contact work.
- In another article, Reid mentions that Eric Gordon has continued to rehabilitate his knee, and that Hornets coach Monty Williams hopes to be able to play him in limited minutes before the end of pre-season. Williams added that although he isn't exactly sure if Gordon will be ready between this week and the next, the fifth-year veteran has been participating in drills during practices.
- Both Jason Smith (sore back) and Xavier Henry (sore knee) have sat out the last three pre-season games, but Reid writes that both could be close to returning after taking part in practice today.
- According to Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com, one of Gordon's main goals for this season is to make the All-Star game.
- Brian Travis of Hornets.com gathered Al-Farouq Aminu's thoughts on his experiences during the offseason that included being a leader on the Nigerian Olympic basketball team during the summer games in London.
September 25 at 5:50pm CST By Luke Adams
Let's round up a few of today's odds and ends from around the Association....
- The Timberwolves ultimately signed Louis Amundson to a minimum-salary deal to bolster their frontcourt, but were also seriously considering Sean Williams and were close to signing Yi Jianlian, tweets Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500. Yi ended up signing in China, where he presumably received a larger guarantee.
- Two and a half months after urging management to make roster upgrades, Kevin Love says he's happy about the changes and is optimistic about the Timberwolves' playoff chances, according to an AP report (via NBA.com).
- According to a Primera Hora report (Spanish link), longtime NBA point guard Carlos Arroyo is still debating whether to join an NBA team's training camp or play in Turkey.
- The Rockets announced a series of coaching and basketball operations hirings and promotions today, including a pair of assistant coaches.
- There has been so much turnover in New Orleans in recent years that Jason Smith, who joined the team almost exactly two years ago, is now the longest-tenured Hornet. Smith spoke to Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com about the club's offseason acquisitions and his expectations for the coming year.
March 23 at 12:38pm CST By Luke Adams
Jason Smith's flagrant foul on Blake Griffin last night didn't sit well with the Clippers and will almost certainly result in a suspension for the Hornets big man. However, ESPN.com's Marc Stein writes that the Clippers might owe Smith a thank you for his role in December's Chris Paul saga.
According to Stein, Smith rejected a sign-and-trade offer that would have made him part of the original three-way Paul trade between the Hornets, Rockets, and Lakers for salary purposes. While David Stern could have ultimately nixed the proposed Paul-to-the-Lakers deal regardless of Smith's involvement, the 26-year-old may have played a small part in Paul eventually heading to L.A.'s other team.
Here are a few more Friday odds and ends out of the Pacific Division: