JaVale McGee Rumors
January 20 at 1:44pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news and notes from around the Northwest Division on Sunday afternoon:
- The Blazers, who've lost five in a row, are hamstrung by their substandard bench, but GM Neil Olshey isn't planning to compromise the team's long-term cap flexibillity to improve its depth this season, The Oregonian's Jason Quick writes. Nonetheless, the GM regrets not adding bench strength over the summer.
- Yesterday's 10-day signees Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson made an instant impact for theWolves, as Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune documents.
- Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post chronicles the slow development of Nuggets center JaVale McGee, who's averaging fewer minutes than all but two other players who, like him, make at least $10MM a season. "He's got to understand that lazy and crazy isn't going to make it work," coach George Karl said. "We want solid and we want fundamental, and we want spectacular but only when it happens, not forcing the action where sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't."
- Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune is impressed with the way Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin is magaging is players' minutes.
January 17 at 10:51pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Friday evening:
December 28 at 11:00pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Clippers erased a 19-point deficit to the Jazz to win their 16th straight game tonight, but the NBA's best team still only has a one-game lead for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Thunder are tied in the loss column with the Clippers, and the Spurs are just a game and a half back of L.A. As usual, the West is stacked at the top. Here's more on the Clips and the teams trying to chase them down.
- Clippers forward Matt Barnes believes he was "stuck in a bad situation" under former Lakers coach Mike Brown, as Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times writes. "Last year, playing with the Lakers, I was told when I could shoot. If I made mistakes, I'd come out of the game," Barnes said. "This year Vinny (Del Negro) has installed a lot of trust in me. He lets me go out there and play my game. If I mess up, he still sticks with me and that goes a long way with any player."
- New Mavericks swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts, writing on his Tumblr account, chronicles his experiences in training camp with the Lakers this fall. He also reveals his decision to turn down a seven-figure contract from a team overseas to play in the D-League, which he felt offered the fastest route back to the NBA (hat tip to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com).
- Royce White's grandfather told Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that White expects to work out with the Rockets next week (Twitter link). It's unclear whether that means he'll be formally returning to the team.
- JaVale McGee is playing less than 20 minutes per game after re-signing with the Nuggets for four years and $44MM this summer, but coach George Karl said the team doesn't regret committing so much money to him, HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram tweets.
- Michael Scotto of RealGM.com chronicles the journey of Mavs rookie and former Air Force Staff Sergeant Bernard James, including his early experiences in the NBA.
November 18 at 5:27pm CST By Sean Highkin
HoopsWorld.com has a new roundtable feature in which several of the site's writers weigh in on who they believe is the biggest disappointment thus far in the 2012/13 season. Here are the highlights:
- Lang Greene pinpoints Roy Hibbert, signed to a four-year, $58MM contract this summer, as a major reason why the Pacers are underperforming early in the season.
- Alex Kennedy believes that the Raptors' strategy of targeting Landry Fields to make it harder for the Knicks to land Steve Nash backfired. He points to Fields' disappointing start to the season as a reason why the signing is a failure for Toronto.
- Stephen Brotherston writes that Ersan Ilyasova has regressed following what appeared to be a breakout season last year with the Bucks.
- Bill Ingram is frustrated by the continued inconsistent play of JaVale McGee following his re-signing with the Nuggets this summer.
- Derek Page points out that Pau Gasol's offensive efficiency has dropped this season, even more so than expected following the Lakers' addition of Dwight Howard.
- While there is still time for him to mature, Joel Brigham writes that Jeremy Lin has been a disappointment since signing with the Rockets.
October 29 at 2:02pm CST By Luke Adams
In dealing James Harden to the Rockets, the Thunder ensured that the gold medalist will likely remain in the Western Conference for years to come. In his weekly Morning Tip piece at NBA.com, TNT's David Aldridge notes that while that may come as a surprise, there weren't many logical fits with Eastern Conference clubs.
The Thunder liked Bradley Beal, but the Wizards weren't interested in dealing the third overall pick. Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, meanwhile, tweets that the Magic had some pieces that could have enticed Oklahoma City, but Orlando probably wouldn't have given Harden the max. The Magic ended up not getting involved in the Harden sweepstakes, tweets Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
Here are a few more Monday afternoon updates from around the Western Conference, with just over 24 hours until the NBA regular season gets underway:
- Within his NBA.com column, Aldridge reports that the final sale price of the Grizzlies to Robert Pera's ownership group was $377MM.
- Wayne Ellington remains unlikely to be extended by the Grizzlies before Wednesday, according to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wonders if carrying so many players in contract years could blow up for the Mavericks.
- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper spoke to Seattle mayor Mike McGinn about the possibility of the NBA returning to his city. McGinn said that he's rooting for Sacramento to keep the Kings, since he knows what it feels like to lose a team, but is still hopeful about professional basketball coming back to Seattle.
- Nuggets center JaVale McGee is going to have to learn how to deal with the burden of having a big contract and the attention that brings, writes Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
- The Lakers and Clippers both head into the 2012/13 season hoping that revamped benches will help them contend for a title, says Jill Painter of the Los Angeles Daily News.
- Sam Smith of Bulls.com believes that, even without Harden, the Thunder are the team to beat in the Western Conference.
- Luke Zeller's contract includes a $50K guarantee, so if he opens the season with the Suns, that doesn't mean he'll be with the team all year, says Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter links).
October 12 at 10:55pm CST By Luke Adams
Some Friday updates out of the Western Conference:
- The Thunder announced a series of staff additions, they announced today. They hired Mike Wilks as a Pro Scout and Amanda Green as Basketball Operations Coordinator/Legal & Administration. They also promoted Paul Rivers to Director of Basketball Operations, Will Dawkins to Director of College Player Personnel and Brandon Barnett to Director of Minor League Operations/Pro Scout.
- Also regarding the Thunder, Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman says that the backup point job in Oklahoma City is still up for grabs between Eric Maynor and Reggie Jackson. Maynor is the incumbent but is coming back from a knee injury. With James Harden sidelined with hamstring issues, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he may experiment with both guards on the floor at the same time to gauge his backcourt flexibility.
- John Reid of the Times-Picaynne puts together a lengthy but excellent feature on Austin Rivers, implying that it was Rivers' drive that resulted in him moving up draft boards before landing with the Hornets at the tenth pick.
- Nuggets coach George Karl isn't about to let JaVale McGee's lucrative new contract dictate how much playing time he gives the big man, as Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post writes.
- Dirk Nowitzki had his knee drained for the second time this month, and is still contemplating the possibility of undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his knee, according to Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
- Coach Rick Carlisle expects offseason acquisition Darren Collison to "be great" for the Mavericks, writes McMahon.
- SI.com's Chris Ballard examines Andris Biedrins' precipitous decline, and wonders whether the big man will be able to turn his career around. Biedrins still has two years and $18MM left on his contract with the Warriors, who no longer have the amnesty clause available.
- Al Jefferson was glad to see the Jazz add a number of outside shooters via trades and free agency this offseason, writes Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.
October 1 at 4:03pm CST By Luke Adams
We haven't heard many updates on Ty Lawson's contract negotiations with the Nuggets since the point guard expressed optimism back in July that the two sides would work out an extension this offseason. But both Lawson and the Nuggets stay positive about a deal getting done, as GM Masai Ujiri indicated at media day.
"Talks are good," Ujiri said, according to Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post. "We continue to talk. It never gets really serious until that date (October 31st) comes."
Here are few other Nuggets-related notes from media day:
- According to Ujiri, JaVale McGee was working out with the team even before re-signing, and never seriously explored other opportunities or offers (Twitter link via Matt Moore of CBS Sports).
- Lawson said that he feels as if the Nuggets are the best team in the West, according to Hochman. I'm not sure many pundits would agree with his assessment, but I do think Denver is the best bet to unseat the Lakers, Thunder, or Spurs as a top-three team out west.
- Ujiri acknowledged that the Nuggets are still a "growing team," but both he and coach George Karl like the direction the club is headed, as Adrian Dater of the Denver Post writes. "I can't deny that this (was) the best
September with the Denver Nuggets that I've had since I've been here,"
Karl said. "We had more guys in the gym and more committed guys to
exactly how we're going to play."
July 31 at 9:55pm CST By Ryan Raroque
The NBA does not make a profit by sending its stars to play at the Olympics, and a move to re-direct their headline players into a rebranded World Cup of Basketball would certainly change that. While Ken Berger of CBS Sports understands the idea of pulling NBA stars out of the Olympic games in the future, he says that it should be based on the premise that "Dream Teams" have run their course, and not because it is driven by an opportunity for David Stern and NBA owners to try to make money elsewhere. With that aside, here are some of tonight's miscellaneous links...
- Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld mentions that Jeremy Lamb, Royce White, and Terrence Jones cannot be included in a potential Dwight Howard trade until the end of August, specifically 30 days after each of them signed their rookie deals with the Rockets on July 26 (Sulia link).
- In a series of tweets, Jason Quick of The Oregonian reports that Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey has concluded the second round of interviews and will "move on to the next phase" of the process once all four finalists are given due consideration. Although team owner Paul Allen was not involved in the interviews with Terry Stotts, Steve Clifford, Kaleb Canales, and Elston Turner, Quick assumes that Olshey will ultimately present a recommendation for hire to Allen after deliberation. Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (via Twitter) pointed out that Turner's interview lasted for four-and-a-half hours today.
- When asked if the Timberwolves had more changes to make after the Olympics, GM David Kahn replied, "Maybe it’s a tweak here and there, maybe even something big, to make us even better still" (according to a tweet by Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune). In a separate piece, Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press documented Kahn's thoughts on the team's new additions this offseason.
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy says that although the Bulls and Tracy McGrady have flirted in the past, it doesn't sound like a deal is close (Twitter link).
July 20 at 1:34pm CST By Luke Adams
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis sat down with Washington Post columnist Mike Wise earlier this week to discuss a number of topics related to his team's offseason and its recent acquisitions. Leonsis provided a number of interesting quotes on the Wizards' roster decisions, so let's dive right in and check out the highlights....
On the decision to amnesty Andray Blatche:
"I [was] torn. I believe people should have second and third chances. On the other hand, I don’t know where he fits now in this lineup. On the other hand, he [was] the last remaining touchpoint from the previous teams. That’s what [was] being discussed and weighed.... I’m not afraid of amnestying him and paying him the money. We have turned the entire lineup in one and three-quarters seasons. We shouldn’t forget Gilbert [Arenas] played here John Wall’s rookie season until he traded himself to Orlando."
On whether Leonsis recognizes Blatche's contract extension was a mistake:
Yes -- we made a mistake. Although the NBA has had close to $250MM of amnestied players to date. Sometimes you get a chance to take a mulligan under the new rules and that is what we did."
On when a star player might want to come to Washington in free agency:
"I think when we can establish we’re a perennial playoff team and when we have one or two young stars -- real, legitimate stars. Everyone knows that John Wall is a burgeoning star.... I think most people in the league feel this year, next year that John has the opportunity, if he improves, to be a real star player.... I view it as my part of my mission as an owner to create an environment, fan base and player development system that allows him to be a star. I think it’s a two-way street. You can’t put the onus on just the player. You have to surround him with the right people, have the right coaches."
On the expectations for the coming season:
"I won’t be happy with our plan if we’re back in the lottery.... If we just miss making a playoff spot, no, the world is not going to end. If we’re picking third because we have the second-worst record, no, I will not be happy.... We’ve turned over the roster, turned over the coaching staff. We’ve have good drafts. We took the second-highest-paid player in the league -- I think one of the bloggers calculated he averaged $23K per minute -- and replaced him with two players that will play big minutes who each averaged 10-15 points a game. We were getting zero from Rashard [Lewis]."
On how the team's roster is different after this year's trades:
"Culturally, every one of these guys is a good guy. It’s a big change. And no one is playing for a contract. I don’t think Nick [Young] and JaVale [McGee] were bad people. But they wanted stats. I understand that, relate and get it. But they weren’t playing as a team. You saw at the end of the year with Nene, who already got his big contract, right. So stats weren’t important to him. The little things were important to him."
July 18 at 9:42pm CST By Zach Links
The Nuggets announced that they have re-signed free agent center JaVale McGee to a multiyear contract. The deal is for four years and worth $44MM, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The big man averaged 11.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 2.16 BPG in 61 games for the Nuggets and Wizards last season.
Denver acquired McGee from the Wizards as part of a three-team deal on March 15th that sent Nene to Washington. The athletic 24-year-old had a number of memorable mental lapses on the court during his time with the Wizards but appeared to turn a corner with the Nuggets.
“JaVale did a tremendous job for us after the trade,” Executive VP Masai Ujiri said in the release. “He worked hard on the court and did everything our coaches asked of him. Plus, he’s only 24 years old. With our coaching staff, he’s only going to get better.”
McGee turned in a pair of brilliant performances in the Nuggets' first-round series against the Lakers. The 7-footer put up 16 points and 15 rebounds Game 3 and followed that up with 21 points and 14 boards in Game 5.
Late last week, it was reported that the Nuggets offered McGee a five-year deal worth $50MM. The reported pact gives McGee a slightly higher average annual value while allowing him to re-enter the open market before his 29th birthday. The length and value of the deal is strikingly similar to the four-year, $43MM offer sheet that the Clippers matched last offseason in order to keep DeAndre Jordan away from the Warriors.