On the heels of reports that Lamar Odom has been arrested on suspicion of DUI, at least one NBA general manager believes the veteran forward's NBA career is over.
"Just going by what he is giving you on the court, he would have been a risk anyway, maybe someone you give a partial guarantee to just to see if he can turn things around," the GM told Sean Deveney of the Sporting News. "But with the circus that’s around him off the court now, no way."
As Odom continues to work through his off-court issues, let's check in on a few more odds and ends from around the Association:
- Justin Dentmon, who briefly played for the Mavericks last season, has signed with Lithuania's BC Kauno Zalgiris, according to the team (via Twitter).
- In his latest lengthy piece for Grantland.com, Bill Simmons examines Tracy McGrady's legacy, which Simmons argues will be marred by T-Mac's underwhelming collection of teammates.
- Undrafted rookie Nick Minnerath, who had previously tweeted that he'd be attending training camp with the Lakers, has officially signed Spain's Obradoiro, the team announced (translation via Sportando). The statement from Obradoiro president Jose Luis Mateo suggests that Minnerath will forgo Lakers' camp.
- Bryan Gutierrez of ESPNDallas.com likes the signing of Monta Ellis for the Mavericks, giving the team a grade of A- for the move.
- In an Insider piece for ESPN.com, Jeff Goodman takes a look at some candidates to become the next mid-major star, following in the footsteps of guys like Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
3:49pm: The Mavs have officially signed Akognon to a 10-day deal, the team confirmed in a press release. To create space on the roster, Dentmon was released from his contract before it expired.
8:13am: Justin Dentmon's 10-day contract with the Mavericks is set to expire tonight, and the team will not re-sign him to a second 10-day deal. Instead, the Mavs will continue to audition guards, adding Josh Akognon on a 10-day contract later this week, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
Akognon, 27, was in camp with the Mavericks in the fall, but was cut by the team a couple weeks before the regular season got underway. He spent the season in China, pouring in 29.0 PPG on 54.8% shooting in 36 games for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters. It was Akognon's second straight impressive season in the CBA, after he averaged 28.2 PPG for the DongGuan New Century Leopards in 2011/12.
The Mavs have had a revolving door of guards occupying their 15th roster spot in recent weeks, including Dentmon, Chris Wright, and now Akognon. Depending on when Akognon's 10-day deal is finalized, it appears it will expire before the postseason, though after last night's loss in Los Angeles, Dallas is extremely unlikely to advance to the playoffs anyway.
MONDAY, 11:06am: The Mavericks have officially signed Dentmon to a 10-day deal, the team announced today in a press release.
SATURDAY, 11:45am: The Mavericks are set to sign Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (on Twitter). Dentmon will fill the spot left by Chris Wright since the Mavs are not going to re-sign him to a second 10-day deal.
The Mavs are quite familiar with Dentmon, who plays for their D-League affiliate Texas Legends. The 27-year-old has been strong in 2012/13, averaging 22.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.7 APG this season for the Legends and the Austin Toros. Last year, Dentmon received 10-day contracts with the Spurs and Raptors and was named the MVP of the D-League.
Dallas is apparently looking to audition multiple guards between now and the end of the season. After Dentmon they'll likely test out one more backcourt option before making a final determination.
With only three games on the schedule, Tuesday is a slow NBA night in terms of quantity. However, with the Lakers in Oklahoma City looking to eclipse the .500 mark for the first time since November, there is plenty of quality. Let's round up any odds and ends from around the league here:
- Sacramento officials, led by Kevin Johnson, released a report today that provided statistical support for why Sacramento is a better market for the NBA than Seattle, reports Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee. According to the report, the Kings benefit from a pro sports monopoly in Sacramento, as evidenced by the fact that, when compared to Seattle, the Kings had higher attendance in 20 of the 23 seasons in which both cities had an NBA team. With the Sacramento bid in, the NBA Board of Governors will decide whether or not to approve the Seattle deal in mid-April.
- In his Hang Time Blog, Sekou Smith takes a look at the tough decisions and disapointment that can come with being a D-Leaguer through Justin Dentmon of the Texas Legends. Despite currently leading the D-League in scoring and being last year's league MVP, Dentmon is in danger of going the entire 2012-13 season without an NBA look. Last year Dentmon received 10-day contracts with the Spurs and Raptors.
- Moke Hamilton of Sheridan Hoops ranks the top 15 free agents come the offseason – both restricted and unrestricted – a list that is headed by Dwight Howard.
- Speaking of Howard, the former Magic star ripped into his old squad in a recent interview with an Los Angeles television station, saying the team was "full of people nobody wanted," reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Howard makes his return to Orlando on March 12, as if that fire needed any more fuel.
The annual NBA D-League draft takes place tonight, as the league's 16 teams look to stock up their rosters for the coming season. Former first-round pick JaJuan Johnson is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, but there are plenty of familiar names among the list of players eligible to be drafted. Let's round up a few D-League updates as the draft approaches….
- The D-League's official site has the complete list of draft-eligible players, with its picks for the top 25 prospects in bold.
- As we've discussed in previous posts, NBA teams are permitted to retain the rights to three camp invitees and assign them to their D-League affiliates. For instance, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets, the Cavaliers protected the rights to Micheal Eric, Kevin Jones, and Kevin Anderson. These players are ineligible to be drafted by a rival team tonight, though they could still be signed by another NBA team, if the club was willing to use one of its 15-man roster spots.
- D-League teams have announced their camp invitees in advance of the draft, as Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside writes. Among the notable names: Justin Dentmon and Luther Head of the Austin Toros, Seth Tarver of the Idaho Stampede, Troy Hudson and Keith Benson of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, and D.J. Kennedy of the Erie BayHawks.
Here are a few Friday odds and ends from around the Association, with opening night just over a month away:
- After we rounded up a few highlights from the Celtics' media day earlier this afternoon, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com adds a few more, courtesy of Kevin Garnett's podium appearance. KG discussed Ray Allen, the Heat, and his decision to re-sign with the Celtics, among other topics.
- Justin Dentmon has signed with Fujian Quanzhou in China, agent Bill Neff tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype. Last year's D-League MVP had brief stints with the Spurs and Raptors in 2011/12.
- Asked once again about his contract situation in a Q&A with Jason McIntyre of Big Lead Sports, Stephen Curry reiterated that he hopes to remain with the Warriors long-term, adding: "I’m an NBA junkie and I know all of the latest news and contract situations. But I won’t base my decision on 'Oh, this guy makes a certain amount, I need to make more' or that kind of thing. It’s about timing in the NBA and the right situation, and winning more than money. But yeah, I know everybody’s contract, that’s common knowledge, but it doesn’t impact my situation."
- The Trail Blazers must decide by October 31st whether to pick up Elliot Williams' $2.37MM option for 2013/14, and with Williams' season over due to a ruptured achilles tendon, he's not sure what the team will do. Either way, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, Williams intends to be ready and healthy for the '13/14 season.
- Gino Pilato of Ridiculous Upside wonders which former D-Leaguers on camp invites have the best odds to earn regular-season NBA roster spots.
- We heard earlier this week that Julian Wright was closing in on a deal with Israel's Maccabi Rishon, but David Pick of Sportando says (via Twitter) Wright may be having second thoughts after agreeing to terms with the club.
- In a piece for the Detroit Free Press, Dan Feldman of PistonPowered says Joe Dumars' willingness to look overseas to acquire a player like Slava Kravtsov is a good sign for the Pistons.
We'll track today's news from the D-League and overseas in this post, with latest update on top:
The Raptors have officially re-signed Ben Uzoh and Alan Anderson, according to a team press release. Both players saw their second 10-day contracts expire today, so their new deals will keep them with the team for the remainder of the season.
With a number of Raptors regulars missing time with injuries, both Uzoh and Anderson have entered the starting lineup, with Anderson starting the seven games and Uzoh starting the last two. Overall, Anderson, who I named one of the best 10-day signings of 2012, is averaging 8.4 points and 1.4 threes in 22.4 minutes per game. Uzoh has averages of 4.1 PPG, 2.8 APG, and 2.6 RPG in 11 contests with Toronto.
As our 10-day contract tracker shows, Justin Dentmon also had his deal with Toronto expire today, but the team chose not to bring him back. The series of moves leaves the Raptors with 14 players on their roster.
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Thursday evening:
- Dallas radio hosts Barry Horn and Kevin Sherrington weighed in on a couple of Mavericks issues. Horn believes the Mavs are a better team without Lamar Odom, who was shut down earlier this week.
- Sherrington speculates that the Mavs are still interested in acquiring Dwight Howard, especially if they can't sign Deron Williams this summer.
- Michael Beasley told Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press that he wants to stay with the Timberwolves going forward. Beasley is set to become a restricted free agent this summer.
- Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says the Bucks lack a clear direction for the future and will not contend with their current roster. Hunt believes the first step will be re-signing Ersan Ilyasova this summer.
- Doug Smith of the Toronto Star doubts that Raptors 10-day contract signees Ben Uzoh and Justin Dentmon will be anything more than placeholders for the team.
Wednesday afternoon links from around the Association: