Kyle Lowry Rumors
April 22 at 11:43am CST By Luke Adams
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey and GM Bryan Colangelo spoke to reporters in Toronto today, answering questions about the 2012/13 season and looking ahead to the offseason. Although neither Casey nor Colangelo are locks to remain in their current roles through the summer, it appears the Raps are leaning toward retaining both. Colangelo addressed a few topics of note today, and Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun rounded them up, via Twitter. Let's dive in....
- Assuming Colangelo's 2013/14 option is picked up by the Raptors, Casey will also be back as the club's coach for next season, according to the GM.
- There are no updates on a potential Andrea Bargnani deal, which isn't surprising, considering this isn't generally the time of year when trade talks happen. However, Colangelo says a change of scenery has been discussed with Bargnani's agent, and may be in everyone's best interests.
- After adding three rookies last season, the Raptors likely won't have a first-round draft pick this season, as it appears headed for Oklahoma City. That's okay with Colangelo, who suggested this year's class is low on star power.
- Casey talked today about returning to a defense-first approach next season, and Wolstat questions if the roster is built for that style of play. Colangelo doesn't believe the current roster is a bad fit for Casey's philosophy.
- After undergoing a sports hernia surgery last summer, Kyle Lowry never seemed completely "right" this season, according to Colangelo, who says the point guard will have to come to camp in the fall ready to go. Lowry's contract for next season isn't fully guaranteed, but it appears there's no question he'll be back.
April 13 at 7:39pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun believes the Raptors will pursue a power forward this summer via trade in return for Andrea Bargnani, and he advocates that Toronto go after Carl Landry, as the team is reportedly considering (Twitter links). If Bargnani is successfully dealt, he joins Greg Oden, Andrew Bogut, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James on the list of #1 picks over the last ten seasons to either eventually leave or be traded from the team that drafted them. Here are a few more tidbits to relay from the Atlantic Division:
- Raptors guard Kyle Lowry tells Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun that he's hopeful about returning to Toronto next season and wants to be back, but acknowledged that the decision is out of his hands. Ganter, who argues that the 6'1 point guard must become a 'jack-of-all-trades' player to fit Toronto's needs, also mentions that Lowry has a $6.21MM team exception for next season.
- Celtics star Paul Pierce still finds it difficult to fathom that Ray Allen left for the Heat, saying that his former teammate could have gone anywhere else - citing the Lakers as another exception - and he wouldn't have felt betrayed, says Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.
- Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com wonders why Doug Collins would want to return next season, when the 76ers may still be mediocre.
- Although P.J. Carlesimo would like to rest his key players as much as he can before the playoffs, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson aren't ready to sit just yet, writes Roderick Boone of Newsday. Williams and Johnson briefly mentioned the possibility of catching the Pacers, who are currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
April 10 at 10:27am CST By Luke Adams
With just a handful of games left in the 2012/13 regular season, only one postseason club in either conference is locked into its playoff seed -- the East's top team, the Heat, remain a comfortable 10 games up on the second-place Knicks, despite the fact that New York has won 13 consecutive contests. The Bucks aren't locked into that No. 8 seed in the East yet, but they'll likely end up there, meaning last night's game in Miami, in which the Heat beat Milwaukee 94-83, figures to be a playoff preview.
Here's more from around the Eastern Conference:
- When he hits free agency this summer, a long-term contract will be a priority for current Sixers guard Nick Young, as he tells Lang Greene of HoopsWorld.
- Kyle Lowry called his first year with the Raptors frustrating and disappointing, but believes the team has the talent to bounce back next season, writes Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. As Smith notes, Lowry's contract for 2013/14 is mostly non-guaranteed, but after giving up a likely lottery pick for Lowry and trading Jose Calderon, the Raptors are a mortal lock to bring back the former Rocket next season.
- Given Jimmy Butler's emergence, the Bulls should "think long and hard" this offseason about whether to consider shopping Luol Deng, says Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com.
- Earlier this week, Heat president Pat Riley suggested that he wants to keep Miami's Big Three intact for years to come and "have one of those 10-year rides." Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel explores Riley's comments in his latest mailbag.
- Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, who may be on the hot seat this summer, expressed some annoyance to Terry Foster of the Detroit News about the way many of his coaching colleagues are criticized.
March 5 at 11:03am CST By Luke Adams
The race for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference continues to become less dramatic by the day, as the Bucks won again on Monday night. Milwaukee now has a seven-game cushion on the ninth-place Sixers, who are at home against the Celtics tonight. If there's any drama in the East, it relates to seeding -- the Bucks and Celtics are two of five playoff teams currently separated by just three games in the Eastern standings.
Here are a few Tuesday morning items out of the East:
- Whether or not Chris Andersen returns to the Heat next season may depend on how much playing time he gets in the playoffs, says Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, noting that Ronny Turiaf left Miami last offseason after becoming an "afterthought" in the postseason.
- Terrence Williams' contract with the Celtics will become guaranteed for next season if he makes the team out of camp, according to Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald.
- The Bobcats have told Tyrus Thomas to stay home during the team's four-game West Coast road trip for physical rehab and individual work, reports Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Thomas, who has fallen out of Charlotte's rotation entirely lately, remains a strong candidate to be amnestied this July, as I noted last week.
- Kyle Lowry's first year with the Raptors hasn't been entirely smooth sailing, but after the team traded Jose Calderon, Chauncey Billups had dinner with Lowry and impressed upon the ex-Rocket that Toronto must have plenty of faith in him to hand him the point guard reins (Sulia link via Ric Bucher).
February 3 at 11:57am CST By Chuck Myron
Much has been said about this week's three-team swap that sent Rudy Gay to the Raptors, and it's understandably overshadowed the three-for-one deal the Grizzlies and Cavaliers pulled off a couple of weeks ago. Still, the effects of that one persist, and GMs around the league believe it was a steal for the Cavs, reports Bob Finnan of The News-Herald. Finnan has more on the Cavs, and we'll round that up along with other rumors from the Eastern Conference right here:
- Most around the league believe Marreese Speights will decline his $4.5MM option for next season, Finnan hears, motivating Cleveland to entertain offers for him between now and the trade deadline.
- Omri Casspi isn't expected to re-sign with the Cavs this summer, and he may return to his native Israel to play, according to Finnan.
- While Jose Calderon's departure doesn't necessarily mean Kyle Lowry is untouchable in Toronto, the point guard tells Lang Greene of HoopsWorld he isn't worried about getting traded at the deadline, even though he's finally feeling comfortable with the Raptors after coming aboard this past summer.
- Trade speculation hasn't fazed MarShon Brooks either, notes Fred Kerber of the New York Post.
- Answering reader questions in his mailbag, Doug Smith of the Toronto Star doesn't think there's any chance the Raptors and Calderon would entertain a reunion in free agency this summer.
February 2 at 1:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
It doesn't look like anything will derail a trip to the postseason for the teams currently in the top seven of the Eastern Conference, but with Rajon Rondo and Jared Sullinger both lost for the year, the Celtics appear more vulnerable than their three-game lead for the eighth spot would suggest. The Sixers, who could get Andrew Bynum back soon, are ninth, and the Pistons and Raptors, a pair of teams that could get a boost from this week's trade, are next in line. Here's more from the East:
- Though other reports have contradicted Alex Kennedy's recent dispatch that the Suns have interest in Josh Smith, the HoopsWorld scribe stands by his story, and says the Rockets and Bobcats have had exploratory talks with the Hawks as well (Twitter links).
- While Marc Stein of ESPN.com has heard the suggestion that the Raptors might have intended to get rid of Kyle Lowry as well as Jose Calderon, he doesn't see that happening now, especially given the close friendship between Lowry and new acquisiton Rudy Gay.
- The Raptors signed John Lucas III last summer with the idea that he would slide into the rotation if a Calderon trade went down, Stein points out. Lucas responded with 17 points in less than 19 minutes during last night's upset of the Clippers.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wonders about the possibility LeBron James could sign with the Bulls in 2014, when the team is set to have plenty of cap space to accomodate King James and others.
- Cowley also notes that Bulls GM Gar Forman is likely to sign free agents primarily to one-year contracts this summer, just as he did in 2012, as last year's free agent tracker shows.
- HoopsWorld's Joel Brigham provides an update on Bynum, Derrick Rose, Danny Granger, and other key injured players due back around the All-Star break, speculating that their returns might make it less likely that their teams participate in trade deadline deals.
January 31 at 8:17pm CST By Sean Highkin
On Wednesday, the first major trade of the season was consummated as the Grizzlies shipped Rudy Gay and Hamed Haddadi to the Raptors for Jose Calderon to Ed Davis, then sent Calderon to the Pistons for Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye. Here are the latest updates on the involved teams in light of the blockbuster deal:
January 29 at 9:57pm CST By Alex Lee
TUESDAY, 9:57pm: Wojnarowski reports that the final hurdle for a deal that would send Gay to Toronto hinges on finding a third team to take Calderon's contract. He adds that within the deal's current framework, the Grizzlies are likely to receive another young Raptors player along with a future draft pick. Terrence Ross is not one of the names being considered, as the Raptors have reportedly deemed the rookie untouchable.
8:11pm: Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun says that the Raptors have little interest in taking additional salary in the form of Darrell Arthur's contract, and thus a third team would be needed if he were included into discussions.
12:46pm: As they try to find a way to land Gay, the Raptors are engaging teams about a possible three-team deal, but are having trouble finding a taker for Calderon, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
MONDAY, 7:00pm: The Grizzlies are engaged in active trade discussions with the Raptors centering on Rudy Gay, reports Marc Stein of ESPN. Stein says that while the Raptors are Gay's most active suitor, no initial framework for a deal has been agreed upon. Stein confirms that, due to last week's trade, the Grizzlies feel that they no longer must trade Gay and can instead wait and consider more fair value offers.
The Raptors have been determined in their pursuit of Gay and also are interested in Grizzlies forward Darrell Arthur. Toronto is offering up Jose Calderon and third-year forward Ed Davis as two of the main pieces in a potential deal.
Stein says that the Celtics have also inquired on Gay's availability, but was told that they balked at the prospect at giving up Paul Pierce in the deal. In light of Rajon Rondo's injury, Stein was also told that Boston would be more likely to pursue Kyle Lowry and his cap friendly deal than Gay and his bulky contract. As talks heat up, Stein says, more teams could become involved in a potential deal.
Grizzlies' coach Lionel Hollins, as well as several of the team's players, have reportedly lobbied management for a chance to play the season out as currently constructed. But the Memphis front office is worried about its ability to improve the roster in future years, Stein says, and is subsequently seeking first round picks in any deal.
January 29 at 8:35pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Led by Jrue Holiday, the 76ers remain three games out of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. Significant help in the form of another all-star caliber player could be on the way within the next several weeks, as Andrew Bynum has continued to make progress toward his goal of possibly returning to practice next week, notes Tom Moore of PhillyBurbs.com. The 7'0 center has been plagued by bone bruises in both knees since the start of the season. With that aside, here are more news and notes from the Atlantic Division:
- Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York reports that Nets GM Billy King will meet with owner Mikhail Prokhorov on Wednesday to discuss P.J. Carlesimo and the job he's done so far as the interim head coach. While Carlesimo has done an exceptional job after replacing Avery Johnson, Prokhorov is said to still be enamored with going after big names such as Phil Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy in the offseason.
- According to A. Sherrod Blakeley of CSNNE.com, Celtics guard Rajon Rondo will get a second opinion on his ACL injury from Dr. James Andrews, who is considered be arguably "the best orthopedic surgeon in the business."
- Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun lays out the Raptors' top five pressing issues as they inch closer to the deadline, calling their interest in Rudy Gay the "most likely to come to fruition" rumor, examining the return of both Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas from injury, Terrence Ross' progression into coach Dwane Casey's crunch-time lineup, and the continued acclimation of Landry Fields. With regard to Bargnani, Ganter thinks that Casey may have to provide a significant role at the expense of Ed Davis' minutes in order to showcase the 7-footer's health.
- Eric Koreen of the National Post doesn't think that Gay is the cure-all answer for the Raptors, who still have many other important questions to answer regardless of whether they land him or not. Among those question marks involve the franchise's commitment to GM Bryan Colangelo, the need for more significant roster moves, and the struggles of point guard Kyle Lowry.
- Doc Rivers doesn't appear too concerned about his players making an adjustment without Rondo, saying that a "no-point guard system" is something that the second unit has already found success with, writes Greg Payne of ESPN Boston.
- Mike Woodson will place a higher priority on getting Knicks three point sharpshooter Steve Novak more involved in the offense, says Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
January 28 at 8:34am CST By Luke Adams
Even before we learned that Rajon Rondo was done for the year with a torn ACL, we expected to hear plenty of Celtics-related trade rumors leading up to next month's trade deadline. That number of rumors figures to exponentially increase now that Rondo's on the shelf, and we've rounded up a few of Monday morning's rumblings right here:
- We heard yesterday that the Grizzlies may have interest in Paul Pierce, but according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (Twitter link), Memphis is unlikely to seriously pursue the longtime Celtic. The Grizzlies are hoping to add depth, shooting, and/or youth if they move Gay, so Pierce wouldn't be an ideal fit, tweets Stein.
- Stein adds (via Twitter) that the Celtics have shown exploratory interest in Gay but aren't likely to take on significant long-term salary.
- Stein gets the sense that Kyle Lowry is a probable target for Boston, but isn't sure whether or not the Celtics have the assets to land him (Twitter link).
- Multiple team executives tell Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link) that Jared Sullinger is considered the most-appealing Celtic, but Mannix says the C's aren't expected to part with the rookie forward.
- We also rounded up a number of Celtics-related rumors yesterday in the wake of the Rondo announcement.