Divergent coaching styles and philosophies ultimately prompted Jason Kidd to demoteNets assistant coach Lawrence Frank, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com, but that doesn’t appear to be the only reason for the move. Frank has been badmouthing Kidd around the league, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports has additional details on the troubled relationship between the two coaches. Here’s more on the Nets soap opera and the rest of the NBA:
The Nets maintain their strong support of Kidd, and they still believe he’ll develop into an effective head coach, Mannix writes. Brian Shaw, whom the Nets passed on when they hired Kidd, has “thrilled” Nuggets brass so far, Mannix notes via Twitter.
Tyler Hansbrough wasn’t pleased with his limited role on the Pacers last season, and while he signed with the Raptors hoping to be a more integral part of his team, he never expected to become the starter he is now, as Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun details.
Amid a rough week for the top four college prospects, Kansas center Joel Embiid‘s performance made him a legitimate candidate to become the No. 1 overall pick in June, as Chad Ford of ESPN.com writes in his latest Insider piece on the draft landscape.
The Clippers got a bad piece of news today when they learned guard J.J. Redick will be sidelined six-to-eight weeks with a fracture in the small bone (pisiform) of his right hand and a tear of his right ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Despite that setback, the Clippers are unlikely to sign Lamar Odom before their long road trip ends in mid-December, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
A report last month indicated that Odom only wanted to sign with the Clippers, but last week, coach Doc Riversindicated that there was competition for his services. For what it’s worth, Rivers says he’s more comfortable with the idea of signing the 14-year veteran after speaking with Phil Jackson and Vinny Del Negro, both of whom have coached Odom.
“I’m hoping if things work out, yeah,” Rivers said. “But I just don’t know. I know there’s other teams involved, I think. I honestly haven’t focused on it a lot.”
It’s not clear which other teams may be involved. Rivers, who coaches the Clippers and reportedly has the final say in front office matters, adds that he’s more comfortable with the idea of signing the troubled 14-year veteran after speaking with Phil Jackson and Vinny Del Negro, both of whom have coached Odom. Still, Rivers also says there’s no hurry to bring Odom or anyone else on board. This summer was a difficult one for Odom, who faced DUI charges and rumors of drug use, but Rivers was impressed with his attitude and physical condition when they met two weeks ago.
The Clippers and Odom have been talking for a while, but there remains no timeline for him to join the team. The Clippers would like to fill their vacant roster spot, and with no trades on the horizon, a free agent signing or waiver claim appears the best bet, Howard-Cooper writes. The team is also reportedly considering free agent big man Chris Wilcox as an alternative to Odom.
“We’re looking, but it’s not a desperate look right now,” Rivers said. “I do think we need one more player. It could be a big. It could be another point guard, just to have a third backup for the season. But I don’t tend to make moves that’ll make you stronger during the regular season, because then in the playoffs you shorten your rotation and that was a wasted move most of the time.”
The Kings are the only California-based team beneath .500, and after completing their trade with the Timberwolves today, they’re still trying to make moves and improve. Here’s more on them and a couple of their in-state rivals:
Kobe Bryant says his two-year extension will “probably” be his final contract, as Bill Oram of the Orange County Register notes via Twitter. Bryant had been leaning toward retirement after the 2013/14 season before tearing his Achilles last spring, but admits that the injury pushed him to extend his career, Oram writes in a subscription-only piece.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers says he’ll stay in touch with Lamar Odom, and the two could sit down for a meeting later this week, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. A source tells HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy that Odom has been “extremely positive” about his recent workouts and expects to sign soon.
Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro tells Kennedy, for the same piece, that he sees newly acquired forward Derrick Williams as a “matchup problem” for other teams and is confident a fresh start can help the former No. 2 overall pick reach his potential.
No one expected either the Suns or the Sixers to have half a dozen wins less than a month into the season, but both teams captured their sixth victories tonight. Stories about tanking have been few in the wake of their success, but there’s plenty other news to pass along:
The Spurs and Lakers inquired with the Timberwolves about Dante Cunningham in the offseason, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities, who figures those teams will be after him again when he hits free agency next summer (Twitter link).
Neither the Clippers nor Lamar Odom are rushing toward a deal, and after a few weeks both sides will probably have a better idea of whether he’ll join the team, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com looks ahead to next summer for Jimmy Butler, who’ll be eligible for a rookie scale extension. Sam speculates that the Bulls will offer Butler a deal for about $8MM a year, and the scribe registers a few more guesses about what other top wing players approaching free agency will see on their next contracts.
The Mavericks made lots of changes to their roster in the offseason, and several newcomers are playing key roles in the team’s fast start. One of them is Jose Calderon, who discusses the smooth transition with HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy.
The Wolves renounced their rights to former second-round picks Tanguy Ngombo and Loukas Mavrokefalidis, notes Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitterlinks).
Lamar Odom remains the odds-on favorite to fill the Clippers’ open roster spot, helping to bolster the team’s frontcourt depth. However, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, L.A. is considering free agent big man Chris Wilcox as a fallback option.
While Odom played for the Clippers last season, coach Doc Rivers isn’t all that familiar with him, which is part of the reason why the two recently had a sitdown. Wilcox, on the other hand, played for Rivers in Boston over the last couple seasons. In 2012/13, Wilcox appeared in 61 games for the Celtics, averaging 4.2 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 13.6 minutes per contest.
According to Stein’s sources, however, re-signing Odom still looks like the most likely move for the Clippers. One recent report pegged the chances of a reunion at about 90%, while Clippers guard Jared Dudley was even more confident, telling Sam Amick of USA Today that there’s a 100% chance Odom would end up with the team.
As for Wilcox, he said nearly three months ago that while he’d love to play in the NBA, he’d also be open to considering his options overseas. We haven’t heard much about him since then, though it’s not clear whether that’s due to a lack of interest or other factors.
After a troubling summer in which Lamar Odom spent equal time on TMZ and ESPN, a return to the NBA for the 2013/14 season seemed highly unlikely. Thankfully, Odom appears to have gotten his life back on track and his comeback could happen sooner rather than later. Last week, we learned that even though they remain wary of Odom’s alleged hard drug use and DUI arrest, the Lakers and Clippers are both keeping him in mind. Shortly thereafter, Odom met for almost two hours with Doc Rivers and Clippers front office officials after a team practice, leaving players with the impression that he was about to sign with the club. While that’s not quite the case, the odds look a whole lot better after a month of solid workouts from the 34-year-old.
They say that beggars can’t be choosers, but the veteran forward is apparently telling friends that he’ll only come back to play for the Clippers. Rivers & Co. have kept mum on the issue so far, but Jared Dudley handicaps the odds of Odom signing with the Clips at “100%”. We know how Jared is voting – how about you?
While Odom continues to work his way back into playing shape and the Clippers prepare for tomorrow night’s game in Minnesota, let’s check out a few odds and ends from around the Association….
The Nets are still trying to get healthy and to get all their offseason additions working together, but one offseason addition – coach Jason Kidd – hasn’t been impressive so far, a veteran scout tells Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. “He doesn’t do anything,” said the scout. “John Welch does all the offense. Lawrence [Frank] does all the defense…. I don’t know what Kidd does. I don’t think you can grade him and say he’s bad. You can give him an incomplete.”
In free agency, players typically like to secure longer-term deals, but that’s not beneficial when later seasons are non-guaranteed, writes Mark Deeks at The Score. As Deeks observes, a player like Omri Casspi could be stuck in no-man’s land next summer, since the Rockets will have until August to decide whether or not to guarantee the second year of his contract.
Deeks also reports (via Twitter) that free agent forward Hakim Warrick is in China, working out for the Sichuan Blue Whales. If the audition goes well, Warrick is expected to replace former Rutgers big man Herve Lamizana, according to Deeks.
Emiliano Carchia of Sportando passes along an Italian report suggesting that Justin Holiday, Jrue Holiday‘s brother, has turned down an offer from Italy’s VL Pesaro. Holiday was in camp with the Jazz after spending last season with the Sixers, and still appears to be searching for an NBA deal.
MONDAY, 9:30am: A source close to Odom tells Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report (Twitter link) that the veteran forward is doing well and that there’s a “90% chance” he eventually signs with the Clippers. There’s no timetable yet, but no other teams are in the mix, according to Zwerling’s source.
This report sounds similar to Friday’s, though a Saturday update suggested that nothing is expected to happen quite yet.
SUNDAY, 2:06pm: This week, we got some encouraging news when it was reported that Lamar Odom is looking sharp in workouts and could conceivably return to the hardwood this season. Both Los Angeles teams have interest in the forward, but it now appears that he’s only interested in a return to one of them. Odom has said that the Clippers are the only team he would play for, NBA executives who are not authorized to speak on the matter tell Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Odom met with coach Doc Rivers for nearly two hours on Friday and Clippers players were left with the impression that he was on the verge of signing a deal, but that apparently wasn’t the case. The troubled forward has put in a month of encouraging workouts and while he had hoped for a second-half return, he could be ready to jump back in even sooner than that. Unsurprisingly, execs say that if Odom signs with the Clippers, it’ll be for the prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum.
It’s been a rough year for Odom who was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence weeks before unnamed peers alleged that he was using hard drugs. Odom has played 12 of his 14 seasons in Los Angeles between the Clippers and Lakers.
8:53pm: Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLA.com tweets that Doc Rivers had a “good conversation, [but] not much more than that” with Odom.
1:36pm: Lamar Odomappeared on his way to rejoining the Clippers after meeting with the team Friday, but Dan Woike of the Orange County Register hears no deal is likely to happen anytime soon (Twitter link). The league will examine Odom’s personal problems before any signing would take place, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. Last night’s reports didn’t indicate that an agreement was imminent, but it doesn’t look like there’s a definitive timetable, or that either the Clippers or Odom’s camp is speeding toward a resolution.
Executives who spoke to Turner believe the 34-year-old Odom could be physically ready to play basketball again “in a few weeks.” Perhaps of greater concern is Odom’s mental state after a summer that included a DUI charge and rumors of drug use, among other tabloid headlines. Odom’s meeting yesterday with Doc Rivers and Clippers executives was more of a check-up than a contract discussion, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Prior to that, the Clippers had made no recent contact with the power forward other than to make sure he was OK amid all the allegations against his personal character. The same had been true for the Lakers, the other team that reportedly maintains interest in Odom.
Odom nonetheless demonstrated to the executives who spoke to Turner that he’s in shape, having worked out on his own for the past month. The client of Jeff Schwartz and Excel Sports Management has been telling confidants that he’d like to sign with a contender, according to Turner, which would give the Clippers an edge over the Lakers.