LaMarcus Aldridge Rumors
April 25 at 10:48am CST By Luke Adams
Cavs fans worried about what the hiring of Mike Brown might mean for the team's potential pursuit of LeBron James in 2014 shouldn't put too much stock in the move one way or the other, says Chris Broussard in his latest ESPN.com piece (Insider-only link). Brown's return to Cleveland doesn't mean LeBron is coming back too, but it also shouldn't be a deterring factor, according to Broussard, who notes that there will be plenty of other factors in play over the next 14 months. The ESPN.com scribe explores that topic and a number of others in his article, so let's round up the highlights....
- The Cavs are hoping to upgrade the roster before next summer in an attempt to lure James (or another impact free agent, presumably). As we heard from Adrian Wojnarwoski of Yahoo! Sports yesterday, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and draft picks could be dangled as trade chips. Broussard mentions LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love as potential targets.
- The Bucks would like to keep all three of their free agent guards this summer, but recognize that they'll probably only be able to retain two, with Brandon Jennings the player most likely to stay put.
- Several sources around the league believed Lance Blanks, who the Suns fired earlier this week, was a scapegoat for the team's poor season. According to Broussard, the widely panned signing of Michael Beasley was Lon Babby's call, and Blanks had "little to do with" Alvin Gentry's firing as well.
- Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman is viewed as the frontrunner for the Suns' GM opening, says Broussard.
- Former Suns assistant Elston Turner may join Rick Adelman's staff in Minnesota, with an understanding that if Adelman steps down, Turner would take over as the Timberwolves' coach. We've heard in the past that Adelman "badly wanted" Turner on his staff when he first took the Wolves' job.
- While Kevin McHale isn't expected to step down as Rockets head coach anytime soon, Broussard hears from sources that the team would have "strong interest" in Stan Van Gundy if McHale left.
April 24 at 9:34am CST By Luke Adams
Now that the Cavaliers have made it official, announcing that Mike Brown has returned as the team's head coach, one looming question is what effect the hire will have on Cleveland's potential pursuit of LeBron James in the summer of 2014. LeBron told the Associated Press (link via Cleveland.com) that he's "very happy" for Brown, adding that he's a "really good coach," but would James be interested in playing for his former coach again? Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tackles that subject in his latest column, so let's round up the highlights....
- One former Cavs staffer told Wojnarowski that "the way Mike had to bend for LeBron weakened him as a leader. They'd be crazy to put him
through that again. It's pointless."
- One league source tells Wojnarowski "there are still some scars" when it
comes to Brown and the Cavs, primarily centered on the coach's
relationship with Dan Gilbert, who fired him in 2010.
- Agent Rich Paul has created anticipation for LeBron's possible return to the Cavs in 2014, but according to Wojnarowski, "the idea of returning as the conquering hero is probably much more romantic than reality." Wojnarowski suggests that it's "unfathomable" that James would trade Miami, Erik Spoelstra, and Pat Riley for a return to Cleveland.
- According to Wojnarowski, the Cavs have privately pitched the idea of trading young players and draft picks to the Trail Blazers for LaMarcus Aldridge.
- Such a deal with Portland is unlikely to ever happen, says Wojnarowski, since the Cavs value their young players like Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters more than other teams around the league do.
March 7 at 9:01pm CST By Michael Pina
A few news and notes from around the NBA's Northwest Division:
March 2 at 9:04pm CST By Sean Highkin
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy, who has missed most of the season after undergoing knee surgery, addressed media in Portland before the Wolves faced off against the Trail Blazers. Roy reflected on his five seasons in Portland as well as updating on the status of his rehab and the future of his career. Ben Golliver of BlazersEdge has a full transcript of Roy's comments.
On the status of his rehabilitation from knee surgery:
I'm doing good. I've been doing good for a few weeks now. Working without any setbacks. I'm getting closer to getting back out there on the court. I was talking to Kevin [Love] and Chase [Budinger] and those guys, once they're healthy, I'll be that much closer and we'll give ourselves a good look at what we could have been had we been healthy. Maybe it's just timing also.
On how many more years he plans to play:
I'm not sure. My body has a lot to say about that. At the end of the year, I'll do some reflecting on how this season went and if I want to continue. I made the commitment at the beginning of the year that I'm going to stick with this season no matter what through the ups and downs and at the end of the year I'll reflect on things and do I still want to go forward. I'm not going to make that decision now, I know maybe people want me to. I made a commitment and I'm going to stick it out.
Thoughts on Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard:
He's a good player. Being in Minnesota I don't get to watch as many Portland games, but the games I've watched, he's a really tough player. I didn't know he could shoot the ball that good. He's a really good three-pointer shooter. He's just tough on the court and he makes big shots, timely shots. He's going to be a special player in this league.
He's solid. I've never really been one to compare guys to myself but I see a lot of Chauncey Billups in him. Chauncey wasn't at that level so early but you could see a lot of similarities. He just comes down and makes timely baskets. Playing against guys like Chauncey, that's what they did. He's going to be a really good player in this league.
Reflections on the would-be dynasty in Portland with LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden:
I never really do it. But people will sit around and watch games and go, 'man, if you guys could have stayed healthy,' and they will mention Greg, me and LaMarcus, we had a lot of young talented pieces. Some people say you guys could have been this, you could have been that. I'm the type where unless you work and actually get that, it's just a what if. If you think too hard on the what ifs, it takes too much credit from the teams that are actually going out and doing it.
February 23 at 10:13am CST By Sean Highkin
Joel Brigham of HoopsWorld has a new column examining which teams have a chance to be title contenders five seasons from now, taking into account possible moves in free agency and the ages of the teams' core players.
- Brigham believes the Thunder still have the brightest future, given that Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka will all be under 30 in five seasons.
- LeBron James' free agency will play a major role in determining the next title contender, Brigham writes. The health and effectiveness of Dwyane Wade will determine whether James stays with the Heat, but the Cavaliers and Lakers are also possible destinations.
- On that note, Brigham writes that, although Kyrie Irving is blossoming into a superstar, the Cavs will not be a contender unless James signs in Cleveland.
- The Bulls will still be contenders if Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah stay healthy, Brigham writes. He also notes that Nikola Mirotic will have come over to the NBA by then.
- The trade for Thomas Robinson added another young piece to the James Harden/Jeremy Lin core the Rockets have built, Brigham writes. Additionally, the team is still well under the cap and can add another high-level player via free agency.
- Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge give the Blazers a solid core to build around, writes Brigham.
- Brigham writes that there will be uncertainty every year for the next five as to whether Chris Paul will still be with the Clippers.
- Even if Stephen Curry's ankles don't hold up, Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes give the Warriors a good young core, Brigham says.
- Brigham writes that the Pacers have excellent cornerstone players in Roy Hibbert and Paul George.
February 16 at 11:15pm CST By Sean Highkin
The latest news and notes from around the NBA on Saturday evening:
February 15 at 8:10pm CST By Chuck Myron
Three Northwest Division teams are on track to make the playoffs, but only one of them is sending any players to the All-Star Game. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will represent the first-place Thunder, and they're joined by LaMarcus Aldridge of the Trail Blazers, the Northwest's other All-Star whose Portland team hits the break three games out of the last playoff spot in the West. All three All-Stars are making noise as the events begin in Houston, where James Harden, the Thunder's erstwhile third All-Star, plays the role of unofficial host. Here's more on all of them:
- Aldridge will have the chance this weekend to try to recruit some fellow All-Stars to the Blazers, and he said his pitch will center on the team's fans, its young core of players and this summer's cap space, which could exceed $13MM, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com writes.
- Westbrook and Durant acknowledged that the Thunder haven't missed a beat following the Harden trade, notes Jason McDaniel of the Houston Chronicle. "We’re different, but I think we’re just as good," Durant said. "James, don’t get me wrong, he’s a phenomenal player, but we lost him and we got Kevin Martin back, who’s a really good player as well. And I think for the passing ability that we lost with James, and his defense, we make up for it with Russell and myself, and the guys on the bench that help.”
- Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman chronicles Harden's remarks to reporters on his feelings about Durant and Westbrook and what it will be like to play with his old teammates at the All-Star Game, among other topics.
January 8 at 11:18pm CST By Ryan Raroque
While injury news may not be part of our main scope at Hoops Rumors, we have a handful of updates to share this evening:
- Kevin Love will travel to New York on Wednesday in order to determine whether or not he'll need surgery on his broken right hand, according to Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.
- Derrick Rose should be cleared for full-contact practice within the next two weeks, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Subscribers only). Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times provided another look at the superstar's return to practice today, noting that Rose looked good in "predictable contact" drills.
- Kevin Ding of the OC Register (via Twitter) notes that Dwight Howard's injury is actually a separated shoulder (not a torn labrum) and that he hopes to return after a week of recovery. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News tweets that Dwight's injury will not require surgery.
- Mike Trudell of Lakers.com tweeted that after meeting with a neurologist today, Pau Gasol has not been cleared to return to action after suffering a concussion during Sunday night's loss to the Nuggets. The Lakers big man will be re-evaluated on Thursday.
- Anderson Varejao does not appear close to returning to action, writes Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer. The Cavaliers center has missed 10 games and counting since injuring his knee near mid-December.
- While there is no specific date for his return, Iman Shumpert made significant progress by being able to participate in 3-on-3 drills and absorbing some contact during Knicks practice today, notes Ian Begley of ESPN New York.
- The Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge learned today that the bothersome pain in his right wrist is nothing more than a sprain, says Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. The 6'11 forward/center originally hurt his wrist in November and has dealt with intermittent pain since then.
- Grant Hill went through full practice today and could be close to making his season debut for the Clippers tomorrow night if all goes well during shootaround, says Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles. Bone bruises in his right knee have kept Hill from appearing in a regular season game thus far.
December 27 at 8:19am CST By Luke Adams
A home win last night over the Kings ensured that the Trail Blazers surpassed the Jazz and Timberwolves in the Western standings, making them the eighth seed in the conference. It's still very early in the season, but Portland has outperformed most expectations so far, and now the team will have to decide whether its performance will affect the way it approaches roster moves as the trade deadline approaches. Jason Quick of the Oregonian has the latest updates on that front, so let's round up the highlights....
- After a veteran reporter told Quick that he'd heard the Blazers are shopping LaMarcus Aldridge, the Oregonian scribe asked Blazers GM Neil Olshey directly whether that was the case. "It was as if I had told Olshey the best joke he had ever heard," says Quick, who adds that the Blazers haven't made a single call about Aldridge, though they did field one exploratory inquiry from another team.
- Olshey has identified a handful of core players in Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Damian Lillard, and Wesley Matthews, and it would be a huge surprise if any of those guys were moved. "The players on our roster who are no-brainers are not going anywhere," Olshey said, referring to that core.
- Of those four players, Matthews represents the most likely candidate to be dealt, but the Blazers GM has come to value the guard more than his stats suggest and wants him around during the rebuild, making a trade very unlikely.
- The Blazers may still make a move before February 21st, but it's unlikely to be a deal that "moves the needle."
- Quick speculates that Portland's top trade candidate could be J.J. Hickson, who has been outperforming his one-year, $4MM contract so far. The Blazers may want to get something in return for him before he hits free agency next July.
- Portland is expected to pursue a center and shooting guard in free agency or the draft next summer, when the team should be working with eight figures in cap space.
December 24 at 10:57am CST By Sean Highkin
According to a new report from Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, LeBron James is open to the possibility of returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers if he chooses to opt out of his contract with the Miami Heat after the 2013/14 season. Lloyd writes that James is friends with Cavs players Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, and his new agent, Rich Paul, has local ties.
Lloyd adds, however, that Cavs GM Chris Grant is aware that the team must improve considerably in order to be considered a viable option for James. Grant is reportedly aggressively exploring options to add another impact player. Lloyd reports that Grant asked about trading an Anderson Varejao-based package for Kevin Love following Love's recent comments critical of the Timberwolves, but was rebuffed. He has also inquired on the possibility of trading for the Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge, the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol, and the Lakers' Pau Gasol.
Lloyd writes that although the Cavs are still open to moving Varejao, who is having an outstanding season, it doesn't seem likely because his recent play has raised their asking price and no team thus far has been willing to meet their demands. A trade of Varejao to the Thunder for Perry Jones III, Jeremy Lamb, and Toronto's protected 2013 first-round draft pick has been discussed, but both sides have concerns about the players they would get back.