Interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons will step down in a few weeks, as he tells the Fox Business Network, according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). The move is no surprise now that Steve Ballmer has officially taken over the franchise, since Parsons said in May shortly after the league installed him as a caretaker for the team that he had no plans of remaining with the club after its ownership situation was resolved. Parsons has been acting as a “proxy owner,” as he put it, with final authority over any decisions president of basketball operations Doc Rivers made. Here’s more from around the league:
- Multiple NBA teams had interest in bringing Yakhouba Diawara back to the league this summer, but he indicated on his Twitter account late Tuesday that he’s signing with Pallacanestro Varese of Italy (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). David Pick of Eurobasket.com confirms the news with a tweet of his own. Diawara worked out for the Raptors, Bucks and Nets over the past few months.
- This season’s minimum salary in Ivan Johnson‘s two-year contract with the Mavs is guaranteed for only $25K, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
- It appears as though the Cavs guaranteed $65K of the minimum salary for Alex Kirk this season, Pincus also tweets.
New Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is making no secret of the fact that he wants to work out a new deal with coach/president Doc Rivers, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times tweets. “Everything I know about Doc, I’m just 100% behind. I think he’s phenomenal,” Ballmer said. “I’m lucky he’s got a contract that runs a little while longer but we have plenty of time to talk and I look forward to doing that.” We learned last week that Rivers and the Clips are set to discuss an extension soon. More from around the Association..
- Dante Cunningham still wants to return to the Wolves but there haven’t been any developments in terms of his free agency, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). Meanwhile, a source tells Wolfson (link) that the domestic assault charges against him have been dropped.
- Undrafted point guard Scottie Wilbekin has a deal with Australia’s Cairns Taipans that includes an NBA escape clause that’s valid until December, reports Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The Grizzlies reportedly extended a training camp invitation to Wilbekin last month, but it never appeared as though he had accepted it.
- The Heat lost some major pieces this offseason, but they have filled in the gaps with an interesting mix of veterans and youth, writes Jesse Blancarte of Basketball Insiders. However, Miami’s success will be determined more so than anything by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Bosh will need to embrace his heightened role and go back to the sort of franchise player he was with the Raptors. Meanwhile, Wade will have to stay healthy and recapture some of his old form after sharing the ball with LeBron James for four years.
Shawn Marion has decided to join the Cavaliers, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Cleveland can only offer Marion the veteran’s minimum salary, but the opportunity to play with LeBron James and to contend for an NBA Championship was the deciding factor, notes Stein. The Clippers, Pacers, and the Heat had also pursued the 15-year veteran.
Indiana could have offered Marion a larger role and more playing time, with Paul George most likely being lost for the season. The Pacers could have also offered a larger salary as well, with the league already approving the disabled player exception the franchise had applied for. But with James’ arrival, and Kevin Love set to be added as soon as Andrew Wiggins can be traded on August 23rd, the Cavs became too appealing an option for Marion.
Marion’s career averages are 15.8 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 1.6 SPG. His career slash line is .485/.332/.811. Last season with the Mavericks, he averaged 10.4 PPG and 6.5 RPG, while appearing in 76 contests.
Team USA defeated Brazil 95-78 in an exhibition game at the United Center last night. The game not only featured Derrick Rose returning to action on his home court, but also strong performances from the Pelicans‘ Anthony Davis and the Rockets‘ James Harden. Davis recorded 20 points, nine rebounds and five blocks, while Harden scored 18, along with five rebounds and five assists.
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- The Clippers are now showing interest in Shawn Marion, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Spears adds that the Cavs, Pacers, and Heat remain interested in the small forward as well.
- Leandro Barbosa has had discussions with a few NBA teams about a possible free agent deal, and is hoping to use the upcoming FIBA World Cup to further prove his health, writes Shams Charania of RealGM. Barbosa said, “I don’t know what owners think about the World Cup, but hopefully I do a great job over there and a team sees. I feel healthy and my body is feeling healthy. If I have free agency in my mind, I won’t be able to be myself on the court. Hopefully, I sign a contract and I’ll be happy.” Barbosa appeared in 20 games with the Suns last season, averaging 7.5 PPG, 1.9 PPG, and 1.6 APG, while playing 18.4 minutes a night.
- In an interview with Beckley Mason of the New York Times, Warriors star Stephen Curry was asked about playing for yet another new head coach in Steve Kerr. Curry responded by saying, “This is one that I haven’t gone through before. This is my fourth coach going into my sixth year. Last three coaching changes, we were a bad team trying to become competitive. Now we have a lot of talent. Pretty much the same team back, with some additions, but a new coach. It’s a different experience. The expectations are already high, and we have to deal with that. Thinking about it, it will kind of be similar to last year. People thought we were a 50-win team, and we accomplished that, but it still didn’t feel like we accomplished as much as we should have. That’s basically the theme I have in my head thinking about what’s going to happen next year. Just in training camp, in that locker room, that adjustment with Coach Kerr and setting his system up. I think we’re going to be able to adjust well.”
Charlie Adams contributed to this post.
Sim Bhullar became the first player of Indian descent to sign an NBA contract when the Kings inked the humongous center this week, according to the Associated Press. Sacramento’s Vivek Ranadive is the league’s first Indian-born majority owner, and is excited about basketball’s growth in India. “I’ve long believed that India is the next great frontier for the NBA, and adding a talented player like Sim only underscores the exponential growth basketball has experienced in that nation,” said Ranadive. Here’s more from out West:
- A Team USA spokesperson tells Zach Harper of CBSSports.com that Jerry Colangelo’s comments citing a “contractual situation” as a reason for pulling out of international play were referring to Kevin Love, not Kevin Durant. Colangelo’s explanation was originally reported as a contradiction of Durant’s stated reason for leaving Team USA, which involved personal and physical exhaustion.
- In a reader chat response, Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders writes that any excitement over how many resources the Clippers new owner Steve Ballmer will pour into the franchise should be tempered by CBA restrictions, which will limit the team from adding much talent in the coming years.
- Davis believes that the Wolves will “probably” max out Ricky Rubio, who is asking for as much in extension negotiations with the team.
We’re about 12 weeks away from the NBA’s opening night matchup where the Spurs will host the in-state rival Mavericks to get the season underway. Most major offseason moves have already taken place, but there’s still plenty that can happen until October 28th. Let’s wrap up some tidbits from around the Western Conference as we look forward to the new season:
- Although the Mavericks had a tough time finding minutes for then-rookie Ricky Ledo last year, the guard is confident he’ll be able to contribute in a more meaningful way during the 2014/15 season, writes Earl K. Sneed of NBA.com.
- Steve Kerr will be Stephen Curry‘s fourth coach in just six years, but the sharpshooting Warriors point guard is confident that Golden State will quickly adapt to Kerr’s new system, as he tells Beckley Mason of the New York Times.
- ESPN’s Summer Forecast series has been looking around the league and making predictions for the upcoming season, and they’ve (unsurprisingly) pegged LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the players most likely to win the MVP award next year. However, the writers also see Chris Paul and Blake Griffin as possible candidates.
Donald Sterling hasn’t ruled out appealing the sale of the Clippers to the California State Supreme Court, but his attorney, Maxwell Blecher, said, “No final decision has been made,” writes Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Warriors guard Shaun Livingston underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right big toe earlier this week, and is expected to be out a minimum of six-to-eight weeks, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
- Livingston’s surgery wasn’t something the Warriors were planning on, tweets Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group. The rehab involved will keep Livingston out of action until at least the beginning of training camp, if not longer, notes Kawakami.
- The Atlantic Division might be better than many think this season, writes Lenn Robbins of NBA.com. Robbins weighs in on where each team stands heading into the season, and thinks that the Raptors are the favorites to repeat as division champs.
- The Knicks have fully guaranteed Quincy Acy‘s 2014/15 contract today, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Acy is scheduled to make $915,243 next season.
Donald Sterling had been the NBA’s longest-tenured owner, but when Steve Ballmer closed on his purchase of the Clippers today, Sterling’s reign came to an end. We’ll round up the fallout from the ownership change here, with any additional updates on top:
- As expected, a court of appeals has denied Donald Sterling’s final maneuver to prevent the sale of the Clippers, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- While Sterling has previously vowed to sue the league for the rest of his life, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com tweets that the Clippers are in no danger of ever returning to the hands of their disgraced former owner.
- Attorneys for Donald Sterling asked an appellate court for an immediate stay and an order that would halt or unwind the sale, report Nathan Fenno and James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times. Still, other lawyers familiar with petitions like that believe there’s little chance the effort will bear fruit, Fenno and Rainey add.
- Donald Sterling didn’t consent to the sale, so that’s why 10% of the team won’t be spun off into a charitable foundation in which Shelly Sterling would be heavily involved, as Fenno and Rainey write in the same piece.
- Ballmer is purchasing 100% of the team, so that means Shelly Sterling didn’t exercise her option to spin a stake of up to 10% of the franchise into a charitable foundation, tweets Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
- The NBA has filed a countersuit in federal court against Sterling and the Sterling family trust in response to his antitrust suit against the league and commissioner Adam Silver, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. The league is seeking compensation for damages and enforcement of an agreement it claims Sterling signed in 2005 indemnifying the league against litigation and monetary loss, as Fenno explains. Shelly Sterling agreed this May to indemnify the NBA for costs and litigation relating to the sale of the team to Ballmer.
- Ballmer said he feels his record $2 billion investment in the Clippers carries much less risk than he took on in his business dealings, making him comfortable with the purchase, as he tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitlonger link).
- Ballmer, who was a part of Seattle’s bid to wrest the Kings from Sacramento last year, also reiterated his long-held stance against moving the Clippers out of Los Angeles, as Shelburne notes in another Twitlonger dispatch.
Although Steph Curry is heading into just the second season of a four-year, $44MM contract he signed with the Warriors, the All-star guard wouldn’t totally rule out making a jump to play for the Hornets one day when he spoke on The Dan Patrick Show, as Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group transcribes.
“I’ve always had thoughts about playing at home, what it would be like,” said Curry, who was raised in Charlotte. “My dad played there for 10 years… I love the Bay Area and where we are as a team trying to win a championship, and that’s what it’s all about. Of course everybody dreams about or thinks about what it’s going to be like to play at home. Obviously if that opportunity comes along it’s a different discussion.”
Here’s more insight from Curry, as well as a look at the latest from out west in tonight’s roundup of the NBA’s Pacific Division:
- The Warriors refused to include Klay Thompson in negotiations for Kevin Love, and Curry doesn’t doubt the team’s judgement, as Leung details in a separate piece. “I think they made the right choice,” said Curry of the team’s decision to retain his fellow Splash Brother, “Me and him in the backcourt and core that we have, we’ve got a legit shot at winning the championship next year, and I’m ready to take that on.”
- Eric Bledsoe is strongly considering taking the Suns‘ qualifying offer so he can enter unrestricted free agency next summer, hears Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, echoing a report from Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. Greg Monroe is set to sign the Pistons’ qualifying offer, and Zillgitt explains why it might be wise for Bledsoe to follow suit.
- P.J. Tucker‘s three-game NBA suspension for a DUI he got in May will cost the big man $155,455 in salary, tweets Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Tucker re-signed with the Suns on a three year deal worth $16.5MM in July.
- It’s too early to discount the Suns’ playoff chances, says Greg Esposito of Suns.com, who looks over Phoenix’s roster and concludes that offseason acquisitions Isaiah Thomas and Anthony Tolliver will help further improve a Suns team that surprised pundits around the league last season with a 48-34 campaign.
- Sam Amick of USA Today examines the path that led Steve Ballmer to become the new Clippers owner. Ballmer, a lifelong basketball fan, has drawn positive feedback from Los Angeles players and coaches, as Amick passes along.
Doc Rivers and the Clippers are expected to begin negotiation soon toward an extension, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Rivers and new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, who formally assumed control of the team today, have been anxious to forge a long-term working relationship, Wojnarowski writes.
Rivers, who serves in a dual capacity as coach and executive, has two seasons left on the three-year, $21MM pact he signed when the Clippers and Celtics worked out a deal that let him out of his contract with Boston. The 52-year-old had assumed control of Clippers player personnel when he joined the team last summer, but this June the club changed his title from Senior VP of basketball operations to president of basketball operations.
The notion of extension talks is an about-face from rumors that cast Rivers’ future with the team in doubt. Rivers publicly shepherded the team through the early days of the Sterling saga this spring, but weeks passed before he would definitely say that he had no plans to leave. Yet the specter of Rivers’ potential departure resurfaced last month during the probate trial to determine whether Shelly Sterling had the authority to agree to strike a deal to sell the team to Ballmer. Clippers CEO Dick Parsons testified that Rivers had told him he didn’t think he would remain with the team if Donald Sterling continued to own it.