With the D-League trade deadline in the rear view mirror, Gino Pilato of D-League Digest looks back at the biggest transactions of the year. The L.A. D-Fenders’ acquisition of Manny Harris tops the list. The Lakers‘ affiliate got Harris from the Canton Charge in exchange for a 2014 second round draft pick and the guard currently leads the NBA D-League in scoring average and even earned a call-up after a month in L.A. Here’s more from around the Association..
- The 76ers plan to workout D-League guard Kevin Murphy, an audition that could lead to 10-day deal, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter). Murphy is averaging ~26 PPG for the Idaho Stampede.
- James Nunnally will also get a workout with the 76ers, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Nunnally had two 10-day contracts earlier this season with the Hawks.
- Seton Hall standout Fuquan Edwin hasn’t seen a whole lot of Ws during his collegiate career but he’s still happy with his time in South Orange, New Jersey. “It’s definitely been a pleasure playing at the university with the great coaching staff that we have,” Edwin told Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders. “I think coach helped me tremendously in developing my game. We haven’t really won games or got far in my career, but it has definitely been a blast overall playing these last four years.” Barring a surprise run in the Big East tournament, Edwin’s collegiate career is on the verge of coming to an end. The small forward is currently projected to be taken late in the second round by DraftExpress.
- Stars who stick with one franchise are getting increasingly rare, but Mavericks
big man Dirk Nowitzki is an exception, writes Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer. ”I basically grew up in Dallas,” Dirk said. “I came over here at 19 or 20 and now I’m 35. I’ve spent half of my life here. It is important for me to be a Maverick because I have deep connections with this franchise. The fans supported me through disappointing playoff losses. They were always by my side as I grew as a player. I can’t see myself playing for another franchise.”
- Suns coach Jeff Hornacek is targeting Wednesday’s game versus Washington for a return of injured guard Eric Bledsoe, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. Bledsoe will initially be coming off of the bench.
- Earl “The Pearl” Monroe threw his support behind former teammate Phil Jackson who could be taking over the Knicks front office, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post.
As expected, Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe tells Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic that he will likely return to the court this Wednesday (Twitter link). How well Bledsoe plays following a two month absence will impact both the Suns hopes for the playoffs as well as what kind of offers he will field during restricted free agency this summer. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:
- Rudy Gay has been having the best stretch of his career with the Kings, but it’s a bittersweet accomplishment considering he’s doing it for a losing team in Sacramento. For the second season in a row, Gay has been traded from a playoff team to a non-contender, and he spoke with reporters including James Herbert of SB Nation about being moved from the Raptors, only to see them turn around and contend for the Eastern Conference’s third seed. “They’re a playoff team,” Gay said. “Of course I’d like to be a part of that. I’m in Sacramento now and I have to build this team. We don’t know if that would have happened if I were there, too. It happened early in the season. Nobody knows.”
- Prior to Thursday night’s games against the Clippers game on TNT, Kobe Bryant told Ric Bucher he believes there’s an 80% chance Pau Gasol will return to the Lakers next season, per a broadcast transcription from Matthew Moreno of Lakers Nation. (H/T Serena Winters)
- In a series of tweets, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com laments the fact that Phil Jackson is likely headed to the Knicks instead of becoming a more influential part of the Lakers. The legendary coach was spurned by the Lakers in favor of Mike D’Antoni early last season, and it appears the complicated relationship he has with the Buss family will ultimately prevent a front office reunion.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak met separately with both coach Mike D’Antoni and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss to discuss the state of the team following their embarrassing loss to the Clippers on Thursday night, a team source tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. The front office still desires to stick with D’Antoni and see how the team responds going forward, says Shelburne. D’Antoni’s job has appeared safe all season, although Shelburne earlier divulged that his status beyond next season, when his contract expires, is on shaky ground. We’ll see if chatter surrounding his job increases as the offseason approaches. Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- D’Antoni said the meeting in question wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, per Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times says it makes no sense for the Lakers to part with D’Antoni before his contract expires after next year. Bolch argues that the Lakers should ride out another lackluster season and rethink their coaching situation in 2015, when they stand a better chance of landing a difference-maker in free agency to complement their upcoming draft selection.
- In a 5-on-5 post for ESPN, J.A. Adande, Chris Broussard, Israel Gutierrez, Marc Stein, and Ethan Sherwood Strauss all think the Lakers should target 2015 as the best opportunity to reload for title contention, not this summer.
- Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders takes a look at the Lakers options regarding Steve Nash and the stretch provision, pointing out that the team has the freedom to make their decision after the free agency dominoes have fallen in 2014. If the Lakers don’t end up in need of cap space for next season, it may be more prudent to keep Nash and absorb his contract rather than waiving him and extending the salary hit into 2015.
- Matt Barnes was in a few trade rumors last month, but he remained with the Clippers through the deadline and has been playing remarkably well ever since. Barnes is intent on staying with the team and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times wonders if the 11th-year forward is trying to prove a point to the Clippers front office.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and vice president of player personnel Jim Buss are expected to scout the Big 12 tournament next week, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (via Twitter). Prospects in the Big 12 for the 2014 draft include Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Austin, Cory Jefferson, LeBryan Nash, and Markel Brown. Embiid, Wiggins, and Smart are projected in the lottery, where L.A. will likely be picking. The Lakers owe their second round pick to the Bucks, although they could certainly acquire one on or before draft night. Here are more rumors surrounding the draft:
- Turkish team Anadolu Efes is set to offer NBA draft prospect Dario Saric a five-year deal worth 6 million euros, or about $8.32MM, a source tells Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, who notes that there are rumors the offer would cover only three years. Saric, a potential lottery pick, is undecided about whether to enter the draft this year, but he’s seriously considering the offer from Turkey, Carchia hears. The deal would include an NBA escape clause for 2016, when Saric will be automatically eligible for the NBA draft.
- Saric is expected to hire a new agent at the end of the season, and his choice figures to significantly impact his call on his decision to declare for the draft, Carchia tweets.
- Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com has Saric at No. 10 on his latest draft board, which features Jabari Parker on top.
- An NBA scout tells David Mayo of MLive.com that Michigan shooting guard Nik Stauskas would likely go in the late teens or early-20s if he entered the draft this year.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
The Lakers are privately concerned about the quality of the free agent market this summer, and they’re worried about the prospect of a third straight season outside of the title picture next year, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports. Stein’s note comes within a piece in which he and other ESPN.com writers examine the early-termination option decisions facing LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Most of them believe the quartet of stars, all of whom are in the top 10 of our Free Agent Power Rankings, will indeed become free agents. While we look forward to the summer, here’s the latest from around the league:
- Phil Jackson “went out of his way” to clarify in an interview with Sam Amick of USA Today that Joe Dumars made the decision last summer to hire Maurice Cheeks as Pistons coach, Amick writes. Jackson served as a consultant during the team’s coaching search last year, and Amick wonders if the Pistons would make a play to replace Dumars with Jackson, who reportedly has an offer to join the Knicks front office.
- The Bulls haven’t begun to seriously crunch the numbers for a pursuit of Carmelo Anthony, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, downplaying the idea that Chicago is gearing up to chase the Knicks star.
- League sources tell Berger that Nikola Mirotic will be seeking salaries worth $3-4MM from the Bulls this summer, as Berger writes in the same piece. That’s a surprise, since an earlier report indicated that Mirotic would probably ask for significantly more than the mid-level exception, worth a starting salary of $5.305MM next season.
- The Wolves were in deadline talks about trading J.J. Barea, but they aren’t so eager to get rid of him that they’d waive him this summer and use the stretch provision on his more than $4.5MM salary for next season, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cites.
Doc Rivers has quickly become the singular voice of authority for the Clippers, but what Lakers counterpart Mike D’Antoni says carries no such weight, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com examines. D’Antoni, who’ll be in the final year of his contract next season, doesn’t seem to have much of a future with the team, Shelburne writes. It’s been nearly a year since the start of the most prolific offseason coaching purge in NBA history, and while it’s unlikely there will be 13 new sideline bosses next season, there will probably be at least a few. Here’s more on where a couple of other coaches stand:
- Tyrone Corbin said he hasn’t had discussions with the Jazz about a new contract to replace the one that expires at the end of the season, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Corbin casts the decision to hold off on talks as his, as Genessy also notes, and the coach insists that his uncertain future hasn’t affected the team’s performance. Corbin said he isn’t feeling any extra pressure, either (Twitter links).
- Mike Woodson has been mistrustful of the Knicks front office, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who wonders what GM Steve Mills‘ chat with Phil Jackson about the coaching job will do to Woodson’s relationship with his bosses (Twitter link).
- There was more than a year between the end of Woodson’s tenure with the Hawks and the start of his time with the Knicks, but he didn’t receive any NBA head coaching offers during that period, a source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post.
The NBA is always in flux, and Hoops Rumors isn’t afraid of change, either. Our roundups of news from around the league have been called Odds & Ends since our inception, but from now on, you’ll see the name “And-Ones” attached to these posts. It falls in line with “Quick Hits” on MLB Trade Rumors and “Extra Points” on Pro Football Rumors, our sister sites. While the name may have changed, our commitment to bringing you news from around the NBA hasn’t. Here’s our latest glance at the Association:
- Chris Bosh, who turns 30 later this month, says he’ll play until he’s 36, observes Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). Bosh, who occupies the third spot in our 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, could re-sign with the Heat this summer on a five-year deal that would leave him less than a year shy of his 36th birthday, though he has plenty of time to change his retirement plans.
- Kyle Korver‘s NBA record streak of 127 consecutive games with at least one made three-pointer ended Wednesday, but the accomplishment highlights the wisdom of his decision to re-sign with the Hawks last year, opines Sean Deveney of The Sporting News.
- Former Cavs power forward Kevin Jones is leaving Cleveland’s D-League affiliate to sign a deal with the San Miguel Beerman of the Philippines that covers the rest of the season, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.com. Jones played 32 games in the NBA with the Cavs last season, but he wasn’t with any NBA club for training camp.
- The Lakers have just three players on guaranteed contracts for next season, plus Nick Young, who has a player option. Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News examines the upsides and drawbacks of having so many others in their walk years.
Eric Bledsoe is scheduled to return to game action for the Suns sometime in the next week, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. He will be back on the court either Monday at the Clippers, or Wednesday at home against the Cavs. Before he went down with an injury, the future restricted free agent averaged 18.0 PPG and 5.8 APG. After starting the season 19-11, the team has cooled slightly and gone 16-14 without Bledsoe.
More from the west:
- Chris Haynes of of CSNNW.com details the choice that Blazers guard Earl Watson will have to make this off season between continuing his playing career or coaching.
- 37 year-old Vince Carter believes he can play two more seasons, according to Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link). The Mavs swingman is averaging 11.9 PPG in 24.3 minutes per contest this year. Carter will be an unrestricted free-agent after the season.
- Mike Trudell of NBA.com looks at the dividends the recently acquired Kent Bazemore is paying for the Lakers. Since being picked up, he has averaged 15.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, and 2.5 APG while playing 32.5 MPG. Trudell also looks at whether this production is worth the team considering keeping him around beyond this season.
Every team in the Pacific Division pulled off at least one trade during the season except the Suns, who’d already shaken up their roster with five offseason trades. All of that activity is over for the next couple of months at least, but it suggests that GMs feel the need to be aggressive in an ultra-competitive Western Conference. Here’s the latest from the Pacific:
- Doc Rivers won’t close the door on the prospect of J.J. Redick missing the rest of the season with a bulging disk in his back, as Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times observes. “I don’t know,” Rivers said. “I haven’t had that fear yet. I don’t want that fear, maybe would be a better way of putting it. But I don’t know. I just keep getting updates. I’m sure there is some thought of that. He’s been out for so long. But we’re just hoping for the best.”
- Wesley Johnson hopes he can re-sign with the Lakers this summer, as he tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. “Hopefully it’s a long-term thing,” Johnson said. “But we’ll have to see what happens with what the front office decides and how they move around things. I would like to be here.”
- The Warriors haven’t established themselves as a surefire playoff team in the Western Conference, but Mark Jackson doesn’t deserve the brunt of the blame, argues Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.
Should the Knicks decide that it’s in their best interest to keep Carmelo Anthony and try to surround him with the requisite pieces needed for title contention, it’s almost a given that one plan would involve adding a big-name free agent during the summer of 2015 – when names such as Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo could hit the open market and New York would have plenty of cap room to work with. Such a plan might not be that appealing to Anthony, as rumblings indicate that the Syracuse star’s camp is only interested in what gets done this summer and not in 2015, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News.
Here’s a roundup of more significant points from Isola’s piece:
- By July 2015, Anthony will be 31 years old; the thought of added mileage from another NBA season without the proper reinforcements could possibly be enough to dissuade the Knicks star from committing to New York long-term,
- James Dolan would be wise to bid farewell to Carmelo this summer rather than give him five years and $127MM to stay, especially when the alternative involves clearing valuable cap space and still having a first round pick in what would most likely be a rebuilding year in 2014/15.
- As for Love, Isola hears word that the 6’10″ big man’s current train of thinking involves either re-signing with the Timberwolves or heading to the Lakers once he hits free agency.
- While Rondo’s success includes a championship in Boston, Isola adds that the 28-year-old point guard’s personality, his clashes with Celtics coaches in the past, and that he played a role in Ray Allen‘s decision to leave for Miami make him a less-than-ideal fit next to Carmelo.