A left knee injury to Chris Smith
in training camp derailed the possibility that he'd join his brother on the Knicks
this past season, but it appears a strong possibility the two will be together in New York for 2013/14. Marc Berman of the New York Post
reports that Chris Smith has fired agent Mark Cornstein and will replace him with Leon Rose, the same agent who reps his brother. A report in February
indicated the Knicks still plan to sign Chris Smith. Berman expects J.R. Smith
to re-sign with the Knicks for a four-year deal with a starting salary around $5MM unless another team swoops in with a larger offer. We rounded up more
on the Knicks earlier today, and here's the latest on their division rivals:
- One NBA executive tells Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News that he isn't sure new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie can handle the team's basketball decisions. "I don't think they are leaning on Rod Thorn as much as they should or he wants and I heard there still might be changes to the front office," the exec said. Another rival executive tells Cooney the Sixers have put their coaching search on the backburner.
- Hinkie was part of a Rockets front office that was aggressive in making moves that allowed the team to acquire a star player, and he says he'll bring that approach to the Sixers, notes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Greg Oden is drawing rave reviews for his workouts of late, but Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge doesn't give the impression that signing the erstwhile No. 1 overall pick is high on his to-do list, observes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. "We’ll look into Greg still," Ainge said. "He wasn’t ready to play when we saw him last. He wasn’t ready to work out — I mean, not like a real workout. We’ll probably check into that some time this summer."
- Bulpett hears that Doc Rivers isn't high on 2012 first-rounder Fab Melo, but Ainge disputes the idea, pointing out that Rivers didn't get much of chance to see the former Syracuse center who spent much of his rookie season in the D-League.
- Bill Walker, who split five NBA seasons between the Knicks and Celtics, has signed to play in Venezuela with Trotamundos de Carabobo, while Mardy Collins, a first-round draft pick of the Knicks in 2006, has joined Guaros de Lara, another Venezuelan team, as Sportando's Emiliano Carchia passes along in a pair of reports.
Let's check out a few items from around the Association as we prepare for an eight-game evening slate....
- Although we heard on Friday that Dario Saric's contract in Croatia wouldn't have an NBA out until 2014, Saric confirmed today that his new deal will include an NBA out after every season. Saric, who ranks 16th on DraftExpress.com's big board for 2013, indicated that he'd declare for the draft next season if he receives a top-10 guarantee, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.
- NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper notes (on Twitter) that one NBA executive has Saric in his current top 10, but that he's hardly a lock, and plenty can change between now and next June.
- In an Insider piece at ESPN.com,
Jay Bilas and Chad Ford debate which college prospect is the early
favorite to be picked first overall next June, and discuss a few more
- Kevin Murphy, who was assigned to the D-League today, will be with the Reno Bighorns for at least five games, according to Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey (Twitter link via Jody Genessy of the Deseret News).
- Chris Bernucca of Sheridan Hoops fills out a hypothetical roster made up of the NBA's worst contracts.
- Mardy Collins, who played in parts of four seasons for the Knicks and Clippers after being drafted 29th overall in 2006, has reached an agreement to play for Israel's Maccabi Ashdod, reports David Pick of Sportando.
- Lakers offseason acquisitions Jodie Meeks and Antawn Jamison have begun to thrive under new coach Mike D'Antoni, says Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Medina adds that there's still no set timetable for Steve Nash's return.