With a few weeks until training camps begin, here is the latest news coming out of the Western Conference on Tuesday evening:
- Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rockets‘ deal for Jason Terry will be completed tomorrow (via Twitter). The trade, which will send Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, was originally agreed to on August 31st. There was a report yesterday that it would be finalized today, so we should expect an official announcement shortly.
- Feigen also expects the signing of Kostas Papanikolaou to become official this week, though he cautions that his buyout ($1.5MM) and the necessary FIBA approval make it a little unpredictable (Twitter link). Papanikolaou’s first-year salary of just under $4.8MM is the most ever given to a second-round pick in his first NBA season.
- The Lakers announced today that Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen will join Byron Scott on the Los Angeles bench as assistant coaches this season. Beyond that trio, the team also announced Clay Moser, Larry Lewis, Tom Bialaszewski and J.J. Outlaw as members of the staff. Rondre Jackson has been promoted to director of player development and Jordan Wilkes has been hired as an operations assistant, according to the team release.
Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes that the Timberwolves will likely trade either J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour by draft night. In the same piece, Zgoda notes that GM Flip Saunders is impressed with Victor Oladipo. Minnesota – currently slated to draft ninth overall – would have to swing a deal into the top five in order to have a chance at the former Hoosier star, though Zgoda doesn't think the team has enough assets to accomplish that. Here are more news and notes from the Western Conference tonight:
- The Grizzlies interviewed Ed Pinckney today and are another team among those monitoring Doc Rivers' situation with Boston, says USA Today's Sam Amick (Twitter links).
- While recalling the Mavericks' decision to break up their championship roster, coach Rick Carlisle described it as "gut-wrenching." This summer, Dallas will have another chance to reap the rewards from that tough decision, and Carlisle seems determined to get things done: "We're going to be active in free agency…We're an aggressive franchise by nature; our owner (Mark Cuban) is. And that's good. We're going to put together a good team" (A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com)
- Lakers forward Metta World Peace has been working out at the IMG Academy and reportedly looks great, tweets Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.
- Matt Moore of CBS Sports isn't so sure George Karl would be a good fit with the current Grizzlies roster. Going off of reports that Brian Shaw and Lionel Hollins are in the lead for the Nuggets' job, Moore thinks Shaw would be an ideal fit, whereas Hollins would have more of a challenge with Denver's youth.
- Darnell Mayberry of NewsOK explains why Mason Plumlee would be a solid pick for the Thunder with the 12th overall pick.
- Janis Carr of the OC Register (Subscribers only) takes a closer look at Mark Madsen's coaching opportunity with the Lakers' D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Earlier today, we passed along the latest developments in the saga that has Sacramento and Seattle investment groups vying to buy the Kings. Here are a few more of today's links relating to Pacific Division clubs:
- Brian Floyd of SBNation.com provides a helpful primer for the Kings situation, answering a number of frequently asked questions about where things stand.
- The Lakers' D-League affiliate has hired former Laker Mark Madsen as the team's new head coach. The L.A. D-Fenders made the move official today (link via Twitter).
- More coaching news for the Lakers: Assistant Steve Clifford is interviewing today for the Bucks' head coaching opening, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. According to Wojnarowski, Stan Van Gundy declined to interview for the position, but recommend Clifford to Bucks GM John Hammond.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com explains why it doesn't make much sense for the Lakers to consider a sign-and-trade of Dwight Howard.
In a twist, the Western Conference playoff game preceded the Eastern Conference tilt on today's schedule. The Grizzlies beat the Thunder to claim a 2-1 series lead, while the Knicks and Pacers are under way in Indiana. The Eastern matchup prompted rare non-Sunday coverage from ABC, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of intriguing storylines out west, where the latest Kings developments are threatening to steal the show. Here's more from the conference that won this year's All-Star Game:
- Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggests (via Twitter) that Francisco Garcia could be an offseason target for the Lakers. The Rockets currently hold a $6.4MM option on Garcia, but Houston is extremely unlikely to exercise it, so the 31-year-old appears ticketed for unrestricted free agency.
- The next head coach of the Lakers' D-League affiliate could be a familiar face for Lakers fans. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Mark Madsen is finalizing an agreement to become the D-Fenders' new coach.
- Will Conroy, a close friend of Brandon Roy, began the season on Minnesota's playing roster, but he finished the season as a Timberwolves scout. Flip Saunders fired Conroy and another scout with ties to Roy this week, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. The Wolves waived Roy on Friday.
- The only way the Jazz can hold on to assistant coach Jeff Hornacek, a candidate for head coaching jobs elsewhere, would be to replace Tyrone Corbin with him, and that's not going to happen, writes Gordon Monson of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.