The NBA's longest current winning and losing streaks both belong to Southeast Division teams, and will be on the line tonight. The Heat are hosting the Magic, in search of their 16th straight win, while the Bobcats will look to snap a seven-game losing streak at home against the Nets. As we wait for the Eastern Conference's best and worst clubs to get underway tonight, let's round up a few notes out of the Southeast….
- Agent Mike Conley Sr. doesn't expect Greg Oden to sign anywhere until July, suggesting to Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida that teams will have more financial flexibility to pursue his client after the season. According to Conley, there is mutual interest between Oden and the Heat, and the two sides expect to talk again in the summer. The Cavs, Bobcats, and Spurs are other potential suitors for the former first overall pick, according to Tomasson.
- Responding to Dwight Howard's suggestion that his Magic teams were "full of people nobody wanted," Jameer Nelson shot back at his former teammate, as Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel documents. "At some point, when are you [Dwight] gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?" Nelson said.
- Mike Scott has returned to Atlanta to rejoin the Hawks after a brief stint with the team's D-League affiliate, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Hawks officially announced in a press release that Scott has been recalled from the Bakersfield Jam and will be available for tonight's game against the Sixers.
We'll track today's D-League assignments and recalls here, with any additional moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- Jarvis Varnado has been sent to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat announced today in a press release. Varnado averaged a double-double in the D-League earlier this season, recording 14.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 3.9 BPG for Sioux Falls.
- The Hawks have assigned rookie Mike Scott to the D-League, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Consitution. Scott will join the Bakersfield Jam, who have a home-and-home set against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
- The Cavaliers have recalled Kevin Jones from the D-League just a day after re-assigning him, the team announced in a press release. Jones led the Canton Charge with 24 points and nine rebounds in last night's game, helping the team defeat the Idaho Stampede, 115-109. The rookie forward will be available for the Cavs tonight against the Clippers.
- Aron Baynes also led his D-League team to victory last night during his one-game assignment. The Spurs announced today in a press release that Baynes had been recalled from the Austin Toros after recording 16 points and nine boards in the club's Thursday win.
- The Celtics have assigned Fab Melo to the Maine Red Claws, according to a team press release. With D.J. White and Shavlik Randolph expected to be ready to play tonight, the C's didn't need Melo on the bench in Boston.
Here are Tuesday's D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Hawks have officially recalled Mike Scott from the Bakersfield Jam, according to a team press release. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution had reported earlier today that Scott would be rejoining the Hawks. The rookie averaged 13.3 PPG and 6.3 RPG in four D-League games, including 21 points and 10 boards last night.
- The Mavericks have assigned rookie Jared Cunningham to their D-League affiliate, the team announced today in a press release. It's Cunningham's first D-League assignment, as well as the first time this season the Mavs have utilized the Texas Legends. Cunningham, the 24th overall pick in the 2012 draft, has appeared in limited minutes in seven games for the Mavs, and hasn't seen action in 10 of the team's last 12 games. He'll presumably get a chance to earn more playing time for the Legends, whose next game is this Saturday against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
On the heels of Andrew Bynum's comments yesterday, in which he suggested he could miss another month, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld says league sources wonder if Bynum's prolonged rehab is about trying to get healthy for his upcoming free agency. However, 76ers sources tell Kyler that if the team remains in the hunt and Bynum returns at some point in January, they're okay with the wait.
Here are a few more Tuesday notes out of the Eastern Conference:
- Andray Blatche and the Nets are both reaping the benefits of Brooklyn's willingness to bring the ex-Wizard aboard on a minimum-salary deal, writes ESPN.com's David Thorpe in an Insider-only piece.
- Despite working out a couple point guards over the weekend, the Wizards are staying the course and not adding anyone to the roster for now, according to Gene Wang of the Washington Post. "We’re looking at different scenarios," coach Randy Wittman said. "Obviously brought a couple guys in [on Sunday], looked at, and we’re still, we haven’t done anything. Don’t know when or if we will do anything, but we’re looking at different scenarios, different options, different people. We’re not going to make a snap quick judgment. There’s not a guy out there right now that warrants that, so we’re going to take our time and look at some different guys and see what best fits us moving forward."
- With the Bakersfield Jam not scheduled to play their next game until Friday, the Hawks are set to recall Mike Scott from their D-League affiliate, says Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- While one school of thought suggests the Bulls shouldn't bring Derrick Rose back from his ACL injury until the 2013/14 season, Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times explains why that would be playing it too safe.
A year ago today, the NBA lockout had just officially ended and we were immersed in a compressed and frantic period of free agency. As fun a week as that was, I'll take this year's December 10th, which features an evening slate of six NBA contests, including a Southeast battle between the Hawks and Heat. As we await tonight's games, let's round up a few afternoon odds and ends:
- In addition to working out Ben Uzoh on Sunday, the Wizards also took a look at Blake Ahearn, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. However, Washington doesn't plan to sign either player to replace the injured A.J. Price.
- In the latest draft blog at ESPN.com (Insider link), Jay Bilas and Chad Ford discuss which college point guard is the top prospect at the position.
- John Hollinger also has an Insider-only piece up at ESPN.com, in which he examines Andrea Bargnani's disappointing performance so far this season for the Raptors. If Bargnani plays like this all season, the amnesty clause could be a real possibility next summer, says Hollinger. I still think the former first overall pick has some trade value, but that value is certainly not where it was even a few weeks ago.
- The Hawks are still figuring out when to bring back Mike Scott from the D-League, tweets Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- Tony Parker sees a little of himself in Jeremy Lin, as he tells Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
The Hawks are sending rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott to their D-League affiliate in Bakersfield, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter). The length of stay for both players is to be determined.
Jenkins was taken with the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Vanderbilt. The 21-year-old guard saw just 13 minutes across four games this season and figures to see more action in the D-League. Scott, a 6'8" forward, was tabbed in the second-round (43rd overall) and saw 16 minutes of burn in five games.
Be sure to check out our complete list of D-League assignments and recalls to keep track of the latest moves.
3:26pm: GM Danny Ferry says Scott's contract includes some guarantees and that the rookie big man "will be on the team this year," tweets Cunningham.
3:00pm: The Hawks have officially signed Scott, according to a team press release. The two-year contract is for the minimum salary and includes "few, if any, guarantees," according to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
12:27pm: The Hawks have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with second-round pick Mike Scott, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Scott, the 43th overall pick in June, was one of a handful of second-rounders who were not yet under contract for the coming season.
As we noted earlier today when we discussed Quincy Miller's contract offer from the Nuggets, today represents a deadline of sorts for second-round picks. If teams don't submit a required tender to their second-rounders, the players become free agents. Rather than tendering Scott a one-year offer, the Hawks agreed to terms on a multiyear contract, though I imagine it's only partially guaranteed.
Scott, 24, racked up 18.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while shooting 56.3% from the floor in his final year at the University of Virginia. The 6'9" forward will be the 14th player under contract for Atlanta.
We've already covered a few draft rumors today, and Zach Links went in-depth on West Virginia power forward Kevin Jones in our latest Prospect Profile. There's plenty more going on as the draft approaches, including news from John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the Sixers put point guard Marquis Teague through an "exhaustive" individual workout this morning. Bookmark this post for the rest of the day's draft news, with latest on top.
- Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star has an article on the Pacers' scouting staff as they prepare to pick 26th overall in Thursday's draft.
- Kurt Helin of NBC Sports looks at several players with the potential to become the second-best talents in the draft.
- Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News suggests Meyers Leonard as a possible fit for the Warriors.
- The Lakers are in talks to acquire a first-round pick, and could be after the Heat's selection at No. 27, Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio tweets.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer offers his thoughts on the implications of a rumored swap of the second and fourth picks by the Bobcats and Cavs.
- Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group thinks the Warriors could trade down from No. 7 and still get the player they want, unless it's Damian Lillard or Dion Waiters. He also believes the team will give serious consideration to Andre Drummond (Twitter links).
- We have the latest from Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com in a separate post.
- Nick Menta and Josh Jurnavoy of CSNPhilly.com have details on today's Sixers big man workout featuring Perry Jones III, Terrence Jones, Arnett Moultrie, Andrew Nicholson, John Henson and Tyler Zeller.
- If the Warriors draft a big man with the seventh pick, it will be either Tyler Zeller or Meyers Leonard, according to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Simmons also has a list of the players who will work out Sunday for the Warriors, joining Moe Harkless (Sulia links).
- Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune shares Jazz GM Kevin O'Connor's thoughts on trading into the first round. "Just because we're quiet doesn't mean we're not working," O'Connor said. "We're talking to a lot of people about a lot of things" (Twitter links).
- St. John's small forward Moe Harkless is drawing heavy interest from the Warriors, Blazers and Kings, says Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv. The small forward from St. John's will work out Sunday for the Warriors and Monday for the Kings (Twitter links).
- Tony Wroten, Andrew Nicholson and Kevin Jones highlight the players auditioning Monday for the Grizzlies, who will bring Marquis Teague in Tuesday for a workout, reports Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
- Ryan Blake, the NBA's director of scouting, doesn't foresee either Terrence Jones or Perry Jones III being available when the Mavs pick 17th, tweets Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Sam Amick of SI.com explains why Mike Scott, Will Barton, Scott Machado, Tony Wroten and Kyle O'Quinn are potential sleepers.
- Hornets coach Dell Demps believes the 46th pick is valuable considering the depth of the draft, tweets Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com, and says the team is "looking at every possible opportunity with the No. 10 pick," tweets John Reid of The Times-Picayune.
With 15 days remaining until draft night, we'll round up today's notes on draft workouts, stock watches, and potential selections right here, with the latest up top:
- Morley Quatroche of WEEI.com breaks down Michael Kidd-Gilchrist from a Celtics perspective.
- HoopsWorld's Stephen Brotherston looks at whether Kentucky sixth man Darius Miller can be just as valuable as a key reserve in the NBA.
- Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times has the latest on the Bucks' search for a big man.
- Portland native Terrence Jones talks about his workout for the Blazers today in a video posted by Sean Meagher of The Oregonian.
- Warriors.com shares mock drafts put together by broadcasters and well-known bloggers.
- Thomas Robinson worked out for his hometown Wizards today, as Michael Lee of The Washington Post chronicles.
- Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld looks at Andre Drummond as teams try to get a handle on his boom-or-bust potential.
- A number of beat writers have updates on draft workouts for the Trail Blazers, Wizards, and Bucks.
- Don't expect the Jazz to make a trade to get back into the first round of the draft. GM Kevin O'Connor tells Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune that the asking price for first-round picks will be high, and he doesn't anticipate his team will make a move "unless we find something we really like."
- SI.com's Sam Amick shares the list of participants for the Warriors' workout tomorrow.
- The Sixers announced via press release that they'll work out Quincy Miller, Terrence Ross, and Mike Scott tomorrow morning.
- Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com becomes the latest draft scribe to release an updated version of his mock draft today.
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford has provided a ton of draft content today, publishing his new mock draft and answering a number of readers' questions in a chat. Among the highlights of Ford's chat: He believes the Bobcats will trade the No. 2 pick for either multiple picks or a pick and a player.
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio also conducted a chat heavy on draft-related inquiries.
- Harrison Barnes and Damian Lillard were among the lottery prospects to boost their stock in athletic testing, while Jared Sullinger and John Henson's scores didn't help them, says Chad Ford (Insider link).
- Anthony Davis isn't the only player in this draft class with star potential, writes Jay Bilas in an Insider piece for ESPN.com.
- Fab Melo and Andrew Nicholson highlighted the group of prospects in attendance at the Suns' first workout yesterday, says Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld and SI.com's Sam Amick each released updated versions of their mock drafts today.
- The Raptors worked out six more players today, including Canadian forward Kris Joseph, according to a team press release.