While he believes that Byron Scott is a good coach, Tom Ziller of SB Nation doesn’t think Scott will solve the Lakers problems. Ziller also believes Los Angeles made a “typical coaching carousel signing” in picking up Scott, whom Ziller describes as “an undervalued, affordable coach” despite the team’s ability to afford any coach they wanted.
Here’s more from around the league:
- Donatas Motiejunas, when discussing former teammate Chandler Parsons who left the Rockets to sign a three-year, $46.08MM deal with the Mavericks, told Simonas Baranauskas of Lithuania Basket (Twitter link), “He’s a good player, but would it be logical for management to pay him more than James Harden?” Houston declined to match the offer sheet Parsons had signed with the Mavs.
- With the NBA discussing extending the All-Star break to seven days, Zach Lowe of Grantland (Twitter links) thinks the league should first look to adjust the amount of regular season games played, and doesn’t think the longer break would be a positive if it meant more back-to-back games, or beginning the season at an earlier date.
- Pablo Prigioni is glad to be re-united with former Spanish League teammate Jose Calderon on the Knicks, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Prigioni believes Calderon will be able to help New York, saying, “We played together in Spain and we did really well. He is a great player and very good professional, a great 3-point shooting guy. He can run the team and read the game very well and is a good defender. He has all that a good point guard must have.”
- In the same article, Prigioni also expressed his positive feelings towards Carmelo Anthony re-signing with the Knicks, saying, “When I saw Melo re-sign, the first thing I did was send him a message saying that I was so happy to have a chance to still play with him. And I told him that I’m sure we will play much better next season.”
- Bill Ingram of Basketball Insiders believes that Bucks first-rounder Jabari Parker will have the biggest impact of any rookie this coming season, as well as take home Rookie Of The Year honors.
SUNDAY, 6:17pm: Marshall to the Bucks is now official, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
SATURDAY, 6:03pm: The Bucks intend to put in a waiver claim for Kendall Marshall, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twittter link). Milwaukee is looking to add passers and backcourt upgrades, tweets Stein, and Marshall will join newly acquired Jerryd Bayless in filling those needs.
Marshall was waived by the Lakers on Friday as the team attempted to clear cap space. Los Angeles had hoped to re-sign the 22 year-old point guard out of North Carolina, but it appears that Milwaukee will put a damper on those plans if they do in fact place a waiver claim on Marshall during the two-day waiver period.
After being considered a bust by the Suns, Marshall revived his career last season when he averaged 8.0 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 8.8 APG while playing 29 minutes per game. His slash line was .396/.372/.540.
Pau Gasol said he has no worries about the health of Derrick Rose and added that the Knicks had only long shot to sign him as part of an interview with Jesus Sanchez of Marca.com, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune translates (Twitter links). The Bulls are scheduled to introduce Gasol and Nikola Mirotic to fans in a press conference today after agreeing to deals with both this past weekend, and there’s more from Chicago amid the latest Central Division rumors:
- There appears to be mutual interest between the Bulls and point guard Aaron Brooks, as Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com details. Sam’s story reveals that Brooks is considering the team, while the headline and Sam’s tweet indicate that Chicago is eyeing the 29-year-old point guard.
- The Lakers’ winning bid for Carlos Boozer was $3.251MM, not just $3.25MM as previously reported, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders, giving the Bulls slightly more savings than previously thought. The Bulls will be on the hook for $13.549MM of the $16.8MM remaining on Boozer’s contract, which expires next summer, but it won’t count against the salary cap for Chicago.
- Ekpe Udoh has his sights set on joining a contender, and was close to a deal with the Clippers before they struck a deal with Glen Davis, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports (on Twitter). That wouldn’t appear to bode well for any chance the Bucks have of re-signing the big man, who became an unrestricted free agent when Milwaukee declined to make him a qualifying offer.
- The Cavs have interest in Greg Oden, but it’s not clear if they’ve spoken with him or have any plans to do so, according to Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. Still, it appears that either the Cavs, LeBron James, or both have been in touch with the free agent center this summer, Amico writes.
- A lack of playing time with the Heat was one reason why James Jones decided to bolt for the Cavs, as Jones said in a radio appearance on The Ticket Morning Show in Miami, tweets Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald.
The reports are pouring in fast and furious on the negotiations between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves for Kevin Love. While conflicting rumors persist, Ken Berger of CBS Sports simplifies it for us in his latest piece. Quite basically, LeBron James wants Love in Cleveland and Minnesota wants Andrew Wiggins for Love. And LeBron usually gets what he wants. Beyond that, Berger points out that these negotiations are a sign of things to come with regard to the leverage James holds within the Cleveland organization.
Grantland’s Zach Lowe weighs in on the talks as well (via Twitter), suggesting that the Wolves should immediately pull the trigger if Wiggins is on the table. However, as Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated tweets, the “general feeling” at summer league was that Minnesota would require more than just Wiggins in a deal for their coveted superstar.
Here are some additional notes from the Central division on Thursday night:
- Mike Miller said in an ESPN Radio appearance that he’s selling Ray Allen on becoming the latest former Heat player to join the Cavaliers, but Allen is still considering retirement and has spoken with multiple teams this month, sources tell Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.
- The Pacers stayed in touch with Rodney Stuckey all month, the guard told Candace Buckner of the Indianapolis Star today, seemingly countering a report that made it seem as though the team shied away from him after contacting him early in free agency. Stuckey agreed Wednesday to a one-year deal with Indiana for the minimum.
- Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens revealed the franchise’s minority share owners on Thursday, a list that did not include Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Edens didn’t rule out potential for Rodgers’ involvement in the franchise, however. The list contains six local names, corresponding with a May report that the ownership duo of Edens and Marc Lasry hoped to add five to ten investors.
- Jesse Biancarte of Basketball Insiders examines what the loss of Lance Stephenson will mean for the Pacers next season, opining that Indiana has the pieces to maintain their dominance on defense but will struggle to replace the Cincinnati product on the other end of the floor.
JULY 17TH: Vasquez has officially signed his new deal, the team announced in a press release.
“Greivis’ passion for the Raptors and Toronto is wonderful,” GM Masai Ujiri said in the team’s statement. “He is a versatile player who provides us with energy and depth.”
JULY 9TH: Greivis Vasquez has agreed to a deal with the Raptors, a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter links). The point guard will sign the two-year, $13MM contract with Toronto once the league moratorium has passed. The deal includes no options, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
The move will end Vasquez’s restricted free agency following Toronto’s choice to extend a qualifying offer over a week ago. Vasquez was being sought after by the Bucks, but was reportedly close to re-signing with the Raptors before Milwaukee’s efforts could gain steam. Ryan Wolstat of The Toronto Suns speculates that the agreement could have been delayed by a failed attempt on the part of the 27-year-old’s agent, Arn Tellem, to gain a third year on the contract (on Twitter).
Vasquez will return to back up Kyle Lowry, whom Toronto reached a four-year agreement with already. An average salary of $6.5MM is high for a second string guard, but the length of the contract gives the team flexibility and a reliable insurance option should the oft-injured Lowry run into any health trouble. Vasquez excelled as a backup last season, posting a career-high per-36-minute scoring average while maintaining a solid 6.2 assists-per-36-minute rate.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
3:34pm: There won’t be any option clauses involved, Gardner writes.
WEDNESDAY, 1:45pm: The sides are discussing what would be two-year pact worth $6-7MM, according to Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (on Twitter).
TUESDAY, 11:41pm: The Bucks and free agent guard Jerryd Bayless are closing in on a deal, according to Marc Stein of ESPN (Twitter link). Although he’s headed to Milwaukee, Bayless made it known a few times last season that he envisioned staying with the Celtics for the long-term, and head coach Brad Stevens even went on record saying that he wanted the 6’3 guard to be part of the team’s future; back in April, Celtics president Danny Ainge didn’t offer comment when asked about the possibility of retaining Bayless beyond 2013/14.
Following a trade from Memphis to Boston last season, the 6’3 guard played in 41 games for the Celtics, averaging 10.1 PPG, 3.1 APG, and 1.0 SPG in 25.3 MPG. He also shot 41.8% from the field overall and 39.5% from three-point range. The Bucks will be his sixth stop since being drafted 11th overall by the Pacers in 2008.
WEDNESDAY, 9:01am: There’s a strong feeling among Bucks brass that it would be better to keep Ilyasova rather than trade him, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com.
MONDAY, 3:47pm: Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times identified Ersan Ilyasova shortly before the draft as the Buck most likely to be dealt, and the team continues to shop him “hard,” an NBA executive tells Woelfel (Twitter link). Ilyasova is set to make $7.9MM in each of the next two seasons, and he’s been a trade candidate seemingly ever since he signed his five-year, $40MM deal in 2012.
Ilyasova reportedly asked for a trade this past season, though he later said he was “comfortable” in Milwaukee. Ilyasova had said at the time that, “When you go through a season like this and your name comes up [in rumors] it is a little frustrating. But I still feel myself as part of this franchise. I’m hopeful we can find the right pieces for the team so we can play much better because we really need it. I want to be part of a playoff team and that’s what I’m looking forward to, [the franchise] building a better team – a playoff team.”
The 27-year-old’s production took a step back in 2013/14, as he averaged 11.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and abysmal 28.2% shooting from three-point range, all numbers that were worse than the season before. Ilyasova was hampered by a nagging ankle injury during the second half of the season which could have contributed to the drop in production.
Here are a few miscellaneous links to pass along from tonight:
- The Celtics would rather risk keeping Rajon Rondo until he becomes a free agent next summer than take a deal without a “major player” that chiefly provides salary cap relief, as Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald hears. There’s been no talk between the Rockets and Celtics involving Rondo, as Bulpett also writes.
- The Warriors could possibly carve out a maximum salary slot for Kevin Durant in 2016 without breaking up their current core, explains Tim Kawakami of Bay Area News Group.
- Former Bucks head coach Larry Drew is in discussions to join David Blatt’s coaching staff on the Cavaliers, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
- There’s a strong sentiment within the Bucks organization to keep Ersan Ilyasova rather than trade him, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.
- Even though Jason Terry wants a buyout, the Kings currently have no plans to acquiesce, writes Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
- Garrett Temple is expected to receive a deal soon to stay with the Wizards; however, Al Harrington - who still plans to play in the NBA for the 2014/15 season – is yet to receive an offer from Washington (Twitter links from J. Michael of CSNWashington.com).
- The Grizzlies didn’t consider waiving Nick Calathes before his contract became guaranteed today, a source tells Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link).
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
Free agent Kris Humphries is still open to returning to the Celtics, writes Ben Rohrbach of WEEI 93.7 FM. Humphries said, “I could definitely see it. My agent handles most of the stuff with free agency. We’ll see what happens. I definitely could see it. I played out last year and didn’t look to jump to a playoff team before the end of the year, so I definitely enjoyed my time there, and we’ll see what happens.”
Here’s the latest from the east:
- Jodie Meeks wants to reward the Pistons on the court this season for making his signing a priority, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. Meeks said, “I was their No. 1 priority. He [Stan Van Gundy] liked the way I competed on offense and defense. That’s my motto: Not worry about the bad shooting nights. Just play hard and let the chips fall where they may.”
- Patrick Patterson never had any desire to leave Toronto, which made his decision to re-sign with the Raptors easy, writes Mike Ganter of the Toronto Sun. On remaining in Toronto, Patterson said, “Toronto was always one of my top choices as far as coming back. The fans and organization and the team and the friendships I have with these guys — I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to give those up, so there was no real uncertainty or doubt. It was all about coming to the right terms and getting everything situated.”
- The Bucks may announce their new partial owners soon, possibly as soon as tomorrow, reports Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times (Twitter link).
- Van Gundy admits that Greg Monroe‘s contract situation with the Pistons has him a “little nervous,” writes David Mayo of MLive. Van Gundy said, “The nervousness is just the unknown. It’s not knowing, beyond this year, especially, where you’re going. But again, we have plenty of time, if something happened, to adjust for next year and everything else.”
- The Lance Stephenson free agency situation could drag out for awhile, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. A league executive told Mannix that the Pacers couldn’t increase their offer much more above what they have already presented Stephenson.
The first domino that was LeBron James‘ free agency decision certainly set off the chain we anticipated, with a flurry of activity taking place over the last two days. Here’s a rundown of the league’s action this evening:
- James hopes that his player option for the second year of his Cavs contract can be worked out quietly in the offseason, sources tell Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer. Of course, a stress-free contract renewal for James would be the first of his career.
- Paul Pierce‘s first choice wasn’t to sign with the Wizards, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. Pierce was more interested in joining the Clippers or returning to the Nets, but became more intrigued by the Washington roster as time went by this offseason.
- Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey told reporters including Jody Genessy of Deseret News that Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors will both have a voice regarding Utah’s decision making (Twitter link).
- Tom Moore of Calkins Media wonders if the Sixers might end up leveraging their abundant cap space to take back one of the Knicks burdensome contracts in exchange for draft compensation.
- Jason Kidd tells Charles F. Gardner of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he has been working closely with Bucks GM John Hammond and assistant GM David Morway despite reports he was looking for front office power in the process that brought him from Brooklyn to Milwaukee. “We’re a family,” said Kidd. “Being able to talk to them every day about things, they have ideas, I share some of the things I think about. We’re still learning each other, how we want to play. A lot of things get misinterpreted with me, I guess. I’ll leave it at that.”