Nolan Smith Rumors
April 30 at 12:03pm CST By Luke Adams
The Rockets avoided being the second Western Conference team to be swept out of the first round last night, defeating the Thunder to send the series back to Oklahoma City. While we wait for that series to resume on Wednesday, tonight's schedule features a pair of Western matchups, including a chance for the Warriors to pull off a first round upset and eliminate the Nuggets. Here are a few updates out of the conference as we look forward to the evening's games:
- Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (via Sulia) confirms reports that Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman is the frontrunner to be the next Suns' general manager, adding that president Lon Babby was eyeing Weltman back before the team hired Lance Blanks. Bucher also echoes another rumor we heard recently, writing that the valuation of the Kings has owner Robert Sarver wondering "if it's time to cash out."
- As he continues his look at the Mavericks' free-agents-to-be, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com predicts that Anthony Morrow will sign a veteran's minimum contract this summer.
- Antawn Jamison, who underwent wrist surgery today after missing his exit interview yesterday, isn't expected to return to the Lakers next year, writes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.
- Nolan Smith won't be back with the Trail Blazers next season, but he's looking forward to free agency, as he tells Susan Bible of HoopsWorld.
April 18 at 2:03pm CST By Luke Adams
While the Trail Blazers' 13-game losing streak to close the season wasn't pretty, it did help the team load up on draft picks for the coming summer. The Blazers' first-rounder is top-12 protected, which means they'd only lose it if three of the four teams below them in the draft lottery standings jumped up into the top three. In addition to that first-rounder, the Blazers will also keep their own second-rounder (No. 40), and acquire second-rounders from the Timberwolves (No. 39) and Celtics (No. 46). Here's more out of Portland:
- The Trail Blazers haven't had a ton of success in the past luring free agents to Portland, but general manager Neil Olshey, who is viewed around the league as a players' GM, could be a difference-maker in the free agent process, says Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
- Quick also notes, via Twitter, that the Blazers' entire coaching staff is on track to return for next season, assuming assistant Kaleb Canales exercises his option.
- J.J. Hickson told reporters, including Joe Freeman of the Oregonian, that he "definitely" wants to return to Portland, but that his future is "to be determined" (Twitter link).
- Eric Maynor expressed a strong desire to remain with the Blazers, indicating that Portland was a great fit for him and that there'd be no downside to coming back, tweets Freeman. Damian Lillard also endorsed bringing back Maynor or a similar player, noting that having a capable backup point guard helped alleviate the pressure on him (Twitter link).
- One point guard who won't be returning to Portland is Nolan Smith, who told reporters, including Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (Twitter link), that the team has indicated it's unlikely to bring him back.
April 14 at 9:12am CST By Chuck Myron
The Trail Blazers aren't going to re-sign Nolan Smith, but sources close to the combo guard tell Joe Freeman of The Oregonian that the Bulls, Hawks and Thunder lead a pack of teams that are likely have interest this summer. The Blazers drafted Smith with the 21st overall pick in the 2011 draft, but after his rookie season, they declined the third-year option on his rookie-scale contract, making him an unrestricted free agent at season's end.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks is Smith's godfather, Freeman points out, and Brooks has expressed confidence in Smith's ability to make it as an NBA player, despite the former Duke standout's inability to consistently become a part of Portland's rotation. Still, Oklahoma City seems well-stocked with backup guards, as they have Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb on guaranteed contracts for next season, along with DeAndre Liggins on a non-guaranteed deal. The Thunder will need to either re-sign or replace Kevin Martin, but Smith probably isn't someone they'd want to fill Martin's sixth-man role.
The Bulls and Hawks will probably have more room for Smith, who could have trouble commanding a salary much higher than the minimum. He's averaged just 3.3 points in 9.9 minutes per game for his career, numbers that have dipped to 2.8 PPG and 7.2 MPG this year. A team may be willing to use a portion of its mid-level exception on him, given his potential as a former first-round draft pick and first-team All-American in college, but he can't expect too much of a raise on the $1.366MM he's earning this season.
January 11 at 4:53pm CST By Luke Adams
Let's round up some Friday afternoon odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Although J.J. Redick doesn't want to be traded by the Magic, he's not exactly thrilled with the team's 10-game losing streak, as Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida tweets.
- Tomasson also spoke to Hedo Turkoglu, who said he's not actively trying to be bought out by the Magic, though he understands if the team decides to trade him.
- After telling Sheridan Hoops earlier this week that he doesn't expect to coach again, Phil Jackson reiterates the point to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link), writing in an email that there's no chance he returns to the Lakers.
- A collection of SI.com writers discuss what's next for the Lakers, including potential pre-trade-deadline moves, and the team's chances of re-signing Dwight Howard this summer.
- Shaun Livingston tells Richard Hardy of HoopsWorld that he's hoping to stay with the Cavaliers for longer than just this season.
- Having recently parted ways with agent Joel Bell, Trail Blazers guard Nolan Smith has replaced him with former Bull B.J. Armstrong of the Wasserman Media Group, reports Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- David Mayo of MLive.com explores whether the Pistons should attempt to trade for Rudy Gay, while multiple Celtics writers discuss whether Boston should take a flier on Greg Oden (link via CSNNE.com).
- In an Insider piece, ESPN.com's Chad Ford looks at some potential fits in June's draft for the Hornets.
January 9 at 2:14pm CST By Luke Adams
Here are Wednesday's D-League assignments and recalls, with any additional moves added to the top of the page throughout the day:
- Nolan Smith and Will Barton were recalled from the D-League by the Trail Blazers, the team announced today (Twitter link). The backcourt duo had been assigned to the Idaho Stampede on Sunday. In a pair of Stampede losses during their assignments, Smith averaged 22.5 PPG and 5.5 APG, while Barton posted 14.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 4.0 APG.
January 6 at 5:32pm CST By Sean Highkin
The Portland Trail Blazers have assigned rookie small forward Will Barton and second-year point guard Nolan Smith to the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League, the team announced (link via Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com). They will both be sent down in time to appear at the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nevada.
Barton has appeared in 28 games for the Blazers this season, averaging 2.9 PPG and 1.4 RPG. Smith has played in 18 games and averaged 2.5 PPG and 1.8 APG. We'll keep track of today's NBDL assignments and recalls below:
January 4 at 11:00pm CST By Chuck Myron
It was an active day around the Association, and it might be that way for a while. Monday is the start date for 10-day contracts and the final day teams can waive players on non-guaranteed deals in time for them to be off rosters by January 10th, when those contracts would become guaranteed for the balance of the season. Come Monday, we'll also be just two weeks and a month from the trade deadline. As we count down, here's the latest NBA scuttlebutt.
- Nolan Smith has fired agent Joel Bell, who asked the Blazers to trade his now former client, as Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com reports. Smith said he has never asked for a trade himself, and as we passed along earlier, he also spoke with Haynes about his upcoming free agency, professing his love for Portland in the process. Sam Amick of SI.com identified Smith as a trade candidate earlier today.
- Sean Deveney tweets financial details on Patrick Beverley's $850K buyout from Spartak St. Petersburg. The Rockets, who are expected to sign Beverley, paid the maximum $550K while Beverley chipped in the rest out the $700K in earnings he had already drawn on his $1MM contract with the Russian club.
- Chris Mannix of SI.com mentions Kansas freshman shooting guard Ben McLemore as a darkhorse for the No. 1 pick and ranks the top 20 draft prospects for June, with Kentucky center Nerlens Noel atop the list.
- Hornets coach Monty Williams said the team wants to have the flexibility to bring in new players at small forward, as John Reid of The Times-Picayune notes, and presumably that's why New Orleans waived Dominic McGuire today. Williams has been unpleased with the play of the team's threes since before McGuire signed last month, and now the coach is calling for improvement from Al-Farouq Aminu, who'll be an unrestricted free agent in the summer because the Hornets declined his fourth-year option prior to the season.
January 4 at 3:14pm CST By Luke Adams
In their Friday A-Z piece for USA Today, Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt lead off by examining a number of potential teams and players that could be involved in trade talks in the next few weeks. Most of the juicier rumors come from Amick, so we'll round up the highlights from his section of the piece right here:
- Geoff Petrie has said that the Kings aren't interested in trading DeMarcus Cousins, and it seems as if that sentiment is now being conveyed privately as well as publicly, according to Amick. However, the Kings would be open to listening to offers on Tyreke Evans or anyone else besides Cousins.
- The Celtics and Mavericks are two teams that could shake things up before the deadline -- both clubs are underperforming and have been known to be aggressive pursuing upgrades in the past.
- The Heat would like to add a big man, but don't really have the assets needed to make a deal.
- Nolan Smith is a good candidate to be moved before the deadline by the Trail Blazers.
- The Cavaliers and Clippers won't be eager to move Anderson Varejao and Eric Bledsoe, respectively, but both teams should receive plenty of offers on those players, says Amick, noting that the Cavs' poor record will only increase the pressure to make a move.
- Both Amick and Zillgitt identify the Raptors' Andrea Bargnani as the biggest name likely to be on the move by February 21st.
January 4 at 2:03pm CST By Luke Adams
You could make a convincing case that the biggest NBA news out of the Western Conference so far today has been Kobe Bryant's arrival on Twitter. With just a single tweet to his name, Kobe has already racked up over 200,000 followers, a figure that continues to grow exponentially. There's plenty going on around the rest of the conference too though, so let's check out a few links....
- Trail Blazers point guard Nolan Smith, a former 21st overall pick, is on a mission to prove that he's not a bust, and feels good about his impending free agency, as he tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- Royce White appeared on SiriusXM radio to discuss his refusal of a D-League assignment, and both Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle and Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside have passed along a few of White's more interesting comments. Among them: White suggested the chances that he never plays in the NBA are "very high" and said that playing for a team besides the Rockets wouldn't be a solution.
- Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News expects O.J. Mayo to score a big contract next summer, but isn't sure it'll come from the Mavericks. The Mavs figure to be targeting the top free agents of the class before circling back to Mayo, according to Sefko.
- Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News is critical of the make-up of the Mavericks' roster, opining that with so many players on expiring deals, they're playing for contracts rather than wins.
- The Jazz announced today that Mo Williams underwent successful surgery on his injured right thumb, as Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune writes.
- Roster construction has been a bigger problem than DeMarcus Cousins for the Kings, according to Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com.
November 29 at 5:42pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston heard from head coach Doc Rivers that the Celtics could decide to recall Kris Joseph and possibly Fab Melo up from the D-League while Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox are out of action. More notably, after Danny Ainge told WEEI radio that Rajon Rondo would be given a two game suspension (Twitter link), Rivers gave the impression that the team won't necessarily try to make any subsequent roster moves anytime soon. You can find more of tonight's miscellaneous links from the Association here:
- HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy says (via Twitter) that the Raptors are weighing their free agent options at the small forward position.
- Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian of his plans to use D-League assignments accordingly for Victor Claver, Joel Freeland, Will Barton, and Nolan Smith. While Olshey thinks that his young players are currently benefitting through their NBA experience, he believes the best time to send them to the Idaho Stampede (their D-League affiliate) would be after they have built a good enough foundation with the coaching staff and need significant minutes to continue developing.
- According to Anthony Slater of NewsOK, Thunder GM Sam Presti was spotted at Oklahoma State University's basketball practice to supposedly begin scouting Marcus Smart and Le'Bryan Nash, two college prospects who are currently touted as potential first round picks.
- The Nets announced that the right foot sprain which Brook Lopez suffered during last night's game is unrelated to the foot injury he sustained last season, and added that he is only expected to miss the next two games (Howard Beck of the New York Times reports).