Oklahoma City Thunder Rumors
June 19 at 1:59pm CST By Luke Adams
WEDNESDAY, 1:59pm: Asked in a chat which teams might be in play for the Mavs' first-rounder, ESPN.com's Chad Ford says he's heard the Knicks, Cavs, and Thunder connected to the pick. The price for the 13th overall selection, according to Ford, is a 2014 first-round pick or taking Marion in the deal. I'm guessing that 2014 first-rounder would be at least lottery-protected, though that's just my speculation.
Ford adds that some teams believe the Mavs may already have a deal in place, since trade talk out of Dallas has quieted down in recent days.
TUESDAY, 5:33pm: The Mavericks will almost certainly trade their first-round pick in this year's draft to clear cap room to pursue Dwight Howard, reports Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. The Mavs don't quite have enough space to offer Howard a max deal, so removing the $1.66MM cap hold associated with the 13th overall pick would help clear a little more room.
According to Sefko's source, there's a 0% chance that the player selected 13th overall ends up on Dallas' roster next season. The most likely outcome involves trading the pick, while there's about a 15% chance the Mavs could take a player who could be stashed overseas for a year, meaning he wouldn't count against the team's cap. Sergey Karasev may be the best possibility for that scenario.
Given how aggressively the Mavs seem to be shopping the pick, the club doesn't figure to have a whole lot of leverage in trade talks, but it doesn't sound like the asking price is too high either. Even if other teams are reluctant to help out a potential suitor for Howard, it'll be hard for a rebuilding franchise to pass up on a lottery pick if it comes cheap.
Previous reports have suggested the Mavs would like to package Shawn Marion and his $9MM+ salary with their first-rounder, but it sounds as if Dallas is a good bet to move the pick with or without Marion attached to it.
June 15 at 4:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
Manu Ginobili said before the Finals that he would consider retirement after the series, and he reiterated that sentiment today in speaking to reporters, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "There's a small chance," Ginobili said. "It's not that I'm really considering, but I can never say 'no' for sure, because I sometimes consider it." If the soon-to-be free agent returns next season, it seems overwhelmingly likely he'll do so with the Spurs, notes Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com. Here's more from a busy Saturday around the Western Conference:
- Lionel Hollins was so impressive in his interview Friday with the Clippers, he may have moved ahead of front-runner Brian Shaw, Shelburne tweets. Of course, the Clippers are in heavy pursuit of Doc Rivers as well, so the situation appears fluid.
- If Shaw doesn't land the Clippers job, he probably won't be coaching in L.A. anytime soon. Late Lakers owner Jerry Buss adored Shaw, but his successors aren't as high on him, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter links).
- Hollins was supposed to interview with the Nuggets today, but flight delays prevented that, tweets Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The interview has been rescheduled for Wednesday, reports Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (Twitter link).
- New Kings coach Michael Malone had input in the decision to bring Pete D'Alessandro aboard as GM, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who adds that D'Alessandro is a proponent of DeMarcus Cousins.
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson recounts his successful efforts to keep the Kings in town to Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee.
- Jody Genessy of the Deseret News details the free agent mini-camp the Jazz are holding this week with two dozen NBA hopefuls.
- HoopsWorld's Joel Brigham sizes up six teams likely to be in the running for Andre Iguodala, who's set to opt out of his contract with the Nuggets.
- Fellow HoopsWorld scribe Susan Bible ponders what's next for the Thunder.
June 14 at 11:13pm CST By Chuck Myron
Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com doesn't think the Hawks will have much trouble if they want to trade Lou Williams to free up more cap space in the pursuit of two max free agents this summer. He also believes the team wouldn't hesitate to pull off other moves necessary to clear room (Twitter links). If the Hawks renounce all their cap holds and keep their pair of first-round picks, they'd be about $1.9MM shy of the cap space necessary to sign Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, providing next season's salary cap checks in at the projected $58.5MM. The Hawks might not be at the top of likely destinations for the rumored D12-CP3 pairing, but it appears that won't stop them from trying. With half a month to go until teams and free agents can start lining up agreements, here's more from around the Association:
- Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who broke the news that Andre Iguodala will opt out and become a free agent, listed Detroit as a likely suitor, and Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press echoes that sentiment, writing that the Pistons like the veteran small forward.
- Nuggets president Josh Kroenke cited Danilo Gallinari's lengthy recovery from a torn ACL when he explained the team's decision to let go of George Karl, but now it appears Gallinari could be back in December, not February, as Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports.
- Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman makes a compelling case that the Thunder should trade the 12th pick in the draft to the Hawks for the 17th and 18th selections. Part of the financial side of the argument is based on Mayberry's expectation that OKC won't re-sign Kevin Martin and won't look to replace him via free agency.
- Mark Singelais of the Albany Times Union profiles Siena forward O.D. Anosike, a second-round hopeful who joined Tim Hardaway Jr., Glen Rice Jr., Jackie Carmichael and others in a group workout Thursday for the Celtics.
- MLive's David Mayo passes along a list of players who worked out for the Pistons this week: Andre Roberson, Robert Covington, James Southerland, Adonis Thomas, Mareks Mejeris, A'uston Calhoun, Nick Minnerath and Kwame Vaughn.
- Small-market owners may have been the prime movers behind the latest CBA, but they're still hamstrung by unbalanced local TV revenues. That could lead to another work stoppage and watered-down rosters across the league, ESPN's J.A. Adande argues.
June 13 at 10:40pm CST By Ryan Raroque
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.
June 11 at 9:31pm CST By Chuck Myron
An NBA-record 12 coaching jobs are changing hands this offseason, with almost half the jobs still open. Five teams are still searching for a coach, though David Joerger appears the strong front-runner for the Grizzlies. It looks like Jason Kidd has the edge for the Nets job, but Brian Shaw remains in the mix. It's more unsettled for the Nuggets, Clippers and Sixers, and as we await more clarity on those vacancies, here's the latest coaching news:
- Byron Scott's interview with the Clippers today "went very well," an executive tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. The Cavaliers are rumored to owe Scott more than $4MM for the final season of his contract, and Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com wonders if that could drive down his price, making him more attractive to skinflint Clippers owner Donald Sterling (Twitter link).
- The Clippers haven't spoken to George Karl yet, but he remains a strong candidate for the job, Shelburne also tweets.
- New Suns coach Jeff Hornacek added a couple of assistants to his staff, tweets John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR radio. Wizards assistant Jerry Sichting and Mark West, who had been serving as the Suns' vice president of player programs, will be on the Phoenix bench.
- Maurice Cheeks developed a strong connection with Russell Westbrook the past few seasons as a Thunder assistant, and The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson wonders if the fiery point guard will miss the calming influence of Cheeks, whom the Pistons hired as head coach on Monday.
- Cheeks faces an uphill climb in Detroit, MLive's David Mayo opines.
- Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com thinks Tom Thibodeau's new position as a Team USA assistant coach could help the Bulls attract superstar talent.
- Tyrone Corbin has survived this spring's purge of head coaches around the NBA, but Brad Rock of the Deseret News believes the Jazz boss will be among the unemployed if the team falters next year.
June 8 at 4:43pm CST By Zach Links
SATURDAY: Sources told Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski that Durant is in fact joining Roc Nation, giving them their first NBA All-Star. In a statement, former agent Rob Pelinka was extremely gracious about the departure of one of his top clients.
"We are honored and blessed to have worked on behalf of Kevin, for a brief period of time," Pelinka said in a statement. "He is an amazing person and athlete, and we are proud of our work and service toward advancing his brand in a manner that reflects the mutual qualities we share with Kevin."
FRIDAY: Kevin Durant is leaving his representatives at Landmark Sports, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal (via Twitter). Sources expect him to now join Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, according to Mullen.
When asked in a text if Durant was Roc Nation-bound, an agency spokesperson replied "no comment" (link). Landing Durant would be a major coup for the fledgling Roc Nation group as they look to make a major mark in the NBA. Jay-Z's venture first made waves when they managed to steal Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano away from baseball superagent Scott Boras.
Jay-Z has been linked with Kentucky product Nerlens Noel, who is likely to be the top pick in the 2013 draft, but no deal has been struck just yet. There were also the inevitable rumors about a partnership between him and longtime friend LeBron James, but that talk has been shot down.
June 6 at 11:02pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Despite his limited role in Oklahoma City, Ronnie Brewer sounded open about a possible return to the Thunder: "I'm still very young and still have a lot of basketball left in me so if it's here or somewhere else I'll continue to play basketball. This is a great organization and (has) great players, great coaches, great fans. So hopefully I can continue to play here” (Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman reports). Here are more of tonight's miscellaneous notes:
June 6 at 8:05pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that Lionel Hollins
met with the Clippers today and engaged in a lengthy conversation about their
head coaching job. Turner also relays that Brian Shaw is expected to interview
with team brass on either Monday or Tuesday next week (Twitter links). As for
George Karl, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles tweets that
while the Clippers haven't spoken to him directly, they have been in contact
with his representative. Both ESPN's Marc Stein and Shelburne report that Karl and Shaw have emerged as the team's top two candidates for the job.
As we gear up for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, here are a few miscellaneous notes to share from around the league tonight:
- As far as his next contract goes, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki says that it'll probably be a two- or three-year deal (Jon Machota of SportsDayDFW).
- Sam Amick of USA Today hears that the Grizzlies reached out to Karl almost immediately after he was let go in Denver today. The Nuggets had to grant permission to Memphis in order to reach out to Karl because the severance agreement hasn't been finalized and the 62-year-old coach is still under contract.
- Amick notes that the Grizzlies had their sights set on assistant Dave Joerger as their top candidate to replace Hollins, but made that option contingent on whether or not Karl would become available.
- Sportando.net's Emiliano Carchia tweets that former NBA player Andres Nocioni is in talks regarding a contract extension with Baskonia, a Spanish ballclub that participates in the ACB and Euroleague.
- Flip Saunders confirmed on KFAN radio in Minnesota that the Timberwolves currently have Victor Oladipo ahead of Ben McLemore on their draft board, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.
- ESPN Insider Chad Ford says that many teams are bummed that Dario Saric is considering withdrawing his name from this year's draft, adding that several NBA executives had him ranked in their top five or top seven prospects. He also mentions that there are other teams who had no intention of drafting Saric that aren't thrilled with the news either, considering the notion that the draft gets weaker when talent leaves. Interestingly enough, Ford says he wouldn't be surprised if some NBA teams that are currently in Italy for the Eurocamp will try to travel to Croatia in order to make an attempt to persuade Saric to keep his name in consideration this year (All Twitter links).
- Ricky Ledo's agent, Seth Cohen, tells SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria that his client will not work out for the Thunder (Twitter link).
- For whatever it's worth, Shaquille O'Neal said that he and Chris Webber would like to own the Kings (Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram noted the comment via Twitter).
June 6 at 1:47pm CST By Luke Adams
Projected first-round pick Dario Saric is leaning toward withdrawing his name from draft consideration, according to ESPN.com's Chad Ford. While Saric is receiving plenty of interest and could easily be a lottery pick, the Croatian forward feels as if he's not quite ready for the NBA and wants to spend at least one more year playing overseas, says Ford.
Although NCAA underclassmen were required to make a decision on their draft status back in April, the rules are different for international prospects declaring their intent early. As we outlined back in March, international players like Saric can withdraw from draft consideration at any point up until 4:00pm CST on June 17th.
Even if Saric isn't interested in playing in the NBA for the 2013/14 season, it could be in his best interests to remain in the draft anyway. Some teams, like the Mavericks at No. 13, may actually be more inclined to select Saric if it means they can stash him for a year, removing his cap hold from their books for this summer. Next year's draft class figures to be stronger as well, meaning Saric could be selected later in 2014 even if his stock doesn't decline.
According to Ford, the Pelicans (sixth overall pick), Trail Blazers (10th), Thunder (12th), and Mavs have all shown "significant interest" in Saric.
June 5 at 5:58pm CST By Chuck Myron
Joe Kotoch of SheridanHoops.com has Nerlens Noel atop the latest version of his mock draft, and he has news about the Cavaliers, Noel and other potential lottery storylines. We'll round up the highlights here:
- The Magic and Clippers have had conversations about Eric Bledsoe, according to Kotoch. Chad Ford of ESPN.com wrote a week ago that if Orlando took a shooting guard in the draft, the team would have interest in trading Arron Afflalo for Bledsoe and Caron Butler.
- Speaking of the Magic and shooting guards, Victor Oladipo has eclipsed Ben McLemore on Orlando's draft board.
- Noel's torn ACL won't allow him to work out, but he'll visit with the Cavs on June 20th.
- The Thunder are prioritizing centers at No. 12, unless C.J. McCollum falls to them.
- An established wing player is what the Timberwolves are seeking as they reportedly dangle Derrick Williams in an effort to move up from No. 9.
- The Trail Blazers are in search of a big man who can defend and rebound in exchange for the tenth pick.
- The Mavericks would also "love" to trade pick No. 13, Kotoch writes.