Omer Asik Rumors

Western Notes: Kerr, D-League, Asik

May 12 at 7:32pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Steve Kerr dished to Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group about the dynamics of the coaching staff he assembled after he took over as head coach of the Warriors last year. The group includes Alvin Gentry, in whom the Bulls reportedly have interest for their head coaching job should Tom Thibodeau no longer be there. The Nuggets and Magic are also reportedly eyeing Gentry.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Sacramento picked up its team option on D-League coach David Arseneault Jr., the Kings announced.
  • Despite his ineffectiveness during the Pelicans‘ playoff series against the Warriors, Omer Asik remains in the organization’s plans, and the team still wishes to re-sign the unrestricted free agent, John Reid of The Times Picayune writes. ”It’s not the time to talk about it right now,” Asik said about heading into free agency this summer. “But I think there is good stuff going on here. It’s a young team and the future is good.”
  • If the Clippers advance to the conference finals it would be the first time in the history of the franchise, Robert Morales of the Long Beach Press Telegram writes. But coach/executive Doc Rivers refuses to look ahead, and is instead focused on notching one more victory over the Rockets to close out the series, Morales adds. “No, no, I think that’s a silly thought,” Rivers said. “We haven’t done it, so for us, we’ve gotta stay focused. We’ve gotta win the series, and that hasn’t happened yet. Honestly, they can say nine more wins and one more win. At the end of the day, that’s fine. But once you get to the individual game, to me that’s where you have to have your focus.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Celtics Likely To Seek DeMarcus Cousins

May 1 at 2:21pm CDT By Chuck Myron

2:21pm: The Celtics have been enamored with Cousins for years, but Ranadive almost certainly wouldn’t approve a trade that sends him out, tweets Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee.

8:23am: The “early word” indicates that the Celtics will try to trade for DeMarcus Cousins this summer, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Indeed, the Celtics will likely be in the hunt for just about every marquee player who might become available in the months ahead, Stein writes, echoing comments that president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made Thursday. LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, Paul Millsap and Omer Asik are among the many free agents whom Boston is expected to make a run at, as A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com details. Reports conflicted about whether Boston made a run at trading for Cousins before the deadline.

A person familiar with Kings coach George Karl‘s thinking told Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck in February that the Kings didn’t rule out trading their All-Star center at the deadline, and Karl said last month that there were no untouchables on the roster. However, Vlade Divac, whom the Kings installed in March as the head of their basketball operations, is enamored with Cousins and wants the 24-year-old’s time in Sacramento to continue, and owner Vivek Ranadive has bristled at the assertion that Cousins is a trade candidate.

The Celtics have about $40MM in guaranteed salary for next season against a projected $67.1MM cap, but opening cap space would force the team to renounce its unmatched reserve of trade exceptions. None of them, even the one worth nearly $13MM left over from the Rajon Rondo trade, would be large enough to acquire Cousins and his max deal, though the exceptions could help the Celtics structure a larger-scale multiplayer deal involving Cousins or another star. Boston’s store of draft picks loom as significant trade assets, too, as Stein points out, and those won’t disappear if the Celtics decide to use cap space in July, unlike the trade exceptions.

The Celtics don’t have any player who’s truly off-limits for a trade either, according to Stein, though among the C’s under contract, Ainge has a particular soft spot for Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, the ESPN scribe points out. Sources told Blakely that Smart and Tyler Zeller are the least likely players to leave Boston via trade, as we noted earlier. Ainge is also high on soon-to-be free agents Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko, Stein writes, as previous reports have indicated.

Western Notes: Suns, Rondo, Asik

April 28 at 9:17pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Lakers are reportedly the favorites to land unrestricted free agent Rajon Rondo this summer, but the franchise isn’t as enamored with the mercurial point guard as it once was, Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report writes. According to team sources, co-owner Jim Buss is not the believer he was earlier in the season when it comes to Rondo, and GM Mitch Kupchak now sees the player as a worthwhile value only at a lower salary, Ding adds. Despite Kobe Bryant‘s apparent desire to play alongside Rondo, the team has no intention to sign the guard just because the Mamba wants the team to, Ding notes.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Suns haven’t been successful drafting near the middle of the first round the last few seasons, Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic notes. Only two players out of the six taken by the team in the first round since 2008 are still with the franchise, which is not a great track record, Coro adds. Phoenix is projected to have the No. 13 pick in June’s draft according to our reverse standings.
  • Pelicans coach Monty Williams values center Omer Asik, and considers him a player that the franchise intends to make a strong push to re-sign this summer despite his inconsistent play, John Reid of The Times Picayune relays. ”As far as Omer, he’s a huge part of what we do,” Williams said. ”If you look at our defensive numbers from last year to this year, we improved in a number of categories and Omer was a huge part of that. So he’s highly valued by this organization and that he’s an asset to this city.” Asik, 28, is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. In addition to Asik, Williams indicated that he wanted all of his core players to return next season, Reid tweets.
  • If the Trail Blazers were to lose unrestricted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to another team this summer, the franchise would be just fine from a leadership standpoint thanks to the continued presence of Damian Lillard, Jason Quick of The Oregonian opines.

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Franklin, Chandler

November 26 2014 at 6:26pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Despite their early-season success, the Pelicans‘ core isn’t likely to become a championship-contending one, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders opines. One of the main issues with the current roster is the lack of talent on the perimeter, and with Eric Gordon likely to exercise his $15.5MM player option for next season, it will be difficult to upgrade the roster until the summer of 2016, notes Duncan. One option Duncan suggests for the Pelicans to rid themselves of Gordon’s deal earlier is for New Orleans to package its 2016 first-rounder in a trade along with Gordon in order to encourage a team to take on his expiring contract, though the Pelicans owe a protected 2015 first-round pick to Houston, so they would have trouble sending out a 2016 first-rounder, thanks to the Stepien Rule.

Here’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Duncan also added that re-signing Omer Asik this offseason will be an organizational priority because of that protected first-round pick that the Pelicans surrendered to the Rockets in order to acquire him.
  • Jamaal Franklin recently agreed to a one month extension to his contract with the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). Franklin’s original agreement with the team was for two months, and this extension will still allow him to return to the NBA in January when teams are able to sign players to 10-day contracts, Wojnarowski adds. The 23-year-old shooting guard appeared in 21 contests for the Grizzlies last season and he averaged 1.9 points in 7.7 minutes per game.
  • It’s possible that if Tyson Chandler had not broken his leg last season, New York’s 2013/14 campaign wouldn’t have been such a disaster and the Knicks wouldn’t have traded the big man to the Mavericks, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes. Chandler is happy to be back in Dallas and while he stops short of being thankful for the injury, he is pleased with how things turned out for him this offseason, MacMahon adds. “I look at life as like everything happens for a reason,” Chandler said. “There’s no mistakes made. At the time, [the injury] was devastating clearly, but I feel like everything happens for a reason.”
  • The Iowa Energy have acquired former first round pick Jordan Hamilton via waivers, the team has announced. Hamilton reportedly worked out for the Lakers last week after a brief stint with the Jazz earlier this month. Though he’ll play for the Grizzlies‘ D-League affiliate, Hamilton is free to sign with any NBA team that would desire his services.

Southwest Notes: Barea, Mavs, Pelicans, Cotton

October 27 2014 at 11:13pm CDT By Alex Lee

The Rockets were the busiest Southwest team on roster cut-down day, waiving a total of five players to get down to 15. However, the Mavericks had an interesting day as well, deciding to waive reserve point guard Gal Mekel in hopes of reuniting with recently released J.J. Barea. Let’s see what else is going on in the Southwest tonight:

  • As Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes, any team that wants to claim Mavericks-target Barea off waivers would need more than about $4.5MM in cap space, or a trade exception or disabled player exception of at least that size. Sefko mentions the rival Rockets as a team that might want to claim Barea but likely wouldn’t based on its lack of flexibility.
  • The Mavericks tried to acquire Barea from the Wolves last season but the teams couldn’t come to an agreement, according to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press (via Twitter).
  • The Pelicans‘ desire to re-sign Omer Asik is a factor in the team declining to pick up the 2015/16 option on Austin Rivers, writes John Reid of the Times Picayune. Reid adds that with Eric Gordon likely to opt in to his $15.5MM salary for next season, New Orleans preferred the additional financial flexibility.
  • Bryce Cotton, who was released by the Spurs last week, plans to sign with San Antonio’s D-League affiliate in the next few days, sources tell Jabari Young of Comcast Sports Northwest (via Twitter).

Rockets, Pelicans, Wizards Swap Ariza, Asik, Ely

July 15 2014 at 2:19pm CDT By Zach Links

2:19pm: The deal is official, the Pelicans have announced. New Orleans is folding Scotty Hopson into the trade after acquiring him over the weekend, marking the third trade for Hopson’s non-guaranteed contract in less than a week. So, It’s Asik, Casspi and $1.5MM to the Pelicans, Ariza, Gee, Hopson and a protected 2015 first-round pick to the Rockets, and Ely to the Wizards.

TUESDAY, 10:23am: The NBA has given its approval for the trade, and a formal announcement is forthcoming, according to John Reid of The Times Picayune (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 7:55pm: Ely will not be retained by the Wizards, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.

5:59pm: Ariza will go to Houston on a three-way deal, according to David Aldridge of NBA.com (on Twitter).  The Pelicans will get Omer Asik, Omri Casspi, and $1.5MM from the Rockets.  Houston will get Ariza from Washington, Alonzo Gee, and a protected 2015 first-round choice from New Orleans.  The Wizards will take on the non-guaranteed contract of Melvin Ely from New Orleans while receiving a $8.5MM trade exception (link).

Of course, Asik was already headed to the Pelicans in exchange for the 2015 first-rounder.  Now, the deal has been expanded to help facilitate the Ariza sign-and-trade.  Gee, meanwhile, has now been traded twice inside of a week.

5:08pm: The Rockets will acquire Trevor Ariza in a sign-and-trade deal with the Wizards, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  The Wizards will get a $8.5MM trade exception by making the deal, but it’s not clear what they’ll be sending to Houston in the trade.

The Rockets and Ariza agreed on a four-year, $32MM deal yesterday.  A number of teams were rumored to be interested in the sharpshooter’s services, but the Rockets came out on top.  Ariza will try and help fill the void at small forward for Houston now that Chandler Parsons is Dallas-bound.

Ariza’s contract is structured on a declining scale, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.  He will earn $8.6MM this season, and $8.2MM, $7.8MM, $7.4MM, in the following years.  Ariza could have served as a stretch four alongside Dwight Howard if Parsons was retained, but he’ll now line up at his natural position.

In 77 games with the Wizards last season, the Rob Pelinka client averaged 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per night.  He shot 40.7% from beyond the arc, well above his career mark of 34.7%. Ariza, 29,  played in Houston during the 2009/10 season.

While Ariza is a nice addition, it goes without saying that this wasn’t the summer the Rockets had in mind.

Western Notes: Miller, Kings, Bledsoe, Pelicans

July 6 2014 at 10:58am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Mike Miller is scheduled to meet with the Nuggets today, reports John Martin of ESPN929.com. The article also notes that the Grizzlies made an initial offer of two-years and an annual salary between $2.4MM and $2.9MM. The Thunder, Rockets, and Trail Blazers are all reportedly interested in Miller’s services, notes Martin.

More from the west:

  • The Kings are looking to clear up their overstock of power forwards through the trade market, reports Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). The team is seeking a defender and a shot blocker to shore up their interior, and also want to free up some of the cap space tied to that position, notes Jones.
  • The Suns and Eric Bledsoe‘s agent Rich Paul are in early stages of contract talks, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Spears also notes that many of Bledsoe’s other suitors are in a holding pattern until Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their decisions.
  • Bogdan Bogdanovic signed a four-year deal with Fenerbahce that contains an NBA out clause in 2016, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Bogdanovic was the 27th overall pick of the Suns in this year’s NBA Draft.
  • The Pelicans lack of action on the free agent front is disconcerting, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune. One stopping block is the team’s need to clear enough cap space to complete the trade of Omer Asik, notes Smith.
  • Jeff Withey’s minimum salary for this coming season became partially guaranteed for $100K when he remained on the Pelicans‘ roster through Saturday. It’ll become fully guaranteed if the Pelicans decline to waive him before the end of July 22nd, as our Schedule of Contract Guarantee Dates shows.
  • The Thunder has named Darko Rajakovic as an assistant coach, the team announced via a press release. Rajakovic led Tulsa to a combined 51-49 record over two seasons, including a 27-23 record and NBA D-League Semifinals appearance in 2012/13. Coach Scott Brooks had this to say, “Darko’s diverse basketball background, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players at a high level were clearly apparent during his time in Tulsa, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to add him to our staff. His understanding of the core tenants of what we do, thanks to his time in Tulsa, will maintain a level of consistency that we value and his various head coaching experiences internationally will provide another layer to our coaches.”

Western Notes: Pelicans, Hawes, Anthony, Bosh

July 5 2014 at 9:38pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Pelicans haven’t made any moves in the free agent market yet, but still have Anthony Morrow in their sights, writes John Reid of The Times Picayune. New Orleans’ primary focus though, continues to be finding a trade partner to move either Eric Gordon, Austin Rivers or center Alexis Ajinca in an effort to create enough cap space to absorb center Omer Asik‘s $8.4MM cap hit, notes Reid. The article also notes that several teams remain interested in acquiring forward Ryan Anderson in a trade, but the Pelicans are still reluctant to part ways with him.

More from the Western Conference:

  • Spencer Hawes was the Trail Blazers primary free agent target this summer, writes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Haynes reports that Portland offered the exact same contract terms as the Clippers, but Hawes found Los Angeles to be a better fit.
  • Despite the reports that the Knicks are likely to retain Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers made a major impression on the free agent, reports Bill Simmons of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Simmons’ sources, it’s now a three team battle between New York, Los Angeles, or the Bulls to land ‘Melo’s shot attempts.
  • Chris Bosh definitely has an interest in the Rockets and Mavs, reports Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (Twitter link). Amico also notes that Bosh has “zero knowledge” of what LeBron James is going to do in free agency.

Western Notes: Randle, Lin, Ariza, Stuckey, Davis

July 2 2014 at 11:15pm CDT By Zach Links

Specialists have determined that Lakers first-round pick Julius Randle does not need surgery on his right foot and has been cleared to play, tweets Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. More from around the NBA..

  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey brushed off criticism over the club’s decision to photoshop Carmelo Anthony wearing the No. 7 that is sported by Jeremy Lin, writes Mark Berman of FOX 26.  Of course, if Houston manages to sign Melo, that could mean the end of Lin in Houston.  “Bottom line, if Carmelo comes Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin have to be traded. It’s just math. It’s not personal,” said the GM.
  • The Jazz are among the suitors for Trevor Ariza, according to Michael Lee of the Washington Post.
  • Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter) hears that there is definite interest in free agent guard Rodney Stuckey, particularly from high-level clubs.  Goodwill suggests that a return to the Pacific Northwest could also be in the cards for the guard.  In recent days, we’ve heard that the Magic and Pacers have interest.
  • The Clippers have been talking to free agent Ed Davis and they’re optimistic, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  The Grizzlies opted against tendering the 25-year-old an offer earlier this offseason.

Western Rumors: Warriors, Asik, Parker, Kings

June 26 2014 at 12:35pm CDT By Zach Links

In an interview with SiriusXM, Warriors star Andre Iguodala said that he doesn’t believe teammate Klay Thompson should be traded as part of a deal for Minnesota’s Kevin Love, writes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group. “That’s not going to happen,” Iguodala said. “I want to clear that up right now. We should not trade Klay Thompson. I tell Klay this every day. I text Klay and say, ‘Don’t worry. I’m your man. I’m going to make sure you get paid. I’m going to get you the max (contract). You’ll be taken care of. Don’t stress.’”  Here’s more out of the West..

  • More dominoes will fall from the deal that sent Omer Asik to the Pelicans, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com.  New Orleans may move Austin Rivers to create cap space.  One possibility, Windhorst suggests, would be trading him to the Clippers, where Austin’s father holds a trade exception.
  • The Rockets talked about sending Asik to the Pelicans for Ryan Anderson, but could not get much traction, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
  • The Jazz remain interested in Jabari Parker, but sources say there’s still a “big concern” about his right foot, which he broke in high school, tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.  However, Parker is still in the lead over Andrew Wiggins on their wish list if they can pull off a deal for the No. 1 pick (link).
  • The Kings appear poised to keep the No. 8 pick, sources tell Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
  • Sponsors continue to be skittish about the Clippers as the team’s ownership situation remains unresolved, as Andrea Chang and Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times detail.
  • The Timberwolves received initial criticism for last year’s draft-day trade of Trey Burke to Utah for Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, but one year later, team president Flip Saunders is happy with the returns, writes Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press.