Pau Gasol Rumors
May 18 at 4:11pm CST By Chuck Myron
A source tells Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group that first- and second-round draft picks will likely be available around the time of the draft in exchange for little more than cash. I'd be surprised if any team gave up a first-rounder for such paltry return, however, even considering the purported weakness of this year's crop of prospects. No first-round picks changed hands at the trade deadline, when teams were reluctant to give them up. The Warriors don't have a pick in this year's draft and co-owner Joe Lacob has shown the willingness to spend to acquire a selection in the past, as Kawakami points out, so perhaps they'll net a second-rounder this year.
There's more on the Warriors and their Western Conference rivals, as we detail here:
- Kawakami also hears talk about a hypothetical trade scenario involving David Lee and Pau Gasol, though he strongly cautions that Gasol's name was brought up merely as an example of the kind of player the Warriors might pursue in a trade for Lee. A Gasol deal won't happen, Kawakami writes, but he's the sort of highly paid, versatile big man the team could seek.
- Jerry Sloan attended this week's predraft camp with Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, and the team president Randy Rigby would welcome Sloan if he wants to come back to the Jazz as a consultant, reports Steve Luhm of The Salt Lake Tribune. Tribune columnist Gordon Monson predicts Sloan will take the team up on that offer.
- Thunder GM Sam Presti hinted that the team might expand its already liberal use of its D-League affililate, notes Nick Gallo of Thunder.com. "We’re going to have to continue to find ways to use it, because the elite organizations in sports, they assimilate younger players into their team," Presti said. "That’s part of their ability to sustain as they experience turnover or the unforeseen circumstance. It’s what you do before the storm hits, often."
May 9 at 10:54pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski looks back to June 2011, when Warriors' GM Bob Myers had worries about not being able to select Klay Thompson knowing that either the Spurs could possibly trade up in the draft to get him or that the Bucks were planning to select him with the 10th overall pick. As it would turn out, San Antonio would wind up trading for the 15th pick (Kawhi Leonard) and the Kings landed the 10th pick to select Jimmer Fredette, leaving the sharpshooting Washington State forward right into the hands of Golden State. Here are a few more miscellaneous notes to share along this evening:
- AJ Mitnick of Sheridan Hoops fills us in on the "best of the bunch" in terms of international prospects in this year's draft.
- The 76ers aren't expected to hold most of their interviews for their head coaching search until after the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, writes Tom Moore of phillyBurbs.com, although there is a possibility that the team could conduct some during camp.
- According to this report by the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are widely known to be seeking perimeter help heading into the draft but could look to add more to their frontcourt.
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Lakers have granted the Cavaliers permission to interview Phil Handy about joining Mike Brown's coaching staff in Cleveland.
- When asked about the trade that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson told reporters that letting Ellis go helped change the culture of the team, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link).
- ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets that Lionel Hollins will be highly coveted if the Grizzlies opt to not re-sign him this summer, adding that the Nets would figure to be among the interested teams.
- Heat owner Mickey Arison engaged in some civil discourse with a fan on Twitter regarding the possibility that Seattle loses out on their bid for the Kings (credit goes to SportsRadioKJR.com). Arison made it clear that he believes that the city of Sacramento has done enough to warrant keeping the team, and refuted the notion that Seattle had put forth the same effort in 2008 before the Sonics franchise ultimately moved to Oklahoma City.
- John Denton of NBA.com writes that Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu understands the current youth movement of the franchise and that his time in Orlando could be over within the next coming months.
- Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) reports that Lakers big man Pau Gasol will be held out of basketball activities for the next three months after undergoing an operation on his knee today.
May 8 at 7:40pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes from around the NBA's Western Conference.
- Speaking on ESPN radio, unrestricted free agent forward Matt Barnes said he'd like to return to the Clippers next season. He also thinks Chris Paul will return.
- According to InsideSoCal.com's Mark Medina, Lakers forward Pau Gasol is set to have two operations on both his knees this summer. Gasol has one more year on his contract, but will be the subject of trade rumors throughout the summer. It should be interesting to see if his knee surgeries temper any talk.
- The Kings face a big vote in roughly a week on whether they'll be relocating or staying in Sacramento, and the NBA has encouraged the local Sacramento buyers group to place all of their $341MM in an escrow account, according to The Sacramento Bee.
May 4 at 8:41pm CST By Ryan Raroque
According to Mark Heisler of Sheridan Hoops (via Twitter), one source with knowledge of team discussions says that bringing back Pau Gasol and keeping the current team together has become "Plan A" for the Lakers this summer.
Last week, Gasol acknowledged that his future in Los Angeles was uncertain, even sharing that GM Mitch Kupchak wasn't able to make any guarantees about next season after the two met for an exit interview (Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times). However, we also noted how Kobe Bryant was a strong proponent of retaining the 7'1 forward-center, saying: “I want Pau here. It’s not a question or discussion. He gives us the best chance to win titles."
It's no secret that Pau endured some struggles during the season as he tried to become acclimated with coach Mike D'Antoni's style of play, but his performance over the final eight games of the season (17.5 PPG/12.1 RPG/6.6 APG/1.3 BPG/51.3% from the field) en route to a 7-1 record and a climb to the seventh seed in the Western Conference fueled the notion that Gasol can still be a key contributor on the Lakers roster. Though the team was eventually swept by the Spurs in the first round, he continued his production, averaging 14.0/11.5/6.5 with nearly one block per game in 36.5 MPG over four games.
April 30 at 7:46pm CST By Alex Lee
Not only were they swept by the Spurs, but the Lakers lost all four games to San Antonio by double digits, culminating in Sunday's game four defeat at the Staples Center. Today was exit interview day for the Lakers in Los Angeles. Let's round up all the news coming out of those meetings here as it is reported throughout the night:
- D'Antoni expressed confidence that a full offseason with the talented Lakers squad could make a world of difference under his command, writes Trudell. The Lakers coach thought the team progressed in the second half and that their playoff hopes were largely derailed by injury.
- Like D'Antoni, Blake thinks the Lakers have the talent to win now, per Trudell. Blake thought he fit well into D'Antoni's system, but admitted that either the system or the roster would probably have to be tweaked to make it work.
- Pau Gasol acknowledged on Tuesday that he may not be back with the team next season, writes Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times. As Pincus points out, what happens with Dwight Howard in the offseason will go a long way to determining Gasol's fate in Los Angeles. If the Lakers re-sign Howard, speculation that Gasol will be traded or amnestied is sure to accelerate. Gasol did express his desire to remain a Laker.
- One Laker who seems to want both Gasol and Howard back is injured guard Kobe Bryant, writes Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News. Bryant's torn Achilles has him unsure of his own NBA longevity, but in the short term he plans to help sell Howard on the Lakers as well as continuing to lobby for the retention of Gasol. Bryant said, “I want Pau here. It’s not a question or discussion. He gives us the best chance to win titles."
- Howard was continuously asked about his offseason plans after his exit interview, writes Lakers.com's Mike Trudell. Howard didn't hint one way or another, per Trudell, but did say that he needs to "clear his head" to think. He also expressed relief that Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said he wouldn't pressure him into making a decision.
- Kupchak reiterated as much during his media session on Tuesday, adding that he is "hopeful" and "optimistic" that the Lakers will be able to re-sign Howard, writes Medina. Kupchak said that because of how the Lakers lost, "everything is in play" when it comes to improving the team, which includes bringing back Howard and Gasol. The Lakers GM insinuated that Howard's decision won't affect Gasol's future in Los Angeles more than that of any other of the current Lakers.
- Finally, Kupchak maintained that Mike D'Antoni will be back and dodged a question about the state of the Lakers amnesty provision. Medina writes that of the possible candidates - Bryant, Gasol, Metta World Peace and Steve Blake - only Gasol and World Peace seem to make sense as amnesty candidates. World Peace has a $7.7MM player option to consider. Kupchak said he has "no idea" if he plans to exercise it.
April 29 at 8:49am CST By Luke Adams
After being ejected and seeing the Lakers swept out of the first round, Dwight Howard called this season a "nightmare," an interesting choice of words given the "Dwightmare" label applied to last year's constant Howard trade rumors. Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times proposes one way to end the nightmare, suggesting that the Lakers don't re-sign Howard this summer when he hits free agency. It certainly figures to be an interesting summer in L.A., given Howard's free agency, Kobe Bryant's recovering Achilles, and Pau Gasol's expiring contract. Here's an early look at the next steps for the team:
- Howard told reporters, including Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, that he expects to "step away from everything for a couple of weeks" to clear his head before he seriously considers his free agency. One source tells Spears that, given the uncertainty in Lakerland, Howard is expected to do his due dilegence when it comes to free agent options.
- Spears' source on Howard: "He's going to sign a long-term deal. It has to be the
right spot, the right commitment. There is no clear choice. The Lakers
choice has longevity. They've won a lot of championships. But at the
same time, that's not where they're at any more."
- Earl Clark tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Twitter link) that he'd like to re-sign with the Lakers, even if the team can't offer the same amount of years or dollars as other teams.
- Gasol doesn't believe his future with the Lakers necessarily hinges on what happens with Howard, as he tells Medina.
- Gasol deserves to be able to play out the final season of his contract with the Lakers without constant trade rumors swirling around him, suggests J.A. Adande of ESPN.com. However, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times writes, it's also possible Gasol has played his last game with the club.
- Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times examines the Lakers' payroll options, including potential amnesty candidates.
April 10 at 4:57pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier today, we passed along a few of the day's stories out of the Eastern Conference. Now, let's head west and round up a handful of Western Conference headlines....
- Brandan Wright has increased his free agent stock in recent weeks and could be in line for a deal similar to the four-year, $16MM pact Ian Mahinmi signed with the Pacers last summer, says Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. MacMahon wonders whether Wright is worth that much to the Mavericks or whether he'll land on another team for next season.
- Set to turn 35 years old next month, Mavericks forward Shawn Marion spoke to Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about his future in the NBA, noting that he feels as if he has "a lot of basketball left" in him.
- Examining whether the Lakers ought to consider amnestying Pau Gasol in July, salary cap expert Larry Coon concludes that the idea is "ridiculous." Gasol's trade value may not be at a high point this summer, but Coon thinks that at least half the teams in the league would have some level of interest in a player like Pau.
- The five-year contract Mike Conley received from the Grizzlies in 2010 was viewed by many at the time as a signficant overpay, but as Sean Deveney of the Sporting News writes, that's certainly not the case anymore.
April 9 at 9:45pm CST By Michael Pina
A few random notes from around the NBA:
April 4 at 9:40pm CST By Michael Pina
A few notes from around the league's Western Conference.
April 4 at 5:22pm CST By Luke Adams
Although the Lakers' short-term focus is on finishing the regular season strong and earning a playoff spot in the Western Conference, the team will face a number of questions this summer and beyond, with luxury-tax penalties set to increase starting in 2013/14. Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com spoke to a number of agents, executives, and players about the Lakers' cap situation, so let's round up the highlights:
- One general manager on free agent big man Dwight Howard: "No matter what, they have to re-sign Dwight. Even if they don't want to move forward with Dwight, you gotta
re-sign him because he's a tradable asset no matter what he makes.... You can always move him, but if you don't have him under your
control, then you've got nothing."
- The general belief is that if Howard is re-signed, the Lakers will look to move Pau Gasol, but there are mixed opinions on how much trade value he would have, and how strong a package the Lakers could acquire. Said one GM: "He'll have value as a super expiring contract. There are 12 teams with $12MM or more in [cap
space] this summer. Multiple teams will be open to doing an uneven deal
to acquire him.... They would probably have to take back a multiyear deal at a
lower number. Say, somebody with two or three years left at 6 million a
year. They can't incentivize a deal because they have no assets -- no
[draft] picks and no young players of value."
- Gasol could also be amnestied, which would significantly lessen the Lakers' tax burden, but it would be a purely financial move rather than a basketball one. Rival GMs are skeptical that the team would make such a move in what could be Kobe Bryant's last year.
- Metta World Peace is a more likely amnesty candidate, though if he decides to opt out of the final year of his deal, Steve Blake could be amnestied as well. World Peace told NBA.com last week that he'd consider declining his '13/14 option, and the knee surgery he underwent since then hasn't changed that stance, according to Shelburne.
- One Lakers player said he believes World Peace would like to secure a two- or three-year contract rather than exercising his one-year player option.
- There were also varying opinions among GMs on coach Mike D'Antoni's future with the Lakers. One GM's thoughts: "I like Mike D'Antoni, but if I was them, that's the move I'd make (letting him go). You can talk about amnestying players and
trades, but players are still assets. Coaches are different."