The latest dispatch from Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling is chock full of rumors. Let’s dive in:
- The Grizzlies are shopping Zach Randolph, with Ryan Anderson of the Pelicans as the primary target, Zwerling reports. Memphis wants to see Ed Davis continue to develop, and that may help push Randolph out the door. The Pelicans would have to add salary to such a deal to make it work, and Zwerling mentions Austin Rivers as a possibility, noting that he’s dissatisfied with his lack of playing time and is open to a trade.
- A source tells Zwerling that he believes the Pelicans will trade Eric Gordon at some point this season.
- Zwerling hears conflicting reports on whether a rumored Kenneth Faried/Iman Shumpert swap is a possibility for the Nuggets and Knicks, but he says the Knicks are currently reluctant to move Shumpert.
- It’s unlikely the Suns trade either Marcus Morris or twin brother Markieff Morris, according to Zwerling.
- The Sixers would trade Evan Turner for Dion Waiters “in a heartbeat,” a source tells Zwerling, though Cavs owner Dan Gilbert reportedly doesn’t want to trade his shooting guard. The Sixers are worried about what Turner may command in restricted free agency this summer. The Suns could be another landing spot for Waiters, Zwerling writes.
- Courtney Lee, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries are on the market in Boston. The Celtics offered Avery Bradley a four-year, $24MM extension this fall, but the guard turned it down, looking for a deal with annual salaries of $8MM.
- The Rockets “adore” D-Leaguer Troy Daniels, Zwerling writes. Daniels is displaying a three-point stroke to go with his 25.1 points per game.
A pair of Pacific Division teams have turned their final roster spots over to experienced players, with the Clippers signing Stephen Jackson and the Warriors bringing on Hilton Armstrong. Doc Rivers says he wanted a player who’s been around, as Brian Robb of ESPN.com notes, and the 35-year-old Jackson, who’s played 13 seasons in the NBA, certainly fits the profile. Rivers also enjoys getting to make that kind of decision, as we detail in our roundup from the Pacific:
- The opportunity to coach as well as run the front office helped make the Clippers job appealing to Rivers, as he said on radio with Felger and Massarotti of 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston (link via CBS Boston).
- Soon-to-be restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe says he feels more confident and has a greater sense of freedom playing for the Suns this year as opposed to his time with the Clippers, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- The Suns are 12-9, just a game and a half out of first place in the division, and the success is surprising even to members of the team’s braintrust, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). Phoenix’s unexpected victories hurt the team’s chances of landing a superstar in the draft, but they don’t necessarily derail an ascent to contention, writes Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register.
- The Warriors made the right decision when they traded Monta Ellis at the 2012 deadline to free up playing time for Klay Thompson, and the move has worked out well for Ellis, too, as Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com argues in an Insider piece.
- There’s plenty of activity surrounding the Kings, as we passed along earlier today.
Rajon Rondo doesn’t put much stock in the rumor that Carmelo Anthony is trying to recruit him to the Knicks, but Anthony has been privately yearning to see Rondo in orange and blue since July, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post. The Knicks attempted to trade Iman Shumpert for Rondo, and Newsday’s Al Iannazzone thinks it’s critical that New York continue to see if it can pry the All-Star point guard away from the Celtics or make some kind of splash, lest Anthony bolt in free agency. Here’s more on the Knicks and the rest of the NBA:
- Berman, in the same piece, also suggests the Knicks may look to re-sign camp invitee Jeremy Tyler in another week as he continues to round into form after a preseason injury.
- Unlike some free agents who were happy to leave their former teams behind, Spurs big man Jeff Ayres told Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News that he feels “no animosity” toward the Pacers and is “still really cool with all the guys on the team.”
- Kendall Marshall is off to a fast start with the D-League affiliate of the Sixers, and Michael Kaskey-Blomain of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks the big club should consider signing last year’s 13th overall pick to an NBA contract.
- Doubts about the ability of Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe to play together left some executives around the league believing the Suns would trade Dragic, but early returns show the pairing has been successful, observes Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.
- Joel Embiid is developing into a potential No. 1 overall pick, tweets Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, joining ESPN colleague Chad Ford on the Kansas center’s bandwagon.
- Knee troubles have sidelined Al Harrington for a good chunk of this season, but he remains involved with the Wizards. As he tells Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Harrington can imagine himself coaching after he retires and has been acting as a de facto assistant in Washington while he recovers.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Beckley Mason of the New York Times examines the chemistry and cohesiveness that have galvanized the Trail Blazers this season, prompting LaMarcus Aldridge to call this the ‘happiest time in his career’: “Guys are playing so (unselfishly) — our team chemistry is unreal right now…Coach Stotts gives us the freedom to play loose and make plays, and guys aren’t abusing it.”
Veteran point guard Earl Watson also weighed in: “Everyone accepts their role, and the roles were never defined. It’s the truth of our team, the DNA of our team. The way we fit together, it’s like the perfect storm, so to speak.”
Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:
The Lakers are off until Friday night, but when they return to action, they could be with the services of Kobe Bryant. At this point, it’s possible that Bryant will be playing with a limit on his minutes, though coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t certain of that yet. Here’s more on the Lakers and other notes out of the Pacific..
- The Lakers are going to wait and see what Steve Nash has to offer in practice this week before deciding on what to do, if anything, for a backup to Steve Blake, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. Ex-Lakers Darius Morris and Chris Duhon may not be sexy options, but Pincus notes that they are both free agents and could probably be inked to non-guaranteed deals (link).
- The Suns are off to a hot start despite starting the year with nine new faces, but they’re not satisfied with their 9-8 mark, writes NBA.com’s Matt Petersen.
- Nick Young has been thriving with the Lakers this season, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld. Young had a reputation as a chucker when he was with Washington, but he has grown up and adjusted his game to meet L.A.’s needs.
Chris Paul exited early from the Clippers’ Wednesday night game against New York, but Broderick Turner of the LA Times reports that Paul plans on playing and starting in Friday night’s divisional match up versus the Kings. Sacramento currently resides in the cellar of the Pacific Division, but the Kings are hoping that recently acquired Derrick Williams will help turn their fortunes around. Let’s take a look at a couple tidbits from the Pacific..
The Heat‘s visit to Cleveland tonight brought the specter of LeBron James hitting the free agent market next summer to the forefront, but Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM.com argues that the four-time MVP should stay in Miami if he wants to continue winning championships. The Heat are a strong draw for other free agents, too, and it’s no surprise that players take discounts to come to Miami, which offers an up-tempo system, the chance to play with LeBron, and title contention, Tjarks writes. Here’s more from around the NBA:
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is confident Dirk Nowitzki won’t seek too much money from the team in contract negotiations this summer, and says the Mavs are “going to do all we can to keep him forever,” notes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Cuban also told reporters that the NBA is open-minded about studies on the use of human growth hormone for helping athletes recover from injury. Cuban intends to fund the research, but that sort of HGH use in the NBA would first require U.S. government approval. Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com has the details.
- Andris Biedrins admits impending free agency is on his mind, and the Jazz center hinted at retirement, saying in part that, “I know this is my last year,” as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune passes along. Of course, Biedrins could be referring to the last year of his contract, rather than his career.
- Gerald Green has fit in surprisingly well in Phoenix, writes Yannis Koutroupis of HoopsWorld, who sees potential for him to be a long-term piece for the Suns.
- Kim English has signed to play in France with Chorale Roanne, the team announced (translation via Sportando). Emiliano Carchia of Sportando first reported the deal for the Leon Rose client and former Pistons guard.
- Jabari Davis of HoopsWorld doesn’t expect the Heat‘s Big Three to hit the open market next summer, but offers up a list of plenty of other potential free agents for teams to consider in 2014.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.
The league has been full of unanticipated performances so far, but the Pacific Division standings come close to expectations. The Clippers and Warriors would be playoff teams if the season ended today, while the Suns, Lakers and Kings would miss out. Of course, Phoenix is 6-6 and just a game behind Golden State, so chaos isn’t far off. Here’s the latest:
It’s been a busy day for New York basketball. Fans of both the Nets and Knicks are concerned about the slow starts of their favorite squads, but despite the rumors, we’ve heard that neither Jason Kidd nor Mike Woodson is in danger of getting fired. Justin Terranova of the New York Post sat down with NBA TV’s Greg Anthony and discussed the state of both teams, and while Anthony believes the Nets are in bigger trouble than the Knicks, there’s still plenty of time for both teams to turn their season around.
Here are some miscellaneous notes from Thursday night:
- An unnamed GM suspects the Suns will do everything in their power to pry Gordon Hayward away from the Jazz this offseason, tweets NBA TV’s Peter Vecsey. Hayward and the Jazz failed to reach a rookie contract extension before the deadline. The fourth year forward currently earns $3.5MM but should see a big pay raise once he hits restricted free agency this summer.
- Dwain Price of the Star Telegram details how the Mavericks’ offseason signing of Monta Ellis has been a critical part of the team’s early season success. Through 12 games, Ellis has been an excellent fit in Dallas’ system, posting a career high 19.5 PER. Coach Rick Carlisle spoke on how impressed he was with the veteran guard: “I thought he was going to be a hard worker and I thought that he was going to be a very talented guy, and he’s been all those things. The thing I really love is how well he continues to adapt to our system and our personnel.“
- Jeff Adrien‘s contract is non-guaranteed, but Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer details how the undersized post player is proving in Al Jefferson‘s absence that he might be worthy of a spot on the Bobcats roster.
- In a league where sharpshooting big men are becoming increasingly valuable, Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com discusses why Spencer Hawes‘ impressive skill set fits the 76ers uptempo offense perfectly. Tom Moore of the Burlington County Times reveals how much Brett Brown values Hawes. The seventh-year center’s contract expires at the end of the season.
- In his nightly roundup of the NBA, Yannis Koutroupis of HOOPSWORLD examines how Terrence Jones‘ experience in the D-League helped the stretch four develop into a Rockets starter this year. Jones is playing 21 MPG and shooting an impressive 53% on 64 attempts this year.
As tonight’s action on the court winds down, a few notes around the league off the court.
- The Morris twins, Marcus Morris and Markieff Morris, have played on the same roster their entire lives, sans one and a half NBA seasons. However, Suns president Lon Babby revealed to Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports that if it were up to him, the twins never would have been separated. The Suns drafted Markieff in the 2011 NBA draft and had it not been for such a high price tag, would have also traded for the draft rights to Marcus on draft night. Babby and the Suns believe the synergy of the brothers is “extraordinary” but reminded the twins prior to exercising both of their options this offseason that this unique opportunity comes with expectations.
- Looking forward to upcoming draft nights, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld tweets that the Knicks and Nets, who both fell to 3-8 tonight, do not have a bright future if they continue to lose. Both teams are without a first-round pick in the 2014 draft, so losing won’t even better their chances of a franchise player next season.
- Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld believes (Twitter link) the Rockets are asking a high price for Omer Asik and a Mavericks‘ package of Shane Larkin and Shawn Marion would not be enough.
- According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bulls will be without guard Jimmy Butler for at least two weeks due to turf toe suffered Monday against the Bobcats.