Phoenix Suns Rumors
May 23 at 6:26pm CST By Ryan Raroque
In an article he released yesterday, Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram cited that two point guards who interest the Mavericks include Jarrett Jack and the Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless. The source also said that after the Clippers released Vinny Del Negro, the feeling in Mavs camp is that Chris Paul would likely stay in Los Angeles considering he'd be given significant control over the next coaching hire. With that being said, Dwight Howard continues to be the team's top priority. Here are few more miscellaneous notes from around the league:
- Though the future of Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins still remains uncertain, the impending free agent coach says that he's not worried about an extension or heading elsewhere and is currently focused on the playoffs, "I have a job...I'm happy with where we are and excited about what we're doing. That's my only concern. Everything else is irrelevant" (Teresa M. Walker of NBA.com).
- Erik Spoelstra was pleased about James Jones' decision to not opt out at the end of this year and thus return to the Heat next season, says Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida (Sulia link). Spoelstra: "It's great news...J.J. is a Miami Heat guy. (He and Udonis Haslem), they're special. All of our guys are special in this organization, but they're Miami-bred guys. They're Miami true and blue."
- Ken Berger of CBS Sports tweeted that Jeff Hornacek interviewed with the Bobcats today and that Steve Clifford is headed for his next interview with the Suns, respectively.
- If there's any coach that isn't confident about his team making significant improvements next season, it's definitely not Wizards head coach Randy Wittman, who told CSN Washington: "It doesn't matter with the No. 3 pick. If we could stay healthy and come together as we did last year, have a full season right from the start, we should put ourselves in that (playoff) position...It doesn't matter if we pick eighth, third or 30th" (J. Michael of CSN Washington).
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside sheds some light on Mike Singletary (not to be confused with the current NFL assistant coach), who has been making waves for his standout play overseas. The 6'6 swingman, who recently won the NBDL title with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, has been playing for Barako Bull Energy Cola - a PBA team currently participating in a tournament in Dubai. With his solid production in the D-League (10.1 PPG and 4.9 RPG along with 41% shooting from long range in 49 games) and his experience with competitive international play, Schlosser thinks that the next step would involve an NBA summer league invite and is curious to see what kind of opportunities Singletary could find heading up to the start of NBA training camp in the fall.
May 22 at 7:03pm CST By Michael Pina
The Suns just hired a new, young general manager, and now they're onto finding a new coach. The latest has the Rockets granting Phoenix permission to interview their assistant coach, J.B. Bickerstaff, according to a tweet from Yahoo! NBA reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.
The team has also asked to speak with Lakers assistant Steve Clifford. Los Angeles has granted permission for the interview. Clifford has also interviewed with the Bobcats on Tuesday and the Bucks last Monday, according to InsideSoCal.com's Mark Medina.
May 21 at 11:16am CST By Luke Adams
The NBA's draft lottery is set to take place tonight, with the league's 14 non-playoff teams vying for a chance at the first overall pick and the opportunity to select a player from a crop of prospects that includes Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, and others.
The odds at landing the first overall pick are cited frequently, from the Magic's 25% all the way down to the Jazz's 0.5%. But what chance does each team have to land a top-three pick? Listed in the chart below are the odds each lottery team has at the first, second, and third overall picks, as well as each team's overall odds at landing in the top three.
May 19 at 6:49pm CST By Michael Pina
A few random notes from around the league.
- According to a string of tweets from ESPN.com's Marc Stein, Clippers owner Donald Sterling attended Game 1 between the Spurs and Grizzlies in an effort to scout Lionel Hollins for the possible head coaching job opening up with his team. (Hollins and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro are both on the final years of their respective contracts.) Stein also tweets that the Clippers have not asked to speak with Spurs assistant coach Mike Budenholzer.
- Newsday's Al Iannazzone goes in depth on the Knicks offseason plans, zoning in on what type of players the team should target in free agency.
- The Suns enter the lottery with the probability of landing a high first round pick, but not number one, according to AZCentral.com's Paul Coro. He projects they target height if they land with a pick between four and seven.
May 19 at 4:29pm CST By Chuck Myron
The Suns will interview Rockets assistant Kelvin Sampson for their head coaching job, and they're interested in CSKA Moscow assistant Quin Snyder for the position as well, reports Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com. The team has not yet parted ways with interim coach Lindsey Hunter, but much like the dynamic between the Hawks and Larry Drew, Phoenix and Hunter are both seeking out other options while not closing the door on a continued relationship. Hunter interviewed with the Pistons last month.
Sampson also interviewed with the Bobcats and Bucks, notes Goodman, who confirms that the Rockets assistant will interview with the Sixers this week, too. The Sixers reportedly received permission for that meeting from the Rockets, but newly appointed GM Sam Hinkie, who came from Houston's front office, indicated that he hadn't heard about any interview with Sampson.
Snyder, who served as an assistant with the Lakers in 2011/12, is expected to interview with the Bobcats, and has also been linked to the Sixers and the Hawks, though the latest report from Atlanta indicates that he's no longer in the mix there. He and Sampson both have head coaching experience in the college ranks, though neither has been a head coach in the NBA, save for Sampson's brief stint as a fill-in for Kevin McHale this past season.
May 19 at 4:03pm CST By Chuck Myron
For a third consecutive year, there aren't any Pacific Division teams in the Western Conference Finals, a dry spell that's never happened before. The Lakers are mostly responsible for that history of success, but the Suns have had their moments, too. For most of the city's time with an NBA team, Seattle was a part of the Pacific Division, and the SuperSonics were no stranger to playing for a berth in the Finals. With the league reportedly having approved the sale of the Kings to a Sacramento-based group, it looks like Seattle won't be an NBA destination for at least a while longer.
Here's a check on each of the five current Pacific Division teams as they try to climb their way back into contention:
- Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who's attending today's opener of the Western Conference Finals, has yet to meet with Vinny Del Negro as planned this weekend, but resolution on the coach's future should come within the week, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group points out the similarities between the construction of the Warriors roster and the way the Grizzlies were built.
- Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak of The Sacramento Bee profile new Kings principal owner Vivek Ranadive, who plans to take a hands-on approach.
- Of all the people involved in keeping the Kings in Sacramento, none were as influential as David Stern, who demonstrated that he still has control of the league even as his tenure as commissioner comes to a close, The Bee's Ailene Voisin writes.
- Suns scouts have been high on Maryland center Alex Len since before this past season began, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, who runs down some of the players the team will likely target with its lottery pick.
- Greg Somogyi impressed Mike Brown when the two were together in Lakers camp last fall, and Brown has invited the 7'3" center to a Cavaliers mini-camp this summer, reports Sportando contributor David Pick (Twitter link).
May 17 at 10:00pm CST By Chuck Myron
As day three of the NBA draft combine comes to a close, updates are still coming in from reporters stationed in Chicago for the event, which runs through Sunday. We covered the news from the first part of the day in this post, and we'll round up additional items here:
- Robbins adds Victor Oladipo and Nate Wolters to the list of players the Magic have interviewed, which includes a total of 18 prospects. Trey Burke isn't one of them, but he'll likely visit Orlando soon for a lengthy workout and interview.
- Zeller has interviewed with 10 teams at the combine, and the Sixers are one of them, reports Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Nerlens Noel told Andy Katz of ESPN that he's interviewed with the Celtics, Magic, Bobcats, Suns, Pelicans and Cavaliers, as Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv passes along. Katz also hears Gorgui Dieng and Jamaal Franklin are hopeful they'll be healthy enough to work out before the draft. Alex Len won't be ready to hit the court until August, but he's planning to talk with 15 teams at the combine, according to Katz.
- Dennis Schroeder is one of a pair of international prospects rumored to have received a promise from a team, and he said following an interview with the Bucks at the combine that Milwaukee could be a fit for him, notes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel. Schroeder also sees a chance for playing time with the Jazz.
- The Magic interviewed Otto Porter during the combine, and scheduled a meeting with Kelly Olynyk as well, reports Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News counts Cody Zeller among those with a shot at becoming the top pick after an impressive showing in drills today.
- Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press adds Brandon Paul and Tony Mitchell to the list of Pistons interviewees. Paul has a workout with the team scheduled for later this month.
- The Oregonian's Jason Quick looks at the prospect interview process the Trail Blazers employ, and adds that GM Neil Olshey flew to Europe this spring to scout Rudy Gobert and Dario Saric, who aren't taking part in the combine.
May 17 at 11:05am CST By Luke Adams
With just one Conference Semifinal still ongoing, we won't see any NBA action tonight, as the Knicks and Pacers prepare for tomorrow's Game Six. Even if the Eastern Semifinal extends to a seventh game though, we can look forward to the Western Finals getting underway on Sunday, featuring a Spurs/Grizzlies matchup that few would have predicted last fall. As we get ready for those games, let's check in on a few odds and ends from around the Association:
- Following the Warriors' elimination from the postseason, Jarrett Jack tells Marcus Thompson II of the San Jose Mercury News that he'd love to get a chance to return to the team next season. "Obviously there are other things that go into seeing if that works," Jack said. "We all know this is a business at the end of the day. If I could do it, if I could rearrange it, I would definitely be back at this same locker."
- Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post takes a look at Ty Lawson's efforts to woo Andre Iguodala back to the Nuggets via social media. Lawson says he's been "telling [Iguodala] all year" that he ought to stay in Denver beyond this season.
- Cavaliers GM Chris Grant suggests to Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (Twitter link) that the Cavs expect to be bigger players in free agency this summer than in recent years.
- Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic shares the latest news on the Suns' head coaching search, writing that candidates on playoff teams become less likely for Phoenix the longer their respective clubs stay alive.
- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is hoping the team can bring back Nazr Mohammed, calling his performance "tremendous," but acknowledged that the big man may receive better offers. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times has the details.
- The Bobcats can't afford a misfire on draft night this year, says Lang Greene of HoopsWorld.
May 17 at 9:06am CST By Luke Adams
Although he played well in this year's NCAA tournament, Vander Blue was one of the more surprising names on 2013's early entrant list, considering he's widely viewed as a second-round pick at best. But Blue told reporters at this week's draft combine in Chicago that he's confident in his decision, and expects to surprise anyone who doesn't think he'll produce in the NBA.
"Nobody expected [former Marquette teammate] Jimmy [Butler] to be who he is today with the Bulls,"
said Blue, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times. "Nobody probably expects me to do any good in the NBA. But I
know how to go about my business. I’m more than confident."
After discussing Blue's decision to declare for the draft and passing along a few of his quotes, Woelfel's latest column explores a few other topics of note. Here are the highlights:
- Woelfel reiterates that Jerry Sloan still has a desire to return to coaching, but not with the Bucks, as we heard last night.
- In addition to the interviews we heard about yesterday, the Bucks also met with Jamaal Franklin and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, says Woelfel.
- Woelfel hears from NBA officials that Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman may have had a verbal agreement in place with Suns president Lon Babby to become the team's GM, but that owner Robert Sarver nixed the deal. Phoenix ultimately ended up hiring Ryan McDonough.
- According to Woelfel, there's a "growing sentiment" that J.J. Redick will sign with a team besides the Bucks this summer.
- Nerlens Noel, the favorite to be the No. 1 pick next month, still hasn't decided on an agent, says Woelfel. One report last month suggested Noel may become Jay-Z's first basketball client.
May 16 at 11:56am CST By Luke Adams
11:56am: More A.M. updates out of Chicago:
- Nerlens Noel told reporters that he hasn't completed any interviews so far, but that he's "pretty sure" he has one scheduled with the Magic. He's not quite so sure about the Cavaliers (Twitter links).
- Steven Adams and Kelly Olynyk are among the prospects that have met with the Wizards so far and think they'd fit in well in Washington (Twitter links). Mason Plumlee is also on the Wizards' list, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Olynyk has met with the Bobcats as well, says Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
- Gorgui Dieng will work out for the Bucks, who will also interview Rudy Gobert and Plumlee, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter links).
- A couple notes from SI.com's Chriss Mannix (via Twitter): Cody Zeller has spoken to the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Rockets, and Celtics, while Mike Muscala only has interviews lined up with the Spurs and Hawks, but will do "nine or 10" workouts later. One of those workouts will be with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
- Shabazz Muhammad and Deshaun Thomas interviewed with the Timberwolves last night, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
11:09am: With a number of reporters in attendance at the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago, we're expecting plenty of noteworthy tidbits to trickle in throughout the day. Here's a round-up of the first batch of updates on 2013's draft combine participants:
- According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), the Cavaliers aren't on Otto Porter's list of teams he's meeting with this week. That's a bit of a surprise, given the rumblings that he's high on the team's big board, though as Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer tweets, the Cavs drafted a pair of players they didn't interview last year.
- Porter is scheduled to meet with the Wizards, who spoke to Victor Oladipo earlier this week, tweets Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Porter will meet with the Pistons as well, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The Bobcats, Thunder, and Suns have already met with Porter, according to Lee (via Twitter).
- The Pistons are also prepared to meet with Shabazz Muhammad today, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). Muhammad interviewed with the Trail Blazers yesterday and felt it went very well, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- Nate Wolters and Adonis Thomas were among the prospects who have met with the Lakers so far, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
- Glen Rice Jr., who played in the D-League this past season, has been interviewed by the Bucks, Celtics, Warriors, Sixers, and Spurs, he confirmed to reporters (all Twitter links).