Portland Trail Blazers Rumors

D-League Notes: Blazers, Mavs, Hamilton

February 27 at 5:37pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Blazers are ending their one-to-one affiliation with the D-League’s Idaho Stampede and will share an affiliate with other NBA teams next season, reports Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. GM Neil Olshey prefers to let Portland’s assistant coaches develop talent rather than farm the job out, as Freeman explains.

More D-League news:

  • The Mavs have assigned Jae Crowder, Bernard James and Shane Larkin to the D-League, and they’ve recalled Ricky Ledo, the team announced. It’ll be a one-game stint for the trio of assignees, notes Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who first reported the moves (Twitter links).
  • Xavier Henry will see those three Mavs tonight when the affiliates for Dallas and the Lakers meet up, since the Lakers have sent Henry to the D-League, the team announced. It’s a rehab assignment for Henry, who’s been out since December 29th, tweets Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
  • The Wizards Otto Porter had been mentioned as a candidate to head to the D-League, but that looks less likely to happen now, writes J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Porter is needed for depth in case Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza suffer an illness or an injury. The team might also resist sending him down as not to damage his confidence, opines Michael.
  • Dakota Schmidt of SB Nation profiles Sioux Falls 7-footer Justin Hamilton, and thinks that he is the most talented big man still available to make the jump to the NBA. The former second-round pick out of LSU has developed quite the offensive arsenal and could be the next player to land a 10-day contract, opines Schmidt.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

D-League Notes: Knicks, Magic, Rice Jr.

February 26 at 8:05pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Knicks are planning to create their own D-League affiliate in White Plains next year, replacing the hybrid arrangement they currently have with the Erie BayHawks, according to Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. If approved by the league, the five-year proposal would give the Knicks complete control over both basketball and business operations with the new affiliate. They only control basketball development with the BayHawks. Here’s more from the D-League:

  • The Magic are in talks with a current D-League team to establish a one-to-one hybrid relationship as early as next season, Orlando CEO Alex Martins tells Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Orlando currently shares an affiliation with five other NBA teams. Martins wouldn’t name which team is the potential affiliate, but the Erie BayHawks are a possibility, since the Knicks appear to be moving on.
  • D-League president Dan Reed tells Robbins the D-League is looking at expanding soon, likely prioritizing the Northeast region of the country: “We will expand relatively soon, but it will be a measured expansion. We’re not going to grow by 13 teams in a year or two. Our mantra is ‘steady, sustainable growth.’ But we are at the point where it’s time to grow the league based on the stability of the league and the interest that we’re seeing out in the markets.”
  • The Wizards have assigned rookie Glen Rice, Jr. to the D-League for a second time this season, the team announced.
  • The Warriors D-League affiliate traded Scott Machado to the Blazers affiliate in exchange for the rights to Justin Holiday, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Holiday’s only NBA action to this point was in nine games with the Sixers last year alongside his brother Jrue. Machado also has limited time in the NBA so far in his career, averaging just 3.5 minutes over six games with the Rockets last year.
  • Gino Pilato of D-League Digest takes a look at some players who have received NBA contracts this season after playing with the Rockets D-League affiliate Rio Grand Valley Vipers. The team uses an extreme run-and-gun system that outpaces the already fast-paced D-League, and some have wondered whether the system is beneficial to the developing players beyond inflating their possessions and stats. James Johnson, Troy Daniels, and Chris Johnson have all inked NBA deals after spending time with the Vipers in 2013/14.

Northwest Rumors: Blazers, Aldridge, Nuggets

February 17 at 5:39pm CDT By Zach Links

Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin knows that anything can happen at the trade deadline.  He was just a rookie with the Spurs when the legendary George Gervin was traded from San Antonio to the Bulls.  ”I didn’t think a guy like George Gervin could be traded,” said the coach, according to Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune (on Twitter).  Here’s the latest out of the Northwest Division..

  • LaMarcus Aldridge tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com that multiple fellow All-Stars approached him this weekend to say that they’d like to join the Blazers. Aldridge declined to identify the players.
  • Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post (via Twitter) notes that if Andre Miller really wanted to return to the Nuggets, he could have taken steps to make it happen.  However, it’s clear that he has little-to-no desire to rejoin Denver.
  • Terry Frei of the Denver Post implores the Nuggets to clean up their mess.

Northwest Notes: Miller, McGee, Love

February 15 at 4:42pm CDT By Charlie Adams

The Nuggets have been actively seeking a trade partner that would take on Andre Miller but haven’t been able to garner much interest. The team seems to be starting to accept there isn’t a market for the veteran guard and might consider retaining him, reports Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. Miller worked out for Denver this week after sitting since December 30th. The Kings and Timberwolves were said to have interest in Miller, but apparently not enough to get a deal done. Here’s more on Denver and the Northwest Division:

  • JaVale McGee will decide by March 1st if he’ll be healthy enough to play for the Nuggets this season, reports Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post. McGee has been inactive since November, and Denver’s frontcourt could definitely benefit from his return. Offseason signee J.J. Hickson has been playing major minutes at center but is a bit undersized at 6’9.
  • Kevin Love is affecting the way teams approach the trade deadline this year, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link). Teams that think they can pry Love away from the Timberwolves in the summer of 2015 are trying to leave themselves the cap flexibility that will be required to make such a move.
  • Another tweet from Mannix pegs Love as the “crown jewel” of his expected free agency class, even among players such as the Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge.

Odds & Ends: Anthony, Williams, Hardaway Jr.

February 14 at 11:37pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

It was reported earlier that Carmelo Anthony might be willing to take a pay cut to remain with the Knicks if it would help the team contend for a championship. Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com examines what that would mean for the team going forward. According to Begley, it would be of no help to the team in 2014/2015 no matter how much money Anthony left on the table. If Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani remain on the roster by exercising their player options, the Knicks’ payroll would be over the projected salary-cap line of $62.9MM even without ‘Melo on the team. It is during the 2015/2016 season where the team could reap the benefits. If Anthony signs a max deal, his salary that season will be $24,142,789, and the team would have five players under contract at a total of $39,492,533. This is barring any high-priced additions between now and then with contracts that run through 2015/2016. If Anthony takes a pay cut, it would leave the Knicks enough room to pursue Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo, and would allow the team to add more depth to the roster, a necessary element to contend for a title.

More from around the league:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge implored his team to make upgrades over the summer, but he doesn’t think the Blazers need to pull off a deadline move to make up for the loss of injured Joel Freeland, observes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com (Twitter link). Aldridge believes that Meyers Leonard can fill the void.
  • The Lakers may re-sign Shawne Williams to a second 10-day contract, but may wait until their next game to do so, or even until after the trade deadline passes, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
  • Despite the pressure to appease ‘Melo by swinging a deadline deal, one of the Knicks few desirable trade assets, Tim Hardaway Jr.has been deemed “virtually untouchable”, tweets Marc Berman of The New York Post. This was prior to Hardaway Jr. dropping 36 points in the Rising Stars game.
  • The Cavs took a four game winning streak into the All-Star break. Kyrie Irving believes the team meeting the players held after GM Chris Grant was fired is a big reason the Cavs are playing looser and enjoying the game again, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Irving stated, “We had a great team meeting and got a lot off our chest, things that needed to be said. I think it started a little bit of a change in our locker room.”

Odds & Ends: Suns, Bobcats, Pietrus

February 13 at 4:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Executives from around the league say the Bobcats and Suns are the teams to watch with the trade deadline a week from today, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Both teams are buyers looking to improve their postseason chances, and Charlotte in particular has been involved in numerous trade rumors of late. Here’s more from around the Association:

  • A recent conversation with Nicolas Batum sold Mickael Pietrus on the idea of joining the Blazers, but Portland, with a full 15-man roster, declined the free agent swingman’s pitch to join the team, according to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
  • Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post figures Mike Woodson has coached the Knicks for the last time at Madison Square Garden, since New York follows up Wednesday’s home loss to the Kings with a tough road trip after the All-Star break.
  • Dan Gadzuric has signed with Petrochimi of Iran, Sportando’s Enea Trapani reports. The 36-year-old is continuing his career overseas after retiring from the NBA this past fall.
  • Hawks first-round draftee Lucas Nogueira is headed back to Spain to rejoin Estudiantes next week, observes fellow Sportando scribe Emiliano Carchia. The 16th overall pick this past June has been in the care of Hawks doctors, who’ve treated the severe tendinitis that’s sidelined him since December.
  • The Rockets have sent Robert Covington to the D-League, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The assignment will allow the rookie to take part in the D-League All-Star Game this weekend.

Atlantic Rumors: Lowry, Sixers, Wyatt, Celtics

February 12 at 1:13pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Raptors continue to be aggressive in their search for the right Kyle Lowry trade, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, who echoed his own late-January dispatch on the subject as he answered reader questions in a chat. Ford also says the Sixers are still leaning toward taking Andrew Wiggins over Jabari Parker if they have the opportunity at draft time. Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Blazers had talks with the Sixers in December about Spencer Hawestweets Jake Fischer of Liberty Ballers, who wonders if Portland will reignite those discussions now that Joel Freeland is sidelined for at least the next month with a sprained right MCL.
  • Sixers camp invitee Khalif Wyatt has signed to play in the D-League, reports Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics are keeping an eye on Turkish league center Colton Iverson, whom they took 53rd overall this past June, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia observes.
  • Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com goes over the likely scenarios for the Celtics at the deadline, writing that it’s more likely the team trades Keith Bogans in the summer than in the next eight days.
  • We rounded up news on the Knicks in a separate post.

Eastern Notes: Bobcats, Turner, Celtics

February 11 at 11:33pm CDT By Ryan Raroque

Bobcats coach Steve Clifford said before tonight’s game against the Mavericks that the chances of Charlotte making a deal soon depends on who’s available and what makes sense. GM Rod Higgins couldn’t put a percentage on the likelihood that something gets done, but went so far as to say “…the thing you should know is we’re definitely shaking the tree (and hope) a trade pans out” (Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer).

You can find several links worth sharing tonight out of Eastern Conference below, including more from the above piece:

  • Sorensen hears that the Bobcats are interested in 76ers guard Evan Turner and presumes that Ben Gordon and a first round pick are on the table (whether it’s the one owed to them by the Trail Blazers or Pistons is unclear).
  • Yahoo’s Marc J. Spears says that in addition to Turner, Thaddeus Young is another starter who could be moved soon.
  • Eddie Sefko of SportsDayDFW shared some of what he’s heard from around the Eastern Conference: Turner and Spencer Hawes are the most likely to be traded from Philadelphia; the Celtics are reportedly bound and determined to make moves before the deadline; the Cavaliers think pretty highly enough of their key pieces and aren’t likely to deal them for anything less for a “king’s ransom.”
  • Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony tells Fred Kerber of the New York Post that tales of stars trying to make recruiting pitches during the All-Star break are blown out of proportion by the media and says it “never happens.”
  • Earlier tonight, we relayed a piece from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports about the Cavs’ recent misfortune over the last few years. Another interesting thing to note is about how Anthony Bennett – who aside from his double-double performance tonight has otherwise failed to impress this season – would likely have fallen into the back end of the top 10 picks or further on draft night if Cleveland didn’t select him first overall.

Lawrence On Nash, Stotts, Gasol

February 10 at 9:42pm CDT By Zach Links

During the All-Star break in New Orleans, the players will ask the league to try and put an end to the “Tennessee Tax,” writes Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News   Every NBA player who visits Memphis for a game against the Grizzlies is subject to the tax, which takes up to $7,500 per season per player.  Somehow, the money totaling $1.5MM per season, ends up in the pocket of Memphis owner Robert Pera.  More from Lawrence’s column..

  • Lakers guard Steve Nash has told a few friends that this season will be his last, even though he still has another season on his contract beyond 2013/14.  Nash will be leaving $9.7MM on the table if he decides to hang them up after this season.  Meanwhile, Nash has denied talk that he is planning on retirement, tweets Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News.
  • No one with the Blazers is complaining about the job coach Terry Stotts is doing, but team sources tell Lawrence his standing in the locker room would be helped if he made more of a concerted effort to strengthen his relationship with LaMarcus Aldridge.  The big man is nearing the end of his contract and no extension has been hammered out yet.
  • Even as Pau Gasol misses the next ten days or so due to injury, the Suns and Lakers are expected to talk trade.  Los Angeles was open to moving Gasol until they couldn’t get Phoenix to part with one of their first-rounders in the 2014 draft.
  • High-profile attorney David Cornwell, who was part of Alex Rodriguez’s team in the Yankee’s steroid appeal, is among the candidates to head the player’s union.  He’s not considered the favorite, however.

Western Notes: Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Gasol

February 8 at 6:59pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Grizzlies are looking to upgrade their small forward spot via trade, according to Sam Amick of USA Today. Tayshaun Prince is starting for them there, having easily the worst shooting season of his career and contributing to Memphis’s lack of spacing issue offensively. Here’s more from around the West:

  • Flip Saunders, Timberwolves president of basketball operations, says that he isn’t hearing anything “imminent” on Minnesota’s trade front, per Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Saunders says the hype surrounding upcoming drafts is a barrier to transactions, “Either everyone wants to keep their picks or if you want to trade players, people are trying to get your pick and people aren’t as apt to do something like that — not only this year, but next year, too.”
  • Saunders also downplayed the importance of trades in general, citing research the Timberwolves have conducted on 189 trades over the last 10 seasons. Only 14 percent of teams trading with a .500 or worse winning percentage go on to make the playoffs, and only 55 percent of teams with winning records have held or improved their record after trading over that period. “When you look, I think a lot of time teams make trades to satisfy fans, to make them look like they are really trying to do something to make their team better. And I think sometimes teams make trades to make it look to their owners like they are working.” Hard to disagree with him there.
  • The Lakers couldn’t convince the Suns to send a first round pick in return for Pau Gasol during recent trade talks, per Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News. Although a deal wasn’t reached and Gasol is missing time with a groin injury, Lawrence says the teams are expected to pick trade talks back up.
  • Terry Stotts is having a strong season as coach of the Trail Blazers, but team sources say he could improve his locker room standing by strengthening his relationship with star LaMarcus Aldridge, according to the same Lawrence article. Stotts’ contract is up this year, and he hasn’t had any extension talks with the team.