Just as he did on Saturday, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld.com answered some questions Sunday morning from his Twitter followers. Here are the highlights:
Kyler does not expect the Lakers to trade Pau Gasol, noting that his hefty salary makes it difficult to find a fit. He says the Lakers are not interested in taking back another similar-sized contract for Gasol, and would prefer to break his cap hit into smaller pieces.
Kyler says that, although former Blazers head coach Nate McMillan makes sense as an assistant coach for the Lakers, there is no incentive for him to take the job due to the Lakers' struggles and his enjoyment of spending time with his family (link).
Kennedy wonders whether the Knicks or Lakers may consider signing veteran forward Kenyon Martin as they continue to battle injuries. Martin does not currently have any NBA offers.
In a video interview posted by Kennedy in the column, Hornets forward Ryan Anderson tells HoopsWorld writer Steve Kyler that he's happy in New Orleans after signing a four-year, $36MM offer sheet this summer.
Kennedy speculates that Tracy McGrady may attempt an NBA comeback soon, as he is struggling and frustrated playing for the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Ryan Anderson tells Kyle Bass of Hornets.com that he has worked on diversifying his offense beyond just three-point shooting in his first season with the Hornets after signing an offer sheet this summer.
A year ago today, it was not only Christmas Eve, but also the eve of the first games of the NBA season. On December 25th, 2011, the Thunder and Clippers each got their seasons underway with opening-day victories -- a year later, both teams are tied for the NBA lead with 21 wins, as the 21-6 Clippers trail the 21-5 Thunder by a half-game for the league's best record. As the Clips and Thunder prepare for tomorrow's games, here are a few updates relating to their Western Conference rivals:
Mark Cuban said recently that his Mavericks aren't considering a full rebuild, but head coach Rick Carlisle did acknowledge that Dallas is in a rebuilding mode of sorts: "We’re rebuilding a championship team," Carlisle said, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com.
The Hornets will play in Orlando on Boxing Day, and Ryan Anderson is looking forward to facing his old Magic teammates, as he tells Jim Eichenhofer of Hornets.com (Twitter link): "It'll be great to see them. At the same time, I want to kick their butts."
Eichenhofer also has an injury update from Eric Gordon, who says it's just a matter of improving his conditioning and working into game shape before he returns (Twitterlinks).
Since falling to 9-14, the Lakers have won four straight games, but the team shouldn't be satisfied yet, according to Steve Nash. Nash tells Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he hopes the club continues to play with a desperation and a sense of urgency.
Nets coach Avery Johnsonhas raised eyebrows around the league for his limited use of forward Kris Humphries, who is earning $12MM this season. However, we've learned today that there might be an explanation for the big man's disappointing play, decreased playing time, and yesterday's benching. Humphries missed today's practice in East Rutherford, New Jersey with an abdominal muscle issue and may require an MRI, writes Mike Gavin of Newsday. Yesterday, 86% of Hoops Rumors readers said that they expect Brooklyn to shop Humphries between now and February, but it's possible that he'll be back in the equation once he's healthy. Here's more from around the league..
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson was caught off guard by the Magic's decision to trade him in July, writes Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida. “Obviously, they were going to go in a different direction that I wasn’t really too much aware of then,’’ said the 24-year-old. “I found out afterward what their plan is. They want to build their nucleus with young talent.’’
Johnson's decision to 86 Humphries from the rotation will come back to haunt him, opines Amit Badlani of Sheridan Hoops. It's a decision that will satisfy Deron Williams in the short-term, but the Nets need Humphries' size in order to win in the playoffs.
Chad Ford and Jay Bilas of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) ran down the top ten players in college basketball. Both analysts have Indiana's Cody Zeller pegged as the top talent in the NCAA.
Most players that signed new contracts over the summer will become eligible to be traded as of this coming Saturday, so Grantland's Zach Lowe took the opportunity to take a look around the league at some potential trade candidates. Here are a few of the highlights from Lowe's piece:
Even though the Rockets didn't expect to land Jeremy Lin this summer, and didn't expect to acquire another star ballhandler in James Harden, it's still "extremely unlikely" that they'd move Lin.
There's no indication that the Hornets would consider dealing Ryan Anderson, who Lowe clarifies (via Twitter) becomes trade-eligible this month rather than next month, as we'd previously thought.
Teams around the league are eyeing the Suns to see if they can extract some value there, but Phoenix almost certainly won't move Goran Dragic and can't trade amnesty pickup Luis Scola. Lowe also notes that "you can count on zero hands" the number of clubs interested in acquiring Michael Beasley.
It's not out of the question that Courtney Lee could become a trade candidate if the Celtics are seeking a big man.
Jason Thompson is "coveted around the league" due to his reasonable long-term salary, and is blocking Thomas Robinson in Sacramento, so the Kings could attempt to gauge his value.
The Mavericks may be a buyer rather than a seller, but they'll be wary of adding any salary that would affect their cap flexibility next summer.
The Sixers will be in the market for a big man once trade talks pick up.
Rival executives are wondering if it's too early for GM Neil Olshey and the Trail Blazers to explore the trade market for LaMarcus Aldridge.
Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Linas Kleiza are among those the Raptors are talking about including in a Gasol deal, according to Stein and Shelburne. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, who's told by rival executives that the Raptors are the most likely destination for Gasol, hears that Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is currently unwilling to include Bargnani in a deal. That could change, however, if Colangelo starts to feel pressure to win now.
It's an "open secret" that Wolves GM David Kahn has been after Gasol since last season in attempts to put together a core of Kevin Love and Spaniards Gasol and Ricky Rubio, Stein and Shelburne write. Kahn's trade offers have been built around Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic, packages that continually meet with rejection from the Lakers.
Hornets power forward Ryan Anderson, reportedly L.A.'s No. 1 target in a Gasol deal, is a "virtual untouchable" as far as New Orleans is concerned, according to the ESPNLosAngeles.com story. The Hawks, Rockets and Nuggets have no interest in obtaining Gasol, reports Chris Broussard of ESPN.com.
The 32-year-old Gasol is making $19MM this year and is due $19.286MM next season in the final year of his deal. He's averaging 12.6 points per game on 42% shooting, both career lows, and has missed the last two games because of tendinitis in both knees.
Ryan Anderson sure has come a long way since his humble beginnings with the Nets in 2008. The Nets "reached" for the California product with the 21st overall pick in that year's draft and plugged him in to the rotation of a weakened team that had recently jettisoned Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson. When it came time for the Nets to start their rebuilding effort in earnest and move Vince Carter, the Magic pushed to have Anderson included in the deal. The forward was more than a throw-in but far from the focal point of the five-player swap.
A few years and a sign-and-trade later, Anderson is shining in New Orleans as he breaks in his four-year, $36MM deal. So far this year, Anderson is averaging career-highs across the board with 17.5 PPG and 7.9 RPG while shooting 42.3% from the outside. The 24-year-old figures to be on the fast track to All-Star Weekend in Houston and the Lakers reportedly see him as the solution to their frontcourt problems. The Hornets are obviously a long way from contention and could net a nice package of young players and draft picks in exchange for last year's Most Improved Player.
However, the Hornets say they have no interest in parting ways with Anderson. The club is enthused by his early season play and is eager to see how the team looks when Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon return to action. It's hard to argue with that reasoning - this green (no pun intended) Hornets squad won't get near the playoff chase this season but they certainly play the role of spoiler for other clubs late in the year. More importantly, the trio could blossom into a legitimate force with time.
If you were in General Manager Dell Demps' shoes, would you trade Anderson or hold on to him?
There has been a lot of speculation that the Lakers are looking to make a move as they sit at 8-9. However, league sources and agents close to players that have been linked to the team say that they haven't been very active or aggressive about making a move. Other teams looking for help have started sending out feelers as free agents signed over the summer can be traded starting December 15th.
The Lakers have also been linked to free agent point guards following injuries to Steve Nash and Steve Blake, but that doesn't appear to be in the cards as Nash is likely to return in the next few weeks. A signing might not be a good idea for the team's chemistry either and one insider near the situation remarked, “How much more change does that team need?”
Hornets forward Ryan Anderson has been playing well for a less-than-stellar New Orleans team, fueling speculation that he could be traded. However, the club emphatically denies that he has been talked about in a trade. One Hornets exec pointed out that Anderson's play could get even better alongside a healthy Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis. While the club is obviously zeroed in on its young players for this season, they also see Anderson as a leader for the team this year and beyond. Earlier today we learned that the Lakers would like to land Anderson in a Pau Gasol deal.
The Lakers were linked to Mickael Pietrus, but his agent says they never reached out to him. Pietrus signed with the Raptors for the minimum salary last week.