Eric Bledsoe is the top remaining player still unsigned, though as a restricted free agent the Suns have the right to match any offer sheet that Bledsoe agrees to. Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic looks at why Bledsoe hasn’t received any offers, and examines the player’s options going forward. Bickley also opines that Bledsoe is risking alienating the fans in Phoenix by turning down the Suns’ four-year, $48MM deal.
Here’s more from around the league:
- George Karl told Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune that the Wolves can’t afford to pass on trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, if the Cavs are truly offering that package (via Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer’s tweet). Karl coached through a tumultuous season with the Nuggets when Carmelo Anthony eventually received his desired trade to the Knicks.
- Every year when the dust settles and the free agent signings begin to wind down there are winners and losers. Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today weigh in on this year’s successes and disappointments.
- The Thunder‘s Josh Huestis might become the NBA’s first domestic “draft-and-stash” player, writes Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman. If Huestis does skip signing with the Thunder and heads directly to the NBA D-League, it could signal a major shift in the future of the D-League and how it’s utilized, notes Mayberry.
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s rebuilding plan might not be popular in Philadelphia as the losses keep piling up. Jason Wolf of USA Today profiles the GM, as well as takes a look at the moves he’s made so far in his efforts to retool the franchise.
- The Jazz are interested in signing free agent Toure’ Murry, tweets Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. Falk notes that Murry might be waiting for an offer from the Heat. The Knicks had also expressed interest in bringing Murry back, but currently have a logjam in the backcourt.
Cray Allred contributed to this post.
With a logjam at the guard spots and limited payroll flexibility, the Warriors are willing to help Jordan Crawford find his next team with a sign-and-trade deal, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. The source added that the former Xavier guard has drawn interest from the Bulls, Mavericks, Lakers, Knicks, and Nets (Twitter links).
You can find more of tonight’s miscellaneous news and notes below:
- The Hornets were pleased with their meeting with Gordon Hayward today, but the Jazz maintain that they’ll match any offer sheet for the 24-year-old forward, tweets NBA.com’s David Aldridge.
- 76ers GM Sam Hinkie said that he’s involved in plenty of conversations, but not as many as the media has been reporting, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Hinkie doesn’t think the addition of a high-profile guard will hurt Michael Carter-Williams‘ confidence, adding that the 2013/14 Rookie of the Year is the team’s point guard of the future.
- Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will not be in attendance during LeBron James‘ meeting with Pat Riley tomorrow, a source tells Zac Jackson of FOX Sports Ohio.
- ESPN’s Marc Stein says he’s been strongly advised to dismiss rumblings that Nike has purchased billboards in Cleveland in anticipation for LeBron’s eventual free agency decision; however, It doesn’t mean that LeBron has ruled out a return to the Cavaliers either (Twitter links).
- Former Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin will join the Kings as an assistant coach, a source tells Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune. A week ago, we relayed that Corbin was set to interview for a spot on Michael Malone’s coaching staff.
- Nik Stauskas is slated to sign his rookie deal with Sacramento today, tweets Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee.
- Timberwolves president/head coach Flip Saunders admits that he should have sent Chase Budinger to the D-League last season for a rehab assignment last season, noting that the swingman’s return from knee surgery has been a tough transition (Twitter link via Nate Sandell of 1500 ESPN).
- The Knicks added Joshua Longstaff and Rasheed Hazzard to Derek Fisher‘s coaching staff, notes Jonah Ballow of NYKnicks.com. Longstaff was previously a Thunder assistant, while Hazzard formerly worked for the Lakers.
- Former Oakland star Travis Bader signed a deal with ASVEL in France but would be allowed to opt out of his contract if he can make an NBA roster, writes Brian Calloway of the Detroit Free Press.
Sixers fans need to prepare themselves for another tough season of rebuilding, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Moore opines that while GM Sam Hinkie‘s draft strategy could pay off in the long term, the franchise isn’t currently much improved over last season.
More from the east:
- If not for his season ending injury, Spencer Dinwiddie was a likely lottery selection. Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press looks at what the newest Piston will bring to the court.
- The Pistons won’t be looking at the top names when the free agency period begins, writes Ellis in a separate article. Team president and coach Stan Van Gundy said, “Guys that aren’t going to be the big names, but we think have a chance to make a big contribution, those are guys that will be our main focus. We have too many needs — even at $13.5 million (cap space) — with what’s on the list, we think spending that kind of money on one guy and leaving all the other things for minimum guys based on who’s on the list, we think that would be a mistake.“
- According to Mitch Lawrence of The New York Daily News, the Nets will be better off without Jason Kidd as their coach.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is open to hiring a “big-name team president” who would have authority over GM David Griffin, but the team has not been considering David Blatt for that role, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Cleveland will also explore trading Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson this summer, tweets Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio. Neither are on the trading block, but Amico adds that the Cavs are listening and evaluating their options.
Here’s are some more miscellaneous news and notes to pass along tonight:
- One NBA team president said that Pat Riley appeared nervous when talking about keeping LeBron James during his media presser today, adding that more teams will now be in pursuit of the superstar forward (Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports via Twitter).
- ESPN’s Chris Broussard says that the Cavs should have met with LeBron in free agency first before making a coaching hire, implying that David Blatt’s lack of NBA coaching experience doesn’t help their case of luring the Akron native back home (Twitter link).
- According to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, Pistons coach/president Stan Van Gundy has been in consistent contact with restricted free agent forward Greg Monroe and Monroe’s agent, David Falk.
- The Hawks, Pelicans, and Wizards are expected to be potential suitors for Monroe this summer, writes Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. While Stan Van Gundy maintains that keeping Monroe is a “high priority,” he also appears prepared for other scenarios. “We have ideas on who might offer (Monroe) what…You weigh what’s out there because once you give him a qualifying offer, he can sign it or get an offer sheet. What level of an offer would we match? We’re prepared for that and doing due diligence for people who want to sign-and-trade for him.”
- Tom Moore of Calkins Media (via Twitter) hears that a Southeast Division team offered the 76ers more in a trade package than the Pacers did for Evan Turner; that team didn’t hear back from Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie before the trade deadline ended and Turner was eventually dealt to Indiana.
- Le Mans of the Ligue Nationale de Basket has signed former NBA guard Rodrigue Beaubois, reports Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6’2″ guard’s deal reportedly includes an opt-out clause that will allow him to sign with an NBA team before July 25.
Here’s the latest surrounding Joel Embiid following today’s announcement about his foot injury:
- Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix points out that 76ers GM Sam Hinkie was part of the Rockets staff when Yao Ming’s playing career was derailed by a similar foot injury; naturally, one would be inclined to wonder if that will have an impact on Philadelphia’s thought process during the draft if Embiid is available (Twitter link).
- After polling NBA teams, ESPN Insider Chad Ford says that Embiid is currently projected to go in the 3-6 range. That could all change once teams get a hold of his medical reports, Ford adds (Twitter link).
- A source tells Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio that the Cavaliers won’t make a firm decision on their number one pick until they get Embiid’s results following his surgery.
- The Cavs’ doctors shared the results of Embiid’s physical with the Bucks’ medical staff, who in return exchanged their results of Jabari Parker’s physical, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
- Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge told Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston that Embiid’s injury wouldn’t discourage the team from selecting him if he became available at their number six spot on draft night. “We try to think long term that, if a guy has to miss a couple months, that shouldn’t deter us from taking him if he’s going to be the best player long term.”
- CSNNE.com’s A. Sherrod Blakely hears that the Celtics will give serious thought to possibly trading up in the draft to secure Embiid.
- One NBA general manager told Sean Deveney of Sporting News that while Embiid is still a top 10 pick, his injury risks outweigh the possible benefits of selecting him in the top five. “I think there is a point at which you use a pick on him, where you’re hoping maybe these are just fluke things that are not going to be recurring…But that point is not in the Top 5 or so. You can’t use a Top 5 pick. I think there are too many other good options there to think about using the pick on one who has these injury problems.”
Bill Cartwright is waiting to hear from either Phil Jackson or Steve Kerr about an assistant coaching position, writes Mitch Abramson of The New York Daily News. According to the article, Cartwright had met with Jackson back in April about joining the Knicks bench if Kerr was hired as coach. On his lack of recent contact with Jackson, Cartwright said, “We’re waiting for them to make a decision, obviously about the head coach and there’s nothing going on.” On possibly working as an assistant under Derek Fisher, Cartwright said, “That’s a Phil question, not my question. I’m looking to coach. There’s really nothing more to say, outside of that. I’m looking to coach.”
More from the Atlantic Division:
- Luke Walton also hasn’t heard from Jackson since Kerr spurned the Knicks for the Warriors, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Jackson was possibly interested in bringing in Walton to help coach the triangle offense, and according to Begley, Jackson said that Walton would make a great head coach someday.
- With an abundance of picks in this year’s draft, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie needs to take a bold approach to jump start the team’s rebuilding process, writes Tom Moore of Calkins Media.
- The Knicks worked out Johnny O’Bryant, Semaj Christon, DeAndre Kane and Akil Mitchell, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
The Sixers need to land at least one star player with their multitude of draft picks, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Coach Brett Brown also agreed with the article’s assessment, saying, “I think it’s important. I think it’s really important. Stars want to play with stars. And it’s too early to say anything about Michael [Carter-Williams] or what you can project Nerlens [Noel] out to be. Just because somebody’s chosen high in the draft doesn’t mean they’re going to be a star either.”
More from the east:
- Sixers GM Sam Hinkie attended a prospect workout in Long Island, New York today for Noah Vonleh and Tyler Ennis, tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media.
- Evan Turner has an uncertain future, writes Michael Kaskey-Blomain of Philly.com. Turner is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and him being a “non-factor” in the playoffs for the Pacers won’t help his contract situation, opines Kaskey-Blomain.
- Tim Bontemps of the New York Post looks back at the season Andrei Kirilenko had with the Nets. In 45 games, Kirilenko averaged 5.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 19.0 minutes per night.
Thaddeus Young is confident that the Sixers would meet any demands he makes on the organization, as he told reporters, including Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News. Young indicated that he might use the possibility of declining or exercising his player option for 2015/16 as leverage, and he also raised the possibility that he’ll ask for a trade, as we noted last night.
More from the east:
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
It’s been eight weeks since the Sixers last walked off the court victorious, and while this stretch has been brutal for the city and the fans, the team still eyes a much brighter future, writes Tom Sunnergren of ESPN.com. When looking through their crystal ball to the 2014/15 season, the team envisions their future roster stockpiled with the raw talent and star power to rival any organization in the league. With Michael Carter-Williams running the show, Nerlens Noel as an elite rim protector, and their 2014 lottery pick playing heavy minutes, the team hopes this season’s record-breaking futility will quickly become a distant memory, writes Sunnergren.
More from the Atlantic Division:
- Despite all the losing, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie‘s belief in his plan to rebuild the team remains as strong as it was during his introductory news conference last year when he laid out his intentions, writes Mike Sielski of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
- The Sixers can look to the Rockets for hope that a brighter future is possible, writes Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Daily News. When Hinkie was an assistant to Rockets GM Daryl Morey, the team traded for James Harden and then signed Dwight Howard as a free agent, and this helped turn a team that had missed the playoffs three straight seasons into a contender, writes Cooney. They were also able to surround their two stars with talented role-players, and it’s this template the Sixers hope to follow beginning this offseason.
- Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com examines the Celtics‘ use of the mid-level exception this season, and how the team might utilize it this summer when building its roster for next season.
Last summer, Dwight Howard decided to leave $30MM in extra earnings on the table in order to find a situation that gave him the best chance to win – a situation that Carmelo Anthony faces in July if he decides to opt out of his contract. Based on the Rockets’ success this year, Sam Amick of USA Today says that there’s no better blueprint for Anthony to follow than Howard’s. Dwight, who says he spoken with Carmelo about that dynamic, offered some advice:
“I know he has just got to do what’s best for him…I’ve been through it. I’ve seen it. The same people that love you one day, if you don’t do what they want you to do, then they’re going to hate you. You’ve got to always remember that you’ve got to do what’s best for you at the end of the day. If people don’t like you, you can’t stop that.”
Here’s more of what we’ve gathered from the Atlantic Division tonight:
- Following a recent loss to the Hawks, Anthony told reporters: “It’s definitely testing me…The frustration has definitely sunk in, just from the simple fact we’re losing games the same way over and over and we’re just not learning from that.” After last night’s crushing loss to the Mavs, he told Clifton Brown of the New York TImes, “You score 40, 44, 44, 44, all losses — you kind of ask yourself is it worth it.”
- 76ers head coach Brett Brown says he isn’t annoyed that Danny Granger would rather play for a contending team instead of Philadelphia, writes Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. Brown also discussed the team’s rebuilding situation: “This is a very different rebuild than the others…It is completely at the bare bones. It just puts a pretty definitive timeline and set of reality checks on all of us that we have a lot of work to do.”
- Brown added that he has plenty of faith in the front office: “I trust Sam Hinkie’s judgment on the process that just happened and the process that’s coming up…I can’t wait to be a part of it, with all of our draft picks. Draft night is one of my favorite nights.”
- Jimmer Fredette‘s family would be ecstatic if he could somehow find his way to the Knicks once he’s bought out by the Kings, writes Christian Red of the New York Daily News.