San Antonio Spurs Rumors
May 16 at 3:55pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier this week, Dirk Nowitzki addressed the Mavericks' desire to bring some major talent on board this summer in free agency, going into a little detail about the pitch he expects potential targets to receive. Nowitzki spoke about the same topic today, reiterating that it's "pretty obvious" he'll be in line for a pay cut in the summer of 2014, which will allow the team to flexible in handing out bigger-money contracts to other players. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News has the details and the quotes from Nowitzki.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Western Conference:
- Although he's the likeliest amnesty candidate on the Thunder's roster, Kendrick Perkins told reporters, including Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (Twitter link), that he's "pretty sure" he'll still be on the team next season.
- Derek Fisher also told the media, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link), that he'd like to return to the Thunder, adding that he isn't considering retirement yet.
- If the Lakers explore the free agent market this summer, they'll likely be shopping for bargains. Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com identifies a few potential targets for the club.
- With the Spurs and Pacers each one win away from their respective Conference Finals, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News recalls the Kawhi Leonard/George Hill swap consummated by the two teams, calling it "the definition of a win/win trade."
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).
May 14 at 8:49am CST By Luke Adams
Greece's Olympiacos has won its second straight Euroleague title, and at least one of the club's players seems to be drawing trade interest from NBA teams. Rigas Dardalis of EuroHoops.net writes that Kostas Papanikolaou, who received the Euroleague's Rising Star award, has received interest from the Spurs, Mavericks, and Knicks, among other teams.
Papanikolaou was selected by the Knicks 48th overall in the second round of the 2012 draft, but was sent to the Trail Blazers in the deal that brought Raymond Felton to New York. Although Portland currently holds Papanikolaou's rights, the small forward doesn't seem to be in the team's immediate plans, given the presence of Nicolas Batum and Victor Claver on the roster, according to Dardalis.
The Blazers are expected to be involved in free agency this summer as the team looks to upgrade its bench, but with plenty of cap space and four draft picks, Portland should also have plenty of worthwhile assets at its disposal in addition to Papanikolaou's rights, if the club decides to explore the trade market.
May 9 at 10:54pm CST By Ryan Raroque
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski looks back to June 2011, when Warriors' GM Bob Myers had worries about not being able to select Klay Thompson knowing that either the Spurs could possibly trade up in the draft to get him or that the Bucks were planning to select him with the 10th overall pick. As it would turn out, San Antonio would wind up trading for the 15th pick (Kawhi Leonard) and the Kings landed the 10th pick to select Jimmer Fredette, leaving the sharpshooting Washington State forward right into the hands of Golden State. Here are a few more miscellaneous notes to share along this evening:
- AJ Mitnick of Sheridan Hoops fills us in on the "best of the bunch" in terms of international prospects in this year's draft.
- The 76ers aren't expected to hold most of their interviews for their head coaching search until after the Chicago Pre-Draft Camp, writes Tom Moore of phillyBurbs.com, although there is a possibility that the team could conduct some during camp.
- According to this report by the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons are widely known to be seeking perimeter help heading into the draft but could look to add more to their frontcourt.
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Lakers have granted the Cavaliers permission to interview Phil Handy about joining Mike Brown's coaching staff in Cleveland.
- When asked about the trade that sent Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson told reporters that letting Ellis go helped change the culture of the team, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link).
- ESPN's Chris Broussard tweets that Lionel Hollins will be highly coveted if the Grizzlies opt to not re-sign him this summer, adding that the Nets would figure to be among the interested teams.
- Heat owner Mickey Arison engaged in some civil discourse with a fan on Twitter regarding the possibility that Seattle loses out on their bid for the Kings (credit goes to SportsRadioKJR.com). Arison made it clear that he believes that the city of Sacramento has done enough to warrant keeping the team, and refuted the notion that Seattle had put forth the same effort in 2008 before the Sonics franchise ultimately moved to Oklahoma City.
- John Denton of NBA.com writes that Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu understands the current youth movement of the franchise and that his time in Orlando could be over within the next coming months.
- Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter) reports that Lakers big man Pau Gasol will be held out of basketball activities for the next three months after undergoing an operation on his knee today.
May 6 at 5:46pm CST By Zach Links
Here's the latest news on coaching and GM vacancies courtesy of CBSSports.com's Ken Berger..
- It's too early to identify a front-runner in the Sixers search, but things sound promising for Warriors assistant Mike Malone. Philly execs have contacted the Warriors multiple times about Malone, including several conversations with consultant Jerry West. In fact, the Sixers are consulting players who've played under both Malone and Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer to get a feel for how the two candidates differ, according to one source.
- To the surprise of some rival executives, the Sixers' coaching search is being led by GM Tony DiLeo, whose contract expires this summer. With team president Rod Thorn moving into a smaller role and DiLeo's contract expiring, rival execs expect the Sixers seek out a new decision maker as well. In fact, that process has already begun through back-channel conversations, one person contacted on the Sixers' behalf told Berger.
- Nets star Deron Williams has been vocal in his support of Jerry Sloan for the job but also has a strong relationship with Jeff Hornacek. In addition to the Sixers, the former Jazz sharpshooter has attracted interest from the Bobcats, Suns, and Bucks, sources told Berger.
- The Suns are in the advanced stages of their GM search and the latest word is that Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough's is gaining momentum. Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman has been viewed as the favorite in some circles, however, and the Suns also have interviewed Spurs exec (and former Knicks GM) Scott Layden.
- The Clippers are expected to can Vinny Del Negro and Hawks are expected to let Larry Drew go, league sources said. The Clippers are said to be "exploring all options," while the Hawks' decision on Drew's future is expected "sooner than later," sources said. It is widely believed that GM Danny Ferry prefers to install his own head coach in Atlanta.
May 1 at 8:31pm CST By Chuck Myron
8:31pm: Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports adds Celtics assistant GM Ryan McDonough to the list of finalists. McDonough interviewed Tuesday with Babby and owner Robert Sarver, and Weltman will interview Thursday. The Suns want to make a hire quickly so they can decide on a coach and prepare for the draft. Babby made a push to hire Weltman in 2010, when Sarver favored Lance Blanks instead.
5:03pm: Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden and Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman are rumored as the finalists for the vacant GM position in Phoenix, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter link). Milwaukee gave Weltman approval over the weekend to interview for the Suns job, while this is the first we've heard of Layden in connection with the opening. Chris Broussard of ESPN.com reported Weltman was the frontrunner for the gig last week.
Layden has only been on the job in San Antonio for eight months. He previously held GM jobs with the Knicks and Jazz. Weltman hasn't run a team's front office before, but he's been with Bucks GM John Hammond ever since Hammond came aboard in 2008, and prior to that, Weltman and Hammond worked together with the Pistons.
Whoever gets the Suns job will decide who will coach the team next season. Interim Lindsey Hunter is still Phoenix's head coach, but he appears on shaky footing, and is interviewing with the Pistons for their head coaching vacancy. Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby is promising a "summer of analytics" for the team, so presumably the next GM will be a devotee of advanced metrics.
April 29 at 6:20pm CST By Zach Links
Here's a look at the latest out of the Lone Star State..
- Darren Collison was once believed to be the point guard of the future for the Mavericks, but he experienced an up-and-down season and he may have played his last game for Dallas, writes Earl K. Sneed of NBA.com. The guard was acquired from Indiana last offseason in a sign-and-trade deal for big man Ian Mahinmi.
- Latvian prospect Davis Bertans will fly to San Antonio when the season ends to work out with the Spurs, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The 6'10" big man was drafted in the second round of the 2011 draft by the Pacers and was immediately dealt to the Spurs. Bertans currently plays for Serbia's KK Partizan.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com checked in on O.J. Mayo's stock as he heads towards the open market this summer. For his part, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle hopes to have the shooting guard back next season.
April 29 at 11:34am CST By Luke Adams
History was made this morning, as Jason Collins publicly came out as the first active male athlete to announce that he's gay. Collins, who hopes to continue his playing career, will be a free agent this summer, looking for a contract from a team in need of frontcourt help. In his latest piece for HoopsWorld, Steve Kyler looked at a few other big men facing free agency, exploring what their respective futures might hold. Let's check out the highlights....
- Andray Blatche is still being paid by the Wizards through next season, so he won't necessarily be seeking the highest salary offered this summer. However, if he can secure a multiyear deal, he may lean toward that opportunity, says Kyler.
- Although he's eligible for restricted free agency, Austin Daye is unlikely to receive a qualifying offer from the Grizzlies. Kyler doesn't expect the ex-Piston to be back in Memphis next season.
- Carl Landry remains likely to opt out of his last year with the Warriors in search of a longer-term contract.
- The Pacers won't hold full Bird rights on David West, but West's Early Bird rights will be more than enough to make him a competitive offer. Kyler thinks West and the Pacers are likely to work out a deal fairly quickly that will keep the power forward in Indiana.
- Kyler notes that trading Danny Granger would help give the Pacers the flexibility to bring back both West and Tyler Hansbrough, who is eligible for restricted free agency. Kyler expects the Pacers to issue a qualifying offer to Hansbrough and match any reasonable offer.
- Antawn Jamison is unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers, and if Earl Clark returns, it will have to be for not much more than the $1.24MM he made this year, says Kyler.
- Boris Diaw, who has a player option, and Matt Bonner, whose deal is only partially guaranteed, both figure to be back with the Spurs next season. However, Kyler says DeJuan Blair is "done in San Antonio," which echoes what we heard yesterday.
April 28 at 12:54pm CST By Chuck Myron
DeJuan Blair will be thrust into the playoff spotlight for the Spurs with Tiago Splitter out indefinitely because of a sprained ankle, and Blair sees the opportunity as an audition for other clubs, observes Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News. The 24-year-old, who'll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, thinks "the better situation" for him will be to sign with another team that can expand his role.
The stance is one that Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors predicted Blair would take when he examined the power forward's free agent stock last summer. Blair saw declines in just about every category this season, as his minutes and games started both hit career lows. When he did see the floor this year, he was less efficient than in the past, notching a 14.6 PER compared to the 17.5 PER he posted over his first three seasons. Blair appeared a likely trade candidate before the deadline this season, but according to Harvey, the Spurs were in no rush to trade him, in part because of his paltry $1.054MM salary. The team also believes he's shown increased maturity off the court, Harvey writes.
Unlike many other fourth-year players, the Spurs won't have the right to match offers for Blair in free agency this summer because he was originally a second-round draft choice. Second-rounders become eligible for unrestricted free agency after only three years in the league. I'm not sure the Spurs, despite their affection for Blair, would be likely to try to bring him back either way, but unrestricted free agency will allow him to make a clean break if he so chooses. He could have plenty of suitors, since the Hawks, Raptors, Pistons, Celtics, Heat, Blazers and Warriors were all linked to Blair before the deadline this year.
Blair thinks the Spurs would have traded him if they could have found the right deal, but the consensus among other teams at the deadline was that the Spurs' asking price was too high.
April 26 at 4:57pm CST By Luke Adams
We rounded up a few Western Conference notes earlier today, so let's head east and check in on the other conference....
- Although Samuel Dalembert has expressed some interest in signing with the Heat this summer, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel doesn't see Dalembert as more than a "fallback option" for Miami. Winderman isn't sure whether Dalembert would fit the Heat's culture, and thinks any interest from Miami would come later in free agency, if at all.
- The Pistons are expected to scout Greek prospect Giannis Adetokunbo for the first time this weekend, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. Hopefully they'll have better luck than scouts for the Spurs, Heat, Hawks, and Grizzlies -- Sportando contributor David Pick reports they failed to secure game passes to watch Adetokunbo today and were refused credentials. Representatives from the Cavs and Jazz did get in, however (Twitter links).
- New Cavs head coach Mike Brown has a long list of potential assistant candidates, and will begin getting in touch with them next week, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
- John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer examines the merits of hiring Brian Shaw for the Sixers, noting that as of earlier this week, the team had yet to set up any interviews with potential coaching candidates.