With Kevin Love
's uncertain health status for the rest of the season, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN
says that the Timberwolves
have made it a "pressing priority" to add another big man to their roster, and that there is a strong likelihood that Minnesota makes a move by the trade deadline. Also, Wolfson writes that the team has not been engaged by the Grizzlies in exploratory trade talks involving Rudy Gay
. Here's more of tonight's miscellaneous notes from around the NBA:
- Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com wonders if it may be time for the 76ers to make a drastic move the way Brooklyn did in order to right their ship. Although firing Doug Collins may not be the answer, dealing Thaddeus Young might be a painful-but-necessary move worth considering.
- Several months removed from telling the Hornets that he wanted to be in Phoenix, Eric Gordon is ready and willing to take on the leadership role expected from him in New Orleans (Steve Kyler of USA Today reports).
- Ronald Murray has signed with Azovmash Mariupol of the Ukraine, according to Basket-Planet.com (credit goes to HoopsHype for the translation). The 6'3 guard's resume includes an eight-year stint in the NBA from 2002 to 2010, last playing for the Bulls and subsequently the Bobcats during the 2009-10 season.
- Zach Lowe of Grantland explains why Scott Skiles was not the Bucks' main problem and looks into the bigger decisions ahead with regards to the futures of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings. Lowe mentions that if Ellis decides to opt-out this summer, Milwaukee could have max-level cap room to work with at that point.
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside examines Demetris Nichols and Sean Evans, two former standouts from New York colleges who have started to make some waves in the D-League. Schlosser thinks that both have shown some characteristics of being possible contributors in the NBA.
- Emilio Carchiano from Sportando.net notes that Gary Forbes has officially signed a deal with Atleticos de San German.
TNT's David Aldridge checks in as usual on a Monday with his Morning Tip column at NBA.com, and this week's edition is full of trade rumors as talk heats up around the league. Here's a digest of Aldridge's latest scuttlebutt, with a heavy focus on the Raptors.
- While Andrea Bargnani's elbow injury will keep him out for a month, delaying trade talk, one rival GM is convinced he'll eventually be leaving the Raptors, feeling as though there's no doubt GM Bryan Colangelo will trade him.
- The Raptors are leery of adding another international player, according to Aldridge, which would make them reluctant to trade for Pau Gasol.
- Aldridge speculates the Raptors won't deal Jose Calderon to the Lakers, and instead ship him somewhere for a draft pick to create a massive trade exception. Aldridge writes that such a trade exception would be $15.6MM, but I believe it would be closer to $10.6MM, reflecting Calderon's salary.
- A league executive speculates that the Cavs will hold on to Varejao through the summer of 2014, when LeBron James can become a free agent, so they can make a pitch to their erstwhile superstar. In any case, the Cavs have set Varejao's asking price too high for other teams' tastes, as they often do with their many of their players, according to Aldridge.
- Though the Thunder are reportedly content to stand pat for now, Aldridge believes they could try to move the Raptors pick they got from the Rockets in the James Harden trade, speculating that one of their targets could be Varejao.
- Aldridge spoke with a GM who joins the seeming consensus that the Jazz are more likely to deal Paul Millsap than Al Jefferson. The GM believes Jefferson is a better fit with Derrick Favors.
- The Bucks want an upgrade at small forward, and Aldridge thinks the team is more likely to move "one of its undersized four or oversized threes" than trade Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis.
- The Wizards are open to trading one of their big men for veteran help at the point, where they're woefully thin in John Wall's absence.
- The Pacers are willing to tinker, but aren't putting Paul George or George Hill on the table.
- No one aside from Jrue Holiday is off-limits as the Sixers seek a big man, though it would take a lot to pry Thaddeus Young or Evan Turner from their hands.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel believes that although Magic coach Jacque Vaughn would preferably bring young players along slowly to gradually build their confidence, he may have to expand the roles of rookies Moe Harkless and DeQuan Jones much earlier than he would like now that Hedo Turkoglu is out with an injury. Here is the rest of tonight's edition of Eastern Notes:
It has been a busy day and night for the Lakers on this early-September Friday, which is certainly nothing new considering the influx of material since they landed Dwight Howard. Today they signed their second round pick, finalized their offseason coaching staff overhaul and their GM, Mitch Kupchak, spoke with SI.com's Sam Amick about all things Lakers. In addition to the earlier stories, Brian Kamenetzky of ESPN Los Angeles gives his take on three of the small, but meaningful issues facing the team.
But there are 29 other teams in the NBA, so let us round up some of the odds and ends from around the Association here tonight:
- Chauncey Billups is way ahead of schedule in his recovery from a left Achilles injury, writes Helene Elliot of the L.A. Times. Billups hasn't set a target return date yet, but said, "When my body feels right, that's when I'll be back. That being said, I'm far ahead of schedule. It's not even like I had a summer. I've been on the whole time, doing
rehabbing and other work every day. I'm looking forward to getting back
to playing and being with the guys and resuming my normal life as a
- Tommy Beer of HoopsWorld, via USA Today, writes that with the moves that the Knicks made - getting older and wiser - the team should be better equipped to compete and that the window to win is now. One interested tidbit from Beer - there are only five active NBA players over the age of 38 and the Knicks acquired three of them this offseason in Marcus Camby, Jason Kidd and Kurt Thomas.
- Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News evaluates the chances of the Mavericks ending up with Kevin Martin and/or Josh Smith next summer, both of whom are free agents. After striking out this summer in free agency, the Mavericks should be in position to try again in a year with a similar level of financial flexibility.
- Dei Lynam of CSN Philly is doing a player by player breakdown of the revamped 76ers roster, and today she tackles swingman Thaddeus Young. The small forward position is much less crowded in Philadelphia after the departure of Andre Iguodala, and Young has made it an offseason goal to slide into that position as a starter.
- Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside says that while the D-League has been increasingly effective as an NBA farm system, there is additional room for growth. He uses Andre Drummond as an example of a guy who would never be a D-League candidate, but for his development's sake, should be.
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel addresses a few questions about the world champion Heat, including his thoughts on what roles of Rashard Lewis and Udonis Haslem may play on the Miami bench.
- The NBA coaching carousel continues as the Warriors have reportedly hired Bob Beyer as an assistant coach, who spent the last five years in Orlando on Stan Van Gundy's staff, says Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area. Beyer will replace Wes Unseld Jr., who joined Jacque Vaughn's staff in Orlando.