Chris Paul exited early from the Clippers’ Wednesday night game against New York, but Broderick Turner of the LA Times reports that Paul plans on playing and starting in Friday night’s divisional match up versus the Kings. Sacramento currently resides in the cellar of the Pacific Division, but the Kings are hoping that recently acquired Derrick Williams will help turn their fortunes around. Let’s take a look at a couple tidbits from the Pacific..
The West has been the stronger of the two conferences so far in the early going of the 2013/14 NBA season. There are nine teams above the .500 mark in the West compared to only three squads with winning records in the East. A conference chock full of winning teams is a recipe for intense and entertaining competition. Here are some notes regarding the West:
- Despite the injury to point guard Toney Douglas, Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group hears from team sources that the Warriors are not expected to make a move to bolster their backcourt. Thompson reports that Kent Bazemore and Nemanja Nedovic will be given a chance to come off the bench and run the team’s offense in Douglas’ absence.
- There’s still no timetable for Kobe Bryant‘s return, tweets Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report. The Lakers are paying Bryant over $30MM this season, a total almost $8MM greater than the next highest player on the list.
- The Knicks‘ decision to let Jeremy Lin walk away from the team after the 2011/12 season was a surprise to many, including Rockets GM Daryl Morey: “We didn’t really understand it, and we thought for sure that Lin was going to stay. I thought if any team knew what it had, it was going to be New York.” Harvey Araton of the New York Times breaks down New York’s choice not to match the Rockets’ offer sheet.
- Kenneth Faried declined to comment on the rumors implicating him as a possible early season trade candidate: “No comment on all of that. I just play basketball and do my job, and that’s it.” Faried had been linked to a potential trade with the Knicks‘ Iman Shumpert, but the Nuggets wanted more in return than New York had to offer. Read Christopher Dempsey’s full article about Faried at the Denver Post.
- Earlier tonight, Utah Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy revealed (via Twitter) that Diante Garrett was shopping at WalMart when he received the call offering him a spot on the Jazz. Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune provides further insight on Utah’s acquisition of the young guard and what it means for the team.
JULY 18TH, 2:53pm: The Warriors have officially signed Douglas, the team announced today in a press release.
JULY 9TH, 2:05pm: Douglas' deal with Golden State will be for one year and $1.6MM, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (via Twitter). Barring a sign-and-trade, that means Douglas will receive either a portion of the team's mid-level or bi-annual exception.
12:40pm: The Warriors and Toney Douglas have reached an agreement on a contract, according to Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com (via Twitter). Terms of the deal aren't yet known, but I'd be surprised if a significant financial commitment was made to the David Falk client.
Douglas, 27, has played for three NBA teams over the course of his four-year career. After starting with the Knicks, he was sent to Houston in last summer's sign-and-trade deal involving Marcus Camby, then was sent to Sacramento in the six-player swap that saw the Rockets land Thomas Robinson.
Although he averaged 9.8 PPG and recorded a 15.1 PER in his first two seasons in the league, Douglas has fallen off slightly over the last couple years, with those averages slipping to 7.1 and 11.3 respectively. Douglas won't assume the sort of role Jarrett Jack had with the Warriors, but he'll provide an extra body in the backcourt, and should see some playing time at the point.
Metta World Peace was officially amnestied by the Lakers on Thursday, and remains on amnesty waivers, rather than regular waivers–instead of claiming his entire salary, teams can now place partial bids for his services, with the highest bid winning out. Here's the full explanation of the amnesty provision, and this year's amnesty primer.
Doug Davis, one of a pair of agents for the former Ron Artest, suggested that his client's assertion that he may leave the NBA should be taken with a grain of salt, notes Marc Berman of the New York Post. World Peace doesn't want to uproot his family, so the Clippers appear to be his first choice among NBA teams, but Knicks coach Mike Woodson said the team is "on alert" in case World Peace clears amnesty waivers.
"There’s a number of definitely positive things about New York," Davis said. "Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to assess them [Sunday] after he clears waivers. It’s a very tense time, this 48-hour period. We want him to be in control of his own destiny."
Here's what else is happening around the Pacific Division on this Saturday in the midst of amnesty week:
- The Clippers continue to eye free agent big men Lamar Odom and Antawn Jamison, but sources tell Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports that the team is taking it slow as it determines the best fit (Twitter link).
- Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times examines whether the Lakers should attempt to avoid paying the luxury tax this season.
- The Kings have renounced their rights to Toney Douglas, who already has an agreement in place with the Warriors, according to the RealGM transactions log. The Kings also renounced their rights to Cole Aldrich.
- And the Kings officially announced in a press release that rookie Ben McLemore had been signed: "The Sacramento Kings today signed first-round draft pick Ben McLemore to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Sacramento selected McLemore with the seventh-overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed."
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
3:44pm: Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group passes along a couple more notes on the Warriors' cap situation, via Twitter.
2:07pm: Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News has conducted a lengthy Q&A with Warriors owner Joe Lacob about the team's approach to the offseason, and its recent moves. Lacob explains how Golden State identified Dwight Howard and Andre Iguodala as its top targets and went about acquiring Iguodala. The entire piece is worth a read, particularly for Warriors fans, but here are a few of the most notable tidbits:
- According to Lacob, the Warriors decided that now was the time to make a big move and add a major piece to the core, rather than letting contracts like Richard Jefferson's and Andris Biedrins' expire and trying to make a splash next summer.
- Lacob adds that the team was "never going to part with [its] core." While he doesn't name specific players, I'm guessing he's referring to Steph Curry, Harrison Barnes, and Klay Thompson.
- The Warriors "were always going to keep" David Lee as well, says Lacob, adding that the club never offered Lee to another team in trade talks.
- Lacob, addressing the fact that Andrew Bogut's and Lee's names surfaced in trade rumors: "These are NBA players; they know trades happen. It’s part of their lives, part of their business…. We didn’t want to trade any of them or give them up in any way. We wanted to do whatever could to add to them."
- The two first-round picks the Warriors sent to the Jazz are unprotected, Lacob confirms.
- Asked if more moves are coming, Lacob says he thinks the Warriors are "done for now."
- If the club does want to add another player, there should be trade exceptions available from the three-way trade with the Jazz and Nuggets. Lacob's words: "I know we have at least an 11 I believe and a 4. There might be a 9 in there too." By my math, the Warriors created TPEs worth $11,046,000 and $4,000,000, but won't have one for $9,000,000.
- Golden State is prepared to go into luxury-tax territory going forward, says Lacob.
- Lacob on possible trade options down the road: "We have a lot of assets at this point, a lot of really good players that people want. Bob Myers gets called every day—we had some amazing offers, people calling, not us calling them, on some really good players."
- Lacob envisions Mark Jackson as the Warriors' long-term coach, but says there's no specific timetable for extension talks.
We learned earlier today that the Clippers have interest in signing free agent Antawn Jamison, but the veteran might not fit into their plans so easily. The club is also targeting Lamar Odom and since they're unlikely to get both, it's a one-or-the-other scenario for the Clippers, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Here's more from around the Association..
- The agent for Greg Stiemsma told Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) that there's still a chance that his client could return to the Wolves after being waived earlier today. The conversation Zgoda had made it seem as though the move was procedural and that there is still mutual interest in a new deal.
- Meanwhile, the Wolves continue to talk with Minnesota's own Alan Anderson, agent Mark Bartelstein told Zgoda (on Twitter).
- A source tells Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter) that Toney Douglas is being looked at by a couple of teams to fill a backup role. The Knicks could be in play for him as he offers defense, three point shooting, and a decent transition game.
- More from Zwerling (on Twitter) who says that Sebastian Telfair might not be in play for the Knicks after all due to financial reasons.
A complete recap of trades that were completed before Thursday's trade deadline:
- The Houston Rockets traded Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns and Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, and Toney Douglas to the Sacramento Kings for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt, and a future second-round pick.
- The Miami Heat traded Dexter Pittman and a future second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for the rights to Ricky Sanchez and cash considerations.
- The Washington Wizards traded Jordan Crawford to the Boston Celtics for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Eric Maynor to the Portland Trail Blazers for a trade exception and the rights to Georgios Printezis. The Blazers waived Ronnie Price to clear a roster spot for Maynor.
- The Thunder also acquired Ronnie Brewer from the New York Knicks for a future second-round pick.
- The Atlanta Hawks traded Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for Dahntay Jones.
- The Suns traded Sebastian Telfair to the Toronto Raptors for Hamed Haddadi and a future second-round pick.
- The Orlando Magic traded J.J. Redick, Gustavo Ayon, and Ishmael Smith to the Milwaukee Bucks for Beno Udrih, Tobias Harris, and Doron Lamb.
- In a separate deal, the Magic traded Josh McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for Hakim Warrick.
- The Golden State Warriors traded Jeremy Tyler to the Hawks for a second-round pick. They also traded Charles Jenkins to the Philadelphia 76ers for an additional second-round pick.
We've already heard news on Rudy Gay and Royce White this morning, and that's not the only news coming out of the Southwest Division. The latest is right here:
- Gay isn't the only high-dollar asset the Grizzlies may be looking to unload, as the team has also reportedly been gauging Zach Randolph's value. HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy hears that one possible destination for Randolph is Houston, as the Rockets would love to bring him on board (Twitter link).
- Guard Toney Douglas, who's dropped out of the Rockets rotation in favor of recent signee Patrick Beverley, plans to ask coach Kevin McHale why his minutes have disappeared once the team returns from its road trip, notes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. "They didn’t tell me anything," Douglas said. "I don’t know what’s the reason. I will (ask). We’ve been traveling. I’ll give it time to develop, see how it is. I just want to know the reasoning, that’s all, and I’ll feel better."
- After McHale benched three starters, including Jeremy Lin, to begin the second half last night, SB Nation's Tom Ziller delves into what's gone wrong with the Rockets point guard amid a seven-game losing streak.
- The future is bright in New Orleans, where the Hornets have begun to play better with the return of Eric Gordon, as fellow SB Nation scribe Paul Flannery chronicles.
With this season's deadline still three months away, the trade market likely won't be too active for at least a few more weeks. However, as Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld writes, things could start to pick up on December 15th, when most players who signed over the summer are eligible to be dealt. Kyler looks at a few specific trade candidates in his latest piece, so let's round up the highlights….
- Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, and Al Jefferson are a few players in the final year of their contracts whose respective teams aren't planning to deal. However, the Hawks and Jazz could reconsider their stances as the deadline approaches, if there's an increasing concern that those players will leave in free agency.
- While there's no urgency in Toronto to move Jose Calderon, the Raptors are expected to explore deals. Kyler suggests that small forwards like Omri Casspi and Wilson Chandler are worth keeping an eye on as potential Raptors targets, adding that Chandler isn't in the Nuggets' long-term plan.
- The Rockets likely aren't done dealing, with players like Daequan Cook, Toney Douglas, and Marcus Morris among the team's possible trade candidates.
- DeJuan Blair continues to be available, but the Spurs are still seeking a first-round pick, and it's unclear if any team would pay that price for a player that could sign elsewhere at season's end.
- Anderson Varejao isn't likely to be moved, but if the Cavaliers were to consider a deal, it would have to include Luke Walton and his $6.09MM salary.
- Similarly, if the Kings explored a Tyreke Evans trade, Sacramento would want to include either John Salmons or Francisco Garcia.
- The Timberwolves would be open to moving Derrick Williams if they could land a good veteran player for him.
- Kyler also names Hedo Turkoglu, Tayshaun Prince, Tyrus Thomas, and Wesley Johnson as trade candidates, though all those players could be tough to move due to their salaries.
WEDNESDAY, 1:44pm: The Knicks and Rockets have officially completed the sign-and-trade that will send Camby to New York, the Knicks announced in a press release.
MONDAY, 6:47pm: The Knicks will acquire Marcus Camby from the Rockets via sign-and-trade in a deal sending Toney Douglas, Josh Harrellson, Jerome Jordan, and draft picks, sources told Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Camby's deal will be a three-year pact worth $13.2MM with the final year partially guaranteed, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter links). The big man will make $10MM in the first two seasons and $3.2MM in the final year, if he stays on.
The Rockets will get the Knicks' second round picks in 2014 and 2015, Wojnarowski tweets. Meanwhile, the Knicks will pay Douglas' salary of $2.1MM in Houston.
Camby met with Knicks brass on Sunday and the two parties hit it off. The 38-year-old proved last season that he still has plenty left in the tank as he averaged 9.0 rebounds per contest for the Blazers and Rockets. Camby had said earlier in the offseason that he would like to return to Houston but changed his tone as he believed the club's moves were made with an eye on rebuilding rather than contending next season. The Heat and Nets were also in on the big man.
Douglas, 26, began the 2011/12 season as a member of the Knicks' starting lineup but saw his minutes erode over time. The guard was also hampered by shoulder issues throughout the year and finished the campaign with 6.2 PPG and 2.0 APG in 38 games.
Meanwhile, Harrellson and Jordan have non-guaranteed contracts and can be waived at no cost to Houston. If they choose to hang on to either center, they will cost just $762K, the minimum for players with one year of NBA experience.