In his latest piece, Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times lays out a few reasons why Carl Landry is a near-lock to turn down his $4MM player option in search of a bigger payday. But Landry tells Thompson that he hasn't made a decision yet, pointing out that he took a lesser deal to initially sign with the Warriors and adding that his decision won't simply be about money -- he'll also consider his potential coach, teammates, and the odds of playing in the postseason.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Association:
A few notes about last night's lottery and next month's draft.
A day after an Eastern Conference team (the Cavs) won the 2013 draft lottery, the Eastern Finals will finally get underway tonight in Miami, as the Pacers look to upset the defending-champion Heat. While we look forward to that game, let's check in on a few updates from around the East....
Here are some notes from the only division in the East with no team left standing:
With less than two hours until the start of the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery, let's round up any and all pre-Lottery notes in one post here. Be sure to check back with us around 8:00pm CST for an updated list of this year's first 14 picks.
Earlier today, the Raptors officially announced that Bryan Colangelo would transition to a new role within Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment while the club would seek out a new hire to fill the General Manager position. In a conference call earlier today, I asked Colangelo if he was reluctant to take a new job with the Raptors that has less to do with basketball operations and more to do with the business side of things.
"Yes and no. Obviously, there’s disappointment in the process but through the discussion with Tim [Leiweke] it became clear that the role would be more than just focusing on the business and if I’m asked to help and guide [the new hire], I’ll do that. At the same time, I’m very comfortable knowing that I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the makeup of this team," Colangelo said. "But I’ll enjoy watching these young men develop into the NBA players that I know they’re capable of. There’s some great young pieces to be excited about and we’re moving in the right direction. I’m comfortable with the decision that’s been made, though it may have taken some time to get comfortable with."
The longtime executive shot down the notion that he might be "ticked off" by the club's management restructuring, but he was candid in saying that he was disappointed by the decision. While he won't have final say over the moves that are made, he says that he is thrilled to help put the finishing touches on a team that he believes is on its way to being competitive. During the course of the call, Colangelo also disclosed that he has an out clause that will allow him to pursue another NBA GM job if the opportunity presents itself.
Korn/Ferry International was hired by MLSE to help find the Raptors' next GM, though Leiweke told reporters earlier today that he will make the final determination. I asked Colangelo for his thoughts on the club's decision to consult with an outside party to find his successor.
"I have no problem with it…I’ll certainly be helpful in the process, in vetting some of the candidates, talking about some of the people that are involved. I went through an internal search just a few years ago when I brought Ed Stefanski in, so I have a lot of knowledge and I have a lot of background work that has been done on a lot of the potential candidates. If they need me, I’ll give my input there," said Colangelo.
His level of input in the hiring of his successor remains to be seen, as well as the level of influence he'll have once that person is in charge. Colangelo isn't sure how much pull he'll have and says that it will depend largely on who is brought aboard. That person will also have to figure out what to do with Andrea Bargnani. The big man, at times, has flashed the ability that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 Draft, but has been unable to do so consistently. Colangelo obviously wishes things worked out differently with the Italian import, but isn't sure what he would have done differently.
"I’m not sure I would [have handled it differently]. Maybe I would have traded him before he got hurt, so the trade value didn't go down or if there was an opportunity before the trade deadline. But I can’t control the injury aspect of things," said the former GM. "There’s value in Andrea and I think a change of scenery is probably best for all sides…But again, the new guy is going to have to decide how to handle that."
With years of front office experience and a clause in his contract that can spring him from Toronto, it's not clear how long Colangelo will want to remain in a supporting role with the Raptors. However, he made it known today that he will respect the parameters of his new job for as long as he has it. Or, as he put it, "If I get in the way, I'm not going to be around."
The NBA's draft lottery is set to take place tonight, with the league's 14 non-playoff teams vying for a chance at the first overall pick and the opportunity to select a player from a crop of prospects that includes Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, and others.
The odds at landing the first overall pick are cited frequently, from the Magic's 25% all the way down to the Jazz's 0.5%. But what chance does each team have to land a top-three pick? Listed in the chart below are the odds each lottery team has at the first, second, and third overall picks, as well as each team's overall odds at landing in the top three.
ESPN.com's Marc Stein passes along a few notable tidbits in his latest piece for TrueHoop, including word of a potential Clippers target, a Phil Jackson update, and some items on the coaching front. Let's dive in and check out the highlights....
TUESDAY, 9:52am: Colangelo will remain with the Raptors as the team's president, the club announced today in a press release. Colangelo will remain somewhat involved in basketball operations and will report directly to MLSE president/CEO Tim Leiweke, but the team is seeking a general manager that will have final authority on basketball decisions. The Raptors expect to hire a new GM within the next 30 days.
"After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization," Leiweke said in the release. "By splitting the roles and having both men report directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in the future. The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due diligence around the League indicates that we have a fine, young core and a few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season."
Leiweke will also officially take over as MLSE president/CEO on June 3rd, rather than July 1st, according to the release.
MONDAY, 10:45am: Raptors ownership is preparing to make a major financial offer to Ujiri, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
10:04am: Bryan Colangelo will remain with the Raptors' parent organization in a "corporate" non-basketball role as the search continues for a new head of the Raptors organization, sources tell Doug Smith of the Toronto Star (via Twitter). MLSE has been negotiating with Colangelo this weekend to stay on in a signficant capacity while also talking with Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri about assuming full control of the team's basketball operations (Twitter links).
Toronto held an option on Colangelo's contract for the 2013/14 season and today was their deadline to make a determination. The decision to move Colangelo out of the President/GM role could be a sign that they are on the brink of reaching an agreement with Ujiri.
The Raptors hired an outside firm to help them identify the best candidate for the GM role and that process led them to identify Ujiri as their top candidate. While it would appear that Toronto respects Colangelo's experience and business acumen, they are less-than-thrilled with the club's on-court performance in recent years.
Colangelo was expected to deliver a winner by year seven of his tenure but things haven't improved as expected since the Raptors won the Atlantic Division in 2007. Since then, the club has undergone a number of face lifts with the most notable coming in the form of Chris Bosh's departure in the summer of 2010.
Colangelo's decision to take Andrea Bargnani with the No. 1 overall pick in the '06 draft also didn't pan out as hoped. Hindsight is 20/20, but the Raptors passed up the chance to take future All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, and Rajon Rondo to take the Italian forward. In fairness to the Raptors, however, the 2006 draft was littered with relative busts at the top of the board including Adam Morrison (No. 3), Tyrus Thomas (No. 4), and Shelden Williams (No. 5).
The Raptors have scheduled a pair of conference calls this morning, one with MLSE president/CEO Tim Leiweke and one with Bryan Colangelo, who appears to be taking on a new non-basketball role with the franchise. While we await word on Colangelo's official title, let's check in on a few other notes related to the Raptors' front office changes and related to one of Toronto's division rivals....