There’s genuine fear within the Bulls’ front office that owner Jerry Reinsdorf will refuse to use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer this summer, passes along Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. Chicago will have a hard time creating the cap room necessary to pursue marquee names if they don’t find a way to get Boozer off the books. Here’s more from Lawrence:
- Carmelo Anthony would be interested in teaming up with LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, says Lawrence, but the Lakers are unlikely to have the cap space to bring in both superstars.
- It sounds as if the Rockets‘ pursuit of ‘Melo is unlikely to result in a success. “The only reason Carmelo will go to Houston to listen (to the Rockets) is because of Kevin McHale,” a source told Lawrence. “If the coach wasn’t a top-50, all-time player or was a lesser-name coach, then ‘Melo wouldn’t even visit there. But he’ll listen because it’s Kevin McHale.“
- The Grizzlies are interested in bringing aboard former Knicks president Glen Grunwald to come in and serve under Chris Wallace for two years before taking over the reins as GM, Lawrence writes. That echoes an earlier report from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com but appears to add an expiration date for Wallace’s time in charge of the front office.
- One league source told Lawrence that he wasn’t sure if Bruno Caboclo was even worth a second-round selection. The Raptors selected Caboclo with the 20th pick in the draft, and Lawrence writes that it’s virtually impossible to find a GM who agrees with their decision.
- Utah’s decision to draft Dante Exum isn’t surprising since the the Jazz aren’t sold on Trey Burke as a franchise point guard, reveals Lawrence.
- Dirk Nowitzki won’t even consider signing with a team other than the Mavs this summer, Lawrence confirms.
If the Jazz stay at No. 5, Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune (on Twitter) hears that Aaron Gordon will likely be the pick. Earlier today it was reported that Marcus Smart was a consideration for Utah even though he hasn’t worked out for them. Here’s more from Utah:
- Some around the Jazz aren’t high on Smart but nonetheless believe he’s the best choice, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link).
- Trading down is also a possibility for the Jazz, Jones suggests (on Twitter). Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle, and Smart are all in consideration at No. 5 but they also like guys like Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas who could be had later, Jones says.
- Trey Burke would have no concerns if the team does indeed wind up selecting Smart, a fellow point guard, as Burke’s camp tells Genessy (Twitter link).
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams headlines the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team, which also features Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Mason Plumlee and Tim Hardaway Jr. The Second Team is composed of Kelly Olynyk, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Gorgui Dieng, Cody Zeller and Steven Adams. Carter-Williams was a unanimous first-team selection among the media members who voted for the award. Had Kevin Calabro of ESPN Radio not left Oladipo off his ballot entirely, the Magic guard would have been a unanimous first-teamer, too.
Still, the first team is made up of the only five players who received first-place votes for Rookie of the Year. Ben McLemore was the player with the most All-Rookie votes not to make either the first or the second team, and 29 players received at least one vote for one of the teams. That includes 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, who drew a single second-team vote.
Only three of the top 10 picks from the 2013 draft appear on either All-Rookie Team. Still, all 10 players selected to the team were first-round picks, with Hardaway, the 24th overall selection, the last to come off the board on draft night a year ago.
Once a catalyst in the movement that paved a way for players to go from high school straight to the NBA, former NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood ironically supports the idea of raising the league’s age-limit to 20-years-old, details Sam Amick of USA Today. Haywood is currently concerned about the potential effects of the one-and-done rule on college basketball and in the NBA:
“You have no locker room camaraderie…You have no veteran leadership. It’s just young guys making up their own rules as they go. They don’t have the examples to show them what this game is all about. So it’s going to hurt the league, and it’s definitely hurting college basketball.”
Here are more miscellaneous news and notes from around the Association tonight:
- Current Bulls assistant and former NBA player Adrian Griffin spoke with Sean Deveney of the Sporting News about his aspirations of eventually becoming an NBA head coach: “It’s definitely my goal…I have been learning a lot in this role, this is my sixth year. I learned under (Tom Thibodeau), I learned under Scott Skiles and overall, it is great to see how things work in an organization, especially an organization like the Bulls. That’s something I could bring to any team.”
- Griffin may ultimately need more experience as an assistant before landing a head-coaching job, but he could definitely be active on the interview circuit if there are head coaching vacancies this summer, writes Deveney.
- Nick Young‘s agent, Mark Bartelstein, tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News that it still remains presumptuous whether or not his client will opt out of his contract with the Lakers this summer.
- It’ll be surprising if recently-waived Erik Murphy goes unclaimed, as he appears to be drawing interest from around the league (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports via Twitter).
- The Rockets are not currently seeking a replacement on their coaching staff for former assistant Kelvin Sampson, tweets Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
- Sacramento city officials plan to unveil key details of an arena deal for the Kings in the next few weeks, leading up to a formal vote on the plan by City Council on May 13, reports Tony Bizjak and Dale Kasler of The Sacramento Bee.
- Jazz rookie Trey Burke tells Spencer Checketts of 1280 The Zone that he loves Utah and “plans on staying here for as long as they’ll let me” (Twitter link).
The Pelicans may be looking to switch things up before the trade deadline according to Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News. With things not going as planned for New Orleans this season it appears everyone but Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis are movable assets for the Pelicans. Sam Amico of FOX Sports points out (via Twitter) that list of movable assets would include Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans.
Other notes on the Pelicans and teams around the league.
- When the Pelicans waived Lou Amundson it was believed the reason was to bring up Pierre Jackson from their D-League affiliate. It appears the recent acquisition of point guard Tyshawn Taylor squelches those rumors and the rumors of Jackson being allowed to seek a trade are more likely. Jackson told Gino Pilato of D-League Digest “it’s a business, and things happen like that. I’m just going to continue to do whatever I can here in the D-League to help this team win games.”
- Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune asks fans to not look at Trey Burke as another “one that got away” because the Timberwolves would have never drafted him if they weren’t planning to trade him away. Minnesota had three point guards at the time (Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea, and Luke Ridnour) and were drafting him purely to acquire Shabazz Muhammad from Utah. It is the belief that Ricky Rubio is the team’s future at point guard and drafting Trey Burke would have conflicted with that belief.
- It appears the Clippers roster will remain intact for some time. Head coach and senior vice president of basketball operations Doc Rivers told Arash Markazi of ESPN the Clippers aren’t “looking to make changes” right now. This is a team that Rivers likes and he would be fine ending the season with them plus Chris Paul added back from injury.
- While the Clippers roster may be set, the Pistons are expected to be “really active” as the trade deadline approaches. Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News discussed (via Twitter) that he anticipates Detroit will make at least one trade prior to next month’s deadline.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton wonders if the Suns can continue to play well without Eric Bledsoe, mentioning that in the ten games Bledsoe has missed, Phoenix has gone 5-5 (Insiders only). Should the 24-year-old guard be unable to return this season, Pelton doesn’t think the Suns will have trouble finding a viable backup point guard, whether it be Leandro Barbosa (recently signed to a 10-day contract) or acquiring one with an expiring deal via trade.
Here are some more links to share out of the Western Conference tonight:
- In the midst of mounting frustration in Minnesota, Ken Berger of CBS Sports wonders if the Timberwolves should consider trading Kevin Love before he hits free agency.
- Lakers center Chris Kaman is still confused about his on-again/off-again role in Mike D’Antoni’s rotation, telling Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times: “I honestly can’t answer that question for you without telling you a lie. I really have no clue why. I’d just be making something up…I haven’t played in six games and then all of a sudden I play [Wednesday]…I really have no rhyme or reason for it. When it’s my turn, it’s my turn and when it’s not, I just sit and be positive and try to be professional about it.”
- The city of Sacramento filed an eminent domain lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court that seeks to take control of a former downtown Macy’s department store for the development of a new sports arena, reports Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee. The Kings wired $4.3MM to the city in anticipation of the city taking the eminent domain action.
- Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune briefly mentions that at a reasonable price of $4MM this season, Brandon Rush could become one of the Jazz’s best assets leading up to the February trade deadline.
- Doug Robinson of the Deseret News discusses how Trey Burke has been one of the lone bright spots of a “bad” 2013 NBA Draft.
- Despite their continued struggles, the Lakers aren’t resorting to any finger-pointing, writes Janis Carr of the OC Register.
Beckley Mason of the New York Times examines the chemistry and cohesiveness that have galvanized the Trail Blazers this season, prompting LaMarcus Aldridge to call this the ‘happiest time in his career’: “Guys are playing so (unselfishly) — our team chemistry is unreal right now…Coach Stotts gives us the freedom to play loose and make plays, and guys aren’t abusing it.”
Veteran point guard Earl Watson also weighed in: “Everyone accepts their role, and the roles were never defined. It’s the truth of our team, the DNA of our team. The way we fit together, it’s like the perfect storm, so to speak.”
Here’s more out of the Western Conference tonight:
Jazz rookie Trey Burke fractured his right index finger and will be evaluated on Monday tweets Jody Genessy of the Deseret News. Genessy notes, via Twitter, that Scott Machado has been given the most time behind Burke and John Lucas III at point guard this preseason.
Genessy also wonders, in a tweet, whether the Jazz will bring someone else in depending on the severity of Burke’s injury, and mentions Jamaal Tinsley as a possibility. Marc Stein of ESPN tweets that he’s heard of interest from the Jazz about the Bulls’ Marquis Teague, and postulates they may revisit that with Burke going down. The Jazz will find out Monday whether Burke’s fractured finger will require surgery, Stein adds (Twitter).
Here are a smattering of other links from around the league tonight:
- After the Bobcats‘ big free agent, Al Jefferson, severely sprained his ankle, he told the AP in Milwaukee that he’s trying to be back for opening night, tweets the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell.
- That’s 18 days away, Bonnell adds on Twitter, and he wonders in his next tweet whether the Bobcats might look to add a center in the interim.
- The Mavericks pickup of DeJuan Blair this summer might be huge for them, as we noted earlier tonight. Blair is looking forward to playing his former team, the Mavs intra-state rival Spurs, writes the Star-Telegram’s Dwain Price.
- Blair’s bitterness about his time in San Antonio is evident when he tells Price, “[the Spurs] didn’t give me nothing when I was there. I mean, the fans gave me everything, but everything else, it is what it is. I don’t look at that. I look for us to get a win.”
- Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports that the NBPA will not pay their new union head the $3MM annually that former executive director Billy Hunter made before he was ousted. Union sources say the annual pay will be around $1.5MM for the new executive director.
- The Knicks lost to the Celtics by 30 tonight in preseason action, but Touré Murry and Ike Diogu both made a case for a roster spot, writes ESPN New York’s Ian Begley.
We already covered the East, now let’s check in on what is happening around the league out West tonight:
- Brandan Wright sustained a small, non-displaced fracture to his left shoulder that is unlikely to require surgery, the Mavericks announced today. Wright, who re-signed with the team in July, is entering his sixth year in the league and third with the Mavs. No timetable has been set for his return.
- Rookie point guard Trey Burke is concentrating on making a good impression on his opponents as the Jazz‘s preseason gets into full swing, writes Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune. Burke, who the Jazz took in June at No. 9, figures to run the point for a young but talented team in Utah.
- Blake Griffin suffered a bone bruise in his left knee in a Wednesday night scrimmage while attempting to dunk, writes Broderick Turner of the L.A. Times. Griffin’s precautionary MRI showed no structural damage, reports Turner, but the All-Star forward is still likely to miss an undisclosed amount of practice and preseason time.
- If Pau Gasol, more physically and mentally ready than he’s been in years, has the type of season he expects to have in Los Angeles, he believes the Lakers will want to re-sign him in the offseason, writes Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News. However, Gasol is unlikely to be willing to accept a significant pay cut to stay in the purple and gold, per Medina. Gasol will make $19.3MM this year.
A few notes from around the Western Conference.
- Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke will get the start in his first preseason game, and his coaches want him to put his struggles behind him. Burke’s starting his professional career in shooting slump that Utah can’t afford to see carry over into the regular season, writes the Salt Lake Tribune’s Aaron Falk.
- Clippers head coach Doc Rivers believes his team can be as good as any he’s ever coached, and that the group is already understanding the principles of his defensive system, writes Los Angeles Times reporter Broderick Turner.
- Now that rookie guard C.J. McCollum will be sidelined with a broken foot, it’ll be interesting to see who gets his playing time: Will Barton or Allen Crabbe, writes OregonLive.com’s Joe Freeman.