Month: October 2017

Magic Expected To Sign Ish Smith

This post was originally published on February 1st.

According to Marc Spears of Y! Sports (via Twitter), the Orlando Magic are expected to sign point guard Ish Smith on Thursday. With Jameer Nelson recovering from a concussion and not expected to return until Monday night against the Clippers, the Magic looked to add help at the point guard position.  

Smith played in six games for the Golden State Warriors and had averaged 4.5 PPG and 1.5 APG in 10.5 MPG before being waived in January. The Charlotte native produced in a standout game against the New York Knicks earlier this season in which he scored 11 points, dished out 4 assists, grabbed 6 rebounds, and had 2 steals in 29 minutes.  

Smith had recently signed a contract to play in the NBA D-League. 

Trade Candidate: Anthony Morrow

Yesterday, Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld wrote that the Nets wouldn't mind clearing some future cap room by moving Anthony Morrow or Jordan Farmar before the trade deadline.  Both guards should draw interest from clubs, but the sharp-shooting Morrow would bring in the greater haul of the two.

While Morrow's defense is less-than-stellar, the 26-year-old has shown the ability to ignite an offense with his perimeter play.  Morrow has cracked the top ten in three-point field goal percentage in each of his three NBA seasons.

Roughly one-third of the way through this year's 66-game season, the Nets already appear to be looking beyond 2012.  New Jersey has just over $34MM committed in 2012/13 salaries but would like to give themselves as much flexibility as possible as they look ahead.  Morrow will earn $4MM next season to close out the three-year pact he inked with the Nets in the summer of 2010.

General Manager Billy King & Co. talked with the Grizzlies earlier this month about trading Morrow and a draft pick in exchange for O.J. Mayo, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweetedRonald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal later reported that the Nets also offered a package of Farmar, a draft pick, and cash considerations for Mayo.   For the Nets, the motivation for either deal would be to unload 2012/13 salary by taking on Mayo's expiring $5.6MM contract.

If they do not receive a two-guard in return, moving Morrow would leave the Nets remarkably thin at the position as rookie MarShon Brooks is sidelined indefinitely with a fractured pinky toe.  However, if the Nets are truly looking beyond this campaign, it's a sacrifice that they might be willing to make.  Contenders and non-contenders alike can be expected to inquire on Morrow in the coming weeks and he can be had at a great value for a club willing to part with an expiring contract.

Jackson Frustrated, Hasn’t Demanded Trade

10:41pm: Bucks GM John Hammond declined comment today on whether Jackson has asked to be traded, writes Charles F. Gardner of the Journal Sentinel.

9:19pm: Stephen Jackson is frustrated with his situation in Milwaukee but has yet to demand a trade, sources tell Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).  With the deadline approaching, Kennedy tweets that Jackson is someone to keep an eye as the Bucks won't pay him $9.26MM to sit on the bench.

The Bucks have won their last two games and the veteran has been out of the lineup for both contests.  Jackson, 33, was suspended for Saturday's game against the Lakers for verbal abuse of an official the previous night against the Bulls.  On Monday, coach Scott Skiles benched the veteran as the Bucks topped the Pistons 103-82.

Jackson has been openly campaigning for a contract extension ever since arriving in Milwaukee in June of last year.  Earlier this month, Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times wrote that Jackson was still upset about not being approached about a new deal and planned on broaching the topic with the front office.

Yesterday, we heard that Jackson and Dwight Howard have spoken with each other and like the idea of joining Deron Williams in New Jersey.  However, it should be noted that S-Jax and Howard are both represented by agent Dan Fegan.

Lakers Inquired On Gilbert Arenas

Lakers coach Mike Brown says the team has inquired about free agent guard Gilbert Arenas, writes Brian Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com.  While the club has yet to make plans to bring Arenas in for a workout, Brown admits that the club has checked in on the veteran.

Brown also cautioned that the club has talked about "a ton of players out there" and has yet to watch film on Arenas.  The 30-year-old has averaged 21.7 PPG but struggled last year with the Wizards before a mid-season trade to the Magic.  Thanks to injuries and league discipline, Agent Zero has played in just 117 games since the start of the 2007/08 season.

Arenas could provide the Lakers with a solid backup for Derek Fisher as Steve Blake is set to be sidelined for the next few weeks with a rib injury.  Recently, the Lakers have been using rookie Andrew Goudelock in support of the 37-year-old.

Odds & Ends: Sessions, Kings, Mavs, Hornets

On January 31st, 1979, the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Terry Furlow to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Butch Lee and a 1983 first-round pick. Both Furlow and Lee played their last NBA minutes in 1980, but that '83 draft pick ended up in the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, who used it to select Derek Harper. Harper went on to score over 16,000 points in his 16-year NBA career — nearly five times the combined career totals for Furlow and Lee.

As for January 31st, 2012, here are a few items from around the Association:

Dwight Howard Rumors: Tuesday

There are still more than six weeks until the 2012 trade deadline, but it doesn't appear that the Dwight Howard trade rumors will slow down for a single day until we get resolution. Orlando GM Otis Smith claims he doesn't intend to make any big moves in the near future, but the Magic's play on the court has onlookers thinking D12's days in Orlando are numbered. Yesterday, Howard indicated he wouldn't mind playing with Derrick Rose, and ESPN's Ric Bucher heard Stephen Jackson would be another preferred teammate of Howard's. Here are today's updates:

  • Despite Howard indicating that he would be open to playing in Chicago, Magic GM Otis Smith told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that Howard's camp has not told the Magic that he has expanded his list of preferred trade destinations beyond his original three teams: the Nets, Lakers, and Mavericks.  Smith added that he does not believe that the Magic have lost bargaining power due to their recent losing streak.
  • Until Howard definitively says he'd sign an extension with the Bulls, the topic is a non-starter, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Earlier today, Johnson predicted the Mavericks will be the team to land Howard.
  • After running through potential Howard scenarios, ESPN.com's Larry Coon concludes that Howard probably be won't be wearing a Magic jersey after March 15th, but could be a free agent this summer.
  • Howard's role of leader in the Magic clubhouse has been lost, says Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. According to Wojnarowski, everyone is resigned to the inevitable fact that Howard will be gone, sooner or later.
  • J.J. Redick to Wojnarowski on the elephant in the room: "As long as [Howard]’s here, it will be a distraction because it’s all anybody talks about when they talk about our team. We don’t hear it? Of course we do."
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says we know how the Howard situation will eventually end, but not how bad it will get before then.
  • LeBron James and Chris Bosh may have taken flak for fleeing Cleveland and Toronto respectively for South Beach, but at least they played out their contracts without asking to be traded, writes Peter Vescey of the New York Post. Vescey adds that he doesn't think the Bulls should break up their team to make a blockbuster deal for Howard.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel advises fans at Amway Center to try to forget about the Howard drama for a night and show the Magic some love on Wednesday.

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Williams Will Consider Exercising One-Year Option

Nets point guard Deron Williams won't rule out picking up his one-year, $17.8MM option at season's end, writes Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.  Williams has been expected to seek a long-term contract on the open market this summer but the 27-year-old said that he's open to putting off his free agency until the 2013 offseason.

“Yeah [picking up the option is something I’m considering]. I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Williams told the Daily News on Monday. “At the end of the season, I’m going to figure out what’s going on, I’m going to sit down with my agent and look at every option possible.”

As a player with seven years in the league, Williams can sign a new deal worth up to 30% of a team's salary cap.  That contract could be a five-year pact if he opts to stay in New Jersey or a four-year deal if he goes elsewhere. 

If the point guard signs with a different team this summer and renounces his Bird rights, he'll earn about $700K less next season.  A new long-term, max deal with the Nets would pay Williams roughly $200,000 less in 2013 than the one-year option.

Bondy points out that Dwight Howard has a similar one-year option available, though it's unclear if the former first-overall pick would want to deal with another year of speculation and uncertainty.

Kennedy On West, Sessions, Chandler

While it's early in this lockout-shortened season, things seem to be clicking for the Pacers thus far, writes Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.  Indiana holds impressive road wins against the likes of the Bulls, Lakers, and Celtics and have yet to drop back-to-back games.  What's been the key to their success?  If you ask Darren Collison, the answer is David West.  Here's more from Kennedy on the forward and other news from around the league..

  • When asked if he can see himself finishing his career with the Pacers, West didn't hesitate to answer in the affirmative.  “This was the best opportunity for me. It gave me the chance to have a good time playing this game again and not have to deal with some of the outside issues that we were dealing with in New Orleans," the 31-year-old said.  West signed a two-year pact worth $20MM with the club over the offseason.
  • The Cavaliers have been fielding plenty of calls for Ramon Sessions in recent weeks, sources close to the situation tell Kennedy.  Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reported yesterday that the Lakers have inquired about Sessions’ availability.  Sessions’ agent, Jared Karnes, is set to speak with Cleveland GM Chris Grant this week to discuss his client’s future.  The Cavs won’t trade Sessions unless the right offer comes along and multiple sources insist that no deal is imminent.
  • As we learned yesterday, the Raptors plan on making a run at Wilson Chandler when he returns to the NBA from China.  The Nuggets, who have the rights to the 24-year-old as a restricted free agent, will also have to jostle with several contenders who hope to sign him to a one-year deal, according to Kennedy.  However, not many teams have money to spend in March, which is why Chandler's best bet might be waiting until July to sign a long-term deal.

Hollinger Talks Trade Scenarios

In an Insider-only piece, John Hollinger made use of ESPN.com's Trade Machine to create a few potential trades that he'd like to see happen in the coming weeks. Here are Hollinger's ideas:

  • Chris Kaman to Houston: Hollinger argues that the Rockets are the best fit for Kaman because of the unwanted expiring contracts Houston owns. He also mentions the Celtics, Pacers, and Blazers as destinations that aren't quite as ideal as the Rockets. I like the Pacers as a fit because of their cap space, but it's unlikely they'd give up anything of real value for Kaman. Here's the latest on the Hornets center.
  • Stephen Jackson and Dwight Howard to New Jersey: Building on rumors suggesting Howard would like to play with Jackson, Hollinger creates two separate trades to get the two of them to Jersey. The deal involving Jackson could be consummated prior to March 1st, and sees Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow, among others, heading to Milwaukee. The hypothetical Howard blockbuster involves Kris Humphries and therefore can't be made until March. I certainly don't think the Magic will move Howard before March, so this one could be a possibility.
  • Steve Nash to Portland: Since Nash isn't extension-eligible, any team trying to acquire him in the next few weeks would do so knowing he'd be a rental. Hollinger proposes a Blazers package of Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith, and Elliot Williams. Personally, I'd be surprised if that was enough for the Suns to give him up. I think their asking price will be very high, even with Nash's contract expiring.
  • O.J. Mayo and Ramon Sessions to Indiana: This four-team proposal also involved Tyler Hansborough, Eric Bledsoe, and Randy Foye, among others. It's intriguing, but it's not a direction I'd expect the Pacers to go, and getting all four teams to agree would be a challenge.
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