On this date last year, Jerry Sloan stepped down after 23 seasons as coach of the Jazz. Earlier today we passed along the news that at least six teams are trying to convince Sloan to come back to the bench. Here are some more tidbits from around the league today:
- Bucks GM John Hammond told Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he was caught off guard by what Brandon Jennings said about possibly leaving the team for a larger market. While Jennings is under team control until the summer of 2014, Ersan Ilyasova will be an unrestricted free-agent at the end of this season. There's a strong possibility Ilyasova, from Turkey, may favor a return to Europe, as HoopsWorld's Stephen Brotherston examines.
- Luol Deng's selection as an All-Star reserve vindicates the Bulls for hanging on to him amidst many trade rumors over the years, writes Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer.
- Manu Ginobili's return, set for Saturday against the Nets, creates a rotation puzzle for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to figure out, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
- When Tyson Chandler went to the Knicks, the Mavs championship defense supposedly went with him, writes Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. But, Gosselin opines that the team's ability to play defense even without last year's shot-blocking center will help them defend their title. (Subscription link)
- DeMarre Carroll, who was picked up Wednesday by the Jazz, was close to signing with Utah before the season started, Salt Lake Tribune writer Brian T. Smith tweets. Carroll signed instead with the Nuggets, who waived him Feb. 4.
- Chicago, the hometown of Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade, has also produced Anthony Davis, who is projected as the top overall pick this June, and Jabari Parker, the consensus No. 1 high school player. That makes the Windy City the center of the hoops universe, opines ESPN's Scoop Jackson.
- Dirk Nowitzki, who watched Ricky Rubio in Europe, didn't think the Wolves rookie sensation would have quite the impact he's having in the NBA, notes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.