Pacers president Larry Bird has yet to decide whether he will return to the club next season but he is apparently open to staying on if he and owner Herb Simon are on the same page. Today, Bob Kravitz of the Indy Star writes that Bird's conversation with Simon will center around the owner's willingness to spend on payroll. Predictably, point guard Deron Williams would be Bird's top target if Simon is willing to open up his wallet, but landing him would appear to be a longshot. Here's more from around the league..
Earlier this evening, we learned that former Lakers and Bulls coach Phil Jackson was approached with an offer from the Magic to join their front office. The basketball legend was reportedly considering the offer right up until this afternoon, when he informed Orlando that he would instead be taking another opportunity. As we anxiously await to see where the Zen Master lands, here's a look at the latest from Sam Amick of SportsIllustrated.com on other possibilities for the Magic and other news..
Former Lakers coach Phil Jackson was interested in the possibility of joining the Magic's front office for the past few days but bowed out late this afternoon, writes Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Magic CEO Alex Martins was formally presented on Wednesday with a scenario involving Jackson by Sam Vincent, who played for the Magic and Jackson. Ultimately, however, the former coach will be re-joining the NBA with an unknown club in an unknown capacity.
The Heat are the Southeast division's horse in the championship race but plenty is going on outside of South Beach. The Bobcats didn't land the top selection in the 2012 draft and went from what could have been a slam dunk decision at No. 1 to a very difficult one at No. 2. The latest from the division…
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Earlier this week, Anthony Davis refused to acknowledge that he would definitely be the first overall pick in this year's draft, calling that just a "rumor" for now. But after the Hornets won the draft lottery and the right to pick first overall in June, Davis sounded like he was fully expecting to be the first pick, as Andy Katz of ESPN.com writes.
"I won a national championship in New Orleans," said Davis, referring to the site of Kentucky's NCAA title in April. "So why not win another one in New Orleans?"
Davis at #1 may be a lock, but there are plenty of questions surrounding the rest of the draft order. Here are a few draft-related items for Thursday afternoon….
The Wizards haven't earned a playoff spot since the 2007/08 season, meaning their appearances at the draft lottery have been frequent in recent years. Owner Ted Leonsis tells Michael Lee of the Washington Post that he hopes this is the last time he'll have to attend the lottery, since "it's not a lot of fun" to keep sweating out the outcome of the ping pong balls. Leonsis also spoke at length about the direction of the franchise, addressing the third overall pick, the team's needs, and the head coach. Here are a few highlights….
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