Month: April 2017

Odds & Ends: Meeks, Kings, Clippers, Wolves

Jodie Meeks has been a critical role player for the Lakers this season under coach Mike D'Antoni after sitting on the pine for much of Mike Brown's tenure.  The Lakers hold a team option on Meeks and he believes that it will be exericsed.  “Yeah, I think so,” Meeks told Shams Charania of RealGM when asked if he believes he will be part of the Lakers next year. “You can’t really worry about that right now, just finish out this year. I’ll do that and see whatever happens.”  Here's more from around the Association..

  • If Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman winds up walking away this summer due to family issues, J.B. Bickerstaff won't be considered a candidate for the job, according to Ric Bucher of 95.7 The Game (Sulia link).  There are still hard feelings in the Minnesota office when Bickerstaff followed Kevin McHale to the Rockets that would keep him from being considered.
  • Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times rounds up the week's news on the future of the Kings, noting that Sacramento City Council's approval of an arena plan is non-binding, just like their endorsement of an ill-fated arena proposal last year (link via the Sacramento Bee).
  • The Clippers retooled bench worked hard in the offseason to become arguably the league's best bench, writes Derek Page of HoopsWorld.  In order for everything to come together for L.A., it was essential for Jamal Crawford to check his ego at the door and accept being the club's sixth man.
  • While we have heard that the Wolves are set to exercise GM David Kahn's option for next season, owner Glen Taylor says that he hasn't made a decision yet, writes Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune.

Hoops Links: Leonard, Watson, Asik, Jazz

In a few days, competing bidders for the Kings will go before the NBA's Board of Governors to make their cases to buy the team.  Groups from Seattle and Sacramento will both present on April 3rd and while it seemed like the Kings moving up north was a done deal a few months ago, it's no longer clear cut.  Who will come out on top?  

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson gives the group looking to keep the team in California's capital a 90% chance, but something tells me that he might be a little bit biased.  From this outsider's perspective, it appears to be a 50/50 split with a rabid fan base in Seattle starving for basketball pit against a city that has more than 9,000 pledges to buy season tickets if the Kings stay put.  If you're not a Seattle resident or a Kings fan, it's incredibly hard to pick a side to cheer for.  It'll be infinitely more difficult for the league to make the actual call this week.

Got a fantastic basketball blog piece that you want featured on Hoops Rumors?  Send your submissions to HoopsLinks@gmail.com.  Here's this week's look around the web..

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Zach can be reached here.

Draft Notes: McLemore, McGary, Leslie, Smith

The list of 2013 early draft entrants continues to grow and its little surprise – in a weak talent pool, many players who would typically be keeping their fingers crossed in the second round are likely to go in the first and come away with guaranteed contracts.  Staying in school and waiting for the 2014 draft doesn't just mean jumping into a tougher draft – it means being a part of one of the best draft classes in years.  As March Madness continues, here's a look at today's draft news..

  • HoopsWorld's Yannis Koutroupis released his latest mock draft today and still has Ben McLemore at No. 1, despite Kansas' early exit from the tournament.  Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart is slated to go second with injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel going third.
  • C.J. Leslie is likely to announce his intentions to enter the draft tomorrow, sources tell Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).  We heard last week that the 6'8" forward was planning to enter the draft like teammate Lorenzo Brown.
  • If Michigan big man Mitch McGary were to enter the draft, Goodman (on Twitter) hears from one NBA GM that he would be a late first-round choice.  While NBA scouts might be high on the March hero, there's no indication yet that he'll be going pro this summer.
  • Chad Ford of ESPN.com (via Twitter) agrees that McGary would go in round one and also sees Louisville's Russ Smith as a guy who could go inside of the first 30 picks.  Michigan's Tim Hardaway Jr. and Syracuse's C.J. Fair could also vault themselves up draft boards thanks to strong tournament play.

Central Notes: Pistons, Calderon, Cavaliers

Last week, Pistons point guard Jose Calderon said that he wasn't ready to close the door on a reunion with the Raptors after spending an enjoyable seven-and-a-half years there.  Even though Calderon might have an affinity for Toronto, it's unlikely that he'll be in red-and-black next year because of their cap situation.  Besides, based on recent comments from Joe Dumars, it seems like he's appreciated in Detroit.  Here's more on Calderon and the rest of the Central..

  • The Pistons would like to re-sign Calderon, and even though the team's poor play of late hasn't dissuaded the point guard from coming back, Calderon is non-committal about his free agent plans, as Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free-Press details. Ellis suggests Calderon could command an annual salary of $6MM-$7MM.
  • The summer ahead is crucial for the Pistons, opines MLive's David Mayo, who believes coach Lawrence Frank will be retained, albeit with a short leash for next season, despite rumors that he won't be back for 2013/14.
  • Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal quotes an unnamed Cavs player who questions coach Byron Scott's grueling shootarounds and practices as well as his in-game strategy. Lloyd hears from another member of the organization perplexed by Scott's usage of Kyrie Irving. The Cavs picked up his $4.5MM option for next season, but it's not certain the team will retain him for 2013/14.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

D-League Moves: Baynes, Liggins, Orton

We'll keep track of today's D-League assignments and recalls here.  You can take a look at all of this year's D-League moves with Hoops Rumors' running log..

  • The Spurs announced that they have recalled center Aron Baynes from the Austin Toros.  Baynes, who just made his fourth stint with the Toros this season, has appeared in nine games with Austin, averaging 12.2 points and 8.0 rebounds in 25.4 minutes.
  • The Thunder announced that they have recalled guard DeAndre Liggins and center Daniel Orton from the Tulsa 66ers.  Liggins has played in 18 games for the 66ers, averaging 11.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 34.2 minutes per game.  Orton has appeared in 29 games this season in the D-League while averaging 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 28.3 minutes per game.

Hoops Rumors Originals: 3/25/13 – 3/31/13

Here’s a look back at the original analysis delivered by the Hoops Rumors staff this week..

  • I kicked off our 2013 Prospect Profile series with a look at Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel.
  • Luke Adams looked at injured players on expiring contracts.
  • Chuck Myron broke down the colleges that produce highly paid NBA players.
  • Chuck wouldn’t be surprised to see Victor Oladipo‘s rise continue.
  • Despite the questions about him, Alex Lee believes that Ben McLemore is gifted enough to be an impact player.
  • O.J. Mayo will easily exceed the mid-level deals signed by Jamal Crawford, Louis Williams, and Jason Terry, Luke writes.
  • Opinions are split on whether the NBA should address tanking in Chuck’s poll.
  • Luke compiled a list of 10-day players that have parlayed their auditions into deals for the rest-of-season.
  • Nearly 20% of Hoops Rumors readers correctly predicted that the Heat’s streak would end with their March 27th showdown against the Bulls.
  • Here’s a refresher on all of Hoops Rumors’ great features.
  • Want to know how to follow specific players on Hoops Rumors?  Peep this.

Week In Review: 3/25/13 – 3/31/13

Kobe Bryant has said for a while now that he'll retire after the 2013/14 season, but it's clear that he still has plenty of basketball left.  Earlier today, we learned that the future Hall of Famer will formally announce his intentions soon.  Even though things can change, Bryant still says that he's leaning towards hanging it up after next season.  Here's a look at the other top stories from this past week..

Washburn On Martin, Dooling, Draft

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe delivers noteworthy news from around the Association in the latest installment of his weekly column, which blends a review of the top storylines from the past week with fresh news from league sources. We'll pass along the latter here:

  • Washburn wonders if Kenyon Martin's resurgence with the Knicks late this season will help his free agent stock in the summer, though the veteran big man isn't looking for a change of scenery. "I would love to stay a Knick," Martin said. "I don’t want to go nowhere. I am proving to this organization what I can be and who I am as a person on and off the court, and I think they see that. I’m here now and I’m going to make the best of this opportunity."
  • Keyon Dooling, whom the Grizzlies are reportedly considering, wanted to come out of retirement with the Celtics earlier this season, but he's barred from signing from Boston for a year after the team waived him in September, according to Washburn. I'm unaware of any such restriction under the collective bargaining agreement, but since the CBA isn't a public document, this could be a rule we're simply learning about for the first time. 
  • Washburn expects several underclassmen who are on the fence about entering the draft to go ahead and do so, given the perceived weakness of this year's field. Of course, not everyone benefits from early entry. Washburn caught up with Hawks point guard Jeff Teague, who believes his brother, Bulls rookie Marquis Teague, should have stayed in college one more year.

Amnesty Obligation Set To Expire For 3 Teams

The amnesty provision provides salary cap relief, but any team that uses the provision still must pay the player it waives. That extra money could be burdensome to owners who have to field rosters on top of their obligation to a player who is no longer around. As our amnesty tracker shows, precisely half of the league's 30 teams have used the one-time chance to erase a contract from the salary cap, if not the payroll. Some of those contracts were up after last season anyway, so those teams — the Knicks, Pacers and Warriors — are free of any amnesty-related burden. Three more teams will see their amnestied contracts expire at the end of the season. They're listed here, along with the player and the team's obligation in parentheses.

The Clippers might have received a small portion of relief via set-off rights when Gomes signed last November to play in Germany. The value of Gomes' deal overseas is unclear, but it would have to be for more than $762,195 to let the Clippers off the hook for any of the money they owe him. I doubt Gomes earned that much from his German club, particularly since he and the team parted ways in January.

Getting released from the $4MM Gomes burden probably won't have much effect on the Clippers' offseason plans this year, but it will be interesting to see what the other two teams on that list do when they aren't paying eight-figure salaries to guys who aren't on the roster. Since Andrew Bynum is missing the entire season because of his troublesome knees, the Sixers actually have two high-dollar obligations that aren't paying dividends this year, totaling $32,948,855. Freed of that dead money, perhaps the Sixers will be willing to spend freely on Bynum or another sought-after free agent this summer. The same could be the case for the Cavs, who largely eschewed free agents last summer and, at little more than $54MM, have one of the smallest team salary totals this season. That number doesn't include Davis' amnestied salary, which, if it were applied to the cap, would bring Cleveland within a few million of the $70.307MM tax line.

Nine teams have to wait at least one more season for their amnesty burdens to disappear. Those squads are listed here with the amnestied player, plus the remaining salary obligation and the year the contract expires in parentheses.

ShamSports was used in the creation of this post.

Atlantic Rumors: Bynum, Randolph, J.R. Smith

It's starting to look like the Knicks will win their first Atlantic Division title since 1993/94. Brooklyn's loss to the Jazz last night dropped the Nets four games back of New York, and five games back in the loss column. The Celtics are eight games back in the loss column. It remains to be seen whether the Knicks can duplicate another feat they pulled off in 1993/94 and make it to the NBA Finals, but while we wait for that playoff story to unfold, here's the latest buzz from the Atlantic:

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