Month: April 2024

Marvin Williams To Have Surgery, Miss 6 Months

Marvin Williams will undergo surgery to repair a sore right heel and Achilles tendon, knocking him out of action for approximately six months, the Jazz announced. That would put him on track to return around the start of December. The surgery may also weigh heavily on his decision about whether to exercise his $7.5MM early-termination option for 2013/14. 

Williams has been non-committal about that option so far, though it was doubtful even before today's announcement that he would have received a salary on the open market as high as the $7.5MM he'll get if he stays in Utah. If he were to opt out, it would seemingly be to secure a long-term contract that included more money over the life of the deal, but the 26-year-old might be hard-pressed to find more than a $7.5MM guarantee now that he's hurt.

The former No. 2 overall pick showed few signs of needing major surgery during the season. He appeared in 73 games, including the team's season finale, though he did miss some time this season because of tendinitis in his right heel, as Jody Genessy of The Deseret News points out (Twitter link). 

Northwest Notes: T’Wolves, Oladipo, Pelicans

The latest out of the Northwest Division..

  • Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN hears that a couple NBA people are wondering why Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman has not yet publicly declared his intention to return for a third season.  There also hasn't been any contact yet between Adelman and his long-time confidant, Elston Turner, about a spot on the staff with the Wolves. 
  • More from Wolfson, who writes that multiple sources say that Wizards VP Milt Newton is a good bet to be the Wolves' new GM. That wouldn't happen until after the draft, however.  Newton was in town earlier this week for the draft workouts.
  • Victor Oladipo's mentor told Wolfson (via Twitter) that the high flyer has only worked out so far for the Magic.  The rest of his schedule for this weekend is TBD, but the Timberwolves hope to bring him in.
  • If the Pelicans draft Trey Burke with the No. 6 pick, they should shift Greivis Vasquez over to shooting guard, opines John Reid of The Times Picayune.  Many mock drafts have New Orleans grabbing the Michigan product, but he could very well be off the board before it's their turn.

Los Angeles Notes: Howard, Paul, Lakers

According to Chris Broussard of ESPN.com, Chris Paul is upset that he’s being blamed for the firing of Vinny Del Negro.  If he leaves, however, Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM says that it won't be because owner Donald Sterling has kept mum on the situation, it'll be because he found a better situation for himself.  Ultimately, if CP3 thinks Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan are a championship-caliber frontline, he’ll get over the talk about him being behind Del Negro getting axed, Tjarks reasons.  Here's the latest out of the Staples Center..

  • Sam Amico of FOX Sports (via Twitter) has a hard time dismissing the possibility that Paul and Dwight Howard could go to the Hawks.   NBA players are fond of Atlanta and Amico notes (link) that a lack of fan enthusiasm didn't stop LeBron James and Chris Bosh from heading to Miami.
  • Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link) believes that Howard would be the first All-Star player to ever take a pay cut to leave the Lakers.  There's no telling how things could work out with DH, but the Rockets are increasingly hopeful that they can ink the big man.
  • Del Negro isn't out of L.A. because of Paul, he's gone because he's not a great coach, and the Clippers need a great coach to win a championship, opines Bill Ingram of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).

Nets Reach Out To Jeff Van Gundy

The Nets have reached out to Jeff Van Gundy about their coaching vacancy, a source tells Mark Heisler (via Twitter).  For his part, Van Gundy told Josh Newman of SNY (Twitter link) via text that he isn't willing to discuss potential opportunities at this time.

"I don't just talk about jobs. If [Nets GM Billy King] wants to talk about who he has talked to, then that's up to him," said the coach.

We learned this week that JVG is atop the Clippers' wish list, along with Brian Shaw.  Van Gundy, who has said in the past that he is content with his current position as an analyst and color commentator for ABC, is believed to have interest in the job.  His level of interest in the Nets job – which Heisler says is only in an "introductory" phase at this time – is unknown, but he didn't say no to the Nets either.

Back in January, Sam Amick of USA Today reported that Van Gundy missed coaching and was expected to explore potential opportunities beginning this summer.  His brother, Stan Van Gundy, says that he's not looking to coach in 2013/14, however.

Draft Notes: Zeller, Larkin, Bucks, Celtics

Here's a look at today's draft news as we close in on June 27th..

  • Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) runs down some of the best big men in the 2013 draft.  The list starts with Indiana's Cody Zeller who has honed his jump shot and ballhandling skills to make the leap from center to forward.  Scouts have been impressed with his ability to round out his offensive skillset, but Zeller says that it has always been a part of his game.
  • Miami's Shane Larkin is talking up what he could do for the Bucks, telling reporters (including Charles Gardner of the Journal Sentinel, via Twitter) that he could see himself as a fit.  Milwaukee, of course, has an unsettled backcourt situation with the uncertain return of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings.
  • Larkin worked out for the Celtics prior to auditioning for the Bucks, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY (on Twitter).  Boston has the No. 16 pick while Milwaukee holds the No. 15 selection.

Coaching Rumors: Clippers, Shaw, Nets, Hollins

Although there are still a handful of NBA head coaching jobs available, the openings in Brooklyn and Los Angeles stand out, based on the regular-season success the Nets and Clippers had this past season. Neither team appears to have made significant progress in its search so far, but that could change soon. Here's the latest on the Nets' and Clippers' respective searches:

  • The Clippers have reached out to Brian Shaw and Jeff Van Gundy, who are reportedly atop the team's wish list, and both men appear to have interest in the job, reports Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
  • According to Turner, Alvin Gentry has also been in touch with the Clippers and expressed interest in the job. Jerry Sloan's representatives called the Clips as well, but he has since "backed away" from pursuing the opening, says Turner.
  • All the Clippers' discussions so far have been preliminary, with no formal interviews set up yet, writes Turner.
  • Neither the Clippers or Nets seem to be making any headway with Lionel Hollins. Turner reports that L.A. has yet to speak to the Grizzlies coach, while Fred Kerber of the New York Post says Hollins isn't necessarily the odds-on favorite for Brooklyn.
  • The Nets aren't among the teams who have called the Pacers about Shaw, according to Kerber, who hears from a source that Brooklyn may be inclined to favor a candidate with previous head coaching experience. "I think they have high regard for [Shaw]," the source said. "But with that roster and owner, my gut says they would want an established guy."

Kings Sale To Sacramento Group Finalized

FRIDAY, 11:17am: The Maloof family has announced in a press release that escrow has closed on the sale of the Kings, putting Ranadive's group in control of the franchise and arena, tweets Howard Beck of the New York Times. Beck adds in a second tweet that the franchise valuation, according to the Maloofs, was over $534MM, an NBA record.

TUESDAY, 1:36pm: The NBA's Board of Governors has officially and unanimously approved the sale of the Sacramento Kings to a group of investors led by Vivek Ranadive, the league announced today. After the league denied the club's relocation bid and the Maloofs reached a sale agreement with Ranadive's group, approval from the Board of Governors was considered merely a formality.

Now that the sale has been approved, Ranadive and Co. are prepared to officially assume control of the franchise, taking the reins from the Maloof family. A Monday report from Sam Amick of USA Today indicated that the new ownership group had already begun the process of seeking out a new head of basketball operations to replace Geoff Petrie. Spurs president R.C. Buford, Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, and former Pacers GM David Morway are among the names expected to be considered.

Meanwhile, with Keith Smart's future as the Kings' head coach uncertain, Peter Vecsey tweets that Warriors assistant Michael Malone is a "living lock" to become the next head coach in Sacramento. Typically, the team president and/or GM have input in the hiring of a coach, so it'd be a little surprising if the Kings decide on Malone before landing on a head of basketball operations, but we'll have to wait and see how that situation plays out.

With the sale of the Kings approved, Ranadive's group assumes control of 65% of the franchise, having paid an NBA-record valuation of $535MM.

Rockets Increasingly Hopeful Of Signing Howard

While plenty of fans and pundits have made the argument in recent weeks that the Rockets make the most sense as a destination for Dwight Howard, there's been no real indication that Howard has felt the same way. But that may be changing, as ESPN.com's Marc Stein reports the Rockets have been receiving "hopeful signals" that Howard will seriously consider signing in Houston.

According to Stein's sources, Howard has conveyed an interest in Houston to James Harden, who previously stated that he planned to be involved in recruiting free agents this summer. Stein adds that Howard has already indicated he'll field in-person pitches from the Rockets and Mavericks — more teams could be added to that list as free agency approaches.

The Rockets' hopeful outlook on Howard makes some sense, considering the rumor we heard yesterday — Houston is reportedly shopping Thomas Robinson in an effort to clear the cap space necessary to make Howard a max offer. According to Stein, Rockets GM Daryl Morey has spoken to multiple teams about Robinson, and sources tell the ESPN.com scribe that Morey has been leaving the impression that he believes Houston has a real shot at landing Howard.

Despite the Rockets' optimism, we know from past Dwight-related drama that the All-Star center isn't exactly decisive, so he may feel differently in a month than he does now. Stein also quotes one "longtime Howard-watcher" as saying that D12 has a penchant for "making everyone feel good about their chances."

If Howard were to sign with the Rockets, he'd be eligible for a contract of up to four years and about $87.59MM. With the Lakers, he could get up to five years and $117.95MM.

Celtics Rumors: Schroeder, KG, Millsap, Rivers

A couple weeks ago, ESPN.com's Chad Ford reported (via Twitter) that international draft prospects Dennis Schroeder and Giannis Antetokounmpo had each received first-round guarantees from unknown teams. According to Aran Smith of NBADraft.net (Twitter link), it may be the Celtics that have made a promise to Schroeder at No. 16. There has also been some chatter linking Schroeder to the Jazz (No. 14) and Bucks (No. 15), so the German guard may not even last until 16th overall, but if he does, it appears the Celtics are interested.

Here's more out of Boston:

  • Mike Saver of CelticsLife.com passes along a few comments of note made by longtime Boston writer Jackie MacMullan of ESPNBoston.com on CSNNE. According to MacMullan, Kevin Garnett plans to come back for at least one more year, and MacMullan believes KG would play whether or not Paul Pierce remains a Celtic.
  • MacMullan also reports that the Celtics covet Paul Millsap, and that if there's a "Plan A" for the team, getting Millsap would be it. Given Boston's cap situation, the C's would likely have to sign-and-trade for the free agent big man, unless they could clear cap room by trading or waiving Pierce and making an additional move or two.
  • While most signs continue to point to Doc Rivers remaining the Celtics head coach going forward, some people "who have basketball business with the club" are concerned that Rivers has yet to publicly state his intentions, writes Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Within his latest piece for the Herald, Bulpett delves into the relationship between Rivers and GM Danny Ainge.

Monta Ellis Interested In Kings?

The Kings' hiring of Michael Malone as their new head coach should improve the team's chances of landing Monta Ellis in free agency this summer, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. According to Spears, Ellis gained a great deal of respect for the former Warriors assistant while both Ellis and Malone were in Golden State.

The link between Ellis and the Kings stems from a report earlier this month that indicated Sacramento's new ownership group liked Ellis. Of course, like Malone, new owner Vivek Ranadive also has a history with Ellis' old team in Golden State. Still, in a second report, a source from Ranadive's group downplayed the team's interest in Ellis, so it's not clear if the Kings will actually pursue the free agent guard this summer.

Ellis has an $11MM player option that he still could exercise if he chooses, but every indication is that he'll opt out in search of a larger payday. Assuming he does, he'll be one of three Bucks guards expected to land a big multiyear deal in free agency, with one recent report suggesting that Milwaukee may prefer to keep Ellis and J.J. Redick over Brandon Jennings.