Month: June 2017

Odds & Ends: Brooks, Evans, Wallace, Clippers

MarShon Brooks requested a trade from the Nets last spring, a source tells Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, and the team accomodated him, throwing him into the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett blockbuster in place of Reggie Evans, who was in an early version of the deal. The result pleased Evans and Garnett, who said the Nets' decision to keep their rebounder extraordinaire was even more important than landing free agent Andrei Kirilenko. There's still more fallout from that Nets-Celtics trade as training camps open around the Association:

  • Gerald Wallace admits he was "in shock" when he found out Brooklyn traded him to the Celtics, but he's pleased to be in Boston and says he's OK with spending the twilight of his career on a team that isn't a title contender, notes Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston.com.
  • Brandon Davies, whose contract is partially guaranteed for $50K, and Lou Amundson, who's on a non-guaranteed deal, are the Clippers training camp invitees most likely to make the opening-night roster, a source tells Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
  • The Clippers announced a number of front office moves today, and added Brendan O'Conner to the coaching staff, notes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (on Sulia).
  • Suns center Channing Frye missed all of 2012/13 with a heart ailment, but with training camp ushering in the final season of his contract, the sharpshooter has been medically cleared to play, as Matt Petersen of Suns.com details.
  • Manu Ginobili wasn't sure the Spurs wanted him back when he hit free agency this summer, but a brief meeting with GM R.C. Buford convinced the veteran swingman that the team still values him highly, writes Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News.
  • John Salmons didn't enter the offseason expecting that he'd remain with the Kings, but he says team officials assured him over the summer that he's still in their plans, as Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee notes via Twitter.

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Kobe To Play Role in Carmelo’s Free Agency?

Carmelo Anthony didn't give reporters at Knicks media day today any insight into his potential free agency next summer, but a source close to the six-time All-Star tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that Kobe Bryant may influence where Anthony plays next season. Bryant could be the "X-factor" in Anthony's decision-making, Isola writes, and if Bryant invites Anthony to chase a title with him, the Knicks may lose their superstar.

Anthony can opt out of his contract next summer, and Bryant is entering the final season of his deal with the Lakers. Even though new Knicks president Steve Mills is clear about his desire to have Anthony back, while the Lakers are holding off on negotiations with Bryant, L.A. seems a far more likely setting than New York if the two are to play together. Bryant isn't eager to take a pay cut on his league-high $30.5MM salary, and it would be virtually impossible for him to change teams next summer without significantly reducing his salary. The Lakers have Bryant's Bird rights and they'll have plenty of cap room available next summer to sign Anthony or another marquee free agent.

Still, both players are nine months away from free agency, and neither of them have dropped any hints themselves about a desire to play together, so there are no strong indications that Anthony will be switching coasts. Much also hinges on another could-be free agent, LeBron James, and where he decides to play, but Anthony's future figures to be a consistent storyline all season.

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Northwest Notes: Wolves, Martin, Aldridge, Corbin

Wolves president of basketball ops Flip Saunders consulted coach Rick Adelman this summer as the team was debating the merits of signing J.J. Redick, O.J. Mayo and Kevin Martin. It was Martin, Adelman's former player on the Rockets and the only one of the trio who signed with Minnesota, who stood out to the longtime coach.

"All of them could help us," Adelman said, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune notes. "Anybody who could make a shot was going to help us. But Kevin I knew so well and I knew he’s going to get you 20 points every time he steps on the floor."

Zgoda passes along more from Adelman on his decision to return to the bench this season and his working relationship with Saunders, and we have more on Minnesota's rivals in the Northwest:

  • Blazers GM Neil Olshey was testy with reporters when asked about LaMarcus Aldridge trade rumors at media day today, as Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge notes. For his part, Aldridge reiterated that he's not angling to get out of Portland. Golliver has a complete transcript of Olshey's media day comments here.
  • Olshey and Blazers coach Terry Stotts both expect the team to make the playoffs this season, as Mike Tokito of The Oregonian observes.
  • Tyrone Corbin, entering the final season of his contract with the Jazz, will be judged on how well the team's players develop this season rather than wins and losses, opines Gordon Monson of The Salt Lake Tribune.
  • We rounded up the latest from the Nuggets earlier this evening, including the team's addition of Kyle Fogg to its training camp roster.

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Rondo On Trade Rumors, Pierce, KG, Stevens

Last year, Rajon Rondo entered the season healthy and an indispensable part of a perennial playoff team. Now, Rondo is a trade candidate on a stripped-down roster as he continues rehabbing his torn right ACL. The All-Star point guard told reporters at media day that he'll return to action when he's "mentally ready," a refrain familiar to that of Derrick Rose from last season, when the Bulls point guard never made it back from his torn ACL. Rondo was vague about a timetable for when he might play again, but he was much more forthcoming about other issues. We'll pass along some of his juicier comments, courtesy Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com

On speculation that he'll be traded:

"Those are things that are out of my control. I don’t tend to worry about those things. I have to live my life. Whatever the case may be, whenever that may happen, that’s what will happen. But until then, I’m a Celtic, and I’ll play as hard as I can for this organization."

On the trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets:

"It wasn’t difficult at all. I didn’t feel anything. I actually landed in L.A. the night of the draft, and I got about 45 text messages coming through my phone. I thought I was traded. You never know."

"It’s part of the business. They’re not the first teammates that I’ve been close to who have been traded away — Perk [Kendrick Perkins], Tony Allen — so it’s part of the process."

On new Celtics coach Brad Stevens

"Me and Brad have become best friends. We talk every day, we laugh and joke. We just had dinner the other night. I’m going to help him; he’s going to help me. He has my full support. I told him from day one, when he came to my camp, that I’m behind him 100%. Whatever he wants to do, whatever he wants to change, I have an open mind. I’m ready to listen and to be accountable for what he has for me to do."

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Central Rumors: Bucks, Stephenson, Jack, Diop

Bucks owner Herb Kohl issued an ultimatum at the team's media day today, saying that the city must build a new arena to keep the team in town. "We're going to have both in the future or we're going to have neither," he said (link via The Sports Xchange).

Incoming commissioner Adam Silver recently said the BMO Harris Bradley Center, the team's home since the 1988/89 season, is too small and lacks the amenities necessary for an NBA team. City leaders have considered the idea of renovating their existing building as well as constructing a new one, but with Sacramento having held on to the Kings this year, it looks like Milwaukee is next in line for a fight to keep its team. Here's more on the Bucks and their Central Division rivals:

  • Pacers president Larry Bird acknowledges that it will be a financial challenge to keep Lance Stephenson after this season, when his bargain contract expires, but Bird says the team will do whatever it can to keep him, notes Scott Agness of Pacers.com.
  • Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio passes along comments that Cavs GM Chris Grant made to reporters on media day, including insight on the team's pursuit of Jarrett Jack"We went into the offseason and knew we needed to get another guard," Grant said. "We also wanted someone with some leadership, some toughness, somebody that could and has made big shots, and somebody that’s played on a playoff team. Obviously, (Jack) fit all those categories."
  • The last time the Cavs acquired DeSagana Diop, they did so with the eighth overall pick in the 2001 draft. He's merely trying to make the team out of camp on this go-around, as Jodie Valade of The Plain Dealer examines.
  • The Bucks made a front office move, promoting director of player personnel Dave Babcock to vice president of player personnel, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.

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Aldridge On Hollins, Del Negro, Monroe, Rosas

TNT's David Aldridge, in his weekly column for NBA.com, caught up with a pair of coaches who find themselves out of work despite recent success. Former Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins and ex-Clippers bench boss Vinny Del Negro both want to get back into coaching, but of the two, Hollins seems more upset over his dismissal.

"For me, it was just getting over, trying to digest what happened," Hollins said. "Like the beautiful girl when she was rejected, what did I do wrong? And when I analyzed it, I don't think I did anything wrong. I think they made a decision, and that was it. Now, whatever they may say, I don't think is what really [happened] behind the scenes. They wanted to hire somebody different."

Aldridge has more from Hollins, and he also passes along a few other tidbits from around the league, so let's dive in:

  • Hollins would have been willing to take a discount to stay with the Grizzlies. "The market out there was $4MM [per year] for four years," he told Aldridge. "And I could have lived with that if they had come to me and said, 'We can't pay this.' But they never offered me a contract. Ever. They didn't talk to me for 10 days. But none of that really matters. It's their team, their money, and they can do what they want."
  • It's "highly unlikely" that Greg Monroe will sign an extension with the Pistons before the October 31st deadline for him to do so, sources tell Aldridge. That's no surprise, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors has detailed
  • The Spurs wanted to bring Gersson Rosas to their front office before the Mavs hired him as GM this summer, according to Aldridge. Rockets GM Daryl Morey, under whom Rosas worked as VP of basketball operations, credits Rosas as "the driving force" behind the success Houston has had with its D-League affiliate.

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Knicks Sign Josh Powell

SEPTEMBER 30TH: The team has officially announced Powell's signing.

SEPTEMBER 21ST: The Knicks will sign Josh Powell to a non-guaranteed training camp deal, according to a tweet from Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling, who reports that the six-year NBA veteran has agreed to a deal with the team.

Powell worked out with the team last week, and has also recently auditioned for the Pelicans. The 30-year-old Powell has been out of the NBA for the past two seasons, and in 2011 he played for the Hawks. 

Holding a career scoring average of 3.9PPG, Powell is best known for being a member of two championship winning Lakers teams in 2009 and 2010. He was waived by the Spurs last October, but didn't play a game for the team. 

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Knicks Sign Justin Brownlee

MONDAY, 7:36pm: The Knicks have officially announced Brownlee's signing.

FRIDAY, 6:48pm: Zwerling clarifies that Brownlee has indeed accepted the camp invitation (Twitter link).

6:26pm: The Knicks have extended an invitation to small forward Justin Brownlee for their 20th and final preseason roster spot, tweets Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling. The tweet seems to indicate that the 25-year-old former St. John's player has accepted the team's invitation, though that's not entirely clear. Brownlee was set to work out for the team as of last week.

Brownlee spent last season on the fringes of professional basketball with the San Diego Surf of the American Basketball Association, as our International Player Movement Tracker shows. He also has experience in the D-League and in Mexico. This is his first training camp invitation since he went undrafted in 2011, though he's been in summer league with the Knicks the past two years.

New York has only 12 players on fully guaranteed deals, but C.J. Leslie and Jeremy Tyler have partially guaranteed contracts. Cole AldrichIke DioguToure MurryJosh Powell, and Chris Smith are all presumably on non-guaranteed deals, as Brownlee likely will be, so there will be plenty of competition for the open spots on the regular season roster.

The Knicks have been linked to a slew of players over the summer, but it appears their offseason search for end-of-the-bench options is at an end.  DeSagana Diop, Hassan Whiteside and Ricky Davis are among the NBA veterans who were passed over.

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Jazz Announce Three Camp Signings

The Jazz have officially announced the signings of Brian Cook, Justin Holiday and Dwayne Jones. Agreements involving all three had been reported this month. The team has 19 players under contract, though that doesn't include Nick Covington's deal, which we heard about this weekend.

Cook, Holiday and Jones all have NBA experience, though Cook has by far the most among the three, and he ranks in the top 10 among all of this year's NBA camp invitees in games played. Holiday is the only one of the trio to have appeared in a game last season, as he saw action in nine contests for the Sixers, alongside younger brother Jrue Holiday.

The Jazz have only 12 fully guaranteed contracts and Ian Clark's partially guaranteed deal, but with a full contingent of players for camp, none of the players on non-guaranteed deals seem like safe bets for the opening-night roster.

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Bucks Release Junior Cadougan

The Bucks officially announced the signing of Junior Cadougan four days ago to bring their camp roster to 19, but now the Bucks say the Canadian point guard won't be in training camp because of visa issues (Twitter link). The team notes that its training camp roster is at 18 players in another tweet, so it appears the team has cut ties with Cadougan.

Cadougan spent the past four years at Marquette and went to high school in Texas, and he appeared briefly in two summer league games for the Bucks this year, so it's curious that he wasn't able to secure a visa in time for camp. He was a long-shot to make the opening-night roster anyway, since the Bucks already have 15 fully guaranteed contracts.

The 23-year-old could try his luck in another country as he seeks employment for the 2013/14 season. He may also attempt to resolve his visa issues in time for the D-League draft in about a month.

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