Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has said he expects his club to be a “playoff-caliber team” this year, but today he backtracked from the notion that the Wizards face an ultimatum of making the postseason, observes Joseph White of The Associated Press.
“Playoffs or bust, what does that mean?” Leonsis said in an interview that also touched on his ownership of the NHL’s Capitals. “Shut the team down if we don’t make the playoffs for the Wizards? We would certainly, if we don’t make the playoffs, for both teams we would do our due diligence in a more hypersensitive manner, right? Because we didn’t meet our expectations. But the team’s not going bust. The fan base isn’t going bust. It would just heighten the scrutiny that we have to do.”
- Pelicans coach Monty Williams said the team had been considering signing Josh Childress and Louis Amundson for weeks, but he called their additions today “nothing to write home about” and said “we’re just taking a look” at the veterans, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni rolled his eyes at the suggestion that Steve Nash should retire, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News, and Marc Stein of ESPN.com points to Nash’s determination to overcome his injury and continue playing.
- The Knicks plan to send Chris Smith to their D-League affiliate once the season starts next week, as Marc Berman of the New York Post writes within a piece highlighting the Knicks’ woes.
- Kevin Martin‘s shooting has been a boon for the Wolves, and the free agent pickup feels he’s benefited just as much from his pairing with Kevin Love, as Bruce Brothers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press observes. “After playing with Kevin (Durant) and Russell (Westbrook), guys that can score 30 in their sleep, I wouldn’t go to another team without a superstar,” Martin said. “That’s what I have in Kevin Love.”
- RealGM’s Andrew Perna examines the learning curve for Bucks first-round pick Giannis Antetokounmpo, still just 18 years old and adjusting to life outside of his native Greece.