Month: February 2017

Eastern Notes: Bucks, Knicks, Bird

New Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens tell Charles F. Gardner of The Journal Sentinel that they know it will be difficult to turn around the franchise, but are optimistic they can do so over the long haul. “Our view is we’re going to try to do this over the next five years,” Lasry said. “We’ve got the best 23-and-under team, but that’s not the way it works.” Here’s more from the East:

  • The co-owners also revealed to Gardner that they used a coin flip to determine Edens would represent the Bucks in the role of primary owner.
  • Both James McAdoo of North Carolina and Shawn Jones of Middle Tennessee State worked out for the Knicks today, tweets Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. While McAdoo projects as a potential second round pick, Begley hears that Jones, who isn’t expected to be drafted, outplayed the Tar Heel.
  • Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today argues that Pacers team president Larry Bird deserves a share of the blame for Indiana’s disappointing season. Zillgitt writes that Bird’s acquisitions ran counter to his chemistry-building efforts in years past, and he gave up assets without yielding the depth the Pacers needed.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel outlines the Magic‘s cap situation and provides an overview of the decisions that the team will be faced with once the draft and free agency periods are underway.

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Irving, Pistons, Turner

Word around the league continues to indicate that the Cavs might not extend a max contract offer to Kyrie Irving, and Bob Finnan of The Morning Journal reports that there are two reasons behind Cleveland’s hesitancy. The Cavs aren’t positive that Irving is a max talent, and they also want the assurance that he is committed to Cleveland in light of persistant rumors that he is dissatisfied with the team. Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavs have fielded multiple callers attempting to make a trade for Irving, writes Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio (on Twitter).
  • Stan Van Gundy is closing in on hiring a day-to-day Pistons GM to his liking, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com. The ESPN scribe says that Spurs assistant GM Scott Layden and former New Orleans GM Jeff Bower are names being brought up frequently, with Otis Smith and Stu Jackson remaining as strong candidates. (All Twitter links)
  • Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press wonders if Anthony Morrow would be an ideal player for the Pistons to use some of their cap space on this summer. Morrow will reportedly opt out of his player option with the Pelicans.
  • Rodney Stuckey has switched agents, moving from Leon Rose to Paolo Zamorano, reports Vince Ellis of Detroit Free Press.
  • Evan Turner told Candace Buckner of The Indianapolis Star that he doesn’t know whether he’ll be back with the Pacers next season, and acknowledged that his limited playing time with Indiana could have hurt his value as he approaches free agency.  “I really don’t know because I’m not a GM,” Turner said. “Clearly, you’re judged on, like, your last game. The last couple of months then [probably weren’t] ideal for me in regards to [the] contract but at the same time, I think it’s known that I can play basketball and everything will work itself out.”

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.

Hoops Rumors Originals

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

  • As I outlined earlier this week, the Raptors have room to make improvements this summer, but the biggest boost they can get will come from within.
  • The Nuggets will have to take some risks to bring stars to Denver, Chuck Myron writes.
  • Here’s a refresher on the biannual exception, courtesy of Chuck.
  • Chuck previewed the offseason ahead for the Mavs.
  • The Jazz are probably on their way to their first set of back-to-back losing seasons in 32 years, Chuck writes.
  • Stan Van Gundy isn’t exactly walking into a dream scenario with the Pistons, Chuck writes.
  • Here’s a rundown of all of Hoops Rumors’ great features.
  • We rounded up the best comments of the week in Hoops Rumors Featured Feedback.
  • If you missed Chuck’s chat on Monday, check out the transcript here.

Coaching Rumors: Griffin, Lue, Corbin

We learned earlier today that Adrian Griffin is being brought back for a second interview in Utah as part of a smaller group of candidates for the job, and a source tells Jody Genessy of Deseret News that Griffin has a “very, very good shot” at landing the Jazz head coaching job (Twitter link). Here’s more on the coaching front:

  • Tyronn Lue made a strong impression with Cavs officials in his interview for the Cleveland head coaching job, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Lue is currently serving as an assistant with the Clippers.
  • Tyrone Corbin will interview for an assistant coaching position with the Kingstweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Another tweet from Genessy adds that Sacramento and Corbin are still in the early stages of the interviewing process. Corbin was fired by the Jazz after a rocky 2013/14 season.
  • Corbin is also drawing interest as an assistant for the Warriors and Rockets, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
  • Hubie Brown believes Derek Fisher, thought to be the front-runner for the Knicks head coaching job, can be successful in transitioning from an NBA player to head coach if he chooses to do so, Brown tells Marc Berman of The New York Post. You’re not dealing with a typical basketball player. You’re dealing with a guy [in Fisher] with great intelligence,” said Brown. “And he displays leadership with a team that won championships where he was not a star player — just a guy who made the chemistry go and then had leadership in the union.”
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr denies Phil Jackson‘s assertion that he had given a verbal commitment to accept the Knicks head coaching position, telling Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News that his strong intimations probably gave Jackson the impression that he was virtually committed. “We didn’t have a handshake agreement or anything like that,” said Kerr. “I think Phil and I both thought it was going to happen…But in the end, Phil knew I wasn’t quite comfortable and he didn’t hold me to any of our conversations.”

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.

Pacers Rumors: Stephenson, Scola, Vogel

Lance Stephenson‘s agent tells Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv that his client will have no shortage of suitors this offseason. Despite his on-court antics during the playoffs, a former GM pegs his yearly value in the $5MM-$8MM range, still short of the $10MM range he was estimated at earlier this season. Here’s more from Indiana:

  • Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM makes a case for why Stephenson will be worth whatever contract he receives in free agency. Tjarks thinks Stephenson’s two-way ability and youth far outweigh the baggage that might keep teams away.
  • Luis Scola will almost certainly become a free agent this summer, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle writes. The final year on Scola’s partially guaranteed contract is worth $4.9MM, and the Pacers would be on the hook for $940,946 if they cut Scola.
  • Rumors suggested that Frank Vogel was coaching for his job in the playoffs this year, but the Pacers never had any intentions of firing him, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Indiana was nearly bumped from the postseason in the first round by the eighth-seeded Hawks.

Charlie Adams contributed to this post.

Draft Notes: Knicks, Suns, Raptors, Randle

The Knicks find themselves without a selection in the upcoming draft, but Phil Jackson admitted he will try to buy a second-round pick from the Bucks or the Sixers, reports Marc Berman of the New York Post. Teams are allowed to exchange draft picks for cash, and Jackson sees Milwaukee and Philadelphia as the two teams who could most easily stand to part with some of their selections. Let’s round up the latest on the draft:

  • We already heard that the Suns worked out Lamar Patterson, De’Mon Brooks, and Kendall Williams yesterday, but the team watched another three seniors show their skills off as well, writes Paul Coro of AZ Central. Phoenix also observed Dwight Powell, Russ Smith, and Andre Dawkins.
  • Stephen Holt, John Bohannon, Eric Moreland, and Brendan Lane are scheduled to work out for the Kings, according to a team press release. Moreland has the most potential in the group according to the rankings of Chad Ford from ESPN, who has the Oregon State big man slotted at No. 77 on his list of top prospects.
  • Although Masai Ujiri considers second-round selections to be valuable, the Raptors GM said he would consider all of his options on draft night, ostensibly implying he wouldn’t be opposed to trading one or both of his second-rounders to move up. Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun has the full story.
  • League scouts and executives tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders that Julius Randle is a safe bet to be a solid contributor in the league and that he has the potential to “wreak havoc” and excel in the post at the level of Zach Randolph.

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

Atlantic Rumors: Jackson, Kerr, Sixers, Love

Phil Jackson called Derek Fisher a “good candidate” for the Knicks coaching job, but the Zen Master admitted there are a lot of unknowns about the Thunder guard’s future, writes Marc Berman of the New York Post. “He’s got a family in L.A.,” said Jackson. “He’s got little kids in L.A. I have no idea if he wants to move his family and come here. There’s so many unknowns.” Here’s more out of the Atlantic:

  • Jackson harbors no hard feelings toward Steve Kerr despite his decision to take the head coaching job in Golden State, reveals Berman in the same piece. Kerr originally made a commitment to take the Knicks vacant coaching gig but spurned Jackson and New York once he was given a more appealing offer from the Warriors.
  • Kerr’s discussions with former Knicks employees discouraged him from taking the job, reports Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, who also adds Jackson’s presence is the only reason Kerr even considered accepting New York’s offer (Twitter links).
  • With the third and 10th picks in the exceptionally deep 2014 draft, the Sixers potentially have a chance to land two impact players. Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders takes a look at the various options Philly will have with each selection.
  • Kevin Love visited Boston last night to get a feel for the city, passes along Kevin O’Connor of CelticsBlog. A trip to Beantown certainly isn’t indicative of a desire to play for the Celtics, but Boston has shown interest in acquiring the T’Wolves big man, who can opt out of his current contract at season’s end.

And-Ones: CBA, LeBron, Thompson, Anthony

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel expects the $2 billion sale of the Clippers to have far-reaching effects on the next round of collective bargaining between the NBA and the players’ union. While the league has negotiated without recognizing appreciation values of franchises, the Clippers selling for so much will take away that luxury. Winderman anticipates the National Basketball Players Association will terminate the current CBA at its first opportunity in 2017, and thinks the players can and should fight to do away with maximum salary limitations for themselves. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Winderman specifically looks to LeBron James as a player that could make immediate decisions based on the altered landscape following the Clippers sale. The Sun Sentinel scribe wouldn’t be surprised if James decides against opting out of his contract with the Heat in the coming seasons, taking a year-by-year approach until more lucrative contracts could become available.
  • If Klay Thompson reaches free agency, he could field multiple offers at or near the max, NBA sources tell Tim Kawakami of Bay Area News Group. If the Warriors and Thompson can’t agree to an extension by the deadline early next season, he will become a restricted free agent in 2015/16.
  • Joakim Noah hasn’t relented in his “consistent efforts” to recruit Carmelo Anthony to the Bulls, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Johnson says Chicago is sure to “get in the game” to pursue Anthony this summer, even though signing him remains a long shot.
  • Mark Price has told Mary Schmitt Boyer of The Plain Dealer that he has long been interested in coming to Cleveland as a coach, but multiple Cavs regimes haven’t reciprocated the interest. Price played for Cleveland in nine of his 12 seasons, and is now working as an assistant with the Hornets.
  • In addition to his candidacy for multiple head coaching jobs, Lionel Hollins is drawing interest as an associate head coach for the Warriors and Rockets, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.

Pacers To Keep Frank Vogel

The Pacers will bring back head coach Frank Vogel next season, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Vogel has one year remaining on the extension he signed before this season. The Pacers just bowed out of the playoffs after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals for the second consecutive year.

Normally, a coach with a 267-167 career record wouldn’t be on the hot seat after losing to the league’s two-time defending champion in six games, but poor play and locker room conflict marked Indiana following the All-Star break. Despite ascending the standings and finishing as the one seed, the team struggled to close the season, and was a game away from elimination at the hands of the eighth-seeded Hawks in the first round. It’s believed that Vogel essentially saved his job by surviving that first round matchup, but there were lingering whispers until now that he could still get replaced.

Vogel received his extension while team president Larry Bird was on a year-long hiatus. The offseason and in-season moves that Bird worked to bolster a roster that pushed Miami to a seventh game in last year’s conference finals didn’t pay off, as the additions of Luis Scola, Evan Turner, and Andrew Bynum didn’t significantly improve the production from Vogel’s rotations, still marked by stagnant offense and stifling defense. While many coaches advancing in the playoffs receive extensions after elimination, it’s a distinct possibility that Vogel will be coaching on a contract year next season, as disappointment is still running high in Indiana.

Southeast Notes: Heat, Magic

The Heat are headed to their fourth consecutive NBA Finals, looking to pull off a three-peat. It’s possible that the outcome of the Finals could sway Miami’s big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in their decision to stick together or move on. Here’s a rundown from the Southeast Division:

  • A league executive expects the Heat to have a definitive plan in place with James, Bosh, and Wade well before their early-termination deadline of June 30, telling Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel that the league isn’t interested in investigating whether teams breach negotiation limits if it helps them retain their own players. “There are plenty of rules,” the long-time executive said, “but the legacy that [David Stern] left, and I believe [commissioner Adam Silver] will adhere, is there are two priorities: making as much money as possible for the league and keeping players with their current teams.”
  • Word around the Magic is that there are no untouchable players on Orlando’s roster, although Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders hears that GM Rob Hennigan wouldn’t easily part with core players like Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless or Tobias Harris.
  • In the same piece, Taylor surmises that the Suns and Bulls could make for a draft-night trade partner with the Magic, since both own multiple first round picks and Orlando might be looking to move down if the player they want doesn’t fall to them at No. 4.
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