And-Ones: Messina, Embiid, Gordon

Fort Wayne Mad Ants president Jeff Potter is under the impression that his club will indeed have affiliations,  with 13 NBA teams this coming season, as he tells Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Mad Ants will feature no more than four players on assignment from the NBA at any a time, with the spots alloted to NBA clubs on a first-come, first-served basis, Potter adds. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Spurs GM R.C. Buford denied an earlier report that claimed Ettore Messina was joining San Antonio’s coaching staff as an assistant, telling Mike Monroe of San Antonio Express-News that there has been no contact made with Messina, let alone a hire. Is someone leaving our staff that I don’t know about?” Buford said. “We have not had one conversation with anyone about a coaching position for next season.”
  • Joel Embiid is in Cleveland to undergo a physical with Cavs doctors in the hopes of alleviating concerns about his back, but Chad Ford of (Insider only) says that it will take more than medical clearance for Embiid to land at No. 1 in the draft. Ford writes that owner Dan Gilbert’s anxiousness to win immediately has influenced Cleveland’s draft choices in recent years. While scouts tell Ford that Embiid has the most potential of any 2014 prospect, they don’t expect him to be a steady contributor in his rookie season.
  • Dirk Nowitzki tells Dwain Price of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he is likely to meet with Mavs owner Mark Cuban hastily regarding his impending free agency (Twitter link).
  • The Celtics will work out Isaiah Austin and Sam Dower tomorrow, tweets Jeff Goodman of
  • The Wolves have been trying unsuccessfully to arrange a workout with Aaron Gordon, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. The Wolves are struggling to convince top tier prospects to work out in general. Wolfson notes that the Wolves think more highly of Noah Vonleh and Julius Randle than they do Gordon (all Twitter links).
  • John Calipari acknowledged that he had been approached by multiple NBA teams before signing an extension to stay with Kentucky in an interview with Kentucky Sports Radio (transcription via Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News). “It was significantly more money for me to leave than to stay,” Calipari said. “It kind of tells you where my mind is.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

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