Month: April 2024

Pacific Notes: Kings, Heslip, Kobe, Vujacic

It seems as though the top eight teams in the Western Conference are in many ways already set, but the Kings aren’t giving up on the idea that they can find a way into the playoffs this year, Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck writes. Sacramento will add an impact player if an opportunity arises, according to Beck.

“This league, it’s a league of injuries, it’s a league of things that happen, chemistry,” Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro told Beck. “And you’ve seen things happen really fast in this league. So I don’t think we buy into the notion of, ‘Well, it’s locked to eight.’ We really don’t believe that. From our perspective, it’s: How are we getting better? How are we pursuing that spot?”

The Kings are 13-18, four games behind the Suns for the last playoff spot. There’s another Kings-related item amid the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Brady Heslip has decided against signing with Banvit of Turkey because he believes he’s close to joining an NBA team, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link). David Pick of reported earlier this week that Heslip, who’s been playing for Sacramento’s D-League affiliate, had a deal with the Turkish team. The Kings and Clippers have reportedly held interest in adding the sharpshooter to their NBA rosters.
  • Kobe Bryant still doesn’t rule out playing beyond his current contract, which expires in 2016, but for now he plans to retire after next season, as he said Tuesday to reporters, including Bill Oram of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). “If you asked me if I’m going to play beyond that, right now the answer is no,” Bryant said.
  • Sasha Vujacic is leaving Laboral Kuxta Vitoria (aka Saski Baskonia) of Spain, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). He’s next headed to play for Turkey’s Istanbul BSB, Carchia writes. Vujacic, who spent time on a 10-day contract with the Clippers last season, is one of several among 2013/14 10-day signees who are now playing overseas, as I noted Tuesday.
  • Warriors backup center Marreese Speights said he was especially motivated to beat the Sixers, as Golden State did Tuesday, not because of anyone with the team at current but because he harbors ill will toward Doug Collins, tweets Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Speights saw a career low 11.5 minutes per game under the former Sixers coach in 2010/11.

2014/15 NBA Reverse Standings

The 2014/15 season is only about two months old, but many scouts and executives around the league are already preparing for the 2015 NBA draft. They’re no doubt cognizant of how their respective NBA teams are doing as they attempt to get an idea of where they’ll be picking, and with the Hoops Rumors Reverse Standings, which list the NBA’s 30 teams from worst to first, you can easily follow along, too. We update these standings daily to reflect the outcomes of the games that took place the night before.

The Reverse Standings take into account playoff teams in each conference, so they’re essentially a reflection of what the 2015 first-round order would look like with no changes to lottery position. Traded picks are also included via footnotes. For instance, the notes next to the Lakers’ pick indicates that they’ll send it to Phoenix if it falls outside the top five selections. Whether that happens is anyone’s guess at this point, since the Lakers are tied with the Hornets for the fifth spot in the lottery order.

The existence of the lottery means there’s no guarantee that teams atop the Reverse Standings will draft in the order in which they finish, but the worse a club’s record, the better shot it has at landing the cream of the 2015 draft class. This year’s group of prospects, which includes Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, Karl-Anthony Towns, isn’t as highly touted as the 2014 draftees were, but there’s still plenty of star potential.

Our Reverse Standings feature can be found at anytime on our right sidebar under “Hoops Rumors Features.” It’s a great resource not just for monitoring a team’s draft position, but also for keeping an eye on whether or not traded picks with protection will be changing hands in 2015. Be sure to check back often!

And-Ones: Clippers, Smith, Blair

TNT’s David Aldridge had relayed on Monday that the Clippers‘ players weren’t getting along with each other, but Spencer Hawes disagrees with that report, Rowan Kavner of writes. “Any team over the course of any season, there’s going to be stuff like that,” Hawes said. “But as far as I’m concerned, this team, off the court, on the court, gets along with each other as well as any that I’ve been a part of. I think there’s a lot of competitive guys, a lot of guys that just want to win. Sometimes you see that side of it, but you don’t see the everyday of how we get along with one another.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Rockets‘ newest addition, Josh Smith, is ecstatic to get the opportunity to play for coach Kevin McHale, Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle writes. “Being able to play for a guy who is a Hall of Fame player, who was a dominant player at his position is great,” Smith said. “I love being able to get bits and pieces off of him. Always great for an NBA player’s game.”
  • DeJuan Blair expected to see more playing time than the 4.6 minutes per game that he is currently receiving from the Wizards when he agreed to a sign-and-trade deal this summer, Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post writes. “I don’t know what’s going on,” Blair said. “I don’t know. I just show up and wait for my name to be called.” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said that Blair is handling the situation as well as can be expected, Castillo notes. “He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing,” Wittman said. “He’s doing a good job. Stays ready. Practices hard. Understands, I think, the situation. That’s what you have to do. That’s what any player that doesn’t play — the opportunity’s going to come. It’s going to happen. We all know that. We’ve seen it throughout and when that opportunity comes be ready.”
  • Carmelo Anthony said that he still remains in contact with former Knicks coach Mike Woodson, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. “It was a tough season [2013/14], it was a tough situation to be in at that point in time,” Anthony said. “I know how much work he put in as a coach and with all the guys with the team. I know how much he meant to a lot of guys on the team, especially me. So to see him go out the way he went out, for me as a person it was sad to see that.”

Al Jefferson Out For Minimum Of Four Weeks

Hornets center Al Jefferson has been diagnosed with a strain of an adductor muscle in his left groin and is expected to miss a minimum of four weeks, the team has announced. Jefferson initially injured his groin last weekend but aggravated it during Monday night’s contest against the Bucks. Initial estimates had Jefferson likely to miss a few games, but an MRI taken earlier today confirmed the strain, though no tear was revealed, which is good news for both the player and the team.

In 32 games this season, Jefferson leads the Hornets in scoring and rebounding with averages of 18.0 points and 8.2 rebounds in 32.2 minutes per game. The 6’10” center has scored in double figures in 28 of 32 games this season and has a team-high 10 double-doubles. Jefferson’s career numbers are 17.0 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 1.6 APG. His career slash line is .500/.103/.713.

The Hornets currently have the league maximum 15 players on their roster, 14 of whom have fully guaranteed pacts. This means that Charlotte would need to trade or release a player if it wanted to bolster its frontcourt depth in the wake of Jefferson’s absence. The lone player on the roster with a non-guaranteed deal is Jason Maxiell, and he’ll likely be counted on to absorb some of Jefferson’s minutes, which would not make him an ideal candidate to be released if Charlotte chooses to add another big, though that is just my speculation.

The player that will most directly benefit from a prolonged absence to Jefferson is Bismack Biyombo. The former lottery pick is only averaging 14.0 minutes per game in 25 appearances this season. Biyombo was mentioned in trade rumors prior to the season, and has also been noted as a possible trade target for the Cavs, who are desperately seeking a rim protecting big man. A strong showing from the 22-year-old could increase the demand for his services and his perceived value in advance of the February trade deadline. Biyombo is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, so his play will also have an impact on his next contract as well.

Trade Rumors App For iOS/Android

Three trades have happened within the past two weeks, and plenty more movement is likely to take place with a pair of key dates set for next week and the February 19th trade deadline drawing ever closer. You can follow all of the latest news and rumors as talks intensify with the new Trade Rumors app for iOS and Android devices!

The Trade Rumors app brings Hoops Rumors together with content from our sister sites, MLB Trade Rumors and Pro Football Rumors. You can easily scroll left to right and click on the image of the article you want to read. You can also filter your feeds to show only the top stories within that category, if you prefer.

Once you’re within a feed, you can swipe to read older or newer articles without going back to the home screen. You can easily share each article via Twitter, Facebook, email or text message.

The Trade Rumors app is highly customizable. You can add feeds for any of the 92 MLB, NBA, and NFL teams, as well as for any of the thousands of players in our archives, by using the settings icon on top for iOS and the pencil icon on top for Android. You can create a multi-sport experience tailored to your specific interests, or you can limit your app entirely to one sport by removing the others.

Best of all? The Trade Rumors app is free! Download it for iOS or Android and leave a review!


Eastern Notes: Cavs, Granger, Heat

The Cavs‘ big men have left quite a bit to be desired in their performance thus far this season. Cleveland currently ranks 22nd in blocks per game, 26th in rebounds, and 22nd in overall defense. It’s for these reasons that the Cavs have been searching for a rim protecting center all season, and Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders runs down ten possible targets for GM David Griffin to try and bolster his frontcourt with, including Timofey Mozgov (Nuggets), Brandan Wright (Celtics), Jordan Hill (Lakers), and Samuel Dalembert (Knicks).

Here’s more from the East:

  • Danny Granger never expected to retire as a member of the Pacers and he doesn’t harbor any ill feelings toward the franchise despite being dealt to the Sixers last season, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel writes. “I didn’t think I would,” Granger said of eventually retiring with Indiana. “I mean, the time I spent there was very unusual. I didn’t want to get too wrapped up in the fact that I could have possibly been there my whole career. I knew that I wanted to. But I knew that the way the NBA is, and the type of business it is.
  • Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has done his best to juggle Miami’s rotation in light of all the injuries that the team has had to deal with but this season has quickly become humbling for the proud franchise, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. “We’re 30 some games in. It’s enough talking,” Chris Bosh said. “We’ve talked enough. It’s about getting the job done. We’re not doing it right now. It’s been up and down for the whole season. It’s not going to change until each person makes it change. Coach has a bunch of decisions to make. He has to do his job and figure things out just like we have to do our job and figure things out. He’s going to put the best group he feels needs to be out there. We have to respond as players. We haven’t done a very good job of that.
  • James Anderson signed an extension that includes a raise with Lithuania’s Zalgiris Kaunas, reports David Pick of (Twitter link). Anderson, who started 62 games for the Sixers last season, inked a one-year deal with Kaunas over the summer. That deal included an escape clause, but he decided against triggering it to sign the extension, which covers the rest of the season, Pick tells Hoops Rumors.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Alec Burks Will Miss Rest Of Season

5:36pm: Burks will miss the remainder of the season, the Jazz have announced. “Alec’s long-term health has been our top priority throughout this process, and although it is unfortunate that we will be without his services on the court the rest of this season, we commend Alec’s commitment and continued effort to play through considerable pain to this point,” said Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey.  “After continued consultation with our medical staff, Alec and his representation, we have unanimously agreed that it would be most prudent for Alec to have this procedure performed now in order to ensure that he will be healthy and ready for the start of next season.”

3:36pm: The Jazz are concerned that continued shoulder problems for Alec Burks will knock him out for the season, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link). Burks has missed the team’s last two games with a strained left shoulder. He also missed a pair of games earlier this month with trouble in the same shoulder, and there were conflicting reports about whether he would need surgery. The 23-year-old shooting guard signed a four-year, $42MM extension, with incentives that could push the value to $45MM, in October. He’s making a little more than $3.034MM in the final year of his rookie scale contract this season, but the Jazz couldn’t apply for a Disabled Player Exception, which would be worth $1,517,178, since they’re under the cap.

The original injury didn’t appear to have a profound effect on his performance, as his scoring and three-point shooting percentage have both gone up since he missed those two early-December games. His numbers overall this season, his first as a full-time starter, have been similar to the ones he posted last year when he saw 5.2 fewer minutes per game. Burks is shooting a career-worst 40.3%, though that percentage has remained steady since his brief absence earlier this month.

The Jazz are 10-21 and without legitimate playoff hopes in the Western Conference, so the loss of Burks wouldn’t derail any grand plans for this season. Still, the team surely hoped he could develop further under new coach Quin Snyder to help the extension look less like the player-friendly arrangement that it appeared to be when Burks put pen to paper. The Jazz only have 12 players with fully guaranteed contracts, as our roster counts show, so they have flexibility to find a replacement for Burks if they wish. However, all of their contracts would become guaranteed if they’re still on the books come January 10th, the leaguewide guarantee date.

Southeast Notes: Wizards, Napier, D-League

One major factor contributing to the Wizards‘ success this season is their excellent team chemistry, Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle writes. Trevor Ariza was one of the team’s veteran leaders last season, but when he signed a free agent deal with the Rockets this past summer Washington acted quickly to replace that void by signing Paul Pierce, Creech notes. “You always have a contingency plan for that and that’s what we did,” coach Randy Wittman said. “Nothing ever really surprises you anymore in this league. It was a situation where we would have loved to have Trevor stay. We wanted to make sure we didn’t lose anything in that area with a guy like Trevor. We are trying to move on. We have Paul who has come in here and really moved into that spot.”

Here’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • The Hawks have assigned John Jenkins to the Idaho Stampede, the team announced in a press release. Jenkins is headed to Idaho as part of the flexible assignment rule since Atlanta is without a one-to-one partnership with a D-League team. In one previous stint in the D-League Jenkins appeared in five games, averaging 19.4 points and 3.8 rebounds in 23.8 minutes.
  • Adreian Payne has been assigned to the Austin Spurs, the Hawks have announced. This will be Payne’s fourth trek to the D-League this season, and in 11 games Payne has logged 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 28.4 minutes per contest.
  • The Heat have assigned Shabazz Napier to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. Napier has appeared in 25 games with the Heat this season, averaging 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 21.0 minutes while shooting 42.5 percent from the field. This will be Napier’s second sojourn of the season to the D-League.

Western Notes: Wolves, Warriors, Varnado

The teams at the top of the Eastern Conference have begun to close the gap on the West, as Chris Herrington of The Commercial Appeal observes in his latest “Pick and Pop” column. There are as many teams with winning percentages of .700 or better in the East as there are in the West, and the top four Eastern teams have all won at least eight of their last 10 games. The Blazers are the only Western team that can boast that. Imbalance still exists farther down the standings, where the 18-14 Suns cling to the last Western playoff spot while the 14-18 Heat lay claim to eighth place in the East. Here’s the latest from around the conference that still reigns supreme:

  • Flip Saunders said the Timberwolves are looking at “all kinds of options” and said the team hasn’t reached a deal with anyone amid conflicting reports of an agreement with Miroslav Raduljica, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). Still, Saunders acknowledged there’s “no question” that the team needs to add size, as Zgoda tweets.
  • Warriors coach Steve Kerr doesn’t expect his team will make significant changes anytime soon, as he said on NBA TV, notes Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group (on Twitter). “I don’t anticipate us doing a whole lot,” Kerr said. “We’re doing well. We like our team. We’ve got good versatility and depth.”
  • The D-League affiliate of the Lakers acquired the rights to Jarvis Varnado in a trade with the Grizzlies D-League affiliate, the L.A. D-Fenders announced (on Twitter). That sort of move usually coincides with or precedes a signing, though it doesn’t appear as though Varnado has a contract with the D-Fenders just yet. Varnado, who was in camp with the Sixers this past fall, was one of a half-dozen players without a deal to play pro basketball after inking an NBA 10-day contract last season, as I noted earlier.
  • Former Jazz camp invitee Kevin Murphy has left Utah’s D-League affiliate to pursue a deal overseas, reports Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). The swingman was briefly with the Jazz during the preseason before the team cut him October 10th.

Where 2013/14 10-Day Signees Are Today

A slight majority of last season’s 10-day signees were under new contracts with NBA teams when we last checked on their whereabouts in September. That’s changed significantly in the last few months, with NBA teams set to once more be able to sign players to 10-day contracts beginning Monday. Only eight of the 41 who signed 10-day deals in 2013/14 are still on NBA rosters. Much larger contingents are in the D-League and playing overseas. A few are free agents, and a couple have retired.

It’s quite conceivable that many of those players who are no longer in the NBA will wind up signing 10-day deals again this season. There’s a decent chance that’s also the case for some of the eight who are still in the league, since most of them are on contracts that aren’t fully guaranteed. The leaguewide guarantee date of January 10th, which usually leads several teams to cut ties with players on non-guaranteed deals, looms next week, just days after teams can issue 10-day contracts again.

Here’s a look at what every player who signed a 10-day contract during the 2013/14 season is up to now:

NBA (8)

D-League (12)

Overseas (15)

Free agents (4)

Retired (2)

RealGM was used in the creation of this post.