Month: June 2024

Eastern Notes: Hennigan, Celtics, Magic

With a large stockpile of draft picks, ample cap space, and the popularity of coach Brad Stevens around the league, the Celtics appear to be in a position to have a strong offseason, as well as possess a legitimate shot to lure a big name free agent to Boston, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes. “We have to be a place where guys around the league will look at and say, ‘hey it can work to play in Boston, to play for Brad Stevens, play with those guys and play in front of those fans,’” co-owner Wyc Grousbeck told Blakely. “I think people are starting to take notice.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Multiple sources around the NBA told Blakely that the Celtics players who are most likely to garner trade interest this offseason are big men Kelly Olynyk and Jared Sullinger. The players who the team are least likely to deal are guard Marcus Smart and center Tyler Zeller, Blakely adds.
  • Magic GM Rob Hennigan‘s contract extension also includes a team option for the 2018/19 season, Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel tweets.
  • The Thunder’s hiring of Billy Donovan helps the Magic in their own quest for a new head coach, Robbins writes in a separate article. With OKC now out of the coaching hunt, Orlando will now only have the Nuggets to compete with for available candidates, the Sentinel scribe notes.

2014/15 D-League Usage Report: Rockets

The relationship between the NBA and the D-League continues to grow, and 17 NBA franchises currently have one-to-one D-League affiliates amongst the 18 D-League teams. The remaining 13 NBA teams shared the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this season. We at Hoops Rumors will be recapping each team’s use of the D-League this season, looking at assignments and recalls as well as the players signed out of the D-League. We’ll continue onward with a look back at how the Rockets utilized the D-League during the 2014/15 campaign…

D-League Team: Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Affiliation Type: One-to-one

D-League Team Record: 27-23

Number of NBA Players Assigned To D-League: 3

Total D-League Assignments: 11

Player Stats While On Assignment

  • Clint Capela: 5 assignments, 38 games, 16.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 3.0 BPG. .600/.000/.596.
  • Nick Johnson: 5 assignments, 20 games, 18.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.1 APG. .428/.283/.789.
  • Isaiah Canaan: 1 assignment, 4 games, 21.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 8.5 APG. .368/.349/.633.

D-League Signings

  • None

Assignment/Recall Log

Central Notes: Love, Bucks, Cavs

There’s little doubt that the Cavs would offer a maximum-salary deal to Kevin Love if he were to opt out this summer, writes Brian Windhorst of That’s in spite of Love’s shoulder injury and a report in March from ESPN colleague Chris Broussard, who said that rival executives had begun to question whether Cleveland would shell out the max for the power forward.

Here’s the latest from the NBA’s Central Division:

  • The Bucks‘ hard-nosed defensive style is a direct reflection on coach Jason Kidd‘s influence and personality, Teddy Greenstein of The Chicago Tribune writes. Not only has Milwaukee upped its win total by 26 from the previous season, the team improved from last in the league in defensive efficiency in 2013/14 to second overall this season, Greenstein notes. “He [Kidd] came in with the philosophy of: If you don’t play defense, you won’t play,” forward Jared Dudley said.
  • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said he would step into negotiations personally with the intent of getting a deal done fairly quickly to finance a new downtown Milwaukee arena for the Bucks, Don Walker of The Journal Sentinel writes. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership and commitment to taxpayers throughout this process and look forward to further progress,” said Bucks President Peter Feigin.
  • The loss of Love for the remainder of the playoffs removes much of the pressure for the Cavs and LeBron James to bring an NBA title to Cleveland this season, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes.
  • If the Cavs are able to advance deep into the playoffs without Love in the lineup it could alter the franchise’s bargaining stance with the forward, Tom Ziller of SBNation writes. The reverse will also hold true, and if the franchise struggles mightily it will serve to reinforce Love’s value to the squad as a floor-stretcher and rebounder, Ziller adds.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Aldridge On Free Agency, Surgery, Olshey

Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and while Portland certainly wishes to re-sign its star, the competition to secure his services is likely to be stiff indeed. Both the Spurs and the Mavericks are expected to pursue the native Texan, and the Knicks and Lakers are also expected to make a run at inking the 29-year-old. In his exit interview with the media Aldridge touched upon a number of subjects, and here or some of the highlights (hat tip to Sean Meagher of The Oregonian for the transcription)…

On what will be most important to him when making his free agency decision:

I’m not gonna get into the details of it, but I think I’m gonna go home and just relax and talk to my family and my agent and just go from there. Of course I love being here, I’m thankful for everything this city has given me and for my time here. It’s been an amazing nine years; of course I’m not trying to have that end. When the time comes we’ll sit down, my agent and [GM] Neil Olshey and [owner] Paul Allen, we’ll just figure it out.

On if his thinking regarding re-signing with the Blazers has changed since last summer:

“I haven’t thought about it since then. The season just ended. I have to sit back and reflect on everything that just happened. Look back on the season and the things that are important to me. I wouldn’t say things have changed, I just think that I’m gonna do my due diligence. I’m just gonna go through the process.” 

On if he was looking forward to the free agency process:

“Um, yes and no. I think every player wants to be wanted. Obviously if I said I don’t want to be wanted, does that mean you’re one of the top players in your position. It’s always good and bad that comes with it and I have to deal with it. But I’m looking forward to getting rest right now and then figure the rest out.” 

On if he will require offseason surgery to repair damage to his thumb:

“I don’t know yet. I have to get it looked at again.” 

On his relationship with Olshey:

“I would say it’s good. I would say he is different than most other GMs I’ve dealt with … other than when Chad [Buchanan] subbed in, I thought Chad had some Neil qualities in him as far as putting players first and trying to make sure the players have everything that they wanted and needed and trying to make sure guys are happy. Neil has brought a new culture to this team, to this city. He came in and he redid the whole facility, the whole arena. I just think he wants players to be happy at their jobs and at the arena and stuff like that. That was new for me and I enjoyed that.”

Damian Lillard To Seek Max Extension

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard intends to seek a maximum contract extension from the team this offseason, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. The 6’3″ point guard is looking to secure a five year deal with the team, Charania adds. According to Charania’s sources, Lillard has no plans to consider agreeing to an extension for less than the designated maximum, and would have no inclination to do so considering the anticipated rise in the salary cap in 2016.

In his exit interview earlier today, Lillard told reporters he’s confident that he and the team would be able to come to terms on an extension, and that he has no desire to leave Portland any time soon, Charania adds. “For me, this is where I want to be,” Lillard said. “So whatever we need to do to make that happen and figure that out, then that’s what I’m going to do,Mike Tokito of The Oregonian relays. The team intends to first focus its efforts on re-signing unrestricted free agents LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews, the RealGM scribe notes, but Portland is expected to begin talks with Lillard shortly after those players’ situations are resolved.

Lillard, 24, was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He has appeared in a total of 246 games for Portland since entering the league, all as a starter. Lillard’s career averages are 20.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 6.2 assists. His career shooting percentages are .429/.368/.861. The former Weber State star has been remarkably healthy thus far in his career, having never missed a game since entering the league.

Northwest Notes: Donovan, Blazers, Pleiss

Billy Donovan‘s deal to coach the Thunder is for five-years and worth approximately $30MM, or roughly $6MM per season, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link). The fifth season is a team option, Ramona Shelburne of tweets. The ex-Florida coach was reportedly seeking that amount annually if he was to make the jump from the NCAA, and it’s certainly a hefty raise from Donovan’s $4MM per season wage for coaching the Gators.

Here’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • During his exit interview today, Chris Kaman said that he would like to return to the Blazers next season, Jabari Young of tweets. The 33-year-old big man said he’ll need to wait and see if Portland wants to retain him for 2015/16, Young adds. Kaman’s $5,016,000 salary for next season includes a partial guarantee of $1MM.
  • Damian Lillard says that he is confident that he and the Blazers will be able to reach an agreement on a contract extension this offseason, Joe Freeman of the Oregonian relays (Twitter link). “For me, this is where I want to be,” said Lillard. “Whatever we need to do to make that happen, we’ll make happen.” The point guard is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal with the team, and will earn $4,236,287 in 2015/16.
  • German center Tibor Pleiss could look to join the Jazz next season if his contract is indeed bought out by Barcelona, Aris Barkas of relays (hat tip to Jody Genessy of The Deseret News). Utah acquired the rights to the 25-year-old from the Thunder in the Enes Kanter trade earlier this season.
  • The Thunder‘s coaching switch from Scott Brooks to Donovan was done to get a different voice for the players to respond to, as well as for the franchise to create a new identity next season, Shelburne relays in a series of tweets. The plan is for the team to make a change now, rather than spend the year in organizational limbo, and to show Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook what the future will look like in OKC, Shelburne adds.

Atlantic Notes: Turner, Prigioni, Draft

Evan Turner said this year, his first with the Celtics on a two-year deal, has been his most satisfying in the NBA so far, as he tells Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, and he’s sold on Boston as an attractive place for free agents to go. “Regardless, Boston is always a destination team,” Turner said. “Somebody will always come, whether we make the playoffs or not. It’s the energy and emotion. I’ve talked to some friends who have come here and played: They see that the crowd is crazy, the fan base is crazy, even when we weren’t in the playoff race at the time. People still show up. It’s about basketball, not other gimmicks. There’s certain organizations. The people who work here are classy people. The city is like that. There aren’t many people walking around parading other sports teams. It’s all Boston, compared to some of the places I’ve played in. It’s been fun.”

Here’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Pablo Prigioni admitted that he had requested that the Knicks trade him prior to February’s deadline, and he is grateful to have ended up in Houston, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “When I saw how things were going, it was so clear they were looking more to next season, the summer,’’ Prigioni said. “I felt myself at 38, I have no future on the team. I talked to Derek [Fisher] and told him my desire to send me somewhere so I can enjoy probably my last year in the league. At the deadline it was good for me and the team because they’re looking for young guys to build for the next five years.’’
  • The veteran point guard indicated that he may play professionally for one more season, though it would most likely be in Europe if he does, Berman notes. Prigioni also said that he wants to try his hand at coaching once his playing career ends, the Post scribe adds.
  • According to ESPN’s Chad Ford (hat tip to Ian Begley of, if the Knicks end up with the No. 1 overall pick this June, the franchise would use it to select Karl-Anthony Towns. Following Towns, New York’s top five ranked players in descending order are Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay, D’Angelo Russell, and Justise Winslow, Ford notes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

2014/15 D-League Usage Report: Warriors

The relationship between the NBA and the D-League continues to grow, and 17 NBA franchises currently have one-to-one D-League affiliates amongst the 18 D-League teams. The remaining 13 NBA teams shared the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this season. We at Hoops Rumors will be recapping each team’s use of the D-League this season, looking at assignments and recalls as well as the players signed out of the D-League. We’ll continue onward with a look back at how the Warriors utilized the D-League during the 2014/15 campaign…

D-League Team: Santa Cruz Warriors

Affiliation Type: One-to-one

D-League Team Record: 35-15

Number of NBA Players Assigned To D-League: 4

Total D-League Assignments: 13

Player Stats While On Assignment:

  1. James Michael McAdoo: 3 assignments, 33 games, 19.6 PPG, 8.7 RPG, and 2.3 APG. .575/.250/.685.
  2. Justin Holiday: 1 assignment, 1 game, 26.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 4.0 APG. .450/.455/.600.
  3. Ognjen Kuzmic: 8 assignments, 29 games, 12.8 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. .493/.000/.772.
  4. Festus Ezeli: 1 assignment, 2 games, 10.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 3.0 BPG. .474/.000/1.000.

D-League Signings

  1.  James Michael McAdoo (Santa Cruz Warriors-Golden State affiliate): Signed 1st 10-day contract on January 19th, 2nd 10-day deal on February 2nd, and inked a mulityear contract on February 19th.

Assignment/Recall Log

Andrew Wiggins Wins Rookie Of The Year

Andrew Wiggins has won this year’s Rookie of the Year award, receiving 110 of the 130 first-place votes, the NBA announced. It’s no surprise to see the No. 1 overall pick from last year’s draft come away with the honor, especially since Jabari Parker, the second overall pick, suffered a season-ending ACL tear in December and Joel Embiid missed all of 2014/15 after breaking his foot over the summer. Nikola Mirotic finished a distant second, garnering 14 first-place votes. Nerlens Noel and fourth-place finisher Elfrid Payton were the only others to receive first-place votes.

The Cavs originally drafted and signed Wiggins before dealing him to the Timberwolves in August as part of the Kevin Love trade. The small forward who spent one year in college at Kansas had an expansive role on a rebuilding Minnesota squad this year, taking 13.9 shots per game and averaging 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in 36.2 minutes a night.

Wiggins racked up 604 points in the voting system in which first-place votes are worth five points, second-place votes tally three points, and third-place votes are one point. Mirotic was well back, with 335 points. Only seven rookies garnered any votes at all. Wiggins, Payton, fifth-place finisher Marcus Smart and Jusuf Nurkic, who finished sixth, were the only first-round picks from 2014 among those seven. Noel sat out last season after having gone sixth overall in 2013, and Mirotic is a draft-and-stash selection from 2011. Jordan Clarkson, the seventh-place finisher, was the 46th overall pick last year. To see the selections from each media member who voted, click here.

Celtics Eye Aminu, Want New Deal With Jerebko

The Celtics are among the teams with interest in soon-to-be free agent Al-Farouq Aminu, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of He isn’t a top priority for the Celtics, who are intent on re-signing Jae Crowder and Jonas Jerebko, Blakely writes, adding that he would nonetheless be unsurprised if the team looks more closely at Aminu if it can’t sign those two. Aminu confirmed Wednesday that he’ll turn down his minimum-salary player option for next season with the Mavs and hit free agency, though there’s mutual interest in a new deal between the forward and Dallas. Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge made it clear last week that he’d like to re-sign Crowder, who’ll be a restricted free agent, and hinted today at a desire to bring back Jerebko.

Aminu, the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft, was a premier defender in a bench role for the Mavericks this season, ranking sixth among small forwards in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus/Minus metric. He played just as much power forward, as Basketball-Reference shows, and while his offensive contributions weren’t impressive, he capably filled the role that Shawn Marion had vacated when he left the Mavs for Cleveland last summer.

Jerebko is an improved three-point shooter over the past two seasons, having shot 39.7% on a healthy sample size of 214 attempts during that period. He’s not an especially strong rebounder for his 6’10” height, though he averaged more per 36 minutes during his 29-game stint with the Celtics than in any of his four and a half seasons with the Pistons. The 28-year-old would like to re-sign with the Celtics, and Ainge suggested today that there was some mutual interest before cautioning that “it all depends.”

Ainge made it clear today that he wants to land stars, though MassLive’s Jay King reported that the C’s are willing to chase a second-tier free agent with a lucrative offer and the idea that the player they target can eventually prove the contract worthwhile as the salary cap shoots skyward. It’s unclear if Aminu fits that bill, though the 24-year-old’s lottery pick pedigree suggests there might be untapped potential. The Celtics have only about $40MM in guaranteed salary committed against a projected $67.1MM cap.