Trail Blazers GM Neil Olshey is unsurprisingly a major fan of soon-to-be free agent big man Al Horford, as Jason Quick of CSNNW.com tweets. Horford will reportedly prioritize the fifth year that the Hawks, and no one else, can offer him in a new contract this summer, but he hasn’t made any commitments despite his fondness for Atlanta, and he reportedly has a degree of interest in the Magic. Portland wouldn’t offer the geographical advantage of no state income tax and proximity to his college home of the University of Florida that the Magic could, but the Blazers have an intriguing backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to showcase to Horford and other free agents this summer, when the team will have only about $47MM in guaranteed salary on the books against a salary cap expected to be twice that amount. See more from around the league:
- Rockets GM Daryl Morey was mum when ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan asked him whether he planned to re-sign Dwight Howard this summer, as Matt Dollinger of SI.com notes in a roundup of last week’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Agent David Falk regards Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf as the toughest negotiator he’s ever gone against, Dollinger notes in the same piece.
- Positional versatility and a strong overall package make Michigan swingman Caris LeVert an intriguing prospect, but he looks ill-suited to become a go-to guy, and his history of injuries is a concern, write Josh Riddell and Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress.
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News sides with LSU combo forward Ben Simmons in the debate over whether Simmons or Duke small forward Brandon Ingram is the top prospect in this year’s draft, listing Simmons atop his first mock draft. Ingram follows, with European power forward Dragan Bender at No. 3.