Chandler Parsons has been lobbying the Grizzlies to give him medical clearance to play but his new team is playing things cautiously, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports. Parsons is rehabbing from March knee surgery and the Grizzlies don’t want him to have any setbacks when he returns to the court, MacMahon continues. Parsons received a four-year, $94MM contract despite the injury he suffered while playing for the Mavericks last season. “He’s definitely making great progress,” Grizzlies coach David Fizdale told MacMahon. “He’s doing a lot of drills with us right now where he’s not hitting, per se. It’s just very scripted, but he’s moving full speed. … I’d rather have him for 75 games than four and he’s out.”
In other developments around the league:
- Taking care of retired players is a priority in the Collective Bargaining Agreement talks, Cavs superstar LeBron James told Jon Krawczynski and Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. The NBA and its players have agreed that the next CBA will include new league-funded programs to help retired players with education and medical expenses, four people with knowledge of the situation told the AP. In exchange for those programs, and pending full approval from both sides, the split of basketball-related income would remain the same “50-50” deal as it is in the current agreement, the AP story adds. “We’ve all built this league together,” James said told the AP. “No matter how big of a guy you were or if you were the 15th guy on the bench, we all built this league into what it is today. But it’s not just my idea. I’m not taking any credit for that.”
- Paul Pierce isn’t a fan of Kevin Durant‘s decision to join the Warriors, as he discussed on a Sirius XM Radio interview that was relayed by NBA.com. The Clippers forward believes Durant should have stayed with the Thunder, rather than join the franchise that vanquished his former team in the Western Conference playoffs. “I understand when you have great players on losing teams who are tired of losing, struggling in the playoffs every year,” Pierce said. “You’re the lone star. I’ve been in that position. I could have left Boston years ago, but I stuck it out. I just feel like when you’re that close, as a competitor, you don’t go join the team that just put you out.”
- Fortitudo Bologna in Italy is still hopeful of signing ex-NBA swingman Carlos Delfino, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Delfino, 34, last played in the NBA in 2012/13, when he appeared in 67 games for the Rockets.