Western Notes: James, Batum, Katsikaris, Jones

LeBron James seriously considered joining the Sixers and Rockets before signing with the Lakers. In an extensive interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that was relayed by Dave McMenamin, James addressed a variety of topics, including which teams he considered during free agency.

“I definitely thought long and hard about the possibilities of lining up alongside Ben [Simmons] and [Joel] Embiid or lining up aside [James] Harden and Chris [Paul],” he told Nichols.

The Sixers had the salary-cap space to sign James but the Rockets would have likely required a sign-and-trade with the Cavaliers to acquire his services. James also insisted he doesn’t see next season as a rebuilding year for the Lakers.

“We have an opportunity to do something that a lot of people don’t think we can do, and we love the notion of it’s another rebuilding year and we don’t have enough. So that will motivate the guys that we have anyways.”

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • The Rockets are actively seeking a defensive-minded player on the trade market and are willing to take on a long-term contract, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN in comments relayed by digital journalist Ben DuBose. Houston would presumably move forward Ryan Anderson, who has two years and $41.7MM left on his deal. The Hornets’ Nicolas Batum would be a logical target, as Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype notes. Batum has three years and $76.7MM remaining on his contract, which includes a player option in the final year.
  • The Jazz have hired Fotis Katsikaris as an assistant to Quin Snyder, the team announced in a press release. Katsikaris becomes the first-ever native Greek NBA assistant coach. He was a head coach in Spain last season and served as head coach of the Greek national team from 2014-16.
  • The Warriors are unlikely to pick up center Damian Jones‘ fourth-year option, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Golden State must make a decision on the $2.3MM option prior to the start of the season. If it’s declined, Jones will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
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10 thoughts on “Western Notes: James, Batum, Katsikaris, Jones

  1. acarneglia

    A Batum-Anderson swap would make sense for both sides. Houston gets a player they need. Charlotte would get RA off the books quicker than NB. If you get some picks attached to Anderson idk why Charlotte would say no

    • josh39

      Charlotte should jump for joy if they’re able to get Batum and Howard off the books this offseason

    • BDUBS5218

      Batum is better than Anderson and Charlotte already has a logjam at PF. Doesn’t make sense for them. I realize they are in salary cap hell but moving Byombo, Zeller, Kamisky or Williams makes more sense. (Zeller still has upside though.)

      • Z-A

        Yea Batum is overpaid but still better positionally and skillwise than Anderson and his injuries.

  2. I can see how they free 4MM for the next 2 years & then 26 the third, which is very good for Charlotte, but Batum is a very useful player, a starter in this team, while Anderson wouldn’t be of any help, hardly would get any PT, so I am not sure is economics should be that much important than competing, with a trade like that would show Charlotte is going on a rebuild, at least don’t intend to compete.

    • BDUBS5218

      Agree this move doesnt seem worth it in the long run. It would mean they are blowing up the team and would not send a vote of confidence to Kemba making his re-signing harder. Also I think Batum will have a bounce back year. Tony Parker mentoring him again will pay dividends. CHA should compete for the 8th seed.

  3. If rockets are looking for a defensive minded wing, then they should just sign Nwaba on the cheap.

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