Baron Davis

And-Ones: Howard, Summer League, Spain, BIG3

Having been sent from Washington to Memphis in a trade for C.J. Miles, veteran center Dwight Howard is a member of the Grizzlies for now. However, the club is expected to waive or trade him at some point. After he was limited to just nine games in 2018/19 for health reasons, it’s not clear what the next step will be for Howard, but the eight-time All-Star tells Shams Charania of The Athletic that he has adjusted his mindset and is prepared to do whatever it takes to help his next team win.

“I don’t have an ego — it’s dead,” Howard said. “It had to die for me to be who I am. Sometimes when you want to become who you want to be, you have to die within yourself. Once you learn that you have to give up yourself for the team, that’s when things flourish.”

According to Charania, several NBA teams have said that they’re intrigued by Howard, who says he has been fully cleared after last year’s injury issues. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year claims he has lost 25 pounds since the end of the season, and one executive who saw him recently said he appears to be in his best shape in years, per Charania.

It remains to be seen whether Howard will get an opportunity to choose his next team on the free agent market, but if he does, he has one clear priority, he tells Charania: “Winning. Winning. Winning. I want to win. Nothing else. Just win.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • According to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer (Twitter link), there has been talk in Las Vegas about the possibility of moving back the start of Summer League in future years. Postponing the start date until after the end of the July moratorium would help address the problem of having traded 2019 draftees tied up in deals that can’t be made official until after Summer League is underway.
  • Spain announced its preliminary roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup this week, as Sportando relays, and the group includes a number of familiar names. The 16-man list, which will be cut down to 12 for the competition, features Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Willy Hernangomez, Juan Hernangomez, and former NBA players like Rudy Fernandez and Victor Claver.
  • The BIG3 announced on Wednesday that Baron Davis, Bonzi Wells, Lamar Odom, and Jermaine O’Neal are being “deactivated” for the 2019 season. The league cited the need to “maximize competition, protect the health of players, and to raise the level of the professionalism of the BIG3.”

And-Ones: Referees, Baron Davis, Ball Brothers

Having become dissatisfied working with the NBA to moderate issues between referees and players, Lee Seham, the general counsel for the National Basketball Referees Association recently met with NBPA executive director Michele Roberts to discuss those issues, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. After meeting at the players’ union’s Manhattan offices, Seham and Roberts plan to hold another informal sitdown at All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, which will include a few top referees and players.

As Wojnarowski details, both the referees’ union and players’ union have expressed concerns about how treatment from the other side — the NBRA believes that the league office has become too lenient in allowing players to verbally go after referees, while players are put off by what they view as dismissive or disrespectful reactions from refs when they ask about a call.

The NBA would ultimately need to sign off on any official changes to the way its referees are trained, or the way that disputes between players and refs are handled. However, if the referees’ and players’ unions can reach common ground on some of those issues, they’d have added leverage to take those suggestions to the league.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league has added another former NBA All-Star to its ranks, announcing this week in a press release that Baron Davis has signed with the BIG3 and will play for 3’s Company next season.Hearing about the fun they had this past summer really made me excited to suit up,” Davis said. “I have a lot of basketball left, and this is a great opportunity to fill that void I’ve been missing.”
  • In a fascinating piece for The Washington Post, Candance Buckner shines a light on some of the NBA’s behind-the-scenes power brokers, including a video game marketing director, a fashion designer, and a skills trainer.
  • How did LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball end up landing with a little-known team in Lithuania? Andrew Keh of The New York Times takes a deep dive into the city of Prienai and its basketball club (Prienu Vytautas), which has already added five more people to its modest staff to help handle the increased marketing workload.

Latest On Cavaliers’ Playmaker Search

FEBRUARY 1, 10:00am: The Cavs have been putting in a lot of work on Chalmers and Stephenson, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net, who tweets that those may be the free agents drawing the most interest from the Cavs.

JANUARY 31, 8:14pm: The Cavs are looking for outside help and on Wednesday, several free agents, including Kirk Hinrich, Mario Chalmers, and Lance Stephenson, will work out for the team. Jordan Farmar will also audition for the Cavs, sources tell Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Farmar played two games for the Kings earlier this season before the team waived him.

Sam Amick of USA Today reports that Baron Davis has lobbied for himself to be considered for Cleveland’s open “playmaker” position. Davis hasn’t played in the NBA in over four years, but he believes he simply needs two weeks to get himself into peak shape, Amick relays.

Coach Tyronn Lue will be at the free agent auditions on Wednesday and he is expected to have heavy influence when it comes to selecting a player to fill the team’s 15th roster spot. The team could potentialy add two free agents if it decides to waive Chris Andersen, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors detailed earlier today.

Cleveland could also look to the trade market to bring in a playmaker and the team has inquired about Mavs point guard Deron Williams, according to Amick. Dallas is reportedly reluctant to move Williams even though he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Amick notes that the Mavs had expressed interest in signing Iman Shumpert when the guard was a free agent during the summer of 2015. Shumpert has three seasons and over $31MM left on his contract, though his deal contains a player option worth slightly over $11MM for the 2018/19 campaign.

And-Ones: Robinson, Davis, Christon

The Bucks announced the hiring (via press release) of Craig Robinson as the franchise’s vice president of player organization and development. Robinson is a former head coach at Brown University (2006-2008) and the brother of First Lady, Michelle Obama. “Player development is instrumental to the success of our players on the court and their valuable impact in the community,” Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said. “We strive to equip every member of our organization with the tools they need to find personal success beyond basketball. As we continue to build a world-class franchise, we’re thrilled to have someone with Craig’s experience and character join our team and help our players reach their full potential on and off the court.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Former NBA player Baron Davis is still hoping to get another chance in the NBA, but noted that he doesn’t plan on attempting to go the D-League route again, Jesse Dougherty of The Los Angeles Times relays. When asked if he would consider playing in the D-League this season, Davis responded, “Nah, I’m trying to get back to the NBA, the real thing.” Davis had joined the Sixers’ affiliate in March and finished out the 2015/16 campaign as a member of the 87ers.
  • The Thunder‘s signing of guard Ronnie Price likely means that Semaj Christon is likely ticketed for the D-League or playing overseas this season, Erik Horne of The Oklahoman notes. After a solid showing in the summer league, Christon was being eyed as a potential third guard for Oklahoma City. The 23-year-old isn’t under contract with the team, but the Thunder own his draft rights. Christon spent last season with Italy’s Vuelle Pesaro.

Pacific Notes: Cousins, Karl, Dawson, Davis

DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl can’t find common ground on much these days, even on the matter of whether they spoke with one another in between his one-game suspension and Sacramento’s loss on Sunday to the Jazz. Karl said before the Utah game that he and Cousins had engaged in small talk, but Cousins insisted after the game that the Kings coach hadn’t said a word to him, reports Marc J. Spears of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports. People around Cousins believe Karl has pushed the Kings to suspend him on several occasions this season, according to Spears, who adds that a November tirade Cousins directed at Karl deeply affected the coach. GM Vlade Divac, when told that Cousins believes the suspension came from Karl and not the organzation, only smiled and said simply that he loves Cousins, Spears observes.

“There is a lot of chaos,” Cousins said. “Usually, there is just frustration with coming out and winning games. But so much extra stuff this season. Extra unnecessary stuff. It’s a lot of stuff within. There are battles with guys that should be on your side.”

See more on the Kings situation amid news from the Pacific Division:

  • Cousins insists he’s not the only one frustrated with the situation, notes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. “I know for a fact there’s a lot of frustration in this locker room,” Cousins said. “€œI believe everyone believes we should be a lot better than we are and we’re just frustrated that we’€™re not. We haven’t performed to the level of expectations, so there’€™s a lot of frustration with that.”€
  • Clippers rookie Branden Dawson was freed from jail on $50K bond Sunday afternoon, according to Dan Woike of the Orange County Register (Twitter link). Dawson was arrested Sunday morning on felony domestic violence charges, according to TMZ Sports. His first court appearance is set for April 7th, notes Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). That’s an off day before an April 8th game at Utah. “Obviously, it’s an awful situation,” Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers said, as Rowan Kavner of Clippers.com relays (Twitter link). “…We’™ll figure out what we want to do and how we want to handle it.”
  • It’s a long shot, but Baron Davis would prefer to rejoin the Warriors if he makes it back to the NBA, notes Jay Mariotti of the San Francisco Examiner. Davis has nonetheless said he’d play for any team as he tries to return, having recently joined the D-League affiliate of the Sixers.

Atlantic Notes: Davis, Jackson, Young

The Sixers have shown an increased willingness to add veterans to their roster since Jerry Colangelo was hired for a front office role, but the team isn’t currently thinking about signing Baron Davis, David Aldridge of NBA.com writes. Davis recently joined the Sixers’ D-League affiliate in Delaware, but Philadelphia wants to observe his play over a period of time prior to making a decision, Aldridge adds. “I have great respect for what he used to do,” coach Brett Brown said regarding Davis. “I don’t ever remember rushing home to watch a playoff series like I did to watch that Dallas-Golden State series [in 2007]. And I get flashbacks of that every time I hear his name. But we have not talked much about that, if at all.

I’d characterize it as, it’s an 87ers’ move, not a 76ers’ move, but consistent with our strategy,” said Delaware GM Brandon Williams of signing Davis. “I was told we want to identify, develop, and give opportunity to talent. For the first couple of years, we’ve kind of been devouring the market for young prospects, that maybe people have passed over. We took a chance with Earl Clark, a guy that people know. But there’s still some game there. Is there enough? Is he still thirsty enough, is he still hungry enough, can he help a team? Then we take a chance with Baron. He says, ‘the last time I left a court, it was on a stretcher.’

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Knicks team president Phil Jackson didn’t land center DeAndre Jordan when he was an unrestricted free agent last summer, but the big man says he came away impressed with the executive after their meeting, Ian Begley of ESPN.com writes. Jordan noted his time with Jackson included a discussion of off-court topics, the executive’s vision for the team and a pitch regarding the triangle offense, Begley adds. “They showed me some things, how I’d fit in in that offense and what I would do to excel as a player and what we’d do to excel as a team,” Jordan said. “The message [from Jackson] was just for me to be an all-around player and improve my game as much as I could. Phil was great; it was one of my best meetings. He’s such a smart man, such a deep thinker, that you want to be a part of that. He’s won, he proven it. … He made it tough to say no.
  • The Celtics have assigned swingman James Young to their D-League affiliate in Maine, the team announced. This will be Young’s ninth stint of the season with the Red Claws.

Atlantic Notes: Anthony, D-League, Davis

Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony admitted that the playoff success of LeBron James, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, all of whom he calls friends, has him questioning what he needs to do to break out of the what he termed “the worst three-year stretch” of his career, Frank Isola of The New York Daily News writes. When asked if he was envious of the trio, Anthony responded, “I don’t think envy is kind of the right word,” Anthony said. “I do look at my peers and say, ‘Damn, what am I doing wrong? I should be there.’ There was one point in time where they were looking at me like that. Made [the playoffs] 10, 11 years straight. Right now it’s kind of a rough patch for me. I’m trying to figure out a way to get out of it.

Anthony also noted that his failure to attend a mandatory team charity event on Wednesday was because of a personal commitment and not to express his displeasure over the team issuing an apology on his behalf to a fan he had a verbal run-in with, Isola adds. “I was with family,” Anthony said. “I had something to do with the family.” The veteran scorer also relayed that he and team president Phil Jackson haven’t discussed the matter, the scribe notes. “It wasn’t that big of a deal to the people that really knew what was going on,” Anthony continued. “I just accept it. I came to grips with that a long time ago, that that’s going to be the way it is.”

Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Veteran point guard Baron Davis doesn’t want to be remembered for being carried off the court injured during his last appearance and looks at the D-League as a chance to work his way back into the NBA, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com writes. Davis, who recently joined the Sixers‘ affiliate in Delaware, told the CSN scribe, “I wanted to start from the bottom. I think for me, it’s humbling, it’s something special. I can be around young guys, see what they think, see what it feels like. For me, it’s just working my way up. I want to start from the bottom and go as far as I can.” When asked if he would be willing to join the Sixers despite their struggles, Davis candidly responded, “I’ll play for anybody. I’m here in the D-League. I’ll play for anybody, to be honest.
  • The Raptors have recalled Bruno Caboclo, Lucas Nogueira and Norman Powell from their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This was the 12th trip on the season to the Raptors 905 for Caboclo, the sixth for Powell and the fourth for Nogueira.

Baron Davis Joins Sixers D-League Team

7:35pm: Davis is officially a member of the 87ers, the team announced.

10:18am: The 87ers would technically be claiming Davis rather than signing him, as Adam Johnson of the D-League Digest and Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor clarify (Twitter links).

8:01am: Davis is expected to sign with the Sixers’ D-League team, Charania writes in a full-length story, which appears to clarify that he hasn’t done so yet.

7:47am: Two-time NBA All-Star Baron Davis has signed with the D-League affiliate of the Sixers, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical on Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The team, known as the Delaware 87ers, hasn’t made an official announcement, but Charania indicates the signing has taken place. The 36-year-old Davis, who’s been out of the NBA since the 2011/12 season, went unclaimed on D-League waivers when he signed with the league in January. He remains free to join any NBA team, though given the tepid response to his free agency on the D-League level, it appears Davis will have to prove his capabilities before returning to the Association.

Davis has said he indeed plans to use the D-League as a springboard to a return to the NBA, and agent Todd Ramasar claimed that he was drawing NBA interest. Rumors surfaced that the Mavs were eyeing him, but owner Mark Cuban clarified that his team only regarded him as a D-League possibility. One NBA assistant GM told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher earlier this season that Davis merits consideration if he’s engaged and in shape, though multiple NBA executives didn’t think his comeback attempt was serious because of a film Davis made two years ago that appeared to parody the notion of his return to the league, as Bucher also noted.

The 13-year NBA veteran started four playoff games for the Knicks in 2012, suffering a gruesome knee injury in the last of them that left him with complete tears in his ACL and MCL and a partially torn patella tendon. His contract expired that summer, leaving him with a tough road back to action.

And-Ones: Blatt, Davis, Clippers

Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert said that it was a difficult choice to fire David Blatt, but also noted that it was ultimately GM David Griffin‘s decision to do so, according to his official statement (h/t NBA.com). “Over the course of my business career I have learned that sometimes the hardest thing to do is also the right thing to do,” said Gilbert “Our ownership group supports David Griffin’s decision. We would like to thank David Blatt for his work over these past two seasons where the Cavaliers transformed into a playoff team after a rebuilding phase. We believe Tyronn Lue is the right coach at the right time to put us in the best position to take the last but most challenging step to complete our mission to deliver Cleveland an NBA Championship.

On behalf of the organization, I would like to thank David Blatt for his efforts and commitment to this franchise,” Griffin said. “He spent the last year and a half battling intense scrutiny, working to mold a very willful group and we all recognize that is not at all an easy task.”

Here’s more from around the NBA:

  • The Clippers made two moves today, sending Josh Smith to the Rockets via trade and agreeing to sign Jeff Ayres to a 10-day deal, and coach/executive Doc Rivers indicated that the team may stand pat the rest of the season as far as roster moves are concerned, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • Multiple NBA D-League teams have invited free agent Baron Davis to practice with them in advance of a possible signing, but the veteran has declined all such offers to date, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor relays (on Twitter). Davis cleared D-League waivers last week after going unclaimed by the league’s 19 teams.
  • The Rockets were sent precisely $456,921 by Los Angeles as part of the Smith trade, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (via Twitter).

And-Ones: Davis, D-League, CBA

Baron Davis has cleared D-League waivers after going unclaimed by the league’s 19 teams, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). In other words, no team thought he was worth a waiver claim. Davis now goes into the league’s available players pool, Stein adds. With an interesting point, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest tweets that some team would have likely taken a shot on Davis if this situation happened a few years ago, if only for marketing purposes, because the D-League had independent teams then.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Either side may opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement after the 2016/17 season, but commissioner Adam Silver is encouraged by already having direct conversations with the Players Association and is optimistic that a lockout will be avoided, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports tweets.
  • Jae Crowder is putting up career-best numbers across the board and after re-signing with the Celtics this past summer for five years and $35MM, he is looking like one of the league’s top bargains, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com writes. Crowder was the prize in the trade that sent Rajon Rondo to the Mavs and is flourishing this season as the Celtics’ starting small forward, Forsberg adds.
  • The Hawks recalled Lamar Patterson and Edy Tavares from the D-League, Atlanta announced in an emailed press release.
  • The Magic will recall Devyn Marble from the D-League, John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com reports (on Twitter).