Golden State Warriors

Lakers Notes: Myers, Williams, Brewer

The Lakers are finalizing a deal with longtime player agent Rob Pelinka to be the team’s new GM, but he wasn’t the organization’s first choice for the job. Current Warriors GM Bob Myers was the team’s top choice for the gig, but the Lakers didn’t have confidence that Myers would be willing to leave Golden State, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

Here’s more from Los Angeles:

  • The Lakers had multiple offers which included first-round picks on the table for Lou Williams over the past few weeks, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). Shelburne adds that the team was so confident that it could net a first-rounder, it offered that pick in DeMarcus Cousins negotiations.
  • President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson said that he’s “already talked to five GM’s” and added that he’ll be the person handling trade inquiries going forward for the Lakers, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News relays (Twitter link).
  • Corey Brewer didn’t expect the Rockets to trade him this season, but he’s looking forward to a new opportunity with the Lakers, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 passes along (Twitter link). “Yeah, I was shocked. Brewer said. “I’m going to be a Laker. So I have to make the most of that opportunity. I can talk to the young guys and try to help them. Brandon Ingram is going to be a really good player. So hopefully, I can take him under my wing, help him develop and be one of the best.”

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 2/21/17

The NBA second half won’t get underway until Thursday, but with NBA and D-League teams returning from their respective All-Star breaks, assignments and recalls have gotten underway again. Here are Tuesday’s moves:

  • The Jazz have recalled Joel Bolomboy from the Salt Lake City Stars following his participation in the weekend’s D-League All-Star game, per a team release. The rookie forward averaged 15.8 PPG and 13.2 RPG in 18 first-half NBADL games.
  • Briante Weber has been recalled to the Warriors from Santa Cruz after playing in the D-League All-Star game, Golden State announced in a press release. Weber is still on his second 10-day contract with the Dubs, though the team could waive him at the trade deadline if it needs to open up that 15th roster spot.
  • One other D-League All-Star is back with his NBA team, as the Heat confirmed that they’ve recalled Okaro White. White has been with the Heat since mid-January, but his early-season play with the Sioux Falls Skyforce earned him a spot in the D-League All-Star Game.
  • The Nuggets have sent 2016 first-rounder Malik Beasley back to the D-League, the team announced in a press release. It’s the third assignment this season for Beasley, who will head to Sioux Falls and join Miami’s affiliate, since Denver doesn’t yet have a D-League team of its own.
  • The Raptors have sent Bruno Caboclo, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet to the D-League, according to the team (Twitter link). Caboclo and VanVleet have gone back and forth between the NBA and NBADL all year, but it’s Siakam’s first assignment.
  • Rookies Chinanu Onuaku and Kyle Wiltjer have been re-assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets announced today (via Twitter).
  • The Trail Blazers have assigned rookie guard Tim Quarterman to the D-League, according to a press release from the team. Quarterman joined the Windy City Bulls in his previous two NBADL stints via the flexible assignment rule, but will head to the Long Island Nets this time around.

Agent Rob Pelinka Frontrunner For Lakers’ GM Job

With general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive VP of basketball operations Jim Buss having been relieved of their duties in the Lakers’ front office, new president of basketball operations Magic Johnson will call the shots in L.A. However, the club remains on the lookout for a new GM, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical and Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report (Twitter links), longtime player agent Rob Pelinka has emerged as a frontrunner for the position.

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne first reported (via Twitter) that Pelinka, who represents Kobe Bryant and many current NBA players, was on the Lakers’ radar for a front office role. If the team decides to hire Pelinka, he would have to divest himself of his representation business, which would take some time, as Wojnarowski notes (via Twitter).

Several other rumors are swirling as the Lakers’ front office undergoes major changes, so let’s round them up…

  • Assuming the Lakers haven’t already decided on Pelinka, there are a number of other potential candidates believed to be on their radar, per Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter links). According to Amick, Blazers GM Neil Olshey, former Cavs GM Chris Grant, Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard, and Pacers VP of basketball operations Peter Dinwiddie are worth keeping an eye on.
  • ESPN’s Marc Stein reports (via Twitter) that another veteran player agent – Arn Tellem – is also said to be a potential target for the Lakers. However, as Rod Beard of The Detroit News tweets, Tellem – who formerly represented Kobe Bryant – has been very involved in the Pistons‘ move to downtown Detroit and seems unlikely to bolt in the middle of that project.
  • Magic Johnson has previously talked about wanting Bryant to have a role in the Lakers’ front office. Shelburne tweets that the future Hall-of-Famer is “happy doing what he’s doing,” but would be available to the organization if needed.
  • Jerry West hasn’t been approached by the Lakers about a role in the team’s front office, tweets Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times. According to Ding (via Twitter), West won’t be a part of the club’s new management group.
  • According to Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter links), one reason the Warriors were motivated to give GM Bob Myers a promotion and a raise last summer was to avoid making him a target for the Lakers.

Kyler’s Latest: CP3, Holiday, Lowry, G. Hill, Gibson

Chris Paul and the Clippers essentially have a verbal agreement in place for a new contract this summer, sources close to the process tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Although the star point guard is technically eligible for an extension now, he can get a longer-term – and more lucrative – deal by re-signing with the club in July.

A verbal agreement isn’t binding, so things could change between now and July, but Paul has always been viewed as likely to remain in Los Angeles. As Kyler notes, the 31-year-old will be eligible to sign a new five-year contract worth more than $200MM this offseason, so as long as the Clippers are willing to put that offer on the table – and it seems they are – there’s virtually no chance of CP3 changing teams.

Kyler’s latest Basketball Insiders piece also features several other interesting tidbits related to players on expiring contracts, so let’s round up a few of the highlights…

  • Other free agent point guards who are strong bets to re-sign with their current teams: Stephen Curry (Warriors), Jrue Holiday (Pelicans), and Kyle Lowry (Raptors). According to Kyler, New Orleans is prepared to offer Holiday the max, or something close to it, while Toronto is willing to make a similar offer to Lowry, as long as he wants to remain with the team.
  • Like Paul, teammates Blake Griffin and J.J. Redick are viewed as highly likely to re-sign with the Clippers this summer, per Kyler. The Thunder were mentioned at one point as a potential suitor for Griffin, but OKC has since added a ton of salary to its 2017/18 books, and Kyler suggests that Griffin was never all that interest in returning to Oklahoma, where he played his college ball.
  • Sources close to the George Hill situation say the point guard is very happy in Utah. There’s mutual interest in a new deal this offseason between Hill and the Jazz, but it remains to be seen how high the team will be willing to go with its offer, Kyler writes.
  • According to Kyler, the Bulls are interested in re-signing free-agent-to-be Taj Gibson, but there’s a belief that he’ll want to explore other options in free agency, which makes Chicago’s decision this week a little trickier — the club won’t want to risk losing him for nothing.
  • Although Derrick Rose is viewed as very available, his contract will make it difficult to move him, since the Knicks want to maintain cap flexibility, says Kyler.
  • For a few more notes on players with expiring contracts, be sure to check out Kyler’s full piece.

Cavaliers Face Two Important Deadlines Monday

Monday is an important day on the Cavaliers’ calendar for two reasons, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com.

It’s the expiration date for a trade exception the team acquired when it dealt Anderson Varejao to Portland last season. Currently at nearly $4.4MM, the exception started out at more than $9.6MM, but the Cavs used about $5.2MM when they acquired Kyle Korver from the Hawks in January.

Pluto speculates that Jazz point guard Shelvin Mack could be a good pickup with Cleveland searching for a veteran backup to Kyrie Irving. Mack has dropped out of the rotation in Utah, but he is averaging 7.3 points through 46 games and is shooting 36% from 3-point range, which would be an asset in Cleveland’s offense. Mack’s salary is a little more than $2.4MM, and he will be a free agent when the season ends.

Monday also marks the first day that Varejao could potentially return to Cleveland. NBA rules state that players who are traded must wait at least a full calendar year before rejoining their original team.

The Warriors waived Varejao two weeks ago to free up a roster spot to sign Briante Weber. Pluto writes that the 34-year-old big man could be on the Cavaliers’ radar as a fallback choice as they look for a replacement for the injured Chris Andersen. First they will see if any centers are realistic trade options, then they wait to see who gets bought out. Pluto says they prefer Andrew Bogut to Varejao, but it seems likely the Mavericks will keep him.

Trade Deadline Outlook: Pacific Division

In the days leading up to the February 23 trade deadline, Hoops Rumors will be taking a closer look at each of the NBA’s 30 teams, by division. We’ll be identifying each team as a buyer, seller, or something in between, and discussing which teams and players are most likely to be involved in deals this month. We’ve already covered the Atlantic, Northwest, and Southeast. Today, we’re examining the Pacific.

Buyers:

As the odds-on favorite to win the 2017 NBA championship, the Warriors (47-9) are undoubtedly buyers rather than sellers, but the team may not be overly active within the next few days. Adding another reliable guard or rim protector would provide the roster with a little additional depth as the playoffs approach, but Golden State doesn’t have any glaring holes that need to be filled, and the team isn’t brimming with expendable trade assets. With huge max deals for Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant looming, the Warriors may need to rely on young, inexpensive players like Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney, and Damian Jones to assume regular rotation roles in future seasons, so it makes sense to hang onto them rather than to dangle them in search of a minor upgrade.

The Clippers (35-21) will likely look a little harder for an upgrade than the Warriors, but like Golden State, their trade assets are limited. A 2021 pick is the earliest first-rounder Los Angeles could move, and as the Carmelo Anthony rumors proved, adding an impact player would probably require giving up one or more rotation players out of a group that includes Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, and J.J. Redick. If the Clippers were willing to make Blake Griffin available and really reshape their roster, things could get interesting, but there’s no indication that’s on the table at all. If L.A. makes a move, it’s far more likely be a small one.

Read more

NBA D-League Recalls/Assignments: 2/17/17

Here is today’s lone D-League assignment:

  • The Warriors assigned Briante Weber to their D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors, the team announced via press release. As Anthony Slater of the San Jose Mercury News explained, the move will allow Weber to participate in this year’s D-League All-Star game. Currently on his second 10-day contract, Weber has scored eight points over five games in Golden State. His D-League production has come with the Sioux Falls Skyforce, where he averaged 16.5 points on 45.5% shooting.

Knicks Notes: Green, Dolan, Anthony, Rose

The Warriors’ Draymond Green is the latest player to suggest that the turmoil surrounding the Knicks will keep free agents away, relays Ian Begley of ESPN.com. Green was especially critical of James Dolan for last week’s altercation with Charles Oakley, saying the team owner has a “slave master mentality” toward the former player. “When you look at what’s going on now with the [Carmelo Anthony] situation in their organization and now how you do a legend in Charles Oakley, I don’t know a free agent that would want to go there,” Green said. “I don’t know someone who would really want to go there.” Green also blasted Dolan for suggesting that Oakley has a problem with drinking or anger management.

There’s more tonight out of New York:

  • Anthony offers a different opinion, saying he believes the Knicks can overcome their off-court problems and improve through free agency, relays Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. “I think the way the deals are structured now, even if you don’t want to come there’s an opportunity for you to make more money,” Anthony said. “A lot of times players look at that, that kind of overshadows other situations.”
  • Point guard Derrick Rose is headed toward free agency, but he says money won’t be the determining factor in where he signs his next contract, Bondy writes in a separate piece. Rose watched huge deals being handed out last offseason, but claims that isn’t what motivates him. “I always been driven by playing basketball and wanting to be the best,” he said. “… You see numbers, you can’t look over them. But I’m just happy that I have an opportunity for them to see how I perform and let them see what I’m worth.” Rose adds that he hasn’t talked to team president Phil Jackson or GM Steve Mills about a possible trade or his long-term future in New York.
  • Anthony has been chosen to replace Kevin Love in the All-Star Game, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. It will be his eighth straight All-Star appearance and his 10th overall.

Myers: Warriors Will Listen, But May Just Stand Pat

The Warriors haven’t been involved in many trade rumors in recent weeks, which makes sense, since it’s hard to find many areas the team needs to improve. According to Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News, general manager Bob Myers intends to keep an eye out for possible deals, but is happy to stand pat if nothing materializes.

“We don’t want to disrupt what we have,” the Warriors GM said. “Doesn’t mean we won’t answer the phone, doesn’t mean we won’t explore possibilities. But reality is, we like who we have and, even if we didn’t, our options are somewhat limited. Utah has our first (round pick) this year from the (Andre) Iguodala transaction back in 2013. So we’ll see what happens. If we end up not doing anything, that would be a fine outcome as well.”

  • A handful of ESPN insiders, including Kevin Pelton and Amin Elhassen (Insider link), examine the Pacific division and make a few suggestions for what sort of deals the Clippers, Kings, Lakers, Suns, and Warriors should consider.

Knicks, Lakers Top Forbes’ NBA Franchise Valuations

The Knicks have been one of the NBA’s most dysfunctional teams this season. On the court, the team has gone just 23-33, with $72MM man Joakim Noah failing to make a significant impact, and Jeff Hornacek and Phil Jackson not always on the same page when it came to the use of the triangle. Off the court, things have been even worse, with Jackson criticizing star forward Carmelo Anthony, and owner James Dolan at odds with former Knicks star Charles Oakley.

On the west coast, the Lakers haven’t been much better, racking up a 19-38 record, good for the No. 14 seed in the West. The team hasn’t made as many off-court headlines, but the structure of the front office is currently up in the air, with new advisor Magic Johnson publicly declaring that he wants to be the one calling the shots on roster decisions.

Despite the problems in New York and Los Angeles, the Knicks and Lakers remain the NBA’s two most valuable franchises, according to a report from Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes. The Knicks and Lakers are the only teams valued at more than $3 billion by Forbes.

Team valuations are up around the league, with the Warriors leading the way among this year’s increases — according to Forbes, the Dubs are 37% more valuable that they were at this time in 2016. In total, 18 teams have a valuation exceeding $1 billion, which is up from 13 teams last year and just three teams in 2015. The average NBA franchise is now worth $1.36 billion, according to the report.

Here’s the full list of NBA franchise valuations, per Forbes:

  1. New York Knicks: $3.3 billion
  2. Los Angeles Lakers: $3 billion
  3. Golden State Warriors: $2.6 billion
  4. Chicago Bulls: $2.5 billion
  5. Boston Celtics: $2.2 billion
  6. Los Angeles Clippers; $2 billion
  7. Brooklyn Nets: $1.8 billion
  8. Houston Rockets: $1.65 billion
  9. Dallas Mavericks: $1.45 billion
  10. Miami Heat: $1.35 billion
  11. Cleveland Cavaliers: $1.2 billion
  12. San Antonio Spurs: $1.175 billion
  13. Toronto Raptors: $1.125 billion
  14. Phoenix Suns: $1.1 billion
  15. Sacramento Kings: $1.075 billion
  16. Portland Trail Blazers: $1.05 billion
  17. Oklahoma City Thunder: $1.025 billion
  18. Washington Wizards: $1 billion
  19. Orlando Magic: $920MM
  20. Utah Jazz: $910MM
  21. Detroit Pistons: $900MM
  22. Denver Nuggets: $890MM
  23. Atlanta Hawks: $885MM
  24. Indiana Pacers: $880MM
  25. Philadelphia 76ers: $800MM
  26. Memphis Grizzlies: $790MM
  27. Milwaukee Bucks: $785MM
  28. Charlotte Hornets: $780MM
  29. Minnesota Timberwolves: $770MM
  30. New Orleans Pelicans: $750MM

For comparison’s sake, Forbes’ 2016 valuations can be found right here.

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